Shooting The Breeze


Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!




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Why we stay in the face of a major hurricane

Friday 26 August 2011 at 6:22 pm

As I am writing this on Friday evening, the outer bands of rain from Hurricane Irene are coming onshore on Hatteras Island.  There isn’t much wind to speak of yet, but that will probably change quickly before too long.

Forecasters are saying that the storm should pass close to Cape Hatteras tomorrow morning, but the good news is that the storm is not strengthening.

Winds are down to 100 mph now and pressure is rising.  However, no one here is breathing a sigh of relief.

We know it is a big and dangerous storm and that we will take a beating.

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The plovers and the people

Friday 19 August 2011 at 4:16 pm

A reader sent me a link to a story in last Sunday’s Boston Globe about piping plovers on the Massachusetts coast.

The headline is “The curious case of the piping plover,” and it is curious indeed when you considered the lengths we go to here at Cape Hatteras National Seashore under the consent decree to protect piping plover chicks.

We go to great lengths – as in 1,000 meter buffers all around the nests after the chicks hatch.

In the Globe article, writer Kris Frieswick tells the tale of three pairs of piping plovers that are nesting with great success on one of the state’s busiest beaches – Revere Beach, just a short distance from Boston, which attracts 2.5 million visitors annually.

A quick Google search turned up dozens of other articles about these plovers on Revere Beach and on other busy Massachusetts beaches.

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Rounding up some news on the Park Service√ʬĬôs proposed ORV rule

Friday 12 August 2011 at 10:27 am

Yesterday afternoon on the government regulations website,, there were 238 public comments on the National Park Service’s proposed off-road rule for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

They are apparently all from individuals.  There were no organizations listed as having submitted comments, but the environmental groups that sued the Park Service in 2007 – Defenders of Wildlife and National Audubon Society, and their lawyers at the Southern Environmental Law Center – are sure to weigh in.

I’m sure that they’re just keeping us in suspense about their views on the proposed rule, which will completely alter public access to the seashore for decades to come.  And, that, of course, is their goal.

There are still three weeks and four days to comment on the rule.  Information on how to comment is at the end of this blog.

You can also go to the government regulations website and read the comments posted thus far.

This week’s blog touches on a handful of topics in the news that will interest you as you craft your comments.

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Memories of another Emily

Friday 05 August 2011 at 1:20 pm

As I write this on Friday morning, Aug. 5, Tropical Storm Emily has been downgraded to a wet and windy low pressure system, but weather forecasters are predicting that the storm may re-form into a tropical system in a day or so.  If so, they are forecasting that it will pass by Cape Hatteras out in the Atlantic, perhaps fairly far out to sea.

In that case, we might see rough seas and rip currents and maybe some good waves for surfers – but nothing more.

Of course, the storm is still down around the Bahamas and forecasts for tropical systems can change drastically.

So, for now, all eyes are still on Emily.

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