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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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Looking forward to meeting Barclay Trimble

Friday 31 August 2012 at 3:12 pm

A week ago, the National Park Service announced that Barclay Trimble, deputy superintendent at Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona, will replace Mike Murray as superintendent of the Outer Banks Group, including the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Murray retired at the end of July, and Trimble will start his new job in late October. In the meantime, deputy superintendent Darrell Echols is managing the park operations as acting superintendent.

From the NPS news release, we know that Trimble has had a 21-year career with the Park Service and has spent most of that time in business and finance operations.

He has been recreation fee manager for the Intermountain Region, chief of finance for the Washington Office Concessions Division, acting chief of business management at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and a management assistant at Denali National Park in Alaska and the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington, D.C.

He has been deputy superintendent at Grand Canyon, one the of nation’s premier national parks, since 2007, and also served as acting superintendent for seven months, supervising 535 employees.

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Remembering Hurricane Irene

Friday 24 August 2012 at 5:55 pm

Do you remember what you were doing one year ago today?

Residents of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands do.  They remember all too well.

One year ago today, we were glued to our televisions screens and listening to our weather radios.  The monstrous Hurricane Irene was making its way across the Atlantic Ocean, and the bull’s eye in the “cone of terror,” as one friend calls it, was North Carolina.

At all of the island’s gathering places – grocery stores, post offices, banks, and restaurants – we asked everyone we met, “Are you going or staying?”

This was forecast to be a big one, maybe THE big one.  It had the attention of all of us – even many of us who have never evacuated before.

While talk of whether or not to evacuate is common before hurricanes, there was much more this time and in much more serious tones.

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Waiting on the judge

Friday 17 August 2012 at 4:17 pm

It shouldn’t be too long before we know whether U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan of the District of Columbia will preside over the Cape Hatteras Preservation Association’s lawsuit to overturn the National Park Service off-road vehicle plan and final rule at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The alternative is that he will transfer the case to the Eastern District of North Carolina and to U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle.

Sullivan said he was considering that option during a July 26 status conference with the parties to the lawsuit.  He suggested he would transfer the case “sua sponte” – of his own accord, without a request from any of the parties.

CHAPA has filed an objection to Sullivan’s inclination to transfer the case, and this week the federal defendants and defendant-intervenors responded to that objection.

Now it’s up to Sullivan.

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News of signs and scenic byways

Friday 10 August 2012 at 4:10 pm

Some Dare County business owners are very unhappy that Dare County has finally started enforcing its long-standing sign ordinance.

“Doing this the year after Hurricane Irene and in the middle of the season is just plain dumb,” said one business owner.

County Planning Director Donna Creef sent a letter to business owners in February to remind them – before the season started – about the sign regulations in unincorporated Dare County.

The letter did little to motivate owners to remove illegal signs, such as sandwich boards and other temporary signs, or comply with the limitations on flags and pennants.

Creef followed up in early June with a letter to those businesses that still had illegal temporary signs and flags, which is where the planning department started with enforcing the ordinance.

Letters went to 55 businesses in unincorporated Dare with illegal sandwich boards and other temporary signs, Creef said.

Creef  did a sign inventory on July 24 and 25. Only 12 businesses complied with the first notice, and on July 27, Creef sent letters to 45 business owners who still were not in compliance.  A few were added that were not offenders in June --  new illegal signs are going up faster than the planners can keep track of them.

In the letter, Creef promised that there would be a follow-up inventory soon, and that those owners who do not comply will be subject to civil penalties of $50 a day for the first 15 days after a written notice is issued, $100 a day from day 16 throught 30, and then $500 a day after that.

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News from Frank

Friday 03 August 2012 at 4:47 pm

Hatteras and Ocracoke residents – and others on the Outer Banks and up and down the East Coast -- were bereft when they got the news from Frank last weekend.

Of course, news from Frank is never good news, but this was particularly startling news.

In an e-mail, with “Tropics/Important notice” in the subject line, Frank broke the news that he is going to retire.

If you aren’t an island resident, you are probably wondering who the heck Frank is.  And if you do live here, you probably know what “news from Frank” means, but you probably have never met Frank and don’t know exactly who he is.

Just plain “Frank,” as he is known to all of us, is Franklin Rosenstein, who lives in Waldorf, Md., and owns a condominium in Hatteras village.

Frank Rosenstein is a meteorologist. He retired today after 33 years with the National Weather Service, the last 23 of them with the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center in Camp Springs, Md.

Frank is also somewhat of a folk hero on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.

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