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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Dare commissioners take cowardly way out on thorny issue

Friday 25 January 2013 at 4:44 pm

The Dare County commissioners let down their constituents at their meeting on Tuesday night.

Their inaction on the request of Avon resident Mark Rawl to allow temporary seafood sales as a conditional land use under the county zoning regulations appeared, well, just plain cowardly.

The commissioners took no action, effectively killing Rawl’s effort without even taking a vote.  It appears that they took the easy way out on what is a very thorny issue.

Temporary seafood sales have been discussed off and on for several years in Dare County.

They are allowed in all of the other counties of North Carolina and in several nearby states.

However, Dare Board of Health regulations have prohibited them here, giving the commissioners a convenient response to a growing number of folks who are in favor of the temporary sales, especially at such venues as farmers’ markets.

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Blogging about the blog

Friday 18 January 2013 at 4:47 pm

Several readers have taken me to task this week for letting comments on my blog get out of control.

“Irene, where are you?” asked one reader. “All these verbal attacks on everyone’s gotta stop…”

The readers who have taken me to the woodshed have been correct to do so.  I have let the blog get out of control. I am sorry, and it’s stopping here.

In my defense, I will say that I have tried to be as fair as possible to readers with different points of view.  And, in the process, I think I have gone too far in letting folks who oppose my views on the Park Service’s new off-road vehicle plan post comments that have crossed over the line.

Too many commenters on my last two blogs have been really ugly and mean-spirited toward readers who disagree with them.

The anti-ORV posters have accused me of removing only their comments.  That’s not true, but it is true that on the last several blogs, I have had to remove more of their comments than those who favor more reasonable beach access than is allowed under the ORV plan.

The fact of the matter is – and I am sure this will bring down their wrath – that they have just plain been uglier than those on the other side of the issue.

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Ocracokers can’t get a break

Friday 11 January 2013 at 4:39 pm

Ocracokers are a tough bunch of people, used to dealing with problems getting on and off their island, which is accessible only by boat or plane.

However, their latest round of ferry woes has got to be trying their patience and challenging their resilience and ingenuity.

Highway 12 finally reopened just before Christmas, making travel off the island easier for residents and visitors who were relying on ferries across the Pamlico Sound, a trip that takes about 2 1/2 hours.

Now Rollinson Channel in Hatteras Inlet is so shoaled up that the Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry is running only sporadically.

Thankfully, it is January, most businesses are closed, and only a few tourists pass through the island or come to stay a while.

The unreliable ferry is, however, causing havoc in the everyday lives of many islanders.

The basketball team struggles to get on and off the island for games and it’s often all but impossible for off-island teams to get there for home games.

Getting off and back on the island for doctors’ appointments, shopping, or trips is a daily hassle. Getting prescriptions filled at Beach Pharmacy is Hatteras village is a headache.

Some days the mail truck has to wait and wait on one side or the other or just can’t get there.

Though most businesses are closed, suppliers struggle to deliver goods and services to those that are open.

The clogged channel is also a problem for Hatteras commercial fishermen and charter boat captains who must use Rollinson Channel to get into the ocean.

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Support for our national parks

Friday 04 January 2013 at 4:36 pm

There is a reader who has started posting frequently and anonymously on my recent blogs and who is very fond of referring to a poll that, he – or she – says proves that Hatteras and Ocracoke islanders who are not happy with the National Park Service’s new off-road vehicle plan are a small minority of folks who are out-of-touch with the country’s view of national parks.

This, he says, proves that islanders should accept the new plan, quit complaining, get with it, and get over it.

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