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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Two former seashore chiefs reflect on events of the ‘70s and ‘80s

Friday 27 December 2013 at 3:52 pm

It was Salvo Jimmy who first jogged my memory in his comment on a blog about Highway 12 and the Bonner Bridge replacement.

He has a good memory or a really organized filing system.

As the reader comments turned to beach nourishment, SJ referred to a 2003 column written by a former superintendent and published in another island newspaper.

I remembered the article because I was the editor of that publication at the time.  And I went into my non-digital, paper files to locate it.

The article that SJ mentioned was published in the summer of 2003 in a special issue on the 50th anniversary of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

It was written by Tom Hartman of Southern Shores and the headline was “A turning point in park management.” Hartman was superintendent of the seashore from 1981-1994 and was probably the last superintendent even mildly popular with Hatteras and Ocracoke islanders.

It was interesting to read it again after a decade and all the water that has flowed across Highway 12 – from Isabel in September of 2003 through Sandy in October of 2012.

A second article also caught my eye.

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We all know it will happen again

Friday 20 December 2013 at 5:26 pm

The word spread like wildfire on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 15, that the Bonner Bridge would reopen at 4 p.m. after a 12-day closure for safety reasons.

Residents and visitors were ecstatic to have the bridge back. We were all grateful to the NCDOT Ferry Division for the emergency ferries from Stumpy Point and Rodanthe.  But we won’t miss that two-plus hour ride – each way.

Now we are grateful that sand pumped onto the troublesome, scoured-out pilings has stabilized the bridge for now so that emergency repairs can proceed.

However, we know that there will be more safety closures if the constant legal roadblocks thrown up by outside environmental groups don’t stop soon.

We can tell you that the bridge will not close again on Jan. 2 or Jan. 3 or Jan 7, depending on which rumor you have heard.

This message was sent to us by NCDOT’s Division 1 engineer, Jerry Jennings, and was posted on the NC12 Facebook page.

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We all knew it would happen, but…

Thursday 12 December 2013 at 4:57 pm

Where were you when you heard the news that the Bonner Bridge was closing immediately for safety concerns on the afternoon of Tuesday, Dec. 3?

Hope you were not up the beach at a doctor’s appointment, taking care of other business, or Christmas shopping.  Because some who were had a big hassle getting back to Hatteras or spent the night on the “other side,” as we call it.

We all knew it would happen sooner or later – especially with the continuous legal challenges by environmental groups to DOT’s plan to replace the decrepit bridge.

But how did we imagine it would happen?  I was taken by surprise by the sudden announcement that the bridge would close immediately.  I am not sure why, since the bridge is 20 or more years past the date that the engineers who designed it thought it would be in service.

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