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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Will the circle be unbroken?

Friday 28 February 2014 at 4:30 pm

There are loved ones in the glory
Whose dear forms you often miss.
When you close your earthly story,
Will you join them in their bliss?


Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, by and by?
Is a better home awaiting
In the sky, in the sky?

According to Internet sources, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" is a popular Christian hymn written in 1907 by Ada R. Habershon with music by Charles H. Gabriel. The song is often recorded unattributed and, because of its age, has lapsed into the public domain.

In more recent times, a number of country artists have recorded a version with different lyrics.

The lyrics of the original hymn seem especially evocative when you think of Hatteras Island’s circle – a circle of stones, the large, heavy granite stones that mark the footprint of the 1870 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse before it was moved away from the encroaching ocean.

The stones commemorate the 83 keepers of the Hatteras Light, celebrating their lives and service.  Preserving their memory and the original location of the light is important to islanders and visitors, but it’s especially important to the descendants of the lightkeepers.

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Flowers Ridge Road: A clash between the old-time lifestyle and development

Friday 21 February 2014 at 5:38 pm

More than a century ago, it was part of a cart path from Buxton to Frisco.

Just two decades ago, it was a quiet sand road deep in the Buxton Woods, a retreat for those seeking peace and quiet, natural beauty, and privacy.

Today, Flowers Ridge Road, just off Lighthouse Road in Buxton, has become a nightmare of huge, water-filled potholes and other hazards for some residents.

The story of Flowers Ridge is just another example of the problems that development brings to this fragile barrier island.

It is probably one of the oldest roads on Hatteras Island. The eastern part of the road begins at Lighthouse Road and extends about a mile to a bridge that connects with Hatteras Pines, a subdivision off the Buxton Back Road.

For decades, before Highway 12 was built, it carried horses and carts and then vehicles from Buxton south.  It meandered through some of the loveliest parts of the maritime forest, connecting with other sand roads near where the Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve is located today – and points south of there.

Old cemeteries, including one with wooden headstones, can still be seen along the road.

By 1990, residents and a few newcomers lived in this idyllic setting.

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Get ready for a total closure of Highway 12 in Frisco for a weekend

Friday 14 February 2014 at 6:22 pm

The North Carolina Department of Transportation will replace a culvert under Highway 12 in Frisco in two weeks, and the project will require a total closure of the road for an entire weekend.

According to John Able, Division 1 bridge program manager, work will begin on the culvert at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb 28, and be finished by no later than 6 a.m. on Monday, March 3.

The culvert is located at Milepost 65 on the north end of Frisco, just south of Timber Trail.

The culvert must be replaced before Highway 12 in Frisco is resurfaced, which is scheduled for this spring.

Because of the nature and size of the culvert, Able said, there is no way to provide a detour around the work.

He said DOT explored a temporary bridge around the work, but it would have doubled the cost for only a weekend of use.  And, perhaps more importantly, it would require a major CAMA permit, which takes months not weeks.

On Hatteras and Ocracoke as the word spread today about the closure, many folks were just stunned, if not steamed.

Some county officials in Dare County knew that DOT was considering a total closure to replace the culvert, but did not find out that it was going to happen – and going to happen in two weeks – until this morning.

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Going forward in Congress to overturn the ORV plan won’t be easy

Friday 07 February 2014 at 4:21 pm

A bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives last February by Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., was passed yesterday as part of a package of bills, HR 2954, known as the Public Access and Lands Improvement Act.

The Jones part of the package would overturn both the National Park Service’s 2012 final rule for off-road vehicles on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and a 2008 court-approved consent decree that settled a lawsuit filed against the Park Service by environmental groups.

The Preserving Access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area Act would return management of seashore resources to the Interim Protected Species Management Strategy and Environmental Assessment, issued by the Park Service on June 13, 2007.

Jones is like a junkyard dog when it comes to access to the seashore.  He’s introduced this bill in every Congress since the 2008 consent decree.  

And this is the second time it has been passed by the full House.  The first was in 2012.

The problem is that it’s way easier to get Republicans to support this legislation than Democrats.

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