Friday 25 July 2014 at 1:35 pm
I've stumbled across what I think is the best new thing on Hatteras Island this year.
Maybe you have already seen it. It's in Waves.
Alongside the multi-use pathway that was completed last year in the villages of Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, and Avon, there's a little wooden house with an A-frame roof standing at about eye-level on two white support posts. It's painted yellow and has a window in the front.
Through the window of the little house, you can see a pile of books. And next to it is a bench painted yellow and green.
Sometimes, you can see folks peering through the window of the little house. Sometimes you can see folks opening up the window to check out the contents. And sometimes, you can even see folks sitting on the bench, flipping through the pages of books.
The little house is Hatteras Island's first Little Free Library. It was created by Pam Strausbaugh, who lives in the big house, also painted yellow and green, behind the little house.
The Little Free Library is a phenomenon, a movement that is sweeping not only the county but also the world since the first one was established in 2009 in Hudson, Wis.
It's based on a very simple concept of "take a book, leave a book."
Friday 18 July 2014 at 1:42 pm
Since Republicans took total control of North Carolina in 2012, not much of the news coming our way from Raleigh has been good news.
The memories of those powerless days when Democrats controlled all in Raleigh have not been forgotten -- especially the memory of a powerful politician from Dare County, Marc Basnight.
Basnight, the leader of the state Senate, pretty much got what he wanted and he wanted to improve the plight of Dare and Hyde counties and other areas of rural eastern North Carolina.
Some observers say that the Republicans are exacting revenge by undoing Basnight's legacy.
That assessment may or may not be on the mark. But one thing is very clear -- the power in the capital has shifted, and rural North Carolina certainly appears to be getting the short end of the stick.
Funding to some projects -- viewed as Basnight "pet projects" -- has been reduced or totally cut off. Just look at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, which the General Assembly has tried to close down several times and may still, or the state-owned Jennette's Pier in Nags Head, which the General Assembly wants to sell.
There are other examples, but today's blog is about two particular changes brought to us courtesy of our lawmakers in Raleigh -- the new transportation planning law, which may be the most diabolical piece of legislation they have passed, and the law that slaps a sales tax on the bills of Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative members.
Friday 11 July 2014 at 1:30 pm
In the 23 years that I've been reporting news on Hatteras Island, there has never been a hurricane evacuation or re-entry that was not controversial.
And Hurricane Arthur was not the exception.
The storm that became Arthur started as a low pressure area off the Florida coast the week before it made landfall south of the Outer Banks about 11:15 p.m. on Thursday, July 3.
As early as the last week of June, the storm had the attention of forecasters, emergency managers, and residents along the southeast U.S. coast. Any disturbance in that area -- so close to the coast -- is reason for concern. It can quickly strengthen and quickly reach the coast.
By Monday, June 30, Arthur was clearly a concern for the Outer Banks. The National Hurricane Center gave the low an 80 percent chance of becoming a named storm and said an approaching cold front and dip in the Jet Stream would lift it up the southeast coast.
There was still hope, however, that the storm would move by us offshore, perhaps well offshore.