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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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Salvo Jimmy (The Things Left B…): The troll’s “victroller” seems stuck in a scratched record on 98, 2, 40.
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The Shrimping Petition and the Local Response

Saturday 25 February 2017 at 1:16 pm

By JOY CRIST

On Thursday, February 16, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted to pursue a petition that would limit how, where and when shrimpers could operate. If adopted, the ensuing rules will limit shrimp trawling in most North Carolina waters, per a press release from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF).

The shrimping petition is an issue that’s been incredibly contentious for fishermen from all across coastal North Carolina since first coming to the surface in November, and this latest development has the potential to have severe state-wide impacts according to the many opponents of the regulations.

Here’s a break-down of what the petition entails, what comes next, and the strong concerns that local and state-wide fishermen have about the new regulations, as well as the process that led to the February 16 approval in the first place.

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Starry Nights is Returning to Hatteras Village – Here’s Why you Should Go

Friday 17 February 2017 at 5:53 pm

By JOY CRIST

 The Starry Nights event is returning to Hatteras Village for a full February weekend, and if you didn’t have a chance to go to last year’s event, you are in for a treat.

The two-day star gazing session which is presented by the Hatteras Civic Association and orchestrated by the UNC Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill – the largest planetarium in the state – is not just for the astronomically inclined.

Instead, it’s for anyone who appreciates a clear night, a star-filled sky, and pausing for a few minutes to look up and enjoy a natural show on full display. And on Hatteras Island, that encompasses pretty much all of us.

So if you haven’t made plans for February 24-25 yet, and are looking for a new wintertime adventure, here are a few reasons why a weekend of stargazing may be right up your alley.

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Low Risk isn’t No Risk, and Other Things you Need to Know about the Preliminary Flood Maps

Friday 03 February 2017 at 5:04 pm

By JOY CRIST

We’re at least a year away from the new flood maps being implemented, but the preliminary maps which came out in June of 2016 is a topic that has certainly garnered attention in the past couple of weeks.

Heavily attended public meetings were held on January 11, 12, and 13 – including one in Buxton that attracted 50 people - and on January 17th, a presentation at the Board of Commissioners’ (BOC) Meeting by Dare County Planning Manager Donna Creef led to six recommended actions being approved.

So what’s happening with the new flood maps, and how are homeowners going to be affected?

Essentially, the good news is that many homeowners on Hatteras Island are being moved to a less-risky flood zone designation, which could entail a lower base flood elevation, or a lower risk zone altogether. Theoretically, this could lead to lower flood insurance rates for homeowners all across the island.

The bad news, as Creef said at the presentation, is that “Low risk isn’t no risk.” Any resident who is still cleaning up after Matthew, (and there are lots of us), obviously knows that just because a zone on the map has been changed, it doesn’t mean that Mother Nature will refer to the new maps and follow suit. And there’s a concern growing that once flood insurance isn’t required, homeowners may opt out altogether, putting their properties at high risk in the process.

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