Shooting The Breeze

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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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Are There More Rip Currents This Summer, or Just More Attention?

Friday 27 July 2018 at 9:26 pm

By JOY CRIST

Ask anyone who follows news and conversations about Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, and they’ll attest that one of the biggest topics for the summer of 2018 is rip currents.

With this recent rash of heavy rains, Hatteras and Ocracoke islands have had a moderate or high risk of rip currents on a near-daily basis, and in late June, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (CHNS) made national headlines with a total of four drownings occurring within the park boundaries.

You could argue that it was after these June fatalities that the conversation about rip currents started to heat up, and has been ongoing ever since. Free local classes that teach newcomers about identifying and getting out of rip currents have received a wave of media attention, while multiple websites, social media pages, and news organizations are offering daily rip current forecasts for visitors, (our paper included.)

So this noticeable increase in rip current conversations across the board begs the following question: Are rip currents a bigger threat this summer than in previous years, or is there just more attention to the topic?

To save you some time, let’s go ahead and answer – The number of rip currents may be above average this summer, but it’s very hard to tell for sure.

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What are the Rules of the Road for Golf Carts, and What’s Next? Part I

Friday 13 July 2018 at 11:41 pm

By JOY CRIST

Longtime Hatteras Island visitors and residents have likely noticed the rise in golf carts in recent years.

Once a rare sight just a decade or so ago, today they seem to be everywhere, and especially in locales like Hatteras village where the rules for operating golf carts are more generous and flexible. Golf cart rentals are available throughout Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, and Hatteras village even has an annual 4th of July Golf Cart parade, where dozens of decked-out and patriotic carts cruise around the village in a colorful procession.

And with the rise of golf carts, there are a number of questions on what constitutes legal operation. The rules of the road for golf carts are complicated at best, and every village – and even every street – has its own potential set of guidelines on what’s legal, and what’s not.

So before we get into where golf cart operation may be headed next on Hatteras Island, here’s a quick review of where and how golf carts can currently be operated.

Where Golf Carts are legal

In 2010, the Hatteras Village Civic Association presented a measure to regulate golf carts to the Dare County Board of Commissioners. The ordinance was passed that summer, and since then, golf carts have been allowed on all streets and roads in Hatteras village west of and including Austin Road and Austin Lane, in areas where the speed limit is 35 mph.

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