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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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Devildog (By the Numbers: A…): Redfin, Your lame attempt at humor/diversion from your dozens of failures also contained yet anothe…
hatras soldjer (Are There More Ri…): Dearest Nell, All the American citisens of color just lef the Red Hats and joined the Resistince beca…
Hondo7 (Could pathways, t…): Pathways , yes, Trams? where you gonna go?, no offence but does Hatterass really need a tram?more vis…
Steve (Could pathways, t…): Why increase the rate of demise of Hatteras and Ocracoke? The place is already oversaturated with tou…
Surf123 (Could pathways, t…): Could pathways, trams, and the passenger ferry mean more visitors for Hatteras? No, No and No. People…
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Could pathways, trams, and the passenger ferry mean more visitors for Hatteras?

Friday 10 August 2018 at 11:33 pm


Back in May, Hatteras village residents overwhelmingly approved a special referendum on the primary elections ballot that allows its tax district revenue to be used to build a multi-use path.

But now there’s a decent chance that a federal BUILD grant award will be able to pick up that tab and provide a little extra to pay for trams like those Hyde County just acquired for Ocracoke.

Voila! Pathways + trams = activities on the Hatteras side for visitors using the new passenger ferry system.

But Ricki Shepherd, chair of the Hatteras Village Community Center Tax District, said it would be premature to count on the funds. The application for the $1.8 million grant was just submitted on July 17, and the award won’t be announced until December.

“At this point, we’re going to see if we get the grant,” she said in an interview. “There’s no point in getting too carried away.”

In the meantime, the HVCCD has hired Albemarle and Associates - the same engineering firm that did the work on the Rodathe-Waves-Salvo and Avon multi-use paths - to do the preliminary plan for the village.

One way or another, Shepherd emphasized, Hatteras will be getting its bicycle/pedestrian path – either with the tax district funds, or with the grant funds.

A walk-in session for the public to get information and provide input about the initial planning work will be held on Aug. 15 from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Community Building.

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

Friday 27 July 2018 at 9:26 pm


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


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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