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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!!!




Latest Comments

Pussycat (The Things Left B…): Devil Dog, My numbers are correct. That is why you can’t dispel them and then try to deflect the trut…
salvo jimmy (The Things Left B…): DevilDog Stop feeding the trolling wanna be agitator. LOL
Bud (Examining Options…): Compensation for what? It was a wonderful week here while the evacuation order was in effect. Power w…
DevilDog (The Things Left B…): What’s new, Pussycat? (Whoa^3!) Hard to believe you’re still peddling that same debunked BS, but or…
Jack (Examining Options…): Someone ought to add Southern Environmental Law to the list. If they hadn’t screwed with the plans al…
JimH (Examining Options…): The class lawsuits are not the way to go if you want 100% (or even close) to what your losses are or …


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Examining Options for Compensation after the Power Outage

Saturday 12 August 2017 at 01:08 am


Even as people are still taking stock of losses related to the recent power outage on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, at least six class-action lawsuits have been filed to collect damages for those who decide to join.

In addition, a patchwork of travel insurance and rental companies’ deposit reimbursement policies may or may not provide compensation for vacationers and the governor’s emergency declaration may or may not matter in collecting it.

What about business or wage and tip losses? Or potential decreases in tourism, the islands’ lifeblood? What about related costs from spoiled food or health issues created by lack of air conditioning?

Dare County plans to hold a community meeting next week on August 16 at 6:30 p.m. at the Fessenden Center to shed light on the confusing range of options available to residents, tourists, property owners and businesses affected by the week-long blackout.

“We’re going to provide all the information that we have to try to help people access the information to do whatever they need to do,” said county manager Bobby Outten, adding that legal advice will not be given. “I think people are concerned and upset that they lost the revenue that they did. Our goal at that meeting is to begin gathering information and answer any questions we can answer.”

PCL Construction, the contractor currently building the new Bonner Bridge, has taken responsibility for accidently cutting power cables on the south side of the bridge project on the early morning of July 27, leaving the islands with no electricity other than spotty coverage from emergency generators. Thousands of tourists had to be evacuated, and the islands were closed to visitors until Aug. 4.

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Searching for the Rare Bright Spots in the Power Outage

Friday 04 August 2017 at 12:17 am


“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans” – Woody Allen

So a little more than a week ago, I was working on a blog entry about erosion.

Then I went to bed on Wednesday night, July 26, and woke up the next morning - along with everyone else on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands - to a dark and warmer-than-normal bedroom.

It was several hours later that the phrase “be prepared for an extended outage” popped up, and we all started to realize we may have a bigger than expected problem on our hands.

Then came Friday night, July 28. I was working on a blog entry geared towards visitors about conserving power when they came down the next day for their vacation. It was a tough piece to write – one that no one will ever read – because you are essentially asking people as nicely as possible not to use pools, or air conditioners… In July. In North Carolina.

And just as I was finishing up the spellcheck and shooting it to our publisher, we learned about the mandatory evacuation for visitors.

So this blog is literally “Take Three.”

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Is it time for Hatteras Island to welcome food trucks?

Saturday 22 July 2017 at 12:33 am


When I was an intern in the late 1980s covering the N.Y. State Legislature, I used to go outside every day on the Capitol square for lunch. The streets were lined with food trucks, serving all kinds of homemade fresh food. My favorite was the falafel and tabbouleh, but there were lots of other choices. As a lunch option, it was fast, cheap,delicious and healthy.

Over the decades since, food trucks have became all the rage and can now be found in practically every city and resort area. Some of the owner/chefs have become famous and rich. The genre even has been a popular feature on cable TV travel and cooking shows.

An Oct. 2016 article in Buzzfeed highlighted the top food trucks in North Carolina. Food offerings included tacos, BBQ, Asian dumplings and pho, pressed sandwiches, gourmet meats, grilled cheese, hot chicken, kabobs, gourmet burgers, and burritos.

But for a number of reasons, including zoning laws, food trucks are not something we see very often on the Outer Banks, unless it’s a special event. One notable exception is Eduardo’s Taco Truck on Ocracoke Island, which is parked by the Variety Store and has been a big hit with tourists.

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