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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!

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Don't beat up the county about beach access - there are better ways to spend our time

Thursday 18 June 2009 at 08:47 am A standing room only crowd of about 125 people showed up at the meeting of the Dare County Board of Commissioners on Monday evening, June 15.

They came to speak at the meeting’s public comment period about the beach access issues on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

Twenty-five folks stepped up to the microphone to comment.

The comment period went on for more than an hour, and the commissioners listened to each speaker patiently and with respect.

It is terrific that all of these people are making such an effort to be informed and to speak out on the beach access issue -- and especially last year’s consent decree that settled a lawsuit by environmental groups about the lack of an off-road vehicle plan on the seashore. Read More

Rainbows over Hatteras ¦ WITH A SLIDE SHOW

Monday 15 June 2009 at 1:26 pm By late afternoon on Friday, June 12, it looked as if Hatteras Island would get a really big thunderstorm.

The National Weather Service had posted a severe thunderstorm watch, and radar showed big blobs of red – storms across the sound.  The thunder echoed as the sky grew darker, and the system moved west toward Hatteras.

Then the storms came and went – with little of the stormy part.  Only a little over a tenth of an inch of rain was measured in Frisco.  There were only a few impressive claps of thunder.  And, according to the National Weather Service, the wind never gusted higher than 26 mph from the west.

But something even more impressive happened as the dark and foreboding gust front passed over the island.

The sky turned from black to almost navy blue, and then light became greenish, pink, and other colors, casting a strange glow over the landscape.

Next two rainbows appeared – one very bright and one just a little more subdued.

Lynne Foster said that on her street in Hatteras village, the residents poured out of their homes with digital cameras to capture the sight.

“It was a really neat community event,” Foster said. Read More

Replacing the Bonner Bridge may be moving forward again -- just maybe

Friday 12 June 2009 at 08:56 am Dare County’s Citizens’ Action Committee to Replace the Bonner Bridge met for the first time in almost a year on Wednesday, June 10.

And, for the first time in quite some months, the committee and county officials were energized and hopeful that the effort to build a replacement for the aging Herbert C. Bonner Bridge over Oregon Inlet might move forward.

The committee had a teleconference with Jim Trogdon, North Carolina Department of Transportation’s chief operating officer, and other members of the DOT staff.

“We have concurrence on the merger team, and we are moving ahead,” Trogdon said.
He also noted that DOT has “more confidence that we have the right consensus and are headed in the right direction.”

The merger team consists of several dozen representatives of local, state, and federal agencies that have a stake in the bridge replacement project and the problems with Highway 12 through the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

“The merger team,” he told the group, “has agreed on a replacement for the Bonner Bridge and is still working on options for the highway south of Pea Island, and especially at the entrance to Rodanthe.”

The team, he said, agrees that the replacement will be a parallel bridge to the west of the current bridge. It will be 2.7 miles long and will cost about $300 million – money that the state already has in its budget. Read More