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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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A fish tale: Don't leave your tails on the beach

Tuesday 05 May 2009 at 4:43 pm On Sunday, April 26, a group of locals was fishing on the beach in Buxton.

Part of the group headed home, but one person decided to check out the Avon beach. In his cooler were three small sea mullet that had been caught earlier, and he was hoping to add a few more for dinner that night.

The angler had no luck in Avon and decided to clean the three small mullet before he left the beach. He threw the scraps to the begging seagulls.

The angler said a National Park Service ranger sat in his truck and watched the fish cleaning and gull feeding.  As the angler left the beach, the ranger turned on blue lights, stopped him, and gave him a written warning for leaving fish parts on the beach.

Moral of the story:  Do not clean your fish on the beach. Read More

Buxton takes a beating from beach closures

Friday 01 May 2009 at 5:31 pm Buxton businesses took a beating last summer with the extensive beach resource closures, and it looks like this summer will be a repeat of last year’s scenario.

Right now, the only beach in Buxton open to ORVs is four-tenths of a mile at Ramp 43.  It’s a cul-de-sac with two-tenths of a mile open north and south of the ramp.

A few days ago, the National Park Service closed Ramp 44, the main ramp to Cape Point, because of breeding behavior exhibited by American oystercatchers. There had been a small amount of beach open there.

Access to the Point has been closed for several weeks by closures for oystercatchers between Ramp 44 and Cape Point.

And Ramp 45, to the southwest of the Point, which was already just another four-tenths of a mile cul-de-sac was closed down last weekend.

Just four-tenths of a mile.  That’s fairly amazing.  These oystercatchers are neither endangered or threatened under federal law. They are listed as species of special concern by the state of North Carolina. Read More

Economic suffering on the islands

Wednesday 29 April 2009 at 6:00 pm This letter to the editor, published this week,  is from my friend Helen Hudson, who is the librarian at the Dare County Library in Hatteras village:


“April showers were often said to bring May flowers. May, 2009, will be bringing Hatteras Island residents a 12.8 percent increase in electricity costs, as well as a 6.5 percent increase in homeowners' insurance. How can we cope in these hard economic times? I've never seen so many people out of work and using the food pantries. It breaks my heart to see so many businesses closed and/or for sale. Quite a few people are simply leaving the area. I spoke with a gifted teacher who may have to move because the cost of living is so high on the island.

We make every effort to support local businesses. However, we often end up paying resort prices all year long. I think there needs to be a task force addressing the specific needs on Hatteras Island. I'd love to hear others comment on dealing with these issues.”
Read More