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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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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The Things Left Behind on the Beach

Friday 14 July 2017 at 10:52 pm


In August of 2016, the Island Free Press posted a story about the growing concern of beach gear being left behind on the shore overnight – or even abandoned altogether after an island vacation.

It wasn’t a new topic by any means, but at the time, both Irene and I had an inkling that the problem of “stuff left behind” was worse in 2016 than in the years before. We both noted going to the beach in the evenings or in the early morning hours, and coming across those big metal tent frames, or piles of broken beach chairs and umbrellas that were deposited next to the dune line or a nearby trash can.

And it looks like the wave of abandoned beach items is a topic that continues into 2017 as well.

In the past month, we’ve received a couple comments and emails about things left behind on the beach, and several folks have said that while they’re not sure if the presence of abandoned beach gear is better or worse than 2016, it’s still certainly noticeable.

So why is this happening, what’s the harm, and who is cleaning the mess up?

All good questions to consider, but let’s start with the easiest question first – which is who is cleaning up our collective mess.

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