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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Salvo Jimmy (Where are the Foo…): Paul, Mooney’s was a hot dog joint in my NC hometown in the ‘50s. “All the way“ meant mustard, chi…
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Checking in on 2018 National Seashore Projects – What’s on the Horizon, and When

Saturday 27 January 2018 at 12:53 am


Despite a brief three-day interlude due to the federal government shutdown over the past weekend, 2018 is already shaping up to be yet another busy year when it comes to projects within the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

And considering that these projects are scattered throughout the islands, it can be justifiably hard to keep up with what’s coming, going, or being renovated.

So with that in mind, here’s a closer look at the ongoing projects within the National Seashore, and where they stand.

ADA Accessible Boardwalk near ORV Ramp 55 in Hatteras

The new ADA accessible boardwalk that’s adjacent to the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum and ORV Ramp 55 is in the final stages of completion, and should be open in the next several weeks.

The boardwalk is similar to the one at the bathhouse just south of Frisco, in that it has a gradual incline with no hills, brings visitors right to the beach, and also has a viewing platform that allows folks to check out the ocean without getting their toes in the sand.

“Right now, we are planting beach grass along the sides of [the boardwalk] to stabilize the sand,” says David Hallac, Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent, “but the structure itself is almost complete.”

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What's Happening with the Proposed Insurance Increase?

Saturday 13 January 2018 at 12:51 am


The prospect of significant increases in homeowners’ insurance was tossed on public plates three days before Thanksgiving, and with the holiday season in full tilt, it took a while for people to notice. But a reprieve this week will allow anyone who owns a year-round home in Dare County to learn important details about potential steep hikes in their insurance bills.

On Jan. 8, N.C. Commissioner of Insurance Mike Causey rejected a proposed rate increase by the NC Rate Bureau that would have spiked homeowners’ insurance costs about 25 percent for Dare County – an average of 18.7 percent statewide – and set a hearing for July 23.

“After hearing and reading the more than 9,000 comments from residents across the state and studying the figures in the filing,” Causey in a statement, “it is now necessary to hold a hearing to reach a resolution that will make the most financial sense for our residents and insurance companies.”

Remarkable grassroots response accounts for the last-minute flood of comments, said Willo Kelly, government affairs consultant for the Outer Banks Association of Realtors and the government affairs director for the Outer Banks Homebuilders Association.  Only four people – all opposed - spoke at a lightly-attended public comment session on the proposal held on Dec. 12 in Raleigh, she said. By then, a total of 94 comments had been received online by the department.

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The Stories We’re Keeping an Eye on for 2018

Saturday 30 December 2017 at 8:40 pm


This is a bit of a complementary blog to the last entry, which was a wrap-up of all the stories that grabbed our attention in 2017.

Suffice it to say, it’s an interesting time on Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, as there are a number of projects that are in process, and which are worth watching now and in the months to come.

So with that in mind, let’s take a peek at the stories that are carry-overs from 2017, which we expect to heat up or stay in the headlines for a chunk of 2018 as well. From widened beaches, to disappearing piers, to bridges being erected before our eyes, 2018 is already shaping up to be as interesting as 2017.

So what can we expect to see in 2018? Let’s start with one of the literal largest changes in the landscape.

Completion of the Bonner Bridge

On March 6, 2016, construction finally began on the new Herbert C. Bonner Bridge, and while it took more than a decade to get the project off the ground, actually finishing the bridge is turning out to be a significantly faster process. The new Bonner Bridge is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2018, and considering that the construction of the incline sections that will combine the existing three ramp and inlet sections together is on the horizon, a 2018 completion date for the new bridge certainly seems feasible. This story will likely linger for another year or two also, as in 2019, the 1963 original bridge will be torn down, except for a southern section that will be used for fishing.

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