Outer Banks Free Press
Letter to the Editor: 11/29/2014
morning, after 11 tortuous weeks replete with numerous phone calls and hold
times in excess of 90 minutes, a sizable deposit arrived in my checking
account. The North Carolina Employment Security Commission (NCESC) decided
I was due every penny of unemployment for which I'd applied. I'm still smiling
I write for several reasons. The first is to express how grateful I am for the help I received from Rep. Paul Tine. Money's great, however, it's nearly as great just knowing that someone I voted for will take the time and effort to help me. I've not asked for help before and am heartened to know that Dare County has someone in Raleigh who represents us.
Experience – it's what you get when you don't get what you want. This experience taught me that unemployment didn't used to be this way. In prior years, our local office had people who could adjudicate our cases immediately and they knew our local economy. All but two of these folks have been laid off, they cannot adjudicate cases and the office will be closed by next winter.
I learned that I was one of 800 lucky ones...by lucky,
I mean that due to my persistence, my case had been bumped up to the “Expedited”
I learned that once they had received my employer's response, Federal law says NCESC has 21 days to respond to me. I should have heard from them before Christmas. Had I not asked for Rep. Tine's help, I'd still be waiting.
So, what has our other representative in Raleigh done
for the folks in Dare County? Senator Bill Cook co-sponsored the legislation
that dismantled NCESC and is responsible for this backlog of 16,000 cases.
He's also supported legislation responsible for a backlog of 20,000 applications
for SNAP (food stamps), voter suppression, women's health restrictions
and against expanding health insurance for the 500,000 poorest in NC.
NC taxpayers are still sending money to the Federal government however,
that money is helping KY, NJ, OH, and other states, but leaving folks
in NC out... in the cold, possibly hungry, possibly sick.
Former Kitty Hawk Mayor Responds to Kitty Hawk
Town Council Beach Nourishment Proposal........
|It was obvious
to me that the decision to move forward on the proposed beach nourishment
project had already been made and agreed to by the Council privately and
my comments were superficial. Since the decision had already been made and
nothing I said would have any influence in Council’s deliberations,
it was not necessary for you or any of the other Council members to comment
further on the issue. But, you had prepared comments and as is predictable
of you at any public forum, you wanted to be seen and heard! As your comments
were pointed to me directly and specifically, I offer these further remarks,
but not necessarily in the order you made them.
In my remarks I briefly traced the early history of the opening of the Currituck Sound Bridge, the new beach road and the original subdivision of Kitty Hawk Beach. Also, I pointed out that the land which we today refer to as “between the highways” was a wetland historically without a natural drainage system and that the present subdivision of those properties was done by Dare County, not the Town of Kitty Hawk. Basically, I was trying to describe the current problems created by the natural lay of the land and past planning mistakes. If anything, it should have taken any heat off the Town in its effort to reduce the flooding problems in the area. I am amazed at how you twisted my remarks around to suggest that the people in this area should be abandoned. I never used that term nor implied its meaning in any of my remarks, so that thought is yours and yours alone! I did, however, state that it would be difficult or impossible to correct the flooding problem with the proposed described project. I am sure that the public was impressed and comforted by your remarks that, “I will not abandon any part of this community while standing watch on this Council.” I believe you took an oath to that effect when sworn in on the Council and I would not expect you to violate that oath!
You seem to take special delight in reporting on my comments about acquiring
interest in beach front property. If you will think back to our conversation,
you will remember that I suggested that I thought the current nourishment
plan was inadequate and that a committee should be appointed to study
alternatives to the proposal. I also said that there were probably a host
of alternatives that could be considered, including the purchase of beachfront
property, but I did not say nor imply it should be done by condemnation!
The Town could establish a policy of acquiring property from “willing
sellers” on an opportunity bases. The Town may also find it advantageous
to secure interest in beachfront property through easements so as to permit
legal repairs to breaches in the primary dune system on private land.
I did not say nor would I ever promote the sinking of ships off the coast
or the placing of bundled tires or plastic stringers to form off shore
bars. Those projects do not work and usually end up as trash on the beach,
so why would we want to trash our beaches. I did not propose any of those
projects, so you got those ideas elsewhere.
At one point in your remarks about the idea of having a committee review and offer alternatives, you stated that “committees take time which we do not have” and you quickly noted that the County is offering “something found viable in numerous places in the United States”. I will concede from personal knowledge that beach nourishment projects have been successful in places, but they also have a failure rate that people do not want to acknowledge or talk about! I do know that no two beaches are the same and the response to beach nourishment on one beach may be totally different on a second beach. Saying you are using the “Nags Head model” for Kitty Hawk does not guarantee success. In fact, about twice as much sand was placed on the beach face in Nags Head as is projected in your proposed project to be placed on the Kitty Hawk beach. Do you really believe that half as much sand will last as long as twice as much sand? Engineers will prepare for you whatever design project you are willing to pay for, but they do not offer any guarantees of success. In effect you are buying a “Pig in the Poke” and hoping for a happy outcome. I believe the Town of Kitty Hawk needs to go back and identify its ocean over wash protection needs and have a project designed to meet those needs. No one speaking for the Town has demonstrated any understanding or knowledge of beach dynamics or beach processes, but instead have been happily warriors jumped on the beach nourishment band wagon without any idea where the wagon will lead them. I am not sure you can depend on “luck” to save the day!
You made a comparison of the cost of the Fire Station at 5 million dollars vs. the Kitty Hawk cost of 3.9 million dollars for the beach nourishment project. What you fail to acknowledge is that the remaining 13.3 million dollars for beach nourishment is also tax moneys, but admittedly not Kitty Hawk ad valorem taxes. As I recall you were opposed to the Fire Station initially, but I thought that over time you would have come to realize and appreciate the service and safety the station and its firemen has and does provided Kitty Hawk citizens. You are one of the very, very few who I have heard is not proud of this facility. Hopefully you will never need their services, but I can tell you that I have needed their services in the past and they helped me with my health problem and I am here today to praise their work. The 2+ cents per hundred tax it cost to build the facility, which is paid by every property owner in the Town, is money well spent and was done with the Town’s capital improvement budget rather than a tax increase as you propose for beach nourishment. You suggested that the tax for the beach nourishment project will be assessed by districts on the bases of “most benefit property owners,” however, I also understand that people in the village, who do not even live within sight of the ocean, will be assessed at least 2 cents on the hundred evaluation under this program. How do I qualify as a “most benefit property owner” living on Elijah Baum Road, or any of my neighbors and friends living elsewhere in the village?
You have also made the statement that the beach nourishment tax will
be paid off long before the retirement of the Fire Station mortgage. This
beach nourishment project is not likely to be a “one and done”
project and you will need to return time after time for more tax money.
The first beach nourishment project tax may very well be paid off before
the mortgage on the fire station, but the fire station will be standing
and serving the health and safety needs of the citizens of Kitty Hawk
many long years after the beach nourishment sand has long since returned
to the sea.
“Mainlining Sand” in the Village of Kitty Hawk
Because we have had only one meeting regarding this issue and there was not enough room for all the interested parties to attend, there are a few questions that should be addressed.
Both Virginia Beach and Nags Head are DIFFERENT than Kitty Hawk as they do not have roads that need to be completely reconstructed after storms.
VA Beach used 1.25 million cubic yards of sand along their strip, making the beach hundreds of feet wider. "It's designed to be a sacrificial buffer." The cost to federal taxpayers is about $9 million. But this is the 49th time this strip has been rebuilt since 1951.” (Virginia Beach is also protecting billions of dollars in real estate and commerce along the water and 4 streets in. (4 streets in we have a sound).
Eli Lehrer co-founder of SmarterSafer. "Beach nourishment creates a false sense of security that tends to induce development in the very areas where it's most likely to be destroyed by nature's worst,"
Nags head - “The project will advance the shoreline anywhere from 50-125 feet, The $36 million project will be funded solely through Town and County monies as federal funds have never been made available to Nags Head.” (from the Town of Nags Head site)
Submitted by Claudia Laursen, Kitty Hawk, NC
Obama Signs Stolen
| I am a
volunteer with the local Democratic Party organizing voter registration
drives. About a month ago our local party purchased 100 Obama signs, which
were bought by your neighbors for their yards. I know of at least 8 people
whose signs were taken at night from their property.
Then 300 more signs arrived. About 100 Obama signs were placed with local candidates and Romney signs on the public highways. One of our volunteers legally placed about 40 of these signs on the causeway and they were missing the following day.
When a person takes a yard sign, they take more than a plastic/cardboard
political message…they take a piece of someone’s voice and
trust away from their community. Regardless of political or religious
beliefs, the one common voice I hear from our community is calling for
respect. Is this not what we ask for from each other; a freedom to express
ourselves in a nation which protects us and respects our right to believe
Protecting your neighbor’s right to speech even when it differs
from your own is a principle higher than the law, it promotes and protects
our 1st amendment rights as well as enhancing unity and trust within the
diversity of our Outer Banks Community. It’s easy to show respect.
Letter to Editor: Firing of 2012 Harley Owners Group
(HOG) Rally Committee Past Director & Wife, OBX Chapter
Treasurer .......................... Submitted by Clayton Baker
like to start out by Thanking all that Supported Clayton & Jody Baker
after their unfair Firing from Outer Banks HOG Chapter and pulling the Rally
right out from under their feet as Rally Coordinator and Rally Registration
Coordinator along with removing the balance of the committee by the Owner
Maurice Slaughter. Clayton and Jody along with the Rally Committee where
planning the 2012 HOG Rally around it Members NOT the Harley Dealership
as directed by the National HOG Rally Guide Lines. Again Mr. Slaughter felt
like Clayton and Jody was not supporting his dealership when in fact for
the past 7 years Clayton and Jody have done nothing but good for the HOG
Chapter and the Kitty Hawk / Outer Banks Harley Dealership. He pull the
Rally from them so he could control it’s location (to benefit him)
and to incorporate it with his activities around the dealership not remembering
the National HOG Rally guide lines (Hog Rallies are for HOG Members and
there guest and in no way be controlled by any Harley Dealership ONLY By
the Rally Committee and the HOG Regional Manager). His greediness has over
powered him so much he could care less about you as a person, customer or
HOG Member. All he things about is making a dollar, don’t get me wrong
all businesses must make money to survive, but the way to go about it has
to be in a civil way caring about your customers. Clayton and Jody and there
good friends from the 2012 rally committee have moved on with their heads
up high proud of them self’s and what they have done for all there
friends and fellow HOG Members. I guess in short I would say I would think
hard before I would walk in a Harley Dealership with an owner that has such
a poor attitude and spend your hard earned money. God Bless all our good
friends and again Thank You for your support!!!
Ride Hard, Love Life & God Bless!
Currituck County Racket
I have been visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina every summer for twenty-six years. I have always enjoyed so many aspects of the time I've spent there, from trying to spot the wild horses onthe beaches in Currituck County and Corova, tovisiting the many wonderful dining and recreation locations through the Outer Banks, to the lovely ferry rides from Hatteras to Ocracoke. I don't find myself locked down to onelocation on the banks, but instead love to travel up and down the coastline, contributing a decent amount to the tourist economy in the area.
Today, I am sending the last $50 I will ever contribute in or to Currituck County.
On June 13, I visited the portion of the beach in Currituck County where beach driving is allowed, as I do every year. I was in a group of several vehicles as Ientered the beach, and drove down the coast, where the sand was packed tight. As the terrain became more rough, I pulled out of the line of cars to the side, put my Jeep in park, and switchedit to four-wheel drive. As I came out ofthis dead stop and began rolling again, a Currituck County Sheriff's Deputy came around from behind a line of parked cars and drove up behind me, then turned his lights and siren on. I was not speeding, and told the officer such, and he said, "No, I think you were." I was hardly rolling, muchless breaking the beach speed limit of 15 MPH. He "thought" I was breaking the limit, and according to him,he decided to "go easy" on me, by writing me an ordinance violation instead of a state ticket.
This was certainly NOT "going easy" on me. This was going easy on him and his department. This is not about the $50 fine, or thesupposed $218 he said I would have had to pay had he written a stateticket. This officer had no radar, and according to the Currituck Country Sheriff's office, their on-beach deputies give speeding violations "by sight."
Odd, because "by sight," I saw the same deputy waving to local servicevehicles and a wild horse tour that, though I am not trained in the art ofsight-radar, were passing me at an alarming speed, well over the posted speedlimit. But, I guess a female drivingalong with an out-of-state license plate seems to be speeding, by sight,despite the actual speed the car was going, or in this case, was barely rolling.
The officer, Deputy Sutton, impressed very strongly upon me that I should just paythe fine that day, by dropping a money order in the drop box as I left the area. I suppose most out-of-state visitors do just that instead of worrying with it. But I wanted to see if it was possible for meto contest this charge.
However,due to the nature of this situation as an "ordinance violation" andnot an actual speeding ticket, I have no way to contest it. And this is what I mean by the good deputyand his department "going easy" on themselves. He has no way to prove I was speeding, and if he had written me that $218 ticket, I would be able to contest this bogus ticket.
Since itappears now I am unable to contest this, I find it quite worrisome to picturemyself spending any time in Currituck County again. I am even nervous about driving through the portion I have to on the mainland to even get to the Outer Banks. I'll be sure not to stop and spend any of mytourist money on goods or services in Currituck County, and I'll also be sure to impress upon my friends and neighbors in Duck to dothe same.
After all, if a person can be charged for breaking an ordinance with no proof and notgiven any ability to contest such a charge, I'd be positively frightened of what else, besides speeding, I could be charged with, without actually doing.
Sarah E. Davis
Big Daddy's, Nags Head Issues and Resolution
I was wondering if you would report on an awful rental experience we
just recently had in Nags Head. We paid over $11,000 for a week in a "luxury
beachfront home" and it was absolutely terrible. I've pasted below
the letter I sent to Seaside Vacations, and attached the list of issues
we had as well as some of the pictures of the condition of the property.
More images can be found on my blog post at:
I finally had a minute to sit down and process your offer of a $500 refund for the $11,253.22 Big Daddy property we rented last week. This is less than 5% back for the vacation I spent emailing and calling in issues on our behalf and that of our guests. I charge $250/hour for my services as a photographer, and to have Seaside Vacations tell me that my ruined vacation was worth two hours of my time is extremely upsetting. I brought work with me on vacation, and because I had to deal with issues in the house rather than catching up so I could then enjoy myself, has left me behind in my work, which means the vacation caused me to LOSE money. I have attached a list of the issues (and it doesn't even include all of them) that we encountered throughout our stay. I have also attached many images of the condition of the house (will come in additional emails- there are 6 pages) and am copying the owner of the property on this email. Julie appears to be a successful Nags Head business owner, so I couldn't imagine she would want the reputation of the homes she owns and rents shattered- especially since her main business objective is based on beautifying homes and businesses. Some of the images are of the mildew/mold on the backs of the curtains and in the showers, the unsafe bunk ladders and passageway to the beach (and the bruise I received on my very first visit to the beach when the table we had to step on tipped over on me and took out the back of my leg), the filth around the house including the drawers that you said you would send someone to clean, but they remained that way until our departure (and are likely that same way for your new paying guests), the ants in the pantry (probably wouldn't be an issue if the house were properly cleaned), lack of dishware/cutlery, and the final images are of the new "clean" linens that were once again delivered to that filthy outdoor closet for the beds of the new guests. I am sure they wouldn't be happy to see where their sheets were kept before they arrived.
My husband and I travel quite a bit and expect top service and amenities when we pay top $$ for a location. At the very least, if the property were safe and clean upon arrival, we wouldn't be feeling the need to pursue this further- but it was far from either of those things, and that is what was most bothersome for us and our friends. Had I not called in to your office demanding the steps to be repaired to the beach on our third day there, I am guessing they still wouldn't be repaired. Had we travelled with our elderly parents as we had on our past Outer Banks vacations, none of them would have been able to access the beach from our "beach front" property. It was so discouraging to have our close friends come down from MA, NH and fly in from Texas all for their very first Outer Banks vacation - because WE told everyone how wonderful the Outer Banks is and how beautiful the homes are- to have this home as their first experience. For a couple of the families, this vacation was out of their comfort zone in terms of expense- and this is what they ended up with, which I personally feel terribly about. To say to my friends, "Hey- here's $83.33 back ($500/6) even though you saved for this vacation for months and couldn't use your toilet for nearly the entire week, hope this helps you feel better," is an insult.
If I do the math as to how many hours I spent NOT thinking about the problems in the house and worrying about the disappointment of the other families there- it would amount to the few hours I slept, which weren't many. The hours I spent on the phone...emailing...following up with Seaside about the numerous issues...waiting for this maintenance guy, or that cleaning person, or for poor Albert to replace linens on every bed in the house, or the Property Manager or the guy to build the proper stairs to the beach...or the heating/cooling person...or the people who were delivering additional dishware and knives...or even NOW, after the vacation is over, following up after the worst OBX vacation I've ever spent money on- well, that's where I have an issue with your feeling that offering $500 back would make someone who spent $11,253.22 happy.
It cost us $1607.60/day for our week at Big Daddy's, and since a SIGNIFICANT part of our week was spent getting issues resolved instead of enjoying a long-awaited vacation, I am requesting for 2.5 days of that time to be refunded. That would amount to $4019.00. I'm not asking for a full refund or even half- although we all felt that our complaints consumed every conversation over the course of the week. I would like to know, after seeing all of the images attached and knowing the problems we encountered if any of you, or even if Julie herself, would feel that their money was well-spent on that vacation, and I'm asking you all to do what is fair. None of us want to seek further action- in fact, we all wish for this to be done and over with so we don't walk away feeling that Seaside Vacations and Julie's Outdoor Enhancement & Design are businesses taking advantage of families vacationing in the OBX for their first time.
Are You Better Off Today that Four Years Ago ?
Yes! Under President George Bush and republican policies the Country was losing 800,000 jobs per month, creating fear and chaos. Today, under President Obama, our Country is gaining nearly 100, 000 jobs each month and the economy is doing better that other major western economies despite a world wide recession that had its roots under the previous President's policies.
There is no Green Party
Have you noticed something odd in NEWS media internet commenting? "Yelling Vote 3rd Party", followed by "Revolution". When asked who the 3rd party is, there is no answer. Some say the "Green" party. It seems the Green People are being sucked into the circle of revolutionaries by reason of decent. But any one who is a Green Activist would never take part in a war against their own country. Bullets, bombs and killing are too polluting. Party connotes political. Big business politicians pay people to suppress anything that is green. Green Party is an OXYMORON. Its like saying the "Gay Party". If they thought the only way to win their rights was to run a "3rd Party", they would never have achieved anything.
"Green" is a way of living. Being committed to separating your garbage and taking it to the recycling plant is where it begins, in your kitchen. Voting for a park instead of an asphalt plant is a mind set and a way of living. You LIVE Green. My brackish pond is about 4" higher than it was 5 years ago. When I moved here 20 years ago the pond was dry to the bottom all summer. This is startling.
-38% believe that the US has found clear evidence in Iraq that Saddam Hussein was working closely with Al Qaeda.
- 31% believe that Iraq gave substantial support to Al Qaeda but was not involved with the September attacks
-15% believe that Iraq was directly involved in carrying out the September 11 attacks.
- 26% believe that Iraq had WMDs just before the Iraq War.
- 16% believe that WMDs were found in Iraq.
Sept 9, 2011
Thanks for Another Great Vacation
have just returned home to Ohio. I will never forget the Brat sandwich I
ate at King Tut's.It was just the best, the bun was so fresh I thought they
made it there.I'm glad to see these really reasonable restaurants come to
the OBX. The other eateries have their place, but King Tut's is the place
for a dog or sausage. Thanks for another great vacation! Tom Brown
Duck Store Manager's Response to Letter to the Editor Titled
"Altercation with a Shop Owner in the Village of Duck".........
response to recent false, malicious commentary from “Suzanne”,
(see original letter below, editor) I felt it necessary to respond.
Here are the facts….
The alleged “customer” entered the store, inquired about footwear and engaged the sales associates by asking to see many styles. After about 40 minutes she turns to the associate, says. “Thanks, I’ll probably find these on line cheaper” and starts to write down the style number. At that point the manager politely asked her to leave. The alleged customer promised to “ruin your business.”
A local business has much to contend with. We all remember the aftermath of Irene. A locally owned business, we have a reputation forcustomer service and fair prices. We offer goods at MSRP. We also pay rent to alocal, use a local insurance agent, use local vendors when we can. We only hire local residents as sales associates. We offer a locals discount.
We support local charities, and recently concluded a month long sale to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.
When a “customer” comes in to the store, they expect to betreated with respect and to be aided in their shopping experience. When a“customer” decides to take photos of the product or text the style code intotheir cell phone application for a shopping experience later on line, they have broken the implied covenant between merchant and customer.
Our businesses are not here as display cases for some online merchant who contributes nothing to our community. No payroll, no taxes,no nothing.
“Suzanne” engaged in theft. She stole the time from oursales associate who could have been assisting other customers. She stole thetime of our merchandiser who arranged the shop in a pleasing manner. She engaged in a scurrilous attack because her bad behavior was discovered and not tolerated. She’s a bully. Please ignore her.
North Beach Outfitters
Altercation with a Shop Owner in the Village of Duck
While shopping in North Beach Outfitters my husband noticed a pair of sandals that were identical to what he had at home. He remarked to me that he could use another pair of these sandals as his are worn. When my husband wasn't looking I took out my iPhone and noted the birthday idea. A few minutes later I was approached by whom I can only assume was the owner of North Beach Outfitters asking me if I had just noted the sandals on my cell phone? I said yes assuming this would lead to a discussion about when they would be on sale or the quality. Instead the owner of North Beach Outfitters had the gall to ask me to leave the store! I was so confused. He told me that I could NOT note down the items in his store so that I might find them cheaper on the internet. I assured him I was trying to surprise my husband and was only noting the birthday idea. He continued to berate me and asked me to leave the store. My husband, hearing the raised voices, arrived at my side (birthday surprise ruined of course) and we left the store. The ironic part of this is that I was about to make a purchase of another item and my husband was over looking at golf shirts, his shopping interrupted by the owner yelling at me so who knows he may have also made a purchase. This owner is tying to legislate cell phone use.
Bicycles & Bike Paths
We respect cyclists enough to build them what is arguably one of the best bike trail systems in the state, and one of the better ones in the country. Use it when it's available...I refuse to pass a cyclist closer than 4 feet.... I often have to slow down to a crawl to allow oncoming traffic to pass, so that I can veer over the median line. I don't honk my horn, but I FEEL like doing it! This is Woods Road I'm talking about, where there is a delightfully curving aesthetically pleasing bike path, which the kids invariably choose to use....why won't the adults? Isn't the purpose of biking to enjoy the journey and the benefits of exercise? If you're in the road to avoid pedestrians on the bike path, you're transferring the responsibility of collision avoidance to the motorists...I can assure you that bike/pedestrian accidents are going to be much less injurious than bike/vehicle collisions. Maybe you use the road, because YOU don't feel like having to slow down for pedestrians.... You use the road because you FEEL like it and you can, so you do, and in the doing, make the world revolve around the spandex clad nether regions of your anatomy where your head resides.
FUTURE SITE OF THE MEEKINS – LOWES CONVENTION CENTER!
Let’s hear a round of applause for Carmel Contractors who showed us how to get a project done! I’m impressed! And what a lovely future convention center they’ve unwittingly built for us, perhaps! There are some that dread the idea of an empty shell that will be left behind when Lowes realizes that there really isn’t enough market here to share with Home Depot. But I say fear not! When I look at this building, I see a very attractive convention center, one with ample parking and inspiring adjacency to the Historic Wright Brothers Monument. One with an airstrip just a short limo ride around the corner, where keynote speakers, musicians and other dignitaries can drop in and out by helicopter and private jet. How apropos! (Are you reading this Robert Via?) I smell money!
Isn’t it ironic that we have unwittingly followed in the time honored Outer Banks tradition of leading another hapless vessel to our shoals and shores, so that we can save lives while helping ourselves to the ship and booty. With all due respect, I submit that we call our new ‘money magnet’ the Meekins-Lowes Convention Center to honor those who helped us to our divine providence!
Surely we can count on our own laziness. The good folks of Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores and points North will likely continue to shop Home Depot. Those of us who are not abstaining, and who live in Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and points South will shop Lowes; splitting the not altogether robust business that Home Depot is doing now. I expect the two Titans will try to outdo each other with some mighty enticing Sales, and there will be bargains aplenty on power tools, fixtures, and furnishings (there goes the profits); our benefit from the healthy competition. Not bad plundering! Our local contractors and construction workers will get some nice new tools, and they’ll need them. They’ll need tools to build, improve, and expand our hotels and restaurants so we can accommodate the new influx of convention goers in the shoulder and off-season. Summertime still will be the best time to bring on the arts and entertainment, catering to our already booming tourist industry.
And while we’re adjusting our perspective (approximately 10 – 15 degrees upward) on things that at first seemed beyond our reach, I’ll say that I’ve been looking at those imposing poles that flank our bypass in a new light. How about putting wind turbines up there atop each one. Why build platforms when they’re already there, (that should cut costs), and they look pretty sturdy to me. Besides, such dauntless innovation helps sell conventions. Free money and publicity for all! Talk about efficiency, you can’t get closer to the grid than that!
At the town hall meeting to discuss the Lowes construction project I heard one of our commissioners say “you have to run a town like a business”. I thought about that on the way home and wondered; ‘a business can go out of business if it makes too many bad decisions’. Furthermore, I believe matters of environmental stewardship and quality of life factor into how a town should be run. But still, it got me thinking, what if a town really were run like a business? What would be the good decisions, ones that benefit our future prosperity? Ones that elevate property value and bring in more money through our local businesses. Our local businesses are what make us who we are. They are the character and soul of our town. Small local business owners live here, buy houses, and spend money on goods and services here. By contrast, the money we spend at chains like Lowes and Home Depot doesn’t stay here to help our micro-economy, in fact money is wicked away and distributed amongst shareholders across the globe. The Meekins-Lowes Convention Center seems a good for business venture that could be financed through Restaurant and Hotel revenues, as they would be the most direct beneficiaries from the influx of trade.
|Dare County Judicial System Favoritism.|
On Tuesday January 17, 2012 I witnessed the prejudice and bias that exist in our judicial system. Wondering why four of us were kept waiting for our turn for hearing, it became evident about 12:00PM that the DA was waiting for the plaintiff and officer to show up, even though they had the same information and responsibility as the defendant. When they did not appear a new date was set for the hearing. Now if the defendant were a “no show” what would have happened – a warrant for his arrest would have been issued. Is this equal protection under the law and justice for all; certainly not in Dare county. Once again this shows power gains favoritism.
|Bicyclist Run Off the Road by Truck in Village of Kitty Hawk|
I am a long-time resident of the Outer Banks and a bicycle rider. I ride on the roads, as the multi-use paths are for walkers, runners, strollers, and people riding their beach cruisers. I am writing to relate an incident which happened while I was riding on Kitty Hawk Road on Thursday, July 28, at about 11:00 AM.
I was pedaling back home after riding to Southern Shores when a small, dark green pickup truck with a NC license plate ran me off the road. This happened at the junction of the Woods Road and Kitty Hawk Road; I was on Kitty Hawk Road going past the Woods Road, riding on the shoulder, to the right of the fog line, not actually in the roadway. As I approached the intersection, I saw a man in the truck stopped at the stop sign. He waited for me, then pulled out, drove across the road, over the fog line, onto the shoulder and over the shoulder, trying to either knock me down or run me over. It was very deliberate. I was not hurt, and did not have to drop the bike, but I was very upset.
I rode immediately to the Kitty Hawk Police station, where Detective Strickland took my information and told me my options. He was helpful and a good listener. A short time later, he ran the tag number through the system and called me. I had gotten one of the letters of the plate wrong, so the tag could not be traced.
In my opinion, the people of our communities need to talk about what I believe is a trend toward disrespectful and dangerous treatment of cyclists by drivers. I think we would all benefit by increased dialogue about this situation. We have an opportunity for an open discussion on August 11, 7 PM at First Flight High School, when, as part of a presentation by a former local resident, and nationally renowned endurance cyclist Richard Lawrence, local government and law enforcement officials can listen to concerns of both groups. It is my belief that the more we can talk to each other about our shared responsibilities as we use the roads in accordance with NC law, the better relations between drivers and cyclists will be.
|Government Spending and Elected Officials|
The Chowan County happen-stance should be an eye-opener for all local governments in the State of North Carolina; and no less to the Outer Banks’ County of Dare .
Perhaps it's time we asked if Dare County is immune to wasteful spending; and, most especially, a lack of educated oversight on the part of its' own elected officials.
Find one independent CPA firm that will do annual county audits and tell elected officials they are wasting excessive funds on huge buildings, or have too many employees, spend too much on benefits, too much on computer paper, too much on travel, too much on non-profit handouts, etc., and I'll show you a firm that doesn't get many audit contract renewals.
It’s time Outer Banks residents started asking hard questions of their own elected officials. Then see if you get good, educated answers.
You might be surprised. Believe it or not, some of the Dare county commissioners often don't even take the time to attend annual budget meetings.
Southern Shores, NC
|Love your website?|
I get alot of info from your website. I am from OHio and travel to Nags Head every year for the last 18 yrs. I love it there and we have family there. And I read this webpage very frequently.
Unfortunately, I feel little ticked off by the Rental Agencies that rent the homes in your area. Last year we rented a home in SNH that was a complete dump and paid over $1,000 for the week. Learned from home owners who lived next door the owner is from Virginia and never takes care of the property, is a young kid who really doesn't care what the house looked like and owns others just to make a buck. Lets just say every time we took a shower we'd have to hold the shower door so it would not fall off the track. No outside lights. etc.... AFter letting the agency know the problems with the house after we returned home. No one every apologized or said "we''ll look into it" They just ignored the email. Turns out the owner has issues with all the owners that live there regarding his property.
So this year I was really picky. Looks like a great house, but the RENTAL FEES are outrageous. $995 for the house, but $135 Admin fee, $60.00 to decline insurance, $60.00 travel interruption ins., and 11% tax.
A $995.00 rental cost me $1390.00.. With gas prices, we won't have any money to spend around town!!! I will look to Craigs List and other rent by owners instead of using the rental agencies from know on. $135.00 for admin. fee.?????? Shouldn't that be paid by the owner? The killer is the 11% tax.
|OBX Stickers Make me Cringe|
I wish you could have seen OBX in the mid 70s when I first did. Back then north of Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk etc it was more undeveloped than Hatterras. However by mid 80s we started going to Hatteras due to development in the north.
Every time I see an OBX or Hatteras sticker on a car I cringe...part of the reason there are now twice as many houses on Hatteras as when I first went there in 1984. I guess greed is the same everywhere. Now they even have a hotel on Hatteras. Hate to see it.
This year in May there were so many vacant houses and houses for sale.
Also 4th of July week not nearly as many tourists as last year...yea for high gas prices!
I am writing a book about the shark attack on Labor Day 2001 in Avon. How quickly 9/11 chilled that story out.
I think what you did was cool but unfortunately every time you convey a good impression about Hatteras it brings more folks down there.
I still remember going down the beach road in Nags Head one night in 1978. Full moon and stars and the ocean was starting to spill over on the road (in October). Try to imagine that...as they say on television...priceless.
IN SOUTHERN SHORES TODAY ...
AT WOODLAND DRIVE BUS STOURGENT …
Please read this…
Friday, May 2nd … My Daughter got off the School Bus at the Bus Stop off after school. A Neighbor’s daughter who rides the same bus went to get her bike to ride home while my daughter met her Grandmother at the bus stop. Location: Corner of Woodland Drive at E. Dogwood Trail – across from where Holly Trail intersects E. Dogwood Trail.
As the neighbor’s daughter went to her bike a white van which had been parked across the street pulled around sideways up to the bike rack area and asked this girl if she needed a ride home. This young girl wisely did not speak to this man and went to get on her bike. The Van pulled around and parked in the middle of Holly Trail blocking the street. The girl on the bike went over to my daughter (out of ear shot of the Grandmother) and told my daughter that she was afraid of the man and that van and asked if she could come stay with my daughter and her grandmother. While this exchange was taking place the van drove off.
The girl nor my daughter told my Mother in Law anything about being afraid of the man or the exchange which had taken place.
This is surely a predator.
The description we know at this point is:
Man: likely 50 to 55 yrs old, white male, shoulder length stringy sandy (dirty) blond hair, child could not recall if their was any facial hair, or any other distinguishing traits.
5/3/08 ....NEW INFORMATION ... I forgot to tell you that he wore big, squarish reading glasses not sunglasses.
Vehicle: older boxy type CHEVY / Dodge OR SIMILAR Van – white, no markings on exterior nor any noticeable dings, dents, rust. No roof rack or anything on roof. Basic windows -4?
A PREDATOR COULD HAVE A WOMAN WORKING WITH HIM TO ENTICE AND MAKE YOUNG GIRLS (or BOYS!) FEEL SAFE TO APPROACH.
A PREDATOR CAN ALSO CHANGE GLASSES, HAIR, VEHICLE ... SO, LOOK FOR SOMEONE OR SOMETHING THAT IS NOT RIGHT, AND ACT.
On a clear nice day there would be no reason for a man to ask a young girl if she needs a ride – only a predator intending harm.
I have lived here 23 years … our Beach is no longer the same.
As parents we need to be aware of our surroundings and report to Police anything suspicious. If you are witnessing something that does not seem right - go up to the Child to make sure they are safe and that they know the person they are talking too - or, who is talking to them. You know when it does not feel right - please do not discount that feeling and do nothing. I think any of us would rather report something that turns out to be nothing than the opposite.
I am sending this you because of one of many reasons … I know you, you have kids, live in KH, SS, MP or on the beach.
As you drive through any neighborhood – if you see a vehicle which seems to be hanging around – call the police. Certainly, if you see a vehicle matching the description loitering or near any children, make sure the child is safe first, Get a Tag Number, description, call 911.
Keep your cell phone handy so you can make the call immediately.
The police have advised this family not to let their child ride their bike home from the bus stop the rest of this year. If it is not safe the rest of this year, it will be impossible to believe that it will ever be safe again.
Please forward this email right away to everyone you know in this area with or without kids.
This is the 2nd (Possibly 3rd or even 4th attempt in 2-3 months !!! - read response to this email at bottom from Rodanthe Woman) Predator attempt in our area in just the past few months. The first was well publicized by the school – FFHS – where a girl was approached and declined the ride.
5/4/08 Update ... I have spoken to may people over the past 2 days. Just today, I have been told that a young girl was approached in Southern Shores by a man standing next to his car - this happened in the past 2 weeks.
****** These are Multiple Incidents ... I am very concerned that this Predator is out there and will get one of our Kids. This is a very serious matter and we all need to be talking about it, and every child needs to know the real deal and what to do. Main thing is to avoid ever being in a situation where they are vulnerable to an attack. ***************
We must all be alert all the time to this possibility.
If anyone has any questions – please call me.
Pilot's Article "rally to save off-
road-vehicle privileges in N.C." Biased
Katherine Kazak’s article in the Virginia Pilot about the "rally to save off-road-vehicle privileges in N.C." is biased. "The congenial party atmosphere at Cape Point on Saturday morning belied the sense of desperation felt by off-road-vehicle drivers who assembled to say "Please Help us". The vivid description of dogs and kids frolicking in the surf brought tears to my eyes. The ORV ban affects only 12% of the beach. Which means ORV's can still drive on 88% of the beach. Since birds cannot write “Please Help Us" in the sand, I guess they are out of luck. The sounds of silence are hard to hear. "My daddy's daddy fished out here" seems to explain a family tradition no one wants to lose. Unfortunately for the wildlife that try to live and breed on the beach, parking your off road vehicle and walking over the dune has never been part of your family tradition. Perhaps this generation can improve tradition by adding a little exercise and respect for all life.
|Great Visit to Kitty Hawk|
My husband and I recently visited Kitty Hawk for vacation and had such a truly wonderful experience that I would like to share it with your readers.
Our first stop was at a fruit stand before Kitty Hawk where we purchased sweet fruit, the tastiest peanuts I have ever had, and homemade fudge (too many varieties to list). These treats were enjoyed throughout our stay and I would recommend stopping to at least taste the fudge (they have many samples).
During our stay, we went on a bike ride adventure from Kitty Hawk to Duck (bike trails) and enjoyed a pleasant lunch at an Italian ice shop and then shopped the boutiques before heading back to Kitty Hawk. We also spent many an idle hour at the beaches, which are plentiful so that you never feel crowded, reading, sun bathing, walking and taking cool dips in the ocean. Very relaxing and peaceful. Don't forget to visit Manteo as this town is very quaint with many good restaurants and shops. We were very impressed with the friendly shop keepers. For any hotdog enthusiasts out there, which I am one, a stop at Captain Franks is a must, order the garbage dog, YUM YUM.
To sum it up, my husband and I came away from our vacation relaxed, tension free and happy. We highly recommend that if anyone is thinking about taking a vacation, the Outer Banks is the place to go! Enjoy!
|OBX Restaurant Complaint|
To whomever cares to read this:
A party of 10 went into Jimmy's Buffet restaurant in Kitty Hawk on Friday May 25th, 2007. We had a very nice waitress by the name of Tracy. She was friendly and did her job well. The problem was not with the service but with the quality of food and cleanliness of the restaurant. The portions were old and had been sitting too long. To put it nicely, it was just plain nasty! The prices of this restaurant were WAY over priced and the portions were slim. We were all very disappointed and asked to speak to the manager and she (the owner, Mrs. Dowless) sent out one of her employees.) They did nothing and told us they had 700 patrons a night and basically did not have time to worry with us. This is very unprofessional and bad business if you ask me. This is a tourist restaurant and locals do not frequent because they know better. The bill for the party of 10, included 2 children was $400. That would not have been a problem if it were worth it, but it wasn't at all. Repeat business is a good thing, but I know for a fact we will never go back. Mrs. Dowless would not even show her face or return any calls. This restaurant not only had terrible food and prices but a manager/owner to go along with it. Hopefully the owner will realize that what comes around goes around and when this happens to her, she will understand the way we were treated was wrong. We paid the bill but now understand why people walk out of that restaurant without paying because it is just terrible. This letter was sent to the restaurant, local newspapers and local fliers.
Mr. and Mrs. Williams and family
So many letter writers have based their arguments on how this land is made up of immigrants. Ernie Lujan for one, suggests we should tear down the Statue of Liberty because the people now in question aren't being treated the same as those who passed through Ellis Island and other ports of entry.
Maybe we should turn to our history books and point out to people like Mr. Lujan why today's American is not willing to accept this new kind of immigrant any longer. Back in 1900 when there was a rush from all areas of Europe to come to the United States, people had to get off a ship and stand in a long line in New York and be documented. Some would even get down on their hands and knees and kiss the ground. They made a pledge to uphold the laws and support their new country in good and bad times. They made learning English a primary rule in their new American households and some even changed their names to blend in with their new home.
had waved good bye to their birth place to give their children a new life
and did everything in their power to help their children assimilate into
one culture. Nothing was handed to them No free lunches, no welfare, no
labor laws to protect them. All they had were the skills and craftsmanship
they had brought with them to trade for a future of prosperity. Most of
their children came of age when World War II broke out. My father fought
along side men whose parents had come straight over from Germany, Italy,
France and Japan. None of these 1st generation Americans ever gave any
thought about what country their parents had come from.
immigrants truly knew what it meant to be an American. They stirred the
melting pot into one red, white and blue bowl. Here we are in 2007 with
a new kind of immigrant who wants the same rights and privileges. Only
they want to achieve it by playing with a different set of rules, one
that includes the entitlement card and a guarantee of being faithful to
their mother country. I'm sorry, that's not what being an American is
all about. I believe that the immigrants who landed on Ellis Island in
the early 1900's deserve better than that for all the toil, hard work
and sacrifice in raising future generations to create a land that has
become a beacon for those legally searching for a better life. I think
they would be appalled that they are being used as an example by those
waving foreign country flags.
|Outer Banks Biker Story|
I saw you,
hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line. But, you didn't
see me, put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last Sunday.
Outer Banks Biker
is Bad for Outer Banks
Is there fairness in Our
Juvenile Justice System?
Is there fairness in our Juvenile Justice System? Are all court cases treated with the same equality no matter the age, gender, race, or economic background? Is it true that some cases are more political driven rather than others? Is it right for Court Officers (District Attorneys) to lie in our courts to elevate themselves for political reasons? Did you know that there are more children being locked up than there are adults in Currituck & Dare County, about 40% more?
Are our children actually getting an honest and fair judgment according to their crime, not judicial strong arm tactics? These are questions I haven't thought of until recently. There comes a time when all of us have to deal with the court system, very nerve-taking and apprehensive experience especially when children are involved.
What gives a Juvenile Probate Court Counselor the right to lie in a court room just to keep their conviction rating high in numbers, or to make themselves look good in front of a judge.
I can't call out any names. This could cause me to be a political target. My 12 Year old son got into some trouble which put him in The Winfall Detention Center. When he was sentenced, he was given 6-9 years of his life in lockup.
Now there are adults here that have committed worst crimes or the same crime and are released within 6 months with repeated crimes on their records. This was the first time my 12 year old son has ever been in trouble with the law. Can somebody PLEASE tell me what is wrong with this? The court counselor also has been trying to get the court to order me to pay all my son's financial needs while he is under state jurisdiction until he is 18. Never been done in the history of North Carolina.
Trauma on Outer
Banks, Dog's Leg Amputated
On our way home from dinner driving down the beach road MP 17.5, when a black dog came from nowhere and ran in front of the SUV. We immediately pulled off the road as the dog was still under the truck. My daughter was driving and she was hysterical. After looking under the truck, it was evident that we had a problem. The dog's paw was stuck between the engine block and the suspension. I activated the ON-star telling them we needed an emergency vet, EMS and police. BIG mistake! It was ten minutes at least before the police arrived and no EMS. He proceeded to argue with me telling me that they would not waste their time on a dog. I asked him if it was his dog if he would feel differently and he became irate. I was almost arrested for that comment. The whole time the dog was crying and moaning with a mutilated left front paw that could not be freed. I called all of the emergency vets and got a recording and no call back.
About and hour later a vet tech arrived. She had no medication. The dog was in shock and needed IV fluids and some sedation. So she left to get some help. About 45 minutes to an hour later she returned with a vet who did not want to be there. She wanted to kill the dog but its owners had arrived in the interum. She gave them the choice of killing the dog or cutting off it's leg. She laughed when asked how the foot was to be taken out of the truck, saying it was our problem. And guess what; she had only 1 IV bag a small amount of sedation and no instrumentation to remove the foot. Hence another trip to the office and another 30 minute wait. When she returned, the dog had infiltrated the IV. I asked her if she was going to start another and she said no. She said that she would put a tourniquet around the leg before amputation but she didn't. Not only that, the dog felt every bit of it and screamed during the whole ordeal. When the dog was pulled out from under the truck, the stump was pumping out blood due to no tourniquet. The dog was also unresponsive at that point. I tried to call the Vet this morning and guess what..they are closed.
I told the police that I was an operating room nurse and knew what needed to be done when he first arived on the scene. He informed me that he didn't care what I did for a living and that they had to go through the channels. I hope to h___ that this man is never sent to my aid. If you can't give compassionate care to all of God's creatures what kind of people are we? He had a bad attitude and if I ever see him in need at the side of the road he's going to die. And I would take pleasure in watching it.My two grandchildren, 7 and 12 were shown lack of compassion by both the vet and the police.
The EMS crew was at the new SNH fire station watching the fireworks. It would have been nice if they had been able to assist in this incident even if it was just a dog! I am apalled and angry about the response this animal received. The whole affiar took 3 1/2 hours to get the dog out.
Mike Wants to Kill
Tourism on Outer Banks Piers???
I guess so - $30 a year for a fishing permit that I need for my one weeks vacation to the KH/KDH area?
Guess it just means the fishing gear stays home and I stay off the Avalon Pier.
Its gonna keep tourists out of TW's Bait And Tackle too. (At least this tourist and his 3 kids and his cousin and his cousins kids and... well, you get it, right?)
No more bait purchases. No more hook/line/sinkers.
Too bad. $30 for a weeks stay, just to be able to drop a line in the surf is just way out there.
Ranks right up there with beach replenishment taxes.
Makes me tend to just want to drive an hour and a half to New Jersey or the Delaware beaches instead of the 7 1/2 hours I travel to get to the Outerbanks. My way distant $.02 worth.
In response to the above letter we received the following letter:
Someone should respond to the person complaining about needing a $30 salt water fishing license to surf fish when they come for a weeks vacation and let them know that there is a 10 day license that can be purchased for $5 for NC residents or $10 for non-residents.
Added to the 10 day license I found out that the Avalon pier has purchased a “blanket” license and if you fish OFF the pier then you do not need a license. But if you want to fish on the shore then you do need one.
|Nags Head Beach Nourishment|
We're in the sand moving business, not the house moving business," said geologist Tim Kana of Coastal Science and Engineering as he explained his firm's proposed beach nourishment project to town officials in Nags Head. Kana was part of a pre-recorded forum now running on Dare County government tv Channel 20, three times per day, every day of the week.
The purpose of the program, says Nags Head officials, is to "educate" Dare County citizens, and particularly Nags Head residents about the need for beach nourishment along the town's oceanfront. The proposed $32 million sand project will be put to the voters for approval sometime in the spring of 2007.
Kana tells Nags Head officials that for the sum of $32 million, his firm will engineer and place one-half as much sand on Nags Head's beaches as the Army Corps of Engineers' (ACE) says is needed; and, for one-third the price. Furthermore, says Kana, the sand will stay on the beach for as long as ten years, as opposed to the two to three years predicted by ACE.
Believe what you will, but if this project goes forth, you can be guaranteed that it will eventually affect the pocketbook of every single taxpayer in Dare County, regardless of it's success or failure. This is already evidenced by the county's re-calculation of sales tax distributions among towns if Nags Head raises it's ad valorem taxes to pay for the project.
In addition, the chances that Nags Head's project can even begin for the sum of $32 million might be highly unlikely. Evidence other beach nourishments projects whose recent bids have come in at as much as 25% over original estimate.
Add in Kana's admission that the Outer Banks has the highest energy beaches on the entire east coast. Kana says an ocean dredge operating along the Outer Banks in the winter might get in only three days per week worktime, extending the project up to six months; and that's with daily operating costs of $100,.000 plus, per day. The other four days, the dredge could be making a 60 mile one-way trip to safe harbor in Norfolk, VA.
Everyone in Dare County owes it to themselves to tune to Channel 20, view the program, and form their own opinion as to whether they can buy or afford Nags Head's pitch for a "Yes" vote on beach nourishment come next spring.
Southern Shores, NC
(Quote). ".We are working to inform the public (about beach nourishment). We don't want people to read Ray Midgett's column in the newspaper." (end of quote)
- The Coastland Times- Sept. 21, 2006
The above comment was made by Nags Head Mayor Renee Cahoon, speaking at a recent forum held in Manteo by the Institute for Emerging Issues
Among other things, the forum was intended to focus on how the state tax system worked and how it might be structured to deal with a growing economy. But, Cahoon, who was on the program, seized the moment to push Nags Head's beach nourishment program and to continue ranting about how misinformed the voters are about the issue.
However, Cahoon isn't by herself. Other town board members such as Commissioner Anna Sadler and Dare Commissioners Warren Judge and Stan White still insist that Dare voters just aren't "educated enough" to understand the need for beach nourishment.
The real question is, does anyone understand why these elected officials didn't get an education of their own back in February, when county residents voted 4-1 and said, "we don't want to be taxed for beach nourishment?"
Does Cahoon and Company really think the people don't know that our beaches are eroding? Do they think that "economic scare tactics" are going to convince people to thrown their hard earned dollars into the ocean? Of course they do.
The odd thing is that Nags Head has worked itself into a corner by taking on the entire beach nourishment issue on its own. Like the "who's educated issue," one can expect other contradictions to occur in the coming months.
In fact, Nags Head's entire beach project is, arguably, a contradiction within itself.
Since 1999, Nags Head had bought into the Army Corps of Engineers project, hook, line and sinker. The Corps told Nags Head it needed 12 million cubic yards of sand for 14 miles of beaches and berms; and, they could expect that sand to last up to three years. It would be worth every penny of the initial $72 million (now over $100 million) said Cahoon and Company. No one questioned the corps expertise at all; that is until the money failed to come through.
Fast forward to 2006. Suddenly, Cahoon and Company have been convinced by a private engineering company that, for one-third the amount of money, all of Nags Head's beaches could be filled with one-third as much sand and it would be good for, not 3 years, but 10 years (yes 10)!
Now, if this whole scenario isn't laughable, then keep listening.
The Nags Head project is set to put only enough sand back on the beach to bring the beach to the exact same state/condition that it was three years ago, before Isabel! To repeat, "after that the beach will be OK for ten years."
One can analyze this anyway they want and still come up with a sound argument that Nags Head's plan, in effect, contradicts the Army Corps' project and even says that the Army Corps project was never needed in the first place, at least not until ten years down the road.
These two measures are so extreme that it is not funny. Tell us, if one doctor said you were going to live, while another told you that you were going to die, would you not seek a third opinion? Not so with Nags Head. Unless they want you, the "uneducated voter" to make the big decision for them? But not before they do a little brain surgery on you first! Like, "the health of someone else's beach cottage is incumbant upon whether you get bread on your table." Like, "if the beach washed away, we will lose all that foreign and illegal alien labor." Like, "if the beaches wash away, the builders/developers will leave town and YOU WILL STARVE!"
Its getting to the point where its hard to tell if the the noise coming from this group is the sound of people treading water or simply swimming backwards.
In closing, if anyone ever sees "Ray Midgett's column" in any newspaper, would you kindly clip it out and send it to BeachHuggers of the Outer Banks.
Submitted by Ray Midgett
Citizens of Kitty Hawk
Some 50 years ago, I was just out of college and had signed on with a public accounting firm in Richmond, Va. The first day I reported to work the senior partner called me into his office to supply me with some words of wisdom.
His words were, "Son if your master the paper trail it will serve you well." Over the years I have found that those words apply to more than accounting records.
A few weeks ago, a friend asked me what I thought of the Town of Kitty Hawk Council elections and the action of the new majority. To answer his question I collected copies of the financial reports filed with the Board of Elections, copies of the town managers weekly reports and various newspaper articles. I believe the citizens of Kitty Hawk will find the paper trail of interest.
I have consolidated the three reports to save space. Total contributed $16,796.(121 contributors.) Contributions of $100 or less $6,254 (91 Contributors.) Contributions over $100. $10,542 (30 contributors.) When we analyze those contributions over $100 (7 contributors.) Emilie Klutz $514; Paul Shaver III RV Sugar Creek $1,800; Julia Lee RV Sugar Creek $1,500; (Reliable source indicates that Ervin Bateman is a minority owner in this restaurant.) Toby Hedgepeth RV Park Operator $1,500; Richard Copsey $900; Robbie and Monica Parker $500; and Merriet Hooper III, Builder $600. These seven contributions totaled $7,314 or 69 percent of the total contributed over $100. Three of these major contributors had lawsuits against the town. Toby Hedgepeth, Richard Copsey and Robbie Parker Construction Co.
The managers weekly reports and copies of consent judgements from Superior Court provide the data for the paper trail of council activity since December 2005.
Emilie Klutz appointed to fill remainder of term left open by election of Clifton Perry to Mayor. Suspended the Town Code of Ethics that the candidates refused to sign during the fall campaign. Appointed Merriet Hooper III to the Planning Board. Mr. Hooper had often stated his desire to see the building codes changed to increase building height, lot coverage, and building setbacks. The Town Council and the Planning Board held a joint meeting in July to discuss these same issues. I ask the citizens of Kitty Hawk to take a ride down the Beach Road through Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head and decide if this is what they want on the beaches of Kitty Hawk. Most of the family homes are gone and are replaced by mini-hotels.
Council canceled the fines that were imposed, granted the height variance and grand fathered Robbie Parker's operations in Kitty Hawk to avoid any future action by citizens.
The council settled eight lawsuits in June for property condemned on the beach. Each lawsuit was settled for the sum of $60,000 each. The settlement that disturbs me is the one with Hedgepeth, Hedgepeth and Hedgepeth Enterprises. The consent judgement Item 1: The town has condemned and shall be permanently vested with a perpetual right and easement over, across and under the property.
Item 2: The easement shall be for the construction and maintenance of the barrier dune and construction and maintenance of Highway12.
Item 3: The town does hereby give, grant, and convey the underlying fee and title to the property, subject to the easement, to Hedgepeth for his benefit and the benefit of his heirs, successors and assigns. Hedgepeth shall not be required to provide general public access over the walkway. (Note: This walkway was constructed by the town using taxpayers funds.)
In fairness to the other property owners on the beach give the title to the property back to them as they did Hedgepeth.
Two of the three financial reports filed by the candidates did not balance. In other words, receipts and disbursements as reported do not equal zero. Two of the candidates wrote checks to a non profit group. the third candidate wrote a check to himself and call it seed money??
It may not be against the law but IT sure clouds the picture when a candidate or council member takes political contributions from donors who have lawsuits or other matters coming before the council.
Someone should also give Mayor Perry a copy of Roberts Rules. The chairman of a committee never makes a motion, however, if you don't have a Town Code of Ethics what the hell!! I believe all of the current council members refused to sign the Town Code of Ethics during the fall Campaign and it has since been suspended.
Someone should also give Councilman Gary Perry two items. A basic bookkeeping course that explains the function of debits and credits and a basic book on etiquette and respect for members of committees and fellow citizens.
Citizens of Kitty Hawk get involved, take back your town!! Harry Shumate
|Heaven on Earth|
This is what most of our Dare Commissioners envision Heaven will be like. (Rendering by Ray Midgett - Southern Shores, NC)
|Waver No Solution in Kitty Hawk|
The decision announced, on March 6 by the Kitty Hawk Town Council is a temporary waver. If they want to make the asphalt plant legal and within code, they would have to change the town code to allow everything in the VC3 to climb to 42’. Then other residents can challenge the 35’ height limit in their zones. The concrete plant, on Poor Ridge Road went up to 50’ without asking anyone even though granfathered parcels are prohibited from expanding. What the Perry Council is actually saying is that it is a "free-for-some." Some people can do whatever they want while others are subject to a permit. Enforcement is, once again, arbitrary. This is where the erosion of Democracy starts, at your home.
What people don’t know about asphalt plants:
1. Asphalt toxicity limits are established by the Scientific Advisory Board of North Carolina and are contingent upon a 160-pound man, because no one thought anyone was STUPID ENOUGH to put an asphalt plant in the back yard of a family. They did the study for plant workers. Of course the stack which emits toxins is ordered by the Division of Air Quality to be 35 feet’, which protects workers and pushes all the fumes onto neighboring families, as demonstrated by Tom Anderson's May 9, 2001 letter “Maximum impacts occurred at or near the property boundary.” Yah! You know, where the neighbors are.
2. When the DAQ modeler, Jim Roller, was asked if toxicity levels were worse for people living nearer the plant in comparison to people living 2,000 feet away, his answer was, “No!”
3. When asked why this was so, the answer, Jim Roller, the” Model Maker” (because they don’t actually test anything in NC) said that currents of air disperse the toxins. I asked him what the highest elevation was within in their test model. He said it was three feet. The wind from the ocean blows toxins away. I informed him that the highest elevation was at the Catholic Church across from Shelby Road and that was 35’ and there was no ocean wind blowing anything away on the leaward side of that ridge. So he changed his model and mysteriously got the same results. Letter from Tom Anderson, AQAB May 9, 2001 “The analysis was submitted in order to establish more lenient emissions limitations for the facility. Arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, and nickel exceeded the rates outlined.”
4. When Betsy Huddleston, Division of Air Quality, was asked, “If you can smell fumes, are you breathing toxins?” the answer was, “No!”
These are the people you pay with your tax money to protect you. The Perry Town Council was being presented with a study which said, “ there were concerns about the levels of benzene, which may create the risk of cancer, but it is the same type of gas fumes that gas stations emit without regulations.” They went on to vote unanimously to poison their neighbors (Town Council meeting Sept 8, 1998) I wonder if those councilmen would put the noses of their grandchildren over a gas pump 11 hours a day - because that’s what they are forcing their neighbors children to do.
906 D Kitty Hawk Road
Kitty Hawk NC
White (Nancy), Director
UNC Coastal Studies Institute
Manteo, NC 27954
As I drove into Manteo today, following an automobile with a bumper sticker reading, "UNC-Dare- It's a Shore Thing", I felt a sense of sadness.
I know how hard all of you have worked to get a UNC Coastal Studies Institute and school for the study of marine science established here on the Outer Banks.
I am proud of everything that has been accomplished to date and I wish you every success for the future.
However, as I reminisced about the politics of the matter; (1) you good people trying to get the school up and running, and (2) the business community, supportive of you in many ways, yet all the while set on a dead course to ruin our natural beaches with nourishment; I felt a sense of cynicism and sadness.
Will it be necessary for you, and the people who truly support and understand the need to study and protect our shoreline and its fragile environment, to compromise, for the urgency of the moment in order to complete your task? Or, like true pioneers, will you be willing to say, right now......."What you (people) are proposing flies smack in the face of what you are supporting (the school). Beach nourishment is wrong for the Outer Banks."
The Outer Banks beaches are the best, the finest and one of the last natural, undisturbed seashores on the entire east coast. Please use every opportunity you have available, at the earliest possible moment, to see that we don't destroy it, all for the sake of burgeoning tourist economy.
BeachHuggers of the Outer Banks
Blind or Confused !
of 4 self-described supporters of President George W. Bush still believe
that pre-war Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction or active programs
to produce them. According to a recent survey, the same number also
believes that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein provided "substantial
support" to al Qaeda.
Kitty Hawk Politics
It has been said that politics is sometimes an ugly business. Nowhere is this more evident than in the town of Kitty Hawk where a group of dissidents, operating under the guise of the Kitty Hawk Citizens Association, continue to discredit/undermine decisions made by the current town council. Lately much publicity has been generated about the rising costs of the town legal fees, however, the real issue of concern to the Kitty Hawk Citizens Association is the voting majority on the council. After the defeat of one of the council incumbents at the last election, the statement was made “one down, three to go”. It appears that their objective is to return to the previous “do nothing/spend nothing” philosophy of town government.
The increase in legal fees was not entirely unanticipated since the current town council is playing “catch up” to accomplish needed work such as removal of derelict unsafe cottages and exposed septic systems from Kitty Hawk beaches, that was ignored or put off for years by the previous administration.
Some citizens still refuse to accept the reality that Kitty Hawk is no longer a small fishing village where, with the right connections, rules and town ordinances could largely be ignored, e.g., Carolina Asphalt essentially wrote their own conditional use permit, obtained approval from a “friendly” town council over the objections of the Planning Board chairman, and then proceeded to blatantly ignore the requirements of the permit. Perhaps, as reported in a recent news article discussing the asphalt plant lawsuit, this is how a “local boy made good”.
Thanks to the foresight of the town council, Kitty Hawk has a new town manager who brings years of management experience in providing the direction and procedures needed for proper management of town functions and enforcement of town ordinances. A recent letter to the editor from a Kitty Hawk resident charged the town council with holding extra sessions simply to “line their pockets” with taxpayers dollars. This ridiculous claim is hardly worth a response except to note that countless “off the clock” hours are spent attending other meetings and responding to citizen phone calls and e-mail requests. During a recent council meeting, councilman Doug Seay volunteered to donate his salary in response to a request from the YMCA for scholarships for needy children in Kitty Hawk. This council has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life in Kitty Hawk and justly deserves our support.
Tyndall, Asst. Director
Permits & Enforcement
Division of Coastal Management
North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Morehead City, North Carolina
Dear Mr. Tyndall:
The public eye is very much upon NCDENR and CAMA as your agency attempts to resolve questions concerning the legality of recent repairs and/or partial replacement of the bulkhead at the Kitty Hawk Pier. In the opinion of many, CAMA's reputation is very much at stake here, as the agency decides whether it will enforce its own rules or succumb to outside pressures.
>From my own personal perspective, having watched this occurrence rather closely and being familiar with the bulkhead for many years, there is no doubt in my mind that over 50% of the value and over 50% of the bulkhead's total structure was destroyed before rebuilding/repairs began. One would have to be blind or naive to see otherwise.
I am sure that if your agency does not have sufficient photos of the damages done by the storm and/or work as it progressed; that a minimal amount of inquiry will turn some up from more than one source.
We are asking you to please do all you can to enforce the appropriate laws that protect our natural beach environment. The public at-large is behind you.
Dear Francis Meekins
and/or Tony Sylvester
Thank you for the most interesting editorial in today's Coastland Times.
In the future, you should feel free to use my name, Ray Midgett, and/or BeachHuggers of the Outer Banks anytime you refer to efforts by our group to inform Dare citizens about the dangers, futility and excessive costs of beach nourishment on the Outer Banks.
And, thank you again for "hitting the nail on the head" in the editorial in categorizing the craziness and misleading efforts of our board of commissioners for going along with the special interest groups' desire to appoint a paid staff to oversee "tossing more money into the ocean" along our beautiful natural seashore.
Incidentally, you should rest assured that "BeachHuggers of the Outer Banks" counts among it's contributors no less than 6 or 7 currently elected or formerly elected county/town officials, along with dozens of contributors who have help funnel money into your newspaper's ad accounts for fighting this useless effort.
Member, BeachHuggers of the Outer Banks
154 Duck Woods Drive (three, not two digits in address). Southern Shores, NC
Dear Nags Head Commissioners
I watched tv today with amazement as the engineers from Coastal Science & Engineering (CSE) presented your board meeting with proposals for a mini-beach nourishment project for Nags Head beaches. I was flabbergasted; just as I am sure anyone else who has followed this issue for the past five years must have been.
I sincerely hope the Dare County Commissioners, along with the Army Corps of Engineers will rent a video copy of this meeting and view that presentation. Meanwhile, as you know; I have been the sole owner of the Virginia Dare Bridge for several years. Today, I am ready to sell. The North Carolina Department of Transportation will tell you the bridge spans nearly five miles and cost me just over $100,000,000. However, they are incorrect. I am willing to sell you, the Nags Head Town Board this amazing bridge, which, by the way is actually only two miles long; for the paltry sum of $20,000,000. I will guarantee that the 2-mile bridge will get you safely across the Croatan Sound to the mainland; and that it will last you, not fifty years, but 200 years. If you can get county/state and/or federal funding for this purchase, please let me know.
Now, on a more sober side; please don't forget that the ocean beaches that abut your fine town belong to every citizen of Dare County, North Carolina and this great nation. Please treat them with care.
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