August 2009 Letters to the Editor
|New Letters to the Editor....08.26.2009 11:50 am
Beach Access and Park Issues
About the story on rescuing baby turtles from Hurricane Bill:
I am so pleased to read
this article! A few weeks ago I was down in Salvo and saw a few of the
turtle nest locations. I came back again right after Bill came through
and saw they were all washed away! I was pretty bummed about seeing the
nests destroyed, but this article gave me hope that a lot of the
turtles survived! Thanks for all of your hard work.
Regarding the rescues from the island off Cape Point on Friday, Aug. 14:
If I was not in the
right place at the right time that Friday afternoon, the fellow I swam
out to and took to the island would have been dead! People, you need to
wake up out there! A few sea shells are certainly not worth dying for.
It seems that theRamp 23
incidents seem to have gotten into the realm of "beating a dead horse."
Since penalties for us all seem to have run out, why don't we call it
even and start over? Or better yet, reduce the closure for each of the
next four incidents. That would make it fair for all of us who have not
driven in the closed area. It seems that the guilty parties are not
inclined to turn themselves in and NPS in unable to solve the case so
let the (the impasse) continue with a reset. I really don't care since
breeding season is over and most of the tourists have either been or
stayed away anyway.
After reading thousands
and thousands of comments regarding the beach closures on many
different Web sites, I only recall one or two comments from folks who
think this plan was a good idea. It's not working!
Newport Coast, Calif.
Full moon tour of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
How incredibly lovely! I hope someday to share that experience. Thank you for including this article!
S. Frances Price
The great Gulf Stream kayaking adventure
This was a great story
with great pictures and it seems to be a lot of fun. Never tried
fishing in a kayak, just surf fishing. I hope to be able to experience
this type of fishing someday while in Hatteras. I'm in the process of
wanting to buy a kayak I can fish out of, if anyone who knows anything
about kayaks, especially the ones that are shown in this story, please
let me know what they are called and how much they cost. I would
appreciate this info. What a different way to experience ocean fishing
and to be so up close to the fish itself. No motor or high tech
gadgets, just a little kayak, fishing pole and man vs. fish, just how
it should be.
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Dare County schools excel in testing
I brought my daughters
up on the Outer Banks, and they both attended schools here. Many thanks
to our teachers and the communities that support our school events.
Just one more reason we are blessed to live here.
Kill Devil Hills
Richard Gere and ‘Nights in Rodanthe’
letter is about Donna Barnett’s photo of Richard Gere that
accompanied an article by the editor, “Stalking Richard
Gere,” when he was here to film “Nights in Rodanthe”
in 2007. See the article at http://www.islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/06.09.2008-NightsInRodantheWillBeInATheaterNearYouOnOct3.html0)
Hello, Donna, you are
very lucky! So close to Richard Gere! I've seen him once at Brussels
airport where I work! Probably once in a lifetime! I also love the
novels of Nicholas Sparks. They make life more beautiful and romantic.
It is my dream to visit North Carolina once. Many greetings.
Jimmy Buffet driving the seashore beaches
We love JB and I'm sure
his "job" has its good days and bad just like most of us. Main
difference is that he has got a great job and salary to do what he
We have been going to
the Outer Banks for about 25 years, and my kids love it there. It would
have been neat to see him, but we do go in the summer. Love Ocracoke --
it's always reminded me of a very laid back mini Key West. Cheers to
JB. Will see him at Nissan in Virginia on Sept. 3.
Point of Rocks, Md.
New Letters to the Editor....08.19.2009 11:50 am
Beach Access and Park Issues
It is very disturbing to learn of the policy about leash laws. We have
been visiting the area and renting beautiful rentals right on the
beach. We have brought our dogs there since 1990 (almost every year).
We have Labrador retrievers and they love to swim. Our dogs are very
well trained and have attained many obedience titles.
An avid birder, I realize the importance of protecting shorebirds'
nests, but just as there are many irresponsible people in the world,
there are just as many educated, responsible dog owners. Perhaps you
should be more cautious with the teens who disrespect nature and have
no clue as to the whole picture.
We traveled there last year even though we knew that many great beach
areas were closed due to the federal ruling and did find a few places
where we could be alone with our dogs.
Quite ironically, we were toying with the idea of visiting late
September, but now we may just abandon any hopes of venturing there
We have been visiting the Outer Banks since 1978, but those were
pre-dog days, so as you may be able to tell, we are a mature couple who
respect nature, but our dogs are our life and their access to the ocean
is important to us.
It’s so very sad that the new laws are turning tourists away. We
may never visit again. We have spent much time and money there in the
last 30 years. We will miss what always had been our dream vacations,
but it is not worth driving 12 hours to have so many restrictions. You
wanted comments but these are my feelings about what used to be our
most favorite place in the whole world.
A sad former tourist
Note: The regulations for leashing pets on the beach have not
changed. Park officials announced earlier this year that there
would be a focus on increased compliance with the existing regulation
that requires dogs to be leashed at all times.)
About the new volunteer nest watch program for turtles nests on the seashore:
It is just amazing that the Park Service looks to the public (to whom
they are denying access) to continue their work and responsibilities.
The "law enforcement officers" could easily be trained to do this job,
and they would finally be doing something constructive besides issuing
traffic and other nefarious tickets. They might even see some vandals
who feed the gulls or burn down buildings.
Hooray! The South Point is open and just in time for my vacation. My
friends and I are heading to Ocracoke from Virginia Beach, and I'm
coming up from Wilmington, N.C. Last year we didn't get to enjoy the
South Point, but this year is looking good.
I'm glad to hear that Cape Point reopened. I was down in early May and
July, and it was closed. Trying to find a good fishing spot was tough,
and when you did find a good spot, it would get over crowded quickly.
I have vacationed and fished on Hatteras Island my whole life, and my
family and I have always respected its beaches and wildlife and have
always had a great time. We all need to learn to coexist, just like we
do as humans. We also have to live among the birds and all wildlife.
All it takes is one or two people to ruin it for everyone and cause
more beach closures by vandalizing signs and nests or hurting the birds
themselves. I feel that, for the most part, people respect the
beautiful nature that surrounds them on the island, but I'm sure
there's a few that don't.
Let's all work together to preserve this great barrier island so
generations to come can enjoy it. So to those who "hate" the
birds, don't hate them but try to be understanding and realize they to
have the rights to the island and for the most part stay out of the
way. The animals don't make the laws. Humans do!
Kurt E. Maschmeier
Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
(This is a copy of a letter to Mike Murray, superintendent of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.)
Dear Mike Murray:
We have experienced two years under the consent decree. What have we
learned from this grand experiment conducted by the Audubon
We have learned that:
1) There has been no benefit to wildlife.
2) The monetary cost to society has been well over a million dollars.
3) Economic losses have occurred to island businesses especially
motels, campgrounds, restaurants, and tackle shops.
4) More than 1,000 four-legged mammals have been slaughtered under the
guise of predator control(since 2002). These same animal species were
to be protected by this park's Enabling Legislation.
5) The public has been turned away and denied access to its recreational area.
6) Internal park policies have usurped congressional statutes of law.
7) A majority of the populace and visitors to the islands have
developed a deep-seated animosity toward the Park Service and many of
8) It is apparent that the process was never about wildlife protection.
This was just a continuation of the Defenders of Wildlife's
program to remove ORVs from all federal lands.
9) The decree destroyed any chance for success of Reg-Neg.
Don't you think it is time to tell Judge Boyle the truth and ask him to repudiate the consent decree?
Guest Column: It takes a village to raise a fisherman
In the same way I'm happy to pay more for a Black Angus steak from
Harris-Teeter, I would be happy to pay a premium for Cape Hatteras fish
or shellfish---and to buy it exclusively. I don't buy any fish any more
without knowing where it was caught.
A new fire hall for Ocracoke
Good luck guys. Looks very good. Y’all be safe.
Caroline’s island bookshelf for kids
It was fun to read all about the books that Caroline enjoyed. Matilda
has always been a favorite of my family. I hope she continues to write
about the books she loves.
Ocracoke live oaks suffering from scale disease
The oak scales are bad in Buxton this year too. I am very concerned
after seeing the dead branches, the many mature female scales on the
trees, and the articles available on the Internet that suggest mosquito
control programs may be killing the natural predators of the scale and
thus the recent large outbreaks in Georgia, Florida, and Virginia. The
articles also suggest pesticides are not more than 50 percent effective
in killing the populations on any given tree.
Moving the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse
It's been 10 years! Wow, I remember the T-shirts for "Don't move the
light house." Drove past it and realized that the path that was cut has
grown back over pretty good and the rest is now a parking lot.
The future of the Frisco Pier is unclear
Our hearts are broken! We have been spending our vacations on the Outer
Banks since ‘94, and staying in Frisco for the last five years.
We were usually there for the entire month of September and spent
countless days and nights on the Frisco pier. I usually get up at 5
a.m. and after some news and a cup of coffee, I head straight to the
pier. (Hmmm…What am I going to do now till she gets up?) I
enjoyed hanging out at the pier, countless sessions with Dominic and
Jack from Outer Beaches. Dave the painter must be suicidal. I’m
sure going to miss it this year.
I suggest asking for donations to fix the pier. An e-mail address and
Website could be set up (I'll do it!) for it. I love the Frisco Pier.
I've been going there ever since I was little and wanted to cry when I
came to Frisco and saw it in shambles. SAVE THE PIER!
Two summers on Hatteras have been a special experience
My husband, son and I have been blessed to have been able to spend the
last two summers here in the Outer Banks. We have really come to
feel as if Avon is our “second home.” From the very
first day we arrived last summer, we were welcomed by this community
with open arms. We have met the friendliest, kindest, most giving
people of anywhere we have traveled.
Living here in Avon these last two summers has been a wonderful
experience. It is the people here that have made the experience
such a positive one. During the last two summers we have come to
know several in the community and made some very dear friends.
This is a very unique place. The beauty of this place will always
amaze us, and the people here will always be close in our hearts.
Thank you to Frank and Fran’s for always having “just what
we need” and helping teach us about how to rig up a pole!
Thanks to all our friends who work at Avon Pier, and all the folks we
met out on the pier fishing. Thanks to Bob for helping Spencer
learn to fish, and to Rick for encouraging him to get out there and
fish on the end for his first shark and for helping him get the first
big one in. Thanks for snorkeling and spear fishing. Thank
you so much to Dr. Slagle and staff for helping Dean with his emergency
even though it was right at lunch time. We appreciated it so
much! Renee and April, thank you for being so accommodating in
helping us see the houses we wanted to see. Thanks to the gal at
Daydreams who helped me try on almost everything in her shop to help me
find the right dress. Thanks t Monica at “Hair by the Sea”
for helping me with my “hair emergency,” and I love it, by
the way. Thanks to Oceana’s for all the great tacos and to
Kristy for waiting on us with a smile and not being upset when we order
24 tacos right before closing. We sure will miss those Taco
Tuesdays back home. We will miss the friendly faces we met at the
pools -- Gail, Katherine, Barb, Karen, and Pat. Thanks, Pat, for
introducing us to Anglers Club Bingo. Karen, we will miss you,
and I am sure you will miss Dean’s scuba antics. Thanks to
everyone at Café 12. We love the flats, and I am sure you will
miss us showing up at 8:30 p.m. Thanks for making us feel welcome
and serving us with a smile (even at 8:30). Thanks to Toppers for
all the nights of entertaining music and laughter with friends and
yummy pizza and calzones. We will miss the great food at
Nino’s (love the cannolis) and Avon Café along with Sunday
brunch at the Inn at Pamlico Sound. We will miss being able to
get up and go to the harbor for fresh shrimp right off the boat and
those beautiful sunsets on the sound and the warm sunshine on our faces
and the sound of the ocean waves crashing. We will be sure to
think of those times when the snow is blowing outside and it is below
freezing in Ohio.
To all our dear friends at Healtheast Family Care in Avon and Hatteras,
where Dean worked as a physician’s assistant. We love you all and
thank you so much for making us feel at home here. Thanks for
showing us the island and allowing us to be a part of your
family. You all are missed when we are back home more than you
know, and we think of you all throughout the year until we can come
back again. A special thanks to Sandra and Bentley Crabtree for
your friendship and kindness. You are the best!
By the way, be sure to visit Ohio so we can return the favor and “show you the ropes” on OUR home turf!
Dean, Deb, and Spencer Parsons
New Letters to the Editor....08.10.2009 11:45 am
Beach Access Issues
I would like to relate
my family's experience on the week of July 12. We are annual visitors
to Buxton and environs for the last 30-plus years. Four of us usually
stay in the Cape Point campgrounds in tents. We added some this year
and totaled eight people.
The first thing I would
like to say is that the park ranger we had the most contact with was
like almost all rangers - friendly, courteous, helpful and overall
nice. One of his supervisors stopped by one day and was the same.
Please do realize that we follow all rules, both of the campground and
the recreation area, so they have no problems from us, which keeps all
of our relations friendly.
We missed having someone
at the campground building and hope that it is rebuilt and staffed next
year, it would have been helpful for someone to explain the fact that
half the sites were closed, but we made do anyway.
Our stay was marred by
the fact that just about all the good places to fish were closed due to
the idiotic court ruling. Our adult children introduced three of their
friends to the area and the joys of playing in the wild surf. They
understand why we are helping in the fight to reclaim the beaches. The
last day we were there the area near Hatteras village was opened to
ORVs, but we had made other plans and the surf was up too high to fish
It saddens me greatly
that so many businesses were closed or closing due to the people haters
and their judge, and I was glad to see so many old friends still here
and still in business. We will return next year and hope that we will
be allowed to fish the Point and the inlet again. Thanks to all who
made this year what it was.
The letter Bob Davis wrote about the consent decree (Letters for Aug. 3) says it all. Amen, brother!
Stuarts Draft, Va.
About the opening of
Cape Point: It's about time. Now I can plan my vacation to the Outer
Banks and do my part stimulate economy. Hope to see you soon.
Wake Forest, N.C.
I must have missed the
memo. When folks tell me they're coming to Virginia Beach for vacation,
my response is, "Why would anyone come here on purpose?" The signs for
what you CAN'T do on the beach are a mile wide and just as high.
I recently read a
comment (about the seashore) that says something about NOT napping in a
beach chair. Is this for real? It's bad enough that I'll probably be
denied access to the South Point again this year, but no napping on the
beach? As far as feeding the sea gulls, heck, as soon as you open a
package of nabs they swoop down. AARRRGGHHHH!
Would someone please
give me a link for the new rules/restrictions so I'll know ahead of
time what I'm not allowed to do before I hit the beach on the Aug. 13.
I'd appreciate it. Can I blow bubbles?
Virginia Beach, Va.
(Editor’s note: Information about ORV operation on seashore beaches and on other rule can be found at http://islandfreepress.org/2008Archives/08.11.2008-ORVInformationBrochure.pdf)
Outer Banks Angling: Exploring the islands by kayak
What a great video!
We're coming down the end of August and definitely plan on visiting
Outer Banks Angler. I've been coming down there for almost 40 years and
have never tried kayaking. It looks like so much fun!! Just another
great thing to do with your family at the best place on earth.
Hatteras village shipwreck
I was just in Hatteras
village on vacation with my family in the last week of July. When I was
on a walk with my mom on the beach, we came across this shipwreck, and
we had tons of questions about it. The only part we could see, however,
was a little wood and some nails. After finding this article I am
amazed! I would have never guessed that it was buried that much under
the sand! I was so excited after reading your article. It answered so
many questions and quenched my curiosity.
Mill Hall, Pa.
Peeking under the Lighthouse Jetty
Great photos. Thanks for the fun view!
New Letters to the Editor....08.03.2009 11:20 am
Cape Point re-opens and other beach access issues
a blessing! It was great to see all the people and their pets and
children having a wonderful time at the Point. Guess what? We were
recreating in the recreation area! Hope Oregon Inlet follows soon.
This is the way it should always be!
I love reading about the OBX area on your site. Are you on Facebook or Twitter? We are headed down there for a couple of weeks in August. Can’t wait! Keep up the good work!
(Editor’s note: The Island Free Press is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=73813813291#/wall.php?id=73813813291 We aren’t on Twitter yet. Think we should be?)
(Editor’s note: The following is a letter to Mike Murray, superintendent of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.)
have experienced two years under the consent dcree. What have we
learned from this grand experiment conducted by the Audubon
There has been no benefit to wildlife. 2) The monetary cost
to society has been well over a million dollars. 3)
Economic losses have occurred to island businesses especially motels,
campgrounds, restaurants, and tackle shops. 4) Over
1,000 four-legged mammals have been slaughtered under the guise of
predator control. These same animal species were to be protected by
this park's Enabling Legislation. 5) The public has been
turned away and denied access to their Recreational
Area. 6) Internal Park policies have usurped
congressional statutes of law. 7) A majority of the
populace and visitors to the islands have developed a deep seated
animosity toward the Park Service and many of its
employees. 8) It is apparent that the
process was never about wildlife protection. This was just a
continuation of the Defenders of Wildlife's program to remove
ORVs from all federal lands. 9) The Decree destroyed any
chance for success of
Don't you think it is time to tell Judge Boyle the truth and ask him to repudiate the consent decree ?
beach closures are so stupid. I come down all summer every year and
stay with my grandparents, and we can’t even fish at the decent
fishing spots because they are all closed. I noticed it’s always
the Point, Ramp 23, and the north side of Oregon Inlet -- the places I
have always had good luck at. And when they are open, it’s to
pedestrians only, and my Pop-Pop has a bad leg so we can’t go. It
used to be so much fun, and it still is, but it’s getting worse
and worse. People are going to stop coming, and the people who live
there are going to loose their businesses. Beach closures needs to be
looked at and dramatically changed or removed.
An uncertain future for Frisco Pier
certainly hope that Mr. Gaskill can find a way to obtain the necessary
funding to repair the pier. I also think the Park Service should help
if there is any way possible. This pier has always been a major
attraction, not only to tourist but also locals. I personally have been
asked in my travels about the status of the pier and why it was closed.
year for the past 12 years I have rented the Baited Hook at the end of
the pier road just so I can fish the Frisco pier. Due to the fact that
this pier won't be re-opening, this will be my last year of renting
this place, and next year I will stay in Avon and give the businesses
there my money!
Ohio man drowns in ocean off Hatteras village
My local paper has covered this story. Springboro is a suburb of Dayton.
Two amazing nights on Hatteras with Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore
sounds like you had a blast. We envy you Joy! My daughter is so in love
with Jim. LOL. Do you know when he's going to be showing this on The
Weather Channel? We don't want to miss it. See you in September,
Hatteras. We love it there!
note: The segments have already appeared on The Weather Channel
as part of the “Why I Love Summer” feature. We are sure it
is on the Web site at www.weather.com)
Island Cooking: A culinary tour with Hatteras local Kevin McCabe
Nice book guys. We are so proud, as usual! Love from your Ohio cousins.
Scott and Dina Ashelman
Please see the Archives Pages for Previous Years