08 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / August Edition

Calendar of Events –

TDA - logo
Discover a wide range of things to do in the Brunswick Islands for an experience that goes beyond the beach.
For more information » click here

Calendar of Events – Island

Concerts on the Coast Series / 2019
The Town’s summer concert series calendar has been released! Live performances featuring local musical groups are held at the pavilion on Sunday evenings from late May to early September. The concerts are free of charge.
For more information » click here 

Turtle Talk
Two programs both are held every Wednesday during the summer at Town Hall. Children’s Turtle Time is at 4:00 p.m. with crafts, stories and activities for children ages 3 – 6. All children must be accompanied by an adult. Turtle Talk is an educational program at 7:00 p.m. for everyone else.

Parks & Recreation / Programs & Events
For more information » click here

Reminders –

Speed Limit
Please take notice – Speed limit seasonal limitations, in accordance with Town Ordinances. Speed limit will change on OBW from 45mph to 35mph west of the general store. This change took place on April 1st and be in effect through September 30th

Free Dump Week
Brunswick County property owners and residents may dispose of all materials, except for regular household trash and hazardous waste, at the Brunswick County Landfill free of charge September 15th – 20th. Metal, tires, electronics, latex paint and yard debris can be disposed of during free dump week, but they must be placed in their designated area. Business and commercial vehicles will be charged normal tipping fees. You must show proof of Brunswick County property ownership or residency.

Brunswick County Landfill
172 Landfill Rd NE, Bolivia, NC 28422
Hours of operation are –
Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 7:30 a.m. to 3:00 pm.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection
The Brunswick County Solid Waste Department will be at Southport Middle School, 100 Cougar Rd, Southport, on September 21st from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to collect household hazardous waste. Items will be taken free of charge from Brunswick County property owners, residents and farmers. You must show proof of Brunswick County property ownership or residency.

Some items that are accepted at the HHW collection are non-latex paints, stains, insecticides, herbicides, household cleaners, pool chemicals and aerosol cans. For items not mentioned please contact the Brunswick County Solid Waste Department at (910) 253-2520. All items brought to the event must be labeled. The staff onsite reserves the right to refuse any item brought to the event.

Electronics, latex paints, fluorescent bulbs, automotive fluids, clothing, smoke detectors and batteries are not included in the HHW collection, however, they are recycled at the Brunswick County Landfill year-round for free.

The following materials cannot be accepted: ammunition, radioactive materials, infectious or biological waste, explosives, shock sensitive materials and non-household materials.

Vehicle Decals
It is important that you have your vehicle decals in place in order to avoid being denied access to the island once re-entry is allowed during a storm event. If you do not have your decals, contact Town Hall now. Decals shall not be issued during the 24-hour period prior to an anticipated order of evacuation.

Trash Can Requirements – Rental Properties

Waste Industries – trash can requirements
Ordinance 07-13, Section 50.10

Rental properties have specific number of trash cans based on number of bedrooms.
. a) One extra trash can per every two bedrooms


(A) Rental homes, as defined in Chapter 157, that are rented as part of the summer rental season, are subject to high numbers of guests, resulting in abnormally large volumes of trash. This type of occupancy use presents a significantly higher impact than homes not used for summer rentals. In interest of public health and sanitation and environmental concerns, all rental home shall have a minimum of one trash can per two bedrooms. Homes with an odd number of bedrooms shall round up (for examples one to two bedrooms – one trash can; three to four bedrooms – two trash cans; five – six bedrooms – three trash cans, and the like).

Golf Carts
Golf carts are treated the same as other automotive vehicles.
Town ordinances state no parking anytime on OBW.
Therefore, golf carts are illegally parked when left by any beach access point.

Pets on the Beach Strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / 90.20
From May 20th through September 9th
It is unlawful to have any pet on the beach strand during the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm.

A Second Helping

Program to collect food Saturday mornings (7:00am to 12:00pm) during the summer at the Beach Mart on the Causeway.



. 1) Fifteenth year of the program
. 2) Food collections have now exceeded 229,000 pounds
. 3)
Collections will begin on June 8th
. 4) Food is distributed to the needy in Brunswick County
For more information » click here

Hunger exists everywhere in this country; join them in the fight to help end hunger in Brunswick County. Cash donations are gratefully accepted. One hundred percent (100%) of these cash donations are used to buy more food. You can be assured that the money will be very well spent.

Mail Donations to:
A Second Helping % Douglas Cottrell
2939 Alan Trail
Supply, NC 28462


Bird Nesting Area

NC Wildlife Commission has posted signs that say – Bird Nesting Area / Please don’t disturb. The signs are posted on the west end beach strand around 1339 OBW.

People and dogs are supposed to stay out of the area from April through November

. 1) It’s a Plover nesting area
. 2) Allows migrating birds a place to land and rest without being disturbed

Mosquito Control
Current EPA protocol is that spraying is complaint driven
The Town is unable to just spray as they had in the past
. 1)
Complaint based
. 2)
Citizen request
. 3)
Proactively monitor hot spots

They recommend that you get rid of any standing water on your property that you can
Urged everyone to call Town Hall if they have mosquito issues so that they can spray

Spraying is complaint based, so keep the calls coming!

Mosquito population ‘below average’ so far in Brunswick County
Brunswick County Mosquito Control supervisor Jeff Brown says so far this season, mosquito populations have been lower than normal. That’s according to data collected over the past 20 years.
Read more » click here

Mosquito coast? Buzz and bite season may be on its way
Recent rain means that the biting insects, 42 species of which can be found in the region, may find more places to breed
Read more » click here

Dog Park Closed
The dog park will remain closed for the foreseeable future. The Town needed to use the land at the dog park to place material from the canal dredging project as the dredge spoils area. It is unknown when it will be returned to a useable state as a dog park again. They are currently looking at other options for a dog park.

The dredge spoils area has turned the dog park into a pond for the time being.

BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, September 17th


News from Town of Holden Beach
The town sends out emails of events, news, agendas, notifications and emergency information. If you would like to be added to their mailing list, please go to their web site to complete your subscription to the Holden Beach E-Newsletter.
For more information » click here

Volunteers needed
The Town is always looking for people to volunteer for their various boards and committees. If you are interested in serving, please fill out a resume form and submit it to heather@hbtownhall.com.

Curbside Recycling

Waste Industries is now offering curbside recycling for Town properties that desire to participate in the service. The service cost is $82.48 annually paid in advance to the Town of Holden Beach and consists of a ninety-six (96) gallon cart that is emptied every other week.
Curbside Recycling Application » click here
Curbside Recycling Calendar » click here

Elevator - CRElevators
Most states mandate that elevator systems be tested and inspected annually. Currently the state of North Carolina does not require annual inspections to be performed on all elevator systems. The use of unsafe and defective lifting devices imposes a substantial probability of serious and preventable injury to your family and guests. It is in the owner’s best interest to minimize injuries and liability by scheduling an annual safety inspection to ensure the safe operation of their elevator system.

Safety Notice –
Waupaca Elevator Company has issued an important safety notice. The potential hazard is associated with normal wear in your elevator. If your elevator develops the problem and it is not repaired, the elevator may drop unexpectedly with you in it and you may be injured. They recommend you contact your elevator service company.

Waupaca Elevator Recalls to Inspect Elevators Due to Injury Hazard

The elevator cab can fall unexpectedly to the bottom of the elevator shaft and abruptly stop, posing an injury hazard to consumers in the elevator cab.

Consumer Contact:
Waupaca Elevator toll-free at 833-850-7981 from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, e-mail at info@WaupacaElevator.com or online at www.WaupacaElevator.com and click on Recall Information for more information.

Recall Details

This recall involves residential elevator models Custom Lift 450# and Custom Lift 500#, shipped and installed between 1979 and 2008. The recalled elevators are used in consumers’ homes.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled elevators and contact Waupaca Elevator to schedule a free gearbox inspection and the installation of a free overspeed braking device. Waupaca Elevator also will provide the installation of a free gearbox if the gearbox inspection reveals that the gears in the gearbox have worn down.

For more information » click here

If you need something to keep you busy in this colder weather, make sure to visit the island library. The library is in the upstairs of Holden Beach Town Hall. All the books were donated. Patrons of the library don’t have to check out a book; they are on the honor system to return it.

Neighborhood Watch –

Need to look out for each other
Call 911 if you see or hear anything suspicious
Fill out Keep Check Request Form if you will be out of town
• Submit completed Property Registration Form
• Pickup copy of Protecting Your Home

Upon Further Review –

Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging
Previously reported – June 2019
Agenda Packet –
AIWW/ LWF Inlet Crossing Bend Widener
The Town received an email June 6, 2019 from Brennan Dooley, Project Manager with the Corps. The Corps estimates that there is approximately 135,000 cubic yards of material available to be dredged in the advanced maintenance widener not eligible for federal funding as part of the upcoming AIWW contract.   The Corps’ cost estimate to remove the material and utilize beneficial use beach placement is $1,165,000.

The Town is requesting the Corps include the bend widener as part of their base contract and have funds passed through the State of North Carolina, utilizing the Memorandum of Agreement.     Dr.  Coley Cordeiro with the Division of Water Resources was contacted by the Town to make her aware of our interest in the project. The Town has requested state funding through the NC Shallow Draft Channel and Aquatic Weed Fund in the amount of $776,705 and will need to match with local funding in the amount of $388,295.

Based on the information from Mr. Dooley, the Corps would need to receive all money through the State by June 27th, in order to include the widener as part of their contract.  He also requested a letter of intent from the Town.  To complete this action, $100,000 can be spent from the Lockwood Folly Inlet Dredging Line in the BPART Budget.  The remainder of the funds ($288,295) will require a budget amendment to transfer funds from the Beach Renourishment & Inlet Management Fund to the Lockwood Folly Dredging Line in the BPART Budget.  Due to the timeline, the staff was not able to secure a county funding commitment prior to execution for the local match but has reached out to the County.  We will be asking for 50% reimbursement of the local share ($194,147.50)

Staff recommendation is to approve the budget amendment and the corresponding ordinance.


Moved funds of $228,295
A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Right now, we are committed to the full local funding amount of $388,295. Apparently, we decided to proceed without the County buy in. Traditionally the County goes for 25%, but we are asking for $194,147 or 50%.  David indicated we could pull the plug if County funding is not approved.

Update –
County commissioners deny town’s reimbursement request
The Brunswick County Board of Commissioners unanimously denied a request by Holden Beach officials seeking $194,157.50 partial reimbursement funds for beach renourishment during its Monday, Aug. 5, regularly scheduled meeting. Holden Beach officials have paid $388,295 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and requested the county bear 50 percent of that expenditure. The county normally pays 25 percent of the local share of similar projects that “provide beneficial sand for shoreline stabilization,” Deputy County Manager Steve Stone said. The Holden Beach request stems from the planned expansion of the Lockwood Folly Inlet Crossing Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) maintenance project. In a letter received June 28, Holden Beach Town Manager David Hewett requested the county “reimburse to Town of Holden Beach $194,157.50 for half of the local share equaling $388,295 that the Town has preemptively advanced to the Department of Environmental Quality for the next Lock-wood Folly maintenance dredging event scheduled for this coming fall.” The letter, addressed to Stone, referenced an email dated June 6, from Brennan Dooley, Project Manager for the Wilmington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Dooley’s email stated the dredging would likely result in 135,000 cubic yards of “material to be dredged in the advanced maintenance widener that we will not have the federal funds to pay for. The cost estimate to remove this material is approximately $1,165,000. This estimate includes a $50,000 estimate for mobilization of the pipe and any extra pipe needed for the placement of the additional material.” Hewett’s letter stated the “beach quality” material would be placed on the east end of Holden Beach, improving not only “AIWW navigation in the local area but will also provide coastal storm drainage resiliency. The state will provide $776,705 from the North Carolina Draft Channel and Aquatic Weed Fund, Hewett’s letter states. Holden Beach officials have paid $388,295 to the Corps of Engineers for the project in an effort “to facilitate federal contracting efforts and winter 2019/20 dredging window,” Hewett’s letter continues. Stone provided back-ground information to the commissioners regarding similar requests. “While the County has often paid 50 (percent) of the cost of navigation projects that do not produce beneficial sand placement, staff recommend that the County only pay 25 (percent) of the local share of projects such as this that provide beneficial sand for shoreline stabilization,” Stone stated. The county’s portion would be $97,074, which county manager Ann Hardy described as “the normal appropriation. The Corps notified Holden Beach officials the expanded project “could not be included in the ‘base’ contract for the waterway project due to a pending ‘environmental opinion’ on the potential impacts of the expansion project,” Stone said. In addition, Stone stated that “there is no assurance that the expansion project will occur this fall/winter, despite the fact the State and Town have already provided the full non-federal project share to USACE. If the Board decides to provide any project reimbursement to the Town, you would have the option of not submit-ting the funding to the Town until there was confirmation from USACE that the project would occur in the fall of 2019.”Commissioner Pat Sykes made the motion to reimburse Holden Beach $97,074, or 25 percent of its request. Commissioner Marty Cooke seconded the motion. Comparing the Holden Beach request to “heart-burn,” Cooke reminded Hewett of Holden Beach’s decision in April 2018 to withdraw its application for a terminal groin at the east end of the island. The Holden Beach Town Council voted unanimously to withdraw its application, citing the expense of the project. The Corps estimated the cost of the groin and its maintenance could exceed $30 million. “Essentially the terminal groin project for Holden Beach was explored as a means to have a more stable situation with beach renourishment and to help sustain navigation,” Cooke respond-ed in an email to the Beacon. “Portions of the studies indicated that although maintenance of the terminal groin would still need to take place, the financial impact for the long term would be lower. Not having the terminal groin would entail a continual conventional beach renourishment perspective, which is happening now. “Maintenance would still take place with a terminal groin, but not with as great an expense.” Historically the state op-posed hardened structures as a method for controlling coastal erosion. In 1985, the North Carolina Coastal Re-sources Commission (CRC) concluded “the potential negative effects of such structures could cause irreversible damage to North Carolina’s beaches. As a result, the CRC recommended banning the construction of hard structures to protect buildings at the coast,” according to the North Carolina Coastal Federation website. In 2011, the North Carolina General Assembly repealed a 30-year ban on terminal groins as a solution to beach erosion. Its action allowed up to four “test” terminal groins to be built. Four beaches sought permit applications: Figure Eight Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Bald Head Island and Holden Beach. “Holden Beach came to the commissioners yesterday asking for twice what we traditionally pay to assist municipalities for such renourishment. Although we are in favor to assist municipalities for such projects, and did so yesterday, they were asking for twice what we normally pay. We voted to assist with the amount we normally do, which was also what staff recommended,” Cooke stated. Cooke clarified his stance Monday evening, stating he fully supported beach renew-al and its role in the county’s tourism industry as well as its positive impact on the environment and wildlife. “Regardless of a terminal groin or not, the beaches must be supported and maintained. I was just stating that a terminal groin would have helped do so at a lower cost to the general public and to the taxpayers.
Read more » click here 


Turtle Watch Program – 2019

. 1) Current nest count – 105 as of 08/25/19
Average annual number of nests is 39.5
. 2)
First nest of the season was on May 9th


A record number of nests this year, breaking the previous record of 73 set in 2013

Members of the patrol started riding the beach every morning on May 1 and will do so through October looking for signs of turtle nests.
For more information » click here

Turtle Talk will be held in Holden Beach
Read more » click here

N.C. beaches seeing a sea turtle nesting boom
Officials hope decades of protection efforts both on the beach and in the ocean are finally paying off
With the busiest months of nesting season behind us, some sites in Southeastern N.C. have seen more sea turtles laying their eggs on local beaches. As of the end of July, the number of nests from the northern Outer Banks to Bird Island was 2,136. “Previously, 2016 was our biggest year on record, with 1,622 loggerhead nests,” said Matthew Godfrey, a sea turtle biologist with the N.C. Sea Turtle Nesting Monitoring and Protection project. A total of 1,650 nest were reported that year. While the group began monitoring nesting activities in the late 1970s, complete data is only available for the state’s beaches since 2009. June and July are typically the busiest for nesting, but August and September can also see a number of visits.
Read more » click here

Corrections & Amplifications –

A More Active Hurricane Season Could Lie Ahead, Scientists Warn
Federal weather researchers expect hurricane activity to be greater than normal for the rest of this year’s season, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday. The new analysis suggests that an above-average season is substantially more likely than the agency first predicted in May. NOAA now expects up to 17 named storms before the season ends on Nov. 30, with as many as four of those becoming major storms with winds of 111 miles per hour or more. The forecasters initially suggested a season with a normal level of hurricane activity, with 12 named storms and three major hurricanes. They based that forecast on the continued presence of an El Niño, the Pacific Ocean heating pattern that tends to suppress hurricane activity, and the likelihood that it might persist into October. But NOAA issued an updated El Niño report on Thursday stating that conditions had returned to a neutral status, which will eventually allow hurricane formation to ramp up. The forecasters at NOAA’s climate prediction center thus raised the likelihood of an above-normal season in the Atlantic to 45 percent, up from 30 percent in the May forecast. The chances of a below-normal season have dropped to just 20 percent.
Read more » click here

Brunswick County sees spike in ‘forever chemical,’ GenX still below ‘health goal’
Brunswick County’s raw water saw a spike in the level of one member of the PFAS family in its raw water, while the levels of other related chemicals – including GenX – remain under state and federal ‘health advisories.’ PFAS are a family of chemicals sharing similar carbon-fluorine bonds; they are used in a host of industrial and commercial applications including non-stick cookware, fire-fighting agents, and food packaging, capitalizing on their ability to repel grease and water. There are over 4,700 members of the family and only limited testing has been done on a few PFAS chemicals, including GenX. However, several PFAS chemicals have been linked to cancer. According to Brunswick County, the most recent results of PFAS testing in the raw water from the county’s water treatment plant show elevated levels of one main PFAS chemical, known as PFMOAA (Perfluoro-2-methoxyacetic acid). The testing, performed by the North Carolina Per and Polyfluoroalkyl Substance Testing (PFAST) Network, was done on a sample taken from Brunswick County’s Leland plant on May 29, 2019.
Read more » click here

How Hot Was July? Hotter Than Ever, Global Data Shows
European climate researchers said Monday that last month was the hottest July — and thus the hottest month — ever recorded, slightly eclipsing the previous record-holder, July 2016. “While July is usually the warmest month of the year for the globe, according to our data it also was the warmest month recorded globally, by a very small margin,” Jean-Noël Thépaut, head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said in a statement. The service, part of an intergovernmental organization supported by European countries, said the global average temperature last month was about 0.07-degree Fahrenheit (0.04 Celsius) hotter than July 2016.
Read more » click here

Climate Change Threatens the World’s Food Supply, United Nations Warns
The world’s land and water resources are being exploited at “unprecedented rates,” a new United Nations report warns, which combined with climate change is putting dire pressure on the ability of humanity to feed itself. The report, prepared by more than 100 experts from 52 countries and released in summary form in Geneva on Thursday, found that the window to address the threat is closing rapidly. A half-billion people already live in places turning into desert, and soil is being lost between 10 and 100 times faster than it is forming, according to the report. Climate change will make those threats even worse, as floods, drought, storms and other types of extreme weather threaten to disrupt, and over time shrink, the global food supply. Already, more than 10 percent of the world’s population remains undernourished, and some authors of the report warned in interviews that food shortages could lead to an increase in cross-border migration.
Read more » click here

Odds & Ends

Brunswick County residents invited to take hurricane survey
North Carolina’s estuarine habitats provide a wide range of benefits from being nursery habitats to filtering water pollution but are increasingly threatened by natural and human pressures. One of the greatest challenges for managing the coast is that drivers of habitat loss happen at different scales. For example, changes can be caused by short-term events, like hurricanes, or long-term from every day waves. A suite of options exist to manage erosion, such as hard bulkheads and nature-based living shorelines, but research comparing the various options and their broader impacts is limited. This study seeks to better understand how people and habitats are impacted based on the shoreline management project near them. This study combines science from multiple disciplines, through geospatial, emerging low-cost remote sensing and aerial mapping technologies, waterfront homeowner surveys, and citizen science. This study hopes to understand long-term patterns of shoreline and coastal habitat change, identify socio-ecological mechanisms responsible for shoreline and habitat changes and test citizen science-based approaches for future shoreline monitoring. As part of this study, researchers at East Carolina University and University of North Carolina at Wilmington have collaborated to develop an online survey related to people’s experiences during Hurricane Florence and their experiences living on the coast in North Carolina. The survey is part of a larger study on the impacts of shoreline management strategies. To access the survey, go to tinyurl.com/NCCoastalSurvey2019.Resilience of North Carolina estuarine ecosystems is dependent upon coastal management decisions made now. The results of this study will directly inform future coastal management, serve as a mechanism to educate homeowners on shoreline conservation and management strategies and enable the development of long-term, cost-effective shoreline monitoring procedures that can be scaled up to state or region levels.
10A Brunswick Beacon

County residents invited to take NC Coastal Shoreline and Hurricane Survey

>> Take survey at tinyurl.com/NCCoastalSurvey2019

>> Learn more about the NC Coastal Shoreline and Hurricane Survey and Study

North Carolina’s estuarine habitats provide a wide range of benefits from being nursery habitats to filtering water pollution but are increasingly threatened by natural and human pressures. One of the greatest challenges for managing the coast is that drivers of habitat loss happen at different scales. For example, changes can be caused by short-term events, like hurricanes, or long-term from every day waves. A suite of options exist to manage erosion, such as hard bulkheads and nature-based living shorelines, but research comparing the various options and their broader impacts is limited. This study seeks to better understand how people and habitats are impacted based on the shoreline management project near them. This study combines science from multiple disciplines, through geospatial, emerging low-cost remote sensing and aerial mapping technologies, waterfront homeowner surveys, and citizen science.

This study hopes to understand:
1. Long-term patterns of shoreline and coastal habitat change;
Identify socio-ecological mechanisms responsible for shoreline and habitat changes;
Test citizen science-based approaches for future shoreline monitoring.

As part of this study, researchers at East Carolina University and University of North Carolina Wilmington have collaborated to develop an online survey related to people’s experiences during Hurricane Florence and their experiences living on the coast in North Carolina. The survey is part of a larger study on the impacts of shoreline management strategies.

To access the survey, go to tinyurl.com/NCCoastalSurvey2019

Resilience of North Carolina estuarine ecosystems is dependent upon coastal management decisions made now. The results of this study will directly inform future coastal management, serve as a mechanism to educate homeowners on shoreline conservation and management strategies, and enable the development of long-term, cost-effective shoreline monitoring procedures that can be scaled up to state or region levels.

Previously reported – July 2018

Cape Fear Council of Governments Letter
The Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) is pleased to submit this proposal and agreement to develop a Comprehensive Land Use Plan (LUP) for the Town of Holden Beach. Assisting our member governments is a primary tenet of our mission and vision, and we hope that we can continue our years of involvement by performing the work outlined in the Proposal for you.

In the past few years, the CFCOG has developed or updated Land Use Plans for Ocean Isle Beach, Boiling Spring Lakes, Shallotte, Sunset Beach, Southport, and Topsail Beach. Our reputation for professionalism, competence, and technical skill has been earned by delivering valuable products that meet or exceed customer expectations. Our staff values that reputation and we look forward to the opportunity to validate it during the process of developing your Land Use Plan.

This project will be led by our Senior Regional Planner, Wes Macleod, who will be the primary contact for the Town. I will provide oversight and technical support. As CFCOG’s Executive Director, Chris May will be available to the Town to oversee staff and to guide the entire process. The CFCOG will work with Holden Beach to settle on a completion date and will not exceed our proposed budget of $30,000 to be expended over the course of two fiscal years.
For more information » click here

A public input meeting will be held on Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Public Assembly. This meeting is held as part of the land use planning process for the Town of Holden Beach. Holden Beach’s Land Use Plan provides guidance to local decision-makers to achieve the long-term vision for the community. This allows local decision makers to be proactive rather than reactive and helps maintain Holden Beach as one of the finest family-oriented beaches on the East Coast of the United States. The meeting is structured to be engaging and informative.

Town’s Land Use Plan

Previously reported – February 2019    
Holden Beach residents give input for updated land use plan
Holden Beach residents at a Feb. 7 meeting with the Cape Fear Council of Governments (CFCOG) were able to give input on the town’s developing land use plan. Town commissioners voted in July to approve an agreement between the town and the CFCOG for a Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) land use plan update. A land use plan is an official document containing goals, policies, analyses and maps that serves as a community’s blueprint for growth, Wes MacLeod, senior regional planner with CFCOG, told attendees at the special meeting, providing them with some of the data about the town already collected for the land use plan.

MacLeod provided history on the town’s population growth, which shows a decrease of more than 200 residents from the year 2000, with 787 permanent town residents, to 575 permanent residents in 2010. As of 2016 the number of permanent Holden Beach residents was 633. It’s estimated that the population will grow to 708 in 2020, 783 in 2025, 859 in 2030, 935 in 2035, 1,016 in 2040 and 1,095 by 2046. The median age for the town is 61.4, compared to the county’s median age of 50.9, and the state’s median age of 38.3. The majority of those living in Holden Beach are considered Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 74), making up 56.35 percent of the town. For the seasonal population, the most recent data from 2016 showed the peak seasonal overnight population estimate for Holden Beach at 16,811 people. The median value of owner-occupied housing in Holden Beach as of 2016 was $406,000.

MacLeod also showed information from the community survey update. He said CFCOG received 891 responses, including 810 property owner responses and 81 non-resident responses, including visitors and off-island residents. The survey showed Holden Beach residents when it comes to new private development desires, would most like to see more entertainment on the island like restaurants and theaters, low-density single-family residences and small businesses that serve the needs of residents. Survey takers said they consider the most important roles for the town to play in influencing the character of development on Holden Beach to be managing the density and intensity of new development by regulating the size and layout of buildings, protecting the beach and encouraging continued coastal storm damage reduction and beach protection and retaining and enhancing the community’s appearance through landscaping, signs, lighting and architectural standards. They also said coastal storm damage reduction, density development and environmental protections are the most important growth and development issues facing Holden Beach. When it comes to transportation issues, survey takers said the most important ones are maintenance of the town’s existing roadways, parking availability/public access congestion and roadway drainage. When asked to share their favorite things about Holden Beach, the most common responses from survey takers were its lack of commercial development, its uncrowded and clean beaches, its family-friendly atmosphere, its natural resources including the beaches and marshes, it’s quiet, off-season “solitude’ and the fact that the town is mostly made up of single-family houses.

Attendees were then given a brainstorming exercise. MacLeod wrote down on large pieces of paper what those at the meeting thought were the town’s most important assets, important issues and their desires for the future in Holden Beach. Attendees were then given dots to place next to the two of those they considered the most important. Preliminary results showed attendees saw the most important assets as the beach, the lack of commercial development, Lockwood Folly and the marshes and wetlands. The most important issues appeared to be rising sea levels, offshore drilling and stormwater. As for desires for the town, the most popular answers were sustainable growth, improving the causeway’s appearance and a fully maintained and marked inlet. MacLeod said the answers would be tallied by CFCOG to be used in the land use plan.
Read more » click here

Update –
Land Use Plan Steering Committee’s meeting is scheduled for August 27th.
You can view the agenda online at http://hbtownhall.com/files/132385627.pdf

This should be their last meeting; a draft will be sent to P&Z for approval.  

This & That

Spray-painted message puzzles Holden Beach officials
A disgruntled homeowner seems to be hoping a 10-feet-tall message spray-painted on the starboard side of his beach cottage will attract attention. It has. Traveling along Ocean Boulevard East in Holden Beach, it’s difficult not to notice the message, which reads “9 month No B-Permit Why??” The message also has Holden Beach town officials befuddled. The house, located at 180 Ocean Boulevard east of the bridge, appears to be vacant. The front door and windows are covered with plywood.

 According to Brunswick County tax records, the house belongs to Elisabeth Schaider. County records list her permanent address as 359 Timber Cove Drive, Whiteville. Planning and inspections director Evans said the homeowner has never applied for a permit. Evans says the property owner claims the house was damaged during Hurricane Florence.  The owner(s) have approached Evans on multiple occasions yet have never filed an application for a permit, he said. “I am as baffled as anyone,” Evans said, adding that the house is entirely gutted. With no way to provide power to the cottage, Evans is not able to issue a permit.
Read more » click here

Mailbox mystery draws visitors at Holden Beach
Three mailboxes, posted throughout the island, invite beachgoers to share stories and memories
Poetry, memories, funny stories and letters to lost loved ones fill the notebooks at the “Golden Holden Memories Mailboxes.” Stocked with a notebook and plenty of pens, these special places beckon visitors and residents to stop by, reflect and share their memories of Holden Beach. The three mailboxes, positioned throughout the island, are popular spots. But they aren’t always easy to find. The main one, located on the east end, involves a bit of a hike. One must drive to the end of the island — where the paved road becomes dirt — park and walk out onto the beach, which faces Oak Island. The mailbox is located on the Intracoastal Waterway side of the island, about a half-mile walk on the beach. The second mailbox is easier to access. Located in Sailfish Park, one can park, walk a few steps and begin recording their memories. The third mailbox is located on the west end of the island inside a gated community. Those who have been say it’s just a generic mailbox somewhat hidden in the dunes.
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The World’s Most Littered Item Comes Under Fire
Smokers’ habit of tossing cigarette butts on the ground sparks concerns about single-use plastic
Cigarette butts, the most littered items in the world, are posing an intractable trash problem for regulators and tobacco companies: Throwing them on the ground is a firmly entrenched habit for many smokers. Regulators are taking a tougher stance on cigarette filter pollution amid concerns about the environmental impact of single-use plastic. Butts for decades have been made from cellulose acetate, a form of plastic, which takes years to break down. Studies show that butts—which often wash from sidewalks into drains and then waterways—can be toxic to fish. About 65% of cigarettes smoked in the U.S. are littered, according to Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit whose cigarette litter prevention program is funded by the tobacco industry.
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Clean Water case ferments trouble for craft breweries and environmentalists
Beer is mostly water — more than 90 percent, in some cases. Which is why the craft brewing industry is increasingly concerned about the Trump administration’s attempt to deregulate the 1972 Clean Water Act. Sixty craft breweries from across the country filed a brief in July in support of environmental advocates who are fighting the deregulation attempt in a case before the Supreme Court. They claim that weakening the protections around American waterways directly threatens their livelihoods — as well as one of America’s favorite adult beverages. “The cleanliness and flavor profile of the water is really at the heart of making great beer,” said Heather Sanborn, who opened Rising Tide Brewery in Portland, Maine, with her husband nine years ago. “We need to protect our water and make sure we have access to clean water to make great beer here in Maine and across the country.”
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Intersection projects totaling $110.7 million planned along U.S. 17
It won’t be long before some of the main intersections on U.S. 17 in southwestern Brunswick County start to transform. If plans presented by the North Carolina Department of Transportation proceed as scheduled, some of the biggest changes will occur at highway intersections at Hickman Road, Thomasboro/Pea Landing roads, Seaside/Longwood roads (N.C. 904), Smith Avenue in Shallotte and N.C. 211 in Supply. “The purpose of these projects is to improve safety and traffic operations,” Michael L. Bass Jr., advanced engineering technician with NCDOT’s Division 3 in Wilmington, wrote last week.
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Visitor impact for Brunswick County in 2018
On Aug. 15, Governor Roy Cooper announced that domestic visitors to and within Brunswick County spent $599.11 million in 2018, an increase of 6.5 percent from 2017. This percentage increase placed Brunswick County among the top 10 counties in the state in percentage of growth over 2017. Brunswick County ranks 9th among the state’s 100 counties in spending by visitors. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. “We’re pleased to be among the top 10 counties in the state in spending by visitors in 2018 and in visitor spending growth over 2017,” said Bonnie Cox, chairman of the Brunswick County Tourism Development Authority. “Tourism is the cornerstone of our county’s economy, providing jobs and supporting our local businesses which enhances the quality of life for our whole community.”

Tourism impact highlights
The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 5,900 people in Brunswick County. Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Brunswick County was $120.33 million. State tax revenue generated in Brunswick County totaled $27.52 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $36.61 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.Gov. Cooper announced in May that visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2018. The $25.3 billion in total spending represented an increase of 5.6 percent from 2017. These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2018,” which can be accessed at partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association. “The numbers confirm the strength of North Carolina’s tourism industry as an anchor of economic development,” said Wit Tuttell, executive director of Visit North Carolina. “As the No. 6 state in the country for overnight visitation, we can attribute our success to the natural beauty and authenticity that visitors experience, and to a passionate effort to inform and inspire travelers. The money they spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing our residents’ tax burden.”

Statewide highlights
State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 4.7 percent to more than $1.3 billion in 2018.Visitors spend more than $69 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $5.64 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.5 million in state taxes and $2.1 million in local taxes). The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 230,000 North Carolinians. Each North Carolina household saves on aver-age $532 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.
Brunswick Beacon 3A

Could Holden Beach still lose its pier?
The pier went on the market in October 2018, and owner Guilford Bass said a potential buyer is investigating the property

On a warm Friday evening in August, the Holden Beach Fishing Pier is a busy place. Anglers are purchasing supplies, and vacationers are stopping by for ice cream and a moonlight stroll. The 510-foot-long pier has been a fixture on Holden Beach since 1959 — ten years before Holden Beach was incorporated as a town. But with the pier currently on the market, its future is very much in question. According to a brochure from Wilmington-based Cape Fear Commercial, the pier and it’s adjacent parcels, which include a 10-room motel and an RV park, are up for sale. The eight parcels total more than 4 acres, with about 735 feet of beach frontage. While the property is not yet under contract, property owner Guilford Bass said a potential buyer is considering the site.
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Factoid That May Interest Only Me –

Staying safe at the beach: Rip currents, jellyfish, sharks, and other hazards
A trip to the beach can turn deadly (or painful) due to natural hazards but being aware of risks and mitigating hazards is a good way to prevent problems.
Picture this: warm weather, blue skies, and your toes in the sand — it sounds like a perfect lazy summer day at the beach. Maybe you decide to cool down in the ocean and find yourself bobbing around when suddenly you realize you are a little too far out. As panic sinks in and you start to swim towards dry land you realize your efforts are in vain and your whole body is getting tired, all the while you are drifting further into the Atlantic — you have gotten stuck in a rip current. It’s not the only potential danger in the ocean, though. There are also sharks. And, of course, there are some things on shore that ruin your day at the beach, too, including stepping on jellyfish and, of course, good old-fashioned sunburn.

Rip currents
According to the U.S. Lifesaving Association (USLA), 80 percent of all ocean rescues are related to rip currents and annually more than 100 fatalities across the country are due to rip currents. While it is obvious that swimming at a beach with lifeguards is one of the safer options, there are plenty of area beaches that lack lifeguards or maybe ocean rescue season has not started just yet. So, what is the best course of action for surviving a rip current? According to the National Weather Service, there are several things swimmers should keep in mind when dealing with these often-unseen dangers.

  • Relax. Rip currents don’t pull you under.
  • A rip current is a natural treadmill that travels an average speed of 1-2 feet per second but has been measured as fast as 8 feet per second — faster than an Olympic swimmer. Trying to swim against a rip current will only use up your energy; energy you need to survive and escape the rip current.
  • Do NOT try to swim directly into to shore. Swim along the shoreline until you escape the current’s pull. When free from the pull of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward shore.
  • If you feel you can’t reach shore, relax, face the shore, and call or wave for help. Remember: If in doubt, don’t go out!
  • If at all possible, only swim at beaches with lifeguards.
  • If you choose to swim on beaches without a lifeguard, never swim alone. Take a friend and have that person take a cell phone so he or she can call 911 for help.

Sharks are a fear on most every swimmer’s mind, regardless of the actual dangers posed by the large predatory fish. “NOAA states that while shark attacks are rare, they are most likely to occur near shore, typically inshore of a sandbar or between sandbars where sharks can be trapped by low tide, and near steep drop-offs where sharks’ prey gather. While the risks are small, it’s important to be aware of how to avoid an attack,” according to previous reporting.

Suggestions from NOAA for reducing the risk of a shark attack include:

  • Don’t swim too far from shore.
  • Stay in groups – sharks are more likely to attack a solitary individual.
  • Avoid being in the water during darkness or twilight when sharks are most active.
  • Don’t go in the water if bleeding from a wound – sharks have a very acute sense of smell.
  • Leave the shiny jewelry at home – the reflected light resembles fish scales.
  • Avoid brightly-colored swimwear – sharks see contrast particularly well.Sunburns
    Most everyone has experienced a sunburn at one point in their life and while not often thought as a major concern for many, overexposure to UV light can cause serious long-term problems including skin cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using at least S.P.F. 15 sunscreen at least 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Wearing a hat, long sleeves, and other protective clothing is also recommended to keep skin protected.

Jellyfish and Portuguese Man of War have been spotted along the beaches of New Hanover County and surrounding area beaches already this season and the little floating creatures can pack a punch. Often times beachgoers will spot them washed up on shore and other times they can be spotted in the water, but it is best to avoid them when you can. “While all jellyfish sting, not all contain poison that hurts humans. Be careful of jellies that wash up on shore, as some can still sting if tentacles are wet. NOAA recommends that if you are stung by a jellyfish to first seek a lifeguard to give first aid. If no lifeguards are present, wash the wound with vinegar or rubbing alcohol,” NOAA suggests. And what about that … other method of treating stings? Turns out, it’s a myth. In fact, urine can actually aggravate the stinging cells of jellyfish, making things worse. These cells, which detach and stick into the skin of prey, can continue to inject venom. Urine, as well as fresh water, can cause an imbalance to the salt solution surrounding the stinging cells, causing them to continue to fire. According to Scientific American, if you don’t have vinegar or rubbing alcohol, rinsing with salt water may be your best bet.
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No lifeguards on duty in Brunswick
Beach towns say policy remains ‘Swim at your own risk’

North Carolina’s tourist season is off to a tragic start. So far, at least eight people have drowned along the state’s coast, which ties the number of surf zone drowning deaths reported statewide in 2018.

According to the National Weather Service, at least six of the deaths this year were caused by rip currents, while another one was attributed to high surf. With the official start of summer still weeks away, many more visitors will make their way to the ocean in search of fun. But many aren’t aware of the danger and end up in distress. On Memorial Day weekend, lifeguards pulled 31 swimmers from rip currents along New Hanover County’s beaches. But what happens when there’s no lifeguard on duty? At Brunswick County’s beaches, that’s the case every day. None of the county’s six beach towns employ lifeguards. Pender County’s beaches also don’t have lifeguards, while all of New Hanover County’s beach towns employ them. According to Caswell Beach Town Administrator Chad Hicks, several of the Brunswick beach towns came together four years ago and considered employing lifeguards. He noted the move came at the urging of Rich Cerrato, who at the time served as Sunset Beach’s mayor. Hicks recalled that as the towns examined the figures, all deemed it would be too costly. “We’ve got such a tiny budget,” he said of Caswell Beach. “I don’t remember the exact figures, but it was more than we took in for accommodations tax.” One reason for the high cost is the amount of ground to cover. Brunswick County has more than 50 miles of coastline. While that land is divided between the six beach towns — Bald Head Island, Caswell Beach, Oak Island, Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach — some would be responsible for stationing lifeguards along 10 miles of beaches.

Some safety steps
Though they don’t have lifeguards, beach town officials say they do have some water safety programs in place. Sunset Beach Town Administrator Hiram Marziano said the town has a beach patrol offered through the fire department. “We do have a beach patrol that monitors safety, but they aren’t responsible for life safety,” Marziano said. “They help out if they can and if they are trained.” He said the town’s fire chief had recently developed a program to station life rings at all the town’s beach accesses. “That way, if someone’s in trouble, they can throw that out to assist them until help arrives,” Marziano said. In Caswell Beach, the police department patrols the beach several times throughout the day. Hicks said all police officers and some public works employees carry flotation boards that can be thrown to assist distressed swimmers. The town also posts rip current warnings on an electronic message board near the police station. “That sign has come in handy, and it has helped a lot,” Hicks said. In addition, Caswell Beach is served by the Southport Fire Department, which has a water rescue division. Hicks recalled that recently the department used its boat to assist kayakers trapped in the marsh.

‘Swim at your own risk’
Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach also have water rescue programs. In Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach, the programs are coordinated through the fire department, and in Oak Island it is a nonprofit, volunteer organization with about 20 members. According to Holden Beach Town Manager David Hewett, the town doesn’t have a formal beach patrol or water rescue program, but it does post signs warning beachgoers about rip currents at the beach accesses. Aside from these efforts, officials at all beach towns say when it comes to safety, it’s the responsibility of the swimmer. “Our formal policy is swim at your risk,” Hewett said.
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Report: Two area sites listed among top 10 in state for most potentially unsafe swimming days in 2018
Two sites in our area were among the top 10 in the state for the most potentially unsafe swimming days in 2018, according to a new study. Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group released its study Safe for Swimming? Water Quality at Our Beaches this week. The study found that more than 2,600 of the 4,523 beaches tested in the U.S. demonstrated unsafe bacteria levels on at least one day in 2018. The causes of the water pollution included runoff from cities, sewage overflow and failing septic systems in addition to concentrated livestock manure, according to the report. The report warns that sewage and fecal contamination in swimming areas can cause swimmers to develop gastrointestinal illness, respiratory disease, infections and skin rashes. In North Carolina, 127 of 213 sites sampled were potentially unsafe for at least one day last year. The study listed a site in Pender County and another in Brunswick County among the top 10 in the state with the most potentially unsafe swimming days last year. The public access at the end of Shore Line Drive in Pender County was listed as having seven potentially unsafe days while a site on the Intracoastal Waterway near marker #67 near Sailfish Street in Holden Beach had six.

The full study can be found here.
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Hot Button Issues
Subjects that are important to people and about which they have strong opinions

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Development Fees
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Flood Insurance Program
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Homeowners Insurance
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Hurricane Season

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Inlet Hazard Areas
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Lockwood Folly Inlet
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Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling
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Solid Waste Program

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Things I Think I Think –

Dining #2Eating out is one of the great little joys of life.

Restaurant Review:
Dinner Club visits a new restaurant once a month. Ratings reflect the reviewer’s reaction to food, ambience and service, with price taken into consideration.
///// April 2019
Name:               Ciao!  
Cuisine:            Italian
Location:         5223 North Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach SC
Contact:           843.449.5700 /

Food:                 Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:            Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:       Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:                  Inexpensive <=17 / Moderate <=22 / Expensive <=27 / Exorbitant <=40
Rating:             Three Stars
Ciao is a great local classic family run Italian restaurant that is located in a nondescript small strip mall. It is ranked #4 out of @700 restaurants located in Myrtle Beach. It’s no longer a hole in the wall. In 2016 they took over the space next door, remodeled and added a huge bar. We enjoyed the dining experience at this place. That said, there are a number of other Italian restaurants that are at least as good and half the distance away.

Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter

This is a Clancy-esque geo-political spy thriller, the eighth entry in the Courtland Gentry novel series. Gentry the former CIA operative who is better known as the Gray Man, is back with the CIA in an unofficial capacity as a freelance assassin.


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HBPOIN / Lou’s Views

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