10 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / October Edition

Calendar of Events –


October 19-20 N.C. Oyster Festival, Ocean Isle Beach

Oyster Festival Logo - CRThis is the thirty-ninth (39th) annual North Carolina Oyster Festival. The coastal waters of Brunswick County provide an abundance of the marine mollusks each year bringing over 30,000 people to Ocean Isle Beach to celebrate the tasty treat. The beach center becomes a walking district that offers something for everyone: local cuisine, arts and crafts, children’s activities, live music, Oyster Stew Cook-off and the Oyster Shucking Contest.
For more information » click here


October 26-27 N.C. Festival by the Sea, Holden Beach

Hosted by the Holden Beach Merchants Association this two day festival occurs on the last full weekend in October. This two day event is kicked off with a parade down the Holden Beach causeway. There is a fishing tournament, horseshoe tournament, and a sandcastle building contest. Vendors provide food, arts and crafts, amusement rides and other activities. There is live musical entertainment both days at the Holden Beach’s Pavilion.
For more information » click here


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


SEARCH 5K Color Run
See Every Athlete Run for Conditional Health. The purpose of the program and of this event is to work on reducing childhood obesity by promoting healthy, active lifestyles into adulthood. This year the event is scheduled for Saturday, October 19th.


Boo at the Beach
Mark your calendars. Boo at the Beach will be held on Saturday, October 19th from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Holden Beach Pavilion. This free event features booths with carnival games for children, sponsored by organizations, business and residents. Community organizations who would like to participate by providing a carnival game and candy in exchange for advertising their business should contact the Town at (910) 842-6488.


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


Reminders


Veteran’s Appreciation Luncheon  
Luncheon is on Friday, November 8th at 12:00 p.m. in the Town Hall. The event is free, but registration is required. Call the Town at (910) 842-6488 to register.


Yard Waste Service
Yard debris pick-up is provided twice a month on the 2ndand 4th Fridays during the months of October, November and December. Yard debris needs to be secured in a biodegradable bag or bundled in a maximum length of five (5) feet and fifty (50) pounds in weight. A total of ten items (bundles of brush/ limbs, bags) will be picked up by Waste Industries. Yard waste must be placed at the street for pick-up. No pick-ups will be made on vacant lots or construction sites.



BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the monthNovember 19th


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.


Recycling-Bin
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
For more information » click here


Library
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 –


Southern Lady / Shrimp Boat

 

 

Then & Now

 

 

 

Previously reported –
Half submerged and prominently visible from the Holden Beach Bridge the 62-foot commercial shrimp boat Southern Lady is sinking on the north side of the ICW across from the Chapel. It has been over five years now, still no progress has been made with removing the shrimp boat Southern Lady because no one has jurisdiction to remove the abandoned boat.  

There are navigational, environmental and public safety hazards. It’s a regulatory no man’s land: No one wants to deal with these boats. The Army Corps of Engineers removes abandoned vessels that block federal navigation channels. The United States Coast Guard moves recreational boats that pose environmental risks. Compounding the problem are the layers of bureaucracy required to remove a boat, including the issuance of environmental permits and the legal filings needed to declare vessels abandoned property. Still, the contracting process does not resolve the thorny issue of what agency is responsible for removing the boats, in part, it seems, because no one wants to assume the cost.

Update –
First reported in the 10-11-11 newsletter
Eight (8) years later and all things are as they were …


Corrections & Amplifications –


Gerrymandering
Previously reported – January 2018
Federal court voids North Carolina’s GOP-drawn congressional map for partisan gerrymandering
Read more » click here

Previously reported – September 2018
NC Congressional Districts Unconstitutionally Gerrymandered
A panel of three federal judges ruled for the second time this year that the state’s congressional map was drawn to so egregiously benefit Republicans that it violates the Constitution.

North Carolina Republicans’ long track record of unconstitutional laws
This week a panel of federal judges ruled that North Carolina Republicans unconstitutionally gerrymandered the state’s congressional districts to disadvantage Democrats, the latest move in a legal saga going back to 2011.

Gerrymandering is the process by which legislators draw voting districts that give their own party a political advantage. The North Carolina map, for instance, allowed Republicans to take 10 out of the state’s 13 House seats in 2016 despite winning 53 percent of the statewide popular vote.
Read more » click here

Previously reported – September 2018
North Carolina court strikes down state legislative map as unconstitutional gerrymander
A North Carolina court on Tuesday struck down the Republican-drawn state legislative map as an illegal partisan gerrymander and gave lawmakers two weeks to enact new district lines for next year’s elections.
Read more » click here

Three North Carolina Judges Step in Where the Supreme Court Refuses
The Supreme Court’s conservatives said gerrymandering was not a matter for courts, leaving the job of protecting democratic self-rule to state judges.
Read more » click here

Update –
Suit Takes Aim at North Carolina’s Congressional District Lines
Group backed by Eric Holder says 2016 plan violated state Constitution and created a partisan advantage for GOP
North Carolina Democrats, after successfully challenging the makeup of districts in the state Legislature, are now taking aim at the drawing of congressional districts. A new state lawsuit, backed by former Attorney General Eric Holder, claims North Carolina’s 2016 congressional redistricting plan violated the state Constitution and created a partisan advantage for Republicans. Filed Friday, it targets the state’s 13 congressional districts, represented by 10 Republicans and three Democrats in Washington, D.C. The new legal challenge could set the stage for more state lawsuits against partisan gerrymandering months after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled federal judges have no authority to correct the practice. Earlier this month, a three-judge panel in state court struck down North Carolina’s GOP-drawn map of legislative districts, finding the Republican majority improperly gerrymandered state voting lines in 2017. Now, Democrats are shifting their attention to the state lines that determine its representatives in Congress. The lawsuit alleges the current map, drawn in 2016, “may be the most extreme and brazen partisan gerrymander in American history.” “For nearly a decade, the people of North Carolina have been forced to vote on manipulated electoral maps that were drawn by Republicans in the legislature to create a partisan outcome,” Mr. Holder said. “It’s time for this era of gerrymandering in North Carolina to come to an end.” The National Redistricting Foundation, part of Mr. Holder’s National Democratic Redistricting Committee, is behind the lawsuit, which cites voters from the 13 congressional districts as plaintiffs. Law firm Arnold & Porter, one of two firms representing plaintiffs, has been involved in other state gerrymandering challenges, including a case last year in Pennsylvania. Republican state lawmakers, named as defendants along with the State Board of Elections, said they would return a strong delegation to Congress no matter the outcome of the lawsuit. “Conservatives will have no problem returning a powerful group of representatives to the U.S. House under any election lines that Eric Holder’s phony Sue ’til Blue ‘fair maps’ group can obtain, whose tax filing literally states its mission is to ‘favorably position Democrats for the redistricting process,’ ” said Rep. David Lewis and Rep. Destin Hall, the Republicans who co-chair the state House redistricting committee. Following the ruling over state legislative districts in early September, Republicans complied with the creation of a new map. This week, lawmakers asked the North Carolina Superior Court to approve new 2020 election districts drawn from a computer generated map, according to North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore’s office.
Read more » click here


Odds & Ends


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

HOLDEN BEACH LAND USE PLAN / PUBLIC INPUT MEETING
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

Previously reported – September 2019
Land Use Plan Steering Committee’s meeting was held on August 27th.
Agenda Packet » click here
This should be their last meeting; a draft will be sent to P&Z for approval.
Land Use Plan Engagement Session was held on September 17th.
View draft of the plan » click here

What is the Land Use Plan?
“Holden Beach’s Land Use Plan provides guidance to local decision-makers seeking to achieve the community’s long-term vision. This process allows public officials, staff, and other stakeholders to be proactive rather than reactive in maintaining Holden Beach’s status as one of the finest family oriented coastal communities on the East Coast of the United States. This plan builds on the previous land use plans prepared by Holden Beach in 1980, 1985, 1990, 1997, and 2009. It encompasses all geographic areas in the community; considering issues of future land use, development, and natural resource protection. The plan is long-range in nature and looks beyond current issues to address potential future land use and environmental issues over the next 10 to 15 years and beyond.”

If you have any input or questions email them to HBPOA@hotmail.com

Update –
The statuary process for this to be adopted requires it to be submitted to the Division of Coastal Management (DCM) for completeness review. After that 75-day review process we are still required to have a Public Hearing, after that it can then be adopted by the BOC’s. It then goes back to the DCM for certification.

In October the BOC’s approved submitting proposed LUP to DCM for their review


This & That

Brunswick County restaurant significantly damaged by fire
A fire early Tuesday morning caused significant damage to a Supply restaurant. Crews from the Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Department responded to Ginny’s Chicken House, located at 3258 Holden Beach Road near Holden Beach, around 3:20 a.m. Firefighters found a fire on the front deck of the restaurant, according to Chief Douglas Todd. “Responding crews brought the fire under control within six minutes,” Todd said. No one was injured as a result of the fire. Its cause is under investigation by the Brunswick County Fire Marshall’s Office and Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office. Owner Virginia Craig said investigators have ruled out arson and believe the fire may have been the result of discarded cigarette on the front deck. Firefighters from Civietown, and Supply Fire Departments and units from Brunswick County EMS responded to the scene to assist.
Read more » click here


Remembering Hurricane Hugo 30 years later
Decades later, many residents of the Carolinas still recall Hugo as one of the worst natural disasters they can remember. Thirty years after the storm, the National Weather Service shared old photos, radar images and stories from the catastrophic storm. Hurricane Hugo made landfall at midnight on September 22, 1989 near Sullivans Island as a category 4 hurricane, according to the National Weather Service. Hurricane Hugo was responsible for at least 86 fatalities and caused $10 billion in damage. Brunswick and New Hanover County beach towns both saw impacts. At least 25 beachfront homes were damaged in Holden and Yaupon Beaches, and in some places 50 feet of beach was lost. Dunes previously seven to eight feet tall were wiped out. The end of Holden Beach fishing pier was destroyed, and the Yaupon Pier was destroyed. Initial estimates put the damage in Holden Beach at $30 million and Ocean Isle Beach at $15 million.
Read more » click here


Drivers must replace license plate every 7 years under new NC law
 North Carolina drivers will have to get new plates every seven years under new DMV laws signed by the governor Friday.
House bill 211 governing DMV changes was ratified on September 18. Under the law, existing plates must be replaced with new registration plates if, upon the date of renewal, the plate is seven or more years old or will become seven or more years old during the registration period. The mandatory renewal rule falls under a section on reflectivity standards for license plates to ensure they can be read clearly and be seen at night. Plates must be treated with “reflectorized materials” that pass standards set by lawmakers. The change will take effect July 1, 2020. The DMV says the new replacement requirement won’t produce any additional costs for customers, WRAL reports. The DMV laws passed this week also include a section allowing officials to begin a study on digital license plates as an alternative to traditional physical plates. The results of the feasibility study will be reported in the 2020 regular session.
Read more » click here

Cooper signs bill requiring NC license plates to be replaced every seven years
Car and truck owners will need to turn in their North Carolina license plate and get a new one every seven years, under a bill signed into law Friday by Gov. Roy Cooper. Up to now, the state has set no time limit for replacing a license plate; you could keep the one you were given as long as it held up. State law includes a provision that says it can order someone to give up a plate that “has become illegible or is in such a condition that the numbers thereon may not be readily distinguished.” The bill signed into law Friday says simply, “All registration plates shall be replaced every seven years.” The Division of Motor Vehicles won’t charge for the replacement plates required by the new law, said spokeswoman Binta Cisse. Beyond that, the DMV is still developing a plan to implement the new requirement, Cisse said, so it’s not clear yet how the DMV will notify vehicle owners that it’s time to get a new plate or whether they’ll have to go to a license plate office to get a new one.
Read more » click here

News on WECT
Town Manager Hewett, along with leaders in several beach towns, was recently featured in a story on WECT about nourishment programs.

Coastal towns credit beach nourishment projects for minimal dune erosion in Hurricane Dorian
The dune system is our coastline’s first line of defense when it comes to protecting property from storms. To keep them strong, many beach towns maintain the dunes through beach nourishment projects. “I like to say that a wide, healthy beach is like the bumper on the car, it acts as the crush zone whenever there is an accident and that’s exactly what we’ve managed to create with our coastline,” said David Hewett, Town Manager Holden Beach. “We’ve been through several storms over the last 12 to 15 years and have actually never had any homes lost.”

Because the North Carolina coastline is very dynamic, nourishment programs differ in their specific needs for each beach. Ocean Isle, Wrightsville, Carolina, and Kure Beaches work with the Army Corp of Engineers to help plan and manage their projects. Together, they move sand mounds underwater, on the beach or in the dunes to fight erosion. “We do a long-term study to look at what are the requirements for that beach,” said Commander Robert Clark, Wilmington District, Army Corp of Engineers. “Every beach is engineered a little bit differently and they are supposed to be natural barriers where the sand can ebb and flow with the natural environment and over time. The renourishment is either a 3 or a 4-year cycle depending on the requirements.”

Every storm is different and can impact beaches in different ways. “The beaches within the Town of Topsail Beach fared very well during both Hurricane Florence and Dorian,” says Michael Rose, Town Manager of Topsail Beach. “While approximately 1,000,000 cubic yards of sand was lost during Florence, very little was lost during Dorian. The sand management project has performed as designed, utilizing not just the dunes, but the beach and the near-shore sandbars to dissipate wave energy and protect the upland structures and habitats.” These projects are aimed at using the most natural ways to build up the dunes. Some projects rely on dredging and moving sand, and others by planting sea grass and sea oats to help maintain the dune system and continue to build them higher.

“One hour after I lifted the curfew after Hurricane Dorian people were on the beach Carolina Beach was open for business, immediately,” said Carolina Beach Mayor, Joe Benson. “The dunes stood the test of Florence and Dorian for sure. They prove their value in those two cases and we couldn’t be happier.”

Towns continue to keep improve and maintain their dunes and beaches to make sure the first natural barrier is ready for the next storm.
Read more » click here


Municipal Elections

The following candidates have officially filed for Holden Beach municipal elections.

Holden Beach Mayor
Alan Holden 128 OBW Holden Beach (incumbent)

Holden Beach Commissioner
Gerald Brown          851 Heron Landing     Holden Beach      (former)
Joe Butler                 169 BAE                         Holden Beach      (incumbent)
John Fletcher           148 Yacht Watch         Holden Beach       (incumbent)
Peter Freer               198 BAW                       Holden Beach      (incumbent)
Pat Kwiatkowski     1298 OBW                    Holden Beach      (incumbent)
Regina Martin         1032 OBW                    Holden Beach       (former)
Brian Murdock       124 Durham Street      Holden Beach      /
Mike Sullivan          648 OBW                       Holden Beach      (incumbent)
Woody Tyner           137 Tarpon Drive        Holden Beach      /

All five Commissioners seats are up for election, nine candidates have filed. As approved by a referendum in 2017, the three candidates who receive the highest number of votes will be elected to serve four-year terms and the two candidates receiving the next highest number of votes will be elected to serve two-year terms.


Meet the Candidates Night
The Holden Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) will host its “Meet the Candidates Night” on Friday, October 18th in the Town Hall meeting room. The objective of their event is to help you make an informed decision when you vote for Town leaders.

About Candidates Night:
The Holden Beach Property Owners Association gives a collective voice to the views and interests of those who choose to own property on this beautiful island. It also provides a way for citizens to listen to the voices of those who seek to lead by serving as municipal officers of the Town of Holden Beach.  The objective of our “Meet the Candidates Night” event is to help you make an informed decision when you vote for Town leaders.

In addition to the Meet the Candidates Night event we submitted questions to every candidate and their responses will be distributed at Meet the Candidates Night and posted below.  Past questions and answers are available below for historical reference.
For more information » click here


2019 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2017 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2015 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2013 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2011 Meet the Candidates Q & A 

2009 Meet the Candidates Q & A 

2007 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2005 Meet the Candidates Q & A

2003 Meet the Candidates Q & A 

2001 Meet the Candidates Q & A

1999 Meet the Candidates Q & A


Meet the candidates: Holden Beach Commissioner
Nine candidates are running for five seats on the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners. Holden Beach voters in 2017 passed a referendum that, beginning with this election, will stagger terms by allowing the three candidates who garner the most votes for commissioner to serve four-year terms. Prior to this, all five commissioners and the mayor have stood for election every two years. We’ve included those candidates who responded to the StarNews questionnaires. This file will be updated if other candidates respond prior to Election Day.
Read more » click here

Holden Beach candidates answer POA’s questions
Editor’s Note: The Holden Beach Property Owners Association conducted a question-and-answer session (written responses) with nine candidates vying for seats on the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners. Candidates’ answers to the first two questions will be printed in this week’s edition, while subsequent answers will be published in the Oct. 31 edition of the Beacon.

HBPOA note: Mayoral candidate Alan Holden did not submit responses to the questions.

Please tell us your address, education, work experience, involvement with community organizations and any other helpful back-ground information about yourself.

Gerald Brown — I reside at 851 Heron Landing Wynd. I have lived in the Holden Beach area my entire life of 60 years, 17 years on the Island. My wife, Janie, and I have been married for 32 years. I have owned and operated Brown Remodeling for 30 years. I have an associate degree in Nursing. I previously served on the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners.

Joe Butler — 169 Brunswick Ave. East; Education: Associate Degree in Engineering, BS Degree in Management from Rutgers University; Work Experience: 13 years with Westinghouse Electric Corporation as a Senior Quality Engineer; Five years as Director of Operations for Mission Dental Manufacturing Company; 20 years with Schering Plough and Merck Pharmaceutical Corporations as a director having responsibility for various manufacturing facilities throughout the Unites States. Involvement with Community Organizations: Member of the Knights of Columbus; Past Exalted Ruler and Life Member of the Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks; Current member of Saint Brendan’s Finance Council; along with organizing a Health & Well-ness Committee that pro-vides health related education to the community; Past chairperson-Winding River Plantation Beach Club Committee; Past Winding River Board of Directors member for two terms; Member of the Winding River Car Club. Military Service: Served 15 years in the New Jersey Army National Guard ap-pointed to First Sergeant 250th Signal Battalion / 50th Armored Division. Family Status: Married to Sharon Butler, two children and two grandchildren.

John Fletcher — 148 Yacht Watch Drive, Holden Beach, NC 28462-5050: attended USAF Academy (ex ’63), Ari-zona State University and University of Colorado (Boulder). Degrees: BS Accounting and Finance, MBA and Doctor of Business Administration: Certified as a Public Accountant, Internal Auditor and Production and Inventory Control Officer: Licensed USCG Master Captain, Master Trainer Scuba Instructor, retired USAF Captain (22 years, Vietnam veteran with Bronze Star and Meritorious Service medals): Co-Chair Holden Beach Chapel Men’s Fellowship organization, Chair of Liturgy Committee, member Outreach Committee and Team Leader Usher Committee: retired Academic Dean Lake Forest Graduate School of Management, current consulting Professor of Accounting, Marquette University Executive MBA Pro-gram (23 years): current consulting Professor of Finance, National Association of Corporate Di-rectors (30 years); former faculty USAF Academy (’73-’76), University of Colorado and Wichita State University. Former Executive Director The Institute of Internal Auditors, Chief Executive Officer, Mentor International (Chicago), Director Industrial Engineering and Control Evaluation, Union Pacific Railroad Company and Director Telecommunications and Internal Control Evaluation, and Borg Warner (Chicago). Married to Marie-Pierre Fletcher (Chapel Choir Director) 7 living children and 9 grandchildren.

Peter Freer — Address: 198 Brunswick Ave W. Education: State University of New York at Delhi, Associates Degree in Design Engineering. Work experience: Project Manager Product Life-cycle Management Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, IT Manager Pfeiffer University, Project Man-ager Product Lifecycle Management Implementation IBM Global Services, Tool Designer IBM Charlotte, NC. Involvement with community organizations: Holden Beach Commissioner for 2 terms, HBPOA Board Member, Kings Crossing HOA President. Family: Married to Lea Caldwell Freer (Shallotte Middle School Science Teacher), two children in Charlotte area.

Pat Kwiatkowski — Address: 1298 OBW; Education: BS and PhD in Chemistry from Purdue University. Work Experience: I spent 25 years in crop protection regulatory affairs at a large multi-national company. I managed people and handled personnel development and performance issues. I created and managed multi-million-dollar budgets. I was responsible for keeping products registered according to the current standard, often working with attorneys to de-fine best options. I interacted with technical and administrative officials in state, federal and global agencies and engaged in collaborative problem solving. I frequently participated in committee/task force efforts requiring analysis of laws/regulations, policies and procedures and data to prevent or resolve issues and improve the status quo, and I was frequently involved in writing Task Force position papers and negotiations with authorities. Since moving to Holden Beach in 2016, I have served for three years as treasurer of HBWPOA and represented the POA on the Alliance of Brunswick County POA. I have been a commissioner since December 2017.

Regina Martin —1032 Ocean Blvd West, Holden Beach. I have lived at Holden Beach full time since 2011. I Have a BS in Psychology from UNC. I am an insurance professional handling personal lines for over 30 years. I have owned retail and wholesale businesses in the past. I currently own MerMaid Resort Services, which I started in 2012 here on the island. We provide property management, cleaning, pool maintenance, general maintenance and landscaping services to our clients. I have been an active member of the Holden Beach Beautification Club for a number of years. I have served as treasurer and two years as president. I served as membership and fundraising chair for the HBPOA for several years. I was a city commissioner for 2 years. My family has owned property at Holden Beach since 1962. I am proud to call this my forever home. Brian Murdock — Current Address: Brian Murdock, 124 Durham Street, Holden Beach, NC 28462. Moved to Holden Beach in 2000. Education and Work Experience: NC Licensed General Contractor since 1993; Attended Central Piedmont Community College and North Carolina State University; Coast Guard Captain and Operate a Commercial Fishing Vessel; Owner of VCC, Inc. which is a construction company; owner of OEV, which is a property maintenance company; owner of Fantasea Rentals, which is a boat rental company

Mike Sullivan — I live at 648 Ocean Boulevard West with my wife, Janice. We have 5 grown children and 7 grandchildren. I was a member of the NYPD for 25 years, retiring as a Lieutenant. I was both a police officer and super-visor of a unit tasked with the suppression of violent street crime and the apprehension of violent felons. Made and assisted in the approximately 1000 felony arrests and was cited for bravery on 19 occasions. Oversaw the computerization of the NYPD timekeeping and payroll processes and managed a $100 million budget. Attended college and law school while working for NYPD. Graduated, City University, John Jay College, BA Public Administration, Magna Cum Laude; Graduated, Saint John’s University, School of Law. Practiced law for 20 years concentrating in the defense of municipal corporations (Towns, Villages and School Districts). Represented 2 of the largest Commercial Property Owners in NYC. Managing Counsel for Commercial Claims for Nationwide Insurance, a For-tune 100 Corporation. I have been involved in community issues since moving to Holden Beach in 2012 and have been a member of the Planning and Zoning Board, Chairman, Sewer Advisory Board, Director HBPOA and I am currently a commissioner.

Woody Tyner — 137 Tarpon Drive. I grew up in Lumberton and spent many summer vacations with my family at Holden Beach. My dad taught me how to drive his old Volkswagen Beetle on the dirt road between the dunes where Holden Beach West is now situated. I have been a property owner since 1995. Education: Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Master of Business Administration, East Carolina University. Profession: Retired in 2017 as a Senior Vice President after 36 years with BB&T. Held management positions in operations, commercial banking services, and strategy development. Responsible for a budget of $150 million in revenues and $24 million in expenses. Previously served as President of Creative Payment Solutions, a subsidiary of BB&T Corporation selling banking services to other banks. Elected to the Chairman of the Board of the Electronic Payments Network, a NY-based company owned by the Top 20 U.S. banks. Political and public service experience: No prior political experience. Currently Holden Beach Planning and Zoning Board alternate member, Holden Beach Audit Committee member, and Land Use Plan Committee member. Trustee and Assistant Treasurer for Holden Beach Chapel and volunteer for A Second Helping. Served on the boards of non- profit organizations such as the Red Cross, United Way and YMCA. Because of my banking background, I recently volunteered to assist the town manager in completing a banking services evaluation and cash flow analysis for the town. We were able to increase town revenues annually by an additional $200,000.00.

Why are you running for office and what would you like to communicate to voters?

Gerald Brown — I understand that the residents of Holden Beach want their voices heard. They want their ideas and opinions heard. It is important to me to represent their interests to benefit and move the Town of Holden Beach in the right direction. Joe Butler — I am running for re-election for one of the five commissioners positions so that I can continue to be a part of a team that has the best interest of all the taxpayers, while continuing to address the numerous challenges that face our island. Maintaining the current philosophy of the board of commissioners is paramount, along with continually focusing on policies and goals that will continue to provide a safe and healthy Family Beach Environment. As a commissioner, I have been able to stress the importance of our number one priority / goal through transparency and collaboration, which is beach re-nourishment. Without a strategic plan that includes constant follow up with key stakeholders to include the Corps of Engineers, along with working with the various shore line protection groups, FEMA, HB Inlet and Beach Protection Board and implementing a Capital Reserve Sand Fund the number one goal would be at risk. Another key point that I have focused on during my first term and now going forward, is maintaining a tax base that considers all of the retirees that enjoy their homes as full time residents, those that occasionally enjoy their homes when they can and those home owners that rent their homes and enjoy them as time permits. Being on a fixed income as many of us are on is a key concern that I have heard from many of you.

 John Fletcher — I am standing for re-election to the H. B. Board of Commissioners in response to requests by resident voters. My intent is to retain a sufficient number of independent Board members that preserves our Commissioner/Town Manager form as government and prevents a Mayor/Town Manager form of Government. Our Town Charter intends to provide for the residents a Board that sets policy and a Town Manager that implements that policy.

Peter Freer — I am running for a third term for the Board of Commissioners to do my best to ensure the focus remains on an environmentally healthy beach strand, the continued strengthening of our towns financial position and to make certain a persistent transparent local government is a priority. I’m also running again to maintaining the cur-rent alignment of the Board, which is important in keeping a positive independent direction.

Pat Kwiatkowski — I would like for Holden Beach to remain an attractive community as well as popular vacation destination. Serving as a Commissioner is an opportunity to apply my experience to help define or refine policies and practices in ways that enhance our Community. My work experience taught me how to assess facts, come to a decision, define and implement a plan and evaluate results to determine whether a different path may be needed. I understand the importance of maintaining good relations with outside decision makers and know how to advocate with respect. I know keeping good people is not a given-it takes commitment. As a Commissioner, I do research in advance and come to meetings to listen, discuss and make decisions best for the Town, residents and property owners. I often share my thoughts in advance of meetings by writing my position for inclusion in the meeting package-I want people to know where I stand and why. I understand technical, budget and legal issues and always aim to stay within the rules. I am comfortable working with staff and outside authorities. I believe working in collaboration with other communities brings benefit.

Regina Martin — I am running for office again because I do not believe the community is being served well by the current group of Commissioners. When I first moved here full time in 2012 this was a warm and friendly place. A lot has changed in the past 4 years and many tell me they are thinking about moving off the Island. It seems something negative is constantly going on. Most recently the “Trash” not sure why it took multiple meeting and changes to really do very little. It is special meeting after special meeting. If you have never been to a Commissioners meeting you should go and see your elected officials at work. Especially if you were one of those that put them in office. I believe we need more diverse individuals who will do their own research, not appoint a committee all the time and when they do appoint a committee respect their reports.

Brian Murdock — Before my wife, Ammie Archer, and I decided to make Holden Beach our hometown, we vacationed at Holden Beach most of our lives. We are the taxpayers who put our trust in the board of commissioners to protect our beach, our property, and our homes from harm. I’m concerned the current BOC and Town Staff is not capable of managing our Town finances. With-out responsible and capable management of our finances, Holden Beach cannot protect our most important assets which are our beach, our utility infrastructure and our homes. I decided to run for town commissioner for several reasons. I have been a contractor on the island for almost 20 years. I have been an integral part of development and construction of many homes which ultimately created a larger tax revenue base for the island. This Town has major issues that are being ignored. The East end of our island is eroding, the Lockwood Folly Inlet needs to be dredged, and our island is not adequately diverting water from roadways or homeowner’s property, to name a few. The Town has personnel issues, inadequate communication to the community, utility infrastructure problems, and serious parking concerns. If elected, I will do my best to be the voice of the property owners of Holden Beach. I will stand up for the majority and make sure we continue to have or acquire the necessary resources to pay for what is needed as well as put away reserves for the unexpected.

Mike Sullivan — I’m running for office because I believe that I can contribute to ensure that Holden Beach remains the awesome family-oriented beach we all want it to remain. I’ve been concerned and involved in community matters since I purchased my home in 2010. My background and experience in law enforcement, the practice of law and management of personnel, assets and large budgets have honed the skills most needed to be an effective member of the Board of Commissioners.

Woody Tyner — Now that I am retired, I want to spend some of my time “giving back” to the communities and organizations that have been a meaningful part of my life. Holden Beach has been a big part of my life for many years. I want to ensure it continues to be our “special place” for residents, visitors, renters and property owners today and for future generations while preserving our family beach atmosphere. My goal in seeking election to the Board of Commissioners is to work with the other Commissioners, Town staff and the residents, property owners and businesses to achieve solutions in the best interest of all of Holden Beach. Most importantly, I believe we should cherish Holden Beach’s past, deal with present concerns, and plan for the future! My approach will be based on transparency: soliciting input from the residents, property owners and businesses of Holden Beach; encouraging discussion and cooperation; exploring all responsible alternatives; acting in the best interest of Holden Beach. We can do better at listening to the concerns of all the residents, property owners, and businesses, working with and supporting Town staff, and working with each other. I do not believe the Commissioners have all the answers to some of the challenges facing the Town. The BOC should actively solicit feedback from property owners, represent the will of the people, and make decisions in the best interest of all of Holden Beach.
Beacon Article dated 10/24


Going to the polls on Election Day is one of our core responsibilities in a democratic nation. Voter turnout has been a big problem for decades. Increased voter turnout can dramatically alter election outcomes and resulting public policies.

General Election 2019 – Tuesday, November 5th
.     1) Encourage everyone to vote
.     2) Remember it’s a right and a privilege to be able to do so
    3)
Polling place location is at the HB EOC Building, 1044 Sabbath Home Rd., Supply

For more information visit The North Carolina State Board of Elections web site
Read more »
click here


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


Watch out for deer
NCDOT warns motorists across North Carolina to stay alert for deer now that fall has arrived. Every year during late autumn, auto and body shops across the region brace for a bumper crop of business, comprised of an influx of cars with damage from collisions with deer. Beginning in October, roads across the state become hazardous as North Carolina’s deer population fans out, lurking on highway shoulders in search of food and potential mates. It’s the deadliest time of the year for deer, which also pose a particular danger to motorists. Nearly half of vehicle accidents involving white-tail deer occur from October to December. Deer accidents typically begin rising in October, peak in November and begin dropping off after December, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Deer are crepuscular mammals, meaning they’re most active at dawn and dusk – which, following the onset of daylight savings time, places them near roads and byways precisely when large numbers of residents are commuting to and from work.

AAA Carolinas warns of heavier deer presence on the roads
With more deer active around roads this time of year, AAA Carolinas is urging motorists to take pre-caution to avoid collisions. The mating season of a deer typically runs from mid-October through mid-November. This, coupled with the loss of daylight during most motorists’ commutes, makes October, November and December the worst months of the year for motor vehicle collisions with animals. In North Carolina in 2018, there were 17,895 crashes reported from collisions with an animal (of which, 90 percent are assumed to be deer) – with the months of October-December accounting for 49.5 percent of those crashes, according to the NCDOT. In the most recent data provided by the SCDPS, South Carolina reported 2,460 crashes with animals in 2017. “A collision with a deer can be devastating, endangering the passengers, the vehicle and the deer,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “This fall, we urge motorists to always scan the sides of roads for animals, including deer and to be extra vigilant during this time.” In addition to being a danger, hitting a deer can be quite expensive for motorists. Last year, the average deer-related claim in the Carolinas totaled $2,500 in damages. AAA Carolinas encourages motorists to adhere to the following tips this deer season: Be especially attentive in the early morning and evening hours as many animals (especially deer) are most active from 5 to 8 a.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. – prime commuting times for most drivers. Use high beams when there is no oncoming traffic. Your lights will often reflect off the animal’s eyes and reveal their location. Watch for water on the side of the road as it often attracts deer. If you spot a deer, slow down and watch for other deer to appear, as they rarely travel alone. As you slow down, blast your horn to frighten the animal away from the road. Brake firmly. Do not swerve or leave your lane, as many crashes from deer are a result of hitting other cars. Check with your insurance agent to make sure you have comprehensive coverage that includes animal collision. In the event of a collision with a deer: Avoid making contact with the deer as a frightened or wounded animal can hurt you or further injure itself. Put your vehicle’s hazard lights on whether it is light or dark out. If possible, move the vehicle to a safe location, out of the road, as you wait for help to arrive. For insurance purposes, call your local law enforcement or highway patrol. To report an injured deer in North Carolina, call the NCDNR’s Wildlife Enforcement Division at (800)-662-7137. To report an injured deer in South Carolina, call the SCDNR office at (803) 734-3886 to locate a rehabilitator near you. When in North Carolina, vehicle-deer crashes should be reported to the NC Department of Transportation. When in South Carolina, vehicle-deer crashes should be reported to the SC Department of Transportation.
Beacon Article dated 10/24


Hot Button Issues
Subjects that are important to people and about which they have strong opinions


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Climate
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Oceans are under threat, report warns
Climate change is disrupting seafood harvests, posing risks to important marine ecosystems and threatening the well-being of hundreds of millions of coastal residents, according to a United Nations report released today.

The report, based on more than 7,000 studies, represents the most extensive look so far at the effects of climate change on oceans, ice sheets, mountain snowpack and permafrost. (Read it here.)

Why it matters: The oceans have long served as a buffer against global warming, absorbing carbon dioxide and excess heat. Without those protections, the land would be heating much more rapidly.v


New U.N. climate report: Monumental change already here for world’s oceans and frozen regions
Growing coastal flooding is inevitable, and damage to corals and other marine life has already been unleashed. But scientists say the world still has time to avert even more severe consequences.
Climate change is already having staggering effects on oceans and ice-filled regions that encompass 80 percent of the Earth, and future damage from rising seas and melting glaciers is now all but certain, according to a sobering new report from the United Nations. The warming climate is killing coral reefs, supercharging monster storms, and fueling deadly marine heat waves and record losses of sea ice. And Wednesday’s report on the world’s oceans, glaciers, polar regions and ice sheets finds that such effects foreshadow a more catastrophic future as long as greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked. Given current emissions levels, a number of serious effects are essentially unavoidable, says the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Read more » click here


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Development Fees
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Flood Insurance Program
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Gillibrand Urges Senate to Reauthorize National Flood Insurance Program Immediately
The National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire at the end of this month
With the National Flood Insurance Program set to expire at the end of September, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) Tuesday urged Senate leadership, via a letter to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), chairman of the Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs, to extend the NFIP without delay and to ensure that any legislation includes her reforms to fix the current broken system and make flood insurance policies more affordable for New Yorkers. Gillibrand helped write the bipartisan National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform Act of 2019, which would extend the NFIP for five years and fix the problems plaguing the beleaguered program. The NFIP Re Act of 2019 was introduced in the Senate earlier this summer, but no vote has been taken on the measure.

 The NFIP Re Act of 2019 would:

  • Place protections against sudden rate shocks for policy holders and implement regulations for Federal Emergency Management Agency’s new rating methodology.
  • Provide vouchers for homeowners and renters if their flood insurance premium causes their housing costs to exceed 30 percent of the Adjusted Gross Income.
  • Freeze interest payments on the NFIP debt while reinvesting savings towards mitigation efforts to restore the program to solvency and reduce future borrowing.
  • Provide robust funding levels for cost-effective investments in mitigation, which have a large return on investment and are the most effective way to reduce flood risk, Gillibrand said.
  • Increase the maximum limit for Increased Cost of Compliance coverage and expand ICC coverage eligibility to encourage more proactive mitigation before natural disasters.
  • Authorize funding for Light Detection and Ranging technology, which would help create more accurate mapping of flood risk across the country, reducing confusion and generating better data.
  • Place limits on profits for private insurance companies; Write Your Own compensation policies would be capped at the rate that FEMA pays to service its own policies.
  • Create new oversight measures for insurance companies and vendors and provide FEMA with greater authority to terminate contractors that have a track record of abuse.
  • Fundamentally reform the claims process to level the playing field for policyholders during appeal or litigation, ban aggressive legal tactics preventing homeowners from filing legitimate claims, hold FEMA to strict deadlines so that homeowners get quick and fair payments, and end FEMA’s reliance on outside legal counsel from expensive for-profit entities.
  • Provide for increased training and certification of agents and adjusters to reduce mistakes and improve the customer experience.

“My constituents across the State of New York desperately need this bipartisan, common-sense bill, from families still struggling to rebuild from Superstorm Sandy on Long Island to low-income homeowners in Syracuse who are struggling to keep up with rising premiums they cannot afford,” Gillibrand wrote in her Tuesday missive to McConnell and Crapo. “I urge you to make reauthorizing and reforming the NFIP a priority for this Congress and seize the opportunity to achieve a real bipartisan legislative accomplishment that will profoundly help millions of Americans.”
Read more » click here

National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On September 27, 2019, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to November 21, 2019. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on November 21, 2019.

FEMA and Congress have never failed to honor the flood insurance contracts in place with NFIP policyholders. Should the NFIP’s authorization lapse, FEMA would still have authority to ensure the payment of valid claims with available funds. However, FEMA would stop selling and renewing policies for millions of properties in communities across the nation. Nationwide, the National Association of Realtors estimates that a lapse might impact approximately 40,000 home sale closings per month.

NFIP reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to take bold steps to reduce the complexity of the program and strengthen the NFIP’s financial framework so that the program can continue helping individuals and communities take the critical step of securing flood insurance. The level of damage from recent catastrophic storms makes it clear that FEMA needs a holistic plan to ready the Nation for managing the cost of catastrophic flooding under the NFIP.
Flood insurance – whether purchased from the NFIP or through private carriers – is the best way for homeowners, renters, business, and communities to financially protect themselves from losses caused by floods.
Read more » click here 


 

GenX
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Chemours vows to become ‘best in the world’ at controlling PFAS
During a tour of Chemours last week, plant manager Brian Long stopped near a maze of pipes to explain new carbon adsorption systems that the company says are reducing airborne emissions of GenX and other potentially harmful fluorochemicals by 92 percent from 2017 levels. A few minutes later, Long stopped again, this time at a construction site surrounding a giant metal tower of pipes, chambers and supports that, by year’s end, is anticipated to become an operable, $100 million thermal oxidizer. Long said the oxidizer will destroy 99 percent of all per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances — or PFAS — keeping them from becoming airborne and leaving the plant’s boundaries.

Chemours has no choice but to meet the Dec. 31 deadline. It’s specified in a consent order entered in February between the company, the state and the environmental group Cape Fear River Watch. Construction crews are now working in two shifts to meet the deadline, Long said. Chemours has been under fire since June 2017, when the Wilmington Star-News reported that a potentially cancer-causing PFAS chemical called GenX had fouled the drinking water for an estimated 250,000 people who draw their water from the Cape Fear River downstream of the Chemours plant in Bladen County.
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Report: Pre-2017 Cape Fear River highly polluted with PFAS
Analysis of water samples showed contaminant levels at 1,000s of times NC’s health goal
Read more » click here

Action Alert:
Two Opportunities to Make Your Voice Heard on Emerging Contaminants
With the recent news that combined PFAS levels in the Cape Fear River were as high as 130,000 parts per trillion in 2015 – orders of magnitude higher than acceptable health standards – it is more important than ever to take a stance for clean water.

Two upcoming local events organized by Clean Cape Fear and North Carolina Stop GenX in Our Water provide opportunities for you to do just that.

Your help is needed to encourage Congress to urgently address this public health crisis, and/or to join your fellow community members at a demonstration at the Chemours plant in Bladen County.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation has been actively involved in all aspects of the emerging contaminant issue and we remain fully committed to informing and engaging impacted communities so that elected officials and regulators can make informed decisions that will restore and protect the health of our citizens and the environment.

Details of these pressing needs are provided below, along with contact information for joining the efforts.

For more information on the GenX issue, visit our webpage at nccoast.org/genx, and/or contact Kerri Allen at kerria@nccoast.org or (910) 509-2838 if you have questions.

Action Item #1: Call your Senator
Contact: Emily Donovan, Clean Cape Fear

We just learned three critical pieces of PFAS legislation in Congress are hanging in the balance as we speak. Now is the time to act! Please help us call Sen. Burr & Sen. Tillis’s offices. Your phone calls do work. They get recorded every day. A tally is taken and shared with both senators. This is how we let them know these PFAS amendments are vital to healing our communities.

We need both senators to use their influence and persuade Sen. McConnell and Sen. Barrasso to add PFAS *as a class* to the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and the Toxic Release Inventory as part of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)–otherwise known as the annual federal defense spending bill.

Congress has the power to take a good first step in addressing the nation’s growing PFAS public health crisis. This week is critical as Sen. McConnell and Sen. Barrasso will decide if these PFAS provisions are included in the annual defense spending bill.

Why is this important:

  1. Adding PFAS, as a class, to the Clean Water Act empowers the EPA to set discharge limits on PFAS into surface waters–like the Cape Fear and Haw rivers–which over 1.5 million residents rely on as their primary source for drinking water. This allows states, like NC, to regulate the presence of PFAS through discharge permits. Without this addition, states are left guessing where PFAS is being used and released.2. Adding PFAS, as a class, to the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) empowers the EPA to unlock Superfund law. This will allow states, like NC, to force the polluter to pay. Companies, like Chemours, should pay for the mess they made. This addition would allow that to happen. Without it we are left paying for someone else’s mess.3. Adding PFAS, as a class, to the Toxic Release Inventory will allow states, like NC, to monitor where PFAS are being used and released within the state. Currently, NC’s DEQ is having to guess where PFAS chemicals are used.

Call script:
“Hi! My name is [your name], My zip code is [your zip code]. I’m calling to encourage Senator [Burr/Tillis] use their influence and persuade Sen. McConnell and Sen. Barrasso to add PFAS *as a class* to the Clean Water Act, CERCLA, and the Toxic Release Inventory as part of the fiscal year 2020 NDAA. This issue is very important to me. Thank you for your time!”

Sen. Burr: 202.224.3154
Sen. Tillis: 202.224.6342

Please call every day and get at least 5 friends or family members to call with you. This issue is too important to our health and our future health.

Action Item #2: Demonstration at Chemours
Contact: Beth Markesino, North Carolina Stop GenX in our Water

On Saturday, Oct. 26, local residents can ride for free to a gathering at the Chemours Fayetteville Works Plant in Bladen County to protest GenX contamination of the Cape Fear River. Demonstrators will meet at County Line Road at N.C. 87 at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday.

The event is part of a global day of action. Protests will also take place at Chemours operations in Italy and Mexico. Demonstrators at this event in Fayetteville will include members of the Tuscarora tribe. The event is being organized by two organizations, North Carolina Stop GenX in Our Water and Gray’s Creek Residents United Against PFAS in Our Wells and Rivers.

Thanks to the generosity of Cape Fear Coach Lines, free transportation is available for Wilmington residents wishing to attend. Pick up is at 9:30 a.m. at Independence Mall near Belk’s shopping center. Those wishing to reserve a seat for the ride to the Chemours Plant should email Beth Markesino, President of North Carolina Stop GenX in Our Water at bethamarkesino@yahoo.com. 


 

Homeowners Insurance
For more information » click here
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Commissioner Causey negotiates settlement on homeowners’, mobile home insurance rates

Costly hearing is canceled
The N.C. Department of Insurance has settled a homeowners’ insurance legal dispute with the North Carolina Rate Bureau, averting a potentially costly administrative battle with insurance companies. This means the hearing scheduled for Oct. 2 is canceled. In addition, Commissioner Mike Causey announced that the Department has also negotiated a settlement with the NCRB on mobile home insurance rates. “I am happy to announce that North Carolina homeowners will save nearly $285 million a year in premium payments compared to what the NCRB had requested,” Commissioner Causey said. “I am also glad the Department of Insurance has avoided a lengthy administrative legal battle which could have cost consumers time and money.”

Homeowners’ insurance
In 2018, the Rate Bureau, which represents companies writing property insurance in North Carolina and is not a part of the N.C. Department of Insurance, proposed a 17.4% statewide overall increase in homeowners’ insurance rates. After studying the data, Commissioner Causey negotiated a settlement for a much smaller rate of an overall statewide increase of 4%. The 4% increase will vary according to territory, with a cap of 10% statewide instead of the 30% cap in some coastal territories initially requested by the NCRB. The highest negotiated rate increase is 9.8% in some coastal territories. The western-most territory in the state will see an average 0.1% decrease. Compared to the rates requested by the NCRB, the settlement means a significant savings for homeowners. For example, Wilmington residents with a $200,000 frame home with a $1,000 deductible would pay an average $400 less a year than had the NCRB’s requested rates gone into effect. Residents for similar homes in Wake and Durham counties would pay an average $120 less. The increase will take effect on new and renewed policies beginning on or after May 1, 2020.
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NC homeowner insurance to rise next spring
North Carolina homeowner insurance rates will go up 4% on average next spring as part of an agreement between the Insurance Department and an entity representing the industry. Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey said the settlement announced Friday means an administrative fight between his office and the North Carolina Rate Bureau ends. A hearing had been set for next week. Causey’s news release says the Rate Bureau, composed of the state’s property insurance writers, initially sought an overall increase of more than 17%. Causey’s office says the highest rate increases would occur in coastal counties as well as in Duplin and Lenoir counties, where lots of flooding occurred during recent hurricanes. Those counties will see increases of 9.8%. Far-western counties like Cherokee and Clay will see a slight decrease.
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To see the rate increase for where you live just click here.
NC Homeowners Territories
Territory                                                          120
Counties Located in this Territory              Beach areas in Brunswick Counties
Rate increase                                                   9.8%



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Hurricane Season

For more information » click here

 

Atlantic Hurricane Scorecard:
After Nestor, Here’s How the 2019 Season Measures Up

At a Glance

  • The number of named storms has been above the long-term average this season.
  • Despite this, the season has been less active than several recent years.
  • Hurricane season continues through Nov. 30.

The Atlantic hurricane season has less than six weeks remaining, but as this past weekend’s Tropical Storm Nestor shows, there is still life left in this season’s tropics. But how does this season compare to others? And what do other seasons show us about what’s possible in the last six weeks and beyond? Fourteen named storms have roamed the basin since the first storm, late May’s Subtropical Storm Andrea. Of those 14 named storms, five were hurricanes – Barry, Dorian, Humberto, Jerry and Lorenzo – and three were major (Category 3 or stronger) hurricanes – Dorian, Humberto and Lorenzo. The 30-year average for a full season is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. The 14 named storms this season rank above average, but the five hurricanes are one below the 30-year average. The three major hurricanes are exactly average. In an average year, one additional hurricane forms (1966-2009 average) before the end of the season on Nov. 30, according to the National Hurricane Center, so there’s a chance the number of hurricanes could also end up exactly average. Any post-season activity in December would be counted in this year’s total, and any activity from January to May goes into the next year’s total. The last five seasons have all had a named storm before June 1. The most recent tropical storm to develop after Nov. 30 was Olga in 2007. NOAA’s definition of an above average hurricane season has already been met. It classifies a season as above average if Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) – which sums up all the named storms, how long they lasted and how strong they became – is greater than 120% of the median value (1981-2010) and two out of the following three are achieved: at least 13 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes. Although it is statistically above the long-term average, the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season has been slightly less active than the last several years when looking at the number of named storms. However, five of this year’s storms had directly impacted the mainland United States – Barry, Dorian, Imelda, Melissa and Nestor – which is comparable to the last few hurricane seasons.

When Does the Last Named Storm Form in a Typical Season?
Hurricane season officially runs through Nov. 30, but there is a decline in overall activity in the late part of the season. In the last five years, the date of the final named Atlantic storm of the season has ranged from as early as the last week of October, to as late as Thanksgiving week. A few seasons have ended exceptionally early – in late September or early October. As recently as 2006, the final named storm fizzled on Oct. 2. But recent and long-term history show we cannot let our guard down yet. The Atlantic has averaged one additional hurricane formation after Oct. 21 (1966-2009 average), according to the National Hurricane Center. Roughly one-fifth of all U.S. hurricane landfalls have occurred in October and November, so residents along the Gulf and East coasts need to remain prepared. On average, one hurricane forms every year in October, according to the National Hurricane Center. The most hurricanes to form in October was five in 2010. By October, the formation zones of tropical storms and hurricanes typically shift westward toward the western Caribbean Sea, eastern Gulf of Mexico and far western Atlantic Ocean. In what is known as the “Cabo Verde” area, development of African easterly waves fades.
Read more » click here.


 

Inlet Hazard Areas
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Public Can Weigh in on Inlet Hazard Updates
The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management will host of public meetings on proposed updated inlet hazard area boundaries and building rules within those areas, after a series of hearings about the updated erosion rates used to determine the proposed IHAs. Everyone from coastal property owners to developers will get a chance to weigh in on the preliminary boundaries, which were approved earlier this year by the state Coastal Resources Commission, or CRC.

The CRC unanimously approved the fiscal analysis and rule amendments to the proposed inlet hazard areas, or IHAs, Wednesday during the commission’s quarterly meeting held in Wilmington. That analysis, approved Aug. 30 by the Office of State Budget and Management and state Department of Environmental Quality, details the number of structures removed from and added to be included within the boundaries. Currently there are 750 structures within IHAs, which are defined as shorelines especially vulnerable to erosion and flooding where inlets can shift suddenly and dramatically. Of those structures, 307 would be removed from ocean hazard areas, or OHAs, under the proposed boundary revisions. Any of those homes built before 1980 would, for the first time in nearly 40 years, not be included inside of these boundaries, according to Ken Richardson, shoreline management specialist with Division of Coastal Management.

OHAs are made up of three areas of environmental concern, or AECs: IHAs, ocean erodible areas, or OEAs, and unvegetated beach. The proposed updated boundaries would include a total of about 930 structures within IHAs. Of those, 219 would be new to the OHA, meaning this would be the first time they would be within an IHA or OEA. Properties newly exempt from the OHA will have less stringent development and redevelopment rules than those within an IHA. AECs are identified as areas that may be easily destroyed by erosion or flooding or may have environmental, social, economic or aesthetic values that make it valuable to the state. More than 2,900 acres of land is within IHA boundaries at 10 of the 19 active inlets in the state. The 10 are: Tubbs, Shallotte and Lockwood Folly inlets in Brunswick County; Carolina Beach, Masonboro, Mason and Rich inlets in New Hanover County; New Topsail Inlet in Pender County; New River Inlet in Onslow County; and Bogue Inlet in Carteret County.

A majority of IHAs are being expanded under the proposed boundaries, which include building setbacks that vary from inlet to inlet. The science panel that advises the CRC has for years worked on the proposed setbacks, studying historical shoreline data at each inlet and using that information to predict erosion and accretion rates at those inlets. Building setbacks in the new boundaries are set based on annual inlet erosion rates rather than oceanfront erosion rates. For some of the inlets, this method of calculation equates to no change in the current building setbacks. For others, the setbacks vary. Setback requirements will not change for a little more than 730 properties in IHAs. Fifty-seven properties will have decreased setback requirements, while setback requirements will increase for 137 properties. Under the proposed changes, boundaries and setbacks will be reviewed every five years.

Richardson told the CRC last week that OEAs and IHAs are not factors in the calculation of flood insurance premiums. The proposed IHA updates “do not have an immediate negative or positive impact” to community National Flood Insurance Policy’s Community Rating System, a voluntary program that incentivizes communities that go above and beyond the minimum floodplain management requirements, according to the fiscal analysis.

The updated rules maintain the structure size limitation to no more than 5,000 square feet of heated space and no more than one unit per 15,000 square feet of land area. Homes and businesses that exceed the size limit and would be included in the new boundaries would be grandfathered under the rules. IHA rules apply to property owners who want built a new structure or replace one that has been damaged and requires more than 50% repair.

If approved, the amended boundaries and rules may be adopted by early next year.

Public hearings on the updated erosion rates use to determine the proposed IHAs will be held at the following times and locations:

  • 10 a.m. Oct. 3, Northeast Library, 1241 Military Cutoff Road, Wilmington.
  • 2 p.m. Oct. 3, Harper Library, 109 W. Moore St., Southport.
  • 1:30 p.m. Oct. 8, Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, 822 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke.
  • 10 a.m. Oct. 9, Nags Head Board of Commissioners room, 5401 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head.
  • 2:30 p.m. Oct. 9, Outer Bank Center for Wildlife Education, 1160 Village Lane, Corolla.
  • 10 a.m. Oct. 15, Surf City Welcome Center, 102 North Shore Drive, Surf City.
  • 3 p.m. Oct. 15, Sneads Ferry Library, 1330 N.C. 210, Sneads Ferry.
  • 3 p.m. Oct. 17, North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, 400 Commerce Ave., Morehead City.
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Lockwood Folly Inlet
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After storm shallowing, navigation restricted on Lockwood Folly inlet. County seeking quick fix
Navigation of the Lockwood Folly Inlet has been restricted to maritime traffic in recent months. Some areas of the inlet are as shallow as three feet deep, according to a recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers survey. To address the most immediate navigation needs, Brunswick County Commissioners unanimously approved transferring $149,903 out of its shoreline protection reserves to the North Carolina Division of Water Resources (DWR) Monday.

County, state match
Brunswick County’s contribution covers 34% of the total project cost, $440,890, which will dredge the highest-priority areas of the navigation channel to eight feet. DWR will cover 66% of the total project cost. Brunswick County is asking the towns of Holden Beach and Oak Island to pitch in half of the county’s contribution, at $37,476 each. The county has heard reports of vessels not being able to make it out of the inlet at low tide, according to emails with the Corps, and is seeking to address the issue as soon as possible. Comparing inlet surveys on Aug. 22 and Sept. 30, U.S. Army Corps spokesperson Dave Connolly said Lockwood Folly added approximately 30,000 cubic yards after Hurricane Dorian. Connolly added that controlling depths mostly remained the same, but Dorian definitely did bring in added material. “Shoaling is a constant problem,” Connolly said. Lockwood Folly is not currently on the Corps’ hurricane recovery list, he said. The inlet typically has a significant tidal range, with most vessels taking advantage of the high-tide cycle, according to Connolly. No federal funds are in place to dredge the inlet. Still, the Army Corps engages in a long-term partnership with the state to assist low-use navigation federal projects like Lockwood Folly that use state and local funds. The Corps does not have a hopper or pipeline dredge available at this time, project documents show, which is the county’s preference. Instead, the project will use a ‘sidecast dredge’ that will move material out of the navigation channel. No project start date is yet available. Brunswick County is asking funds to be moved along quickly, with remaining financing needed from DWR to be transferred to the Corps before work can begin.
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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.
///// May 2019
Name:              Joseph’s                   
Cuisine:          Italian Bistro
Location:       5003 O’Quinn Boulevard, Southport NC
Contact:         910.454.4440 /
www.josephsitalianbistro.com

Food:               Average / Very Good / Excellent / Exceptional
Service:          Efficient / Proficient / Professional / Expert
Ambience:     Drab / Plain / Distinct / Elegant
Cost:               Inexpensive <=$18 / Moderate <=$24 / Expensive <=$30 / Exorbitant <=$40
Rating:          Three Stars
Probably easier to get to by boat than by car but don’t be discouraged by the trip for good things can be found in out of the way places. Located at the South Harbour Marina, the view overlooking the marina and ICW is outstanding. Be advised reservations are not accepted so be cautious about making dining plans during prime tourist season. It’s a busy, busy place, but the great bar makes waiting a pleasure. The menu reflects home-style interpretations of their family favorites and is the finest Italian cuisine in the area.


Book Review:
Read several books from The New York Times best sellers fiction list monthly
Selection represents this month’s pick of the litter
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MAGPIE MURDERS by Anthony Horowitz
An Agatha Christie style murder mystery, an ingenious whodunit that both honors and pokes fun at the genre. The story has dual narratives, structured as a novel within a novel, a mystery within a mystery. A London book editor receives the partial manuscript of a murder novel. When the author turns up dead, the editor turns sleuth. Of course, in a good whodunit the murder always gets solved; but you won’t be able to figure out who the murderers are until the very end of the book.


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THE WORD IS MURDER
by Anthony Horowitz

A clever and inventive mystery starring a fictional version of the author himself as the Watson to a modern-day Holmes. Their first joint investigative venture concerns the strangulation of Diana Cowper in her London home, mere hours after she visited a funeral parlor and made detailed arrangements for her own funeral. Hawthorne wants Horowitz to chronicle, in real time, his cases into books, and eventually gets him to agree.



THE SENTENCE IS DEATH
by Anthony Horowitz
A brilliant whodunit murder mystery, the second in the series.
Horowitz’s doppelganger, Horowitz-the-author plays Horowitz-the-character, once again plays Dr. Watson to Private Investigator Daniel Hawthorne’s Sherlock Holmes. This time around the duo sets out to investigate the murder of London divorce attorney Richard Pryce, bludgeoned to death with a bottle of vintage wine in his home..


That’s it for this newsletter

See you next month


HBPOIN / Lou’s Views

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