12 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / December Edition


Calendar of Events –


Las Vegas Night
The Rotary Club of Shallotte will host its fifteenth annual Las Vegas Night on Saturday, January 25that 349 Whiteville Road, the Planet Fun building in Shallotte.


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 –


Run Holden Beach – 2020
The sixth annual “Run Holden Beach” event is scheduled on Saturday, January 18th. Coastal Race Productions is planning a 1 mile “turtle trot”, 5K walk / run and a half marathon with all of these races starting and finishing under the bridge. This will all be followed by live music, games and an after party at the Holden Beach Pavilion.
This annual event includes three races –
Half Marathon – 7:00 AM
5K – 7:15 AM
1 Mile Turtle Trot – 8:30 AM
For more information » click here
Register » click here


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


Reminders


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 month, January 21st


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 –


Annual Beach Monitoring Report
Previously reported – October 2019
Agenda Packet –
The Town participates in annual beach monitoring in an effort to maintain a healthy beach and dune system and to keep our engineered beach status.  These reports are also instrumental   in serving as a baseline account of sand volume as compared to post-storm surveys.  Mr. Fran Way with ATM is here to present data from the annual report and highlight changes since last year.

Applied Technology Management
ATM is a coastal engineering firm hired by the town to do the following:
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Annual monitoring, data collection and reporting
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Assess sand erosion
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Evaluate nourishment
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FEMA projects cost reimbursement support
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Meet government regulatory permitting conditions

Annual monitoring has occurred since 2001. We have an engineered beach – which means it has been nourished and is being monitored.

Fran Way presented the annual beach monitoring report. They have completed the annual survey of the beach strand. Primarily they make sure the beach is healthy. Most sections of the beach strand are stable and had accretion. Beach equilibration has occurred, projects are designed to include a volume of sand that the waves and currents will transport offshore to fill in the lower parts of the beach profile. Some of the sand lost off shore has been come back in to the system. The beach strand is recovering nicely from the recent storm events. Ongoing beach management activity has made the beach strand wider than it was twenty years ago. We have used a significant amount of material from the borrow area and will need to identify new areas to take sand from for future large-scale projects.

Update –
Annual Beach Monitoring Report
For more information »
click here


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

Previously reported – October 2019
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
Read more » click here

Previously reported – November 2019
North Carolina’s congressional map is illegal Republican gerrymander
A North Carolina court on Monday temporarily blocked the state from using its congressional map in next year’s elections and strongly suggested it would eventually rule the districts were illegally gerrymandered to favor Republicans.
Read more » click here

NC judges approve legislative maps,
rule against congressional maps in 2020 elections

North Carolina judges on Monday ruled against the state’s congressional map being used in the 2020 elections, and approved state legislative maps that were redrawn and passed in September. The court rulings came in two cases challenging state legislative and federal congressional maps. In one case, a three-judge panel ruled that new maps drawn in September in state legislative races can be used starting in 2020. In September, the three-judge panel issued a ruling ordering the North Carolina General Assembly to redraw the districts. In a separate ruling, the three-judge panel entered an injunction preventing 2020 Congressional races from using 2016 maps. The order suggests that the date of the 2020 primary election may be moved for the congressional races or even all races on the ballot if necessary. In an opinion from the preliminary injunction, the court referenced recently re-drawn North Carolina General Assembly maps as proof the legislature can draw new maps quickly.
Read more » click here

Democrats vow court fight to block new N.C. congressional map
North Carolina Republicans approved a new congressional map Friday that would cost the party at least two House seats and potentially roil the state’s delegation — but Democrats immediately objected, saying it’s still a GOP gerrymander.
Read more » click here

Update –
Judges: New North Carolina Congress map will be used in 2020
North Carolina judges ordered a new U.S. House district map that Republican state legislators drew last month be used in the 2020 elections, deciding on Monday there wasn’t time to scrutinize the boundaries further for any left-over extreme partisan bias. The three-judge panel agreed it was too late in the election cycle to receive evidence and testimony that would be necessary to consider detailed redistricting arguments from the lawmakers and from Democratic and independent voters who challenged the latest congressional maps.
Read more » click here


Odds & Ends


Christmas Trees Recycling
Christmas trees can be recycled to help build sand dunes on the beach. It is a way to build more protection on the shore by using them as a natural and biodegradable sand fencing. The trees are positioned facing downward at a 45-degree angle. Once the trees are laid down, they are left completely exposed except for the tips, which are covered in sand. The needles of the branches catch the sand and it starts to accumulate until gradually the sand will bury the tree and build up the dunes around them. As the tree biodegrades, it provides nutrients to the other plants and organisms around it.


Oak Island inches closer to major sand projects
Oak Island is likely close to receiving permission from environmental regulators for a major sand project this winter, a consulting engineer told Town Council Tuesday. The town is also expected to soon receive standing permission to dredge Lockwood Folly Inlet to its federally authorized depth, said Johnny Martin of the Moffatt & Nichol firm.
Read more » click here

Hopes for adding sand at Oak Island are dashed
Barring a last-minute, dramatic change, hopes for adding sand to parts of Oak Island’s beach are dashed for this winter season. The first round of soliciting bids brought no responses in late November. After waiting the required 10 days, the town again sought bids and the single response was more than twice what engineers and town officials planned for. The idea was to put sand from Jay Bird Shoals along the east and central portions of the beach, starting at about SE 63rd Street, roughly where sand from last year’s harbor deepening project stopped. Crews would build a base and dune capable of withstanding a once-in-25-year storm, roughly seven feet tall, extending to 22nd Place East. Two alternative add-on projects could have placed sand as far as 10th Place East. The town’s contract engineers, Moffatt & Nichol, told Town Council in November they expected the cost to be about $8-million, with the Federal Emergency Management Agency picking up 75-percent of the bill, roughly $6.02-million. State disaster aid and town funds would cover the remaining $2-million. The lone bid submitted on December 5 was from Weeks Marine Inc.’s Louisiana division. Including both alternatives, it was for $16,078,500. Town manager David Kelly said it appears the town can still do the work but will have to wait another year. In general, beach renourishment is allowed only from October to April, so that work won’t disturb nesting sea turtles. “It’s just not economically feasible for the town to pay $30 per cubic yard of sand,” Kelly said. Kelly added that the town expects to receive environmental permits for the job by later this month. Representatives from Moffatt & Nichol plan to attend the special council meeting on Tuesday, December 17 at 6 p.m.Oak Island. Sand project dead for this winter.
Read more » click here


This & That


Public meeting tonight regarding Carolina Bays Pkwy extension into NC
The NCDOT and SCDOT will hold a public meeting Tuesday in Sunset Beach regarding the proposal to extend the Carolina Bays Parkway. The goal is to extend the parkway (S.C. 31) from S.C. 9 in Horry County, South Carolina into North Carolina to U.S. 17 in Brunswick County. The project calls for a multi-lane freeway. The freeway would be on some existing roadways and some in new locations. The project would increase connectivity for Brunswick County and surrounding residents who frequently travel into South Carolina, as well as enhance mobility for the traffic in the area. Some of the current roadways and intersections are set to exceed the roadway capacity limits by 2040. Nine concepts have been developed for this project. Those maps can be found on the NCDOT Public Meetings website.
Read more » click here

S.C. 31 extension concepts mapped at public meetings
Nine corridor concepts for extension of the Carolina Bays Parkway, aka S.C. 31, into Brunswick County were under scrutiny at two public meetings last week. The drop-in public information meetings were orchestrated by the North Carolina and South Carolina departments of transportation last Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Sea Trail in Sunset Beach and Wednesday, Dec. 4, in Little River to give residents opportunity to review maps and ask highway officials and consultants questions. The meetings were in “open house” format with no formal presentations. The project would extend the parkway from its current terminus at S.C. 9 in Horry County, S.C., to the U.S. 17 Shallotte Bypass in Brunswick County. The purpose of the project is to “improve the transportation network by enhancing mobility and connectivity for traffic moving in and through the project area,” according to highway officials. The nine concepts were presented on aerial photographs mapping each possibility, which would begin at the existing parkway/S.C. 9 interchange in South Carolina and end at the U.S. 17 Shallotte Bypass in North Carolina. The concepts reflected tie-in variations between those two points, five of which would go through Indigo Farms, the Bellamy family’s historic six-generation Century Farm straddling the state line. “All concepts would use existing U.S. 17 for approximately 6.3 miles between N.C. 904 between N.C. 904 (Longwood / Seaside roads) and N.C. 130 in Brunswick County,” reads information about the project at publicinput.com/carolina-bays-pkwy, where comments can be submitted, and maps of each concept viewed. In addition, the proposal calls for converting three existing intersections along this section of U.S. 17, including N.C. 904, Ocean Isle Beach Road and U.S. 17 Business/Main Street in Shallotte. The concepts were developed to “minimize impacts to natural and human environment features such as homes, businesses, wetlands and streams,” according to posted information. The concepts are also wider than the area needed for a future road. “The study corridors shown are generally 1,000 feet wide, but the recommended right-of-way width will be much narrower, in general approximately 400 feet,” reads information on the site. The public is invited to submit comments to NCDOT’s public engagement platform, which can be reached from its aforementioned project web page. In addition to maps and project details, contact information is available on the website. Questions can be directed to project manager Krista Kimmel at NCDOT, 5501 Barbados Blvd., Castle Hayne, NC 28429 or by calling 341-2000 or khkimmel@ncdot.gov. The contact person for South Carolina is Leah Quattlebaum, Pee Dee regional production engineer, SCDOT, P.O. Box 191, Columbia, SC 29202; phone 803-737-1751 or quattleblb@scdot.org.
Read more » click here

From Ocean Ridge Master association (ORMA)
Impact of Carolina Bays Parkway (SC 31) Extension

Background:
The North Carolina and the South Carolina Departments of Transportation are planning to extend Carolina Bays Parkway (SC 31) from SC 9 in Horry County, SC, across the North Carolina state line to US 17 in Brunswick County. The project is not yet funded but under study. The latest summary concept map shows the 9 possible routes all ultimately converging at the US 17 and NC 904 intersection before traveling along US 17 in front of the Ocean Ridge front gate. The highway will be limited access with several interchanges.

Click here for the NCDOT site to view the summary and 9 individual concept maps with the right of way “shading” along the route.

Click here for more details on project timeline and cost.

Likely Impact:

(1) Limited access means no direct entrance from the highway into communities. There may be a “service” road parallel to US 17 and/or Ocean Ridge may lose its “premier entrance.”

(2) Plans show the OR front gate, several Lions golf holes, and parts of Windsor Circle in the “right of way” for the routes which the state may take for highway expansion and construction.

(3) The highway route cuts elementary and middle school districts in two, as well as, the local fire district. Bus routes for school children will be longer and response time for first responders will change

Public Comments Due:
You have until January 10,2020 to make comments directly to the NCDOT via https://www.publicinput.com/Carolina-bays-pkwy or by phone or email. You may also contact your State Representatives, NCDOT Project Manager, and County Commissioners with your comments and concerns.  

State Representative Frank Iler:  Frank.Iler@ncleg.net
State Senator Bill Rabon:  Bill.Rabon@ncleg.net
NCDOT Project Manager Krista Kimmel: khkimmel@ncdot.gov
County Commissioners: https://www.brunswickcountync.gov/board-commissioners/contact/

County board concerned about S.C. 31 extension
The Brunswick County Commissioners expressed opposition to proposed plans for the extension of S.C. 31,  also known as the Carolina Bays Parkway Extension, during their regular meeting Monday, Dec. 16. Ocean Isle Beach resident Eric Edgerton spoke first regarding  the proposed highway plan during the public comment segment of the meeting. He told commissioners that the project will “make a monster of our county; it’s the right road, in the wrong place,”.
Read more » click here


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


Holden Beach events help ‘pay it forward’
From one hand to another, Holden Beach merchants have initiated a chain reaction as donations to one charity “pay it forward” to other charitable organizations in Brunswick County. The Holden Beach Merchant’s Association recently selected A Second Helping as its designated charity following Days at the Docks and Festival by the Sea In turn, A Second Helping selected three county agencies, enabling these charities to further extend their efforts to help needy families in Brunswick County. Following the Holden Beach events Days at the Docks and Festival by the Sea, the Greater Holden Beach Merchants Association determined all expenses incurred during the annual festivities were paid and money was available for next year’s events. With the remaining proceeds, the organization sat down to select a deserving charity.  In years past, the association had donated funds and supplies to Fix a Friend Spay Neuter Clinic and Brunswick Senior Resources Inc. This year, the association selected a charity closer to home. The Holden Beach merchants wrote a $1,000 check to A Second Helping, according to Dee Carlisle, president of the Holden Beach association.

A Second Helping is a local organization that collects unused items from departing vacationers as they travel from the island along the causeway. The organization sets up a collection center in the Beach Mart parking lot courtesy of owner Lyn Holden. This past summer, A Second Helping collected 14,330 pounds of food, paper products, unused toiletries, garbage bags and sometimes cash, according to Doug Cottrell, operations director for A Second Helping. The items are distributed throughout the county wherever they can be best used. A Second Helping added the Holden Beach Merchant’s Association’s gift to donations previously collected from generous tourists.  A Second Helping then distributed three $1,000 donations to the Brunswick Christian Recovery Center, the One Can Ministry emergency pantry and the Loaves and Fishes Pantry. “It is … interesting how others support what we do,” Cottrell stated in an email.  “Lyn Holden gladly welcomed us to use the front of his parking lot when I approached him about how poorly located the (Holden Beach) Chapel parking lot was to get donors from both sides of the bridge plus the traffic safety issue.  Mitch Young of Island Time Rentals provides our pop-up canopy each week.  All of the on-beach realtors put our information in their info packets or do it digitally in the case of Hobbs Realty.  We get surplus food from Archibald’s Deli. Bible Baptist Church has connections for relief food, and we have been the recipients of over-stock of that. I guess I could go on and on. “Needless to say, I try to run as crisp a volunteer group as I can and make sure everything, we get is re-distributed. ‘One-stop giving’…  so to speak. “My greatest joy is the smiles on donors faces that they can help, and they don’t throw anything away after having a great week at our wonderful family-oriented beach.”

“A Second Helping helps provide a very important service for BCRC (Brunswick Christian Recovery Center),” said Josh Torbich, director of BCRC. “Often times the common cost end up being the most extensive when you have residential care facilities. “The amount of everyday use items we consume as an organization is a heavy burden on our finances each month. “Of course, it is also one of the most important. With the services of A Second Helping we are able to majorly reduce the cost of these items by the kind and generous contributions of this awesome organization. It allows us to continue to focus on other areas while we know this particular need will continue to be filled.” Donations such as those made by A Second Helping allow Brunswick Christian Recovery Center to provide 16 weeks of free residential recovery for individuals seeking substance abuse assistance. The center, located in Ash, first opened its doors in 2011. Its director, Torbich, knows first-hand how debilitating and destructive addiction can be. A former heroin addict, Torbich draws on his personal struggle to help other men whose lives have become “very dark.”

The Sharon United Methodist Church also runs a thrift store, the Rose of Sharon Thrift Store located at 2060 Holden Beach Road. The pantry has fed more than 565 families, or 1,596 individuals, between January and October. In addition to the offerings of A Second Helping, church parishioners and the town of Holden Beach help keep the pantry shelves well stocked. According to Teeple, A Second Helping is very important as it “provides a variety of foods because the vacationers are from all over the place. They are very important. It’s a lot of work.”

A Second Helping also donated $1,000 to the Loaves and Fishes Pantry at the Brunswick Islands Baptist Church in Supply. The Beacon was unable to contact the Rev. Rudy Ramphal or any members of the Brunswick Islands Baptist Church for comment.
Read more » click here

A Second Helping
They just completed the fifteenth year of the program. For the last thirteen weeks they have collected food on Saturday mornings in front of Beach Mart; the food is distributed to the needy in Brunswick County. During this summer season, they collected 14,330 pounds of food and $2,780 in monetary donations. Their food collections have now exceeded two hundred and forty-three thousand (243,000) pounds of food since this program began in June of 2005. Hunger exists everywhere in this country.  Thanks to the Holden Beach vacationers for donating again this year!  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                         


Website:
http://www.secondhelping.us/


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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The biggest climate stories you might have missed — but still have time to read.
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Development Fees
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Flood Insurance Program
For more information » click here

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FEMA postpones flood insurance rate revamp amid backlash
FEMA is delaying a sweeping overhaul of flood insurance rates by one year, after the planned changes sparked concerns in Congress about premium hikes. The agency said its Risk Rating 2.0 initiative will be implemented on Oct. 1, 2021, rather than Oct. 1, 2020 — a move that takes off the table a potential spike in rates for homeowners in the run-up to next November’s elections. Under the initiative, which FEMA announced in March, the Trump administration is seeking to modernize the system by which the National Flood Insurance Program assesses risks and sets insurance rates for millions of homeowners across the country. The revamp is intended to provide a more accurate picture of perils facing individual properties, meaning it would likely lead to higher flood insurance rates for some homeowners and lower rates for others. The potential for rising flood insurance costs has spurred coastal lawmakers over the last several months to push back on FEMA’s efforts. For them, the delay was a welcome development. “This should have been announced long ago,” Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) said in an interview. “FEMA has been as clear as mud about what Risk Rating 2.0 actually is.” The delay underscored the struggle in modernizing the program, which is in debt to the Treasury after years of devastating hurricanes. Its approach to assessing risk has largely gone unchanged since the 1970s. “It’s complicated,” said Laura Lightbody, who directs the flood-prepared communities initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “But the purpose of doing it is to make sure that rates better reflect today’s risk. Changing the date, I don’t think should be the focus.”

FEMA said it was postponing the changeover because more time was needed for a comprehensive analysis of the proposed rating structure. FEMA’s goal as it conducts further review is “to protect policyholders and minimize any unintentional negative effects of the transition.” The extension, FEMA said, would also allow for all NFIP policies to change over to the new rating system at one time, rather than a phased approach as originally proposed. “Over the course of the next year, FEMA will continue to actively engage with Congress and other key stakeholders to ensure transparency and visibility as we work to transform the NFIP,” the agency said. The problem for many coastal lawmakers ahead of Thursday’s announcement was that FEMA had not conveyed what the potential impacts of Risk Rating 2.0 would be. That concern prompted 64 House members to demand last week that new caps on premium increases be included in a long-term flood insurance program reauthorization bill that is awaiting a vote on the House floor, as well as a delay of Risk Rating 2.0. “Republicans, Democrats, House, Senate, all of us have been pushing FEMA to provide some transparency, to open up the black box, to help us understand what they’re doing and how our reauthorization should take that into consideration,” Graves said. “It has been impossible to do so.” In the House and Senate, members on Thursday signaled they were undeterred in pushing for new affordability protections in upcoming flood insurance reauthorization bills. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement Thursday that a “strong premium cap” was needed in the flood insurance legislation to protect homeowners. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), who has been leading the charge in the Senate, also viewed the delay as only a temporary fix. He planned to push for a “single-digit cap” on annual rate increases and a strong affordability program, a Menendez aide said. “A one-year delay does not alleviate the concern and likely pain for policyholders during a five-year reauthorization without meaningful caps and affordability built into the NFIP program,” he said.
Read more » click here

Congress extends flood insurance program for 13th time since 2017
Congress granted another short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) on Thursday, marking the 13th temporary renewal since June 2017. The NFIP, which provides flood insurance to more than 5 million households, was extended through Dec. 20 as part of a continuing resolution passed by the Senate. The extension gives lawmakers more time to decide which of the multiple bills in Congress they want to reform NFIP and reauthorize the federal program through September 2024.
Read more » click here

National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On November 21, 2019, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to December 20, 2019. Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on December 20, 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

National Flood Insurance Program: Reauthorization
Congress must periodically renew the NFIP’s statutory authority to operate. On December 20, 2019, the President signed legislation passed by Congress that extends the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) authorization to December 20, 2019.

Congress must now reauthorize the NFIP by no later than 11:59 pm on September 30, 2020.

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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EPA moves forward with plan to address PFAS in drinking water
The EPA is inching forward with their plan to address forever chemicals in our water. The agency announced forward momentum this week on efforts to eventually put a legal limit on how much PFOA and PFOS is allowed in drinking water, give the government authority to investigate spills and make companies pay if the chemicals are discharged into the environment. All of this comes months after the EPA announced a historic plan to regulate the chemicals in February of this year. When the plan was announced last winter, leaders said they expected a “regulatory determination” to come down by the end of the year. On Wednesday, the agency delivered on that promise. PFOA and PFOS are man-made substances often released through industrial manufacturing that do not degrade in the environment. Those chemicals are part of a larger set of chemicals known as PFAS. PFAS have been linked to developmental issues, cancer and problems with the thyroid and liver.
Read more » click here


 

Homeowners Insurance
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Hurricane Season

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Grants OK’d for Emerald Isle, Holden Beach
North Carolina and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials announced Thursday more than $54.9 million in hurricane- and tropical storm-related public assistance grants have been approved for Emerald Isle and Holden Beach. The grants are to reimburse expenses to renourish public beaches in the coastal towns which were damaged by storm surges during Hurricane Florence and Tropical Storm Michael in 2018. Emerald Isle is to replenish with more than 2 million cubic yards of sand and more than 377,000 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence. The sand equals more than 20 times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium and the volume of plants covers 78 acres, according to the announcement. Holden Beach will replenish more than 389,000 cubic yards of sand damaged during Tropical Storm Michael. FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75% of eligible costs, and the remaining 25% is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs. FEMA’s combined share for the Emerald Isle and Holden Beach projects is more than $41.2 million and the state’s share is more than $13.7 million.

The state and FEMA have approved more than $72 million to restore North Carolina beaches since the 2018 storms.
Read more » click here.

FEMA announces reimbursements for Holden Beach, Wilmington
FEMA and the State of North Carolina announced the reimbursement of millions of dollars Wednesday for Holden Beach and Wilmington. According to a news release, more than $15.8 million will go toward reimbursing expenses spent to restore storm-related beach damage. Those funds include the reimbursement of beach sand in Holden Beach. “Holden Beach will replenish with more than 722,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 2,500 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence,” FEMA said in the release. “The sand equals more than seven times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium.” Earlier this month, Holden Beach was approved for a reimbursement of $8.5 million for Tropical-Storm Michael-related beach damage. FEMA and state officials also approved an additional $3 million to reimburse the City of Wilmington for debris removal following Hurricane Florence.This latest amount brings the total to more than $20.5 million to reimburse the city’s debris removal expenses. “More than 1.3 million cubic yards of hurricane-related vegetation — enough to fill more than 6,700 train boxcars — was collected in Wilmington,” FEMA stated in a news release. “Funds for this project cover work completed from Sept. 20, 2018, through Feb. 23, 2019.”
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Topsail Beach, Holden Beach receive more storm restoration funding
The State of North Carolina and FEMA on Wednesday announced more than $30 million total headed to Southeastern North Carolina beach towns from hurricane- and storm-related damage. In all, beaches in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties suffered more than $119 million in damage from Florence, and that doesn’t include previous issues, or problems that surfaced during Hurricane Dorian in September 2019. The town of Holden Beach is receiving $15.8 million, and that money is expected to be used to help replenish more than 722,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 2,500 square yards of plants damaged during Florence, according to a press release. The recent funding is in addition to $8.5 million approved earlier this month for Tropical Storm Michael-related beach damage. In addition, $18.8 million will be given to the Town of Topsail Beach for its damages from Florence. It is expected to replenish more than 939,000 cubic yards of sand damaged or lost during that storm. The town recently started a $24.6 million project for dredging and beach renourishment. These funding packages are part of FEMA’s Public Assistance program, which provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs, and the remaining 25 percent is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs. In all, more than $107 million has been approved to restore North Carolina Beaches since the 2018 storms.
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Holden Beach gets more than $15.8M to restore coastline
The State of North Carolina and FEMA have approved more than $15.8 million to reimburse expenses to restore hurricane and tropical storm related beach damage. The funds include reimbursing the replacement of beach sand in the Town of Holden Beach. Storm surges from Hurricane Florence damaged the coastal community’s beach. Holden Beach will replenish with more than 722,000 cubic yards of sand and more than 2,500 square yards of plants damaged during Hurricane Florence. The sand equals more than seven times the amount of concrete in Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. The recent funding for Holden Beach is in addition to $8.5 million approved earlier this month for Tropical Storm Michael-related beach damage. FEMA’s Public Assistance program provides grants for state and local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations to reimburse the cost of debris removal, emergency protective measures and permanent repair work. Public Assistance is a cost-sharing program. FEMA reimburses applicants at least 75 percent of eligible costs, and the remaining 25 percent is covered by the state. The federal share is paid directly to the state, which disburses funds to agencies, local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations that incurred costs. FEMA’s share for the latest Holden Beach project is more than $11.8 million and the state’s share is more than $3.9 million. More than $107 million has been approved to restore North Carolina beaches since the 2018 storms. In addition to Holden Beach, the towns of Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Topsail Beach have been approved for beach restoration funding.
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Inlet Hazard Areas
For more information » click here

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The Holden Beach Property Owners Association (HBPOA) has been monitoring the proposed changes to the Inlet Hazard Area (IHA) boundaries on the east and west ends of our island. The proposed IHA will impact more than 200 property owners on the west end of our island by placing new restrictions on what they can build (or rebuild) on their property.

This is the highest number of structures in any IHA in the state and adding this many properties to an IHA on our island will have a significant impact not just to the impacted property owners, but to our overall tax base as well. We don’t understand the rationale behind this change, since the west end of Holden Beach has been continuously accreting for decades, as documented in surveys by the Town’s engineer. The Inlet Hazard Area Method (IHAM) does not take any of this into account.

Ken Richardson reported at the NCBIWA conference that public hearings on the IHA changes will begin next month and comments will be closing at the end of January. We are trying to notify our impacted property owners so they can provide input, but there is no notice of the hearing on the Division of Coastal Management website, only scientific documents.

We need your help with informing our property owners. Given the significance of the changes to the IHA and the short timeframe for input occurring over the holidays, the HBPOA would like to conduct a public hearing or information session to inform our members about this significant potential impact to their property. Your assistance with conducting this session would be greatly appreciated.


Soon to be Commissioner Brian Murdock sent e-mail, this was the response from Braxton C. Davis, Director – NC Division of Coastal Management / Department of Environmental Quality

I understand your concerns and agree that the timing of the hearing is probably not good for many who are planning to travel for the holidays. I also appreciated the comments made by Tim Evans on behalf of the Town at our meeting this week. Our December hearing has already been advertised in the newspaper, so we will need to move forward with it, but we are absolutely willing to come back in January to hold a “workshop” so that we can try and clarify the overall process and background on the proposed changes, and to make sure we get additional public comments to take back to the Commission at their meeting in February. We will also begin a 60-day public comment period on Dec. 2 (ending late January) – it will be announced in the NC Register, and written comments can be sent to me at the office address below or via email.

Inlet Hazard Area Changes
If your property is west of Sailfish or East of Blockade Runner, you should be aware of the proposed changes. For more information and the maps, check out the Hot Topics page on the HBPOA website.
For more information » click here

From the Mayor’s Desk
Inlet Hazard Area Changes
The Coastal Resources Commission is in the process of developing new rules that have the potential to greatly impact several hundred lots at Holden Beach. Please review the information below for an executive summary prepared by the Business Alliance for a Sound Economy (NCBASE) complete with details of the rules, dates/times of public hearings, maps of properties affected  and contact information for those needing to receive feedback on the proposed changes. 

Please take the time to review, attend the hearings if possible and provide your comments/concerns.

Information from NCBASE:
The NC Division of Coastal Management is holding public hearings and accepting feedback regarding the proposed changes to the Inlet Hazard Areas (IHA). The proposal put forth will 1) greatly expand inlet hazard areas as well as 2) significantly change in the way that setbacks are measured in these areas. If approved by the Coastal Resources Commission, this proposal will impact thousands of acres of coastal land and thousands of parcels and structures in our region.

The proposed rules can be found in the attached document (click here) on pages 16. On pages 6 – 7, you can see the breakdown (structure, acres) by community.

Here are some additional links to resources related to the IHA update:

Please review the new maps and new rules. Then make plans to attend the public hearings and make your voice heard.

Public Hearings and Comment Period:
Public hearings start on December 17, 2019 in Brunswick County and will be held in a number of coastal locations through mid-January. The full schedule is at the end of this document. Written comments, questions and feedback will also be accepted. Provide written comments, questions and feedback via  email to DCM Director Braxton Davis (braxton.davis@ncdenr.gov) and/or Ken Richardson (ken.richardson@ncdenr.gov).

Comments will be accepted through January 31, 2020. Depending on breadth of comments, the issue could go to the Coastal Resources Commission at the February 2020 meeting and have an implementation date of April or May 2020.

Over the same period, the state of North Carolina and individual communities have continued to proactively advance coastal management strategies including the creation of a shallow draft inlet fund, the permitting of terminal groins and investment in continued coastal storm damage reduction projects to enhance our coastal infrastructure.

Concerns:

  • The impacts of the expanded Inlet Hazard Areas and revised setback calculations will be widespread and significant.
    • Has DCM notified property owners that will be in the expanded Inlet Hazard Area?
    • Has DCM notified property owners in the current Inlet Hazard Area that the setback factors are changing?
  • The Proposed IHA Rule Changes and new setback calculations could result in a taking of private property if they completely prevent development of a parcel. For example, if a lot is 150′ deep and its setback goes from 60′ to 240′-it is unbuildable.

The Proposed IHA Rule Changes may increase the CRC’s exposure to takings claims. Such claims may arise because the Proposed IHA Rule Changes and setbacks would prohibit development within areas in which development is not currently prohibited.  They may also arise where property owners who acquired or held their property with the expectation of being able to develop at a certain intensity are not satisfied with the limited development potential that the Proposed IHA Rule Changes would permit in protected IHAs

  • The grandfathering provisions need to be expanded. The grandfathering protection the CRC Memo says would apply to all lots under 15,000 sq.ft. is not actually included in the Proposed IHA Rule Changes.   

The CRC Memo states that the Proposed IHA Rule Changes include provisions to grandfather all existing structures within the new IHAs as well as all lots under 15,000 square feet, platted after July 23, 1984 or before the effective date of the Proposed IHA Rule Changes, with respect to density restrictions.  However, there is no language in the Proposed IHA Rule Changes that expressly grandfathers such lots.

  • The cumulative effect of the Proposed IHA Rule Changes is to make an additional 1,819.7 acres of coastal land subject to development restrictions-in addition to expanding restrictions on existing parcels in the IHA. This will impact property values in a range of affected communities.
  • The Proposed IHA Rule Changes imply a causal connection between the size of a structure, the number of units in a structure, and the size of a lot and the risk of erosion, flooding, and other adverse effects of sand, wind and water associated with dynamic ocean inlets.  It is unclear, however, how the size of a home, the number of units, or size of a lot has any causal relationship to the risk of realizing hazards associated with dynamic ocean inlets.  
  • The revised rules will negatively impact property values and complicate potential sales and financing as a result of the “new” nonconforming status of the structures and parcels identified in the CRC Memo. To help alleviate the concern about making existing structures nonconforming, CRC could include a provision in the Proposed IHA Rule Changes that would allow for reconstruction of nonconforming structures and structures on nonconforming lots without the need to come into compliance with current rules.  
    • Table 3 of the CRC Memo shows that, under the Proposed IHA Rule Changes, the number of lots within IHAs that do not meet the 15,000 square feet minimum lot size requirement more than doubles, from 894 lots to 1,805 lots.
    • Similarly, Table 2 of the CRC Memo shows that, overall, the Proposed IHA Rule Changes would increase the number of structures with heated area greater than 5,000 square feet within or intersecting IHA boundaries  from 24 to 41.  Under the Proposed IHA Rule Changes, all such structures would be non-conforming with respect to the proposed maximum floor area allowance.

Public Hearing Schedule / Inlet Hazard Area Update 

Brunswick County December 17, 2019 10:00 a.m.  
Brunswick County Government Complex
30 Government Center Drive, NE
Bolivia, NC 28422 

New Hanover County December 17, 2019 3:00 p.m.  
New Hanover County Government Center
230 Government Center Drive
Wilmington, NC 28403 

Onslow County December 18, 2019 10:00 a.m. 
Sneads Ferry Library
1330 Highway 210
Sneads Ferry, NC 28460 

Pender County December 18, 2019 3:00 p.m. 
Assembly Building
720 Channel Blvd.
Topsail Beach, NC 28445 

Carteret County January 7, 2020 3:00 p.m.
NCDCM
400 Commerce Avenue
Morehead City, NC 28557 

Hyde County January 8, 2020 10:00 a.m. 
Community Center – Multipurpose Room
30 Oyster Creek Road
Swan Quarter, NC 27885
*broadcast simultaneously to Ocracoke Island: 

Ocracoke Community Center
999 Irvin Garrish Highway
Ocracoke, NC 27960 

Dare County January 14, 2020 11:00 a.m.
Town of Nags Head
Board of Commissioners Room
5401 S. Croatan Highway
Nags Head, NC 27959


State’s Inlet Hazard Plan Criticized at Hearing
Holden Beach is taking the state Division of Coastal Management to task for its proposal to expand the western end of the island’s inlet hazard area. During the first in a series of public meetings the division is hosting through January, a small group of Holden Beach residents and the town’s planning director on Tuesday morning questioned a state official as to why the preliminary boundary at Shallotte Inlet stretches eastward for about 2 miles from the end of the island that is accreting. “I really have concerns just about how you came up with these boundaries,” said Vicki Myers, resident and chair of the town’s Inlet and Beach Protection Board. “I think your math is wrong.” The preliminary boundary encompasses a little more than 200 structures, nearly four times the 51 structures in the current inlet hazard area. “This is a huge issue,” said Holden Beach Property Owners Association President Tom Myers. “To look at these numbers it makes it look like it’s the most dangerous place in the state. Just looking at it makes no sense that our west end of the island has the most houses in an inlet hazard area in the state.” The Myerses, who are married, do not live in the current or proposed inlet hazard area, or IHA, but said expanding the area at the western end, which has been accreting since the 1970s, does not make sense.

Developed inlets
IHAs are defined as shorelines especially vulnerable to erosion and flooding where inlets can shift suddenly and dramatically
. Shallotte Inlet is one of 19 active inlets in the state. Ten of those are called developed inlets. A little more than 2,900 acres at the 10 developed inlets are designated as IHAs. Those inlets include Tubbs, Shallotte and Lockwood Folly in Brunswick County; Carolina Beach, Masonboro, Mason and Rich in New Hanover County; New Topsail and New River in Pender County; and Bogue Inlet in Carteret County. Discussions and attempts to update IHA boundaries, which were first drawn in the late 1970s, go to back to 1998-99, when members of the first-appointed science panel suggested to the commission that the boundaries were outdated. Current IHAs were drawn based on the historic migration of the inlet shoreline. To establish the proposed updated IHAs, the science panel is using the hybrid vegetation line, or landwardmost position of the historic vegetation line, to determine boundaries. The proposed maps expand current IHAs collectively by a little more than 1,359 acres while removing about 470 acres from existing boundaries at the 10 developed inlets. Inlets typically move over time in one of two ways: An inlet migrates, meaning it moves in one general direction, or it oscillates, wagging back and forth. A majority of the state’s inlets, including Shallotte Inlet, oscillate. In its recommendations released to the Coastal Resources Commission earlier this year, the commission’s science panel explained that the historic repositioning of the outer bar channel from the southwest to the southeast reshaped the ebb-tide delta and its effect on the adjacent oceanfront shorelines on Holden and Ocean Isle beaches. The ebb channel has generally aligned in a southeast/east-southeast direction since the late 1960s, which has allowed sand to accrete at the western end of Holden Beach. During this same time, Ocean Isle’s oceanfront shoreline at the inlet has experienced chronic, long-term erosion. If the ebb channel were to re-orient itself again toward Ocean Isle, then Holden Beach would erode, according to the science panel. Holden Beach Planning and Inspections Director Tim Evans said the data indicate the inlet essentially stabilized in the 1970s. “Our vegetation line is constantly growing,” he said. “I think that Holden Beach really needs to be looked at again, especially where the original inlet hazard area was. I just don’t see how we can believe in the science.” The new proposed boundaries come with updated rules, which include the current limit that structures within an IHA can be built no larger 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 within the new boundaries would be grandfathered under the new rules. Existing structures destroyed or damaged, requiring more than 50% repair, can be rebuilt regardless of size or density as long as the structure meets the setback requirements within the IHA. Setbacks vary in each area. If a structure does not meet the setback requirements, a structure that meets current grandfathering rules may apply. Those rules include being built before Aug. 11, 2009, meeting minimum setbacks, staying within the original footprint and rebuilt as far landward on a lot as possible. The current preliminary boundary at the west end of Holden Beach stretches about 2 miles, Evans said. He argued that a major storm, not inlet erosion, could damage and destroy the more than 200 homes within the proposed IHA. If those homes cannot be rebuilt because they do not meet setback conditions, that would have a significant economic impact to the town, Evans said.

More hearings scheduled
Public hearings are being hosted in counties where there are developed IHAs.

Hearings were held in New Hanover, Pender and Onslow counties Tuesday and Wednesday.

The remaining hearings are as follows:

  • Jan. 7 – N.C. Division of Coastal Management office, 400 Commerce Ave., Morehead City.
  • Jan. 8 – Community Center, Multipurpose Room, 30 Oyster Creek Road, Swan Quarter, and broadcast simultaneously to Ocracoke Island at the Ocracoke Community Center, 999 Irvin Garrish Highway.
  • Jan. 14 –Nags Head Board of Commissioners room, 5401 S. Croatan Highway, Nags Head.

Public comments may be submitted to the Division of Coastal Management through Jan. 31, 2020.

Public comments will likely be presented to the Coastal Resources Commission at its February meeting next year. If the commission adopts the new boundaries, those may go into effect between April and May.

Read more » click here 


 

Lockwood Folly Inlet
For more information » click here
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Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling
For more information » click here
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Solid Waste Program

For more information » click here
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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.
///// July 2019
Name:            The Basics
Cuisine:         Southern Comfort
Location:      319 N Front St, Wilmington, NC
Contact:        910.343.1050 /
http://www.thebasicswilmington.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:          Two Stars
The Basics is located in downtown Wilmington at the Cotton Exchange. This casual all-day spot takes staples of Southern comfort food and keeps it simple. They offer a very limited seasonal menu served in a homey, brick-walled bistro setting. Certainly not fine dining and while it was good, it wasn’t worth returning for.


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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THE NEVER GAME by Jeffery Deaver
After fourteen books centered around Lincoln Rhyme, Deaver kicks off a new series following “reward seeker” Colter Shaw. Raised in the wilderness by survivalist parents, he is an expert tracker with a forensic mind trained to solve the most challenging cases. He is a civilian who travels around the country aiding police and other investigators solve crimes and private citizens locate missing persons. A wanderer in the vein of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher and Nick Petrie’s Peter Ash.


Wishing you and yours a Happy Holiday!


.That’s it for this newsletter

See you next month


HBPOIN / Lou’s Views

.          • Gather and disseminate information
.          • Identify the issues and determine how they affect you

.          • Act as a watchdog
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https://lousviews.com/