09 – News & Views

Lou’s Views
News & Views / September Edition


Calendar of Events –

Most events have either been postponed or cancelled


October 1-3  King Mackerel Fishing Tournament, Southport
This will be the 42ndAnnual U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament. It has taken place since 1979 and is held annually the first week in October. The U.S. Open is one of the largest king mackerel tournaments on the East Coast and part of the SKA (Southern Kingfish Association) Tournament Trail. The tournament now attracts almost 400 boats annually.
For more information » click here

The U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament is still on.

This year’s tournament will be at Dutchman Creek Park off Fish Factory Road.


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 –

All programs are temporarily on hold


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


Reminders –


Currently, North Carolina is severely undercounted in the 2020 Census. We are on track to lost $74 billion in federal funding over the next decade. These are our tax dollars, hard earned and rightfully ours, and this funding is critical. The only way to access that money is to be fully counted.

Here’s what it will affect:
– Roads and transportation
– Early education
– Senior services
– Veterans services
– Infrastructure that supports local businesses
– Rural development
– Emergency services
– Military resources
– Parks and recreation programs

If you have not yet responded to the 2020 Census, do so immediately. It takes less than 10 minutes. All information is confidential and specific information is unable to be accessed by law for 72 years. All that matters is that you are counted, since federal funds will be distributed by population.

Help keep our community strong.

You can respond immediately online or by phone:
Online: https://my2020census.gov/
Phone: ​844-330-2020​

The 2020 Census will now end on September 30th, one month before the previously announced deadline. We are running out of time to get all North Carolinians counted. As of July 31st, 41 percent of NC households have NOT completed the 2020 Census. That’s more than four million North Carolinians who have not completed the census.

Every response makes a difference.

A Census response brings $1,823 per person, per year in federal and state funds back to NC counties and towns.

That’s $18,230 over the decade.
For a family of five, that’s $91,150.
For a neighborhood of 150, that’s $2,734,000.
For a community of 1,200, that’s $21,876,000.

Every single response truly makes a difference.​​


Speed Limit
Please take notice – Speed limit seasonal limitations, in accordance with Town Ordinances. Speed limit will change on OBW from 35mph to 45mph west of the general store. This change will take place on October 1st and be effective through March 31st.
.



Trash Can Requirements – Rental Properties

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


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

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


Solid Waste Pick-Up Schedule
Waste Industries change in service, trash pickup will be once a week. This year September 26th will be the  the last Saturday trash pick-up until June. Trash collection will go back to Tuesdays only.

 

Please note:
. • Trash carts must be at the street by 6:00 a.m. on the pickup day
. • BAG the trash before putting it in the cart
. • Carts will be rolled back to the front of the house


Solid Waste Pick-up Schedule – starting October once a week

Recyclingstarting October every other week


Vehicle Decals
The 2020 vehicle decals were distributed with the March water bills. Each bill included four (4) vehicle decals. It is important that you place your decals in your vehicle or in a safe place. A $10 fee will be assessed to anyone who needs to obtain either additional or replacement decals. Decals will not be issued in the 24-hour period before an anticipated order of evacuation.

The decals are your passes to get back onto the island to check your property in the event that an emergency would necessitate restricting access to the island. Decals must be displayed in the driver side lower left-hand corner of the windshield, where they are not obstructed by any other items. Officials must be able to clearly read the decal from outside the vehicle.

Property owners without a valid decal will not be allowed on the island during restricted access. No other method of identification is accepted in an emergency situation. Click here to visit the Town website to find out more information regarding decals and emergency situations.


It is still early in the Atlantic hurricane season. Check to make sure your 2020 decals are affixed to your vehicle’s windshield. If you need additional decals, send a self-addressed stamped envelope, along with a check for the decals to Town Hall. Make sure you check for your decals now; they are not sold during an emergency situation.


 

Pets on the Beach Strand
Pets – Chapter 90 / Animals / 90.20
Effective September 10th

 

.
. 1. Pets allowed back on the beach strand during the hours of 9:00am through 5:00pm
. 2.
Dog’s need to be on a leash
. 3.
Owner’s need to clean up after their animals . .



Bird Nesting Area

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


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

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


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

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

Spraying is complaint based, so keep the calls coming!


Building Numbers
Ocean front homes are required to have house numbers visible from the beach strand.
Please call Planning and Inspections Department at 910.842.6080 with any questions.

§157.087 BUILDING NUMBERS.

(A) The correct street number shall be clearly visible from the street on all buildings. Numbers shall be block letters, not script, and of a color clearly in contrast with that of the building and shall be a minimum of six inches in height.

(B) Beach front buildings will also have clearly visible house numbers from the strand side meeting the above criteria on size, contrast, etc. Placement shall be on vertical column supporting deck(s) or deck roof on the primary structure. For buildings with a setback of over 300 feet from the first dune line, a vertical post shall be erected aside the walkway with house numbers affixed. In all cases the numbers must be clearly visible from the strand. Other placements may be acceptable with approval of the Building Inspector.



BOC’s Meeting
The Board of Commissioners’ next Regular Meeting is scheduled on the third Tuesday of the month, October 20th
.


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 $93.29 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

 

Recycling renewal form was sent, you should have gotten e-mail letter already


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.


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


Coronavirus –

Brunswick County COVID-19 Snapshot: as of September 17th


State of Emergency – Timeline

09/04/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 163 which revised some prohibitions and restrictions to the state’s “Safer At Home” measures and will move into Phase 2.5 of the pandemic recovery.  Click here to view the Executive Order details.

08/05/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 155 which extends the state’s “Safer At Home” Phase 2 measures for five (5) additional weeks until at least September 11, 2020. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

07/28/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 153 which restricts late-night service of alcoholic beverages. The governor also said that bars will remain closed as North Carolina continues efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19. Click here
to view the Executive Order details.

07/14/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 151 which extends the state’s Safer At Home Phase 2 measures for three additional weeks until at least August 7, 2020. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

06/26/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 147 which pauses the state’s Phase 2 economic reopening’s for three additional weeks went into effect at 5:00 p.m. Friday, June 26. The Governor announced that the new face covering requirement in public places statewide is to slow the spread of the virus during the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

06/02/20
With the exception of the playground and splash pad, Bridgeview Park is now open. Click here to view Amendment No. 10 of the Town’s State of Emergency.

This amended declaration shall remain in force until rescinded or amended.

05/29/20
With the exception of Bridgeview Park (across from Town Hall), Town recreational areas are now open. Click here to view Amendment No. 9 of the Town’s State of Emergency.

05/22/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 141 which is a transition to Phase 2 of a three-part plan to reopen North Carolina amid the coronavirus pandemic went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, May 22. The Governor announced that they are lifting the Stay at Home order and shifting to a Safer at Home recommendation. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

05/18/20
Public restroom facilities are now open. Click here to view Amendment No. 8.

05/08/20
Governor Cooper signed Executive Order No. 138 to modify North Carolina’s stay-at-home order and transition to Phase 1 of slowly easing certain COVID-19 restrictions. Phase 1of Governor Cooper’s three-part plan to reopen North Carolina amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday, May 8. It’s the first step in the state’s gradual return to normalcy. Phase two is expected to begin two to three weeks after phase one, given that certain conditions are met. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

04/30/20
Having consulted in an emergency meeting with the Board of Commissioners, the terms of the State of Emergency have been amended. Highlights include the following: rentals may resume as of May 8th; and public parking and public accesses are open immediately. All other restrictions remain in full force. Click here to view Amendment No.7.

04/19/20
Item #9 of the existing Town of Holden Beach State of Emergency, which was made effective on April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m., shall hereby be rescinded at 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday, April 21, 2020. This action will thus allow the beach strand to be open for the purpose of exercise and relaxation. No congregating shall be allowed. All other parts of the current declaration of emergency shall remain in effect. Click here to view Amendment No. 6.

04/08/20
Emergency Management Director, in consultation with the Commissioners, have decided to close the beach strand effective Wednesday, April 8 at 11:59pm. Today’s Amendment No. 5 is being added to the existing Declaration of the State of Emergency. Any person who violates any provision of this declaration or any provision of any Executive Order issued by the Governor shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of sixty days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine per offense.
Click here to view Amendment No. 5.

04/01/20
Town of Holden Beach has declared a State of Emergency, Amendment No. 4 is an attempt to define the purpose of the original declaration more clearly (no new tenancy).
Click here to view Amendment No. 4.

03/31/20
The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended to coincide with Governor Cooper’s Stay at Home Order. Click here to view the Amendment No. 3.

03/27/20
Governor Cooper announces Executive Order No. 121, state-wide Stay at Home Order. Click here to view the Executive Order details.

03/27/20
The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended regarding short-term rentals. Click here to view the Amendment No. 2.

03/23/20
The State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach has been amended regarding prohibitions and restrictions to be implemented within the Town of Holden Beach.
Click here to view the Amendment No. 1.

03/23/20
Mayor Holden, with the consensus of all five commissioners, has declared a State of Emergency for the Town of Holden Beach. Click here to view the Declaration.

Coronavirus Information
The Town Hall is currently open during normal business hours. All activities, with the exception of Board of Commissioners’ meetings, scheduled in the Town Hall Public Assembly and conference rooms and the Emergency Operations Center conference rooms are canceled until further notice. The Town encourages residents to follow social distancing protocols and to seek communication options like phone, email and other online resources to limit exposure to others.

Brunswick County has developed a dedicated webpage for community assistance. Click here to view their website. Remember to seek the most verified information from sources likes the CDC, NC DHHS and the county regarding the coronavirus. You can contact the Brunswick County Public Health Call Line at (910) 253-2339 Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. You can also email them at coronavirus@brunswickcountync.gov. The NC Public Health Call Line can be reached at 866-462-3821 (open 24/7).

The situation is serious; take it seriously!

You may not be interested in the coronavirus, but it is interested in you.


Upon Further Review –


796 OBW
Previously reported –
June 2019
Engineering was just awarded the $311,805 contract for Sewer System Engineering to Sewer Pump Station Number 3. Why is there an additional $153,805 in cost only eighteen (18) months later? The explanation given was that this station is only sixteen (16) feet from adjacent property and will require additional acoustic engineering. Due to the station location it is different from the first project and will have a significant higher cost to build.

Previously reported – July  2019
A significant portion of the cost of acquiring this property is offset by us no longer needing to do additional acoustical engineering. The property is located at 796 OBW, adjacent to sewer station #3, with a Taxable Value of $376,610

Previously reported – August 2019
The Town is purchasing 796 OBW for $349,000 or 93% of tax value
.
Average for second row home this year is 117% of tax value

A decision was made – Approved unanimously

Update –
We still have no game plan for what we will do with this property that was purchased one (1) year ago.


Waste Ordinance Enforcement Policy       

Chapter 50 / Solid Waste
  a) rental homes – specific number of trash cans based on number of bedrooms
50.08  RENTAL HOMES.
(A)   Rental homes, as defined in Chapter 157, that are rented as part of the summer rental season, are subject to high numbers of guests, resulting in large volumes of trash. This type of occupancy use presents a significantly higher impact than homes not used for summer rentals. In interest of public health and sanitation and environmental concerns, all rental homes shall have a minimum of one trash can per two bedrooms. Homes with an odd number of bedrooms shall round up (for examples one to two bedrooms – one trash can; three to four bedrooms – two trash cans; five – six bedrooms – three trash cans, and the like). In instances where three trash cans or more are required, one can may be substituted with a contractor approved recycling bin.

Property shown here advertises that there are seven (7) bedrooms. Ordinance compliance would require them to have four (4) trash cans at their property. In January of 2019, the Town staff declined the BOC’s offer to work with them on an enforcement policy. If my memory serves me, the Town staff said that it was their role not the Board’s to develop a plan of action. So, what’s the plan? This is not the only property that is not in compliance.

With no consequence for noncompliance: What do you expect?


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

    Previously reported – January 2020
    Dog park was utilized for canal dredging spoil site. We did some site ditching prior to Hurricane Dorian storm event to facilitate draining of the pond.

    Intent is to reestablish pre-dredge capabilities which in order of priority are as follows:
    . 1.
    Permitted primary disaster debris management area
    . 2.
    Public Works lay down yard
    . 3.
    Dog Park

    Must maintain compliance with environmental permit and monitoring
    Safety is the priority for this site, at present it is not ready for use


    Four people spoke during the Public Comments session at the January BOC’s meeting, all in favor of creating a new Dog Park area. The park was utilized by people daily. We no longer have anywhere on the island to walk a dog safely. The nearest dog park for off leash activity is in Shallotte. I think we should make every effort to provide an area for dogs on the island. My recommendation is to utilize existing town property. The Town actually owns quite a bit of property. For instance, we have two parcels between BAW and OBW, across from Marker Fifty-Five, that were platted as streets but never put in; between High Point Street and Neptune Drive. We had previously discussed the possibility of creating parking areas out of them, one of them could be made into a dog park. Parking should be on the BAW side of the park, so it doesn’t get taken over by guests going to the beach. The designated area would be an additional recreational opportunity as well as an option for having dogs off their leashes instead of in unauthorized areas like the beach strand. As for allocating funds the cost should be paid for by the canal POA’s. You ask: Why? In April of 2014 we established the Dog Park on Town owned property at Scotch Bonnet Drive, at a cost of $19,000 sourced from BPART account. The Canal Dredging Project was mostly paid for from the Water Resources Development Grant of $1,439,922 which we secured in December 2017. According to Town Manager Hewett, “the Canal Dredging Project is paying all costs for the reconstitution of the Scotch Bonnet site to include installation of dog park facilities at that location.” That’s all well and good but meanwhile we do not have a dog park. It is my humble opinion that the right thing to do is for them to pay to create a temporary replacement dog park too.

    NRPA Park Pulse: Americans Agree Dog Parks Benefit Local Communities
    Local parks and recreation agencies provide dog parks for the areas they serve
    Each month, through a poll of Americans that is focused on park and recreation issues, NRPA Park Pulse helps tell the park and recreation story. Questions span from the serious to the more lighthearted. With this month’s poll, we look at the possible benefits dog parks bring to their communities.

    91% of Americans believe dog parks provide benefits to their communities

    Availability of dog parks is especially popular among millennials (94 percent) and Gen Xers (92 percent) followed by baby boomers (89 percent) who agree dog parks provide benefits to communities.

    Top 3 Community Dog Park Benefits:

        • 60% Gives dogs a safe space to exercise and roam around freely
        • 48% Allows dogs to socialize with other dogs
        • 36% Allows owners a chance to be physically active with their pet

    For more information » click here

  • Previously reported – July 2020
    BOC’s are cognizant that the residents want a dog park. The Board went with Option #2 – Request the Parks and Recreation Committee to include a new dog park in their upcoming Master Plan development efforts and recommend a possible site.


    Corrections & Amplifications –

    A Second Helping
    They just completed the sixteenth 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 7,081 pounds of food and $1,243 in monetary donations. Their food collections have now exceeded two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) 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/

    A Second Helping bids farewell to Holden Beach collection season
    A Second Helping volunteers wrapped up their 15th season Saturday, Sept. 12, as Holden Beach vacationers departed the island and headed home. Despite COVID and a delayed beach season, volunteers collected 7,509 pounds of food, paper products, unused toiletries, garbage bags and other unused items, compared to 2019 collections of 14,330 pounds. A Second Helping also received $1,543 in cash donations this summer, compared to $1,849 collected the previous summer. “It was a wonky summer for us all,” said Doug Cottrell, operations manager. “Let’s hope by spring 2021 we are experiencing healthier and simpler lives.” A Second Helping operated throughout the beach season with the assistance of 42 volunteers … “half helping at collection, half helping with transportation of what we collect.” The group sets up camp in the Beach Mart parking lot on the Holden Beach causeway every summer, gathering items from 7 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. This summer, due to COVID restrictions, the collection season lasted only 15 weeks. A Second Helping kicked off the 2020 season on June 6. It plans to begin collecting again June 5, 2021.
    Read more » click here 

  • Editor’s Note –
    Even though we had one of the busiest rental seasons, donations were considerably lower than usual this year. That’s really bad news since those in need was even greater than usual. Meanwhile, they will continue to accept monetary donations to assist their efforts. I’d ask that perhaps you could see clear to make a monetary contribution this year to help make up for the shortfall.


  • Turtle Watch Program


Turtle Watch Program – 2020
. 1) Current nest count – 65 as of 09/20/20
.
Average annual number of nests is 39.5
. 2)
First nest of the season was on May 11th

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

>
Total number of nests historically –

        • 2012: 48
        • 2013: 73
        • 2014: 19
        • 2015: 53
        • 2016: 52
        • 2017: 50
        • 2018: 30
        • 2019: 105
        • 2020: 65

Odds & Ends –



Seasonal Police Officers

 

  • .
    Previously reported – June 2020
    Commissioner Sullivan requested a committee investigate the feasibility of hiring seasonal part-time police officers for the next budget year. The motion tasked the committee with looking into this option. Both Pat and Mike volunteered to be on the committee.

Editor’s note –
The Town of Holden Beach has 575 permanent residents and this year we have budgeted for ten (10) full-time officers and zero (0) part-time officers. By contrast, The Town of Ocean Isle Beach has 554 permanent residents and
employs thirteen (13) full-time officers and ten (10) part-time seasonal officers.

Previously reported – July 2020
Holden Beach ponders seasonal police help for 2021
Holden Beach commissioners are looking into the possibility of hiring summer law enforcement officers for the 2021 season. At a meeting last Thursday, July 2, the board started evaluating and discussing what is needed for that to happen.
Read more » click here

Update –
Holden Beach officials contemplate efforts to extend police force on island

The Town of Holden Beach held a special meeting Thursday, Sept. 3, to continue discussion on the feasibility of hiring seasonal law enforcement officers for the 2021 season. Following their last meeting on July 2, Holden Beach Police Chief Jeremy Dixon contacted other police chiefs in similarly situated municipalities to discuss their handlings of the beach strand. Dixon reported diverse policing across the towns but found a common problem is retention. In the future he wanted to hold a conference call with Ocean Isle Beach Police Chief Ken Bellamy because their town is similar. Dixon also presented the board with the cost of equipment and transportation for officers. Vehicles vary from $4,000 for a 4-wheeler to $20,000 for side-by-side vehicles. Dixon suggested paying new officers the starting salary of approximately $17/hour. The main area the committee was concerned about addressing were how to handle owners bringing dogs on the beach and golf cart violations. Commissioner Pat Kwiatkowski said they struggle to get police down fast enough to issue dog citations. “We basically never have citations issued for the dogs on the beach and I think people know that. Because we can’t get police officers down fast enough to actually capture it at the moment and that’s the reality of having our force on an 8-mile beach,” Kwiatkowski said. Hewett said the practicalities are hard, too, in regard to waiting for civilians to go back to their homes to get their license. He also was uninterested in solely issuing citation warnings. “I’m not a warning kind of guy. I dealt with two and three years of warning of cabanas. We went through all kinds of conniptions about seeing cabanas out there and tagging them and keeping track of who is under the cabana. If a dog is out there, write them a ticket,” Hewett said. “I do agree with you, but the feeling has been in a lot of people’s eyes that if there is a knowledge that you can get a citation, that if you catch someone early in the week, a new vacationer, and I can tell you now, down by us, down on the west end, our walkways do not have a sign about the violation for dogs. These are private walkways,” Kwiatkowski said. “We have vacationers come who they somehow don’t realize that dogs are not supposed to be on the strands during these hours. You tell them the first time, a lot of them then say, ‘Thank you, didn’t realize it.’” She felt citations should be limited to those who are already aware of the rule and choose to ignore it. In the most recent years, Holden Beach has employed two separate shifts, which overlap to allow more coverage on the island. “Programmatically we had envisioned two rangers in a vehicle and two shifts. It didn’t play out that way because the personnel was not needed,” Hewett said. “It wasn’t a logical deployment of the assets.” In addition to lack of manpower, Holden Beach had to contend with police vehicles being out for repairs. Dixon said most of the vehicles are replaced after two years since most do not make it through three years. Going forward Hewett said the town may consider leasing vehicles. Other issues raised from the last seasonal law enforcement officers committee meeting regarded how much enforcement was wanted on the quality of life issues frequently addressed on the beach. Commissioner Mike Sullivan raised several questions during the latest meeting: How much coverage does the town have on patrol, and how much coverage they need? What will it take to enforce the parking regulations and the beach strand? How will the town do it? The committee debated whether to limit the extra police force for the beach strand or the entirety of the island. “At the end of the day, my thought was we would come up with a plan that either says, ‘It’s a good idea to have police for these reasons,’ or, ‘It’s not such a good idea to have police for these reasons,’” Sullivan said. “I don’t want to pigeon-hole that we’re just looking at the strand.” “What could we do if we put beach ranger money to part-time police, plus we’re trying to save on officers? So, would it be fair to say, what kind of presence could you have, program could you have? How many people, how many hours if you were given beach ranger budget plus maximum one officer budget? I’m trying to kind of get a number there,” Kwiatkowski said. However, Sullivan said he’d rather tackle the issue by determining how many officers are necessary and then determine the cost. The committee also tried to define what is required so non-police officers could enforce rules and regulations on the beach. Hewett said civil citations for building violations are issued by building inspectors, but all other citations may be issued by any police officer or the town manager. Sullivan requested the chief and town manager check on the fringe benefit so they could have a side-by-side comparison of the costs for beach rangers as opposed to seasonal police officers. After his quick calculation of the salary comparison it appeared the difference was about $13,000. The group decided to hold one more meeting before contacting Bellamy so they could clarify the roles of the part-time officer and ask more specific questions.
Kwiatkowski said for the next meeting they needed to be clear about what is getting investigated for the blended program of the land and seaside. She also requested Dixon look into the frequency of parking and speeding violations. The next meeting is on Oct. 1.
Read more » click here


2019
Beach Ranger Program
Previously reported – 2009
Police took over Beach Patrol role previously handled by temporary seasonal employees

Previously reported – 2016
Commissioner Freer broached the issue of the public’s safety on the beach strand by taking the tack that he would like to see us supplement the Police force. Previously he pointed out that the current budget covers only eight (8) officers which are really not adequate to meet our needs during the 100 days of summer. The approach he suggested should be one of improving awareness as well as enforcement. His recommendation was as follows:

    • Under the Police Department umbrella consider a part-time seasonal staff for the beach strand
    • Under the umbrella of Parks & Recreation Board entertain establishing a Beach Ambassador Program

Previously reported – 2017
Target Ordinances –

      • Fill holes
      • Remove gear
      • Stay off dunes
      • No glass
      • Control pets – leash / waste

Purpose –
Put a friendly face out there to interact with guests
Educate guests about targeted ordinances to get compliance
Explain the purpose of the ordinance and consequences for non-compliance

Goals – keep beach protected, clean and safe

Beach strand ordinance compliance is a real quality-of-life issue. The flashing educational signs on the Causeway have significantly improved beach strand ordinance compliance. Still feel strongly that the Town should adjust staffing to respond to the seasonal increase in work load. Delighted that the Board finally decided to address this issue. I have made my position abundantly clear regarding having a seasonal code-enforcement team / beach patrol on the beach strand. They need to be on the beach strand to enforce ordinances and to ensure the public safety. Regardless of who or how many patrols the beach strand we need high visibility for them to be effective.

Update –
Currently there are three (3) Beach Rangers out there from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It was expanded to include a second shift extending the hours that they are on the beach strand, also added a second gator. Rangers are on the beach strand during the busiest time frame from roughly 8:30am till 7:30pm. They are out there to educate, provide information and assist folks. Program appears to be working well. I for one would like to see them expand the program by having it cover shoulder season too.


This and That –


County ranks 9th among the state’s 100 counties in spending by visitors
Domestic visitors to and within Brunswick County spent $633.62 million in 2019, an increase of 5.8 percent from 2018. The data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. Among the state’s 100 counties, Brunswick County ranks 9th in spending by visitors. In response to the release of the 2019 data, Bonnie Cox, chairman of the Brunswick County Tour-ism Development Authority, said, “We’re pleased with the continued growth in tour-ism’s economic impact on Brunswick County. Tourism is an essential part of our local economy, providing jobs and tax dollars necessary for the well-being of our community.

Tourism impact highlights for 2019
The travel and tourism industry directly employ more than 6,000 people in Brunswick County. Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Brunswick County was $125.63 million. State tax revenue generated in Brunswick County totaled $28.94 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. About $38.37 million in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses. Visitors to North Carolina set a record for spending in 2019. The $26.7 billion in total spending represented an increase of 5.6 percent from 2018.These statistics are from the “Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties 2019,” which can be accessed at https://partners.visitnc.com/economic-impact-studies. The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association. “The numbers confirm the strength of North Carolina’s tourism industry as an anchor of economic development,” said Wit Tuttell, director of Visit North Carolina. “As the No. 6 state in the country for overnight visitation, we can attribute our success to the natural beauty and authenticity that visitors experience, and to a passionate effort to inform and inspire travelers. The money they spend benefits everyone by sustaining jobs and reducing our residents’ tax burden.”

Statewide highlights
State tax receipts as a result of visitor spending rose 5 percent to more than $1.3 billion in 2019.Visitors spend more than $73 million per day in North Carolina. That spending adds $5.92 million per day to state and local tax revenues (about $3.7 million in state taxes and $2.2 million in local taxes). The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 235,000 North Carolinians. Each North Carolina household saves on average $551 in state and local taxes as a direct result of visitor spending in the state.
Brunswick Beacon


Factoid That May Interest Only Me –


COVID crashed North Carolina’s tourism sector, but vacation rentals are up
With spending down nearly 60% since March 1, the industry is trying to bring back its customers
While most people might still have the itch to get away this summer, the COVID-19 pandemic, and associated restrictions — not to mention health and safety concerns — have put the brakes on many travel plans. But there’s one sector of North Carolina’s battered tourism industry that is racing back — vacation rentals. Still, the state’s tourism sector has severely declined since the COVID-19 pandemic sent the national and state economies into a tailspin, according to a presentation made this week to the North Carolina Travel & Tourism Board. Surveys have been conducted to measure consumer sentiment and other efforts are underway to try to bring back the customers, presenters told the board. “It is estimated that North Carolina has suffered a loss of about $6.8 billion in travel spending from the beginning of the pandemic,” said Marlise Taylor, the director of tourism research for Visit North Carolina. Visit NC is part of the public-private Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, an economic development organization. The Travel & Tourism Board advises state policy makers on the industry’s matters. The $6.8 billion loss is a 57.9% decline in travel spending between March 1 and Aug. 1 of 2020 compared to March 1 and Aug. 1 of 2019, Taylor’s report states. The math works out to $11.74 billion in 2019 and $4.94 billion in sales this year. Local, state, and federal tax collections from travel spending are down $871 million, Taylor said. Weekly travel spending has rebounded some during the summer, but as of Aug. 1 was still 42% below last year’s numbers. The loss of local revenue prompted one North Carolina beach town to increase its parking rates mid-pandemic by up to 66% — raising the ire of many visitors. With rentals and hotel room stays all but suspended for several weeks at the start of the pandemic and many businesses forced to close or scale back their operations, Wrightsville Beach officials said they had little choice but to look to boost parking revenue to make up for the estimated 17% downturn in room-occupancy and sales tax proceeds.

Surge in demand’
But there is a bright spot, Taylor said: vacation rentals are running ahead of last year’s sales. Vacation rentals are short-term rentals of places like homes or cabins, and by far summer is their peak season from the mountains to the sea. Sales, measured as “guest nights,” dropped sharply March to April, but then spiked steeply, the data shows. They peaked in July at nearly 307,000 guest nights. This compares to the annual peak in July 2019 of almost 279,000, and of almost 281,000 in July 2018. Vacation rental bookings going forward remain strong into the fall, Taylor’s statistics show, and are running higher for August and September than they did in 2019 and 2018. Caleb Hofheins, marketing operations director for Greybeard Realty and Rentals in Asheville, said Taylor’s data matches the strong demand he has seen for the 220 vacation properties his company manages. “I think just the appeal of private accommodations has kind of spiked due to the pandemic and everything going on,” he said. A home or cabin provides a place with amenities (like a hot tub, kitchen and pleasant outdoor views and outdoor space) and isolation from other people, Hofheins said. At the same time, his guests who want to get out are close to the attractions in the Asheville area. Some of Hofheins’ guests this year originally planned to take other vacations, such as trips overseas, he said, or they are taking trips that were postponed from the spring when the shutdown started.
“It is obvious that some of the people that are booking with us aren’t used to vacation rentals, because they’ll, they’ll just mention like — have questions about — hotel type amenities that are different with vacation rentals, and stuff,” Hofheins said. Some people are taking the chance to escape a step further, especially with interest rates still hovering near historic lows. Vacasa, the country’s largest full-service vacation rental management company, said sales of vacation properties are booming. “We’ve seen a surge in demand for vacation homes across our portfolio, and real estate transactions are up as much as 35% in some of our vacation rental markets across the country when compared to July 2019,” said Shaun Greer, Vacasa’s vice president of sales and marketing, in a release this week accompanying the latest version of the company’s report noting the best places to buy a vacation home. “Many buyers believe we will be impacted by COVID-19 for the next 12 to 18 months, and are seeking a place close to home where they can get away with their families, work remotely if needed, and generate income when the home is not in use.” That trend can be seen in Southeastern North Carolina, which includes major second-home markets in the beach towns of New Hanover, Brunswick, and Pender counties. Home sales in July were up 34% over July 2019′s number, according to the Cape Fear Realtors, with pending sales last month up an eye-watering 54%.

Price doesn’t matter
Vacation rentals make up only about 3.5% of all commercial lodging room nights, Taylor said. She and others in the meeting outlined programs and research findings for the rest of the industry as it tries to find ways to boost sales under pandemic conditions:

A survey of 1,201 people conducted Aug. 7 – 9 found 46.5% have no plans for leisure travel the rest of the year. This was down from more than 50% saying that the prior week.

Among people have decided not to travel because of the coronavirus, 70.5% said discounts and price cuts wont change their minds.

A program called Count On Me NC provides training and certification that businesses have trained their employees how to conduct operations with the coronavirus threat. Customers can look up these businesses at CountOnMeNC.org, and the program is being promoted in advertisements.
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Rental homes meet a need for virus-wary vacationers
As people venture back out on the road again, they’re doing it on their own terms, and that often means avoiding hotels and major cities. “Short-term rentals, particularly vacation rentals, which usually are whole homes, are hot right now,” says Dennis Schaal, founding editor of Skift, a travel industry media company. “That’s because many travelers don’t want to get on a plane, are shunning cities and are driving to remote or nonurban locations for vacations, or even for work, as a temporary solution.” In July, Airbnb announced that for the first time in a single day since March, guests booked more than 1 million nights of stays. Of those, 50 percent were within 300 miles from home, and more than two-thirds were within 500 miles. Families are booking accommodations later in August, September, and October than in the past because flexible schooling and remote work allow for flexible travel, VRBO reports. Anecdotally, travelers say that they’re drawn to the privacy and solitude of a vacation rental, at a time when social distancing is paramount and anxieties about coronavirus exposure run high.
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COVID-19, hurricanes can’t dampen vacation rental market as Labor Day arrives
Occupancy rates are high at Wilmington-area beaches despite repeated and unexpected closures since the spring
First came the pandemic, then came the hurricane. For vacation rental companies, 2020 has delivered one hurdle after another. What started out as a promising spring was detoured in March when the initial wave of COVID-19 shutdowns closed beaches and vacation or short-term rentals with them. By May, most beach towns again allowed visitors to rent homes, opening the door to a busier-than-expected summer. Then hurricane season ramped up and churned out Isaias, which slammed into Southeastern North Carolina, closing rentals once again – some for a matter of days, others for a month. “It’s been something, I’ll tell you that,” said Kristen Goode, marketing director for Oak Island Accommodations. “2020 has been a year like no other, but thankfully, we’re still smiling down here in Oak Island.” On Friday, the final portion of the banged-up island restricted to visitors since the hurricane hit on Aug. 3, reopened for vacation rentals – just in time for Labor Day, the end of the summer tourist season. Goode said her company had about 100 properties (about a fifth of their total inventory) go back on the market for guests to rent after being unavailable for more than a month. Even with the temporary loss in inventory, the vacation rental market in Oak Island and throughout the region has been healthy – if not prosperous – in 2020, despite most property management companies bracing for the worst after the first pandemic-induced closures in the spring. “We found out early in the summer that a lot of people still really wanted that vacation they had planned, despite everything going on,” Goode said. “They could travel as a family to another house where they could still socially distance, they could be on a beach that has plenty of space to spread out, and even cook in their homes. It appealed to them, and gave them chance to just de-stress from everything.” As renters take stock of the summer that was, they are even bullish on just how good the summer rental market has been, in spite of everything. At Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach, Intracoastal Vacation Rentals property manager Ian Kraus said they weren’t fully prepared for the floodgates to reopen as soon as COVID closures were lifted. “This summer has been the busiest I have experienced here,” Kraus said. “We almost always have a handful of properties, maybe 5 or 10, that just didn’t get booked for whatever reason one week here and there, but we were 100 percent booked for the entirety of July and almost all of August this summer.” The same could be said for Sloane Realty Vacations, which serves Ocean Isle Beach and Sunset Beach in Brunswick County. General manager Whitney Sauls said they have been at 100 percent capacity this summer, something she was not expecting back in the spring. “It has been an exceptionally good summer, and we weren’t confident it would be back in April,” she said. “We were really worried how the summer would play out. But people want to be able to take a vacation and connect away from the living environment they’ve been confined to and vacation rentals are a safe way to do that.” Keeping business booming even in such uncertain and restrictive times has been the area’s drive-to capabilities. With people still hesitant to hop on airplanes and international travel still prohibited, 2020′s summer vacations have been largely centered on where people and families can get in their car and drive. In other words, Walt Disney World may have to wait, but the beach was there to cushion the blow. The Topsail Beach and Surf City area certainly benefited from those dashed vacations forcing people to look outside their usual plans. “This year, it has brought a new influx of people who have not been to Topsail Island before,” said Ashley Ides, a market assistant with Access Realty. “We’ve seen more people booking online or calling in to talk about the area. I think people are just trying something different if their vacations got canceled, they can’t go on cruises or don’t want to stay in hotels.” Also fueling this banner year for vacation rentals is the relative privacy afforded to those who can shell out for a few days or week in one of the homes. Most have contactless check-in with keypad access and plenty of restaurants at the beaches were serving takeaway dinners to enjoy at home. “The summer could have been a complete disaster, but with the seclusion of a vacation rental, it helps people have that safety of their own home and still have a vacation,” said Ides. All these vacation rental companies said at times they were overwhelmed with just how much business they saw this summer, and many expect it to continue well after Labor Day’s ceremonial end to summer. With many kids remote learning this semester and offices still allowing people to work from home, long-term rentals in the fall are pouring in. “The rest of September and October are still insanely busy, with a lot of longer-term rentals coming off the market for two or three months,” Kraus said. For Goode, it comes down to a simple pitch to guests weighing the options of a fall at home or at the coast. “Would you rather work on your computer in your kitchen or work with the ocean right in front of you?” she asked.
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  • 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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    There’s something happening here
    What it is ain’t exactly clear


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    Development Fees
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    Flood Insurance Program
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    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.
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    GenX
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    Homeowners Insurance
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    Hurricane Season

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    Inlet Hazard Areas
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    Lockwood Folly Inlet
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    Seismic Testing / Offshore Drilling
    For more information » click here
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    NC attorney general files federal lawsuit to block offshore drilling
    Attorney General Josh Stein on Wednesday announced he has filed a lawsuit that seeks to block the Trump Administration from allowing seismic exploration for oil and gas off the North Carolina coast. “Protecting our state’s beautiful natural resources – and the critical economic benefits they bring to our state – is one of the most important mandates of my job,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “North Carolinians have made their views crystal clear: We do not want drilling off our coast. I am going to court to fight on their behalf.” The Trump administration overruled North Carolina’s objections to offshore drilling, opening the way for WesternGeco, one of five companies seeking to conduct seismic exploration, to move one step closer to receiving necessary permits. Seismic testing uses powerful airguns that blast sounds at the ocean floor repeatedly for long periods of time. Marine experts say these sounds can harm sea life and coastal resources – and could have significant impacts on North Carolina’s fishing and tourism industries. ”It will have real impact on marine life and our fisheries, which will damage our economy,” Stein said. The state denied a permit WesternGeco needed to move forward with the process after holding a series of hearings, but the federal government cast that aside, which Stein argues violates the state’s right to control what happens off the coast. “They ignored the decision that the state of North Carolina made, I find that offensive and that’s why I’m going to go to court to try to stop it,” he said. Stein said coastal communities are largely in agreement that they don’t want drilling allowed. “Almost every single coastal county commission has issued a resolution opposing these oil rigs, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Democratic commission or Republican commission. This is not a partisan issue,” the attorney general said. “This is do you value the Outer Banks, the crystal coast, the Brunswick beaches, and if you do and you recognize its importance to the vitality and health of eastern North Carolina, then you will inevitably oppose the oil rigs.”
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    NC officials appeal federal decision to allow seismic surveying
    Governor Roy Cooper Wednesday announced North Carolina will continue to fight against seismic testing along the state’s coast. North Carolina has filed an appeal of the decision by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce to override the state’s objection to WesternGeco’s plan for offshore seismic testing. Gov. Cooper said in a press release Wednesday North Carolina has been clear in its position on seismic surveys. “We do not want seismic testing in our coastal waters, or the damage from offshore drilling that could follow,” the governor said. “The studies of our waters show little prospect for drilling, and the environmental damage to our coast could be irreparable if seismic testing goes forward.” Seismic surveying is a matter that has proven contentious in recent years, including in Carteret County. The surveys use blasts from pressurized air guns to test for offshore oil and natural gas deposits without exploratory drilling. Concerns have been raised by environmentalists, scientists, and others about the potential environmental effects of the surveys and the offshore drilling that may result from them. These concerns range from the blasts potentially injuring marine animals to the long-term effects of allowing offshore drilling near coastal economies that are heavily reliant on tourism. The complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Northern Division to appeal the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s June decision to override the state’s objection to the consistency certification under the Coastal Zone Management Act. In June of 2019, the Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management objected to WesternGeco’s proposal to conduct a Geological and Geophysical survey off the North Carolina coast. DEQ Secretary Michael Regan said in the press release state officials “will continue to take all necessary actions to protect our coastal resources and economy.” “These destructive activities are not welcome off the North Carolina coastline,” Mr. Regan said. “We support the communities along our coast who have vehemently opposed seismic testing that would lead to offshore drilling.” In 2019, local government leaders signed a resolution to oppose seismic testing and the offshore drilling that could follow. Coastal leaders also expressed their concerns about the effects of offshore drilling on the state’s coastal economy during a roundtable with Gov. Cooper last fall. The N.C. Department of Justice is representing the state in the matter. Documents related to the case can be found on the DCM website at deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/coastal-management/coastal-management-permits/federal-consistency/national-oil-and#seismic-surveys.
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  • NC Absent from Expanded Offshore Drilling Moratorium
    Just after labor day, President Trump extended a moratorium on oil and gas drilling in a portion of the Central and most of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, and expanded the decade-long ban to planning areas off the coast of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. During his remarks, the President extended “congratulations to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and frankly North Carolina.” Unfortunately, North Carolina was not included in the expanded moratorium so frankly, there is no reason to celebrate. If anything, the recent order should cause concern since North Carolina remains under consideration for proposed offshore oil and gas lease sales. As background, the Bureau of Ocean and Energy Management is the federal agency responsible for administering the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program (National OCS Program) and established schedule for oil and gas lease sales, which is developed on a 5-year basis. BOEM is currently administering the lease sale schedule outlined in the 2017 – 2022 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Proposed Final Program that includes sales within the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico as well as Cook Inlet, AK. In 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order to implement an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy and develop a new National OCS Program that would allow oil and gas drilling along the South Atlantic. As a result, 2019 -2024 Draft Proposed Program, or plan for future offshore oil and gas lease sales, was released to the public for review and comment in January 2018. Offshore drilling and seismic surveying for oil and gas exploration would not be compatible with our vibrant coastal environment and economy. That’s the sentiment from 100% of the oceanfront municipalities. The North Carolina coast has been off-limits to offshore drilling for over 30 years, help us keep it that way by contacting your local, state, and federal representatives to request they call for expansion of the recently announced moratorium to include North Carolina and the entire Atlantic Coast.
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    Cooper urges Trump administration to include North Carolina in offshore oil drilling moratorium
    Governor Roy Cooper said he’s reached out to President Donald Trump and his administration to include North Carolina in the recently announced moratorium on offshore oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. Last week, Trump extended a ten-year moratorium on offshore oil drilling for South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, but did not include North Carolina in the executive order. “I am deeply concerned and disappointed that you did not include North Carolina in the moratorium,” Cooper wrote in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday. “Offshore drilling threatens North Carolina’s coastal economy and environment and offers our state minimal economic benefit. Accepted science tells us that there is little, if any, oil worth drilling for off North Carolina’s coast, and the risks of offshore drilling far outweigh the benefits.” Cooper said the dangers of offshore drilling would threaten coastal communities by jeopardizing tourism, commercial and recreational fishing, and natural resources that generate $3 billion annually for North Carolina and supports 30,000 jobs. During a virtual briefing last week, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said President Trump would include North Carolina in the executive order if state officials wanted to be. “I don’t know where North Carolina will be, but I talked to the president last night. He said if they wanted to be included in the executive order then he would do that,” Graham said during the Sept. 9 briefing. Forty-five North Carolina communities have adopted formal resolutions opposing the expansion of drilling, Cooper said. In the meantime, Attorney General Josh Stein told WECT on Monday that his office will continue its lawsuit against the Trump administration for approving permits for seismic testing off North Carolina’s coast.
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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.
    ///// Outdoor dining at area restaurants
    Name:           Indochine                                                                                                           Cuisine:         Asian
    Location:      7 Wayne Drive, Wilmington NC
    Contact:        910.251.9229 /
    https://www.indochinewilmington.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
    Indochine is an Asian fusion restaurant serving delicious authentic Asian cuisine. It is a great food establishment; the place is always packed. The food is incredible; the portions are huge, with relatively inexpensive prices. The beautifully decorated environment is delightful both inside and outside and is like a trip to the Orient.  In a nutshell, it is a great value for the price. This is my favorite restaurant in Wilmington. It’s about as good as it gets! They have been voted Best Restaurant Overall, Best Thai Restaurant, Best Atmosphere, numerous years running in the Best of Wilmington done by Encore Magazine.

    Photos: Indochine Restaurant
    Indochine restaurant is located at 7 Wayne Drive in Wilmington. The extremely popular restaurant specializes in Thai and Vietnamese food and opened in 2000. They also feature a large outdoor seating area behind the restaurant.
    Read more » click here


    Cloud 9         
    9 Estell Lee Pl
    Wilmington, North Carolina 28401
    910.726.9226
    https://www.cloud9ilm.com/

    Enjoy panoramic views from the Cloud 9 rooftop bar which overlooks picturesque downtown Wilmington. This premier open-air rooftop venue is located on the Riverwalk in downtown Wilmington on the ninth floor of the Embassy Suites. The bar is open seven (7) days a week at 4:00 PM and is currently serving almost fifty (50) different brews on tap and in cans and more than 20 wine selections. They also offer live music Thursday through Saturday evenings throughout the summer months. This is a must visit the next time you are in Wilmington.


    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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ONE MINUTE OUT
by Mark Greaney
This is the ninth entry in the Gray Man novel series. Courtland Gentry the former CIA operative, the world’s most dangerous assassin who is better known as the Gray Man, takes on  an international sex slave cartel. The Gray Man makes it his personal mission to burn the entire operation to the ground, and those who oppose him usually end up dead. Writing in the first-person narrative mode, allows Gentry to speak directly to the reader.

 


  • .That’s it for this newsletter

    See you next month


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