Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Fix® Ho-Ho-Hosting Holiday Snapfest Photo Contest

APEX, N.C.  -- North Carolina’s happiest startup, Happy Fix® (www.happyfix.com), is inviting its growing community of Happbassadors to join the seasonal fun with the company’s “Holiday Happy Fix” Snapfest hosted on SnapYeti, the popular online photo contest marketplace. Participants are invited to share a photo of their favorite holiday-related tradition, event, symbol, or activity that provides a Happy Fix at www.snapyeti.com/contests/256 and compete for the most votes, with the winner being awarded a free HPY Mug after the contest ends December 31. The popular smiling white porcelain mugs of happiness are reminders that individuals have the power to start their days by celebrating what's great in life. The HPY Mug is one of two brand-new Happy Fix products introduced for the holidays, alongside the HPY Holidays Long Sleeve Tee, 100% pre-shrunk heavyweight cotton t-shirts featuring the popular Happy Fix "HPY" logo design all wrapped up in a string of holiday lights set against a snow white background.

Ocracoke's Annual Oyster Roast Coming December 27

OCRACOKE, N.C. -- Christmastime heralds a much anticipated event on Ocracoke -- the annual Oyster Roast at the Ocracoke Seafood Company from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27. This year is the ninth year of this fundraiser for the Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association (OWWA) which operates “the fish house,” as it is called, that supports the activities of about 30 commercial fishermen. “This is a thank-you for the community,” said Patty Plyler, who along with her husband, fisherman Hardy Plyler, works at the Fish House and helps organize the roast. “We’re all about community and how important it is to have fresh, local fish for sale.” Along with all the oysters you can eat, there will be steamed shrimp and fish stew, the latter courtesy of Vince O’Neal, a fisherman who also owns Pony Island Restaurant. For this annual oyster fest, the group sets up two rows of plywood tables on top of saw horses. Then they dump piles of steamed oysters on the tables while patrons, who are asked to bring their own oyster shuckers, stand and shuck away.

Senate Helps Open Up OBX Beach Driving...A Little

(from The Island Free Press)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After a week of seemingly endless procedural delays and debate, the U.S. Senate this evening passed the $585 billion National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of  89 to 11. Attached to the bill and also passed is a public lands package of bills, one of which includes some significant changes to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore's Off-Road Vehicle Plan. The House of Representatives easily passed the bill last week on Thursday, Dec. 4. The defense authorization bill, H.R. 3979, now goes to the desk of President Barack Obama, who is expected to quickly sign it. The Cape Hatteras legislation instructs the Secretary of Interior to review and adjust wildlife protection buffers, keep them in place the shortest possible duration, designate vehicle and pedestrian corridors around resource closures, and confer with the state of North Carolina on certain buffers and protections. It also makes other modifications to the final ORV plan, such as conducting a public process to consider such changes as the earlier opening of beaches that are closed at night during the summer, extending seasonal ORV routes in the fall and spring, and modifying the size and location of vehicle-free areas.

Wright Brothers National Memorial Holds Annual Celebration

KITTY HAWK, N.C. -- On Wednesday, December 17, 2014, the First Flight Society and the National Park Service continued the tradition of honoring the accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright at the 111st anniversary celebration of the first heavier-than-air powered flight. The event took place at the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center and Park entrance fees were waived for the day.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

More NC Coastline Sea Level Rise Warnings on the Way

(from The Charlotte Observer)
NAGS HEAD, N.C. --  North Carolina scientists mapping future sea-level rise will have their last public meeting Monday before the group issues its much-anticipated projections this month to prepare coastal residents for increased flooding and more violent storm surges. The science panel’s report will be the first of its kind in the nation. Rather than providing a single sea-level rise forecast for the state’s entire coastline, the scientists will issue separate projections for four different geographic zones within the state. “I don’t know anyone who’s gone that far,” said Skip Stiles, executive director of Wetlands Watch in Norfolk, Va. “In Virginia, that’s been a big head-scratcher for us.” The segmented projections indicate the North Carolina scientists’ growing sophistication – and caution – in issuing pronouncements related to climate change. Their last prediction – in 2010, that North Carolina’s sea levels could rise 39 inches by century’s end – triggered a firestorm of protest from climate-change skeptics and coastal developers. The scientists’ range was 15.7 to 59.1 inches of sea-level rise by 2100.

New Dowdy Park to Rise in Nags Head

(from The Virginian-Pilot)
NAGS HEAD, N.C. -- A fanciful ride that looks like an orange spaceship with wings is painted on a cedar shingle. The artwork hangs from a concrete wall where the landmark Dowdy's Amusement Park once stood. The piece is signed by Grace, one of dozens of elementary school students who painted their ideas for a new park to replace the attraction that closed nine years ago. The town of Nags Head plans to build a new Dowdy Park on 5 acres next to U.S. 158 across the street from the YMCA.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Outer Banks Beach Driving Gaining Support in U.S. Congress

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The House of Representatives recently passed a bill that contains Sen. Richard Burr's "Preserving Public Access to Cape Hatteras Beaches Act." It would set rules that the National Park Service would have to abide by when it limits where off-road vehicles can go on the beaches. Burr urged the House to include his measure in the bill it passed, his office said in a statement. It hasn't passed the Senate yet, but Burr said that he expects that will happen soon.

Environmentalists Weigh in on Great White Shark Caught in OBX

OUTER BANKS, N.C. -- A great white shark caught in October at an Outer Banks beach marked the first time that one of the animals has ever been landed from shore on the East Coast, and images of the catch and release have prompted anger among conservationists who protest the way the shark was treated. The catch was made by Jeff Heglund in October. Heglund posted about the incident on the Calvary Temple Youth Group blog. The story began to spread after the South Florida Shark Club shared it, claiming that the incident represented the first instance in which a great white has ever been caught from a shore line on the East Coast of the United States.

Outer Banks Takes A Beating

(from The Outer Banks Voice)
RODANTHE, N.C. -- A low pressure system pushed closer to the coast Monday, delivering more wind and rain with big surf grinding away beaches from Cape Hatteras to Corolla. High tide and northeast winds pushed the ocean into the dune line, and in some areas over and through, creating a mess on northern beaches and shutting down N.C. 12 from Oregon Inlet to Rodanthe for much of the day. The road reopened by mid-afternoon, but more flooding is possible at high tides through Tuesday, the state Department of Transportation said.