Letter to the Editor: OBX experiences ‘warm trend’ in January

Published 3:14 pm Wednesday, January 18, 2023

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To the Editor:

Dare County residents, if you read The Coastland Times regularly you may have noticed that there are quite a few hot-spots of public concern within the narrow shores of this barrier island. Way “up North” in Corolla another major development plan is stalled and perhaps better stated “stuck,” until the DOT and mid-Currituck bridge builders can agree to move forward. I heard the mid-Currituck bridge project described as being a “myth” evolved by various town, county, and state leaders to take the heat off Southern Shores, Duck, and Corolla’s summer driving challenges. I’m beginning to believe part of that myth, and the Corolla Boat Club may want to rethink everything before ordering any boat fenders for the proposed docks.

Slip into the Duck town limits from “up North” and you don’t have to travel very far before you reach the slightly offshore site of the proposed “Vesta” project which involves the placement of ground olivine (quartz-like silicate that absorbs carbon) off the beach a few clicks North of the world famous “Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s Field Research Facility,” better known as Duck Pier and the same folks who as would not grant Duck an entry permit to access the beautiful but shrinking beaches of this part of our island so that sand may be blown in. Both projects are “pending” and the Vesta project prompted strong criticism from a concerned Duck resident who asks, “How do we know what Vesta/Olivine will do to humans and wildlife?” Either way, probably be best to “blow in” the sand before the green sand is dumped and becomes part of the actual Duck beach … Or maybe not, there are many black sand beaches, why not green?

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And a little South in our town of Southern Shores (SS), giving the Summer traffic trap a rest, the questioning of the “sand remediation” question is in full voice. In recent CT comments, one SSer believes we did not get our money’s worth, particularly if you head “up North” to the Duck line. And another astute SSer affirms that a 2017 ruling made it clear that no beach blowing was necessary past Third Avenue. Most recently the ever even-keeled town manager has clarified that “Weeks Marine will return in March…, (bring) every station north of Fifth Avenue to 22 cubic yards per foot.” Well done, even to the less controversial start at 5th Avenue.

Kitty Hawk is awaiting transformation of the old Sentara site into a new police station, which will have easy access to the new and fully packed Sugar Kingdom across the street, I hear they plan to add a drive thru. KDH has its own Sugar Kingdom and plenty of necessary congestion. Just over the Nags Head line there’s a very warm situation regarding remarks made by town commissioners in a letter to the state about the Rogallo Foundation and their proposal to build a museum celebrating the inventor of the flexible wing (Francis Rogallo), as well as build a gift shop. The foundation felt the letter was “riddled with … errors” and demanded the letter be rescinded and an apology given. The mayor, Ben Cahoon, another even-keeled official said that “The state’s letter) reads as definitive to me and there’s no further action for this board to consider.”

Mayor Cahoon affirms the state’s letter sanction and also casts the only “nay” in what seems like another even warmer fire in Nags Head town. The county board approved an agreement with the Woda Cooper Group to build low income housing earlier this year. Then after a 100 day moratorium to consider a town outcry over ecological threat and historic character, were influenced to reconsider their decision, amend the C-2 law, and basically tell Woda it won’t a’ be happening (at this point anyway). Some major influencing must have gone on and now Nags Head is stuck perhaps with where to put the low income housing. Is not all of Nags Head ecologically fragile and historically significant? Please don’t look at some of those higher Hammocks in the marshes close to Wan-Che-say.

And as Clint E. says “you learn to live with it …”

Russ Watkins
Southern Shores