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It's Sunday August 31, 2014 Dock Quote: “Stupidity is when...

News From The Village Updated Almost Daily

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Letter: Shopping Local At Town-n-Country:

Buying Now For The Future. Letters To The Editor

Local Fisherman Infected With Waterborne Bacteria:

Precautions For Fishermen. Letters To The Editor


Dream of the Fuel Efficient Cruiser. The Shipping News

Dragon Boat Festival 2014:

13 Teams At River Dunes. The Story

Letter of Thanks for Ukuleles:

Fundraiser Brings 24 Ukes To School. Letters To The Editor

Big Trawlers At New Town Dock:

Questions of Why That's Allowed. The Story

Letters: Large Trawlers At New Town Dock:

Query: How Will Town Board Respond?. Letters To The Editor

Propst Gets NC Coastal Pelican Award:

Recognizing Action To Protect And Preserve The Coastal Environment. The Story

Letters: Remembering Margaret Madgwick:

Trailblazing For Bike Paths. Letters To The Editor

The 2014 British Open at Minnesott :

Supporting Pamlico High Golf. The Story


Flight of the Condor. The Shipping News

Letter: Thanks From Hope Clinic:

Readers Come Through. Letters To The Editor

Croaker Regatta 2014:

Schools Of Sunfish & FJs On The Neuse. The Story

Letters: Croakerfest 2014:

A Job Well Done. Letters To The Editor

Scenes From Croakerfest 2014:

Song, Hats, Seeds. The Story

Croakerfest 2014 Parade:

Pirates, Pageant Queens, Politicians. The Story

Croakerfest 2014 Schedule:

34th Annual Croakerfest. The Story

Oriental Gets Ready For Hurricane Arthur:

It Takes A Village Time To Prep. The Story

Cardboard Boat Regatta:

First Annual at Paradise Cove Marina. The Story

Letters: Stop Tolls On the Ferries, Year 3:

Once Again, Lawmakers Need Reminding. Letters To The Editor

Far Niente :

Doing Nothing But Fueling Up. The Shipping News

State Bar Injunction On Bill Sage:

Keeps Attorney From "Any Fiduciary Capacity" Until "Further Order From The Court". The Story

Letters: Remove All Ferry Tolls:

The Economic Benefits To North Carolina. Letters To The Editor

Leukemia Cup Regatta 2014:

4th Annual Raises $140,000. The Story

Glenda's House Of Alterations:

Don't Alter Glenda's. Drawing The Town

2014 Sunfish Masters In Oriental:

Ongoing Effort To Host More Races. The Story

Silospalooza 2014:

Playing in the Parking Lot. The Story

Lightnings Strike Again In Oriental:

Return of Southeast Regionals. The Story

Letters: Literacy Tutors Seeking Students:

Reading Lessons. Letters To The Editor

Letters: Recycling :

No Room at The Bins. Letters To The Editor

Art on the Neuse 2014:

Tradition Of Giving A Start on the Neuse. The Story

18.9 Nautical Miles Sailor - ODC's Long Distance Race:

ODC Results From May 10. The Story

Primary Vote Results:

Sawyer Wins Sheriff's Primary In Pamlico. The Story

Primary Elections Ballot Guide 2014:

Who Is On The Ballott May 6. The Story

Primadonna's Latest Controversy:

Scavenging, Wrecking or Theft?. The Story

Oriental Boat Show 2014 Working Skiff:

Boat Made & Raffled Off. The Story

Scenes From The Oriental Boat Show 2014:

Rotary's Move To In-Town Show A Success. The Story

Boat Show 2014 - Hope Floats In:

Paddling 200+ Miles of Neuse To Oriental . The Story

Oriental Boat Show Nautical Flea Market:

Open Air Museum. The Story

Launching A Jeep:

Check your parking brake. The Story

Cycle NC 2014 Ride in Oriental:

1100 Cyclists, Many Wheels, One Dragon. The Story

Wurlitzer: Work Goes On:

Update on Red Lee Jukebox At Oriental Museum. The Story

Voter Registration Deadline Looms, Fewer Early Voting Hours:

Changes To Voting Laws Go Beyond Photo ID. The Story

Board Says No SUP for Extended Deck :

Calling A Deck A Deck. The Story

Oriental Local Knowledge:

A Readers' Guide On What To Look For. The Story

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Along the waterfront in Oriental this morning, a sailboat named Again and behind her, Capt. Cecil and other shrimping trawlers whose crews have brought their catch to Garland Fulcher Seafood. As the shrimp season wanes, there are fewer trawlers on the harbor on the weekends.

Saturday August 30, 2014

A murky start with the cloud cover, and there is a 20% chance of rain — cos it is still after all, The Soggy August of 2014. But the sun’s poking thru.

Lots going on this Labor Day Saturday. Out on the river, you should be seeing a bunch of sails, among them the participants in the Oriental Dinghy Club’s First Labor Day Pursuit Race. It gets going at 11a. Here on land, the Oriental Farmers’ Market is happening on Hodges from 8-11a – honey, eggs, baked goods, produce and jewelry. The full listing is here.

Inside, Village Gallery has its ever changing collection of works by artists with a local connection. Oriental’s History Museum has exhibits from both on high — a display of aerial photos of town and one where you can mark your place — as well as from the terra firma – fossils. And of course, the restored Wurlitzer falling somewhere in between on that time line.

Tonight, Dale Montgomery’s leading his Oriental ghost walk starting at the Dinghy Dock. How to get in touch — with Dale — see here. (Getting up with the spirits… that’s more than a click away.)

Friday August 29, 2014

12:14p Cristobal is now officially “post tropical” – no longer a hurricane or tropical storm. It looks like we are clear of any storms for the next week of hurricane season. The only current concern is a bit of breeze off Africa. From the Tropical Outlook:

A tropical wave near the west coast of Africa is producing minimal shower activity. Environmental conditions are expected to remain unfavorable for development of this system during the next several days while it moves westward near 15 mph across the eastern and central tropical Atlantic.

8:58a This week TownDock.net received a beautifully written letter to the editor. It came by US mail, which is rare, but rather nice. A stamp and everything. It was really well written, with obviously much thought. But it was anonymous. TownDock’s requirements for letters are simple:

No anonymous letters will be accepted. Well-made, civilly-spoken points welcomed. Please include the city & state where you live. Please limit your letter to 500 words.
Basically, say who you are, and be civil. That’s all.

We also received another letter on the Town & Country/Walmart story – Charlie Garrett writes in…

8:02a Vibrio Vulnificus​ is a waterborne bacteria that can occur in our waters during the summer. A local fisherman was infected with it recently. Ashley Erwin sends in this cautionary note for local fishing.

7:23a There’s some Sunfish sailing news this morning. First off, Jerry Dasson, Sunfish Fleet Captain for the Oriental Dinghy Club, reports a great showing by ODC Sunfish racers last weekend:

This past weekend Blackbeard Sailing Club, at Fairfield Harbor in New Bern, held its first annual “One Design Regatta”.

Seven One Design Classes were represented. The Sunfish class had the largest number of entrants – 12 boats. Four members of the ODC Sunfish Fleet participated. Charlie Garrett was victorious with a 1st place win followed by George Midyette in 3rd, Todd Cox in 8th (on a loaner boat), and Ned Albee (a new Sunfish racer), in 9th.

Also in Sunfish news – we have two local entrants in the October Sunfish Worlds at Camp Sea Gull.

It’s Oriental’s world famous “Midyette Brothers” – Ken “Turtle” Midyette & George Midyette (they’re cousins, but seen on the water together so often that “Midyette Brothers” is frequently used). They were selected with the last two slots available for a Sunfish Worlds invite. Both are accomplished sailors, but Turtle admits to playing up the “local family roots card” pretty hard in their application. Team TownDock will be cheering on the Midyette Brothers in the Worlds.

The Sunfish Worlds will be amazing to have just down the road from Oriental. Oriental has another key part in the Worlds. All 72 of the brand new Sunfish Race boats are coming from Sunfish Dealer Triton Yachts in Oriental.

Thursday August 28, 2014

7:43a This morning Hurricane Cristobal is just north of us (36.3N – Oriental is 35.02N) as it passes by – harmlessly out to sea. All should be calm for at least a week now, but we are heading into the historically peak part of hurricane season – the end of August through the first 3 weeks of September.

There is a disturbance just off Africa that could be the next system we need to watch. The next names on tap for the 2014 storm season are Dolly, Edouard and Fay.

Sunshine, dry and highs near 90 today & Friday. A small (20%) chance of rain Saturday along with light winds for the Labor Day Pursuit Race.

Saturday night, take a walk into old Oriental. It’s the Ghost Walk, starts up at 8:30p near the dinghy dock. Dale Montgomery has collected some unusual stories about Oriental’s past.

Wednesday August 27, 2014

Oriental Dinghy Club has put together a race for this Saturday and on short notice, they’re getting a good race together. This is a pursuit race, the kind where there’s not a gazillion boats all at the start line at once, making for less anxiety about sharing hull paint. It’s a gentler, kinder race that, mathematically, would have the boats closer together at the finish. ODC is hoping some not-so-frequent racers will take part. There’s still time to get in on this Labor Day Pursuit Race. Today’s the day they wanted to get a sense of how many boats were taking part. More info here.

Saturday’s been the traditional day for the Oriental Farmers’ Market, but a few of the vendors have lately been setting up on Wednesday’s as well. They’ll be out there on Hodges from 3 to at least 5p. Plants, biscotti, produce and garlic are on tap..every bit of it locally grown or locally made.

The Board of Adjustment met yesterday and for three hours heard testimony and deliberated over whether an RV set up at Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor should get a pass on being in violation of the Town’s zoning and development rules, aka, the Growth Management Ordinance. A recap just below.

Tuesday August 26, 2014

5:41p The Board of Adjustment has upheld the decision by Oriental Town Manager Diane Miller that an RV a man is living in at Knute Bysheim’s Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor was in violation of Town ordinance. The 4-0 vote by board members Ken Small, Doug Carmichael, Paul Olson and Joe Valinoti came about three hours after the hearing started. (Background is here.)

town hall signOne argument for appeal was that those with boats at the marina had over the years used trailers to live in while they worked on their boats. However, that attempt at being grandfathered in failed as there was no evidence – such as a paper trail – specifying that trailers were used continuously since before 1999 when the Town passed its Growth Management Ordinance which set limits on RV living.

The appeal failed on another score in that there was no evidence that Bysheim sought permits for people to live in RV’s, nor a Special Use Permit for a campground. Further, the Board noted that while the GMO requires a sewer hook-up for an RV, there was no evidence of such with this RV.

Bysheim declined to provide comment when approached after the Board’s decision. His attorney, Alexander Dawson, made inquiries about appeal. Once the ruling is formally written and entered in to record, by the end of this week, Bysheim would have 30 days to take the case to Superior Court.

Oriental’s attorney, Scott Davis, said afterward that Oriental’s Board of Commissioners may want to revisit the Town’s rules, which currently say a 2 week RV stay may be extended to 6 months if a person is working on a house. The GMO is currently silent on living in RV’s for half a year while working on boats. Town Manager Miller agreed, after the hearing, that that’s something for the Town Board to consider. She said that in her decision affecting Bysheim she was only implementing the Town’s rules as written.

10:40a More letters in this morning about both shopping at Town & Country, and the effect of having Walmart in our town.

Hurricane Cristobal continues its trek north/northeast. The Category 1 hurricane is forecast to stay out at sea.

While there may be tropical storm conditions in Bermuda Wednesday, we don’t expect to feel the storm at all here. A good reference point is Hurricane Earl (Sept 2010). Earl was offshore, but still much closer than Cristobal is expected to be. Earl caused hardly a breeze in town.

5:39a Cristobal has been upgraded to hurricane status, now with winds near 75 mph. The forecast track remains cooperative though, keeping Hurricane Cristobal well offshore.

Oriental’s Board of Adjustment meets this afternoon for a hearing on whether Whittaker Creek Yacht Harbor should have been declared a campground. The Town Manager said no, that it wasn’t grandfathered in as such. The owner of the marina, Knute Bysheim appealed. At the center of this is an RV on the peninsula there in which a man has been living since at least early this year. The Town says he can’t because it’s not a campground.

While Bysheim has said the site has a sewer pumpout as a campground would need, the Town says CAMA inspected recently and found no means of pumping out the RV, which sits a few yards from the waters of Whittaker Creek. Last week’s hearing was continued to this week after Bysheim’s attorney said he was stuck in an airport in Puerto Rico. Hearing’s at 2p .

The Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival on Sept 13 is shaping up really well. A dozen porches will be stages that day and as of yesterday’s requested deadline, 17 different musical acts have signed on. There’s still time for more local artisans to get a space to sell their work. Here’s how.

The Letters to the Editor inbox has been a busy spot in recent days, as writers weigh in on the possibility of Oriental becoming Ruth-less if Town-n-Country grocery closes.

Monday August 25, 2014

11:42a News from Town Hall – high waters have the Town Dock closed to overnight visitors:

Town Dock #1 is closed to overnight visitors due to rising water; currently the water is over the bulkhead. The water levels have the potential to rise even further due to the approach of TS Cristobal. Notice will be posted when the dock is available for use.

Town Dock #1 is the original dock on Hodges St. Town Hall informs us that it is OK to use the dock for a brief tie-up during the day.

The high waters (and pleasantly cool temps) we are getting are from the north winds. Those winds are expected to be lighter by Wednesday, and water levels are then likely to recede at least partially.

The current track of Tropical Storm Cristobal has it off North Carolina Wednesday morning, and probably then at hurricane strength. However, Cristobal is forecast to be far enough offshore that we do not expect its effects to be felt locally.

Tropical Storm Cristobal links:

Tropical Storm Cristobal Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Cristobal Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Tropical Storm Cristobal Public Advisory
Pamlico Sound Marine Weather Forecast

10:47a Impulse, the boat that dragged anchor in to the Pecan Grove channel has been moved. The dockmaster at Pecan Grove says he got in touch last night with the boat’s owner, who said he’d been at his father’s funeral and counted on friends to keep an eye on the boat in Oriental’s anchorage. The boat owner got there at first light today and took it out of the channel.

Still more letters to the editor about our town’s locally owned grocery, Town-n-Country and the impact the WalMart Express store has had since it opened in May a few hundred feet away.

Another day like yesterday. High of 81, NE wind bringing a hint of autumn to the air. Oriental Weather Forecast has the week looking pretty dry. Some chance of rain at the weekend, alas.

Sunday August 24, 2014

8:47a The system has been upgraded – we now have Tropical Storm Cristobal. It appears like a bullet will be dodged… a front will push Cristobal away from our shores later this week.

Keep track of Tropical Storm Cristobal:

Tropical Storm Cristobal Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Cristobal Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Tropical Storm Cristobal Public Advisory

Meanwhile, back in river city: This may be the best forecast we’ve seen all month. Just a 20 percent chance of rain today and then, the Oriental Weather Forecast has no other mention of rain for days. Six straight days that could be … we have to whisper this… dry. OK, we could get edges of Cristobal later this week, but still.

More Letters to the Editor, on making a point of shopping at Town-n-Country in order to avoid a Ruth-less Oriental.

In the many years before Netflix, the only way to see a movie was to go to a theatre, where the films came on reels that were so big, the movie houses needed two big projectors to seamlessly (usually) show the whole film. Oriental’s movie house closed decades ago — it’s now Oriental’s Old Theatre — and the two projectors are currently in Oriental’s History Museum.

Thing is, while two projectors were needed to show a movie, only one is needed now to show how much the technology has changed.

So, wanna buy a projector? The museum is looking for a new home for one projector in order to free up some room to display other items that tell Oriental’s story and history. Plus proceeds from the sale would go toward the museum’s operations. This’d be a cool gift for your movie-buff friend. Or for someone who wants a piece of the Town’s history. For more info, contact Sharon Breitling at museum@dockline.net

Tomorrow’s the last day for musicians to sign up to play in the September 13 Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival on Oriental’s Broad and Hodges Streets. Details here. They’re also giving local artisans a chance to show and sell their handmade works.

6:02a The front is cooperating – and you can see it in the latest forecast track for Tropical Depression Four. The storm is now clearly forecast to turn northeast later this week before reaching our shores:

This morning the system’s winds are at 30knots/35 mph. It will strengthen later today to tropical storm strength (greater than 34knots/39mph), becoming Tropical Storm Cristobal. The Forecaster’s Discussion indicates Cristobal will barely reach hurricane strength (75 mph) late this week as it is expected to turn northeast. This morning the many computer models are all in agreement about this staying offshore.

While it all looks positive from our perspective, being ready for a tropical storm visit is always a healthy plan this time of the year on the NC coast.