It's Monday May 20, 2013 Dock Quote: “What happens if...
News From The Village Updated Almost Daily
- Budget Mtg - Water Plant Tour - Tues May 21
- Hanna Jubran @ Village Gallery
- Bow To Stern Youth Sailing Camp - Register Now
- Silospalooza Sat May 25
- Farmers' Mkt - May 25 - Honeybee Workshop
- Maggie Arndt @ Library - Thru May
No Time Limit Keeping More Visitors Away?. Letters To The Editor
To Pay Defense For Cox v. Oriental. Letters To The Editor
Wrap Up of Week of Meetings. The Story
On What Goes In. Letters To The Editor
He keeps on ticking. Pet Of The Month
Photos From The 10th Annual Arts Festival. The Story
Lou Mac Park Site To Send Data. The Story
On Sanderson's Sponsorship, and Vote Against. Letters To The Editor
Boat Fees Would Rise Under Plan Now On Its Way To NC House. The Story
Scenes From The Sales. The Story
The Next Best Boat. The Story
Leaving The Light On.... Letters To The Editor
Photo Essay: Food Fighting Birds. The Story
Over 240 Legs At PAWS Eighth Annual Event. The Story
Black Velvet Fundraiser On Saturday. The Story
Scenes From The Show. The Story
Boat Bits Brought & Bought. The Story
Rebound of a Core Sounder. The Shipping News
South Ave Given Up - Spending Debated - Public Comments. The Story
Sailing Adventure Cat. Pet Of The Month
Cruising Crew Checks In. Letters To The Editor
Contact Information For Committee. The Story
Crustaceans Need To Pay Their Way. World Exclusive NewsExtra
Who's Slow?. Drawing The Town
Taking Time. The Shipping News
How Big A Payroll. Letters To The Editor
SB58 Update. The Story
Sanderson Boat Fee Hike Dredges Up Questions. Letters To The Editor
Questions on Legislator's Positions. Letters To The Editor
Query On Building At Oriental's Harbor Entrance. Letters To The Editor
Dave Falardeau, trumpter with the quintet, Jazzomine. They performed at the Pamlico Arts Council’s annual meeting and arts showcase at the Oriental Woman’s Club yesterday. (Behind the band was a painting of Oriental’s harbor.)
Monday May 20, 2013
Stop and smell the jasmine. In the full throttle of spring, the jasmine’s been starting to bloom in town. And if you can get closer to the ground, the clover’s fragrant, too…
For those following the ferry toll saga.. House Bill 475 comes up for a vote in the House Transportation Committee tomorrow. This bill would end all the tolls on all the ferry routes in NC. Backers say it’s the only thing in the Legislature that would keep this area’s local ferries free.
Without HB475, tolls would be collected at Minnesott and Aurora as of July 1. TollFreeFerry.org has more as well as email links if you want to contact Transportation Committee members.
Water bills in Oriental could be going up by almost 10%. Tomorrow, Town Board members begin an 8a budget meeting at the Town’s water plant. It’s a field trip to see the repairs that outgoing Town Manager Bob Maxbauer says the plant needs.
One option would be to put that repair work out to bid. But Maxbauer, who leaves his Town Manager job June 30, is instead pitching the Town Board the idea that Public Works employees could make the repairs and that he could oversee them. That could create a new Town job for Maxbauer in the fiscal year starting July 1.
As the Town Board is putting together that budget, Maxbauer’s plan calls for spending at least $160,000 on Public Works salaries — $40,000 more than the Board had been considering. To pay for that additional expense, Maxbauer wants to raise water bills from $31 a month to $34 (for 5,000 gallons/month.)
The budget is a work in progress and budget meetings — including Tuesday’s with its field trip to the water plant on Gilgo Road — are open to the public.
Letters, we get letters…..
As reported here last week, the Town Manager proposed raising property taxes of 3 cents per $100 valuation to pay the Town’s legal bills in the Cox v. Oriental land swap lawsuit. (The Town Board on Friday pencilled in a tax hike of 1 cent per $100 valuation) The taxing and legal fight prompted a letter from Joe Mattea.
Also in the mail bag, Oriental’s anchorage has traditionally been a place where visiting boats could drop anchor for a short time — a few days, a week or so. Recent years have seen some boats staying much longer — several boats now in the anchorage have been there for months. It’s the subject of one letter
Saturday May 18, 2013
Oriental’s Town Manager Bob Maxbauer is stepping down June 30, six months earlier than previously scheduled. Mayor Bill Sage made the announcement yesterday afternoon after a closed door session at the Board’s budget meeting. Sage said Maxbauer planned to run for a seat on the Town Board this November.
At the budget meeting, there were strong indications Maxbauer was also seeking future employment with the Town once his $56,000-a-year stint at Manager ends. Maxbauer spoke at length about a “dire need” for repairs at the Town’s water plant and presented himself as the licensed employee who could renovate the plant with the Town’s Public Works staff, as well as operate it. As such, he asked the Board to allocate $160,000 for Public Works salaries next fiscal year — instead of the $120,000 the Board has pencilled in.
Maxbauer claimed it would cost the Town less for him to rebuild the water plant using public works employees than for the Town to hire an outside contractor. (Maxbauer made a similar pitch to the Board a year ago about the Town Hall project, which he oversaw and which ended up costing more than was allocated.) At the budget meeting, there was no mention of putting the water plant renovation job out for bid.
More on the story coming…
Action-packed Saturday, as you’ll see in What’s Happening. The Oriental Farmers’ Market has lots of produce for sale with some new vendors. There’s the birding/kayaking trip up the local creeks. Wine tasting at Nautical Wheelers. Potluck at Paradise Cove Marina… Gospel music in Oriental. The high school’s Show Choir performs in Bayboro.
Update on the ferry toll fight. That bill to do away with all of the ferry tolls on all the ferry routes — House Bill 475 — is still alive. It comes up for a vote in the House Transportation Committee on Tuesday. If you care to, TollFreeFerry.org has easy ways to email those legislators. Or, give ‘em a call. Your choice…
Friday May 17, 2013
9:57a Oriental’s Town Board met three times last week. Among the topics of discussion: raising taxes, the budget for the coming year, the search for a new Town Manager, and the arrangement of sending the current Town Manager to courses now in order to pay him for services after he retires. Some residents also used the time alloted them at one meeting to criticize the expansion of Town staff and what they see as a lack of transparency from the Town government. A round-up of the the news from those meetings is now up. You can read it, here.
The budget is up for more discussion when the Town Board meets again this afternoon at 4 for a budget workshop. The meetings are open to the public.
8:42a Al Rathgeb wouldn’t have wanted a formal funeral. His friends aren’t doing that. But they are gathering today at 4:30p in the lot behind Marsha’s Cottage — right next door to where Al was living until his death early last week. They’ll be sharing Al stories. If you knew Al — the gruff exterior, the laugh from the bottom of the barrel, the sunglasses, the never-ending supply of dog treats — you’re welcome to attend. Bring an appetizer and a chair and join in.
What a busy weekend…. Tonight the Old Theater’s showing the Philadelphia Story, its last Friday Flick of the season. The high school Show Choir’s putting on a show in Bayboro — tonight and tomorrow night.
As for tomorrow.. there’s Pamlico Community College Golf Tourney, the Oriental Farmers’ Market (which has several new produce sellers so you can load up on those greens and know they’re local…), Nautical Wheelers wine tasting, a birding paddle trip, and the newly re-opened Paradise Shores Marina’s re-introduced potluck dinner tomorrow night – Mac McWilliams is playing, with an appearance by Levelland. Details? You want details? We got ‘em in What’s Happening.
On the civic engagement front.. the Oriental Town Board meets from 4-6 today to have another go at the proposed budget for the fiscal year starting in July. Meetings are open to the public.
Thursday May 16, 2013
A ferry toll update. The folks fighting to keep the local ferries toll-free are still working to get HB475 passed. But there’s a new tack to take — but the opportunity is just today and tomorrow. Greg Piner has more at TollFreeFerry.org
The Art on the Neuse Festival on Saturday was the tenth annual running of the art show. Lots of photos from the day are now up.
A meeting of the new and the old — the really old.The new Pet of the Month for May is one old cat.
We’ve got one action-packed weekend in and around Oriental. Check out what’s going on in What’s Happening. On Friday, the Old Theater’s monthly Friday Flick is the Philadephia Story, the Pamlico High Show Choir has a two-night engagement in Bayboro, and friends are gathering to remember Al Rathgeb. Saturday’s even busier: a birding paddle, the Farmers’ Market with loads of produce, the Community College’s golf tourney, wine tasting at Nautical Wheelers, potluck at Paradise Cove.
Wednesday May 15, 2013
3:45p Some pets have a trick they do. They might roll over, or shake a paw… or catch a ball.
5:58a A call to police about a kayaker in distress sparked a search in the waters off of Oriental last night. Oriental Police Officer Jason Collett says a man who was fishing from shore told police he saw a woman kayaker clinging to a buoy near the breakwater. The Sheriff’s office and Wildlife Resources officers were searching but later found, says Officer Collett, a man in no distress who says he was the person in the kayak.
It sure felt cool yesterday, not getting out of the 60’s. Today’s different. The Oriental NC Weather Forecast gives us a high of 81 and temps over the 80 degree mark thru the weekend..
Tuesday May 14, 2013
3:51p Update on the ferry toll saga and that House bill that would do away with all tolls on all ferries in NC. The House Transportation Committee was to vote on HB475 this afternoon and that vote was needed to keep the bill alive by the Legislature’s Thursday “Crossover” deadline (for a bill to pass in either the House or Senate to stay alive)
The vote did not happen today, which on first glance would bode ill for HB475. However…
Local toll opponent, Greg Piner says one of the bill’s sponsors told him a little while ago that despite not being voted on today, HB 475 could remain in play even if it doesn’t make the Thursday deadline. If it stays in play, that means there’s at least a chance that travelers on the Minnesott and Aurora ferries might not have to pay the toll set to kick in on July 1. More updates as we get them…
5:25a A date and time have now been set for friends to gather to remember Al Rathgeb. Al passed away suddenly last week and as one friend noted, “he’s left a &%$*(%% hole.” That was language Al would appreciate. Memories to be shared on Friday at 4:30, behind Marsha’s Cottage, along with food and drink. Details here..
At the state Legislature at noon today, the House Transportation Committee votes on House Bill 475. It’s a crucial vote. HB475 is the one that would do away with the tolls on all of the ferries in NC — and likely the best chance to fend off the tolls that are due to hit the two commuter ferries serving Pamlico County — at Minnesott Beach and Aurora. Grassroots opponents of the ferry tolls — and supporters of HB 475 were hitting the phones yesterday and asking others to do the same. More info on that at the TollFreeFerry.org website.
The weekend ahead is shaping up to be busy… wine tasting, paddle trip, Friday flick, show choir, golf tourney for starters. Check it out in What’s Happening.
As for today, sunny skies, highs around 70 in your Oriental NC Weather Forecast.
Got some time to spare later this month? Pamlico High School needs volunteers to monitor or proctor the end of year exams the students have to take. Basically, you sit in a room quietly for the 2-1/2 hour or 4-1/2 hour sessions. More details here.
Monday May 13, 2013
12:14p Hey…do you like having that toll-free ferry at Minnesott Beach and Aurora?
That could be changing soon. We’re going to be paying $4 each way to cross the Neuse to Cherry Branch and $10 to cross the Pamlico River to Bayview (yes, $10) as of July 1… unless the State House passes House Bill 475 this week. That’s the one that puts aside the “this ferry route should be tolled and this one shouldn’t” in-fighting and calls for making all of the ferries in NC toll free.
Thing is, HB475 (and our toll-free ferry future) has to be approved by the House by Thursday in order to stay alive and move on to the NC Senate.
But even more urgently — as in, right this minute — the folks on the ground here who are working to keep the ferries toll-free are asking that others get in touch with members of the House Transportation Committee. That committee’s all-important vote on the matter comes up tomorrow at noon. The website, TollFreeFerry.org has the contact info and more details.
8:57a Well, that warming trend was brief. Your Oriental NC Weather Forecast for today puts temps in the high 60’s. THe National Weather Service has also issued one of those “Small Craft Should Exercise Caution” statements.. It’s in place til 11a.
Want to help the Pamlico High School? Lois Moye who’s a teacher there, says that volunteers are needed to proctor exams on May 29 and 30 – those sessions run just over two hours. Also, there are some 4-1/2 hour long tests they need monitored on June 3, 4, 5 & 6. Bring a book and read for a few hours — they just need someone in the room while the tests are underway. If you can pitch in for a few hours, contact Lois at email@example.com
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