Friday, March 31, 2006


The time changes this weekend; Spring Forward! It is also the time to change the batteries in your battery operated smoke detectors.

The following are some recent news headlines on the Outer Banks:

* Former Southern Shores Police Chief, Ted Brazell, in a plea agreement in Dare County Superior Court, pled guilty to three counts of indecent liberties with a 13 year old female. Additional statutory rape charges and felony larceny charges were dropped as part of the plea arrangement. Brazell will serve up to 16 months in prison, possibly subject to up to five years of probation upon release, and required to register as a sex offender.

* Voters in Dare County recently went to the ballot box in a specially called vote to repeal the newly enacted 1 percent sales tax to pay for beach nourishment. Seventy five percent of the votes were in favor of having the 1 cent tax repealed. The drop in the sales tax will take effect June 1, 2006.

* The Town of Duck has announced the hiring of a new Fire Chief. Donna Black, the current DVFD Deputy Fire Chief was hired for the Fire Chief position. Donna has been an active firefighter with the Duck Volunteer Fire Department since 1997. She has worked her way up from firefighter through the ranks of Lt. Captain, and Deputy Chief. She is also an EMT and is a member of Rescue 11, the medical response team in the fire department. Several months ago, Donna was hired as a firefighter with the Nags Head Fire Department when they expanded their rolls with the opening of the new South Nags Head station. Donna is reportedly among eight other female fire chiefs in the country.

* The Southern Shores Volunteer Fire Department recently conducted vehicle extrication training. The get the full story, CLICK HERE. (OK, OK . . a bit of blogmeister license here to promote my work as the Public Information Officer with the SSVFD)

* The NC Lottery (click here for link) kicked off yesterday across North Carolina. The scratch off lottery tickets are available on the Outer Banks at 36 locations. In May, North Carolina will join the multi-state Power Ball games.

* The Lost Colony (Outdoor Drama) has announced that Vanessa Redgrave will perform in the role of Queen Elizabeth June 2 - 8, 2006. According to the play's Director, this will be the first of many well known performers to be guest actors in upcoming seasons.

*Land transfer tax is down 18% this year in Dare County, signaling a slow down in the Outer Banks real estate market. The rapid escalating home values are slowing, as well as homes on the market longer than the past few years.

Friday, March 24, 2006

"Calm Before The Storm"

The "tourist season" will soon open. Though more people are realizing that the Fall and Winter are wonderful times to visit the Outer Banks, what locals refer to as the tourist season traditionally kicks off at Easter, and runs through Labor Day. Retail shops, amusement attractions, and restaurants will soon be fully operational and ready for the big influx of customers. This is the time of year when "cottage" owners are here to get their vacation homes cleaned, spruced up, and re-opened for the busy rental season. It is also the time of year when locals can enjoy the last weeks of relatively calm and quiet before the hundreds of thousands of vacationers arrive for their time in the sun and surf.

The picture above is the sunset in Duck, taken from the deck of the Duck's General Store and The Blue Point. The mallard ducks are also enjoying the quiet time and calm, sound waters.

(Note: Mouse over Duck's General Store or The Blue Point to connect to their websites)

Monday, March 20, 2006

New County Offices Site . . .

The Dare County Commissioners recently decided to build a new Dare County administration building on the site of the Dare County Justice Center in Manteo. The Heery build/design firm will be contracted to design and construct the new facility, which will house all of the remaining County offices that are currently located downtown Manteo.

The Dare County Justice Center (pictured above) was built about 3 years ago, and houses the Clerk of Superior Court offices, five courtrooms (Superior Court, District Criminal Court, District Civil Court, Magistrate Court, and one additional courtroom), Judge's chambers, District Attorney offices, Dare County Sheriff's Office, Register of Deeds, and the Dare County Tax office. The Heery design won a number of national and international design/build awards.

The new site will make it much easier and more convenient for citizens to conduct County and judicial related business. The move will create a void down Manteo, where locally owned, small shops and restaurants have benefited from all of the County offices and courts located nearby.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Herron's Deli -- Duck

Soon to be gone in Duck. The special of the day at Herron's Deli . . ."For Sale". After the tragic death of restaurant owner Rick Herron this past January, the family decided to sell the business/property. Two years ago, the (new) Town of Duck purchased the land that surrounds the property. The word on the street is that the Town is wanting to buy the property. The casual Duck atmosphere and great simple menu will be missed. Herron's was a wonderful place to get a good breakfast or lunch; a rare find in Duck, amongst the several restaurants that feature "fine dining".
(The red square on the "Master Plan" shows the location of the deli and property)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Hilton Garden Inn -- Kitty Hawk

Gone are the days of the Kitty Hawk Pier! In 2000, a new luxury hotel was to be built at the site of the Kitty Hawk Pier. After the 9-11 attack in NYC and Washington, DC, the hotel investors announced they would not go forward with their plans to build the oceanfront hotel. Questions then arose as to what would happen to the Kitty Hawk Pier, particularly after the pier was severely damaged during a hurricane.Then, last year, Sterling Webster (owner of the Ramada Inn, KDH) announced that he and a group of investors planned to build a new luxury hotel, Hilton Garden Inn. To make the project viable, they sought a higher height limit from the Town of Kitty Hawk, which was approved. Some people question whether this will be the first of new "high rise" hotels or condos to be built in Kitty Hawk. The Hilton Garden Inn is scheduled to open in early Summer of this year.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Nags Head Opens Station 21

The Nags Head Fire Department moved into their newest facilities, Station 21 located in South Nags Head on Old Oregon Inlet Road. Eighteen new firefighters were recently hired by the Town of Nags Head in order to fully staff the new station.

For the past several months, the crew assigned to Station 21 was being housed at Station 20. Now that they have moved to the new station, Station 20 will soon be used as the "headquarters" for Nags Head Ocean Rescue.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Here is an aerial view of the Wright Brothers National Memorial Park. This is the exact spot where the Wright Brothers conducted their flight experiments and actually flew their flying machine for the first time. It is a great place to visit (or to do my regular walking exercise). The best thing is the that it will never be developed. What had been a large undeveloped area around the park, is now quickly filling up with year 'round homes, vacation homes, and summer rentals. The tranquility of the park is so much more appreciated now, too, after the major event of the 100th anniversary of flight, in December 2003. On the big day, December 17, 2003, more than 50,000 people were in the park, including President George Bush. One of the greatest things to watch are the many planes that fly over the monument perched atop Kill Devil Hill and tip their wings in honor of Wilbur and Orville Wright.


No one will argue the fact that tourism is the core bread and butter of the Outer Banks economy. But, we are very fortunate to have a few months out of the year to have an "off season" where you can find peace, quiet, and tranquility with the best that the Outer Banks has to offer . . . the beach. It's great to take advantage of these things before the arrival of the hundreds of thousands of summer tourists


The Winter seems longer this year since The Blue Point is closed for major renovation and expansion. The big question lately is not when Spring will get here, but when will The Blue Point re-open. The latest word from John is he hopes to be open by Memorial Day weekend. The new space will feature a new waiting area, larger bar, several more tables, and a screened porch to relax and enjoy the beautiful Duck sunsets. For more information about The Blue Point and pictures of the blueprint and construction progress, check out their website (See the link in the sidebar)

Outer Banks Living -- What It's All About

Outer Banks Living is a way for people to learn more about the Outer Banks of North Carolina, for people who have moved away to keep up with the ongoing changes around the island, and newsworthy notes. Outer Banks Living will concentrate on the northern beaches; Nags Head, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores, Duck, Corolla; Roanoke Island (Manteo, Wanchese); Hatteras Island, and Ocracoke Island.

So much can be written about the Outer Banks, from the Land of Beginning . . the very first English Settlers on this new land, plundering pirates, such as Blackbeard, Wilbur and Orville Wright and their discovery of flight, national and state parks, and today's popular beaches, communities, events, and activities. But, that is not the purpose of this blog. Links will be included to direct folks to get any information that they could possibly want about the Outer Banks, Dare County, activities, dining and accommodations, wedding information, attractions, fishing, and more. This blog will focus on the ever present changes that occur here. There is only so much land available, so places are often being torn down and new places constructed. Whether people move away and later return for a visit, or vacationers return after a year or longer absence, changes are noticed, and are often significant. News and noteworthy events will be featured, as well as important information from time to time, such as Hurricane information.

Comments and/or questions are always welcome. I hope everyone enjoys their visit here.


Moved Here From Blogstream

The original Outer Banks Living was recently posted on Blogstream. However, one of the problems was that apparently only registered members could post comments. I am hoping to have a better experience here. It also appears to be a more user friendly site to maintain.
Questions and comments are always welcome.

Thanks for looking!