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Tourism 2021: Is The County Ready?

April 2020

It’s beginning to look like the Carteret County NC 2021 tourism season is on track to being pretty significant after the 2020 season was affected by the global pandemic. Taxi companies and other key indicators are telling us early Spring was the busiest they’ve seen in a long time which indicates people are ready to get back to our area for the 2021 season.

But, are we ready? Businesses are reporting that they can’t find enough workers to address the projected reopening of tourism centers, namely restaurants and other attractions. What’s your opinion on why workers are remaining hesitant to re-enter the workforce?

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Carteret County Elementary Schools Can Open On October 5, 2020 If The District Allows It. Let’s Discuss It.

September 17, 2020

Update September 24: The county board of education met in a special meeting and received a recommendation from Dr. Rob Jackson to open the elementary schools to full-time in-classroom learning starting October 19, 2020.

On September 17, 2020 NC Governor Roy Cooper amended his Coronavirus executive orders to allow elementary schools in NC to re-open to 100% in-person classes on October 5, 2020, and that his staff is still considering primary schools, middle schools, and high schools as they receive updated information from experts.

The governor cited the improving Coronavirus numbers and the likelihood of elementary school aged children becoming infected being low. The governor also said that individual school districts can remain under Plan B or C for elementary schools if they choose, and if a district chooses to re-open fully, parents can still choose virtual instruction.

So, the debate here is, should the Carteret County elementary schools be opened fully, or stay under the current Plan B or C? If the Carteret County schools do open elementary schools fully, will you as a parent or guardian allow your student to return to 100% in-person instruction, or continue to do a hybrid of in-person versus 100% virtual?

Why or why not?

Use the title link to engage us in your comments and discussions and we will transfer them here.

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Should Carteret County Schools Revert To Plan C From B Given What Is Happening At Three NC Universities?

August 2020

As you probably read in the news this past week, three NC universities reported outbreak clusters and two of those schools reverted to 100% online classes for undergraduates because of it.

The three universities include UNC-Chapel Hill, NC State, and ECU. Both UNC and NC State cancelled all on-campus classes for undergraduates. A outbreak cluster is defined as 5+ new confirmed coronavirus cases within a small area.

Given that Carteret County is seeing on average of 7 new cases per day at the time of this article, and given what happened at the universities noted above, is this a clear indication that all on-campus and classroom learning is ill advised at this time?

Or, do you think the outbreaks reported were the act of poor decision making by adult students that were not social distancing or wearing masks which is not likely to happen at a K-12 school with minor students being watched by teachers?

Do you think Carteret County Schools administrators, along with Governor Cooper, will be scared of what is happening at the universities and revert to Plan C after announcing Plan B?

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Memorial Day 2020, Carteret County NC Beaches, And Coronavirus

May 25, 2020 debate and opinion question

Right now much of the world, states within the United States, North Carolinians, and those of us here along the Carteret County NC beaches are grappling with the decision to either reopen states to allow for the economy to heal and for prosperity to once again flourish, or to maintain strict closure of most businesses and events to prevent the Coronavirus to spread further.

The intense debate is even shaping national and state politics, along with fracturing relations between family members and friends. Not surprisingly, the entire debate seems centered around which political ideology you belong to.

Today’s debate is asking people, if after the busy Memorial Day weekend in which Carteret County saw a substantial increase in the population along with more businesses being open, if you are a “keep NC and the county closed” person and there is not a significant rebound of Coronavirus infections, will you concede that it is now OK to reopen all businesses while encouraging people to wear masks and adhere to social distancing?

If you are someone from the “reopen NC now” crowd, if there is a major increase in Coronavirus infections and new deaths after the Memorial Day 2020 holiday, will you now concede that it is best to keep everything closed?

Click the title link and use the discussion form at the bottom to give us your opinions.

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County Beach Access, Travel, and Short-Term Rentals Reopen

April 29, 2020

On Wednesday, April 29, 2020 county commissioners removed several restrictions in place related to the state of emergency created to combat Coronavirus spread. In the original state of emergency, all beach access areas were closed, restaurants and non-essential businesses were closed, non-resident visitor travel to the area was forbidden, and short-term rentals to incluse hotel and motel rooms, vacation rentals, and campsites was forbidden.

On April 29, all of those restrictions were removed except for non-essential restaurants re-opening. The county is essentially back open.

Since the announcement, many people feel like removing these restrictions will create a second wave of Coronavirus cases and harm public health efforts and overwhelm healthcare resources.

Others believe that closing the county was doing more harm to the economy than the small number of cases in Carteret County.

What is your opinion?

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Reopen The County, Keep It Closed To Just Visitors, Or Open It Fully?

April 2020

There is a pretty aggressive debate right now in the county pitting many residents, small business owners, and municipal leaders against one another. That issue is whether Carteret County needs to reopen to local residents, extend that to visitors as well, or stay closed until all experts say that the all clear is given for Coronavirus.

Many believe that county businesses and other organizations are being shut down based on data from larger cities and that our needs and their needs are not correlating. Many believe that this current shutdown could or will bankrupt small businesses and but families who depend on tourism dollars in desperate situations.

On the other hand, others believe that by opening the county right before tourism season is inviting more people in to the county from places where Coronavirus is a considerable concern and could set off a major problem.

What is your opinion?

Click on the title and use the comment form to debate this article.

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Sheriff Asa Buck Talks Jail Expansion And Money With Carteret County Commissioners – What Are Your Insights?

Added February 17, 2020

News has hit that Sheriff Asa Buck is ready to talk jail expansion or a new building for a jail with Carteret County Commissioners.

Currently, there are several options on the table ranging from roughly $27 million dollars to $40 million dollars to almost double the number of beds and to allow for future growth and expansion as the new population hits the area in 10 years (think Interstate 42).

As I understand it, the lower figure would allow for expanding the jail at it’s current location while the other figure has several options related to expanding the current building or building a new jail at another location.

So the debate here is, do you think we should be focused on expanding the Carteret County jail or putting more effort in to fixing the drug epidemic that is causing massive overcrowding at all NC jails and prisons?

Is it possible to do both financially?

Most experts argue that the drug epidemic and violent crime related to it, along with the proliferation of human trafficking, is projected to get worse creating a need for increased jail space.

At what point do we reach the intersection of not being able to find correctional officers in NC to maintain order in the jails and prisons?

What happens when those addicted to heroin, fentanyl, meth, and other drugs are the majority if we don’t find some way to stop it?

If you agree with Sheriff Asa Buck and think we have no option but to expand the local jail, use the discussion form at the bottom of the article (click the link) and let’s get your opinion and insights.

Next Debate: What is the fix to Beaufort’s potholes and Morehead City streets?

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Beaufort Potholes And Bad Morehead City Streets. What Can Be Done To Fix Them?

Added February 11, 2020

If you live in the county, there is no debating that the potholes in Beaufort and the bumpy streets in Morehead City are a major nuisance that will play havoc on your vehicle’s suspension system and shocks.

Many people blame Beaufort and Morehead City officials for the potholes and bad streets, but is it really something they can fix permanently?

Or, is it part of living in an area where the water table is extremely shallow with water on three sides of most land masses in the county?

Can local officials really be blamed for a constantly moving land mass that disrupts streets?

Let’s hear your opinions.

Comment 1: It’s impossible to fix potholes and bad streets in Morehead City and Beaufort, or most places in Carteret County. Most of us live in areas with water on three sides. The water table is very shallow, thus land is going to shift and move causing havoc on the streets. It’s a part of living here.

Next: 2020 Politics Discussions Read Now.

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“It Blowed So Hard It Blowed A Chicken In A Pepsi Bottle” Petition To Make This An Official Weather Term In Carteret County NC

Added February 7, 2020

On February 6th, 2020 a rather nasty cold front affected all of Carteret County NC with very high winds nearing 50 mph, heavy rains, downed trees, and power outages.

While monitoring weather reports and the effects of this storm on the county, I came across a social media post by a Mr. Bill VanHorn who stated that “It blowed so hard it blowed a chicken in a Pepsi Bottle” in referring to the high winds.

After I spit my tea all over my computer screen and stopped laughing, I realized that Mr. VanHorn was on to something.

Thus, I am officially announcing a petition with the National Weather Service in Newport to make “It blowed so hard it blowed a chicken in a Pepsi bottle” an official weather term in Carteret County NC.

Debate it by clicking the title.

opinions Carteret storm

Next: Can Beaufort NC maintain it’s quaint southern charm? Read Now.

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Can Beaufort NC Maintain It’s Quaint Southern Charm And Appeal In The Face Of Rapid Population Growth?

Added February 6, 2020

The popularity of Beaufort for both locals and tourist is the town’s quaint southern charm and appeal in the historic district and waterfront area.

In the face of Interstate 42 and the rapid growth and development that will come from this, can Beaufort maintain it’s appeal?

What will have to happen to keep the appeal, or what could happen that changes Beaufort from it’s current charm?

Next: Are We Setting County Teachers Up For Failure? Read Now.

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Are We Frustrating And Putting County Teachers And Students In A No Win Situation?

Added February 6, 2020

Are we frustrating and putting Carteret County teachers and students in a no win situation with politics?

Our local county teachers have not failed us given current state reports on testing and achievement. We rank at the very top in all 100 counties.

And our teachers deserve MUCH better pay and resources to continue this success for our children.

From a political standpoint, teachers want and have to deal with parents for the success of the district and kids.

So let’s discuss how our teachers can be successful and not get burned out when we as residents get so caught up in our politics, that we inadvertently put intense pressure on educators.

The debate over school funding and teacher pay in North Carolina is at the forefront of sharply partisan and bitter politics.

It seems that if the political left tries to help, the political right resists and obstructs.

If the political right tries to help, then the political left resist and obstructs.

So we are putting our teachers, who have to work with all parents in a very bad decision and soon, we may see them get so burned out that they leave the profession.

Click the title and let’s debate it.

Next: Spending tens of millions of dollars on beach nourishment only to have the next storm blow it away Go There Now.

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Add $20 Million Dollars In Sand, Storm Blows It Away, Add More Sand, Hurricane Blows It Away, Repeat

Added February 6, 2020

This is a difficult and frustrating debate.

After Hurricane Florence, tens of millions of dollars was spent to nourish the Bogue Banks beaches with new sand and vegetation.

The next year, Hurricane Dorian blew most of that new sand and vegetation away.

Now, here we are spending tens of millions of dollars adding new sand and vegetation after Hurricane Dorian.

What will the 2020 hurricane season bring to Carteret County NC?

On the other side of this coin, nourished beaches are the lifeblood of this county. Without our beautiful beaches, tourism grinds to a halt and this brings about a economic crisis and environmental disaster.

What is the answer(s)?
Other county opinion: Jail overcrowding, house arrest or stay in jail? Go There Now

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To Help With Overcrowding At The Carteret County Jail, Sheriff Asa Buck Is Considering Electronic House Arrest For Certain Inmates Versus Spending Time In Jail

Added on February 5, 2020

To help with jail overcrowding, Sheriff Asa Buck is considering an electronic house arrest program where certain inmates could be maintained on electronic monitoring versus lingering in jail.

And indeed jail overcrowding is a big concern in the county.

But, what is your opinion on this program and outline the potential pros and cons to electronic monitoring in Carteret County NC.

Comment 1: There is another blog on the Internet that I refuse to link or send people to because it is horrendously offensive, but in reading it the author did bring up something I both agree with and fear.

Yes, if Sheriff Buck needs a new jail, and he does given the projected population growth and rate at which people are getting in trouble with drugs, then we have to do it. If the Sheriff is comfortable that there is a population that can safely be detained at home and the technology works flawlessly, then we should trust Asa.

But getting back to the information I talked about in the opening. I do not see this drug epidemic ending, there is really no way to end it. Today, we have almost an equal number of people in Carteret County who use drugs and have infractions with the law, and they likely do not have a good relationship with law enforcement.

When you have this large of a group that is using, at some point it won’t matter how big the jail is. You won’t have staff to man a jail, nor the people needed to watch those on house arrest.

And I fear that at some point this group becomes so big that they will start influencing politicians, and thus policy and procedures.

Next Debate: Surge in Highway 101 fatalities Go There Now.

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Surge In Fatal Vehicle Accidents On Highway 101 – What Should Be Done About It?

Added February 5, 2020

Just in the past 6 months (as of February 5, 2020), there are 3 fatalities documented on Highway 101 in Beaufort related to vehicle accidents.

I realize there is road construction and improvements on Highway 101 and that they are widening it.

But even before road construction started, this has always been a dangerous road to travel.

March 2, 2020: A major head on two car collision sent three people to the hospital with significant injuries. Again, this happened near Steel Tank Road on 101.

In your opinion, what needs to be done about it?

1 Discussion: They should be required by law for everyone to take a state-mandated driver’s Ed course as well as a safety course and crash course and defensive driving to avoid car accidents. Could be a week or two week program and the money can go into recovery repair for hurricane Florence. Anyone recently busted and convicted of a DUI or any offense related should have to take the course in order to regain their license back… Read More.

Next Debate: The Circle Development In Atlantic Beach NC Go There Now.

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What Needs To Happen At The Circle In Atlantic Beach NC? Entertainment / Resort Development Or Residential Development?

Added February 5, 2020

If you were alive when dirt was invented like I was, you remember the circle as the epicenter of entertainment in the county. Bands used to travel from all over Eastern NC to play at the clubs there and every weekend there were hundreds of people walking around socializing.

Today, well not much is happening in Atlantic Beach.

In your opinion, what needs to happen with development at the circle? Does the resort that was planned there need to get going or should that area be developed for other commercial use, or perhaps residential use?

Aside from what you think SHOULD happen, what do you think WILL happen?

Next Debate: Impacts on Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path, Indian Beach, and Highway 58. Go there now

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Impacts On Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, Or Salter Path With A New Bogue Banks Bridge. Exactly How Will Highway 58 Be Widened?

Added February 5, 2020

As we stated in our last addition, the county is looking at a 45% increase in population within the next 10 years related to I-42.

Under any scenario, a new third Bogue Banks bridge will have to be built connecting the island to somewhere on Highway 24 (likely Hibbs Road).

The most likely end point on the island will be Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, or Salter Path.

Additionally, Highway 58 will have to be widened (or will it?)

In your opinion, what will be the impacts to Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach, or Salter Path when this new bridge is built, and how exactly do you widen Highway 58?

Next Debate: Carteret County Schools Expansion Or New Construction? >Go There Now.

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Carteret County Schools Expansion Or New Construction To Meet The Demands Of Rapid Population Growth?

Added February 5, 2020

Agencies like NCDOT and most local economist are making predictions that Carteret County NC could see as much as a 45% increase in year-around new residents that is related to the new Interstate 42 project.

In your opinion, will the county have to find funding to significantly expand existing schools, will new one’s have to be built, or both?

Where will funding likely come from?

This debate is specifically limited to Interstate 42 and schools growth. We will certainly have new additions on other Interstate 42 related issues so please check back daily.

Click the title to add your response.

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