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It's Saturday September 5, 2015 Dock Quote: “Very often a...

News From The Village Updated Almost Daily

Upcoming Events

2015 Oriental Dragon Boat Race :

6th Annual And 3rd At River Dunes. The Story

No More Hurricane Parking At Oriental Fire Station :

Its High Ground Is Staging Area Says Fire Dept. The Story

2015 Hoop Pole Regatta:

Weather Doesn't Deter Trouper Sailors. The Story

2nd Ol' Front Porch Music Festival Coming:

Call Out For Porches, Musicians, Artisans . The Story

Letters: Paramedic's Presence Missed:

Appreciation of Eric Kindle. Letters To The Editor

Letters: Big Appreciations For Croakerfest :

Thanks To Volunteers. Letters To The Editor

Letters: Thanks From Croakerfest's Garbology Unit:

Recycling More Than Before. Letters To The Editor

Croakerfest 2015 Schedule:

Friday, Saturday & Sunday. The Story

2015 Cardboard Boat Race:

2nd Annual At Paradise Cove Marina. The Story

Update: Bear On Deck Returns:

More Screens Damaged. New Concern: Propane Grillls . The Story

Letters: Another Boat Tax?:

Opposition To Plan To Fund Ocean Inlet Dredging . Letters To The Editor

Another State Boat Tax For More Ocean Inlet Dredging:

Pamlico Boaters To Pay, But Dredging Benefit In Question. The Story

Bear On Porch in Merritt:

Taking In A Bird Feeder Seemed Like A Good Idea. The Story

North Street Corn Belt:

Corn On The Grow. Drawing The Town

Town Wide Yard Sale 2015:

Treasures At A Glimpse. The Story

PAWS Pet Parade 2015:

Tenth Annual Celebration. The Story

2015 Oriental Boat Show:

Boats New and Old. The Story

Paddling The Neuse End to End :

Oriental Bound, Bringing Attention To The Waters. The Story

Anne of Mystic:

130 Year Old On First Trip South . The Shipping News

Birds Tangled In Fish Nets:

Two Rescues In March. The Story

Letters: Collegiate Sailing Events - Thank You:

A Village Made It Happen. Letters To The Editor

First Oriental Sailpack Invitational Regatta :

More College Events Possible This Year & Next. The Story

Prepping For The Regatta:

Spring Break Training in Oriental. The Story

5th Great Oyster Revival:

Fundraiser for Pamlico Community College. The Story

Seals Near Oriental?:

Far Outside Home Waters. The Story

Snow Fall in Oriental:

Change In Precip & The Landscape. The Story

Indoor Dragon Boat Race In Oriental:

First In US. The Story

Chinese New Year 2015 / 4713:

Year Of The Goat. Drawing The Town

Ice Encases Village:

A New Midwinter Look. The Story

18 FJ's Added To Bow To Stern Fleet:

It Takes Village Volunteers. The Story

Bika, Nordic Visitor:

The Suddenly Longer Sailboat. The Shipping News

Miss January 2015 - Tyra:

Pickers Dog. Pet Of The Month

Splash of the Silver Voyager:

Low Tech Launch for a High Tech Voyager. The Story

2015 Instead of Football Regatta:

Tradition Of Sailing In The New Year. The Story

Friends Of The Dragon 2015:

Help Out A Fellow With Fire Breath. The Story

Reindeer in Oriental:

Boat Yard Grazing. The Story

Pete Parham, 1925-2014:

A Grandson Remembers. The Story

Letters: Military Drones :

Noise Drones On & On. Letters To The Editor

2014 Guide To Giving Locally:

Help Out A Nearby Non-Profit. The Story

Blaze Sinks Lz Sea Dogs :

Sailboat Lost at Whittaker Pointe Marina . The Story

Pamlico native Bruce Mason takes out his new 16 foot skiff, built in the traditional Harker’s Island way by Marshallberg, NC boat builder Heber Guthrie. The center engine is an old 8.5 hp Briggs & Stratton air-cooled (one definitely knows when it’s running.) (Ben Casey photo)

Friday September 4, 2015

Small sailboats will be out Saturday – it is the 2015 Greens Creek Challenge. The event is for boats under 20’ – in the past bringing our modern and classic small craft.

Here is a look at the 2014 Greens Creek Challenge.

Highs near 90 today, milder weather expected for the weekend with highs just near 80 Saturday & Sunday.

Thursday September 3, 2015

In the far east Atlantic Tropical Storm Fred is heading north towards a harmless chilly end. Meanwhile, on the African coast:

A well-organized tropical wave will move off of the west coast of Africa several hundred miles southeast of the Cape Verde Islands later today. Conditions appear conducive for gradual development over the weekend and into early next week as the system moves generally westward at 15 to 20 mph.

If this becomes a storm the next name on tap for 2015 is “Grace”.

Yesterday afternoon a diesel smell was over the harbor. Dirty bilge water pumped from a visiting trawler appeared to be the source. Oriental Police were investigating last night. This was the view at Oriental Harbor Marina, downwind of the original spill: diesel spill
The spill had dissipated this morning.

Highs near 90 today, a chance of afternoon showers. Lazy stuff on the water today & Friday, winds 5 – 10 mph.

Wednesday September 2, 2015

1:48p Detour news. Neuse Drive is closed to vehicles from Vandemere and 1st Ave to Ragan Rd and Neuse Drive. That’s sparked by the work being done to lift the sewage lift station across from the Town Beach so that it’s less likely to be overwhelmed by a sudden influx of storm water, and less likely to spill sewage. detour map

A sewage spill happened last week when the monsoon rains hit and got in to the sewer system. 15,000 gallons of untreated waste — albeit, highly diluted — were then forced in to Whittaker Creek and the town beach area. The current prooject – to elevate the station by 5 feet – was long planned and just happened to start as last Thursday’s 8 inches of rain were falling.

The road closure on Neuse Drive will last the 2-3 weeks it takes Bay River Metro Sewer District to finish the job, says Town Manager Diane Miller. After that’s done, the crew then will work to lift the lift station at Factory and 1st and will elevate manhole covers, now in ditches, to at least street level. The 1.2 million dollar project is paid for by Bay River and state funds.

5:30a Oriental’s Town Board last night put off a decision on whether to take 5 acres of land and a structure in poor-repair at the headwaters of Camp Creek. Commissioner David White suggested a public meeting was in order first, at which the facts of the offer could be laid out and the public could have its say. Some of the big question marks – just what shape is that 100+ year old building in, is there much clearing to be done to the acreage itself, what cost would there be to the Town.

Two commissioners were going to scout the 5 acres off of North Street after last month’s meeting. But Sandy Winfrey said he and Charlie Overcash found the land so overgrown they couldn’t get within 50 feet of the building. Winfrey said they were going to investigate when there was cooler weather.

Meanwhile, a new letter from the Camp Creek Partners no longer holds the town to a 45 day deadline for making up its mind. (The deadline had passed anyway.) Town officials say those offering the land now allow the town as much time as it needs. The public meeting on the issue could come at next month’s Board meeting.

Oriental really earns its Sailing Capital of NC title this weekend – and in coming weeks. Greens Creek Challenge, a race and celebration of small boats (20 feet and under) is Saturday. Also, Saturday, the Dunkirk-inspired Oar Race from Fairfield Harbor and the flip side, Michelob Ultra Cup on Sunday, in which boats sail Oriental to New Bern. Coming up next weekend – the Oriental Cup Regatta. And two weeks from now, your Old Theater kicks off its Friday Flicks season with the sailing movie, “Wind.” All details are in What’s Happening

That weekend of Sept 18-20 is also the Heartworks’ Harborfest at River Dunes with a bunch of activities laid out next to Grace Harbor.

This year’s Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival could have music playing on as many as 2 dozen porches on Saturday, October 17. The organizers say there’s still time for musicians to send in an application to appear on one of those porch stages, and for those with porches to offer them up, too.

What the fest could really use this year are sponsors. Earn the gratitude of many by helping defray costs of putting on the event. You can sponsor a stage, you can sponsor the double concert ending the festival — Laurelyn Dossett and the Carmonas. Bunkey, you can even sponsor one of the golf carts scooting around. Or one of the porta-loos. Info on how to be a sponsor, perform, sell your handmade wares or food, or offer up a porch stage, is here.

More OFPMF buttons are showing up in town. Think of the button as your advance ticket (and help advertise the fest at the same time.) You can get buttons – $5 each. Cheap! All proceeds go to the fest – at Marsha’s Cottage, Nautical Wheelers, Town Hall or by calling button diva, Donna Luh, at 249-1190

Tuesday September 1, 2015

September dawns with some rather August like temps. The Oriental Weather Forecast has highs in the upper 80’s- even 90 up until the weekend. And for consistency’s sake, toss in some chance of thunder and rain.

Your Oriental Town Board holds its 1st-Tuesday-of-the-month meeting. Here’s the revised agenda and back-up documents for tonight’s meeting. On that agenda is the Camp Creek Offer. It’s 5 acres of land, a good part of it lowland, and an overgrown structure in great need of repair, built a century ago by an African-American builder, Henry Wiggins.

Ten years ago, the Camp Creek Partners bought 10 acres – it included that land and an adjacent 5 acres on higher ground for residential development. The five partners – one of which is Town Board member Barbara Venturi – had initially committed to creating a public park and historic site in the lower land. That never came to fruition. In a mid-July letter to the Town, however, the CCP offered the lower land – as is – as a way to more cleanly put the higher ground residential lot acreage on the market with no strings attached.

The Camp Creek Partners’ letter gave the town 45 days from mid-July to decide, meaning the 45 days are just about up. In that time, there has been no discussion in public by the Board nor any analysis of the costs of accepting the land and the failing building.

Tonight’s board meeting starts at 7p and is open to the public. Public comment is at the beginning of the meeting.

Also on the agenda, an update on the restroom construction on the Town’s lot on the harbor.

Monday August 31, 2015

2:46p Like we needed more rain (after an over 8 inch mega rainfall last week – Thursday). A 1/2 inch has already come down this afternoon, and it continues.

10:10a PecanCam and AnchorageCam are back. The cams take photos from across the harbor – from Pecan Grove Marina. Equipment had gotten fried in mid August. Repairs made this morning… and some great views restored.

The 27th Oriental Cup Regatta comes September 11-13. Organizer Larry Summers sends in this note:

We are looking for some help with registration and T-Shirt Sales on Friday Evening, Saturday Morning, Saturday Evening and Sunday Morning. If you want to help contact Larry Summers at 252-675-0467 or Email Larsum@aol.com

6:31a You’ve almost made it – one more day of August.

Fred. Fred is now a hurricane. While Fred is in the far eastern Atlantic, just off Africa, if you just looked at the National Hurricane center forecast track you might have some concern. It looks like Fred is west bound.

But a check of the many computer models suggests Fred’s ultimate future is more northern. Fred may head west for the next few days, but ultimately is expected to get pushed north. That will push Fred into cooler waters, where the system will weaken. Fred is unlikely to get anywhere near us.

Saturday August 29, 2015

1:04p Full moon tonight, which you may have had some advance word about. The new info is that there’ll be a group of kayakers going to see it from the waters off of Oriental. (Though not near the Town Beach….)

Sound Rivers Creekkeeper Bill Hines is among the folks leading the way and sends this general invite.

We are going out for a full moon paddle tonight. We’ll be meeting at the Wildlife Ramp at 7:pm getting on the water to watch the sun go down and then the full moon rise. I’ll have extra boats/paddles/vests available if folks would like to join us. We’ll be out a couple of hours but won’t go very far past the breakwater and probably a tour of the harbor. I’ll have extra flashing lights for people to wear for safety.

So there you go. A sunset and a moon rise. How cool is that? If you need more info, call Bill at 571-0264.

8:51a Gorgeous weather for the weekend. Highs in mid-80’s today and tomorrow and nary a mention of rain in the Oriental Weather Forecast.

You may, however, see some Lightning. Lightnings, plural, actually. Sailors from the Southeast Lightning District are in town for their regional regatta. They raced here in Oriental last year and returned to the Neuse River waters for this year’s. (You’ll know the sailors by their green bracelets.)

Still more sailing coming up in next few weekends. Greens Creek Challenge is next Saturday, September 5. The Oriental Cup Regatta comes the following weekend, Sept 11-13 (Click on the links for registration forms and more info.)

Golf clubs swinging and brooms a-sweeping this morning.. OWC is holding its charity tournament at Minnesott Golf and Country Club. Over at the Old Theater, it’s cleanup day. Still time to pitch in at the theater. More details, here.

Friday August 28, 2015

5:40p Tropical Storm Erika’s track has pushed further west. The other good news is the storm is about to weaken as it passes over the Dominican Republic and then Cuba. Erika is now NOT expected to reach hurricane strength. It now appears very unlikely that we will be effected by Erika. The Piedmont of North Carolina may see some Erika remnants next week, late Wednesday or Thursday. Erika won’t be a tropical storm by then… but could be plenty wet.

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

1:00p You don’t want to be swimming at the Oriental town beach.

Yesterday’s monsoon overwhelmed the Bay River Metro Sewer District System pumping system and 15,000 gallons of untreated sewage went into Whittaker Creek – instead of down the pipeline toward treatment. (The pump on Neuse Drive near the town beach reportedly was also releasing waste into the nearby creek.)

It’s been noted that there was so much freshwater, freshly fallen from the sky, that that nasty stuff was diluted. OK, somewhat. But not to the point of being beyond concern.

Against that backdrop and eeeeewww factor, comes this advisory from Town Hall:

The Recreational Water Quality Section of the Division of Marine Fisheries will be publishing a Press Release at some point of today, but called Town Hall to relay to us that swimming at the Town Beach is unadvisable in the wake of the BRMSD spill yesterday. They will NOT be coming out and putting up signs saying so. WE will post a sign at the beach.
12:09p Town Hall says it has enough to pick from and is no longer taking applications for that office job mentioned here yesterday. “A number of the applicants stopped by because of seeing it,” says Heidi Artley.

They “hope to hire someone in the very near future.”

If you’re looking for a job, there are some other opportunities. Check out the employment section at TownDock Classifieds.

6:01a Straight Road commuters will want to take another route today. State DOT crews plan to replace an under-the-road drainage pipe near the Bent Tree Landing entrance.

Alvie Lee, NC DOT’s Road Maintenance Supervisor for Pamlico County says the pipework will start circa 8a and should be complete by the time school buses return students home around 3p.

But look for some more delays on Straight Rd next week. Lee says DOT is resurfacing Straight from Moores Corner at Hwy 55, all the way – several curves later — to Browns Creek Rd.

Good news re Tropical Storm Erika – the forecast track is trending west and inland into Florida. That’s good news for us… not so good for Florida.

After yesterday’s heavy rain (6 to 8 inches at area locations) the ground would be unable to absorb new moisture. A storm now would be dangerous timing. Here’s hoping Erika’s more western track continues and we get a pass.

Thursday August 27, 2015

5:14p The latest update on Tropical Storm Erika @ 5p has the storm landing in southern Florida, and then heading up almost directly parallel with the Florida coast. The storm is expected to reach hurricane strength Sunday… just as it hits Florida. If the track takes Erika our way (very possible) right now it would seem a Wednesday arrival.

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

4:22p Tonight’s Dragon Boat practice (scheduled for 6p at the Wildlife Ramp) has been cancelled – too many paddlers couldn’t make it.

12:31p There have to be better ways of watering the garden… Get this, almost 8 inches of rain since midnight.

When we say ‘almost’ we mean it was 4/100ths of an inch shy of 8 inches. 7.96. 8. Bottom line: it’s all very wet in town today..

It’s also rather busy in Oriental and the county this afternoon and evening. Your Oriental Town Board meets this afternoon for its agenda meeting. At these monthly workshops, they go over the agenda for their upcoming meeting on Tuesday, though sometimes they vote and take action, as last month when the Board chose an interim mayor at the agenda meeting.

On the agenda this month, lots of minutes of meetings to go over, and the offer to the town of 5 acres of land – some of it rather low – at the headwaters of Camp Creek. Mtg is open to the public. Starts at 4p. Link to background documents is here.

This evening at the Pamlico library, the newly formed Sound Rivers gives a presentation about the Neuse River and presents the library an archive of more than 3 decades of stories about the Neuse River Foundation’s work trying to protect it. (NRF merged in the past year with the folks keeping watch over the Tar and Pamlico Rivers and together they are now, Sound Rivers.)

Dragon boaters practice their stuff around 6ish, and welcome newcomers to the sport. And if the rains hold off tonight, the drummers’ circle does their thing at LouMac Park. (They’ll decamp inside if it’s rainy…) All the details are in What’s’ Happening

9:31a It’s been over an hour with no rain, but radar’s indicating that we could see another bout coming soon. Our first chance to dry out may come this afternoon, but looking at all the lakes and ponds that have formed in the low lying parts of Oriental, that drying out’s gonna take a while.

7:55a Oriental is monsoon central this morning. Over 6 inches have come down since midnight, a level this writer cannot recall outside of hurricane conditions. Check out HarborCam and see the result. Winds from the northeast (not high winds – just 10-15) are making the levels even higher.

7:10a No chance of sleeping in this morning with all that action on the roof. Rain’s been pounding for the past hour. Buckets of rain, you say? It’s been more like shipping containers. Over 4 inches of rain overnight.

6:39a Looking for a part time job? Oriental Town Hall is looking for an office assistant. It’s about 24 hours a week.More details here.

The turn north on Erika’s projected track is beginning to cause concern. Erika remains at tropical storm strength (50 mph currently), but is expected to become a hurricane in about 4 days – just as the storm would be reaching Florida. When and how much Erika turns north will determine whether the track comes our way.

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

Wednesday August 26, 2015

6:50p Phew, late this afternoon a few dark clouds opened and inside of an hour, 3/4 of an inch or rain fell. The deluge is past us now, and frogs are bleating. This rain and the half inch that fell before midnight last night make for some really moist ground…. and – SLAP – the mosquitoes that breed there….

12:10p A time to appreciate our quadruped friends. National Dog Day is upon us. It’s not quite, Take A Dog To Work Day – though come to think of it, that already happens in a few workplaces in Oriental.

Dog day of August weatherwise. Last night’s rain and the spritz this morning make it steamy. There’s the promise of relatively cooler, mid-low eighties temps in coming days, but also, that skosh of a chance of rain.

If you go to the Old Theater for performances, you have a chance this Saturday to give back and help primp the theater. Saturday’s the annual cleanup day. Like costumes? Sorting thru them is one of the jobs to be done. More here.

Tuesday August 25, 2015

7:06a Upcoming for your calendar: Heartworks Harborfest @ River Dunes, Sept 18-20.

Tropical Storm Erika has formed. Erika is in the central Atlantic about 800 miles east of the Leeward Islands. The forecast track will take Erika just north of Puerto Rico and west towards the Bahamas.

A plurality of the computer models suggest Erika would then head north, staying offshore. While positive (from our perspective) that far out is uncertain… we’ll have a clearer forecast track view in a few days. Erika is expected to reach hurricane strength by late this week.

A 40% chance of rain today and for the next few days. Some welcome cooling, mid 80s highs starting Wednesday.

The next few names (after Erika) for the 2015 season have some Otown familiarity… Fred, Grace & Henri.

Monday August 24, 2015

1:52p The new issue of Cruising World (September) has an article called “Sailing South: Inside Route Past Hatteras.” Glad to see Oriental included in the story:

The writer is Tom Zydler. The article states “Tom & Nancy Zydler cruise the East Coast of the Unites States and Canada aboard their Mason 44, Frances B.”

FYI, a Mason 44 draws 7 feet.

11:15a Sayonara Danny. The system is now classified as “remnants”. Humiliating for a storm with aspirations.

8:46a Happy Monday. Yeah, really. Come on.

Danny downgraded to a tropical depression this morning … the system will fade away in the next few days. Meanwhile, a new storm will likely develop later today in the far east Atlantic. The next name on tap: Erika. It is way early to be certain, but initial indications are that Erika would get to the Caribbean and head north – staying out to sea. The future storm is more likely a threat to Bermuda to our shores. But… it is early.

Thanks to Oriental visitor Chris Mojica (Chris comes down from the Triangle) who provided today’s cover photo. Chris and his video / photo drone take some great shots of the area.

The cover photo shows where tonight’s Open Sailing will pass by on their way to the waters of the Neuse. Open Sailing is getting sailors (and would be sailors) out – and actually sailing.

About 90 today, 20% chance of rain.