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* M&M's Cafe Has Reopened * Open 7 Days *

It's Sunday November 18, 2018 Dock Quote: “There are some...

News From The Village Updated Almost Daily

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Upcoming Events

Spirit Of Christmas 2018 Parade Needs A Theme:

Your creative ideas wanted. The Story

StormPack Hurricane Relief Regatta:

Giving back to Oriental. The Story

Town Board Meeting November 2018:

Hurricane repairs underway, but they'll take a while. The Story

Sean D'Epagnier and SV Alexandra:

Home is a small, engineless sailboat. The Shipping News

Classics, Customs & Moderns: The 2018 Oriental Car Show:

Foul weather doesn't stop the show. The Story

Chili Cookoff 2018:

$3,000 raised and 3rd time's the charm. The Story

Hurricane Florence Forces O'Town Restaurant To Close For Winter:

Rebuilding for 2019. The Story

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018:

The show must go on. The Story

Hurricane Florence & Oriental's Creeks:

Anchors dragged, lines broke, a few sinkings. The Story

Tellico & The Hall Sisters Kick Off Ol' Front Porch Music Festival Oct 5:

Friday Night Show At The Red Rooster Stage. The Story

Debris Piles Up - Waiting For Collection:

How it's happening in town and in the county. The Story

Endurance Seafood Gutted By Florence:

Bruno family takes stock after storm. The Story

A Hurricane Can't Stop A Wedding:

Nicole & Matt Set A Date That Florence Couldn't Move. The Story

Oriental After Florence:

Putting a town back together. The Story

Florence Raises Water, Rearranges Town:

Days 2 & 3: Fishing pier destroyed; boats, dragon unmoored. The Story

Hurricane Florence Photos:

Florence, Day 1. The Story

Greens Creek Challenge 2018:

25 years of small boat sailing on the creek. The Story

Army Landing Craft Hit Oriental:

Army refuels, leaves their mark. The Shipping News

Bow to Stern One Design Regatta 2018:

Sailors from age 6 to 70, sailboats from 13' to 35'. The Story

Town Board Meeting August 2018:

A new grant opportunity, hungry animals, street closings. The Story

Oriental Receives $916,406 Grant:

$ Targeted at Restoring Whittaker Point. The Story

Dragon's Breath Regatta 2018:

Sailors race in sun and rain. The Story

Mister July 2018 - Boo:

Crooning companion. Pet Of The Month

Ol' Front Porch Music Festival 2018 Lineup:

Bluegrass, Folk, and Americana coming to the porches of Oriental. The Story

Letters: Carol Wright Thanks Customers & Friends:

Oriental Buyers Broker Slows Down. Letters To The Editor

Heber Guthrie Skiff Donated To PCC Foundation:

You Could Be The New Owner. The Story

New Owners Settle in at Sailcraft Service:

Sailcraft changes hands, adds to services. The Story

Town Board Meeting July 2018:

Public hearing set, Employee honored. The Story

Scenes from Croaker Festival 2018:

Camps, pies, and the Croaker Queen. The Story

Nick Santoro, 1942-2018:

Husband, Father, Author. The Story

Summer Camp Memories :

Readers write in with summer camp stories. The Story

Hope Regala 2018 :

Signed helmets, a trip abroad, and a $10,000 gift help local non-profit. The Story

Town Board Meeting June 2018:

Whittaker Point, 2018-19 Budget, and July's meeting moved up . The Story

Mister June 2018 - Petey:

Four-footed hospice helper. Pet Of The Month

Susan Elaine:

Home-built traditional sailboat. The Shipping News

Pizza, Soul, and Rock n' Roll at Silospalooza 2018:

6th Annual brings a little rain, a lot of music. The Story

King Tides Project Comes to Oriental:

Photographs contribute to UNC research. The Story

Bought. Sold. The 2018 Town Wide Yard Sale.:

Push mower with a cupholder and Santa riding a chicken. The Story

Marker on the channel into Oriental

Saturday November 17, 2018

8:40a On today’s calendar:

• Ranky Tank is playing at the Old Theater tonight. That show is sold out.

But they are also doing a free performance, 2:30p this afternoon at Holt’s Chapel Community Center on Janeiro Rd.

• Wine tastings at 3 & 4p today at Nautical Wheelers. A Master Sommelier (that’s fancy talk for really smart wine dude) will guide you through French, Spanish and domestic wines.

8:14a Warm sunshine. Well, warmer than the shade anyway. Sunny, clear and about 60 today. Sunday the same. We’ve got great weather forecast right through Thanksgiving.

This clear & dry air is coming from the north. On the water east 5-10 knot north winds for the weekend.

Friday November 16, 2018

11:14a Nautical Wheelers is starting something new today. Sipping while you shop. Bill Wheeler writes in:

Join us today for our first Sip & Shop Friday. We will be pouring two wines every Friday till the end of the year from 2pm-close at BOTH our Oriental & New Bern store locations. Today we will be tasting two French wines; Jacques Pelvas Brut and Hob Nob Pinot Noir.
You can basically get a glass of wine and check out what’s available in the store at the same time. It sounds like Oriental.

8:39a Ranky Tanky play Oriental this weekend. Their Old Theater performance is already sold out, but there’s another show. A free one.

Ranky Tanky will perform at Holt’s Chapel Community Center on Saturday @ 2:30p.

8:28a Sunny today. High temps in the mid 50s. And no rain in the forecast at all – clears skies forecast through next week.

Thursday November 15, 2018

12:24p The rain has stopped… for a while. You can take this opportunity to go over to Marsha’s Cottage. She’s having a holiday kickoff from 1- 4p today. She has champagne and warm clothes for a cold, rainy day.

10:50a M&M’s Cafe reopens at 11a. You’re invited to lunch.

8:50a The barometer is diving. The wind is rising. From The Oriental Weather Station:

click image for the big view

Today’s high wind: 33mph at 5:20a. Winds are in the 20s at this writing. A 100% chance of rain today, which seems a reasonable guess, as it falls upon us. It looks like wet all day… actually warming to the upper 60s… and clearing finally coming tonight.

6:45a No ferry. At all. Sue Kinner with the ferry service writes:

We are not running today. We cannot get under our ramps this morning. Unfortunately the Neuse River continued to rise during the night and our boats are now sitting a foot above the road.

Wednesday November 14, 2018

1:05p New weekly Piggly Wiggly specials now online – including your Thanksgiving turkey.

FYI, the Piglet will be open Thanksgiving Day until 2p. The Piglet is also taking orders for prepared Thanksgiving dinners. No cooking – just pick it up and serve it at home. The form is at this link – click here. Print & fill out the form and bring it by the Oriental Piggly Wiggly to order. Pre-printed forms are available at the store.

10:28a Dave Sargent just called in (Dave owns & operates M&M’s Cafe.) Dave sounds tired, yet determined. He just got all his permits & health dept checks approved. The new equipment is in & installed. Dave says Thursday is a GO.

M&M’s cafe opens at 11a Thursday Nov 15. It’s the first time the restaurant has been open since Hurricane Florence. FYI, M&M’s is open 7 days a week, 11a – 9p.

9:05a Oriental has a new Parade Master (see above & below.) There is another role to fill, also parade related. Every year there is a boat parade. For years this role has been filled by Joe Valinoti. Joe says it’s time for a new Spirit Of Christmas Flotilla leader. Joe writes in:

If someone wants to step up, I’ll gladly assist. The various paperwork involved is still available in my computer. Email me at joesail1@gmail.com.

8:54a That tropical wave that was threatening to become a tropical storm, Invest 96… looks like it ain’t gonna happen. It will rain on the Virgin Islands & Puerto Rico, but no storm coming. You can remove that from your anxiety list.

Today’s high is forecast to be what it is at this writing – 51. Thursday warmer (near 70) and wet. For the weekend perfect fall weather ahead… sunshine and highs about 60.

8:35a With colder temps coming, it’s time to ponder December. Santa. And Spirit Of Christmas.

Oriental has a new Parade Master (see pic above.) After over a decade of Parade Master service, Paul Fairbank is handing over parade responsibilities to a new Parade Master… Captain Lance Burgo. TownDock is pleased to report that the new Parade Master, like Paul, is a unique soul on earth. Being a tad odd helps in this role (ask Paul). Congrats to Lance on his new gig.

Spirit Of Christmas is Friday & Saturday Dec 7-8 in Oriental, less than a month away. The parade is Saturday at 1p. Every year the Spirit Of Christmas parade has a theme.

2017 had Christmas Buffet – Jimmy Style. In 2016 it was The Polar Express. 2015, Merry Dinghy Christmas. 2014, Holidays in the movies. It’s been the 12 days of Christmas several times.

The 2018 Spirit Of Christmas parade needs a theme. That’s where your creative brain comes in. New Parade Master Lance Burgo needs your creative genius. So does your town.

Put your brilliant brain to work and create the 2018 Spirit Of Christmas theme. Then email it to parade@towndock.net. Multiple entries are fine. Even encouraged.

Winner will be announced Wednesday November 21.

7:02a High water levels from north winds have the ferry on a reduced schedule:

Until further notice, the Cherry Branch Ferry will be on a one boat schedule . The River is too high for the Kinnakeet to get under our ramps. From Cherry Branch at 5am, 5:45, 6:45, 7:45, 9, 11, 12,1:30pm, 2:30, 3:30,. 4:30, 5:30, 6:30, 7:30, 8:30, 10:00, and 12 midnight.
From Minnesott at 5:25am, 6:15, 7:15, 8:30, 10, 11:30, 12:30pm, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, and 12:30am.

Tuesday November 13, 2018

1:32p Dave Sargent at M&M’s really wanted to open Wednesday. But alas, some more vendor & permitting delays happened.

So here the scoop. Dave is now targeting Friday Nov 16 for reopening – and he adds that it might be Saturday Nov 17. Dave is working hard – when we visited yesterday he was working on kitchen appliance installation, and he had his staff in preparing the restaurant to open.

10:27a Sailcraft Service wants customers to know their phones & internet are down this morning (waiting on Spectrum.) Meanwhile, if you email info@sailcraftservice.com they will get your email once service is restored.

8:01a There’s a free presentation today at the Oriental United Methodist Church from 2-3p about the Coastal Land Trust. Details and registration information are here.

7:29a It is still out… winds between zilch and about 2mph. That wasn’t the case overnight…. a peak 33mph breeze and over 1 1/2 inches of rain. More rain possible today, but it isn’t likely to be as intense. While temps could hit 70 mid morning, this afternoon temperatures are expected to fall into the upper 50s.

Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away… it lands on Thursday November 22 this year. A local tradition is a simple one – taking a bike ride Thanksgiving morning. More info here.

While we’re looking ahead – the Spirit Of Christmas is Dec 7-8. Luminaria line the streets of Oriental. Be thinking about your parade entry.

Monday November 12, 2018

2:36p There is still work going on at M&M’s Cafe (repairs after hurricane flooding.) But it’s close. So close that M&M’s owner Dave Sargent says Wednesday is a GO. M&M’s Cafe returns for the first time since Hurricane Florence. Open normal hours Wednesday 11a til 9p.

Meanwhile at The Bean, the building is still waiting on a new floor. Bean owner Eric Kindle says no definite opening date yet, but its looking like this coming weekend.

town hall signThe November Town meeting was Wednesday last week (moved a day due to elections.) Topics discussed included South Ave & Pier repairs post Florence, a potential new restaurant, short term rentals, Whittaker Point and more. Here is the report.

8:48a Yesterday was really Veteran’s Day. Today is guvment Veteran’s Day. No Post Office or banks. Or Town Hall.

Everybody else? Get to work.

How about a hurricane? OK, probably not a hurricane, but Invest 96 is a tropical wave just east of the Leeward Islands. It is unlikely to effect our lives, but Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and the southeastern Bahamas may be getting some rain and wind in the next few days. From NOAA/NHC:

A vigorous tropical wave located about 200 miles east of the Leeward Islands is producing a large area of disturbed weather over much of the western tropical Atlantic Ocean. Shower and thunderstorm activity has increased and become a little more concentrated this morning, and environmental conditions are forecast to gradually become more conducive for the development of a tropical depression or a tropical storm during the next day or so.
• Formation chance through 48 hours…medium…50 percent.
• Formation chance through 5 days…high…90 percent.
When/if this forms, the next storm name in line is Patty. Early models suggest Patty will run into a front and bounce back east – staying away from the US east east.

Partly sunny mid 60s today. It is beautiful at this writing… later this afternoon (after 2p) thunderstorms are possible.

Photos coming (likely later today or early Tuesday) from Saturday’s Stormpack Regatta and Sunday’s cleanup.

Sunday November 11, 2018

7:53a It got cold last night – but not as cold as forecast. The over night low hit 42 at the Oriental Weather Station:

Ahead for today, partly cloudy and mid 50s.

Sunday November 11, 2018

“Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk.”

- Sir Francis Chichester, while loading his boat with gin.

Saturday November 10, 2018

8:01a Our small town has big happenings today. Here’s the sched:

All day on the Neuse, the Stormpack Regatta. NC State plus 8 more collegiate sailing teams have converged on Oriental for the weekend. sailpack logoThey sail today on the Neuse (again based at the Stallings House). Then Sunday, they will put collegiate muscle to work, providing storm cleanup help to locations around Oriental & the county. A salute to the NC State Sailpack coach Dana Magliola – this event is his creation. Dana explains: “We’ve seen such enthusiasm from college sailors to help pitch in and help. We hope to contribute to the recovery of this community that’s supported us so passionately for many years.”

Oriental’s History Museum’s Fall Fundraiser is today from 1-4p. A silent auction of works by local artists. Live music from Miss Al of Jazzy4, followed by a wine tasting at 3p by Nautical Wheelers. Check out the new exhibit of the museum’s hat collection too.

The PCC Foundation has a fundraiser today at New Village Brewery from 4 – 7p. Live Rhythm & Blues , free pizza, a silent auction, and NC craft beer on tap.

It’s all in What’s Happening.

7:14a It’s cloudy. Wet. But that will change…. it will begin to clear by mid morning. A sunny upper 50s day is ahead.

Clear & mid 30s tonight. Sunny brings some nawthern autumn weather, sunny and a high just near 50.

This cool air is coming from the north (blame Canada.) With means north winds. On the Neuse today north15 To 20 knots – with gusts up to 30 early morning.

Friday November 9, 2018

11:52a More Ferry news from Roger Whitehurst:

We will resume our normal schedule at noon.

nautical Wheelers New Bern11:31a Nautical Wheelers in Oriental made it through Hurricane Florence with minimal damage. However, their store in New Bern was flooded with several feet of water and had to be gutted.

The New Bern location is reopening today at 3p, and will stay open tonight for Downtown New Bern ArtWalk from 5-8p. The first 25 customers will receive a door prize.

The New Bern store hours are Fri & Sat 10a-8p, Sun 10a-6p, Mon – Thurs 10a-7p.

10:04a The Ferry schedule has temporarily changed. From Roger Whitehurst at Cherry Branch Minnesott Beach Ferry:

We will be on the following schedule due to vessel repairs.

Cherry Branch; 6:15 AM; 7:15 AM; 8:30 AM; 10:00 AM; 11:30 AM; 12:30 PM; 2:00 PM; 3:00PM; 4:00 PM; 5:00 PM.

Minnesott Beach; 6:45 AM; 7:45 AM; 9:00 AM; 10:00 AM; 11:00AM; 12:00 PM; 1:30PM; 2:30PM; 3:30PM; 4:30 PM; 5:30PM.

7:37a An interesting weekend is ahead – on many fronts. Oriental hosts a collegiate regatta (with a public service twist) and two fundraisers and a couple nights of music.

Part of the interest will come from Mom Nature. She’s delivering some late autumn temps – and a hint of winter. Saturday has a chance of morning rain but then a fine sunny clear mid 50s day. Dress warm. Saturday night north air will visit… with a low of 31 degrees. Gardeners take note.

Also taking thermal note will be the over 60 college sailors. Their Saturday night accommodations – camping in the lot by Bow To Stern.

Oriental NC weather forecast
Neuse River marine forecast
Pamlico Sound marine forecast
What’s Happening – TownDock’s guide to Oriental goings on

The Oriental Weather Station shows the widely varying temps in the last 10 days:

Thursday November 8, 2018

3:30p Some interesting sailors visit Oriental and spend some time at the town dock. Sean D’Epagnier and his 27 ft sailboat home is one-of-a-kind. He grew up in Raleigh. He has sailed his small boat (no engine) to New Zealand – and back. If you wrote a list of your must-have niceties for living aboard – Sean probably doesn’t have any of them. He writes sailing navigation code down below in a very spartan vessel. Meet Sean in The Shipping News.

3:16p This weekend at least 9 Collegiate teams are coming to sail. It’s hosted by the NC State Sailpack team and Bow To Stern Boating. In the spring NC State comes to Oriental for it’s Sailpack Regatta ( see the April 2018 Sailpack Regatta here. ) This weekend they are calling it the Stormpack Regatta. They will race on the Neuse Saturday. Then Sunday, college sailors will lend a hand (and some muscle) in providing some clean-up support around our town.

There will be over 50 college sailors providing a hand. Need some storm clean up help? Call Bow To Stern’s Jim Edwards 252-474-6000 or Mark Fields at 252-204-6129.

One of the subjects at last night’s Town Meeting was repairing the pier at Lou Mac Park. It’s going to happen, but just when isn’t clear yet. More on that in an upcoming story on the meeting.

Meanwhile, it might be nice to see the pier as it was. Here is some video from October 2015 when a northeaster was sending waves our way.

FYI, the plan is to rebuild the pier just like it was before.

8:40a Today’s rainy day forecast has become just a cloudy day forecast. Clouds mid 60s and now just a 20% chance of rain. For the weekend sunny & clear… and cooler. Saturday’s high maybe 60 but then a low dipping into the mid 30s. Sunday’s high just near 50.

Melissa Plett7:48a If you were up early on Saturday morning of the Ol’ Front Porch Music Festival, you may have seen Melissa Plett by the Provision Company, wearing pink and black cowboy boots and singing into a pink microphone. Melissa is back and performing at New Village Brewery tomorrow night.

This and other upcoming town events are all in What’s Happening.

Wednesday November 7, 2018

9:01p At tonight’s Town Board meeting: a complaint to commissioners about the emergency siren at Town Hall, town hall signmore money in town reserves than expected, and the Special Use Permit for a restaurant/bar in the Steamer building is granted – with stipulations. Report coming.

10:28a Oriental still has a some key businesses not operating due to Hurricane Florence damage. M&M’s Cafe and The Bean have been closed since the hurricane, and both are almost ready to return.

Dave Sargent, M&Ms CafeOwner Dave Sargent at M&M’s had hoped to be back by this weekend, but he’s still waiting on equipment deliveries and a few more inside repairs & finishing. New hardwood floors (and tile and carpet too) are installed. Dave says that mid next week should see M&M’s open again. When the date is set, it will be on TownDock.

Over at The Bean its a similar story. Sheetrock, new floors and new work stations.The Bean And while all the needed repairs were being made… more upgrades happened too. The old “popcorn” ceiling is gone and a nice smooth & repainted surface awaits.

No date certain yet, but Bean owner Eric Kindle says reopening is likely early next week. That date too will be shared on TownDock once it’s set.

8:47a Residents are still reporting lost items and finding others misplaced by Florence. A ’97 Carolina Skiff is the newest lost item.

A dark green canoe has been discovered and is listed with other unclaimed items.

8:18a Tonight from 5 to 7p, the United Methodist Church is having a Mad Buffalo Fundraiser Dinner and Christmas Shop. Proceeds will go to repair the church’s roof and building, damaged by Hurricane Florence. Reservations are required for the event.

6:42a November’s monthly Town Board Meeting is tonight at 7p at Town Hall.

On the agenda: a public hearing for a Special Use Permit to reopen the Steamer building on Broad St. as a restaurant/bar.

Another SUP is on the agenda, though not for a hearing. There is a request for a Special Use Permit for a short term rental for 807 Midyette St.

Download tonight’s agenda here.