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It's Saturday March 28, 2020 Dock Quote: “A real friend...

News From The Village Updated Almost Daily

Upcoming Events

Letters: The Trickle Down Effect:

An idea to help restaurant staff. Letters To The Editor

Tragedy on the Palm Coast:

A Frightening Story Of Pumps and Men. Captain's Blog

Open Mic Night @ The Silos - LIVE ONLINE :

Live Music For A New World. The Story

Mr. & Miss March 2020 - Pete and Maggie:

Two Australians Home In Oriental. Pet Of The Month

Oriental United Methodist Church - May 22 Service Online:

Online From OUMC. The Story

SV Beyond:

Two women, finding their way on the water. The Shipping News

Special Town Meeting - ONLINE:

A Special Oriental Town Board Meeting Regarding The Coronavirus. The Story

Businesses Adapt to a New Normal:

Take out, delivery, and pick-up. The Story

Letters: A Plea for More Room:

Keep your social distance. Letters To The Editor

Events Cancelled / Postponed By COVID-19:

Updated list of affected events. The Story

Town Board Meeting March 2020:

Bids awarded, SUPs approved, a raise for the Town Manager. The Story

Jazz for a Cause:

Jazz Ensemble raise funds for bandmates. The Story

Fires Aboard:

Causes and results. Captain's Blog

Louisiana's Revelers Headline 2020 Ol' Front Porch Music Festival:

Cajun Comes to the Riverfront Stage. The Story

Mr February 2020 - Max:

A Squirrel-Seeking Man. Pet Of The Month

Town Board Meeting February 2020:

New events, GMO addition, Whittaker Creek projects updated. The Story

Letters: Hope Clinic Executive Director Says Thanks:

Year-end donations made a difference. Letters To The Editor

What is going on over Oriental?:

Answer: a lot. Guest Columnist

Donna Mannion, 1939 - 2020:

Systems Analyst, Commodore, Volunteer, Wife. The Story

Home Sales Become A Trip To The Super Bowl:

Century 21 Awards Sail/Loft Realty Tickets To The Big Game. The Story

Shahid & SV Safina:

Making life work on a 30 ft space. The Shipping News

Water Gauge to Return:

Gone in 2018, back in 2020. The Story

Minnesott Beach Golf & Country Club has Potential Buyer:

Wayfarer's Cove offers to purchase golf course. The Story

Dragons Bring in Chinese New Year in Oriental:

Dragons run and burn. The Story

Warren Bruce, 1930-2020:

Pilot, Sailor, and Husband. The Story

Varsity Cruising:

To the Beaufort docks. Captain's Blog

90 Years of Grace:

Celebrating an Oriental institution. The Story

Todd Cox Receives 2019 Doc Hyde Award:

An Award To The Person Who Enhances Sailing In Oriental. The Story

New Minnesott Town Board Revisits Golf Club Purchase:

Golf course purchase back in play. The Story

New Fire Insurance Rating for Oriental:

Effective February 1, 2020. The Story

Town Board Meeting January 2020:

Whittaker Creek updates, Brewery SUP, Mobile Licensing cut. The Story

Nancy Huff, 1935-2020:

Hope Clinic co-founder, Hospice chaplain. The Story

Electric Vessel with Historic Roots:

EV America. The Shipping News

Forty+ Boats on New Year's Day:

2020 Instead of Football Regatta. The Story

In Honor & Memory; The Tree of Names and Lights:

A tradition rekindled. The Story

Dragons Run on Hodges - New Year's Eve 2019 into 2020:

Drums, Dragons, and a lucky new year. The Story

Friends Of The Dragon 2020:

Oriental's Dragon Needs A Present. The Story

I’m Sorry For What I Said:

...when we were docking our boat. Captain's Blog

Mr. & Mr. December 2019 - Amos and Andy:

Brand ambassadors, exemplary employees. Pet Of The Month

Whittaker Creek Dredging Fully Funded:

Donation goal exceed. The Story

Pecan Grove Marina Dredging Complete:

Channel Now At 8 Feet. The Story

2019 Spirit of Christmas Weekend:

Rain delay doesn't stop Spirit of Christmas. The Story

2019 Spirit of Christmas Schedule:

What's happening, where and when. The Story

Town Board Meeting December 2019:

Commissioners sworn in, public hearing set. The Story

Giving Tuesday 2019 - Giving Locally:

The List of Area Non-Profits That Could Use Your Donation. The Story

Tour de Oriental: The 2019 Thanksgiving Bike Ride:

85 cyclists, 173 wheels, total gears unknown. The Story

Fall Splendor: Pamlico County Edition:

A closer drive than the mountains. The Story

Miss November 2019 - Sasha:

Dog on the run. Pet Of The Month



Sunrise over Whittaker Point & Whittaker Pointe Marina. Dredging continues today on the adjoining Whittaker Creek channel.

Saturday March 28, 2020

4:01p The West Marine store in Oriental is closing temporarily due to the Coronavirus. From Ben Chapin with West Marine:

Interesting times they are. Our location will be closed March 29 until end of April. Morehead City, New Bern and Washington locations are still operating.
For marine supplies in Oriental, the Provision Company and Village Hardware remain. Also, Oriental’s boatyards, Sailcraft & Deatons, are a parts and supply source. Deaton Yacht Service has a Yanmar Parts Dept that is extraordinary, and includes lots of engine parts useful for many brands beyond Yanmar.

10:40a The scene at Lou Mac park this morning – socially distant Pilates. While the exercise was underway, dolphins appeared on the Neuse just off the park.

9:51a A $1,200 check will be arriving soon for most citizens. A reader writes in with an idea for how that money could be used.

9:07a The Whittaker Creek dredging will end Tuesday at midnight.

At this moment, that’s a little over 3 days to finish the work. But passing boats are slowing down progress for the King Dredge barge.

Every boat that moves through the channel causes the dredge to stop for about 20 minutes. Right now, they need those minutes.

If you don’t HAVE to traverse Whittaker Creek Channel, please consider parking your boat until March 31.

9:05a There will be a Special Town Board Meeting Monday March 30 @ 8am, online, to discuss open/closed public facilities in light of Governor Cooper’s Stay At Home Order that was announced Friday, and other COVID-19 precautions.

The meeting will be streamed live on TownDock.net. Citizens will be able to ask questions online during the meeting.

8:54a The PAWS Pet Parade was supposed to be today – another event done in by COVID-19. It will return on another future day. Meanwhile, here’s a look at the last couple years of pets parading in Oriental:
2019 PAWS Pet Parade
2018 PAWS Pet Parade

7:05a The high reached 86 yesterday afternoon. We are forecast for low 80s today, and near 90 Sunday.

The science on COVID-19 is unclear, but warm weather typically slows down virus activity. Strong UV rays help too. Even with the unknown science, some warm sun simply felt good Friday.

Shopping in this odd new world. We’re adapting.

There are lots of grocery shoppers that bring their own bags when they shop, out of concern for the environment. It appears that may need to stop for a while, due to the Coronavirus. Piggly Wiggly owner Bill Flockhart writes in:

I’m being told that one way to help stop the virus is to stop the practice of bringing in bags to the store. We love our customers that bring in bags, and this is just a temporary measure. Please understand, and let us pack your groceries in our bags for now.

The TownDock wife always brings in a bag to the Piglet. The TownDock husband however is a significantly less perfect person, and is widely seen bringing home plastic bags. This writer can report they always get a second use – perfect bags for trash on your boat for example.

It’s another day of Hurricane Corona. Hang in there. We’re working through this with ya.

Friday March 27, 2020

7:01p A summary of what Governor Cooper’s stay at home executive order means:

• People can go out to buy groceries, prescriptions, visit a health care provider, exercise, care for family members, volunteer to serve the needy or visit a place of worship.

• Essential businesses that can continue to operate include health care providers, supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, law enforcement, utilities, maintenance workers, real estate, media outlets and services, human services organizations, farms and other food and beverage producers, banks and insurers, shipping, transportation, hotels, mortuaries and professional services, such as lawyers and accountants.

• Restaurants can continue to provide drive-thru, takeout and delivery services.

• All businesses that operate need to practice “social distancing” among employees and customers.

• Violations of the order are punishable as a Class 2 misdemeanor.

The full executive order is at this link.
Stay At Home Order FAQ

4:45p NC Governor Roy Cooper has announced an executive order – mandating a stay at home policy effective Monday at 5p:

To continue our aggressive battle to slow the spread of COVID-19, today I have signed a Stay At Home order for the entire state of North Carolina. Enforcement begins at 5 PM on Monday, but we urge you to start as soon as possible.
This order directs you to stay home unless you need to leave for essentials, such as your job, food, medicine, outdoor exercise, or to help someone. It bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to stay at least six feet away from each other.
The order allows essential services to continue, and directs that those businesses that need to remain open use a strong social distancing policy. These are tough directives, but I need you to take them seriously.
NC is now considered by the CDC to have widespread transmission, meaning some people who have tested positive don’t know how they got it. Because no one is immune & there’s no vaccination the best tool we have to slow the spread is keeping our physical distance & staying home.

Here is the press conference where the order was announced at 4p today:

2:07p The Special’s Boards have been updated at M&Ms Cafe. For takeout call 252-249-2000. To see all the Oriental restaurant takeout options click here.

Every now and then TownDock remembers a Shipping News story from years past.

In 2016 a 60 ft fishing trawler came into town. It was over 80 years old. The vessel Richard & Arnorld wasn’t here fishing – it’s crew were taking a winter holiday. Read on…

Garland Fulcher Seafood is open today & Saturday, 10a – 5p.

9:59a It’s blowing a little harder than forecast: today’s high wind (so far) is 27mph. That was at 9:26a.

SW winds are 15-25 knots on the Pamlico Sound, and there’s a small craft advisory in effect until 5p.

The Neuse marine forecast is a little calmer; winds at 10-15 knots.

6:02a It’s the day you’ve been waiting for. You deserve it. Today’s forecast: Mostly sunny. Highs in the low 80s. Southwest winds 10 to 15 mph.

As well as soaking up sunshine, you can be fab too:

Thursday March 26, 2020

4:59p The Town Of Beaufort has issued a “Stay At Home” order. It states:

All individuals currently living in the Town of Beaufort, NC to remain at their place of residence, except that they may leave to:
A. Engage in Certain Essential Activities; or
B. Work for Essential Business; or
C. Provide Essential Government Services.

The complete proclamation is here. It is in effect until April 22. Beaufort NC is in Carteret County, which has 5 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

Here in Pamlico County, there are no reported cases as of today.

1:38p Like local restaurants, New Village Brewery is open for takeout. You order your brews ahead, and pick them up at the Beer Garden window. Hours today are 3-6p. More info here.

1:25p It is forecast to be mid 60s today, but so far the thermometer has only made it to 57. Fear not Bunky… Friday through Sunday is forecast to be sunny & 80.

9:20a The outside Pilates class, scheduled for 10a this morning, has moved to Saturday @ 10a – to enjoy the nicer weather.

It’s still in Lou Mac Park. To keep the number of participants in line with current laws regulating the spread of COVID-19, registration is required.

9:11a There is a bear hunt in Pamlico County this coming weekend. One that’s for kids home from school and practicing social distancing.

Businesses and residents place teddy bears in windows, on lawns, or wherever they can be spotted from the street. Kids and parents then drive through, trying to ‘hunt’ for the bears. If you lack for a teddy bear, Carissa at From the Heart florist (near the Bayboro Courthouse) has several available for sale.

Other forms of social distancing entertainment include last night’s first live streamed Open Mic Night at the Silos. Chris Daniels, George Bailey, Ken Belangia, and Rich Quin took turns playing to over 300 viewers.If you missed last night’s performance, you can watch it here.

If you like your entertainment with a side of schadenfreude, you can read the latest Captain’s Blog here.

Wednesday March 25, 2020

9:10p Open Mic Night returns online next Wed April 1. Meanwhile, tonight’s is available – the stream was recorded. Check it out:

1:09p You may have seen it live. Now you can see it streaming live. The Silos Open Mic Night goes live at 5:30p. Watch here.

8:44a Social distancing. The response to Coronavirus has created a new mode of socializing. Most are following along.

Reader Doug Sligh writes in with concerns about those who aren’t. Read his Letter To The Editor here.

7:04a Rain is here for most of the morning, tapering off late afternoon. Temps will be near 65 through tomorrow, then warming up near 80 by Sunday.

It’s a special Open Mic tonight at the Silos. Performances will be streamed live online at TownDock.net at 5:30p. You can grab take out from The Silos and watch from home.

Tuesday March 24, 2020

3:01p Pete, the elder, is 9. His younger sister is 3. They are an obedient pair, observing human voice commands much better than the average canine. Meet March’s Pets Of The Month…

2:30p Take-out for dinner? Check out the options.

2:07p If you’re looking for bread – Oriental’s Piglet grocery store just got a new delivery. The shelves are full.

10:22a Both of Oriental’s boatyards are operating regular hours, but there have been changes to adapt to the Coronavirus.

Sailcraft Service is asking customers to communicate by email & phone only and not in-person. Email info@sailcraftservice.com. Phone 252-249-0522.

Deaton Yacht Service has adopted a COVID-19 policy, stating “…our office and yard will be open to STAFF ONLY effective immediately with all mobile service involving owners aboard suspended for the near future.” Click here to read the complete announcement. Email boatyard@deatonyachts.com. Phone 252-249-1180.

Here’s the view at the Deaton’s entrance this morning – blocked and marked STAFF ONLY:

9:18a The morning feels a little chilly out… it will warm to near 60 today, mid 60s Wednesday & Thursday, and then the weekend brings hints of summer. Friday through Sunday highs will be near 80.

9:11a All ferrys, including the Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach route, are on a reduced schedule due to the Coronavirus. These reduced schedules are until further notice. From NCDOT:

The new schedules allow for deeper cleaning of ferry vessels, while also adapting to lower demand for ferry travel as schools are closed and people remain at home during the outbreak.
Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach
From Cherry Branch: 5am, 5:45am, 6:45am, 7:45am, 9am, 11am, noon, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 3:30pm, 4:30pm, 5:30pm, 6:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:30pm and 10pm.

From Minnesott Beach: 5:25am, 6:15am, 7:15am, 8:30am, 10am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 2pm, 3pm, 4 pm, 5pm, 6pm, 7pm, 8pm, 9pm and 11pm.

Monday March 23, 2020

4:57p Neither snow nor rain … nor coronavirus. Oriental’s post office will remain open during regular hours, M-F, 9:30a – 4:30p.

Village Health and Fitness will continue to see physical therapy patients by appointment, but in accordance with NC Governor Cooper’s most recent executive order, will close the gym and pool, and cancel all fitness classes beginning Wednesday, March 25 at 5p (the facilities and classes will be available Wednesday until 5p).

The Dollar General encourages seniors to visit at 7a when there are fewer customers in store. They’re open 7 days a week, 7a-8p.

Check on all updates to other local businesses here.

1:27p NC Governor Roy Cooper held a press conference at 1p discussing COVID-19 in North Carolina.

The big takeaways were:

• NC Public schools, K-12, are closed until May 15
• Governor Cooper is signing a new executive order that bans mass gatherings of more than 50 people. This order also closes gyms, movie theaters, sweepstakes parlors, health clubs, and other similar facilities. The Governor asks that these close as soon as possible, though the order takes effect Wednesday, March 25.
• Because of their inability to social distance, the order also closes hair and nail salons, barber shops, and massage therapists as of 5p Wednesday, March 25.

Watch the full press conference here:

Grocery stores, and restaurants providing takeout and delivery will remain open.

10:34a For you early risers who gather at The Bean at 7a, your morning coffee will be served a little later than usual. Starting tomorrow, The Bean will open at 8a. They’ll continue to serve coffees & lattes, bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and ice cream until 5p – take out only.

To find out more about the operating hours of local businesses, click here.

8:41a Cloudy. Foggy. Rainy. There’s a better than 50% chance of rain throughout the day, but the fog will lift and temps will be in the mid to high 60s.

There’s a regular group of cyclists in town. Saturday is the easy ride,about ten miles, at a conversational pace. Sunday is the more serious ride. They meet in front of The Bean on Saturdays (and Sundays), at 8:30a. Get your exercise in, without getting too close.

Sunday March 22, 2020

1:58p This morning’s service at Oriental United Methodist Church is now online.

10:29a Due to technical difficulties – there’s not enough available bandwidth in the church sanctuary – TownDock.net will be recording this morning’s OUMC service, instead of streaming it live.

You can view it here at about 1:30p 2:30p today.

Next week’s service will be live; TownDock will bring in more bandwidth.

7:11a There are two things this morning that don’t normally happen in Oriental. M&M’s Cafe is serving Sunday morning breakfast. And Oriental United Methodist Church is having its service – online.

Click right here to see what’s for breakfast. Then call M&Ms at 252-249-2000 and order breakfast for takeout.

At 10:30a this morning the OUMC service is online on TownDock. Just click here for the service.

You could even eat breakfast while attending church. We won’t tell.

Life isn’t normal right now, but folks in Oriental are endeavoring to make life work.

It’s a bit cooler today, cloudy and high just near 60. Warming back to 70 Monday. 80 degree temps are forecast to return by next weekend.

Saturday March 21, 2020

12:43p If you see brewmeister Frank Bacon today – it’s Happy Birthday day.

11:30a Gathering. We can’t do it right now, and it may be that way for a while.

But life needs to go on. TownDock is trying to bring some gatherings to you, so we can gather online and still experience some of the normal things of life.

This past Thursday TownDock.net live streamed the Oriental Town Board meeting.

Tomorrow, Sunday, TownDock will live stream the 10:30a service from Oriental United Methodist Church. It will include Pastor Anne and music accompaniment.

Open Mic Night every Wednesday at The Silos has become their most popular night. But now, they can’t do it. So let’s bring it to you.

Wednesday March 25 at 5:30p, TownDock.net will live stream Open Mic Night. Chris will perform, along with special guests, all done legally under the gathering rules. You’ll see and hear it on TownDock.

11:04a With the exception of the Toucan Grill, all restaurants in Oriental remain open. But strictly takeout.

Supporting your local establishments right now will make sure they are there in the future. Life everywhere is odd right now, but it’s a bit calmer & friendlier in Oriental than most places.

M&Ms Cafe is starting something new – Sunday breakfast. Get breakfast takeout, 8a til noon from M&Ms. The details are here.

At The Silos you can order online or phone in. In addition to the regular menu items, Chris is also offering bottled beer and wine to go. Check the fridge when you pick up your takeout food order.

The Bean has takeout coffee, specialty drinks and eats. Brantleys & The Deli are also offering takeout. New Village Brewery is offering takeout beer in growlers and crowlers (crowler is fancy beer talk for a can).

All the local restaurant details are at this link.

7:07a It’s kind weather for a walk or a bicycle ride, which may be a good distraction right now.

Cloudy, high near 70 today. There is a 50% chance of rain – that rain isn’t expected to appear until later this afternoon.

Friday March 20, 2020

4:45p You may have read reports of grocery stores with empty shelves in some cities around the country. We are comparatively fortunate here. If you go into Oriental’s Piggly Wiggly you’ll find lots of great food to take home.

Piggly Wiggly owner Billy Flockhart tells TownDock that this is a challenging time to get stores restocked. He is getting deliveries, but trucks have been a day or two later than scheduled. Because folks have been hording toilet paper, he is out right now. Billy says the Piglet will be restocked this weekend, and TP will be back. Every item you seek might not get restocked as quick as usual, but it is happening.

4:03p The ferry is on a one boat schedule. From Sue Kinner at Cherry Branch:

ferry logo Cherry Branch has reduced it’s scheduled runs to a one boat operation while we try to sanitize our vessels. Additionally we have suspended our last run of the evening, the 12 midnight from Cherry Branch and the 1230 am from Minnesott.

From Cherry Branch:5a, 5:45a, 6:45a, 7:45a, 9a, 11a, 12p, 1:30p, 2:30p, 3:30p, 4:30p, 5:30p, 6:30p, 7:30p, 8:30p, 10p

From Minnesott Beach: 5:25a, 6:15a, 7:15a, 8:30a, 10a, 11:30a, 12:30a, 2p, 3p, 4p, 5p, 6p, 7p, 8p, 9p, 11p.

3:03p Here’s the deal fellow boaters. The town finally got a permit to dredge Whittaker Creek late yesterday. Due to CAMA rules, it has to get done by March 31. The King Dredging crew is willing to work 16 hour days, 7 days a week.

But we have to let them work. TownDock.net has learned that multiple times today boats have passed close enough to the King Dredge Barge that they have had to stop working.

If you don’t HAVE to traverse Whittaker Creek, please consider parking your boat until March 31. After that, you’ll have a deep channel and easy passage.

If you’d like to see the barge up close, take a look here:

Thank you to TownDock reader Andrew Wallace who took the drone video earlier today.

1:52p The brew menu for New Village Brewery’s take-out growlers & crowlers (beer in a can) changes daily. Have a look at today’s brews on tap.

11:08a M&Ms Cafe is adding Sunday breakfast to their take-out options, 8a til noon. Click here and see what’s cookin.

11:05a On Sunday, Mar 22, TownDock.net will livestream Sunday Services from Reverend Dr. Anne Walker Sims of the Oriental United Methodist Church. You can watch live at 10:30a Sunday morning, right here.

10:20a Want to have fun, with lots of Social Distance?

Consider chartering a boat. The folks at Bow To Stern Boating have an impressive fleet of sail and power vessels, all based in Oriental. Check ‘em out:

Sailboats to charter
Power boats to rent/charter

9:21a This may be a crazy planet, but give thanks for the weather. Sunny & low 80s today.

Soak it up.

8:52a Social Distancing. It’s a common term now, but this writer had never heard of it as recently three weeks ago.

Sometimes, ya gotta give some space. A reader writes in on the subject.

7:48a The dredging of Whittaker Creek channel began last night. The permit got delayed and re-delayed. But after final blessing from the Army Corp Of Engineers, NCDEQ and CAMA – the permit came in late yesterday afternoon.

The King Dredging crew drove in from Beaufort and began dredging last night. Here is a photo from 10p last night (thanks to Robert Allen at Whittaker Pointe Marina):

The CAMA deadline is March 31 to finish the dredging (unless an extension can be obtained). The King Dredging crew has said they will work long hours, 7 days a week, to make it all happen.

Thursday March 19, 2020

4:24p And now, for some good news. From Town Manager Diane Miller:

Just received the permit- awaiting the call to go over the conditions. Crew is inbound from Beaufort – they expect to be dredging by 5:30p today.

The Whittaker Creek dredging project has taken some time. Residents of the town helped raise over $109,389 – the amount needed to receive a matching grant from the state.

The dredge was delayed, first by Florence and again when CAMA officials confused the Whittaker Creek Dredging permit for the Whittaker Point Restoration Project permit and failed to issue the correct permit.

Town Manager Miller now has the correct permit in hand. King Dredging of Beaufort, who were awarded the dredging contract, have until April 1 to complete the project before a dredging moratorium sets in for the season.

Whittaker Creek Dredging Fully Funded
Whittaker Creek Dredging: Raising the Funds

3:38p Hope Clinic is making some adjustments to their operations in order to comply with current recommendations and laws, and provide for their patients. Read the full press release from Executive Director Yolanda Cristiani here. Hope Clinic can be reached at 252-745-5760.

1:54p Over at New Village Brewery, the taproom and garden are closed, but the walk-up window is open. But it’s best to call or email in your order. From Lili:

To speed up and reduce risk of exposure, we ask that you call or email us your order or have it ready upon arrival. You can reach us by phone at 252.249.6132 or by email thenewvillagebrewery@gmail.com

The list of brews can be found here.

1:31p Life is changing if you want to visit the bank. From First Citizens in Oriental:

Beginning Monday, March 23rd , we will operate the Oriental First Citizens Bank as drive-thru only, but will still allow customers in if they make an appointment to see a sales associate. Please contact us with any questions at 252-249-1462.

1:25p We need distractions from this current crazy world.

A week from today there is one – a Free Pilates class March 26 at Lou Mac Park. Max ten participants to keep it legal. Read more here.

12:24p And now, something not about the Coronavirus. The Shipping News has the bit of normalcy you may be craving. Two young women with a broken windlass make their way into Oriental. Read the story here.

11:38a M&M’s Cafe now has all their specials boards online – click here.

For listings of how area businesses are dealing with the Coronavirus situation click here.

11:04a Next month some 1,500 bicyclists were scheduled to visit Oriental for the Cycle NC Coastal Ride, April 24-26.

And then came along COVID-19. This morning in a live streamed Town Meeting on TownDock.net the Oriental Town Board voted 5-0 to cancel the Cycle NC visit. While technically that is true, there wasn’t a choice in the matter.

Both Federal recommendations from the CDC and the Governor’s Executive Order limit gathering sizes, as a result of the Coronavirus. Some limits suggest no gatherings above 50 people. Other limits are at 10 people. This event was 1,500 people.

We will miss the bicyclists’ visit. There is no group that large that has such a friendly & low impact. They can’t reschedule it later this year (Cycle NC has a different autumn event), but word is Oriental may be rescheduled for the Coastal Ride in 2022.

10:50a Light breezes, moderate temps – if it feels like Spring, that’s because it officially is Spring. Today is the Vernal Equinox, one of two days a year when day and night are nearly the same length.

The 2020 Spring Equinox is a bit odd. Usually, it falls between March 20 and 22. But today is the 19th, making this Equinox the earliest one in 124 years.

Happy Spring. Have some spring flowers:

6:50a This morning’s Special Town Meeting will stream live at 8a. It will also be available to view later in the day if you can’t be online at 8a.

The stream will be at this link.

View the meeting documents here.

While our new crazy world continues, Mom Nature is delivering some pleasant weather. Mixed clouds & sun and near 80 today, Friday all sunshine and again near 80.

Wednesday March 18, 2020

4:30p. Thinking of visiting Okracoke? Nope. Hyde County has restricted visitation to Ocracoke Island beginning March 19. Tomorrow. Only residents, property owners, workers, vendors will be allowed on Ocracoke-bound ferries. From NCDOT:

Visitors will not be allowed on Ocracoke-bound ferries starting Thursday morning, due to an emergency declaration issued today by Hyde County.
The Hyde County Board of Commissioners today approved an emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. As part of that declaration, visitors will not be allowed access to Ocracoke Island beginning at 5am March 19.

2:08p Thursday morning at 8a there is a Special Town Board meeting at Town Hall. While it is a public meeting, citizens are being asked to attend ONLINE due to the Coronavirus.

TownDock.net will be live streaming the meeting. Just come to the TownDock home page Thursday morning at 8a and the meeting will be just a click away.

Citizens will be able to ask questions online during the meeting. Ask questions by either texting 252-671-2821 or emailing manager@townoforiental.com. Please include Your Name and your Question/Comment.

The meeeting agenda is at this link.

10:23a If you are reading this post from the future, there has since been an update. Outdoor seating was allowed March 18, but no longer. Restaurants (after March 18) may only offer take out. Two more local restaurants have offered outdoor seating. The Bean is offering outdoor seating on their deck. The Bean is open 7 days a week, 7a – 5p. Oriental Deli has outdoor dining and offers delivery within 5 miles.

For a list of updated business hours and offerings in Oriental, click here.

9:28a The caveat in this post has since been addressed. Outdoor seating is no longer permitted. The Executive Order that closed restaurants indoor seating yesterday has a caveat. Out door seating is permitted, defined this way:

…restaurants are restricted to carry-out, drive-through, delivery, and onsite consumption in outdoor seating areas, subject to mass gathering restrictions to create an environment where staff and patrons maintain social distancing (at least 6 feet from other people) whenever possible.

With this in mind, at least two local restaurants are announcing outdoor eating starting today (in addition to take-out).

• M&Ms Cafe will serve on the outdoor screened in deck, offer take out, regular hours 11a – 9p.

• The Silos will serve food at the outdoor adjacent Red Rooster Bar. It starts at lunch, hours 11a – 9p. Open Mic Night will be live at the Red Rooster Bantam stage. offer take out only during regular hours.

You can read the complete Executive Order at this link. Page 3, article vi has the key language.

9:07a Some folks are freaking out alarmed about Oriental declaring a State Of Emergency. While these are unusual times, this is a boiler plate document that has also been used during hurricanes. The state did it. The county did it. And the town also did it.

If you can answer the following multiple choice quiz correctly, you will better understand what the declaration means.

The State of Emergency declaration is:
A. A State of Emergency declaration is a secret order that allows the police to come and take all your toilet paper.
OR
B. A State of Emergency declaration is an administrative tool that provides the town access to additional emergency management and federal resources and funds if needed to address this emergency.

8:54a Oriental Piggly Wiggly owner Billy Flockhart writes in:

We are working hard to keep shelves stocked at your Oriental Piggly Wiggly. Delivery trucks will be exactly 24 hours behind for the rest of the week – we normally get a truck and Oriental at 3 o’clock in the morning on Monday Wednesday and Friday so we will get a truck in at 3 o’clock in the morning Thursday and Saturday instead.
We continue to order all the necessary needs: Clorox, Clorox wipes, Lysol hand sanitizer, plus all the regular grocery items you seek.
The warehouse is late getting deliveries out because the companies are late getting them the product. We have limited meat and produce until tomorrow but I have bumped up the orders like crazy. We’ve kept shelves stocked after hurricanes and we are working day and night to keep things stocked during these challenging times.
Oriental is fortunate to have The Piglet. Here are this week’s specials.

See the latest Billy Piggly Wiggly video at this link.

7:38a And amidst the oddness of current life, the porch of The Bean almost looked normal this morning. Coffee and eats are take out, but regulars sat on the porch a few minutes with their caffeine and took in a clear harbor view.

Stand by for warm. Sunny and near 70 today, Thursday & Friday mixed clouds & sun and near 80.

Viruses aren’t supposed to do well in warm weather. Here’s hoping some 80 degree days weaken Hurricane Corona.

Tuesday March 17, 2020

5:00p As of this moment a Governor’s Executive Order requires all NC restaurants & bars be closed, except for take out orders. Most local restaurants (and the brewery) are providing a take out option. Read more here…

4:08p Town Hall has officially declared a State Of Emergency. Here is the document.

4:04p Last call? The Tiki bar is open, now until ‘curfew’ – which is 5p today.

2:19p Local business are adapting to a new, fast-changing world. Click here to see who’s staying open, and who’s offering home delivery and take out service.

executive order1:21p On the positive side, you don’t have to have your taxes done by April 15 this year. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced today that taxpayers can delay paying their income taxes for up to 90 days – until July 15. This is only if you owe less than a million dollars.

If that doesn’t apply to you… ain’t life grand?

executive order11:10a NC Gov Roy Cooper has announced an order that restaurants and bars be closed except for take out and delivery orders. The move aims to lessen the spread of the Coronavirus by limiting interactions between groups of people. Cooper stated this executive order would be effective at 5p today, and would also include an expansion of unemployment insurance.

Locally, at least two restaurants have announced take out plans.



• M&M’s Cafe is providing Corned Beef & Cabbage tonight, plus their full menu. M&Ms is offering take out and delivery. Call 252-249-2000.


• The Silos is offering their full menu for take out orders. Orders can be placed online at silosnc.com or by calling 252-249-1050.
Silos menus are online at this link.


Both The Silos and M&Ms state they will be open today for lunch as normal, and this afternoon. The Governor’s executive order requires all restaurants and bars be take out only by 5p today.

11:02a Writing Your Own Obituary. It was the topic for tomorrow’s seminar in the Planning for Your Future series. Coronavirus has postponed this one, too, along with the rest of Prime Time’s programming and events.

Take a look at the postponements and cancellations here.

10:47a Here in the midst of Hurricane Corona, life needs diversions. Corny tune time… the lyrics start with: How can I be sure, in a world that’s constantly changing?

The original was by the Young Rascals, 1967. The above is a remake by Marc Almond, complete with plenty of 1960s kitsch. Social Distancing dancing allowed…

10:40a Village Gallery is closed until March 31. All the local closings & postponements are listed here.

8:34a The ferry is running on its normal schedule, but all NC ferries are now operating with the Coronavirus in mind:

Passengers are now being asked to remain in their vehicles for the duration of the voyage, if possible. Passengers who need to exit their vehicles are asked to follow guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including limiting contact with surfaces, remaining at least six feet away from other passengers and employees and washing hands for at least 20 seconds before returning to their vehicles.
Take the ferry. Stay in your car. Enjoy the ride.

8:29a It’s another day on our odd planet. Spin on, dear reader.

Eileen Miles with Pamlico County Fishes and Loaves writes in:

Pamlico County Fishes and Loaves Outreach FOOD PANTRY, (PCFLO) located at St. Peter the Fishermen Church on White Farm Road, WILL BE OPEN for distribution of food to all its regular clients on Tuesday and Thursday and to ANYONE NEEDING EMERGENCY FOOD, from 12 pm to 2 pm. We will be following all guidelines currently in place by the federal government and the local Food Bank in order to keep our clients safe. If you have any questions, please call the Food Pantry at 252-249-3687.