Friday, 02 July 2021 16:01


Folks on Pleasure Island knew her simply as “Rose.”  I met her at the Carolina Beach Dog Park where she was a regular visitor with her forever friend, Speagle the Beagle.  They stayed with friends at various locations on the Island over the years.  When a bed was unavailable, they slept in her car, which was packed solid with life belongings and memories.  That’s where she died last Saturday.

She struggled with wounds from her past, but never allowed those to define who she was.  She was fiercely independent and resilient.  She had a big heart and an easy smile that touched the many people with whom she had contact.  Businesses and Churches on the Island opened their doors to her and Speagle.  She lived life to the fullest.  Our redbone coonhound Kirby, learned to recognize her car on our walks and early morning trips to the Dog Park.  She seemed to always have an extra treat for him. 

Christmas morning 2019 we got to the Park early to find a message written on a pizza box:  “Blessed Morn!!!  Until I see everyone again Joy, Peace, Doggie Love to all!!!  Thanks for caring for me and Speagle-Dog as we are.”  It is a sobering lesson in relationship and empathy that no text book can ever teach.

When her car died last year, Rose used an old bike to get around towing Speagle in a child’s trailer.  After she lost a wheel on the trailer and it was beyond repair, a restaurant owner donated money for a new trailer.  She took advantage of many opportunities to share gifts with folks she cared for.  I have a coffee cup that says:  “Life is better with a furry friend.”  When she found out my wife was looking to buy a horse, a small plastic version was left on the hood of my truck.

After a prolonged absence from the Park, she showed up last fall and her legs were more swollen than usual.  I talked to her about much needed assistance and put the word out to the Social Work community in Wilmington.  I received an overwhelming response and phone numbers for her to call.  I assisted her with making some contacts, but fears of losing her independence and Speagle prevented her from choosing permanent housing.

My hope is she died peacefully with her car pointed towards the ocean.  But, like most poor, homeless people she was entitled to a better fate.  Empathy and compassion can make that happen.  They are a bridge to acceptance and what it means to be fully human in America – “as we are.”


John Shalanski

It’s that time of year again—time for Christmas in July! This annual  charity event,  sponsored by Pleasure Island Parrot Heads, raises funds to buys toys, games and art supplies for children undergoing treatment at Betty H. Cameron Women's and Children's Hospital at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.  

Since starting Christmas in July in 2008, the club has raised nearly $20,000  to benefit children at the hospital. Community donations make it  possible and the fundraising goal this year is $2,000. 

“We ask your assistance in helping us continue this wonderful tradition of bringing joy to the children who are receiving treatment at the hospital,” says John Query, who chairs the club’s Christmas in July committee. In addition to tossing spare change in jars at area businesses, there are three ways to donate this year: 

Via Go Fund Me—visit  https://charity.gofundme.com/christmas-in-july-piph 

By Check—send  your donation to Pleasure Island Parrot Heads, P.O. Box 643, Kure Beach, NC  28449. 

At the Ballpark— The Parrot Heads are partnering with the Wilmington Sharks on Thursday, July 8th for the Christmas In July baseball game. "Come out and support the Wilmington Sharks and general admission is FREE with a new unwrapped toy brought to the game,” says Query. "We also have a 50/50 raffle supporting our cause, so bring some cash!” The game starts at 7 p.m. at Buck Hardee Field at Legion Stadium in Wilmington. 

The Pleasure Island Parrot Heads is a 501(c3) organization that celebrate the island lifestyle and music of Jimmy Buffett, while also giving back to the community through fundraising and volunteering. For more information contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the club on Facebook.

Plans were to write a real easy editorial gearing up for Independence Day celebrations, firework safety and getting your pets prepared for loud noises but then the Island Gazette received a Press Release from the Carolina Beach Police Department involving the sexual assault on a 14 year old. I will let the report share those details but in finding out about those events I found the prevalence of teen and child sexual assault is difficult to measure because often it goes unreported.

However data shows this; 66% of rape victims under the age of 18 are 12 to 17. Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault. 43.6% of girls were victimized by an acquaintance. Teenagers account for 51% of all reported sexual abuse and 23% of all sexual offenders are under the age of 18. In North Carolina alone statewide rape cases were up 33.8% in 2019.

Families; now is the time for the conversation with your children, teen and/ or young adult. There are tons of great resources to help spark the conversation including the Nation Institute of Justice’s Program “Shifting Boundaries,” the book, “Safe Dates,” the CDC has tons of technical packages that can be downloaded for free from their website and www.rainn.org has tons of ways to spark the conversation with both kids and young adult.

As a mom of five I know the conversation is difficult and uncomfortable to have have but a necessity for young men and women. Please talk about the dangers of putting yourself in bad situations and the ramifications crimes like rape and assault have for the rest of your life. 

Statistics have been compiled from RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available over the phone and via online chat. Call 800.656.HOPE to reach a local sexual assault service provider near you. Visit online.rainn.org to chat with a trained RAINN support specialist. For help in Spanish, visit rainn.org/es.

The Town of Carolina Beach held their monthly workshop this past Monday starting with staff recognition introducing the town’s new Stormwater System Manager, Brandon Wise and the town’s new Project Manager, Paula Kempton.

The Canal Drive Flooding Advisory Committee followed with a presentation by Chair, Dale Walters, who shared the committee’s updates; “The Canal Drive Flooding Advisory Committee was established by Town Council on February 13, 2018. Since establishment, a traffic control ordinance and flood routing plan has been adopted by Town Council, a three point survey and qualitative assessment of private and public bulkheads between the Town Marina and the marina at the North End has been completed, a State of North Carolina monitored tidal and sea level gauging station has been installed on Myrtle Grove Sound (Sandpiper Lane), and initiating legislative proposals for management of long term solutions for tidal flooding have been forwarded to State Legislative Staff, yet the basic health, welfare, and flood damage to private and public properties at the North End continues unabated. The Town of Carolina Beach Canal Drive Flooding and Vulnerability Assessment Study, (Aptim, 2/2019), identifies nine locations along Canal and Florida that are at the root cause for the majority of tidal flooding at the North End. Tidal flow through these locations is the principal factor behind the continued deterioration of pavement on Canal, Florida, and the connector segments between Canal and CBAN, and those that run between Florida and Virginia. Dewatering constraints that are necessary to physically reconstruct water and sewer systems at the North End are the principal reason the Town has had to abandon its planned renovation of underground services and storm water pumps at the North End. Monthly flooding of the existing gravity sewer at the North End continues to compromise the health and welfare of residents and visitors, as well as impede public access to beach parking, restrooms, North End commercial establishments, and Freeman Park. It is the Committee’s opinion that immediate action is required to address these nine identified flooding locations.”

Walters shared two recommendations to council including the Town Council authorize Staff to develop an engineering RFP to solicit a cost estimate and hard design recommendations for the nine locations identified in the “Vulnerability Assessment Study. Estimated Cost < $100,000. The Committee also recommended that Staff be authorized to develop an RFP for solicitation of legal services to thoroughly examine the Town’s nuisance abatement options and responsibilities, and to identify the legal and legislative hurdles necessary to implement a long term solution to tidal flooding. (Estimated Cost < $30,000).” Walters included that 9 properties were affecting 100 homes.

Mayor and council shared concerns with CAMA and legalities using the town’s nuisance abatement options by forcing property owners to build a bulkhead. Mayor Pierce said, “I don’t like the thought of suing our citizens.” Councilman Barbee shared, “when you start taking action against property owners, what we’ve seen is that it ends up in a long legal fight, which ends up costing us almost every time we do that so I’d much rather see any solution where we resolve.” Council advised the Town Manager to explore ordinances concerning bulkheads and possibly reaching out to the property owners to work on a solution together and possibly finding grants to off set cost to the property owner. The town owns two of the properties that currently do not have a bulkheads and Mayor Pierce stated, “if we are going to expect other people to do it we need to be the example.” Council agreed and advised the Town Manager to come back to council with an update.

A presentation was made to council by Reef Parking who presented “RoverPass” a possible vendor for North End Passes and campsites. The company stated their system makes things more streamline, is extremely user friendly which will generate more money for the town. In the proposal all processing fees would be passed to the customer tagging on an additional $6.75 to any purchase, currently the processing fee is only $3.65. Councilman Garza asked staff why they were exploring other options, Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin answered, “we want to increase efficiencies increase our reporting and be more efficient, to bring in more revenue.” Council raised concerns of annual pass holders versus daily pass holders, those visiting from out of town to only arrive to a park that has reached capacity or closures due to weather and tides. The proposal will be revisited in July.

Council and staff finished with Committee Ordinance and Policy Review implementing new polices and procedures for appointments and the administration of the Town’s volunteer and citizen advisory committees. The updates included purpose, appointments, meeting attendance, resignations, procedures for filling vacancies and appointed positions. administration, membership, establishing a chair, conflict of interests, meetings , voting and quorum, ground rules,  procedures and limitation of powers. A complete list of updates are available at carolinabeach.org


Editors Note: Since the article was published Scott Seifer will not run for election** July 1st is the filing period for the municipal elections are officially on and all 3 Carolina Beach Town Council incumbents will not re-seek election. Mayor Leann Pierce made her official announcement yesterday via prerecorded video from her social media page. Mayor Pierce stated “after much thought and consideration I have decided I will not seek reelection for Mayor but instead in December when my time is up I will file to run for New Hanover County Commissioner. Representing the citizens and helping people have been my way of giving back to the community and I can help a lot more people of the county level. I will bring the experience of a life long small business owner, the unique understanding of our county beaches and the tried and proven leadership having served as a Mayor in New Hanover County to the Board. I will continue to support you and I thank you for continuing to support me as you always have as your next New Hanover County Commissioner, thank you.” JoDann Garza had hinted around the last Town Council meeting stating, there will be 3 people up here then later on his personal Facebook page announced he and his wife were ready to start a family, “I truly want to thank you for your support these past 4 years. It has been one awesome journey!! I really dig our community and residents. We are an awesome unique bunch of amazing people that I feel will continue to do great things with our island. Though I will no longer be on Council, I will try my best to continue to volunteer and join a committee or two (for the knowledge I have obtained, will hopefully be useful). Thank you for understanding and supporting me through the years.” Councilmen Shuttleworth also announced he would not be running for re-election again. Shuttleworth stated, he had served the Island for two and a half terms now and was ready to step down. He stated he is very proud of the many positive changes during his time on council including the rebuilding of the Boardwalk, extension grants, positive changes to Freeman Park, infrastructure bond, the Island Greenway and more but admitted there were still a few things he would have like to see completed before he’s gone. Shuttleworth finished with, “it has been an honor and pleasure to serve this community.” Later Tuesday evening Councilman Lynn Barbee made his announcement to run for Carolina Beach Mayor. Councilman Barbee had this to say; “Almost two years ago I began my effort to represent you on our town council. With your support and with help from Mayor Pierce and my fellow council mates we are making progress. We have a stable town hall with Bruce Oakley at the helm. We have improved transparency and communication. We have weathered the COVID storm. We have passed a budget that gets us back on track with many of our maintenance items that we had to put on a back burner during the uncertainty of COVID. While we have momentum on our side, we are far from the objectives I set out to achieve two years ago. There is lots of work to be done. As you know, Councilman Garza and Mayor Pierce have announced that they will not seek re-election this fall. Today I am announcing my intent to enter the race for Mayor of Carolina Beach. We need experienced leadership and if I'm completely honest, a couple of more years of mentorship from Mayor Pierce would have been a luxury. This is now a luxury we don't have. However, I am confident that I can lead our town, I have developed a strong relationship with our Town Manager and staff. A relationship based on mutual respect, trust, accountability and a shared vision for our future. It's very early in this process, but I'm going to start here today by asking you for your support in this endeavor.” Last month Mike Hoffer, Debra LeCompte and Scott Seifer all announced they would be throwing their names in for Carolina Beach Town Council. Hoffer posted this from his website: “ I've been in CB since 2003. I know the town, the people and the issues. My vision is for a Carolina Beach focused more on the sun and the sea than it is on restaurants and rides... a town where bikes and pedestrians are as important as cars and trucks... a town that is healthy, environmentally sound and sustainable. The traffic and the crowds are getting insane. We must focus on alternative transportation or we'll find ourselves in gridlock. Let's encourage people to get out of their cars and onto their feet, their bikes (and yes, their golf carts too.) This will result in a safer town, easier access to our businesses and a more peaceful environment. Carolina Beach needs to calm down. Therefore, I will not support policies that make things crazy, crowded or complicated. I will gladly support policies that make things sane, serene and simple. Ultimately these decisions will result in a town that is easier to manage and fiscally sound. Our community should be an absolute paradise for outdoor recreation and I will see that it happens. Let's make our town beautiful, safe, and convenient for bikers, hikers, walkers and rollers. We can do this!” In on June 1st Debra Lecompte announced her running and shared this, “I am excited to announce my intent to run for Carolina Beach Town Council this November. I have never been one to shy away from speaking out and speaking up for what I believe is right and have put my leadership and passion to work while serving my friends and neighbors on various town committees. I have a proven record of rolling up my sleeves and doing the work necessary to succeed. I want to ensure that Carolina Beach is a great place to raise a family for generations to come. I will spend the next couple of months doing what I do....listening and researching. I ask that you like and share my page Deb LeCompte for Carolina Beach Town Council.” In May Scott Seifer shared he would be running for town council stating the following, “After much thought and discussion with family and friends, I’m pleased and honored to announce my intention to run for Carolina Beach Town Council in November’s election. I think I can safely say that my love and passion for Carolina Beach is obvious to those who know me, and I am excited at the thought of representing the citizens, the businesses, and the town. First things first… this is not a popularity contest. I want you to hear my viewpoints, thoughts, and ideas about the future of the town to ensure that you feel I’m the right person to fill one of the two available council spots in this election. I got where I am in my professional life, as well as co-founding two small businesses with my wife by being strong, decisive and by researching, planning and having vision. At the same time, many of you know me as someone who loves to share a laugh or two while enjoying this amazing town we call home. Those of you who are familiar with me, either in person or thru my Facebook pages and posts, know that I am level-headed, inquisitive, honest, caring, helpful and always interested in what’s best for the folks in the town. Let’s be honest, I’m not going to magically have all the answers to questions or issues, but you can be 100% assured that I will research, learn, explore, discuss and tirelessly work to find answers and/or improve situations that arise. The key, in my mind, is communication… my availability to all of you and the ability to have civil conversations and discussions with residents as well as the other members of council. Council is a five-member group. Each member has unique perspectives, experiences, viewpoints, ideas and access to experts in various fields. We won’t all agree at times, but if we can simply agree to listen and thoroughly discuss the serious topics that must be tackled, we’ll be able to make the best decisions based on all of the information available. As the election approaches, I will be available at scheduled Meet and Greet events. You also know you can get in touch with any time, and I’d be happy to meet with anyone who would like to get together for a one-on-one discussion. I will be in ‘listen mode’ the majority of the time, learning about you, your neighborhood and your views of the town. While of course answering your questions about my viewpoints. I absolutely want to hear your ideas and what you’d like the future of Carolina Beach to look like. I look forward to speaking with you and earning your trust and your vote.” This is the very first time in Island Gazette history no incumbents have re-run for Carolina Beach Town Council. Time will tell if more names drop in the hat for both Carolina Beach Town Council and Mayors positions!






Please publish modules in offcanvas position.