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Page 8 of the Town of Carolina Beach’s November 19th weekly update revealed that Public Works “picked up several deceased birds” from Freeman Park.

We reached out to Assistant to the Town Manager, Sheila  Nicholson to ask how many were “several” in which she responded they had picked up 20 birds and had contacted NC Wildlife who explained this does happen often this time of year because of storms and the birds essentially drown.

We reached out to the NC Wildlife for further questioning and had not received any response as of press time. We will follow up next week with an update.

This past Saturday the Carolina Beach Bar Club hosted their Annual Neon Bike Brigade that benefits Ocean Cure. Around 350 bikes adorned with lights and glow sticks met at the Carolina Beach Lake for live music, fresh brew and food trucks! At sundown the Bike Brigade took to the streets of Carolina Beach ending at the SeaWitch where guests enjoyed raffles and live music from “The Conspiracy” who had the crowd rocking! Final numbers are still coming however it is estimated well over $35,000 will be donated to Ocean Cure. Special thanks to this year’s sponsors and donors: Carolina Beach Physical Therapy/ Marcia Morgan, AccessRec, Drifters Reef, CB Surfshop, the Fudgeboat, Joey Milam, Teri Smith, Matt and Lara Hamlet/ JoDan and Caitlyn Garza, Trust Mortgage, Carolina Marine Construction, Sun Shack Design Solutions, Top to Bottom Business Solution/ Kitty McClellan, Greg Reynolds Architecture, Wake N Bake, CapeFear Commercial, Sea Coast Advantage/ Coldwell Banker, Aunt Anne's Community Garden, Shuckin Shack/ Pleasure Island Rentals, SeaWitch Café & Tiki Bar and Kathy Carson!

Ocean Cure is a 501c3 non-profit organization, led by Kevin Murphy, is dedicated to helping people through the healing powers of the ocean. Through surfing and paddle boarding, our highly qualified instructors help people gain confidence, freedom and a sense of normalcy. Each season the group maintains and installs about 50 yards of beach floor running from the north access to the south access of the boardwalk make the area ideal for wheelchair access. Learn more at ocean-cure.org. online at www.liferollson.org .

Carolina Beach Bar Club (CBBC) is a select group of island locals who have a passion for supporting local bars and businesses who in turn support our group. The CBBC organizes frequent events at local bars for social gathering, birthdays, sports games, celebrations, and any other reason to get out and enjoy our island. Follow “Carolina Beach Bar Club” on Facebook for updates.

Monday, 29 November 2021 18:14

Federal Point Lodge #753 Poinsettia Sale

Federal Point Masonic Lodge #375 will be offering poinsettias for sale December 4th  and 5th ,2021, Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. There are 5-inch and 8-inch potted plants available offering both red and white. The price of the 5-inch pots will be $10 each and the 8- inch pots with three plants will cost $30 each. The money raised from the sale will benefit the Masonic Lodge’s building fund. This fund helps to address routine maintenance and repairs to the lodge building and grounds. The sale location will be off Carl Winner Blvd in the parking area at Sharkeys.

Federal Point Masonic Lodge #753, located in Carolina Beach on the corner of 5th Street and Harper Avenue is a fraternity of men who meet monthly with goals of supporting several causes in North Carolina and Carolina Beach, including Masonic charities and local community projects. The lodge has 62 members who live on Pleasure Island and in Wilmington. There is no singular definition of Freemasonary. Freemasonary provides a different aspect to each man who joins the fraternity. For some it is a place to make acquaintances and to offer each other friendship and goodwill. Through each of these endeavors, Freemasonary seeks men of all different backgrounds and make them better husbands, fathers, and citizens by encouraging friendship, morality, and brotherly love. Freemasonary is the world’s largest and oldest non-religious, non-political, fraternal, and charitable organization.

With that said, we hope that we will receive your support by purchasing these seasonal plants for the holidays. For more information about the sale and our fraternity, you can contact Mike Seigh, 910-409-1510 or Michael Steinhilber at 910-409-7509.

This past Monday the Town of Carolina Beach hosted “Beach Town’s Breakfast” at the Marriott. The meeting gives Municipal, County, State and Federal leaders a chance to give updates, provide networking and help build relationships amongst the groups.

Due to COVID it had been almost 2 years since the last event and leaders heard current state of affairs from Congressman Rouzer, Representative Charlie Miller, Representative Ted Davis, New Hanover County Commissioners, City of Wilmington, Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach, Colonel Arnold and staff with MOTSU, Colonel Bennitt and staff with USACE, Captain Baer and team from US Coast Guard who spoke on issues they are tackling including the constant fight for sand, affects of this past King Storm, our current relationship with MOTSU and the recent purchase of Freeman Park.

This past Friday Carolina Beach Town Council held a special meeting that immediately went into closed session and after a little over 25 minutes Mayor and Council reemerged where Mayor Leann Pierce made a motion that would end all pending litigations, facilitate future beach renourishment and sand placement from inlet dredging, allow for historic uses to continue and forever to preserve 300 acres of open space.

After 4 years of litigation the deal included purchasing the tracks for a total of $7,000,000 with a $500,000 down payment and the remaining balance being paid off within 7 years with 5% simple interest and no prepayment penalty. The motion was passed unanimously. Mayor LeAnn Pierce stated, “This afternoon Carolina Beach Town Council voted to purchase the remaining tracks of Freeman Park. This preserves 300 acres of open space and secures beach renourishment easements for future projects.  We will be in contact with the Freeman family to construct a monument in their honor to preserve the history of the Freeman’s.  It is our plan to partner with organizations such as UNCW Marine studies, masonboro.org and others to create educational pieces such as living classrooms, oyster farming,  kayak launches and walking trails.  This  ensures Freeman Park which borders the ocean, Intracoastal waterway and the Carolina Beach inlet as open space for all future generations to enjoy it’s beauty.”

Councilman Lynn Barbee shared this was not a decision I entered into lightly, he was cautious about entering into any agreements that would distract them from the infrastructure work we need, or any financial arrangements that would preclude that focus and he “didn't want any plan that put the cost on our property owners in additional tax increases.”

So what does purchasing Freeman Park accomplish for the town? First and foremost the 4 year legal battle is over saving tax payers tons of legal cost. 300 acres of open space, the town will eventually be able to include the area in its town ship and is a giant win for beach and inlet beach nourishment.

Carolina Beach Town Council held their regular monthly meeting last night. The evening kick-off with Councilman Barbee making a motion to table “Parking” that included a text amendment to address private parking lots and awarding a parking contract to Pivot Parking until the next workshop. This came as a surprise to those who attended previous meetings where the discussion of parking has been an urgency, Tim Murphy provided event updates that included this Saturdays Trash to Treasures Yard Sale at the Carolina Beach Lake, the Neon Bike Brigade on the 20th, Nollies Salsa Shred December 4th as well as Carolina Beach Parks and Rec Department’s events with Christmas by the Sea. Murphy also shared that Florida Man will wrap up filming in Carolina Beach at Town Hall December 1st.

Cape Fear Four LLC was back before council with yet request to conditional zoning change for the Proximity Project. During public comment Council heard the same concerns as in the previous meeting in the way of traffic, infrastructure, water supply and some asking council to table the project for the newly elected members. Representative with Cape Fear Four LLC assured the audience they have experts who are reviewing all of their concerns and they want to provide Carolina Beach with a viable development. After discussion the changes were voted in 4-1 with Councilman JoDan Garza the only, “nay.”

The next agenda item brought tree protection to the table. Council heard a proposal that requires one tree per 25 linear feet for proposed new construction or expansion. Mayor Pro Tem Healy made a motion to adopt the tree ordinance that was voted “for” unanimously.

Town Manager Bruce Oakley shared an unfortunate lake dredge update stating the lowest bid the received was a whopping $6.4 Million. The elevated cost was mostly due to having to carry spoils of the Island. Councilman Shuttleworth said after reviewing the bid that it was very complicated and that there was several line items that caused the bid to be so high and he encouraged staff to go back and review.

During the meeting, as a silent show of support Councilman Steve Shuttleworth placed a piece of paper with “Deb LeCompte” written on it in front of his desk placard. Council will discuss how to fill the vacant seat at the next meeting leaving some wondering how they will choose to fill it. In discussion with voters, most felt those who ran for council or even the next vote getter should be considered. Shortly after the election Councilman Barbee shared the following from his social media site, “I am getting a number of inquiries about how the new council will appoint someone to complete the last two years of my term. The process is very simple. Once the new council is sworn in on Dec 14, they will discuss. As your elected representatives they may use whatever process they desire to decide. It will take 3 of the 4 to agree on an appointee. There is no formal time limit, but it usually happens pretty quick. Let’s be patient. Two of the new council members have had less than 24 hours to digest their next steps.

Elections by their nature create divisions, bruised egos, and sometimes even some hurt feelings. If we are to achieve our goal of finding the best possible person, we need time for everyone to heal a bit and remember we are all on the same team.

I was asked if the candidates who came up short would be considered. I think they should be, along with other citizens who have served the town and have demonstrated knowledge and commitment. We need someone who complements the team.”

Thursday, 18 November 2021 01:27

Historical Building Set for Demolition

A demolition permit has been awarded for 123 Harper Avenue in Carolina Beach. The Historical building that had been recognized by the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society for its value to the community will soon be leveled. In an email sent to Mayor and Council from Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin shared, “The Century 21 building on the corner of Harper and LPB has applied for a demolition permit.  The current building has too many maintenance issues for the owners and they believe a new building with a better layout will serve them well.  They have a limited footprint so they don’t anticipate going up with any residential.  They do plan to build back another office building that incorporates additional retail/office space along LPB. 

There has been some concern in the community that we are losing a historic building.  This building does not have a historic designation, however the owners are aware of the concerns and they do want to go back with a building that preserves some of the historic features of the current structure.”

In the 1940’s the location served as the Carolina Beach Drug Store, which was the central focal point in the community for citizens as well as tourists, with a soda fountain and snack bar to accompany the pharmacy with a rooming house upstairs. In 1948 a ultra-modem bus terminal was added to the building and opened to the public for the first time Friday, July 30, 1948. 

The bus stopped there, you could pay your light bill, and even receive advice from the resident pharmacist.” “…The two-story stucco building, with a distinctive, castle like parapet around its roof, was much more than a drug store…for years it doubled as Carolina Beach’s bus station. During World War II, a bus stopped daily to ferry local workers to the shipyard in Wilmington…Besides soft drinks, the drug store boasted a “complete and modern restaurant” with seafood and other entrees according to a 1948 Star-News advertisement. Star News Article 2/24/04 

In the past decade the location has housed former Laney Real Estate and currently Century 21 Sweyer and Associates. Postcards, pictures and history courtesy of federal-point-history.org

Tuesday, 26 October 2021 19:33

2021 Island of Lights Events Announcement

After last Season’s shutdown, volunteers are exciting to bring back the Island of Lights event! This year there will not be an official “Lighting of the Lake” but the displays will be lit up and available for viewing nightly starting November’26th around Carolina Beach Lake!

The Island of Lights Christmas Parade will return Friday, December 3rd starting at 7:30pm the parade proceeds from Atlanta Avenue down Lake Park Boulevard to the Federal Point Plaza in Carolina Beach. Floats, bands and Santa Clause will be there to add to the festivities of the season and provide a night of entertainment for families. ​ To be a part of this exciting parade, you can register online at carolinabeach.org, you may also stop in the Carolina Beach Recreation Center for help registering. 

The Island of Lights Flotilla will return Saturday, December 4th starting at 6pm. Fishing boats and pleasure craft electrically decorated with thousands of lights present a spectacular display on the Intracoastal Waterway. They cruise form Snows Cut to the Carolina Beach Boat Basin and back. The boats compete for prizes and add to the wonderful holiday spirit. A panel of judges will be on hand to choose the winners. Bring the family and enjoy the evening at Carolina Beach.

The Island of Lights Tour of Homes has been canceled but the New Year’s Eve Celebration will be held in Kure Beach Friday December 31st. Starting at 9:00am all are welcomed to enjoy this free family-friendly event will feature a DJ and dancing with refreshments and party favors available for purchase all in Kure Beach’s beautiful Oceanfront Park!

Island of Lights is a non-profit organization that was created to promote tourism on Pleasure Island during the off-season.  For more than 25 years, they have made Pleasure Island one of the top spots to visit during the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday and New Year’s Eve.  Throughout the year, IOL puts on many activities the whole family can enjoy. 

The Island of Lights is always looking for volunteers! Members can join various committees that work on each of the events. All events are a group effort and you can meet new people and have fun while supporting the organization. For more information you can call Francis Massey at (910) 458-5507 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

If you are elected on to council, what will be the first thing you do? 

The first thing that I will do is try to meet with each and every department head at town hall to understand their perspective on what is needed to be done and in what order.  I think the town manager and council need to be aligned as to priorities.  I would also ask for an evaluation of the town’s financial situation and what its true borrowing capacity is at this time and also ask for a review of all town owned properties to see if there are any assets to be monetized.

   Do you feel like Carolina Beach Town Staff is working effectively?  

I believe staff is working effectively but not staffed to work efficiently.  There is a difference between effective and efficient.  I would like staff to be more proactive instead of reactive.

 If not, what will you change? 

I would like to review the org structure with the town manager to see if there are gaps in competencies that need to be addressed and for ideas on how we can work smarter.  I know the efficiency study highlighted certain areas that needed to be addressed.  I also know that we need to start the process of looking for replacements as I believe some key individuals are probably nearing retirement.

 What specific skills do you bring to council should you be elected?  

I have had a successful and proven 30 year career in finance. I have an expansive background in investing and searching for the best sources of financing. My expertise is in strategic planning and forward thinking and bringing groups of people with diverse interests to a consensus for the best outcome for now and for the future.  We need to scrutinize every dime we spend in order to ensure we achieve these results. We need to make sure every tax dollar we receive from our residents is used for their best interests.  I have made a career of making and maintaining banking relationships, investor relationships, government relationships and I will do everything I can to do so for the town of Carolina Beach to ensure we tackle the critical issues as well as to maintain the small-town charm.  Additionally, I have served on the senior leadership teams of the companies for whom I have worked and feel that additional leadership capabilities will be needed to help make the difficult decisions that will need to be made.

I asked both Mayoral candidates this in a different form, what was your biggest disappointment made by standing council?  

I think the biggest disappointment is not taking more of a leadership role during the last 2 years.  This was a time that required more, not less, communication.   I know some council members made a very strong attempt at communications (for which I applaud them), but in general there was a lack leadership, communication, and accountability at council.  We can attribute some of that to Covid but I think good leaders find a way to adapt and be more flexible.  We all know what the needs of our town are. Council’s job is to prioritize those needs and I know how to budget, how to invest and how to borrow for those needs.  Our town’s top priorities are to ensure our infrastructure, storm and water sewage systems and flooding are taken care of. This is what our taxpayers pay for and they deserve nothing less.

Some residents have commented that their quality of life is diminishing? 

How do you reassure them?   I have not generally heard such comments, but I think they can be attributed to the fact that there is so much growth and development going on in this town, that people feel that their quality of life is changing.  I think we need to reassure people that change does not have to equal a diminished quality of life.  We need to address the challenges that are in front of us with an open mind.  One thing I think we all can agree on is that we do NOT want to change the family friendly, close-knit community feeling that exists here but there is room for improvement that will be incremental to the vibe of the town.   

Any parting words for residents as we look forward to electing the next council?  

My final word would be something like this.  I know I am not the best-known candidate that is running for council but, as I have said, this is not a popularity contest.  It is the responsibility of all voters, no matter in what election, to take the time to understand where the candidates are coming from and vote for who you think has the best skill set needed to help run this town.  A vote for a friend or neighbor that may or may not be the most qualified just cancels out a vote for someone who may be better qualified and, in an election where the margin of victory can be a handful of votes, every vote matters.  Council should be working for you, the residents and voters.  Please judge me on my abilities and my unique skill set that may be lacking on council currently.  As this town faces some very expensive infrastructure projects ahead, it would benefit the town to have someone with that finance background.

 

If you are elected on to council, what will be the first thing you do?

I will work with the new council to delegate responsibilities for individual council members. Our collective responsibility model is inefficient because we find ourselves working on the same things. Each council member should have specific areas of expertise and focus on them.

For instance, I would volunteer to oversee stormwater policy, environmental concerns and bike/pedestrian safety. That way, if a citizen has a concern with one of those issues, they’d know who to call. I would work with staff, develop in-depth knowledge of the subjects and communicate to the public. This would free the other council members to focus on their areas of expertise. Efficiency matters!

In the first winter of my term I would push for multiple safety improvements around town that would have an immediate effect. Reclaim the bike lanes on Lake Park Blvd, add a crosswalk at Spartanburg Ave, repaint pavement markings around the school and repair sidewalks in strategic spots, just to name a few.

 Do you feel like Carolina Beach Town Staff is working effectively? 

No.

If not, what will you change?

As I stated previously, Town Council should divide our workload. This will help staff work more efficiently, because it will eliminate distractions and overlapping requests.

Take stormwater for instance. When someone has a problem, they often contact the council member they know. Then the council member calls around, learns about the issue, meets with staff to find a resolution, etc… This is inefficient, distracting to staff and time consuming for Town Council.

A better system is for one council member to focus on stormwater. I would know the systems, know the staff, know the problems and know how to address them. Everyone would know where the buck stops and that’s always the best way to get results. If you want something done – make it someone’s job. It’s a more efficient system for Town Council and staff.

 What specific skills do you bring to council should you be elected?

I’m the only candidate with an engineering degree and stormwater management experience, so I’ll start there. I can provide technical assistance and oversight that is needed right now.

I’ve spent years organizing volunteer crews for environmental stewardship and community improvement projects. This is a great skill to have, because if our citizens help, then town staff can allocate their manpower and resources to other things. This makes for a more sustainable future.

I’m a great communicator. Town Council needs better communication with our citizens and I will provide that. I’ve been writing articles and newsletters for over 15 years. I will focus on my areas of expertise and regularly share information through multiple sources.

I asked both Mayoral candidates this in a different form, what was your biggest disappointment made by standing council?

That so little was done during the Covid shutdown. There was an opportunity to make improvements around town and very little happened.

Here’s an analogy. During the quarantine days, I wasn’t spending time going to lacrosse games, school functions, parties, etc… so I used the free time to make major improvements around my house.

Town staff should have done the same. Think of all the man hours that usually go to running events, emptying trash bins, hosting the parade… I could go on and on. We should have seen more visible improvements around town as a result. (Parks & Rec is exempt from this complaint. They remodeled the Rec Center nicely while it was closed.)

I am employed by New Hanover County. No one in my department missed a day of work during the quarantine. Meanwhile, I had a hard time getting phone calls returned from town hall. An opportunity was missed here.

Some residents have commented that their quality of life is diminishing?  How do you reassure them?    

It’s never too late to focus on the qualities that make our town great. Even as Carolina Beach grows, we can hold on to what makes us special. We need to focus on the specific small town qualities that we hold dear.

Safe routes to school, walkability, shady trees, pleasant biking, convenient parking, affordability… these are all features of a great small town. Make these things a priority and we’ll maintain our quality of life.

Any parting words for residents as we look forward to electing the next council?  

All of the candidates basically agree on the issues, so you have to look for who will actually be able to generate progress. Experience, expertise and knowledge of local government matter.

Ask the candidates what they’re passionate about. What legacy do you want to leave? Which one or two issues will you work feverishly toward accomplishing? Outside of your basic Town Council duties, what will you do to make your dreams come true? The answer should be clear and specific

I know how to answer those questions… I want to see Carolina Beach become a bike and pedestrian paradise. A town where you feel good about sending your kids or grandkids outside to play. That’s what will motivate me every day.

  


 


 

 

 

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