Put on your best pair of fancy pants and support the Carolina Beach Mural Project while enjoying rounds of Croquet, Live Music by Courtney Lynn and Quinn, Nautidog Cocktail tent, Good Hops Beer and Wine tent, Wheelz Pizza, and awesome trousers.

Teams of two will compete for bragging rights, and great prizes, like a free week-long stay in Cabo San Lucas and two tickets to the Beach Music Festival!

And of course, prizes will be awarded for the fanciest pants!


Not a Croquet expert? We aren't either, but we will all have fun trying!

Just want to watch? We encourage a cheering section.

Sign up today to secure your team's entry. All players must be over the age of 21 years.

Tournament Entry Fee includes:

- Tournament Play for two (2) people

- Two cocktails or beer/wine per person

- One Wheelz pizza per team

- Awesome live music

- Good Karma Credits!


Spectator Ticket includes:

2 drink tickets and access to the playing field. All attendees must be over 21 years of age.


Don't forget to bring your lawn chair, SPF and/or hat, and your sense of FUN!


About Carolina Beach Mural Project~ The Carolina Beach Mural Project is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that celebrates Carolina Beach's rich history through Public Art. To date, the organization has installed 9 murals with an additional 4 to be installed before the end of the year.

Grand Prize furnished by Michelle Alberda and Hurricane Alley's.


Purchase tickets at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/1st-annual-fancy-pants-croquet-tournament-tickets-320793009527

Editors Note: On the almost 2 year anniversary of Holly the Great Pyrenees coming back home all of us at the Gazette wanted to share this amazing short story by  Shirley Aycot who wrote about the escaped pup, her adventure, and how she united a community. At April’s Town Council Meeting April 18th was officially proclaimed April 18th as Holly/ Love Where You Live Day.”

Holly’s Home. A story by Shirley Aycoth. Hi! My name is Holly and this is my story about how I got lost, found and finally settled into my forever home.   First, let me tell you a little bit about myself.  I’m a Great Pyrenees, which means I am a big dog with thick white fur and I am protective by nature.  I wasn’t born in Carolina Beach but on a small farm a few hours away, in a little town called Bailey.  All of the pups from my litter were named after towns in North Carolina and I was named after the town of Holly Springs.  

I wasn’t born to be a pet, but to be a working farm dog.  As soon as I was old enough, my farmer human started training me to be a guardian for the other animals on the farm.  It didn’t take a lot of training as I am very smart and I learned a lot from my older dog family.  We took our duties very seriously and watched over goats, mini pigs, ducks and chickens.  We were ever watchful for hawks, coyotes, foxes and any other signs of danger.  We worked day and night to keep all of the animals herded together and safe.  Nothing was a match for me and my family of Great Pyrs!  Especially when most of the time all you needed was a big bark and a fierce growl.  It was wonderful.  

One day the farmer noticed that I was losing weight and didn’t seem as energetic as usual.  I stayed with my guard duties as best I could, but I was feeling so tired.  I was only a year old, so something seemed wrong.  The farmer took me to the vet who ran some tests and found out I was sick.  Not like a cold or anything, but I had something called Addison’s disease.  From what I could understand that meant that my body stopped making something that it needed to stay healthy.  The vet said I could take medication every day for the rest of my life which would help me feel better, but I needed to take it easy and avoid stress.   It was decided then that my farm guard dog days were over.  

I was so sad.  Even though I was tired, protecting the animals and being on the farm with my family was all I had ever known.  The farmer told me not to worry because she would make sure I found a new home where I would be cared for and loved.  But I couldn’t help but worry just the same.

A couple of people came to look at adopting me but said things like, “She’s so big!”, or “She will need medicine all the time!”.  I couldn’t help but feel more and more sad.  I was gentle, loving and protective.  Didn’t anyone want me?

One day a Nice Lady came to the farm to see about another working dog for her parents.  She met me, heard my story and fell in love with me.  Because, let’s face it:  I’m adorable.  I was hoping she would take me home with her but she said she couldn’t.  Her family already had six rescue dogs and they were all little.  I just wouldn’t fit in.  I understood.  It’s a big commitment to adopt a dog and tell them you will protect, love and care for them forever.  But Nice Lady couldn’t forget about me.  Six months later she called the farmer to say she wanted to take me home to live at Carolina Beach.  I was so excited to be wanted and wondered what kind of farm they had at Carolina Beach.  I was a little scared but Nice Lady was so sweet and I was willing to give this new home a chance.  

Once we got there, it was chaos!  I was going to live in a house with a big fenced-in backyard and six yapping small dogs.  I was so much bigger than all of them!  We had chickens on the farm that were bigger than most of them.  Some of them seemed friendly, but others weren’t so sure.  But worst of all, there was no job for me.  No farm, no farm animals, nothing to protect.  Everything felt strange, new and confusing.  New Family understood since they had adopted dogs before and knew it would take time and lots of love for me to adjust.  They knew it would take a few months for this to feel like home, but I just felt lonely and scared.  

One day, shortly after I arrived at Carolina Beach, I noticed the front door had been left open.  I decided to go out and have a look around.  I started sniffing the grass, checking out my new surroundings, just enjoying the breeze.  I was feeling so much better with my new medicine and I started running.  It felt so good!  I looked around to go back to my house, but they all looked alike.  I wasn’t sure how far I had run, so I tried to retrace my steps, but nothing looked familiar.  Probably best to just keep going and I would find it.  I eventually did, but it took about a month….

I wasn’t there, but I’m told that my New Family panicked when they realized I was missing.  They had a lot of friends so they put out the call for help.   They asked everyone they knew to look for me and please let them know if they saw me.  An alert went out on Facebook and suddenly all of Carolina Beach knew about me!  Soon there were people in cars, golf carts, bikes, mom’s pushing strollers, walkers all looking on every street, yard and trail for me.  That was pretty nice of them since I was just a big fluffy dog that none of them had met, but still I was missing.

One day turned into two, then three, and just kept going.  I didn’t really go very far and there were lots of sightings of me, but any time someone would get close to me, I would run.  People I didn’t know would call to me and try to coax me to them, but I didn’t trust them.  It just seemed like a good idea to keep running.  But I was getting hungry, tired and lonely.  I had been gone for weeks now.  Anytime someone let New Family know they saw me, I would be gone before they got there.  

I developed my daily routine:  I would start out early in the morning by going past the lake to check on the ducks.  Then I would go past the Boardwalk, through some neighborhoods, past the fire station, into the state park, into the forest and finally rest on a little hill I found when the sun got too hot.  It was a good spot because I could see all around and there was a little pond just below for water.  I had dealt with coyotes, ground hogs, fox and raccoons on the farm, but never this many and never by myself.  I was really scared.  Would I be safe when I slept?  Would I be able to find anything to eat and drink?  Would I be okay without my special medicine?  I really wanted to go back to my new home but I just couldn’t remember where it was.  Every day I looked up and down all of the streets but none of the houses looked like home.

A lot of people came up with ideas of how to help me get home, but none of them worked.  By now everyone in Carolina Beach knew about me and wanted to help.  Some people put out food and water, others continued to search for me and try to call to me, but I just kept moving because I was scared.  But the whole time I was thinking more and more about how to find my way back home.  Because I didn’t have my special medicine, I started feeling weak.  I was hungry, I hurt my leg and it was getting very lonely.  I missed New Home and New Family, wherever they were.  

New Family was so worried!  Had they done the right thing by adopting me?  How could they get me home safely?  Fortunately, they were about to meet some new friends who would help make that possible.  

A lady who lives in Carolina Beach reached out to them.  She told them she was an expert in Animal Rescue and had helped other lost animals get home.  She offered to help and they gladly accepted.  Another gentleman contacted them and said he knew a lot about drones, gadgets and cameras and that he would like to help too.  Yes, please!  Still another guy offered to help as well.  He said he was good with maps, computers and dealing with the community.  Even though none of them knew each other before, they agreed to work together to find me.  Team Bring Holly Home was born.  

They all met nightly to come up with a plan and discuss their strategy.  Rescue Lady said that while everyone was just trying to help, it was likely I had gotten spooked by everyone chasing me.  So, Computer Guy put out a message to the community asking them to not chase me, but just to call whenever they had a sighting of me.  (Did I mention that by this time I had my own Facebook Page and lots of followers?)  Rescue Lady also told them that dogs like me will likely establish a pattern of where they travel each day and they needed to track my path.  They set up charts, graphs, maps and sighting reports to figure out what I was doing each day.  Gadget Guy and Computer Guy set up motion-activated cameras along what they thought was my path.  They caught glimpses on me and would sometimes sit out all night along my path, but I was still wary and would run if I saw them.  

Besides my health problems, the Team had two big worries for me:  Cars and Coyotes.  I didn’t have a lot of experience with cars from growing up on the farm and they knew from tracking my movements that I was crossing a very busy road several times a day.  Coyotes I was familiar with but never this many by myself.  The Team could see I was getting thinner and weaker from the camera and worried that I might not be able to protect myself.  They walked all along the paths that they knew I circled every day.  They looked for paw prints in the woods and Rescue Lady taught them to tell which prints were mine and which ones belonged to other animals.  They learned to tell how old the prints were by how dry and sandy they were.  They launched drones in the air to try and find me.  They even found my secret sleeping spot on top of the hill.  They tried setting a trap on the path where they knew I passed by every morning.  I wasn’t falling for that old trick!  The Farmer even came to Carolina Beach with my Grandmother Kinley and my sister Charlotte to help look for me.  Since I had been on the farm with them all my life, they hoped I would smell their scent and join them.  It didn’t work.  

It had now been about a month that I had been missing and everyone was getting more and more concerned.  A month is a long time to be alone, no regular food or water, no special medicine or care, no shelter.  I’m told that Team Bring Holly Home and everyone who was following my story in Carolina Beach was getting quite discouraged.  

Then one day the Team got a new idea.  Why not use my natural instincts of guarding and protecting?  They knew that I sometimes passed by the neighborhood where New Family lived, so they set up a Chicken Coop in the back yard.  Yes, a chicken coup, complete with live chicks and everything!  Next, they set up a contraption to close the gate if I came into the yard.  Now I’m no engineer but this thing looked like it was put together with rubber bands and bubble gum, but Gadget Guy who invented it insists it was a technological marvel made up of a drill, light switch, five extension cords, 12-volt battery, computer backup, picture wire, a carabiner and some zip ties.  All that had to happen was for me to wander into the yard to check out the chickens, they would trigger the gate to close and voila!  I would be home safely!  To entice me, they threw out bits of beef jerky along the way leading to the yard.  High tech gate closure, beef jerky and live chickens?  It was a solid plan.  Now all they had to do was wait.

The next morning New Family got up early and looked out the back window.  There I was in the yard, looking after the chickens.  They didn’t want to scare me away and carefully pushed the button to close the gate…  It worked!  I was finally home!!  I tried to act like nothing had happened but I was very happy to be there.  I was dirty, hungry, weak and thin.  I was covered with burrs and ticks and my beautiful white coat was matted with mud.  Fortunately, New Family was so happy to see me they didn’t care!  Families are great like that.  

Things moved pretty quickly after that:  I got food, water, a much-needed bath and a check by the Vet.  Even though I had been through a lot, with rest, good food, special medicine and love, I would be okay.  It was the best day ever.  Word spread quickly that I was home safely and everyone at Carolina Beach was so happy!  Everyone had been pulling together and helping the Team to find me.  People who never met before were now talking, becoming friends and working together.  Even though I couldn’t do my farm job anymore, maybe it was my new job to help bring people together.    At that moment, I was definitely the most famous dog on Carolina Beach.

That should have been the end of this happy story, but it wasn’t.  I was back home safe and sound.  I was getting my medicine, feeling stronger, and putting back on some weight, but still, I felt sad.  The chicks went to their new home on a farm.  (It seems that baby chicks and seven rescue dogs in a backyard do not mix well together.)  After that first day home, I wasn’t really interested in the chickens anymore.  They didn’t need a guard dog.  Would I ever fit in?

Over time I got to know the other dogs in the family.  All of them had stories about how they had been rescued and how terrible their lives had been before.  There was tiny Trip, the chihuahua who only had 3 legs and no teeth, but was still feisty, playful, and loving.  There was sweet Jimmy and Missy, both Cavalier Spaniels.  Jimmy was blind so I started helping him navigate the backyard.  Missy was cute, but knew it, and only wanted to be petted.  There was Charlie Bucket, a Welch Terrier, who thought he was the favorite.  Before coming to live with New Family, most of them had been kept in cages and not treated very well.  Once I heard the stories of the other six dogs, I realized how lucky I was to be in such a great pack.  Here we were all protected, fed, loved, and cared for.  I vowed never to get lost again.  

A couple of months later a new rescue dog came to live with us:  Joey.  He was a lot smaller than me, with some really crooked teeth, short brown fur, tons of energy, a mischievous personality, and a very short attention span.  He could chase a ball in the backyard for hours, bark a lot, try to wrestle the other dogs, and jump up on folks.  He became my new best friend.  At first, I actually thought his name was “Joey, NO!”, but decided if we stayed close, maybe I could keep him out of trouble. I liked his excitement for everything and Joey liked that I was so calm.  We became inseparable.  

With Joey as my new best friend, I started playing, relaxing, and feeling much more like my old self.  The Vet was happy that I was recovering so well after my adventures with being lost and New Family was happy that I was back and seemed to be more comfortable in my new home.  I decided that my new job was to be the protector of our little pack.   I am always the happiest when everyone is all together.  Thinking back to how scary and lonely it was when I was lost, being here with my pack seems like the greatest job I could have.  So I realized I am finally and forever home.  Home is where they love you unconditionally.  Home is where it doesn’t matter if you are big, small, bark a lot, need special medicine or can’t see.  It doesn’t matter if you’re different.  It only matters that you love and help one another.  


April 17, 2022 will be my Three-Year Anniversary of being returned home safely!  I still live at Carolina Beach with my New Family and my pack.  Special thanks to Laurie Rouse and Wayne Rouse for taking a chance on adopting me and never giving up on finding me.  Also thanks to Rescue Lady (also known as Beth Bernstein) who continues to breed dogs and assist with rescues, Computer Guy (also known as Lynn Barbee) who is now the Mayor of Carolina Beach, and Gadget Guy (also known as William Carew) who with his wife, fosters rescue dogs.  

Just two miles north of Snow’s Cut Bridge morning commuters were greeted by a new rotation on a digital billboard simply stating “Recall Lynn Barbee.” Mayor Lynn Barbee address the sign on his “Lynn Barbee, Mayor of Carolina Beach” Facebook page sharing “Win! Whoever paid for this, thank you. Best advertisement yet for fiscal responsibility.” 

In a separate post Mayor Barbee addressed last night’s meeting sharing, “As I sit here and try to be be positive about last nights town council meeting, I struggle to spin a positive message for the residents of Carolina Beach. I am taken back to an early conversation when I first thought about running for Town Council.  I recall a conversation with a well respected citizen,  we were discussing the current financial situation of our town and brainstorming how to get out of this financial hole.  I will never forget what he said. "We need someone willing to run, who has good business judgement, who will make the hard decisions required.  It won't be popular, in fact the hard decisions will be brutal."  He said "be prepared to be a one term council person, because they will come after you. Do you have the fortitude to stick to good fiscal management when it get's ugly?". I remember just smiling and thinking that I've done this many times in business.  This is easy.  Just let the data guide you, make the hard decisions, and eat the elephant on bite at a time. Well I was schooled last night.   The only term I could come up with is "Financially Reckless". 

Your town council significantly modified a parking revenue plan that was almost a year in the making.  It undermined the work of our professional town staff and the recommendation of the parking consultants we hired to develop it.  

Why do I call it reckless?

1) We are in the early stages of the FY23 budgeting process.  We have no revenue forecast for FY23.  We have no expense forecast for FY23.  

2) We know inflation is going to hit hard.  We just don't know how bad yet.

3) There was absolutely no reason to make that decision now.  The new parking restrictions don't go into effect until November.  The decision could have easily waited until the FY23 budget was approved.

4) We had just completed a strategic plan.  With relative ease we came to agreement on what must be done to move the town forward, with no plan on how it will be funded, but then worked tirelessly for two months to cut revenue that will no doubt be needed to fund that plan.

5) We did this without a single strategic meeting with the parking consultants we hired.  Not a single new council person held one meeting with the professionals.  Not one! 

I could go on for another hour, but it's done.  Where do we go from here?

I have to admit, it just got a lot harder.  I will struggle to make decisions that are popular but fly in the face of sound financial principles.  We sit in front of a mountain of need on the order of $30 to $40M.  Interest rates are climbing, inflation is soaring, and we are turning away revenue.

I think Mayor Pro Tem Healy was very clear last night.  We have two controllable revenue streams.  Parking and Property Taxes.  Well we just cut one of those two.

I heard lots of rhetoric around potential cuts and revenue swaps that we could use to "make up the difference".  Those play well on social media and behind a microphone, but they don't usually manifest themselves at the bottom line.

With all that said, I am not the smartest, and I can learn.  I will continue to fight to right this ship, popular or not.

Do I have a prediction?  It's hard to say.  The prevailing rhetoric last night was that we will take an axe to town services and projects to make up the difference.  Having been thru this the last two years, I'm not optimistic.  You can't fire debt, police cars, water pumps, solid waste systems.  You can not save your way to prosperity. Without revenue increases you can't fund future needs.

The other option is to significantly raise taxes.  Also not a pretty thought.  

My best guess?  We just kicked the can down the road a little further. 

So enough about that.  The revenue damage has been done.  Next step, figure out the cuts and tax increases to pay for it.  It should be a fun 3 months and I hope I'm wrong.  I hope we can find a way to keep the positive financial momentum we currently enjoy and fought so hard for over the last two years.  That's my goal.

We had a good chuckle after the meeting last night.  There seems to be an appetite for council to go at each other.  It's just not there.  I have known members of this council for a long time, they are my friends and neighbors.  I respect that they have their views and though I may disagree, they have a vote just like I do. This is just how governance works.

You can always reach me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

At the Carolina Beach Town Council meeting held this past Tuesday parking was a huge discussion. Out of the approximately 30 people who got up to speak during public comment only 4 showed their support for the year-round changes while others shared their distaste for the decision and how it was made in a workshop rather than in a regular council meeting. Those for the new parking changes brought up possible tax increases, making tourist “pay their fair share” and the many infrastructure issues facing the town and its future. Those against referenced the changes as “shameful,” “causing resentment” with many sighting we were not being “good neighbors” to those just North and South of Carolina Beach. 

When it came to discussion amongst council Mayor Lynn Barbee laid out a timeline of parking discussions and recommendations that were made by PIVOT that had included removing both residents and non-resident year-round passes, increasing rates/ fines and seeking more physical spaces. Barbee continued adding the changes to parking that had been recommended by town staff and the PIVOT Parking Company, there had been a lot of discussions but the council was welcome to make a motion for change. Councilman Joe Benson immediately made a motion to amend the 2022 parking rules by reinstating the issuance of non-residence passes with time constraints, he continued sharing other revenue sources and already made budget cuts that would fill the off-season void. Councilwoman Deb LeCompte addressed the Mayor saying “I think we have heard a lot of decisiveness that’s been made between businesses and residents and I think it’s all a projection of what’s been portrayed to the public. We’ve created a dived between our business community and our residents.” She went on to say non-residents contribute to every cause we put on for this Island, they are the first to volunteer. “I think this is a thank you for everything, but sorry we have nothing for you.” She went on to provide another amendment charging non-residents $365 for the year. The motion was denied 2-3. Councilman Hoffer stated “its too dangerous to start upending what’s been put in place….it’s gonna have to wait in 2023 as far as I’m concerned.’” Mayor Pro Team Healy stated “the bottom line is its a lot of money we have to pay….what boggles my mind right now is we are actually having a discussion on how to lose money versus making money which is just incredible. I am going to make a statement to council and you can write it down…if you don’t believe in taking care of our tax-paying citizens you have the wrong min set, totally wrong mindset.” He continued “we have two ways of making revenue for this town, we have taxes and we have parking.” Healy shared a slide with projected revenue for October and the possibility of losing leases on private lots that could cause a possible $400,000+ loss in revenue that would cause cuts from the Fire and Police Departments. Healy went on to share the new council has not seen the process of making cuts, they had the right to make the decision at a workshop because it was a “time-sensitive issue and the council at the time had 30 years of experience.” Healy went on to share the growth of New Hanover County as a whole stating, “we have built it and they will come….Personally, I think we stay with the original plan.” Councilwomen LeCompte shared $64,0000 of revenue in off-season parking was a drop on the bucket to the millions needed for infrastructure. She continued “you said 30 years experience on this council when you made this decision…the bulk of that 30 years was Steve, LeAnn, and JoDan; two of them were opposed adamantly to this change.” She went on to say parking and taxes were not the only stream of revenue. Conversations about revenue, taxes and budget cuts continued amongst council with Healy bringing up inflation in the budget. Mayor Barbee added, “to cut revenue without seeing the budget is just reckless behavior. Whatever motions you put on this table right now…I am voting with this man right over here (Town Manager Bruce Oakley); we hired him two years ago, he has turned this place around..we have seen our fund balance grow, I have 110% confidence in him and his staff. My vote is on his (Oakley) recommendations. LeCompte’s non-resident parking motion was voted down 3-2. Councilwoman LeCompte then shared Mayor Barbee’s previous proposal to provide free parking for the months of January and February which was again voted down 3-2. Councilman Hoffer then brought up his previous suggestion to offer free parking for roadside town parking or metered spots from March through February that was tweaked and later voted for  3-2 for free roadside parking December 1 through the end of February. Parking and its potential revenue will surely be a continued topic for council. 

Friday, 25 February 2022 16:39

Pets in the Park

Celebrating it's 2nd year, the Pets in the Park celebrates pets, their owners and pet-centric businesses. We are looking for a few interested people who would like to join the committee. First meeting is Monday, January 31 at 5 pm in Town Hall. Opportunities include Volunteer Wrangler, Vendor Liaison, Sponsor Liaison, Beer & Wine Liaison, and Non-Profit & Rescue Liaison. Event is scheduled for October 8 at CB Lake. Last year, we had over 600 paying attendees. We will be building on last year's successful event, including adding a Beer & Wine Garden. If interested, please contact Alannah at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (910)458-8434 (office)

It is two weeks before parking goes live in Carolina Beach but council is clearly divided about the future plans. During Tuesday’s workshop when the “managers updates” got to parking Town Manager Bruce Oakley noted there was some “differences of opinions” with parking, asking Mayor and Council to provide staff with a direction they want to go. Mayor Lynn Barbee stated he had received a letter from LeAnn Pierce and called her back where she asked Barbee to come to some sort of compromise so you (staff) can move on with the parking program. Mayor Barbee went on to say, “I think we can drop January and February, I have talked to some residence, we don’t spend public money in January and February for events and things like that.” “Given that it seems like that’s a good compromise for me so I’m going to throw that out as a motion we can see where it goes. I think we give you (staff) the direction to drop January and February’s charge for next year until we get more data. My motion is that we seek a compromise amongst council to give you clear direction and basically split off-season parking in half.” Councilman Joe Benson immediately made a motion to “amend the motion on the floor to strike November and December as paid months maintaining the 2021 four months of free parking.” Councilman Mike Hoffer said he wanted to amend the amendment followed by a “me too” from Councilwoman Deb LeCompte. Hoffer went on saying “I think in November, December, January and February we should just leave the dang bags on the meters and go ahead and charge in the lots. Boom, lots are paid meter parking is free.” 

Councilwomen LeCompte added, “we still haven’t heard from the public, fully; I really don’t like making these kinds of decisions in a workshop.” Mayor Lynn Barbee addressed Oakley stating, “What it sounds like is you are not going to get direction from us because; we are going to go back through parking from start to finish.” Councilwoman LeCompte asked to ad it (parking) to the March agenda. Mayor Barbee asked, “Kim how do I unwind all these motions…” Councilman Benson stated, “There were three new people on council….I know there was a need to get enforcement out on Freeman Park very quickly but this is a lightening rod in town.” Oakley responded, “what I heard was the projectory per space for March I didn’t know the parking item on the agenda.” Councilman Benson stated “parkings on the agenda as I’d like laid out as a member of council.” Councilwoman LeCompte questioned if the town had established contacts with all of the lot owners where Assistant Town Manager Ed Parvin they had all but one. 

Mayor Pro Tem Jay Healy said he wanted to see from PIVOT how much money we lose charging lots Vs meters…I do think there is a give and take here.” He continued saying maybe the first hour could be free and majority of the business in this town happens after 5 o’clock. Healey went on siting taxes where Benson I think that assumes a static environment on revenues…continuing “look up and down the coast, if PIVOT manages or enforces in Wrightsville and Wrightsville doesn’t have it then…well they can lead the way on that as far as I’m concerned.” Mayor Barbee quickly answered “I’m not worried about Wrightsville’s budget, I’m worried about ours.” Council went on amongst each other about balanced budget, revenue, parking projections and private parking lot permits. Oakley addressed the Mayor saying “staff will do as directed we took the direction in November to go forward and we brought it back at the retreat to try and get direction because Ed in particular and staff has spent a lot of time of this. A lot of capital cost, hard cost, fixed cost on this.” Mayor Barbee asked what direction do you think you got? Oakley responded I though it was to move forward as presented. There was no clarification with staff on how to move forward, Mayor Barbee finished saying, “I think the residence lost big today, I think we tried to do a compromise and Im pretty upset about it. I am 1 of 5.” Councilman Hoffer shared they had time, Mayor Barbee disagreed stating, “He (Oakley) says he doesn’t have time, that is what he asked you…that’s what he asked at the retreat.” Councilman Benson asked “who works for who”…Barbee said He (Oakley) give me some direction with Benson responding that’s why I asked two weeks ago for this to be put on the March meeting. 

After the meeting it took some clarification if “parking” would be an agenda item as requested at the Workshop but staff confirmed it will be an “item of business” not a public hearing. The public always has the opportunity to speak but it will not be an agenda item at March’s meeting.

After the meeting Mayor Lynn Barbee shared he hoped council could come to a compromise together and lead staff like they were elected to do. 

Councilwoman LeCompte stated she will not continue to make these kind of decisions at workshops and that is exactly why they were where they are in the way of parking. Councilman Benson shared “I’m against year-round parking. I’ve been clear on this. I believe it would be detrimental to our businesses in the CBD. At our workshop this morning, we were shown a map with over 100 new parking spaces today, all of which will be on town property. There are dozens of additional spaces to be harvested, each of which will bring revenue to the town. Taken in total, I believe the additional revenue from these new spaces would far exceed that which the town would hope to earn in parking from November 1 through the end of February.” Mayor Pro Team Healy wished they would have had a little more time and weren’t under the fun to get management established at Freeman Park. 

So what did the email from former Mayor LeAnn Pierce say? “Good morning and I hope you are doing well. As I engage in conversation with citizens around the county for my campaign for county commissioner, the issue of year around paid parking in Carolina Beach continues to be a concern. As a business owner in Carolina Beach myself, I continue to believe we should not charge in the off season. I do not believe the revenue is worth the hardship it will cause businesses and the divide it creates with citizens of New Hanover County. I ask that you revisit this issue and look for a possible compromise. Thank you for your willingness to serve and please let me know if I can help in any way. Looking forward to a great summer season!”

Tuesday, 22 February 2022 16:33

Obituary: Mary Graham Hodges

Carolina Beach– Mary Graham Hodges (Polly), 91, passed away on Thursday, February 10, 2022, surrounded by her family. Born in Morven, NC. Mary was known fondly as Polly and was the daughter of the late Franklin and Clara Graham. 


A service celebrating Polly’s life will be held on Tuesday, February 15th, with visitation at 10:00 am and service at 11:00 am at First Baptist Church, 409 N Lake Park Boulevard, Carolina Beach.  Interment will follow at Greenlawn Memorial Park, 1311 Shipyard Boulevard, Wilmington. 


Polly is survived by daughters, Faye Davis (Jim), Beverly Weeks (Jerry), Ann Thompson (Jeff), and a daughter in law Rosalina Hodges, 2 sisters (Laura Hicks and Frances Clapper), 1 brother (Billy Graham), numerous nieces and nephews, 9 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, and 3 great great grandchildren.  She is preceded in death by her husband Alonza (Ted) Hodges, her son Rodney Hodges, 2 brothers and 2 sisters.


Polly lived at Carolina Beach for 50 years and retired with Maxway Variety Stores after 30 years of dedicated service.  She served her church in many capacities, including WMU, choir, puppet ministry, and Martha’s Kitchen.  Her other passions were reading, crossword puzzles, tending her flowers, spending time with her family and she loved to travel.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Martha’s Kitchen at First Baptist Church Carolina Beach, 409 N Lake Park Boulevard, Carolina Beach, NC 28428.


Arrangements have been made through Bryan Lee Funeral Home, Garner, NC and Andrews Mortuary, Wilmington, NC.


Condolences may be shared at www.andrewsmortuary.com


Tuesday, 22 February 2022 16:31

Obituary: Ronald Brian Powell

Ronald Brian Powell (Brian), Age 53, of Carolina Beach, NC passed away Tuesday, February 15, 2022 after a valiant battle against cancer.


Brian was born at Naval Hospital Portsmouth, VA.  He was the son of Ron and Faye Powell of Jacksonville Beach, FL.  He is survived by his parents, his son’s Jackson Powell, Griffin Powell and friend/former spouse, Andrea Powell of Carolina Beach, NC,  sister Lynn McCarthy and niece, Tamara O’Toole of Jacksonville Beach, FL.


Brian was employed by EMS LINQ of Wilmington, NC as Director of Information Technology. He lived at Carolina Beach for 20 years where he was an avid surfer and an involved member of the beach community.


Brian was very active with the Coastal Pop Warner Panthers football program for over a decade as a coach, board member, president and recently as the treasurer.  He was a great advocate for youth sports and sportsmanship.  A scholarship in Brian’s name will be established with the Coastal Panthers.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Brian Powell’s name to : Coastal Panthers, 609 Piner Road, SMB 108, Wilmington, NC 28409.

A celebration of Brian’s life will be held at a later date.

The KURE BEACH Police Department has confirmed there was a stabbing in the early morning. As per the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department Daily Bulletin, “Russ, Gladwyn Taft (W /M/37) Arrest on chrg of Assault Wdw Inflicting Serious Injury (F), at 102 Hanby Av, Kure Beach, NC, on 2/17/2022 03:21.”

As more information becomes available we will update. We are told the victim is recovering at this time. 

Betsy Summerlin Thomas died of cancer after 4 valiant battles. She was a loving teacher at Sunset Park Elementary where for over a decade she molded young minds and made lifetime friends. She is survived by Chuck Thomas, her son Brian Thomas, granddaughters Chiyah Hawkins and Calleigh Thomas, her niece Barbara Groves and great niece Hannah Groves both of Virginia, The Norris Family of Carolina Beach, her nephew Mike Benbow of North Carolina, her sister in-law Judy Summerlin of Mount Olive, her brother in-law David Childress of Virginia and many great nieces and nephews in North Carolina, Virginia, Hawaii and Texas.

In leu of flowers donations can be made to St. Judes Children’s Hospital or the St. Joseph Indian School in Betsy’s memory. A celebration of life will be planed in the Spring.

PLEASURE ISLAND, NC - The Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce, which serves Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Ft. Fisher and New Hanover County, has announced that it will host the 36th Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival on Saturday, June 4 in Carolina Beach, NC. The festival takes place on the beach in front of the Carolina Beach Boardwalk, with bands performing on the oceanfront stage.


Headliners for this year's Festival include Jim Quick and Coastline, The Band of Oz and North Tower. Tickets go on sale on Friday, April 1 for $35 each at the Chamber offices, at various retailers and on Eventbrite.com. Tickets will be available on the day of the Festival for $40 each. Festival patrons may bring their own chairs, coolers and food onto the beach to enjoy throughout the day. Space for 10x10 tents may be reserved through the Chamber office.


"The Carolina Beach Music Festival is the longest running beach music festival in the United States that is still held on the beach," said Lynn Halterman, Chairman of the Carolina Beach Music Festival. "It's a truly unique event that draws beach music enthusiasts from up and down the East Coast who get to enjoy a day of great music, shag dancing and the very best that Pleasure Island has to offer."




Jim Quick and Coastline, like their namesake the Atlantic Coastline Railroad, have been traveling the tracks of the southeast and connecting with loyal fans for more than 25 years. The band pulls from Soul, Blues, R&B, and Americana to create their own genre of music known as Swamp Soul. Front man Jim Quick and his band maintain an average of 250 tour dates per year and are best known for capturing the spirit of musical traditions born and bred in small town Americana.


The Band of Oz originated in Eastern North Carolina 55 years ago as a part-time band playing frat parties and high school proms across the south. In 1977, the band went on the road full time. Since then, they have made an exceptional name for itself and has performed at top venues and festivals throughout the southeast. Today's Band of Oz features eight members, a full horn section and performs more than 200 shows per year.


The North Tower band has been one of the south’s greats party bands for more than 35 years, playing beach, funk, Top 40 and oldies songs. They’ll bring sizzling brass and powerful vocals that will have you dancing in the sun and the sand.


The gates will open at 9:30 a.m. on the day of the festival and bands will take the stage at 11:00 a.m.. Corporate sponsorships for this event are available ranging from $500 up to $7,500.


Founded more than 75 years ago, Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce is the oldest business organization on Pleasure Island. For additional information, visit pleasureislandnc.org.



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