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

Communicate, Town Staff is asking each standing committee to produce a mission statement and a set of goals. How can this be possible when committees are in place to support the mission of Council, but Council itself does not have a mission statement and a clear set of goals. Therefore, each new Council should develop a mission statement complete with goals to better align their priorities with Staff and committees. This statement should be published and communicated to the public on the Town’s website and kept up to date on a monthly basis complete with a joint statement from all council members.


We must reconnect our public service institutions. Many people have taken this for granted over the years, but my connection to youth sports, CB Elementary and families with young children have given me the perspective to observe a shift in the Town’s priorities away from the school. The school and Town have had no relationship at the executive leadership level since at least before Hurricane Florence. The Town Manager and Police Chief should be on a first name basis with the Principal. They need to physically go to the school, get a tour, ask what they can do to support the school, students & teachers and then make it happen. Education programming through the Town should be a normal part of the relationship between the two. For instance, ongoing bike safety programs for kids and parents would be beneficial with the increased vehicle traffic in Carolina Beach. There are 415 kids at CBES. The school is an important part of our community.

Residents deserve an update on the status of infrastructure projects. Common challenges everyone in Carolina Beach is facing include the need for the Town to complete planned infrastructure projects, like water, sewer, storm water, Lake dredging, Marina bulkheads and roads. I would begin to tackle these challenges by communicating to the public where we stand with each project, so we can reset expectations for residents, businesses and all other stakeholders. It’s the Town’s responsibility to communicate with residents and visitors, telling them what is going on with our projects and to keep the project locations looking maintained, even when under construction. The info on the Town website is outdated.

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

 I do not. Not to take anything away from some of the hard-working members of Staff, but if citizens don’t feel like Council has clear objectives, then how can Staff be effective? I believe the majority of Staff are doing what they can provided the lack of guidance that is necessary to complete a clear mission. I believe department heads oversee their domain with minimal input from Council except for when problems surface. It should be clear to Town Staff what our priorities are at any given time. Let’s get proactive with our management style as opposed to reactive.

If not, what will you change?

I will encourage Council to implement the above mentioned, mission statement and goals, making stronger lines of communication and oversight.

I look back to Hurricane Florence as a recent marker for the direction we ended up taking as a town. Like Hurricane Hazel in 1954 taught us the importance of needing sand dunes to protect buildings and infrastructure from storms, Hurricane Florence in 2018 taught us that we need to be better prepared for storm events that bring heavy rain. Even the simple heavy rain events we’ve experienced these past two months have revealed deficiencies in our stormwater system. Unfortunately, we didn’t adapt in 2020 and allowed COVID to prevent us from properly maintaining the stormwater system throughout Carolina Beach. That includes no dredge improvements made to the Lake. Private businesses and charitable organizations adapted to keep life going throughout 2020. As a Town, even with countywide restrictions in place, we must be more creative when it comes to servicing something that is one of the most crucial parts of our infrastructure system. That residents were unaware of the lack of maintenance being performed was a lack of communication.

Regarding the “sunny day” flooding that occurs on Canal Drive, I believe we can do much more. For some reason, the Canal Drive Flood committee was disbanded after finding only a partial solution to tidal flooding. Bring it back as an ad hoc committee, including former members as well as opening it up to new people with fresh ideas. We have citizens living with road conditions along Canal Drive that are poor at best. These wonderful citizens are willing to help by communicating the various types of flooding they are witnessing in real time, as well as possible solutions. Troubleshooting efforts should be taken seriously and not written off simply because the road is in a low-lying area. Staff needs to reach out to other coastal communities with similar issues, the State and any organization that could provide information and assistance towards mitigating the problem. Just like with the Lake dredge project, we need an all hands-on deck approach with the willingness to look outside Town Hall at times to help solve the problems. 

The Parks & Rec Department needs to do better with their vision and goals for kids and families living in Carolina Beach. There is no “active” vision for youth and teens. The Town has a role to play by getting behind and bringing together leaders from youth focused organizations around town to help create a more supportive environment for each, as well as to identify common challenges or best practices. Because we don’t currently have that, we have already lost a decade of opportunities. As a volunteer, I have worked to keep kids and families here in Carolina Beach by giving them a viable and affordable youth sports experience close to home, something that makes our community bond stronger. We need more of that for boys and girls. The next Council can list this as a goal. If we make it a priority, the Town can offer more youth sports and activities through a willing volunteer network without hiring an additional employee. This is all part of continuing to offer the amenities and activities that lure families to Carolina Beach while retaining the families already here. Instead of sending parents and kids off the island to spend registration fee money outside of Town, we could put that money to work by organizing and offering additional recreational programs, like flag football, outdoor basketball, and other fun outdoor activities, while simultaneously creating revenue to put back into facilities. The Department says we’re not set up to organize more youth sports in CB… That mindset needs to change. It is important for town leadership to promote the organization of more recreational youth sports programs for Carolina Beach kids. No one has spent more time at Mike Chappell Park over the last several years than I have. A lot of people think I work for the Town, but I don’t. It’s awesome to see youth sports and activities bringing kids and adults together from throughout our community, but if taken for granted, some of them could disappear overnight.

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

I see the town through a resident’s eyes. I graduated from UNCW in 1997 with a communication degree. Since 1993 I have lived in Wilmington, downtown Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach before moving to CB in 2005. I have seen the growth and changes in the Cape Fear region. After college, I worked in laboratory equipment sales where I traveled to more than 30 states, Canada and Europe calling on some of the world’s largest healthcare, personal care and pharmaceutical research companies from 1998 – 2004. I worked for Honeywell, one of the world’s largest companies, implementing residential energy efficiency programs for Duke Energy and Dominion Virginia Power where I worked with and trained a network of hundreds of small business contractors. I have had a real estate license for 17 years, something important when understanding property rights and the challenges we are facing with growth and development.

After traveling for work I wanted to be home with my kids. I am a full-time volunteer in CB. For years, I have been immersed in youth sports on the island. I am a Community Leader through youth baseball. I am willing to roll up my sleeves and work. You can find me with my straw hat on taking care of the ball fields at Mike Chappell Park. I do that because I want kids and families to be proud of the park. I collaborate with leagues and organizations outside the community that we can mutually benefit from. Most people don’t realize this, but Pleasure Island Youth Baseball is an all-volunteer 501c3 charitable organization. I have small business responsibilities that are necessary to maintain. I am organized, I am a communicator, problem solver, calm, committed, reliable and persistent. I have the ability to anticipate and the willingness to adapt. From June 1, 2020 through the end of May 2021, Pleasure Island Youth Baseball organized over 600 team activities for kids while parts of the Town and other organizations were shut down. We even adapted to offering winter programming when rec basketball was canceled and parents asked me to offer programming to give their kids some recreation and social time with other kids. I haven’t done it all on my own, but I’m proud of my decision to get involved with youth baseball because serving the community is the right thing for me to be doing. Pleasure Island Youth Baseball is Carolina Beach’s largest all-volunteer youth sports organization. We need more like it. We grew from 45 kids in the fall of 2016 to 185 kids this past spring and then 160 this fall (that’s big for fall). We have been inclusive and have adapted to challenges along the way. We’ve created this growth through Hurricane Matthew, Hurricane Florence and nearly two years of COVID. I’m excited and proud that we just started up girls’ softball, as there are not enough activities in Carolina Beach for just the girls. We need to have recreation flag football, outdoor basketball, soccer, tennis, golf and more for kids in CB….especially the 12 & under age groups. We need to have the older kids be involved with the youth sports. They can help assistant coach or umpire / referee games. We need to include the teenagers. There isn’t much for them on the island.

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

 As a body, standing council appears to be disconnected from residents. COVID created an environment that caused Staff and Council to completely withdraw from being visible in the community. Council allowed Town Hall to be closed off from residents and business owners for far too long. During the same time period, Council allowed Staff to pull back on maintaining the stormwater system, something that surfaced in the past two months with the rain events we recently experienced.

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

How do you reassure them? Most of us moved to Carolina Beach to enjoy all that the town has to offer. My wife and I have lived here for 16 years and I agree with residents who are seeing quality of life issues begin to surface. We are all concerned with overall maintenance issues around all parts of town. Whether you are talking about roads, sidewalks, storm water, water, sewer, Mike Chappell Park, the Lake, Marina, etc… The Town has struggled to keep up with basic maintenance.

 Another hot topic is parking. Parking is stressful during the peak season. You can’t even park to run in and get take-out from our restaurants. You don’t know what is a Town lot and what’s a private lot. Parking meters are constantly not working. Private lots not being able to take money after a certain date….makes no sense and the residents and visitors have no idea what is going on. This is a problem that will persist until Council brings in stakeholders to solve the problem. We will always have issues around peak season, but we can certainly manage the experience better for everyone.

Residents love local businesses. A lot of our business owners are residents too. They have families in CB. Their kids go to our school. All of the businesses should have a good relationship with the Town Staff and Council. Businesses should be incentivized to keep up their buildings and businesses. We need to really crack down on the boardwalk. All buildings at the boardwalk should be well maintained. If we are going to be a family beach, we should have an ordinance that says the boardwalk businesses can’t have their windows covered with bongs. We have boardwalk businesses spending lots of money, time and resources making things beautiful and inviting, while we have some businesses that make locals not want to bring their families to the boardwalk. That’s not right. Clean it up.

 Residents don’t feel welcome in Town Hall. The general attitude of staff towards residents and business owners is not positive. Residents feel like it is an “Us vs Them” attitude. This is our town. We need to take it back. We need to make sure the elected officials get back to being leaders and making sure that the community vibe stays strong.

If residents know their Council has a clear set of goals, these quality of life issues should be addressed. It goes back to creating that mission statement and list of goals. That way, even if we see interruptions from storms or pandemics, we have clear objectives to fall back on when the Town’s business is able to resume. Additionally, some of the problems require input from stakeholders to help solve properly.

Any parting words for residents as we look forward to electing the next council?  I was the last council candidate to file to run for office because I didn’t see any other candidates who shared my family’s vision for the community. I’ve lived in Carolina Beach with my wife for 16 years. We have two little boys (9 & 12). Running for office is my way of trying to represent all those who feel like their voices and concerns have not been heard over the years. It is time for a new and complimentary perspective on Council. Just over the course of the last couple of months, we’ve been able to shift the conversation of some of the other candidates back to family, community and things that matter to where we live, learn, work and play. Win or lose, I will continue to push leadership in this town to refocus on the thing that makes our community so great, the people. I referenced this in the first campaign video my son Jimmy and I made together. My sons, Willie & Jimmy and I made some videos that talked about different topics. Go back and check out our videos on www.Facebook.com/MattDunnforCB. There will be more to come as we get ready to head out to Vote! When you see me around town, please stop, say hi and let me what’s on your mind!!!


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

Establish a quorum on Council directing the Town Manager and Finance officer to provide Council with options (e.g. competitive bond issuance, low-interest State loans) on funding the remaining 4 phases of infrastructure, which includes the North End Water and Wastewater project, as well as increasing water capacity and its relocation to our leased property in the Buffer Zone. Fixing the town’s crumbling infrastructure needs to be the priority. Not to mention, with a total price tag around $40 million, securing the funds at today’s low interest rates, rates which are sure to rise, will reduce the Town’s long-term debt. 

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

Generally speaking, I do believe that Town staff is working effectively. We have an outstanding Town Manager at the helm. Credit goes to the sitting Council for bringing Bruce Oakley on board. Bruce has very talented and experienced department heads overseeing the efforts of hard-working men and women, many of whom we see out across. All of them love the town they serve. 

However, there are process changes that need to made. Two come to mind: the permitting process and work orders. First, the permit approval process is too slow. Over the past 3 months, I’ve heard this concern from several residents. Second, there’s confusion associated with the submission of work orders. Residents have complained to me about their calls not being returned when calling to check the status of their work order. In both cases, I believe automation can help. From permit application to approval, a shorter timeline with preset deadlines for each reviewing authority must be established. Electronic notifications with a deadline for review completion will alert those involved in the application process. Before leaving the Planning Department or hitting submit on the Town website, the applicant should know the date when the permit will be approved.

The status of submitted work orders should be discoverable on the Town website and depicted in a ‘stop-light’ fashion. The work order will be marked on a map of CB. Here again technology and automation come in to play. Following submission via either phone or City Works, workers in the field acknowledge receipt of the work order with a click on their tablet. Until actions have been taken on the work order, the work order, depicted by a circle, is red. As soon as work begins, the status switches to yellow. Comments on the work being done and an estimation of completion can be found by moving the cursor over the circle. Finally, the circle switches to green upon completion. 

As a former Mayor, what do you bring back to the table as already serving on council?

 Having previously served on Council, I was fortunate to routinely work with Federal, State and County agencies on large projects which benefitted Carolina Beach. One example is partnering with the County and US Army Corps of Engineers on a very successful beach renourishment, which took place February and March of 2019. Serving on the executive committee of the Joint Land Use Study (JLUS), which involved the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point (US Army), surrounding municipalities and other State and County agencies, is another example. The end result of the JLUS were expanded permissions to use our leased property in the Buffer Zone for future infrastructure projects and recreation activities. Alongside the CB Inlet Association, working with the US Coast Guard in Spring of 2019 proved critical in keeping the inlet open for commercial and recreational interests as well as access to the open ocean for rescue and recovery. If elected onto Council, I bring the experience of working with multiple agencies on several projects, the results of which proved fruitful for CB. 

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

The sitting Council did a lot of good for the community in spite of the challenges associated with a pandemic. If anything stands out in terms of a disappointment, it would be the fiscal year 2021-2022 tax rate, which came on the heels of an average property reappraisal increase of 34%. Council lowered the tax rate to 21.5 cents per $100 of appraised value, representing a substantial 21% tax increase. If on Council at the time, I would have asked for a list of expenses totaling ~$950,000 to be considered for budget cuts in order to establish a revenue-neutral tax rate of just over 17 cents. However, I wasn’t privy to all the constraints that the Town Manager and Council faced as they entered budget season.            

As former Mayor, what was your biggest disappointment while you were on council?

In June 2019, I asked the acting Town Manager rank-order the top 6 chronic storm water hot spots across Town. I asked that he update Council on the time, cost and actions needed (e.g. engineering designs, DOT permits etc.) to resolve each of the “top 6.” The Town Manager provided updates at the regular Council meetings as well as our workshops. At the end of my term six months later, two of the six had been resolved. Looking back, I should have worked harder at establishing a quorum on Council to direct the necessary funds and required Town Staff actions, such as DOT engagement, in order to resolve the remaining four. 

Some residents have commented that their quality of life is diminishing?  How do you reassure them? The principal mission of any municipality of any size is to pursue action that support public health, safety and welfare. Over the past three months, the overriding concerns brought to my attention include the need to resolve storm water issues and enhance pedestrian safety. These two issues have a direct impact on quality of life. My assurance to my fellow CB residents is that I will prioritize action on modernizing our aging and, in some cases, crumbling infrastructure, which includes the storm water system. Many residents express a concern for their safety, especially at pedestrian crosswalks. To that end, I will continue the work undertaken by the past two Councils in partnering with NCDOT and make additional safety modifications to Dow Rd and Lake Park Blvd, such as traffic beacons and road calming measures, in order to make CB an even more friendly bike and pedestrian community.

Any parting words for residents as we look forward to electing the next council?  I was fortunate to have been part of a Council which accomplished much good for our town. During those same years of service as mayor, I remained accessible and accountable, never once turning down a resident’s request to meet. If elected back to Council, I pledge to remain the same—accessible and accountable, while tirelessly working on improving our quality of life. Thank you for your time.  

If you are elected on to council, what will be the first thing you do? The first thing I want to see our new council tackle is prioritizing our much-needed infrastructure projects, as well as an improved schedule of maintenance for these capital improvements.  For too many years, we have put off much needed maintenance to our water and sewer because no one wanted to spend the necessary dollars for regular maintenance and upkeep, and we are left with decades of crumbling infrastructure.  We can no longer afford to place bandaids on our hemorrhaging infrastructure.

Do you feel like Carolina Beach Town Staff is working effectively? I have run a successful business for 17 years and understand the dynamics in a workplace; there is always room for improvement.  One of the things I hear most is that our citizens have a hard time communicating with town staff and getting answers on a wide variety of issues.  Over the last few months, while attending Council Meetings and Workshops, several unexpected and unbudgeted expenditures transpired.  There was a buy out of a cell phone contract that cost us $59,000 and the buy out of the parking company contract which cost us $36,000. In addition, our lake dredge permit expired which will be costly.  These mistakes should not have occurred, and I believe continuity is the reason for these mistakes.  Our Town Manager turnover the last few years has left a gap in executing policy that Council sets.  Our Town Manager answers directly to Council and Council needs to give clear guidance and direction. 

If not, what will you change? We need accountability measures in place when costly mistakes are made.  We also need a thorough review of all existing contracts and leases.  We need improved and streamlined customer service. One of my goals is to not only have continued conversations with department heads but, staff that are out on the streets making the repairs, picking up trash as well as those sitting in our customer service windows. 

What specific skills do you bring to council should you be elected? One of my strongest traits is that of an organizer; I effectively execute goals with results.  I am someone who thoroughly researches the issue at hand, in order to understand the impacts of that issue.  I believe Planning & Zoning prepares its members for being on council because it hears many town issues prior to council, therefore my service as current Chair for Planning & Zoning and Vice Chair term prior to that has prepared me to better serve as a council member.

I asked both Mayoral candidates this in a different form, what was your biggest disappointment made by standing council? My biggest disappointment is that for three election cycles we have discussed the Lake Dredge Project which has yet to be completed.  While the lake is a wonderful place for activities, it is also one of our biggest assets for storm water mitigation.  I am excited to hear we have the funding to complete this project but am disappointed that for six years we still do not have a plan for placement of the spoils, and that our permit was allowed to expire, which means we will spend more tax dollars for the permit reissuance. 

Some residents have commented that their quality of life is diminishing.  How do you reassure them?   Our quality of life must be our number one priority.  For the last 10+ years, I have spoken at council meetings about the importance of putting our infrastructure ahead of amenity projects.  While I agree the amenity projects are much more fun, I always ask the question, what good are they if our infrastructure continues to decline and decay?  I will continue to put our resident’s quality of life issues at the top of my priorities.

Any parting words for residents as we look forward to electing the next council? This community is special and unique. Through my volunteer efforts, I have been told time and time again by outside agencies that they have never seen a community that pulls together during times of need like we do.  That is the spirit I want to keep alive in Carolina Beach.  I must tell you; I have a hard time talking about myself and telling you why you should vote for me because I serve with intention, not for attention. My efforts are through teamwork.  What I will ask, is let my actions and service speak to my character, my experience, and my willingness to serve and I would appreciate your vote on November 2.   

Island Gazette: We are heading into an election for council, can you give us the inside scoop of being a council member in CB?

Councilman Lynn Barbee: Council is all about teamwork.  Unlike in the private sector where a leader can form their own team and surround themselves with individuals of complementary skills, Council members are elected.  We come from all walks of life, all levels of education and experience. The outgoing council worked hard to put their ego’s aside, drop their personal agendas and work together.  This allowed this council to hit the ground running immediately in Dec 2019.  That is what’s most critical, open-minded individuals, good listeners, who want to work together for their town.

Island Gazette: What was the biggest surprise for you after you were sworn in?

Councilman Lynn Barbee: The serious limitations on municipal government by the state.  Council cannot tackle many if the initiatives residents want.  We can only work within the legal framework given to us.  To make the change at the state level takes years to accomplish, often longer than most local officials’ tenure.  We must stick to a consistent vision that transcends any one council.

Island Gazette: You mentioned this council getting off to a fast start in 2019.  What do you see as the major accomplishments of this 2019-2021 Council? 

Councilman Lynn Barbee: The results are quite remarkable.  COVID helped the town and council focus.  Not a single meeting or workshop was missed.  I think we all learned how to be effective with technology and many meetings moved online.  We continued to meet with County, State and Federal partners as usual but in a more focused fashion with less travel time and distraction.  As for accomplishments, the list is very long, but we stabilized the town administration by hiring a town manager almost immediately.  Working with him and his team, we were able to navigate COVID and ensure that our first responders and employees were kept safe and healthy.  Council immediately went to work on beach nourishment by appointing Councilman Shuttleworth to continue his work, ensuring we renewed our permitting.  We stabilized the turnover in the police department. Mayor Pro Tem Healy has led the charge on a renewed relationship with MOTSU. Lastly, we have put the town on a significantly better financial footing by growing our reserve funds.  These were the top goals in 2019.

Councilman Lynn Barbee: I’d like to add that navigating COVID was not easy.  We fall under the county health department, and as many know the information was changing rapidly.  I must give tremendous credit to Mayor Pierce.  While we consulted on most every matter, she was the face of the town and much of the weight was on her shoulders.  I have heard it said that Mayor Pierce didn’t have the opportunity she deserved as Mayor.  I disagree.  I think Mayor Pierce was the exact leader for the time.  It has been an honor to serve with her.

Island Gazette: What has been the biggest disappointment?

Councilman Lynn Barbee: The Lake Dredge Project.  I remember when running for office thinking “How hard can this be?”.  I remember sitting in with the engineering firms listening to them explain hydraulic pressure, sloughing off of sand-based structures, and transportation of a slurry type material.  It was an eye opener to how difficult this project would be.  I am happy to report that the project is moving, it is just way more complicated than we knew.  It’ll get done.

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

Councilman Lynn Barbee: Change is hard.  I remember earlier times of great change, when subdivisions like Carolina Sands were built.  I remember the Condo boom in the early 80’s.  Change is inevitable.  Many years ago, I was reminiscing about the glory days to a visiting friend.  He said something that stuck with me, “Nothing will stay the same over time, it will change, that doesn’t mean it is not fantastic, just different”.  I learned to separate my pining for the past from objective observations about today.  We live in the best town.  We have a community with a huge heart.  Our quality of life is top shelf.  Let’s not lose sight of that.  We need to celebrate that and let it fuel us thru the coming years.  It is Fantastic!

Island Gazette: With the pressure of change that we all feel, how are we going to navigate thru this growth period without losing what we have?

Councilman Lynn Barbee: Our quality of life is provided by a symbiotic relationship among the businesses, residents, and our visitors.  It’s a three-legged chair.  If one fails, the chair falls over.  I have lived here when businesses were closed after Labor Day.  Trust me the quality of life is impacted when going OTB is your only option.  If the tourists stop coming, the businesses are hard to sustain year-round.  So, we need to embrace them.  Without the taxes tourist pay, the tax burden on residents would make it more difficult for many to live here.  We need each other.

Island Gazette: Can you be a little more specific?

Councilman Lynn Barbee: We must adjust and stabilize the revenue streams that provide town services.  Highest priority for me is relaxing the use constraints on the room occupancy tax.  Visitors are paying significant taxes, but we have been restricted by the state on how we can spend it.  We need amenities and services to make sure our visitors have a quality experience here.  We need to adapt to the changing times.  Second, as the county grows, we are not going to be able to handle every visitor.  We just can’t.  We are full now on peak weekends.  This is a problem we have never had.  For most of my life every possible visitor was wanted.  We need to ensure that everyone is paying their share and it is applied to the services they utilize or benefit from.

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

Councilman Lynn Barbee:  Love where you live!  We are more alike than different.  Lift your head up from some of the tactical issues and remember to enjoy what we have here.  Democracy works.  Vote your conscious and the next council will be fine.

The Island Women will host their Flock of Food Trucks this Sunday August 29th at the Carolina Beach Lake from noon until 5:00pm. This fun-filled, family friendly, fundraiser that will include food trucks, live music from Bacon Grease and the Port City Shakedown, corn hole, 50/50 raffle, Beer and Wine and a Kidszone! Presale tickets are available at eventbrite.com, then search Island Women Flock of Food Truck.

Island Women is a non-profit community action organization open to all women interested in improving the amenities that Pleasure Island has to offer. As a diverse group of local women with many talents and resources, our objective is to enhance the quality of life on Pleasure Island for residents and guests. For more information follow the “Island Women on facebook or visit www.islandwomen.org!

Last week was Feel Good Friday coming from Ocean Cure! A friend of a friend of a friend let us know they were helping someone fulfill their Make-A-Wish request so we snuck down to the beach to capture it! If you need a reason to support Ocean Cure, well here ya go!

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 .

Upon finding out our friend Margaret Dowling would be retiring next June we knew it was the perfect time to sit down and chat about her over 20 year career with the Town of Carolina Beach. Of course sitting down meant meeting her at Mike Chappell Park while she finished installing the new and improved, teeter-totter!

Dowling currently is the Carolina Beach Parks and Recreation Department’s “Park Maintenance Supervisor” and will pass the reigns on in June of next year. Dowling has not only been a town employee but also a valued community member. She’s volunteered her time and services for countless events and organizations including helping run PIRA’s weekly BINGO fundraiser for almost 15 years, has been an advocate for our seniors through the Katie B. Hines Senior Center since 2004 while also raising her sons in the Pleasure Island Community. Dowling has proven her inventive “do it all” skills throughout the years maintaining Carolina Beach’s recreation areas including the Lake, Mike Chappell Park and Bill McDonald Park. She redesigned the Rec Center into a winter wonderland this past Christmas and is the reason there are so many amazing decorations each season including Christmas by the Sea, Easter Extravaganza and the Halloween Carnival. Many of the town’

Her very first project after being hired was the Marina Project, she continued noting all the changes in Carolina Beach have been incredible throughout the years! The addition of a walkway around Lake Park, Snow’s Cut Bike Trail, the upgrades in park equipment, how much Mike Chappell Park had grown offering so many different amenities while pointing out which trees she had planted. When asked what project she was most proud of, Dowling led me to the skate park where a retaining wall has stood the test of time. She added I know it’s a small thing but this wall has done its job and is solid!

While retired Dowling plans to spend lots of time spoiling her grandson, Jacob and just spending more time with family. She will still do odd jobs for the Parks and Recreation Department stating, “I really enjoy doing the Boardwalk Fish Tiles and maintaining the beach wheelchairs and plan to keep doing so after I retire.”

Thursday, 26 August 2021 14:40

Top Ten Physical Therapy Facts

If you’ve been to physical therapy in the past, or if you’ve heard friends and family members share their stories, you may have an idea or two about who we are and what we do. Here are some fun facts about physical therapy that might surprise you!

10. Physical therapists hold advanced graduate degrees. Some therapists who have been in the field for a while might have a masters degrees, but the majority of those practicing today hold a doctorate degree.

9. Physical therapists work in a variety of settings. We can be found in just about every area of health care including hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, schools, athletic training rooms, in-home care, research departments, and rehabilitation centers.

8. Physical therapy can be more effective than medication when it comes to managing pain. We specialize in exercises, manual techniques, and modalities that can reduce inflammation and improve function without those medication related side effects.

7. Physical therapists can treat vertigo. Dizzy spells that occur when you change positions, like sitting up or rolling over in bed, or looking side to side is known as positional vertigo. This is caused by problems with the inner ear.  As physical therapists, we are trained in evaluation and treatment techniques to reduce or clear dizziness.

6. Physical therapists can treat incontinence. Incontinence plagues both men and women. Sadly, many people learn to live with urinary incontinence despite effective exercises and treatment options available. This area of physical therapy is highly specialized, so check with your local PT clinic to find out which location provides these services.

5. Physical therapy isn’t always a “no pain, no gain” situation. Truth be told, physical therapy doesn’t always hurt, and pain doesn’t always lead to gain. For many conditions, the goal is to reduce pain with movement and allow for rest and recovery.

4. In North Carolina, you can see a physical therapist without a referral. We are what is known as a Direct Access state, meaning you can see a physical therapist without a referral from a doctor. Your insurance company may limit how many visits you can have before requiring a doctor’s order, but you can definitely get your first visit scheduled right away.

3. Not all PT clinics are the same. Many clinics still operate on a high volume model where therapists are juggling two or more patients at a time. There are a few clinics that use a one-on-one model, where patients and therapists work together for the entire treatment session. Consider which approach is right for you, and ask about the scheduling model before booking your appointment.

2. A physical therapist’s “massage” might not feel great. We use soft tissue mobilization to improve a muscle’s tone and mobility, and to release knots in the muscle known as trigger points. This is not the relaxing massage you receive at a spa.

1. Your home exercise program is key to success. Although we are highly trained and educated, we can’t do it alone. Physical therapy is physical! A few exercises in the clinic twice a week won’t get you to your goals quickly, so we need you to do your part at home. Teamwork between you and your PT will get you moving better, and living better faster!

Dr. Laurie Etherington, PT, DPT obtained her degree in 2004 from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA. Carolina Beach Physical Therapy is a locally owned and independently operated small business, right here on Pleasure Island. Call us today at 910-636-3574 to schedule your appointment or visit us at carolinabeachpt.com to learn more about our services.


Thursday, 26 August 2021 14:40

Custom Water Color Art by Cleverly Inspire

If you are looking for custom water color art CleverlyInspire on etsy is a must see! “I am proud to say that I have been selling my creative handmade gifts on etsy since 2008. I specialize in clever unique finds for gift giving...on a budget. I am in the top 10% of etsy sellers with lots of happy customers! My hand painted watercolors along with my custom party announcements are favorites. Hand painted acrylics are unique and custom created to match your decor. 
Please check out all the positive reviews from past clients. I would love to help you create a one of a kind item for your event or home!
Shower and wedding favors, bridesmaids gifts, teacher appreciation, graduation, a little hostess gift, birthdays and holidays are perfect reasons to give a little something.”


Visit www.cleverlyinspire.com or text 502-643-1094 to have your custom piece designed today! Use coupon code “ISLAND” for an additional 10% off any purchase!

Thursday, 26 August 2021 14:38

New Businesses Coming to Carolina Beach

Last week at Carolina Beach’s Planning and Zoning meeting town staff updated everyone on a few new businesses coming to the Island. Bungalow by the Seas will be coming in at 807 North Lake Park Boulevard behind “Sumthin Beachie.” Salt and Palm will be coming in at the old Mermaid Castle location at 9 South Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach. The popular shaved iced shop, Pelican’s SnoBall’s will open a location on the Carolina Beach Boardwalk at the precious Go Sauce Yourself location. They are now hiring Staff and Shift Managers for our locations at 7617 Carolina Beach Rd. (Seabreeze), and Carolina Beach Boardwalk. Must be reliable, honest, friendly, outgoing and have reliable transportation. Minimum age is 15, business is open Monday to Saturday from noon to 9pm, Sunday from 1pm to 9pm. Actual work hours approx. 11:45am to 10pm. These are subject to change in peak/off-peak season. Must be available to work weekends and holidays. Follow them on Facebook for a complete list of details.

Strickland Builders has a new location at 1322 North Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach. Owned by Martin Strickland who offers over 30 years if experience designing and building coastal dream homes. Island Oasis Spa and Salon recently changed their name and is located at 915 North Lake Park Boulevard in Carolina Beach. They offer wide array of services. Color, Cuts and Styling, Keratin and more. Go toIslandOasisSalon.com for booking and contacts!




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