Monday, June 14, 2010

State planning to deal with oil (if necessary)

Oil from the BP spill in the Gulf may or may not make its way up to the North Carolina coast. But if it does, state officials are ready.

"North Carolina has a plan for dealing with the possible incursion of the BP Deep Horizons oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico into the state’s coastal waters," says the Washington News.

"That plan may be found on the N.C. Department of Crime Control & Public Safety’s Web page under the heading for the Division of Emergency Management, said department spokesman Ernie Seneca. The department’s Web page may be found at ...

The plan was developed in the “remote chance some of this oil will make its way up here,” Seneca said in an interview with the Washington Daily News. ...

Meanwhile, the state is preparing to act if oil threatens its waters.

“North Carolina has an oil spill-response plan that defines roles and responsibilities for responding agencies,” Seneca said. “The state of North Carolina is closely monitoring BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. State and federal agencies are coordinating plans to be fully prepared to respond in case the oil reaches our state. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently projecting that there is a remote chance that the oil could reach this far north and threaten North Carolina’s coast.”

North Carolina’s plan makes the Coast Guard the lead agency in charge of oil threatens coastal waters, with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the lead agency in charge if oil threatens inland waters. The N.C. Department of Crime Control & Public Safety, which includes the Division of Emergency Management, is the lead state-response agency. The N.C. State Emergency Response Team, headed by the state’s emergency-management director, assists federal agencies, coordinates state preparations and response activities and works with local communities and responders.

Glad to hear that state officials are planning ahead. Hopefully it is unnecessary planning.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Britt's Donuts: Well worth the drive

The Raleigh News & Observer begins its summer "Open Road" series with a look at a CB institution: Britt's Donuts.

Traveling 129 miles from Raleigh to the beach to try an 80-cent doughnut is to put faith in those who have come before, to trust in their ability to judge grease and glaze.

Because even with rhapsodic testimonials posted across the Internet, driving that far to eat Britt's Donuts is a gamble because there are no choices. If you prefer chocolate, and your buddy eats jelly-filled, that's fine, but you can't have either. Britt's sells only fried glazed doughnuts.

There is a simple reason for this, insists owner Bobby Nivens.

"When we get busy," he says of his airy, hand-cut delicacies, "we don't have time for other doughnuts."

After the first one, you might not either. ...

The doughnut has devoted fans, but Nivens isn't the sort of cook who shares his techniques with friends. Only he and his wife, Maxine, know the exact recipe. One of them has to mix the dough so the employees can make the doughnuts. Even their daughter isn't privy to the doughnut's innards, although she knows where the recipe is written down in case anything happens to the secret-keepers.

Nivens dreamed years ago of expanding his deep-fried empire to include shops in other cities, but he eventually decided against the plan. Money, he says, isn't everything. Plus he and Maxine enjoy their time off, which is pretty much October through March.

The shop opens at 8:30 a.m. every day during the summer. It closes each night when business slows, and Nivens never shuts the garage doors if there are people in line.

"I don't want to get killed," he says, laughing.