Tuesday, November 19, 2013

No more 2- or 3-day passes for Freeman Park

WECT recently reported that there will no longer be available two- or three-day passes for accessing Freeman Park via vehicle. 

For the entire month of December, a season pass will be sold for $60 but must be purchased in person at Town Hall, Parks and Recreation Center, Island Tackle and Hardware, Canal Drive Scotchman and Brew Thru. 
The regular price of an annual pas swill remain at $100. 
Council members also voted unanimously to allow a daily pass for $20 and weekly pass for $50.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Boardwalk news, y'all

There are some nifty plans to revitalize the Carolina Beach boardwalk -- a boardwalk with national acclaim.

CB town officials recently hosted an informational meeting to talk about plans for a $1.5 million renovation.
Now, town leaders are trying to determine how to use the $1.1 million they have in grant money from various different agencies, according to WECT.
Lewis says they've received a lot of help from volunteers, but they want more public input for the final stages of the project before construction begins.
"Our general public here and the residents here are taking ownership," said Lewis. "It adds a little pride to all of us when we get involved so we're looking to get as many people as we can to make this happen."
In other boardwalk news, Labor Day was probably good for biz.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A great, old view of CB -- 'The South's Miracle Beach'

Tip of the hat to the good folks over at Goodnight, Raleigh! for this one. It's an old linen postcard of Carolina Beach -- at night.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

An alligator and an 'awesome' boardwalk


Carolina Beach is such a wonderful place that it is loved by human travelers -- and reptilian travelers, apparently.

Jeremy Kelly was enjoying the beach on Sunday and spotted something, uh, interesting in the surf.

A gator.

"Kelly was even able to snap a picture of it, before police and wildlife officers moved the reptile," according to WWAY.
"No word on how the reptile got there, or where it was taken and released."

Of course, this is not that uncommon as alligators can be found in the Cape Fear River region. And there have been gators spotted at Carolina Beach Lake Park. (There are even signs warning people about gators.)

In other "awesome" news, Carolina Beach has been named one of "America's Most Awesome Boardwalks," according to Tuesday's episode of Today. Click here for the complete list.

"Appropriately located on Pleasure Island, Carolina Beach specializes in making you forget your cares," the report reads.
The Oceanfront Boardwalk and Promenade in Myrtle Beach also made the list, citing the area's history, charm and hospitality, according to WECT.
Some of the other boardwalks on the list include: Atlantic City, Ocean City, and Disney World. 

(Alligator photo courtesy of Jeremy Kelly via WWAY.)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Freeman Park: the ugly and the beautiful

Freeman Park was apparently the site of a bacchanalian-like Memorial Day weekend in Carolina Beach. Loud parties, litter, debauchery, etc. It's not surprising then to read that some changes may be coming to the park, according to WECT.

Several hours and trash bags later, leaders in Carolina Beach are ready to consider some changes to Freeman Park at the north end of Pleasure Island.

Volunteers joined most of Carolina Beach Town Council Monday afternoon to comb the beach for loose debris and trash left by campers from the Memorial Day weekend.

Councilman Steve Shuttleworth said what he witnessed Monday was not as bad as the messes he saw early Sunday morning, which prompted the cleanup tour.

"We just want Freeman Park to be a positive experience for everyone," he said.

More trash cans, some recycle bins and an ash disposal area for what's left of campfires are just a few of the suggestions before council. Lewis said there's also the possibility of stepping up enforcement during busy holiday weekends with part-time beach monitors.

"If people are leaving stuff here, maybe they should get a summons in the mail," he said.

Jan Weissbeck, who helped in the cleanup effort, said the town has a moral obligation to keep everyone safe on the island. She said she's worried about the good times going too far at Freeman Park and spilling into the nearby neighborhoods

"I hear a lot of screaming all through the night, and I hate to think that people are leaving this park in that obviously intoxicated state of mind," said Weissbeck.

In *better* Freeman  Park news, a seal enjoyed some time along the beach there recently. Let's all "ooh" and "ahh" over this rare visitor.

Enjoy the seal (via YouTube).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

CB getting renourished -- in a jiffy!

The beach renourishment project in Carolina Beach is finally underway. The bad news is there may be some ugly, broken-up beaches with pipes and equipment all over for a bit. The good news is it is scheduled to all be over by May 31, according to WECT, so it won't be THAT long.

The even BETTER news is when it's completed, there should be wider beaches for all to enjoy. (And there was much rejoicing.)

Let's go to the TV station's report:

Contractors will add 900,000 cubic yards of sand to the stretch of beach from the pier to the boardwalk area. They're moving at an estimated pace of 1,000 feet down the sand, according to Project Manager Bob Keistler.
He said the 24/7 work schedule should keep beachgoers from being discouraged, because crews won't be in one area too long.
"Once they finish placing the beach in one area, folks are able to swim, surf, and do whatever but they're will be a big pipe there," said Keistler.
The project needed special permits because of its late start, as it is currently turtle season.
Regulating agencies approved the Pleasure Island Sea Turtle Project to be the designated group to monitor the work's effect on turtles.
Doug Piatkowski, a biologist with the Corps, said crews have several options if they ever encounter a turtle -- they can relocate the turtle, work around it or completely stop the process until it is safe to begin again.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Oh, happy days!

This is really good news:

Mark your calendars and get ready to boogie - the 28th Carolina Beach Music Festival is right around the corner! Held on Saturday, June 1st from 10:30 am - 4:30 pm right on the beach in beautiful Carolina Beach, North Carolina.

But this is even BETTER news!

 It's official! Construction work on the Snow's Cut Bridge is finished for the rest of summer.
Crews finished work on the southbound lanes Thursday, a day earlier than they planned.
DOT crews have been working on the southbound lanes of the bridge since November. Lanes will be open for the rest of the summer, but the work isn't complete.
After the summer months crews will begin to work on the northbound lanes in the fall on October 1.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A community pool is nice and all, but you can just use ours

The town of Carolina Beach is *this close* to having a community swimming pool -- which we are all for.

Let's go to WWAY!

Town Council voted Tuesday night to approve the community pool pending it fitting into the town’s annual budget.
Most of the people that attended Tuesday night’s meeting seemed excited about the idea moving forward but not everyone thought it was in the town’s best interest.
...“It's a need at this point,” said John Pellizzari, Ashley High School’s swim coach.Pellizzari says the facilities in the county are over used and having a controlled environment to teach kids to swim would be beneficial to the community.
"It's nice to have the ocean but you can't control the ocean. In a pool environment, you can control the pool environment. You can see, you can teach, you can walk you can stand," said Pellizzari.
Town Council voted 5-0 in favor of moving forward with the next step of planning for a community pool. They will now crunch numbers and see if a pool fits in with the budget.
...Mayor Bob Lewis says it will be months before the town officially decides whether they will build the pool.

Again, community amenities like this? I'm all for it. But just know that if you stay at Our Beach Place, especially in the warm months, we got a pool.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

CB leaders discuss expanding the boardwalk - BOARD-WALK!*

*Yes, that's a nod to "Under the Boardwalk." 

Not sure what the outcome was (the meeting was last night), but Carolina Beach leaders were scheduled to discuss a possible boardwalk expansion, according to WECT.

Anybody want to give an update?

Mayor Bob Lewis wants town council members to consider using $2,500 to draw up plans that could double the size of the existing boardwalk.  
"My concept would be to have multi-layered types of decking," said Lewis.  "Maybe a children's area where we might build a wooden pirate ship and play area for children.  This might be a feature that brings year round visitors." 
Lewis says the plan would not use tax payer dollars.  Instead, the town wants to use $1.2 million of leftover grant money from the NC Aquarium Pier Project, which was never built.  The town would first have to get clearance from state legislators.  
Lewis is confident that if plans are drawn first, then the town can get private investors on board in addition to using state grant money. 
"The idea here is, can we replace it with something that is really spectacular and can be a focal point in the community," said Lewis.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Oh, snap, Olde Salty!

The Olde Salty restaurant in Carolina Beach has gotten its share of publicity of late because of a sign that says: "Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!"

As this article states, this has raised all sorts of legal questions. But take the legality of it for a second and think about whether it's "right" or not. My first thought -- as someone who enjoys a nice, quiet dinner -- is something along the lines of "bravo!"

My next  thought -- as a parent -- is that I'm shocked any establishment would put up something like this. My third thought is that I'm not sure I would go to the Olde Salty, knowing this is up there. (And it's not because I'm scared my kids may misbehave -- that's actually the least of my concerns. I'm not sure I would want to give them business.)

It apparently has not hurt business, however, according to the owner.

“It has been a good thing for us,” Armes told NBC affiliate WECT. “It has brought in more customers than it has ever kept away.”
Indeed, a first-time diner at the Olde Salty told WECT he embraced the signage. “It’s not very enjoyable when you hear a bunch of kids screaming,” Gary Gibson said. “It’s nice to see a sign like that up.”

Full disclosure: I have no idea what the Olde Salty is like, or its clientele. I will now put forth a sweeping generalization and say that a place with the name "Olde Salty" probably has loud enough adults that kids aren't that big of a distraction. But I could be painfully wrong on that.

But what are your thoughts? Are you more apt to eat at a place that tries to police childish (literally!) behavior? Or do you find it tacky and will stay away?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Humpback Whale spotted off CB coast!

It is not uncommon to see dolphins swimming just off the shore at Carolina Beach. We have seen our fair share of those things while spending time at Our Beach Place. However, of the hundreds (thousands?) of days I've spent on a North Carolina beach, I've NEVER seen a whale, let alone a Humpback.

Gregasaurus80 posted this video to YouTube. It's kinda shaky and grainy -- but, hey, I'd be excited if I saw a whale this close to the shore.