July 31, 2008

$100,000 Grant to Fix Up Cape Fear Boulevard

Snows Cut Monthly reports:

Carolina Beach got some good news recently. The Division of Coastal Management awarded the town a $100,000 CAMA Access Grant to renovate and reorganize Cape Fear Blvd. It’s a matching grant, meaning that Carolina Beach has to commit $100,000 of its own money to the project...

See Full Story Here:
Snows Cut Monthly E-dition

Reminder: Tonight Is Family Night at Fort Fisher Aquarium as they Continue to Host Shark Week













Family Night – Shark Night, Thursday, July 31
Tonights Schedule:

5:30 Eyewitness Sharks
6:00 Alligator Feeding
6:30 Program
7:00 Dive Show
7:30 Program
8:00 Ultimate Guide to Sharks

*Program titles subject to change



North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
900 Loggerhead Road
Kure Beach, NC 28449
1-866-301-3476
http://www.ncaquariums.com/ff/ffindex.htm


Caution: Rabies Incident Reported at Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area

07/31 Star News Reports:

On Monday, a fox attacked a bird watcher on the grounds of the Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area in Kure Beach. The fox, which was killed, was confirmed on Tuesday to be rabid by state health officials in Raleigh.

Star News Article

North Carolina Beaches--Some of the Cleanest in the Nation




Now granted, the study released this week by the Natural Resources Defense Council is based on 2007 numbers and if you recall, in 2007 we had a severe drought which lessened the effects of runoff. But nonetheless, we still fared better than the majority of our coastal neighbors. Hopefully we will continue this trend next year and in the years to come.

For more detailed infomation on this report, visit the NRDC website:
http://www.nrdc.org/water/oceans/ttw/titinx.asp

Also, you can check the daily water quality status of your beach at Eath911. You can also sign up to have an email sent to you when there is a problem with your favorite beach(es).
http://www.earth911.org/waterquality/default.asp?cluster=8

July 30, 2008

Hilton Garden Inn Update


Here is the most recent artist rendering of the Hilton Garden Inn which is being built on the north end of the boardwalk. The infrastructure work was completed a few weeks ago and hotel construction should hopefully begin next month. When we hear a definitive date, we'll pass it on.

If you click on the picture, you should be able to view the full size image...it's worth taking a close look. This is going to be an impressive hotel and will really be an economic boost for our town, especially the boardwalk and central business district. Not to mention, a 300 seat ocean front restaurant will surely be an immediate hit with visitors and residents.

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area...Time to Learn Something New

1000 Loggerhead Road, Kure Beach, NC 28449
______________________________________________________

Turtle Talk
Program available on any of the following dates: August 4, 5, 11, 12, 19, 20, 25, 26 or 27.

This is our most popular program! We will discuss the mysteries of sea turtles. Find out what local conservation efforts are in place to bring them back from the edge of extinction. Also, find out what you can do to help these amazing creatures.
Time: 2:00 pm

Shorebirds
Program available on any of the following dates: August 8, 14 or 22.

What is that funny looking bird over there? It's a shorebird! This program will show some of the unique birds that visit Fort Fisher, as well as, identify and discuss some of the birds that call the beach their home.
Time: 2:00 pm

Coastal Divers
Program available on any of the following dates: August 7 or 15.

We invite you to our classroom as we talk about the wonderful brown pelican. Discover how these large birds live their lives and how they almost disappeared!
Time: 2:00pm

For more information on any of their programs, please call: (910) 458-5798

July 28, 2008

Erin's Restaurant Review: Blackhorn Bar & Kitchen

5 out of 5 stars...

As we walked into the Blackhorn, I realized this place was sooo not what I expected. There is a small side with bar and seating for the smokers. For those of us who want to live, there is a much larger side with another bar, lots of seating, a small stage for local music and a slew of old school video games in the back. We went to the non-smoking side of course and were seated by the nicest group of waitresses I've dealt with in a long time. We were told it was half off bar night...woo-hoo!! Very exciting. Every Thursday. How crazy is that? Anyway, definitely get beer or wine or something, because their liquor drinks left little to be desired...as expected.

The food was actually really great. I didn't expect much, but we were pleasantly surprised. I highly recommend the duck quesadillas. They come in these great fried triangles. So good.

The best part is that they deliver! We haven't tried that yet, but I'm sure we will soon. And as I don't work on Fridays, half off bar Thursdays with live music will definitely be a staple in our new beach lives!

Blackhorn Bar & Kitchen
15 Carolina Beach Avenue North
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
910-458-5255


Click Here For Additional Pleasure Island Restaurant Reviews.

Click Here to View Available Online Menus of Pleasure Island Restaurants

July 26, 2008

Britt's Donuts-One of America's Best Doughnuts

Summer Hours:
8:30am until 11:00pm
7 Days a Week starting
Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.
Off Season:

Opened just weekends April and May and from Labor Day through October 1st.
1 Dozen = $5.75
[Edit 04/01/2009--Click here to view a photo of their menu-it is the most succinct menu on the Island!].

July 25, 2008 -- A favorite vacation spot for Carolinians and others along the East Coast, Carolina Beach is known for its warm and friendly atmosphere, and now, local doughnut shop, Britt's Donuts is getting recognition for the tasty treat that has won over the hearts and taste buds of countless locals and visitors to the area. According to MSN City Guide, the nearly 70 year old business can now claim that it sells the second best doughnut in the nation.


Carolina Beach, NC (PRWEB) The recent honor for Britt's stems from an article by Bret Statka on MSN.com, entitled, "America's Best Doughnuts." After an incredible response online and through message boards, Statka released a second list of, "the best independent, small-town doughnut shops in the nation." According to that article the sole brand of doughnut at Britt's doesn't deter it's faithful customers. According to Statka's article, "...the limited selection doesn't seem to detour the flocks of beachgoers who'd sooner bear a second-degree sunburn and bathing suit full of North Carolina blue crabs than eat at Krispy Kreme."

More information about Carolina Beach and Britt's Donuts can be found online at
http://cityguides.msn.com/citylife/article.aspx?cp-documentid=7908573&page=2.

Carolina Beach provides an unhurried atmosphere that encourages families to relax and enjoy activities like strolling along the beach, biking, or watching fishing charters return from a day at sea. The town center is a streetscape of small shops, restaurants and family entertainments like beachwear, ice cream and candy shops. This summer, the town will, again, present its annual, free Film & Fireworks Series, which features outdoor showings of family films on Sunday evenings and a fireworks display on the beach Thursday evenings. About Carolina BeachCarolina Beach is located 19 miles south of Wilmington, N.C., on the northern end of Pleasure Island, the larger of two barrier islands on the Cape Fear Coast.

This charming seaside town of approximately 4,700 permanent residents offers a variety of accommodations and attractions, as well as several miles of Atlantic oceanfront and natural sand dunes, marinas and offshore fishing excursions.

More information is available online at
http://www.carolinabeachstories.com/ or by calling 1-800-351-5102.

Click Here For Carolina Beach Today Restaurant Reviews

July 23, 2008

The Real Sportsman

Written by Julie on July 17, 2008. She offers us a gentle reminder of what it means to be a good sportsman.

I’ve always been a fan of catch and release fishing. I’m not sure how I adopted that frame of mind but it may be because many streams that we’ve fished in western PA were fly fishing only which also went hand in hand with catch and release only.

But within the past couple months, I’ve been moving toward catching and keeping, but only within reason. It’s definitely a luxury to eat fresh fish from the ocean, but I always feel bad if any spoils before we eat it. Justin always makes sure he eats every bit of what he keeps…he insists it’s bad fish karma if you don’t. I page through the Fisherman’s Post every week and there’s always pictures with smiling faces and a dock full of dolphin (mahi mahi), king mackerel or specks, and I often wonder the fate of those fish. Do they really get eaten? Or are they thrown into a chest freezer only to thrown out 6 months later from being freezer burnt?

I’ve noticed that the best fishermen, both young and old, are also the best sportsmen. To me the best sportsmen are the fishermen who respect the water, the fish, the shore and other fishermen. Real sportsmen don’t keep a cooler full of fish just to have the bragging rights of a full cooler. In my opinion, don’t keep any more than you think you’ll eat within a day or two. Real sportsmen don’t litter their cigarette butts (or anything else). Do they realize that their trash will end up somewhere else? Justin always puts his in his pocket and then they get washed in the washing machine. It’s gross but it’s better than laying next to a soggy cigarette butt at the beach. The best sportsmen will help out a fellow fishermen but still keep his favorite tips and tricks a secret. Real sportsmen realize the benefit of throwing back over and undersized fish. There’s a logical reason for size limits. The little guy might end up being a state citation in a year or two…

http://www.broadandreel.com/the-real-sportsman/

July 22, 2008

The Aquarium at Fort Fisher Celebrates Discovery Channel’s Shark Week--July 27 to August 3

The North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher celebrates Discovery Channel’s Shark Week with a weeklong schedule of programs and events. Learn more about these impressive predators at the aquarium!

Shark Week runs from July 27 to August 3. Each day will feature a full schedule of activities that showcase sharks. Along with their daily activities, the July 31 Family Night will feature sharks with activities and costumed characters.

Daily Schedule for Shark Week 2008*

10:00 Film: Eyewitness Sharks
10:30 Cape Fear Shoals Dive Show
11:00 Feeding
11:30 Sharks: Facts and Fiction
12:00 Ultimate Guide: Sharks
12:30 Animal Encounter: Shark Snacks
1:00 Tank Talk
1:30 Sharks Versus Dolphins
2:00 Ultimate Guide to Sharks
2:30 Cape Fear Shoals Dive Show
3:00 Feeding
3:30 Game Show: Sharks: Unique and Wonderful
4:00 Surviving Sharks

Family Night – Shark Night, Thursday, July 31*

5:30 Eyewitness Sharks
6:00 Alligator Feeding
6:30 Program
7:00 Dive Show
7:30 Program
8:00 Ultimate Guide to Sharks
*Program titles subject to change


North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher
900 Loggerhead Road
Kure Beach, NC 28449
1-866-301-3476
email:
ffmail@ncaquariums.com
website:
http://www.ncaquariums.com/ff/ffindex.htm

July 21, 2008

Erin's Monday Restaurant Review: Tuscan Grill

4 out of 5 stars...

Continuing our tour of the new abode, my husband and I ventured over to Tuscan Grill a few Saturdays ago. We've been wanting to go to this place since before we moved to the beach, but just never did.

It was a good experience. The waiter was fantastic. So friendly and attentive, but kept his distance. So few servers in nice restaurants are able to achieve the balance. Usually you feel like they want to come home with you at the end of the night.

Anyway, the drinks were good, the bread was fantastic and the meals were solid. I got the 6 oz fillet mignon, medium rare. It was just right. And just the right size. I have no need to eat a steak the size of my head. Oh, and the sweet potato puree. So good. Like a little piece of Thanksgiving heaven in June. My husband got the special steak, covered in brie, applewood smoked bacon and a red wine reduction. It was pretty darned tasty as well. However, he has yet to find a place that will cook his steak to his liking. I got him to agree with me that the rarer the steak, the more flavor. However, he still insists on eating his medium well. Which is his prerogative. And if he orders it like that, they should serve it like that. Alas, it came out pink as can be. He ate it of course, because he's too nice to send anything back.

They have this fun outdoor area that says it's for wine tastings. We'll have to check that out some other time. Especially since I forgot to use the coupon I had this time around. Oops!

All in all it was, as the sign in the front says, 'a discrete dining experience.'


Tuscan Grill
720 North Lake Park Blvd.
Carolina Beach, NC 28428
(910) 458-4745


Click Here For Additional Pleasure Island Restaurant Reviews

Click Here to View Available Online Menus of Pleasure Island Restaurants

July 20, 2008

Pleasure Island, NC-The Blogs Say It All (July 2008)

I always enjoy reading blog posts about Pleasure Island. It is a way to get an objective and insightful view of how people see the place that many of us call home. In addition, it makes for a helpful gage for visitors who are considering vacationing here and wonder if it is the right vacation spot for them. To hear residents such as myself talk up the area is one thing, but to hear it from other visitors is another.

I also like to find posts by residents as they explore the island and share some of their day to day activities. It is from these posts that I often learn there are new things for me to discover. But most of the time, I'm reminded that the best things Pleasure Island offers are the simplest. A morning walk on the beach as the sun begins to awake over the horizon is never the same walk twice. A walk through Carolina Beach State Park takes you deep into a natural coastal forest that shall remain preserved for future generations. Spying glimpses of the ocean through the thick of oak trees that grace Fort Fisher is always a photo that needs to be taken yet living the moment often wins out. Kure Beach Pier is always alive with fisherman and tourist looking to the ocean to fill their desires. It teems with energy and excitement as the pelicans greet wide-eyed children and the whirl of fishing reels draws everyone's attention. The Aquarium at Fort Fisher opens our eyes to what lies beneath the ocean’s obvious beauty and it reaches our soul by calling out to all of us to do a better job protecting our waters. The Carolina Beach Boardwalk reminds us of simpler times as one can relax with an ice cream cone and watch seagulls and families move about their day. The North End offers freedom to roam and opportunities to envelope oneself in magical water views, friendship and nightly campfires. And then there is the…

Our time is often limited but the opportunities for happiness here on the island appear endless--one just has to reach for them.

I hope you enjoy the following posts as much as I have. They make for a very enjoyable Sunday read and remind us not to take the simpler things here on the island for granted. [Note: This will now be a regular feature at least once a month.]







Molly's Blog--'Lately' (she is a brave young lady!)

July 18, 2008

Update: Broadcast Schedule for CB Town Council Meetings


Sundays @ 6:00 pm--Chan 5, New Hanover County Government Access

Tuesdays @ 7:00 pm--Chan 3, Beach TV

Fridays @ 7:00 am--Chan 5, New Hanover County Government Access

Remaining Town Council Meeting Schedule:
*August 12th
*September 9th
*October 14th
*November (To be Scheduled)
*December 9th

Dog Days of Summer at Carolina Beach

Even man's best friend must contend with rising tides when trying to build a sand masterpiece.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szVvCixSchLE

July 15, 2008

Carolina Beach Town Council Goes Cable

After months of discussion, it now appears that the Carolina Beach Town Council is ready to move forward with televising their monthly Town Council meetings. The first televised meeting should be on August 12th.

CBT is very pleased that they will be utilizing this direct method of sharing information with the public. This tool should make it much easier for residents to keep up with the latest happenings on the island. And after months of listening to the audio of Council meetings, I look forward to being able to put a face with the occasional secondary utterances ;-)

Look for the televised meetings on public access channel 5.

July 14, 2008

Wilmington Star: Carolina Beach Projects Could Provide Dramatic Improvements

The future is bright for Carolina Beach


With a concept finally in place, Carolina Beach officials have begun working to turn their visions for downtown into a reality.

In the last month or so, the town council approved a master development plan, agreed to purchase a piece of property for an environmental education center, and announced that the town will work with the N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher to build a fishing pier downtown.

Plus, town officials are working on related projects such as landscaping streets, planning a downtown parking deck and improving the town's water infrastructure. The town also agreed to purchase land near the fire department facility on Dow Road for future expansion.

Officials are juggling many projects right now, but progress is being made, said Mayor Joel Macon. "We're very excited about Carolina Beach and where we're headed," he said. "I've got goose bumps just talking about it."

After months of discussions and public meetings, the town council in June approved the master plan that lays out a concept to reinvigorate the Boardwalk, redesign streets and public spaces, and create landmarks that unify the town's central business district.

One of those landmarks is an environmental education center proposed for the southern end of town near the lake.

In June, the town council voted to spend $1 million to purchase two properties: $350,000 to buy 811 Cape Fear Blvd. for fire department expansion and $650,000 to purchase the car wash at 400 Woody Hewett Ave. for the environmental center.

Town Manager Tim Owens said the town plans to close on the fire department property by the end of the month. The car wash purchase will go through only if the town collects enough grant money to build the environmental center, Owens said.

Concept plans for the environmental center call for two buildings, one on the car wash lot and the other on town-owned property along the lake. A pedestrian bridge over Lake Park Boulevard would connect them. "That's a really key piece to the whole plan," Owens said. "We want to make that a pretty grand entrance."

One of the master plan's central ideas is redesigning the Boardwalk, which through the years has been both a shining light for the town and a perceived black eye.

The Boardwalk could be transformed if the Fort Fisher aquarium and town are successful in building a fishing pier downtown. Macon said that project, announced a few weeks ago, has huge positive ramifications for the town and the county.

The mayor said the town is examining three possible locations for the pier, all in the Boardwalk area: the ends of Harper Avenue and Cape Fear Boulevard and a location in the center of the Boardwalk.

The idea of using a pier as a Boardwalk centerpiece is one of two concepts proposed in the master plan.

Macon said town staff and a part-time consultant, Alan Pacek, are working behind the scenes, researching for grants, exploring financing options and studying engineering issues. The town council likely will meet in August to get organized and set priorities, Owens said.

"We're kind of all over the board," Owens said. "We need to come together and find out what's possible at this point."

Chris Mazzolini: 343-2223
chris.mazzolini@starnewsonline.com
View Article Here

View the Master Plan Here

Erin's Monday Restaurant/Bar Review: The Fat Pelican

3 out of 5 stars...

What an odd little bar. We had heard that this was the place to visit for a cold beer in CB. So, after dinner Saturday night we headed over there. Great concept...they have this huge walk-in fridge that has over 250 types of beer. You just go in, grab your beer and take it back out to the bartender to pay. She also has the regular Millers and Buds in a cooler behind the bar.

The building itself reminds me of a cave. It feels like it's built into a mountain or something. The ceilings are low and it's filled with all sorts of odd garage sale items and posters. everyone who has ever set foot in the place has written something somewhere...on the walls, ceiling, lamps, chairs. You name it, it's been written on. They don't have any normal seating, it's all used Grandma's house kind of stuff. Plaid couches and old barber chairs. I was very excited to actually have some place comfortable to sit while in a bar.

A few major downers. The bartender looked like she had been working there since 1973. She was wearing these tight white pants with the sides cut out and held together with a ring. Something a 19 year old would wear. We couldn't stop staring. Also, the smoke. I know this is a big complaint for me but it's true. I would have sat in that place all night long, reading National Geographics from 1994 and playing video games, but I just can't deal with the smoke. There were only about 8 or 9 people in there, but it was like the smoke was filtering out of the walls. Man, it was bad. I'm not sure why every bar in this town has to smell like death.

Also, the beer wasn't super cold. It was cold enough, but not sitting in a bucket of ice cold. Kind of a turn off.


The Fat Pelican
8 South Lake Park Blvd
Carolina Beach, NC
(910)458-4016


Click Here For Additional Pleasure Island Restaurant/Bar Reviews

July 11, 2008

Rumor Has It... Granny's Country Kitchen Is Looking to Expand

1310 S. Lake Park Blvd. Carolina Beach, NC

(07/14/2008 Updated/Corrected Post)

CBT has heard that Granny's County Kitchen restaurant is looking to expand in one form or another as the continued overwhelming demand by customers creates seating issues due to limited space. As one who enjoys Granny's breakfast, I can say that I'm thrilled that they are considering expanding their operations to better serve the summer crowds.

We wish them the very best as they pursue their options.

July 7, 2008

New Website For Carolina Beach Marina And Fishing Center Launches


July 7, 2008 (Carolina Newswire)

Carolina Beach, N.C. — The brand new Carolina Beach Marina and Fishing Center Web site is up and running. Experienced fishermen, first-timers and those looking for a memorable boat excursion can now go to www.cbfishingcenter.com to plan their next outings. Visitors to the Web site have access to tide charts, charter boat information, directions to Carolina Beach, and can learn what fish are “running.” There's even an easy to follow process for visitors to post their photos on the site and show off their catches.

In recent years, Carolina Beach has become one of the East Coast’s most popular fishing destinations. With the addition of the Carolina Beach Marina and Fishing Center Web site, people who love to fish will have a great informational resource.

The Marina and Fishing Center Web site is linked to the Carolina Beach Web site, www.carolinabeachstories.com. Here, visitors can plan a complete vacation using the “My Trip Planner” feature. With the “Planner,” visitors can choose every aspect of their trip from where to stay, to which restaurants and stores to visit, as well as learn about the various activities and events happening at Carolina Beach throughout the year.

About Carolina Beach
Carolina Beach is located 19 miles south of Wilmington, N.C., on the northern end of Pleasure Island, the larger of two barrier islands on the Cape Fear Coast. This charming seaside town of approximately 4,700 permanent residents offers a variety of accommodations and attractions, as well as several miles of Atlantic oceanfront and natural sand dunes, marinas and offshore fishing excursions.

More information is available online at www.carolinabeachstories.com or by calling 1-800-351-5102.

July 6, 2008

Erin's Monday Restaurant Review: Freddie's Restaurante

5 out of 5 enthusiastic stars for Freddie's.

What a great little find in Kure Beach. If you want to come here on a busy night in the summer, or heck even a non-busy night in the winter, you're probably going to wait for a table. There are only maybe, 15 tables in the whole place and a very small bar that might seat 3. But, this is besides the point. It is such a great, homey, comfortable atmosphere and the food is so good.

Get the pork chops. Don't look at the rest of the menu, just get the pork chops. And don't bother paying for 2 of them. Just get one. I'm not sure if Paul Bunyan could eat 2 of these suckers. There are all sorts of variations, with toppings and sides. They come served on a steaming hot metal plate. SO good. On our first visit, I was told by a very old, very tipsy woman who had probably been going there for 40 years, so get the pork chops. Don't disappoint her.

One little tip, however. If it is February and pouring rain outside, don't sit next to the door. A huge gust of wind will freeze you out of the place every time the door is opened.

Freddies Resturante
444 Sandman Dr
Kure Beach, NC
(910) 458-5979


Click Here For Additional Pleasure Island Restaurant Reviews

Click Here to View Available Online Menus of Pleasure Island Restaurants

July 4, 2008

Help Keep Carolina Beach Clean and Safe


The Town of Carolina Beach has added a Job Request Form to their website. If you are out and about and notice a safety issue or see something that requires maintenance or cleaning, use this convenient on-line form to notify the appropriate Town department:

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