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JANUARY 2010 TYRRELL COUNTY’s COUNTRY MAGAZINE

ISSUE # 29

WWW.SCUPPERNONGGAZETTE.COM

COVER PHOTO BY NELI LEMME


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www.ScuppernongGazette.com Published Monthly Or Whenever We Feel Like www.SwanQuarterly.net


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PUBLISHERS: INGRID AND NELI LEMME

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Quote of the Month

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“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah Winfrey

DEAR READER

Baby New Year 2010

The Baby New Year is an American personification of the start of a new year, commonly seen in various New Year's customs, especially holiday cards . nnn

The Conservation Fund/Resourceful Communities Program of Chapel Hill gives $10,300 to the “Tyrrell County Folklife Project,” to document by video a centuries-old public arts celebration including the Fiesta de la Posada. The county’s public school Spanish teachers will help develop a

Honestly we can’t wait until 2009 is over! It was a tuff year for us, but we are in this together, and know we are not alone. We are emailing the January issue early as our little gift to welcome the New Year. We like winter and a little snow, but ice? Let me assure you that my co publisher and daughter-in-law Neli took the La Posada companion curriculum guide for regional distribution. The project will also produce a CD of the Brothers in Praise, a traditional African American gospel choir of the Zion Grove Church of Christ, and feature the musical quartet in a free public concert. A multimedia

cover photo last winter down the road by where they live on the Albemarle Sound and this is ice! - Well whatever 2010 is going to bring us, remember it’s one day a time. Health and Happiness is what we wish ya’ll and that all your most beautiful dreams come true! Ingrid and Neli Lemme website will carry the celebration and music to an audience beyond Tyrrell County. Read online ... · The project director is Kirsten Mullen kirsmullen@aol.com www.resourcefulcommunities.org


MAN OF THE MONTH DWIGHT WHELESS COLUMBIA TOWN ATTORNEY

www.whelesslawfirm.com

Photo: Neli Lemme


...On the Board Walk... Kid of the Month

Noah Able of Columbia, who is 4 years old. he wears cool hats and shirts and loved the Mattamuskeet Decoy and Waterfowl show

Book of the Month

COLD MOUNTAIN a novel by NC author Charles Frazier which became also an awardwinning movie.

Baby of the Month

Little Connor Reynolds who was born a little early, but he doing great, say his proud parents Cassandra & Denny Reynolds.

Teacher of Month

Lee Swain has been selected as Tyrrell County Schools Exceptional Children Teacher of Excellence for her dedication in helping children with disabilities and her high level of professional skills.

Organization of the Month

http://tyrrell.ces.ncsu.edu

Lady of the Month Mrs. Ernestine Hassell

Family of the Month The Hasselles of Tyrrell County

Book of the Month: In The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers, new from Smithsonian Books, historian Thomas Fleming, author of The role of women in the lives Perils of Peace, offers a of Washington ... fresh look at the critical

Business of the Month

Buds & Suds, Wash your car and pick up your favorite cold beverages at the same time


Lady of the Month Ernestine We

met Mrs. Ernestine Hassell at the annual Mattamuskeet Decoy and Waterfowl Festival in Hyde County in fall where she represented Tyrrell Countyʼs Pocosin Art Center. She is married to Elmo Hassell and featured here with her daughter Tiffany Hassell-Able who accompanied her and her grandson Noah Able, who is 4 years old.   Mrs. Hassell is a nurse and has worked at the Ty r r e l l C o u n t y H e a l t h department for over 30 years.

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e n j o y s h e r f a m i l y, church, wood carving, savaging thrift stores and yard sales for antique collectibles and being Nana to Noah. They live in the Soundside Community. In the sumer she enjoys her beach cottage at Rhodes Haven.

Photos: Ingrid Lemme


Thomas Spagnol is the Information & Communications Specialist at the Museum of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City. He’s responsible for "getting the word out" about the museum & its many programs and exhibits. He also writes and takes photos for the newsletter and is responsible for the website, “A new look is in the works” he says. He LOVEs animals, just not the bear he almost hit on his way back from Mattamuskeet one night. He h a s t w o s o n s w h o l i v e i n Pennsylvania, a black lab and a hound here in NC,   and even though he doesn't hunt, his dogs do. They LOVE to chase down a deer, cat or whatever in the fields around his home in Hertford. He is a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Elizabeth City Flotilla, and volunteers for a local animal shelter.

Meet Reader of the Month

Thomas Spagnol Communication Specialist thomas.spagnol@ncdcr.gov Museum of the Albemarle www.museumofthealbemarle.com as seen here at the inaugural Mattamuskeet Decoy and Waterfowl Festival in Hyde County. www.hydewaterfowl.com

Battle to be commemorated The Museum of the Albemarle will commemorate the Battle of Elizabeth City, fought on February 10, 1862 with its Civil War Living History Days on February 5 and 6, 2010. As the war in the Albemarle was largely one fought on the sounds and rivers as well as a partisan war, naval and partisan ranger re-enactors will be present to discuss those aspects of the war through demonstrations, exhibits, and displays.  Interpreters from the Civil War re-enactor community have enthusiastically volunteered to present two days of programming.  Friday’s event will be open for school group reservations. Saturday will be open to the public. Demonstrations, mustering of the troops and artillery firing will occur on The Green. Many exhibits of personal collections of Civil War era artifacts will be on display in the Lobby. Members of the Tar Heel Civilians, a North Carolina Civil War Reenactment Group will be presenting programs that bring the Civilian aspect of the wartime era to the public. The Battle of Elizabeth City was a small naval skirmish but as the can see in the illustration the Union ship transported the Confederate soldiers captured in the Battles of Roanoke and Hatteras as prisoners to Elizabeth City. They were exchanged for Union prisoners or in some cases transported to Union prison camps up north via the Dismal Swamp Canal. The Confederate prisoners were from local units mustered from the region including Tyrrell and Hyde Counties. These prisoners were later reenlisted into the Confederacy or the Union armies or navy and some remained on the home front to fight as guerillas.

“I must say that I fell in love with Lake Mattamuskeet and the surrounding area, and have enjoyed my visits to Columbia, Engelhard and Ocracoke. I wear my Mattamuskeet Wildlife Festival shirt proudly and actually bought an extra one to give as a Christmas gift! I look forward to reading the Scuppernong Gazette and the Swan Quarterly whenever they drop into my inbox,” writes Thomas Spagnol. Photo: Ingrid Lemme


NOVEMBER 2009

Weather Data Collected at National Weather Service Cooperative Weather Station Located at Jacob and Arnette Parker Residence Gum Neck, Tyrrell County

Weather data page sponsored by:

Average High Air Temperature 65 degrees Highest Air Temperature 75 degrees on November 11 Average Low Air Temperature 48 degrees Lowest Air Temperature 32 degrees on November 7 and 8 Monthly Precipitation 11.91 inches Most Precipitation in 24 hours 6.00 inches on November 10* Total Year Precipitation 60.75 inches Total Yearly Precipitation to date in 2008 49.66 inches Average High Soil Temperature Average Low Soil Temperature

58 degrees 52 degrees

*Many locations in the county received more rain on this date; in some places, up to nine inches was reported. Photo: Neli Lemme


FACTOR OR FICTION?

THE ALBEMARLE CREEPER BY CHRIS SMITH The Albemarle Creeper head specimen displayed before you is the only known specimen collected by modern man. The Creeper's primary established territory lies within the ancient juniper swamps bordering the Southern Albemarle Sound and Roanoke River Delta. This creature, the most elusive and secretive of all animals inhabiting juniper swamps, exhibits an uncanny chameleonlike ability to take on the appearance of juniper tree bark... which makes it virtually impossible to distinguish from the surrounding trees.

Local legends from indigenous peoples have long been used to explain the mysterious disappearances of those lost late at night in the vast juniper swamps of Eastern North Carolina. Suppressed reports from the post-colonial era mention disappearances of individuals in the swamps such as hunters, surveyors, bootleggers, and timber cruisers. Traditionally, those disappearances have been attributed to alligator, panther, or black bear encounters, but bears, alligators, and panthers always leave physical evidence behind in the form of bones, clothing fragments, and victims personal gear. When a Creeper encounter occurs, no physical evidence is ever found of the victim...they just seem to disappear from the face of the earth. Stories passed down through generations of local timber families, involved in the harvesting of juniper trees, reportedly tell of finding human bones, belt buckles, clothing remnants, knives, and old firearms contained within the boles of the tree trunks when the logs were cut into boards. It is speculated that responsibility lies with the Creeper and the victims served as a food cache for the Creeper.

What do we know about the Albemarle Creeper? 1. Inhabits primarily Juniper swamps. Also found in Cypress swamps, but prefers Juniper. 2. Can manipulate its fur and facial hair to replicate the bark of Juniper and Cypress, and can actually change the color shade of its fur to make it indistinguishable from the tree trunk.

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Is nocturnal.

4. It dens in oldgrowth hollow juniper and cypress trees, where it stays during daylight hours or during extreme weather such as hurricanes and extended freezes. 5. It has a seasonal symbiotic relationship with hornets. Den trees will always contain a hornets nest near the den entrance. It is believed the hornets protect the den entrance by day and the Creeper protects the den tree by night. 6. Is carnivorous. Primary diet is frogs, possums, snakes, fish, lost children, and lost individuals. 7. It makes a nocturnal cry which is best described as a “Squaller� (which is a combination of a squall and


a holler). The Creeper squaller has been reportedly to cause loss of control of bodily functions by those that have heard it. 8. Super human strength. Weighing in under 100 lb. Some of its victims had an estimated weight in excess of 200 lbs prior to their disappearance. 9. Tracks are often mistaken as deer tracks, but upon close examination the track will have a third toe which leaves a very slight impression. The toes on the hoof have retractable claws much like a panther which it apparently uses in tree scaling, food procurement, and defense. 10. The facial hair is most unique in that the white hair of the face can be engulfed (covered) by the brown hair that protrudes from the side of its head, and by the brown hair on the underneath of the goatee protruding from its chin. 11. Has nocturnal vision with large yellow cat-like pupils. Eyes are super sensitive to focus light beams at close range (less than 10 ft.). The Albemarle Creeper shown here was finally located after a search spanning 30 years. The events that led up to the final Creeper encounter are of such length it would require a separate, more detailed account, to describe

the Albemarle Creeper's demise. But a brief summary of the final encounter follows: This Creeper made his last creep in Chapel Swamp of Washington County, NC on January 1, 1993. After surviving a night encounter with the Creeper while crossing Chapel Swamp, I was able to return during daylight hours to retrace his tracks. I finally identified the Creeper's tracks, which so many others had mistaken for deer tracks. Since the Creeper was also a tree climber, the tracks would end once the Creeper left the swamp-bottom for the treetops. The Creeper's survival intelligence is nearest to that of man, more than any other creature. So upon leaving the ground, the Creeper would travel the necessary distance through the treetops to prevent anyone from tracking it to its den tree. A freakish winter ice storm that prevented the Creeper from masking its tracks and forced it to seek its den tree from the ground was the precipitate to the final events. The ice storm had struck during the night while the Creeper was away from the den tree. With ice covering all of the tree limbs and branches, the Creeper could not travel via the treetops, and thus it approached its den tree on foot! The claw marks in the ice-covered

bark finally pinpointed the Creeper's den tree. From this point the Creeper's demise commenced. The most difficult challenge was building a fire to smoke it out into the open. Knowing that I was about to confront the legendary Albemarle Creeper, I could take no chance with weaponry. I loaded my .308 caliber rifle with one conventional round and two special rounds, one contained a silver bullet and the other a wooden bullet. When the Creeper emerged from its den, I fired. The first two rounds struck it in the chest. The Creeper's reaction was a raging squaller accompanied by a furious charge in my direction. As it lunged the final distance toward me, I fired again and the third bullet—the wooden bullet—struck its chest as well. The Creeper crumpled in mid air. Motionless and silent, the only sound I heard was the adrenalin pounding in my ears and my own rapid breathing which was causing a cloud of vapor to form about me in the freezing air. The Albemarle Creeper laid slain. Chapel Swamp is now safe!...Maybe?

CHRIS SMITH

gave us permission to publish his story in the Scuppernong Gazette. Mr. Smith and his wife are the owners of “Mackey's Ferry Peanuts & Gifts” in Jamesville, NC - they live in Roper, NC. www.mfpnuts.com


MEET POCOSIN ARTS

Current Resident Artist, Marlene True, at her jeweler's bench in the studio apartment. For more information about being an Artist-In-Residence at Pocosin Arts, send an email to: info@pocosinarts.org or call us at 252-796-2787

‘ARTIST IN RESIDENCE’ MARLENE TRUE

It's Time to Register for Cabin Fever Reliever A Creative Arts Retreat February 18-21, 2010 www.pocosinarts.org


2010 TYRRELL COUNTY LIVESTOCK SHOW AND SALE    March 1st, 2010 @ 1:00 AM April 22nd, 2010 @ 1:00 PM Columbia, NC Livestock Show and Sale for 2010 will be held at Tyrrell Hall (opposite Hess Gas Station) along US64 East, on April 21st, Wednesday. Come and join our 4H'ers, show off their animals (swine, lambs, & goats), and the buyers'(near and far) commitments to support our youth and community. Buyers and donors are welcome! "Dress your animals" competition starts at 12noon. Program starts at 2:30 p.m.; Dinner will be at the site around 4pm. Presentation of awards/trophies and sale of animals will be at 7pm. The buyers will be around to bid for the animals, as well as the donors and supporters, to present their awards/ trophies. Concession stand is open from 10am until 9pm. Come one and all and enjoy the fun! This is a one day affair, once a year, the community wouldn't want to miss. Contact Nancy McGowan at (252) 796-1581 Photo: Ingrid Lemme


Poor Clifford! He thought he was going to be the guest of honor for this event. Terese Benton set him straight and informed him that Santa was the “Man of the Hour”.

Breakfast with Santa ! In an effort to participate in the Rivertown Christmas festivities, the Tyrrell County Public Library presented Breakfast with Santa on December 5. This was the second year that the library, with some assistance with the Friends of the Library, has presented this program to the public. Despite the bad weather, this program was a huge success this holiday season. Even though many of the events were cancelled due to the weather, Breakfast with Santa was a sold out event and the conference room was filled to capacity with anxious children.

Each child was eager to speak with Santa to inform him of their individual wishes from each of their Christmas lists. < Photo: Steve Wille incorporates the door prizes into a magic trick. William Schreckengost assisted the magician in drawing out the four winning tickets. First, the children were served a hot breakfast, then Steve Wille of Magic Moments from Vanceboro, NC presented a short magic show that entertained young and old alike! At the conclusion of his performance, as part of a magical act, door prizes were awarded to Gabby Smith, Wyatt Swain, Penny Fox and Helen Koonce. Following the door prizes, several of Santa’s friends popped in to say “hello” to the children. The special visitors included the Grinch, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George. Each of these characters was big and red, but they were not the scheduled guest of honor. Finally, Santa was introduced and he very patiently listened to all the requests that the children made from their Christmas lists. After the children’s visit with Santa and his friends, Mr. Wille created a balloon animal for each child.  Photo to the right: Heather Markham introduced Tripp Markham to the Grinch as Curious George and Clifford looked on.


! Duncan Bracey, V and his sister, Margaret Blake share a photographic moment with Santa after they expressed their wishes for Christmas this year.

Breakfast with Santa Parents were given the opportunity to take their own photographs of their children while they were talking to Santa. In addition, Santa’s friends hung around in the library and each child was offered the chance to have his/her photo taken with them also. A library staff member was also available to take pictures if someone should have forgotten their camera.

This fun event was a fund raiser for the children’s area. If you were not aware of this program, or were disappointed because your child did not have the opportunity to attend, please mark you calendar for next year’s event during

Rivertown Christmas. Just as in the previous years, it will be a limited event with only a certain number of advance tickets sold. If you would like to check out this year’s event, please drop by the library and view the pictures that were taken during Breakfast with Santa. Photo above: The Grinch dropped by to say “Hello” to everyone that attended the Breakfast with Santa at the Tyrrell County Public Library. photo on the right: Tucker Fleming shares his Christmas Wish List with Santa.


Tomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Face-Book Talk - Deer Jerky

TOM KILLIAN: Getting ready to travel to Darfur in Feb. My menu for the duration of the mission includes Deer Jerky that I'm smoking & dehydrating over our wood stove at 12 hour intervals. ( the stove serves as our only heat source for this 1826 home, and I find many of dual purposes for it ) The Deer was donated by Local hunters Chris and Kari Cahoon, that are part of "Team Darfur". Write me if you would like the Jerky recipe. - (other fun objects in photo include "lumpy ting ting" - (the little guy formed from local clay) and a plaster foot print of a 600 lb bear that was cast less then 10 yards from our home. INGRID LEMME: would like the Jerky recipe....... TOM KILLIAN: slice deer 1/4 ", soak around 2 lbs of the sliced deer in 10 oz soy sauce, 1 tbs of liquid smoke, 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce, overnight.. line bottom of stock pot with foil, take a couple of chunks of dried white oak, (or whatever your wood preference is or what is on hand) toss in the bottom, (no need to soak, your drying meat, so keep it dry,) ... pull your sliced deer out, skewer with bamboo sticks to let it hang over the mouth of the stock pot). let hang until brittle or near brittle. done! ( about 10-12 hours) cost of store Jerky is $15 a lb. ( with MSG and junk) - You can dehydrate your own much cheaper, free if you have a hunter friend and burning wood to keep your house warm, the stock pot over stove, serve dual purpose, so there is no energy cost - just time. - you can try variations, there is no hard fast rule, various meats will cure this way, that's how the settlers got around.. I'm trying some vinegar soak as well, trying to reduce sodium, (since I will be in the Sahara, I do not need to raise my sodium content) been drying Persimmons well and Kumquats www.tomkilian.com www.firstgiving.com/tomkilian


COLUMBIA 2000 10 YEARS LATER Columbia’s strategy is to attract investment into the community through ecotourism. Before ecotourism was popular, Columbia’s leaders and residents decided to embrace their natural assets – many of which are federally protected – to create new jobs. In 1993, former town manager J.D. Brickhouse convinced local officials in the surrounding counties to join together in the “Partnership for the Sounds”, a nonprofit organization designed to facilitate regional collaboration around ecotourism and to prevent the counties and municipalities from competing over limited grant funding. Through this innovative partnership, Columbia has received funding for and built a downtown boardwalk, a visitors center and a 4-H environmental education center, each of which draws tourism. Today, Columbia is a destination for travelers seeking a pristine getaway on North Carolina’s coast. The community and its history. The town of Columbia, located in the Albemarle-Pamlico region

of eastern North Carolina, was founded in 1793. Throughout the 1800s and early 1900s, the timber industry prospered around Columbia from the rich, Scuppernong River-fed groves of cypress and juniper. The town’s economy also was buoyed by corn, rice and cotton plantations. But after reaching a peak population of 1,100 in 1950, Columbia began a slow, steady decline in both population and economic vitality. The 2000 census documented a poverty rate of more than 30 percent. Columbia, North Carolina Population (2000) 820 Strategic approach Tourism Time frame 1991-2007 The ecotourism strategy in Columbia is characterized by an innovative approach to governance and dogged protection of natural resources. By collaborating with surrounding counties, the town has financed and built a downtown boardwalk, a 4-H environmental education center and a visitors center – each of which is attracting new tourist dollars. Interview with Rhett White, Columbia town manager, May 22, 2007.

In the late 1970s, local officials began to aggressively recruit new businesses. The town was negotiating with an international aircraft manufacturer to relocate to Tyrrell County when, in October 1988, Congress modified an obscure requirement relating to the interest rate on industrial revenue bonds. The project fell through, and the town’s hopes for luring a manufacturer were dashed. “I was devastated,” said Brickhouse, the former town manager. “Our community had so many high expectations, and it all fell through.” After this setback, the town manager received funding through the Coastal Area Management Act to develop a comprehensive community plan. The plan, which became known as Columbia 2000, relied on a combination of community meetings and household surveys. It was released in 1990. During the planning process, participating residents and survey respondents expressed a strong desire to focus on a few major projects: downtown renovation, construction of a visitors center and a riverfront boardwalk. Ecotourism, then a new concept, became the centerpiece of Columbia’s economic development strategy. >>>>>>>>


“Ecotourism meant a rejection of certain types of economic development,” said Rhett White, the current town manager. “We rejected taking advantage of our natural environment and instead saw the potential to develop an economy around a pristine environment.” The strategy Columbia’s strategy is to join with its neighbors in the Albemarle-Pamlico region to promote a regional ecotourism economy. Shortly after the Columbia 2000 planning process, Brickhouse met with representatives from various state agencies to explore funding options for local ecotourism projects. During a meeting with a former official with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Brickhouse learned that other communities around Columbia were interested in pursuing a similar economic development approach. In fact, communities from across the Albemarle-Pamlico region were independently lobbying state legislators for ecotourism-related finance. In 1991, Brickhouse initiated meetings with colleagues from Tyrrell, Hyde and Beaufort counties. Their idea, which developed over time, was to work together in promoting sustainable

economic development. Ultimately, they decided to create a regional nonprofit organization, the Partnership for the Sounds, in 1993. Through the partnership, counties and towns throughout the Albemarle-Pamlico region would apply collectively for funding, instead of competing with each other for scarce grant dollars. The goal of the partnership was to develop ecotourism-related facilities that each community envisioned and then mold these facilities into a cooperative network. The second part of Columbia’s strategy is to use innovative landtransfer arrangements to preserve land around town. Obviously, the land and other natural assets around Columbia form the basis of its ecotourism strategy. Beginning in the early 1990s, Brickhouse initiated Partnership for the Sounds website, www.partnershipforthesounds.org several partnerships with government agencies and nonprofit groups to purchase land around Columbia. Locking up land, however, also meant a loss of potential property tax revenues. In one case, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (N.C. DOT) wanted to purchase the 10,000acre Palmetto Peartree Preserve near Columbia and turn it into a

wetland bank. Since this would pull the land off the tax rolls, Brickhouse partnered with the Conservation Fund to explore the possibility of an alternative land ownership agreement. In an innovative arrangement, the fund purchased the property and allowed N.C. DOT to use some of the land as a wetland bank. In exchange, N.C. DOT and the Conservation Fund agreed to contribute toward a special endowment set up for the parcel. Revenue from N.C. DOT’s use of the property and from the fund’s sustainable harvesting of the property’s forest is used to pay the local property taxes. The ownership agreement has been a win-win, giving Columbia additional protected land and tax revenue. Columbia’s next priority was to revisit the community’s vision for a visitors center and boardwalk. Working through the Partnership for the Sounds, Columbia received a $1 million grant from N.C. DOT to construct a new visitors center at the main entrance into town. While the center was under construction in 1994, Columbia set out to build an adjoining boardwalk along the Scuppernong River and into the cypress swamps near downtown.

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The Conservation Fund provided the lumber for the project by harvesting timber from the nearby Palmetto Preserve. With help from the local Youth Corps, Columbia’s mile-long boardwalk and visitors center opened in 1995. On average, the visitors center welcomes 400,000 people a year, a significant jump from previous tourism figures. In 2001, Columbia also became home to a new $10 million 4-H environmental education center, complete with a 250-seat meeting room, four dining areas and two hotel-style executive lodges. Local officials estimate that more than 100 jobs have been created in Columbia as a result of the ecotourism strategy, a handsome figure in a town of fewer than 800 people. Since 1990, the town has generated over $15 million in grant funding for ecotourism related projects. What are the lessons from this story? Economic development must be guided by a broadly held local vision. Columbia 2000 was a comprehensive planning process that relied on participation from the whole community. The result was a vision of what residents wanted to see their small town become. “Many economic development efforts fail because they do not come from local knowledge,” said Mikki Sager of the Conservation Fund. “A lot of small communities end up with what they have because someone from outside tells them what they need. No local buy-in, or success, is going to happen with that.” A wetland bank is a system in which development impacts are mitigated by creating credits and selling them to third parties. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “mitigation banking means the restoration, creation, enhancement and, in exceptional circumstances, preservation of wetlands and/or other aquatic resources expressly for the purpose of providing compensatory mitigation in advance of authorized impacts to similar resources.” Unique local assets can become economic drivers. Columbia’s leaders and residents recognized that the natural beauty of the area was an asset that could drive an ecotourism strategy for economic development. Part of Columbia’s success with ecotourism comes from the clear local mandate that residents wanted to see their natural surroundings protected. Local economic development can be strengthened by forming regional partnerships. Through meetings with the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Columbia discovered that neighbors from Hyde and Beaufort counties were interested in pursuing similar eco-tourism-related projects. Rather than see these counties as intra-regional competitors, Columbia sought regional collaboration. Small towns thus were able to pool resources and ideas. Moreover, ecotourism should – by nature – be a regional strategy because a collection of towns and counties has more to offer visitors than does a single municipality. Innovative local governance can strengthen a community’s economic development efforts. Columbia’s ability to design an alternative arrangement for generating tax revenues on protected lands helped turn a potential obstacle to ecotourism into an example of innovative local governance.


Farmers New Year’s Resolutions by Ashlee Spruill King Most Americans spend the week between Christmas and New Year’s recuperating from all the overeating they’ve done all month. If you’re lucky enough to have the week off, you might spend time putting away Christmas gifts or visiting relatives. Those of us who have to go back to work drag through, hoping for the burst of energy that will help us start the new year with a bang. Business owners check inventory and make sure all the end-of-the-year paperwork gets done. But at some point or other, all of us think about the past year and decide what was good, what was bad, and what we need to do differently once the calendar rolls over to January 1st. New Year’s Resolutions are good things, right? We resolve to lose weight, spend less, stop smoking, and stop procrastinating about getting it all done. Mostly because we’re still full of turkey, all out of money, and it’s too cold to stand outside for a cigarette! How many of us really intend to stick with our resolutions? We keep them as long as it’s convenient, but when we really want that piece of pie or that new cashmere sweater in mid-January, just how much resolve is left? Farmers, like lots of other business owners, have a lot to think about when it comes to New Year’s Resolutions. And the thinking comes way before January. Sure, we ask the typical, “How did things go this year?”, but after every job (planting, spraying, harvesting), we have to analyze our successes and failures. Did we plant deep enough, did we get the fertilizer or herbicides on at the right times? Were the crops successful because of weather, or was it because of something we did differently this year? If so, what was it, and can we make sure to do it again next year? Call them New Year’s Resolutions, good business practices, or what have you, a farmer’s conclusions after careful review of this year’s crop is vital to the success of next year’s. He can’t lose his resolve or decide he’ll just procrastinate tomorrow. His family and his employees’ families depend on the income of successful crops. This year, when you make your New Year’s Resolutions, stick to them like your livelihood depends on it! Note from the editor: Ashlee is featured on the IBX Arts website www.ibxarts.org


Business of the Month Buds & Suds Photos: Neli Lemme


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Scuppernong Gazette January 2010