Monday, June 21, 2010

Quick hits: Man wins Hollerin' Contest with 'Summertime' rendition, and coastal states study public beach access

N.C. man hollers 'Summertime'

"A North Carolina man who won the National Hollerin' Contest says he almost disqualified himself by going over the four-minute time limit," says the AP.

"The Fayetteville Observer reported that Tony Peacock of Siler City won the 42nd annual contest this past weekend in Spivey's Corner. His hollerin' rendition of the popular Gershwin tune 'Summertime' got him the title.

"Peacock says he had to cut short his last holler because he had only two seconds left.

"The contest is held to benefit the Spivey's Corner Volunteer Fire Department. The winner gets bragging rights and opportunities to perform at events and on television. ..."

Public beach access under assault in many coastal states
"Some Jersey shore beach towns have plenty of ways to keep outsiders off their sand: Limit on-street parking, prohibit food and drink, and have no public bathrooms," says the AP.

"One town literally walls off the public from much of the ocean with a protective stone seawall, and offers virtually no parking for miles along it.

"Beach access has become a long drawn-out court battle in many coastal states. And now in New Jersey, the state Department of Environmental Protection is bowing to complaints from some local governments and private property owners that state access rules are too strict. ...

"Battles over who rules the sand are being fought all over the country. It's not just about unbroken ocean views, either. In New Jersey, tourism is a nearly $40 billion industry and its beaches are a primary draw.

"The U.S. Supreme Court last week ruled that Florida can undertake beach-widening projects without compensating beach-front property owners who lose exclusive access to the water. ...

"In Hawaii, a new law prohibits property owners from using vegetation to block beach access. In North Carolina, state officials are trying to balance competing demands over the use of a popular Outer Banks beach between fishermen and outdoor enthusiasts who want to drive their vehicles on the sand, and environmentalists who want to protect coastal wildlife. ..."

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