Friday, May 22, 2009

Rosie Attends The Sand-Breaking Ceremony For Jennette's Pier.

Jennette's Pier, previously in Nags Head, at Milepost 16.5, was a local historical landmark. Originally built by Walter Jennette in 1939, the 754-foot Jennette's pier has been damaged by Nor'easters and hurricanes and rebuilt numerous times over the decades. In September of 2003, Hurricane Isabel left the future of Jennette's Pier in doubt. Isabel took out 540 feet of Jennette's Pier. Only the pier house survived, and that was demolished in 2008. Here's the original Jennette's Pier This was Jennette's Pier after Hurricane Isabel hit in September 2003. And here it is photographed from the other side. Jennette's Pier will be built again on the same spot. The pier and its 5.12-acre site, almost sold out to developers in 2002, is now owned by the North Carolina Aquarium Society in partnership with the North Carolina Aquariums. The Aquarium Society purchased the property and transferred it to the state of North Carolina. The NC Aquarium Society is the support organization for the three NC Aquarium facilities located on Roanoke Island (here on the Outer Banks), Pine Knoll Shores, and Fort Fisher. Through the Aquariums, the Society works to promote appreciation, understanding, conservation, and awareness of the diverse cultural and natural resources associated with North Carolina's ocean, rivers, estuaries, streams, and other aquatic environments. The NC Aquarium Society has raised $18 million in revenue bonds to fund the pier reconstruction project, expansions to the Roanoke Island Aquarium, and storm water management enhancements. In 2009, North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue signed a bill unanimously approved by the state legislature to rebuild Jennette's Pier. The bill was first introduced to build the "North Carolina Aquarium Pier," a moniker which really just rolls right off one's tongue and pretty much raised the hackles of native Outer Bankers. Even Governor Purdue said this morning that she got out her veto stamp when faced with the name "North Carolina Aquarium Pier." Outer Banks officials balked at the idea of changing the name and over 1000 people from around the country pressured state officials to keep the historic name "Jennette's Pier" and maintain the heritage of this venerable landmark. Note here that politicians can and do get wishy washy on what they say and do. They (meaning Perdue and Basnight) apparently were totally OK at first with naming Jennette's Pier the melodious and mellifluous, "North Carolina Aquarium Pier at Nags Head." Then the cranky, bitchy native Outer Bankers made them keep the heritage, legacy, and history that they thrive on.
The North Carolina Aquarium Pier is an important marker for North Carolina’s coastline and for the North Carolina Aquarium,” said Perdue. “But more importantly, it will serve generations to come as a place of learning, recreation and further appreciation of the natural resources that bring so many people from across the state and beyond to our beautiful coast.”
“Jennette’s Pier has been a landmark on the Outer Banks for generations and this legislation will help expedite construction and jump-star the economy,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight, D- Dare. “When it opens, the North Carolina Aquarium Pier at Nags Head will be an environmentally-friendly attraction that will help boost our tourist economy.”
And of course, the politicos turned belly-up and even Purdue said something like this:

Gov. Bev Perdue said Friday she was taken aback when a bill arrived on her desk authorizing construction of the North Carolina Aquarium Pier in Nags Head.

"I got my veto stamp out," joked Perdue, "and said, 'Who stole the money from Jennette's Pier?' "

In her first official visit to the Outer Banks since she was elected, Perdue displayed her northeastern North Carolina roots when she complained about the "audacity" in thinking about calling the replacement for the Outer Banks' oldest pier anything other than Jennette's.

More than 1,000 petitioners on the social networking Web site Facebook had similar sentiments, and the name has been officially restored as part of North Carolina Aquariums.

Flip Flop. Hip Hop. Gotta love them politicians. Once they get a hint of "political incorrectness" they turn coat and run. As for political correctness,
it's only a doctrine espoused by
a rabid, delusional minority,
and jumped on like a monkey on a cupcake
or Pauler Dean on butter,
by the unscrupulous, liberal media which fosters the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end. Forgive me while I ramble a bit here. The hubby and I have a friend/"financial advisor" (not that we pay a lick of attention to him and his advising) but we do let him ramble on. He was here a few months ago and got out his pie charts and all sorts of visual aids and started on how our following his recommendations had put us above the S&P 500 and the S&P 1000 and some other index. I forget which. Hey, we hemorrhaged like everybody else. But he comes in, and he's like all puppies and kittens and butterflies and sunshine, and shows us the percentages and crap. "Well, the S&P 500 lost 25%. The S$P 1000 lost 27%. You only lost 21%." And that's a good thing????? I told him to stop talking. I needed to put on my sun glasses, 'cause he'd polished that turd so much it was blinding me. But I digress.
Back to the pier. Construction is scheduled to start next week on the two-year, $22.5 million project. The construction of the new pier will provide 555 on-site jobs and 1250 off-site jobs, at a benefit of more than $14 million to North Carolina's economy. Jennette's Pier is designed to be as storm-proof as possible, resisting winds up to 130 MPH, and built entirely of steel-reinforced concrete. The pier will also be environmentally friendly. The new pier will be 1000 feet long, will include a two-story 16,000 square foot pier house, will feature three wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal heating and cooling, energy efficient lighting, state of the art stormwater management, and a water recycling system. Two large aquarium tanks are designed to display indigenous fish species of the Outer Banks and a main exhibit, Giants of the Sea, will showcase state-record fish mounts. Most importantly, the pier will serve future generations as a place of recreation, appreciation of the natural resources of the Outer Banks, and learning, by offering a variety of coastal educational opportunities. The new Jennette's Pier will not only be the largest fishing pier on the Outer Banks and an educational facility for years to come, but will be a piece of history, heritage, and legacy reborn. Oh. Here's the other side of the coin. And more. Party Poopers! Friday, I attended the sand-breaking ceremony, with Governor Bev Perdue as the key-note speaker, along with Senator Marc Basnight, Director of the North Carolina Aquariums, David Griffin, Nags Head Mayor Renee Cahoon, Director of the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, Joe Malat, State Representative and Sponsor of House Bill 628 Timothy Spear,
NC Aquarium Society Chairman Art Keeney, and Dare County Commissioner Warren Judge. Construction on the original Jennette's Pier started on May 22, 1939. The ground-breaking ceremony for the new Jennette's Pier occurred on May 22, 2009, exactly seventy years to the day. Oooh. Shiver me timbers!
Please enjoy my pictures of my little brush with history.
Here's our little party: Katie, Xmaskatie, Glowria, and LuLu.
View of the beach with idiots actually in the water.
I stuck my big toe in the water and it was uncomfortably cold.
But hey, these are tourons and it's Memorial Day weekend,
so they were determined to get in the ocean.
And the water temperature was 58-63 degrees today.
I watched this nut and his dog scramble up the dunes on what might look like (but isn't)
a meandering pathway going up the right hand side. One is supposed to respect the dunes - as in stay the hell off.
Before the ceremonies, a line of pelicans flew over.
Here's Senator Marc Basnight working the crowd.
Mar, I shot this for you and your daughter.
And here's North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue just arriving ON TIME.
Governor Perdue took her time to get up to her seat, working the crowd like a true politician. Here she is rubbing Katie's ear and if Katie is anything like Dixie, she would be audibly moaning right now.
I swear, if their were any babies in the crowd,
she'd be pinching their cheeks and kissing them.
And exactly what kind of mother would let a person
who'd just shaken dozens of bacteria-infested hands
that had been God-knows-where
and who'd massaged dogs' ears
touch their child?
The ceremonial sand-breaking shovels.
The illustrious panel of speakers.
Joe Malat, director of the NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island.
Tim Spear, NC Representative who spearheaded the bill.
(Get it? SPEARheaded?
I know. I'm just too clever for words sometimes.)
NC Senator Marc Basnight
NC Governor Beverley Purdue
Director of North Carolina Aquariums David Griffin.
NC Aquarium Society Chairman Art Keeney.
Nags Head Mayor Renee Cahoon.
At any function with dignitaries attending, I always like to watch the "suits" as they scan the crowd. Check him out in the background as Senator Basnight speaks.
And for the record,
he spoke too damn long.
And watch him scanning the crowd to his right as Governor Perdue speaks.
Here he's checking out the beach for approaching camels breaching the dunes.
Hee. They gave the Governor a little booster stand.
Xmaskatie and I were talking about
what the security detail looks for - "suspicious activity," she told me. "What do they consider 'suspicious activity,' " I asked. "People that are looking around and doing other stuff," she told me. Well, that would explain why the suit on the far left kept checking me out since I was wandering around, looking everywhere else, and shooting pictures of shovels.
Maybe he thought I was going to grab a shovel
and go all postal
and crack open a gubernatorial skull. Man, those guys always stand out like a sore thumb.
A v-formation of pelicans flying over. Birds do this because it reduces energy expenditure, helping large birds to migrate in groups. When flying together, the birds' heart rates go down, they are able to glide more often, and they benefit from each other's airstreams. Reminds me of the my Nascar-loving, redneck buddy's bumper sticker: "I ain't tailgaitin'. I'm draftin'."
Here's Nags Head Mayor Renee Cahoon presenting Governor Perdue with a framed photograph of Jennette's Pier taken in the 40's.
County Commissioner Warren Judge addressing the crowd. The "suit" is fielding a call from his wife.
"I've told you not to call me on this line!"
"I don't care. Bring home some milk and eggs, dammit!
"Wait just a minute.
What??? You at de beach???? You never said nuttin' 'bout goin' to no damn beach!!!!"
And he's adjusting the "boys."
These pelicans apparently didn't read the Pelican Squadron Formation Handbook.
All the dignified dignitaries at their shovels, ready to break ground - or sand, or wind, in this case.
The public was invited to come stand behind the bigwigs and get in the picture.
Oh, the little shovel was for 6-year old Blaize Moore,
a Nags Head Elementary student and token
representative of the "future generations"
who will be able to enjoy this new landmark.
(And I think she was the granddaughter of Mr. Malat,
who's the NC Aquarium Director.) Yours truly would have dearly loved to have her mug plastered over the local news, but I stayed behind so I could video this historic occasion for you - my loyal blog readers. And yes, you're entirely welcome.
Oh, the lady on the left in the pink
is 99-year old Millicent Jennette Waits,
whose uncle Warren Jennette built
the original pier.
More politickin' with the Guvna and Senator.
Click to read. I really thought more people would be here for this event. Maybe 300 (?) showed up. But when Glowria picked me up this morning for this event, I asked her, "I know why I'm going (As in, "To get out of my house of chaos and returning fledglings and their puppies.") but why are YOU going?"
Actually, I enjoyed it.
But at this point,
I'd enjoy being in a room by myself
watching paint dry.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...


How wonderful for you to be at this event. And hang in there, dear.