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PTRF pitches platforms

Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, received a report on the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation’s plan to create a system of camping platforms along the river as part of an eco-tourism effort.
“I think this is great. I’ve long envied the platforms on the Roanoke (River),” Mayor Archie Jennings said after PTRF Riverkeeper Heather Jacobs Deck explained the project to the council. “I think it’s great we’ll have a set of our own.”
PTRF’s goal, Deck said, is to build a continuous system of platforms from 10 to 15 miles apart, spanning from the river’s headwaters in Granville County to the estuarine waters of the Pamlico Sound in Beaufort, Hyde and Pamlico counties. Some of the platforms have been built, while others await construction.
The proposed platforms would be 32 feet by 16 feet, with half of each platform enclosed with a roof and screened-in area to provide protection from rain and insects.
The platforms will rent for a maximum of $15 a person per night, with a maximum of eight people sharing a platform, Deck said. Discounts are possible, depending upon the number of campers using a platform, Deck said in an interview last week.
In other action, the council waived docking fees for the Elizabeth II, which is scheduled to visit Washington during Smoke on the Water weekend, Oct. 25-28. The reproduction merchant vessel rarely leaves its homeport of Roanoke Island Festival Park at Manteo.
The waived fees would total no more than $105, according to a document in the council’s agenda packet.
The square-rigged, three-mast bark was built in in the early 1980s as of a celebration that marked the quadricentennial of the Roanoke Voyages, 1584-1587. It is modeled after the ship Elizabeth, which sailed from England in 1585.
While docked in Washington, the Elizabeth II will offer interpretative programs to Beaufort County students (Oct. 26) and the public (Oct. 27).
For additional coverage of the council’s meeting, see future editions of the Washington Daily News.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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