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WHQR is your source for the 2015 Municipal Elections in the Cape Fear Region. We are bringing you the CoastLine Candidate Forums live from the MC Erny Gallery each Wednesday at noon from September 16th to October 28th as well as candidate profiles and general election coverage.Here's how you can participate:1. Be part of the live studio audience. Arrive at WHQR's MC Erny Gallery between 11:30 AM and 11:55 AM on the Wednesday of your municipality's race so you can settle before our hard start time of noon.As part of the audience, you'll have the opportunity to ask a question of the candidates.2. Send your question at any time to coastline@whqr.org. Just make sure it fits these basic guidelines: It's applicable to all the candidates in that race.It's in the form of a question.It fits within a 30-second time frame.We reserve the right to edit questions for broadcast standards and brevity.3. Tweet us during the live broadcast (12-1PM on Wednesdays) at coastlinehqr or email us during the broadcast at coastline@whqr.org.4. Stream the live radio signal from your computer. Just click the "Listen Live" button in the upper right-hand corner of the home page. It’s your town. Make your voice heard. THE 2015 COASTLINE CANDIDATE FORUM SCHEDULE:September 16, 12:00pm-1:00pm — Kure Beach Mayor & Town CouncilSeptember 23, 12:00pm-1:00pm — Oak Island MayorSeptember 30, 12:00pm-2:00pm — Oak Island Town CouncilOctober 7, 12:00pm-2:00pm — Wilmington City CouncilOctober 14, 12:00pm-2:00pm — Carolina Beach Town CouncilOctober 21, 12:00pm-1:00pm — Carolina Beach MayorOctober 28, 12:00pm-1:00pm — Leland Mayor & Town CouncilVoter Information:For more information about the 2015 election, voter registration, and polling places in your area visit the Board of Elections website for New Hanover County & Brunswick County.

Kure Beach Candidates as Divided as Ever on Seismic Testing and Offshore Drilling

offshore_drilling_platform.jpg
Oil drilling platform offshore

Seismic testing and the potential for offshore drilling has galvanized strong opposition in Kure Beach.  Earlier this year, Mayor Dean Lambeth ignited controversy after he sent a letter in support of seismic testing to the Federal agency overseeing offshore oil exploration.  Hundreds of opponents showed up to protest at the next Kure Beach Town meeting in January.  

During the first CoastLine Candidate Forum of 2015 earlier this week, it became clear that the four candidates in Kure Beach are as divided as ever on the issue. 

Nearly nine months after that contentious January meeting, beach communities from New Jersey to Florida have passed resolutions against such offshore activities. 

Mayor Dean Lambeth says he thinks people are reacting emotionally to seismic testing without regard for the science. 

"I have a statement that, to date, there has been no documented evidence that noise from air guns used in geological or geophysical seismic activities adversely affecting marine animal populations or coastal communities.  Now, that is from William Y. Brown who is the Chief Environmental Officer for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.  And I think Emilie, along with a lot of other people, have drank the Kool-Aid to the point that they don’t want to see the facts.  They just want to be heard."

The “Emilie” he refers to is Emilie Swearingen, a current Town Commissioner who is challenging Dean Lambeth in his mayoral bid this election.  Swearingen made national news earlier this year when she was invited to speak on Capitol Hill.

"I was able to speak at a Congressional hearing in Washington in 2014, and this past spring, I was invited as the only person in the country to speak before the U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources in opposition to seismic testing and offshore oil.  I have continued to work with Oceana and Surfrider to keep these issues before the public by speaking out and by making educational videos."

In the race for Kure Beach Town Council, two candidates are running unopposed for the two open seats.  For the record, Incumbent David Heglar says he doesn’t think municipalities should get involved – as it’s entirely an issue for the state and federal governments.  First-time Town Council candidate Joseph Whitley says it’s his opposition to seismic testing that spurred him to run for office.

To hear the full Kure Beach Candidate Forum, follow this link: 

http://whqr.org/post/coastline-candidate-forums-2015-kure-beach-mayor-and-town-council

Tune in each Wednesday at noon through October for a new CoastLine Candidate Forum.   See the schedule here: http://whqr.org/topic/2015-election-coverage

Be part of our live studio audience by coming to WHQR any Wednesday until Election Day between 11:30 - 11:55 AM.  Or send your question via email to coastline@whqr.org.