Bag ban repeal opponents jeer Boswell, others at fundraiser

By on February 23, 2018

Watson Harvey of Manteo blaming Boswell for the bag ban repeal. (Sam Walker)

More than a dozen protesters upset over the repeal of the Outer Banks ban on plastic grocery bags jeered those arriving at a Friday evening fund raiser for Republican state Rep. Beverly Boswell at an oceanfront home in Kill Devil Hills.

The protest was organized by Kill Devil Hills resident Barry Nasch across from the house in the 900 block of South Virginia Dare Trail.

He applied for a permit with the Kill Devil Hills Police Department along the roadside between Baum and Calvin streets, expecting no more than 20 people.


“It’s the first time I’ve ever organized something like this,” said Nasch, noting he didn’t publicize the protest beyond sharing his idea with friends and on Facebook.

A few posts in local Facebook groups also appeared Friday inviting residents to the protest, which started around 4:30 p.m.

Some protesters held campaign placards reading “No Boswell, bad for Dare County,” and others had their own handmade signs.

A few wore large plastic garbage bags, while others had the derided plastic bags and reusable sacks as props. Kill Devil Hills police officers were nearby in their vehicles surveying the scene.

Several passing motorists blew their horns and gave thumbs-ups, and there were no negative confrontations during the first hour.


“Democrats and Republicans have shown they support the plastic bag ban,” Nasch said, adding Friday’s protest was a non-partisan gathering about a non-partisan issue.

Multiple members of the General Assembly were reportedly on the guest list. One who arrived early waved to the jeering crowd after getting out of an SUV with a legislative license plate.

Those who pulled into the narrow driveway in front of the three-level cottage were met with boos, chants and even a few snide comments about supporting, “Bev The Bag Lady.”


Clark Twiddy of Kitty Hawk, a Republican running for N.C. Senate, arrived a short time later, and asked from the other side of the Beach Road what the group was there to protest about.

He responded to a protester’s question that he was there “to learn more” and gather information from those at the fund raiser, which was scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

Twiddy talks briefly to the protesters.

At least 30 people had arrived by then, and Boswell arrived a few moments later as a thick fog rolled in.

Boswell introduced a bill last spring to roll back the ban on the use of thin, single-use plastic shopping bags by many Outer Banks retailers, generating a wave of opposition locally and statewide.

She has repeatedly claimed she received threats by phone, email and on social media over the repeal.

Boswell shared posts from Facebook as recently as this week that supporters say should be investigated by authorities.

Her proposal stalled out in the House and was eventually rolled into an omnibus environmental bill co-sponsored by Sen. Bill Cook, R-Beaufort.

That bill passed during a special session of the General Assembly in August, but was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The Republican-controlled legislature voted to override the veto in October.

Boswell faces a primary challenge from fellow Republican Bobby Hanig of Currituck County, and the winner will face opposition in the November general election.

Democrat Tess Judge from Kitty Hawk announced her candidacy on the opening day of the filing period, which concludes Wednesday at noon.


  • NotSure

    Wow, how about protesting something worth a dern? Get a life and stop treading on the grocery sacks.

    Wednesday, Feb 28 @ 4:49 pm
  • Oh lordy

    Left radical extremist name calling over plastic bags!
    Oh lordy how we’ve devolved.
    Not so long ago we were all neighbors, perhaps with different opinions, but neighbors who we’d count on.
    Now seems not so much.

    Wednesday, Feb 28 @ 9:36 pm
  • Skip Jones

    One of the best solutions is to use neither paper or plastic bags. It takes a little time to get used to and remembering, but reusable bags are stronger and often insulated. One trip to the dump, seeing the plastic bags blowing around, and the mountains of trash we create would convince many why we need to recycle and conserve.

    Friday, Mar 2 @ 12:55 pm
  • FemaleVoter

    I #StandWithBev against #UnhingedLeftists. Don’t tread on me.

    Sunday, Mar 11 @ 9:17 am
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