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Partying protests re-ignite

Now that fish are busy eating up the fast growing weed called hydrilla, the Lake Norman Marine Commission wants to focus on safety on the lake.
At Monday night’s meeting, residents of The Point lake and golf club spoke out against the partying at Cocktail Cove, which is off the shore of Iredell County.
Last summer the partying was held at the Sandbar, but due to many complaints, the party got moved.
It seems to be a recurring problem.
Linda Uphoff, a resident in Cocktail Cove, has many issues and complaints about the partying.
“The activities are illegal, dangerous, obnoxious and harmful to the environment,” she said.
Uphoff said this past Saturday was the worst she has ever seen it in the past four years.
“There were 300 boats rafted up, you figure there is probably six people aboard a boat,” she said. “That makes almost 2,000 people in that cove.”
Uphoff is concerned that an injury or even a death may happen if something is not done soon.
“If there was an emergency there would be no way for a boat to get through,” she said.
She said some of the problems include public urination, littering, foul language and trespassing. Many people are also parking their jet skis on private property. There have also been cars parked at the pool parking lot, where people leave their cars and then meet their friends on the boats.
She said this past weekend she was walking with her 2-year-old son and many of the people in the cove yelled foul language at her and also exposed themselves.
“This area is filled with children,” she said. “They should not be exposed to this kind of behavior.”
Every weekend Uphoff said she has to clean trash out of her yard.
“I was too embarrassed to bring in the trash I found this weekend, I had a whole bag full,” she said. “It was everything from hats to condoms.”
Uphoff said the activities in the cove are a recipe for disaster.
“Our taxpayer dollars are funding a six-month party on the lake,” she said.
Bob McKenzie, another resident of Cocktail Cove, also agreed.
“I think all we are saying is there is just a total lack of respect for the property owners,” he said.
He said he does not care if the partiers get drunk, he just doesn’t want them to harm boaters.
Randy Reece, chairman of the Marine Commission, said he would like to solve this problem so that next year the same issue does not keep coming up.
“We don’t want to just keeping moving the party from cove to cove,” he said.
Mark Lancaster, who heads up Iredell County, is going to address this issue on the Preservation and Safety Committee.
Phil Jones with Iredell County’s Lake Patrol said they always have a deputy physically stationed at the cove but they are off duty by 6:30 p.m.
Jones said the partying does not end then. He said the best thing to do is to contact the police if someone is breaking the law.
“That way we can hopefully take them to prosecution,” he said.
Reece said this problem cannot be solved overnight, but he hopes to come to some sort of solution.
“I don’t want to put a band-aid on it,” he said. “I want to stitch it up and heal it forever.”
In other business, the commission:
· Mentioned the importance of the adopt-a-navigational aid program, used to help light up the markers on the lake Announced the next date to release more carp into the lake will be Monday, May 17 at 7 a.m. by Amy Wadsworth

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