Letters to the Editor

Why the sudden rush at Pepper Hall, when public has so many questions?

The question that jumps to mind regarding the development agreement of Pepper Hall, is that after years of trying to find a compromise, which, if not perfect, at least would be palatable to the public and owners … why this rush?

Days before the final vote, a new version of the agreement has emerged, maybe! Has the planning department reviewed this version thoroughly? How about the county attorney?

If questioned before the council and public before the final vote, what would their answer be? How many hours do they normally spend on an agreement of this size? What’s the traffic impact? How many new curb cuts?

How can we know, when we don’t know how many houses or how much commercial is to be built? If we agree to fund any portion of the stormwater mitigation, what’s the cost?

How is anyone, other than the residents of Pepper Hall, going to be able to enjoy this supposed new park? What’s the impact on our overcrowded schools?

What I question the most is why four Beaufort County Council members who seem to be willing to vote “yes” to any version of this agreement, are not going to be on the council when the public finds out the answers to these and many more questions — along with the cost to the environment and the taxpayers.

It seems strange to me that they wouldn’t let their replacements, who will live with this agreement, be the one to vote “yea” or “nay.” What’s the rush, now?

Cathy Scott

Okatie

America must renew this conservation fund

For more than 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has protected and enhanced national treasures like the Great Smoky Mountains as well as places closer to home like Hunting Island State Park, ball fields at Burton Wells, the Hilton Head Island recreation complex, Broad River boat landing and the Beaufort tennis courts.

Without using taxpayer dollars, the LWCF conserves lands and waters within national forests, parks, wildlife refuges and other open spaces in every state and in all 46 South Carolina counties.

But despite having broad, bipartisan support, Congress allowed this incredibly successful program to expire in September.

With each day of inaction, we lose over $2.5 million that could go to the next state park, trail, tennis court, or ball field. That’s $2.5 million that can improve our quality of life and also grow our economy.

Hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, and other outdoor recreation activities, contribute $16.3 billion annually to the state’s economy and support over 151,000 jobs that are the lifeblood of our communities. We have an obligation to protect these jobs and ensure that future generations can enjoy all the lands, waters, and wildlife this great state has to offer.

The LWCF helps conserve natural places that people, wildlife and local economies need to survive. It is too important to leave its future in doubt.

With the clock ticking on this Congress’s chance to act, now is the time for bipartisan legislators to call on leadership and get their colleagues to act to permanently reauthorize and fully fund the LWCF.

Al Segars

St. Helena Island

U.S. 278 needs greater police patrol — for distracted drivers

Something really needs to be done with the U.S. 278 corridor traffic.

There are accidents almost every morning, causing major back-ups.

I feel that the Beaufort County Sherriff’s Office needs to forgo setting up radar checks on the Cross Island Parkway and allocate all officers to the area between Malphrus Road and Windmill Harbour.

I am not talking about just speeding, but the real problem: distracted drivers. The police need to start giving out tickets for drivers texting or talking on their cell phones. I see it every single day, so there is no way the police do not see it.

This is simply getting worse and worse and is a blight on Beaufort County.

Mark T. Megliore

Bluffton

Public money for Harbor Island? Open the beach to public

I read your front-page article concerning Harbor Island property owners’ suit against the state demanding removal of derelict houses from their beach. I feel that the state has a responsibility in this case to clean up the beach, but if public money is used for the cleanup then the public should have access.

At this time, the public is not allowed access to the Harbor Island beach by the gated, private development.

If Harbor Island property owners want the state to use public funds to clean up their beach, then they should make the beach available for use by the public.

Perhaps what remains of the lots could be declared state property and used for public beach access.

Beekman Webb

Beaufort

Sen. Tim Scott shows courage in Farr vote

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott showed courage in voting against President Donald Trump’s appointee Thomas Farr to a federal judgeship in North Carolina because of his demonstrated hostility toward African American voting rights.

Farr had a history of advising clients on how to suppress the black vote, but what concerned Scott the most was Farr’s denial during his confirmation hearing of knowingly participating in a 1990 black voter suppression campaign by then-U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms. Helms was running against an African American candidate, Harvey Gantt, with polls three weeks before the election showing a tight race.

Panicked, the Helms campaign and the North Carolina Republican Party enlisted Farr and others to develop a database of voters who had recently moved. Postcards were sent to all of the African Americans on the list (approximately 126,000) in which they were falsely informed that they had to live within their precincts at least 30 days before the election to vote, and violating that rule was a felony. No postcards were sent to approximately 220,000 whites on the list.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division began an immediate investigation that could not be completed by the time of the election, which Helms won. DOJ subsequently filed suit and obtained a consent decree, but by then the damage had been done.

Many African Americans who received postcards told DOJ investigators they did not vote for fear of being arrested. Scott held up his vote on the Farr nomination pending his personal review of the DOJ charging documents.

Richard Ritter

Hilton Head Island

Don’t fall for the big lies about Trump and climate change

There is a saying that if you tell a lie often enough eventually people will believe it. Such as President Donald Trump conspiring with the Russians to fix the 2016 elections.

The current big lie that has now gone worldwide is that global warming (aka climate change) is caused by an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Even if there is an increase in carbon dioxide, there is no scientifically proven causal relationship. While many scientists believe it, not one has been able to scientifically prove it. Not one!

It is also curious that those who profess that oceans will flood cities and man-made global warming will destroy our environment, they all seem to appear in the left-leaning mainstream media. While scientists who believe that man-made climate change in scientifically unproven, they only appear in the right-leaning media, such as The Wall Street Journal. This leads one to believe that the issue is more about politics than science.

We know that the climate has always changed and will change in the future. So why are many in the world willing to potentially destroy economies on the false premise of man-made climate change?

There is also another curious point of view. Those people who, like me, believe that man-made climate change is false are ridiculed by the left as “deniers.”

Please do not believe this current lie until it is scientifically proven that climate change is influenced by man-made causes.

“Deniers” of the world unite!

Tom Hatfield

Hilton Head Island

Support this new tool to fight sea level rise

It might seem that sea level rise and seismic testing off our shores don’t have much in common. But they do. Both represent serious problems for the Lowcountry.

Sea level rise threatens our unique landscape and our economy by eroding beaches, damaging property, harming wildlife, and discouraging a vibrant tourism industry. Seismic testing threatens tourism, too, as it harms sea life and is a precursor to offshore drilling and despoiled shores.

We can address both issues by steering our economy away from dependence on oil and other fossil fuels and reducing the level of CO2 in the atmosphere. The Fourth National Climate Assessment tells us the seas will continue rising unless we address carbon pollution. There will also continue to be pressure to drill for oil unless pricing begins to reflect actual costs.

There is a solution — raising the price of carbon at the source, and returning that fee to households as a dividend, encouraging investment in renewable energy, increasing jobs and building GDP.

Here’s the great news: A bipartisan bill doing just that has been introduced into the House, HR 7173, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, sponsored by three Republicans and three Democrats. This bill deserves our support.

Kate and Dave Hudson

Beaufort

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