Letters to the Editor

Day-trippers vital to Hilton Head

Hilton Head Island should look at “day trippers” to the beaches as an asset rather than a problem.

As a resident of Sun City Hilton Head, our resident base of 14,000 to 15,000 spends time and money visiting Hilton Head. Yes, we do use the public beaches, and are more than willing to pay the parking fees, never asking for an annual parking sticker.

We also contribute substantially to the local economy, regularly patronizing Hilton Head restaurants, cultural events and performances, and contributing to charities, etc.

If you add in the many other off-island communities in Beaufort and even Jasper counties, the effect on Hilton Head’s economy is tremendous.

Our governmental leaders must take a regional view. Both problems and opportunities do not stop at municipal boundaries. The entire region can share the growth benefits by working together.

Pete Albero

Sun City

Take a closer look at everything Beaufort County public schools offer

Have writers to this newspaper who lambaste our public schools not been inside one of these schools in the past five years or more?

Do they not know a young person who has fallen into drug or alcohol despair, begun to cut themselves in desperation, gotten in trouble with the law, and/or been suspended from school for these problems?

Their families are frantic and have tried everything they can think of. They look to the school system for help … parents have to work, young teens have to go to school.

Islands Academy has been a temporary answer, not a degree program for high school graduation (formerly the “Sunshine School” and closed the same way years ago).

Students must be delivered each morning by a parent at 8 a.m. and picked up at 3 p.m. They must wear khaki pants or skirt and white-collared shirt and can take nothing inside. The classes are small, allowing more attention.

The three students I have known who attended were rescued and either reentered high school or the world of work. They enjoyed it.

The school system we have is a marvel. Students check their grades on a daily basis online, they send in homework and produce written assignments on computers, the classrooms have interactive smart boards that can display the students’ work. There are sports, music, art, manual skills programs and more to advance skills and enrich their learning. Many are taking college-level courses long before 12th grade, and millions of scholarship dollars are awarded to graduates each year.

We should visit and support our public schools and contact our elected members.

Anne C. Pollitzer

St. Helena Island

A special Feliz Navidad

Recently, I wrote a letter to the editor questioning whether we could afford the financial burden imposed by unrestricted illegal immigration. Other readers responded by basically calling me a xenophobe or a racist. For the record, I am neither, but think the issue needs to be discussed rationally, not emotionally.

With that said:

Yesterday, my wife and I were finishing up our Christmas shopping. We had made a final purchase in Bluffton and I had foolishly put my wallet on the top of the car, intending to put my receipts into it. When we turned onto U.S. 278 I heard a noise and saw in disbelief my wallet and credit cards hit the ground, being scattered along the roadway. As soon as I could, I made a U-turn and went back.

A black pickup truck was parked off the side of the road and two people were obviously picking up the contents of my wallet. They were a Hispanic couple, and spent the next few minutes helping me and my wife stop traffic and retrieve the cards and licenses.

Were they illegals? I don’t know, and I don’t care. They were honest and kind human beings, who took the time to help someone in need. They refused any compensation for the selfless act. So in thanks I can only wish them and theirs a Merry Christmas or, perhaps more appropriately, Feliz Navidad.

Al Francis

Bluffton

Private sector not always better

Many people complain that government doesn’t work. The statement is used to rationalize smaller government, fewer regulations, and lower taxes.

The argument follows that private business does it better. Some do. Some, however, are the reason for the “overages,” or poor quality we pay for when our government contracts out services or takes kickbacks. Think $600 toilets, Humvees that did not protect our troops, rifles that jammed, the failed nuclear plants, or some of the South Carolina legislators currently fighting ethics violations.

I recently reviewed my Medicare options. Medicare, the government health insurance program, was easy to sign up for, is easy to use, and pays 80 percent of most of my medical costs. It standardizes coverage throughout the country.

In contrast, my Medicare Supplement Plan, the private side of Medicare used to cover the remaining 20 percent of costs, was difficult to review, research, and select. It takes so much time and effort to determine ratings of the companies, costs of the plans, and which doctors or medical facilities I can use, that consultants, paid by the insurance companies (us in our premiums), help us decide. Of course, there is no quality control measure to help select an honest consultant.

To add insult to injury, my cost for the additional 20 percent is almost as much as my cost for the first 80 percent.

In this case, government is way better than private.

Maybe we should expand Medicare to include the thousands of South Carolinians and military veterans without medical benefits or insurance.

Thomas Balliet

Bluffton

Offshore drilling major risk to SC

A recent writer tries to compare South Carolina to other states, like Pennsylvania, Ohio and North Dakota, which evidently are striking it rich by supporting the booming oil and gas production activities now going on.

There’s only one problem with his comparison. Only one state — South Carolina — borders a water body called the Atlantic Ocean.

So isn’t it reassuring that the so-called preventative sensors that could be deployed beneath the sea would alert us when a man-made or natural disaster strikes and permanently devastates South Carolina’s fragile coastline.

Based on the so-called short-term tax benefits that he claims South Carolina stands to gain, it is a clearly a drop in the bucket compared to the potential long-term loss of billions of dollars to South Carolina’s tourism and fisheries industries should a human or natural disaster occur.

Rich dividends? Think again.

Dan Shinder

Hilton Head Island

Environment IS a problem

In response to your reader who said not to believe the lies about the environment, that the world would take care of itself and we should not worry, it’s nice to know he was around during the Stone Age.

I’m talking about when we had had no automobiles or nuclear power, pipelines and oil rigs off the coast. Perhaps he’s in the dark as to where the climate change is going when he sees people in China walking around wearing surgical masks due or the smog.

I’m from New Jersey and he should look at the Passaic River and tell me it will recover.

When we kill the insects on our lawn and golf courses, the residue of the chemical goes into the water table and we drink it. So there is a problem.

This is something we can get a handle on. People like him should not get in the way, saying we have nothing to worry about. We only have two choices: stay the same and say we don’t have an issue, or do our part and stop the madness.

Larry Mianowski

Hilton Head Island

Trump is no problem solver

A recent letter recognizes Donald Trump as a problem solver. Seems unfortunate that the writer is unable to distinguish between a problem solver and a problem, as the subject individual clearly is the latter.

Unable to utter a truthful statement, he is clearly a certifiable nutcase. It’s time that our honorable Republican legislators swallow their pride, regain their party, and put the subject un-American problem child where he belongs: out of the White House. Aren’t they embarrassed for their party and our nation? Don’t they remember when America was great?

How many elections in our great nation are won by individuals who lose our popular vote by millions? This “appointing” of our nation’s leader has to end. It is illogical and against everything we stand for and believe in.

Len Cyrlin

Bluffton

How to submit a letter

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Letters to the editor must be 250 words or fewer and include your first and last names, street address and daytime telephone number so we can verify the letter before publication.

You are limited to one letter per 30 days.

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