Letters to the Editor

Hilton Head town trip to Italy a vacation

Why in the world are we, the residents, paying for the Hilton Head Island mayor, our town manager and his wife to “vacation” in Italy this summer?

Has anyone heard that, thanks to our Town Council, a “friendship pact” was unanimously approved in 2017 with Verona, Italy? This group, along with the Italian-American Club (who are paying their own way) will be participating in a gift exchange with the mayor of Verona, visit the opera and take a tour of Lake Garda. They will stay in a 4.5-star hotels, and also visit Venice.

The pact is meant to encourage travel between the cities, says Town Manager Steve Riley. Since when did Hilton Head become a city? Asked how the trip will be classified, Riley said it would be governmental business. Right?

Does this sit right with anybody here?

Susan Brainard

Hilton Head Island

America must address real ‘gun’ problem

If there were no guns, do you believe that in an era when mental health issues run rampant and unchecked, there would be no mass murders? If so, you are deceiving yourself.

Some 393 million guns are privately owned in the U.S., most by sane, rational, law-abiding citizens.

We need a vision and a unified plan to implement effective, national gun controls, just as we did when we resolved to put a man on the moon. It seems we may have a vision but vision without leadership is nothing more than a pipe dream. No more slaps on the wrist by liberal judges. Illegal gun possession: 25 years, no parole.

Many mass killers were identified as mentally unstable early, yet they fell through cracks in the “system.”

Do we go to war on mental health with a vengeance, disarming those with demonstrated mental issues, seeking reasons for mental health and rage-related problems? Or do we try to eliminate nearly 400 million firearms?

We need to understand why our society is creating more and more mental health problems, whether it be genetic, chemical, environmental or dietary. How about unfettered electronic games that spew unpunished violence that unconsciously erodes our sense of respect for life? Or the unintended consequences of fluoridated water? Only asking that last question to make the point that we cannot leave any stone unturned in attacking mental health, just like cancer and polio.

We ignore the totality of what we consider isolated incidents and refuse to connect the dots. Our National bird should be the ostrich.

Bill Kuttruff

Hilton Head Island

Why does GOP hate health care?

Does anyone really relieve that the Republican Party has any intention of protecting our health care? After nine years and 60 failed attempts to “repeal” the Affordable Care Act, they changed their tune to “repeal and replace.” Replace with what? They never had a plan.

To get around the public’s favorable opinion of the ACA, Republican senators recently introduced health care bills protecting against discrimination in pre-existing medical conditions, already covered under the ACA. More political shenanigans?

Hoping to affect the mid-term elections, Republican candidates and the president suddenly embraced insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. Was anyone fooled? The president assured us that we would have a new and “amazingly” better health care plan. What plan? He declared the Republican Party to be “The Party of Health Care,” while at the same time ordering the Justice Department to attack the ACA. Hypocrisy?

According to an analysis published in The New York Times, the protections provided in the Republican Senate bills are significantly less than those in the ACA, and could be read as undermining the protections of the ACA. More Republican skullduggery?

What motivates the Republicans? Is it still their personal hatred for our first black president? Or have they never favored decent comprehensive medical care at affordable prices for our citizens from the beginning? If the answer to either question is “yes,” then shame on them. If not, why are they out to destroy our health care system instead of making it better?

Avrom Gold

Hilton Head Island

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