Letters to the Editor

How to deal with tents, foxholes and beach patrols on Hilton Head | Letters

Rare Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle nest on Hilton Head marks island’s first nest of season

A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle nested on a Hilton Head Island, S.C., beach on April 26 — marking not only the first nest of the 2019 season, but the first nest ever laid by the rare sea turtle species on the island.
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A Kemp's Ridley sea turtle nested on a Hilton Head Island, S.C., beach on April 26 — marking not only the first nest of the 2019 season, but the first nest ever laid by the rare sea turtle species on the island.

A recent article regarding banning garden shovels from the Hilton Head Island beach was hilarious. I do agree that these are problems created by visitors. There are so many tents on our beaches that it looks like the infield of a NASCAR racetrack. The beaches have so many “fox holes” that they sometimes resemble a battlefield.

Here’s a couple of ideas that might help with these problems.

As to the tents and chairs being left on the beach after dark, impound them. Make it illegal to leave personal items on the beach after dark. Post signs and enforce it in season by having the Beach Patrol haul them off at 10 p.m. nightly. Cars left on streets get impounded, why not tents that tourists choose to leave on our beaches?

And the sheriff’s deputies patrolling our beaches should remind those who have dug, or are in the process of digging, these craters that they have to fill them up before they leave the beach for the day.

Save the turtles and our beautiful beaches.

Ric Gorman



Hilton Head Island

Beaufort County Council chair acts like a dictator

This is in regard to the article on Beaufort County Council Chairman Stu Rodman’s opinions regarding transparency of the Council’s actions (June 29).

His reasoning that transparency isn’t as important as the council’s other priorities is ridiculous. Rodman’s statement that he will not speak to The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette reporters unless the paper apologizes for a column he considered “over the top” is beyond the pale. This statement qualifies Rodman for a high position in President Donald Trump’s government. There he can complain about the press on a daily basis and even adopt Trump’s favorite epithets and call the local papers “enemies of the people,” and its articles “fake news.”

Rodman and the other council members are public servants elected by the taxpayers. We pay their salaries. It is time for Rodman to come out from under the rock where he lives and read the U.S. Constitution, especially the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of the press and free speech.

County Council is a public body. It is beyond absurd that the newspaper has to invoke the Freedom of Information Act to obtain information about what the council is doing (or not doing). Rodman’s actions are those of a dictator.

Except for one thing: we live in a democracy. If Rodman doesn’t like criticism, he can always resign and go home. As Harry Truman said, if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Terry Gibson



Lady’s Island

Here’s a good way to stop gerrymandering

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal courts are powerless to weigh in on cases involving partisan gerrymandering. The 5-4 decision does not mean that gerrymandering can’t be made illegal, only that it is solely a state decision. Iowa has become the gold standard when it comes to removing partisan gerrymandering from the redistricting process.

In 1980, the Iowa legislature turned the task of drawing congressional and legislative lines over to the nonpartisan Iowa Legislative Service Agency (LSA). By law, the districts must be as equal in population and as compact as possible with no consideration given to any political party or incumbent.

Once the plan is delivered to the Legislature, the Legislature can only pass or reject the plan. If rejected, the LSA draws a second plan. The second plan can only be passed or rejected. The legislature can amend the third plan, but the amended plan goes to the Iowa Supreme Court, which decides if the plan has met the law.

One twist in the law is that once a plan is rejected, it can’t be used at a later date. This denies the majority party from waiting for the third plan and then picking the plan that benefits them the most.

I don’t anticipate the South Carolina Legislature passing a version of the Iowa Plan. It will take either an extraordinary amount of public pressure or a ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Court to force legislators to act.

Gene Blanshan

Beaufort

Mandatory birth control idea barbaric

When I woke up to read the opinion section and came across the recent letter about mandatory birth control, I was confused. Was I reading The Onion? Did we lose World War II? Was I still sleeping and having a post-Handmaids Tale-era nightmare?

Your word limit on letters is insufficient to fully rebut the assertion that the government should mandate birth control for “childbearing age” women. The logistical, moral and medical reasons why this would not work are too numerous.

I can address the assertion that women’s rights would somehow be furthered by making birth control mandatory. Women should have the right (free will) to control when and how we have children. Having “complete control over our bodies” as the letter put it, is counter to “mandatory” birth control.

The fact that rape and incest happen needs to be addressed by holding men accountable and teaching them about women’s rights to choose — not by chalking it up to some inevitable conclusion to be prevented by mandatory birth control.

And if birth control was mandatory, who exactly would the writer propose gets to decide if and when a woman is ready to give a child a loving home? If he would like to speak about the other reasons why his suggestion is barbaric and ill-informed, please pass along my name and email address, so that we can set up time to speak in person.

Marissa Kessler

Lady’s Island

Democratic debates reveal party’s core, and it’s not pretty

During recent presidential primary debates, as 20 Democratic hopefuls proposed individual visions for federal policies, they also revealed a shared perception of America.

Every theme began with an underlying assertion that the United States is a country flawed beyond acceptance and must be reformed; that the unsuspecting citizens have been duped by evil corporations focused only on greed; that America is not to be thought of as a nation of patriots who paid for her with sweat and blood, but as acreage accessible to all humanity; that the bounty of this country belongs not to those who worked to achieve it, but is to be shared equally among all who occupy the acreage; that America attained and maintains greatness through victimization — and all are victims; and that these atrocities can only be rectified through reformation of our federal government, ostensibly by one of the 20.

The core theme shared by leaders of the Democratic Party: The injustices of America justify the frenetic march of progressivism away from many of the founding principles that have guided us for almost two and a half centuries — and toward a “fairer” (not freer) home of the downtrodden.

Mike Raymond

Bluffton



‘Safe district’ partisanship given big win by Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently decided not to rule on partisan gerrymandering, and it has also precluded any federal court from doing so in the future. This is unfortunate for our democracy, as many states will redefine their congressional districts for 2022 after the 2020 census is completed.

Most everyone is aware that gerrymandering can provide a profound benefit to the party that establishes the districts, but there is a more insidious impact. Many gerrymandered districts are what one calls “safe” districts, a district in which the winning party is predetermined due to the district’s boundaries. This is important.

Within a “safe” district, the primary election becomes more important than the general election. It is well known that primary elections have fewer voters, and they also tend to be more partisan. Thus, safe districts tend to automatically select more partisan candidates, who then are most likely elected in the general election.

Many of us complain about the overly partisan nature of Congress. Gerrymandered “safe” districts only make this problem worse. Perhaps Congress should pass a law requiring congressional districts to be determined by bipartisan commissions?

William Griffith

Lady’s Island

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