Letters to the Editor

Hilton Head mayor is a public employee, not a retired executive | Letters

Why become sister cities? What Hilton Head leaders said — and gifted — to Verona

Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Verona, Italy, recently signed a "friendship pact" marking them as sister cities. Here's why local leaders were excited about the new partnership — and what gifts they brought from S.C. to the Verona dignitaries.
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Hilton Head Island, S.C., and Verona, Italy, recently signed a "friendship pact" marking them as sister cities. Here's why local leaders were excited about the new partnership — and what gifts they brought from S.C. to the Verona dignitaries.

In case Hilton Head Mayor John McCann missed it, he is no longer a retired executive. He is a public employee with a fiscal responsibility to those of us who pay his salary. We will all remember this little Italy excursion at election time.

Ruthe Ritterbeck

Hilton Head Island

The global reach of Apollo 11

I read with great interest Norman Solon’s essay about the impact of Apollo 11 and was nudged by the editorial-page cartoon “What a Country!” (depicting people from all over the world watching Neil Armstrong place the American flag on the moon) to write my own experience.

In the early 1980s, my husband and I spent three weeks in Kogala Beach, a remote area of Sri Lanka, where we were befriended by four young mean ages 14 to18. With our language barrier, the boys tried for nearly our whole trip to understand where we were from. They had met European tourists, but didn’t have the vaguest idea who these Ohioans were.

As it turned out, the only map they had from school was of the Eastern Hemisphere. The word America, the name President Carter, any state or city we mentioned drew blank faces. Then one night when we were walking with the boys from the local lake to our hotel, Ratna, the oldest, looked up at the full moon and then at me with a great grin of understanding, exclaiming “Apollo, America!” It still gives me chills to this day. Without question, Apollo 11 spoke to America’s greatness across the globe.

Mary Noonan

Hilton Head Island

Try this penalty for the filthy rich

Financier Jeffrey Epstein is the talk of the town. It is reported that his net worth is $2.3 billion but he has a problem with very young girls that may land him in prison for the rest of his life.

There are other filthy rich men who are concerned about Epstein’s future. They are the guys who have been part of Jeffrey’s in-crowd and may have, shall we say, been involved with some of his little girls. It is possible that these guys could be invited to have a heart-to-heart talk with federal prosecutors.

In the meantime, the 2020 presidential campaign season is in full swing. Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker and others have been promising to pay off student loans, make reparations for slavery, give free health care, and so on. The big question is where does this money come from?

The federal government could set up a Social Justice Superfund. Whenever a filthy rich man is convicted of a heinous crime that could send him to prison for many years, he could be sentenced instead to forfeiture of his net worth. This money would be deposited into the superfund to pay for the promises being made by the aforementioned presidential hopefuls. Also, the bad guys would be required to deposit any future earnings into the fund. They would have to live off of Social Security, welfare and food stamps for their remaining years.

Just a thought.

J. Dexter Pickard


Take a full picture of child care on Hilton Head

It is unfortunate that the closing of two south-end child care facilities on Hilton Head Island leaves parents without quality care for their children. This is not just an issue for families. It adversely affects employers when their employees have family-care issues, and when employers are affected, so are their customers — you and I. Quality child care is a community issue.

In the article about the closings, the Packet shared ABC quality ratings for some island centers. These ratings are extremely important for parents, but they must also understand how they are determined. Parents should take into account hours of operation, tuition cost, age of children accepted and number of days open per year — not just a letter rating. In some cases, the quality ratings are lower only because the facility charges lower tuition, but still maintains a quality education experience.

Quality is more than a rating of A, B or C. Quality is the safety, security, care and education of children while they are apart from their parents. Child care is not babysitting; child care is a profession where dedicated individuals make a major impact in the lives of our community’s future workforce and leaders.

There are a limited number of childcare facilities that accept infants. The Children’s Center, where I am executive director, welcomes infants beginning at six weeks, is open year-round, provides meals included with tuition, uses South Carolina Early Learning Standards for daily curriculum and bases tuition on family income. Hilton Head still has high-quality child care, no matter the letter grade from ABC.

Jody L. Levitt

Hilton Head Island

Choice of books not a sign of bias

A recent letter spoke about choosing women authors and the “fact” that a lot of readers seem to be biased against women authors.

I remember years ago my mother-in-law, who was also an English teacher, was encouraging me to read a particular book that I really wasn’t interested in reading. Her reason I should read it? It was on the New York Times bestseller list.

Just as I don’t choose my friends based on their sexual orientation, I don’t choose the books I read because they are or are not by women authors, or whether they are on the bestseller list. I choose books to read because they are a genre in which I am interested. The book cover blurb has interested me. A book review in the paper or a comment by a friend may have led me to explore further what the topic of the book is, and then I decide if I really want to read it.

To say we should make a point of reading more books by women authors is just as biased as saying, “I won’t read a book because the author is a woman.”

Sunni Bond

Hilton Head Island

Trump not a racist; racism meaning being distorted

My view of the charges that President Donald Trump is a racist:

If Trump had refused sell or rent to blacks, he would have gone to jail. Innocent until proven guilty.

Trump asserted that Barrack Obama wasn’t a citizen because he questioned the authenticity of his birth certificate. Nothing asserted about his race.

Trump asserted that rapists and drug dealers, as well as good people, were coming from Mexico. All facts.

Given the distortion of Trump’s views of Mexican illegals coming to America, why can’t he question the independence of the judge? People question Trump’s motives every day.

Trump said there were fine people in addition to the extremists in Charlottesville. Not that the extremists were fine people. Fake news.

Why not reduce (not eliminate) immigrants from countries with poor education systems and low skill levels?

“The Squad” was invited to leave but Trump opened the door for their return. What good racist would welcome them back?

Just because you don’t like someone, or are critical of his or her policies, or disagree with his or her view of what the future should be, doesn’t make that person a racist. Continuing to distort the meaning of racist only divides this country.

Pete Shaw

Callawassie Island

Call him out: Trump’s behavior is hateful and divisive

“He stirred the pot again today, didn’t he?” (chuckle)

“Yes, he did, and he was right, but we’re not supposed to say that.” (chuckle)

I hear them at the pool. Watch them glaring at the black children swimming nearby. I wonder if they understand that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric is intended to inflame and divide our country.

I wonder if they know they are supporting the agenda of Vladimir Putin and his Russian military who have infiltrated our social media sites and our election systems. For years Russia has wanted to create unrest among democratic nations to bring them down. Now these Trump supporters are a witting (or unwitting, if they refuse to believe the Mueller Report) asset of the Russian government.

Make no mistake, telling American citizens to go back to the countries their ancestors came from is racist, incendiary and divisive. Americans who love this country must unite against Donald Trump and call him out. His behavior is wrong and hateful; it is divisive and un-Christian; it has no place in America.

Barbara Ernico

Hilton Head Island

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