Letters to the Editor

The public needs many more answers on burning trash mountain near Bluffton | Letters

If you have not seen the massive, smoldering debris pile on Schinger Avenue off of S.C. 170 near Okatie Elementary and Riverwalk Business Park, go now at your own risk. This site is now the proverbial “Dumpster fire” of immense proportions, while every government agency is scrambling to create a solution, including the EPA.

How can a business like this start and continue to function unregulated, inside a small residential neighborhood, within close proximity to a public school, a thriving commercial development and thousands of homes? All while draining runoff into the watersheds of sensitive and important rivers. This operation has clearly caused environmental problems that may stem well into the future.

When the EPA must step in, there are many questions as to why there was too little regular oversight and regulation on this “commercial” operation. This is a failure of government oversight filled with “loopholes.” Many questions are left unanswered by recent reporting, including: Where is the culpability of the owner of this operation in the cost of cleaning up this mess?

My guess is that we may now have a Superfund site on our hands, within our own collective backyard.

When an unregulated business can create a massive 65-foot pile of random and unmitigated construction debris, spontaneous combustion and massive pollution is bound to happen. It’s basic physics.

This should make all taxpayers wonder and want more answers.

W. Scott Standen


Perspective on Dr. Narendra Sharma and NOC in Beaufort County

Your news story about Dr. Narendra Sharma and the firings at Neighborhood Outreach Connections was difficult for us to read because we know how hard it’s been for Dr. Sharma to keep the program viable under often extremely difficult circumstances. He has dedicated his life to NOC since its inception in 2008, and has lived and breathed everything NOC for the last 11 years. He saw a need in our community and has dedicated nearly all his time, energy, and attention to fulfilling that need.

We understand that the purpose of the article was to cover Monday’s Onyx closing and the firing of two staffers. We can’t speak to those issues, and the article did appear to be well researched and factual. We’re sure there will be follow-ups to this story and we trust Dr. Sharma will be given a chance to clarify his remarks.

However, we do have two concerns: We would have hoped a few words could have been spared to flesh out what Dr. Sharma has meant to the communities he’s served. We believe that information would have given your readers a better perspective. A little background would have given the article a better balance.

Also, the decision to use Dr. Sharma’s quote, “The parents should be happy…” as the last sentence seemed unfair to us. We thought its placement, with no surrounding text, purposely left the reader with the feeling that Dr. Sharma is uncaring. As former volunteers of NOC, we know the opposite to be true.

Priss and Tom Calanni

Hilton Head Island

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