Letters to the Editor

In booming Beaufort County, actual zoning does not exist | Letters

Another request for rezoning comes before the city or county for rezoning property so that a developer or builder can squeeze more money out of a piece of land. However, the zoning was set and known when the property was purchased. That’s why it was priced the way it was on the market.

So the developer says it must be rezoned so he can make more money and that’s his “ right.” What about the rights of others nearby? What about those who purchased, built, and live based on the original zoning?

Should those with connections and resources available to get rezoning approved receive preference? Should greed prevail? It usually does.

So, does actual zoning really exist under the current system? Or just rezoning?

Actually, you can’t blame the developers for their gambit — buying cheap property and immediately requesting rezoning for higher value. The city and county councils approve, and therefore encourage this every day to increase their tax haul — no matter the effect on neighborhoods.

It’s legal, but local politicos should learn the difference between what’s legal and what’s right.

We need leaders who are not focused on next year’s tax collection, but have the vision and appetite for keeping the Lowcountry special.

Jerry Floyd

St. Helena Island

Throughout Hurricane Dorian, The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette were there of us

As an older reader in my mid-60s, I grew up with a daily paper, and still can’t fathom a day without my daily ritual of reading the paper and sipping my coffee.

Each day, I lament the decreased size of The Island Packet, and sadly follow the slow decline of the newspaper industry in general.

Yet, I must commend The Packet and its staff for the excellent coverage the last few days as Hurricane Dorian approached. The Packet kept me informed with frequent email updates, and right now, although the paper wasn’t resting on my driveway this morning, I’m poring over the general website, and I’m about to open the replica edition (e-edition).

I miss the slight smell of inked newsprint, and the ease of completing the crossword puzzle with my mechanical pencil, but realize that in the good old days of print journalism, my news fix would have been at least several hours old.

Thank you to the Packet and Beaufort Gazette for keeping our community informed. Don’t ever leave us.

Joseph Maniscalco

Bluffton

Beaufort County school board, get it together

Is our Beaufort County Board of Education in disarray again?

In my 85th year, I have never witnessed such disregard for professional decorum and needed progress for our children. Most recent disagreements among board members indicate they have learned nothing from past mistakes, despite a history of chaos within their ranks.

The humiliation centered around the former superintendent with an FBI investigation still going on, public disagreements and accusations among past and present board members, police called to a closed board meeting due to threats, two failed public referendums on school facility improvements, etc. All this negative publicity while South Carolina ranks next to last in the quality of our children’s education. Beaufort County is just a microcosm of such failure.

A message to our school district:

To our superintendent: You have inherited a festering situation that requires your immediate attention and expertise to help resolve.

To our board chair: With leadership comes responsibility. It is your responsibility to lead while bringing your board to cooperative resolutions in all matters in the best interest of our children.

To the board members: It is your responsibility to be part of a positive effort to improve our schools in the best interest of our children. Stop the nitpicking with each other. Speaking to the media extraneously can cause unnecessary friction and misunderstanding, particularly when it becomes a personality issue.

To the parents and public: Your active interest and participation can contribute to community awareness and progress for our school system. Get involved.

Our children are the nation’s future.

Earle Everett

Moss Creek

What really sets Hilton Head Island apart

They say, “If you build it, they will come.” So what happens if you don’t build it?

Guess what? They will still come, looking for a peaceful, serene family place to relax, as always.

You want tattoos, go-karts, water slides? Go to a Honkey Tonk Town. The East Coast has plenty of them.

Instead of selling what has already been sold, let’s focus on the true essence of Hilton Head Island. We are an island that is still somewhat tranquil, in spite of the past 10 years of leadership.

We have excellent beaches, spectacular views, abundant wildlife, family-friendly accommodations and great eateries.

But first and foremost, we are blessed to have a place called Mitchelville.

Prior to 1969, when we put a man on the moon, Mitchelville, 1862, was the United States’ first “giant step for mankind.” Mitchelville, known to be part of the Port Royal Experiment, blended two totally different cultures to create a precursor to Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Freedmen were given land and an opportunity to self govern and to prove that they were equal. Those folks were up to the task and actually created the first mandatory public education system in South Carolina.

Mitchelville was one of the greatest victories of the Civil War, yet we forget.

We, as island residents, whether native or transplants, need to become more aware and embrace our history and passionately share it with others. We don’t need the Chamber of Commerce extolling the virtues of our go-karts to bring visitors here.

Bill Kuttruff

Hilton Head Island

Know these ways to help prevent suicide

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, but it can be prevented.

Every day, for as long as I can remember, I have struggled with depression. My daily existence consisted of thoughts and plans to end the pain that created a numbness to the world around me. Today, I live. I feel. I love. I want others to know they can do the same.

During National Suicide Prevention Week, Sept. 8-14, I will be urging my public officials to prioritize suicide prevention and mental health and to “Be the Voice” for the millions of Americans affected by suicide each year.

To prevent suicide, we need to:

1. Invest in suicide-prevention research within the National Institute of Mental Health at a level equal to the suicide problem in our country.

2. Strengthen oversight for mental health parity at the state and federal levels.

3. Fully fund the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255 [TALK]) and local crisis call centers.

4. Make service member and veteran suicide prevention a national priority.

Please join me by calling your members of Congress and your state and local officials to ask them to make suicide prevention the priority it deserves to be. Together, we can save lives.

Mary Ellen Nygaard

Bluffton

Quit reguritating Fox News and calling it a letter to the editor

There are times when I read some of the letters to the editor and think I am listening to Fox News.

The use of certain terms indicates to me that writers have given little thought to the letter and are simply content with regurgitating what they have heard on the TV. “Socialist,” “left wing,” “fake news,” etc., permeates these letters without rhyme or reason.

A recent letter writer questioned whether the Affordable Care Act was a serious accomplishment of Present Barack Obama’s administration.

Ask the nearly 20 million people who now have health insurance if they agree.

Compare this to the June 2017 speech of the new president in which he pledged a “… a great new affordable health care system” would oon be unveiled. I’m still waiting. Fortunately, I’m covered by Medicare.

We know that Russia has not meddled in our election system, despite evidence to the contrary by the CIA, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, the office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and, importantly, President Vladimir Putin’s assurance that this never occurred.

I grew up in a time when the Republican Party stood for fiscal responsibility and the Democratic Party was always castigated for spending and debt increases.

That will show you how old I am.

Murray Turka

Hilton Head Island

How to submit a letter

Send letters to the editor by email to letters@islandpacket.com or letters@beaufortgazette.com.

Or you may submit a letter online.

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.

Letters may be edited for length, style, grammar, taste and libel. All letters submitted become the property of The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette.

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