Letters to the Editor

No ‘Chicken Little’: Beaufort County leaders were right in ther Hurricane Dorian warnings | Letters

Liz Farrell’s column in Saturday’s paper was off course.

Her criticism of two of our outstanding Beaufort County employees, Sheriff’s Office Lt. Col. Neil Baxley and Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen, was baseless. They have an obligation to ensure that the citizens know what to expect and to prepare for the worst.

In the past, we have sent officers to other jurisdictions that were hard hit and they returned with horror stories. Everything that Baxley and Allen described was witnessed firsthand and “Chicken Little” did not enter the picture.

The things they mentioned can and will happen should we ever take a direct hit. These two professionals always go above and beyond what is required of a government employee a,long with the rest of the first responders in Beaufort County.

I have seen the media go through a lot of changes over the years but one would think that a journalist would want to hear the facts.

Jeff Dowling



Retired Chief of Police



Beaufort

Do your Hurricane Dorian critiquing after the storm

Liz Farrell’s column criticizing the governor’s evacuation orders was a bit infuriating to me.

I am a coastal management specialist and a licensed professional geologist in South Carolina. If you want to question a governor’s approach to ordering an evacuation, fine. But, please don’t do it while the evacuation order is in place and the storm is still approaching and may strengthen at the last minute à la Hurricane Hugo.

Does the paper really want to be responsible for those whom use your op-ed as justification to stay behind in a storm in a vulnerable location?

Predicting the future track, intensity and impact of any tropical storm is still a complex art. Ordering coastal evacuations based on the uncertainty of those projections often results in a no-win situation for any decision maker. The difficulty is especially true when the forward motion of the storm changes dramatically, as with Hurricane Dorian.

There are some interesting thoughts in the piece worth considering, but it would be perfectly reasonable to discuss this afterwards.

Robert S. Young



Director



Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines



Western Carolina University



Cullowhee, North Carolina

Hurricane Dorian criticism of Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Col. Neil Baxley unwarranted

Liz Farrell’s criticism of Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Col. Neil Baxley’s performance during Hurricane Dorian was unwarranted and a cheap shot at best.

Her rant was not based on any expertise, but a way for a media person to show once again that in some cases they have no idea what they’re talking about.

Let’s suppose that the 92 mph winds clocked six miles offshore had hit to the Lowcountry. What would she be writing about today? Does she think that what happened to the poor residents of the Bahamas couldn’t have happened here?

For all of those who rode it out, you were lucky. If it had been the worst-case scenario, we all would be praising our first responders for their heroic efforts to save the lives of people who didn’t pay attention.

Michael Sampogna



Bluffton

Kudos for The Island Packet delivery of all Hurricane Dorian papers

Awaiting in my driveway Saturday morning was not only that day’s Island Packet, but the four back issues I missed due to evacuating the island for Hurricane Dorian.

Kudos to all employees of the Packet, and a huge round of applause to my dedicated and capable carrier.

Gerald Smith



Hilton Head Island

Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette did well during Hurricane Dorian

Kudos to the Packet for its excellent hurricane coverage and especially for its community-minded decision to eliminate the online paywall during this difficult time for island residents and visitors. Well done.

John Boullosa



Hilton Head Island

Island Packet’s Hurricane Dorian coverage put heart at rest

Thank you for your coverage of Hurricane Dorian. I am a former resident and have many friends on Hilton Head Island. I was so glad to see the pictures and read the comments. Your coverage put my heart at rest. Again, thank you.

Dea Pfeiffer



Colorado Springs, Colorado

Hilton Head go-kart track offers a chance to do ‘what we know needs to be done’

David Lauderdale’s Sunday column entitled “How Hilton Head helped create the hurricane mess” poignantly summarizes the current state of affairs.

His column speaks of being “Tired of evacuations?” and concludes, “We have only ourselves to blame.” The references are to irresponsible development, mushrooming population, and rezonings that have become the norm here.

He concludes by saying, “It would help if we would start actually doing what we know needs to be done.”

The inescapable conclusion is that the Town of Hilton Head Island, and therefore its leaders on Town Council and zoning appeals board, ought to assert themselves in a way consistent with what Hilton Head Island has been intended to be.

The perfect symbol for reasserting civic responsibility, correcting the downward spiral, and changing direction is to disallow the concession made to allow for development of the go-kart track intrusion.

Bob and Gretchen Gregory



Hilton Head Island

Energy Innovation Act is a way to control carbon pollution

I opened your newspaper Sunday to see articles about beach erosion, downed trees, rising death tolls from Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, support for a gas tax by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and an excellent column about the tensions surrounding development in low-lying areas, including the rising costs of insuring them.

These recurring issues are all related. Concerns about rising seas, erosion, worsening storms, tensions over costly seawalls and beach renourishment, even offshore drilling, are connected by one thing: our nationwide dependence on fossil fuels, once a boon, now a scourge.

Until we face our addiction and its effect on our climate, these concerns will plague us, threatening our livelihoods, our property, and our way of life. A gas tax, while providing needed revenue, won’t suffice. It would hurt low- and middle-income families and ignore externalized costs felt by a community such as ours.

Consensus by economists, scientists, conservatives, and liberals grows: we must price carbon pollution.

Recently, U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham attended a forum on the climate at Lowcountry Presbyterian Church in Bluffton. The church was packed. The questions were well-informed, and Cunningham’s commitment to a bipartisan solution, admirable.

The solution exists: The Energy Innovation Act, HR 763, puts a price on carbon, but returns the revenue collected to households as a dividend, protecting most of us from rising costs, while using the market to shift the economy to renewables, growing jobs and the GDP.

We must do this. Let Cunningham know you support this effort and this bill.

Katharine “Kate” Hudson



Beaufort

The Grand Old Party dead and gone

As Hurricane Dorian swirled ever closer, my thoughts drifted to the state of our country. What has happened to the America I love? The land of the free, home of the brave is looking a little shabby. Our once great country has disappeared.

My parents were proud Americans. My dad served in the Marines before and during World War II. He forever wore his patriotism as a badge of honor.

Proud Republicans, my parents believed in its tenets, instilling them in my brother and me. Back then, the Republicans stood for fiscal responsibility and the Democrats were frequently called the “Tax and Spend Party.

Adlai Stevenson said: “Through a strange twist of time, somehow the Democrats have been converted into the truly conservative party of this country — the party dedicated to conserving all that is best, and building solidly and safely on these foundations. While every man has a right to be heard; no man has the right to strangle democracy with a single set of vocal cords.”

These words, written six decades ago, ring true today. The old GOP does not exist. It has dissolved, drowned in the muck of political corruption, leaving a party of the entitled, who are hell-bent on filling their coffers by stepping on the backs of the poor and middle class.

These wealthy few have manipulated the system to reward themselves and keep the citizenry ignorant and poor.

My parents would never recognize our country and what it has become. We must strive to get it back.

Linda A. Grady



Bluffton

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