Letters to the Editor

Special students need ‘yes’ vote on Beaufort County school bond referendum | Letters

I am a “SPED Mom,” and mother of three children in Beaufort County schools. Before you make a decision on your support for the school bond referendum, I want you to know how the referendum can improve schools for special education (SPED) students.

▪  Relieving overcrowding: Part of the referendum package adds classroom space to our most crowded schools. Many people don’t realize that there are caps on the number of children who can be placed in a self-contained special education class. Depending on the grade and the needs of the students, this can be between 5 to 12 students. Some classes and programs have had to be moved to other schools, because there weren’t enough classrooms to accommodate the programs. Adding classroom space will allow more kids to attend their neighborhood school.

▪  Security upgrades: Every school in the district will receive security upgrades that will improve communications systems. In SPED classes, communication between the teachers, assistants and administration is vital. Teachers need to trust that their phones and radios will work reliably when they call for help.

▪  ADA requirements: Some older schools in our district have not had major renovations in many years. As a result, they don’t meet the most current standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The referendum will fund upgrades to wheelchair-accessible doors; larger, more accessible restrooms; and accommodations for people with vision and hearing impairments, to name a few.

I will be voting “yes” on Nov. 5, and I hope you will too.

Lindsay Weller

Bluffton

Our objection is about density

“There’s a new plan for 282 homes in Bluffton. Neighbors say ‘Not here.’ ”

This headline was a misrepresentation of my point of view in your recent story. My input to the paper was focused on Village Park Homes’ request to increase density from 76 to 282 homes along New Riverside and the resulting impact this would have on quality of life, such as environment, traffic, education, etc., for all residents in the New Riverside community.

Our position, and reasons supporting our position, have been made abundantly clear throughout all the public meetings we have spoken at, numerous articles printed and letters to various members of Bluffton’s Negotiating Committee and the Town Council. It has always been about density.

I was asked what I saw as an ideal outcome of this and I replied that Village Park Homes should build the 76 homes originally planned and if 10% or 20% are designated as “workforce” or “affordable,” that would be OK with us. This quote was not included.

Most of the residents in New Riverside who are opposed to this disproportionate density increase request are “the workforce” and their families who want to enjoy the quality of life they are entitled to and were led to expect along with well-educated and experienced retired professionals who have a firm understanding of the issue.

Anyone’s attempt to describe our issues with this proposal as anything other than related to density is ignoring what is intuitively obvious to the casual observer.

Michael Lucas

Bluffton

Park and ride needed in Beaufort County

I come from a large suburban area where they use park and ride (or incentive parking) to move the workforce to the mass transit system. This cuts down on traffic congestion and pollution.

Why can’t the Town of Hilton Head Island work with Beaufort County to set up park and ride lots along U.S. 278? We could then use the trolley system to move the workforce around the island. Most of those trolleys run more than half empty most of the time.

This would make the commute less congested, and working on Hilton Head would be much more attractive.

The finite nature of island real estate will always bring a premium, so why discount what’s left when there are solutions to help our workforce that are beneficial to us all?

Bernard Fee

Hilton Head Island

There’s hope: Each of us can set an example for leadership

Simply defined, leadership is motivating a group of people to achieve a common goal.

However, with effective leadership comes responsibility.

“The price of greatness is responsibility,” says Winston Churchill’s autobiography.

A favorite expression of President Theodore Roosevelt was, “Leaders lead, bosses drive.”

Forbes listed three fundamentals of effective leadership: Inspire successful vision, excel at communicating, and use good judgment. I would add a fourth: be ethical.

Whether in government, business or family life, effective leadership is a necessity for successful results. Unfortunately, our country is failing in all three.

Currently, partisan, dysfunctional government in Washington; lack of ethics in corporate America; failure of our educational system; and deterioration of our family unit indicates effective leadership is lacking throughout our society. Approval ratings are at an all-time for Congress and the administration. Parental responsibility continues to decline while selfish irresponsibility, found in all aspects of society, continues to rise.

Is there a lesson here? To begin, successful, common-sense leadership starts by leading by personal example, by being a positive motivator and communicator, inspiring integrity and higher moral values. Quiet, effective leadership, then, can simply be the genuine caring for our fellow man. A good guide was set by Mahatma Gandhi, who said, “Recognize the good in people and help them grow.”

Discouraged? Don’t be. You and I can encourage society to live by these standards and values by quietly setting the right example in our own daily lives. Live the moment; we can make a difference.

Earle Everett

Moss Creek

The real cost of rewable energy

Considering the threat from global warming and growing support for the Green New Deal, it’s time to review renewable energy. Sunlight and wind are free but the costs of manufacture, installation, energy storage, energy transportation, subsidization and maintenance are much higher than reported.

The largest wind turbine requires 900 tons of steel, 2,500 tons of concrete and 45 tons of high-grade plastic. With a 20-year life span, 1.8 million units are needed to replace oil and gas consumption over the next 50 years. The required miles of transmission lines and battery storage facilities are nearly incalculable.

The cost for a standard residential solar panel system is $15,000 (including tax credits; storage batteries extra) and the average energy bill is $160/month. The system typically provides 40% of total energy needs, saving $768/year. Over a 15-year lifespan, total savings is $11,500. Invest $15,000 at 5% annual growth for a return of $31,500. In reality, light-blocking window shades, closed-cell insulation, ceiling fans and programable thermostats are more cost-effective than solar panels.

Hydraulic fracking has created 90,000 jobs, moved us towards energy independence and is largely responsible for the 15% reduction in carbon emissions over the past ten years. Further use of natural gas and advanced nuclear energy would further reverse CO2 levels but both are opposed by the Green New Deal crowd. Limit energy sources to wind and solar and watch our energy bills skyrocket as the demand for iron ore, copper, silver, lithium, cobalt, etc., turn the Earth into one giant mining pit.

Brian Thoreson

Hilton Head Island

Trump move against Kurds an abomination

That President Donald Trump is willing to leave the Kurds hanging out there is an abomination.

“I campaigned on the fact that I was going to bring ... our soldiers home as rapidly as possible,” he said.

The Kurds are fighting for what they perceive as their homeland, and have been valiant fighters for said homeland and frequent allies of our own. To do this to the Kurds to keep a campaign promise (in an “election year”) is blasphemous, but indicative of Trump’s what’s-good-for-me attitude.

This action has been condemned on a bipartisan and humane basis.

Let’s hope it’s not too late for the president to again reverse himself — due to the “blowing of the wind” — before it’s too late.

Bob Spitzen

Hilton Head Island

Them bones

Do bone spurs keep you out of jail? Asking for a friend.

Mare Deckard

Port Royal

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