Letters to the Editor

Growth: Morale among residents of Beaufort County is at an all-time low | Letters

David Lauderdale’s column of Sunday, Oct. 13, is spot on, not only for Hilton Head Island but for all of Beaufort County.

How often has it been said local government (city and county councils) are killing the goose ...? And they are!

Their commandment is, Let there be no green-space left undeveloped and unpaved.

Do they not realize adding another bridge, more traffic lanes, and more developments (residential and commercial) results in more traffic rather than relieving congestion?

At what point will they realize there is no undeveloped land left and the in-filling of waterways is the next step to “relieve congestion.” But wait, developers and local governments are already doing just that.

It isn’t just the local governing bodies who are guilty. It’s property owners wanting to profit big by asking to be annexed so more green space can be destroyed by out-of-state and mega developers to create Potemkin Villages.

Morale among residents is at an all-time low. We’re seeing the reason we live in Beaufort County chipped away by poor land and water management for the sole purpose of filling coffers — those of the county, city, developers, and landowners.

Gone is the pride of ownership — it’s all about money by putting Beaufort County on the auction block.

Perhaps future residents will begin a new Reconstruction era and it will be called “Second Founding of Beaufort County.”

Charlene Shufelt

Lady’s Island

Liz Farrell column starts day off right

It’s a pleasure to hear someone chuckling, especially at breakfast, when they read the newspaper.

Chuckling is out of the norm for news stories, so I was surprised. “What’s up,” I said to my husband. I thought maybe an alligator had gotten the barking dog across the street.

Turns out my husband was reading the Liz Farrell column, “Who wants to be America’s next first lady?” He gave me the section to read and it was hilarious.

Thanks so much. We love her columns, the funny, as well as the serious ones.

Sandra Anderson


Beaufort County bond referendum doesn’t fix SC school-funding problem

There has been overwhelming support in recent letters for the Beaufort County school bond referendum on Nov. 5. There is a touch of hypocrisy in this.

South Carolina full-time residents do not pay for school district operating expenses through their property taxes. Instead, state law lets businesses and second-home owners shoulder this burden. Therefore, the entities paying school system operating expenses have no direct interest in the success of the schools because they are not the parents of enrolled students.

Approving the school bond referendum will not get one more teacher hired, or improve the compensation of existing teachers.

South Carolina will have substandard school systems until its citizens decide to fund the school systems adequately and fairly. This would mean that all homeowners contribute to school system operating expenses through their property taxes. Since this is unlikely to happen, we only want better schools as long as we don’t have to pay for them.

James Foley


For Beaufort County schools: Pay now or pay later

An estimated 22,000 children attend Beaufort County public schools. Nearly 70% live in poverty. That’s in the county with the highest per capita income in the state.

I’m troubled by this kind of disparity. Whether you’re a liberal or conservative, it is obvious that the ability to read, write, do math, and understand basic historical, economic and social principles is fundamental to getting and holding a decent job, and eventually rise out of poverty. It is a years-long process, but without decent schools that consider student circumstances, it will not happen.

If we do not ensure that schools succeed, the cycle will continue. Will we pay now or pay later?

On Nov. 5, residents of Beaufort County will be asked that question in a voting booth. A “yes” vote on Part 1 of the school district bond referendum will result in safer and more secure learning environments, expansions to reduce overcrowding, and upgrades to technology instruction – the most basic stuff. Passage of Part 1 is necessary for the passage of Part 2, where a “yes” vote will result in upgrades to Career and Technology Education (CATE) and improvements to athletics and playgrounds – a vote for growth of both minds and bodies.

It has been 11 years since Beaufort Country residents have voted to pay for better schools. Much more is needed, but denying the district – and our children – even these most basic improvements means we all will pay more down the road – in many ways. Let’s invest now.

Carol Hartman


Bluffton must listen to residents

Increasing the housing density in Alston Park is a concern to all on New Riverside who love our communities.

We believe there is a need for affordable housing, but not at the expense of jamming 286 homes into a site that was previously approved for 76.

It should be noted that 834 homeowners who live on New Riverside have signed a petition asking that our voice be heard, and that the “Bluffton State of Mind” we all love not be taken away from us.

Helene Kugit


Hilton Head mayor’s trip again questionable

First, Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann takes an all expenses paid friends-across-the sea junket to Verona, Italy, ostensibly because Hilton Head and Verona have so much in common that they need to be declared sister cities.

Then, McCann, his pandering to Italy notwithstanding, shamelessly accepts an invitation (again, undoubtedly expense paid) to a White House reception featuring the Italian president.

Who are the people who elected this man as their mayor? Is there something about Hilton Head that attracts such people? I believe so.

Roger Elmore


FTD: ‘Cruelest disease’ is a sad reality

The recent story “Dementia led ex-DOT official Hardee to seek prostitute, attorney says,” prompts me to write about a little-known form of dementia, frontotemporal dementia (FTD), which was featured on a “60 Minutes” segment called “The Cruelest Disease You’ve Never Heard Of.”

Among its characteristics are loss of judgment and an inability to control one’s impulses. Another variant of FTD affects speech and motor skills and often progresses to ALS.

Someone I know was recently diagnosed with FTD. She has engaged in inappropriate interactions that she knows are wrong, but cannot control the impulses that drive her behavior.

The diagnosis of FTD, for which there is no treatment and nothing to slow down its progression, was made after numerous neurological tests and ultimately a lumbar puncture. While not a doctor, I would think FTD could not be determined through cognitive testing and observation alone.

The judge involved said in all his 20 years on the bench, he has never seen anyone who had violated his/her probation faster than the accused.

I do not know the people nor the facts of this case, but I hope this letter raises awareness of frontotemporal dementia. I am writing this also in memory of a lovely woman who recently died from FTD in Bluffton, hers resulting in ALS. She was the epitome of respectability despite her oftentimes inappropriate behavior as her disease progressed.

Nancy Vineburgh


Sorry, Beaufort County. Voting in person is not ‘absentee’

On Oct. 9 I received an email from Beaufort County that started out, “In-person absentee ballot voting …” If ever there was an oxymoron this is it.

I don’t know why this practice of before-election-day voting is given this illogical designation but it seems to me that it should be called what it is: “Early voting.”

Be that as it may, my wife and I decided to vote this way for the first time in 2018. It was pretty close to election day and we wound up being in line for probably longer than it would have taken to go to our precinct to vote.

So if you are contemplating going to cast your “absentee” ballot in person (I’m still shaking my head), my advice is to do it early and take the chance that your candidate will still be in the race on election day.

Henry A. Robertson