Letters to the Editor

Hilton Head, STOP. Press pause. And think | Letters

Three seemingly unrelated topics: 1) a bridge; 2) No. 1 island; 3) Verona.

I have a suggestion: STOP. Press pause; think about where we should expend energy and money: Not for 1, 2 or 3!

No one wants to vacation in a traffic jam. Nor at understaffed resorts workers can’t reach. But if it’s underwater, both points are moot.

We live on an island. We either succumb, or battle climate change. We run before we sink, or try the latter. I suggest we lead the way, start the battle here.

Let’s reduce traffic and dependence on fossil fuels by keeping the bridge to Hilton Head Island at four lanes and creating an energy-efficient mass transit system. Go to clean cars and buses and limit bridge traffic. Buy land and create Park-and-Rides for tourists and commuters. On the island, transform roads: replace car lanes with multiple bike lanes; increase shuttle systems to permanent, reliable travel options. Add sidewalks and crosswalks, and walk.

Let’s plant more trees. We lost over 100,000 in 2016; let’s replace them, plus those clear-cut areas. Scientists say it’s the most significant combatant to climate change reversal.

Let’s zone for multi-income housing, in and outside gates. Make it a priority. Family housing, not one-bedroom boxes that insult. Set a living wage too.

Let’s do it. Maybe elected officials should try future-thinking instead of visiting Verona. Set policy for all of us, not land developers and oil companies and corporations that will take their money and run.

Elizabeth Robin

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head Mayor John McCann’s priorities wrong

I cannot believe Hilton Head Island Mayor John McCann’s audacity.

His personal expense of a trip to Italy, as well as his recent trip to Washington, D.C., should be fully repaid to the citizens of Hilton Head.

We are not benefiting in any practical way by McCann traveling anywhere. He needs to focus on the practical issues we are faced with: housing and transportation for workers, redevelopment of empty spaces like Bi-Lo and Sam’s Club, and making the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce expenditures more transparent.

These priorities seem obvious. Has he done anything positive for Hilton Head with issues that really matter?

David Luellen

Hilton Head Island

First in SC: New 14th Judicial Circuit Victims Services Center deserves attention

After 24 years in The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette newsrooms, I well understand days when news events outnumber reporters available to cover them. Typically, we tried to keep sources happy and readers informed by publishing submitted information before or after the fact.

Three years after leaving the newsroom, I find myself an unhappy source, addressing readers kept uninformed.

On Oct. 10, the Solicitor’s Office and its nonprofit partners celebrated the grand opening of the 14th Circuit Victims Center, which assists victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and other crimes against the vulnerable. It is the first of its kind in South Carolina. Nearly 200 invited guests attended. So did five media outlets and a dozen or so elected officials, including S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson, who delivered a fine keynote.

The Packet, however, was a no-show.

A busy news day? Perhaps. But four days later, the newspaper still had not published the release we emailed that afternoon to five different islandpacket.com email addresses.

The 250-word limit here is inadequate to describe the center’s benefits. So instead, here’s a link to the release we sent your newspaper.

Incidentally, Solicitor Duffie Stone developed the idea for the center in part through his participation in the National District Attorneys Association. Earlier this summer, Stone became just the second South Carolinian elected president of this 69-year-old national organization. Since your newspaper didn’t tell you that, either, here’s a second link.

Jeff Kidd

14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office

communications director


How Hilton Head could remain a livable place

I want to thank David Lauderdale for succinctly establishing the 10 commandments for Hilton Head Island public (and private) officials.

I think every candidate should be required to swear their allegiance to preserve the future of Hilton Head and to this concise moral compass of public service. These statements should be put on the wall of the Town Council chambers and recited before every meeting.

The public needs to be involved in all town decisions, plans, and zoning issues. Once “old growth” plants/trees are cut or cleared, it takes decades to restore (if at all possible) the beauty and health of an area.

Future development will not improve the island or increase property values. We already have everything we need and we must be good stewards of our world.

Planned, environmentally-friendly redevelopment will carry us forward as a world-class, first-place, livable, and healthy island that we all love – and that reflects why we came here in the first place. And thanks to The Island Packet for keeping these important issues in front of us.

Richard Blaine

Hilton Head Island

Call it what is is: A vacation for Hilton Head mayor

It’s about time that the residents of Hilton Head Island wake up and call this what it is: another vacation for a retired mayor milking the system.

Hilton Head Mayor John McCann and Town Manager Steve Riley needed to go to Italy on taxpayer money about as much as I need to request an audience with the pope. And now, to add insult to injury, McCann is taking another vacation, this time to Washington, D.C., under the pretense that it will serve the citizens of our town well.

Let’s call it what it is: a good old boy is laughing all the way to the bank and we are not putting a stop to this. Why? Where is he going on his next vacation – to meet with the mayor of Geneva to see how we should decorate the island for Christmas?


David Brown

Hilton Head Island

Beware the Democratic candidates’ silence in Ellen debate

I’m not a fan of Ellen DeGeneres but I do respect her aggressive defense of her friendship with George Bush. She didn’t give in to the Hollywood progressives.

What is surprising is the silence of the Democratic presidential candidates in supporting Ellen. Most of these candidates talk of healing the American divide. How do you think they are capable of healing if they don’t have the guts to support one of their own who practices what they are preaching?

Do we want a Democratic president who is in the pocket of Hollywood progressives?

Pete Shaw


It’s not football; it’s kickball

A recent letter suggested that field goals and extra points be eliminated from the game of football. I couldn’t agree more.

In the pros, getting inside the 50 yard line puts the kicking team in field goal range. In college, inside the 30 or 40 is in range, depending on the ability of the kicker. That’s not football, it’s kickball.

Let’s put excitement back on fourth down by forcing teams to “ go for it,” instead of having the team with the best kicker win.

Tom Coleman

Hilton Head Island

Hilton Head mayor’s pay an abuse of power

It would be a blatant abuse of power to pay the Hilton Head Island mayor a little extra cash for hanging around during an emergency that never happened. That seems to be the status quo in these United States lately. Here, we have $20 million on a park that no one asked for, a poor paving job, and no response or resolution to employee housing. It’s typical smoke and mirrors from a bunch of elderly, baby boomer, white males.

Sandon Preston

Hilton Head island