Letters to the Editor

Bay Point Island should not be developed | Letters

The issue of developing Bay Point Island has again been raised. This island should not be developed.

Development would harm a nationally-designated Important Bird Area. In the winter, the island shelters up to 8,000 birds.

A study released by Audubon a few weeks ago found that North America has lost almost 3 billion birds since 1970. One reason is loss of habitat. Birds need good habitat year-round: nesting areas, wintering areas, and areas for rest during migration. We can reverse this loss with positive actions. Developing this island is not one of them.

The island is eroding. Developing barrier islands no longer makes sense, especially on the East Coast. On average, sea levels have risen 5-8 inches since 1900, accelerating since 1990. Studies indicate “hot spots” on the East Coast where sea levels are rising faster. Charleston is one – just a short jaunt away by water. These issues, along with king tides and more severe storms, questions the sustainability of this resort.

Will government flood insurance cover such a high-risk area? Can the developer self-insure? Will they be looking for help protecting their shoreline in the future? If they cannot self-insure after a storm, will they walk away, leaving destroyed buildings to pollute our waterways and shorelines?

This island is accessible only by boat. Sewer, water, and emergency response will be very expensive.

Why would Beaufort County approve developing such a fragile ecosystem? Why risk our beautiful coastline, our birds, and our tax dollars to support another high-end resort? Please vote this down.

Paula Smith


Why you should vote ‘no’ on Beaufort County school bond referendum

Please join me, and just say “no” to the proposed $345 million brick-and-mortar referendum being requested by a newly-elected, untested Beaufort County Board of Education and recently hired, novice superintendent.

With results of the FBI investigation still pending on how school district construction dollars have been spent in the past, it seems foolish to authorize more construction money until the results of the investigation are publicized and understood.

A recent article in your paper cites a school with “40-plus active leaks” in its roof, and another school with one operating bathroom. I view those unattended maintenance issues as unacceptable and a testimonial to school district mismanagement of funds currently available.

Gerald Smith

Hilton Head Island

Leave a Beaufort County legacy with ‘yes’ vote

Praying for an extraordinary legacy for future Beaufort County students

I am a current senior at Hilton Head Island High School. I am only 17 years old, so I will not be able to vote “yes” on Nov. 5 for the school bond referendum. I decided to do the next best thing, and write to the community members of Beaufort County.

Even though I will be leaving for college in about eight months, I want to tell you why it is so important to me that this upcoming referendum is supported by our community.

It is our responsibility to leave behind a legacy of success, growth, and achievement. Legacies are pathways that guide people in future decisions and endeavors.

Children in Beaufort County deserve to be able to go to schools that are safe, that have the technology needed to make them competitive, to not have to eat lunch on the floor, and to not have classes in the library or hallways because of overcrowding and leaking roofs.

These students are our future and do not deserve conditions like these.

Beaufort County, please stand up and vote “yes” on Nov. 5. Give students like myself a reason to return to Hilton Head to work, live, raise a family, and continue to support Beaufort County.

Now is the moment to ask ourselves what kind of legacy do we want to leave behind for Beaufort County?

Logan Bedenbaugh

Hilton Head Island

Know what socialism is. It’s not social welfare

It seems that there are a few folks who, bless their hearts, nodded off during government and history classes and missed how the different forms of government work. Here is a brief tutorial to help understand what they missed.

Socialism is a form of government where the state owns or controls most means of production and distribution. The people are often ruled by a small group of self-elected elites. Examples are Cuba, and Venezuela.

In a communist state, the government owns and controls everything, all laws are made by a ruling elite most often headed by a dictator. Russia and China were communist countries, but recently wisely gave up pure communism and are now mostly capitalist, still ruled by a dictator. Most communist countries are either dead or dying; an example would be North Korea.

Capitalism is a system where most means of production and wealth are owned privately and are operated for profit by the owners. This always happens in a popularly elected democracy. Today, most capitalist countries have large social welfare programs that benefit their citizens. The Untied States and most of Western Europe would be good examples of this.

In spite of what “Crazy Bernie” would have you believe, the Scandinavian countries are not socialist. They are democracies that rely on robust capitalist economies to provide taxes that fund extensive social welfare programs for their citizens.

Social welfare programs and socialism are not the same things, and are most often mutually exclusive.

I hope this helps.

Jim Dickson

St. Helena Island

America once again unreliable, faithless partner to allies

In depressingly familiar fashion, America is once again turning its back on those who fought as proxies in our ceaseless efforts to eliminate real and perceived threats.

We failed the Hmong people from the mountains of Vietnam, abandoning a people that allied themselves with us during the Vietnam war.

We have promised hundreds if not thousands of Iraqis asylum for their help, then slammed the door on their faces, leaving allies and their families to their fate.

Now, once again, another people, the Kurds of Iraq, are being threatened by Erdogan and Turkey. These Kurdish fighters have been America’s most ardent supporters in the fight against Isis in Syria. But now that the bulk of the fighting is over, we appear ready to abandon yet another group that has come to America’s aid, in order to succor favor with the increasingly undemocratic forces of Turkey.

Once again, we show ourselves to be duplicitous and self-serving (America first), and not true friends to those who have given us their lives and loyalty.

Ironically, in this case, that this duplicity comes from a president who constantly talks about the importance of loyalty.

I for one am tired of our country proving itself to be an unreliable and faithless partner on the world stage, but considering President Donald Trump has proven himself a faithless partner in marriage and life, I am not at all surprised, just disappointed.

Hal Cherry

Hilton Head Island

GOP lacks responsibility

A while back, I wrote a letter about childhood peers teaching the consequences of lying. Based on the suspect treatment of facts in the recent opinion piece by Andrew Malcolm, he did not grow up in a neighborhood like mine.

However, it wasn’t his cavalier treatment of the facts that prompted this letter. Another lesson from my childhood: “You made the mess; you clean it up!”

So, let’s review a few publicly known facts: At best, President Donald Trump’s business ethics were marginal with multiple convenient bankruptcies in the family business, and hundreds, if not thousands, of subcontractors forced to accept low-ball payments for their work.

To be blunt, as a small businessperson, it’s a $1,000 whether stolen by a robber or somebody’s corporate lawyers.

Yet, Trump was vetted, allowed to use his mouth and money to systematically destroy more qualified candidates, and he was ultimately elected.

Again, at best, he has been a divisive, often disruptive president, telling more lies and changing policy direction, often within the same day, with little explanation. His comments on civil war, a coup and treason among recent examples.

At worst, Trump has corrupted the presidency, ignored the Constitution, and made a mockery of democracy.

Trump was elected as a Republican, but it is the Democrats who are faced with responsibility for conducting an impeachment inquiry.

I would ask U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, whatever happened to “taking responsibility for your own mess”? Or maybe he didn’t grow up in a neighborhood like mine either.

Richard Wallace


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