Letters to the Editor

It's not too late to do right on airport runway

It is interesting to note from the Oct. 8 editorial that the top lists of attributes of the region "are our natural resources and quality of life."

But will that be true for some of our more vulnerable fellow residents and communities after "progress" is forced upon them?

I refer to those just outside Hilton Head Island Airport boundaries near the proposed lengthened runway. These folks don't consider wholesale destruction of thousands of trees instead of continued trimming and the eventual encroachment of aircraft and their noise to be examples of progress in everyone's interests. They and I readily agree that it flouts the very meaning of fairness and equality. As a matter of fact, considering the racial makeup of the majority of those affected, maybe old Jim Crow has raised its ugly head again. Hypocrisy does not stop with the dates 1872 or 1971 or 2011. It can be insidiously hidden in many decisions made by absolute power in the name of progress.

If the move to extend the runway to 5,400 feet is made in spite of a very common sense compromise for 4,700 feet, it will be wrong, not because of the savings of millions of taxpayer dollars and the ridiculous lack of benefits garnered, but simply because it will be grievously wrong in human aspects. It is not too late for the powers-that-be to reconsider. Their terms in office will be looked upon very differently if their minds are changed.

Richard H. Ellis

Hilton Head Island

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