Letters to the Editor

Fatal boat wreck shows SC ‘good ole boy’ network alive and well

Let me get this straight — a boat with “grossly intoxicated” people on board had an accident on Feb. 24 resulting in one of them dying and, as I write this 19 days later, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources had not spoken to all the occupants of the boat? If this is not gross incompetence, I do not know what is.

In addition, the alleged driver of the boat has not been formally identified, and supposedly one of the potential drivers is a relative of a very influential person in the legal community.

The South Carolina “good ole boys” network is alive and well.

Jim Bailey

Hilton Head Island

More U.S. 278 problems coming; politicians have heads in sand

Our U.S. 278 project is like the Titanic heading toward an iceberg, with politicians’ heads in the sand. Its planning is deeply flawed since it doesn’t deal with the causes of major delays such as two, soon to be three, traffic lights and the flows to and from the Cross Island Parkway.

Their most recent progress report says SCDOT will study the problem. But, its language avoids saying they will fix it.

These issues were known by Beaufort County Council months before the November referendum. On June 11, 2018, most council members and staff saw a county presentation showing:

The referendum work proposed did not fix the traffic problem.

There were potential conflicts with the Windmill Harbour project. (Eight months later, vice chairman Paul Sommerville called this “two dueling projects.”)

Repair would require another 4-year sales tax.

Instead of addressing those flaws, the county launched a $140,000 campaign using misinformation to push a misworded referendum. An expensive companion sales campaign was launched by cohorts in a secretive lobbying group. Its leader is now chairman of the Town of Hilton Head Island’s U.S. 278 corridor committee. Politicians running for office echoed the misleading chants. No one ever checked the facts. Bridge mania replaced data.

The U.S. 278 project is heading toward the iceberg. Unless its scope is changed to include feeds to and from the Cross Island Parkway, and potential bypasses of the numerous traffic lights, taxpayers are in for years of delay and tens of millions of extra dollars to fix its already-known problems.

Steven M. Baer

Hilton Head Island

The paper owes apology to Hilton Head High principal Amanda O’Nan

I was absolutely appalled to open Wednesday morning’s Island Packet and see the “ ‘At home … wanting u’ ” headline above the fold.

Frankly, this is nothing more than yellow journalism — no, it’s actually smut journalism — at its most prurient.

I know neither Amanda O’Nan or DeJuan Holmes. However, I do know that I’m not alone in having made mistakes, which I’ve regretted in my lifetime. I imagine you have as well. Is anyone perfect? Absolutely not … and the Packet lowered its standards to appeal to the basest of emotions and gossip. We deserve better from our local paper, and I’m ashamed to say I’ve written for this paper.

Let these people, and the school district, work out this very knotty issue without your sensationalizing an already volatile situation and destroying others’ lives even further. This paper owes the entire community an apology, and it should start by apologizing to Ms. O’Nan and Mr. Holmes.

With great disappointment,

Mary Ella Jones

Hilton Head Island

Don’t publish ‘gossip fodder’ in sex-in-school case

Did I miss something? Was The Island Packet taken over by Rupert Murdoch?

The recent extensive story detailing almost all the “private” emails between Amanda O’Nan and DeJuan Holmes was the kind of lascivious tripe that I would expect from a tabloid, certainly not the Packet.

As if the publication hasn’t shrunk enough in the recent past, I would hope that the editorial staff could find more meaningful stories to report rather than exploit an incident that should have been finished a long time ago. Do our readers really want to read all that gossip fodder? I don’t think so. Certainly not me.

Bob Alberti

Sun City

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