Letters to the Editor

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To the Editor:

Recently, the Trump administration re-opened our coastlines to consideration for offshore drilling. There are many reasons this is bad for South Carolina.

Seismic surveys required to map the location of new wells are noisy and impact the health of fish and sea mammals.

Drilling releases thousands of gallons of water contaminated with toxins such as benzene and arsenic.

The drilling process and on-shore infrastructure - which can require acres of land on the coastline - cause significant air pollution. Oil spills remain one of the biggest concerns with potentially massive impacts on our economy and wildlife.

South Carolina's ocean economy is significant, with 2007 data showing $16 billion generated along with 208,083 jobs. Our state has grown since then, so we know those numbers are much larger now.

We must make our voices heard. There is a public comment period that runs until March 9. Go to boem.gov/ National-Program-Comment for instructions in how to submit meaningful comments.

There will be a public meeting in Columbia at the Doubletree Hotel at 2100 Bush River Rd. on Feb. 13 from 3 to 7 p.m., where you can drop in, express your opinions to officials, and have questions answered.

Contact your legislators, both statewide and federal. Let them know you oppose drilling that will endanger our South Carolina treasure. Let them know you support the renewable energy sources of the future, and oppose the fossil fuels of the past.

If we don't speak up, who will?

Paula Smith

Bluffton

To the Editor:

I would like to thank The Bargain Box of Hilton Head for the generous grant recently awarded to The Foundation for Educational Excellence.

We appreciate that The Bargain Box has been awarding grants to local organizations such as the Foundation since 1970. The most recent grant will be used to support the Foundation's Fall 2018 cycle of Innovative Teacher Grants. Through the generosity of The Bargain Box, Beaufort County teachers will be able to implement innovative programs directly impacting the educational experience of their students.

The Foundation of Educational Excellence was founded in 2007 to support the mission and goals of the Beaufort County Public Schools. Our mission is providing funding for Innovative Teacher Grants that encourage and inspire student achievement through innovative instructional practices. These Innovative Teacher Grants are funded by private donations and grants, such as the one from The Bargain Box of Hilton Head.

In addition, funds are raised at the Foundation's annual event, Jewels and Jeans, held each year on the first Saturday of March at the Country Club of Hilton Head.

Since beginning the Innovative Teacher Grants program in 2009, the Foundation has awarded more than $180,000 in Innovative Grants, offering more than 53,000 student learning opportunities.

Again, the Foundation thanks The Bargain Box of Hilton Head for supporting our ongoing work.

Deborah E. Colella, Ed.D.

Chair

Foundation for Educational Excellence

To the Editor:

Following the shutdown of our government two weeks ago, Mr. McConnell took the floor of the Senate to identify all the negative outcomes from that debacle. His litany of consequences was

hard to hear, but they were accurate.

He then proceeded to chastise his Democratic colleagues for "listening to some bad advice." And he was right.

That advice had come from the President himself, who had pledged in a nationally televised conference to sign any bipartisan bill the members put before him. He pledged to take any and all heat from both sides to get it done.

The next day, he commented on how well his performance had been received. And he was right.

Taking the President at his word, Lindsey Graham and Dick Durbin took a bipartisan agreement to the President. Unfortunately, the public performance was just that, and the President ambushed the two leaders in a stunning reversal of his advice and pledge.

The President is now releasing one press release and tweet after another to place the responsibility of the shutdown on the shoulders of the Democrats. And he is right.

I have to agree with him because the Democrats foolishly took him at his word. If they take him at his word again to resolve this issue, they have no one to blame but themselves. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

In spite of having been taken in by the President's performance, Chuck Schumer said. "This is a Trump shut down."

And he is right.

Ken Reinhardt

Bluffton

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