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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Please stop these projects

I have been a resident of Beaufort for 81 years, and for the past 53 years my residence has been an historic house in Beaufort’s downtown Historic District that is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places and on the Historic American Buildings Survey. I am also a lawyer and an owner of significant commercial properties in the downtown Historic District.

For a variety of legal and historic reasons, I am adamantly opposed to the proposed three massive structures that will destroy the ambiance and uniqueness of Beaufort’s historic downtown. These structures are designed and intended to convert downtown into a convention/shopping center with the proposed massive hotel/apartment building/parking garage being the anchor (Marriott hotel complex) and the existing businesses the ancillary retail shops.

If this proposal comes to fruition, with the passage of time, downtown Beaufort will become filled with national-chain stores as replacements to local ownership just like every other shopping center/strip mall in America. As icing on the “cake”, this outrageous threat to everything that is unique about Beaufort has been approved through decisions made by people who (i) have made light of the National Park Service’s concerns, (ii) appear to be deeply involved in financial conflicts of interest, and (iii) in my opinion as a lawyer, are in clear violation of the very city laws that are intended to preserve Historic Beaufort.

Please use the powers of the National Parks Service to stop these projects and preserve the unique treasure that is Historic Beaufort.

Thank you.

– George Graham Trask, owner of the Thomas Fuller House (Tabby Manse) at 1211 Bay Street and co-owner of The Fordham Building at the corner of Bay and Carteret streets.

Note: This letter was originally sent to the National Park Service and copied to Mayor Stephen Murray and the Beaufort City Council, along with local media.

We need dialogue now more than ever

On return home after a month with our daughter in London for the holidays, it was great to see my mail included a number of The Island News weekly. I found myself wanting to respond specifically to a piece in the Voices section from a “fiscal conservative” concerned he might have to give up his “gas guzzler.”

Apparently concerned that the electric grid might ultimately fail to support conversion to electric cars?

It boggles my mind how denial of climate realities allows some to be blind to the vast job-cresting potential of Biden’s Build back legislation– which includes extra funds to radically update the electric grid. If for no other reason than his grandchildren’s tenuous future, I hope Mr. Conservative wakes up that we are in this together and will, for once in his life, vote for the common good.

But more important is the fact that I suddenly appreciated deeply that (The Island News) invites and does publish disparate points of view, and am thankful for that. I dream that someone will organize a safely distanced forum for folks to come together to discuss their often completely opposing viewpoints (Mayor? USC Beaufort? the Interfaith Coalition?).

We need this now, more than ever. I invite response at tturtledodds@aol.com.

– Tim Dodds, Beaufort

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