Realize what we have here

My husband and I first visited Beaufort in spring 1977. In our early 30s, from upstate New York, we were delighted with the history that existed in Beaufort, both in the buildings that had been preserved and the special, calm southern ambiance.

At the Visitors’ Counter, the gentleman, maybe a retiree, expressed some surprise at our very enthusiastic interest in Beaufort. He directed us to the newly restored Verdier House.

I will never forget the final words he spoke to us … “I guess we don’t really realize what we have here.”

Sadly, his words ring too true today in the plans for development along Port Republic Street of a parking garage and four-story hotel. This kind of land use destroys the feel of the historic area by commercializing it.

As only one square mile, why can’t Beaufort cherish it as an irreplaceable heritage? Other communities have managed to do so like Ocean Grove and Cape May in New Jersey, Deerfield, Mass., or Madison, Ga.

Beaufort is no less significant to our American heritage. Please save its special historical ambiance, architecture and beauty. Please do not sell out your birthright for money.

– Mary Britton, Bluffton

We need ‘Broken Taillights’ traffic policing

When I moved to Beaufort from Virginia 30-plus years ago, I received an updated auto insurance bill. To my surprise the S.C. bill was considerably higher than Virginia’s. Somewhat shocked I called USAA to complain. The response was, “South Carolina has the some of the worst roads and the worst drivers in the country.”

It did not take long to see how correct the response was. The situation has not improved. Locally, driver conduct in Beaufort County has gone rapidly downhill:


50/55 in 35/40 zones on Ribaut Road;

No lane change signaling, weaving in and out;

Failure to turn into the closest lane at intersections;

Tailgating and other aggressive driving;

Rolling through stop signs;

80 MPH over the McTeer Bridge;

Worst of all – Running stop lights – Our 4-second yellow lights are timed for the legal speed limit. The Virginia yellow lights are mostly 5 seconds or higher depending on the posted limits, still a lot of rear-enders because of traffic cameras. Just because the light is green for you, don’t go until you look left.

Historically, much big city crime was brought under control by “Broken Windows” policing, which focused on the totality of the law.

It might be time for the Sheriff and local city police departments to institute a traffic version of “Broken Windows” policing. Maybe the County Council could get interested.

– Carter Swenson, Beaufort

SC needs a hate crimes law

South Carolina remains one of only two states without a hate crimes law on the books. I am writing to encourage my fellow voters to urge your representatives to support the Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act, which would allow prosecutors to seek additional punishment for anyone convicted of a violent crime that was based on race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, sexual orientation or physical or mental disability of the victim.

– Carol Brown, Beaufort

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Letter to the Editor

re: Terry Manning’s op-ed I read with great interest Terry Manning’s op-ed in the Feburary 21-March