Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Editor's note: Due to a layout issue in the print edition of this week's Moultrie News the letter entitled SNOBS was combined with a letter entitled Squad 504. This has been corrected and the proper signatures assigned to the corresponding letters. The Moultrie News regrets the error.
Would it be too much to ask the Congress, who we elected to represent us, to pass some important bills before the November elections instead of spending time and money to get re-elected.
The three important issues which are long overdue for me are: Afghanistan, immigration and Obamacare reform.
Congress needs to get busy and seek a compromise to get these essential and important issues resolved. Continued failure to do so will be noticed and taken into account in the November elections.
FIFA will make around $2 to $3 billion from the World Cup in Brazil. They have been granted exemption from taxes and will keep these obscene profits to take back to their bulging cache in Zurich.
Brazil's majority population urgently needs schools, hospitals and public transport. When the World Cup is over, Blatter and his dollar-bloated cohorts will walk away with the money, leaving behind herds of “white elephant” stadia that will be totally underutilized.
Nice one, Sepp Blatter – bet you are glad your country still allows numbered bank accounts. Your declared net worth of $10 million (U.S.) is probably grossly understated. Time to purge opaque FIFA – who answers to no one, other than self-serving Blatter.
David J. Waldron
A few snobs
Recently, I posted the following comment on Facebook regarding the developer of a Mount Pleasant Class A office building's comments that he plans to continue plans to build a 42,000-square-foot office building, with a two-level parking deck, near Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant:
“Parking Garage – Mt. P: Why not honor the fact the developer did everything legal? He invested hundreds of thousands into engineering and planning and now a few snobs in Mount Pleasant want to stop growth to ‘save' Shem Creek. You want to save Shem Creek? Help the shrimpers. The people battling this garage to ‘save' Shem Creek are the same people who eat shrimp from Thailand. They have no interest in helping anyone but themselves. This is a community of thousands of people (not an elite few) and we ought to respect the rights of property owners and stop being so restrictive.”
While that comment may have been a bit all-inclusive, it is rooted in the passion that two sides of this argument feel. And it's apparent that many of the most vocal opponents of this do eat local shrimp, but my greater point is that not enough people in Mount Pleasant and Charleston are eating local shrimp (we need more). And, granted, at least thousands of people are talking about a real issue of preference in the community instead of what pop-idiot Justin Beiber said four years ago. That's progress.
That said, it has been my position that we all can agree on a few points: 1) Save the shrimping industry. 2) Maintain the integrity of Shem Creek. 3) Constantly strive to make Mount Pleasant a better place.
However, the vigorous debate begins on how to achieve those points. The problem is that a few “snobs,” who wish only to preserve the way Mount Pleasant used to be, will attempt to block anything for which they personally don't approve. What is a snob? A snob is someone who thinks their status is greater than the human worth or status of another. Someone who believes, “I grew up here” or “I've been here longer” is more important to the debate than someone newer and with different ideas. If you believe this building should not be built because you grew up here and it's going to change the way your city feels, then you are at risk of being a snob. If you believe it shouldn't be built because of some economic, criminal or traffic issue, then we can save the labels for another issue. An elite few do not get to make decisions for 72,000 people who live in Mount Pleasant.
But, the real snobs are only a small few of the opponents, not all of them. I wish I had clarified. The rest of the opponents are just not informed as to the real facts, a common plague of America today. Some group dislikes something so they distort and lie to gain support for a fraud. Welcome to 2014 America. Better put: a few snobs decide against something and they frame the debate (with false information) to mislead the people who won't read the details to garner support.
At first, even I fell for the fact it was a parking garage and not an office building.
So what are the facts? This is a 52-foot 4-inch building with two floors of Class A office space and a two-level garage beneath it. No different than the blue building which is directly on Shem Creek; it passed and was built and it has parking beneath it. This building is also a “football field” off Shem Creek. In fact, it's on the corner of Mill and Coleman. How tall is 52 feet? It's roughly the height of the lighthouse next to Red's Ice House. And what is the biggest reason we shouldn't build this so-called parking garage? The answer: it will forever change the essence and view of Shem Creek.
So on the latter, I set out to prove myself wrong and the “snobs” right. I took my trusty camera to Red's Ice House, walked the docks and attempted to photograph (from Shem Creek) the 50-foot-tall lighthouse from any angle. I even climbed on the rails to see if I could get a glimpse. Not only could I not photograph it from any angle at any point on Shem Creek, I had to climb nearly to the second level of Red's Ice House to even get a glimpse of it. At this level, I contend, you “might” get a glimpse of this office building/parking garage from the deck of Red's Ice House and you'd have to have a building burn down to see it from the creek. In other words, I'd have better odds of drowning in the creek while trying to see the building than actually seeing the building from the creek (and I'm a pretty good swimmer).
Many of the people who have attacked me, saying things like “We won't have this in our town,” “Where are you from?” and “Where do you get your shrimp?” are missing the point I'm trying to make, yet proving my point exactly. As a Mount Pleasant business owner, a long-term resident of nearly two decades and a commercial and residential property owner, it seems the only thing that gives credibility is that I needed to have grown up here to have a strong opinion. If not, I'm wrong! Personally, I think that is snobbish and so does about 50,000 of our neighbors who quietly shake their head in awe at such an attitude.
That said, this building has nothing to do with Shem Creek, will not change its view and is not a parking garage. How much progress would be made if all this energy and all of this debate was solely focused on saving shrimping, the true essence and heritage of Shem Creek?
It should be noted, based on the article in the June 11 issue of the Moultrie News, that the formation of Squad 504, with the addition of a new and advanced Chevy Tahoe, designed for paramedic-level care in Mount Pleasant, was discussed and passed on as a primary consideration and suggestion several years ago by a group of citizens tasked by then-Administrator Mac Burdette to find fiscally efficient alternatives to then-current operational procedures and protocols in the town. Using smaller, more fuel efficient and cheaper operations costs SUVs, instead of the larger fire-fighting trucks for paramedic/medical response, was one of several no-brainer suggestions placed on that list and it is nice to see this become reality, first with the smaller SUVs and now with the more dedicated Tahoe vehicle.
With an aging population, fire department calls for medical emergencies easily outpace actual fire-fighting emergencies and these SUVs will save lives, save money and save wear and tear on the expensive, larger and less-accessible fire-fighting vehicles.
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