To the Editor:

Protecting Bluffton’s May River is a big task and Bluffton representatives are grateful for the more than 250 volunteers who contributed to the 15th annual May River Cleanup, held April 25.

Together with the Town’s educational initiative, Neighbors for Clean Water, Town representatives are grateful for the following event partners: Palmetto Pride, Keep America Beautiful, Experience Green, The Outside Foundation, i2 Recycle, Walmart, Starbucks, Marshgrass Adventures, Outside Hilton Head, Bluffton Rotary and the Beaufort County Solid Waste & Recycling Division.

In one day, volunteers removed 1,691 pounds of debris from the May River, her banks and nearby streets. Nearly 60 percent of the litter collected that day was recycled and composted.

The Town and its annual cleanups are part of the Great American Cleanup, a Keep America Beautiful campaign. Cleanup and litter reduction efforts help protect and enhance our region’s natural resources.

A Palmetto Pride Community Pride grant awarded to the Town of Bluffton has allowed us to continue reducing litter in Bluffton. Grant funds have enabled the Town to purchase an additional May River Watershed road sign, two waste receptacles for Oyster Factory Park and supplies for the two annual river cleanups.

Palmetto Pride is a legislative initiative created to help fight litter issues in the state.

As a Town, we are grateful for each individual and organization that continues to contribute to our mission of protecting the May River. If you would like to volunteer or learn more about stormwater education programs, please contact me at blewis@townof

Beth Lewis

Town of Bluffton

To the Editor:

I have yet to read in newspapers and view on TV news the action by apparently government, with the suppression and removal of Christianity from the United States military. I assume then that the following could be taken away from today’s military?

“The blessing and protection of heaven are at all times necessary but especially so in times of public distress and danger. The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man will endeavor to live and act as becomes a Christian soldier defending the dearest rights and liberties of his country.” – Gen. George Washington, 1776

Walter F. Heydt

Springfield, Ga.

To the Editor:

Has our State government been infected with the dreaded Washington disease? The disease acquired from gridlock, dysfunction and lack of progress in addressing our many challenges.

Our legislators recessed without agreement on a much-needed ethics bill, funding for our deteriorating infrastructure and moving H3177, Convention of States Project, out of Committee.

Our Governor criticizes legislators who do not always march to her drumbeat, yet ignores her responsibility to confront the immediate need to repair our state’s roads and bridges by moving forward with an increase in the “user fee” (gas tax), third lowest in the nation.

Meanwhile, a filibuster stymied further action to the frustration of the Senate Majority Leader, who found it inconceivable that agreement could not be reached to protect our citizen’s safety.

All of this, while we have a tax structure where primary property owners pay no school tax, with a maximum sales tax of $300 on vehicles regardless of price, where a retired couple earning $70,000 can pay no state income tax using only the standard deductions.

No wonder we rank nationally, 49th in educational expenditures, 49th in high school graduates and 4th highest in teen pregnancies.

We may be willing to invest in more taxes, but only when we see dedicated funding for our infrastructure, tax reform, significant progress in education and ethical administration by our leaders. We can and must do better.

May the Charleston tragedy bring us together in unity of purpose to improve our state.

Earle Everett

Hilton Head Island