Editorial

Editorial | World crumbling? Plenty to smile about here at home

July 20, 2013 

Lewis Ocean Bay

Yellow Trumpet pitcher plants grow among long leaf pines along the edge of a dirt road in the 754-acre Vaught tract, which was acquired by EBX, and donated to SCDNR's Heritage Preserve Program on June 25, 2013. The preseve is home to the largest number of undisturbed Carolina Bays in one place in South Carolina.

CHARLES SLATE — cslate@thesunnews.com Buy Photo

Sometimes, when the world outside seems headed in the wrong direction, it is worthwhile to focus on what’s going right in your world.

For those who count their world as Horry County, many such things are worth noting. Here are but a few that have garnered local headlines in the past few weeks:

•  Horry County Police’s new street crime unit | This effort, initiated by Chief Saundra Rhodes late last year, appears to be providing two important public safety duties: providing a designated six-member team to identify and respond quickly to crime trends; and giving patrol officers more opportunity to spend time with victims and other residents in response to individual calls in their areas.

“The beauty of the street crimes unit is that they are not call-responsive,” Lt. Robert Kegler said. “When they were first deployed, they helped solve and stop a rash of armed robberies in the Socastee area.”

•  Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve | The Sun News broke the news that the preserve, home to 23 of the wetlands known as Carolina Bays, had acquired another 754 acres. “Lewis Ocean Bay is just one of the most extremely important ecological features of South Carolina, so this addition is just wonderfully important for the continued function of that property and all the animals and plants that live there,” Dana Beach, director of the Coastal Conservation League, told The Sun News.

That acquisition not only eliminated a large privately held unprotected area amid the preserve, but because it was donated as a wetlands mitigation bank, it means developers or government entities can purchase credits from it so they begin or continue work on projects that impact the environment elsewhere in wetlands-rich Horry County. In this case, it means work could begin on the long-awaited four-laning of Glenns Bay Road, if the proposal receives federal approval.

“Speaking on behalf of the entire Horry County legislative delegation, this is a win for the people of South Carolina and Horry County,” said Rep. Nelson Hardwick, R-Surfside Beach, who chairs the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and was instrumental in swaying the delegation’s vote.

•  Myrtle Beach International Airport | Not only did the airport open its new terminal this spring, air travel here is again on an upswing. The airport logged its fifth consecutive month of passenger growth in June, after a 16 percent decline in 2012 following the loss of Myrtle Beach-based Direct Air.

“I think [June’s numbers] are a sign that a turnaround is well underway,” said Myrtle Beach spokesman Mark Kruea. “They seem to be recovering this summer ... Things are looking up.”

We know it’s easy to find things to complain about, (we’ve been known to do so once our twice ourselves) but we find that recognizing some of the good things going on in our corner of the world is a much better use of our time.

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