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10-year NMB residents
say festival not the bad guy
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First, I am a 67-year-old white woman, and a Republican. We have lived in North Myrtle Beach for 10 years, and have experienced Harley week and Bikefest up close and personal. We knew these events were part of the deal when we moved here.
We are not motorcycle people. We drive a Kia. In Horry County in 2012 there were 18 homicides, and in 2013 there were nine homicides. By the end of May, according to my research on the Horry County site, there had been seven homicides.
I voted for Nikki Haley and normally agree with her views, but this time I believe she is off base. Jake Evans, the mayor of Atlantic Beach makes more sense. He said: "You can't blame shootings in Myrtle Beach on Bikefest." My husband Gene drove through Atlantic Beach last Monday and Friday. He delivers Mobile Meals to shut ins in the North Strand. He had no problems. I drove past there to go to the mall. I had no problems. The tourists in Atlantic Beach and the residents were having fun and were respectful. Some young men in Myrtle Beach with bad intentions went in a hotel and killed 3 other young men. Very sad and very pointless — murder always is sad and pointless. What does that have to do with Bikefest?
North Myrtle Beach
Tutors needed to halt
summer reading slide
Every teacher reading this knows that over the summer, their students will lose some of what they've learned in reading, and they'll have to repeat some of it at the start of the next school year. When it comes to reading, that "slide" is magnified in our children who live in lower income communities, who do not have ready access to the kinds of things that would mitigate that learning loss.
And every graduation day in Horry County is missing anywhere from a quarter to a third of students who just never finished — because when a child starts behind and falls further behind, at some point they just give up. This is a nearly criminal waste of the best asset we have — the innate potential of our young people.
Yet every person able to read this letter is capable of turning that dynamic on its head. If you can sit and read with a child once a week for eight weeks, and help them choose a book that lights them up each week to carry home, you have the power to make a lasting change in the trajectory of that child's life. Freedom Readers is in need of a few more tutors willing to spend fewer than two hours a week, either in Myrtle Beach on Tuesdays at 2:45 p.m. or in Conway on Mondays at 2:45 p.m. You can make a huge difference in the life of one child, and thus in our community. To apply go to www.FreedomReaders.org or call 843-421-4589.
The writer is interim executive director of Freedom Readers.
Guns don’t kill people,
people with guns kill people
As I read coverage of concerns about whether the recent shootings will scare vacationers away from Myrtle Beach I am dumbstruck and amazed at our leaders' apparent obliviousness to the direct link between laws and outcomes.
South Carolina is a state that is concerned about individual rights to the extent that anyone can ride a motorcycle without a helmet, but unconcerned about the fact that accidents produce traumatic head injuries that result in major health care costs that must be absorbed by someone (often the state). South Carolina wants citizens to be able to buy a gun and carry it concealed (translation: hidden so potential victims are unaware of the danger they face) but then is shocked and distraught that the people carrying these hidden guns get in arguments and pull the guns out and start shooting. Duh.
Why would you carry a concealed weapon into a social situation unless you anticipated a need to shoot it? Are the legislators unable to make the connection that if you support allowing your citizens and visitors to engage in potentially dangerous behaviors then you will get dangerous and often lethal outcomes?
Carolina Shores, N.C.