Supporters of the proposed Linger Longer project on Jekyll Island, including the Jekyll Island Authority (JIA), make no attempt to reconcile the project with past planning or other informed analysis of the public’s preferences for revitalizing this cherished coastal state park.
Curiously, neither the Jekyll Island Master Plan, the still unfinished and unadopted conservation plan, nor any reference to the promised evaluation of capacity is being used to justify the scale, location, or design of the project now being promoted. What is the point of doing such planning studies if they are summarily ignored when development decisions are made?
In fact, neither the location nor the size of the Linger Longer project is justified by any past studies or plans for the island. To the contrary, areas of highly important maritime forest and wetlands identified in the Jekyll Island conservation plan, including habitat for critical species, would be unnecessarily degraded or destroyed by the project being proposed. And it must be made clear that the project site itself is the cause for many of these conflicts, yet is was the only location offered by the JIA to the developers.
Moreover, extensive polling of some 6,000 visitors by the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island clearly indicates that the proposal is way beyond the bounds of what the vast majority want to see on the island.
No one questions that many of the existing beach-side hotels need to be revamped or replaced. But there is utterly no justification on record for a project in this state park adding more than 1500 rooms, including hundreds of privately owned condominiums and time-share units.
Equally unexplained is the location of this massive project, which would impose densely developed shops and condos in an open area presently offering an unimpeded view of the ocean. This area also includes the most popular location for beach access by the visiting public.
At the heart of this issue is the lack of transparency and public involvement in the planning process, which has inevitably resulted in the high level of controversy about the project.
The JIA should take a step back and honorably reconsider their obligation to serve Georgia’s citizens. This should lead to a truly legitimate planning process involving ample public participation supported by objective analysis of environmental and capacity factors that are critical to a responsible outcome, including alternative sites. Otherwise, the treasured character of this unique state park will be lost forever to the public for whom it was created.David KylerDirector, Center for a Sustainable Coast
This Bush administration has proven itself hostile to the American basic rights as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. They have allowed this Iraq war to develop into a quagmire reminiscent of the Vietnam War. This administration with the help and support of the Republican Party have taken this nation and turned it into a state for the government, by the government, and of the government.
This country is one election away from an Oligarchy form of government in which a few persons hold the ruling power, and is well under way of becoming a system of government in which a dictator and a single party have absolute power over the politics, industry, etc. of this country, and seek to stay in power by promoting nationalism, racism, and militarism, as in Italy under Mussolini and in Nazi Germany this will be the beginning of the end when Americans liberty and freedoms will die.William Alford Perry
The article entitled “Oceans in Trouble” by Sharon Guynup impacted me so much that sleep wasn’t possible at all. It had me wandering what was killing the bees off.Global Warming is rarely discussed in the media. We have only one Earth. Mass extinction is a remote possibility and thats not fair to other lifeforms that help keep the environment sound.
Each and ever creature should do its part to maintain the balance of life. That’s our only purpose here on this planet.The show on PBS called Wired Science aired an episode on the floating debris in the Pacific Ocean called “The Great Garbage Patch.” The word patch as used is misleading because the plastic accumulated there is the size of a continent.
We need a better recycling program that should be world-wide.Environmental education and control should be top priority and should not be just ignored or shall we say swept under the rug.
Since this editorial deals with art maybe the paper could do a piece on Chris Jordan’s work. It deals with the environment and is phenomenal. His works defy words.The Popular Science web page has an environmental section article called “A Picture is Worth a Thousand Statistics.”
Overpopulation is the cause of all of societies ills. Environmental pollution is serious. Billions of dollars are spent on things which are futile in comparison with the big picture. Education and recycling is the key to control this already unstable situation.The planet is in peril so let’s be diligent.William Brown
I’d like to comment on something you mentioned in one of your editor’s columns recently. You said that you had heard from a reader who thought you and the paper should return to issues of city interest. I very much agree, and I am sure that many if not most of your readers feel the same.
There is no need to read Connect to find out anything about Obama, for instance, or any other nationally known politician. The airways, the media generally, the internet, etc. are glutted with such stuff.
In that regard, I suggest that you free up valuable space by getting rid of junk like Blotter and News of the Weird and begin a regular column in which the citizens can ask questions of the city councillors hor Mayor and one of your reporters could try to get a response.
One other vital and original column might allow people to express their ideas for improvements that could be implemented here to all our advantage, or which are working well elsewhere and should be tried. During this time of national electioneering, it is important to remember that most of the basic decisions affecting the lives of Savannahians are taken in this town itself and for any kind of democratic governance to happen, individuals have to have a real voice in the system, not merely an empty vote.
Your paper is the perfect venue in which to find out what kind of a town people want, and what’s on their mind. Everything else is advertising.Sam Wannaker
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Thanks for the thorough report!
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