Posted on January 19, 2021
Certain letters on the keyboard of the Beacon-issued MacBook I’ve been using these past few years are starting to fade from overuse.
They’re mostly the ones used to spell out the words “dredge” and “dredging.”
The G and I are still visible, but the D, R, E and N have seen better days. I know they’re there. I just can’t see them very well.
This doesn’t matter too much, for anyone who has ever successfully completed a basic typing class, better known as “keyboarding” in the 21st century.
The dimming-letters dilemma underscores my appreciation for the typing class I took a few decades ago in high school, when my classmates and I mastered the basic “home” hands position on a roomful of olive green IBM Selectrics without having to look at the keys. To this day it’s still one of the most valuable classes I ever took.
I blame the town of Sunset Beach, of course, for some of those worn-out letters, because I’ve been covering the D-word topic there for at least a good half-decade with no resolution in sight.
Along with a lot of other things we need to pray for in the New Year, foremost on my list is that the town get this multi-million-dollar issue resolved ASAP. My keyboard needs the break.
So far, along with a lot of other hot topics having to do with the pandemic and D.C., aka “The Swamp,” things aren’t looking so great for baby 2021, which a couple of weeks ago asked old-man 2020 to “hold my beer.”
On all sides, dredging keeps getting dredged up and has become as divided an issue locally as all the unfortunate events on the national scene.
This is because people who live along canals on the Sunset Beach island definitely Want. Dredging. Now. They can barely get their boats in the water at high tide. And for low tide, you can fuhgeddaboutit. That’s when they and their fellow visiting navigators find themselves stuck, dragging bottom and paddling muck.
They keep getting delayed by assorted permitting and agency snafus I spend way too much time writing about and trying to understand, as my keyboard can attest.
There’s also a faction of residents on the opposing side questioning and scrutinizing the process at every turn, citing environmental concerns that they send to the decider agencies too many times to know.
One of the most vocal is former town councilman and mayor Richard Cerrato, who recently wrote an email faulting the Beacon for its lack of coverage. (Say what? say my worn-out keyboard and fingers.)
“Knowing all of the manipulations and conflict of intertest concerns that have plagued this program for the past 6 years and the public information that has been provided to the Beacon that they failed to report has only created the perception that the Beacon is no longer objective or free demonstrated by their continued silence,” Cerrato wrote in an email last week to town council members, town officials and me.
“Sadly, this is not the same Beacon that has protected the taxpayers by exposing and in their editorials the many the irregularities including the potential rightful taxpayer ownership of Mad-Inlet,” wrote the former personnel director at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.
“BTW this is the same developer that claimed they owned Mad-Inlet, that proposed to dredge South Jinks Creek, but this time, the Beacon is hiding,” he wrote. “Why?”
If I ever make sense of Cerrato’s own keyboard issues this brand new January, I resolve not to be offended.
Laura Lewis is assistant editor at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.