dutch dialogues

The Bridge Pointe neighborhood in Shadowmoss was flooded after Tropical Storm Irma flooded the area in 2017. Organizers of the Dutch Dialogue are working out a strategy of how to live with too much water and use what we have at hand. file/staff

The intent of the Dutch Dialogues is to go to the root of a community’s philosophy about excess water and its responses to it.

For us, it has been to master water by walling it off and pumping it out. What the Dutch have evolved is a strategy for storing and controlling the release of the water, using available land forms to safely live with, or accommodate, excess water.

Living with the water and using what we have at hand is what the Dutch Dialogues are about.

Dutch Dialogues reaffirms some Charleston flood fixes, suggests some tweaks

For five days, our local leaders and Dutch experts worked collaboratively using intense research and focused examinations to outline viable solutions to be presented Sept. 26 at the Gaillard Center.

Preliminary recommendations on July 19 focused on four typical land form uses that offer solutions and can be extended to address flooding and sea level rise challenges for the long haul.

All our cities and towns need tested solutions because we have the same land forms, so paying attention is important for us all.

There is a fundamental fork in our wet roads and communities for us to choose in the fall: push against or accept excess water. Do we take the route less traveled and all that comes with that choice, or do we continue condemning water bombs or throw up our hands?

Nothing is being rubber-stamped, reaffirmed or tweaked by the Dutch process. For us to stay here, it will take the full Dutch focus.

Flooding is existential for all of us as it is in the Netherlands. We have yet to find a way in the last 50-100 years for all of us to exist here safely and affordably. But that is what the Dutch process points toward.

Already in our region, development and employment are moving north and inland to drier land, thereby avoiding the extra costs of high water.

Our imperative is to find and implement a flood protection strategy that will work in this real low world. Otherwise, the policy will be attrition.

No amount of investment in the I-526 project will stanch the shift because this choice forgoes stormwater protections until after 2030, making this road fundamentally unwise.


S.C. Highway 174

Edisto Island

Pay to Play Act

Kudos to Post and Courier sports columnist Gene Sapakoff for his sharp and progressive views regarding California’s Fair Pay to Play Act.

It is important to recognize the law would not allow universities to pay collegiate athletes, but rather prohibit the NCAA from penalizing athletes for seeking compensation from outside sources.

Sapakoff: Name, image and likeness all part of SEC, ACC hypocrisy

The law will not take effect until 2023, which gives the NCAA more than enough time to change its ancient regulations.

Academic scholarship students are allowed to monetize their name, image and likeness without fear of losing their grant-in-aid.

Performing arts students are encouraged to and even required to secure paid engagements to retain their scholarships.

But since 1948, the NCAA has denied athletes these same rights. Seventy years later, revenue from sports media deals, team-licensed products, and now legal SEC- and ACC-state approved wagering on NCAA sports totals over $1 billion s a year. The NCAA’s impassioned defense of amateurism, which is still tied the revenue it earned in 1949, is no longer credible.

I look forward to a South Carolina Fair Pay to Play Act being introduced in the 2020 legislative session.


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Calm Water Way


Posts not filled

Of the 723 key positions in the federal government needing Senate confirmation, President Donald Trump had filled only 464 as of July 12.

There are various reasons for this, including a touch of partisan politics.

Complicating the matter, the president has had to fill some positions multiple times because his choices failed to meet one standard or another of performance. Several of these lapses have included serious legal trouble.

In April, it was the wholesale purging and disruption of the leadership at the Department of Homeland Security. Most recently, it was the resignation of the Secretary of Labor over his handling of a sex crimes case when he was the U.S. Attorney in Miami in 2007. This trend should be troubling and for good reason.

When job openings occur, it’s a fact that bosses often lean toward hiring people like themselves.

Clearly, Trump falls into this category of bosses. Looking back only a few years, Trump has hired many key people who appear to think like him, have similar values and/or behave like he does.

I believe a person’s future behavior tends to follow that of their recent past. To me, this indicates that Trump’s coming appointments will continue to include more characters of a controversial and disruptive nature.

Someone needs to get ahead of the curve on this with the president before the federal government is totally dysfunctional and failing its citizenry catastrophically.


Axtell Drive