Taxes and tourism

This weekend’s flooding in downtown Charleston served as another reminder of the inequity and folly of diverting tax revenue to support tourism.

Downtown residents and taxpayers suffer the inconvenience of flooding and the expense of repairing flooded automobiles so the city can use tax revenue to promote tourism rather than maintain and repair streets and drainage.

How can taxpayers persuade the administration to change its priorities so tax-paying residents, rather than tourists, receive the major benefits of their taxes?

F. Jack Herrmann

Queen Street

Charleston

Good role model

Newly appointed Sen. Tim Scott certainly is remembering where he came from. How good to read The Post and Courier coverage of his recent visit to his alma mater, Stall High School.

The highlight of that visit must have been his honoring principal Lynda Davis who helped him during his trying high school years.

Several months ago Sen. Scott read a book to second graders when he visited their Goose Creek school. I wrote the class a letter because I was curious about the book.

They answered me with enthusiasm about a doggy picture book. The students hope he will return to read some more.

Your coverage of these two events mean a lot to me and the elementary and high school students.

Martha F. Barkley

Shadowcreek Court

Charleston

It’s about equality

I am saddened at the views published in a letter to the editor equating homosexuals in society to a group of people now “allowed” to shower together. In the writer’s view, he should be allowed to shower with women in the military.

Hardly, sir. The issue is equality, not some perverse and fantastical view of showering together.

I remind those who tend to have runaway imaginations about gay and lesbian individuals that gay and lesbian people want the same thing as all others in society — equality in marriage, rights and freedoms. Anything less than equality for all citizens is, frankly, un-American and unpatriotic.

It is a threat to our national order, if not downright hateful.

Bryan Thompson

Tidal Creek Cove

Charleston

Point to yourself

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered fiery testimony Jan. 23, before the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees, regarding the Ben-ghazi attack. She assumed full responsibility for the terrible tragedy.

She also noted that lawmakers had the responsibility to fund security-related budget requests. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., espoused rather robustly, “If you worked for me I would fire you for not doing your job.”

Excuse me, sir, we believe all those who have placed our country in financial jeopardy over the past 10 years should be fired. Concerned more with winning re-election and losing big business financial support, our elected officials have stalled. They are, however, top performers in the art of distraction.

Perhaps Mr. Johnson has forgotten, but he was part of the Congress that underfunded two wars, which caused the death of thousands of our sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, and thousands more of those wounded physically and mentally. Can he tell me whom we should blame for this?

Congress.

And where are the people of this country? They do not listen, do not read, and do not care. They allowed this to happen with their votes of approval when elected officials failed to do their job.

By the way, a temporary pay cut for Congress is insufficient, especially when all will receive full pay at end of session. Fire them now.

Shirley Berardo

Anthony Berardo

Schooner Bend Avenue

Summerville

Heart disease

I read with interest Jennifer Berry Hawes article “Seeing red for awareness,” and congratulate her on raising awareness about the issue and prevalence of heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

However, her piece didn’t inform your readers about what they can do to screen themselves for this serious medical condition.

One of the simplest ways to determine one’s risk for future heart disease is through a laboratory test panel called a lipid profile.

The lipid profile is used as part of an overall assessment to help determine an individual’s risk of heart disease and to help make decisions about what treatment may be best if there is borderline or high risk.

The results of the lipid profile are considered along with other known risk factors of heart disease to develop a plan of treatment and follow-up.

Jason DuBois

Owner

Any Lab Test Now

Ashley River Road

Charleston

Domestic violence

This past week both South Carolina Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

This act, among other things, provides funding for the STOP Violence Against Women program in South Carolina. This program prosecutes domestic violence and sexual assault cases and trains law enforcement, judges, prosecutors and victim advocates throughout the state about the causes, effects and laws pertaining to those crimes.

The VAWA and its funds are especially needed in South Carolina. This state was rated number two in the country in 2010 for the number of women murdered by men. (Violence Policy Center Report 2012).

I was interested in learning why they both chose to vote against this important bill. I have written them letters asking that very question and hope to receive answers shortly.

P.B. Travis, Ph.D.

E. Cooper Avenue

Folly Beach

Enforce speed limit

Over the last several years, I’ve traveled up and down the I-26 corridor that is under fire for excessive fatalities. It’s a beautiful drive. I, and many like me, enjoy that drive because of the very reason that the median isn’t just plain old grass.

Removing the trees, thousands of trees, is not the solution to saving the reckless drivers screaming down the freeway — enforcing the speed limit is.

Put the $5 million that will be spent tearing up nature’s beauty into enforcement.

Rarely, in all those years have I seen a patrolman actually pull anyone over, despite the many drivers blowing past me at well over 70 mph. It sounds like a better investment of that money than tearing up the trees. But no, instead the state has chosen to set up I-26 like a bumper bowling lane, clear the scenery and punish the many because of the poor choices of a few.

Jalon Jackson

Plantation Circle

Hanahan

Gun control

Your recent article, “2 rivals in 1st District clash over gun control,” quoting Elizabeth Colbert-Busch and Ben Frasier, caused me to chuckle. Colbert-Busch said, “We have to look at background checks, at least start there with low-hanging fruit.” (I agree.)

Then Frasier disagreed saying, “You should have that prerogative to buy an assault or any other kind of weapon you desire and use your common sense.”

I had to laugh that this politician believes that all people actually use their common sense. As the saying goes, “Common sense is not so common.”

Look what happens when alcohol or drugs enter the picture. Common sense definitely goes out the window.

Today’s alcohol and drug culture certainly adds weight to the wisdom of making assault rifles and any rapid-fire weapon, and respective ammunition, available only to the military and law enforcement. In the light of this, universal background checks are definitely a no-brainer.

Sister Mary T. NeaL

Fort Johnson Road

Charleston