Try hedgerows

A letter writer in the March 6 edition may have hit upon a good idea concerning the removal of trees along I-26. Plant hedgerows. While living in England in a house named “Hollybank” (for good reason) our son was learning to drive and practicing his skills by backing up our long driveway.

The word “skills” is debatable as you will see. Since there was no rear view mirror, he opened the door slightly in order to look back and see where he was going, and to his great surprise, the edge of the door caught on the holly hedge and bent it completely in half.

I chuckle now, in memory, but maybe hedgerows would be a good answer along with immediate banishment of talking and texting on cell phones.

The trees aren’t causing the problem. The hedgerows might save money, scenic beauty and lives.

Sarah Darwin

Bishop Gadsden Way

Charleston

Tea Party menace

There’s a plot under way to undermine our government by destroying its capacity to do the public’s business and breeding distrust among the populace.

These plotters have infiltrated Congress and state legislatures by reshaping their districts, and have used talk radio and right-wing pundits to spread lies about government. Their goal is to dismantle the government piece by piece.

No, it’s not the Taliban or al Qaeda. It’s the Tea Party. It has taken control of the Republican party and rendered House Speaker John Boehner helpless to compromise on anything with Democrats and President Obama.

As long as we Americans continue to allow a radical minority to hold us hostage to its extremism, we are destined to face a future of dysfunctional government and its eventual downfall.

CARL NANDRASY

Olympic Lane

Mount Pleasant

Generous support

I want to express my appreciation to the federal community for their generous support of the Combined Federal Campaign, the charitable fundraising campaign for all federal employees.

I am pleased with the success that our federal community has achieved this year. Each year, the men and women who serve our country help to save lives by providing basic needs to those less fortunate here and around the globe, educating our future leaders, supporting our veterans, protecting the Earth’s natural resources, and beyond.

Their generosity, despite challenging times, raised over $1.8 million this year in the Coastal Carolina CFC campaign, a 20 percent increase over last year.

I am proud to be a member of the CFC community. This year our CFC theme is “Together, We Can Make a Difference.”

It takes one person to change one life. Together, we can build a better world.

Jamie McKanna

Director

Coastal Carolina Combined Federal Campaign

Rivers Avenue

North Charleston

Schools chief

Like many other people I have spoken with, I’m fed up with career politicians who are not getting the job done. We’ve become so politicized that getting anything done is nearly impossible.

Education is important to our state’s future, and we cannot continue to let politicians be elected to run the schools. The superintendent of education is an elected position, but it shouldn’t be.

The Legislature is deciding whether to make it a position appointed by the governor, thereby allowing for a professional to run our schools, not a politician.

This change must take place. We cannot afford more career politicians using the office as a launching pad to a political career.

He should focus on what is right, appropriate and best for our children. It’s time for a change, and it’s time for our elected officials to take action.

Mark Smith

Canebreak Lane

Mount Pleasant

Proud granddad

My grandson Jack recently broke his arm. When my daughter brought him home from the doctors, he had a pink cast on his arm.

I asked him why he had a pink cast? “You are going to be laughed at and bullied,” I said.

Jack, who is 12, answered back:

“Poppy, I put pink on my cast to show support for women’s breast cancer research.”

He made me proud. It made an old man’s day.

George Murray

Trillium Avenue

Summerville

Time to talk taxes

I appreciate the op-eds from Sen. Fritz Hollings to promote his ideas for solving the U.S. fiscal crisis and to help us promote U.S.-made products throughout the world.

I think there is a single word that describes why the time for his ideas has come: congruence.

Our system for raising revenue for the federal government is out of sync with the rest of the world. The result is that foreign-made products appear cheaper than ours, and ours are not competitive in much of the world.

Often this is not because our manufacturing costs are so much higher, rather that our corporate tax system penalizes profits on goods made for export.

Most, if not all, European and Asian countries use the value-added tax system, imposed ultimately on consumers of goods.

Goods that are exported do not incur the tax, and taxes on corporate profits are typically much lower than here. At the same time, goods exported from the United States incur the local VAT when sold, making our goods more expensive, and goods brought in to the United States are cheaper because little or no tax is imposed on them when they enter this country.

In Mr. Hollings’ view, and in mine, we need to adjust our business tax system so we have a level playing field.

When our tax system was developed, the U.S. economy was virtually independent of the rest of the world, so we could set up any taxing structure we wanted. Today is different, and we need to adjust. In today’s environment many people consider the word “tax” profane and refuse even to discuss it. I think we must, and the sooner the better.

Fritz Saenger

Cove Bay Lane

Mount Pleasant

Wild West

The National Rifle Association has succeeded in duping millions of gullible gun owners into thinking that the government wants to take all their guns away. A flat-out falsehood.

Attendees at a Feb. 25 meeting about the so-called Constitutional Carry Act showed their ignorance of this fact.

The lone voice of reason was Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen. Have any of these people, including the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Lee Bright of Spartanburg, considered its consequences?

As Chief Mullen pointed out, not only would it endanger police officers, but a gun owner with a chip on his shoulder and a weapon in his coat in restaurants, bars, stores and other public places raises grave safety issues for employees and patrons alike.

What if an employee doesn’t feel safe working in a business that the employer has decreed a welcome zone for guns? Must he quit his job and put his family’s financial security at risk while he looks for other employment?

What of people who stop patronizing certain businesses where guns are welcome? Have such economic consequences been considered?

I had hoped that South Carolina could be better than the Wild West, but it seems that a majority of citizens and so-called leaders are intent on turning our state into a shooting gallery where nobody — including lawful gun owners and their families — will be safe.

Mike Laskavy

Hainsworth Drive

Charleston

Fair dealings

Re the March 11 story “Accused of misconduct?”: Did this article really warrant “bold” front-page coverage?

The words “accused” or “alleged” were printed eight times in the article. Innocent or guilty?

Next time try page A2 for a fairer presentation.

Richard J. McGuire

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island