Signs needed

While running the Ravenel Bridge on March 30, I saw several people, including groups of adults and parents with small children and strollers, walking on the right side of the path directly in the bike lane instead of keeping to the left in the pedestrian lane.

Many visitors and first-time bridge walkers and runners do not realize the potential safety hazard from speeding bikes in the right lane.

While the path does have markings on it for pedestrians to stay left and bikes to stay right, these markings are not prominent enough, especially if someone is not looking for them or doesn’t notice them, which is too often the case for first-timers using the bridge path.

As an extra heads up before an unaware local resident or visitor gets seriously injured, the addition of a prominent and visible sign at the foot of the bridge on both sides directing pedestrians to keep left and bikes to keep right would be a welcome reminder in the interest of everyone’s safety.

ART ZIMMERMAN

Coral Vine Court

Mount Pleasant

Block texts in cars

It seems to me that this country has the technical capability to install a device in automobiles that would prevent a mobile phone from either sending or receiving text and verbal messages while the ignition switch is on. Sound alerts for messages to be checked would pass through the screening process.

It could be a requirement that it be installed on any new vehicle as well as any vehicle traded in to a dealer. Existing vehicles would be retrofitted with the device paid for with a charge added to the monthly bill for two years for all mobile phones.

Yes, this would cause some inconvenience for all vehicle occupants as drivers would need to pull over and turn off the ignition in order to send or receive messages.

However, I believe this to be a better solution than trying to enforce a ban on texting or conversing on a mobile device while driving, which would be very difficult to do.

David Fleshman

Seignious Drive

Charleston

Retirement funds

As a financial consultant helping individuals with their 401K rollovers for the past 16 years I was dismayed to read the front-page article by the Associated Press that 401K service providers may be misleading participants about what to do with their retirement savings after retiring or changing jobs.

I watch the same TV commercials and read the same articles you do. The messages are misleading and need to be controlled.

However, within our community are dozens of well trained, professional, honest financial consultants who offer trusted advice and exceptional service to help individuals manage their retirement savings appropriately.

As with so many things in life, “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.” The uncertainty of future government benefits makes your retirement savings potentially the only source of future income.

I urge IRA investors to find a local advisor who has the moral character they find attractive.

Meet face-to-face, and put together a reasonable plan with strong risk management characteristics. Everything you need to be successful is right in your own backyard.

Jody McAuley

Meeting Street

Charleston

Thanks in English

I read in the March 27 paper that a man who immigrated from the Dominican Republic and has lived in the United States for 26 years won the $338 million Powerball Lottery.

That alone is amazing. But what really puzzles me, and also bothers me, is why he, living in the land of opportunity, home of the free and the brave, does not speak English.

One would think that after all this time, he would be thankful enough to use the language of the country that has provided him all these joys of living in such a wonderful country.

Stan Reeves

Tommy Circle

Goose Creek

Wrong lesson

It is testing season in our public schools. Most likely your child’s classwork for the past two months has been replaced with PASS practice tests and review sheets.

Your school may have held a PASS pep rally. Your child may have been offered a prize related to testing.

If your child was out sick on a test day, you may have received a personal phone call from the principal.

The message is clear: The PASS test is very important.

But to whom? Do our children benefit when meaningful learning is replaced with test prep?

Are worksheets boring our students and extinguishing their love of learning?

Are teachers frustrated by their shrinking control?

Standardized tests were created as a crude tool to help teachers identify strengths and weaknesses.

They are now misused for school and teacher accountability, and our students are paying the price.

As thousands across our country rally to put an end to high stakes testing, the Charleston County School District has taken the opposite route by accepting federal grants that require us to link student test scores to teacher evaluation and pay, and do nothing to benefit students.

We should focus our resources on student-centered learning, smaller class size, learning materials, field trips, early childhood education and recruiting experienced certified teachers.

Please research the corporate reform movement that is threatening to take over our public schools. Compare it to the position of legitimate grassroots organizations (not StudentsFirst) that represent the voice of parents, students, teachers and others. We must unite and demand change. Silence is interpreted as acceptance, and our children deserve better.

For more information on how to help end high stakes testing, you may contact me at CCShad@aol.com.

SARAH SHAD JOHNSON

Flannery Place

Mount Pleasant

NCAA bullying

Gene Sapakoff’s sports column, “Flag cost USC, but NCAA ban backfires,” in the March 27 Sports section did an excellent job of detailing the lunacy of the NCAA ban against South Carolina because the Confederate battle flag still flies on the S.C. Statehouse grounds. I will take it a step further and call it what it is — bullying.

I was born in Savannah and raised in South Carolina. I graduated from The Citadel and spent my entire Air Force career flying C-141s at Charleston Air Force Base. I am fiercely proud of my Southern heritage and consider the Confederate flag a part of that heritage.

I do not condone the notion of slavery in any way, shape or form and do not tolerate those who do, but I will not bow to anyone who tells me to sweep my heritage into the closet.

Memo to the NCAA: Don’t you dare insult my Southern heritage and don’t you dare call me a bigot. The flag stays!

Chuck Croft

Shell Ring Circle

Mount Pleasant

Vets for pets

It has been proven that pets enhance the quality of life for senior citizens. But we are told if you can’t afford a pet don’t get one.

Who on a fixed income can afford the exorbitant vet fees? The shelter where we got our dog offers a senior for senior program.

Of course, the older the dog, the more health problems that may occur.

I am thankful that many shelters offer for adoption pets that are spayed, neutered and up to date on monthly flea and heartworm meds.

If everyone had to take his shelter dog to the vet for all this I bet not so many dogs would be adopted.

And isn’t the whole point to give these innocent animals forever homes, no matter their age?

Vets need to work with shelters so all adoptable animals can go to happy homes.

MARGARET ARNOLD

Oyster Factory Road

Edisto Island