Women’s voices

I’m writing in response to Melanie Balog’s column about Project XX and its attempt to have more women promoted to the state’s boards and commissions. This effort is sorely (but not surprisingly) needed. And not just on state boards, but across the spectrum of positions of power and influence, the non-profit, for profit, religious and, most particularly, the political spectrum.

The obvious practical reason, as she points out, is that they represent one half of the planet’s population and will therefore bring a perspective that is of critical importance and rightly represented.

But maybe even more important than the substance of their engagement is the tenor of conversation that they usually exhibit.

It is the tenor of the debate that is the seemingly largest obstacle to progress on almost all fronts. It is that progressive, empathetic willingness to recognize that women will enhance our public realm. I realize that there are certainly exceptions to that perceived generality that some may quickly point to: Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin will immediately jump to the minds of the left and Nancy Pelosi to that of the right. But acknowledging those exceptions, I believe that the world cannot help but be better a place by having more feminine influence.

So I salute Ginny Deerin and the Project XX efforts to push the state legislators to abide by their own self-imposed mandate by promoting more women to our state’s boards and commissions. Go, girls!

Rusty Bennett

Marshall Boulevard

Sullivan’s Island

Weak and shifting

A March 29 guest column about Captain Sam’s Spit argued that it is suitable for a bunch of upscale houses. According to the author/developer, it’s not a shifting sandbar.

But above the headline was an aerial photo of the place in question.

Yep, it’s a sandbar — just like all barrier islands.

The columnist writes of how it’s been 30 years since Captain Sam’s was overtopped by a storm and how it has been more or less stable for 50 years, even growing a bit.

In a human-lifetime scale that is a long time. In geologic time it is like a snowflake on the tip of your finger. The sand can and will go elsewhere sooner or later.

The observation that hurricanes Hugo and Floyd didn’t wash over Captain Sam’s Spit misses the point. Hugo came ashore well north. The winds were actually blowing off shore, not on shore there, and Floyd made landfall in North Carolina.

A significant hurricane coming ashore a bit south would be a different situation, and anyone living there would wish he was in Summerville, or maybe Chattanooga.

If we must divide the entire coastline of the United States into 50-foot lots, I wish the owners would stop asking the people who live outside the exclusive gated wonderlands to underwrite the shortfalls in the government-provided insurance and the need to “renourish” their beaches.

If they wish to live on a glorified sandbar, they need to accept the risk.

Of course, it might be nice if every few hundred miles there was a small spot left for nature.

Bruce Smith

Serotina Court

Mount Pleasant

Parting thanks

After almost 15 years of serving the surfing and watersport community in the Charleston area we’ve decided that it’s time to change course. We closed Charleston Watersport one final time on March 31.

I sincerely hope all of our friends, family and fans understand how much the support you have given our business over the years matters.

We appreciate your patronage and friendship. Since our closing the outpouring of messages and kind words have been very humbling and helped validate that working hard and doing the right thing still works today even in the midst of closing our business.

Locally owned businesses are the backbone of our economy, culture and country. I would encourage all who read this to support locally owned and operated business.

Thanks again; it’s been a great run!

David Clifford

Bluebird Drive

Mount Pleasant

Keep rescue duty

Even my favorite columnist, Brian Hicks, has jumped on the bandwagon. Please, people, leave the Isle of Palms Fire Department alone.

We were residents on the island for over 15 years and lived only blocks from the station nearest Wild Dunes.

My elderly neighbor’s cat was stuck for over 24 hours in an extremely tall palmetto in my back yard, so what do you do? Call the fire department. The answer, “Ma’am, we don’t rescue cats anymore.”

My response was, “Please, please, or he won’t survive.” They did come and decided that a burst of water from my hose on the back deck would probably motivate the cat to scamper down the tree.

It worked, of course, and these guys left with me and the neighbor looking adoringly after them. Can’t we have at least one tiny touch of Mayberry?

Yes, there are legal and ethical issues, but give this noble group of professionals a break.

Kay Chandler

Cove Bay Lane

Mount Pleasant