Farmers at work

A plea to fellow travelers on Johns and Wadmalaw islands: Please watch out for tractors on our roads.

It is planting time, and you will likely encounter one of our few remaining farmers driving a tractor pulling a large implement as he travels between fields sometimes separated by many miles.

Please slow down. Pull over and stop if necessary. It’s unlikely you will be delayed more than a few minutes. Consider giving a friendly wave and a thank you to a hard-working member of our community.

Celeste Albers

Leadenwah Drive

Wadmalaw Island

Solar panels

The April 8 column by Andrew Curry on solar panels strongly contradicts an April 2 article in the Washington Times by Richard W. Rahn on the same subject. I quote:

“Germany has spent more than 100 billion euros ($130 billion) on subsidizing the solar industry; yet, as Der Spiegel reported, ‘the 1.1 million solar systems have generated almost no power’ this winter, and Germany is forced to import power from elsewhere. They are paying three or four times the U.S. rate for electricity, making many of their industries noncompetitive.”

Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth.What or who are we to believe?

Bill Greene

Heyward Lane

Moncks Corner

Safeguard finances

I was intrigued by the article regarding State Treasurer Curtis Loftis’ request to receive a paper copy concerning potential fees for a $50 million investment by the Retirement System Investment Commission (RSIC) and to have it signed by the commission’s attorney. That seems reasonable to me.

The state treasurer is supposed to “safeguard our state’s financial resources and to maximize return on our state’s investments.”

This role has been blocked by the chairman and the newly hired chief operating officer (COO). This situation has “suspicious” written all over it.

I went to the RSIC website. The words “transparency” and “accountability” show up. Why won’t they let the state treasurer do what he was elected to do?

They say that sending a paper copy for legal review will take too much time and hurt the reputation of the state. Really? How’s that “transparency” and “accountability” working for you?

As a taxpayer, I have some ideas:

1) Overnight copies to the state treasurer and the commission’s attorney.

2) If the chairman doesn’t want the commission’s attorney to review and sign off, then eliminate that position and let the state treasurer’s attorney review it. (Thus saving taxpayers over $100,000 a year.)

3) If the new COO doesn’t want to be questioned, government work may not be the right fit for him. It’s good to find out within the first month.

After the legal review, cut the check and move on to other matters. That’s what transparency and accountability look like.

However, if there is a “surprise” in the document, that’s why transparency and accountability are important.

Taxpayers may consider sending state treasurer Loftis a thank you note or email for standing firm and doing his job.

Maraide Sullivan

Heads Point Court

Johns Island

Women and power

The April 6 op-ed by Ginny Deerin and Nikki Hardin titled “Where are the women in South Carolina’s halls of power?” is so obviously misleading that I must question their sincerity and honesty.

The main premise of their article is that we have too few women in elected and appointed positions. They threw out all of the usual statistics and moaned about the evil establishment of men keeping women in their place.

There was not one word about Elizabeth Colbert Busch being a strong candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives and the more obvious crown jewel of governor.

Gov. Nikki Haley is one of only five female governors in office. She is also young and also a minority. South Carolinians have shown their open mindedness as well as any state.

Larry Wiessmann

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island

Intelligence is key

What good is intelligence if decision-makers don’t know how to or don’t choose to use it? There is a multitude of actors laboring in Washington to keep abreast of intelligence.

This is not to discuss the brain-worthiness of any of our public servants. However, it is open season on examining the wherewithal of these specialists as they gather and evaluate information and its relevance to our country’s national security.

For example, President Obama’s director of national intelligence (DNI), among others, missed the boat on the Benghazi events.

Perhaps he was outside having a smoke before, during and after the terrorist assaults on our consulate and the murder of our diplomats.

Could be he didn’t consider the intelligence sufficiently urgent to become actionable. The president is the ultimate decider on any actions to be taken, but he relies on the DNI and other intelligence chiefs for advice.

And the same guy remains as DNI in Obama’s second term.

We all have a stake in what intelligence and recommendations are fed to the president.

It would be comforting to know that he is receiving sound intelligence about such potential threats as North Korean nuclear missile strikes, Iran’s nuclear capability, a volatile Middle East, including an anarchic Syria, and emboldened Palestinian agitators. Of course, one cannot forget Al Qaeda.

On March 12, Defense Undersecretary for Policy James Miller stated: “Our policy is to stay ahead of the threat and to continue to ensure that we are ahead of any potential future Iranian or North Korean ICBM capability.”

It’s one thing to draw “red lines,” but another to have the resolve to initiate the prescribed action when those lines are crossed.

William J. Boudreau

Foreign Service Officer

(Retired)

Cobby Creek Lane

Seabrook Island

Paycheck fairness

Equal pay for equal work sounds fair and reasonable; President Dwight Eisenhower thought so when he called for equal pay legislation as “a matter of simple justice;” President Kennedy thought so when he signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963 making it illegal for employers to pay women less than men for the same work.

Fifty years later, women still do not have parity in the workplace, and the Paycheck Fairness Act continues to languish in Congress.

The Paycheck Fairness legislation would require that employers use acceptable reasons for wage differences including education, job performance, seniority, merit, quantity and quality of production, rather than gender to determine differences in pay.

Fifty years ago when the Equal Pay Act was passed women made 59 cents for every dollar men made. Today we can see progress but women still earn only 79 cents for every dollar men make; and women receive lower salaries on average than males with the same college degree. It is time for employers to re-evaluate their policies to be sure than they are not discriminating based on sex, and time for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Patricia G. Wolman

Co-president

American Association

of University Women

Charleston Branch

Audubon Drive

Mount Pleasant

Texting drivers

Many thanks to state and local legislators for preserving my liberty by allowing text messaging to remain a legal activity while driving.

Doesn’t required seat belt use also restrict my liberty?

Nevertheless, the legislators are right in one respect, it’s almost impossible to outlaw stupidity.

Many South Carolina drivers will continue to read, apply makeup, eat, and conduct important cell phone conversations as a demonstration of their exceptional multi-tasking skills.

A.D. HEATHCOCK

Palisades Drive

Mount Pleasant