MUSC appointees

Susan Pearlstine’s May 11 op-ed caught my eye, and not in a positive way. As a former academic administrator in a state university system, I pay attention to these things. Apparently some very strange thinking is going on in our General Assembly.

They rejected the candidacies of two courageous and very well qualified women: Pearlstine, who has demonstrated her devotion to MUSC for over 40 years, and Marva Smalls, an African-American woman of national prominence.

Instead the wise heads in Columbia chose to appoint to the MUSC board a sitting state representative’s brother, who has little or no previous connection to MUSC, and a former state legislator. To what can these flawed decisions be attributed? Your guess is as good as mine but I’m guessing the Good Old Boy Network is alive and well in our state capital.

While you are mulling this over, let me share another little-known fact about the stranglehold state government has over our splendid academic medical center: Despite the fact that tax-based appropriations to MUSC currently account for only about 8 percent of the support required for operations, the governor and the Legislature appoint 100 percent of the trustees.

Putting aside the illegal — yes, illegal — fact that 100 percent of the current MUSC trustees are white males while the demographics of the state are 51.3 percent female and 36.9 percent non-white (U.S. Census, 2011), I question whether the appointment process is in the best interest of our public colleges and universities, including our own premier medical teaching and research institution. Do you?

If so, tell your legislators that you expect them to follow the law and cast their votes for the improvement of our institutions, not for their fellow politicians and family members.

Kay K. Chitty, R.N., EdD

W. Shipyard Road

Mount Pleasant

Making a point

South Carolina is in need of good jobs, reliable energy and clean air and water. These are some of the basic cornerstones that support our high quality of life here in the Lowcountry. Offshore energy production brings us unique threats and opportunities to that can serve to harm us or help us in these areas.

While offshore drilling has been touted as a job-creating scheme for South Carolina, its intrinsic risk must be examined. There has never before been commercial offshore drilling off the East Coast. Opening our coast to drilling would jeopardize our tourism and fishing industries — and 86,000 South Carolinians’ jobs.

All it takes is one accident for the tourism and seafood markets to crash, as we so tragically witnessed in the Gulf in 2010.

The good news is we do have the opportunity to create good jobs, reliable energy, and preserve clean air and water, with offshore wind energy. South Carolina has the second greatest offshore wind resource on the East Coast and stands to gain thousands of jobs in the industry if we were to seriously pursue it. Wind energy never runs out, and it doesn’t create pollution.

We invite you to come help fellow Charlestonians make the point that we want an energy future that is forward-looking and innovative, not looking backward to the past.

Come to the Folly Beach pier May 18 at 11:30 a.m. for Hands Across the Sand, where we will join hands to say “no” to offshore drilling and “yes” to clean energy. Find out more at www.HandsAcrossTheSand.org.

Chris Carnevale

Southern Alliance

for Clean Energy

Swift Avenue

Charleston

This letter was also signed by: Marty Morganello, Charleston Surfrider; Steve Moore, S.C. Wildlife Federation; Hamilton Davis, Coastal Conservation League; and Richard Williams, Lowcountry Plugin Drivers.

Unwelcome calls

I, like many, have registered on the “Do Not Call” list. It seems that this action is worthless. Many calls still come through at all hours of the day. When I inquire about the company calling, they usually hang up.

When the caller stays on the line, I demand to be taken off the call and mailing list so no other calls or worthless mail continues to come to me.

The intrusions are especially bothersome for people caring for an ill person or recovering from health issues. Getting to the phone and then listening to a stupid deal or telemarketing offer makes for much frustration.

In this age of technology, isn’t there a way to totally remove phone numbers and addresses to prevent telemarketers?

Many letters have been sent to stop mailings, and to register on the “Do Not Call” site, but many times to no avail.

Even trying to screen calls does not help.

They just hang up and call later.

Janet Rein

Salem Drive

Ladson

Just an accident

The May 7 article “Holes in training, procedure cited in Charleston fire boat crash” inappropriately singled out a fireman and suggested some sort of a scandal.

The Charleston Fire Department was called to respond to a Navy vessel, which had wrecked. The Navy, with all its resources, training and personnel, rendered a vessel inoperable and required help from the CFD.

Accidents happen every day, and we do not blame individual public servants. This man dedicates his life to his family and his profession and because of an inadvertent act, he is ridiculed by those he is sworn to protect.

I invite The Post and Courier to investigate every police officer’s record each time there is a collision, explore the training records of sanitation workers each time one backs over a fire hydrant and file a Freedom of Information request the next time the interoffice mail lady bottoms her car out coming out of the city garage. The fire department has responded to all of those incidents as well.

The members of Engine 111 delivered two EMTs to the Navy crash site and salvaged Marine 101. The fireman, because of his experience, implemented measures to keep the ship afloat. We firemen accept our shortcomings; we blame no one but ourselves for our mistakes. We will fix what we can do better.

On any given night there are several captains on the harbor in addition to CFD Marine 101’s — a harbor pilot, a Coast Guard helmsman, and captains of cargo ships, cruise ships and Navy ships. Perhaps if firemen did not have to work multiple jobs and live outside the city, they would have more time to attend the training classes they are not paid to attend in the first place.

Our fireman did not fail: he was failed. You should offer an apology.

James Regan

Howard Avenue

Myrtle Beach

‘Superstreet’ folly

Without a doubt the S.C. Department of Transportation’s proposed “superstreet” at Main Road and U.S. 17 South may be the worst waste of money for a project the DOT has come up with in a long time.

I would like the DOT to tell us Johns Island residents where one of these so-called superstreets is located in this state and whether it works. Do those so-called superstreets have the kind of port traffic U.S. 17 S has with truckers heading to I-95 South?

As a long-time traveler of Main Road, I believe it fair to predict that the project is not going to solve the traffic problem.

Seems to me, since we taxpayers on this side of the Ashley have contributed our fair share of taxes to the widening of U.S. 17 N through Mount Pleasant, that it’s time the county and the DOT address the gridlock on U.S. 17 S, not by building some stupid intersection but by:

1) Widening U.S. 17 S to six lanes all the way to the Hollywood turn-off, with the proper left and right turn lanes at Main Road.

2) Make Main Road four lanes from Bees Ferry to the River Road/Chisolm Road intersection, also with right and left turn lanes. The new Limehouse Bridge was built for four-lane traffic.

Please, put our tax money to proper use.

Lester Finkelstein

Betsy Kerrison Parkway

Johns Island