Landing update

A May 13 letter to the editor nicely described the beautiful entrance into Charlestowne Landing state park.

I would like to correct a few things, however. If one registers in advance at the Visitors Center as an early morning recreator, entry is free only until the park opens officially at 9 a.m. After that, the regular admission applies, and the park gates close at 6 p.m.

As the writer suggests, Charles Towne Landing is an “island” of tranquility where the natural beauty of the Lowcountry is lovingly preserved; native plants and live oaks thrive; our founding history is artfully described; Lowcountry animal life abounds in the animal forest; and visitors can climb aboard the Adventure, a replica of an 18th century packet ship that sailed along the Carolina coast.

To find out more about the Landing you can call (843) 852-4200, or visit the website at charlestowne@scprt.com.

And you can help preserve this Lowcountry treasure by joining our corps of volunteers or by becoming a member of the Friends of Charlestowne Landing, the non-profit organization that provides support for all of the Landing’s endeavors.

Gary Nichols

President, Board of Directors

Friends of

Charlestowne Landing

Cecilia Drive

Charleston

Arts Fest

In this era of American everlasting war, violence, bombs and guns, it is refreshing to see a burst of multicultural color and fun in the North Charleston Arts Festival.

Mayor Keith Summey and the organizers deserve high praise.

The ethnic dancers, artists, musicians and craftsmen put on a dazzling show — especially the flamenco and African dancers.

These are Americans of ethnic descent, and they show the joy and pleasure of ethnic diversity and cultural heritage as Americans.

I pray that the tea party budget slashers appreciate the joy this festival brings to North Charleston and the tri-county area, and that it continue to enthrall audiences forever.

Gary Ling

W. Montague Avenue

North Charleston

Repay taxpayers

At the Charleston County Council meeting on May 7, staffer Keith Bustraan reported on refinancing over $100 million in county bonds at rates from 1.25 percent to 2 percent, resulting in savings of tens of millions of dollars. This is great news for the taxpayers of Charleston County and a testament to our excellent financial staff.

This good news was delivered just after council rejected The Beach Company’s proposed tax increment financing (TIF) scheme for approximately $82 million in taxpayer-supported payments for its planned Kiawah River Plantation development.

Fortunately, the council had the wisdom to turn that down after much ado.

The Beach Company never submitted a formal application for the TIF, which would have required an application fee to offset some of the costs to county taxpayers for assessing the project; rather, its scheme was only a “proposal.”

Administrator Kurt Taylor estimated county staff spent at least 1,000 hours on the project. That is in addition to work by a consultant that the Beach Company paid for.

The taxpayers deserve to be reimbursed for this substantial county staff time. The Beach Company should get an itemized bill to pay.

Rich Thomas

Betsy Kerrison Parkway

Johns Island

Voting manual

In early May, I received in the mail a full-color, glossy, fold-out flyer.

At first glance it appeared to be a promotional mailing offering travel opportunities to faraway places. It was actually an instruction manual for voting.

It was apparent that someone had spent tens of thousands of dollars to tell South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District voters what nearly every voter in the entire state of South Carolina already knew. This doesn’t sound fiscally responsible, but of course, I have never headed a political campaign.

James D. McGraw

Lucretia Lane

Summerville

‘Superbug’ threat

My wife and I are World War II survivors. During those days nearly everyone smoked. Cancer was rare. Hospitals were not busy. Illness was not common. Doctors made house calls.

Raising our four children, we only had to deal with normal childhood diseases. Polio was conquered.

Today hospitals are busy. Doctors’ waiting rooms are filled. Cancer is everywhere. HIV and AIDS have been followed up with incurable syphilis and gonorrhea.

St. Jude Hospital reports that every hour another child is hit with cancer. The pain and anguish are great.

Now a “superbug” has developed that consumes flesh and kills people, and cannot be controlled with our latest antibiotics. All of these terrible things have happened during our lifetime.

What can we look forward to?

Raymond Kelhoffer

Coosawatchie Street

Summerville

SI election speaks

Congratulations to Sullivan’s Island Mayor-Elect Mike Perkis, who won a narrow victory over Mayor Carl Smith in the election on May 7.

The final numbers are very revealing: Mike Perkis received 459 votes out of 905 total votes cast. There were a total of 446 write-in votes in the mayoral election, of which 430 went to Mayor Carl Smith.

That all works out to 50.7 percent of votes for Mr. Perkis, a very bare majority and just six votes more than necessary to avoid a run-off. A total of 49.3 percent of Sullivan’s Island voters supported someone other than Mr. Perkis.

Mr. Perkis’ 29-vote margin (involving a write-in candidate) should finally be a shake-and-wake-up call to SI Town Council. The 58 percent turnout, a record, emphasizes the passion on both sides of issues that have divided residents on the island.

The fair solution is, of course, to finally respect both the law and SI constituents and give island residents their referendum. It is interesting to note that the number of votes keeping Sullivan’s Island out of a run-off situation — six — is equal to the number of Town Council members who continue to vote to deny SI residents a vote on a referendum about the planned Sullivan’s Island Elementary School.

Mr. Perkis says he wants to “unite islanders” and “establish a dialogue with the people who voted against him.” Let’s begin with talks on when to schedule the legal/certified referendum on the school.

A referendum on the size and scope of the school is the one thing that will unite and heal Sullivan’s Island. Allow islanders to at last have their vote. That is Democracy 101.

Barbara Spell

Atlantic Avenue

Sullivan’s Island

No accountability

As I watch on television and read newspaper accounts of the stories unfolding about Benghazi, the IRS and the Justice Department, it makes me both sad and angry that the people passing these hot potatoes around — the president, his press secretary, the IRS commissioner, the former secretary of state and the attorney general — are employees of and are paid by the American taxpayer.

Yet we have virtually no control over them and what they do.

They stretch rules and bend laws.

None seems capable of accepting responsibility, and nobody wants to admit to knowing anything about anything.

There seems to be no communication either up or down the chains of command. We are led to believe that they are oblivious except for what they read in newspapers, watch on television or get questioned by the media about.

I’m pretty sure we aren’t getting our money’s worth from this current crop.

CARL E. SMITH

Sea Lavender Lane

Summerville

Unmatched farce

I challenge Hollywood or Broadway to produce a comedy better than South Carolina politics.

J. Stewart Walker

Johnson Road

Charleston