State airplanes

The current flap over state-owned airplanes and who gets to ride on them would be hilarious if it weren’t such a sad commentary on our Legislature.

We can give $120 million to Boeing stockholders in the form of incentives in exchange for the promise of jobs, but we can’t afford $260,000 or so per year to operate two airplanes.

During my early years as a Pan Am pilot, the company had scheduled service to Rock Sound, Bahamas, using a (145 seat) B-707.

These flights seldom had more than a handful of passengers and were operated purely for the convenience of the company founder and CEO, Juan Trippe, who owned property there.

Since Mr. Trippe created over 40,000 jobs over the years and generated millions in profits for stockholders, no one seemed to mind.

The demise of Pan Am after he retired might be considered a testament to his contribution.

Get rid of Gov. Nikki Haley if you think she’s a poor performer, but please stop the petty squabbling. This is more about jealously than economy.

A.D. Heathcock

Palisades Drive

Mount Pleasant

High price to pay

Come live in the country, 25 miles past Summerville, in Dorchester County, where it’s quiet and you can hear the birds sing.

Neighbors swap vegetables with one another because we all have gardens.

But you will pay $370 in property taxes on your seven-year-old car.

Donna Gonsalves

Creighton Street

Harleyville

Which is worse?

While returning from Orangeburg recently I was passing through the area of proposed devastation on I-26 and came upon a slow-moving group of RVs.

I moved into the left lane and accelerated to get around the caravan when I noticed a windshield in my rear view mirror — no headlights, mind you, just the windshield because it was so close to my bumper. This lasted until I could return to the right lane.

As I merged back over, the vehicle, with tinted (perhaps illegally) windows and a state Senate license plate, sped by well in excess of 80 mph.

I am not identifying the individual since this happens often with our representatives during my I-26 commutes.

So what’s worse, the trees, our lousy distracted drivers or our arrogant state senator? Leave the trees alone, get rid of the distracted drivers and hold our elected officials to the same laws as the rest of us.

Chuck Jennings

Jardinere Walk

Mount Pleasant

Infant mortality

Your May 23 editorial about infant mortality has the most honorable of intentions, but it skips over some very pertinent questions.

Why is the U.S. infant mortality so much higher than other countries, many who spend much less on medical care?

Until we know why we cannot seriously address a worthy solution.

You are much too quick to allow the pregnant mothers to escape their own responsibility.

If as you say, the third-term fetus has legal rights, then the government has the right to step in, just as they do with child abuse cases. Illegal drug use is not a protected right for anyone.

Personally, I think they should be required to provide information on the paternal father so he can be forced to participate in the child’s support and medical care.

With abortion being all too common, and now we even have the morning after pills for teenage girls, there is absolutely no excuse for neglected fetuses and newborns.

Larry Wiessmann

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island

Calendar event

On May 9, Charleston Animal Society held its “Calendar Auditions & Celebrity Judging Event” at the Music Farm in downtown Charleston to select the 12 models for its 2014 Firefighter Calendar.

The event was a sellout and feedback has been nothing short of ebullient.

Most importantly, all proceeds raised from this event, the “Calendar Launch Party” and the calendar itself will go towards Charleston Animal Society’s efforts to treat sick, injured and abandoned animals, and ultimately reach our goal of making Charleston a no-kill community by 2015.

Charleston Animal Society staff and volunteers worked hard.

However, it was our local firefighters and their departments that made the event.

Their selfless commitment to the fundraiser ultimately packed the house.

Our local heroes’ generous donation of their time is an indication of our community’s support for animals in need.

Just like the dedicated members of Charleston area fire departments, the most important thing we do at Charleston Animal Society is save lives.

I am grateful for their role in our Charleston Area Firefighter Calendar and our aspiration to make Charleston a safe and humane community.

Joe Elmore

Chief Executive Officer

Charleston Animal Society

Remount Road

North Charleston

School funding

I’m the concerned parent of a child who attends Harbor View Elementary. We are losing our technology instructor due to lack of funding.

I understand budget cuts and that everyone is trying to do more with less, but the issue here isn’t a lack of funding.

The issue is how the funding we do have is being spent.

The approval of $20,000-plus raises for three administrators, who already make more than $100,000, while cutting a computer teacher, who has a direct impact on the education of more than 500 students, is completely unacceptable.

I have one question for Nancy McGinley and the Charleston County School Board:

If it were your child’s computer teacher being cut, would you make the same choice to fund those salary increases?

Cindy Graack

Quail Drive

Charleston