Misplaced task

Recently I was stopped by heavy traffic on Main Street in Moncks Corner. As I got closer to the incident, I saw the Moncks Corner Fire Department with two engines washing down the road from some sort of violent accident or fire. Or so I thought.

I later learned that they were washing down the road to clear it of dirt from the tires of trucks leaving the new rec center site.

Are you kidding me? Being a retired fireman myself, I cringe to think that these guys would be working in the heat to wash down the street. Isn’t this what the contractor building the center is paid for?

Firefighters can work 24- hour shifts, and I can just imagine how tired they must be going out on calls during the night after doing stuff like this during the day.

The town administrator has used the fire department before for work such as this. There are better things for our public safety guys to be doing.

The hoses coming off these trucks are extremely heavy when filled with water. It is exhausting work dragging these things around.

Maybe next time it needs to be done the administrator will volunteer to come grab the hose.

Perry Pickering

Waterlog Lane

Bonneau

Time to speak up

Ever since the George Zimmerman trial verdict, we have heard cries and threats from black leaders about how our society perceives and treats young black males. We have had days of news stories portraying Trayvon Martin as a victim, while during this time many other young blacks have been killed by other blacks without black leaders saying a word.

Young black males shoot and kill an astounding number of other young black males every day in this country and the NAACP is silent.

Every weekend in Chicago is like a war zone, yet black leaders stay mute because having an honest conversation about out-of-control black violence makes them uncomfortable. They can’t blame white people for this behavior.

If black leaders truly wanted to address this problem, they would start looking in their own back yard and quit blaming imaginary racism.

There is a reason our prisons are filled with black males and it has absolutely nothing to do with racism.

I would suggest it has much more to do with cradle-to-grave welfare, fatherless homes and a complete lack of personal responsibility.

Chuck Jaymes

Fort Johnson Road

Charleston

Marriage meaning

I was heartened by the July 9 letter to the editor celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage. The author seemed genuinely respectful of those with differing opinions and welcomed conversation about it. This uncommon civility is the only path to a meaningful dialogue.

Many of us who disagree also celebrate the sacred worth of every individual. Every day we strive to live our lives with love, including all as Jesus taught.

So try to understand that we celebrate marriage as a religious institution between a man and a woman. Jesus celebrated it as such. He even supplied the wine. And I feel confident Jesus would celebrate the love shared by the gay community. His mission was and is to promote love in all its forms.

But love and marriage are two distinct things. They are so intertwined that we often forget that love can exist without marriage, while marriages fall apart without love.

So love is indeed the greater. But marriage between a man and a woman is needed to confirm their covenant with our Lord to be “fruitful and multiply.”

Lust and love are also distinct terms. Lust is a sin. It is condemned many places in the Bible. Gay or heterosexual relations will always fail if this is the reason for marriage.

As a Christian, I can never accept lust as anything but a sin, a human condition that only Jesus could avoid. As a sinner I can only try to control myself. I refuse to judge or control others.

Finally, marriage to me is a subject of religion, not a subject for government. But government is continually sticking its nose where it does not belong. Government gave us this problem by creating an inequity between marriage and civil union.

If it were not so inept it would have strengthened civil union laws to include all couples and dropped all reference to marriage. Then maybe we would have true separation of church and state on this matter.

Jack Hamrick

O’Hear Avenue

North Charleston

Stunted state

Welcome to South Carolina, where nature’s beauty can be observed at a multitude of locations. I enjoy escorting foreign visitors to wonderful seafood restaurants and Middleton Place. However, behind this charming facade hides an embarrassing lack of accomplishments in our state. We are next to last in the number of females in the Legislature. It is as if our good ole boy club fights tooth and nail to avoid half of our population’s opportunity to voice itself. The same goes with our representatives in U.S Congress.

We are third from last in deriving revenue from gasoline taxes, while decrying a lack of funds for public education.

We are 27th in scores of seventh graders. This leads to a proliferation of magnet and charter schools, in addition to support for vouchers for private schools, which amounts to segregation by one’s financial ability.

It is a way to avoid equitable funding of our public school system.

What happened with the lawsuit against the state, so beautifully documented in the film “Corridor of Shame,” where seven counties sued for equitable school funding? Is our judiciary as unwilling and scared to create progress as our Legislature?

Dr. Mick Zais says that he has no authority to request teaching colleges and universities to graduate only excellent teachers. Has he even tried? Only excellent teachers produce excellent students, as proved by the Fenno-Scandinavian experience.

Because of Southern states’ Neanderthal thinking, it took 72 years to grant women’s suffrage in the United States. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking and inaction goes on in a different form today with the ever powerful good ole boy network and short sightedness of many generations.

Auvo Kemppinen

Lake Moultrie Drive

Bonneau

Bridge cycling

David Quick’s column on the Cooper River Bridge pedestrian/bike path dangers was timely. I ride the bridge for a climbing workout. I don’t descend fast, and slow more around pedestrians.

If I am approaching someone with his back to me, close to the line, and with children, I announce my approach with a polite “On your left” or “On your right.”

Some get upset when I do this. Some are startled when I do not.

Others walk or run in the bike lane facing my approach and refuse to move. I have had to stop on several occasions with walkers or runners in the bike lane refusing to move. I have also witnessed people walking dogs on the path.

I don’t think the problem is just the use of headphones, lack of signage or the speed of descending cyclists. Although all of these do contribute to the problem, I believe it is something more basic. The main problem is some people’s failure to consider the rights of others.

The bridge is a resource for all of us, but using it requires each of us to respect others’ right to use it too.

More signage would help, but police enforcement is required also. Unfortunately, there are people who will do just about anything they wish until faced with a penalty for their actions.

Police need to patrol and ticket offenders. I have never seen them doing that. How difficult would it be to have a policeman bike across the bridge and back from time to time?

Unless there are serious consequences for a careless motorist running over and killing a cyclist riding lawfully, how can we expect anyone to exercise caution when driving?

I guess that’s another can of worms, isn’t it?

Kirk Zerangue

Deleisseline Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Special Olympics

Good people are everywhere in the Lowcountry, and some of the best are at the Ruby Tuesday on Northside Drive in North Charleston.

For months, the Ruby Tuesday Community GiveBack Program has donated 20 percent of its profits to the Area 6 Special Olympics bowling team on a selected day.

They host our team’s evening out after bowling practice and are welcoming and excited to see us.

All we have to do is pass out flyers containing our team’s information, and the staff at Ruby Tuesday does the rest. For parents with special needs adults, this has been a relaxing, social and fun way to raise the money we need for our team’s tournament.

I enjoy the good food and relaxed atmosphere, but now it seems they look forward to our dinners as much as we do. They accommodate all of our special needs with grace and even remember our group’s special food orders. The staff takes pictures with our athletes and takes time to address each one as an important adult.

We thank them and encourage everyone to stop by on August 3 for another Community GiveBack to support our team. Our athletes will be there at 6 p.m.

Elizabeth Fallon

Wild Thicket Lane

North Charleston

Count blessings

Gosh, peanut butter and jelly for lunch (July 9, “Sequestration furloughs 4,300 people”). Some seniors I know eat PB&J for dinner on a regular basis, and count themselves lucky to afford that.

I realize there are fixed payments one has to make, such as mortgage, car payments, utility bills, taxes, and the like.

I also realize there are two people living on $75,000 per year. Insurance, tuition, transportation can be a big chunk out of this, but what about luxuries that could be cut: cable TV at $50 or more per month, Smart phones or cell phones at $100 per month times two, dining out at $50 per evening three times a week and that’s not counting drinks or wine.

Just cutting out the dinners would save about $7,800, more than enough to cover the “roughly $3,700” cut from the $75,000 per year.

My point is that $75,000 per year is major money and if you can’t deal with the temporary (11 weeks) loss, look around. There are people out there who would consider you blessed.

Perhaps you could volunteer at a shelter in exchange for one of those “dining out” nights. Also remember there are well-qualified applicants who would love to have your job. Roughly 7 percent of Americans are unemployed and I’m sure some of them would give anything to be in your shoes.

Quit your complaining and get out the Scrabble.

C.T. Leland

Coming Street

Charleston

Open your mind

I read Alison Bechdel’s book “Fun Home” a few years ago. It is a brilliant and thought-provoking book.

I think college is a place for people to open their minds, not close them.

I also wonder what Oran Smith means by the word “appropriate.” I do not think it means what he thinks it means.

Nancy Worsham

Church Street

Charleston