I-526 heartbreak

My wife, our two small children and I reside within 100 feet of the proposed I-526 extension.

It’s our first home together. Both children attend school on James Island.

We were attracted to the neighborhood for its quiet, safe and scenic properties. We are not wealthy, so we saved diligently to invest in our house. Everything we had went into buying it.

Now our home, our neighborhood, the surrounding marshes and the life they harbor will be devastated by the extension of an interstate. Our family and many like us in Charleston are heartbroken by this.

It will likely impact my family financially for years.

We could never hope to recoup the value we will lose. All of our savings. All of our hard work. Our investment.

I love Charleston, and I love the islands that surround it. Their rural, scenic nature is a boon for our area, drawing tourists, providing a home to thriving and emerging micro-farms and craft industries, and offering a retreat for those who live and work in the city.

Half a billion dollars would be better spent improving the crumbling infrastructure we already have rather than building yet another interstate that cuts through protected marshland and a county park.

Aaron O’Brien

Arlington Drive

Charleston

GOP defense

In his Oct. 8 column, “Tea Party shuts down compromise,” the Rev. Joe Darby has ignored certain salient facts.

Yes, Obamacare was passed by both houses of Congress, but vigorously opposed by millions of us, not because it is about health care but because it is about complete government control of our lives.

In this past year, the president has unilaterally and probably illegally given hundreds of exemptions to this law, which he claims is so wonderful. When is he going to sign up?

Rev. Darby claimed that Republicans want unconditional surrender, not negotiation. It was the president and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who refused to negotiate. The Republican House sent numerous bills to the Senate, but the Democrats didn’t want that. They wanted Republicans to cave.

Since when does one party have all the right answers and the arrogance to try to impose its will on the other and on the American people? Compromise to the Democrats means to give them what they want because only they are right.

Rev. Darby also has to throw in his usual gratuitous racial comment. To wit, he makes the ludicrous assertion that members of Congress might someday choose to defund the enforcement of civil rights legislation.

Despite what Rev. Darby seems to think, we are not racists. We just have different ideas about what’s best for the country, and we would also like to have the right to express those ideas without being called all kinds of derogatory names by people in the Democratic Party and their fawning, compliant media.

Bill Hausler

Out of Bounds Drive

Summerville

The road to ruin

“It’s the economy, stupid.” This is as true today as when James Carville stressed it to Bill Clinton during his 1992 presidential campaign.

More specifically today, “It’s spending, stupid.” Our country continues to spend far more every year than what we take in.

Instead of cutting any program, the administration continues to add more programs.

The debt ceiling is a joke. The administration did nothing to stay within budget and has no intention of doing so now.

It continues to spend as if there were no limit at all. Poll after poll tell us that as many as 78 percent of Americans think government spending is too high.

American families and businesses must fund the “must do’s” before they can consider the “want to do’s.”

Why do we continue down this path to national bankruptcy?

The president won the most recent standoff — the country lost.

Harry Rollins

Country Lake Court

Charleston

Blame shifting

Is the South Carolina Democratic Party going to be consistent in its critique of political officials with technical difficulties? I am no fan of Gov. Nikki Haley or the failings of the S.C. Department of Revenue, but let’s face it, it is nothing more than grandiose political rhetoric to blame DOR’s 2012 security breach entirely on Gov. Haley.

In order to remain consistent with this kind of ridiculous rhetoric, it would seem that S.C. Dems would also need to blame the entirety of the failure of HealthCare.gov on our president — something I doubt they will do in the foreseeable future.

Jonathan Graham

Marymeade Drive

Summerville

Changing the ratio

As a teacher of 37 years, I am dismayed to hear that South Carolina is attempting to increase the ratio of students to counselors in elementary schools from the already unimaginable one counselor to 600 students, to one to 800.

The recommended ratio of guidance counselors to students by the American Counseling Association is one counselor to 250 students.

In light of suicides, school killings and academic failure, I cannot even begin to fathom why this increased load would even be a consideration.

Troubled youth (whether academically, psychologically, socially or emotionally) do not suddenly appear on the horizon in middle and high school with issues. Their problems begin to manifest themselves in elementary school, and this is the time to address those issues.

In my experience, countless youth benefited from small group and individual counseling that our guidance counselors offered.

Unfortunately, for every one student the counselor could see, there were countless others who could have been seen if she had not had over 500 students under her watch.

As a county and as a nation we constantly talk about ways to intercede with our youth before students experience academic failure or tragedy occurs. One of the key ways to make a positive difference is to increase the number of counselors and reduce the high numbers of students for whom they’re responsible.

Please send an email of support to reduce the ratio or at the very least keep it from increasing to dprevatt@ed.sc.gov.

DEBBY BENDER

Clearview Drive

Charleston

Betraying troops

Our politicians send our brave young men and women around the world to protect the interests of big oil companies. Many of these youthful soldiers, sailors and airmen cannot afford the cost of college, and the military provides them with career opportunities and hard-earned money to continue their educations.

I often wonder how many members of Congress would vote to send their children or grandchildren into combat. They place our troops in no-win situations, and the most tragic part is we do not properly take care of them when they return.

Many brave men and women who have done their jobs beyond the call of duty and have suffered combat injuries — physically, mentally and emotionally — are having to fight to get medical assistance.

This country and its Congress have moral obligations to see that our troops and their families, who share in their sacrifice, are properly cared for and compensated. It is a sad state of affairs that organizations have to lobby Congress to support wounded vets.

I wonder if we reinstated the draft whether Congress might be more cautious before sending troops into combat. God forbid that their children might have to serve.

To all those brave men and women who have served our country, a big thank you. And for the rest of us, let’s get off our posteriors and demand before Congress proper care and treatment of our vets.

I often hear the phrase, God Bless America. God has blessed this country beyond recognition; it is time for us to bless our vets.

Brooks F. Moore

Blue House Road

North Charleston