Join the run

As the parents of a wonderful son and daughter and grandparents of five beautiful children, my wife and I are thankful every day for their health, energy and vigor. However, there are many Lowcountry parents and grandparents who are not as fortunate as Deborah and I, who may have a child or a grandchild with a physical disability. Due to their special needs, these students face challenges every day at home and at school.

Tomorrow, the City of Charleston will observe “Students with Disabilities Day.” In conjunction with this observation, the 15th annual Charleston James Island Connector Run will be held at Cannon Park. All proceeds from the 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run and 10K bike ride will go to the Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation, which has awarded 74 scholarships to students with physical disabilities at the College of Charleston, Charleston Southern and The Citadel.

Your support of the run will assist physically challenged students obtain a higher education and allow them to flourish in life as they have in the classroom.


Charleston City Councilman

Virginia Oak Court


Taking the bait

With all the drama surrounding current events such as Obamacare, government shutdowns and strife in the Mideast, it was refreshing to read Frank Wooten’s column about adding orange to the Clemson Architectural Center.

While I enjoyed the humor and reference to there being no bait shops South of Broad, I’m not sure a Guggenheim Museum-style building is best for the location either.


Club Course Drive

North Charleston

Support center

In my role as director of the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, I have visited many cultural centers around the world. Charleston rightly takes its place among them.

The historic buildings we admire today were once contemporary. Many were met with initial resistance.

I offer my support for the design for the new Spaulding Paolozzi Center to house the various Clemson architecture and historic preservation programs in Charleston. I have had the pleasure of attending several information sessions regarding the project as it has developed, and have carefully reviewed the plans and program for this facility.

I believe its design is absolutely appropriate to our city and will make a welcome addition to the many other notable architectural specimens to be found in this living museum known as Charleston.

It is natural that there might be a negative reaction to anything new, especially something to be sited in such a prominent location within our historic city.

However, in order for Charleston to remain relevant, we must equally embrace the past, present and future. I predict this new building will win over any detractors within its first year of operation.

Once completed, the Spaulding Paolozzi Center will become a hive of creative and scholarly activity for both students and the greater community. I urge you to join me in supporting this exciting new addition to our cultural and architectural landscape.

Mark Sloan

President Street


Remember Beirut

Oct. 23 was the 30th anniversary of the car bombing of the Marine peacekeeping force in Beirut. Two hundred and twenty U.S. Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers died.

I am a retired Army surgeon. On Oct. 23, 1983, I was stationed at the Second General Hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. In the first 24 hours after the bombing, the most seriously injured Marines were evacuated to Landstuhl.

One Marine I vividly remember. He was less than 25 years old and arrived shortly after midnight of Oct. 23. He had suffered third degree burns from the waist down, Although he was in clinical shock, he was conscious and able to talk to us. This is a tribute to the quality of training Marines undergo.

We resuscitated him. After resuscitation, he went into respiratory distress, had to be intubated and placed on a ventilator. After being placed on the ventilator, he partially collapsed both lungs and had to have chest tubes placed.

He was then evacuated by air to the U.S. Army’s burn center in San Antonio, Texas. I later learned from his attendants, then Lt. Col. John Parker, my chief, and Maj. Vish Piratla, my colleague, that he went into cardiac arrest on the airplane. They spent most of the flight doing CPR on him.

He survived to arrive at the burn center. In December of 1983, I returned to the United States to attend a function in Chicago. One morning, I read in the paper he had died, after a tough, valiant fight to live.

We remember 9/11, the Battle of Mogadishu, the Murrah Federal Building. It seems we do not remember Beirut.

I believe all those who have died in such incidents, including the Beirut bombing, deserve remembrance.

James M. Ryan

Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Sassanqua Drive


Cooler heads

I’m disillusioned. I hear intelligent people, on both sides of the aisle, telling me how bad the other side is, the same ol’, same ol’ blame, shame, defame, lame game.

Why isn’t there a voice from the center? Constructive, proposed solutions from the middle?

“Compromise, compromise, compromise” was the motto of the framers of the Constitution. Where are those cooler heads now?

Rev. George Gatgounis

Broad Street


Bending the rules

The verbal gymnastics of our public officials determined to push through the I-526 extension at any cost has reached an truly astounding level.

The Post and Courier reported that the Department of Transportation (DOT) was poised to kill the project at its meeting Oct. 24. But Larry Grooms, chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, “made sure that vote never happened,” reportedly saying, “I called a few folks and the agenda was changed.” Never mind his interfering with an executive commission over which he has no authority. For Lowcountry voters he’s a true hero, bending a few rules to bring home the bacon.

The reporting had a different slant in Greenville, however, where the DOT meeting took place. The story focused on a vote at an earlier meeting of the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) to delay consideration of several new high-priority projects, as ranked by DOT, including improvements to I-85 in the Greenville area.

Such projects would have been impossible after all the available funding from STIB through 2020 was earmarked for the I-526 extension, but Sen. Grooms is spearheading an effort to get more money from the state Legislature.

For the Greenville audience, he warned, “Other lawmakers would be less likely to support additional transportation funding if the Infrastructure Bank doesn’t follow state ranking requirements in allocating road money.”

Sen. Grooms could free up $500 million for new projects and save the state $100 million by following his own advice and letting DOT kill the I-526 extension, which was never ranked as a high priority.

Let’s not let discussions about new STIB funding divert our attention from the real issue. Building the I-526 extension would be a monumental waste of money.

John Kozma

South Edgewater Drive


Show me a sign

I recently was driving down Meeting Street to a meeting on Wentworth Street. It became clear that I had driven well beyond where I should have turned. I missed the turn because there was no street sign.

I have encountered this in many areas of the Holy City. Civilized societies have been using this advent for hundreds of years, and Charleston is more than a little bit slow at fully adopting this revolutionary technology that would allow us to get to meetings on time.


Brigadier Drive