Wrong for city

Why do people visit Charleston? There are many reasons, but after years as a tour guide and historic home docent, I can tell you what is not anywhere on their list: the desire to be knocked out by a cool, modern building in the midst of our history.

If you don’t understand the jarring effect, I direct you to the Ponte della Costituzione, Santiago Calatrava’s bridge in Venice. Calatrava is a genius architect, and his buildings have the ability to define a city — witness the spectacular Milwaukee Art Museum, now that city’s icon, and New York’s soon to be completed World Trade Tower.

But Venice is already defined, as is Charleston, by the things that visitors come to experience and those that residents cherish. Venice’s Constitution Bridge is beautiful, sleek, soaring, elegant and horribly out of place in amid the crumbling stucco and arches and gondolas of medieval Venice. I avoid it like the plague, and so do many Venetians.

In the right place, modern architecture is a marvel; in the wrong place, it’s an eyesore. Venice and Charleston are two such places. Why force “modern” into the enchanting fabric of a historic city, especially when that city’s civic pride is built upon its historic buildings?

Build it outside the historic district and everyone wins. Build it south of Calhoun Street and many of us will find routes that don’t pass it so we aren’t reminded of the failure to protect our beautiful historic city by those we entrust with doing so.

Diane Rice

Bidwell Circle

Charleston

Legal ‘looting’

I am glad we have had a government shutdown. My eyes have been opened to what the real heart of the problem is: control.

William Murchison recently wrote, “The current crisis, at its heart, is about greed and the human lust for authority over other humans.”

I have re-examined philosophy and taken a hard look at the current state of our nation. I am appalled.

Why does the government seek to control me? Why does the government take my hard-earned money and give it to “looters,” who take and take without producing, as if they are entitled to my hard earned money?

Why does the government bar me from “my” monuments that I paid for, both in taxes (for which I was not asked) and in blood, sweat and tears while serving in the military?

I am tired of this action of our government! I want to be free to pursue “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” free of government and other people’s intimidation. I want to produce my own wealth and happiness and not have “looters” feed off me the rest of my life.

My only hope is that this crisis, as Rahm Emanuel said, does not go to waste.

ARTHUR R. HOPKINS IV

Matthews Road

Orangeburg

Foolish building

Recent photos of houses on Folly Beach in danger of being washed away without sea walls and beach renourishment remind me of the parable in the Bible about the wise and foolish builders.

The wise man built his house on rock, and the foolish man built his house on sand. When the rain fell, the floods came and the winds blew, the house on sand fell down, while the house on rock stood.

Sounds exactly like what happens in a hurricane here on the coast. The wise man knows that fighting Mother Nature is a losing battle.

Sarah McCrary

Ptarmigan Drive

Charleston

Shutdown antics

I am a Washington, D.C., native, born, raised, educated and married. I gave birth to my first child there. I used to be proud to let people know that. But with the recent debacle in that city, I can no longer brag about that.

I am ashamed of the antics in my hometown, and particularly the antics emanating from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and its resident.

Diane Ross Oltorik

Ocean Park Court

Isle of Palms

Bus safety

School buses have been shown time and again to be the safest way for children to get to school — eight times faster than riding in cars, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Everything about school bus transportation is geared towards optimal safety — from the bright yellow color, flashing lights and sturdy construction of the buses to the training and skill of school bus drivers.

However, when student injuries involving a school bus do occur, most often they happen outside of the bus. Parents tshould teach children to stay 10 giant steps away from a school bus at all times so the driver can see them.

And motorists should use extra caution when driving near a school bus because children are near. South Carolina law requires drivers on a two-lane roadway to stop for a school bus with lights flashing and stop sign extended.

Our company, National Express, has team members throughout the state who work to ensure students get to school safely, on time and ready to learn. On any given day, our drivers witness stop-arm violations. Every time motorists illegally pass a school bus, they ut hcildren in danger.

When you spend a few extra minutes waiting for a stopped school bus, you save much more.

DAVID A. DUKE

Chief Executive Officer

National Express/Durham School Services

Weaver Parkway

Warrenville, Ill.