Miscasting women

Frank Wooten’s Oct. 19 column was moving nicely to explain why the percentage of South Carolina women in the state Legislature is second lowest in the nation. Then it took an abrupt change of tone, ending with “My Fair Lady” lyrics of women demeaned as servants or potential prostitutes. I doubt Mr. Wooten intended to demean women, but the referenced lyrics did not depict women as capable of entering the political world.

True, women are needed in politics, so why are they not eager to jump into the fray? Some obstacles include being the heart of the home, child rearing, supporting a bread- winning husband and fear of placing family in harm’s way. Many work out of the home, while also tending home and family. Then there is the looming spectre of lives torn apart by innuendo, lies or having families scrutinized with intent to uncover scandal.

Unless independently wealthy, women have difficulty mustering campaign funds. It is indeed a difficult road for women to run for political office, but there could be no better time for doing so.

Women manage home, finance and family, develop support groups and partnerships, lead negotiations, are entrepreneurs and are innately compassionate. They repeatedly prove themselves in the arts, business, civic, science and technical fields as leaders. Political organizations train and support women in developing their political skills and managing campaigns. It cannot be too difficult to earn political credentials as noted by those already participating.

Let women unite and give them a show they will not forget next election. It is time to support qualified women leaders.

Shirley B. Berardo

Schooner Bend Avenue


GOP adds to debt

During the Clinton administration the country was doing well economically and the government was actually running a surplus and reducing the size of the national debt.

In 1999, the last full year of the Clinton administration, the total interest paid on the national debt was $353.5 billion. If that amount had increased at the rate of inflation ($1 in 1999 is worth $1.40 in 2013) then it would have been $494.9 billion in 2013.

In fact, the interest on the national debt for the 2012-13 fiscal year was $415.7 billion; that is $79.2 billion less under the Obama administration than it was under the Clinton administration, adjusted for inflation.

Because the annual budget deficit was still unacceptably high, President Obama asked the Congress to return the U.S. income tax rates to the levels that existed before the Bush tax cuts went into effect, at least for the highest earning Americans. This would have brought about a significant reduction in the growth of the annual budget deficit.

Unfortunately, this is something that the Republicans in Congress would not permit.

As if this were not enough, according to Standard & Poor’s, the cost of the Republican inspired 16-day government shutdown was $24 billion. Additionally, S&P estimates that the government shutdown has decreased the anticipated U.S. Gross Domestic Product growth rate for the fourth quarter by one full percentage point. That is another $40.5 billion lost over the last quarter of this year alone.

The national debt is large but manageable; the number of Republicans in Congress intent on damaging the U.S. government for political gain is small but lethal to the long- term economic and political health of our nation.

At some point, hopefully enough independent voters will critically examine the facts and the damage that the Republican political shenanigans have caused our government and our economy and “vote the rascals out.”

John P. Bowler

Mulroy Court


Replacing sand

Brian Hicks made valid points in his Oct. 13 column about who should be responsible for the renourishment of Folly Beach. Yes, building jetties displaces sand and causes beaches to erode. It isn’t just Folly Beach homeowners who use the beach.

We are blessed with over 100 miles of beautiful beaches and coastline in South Carolina. Due to displacement of sand, storms and hurricanes, our beaches have to be renourished.

Why? Because tourism is South Carolina’s greatest industry. Keep our mountain streams flowing, lakes clear and our beaches clean and renourished.

Helen C. Sander

Seignious Drive


Sex education

Much has been written in recent weeks about sex education in our schools. This is partially because the teen birth rate in South Carolina has traditionally topped the nation’s, and our nation has historically had the highest teen birth rate among developed nations.

In an effort to reduce the amount of money being spent on teen pregnancy, the Legislature passed the Comprehensive Health Education Act in 1988.

Based on public polling of South Carolina citizens, a majority support the teaching of comprehensive sex education in our schools. Such programs not only teach methods of preventing pregnancy and transmission of disease but also stress abstinence.

Unfortunately, not all school districts in South Carolina have implemented the Comprehensive Health Education Act. While it is positive to see that the number of youth having sex for the first time has decreased, we need to be cognizant of the number of youth who are already having sex. In 2011 slightly over 50 percent of 10th graders and two-thirds of 11th and 12th graders reported already having sex.

In March 2009, Time magazine cited a program in Anderson County, S.C., that was successfully using the comprehensive approach. In the first three years of the program, teen births remained steady and then began to drop.

Joe Chambers, M.D.

Albemarle Road


Biking dangers

An Oct. 28 editorial titled “Accommodating cars, bikes” mentioned the Ben Sawyer bridge as not having an adequate pedestrian/bike lane. As I remember the construction of the bridge, money was added to accommodate the walkers/riders at the time and the sidewalk was incorporated into the design and finished product. The fact that it is now deemed insufficient is not relevant to the current attempt to provide access from Battery2Beach.

Also, Ben Sawyer Boulevard would be better described as a causeway, a very narrow road through tidal marshes.

It is exceedingly dangerous for bike riders to avoid using the bike path on the west side of the roadway, just because they have a “right” to share the road. There is little enough room as it is without traffic having to slow and attempt a safe pass, or move to the oncoming traffic lane. Neither choice is desirable for either the motorist or the biker. I understand the bike path is probably not up to modern standards, but it is there.

Bikers lobby incessantly for bike lanes, and then do not use them, exercising their right to the roadway.

That is the height of hubris.

David L. Fortiere

Atlantic Avenue

Sullivan’s Island

Veterans parade

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the VA Hospital and its staff for their efforts in putting on the Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 3. It was an honor to show our appreciation, not only to the veterans participating in the parade, but to all of our veterans, past and present.

I would also like to thank the North Charleston High School Band for its contribution to the parade.

But where was The Citadel Band? If any band should be in that parade, certainly it should be at the top of the list.

I understand it was homecoming weekend and they had a lot of activities on Friday and Saturday, but this was a great opportunity for a military school to support the military.

I know in previous Veterans Day parades The Citadel band has been noticeably absent as well, and I feel this should be rectified in the future.

Joe Eigner

Greenhill Street