Change it

What were the members of the Board of Architectural Review drinking or smoking when they approved the plans for the renovation of 52 1/2 Murray Boulevard?

For at least 80 years, at the end of a tree-shaded driveway, sat a charming brick cottage with a small bay window on the front.

Suddenly, there appears a startling, glaringly inappropriate two-story facade of solid blue glass. Can anything be done to reverse this disaster?

One thought comes to mind. Perhaps we could return to the board persons who understand their role in preserving the architectural integrity and compatibility of our neighborhoods.

Patience D. Walker

Lowndes Street

Charleston

GM no more

General Motors Corp. does not exist anymore. It was replaced with General Motors, LLC. Former GMC common stock was cancelled with this transformation, as well as cancellation of debts.

How can GM now be held liable for faulty ignition switches of former products?

Raymond Kelhoffer

Coosawatchie Street

Summerville

Loss of power

What has happened to America? Political pundits - right and left - agree that America no longer is viewed as the greatest and the most powerful nation in the world.

Does Russia, where Putin flexes his muscle, fear us while President Obama plays golf? Does Assad respect us as President Obama changes his "red line"? Does Iran manipulate negotiations while jerking us around?

Our defense budget is being reduced to the point that the United States no longer is trusted to deliver military support to our allies, allowing rogue dictators to run amok.

Our military returns from battles wounded, scarred and unappreciated as their rightfully earned benefits face drastic reduction.

I have stopped counting the number of times President Obama declares "consequences" for the attack on Bengazi, Putin's invasion of Crimea, Iran's nuclear capability, Assad's breach of the "red line." Frankly, his follow-up of these "consequences" is just plain laughable. He has lost the respect of America and our allies and his low poll numbers shouldn't surprise anyone.

He has lied to the American people toward his objective of making Obamacare work. How's that working out?

Tom Mack

Tranquility Lane

Edisto island

Backward glimpse

According to Hanna Raskin's recent Reflections on the Wine + Food Festival, the Grand Tasting Tent "housed a few quality vendors but they were eclipsed by forgettable set-ups of mass-prepared food from second-rate restaurants."

Before getting on my defensive high horse, I looked up the definition of "second-rate" to be sure I understood the scope of the comment.

I also reviewed the list of participating vendors in the Tasting Tent just to be doubly sure. I am now officially defensive on behalf of those "of inferior quality or value: mediocre" establishments.

While Charleston has definitely risen to dining stardom, not every restaurant/chef can be a James Beard nominee/winner (yes there were some James Beard nominee vendors). Charleston's award-winning restaurant scene was built on the backs of those so-called second-rate businesses and their employees.

Participating in an event of this magnitude can be quite challenging and costly for smaller, independent restaurants with limited staff and resources; many trying to cover normal operations while at the same time trying to support the community effort that is the BB&T Wine + Food Festival.

How can you possibly feed 3,000 ticket holders a day without some form of mass production?

The second-rate reference is in direct contrast to her earlier comment in the article about it not taking a festival to remind restaurateurs that you can't please everyone.

Pleasing everyone is even more challenging in the food service industry; one diner's best meal of his life could just as easily be the next diner's worst.

If James Beard is to the food and beverage industry what the Oscars are to film, remember that many films are not recognized by the Academy Awards but are enjoyable nonetheless.

Lisa M. Buzzelli

Townpark Lane

Charleston

Boat launching

What a beautiful weekend! Among my stops was a visit to my favorite boat ramp at Wappoo Cut. I'm certain many fishermen and pleasure boaters share my frustration that people with no trailers park in the designated trailer spaces. Our tax revenues went to create the ramp for boaters.

I've never seen any enforcement at ramps other than signage, which doesn't mean much.

Please attend to this problem before our season really gets under way.

Robert Baxter

Lampton Road

Charleston

Survivors

Last week a police officer and I were involved in a roll-over accident.

I would like to thank the fire rescue teams, EMS, police, CDC dispatchers and the MUSC trauma team for their prompt and professional response.

We both survived what could have been serious injuries.

Bill Youngblood

Chaplain

Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy

Saint Andrews Boulevard

Charleston