Help Japan

Water Missions International is to be applauded for the sensational job and service it performs. There is probably nothing in this world more precious than clean water except life itself.

The Japanese people give meaning to terms like courageous, tenacious, stoic, polite, gracious, disciplined, honest and orderly. This is all due to their beliefs, their upbringing and traditions.

Please, Water Missions, send Japan your water purification systems but leave your Bibles at home. They can teach us lessons about how to live and treat others.

Annie Sitton

Radcliffe Place

Charleston

Honest politicians

It's tough being an honest politician. Sen. Jim DeMint has publicly stated he will not vote for federal bills with earmarks. Earmarks are the sneaky way politicians obtain government money and "bring home the bacon" for their constituents. Keeps voters happy unless they are not in the right voting district or state. It also puts Uncle Sam further in debt.

I believe the senator is a man of honor who is good not only for the people of South Carolina but for all Americans. Wish we had more politicians like him.

Kenneth Anderson Jr.

Planters Curve

Mount Pleasant

The full story

A recent article by Brian Hicks was an interesting accounting of the parts Capt. Charles J. Relyea and Robert Smalls played in our local history. Mr. Hicks wrote in part, "The Confederate brass was so upset that Relyea, his first mate and engineer were court-martialed for leaving the ship untended."

This is true as far as the story goes. Mr. Hicks apparently did not complete his research.

Initially, Capt. Relyea was court-martialed and found guilty of all charges. He was sentenced to three months imprisonment and fined $500. Failure to pay the fine at, or before the expiration of three months would bring another two months in prison.

However, a careful review of these proceedings by higher command stated in part, "It is not clearly shown that General Orders No. 5 referred to in the specifications to the charges had ever been properly communicated to Capt. Relyea nor do any measures appear to have been taken by his superiors to enforce an habitual compliance with the requirements of those orders."

It further states, "Under these circumstances I do not consider that the public service will be benefited by the punishment of Capt. Relyea -- the sentence is therefore remitted and he will be released from arrest." This order was issued by Maj. Gen. Pemberton.

It would be a shame to leave the readers with the impression that Capt. Relyea's long career ended with this unfortunate episode. He continued to serve until he was lost at sea in 1863 when the steamer Nina foundered during a storm.

Robert Gissell

Cotton House Road

Charleston

Medicare rules

Times are a-changin' and they are dangerous. Will somebody tell me, can somebody tell me, why an 83-year-old woman with Alzheimer's who lives in a nursing home and needs a mastectomy is considered by Medicare as an outpatient surgical patient?

I asked why she couldn't stay for a 24-hour observation and I was told, "It's not the hospital rule. It's Medicare."

The surgery was at 8 a.m., she was in recovery at 9:30 a.m., and at noon she was at the curb ready to go. Well, not exactly. As soon as we got her back to her memory care unit, a 10-minute ride, the pain and vomiting began. It lasted for hours, and her surgeon had to readmit her to the hospital for the 24-hour observation she had needed in the first place.

Can you tell me how this saved Medicare money?

Nancy Quinn

Mulligan Drive

Mount Pleasant

Budget talk

Perhaps if people had actually listened to the presentation at the March 8 Charleston County School District budget shortfall meeting at Burke High and held their comments until the end, we could have all learned something about what was supposed to have been the topic of the night.

Because of constant interruptions, I wasted an hour and 15 minutes on a school night at what was slated to have been an hour-long meeting (and I left before it was over). I came away not knowing much more about the district's ideas for handling the unprecedented budget shortfall than I did before I walked in the door.

The District 20 Constituent School Board clearly needs to brush up on the CCSD operating budget and the way monies can be raised and allocated. They could also use a lesson on what outsourcing a service entails.

If, as a concerned citizen in a public meeting, you have something to let everyone know, it would be better received if you presented it at an appropriate time and not in a tone that is solely argumentative. Save your soap-boxing for a letter to the editor, and don't rudely waste the time of others who came to hear the speaker.

Michael Bobby deserves every penny of his salary just for having to remain polite at meetings like that; lucky for me, I was able to get up and leave.

Laura Overcash

Saint Margaret Street

Charleston

Correct grammar

The editorial "Cartoons to the rescue" March 14, suggests that cartoon characters, whose images have helped hawk boxes of candy and cereal, might also be successful in selling nutritious foods. I agree. Why not try it?

In a similar manner, faces from the newspaper comics could help promote something else children (and adults, too) need: correct English grammar. Poor grammar is so pervasive that many people haven't a clue that they are participating in the death of our mother tongue.

Recently, there were two comics in The Post and Courier that were promising. Grand Avenue, by Steve Breen, shows young Michael saying to his dog, "Lay down, Rudy. Lay down... Lay down! I thought you were learning obedience."

If only the dog could talk! His thoughts: "It's 'lie' down. I thought you were learning grammar."

A few days later, Mallard Fillmore, by Bruce Tinley, poked fun at those who say the meaningless "I could care less."

Well, it's a start. I hope these "grammar lessons on the comics pages" foretell a trend.

Nancy I. Romness

White Heron Lane

Charleston