Letters to the Editor
It’s nice to see that South Carolina legislators support a non-profit association — the American Legislative Exchange Council.
Too bad it happens to be “a Washington-based, mostly corporate-funded non-profit that pairs lawmakers across the country with business interests” instead of an in-state non-profit that is trying to raise funds by holding raffles.
I guess the ALEC does not have to rely on such activities to raise money for their fundraising. Lucky them.
W. Hartwick Lane
James Island wins
I extend my deepest and sincerest congratulations to James Island residents for voting to become a town. I am a four-year resident of Mount Pleasant, where I continue to pray: “Lord, they (Mount Pleasant regarding additional commercial endeavors) know not what they do.”
Living on a 70-mile island off of New York City for all of my 60 years, I can advise you just how sad it was to start out growing up at one end and constantly having to move eastward, escaping urban sprawl, all the way to the extreme other end.
Montauk, Long Island, remains our summer spot, a deep-sea fishing and farming community.
I commend James Islanders and hope Mount Pleasant will consider their example before breaking any more unnecessary commercial ground.
Americans take much of our history for granted. Settlers had to travel a full day by way of dirt roads on horseback and in buggies to stock up on a week’s provisions.
Why must we be so ungrateful as to wish everything be immediate? Why not distribute the wealth in several tax-based communities and count our blessings?
A lesson in civility
I am a Sullivan’s Island resident with four children. They attend Sullivan’s Island Elementary School (SIES).
The rebuilding of SIES has been delayed due to debate over the size of the school. The school district requires new schools to accommodate at least 500 students. It is 500 or zero. As a mother of young children and resident of the island, it should be no surprise that I favor a new SIES.
Sullivan’s Island is a special place. For generations its sense of community has grown from friendships among parents and students at SIES.
Future residents should enjoy that same wonderful communal gift. But from my perspective, the actual school is less important than the process and the examples we are setting for our children. My children are learning valuable lessons in civics. We attend Town Council meetings, converse nightly on SIES developments and explain to our children arguments for and against construction.
In fact, my 10-year-old recently addressed Town Council without any prodding or assistance from his parents.
I commend everyone who has been involved and respect their positions whether they concern architecture, economics, traditions, families or even simple convenience. The lesson of civic discourse has been rewarding.
Conversely, the tone of discourse and lack of civility have been disheartening. Issues have become confused in the rancorous sparring among egos. The process has been characterized by a lack of willingness to understand the views of others.
It is important for everyone involved in the debate to remember that our collective behavior informs the way that our children conduct themselves and engage with others.
I hope that at least two of my four children can attend what brought us to the island. But if that fails, at the very least, I hope that this process does not unravel the sense of respect for others that we have tried to instill in our children.
JENNIFER T. SMITH
The Ashley Hall Class of 1977 just celebrated its 35th reunion. The reunion festivities centered around the new Ashley Hall dining commons.
In his April 6 column Robert Behre discussed the wonderful architecture and the harmonious way that the building fits into the surrounding neighborhood. The building also received the prestigious Whitelaw Award from Historic Charleston Foundation.
During our reunion, I learned a few more attributes of the dining commons that have not yet been publicized. Jill Muti, head of school, called upon my classmate, Margaret Jenkins Donaldson, ASID, to create furnishings that were unique, sustainable and locally produced.
Margaret worked with local furniture maker, Brian Hall, to create tables of Forest Stewardship Council-certified bamboo tops. The tables tilt for storage when the space is needed. The chairs were made to be sturdy and useful, and they even have an “AH” in the design on the back. I am proud to be a part of a school that sees the importance of a local buying initiative.
I encourage all institutions to follow the example of Ashley Hall and support a local initiative, thus making us all responsible stewards of our community.
Croghan’s Jewel Box
I see that once again Sullivan’s Island is having a problem with the sand that accumulated after the Charleston jetties were built.
The collection of sand northeast of the jetties has robbed the islands southwest of the jetties. Morris Island is mostly gone and Folly Beach has severe erosion problems.
Let’s mine the sand that has accumulated, rebuild Morris Island and let nature move the sand to the southwest. Then we can concentrate on a more difficult related problem.
How can we move the sand and dirt that are filling the man-made lakes in the state to the ocean where they belong?
Joseph F. Mole Jr.
SCE&G vs. trees
Live oak trees are enduring symbols of the Carolina Lowcountry and coastal South.
Live oaks are prominent in local landmarks like White Point Garden, the Angel Oak on Johns Island, the Middleton Oak on the Ashley River, and the oak allee that frames Boone Hall.
The crest of the Town of Mount Pleasant, and many business and civic club logos include oak trees.
Disturbingly South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) seems to be at perpetual war with them. Once again, trees in Mount Pleasant’s Old Village (a district listed with the National Register of Historic Places) have been drastically pruned. Trees have been similarly scarred along Mathis Ferry Road, a South Carolina Scenic Byway.
In a Post and Courier article published not long ago, SCE&G’s public affairs coordinator likened such trimming to a haircut. For many trees a far more apt analogy would be an amputation, with mature limbs and a third or more of the trees’ canopies being removed.
The rationale given for cutting is safety and reliability of service. However, these objectives could be better achieved by systematically burying lines in the manner recently seen on King Street and in planned communities like Daniel Island.
I challenge the natural monopoly that is SCE&G — the enterprise that erected over-sized rusty power poles to the leading entrance into Mount Pleasant — to be better corporate citizens.
J. Brett Bennett
Street run mess
Your article in the April 20 Post and Courier revealed the problems in the city’s permitting a run through the peninsula at 6 p.m. on a weekday evening.
As a resident along two passes of this group, I would add that the runners left a trail of trash that was surely their responsibility. Maybe they expected their moms to come along to pick up after them.
In any case, should the special events staff ever approve another such run, it should consider both timing and cleanup.
H. A. Deane
East Bay Street