Letters to the Editor
I drive, bike and walk through and in Hampton Park. General rules of the road do not apply well there. A couple of things we can try:
1) Get rid of the enforced lane changes at the exits so that the outside lane continues around the circle. Incoming traffic can yield when it is necessary.
If motorists can use the outside lane continuously it would be rare even to want to use the inside lane.
2) Improve visibility at the four corners so walkers can see oncoming vehicles. Autos and fast bicycles can see if they are overtaking slower bikers and walkers.
In the park where the speed limit is 20 mph everyone should be able to share the road safely, easily and cheerfully. The park is for all of us.
We don’t need more signage. There are already 66 road signs in the park.
Richard Schreadley’s swooning June 8 column on the Wisconsin recall election entirely missed the elephant in the room:
Republican Gov. Scott Walker outspent his Democratic rival by a ratio of seven to one. Moreover, a handful of rich out-of-state donors contributed more to the Walker campaign than all of the challengers’ many thousands of contributors combined.
That several of our ruling oligarchs could so seriously have influenced (or, rather, “controlled”) the election seems far more important than the arguable point about voters being ready to endorse Walker’s “tough decision” to strip union members of their collective bargaining rights and reducing their pension benefits. Given the gross funding imbalance, the outcome is, at best, tainted.
Even worse, to my mind, was the column’s overall celebration of Walker’s stripping middle-class workers of job benefits. Our middle class is dwindling, and steps such as this accelerate the process.
We are moving toward a society harshly divided between the haves and the have-nots. We also are heading toward a government of the oligarchs, by the oligarchs and for the oligarchs.
None of this is cause for celebration.
Whispering Marsh Drive
Your June 2 article “Trash into treasure,” with a picture of a man fishing at the back beach, stirred memories of my early childhood visits to Sullivan’s Island in the ’50s.
I grew up by Hampton Park. When my father said we were going to the island, I always could count on an adventure and a good time.
My grandfather George Dixon lived on Myrtle Avenue near Station 26, and the back beach landing was a short distance from his house. Myrtle Avenue was the last street before you reached the marsh.
Behind his house were sand dunes covered with plum trees which were a haven for wild rabbits and lizards. This is where I built my fort to repulse attacks by the British and invaders from the north.
At the back beach I kept Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet at bay with my trusty rubber knife and wooden rifle. After saving the island, I would relax by fishing if the tide was high, or crabbing if it was low.
I could walk to Cantwell’s corner grocery or the larger Triangle Grocery to get a Coke and nabs.
I would ride my bike to the Sullivan’s Island Theater, Battery Thompson or the ballfield where I played for the Island Cardinals. I could go anywhere on the island by myself except for swimming.
At night was family time, as we would sit on the front screened-in porch, listen to the crickets and watch for lightning bugs. My grandfather and parents would talk, and I would listen. There were no televisions or video games.
I always found my way to the hammock on the front porch where I would fall asleep to the sounds of the night and the cool ocean breezes. The night ended around 5 a.m. when George and Bert Wurthman across the street would leave for their paper route in their Jeep.
I read the June 3 article about the continuous failure of the S.C. State Department of Insurance to serve the interests of homeowners regarding the escalation of insurance rates in the Lowcountry.
It seems that homeowner policy rate increases are automatic as long as they are kept below 7 percent. Apparently, insurance companies are required to provide little justification.
Also, the information utilized by insurance companies to determine rate increases is considered “proprietary” and is not available to the State Department of Insurance. How can this be tolerated when millions of dollars are expended by policy holders in South Carolina?
Look no further than your local representatives. It appears they are in bed with the insurance companies as they have reduced the Department of Consumer Affairs staff by 50 percent over the last five years and have basically given insurance companies free rein to pursue rate increases with little scrutiny.
By reducing the Consumer Affairs staff to 30, they have assured that there will be little oversight of matters pertinent to policyholders.
Last spring, The Post and Courier published an outstanding series of articles that documented the abuses of the state’s largest health insurer, Blue Cross. Despite excess capital reserves, policy-holders’ premiums increased 17 percent, but board of director salaries doubled or more. None of the reserves were utilized to reduce policy-holder premiums.
Again, how can this be? What does the State Department of Insurance do for consumers?
Our governor and legislators often state that South Carolina is a business-friendly state. One can readily see that is the case as there is little regulation being enforced as corporate welfare escalates and consumers are left to wonder who is looking out for their welfare.
Don’t look to your elected representatives; they apparently are too busy serving the interests of others and have little time for our concerns.
Sen. Lindsey Graham wants to avoid arbitrary cuts to defense spending levels by cutting the federal civilian workforce. This assumes current spending levels are correct and should be maintained. He argues that our forces would become the “smallest in years” relative to what they were in the past, but not in consideration of what we might need in the future.
The best way to determine a proper level of defense spending is to use a zero-based approach, which assumes no existing level of expense but requires a line by line justification to build a budget of estimated needs.
This avoids the mistake of simply applying a percentage to the most recent actual expense, which may be out of touch with reality.
As a veteran and resident of South Carolina, I believe in the importance of sufficient defense capabilities for our nation, and recognize the economic impact on our state.
However, the military commitment here should be a byproduct of a well-considered zero-based budget.
Robert P. Watson
I am a resident of the Del Webb community in Berkeley County. For over a year we have been experiencing accidents, including one fatality at the intersection of Cane Bay Boulevard and Route 176.
We have been promised that a traffic light will be installed there. We have been given three different dates and various scenarios and excuses regarding why it hasn’t been done yet.
In the meantime, accidents continue at this very dangerous site.
The Del Webb community is currently engaged in a call-in campaign to various contacts, all of whom have been very cooperative. However, each of their stories about this installation differs from one to the other.
These contacts include the project managers of Distrct 6 in Berkeley County, Sen. Paul Campbell and the Traffic Department of Berkeley County.
Our first promise was to have this light installed by the time the new high school opened. Then, before the new Publix opened. Now it’s after the new middle school opens, sometime in September “or maybe sooner.”
Right. We are growing very tired and impatient with the red tape and excuses and “reasons” this light is still in the box.
Every day that goes by is another opportunity for a serious accident or fatality. Now, with the middle school opening soon, more and more children will be present.
Do we need to see another death here to get the powers-that-be to take action?
I certainly hope and pray not.
Sea Lavender Lane