Armed security

In light of the unbelievable tragedy in Newtown, Conn., I believe that the Charleston County School District should consider placing armed personnel at all of the schools under its jurisdiction.

There is a wealth of highly trained, retired members of the armed forces in our area. They could serve as contract workers and as such not incur additional expenses associated with full employment.

I suggest two individuals per school, working on a shift basis of five hours a day, five days a week — one shift from seven until 12, the other from 12 to five. They would cover for each other in the event of sickness. They would provide their own weapons and swat type of uniforms to give authority and presence.

A flat rate of $15 per hour would result in a cost of around $3,000 a month per school. No small cost, but I believe a bargain and I am sure the parents of the school would be willing to incur a levy to provide such security. If you have 2,000 students in a school, it would cost about $1.50 per student, per month and so on proportionally.

James Gilliard

Myrtle Court

Mount Pleasant

Season of caring

In this season of holiday sales and its concurrent barrage of advertising — from print to television, to the Internet to direct mail — it is tempting to become cynical about this season of good will.

Recently, an unhappy event demonstrated to me that individuals still respond with care and feeling when someone is in need.

My wife fainted in the Publix parking lot off Route 41 in Mount Pleasant. I rushed to her side, put my hand to her head and found blood. She was unconscious, and her breathing was shallow. I began to yell for help.

People quickly gathered around. One man knelt down and joined me in trying to revive her. A woman dialed 911 and began relaying directions to me from the emergency operator.

Moments later, first responders from the Mount Pleasant Fire Department arrived and began first aid. Minutes later, a Charleston County Emergency Service ambulance arrived. The crew stabilized my wife then placed her in their vehicle for the ride downtown to Roper Hospital.

As I stood there, bewildered, an assistant manager from Publix named Phil approached and said I was in no shape to drive. He said he would have a Publix employee drive me to the emergency room, if I wished. I agreed. He said he would lead the way in his own car. An employee named Jeff took my car keys, and we followed Phil to the hospital.

Jeff made small talk all the way, probably to calm me down. He parked the car in a Roper garage and joined Phil at the emergency room, making sure I could take it from there. They shook my hand, wished me good luck and left.

I want to thank Phil and Jeff for caring and helping in my time of need. Also the members of the Mount Pleasant Fire Department and the EMS crew.

It bolsters my faith that the good in people comes out in the worst of times, especially in this, the best of seasons.

My wife is recovering nicely.

Alan Eysen

Fresh Meadow Lane

Mount Pleasant

Giving naturally

It’s not that tough of a decision to get outside and enjoy some time in nature on these beautiful December weekends, but throw some landscaping work into the equation and that decision may not come so easily.

Thanks to the generosity of the Alhambra Garden Club and Girl Scout Troop 394, the Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy was given a wonderful hand cleaning up and preparing the Marsh View Trail butterfly garden for winter.

I am grateful to the ladies of Alhambra for donating the funds needed for mulch and supplies, in addition to digging in on the work, and to the young ladies from Girl Scout Troop 394 who worked hard to clean up the garden.

Their laughter filled the air among the handful of butterflies still enjoying the remaining flowers, and it was a pleasure to see all these young ladies unplugged from technology and immersed in nature.

The morning could not have been capped off any better if we had planned it, with an aerial display when a bald eagle was chased overhead by an osprey, most likely trying to reclaim a fish caught in the nearby creek behind the trail.

It was a very special day and exactly the type of connection between people and nature that the Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy continually wishes for.

John Girault

Executive Director

Mount Pleasant

Land Conservancy

Rifle Range Road

Mount Pleasant

Loved the parade

My experience at the Mount Pleasant Christmas parade on Dec. 10 was exceptional and far from “appalling,” as stated in a recent letter. It warmed my heart to see the many children being encouraged in their endeavors by their parents, coaches, teachers, etc.

I enjoyed the marching bands, dancers, gymnasts, soccer players, ROTC, basketball players, scouts and numerous church floats, many with live singing by our talented youth.

I agree that a nighttime parade presents a challenge as far as lighting goes, but I applaud any local business for showing community spirit by joining in our local Christmas parade.

I am proud that our town officials trust the adult populace enough to allow us to share “spirits” as a part of our Christmas cheer with our neighbors and behave responsibly.

Many people set up tables of food and carry drinks for the kids, thus the coolers. I rode my bike to the parade, and there were lines of cars waiting patiently to exit the area.

It was very orderly and the drivers were courteous to us as we biked back home. Perhaps the parade planners could better vet the floats, as in the case of the “Guilty Pleasures” float, but overall I felt this year was the best parade ever.

It felt like a warm hug for our community.

Laura Maginn

Goblet Avenue

Mount Pleasant

School safety

It was comforting recently to arrive home and have two voice messages from the Charleston County School superintendent and the Charleston Charter School for Math and Science principal about school safety.

It is a terrible tragedy that requires conversations to start over school safety.

It is my hope and prayer that the leaders of CCSD and the opposition to CCSMS dig deep into their hearts and examine their positions on preventing the middle school from occupying the 40 percent of the renovated Rivers Campus.

The future students of Lowcountry Tech have a safe, relatively new empty campus at Burke High School that could be used for their curriculum.

It would be a travesty for a disaster at the Rivers campus, be it an earthquake, severe weather, etc., to cause our community to question why our middle schoolers are required to stay in mobile units.

If the leaders of our community can feel good at looking these precious students in the eye and telling them they are not deserving of a safe environment, then I question their hearts and souls.

Tricia Eldridge

Rutledge Avenue

Charleston

Hillary’s fall

How convenient for our Secretary of State to have a “dizzy spell,” “a mysterious fall,” “a concussion” days before her having to testify before Congress for the second time about the horrific deaths and lack of security in Libya on Sept. 11.

Sadly for our country, a coward is a coward, and some are not fit to be in any office in our government.

Yep, and this will be our candidate for president in the next election, simply because she is a female. Surely not because of her record as secretary of state and lack of leadership in Libya.

Shame on you, Hillary Clinton. And on those who continue to cover up your lies.

God bless America.

Louise Anderson

Gordon Street

Charleston