Head voices

Good parents teach their children about the dangers of the world: strangers, inappropriate touching, drugs, unprotected sex and sadly, on and on. In light of one more terrible tragedy, I think it’s way past time for parents to address another of life’s dangers. Voices in your head.

Brain disease is a difficult, frightening subject, but we must address it. Children hearing voices in their head, should know to tell their parents. Parents need to make it clear to their children that it is safe for them to tell.

Parents must be vigilant. I’m not talking about imaginary friends. I’m talking about persistent psychosis, which is almost always terrifyingly negative. But it’s treatable, and the consequences of not treating it are clearly horrific.

I don’t know where lies the line between evil and illness, but I do know that psychosis was responsible for most of the mass shootings our nation has experienced in the past few years.

The guns used in the Dec. 14 horror are reasonable personal protection weapons. It’s not the guns; it’s the illness.

We must erase the stigma of brain disease, and we must, as a society, begin recognizing, accepting and treating psychosis as an illness that is perhaps not preventable, but most certainly treatable.

Jean Everett, Ph.D.

Murphy’s Court

Charleston

Give a hug

On Tuesday I went by Jennie Moore Elementary School to give my two young girls a hug and a kiss. I even had lunch with the older girl and took her a peppermint shake.

After being unemployed for several months, then seeing what occurred on Dec. 14, I had to do this.

I encourage others to do this even if you do not mention the atrocity which occurred to the kids north of us.

I also thanked the policeman standing guard when I left, before my eyes started to get watery.

Brooks Jenkins

Broad Street

Charleston

Maybank zoning

On Dec. 11, citizens of James Island had a chance to meet with the designers and developers of the gathering place project planned for a wooded piece of land right behind the Piggly Wiggly shopping center on Maybank Highway.

These three gentlemen tried to assure us that they were providing the best design that we could hope for on this property, given the constraints of the City of Charleston’s gathering place zoning.

As the evening went on, I actually began to feel some compassion for them. They are victims of this unfortunate, unworkable zoning district just as we are.

Their project will give us a massive structure of high density rental units unlike anything else on James Island, stacking 110 people per acre on five-plus acres and requiring parking for over 425 cars.

They offered only weak hope that at some future time, public transportation might be available to prevent these cars from wreaking havoc on Maybank Highway and Folly Road. We also were told that this particular structure was only a small portion of what would eventually arise on the other 17 acres of this tract.

It is certain that something will be built. Also certain: It will bring in more people and more cars. Currently, there isn’t even room for a bus to pull off Maybank Highway to pick up passengers.

We were frustrated, but were told that “the owner has rights” and that there are “people coming” who want to live here and we must make space for them.

Rights. Do the people of James Island have the right to the peaceful enjoyment of their own property, the preservation of their existing communities and the conservation of the coastal waterways and marshes?

The city’s Century V Land Use Plan calls for buildings to “reflect rather than be foreign to the neighborhood scale.”

Admirable words. Ignored.

Sam Berry

Harbor View Road

James Island

Damage claims

Ever wonder what percentage of your auto insurance premium goes to pay damage claims?

Between Progressive’s “Flo” and Allstate’s “Mr. Mayhem” every hour on every TV channel I wonder if there is any money left to pay claims after their advertising budgets.

What if 40 percent to 50 percent of our premium dollars were required to be used to pay claims? After all, claims are their product.

Years ago I was in Columbia at hearings as insurance company lobbyists pressed for tort reform (which they got). The senator from Marlboro County asked them why less than 10 percent of the premium dollar was used to pay claims. The insurance company lobbyists had no answer.

Our illustrious Gov. Nikki Haley has appointed an insurance company lobbyist as insurance commissioner to protect S.C. citizens against unfair insurance practices. Don’t you know he will knock himself out for the people?

I know that South Carolinians are required by God to vote Republican every election — but couldn’t we at least get good Republicans to vote for? Couldn’t 30 percent of our premium dollar be used to pay claims? Does almost all of the money have to go for TV ads and CEO bonuses?

Gary A. Ling

Attorney

W. Montague Avenue

North Charleston

Sinking feeling

I was unhappy with County Council’s decision to complete I-526. Then Saturday the bottom of my stomach fell open when an article by Diane Knich verified part of the dread I feel about the council’s decision. There is a renewed push to put a greenway across Johns Island and possibly change River Road to four lanes. The area won’t stand that without major ecological changes.

Johns Island is a farming island. It is the largest island in South Carolina and is the fourth largest on the East Coast. Johns Island is 84 square miles in area, with a population of over 14,000. The developers and realtors and the mayor of Charleston want it to become as occupied as West Ashley, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant, and they don’t care that it will completely destroy the agrarian society of the island.

As to Seabrook and Kiawah islands, people moved there knowing it was a long trip into Charleston and that it would take time to travel it.

They do not have the right to demand a four-lane highway to reach their limited access property by destroying others’ property.

Johns Island residents will lose their great trees and much of their farm land.

People who have lived on property for generations may lose some of their property and cause a dramatic change in the island’s ecosystem.

Can’t you just leave us alone?

Alan Laughlin

Darwin Street

James Island

Total authority

Once again Chip Limehouse has demonstrated his lack of regard as to participation by other members of the Charleston County Aviation Board.

He apparently thinks that any input from them is not necessary — that the chairmanship of the group gives him total authority for making all decisions regarding the very important Aviation Board, including choosing new members.

Cronyism and favoritism among too many South Carolina politicians is unfortunately a way of life when appointments are made to positions impacting the community. I am a firm believer in term limits for elected positions.

I am not “from off.” I was born in the South Carolina Lowcountry long before Mr Limehouse. Also, there are people who are willing to serve their communities without recognition or payment.

John DuBois

Coon Hollow Drive

Johns Island

Blocking the way

Tim Scott’s first pronouncement after being elevated by Gov. Nikki Haley to fill the state’s vacant U.S. Senate seat was to advise the Congress to go slowly in taking action to curb the senseless national carnage fomented by assault weapons.

It appears the do-nothing Tea Party conservatives in South Carolina’s congressional delegation will have an ally in preventing any progress in moving the country forward.

Carl Nandrasy

Olympic Lane

Mount Pleasant