Data debacle

I am certain that the S.C. Department of Revenue has no grasp on the facts surrounding the “hacking” incident.

I became even more convinced of this recently when my household received its “Data Breach Notification” letters.

I was not surprised to receive such notification since I had “e-filed” last year, primarily because SCDOR gave me incentive to do so: additional time to file and pay without penalty or interest.

The data breach letter stated that “as an electronic tax filer your tax information was compromised.” Going forward, I will no longer e-file with SCDOR and I am certain that many other filers will take the same approach.

Most disturbing, however, is that my spouse received the same data breach letter referencing being an “electronic tax filer,” which he was not. He filed a paper return.

The DOR was reported as saying that these were unique instances and will be explained if the tax filer notifies them. Surely, no one can expect this to actually happen given their accountability so far with timely and accurate notifications.

The DOR and Gov. Nikki Haley owe South Carolina taxpayers transparent explanations of what happened and must provide timely proof of preventative actions going forward.

Cathy Dawn

Draper Street

North Charleston

Unpleasant

As I ride to work each morning on Coleman Boulevard, a huge four-story building casts a shadow across the road. The lights cut on and traffic slows.

It is being built with no apparent setback near the intersection with Fairmont Road.

Doesn’t Mount Pleasant have a board of archectural review? How could it allow this ugly thing with no curb appeal?

It takes away from the town atmosphere and makes me feel that we are to become the city of Mount Pleasant.

Let the New Yorkification of Mount Pleasant begin.

Jim Brumby

Cazais Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Fair trade

Government spending and jobs for Americans continue to be primary issues of this new year.

Foreign aid is one of the things we cannot afford when our own house calls for repair.

Billions paid out each year can be saved and placed toward our national debt, and with no increase in taxation at any class level. Foreign aid is money Americans cannot afford to “give away.”

We need to repeal all free trade agreements.

What’s of greater importance? Huge profits made by multinational American corporations, through cheap foreign labor, and less government regulation, or the American people?

Repealing free trade agreements will bring jobs back home and employ millions of Americans. An employed America is a healthy America.

These steps will help to stop America’s further slide down- hill and add to stabilization and bounce-back. It’s simple math.

Bill Ivy

Point Park Drive

Johns Island

Protect students

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook tragedy, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey offered to place an armed police officer in every elementary school in the city of North Charleston, saying: “My number one job is to ensure the safety of our citizens.”

One would think he would be praised. But Dot Scott, president of the local NAACP, and CUPS (Citizens United for Public Schools) says the move is hasty, ill-advised and possibly injurious.

It’s painfully obvious that security and safety measurements now in place both here and around the country don’t work.

As for officers handling discipline rather than educators, we know how well our educators are handling problem discipline.

We can never know if having an armed policeman inside the school at Sandy Hook would have saved everyone — or anyone for that matter. But it might have.

Ms. Scott needs to look at the big picture. Maybe if she and her citizens groups would work with law enforcement we might prevent another Sandy Hook tragedy.

We all need to get off our soap boxes and ask if we could live with ourselves knowing that a shooting occurred because we failed to take the opportunity to protect children.

I couldn’t.

Bob Martin

Homer Drive

Cross

Motives maligned

The Post and Courier is flexing its “anti-greenway and anti-completion of I-526” muscle via Dana Beach’s op-ed of Jan. 8 and Dr. Melanie Thomas’ letter of Jan. 9.

People on all sides of an issue are entitled to their opinions, and should be treated respectfully. I encourage that.

There are many who favor the greenway as a means of safer transportation on southern Johns Island.

Concerning Mr. Beach’s comment that completing I-526 would deprive “the region of at least $556 million that could have been used to address the maintenance backlog or to add capacity to critical transportation arteries like I-26”:

If that money is not spent to complete I-526 here, then there is likely to be a mad scramble for its use in other parts of the state.

Further, no one, to my knowledge, is advocating a “callous disregard for the environment and the communities in their path.” On the contrary, preservation of the environment is uppermost.

As for Dr. Thomas of MUSC, she seems to be a dedicated caregiver. Surely, though, she understands that most roads are “built at taxpayers’ expense.” She should also be aware that most who benefit from a safer road across Johns Island are not the residents of Kiawah or Seabrook.

Concerning her description of “wealthy entitled white people from Kiawah and Seabrook” wanting to “speed through mostly black communities —and avoid having their senses affronted or their speed inhibited” — can you believe this?

As only one example, the Kiawah-Seabrook Exchange Club has donated thousands of dollars annually to many Johns Island organizations as well as giving numerous educational scholarships to deserving Johns Island students.

The residents of Kiawah and Seabrook donate hours of their time and talents to help improve the quality of life on Johns Island.

They would not do these things if they didn’t care. Historically, Kiawah and Seabrook residents have not asked for government help commensurate with the taxes they pay. They should not be embarrassed about or ridiculed for speaking up for safer roads.

Sam Reed

Baywood Drive

Seabrook Island

Beware of scams

I received a text message Jan. 13 saying that I had won the January $1,000 gift card from Best Buy. All I had to do was log on to the website they provided and enter a promo code and the card would be sent to me.

Somehow, it rang a few bells and I didn’t do anything, just exited out.

I called Best Buy and was told it was a scam, that someone was trying to take over my phone and/or computer.

I went to T-Mobile and that was confirmed.

When I asked why no one had warned the public about this, they said it goes on all the time.

My cell number was just out there and was randomly (computer) selected, and when I “entered the promo code” I would be “activating” their use and control of my phone or whatever device I used when I got on their site.

Truth: There is no free lunch. Be careful what you do and who you contact.

If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Be careful.

Margaret Lentz

Hood Street

Charleston

Cruise prosperity

Charleston is a port city, it needs a terminal and oceangoing ships.

Cruise ships bring jobs and feed our local economy. They do not create more pollution than container ships.

Tony Bassett

Claremont Street

Mount Pleasant