Vet meets vet

Recently, my wife and I celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary. One of our sons put our picture and a brief story about our lives in your paper. It mentioned that I was a retired U.S. Navy Seabee (Construction Battalion).

I got a call from a 93-year-old WWII Seabee vet living in West Ashley. Although he is 13 years older than me, we had quite a chat. He’s one of the remaining true heroes who made life safe for us.

I learned that he graduated from Charleston High School in 1938, and when Pearl Harbor was attacked and war declared he joined the Navy and was assigned to a Seabee unit.

He wound up in the Pacific and saw action at Saipan, Titian, Leyte, Luzon and elsewhere. After the war, he came home to Charleston and worked for the next 35 years building ships at the Charleston Navy Yard.

I have very poor vision and am not able to drive. I walk with my wife Mary every day at our Goose Creek gym.

Occasionally, I see our mayor, Michael Heitzler. walking as well. I recently had the chance to tell him the story of Frank Craven and how much I wanted to take him to lunch sometime, but I had no way to do that.

The mayor wanted to meet him as well and offered to drive me. We both commended him for his service to our country.

I am thankful to Mayor Heitzler for taking the time to make this visit possible. He is definitely a “people” person and listens to his citizens.

Dave Jacobson

U.S. Navy (Retired)

Fox Chase Drive

Goose Creek

Trashy forest

I recently was looking forward to a shortcut to Georgetown from Charleston. I decided to go “through the forest” — the Francis Marion National Forest. I’ve done this before and always enjoy the beautiful scenery that our forests provide.

However, I felt like the Indian in the old TV commercial weeping from seeing all the trash. Halfway Creek Road was terribly littered for at least five miles from the Highway 41 intersection.

It was disappointing to see all of this when there is such a big promotion to “Go Green.”

Dan Lenhart

Casa Bianca Drive

Charleston

Home refinancing

David Slade’s Jan. 27 column, “Doors open on Refis,” misses one very important option when considering a refinance. He writes, “There are costs associated with refinancing, typically several thousand dollars in fees and lender charges. ... You’ll need cash to pay those closing costs, or enough equity to roll the costs into the new mortgage.” Mr. Slade omits the most popular method to pay for closing costs: rolling them into the interest rate.

As of this writing, I am quoting a 30-year fixed rate of 3.625 percent on a $300,000 loan with a lender closing cost credit of 1.125 percent, or $3,375. This credit appears on the settlement statement and is more than enough to cover every dime of the transactional closing costs, including the appraisal, title insurance, lender junk fees, attorney fees, etc.

There’s certainly no free lunch, but homeowners need to know that there’s a choice of taking a slightly higher interest rate in exchange for a cash credit that offsets some or all transactional fees.

Back in the 1980s when interest rates were in the double digits, borrowers had no choice but to “buy down” the interest rate by paying huge fees and points in order to afford the payment.

This is 2013 and fixed rates are between 3 and 4 percent. It makes a lot more sense to “buy up” the rate and get the lender to pay the fees.

Henry Savage

President

PMC Mortgage Corporation

Mill Street

Mount Pleasant

Hostile sermon

Re the Jan. 27 article “Continuing S.C. Episcopalians install new bishop, welcome leader of the church, look to rebuild”:

Whereas The Post and Courier is normally scrupulously fair and balanced in its reporting, this has not been the case in recent reports on the Episcopal Church controversies.

In the Jan. 27 article you lavished glowing praise on the continuing Episcopal Church’s convention for its general tenor of reconciliation.

The facts, as exemplified in the published texts of the speakers, belie this characterization. The contrast was especially vivid in the keynote sermon that Presiding Bishop Schori delivered.

You did not need to be an Episcopalian or Christian to discern that the address was filled with invectives, half-truths and ad hominem attacks on people of the Diocese of South Carolina and Bishop Mike Lawrence.

In short, her sermon was a disgraceful message totally lacking in Christian charity and far from concilatory as reported.

J. Robert Manuel III

Lantana Circle

Georgetown

Risky distraction

Webster defines “aghast” as “struck with terror, amazement, or horror.”

Well, I was aghast Jan. 29 when I read a sidebar on page A6 of the morning paper promoting “text alerts” from The Post and Courier for people who are “stuck in traffic and don’t know why.”

Are you kidding me? Here’s an absolute for you: Never, ever use text messaging when operating a motor vehicle, no matter what the circumstances.

If you absolutely must send or receive a text message, pull off the road, stop the vehicle, and then play with your phone to your heart’s content.

It is absurd for The Post and Courier to offer text-message traffic alerts. One day someone will be looking at one of your text alerts and run into the car in front of them.

It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. When you’re text messaging, you’re not paying full attention to the road and the vehicles around you. End of story.

You should be spending your time trying to prevent your readers from text messaging while driving instead of encouraging it.

If you care about the safety and welfare of your readers, you’ll terminate this traffic- alert nonsense immediately and say no more about it.

Bill Bates

Gibbon Street

Daniel Island

Safety buttons

I believe teachers should be armed, not with guns but with a button to be worn around the neck such as a medical alert button.

All schools have (or should have) a public address system where the office can communicate with any classroom individually, or all classrooms simultaneously, to let the teacher know that it is time for Johnny’s medication, or Susie’s mother is there to pick her up for a doctor’s appointment, or whatever message needs to be communicated to the teacher.

Should an intruder enter a classroom, the teacher could push the button and say something like, “May I help you, sir?” or “What do you need?” Any prearranged commentary would alert office staff that there was an intruder.

Then a prearranged message could be announced over the PA system to alert the teachers to lock their doors so the intruder could not enter any other classroom and they could notify the police.

Irma P. DeVore

Ranger Drive

North Charleston

Build the hospital

We want to voice our concern regarding the proposed construction of a new Roper/St. Francis Hospital at Carnes Cross Road in Summerville.

This hospital was first approved for construction in 2009 and blocked by Trident Medical Center.

The hospital was again approved in September of 2012. Again Trident has blocked it.

The residents of the area want Roper/St. Francis to build the hospital and they want Trident Medical Center to stop its blocking tactics. We are in need of this hospital now.

This area is growing at a rapid rate and further delays will impact the medical needs of the community.

Jim Bazemore

Jackie Bazemore

Decatur Drive

Summerville