Letters to the Editor
Mayor Joe Riley’s Feb. 10 op-ed is thoughtful and well-intentioned, but it totally misses the point. The massacre in Newtown, Conn., was not a school issue. Schools are the safest places children can be — far safer for example than the ride to school in their parents’ car.
The problem to focus on is not the school setting, but on guns and mental health. If we need cops in schools, we will need one at every door and every window.
And if kids are that unsafe in school then we surely need an armed guard at the corner candy shop, the ice cream parlor, the bowling alley, the library, the mall, the church and every crowded street corner.
Children in school are far more likely to be killed by a tornado wiping out the building than by a deranged gunman. Let’s not teach our children that life can only be lived in an armed camp. Far more kids are killed by accidentally being shot in their own homes with the family guns than at schools.
Let’s focus on the total implications of guns in America.Fred Sales, Ed. D.
Lawton Harbor Drive
As a teacher at Colleton County High School I am aware of many challenges the area faces in regard to education, obesity and the general lack of opportunity for growth and improvement.
As a resident of Colleton County living in the “Neck” on Edisto Island I am also aware of the significant economic impact this area of coastal Colleton County would have on any statistics determining the level of poverty in the county.
It would be interesting if reporter Doug Pardue would do a follow-up report looking at the statistics for Colleton County minus data for that affluent area of Edisto Island that is within Colleton County. I am sure that such an analysis would present a more accurate, and much grimmer, picture of the extent and depth of poverty in Colleton.Patrick F. Meyer
I was astounded by Brian Hicks’ misrepresentation of the symposium on “Harboring Tourism,” especially his headline on dissent.
1) I am a strong supporter of cruising, as evidenced by my having taken over 54 cruises and with an RCI cruise later this month and a Cunard cruise in April. We and others attending, who cruise a lot, had lively discussions on the overall value of cruising.
2) I am certain that the symposium keynote speaker, Craig Milan, most recently senior vice president of land operations for Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., (RCI) was not part of the “Kumbaya” choir against the cruise industry; he gave an excellent presentation on what the cruise lines are doing in placing ships in historic ports.
I am equally certain that Jamie Sweeting, who serves as global sustainability advisor for RCI and previously as vice president of environmental stewardship, is also not part of that chorus. He provided a very strong presentation on what RCI is doing to protect the environment, and he provided a cruise industry response to most of the panel presentations.
One individual of the Charleston Pilots Association also provided additional data on the number of ships SPA has moved from downtown with resulting improvement in air quality, in order to balance one panel’s comments.
3) I do not know about press access, but two of the individuals who were there the whole time said they were from the Savannah, Ga. press corps.
I agree with Mr. Hicks that “If the city would just do it, perhaps these costly lawsuits and all the hand-wringing would go away.” One good answer might be an enforceable city ordinance limiting the total cruise ship visits per week and year and the maximum size of cruise ships, based on the number of people on board.
To those of us who cruise a lot there are working answers:
1) Move the new terminal to North Charleston, as has been discussed, or better yet over to Patriots Point. Both options would eliminate cruise ships overwhelming the downtown Charleston cityscape that tourists come to visit. A 15-minute bus ride or water taxi from either of those locations to downtown Charleston is normal for cruise passengers.
2) Requiring all cruise and cargo ships to electronically plug in to improve our air quality.
The purpose of the symposium was to discuss the impacts of tourism, both from cruise ships and overnight visitors on historic ports like Charleston. Mr. Hicks’ misrepresentations and lack of fact checking did not help the need for dialogue so all of us can better understand and talk to each other about tourism impacts on historic Charleston. It is he who has an obvious personal “SS Oblivious” agenda.Denny O’Brien
A Feb. 9 letter titled “Climate change a threat to Lowcountry” left me speechless. Apparently Hurricane Sandy served as some sort of “jury” and the climate change debate has now been laid to rest. We are to vote for candidates who champion the “climate change and global warming” cause or we vote against “our heritage, our way of life, our coastal cities and our children.”
I took my wife and daughters on a recent canoe trip down the Edisto. The staff kindly pointed out places where we could search for sharks’ teeth in the river bed. This was inland of present-day I-95. I asked my older daughter what that meant to her and she correctly connected all of the dots. I then asked her if man was producing any pollutants back when the sharks’ teeth were deposited. She got that one right also.
A few generations ago the world was flat. One generation ago many of these same global warming alarmists were warning my parents of impending doom from the next ice age.
We do not owe our children (or our heritage) any particular candidate in the next election. We owe our children honest discussion, devoid of intellectually bankrupt insinuations that if one questions the latest crisis, particularly one so lacking in scientific fact, he or she is ignorant.
I have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, some graduate level education in weather-related physics, a career that is intimately tied to the weather and an honest interest in science and facts.
It is interesting that among the scientists whose paychecks are not tied to reaching predetermined conclusions, there is little consensus on what part man plays in the Earth’s climate cycles.FRANK M. CONWAY IV
In response to a recent letter to the editor on the flaws of charter schools, I feel compelled to offer a parent’s view on my child’s experience in a charter school. Perhaps, in looking at statistical evaluations, one may be led to agree with the letter writer. However, my child is currently a middle schooler at Charleston Charter School for Math & Science.
The author’s assertions on several points are far from my child’s experience. My child has attended a private school in the past for ADHD and a reading disorder.
The decision to enroll him at Charleston Charter School for Math & Science was done with great thought and care. The resource teacher at CCSMS is so phenomenal that my child excels and loves attending school. Ms. Cannon has put a program in place that is second to none in terms of tracking my child, as well as her other seven or eight students.
My child shied away from reading until he entered CCSMS two years ago. The program by this gifted staff gave him such a love of reading that he now keeps a stack of books to read.
I realized we were on the right track when in the sixth grade he announced that reading a book gave him much more insight into a story than a movie could ever provide.
The segregation between class and race is another point of disagreement. CCSMS has an almost 50 percent ratio of white and black students. In our two years of being involved with this school, we have never encountered any racial tension, rather the opposite. The students come from a very wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds.
I hit the jackpot the day my child’s lottery number was chosen for this special school. It’s possible charter schools could be more successful if they did not constantly battle the school district for funds or fairness.
If the silos could be removed and for once students be the center instead of control and power by adults, then charter schools such as CCSMS would have greater success.
A charter school is also a public school. We are funded by taxpayers just as other public schools are. Possibly our staff attrition rates result from our striving to obtain the best instead of settling for the mediocre.Tricia Eldridge
Some points about continued care provided to eligible VA patients for home health services in a recent letter titled “DHEC cuts” need clarification. I also want to express appreciation to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) for its Home Health Services program.
Ensuring our veterans’ continuity of care is a responsibility we at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center in Charleston are very committed to. Providing the highest quality of care for those who have sacrificed so much in service to our country is a daily privilege.
The Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center partnered with DHEC for several years to provide home health services, giving outstanding care to eligible veteran patients.
As DHEC moved to close its home health services program in late 2012, we at the VA worked closely with them to transition our 22 veteran patients served by that program to ensure other caregivers were in place for each veteran prior to the discontinuation of DHEC services.
We understand that the relationship between a personal home care provider and patient is often a special bond. Health care professionals usually enter their career fields because of a deep desire to help others. Our veteran patients have benefited greatly from that commitment provided by the DHEC Home Health Services staff. That same level of care and commitment is continuing with their new providers and our VA team.
Our VA professionals work diligently to ensure a seamless transition for each veteran patient whenever a care provider change is necessary. Each veteran has a VA social worker who coordinates his or her care as part of an interdisciplinary health team. Individual patient needs are regularly assessed to provide all appropriate benefits for patients who are eligible for specific services such as home health care.
This commitment to providing the best care anywhere for each veteran at every stage of his life will always be the hallmark of the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center. We are proud to serve those who have served us — our nation’s heroes, our veterans.Carolyn L. Adams
Ralph H. Johnson
Dept. of Veterans Affairs Medical Center