‘No’ to apartments

Today at 5 p.m., the City of Charleston Planning Commission will make a decision that could forever change the landscape of Harbor View Road on James Island.

The Planning Commission will decide whether or not it is allowable for a developer to build a multi-story apartment building on the marsh at 1387 Harbor View Road.

To be able to build the elevated apartment complex, the 2.6 acre property must be rezoned from Single-Family Residential (SR-1) to Diverse Residential.

Our grassroots group “Save Harbor View Road” (www.saveharborview.com) opposes the rezoning and the installation of yet another apartment complex on James Island, particularly on scenic Harbor View Road.

Harbor View Road is one of the loveliest drives in Charleston County, with mile views of breathtaking Lowcountry marsh winding east to the James Island Creek Bridge where residents still fish and crab.

Hundreds of private residences have addresses on and near Harbor View Road, including the Harbor View Circle and Harbor Creek neighborhoods adjacent to 1387 Harbor View.

Presently, there are no apartment complexes on Harbor View Road and that is appropriate. A large apartment building would be out of character for this coastal area and obstruct the expanses of marsh view.

Moreover, the intersection of the James Island Connector and Harbor View Road is already problematic with commuters merging onto and off of the Connector. The City of Charleston’s proposal to add more traffic to this location by allowing multi-unit housing on this property is unsafe.

Our group’s mission is to advocate for the protection and preservation of a scenic coastal road on James Island that we treasure and love.

Please attend the City’s Planning Commission meeting today, and let commission members know that James Islanders oppose elevated, multi-story and multi-unit housing on our beautiful Harbor View Road.

Susan Milliken

Fort Sumter Drive

James Island

Foreign re-focus

American national security issues are fundamentally unassailable as one administration takes over for another. The differences lie in how these issues are addressed in terms of American interests and formulated into foreign policy.

As President Obama begins his second term, foreign policy issues need to be re-examined. They should be assessed on global, regional and bilateral significance to our national interests. Over the past four years, the administration’s foreign policy has been unequal to the challenges. Regardless of President Obama’s apparent mindset, moral, diplomatic and military leadership by the United States on the international scene is expected by the great majority of nations. Without it, unsavory actors step forward.

John Kerry says he has “high heels” to fill as Obama’s new secretary of state. Indeed, he has big shoes to fill following some very effective chief diplomats, and some less so.

The jury is still pondering the effectiveness of Hillary Clinton. Question is whether John Kerry has changed from the angry Vietnam veteran who threw away his medals in protest. He certainly has the experience to be an effective foreign policy leader. The next question is whether he will challenge President Obama’s view of the world and America’s place among nations.

Certainly anything that can be colored appeasement cannot work, especially with renegade states and non-state groups bent on violence. Containment worked in the past — very effectively against the Soviet Union. However, countries like Iran and North Korea use such policies to their advantage. It is imperative for our nation’s national security that President Obama and his key advisors be unequivocal in their pronouncements and actions. Whether we like it or not, the need for strong American leadership is no less today than it has been over the past half century.

Teddy Roosevelt was effective with “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Ronald Reagan had the respect and apprehension of other nations with their view of his cowboy “shoot from the hip” policies. Quiet diplomacy works better than one that is broadcast, but it needs to be backed up by resolve and strength.

William J. Boudreau

Foreign Service Officer (Ret.)

Cobby Creek Lane

Seabrook Island

Planes to Egypt

For many of us, the news out of Washington just goes from unimpressive to unbelievable. One exception to this, however, came from our newest senator, Tim Scott.

Late last month there was a vote on a bill which would have stopped the gifting of F-16 fighters and other advanced military hardware to Egypt, now led by the Muslim Brotherhood, as part of our generous foreign aid program. Egypt, with support from its new best friend, Iran, has been building up its military with foreign aid from the United States for years.

At a time when we should be counting our pennies, yes even in Washington, the Senate, in a business as usual way, voted to continue the foreign aid gravy train to Egypt by the vote of 79-19. Sen. Scott and 18 other Republicans voted no. Among those voting to continue the gifting were S.C. Sen. Lindsey Graham and all the Democrats.

I cannot understand how any American could vote to give the Muslim Brotherhood this kind of advanced weapon system, nor can I understand how we feel we can afford such grandiose largess to a country that is not, shall we say, in our camp these days. More importantly, what must Israel think to know that we are arming their avowed enemy?

Should we be forced into a war with Iran, a sad possibility with a growing probability, how tragic will it be to know that Iran’s ally, Egypt, has a modern air force with which to assist its friend against us.

Sen. Tim Scott stood by principles that many of us believe in and for that I feel that all of us in South Carolina should be proud.

Don Sealey

Knotweed Court

Bluffton

Cops in schools

Mayor Joe Riley is at it again. This typical tax-and-spend Democrat wants another tax increase. When the mayor asks for an increase, there normally is a bleeding heart cause other than the scam of “let the tourist pay” of years ago. The mayor’s old arguments have been “Save CARTA” or “We need more green space.”

Now, it is “for the children and the firefighters,” no doubt pulling heart strings. Riley’s record of getting what he demands is pretty high, as his sheep have lined up to grant his every demand.

I am not sure why new fire stations are suddenly a priority.

I have a suggestion for the schools. Have the county pay the cost of any teacher who wants to enroll in a concealed carry course. The bad guys would have no idea how many or which teachers are carrying a gun. I am positive that the National Rifle Association or anyone in the area that offers concealed carry classes would be glad to work with the schools; after all, it is for the children. To pay for the classes, the money must be already available. Charleston should have funds since the mayor has not sued anyone lately for annexation.

The schools can be protected with a little common sense. I, like many others, am fed up with the many taxes we already have to pay and fear the ones coming due to Obama.

Bruce Bates

Della Lane

Dorchester

Medicaid option

The Feb. 9 letter writer who lamented that “Suzie,” a hardworking woman, would have to pay a fine under “Obama-care” if she did not purchase insurance with her $13,000 a year income has little understanding of the Affordable Care Act.

Under its expanded Medicaid provision, which the governor of South Carolina has refused to consider implementing, “Suzie” would be eligible for Medicaid. Only higher earners would have to pay a penalty if they did not purchase insurance.

The same day, there was an article in The Post and Courier about many Republican governors are now embracing this expanded Medicaid provision because it would be helpful to their states and to the many low-income people now without health insurance.

South Carolinians would be wise to ask the governor to embrace the expanded Medicaid option. Otherwise, South Carolina will be out an estimated $3 billion in federal assistance and will continue to have thousands of its citizens with no insurance but still needing medical care.

Barbara Temple

Tuscarora Avenue

Beaufort

Off balance

Ancient history’s definition of “symposium” was a drinking party in ancient Greece, usually with music and philosophical conversation. That is what the cruise symposium held recently at the Francis Marion basically became.

How can they say they had balance and meaningful conversation yet never invited their opponents to speak?

Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the S.C. State Ports Authority, is an excellent speaker and the most educated person in the room to speak on this subject but was never invited.

Balanced conversation on Charleston’s cruise business would have been welcomed on both sides of the issue.

Charleston needs to stand up to Dana Beach and his band of elitists who oppose the cruise business.

JOHN KEENER

Wappoo Creek Drive

Charleston

Skewed priorities

Can you believe that people are protesting our use of drones to take out enemies? Do they think if the other side had them they would hesitate to use them on us?

We are giving money to countries that hate us. We are subsidizing oil companies that make $10 billion profit in three months. We are sending the same slugs back who make these rules. Vote them out.

Last but not least, here’s a way to solve the country’s financial situation: Require politicians to pay for their own health insurance, cut their retirement and make it the same as our Social Security.

BILL MABRY SR.

Linksland Road

Mount Pleasant

Armed superiority

People are afraid the government is going to confiscate our guns. There are approximately 300 million privately owned guns in America.

The military has about 3 million guns. Law enforcement has about 1 million.

We don’t have to worry about government agents coming after our guns. We have them out-gunned by a ratio of 75 to 1.

What odds!

Alex Sanders

Water Street

Charleston