School-bus thanks

Durham School Services would like to thank the families and communities in Beaufort, Charleston and Dorchester counties for their patience over the past several weeks as labor negotiations were ongoing.

While the bargaining process took longer than anyone involved had anticipated, the end goal of reaching an agreement without a work stoppage has been accomplished.

As was always the goal, both sides were able to reach agreement and as of March 2, new contracts have been voted on and approved. These agreements will be in place for five years in each of the three counties.

We worked closely with the school districts throughout the bargaining process to ensure contingency plans were ready in the event of a strike, and we are grateful for their support and cooperation.

While it was important to have these plans in place, it was always our priority to maintain service in all districts, and we are pleased that we were able to come to an agreement and move forward without interruption.

Durham School Services is proud to serve Beaufort, Charleston and Dorchester county school districts. Our loyal and caring employees are the reason we have had long and successful relationships with the districts we serve.

Our customers and employees have enabled Durham to provide safe transportation for these students and give peace of mind to the families in the community.

We look forward to continuing to provide safe, reliable service to the districts and communities for years to come.

John Elliott

CEO Emeritus

Durham School Services

Weaver Parkway

Warrenville, Ill.

Make it Bostic

We want to thank Brian Hicks for his column about Curtis Bostic. After reading it, we have definitely decided to vote for Bostic.

Go, Brian!

Suzanne McIntosh

Bill McIntosh

Anson Street

Charleston

Just warming up

Thank you for printing a letter from a denier of human-caused climate change. I’d been rather concerned about the issue. Now I’m comforted to know that the skeptics have done enough of their own research to prove 95 percent of the world’s climatologists and atmospheric scientists wrong. I can be assured that the warming we’re experiencing is due to the Earth moving closer to the sun (an event astronomers missed).

Heartening also is the knowledge that the rapid increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to levels unparalleled for hundreds of thousands of years has no connection whatever to the rise of industrial society and the burning of billions of tons of fossil fuels, not to mention tropical rain forests.

It’s nice to know we can continue to do those things without measurable effect. My mind is now at ease with the fact that climate has varied in the past, and that is proof positive that this time it can’t be caused by us. The Earth was hotter during the dinosaur era, and the ocean was once up around Columbia; why worry now?

And best of all, when the beloved marshes of the Lowcountry have been drowned out by rising seas, when water laps over East Bay Street and Lockwood Boulevard on the mid-tide, and when such things as polar bears and coral reefs can be found only in books and old films, we will be able to tell our children and grandchildren, “It wasn’t our fault, despite what the scientists predicted.”

Bill Turner

Ashley Hall Road

Charleston

‘Great symphony’

Bravo, Charleston Symphony Orchestra! You did it again. The concert of American Song and Dance was magnificent. The arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with pianist Lindsay Garritson and the symphony brought tears to these old eyes.

As guest conductor Jacomo Bairos said, “Charleston you are indeed fortunate to have such a great symphony.”

I agree.

Scott McKellar

Tower Battery Road

Charleston

Tax benefits

The proposed tax increase to pay for more policing of our schools as well as additional fire and police department resources has been met with mixed reviews.

This might be a good time to remind people that improvements made to police and fire services end up benefiting the very taxpayers who finance them by positively influencing insurance rates, keeping them steady and sometimes even reducing them.

The safer any environment is, the lower the associated risks and perils and the lower the insurance rates. While everyone thinks that he pays too much for insurance, the hard truth is that, without high ratings for police and fire services, rates could and would be much higher.

Sharon Cook

Cashew Street

Charleston

Curb spending

Shame on Mayor Joe Riley For being a “lame duck” mayor and instigating a tax increase. Shame on Mayor Riley for including fire houses on a hastily thought out tax increase plan.

Shame on the City Council for not being entrepreneurial enough to seek new ways to generate income that spreads the increased taxes impact on all the citizens, not just homeowners. (They all stated prior to the last elections that they would be creative in limiting government spending.)

Shame on me and other homeowners for voting these rascals into office. Shame on me for believing that my councilman would be my voice at these council meetings to control runaway spending.

R.L. Michaelis

Pembrooke Drive

Charleston

Grounded asset

To everyone who plants vegetables or flowers, it is time to begin your endeavors. By now you have perused seed catalogs and decided what will be planted where. Maybe you have thought about the health of your garden’s soil. The health of your soil is paramount to your garden’s success.

Farmers must know soils and which crops grow best in which fields. We at Rosebank Farms have to date purchased 200 tons of compost from Charleston County’s Bees Ferry Landfill and have spread it on our fields. The compost allows us to reduce commercial fertilizers and build our soil at the same time.

This compost is an example of a local product that has all the bells and whistles of an environmentally green product and it is inexpensive. Everyone who has a lawn, a flower bed or a vegetable garden should take advantage of the Black Gold of Charleston County.

Sidi Limehouse

Rosebank Farm

Betsy Kerrison Parkway

Johns Island

Road repairs

The spirited debate over I-526 and the Sea Island Parkway is great; such big decisions should be vetted. However, it’s past time for some of that attention to be directed to the present.

In addition to numerous other smaller ones, there are currently three potholes on Bohicket Road that are at least a foot wide, three to four inches deep and located so that the only way to avoid them is to swerve either off the road or into oncoming traffic.

Planning for tomorrow is great, but don’t forget about today.

J. L. Caraviello

High Meadow Street

Johns Island

Direct route

So, they are going to cut down all the median trees in one stretch of I-26.

Swell! Now when the idiots are texting, talking on the phone, or just not paying attention, they can go across the median and slam into an innocent driver going the other way.

Lynn Staudt

Dunbury Drive

Summerville