Trains and traffic

Why does the City of North Charleston allow trains to suspend north-south traffic? I travel from Goose Creek to West Ashley every morning between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. About once a week, and sometimes more, train cars stretch across the road at the junction of I-526.

These cars move back and forth very slowly and mostly do not move. I must wait for up to 30 minutes to get across. Trains are an economical means to transport goods — if they move. This has been going on now for years.

How about doing all this back and forth motion at 2 a.m. or on weekends? The train company could raise the road or the rail. I would even appreciate if The Post and Courier would post train schedules for road blockage.

Oh, by the way, I’m the guy in the little black lorry who drives the speed limit and obeys state driving laws and who makes other drivers mad because I refuse to drive illegally.

Norm Hilliard

Roselle Avenue

Goose Creek

Wake up, America

Our current leadership in Washington no longer represents the values of what America once stood for, but unfortunately the majority of the voters still voted for the incumbent president and a divided Congress. We seem to enjoy gridlock, partisanship, incompetence, economic stagnation and avoidance of responsibility.

The Republicans lost because the conservative virtues of liberty, hard work, free enterprise, private initiative and aspirations to moral greatness no longer inspire or animate a majority of the electorate.

Another reason was because it is impossible to compete against free stuff.

The adults among the 47 million on food stamps clearly recognized for whom they should vote, and so they did, by the tens of millions. Those who, courtesy of Obama, receive two years of unemployment benefits surely know for whom to vote. The lure of free stuff is irresistible.

Almost half the population has no skin in the game. They don’t care about high taxes, promoting business or creating jobs; nor do they care that the money for free stuff is being borrowed from their children and from the Chinese.

They just want the free stuff. In the end, that 47 percent leaves very little margin for error for any Republican and does not bode well for the future.

Bob Epstein

Cherokee Rose Circle

Mount Pleasant

Wrong timing

The March 10 article on “Underneath Charleston” states that “megalodons swam the seas when dinosaurs walked the Earth.”

That statement is untrue. The fossil teeth of those extinct giant sharks are indeed plentiful in the rocks beneath our feet in the Charleston area, but those sharks missed cohabiting Earth with dinosaurs by 40 plus million years.

The last of the dinosaurs, if you don’t count birds that are actually surviving members of the dinosaur lineage, died out 65.5 million years ago. The oldest-known fossil teeth of “megalodons” (Carcharocles megalodon) are approximately 17-20 million years old, and the youngest ones are just a few million years old.

James L. Carew

Professor of Geology

College of Charleston

George Street

Charleston

Cut spending now

Shame on our president for the publicity stunt of closing the White House to tours. Instead of working with Congress to make substantive budget cuts, he’s holding fast to the liberal spending agenda that got our country into this terrible mess to begin with.

Any disagreement between Democrats and Republicans should be whether to cut our out-of-control spending by 20 or 30 percent. Four years of liberal policies have added incalculable debt and suppressed our economy. This president’s radical liberal agenda is killing the finest country ever known to man. He should admit he is wrong and then work with Republicans to reduce this out-of-control government spending before it’s too late.

ROBERT DODENHOFF

Yacht Harbor Court

Isle of Palms

Destroying trees

As many letters have attested, the ill-advised destruction of life-giving trees in the median of I-26, from Summerville to 1-95 is astounding. The project cost of $5 million is just as astounding. That $5 million is urgently needed for bridge and road repair. And how about traffic disruption while all this is going on?

The Department of Transportation offers a “carrot” that this destruction will provide room for a future third lane. In whose lifetime?

The answer to this accident-prone stretch of interstate has already been stated by most of the letter writers: Law enforcement of speed limits, impaired driving, texting, etc.

The trees provide a screen for night drivers from on-coming headlights, and they provide important fresh air and habitat for wildlife. One writer suggested more trees. Another suggested planting hedgerows like those that stopped our tanks in France during WWII. A much better idea than steel cable on a bare strip.

Finally, the soon-to-be finished rail hub in Greer will take thousands of trucks off I-26 when it gets under way, likely this fall.

I pray that the DOT listens to voices backing up Jim Rozier’s efforts to stop this needless waste of our environment.

H. Rivers Jacobs Jr.

Cathedral Lane

Charleston

War crimes

Isn’t it long past time for a war crimes investigation into the part played by the United States and the United Kingdom in the invasion of Iraq? Without such an inquiry we could well be facing a similar travesty in Iran.

I am a Vietnam veteran who has never gotten over the fact that the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was based on a bald-faced lie.

I first thought that the fake attack was just to justify expanding the war.

I now suspect that an equally important reason for the “attack” was to keep from being prosecuted for war crimes.

If attacked, and only if attacked, can a nation legally defend itself.

The Nuremberg Trials made it clear that unprovoked attacks would never again be viewed as anything but a capital offense, not just for the perpetrators, but for anyone who might claim to be just “following orders.”

Have nuclear weapons changed all the rules, as some have claimed? If so, it will be increasingly difficult to pledge allegiance to the Stars and Stripes with pride.

Philip J. Murphy

Ventura Place

Mount Pleasant

Rare celebration

Amid the clutter of local tragedy in a recent edition of The Post and Courier was a feature story about the Eclipse 550 private jet. The story is a celebration of economic freedom because it features a man with a vision first to provide a product in demand and second to turn a profit.

This simple formula of equal opportunity built this country.

The man with the vision is Mason Holland from Daniel Island, and his Eclipse 550 will impact our community with three immediate benefits:

1) It strengthens general aviation — a little appreciated engine for economic growth — because all it requires is 2,500 feet of runway to get in or out.

2) General aviation is often closer to the meeting and well timed for the busy executive without the hassle of Atlanta or Charlotte International airports.

3) The Eclipse 550 provides convenience and efficiencies so that the owner and/or operator is now working in his own self-interest.

Then there is the Wow Factor. In 110 years, we have progressed from Kitty Hawk (a first flight of 123 feet) to 1,300 nautical miles at a service ceiling of 41,000 feet and a cruising speed of 375 knots.

Think of that: six souls with two Pratt and Whitney jets — burning and turning — cruising at speed and in comfort to any destination they want.

I salute Mason Holland and his team and hope he sells out production slots at cruising speed.

John Navarre

CDR, U.S. Navy Reserves (Ret.)

Eden Road

Awendaw