Knives on planes

The hysteria over the TSA’s pending decision to allow us to again travel with a corkscrew or a tiny Swiss Army knife brings home the irrational fear state we have all been trained to live in.

Sure, nobody wants to see a Bowie knife or a 12-inch Arkansas Toothpick on their plane, but really, are we now so fearful that we believe that 150 capable men and women could be overpowered by a magic ninja trained to kill with tweezers in his Swiss Army knife?

Two years ago I was on a flight from New York to Myrtle Beach when some jerk began to create a disturbance and stood up in the aisle. The flight attendants were having little success dealing with him and as one of them was walking to the back to call the cockpit I heard at least five people tell her that if she needed assistance to let them know.

The situation resolved itself, but the point is I feel a lot better knowing that in this post 9/11 era we realize that, to some degree, our safety may become a moment of collective responsibility and that I will now be able to ponder this philosophical position while poking the stale airline pretzel from between my teeth.

Jeffrey Simon

Live Oak Drive

Isle of Palms

Pet care costs

Pet Docs Perry Jameson and Henry Bianucci wrote in the March 10 edition regarding an apparent increase in veterinary services provided by tax-exempt clinics and shelters.

I have been involved in animal charity since 1989, providing discounts to pet owners for spay/neuter, shots and other medical needs. I used veterinarians for everything until discount spay/neuter clinics became available, and I could use them to save pet owners money.

No discount clinic I have used, nor any animal shelter I’m familiar with, provides veterinary care other than discounted spays/neuters and shots. However, there must be some or the veterinary community would not be complaining about it.

I understand that a business cannot be run like a charity, and costs increase constantly.

Increases in costs also affect pet owners in financial difficulties. They love their pets the same as pet owners who can afford prices their veterinarians charge.

“Fragmentation” of medical care is better than no medical care.

Furthermore, the veterinarian community is not likely to get any of that particular business anyway, so why even consider doing away with it?

Helga B. Hiott

President

S.P.A.Y., Inc.

Ferret’s End

Beaufort

Ocean advances

Your March 13 front page article on the advancement of the ocean affecting the S.C. coast was very interesting. The novice reader would surmise that this gives credence to the theory of global warming when in fact the article neglected what happened prior.

As a former student of geology at the College of Charleston, we were taught that at one time the Earth was almost entirely covered by a vast ocean. A few million years ago as land masses emerged and continents took shape, the Atlantic Ocean stretched almost to Columbia, much farther than indicated in the article.

As it receded, the ocean left behind a rich thick fossil layer now known as the Cooper Marl through which a tunnel was cut to allow water to flow from the Edisto River to Charleston for consumption. Out-croppings of this sedimentary layer rise to the surface along the way, particularly in Summerville.

So, the ocean is merely re-taking back what it once had.

Dwight S. Ives

Pressley Avenue

Summerville

‘Astounding find’

Robert Behre wrote in the March 16 edition that the Historic Charleston Foundation had knowledge of the “astounding find” of plaques from the Charleston Orphan House in 1996 when a researcher in Little Rock traced some names to Charleston.

The property owner where the plaques were located offered to return them. However, the director of preservation at the foundation declared that funding was not available for their transport, and the matter was dropped.

It is interesting that these artifacts are now front-page news and may be coming home after all.

Jim Crow

East Huron Avenue

Folly Beach

Adult day care

I want to thank Glenn McConnell for his commentary on the terrible situation in adult day care in South Carolina in the March 11 edition of The Post and Courier. He is correct in his assessment and correct to challenge us to do “everything in our power to promote additional care options in our state.” These are our most vulnerable citizens.

My husband and I have a daughter who is mentally and physically disabled and suffers from a chronic seizure disorder. We celebrated her 21st birthday this month. As anyone who has an adult child with special needs knows, this is a bittersweet birthday.

It means she can no longer attend public school, and we must face the questions of where she will go and what she will do all day while my husband and I work, and ultimately who will care for her when we die.

She is number 1,606 on the waiting list for community support services from the S.C. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SCDDSN) and number 1,861 on the Intellectual Disability/Related Disabilities waiver list for services. It is not uncommon to wait years in this system before funding and openings for services are available.

For sustainable change to occur, we must realize that these citizens have enormous untapped capacity.

Many of these folks don’t need expensive day “care.” They need community support and development opportunities that empower them to discover their gifts and talents and put them to use.

We have been a part of a community-based organization for several years called Healing Farms, which is proving empowerment and development in the special needs community yields high benefits for everyone.

Families get support they need. Talents and strengths emerge among participants, and hopelessness vanishes. Community perceptions change, and opportunity emerges. Expensive “care” evolves into genuine relationships. This revolutionary approach to care is easier, less expensive and more effective, and it has far-reaching community benefits.

We are delighted by growing awareness and overwhelming community support. Hope for the future of our citizens with disabilities and the elderly does not lie in the hands of our policymakers. It lies in the hearts and actions of people who will support empowerment and the change it brings.

Mary Tutterow

Founder, Healing Farms

Yew Street

Charleston

Jab not funny

I was disturbed to read Rich Thomas’ (Betsy Kerrison Parkway, Johns Island) reference to charging Northerners to enter South Carolina, no matter how cutely sarcastic the reference.

I moved here from New Jersey in 2007. I bought pre-existing, older housing with a small footprint so as to not add to the blight of new subdivisions. I started a small business that pays into the tax revenue stream and additionally provides work for local high school culinary arts students. I volunteer for animal rights groups. I’m nice to my neighbors.

We may be a bit brusque, and our accents are funny, but an anti-Northerner bias smacks of prejudice, and while not as ugly as racism, it sure is annoying.

Get over it. We’re here.

EILEEN HOFFMAN

Avondale Avenue

Charleston

Beware inflation

Balancing the federal budget in 10 years means all federal tax dollars received must be equal to or more than all federal dollars spent (including annual payments on borrowed money without reducing the trillions of debt).

The only way this huge debt can be reduced is by “imminent” large inflation.

Are we willing to, or can we, adjust ourselves for the effects of this on our quality of life?

HERMAN SPEISSEGGER JR.

Murray Boulevard

Charleston