I-26 tree hazards

Thank you for allowing all of the input regarding trees in I-26 right of way. Having watched the construction of most of I-26 and traveled it for over 50 years I feel strongly about what I have observed.

I grew up on a farm and observed the growing of pine trees and hardwood, and I have some knowledge of their value. It is no surprise that saplings in the median 50 years later would be 60-foot trees.

Harvesting machines can grip the tree, shear it off at the ground and control where it is placed either on the ground or into a chipping machine. There is a ready market for logs or chips, either hardwood or pine.

Along the 200-plus miles of interstate there is a lot of marketable timber. This asset should not be overlooked.

Having traveled most of the states in this country, west as far as Australia and in some Eastern countries, I have not found a single country with trees growing alongside interstate-type highways.

One short section of I-26 north of Columbia has shrubbery-type bushes growing in the median, which are wonderful in that they shield drivers from oncoming headlights and have stopped two or three out-of-control vehicles.

I have had the sad duty of helping extract injured people from one wreck and have observed others. The worst was a father helping his son move to Charleston to be with his wife during his tour of duty. Dad lost control of the rental truck, and they struck a large pine tree. Both were killed.

Crosses and wreaths alongside big trees mean something.

Clay Cable

Palm Boulevard

Isle of Palms

Main Street wins

On March 22, Sen. Lindsey Graham and the U.S. Senate voted in favor of the Marketplace Fairness Act, which levels the playing field between South Carolina’s local shops and remote online retailers.

An outdated Supreme Court ruling currently bars South Carolina from requiring online retailers to collect sales tax at the point of sale, as brick-and-mortar shops do. As such, the federal government is giving e-commerce as much as a 10 percent market advantage over its Main Street counterparts, hindering the success and growth of local retail businesses.

The Marketplace Fairness Act forges a path for a freer marketplace by empowering states to decide whether or not online retailers should collect sales tax.

There has always been sales tax owed for online purchases; there has just been no mechanism in place to ensure online-only retailers collected it.

Despite pressure from special interests to maintain the status quo, Sen. Graham voted for the interests of local job creators, eliminating this loophole that punishes small businesses and unfairly expands government’s intrusion into the free market.

By getting rid of this taxpayer-funded subsidy, Sen. Graham has helped level the playing field for South Carolina’s small businesses, protected the rights of taxpayers and strengthened America’s free enterprise system.

STEPHEN DeMAURA

President

Americans for Job Security

Canal Center Plaza

Alexandria, Va.

How we forget

Unfortunately politicians know us better than we know ourselves.

Despite much talk about holding politicians accountable for not doing their job, especially with regards to the recent sequestration implementation, politicians know there is enough time before the next election cycle for us to forget this debacle and cast our ballots based on our staunchly held philosophical positions, not on how well they worked with the opposing party.

They will be able to use their actions during this debacle to illustrate how fervently they believe as you do. After all, that’s how they got elected in the first place. So before you express your frustration with Congress, ask yourself how willing you are to compromise on your positions.

Byas Glover

Glover Road

Johns Island

Cynical Haley

Gov. Nikki Haley wants to order food stamp recipients not to buy junk foods.

Yet she won’t expand Medicaid, and that will mean poorer health care for low income citizens, greater expense for hospitals and higher health care costs for everyone. It’s not new for politicians to play their game on the backs of people who are most in need of help. But how easy it is, and cynical, and heedless of the good of the commonwealth.

Ellen Solomon

Dupre Road

McClellanville

Shelter vet service

I am very concerned about possible legislation (Post and Courier, March 19) to limit or prohibit animal shelters from providing low cost or free spay and neuter services.

This legislation — if successful — will only serve to keep pets from getting medical care. Tell me that makes sense.

If everyone could afford to take his pet to a veterinary clinic then animal shelters could concentrate on taking care of unwanted pets, finding them homes and controlling feral colonies.

Veterinary clinics are very expensive. My vet gave me a discount on one bill because I brought three cats in for services at the same time. Many people cannot afford what a vet charges just for checkups, medications and treatments that are routine, let alone surgery costs. So when a shelter offers to spay/neuter for reduced cost or for free, how can we not support that effort?

I have four cats, and I take them to a veterinary clinic for all their care. They were all rescue cats and were spayed/neutered at a shelter before I adopted them. At adoption I paid around $100 for each cat. It covered spay/neuter, shots, worming and basic checkups. I couldn’t have afforded to have those services done at a veterinary office. As it is I am able to give four cats a loving home and maintain their ongoing health care needs.

I realize that veterinarians are in business to make money, but shouldn’t they also be concerned about the overpopulation of cats and dogs? If they don’t want to offer discounts or payment options, then they should be supportive of shelters offering those services.

Debarah Harbuck

Totem Court

Summerville

Bolster oversight

The recent meeting of the S.C. State University Board of Trustees and Gov. Nikki Haley shows why all institutions of higher learning should be under one umbrella.

This so-called listening session gives the appearance that the governor is favoring one institution over others.

If the governor and the Legislature were providing proper oversight, S.C. State’s problems would not have reached the level of being obscene.

Citizens have too much invested in these institutions to continue ignoring them. People should be asking about their investments. What are the job descriptions? What about no-shows, retention, graduation rates, external fund raising and, most of all, the investment in athletics and student recruitment?

No public institution has ever enhanced the quality of its academics with state funds alone, and if its external relations department does not obtain private funds, it should be replaced.

South Carolina’s citizens deserve, and should demand, greater and positive leadership in higher education.

Perry R. Leazer

Certificate Court

Charleston

Korean threat

When cancer threatens the body we do everything we can to eradicate it to prevent it from killing that person.

It might be a stretch but Kim Jong Un is the cancer that is threatening tens of thousands of lives including thousands of American service personnel stationed at the DMZ. But if he’s pushed over the edge and fires first, these lives will be lost before we could respond.

Take him out first and don’t worry about world opinion. The last time I looked, all of his missiles were pointed at us and not Europe.

Why wait for him to throw the first punch? It beats having to send out thousands of letters to the families of those military personnel serving over there that begin with: “We regret to inform you.”

Ron Hamorsky

Branchwood Drive

Goose Creek