Status quo

I read your editorial about Mark Sanford’s election, and I hope you are right about his desire to be as good a congressman as he can be. The last thing we need in this world is another deminted monolithic ideologue. I am afraid that, unfortunately, he will be simply an extension of the status quo.

As far as Elizabeth Colbert Busch’s presence in the race bringing out a more complete review of the issues, I would say that you have to be kidding. The campaign was an embarrassing repeat of politics as usual, replete with the inane name-calling and fear-mongering that has passed for political debate for as long as I can remember.

Meanwhile, the things that really need to be changed, like the power of incumbency and the role that money plays in displacing opportunities for real exchange of political capital for the best interest of the nation, continue unabated.

In the words of Reagan’s budget director David Stockton, “Political parties continue to function primarily as a concierge service to introduce legislators to the power of money.”

As the old saying goes: “Things don’t change because we haven’t suffered enough.”

We must be close.

Richard L. Beck

Folly Road

Charleston

Greatest asset

In an area of Charleston full of asphalt, concrete, subdivisions and inadequate infrastructure that makes rush hour truly painful, there is one repository of peace: Charlestowne Landing State Park. Perhaps it’s Charleston’s best kept secret. While bars and restaurants spill over with lights, noise and people on spring evenings, Charlestowne Landing remains empty.

Many West Ashley residents don’t know that entry is free before and after business hours, the time when most people are ready to find some recreation. Turning off Old Towne Road into the park’s long driveway tunneling through live oaks is like instantaneously stepping into another world — a world where breathing is suddenly easier.

Stop by one evening and discover this peaceful sanctuary from West Ashley’s parking lots and billboards.

Austin Fitzhenry

Colony Drive

Charleston

Climate changes

Supporters of a bill to allow Folly Beach oceanfront homeowners to construct seawalls are apparently unaware of the catastrophic climate changes that are coming.

1) Carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels will acidify the oceans, cause the extinction of millions of species by 2100 and bake Earth’s climate for thousands of years.

2) Temperatures will increase about nine degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. Meltwater altering ocean circulation, melting permafrost releasing carbon dioxide and methane, and ice disappearing worldwide may already be accelerating rapid climate change.

3) Sea levels rose about eight inches between 1870 and 2004 and will rise as much as seven feet by 2100 according to scientists Robert Young and Orrin Pilkey, authors of “The Rising Sea.” The U. S. National Research Council predicts sea level will rise as much as 6.5 feet by 2100.

4) James E. Hansen, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, writes in “Storms of My Grandchildren” that a runaway greenhouse effect could end life on Earth in the coming centuries.

Responses by fossil fuel producers and their Republican anti-science allies have been to suppress and censor climate studies a la South Carolina; defund research; intimidate and harass climatologists; and publish disinformation.

When your grandchildren ask why you did nothing to save the dying planet, you can answer that saving Earth would have required sacrifices you weren’t willing to make.

Larry Knight

Rockbridge Road

Columbia

Wrong call

I find it hard to write about the insanity of the Charleston County School Board in the texting case of a School of the Arts senior

I am grateful to The Post and Courier for making it the front page story. South Carolina now has yet another story to prove just how stupid we are here.

School Board Vice Chairman Craig Ascue says the student has a lesson to learn. Just what would that lesson be Mr. Ascue?

It seems to me that Mr. Ascue has quite a few lessons to learn.

Maybe one lesson will be the knowledge of just who is using that particular word.

I could be wrong, but this could be a blessing in disguise. Classroom sizes will definitely be reduced when each and every student using the “n” word is punished.

Drop the whole thing. The girl was guilty only of being a teenager.

The real lesson to learn here is that the board needs to be replaced.

James Bew

Wicklowe Drive

Charleston

Henry Hope Reed

The worlds of classical architecture and historic preservation lost a great champion on May 1. Henry Hope Reed (1915-2013) marched arm-in-arm with Jacqueline Kennedy down Fifth Avenue in New York in 1966, attempting to save the grand Penn Station building from its inevitable destruction.

Henry Reed had already had a career in teaching at Yale and publishing since 1962. His gem was “The Golden City,” a book that changed many post-war minds about the importance of older buildings, especially those in his beloved classical tradition.

He visited Charleston when he was just out of Harvard in the late 1930s, and our own preservation architect hero Albert Simons showed him our great town.

Reed told me how wonderful that was, and he gave me and my students an amazing three-hour tour of Manhattan in 1998.

His legacy lives on in many ways, including our program in Historic Preservation and Community Planning at the College of Charleston and our graduate preservation program which is provided jointly with Clemson University, and also through the Institute for Classical Architecture & Art based in New York. It has an active chapter here in Charleston.

Ralph C. Muldrow

President Emeritus

ICA&A Charleston Chapter

Simons Professor of Architecture and Preservation

Moultrie Street

Charleston

Protecting species

Forty years ago, President Richard Nixon did something really good: He signed the Endangered Species Act into law.

No other law has done more to save America´s most vulnerable plants and animals from extinction than the Endangered Species Act.

On May 17, when Endangered Species Day is celebrated, we should keep in mind that 99 percent of species placed under the care of this act have been saved from extinction.

Many plants and animals have not only been spared extinction but have also been put on the path toward recovery.

Nevertheless, a very sobering thought is that if we don’t correct the environmental problems that are endangering species, our own species may be added to the list of the endangered.

William Anderson

Clearview Drive

Charleston

Ships a plus

I was downtown on a recent Sunday when I saw one of the Carnival Cruise ships that have been running in and out of Charleston for about a year.

I do not own property downtown and in fact I’m only 15 years old, yet from what I’ve seen, the addition of cruise ships to our city landscape has not tainted the scenic atmosphere.

These ships bring many people to our beautiful city and their interest in spending good money as well.

On this Sunday the streets were busy but not overcrowded, the restaurants were crowded yet not jam-packed and the streets were not any dirtier with litter compared to pre-cruise ship times.

From the rooftop where we enjoyed lunch with my visiting grandparents it was nice to take in the view of the ship and the Ravenel Bridge all in one.

To my eye it wasn’t an eyesore, but a sign of economic diversity and success.

Cole Hardy

Broughton Road

Charleston