Remove authority

Let me get this straight. Chris Collins is a Charleston County School Board member. His church pays $7,968 a year to rent school property that costs taxpayers $49,000 annually to maintain. And now the school system wants to raise school taxes.

There is something wrong with this picture, but as a simple taxpayer, I’m not smart enough to figure it out.

However, one thing is clear. It is time to remove the taxing authority from the Charleston County School Board. I ask that the Charleston County Legislative Delegation take corrective action immediately.

O. Matson Shiers

Smith Street

Charleston

New perspective

I welcomed The Post and Courier’s introduction of “The South” news section over the weekend. In recognizing Charleston’s historical importance as a leader in the region, you have offered a news-reading experience that accurately embodies a community of interest which deserves consideration.

A regional perspective on news and information is refreshing to see in an electronic driven communications world that readily offers an abundance of national and world stories instantaneously.

Your investment in reporting news from across the South is appreciated and will distinguish you from other daily news outlets, ensuring your longevity for years to come.

Benjamin Smoot

Bee Street

Charleston

Save island’s trees

It is James Island that people see from Charleston’s Battery on the Ashley River side. The view of lush green trees at Fort Johnson where the first shot of the Civil War was fired and along the entire coastline is thrilling.

When traveling to James Island by car, we know we are home when we see our trees. It is the wonderful variety of oak, pine, gum, pecan and others that create our haven and make James Island such a treasure.

Despite our protests, the City of Charleston continues to approve subdivisions and apartments on James Island, and we watch the trees come down. The city’s Board of Zoning Appeals has approved the removal of 60 grand trees on the former McLeod Plantation property, and clear-cutting at Seaside Plantation seems to be the rule.

We ask that the Town of James Island move now to protect our varied trees. Using guidelines from the City of Folly Beach, our neighbor and recent All-American City nominee, our town should adopt an excellent comprehensive tree ordinance that protects live oaks of 15 inches diameter at breast height, (dbh), along with many understory trees that are smaller.

Town officials have shown a willingness to study this issue. However, in the meantime, we urge Town Council to revise the tree ordinance now to include and protect all species of trees 18 inches at dbh and greater at their June 20 meeting.

As a James Island Public Service District commissioner said upon the town’s fourth and final incorporation, “Because we love the island and recognize its uniqueness, we don’t want the sanctity of the island destroyed.”

Destruction could come from a weak municipal tree ordinance or by development.

Either way, we fought for the town’s incorporation to preserve and protect much of James Island’s natural beauty.

Call Mayor Bill Woolsey and town council members today to let them know we expect that our unique island will protect the many trees and marshes that symbolize “home.”

Susan Milliken

Fort Sumter Drive

James Island

Carol Jacobsen

Wampler Drive

James Island

Challenging times

Recently, I had breakfast at my spot, the Marina Variety Store. The first three people I saw stated they would be praying for us in the midst of having our funds embezzled.

I explained that this sad situation occurred with Crisis Ministries, not the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy.

Jamie Kerr put in a checks-and-balances system when he was our treasurer some 15 years ago, whereby we receive monthly financial reports from our outside CPA firm.

These reports are reviewed by our board of directors and management. Our non-profit 501(c)3 status remains current with both the federal and state governments.

We need to keep the staff of Crisis Ministries, especially their CEO, Stacey Denaux, in our prayers during this most difficult time. They have had an excellent ministry to the homeless for years, and I know it will continue.

Thank you for keeping the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy in your thoughts and prayers, as we continue our ministry to first responders and victims’ families.

Rev. Rob Dewey

Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy

Executive Director

City Hall Lane

North Charleston

A matter of law

I, for one, would like to know who the bigger criminal is in the case of the NSA whistle-blower.

As a former law enforcement officer way back in the day, I remember a few things when it comes to the law. You can’t arrest someone for thinking about committing a crime; you can only act after one is committed.

In other words, you can’t speculate and surmise as to what someone may do such as in the case where our government is speculating that terrorists may commit a crime against us.

And if you’re thinking that there is a law called, “the Patriot Act,” it was designed to detect and stop our enemies, not gather information on private citizens in our country for future use against them.

I believe the whistle-blower Snowden was caught between a rock and a hard place. I can’t say that I agree with his decision to go public, but if he was aware that he could be charged with being an accessory after the fact to crimes against our citizens after seeing what the government was doing, he was left with little choice.

As for our government, I believe that the citizens of our country don’t need to know every sordid little detail as to what goes on behind the scenes as long as they aren’t violating the very laws that protect us.

Gregory J. Topliff

Glenwood Drive

Warrenville

How to recycle

The vast majority of the trash at fast-fat (fast-food) restaurants is recyclable. As much as these establishments lead to a worsening non-health conscience public, it would be nice if they would do something on a positive note. The person who uses the drive-through sits there wasting gas, polluting my air, and adding to a tirade on other health issues.

I personally go inside, I get exercise and talk to a real person and usually get my order more quickly.

When asked what I want to drink, I always say Budweiser. It adds a little lightness to the worker’s dull day.

Re: plastic bottles of liquids. When we throw these scourges of pollution away, always take the cap off. The liquid inside will not see the light of day for hundreds of years.

Earth will run out of water at some time in the future. But who cares? It won’t be in our lifetime, and this is the same thinking of our politicians with the debt. Leave it to others to pay the debt.

The price of everything that we touch is affected by gas prices and not a thing is mentioned by public forums or the politicians. They are so wrapped up in themselves. Not one cares for us, and this is not a true political issue.

Marshall Heiden

Highway 162

Hollywood

Stop vandalism

As long as I have resided in this beautiful city (1954) there have been issues with pranks and middle of the night raids on the citizens of Charleston. These abuses will not go away unless and until the city and the schools (C of C, MUSC and The Citadel) get serious and take action to significantly reduce and eventually eliminate these pranks.

Our beautiful city has received many accolades: consistently being designated the nation’s most mannerly city, top tourist destination both nationally and worldwide, home to world-class restaurants, etc., and the list grows.

However, vandalism and disrespect of people’s properties, if they continue, will kill the goose that lays the golden egg.

You see, it’s not about the schools, it’s about the entire city. Visitors come here from far and wide, not to see the schools but to visit a town that offers so much, such as friendly people, beautiful architecture, great restaurants, diversity in its unique culture, safety and security, and fascinating historical significance.

Where else can you find all these elements and have it flanked by an entire ocean?

We need to fix this and get it done right.

Philip Castengera

Beresford Creek Street

Daniel Island