Jasper County port
Your recent editorial on the Jasper Port is a collection of truisms, inanities and outright misstatements:
1) It is not “just a concept.” In fact it would be in operation if Charleston hadn’t stopped us. This is a greenfield site, eight miles from the sea buoy, as opposed to overbuilt sites in centuries old communities.
The Georgia Terminal, by comparison, is 22 miles from the sea buoy. Jasper is thus cheaper to build and maintain, as well as less environmentally disruptive.
2) You say it has to be studied; however, studies existed at least as early as 1972. The Legislature didn’t direct the Jasper Project Office to study it; it directed them to build it.
3) Who says the port is not intended to be competition? This is America. We believe in competition, remember? South Carolina competes with Georgia. Savannah competes with Charleston. What monarch or deity was it that decreed Jasper couldn’t compete with either?
4) Charleston and Savannah are indeed cooperating; they are cooperating on stalling, obfuscating and obstructing. You say “trying to push through the preliminary work would be a big mistake.” The 13-year permitting and engineering is the preliminary work. What they are doing now is just a charade.
5) To the JPO I say, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.”
Darrell Johnson Jr.
Mr. Johnson is a Jasper County councilman.
I could not believe what I was reading in a letter of July 9 titled “Positive trend.” It was surreal. The writer attempted to justify homosexuality through the use of Holy Scripture. To attempt this is ludicrous and totally incomprehensible.
It’s true Jesus taught us to love one another. However, He never taught us to love the sins of our brothers.
The writer stated that the AMA and the American Psychological Association affirm that the “gay orientation is normal and healthy.” What kind of rubbish is that? If homosexuality is the norm then where do all of us heterosexuals stand? And healthy? What about the horrific spread of AIDS and STDs?
The fact remains that no matter how liberals and gay people slice it or dice it, homosexuality, according to God’s laws, is immoral and a sin. That’s not something I made up or pulled out of the blue.
Jesus condemns the sin, not the sinner. I feel the same way. Jesus, in my opinion, would treat a homosexual the same as He treated the woman caught in adultery. He would say, “Go, and sin no more.”
Federal support of cancer research has put us on the verge of some incredible breakthroughs, and we are fortunate that research is going on right here in South Carolina at the Hollings Cancer Center.
I recently had the opportunity to attend a congressional briefing hosted by the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network and Hollings. It highlighted research being conducted at the center and researchers from all over the world who come here to be part it.
But recent budget cuts to the National Institutes of Health as a result of the sequester will have a big impact in the state. South Carolina will lose out on almost $7 million in research funding and an estimated 170 research jobs will be lost.
We urge Congress to make restoring funding for cancer research a top priority. We must support important research that is being conducted right in our own backyard.
Ashley Laursen, BSN
Health Care Provider and
Patient Advocate Volunteer
American Cancer Society
Cancer Action Network
In a recent column, George Will cited seemingly endless wrangling by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on the issue of immigration reform. Few would argue that our immigration program and its underlying policies are in bad need of repair.
Will points out that illegal entries are at a 40-year low based largely on enforcement of the law and the state of the American economy. Mexico’s economy is improving nicely, thereby making work in the United States far less enticing than has been the case.
So Congress panders to us by building a multibillion-dollar fence on one border, the one to the south, leaving a vast border to the north and ocean borders east and west. This is a very expensive gesture. “We need to secure our borders,” say our politicians.
Does anyone really think that a wall between us and Mexico will significantly restrain illegal entry? Mexico and its citizens are not the enemy bent on harming us.
The solution for illegal border-breaching lies with the American enterprises that would employ them. Unless a prospective worker can establish that he is legally employable, he should not be hired. Wittingly or unwittingly, we compound the offense.
So Congress takes billions of dollars and spends it building a national embarrassment and giving us a false sense of security. Adding tens of thousands of border guards constitutes an employment program.
Both political parties are porkers. This is pork cleverly disguised.
Raymond J. Vogel
Fresh Meadow Lane
Aid aging seniors
The June 30 editorial began, “Owning your own home is a big part of the American Dream. So is staying in it after you get old.” You were on target for urging community support for an ever-increasing population, soon to explode with maturing Baby Boomers (76 million). It is encouraging that Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell has promoted state financial resources and research, but our communities need to come to grips with Grandma’s plight now.
Some communities value seniors’ talents and ensure services are in place to meet in-home needs. However, South Carolina’s estimates of $1,400 per year in assistance and $52,000 for the expense of a Medicaid-paid nursing home bed are far too low.
According to the Genworth 2012 Cost of Care Survey, the median cost of a nursing home semiprivate room in South Carolina is $65,700 annually. The median cost for an assisted living facility is $34,500. Just having a homemaker costs $18 an hour; home health aide, $19 an hour; adult day health care, $61 a day; assisted living, $3,300 per month; and nursing home, $200-$220 a day.
With Medicare’s questionable future, our state’s refusal for Medicaid help and a lot of hidden costs for median income seniors to have health care coverage, it is not just the poor elderly who are in trouble.
Roughly $240,000 will be needed to cover health care for a 65 year-old couple in retirement. A medical disaster can wipe out savings even for middle-class seniors. Our state needs the political will to design a health care alternative for seniors and children using federal money. Three years is plenty of time to do it.
Financial planning is a minefield, and seniors are easy targets for scams. Elder abuse is real. People fear mental deterioration and the exhaustion of resources and families it brings.
Renovations for handicap accessibility, cultural involvement and mental stimulation from educational institutions, mobility and transportation needs and legal assistance geared not just to “end of life advanced directives” but to innovative solutions for estates — all describe the infrastructure for an elder friendly environment.
A state willing to take the federal bull by the horns and communities helping seniors age in place will assure that the Golden Years are truly quality of life years.
I am concerned about recreational opportunities in Berkeley County. The Girl Scout Camp in Huger will be sold at auction. The Canal Park in Bonneau has been closed. Huger Park and sections of the Palmetto Trail in the National Forest lack money for needed maintenance.
I have lived in Berkeley County most of my life, and recreation has been important to me. I would like to see this continue for the community and generations to come.
I suggest that we look at partnerships with the county, local industries and others as a possible solution. I also suggest that we look at how Charleston and Dorchester counties have been so successful in developing recreational opportunities.
Don’t come back
I applaud and support attorney Jason Luck’s saying “good riddance” to [Medical Mutual] Carolina Care’s leaving the S.C. health insurance market as reported in Lauren Sausser’s July 15 story describing anticipated increases in health insurance premiums under Obamacare.
Its decision is reminiscent of GEICO’s withdrawal from the New Jersey auto insurance market after the N.J. insurance department refused to permit GEICO to increase premiums above an acceptable level.
People found other auto insurance companies to fill the void and often got better coverage at lower costs. In our competitive economy, other health insurance companies can and will fill the void left by Medical Mutual’s anticipated departure.
Although Medical Mutual’s public reason for leaving the S.C. insurance market was that implementation of parts of the federal Affordable Care Act on Oct. 1 “makes it too hard to do business here,” I suspect the real reason is that they were not allowed to raise rates.
Contrary to its media statements, this action is not about Medical Mutual’s scaling back to focus efforts and spending on its core Ohio business, but rather ensuring there are adequate revenues to cover salaries, bonuses and benefits for executives, their assistants and middle management. “Good riddance” is the appropriate farewell.
Meals for hungry
Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Services would like to congratulate Maverick Southern Kitchens, Dayna and Dick Elliott and all of their staff on their receiving the state 2013 Restaurant Neighbor Award from the National Restaurant Association. (Post and Courier, “Good Neighbors,” July 18.)
As the agency operating the Neighborhood House in downtown Charleston, we are one of many beneficiaries of their generosity. Each month, the staff of High Cotton visits us, prepares and serves a magnificent lunch for up to 200 Charlestonians in economic need. Imagine being poor or homeless and knowing that your lunch that day will come from High Cotton.
Maverick Southern Kitchens is also a distinguished participant in the “Feed the Need” initiative, a coalition of 52 Charleston area restaurants, caterers, clubs and hoteliers who help feed the hungry by assisting organizations like ourselves.
Throughout the year “Feed the Need” members provide meals to hungry people in all parts of our community, contributing thousands of dollars’ worth of food and staff time. They do so enthusiastically, compassionately and without concern for recognition.
Charlestonians know that our restaurants are among the best in the world. The true hospitality offered by Maverick Southern Kitchens and many others like them is one of the reasons why.
Director of Development
Our Lady of Mercy
I want to congratulate the remarkable Jadeveon Clowney for winning the “Best Play” ESPY Award on July 17.
No one deserved it more than he. This is one of the many accomplishments that will keep coming his way. Clowney’s honor was a great reflection on the University of South Carolina.
Go, Clowney, and may “The Hit” live on.
Barbara E. Boylston