True leadership

I read Dr. Debra Gammons’ July 16 column in The Post and Courier as I did the July 30 letter to the editor on the subject.

The letter writer concluded that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Benjamin Jealous, along with other community leaders, should all enroll in Gammons’ class at the Charleston School of Law. She closed by writing, “Now we need a true leader with no agenda to step forward.”

My question to the writer is: Who picks the new leader of the United States and of the African American and other minorities?

It’s amazing that those who insist on having an opinion about how black folks should act or react around the issue of race are so transparent in their lack of concern for those who continue to experience it.

I am an advocate, activist and believer in freedom, justice and equal opportunity for all people.

While I am eternally grateful for all people of good will who want and fight for the same, there are far too many people who still think that slavery was a benefit to African Americans.

Therefore, we reject any attempt to marginalize or devalue the work and effort of those who know that we still have much work to do and are determined to do that work.

We’ll respect your right to have your say and hope that you will do the same.

Finally, what minorities don’t need are folks who couldn’t care less about their well-being suggesting to them who their leaders should or should not be.

The letter writer referred to race-related efforts “that only keep those in the race business employed.”

As I work for free(dom), I am proudly reminded that both Jesus and Dr. Martin Luther King were considered “bad” leaders.

For the record, I consider all of our aforementioned leaders in good company, bar none.

Dot Scott

President

Charleston Branch NAACP

Columbus Street

Charleston

Success plan

The Wall Street Journal recently released a compelling series of video interviews with Lynn Tilton, the tough-as-nails founder and CEO of Patriarch Partners, who also owns American LaFrance in Charleston.

A Yale and Columbia graduate, Ms. Tilton is fiercely loyal to the United States in terms of job creation, women entrepreneurs, technology and hiring U.S. veterans.

Tilton’s company now owns 75 companies in 14 different industry sectors and is the largest woman-owned business in the United States.

At one point, WSJ moderator Vanessa O’Connell asked Ms. Tilton: “So where exactly would you open a facility right now in the United States?”

Her immediate response: “South Carolina.”

Ms. Tilton is obsessed with three-dimensional printing technology, robotics and the transformation of old, historic and empty textile mills into new U.S. technology plants. Designed to outsmart, outwork and out-produce China and others like them, all that’s missing from these facilities is the next generation of American workers committed to re-learning manufacturing and technology at the highest levels.

One of her turnaround strategies is cultivating tough women as business leaders, especially in manufacturing. Another strategy is partnering with Germany instead of China, due to German engineering brilliance, honesty in doing business and respect for intellectual property and international laws.

Tilton recently addressed the management and employees of a failing company she now owns, informing everyone that “you are no longer an automotive company ... you are now a technology company — in the automotive business.”

Tilton’s mantra can easily apply to aerospace, hospitality, agriculture or any other South Carolina business or educational sector in need of improvement.

I would encourage every South Carolina employee, executive, educator, business owner, plant manager and economic development leader to watch each of Lynn Tilton’s Wall Street Journal interviews as a group.

Baron C. Hanson

Market Street

Charleston

Made by China

The Charleston County School Board has approved a $20.7 million contract to China Construction America of South Carolina to build a new St. Andrews School of Math and Science in West Ashley.

Since 2001 the company has completed about 100 projects all over the United States and is currently undertaking about 10 projects in New York, South Carolina, Washington, D.C., and the Bahamas.

This company is a wholly owned subsidiary of its Chinese parent, China’s largest state-owned construction company.

Does this bother anyone? Lindsey, Tim, Mark, Nikki, Nancy? Who is minding the American store?

Looks like no one.

Patience D. Walker

Lowndes Street

Charleston

More painful cuts

I was surprised to read on the front page of the July 10 Post and Courier of the impending layoff of 320 workers at Army Strategic Logistics Activity Charleston.

Because of the government’s lack of budget and its imposed sequester plan, it can make cuts anywhere it chooses.

How can we ask troops to protect our country and fight for our freedom when we cannot provide the necessary well-maintained equipment?

How long can this go on before the American people say “no”?

I hope not much longer before things get worse.

Gwen Siegrist

Plantation Lane

Mount Pleasant

Owl rescue

As the James Island Chick family experienced with the release of the Eastern Screech Owl back into the wild, such a rescue is thrilling to witness and also to have played a part in.

The Avian Conservation Center is an incredible organization.

The Educational Department headed by Stephen Schabel and staffed by Monte Wallace and Audrey Poplin with help from dedicated volunteers is well known for their flight demonstrations at SEWE and tours and flights at the center in Awendaw.

Lesser known is the medical department headed by Debbie Mauney with assistant Jessie Paolello and specialist veterinarian Dr. Jose Biascoechea and 40 invaluable volunteers. Debbie’s department admits around 500 birds a year and through their skill, dedication, and patience, treats, rehabs and releases an incredibly high percentage of them.

In the month of June, nine barred owls, four great horned owls, four red-shouldered hawks, three red-tailed hawks, one broad-winged hawk, one bald eagle, one Mississippi Kite, one common loon and one yellow crowned night heron were treated by the medical department and released back into the wild, for the birds to enjoy their life and freedom and for all of us to enjoy their beauty, flight and sounds.

J. Stuart McDaniel

Pilot Boy Road

Wadmalaw Island

Trees and safety

On July 6, 2010, Sally Hartsock was traveling from Charleston to Charlotte, North on I-26.

She was on a section of I-26 that had no trees in the median. As she headed home to Charlotte after a wonderful beach week on Sullivan’s Island with her family, an RV driving in the southbound lane blew a tire, went out of control, crossed the median, which had no trees, and killed her instantly.

Now, had there been trees in the median the RV would have been stopped from spiraling into the northbound lanes. Sally would still be here today.

I suggest that trees are not the culprit. These trees could actually save lives.

Why waste money on removing perfectly good trees?

Maybe we should plant some more on sections that have none.

Charlotte Hartsock

Tradd Street

Charleston