I-26 trees

What is with the new cog in the wheel regarding the I-26 trees? The public meeting has been delayed.

Mark Sanford, Arthur Ravenel and Chip Limehouse all spoke against destroying 30 miles of green space — trees.

Charleston residents — taxpayers — also oppose this deforestation plan. They agreed to a tax to purchase land for green space.

Who benefits financially from this plan? “Follow the money” and we will see why this plan is being pushed forward. Does the DOT not have a better way to spend $5 million?

If our elected officials and taxpayers cannot stop this plan, who is in charge here?

D.S. Rowe

Forest Trail

Isle of Palms

Sugar subsidies

The recent editorial on agricultural subsidies is spot on by all objective measures, and the implications are obvious for all citizens.

The U.S. sugar industry/market, in particular, is a perfect example of the extent to which agricultural markets have been corrupted by government representatives and special interests.

Import tariffs and agricultural loans authorized by Congress have inflated sugar prices and indirectly forced U.S. citizens to spend more than $2.4 billion on food containing sugar, with U.S. sugar producers getting more than $1.4 billion in profits. By every objective measure this is unconscionable. How has this happened?

The sugar industry (especially ex-Cubans in Florida) make substantial donations to our “honest” legislative folks and thereby encourage support of their objectives. In fact, the sugar industry and associated lobbyists have contributed over $4 million to both political parties in recent political campaigns.

An expert in the sugar industry field has noted that if U.S. sugar were to truly compete on the global market without government supports, the world price of sugar would rise 8.5 percent and the U.S. price would fall by 42 percent.

When calculated out to per person savings this is clearly a significant amount of disposable income. It is time to ask our government representatives why they continue to support these special interest programs.

Jonathan Walker, Ph.D.

Coral Reef Drive

Johns Island

Evaluations

The recent editorial on teacher evaluation reform and Norman R. Augustine’s column on standardized testing are misleading and irresponsible.

To frame the teacher evaluation plan in South Carolina as something educators “fear” scapegoats teachers while aiding political leaders pushing their agendas.

Mr. Augustine’s simplistic support for standardized testing ignores three decades of evidence that test-based accountability has failed schools, hurt students and eroded U.S. international comparisons.

Expanding accountability based on standards and testing serves to profit only the bloated testing industry. In South Carolina, public schools and tax revenue are precious commodities that the media and political leadership seem willing to treat as Monopoly money in a casino.

PAUL THOMAS, EdD

Faculty Director

Furman University

Poinsett Highway

Greenville

Economy boost

President Obama’s plan to help our economy is to take more from the producers and give more to the non-producers.

Wait a minute. Does this not negatively impact both groups?

Give me a break.

Ed Ball

Eastlake Road

Mount Pleasant

Let’s dance

Dance FX put on a spectacular cancer benefit show July 26 at the Music Farm and did Charleston proud. Young modern dancers — black, white, Asian, Latino, male and female — dazzled with creative, energetic modern dance. The audience went wild.

Young people have much to offer in this city. I only hope budget slashers will help fund what is the artistic heart of American culture. This show made me proud to be a Charlestonian and proud of our youth.

It brought tears of joy to my eyes.

Gary Ling

W. Montague Avenue

North Charleston

Why not sleepless?

How do you decrease corporate taxes, increase government giveaways and accelerate to a $17 trillion national debt and sleep at night, Mr. President?

It just doesn’t add up.

Pat Kilroy

Milton Drive

Goose Creek

Worthy challenger

Nancy Mace has thrown her hat into the ring and is challenging Lindsey Graham in next year’s Republican primary. Mace has a history of being able to jump in the sandbox with the boys and come out smiling, she being the first female graduate of The Citadel. With Mace in the race, Graham now has a worthy challenger.

Nancy Mace is a mother, wife, author, small business owner and constitutional conservative. She is perfectly capable of going to Washington, representing South Carolina’s conservative values, to include: balanced budgets, free markets, free minds, personal responsibility, secure borders, ending government snooping, a sane foreign policy without America constantly being involved in brush fire wars around the world, a return to core constitutional principles and much more.

Nancy Mace would make an excellent colleague for our other constitutional conservative senator, Tim Scott.

Now might be the time for Graham to confess that he is not a true conservative at heart and only claims conservative credentials in the hope of garnering votes.

Perhaps Nancy’s challenge will prompt Graham to man up, do the right thing and switch over to the Democrats where his heart seems to be.

Walter D. Carr

Ashley River Road

Charleston

Help them along

Do we feel guilty when we cheer along an athlete who happens to be of the same race, religion or culture as we? Do we feel guilty when one of our race, religion or culture commits a despicable act toward someone of another race, religion or culture? What is the difference between racism, prejudice and discrimination? By definition they are all related.

If we look at another person and automatically hate or dislike him because of his appearance, what do you call it?

Be it race, religion, culture, body appearance, sexual preference, nationality, monetary status, social status or whatever, do we all tend to judge just a bit? I know that we have come a long way in the fight against discrimination, but it still exists.

Even the most racist of our population has come a long way in the past half century. In the decades since the ’50s I have witnessed many good things happening.

What causes these changes for the better? Is it the couch potatoes, the silent majority or those who work for a better future? As individuals, we must all answer that question for ourselves.

Most certainly we all need to keep working for a society where we can live side by side with others. One where we can have backyard barbecues with whoever lives next door, where we can have friends who influence us to be better people and where, when we look back to see who we are passing along the way, we give them a hand and help them along.

Dave Yount

Cottingham Drive

Mount Pleasant

Money maker?

Regarding the Department of Transportation’s insistence that removing trees from the median of I-26 from Summerville to I-95 would decrease the accident rate, I suspect that the true reason is that money from the salvage operation would go into DOT’s coffers.

Patricia Plaster

Old Tower Road

Summerville