Leader, mentor

Often in our hectic daily lives we overlook the good intentions of people and the value of an occasional face-to-face conversation to keep us humble and centered. I want to recognize the genuine kindness of a member of the Charleston community.

Victor Wilson, the former executive vice president of Student Affairs at the College of Charleston, is beginning a new opportunity at the University of Georgia.

I have no doubt that his impact at that university will continue his path of leadership and dedication to shaping and influencing young minds.

Those of us who are lucky enough to know Victor, know him as an educator, mentor, advocate and all-around good guy.

I was a 24-year-old College of Charleston student struggling to restart a college experience after more than a year of battling cancer when I met Victor.

I returned to the College without a direction of where to go next, but longing to put my treatment behind me and restart my life.

Having previously been involved with student government and various campus efforts prior to withdrawing, I knew I could count on Victor for guidance and friendship.

In the years since, I would see Victor around our campus. We’d often hold a quick conversation, but his smile and kind words would remind me how he exemplified all that is special about the College of Charleston.

I wish Victor success and happiness in his new role as vice president of Student Affairs at the University of Georgia. I know he’ll do a great job.

I am reminded of a simple quote attributed to John W. Gardner that says, “Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are.”

Jason M. Cronen

Charlotte Street

Charleston

Stand for right

It was Dec. 1, 1955, when Rosa Parks climbed aboard a city bus in Montgomery, Ala. She was tired from a hard day’s work and she wanted a place to rest her weary bones.

She wasn’t looking to be a superstar in a fledgling cause known as the Civil Rights Movement. I bet her desire that day was to get home safe, get a little supper, get a little rest and do it all over again the next day.

Rosa Parks did what she was supposed to do; she sat on the 11th row, which was right behind the first 10 rows of seats that were reserved for “whites only.” Once she got settled in, more white passengers got on the bus and Ms. Parks was asked to move.

Thank God she said, “No,” I’m not moving.

Rosa Parks gave the needed momentum to a movement that she probably didn’t even know existed. Because she said, “No,” Ms. Parks drove the first stake into the heart of a beast called segregation.

Without realizing it, Rosa Parks began the necessary cleansing of a stain that had been on our country’s soul since the first slave arrived on these shores centuries earlier.

That was almost 58 years ago, but to hear the Al Sharptons of the world, nothing has changed.

There are hate-mongers in all races, genders, sexual and or political persuasions, and their goal is always simple: Keep things stirred up. A few of them have even made a very good living keeping racial tensions alive and well.

But the rest of us must not allow the Al Sharptons of the world, be they black or white, to keep us from the rights as written in the Declaration of Independence.

Men are created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

On that fateful day in 1955, Ms. Parks wasn’t trying to be a heroine to black America, but she stood up to what she knew was evil. We should do no less.

Charlie Lybrand

Register of Mesne

Conveyance

Cloudmont Drive

Hollywood

Valuable trees

I think the trees on I-26 should be left alone. The S.C. Department of Transportation will make that decision. If they have to be removed, why we would pay someone to do it?

The last time and many times before, we had trees removed from our property; the person removing them paid us a tidy sum for them.

Maybe we could sell selected amounts of timber from all of our highways to finance the upkeep that we can’t afford.

Wayne Wicker

North Hermitage Road

Beaufort

Jackson’s example

South Carolina native Andrew Jackson was an authentic fiscal conservative who hated being in debt and was extremely conservative in his spending practices.

In fact, on Jan. 8, 1835, President Jackson paid off the national debt of the United States, marking the first, last and only time that our national debt was zero.

During his presidency, the United States ran a $36 million surplus (in 1835 dollars), which was eventually distributed to the individual states.

Lindsay R. Smith

Rushing Wind Drive

Irmo

Stop the fight

While my heart breaks for the Capobiancos and their desire to have a child, it is time for them to end their efforts to adopt Veronica.

Her father expressed a desire to raise her very early in her life. Nothing has been reported that makes me believe he is anything but a loving father.

Adoption is an act of pure love towards a child by all parties involved.

In this case, the adoptive parents need to be the ones to let Veronica go.

Ginny Corn

Club View Road

Summerville

Olympian task

An Aug. 4 letter writer suggests that Charleston should bid to host the 2024 Olympics. Salt Lake City was awarded the bid in 1995 and conducted extremely successful Olympic games in 2002. The letter writer should be prepared to spend decades in pursuit of that goal.

I directed the activities of the New England Winter organizing committee several years in the late 1990s, shuttling between Boston, Mass., and Portland, Maine.

In all my years in journalism and politics, never have I experienced such frustration and vexation. Even with the support and counsel of leading citizens throughout the market, funds did not pour in; they filtered in.

Unbridled enthusiasm cannot alter the scope and degree of difficulty of an Olympic bid. For all its civic appeal, Charleston should not burden itself with grandiose Olympian schemes.

Ben Kilgore

Arbor Road

Summerville

Hand-held risks

It is understandable that the freedoms, rights and liberties we have as Americans should be defended.

However, when an activity has a very real potential to harm others, it is no longer a right to engage in that activity without regard for the safety of others.

Most laws are written for this purpose, to preserve and to protect. The concept that a law prohibiting the use of hand-held devices while driving, particularly texting, infringes upon a person’s liberties is unfathomable.

Driving is a privilege, not a right, and laws and rules of the road are intended to protect everyone. If one cannot follow the rules and drive according to the laws one’s driving privileges can be taken away.

Texting while driving is no more a civil right than driving the wrong way in a one way street or choosing not to stop at a red light. Nor is texting while driving necessary.

This concept is being supported more and more across our nation.

We should all realize that using hand-held devices while driving endangers more than just that driver. It endangers others in that car, other cars, pedestrians and property.

Our legislators need to see this reality before it directly affects them or someone close to them. No one need jeopardize others when the chance to curb this problem is within reach.

Mark Palasek

Stamby Place

Mount Pleasant