Real story of sign
The gentleman who hit the historical sign on King Street is an employee of my husband. Jim, the driver, had just completed a delivery on King Street and was leaving a parking space when apparently the back of the box truck scraped the sign. Jim heard a clacking noise, stopped the vehicle and immediately got out to investigate the situation. He had been unaware that the sign was there or what it said.
A traffic cop nearby did not offer Jim any assistance. Jim was unable to contact my husband, so he placed the sign against a building to prevent injury to passers-by and continued to make his deliveries.
This incident was caught on downtown cameras and the police verified Jim’s story.
My concern is two-fold:
The sign hangs over the parking space. Is it within code? Also, why did Post and Courier columnist Brian Hicks not contact the police department, Jim or my husband to get the facts before insinuating that this was racial incident?
The sign has been reinstalled in a safer place, where it should have been in the first place.
Indigo Island Drive
Thanks to The Post and courier’s Diette Courregé, we have a useful metric for assessing the literacy level of students entering ninth grade, and the effectiveness of the Charleston County School District elementary and middle schools. This metric is: percentage of ninth graders reading at a fourth grade level or lower.
As we review literacy results, we need to examine the effectiveness of the education system for each child and not focus all our attention on the average child. The average literacy result for all CCSD high schools can bring us to a false positive conclusion if we ignore the wide range between the least literate and most literate ninth grade students.
Examination of literacy levels for the CCSD high schools over a six-year period shows:
• Six schools with 21 percent to 36 percent (average 29 percent) who read at a fourth grade level or below
• Four schools with 9 percent to 20 percent (average 15 percent)
• Four schools with zero to 9 percent (average 3 percent).
There is considerable work to be done to raise the performance of the six schools with the lowest average literacy levels to at least the 15 percent average level of the middle tier high schools.
I enjoy the “CharlestonScene supplement in Thursday’s paper, but for many weeks I have been puzzled by the movie reviews of Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle. He seems to be way off base from most other reviewers and most movie goers. His five-star rating (June 27) of the box office flop “White House Down” was just ridiculous, and undermines his credibility as a reviewer.
Last week he gave “Jobs” three and a half stars even though the majority of other reviewers I could find labeled it a colossal failure, a missed opportunity, bland and bloated. He also gave “Kick-Ass 2” three stars, although in his own review he admitted that one of its stars, Jim Carrey, has since “disowned the movie on moral terms, because of the violence.”
I would love to see some local reviewers in The Post and Courier, or at least those who are in touch with reality.
Please give Mr. LaSalle a thumbs down, and leave him in San Francisco.
Fritz Hollings has been one of my heroes for several decades, and I don’t want to hurt his feelings concerning his Aug. 23 opinion piece. So I agree with him on these subjects:
• Fiscal responsibility is a good thing, and is one we should always strive for.
• NAFTA was not a good thing. It was negotiated by George H.W. Bush and written by his administration. Bill Clinton did not have to sign it, but it was pretty much a done deal.
• Normally, it is preferable to pay for things as you go along. But when the bottom falls out of the economy (or is yanked out by irresponsible derivatives traders), trying to raise taxes on the people who buy things is not smart. People are already losing their jobs, their retirements and their homes, and what little wealth is still fluid is needed for buying things, which stimulates the economy, and is the only path back to economic health.
The financial house meltdown cost the world almost $70 trillion. It needed rapid fluidity, and that was provided by Barack Obama.
Please note that our houses caused the meltdown, but it is we who are recovering faster than about any other nation.
Many of us who practice in and know something about our courts do not share the newspaper’s view of Judge Thomas Hughston’s service to our community. Judge Hughston has a passion for the law, a compassion for all persons who appear before him and a tireless commitment to keep our system from collapsing in this era of budget cuts.
We should care more about a judge’s passion and commitment than for his percentage of commitments. What Judge Hughston does, what all judges do, deserves our respect and gratitude. Our system depends on the dedication of judges willing to give up lucrative careers, or in Judge Hughston’s case, a well-deserved retirement, and willing to sacrifice their social and private lives to often unfair public scrutiny to perform a too often thankless job that will very rarely, if ever, please everybody. Our judicial system is not and never will be perfect. All we can do is strive for truth, justice and, in proper cases, for understanding and mercy.
Judge Hughston should be thanked for striving to make our courts and our community a better place for all of us.
J. KEVIN HOLMES
This letter is submitted not only in defense of Judge Thomas Hughston, whose name has appeared in this paper in recent days, but also in defense of our state’s judiciary as a whole.
Judges in our state give up a great many rights when they don their robes and take their seats upon the bench. We as Americans take great pride in our right to voice whatever political opinion we may choose to embrace. However, judges have no such right. They are forbidden by ethics rules from publicly voicing support for any political cause. Judges are also prohibited from commenting on any specific case which may be before them. As such, if a judge finds himself or herself attacked in the press regarding the handling of a particular case, there exists no public vehicle which a judge may use to defend any particular decision made from the bench.
Together, the three of us have approximately 70 years of practicing law. We also conducted an informal telephone poll of many senior members of our bar who practice law in our criminal courts. Though the lawyers polled collectively have hundreds of years of criminal court experience in our Bar, not one of them has heard of any nickname assigned to Judge Hughston, much less a derogatory one. To the contrary, Judge Hughston enjoys statewide respect and admiration that can only come from a virtual lifetime of total and complete commitment to the ideals of justice and fairness to all.
Judges are not allowed to publicly speak their mind, even if they are unfairly attacked. Lawyers are bound by no such restrictions, and can stand up in defense of a good judge. We write not only as members of our state’s Bar, but also as the sitting president, immediate past-president and president-elect of the Charleston County Bar Association.
LADSON HOWELL, President
Mathis Ferry Road
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