Missing ‘The Pig’

Wow. A West Ashley icon will no longer be here. No more Ms. Mac’s chicken, or Charleston red rice. No more smiling faces to greet you when you walk in the store.

I grew up with the Piggly Wiggly. It was a place you could go and the employees knew you by name and would do everything to satisfy their customers. We bought fresh veggies, fruits and different items from local farmers. They supported our local schools and charities. What happened to “local forever”?

The people at the Northbridge Piggly Wiggly are awesome and should not be treated as just another employee. They are truly family and friends, and I will miss them all.

I sure hope the money being made is worth the loss of these magnificent local hardworking friends.

Maria Stephens

Campion Hall Road

Charleston

Veterans’ sacrifices

I am rarely moved to write letters to the editor but as the wife and daughter of combat veterans I felt compelled to respond to a Sept. 15 letter titled “Pay for parking.”

The writer expresses indignation regarding complaints about parking problems at the VA medical center. The “free” health care which he seemingly begrudges our veterans is far from free.

Our vets have paid an incalculable cost for the meager benefits that they receive for their service. The sacrifices of all of our veterans have ensured the writer’s very freedom to denigrate their services to our country.

The writer points out that our younger veterans volunteered. Indeed they did. We should all thank God every day that they made the choice to do what others could not, or would not do.

These young men and women, along with veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam, put themselves at risk of debilitating physical and psychological injuries and deserve the very best care this nation has to offer.

America has a sacred obligation to care for those who have given much to ensure the freedoms that many of us take for granted. This obligation extends to their families who were “housed and fed” (ever lived in base housing?) at our expense. As for the pension, I suggest that the writer try living on it and then get back to us.

I challenge the writer to visit the VA and witness some of the injuries suffered by our veterans. Perhaps then he will understand the sacrifices made on his behalf by some of the best and brightest of our citizens.

There are countless deeds that will forever go untold and thousands of veterans whose names we will never know. We owe them all a debt we can never repay.

Anna G. Garlock

Gallashaw Road

Summerville

TV news diversity

A news item posted on your web site Sept. 17 describes the American Cable Association’s opposition to the sale of WCIV-TV to Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. The ACA is appealing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to prevent or modify the sale on the grounds that, if allowed, it would give Sinclair-owned stations in the Charleston area an unfair competitive advantage over other local stations when negotiating retransmission fees.

It’s worth noting that the ACA, other local stations and Sinclair are not the only stakeholders in this potential transaction. We the people have a stake in it too because we need diverse, accurate, comprehensive, probing sources of news in order to make wise decisions that keep our democracy intact and healthy.

As has been reported by John McDermott in this paper, Sinclair’s long-term plan is to own both Fox affiliate WTAT-TV and ABC affiliate WCIV-TV. The arrangement is understandable from Sinclair’s economic point of view, but we can question its legitimacy as a way to preserve the robust press required for a healthy democracy. Further, there’s a government rule in place designed to prevent a single company from controlling two stations in small markets like Charleston that have eight or fewer local stations.

Diverse, accurate, comprehensive, probing news coverage is neither easy nor cheap to procure. In recent decades most news provided to the citizens of our democracy has come from a diminishing number of enormous, profit-driven corporations.

This consolidation of news media has had several undesirable consequences — less competition in news reporting; losses of huge numbers of reporters from print and broadcast news outlets; increased emphasis on easy-to-gather but not-very-informative (cheap, profitable) news; and the substitution of opinion for facts. The last thing we ought to do is perpetuate such consolidation in our own hometown.

Sinclair’s plan is unfolding as the FCC is considering updating media ownership rules. While the plan is a clear violation of existing rules, a rule change could legitimize it.

We as citizens need to think about this. It’s highly unlikely that having two major local TV broadcasters owned and controlled by the same company will enhance the depth, breadth or overall quality of local news. We deserve better. Those who agree might consider making their opinions known to the FCC at fcc.gov.

Faye Steuer

Lakeview Drive

Mount Pleasant

Pageant miscue

Miss South Carolina, Brooke Mosteller, is a lovely Christian woman who has been caught up in a six-week whirlwind of preparation for Miss America.

I totally understand, and other Miss South Carolinas will testify that we all rely on and trust well-intended folks who helped to prepare us for competition. Despite Brooke’s best efforts, she was not able to correct the pre-recorded statement made about South Carolina. All of us, whether pageant competitors or not, wish we could redo certain moments in our lives.

I know that Brooke loves our state, the citizens of this state and would never intentionally hurt anyone.

The only difference between what happened to me in Atlantic City is, back then, there was no social media.

Thank God.

Jane Jenkins Herlong

Bouknight Road

Johnston

Ms. Herlong is a former Miss South Carolina and a former Miss Charleston.