Proud to serve
Thank you for publishing the Oct. 7 story about the bond and reunion between Topper Avenel and Dennis Mills, who were together in Vietnam.
I served as a U.S. Navy corpsman and was with the 9th Marines in Vietnam in 1968. Your story helped me feel proud of my role and the service I provided as a corpsman, and I was delighted to see the recognition given to Topper Avenel.
It was also heartwarming to read of the reunion between him and one of those he was able to help.
Being called “Doc” by my Marines always meant a great deal to me, as it was a name that was earned, not just given.
Finally, South Carolina ranks highest. Unfortunately, it is for fees we pay for investing our retirement funds and bonuses that we pay state employees ($30,000 to $300,000).
An important question every South Carolinian should be asking is:
Why should we pay $296 million in fees for investing our retirement funds and an additional $1.4 million in bonuses to the employees of the state commission that manages them?
In August, The Post and Courier cited a study that reported our investment fee was ranked highest of the 35 states examined. The state investment commission’s chief investment officer, Hershel Harper, defended the commission’s investment strategy, noting that the study was “flawed,” and stated the commission takes a very long-term view.
“We believe that over the long term, the diversification nature of these assets will actually help us create a better trajectory for a smooth ride and help dampen volatility.”
I wonder how large Mr. Harper’s bonus was and if the bonus system affected the commission’s investment strategy?
As a retired state employee, I prefer that the state’s $25-plus billion retirement fund be invested in conservative, inflation-protected investments. Hedge funds are not a wise strategy for investing public trust funds. There are surely many investment companies willing to invest $25 billion for modest fees (0.25 to 0.5 percent).
Furthermore, state investment commission employees, like other government employees, should receive bonuses only for superior performance. Investing in a manner that resulted in the highest fees is not superior.
A balanced, conservative investment approach is required for public trust funds. The investment approach used by the investment commission is, as my mother would say, pure fool.
Long Creek Road
End the shutdown
It’s amazing to me to hear people urging their leaders to stand their ground and not back down on the government shutdown fiasco.
I wonder how loud their encouragement would be if they were among the over 800,000 out of work?
Do the words “sounds of silence” ring a bell?
When your lifestyle is not affected it’s easy to say “hang tough, stay the course” and not give a hoot about those doing without.
This is the road this country is heading down, and the polarization of our elected officials is the engine powering the oncoming train wreck.
I don’t pretend to have any answers, but I sure wish those in Washington would come up with something.
I’m not counting on it, though, after hearing a story on the news about some congresswoman who, when asked about voluntarily forfeiting her pay during the shutdown, responded, “I’ve got bills to pay. I need my paycheck.”
That says it all.
I would like to thank everyone who responded to my plea to the parole board to keep Carl Chisolm in prison for the murder of my daughter Renee in 1991.
Because of your response he will remain behind bars for another two years.
My entire family, De’Ron and I are grateful for your emails, letters and phone calls.
Each email and letter was read. Each call was answered.
We thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.
Bus route saved
For the past seven months Mo Murray and I have been fighting with CARTA to keep the Route 21 bus.
This route originates at the Canterbury House, proceeds around downtown through the MUSC Hospital complex, down Rutledge Avenue, past the Food Lion, to the Joseph Floyd Manor, then returns.
Many seniors, MUSC employees and C of C students use this bus and would be hard-pressed to get around without it. Now, thanks to the endeavors of City Councilman Mike Seekings, this bus route has been saved. Councilman Seekings worked diligently to help us.
Those of us who use the Route 21 bus need to thank Councilman Seekings for his help and give him our vote when we go to the polls.