About a year and a half ago submarine veterans in the Lowcountry learned that Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum wanted to get rid of the USS Clamagore. At that time we started a fund-raising effort under the auspices of the Clamagore Veterans Association (CVA).
The CVA said it was a non-profit organization. We found out three months later that the CVA had let its non-profit status lapse.
We stopped all fund-raising. At that time approximately $35,000 had been raised. That money is still controlled by the CVA.
After the shock wore off, a group of retired submarine sailors formed the USS Clamagore Restoration and Maintenance Association, Inc. (CRAMA) in June.
Our purpose is to save, relocate and restore the USS Clamagore to a land berth communal with the CSS Hunley museum in North Charleston, and to preserve the last-of-her-kind World War II submarine as a museum and memorial.
We have just learned that Patriots Point has signed or expects to sign a contract with a Florida company to sink the Clamagore as a reef. The submarine is expected to be towed to Florida in January. Patriots Point is a state agency and is answerable to the people of South Carolina.
Please let your representatives know your feelings about this. A website, www.savetheclamagore.com, will be in operation soon with information on how you can help. We are not soliciting money now because we have not received our non-profit status.
Two sides to story
“I am saddened by the circumstances that unfolded the night of Oct. 12 on Seaside Lane, but enough is enough.” So opens a letter to the editor in the Oct. 22 Post and Courier. “Not once ... (did) Dot Scott condemn the actions of Derryl Drayton that eventually led to his death.”
Derryl Drayton did not follow police instructions to stop, drop his weapon or to get on the ground, and then he came at the police with a weapon. What next, to kill a police officer?
There are two sides to every action. Both sides need to be held accountable for their actions. We are all victims when things like this happen.
Joe Darby, in his Oct. 22 column, does exactly what he accuses law enforcement of doing — making statements before all the facts are known. So maybe Joe Darby should not “jump the gun” on the shooting either.
Speaking for Alex
An Oct. 19 letter, “Avoid Danger,” stressed the importance of “situational awareness,” and I agree that everyone should monitor his surroundings to avoid becoming a victim of crime.
I am, however, outraged that the letter writer used the Oct. 3 killing of William Alex Apps as an example of foolish behavior, comparing Alex’s actions to “going to an ATM at midnight, walking around on a dark and lonely night while talking on your cell, etc.”
He wrote that “picking up unknown men ... suggests a tragedy waiting to happen.”
Up to a certain point, Alex’s actions are well documented. As of this date, no one knows exactly what happened. It is baseless to insinuate that somehow Alex was to blame for being killed.
As a friend of friends of Alex, I am deeply hurt by his violent and senseless death, as many are. No one should pretend to know his last minutes.
I retired from the Navy in 2002. I applied for VA benefits in February. I received excellent assistance from the regional VA office on Rivers Ave. They assisted in collecting information, filling out forms and tracking down medical records.
After all the news regarding VA backlogs, I expected to wait at least a year or more for progress.
Every month I received a letter from the VA saying they hadn’t forgotten about my claim. In September I received a call from Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital regarding an exam.
After all the hoopla regarding parking, I had little expectation of a smooth procedure.
After circling the parking areas, I decided to try valet parking. It was backed up, but total parking search and valet took less than 10 minutes.
I have almost never had such a thorough exam. I was seen promptly, referred to the lab and radiology.
My total wait time for three appointments? I read 12 pages in my book. Every station was courteous, prompt and pleasant.
When I went to pick up my car, I was in it in less than five minutes.
My follow-up appointment two weeks later was exactly the same. No wait for exam, no wait for valet parking and less than 10 minutes for them to retrieve my car. I didn’t even take a book.
So far, I couldn’t be happier with my experiences. The VA is understaffed and overworked, but doing a better job than the naysayers think or know.
Keep up the great work, VA. Our vets deserve the best.
David Oyster, DMD CMDR, U.S. Navy (Retired)
I recently read a very interesting article concerning sales tax policies.
According to Katherine Newman, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, the sales tax system in the South is killing poor people — literally.
She states that sales taxes are leading to higher death rates, more crime and a lower rate of high school graduation. The problems are mainly in the South and increasingly in the West.
She writes: “While the federal government has largely stuck by the principle of progressive taxation, the states have gone their own ways: tax policy is particularly regressive in the South and West, and more progressive in the Northeast and Midwest.
“When it comes to state and local taxation, we are not one nation under God. In 2008, the difference between a working mother in Mississippi and one in Vermont — each with two dependent children, poverty-level wages and identical spending patterns — was $2,300.”
Nixon and Obama
For those who need to be reminded and those who may be too young to know, in 1972 an American president, Richard Nixon, resigned rather than face impeachment.
His crime: the “cover-up” of the break-in at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., and his staff’s lying about it to Congress.
Now move on to 2013. During the past five years we have watched Obama “cover up” the Fast and Furious debacle, the murder of four Americans in Benghazi, the IRS scandal, and the NSA’s spying on European heads of state.
We now know he lied to us on a number of these issues, which brings us to Obama-care. He has repeatedly lied to the American people that they would be able to keep their existing policies and their private doctors under the law.
Let’s face it. Nixon was a lightweight compared to Obama.
Your article in The Post and Courier about the Horn Works on Marion Square was very informative.
Many years ago I asked a local historian why it was called the Horn Works. He replied, tongue in cheek, “This the spot where the Angel Gabriel sounded his horn and proclaimed Charleston as the Holy City.”
As Nic Butler, the Charleston historian says, “Tourists and locals just look at a mass of tabby, shrug their shoulders and walk off.”
Why are we keeping this most interesting information about Charleston’s history a secret? Why not place a historical marker on the site with a diagram of the works and a short description of the significance.
Or rename it Gabriel’s Horn and really confuse everyone who sees it.