‘Lucile Maple Tree’

Indulge me a moment to share with you about an exceptional friend.

An ardent and lifelong student and supporter of all things horticultural, Lucile, a sprightly little lady at the tender age of 93, continues tirelessly sharing her contagious love of gardening with all who care to listen.

Her avid study has produced a plethora of lecture topics, which she has shared among countless groups.

Lucile’s guestbook can only attest to the number of people welcomed into her garden; the tour that follows draws the visitor into the conversation of her multifaceted landscape, promising to enlighten and please the senses, which Lucile quickly attributes to God, the designer, creator and central focus of not only her garden, but her life.

Many visitors to Lucile’s garden can remember rows of eggshells housing maple seedlings sitting on her back porch.

Over the years Lucile has shared these seedlings from a generously prolific tree in her garden.

These miniscule seedlings plopped in empty eggshells, nestled in a bit of earth, have been dispersed throughout the community and far beyond, maturing and providing glorious displays during each season of the year.

What a spectacular legacy.

All who are acquainted with her, know I speak of Lucile MacLennan, but the truth is she wants to be remembered as “Lucile Maple Tree.”

In celebration of Lucile’s contribution to her community, friends have initiated a scholarship at Trident Technical College as a living memorial, an apt way to continue the awareness and appreciation of our treasured horticultural heritage in an ever-increasing urban setting.

Hopefully, her legacy will live on for generations, not only in the trees she has shared, but also in the future “budding” horticulturists who will pursue careers devoted to the health and beauty of our landscapes and resources.

If you want to be a part of the legacy, you can go to http://www.tridenttech.edu/capital.htm (or mail to TTC Foundation, P.O. Box 61227, Charleston, S.C. 29419-1227) and contribute to the Lucile Gaines MacLennan (be sure to specify this) scholarship in horticulture studies.

Christine Elliott

Wappoo Drive

Charleston

Getting real

A recent letter writer wrote disparagingly about a very varied group of individuals. He claimed that everyone in America, except for the named groups and all Tea Party supporters, loved America. But that his named groups hated the government, old people, women, and assorted other various minorities.

His sources for such nonsense was omitted, but as an acknowledged conservative I would conclude that the writer has little knowledge of conservative politics.

In fact the list of names he proffers up would all resent being lumped together as of one mind. I personally like some of them and some I find untrustworthy, as I also find the White House.

In fact there is no “Tea Party,” and no Tea Party chairman or president. To try and pigeon-hole a large group of independent-thinking citizens is naïve and rings of a “party think” mentality.

As hard as I try I can think of only one item that fits all of the groups the writer condemns, and that is a total respect for the Constitution. The truth is if all of these supposedly radical right wingers did think alike we would probably have a different president right now.

Larry Wiessmann

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island

What suspect?

The headline on page A11 in the Nov. 3 paper read “LAX suspect left a note.” That is related to one Paul Ciancia who is charged with pulling out his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at the Los Angeles Airport, shooting up the place, killing at least one TSA officer and wounding four other people. He was shot four times by police officers. He was only wounded.

He is called a “suspect” in your headline.

Of what is he “suspected”?

J.A. Ingle JR.

Atlantic Avenue

Sullivan’s Island

Missing details

SCDOT has announced plans for a public information hearing to discuss a proposed roundabout on James Island. However, it has refused to allow the public to review the project design prior to the meeting.

Why would a state agency, hoping to build a roadway with federal dollars, continue to refuse requests to release details of a taxpayer-funded project? Is there something to hide here, or is this just a way of avoiding public scrutiny?

Louise Pecevich

Stono River Drive

Charleston

Paying more

On Nov. 5 in Dorchester County, an attempt to increase the local sales tax (LOST), lost. It was a deserved outcome.

The slogan for supporting the tax was “Lower Taxes, Vote Yes.” But LOST would have meant a real current expense with only a promise of other taxes being reduced by an equal amount.

There will be other efforts to add a tax on Dorchester County residents in general, and Summerville residents in particular.

Last year Dorchester County residents voted to spend $180 million on new schools. New bonds will be issued for this unfunded expense as Dorchester County doesn’t have the taxing power to pay them off.

In fact, the total of this new obligation plus existing obligations exceeds the value of the assets (real estate) backing them.

Those who were against authorizing such a large expenditure alerted county residents that their property taxes would go up — in time, a lot. County officials downplayed this, but unless they can pass an alternate new tax, property taxes will rise. The piper will be paid. Property owners must live with that reality.

Charles Nystrom

Anstead Drive

Summerville

The big switch

Obamacare?

I just became Amish.

Steve Turko Jr.

White Church Lane

Summerville

Sound principles

I strongly believe that we need to adhere to the U.S. Constitution, the law of the land. Additionally, I’m a fiscal conservative, believing that we need to better manage the government’s taxing and spending to maintain a healthy economy.

Those are the basic tenants of the Tea Party.

How is it that the Democratic Party convinced America that I’m some sort of a wild-eyed extremist?

Mike Vegis

Sea Eagle Watch

Charleston

Parting tribute

Charleston lost one its most colorful and courageous souls with the passing of John Graham Altman.

He served the public well in both government and in education, resolutely promoting fiscal responsibility in the Statehouse and sound principles in the classroom.

He would not give way to those whose only solution to any problem was throwing someone else’s money at it, but he did it without rancor, and always welcomed debate.

His great strength was his ability to communicate ideas with a command of facts and diction that few could match, and even those who disagreed with his policies found it very difficult to rebut his persuasive points.

Best of all John Graham’s traits was the genuine warmth of this man who had an obvious inner joy that he often shared with those around him.

Years ago, in a county school board meeting prior to the Christmas holidays, John Graham ended the proceedings by reading a beautiful Biblical passage about the gift of the Magi.

He was not proselytizing, but simply offering a hopeful message of peace and love for all mankind.

It was incredibly uplifting, and I’ve never forgotten that dozens of people who were there that night all left with a smile — a fitting exit for a good man, John Graham Altman.

Michael Trouche

Marsh Court Lane

Mount Pleasant