Thank all vets

A group of women decided to make Nov. 11 a very special day honoring all veterans. Our day started with a program on the Yorktown, honoring female pilots from World War II.

The honored guest was Bernice Haydu, a Women Air Force Service pilot (WASP). She and Capt. Lyndsey Moynihan, a pilot with the 317th Air Squadron here in Charleston, shared their stories about being female pilots. In July 2009, Bernice and her fellow WASPs were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President Obama.

We then had the pleasure to listen to the talented and entertaining Naval Academy Women’s Glee Club.

The Olive Garden was packed for lunch, but the service from start to finish was extraordinary. Many patrons thanked us for our service to the country.

Our organization is the National Association of Black Military Women, Charleston Chapter. We were chartered in 2012. The mission is to “tell her story.”

We felt honored to participate in the Veteran’s Day Parade and thank the community for making us feel special. We are proud Americans.

Patricia A. Mack

U.S. Air Force, (Retired)

Ashton Street


Neglected area

I live a couple of dozen of yards from the large empty field where the Cooper River bridges used to be. I was disappointed to read Tim Keane’s recent comments, which implied that development of this tract could be 10 years or more away.

In 2005, when the city presented the Cooper River Bridge Neighborhood Plan with its lofty goals — new parks, new housing, flood control — I knew that concrete results would be years away.

However, eight years later the only thing that will have actually been built looks to be a parking lot to benefit the developers of the Cigar Factory.

To add insult to injury, it is being justified by predictions that further development could still be a decade away.

I find this disappointing as both a resident and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

It’s true that the city worked to obtain the land from SCDOT and created a TIF district to finance future improvements.

I still wonder if this project is being given the attention it needs. One has only to look at the pace of development in the area to know that the city is neglecting a great opportunity.

Two new hotels on Meeting Street, the Midtown Project, the Elan Apartments, the Lowcountry Lowline, the East Central Lofts, a multistory- residential project on Woolfe Street, and another at the foot of the East Bay Street exit to the Cooper River Bridge all show that the market supports growth.

This list doesn’t even take into account the enormous amount of energy and new businesses in the Cool Blow/Upper Morrison area.

I encourage our planners and elected leaders to knock the dust off the document they created in 2005. Now is the time to take advantage of the potential of this prime tract.

If they really intend to achieve the primary goal of reknitting the fabric of the neighborhood, don’t leave us with a 10-acre empty lot for the next 10 years.

Aaron Pope, AICP

Nassau Street


Honor due

While not in any way downplaying Dawn Staley’s recognition as an Order of the Palmetto Award recipient, I was deeply disturbed and saddened by the fact that Gov. Nikki Haley did not also recognize Mary Schweers with the Order of the Palmetto.

Putting one’s life on the line for a child (considering the fact that these were not her own biological children) deserves the highest recognition in our state.

As full disclosure, my daughter is a 2011 graduate of Ashley Hall, and Mary Schweers has always been held in the highest regard in our family for her leadership and personal character.

However, her potentially life-sacrificing act to save “her” children from harm deserves more than a “certificate” as recognition.

I have no political motivation in this game, only a deep sense of gratitude for a person who selfishly gives to children, who was truly willing to give her life instinctively for those she was charged to watch over.

The outcome of this story could have been tragically different. Charleston could have been the Sandy Hook that would have forever changed us. Thank God that did not happen.

But don’t fail to recognize Mary Schweers with the honor that she most certainly deserves. She was willing to stand between that potential fatal bullet and a child.

She is most deserving of this esteemed award.


Lakeview Drive

Mount Pleasant

No endorsement

Kudos to the College of Charleston for sticking to its guns in allowing Adrian Raine to speak.

At The Citadel I regularly invite to my classes guest speakers who challenge my students’ beliefs (and some who don’t).

Inviting a speaker is not an endorsement of his views; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke at Columbia University in 2007 amidst heated protests.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, a non-profit devoted to protecting academic freedom and headed by former Harvard and Yale presidents Larry Summers and Benno Schmidt, recommends not disinviting controversial speakers after an invitation has been extended.

Brian Norris

Assistant professor

Criminal Justice Department

The Citadel

Moultrie Street