Park revolt

Don Barger, of the National Parks Conservation Association, made an impassioned plea for funding our national parks (“Shutdown reveals widespread support for national parks,” Nov. 21).

He stated, “I have never seen a greater outpouring of support for our national parks than during the government shutdown in October.”

Well, I don’t know who was doing the outpouring around his ivory-towered ears, but what I heard was an outpouring of disgust at the Park Service for the revolt against the hand that feeds it (the American people) and at the federal government for its spiteful use of government agencies (especially the Park Service) to punish the people for allowing the shutdown to occur.

If the Park Service has the funds to pay people overtime to close public property just for spite, they don’t need any more of my money.

Tom Fair

Houghton Drive


Right values

Good for Catherine Templeton, the executive director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Most people in government appear to be more concerned with increasing their power than promoting any plan that might decrease their influence, regardless of the public interest. Mrs. Templeton not only is open to reducing her power, but is promoting a change to her department that would have that direct effect.

Why? Because in her book common sense and her responsibility to the citizens of our state apparently trump holding onto bureaucratic power.

Everyone in government, at whatever level, should take this page from her book. Of course, there are many hard working people in public service, but too many in government appear to be focused on increasing their influence or running for the next job.

The Health Department and the Department of Environmental Control should never have been put under one roof to begin with. Political compromises often don’t make sense but this one really is a head scratcher.

Why not combine the Departments of Corrections and Motor Vehicles? After all, prison buses have to ride on the roads. Or make the U.S. Department of Agriculture part of the Department of Defense. Armies need to eat.

Without getting bogged down in the need for or efficiency of government agencies generally, we can all agree they function best when their mission is limited and focused. This allows the administration and employees to better understand their function and thus do their jobs. It also allows for the executive and/or legislative body with oversight responsibility to be able to carry out that duty with clarity of purpose.

It is interesting that one criticism of Ms. Templeton when she was appointed to this position by Gov. Haley was that she didn’t have the requisite background for the position. Of course, no one has both a background in the health industry and the environment in order to fit the bill for this position. That is why DHEC should be broken up.

One attribute Mrs. Templeton apparently does have is willingness to serve the public without self-interest.

I would say this is a good place to start for anyone in public service.

Jim Lady

Ponsbury Road

Mount Pleasant

Mayoral misstep

It was sad to see Mount Pleasant’s new mayor resort to the tactics of previous administrations within minutes of being sworn in.

I am referring to her obvious slap at two council members who were not made chairmen of any committees.

She made a newly elected member of council the chairman of several committees while deciding that a member of council with 13 years of experience should not be given the chairmanship of an “important” committee.

The mayor should remember that all members of council were elected, and voters do not like to see their picks pushed aside.

Ms. Page should admit an error and revisit her committee assignments. To divide council in this fashion reflects poorly on her leadership.

Joe Bustos

King Street

Mount Pleasant

(Joe Bustos was a candidate for mayor of Mount Pleasant in last month’s election)

Beach Clamagore

In the 1970s the Batfish, a WWII Balao-class submarine, was transported near to Muskogee, Okla., and put on display. Muskogee is over 1,200 miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

If they can do it, what is keeping the Patriots Point Museum from pulling the Clamagore out of the water and building a display on dry land?

The Batfish and the Clamagore are both Balao-class submarines, almost identical.

It may cost some money to get the Clamagore out of the water, but it would be far better than sinking it.

Have those in charge considered this alternative?

Lowell H. Knouff

Elaine Street

Johns Island

New curriculum

Parents of middle school children need to be alerted to the fact that the new “Reproductive Health” curriculum goes into effect today, Dec. 2, beginning in grade six.

The material covered is not appropriate for that age level, and the only way for a child to be “excused” is to have the parent or guardian “opt out” for that youngster.

Children also must be given words to use when their peers begin twittering about the salacious material — something like “What you are learning is inappropriate, and I do not care to discuss it.”

And we wonder why we now have children who are addicted to pornography.

Rosalea Donahue

Pelican Reach

Isle of Palms