Dealing with grief
I read the article about Noah Moore and his wife Jen coping with the holidays without their son, and I felt their pain even as my son, Stephen, has been gone for more than 30 years. Stephen developed schizophrenia after his junior year in high school, and unable to cope with what it and the prescription drugs did to his life, he ended it.
My loss is no different than the loss for anyone who loses a child at any age, in war, accidents or illness.
None of us plans to outlive our children. I'm sure the Moores have been amazed at how many friends, strangers and others have come forth with tales of their own loss of a child or sibling.
Does it get any easier? Well, I'm packing now in preparation for a move, and as I go through boxes of pictures and hope to cull some out, I look at those of my son at Christmas, growing up, through school, on vacation and in the good times with his sister and friends. Not knowing even what my son would look like today is a hard pill to swallow too.
I don't have any sage advice for dealing with grief but it does get easier in stages, as the years go by.
Although we don't forget, we learn to cherish the lives of those around us no matter what their age. And we cry out in anger when a young person dies needlessly from drinking and driving, gun violence or some other preventable cause.
I asked God why he takes "good" people and leaves the bad, but I still don't have an answer.
Mary E. Gallagher
'A superb leader'
I have had the pleasure of knowing Nancy Mace since she began The Citadel in 1996. She is a lady who has remarkable leadership qualities. She is unafraid of the troubles that plague our nation. She will help solve our employment problems.
She will make a superb leader for South Carolina. She is an economic conservative and a social moderate. The women of South Carolina would do well to take a minute and consider the alternatives.
Lindsey Graham has never seen a war that he does not love. He cares not that our men and women in the armed services are bruised, broken and dead. Imagine someone who would think that chaos in Egypt is better than a secure government.
My vote and support go for a lady whom I respect, who knows our state and will be a superb leader.
When you want to make it look like you are flexible and providing options, it is wise to offer all manner of choices, except the one you know most people have requested.
According to the Dec. 13 Post and Courier, the Berkeley Charleston, Dorchester Council of Governments (COG) was presented four options from the Department of Transportation for managing distracted driver deaths along I-26 from Summerville to I-95: 1) Do nothing; 2) Remove all trees, installing guardrail/cable barriers along the entire stretch; 3) Remove trees only from high-fatality areas, installing guardrail/cable barriers along the cleared stretch; or 4) Remove all but seven miles of trees, installing cable barriers in the median of the denuded sections, and installing barriers between the road and wetlands in the remaining seven miles (where there are already barriers in place, mind you).
But not offered was the possibility of leaving all the trees and installing guardrails or cable barriers along the sections that do not already have them. Problems this unmentioned option solves: safer drivers, happier environmentalists, vistas saved and taxpayers spared wasted expenses.
Next time, please present all possible and realistic options to the COG and the voting public.
A. Thomas Price
Change of focus
A Dec. 16 article was titled "Clyburn not liberal enough?" My answer is yes, he is very much liberal, but left-wing groups are criticizing him for not bowing enough to their progressive agenda.
I would not vote for Rep. Jim Clyburn for his strong stand against issues that I feel are Christian-based, but I respect those who support him.
I lived a short time in rural Berkeley County on Highway 45 and witnessed his amazing support there at Bethlehem Baptist Church. The cars were lined up for miles (there must have been a thousand of them) to honor him.
I would like to remind Rep. Clyburn not to bow to those who put God's agenda beneath their progressive agenda.
If I were Jim Clyburn I would drop my support of the Third Way and enrich my support of God's way. One cannot serve two masters.
Country Club Boulevard
The Jan. 5 op-ed by former governor Mark Sanford titled "Retail incentives waste taxpayer money" was quite interesting to me, having spent over 20 years in public economic development, competing for projects that would bring taxes, jobs and economic benefits to my community.
While I agree with some of Mr. Sanford's points, realities must be dealt with in the real world. The reality here is that South Carolina, our counties and our municipalities are, in general, not highly competitive in the economic development "game" for lots of reasons.
To compete effectively we must use everything in our "incentive toolbox" to overcome the shortfalls that keep us out of the game. Examples are higher property taxes, and workforce availability and quality.
We have successfully done this in the past in the manufacturing sector and have become a competitive player in the game by using carefully crafted incentives.
The question here, posed by Mr. Sanford, is if we should use available incentives to attract large retail investment. Mr. Sanford says no.
I would mostly agree, except when the type of retail in question is exceptional. Bass Pro Shops not only attracts the existing customer base, but also brings in significant business from outside the local market.
Its presence attracts investment and jobs and stimulates other retail and economic activity in the community.
This supports healthier economies and improves the image and vitality of the community. It has happened in Greenville and Columbia, and it will happen in North Charleston.
Without incentives, a South Carolina community will simply not be as competitive as needed to expand the tax base and create job opportunities with a project like this.
Other communities are going to use incentives to be more attractive. Companies know this and will invest and expand where they are wanted, where they get a competitive deal and where they will be the most successful.
Gambrell is a former director of the state Office of Economic Development.
President Obama may have been misquoted when he allegedly stated, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan."
Is is possible that what he really said was, "If I like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan"?
I'm just asking.
I drive my wife to work at MUSC every morning. This past Tuesday was a pleasure to do so even though it was brutally cold.
"Why?" you ask. Because there were no joggers or bicyclists who feel they are entitled, own the road and for the most part don't have to obey the law.
There were only cars and buses driven by those who, for the most part, obey the laws.
Too bad it can't be that cold every morning. The roads would be a much safer place.
William E. Folk