Money talks

Our society claims education is the foundation of progress. How is it then that an athletic director or coach can be paid exponentially more than a university professor? Or the superintendent of education for South Carolina?

I am a huge sports nut, but I am a bigger realist. Our expense sheets need to reflect our moral guidelines.

Coaches and athletic directors play an integral role in molding young minds, but their compensation should be equal to that of academic teachers. Perhaps by increasing teacher pay, we will increase competition for teaching positions and more qualified people will take them.

Connecticut is the second best state in terms of education scores, and its average teacher salary is close to $70,000. South Carolina is close to last and has an average salary of $47,000.

More books and schools won’t help us if we don’t have qualified people teaching, and the best way to get the best teachers is through competition, which usually relates to salary.

Tejbir Dhindsa

Bee Street

Charleston

Spare us

Judging by your coverage of Gov. Nikki Haley, I humbly suggest that you go ahead and endorse Vincent Sheheen for governor right now and spare us 10 months of pretend journalism.

Judy Reinhard

Palm Street

Mount Pleasant

Beverage options

“We are our choices,” wrote Jean-Paul Sartre. That thought has been in my head since reading the story in The Post and Courier that the Medical University of South Carolina has partnered with the Coca-Cola Company to promote low-calorie beverage options.

Reportedly Coca-Cola will sell its sugary beverages for five cents a can more than the sugar-free alternative and give that extra five cents to MUSC. Some partnership.

Of course even if people make the zero-calorie choice, it will probably still work out badly for them.

Scientists understand that no-calorie sweeteners stimulate a spike in insulin that’s triggered by the taste of the sweetness, which then causes a drop in blood sugar and then cravings for more sugar.

The beverage might be zero calorie but it is not zero consequence. Certainly the eminent researchers at MUSC understand how that works.

I was asked to serve on a food policy council at the Southern Obesity Summit in November last year. I am very motivated to accomplish a necessary policy change: limiting what can be purchased with government-provided food stamps to healthy choices. But I’m also motivated to make places like hospitals and government buildings healthy places. MUSC is going in the opposite direction. Not only will it keep selling unhealthy beverages, but it also will pocket a nickel every time someone makes that unhealthy choice. And it truly is an unhealthy choice, unless you think downing 13 teaspoons of sugar in a couple of swallows is good for you.

Louis Yuhasz

Louie’s Kids

I’On Avenue

Sullivan’s Island

Medicaid program

A Jan. 5 letter oozed praise for an earlier letter that lambasted opponents of Medicaid and Medicare and asked, “How are they [those programs] doing now?”

Just to the left (literally, not figuratively) of the Jan. 5 letter was an editorial reminder to those who truly wish to be informed on this issue that in 2009 Obama intoned that the “system we have now is unsustainable and hugely inefficient.” Sure doesn’t sound as if those programs were doing well, does it?

But wait, maybe things have improved. Nope. As recent news confirms, giving Medicaid to more people — as has happened for millions under Obamacare — increases recipients’ visits to emergency rooms by 40 percent as opposed to visiting urgent care centers, which cost substantially less. And the increase does not improve their overall health.

The “unsustainable” and “hugely inefficient” Medicaid program identified by Obama has been worsened by Obama-care, and Obamacare has contributed to keeping the cost curve for medical care up.

So, was Obama wrong in 2009, or has the “unsustainable and hugely inefficient” Medicaid program been significantly improved? The answers are “no” and “no.”

Elizabeth Vary

George Vary

Black River Drive

Mount Pleasant

Coyote culling

I was shocked to read about the proposed killing of coyotes living on Sullivan’s Island. The coyote is native to the United States, and its range has naturally expanded, possibly due in part to environmental destruction/degradation and climate change.

A more pressing yet hushed issue is invasive feral and outdoor domestic cats on the island devastating migratory and resident bird populations.

If people were responsible enough to keep their cats indoors, they would not be killed by the coyotes, which are crepuscular and nocturnal hunters. (Raccoons will also kill cats.)

The possibility that coyotes will attack humans is very remote. A more likely possibility is that an unvaccinated feral cat will bite a child and the child will contract rabies or cat scratch fever. I was bitten by a feral cat on the island when I was a child, and I fell ill for two weeks. Even more shocking is the suggestion that the entire maritime forest be destroyed simply because coyotes are present there.

I doubt any resident would be ignorant enough to advocate destroying an entire ecosystem to eliminate a single species. A more reasonable approach would be to survey coyote populations and decide if small numbers should be culled seasonally.

Sarah Harper Diaz

Middle Street

Sullivan’s Island

Walking dead

I enjoy graveyards, tombstones, monuments, epitaphs, sepulchers and such. That probably explains why my profession is digging into the past.

I was both glad and surprised to see the grand colored photograph of the Taj Mahal featured in the paper. Glad because the Taj Mahal may be the most beautiful mausoleum in the world. Surprised because the headline read “How would you change your dwelling? Make it the Taj Mahal?”

Really? Make your dwelling into a burial chamber? That would mean eliminating both the kitchen and the necessary, and turning the bed into a coffin.

Perhaps I am behind the times and the deceased are now treated to the latest updates in living. The waking (or is it walking) dead are apparently quite at home in Charleston.

Ruth M. Miller

Manchester Street

Charleston

School heroism

Ron Brinson’s column “15-year-old’s heroism stirs public school hope” told the incredible story of Larry Williams.

This young man is a hero for coming to the aid of his teacher, Casey Trauger, who was being brutally attacked by a student at North Charleston High School.

What a wonderful thing it was that this teacher asked that he be recognized for his heroism. He certainly deserved recognition.

But what about this teacher?

Mrs. Trauger is a woman who sustained terrible injuries while trying to do a very difficult job, and yet went right back into the classroom as soon as she was able.

She’s in that classroom fighting for what she believes in. It takes courage, determination and dedication to make a great teacher. Mrs. Trauger is a great teacher.

She and those like her deserve our respect, admiration, support and thanks for what they do day in and day out. They, too, are heroes and our hope for public schools.

Judy D’Ambrosio

Wild Bird Court

North Charleston

Correction

A photo caption on Wednesday’s Letters to the Editors page incorrectly identified the man second from the right. He is Medal of Honor winner Harvey C. “Barney” Barnum Jr., a retired Marine colonel.