Clearing the air

Charleston City Councilman William D. Gregorie is to be fully supported in his resolution to put our city back on course to protect its citizens.

In addition to overwhelming evidence that shoreside power has a protective impact, our city has profiled its green initiatives as positive evidence that we focus on livability and environmental awareness.

We cannot afford for this to continue as token recognition. We must insist that all steps be taken, particularly in new construction. Merely following slow-developing and minimally effective air quality guidelines does not send a positive message to those suffering from respiratory disease and those not wishing to contract them.

A logarithmic effect of multiple pollutants in cruise ship effluent in a background of a significant increase in port activity, truck and city traffic exhaust and tourism impact creates an expanding equation that calls for immediate action.

Previous action for a cigarette smoke-free environment pales at the impact of stopping a much more dangerous hazard.

Our city elected officials should at least respond in renewed debate, even if some feel the concern for this health danger laughable.

Rick Reed, M.D.

Lenwood Boulevard

Charleston

Phony furor

Peace Presbyterian Church in Goose Creek has ended its sponsorship of a Boy Scout troop, based on the church's moral position that it does not want to be associated with an organization that may, in the future, approve scoutmasters who are homosexual.

Coming soon to The Post and Courier will be a statement, released by a gay organization, that vilifies the leaders of Peace Presbyterian Church for upholding the church's tenets.

The facts are:

1) Peace Presbyterian Church made its decision based on its religious beliefs.

2) Boy Scout Troop 716 accepted the decision without complaint.

That should be the end of the story, but it won't end there because the national news media are poised to pounce. And the cycle spins 'round and 'round with no end in sight.

BILL WALKER

Marshall Boulevard

Sullivan's Island

Gun permits

I support the Second Amendment, but I oppose "constitutional carry," as currently proposed, because.

1) The bill allows concealed weapons in bars provided the patron does not drink alcohol.

Why else would one go to a bar? How can a bartender know there's a concealed weapon on a patron? A bartender can "card" a suspected underage patron but can he check for a weapons permit? If yes, does he check all patrons or just those he suspects? Would such discrimination be constitutional?

2) The bill allows permits without benefit of a criminal background check.

Constitutional rights have limits - are felons allowed to vote?

Joseph A. Duchesneau

Hidden Lakes Drive

Mount Pleasant

'Real' tour guides

I am responding to the article in the Jan. 30 Post and Courier regarding the rickshaw driver ticketed for giving tours of Charleston and the local lawyers coming to his defense.

What makes Charleston unique in tourism is the fact that the city takes great care to make certain those people who give tours of our beautiful city are trained and licensed guides.

I am one of those licensed guides and have been for 26 years. In the licensing process we spend an incredible amount of time learning and studying, and then we are tested on our knowledge of Charleston. My husband is a retired teacher turned tour guide as well.

We have repeatedly complained to the Tourism Commission over the last 10 years about rickshaw drivers illegally giving tours. The response I received every time was that they would have to be caught in the act, which was the only legal response they could give.

I have expressed those concerns, but no one did anything until the downtown residents of the city began to notice. As guides, we are licensed by the city, at our own expense, and we pass a rigorous testing process, also at our expense. We are required to attend classes to re-certify, at our own expense, every three years.

Rickshaw drivers have the same opportunity to go through this process to legally give tours. Instead, they pick up fares and pedal them around the city, giving these visitors information that no one can qualify as factual.

Now we have a group of lawyers coming to the defense of this young man who knew what he was doing was illegal and making it appear that it was just a sad situation that he finds himself in.

I have a lot of friends who are lawyers and they respect what I do. These lawyers defending a young man for deliberately doing something wrong saddens me. What also saddens me is that he is not the only one, just the one who got caught.

I work very hard to make sure that guests in our city have the ultimate experience in Southern hospitality, with accurate information about our wonderful history.

I hate to see that threatened by those who are untrained and unlicensed.

Cathy Hinson

Jawol Drive

Charleston

Warm us up

Dear Al Gore:

Sir, could I please persuade you to launch a worldwide campaign to stop global cooling?

It has been so cold here in Charleston we desperately need the relief.

Jack Folley

Victoria Lake Drive

Mount Pleasant