Time change

The Mount Pleasant Senior Center has, from its opening days, kept hours from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Now they are experimenting with changing the hours to 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Participants in a class that begins at 6 p.m. are left no time to work out after their class.

Many working seniors cannot work out at 6 a.m. and get to their jobs on time. Many do not get off until 5 or 5:30 p.m., leaving them less than an hour to work out by the time they get to Mount Pleasant. This change would disadvantage working seniors. The center is for those age 50 or older, and many seniors now work well past the age of 65.

Those members utilizing the facilities at night are offered only five classes in the evening and on Saturdays, whereas daytime participants have numerous classes, lectures and courses, and time to use the library.

We all pay the same yearly dues. This disparity is deplorable, and we have received little sympathy from the center manager whom we have rarely seen at night.

We hope the Mount Pleasant Town Council Recreation Committee will look at this disparity and return the evening hours to 8 p.m., or at the very least 7:30 p.m.

BARBARA D. MOORE

Old Wanus Drive

Mount Pleasant

Wooten 'insights'

I find it hard to believe you even printed the Feb. 27 column by Frank Wooten. I realize Mr. Wooten is an assistant editor and apparently this gives him carte blanche to write any kind of nonsense he likes.

This doesn't mean it needs to be published. This reader has no interest in his professional wrestling "insights."

Maybe next he can do a column comparing the Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd conflict to the Mideast situation. Or you can print a blank tic-tac-toe grid.

Paul Vecellio

E. Edgefield Drive

Summerville

Bikes a problem

I am all for people using bikes on the streets. There is a problem when they use the sidewalks in our neighborhood, which makes it difficult for pedestrians. I was almost hit at the corner of Rutledge Avenue and Cannon Street. As I walked to the corner from behind a building on a zero-lot line I encountered a bicyclist going full-speed. He wanted to go in the wrong direction on a one-way street, so he was riding on the sidewalk and was accelerating to get through the light. He had to swerve toward the street to miss hitting me.

On another occasion the iron door to my store was taken off by a bicyclist as an employee exited the building. What if it had been a customer?

A person who lives behind my store drives his moped on the sidewalk. Recently I was passed on the sidewalk by a man on a bike with an open umbrella in one hand. A couple of months ago I was passed on the sidewalk by a woman in scrubs who was talking on the cell phone wedged between her shoulder and her chin.

If you stand on Cannon Street between Rutledge Avenue and Smith Street you will find as many bikes are on the sidewalk as are riding legally on the street.

The sidewalks in my neighborhood are used by people going to restaurants and shops, coming home from work and strolling their babies or walking their dogs. Students without cars walk to class. Some pedestrians are elderly and walk with canes or a walker. Children play on the sidewalk just up from my home on Ashley Avenue.

Bicycles are vehicles of transportation and should be in the street. Bicyclists should obey traffic laws.

Jo Cannon

Ashley Avenue

Charleston

Save water

Once again part of this country is facing a severe water shortage. I think it's about time for the construction of a large system of aqueducts across this country to supply water to areas hard hit by droughts. Why waste precious water runoff into the Gulf of Mexico? The Romans built aqueducts across Europe over 2,000 years ago, and parts are still around.

I would love to see an "interstate" aqueduct system along with huge reservoirs that will contain and divert precious water to drought-stricken areas.

Sure it would cost billions of dollars, but think of the billions it would save. How many times do you read about flooding in the Midwest or Northeast? With a system of aqueducts and reservoirs this problem would go away.

This massive undertaking would also create tens of thousands of jobs when jobs are sorely needed. Once the system is in place new lands would be available for farming.

We have the technology to bring an oil pipeline down from Canada into the southern part of the United States. Surely we can do the same with aqueducts.

Robert Miller

Harbor Cove Lane

Folly Beach

Earlier start times

A Feb. 19 article pointed out good reasons to start and end middle school days earlier. I teach at one of those schools.

One issue is being in sync with the rest of the county. Another is quality of life. Why should these schools begin and release much later than everyone else? The vast majority of our faculty would like a start time between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. By 3:30 p.m. students are more or less spent. Their attention spans and achievement wane, and restlessness sets in.

An earlier start time, with an earlier release time, allows teachers to take advantage of that chronological sweet spot for education - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It also gives teachers, students and their families opportunities to enjoy life. School and sporting events can take place earlier in the day, giving families more time together.

Students get to be kids. Earlier release means more time for homework, extracurricular activities and play.

Substitutes for teachers who need to seek medical services and the like, things that are part of everyday life, can cost a lot of money. But with our later release time it is difficult if not impossible to avoid needing a substitute. And students can seek these services without missing school.

There has to be an affordable solution to this problem. I cannot imagine that this only boils down to dollars and cents. Students and teachers in these learning communities are more important than that, and I implore the district to find a way to make this happen for all of their schools, for the benefit of their staffs, faculties, students and families.

ERIK J. HILDEN

Jerry Zucker Middle School

of Science

Dorchester Road

Charleston

Troubling times

I am in the midst of reading "Atlas Shrugged," and now I think I have figured out why the world is collapsing around us. Just look at how it reflects what is going on in the Obama administration.

In referencing Robin Hood Ayn Rand writes: "He is remembered, not as a champion of property, but as a champion of need, not as a defender of the robbed, but as a provider of the poor. He is held to be the first man who assumed a halo of virtue by practicing charity with wealth which he did not own, by giving away goods which he had not produced, by making others pay for the luxury of his pity. He is the man who became the symbol of the idea that need, not achievement, is the source of rights, that we don't have to produce, only to want, that the earned does not belong to us, but the unearned does. He became a justification for every mediocrity who, unable to make his own living, had demanded the power to dispose of the property of his betters, by proclaiming his willingness to devote his life to his inferiors at the price of robbing his superiors. It is this foulest of creatures - the double parasite who lives on the sores of the poor and the blood of the rich - whom men have come to regard as a moral ideal. And this has brought us to a world where the more a man produces, the closer he comes to the loss of all his rights. ..."

Nancy Weiner

Legends Club Drive

Mount Pleasant