Scary interference

Thank you, Christopher Korey, for writing and, The Post and Courier, for publishing his thoughtful column about the irrational decision of our state Legislature regarding the books chosen by the College Reads committee for this year's and next year's incoming freshmen.

Korey states that he has "never been more disappointed than now in those appointed to head this historic school into the changing future of higher education."

I would agree wholeheartedly, but I would add the verbs horrified, enraged, embarrassed and sickened.

The College Of Charleston is not Bob Jones University. The books recommended by the College Reads committee are being recommended for college students, not middle school students.

Regarding the book "Fun Home," do our legislators really think these students should not be exposed to an author's thoughts about human sexuality? Do they not understand that many of these students have struggled to come to grips with their own sexuality, or watched their peers face similar struggles?

Perhaps these knowledgeable souls whom we elected could hold a good old-fashioned book burning, preferably on the Statehouse lawn in front of the Confederate flag.

Katy Hufnagle

Saint Ann Lane

Hollywood

Limit gun access

It's terrible that some people can't even feel safe in their home because they might be shot by somebody outside.

Only police, people in the military and hunters should be allowed to carry guns. Some people might want to put one in their house for protection, hoping that they never need to use it.

Some people like to go places where they can relax and feel safe, such as restaurants, theaters and parks. Consider children, too.

Apparently some lawmakers are looking back when it was common for cowboys to carry guns everywhere.

Twylah M. Ricker

Boardman Road

Charleston

Block the merger

We hear nothing but opposition to the merger between MUSC and the College of Charleston.

It is clear to us that those who have been involved in higher education think this is a very bad idea, that the two historical highly respected academic centers are so different that such a merger is destined to result in a mediocre outcome.

A few letters have focused on sentimental attachment to the names of the institutions. Discussions about names is little more than window dressing if the substance of the issue is not being addressed.

We do not see how merging an academic health care center and a liberal arts college will fill a technical and industrial workforce gap.

These two august academic institutions are now pawns in a political game whose goal is to make Charleston a more attractive place for business with little regard for the academic issues involved.

No wonder some of the leading contenders for the job of MUSC's president have withdrawn their names from the search. With such precious academic resources here in Charleston, who is asking experts on the national and international level (such as those at the world-famous research state university systems in California, Texas and Michigan)?

Instead we have politicians and businessmen thinking they can make these important academic decisions without the inconvenience of a serious academic approach.

Really?

We urge those in the academic community to give voice to your concerns before the business momentum drowns us out.

Quick, before some senators think they can fix this by simply coming up with the right name.

Gregg Smythe

George Arana, M.D.

Retired Professor MUSC

Stone Post Road

Charleston

Help needed

We in Huger need help to open a health clinic, a center for literacy and a shelter. We are thankful for the churches that opened their doors during the cold weather, but we need to use the schools and shelters in future emergencies.

Huger is a rural area that needs some of the nicer things that other communities have: a library other than the school library and services for seniors and disabled individuals.

A rehabilitation center is needed here with nurses, officers and others who can perform drug testing to help people get jobs.

We have to teach our young people manners and tell them how to dress for interviews.

It hurts to know that there are old people who need help with utilities.

Do we need a dental clinic?

The answer is yes!

Carrie M. Bennett

Constitution Avenue

Huger

Read to learn

I have read a lot of books in my life. I have read fiction and nonfiction. I have read banned books, and I have read critically acclaimed books.

I have lived in other countries, other worlds and other universes. I have lived in the past, in the present and in the future. I have laughed, cried, been frightened, been awed.

I have read the "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn," "To Kill a Mockingbird," "A Light in The Attic," "The Lord of the Flies," "The Witches," "Of Mice and Men," "Animal Farm" and the Harry Potter series. I was captivated by every one of these once-banned books.

I have read Shakespeare, Austen, Bronte, Dickens, Faulkner, Melville, Plath, Hemingway, Asimov and Dr. Seuss.

I was enthralled with the books of these authors who are considered to be the best. I have read the Bible and "Siddhartha."

I have been assigned books that I liked, those that I did not like, and those that I was sure I wouldn't like but turned out to love.

Reading gives me a chance to learn, to escape, to imagine, to dream, to grow and think. With all the reading that I have done in my 55-plus years I have never once read a book that has harmed me.

Corine Altenhein

Parkdale Drive

Charleston

What an island

When I first came to Sullivan's Island in 1948, I fell in love with the island and a girl named Monica McGuire. Her family's connection with the island dates back to 1862 when her grandfather John McGuire, an Irish immigrant, enlisted at Fort Moultrie . He made his living as a baker.

The Army had pulled out in 1947 and many island residents were hurting. The only people who had money were the summer crowd.

Part of the island was like a ghost town between Station 18 and 12 and Marshal Reservation Station 28 to Breech Inlet. The only structures there were three gun emplacements.

Then things started to change and homes on Fort Moultrie were put up for sale.

Members of the Greatest Generation purchased homes and gave the island its second wind.

The character of the island is changing. I want to remind people what we have here and thank town council for not allowing multi-family structures on the island.

We are a single-family community and not a resort. Sullivan's Island has fewer homes than some subdivisions and only a few vacant lots, which means no growth.

Residents need to be informed before major changes are made.

I leave you with one of the prayers that I used to open town meetings:

Dear God, May this island be a sacred place for those of us who live here. May those who visit feel the peace and quiet as we do. May his light shield this island from harm so we can grow strong in this community, a place of healing away from the loudness of the world.

William J. Wood

Thompson Avenue

Sullivan's Island

Teaching edge

There is no reason to think that the Common Core system will be any more successful than other proposals in the last century that didn't work.

This country has, at best, a love-hate relationship with education. It is looked upon as a necessary evil, not as a wonderful opportunity to improve students, communities and the entire nation.

In America's culture students hate to go to school and attend school because they have to. This is why American students lag far behind students in almost all other industrialized nations.

In these countries teachers are highly respected. It is understood that they are responsible for the future of the nation.

Education is the primary focus in these nations - in most cases, the only focus. School-sponsored sports teams don't exist.

In America the emphasis is on athletics. If a teacher is laid off by a school board, only a handful of parents will attend the meeting. But if a coach is to be let go, dozens of "concerned" parents show up.

This does not relieve the teaching profession of its responsibilities. Some teachers are incredibly ineffective. It could be because they are not held in high esteem, but not in all cases.

My daughter is a very good teacher. Her formula is simple: She has a great passion for her subject and even a greater passion for her students.

This is not magic. It is available to all educators.

If the American public could attach the same significance to the "winningest teachers" as they do the "winningest coaches," our schools could eventually succeed.

Phil LaRusse

Shadow Race Lane

Folly Beach

FCC intrusion

Your Feb. 22 front-page story ignored a key dimension of the "kerfuffle" regarding the Federal Communications Commission's now-canceled plans to monitor newsrooms.

Mignon Clyburn, the daughter of 6th District Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., is one of the FCC's five commissioners and is a strong advocate of FCC intervention in the newsroom.

In 2012, Ms. Clyburn said, "This study begins the charting of a course to a more effective delivery of necessary information to all citizens."

Apparently Ms. Clyburn is not acquainted with the First Amendment to the United States Constitution that says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

My questions to Ms. Clyburn and other proponents of this dangerous policy are simple: Who will decide what information is "necessary" for the American people, and who will determine what a "more effective delivery" is?

No doubt the answer to this question is that Ms. Clyburn, along with President Obama, who appointed her to the FCC, will decide what information is "necessary" for me, for you and for the rest of the American people and how that information should be delivered to us.

Bill Bates

Gibbon Street

Daniel Island