Right move

Congratulations to Charleston City Council for making the important, yet difficult, decision to approve a walking/biking lane over the Ashley River.

And congratulations to Mayor Riley and the Charleston Moves team, led by Tom Bradford and Stephanie Hunt, who advocated this enhancement to the region's quality of life. Not only will it provide a scenic new transportation connection to West Ashley, the Greenway and Folly Beach, it is a tremendous statement that Charleston's infrastructure future will focus on people, not just the automobile.

Mike Messner

Gibbes Street

Charleston

Tiger rag

In regard to the Feb. 25 letter from tri-county Clemson Club officials complaining that The Post and Courier is unfair to Clemson in reporting on sports, this long-time reader found their complaints unconvincing.

The Post and Courier has always gone out of its way to give Clemson equal exposure with South Carolina's flagship university.

For heaven's sakes, the only sports opinion columnist on the payroll was outraged over the USC band playing the Clemson hit "Ol' McDonald Had a Farm" at halftime during the last football drubbing.

All South Carolinians should support the state's flagship university and not make petty comparisons over the amount of exposure it may get from state newspapers.

Besides, the flagship university and its graduates support all of South Carolina's small-town colleges and universities like Newberry, The Citadel, Presbyterian, Clemson and Wofford by scheduling games to help them financially even though the competition has been lacking for too many years to count on one hand.

So, Clemson graduates and local leaders, stop crying about nonsense, as it's clear The Post and Courier gives Clemson far more coverage than other well-deserving small-town colleges and universities. One could even argue the coverage is equal to or even greater than South Carolina's flagship university, which represents all towns of this great state, even the small ones where cow tipping is a favorite pastime.

CHARLES OWINGS

Ashley Town Center Drive

Charleston

Beach access

The recent column by Debra Saunders regarding public access to beaches in California has a comparison to what is happening on Folly Beach.

I would like to see our legislators take a stand for the constitutional right of common access to the public beach.

However, our problem is not bonfires, it's rocks. Walls of rocks, cement and rip rap that mostly nonresident, private homeowners have been allowed to build up around their properties ostensibly to protect them from erosion.

Because officials have turned a blind eye, these walls have gradually been allowed to grow larger and more dangerous. Through ignorance of research confirming that they do nothing but exacerbate beach erosion, they are allowed to stay. These rocks do nothing but impede access to the public beach and pose a danger to anyone trying to negotiate around or over them.

Our town administration has been informed by the Army Corps of Engineers that if Folly continues to allow private homeowners to build walls of cement and rocks that impede access, we will lose money for renourishment. This year we are looking at possibly having to pay millions in extra dollars to cover sand pumped on to these now private beaches, and our renourishment account is empty. Our codes are not being enforced, and our government's inaction is sending the message to all the offending beachfront homeowners that anything goes. Indeed, this year cement trucks lined up on East Ashley have caused traffic jams. We now have seawalls that are cleverly called "garage retaining walls", boulders placed on dune areas and surrounding the walkovers.

This has to stop. The public has a common access right to the beach. Any legislators ready to take up the cause for safe and public beach access, please contact me for a chronicle of the abuse. I'm appealing to the higher authority because the Folly administration prefers its head in the sand.

CHRISTINE WILKERSON

West Hudson Avenue

Folly Beach

Provide solutions

American incomes have been flat since 1985. Inequality has grown, and social mobility has dropped dramatically. Why? We have adopted a set of economic policies almost perversely indifferent to the fate of the average American.

"What Went Wrong" by George R. Tyler describes exactly what went wrong with the American economy, how some other countries avoided these problems, and what we need to do to get back on the right track. Blame is irrelevant unless solutions are provided.

A.V. Rawl

Preakness Stakes

Charleston

Medicaid defense

There seems to be widespread belief that people on Medicaid don't want to work and if able to get health insurance will quit working, as if people work for health insurance only.

When I worked for the Illinois Department of Human Services a major part of my job was to interview applicants for Medicaid. One example of many comes to mind.

A 21-year-old woman with a one-year-old child was working 18 hours per week at McDonald's and 18 hours at Burger King. I asked why she didn't just work for one full time. She said that neither would increase her hours as she would then earn benefits, including insurance. Her daughter was eligible for Medicaid, and the mother was eligible for a spend-down case. Spend-down standards were extremely high and work like an insurance deductible. She would likely have had a hard time finding a doctor for herself, even one who took Medicaid.

A recent letter to the editor stated that when more people were put on Medicaid, emergency room usage increased.

I strongly suspect this is due to an inability of patients to find a doctor who takes Medicaid. When I worked in Illinois there were very few doctors who would.

There was only one dentist in the county who would take Medicaid patients. He would fill a cavity on Monday and on Tuesday the filling would fall out, which explains why he couldn't attract paying patients. Things are often more complicated than they seem.

Tierney Rasheed

Morningdale Drive

Mount Pleasant

Underground lines

In the Feb. 17 edition of USA Today recent power outages were discussed. A photograph of the Summerville power outage was displayed.

The only thought was above-ground versus below-ground utilities. I thought that was strange inasmuch as trees in power lines is the real problem under current conditions.

If one pays attention they will discover hundreds of miles of power lines in every direction threading through trees. Placing all power lines below ground would solve the problem, but until then let's trim the trees.

Raymond Kelhoffer

Coosawatchie Street

Summerville

'Overgrown plant'

Angel Oak is no more than a tree, an overgrown plant. Why are we spending so much money on this tree?

If the county has this extra money sitting around, then roll back the property taxes or one of your many other taxes.

Charleston County is now talking about setting more land aside so no one develops too close to this precious plant. The land will be taken off the tax rolls, so we taxpayers will have to make up the revenue. One lighting strike would save a lot of tax money.

Bruce Bates

Della Lane

Dorchester

Job One

The first obligation of the president and Congress is the defense of this country, not getting re-elected for a lifetime. They increase welfare by 40 percent while cutting defense spending.

They should first defend this country from enemies both foreign and domestic.

Richard A. Schramm

U.S. Army (Retired)

Honeysuckle Lane

Charleston