Bury power lines
I have a great idea for getting our elected representatives to finally force the power companies to begin burying existing transmission lines. We keep hearing that it's just too expensive, yet there seems to be enough money for Lotto tickets and pricey coffee in the average person's budget.
Europe has been doing this for decades, but what do they know? Of course, reliable electricity is not as important as aquariums, ballparks, new libraries, bike paths or college mergers, so something needs to be done to encourage our legislators to get it done.
Perhaps signs with an arrow pointing below that say "Joe Politician memorial transmission line" would provide sufficient motivation.
I applaud a Feb. 20 letter suggesting fixes for lack of pedestrian safety. This subject has been a sore spot for me for many years.
I have noted the dangers of crossing at many major intersections in downtown Charleston.
Vehicles come very close to pedestrians as they cross, herding them more quickly across the street.
Average people seem to become aggressive behind the wheel of a car. I must admit I have been guilty of rushing and driving aggressively.
Many drivers in Charleston are courteous and allow pedestrians time to cross at the lights. However, many crosswalks are not at lights.
The state law that drivers must yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk must be an urban legend. Few actually stop.
As a pedestrian, you take your life in your own hands on any crosswalk in downtown Charleston. Drivers do not even slow down. Many avert their eyes so they don't make eye contact.
Pedestrians have as much right to be on the street as do drivers. It is unfortunate we feel as if we have targets painted on our backs.
Just think of each pedestrian as your elderly mother crossing the street. Hopefully, you get along with your mother. Let us live too.
I have admired the Boeing Aircraft Company virtually all of my life and felt an almost mystical connection with the B-17 heavy bomber.
Part of it was waking every morning and looking up at the model plane suspended rakishly over my bed as if turning for home after a successful bombing run over Germany.
I would smile, knowing as only a nine year old can that we would win the war. Maybe it was watching Gen. Savage, played by either Gregory Peck or Robert Lansing, straighten out a derelict wing of B-17 crews in the Eighth Air Force during their critical daylight bombing raids over Germany as the war was winding down.
Or maybe it was working for years with a B-17 waist gunner who flew 52 daylight missions over Germany when he could have gone home after completing the required 25, knowing full well that less than half of the crews reached that number.
When asked why he would put himself in such danger, he replied, "I was 19 and fearless, and there was a war going on. And besides, that was one hell of an airplane."
These days I have occasion to drive past the huge final assembly hangar off Aviation Avenue, knowing there is some good stuff going on in there.
Charleston and its people are fortunate to have such a class operation in town.
Thomas F. Kistner
Should Denmark Vesey be hailed as a freedom fighter? It is important to remember his tactics of terrorism when observing the newly unveiled statue in Hampton Park.
Abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson, writing for The Atlantic Monthly at the outset of our Civil War, details the planning and subsequent exposure of Vesey's plot.
Following seizure of weapons at points on Meeting Street, King Street, and Boundary Street (now Calhoun), "Every white man coming out of his own door was to be killed and, if necessary, the city fired in several places."
In Vesey's own words, "It was for their safety not to leave one white skin alive"; the killing was to be swift and indiscriminate, including women and children in the melee.
Had he been successful, Vesey planned to transport himself and his charges south to Haiti, site of the only successful slave revolution, close to 30 years prior.
In short, he would have left the remainder of the slave population to suffer from tightened restrictions, and the fear he had planted in the hearts of their masters, a self-fulfilling prophecy that came to fruition in Charleston after his execution.
If Denmark Vesey had had his way, Charleston would have been wiped off the map. Perhaps a more fitting remembrance would be a walking tour of the localities from which he intended to torch it.
Use common sense
While I am not the cyclist who flipped the writer off (Feb. 28, "Use bike lanes"), I am a spandex-wearing cyclist who regularly rides on the causeway from Mount Pleasant to Sullivan's Island.
I choose to ride on the road instead of the bike lane due to the speed (20-plus mph) that I regularly ride at. At such a speed, it is far safer for all involved for me to be on the road than on a bike path.
I do understand that Copernicus' heliocentric model places the sun, not cyclists, at the center of the universe.
However, Einstein's Theory of Relativity points out that two objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time.
Cyclists by law are allowed to ride on the roadway and are to be treated as another vehicle.
State vehicle law (section 56-5-3435) states that a driver of a motor vehicle must maintain a safe distance between his vehicle and a bicycle - generally understood to be three feet.
Additionally, the responsibility for safely passing another vehicle lies with the person doing the passing.
Being the recipient of more "brush-backs" than I care to count, along with having been hit and knocked off my bike twice in a span of three weeks last September, I have both the gravitas and the scars to say to both drivers and cyclists - breathe in, breathe out and think before acting.
I would like to encourage Gov. Nikki Haley to agree to expand Medicaid in South Carolina. The federal government would bear 100 percent of the cost for three years and 90 percent thereafter.
This would be good for the economy, as healthy families work harder and their children are more secure and do better in school, creating a ladder out of fiscal insecurity.
Furthermore, several billion dollars (some of which we are going to pay in taxes whether we accept the money or not) would be spent in South Carolina to help nourish the health care system, ensuring that rural hospitals and health care providers can stay in business.
The billions of dollars spent turn over in the community, yielding more jobs, more taxes and a higher standard of health care and living.
A rising tide floats all boats. This is exactly why Henry Ford wanted to pay his employees a livable wage, so that they could support their families and buy a Ford automobile.
Let's reconsider what good this would do for the people of South Carolina and especially those who struggle to make ends meet.
Are you really comfortable that a single mother has to choose between food for her children and a doctor's visit?
Please talk to your legislative representatives and let them know that you think this is important and the right thing to do.
They will hear you and they will respond.
Let's do what is right for South Carolina and build a stronger, healthier community and workforce.
David G. Phillips
West Rice Planters Lane