At one time Shem Creek boasted one of the largest shrimp boat fleets in the Lowcountry. In recent years the shrimp boats on the creek have dwindled to only a few. What once was a successful and sustainable lifestyle is now in sharp decline.
Under normal conditions shrimping is a challenge. Weather, tides and unpredictable shrimp crops are major factors before the boat even leaves the dock.
The future of the shrimping industry is even more uncertain due to the rising fuel costs and competition from foreign imports. Imports flood the market and force shrimp prices down. Imports can't match the local product for freshness and quality. Often the public is unaware of what they are buying.
Despite the adverse conditions, we at Geechie Seafood plan to remain open. Geechie Seafood is a quaint family-run business, of four generations. My husband, Warren Rector, captains the trawler while sons and grandsons work the deck or retail. During the shrimp season our customers' favorite time of day is when the trawler comes in to unload the catch, weigh and ice the fresh shrimp. It is an amazing sight even for me after all these years.
Seagulls ride on the riggings, while egrets and pelicans wait patiently to snatch up a scrap. Ever present dolphins swim around the trawler to dine on the bi-catch that is pushed overboard. We sell the rest - shrimp, conch, squid and fish.
With our skills and a little "luck" on our side, we plan to carry on the family tradition of providing customers whom we have come to know as our friends with the best possible seafood we can offer.
The recent passing of Candy Bates Quinn was a devastating loss for the Charleston County School District and the entire Lowcountry. Candy was the greatest advocate for children our schools ever had. She fought every day, for over 30 years to give our young people opportunities she felt every child richly deserved.
As coordinator of the school guidance program for the district, Candy impacted thousands of lives. She was a leader in prevention of child abuse and social and emotional education. She spent countless hours on her own time training colleagues and coordinating mental health services for any child who was in need. She inspired those of us who worked with her to appreciate each child and love each one's uniqueness
In a world where professionals share a desire to move into a better or higher paying position Candy was extremely rare. She never had a personal agenda - her true love was always to find a way to make each child's life better.
The world is a much better place because Candy Bates Quinn blessed all of our lives. As my mentor for the past 25 years I am forever indebted to her. I will miss her.
Mark A Epstein
Counselor for Boys
St. John's High School
No to merger
Comcast stood me up and ruined my entire Saturday afternoon. I waited from 2:45 p.m. until 5:45 p.m. for them to bring me a new cable box. (They did not have one on the first trip several days prior.)
I even called Comcast at 4:45 to double check and was assured they were on the way for their 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. appointment.
Comcast should not be allowed to merge with Time Warner. That merger would cost us more and service would not improve.
Edwin S. Taylor
Did I detect a note of jealousy in Mayor Keith Summey's comments published in a March 8 article about Rep. Mark Sanford speaking out against a state tax break for a mega-retailer to come to the North Charleston area?
Local businesses have a right to seek out all resources and information they can about this tax break and how it will affect them and their businesses.
I applaud Rep. Sanford for making the effort and caring enough to provide such information to local business owners.
Barbara E. Boylston
In his recent op-ed column George Will chose 1979 Afghanistan as an analogy to current events in Ukraine. A better analogy would seem to be 1956 Hungary.
The citizens of Hungary, like those in Ukraine, were fed up with the corrupt rule of a Soviet puppet. They wanted free elections and some relief from domination by the USSR. Nikita Khrushchev ordered his forces to crush the rebellion.
President Dwight Eisenhower and the international community strongly condemned the invasion, but no military action was taken. Cold War tensions escalated, but the West wanted no part of a war fought on Russia's border. (Picture Russia trying to defeat U.S. forces in Mexico.)
A more timely analogy is Putin's takeover of Georgia in 2008. President Bush's response was similar to Obama's of today. Apparently our recent display of military might in Iraq made no impression on Mr. Putin.
As for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan responded by sending aid to the rebels.
Our missiles made life difficult for the Soviets, but they stayed almost 10 years. Soviet premiers Brezhnev, Andropov and Chernenko were unfazed by President Reagan's tough talk.
It wasn't until Mikhail Gorbachev gained power that progress was made in Afghanistan and the Cold War in general. Soviet forces withdrew after President Reagan left office.
Putin is much more the Khrushchev/Brezhnev bully than he is the Gorbachev peacemaker. He would act no differently if he were facing Eisenhower, Carter, Reagan or Bush. Apparently, what matters most is their leader, not ours.
Deer Point Drive
The Rev. Joseph Darby's attempt to set history straight in a recent Post and Courier commentary represents biased disregard for historical fact.
While defending Denmark Vesey, a free citizen of Charleston whose quelled plan was to indiscriminately murder the white civilian population of this community, he describes the crew of the Hunley submarine as "terrorists."
Men in uniform defending their government, fighting other men in uniform from another government, in a war recognized as such by both sides to this day, can't be confused as terrorists by any impartial individual.
Darby suggests that since the only historical record of Vesey's ordeal was written by those who executed him, the accounts must be biased and inaccurate.
Maybe to some degree, but local officials have always recorded criminal investigations, and it is highly unlikely that the story is pure fabrication. Nonexistent evidence doesn't make Vesey a hero.
Darby then concludes by suggesting that what is needed now is an effort to reach common ground. It's unimaginable how such a revising of history could possibly lead anyone to common ground.
Limits of power
As one who keeps up, as best I can, with politics and power struggles in international relations, I was encouraged by reading the commentary by Fritz Hollings in the March 15 edition. It is indeed "... a fresh lesson on limits of U.S. power."
It is a factual and instructive summary of some of the flaws in U.S. foreign policy in the 20th and 21st century. From Korea and Vietnam to Russia and China, to the Ukraine and Crimea, Mr. Hollings pinpoints mistakes made, many of which could have been avoided.
He also includes some positive and very helpful suggestions for correction and change in the future.