No soot in sight

On April 16 my family and I went aboard the Carnival Fantasy for a five-day cruise. Prior to getting under way I took a stroll on the deck to observe for myself the scourge visited upon the good and gentle folk in downtown Charleston by Carnival Cruise Lines.

I didn't see a plume of black soot, in fact if it hadn't been for the heat waves escaping the stack I wouldn't have known it was running.

The exhaust from an idling diesel engine consists of gasses. Sixty seven percent is nitrogen, 12 percent is CO2, 11 percent water, 10 percent oxygen (less if the engine is full throttle) and trace elements: nitrogen oxides 0.15 percent, PM (soot) 0.045 percent, and sulphur dioxide 0.03 percent.

No doubt, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are nasty and a human body exposed to sufficient concentration of them would develop cancers. But the exhaust from an idling diesel engine on a cruise ship tied up to a pier is not enough.

Don't get me wrong, I think shore power is probably a good ideal economically for a new cruise terminal for it to be the first-class operation the good folk of Charleston deserve.

But please, spare the slanted alarmist factoids, the misleading information that is made believable by constant repetition.

Howard Graham

Billowing Sails Street

Summerville

Signs still up

The state highway department wants the fine increased for speeding through a road crew's work site.

I wonder if this same fine will be enforced for the work sites that were completed a year ago, but the road signs are still there.

Dennis L. Compton

Filly Court

North Charleston

Crittenton cause

While most top headlines center on greed, corruption, tragedy and criminality, I hope this letter serves as a local testament to the behind-the-scenes generosity and altruism that make Charleston an exceptional place to call home.

This story starts over 116 years ago, when several Charleston residents decided to open their homes to single pregnant women and mothers in need. This network of volunteers, supported by philanthropists and community activists, eventually founded the Florence Crittenton Home.

The mission continues today, providing shelter, prenatal care, job training and academic and parenting education to low-income and disadvantaged pregnant and parenting mothers in need.

We promote the physical and mental well-being of these young women so that they can care for themselves and raise happy, healthy and productive children. We could not continue this mission without the generous support of our volunteers, donors and staff.

Hoping to impart in our young women a more well-rounded sense of home and to further their growth as individuals and mothers, we recently embarked on a campaign to completely renovate and landscape the backyard of the house to transform it into a place of fellowship, reflection and beauty.

This project requires substantial investments of time, money, physical resources and labor.

Thankfully, there are many organizations, businesses and individuals that have helped. We appreciate their generous support.

Please visit http://florencecrittentonsc.org/ or contact us at (843)722-7526 if you want to learn more about our programs or if you are interested in helping our cause.

Jason K. Locklair

Member, Board of Directors, Florence Crittenton

Programs of S.C.

Wentworth Street

Charleston

Expand Medicaid

All my life I have taken access to medical care for granted. When my father died, my mother was teaching school and the state of South Carolina provided all teachers with adequate medical insurance.

Both my husband and I were teachers, and that coverage continued in North Carolina. Now that we've retired, we have Medicare Advantage for which we pay $133 per month, easily affordable.

We have not been sorely tested by the expense of the few medical emergencies we've had, and I find it unconscionable that this is not the way every citizen in this country is treated. The other leading countries provide health care as a right. One way or another.

South Carolina is abandoning those who are least able to pay by turning down Medicaid expansion. We should all call our legislators to demand that South Carolina accept the federal money to expand Medicaid. We're paying for all the other states. Why not ours?

More than 500 people all over the state have signed my moveon.org petition to urge just that. Surely righteousness will prevail.

ANNE KNIGHT WATSON

Pinckney Street

McClellanville

Stick to science

After reading your March 25 article on S.C. public school science standards I was left wondering if I had mistakenly picked up a copy of The Post and Courier dated 1914, not 2014. The headline read, "Professor: Evolution should be core of science standards." Well, duh.

My bewilderment turned to annoyance when I realized the person making the argument against evolution in the public school science curriculum was not an overly righteous parent or religious figure but state Sen. Mike Fair, R-Greenville, who somehow managed to get a seat on the Education Oversight Committee.

Perhaps Sen. Fair would care to ask the good folks at BMW, Boeing, Michelin, the U.S. Air Force, Clemson, etc., which qualifications they prefer when hiring. My guess is they look for job candidates with a strong background in the same science curriculum that the other 99 percent of the world ascribes to and utilizes.

This would be laughable if it were not so important. Gov. Nikki Haley made good proposals earlier this year for improving public education in our state. We still rank near the bottom nationally.

We will increasingly need an educated workforce for the above mentioned companies or they will simply import better qualified people from elsewhere. We need to move forward as fast as possible.

Stopping to debate whether evolution should be the core doctrine taught in science class is a waste of time.

Sen. Fair's ideas on science are not suited to the 21st century and have no place in our public schools.

Mal Jones

Big Fire Court

Mount Pleasant

Book ban

I would like to comment on the position of the state of South Carolina regarding required reading for incoming College of Charleston students.

To even verbalize that the book is inappropriate would be violating freedom of speech, but to put a monetary punishment on the college is outrageous.

I would liken this to the City of Chicago, who in 2013 banned a highly acclaimed graphic book by Marjane Satrapi, called "Persepolis," about a young Persian girl growing up in Iran, having some education in Europe and returning to Iran. This book was "removed from classrooms" of 7th through 10th graders, even though the author had donated these books to the school district.

Would the state also ban this book?

Lee Crawford

Tradd Street

Charleston

Wrong-way waste

Our leader has once again revealed his inability to lead by reason. He pledged to accept 700 pounds of weapons grade plutonium and an unspecified amount of uranium from Japan. Without a doubt, if our congressional delegation does not do something dramatic South Carolina will continue to be the ever growing repository for nuclear waste.

This will be added to the vile nuclear waste that we already store and that has no place to go as long as Obama is president. It is about time that South Carolinians express that they're mad and not going to take it anymore.

We cannot continue to be the nation's nuclear dump without a known goal and money to get rid of it because something very bad will happen that will change this state and nation forever.

Pat Kilroy

Milton Drive

Goose Creek