Save the children

Child abuse, abandonment and neglect are prominent in this gorgeous and prosperous city of ours. Not everyone can and will appreciate this glorious time of year because of the pain of being abused or of complete neglect.

We are America's friendliest city, America's top tourist destination, with top-rated restaurants, called the "Holy City" and most pet-friendly state on the east coast.

I can give you many statistics, but society is known by how it treats its elderly and its children. How do we rate?

I am asking each of you to tell just one other person about Lowcountry Orphan Relief and how we need to change our government and ourselves to start putting child abuse as our priority.

Call your representatives, senators and mayors and tell them what you feel is important. Meanwhile, use this Easter to pray and give thanks for the many blessings that you have and ask blessings on the precious children, who belong to all of us, that our state will become first in the prevention of child abuse.

Please help us help children who have no Easter.

Lynn Young

Founder

Lowcountry Orphan Relief

Johnson Road

Charleston

Reason to smile

Children in impoverished, rural areas are getting a chance at a brighter smile.

A bill has been introduced in the General Assembly regarding preventative dental care for indigent children.

In the land of "Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places," some children have not been fortunate enough to be called citizens.

This bill will allow these children to say goodbye to the tooth fairy once and for all. It needs your support.

Carrie Dorris

Falmouth Street

Charleston

Let it go

Since I settled in the Charleston area 47 years ago, I have read many letters to the editor about America's Civil War. If I had kept them all, I could put together a book with hundreds of pages. I don't think this is the case with our fellow Americans in the North.

Today, with a plethora of well-paying jobs, thanks to the countless number of Europeans and Northern companies doing business here in the South, like BMW from Germany and General Electric from New York, the South today is not only trees, but a prosperous part of the glorious United States of America with a bright future.

The new South has it all: beauty, prosperity, Southern charm and a promising future. It is the place where everyone wants to live.

It is obvious that Northerners have forgotten all about the Civil War. They are spending lots of money every year on their vacations here, and along with Europeans have transformed the land of trees to the land of 21st century technology.

Let's hope that those here who constantly feud, argue and disagree about everything concerning the Civil War, will follow the victors' example.

They have gone on with their lives. Now quit annoying the rest of us over and over again with things that all of us know from history books.

The Civil War was fought 150 years ago. It is not amusing that a small number of people, who act as if the whole South is their property, continuously write letters to the editor about America's darkest days in history from a very distant and tragic past.

G.A. Monocrusos

Savannah Highway

Charleston

Protect free speech

I would love to see evidence that the signers of the Constitution felt they needed to protect speech for rich people.

Seems to me the framers were more concerned about free speech for the common man.

I also suspect that if they could have foreseen broadcast media that allow those with the most money to essentially overwhelm their opponents' messages, they would have been totally in favor of limiting money and would never have equated money with speech.

Note that the First Amendment combines religion, press and assembly. There is nothing in there implying mass broadcast media.

Given today's media world, it is hard to believe that the founders would think of unlimited money as an acceptable form of free speech. On the contrary, it is a suppression of free speech.

M.L. Mount

Amberly Street

Charleston

Don't free Pollard

A recent article about the U.S. considering the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard clearly illustrates the obsequiousness of U.S. policy with respect to Israel and the simple fact that the Israeli government, and Benjamin Netanyahu in particular, are masters of double speak and chutzpah.

The release of Pollard (a duplicitous, despicable creep) is not just a bad, immoral and unconscionable idea, it will do nothing to promote an Israeli-Palestine settlement.

For the past nine months Israel has refused to stop provocative new settlements in "disputed territory" and has refused to follow through on negotiated agreements to free Israeli-held Palestinian political prisoners.

By every sensible measure, Mahmoud Abbas has made the right decision: rejecting direct negotiation with Israel in favor of seeking political and territorial recognition through established and respected international agencies such as the U.N. and the International Criminal Court.

Negotiations with Israel will never result in a just, fair solution to the issue of Palestinian independence and the creation of a geographical area that possesses both territorial and economic integrity for Palestinians.

The Palestinian governing community should reject U.S.-Israeli proposals and address their issues to the international community, in particular the International Criminal Court.

Jonathan Walker

Coral Reef Drive

Johns Island

Best in tennis

The writer of the recent letter titled "Shortchanged" was disappointed watching Serena Williams play at the recent Family Circle Cup. I, on the other hand, felt that something special had happened.

Jana Cepelova defeated Serena in straight sets. Cepelova then went on to win every match into the finals where she was ultimately defeated by Andrea Petkovic.

How can you possibly take away from Cepelova her accomplishment?

The entire tournament was full of young women climbing the tennis ladder to take their place among the best of the best.

Look at Bencic. She not only was a qualifier for the event, meaning she had to play and win two matches just to be in the tournament, but she defeated Venus Williams and Sara Errani along the way.

I was thrilled to see young talent earning their way through the tournament. I was not at all disappointed that Serena Williams did not win. She played her game the best that she was able and lost.

Susan J. Kerrigan, M.D.

Enclave Drive

Mount Pleasant

Budget restraints

On a recent trip to Ohio I saw that two rest areas on I-26 were closed. These were the only closures I saw on the trip. Is this how we meet our budgets in South Carolina? By closing restrooms?

Maybe state government is taking lessons from Charleston, which has no public restrooms at the most visited site in the city, the Battery and White Point Garden.

I'm a tourist when I drive on I-26, and so are you. The bare necessities of life are eating, sleeping and you know the third one.

The car I drove to Ohio gets 40 mpg whereas my previous car got 20 mpg. Mileage is improving on all vehicles, which means revenue from gas taxes will be less and less as time goes on. I paid exactly half the gas tax on this trip as I did on previous ones.

Should we raise the tax on gasoline or close a few more rest areas?

MERRILL D. RIDGWAY

McRoy Street

North Charleston