An uneven load

Jackson Diehl, deputy editorial page editor of The Washington Post, recently nourished the debate about NATO responsibility to defend its Baltic members. The public mind pursues its natural inclination to wander around Eastern Europe in search of nations in need of a military response to Russian aggression.

Ukraine is not a member of NATO and does not qualify, at least in theory, for a NATO footprint. Sanctions might work to cool the covetous ardor of Vladimir Putin for another piece of Ukraine, but foreign policy gurus will have to wait a spell to judge their effectiveness.

Mr. Diehl desires to shape the debate by pointing to Brussels, Germany, France and Italy. All line up against a permanent NATO deployment in the Baltics. All are financially distressed and desirous of taking care of their own flock.

Mr. Diehl could shape the debate to a higher level by pointing out that American taxpayers are $17 trillion in debt and not in a position to lead another coalition of the reluctant into battle.

We have been there, done that, and are mindful of how unbalanced coalitions share cost burdens.

Louis C. Tisdale

Heron Avenue

Mount Pleasant

Erosion control

A recent letter writer criticized the Folly Beach renourishment project as a failed attempt to save those foolish enough to build their homes on the sand.

What the writer failed to understand is that the project was intended to save the beach, a very important and heavily used recreational resource of the tri-county area.

The writer also failed to understand that the erosion problem on Folly Beach is due, to a very large extent, to the extensive structures that protect and maintain the Charleston harbor entrance. The jetties are essential to the port, one of the most important economic engines for the state.

That said, a renourishment project that fails so quickly gives a black eye to the methodology and rationale behind rebuilding beach fronts through these means.

So what are the alternatives?

We could just abandon the beach, allow the homes to fall into the ocean, expose foundations and septic systems, destroy roads and parking, and in essence take away a valuable recreational resource from the citizens of the tri-county area.

We could allow the homeowners and businesses to armor their property with sea walls and rip rap and thus protect their properties themselves.

Unfortunately, this will lead to accelerated erosion, and we'd end up with no beach at all in front of these structures, again depriving the local population of a heavily used recreational resource.

Finally, we could do the right thing. We can develop long-term solutions to funding well planned and implemented beach renourishment projects that will preserve this very valuable public recreational resource.

If every beach visitor paid 50 cents per visit to such a fund, Folly could support its share of future renourishment projects without spending one cent of our state's tax revenue.

Just like the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, user fees could provide recreation to the citizenry of our area. Of course, this could all make too much sense.

John Manzi

Little Oak Drive

Folly Beach

Check freighters

With all the brouhaha about cruise ships tying up at Union Pier, as seen in the April 27 Post and Courier, I have heard no complaints about the freighters tied up there.

One ship has been spewing its black diesel smoke for all to see, every day, for a week.

Why are the zealots not complaining about the freighters that dock at Union Pier more often than cruise ships?

Edward Lipman

Freeman Street

Mount Pleasant

Unfair focus

I am concerned about The Post and Courier's coverage of Amy Kovach's arraignment.

Amy Kovach is a dedicated, highly competent professional. She is an honest and decent person. She is an involved and giving member of her community, putting the needs of others above her own on a regular basis. She has a passion and a great heart especially for children and teachers and their issues.

Amy's job with the Berkeley County School District is director of community relations.

By her very title, Amy is tasked with outreach to the community. She serves as a liaison and a facilitator, bringing together businesses, faith communities, agencies serving children, parents, and others to partner for the benefit of the children.

In that same capacity Amy was a liaison from the school district to the community organized and operated, Yes4-Schools campaign for the bond referendum.

She provided factual information about school building needs and other data as the committee requested, and kept the superintendent informed of the progress of the committee's work. She was never involved in direct advocacy for the Yes4Schools campaign in this liaison role.

Amy did not personally benefit in any way from the passage of the Berkeley Bond Referendum.

She acted in good faith, as an employee of the district, performing her assigned duties. She was only motivated by a desire to help children and teachers.

It is a sad day when a group of misguided individuals, disgruntled over their failure to stop the passage of the bond referendum, instigate investigations and file lawsuits.

I urge these individuals to take the energy they are putting into prosecuting the superintendent, assistant superintendent and Ms. Kovach and put it into looking for ways that we can work together, moving forward, to improve public education in Berkeley County and around the state.

There is a lot of real work to do. Let's start doing it. That's the best way to help the children.

Jane Pulling

Co-chair Yes4Schools Committee

Pinopolis Road

Pinopolis

Decision time

As a professional educational administrator and a retired member of the College of Charleston faculty, logic would suggest I am opposed to Glenn McConnell as the next president.

However, I believe he has the background and skill to be an outstanding advocate for the college.

Most of a college president's time today is spent on public interaction and fund raising, leaving little time for the details of the academic side. He would be a master in these areas. However, the board of trustees made a series of errors in its selection process which resulted in the current debacle.

Before employing a $100,000 search organization, the board should have sought applicants locally.

Had it turned out that there was no local person interested in the position, the costly search process could have gone forward.

If there were local persons interested, they should have been interviewed and either rejected or advanced.

It is possible that a "Glenn McConnell" would have turned up at that time and been employed; it is also possible that a local "Glenn McConnell" could have met the standards of the board and been invited to be a part of the national search.

Following these steps, the potential for the board totally disregarding the search organization's options most likely would have been avoided.

So now where are we?

Is Glenn McConnell a qualified candidate?

Yes.

Should he be appointed?

That question at this point can best be answered by Mr. McConnell.

If he feels he has the fire, enthusiasm and desire for the job, go for it; but if he has doubts as to his acceptance and ability to win over the students and faculty, he should withdraw.

Fred C. Sales, Ed.D.

Lawton Harbor Drive

Charleston