I applaud the recent effort to update Charleston's tourism management plan to ensure that the city is able to continue to work on the delicate balance between neighborhood living and the booming tourism industry.
Interestingly, with the heightened scrutiny on tourism management, emphasis has been placed on further limitations to the way many tourism professionals in the Charleston area conduct business.
It seems to me that these businesses are the very ones that actually manage tourists day to day. From carriages to walking tours to bus tours, these registered guides and business owners are helping to mitigate what could be an army of daily visitors driving, walking and overloading our public streets.
Every time I see a carriage, bus or walking tour go by with 16 to 20 folks, I am grateful that they are visiting Charleston in an organized, well-trained fashion instead of five to eight cars further clogging our thoroughfares.
As we study this aspect of our success, let those entrusted with determining future compromises keep in mind that if we further limit carriages, buses, walking tours, etc., we might be placing more visitors and their vehicles on the streets.
In a May 10 letter, the writer expresses his frustration and disappointment with the inadequate health care provided to veterans in the U.S. I join him in his disappointment, but strongly object to his transference of his frustration to immigrants. He tries to connect a lack of funding for VA hospitals to monies spent to educate and provide health care and social services to non-citizens. He then speculates that these non-citizens will avoid military service when our country needs them.
He could not be more wrong: Putting aside the fact that nearly all legitimate studies have found immigrants to have a net positive economic effect, the facts clearly show that immigrants, today and throughout history, have readily answered our country's call.
According to the Department of Defense, since 2002 more than 92,742 immigrants have become citizens while in the U.S. military, and as of May 2013, 31,128 non-citizens were serving in the military. In 2012, 608,000 veterans were foreign born, and over 700 of the Medal of Honor recipients have been immigrants. And these numbers would be even higher if barriers to entry for certain immigrants were dropped.
Robert A. Condy
Immigration Law Office, LLC
Wappoo Creek Drive
What's the motive?
If you are not guilty of what you are being accused of, then why would you go to so much trouble to avoid being investigated by a grand jury?
I would think you would rush to the highest court to clear your name.
Check it out
If you are a registered voter in South Carolina, now is the time (if you don't already know) to find out who your state representative is.
The representative you and your neighbors sent to Columbia to carry out your wishes in legislative matters is elected every two years.
There are 124 members of the S.C. House of Representatives. Each one represents 1/124th of the population of South Carolina.
Your representative should be responsive to you, and wants to hear from you about matters of importance in your district.
Now is the time to contact your representative by mail, email or telephone. There has been an amendment placed on a bill that came over from the Senate that would, if passed in the legislative process, denigrate the pristine waters and environmentally irreplaceable wildlife environment of Cap'n Sam's Spit.
It would eliminate the delicate nesting site of the Diamondback Terrapin and pave over with concrete 2,500 feet of the back beach of the Spit where dolphins strand feed - one of the few places on Earth where dolphins exhibit this rare behavior.
Make the call, write the letter, and send the email to your state representative.They love hearing from you because you sent them to Columbia. Believe me, I know.
Betsy Kerrison Parkway
Follow the money
The May 14 article about rebuilding a seawall at Debordieu, and new development adjacent to Kiawah leaves out one of the most salient facts:
If the U.S. government's Flood Insurance Program were not available, this development would never take place.
The owners and developers are assuming (probably rightly) that they can get federally subsidized insurance for the properties involved.
I can understand the desire of the owners of existing homes at Debordieu to protect what they already have. But to allow developers to build on land that is clearly at risk is unconscionable.
If we cannot (or will not) protect our natural resources from the greed of developers, perhaps we need to convince the National Flood Insurance Program to refuse to accept the new developments into the program.
The flood insurance program is billions of dollars in the hole, and most probably, a "bailout" will be needed to prevent huge increases in premiums in the very near future.
It does seem that we complain loudly about "government intrusion" and "runaway government spending," but when someone with local political influence comes on the scene, we can somehow set these issues aside and foster the profitability of high-risk development while ignoring the concern for our most valuable natural resource, our beautiful coastline.
Fritz Saenger Jr.
Cove Bay Lane