Pedestrian safety

I agree with every word of the May 22 editorial about making Charleston's roads safer for pedestrians. But until we can find the money and political will to make the necessary improvements, I'd like to offer this quick, easy, no-cost suggestion: walk or run on the left side of the road.

Whether school kids, high school cross country teams, moms with strollers or grandparents, we all seem to have forgotten we aren't cars and are supposed to walk facing the oncoming traffic.

How many accidents would be prevented if the pedestrian were walking facing traffic where he could see the oncoming traffic and take action to stay clear of the danger? Add in light colored or reflective clothing at night, and the roads would be safer for us all because pedestrians would be following their rules of the road.

Mark Hollifield

Regatta Road

Charleston

VAT revenues

In opposing my Value Added Tax (VAT), a May 27 letter writer states: "Just using his numbers the corporate tax brought in revenue of $288 billion in 2013 and his proposed 7 percent VAT would have brought in revenues of $945 billion. That's a tax increase of $657 billion."

Not so. That's an increase of $657 billion in revenues. Replacing the 35 percent corporate tax with a 7 percent VAT is a tax cut.

Both the 35 percent and the 7 percent are factored in the cost of goods. Factoring in 7 percent instead of 35 percent is a tax cut.

I've mentioned ad nauseam how we Democrats cut spending $250 billion and increased taxes $250 billion in 1993 without a Republican vote in the House or Senate. This gave President George W. Bush in 2001 a balanced budget.

Bush cut taxes, started wars, provided prescription drugs, stimulation, bailouts - all without paying for them; increasing the national debt $5 trillion in eight years.

Since Democrats got no help from Republicans in 1993, Democrats weren't about to pay for government without Republicans agreeing to both spending cuts and tax increases. Republicans have never suggested $5 trillion in spending cuts and no one has suggested $12 trillion in spending cuts.

Both cuts and increases are needed.

Ernest F. Hollings

Calhoun Street

Charleston

Turn the tables

It has been suggested that we give VA patients the same insurance as Congress. This is exactly backwards.

We should send Congress to the VA and watch how fast the problems are resolved.

I am a third of four generations of combat veterans who have served on active duty from World War I to the present.

We have served in the Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force and held ranks from private to general.

Gary L. Paulson

Moss Court

Charleston

Best Friend's team

The May 10 article regarding the "Best Friend of Charleston" lacked many pertinent facts:

The locomotive and cars exist only because of the diligent care of the Charleston Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and its members.

The ex-president of the chapter, Mary Lehr, and members have looked after this artifact for nearly 40 years. Mary set a standard of excellence for her tenacity and longevity in her term of office.

It should also be noted that Norfolk Southern donated $250,000 to the City of Charleston for the loan of the train. They moved it to Atlanta for five years and returned it in pristine condition.

We are happy to have it back home.

Arthur Knapp

Wayfarer Lane

Charleston

Life savers

I would like to publicly acknowledge and thank Dr. Michael Beaver, and his son and daughter, Kyle and Carolyn, of Columbia for quite possibly saving my life after a serious fall from a cliff on a muddy trail in Na Pali Coast State Wilderness Park in Hawaii on May 19.

I had slipped and free-fallen from the trail at least 20 to 30 feet, landing on rocks and boulders on a river bank and bleeding from the head.

Michael and Kyle Beaver risked their own safety to leave the trail (along with my daughter) and make their way down to me, somehow getting me up river and back up to the trail and then, along with Carolyn, carrying my backpack and guiding me down a steep, slippery trail to an evacuation helicopter.

Their strength, kindness and generosity were remarkable, and my family and I shall forever be grateful to these wonderful people.

Christina Kenrick

Tennyson Avenue

Palo Alto, Calif.