Joy Jarvis of Charleston has won The Post and Courier's Golden Pen award for May for her letter to the editor "Stop stalling on needed restrooms."
Ms. Jarvis cited what happened on "a beautiful Saturday afternoon on the Battery," with pleasant weather and "many area gardens in full bloom" helping create "the perfect mix to get people walking the streets and enjoying all that downtown Charleston offers."
She wrote: "I live in a condominium building overlooking the Battery and White Point Garden. We had been experiencing some trouble with the front door to the building closing properly and on several occasions tourists looking for a restroom had been able to gain entrance before being escorted out by our staff or a resident.
"We have security cameras around the property so it was easy to go back and discover when the following incident occurred: On April 16, at 1:38 p.m., a woman entered the building a few minutes behind a guest of one of our residents who didn't check to see that the door was securely closed. This woman is observed looking around the lobby for a couple of minutes until she disappears into a utility closet under a main stairwell. She exits the building about five minutes later. From what was discovered in that closet, this woman was in desperate need of a restroom."
And: "We all know White Point Garden is the most logical place to put restrooms. It had restrooms before. Yet we are going to discuss this again for the next nine months as one of the issues to be addressed in the Tourism Management Forum recently established.
"My prediction is that all we are going to get from this forum is another acknowledgement that we have a terrible problem."
Her letter concluded: "How much longer is the city going to ignore the basic needs of tourists who help make this city what it is? It is shameful."
Golden Pen winners are invited to an annual luncheon with the editorial staff.
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