VA comes through

In review of all the bad publicity the VA hospitals have been getting recently, I am prompted to express my personal feelings and experiences at the Ralph H. Johnson VA Hospital.

My treatment over the last 19 years has been excellent. I have never had to wait excessively for an appointment or care, and I have experience in many departments including orthopedics, podiatry, dermatology, pulmonary medicine, X-rays and pharmacy.

Although I have never smoked, in 2004 I was diagnosed with lung cancer. Thanks to physician's assistant Rebecca Rakestraw, it was detected early. This stage II cancer was surgically removed promptly by VA surgeons, and my condition was closely monitored for five years before I was released with absolutely no after-effects. I also had early stage melanoma skin cancer removed four years ago at this hospital.

The health care and benefits that I have received over the years make vehicle parking problems there seem petty. Had it not been for the caring, professional medical staff at the Ralph H. Johnson Medical Center, I might not be alive today.

Don Moore

Venning Road

Mount Pleasant

Hold the meat

We attended third Thursday in Summerville this week and very much enjoyed the outing. The music was good. It was all in all a pleasant evening.

I had heard about a restaurant where I wanted to eat, and I was thrilled to find veggie burgers and franks on the menu. Before I order in restaurants I ask how the vegetarian dishes are made.

I was appalled when I was told that the "veggie" burgers and franks were made in the same cooking containers as the non-vegetarians ones. In other words, they may have been veggie when they came out of the package, but they would not have been veggie by the time they reached my plate.

When I expressed my displeasure about this I was told that vegetarians eat there all the time and they don't mind. I find this to be highly unlikely. As a vegetarian for over four decades I look at it as a commitment. It is who I am.

Vegetarianism isn't a fad nor should it be a marketing strategy. I would politely ask that any restaurant that cooks "veggie" products in the juices of meat products - stop calling it "veggie" and call it what it is - meat.

debi galik

Rio Vista Lane

Cottageville

Building beaches

The beautiful beaches of Charleston are in trouble, putting beach tourism at risk. At Wild Dunes, neither the sandbags nor the experimental PVC device is working. Plus, both of these options ruin the aesthetics of the beach.

How about Folly? "Renourishment" is a joke that costs tens of millions of dollars. Folly was "renourished" only eight years ago. Most of the sand pumped onto the beach this spring has already washed back out to sea.

The quality of the sand is poor. It's mostly rocks and rock fragments. You have to watch every step, making beach games virtually impossible.

Sand quality matters. Tourists spend good money and travel hours for a beach vacation. Will they come back to Folly Beach and brave the minefield of rocks again? Or will they detour to Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach next time?

A long-term solution must be found. We need to try something different. Holmberg Technologies, Inc., offers a technology that Folly and Wild Dunes need to consider.

It is completely different than anything we've tried. It protects the aesthetics of the beach, it allows the beach to regrow itself naturally, it's permanent and it costs a fraction of what renourishment costs.

It has already been used in multiple places around the world with significant success.

How about trying it out on just one mile of each beach? What do we have to lose?

Disclosure: I have no connection to Holmberg Technologies whatsoever.

Matt Whisnant

Jamsie Cove Drive

Charleston

Baseball guru

I wish to thank Frank Wooten for his column explaining Gene Sapakoff's justification for the need for Clemson's athletic director to fire Coach Jack Leggett, or allow Jack to retire gracefully.

Until I read Frank's column I did not realize Gene was a "renowned" baseball expert, and had coached in the highly competitive youth baseball league.

With such credentials I suggest Gene send Dan Radakovich his résumé, and I am certain Mr. Radakovich will rethink his decision to give Coach Leggett another chance. However, should Gene remain a sportswriter let us know when he is inducted into a national sportswriter hall of fame.

Bob Glenn

Seabrook Island Road

Johns Island

Reality show

All the Wilson/Harrell stories are really starting to run together. Investigations, grand juries, criminal immunity, Harrell's team, ethics committee, court hearings, probes - and these words were only on the first page of the article.

Why not a reality show on S.C. politics?

Frank Moore

Plantation Lane

Mount Pleasant