Your article about noise in restaurants was an interesting piece on an issue of great importance when it comes to the restaurant dining experience. However, there was one point that was incorrect.
It is not true that "it's impossible to control decibel levels outside of buildings designed around sound, such as orchestra halls and opera houses."
As acoustical design professionals, we routinely provide design to control sound noise in schools, hospitals, churches, office buildings, casinos, condominiums, and - yes - restaurants.
Architect David Thompson is right when he says restaurateurs can dial back noise if they make it a design priority. Unfortunately, it is too often not a design priority, which is why he notes, "You're hard-pressed to find a restaurant that hasn't had to retrofit."
There is no question that restaurants can be challenging when it comes to noise control, but dealing with this well-known issue during design is typically much easier, less expensive and more successful than rescuing a space after the complaints start rolling in.
Roger Andrews General Manager
& Audiovisual Design
S. Main Street
I want to comment on the June 10 Michael Bloomberg column. It's all over the place in its points, but they're all connected by the second paragraph. He writes about ensuring the rights of your freedoms and mine, even if they are different.
I also agree that "throughout history, those in authority have tried to repress ideas that threaten their power, their religion, their ideology or their re-election chances."
I like reading a liberal former politician honoring the rights of all college professors and speakers having a voice, whether they are liberal or conservative.
And "a university's obligation is not to teach students what to think, but to teach them how to listen and weigh arguments without prejudging them."
Do I think that our democratic government runs the risk of leaving openings for those that would hurt us? Unfortunately, yes. Hopefully, laws will still protect the freedoms and rights of all law-abiding citizens. And with new technologies being implemented, it's important to hear each other.
Thankfully, I was brought up in a household that discussed and debated past and current issues. With friends and family we talked over how we felt about politics, art, morals, ideas, etc. Most importantly we didn't have to agree to still care for each other. It's a gift my parents and my democratic government have given to me. Not just talking, but listening to each other is most important.
Perhaps we should forward this column on to our politicians. Better yet, send them personal letters and e-mails.
Light the jetties
Another boat crashes on the Charleston Harbor jetties and it barely makes the news. The time has come to put marker lights on the jetties. Although modern electronic navigation has improved greatly, common sense would lead you to think that two mostly submerged mountains of granite in the ocean should be marked for night-time viewing.
Considering that Charleston is the port for the world's nuclear dump in South Carolina and that 1,500 post-Panamax super container ships are soon to arrive, marker lights are really essential.
Vets need benefits
I would like to respond to a June 6 Washington Post column by retired Lt. Col. Tom Slear suggesting it is time to cut veterans benefits.
In that article he states that "true retirees need all the help than can get - Tricare, commissary, base exchange and retirement pay."
I came in the service in 1955 and stayed 21 years as an enlisted man. I was deployed three times, and my wife and three children had to make it on my pay and other benefits the government gave me.
My son passed away a few years ago, and my wife has Alzheimer's. If it were not for the benefits, mainly Tricare, I don't know what we would do.
If I were a retired lieutenant colonel, I could afford a cut in my benefits. But most, if not all, retired enlisted people cannot afford it.
I am a retired architect who recently moved to the Charleston area from Alexandria, Va. The charm of historic Charleston and its similarity to the character of Alexandria is one of the reasons that we picked it as our new home.
Alexandria has also struggled with the approval of designs for new buildings in its historic district. Unfortunately, the result has largely been mediocre architecture, the design of which is so watered down that rather than blending in, it detracts from the harmony created by the historic buildings around it.
The proposed design of Clemson's new architecture building is sympathetic to the scale and proportion to the surrounding buildings. Its screened facades will provide the occupants natural light-filled studios while addressing the need to be sustainable in its energy use.
Overall, it appears to be a successful design without being overbearing in announcing its presence.
I would encourage the residents of Charleston to keep an open mind with regard to accepting a mix of well-designed contemporary buildings within its rich architectural heritage.
Tupelo Bay Drive