Not in the race
I've been asked many times if I will be running for mayor of Charleston, this city that lights and captivates like no other. In making the decision, I've gone back hundreds of times in the last months to a conversation I had with Betty Jupp, an early and treasured neighbor of mine in the 1980s.
Close to death, Betty said to me, "Choices, Linda. That's all it's about. Just choices. Our lives turn out to be merely reflections of our choices."
Although I prefer "both/and" rather than "either/or" decisions, the decision about whether to run for mayor is definitely an "either/or." And it is one that needs to be made now. So with Betty's wise counsel ringing in my consciousness, and after careful thought and reflection, I am choosing not to run for mayor of Charleston.
Like many of you, I love this city dearly and am profoundly concerned with its projected growth when many of us already are experiencing increased traffic, loss of rural areas, changing neighborhood character, lack of affordable housing and sprawl. The next mayor will either strategically and creatively manage that growth, or truly "kill the goose that laid the golden egg."
I can't find words to express my appreciation for the faith and encouragement supporters have given to me; and I look forward to supporting the candidate with no other agenda than protecting this unique jewel that we're lucky enough to call home.
I have hoped that things would get better and I wouldn't need to write this letter. I have a question for the person who is in charge of fixing potholes in the roads in Moncks Corner: Is it better to hit a pothole or a two-inch rise in the road once it has been "fixed?"
My next question: Why after two weeks of being "fixed" is it being "fixed" again?
Repairs to potholes do not last. There has to be a better way to repair our roads.
Thomas E. Googe
Old Whitesville Road
As president of the Charleston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Charleston), I feel compelled to offer an opinion on the Spaulding Paolozzi Center design proposed for 292 Meeting St.
Although I can't speak on behalf of our membership, I feel it is imperative that our leadership have a public voice on issues of design.
With great respect for the rich history of Charleston architecture, I am in full support of this inspirational contemporary design.
The Meeting Street corridor has a history of supporting public buildings that break new architectural ground. This proposal will continue that tradition.
It is important to note the precedence in Charleston that architectural style is not a defining characteristic of a design's success, but rather the utmost quality of the design itself.
One of many examples is the Riviera Theater.
An account in the newspaper the day the Riviera opened stated "... it is modern in style with classic proportions." (www.scmovietheatres.com)
Charlestonians should continue to fight to preserve architecturally significant buildings, and should continue to hold proposed designs to the highest standard of quality. Critiquing on style alone would discount the historical diversity of architecture that has made the peninsula such a dynamic and inviting place to live and visit.
As Jonathan Raban said in his book "Soft City" regarding urban architecture:
"Uniformity promotes retrospection while diversity promotes interaction and innovation."
Charleston is ready for a renewed architectural diversity. Charleston deserves it.
Indigo Bay Circle
If you have not yet seen the Shepard Fairey/Jasper Johns exhibition at the Halsey Gallery at the College of Charleston, which comes down July 12, hasten to do so. It is sheer pleasure.
Then pick up a flyer and seek out the murals painted around town by Shepard Fairey especially for this show. What a joy.
Mark Sloan, director of the Halsey Gallery, who arranged this show, may not yet be a national treasure, but he is certainly a Charleston treasure.
Isle of Palms
Pay up, legislators
The Local Government Fund (LGF) has been a reliable source of revenue for all South Carolina cities and towns. By statute it is supposed to return 100 percent of all revenues collected by the state from the municipalities each year.
Fiscal Year 2015 will be the seventh year in a row our state Legislature has failed to obey the law as it is written.
In fact, only 74 percent of the required amount will be returned next year. That is the lowest percentage return in history.
For all local governments it means a shortfall of $11 million. Seventeen percent of that total or $1.9 million will be withheld from Charleston, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant.
These are monies that enable municipalities to provide basic services, infrastructure needs and programs that you and I depend on.
More than that, it is our money being diverted and used for who knows what?
It is time local governments, statewide Chambers of Commerce and our local delegations to the Statehouse show signs of concern over this "robbing of Peter to pay Paul" mindset that has gone on long enough.
When Mount Pleasant has to raise property taxes and other fees to pay for basic services and infrastructure needs, I think it is high time we had answers and 100 percent funding of the LGF.
Elton K. Carrier
Town of Mount Pleasant
Ann Edwards Boulevard
Sickle cell science
How wonderful to read the article by Lindsey Tanner regarding the amazing breakthrough in the use of bone marrow transplants to reverse sickle cell disease in adults.
We South Carolinians should be very proud of Dr. John Tisdale, the studies senior investigator, who was born, raised and educated here in the Lowcountry.
It's nice to know that a local boy has made such a magnificent contribution to the lives of so many people, not only in America, but the world.
My 88-year-old father-in-law from Charlotte, who fought in Europe in World War II, wanted to attend the public reading of the Declaration of Independence sponsored by the Washington Light Artillery at the Customs House on July 4. When we pulled up to the barricade on Broad Street, we asked a police officer standing guard if our passenger could be let off closer to the stage since his walking ability is limited.
"I'm sorry but the street is closed," the officer replied, "but a World War II veteran gets a pass."
As the ceremony started, we noticed another police officer change out of his uniform into a kilt to play wonderful American hymns on his bagpipes.
After the reading, police directing traffic along the parade route to St. Philip's Church to lay a wreath at the grave of Edward Rutledge were extremely friendly, respectful and hospitable.
We've attended two consecutive public readings of the Declaration of Independence and already are looking forward to next year.
The Fourth of July reminds me of how blessed I am to be an American.
This Fourth of July reinforced how lucky I am to also be a Charlestonian.
Stars and Stripes forever.
Wexford Sound Drive
On June 29 I watched the initial episode of the CBS series "Reckless." I watched it because a friend of mine had participated as an extra during the taping of the show.
Also, paintings secured from some local galleries were being used in the locales, and I was interested in seeing if some of my artist friends' works would be shown.
I never did see my friend and never saw the artwork I was looking for, but what I did see was a very poorly acted (reading lines, not saying lines, by actor wannabes), poorly written (a plot that was all over the place, sleazy at best) and poorly cast (actors who looked like they just got out of high school trying to be district attorneys and city attorneys) show.
Outside of some nice aerial views, this show did nothing for the credibility and stature of the City of Charleston, its government, its legal system, its residents and, most certainly, its police department.
What a waste of time and effort.
I will place this show, along with "Southern Charm," out on my gutter next to the trash that is picked up there.
That is where all of this belongs.
Those with a taste for irony who are seeking to comprehend Charleston's legendary determination to weave its diverse citizenry into a rich and inclusive celebration of the city's role in creating our nation's historic legacy may be wryly amused to observe two of our annual Revolutionary War pageants:
Carolina Day parade and speechifying on lower Meeting Street and White Point Garden on June 28; and the Washington Light Infantry's public recitation of the Declaration of Independence at the Customs House on July 4.
Incidentally, both occasions prominently featured the same mayor who so ardently trumpets - almost definitely to an audience rather different from the one that gathers on those two Revolutionary commemorations - the putative glories of an African American museum for Charleston. Let's celebrate freedom a little more earnestly by seeing if we can't figure out what's missing from this picture, and by more creative efforts to make it right.
North Edgewater Drive
I was noticing how much attention our young people pay to their cell phones, I-pads and other such portable electronic gadgets, and then happened upon the following quote by Albert Einstein, arguably one of the smartest men of the last century.
Einstein: "I fear that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots."
Are we there yet?
K. L. Muse
In July 2 letter, a Seabrook Island resident complained that the news regarding private Seabrook Island beaches having quality water was not reported in a balanced way in a June 26 article.
I am sure most of the property owners in the exclusive gated community are quite aware of this, even without a balanced report. But, pray tell, why would such balance be of any particular concern to the wider Post and Courier readership whose access to this quality water is nonexistent?
Betsy Kerrison Parkway