Team effort

I applaud the leadership of the MUSC Board of Trustees and administration for plans to build a new Children's Hospital and Women's Pavilion.

As a parent of children who have been patients at MUSC, I greatly value the talented staff and medicine that is provided at the Children's Hospital. If you have had a young person in need of their care, you know what I mean. I cannot think of many institutions beloved by so many families throughout our state.

As chairman of the Children's Hospital's fund-raising board, I have been tasked with helping raise the $50 million needed to build this much-needed hospital. Our entire board, along with countless staff, volunteers and university leaders, enthusiastically answer this call.

My hope is that when the time comes, the rest of the community will rally behind this treasured institution and help transform health care for the children of this state now and into the future

As we prepare for this new phase of life for the Children's Hospital, I find myself both inspired and emboldened by the support of those who have already committed to make this new hospital a reality. It is a great pleasure to be involved alongside that kind of dedication. My heartfelt thanks to all involved.

Michael G. McShane

Chairman

MUSC Children's Hospital Fund Board

Cordes Street

Charleston

A must see

There are only a few days left to see the musical "Hairspray" at Flowertown Players at the historic James F. Dean Theatre in Summerville. It ends Aug. 17. Beg, borrow, buy a ticket to see it.

I saw the Aug. 10 sold-out matinee. A large, multiracial cast of young actors with terrific voices and acting chops worked together to bring early 1960s Baltimore and Bandstand back to life in this comic teenage romp with serious overtones of conflict between segregation and integration of that era.

In light of the recent controversy about "Rent," "Hairspray" - an earlier Broadway and movie hit - may not be everyone's cup of tea. That's life.

However, when you see the quality community theatre that Flowertown offered last season and expects to offer in this new 39th season, you can be assured that the Summerville community's investment in the arts is sound and generating a positive return.

Part of that return is when audience members like me, who drive 42 miles each way to see each Flowertown Players production, spend money before or after the show at local establishments.

However, the greatest part of that return is bringing community members together from different walks of life to accomplish a theatrical mission in a short period of time that is fun, intelligent and synchronized, and that brings an audience to its feet in a prolonged standing ovation. That's a good life lesson of reward for working together harmoniously and productively.

Ed Jones

Wildcat Point

Seabrook Island

The right vote

Rep. Mark Sanford was one of only a handful of lawmakers in Washington with the courage to oppose the recent, politically popular Veterans Affairs reform deal.

Despite the urgent need for major change in the VA medical system, the legislation adds billions of dollars to our already sky-high debt, yet fails to address the plight of veterans suffering from inept government administration.

The unconscionable treatment delays at VA medical centers are, as former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates explained, "not for lack of money." In fact, from 2006 to 2014, discretionary funds at the VA grew from $34.3 billion to $63.4 billion - one of the largest percentage increases among Cabinet agencies during that time.

Meanwhile, a recent congressional report found that billions in unspent taxpayer funds have been accumulating in VA coffers, totaling over $34 million as of FY13 - more than enough to pay for any necessary reforms to the agency.

The Government Accountability Office and VA Inspector General have been reporting on the serious problems plaguing VA medical centers for years. This scandal was a long time coming, and it will take more than a quick cash infusion to enact the tangible top-to-bottom reforms veterans and taxpayers deserve.

South Carolina taxpayers should applaud Rep. Sanford for his commendable stand against the politics-as-usual ploy to throw more money at a problem that goes far deeper than the balance sheet.

Nan Swift

Federal Affairs Manager

National Taxpayers Union

N. Alfred Street

Alexandria, Va.

Solar solution

Alcoa's intent not to renew its power contract with Santee Cooper and the possible loss of approximately 660 jobs as a result would negatively affect the local community.

Alcoa should realize that Santee Cooper is dealing with tougher federal regulations concerning coal-fired plants and emissions, requiring the investment of millions of dollars in exhaust scrubbers, etc.

Furthermore, Santee Cooper must also deal with the rising costs of coal for fuel, transportation, not to mention unloading, handling and crushing.

I'm sure the costs of discounts for Alcoa are passed along to consumers of Santee Cooper - co-ops, individuals on a fixed budget and small businesses, which in today's economy are struggling.

Alcoa should take its consumption of power in hand, and task engineers with finding ways to produce power. Instead of threatening lost jobs and increased power bills, Alcoa should follow Boeing's lead.

Alcoa has masses of roof space which would accommodate solar panels. Also, exhaust through roof vents could possibility power fan generators to produce power. Alcoa needs to help itself instead of passing the hardship of doing business to others.

If Alcoa can't produce aluminum at market prices, it needs to close the plant. The shipyard closed, and the community recovered. We can do it again. Alcoa needs to invest in power sources instead passing the buck.

Stephen Evans Sr.

Gross Avenue

Moncks Corner

Senior helped

I am a senior citizen on a very limited income. I have found an online site that will give me a one-time free pair of glasses. But I need an eye exam and measurements.

The exam is no problem, as I am a patient at a well-known local eye care center. Also I contacted the eye care center at a "box" store in North Charleston where I do most of my shopping.

I am more than willing and able to pay for the exam and measurements, and everyone I contacted would be glad to take my money for an exam. But no one is willing to give me the measurements even though I am willing to pay.

They are concerned about being sued if the glasses are not to my liking. Both organizations advertise how community minded and charitable they are, yet I certainly didn't see any of it.

But Lenscrafters in North Charleston does what it says. It has a charitable organization, and it stands by it.

Naomi N. Radcliff

Market Street

Charleston

Extra dimension

The Greenville News (and Ron Barnett) should have done maybe one more Google search before publishing the story about the new planetarium and observatory at the State Museum in Columbia ("Quantum leap forward," Aug. 11.) The article declares that the new $21 million complex will have the only 4D theater in the state.

Perhaps the folks at the S.C. Aquarium would have a problem with this claim. I have taken my children to see a Sea Monsters movie at the aquarium and they loved it.

Just like the S.C. Aquarium version: "It will spray water, tickle ankles, blast air, emit smells, make snow, bubbles and smoke for kids in vibrating chairs - all synchronized to images displayed on the movie screen."

We have enjoyed our 4D theater for some time. We hope that others in the Midlands and Upstate can soon enjoy their own 4D theater.

A. Thomas Price

Sully Street

Goose Creek