Flowertown fiasco

The Summerville Preservation Society is concerned about Summerville's plans to construct a four- or five-story boutique hotel, garage, convention center, condominiums, restaurant, grill, roof-top bar and shops.

All are proposed for a site composed of the old Finucan property now owned by the town, as well as property to be acquired, including the Laura Jones interior design building and two Stall houses.

The society is concerned that placement of such a huge multi-story building on that site will significantly and negatively impact the street scene of both Cedar Street and West Richardson Avenue.

Its four or five stories would tower over the two-story 1870s Kornahrens Building, the former home of Mayor Albert Peters, the Gaither House, the Wulbern House, the Croft House, as well as two pre-Civil War houses, the Frank Smith House and the Hutson House. Moreover, the Stall houses and the Finucan House would be demolished, according to the town planning staff.

Plans to place this combination of buildings on a busy, congested corner of the historic district represent a lack of proper planning and analysis on the part of town leaders.

More importantly, the absence of transparency demonstrated by the shroud of secrecy leading up to a vote to establish a public-private corporation to implement the development plans represents total disregard and disrespect for the citizens of Summerville and the democratic process.

We believe that this was not properly vetted and the public was not allowed to express concerns about obvious problems associated with planting a huge building on this busy corner of the historic district.

In view of the fact that some of the recent endeavors of the town have proven to be less than successful investments, e.g. the parking garage, the Teacherage and the Finucan property, we urge council to hold a public meeting as soon as possible to hear citizens' concerns.

Unless the town's business is conducted in an open and deliberate manner that stands up under scrutiny, we are destined to commit the costly mistakes of the past.

HEYWARD G. HUTSON

President, Summerville

Preservation Society

Golf Road

Summerville

Out with Graham

I saw Sen. Lindsey Graham give a brief interview on TV about the border emergency in Texas. He threw in an aside that made me see very clearly why South Carolina conservatives don't trust him and think he has been in Washington far too long. It is also why he was challenged in the primary this year.

In mentioning things that needed to be done, he said, "repeal the parts of Obamacare that don't work."

Well, there you have it in his own words. What he wants to do now is run Obamacare, not eliminate it. God knows what he'll be working for after another six years.

I haven't voted for a Democrat since I was young and stupid, but this year might be different.

James Lippman

Wando Landing

Daniel Island

Traffic trials

Every day since January, 2012, I have had the pleasure of playing "where's my lane?" due to the interminable Bee's Ferry construction. The game is more fun when it is dark and raining, given that the cones move every few days. Those with stronger constitutions play "Don't hit me. I need to make a left turn."

This project was originally to be finished in April, 2014. Then August. And now the county Department of Transportation web page says October. This date doesn't include the Glenn McConnell Parkway extension or the creative rerouting of Main Road/Bees Ferry/Savannah Highway.

I would welcome some answers as to why the project has dragged on, why there's been a lack of safe turning lanes, and why the only turn lights for miles have remained at the Glenn McConnell and Walmart intersections.

The way this project has been managed appears to show complete disregard for the driver, the proof being the number of accidents I have witnessed during construction.

West Ashley may be an afterthought for our local governments, but we live here. Granted, we may never have a senior center or bus service closer than the largely empty Citadel Mall, but we deserve better.

Our motto may become: "West Ashley - Great Place to Buy a Car, Just Don't Drive It Anywhere."

Jane Barcott

Indaba Way

Charleston

Real excuses

In a recent letter to the editor titled "Missing in action" the writer says he watched on the news as the body of Maj. Gen. Harold Greene was returned to U.S. soil.

The writer went on to complain that he "saw no signs of government officials like our commander in chief or his designated representatives on the tarmac in Dover, Del." The writer thought the late general deserved a better welcome home than he received.

The answer to some of his questions are quite simple: President Obama was at Fort Belvoir, Va., signing the Veterans Access and Care Act, which will help many of our living veterans access the health care they both earned and deserve. I'm sure the general would have approved.

Vice President Biden was at Grand Teton National Park on a trip that had been scheduled months in advance. No one could have anticipated Gen. Greene's death and the return of his body.

Defense Secretary Hagel was traveling abroad on another trip that was probably scheduled long before the general died.

Gen. Odierno was not missing in action at all. He was there to welcome home Gen. Greene's remains along with Secretary of the Army John McHugh.

Maybe it was the news channel the writer was watching that was missing in action for not showing more of the ceremony.

Ben Graham

Gypsy Lane

McClellanville