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Letters to the Editor

Save the Seven Mile Community

For three years, the public accessed the website www.hwy41sc.com to get updates on the Highway 41 widening and to make comments. The site listed all of the communities affected by the road widening. The only community in the area not on the list was the Seven Mile Community. Initially, it was not included on the list because the widening terminated before entering the community.

In December of 2018, the non-profit organization Seven Mile Community Action Group for Encouragement (CAGE) recognized that all proposed Highway 41 widening alternatives terminated in the Seven Mile Community at the intersections of Highways 17 and 41. CAGE sent a comment to the Highway 41 project team suggesting the alignment of Highway 41 with Porchers Bluff Road. The alignment of Highway 41 with Porchers Bluff Road never became a part of any Highway 41 alternatives.

In August of 2019, the Highway 41 Project team met with the CAGE organization to present a plan specifically for the Seven Mile Community. The plan widened Highway 17 to ten lanes, added an overpass and created a diamond intersection on Highway 41. They also provided plans showing a road connected to Highway 41 that aligned with Porchers Bluff Road. The project team took our simple alignment suggestion and turned it into a major intrusion of the Seven Mile Community.

When County Council Chairman Elliott Summey heard about the Highway 17 widening, his only concern was the roundabout planned for the entrance to the Brickyard neighborhood. Shortly afterward, the roundabouts in the plan were removed from Brickyard and Hamlin road.

The CAGE organization worked diligently for a year before the project team would consider looking at an alternative to the destructive plan targeted for the Seven Mile Community. The community is confused as to how the widening of Highway 41 has turned into the widening of Highway 17. The Seven Mile Community is asking the citizens of Charleston County to contact their representative and ask them not to destroy our historic community.

George Freeman

Mount Pleasant

Second Chance

Words matter. And right now, especially, in this season of magnified emotions and indeed what appears to be challenging circumstances in so many areas of our lives, words matter. At the news of President Trump and the First Lady being diagnosed with COVID-19, we have heard everything from prayers, well wishes, and the opposite – folks who are gleefully celebrating his illness. I even heard someone facetiously comment it was a “slow news day.” And those, including those in the media, who label this “karma.”

Interesting how we decide whose tragedy is karmically induced. If catching COVID-19 is karma, does that mean the 200,000 Americans and 1,000,000 internationally who have died met their karma? Of course not. It’s a word used and brandished about to give some sense of satisfaction to those who hold mean-spiritedness in their hearts at the suffering of others.

Words matter. We should all be judged by the totality of our lives, not one moment. Yet, in the digital age, one word or comment can completely derail everything you have worked for and forever label you. Apparent in the derailment of many public figures. Regardless of their past, the words that they misspeak are forever etched into our memory. Or are they?

And this brings me to another point. Selective mercy and selective forgiveness. We are the ones with the power to decide who gets a second chance at life. And in truth, millions, if not billions do every day. Yet, today, powerful organizations use their leverage and lobbying to decide whose life can be completely destroyed and boycotted. Fear tactics are used to the point where we are afraid to even stand for our brother and sister in their moment of personal crisis, lest we become the next target of assumption and accusation.

And herein is the irony, those who have committed all manner of crimes, felonies, infractions, and betrayals and those who deliberately attack, destroy, and spread hatred to innocents, they, many times, are afforded second chances. Every day, the seemingly unforgivable are given second chances.

Yet, we have arrived at the place where second chances and mercy are given to those who think like us, look like us, or hold our ideologies, politics, and agendas. And that sorely misses the very point of compassion. One need not go to scripture to see that loving only those who love you and are like you is easy. Being a mercy giver means extending oneself and growing our compassion.

I believe that people deserve a second chance, which is the reason that I served in prison reentry in New Jersey, South Carolina, and overseas. And I believe that illness, disease, hardship, trauma, and tragedy doesn’t touch us because of our “karma” but simply because that’s life. Otherwise, every single human being who will inevitably die, we could say the same about them. The most beautiful and touching moments of my life have been in the presence and serving those on hospice. Their dignity, character, and courage is unsurpassed.

Words matter. But, perhaps even more importantly, actions matter. I heard something very powerful recently by the eminent pastor and someone I consider my mentor, Dr. Kynan T. Bridges. He said he wouldn’t be voting for either President Trump or Mr. Joe Biden. He said he will be voting for policies, not personalities. An interesting point.

Perhaps the day will come when we too see beneath the surface of every human being to their core values and give them credit for what they have done, what they have accomplished, and give them the opportunity like we do with those who are in our circle, to redeem themselves and remake their lives. In the end, that is what every human being deserves. Including every single one of us.

Jackie Morfesis

Charleston

Highway 41

There have been many articles voicing support for the Phillips community concerning the widening of Highway 41. There are a few things that I think should be pointed out concerning this highway widening which is the choice that Charleston County wants to approve. Highway 41 is one of the evacuation routes in case of a hurricane. Tens of thousands of people would be directed to Highway 41, and it would probably be an absolute disaster trying to direct all these people onto the two-lane road that presently exists. There needs to be a traffic study to determine where all the traffic on Highway 41 is coming from.

I believe you will find the majority of the traffic comes to and from the North Charleston and other origins north of Charleston County. This large traffic problem that exists does not at all come from the subdivisions along Highway 41 as several writers have surmised. Workers that work at the big box stores, offices, grocery stores, repair companies, landscapers, etc., use this highway to get to their work in Mount Pleasant.

Since Clements Ferry has been widened, more people now have a better route to Highway 41 across the new wide bridge that takes everyone to the two-lane Highway 41.

The Phillips community has sold several parcels of their land to businesses and subdivisions. There are for sale signs on some of the land now. Most of Phillips Community is not located on Highway 41, but on streets behind the highway. It does not appear the widening of 41 would disturb the Phillips Community but would probably improve their property values. It certainly appears that the widening of 41 is the best route and it does not appear that too much land would be taken.

Jim DeLaney

Mount Pleasant

Doggie bags

Look people! While I commend you for picking up after your dog, your bag of....does not belong on the yard debris I have left at the curb for the town to pick up. Think about it. The town picks it up and does some sort of recycling which ends up back in the environment, which is the reason you picked it up in the first place, to keep it out of the environment. Please take it home and dispose of it properly. Thank you!

Joe Pierpont

Mount Pleasant

Library system

I am a librarian and I have friends all over the country who work at public libraries. My friends are working so hard to do everything they can to give out information to calm and support their patrons during this time of political and medical unrest. They are very aware that this is not the time to do controversial programming that does not reflect the values of most patrons, particularly parents and their children. Most library staff are mandated to have programming for all American citizens and to reduce their spending of tax dollars in these uncertain economic times. I have talked to county political appointees, the Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) staff, and other library patrons and I don’t understand why the CCPL system is so far behind the rest of the country in meeting the goals of library users in this area.

Is it no wonder that our tax bills are going up?

Margaret McNab Gale

Mount Pleasant

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