As a transplant from California, I was very interested in reading the May 6 article regarding proposed tax increases for "recreational" purposes in Mount Pleasant. What particularly caught my eye was the premise that the residents of Mount Pleasant approve and agree with such increases.

The basis for this was a "survey" that was done of 140 residents who supposedly agreed that fairly substantial increases in taxes and fees were acceptable to "preserve recreation."

Mount Pleasant has a population of over 72,000 people. A survey of 140 people in no way represents the views of this town's population. Additionally, what isn't stated is who was surveyed? Were they renters, or were they homeowners who will ultimately bear the brunt of the proposed increases?

What survey questions were asked? It is very easy to manipulate people with ambiguous or leading questions. I am very concerned that the majority of tax-paying residents (homeowners) in Mount Pleasant have no idea what is really going on behind the scenes.

Politicians always seem eager to spend other people's money. I came from California, a leader in this horrible bait-and-switch game.

Why aren't we talking about ways that taxes and fees can be cut? I propose that Mount Pleasant residents - particularly homeowners - participate in a real survey that asks them, "Do I really want my taxes to increase, or would I like to reduce taxes and keep my hard-earned dollars in my own pocket?"

Diane Van Horn

Col. Vanderhorst Circle

Mount Pleasant

Spring has arrived and so has the need for renewed attention to safe boating.

Boating is fun. However, several hundred people died last year due to unsafe boating practices or boats that were not equipped properly.

The Charleston Sail and Power Squadron is offering ABC Boat Safety Courses all summer and this fall that will help you understand safe operation and safe preparation of your boat and passengers.

The fee for this one-day course is $30 for the first person and $15 for the second person sharing the same book.

Books are available separately for $20. Using our Youth Grant young people under 18 can take the course free. To attend this or any other classes, contact Dick Howells at 843-437-6241 or rhowells125@gmail.com.

On May 17 you can have your vessel safety inspected for free by a member of the CSPS at the W.O. Thomas boat landing off Leeds Avenue. This inspection will offer tips on how to equip your boat for a summer of safe boating fun.

Contact Carl Huff at 843-830-9233 if you would like to arrange an inspection at a location and time of your choice. He can be emailed at captaincarl186@earthlink.net.

The Charleston Sail and Power Squadron, a unit of United States Power Squadrons, maintains a webpage, Facebook page and blog, which offer tips and suggestions on boat maintenance, boat safety and other educational courses. The address for this website is http://www.usps.org/localusps/cps/.

Wearing a life vest could have saved hundreds of lives last year. It is required use by those under the age of 12. Never let your small children ride on the bow of the boat while under way. It is your life to save. Choose wisely.

The Charleston Sail and Power Squadron is open to all interested people who would like to join. It is a non-profit organization of people who are boating enthusiasts and who provide boating education to the general public.

Karl Naugle

Spring Street

Summerville

Iran has reported that it has built a copy of the U.S. drone captured out of the sky in 2011. I wonder if the slipshod American engineering that allowed it to be taken in the first place was corrected.

If so, maybe Iran can sell us a copy of the new, improved version. Our military deserves only the best, and American-designed, American-made isn't making it.

William G. Ethridge

Ethridge Drive

Bonneau

Vote Yes on H. 4307 and H. 4038 to legalize raw and unpasteurized milk.

It is incomprehensible that the federal government is involved in this issue. Man has drunk raw milk since his time on Earth began.

William Miller

E. Ashley Avenue

Folly Beach

What an intriguing article on Mayor Bill Woolsey's hard decision over how to distribute the local option sales tax refunds. He has gone to the James Island Public Service District asking it to take over the financial burden of this "nightmare."

He has gone to Charleston County Council to ask it to do it. He has met with the Charleston County auditor and the Charleston County treasurer and then sent forth a resolution to the JIPSD saying it could easily do it by absorbing the cost, but that was not the end of the conversation with the two gentlemen. It was just what he took from their meeting.

He has sent a letter to the attorney general and received a multipage opinion (posted on the attorney general's website under "Opinions") as to how it could be done. He has questioned other small towns only to find out they don't return it.

But, it is quite amazing that a former mayor could find a consulting firm to handle it and got the checks out to the residents. This is the second budget cycle of LOST funds but for some reason he only has $1 million that thankfully he says he isn't going to spend until he figures this out.

This isn't rocket science. Stop making excuses, hire a consulting firm, disburse the checks. Voila! Problem solved. You just have to be willing to part with "our" money.

Did you really need a new SUV for a small town such as James Island? With gas at $3.50 a gallon wouldn't an economy car make more sense?

Sandi Engelman

Julia Street

Charleston

I continue to hear and read about increasing hostilities being launched by our government against Christianity. Our military chaplains can't pray for injured soldiers in the name of Jesus. They also can't display or give out Bibles.

In some public schools now, if a student mentions God or Jesus, he gets suspended. Yet Muslim students can flop their prayer rug down wherever they want. What?

When it was decided to leave God in the political platform, a majority of the present administration's followers shouted out angrily. Yet Americans who say they are Christians actually voted for that platform.

I understand that there is a massive movement by atheists in our country to start holding mega "church" services on Sunday mornings with secular music and activities, but no mention of God. The problem is that these "seeker-friendly" churches throughout our nation are very close to that scenario already, and will likely be sucked right in.

Here is my grave concern: If our nation continues to move toward excluding God from our society, then He will no longer be obligated to bless America. He and His true followers, Christians, are the only string holding this nation together. Cut that, and it's over.

The answer? Christians better stand up and boldly proclaim that this was and is a Christian nation and must strongly resist further actions contrary to that. We, with God, definitely make up the majority, but we must speak out. And when it is time to vote, vote for righteousness.

Mike Moore

Pimpernel Street

Summerville

In the past four months, I have driven through 14 states, primarily on interstate highways. I paid tolls in nine of them.

Perhaps it is time to place tolls sufficient to cover the costs of construction, maintenance and modernization/expansion on the 773 miles of interstates in South Carolina. Doing so would relieve the pressure to raise the gas tax while assuring funding in perpetuity for these vital arteries.

Arthur G. Field

Confederate Circle

Charleston