In a recent column, Debra Saunders took issue with various claims about plastics and toxins in the ocean.

I am a member of an environmental action movement called Take Five (based here). I would argue that it is not the statistics about garbage floating in our oceans that matter, but the clear fact that we are mindlessly polluting our oceans.

Our group encourages the public to "take five minutes" to pick up and discard at least five pieces of trash on every trip they take to the beach.

On July 5 six members of our group took two hours to clean up an Isle of Palms beach. We collected thousands of items of garbage.

Our collection included food wrappers so old that their labels were illegible, plastic bottles blowing freely around the beaches, and countless cigarette butts thrown around as if the beach were an ashtray.

It was devastating to see how careless people can be, choosing not to take ten steps to discard their trash in a can.

All of that garbage ends up in the ocean, and the only way to solve this dilemma is to clean up after ourselves. Or others.

Prevention is our best course of action. The impact of plastic on wildlife is clear. I have seen photos of a poor pelican with fishing line knotted around his neck, and a baby sea turtle with a six-pack wrapper twisted around his body. Plastic is deadly to sea life, and it is not the number of pieces of debris that matters, but the carelessness of humans who toss it and walk away.

I encourage you to "take five" next time you venture to the beach, since every effort matters.

Anna Watts

Country Place Road

Mount Pleasant

I'm stunned and outraged at the College of Charleston's slap on the wrist of Coach Doug Wojcik.

What was former President George Benson thinking? I read that 50-page report and can't believe the invective he's spewed at our boys on the Cougar basketball team.

President Glenn McConnell had better do the right thing, or I'll be carrying signs and protesting on the cistern myself.

Kieran Kramer

Class of 1985

The College of Charleston

Factors Walk


On May 31 we were visiting your beautiful city of Charleston. We had been to Boone Hall Plantation and Fort Sumter and were taking a walk along the Battery when I saw a little girl with the prettiest brown eyes. As I talked to her, her little brother ran and hugged my leg and then ran off.

I was watching him and the next thing I knew I was on the sidewalk with the left side of my face pressed against the sidewalk. My family managed to get me sitting on a bench.

I don't know who any of the people were that were there, but they were wonderful, caring and very concerned.

After X-rays and a CT scan at Roper Hospital (they were absolutely wonderful also), the doctor said I had nothing broken. He said he had never seen anyone with that much trauma without broken bones. Not even broken glasses.

Thank you, Charleston, for having such wonderful people who live there and work there.

Judy Mills

South W Street

Mona, Utah

Has any thought been given to the Diocese of South Carolina and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina both agreeing to mediation instead of litigation?

It seems to me this would be the most Christian thing to do and it would be a wonderful witness to the world.

Anne Nietert

Hidden Cove Drive

Mount Pleasant

Many letters have been posted here to defend the honor of our fair city from the onslaught of sleaziness that is "Reckless." I would ask the writers of those letters to please calm down. Can't you see fiction when it gleams from your television sets?

This is not an attempt by Northern aggressors to sully the good name of the Holy City. The fact that the opening roll features aerial footage of the Ravenel Bridge while the lyrics of "Fortunate Son" blare from the speaker is pure coincidence. It's merely an introduction to our "Southern Charm."

One story line features a wealthy businessman in a bitter divorce battle with a murder for hire plot, hatched in Kentucky no less. How could that ever happen in this cradle of gentility?

Let's get back to fighting those ol' nasty cruise liners and let "Reckless" run it's course.

David A. Carroll

Hamlet Circle

Goose Creek

Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, expresses concern about the poor condition of our state's roads. He requests anyone with a better idea than his of funding needed repairs to make the idea known.

His idea of funds derived from gambling operations would create "potholes" in the lives of many families, most of whom can least afford it. Most of these funds would probably never be properly budgeted.

I have served as a member of the Colleton County Transportation Committee for 20 years and have gained a vast knowledge of our road systems and funding. My idea for funding roads and bridges repairs would come from a source that should at the present time, and for an indefinite future, have a great amount of funds.

Most persons express the belief that heavy trucks cause the most damage to our roads and bridges. We must never forget that these trucks and truck drivers contribute much to our economy and daily lives. Drivers have honorable jobs instead of being compensated for not having jobs.

The S.C. Transport Police impose and enforce stringent requirements on heavy trucks. Many citations are issued for violations, and the fines are usually unmercifully high.

Given the feeling that heavy trucks create or contribute to the damage of roads and bridges and the millions of dollars in fines that are collected by the state, it is only fair and reasonable that money should be budgeted for road and bridge repairs. The daily operations of the transport police are already in our annual state budget.

This is a simple, workable solution to meet partial funding. If anyone has a better solution please let it be known. If not, I challenge our Legislature to pass legislation implementing my idea.

Roland D. Gruber

Sidneys Road

Round O

Former president of the College of Charleston George Benson needs to be held accountable for his incredible actions during his last hours as president of the college. Making a decision on the men's basketball coach's unfortunate situation as his tenure as president comes to an end is irresponsible and destructive to the college.

New President Glenn McConnell has every right to make decisions regarding the men's basketball program.

It's difficult to understand George Benson's motives. As a former basketball player and someone who loves the College of Charleston, I'm angered that he has put the school at risk.

Rich Haddad

Savona Drive


I agree with the July 1 letter titled "Too many lawyers." The writer does a good job of explaining that our government consists of 80 percent career lawyers. "They are trained in how to 'take a side' in a dispute and to win. Lawyers are also trained in public speaking and that is why they are electable. They sound good."

He also recommended that 20 percent was sufficient for career lawyers and the 80 percent should consist "of engineers and people in the following fields: medicine, religion, education, economics, logistics, military, business, labor, etc." These people are all problem solvers.

A policy change could require all political advertisements to include the field of education as well as the type and length of experience for the candidate - a brief resume. That way the people could make a more informed decision in the voting booth.

John M. Kotila

Captain Tom's Crossing

Johns Island