Two articles on the editorial page of a recent weekend paper caught my attention as they both were relevant to tourism. Even though the cities are continents apart, the subject matter is timely.
A few years ago my wife and I were fortunate enough to visit Barcelona. We chose to go at the end of summer when it was less populated although the sites and streets were still teeming. On the weekend that we were leaving, Gaudi's famous Sagrista Familia Cathedral, under construction for at least the past 50 years, was to be blessed by the pope.
Apparently the construction program really accelerated after the Olympics, and with the increase in tourism also came the influx of funds, which caused the construction pace to be picked up. Even though the city had been inundated with tourists, a true benefit had accrued to the city, the one dependent on the other.
Public restrooms in Charleston are, of course, not as inspiring a project as would be a new cathedral. Nonetheless, the need for more facilities is acute and made more so by the city's rising popularity.
Having lived here for over 35 years, I, too, have found myself in desperate straits downtown and have been forced to patronize a restaurant or store, not to buy their services, but rather to justify my need for their private facilities.
Our city's big project, of course, is the construction of channels and pumps on the peninsula to diminish the effect of tidal flooding on the streets.
It is expensive.
But catering to our visitors, and providing real Southern hospitality by building several appropriately designed public restrooms is just as pressing.
The solution? Go deep.
Restrooms do not need to be eyesores if they are subterranean. The expertise and technology are available.
Walter Leventhal, M.D.
Every year dogs die after being locked inside vehicles while their owners shop, run inside for "just a minute" or run other errands. Warm weather can be a killer for pets.
Overheating in a dog can lead to heat stroke and even death within 20 minutes.
The owner gets distracted and returns to his vehicle to find his pet collapsed, salivating, panting uncontrollably or losing consciousness. In hot weather, temperatures in a closed vehicle can increase 40 degrees above the outside air temperature in just a few minutes.
When it's 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a vehicle - even with the windows open - can soar to 102 in 10 minutes and 120 degrees in a half an hour.
If you suspect your pet is overcome by heat, immediately soak him or her with cool (not cold) water and seek veterinary care immediately. If you see a dog or cat in a hot car, call your local police department or animal control agency.
It's just not cool to leave a dog or cat in a hot car. It is cruel.
Dills Bluff Road
In a recent editorial, The Post and Courier describes recent campus outrage at Rutgers University involving former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice this way:
"Following a familiar pattern of extreme left-wing orthodoxy on too many U.S. campuses, sanctimonious professors and gullible students who purportedly champion tolerance have shown an appalling lack of it."
How ironic that this same newspaper has repeatedly fanned the flames of unrest among a small group of students and some faculty members at the College of Charleston over the selection of Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell to head the school.
The latest Page 1 attempt (May 4th) to resurrect the deceased story required that the author chase down several college donors in an effort to generate news.
Not surprisingly some donors plan to give more, and some don't.
Perhaps the editors at The Post and Courier should look closer to home for that "familiar pattern of extreme left-wing orthodoxy" on college campuses and stop beating a dead horse.
I am a retired Allstate agent of 24 years. When I went to work for Allstate, I was given an amount of life insurance, and it was increased as my production increased. When I retired I had $100,000 in life insurance. Several years later it was reduced to $50,000.
A couple of months ago I got a letter from Allstate dropping not only my insurance, but that of thousands of Allstate retirees by 2015. We were given an opportunity to go with another company. My monthly premium would be over $500 per month.
This is the same company that cancelled 10,000 homeowner policies in our area. They cancelled people who had never had a claim.
I wonder what the people who are supposed to be looking after our interest concerning the insurance industry are doing about this?
Bill Mabry Sr.
On May 11 I heard an interview about changing the size of a golf hole to 15 inches. The theory was that it was necessary in order to get young people interested in the game; children got frustrated when they couldn't get the ball in the hole.
Sort of like lowering the hoop in basketball; or like T-ball: no runs, no outs, no one loses, everyone wins. Otherwise it's too hard.
We have taught our children that T-ball is life: Even with a minimum of effort, you will always do as well as the next guy - and if you don't, Mom will call the coach, teacher or boss, and harangue him into making it so.
Kids not doing so well on the SAT? Well, maybe it's too tough; let's make it easier. American students moving further and further down the list of international test scores?
Either the other guys are cheating, or our tests are harder than theirs. If our children can't clear the bar, of whatever nature, by all means let's lower it.
Is this really a good idea? More importantly, does it bear any resemblance to real life?
Real life is hard. They will not always be best, they will fail at some things, they will lose at something or to someone.
And they won't have the inner resources to deal with it. Nor will mom or dad be able to make it all right.
It seems to me that we're doing our children a huge disservice: A big part of parenting, I've learned, is preparing children to be productive, responsible adults. I don't see much of that these days - but I do know that T-ball isn't the answer.
Before the 1960s, America was largely comprised of individuals who believed in God, gold, guns, gas and groceries. Now, increasingly, it is comprised by those who believe in weed, wooing, waste and wickedness.
Before the 1970s, the American government believed in the balancing of budgets. Now, the American government believes in the dumbness of debt.
George J. Gatgounis
Maybe Sen. Larry Grooms should establish something like the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice of 1873 in order to protect the minds of the students at the College of Charleston and the citizens of South Carolina.
The state is so behind in so many things these old guys in Columbia should establish a S.C. Society for the Improvement of Education, Roads, Jobs, Veterans and Health Care and get over themselves.
Perhaps these politicians are beating this political drum to gain recognition during an election year, but actually it's a sad dose of reality that this is the way some state officials think in their discriminating, narrow little minds.
Dictating what students read in college? What are they afraid of?