A retiree I know is on a pension from a subsidiary of the old AT&T at somewhere around $900 per month (net after taxes). Both he and his wife have to work at part-time jobs to make ends meet.

Last year he contributed one-third of that pension, or $300, to pay for medical benefits for both him and his wife, neither of whom is Medicare eligible.

Recently he received his first pension payment for 2015 and was shocked to see that his new net pay was $300 for the month. Thinking there must have been an error, he asked his former employer’s benefits administrator to find out what happened to another one-third of his monthly pension.

Much to his dismay, it turned out that his medical benefit contribution had doubled due to Obamacare.

He’s still trying to figure out who decided that this legislation should be entitled the “Affordable Care Act” because, as far as he’s concerned, it is anything but that for him.

Unfortunately this is not an isolated instance. I know of other local small businesses that have had to deal with 100 percent premium increases for 2015 and are in a quandary over how not to pass this on to their employees.

I hope that the new Congress can come up with a solution to this problem before retirees, who formerly were able to make ends meet on their pensions, end up on public assistance.

Jeff Weiner

Legends Club Drive

Mount Pleasant

There was a time when I believed that turning lights at Maybank Highway and Riverland Drive would need to be activated only during peak traffic hours. But after a five-vehicle accident on Jan. 25, it’s obvious signals need to be on continuously. Judging from the wreckage, there must have been injuries; I only hope none was fatal.

How many more accidents must there be at this intersection before making it safer?

There are many intersections in the area with turning lights that have less traffic. This location is long overdue the same safety consideration.

Karen Swanson

Canal Street

Charleston

As a licensed Realtor, I drive all day long. It is a small miracle that I have not run over a bike rider.

They ride after dark in dark clothing, no lights on their bikes, ride on the wrong side of the road, ignore stop signs and red lights, dart in and out of traffic without using hand signals and generally think they own the road.

What’s next — a lane on the interstate for bicycle riders?

What career people would ride a bike to work downtown? Those in the medical field, lawyers, Realtors, contractors, restaurant workers, bankers, office workers and business people wouldn’t.

That pretty much eliminates most people who have to be clean and well-groomed in order to perform their duties at work, or have to take supplies with them in order to work. That leaves recreational riders, who seem to be the most vocal about having bike lanes.

Why not close one lane on the weekends for a few weeks, see how it works with the reduced traffic and go from there? Once the bike lanes are added, it will be hard to go back to a traffic lane.

I see the bike lanes being something used in spring-like weather only. When it is cold or rainy, not one bike rider is anywhere to be seen.

A letter writer said that property values would increase by adding the bike path. One only has to look at Ardmore to know that no value is added by a bike path. It’s nice to have, but adds no property value.

Imogene Thomas

Old Towne Road

Charleston

I don’t understand how Sen. Tim Scott can consider the XL pipeline a minimal risk. Look at what happened recently in Montana where there was evidence of oil up to 25 miles away from the site of the spill.

And now there is talk of allowing a foreign company (Canadian) to invoke eminent domain in the state of Nebraska in order to complete the potentially disastrous Keystone XL pipeline. Since when do foreigners have a right to eminent domain in the United States?

This would set a very dangerous precedent. And at what cost? The alleged jobs that will be created will go in large part to foreign employees of the Canadian company. Even if U.S. citizens get jobs, they will be temporary until the line is completed.

Just a reminder: This is Canadian oil going to ships which will transport it to foreign nations at a profit for Canadians. There is real benefit only to Canada while the United States is left with all the risk.

Where are the guarantees, and who will foot the bill for the inevitable clean-ups, not to mention the repair of the ecosystem?

Debbie Vanadia-Mims

Summertrees Boulevard

Johns Island

Charleston County Councilman Dickie Schweers’ suggestion to use some of the gas tax to dredge the waterway, while unique, would be a misuse of tax revenue.

The state and county roads border on Third World conditions in some areas and need every penny of the proposed tax funds.

The waterway’s problems do need to be addressed. Raising licensing fees for watercraft, the primary users of the waterway, seems like a targeted fix. However, if taxes that are generated from marinas can be differentiated from others, I could see those targeted for dredging the Intercoastal Waterways.

Dayle Fish

Tall Sail Drive

Charleston

I would like to remind parents who oppose a full Montessori program for Murray-Lasaine School that the Montessori program is not for the privileged. It was created by Maria Montessori for underprivileged children in Italy.

Ilse Calcagno

Hidden Oak Drive

Seabrook Island