Re your editorial “Keep the Isle of Palms free”: It is not free for residents who pay taxes that fund the increased number of police and emergency personnel required due to the influx of beach visitors.

Now you are suggesting that the city provide a shuttle from Mount Pleasant, which would also be paid for with resident taxes.

Is there no end to what the residents are expected to pay so that everyone can enjoy a free day at the beach?

Free access is one thing, but everybody should know by now that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Laura McMaster

Palm Boulevard

Isle of Palms

I read about coyotes in my new handbook from the Furbearer Project, published by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

On page three it states, “Coyotes are subject to canine distemper, parvo, hepatitis, mange, and rabies. Coyotes also harbor a variety of parasites such as fleas, ticks, worms, and flukes.”

So the coyotes on Crab Bank near Shem Creek and the coyote that came through my yard with a house cat in its mouth are certainly subject to the same type of medical and legal remedies as my faithful dog. I also noted the coyote was not on a leash.

David Blair

Springbok Lane

Charleston

I strongly support raising the state gas tax a reasonable amount, 5 to 10 cents a gallon or so, as long as it is written into the law that it will be spent only on road work.

But, is that enough? Right now we pay 18 cents a gallon tax on gas. Let’s say your car gets 20 miles per gallon and has a 20-gallon gas tank. When you pump 20 gallons into your car you pay $3.60 in tax. You drive 400 miles on that 20 gallons, you have paid just under one cent per mile in gas tax. You are paying more per gallon in tax, but the state is not collecting any more per mile in tax — even at double the tax rate. So much for road maintenance.

The federal government has a thing called the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) law and that requires auto manufacturers to raise the average mpg of the cars they sell. Next year, 2016, it will be 37.8 mpg. It will be nearly 55 mpg by 2025, just 10 years from now. When cars use less gas, the state collects less in fuel taxes.

Legislators need to seriously consider alternative sources of road funding. Raise the sales tax limit on automobile sales. A five percent tax on a $20,000 car would be $1,000. That would be included in the financing of the new car so it would not hurt as much.

But again, any increase in that tax should be dedicated to roads not the general fund.

License trailers, fund major new roads and bridges by charging tolls.

We can’t just depend on the gas tax as new cars get more miles per gallon, more people take public transportation and so on. Even doubling today’s tax won’t go far tomorrow.

So I again ask, is raising the gasoline tax enough?

Lowell Knouff

Elaine Street

Johns Island

In the 35 years my wife and I have enjoyed the Charleston area, the last 10 as residents, I have felt Robert Ford was a thoughtful, hardworking legislator for the state and its people. He has stood for bringing people and ideas together to solve problems.

I still respect the man and his work, and I am sorry to see him taken down, struggling to defend himself because he broke some pretty complex rules.

I am a stranger to Mr. Ford, but my respect for his efforts to represent his constituency has not diminished. He is a good man and deserves respect for his body of work.

E. David Griffin, M.D.

Greensward Road

Kiawah Island

My husband and I recently toured One80 Place, Charleston’s new homeless shelter at 35 Walnut St. Not only were we impressed with the beautiful, modern and functional facility, we came away convinced that the staff is totally dedicated to helping people find a path to independence and self-worth.

Yes, they provide food and shelter, but they also offer professional counseling and advice in finding work, affordable housing and training on the job. We were particularly impressed with the section designated for veterans with its comfortable and private cubicles.

Charleston can be proud of its care and support of those homeless individuals who need a safe and sustainable environment in order to get back on their feet.

If anyone is looking for a worthwhile cause to donate time and money, I can’t think of a more deserving one than One80 Place.

Sue Johnson

Meeting Street

Charleston

Gov. Haley seems convinced that unions are the root of all evil in America. The unions of today bear little resemblance to those of yesterday.

Today, they are often run by career managers who may have little connection with the workers. They perform a service for a fee, much like a lawyer does. The union president has pretty much absolute power over the organization.

There are “elections,” but the outcome is usually pre-determined. In exchange for dues, which support union officials’ salaries and organizing expenses, you may get higher wages and better working conditions, and perhaps even a little management input.

So unions may be a bitter pill to swallow, but the alternative can be even worse.

Without organized representation, who will ensure that the promises made by a predecessor are fulfilled? Do senior managers, coaches and CEOs work without a contract? Even Gov. Haley just celebrated the renewal of her contract, but she apparently feels that workers don’t need one because management will probably do the right thing.

But who is management? Who owns Boeing, General Electric or General Motors? They are stockholders who might change from day to day.

Managers pretend to dislike unions, but their own salaries are often informally pegged to the wages of union workers, and sometimes personnel problems can be dumped in the lap of union officials for resolution.

Gov. Haley loves to speak of “job creation,” achieved partially because of her anti-union stance. All she has really created is growth. Most of the skilled Boeing workers have moved here from somewhere else. Now this growth has left us with the prospect of higher taxes for new schools, libraries, etc., and the horrible prospect of one day being as big as Charlotte.

A.D. HEATHCOCK

Palisades Drive

Mount Pleasant

In the spirit of full disclosure, I admit I am a New England Patriots fan, but I fail to understand the prominence given to the deflated football incident.

Perhaps role models attract the most attention, the most envy and the most criticism.

The Patriots’ most recent victory was overwhelming, but I do not think it was because of less air in the footballs.

The Patriots may or may not win the Super Bowl, but this fan will be rooting for them.

John Winthrop

North Adger’s Wharf

Charleston

I would like to respond to the Jan. 11 article on a poll showing how Christianity is losing ground. Here’s the way I see East Cooper:

East Cooper Seacoast Christian Church is doing great. The membership is going strong.

Stella Maris Catholic church has standing room only if you’re late. There is some room at the 5:30 Mass. Christ Our King is the same.

Two new churches, Saint Benedict’s and Saint Claire of Assisi, are doing fine, as are AME, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist Episcopal and Presbyterian churches.

You can do anything with polls. I remember when polls reported that Thomas Dewey was easily leading over Harry Truman. One newspaper had declared Dewey the winner.

Irene Kennedy Fill

31st Avenue

Isle of Palms