Stop releasing sky lanterns and hot air balloons. Once again my family has retrieved numerous balloons from our pastures and fields. At the very least they spook the horses and are unsightly white blobs in the fields and trees.

Some claim to be biodegradable, but it can take years for that to happen.

This is litter. Sky lanterns have proven to be fire hazards and are dangerous to animals and fish that accidentally ingest them. They can also damage very expensive farm equipment. They have been banned in some countries and in parts of the United States.

Considering wind direction and probable distance traveled, the balloons we retrieved on New Year's Day likely came from the northern area of Mount Pleasant.

Elizabeth McConnell

Hamlin Farms

Seewee Bluff Road

Awendaw

To all who rallied around the showing of "The Interview" and the Terrace Theater for showing the film, we want to extend a "thank you."

Freedom of speech and expression are what make small independent businesses run. We are not bound by larger corporate interests, and to that extent it all seemed to fall into place for us at the Terrace for this specific situation.

If I had ever felt that my patrons were in danger (we did step up security), we would never have shown the film, but it just did not seem right to our audience for us to act as censors. I was amazed at the many customers who bought tickets to the "Interview" for no other reason than to support independent business and the notion that no external force can dictate our ability to decide what we want to see.

I am also thankful for movie-goers who were not deterred from coming to our other films showing.

It's the community rallying around the Terrace Theatre, as they always seem to, which makes my experience of owning the theater so special. We are grateful.

Paul Brown

Terrace Theater

Maybank Highway

Charleston

In a recent letter to the editor the writer seemed to think that removing accumulated sediment from the creeks and canals around the Lowcountry would reduce what he called "nuisance high tides."

I read the letter several times looking for what would make a person think digging a creek deeper would reduce the level of the high tide. If it was there, I missed it.

This reminded me of a letter I read in the newspaper in St. Augustine, Fla., 30 years ago. People there were doing a study hoping to help ease the traffic problems caused by the all too frequent opening of the Bridge of Lions, which crosses the Intracoastal Waterway connecting the old part of the city with major suburbs and the beaches to the South.

The lady who wrote the letter proudly offered her cure for the problem: She suggested dredging the channel of the river where it passed under the bridge to lower the water level so boats could pass without the bridge having to open.

While I admire people who are thoughtful and concerned enough to offer solutions to problems, I am glad that neither writer has been put in charge of controlling water levels.

Ben Graham

Gypsy Lane

McClellanville

Tell me it ain't so, Berkeley County. Tell me this is a crude joke. You've got to be kidding.

The sheriff of Berkeley County - the chief county law enforcement officer, the man who stands for law and order and the crusader against DUI, allegedly hits another car, and drives away without even checking the condition of the occupants in the other car.

But there is more. He refused to take a Breathalyzer test and was arrested for DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.

He misses his public swearing in for a new term a few days after his arrest and is sworn in a few days later in an undisclosed location.

This should make the citizens of Berkeley County feel all warm and cozy about justice, responsibility and law enforcement.

SEYMOUR ROSENTHAL

Waterfront Drive

Mount Pleasant

The Dec. 28 editorial on new tourism regulations was very much on target but put too much faith in deliberation. Charleston tends to promote study that delays necessary change. Improving mobility by "sticks and carrots" is where CARTA is already deficient.

The Upper Peninsula Initiative, Midtown and Courier Square are about to eat the lower peninsula's lunch because they will be more livable and one can quickly visit downtown like tourists. Collaborative planning all around the peninsula is about to expose "too little too late" planning for the draw area for Charleston.

Charleston is unquestionably a tourist city, but is it a "livable city"?

We have unresolved cruise ship air quality issues. City officials micromanaged the tourism advisory committee away from the real livability issues and stated the obvious.

We have imposed restrictions on large homes, preventing modifications to invite new residents and ignoring the paradigm of urban living. Smaller and more efficient is where the next generation is looking.

We are slow to act on a plan for safer bike and pedestrian travel and an efficient trolley system to steer tourists away from their cars. Road and sidewalk improvements are lagging and our infrastructure shows no promise of surviving the rising sea level. Instead we are building hotels faster than livable dwellings.

The College of Charleston, MUSC and Roper Hospital are bursting at their seams, but we have no plan to accommodate their growing employee and student housing and transportation needs. We are inviting businesses to locate near these institutions but have nowhere to put them. We push for I-526 to dump into that very war zone with nowhere to go.

Livability is about real people living in real spaces. Downtown Charleston needs some serious attention. Real people want clean air, access to healthy modes of transportation, convenient access to local businesses offering necessities not tourist trinkets. They want the ability to live in affordable and manageable homes.

Now, Peninsula Charleston - 2015.

Rick Reed

Lenwood Boulevard

Charleston

As 2014 comes to a close, we would be remiss not to express our gratitude to Larry Kobrovsky for his service as a member of the State Board of Education on behalf of the 9th Judicial District of South Carolina.

For the last four years he has been a conservative voice on the board. At the June 2011 meeting he supported Dr. Mick Zais' opposition to the state's Race to the Top federal grant application because it required South Carolina's further commitment to Common Core. Larry and three other members were outnumbered and lost the vote.

As recently as the November 2014 meeting Larry urged our Board of Education to admonish the College Board for the anti-American content of their new AP U.S. History course, but he garnered no support. He also proposed that students be graded on comportment, an assessment that would not affect academic grading, but other board members felt this would discriminate against some students. It was quite disheartening that not even one member would second Larry's motion.

Larry Kobrovsky has been a true champion of constitutionally-protected states' rights to educate our children and to raise them with high standards that also promote good citizenship and respect for authority.

On behalf of all concerned parents, grandparents and taxpayers in the 9th District, we thank Larry for his courage, commitment and dedication, and wish him all the best in 2015.

Roger O'Sullivan

Chairman

Greater Charleston Parents

Involved in Education

Ben Sawyer Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Sherri Timmermann

Secretary

Wellesley Circle

Mount Pleasant