On behalf of the board of directors and Goodwill's 1,200 employees, I would like to convey our appreciation for the support shown by those who have donated and shopped at Goodwill during 2013.

Because of your support, Goodwill provided employment, training and other support services to more than 44,000 people. By shopping and donating, you allowed Goodwill to help 1,100 people find jobs and transition 77 homeless veterans into employment. Goodwill also provided direct employment to more than 500 people with disabilities.

In 2013, Goodwill enhanced our commitment to the communities we serve through the addition of six Job Link Centers. New centers opened in Orangeburg and Murrells Inlet as well as within East Cooper Community Outreach's facility in Mount Pleasant.

Goodwill also entered into a partnership with Trident United Way and Family Services in the Tricounty and Horry County United Way, Horry County Literacy Council and Horry County schools in the Grand Strand to open three new Prosperity Centers.

The Prosperity Centers provide a one-stop, integrated service delivery system where community organizations provide services and training to help move individuals into financial stability. Prosperity Centers are now open in Moncks Corner, Summerville and Myrtle Beach.

None of this would be possible without your generous donations and shopping at your local Goodwill. When you donate and shop at Goodwill, you become a job creator.

I thank you for your support and ask you to continue to be a job creator by donating and shopping at Goodwill in 2014.

Robert Smith

President and CEO

Goodwill Industries

of Lower South Carolina

Eagle Drive

North Charleston

Lauren Sausser's Dec 29 story about the Stasik family is a perfect example of the need for some kind of universal health care, whether it be Obamacare or a single-payer program similar to European countries.

The Stasiks cannot pay their $800,000 in medical bills. They have a combined income of only about $24,000 per year, which is too high for Medicaid, and Mr. Stasik supports the South Carolina decision not to expand Medicaid to him because he would "just be breaking the system that is already broken."

It is admirable that he plans to pay the bill at a rate of $50 or $100 per month, but at that rate, it will take him nearly 1,000 years to pay the debt, without interest. Despite Mr. Stasik's good intentions, it is simply impossible for him to pay his medical bills.

Trident claims that they will "absorb" this "unpaid" debt. However the debt will be paid. It will be paid by me, and others like me, who have well-paying jobs and health insurance, though increased medical and insurance costs.

Mr. Stasik cannot "pull himself up by his bootstraps." He does not have the means to do so. This is why we have chosen to live in a community where we come together and help pull up the bootstraps of those who cannot. We are our brother's keeper.

Our politicians have taught Mr. Stasik that national health insurance is socialism. But what is it called when responsibility for Mr. Stasik's unpaid medical bills are spread out among those of us who do have the ability to pay them?

Guy Vitetta

Wesson Avenue


Rep. Joe Jefferson's Dec. 28 letter citing the Affordable Care Act as a "big step forward" praised the law and the system for enrolling. He stated that if you wanted affordable insurance you'll get "tax credits" that will make the coverage affordable. He warned those who could afford insurance but who chose not to get it that the "... taxpayers will no longer subsidize your care for free."

My analysis tells me that a "tax credit" and a "government subsidy" are pretty much the same thing. Both take money from one group and transfer it to another via the tax system.

It is a bit unnerving to me that an elected official doesn't see that these are two sides of the same coin.

Bill O'Brien

Palmetto Peninsula Drive

Mount Pleasant

Much has been said about removing trees in the "death zone" on I-26. One thing that has not been mentioned is that dangerous road hogs monopolize the left lane. They are possibly the cause of many of the accidents.

We all travel at different speeds on the highway. Many ignore the law that slower traffic remain in the right lane.

I checked with the State Department of Motor Vehicles to see if this is still the law in South Carolina. I was told it is. However, the officer admitted that it is rarely enforced.

The so-called road hogs cause traffic to bunch up in both lanes.

As a result the right lane seems to clear more often and this causes people to pass dangerously on the right. I have witnessed many near accidents due to this lack of an organized traffic pattern.

I, too, was involved in a very serious accident in 2008 at the Ridgeville exit. My car fishtailed and went off the right side of the road into the trees. Although it was a serious accident, I was not injured.

I attribute the fact that I did not roll over to the safe design of the highway. I agree with S.C. Sen. Larry Grooms that the solution is not removal of the trees in the median.

Along with guardrails and other measures, one of the solutions is to have slower traffic on the right and the passing vehicles on the left in order to have a smooth and orderly flow of traffic.

The Houston, Texas, area has begun to aggressively ticket road hogs.

Let's ask the S.C. Highway Patrol to enforce use of the left lane for passing. Removal of the trees in the median is not the solution.

Jim Anthony

Clayton Drive


It started, I think, with developer Vince Graham and the entrance to I'On Village in Mount Pleasant. Vince believed in the traffic circle, or roundabout, contending that it had a calming effect on traffic and increased efficient flow.

He fought for it - against a multitude of naysayers - as the best way to handle motor vehicles coming, going or zooming by his new subdivision.

By now the benefits of the traffic circle are well-understood and accepted hereabouts. Heck, now that we have so many (six? eight?) in Mount Pleasant, we've even gotten quite proficient in navigating them.

Which brings me to Long Point where my wife and I live. Our traffic circle has just been completed, at the mouth of a mature subdivision with hundreds of homes.

No small feat, especially considering that public schools reopened while construction was in full cry. Yet traffic never really backed up during construction, so deftly was it handled. And now that the circle is complete, the results are both beautiful and stunningly effective.

I have yet to encounter a delay - in, out or zooming by Long Point - that was more than a few seconds long. After years of mounting torture, the transformation is simply amazing.

So our thanks go out to Gulf Stream Construction (which also handled the recent major expansion of Johnnie Dodds Boulevard) for the incredible job it did on this very tricky project.

Thanks to the Town of Mount Pleasant for adopting the roundabout as a strategy for moving traffic efficiently in the fastest-growing municipality in South Carolina.

And, yes, thank you, Vince Graham, for being a tenacious visionary, improving the quality of life for the rest of us here in Mount Pleasant.

Peter Wertimer

Rose Hill Lane

Mount Pleasant

The Charleston County Aviation Authority had better get its act together.

If they don't, the new member, Jenny Sanford, might write a tell-all exposé.

Terry Tsurutis

Bull Street