I thought the American Dream meant buying a home. I have learned that it means having to buy health insurance.

I recently received a new plan from my insurance carrier, since my current one does not meet the requirements of the not-so Affordable Care Act.

My current plan that was $471 a month is now $1,374. Where I live, that is a mortgage payment.

The good news is I now have maternity and well baby coverage (I cannot have children), and I also have coverage for the children under 19 that I do not have. And in case I decide to pick up a drug habit, I have substance abuse coverage.

That is the American Dream in the eyes of Obamacare.

By the way, if anyone is hiring and the job has health insurance coverage, I'll take it.

Beverly Reynolds

Cypress Pointe Drive Charleston

I recommend reading an article "Ideas from Finland" by Phil Noble (Berkeley Independent, April 2).

I wish to add a couple of salient points comparing the Finnish approach to public education with South Carolina's.

In Finland the revenues and subsidies from the school tax are divided equally per student across the country. In South Carolina, revenues are based on the local tax base, leading to extensive discrepancies and school segregation.

In Finland applicants to teaching schools are vetted thoroughly, so that only 10 percent to 15 percent are admitted.

The government subsidizes education costs through B.S. and one year for graduate studies in the major field.

The result is excellent teachers, as they believe that only excellent teachers are capable of producing excellent students. The approach is recognized worldwide. Hence, there are no magnet or charter schools or vouchers to private schools, as these are deemed superfluous.

In South Carolina admission is granted when one shows a predilection for teaching and has the funds for the tuition. An M.S. degree is granted for promotion purposes. The subject matter is immaterial. Teacher evaluation concentrates mostly on after-graduation performance, which can result in a costly process being repeated every year.

Auvo Kemppinen

Lake Moultrie Drive


I am both pleased and perplexed by the initial April 29 vote by the S.C. House to approve the first substantive update to sex education courses in South Carolina schools in a generation. It was a squeaker - the vote was separated by a scant four votes - 57-53. What is more disturbing is that there are 53 elected representatives in this state who feel teaching "medically accurate" information to our young people is a bad thing.

As one Upstate representative was quoted: "I just have a real struggle with the whole concept that it is the school's responsibility to be doing that in the first place."

Yet she goes on to say that if the schools are to be in the business of teaching sex education, it should be abstinence-only.

So let's get this straight: The state shouldn't do this thing; but if they are required by law to do this thing, it should be done halfheartedly and with incomplete information or inaccurate details. Yep, that sounds about right for that lot in Columbia.

So kudos to the majority for recognizing that providing our youth with "medically accurate" sex education is better than feeding them half-truths and telling them that babies are delivered by storks or found under cabbage leaves. Now, if we can just get them to expand upon that "medically accurate" guideline and require "scientifically accurate" lessons to be taught in biology class, that would be great.

A. Thomas Price

Sully Street

Goose Creek

So, the city has spoken concerning the tourism problems. The consensus is that one of the biggest problems is the need for restrooms near the Battery and in White Point Garden. A spokesmen said that the city is looking into the problem.

How long are they going to look? Will it be another year with the same problem?

For a temporary solution, why not use portable toilets? They have come a long way and are now used at outdoor weddings and other social functions.

No, I haven't lost my mind, and I am thinking of the people who live below Broad. Portable toilets would be better than tourists using someone's front yard. However, in checking history, most of the houses there were built before 1900 when indoor plumbing was rarely found in the U.S. Outhouses were a must.

If the horses in Charleston can wear diapers, why can't desperate tourists use portable toilets?

Margie W. Clary

Piccadilly Drive