I am a widow, retired, living on a fixed income. My husband and I bought our 1,050- square-foot home 47 years ago and reared four boys in very close quarters.

I am already paying homeowners insurance, flood insurance, wind insurance and earthquake insurance. Those, in addition to taxes, amount to over $5,000 a year. I save all year in order to pay for my home in December.

I don’t live on a beach or on water. I do, however, live in what is determined a flood zone that was not so designated in 1967 when the house was built.

Now there is talk of raising the flood insurance to an amount that would force me to sell the home we scrimped and saved for.

I am not some “wealthy individual living at the taxpayer’s expense on coveted waterfront property.” I have made one claim on my home (Hugo 1989) but am still at risk of losing what we worked so hard for.

Please, somebody, do something to save my home and all the others. To elevate my home would cost more than what it is worth. Just because we live in a designated zone does not mean we are uncaring people who built in a dangerous area and now expect the government to bail us out if we suffer a loss.

So many years of paying through the nose for insurance and never (or almost never) collecting has to stand for something.

By the way, my one claim amounted to less than what I pay per year for home insurance.

Margaret Lentz

Hood Street

Charleston

I was struck by the connection between a Dec. 31 front- page article on South Carolina becoming the 11th fastest growing state in population (due mostly to growth in the Charleston area) and an op-ed by Charleston Planning Director Tim Keane on the controversy over the construction of a 280-unit apartment building and garage on James Island near the intersection of Folly Road and Maybank Highway.

The objection to the James Island project is mostly that it is out of character with the surrounding area and would exacerbate already severe traffic problems.

The City of Charleston has done an excellent job of planning for growth by establishing an urban growth boundary to prevent suburban sprawl beyond it, and accommodating growth within in it by allowing more intense development, particularly in selected areas called gathering places that offer the potential for more pedestrian friendly living.

A parking garage is a much better alternative to spreading parking over a large surface area and this garage will be hidden from general public view.

While the 280 additional apartment owners will exacerbate traffic with their cars, it would be much worse if that growth took place beyond the urban boundary through suburbanization with the residents driving longer distances and having less opportunity to undertake some activities by foot. Also, the greater density at gathering places makes public transportation a possibility in the future to alleviate traffic congestion.

The choice is clear as to the population growth in the Charleston area. Do we accommodate it by sprawling outward in the automobile-dependent fashion of the last five decades, or do we take a smarter path and encourage much of it to take the form of more compact, pedestrian-oriented patterns?

The general vision embodied in the gathering place district is the wiser, more sustainable approach, with modifications in individual applications as appropriate.

Billy Want

Bull Street

Charleston

I don’t understand the vitriol toward the Tea Party. It has grown out of a grass-roots movement with essentially only two objectives. These are a desire to follow the Constitution and to see that the government returns to fiscal responsibility.

The only logical and truthful argument against the Tea Party is that those opposed to it are against following the Constitution and for the financial collapse of the nation.

If that is their position they should at least have the honesty to say so rather than continue to manufacture lies.

Roger Hedges

Arbor Walk

Summerville

Removing the trees in the median of I-26’s so-called “death alley” would be a tragedy.

Why not instead try something simple, such as posting warning signs at either end of the alley and big white crosses at the locations of all the fatal wrecks?

That should be enough to keep anyone alert, but if not we also could reduce the speed limit to 65 mph and increase the number of highway patrols if necessary.

Anything but cutting the trees.

Skip Johnson

Meeting Street

Charleston

The Jan. 16 article on Aviation Authority lawyer Arnold Goodstein struck me. Let Arnold be. He is a bright man and the right man to cover your back. He is a seasoned warrior who keeps on ticking.

Arnold served our country when most Americans avoided serving in combat — e.g. George Bush and Dick Cheney. I, too, was in Vietnam 1967-1968. Arnold was an armor officer; I was a special ops 1st lieutenant LRP commander, Airborne Ranger Infantry.

I am a 100 percent VA disabled combat veteran — an Agent Orange PTSD casualty from a useless elective war.

Thanks for serving, Arnold Goodstein.

Vaughan Davidson

Legare Street

Charleston