Charleston, a world-class city, is graced by many celebrities, be they chefs, architects, designers, etc. But it is those who work behind the scenes, the under appreciated, who make this the livable city that it prides itself on being.

Paul Campbell, the city's director of parking services, is one of those individuals. He brings professionalism, a sense of humor and a remarkable sense of purpose every day to his job.

The expression he uses every time I talk to him is "... at your service." Every federal, state and local government employee and elected official could learn a great deal from Paul's approach, not just to his job, but to the way he treats the residents of Charleston.

We who live here know what a huge issue parking is, especially downtown, and he is always accessible to deal with a problem. He is the epitome of "customer service" and the residents of Charleston are fortunate that he is a vital part of our city.

Dan Tynan

Ashley Avenue

Charleston

Brian Hicks' Jan. 22 column, "Your rickshaw tour guide tells all," was right on target regarding the ridiculous sting operation and bringing of charges against rickshaw drivers who answer questions asked by their patrons.

It seems rickshaw drivers are left with three options when a tourist asks a question:

1) Respond "I don't know."

Duh.

2) Respond "I know but I can't tell you."

Double dumb.

3) Pretend he didn't hear the question.

None of the three is a good option for rickshaw businesses or for Charleston's national and international reputation for "Southern charm" and "friendliest town."

I agree with Brian: Law enforcement resources are limited. Why don't police officers get together to spend their time and efforts to solve crimes like the tragic shooting of three women in North Charleston on New Year's Day?

Somehow the "crimes" of friendly rickshaw drivers just don't compare to the threat of being murdered in our homes.

Susanne L. Lemke

Coleman Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

I loved the project described in Bob Novit's article titled "Dolls in danger." As a math and science major, one of my favorite classes was a physics class my junior year in high school, which some teachers may find interesting.

At an all-girls school, I walked into the first class to find the desks in a circle around a large "mysterious" object. It turned out it was a truck engine. During the first semester we took it all apart, and second semester we put it back together - meanwhile learning about acceleration, what pistons do, etc.

Lots of fun and learning made interesting.

Roz Williams

Palmetto Drive

Isle of Palms

Here we go again. Welcome to the Wild, Wild West. Strap on your spurs and boots, put on your 10-gallon hat, hitch up the pony to the wagon and, oh, don't forget to holster your gun, 'cause we're going out to eat. That's right, never can tell what type of varmint we will encounter.

Yes, the Legislature is at it again with a bill to allow guns in bars and restaurants. Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, supports the bill, even though he acknowledges "many potential problems." Restaurant owners will post "no guns allowed" signs, tourists will be shocked, and law enforcement officials don't want the bill.

Sen. Hutto says, "Responsible gun ownership" is not a bad thing. Kind of like driving and drinking responsibly. (How is that working for us?)

Currently, the law says anyone carrying would be prohibited from drinking alcohol. Now, he says, "some people" asked legislators to change that to allow them to have a glass of wine with their meal.

We have increased auto-related incidents, children being run over at the bus stops, churches being vandalized and already, shootings at local bars.

Surely there must be some projects and issues that need to be addressed in our state Legislature that have merit. So sure, let's put guns in bars and restaurants. Go ahead - take a shot.

Topper Avenel

Clifton Street

Summerville

Apparently officials are considering removal of trees at certain locations along Interstate 26. Here is my opinion regarding the trees:

Trees don't speed, trees don't change lanes, trees don't expel noxious gases or fluids, trees don't crash into animals and birds, trees don't produce trash, metals or toxins. Everything they expel is biodegradable.

It may sound a little sarcastic, but it appears we are trying to fix the wrong problem.

Jim Way

Highway 78

Dorchester

The Jan. 17 article concerning the Sullivan's Island maritime forest pointed out that the root cause is the blockage of the natural north-to-south sand flow by the Charleston Harbor jetties.

Why can't we clear the maritime forest, pump the excess sand over or around the jetties and reduce the erosion problems south of the jetties?

The sand could be pumped in scheduled intervals directly over the jetties or barged around them. This would give Sullivan's Island property owners their beach front again.

Joseph F. Mole Jr.

Palmetto Boulevard

Edisto Beach