I've been following with great interest the S.C. Department of Transportation's attempt to remove the trees in the median of I-26 between Summerville and I-95.
I moved here some time ago from Ohio, and while I love Charleston, I do get homesick from time to time. Once this ill-conceived idea is implemented and the trees destroyed, I won't have to go all the way back to I-75 to revel in the beauty of the stripped landscape in Ohio. I will be able to just drive along what used to be scenic I-26. For that I thank you.
Indigo Fields Boulevard
It has been confirmed that President Assad of Syria used chemical weapons on his own people - over 100,000 citizens killed. Over one million refugees. What happens to him?
Other countries take the chemical weapons away and destroy them. Nothing happens to him. It is like someone who is caught using matches after setting something on fire. The matches are taken away, the person is told not to use them again and there is no penalty.
Assad should be held for crimes against humanity by the International Court in The Hague. I have written to our ambassador to the United Nations suggesting this.
Otherwise, we are enabling Assad to continue what he is doing, giving no consequences and setting an example for other world leaders with no conscience.
Carmel Bay Drive
Our local Parents Across America advocacy group, Charleston Area Community Voice for Education, recently posted an online article detailing major flaws with Charleston County School District's proposed BRIDGE teacher evaluation and pay plan.
Our article was picked up by Diane Ravitch, who supported our position in her popular blog on Dec. 9.
Diane Ravitch is an educational expert and historian who has served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education. She is also the author of bestsellers "Reign of Error" and "The Death and Life of the Great American School System."
On Dec. 10, The Post and Courier reported on Ravitch's criticism of BRIDGE and the local teacher coalition that has formed to oppose the controversial plan. The resistance to BRIDGE is not just about what is fair or unfair to teachers - this is about what is best for our students and schools.
Many parents and other stakeholders have joined the opposition because they are very concerned and have the ability to speak out without fear of retaliation.
Contrary to a Dec. 8 opinion piece that was signed by two CCSD Teachers of the Year, student proficiency is not a factor currently used to evaluate our teachers, nor should it be. Using faulty mathematical formulas to measure how much value each teacher adds to a student's growth on a standardized test is not something we want in our classrooms either.
Parents value respected teachers with advanced degrees and experience in the classroom. To base teacher pay largely on student performance not only is unfair, but negatively alters the teacher-student relationship and even the very goal of public education.
Do we want teaching to be about student needs or student data?
Please contact CCSD School Board members to express your concerns.
Sarah Shad Johnson
The author of a Dec. 1 letter titled "Consider sources" didn't mention such Fox News contributors as the honorable retired Col. Allen West, retired Papa John's CEO Herman Cain, or the famous surgeon, Dr. Benjamin Carson.
Unlike other news sources, I have never heard of anyone with Fox News being forced to resign or fired for not telling the truth.
I guess to some the truth hurts.
In the spring of 2014, the submarine USS Clamagore will probably slip beneath the waves, never to return. She will join the sailors who rest in the deep. Other services never leave anyone behind. Sailors are always left behind.
There are no rows of white crosses for them. Primarily Navy corpsmen, the "docs" who fall in battle with the Marines, and old sailors who live out their retirement, rest under white crosses.
This is why Naval Memorial Museums are so revered. There, old sailors can gather and remember their ships and their buddies and honor them.
The USS Clamagore, the last of the eight Guppie 3 subs, was added to the Patriots Point Naval Museum in 1981, joining the carrier, USS York-town, and the destroyer, USS Laffey.
Thirty years later, the Clamagore, much deteriorated, was slated to become a reef off the Florida coast.
For the past two years, the Clamagore Veteran's Association has mounted a valiant effort for funds to preserve her. This seems like asking them to buy their own white crosses. Many of these vets are past 80, and their best efforts have not produced enough funds to preserve the Clamagore.
A group has been formed, Clamagore Restoration and Maintenance Association (CRAMA), with a plan to move the Clamagore to a local shipyard for restoration with volunteers. This will cost under $200,000 initially and will assure her preservation.
Sub sailors are a different breed. They serve in cramped quarters, under perilous circumstances and have an attachment to their boats, like no other. To be able to show their grandchildren where they served is a proud moment in their lives. Have we done all that we can do to help with this preservation?
Charleston has always been a Navy town. Sailors have walked our streets proudly and many stayed to raise their families, adding to the rich culture and diversity of this area.
We owe America's warriors a debt we can never repay. In recent times, we have seen our warriors disrespected.
Their benefits have been cut, World War II vets were prevented from visiting their memorial, and the relatives of fallen warriors arriving from Afghanistan were not granted funds to greet them.
Can we allow this old boat to be taken from these old vets in this Navy town? Let's make a last-ditch effort to help them save her.
Contact www.savetheclamagore.com. Make a donation to honor our freedom, to thank a vet, or to honor a loved one.
Pass it on.
Mary B. Herbert
Sea Aire Drive
The spectacle of global warming scientists needing rescue from the Antarctic ice where they went to document its melting is revealing.
Not only did they explode the myth of melting ice, which was a pillar of their warming argument, but they and the armada of rescue ships caused an unknown amount of pollution to one of the most pristine areas of our planet.
Locally, Bo Petersen of The Post and Courier took the theory to Page 1 on Dec. 18 with a news story titled "Stronger storms." I would to address two points:
1) He said that Typhoon Haiyan was the most intense typhoon ever in the Pacific.
No. It was the seventh most intense typhoon ever to hit the Philippines.
2) He said that three of the most intense hurricanes in the United States were in the last 10 years.
The most intense were Gilbert in 1988, on Labor Day in 1935 in the Florida Keys, and Rita in 2005.
All these facts are available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Recently it seems fashionable in certain circles to be a warming believer, but that does not make it so.
Finally I must correct an error I made in my last letter in which I wrote that global temperatures had not increased in the past 15 years.
Sorry, I was wrong. Temperatures have not increased in the past 17 years.