There have been reports that a satellite campus of Francis Marion University may come to Mount Pleasant. We already have many wonderful higher education choices in the Lowcountry.

The Citadel, the College of Charleston and Charleston Southern each has a campus. Trident Technical Institute has nine sites, and offers, among other programs, an increasingly respected Culinary Institute. What can Francis Marion offer that the aforementioned cannot?

To add insult to injury, it seems that the Town of Mount Pleasant is proposing that Mount Pleasant taxpayers pick up a $1.5 million tab for a facility for the Francis Marion satellite.

Meanwhile, there are frequent reports of the shrimpers leaving Shem Creek, one by one, due to increasing restrictions, as well as a hard lifestyle with little payback. I understand that there are only four full-time shrimp boats in what was once a thriving shrimp docking area.

With the strong farm-to-table and sea-to-table movements, does no one care that we are losing a precious resource? Why is the Town of Mount Pleasant not addressing this issue? It would be a travesty to lose the charm that goes with trawlers on the creek.

If we are going to be taxed a portion of $1.5 million, I would much rather those dollars go toward assisting the shrimping industry on Shem Creek, and doing what we can now to preserve what may soon be seen only in old postcards, photos, and paintings of Shem Creek.

Nancy Forrest

Sound View Drive

Mount Pleasant

Recent articles regarding beach erosion on Folly Beach and at Wild Dunes remind me of a song we used to sing in Sunday school about the "foolish man building his house upon the sand."

As the recent article about the Good Friday storm negating the beach renourishment on Folly Beach that cost millions of dollars pointed out, there is no permanent solution to beach erosion.

It's a force of nature and will require constant expenditures of millions of dollars, much of it taxpayer money, to save a few homes that should never have been built on the sand.

Gene Hashley

Indigo Lane

Goose Creek

It seems a shame that former Justice John Paul Stevens offered his views, in a column on Monday's Commentary page, on altering the Second Amendment to the Constitution without bothering to confirm some of the statements he presented as facts.

First, Justice Stevens writes that "... the Second Amendment provides no obstacle to regulations prohibiting the ownership or use of the sorts of automatic weapons used in the tragic killings in Virginia, Colorado and Arizona."

No automatic weapons were involved in any of these terrible massacres.

Only one weapon used, a semi-automatic S&W AR-15 style long gun chambered in 5.56 NATO, could even remotely be termed an "assault weapon," which by definition is a rifle designed for military use.

The remaining weapons in these instances were legally obtained handguns, plus a shotgun and a semi-automatic rifle chambered in 9mm.

Further, the justice writes that Congress has failed to enact laws "to limit the availability of automatic weapons."

Clearly, Justice Stevens must have forgotten or overlooked the 1934 National Firearms Act (NFA) and the 1968 Gun Control Act as amended by the 1986 Firearms Owners' Protection Act.

Under federal law, ownership, possession and transfer of machineguns - i.e. weapons capable of firing numerous rounds with a single pull of the trigger - are so severely restricted that it is virtually impossible for an individual to obtain such a weapon.

Justice Stevens is entitled to his opinion as to whether the Second Amendment confirms a group right (weapons possessions by official militias only) or an individual right. However, current scholarship and judicial rulings favor the latter interpretation.

And Justice Stevens should acknowledge that one of the principal reasons, if not the major reason that the Founders wrote and approved the Second Amendment was to permit citizens to take up arms should their government become oppressive.

Bill Farley

Heathland Way

Mount Pleasant

Tourist season is upon us and Charleston is busy. I love sharing the city with our visitors and am proud to be an ambassador. We all earn our livelihoods from tourism in one way or another.

I grew up downtown with tourists peeking in windows and gardens, traffic slowed down for carriages and streets closed due to filming. So very few things ruffle my feathers - until recently.

I was working in my gallery at 91 Church Street (Cabbage Row/Catfish Row). A tour guide giving the history of the building explained about the "Porgy and Bess" story. Most of it was fairly accurate until he said, "This is where Porgy and all the slaves lived."

Did I miss something?

It isn't the first time that I have heard the same thing. Does someone need to check his textbook, or am I wrong to believe that we did not have slavery in Charleston in the 1920s?

The war had been over about 55 years. Samuel Smalls (Goat Cart Sammy) was born in 1889 and died in 1924 at the age of 35. He was not a slave. Next time should I embarrass the guide giving the tour?

What I will do next time is run out and get his business card, then I can call and point out just that minor detail. They can make up the rest.

Laura N. Vardell

Carolina Maps

and Prints LLC

Church Street

Charleston

Each spring since 1978, the South Carolina Association of School Administrators (SCASA) has recognized a few schools that offer excellent instruction and outstanding leaders, along with strong family and community involvement and a supportive business community.

Howe Hall School finished second in the category (special schools) for the 2014 Palmetto's Finest Schools Awards.

SCASA presents the awards each year to schools that offer the best in innovative, effective educational programs.

The Palmetto's Finest Award is celebrating its 36th year and is one of the most coveted and respected awards among educators.

Last fall, 17 South Carolina schools submitted a 20-page application and received an on-site examination visit by a review committee. The nine finalists had a second on-site evaluation. The finalist schools gathered on March 26 to learn which school had won the top honors. SCETV streamed the announcement live to each of the finalist schools.

Congratulations to the Berkeley County School Board, Dr. Rodney Thompson, district staff, principal Christopher D. Swetckie, teachers, students, parents and community supporters of Howe Hall School.

I am pleased the Berkeley County School District was recognized as having one of the most outstanding and innovative schools in South Carolina. This recognition represents the outstanding job that is being done to educate our youth.

William W. Peagler III

Mayor

Carolina Avenue

Moncks Corner

When I served as a high school principal, my position required me to evaluate the performance of employees, and this was at times a rigorous process. In some cases, teachers weren't terrible, but just needed to grow their instructional skills.

The evaluation process provided a plan for improvement and a method to monitor that effort. In other situations, I used the process to remove someone who was doing harm.

I have seen cases where someone was dismissed because of personality conflicts with administrative personnel. Having an appeal process helps sort out such a situation.

Teachers and administrators pursue a professional career and are certified by exam and practice, and they work in a very complex work environment.

Hence, dismissal should not be as automatic as in other work environments. Using due process provides a level of scrutiny that is appropriate for professionals.

As to the seniority issue, it is always sad when you must transfer a teacher from one school to another.

However, assuming that the school has a staff of effective teachers, it is unfair to transfer a seasoned teacher.

If there are experienced teachers who are not performing, then the evaluation process instead of a subjective process needs to be used for transfers.

I do not support putting everyone on notice that a teacher is being evaluated. If the process is being used to seek improvement, it is very difficult for a person to teach, learn and interact with parents and peers during public scrutiny that might very well include innuendos and negativity.

Jackie Hicks of the South Carolina Education Association recently had a very thoughtful article in The Post and Courier which expresses the concerns I have.

I'm wondering if the bills that were introduced are copied from the American Legislative Exchange Council or modeled by Michelle Rhee? If so, then I have concerns about that as well.

Carol A. Tempel, Ed.D.

Sprague Street

Charleston

Too often we hear how the rich do not pay their fair share. Who are the rich?

After doing my taxes I've concluded anyone with a job must be rich. If you are someone who contemplates why the economy is still so lethargic or if you are one that advocates to soak the rich, think about this.

How many jobs have poor people created?

More disposable income equals more entrepreneurial investment and job creation. But when do socialists and communists care about economics anyway?

Liberals like to foment class warfare, which is what this administration is doing. In America why should anybody pay a greater proportion or percentage of income than anybody else?

If we all want equality we all need to be treated equally across the board.

There are too many people in this country who choose not to work. Taxpayers do not owe them a living.

Case in point: Why do illegal aliens need to come to this country to work when there are so many unemployed Americans?

I see them in construction, landscaping, painting, and agriculture while healthy under-30-year-old people receive food stamps, welfare and AFDC because they're too lazy to work.

The little socialists have time to do things like occupy Wall Street and whine and moan about their school debt that no one twisted their arms to take on.

Furthermore, they should've majored in something besides interpretive dance or underwater basket weaving - something they could actually use to support themselves.

It's not my responsibility to pay for their schooling. I sent my kids to school and paid their tuition.

Taxpayers are not responsible for their debt. Social programs need to be scaled way back so as not to disincentivize work and the work ethic.

They should not be used as a vote-buying scheme at the expense of the taxpayer.

Tim Peyton

Deercreek Road

Mount Pleasant