Letters to the Editor Shameful waste

Tradition or not, for people to play in grits and tomatoes is a complete waste and should be outlawed. They must be doing well financially not to care about people who are starving.

Then there are contests where people try to eat the most of something — hot dogs for one. Some don’t even care if it makes them sick later.

Do people who do these things care that prices keep going from bad to worse? And that the less there is of something, the higher the prices?

Apparently not. If I was a farmer these days, I would want to quit. With the bad weather, a lot of land has been destroyed, too.

So tradition or not, wasting foods should be outlawed.

Twylah M. Ricker Boardman Road

Charleston Safety first Like the writer of an April 18 letter titled “City takes wrong Hampton Park course,” I have expressed my opinion to the Wagener Terrace homeowners association regarding the unsafe plan to close one lane for bikers, walkers, runners, baby strollers, skate boarders, golf carts, scooters, oh, and maybe we could throw some horse and carriages in the same lane too, all within a few feet (separated by a white line) of motorized vehicles.

Common sense and the safety of all should be the focus of the city’s Transportation Department and Wagener Terrace instead of trying to appease a few daredevils who want to “share the road.”

I would like the City of Charleston to reveal the cost of the project; then survey all Charleston residents to see if they still want to pay for this ridiculous project and waste of taxpayers money. Let’s not forget that White Point Garden is surrounded by two lanes of traffic. Should the city dedicate one for the above mentioned minority?

As a resident of Wagener Terrace, I walk in the park (that belongs to all citizens of Charleston, not just WT residents) nearly every day and never has there been an issue of not enough space. How many accidents/deaths will occur before 10 to 20 people realize that not everyone shares their insanity.

Louise Anderson Gordon Street

Charleston Fair and balanced The April 16 Commentary page featured two worthwhile columns. First Paul Greenberg’s woeful plea to junk the tax code and start all over again makes great sense, but will never happen. There are far too many goodies for special interests that Congress will never surrender.

Sen. Fritz Hollings makes some excellent points about how Republicans are under the spell of Grover Norquist, all signing his “no tax increases ever” pledge.

Funny, I don’t remember voting for Mr. Norquist. How is it that this one man, who was not elected by the American people, is allowed to set economic policy for the United States?

In The Wall Street Journal Sunday edition that came with The Post and Courier the previous day, Al Lewis wrote that some complain about corporate tax rates being among the highest in the world, but it is a moot point because almost no company pays at that rate. Mr. Lewis cited instances where corporations utilize the many loopholes available to them.

He reports that 26 of America’s biggest companies paid no taxes between 2008 and 2011 including GE, Verizon and Duke Energy. An even greater twisting of tax laws is employed by 2,700 companies who take state taxes from their workers’ paychecks and keep them and don’t tell the workers: Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble and the Big 3 Auto companies. The states allow these shenanigans under the guise of economic development.

Finally, a letter writer called President Obama a socialist because he refuses to cut spending. Recall that in the fall, Mr. Obama and House Speaker Boehner had agreed in principle on a package of spending cuts and tax increases to begin attacking the deficit. Mr. Boehner’s Norquist disciples who still refuse to raise taxes torpedoed the deal.

Kudos to The Post and Courier for publishing this array of op-ed pieces.

Michael Griffith Sterling Marsh Lane

Johns Island Keystone myths Just how stupid do the oil companies think we are? They have spent millions lobbying for the Keystone pipeline and despite the Republican party sellout, they have not been successful in foisting this fraud on the country. The company line is that the pipeline will ease supply problems for the United States and help decrease gasoline prices. What nonsense.

The United States is an oil exporter. As a matter of fact, it is the second largest U.S. export, right behind agricultural products. Oil companies operate in a global market and will sell oil at the highest price available. The days of U.S. control of oil pricing are long gone and now depend more on growing global demand, particularly rapid increases in China and India.

Well, you say, what about the argument that the pipeline will allow Canadian crude direct access to the Gulf coast refineries? All well and good, But again, refined petroleum is a free market commodity subject to the same market forces as crude. If the object was to make gasoline supplies grow in the United States, the oil companies would be building more refineries, not closing them as they have over the last decade.

Instead of a pipeline through the heartland of America, they would be building a refinery in North Dakota, saving hundreds of millions in construction costs. Now, the topper: Even if the pipeline is built, Gulf Coast refineries are already operating at full capacity. So the duplicity of the oil companies is obvious (except apparently to Republicans).

What we need is not the Keystone pipeline but alternative sources of energy. America sits on one of the largest deposits of natural gas in the world. We have ideal sites for wind-, hydroelectric and solar-generated energy. There is no reason for us to be hostages of oil companies unless we are as stupid as they think we are.

John Manzi Fairway Drive Hollywood

Blown chances I wonder how much business is lost due to workers who use blowers to “beautify” the shopping center parking area during shopping hours. Perhaps others do as I do — refuse to have my car or my person sandblasted. I will not enter the mall or shopping center when this activity is under way. Allergies are a big problem for my wife, so we are even more sensitive to these blowers.

Occasionally we will find an operator who stops blowing until we are out of range, and for that we are thankful. But most are not so considerate. What is surprising is that while some blow leaves into a pile and bag them, most simply move the dirt and leaves from one spot to another and then another crew does the adjoining property and blows it all back. Someone is actually paying them to do this.

Blowers, be warned: I am arming myself with a water gun and intend to defend myself when you attack.

David F. L. Bernthal Gilmore Road

Charleston Count it back This letter is to all merchants, cashiers, bank tellers, and other folks who handle customers’ money. With few exceptions these employees stack all of the bills, tickets, coupons, etc. in one pile, and hand it to the customer. Smetimes they say “thank you.” How do the customers know how much change they are getting unless the cashier or teller counts it back to the customer? They don’t know.

All merchants should instruct their employees to politely count the change back to the customers so they can hear the amount and know it is correct. This practice is not only the polite thing to do, it is good business.

Counting the money back to the customer will take a little time, but it will make good customer relations. All it takes is one little error for a customer to decide to shop somewhere else and tell other folks that store will cheat them.

And a suggestion for customers as well: Politely request employees count the change back. They owe us that courtesy. They owe that to their employers as well.

LeRoy Huthmacher Summerall Road

Johns Island