I moved to Johns Island in 1984 because that is where I could afford to buy a home. I worked downtown because it was within a 30-minute commute. When I-526 connected West Ashley to North Charleston, it put a better job within 40 minutes.

During the 24 years I worked there, the commute was reduced to 35 minutes due to improvements to I-526. If I-526 had made it to Johns Island, my commute would be only 28 minutes.

So if I-526 had never been built, I would have spent an additional 4,000 hours sitting in traffic, burning fuel and not at home or work. My life is better for I-526.

We do not live here solely because of the natural beauty. I moved here to work. We live here because there are jobs with futures.

Too many people have made Johns Island their home to still consider it strictly “rural,” and Johns Island’s farm-to-market roads are inadequate. Land on Johns Island does not go up for sale of its own volition. Property owners wish to sell. This is their right, and anything preventing them from selling is restricting their freedom.

We should be free to buy and sell our land unfettered by conservation groups.

I am not ignorant, stupid or apathetic, as a Mount Pleasant writer suggests. People living on Johns Island need more and better roads. The PGA Championship is just a warning of how inadequate our roads really are.

Please finish I-526 as an interstate and include a real highway to Kiawah Island. Betsy Kerrison is a nice start, but Bohicket Road will never be adequate.

Carl Blum

Brownswood Road

Johns Island

We are involved in the most important responsibility that citizens have: electing a president.

But instead of focusing on jobs, wages, debt and events in Syria, Israel, Iran and other trouble spots, politicians are discussing contraception and abortion.

Folks who desperately want government smaller are instead concentrating on what happens in our bedrooms.

Why not trust women along with their families and doctors to make decisions about women’s bodies, health needs and size of families?

Politicians have plenty on their plates as it is. I suggest that they (mostly men, interestingly) concentrate on getting our country on a road that leads to fulfilling lives for every American.

Sue Nelson

Isaw Drive

Mount Pleasant

It amazed me how the media spin of Thursday night’s Republican National Convention speeches was played out.

In particular, Clint Eastwood’s time at the podium was portrayed as “way off script,” “rambling” and “at times incoherent.” They focused on his age and insinuated that he had diminished capacities.

This is the same man who directed and produced films like “Gran Torino,”“Letters from Iwo Jima,” “Flags of our Fathers,” “J. Edgar,” “Million Dollar Baby” and “Unforgiven.”

In many of them he was not only director but producer, writer and star.

Clint Eastwood has made no bones about the fact that he is a right-of-center, moderate conservative. He supports marriage equality, thinks we have been in Afghanistan too long, supported the bailout of GM and Chrysler (until the particulars of who was lining their pockets was revealed) and was critical of aspects of the Bush administration as well.

Only six months ago his “It’s Halftime in America” ad during the Super Bowl was interpreted as support for the current administration. Yet he was still invited to speak at the GOP convention.

So why the media backlash?

Because he does not fit the “Klan-like racist, far-right- wing, Westboro Baptist, going to impose Christian Sharia law” narrative that they have been trying to feed the country. His speech was exactly what he wanted it to be.

Yes, he took jabs at both sides; but what do you expect from Bronco Billy?

Michael Felton

Round Table Lane

Goose Creek

Recently Gov. Nikki Haley flew around the state holding press conferences to introduce five proposed changes to state ethics laws. While it is a start, Haley’s five proposals fall far short of addressing the problems in Columbia and throughout the state.

Money has corrupted every level of government in this state, and ethics reforms without serious campaign finance reforms are hollow. When people put themselves out there to represent the people, they must be held to a higher standard.

As a candidate for Charleston County auditor I have proposed a number of “above and beyond” pledges when running my campaign. I invite other candidates and elected officials to join me in living up to them.

Amongst other self-imposed pledges (located on my website www.teck2012.com), I have vowed to refuse any PAC contributions, provide weekly self-reporting of donations up until the election (quarterly reports are required) and decline donations from persons or businesses with county contracts or projects,

If elected I will pledge to release my full tax returns each year.

Transparency is needed not only in the auditor’s office. More people should demand that their elected officials go beyond the ethics laws until they can be fixed.

Peter Tecklenburg

Elizabeth Lane


I am a certified domestic violence victims’ advocate, founder and president of Alice to Alexis Woman to Women Transitional House Corp., a shelter for battered women and their children.

Statistics have shown that one in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. South Carolina ranks No. 7 in the nation of women killed by men, according to a report by the Domestic Violence Center in 2010.

Domestic violence is an issue that hits close to home for me. My daughter was a victim of domestic violence and committed suicide.

My passion is to see victims of domestic violence restored to a place of hope and empowerment.

For years my husband and I brought women and children into our home, nurtured them and helped them get on their feet.

But we wanted to help victims of domestic violence on a greater scale. So in 2009 we founded Alice//*Alexis.

Our mission is to be a safe haven for women and their children by educating, empowering and motivating them to make a better life for themselves. We give them tools to transition from feeling trapped in a violent situation to leading independent, productive lives.

Early this year a unique recovery program for drug addicts and alcoholics was introduced to Alice//*Alexis by Wanda Lopez. This organization has one house for victims of domestic violence and a second house for women recovering from chemical dependency.

The cost to house these women and provide counseling is great.

We are asking for help. Please consider giving a donation to this worthy cause. I am available to answer any questions you may have about our organization.

Alice M. Backman

President and founder

Alex to Alexis Woman

to Women Transitional House

Marginal Road


The title of an Aug. 29 letter, “No debate: PSA screening remains a life-saving measure” suggests that the use of the PSA test to screen for prostate cancer in men is non-controversial and should continue to be offered on a general basis. In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth.

PSA screening has never truly saved anyone’s life; although screening may have prevented some patient deaths due to prostate cancer, every patient eventually dies.

This is essentially the question that is intensely debated regarding the use of the PSA test:

Is the quality of life for those men whose prostate cancers have been detected and successfully cured, significantly longer and better than those men who are merely treated when symptoms become a problem for them?

All curative treatments for prostate cancer are associated with significant side effects.

After recovery from the surgery (or radiation or hormonal therapies) many patients experience urinary problems, general problems with their energy level or problems with their sexual function that can significantly impair their quality of life.

Furthermore, as noted in the letter, nearly tenfold more men are diagnosed and die with prostate cancer than die because of it.

While a very high PSA test strongly suggests the presence of prostate cancer, there is no reliable limit below which the test is negative for cancer.

Furthermore, the PSA test is unable to determine whether the cancer is the aggressive kind that will rapidly spread and cause death, or the slow-growing type that will cause little more than urinary symptoms universally experienced by men as they age.

The letter’s comparison of death rates due to prostate cancer in the United States and in Great Britain may be true (other sources may differ), but attributing this to PSA screening has never been demonstrated.

I do join with the letter’s author in urging patients to talk with their doctors to make a well-informed decision on whether to have the test performed.

Jeffrey G. Wong, M.D.

Wharf Indigo Place

Mount Pleasant

“D” is for Democrats. This brings to mind a few other “D” words (in no particular order): demonization, demagoguery, deception, dishonesty, disingenuousness, distraction, distortion, defamation, disrespect, desperation, destructive, divisive, and despicable.

Democrats obviously don’t want to talk about the abject failure of their domestic and foreign policies over the past three and a half years and will say (and sometimes do) anything to make that happen.

Without question, Congressman Joe Wilson was right all along.

Jim Wimer

Old Tavern Lane


There has been a good deal of press about finishing I-526, so I thought I would get into the fray. I live on Johns Island and these are my thoughts:

It is hard to understand how they could build a beautiful four-lane bridge over the Stono River and let it flow into a two-lane highway.

Also, how they could build a four-lane bridge and viaduct at the beginning of Main Road and let it flow into a two-lane road.

Here is the problem as I see it: Without widening Maybank Highway, Main Road and Bohicket Road into four lanes, the completion of I-526 will only make traffic on Johns Island as unbearable as it was during the PGA tournament and worse.

Also, getting to Seabrook and Kiawah islands will gain no benefit with the completion of 526.

I realize that trees and the beauty they create are important, but they sometimes have to go.

I remember as a child living in Beaufort my father would occasionally drive us to Charleston on a two-lane highway. Starting at the railroad viaduct just beyond Main Road there was a canopy of beautiful oaks trees covering the highway into Charleston.

Eventually, that highway had to be widened, and the oaks had to go. I think it is time Maybank, Main and Bohicket roads be widened to four lanes and the same thing happen to the trees along the way.

It would relieve the traffic on James and Johns islands, lessen the time it takes to get to Kiawah and Seabrook islands and would be a lot cheaper.

Morey Lipton

Santa Elena Way

Johns Island