Digital progress Reading the recent article regarding the very successful Charleston Digital Corridor’s Innovators 5k Race (iFive:K) by Glenn Smith and Ed Fennell brought back to mind my favorite Far Side cartoon:

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

The iFive:K, which began in 2007 at the request of our local technology community, brought together almost 30 companies from Charleston’s high-wage, knowledge-based community for a unique weekday evening of spirited competition and networking. The beneficiary — technology education in Charleston.

The Charleston Digital Corridor has grown from 18 technology companies in 2001 to over 80 companies today with average payrolls that are almost double state and regional per-capita wages.

In 2011, while the national economy wobbled, 88 percent of our local tech companies hired and 38 percent doubled in size. They also gobbled up a lot of vacant office space and supported our retail community.

The Charleston Digital Corridor does everything possible to mitigate the traffic impacts of the iFive:K. We cap the number of event participants, notify the relevant neighborhood associations well in advance of the event and hand- deliver flyers to businesses and residents affected by the brief street closure.

I know firsthand of the Charleston Police Department’s very professional and courteous management of this event under the able leadership of Capt. Francis Searson and Lt. Jason Emmanuel.

In 2011, both Forbes and the Milken Institute ranked Charleston the 11th best performing economy in the country.

We didn’t get there by accident. We got there by delivering the programming that creates and nurtures Charleston’s robust, high-wage economy.

I look forward to seeing you at the start line on April 18, 2013.

Ernest Andrade Director Charleston Digital Corridor Foundation

Alexander Street Charleston ALEC influence

Thank you for the article on the influence of the American Legislative Exchange Council in South Carolina state goverance (The Post and Courier, April 23).

It is incredible that any member of our General Assembly would assume that an entity, not-for-profit or otherwise, is an effective research source without some reasonable due diligence of its efficacy. To assume that the American Legislative Exchange Council is without agenda speaks volumes.

ALEC has historical kinship to the Heritage Foundation and the Moral Majority. Moreover, its present playmates include, among others, the Club for Growth and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation. And one should not omit Americans for Tax Reform.

Clearly there is an agenda here, don’t you think? Also, in addition to the corporate membership of major brands on the ALEC private enterprise board, the evidence of substantial financial support from Koch Industries, owned by the far-right brothers, David and Charles Koch, would encourage one to question the absence of agenda.

Further, it is more than a little disingenuous for a state senator to say that he didn’t copy “model legislation” from ALEC but it might have copied him. Does that suggest that those states, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, to name a few, that have embraced the models provided by ALEC, are actually indebted to our Charleston senator? Really.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s scream calling “unions” the force behind the Occupy movement came directly from the American Legislative Exchange Council.

And so did: voter ID legislation, tax breaks for corporations, lower taxes, elimination of environmental regulations, legislation to make concealed weapons legal, the push for privatization, public funding for private schools, labor union bashing and more.

One could go on. Hopefully, The Post and Courier will.

Cermette Clardy Jr. Carolina Boulevard

Isle of Palms Walk MS success The National MS Society would like to thank the city of Charleston for its support of Walk MS: Charleston on April 21. Approximately 250 walkers and 30 volunteers came together to raise funding and awareness to fight multiple sclerosis — an unpredictable, often disabling neurological disease with no cure.

The support of this community makes it possible for the National MS Society, Greater Carolinas Chapter, to assist 13,500 people living with MS in 128 counties of North and South Carolina through research funding, educational programming and other services.

So far, Walk MS: Charleston has brought in $14,000, bringing us closer to a world free of MS and our goal of $31,000. To learn more about multiple sclerosis, the walk, or to make a donation, visit

Jean Gawler Public Relations Manager

National MS Society Industrial Drive

Raleigh, N.C. Film series A recent letter suggested that peninsula Charleston needs a movie theater. I know of several film series being shown downtown. The main library shows international films once a month for free — the first Tuesday evening of each month at 6 p.m. These are always wonderful new films that often go on to win awards.

The College of Charleston Film Club shows films once a week on Monday evenings, some old, some new, depending on the theme that semester (Ed Center, room 118, 8 p.m.).

The College shows other films during the year, usually on Friday evenings for free.

The French Society Alliance Cine-Club has a movie every other month during the school year on the MUSC campus at 7 p.m. for a small fee. The C of C Italian Festival happens in the fall, the Irish Film Festival in the spring, the French Film Festival in the fall, Potlikker Film Festival in the spring.

Of the big film festivals, at least one is downtown — the fall Wild and Scenic Film Festival is held downtown. And another film series through the College of Charleston Gouger Activities Board is held in Physicians Auditorium.

If you’re old enough, you can register for any of the C of C Film Studies or Culture Through Film classes. And there are also free films in the summer in Marion Square. I’m sure I’ve missed some. If people took advantage of all these films, there wouldn’t be time to go to another theater.

T. L. Herbert Bratnley Drive

Charleston ‘Bully’ movie WINGS for kids recently hosted a special screening of the documentary “Bully.”

The screening sold out. It was truly heartening to see streams of teachers, principals, parents, teens and ’tweens arrive to view a movie that is deeply wrenching and disturbing.

Asked why they came, they told us they recognize that bullying is a problem. But they often do not know what to do about it. Collectively, we can all take the next step, which is to turn awareness into action.

At WINGS for kids, we help children learn how to recognize their emotions, and how to empathize with others. We teach healthy forms of expression, responsible decision-making, and social awareness.

Empowered by these lessons, kids are less likely to bully.

For too long, adults have rationalized bullying behavior as “kids being kids.” Even recognizing this behavior, many adults and peers often wonder how to help. They fear that intervening may make things worse.

Let me be clear: If you witness bullying, intervene. If you suspect a young person is being bullied, intervene. And don’t look only for physical bruises; bullying includes isolation, cyber threats, physical and mental abuse, gossip, name-calling and much more.

In fact, bullying is distinguished from other behavior by three criteria: aggressive behavior or intention to harm; behavior carried out repeatedly and over time; and the relationship between bully and victim is characterized as an imbalance of power.

Bullies thrive in the absence of resistance.

They win when the rest of us look the other way. Bullies flourish when they are allowed to “overpower” their victims.

Bullies tend to recede when the victim suddenly acquires champions and enforcers. Best of all, bullies can be rehabilitated.

The U.S. government offers numerous insights on how to identify and prevent bullying at At WINGS, we help 400-plus Charleston County elementary kids become champions for a bully-free world.

And our hope is that with Sunday’s event, and our continued work in the community, we can help kids who would otherwise be on the receiving end of the bullies’ abuse.

We invite everyone to see “Bully,” to learn about this subject and to help make this terrible form of abuse a thing of the past.

Bridget Laird CEO, WINGS for kids

Meeting Street Charleston Crosstown error

When the S.C .Department of Transportation (DOT) announced plans last year to improve the Crosstown, Charlestonians were delighted.

Many of us, however, are disappointed with the vegetation sprouting from the median. I say vegetation advisedly.

Despite being termed “trees” by the DOT, the everclear elms that have been planted are not what most people think of as trees.

A tree is a thing of beauty, giving shade, trapping pollutants and generally improving the environment. The everclear elms, hybrids that have been in existence for less than five years, are just plain ugly.

I realize the median is not wide enough for live oaks, but the space could easily accommodate beautiful native trees, like crape myrtles or palmettos.

Existing vegetation can be replaced if enough Charlestonians who have concern for the environment let DOT know of its mistake.

Please join me in writing to DOT and asking them to remove the vegetation and plant real trees.

Mayo Read Bishop Gadsden Way

Charleston A cut above With all of the violence taking place almost daily, governmental scandals and a consistent media circus, emerging out of the ashes is a breed of young men who exemplify human dignity, compassion and professionalism.

I am referring to the four Citadel cadets who will be honored on “Recognition Day” for their heroic acts of saving lives, the utmost service to humanity.

In one incident three of the cadets to be honored excelled in their quick actions to take control of a situation where life was hanging in the balance.

In this case a Navy nuclear power student was stabbed outside a bar and left for dead. The prompt action, teamwork and training of the cadets ensured life was not lost; additionally, they provided the police with a good description of the assailant and identified him in a lineup.

In the other case a cadet assisted an injured man who was unresponsive, not breathing and turning blue. The quick response to administer CPR undoubtedly saved the man’s life.

We have four upstanding citizens in our midst demonstrating outstanding human resolve to those in need. Thank you, Cadets Byron Addison, Denzel Grant, Jarrod Branch and Christian Munday. You make Charleston very proud.

Wally Reddington Jr. MSgt., U.S. Air Force (Retired)

Durrell Court Charleston