Your March 13 editorial misses the point. There is indeed a “second-hand smoker’s” effect from our nation’s obesity epidemic.

We are all facing a sequester presently because of the runaway cost of health care, so much of which is directly related to obesity and its domino effect on the health of all Americans, i.e. heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, all of which we are now beginning to see in our kids in record numbers.

The scientific evidence is incontrovertible that links childhood obesity and the lack of exercise to academic performance. The funds for education, defense, homeland security and infrastructure will not be there if they are diverted to out-of-control health care expenditures.

Our committee, working with public schools and the superintendent’s office to improve awareness of healthy lifestyle choices in teachers, parents, and most importantly, our kids, addresses this very issue.

Kudos to Mayor Bloomberg who courageously recognizes that we have to start somewhere.

Ram Kalus, M.D.


Charleston County Medical Society

School Health Committee

Weepoolow Trail


Interesting how Charleston is a highly rated tennis town and home to the Family Circle Tournament and yet there is precious little tennis news in our only daily newspaper.

Two major tournaments have been taking place, and there must be interesting bios of the new players that we see on the tennis channels, but the newspaper coverage is almost zero. Please inject some tennis into the Sports section.

Jo West

Ashmont Drive


Why do congressional representatives only act on important legislative needs when they are personally touched? Rob Portman’s rapid metamorphosis from ardent supporter of the Defense of Marriage Act to supporting gay marriage was due solely to his son “coming out.”

By this logic, visceral personal experiences seem to be the only effective catalyst to breaking through entrenched ideological barriers.

Despite strong public support on an issue like eliminating assault weapons, many congressional representatives conveniently ignore the will of the majority, deferring instead to the influence of gun lobbyists. It shouldn’t require gun massacres, personally involving a significant number of representatives, to get needed common sense legislation here.

Conservatives tend to conveniently ignore the human element on so many issues. Empathy for the underdog appears not to be within their purview. The notion that the unemployed are lazy takers, that universal health care is evil socialism, that education is the preserve of private enterprise, that concern for the environment and climate change is an unsubstantiated leftist propaganda ploy, that energy efficiency and hydrocarbon control is unwarranted, could well cause them to antagonize younger voters.

Telling people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps is moot when they don’t even have boots.

David Waldron

Galera Lane

Mount Pleasant

I would like to respond to Jeffrey Cohen regarding vegetarian and vegan diets. He asked if you would prefer to have a triple bypass (eating meat) or be a vegetarian/vegan.

There are some people who have genetically high cholesterol that diet will not fully control. My 49-year-old sister-in-law, who is a vegan, had a heart attack. She was not aware of her dangerously high cholesterol because she thought with her diet she was not at risk. She never had her cholesterol checked (until after her heart attack) because she was a vegan.

She has now recovered and is on medication to lower her cholesterol. Just because you are vegan does not mean that you will prevent a “triple by-pass.”

Susan J. Kerrigan, M.D.

Enclave Drive

Mount Pleasant

The oft-heard adage is true: Conservatives want small government. What is also true is its corollary: Conservatives’ vision of small government is just small enough to fit in your bedroom.

Cal Thomas’ March 14 column reflects such a small-minded view of government. He seems to expect that the “states, or Congress, should be allowed to sort out how they wish to define and license marriage.” Such an assertion is fatally flawed: The states, as a collection of discordant varied entities, should in no case be relied upon to make such far-reaching decisions as the right of homosexuals to partake in a government-subsidized institution.

And the U.S. Congress, in its fatalistic gridlock and narcissistic self-importance, can hardly be expected to weigh in on such an important matter. So perhaps the U.S. Supreme Court is our last hope.

As Cal Thomas states, “The Constitution doesn’t guarantee the right to marry.” While true, there are several things the Constitution does do: 1) in the 9th Amendment, ensures that rights not specifically enumerated in the Constitution (such as marriage) are not denied to the people; and 2) prohibit any state from denying to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws (including the issuing of state marriage licenses).

Furthermore, the Constitution guarantees in Article 4 that full faith and credit are given in each state to the “acts, records, and judicial proceedings” of all other states. So even if, as Cal Thomas suggests, it were left up to the states to decide individually if and how to recognize same-sex marriages, marriages in one state would still have to be recognized in all states.

It is up to Cal Thomas if he wishes to “discard the rules for living and social order set down in a book found in most hotel room drawers.” Moreover, it is his personal decision whether to accept or condone same-sex marriage. However, any U.S. laws barring a select group of its citizens from an institution for which it issues licenses and provides tax incentives must be held to the standard of the Constitution, which can be found in homes, schools and town halls throughout our nation.

Zachary Thurston

Maybeline Road


The “Hello Hollywood” article by Natalie Caula was informative. She noted, “Hollywood’s call to the Lowcountry started in the late 1910s.” I have something extra to add.

While researching an exhibition baseball game between the world champion Philadelphia Athletics and the Charleston Sea Gulls at Hampton Park on March 24, 1914, I read a small article in the March 25 Charleston News and Courier: “Motion pictures taken yesterday at Hampton Park.”

Athletics star third basemen, Frank “Home Run” Baker was filmed by movie makers from the Edison Company for the film, “Home Run Baker’s Double.” “He was taken sliding, at the bat and in various other ways to give the picture the effect of a real game.” The film was also “to be thrown on hundreds of screens throughout the country.”

It is believed to be one of the first times a sports figure played himself in a nondocumentary silent film. It’s also an earlier picture of the Charleston film production story.


Harbor View Road


When I finished voting in the Democrat primary for the 1st District representative on Tuesday, I suffered one of those regretful “I wish” moments.

I was told my voter registration card was no longer accepted as a qualifier for voting in South Carolina.

I know why that law was passed and am ashamed of my state for passing it. So, at that moment I wished that Democrats and all other thinking, patriotic voters had organized a boycott of the election.

It was too late of course, but at that one little moment in time, I wished.

David Stevens

Suncatcher Drive