Piccolo Spoleto has been around for 25 years, and each of those years it has enjoyed a small listing in The Post and Courier right behind the Spoleto listings. This year, the Piccolo listings have been cut.

The Charleston Scene last week printed 50 pages of large photos and ugly real estate ads in addition to detailed descriptions of Spoleto. The half page dealing with Piccolo shows did not describe them well, and the vast majority were completely ignored.

The mission statement of Piccolo Spoleto is to “present local talent to the assembled international Spoleto audience.” The mission statement of a newspaper is surely to report the news.

Piccolo Spoleto has hundreds of shows, a budget in the millions and also happens to have some of the festival's most talented performers, even when you include Spoleto proper. Piccolo is news, and you are not covering it. You have hurt people who depended on you.

Saying you have it online is a cop-out. You are a newspaper. Not everyone lives behind a computer.

Andrew Weiner Bowens Island Road


The facts surrounding the escape of the Planter and official records prove otherwise. In his correspondence with then Secretary of the Navy Gideon Wells, Adm. S.F. DuPont wrote on May 14, 1862:

“This man, Robert Smalls, is superior to any who has yet come into the lines, intelligent as any of them have been. His information has been most interesting, and portions of it of the utmost importance.” (ORN Series I - Volume 12 p. 822)

Immediately before Robert Smalls commandeered the Planter, the vessel had been employed in removing guns from Cole's Island, guarding the entrance to the Stono River. The guns were to be delivered to what would become known as Battery Ripley, then under construction in Charleston harbor.

Local politicians and military leaders strongly opposed Gen. J.C. Pemberton's decision to abandon Coles Island defenses, citing the British use of the Stono River in capturing Charleston during the Revolutionary War.

The U.S. Navy quickly followed up on the knowledge that Robert Smalls provided and sent gunships into the Stono to secure the entrance. (ORN Series I p. 807) This valuable foothold led to the operations at Secessionville, the occupation of Folly Island and ultimately, the siege of Charleston.

Further, to cite the capture of the Isaac Smith in the Stono on Jan. 30, 1863, as evidence of the diminished value of Robert Smalls' information is unfounded. The Isaac Smith was captured by detached batteries secretly erected a few days earlier under the direction of Confederate Col. Joseph A. Yates. There was no way that Robert Smalls could have known about this clandestine action conducted seven months after his escape from slavery.

That Robert Smalls provided valuable information to Federal forces is clearly evident. His contributions are documented facts in the historical record, not accounts that have been distorted for political correctness.

Russell Horres Pignatelli Crescent

Mount Pleasant

I recently camped overnight on the USS Yorktown as part of a Cub Scout outing. I was humbled by the ingenuity and sacrifice I saw evidenced.

Ingenuity in that it was only 40 years from the Wright Brothers' milestone flight in 1903 until this 27,000 ton marvel of steel and electronics was commissioned in 1943. I am now far less impressed with personal computing and smart phone initiatives over the past 40 years.

I was in awe of the sacrifice that was evidenced by the Fighting Lady, which earned 11 battle stars. The community should be familiar with the destroyer USS Laffey and the challenges of paying for her recent repairs.

Some in the community might think of her as a burden. She and her crew participated in the D-Day invasion and then withstood attack by five Kamikaze strikes and three bomb strikes killing 31 of her 336 crew in the Pacific theater.

May God bless the soldiers and sailors who made the supreme sacrifice in defense of their country, particularly on board the USS Laffey and USS Yorktown.

And thanks to the Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum leadership as they steer the course to ensure these treasures will be protected so others can gain the perspective that freedom isn't free.

Mark Lattanzio Grace Lane Mount Pleasant

The May 26 Post and Courier editorial “Baskets? You get what you pay for” brought back a wonderful memory for my husband and me. When we lived in Tampa, Fla., an article in our local newspaper reported on Mary Jackson and said that she was displaying her baskets at the Winter Park Sidewalk Arts Festival.

I was familiar with her award-winning baskets and was anxious to meet her. We drove to the Arts Festival, found her display and I had an interesting conversation with her.

I picked out two baskets to purchase. I was disappointed to find she did not take credit cards and I did not have enough cash to pay for them.

Then Mary Jackson told me to take the baskets and to mail her a check when we got home. We could not believe it. They are displayed on our mantel, and I have a collection from many Charleston sweetgrass basket weavers. I treasure all of them.

Carol Ryan Oyster Bay Drove Summerville

“Gaining access” and “City working to improve accessibility” on May 21 inspired me to tell my story.

I am disabled and moved to Mount Pleasant in 2009. I discovered quickly that handicapped accessibility was not available at many downtown restaurants and theatres, at area parks, beaches, libraries, stores and malls. There are too many obstacles to discuss but I will elaborate on a few places that have no push-buttons on doors.

The Citadel Mall, the Mount Pleasant Library and the South Carolina Aquarium are three. When I asked a town official about the library, I was quickly informed that the American's With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires only that doors be less than five pounds. The law doesn't require push-buttons.

Those of us who are wheelchair-bound would like to feel independent, and this requires true accessibility. So shame on local governments and businesses who don't do their part.

Tina Tole Tradition Circle Mount Pleasant

At the May 22 City Council meeting an overwhelming number of people supported the proposed bike lane in Hampton Park.

Representatives of Hampton and Wagener Terrace neighborhood associations and our chief of police were among them. But several council members were not in favor.

Are they not supposed to vote on behalf of their constituents? Hampton Park is just that, a park. Mary Murray Drive is not a busy thoroughfare. There is no need for two lanes of motor vehicle traffic moving in the same direction.

This is an opportunity to make the park more inviting and useful. There has been such a demand for recreational usage that the park is closed to vehicular traffic altogether two evenings and Saturday mornings.

Reducing vehicular traffic to one lane would not inhibit any motorist, but would make it safer for those using the park for recreational and health purposes. And it would encourage others to do so too.

Greg Jones Ride Bikes St. Andrews Boulevard