Recently my company, Premier Events, LLC, planned the annual East Cooper Meals on Wheels gala at the Omar Temple. It is the third year that we have been involved in this worthwhile fundraiser.

During those three years some great vendors have offered their time and talents at no charge so that as much money as possible could be raised for seniors in Mount Pleasant.

I say “hats off” to Wando High School’s culinary students and Chef Julian Buckner for their assistance. Some of the top chefs in Charleston and Mount Pleasant donated their time helping students learn what it takes to work in a very difficult industry.

The ROTC program at Wando has also participated in the gala the past three years to help with service and cleanup.They also provided a Presentation of the Colors.

Several local companies also have supported Meals on Wheels over the past three years. And, we couldn’t do the event without all the chefs who come together each year for Meals on Wheels.

Cris Bernstein Owner Premier Events, LLC

Prestwick Court Summerville

For Brian Hicks’ information, the county assessor only sets property values for real estate, based on market values at a particular point in time as indicated by the state Legislature and does not determine what the taxes will be.

The auditor sets the millage rate that a percentage of those values will be multiplied by to determine what taxes will be.

The millage rate is based on the council-determined budget and other factors. As the auditor is directly responsible for that tax rate, I would think that is why it is in an elected position.

A.V. Tysinger Center Street Mount Pleasan

I was amazed when the front page on May 8 stated that out-of-county students would have to pay to attend schools in the Charleston County School District. Having moved here last August, I had the privilege of choosing the school before finding a place to live. I chose according to test scores, curricula and graduation rates, among other statistics.

Many families do not have a choice. To have a family pay for the opportunity to choose what is best for their child and to have a property requirement defies the very right to education.

There has to be a limit to the number attending each school depending on the school’s capacity, but when we lived in other states they encouraged magnet schools and attendance at other schools that met the children’s needs. The school the child was meant to attend was responsible for funding this student’s expense of attending another school.

There were lotteries and caps put on the number for each school. I do not know the current policies for out-of-county students in regard to how this is funded in South Carolina, but to charge students seems like keeping disadvantaged kids at a disadvantage.

I do have a suggestion for how to fund things: Our school had a page devoted to scholarships for higher education, including a S.C. needs- based grant of up to $2,500.

Another grant I noticed was Lottery Tuition Assistance that will cover up to the cost of the tuition.

Don’t we need to get these kids in school before we worry about spending lottery money on higher education?

Kirsty Heller Queensgate Way

Mount Pleasant

The May 11 letter titled “Voting fraud” in support of South Carolina’s Voter ID law, cited voter fraud that occurred in 1868. That only highlights the law’s lack of credibility. Voter ID laws are a solution without a problem.

South Carolina does not need to be embarrassed by one voter in the state of Washington accused of fraud in 2004. We should be more embarrassed by the fact that millions of voters across the nation are being disenfranchised by these unnecessary and oppressive laws.

And we should be embarrassed by the pathetically low number of citizens who exercise their right to vote. We should be searching for ways to make voting more convenient and more accessible to all citizens. The more people who participate in our democracy, the stronger it is.

A law that prevents or impinges on any citizen’s constitutional right to cast a ballot is unjustifiable. If even one person is denied his or her right to vote, my right to vote is threatened.

Joan Mazulewicz Pointe of Oaks Road

Summerville

The Washington Post’s “Top Secret America,” by Dana Priest and William M. Arkin, describes the rise of the new American security state after 9/11 and, in the manner of Andrew Bacevich’s book “Washington Rules,” calls attention to the risks and expense of unfettered growth without public oversight in the name of security.

The result has been calamitous. The new top secret world is so vast that nobody knows how many people it employs or how much taxpayer money is spent on it. Nobody knows how much work is being duplicated or even how to assess the effectiveness of all its programs.

Over 850,000 people — an average of more than 17,000 per state — now have top secret security clearance, and more than 1,200 top secret government organizations exist across America to assist with the effort to find and capture terrorists overseas and at home.

A private force of nearly 2,000 for-profit corporate contractors has made billions of dollars by charging more than the federal government would have spent by doing the work on its own.

Worst of all, after 10 years of unprecedented spending and growth, the result is that a system put in place to keep America safe may in fact be putting us in even greater danger, but we don’t know because it’s all top secret.

No single person is in charge of the U.S. counter-terrorism effort.

No one is in charge of managing this growth, which is only expected to get bigger in the years to come despite the economic downturn.

A.V. Rawl Preakness Stakes Charleston

I have concerns about the events that transpired on May 8 when Vice President Joe Biden visited attorney Mark Tanenbaum’s residence on Sullivan’s Island to attend a fund raiser.

I assume that attendees were given notice to adjust their schedules in order to be on time. Why wasn’t the general public notified of road closings?

It appears that it was not important to advise others to adjust their schedules to get to their jobs on time, or get to an important doctor’s appointment, or pick up a special-needs student from school.

How much did this fiasco cost each municipality and our U.S. government?

Travis McCaskill Village Square

Mount Pleasant

City of Charleston Councilman Mike Seekings is right. Skateboarders are one more thing that drivers need to be cautious of in the downtown area. But, if there is to be a ban for safety reasons, then don’t stop with skateboarders. Ban runners also.

Bikers and motorists on cell phones turning out in front of me have caused me to brake hard, too.

Should they be banned? What about girls texting and walking or tourists reading a map? These are all formulas for disaster.

Ban all things that could maybe some day cause harm. Or be a defensive driver, use courtesy on bikes and skateboards, running or with cell phones.

Come to the City Council meetings and defend skateboarders.

Tell your council member what other things should be banned. My suggestion is that everybody share the road with caution.

Rick Little Lindberg Street James Island