On July 4, Patriots Point Development Authority hosted our 18th Fourth of July Blast. This year, we changed the location for launching the fireworks from the Yorktown’s flight deck to a barge located just north of the ship.

This change allowed us to charge a minimal admission fee to the flight deck for viewing the fireworks and for enjoying entertainment.

We sold all of our allotted tickets in a matter of weeks. Our intent was, of course, to create a new revenue stream without affecting the enjoyment of the fireworks show for the thousands who watch from land side, where there is no admission fee.

Unfortunately, the location of the barge made it very difficult for approximately 2,000 of our land-side guests to see the fireworks because of a tree line that affected the line of sight. We regret the miscalculation. We gain nothing by people leaving Patriots Point disappointed.

We take great pride in producing the perfect event. Even though our great employees worked hundreds of hours to make this event special, we all know that we fell short. We fell short not because of a lack of effort, but because of a simple miscalculation.

We have already had our staff after-action meeting, and we have identified a number of improvements and corrections for next year. Foremost in our corrections will be the proper placement of the firing barge.

Approximately 40,000 people on both sides of the harbor enjoyed our show this year.

A couple of thousand did not, and I will personally chew on that for another 12 months.

I am in the position of oversight for all of our efforts at Patriots Point and I should have identified the issue of the poor barge placement immediately.

I did not. I hope those who were disappointed will give us another chance next year.

R. Mac Burdette Executive Director

Patriots Point Development Authority

Patriots Point Drive Mount Pleasant

As we all know, this year’s PGA tournament is being held on Kiawah Island’s Ocean Course, where the average August high temperature is 88 degrees. Combined with extremely high humidity the heat index is also at its highest. In addition, there are very few shade trees on the course.

The PGA ticket policy does not allow re-entry to the course once you leave. Understandably, the PGA does not want tickets to be transferred.

When I spoke to the PGA to voice concern about patron safety, overheating, dehydration, etc., and to discuss an alternative approach, they were unwilling to consider any options.

Hand-stamping with ticket punching, for example, would be a simple solution that would allow patrons to take a break from potentially oppressive conditions by going to their homes or hotel rooms and later returning to the course.

Perhaps others can help to convince PGA officials to reconsider this policy while there is still time.

Bailey Schell Otter Island Road

Kiawah island

As a man who was raised on Rutledge Avenue and is a Platinum Level Carnival Cruise Lines member, I am in a quandary after hearing of Carnival’s continued pollution.

What is a native-born, downtown-raised, Platinum Level member to do?

I have three thoughts: 1) Where are Mrs. Prewitt and her neighbors on the subject of thousands of automobiles in the peninsular area giving off exhaust?

2) Where are they on the hundreds of mega-ton tankers delivering Beemers (that’s BMW to us common-folk)?

3) How refreshing it is to see an Ansonborough resident doing her own housework.

Allen Harken Oak Branch Drive

Johns Island

I am the mother of three young children in the Charleston County School District, and I am strongly opposed to furnishing every elementary school child with an iPad.

Myriad studies have shown the negative impact that screen time has on developing minds. While I do not object to iPads being used occasionally, on a rotating basis, in elementary classrooms, I shudder at the idea of their replacing daily tactile learning experiences.

iPads might be a useful tool for middle and high school students (if the costs are carefully analyzed), but I firmly believe that elementary-aged children would most benefit if resources were instead used for more multi-dimensional learning experiences.

Ainsley Tillman St. Teresa Drive


What could be worse than the 100 degree heat that has made my porch off-limits for the foreseeable future? The grinding, chewing and ear-splitting racket of the SCE&G truck across the street from my house.

I’d hoped we’d made the cut (no pun intended) when the trucks ravaged trees on streets near us for the past several weeks, but the broken peace of a Sunday afternoon proved me wrong.

It seems that there is no organization in the known world that can stop these barbarians at the gate.

Can nobody stop the relentless uglyfication of the landscape?

Would it be too much to ask, then, that these SCE&G workers learn how to prune (prune, ha!) trees correctly?

Charleston has many arborists who know how to re-shape a tree without cutting out the heart.

How does a utility in good conscience send workers out in what amounts to a war on the natural world with no idea how to complete the task with respect?

If efforts fail, maybe citizens should try passive resistance tactics from the ’60s and chain ourselves to the trees. Check your life insurance first.

Donna Logan Sans Souci Street


The heck with Ray Tanner for USC athletic director.

How about for governor? Lenny Branch

Houston Northcutt Boulevard Mount Pleasant