I was stuck in traffic on the Crosstown on the same day Mayor Joe Riley’s “thank you note” to President Obama appeared in The Post and Courier. This piece lauded the value our community is supposedly getting out of our federal stimulus money being spent on the Crosstown.

While stuck in traffic, I saw a pile of very expensive looking rusticated granite curbing pieces waiting to be placed in the ground on my left and a work crew tearing out perfectly good concrete curbing on my right. Later I saw where some of this granite had been randomly installed wrong side out, with the rusticated part facing the sidewalk and the smooth side facing the street.

One has to wonder how many more local jobs the mayor could have saved or even created had the project’s designers not spent so much money on rusticated granite curbing. This material was no doubt imported from elsewhere. If the goal truly was the creation of more jobs, why didn’t the city hire local people to build new forms and molds for concrete replacement curbs instead.

Randy Houser Clearview Drive


With reference to Brian Hicks’ column “Critter heads steal spotlight,” we’re not talking about possums, racoons or squirrels here. Those are indeed critters. We’re talking about heads of animals that come from another part of the world and, in my opinion, are out of place on a wall in Summerville. There is a disconnect here. Like, whoa! Where am I?

I wonder, did the hunter eat the meat, save the village or thin down the herd? Shooting for the fun of killing is not something that I am comfortable with. Now I have caught a possum and numerous “critters” that have come down chimneys. With a crab net. That was sport.

Diane Frankenberger Central Avenue


In January, I voted in the Republican primary at Joseph Floyd Manor where I have voted for 15 years.

It may surprise many to learn that the area is not a hotbed of Tea Party activism, although there were six or eight poll workers waiting for the onslaught.

I was the second person to vote at 7:28 a.m. I handed the nice lady my voter’s registration card. The first thing she asked was, “Can I see your driver’s license?”

Thinking I was funny, I said, “No. President Obama and Eric Holder said I didn’t have to.”

Realizing that few people have a sense of humor that time of the morning, I handed it to her, and she scanned it. She explained that doing things this way saved time and freed up the line. It made sense to me. I asked why it was such an ordeal.

This is a made-up issue, it is misdirection. If you have the will to vote, you will find a way to do so. My late mother found a way to vote well into her 90s.

Obama administration officials are wizards at misdefining issues. The election this November is as important, or more so, than the elections of 1860, 1932 or 1980. Why would we take the chance on voter fraud?

Why disarm ourselves for a very small segment of the population for “fairness”?

We will be “America transformed” no matter how this plays out, and the losing side should react with grace and acceptance. The only way for that to happen is to prevent fraud at the polls and to assure American citizens that their votes will count. Showing a picture ID may not eradicate fraud, but it sure evens the odds.

David Farrow Sans Souci Street


I am writing in regard to Warren Peper’s “I’m just sayin’” column. His latest column titled “Thoughts on recent happenings” concerning Glenn McConnell’s principles hit home with me.

I, too, hope McConnell will challenge Gov. Nikki Haley when she seeks a second term.

Keep up the good work, Warren — your column keeps getting better and better.

I’m just sayin’. Sue George Country Club Boulevard


My life in Vietnam in 1967 consisted of arriving at my desk at 8 a.m., obtaining a glass beer mug of black coffee, opening the first of three five-packs of Dutch Master cigars and working until 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. When I got to bed, I had finished my 15 cigars of the day. This was seven days a week, and I was happy.

My life, when I returned home, consisted of smoking cigars at work and a pipe at home because my wife did not like the smell of cigars. And we were happy.

When we visited our son’s family at Fort Riley, Kansas, I stepped outside after breakfast to light my pipe. My 5-year-old granddaughter joined me on the porch and asked, “Granddaddy, why do you do something you know can harm you?”

I had no answer, but suddenly realized I was setting a horrible example for my six grandchildren. As soon as we arrived back in Charleston, I went to the Naval Hospital and enrolled in the Nicorette stop-smoking program.

Now my entire family is happy. But, when I read in your paper that City Council has denied a permit for a cigar lounge and bar because they object to cigar smoking, I became not only unhappy, but angry. I devoted 25 years of my life fighting foreign enemies to protect our freedoms.

Within our civic institutions there are those who deny individuals the right to privately engage in behaviors that affect only themselves. John Stossel, FBN, reported that this same tactic is being employed elsewhere to close down the cigar industry.

Although I no longer smoke, if I desired to enjoy a good cigar in the company of like-minded companions, that is my personal decision. No politician should deny me a safe, private place to do it.

W.H. Kastner Colonel, U.S. Army (Retired)

Furman Drive Charleston

While driving to work recently I got behind a moped going barely 25 mph (the posted speed limit is 35 mph). The driver was apparently too large for the moped to operate correctly. I stayed behind the moped in an attempt to allow it and the driver to make it across the bridge. Other motorists were passing us, honking and making not-so-friendly gestures.

Are there speed limits and weight limits for mopeds? Isn’t it just as wrong to go under the speed limit as over?

Our roads are too crowded to allow this. If your vehicle cannot meet road standards then it should not be allowed in traffic.

Susie Martin Hollywood Drive


Once more, Brian Hicks can’t see through the cigar smoke and is missing the whole point. When the current owner of Club Habana bought the business, he knew full well what the existing ordinance was and how it could affect the business he was buying. He chose to do so anyway.

When the restrictions addressed in that ordinance came to pass, he didn’t want to play by the rules clearly spelled out. We have a comprehensive smoking ordinance in Charleston specifically to limit proliferation of indoor smoking hazards.

If you create a loophole, it will become a black hole for those looking to skirt the law for their own benefit. The proposed ordinance was one big loophole that would have allowed any place calling itself a cigar bar to operate without the smoking ordinance restrictions.

Club Habana can operate just fine under the same rules every other bar in Charleston does.

It can prosper the same way they do, thanks to a strong ordinance that keeps smoking outside where it can harm only the person doing it, not everyone else in the room.

Allison Tysinger Center Street

Mount Pleasant