On May 28, The Post and Courier published a story, “Charleston County School District establishes partnership with four colleges to benefit Burke High.”

I’ve seen the movie and sequels before. Remember A+ and the AP Academy? Yet Burke continues to lose students.

Burke High School has a great tradition. The peninsula has no other public neighborhood high school. The last estimate I saw was that the peninsula is not majority African American, nor is the high-school-aged population.

The school district, the community and those who make decisions about Burke need to leave behind the old ways of segregation and unequal schooling.

If there is to be a Burke High School, and there absolutely should be, it should be a diverse, vibrant, comprehensive high school providing quality education to all students. The leaders, black and white and green, need to get on board.

It’s already built. Let’s talk about it and see who will come. Charleston should not lose Burke.

Peter Smyth

Colony Drive


Sen. Larry Grooms had a job to do and he failed.

I couldn’t care less why he did not “hang around” to vote on the question of expanding Medicaid; the fact remains he did not. Larry elected not to cast his vote so as he could spend time at his anniversary celebration.

Why not celebrate the anniversary after the vote?

This vote was too important to have simply missed. We needed his vote, whether it changed the outcome or not, to confirm how he stood on expanding Medicaid.

Every single Republican should be outraged that any member of the GOP, especially someone who pretends to be conservative, failed to cast a vote on an issue that reflects the wishes of his constituents.

Don Bailey

Pleasant Island Drive

Mount Pleasant

It appears to this conservative Republican that Gov. Nikki Haley and like-minded legislators are leaning on an at-will, well-paid Haley subordinate, Tony Keck, to cover their wasteful rejection of $4.1 billion in free federal monies over the next three years.

These funds were intended to provide health care for 340,000 poor South Carolinians. But Haley’s subordinate preposterously argued that Medicaid and health insurance generally are not making people healthier.

If he had said Medicaid and health insurance generally need a substantial overhaul, I might agree with or at least consider what Gov. Haley offers as alternatives — when same are forthcoming.

But does Gov. Haley really expect us to ignore the fact that Medicaid has improved the health or saved the lives of millions?

Pushed into a corner, Gov. Haley, I suspect, would argue that if the poor get used to minimal health care while the federal government pays $10 out of $10 for three years, then at the end of three years, the state would feel pressure to pay $1 out of the $10.

But that would not be the case if the governor and like-minded legislators, instead, re-directed the $4.1 billion to South Carolina’s hospitals, including the three major health systems in the Lowcountry. That proposal now is languishing in the Legislature.

Gov. Haley still favors wastefulness over appearing to take a “handout” from a federal government to which South Carolinians annually pay income tax.

I suspect Gov. Haley hopes that by outrageous and disingenuous posturing, she can propel herself, for another 15 minutes of fame, into the national spotlight.


Windmill Creek Road


A better jobs outlook in South Carolina requires better leadership outreach beyond South Carolina.

Too often, the discussion of jobs and economic growth turns to native skills and front line hiring in manufacturing, customer service, hospitality, and craftsmanship jobs.

What about the expertise, experience and brilliance of the best and brightest executives, professors, investors and university graduates from around the country?

Blackbaud reached out to Marc Chardon, a magna cum laude Harvard graduate and Microsoft business unit CFO, to take its helm in 2005. Bryan Derreberry, president of the Wichita, Kansas, Chamber of Commerce, was hired away to run Charleston’s growing chamber in 2011.

In fact, after Hurricane Hugo, one Charlotte leadership strategy was to recruit and hire proven superstars.

If South Carolina is not producing enough top leaders, companies and cities and chambers might benefit by enlarging their hiring spheres to include top experts and candidates nationally.

Baron C. Hanson

Market Street


A May 15 headline on the front page of The Post and Courier reading “Feeling lucky today?” should be a reminder that chance, perhaps, rules our lives. The subtitle of David Slade’s report was “Odds of winning giant Powerball lottery a measly one in 175,223,510.”

When our parents conceived us, our mother received 23 hereditary “colored threads” called chromosomes from each of her parents. Twenty-three “either-or” choices were made. We received either the chromosome of our maternal grandmother or the matching one from our maternal grandfather.

Our mother’s egg contained 8,388,608 different chromosomal re-combinations of our maternal grandparents’ chromosomes. Our father had the same re-combinative potential.

Thusly, the first cell of our coming into being, the zygote, contained over 70 trillion possible re-combinations of our parents’ chromosomes.

Compare the odds. We are 400,000 times more unlikely to be who we are than to be multimillionaires. Every day should be a day to recognize our parents for sharing their parents’ chromosomes with us.

D. Reid Wiseman

Waterway Boulevard

Isle of Palms

The editorial board’s recent praise of Sen. Lindsey Graham in the May 19 editorial titled “Build MOX Plant — and restart Yucca” is misplaced support for wasteful pork.

Sen. Graham’s position on MOX is an understandable attempt to protect jobs in South Carolina, but MOX is an excessively expensive and unnecessary misuse of taxpayer dollars that should be spent for much higher priority defense programs.

The MOX facility is billions over budget and many years behind schedule. Moreover, no power plant manager has expressed interest in using the resultant MOX fuel to produce energy.

Yes, we have an agreement with Russia to dispose of 34 metric tons of excess plutonium, but that does not require accomplishing that laudable objective by converting the plutonium into MOX fuel.

There are other, much less expensive, ways to manage excess nuclear materials.

This is not a case of turning fissile nuclear materials into energy; it’s a case of a long delay in turning them into another expensive radioactive product that is not wanted by people in their communities or by operators in their power plants.

Robert Gard

Lt. Gen., U.S. Army (Retired)

4th Street, N.E.

Washington, D.C.

Gen. Gard is the chairman of the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation.

Len Grady was a friend, a competitor, a gentleman and a credit to our profession.

Knowing Len for many years has been a pleasant experience. I first met him when he was a salesman on the road. In our profession, we meet all types. Len was a gentleman from day one, as a salesman and a friend. I had the good fortune of not only working with him, but playing tennis with him through the years.

I have always said you judge a person in three ways, by his or her family, profession and honorable relationship with his or her competitors. He exemplified all of these qualities his entire life.

I will miss him, as will all of his family and friends.

Henry Berlin

King Street