Elliott Summey proposes to raise $1.35 billion from higher sales taxes. Raising taxes in the middle of a recession is crazy and shows a lack of maturity on the part of Elliott Summey.

It just goes to show you the acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree. Maybe Elliott should get a real job and see how the average person lives.

Charleston County taxpayers, say “no” to Summey’s fantasy.

A.W. Mizell

Storen Street

North Charleston

Once again our beloved politicians are mobilizing to remove, or rather revoke, our Second Amendment rights. I want the politicians to consider the fact that those rights were written into the Constitution for a purpose. To say that the purpose is no longer there is a lie.

Remember, we do not live in a democracy; we live in a republic.

Simply put, that means each of us has rights.

To revoke a single right will revoke all rights given us.

I fear for us a nation. We live in country where the goverment has the power to give us everything, because it has the ability to take it away.

Chris Hamilton

Rumson Road

Goose Creek

An important component of the Charleston cultural scene fell from view today, as that multi-faceted writer Bill Thompson retired and vacated his desk in the Features department of The Post and Courier.

Laboring long in the fraternity of ink-stained wretches, Bill covered everything from football players to movie stars, turning out page after page of well-written, interesting and informative articles.

He wrote from the perspective of an informed commentator, always giving the subject of his interviews their voice, but coaxing out of them the meat and bones of a good story.

His personal travelogues were documentaries of locales, foreign and domestic, which, in the tradition of some great travel writers, were colorful descriptions of places off the beaten path and having something unusual to offer the wanderer.

The substance of his movie reviews were quite often better than the movie itself, and without giving up the plot he perfectly outlined why it was a “thumbs up” or not. His educated judgment was invariably right on the money.

His well-run book page in the Sunday paper was very influential in informing readers of the latest publications. His own critical contributions were crisp, coherent and reliable commentaries on the success or failure of an author’s ability to carry a narrative to a plausible end.

Bill Thompson is very good at what he does and The Post and Courier has been fortunate indeed to have had someone of his work ethic and talent on staff for so long.

I am pleased to say that Bill is a friend of mine, and it has been a privilege and a pleasure working with him on the book page for over 30 years.

Ben McC. Moise

Smith Street

Charleston

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that new principals of Burke High and North Charleston High cannot turn their failing schools around in their first year.

There are many dynamics involved besides academic improvement: discipline, teachers, parental involvement/support, curriculum and resources.

I was a Charleston County administrative intern at North Charleston High in 1992.Tommy Mullins, an outstanding Charleston County School District principal, mentored me in administration, and “Doc” Richardson, also outstanding, mentored me in handling discipline.

Even though I was apprehensive about working at an inner city school, I soon found out that students were the same as any other stu- dents I had previously worked with.

All can be successful if giv en the opportunity and support.

In 1998, I was selected as principal of St. John’s High School, which had been called “brain dead” by former chairman of the school board, John Graham Altman.

From 1998 to 2001, St. John’s High changed from unsatisfactory to displaying excellence in improvement. It was hard work.

I don’t know the present principal of North Charleston High, but I know there was controversy concerning his hiring.

I do know that Burke principal Maurice Cannon is a highly capable principal with compassion for his faculty, students and his students’ parents.

New principals need at least three years to prove that they can turn their schools around, and most importantly the students need the opportunity to know the principals. If all students are given a level playing field, they will meet the challenge of what is expected of them.

Sadie L. Brown

Somerset Circle

Charleston

In Greek mythology the Hydra was an evil, gigantic monster with nine heads. The stench from its breath was enough to kill a person. Whenever one of the Hydra’s heads was severed, another grew in its place.

This myth has a counterpart in reality: endless proposals to extend I-526.

The July 21 story under the heading “Top brass unite to tout I-526 extension” is distressing, dismaying and perhaps a bit misleading. Although recently a group “of high-powered leaders” did gather for a news conference to announce their pet Hydra had grown another head, other elected leaders in our community remain adamantly opposed.

It is unfortunate (and pehaps unfair) that your reporter failed to contact David Engelman, chairman of the James Island Public Service District Commission (PSD), for comment.

Chairman Engelman could have cited numerous resolutions adopted by the PSD over the past decade in unequivocal opposition to the extension of I-526.

Or your reporter would have been welcome to contact me as author of some of those resolutions.

I am now in my 20th year of service on the PSD, which is quite long enough to know the great majority of James Islanders as well as Johns Islanders.

The people who would be most directly affected do not wish to have an interstate highway bisecting their communities.

Eugene Platt

Senior Commissioner

James Island Public Service District

Gilmore Court

Charleston

Gail Collins of The New York Times reveals to us in her column on July 20 that she would rather attend a cool “little celebration” with Michelle Obama than a “future event” with Mitt Romney. How shocking!

Ed Orick

Barfield Street

Daniel Island

I try my best to avoid all the negative campaign ads that are out there, but the president has had so many of them on TV that is is difficult to avoid them.

Obama aired one recently with Romney singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” throughout the commercial. Yet the ad was denouncing Romney being a true patriot.

Romney would not win American Idol for sure, but at least he sings our national song, believes in it and always puts his hand over his heart when it is sung or the Pledge of Allegiance is recited.

Obama clearly does not. Just recently at a campaign event, when soldiers were saluting the flag and civilians were placing their hands over their hearts while the “Star-Spangled Banner” was being sung, the president just held his head down and had his hands crossed down in front of him.

How dare he.

And how dare he criticize anyone for singing our national anthem, be it Romney or me.

This guy has got to go in November, and let’s put someone in there who at least knows how to look and act presidential.

Mike Moore

Pimpernel Street

Summerville