The author of a Sept. 5 letter to the editor praised the Canadian health care system. This letter caused me to recall an experience a friend had in a Canadian hospital.

Late last year, a friend and retired attorney was visiting Toronto. While exiting a business, he fell and broke his arm at the shoulder joint. He was transported and admitted to a hospital, where he was told that he needed a total shoulder joint replacement. Two people in Toronto did that operation. One was out of town, the other was not inclined to do the operation.

After just short of a week in the hospital, it became evident that nothing would be done.

He asked about returning to the United States and was told that was a good idea. When he asked how to get home, he was advised, “Like everyone else.” He made an airline reservation, made his way to the airport and arranged to get to the hospital in suburban Washington, D.C. He was operated on the next day.

While we have troubles with our system, all of which are correctable, I prefer the care we receive, even when needy.

Dwane Thomas

Wharfside Street

Charleston

I would like to commend Superintendent Joe Pye of Dorchester 2 for his desire to improve the reading ability of secondary students (Post & Courier, Aug. 22).

Unfortunately, the issue is far more complex than using elementary teachers to provide adolescent reading instruction.

First, adolescent literacy vastly differs from early literacy. Adolescent literacy is complex and has a variety of components embedded that are unique to this age group. It must focus on the comprehension of informational and complex texts required for college, employability and success in the 21st century global world.

These struggling readers may have skill deficits similar to those of younger students, but they must be taught using adolescent literacy best practice. They have little time left to meet the requirements of graduation. They must remain engaged and set goals.

If reading interventions are viewed as “elementary” and not appropriate for this age group, these students will not remain engaged and subsequently will not develop vital comprehension skills.

The Nation’s Report Card (NAEP) indicates that 70 percent of eighth grade students read below grade level — making graduation requirements difficult or out of reach for many. Addressing adolescent reading deficits at the secondary level is to be applauded. But please make certain that interventions are age appropriate. All students deserve the opportunity to obtain this basic human right — the right to be literate.

Pamela Glenn

Bonneau Lane

Mount Pleasant

All forms of fine art, compelling performances, architecture, custom furniture, paintings, sculpture, dance, and especially photography are extremely uplifting to people.

This worldly message needs to be conveyed more broadly to citizens of all ages by local arts organizations.

So what is Charleston’s progressive arts strategy?

I don’t know the complete answer, but patrons of art galleries, museums and concert halls discussing ideas, events and local artists offer the best starting point.

The area has many different and brilliant art galleries to frequent. Art Walks through the French Quarter and along Broad and King streets are great ways to view extraordinary artwork and meet interesting people from all walks of life.

Renting a favorite local art gallery for your next office, holiday, wedding or political reception helps gallery owners break even on their leases and insurance, cover event and employee expenses, and keep their doors wide open to welcome everyone involved in the arts.

Baron C. Hanson

Market Street

Charleston

Has payment of motor vehicle taxes become optional?

I know there was a computer glitch late last year, which caused a delay in the mailing out of statements.

But 2012 is two-thirds gone, and I still see a high percentage of expired decals on vehicles in parking areas and on streets and highways.

I was contemplating skipping my 2013 taxes, but I bet I wouldn’t be as lucky as these other folks.

Harry S. Gray Jr.

Barrington Lane

Charleston

In a recent letter to the editor the writer asked the question, “Will Democrats vote for their party or their faith?”

When I go to the polls, I will vote for the party that most represents the teachings of Jesus.

Jesus cared for the poor, the children, the sick and the elderly.

Therefore, when I vote Democrat, I will be voting my faith.

Faye Davis

Ketch Court

Mount Pleasant