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The Post and Courier provides a forum for our readers to share their opinions, and to hold up a mirror to our community. Publication does not imply endorsement by the newspaper; the editorial staff attempts to select a representative sample of letters because we believe it’s important to let our readers see the range of opinions their neighbors submit for publication.

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Letters: 80 Ashley Ave. project stopped by vocal few

80 Ashley Ave. (copy) (copy)

Plans for 80 Ashley Ave. in Harleston Village have been opposed by some local residents.

I take exception to Dr. Edward M. Gilbreth’s column in the April 22 Post and Courier and the reasons for many stalled projects leading to “demolition by neglect” on city properties.

COVID-19 or pent-up capitalization doesn’t prevent action, and it is wrong for preservation organizations and review boards to think so.

As the owner of 80 Ashley Ave., I’ve seen it happen.

In the April 14 commentary from the Harleston Village Association about the same property, half of the article spoke of how mixed commercial use in Harleston Village would be beneficial to the residents, the city and the building. But the second half cited a few adjacent neighbors’ complaints as a reason for opposing the plan.

The association says it wants what is good for everyone but seems to appease only a small, vocal minority.

In 2002, I met and worked with this association for a year on a plan for 80 Ashley, modifying plans several times to get support for a proposed development that would have saved the building and upgraded the property. During a Board of Zoning Appeals meeting, a citizen who showed up to rant and rave gained control of the proceedings and caused the project to falter, so the application was withdrawn.

In the April 13 meeting, similar dynamics played out. The board was swayed by a few loud voices.

Until we stay focused on what is best for our community, preservation and buildings over complaints by a few vocal residents, demolition by neglect will sadly continue.

JOHN B. HOWARD

CEO, Palmetto Craftsmen Inc.

Romney Street

Charleston

Pros should prune trees

Poet Joyce Kilmer wrote, “I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.”

I am certain he would be heartbroken to see what has happened to many magnificent trees if he were to ride around North Charleston roads and view the recent “pruning.”

Let me say that I do understand why pruning is necessary, but that job should be done by professional tree trimmers under the guidance of a trained arborist.

As we approach hurricane season, there has been a lot of trimming taking place in our area. The work performed by power companies leaves a lot to be desired.

This would be a nonissue if our power lines were underground, like what is being done by Dominion Energy in the city of Charleston.

As our area is continually growing and new housing areas are being developed, power lines are buried.

I am not sure that burying power lines in older neighborhoods would be cost effective for either the power company or its customers.

I would hope that if the power company cannot afford to have trees trimmed by professionals, maybe it should at least hire professional arborists to train employees.

As Kilmer wrote, “Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.”

CAROL ONORATO

Bream Road

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North Charleston

Aid can have downside

I have been involved in the employment of individuals for nearly 30 years. Last year, our community and nation observed a shutdown of numerous industries. The nation recognized this and provided financial support to those in need.

As we began to return to business as usual, many employers struggled to do just that. I am looking for at least 20 candidates to fill openings. Unfortunately, my position is not unique.

Recently, I had five unemployed individuals decline offers of full-time employment and had only 17 candidates apply for jobs.

Thankfully the state Department of Employment and Workforce provides an avenue to identify those not accepting legitimate work.

I am always grateful to our country’s support of those in need, and I am certain that this latest round of financial aid is useful to many.

What is most concerning is the temporary life raft that was provided has now turned into a summer-long cruise liner with free meals and health care.

The inability to fill positions has an impact on the active employees of companies desperately seeking help.

If positions aren’t filled, employers cannot maintain their level of service or provide products. That in turn may ultimately impact those trying to make a living for themselves and their families.

WILLIAM LOCKARD

Huntington Drive

Charleston

Doctor extraordinary

This is in response Dr. Walter Leventhal’s Wednesday letter to the editor. Our family had the good fortune of being Dr. Leventhal’s patients for more than 30 years. We appreciated his blunt honesty, compassion and dry wit.

Fortunately, he also was an excellent diagnostician. Being able to trust a physician with your life and knowing you were always well taken care of is no small thing: It is extraordinary.

“Observation, reason, human understanding, courage; these make the physician,” wrote the late physician and author Martin H. Fischer.

Thank you, Dr. Leventhal. You will be missed. You have made a difference in the lives of so many.

JOYCE NIELSEN

ANDY NIELSEN

ANDREW NIELSEN

Buckingham Avenue

Summerville

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