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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: Plans for Hampstead Square park should be a community conversation

Philip Simmons (copy)

Family and friends take photos of a statue of Philips Simmons after it was rededicated in its new location in Hampstead Square, on Columbus Street in 2015.

As the head of Second Saturday, a monthly community litter sweep based on Hampstead Square, I was heartened to read editorial writer Robert Behre’s column in the April 11 Post and Courier calling for a reimagining of the oldest public green space in the city.

The East Side park has been neglected for too long, and the next step in moving ahead is a community forum that would offer the neighborhood a chance to come together to brainstorm about all that might be. The city should proceed with this at once.

The Charleston County School District also has an important role to play. Its plans to build a new campus for high-performing Early College High School on the site of the former Fraser Elementary will be an important catalyst for positive change.

The district’s recent history in the neighborhood, however, has not been helpful: The school district closed Fraser over fierce opposition, has sat on the empty building for a decade and continues to fence residents out of one section of their park. This is not very neighborly, to say the least.

The school district needs to join with the city and the neighborhood in a community workshop for Hampstead Square.

The district should listen first. Only then will its planning for a wonderful new school be informed by the wishes of the neighborhood it seeks to serve.

MEGAN FLOWER

Columbus Street

Charleston

Don't misuse census

I read with interest and confusion the April 14 Associated Press article about the census privacy tool.

Why is it necessary to have demographics (race, sex, age, ethnicity) when using the data for establishing the population in a state, city or district for the purposes of establishing voting districts?

A simple head count of the population without demographics would satisfy privacy rights of individuals and reduce gerrymandering based on perceived voting blocs.

I recognize that aspects of the census data are important for federal funding and associated state allocations.

Delaying the release of those details until after the number of representatives for each state are set and voting districts established would satisfy those needs as well as scientists performing research on public health needs.

It’s time we use the census as it was originally intended in the Constitution and stop the influence major political parties have on our democracy.

JIM KOBYRA

8th Tee Drive

Hollywood

Cars of future here

With the recent conversations about street parking at the beach and elsewhere in Charleston, I suggest transportation officials in the area read a recent report from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Autonomous Vehicles Policy Initiative.

This initiative seeks to assist policymakers to get ready for self-driving cars, shuttles and delivery vehicles.

The report identifies five actions that local officials can take to prepare for autonomous vehicles.

One of these actions is the need to rethink curb design and street space allocation because the report predicts a future with less demand for curbside parking and more for drop zones.

The financial impact on cities and towns experiencing a reduction in parking revenue may be significant.

Other issues raised in the study point to the need for planning and cooperation between government agencies, elected officials, businesses and the public, as these autonomous vehicles are with us now.

CATHERINE NOLAN

26th Avenue

Isle of Palms

Care for children

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.


Gov. Henry McMaster’s executive order will not allow unaccompanied minors from the southern border to be housed in South Carolina.

So it has come to this. Children who don’t speak English and who were abandoned before they crossed the southern border will never be cared for in South Carolina.

I have made it a challenge to count how many license plates I see with the motto “In God We Trust.” There are many.

When I became an American citizen, I was asked by the officiant if I promised to uphold the laws of the United States.

Having left a Germany where citizenship was once equated with nationalism, I hesitated.

At age, 14 standing in front of a judge, wanting very much to belong, I said “yes.”

Now I am told by our governor that children who need food, shelter and safety are not welcome.

My heart breaks at such anti-Christian posturing by our state leader. I have no connection with those who make our laws, only the pen and my words.

So I write to call upon all whose conscience screams out against such an obscene mandate to speak out.

“The sin of respectable people,” said German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who stood up to Adolf Hitler, “is their silence in the face of injustice.”

“In God We Trust.” Really?

Rev. HARTMUT FEGE

Bent Tree lane

Pawleys Island

MLB commits error

I don’t know if Major League Baseball obtained a printed copy of the new Georgia voting law or if it relied on an unreliable site as the source of information.

Many types of people can post things to the internet, including 5-year-olds and those with extreme prejudices.

It is not always a trusted source; nor are the posts always right.

I voted for representatives in my state Legislature. I don’t remember ever being allowed to vote for any MLB executives.

Isn’t it great that the organization believes its job includes dictating to elected governments what they must do?

DAVID Q. MORRIS

Markley’s Grove Boulevard

Summerville

Ticket speeders

I know Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds said there are no ticket quotas. I am all for that.

But maybe quotas would encourage officers to ticket more speeding drivers on Dogwood Road and other city streets.

It is ridiculous how these drivers get away with speeding and reckless driving.

RICKY MARTIN

Dogwood Road

Charleston

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