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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: Respect Charleston’s history, culture

Calhoun letters Dec. 16

The developer of the proposed eight-story apartment complex at 295 Calhoun St. in Charleston is suing the city and the Board of Architectural Review for rejecting the project’s design a third time in November.  Rendering/DCS Design

I see another developer has come to Charleston to make his fortune, only to be “foiled” by the established rules and concerned citizens of the city.

So, of course, he is going to sue, feeling he has been wronged.

I only wish developers who come — and have come — to Charleston would take a moment to realize what makes the city so attractive to them in the first place.

For most of the 20th century, committed and passionate citizens of Charleston have worked tirelessly to protect the wonderful city they inherited.

This has been done with the establishment of rules and regulations, endless citizen involvement with the overseeing boards (Zoning and Board of Architectural Review) as well as sheer sweat and expense to preserve and restore the historic fabric of Charleston.

It is for this reason that Charleston has survived to the 21st century as a great preserved city. And it is this preserved cityscape that has made Charleston so desirable, and this is what draws the developers.

My wish would be that they would enter the city with respect for the citizens who are the foundation of Charleston’s success, as well as respect the long-standing rules and regulations that help protect Charleston’s architectural history and culture.



Detention library

It is most gratifying to learn of Charleston County Sheriff Kristin Graziano’s successful efforts to improve conditions at the juvenile detention center.

Her mission focuses on rehabilitating these teens. The new library, staffed twice a month by a Charleston County Public Library librarian, should enhance opportunities to improve the children’s education.

Almost 80% of those in juvenile detention read below grade level.

It was less gratifying to learn that the sheriff’s office and the public library are asking for the community’s help in purchasing books.

Could not some funding come from the billions of dollars received from the COVID-19 relief package?

I would assume that upon their release that most of these students will reenter public schools. It would be a travesty if they had not also shared in academic recovery interventions provided by the congressional relief dollars.

The road ahead for them will be tough, and being farther behind academically will make it tougher.


Mount Pleasant

Davis’ resignation

I am appalled by the weak statements and apparent acceptance by Charleston County Council members to the resignation of Darrell Davis, director of Charleston County’s affordable housing planning initiative, as reported in the Dec. 1 Post and Courier.

That none of the council members were aware of Mr. Davis’ resignation seems to give credence to his characterization of Charleston County’s administration as having a “pretty oppressive work environment” and “culture of implicit bias.”

As a former county department director in a different state, I was encouraged and expected to communicate with the elected members of council and other department heads. That’s how transparent and effective government should work.

It is time for County Council to critically review and assess its own administrative house and make changes if it truly wants to be seen as a credible, trusted and optimally functional government body that understands and provides for the needs of its taxpaying residents.

I believe more information on the situation could be obtained from the county’s Housing Steering Committee, which was temporarily suspended, and the Charleston Area Justice Ministry, which has been pushing for an affordable housing trust fund since 2017.

Ignoring this situation and Mr. Davis’ stated reasons for resigning should not be an option.



Respect all rights

I thank The Post and Courier for publishing the Dec. 4 Associated Press article by Peter Smith about nonreligious voters wielding clout at the ballot box.

Yes, we do tilt heavily Democratic, especially with the increasing influence of white Christian nationalism in the Republican Party.

I am proud to be a member of the Secular Democrats of America. We work to protect the separation of religion and government as the best guarantee of religious freedom for all Americans.

We encourage the nonreligious to have an equal voice in our culture and our politics alongside people of faith.

The statistical category called “nones,” consisting of atheists, agnostics and other people with no religious affiliation, is a fast-growing demographic.

In 2021 the Pew Research Center measured the “nones” at 29% of the U.S. population, and it is steadily increasing, especially among young people.

We “nones” appreciate the Congressional Freethought Caucus, founded in 2018, that now includes 17 members of Congress.

This caucus promotes public policy formed on the basis of reason, science and moral values. It protects the secular character of our government by adhering to the strict constitutional principle of the separation of church and state.

During this holiday season, we need to remember that our diverse country includes people of all faiths and none, and we need to respect the rights of both.

That way we all win, regardless of political party.



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