Brith Sholom Beth Israel synagogue (copy)

Brith Sholom Beth Israel synagogue recently celebrated Rosh Hashanah with security provided by members of St. Michael's Church. file/Staff

On the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashana, my synagogue had a problem. We are a historic synagogue in a prominent downtown Charleston location and we hire off-duty Charleston police officers to provide security.

Unfortunately, in the world in which we live, a synagogue, or any house of worship for that matter, cannot be too careful. In addition to our spiritual needs, the synagogue must now also take our safety into consideration.

But on Oct. 1, one of the High Holy Days, we were without protection. Our wonderful Charleston police officers, headed by Lt. Matt Wojslawowicz, had other commitments.

Left without our hired security force on one of our highest profile days of the year, we turned to our brothers in faith at St. Michael’s Church. They rose to the occasion beyond all expectations.

Stuart Kaufman, a member of our synagogue, contacted members of the safety ministry at St. Michael’s and without batting an eye. They immediately volunteered to stand guard in front of our synagogue on Rosh Hashana.

What a touching sight to see. Three gentleman from St. Michael’s Church risking their own lives to protect us on our holiday.

All the members of Brith Sholom Beth Israel owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Ken Ross, Frank Farmer and Jim Sullivan for their time, friendship and compassion. We are also indebted to Col. Greg Kitchens and the Rev. Alfred Zadig Jr. for their guidance and leadership.

Our two faiths may disagree on much, but we share more in common. When good people stand together for what is right, despite their traditions and beliefs, the world becomes a better place. I thank the fine gentleman from St. Michael’s for teaching me this lesson on Rosh Hashana.

RABBI MOSHE DAVIS

Brith Sholom Beth Israel

Rutledge Avenue

Charleston

Stay informed

In any debate there are different, supposedly informed opinions. Each side has equal time to present their arguments, hoping to convince an arbiter that their side is more believable.

Political debate today is heavily influenced by the three cable news networks with vastly different views. The problem is that most people watch only one network. That is not a debate, it is a monologue.

I would suggest that people watch (no matter how revolting) all three for an equal amount of time before making a final decision.

See who their guests are, what their qualifications are, what political experience they have and what education they have.

I think this is the most important election of our lifetime. We are the arbiters of this debate. We cannot afford to make a mistake.

TERRY L. RYAN

Gunclub Road

Charleston

Public trust broken

As local politicians and officials gathered to celebrate the renewed enthusiasm for getting the I-526 extension moving forward, as reported Sept. 29 in The Post and Courier, let us not forget the trust that has been lost by our Charleston County Council, Charleston City Council, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the governor and others.

The I-526 extension was never a listed project on the 2016 road sales tax referendum. Many other worthy road projects were listed and, as such, approved by the voters for the new revenue stream to solve traffic woes throughout Charleston County.

SC, Charleston politicos hail momentum shift on I-526 extension, but the game isn't over

My concerns are not just for the “lost trust” I have for the proponents of this project but how it will affect my backyard highway project, the widening of Highway 41, which is desperately needed.

If these proponents have it in their minds to complete this very expensive road project at any cost and they are not willing to put it to the voters in a renewed referendum, then my only answer is to remind the voters of Charleston County to let them know how you feel at the ballot box.

I, for one, will not be voting for any supporter of the I-526 extension project.

ELTON CARRIER

King Street

Mount Pleasant

Save Social Security

Our legislators should be bi-partisan on at least one issue, saving Social Security.

When first enacted in 1935, calculations for financing the program were based on the population continuing to grow, not leveling off as is the case today.

Editorial: Social Security needs bipartisan fix to stay on its feet

Let’s do an immediate fix based on revised population growth (or shrinkage) and adjust contributions and withholdings for both employers and employees.

Over the years, additional benefits have been added to the program. They need to be calculated into the much-needed increase.

Other “no brainer” fixes include eliminating the Medicare withholdings cap for high-wage earners.

Next. you could eliminate the ridiculous death benefit amount of $255 and all of the associated administrative costs.

Another benefit, where a spouse can select an amount equal to 50% of the higher earning spouse’s benefit, should be eliminated or at least factored into contributions.

Yes, there will be some partisan haggling when it comes to fine tuning, but let’s get it done before it is too late.

Both sides of the fence already include this income in their retirement plans, and to eliminate or underfund this entitlement would be a disaster to society.

Congressional time and expense could already have been funded by what was spent on the Mueller report. Let’s do something for

the common good besides bicker.

TOM NELSON

Lampton Road

Charleston

Google and water

Editorial: SC DHEC needs to get Google out of our groundwater

Why does Google need to pump 1.5 million gallons of our water daily when a Sept. 22 op-ed in The New York Times by Al Gore said the company is saving 40% in cooling costs at its data centers by using artificial intelligence?

The economic benefits for Berkeley County don’t outweigh the loss in this resource for other communities.

CATHERINE YOUNG

Tides End Road

Charleston

More readers react to SC Highway 61 plan

Scenic Highway 61 (copy) (copy) (copy) (copy)

Possible tree trimming along S.C. Highway 61 has raised the ire of area residents. file/Brad Nettles/Staff

Protect important route

Since I was an infant, visits to Charleston have been regular events in my life.

My mother’s family settled there in 1687; in the early 1820s, my great-great-great-grandfather, Charles Edmondston, built what is now known as the Edmondston-Alston House. I still have relatives in the area.

I’ve loved the Lowcountry’s beauty for as long as I can recall, and particularly remember our drives out to Summerville to see my grandmother. Before the interstate, our route was always Ashley River Road. Its distinctive appearance was impressive, its ancient canopy of live oaks unforgettable.

Commentary: Protect trees and improve safety on historic SC Highway 61

Now DOT wants to turn the state’s oldest existing road into something ordinary, cutting down hundreds of those trees. They want to add bike lanes and a “clear zone” at the cost of a unique stretch of unequalled loveliness.

A compromise that would spare many of the trees near Middleton Place just isn’t good enough. DOT really needs to build a safe, modern road parallel to Ashley River Road, and protect this important site that long since earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

DOT has a duty to keep Charleston’s special qualities intact, and preserve Ashley River Road.

SARAH BRYAN MILLER

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Barrett Chase Circle

Ballwin, Missouri

Dangers of inattentive drivers

Regarding the Sept. 25 Post and Courier article discussing the cutting down of trees on Highway 61, “It’s too beautiful to destroy”:

I was amazed by the statement made by the South Carolina Department of Transportation director of traffic engineering: “There’s one fatality on this road every year and I want to do whatever I can to make that not happen in the future.”

Commentary: Protect trees and improve safety on historic SC Highway 61

It would be wonderful if we could apply those same statistics to all the other highways in the state.

I didn’t research the numbers, but I know there are numerous fatalities on Folly Road, and the trees have long been cut back and the road widened.

The trees aren’t at fault. Too many inattentive and reckless drivers is what kills.

DONNA DAWSON-HETHINGTON

Bishop Gadsden Way

Charleston

Paving paradise not the answer

I live in a neighborhood that has trees and native plants just off Ashley River Road.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation’s resurfacing and widening plan will cut down the ancient moss-draped oak trees to replace them with concrete and cookie-cutter houses.

Editorial: Protect what makes Charleston special

Quoting from the song “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell, the lyrics echo my sentiments in regard to the plan.

“They took all the trees and put them in a museum and charged all the people a dollar and a half to see ’em.

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

LORETTA GRIMES

Fieldstone Circle

Charleston

Speed enforcement is highway solution

Anybody who has driven S.C. Highway 61 would probably agree with the article headlined “It’s too beautiful to destroy.”

There is a simple solution for rural road safety and maintaining the beauty of Highway 61.

In Germany, there are many beautiful rural roads and moderate speed limits are strictly enforced. If you exceed the speed limit, you will be sent a picture so clear it will show a pimple on your face along with a ticket that carries a hefty fine.

Highway 61 is a very scenic road and any alternative to destroying the trees is worth considering.

LARRY NYSVEEN

Hollyridge Lane

Summerville