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 to the Editor: Butchered trees along Riverland Drive

Riverland Terrace Trees (copy)

Employees of Lewis Tree Service and Carolina Tree Care trim trees along Wappoo Hall Road in Riverland Terrace Thursday, March 21, 2019. Brad Nettles/Staff

I ride down Riverland Drive quite often. It’s a state designated scenic byway. But now, after Lewis Tree Service hired by Dominion Energy cut back the branches on these majestic oak trees, I cringe every time I go down the road. It is a scenic byway no more..

This butchering of our trees in our neighborhoods and along roads is a travesty, and I became interested as to how they can come with absolutely zero care in trying to mitigate damage to the health and aesthetics of our trees. I was blown away by what I found out about how they get away with it.

The rules they follow are not from the Public Service Commission or from any state regulations. Their guidelines are their own.

Lewis Tree Service is paid by the job, and the quicker they get in and out, the more profit they make. Time is money, and they don’t waste any of it.

I urge everyone who has had their trees cut to pieces by these companies to write their state legislators and send along pictures. It’s time to demand rules that prevent them from destroying the beauty of our neighborhoods and roads. They are our trees.

There is supposed to be a supervisor and arborist at every site, but I have stopped and asked only to be told there is none. What is going on?

EDMOND SOKOL

Welch Avenue

Charleston

Global water crisis

The freshwater crisis across the world is an immense problem.

Each person uses on average 80-110 gallons of water per day.

We are seventh-graders at Charleston County School of the Arts and have recently become aware of the problem at hand.

We are raising awareness, specifically for the nonprofit organization Water Mission, which is headquartered in North Charleston.

Water Mission has saved countless lives by installing water filters so people have clean, clear water. The nonprofit also creates long-term solutions for communities to stop the global water crisis.

Water is a precious resource. Every 37 seconds someone dies from a water-related illness. Think about your life and compare it to someone who has to worry about a necessity like clean water.

We must help them, for that is our duty as people of this Earth. We encourage everyone as they strive to be better humans in the new year by limiting water use and helping raise awareness for this cause. Think about the lives that will be saved. For more information, visit www.watermissions.org.

VAUGHN and VICTORIA HICKERSON

Cherokee Rose Circle

Mount Pleasant

Retirement capital

South Carolina needs to raise substantial amounts of revenue for our many needs, especially the existential threat that Charleston and the entire coast face due to rising seas and flooding. Here is my idea.

Florida is the retirement capital of America. It attracts more retirees than any other state. Arizona is in second place. South Carolina is in third place.

For every retiree that moves to our state, almost three new jobs are created. Retirees create a “mailbox economy.” Their retirement checks are used for food, housing, medical, transportation, legal and every sort of discretionary spending, which ultimately pours money into the state’s tax coffers.

The state of South Carolina should go head-to-head with Florida and eliminate personal income taxes for retirees over 65.

In addition, I propose that we create an “eco-retirement” community located somewhere along I-95, south of the I-95 and I-26 interchange. With a local-state-private consortium, we could create the first wholly developed retirement community using the latest and most environmentally friendly concepts in building, energy, transportation and recreation. We could call our retirement mecca “The Gardens.”

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South Carolina is in a prime position to attract those who otherwise drive straight through our state to Florida seeking retirement villages.

Within 20 years, The Gardens could become a major population center that garners national attention and boosts our states tax revenues exponentially.

TOM DI FIGLIO

Duck Hawk Retreat

Charleston

Love and hate

Hate is such a small word, only four characters, but the damage it does is enormous.

Hate is contagious. It spreads like wildfire. If left unattended, it will destroy an entire society.

I’m sure you are already shaking your head. “Impossible. You exaggerate. That’s too much.”

Love is also a small word. It, too, has only four characters, but its power is enormous. It can build relationships, build community and overcome the effects of hate.

Fourteen years ago, a small group of us set out to create a better environment in which to talk with each other. Some applauded our efforts. Others ridiculed us and our intentions.

The situation has grown worse. Violent speech leads to violent acts. In this season of peace in our country, we have seen an increase in violence against our Jewish brothers and sisters.

Do not wait until “Say Something Nice Day” on June 1 to say something nice. Do not let it be superficial but heartfelt. Do not wait to do something nice for someone who does not expect it.

If we want a better world, it is up to you and me to build it. It may be by eliminating the word “hate” from our vocabularies and our thoughts. It’s worth a try.

MITCH CARNELL

Birkenhead Drive

Charleston

Cruise ship tax

In the Dec. 25 Post and Courier, there was an article on how often the cruise ships will be docking in Charleston. There will be an estimated 330,000 cruise ship passengers in and out of our port.

As City Councilman Mike Seekings pointed out, this is the only port where these ships do not pay a head tax.

If these cruise ship passengers paid a head tax of $3.50 each, that would bring in an estimated $1,155,000 annually.

No need for the mayor to raise property taxes

NAOMI RADCLIFF

Market Street

Charleston

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