On June 28, South Carolinians will celebrate the 242nd Carolina Day, commemorating the Battle of Sullivan’s Island.
On June 28, 1776, an assault by combined British naval and other military forces attempted to seize Charles Town, at the time the fourth largest city in British North America and far and away the wealthiest city in Britain’s American empire.
A small force of Carolina patriots responded to this attack; they included South Carolinians, North Carolinians and Native Americans, all commanded by Col. William Moultrie and Col. William “Danger” Thomson.
Defending Breach Inlet and the partially completed palmetto fort (then known as Fort Sullivan and now known as Fort Moultrie), the Carolinians defied the odds and successfully repelled the invasion force.
Their spectacular victory against the might of the British Empire, the most powerful military force in the world at the time, dampened British hopes for quickly subduing the rebellion in the American colonies and greatly strengthened the patriots’ resolve for independence.
It was not until Aug. 2, 1776 that patriots were just then signing the Declaration of
Independence, and newspaper articles of
the day and signer’s journals offer proof
that many found their resolve by learning about this great triumph at Charleston Harbor.
First known as “Palmetto Day,” our Carolina Day celebration was born of this important victory, so on Friday, we urge South Carolinians and visitors to our state to come to Charleston to St. Michael’s Church at 10 a.m. and participate in a service of thanksgiving, including much patriotic music.
At 11 a.m., groups invited to participate will gather at Washington Park, and then at 11:30 will march to White Point Garden to hear Jack Warren speak.
Mr. Warren, executive director of the American Revolution Institute of the Society of the Cincinnati and a George Washington scholar, will stand alongside the statute of Sergeant Jasper and speak about “The Improbable Victory that Made Us a Nation.”
Revolutionary re-enactors will have a surprise for all gathered, and the Charleston Concert Band will offer a free concert of patriotic music.
As always, please fly your state flag on June 28; it really inspires all of us to see, as we travel around our great state, a field of indigo blue and white.
All citizens are welcome to join us to celebrate why this hard-fought victory is an essential part of our state’s role in securing the freedoms we enjoy today.
Palmetto Society of Charleston
East Wimbledon Drive
School crossing officers
I would like to thank Charleston County school crossing officers. I want to acknowledge all the hard work they did over this past school year.
As their supervisor, it was, again, my privilege to support their efforts and acknowledge their contributions.
They deal with inclement weather, speeding vehicles and crosswalk encroachment, not to mention some unpleasant and unappreciative attitudes from impatient drivers.
Please remember that crossing officers are there because they love the children, your children and grandchildren, and they want to protect them from harm.
Strong mayor for towns
The June 16 Post and Courier editorial “Strong mayor more than a title” actually makes the case for a strong mayor by pointing out that Charleston and North Charleston do not have dysfunctional governments like Mount Pleasant and Summerville. These two towns with strong mayors are not constantly squabbling on the front pages of the newspaper.
A “strong mayor” (mayor-council) form of government provides citizens with a single elected official responsible for unifying the views of the other council members and delivering balanced services to the entire town.
A “weak mayor” (council) form of government provides a 7- or 9-member council of equals, each representing a portion of the town and fighting for a share of resources for their district. The mayor does not have the authority to see that those resources are unified or fairly distributed.
Summerville chose a “council” form of government under the Home Rule Act of 1975 but left in its ordinances an opportunity for strong mayoral authority. When the current mayor won that job, the lame duck council voted to strip the mayor’s office of most of its authority and leadership roles even before Wiley Johnson was sworn in as mayor.
The result is that Summerville has an extremely dysfunctional government where staff members are not accountable on a daily basis to anyone and do not follow town ordinances and state statutes.
Rapidly growing large towns like Mount Pleasant and Summerville require a single point of leadership under a strong mayor to meet the challenges of rapid growth.
South Magnolia Street
Polling about free college
The above-the-fold, front-page headline in the June 17 Post and Courier was “Dems in 2020 race back free college.”
I’m sure this position, stated this way, will poll exceedingly well.
A more truthful statement of the same position would be: “Dems in 2020 race back raising your taxes to provide free college.” I wonder how that would poll?
Shortsighted traffic plans
Discussions about traffic in Charleston generally center around widening existing roads or finishing I-526. I submit that both are shortsighted and ineffective. We seem to be trying to use a 1960s solution to a 2019 problem.
Plans are already afoot for widening Glenn McConnell Boulevard, Highway 41 and Maybank Highway, and for improving the nightmare intersection of U.S. 17 and Main Road. Just pouring more concrete, as a letter writer suggested a few weeks ago, will turn us into an Atlanta or Houston.
I think the only smart thing to do is a well thought-out light rail system. Instead of sitting in the parking lots that most of our main arteries have become, wouldn’t it be nice after a day of hard work, to sit in a soft seat, read a magazine, sip on a Starbucks or whatever you put in your Thermos that day as you zip by those who choose to drive. As the population grows, and it surely will, the next proposed solution might be widening Bohicket and Ashley River roads.
Admittedly, light rail costs more to build. But 10 years down the road the benefits would pay off in lower road maintenance costs, less gas consumption, better time management and considerably less stress.
TERRY L. RYAN
All the talk lately about impeaching the president is adorable. Few people argue that Donald Trump has committed numerous crimes, which are more than enough to impeach him, but very few Americans care. Many Americans got their tax cut, especially the 1 percenters, and that’s pretty much all they really care about. All that matters is that the rich get richer.
All the rest of it, like health care, infrastructure, gun laws and ending endless wars mean nothing.
The president has all the support from the Senate he needs. Oh, there are a few in the House who may have enough support to bring charges against the president, but our Senate would laugh at any such resolution.
Everyone knows that impeachment is dead on arrival. There’s no crime the president could commit that could result in his removal from office. So we can all rest assured he will remain in office for at least two, and likely six, more years.
Good luck to the American people.
Cross Timbers Drive
The other evening it was reported on the national news that Google’s net profit from reusing news for which it paid nothing was about $4.7 billion.
So Google can well afford to run its own pipeline to a local surface water source.
The Middendorf aquifer belongs to the people of South Carolina, not some multibillion-dollar corporation.
In the June 12 Post and Courier, a letter writer had all kinds of suggestions for using the heated water put out by Google, but he neglected to say it would be South Carolina’s people and city governments who would be paying to do it.
In the 1930s when William Mulholland brought water to Los Angeles, no one thought it would ever dry up, but much of it has.
Google, leave our water alone. If you agree, email SC DHEC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NAOMI N. RADCLIFF
Preserve oasis of beauty
I recently enjoyed a wonderful morning at the Charleston County Public Library’s main branch for the Summer Reading Kick Off.
I was overwhelmed by a big-box building nearby, and a police officer agreed that is the Charleston of today.
I went to Theodora Park next to the Gaillard Center. It was so beautiful, I hope they don’t put a six-story building over that park. There will be more flooding for sure.
Sand Dollar Drive
Isle of Palms
Technology disrupting world
In a salute to skepticism and the pathways to knowledge that it opens, the Royal Society adopted the motto, Nullius in Verba (take nobody’s word for it).
Since the beginning of time, there has been no better shortcut to the truth than to dig into the facts for yourself.
Now, however, technology is about to turn that advice on its head. Facebook and Twitter and their clones came close to disrupting all forms of research in 2016 when Russian bots posted fake news that were hard to detect and analyze. Now, an even greater threat is emerging.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently saw herself in a video that was part fake and part real. The words, even the gestures were hers. But the pace of her delivery wasn’t. It had been altered to make her appear as if she were doddering, which of course she isn’t.
She, and we, were witnessing the rollout of a video-doctoring “deep fake” technology that might show anyone saying and doing things they never had.
Reporters almost immediately spotted the altered video. But what if dozens or hundreds of fake videos arrived on the internet within a short time? Like a hailstorm of lies, it’s impossible to investigate the early ones before being overtaken by a set of new ones.
If fake news means we can’t rely on our eyes and ears, truth becomes unknowable.
Wildlife refuge a treasure
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an American treasure that belongs to all of us. It has sustained the Gwich’in people for tens of thousands of years. They call it “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins.”
A nursery for all kinds of beloved animals year round, the coastal plain supports thousands of calving caribous in the spring, nesting migratory birds in the summer and denning polar bears in the winter.
Most importantly, protecting the caribou is a matter of human rights for the Gwich’in. Their spiritual and cultural identity centers on the caribou, and they depend on caribou for food. Drilling threatens caribou migrations and birth rates, threatening the Gwich’in way of life.
The Trump administration’s rush to lease out the refuge must be stopped. We must restore protections for this sacred place, the wildest landscape left on our continent and, most importantly, preserve it for the people who depend on it.
The Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act would restore protections and keep oil exploration out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
I am grateful to Rep. Joe Cunningham for championing the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act, which is pending in the House of Representatives. It’s time to protect the Arctic and stand with the Gwich’in.
Hopefully, the full House will support and pass this vital legislation.
AMBER GRACE JOYNER
Volunteer dads in schools
A friend of ours just recently became a part of a pilot WatchDOGS program in Buffalo, N.Y. DOGS stands for Dads Of Great Students and is an initiative of the National Center for Fathering. This program is open to schools for grades K-12, but tends to be most popular for the elementary schools.
It looks like a great way to add security to a school in a volunteer manner. Some students lack a father figure involved in their lives. This addresses that need. What schools also need is more help with monitoring for issues that could be harmful in and around schools. This could help with that need.
Many fathers, grandfathers or other relatives who want to be a part of their young person’s life would be a good fit.
By using volunteers, there is a economic benefit to the schools, making it a win-win.
Participants of this growing national program must undergo an interview and a background check and are closely watched during their time in the school.
It looks like an interesting way to partner with our children, our schools and our parents who choose to volunteer.
Once dads start volunteering, they often get involved in other activities at schools as well. Spread the word and help meet these needs across the nation, and particularly in our tri-county area. For more information about this program, go to bit.ly/2WR5hvn.
War to rally support?
History shows that many dictators, when faced with domestic political problems, turn to foreign intrigue (i.e., war) to rally patriotic support.
I fear that Donald Trump may be longing for a war with Iran for just such a reason.
There was really no rational reason for Trump to back out of agreements made with respect to Iran’s nuclear program (over the objections of our NATO allies), and certainly no reason to embargo oil sales from that country. This is all Trump hubris.
I think Rep. Nancy Pelosi had it right when she said that Donald Trump didn’t know the difference between right and wrong, and that is the best thing she can say about him.
WILLIAM A. JOHNSON
Charleston County zoning
Zoning across Charleston County has not kept up with growth or the expectations of our residents. We need better countywide zoning requirements, better tree planting and landscaping requirements, stricter tree cutting ordinances, including for larger pine trees.
Buildings should fit with existing trees. There should be no clear-cutting of properties and then planting a few street trees.
Signage should be better, smaller and more pleasing to the eye. Older properties built when zoning was nonexistent should, when renovated, be brought up to existing requirements, including better architectural standards and improved landscaping.
We should strive to be part of the natural environment, not an asphalt desert. We should look to how Hilton Head and Kiawah were planned.
A good example of development would be the new James Island Town Hall, where the building and the signage reflect the island’s architecture. It is a good example of what Charleston County should require of all businesses. We are very shortsighted in our requirements and should be more mindful of what we are leaving for future generations.
Fort Lamar Road
Thanks for tip on robocallers
I want to thank the April 24 letter writer for the tip about using 77 on my phone to block calls from “unknown” numbers.
I was getting several calls a day and am now getting none. I can’t tell you what a relief it has been.
Pier View Street