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The College of Charleston is working with the city of Charleston to improve "town and gown" issues. file/Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff

I read with interest the recent article about Charleston’s Livability Court and how College of Charleston students integrate into the downtown community.

Having worked on several urban campuses around the country before becoming president of the college this year, I have seen and experienced many “town and gown” issues firsthand, and I can honestly say that Charleston and the college have done so many things right to forge an excellent partnership, one that many college communities around the country would envy.

Since my arrival in Charleston, I have learned a great deal about our programs in the Office of Community Relations and in the Division of Student Affairs. They work collaboratively with my office and others on campus to educate our students about being good neighbors, to hold them accountable when mistakes are made and to work with residents to provide a direct line of communication when issues do arise.

In recent weeks, I have met with city of Charleston administrators, City Council members and several neighborhood associations to learn more about our community as well as to discuss ways we can continue to improve these relationships. I am also a parent of teenagers, so I am not naïve about the challenges that we, as parents and a community, all face in raising our children to become respectful and considerate adults who give back to and work to improve the communities in which we live.

Part of what makes our city so vibrant and energetic is the student body at the College of Charleston. Our students bring youth, diversity, enthusiasm and creativity. They make our community better through their many volunteer activities and civic engagements. They enrich our quality of life through their cultural, artistic and athletic endeavors.

College students also make significant contributions to our local and state economies, not just as consumers but as interns and employees. Simply put, they are a vital part of Charleston.

As we prepare to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the college’s founding next year, an event that will pay tribute to the symbiotic relationship between our university and its city, I’m looking forward to continuing to engage with city and neighborhood leaders to ensure the college and its students are doing all that we can to maintain and strengthen this incredibly important town-and-gown relationship.


President, College of Charleston

George Street


Saudi attack

The attack on the Aramco oil refinery was on Saudi Arabian soil, not ours. The response should come from the Sunni Saudis who want to fight the Shiite Iranians down to the last American.

The Saudis did not engage their considerable capabilities face-to-face with belligerents in either the tanker wars of 1988 or in Operation Desert Storm to assist the United States.

Further, they dragged the U.S. into Syria so they could get an oil pipeline right of way to the Mediterranean and not have to send their ships through the Strait of Hormuz.

War with Iran is an issue for the Saudis to undertake, not the United States.


Retired Navy captain

Ashmont Drive


Height variances

The Mount Pleasant Town Council gave initial approval for a variance allowing building heights up to 80 feet on a 30-acre parcel at Patriots Point on and near the parking lot at the Yorktown.

This reflects the mindset of some council members regarding the future of what our town should look like. We have seen what height variances have done for the aesthetics of Coleman Boulevard, and it appears we will get more of the same at Patriots Point.

Major Mount Pleasant hotel, retail development gets initial OK for taller buildings

The developer, Michael Bennett, has a significant amount of additional property at Patriots Point under lease or under option. And there will likely be more requests for height variances. Much of this property sits on Charleston Harbor to the east of The Cottages. This means that 80-foot buildings there would be Mount Pleasant’s skyline.

The 5-4 council vote indicates there are those who value the importance of controlling the scale of development. Council members Joe Bustos, Jim Owens, G.M. Whitley and Mayor Will Haynie voted against the variance while Bob Brimmer, Kevin Cunnane, Kathy Landing, Tom O’Rouke and Gary Santos voted to approve it.

We read articles almost daily about the decline of Mount Pleasant’s appeal because of rampant development. This is an opportunity to minimize it. Remember this when you go to the polls.


Bayview Acres

Mount Pleasant

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Bicycle path debris

I live off Betsy Kerrison Parkway. My husband and I ride bikes on one or two paths. Before Hurricane Dorian, the paths were in terrible shape. Bushes were hanging over the path, and there was too little “falling room” next to traffic flying by on the way to Kiawah and Seabrook islands.

After Dorian, the paths are not in good enough shape to even ride on.

Massive SC cleanup from Hurricane Dorian ongoing, residents urged to finish Sunday

I wonder if whoever is in charge of cleaning up the paths really cares. I wonder if they would be cleaned up if someone famous was going to see them.

As a bike rider, I would love to see them cleaned up and some signs put up to caution drivers to watch out for bike riders.

Also, there should be no parking on the sidewalk. The cars will not slow down to let you pass.

Please pay attention to bike riders and walkers. If drivers could switch places with us, they would know how we feel.


Habitat Boulevard

Johns Island

Road completion

I want to thank the S.C. Transportation Department, Berkeley County and others entities that have been involved with the funding, design and construction of the expanded section of Clements Ferry Road.

I drove on it recently and it was a pleasure after the previous congestion and waits.


Carmel Bay Drive

Mount Pleasant