Is Google’s image earned? For innovation and creativity, sure.
Let’s look at some items that may earn the company a reputation it doesn’t want.
First is the issue of drawing millions of gallons of fresh water from our aquifer when there are alternatives.
Google has a large server installation in Finland where it is required to process sea water to cool the servers.
Why not here? Google has the knowledge, the resources and the saltwater. It might take a little creativity but it can be done.
Then, there’s the matter of demanding tax breaks to open or expand its data center.
In order for Google to attract talented people to work for the company, workers must be assured that they and their families will have access to police protection, fire protection, good schools, good medical services, good highways,good recreational facilities and everything else, including bike paths, clean streets and trash collection.
All paid for by taxes they wish to avoid.
What’s your image now, Google?
Sound View Drive
Buses and light rail
Columnist Ed Buckley evaluated our mass transit plans in the June 8 Post and Courier.
Of critical interest: “In fact, Charleston’s bus rapid transit system (BRT) will probably be the longest single line in the country.”
Bus ridership nationwide is down a billion riders per year over the past decade. Schedule dependability of BRT lines cannot compare to light rail. That dependability helps fuel the advantage light rail holds over bus rapid transit in spurring economic development. The longer the line, the more delays between stations as buses compete with other traffic along shared routes. The footprint needed for BRT, two dedicated lanes along the Rivers Avenue corridor, should be of great concern.
Cleveland’s BRT has been advanced as a model. Three lines through dense urban corridors supplement miles of commuter rail lines connecting the suburbs. Compare this to 23 miles of our planned line through less dense urban and suburban environs.
Buckley’s Richmond comparison fails in a similar fashion. The BRT rollout in Albuquerque stalled because of problems with the all-electric buses and concerns over required capacity to support other vehicles now that BRT lanes have been established.
The northern peninsula corridor is poised for the kind of rapid economic expansion that only light rail brings.
William Cogswell’s Roadstead Group has proposed exciting plans for the Rivers/Cosgrove area.
There is no historical data to show that BRT would be the economic accelerator supporting investments in the area.
Make cities safer
On May 20, a North Charleston teenager was killed in a shooting. According to police, Saquan Knight’s death was the 11th homicide in the city this year.
Community members marched to the place where Knight was killed and took turns talking about how violence has affected them.
According to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence report, South Carolina has the 12th highest gun death rate in the nation.
Every day, we lose 100 Americans to gun violence, and yet our federal background check system has not been updated since the Brady Bill in 1993.
Today, about 25 percent of Americans who get a firearm do so without a background check, including those with records of criminal and domestic violence.
The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed HR8, a comprehensive background check bill to help curb gun violence. The bill has been passed to the U.S. Senate as S42.
The support for this bill by 97 percent of Americans should convince U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham that his support is expected if he is truly concerned about the many people who have died due to gun violence, in homicides, accidents and suicides.
Please join me in urging Sen. Graham to support this long overdue update that would save lives and make our communities safer.
Once again, I must bring up my Charleston Nine, the victims who perished in the Albright & Wilson explosion on June 17, 1991, in one of the city’s worst industrial disasters.
My husband, JT, and I worked with these people, knew them and miss them.
Please remember Timmy Chubb (22), Dennis Douglas (45), Steve Evans (35), Harold Gates (38), Mark Hughes (37), Brian Kinney (27), Greg Pye (29) and Richard Westbury (28), who all worked for Easy Way Insulation in the Albright & Wilson building.
We had one survivor, Frank Grimes.
Albright & Wilson employee Francis Smalls (34) also perished.
Our prayers also go out to the other Charleston Nines: Mother Emanuel and Sofa Super Store.
Eastern White Pines Road