Need accountability

It has taken a while for me to be able to write about the death of my 20-year-old grandson, Hampton Wade.

In September 2018, Hampton was riding his motorcycle legally through an intersection in Simpsonville.

His best friend was close behind on a separate motorcycle. An oncoming car turned in front of Hampton, and the motorcycle broadsided the car.

Hampton died on the way to the hospital. The charge for the car driver is “failure to yield the right of way,” which generates a $235 fine.

Current law does not provide any penalty for injury or death. Please contact your legislator and support South Carolina House bill 3788, which provides for some accountability.

I, you or someone in your family may be the next victim of this travesty.

HAROLD WADE

Edisto Drive

Summerville

Education reform

I have followed The Post and Courier’s articles on education with great interest. At the latest school reform meeting there was a call for “better prepared teachers.”

However, what the schools really need are better prepared students. To paraphrase “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney’s comment of several years ago: To get better schools, we must get better students, and to get better students, we must have better parents.

Kids “living with trauma” are now the responsibility of schools. Because of all the discipline problems, some teachers rarely have time to actually teach.

Many school districts provide at least two free meals a day, and a few even send food home for the weekend. “From Cradle to Career” sounds great, but the outcome often means that some people never reach the “career” stage; we have become “From Cradle to Grave.”

A friend of mine taught English in China several years ago. In one class she had 77 students. When I asked her how she did it, she said she never had a discipline problem, not even once. And when she corrected a student’s grammar mistake, he thanked her. The pay was horrible; the conditions were overcrowded; supplies were often nonexistent. The difference was the students’ home; her students knew why they were in school, and they knew how to behave.

The best teacher in the county could be assigned to the worst class in any district, and she or he might have a minimal impact at best. Conversely, the worst teacher in the state could be put in a classroom with the best and brightest students, and that “bad teacher” would not turn those “good kids” into non-readers or criminals.

When it comes to addressing the problems in public education, America has a severe case of “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” We are not even allowed to name the problem because it is politically incorrect to do so, and the result is blatantly evident.

Thank you, Paul Bowers, for your continued coverage of education in our area.

LONNIE JONES TAYLOR

Angora Way

Summerville

Health care

In response to the April 5 letter to the editor titled “Health care,” the author makes some valid points but casually omits others.

He seems to believe, or imply, that as long as government is kept out, health care decisions will be left to patients.

This could not be further from the truth. Private insurers are controlling most decisions in today’s health care. Which procedures, which medications and, yes, what physicians and providers you can see.

Private insurers negotiate with providers, and the patient has little to no say in the matter, shy of going out of network and paying substantially more out of pocket for something you’ve already paid for.

So, do I trust government to “make health care decisions”? No, but I trust private insurers even less. Sometimes we are forced to choose the lesser of two evils. Until the greedy players are brought into check, there will be no right answer.

MARK WILSON

Somersby Lane

Mount Pleasant

Makes one think

I want to make sure I have this right. A college student is killed — and by no means do I want to minimize how absolutely horrible this is — and our politicians are on the verge of passing a law that all ride shares have to have a lighted sign to identify them.

Nine people are gunned down in a church during a Bible study almost four years ago, and our politicians do ... nothing. Hopefully it makes a lot of voters think.

JOHN DONALDSON

Shaftesbury Lane

Summerville

Complete streets

Katie Zimmerman’s powerful op-ed in the April 5 Post and Courier,  "‘Complete streets’ bill would help save lives,” really hits home.

One simple rule sums up the situation: Your control of a two-ton speeding hunk of metal makes you no more entitled than any other human.

In the real world, quite the opposite is true. If God had intended cars to inhabit the Earth, that tree in Eden would have been a Sonic Drive-In.

South Carolina, bless its heart, clings to the primacy of the automobile with its customary myopic obstinacy.

Never mind the nagging accumulation of annoying evidence that daily testifies to the fact that more cars and more highways are unlikely solutions to urban gridlock.

Playing its hand in this poker game, though, metro Charleston “stays,” not showing its cards and letting its stake ride despite growing risks to human safety. And in the ominous case of Charleston County Council, to the region’s fiduciary status that now will depend upon the success of our questionable “Trans-Stono Speedway,” the 8 miles of unyielding steel and concrete billed as a way to transform daily life for James Island and Johns Island commuters.

There’s a reason why the State Infrastructure Bank negotiated it’s way out of any responsibility for cost overruns on construction of the extra miles of I-526.

We cannot deny our way out of our historic failure to plan, or even buy our way out through taxation. But we should be in no doubt that we’ll keep trying.

PHILIP SNEAD

North Edgewater Drive

Charleston

Census debate

There’s a debate now about whether the Census Bureau should be able to ask people if they are citizens.

The argument against it is that it might be offensive to people who are here illegally.

Really? So, we’re supposed to spend more that $13 billion to do a census (that’s what the government spent in 2010) and not ask if the people are citizens?

MIKE FREDERICK

Meeting Street

Charleston

Tree pruning

Those who are complaining about the way the power company is pruning trees are the ones who expect and demand cheap and reliable electricity to their homes and businesses.

This kind of attitude reminds me of the adage: “They want the pie whole and the dog fed.”

G.A. MONOCRUSOS

Savannah Highway

Charleston

Water views

Good for those folks who object to the floating oyster farm that would obstruct their pristine view of the water.

Never mind that many of us like local oysters and that farms are sustainable and the oysters are good for the environment.

Do we really need Americans producing seafood here in the U.S.?

After all more than 80 percent of the seafood that we eat in this country is imported, much of it from China and Southeast Asia.

I say let’s import 100 percent, then we could fill in all of those salt marshes that act as a nursery for the few fish, crabs and oysters we have left. Then we could build more houses with pristine water views.

What a great country we live in.

DON JONES

Spring Branch Court

North Charleston