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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: SC Highway 41 should be widened

  • Updated
Intersection of highways 41 and 17 under Alternative 1 (copy)

A rendering of the proposed intersection of S.C. Highway 41 and U.S. Highway 17 in Mount Pleasant, from Charleston County's online presentation. Provided

For the past 28 years, I watched the growth in the Highway 41 area of Mount Pleasant and would like to make a case for the proposed road-widening route.

  • Satellite imagery over the past 50 years shows farm land and woods. Very few structures existed in the Phillips community in 1970 likely belonging to families who worked the land. Over the last 40 years, the area changed from farmland to large communities such as Dunes West, and Rivertowne. Critics had the opportunity to comment against these developments. It was clear that Highway 41 would serve as a means to commute. Schools, recreational facilities and a state park also were created and approved for the benefit of all.
  • Over the years, the area obtained water, sewer and power. Current Highway 41 traffic volumes create a danger to bicyclists and pedestrians. The proposed road allows residents of the community to commute safely. The Phillips community sends their kids to the best public schools in the state. The community has access to supermarkets, medical services and gas stations. Prior to the development, the residents did not have these benefits.
  • Property value increased exponentially. The structures have not been identified by the South Carolina State Historic Preservation Office. Many are double-wide mobile homes or buildings in poor condition. With the purchase of the road land, these families will be able to improve property. Many heirs no longer live in the community. Information should be published based on census information or town records.

The Phillips community should gain the benefits of the project and remain as part of the community.

RICHARD GARCIA

Shell Ring Circle

Mount Pleasant

Hwy. 41 route wrong

For those of us who might feel assured by the claims of Sen. Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr that this nation is no longer racist, I would suggest otherwise.

The recent decision to construct a road through the historic Phillips community is a travesty and smacks of racism.

The residents of this community have witnessed the onslaught of traffic making Highway 41 a nightmare due to the greed of developers and poor decisions by those in charge of planning.

Rather than build a road through their community, everything should be done to protect the residents of Phillips and, for that matter, the other African American communities still remaining in Mount Pleasant.

Charleston County needs to go back to the drawing board.

And the suggestion that some homeowners would not be compensated because they do not have the necessary paperwork is beyond comment.

KAY NIELSEN

East Vagabond Lane

Mount Pleasant

Voting safeguards

Don’t worry about people voting twice in Charleston County. The poll workers will flag you immediately when you try to vote in-person after having requested an absentee ballot.

During the last voting cycle, we opened our ballot envelope to fill in our absentee ballots. My wife’s ballot was in the envelope, but mine was missing.

Since the election was coming up very soon, rather than track down the missing ballot, I decided to vote in person.

As soon as I presented my license to the poll worker, he told me that the record showed my request for absentee voting.

I could not vote the standard in-person way. The only way I could vote was by meeting with a supervisor at the site.

The supervisor said that mistakes do happen with the envelope stuffing.

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She could let me record a provisional ballot that would be checked against the list of absentee ballots that were actually received. That seems like a good system to me.

I hope that each South Carolina county and every state has the same sort of ability to intervene if a person attempts to vote both absentee and in-person, especially if the attempt is totally innocent.

BARRY BREIBART

Pasdalum Court

Charleston

Honor Simmons

It would be a shame if Charleston City Council destroys the classic Neolithic 124-year-old monument base in Calhoun Square.

Instead, the base would be a good spot to honor Charleston’s much-loved blacksmith and artisan Philip Simmons, who deserves such recognition in the city he so handsomely enhanced.

On my first trip to Charleston in 1954 at age 12 when we stayed at the Fort Sumter Hotel, my mother made sure I saw the real Charleston.

I can still remember seeing the Egret Gate, which is absolutely stunning.

I urge everyone involved to rethink destroying the base and put it to good use honoring such a great man as Philip Simmons.

JULES HALEY

Middle Street

Mount Pleasant

Break stalemate

The COVID-19 pandemic requires urgent and ongoing action to prevent health and economic catastrophe from wrecking lives and wreaking havoc on the country.

The most recent health and economic action to relieve the pressure and address the challenges being faced by the American people occurred months ago. Congress and the president have failed to reach an agreement in the fight against the effects of COVID-19 and support the American people.

Rather, Congress adjourned for its summer recess while the country continued to struggle with climbing case numbers (including deaths) and continued economic pain.

Furthermore, in many low-income countries, the pandemic is undermining decades of progress in fighting disease. As a result, millions of children are going without life-saving vaccines, and food insecurity and starvation are rising fast.

Nongovernmental organizations that help in these fights, like the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, are out of money. This is not only a humanitarian crisis but can lead to political destabilization and, in turn, worse outcomes not only for those countries but world leaders like the U.S.

I call on my representative and senators to break the stalemate in Washington and pass an emergency response package that addresses the needs of America and the world to support people throughout this pandemic and its aftermath.

ZACHARY EAGLE

Johnson Road

Charleston

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