Carnival Cruise Line’s larger ship Sunshine was in port for the first time May 18.

Given that the ship holds a thousand more passengers than the previous ship, one might have logically anticipated more traffic congestion, and that certainly proved true.

For several hours in the early afternoon, traffic was gridlocked along all streets leading to Union Pier, including Calhoun, Washington, Concord and Laurens.

Because we live in that area, as do 340 other families living in six condominiums along those streets, the only way we could get home was to go the wrong way on Laurens Street.

I saw an ambulance doing the same thing.

This is exactly what was anticipated, but the State Ports Authority continues to insist Union Pier is the only possible site for cruise ships.

Hello, Mayor John Tecklenburg and City Council: Are you listening? Do you care?

TOMMIE ROBERTSON

Laurens Street

Charleston

Election issues

The Post and Courier published an article May 16 that focused on what Charleston voters say matter most in a crowded seven-candidate mayoral race.

Where did you get this information to say what “voters say matter most”? Not to minimize any of the issues addressed, but where did this come from?

Of the issues, two concern small areas of West Ashley. The problem here is that all of West Ashley is a problem.

The $500,000 West Ashley master plan report is 264 pages and there have been scores of meetings, but very little is happening.

The “Plan West Ashley” report highlights the most important issues that the mayoral candidates must address. We need leadership and someone who can make things happen because, right now, I don’t see much happening except for meetings.

Ideally, West Ashley needs a full-time professional who would advocate for the area and implement the plan. The city of Charleston is too big and too complex for a mayor and City Council to manage.

Lay leaders and some council members make up the West Ashley Revitalization Commission. No offense, but these are lay leaders, and City Council members are not full-time staffers.

The candidates have yet to say how they would implement the West Ashley plan.

Hire a full-time professional who reports directly to the mayor or this will happen at a snail’s pace.

City officials have been planning for West Ashley for 19 years. The new mayor needs to be a leader with an action plan. Would any of the candidates like to address this? This situation reminds me of the old Wendy’s commercial: “Where’s the beef?”

LARRY FREUDENBERG

Gardner Road

Charleston

Tolls for I-95

I recently read that some of our dedicated, concerned and caring state senators, including Brad Hutto, Kevin Johnson, Dick Harpootlian and Sandy Senn, are working on a proposal for collecting tolls on I-95, specifically across Lake Marion, at a charge of $2 each way.

The money collected supposedly would be used for bridge and road repairs. South Carolina desperately needs bridge and road repairs, so I have no argument there.

Local employment would help the economies of Clarendon and Orangeburg counties, so again, no argument.

But the financial strain on commuting residents of those counties and others would be a big problem.

I live in North Santee and need to cross the bridge to see my doctor. Pow! $4. The closest grocery is in Santee. So that is $4 on top of what a gallon of milk costs.

My other option is to go 20 miles north to Manning, which means more gas, more time and a loss of business for Santee merchants. I think you may get my point.

I’m retired, but when I worked in Orangeburg and later in Santee, that daily commute would have added $80 a month to my expenses.

I don’t know of any provision for reducing tolls for locals (as was contained in a previous proposal), so I’m confused as to how this would help locals and businesses in the long run.

This proposal requires serious reconsideration. Our caring, concerned and dedicated senators should ask us what we think. Hold some open forums and get opinions. Politicians who don’t consider public input don’t stay in business very long.

KATHY COOPER

Bridgeview Lane

Summerton

Voting challenges

The right to vote implies the importance of a single vote. But there are frailties in the process. Gerrymandering helps keep incumbents in office. Voter qualifications are manipulated. Some citizens face challenges in registering.

I found another weak link in the Sullivan’s Island Town Council election. I have voted on the island for years to voice how I wish to enjoy the benefits of a time-tested lifestyle second to none. Those who protect small-scale historic beach architecture, fragile ecosystems and restrain commercial growth lost their bids for re-election.

As in the past, my single vote changed the election. If it was counted, a candidate who has led against offshore drilling and plastic use and created a mature and stable influence on our council would have tied.

Because of a brief change in address on my driver’s license address and filing for a “Real ID,” a lag in information transfer caused me to file a provisional paper ballot that was vetted by the poll manager and the Charleston County Board of Elections.

After the fact, with no word from the election board, my ballot was rendered ineligible.

The lag time for updates between the DMV and the election board is not only archaic but flies in the face of efforts to make voter registration less arduous.

One vote counts even within larger populations, but it can be stripped on a technicality by the power of those counting. Anyone held powerless in this situation has been robbed of the right to vote.

RICK REED

Flag Street

Sullivan’s Island

Life after birth

I applaud legislators across the country who are showing their belief in the sanctity of life by passing strict anti-abortion bills.

Now, they need to follow through with legislation that guarantees health care for prospective mothers and their children, as well as funding for social programs needed for healthy development.

These legislators must also ensure these children receive the quality education they deserve.

RONALD SMITH

Macbeth Creek Drive

Charleston

Misleading ad?

I have lived at South Bay at Mount Pleasant since mid-November of last year.

I am also a believer in truth in advertising.

The South Bay ad in the May 12 Post and Courier, in my opinion, does not correctly reflect life as it is at South Bay.

I have never seen a yoga class on the lawn.

The couple dining do

not live at South Bay, and their server does not work in any of the three dining locales.

FRANCIS X. ARCHIBALD

Liberty Midtown Drive

Mount Pleasant

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