mt zion history spirited brunch 2019.jpg (copy)

Alphonso Brown gave the history of Mt. Zion AME Church for guests of the Spirited Brunch on April 28.

What a gift! As a newcomer to the Charleston area I found the Spirited Brunch on April 28 a blessed experience.

I have come to the city many times, as two of my children were at the College of Charleston a few years ago. I had even visited two of the churches on the list.

That Sunday afternoon was a very different kind of visit. Walking in when the church was relatively empty, the lights on with lovely organ music playing, was a moment of blended joy and reverence.

I guess I am a “churchy” at heart and learning about some of the oldest congregations in this city and the South made for a special and “spirited” afternoon.

Most of these churches I had walked by many times wondering if they were as beautiful and as welcome inside as they were on the outside.

As I walked from one church building to the next, I was in awe of the quiet beauty, the gifted workmanship of the stained-glass windows, columns and more in each location.

Yet, it wasn’t the physical beauty alone that warmed my heart.

The welcoming, enthusiasm, delicious food and shared words from the members as they spoke so proudly of the history of their churches and the work they are doing gave me reason to pause.

In this broken world where it seems so many have lost their way, one just has to look around to witness, hear and be a part of the goodness of this city. It’s everywhere and it’s happening daily.

Thank you to The Post and Courier, the many congregations and churches involved, and the Department of Religious Studies at Alumni Hall for this wonderful afternoon.

I have lived here only a month and you have given me the greatest of gifts, a “Spirit-filled” Sunday in my new home.

I can’t wait to learn more about this delightful city.



Edgemoor Avenue

Mount Pleasant

Energy bills

Frank Knapp Jr., in an April 24 op-ed, said a presidential candidate’s stance on the federal government’s plans to explore for and produce energy offshore should serve as a litmus test. I agree.

Supporting responsible energy development in federal waters dozens of miles from the coastline, far from all recreational or angling activities, is a winning policy, not a losing one.

To understand why, look no further than how much South Carolina families spend annually on energy-related expenses, including electricity, heating and gasoline: $3,763, according to federal data.

Those are hard-to-pay bills for many. They’re even harder for the 15 percent of South Carolinians living in poverty and countless others on fixed or low incomes. For them, expenses like these prompt either/or decisions that no household should have to make, like whether to pay the electric bill or the mortgage.

Producing more energy here, under the world’s safest regulations, instead of expensively importing it from less environmentally conscious countries would balance the supply-demand equation, reduce unnecessarily high energy costs and relieve stress.

Wind should be part of any offshore energy discussion as should cleaner-burning natural gas, which has helped the U.S. lead in reducing fossil fuel emissions.

As a country, we should celebrate the reduced emissions we’ve seen over the past several decades and push for more. We also need to produce the energy we need to power our economy. We’ve proven we can do both.

For voters, the real litmus test for candidates should be supporting policies that reduce emissions and provide reliable, affordable energy.


Vice president for state

affairs with Consumer

Energy Alliance

Laura Street

Jacksonville, Florida

Leadership needed

The April 23 Charleston City Council meeting and the discussion regarding hotels highlighted the biggest stumbling block City Council is facing: communication.

It’s clear the reason our city doesn’t move on the important issues of development, affordable housing, flooding and livability is because the left hand doesn’t know what the right is doing.

It appears the mayor wants council to make an effort to communicate with him, not the other way around.

I disagree with this mentality.

As mayor, your full-time job is to serve the city and lead council.

That includes taking the initiative to communicate with council long before it meets on Tuesdays, especially when proposing ordinances that affect one of our largest industries.

As mayor, your ego shouldn’t get in the way of accomplishing the task at hand when all it would take would be an email or picking up the phone to resolve an issue.

If Charleston is to successfully face the challenges it has, and will have in the future, we will need a leader who will not only play the piano at baseball games but will make every effort to keep City Council in the loop at all times.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

Full disclosure: I’m a candidate for mayor, but this is an issue that needs to be resolved by whomever gets elected in November.

Hopefully, my fellow Charlestonians and candidates for mayor will listen.


Ashley Avenue


Grateful for updates

Thank you, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg, for keeping your constituents informed with email updates, understanding that many of us have conflicts that prevent attending council meetings. Know that we are still aware and paying attention to how our council members are voting.

Thank you for the great strides you have made in addressing flooding in our city. I am seeing a vast improvement in Harleston Village already and am optimistic about the ongoing projects.

Thank you for your many attempts to rein in the unbridled proliferation of hotels in a city unequipped to deal with the attendant issues they bring. Thank you for trying to impose a moratorium to allow city officials time to figure out the best way to move forward.

Apparently, there are council members who don’t exactly know what a “moratorium” is. It’s not a concept Mayor Tecklenburg created. The definition is simply a temporary prohibition of an activity.

It’s simply a timeout that’s often used in government with success. Those with children know how effective a timeout can be in bringing problems into perspective.

When the same council members consistently vote against our mayor’s recommendations, and consequently our city’s best interests, it’s wise to follow their political aspirations and question whether they are really representing their constituents.

Let’s look at rhetoric and voting records, and be educated voters in 2019.


Bennett Street


A burning issue

It seems to me that the only fair thing to do with the proceeds from the auction of the box of the late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s favorite brand of cigars given to then-S.C. Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer would be to donate it to his favorite “charity,” and I don’t mean “Andre Bauer.”


Apollo Road


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