I read Charleston City Councilman Harry Griffin’s patheticism in the Sept. 13 Post and Courier with equal parts pity and shame.
Pity for my fellow readers and shame for our beloved city. Steve Bailey is not suppliant in his newspaper columns, but that’s kind of the point of the Fourth Estate: to tell hard truths and keep the public informed. The purpose of our elected representatives is to serve us, not joust with every windmill in sight.
Nevertheless, I write today not to give Mr. Griffin a civics lesson. I write today because somewhere in his op-ed, Mr. Griffin questioned Mr. Bailey’s accomplishments. Mr. Griffin knows Mr. Bailey is too professional to engage on that subject, and I was raised that you never hit someone you know can’t hit back. So I did a quick Google search to satisfy Mr. Griffin’s derisive curiosity.
I found Mr. Bailey spent 30 years as a national leader in journalism for one of the country’s preeminent newspapers (The Boston Globe), went on to be a finance editor for Bloomberg News in London and picked up a top journalistic honor along the way (a Gerald Loeb Award) before coming home.
That was just a Google search, which I think elucidates Mr. Bailey’s point. The issue is not Mr. Griffin’s age, it’s his arrogance and ignorance. The next time voters send a 22-year-old to help run our city, hopefully they can find one who can work the internet.
And a little more humility wouldn’t hurt either.
ROY T. WILLEY IV
Protect scenic Hwy. 61
The Post and Courier editorial on Sept. 13 brought to light the fact that the S.C. Department of Transportation plans to widen S.C. Highway 61 to make it safer, but the resulting speedway, including “clear zones,” will be as wide as 75 feet in some sections.
The plan attempts to preserve the scenic value of the road near Middleton Place, but even the provisions near the National Historic Landmark are overly intrusive.
Couldn’t the DOT improve and expand this mindset to include the entire National Scenic Byway?
Instead of putting forth a plan that creates a negative visual impact, our thinking should be redirected toward efforts to improve the overall visual experience by such things as shielding power lines and adding nonthreatening landscaping.
We experience our world to a great extent from our roads. Their unique qualities should be considered, preserved and enhanced, not standardized to some national guidelines.
Scenic and safe can be compatible, but it takes a comprehensive approach.
Widen Highway 61
I take strong exception to the Sept. 13 Post and Courier editorial denying a need to correct S.C. Highway 61’s crumbling roadside with 4-foot-wide paved shoulders.
My mother, an extremely wise person, pointed out to me 40 years ago that you could plant new trees along Highway 61 that would quickly replace the ones cut down to widen the road. I have noted while driving that few of the trees are grand oaks. Most are scraggly gums and other oak varieties.
The best course is to bring the road up to the standards the Transportation Department wants.
Teenagers make a common mistake of overcorrecting when they run off the road. My doing so as a teen sent me fishtailing down a Georgia highway. Thankfully, I did not veer into oncoming traffic.
How big would the live oaks be if we had replanted them 40 years ago? Much bigger than 90 percent of the hideous trees we now see along the road.
Since I am 74, I am recommending this for my grandchildren and their children to enjoy. I also want them to be around to see it.
ATM good Samaritan
I went to the ATM at my bank on Friday the 13th to make a withdrawal of $50 for a birthday gift. I wanted a $50 bill.
When I found out the ATM did not dispense $50 bills, I canceled the transaction, or so I thought.
I drove away heading to a grocery store a few miles away to see if I could get a $50 bill there.
When I pulled into my parking space, a car pulled in behind me and a lady got out and approached me. She had been behind me at the ATM. It turned out my transaction was not canceled and this sweet person followed me and handed me the withdrawal in the form of two $20 bills and a $10 bill.
Now, that is a humbling and gratifying experience.
Unfortunately, I did not get her name before she drove away, but that was a very kind act and I thank her.