CCSD teacher appreciation billboard (copy) (copy)

The Charleston County School District bought six billboards in all to thank the county's teachers, including this one facing eastbound traffic on I-26.

The editorial in the June 4 Post and Courier questioning the prudence of the Charleston County School District’s spending $33,000 for six billboards to thank our area’s teachers missed the mark in several ways, I feel.

While no one can argue that improving teachers’ salaries must be addressed sooner rather than later, and in ways that reflect their inestimable role in preparing young people to face an increasingly complex world, the editorial’s suggestions for how that $33,000 might better have been spent seem ill-advised and shortsighted.

Choosing 33 “high performing teachers” to receive $1,000 bonuses or 300 to receive $100 each is specious, even divisive, because of the subjectivity required to make those determinations when, in fact, all teachers deserve recognition.

I do not and would not speak for teachers when I say that I bet most of them would far prefer this unsolicited and thoughtful expression of gratitude for their service over a “decent free lunch,” another of the editorial’s suggestions for how to parcel out $33,000 equitably among several thousand teachers.

Words of genuine thanks are far more memorable than a decent lunch.

But the specific dollars aside, I believe that the real benefit to come from the CCSD’s well-intentioned gesture is the reminder for all of us to thank teachers, not just at year’s end but every day.

If at the end of a long day a weary teacher can hear “thank you” from a parent, a student, an administrator, you or me, then this was $33,000 well spent.


Lowcountry Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Painful insurance lesson

This year my insurance added dental care.

Hot dog! I thought. Now I will be able to afford my dental bills more easily.

My dentist office sent the claim to be reimbursed. It was not accepted so I paid full price because my dentist was not part of my health insurance network.

On my next visit I asked why my claim was not a part of my insurance’s umbrella.

I was told that the dental service they provide could not uphold its standard of quality care if they entered into my network of providers.

So much for the old patients who have been loyal for years to that office. Now due to the inevitability of aging and decrease in income I will have to search for another dentist who works with my insurance company. It saddens me that I will have to stop seeing those familiar faces. It saddens me more that I face dental work of less quality because I must lean on the help provided by lesser dentists who are happy to aid the aging by accepting insurance coverage given those with gray hair, or in my case no hair.

The real shame is that the youngsters at that office will one day be in the same boat. Aging is an inevitability that brings along all the geriatric problems we must bear. It will only be then that this “standard of care” statement will be seen as the insult it is.


Kell Place


Walking sacred ground

Donald Trump is unworthy to walk on sacred ground where WWII soldiers died in Europe because he did not serve in Vietnam?

I guess this condemnation would extend to former President Bill Clinton, former Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Mitt Romney and probably a host of friends who came up with a slew of medical conditions to avoid military service.

And let us not forget former President Barack Obama, who saw no military service in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Do we need a “sacred ground” police force to keep the unworthy from treading on them?


Pierce Street


Hidden memories of war

When my father, a graduate of The Citadel, received his military orders in WWII, he and his men were stationed at Jackson Barracks in New Orleans. Soldiers there were processed onto ships that were taking the troops to war.

He never talked about it, and I think it bothered him until he died. I found out about his service while digging through old albums my mother kept.


Betsy Kerrison Parkway

Johns Island

Riding for cancer research

I am 68 years old and on Nov. 2 I will be riding my bicycle 100 miles to raise money for cancer research. In the last 10 years I have raised over $100,000 for cancer research on my bicycle.

The Hollings Cancer Center is sponsoring a bike ride to raise money for cancer research at the center. Every dollar raised by Lowvelo, a 501(c)(3), goes to life-saving cancer research under the direction of Dr. Gustavo Leone. MUSC’s Hollings Cancer Center is South Carolina’s only National Institute Cancer Center, one of only 70 in the nation.

Lowvelo is a bike ride, not a race. Join me and help Lowvelo reach its goal of 1,000 riders raising money, having fun, making friends, enjoying great food and getting healthy on a very safe ride. A similar ride was started in Ohio 10 years ago. Last year, it had grown to 9,000-plus riders and has raised more than $185 million for cancer research.

The Hollings Cancer Center can do the same with your support. Please join me on this ride. Ten years ago, I could only ride 3 miles and then had to take a nap. There are training rides to help you prepare for 25, 50 or 100 miles. If you can’t ride, please consider volunteering or donating to a rider supporting their fundraising efforts. It’s rare to have a giving opportunity where 100 percent of your donation goes to cancer research.

Visit for details.


Middle Street

Sullivan’s Island

Celebrate academic success

Did I miss something? Parade? Fireworks? Interviews? Pay raises or bonuses? Commemorative magazines? Proclamations from the governor, senators and representatives? A night at the ballpark?

Academic Magnet High School was named the best public high school in the country by U.S. News & World Report, and there was no parade, no fireworks and no pay raises and bonuses. It is a shame that we celebrate our athletic success, but for some reason, we overlook our academic success.

I am hopeful that the Charleston County School Board, along with the local business community, is planning ways to celebrate this outstanding achievement and will do so in the coming months.

To the faculty and students of Academic Magnet High School, well done and keep up the great work.


Johnnie Dodds Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Haley should run in 2020

If Nikki Haley really wants to help this country, she would run against Donald Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020. She would win the primary and probably the general election. The country would be well-served as she could right all of Trump’s wrongs. Otherwise, she is playing the same old political games that got us into this mess.


Ashley River Road


Uniform does not make a nurse

Regarding the picture of The Citadel’s Evening Nursing School Pinning in the May 4 Post and Courier:

I agree it was a less than professional pose. These graduates do not get to walk across a stage in cap and gown, as do other BSN nurses at other colleges.

Gone are the days of white caps, uniforms, stockings and shoes. I see no need of such an expense for one ceremony.

Today’s nurses are recognized by the color of their scrubs, pins and name tags.

Today’s advanced nursing practices require a more utilitarian attire. I graduated from Boston College School of Nursing 60 years ago. I practiced nursing for 40-plus years. I started with starched white and ended with colored scrubs. A uniform does not make a nurse.


Sand Dollar Drive

Isle of Palms

Turn Google water into asset

Google, in its need to cool its electronic equipment, wants 1.5 million gallons of water each day from the Charleston aquifer.

That’s approximately what 15,000 people use per day.

I hope that the water used by Google is no worse for wear in that cooling off their equipment shouldn’t add anything bad to the water.

Also, the differential heat picked up by cooling their equipment should be used as an asset. The water could be used in aquaculture since the warm water would be a plus in raising certain types of commercial fish.

The heated water also could be used for heating commercial and residential buildings.

The energy expended moving the water and the heat gain could and should be recouped as much as possible by all local residents because it is our water.


Milton Drive

Goose Creek

Stop comparing refugees

Please, enough of comparing Jewish refugees to the new onslaught of Latinos to our nation. I am the son of Polish Jewish refugees who ran for their lives because nations and armies were trying to kill them. And in so doing, they lost their homes and businesses, and 80 percent of their family was killed.

Where is the similarity?


Cliffwood Drive

Mount Pleasant

Not safe from development

The often quoted phrase “no man’s life, liberty, or property is safe while the legislature’s in session” is still as true as ever.

We can spend money on conservation easements and pass laws limiting development, but they can all be changed by a future group of politicians.

There are only two places on Earth that are truly safe from development: the Fukushima power plant in Japan and Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union. Both of these sites will be radioactive for several thousand years.

A current Mount Pleasant project calls for my neighborhood, Hobcaw Creek Plantation, to be severely impacted by providing a new road through our entrance that will allow easier access to an assisted-living facility not yet opened.

This will help a corporation based in Kentucky, which operates in 27 other states, to make a profit selling senior services to potential customers. Apparently, this is what “open for business” really means.

Our only real defense against having our lifestyle degraded by elected politicians is to be very careful about who we elect and support with our money and votes.


Palisades Drive

Mount Pleasant

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Infrastructure upgrades

We are in dire need of infrastructure upgrades in South Carolina as well as flooding fixes in Charleston County. Anyone who has lived on a budget knows the basics of life are priorities before the pleasure of additional museums. The parties involved should get out and drive our roads and navigate flooded streets.


Capensis Lane


Play has one-sided perspective

After reading a review in the June 1 Post and Courier, we saw “Letter to a friend in Gaza.”

Amos Gitai’s “attempt to create a space for listening among opposed perspectives” left out one tiny aspect in his passion play: the Israeli perspective.

We saw images of the constructed border fence, we saw Palestinians burning tires at the Israeli/Gaza border, we saw the anguish in the actors’ faces and listened to the sorrowful, yet soulful music (the musicians and actors were extremely talented).

I understand that all pieces of art and expression don’t have to be balanced, but this was a perspective that was so one-sided, it felt like a slap in the face.

Where were the images of Palestinians filling backpacks with explosives, nuts, bolts and washers and sending their teenagers on Israeli buses and cafes to detonate causing maximum carnage?

Where were the images of Palestinians firing rockets into Israel where they landed in elementary schools and people’s homes?

Where were the images of Palestinians using 8-inch knives trying to butcher innocent Jews (there are Arab Israelis and they are never targeted, only Jews)?

Where were the images of Palestinian children being educated as elementary grade students that Jihad is honorable and just.

The solution to peace in the area will be based on building economies, changing the Palestinian education narrative and creating bonds within the younger generations based on economic partnering and founding common historical bonds.

I think this piece was grossly misrepresented; Michael Smallwood, what play were you reviewing? It certainly wasn’t this one.


Queen Street


Separation of church and state

A letter writer in the May 29 Post and Courier said that separation of church and state is largely responsible for the violence in our schools and throughout society, though he provided no evidence for such an outrageous claim. He said we should act more like a Christian nation and mentioned that the Supreme Court has the Ten Commandments and the president takes the oath of office with a hand on the Bible.

To the contrary, the Supreme Court does not have the Ten Commandments. There is a representation of Moses depicted as one of several lawgivers, not as a religious figure, along with Confucius and Solon.

And, it is only a custom that most presidents take the oath of office with a hand on the Bible. Several presidents, including Theodore Roosevelt, did not. The writer also quoted Martin Luther King Jr. telling us to love our enemies, which does not make us a Christian nation.

In fact, King was an advocate for the separation of church and state. He supported the Supreme Court’s decision striking down government-sponsored prayer in public schools.

Having seen the religious wars in Europe, our founders viewed religion as a private matter, without government involvement. That’s why there is no mention of God or Jesus in our Constitution.

Those who wish to promote Christianity, other religions, or atheism are free to do so, but without government assistance.


George Street


Giving away the best jobs

Our biggest problem in the United States is not finding work. It’s finding a job worth keeping, meaning one that offers enough pay to support our families, excellent health care, retirement and matching 401(k).

For many of us, we have a tough time paying off student loan debt after going to college because many of the good paying jobs have moved to Mexico and China.

Now, President Donald Trump is proposing that we only let immigrants from Mexico come to our country if they can provide the skills to take the best jobs from our American citizens. This makes no sense. We enact tariffs to bring our jobs back to America, then require Mexico to send only skilled laborers qualified to take back the jobs we saved.

Well, I guess that’s what they mean by cutting off your nose to spite your face.


Rentiers Lane

Moncks Corner

Digging into city’s history

It was telling when it was noted that a new city-organized working group is “digging” into the task of overhauling regulations for lodgings on the peninsula. And that brought up something to ponder with hotels, which is, of all things, archaeology.

If it is the study of what our forebears left behind in their resident communities and the objects that suggested how they lived, played and worked, Charleston might want to be careful in the planning of hotels.

In the decades and centuries ahead, the city should think on whether its buried past will be able to present a view of life lived by the actual residents and their families.

Perhaps archaeologists will happen to keep finding many crumbled hotel key cards as remnants from uprooted Charleston streets.

This just might construct the impression that Charleston simply existed as a small southeastern U.S. coastal city for tourists. But of course, Charlestonians of today know that there is more history than that.

And they know it’s really important to be aware that they are sharing all of its history with posterity.


Waterlily Way


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