Sad sprawl

People holding on to the notion that suburban sprawl pays for itself through “growth” need to look at Dorchester County. Dorchester County was once a lovely, low-tax place to live. There weren’t too many fancy government projects or services, but the quality of life was very good.

Since the self-proclaimed conservative Republicans took over County Council, Dorchester County has become a high-tax, high-debt place with a declining quality of life. Even replacing grand oaks on Dorchester Road with a hideous, eight-foot concrete “great wall of Summerville” is called progress.

The debt they have created, though, is their worst offense. The taxpayers of Dorchester County are now on the hook for close to a billion dollars for bond issues and other commitments.

Considering that the population is 101,000 and that most of the big corporations and landowners, such as Bosch and Meade Westvaco, have been given substantial tax breaks and contribute relatively little to the community, each resident’s share of the debt is over $10,000.

The notion that sprawl growth pays for itself is a sick joke being played on our grandchildren who will have to pay back these conservative debts.

Fred Weickhardt

Shaftsbury Lane

Summerville

Free speech

I support Ashley Patrick 100 percent. It’s not what she did or didn’t say, write, text or tweet, it’s her right as an American to say or do it — it’s called freedom of speech.

That’s not to say the Charleston County School Board has to agree. But what right does the board have to tell anyone what they may do or say in their own home?

America is only one step away from a total police state. That step will soon be taken.

However, as of today we still have freedom of speech.

Too many are lying down and rolling over to the state.

To the Charleston County School Board:

Get a life.

James Rodgers

Caromi Drive

Ladson

Feed the hungry

If a family is having trouble finding a dependable source of food, why are they called “food insecure”?

Aren’t they simply hungry?

Why use this obscure wording? Does it somehow make them feel any better about it?

Let’s not give this problem a fancy name. Let’s help them instead.

Carole Bergman

N. Ainsdale Drive

Charleston

Neglected Landing

I’m sure that our elevation to “top vacation destination” in the world is the talk of the town. New hotels are being built downtown to accommodate more tourists. There are activities for every kind of visitor, and we have a lot to be thankful for.

None of the accolades Charleston has received was simple in coming, and a lot of credit goes to our local politicians, Mayor Joe Riley in particular.

But why on Earth are we a living history lesson with the roots to Charleston’s family tree buried at a park that is no longer the blooms on that tree? What has happened to Charles Towne Landing is shameful.

I remember the opening of the park. My mother volunteered there, and I volunteered in my own turn. It was a living history lesson. I am aware that Hugo did an incredible amount of damage from which the park never recovered. But Hugo was nearly a quarter century ago.

I know that the park is a state park, and my understanding is that the state has little interest in funding a living museum that is so totally committed to local interest.

Is there no solution?

Can some of our tourist dollars not be committed to the restoration of Charlestowne Landing?

Is there no mechanism by which a state park that is orphaned by the state to become a county park and included in the funding for county parks? Or can the City of Charleston not donate some of our tourist bounty specifically for this park?

If it takes petitions, fundraisers, car washes and bake sales or picketing the state house, I’m certain there is sufficient local interest to get all of those balls rolling.

I believe this is a case of “If we build it, they will come.” Let’s rebuild Charles Towne Landing.

Jacquelyn G. Johnson

Summer Rain Court

Charleston

Snobbery scale

I felt compelled to comment on Travel + Leisure’s ranking our fair city 10th on this year’s snobbery scale. People from “off” just can’t comprehend a culture which still subscribes to the notion that “some things just aren’t done.”

In an age where flip-flops appear under wedding gowns and tattoos are a badge of honor rather than a personal disgrace, society has suffered a serious setback.

I am from “off” but ever grateful for my adopted home. Charleston is a genteel and hospitable community, blessed by an incomparable location and beautifully restored and maintained landmarks and elegant private districts graciously open to public view.

If culture and the arts, fine dining and pride of place is snobbery, then bring it on. Charleston is and will ever be “The Bomb.”

Richard T. Smith

Corn Planters Street

Charleston