Spending waste

I continue to be amazed at how willing those who claim to be fiscal conservatives are to spend our tax dollars in order to restrict the freedoms and curb the rights of others.

The money spent on voter ID laws would help equip this state with reliable voting machines. Voting machines, not voter fraud, are the real problem with accurate voting.

The money that will be spent to build a border fence and patrol that border would go a long way toward improving our education system.

The waste of time and taxpayer dollars in the push to control women’s reproductive health care might rather be used to assure the health of pregnant women and infants.

Federally, our House of Representatives has wasted time on a string of nonsense votes to repeal Obamacare.

Those proposals would deprive both those who have pre-existing conditions and young people who are now able to remain on their parents’ insurance.

And here in South Carolina, our governor is doing everything in her power to thwart the Affordable Care Act. I can only assume that the effort put into stopping Obamacare exists out of fear that this federal health care plan, like Medicare before it, will actually work.

Meanwhile, it is those same people who are wasting federal and state dollars with this obstructionist legislation who tout freedom and complain the loudest about paying taxes and rising deficits.

We need to tell our legislators to stop wasting our money trying to scare us with false bogeymen and get to work.

Agnes F. Pomata, Ph. D.

Foxfire Road

Wadmalaw Island

MIA at museum

For many years the Charleston Museum has played an extremely important role in the study and preservation of the cultural and natural history of coastal South Carolina. Francis Holmes and Gabriel Manigault in the 19th century and Paul Rea, Laura Bragg, Milby Burton, Burnham Chamberlain, Alexander Sprunt Jr. and Albert Schwartz in the 20th century were among many associated with the museum who made significant contributions to the study of natural history, not only through their own laboratory and field research but also through the influence they had on enthusiastic youngsters who became fascinated with the world around them. Some of those youngsters eventually became well-established scientists themselves (notably Julian R. Harrison, James E. Mosimann, George B. Rabb and Thomas M. Uzzell).

Despite the accomplishments of the past I am concerned about the future of natural history at the museum. There is no one present to curate the biological collections. Curator William Post retired in the fall of 2011, and Albert E. Sanders retired in June 2012, leaving the museum without anyone with the knowledge, time and dedication required to properly care for the collections.

The collections need regular care, from making sure that alcohol is maintained at proper levels in the collections of fishes, amphibians and reptiles to keeping dry collections free of insects and fungi.

The most important natural history materials in the museum are plants and fossils, particularly those of whales. The Elliott Herbarium at the museum, containing more than 2,500 plant specimens collected between 1808 and 1824, is recognized by botanists as one of the three most important early herbaria in the United States. The nearly 30 million-year-old cetaceans collected from the Chandler Bridge and Ashley formations at various localities between Charleston and Summerville constitute one of the richest known assemblages of fossil whales in the world.

Things that all natural history collections hold in common are careful attention to preservation, conservation and documentation of all specimens in their care because, from a broad view, curators realize that specimens are not solely the possession of individual collections but belong to science, and that the collections are caretakers in perpetuity for priceless examples of our planet’s biodiversity. Obviously, if the Charleston Museum is to play its part in the grand scheme of things, it must hire a curator of natural sciences. That can’t happen too soon.

WILLIAM D. ANDERSON JR.

Clearview Drive

Charleston

Hope revived

An exciting news headline: “Federal judge dismisses Episcopal Church complaint” (Post and Courier, Aug. 23). The Diocese of South Carolina achieved this favorable ruling under the direction of Bishop Mark Lawrence, in whom there is no anger. A wonderful spiritual leader, he stands for biblical truths.

I see continued revival in the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, and we should pray daily for our leaders and include the leaders of The (national) Episcopal Church.

Jack Cranwell

Gin House Court

Charleston

The bishop left

The author of a letter to the editor on Aug. 19 regarding The Episcopal Church (TEC) is correct to think that he and others have the right to choose and keep the bishop they wish to follow.

Bishop Lawrence certainly may lead the people who broke away from TEC, but he has no authority to retain the role of bishop of the diocese that continues as one of the 110 domestic dioceses in TEC. Only the governing body of TEC, the General Convention, can dissolve, merge, modify or reconfigure a diocese.

There was never a request made by Lawrence or his supporters to General Convention to allow such a change. Instead, Lawrence and his followers took actions outside of proper ecclesiastical channels, which created a schism in this part of TEC.

In 2010 and in 2011, Bishop Lawrence and his followers improperly severed the connection to the larger Episcopal Church. Instead of admitting that he should have requested that the diocese be released from the church, Lawrence affirmed his actions by formally announcing his exit from the church at a November 2012 meeting of leaders of his organization.

Lawrence could have graciously left his residence and all of the properties that were his to use only by virtue of his ecclesiastical affiliation with TEC. But Lawrence wanted to quit the game and take the ball and bat with him.

Bishop vonRosenberg was properly elected in January by the diocese that remains intact. He needs to be able to operate as bishop of the diocese and to have governance over its possessions.

Bishop Lawrence and his followers cannot claim to have any connection with the continuing diocese, which happily and faithfully maintains its canonical link of over 200 years to The Episcopal Church.

ROBERT R. BLACK

Town Creek Drive

Charleston

Need health pro

Call me crazy, but when I am sick, I want a doctor. When I need legal advice, I want a lawyer. Nikki Haley’s decision to appoint a lawyer over the Department of Health and environmental Control seems to be a mistake. Perhaps it wasn’t wise to fire district medical and nursing directors.

I have had the privilege of working with DHEC’s nurses and medical staff for more than 30 years and found them to be competent, professional and responsible. I have never heard of a TB outbreak like the one in Ninety Six before.

Ms. Templeton fired the TB nurse for not disobeying her supervisor. Huh? I guess rules have changed.

All DHEC personnel are professionally licensed, and many have additional training in public health areas such as chemical and environmental contamination. Let’s hope the state never encounters such a catastrophe because we will all be at the mercy of the governor and her friends.

TONI Z. CATOE, R.N.

Huron Avenue

Folly Beach

Sertoma delivers

On Aug. 22 and 23, C.T. Lowndes & Co. and the Sertoma Club of Charleston hosted the 43rd annual Sertoma Football Classic.

Twenty-eight high school football teams and cheerleading squads participated and, as in other years, provided spectators with a sneak peek of what to expect during the fall football season.

Many people have no idea of the impact the classic has on our community.

Ticket proceeds and local business sponsorships go to participating schools and, through our club, to local charities including Windwood Family Services and Eagle Harbor Boys Ranch, which help our community’s most vulnerable citizens, the children who have no voice. Whether we give a child his first camp experience, assist in the fight against abuse and neglect of children, brighten the life of a child with cancer or lend a hand to someone in crisis, the efforts of the Sertoma Club and its signature event serve as a model of service to mankind.

DEBBIE McKELVEY

President

Sertoma Club of Charleston

Charleston