Cycling concerns

Recently there have been many letters to the editor regarding bicycle use. I am an automobile enthusiast as well as an avid cyclist, and I travel approximately the same distance in a car as on a bike — mostly east of the Cooper.

I empathize with a letter writer who is concerned that cyclists slow down traffic on Rifle Range Road (one of the most dangerous roads in Mount Pleasant). However, motorists who “drive partially into the oncoming lane” are the ones who may be breaking the law, not the cyclists.

I cannot agree with him that law-abiding cyclists are negligent for injuries they incur; however, I concur that cyclists, whenever possible, should ride on roadways with designated bicycle lanes.

Unfortunately, it was only after the town of Mount Pleasant and the S.C. Department of Transportation spent nearly $100 million to improve the roadways and infrastructure that they asked the community how they could make Mount Pleasant more bicycle-friendly. Neither designated bicycle lanes nor even adequate shoulders were placed on new road construction north of Bowman Road.

After much prodding, they did paint one road with bicycle lane signage; unfortunately, this road crosses entrances to various businesses along Johnny DoddsBoulevard, and is thus dangerous for cyclists. The real culprits in this situation are the SCDOT, town planners and politicians (at least here in Mount Pleasant).

I suggest in the upcoming election for Town Council and mayor that we vote for forward-thinking people who value the safety and benefits of cycling and who understand the motorists’ frustrations over traffic.

We can also support Charleston Moves, an organization that has had a positive influence on our community in regard to these concerns.

Joseph Calandra

Harriet’s Island Court

Mount Pleasant

Poor protocol

The Oct. 23 story “Teacher dies in jail after truck wreck” reports that the teacher refused an ambulance after the wreck and again at the jail. Driving under the influence means the driver lacks the requisite judgment as well as the physical capability to safely operate a vehicle. Why would authorities permit an impaired driver to make repeated medical judgments?

The Orangeburg County administrator is “100 percent sure” that protocol was followed. The prisoner died. Is it time to reconsider that protocol?

Arthur G. Field

Confederate Circle

Charleston

Renew Exchange

Not since the Great Depression has federal intrusion been tolerated on the present scale. I offer a proven alternative to government growth — civic reawakening — associating with like-minded citizens leading efforts toward self-reliance. To that end, I encourage re-establishing the Exchange Club of James Island (circa 1942 to 2000).

Exchange is America’s premier service club, focused on strengthening our civil society — once termed “the immune system against cultural disease.” Exchange Club members love America. That love is built upon a devotion to their families and local communities first and an appreciation for the genius of American values that radiate to a freedom-loving world.

Americanism, youth programs, community service and child abuse prevention are the four pillars on which Exchange bases its virtuous action.

Civic organization membership fosters happy hearts through meaningful human contact and provides a sense of accomplishment through service to others.

James Island owes its residents at least one highly visible service club to organize and channel a spirit of self-determination. The Town of James Island is here to stay. The City of Charleston is not going away. The time is right to collaborate and enhance the spirit of our island home. Exchange has the power to unify.

We need a service club that meets on James Island, recruits members and grows via the island’s businesses, residents and passionate protectors of the island’s special sense of place.

When asked, please join Exchange.

Frederick J. Whittle

President

S.C. District Exchange Clubs

Ashley Pointe Drive

James Island

Enough building

An Oct. 18 letter to the editor addressed the expansion of higher education in Mount Pleasant. The writer wisely suggested that more school “brick and mortar” investment was anachronistic and needlessly expensive in the Digital Age. He suggested that Mount Pleasant carefully explore alternative systems which deliver educational content. Good thoughts.

On the next day, I read two other related positions in The Post and Courier. In the first, we learned that the governor is asking all agencies, including higher education, to identify redundancy and waste by making an inventory of buildings and physical holdings. This process would potentially lead to liquidation or consolidation resulting in savings to the tax payer. Bravo.

However, against this backdrop, I learned that the College of Charleston is looking to build a graduate center on a trailer park site in North Charleston. This seems contradictory to the sound thinking referenced above.

What does it take for us to understand that buildings do not translate to good education? The governor should look at this needless expansion against her fiscal goals and the realities of educational delivery in the Digital Age. She needs to demand that the improvement of education in our state not be trumped by real estate development supported by political entrenchment.

Let’s be smart and get off the education bottom with some 21st century thinking.

JAMES REMILLARD, Ph.D.

Elizabeth Street

Charleston

End of story?

Recently I was in Tulsa, Okla., when Dusten Brown gave his emotional press conference announcing he would no longer pursue custody of his daughter.

He said, in part, “Veronica is only 4 years old, but her entire life has been lived in front of the media and the entire world, and I cannot bear for that to continue any longer.”

If King Solomon were judging the case, Veronica would have stayed in Oklahoma.

Richard H. Gross

Oak Marsh Drive

Mount Pleasant

Picking on pests

First it was “open season” on gators, coyotes, wild hogs and cormorants. Now I read that beavers might be added to that list. Well, sometimes I am overrun by geckos and tree frogs. Should I cull them too?

Don’t you know that wildlife was here first and people moved in on them with their tree cutting, thousands of developments and roads? I don’t think you are the ones being “overrun.” Where are they supposed to go? You have got to leave the wildlife alone and let them live somewhere.

They have been around thousands of years and now there are veiled suggestions of killing them. I am not saying some animals aren’t pests, but so are a lot of people I know, and I don’t think there is open season on them yet.

BEVERLY CLEARY

Swift Court

Summerville

History rewritten

Hidden in Frank Wooten’s column suggesting some ways to inject Clemson into the design of the Clemson Architectural Center here is an unexplored part of Charleston’s past now rediscovered. Clemson may have a bait shop, but just think — Charleston must have had some first. Maybe in the early 1900s or even further back in time. In those Civil War pictures of people fishing around Charleston, where did they get their bait?

Maybe the yelling street vendors in “Porgy and Bess” also sold shrimp heads as bait on the side (first mobile bait shops, first home delivery).

We can have yet another festival and a whole section at the Food + Wine Festival devoted to bait shop culture. (Just not next to the sushi, please.)

Well done, Frank. You may get an award from the tourism folks for new ideas.

EDWARD HARDWICKE

Hobcaw Drive

Mount Pleasant