Wind energy

On Nov. 23, The Post and Courier published an editorial praising the wind turbine testing center as well as the benefits of wind energy and the government/private industry cooperation and financial input. Duke Power was listed as one of the investors.

In the same issue was a report that the federal government was fining Duke Energy $1 million for 14 golden eagles killed by wind turbines in Wyoming.

The Dec. 9 front page featured a liberal AP article titled "Eagles to die in the name of energy?" which refers to new federal guidelines that will mitigate eagle deaths by wind turbines without fear of prosecution.

Why didn't The Post and Courier headline stress the cooperation between government and private industry as it promoted in the earlier editorial instead of an alarmist, liberal interpretation?

Don't you realize that birds are going to be killed by South Carolina offshore wind farms?

Al Epps

Simms Reach Road

Kingstree

Closing the store

I can't understand the Department of Defense saying closing commissaries would save money.

How? Around the time that I retired in 1980 the commissaries added a 15 percent surcharge to all sales to make it self-sustaining.

Paul A. Krechman

Jasimine Court

Summerville

'Mad dog solution'

Much has been said and written about the high death toll on the section of I-26 between Summerville and Interstate 95. Trees on the median are killing motorists who cannot keep their vehicles on the highway.

Many state and local officials and committees are considering what to do about it, and most seem to want to invoke the mad dog solution. In our society, when a mad dog goes around biting people, the accepted solution is to kill that mad dog. Few, if any, in society object to that solution.

Those trees in the median are killing motorists who cannot control their cars, so the suggestion is to kill the trees. Little seems to be done or proposed to control the drivers.

A successful solution to such a situation occurred over half a century ago. In the early 1950s, the accident rate and death toll on the Connecticut Turnpike were among the highest in the nation.

Abe Ribicoff became governor of Connecticut in January, 1955. One of his first acts was to tell the commander of the Connecticut State Police that he wanted the accident and death situation on the Connecticut Turnpike cleaned up immediately. Their meeting was widely covered in the media, and there was little doubt that the commander's job was on the line.

The commander immediately instituted a strict and ever-present speed limit enforcement campaign on the turnpike. Soon, it became known throughout New England and the trucking industry that if you exceeded the speed limit on the Connecticut Turnpike you would get a ticket and a fine. Period. The accident and death rates plummeted and stayed low.

We have state and local police forces and officials here who have authority and responsibilities to enforce strict and lawful policing of drivers on that section of I-26.

Empirical evidence indicates that is not happening. Why isn't someone's job on the line to clean up the situation without cutting down trees and erecting guardrails at a cost of millions of taxpayers' dollars?

John H. Gallagher

Sovereign Terrace

Mount Pleasant

Evidence of aging

You know you are getting old when you are upstairs typing on your trusty typewriter and your 10-year-old great-grandson, who is downstairs playing board games with his great-grandmother, innocently comments, "Paw Paw's printer sounds weird."

Harry S. Gray Jr.

Barrington Lane

Charleston

Drug sentencing

The Dec. 13 editorial, "Sentencing reform pays dividends," reflected good news. The annual decrease in the state's 2013 prison population was 2.8 percent, and the accompanying cost reduction, was $5.2 million.

A look at the statistics on the South Carolina Department of Corrections website shows the average daily inmate count has been slowly decreasing since 2010.

Your editorial attributes the change to sentencing reforms enacted in 2010 to provide alternative sentencing for non-violent offenses. I don't doubt that these reforms paid off, and I applaud those who worked for them.

However, there is a problem elsewhere in the editorial. It said, "The scourge of illegal drugs persists as a serious societal concern warranting major law enforcement attention."

The editorial referred to the drug war as "futile."

There seems to be a disconnect here. There has been "major law enforcement attention" to people using and selling drugs for many decades. That Drug War has not just been futile, but inhumane and counterproductive. It has been a waste of seemingly limitless taxpayer funds.

Drug use may be stupid and risky to the user, but it is only a crime because the government calls it a crime, just as the government once called drinking beer a crime.

By legalizing and controlling the sale of drugs, as the state does with alcohol, the prison population would drop precipitously. At the very least, marijuana should be legal in South Carolina, as it has started to be elsewhere in the country.

Arresting people for drug use in one state and ignoring that same drug use in another makes no sense.

Too bad we haven't had even one South Carolina politician with the courage to say this publicly and submit a bill to that effect. I hope to see this reality check expressed in future Post and Courier editorials.

Sharon Fratepietro

George Street

Charleston