A higher power?

In his Jan. 7 column, Glenn McConnell, who is well respected in the South Carolina political arena, indicated that providence intervened as the compelling force behind his decision to seek the presidency of the College of Charleston. He seems to suggest that he may be pre-ordained for that position, in much the same way that providence forced him to become lieutenant governor.

For that reason, I am comforted to know that, whatever the role providence plays in the selection process, there is a representative 13-member presidential search committee assisted by the experienced and reputable AGB search firm in selecting the best pool of presidential candidates for the College's consideration.

If McConnell is determined to be a viable candidate, so be it.

At that point he will have demonstrated - more so than other candidates coming out of a national search - that he is qualified, experienced and successful in having already addressed or been involved in a host of educational issues related to the mission of a liberal arts college, faculty teaching and research, student programs, extracurricular/sports activities, accreditation protocols/process, fundraising, program development, community relations and trustee matters - to name some of the major responsibilities that a college president directs or oversees.

That said, if Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell becomes part of the presidential pool and ultimately emerges as the final choice, I will have to concede that providence indeed works in astonishing ways.

George Matthews, Ph.D.

Linksland Road

Mount Pleasant

Solid waste future

I made a motion Wednesday night at the Charleston County Council meeting to table a vote to move forward with a new Material Recovery Facility (MRF) site on Palmetto Commerce Parkway. It is my intention to begin construction on the MRF as soon as possible.

My motion to table was only because I was unaware of the easement issues addressed by Councilman Herb Sass during the meeting, and I wanted to give staff proper time to look into those issues and discuss a potential price reduction on the site.

The discussion that was lumped into the motion was mainly that of getting Mayor Joe Riley's opinion about an MRF location at Bees Ferry, which was not my idea. I do not want recycling operations to happen at Bees Ferry.

It is my goal to build the best MRF in the Southeast, and I thought the majority of council shared this goal with me. Unfortunately, council bundled a host of issues together and confused a lot of people in attendance. The current contract with the MRF operators, Republic Services, will be over on Jan. 31. A deal was nearly complete with Sonoco to take over operation of the MRF.

Some council members did not like the 10-year term of the proposed contract. So staff was directed to speak with Sonoco about a reduction in the term, and they agreed. Council still failed to approve the new term.

The issues of a land purchase, potential future for a mixed-waste system in Charleston County, and the leadership of environmental management have nothing to do with a new contract to operate the MRF.

Council clouded the decision of a new contract to operate the MRF with other large decisions that should not apply to the nearly expired contract.

What does council really want? To build a state-of-the-art MRF?

If so, that certainly didn't appear to be the case on Wednesday night.

I am disappointed with council's actions, because nothing is clear about the future of environmental management in the county.

Anna Johnson

Charleston County Council

Chairperson, Solid Waste

Recycling Committee

Bridge View Drive

North Charleston

Rolling forward

I was excited to read the recent article about roller blading at Oakland School. The students at my school, Mason Prep, have been doing a P.E. unit on skating and rollerblading for the six years that I have been there. Now another school is getting the experience we enjoy so much.

The fun begins each February during our roller-blading session when we get to ride around the school's front driveway, listening to music.

Our athletic director, Mrs. Stemple, uses this unit to get us excited about something we can take up for life with minimal cost or equipment.

Our school has an outing at Hot Wheels, but it is not a lesson. It is a family fun day sponsored by our PTO.

Our roller-blading program teaches us a "do anywhere, anytime" lifelong skill. I'm glad that other students can have this great and fun experience also.

Addison Stowell

Sixth Grade

Mason Prep School

Lord Calvert Drive

Charleston

Save trees, lives

Having to occasionally drive into Charleston in the east-bound lanes of I-26, I'm thankful for the trees in the median that block the strong rays of the rising sun.

If the trees are removed I believe you'll have more accidents and of a more severe nature.

With cars and large trucks moving along at over 80 mph, sometimes only several yards apart, reduced visibility caused by a glaring sun can be much more dangerous than trees.

Gary H. Knight

Old State Road

Holly Hill

A no-brainer

The simple solution to coyotes on Sullivan's Island: Relocate the critters to Brian Hicks' neighborhood and be done with it.

Butch Parker

Brick Landing Court

Mount Pleasant

Hands-free service

It's amazing that people are unaware of hands-free service in most new cars. Maybe they are unaware what Bluetooth means. Don't auto sales people advise customers of that option?

And if the car doesn't have Bluetooth, ear pieces are available and work with most cell phones.

Please drive safely.

Paul Krechman

Jasimine Court

Summerville