Gun etiquette

"Constitutional carry" is off the legislative table for this year, but the subject of concealed weapons isn't going to go away quietly. Besides, calling it "constitutional carry" makes it sound patriotic and almost as warm and fuzzy as motherhood and apple pie.

I admit, there might still be a lingering bit of angst with the possible relaxation of any and all restrictions; but if government by the people makes it so, we should accept the inevitable.

With the prospect of an ever larger number of citizens packing heat, I believe there are alternate ways for others to obtain a marginal edge. I plan to look into anger management counseling. I don't have anger issues, but I want techniques that can help me deal with someone else's anger.

My plan is to go forth armed only with these new-found interpersonal skills. In a tense situation, I could try this: "Yes sir, I believe you were ahead of me in line."

Or, "No, madam, I wasn't staring, just admiring that fine-looking motorcycle."

Shucks, if all this catches on, Charleston's reputation for being a polite city will only get better.

Carey Brier

Axtell Drive

Summerville

I-526 boondoogle

Ron Brinson, in his Feb. 16 rebuttal to Dana Beach (Feb. 9), makes a fundamental error about roads, whether local or statewide. He writes, "But the I-526 project is a discrete public project proposition, involving one-time money and one-off 'priority' settings.

"It raises many policy issues, but it is not the poster argument against the critical needs to raise statewide road funding revenue sources."

His error is failing to recognize that money is fungible, whether one-time, one-off, or extracted from the taxpaying citizens as taxes, user fees or some other sort of "funding revenue sources."

And being fungible, ultimately coming from taxpayers' pockets, the money can be used toward whatever purposes politicians direct it.

For example, last year $50 million of tax money was laundered by the Legislature through the Department of Transportation and passed along to the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SIB).

This money could have been used on any roads, but it was designated to raise bonds for such things as "discrete public project propositions," in this instance the no-priority $558 million I-526 extension boondoggle. Meanwhile, a vast number of immediate priority projects go begging throughout the state.

Why do a handful of politicians persist in directing over a half billion dollars to this unnecessary project when the state needs billions of dollars to fix existing infrastructure? And why do they then take more taxpayer money to push to the SIB, putting taxpayers on the hook for even more one-off priority setting one-time money discrete public project propositions? Money is money, whatever tax/fee-payer pocket it comes from.

Any money spent on pet projects through the SIB when the whole state transportation infrastructure is declining rapidly is a poster argument for properly addressing our critical road needs.

Mr. Beach was correct:

The money, fungible money, lots of money, is in the Bank. Unfortunately a few elected officials are most certainly not using it to fix our crumbling roads and bridges or for much other than a variety of "one-off 'priority' settings."

Rich Thomas

Betsy Kerrison Parkway

Johns Island

A personal choice

Sen. Tim Scott's characterization of the Congressional Budget Office report on the Affordable Care Act in his Feb. 7 newsletter is completely wrong. He stated that, according to the report, "Obamacare would cost our economy the equivalent of nearly 2.5 million full-time jobs."

The CBO report stated no such thing. In fact, it went out of its way to make it clear that those 2 million-plus people would leave the workforce voluntarily, not lose their jobs.

Because affordable health plans are now available for people approaching retirement age, millions can choose to retire early.

As a worker who would like to retire soon, I've looked at the ACA website. Before, the only way I could afford health insurance was to keep working so I could get it through my employer.

The ACA now gives me new options. I am thankful that I won't have to keep working until I reach age 65 and qualify for Medicare. The ACA makes it possible for people like me to choose to leave the workforce early, and this is a good thing.

Philip Heinlein

S. Main Street

Summerville

Cainhoy plan

There has been a lot of news and editorial coverage on the planned development of Cainhoy Plantation. As a future neighbor living directly adjacent to this property in Beresford Hall, I believe that the plan is the best for our area.

Some concerns raised by opponents had merit. A number of these have been addressed by the developer, and others are covered by existing state and federal laws.

The developer has held a number of meetings with neighborhood groups and special interest groups that voiced objections to the plan. Some changes made to the plan as a result include eliminating industrial zoning along Cainhoy Road and adding a tree buffer to preserve the rural feel.

Historical sites within the area have been identified and will be protected as required by federal and state law. These will become part of the public domain, giving additional character to the development theme of "Lowcountry settlement lore." Preservation groups have been given access to the property and encouraged to identify any additional locations.

Regarding conservationists' concerns, over half of the property is wetlands protected by federal and state mandate. The plan calls for open corridors to allow game of all types to traverse between the internal wetlands and the bordering national forest and Wando and Cooper rivers.

The Charleston tri-county master plan identifies the property as suburban residential and commercial, not for conservation. It was zoned for almost any use. Without the more restricted zoning passed by the commission, we could end up with a hodge-podge of uncoordinated developments and industry.

Daniel Island has become an asset to the metro area. It makes sense for the same planners to develop Cainhoy Plantation rather than leave it to chance.

We will benefit from the planned commercial center along Clements Ferry Road, bringing retail and restaurant options currently not available. Land is being donated for a public school complex and additional city services currently not convenient to existing and future community residents.

Additional park, recreation and river access will be available to all area residents. Since the development plan calls for significant work opportunities within the complex, an expanded digital corridor could bring more high tech firms like Daniel Island's Blackbaud and Benefitfocus. All in all, this is good for our community.

GORDON BINGHAM

Bounty Square Drive

Charleston

Speak slowly

I hear you talking, but I can't understand what many of you, especially fast talkers, are saying. I believe it's because I have become significantly old, and the workings in my brain have slowed.

For example, consider the word, "sympathetic." It's composed of the syllables sym, pa, thet, ic. A youthful listener's nimble brain readily identifies all the syllables and thus the word even when they are spoken by a fast talker.

My old, plodding brain doesn't have time to properly identify all the syllables - sometimes any of them. The jumble is unrecognizable.

I hear talking, but I can't understand what's being said. The matter is caused largely by a lack of elocution and diction, the art of speaking clearly and effectively, slowly at a moderate pitch and appropriate volume, and not running words together. It poses a problem common among many of my peers.

At a time when there is so much emphasis on speed, it's difficult to convince people to slow down while speaking. But think about it, especially if you are a caregiver to older people.

George Holzworth

Wittenberg Drive

Mount Pleasant