Bike valet

Tired of chaining your bike to trees, shrubs, parking meters - just about anything stationary - when you visit the Saturday Marion Square Farmer's Market? Charleston Moves is now on the scene, offering a complimentary bike valet service from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Saturday through the summer. Charleston Moves volunteers issue a claim ticket for each bike owner and guard the bikes while owners are out and about.

We are doing this with the understanding that the City of Charleston will soon provide enough permanent bike racks in this vicinity and put us out of business.

We're located in the picnic area behind the food vendors (who have begun offering discounts to those who show their bike valet claim ticket). While you're there, hang out with the Charleston Moves volunteers to catch up on what's happening in the local cycling world.

Pat Sullivan

Plantation Court

Mount Pleasant

Overcrowding

I had to laugh while reading a June 19 letter about the Mount Pleasant and James Island women who moved here four years ago and are complaining about overdevelopment in their neighborhoods. The writer made an excellent point that those people are part of the problem.

I agree about the overdevelopment; however, I am a native Charlestonian so I believe I have the right to complain. Why do we keep widening roads and building bigger bridges? That only invites more people to move here.

My solution: Make the roads more narrow and knock down a few bridges. Maybe some of those people will move back to where they came from.

Robyne Brown

Folly Road

Charleston

Worthy of honor

In an otherwise interesting column on the sesquicentennial of the 1864 Battle of Cold Harbor, Frank Wooten launches into lamentations over our Confederate past and his childhood affection for the Southern cause.

Not content to malign South Carolinians of yesteryear, Mr. Wooten mocked today's "diehard defenders" of the Confederate flag compromise at the state capitol. How ironic that he has never used such words to describe the diehard supporters of the toothless flag boycott.

I wonder how Mr. Wooten feels about 18-year-old Oliver Hering Middleton, a Charlestonian who indeed died very hard at Cold Harbor when a federal minnie ball pierced his lungs. Middleton had joined the Charleston Light Dragoons the year before, in accordance with the state's 1794 Militia Act which required service of all young men.

He was little different from young soldiers in other historical eras who were drafted into military units and did their duty. He died fighting against overwhelming odds at Matadequin Creek, near Cold Harbor.

A photograph of Oliver starkly depicts how young most soldiers were in that conflict. He also was the great-great grandson of Declaration of Independence signer Arthur Middleton, whose Ashley River home was burned by marauding Federal soldiers in 1865, no doubt in their zeal to "preserve the Union."

There is a plaque in the entrance to St. Michael's Church with Oliver's name and the inscription, "They fought the patriot's fight, they kept the faith of their fathers." Beneath that is the Latin motto "non sibi Domine sed Patriae," meaning "not for self, but for country."

So many young South Carolinians like Oliver have given their lives in military service, from Cowpens to Afghanistan. They did not make the wars or the politics behind them, but they stood strong when their homeland called them to serve.

If Frank Wooten dislikes our Confederate heritage, that's his choice, but please don't disparage those of us who choose to honor soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of this state and city.

Michael Trouche

Marsh Court Lane

Mount Pleasant

PC 'insanity'

The continuing attempts to change the Washington Redskins' name seems to be uncontrolled insanity of the politically correct crowd. Who's next? Braves, Falcons, Indians, Seminoles?

When does America come to its senses and say "no more of this nonsense"?

Lewis Wade

Cottageville Highway

Cottageville

Swimming safety

In the weeks since pools have opened and the ocean's temperature has become inviting, we have had at least weekly drowning deaths in South Carolina. Drowning is the leading cause of death and unintentional injury for children ages one to four, and the second leading cause of death for children up to age 14.

Everyone should learn to swim. Most are ready to learn by age four. Earlier "drown-proofing" classes should not give caregivers the idea that they can drop their guard when supervising children. Nine times out of 10, children who drown are in the care of adults who are "supervising" them, but not giving their full attention.

Beach swimming requires extra care. Never swim alone or after drinking alcohol. Avoid swimming near piers, jetties and breaks in sandbars where rip currents are more likely to form. If caught in a rip current swim parallel to the shore until the current dies away, then swim to shore.

Learn CPR. You might save a life. The Red Cross or your local fire station might offer training - or perhaps there is training available at your place of business.

Swimming lessons are available free or at very low cost at all city Department of Recreation pools and at neighborhood pools and clubs.

More detailed information and suggestions are available at Kidshealth.org. Search for "water safety."

Contact the Charleston County Medical Society at 577-3613 with questions about this and other public health topics or other medical issues.

William Simpson, Jr., M.D.

Chair

Committee on Public Health

Charleston County

Medical Society

Montagu Street

Charleston

Problem solver

The solution to the crisis at the border is to channel the buses with the children directly to Sen. Harry Reid's hometown, Nancy Pelosi's district, Beverly Hills, Bill Gates' community and President Obama's old neighborhood in Chicago.

Watch how fast they seal the border.

The problem for them is the situation is out of sight, and out of mind. They need a dose of reality.

Ian Kay

Sasanqua Lane

Charleston

Baghdad lament

In August and September, 2003, I accompanied two ministers associated with a charitable organization for which I am the lawyer to Baghdad. I walked the streets of the city freely conversing with many, making friends.

The people were hospitable, kind and grateful that Saddam Hussein was gone and their standard of living was rising. Before the invasion in March, 2003, the average monthly income was $5 per month. At my arrival, average monthly income had risen to approximately $25 per month, and I was informed just after my departure that it had risen to approximately $50 per month.

I am deeply grieved that this historic, once great city will either fall entirely to head-plopping bigot-Islamofascist-psychopaths (as have Raqqa in Syria, and Mosul and Tikrit in Iraq) or become a churning cauldron of vicious guerrilla internecine terrorism and warfare.

What a pity. Pray for Baghdad.

George J. Gatgounis

Broad Street

Charleston

Which is it?

Seems to me that 20 or so years ago Charleston "city leaders" encouraged bars and restaurants to expand along Market and King streets.

The theory was if there was an active, viable nightlife, the streets would be more safe.

Now the "city leaders" are saying there is too much nightlife on those streets.

I wish the "city leaders" would make up his mind.

Judy Reinhard

Palm Street

Mount Pleasant