• Thursday, June 27, 2013

I applaud Bill Walker of Sullivan’s Island for his remarks in a recent Letter to the Editor concerning his disdain for President Obama for using the word “folks” in relation to those who engage in terrorism. Such a term does, as he states, “trivialize the deadly menace of terrorism”. I felt much the same way when George W. Bush used the very same word - twice - in his description of those responsible for the bombings on 9/11. Apparently, ignorance travels freely between party lines.

Joe Briley

Mount Pleasant

Au contraire

I keep putting my wife’s request off by telling her there are no fur dealers in the area, and now I read in the Moultrie News (June 19, “Epicurean dream store slated to open late summer in Mount Pleasant”) that the new Southern Season “carries sables.” I wonder what the demand for heavy coats will be here in the Lowcountry.

George Vary

Mount Pleasant

(Editor’s note: Sablé is a French round shortbread biscuit, originating in Caen, in the province of Lower Normandy.)

Honey not vinegar

After reading a letter to the editor in the June 19 issue of the Moultrie News from a person in the hospitality industry, regarding a customer not receiving her coin change, it’s important that I share my perspective on the matter, having been a hospitality professional in the industry for more than 35 years. The hospitality industry in Charleston, being a destination resort market, is perhaps the most populated industry, and also one that generates significant revenue for the tri-county area.

Although there are some people who work in the industry who truly understand what it means to give good service, there are many people who, quite frankly, don’t understand what it takes to be successful in the industry. To be clear, 20 percent of your bill is not a standard for tipping in any establishment, unless the establishment declares an automatic gratuity be added to certain size parties. People will tip accordingly, based on receiving hospitable and attentive service. Not because it’s a standard. People will also tip accordingly if they receive terrible service.

It is totally rude to not return a customer his/her correct change and assume that they are going to accept that as protocol. All my tabs are paid with credit cards, because of the times that I was asked by the server if I wanted change back when paying cash.

Again, I am quite thankful that there are some people in the industry who truly understand what it takes to give quality service. It is called “positive hospitable attitude.”

So when people, like the person who prompted me to write this letter makes comments that the customer should deduct the $.49 from the amount that they would normally tip, unfortunately that reflects the negative attitude that I, as a hospitality professional, constantly strive to change. If more people knew what the word “hospitality” means, then they would know that giving back the $.49 to the customer, or any amount for that matter, is the right thing to do.

The real issue here is proper training in the industry, combined with employees who are “trainable.” I know that some employees end up not being trained properly and that is not their fault. If there is a training program in a food service operation, it should include soft skills as well as technical skills. Good soft skills will earn more money. That is how it works.

Gary Ricozzi

Managing Partner, HospitalityStaff


Syria: Go slow

President Obama recently said that we should “go slow” regarding getting involved in the Syrian civil war. However, I don’t see any movement at all. We have procrastinated far too long while 90,000 people have been killed.

We don’t need to get involved militarily. In keeping with our principles and to avoid another Mid-East war, let’s send humanitarian aid to the displaced refugees who fled the country and are overwhelming Turkey and Jordan.

Phil Siegrist

Mount Pleasant

Waterworks increase

Following up on this issue of unprecedented Waterworks rates increase I read with a lot of attention your most recent article (June 12) on this subject.

Again a good pitch from Mount Pleasant Waterworks Director Clay Duffie with another twist, “I want to remind customers that when we implemented the special assessment we did not raise rates that year.”

Not true. The rates were increased in July rather than January, so, yes the customers got a break for six months, but not a year as spelled out by Mr. Duffie.

The facts are that Waterworks’ increases are completely out of line with the overall numbers of the economy, personal income, inflation, cost of living, etc., and they have to learn how to reduce their expenses to have a balanced budget without significant increases year after year.

I hope that our commission representatives will reject the proposed increase and work out a more balanced solution to Waterworks budget issues. A copy of this email is sent to the commissioners.

Louis Herodote

Mount Pleasant

Constitutional crisis

Criticizing the Constitution of the United States is like criticizing the Bible. For a good many people the ears shut down and the mind closes. That is the power of brainwashing from early youth.

Actually, the Constitution was quite a good document when it was written. At the time there was no electricity, no running water, no toilets, no telephones and certainly no automobiles, airplanes, mass media, etc. And there were no Democratic and Republican parties. It was a very different world.

Like the Model T Ford, the Constitution provided the four wheels, engine and seats necessary to get us from point A to point B. But that vehicle has problems on an interstate highway.

You don’t have to watch what is going on in Washington to realize that our democracy is failing, and I fully expect that our government will be shut down before the end of the year by the lunatics in the U.S. House of Representatives. That will lead to a Constitutional crisis.

Can the party out of power overthrow the duly elected-party in power if the party out of power has control of the U.S. House? Many think they can, and that the Constitution allows it. Do legislators of one Congress have the power to nullify the actions of previous Congresses by simply doing nothing (not extending the debt limit)? These are questions that will test the very foundation of our Constitutional government.

William A. Johnson

Mount Pleasant

Where’s the money?

A new elementary school was supposed to be built for the northern area of Mount Pleasant by 2009. A second additional elementary school, Carolina Park Elementary, was in the School District’s Building Plan for 2010-2015.

However, the first school is now off the books completely and the Carolina Park Elementary School is now pushed back to 2018.

Both Jennie Moore and Laing Elementary were supposed to be rebuilt by 2009 and by 2015 Mount Pleasant was to have a second high school. It is now mid 2013 and none of this has been accomplished? Why is the district neglecting Mount Pleasant residents’ need for additional school capacity?

Twenty million dollars was allocated in the 2005-2009 Bonds for Capital Improvements for building a new school in the northern area of our town where the growth is rapid and the schools are busting at the seams.

However, the district decided to “reallocate” the money. The district is instead building a new school on Sullivan’s Island with “Savings from the 2005-2009 Capital Improvements Budget.”

They have allocated over $20 million for this. I suspect $20 million of it came from not building the elementary school that was slated for the northern area of our town. Sullivan’s Island was not slated for a new school in the 2005-2009 building plan.

There is negative growth on Sullivan’s Island, and there are very few families on Sullivan’s Island that have students attending school there. Instead the growth is in the northern part of Mount Pleasant and the greatest need for additional capacity is there.

It makes no sense to put children in Mount Pleasant in schools that are at the breaking point in terms of capacity when the money is still available to alleviate the problem. We are being passed over in favor our island neighbors.

I have great affection for our island neighbors, but we can not choose a portion of their community’s desire for a new school on the island to outweigh our concern for the safety of Mount Pleasant students.

Sullivan’s Island is deeply divided on the issue of building a new and larger school. There is no doubt that Mount Pleasant is in dire need of additional schools.

The failure of the district to build a new elementary school is impacting families throughout Mount Pleasant with a rezoning plan that is merely a band aid and does not nothing to solve the problem.

I understand that the contract for a new Sullivan’s Island School has not yet been awarded, and it is not too late to reallocate that money to Mount Pleasant. I suspect it was originally slated for us anyway and the people of Mount Pleasant deserve to know why the $20 million was taken and given to someone else.

Elizabeth S. Gordon

Mount Pleasant

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