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Features : Letters to Editor Last Updated: Oct 31, 2012 - 9:34:01 AM


Letter to editor - November 1, 2012
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Oct 31, 2012 - 9:26:18 AM

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Moms4Kids Say “YES” for School Referendum
If you’re a mom, please read this. Even if you are not, you have or have had a mom at one point, and she’d want you to read it.
There is a special relationship between moms and kids. We bring them to life. We nurture them.  We typically teach them to speak their first words, to walk, to read, to dress warm, to face the world.
We know they’ll be going to school, and there’s a part of us that doesn’t want to let them out of our sight. Ever.  
But we appreciate that there are professionals who can teach them what they need to know to have full lives…to be curious, empathetic, and wise.
We want those professionals to be the best they can be. And we want their facilities to support their efforts by providing environments that are safe and successful for good learning and good lives.
These things really matter to us. It’s not just surface stuff. It’s at our core.
And that is why we have created Moms4Kids, a name for Berkeley County moms who support the School Improvement Referendum on the Nov 6th ballot.
Right now, Berkeley County Schools are not providing the best successful learning environments that our children need and deserve.
It’s not a people problem. Good people are leading the School District, and good teachers are working in the schools.
The problem is facilities. Overcrowded classrooms. Students crammed into trailers. Lack of safety. Not enough high tech learning. And good teaching compromised by inadequate facilities.
Those are not circumstances that are good enough for our children. We’re sorry, but our kids deserve better.
That’s why it’s critical that we pass the School Improvement Referendum.
The Referendum addresses every one of those problems. It creates five new schools and makes significant improvements in 29 existing schools. Every student in Berkeley County – every family in Berkeley County – will benefit.
Vote YES, to put an end to students being crammed into trailers.
Vote YES, so our kids will get the high tech learning they need to succeed in today’s world.
Vote YES, to keep and recruit more great teachers for our schools.
At a recent Daniel Island School PTA meeting, there was healthy dialogue about the referendum and what could happen when it passes. Our concern is that there is not enough awareness about the referendum, so that’s why we created Moms4Kids.
Our kids need the benefits associated with the School Improvement Referendum. And they can have them, if we care enough to support the Referendum and encourage others to do so.
Moms, you have friends. You have family. Tell them about the School Improvement Referendum and encourage them to support it.  
Your children do deserve the best. If we all vote YES, they can have it.
Heather Jones, Tanya Murphy and Ann Williams are three mothers who live in Berkeley County and care deeply about their children and all children in the county.

What’s the Price of Your Child?
We’ve all seen the TV ads that go through a list of things, the last of which is deemed “priceless.”
When we think of what’s priceless in our lives, our children come immediately to mind. Our guess is, yours do too.
After all, can you imagine putting a monetary value on your children?  
And yet, that is precisely what a small group of dissidents is trying to do with their opposition to the Nov. 6th School Improvement Referendum.
These negative naysayers are trying to convince the good people of Berkeley County that our children are not worth the investment the School District wants to make to improve our schools.
They’re doing it with fear. They’re doing it with misleading and inaccurate numbers. And they’re doing it with a slick out-of-town consulting group that specializes in killing school improvement efforts.
We are confident that Berkeley County voters are smart enough to see through this smokescreen of deception.
Berkeley County voters recognize that our kids are being held back by overcrowded classrooms.  They know that better teaching occurs when teacher-student ratios are more manageable, and children are in properly equipped classrooms, rather than temporary trailers.
Berkeley County voters recognize that when our overcrowded schools need to convert their computer labs to classrooms, students are deprived of the high tech learning they need to compete in today’s challenging world of work.
And Berkeley County voters recognize that many of the children in our community need to drive long distances to attend a school, because we don’t have schools anywhere near those kids’ homes.
The School Improvement Referendum changes all of that.
And that’s why so many Berkeley County voters support it.
The School Improvement Referendum will make significant improvements to 29 schools throughout the County.  And it will build five new schools to serve those areas where there are no nearby schools.
As a result, we’ll have smaller classrooms, no more trailers, safer schools, more high tech learning, and the better teaching that comes with improved facilities.
Are our children worth it?
We say, “YES!
Before getting fooled by false numbers and fear, give some thought to the facts and the feelings.
The facts are, our schools – many of which are more than half a century old – are overcrowded and unable to provide the kind of learning that makes our kids competitive today.
And the feelings are, our love for our children...our pride in them…the priceless joy they bring to us…and our profound desire that they should have every opportunity for successful, happy, and fulfilling lives.
Join us, then, in working for and voting YES for the Nov. 6th School Improvement Referendum.
Jane Pulling, John Matthews and Chad Vail are co-chairs of Yes4Schools2012Campaign.

SCE&G Rate Increase
I recently received a small postcard advising me of a proposed 7.35% increase in residential electrical rates. Frankly, I paid it little attention and threw it away. That was a serious error on my part. I have since been made aware of the significance of this increase.  In the past six years SCE&G has requested 17 increases in rate and fuel. The resulting hikes have added 26% to our residential bill! And now they are requesting an additional increase after showing a profit of $72 million for June, July and August.
If this rate increase is allowed, we will be paying, based on 1000 KWH per month, 42.4% more than Duke Power and 40.6% more than Progress customers in upstate South Carolina!  For SCE&G customers, the current average monthly bill for 1000 KWH is $135.06 compared to $99.53 for Duke customers and $100.78 for Progress customers. Almost half of this increase is to fund four drivers: Pension Expense, Storm Damage and Tree trimming (Hugo, the last major storm to hit South Carolina was 23 years ago), Property Taxes and Depreciation Expense. These are not costs that should be passed on to customers as a rate increase. Is this not a normal anticipated cost of the utility business?
We CAN demonstrate our objection by merely attending the Public Service Commission hearing on Monday, November 5th at 6 PM at the International Longshoreman's Association, 1142 Morrison Avenue, Charleston, SC 29403. I urge any concerned consumer to attend and register to show our opposition to this outrageous request.
John Dietz
Daniel Island


Daniel Island Community Fund BE Scholarship Information Meeting on Thursday, November 8, 2012
For each of the past nine years, the Daniel Island Community Fund has sponsored financial need-based four-year, full and/or partial scholarships to Bishop England High School.
Any current eighth-grade student who lives within the Berkeley County “Attendance Zone” for either the Daniel Island Elementary-Middle School or the Cainhoy Elementary-Middle School is eligible to apply, Regardless of where they attend eighth-grade, ALL Daniel Island, Beresford Creek, Clements Ferry, Cainhoy and Huger students are eligible and encouraged to apply.
On Thursday evening, November 8, an Information Session for interested parents of eligible eighth-grade students will be held at the Daniel Island Real Estate Office Conference Room (101 River Landing Drive 971-7100) from 6 to 7 pm. This very helpful presentation will feature Community Fund Scholars Taylor Rice '14, Maddy Reagor '15, Elliott Erickson '14 and Michael Grady '15 who will share perspectives and highlights of their respective BE experiences. We will also have the opportunity to hear from and chat with Maddy's proud Mom, Mrs. Julie Reagor.
I, joined by Ms. Jane Baker, Daniel Island Community Fund Vice-President, will lead off this historically well-attended meeting with a brief history of the scholarship program; some accomplishments of our eight graduated and 13 current scholars; specific criteria that are sought and evaluated; and, finally, the timetable for this coming year's application/selection process. Then, Taylor, Maddy, Elliott, Michael and Mrs. Reagor will provide us with their sense of the challenges posed by life at BE. We will conclude with questions from our guests and responses from our panelists.
November 8th's Information Session is the second one hosted this year, but I am always happy to field subsequent inquiries/questions anyone may have at 278-2900 or bobgraham05@gmail.com.
We welcome and encourage your presence and participation on November 8th at 6 pm.
Bob Graham,
Daniel Island
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