Editor’s note: Charleston City Paper publishes letters received each week. To submit your own reaction to City Paper coverage or local issues, we welcome letters to the editor.
Use opioid funds carefully, transparently
To the editor:
As the former director (2009-2014), White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, and a Charleston resident, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of funds from the opioid litigation settlements to South Carolina.
These funds, if properly used, can have a significant impact on saving lives and reducing overdoses. States must have a comprehensive and transparent plan on how those funds will be allocated. We saw significant problems with tobacco settlement money being used for a variety of programs that had little to do with reducing smoking.
The opioid funds will certainly be less than the tobacco settlement and therefore it is incumbent on communities to watch and monitor very carefully where that money goes.
Make it bikeable
As a century rider into my late 50s I got to see a lot of roadway from the biker’s view. Up north that extra three feet of asphalt on the roadside makes all the difference, even if it is not a designated bike lane. It was bikeable. Bikes are alternative forms of transportation that can’t wait for official designations and striping.
McMaster proposes to tar South Carolina in preparation for his humming 2022 campaign letting the smell of hot asphalt fill our noses and distracts us. He proposes to spend $642M over the next 18 months resurfacing roads. 1000 miles in 18 months.
How much of the non-interstate roadway will be or made bikeable?
Typically for opinion pieces, your article contains a mixture of truth, conjecture and questionable reasoning.
In no particular order, here are my comments. On the issue of left-lane slowpokes, having lived in Germany for 11 years over 4 decades, I have witnessed the result of good driver training on traffic flow. One issue with people “parked” in the left lane is that it forces others to pass on the right, which is inherently less safe than on the left. At 150+ mph on the Autobahn, you couldn’t be in the left lane for long before you would see lights flash behind you (in the old days, now illegal) as passing on the right is illegal. With a bit of driver discipline, speed differentials of over 100 mph were accommodated with very few conflicts when everyone followed a few simple rules with, “Stay right unless passing” and “No passing on the right” at the head of the list. A commensurate benefit is that traffic throughput is substantially increased.
The open-carry issue reflects little more than the height of idiocy. I have a concealed carry permit and have never carried in public as it is quite a nuisance and, I suppose, choosing not to be in places where I would feel the need to have a weapon. As I have expressed to Sen. (Sandy) Senn, who voted against it, open carry has no appreciable upside and almost unlimited downside.
I do believe that we agree completely that the extreme polarization of the current political climate is nothing short of a disaster. I find it somewhat troubling that although I sincerely believe that Americans (or for that matter, all human beings) agree on far more than we disagree on, we as a species seem determined to focus on disagreements to the point of risking not only our personal welfare but the welfare of our culture. I just can’t forget the plea of Mr. Rodney King, “Why? Why can’t we all just get along?”
In any case keep up the good work,
Joseph Carastro IV