Courier Letters to the Editor 6-3-15

Thanks for Doodle Trail

Dear Editor,

I would like to give a special thank you to Pickens mayor David Owens and everyone who made the Doodle Trail a success. I have been riding a bicycle for more than 50 years. The roads were getting too dangerous to ride on. The Doodle Trail is perfect. It got my husband, Mickey, up off the couch and back into exercising. We have ridden our bikes on the trail almost every day since it opened. I think it will help a lot of families get into exercising.

Norma Bagwell


Easley not getting

bang for its buck

Dear Editor,

I cannot help but feel that the city government and the chamber of commerce do not care for downtown Easley.

There is really no reason for people to come to downtown. The library, post office and Easley Combined Utilities are near Highway 123, so people who normally frequent these places drive right past Main Street if they visit the area at all.

With the Highway 153 project in the works to by-pass downtown, all the traffic toward Pickens will be able to bypass Main Street by using the 153 bypass, so no one would be enticed to stop — instead they will bypass the town all together.

Then I felt there might be hope yet. The Doodle Trail could bring people to downtown. As runners, walkers and bikers descend the trail from Pickens, they could rest on benches on Main Street, grab a bite to eat, even shop in the stores.

But no, the Doodle Trail ends at Fleetwood Drive near the hospital and what sits at the end of the trail? One diner and a BP store. On the Pickens end, it stops across from several fast food joints, and Main Street is a block away.

Who really benefits from the trail? Pickens.

So people will start at the Easley end, go to Pickens, maybe eat there or shop and then come back to the parking lot in Easley, get in their cars and leave. The BP store might reap the benefit, but the town doesn’t.

If you think these trails don’t help a community, go up to Travelers Rest. They love the Swamp Rabbit Trail. Towns such as Mauldin and Greer want to link on to the Swamp Rabbit Trail. The city leaders need to look at other towns to see what makes their downtowns alive and well.

Larry Allen


Concerns with trail

Dear Editor,

This is to bring some facts out to the general public, and property owners on the Doodle Trail need to know. Those bikers do not obey the stop signs on the trail.

On Saturday and Sunday of last week, two bikers were almost hit by cars because they ran the stop signs and shot across the road in front of cars.

If you hit one of these bikers, who is liable for the damage to your car? Are the City of Pickens and the City of Easley liable for the repairs to the car, or is it the state? It depends if they were hit on a county or state road.

Every night this trail is used by mopeds and some cars. I think the bikes should be required to carry liability insurance. This was suggested to both mayors two years ago at the start of this trail.

Jim McDonald


Education has

power to transform

Dear Editor,

I believe education has the power to transform lives. My parents lifted themselves up from blue-collar roots to make differences in their fields.

As a longtime resident of Pickens County and a 1982 graduate of D.W. Daniel High School, I grew up believing that despite the quality of education in South Carolina, the schools in Pickens County were different. I still believed this when we chose to raise our child in this county.

I believe there are good people in the school district. The experiences I have had with the school district as a parent have been excellent. The teachers work hard for their students. The administration is supportive of the communities they lead.

However, I do not believe the same for certain members of the school board. While there are those who are on the board to work with the employees of the school district, there are members who seem to want the school district fail. They are there to support their best interests.

They will tell you that the building program from the last decade is the culprit. They are wrong. The majority of the budget — 89 percent — goes to support salaries that are lower than those in neighboring counties. The numbers consistently show a disregard for state and federal standards at the interests of their own pockets.

I understand the need for restraint and accountability in our school districts. However, this is not the situation. We need people who believe that education can make a difference in the lives of our children, our community and our economic development. It does not matter if they wish to be plumbers or professors, machinists or marketers; they should be supported through education to make those goals a reality.

Christine Prado


No attack from Saitta

Dear Editor,

I want to comment on last week’s letter to the editor by the teacher from Clemson complaining that he thought Alex Saitta had attacked teachers over pay.

I read Saitta’s letter twice looking for an attack. There was none.

All he wrote was teachers did not receive pay raises in two years during the recession. While he wanted to make up for those lost pay raises, he didn’t want to raise taxes to do it and gave a couple of reasons.

He said many of our citizens didn’t receive pay raises for two, three or four years during the recession. No one was making up their lost raises. So he didn’t want to tax them to make up those two lost teacher pay raises.

Fair? Yes. Reasonable? Yes. Attack? No.

He also said tax rates were raised a lot for the building program and he could not support raising taxes again. Since when does an opposing position become an attack?

I read that state revenue is growing, and that is how they’ll fund the extra pay raise this year for teachers, so they get their extra pay and taxes will not be raised.

I believe that we all want the best education possible for our children.

Just because we have different opinions on how to reach that goal doesn’t mean we can’t be civil to one another.

Richard Gettys