LETTERS to the Editor 

COMPASSION WITH A SIDE OF SUPPORT

All too often we hear of a tragic story. It is commonplace to feel compassion for a moment and then return to our daily lives. Some of us are fortunate enough to have someone in our lives that instead does something remarkable.

On Christmas Eve 2005, I was told the cancer I had battled five years prior had returned. The difference this time being I would have to battle this disease while raising two little girls, ages 3 and 1. My husband, our friends and family were all devastated. However, my dear friends Brett and Kimberley McKee did not miss a beat. They immediately went to work and orchestrated one of the most successful fundraisers I have ever known — raising enough money to secure my future medical expenses and more.

Brett and Kimberly own the Oak Steakhouse in downtown Charleston. They came into my life six years ago when I worked for them at their restaurant, Brett's on James Island. Our employer/employee relationship quickly developed into a lasting frienship and they have been such a blessing in my life.

Sunday night, April 30, the McKees brought together a community in a way I can only describe as amazing! I would like to personally thank them and the entire staff at Oak. I would also like to thank the owners and staff of the Blind Tiger for allowing the night to start at their establishment.

Thank you to Kathleen and the mothers at Chautauqua Day School for preparing meals for my family after chemotherapy. Thank you to all the wonderful people who donated their personal belongings and their homes to help my family.

And thank you to my brilliant doctors, Dr. Schmidt and Dr. George Geils Jr. Charleston is filled with a lot of extraordinary people. And thanks to Brett and Kimberly, several of these people were able to come together and enrich the lives and secure the future of my family. My only regret is that every family does not have a Brett and Kimberly in their lives.

Kelli Brown
James Island

TOWING LINE BETWEEN ART AND INDUSTRY

I believe it is in the best interest of the people in the Charleston County area to acquire legal dermagraphic ink (the art of tattoo) in a healthy environment. An environment where not only is the artist professed at his/her trade, but performs that same trade in an environment that uses aseptic technique. Here, one is protected against such infectious diseases as hepatitis B and C. Another issue of major concern is the location of the dermagraphic practice (a.k.a. — tattoo parlor). All citizens are entitled to seek these services in a safe and protected environment, whether they be the artist or the client. Ask yourself this question: If your mother, sister, or daughter chooses to receive a tattoo, (keep in mind, the average hours for most tattoo artists are from 12 noon to 12 midnight), are they going to be safe getting in and out of their vehicles to be served by our establishments if they are only located in an industrial zone? Will our staff be safe in some of these same dark areas? Will I be safe? A safe location is not only important for our clients, but for our staff and business establishment as well. Please consider allowing legal and safe tattooing in commercially zoned areas of Charleston. The majority of us are artists, and truly love what we do. Help us make our dreams a reality.

The Staff of Tigerland Tattoo
Somewhere in Charleston
Denyse Marie Walsh
Summerville, SC

OIL TRUTH SLIPPERY

What is critical regarding oil is the truth: there is not a shortage of oil and won't be, and we must deal with the facts substantiated by non-political experts, of course, not oil execs and not myths. Oil is not the result of decayed fauna and flora — proof is that old "dry" wells all over the world have been capped have been found later to contain oil. Yes, subterranean replenishment is occurring and unbiased oil industry expects have substantiated that over and over again. We should all be suspect of the politicians and others who do not call/request the unbiased and unattached expects for the facts. Are the oil execs going to dispel the shortage theme to anyone — let alone Congress? An economic and quickly realized windfall is out there now and their is no searching or drilling required. Stop screaming wolf when there is none!

John Maricich
Goose Creek

DON'T HATE THE LADY;HATE THE HAT

Women of all ages and backgrounds should treat each other with respect, kindness, and support. This catty and petty behavior reminds me of how girls treated one another in junior high and in high school, "Oh, I don't like what she is wearing, she can't be a part of our club!" Hat Ladies, grow up. You are an embarrassment to modern women everywhere.

Carrie McClure
Charleston

LONG-LINER'S LAMENT

One of my favorite bumper stickers reads, "Friends don't let friends buy imported shrimp." Absolutely goddamn right! Especially in Charleston. Our fair town's fishing fleet is in abysmal straights because the local seafood restaurant industry's become a corporate whore, myopic on the "bottom line." They decide that Black Tiger shrimp from Bangladesh is cheaper to sell as "Fresh Local Seafood," than local caught shrimp from Shem Creek or Rockville. Now there are local restaurants that make every effort to support our local fishing industry, but there are others that boast "fresh local seafood" that's "delivered to their docks daily." Local seafood restaurant owners should be held accountable for what they boast as "fresh and local." Granted, there are seasons for fresh and local and therefore imported must take up the slack. All I'm asking is, don't sell something it's not!

Dan Haskell
Johns Island

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