Enforce bike laws

I applaud efforts to improve the safety of area bike riders. Bike lanes with arrows and directional indicators, particularly on Ladson Road and Spruill Avenue, are helpful.

But I see clearly marked bike lanes being ignored as riders travel right down the middle of these roads in the dark, often wearing dark clothing without lights or reflectors and oblivious to their surroundings.

There have been occasions when I have been startled by a gentleman who crosses the Cosgrove overpass to West Ashley each morning in the dark, and I have had to swerve to avoid him.

Signs state that no walkers or bicycles are allowed. I have seen North Charleston's finest just cruise on by and ignore the problem.

We can build bike paths and add lanes, but until riders properly use them, it is a waste of resources. Until riders are held accountable for their actions their plight will not improve.

Law officers need to uphold laws on cycling. I do not want to tell a police officer that the cyclist I ran over in a turning lane at midnight died of stupidity. I am in fear of a tragedy yet to happen.

Norm Hilliard

Roselle Avenue

Goose Creek

History lesson

In 1954, 1 was a law clerk for Bob Figg, one of the greatest lawyers in this state. I have some stories to tell about our school segregation lawsuit that ought to be included as a part of that history.

U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond asked Bob to represent the interest of the state of South Carolina and in return Thurmond would appoint Figg to be a federal judge.

The answer, filed by the state of South Carolina, did not ask the court to continue racial segregation. Figg only asked for time.

In preparation for the trial, I overheard conversations between Thurgood Marshall and Figg talking in his library. They were casual and friendly as if they were talking about golf. One evening Bob and his wife Sally invited Marshall to their home for dinner, and he joined them.

When it came time to argue the case in the U.S. Supreme Court, S.C. lawyers took the overnight train because Figg did not like to fly. As the group was having a cafeteria-style breakfast in Washington's Union Station, Figg pointed out that the brown toast and white toast were not on the same tray and everyone laughed.

As this case was making its way through the judicial system, it became clear that Thurmond would not be able to appoint Figg to a federal judgeship. This was because of Figg's involvement in this case. The state of South Carolina never paid Figg even for his expenses. It gave him a silver tea service.

Ruth W. Cupp

Attorney at Law

Johnnie Dodds Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Make fines hurt

A recent article states that a vendor "was issued a $470 citation for selling beer to a person under 21."

This is petty cash for almost any liquor store. They will make that up in one week of selling more beer to more minors.

I am from California. In California the penalty for selling alcohol to a minor is suspension or revocation of the liquor license.

Losing or suspending that license could mean the loss of tens of thousands of dollars. That gets the attention of business owners.

Neal Gittleman

Park West Boulevard

Mount Pleasant

Fix broken system

Thanks to The Post and Courier for its reporting on the S.C. Department of Corrections' treatment of mentally ill prisoners.

The findings outlined in Circuit Judge Baxley's report clearly reflect the fact that something needs to be done to alleviate the cruel and unjust treatment of these individuals who are unable to cope without proper medication.

I'm equally thankful that Bryan Sterling, the new director of the Department of Corrections, said he is not waiting for additional funding or the results of another appeal to fix what can be fixed immediately within the present budget.

I believe much of what has been reported can be fixed now. As we all know, our trusted politicians will never throw money where there are no votes, so I can only hope Mr. Sterling will stay positive about the changes he can make during his stay.

I personally do not believe that a person who has never had a history of violence, and somehow has brain damage from a blow to the head, an aneurysm or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), then commits a crime, should be sent to a prison facility that is not equipped to work with the mentally disabled. I don't have an answer for where they should be sent, but it should not be a prison.

Back in the late '60s there was talk that America turned its back on the military veterans returning from Vietnam, many of whom needed help for various mental disorders as a result of the war.

Many of these vets ended up breaking some law and in jail. It was years before it was acknowledged that they were forgotten by most of America.

Today, many of our troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have been diagnosed with PTSD or other mental disorders. Will our prisons be home for them?

The answer is yes, unless the veterans organizations established to protect our veterans act now to seek improvements in the way South Carolina, or America for that matter, treats the mentally ill who commit crimes.

Larry M. Agee

Cheraw Drive

Charleston

Absurd penalty

Are you kidding me? The worker who didn't pay the 89 cents for the soft drink at the VA hospital is fired from his job and fined $525?

I can't believe that this man would risk arrest and losing his job for an 89-cent soft drink refill.

It is a simple mistake that most people have made in their lifetime, me included.

Most people think that self-serve soft drinks are refillable without giving it another thought.

And the VA hospital's response is laughable. This is a scary incident.

Robyne Brown

Folly Road

Charleston