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LETTERS to the Editor

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Uncle Sam, layoff my smokes!

City Council, please take note. No one is forced to smoke, or to work in, or patronize smoky environments. It's a choice in every instance, so let's keep the government out of it. Those who are whining about the dangers of smoke think nothing of downing a cholesterol-laden three-egg omelet for breakfast, a 700-calorie fat-dripping Big Mac for lunch and a gourmet heart-attack-on-a-platter dinner, all accompanied by too many alcoholic beverages. They accept all these risks but get absolutely pop-eyed over the far lesser risk of secondhand smoke. C'mon people, give me a break. I think you just don't like the smell of smoke and are using health terrorism to overthrow good sense.

Eat and drink whatever you like, it's your life. But if you don't like the restaurant you're in, get off your butt, tell the management why you're leaving, and go enjoy yourself at the nonsmoking restaurant across the street. Think about this, too. If you invite the government to your table just one time it will never, ever go away. And, before long you will be told how to dress for dinner, what you can eat and drink, and what you are allowed to discuss in dinner conversations. And of course, your taxes will go up to pay for the extra bureaucrats, the food and drink police, and prosecution of anyone who would presume to take responsibility for themselves. My advice to the whiners is make your own choices and let me make mine. Appreciate the wonderful variety of everything that is offered in this country, and especially in Charleston. Try them all. Enjoy the ones you like and ignore those you don't, and don't try to force your personal preferences on everyone else. Believe me, we'll all be happier and healthier without more of the government telling us how to live our lives.

Terry W. Ryan
West Ashley

MAD AT MOREDOCK

In response to the article written by Will Moredock, titled "Back From Hell" (Views, June 14), the Harley Rally was filled with noise, crime, and chaos. He attempted to combine the two separate Myrtle Beach events to insinuate similarities to the Heritage Rally in Charleston. This is deceitful at best.

Trooper Collins/Highway Patrol said driver inattention, specifically vehicles failing to yield the right of way and turning into the path of motorcycles, was the biggest issue contributing to the increase in fatalities. Statistics show crashes/incidents declined with 1,469 traffic and nontraffic violations during the Harley event. "It was a very good event for us," said David Knipes of the MBPD. There were eight bikers in town for the rally who regrettably died. This I say in contrast to the glorification of the 67-year-old idiot who decided to take out his frustration on a biker, which happened a week after the Harley Rally. MB spokesman Mark Kruea said there were a few noise complaints, but this event was quieter than in recent years.

Vendors at MB Harley-Davidson, Barefoot Landing, and Colonial Mall had "phenomenal sales" and broke records from previous years, according to vendor coordinator Sandy Leone. Marketing Director Mike Shank said the event was very successful and was very pleased at the way everything turned out.

Overall the event went peacefully and without negative impact, providing great economic benefits to the surrounding cities. The majority of people that attend these rallies respect the community, and people around them.

Lastly, Charleston is my heritage and I have the right to enjoy the city just as he. Sit on a bench on East Bay Street on a Friday or Saturday night at 2 a.m. Maybe we should be writing about the drunken brigade all hitting the streets at the same time instead of my loud motorcycle.

Worth Bowman II
Moncks Corner

STILL MAD

Wow, what a narrow escape for Mr. Moredock from Hell at Myrtle Beach Bike Week. One suggestion for old Will: improve your coping skills if you continue to go where masses of people gather. It must only be carnage if motorcycles are involved? Violence at hockey, soccer, and other sport venues, Mardi Gras and all the way to religion where, for example, religious zealots trample hundreds to death at the Hajj, to stone the devil. These are just afternoon tea parties to Mr. Moredock. Entertainment, where onlookers are sent to a fiery death by pyrotechnics that are detonated inside a building, is just kismet to old Will. It is not just bikers, it is no more than human beings in their various lifestyles gathering in large numbers. In any population, no matter how big or small, there will be that percentage of behavior that to some may seem abhorrent and will run the spectrum of life. My heart goes out to Mr. Moredock, but right now I am low on strength. You see, I am writing this after myself and 26 members of my group just gave blood to the Red Cross. Should old Will need some one day, we will be there for him, too, because that is what we really do. As a side note, Myrtle Beach could cancel this bike event — they choose not to. 

Jim Bronder
Ridge Spring, S.C.

THE MADDEST

I know some bikers here in SC and have known some who went off to fight in the war ... we have not heard from them since. Some of these guys [Moredock] complained about also put their bikes in garages and put their butts on the frontline to help you keep your freedom to complain to about them. When was the last time you THANKED a biker for what he has done for your country or community? Some of these "Noisy, Trashy, Lawless people" return home to care for their elderly parent when their holiday at the beach is done. Some return to their nice clean quiet home in the country with their sweet little cat. 

Bikers ride for autism, bikers ride for veterans, bikers donate to programs for child abuse, spousal abuse, animal abuse, childhood disease and many other causes. My cat was a victim of animal cruelty and the many abused and disabled cats my sanctuary takes in benefit from the research and funds used by major organizations that these motorcycle groups contribute to. I was a victim of domestic violence, I used the programs to help me get free. Programs that N.H. motorcycle groups donated to.

Bikers are no more obnoxious than tent revivals, Masters weekend in Georgia, parades, fairs and other mass gathering events. In every crowd you will have some who get out of hand ... now, ask every person who complains: what THEY have done for their community?

Becky Raymond
Beech Island, S.C.

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