Letters on solar power, mental health proposal

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More solar is the way to go

To the editor:

00_icon_feedbackI was pleased to read about Colleton’s solar farm producing more kilowatts than expected!

I look out on all the rooftops in my neighborhood as the sun shines brightly and wonder if we could significantly cut our use of fossil fuels if the state subsidized the cost of rooftop solar panels for residential properties in the form of a tax credit.

Creating jobs and clean energy would pay off for everybody in the long run.

— Stuart Howlett, Greenville, S.C.

Use a better modifier in mental health column

To the editor:

[On your column about a mental health proposal, you wrote]:

“The new structure should help communities deal with the mentally ill and get them in treatment and stabilized before they get in serious trouble with the law that locks them in local jails for awhile.”

That is too non-specific for me. Try “the” blacks to see.

“The new structure should help communities deal with the deinstitutionalized mentally ill and get them in treatment and stabilized before they get in serious trouble with the law that locks them in local jails for awhile.”

The modifier is necessary.

That said, “the” mentally ill has become a very popular metaphor.

— Harold A. Maio, retired mental health editor, Fort Myers, Fla.

Sheheen’s proposal is a beginning step

To the editor:

I often feel guilty about all the untreated mentally ill on our streets in South Carolina.

15.0206.illnessIn the late ‘80s, I was the communications director for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health (SCDMH) and often advocated to community groups the value of local care for our state’s mentally ill. I had seen our “treatment” facilities in Columbia and they were often just warehouses for the mentally ill and most often families never visited their relations in Columbia.

We did believe that our local facilities could better take care of these folks and they would be nearer their families too for support. New medications were being developed that allowed some mentally ill to live productive lives if they took their meds regularly.   I think the legislature loved the idea of reducing costs of the SCDMH in Columbia and they all approved it.

However, they also over the years decreased any funding for local community support for these unfortunate mentally ill citizens. With no funding to support these folks to continue to take their meds, get alternative treatment and find suitable housing, many just have become homeless and a burden for communities around South Carolina. We know that funding for the mentally ill in state prisons has been decreased and perhaps the federal suit will find solutions. I believe the legislation being driven by Senator Sheheen is a beginning solution to one of the local problems we have in our communities and in our prisons.

I hope in the near future, greater funding is provided for the local care of our mentally ill in South Carolina. The deinstitutionalization of residential mental health facilities in Columbia had good intentions, but the state’s failure to support local treatment and care was a foolish decision.

— Bob Noë,   Columbia, S.C.

Sheheen’s a great guy, but new proposal is empty

To the editor:

Vincent Sheheen is a great guy. He wants to be liked by everyone. That’s why he keeps losing. The offenses that he states qualify for this lovely proposal don’t face prison time. It’s a vacant and empty proposal. Be bold Vincent and maybe one day people will care enough to vote for you.

00_sheheenOur archaic system of punishment produces gross recidivism. If people are not mentally ill or addicts when they enter, they are when they exit. One hundred years from now the way we treat our sick will be viewed with as much disgust as the way we view slavery. Waste of human life. Not just for the offender, but their loved ones suffer horribly and the community suffers from zero attempt to do anything but inflict further trauma.

Hateful, ignorant and Vincent is no savior but only taking the safest of all positions. Boo on him!

— Lisa Potts Kirchner, Charleston, S.C.

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