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Columns

  • State safeguards our tax dollars on multiple levels

    Accusations of embezzlement make headlines all too often these days. And while stealing money is not limited to the public sector – even some church administrators and little league coaches have been accused of stealing – it seems to strike a deeper nerve when it involves taxpayer dollars.
    Yet, from small town governments to large state agencies, the alleged theft of public funds never seems to be absent from the news for very long.

  • Congressmen question Sebelius about healthcare.gov failures

    From Release
    U.S. Reps. Mick Mulvaney, Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz sent this letter requesting information regarding the failures of healthcare.gov to Secretary of Health and Human Resources Kathleen Sebelius.

    Dear Secretary Sebelius:
    You have made a number of curious statements during your career in public life. Time and space do not allow for a full inventory.

  • Public-private partnerships not working

    In August of 2008, South Carolina legislative leaders held a press conference to unveil a plan to “fix” the economy and “create jobs.” The big reveal consisted of a bunch of charts – including my favorite, a pyramid with 30 plus government agencies listed in it – and the announcement of a new group called the Knowledge Sector Council.
    What was this council supposed to be?

  • S.C.’s public debt: First good news

    At a time when our state and national debts have reached mind-boggling levels, South Carolinians received some encouraging news recently: The state’s unemployment agency recently repaid $75 million to the federal government ahead of schedule.
    The payment by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) takes another big bite out of nearly $1 billion borrowed from the feds for unemployment checks the state disbursed during the Great Recession.

  • New gun range an indoor – not an outdoor– facility

    Recently, James Burback penned a letter, “Open letter about gun range near new IL school,” in the Oct. 20 edition of The Lancaster News complaining about a new indoor firearms range that has been permitted in the Indian Land area.
    He apparently is particularly aggrieved that the range will be located on Harrisburg Road, not too far from the new Indian Land elementary school, and for the record, not too far from where he lives.

  • Zais’s bag of tricks too scary for education

    This Halloween, I think it would be fitting for State Education Superintendent Mick Zais to dress up as “Mayhem,” the character from those amusingly tragic Allstate commercials.
    The changes Dr. Zais is trying to steamroll through our state’s education standards in a thinly veiled attempt to pave his way to re-election would leave the quality of South Carolina public education badly bruised and battered.

  • Byers a legend in covering S.C. high school sports

    Each year during the S.C. Press Association’s annual meeting, there’s a special time for the necrology report.
    It’s a listing of those in the Palmetto State newspaper industry who have died since the last SCPA meeting.
    I’m sure I’ll get a certain tug on the old heartstrings when I read Barry Byers’ name. That feeling will likely be similar to the one I felt last Friday afternoon – Oct. 18 – when I received word of Barry’s death.

  • Make sure information correct on your tax bill

    In the fall, tax bills are sent out to county homeowners. Tax bills are normally sent out in late September or early October in which many Lancaster County homeowners have already received their tax bills.
    Tax bills are customarily sent out early to allow those with escrow accounts enough time to ensure the information is being forwarded to their mortgage companies and taxes paid, as well as allow those who have paid off their homes and don’t have escrow accounts enough time to pay their taxes.

  • Balanced budget would solve problems

    Whenever we read an editorial letter we are tempted to look for the author’s bias and this may determine whether we will continue reading.
    We are loyal to our own bias and often this closes our mind to consider the accuracy of the opinion or information. Having said this, I have been looking at the events in Washington and around the country. There seems to be a clear right and wrong that is either not being reported vigorously enough, or is being subjected to political spin to justify behavior, which I cannot believe is acceptable to the average citizen.

  • Flexibility works for local school districts in the state

    During my time as state superintendent, I’ve visited more than 220 schools, in every county in South Carolina.
    One thing our education leaders repeatedly tell me, is “If we had the same flexibility as public charter schools, we could be more effective.” I totally agree.
    I support flexibility for schools and districts so they can make decisions that are best for their diverse communities.
    I do not advocate increasing class sizes as The Lancaster News story, “Zais’ proposal worries educators,” said in the Oct. 11 edition.