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Columns

  • Column: S.C. ignores law requiring public budget process

    Two years ago this month, then-House Speaker Pro Tem Jay Lucas  sent a spirited letter to House Ways and Means Chairman Brian White, asking him a simple question.
    Would he support Lucas’ desire to see the House,  Senate and governor’s office obey the law on creating the state budget?
    The silence then, and now, is deafening. The most important voices not being heard don’t belong to legislators ducking an issue but the general public who are left out of a budget process they were meant to play a role in but never have.

  • Column: New neighbors: Who are those guys?

    One of my favorite movies is the 1969 classic “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.” The ultra-cool Paul Newman and Robert Redford play small-time bank robbers in the 1890s cowboy West who were relentlessly pursued by a posse of lawmen that followed them for months across mountains and deserts, to big cities and ultimately even to South America.
    The constant refrain between Butch and the Kid as they struggled to stay one step ahead of the posse was “Who are those guys?”

  • Column: Remembering a visit from Wayne Rogers

    During coffee at Herchek’s last week, I ran into Al Simpson, who commented that he heard my wife Margaret’s friend Wayne Rogers had died. Some will remember Rogers as Trapper John in the television series “M.A.S.H.” He also appeared as the first police chief in the television miniseries “Chiefs” that was filmed in Chester during the 1980s.

  • Column: WWII WASPs have earned resting place at Arlington

    Growing up in the South, my sisters and I had no shortage of role models. From actresses and celebrities to historical figures to our mother and grandmothers, we had a wealth of strong women to consider as examples of the women we wanted to become.
    Among these women are the WASPs – the ladies of the Women Airforce Service Pilots who served during World War II.

  • Column: Voters at fault for unprincipled leaders

    Why do we keep electing reprobates and miscreants as the leaders of America? Why do we put so much trust in man, his ideas and humanist governments? How did we become so dumbed down and apathetic?
    A few of my friends, who say they are Christian, and a preacher who wrote to The Lancaster News say America is a Christian nation. They all believe that there should be a Christian gate to pass through for elected office.

  • Column: Homeowners, watch tax dates

    While many of us are recovering from the holidays and looking forward to a busy 2016, it’s important that county homeowners remember the residential property tax deadline is coming soon. All residential property taxes are due in our office by Jan. 15, and the late penalties can be costly. So please don’t be late!

  • Column: All retailers must play on level sales-tax field

    A sale is a sale, no matter where it takes place. Whether at a brick-and-mortar store or an online retailer, any sale should be subject to the same rules.
    Ever since Amazon.com opened its Lexington County distribution center and negotiated a sales tax exemption in 2011, the online retail giant has had a government-sanctioned advantage over South Carolina’s brick-and-mortar retailers. This four-year advantage expired on December 31, 2015, and the S.C. Retail Association and its member companies celebrate a level playing field.

  • Column: How to plug ‘Charleston Loophole’

    Back in the late 1990s, my company developed the first Internet strategy for the Ministry of Health in Australia. In all honesty, we really didn’t know much about what we were doing, but I learned one thing: with technology, the right incentives and political leadership, big changes are possible.
    Here’s the story. In the early 1990s, I met a young member of the Australian Parliament named Michael Wooldridge. He was a brain surgeon who gave it up for politics. He quickly rose through the ranks and became minister of health.

  • Column: County auditor bids farewell

    I would like to inform you that I do not plan to seek reelection this year. I have been blessed to have served our county for over 36 years, with 28 of those serving as your county auditor. Thank you for allowing me to serve you.
    When first elected in 1988, I pledged to serve you to the best of my ability, and I feel that I have fulfilled my promise. I have tried my best to represent you across the state in a respectful manner.

  • Column: Red Cross helps its neighbors across S.C.

    We’ve never been more proud to be a part of the American Red Cross. We’ve been through so much in South Carolina this year, and when our neighbors needed care and comfort, the American Red Cross was there.
    None of us will ever forget the severe storms and relentless torrential rains that led to historic levels of flooding in October. Many South Carolinians were forced to leave their homes to seek safe shelters, while others were being rescued from floodwaters.