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Columns

  • They died before their time

    More than likely, people of my generation who have tried to contact service buddies years later have been told by someone on the other end of the line that the person has died.
    Graciously, the person may also have told you that the buddy contracted some unusual disease or described some other circumstance that contributed to the buddy’s early death.
    There wasn’t a green sedan with two immaculately dressed service members who walked to the door, tapped lightly and then, in a solemn, dignified manner, gave regrets to the heart-throbbing loved ones.

  • Governments should embrace transparency

    If you’ve ever wondered how your city or town council spends your hard-earned tax dollars, there’s a powerful tool that’s available at your fingertips.
    Using this tool, you could quickly and easily see which vendors your city or town does business with, along with amounts they’re being paid, what they’re providing and other important details.
    Residents of at least a dozen South Carolina counties, and an even higher number of municipalities in the state, already benefit from this service.

  • Put a legislator on nonprofit board if you want state money

    In 2011, S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman was among a group of state and local officials, including Gov. Nikki Haley, who attended the 49th International Paris Air Show.
    The $3,544 bill for the Florence County Republican’s trip, according to his state income-disclosure form, was covered by the North Eastern Strategic Alliance (NESA), a regional economic-development organization serving a nine-county area in the state’s northeast corner, including Florence County.

  • Renaissance for Olde Presbyterian Church

    Editor’s note: Every month, the Lancaster County Society for Historical Preservation will bring progress updates and interesting stories about the restoration of the Olde Presbyterian Church, now Lancaster’s Cultural Arts Center. Our introduction takes a look through the eyes of Lindsay Pettus, Society Board chair and well-known local historian.

  • Are we prepared for terrorist event?

    Like their fellow Americans across the country, South Carolinians were horrified at the recent Boston Marathon bombings, which killed three people and injured dozens of others.
    Here at home, our heartfelt prayers went out to the victims and their families as a difficult question hangs over our state. It’s a question none of us wants to imagine, but we must: What if it happened here?

  • Bill: Business as usual or is it real reform?

    Several weeks ago we joined with other South Carolina groups to expose an effort by House leaders to sabotage ethics reform and evade disclosure and independent scrutiny.
    House leaders’ plan to decriminalize ethics violations and force citizen activists to become lobbyists was outrageous, and a diverse coalition of citizen groups jointly and publicly denounced it.

  • S.C. and digital learning: The good, bad and ugly

    Anyone who has followed our columns knows that I am a huge believer in the power of technology to transform education and enable “leapfrog” progress for our children.
    And unless you have been living under a rock, don’t read newspapers, watch TV or think about what’s happening in the world, one thing is abundantly clear to all – technology is as vital to education in the 21st century as books and chalk boards were in the 19th and 20th centuries.

  • Nullification is needed now more than ever before

    This column is in response to Phil Noble’s column, “Nullification – are these guys nuts?” in the April 5 issue of The Lancaster News.
    Null and void, annulment, cancellation, repeal, eradication and do away with are some of the words and terms that explain what nullification means. Nowhere can I find that the word nullification means “nuts.”
    But what kind of nuts are you thinking of? Do you mean tree nuts like walnuts? Or the slang symbolism metaphor describing a person who is handicapped with a mental condition?

  • Thank law officers for their sacrifices

    This week, you will hear a great deal about National Police Week, and what it means to us in the law enforcement field and the families of the officers who serve in this capacity.
    National Police Week was created in 1962 when President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week within which it falls as Police Week. Many of the events and activities associated with National Police Week are held in Washington, D.C., where homage is paid to those officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

  • Keep alcohol away from young people

    Cinco de Mayo. High school graduation parties. Fourth of July cookouts. College football tailgating. What do all of these have in common?
    All are terrific opportunities to gather together with friends and family. Unfortunately, these activities can also present an increased risk of alcohol-related problems such as underage drinking or driving under the influence. Not here you say? Nothing can be further from the truth. Almost half, 47 percent, of high-school age students report having used alcohol at least once in their lifetime and 20 percent have used in the past 30 days.