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Columns

  • Music and Performance

    It is a proven fact that children who are exposed to the arts perform at a higher level on standardized academic tests. Further, children and adults who have participated in, studied and/or enjoyed the arts in their lives become more creative thinkers and problemsolvers.

    Music, in particular, affects performance. There are teachers who report that the responsiveness of their classes is greater when (intentionally selected) music is included in their learning
    environment.

  • It’s a dream we all share

    Morgan doesn’t look too happy in the photo. He’s wearing a long-sleeve dress shirt and tie – and shorts.
    And Michael? He has sort of a why-do-I-have-to-do-this look on his face.
    They’re sitting side-by-side, bookbags on their backs, on the front porch of our new home in Albemarle.
    It’s our traditional “first day of school” photo.
    And it truly is a “first day” for both of them.

  • Celebrate farmers markets during month of August

    What a busy summer it’s been at the S.C. Department of Agriculture. Plus, it’s been a typical South Carolina summer, which can be unbearably hot, sometimes rainy, sometimes dry. We certainly feel sympathy for so many parts of the country that are absolutely parched.

  • Learn to help others through state Friendly Visitor program

    An older gentleman sat in his room in a nursing home staring out the window. As he looked out, he reminisced of better days, and he wondered how his life could have changed so much.
    He recalled watching his son grow up and playing ball with him after work. He thought about the way he and his wife used to laugh and talk in the kitchen as they prepared Sunday dinner for their family. It seemed like only yesterday.

  • Kudos to Gregory for stand on America’s growing waistlines

    It is not often that a politician will stick his neck out and address a problem that, although 100 percent correct, is not popular with the masses.
    Sen. Greg Gregory, I salute you. You have taken a position as a true leader and shown your constituency that not only do you recognize a health problem, but you have the courage to bring it forward to the people of your district with facts and directness.

  • S.C.’s lost decade due to our poor leadership

    Ten years is a long time, especially in the digital age. A preschool child can grow into a strapping teenager; a tech company can go from start up to a global power; and a new idea can take root and begin to change a culture.
    In 10 years, a state can build a strong reputation as dynamic and progressive – or it can stagnate and even slide to the point of becoming an object of national ridicule.
    Unfortunately, the latter is what has happened to South Carolina.

  • The real story is Haley letting her daughter hold a state job

    Reporting that originated with The State regarding Gov. Nikki Haley’s 14-year-old daughter working in a state-paid summer job at the Statehouse did not appear in the Columbia newspaper’s print or online editions on July 25. But did appear on the websites of The Herald in Rock Hill and The Charlotte Observer. The McClatchy Co. owns the three newspapers.

  • Scammers targeting seniors

    Every year, our office receives numerous requests from seniors who are concerned about a suspicious caller, unusual activity, or a bogus offer. In fact, earlier this year, a caller reportedly paid a contactor more than $100,000 to build a house. The contractor finished the foundation and framed the structure, but never completed any other work. The senior called the Office on Aging for help, which intervened to advocate on the senior’s behalf through legal assistance to settle the case in full.

  • Tax holiday allows odd mix of ‘back-to-school’ items

    By now you’ve no doubt heard of South Carolina’s annual back-to-school tradition called the Sales Tax Holiday.
    Now in its 13th year, the first weekend in August event has become the time for savings-conscientious parents to stock up on all their children’s back-to-school needs from crayons to corsets.
    Locally, the sales-and-use tax holiday means a savings of 8 cents per dollar ... Wait a minute. Corsets?
    Yes, corsets. You didn’t read that wrong. Garter belts and garters, too. And corset laces.

  • Accurate info on Obamacare will keep wolf packs at bay

    Roger Renfro’s recent article, “Roberts is reincarnate version of activist justices Berger and Warren,” is his opinion of the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or Obamacare) and in particular, Chief Justice Roberts.
    Since I am not a constitutional lawyer, nor a pundit, I will not comment on the merits of his opinion. I do wonder whether he has the credentials to comment as a constitutional expert or, for that matter, a member of the pundito-cracy.