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Columns

  • Column: Trip down sartorial memory lane at Taxahaw Baptist homecoming

    Let me tell you about Taxahaw Baptist Church’s Homecoming Fashion Day two Sundays ago. What an event for the ages!
    It was a trip back in time, when we were young with our families, the good old days. Back when we had no fellowship halls, only long tables outside under big trees.
    Everyone shared lots of memories, as we all dressed in clothes that were worn a long time ago.
    Our preacher, Stephen Sullivan, was dressed in a wine-color check shirt, overalls and brogans. His wife, Jennifer, wore a long print dress, pink flowers and pink bonnet.

  • Column: Sentencing in nonviolent drug cases needs change

    I joined a bipartisan group of senators Oct. 4 to introduce the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017, which would recalibrate prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, target violent and career criminals and save taxpayer dollars.
    The legislation permits more judicial discretion at sentencing for offenders with minimal criminal histories and helps inmates successfully reenter society, while tightening penalties for violent criminals and preserving key prosecutorial tools for law enforcement.

  • Column: The simple lesson from Las Vegas: Evil exists

    Once again we have witnessed the graphic reality of evil. One man, for reasons yet unknown, decided to take the lives of as many as possible in an attack on a crowd enjoying a Las Vegas concert.
    He carefully chose the position to give him an unobstructed view of his target. He secretly, seemingly unnoticed, stockpiled a cache of weapons. At the most opportune moment, he opened fire on that large, unsuspecting crowd. As of this writing, 59 individuals are dead, including the gunman, and more than 500 injured, from this act of terror.

  • Column: A troubling visit to my hometown

    Recently, I visited my hometown of Lancaster and was perplexed by the number of stories I heard concerning violent crime there and the number of people who have gone to jail or prison over the past decade.
    To me, the demographics of Lancaster haven’t changed very much since I lived there in the 1960’s, but crime seems to be worse. Talking to many of my friends, it now seems that violence is tearing apart our city.

  • Column: Roads, pensions, coyotes, mopeds, women’s toilets

    Is it better to accomplish lots of little things or a couple of major things? Legislators took the latter approach this year, concentrating on twin titanic issues – overhauling the state’s pension system and passing a plan to better fund and govern the state’s road system.
    What follows is a synopsis of  those two home runs along with a few singles and strike outs that occurred.

    Long and winding road

  • Column: How to help Lancaster’s homeless

    People in our community continue to ask me how they can help with the homeless here. There’s so much you can do – from donations to volunteering to just offering respect – to make a homeless person’s life a little bit better.
    If you are one of the lucky ones, the world of a homeless person is completely foreign from your own. But without the support of friends and family, how many of us could survive something such as the loss of a spouse, a debilitating physical illness or the loss of employment?

  • Column: Volvo project shows pitfalls of job-luring tax incentives

    Since it secured the Volvo manufacturing plant in July 2015, the state has been celebrating its achievement with promises of stellar economic growth and thousands of jobs for the Berkeley County area.
    A spokesman for Berkeley County was asked if taxpayers would be feeling any effects from Berkeley’s multimillion-dollar investment. He responded, “I think the effect they’re going to feel is a lot of jobs coming to Berkeley County.”

  • Column: ‘Fake news’ is out there, but not from journalists

    Fake news. It’s a phrase that became the most memorable takeaway from the 2016 election and the political hangover that still resonates today.
    It should come as no surprise that Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed the 2016 word of the year to be “post-truth,” an appropriate adjective for an era in which some news consumers are less concerned with whether or not something is true than they are with how it makes them feel.

  • Column: Time for a leadership transition in S.C. and for New Democrats

    In the Chinese language, the symbol is the same for crisis and opportunity. For both the state of South Carolina and for the Democratic Party – this truly is a time of both crisis and opportunity.

    First our state’s crisis. Anyone who reads a newspaper knows our state is at the beginning of a political corruption and ethics crisis the likes of which we have not seen in a generation. And add to this the huge, related $9 billion nuclear scandal with SCANA, Santee Cooper and the legislature.

  • Column: Good governance by officials is the taxpayers’ expectation

    There are two important lessons we can learn from Hurricane Irma: One, that we as a nation possess remarkable resolve when faced with adversity. And two, that we offer too much praise to government leaders who are simply doing their job.