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Columns

  • Abused children need their advocates

    Latin meaning “guardian at law,” a guardian ad litem is a person appointed by a family court judge to advocate for a child in a court case.
    This term isn’t commonly used in the daily vocabulary of most people. Because of confidentiality laws, most residents don’t have any idea how many child abuse and neglect cases that fill the docket of Lancaster County Family Court.
    However, for one group of Lancaster volunteers, knowing these children is a way of life.

  • Shake, rattle and post

    It was just another Tuesday afternoon when the shaking started.
    For some, it was just a soft rumble they figured was a truck backing up or a low-flying airplane.
    For others, the shaking was so bad it knocked pictures off walls and made buildings sway.
    The tremors rippled as far south as Georgia and north to New England, and in some places people were so scared they evacuated buildings and ran into the streets.

  • Firefighter remembered as hero, all-around good guy

    When I was growing up, I had a lot of heroes.
    I especially liked the men on the show “Adam 12,” and Andy on the “Andy Griffith Show.”
    Besides the fact that these men were talented actors and made me laugh, I really liked that they wore uniforms and helped people.
    I still remember the first lines of the opening credits of “Adam 12,” about a 10-11 in progress.
    I still don’t know what a 10-11 is, but I know the police always showed up on time and the problem was solved.

  • $20 tape recorder will end illegal executive sessions

    I got a call from a school board member recently asking what to do when her board goes into executive session and then talks about things that cannot legally be discussed there.
    “Can I speak out about this without being sanctioned?” she asked.

  • Online learning is a solution for South Carolina public education

    Imagine a public education system able to provide access to high-quality instruction, regardless of where a student lives.
    Imagine schools able to give individualized instruction to potential dropouts. Or course offerings that encourage students to master their studies, instead of simply show up for class.
    In fact, this vision for the state’s public school system already exists; it’s called online learning.

  • MacArthur was right – we’ve had our last chance

    At the close of World War II, just following the surrender of the Japanese on board the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, the late Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, “Men since the beginning of time have sought peace.

  • Financial transparency for public colleges, universities much-needed

    On Aug. 3, I was proud to join Gov. Nikki Haley and others for a bill-signing ceremony at TriCounty Technical College’s satellite campus in Easley.
    It was a special day for me, because the legislation she was signing into law was a higher education transparency bill I have long championed. Under the new law, South Carolina’s state-supported colleges and universities must disclose their monthly spending details on their websites.

  • Teachers educate, inspire and challenge students

    The taps on his wingtips clicking on the hardwood floor of his classroom – that’s one sound I’ll never forget from that first day in his class.
    And how professional he looked – not just that first day – but every day.
    Or how he made history come alive because he was such a great storyteller.
    Mr. Bennett Gunter shaped my ideas of how a professional educator looks, teaches and manages a class, and he gave me a vision for what education can do for a person.

  • Republicans are also using scare tactics

    It’s interesting to note that in the July 31 edition of this paper, Sandy McGarry’s column, “President using fear mongering to address debt ceiling,” accuses President Barack Obama and other Democrats of using scare tactics on the public. I find this ironic since the Republicans had no qualms about using these same kind of tactics during the 2010 elections.
    Hopefully, by the time this letter sees print, the debt ceiling will have been raised or extended and much of this letter may be rendered moot.

  • Consider serious options for improving our roads

    John Baker

    During the last few months, there have been several letters to the editor in respect to the deplorable condition of the roads in Lancaster County.

    None of us are happy with the deteriorating pavement, potholes and the increasingly questionable safety of the bridges, small and large.

    However, before we can come to terms with the problem and enact a solution, we must first come to terms with the costs to be incurred (i.e., what is the real cost of road maintenance).