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Columns

  • Why I want to represent you

    My name is James Brooks and I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce myself to you as a candidate for the Lancaster County District I School Board representative.

    The first question many people ask is why run? I have lived in the area for more than 25 years and have a son in Indian Land Middle School and I want to see the opportunities for all students, faculty and residents improve as our community grows.

  • Winn poised for success

    Several weeks ago, I submitted a column featuring two young ladies from Lancaster, Paige Duke and Julie Roberts. Both of these women tasted success and then faced adversity. The gist of the column was to show how both fought back and overcame the adversity.

  • Pope now part of the heavenly football game

    Some four years ago, a book, with Pope as the subject, was written and entitled “Do They Play Football in Heaven?”

    Pope envisioned a lofty place where the game is about the offense always producing and the defense always making the key stop.

    I recall that’s how Mike explained his thinking during a book-signing back in the spring of 2010 at Wingate University, his final coaching stop as a volunteer assistant line coach.

  • Transparency movement sees progress and setbacks

    One of the keys to quality government is the ability of citizens to see how decisions are made and how tax dollars are spent.

    It’s that notion that drove me several years ago to establish a special website showing itemized expenditures by state government, and to later launch an ultimately successful initiative to encourage cities, counties, universities and school districts to publish spending details online.

  • Very strange world of race, politics in S.C.

    In November, South Carolina will make history by electing its first African-American to the U.S. Senate.

    And, if the polls are to be believed, it will be Republican Tim Scott.

    Ironically, he will be elected without significant African-American support on the Republican ticket – the party that is widely perceived to be indifferent, if not hostile, to African-Americans.

  • For better, safer roads we have to pay for them

    In the column published Sunday, I detailed the dismal statewide picture of our road system. As challenging as our statewide problems are, they are more acute in Lancaster County. The main reason is that 44 percent of our county’s roads are secondary routes that are not eligible for federal assistance (NFA) routes.

  • NFL could always use another dose of sportsmanship

    I’m always excited to see Clemson or University of South Carolina athletes ascend to the NFL, but it was particularly thrilling to watch former Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw play in the preseason Monday Night Football matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins.

    Mr. Shaw, who wasn’t picked up in the NFL Draft but was signed by the Browns as a free agent, delivered a sterling performance. As one of three Cleveland quarterbacks to play in the game, he completed an impressive eight passes in nine attempts for 123 yards and a touchdown.

  • S.C.’s road funding system is tearing up my vehicle

    Recently, I drove to Carthage, N.C., to see some old friends. From Columbia, I took U.S. 1 from Camden through McBee to Cheraw, then into North Carolina.

    I’ve driven on bad roads before. I’ve driven in the American northeast, where melted snow seeps into the pavement and cracks it all winter long. I’ve driven in the Scottish Highlands, where many of the roads can’t really be called roads at all.

  • Now is time to ask questions

    I am puzzled. The general election is less than two months away, governmental problems abound, but no one seems to be upset or saying anything.

    This is when politicians can be held accountable – virtually the only time voters have any direct say.

    On election day, the winners will be elected and voters will generally be unable to vote them out for four years. Now is the time to make politicians explain what they plan to do if elected, yet no one is asking any questions.

  • ALS stole Fair’s mobility, but it did not steal his spirit

    Over the past couple of months, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has brought an increased awareness to the disease. My awareness of ALS began when my father, Alex Fair Jr., was diagnosed with ALS on March 29, 2011. Our lives were forever changed when he received the diagnosis.

    If by chance you are not aware of ALS, it stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. It is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis and respiratory failure.