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Columns

  • What kind of IL fire department do you want?

    This column is in response to J.R. Wilt’s recent comments on the Indian Land Fire Protection District.
    I take issue with Mr. Wilt’s assertion that firefighting is a part-time occupation. With the amount of training and time required to maintain certifications and the difficulty of recruiting volunteers, firefighting is becoming a full-time paid occupation.

  • Education voters have spoken, who will listen?

    The numbers are shocking – 110,000 students trapped in persistently failing schools, 30,000 students per high school class fail to graduate on time, 87 public high schools identified as “dropout factories,” $12,200 per student in spending and a mere 44 cents per educational dollar directed to the classroom.
    The numbers, and the students that comprise them, are becoming well known. It makes sense that education voters across the state made their frustration clear in November.

  • Private schools are good for the public

    Public education and public schools are not one and the same. Public education is an educated public. It is a public commitment to education, the public support of education and the public benefits derived from education.
    Public schools were created to achieve those goals; some do, others don’t. But any school that successfully pursues those aims and equips young people with the social, economic and civic tools they need for success is serving a primarily public purpose.

  • Mulvaney impressed with freshmen U.S. reps

    First off,  a belated Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  Personally, I’ve got a great deal to be thankful for this year – including having Carolina Gateway and The Lancaster News permit me to continue this update column.
    I thought I would take this first installment after the election to get you up to speed on what has been happening during the transition period (also called the “lame duck” session) in Washington, D.C.

  • IL Fire Protection District is really a $350,000 tax increase

    Let me begin by expressing my enormous respect for volunteer fire departments and the people who man them.
    Firefighting is, by its nature, a  part-time occupation in that the amount of time spent actually fighting fires is far less than full time and there is a limit to how much time can be spent on equipment maintenance and training. The people who volunteer their time to serve as firefighters deserve our utmost respect and support.

  • A Thanksgiving Day cooking fiasco to forget

    Ah yes, Thanksgiving Day is here and for many of us it will be our annual rite of family, football and daylong feasting.

  • Democrats lost sight of people they serve

    Why were the Democrats defeated? And make no mistake about it – this wasn’t a win for Republicans; this election was an anti-Democrat vote.
    The Republicans only prevailed because the various tea party movements didn’t coalesce into a third party. If they had, the Republicans would not be enjoying their new-found majority.

  • Our emergency managers talk-the-talk, walk-the-walk

    It is vividly sun-drenched and a swelteringly warm afternoon in the crowded San Antonio, Texas, hamlet called the River Walk, as Air Force blue suits and civilian counterparts, including myself, casually walked around the halls of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.
    Air Force Emergency Management experts recently joined about 2,500 others, representing the best military and civilians from around the world, at the 58th International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) conference.

  • Brice's made impact – on and off the field

    The recent retirement of Will Brice’s No. 10 jersey at the University of Virginia drew a host of local folks, family and friends, to the special occasion at halftime of the Cavaliers’ ACC clash with the University of Miami.
    Much like news of Will’s honor, that came as no surprise. When I first heard of the honor, some folks, who were unable to attend in body, I know were there in spirit.
    Those three special folks are Will’s father, the late Laurie Brice, and his maternal grandparents, Brown and Sue Wylie.

  • Veterans Day tribute to 'Ol' Harry' Slagle

    It isn’t often that someone would purposely pay tribute to a man most thought of as “just an alcoholic.” But that is precisely what I have chosen to do.
    Harry Slagle lived in a non-pretentious place called Slagle’s Happy Acres, identified by a small wooden sign hung nearby. It was little more than an old, pale green, single-room, cinder-block building, which sat off the gravel road a couple hundred yards or so from the old wooden Doby’s Bridge.