• Legislative session passed some good bills for S.C.

    The first year of the current two-year legislative session ended in June. From January until then senators did a lot of talking, meeting and arguing. Even though days lengthened as summer approached, the work stretched into nights as we debated the business of South Carolina.

  • A glimmer of hope for S.C. senior citizens

    The season of the light is upon us – a time of year that provides us with an opportunity to reflect on what we have as well as focus on how we can make life better for others who may not be as fortunate.

    South Carolina has more than 900,000 seniors, and that number is expected to double over the next 15 years, with those 50 and older accounting for nearly half of our state’s population by the year 2030, according to census projections.

  • USC’s Fair Funding Plan not so fair to taxpayers

    To University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides, his offer to the S.C. General Assembly is too good to pass up:

    Give the state’s flagship university an additional $10.13 million in general funds in fiscal 2014-15 for its eight campuses statewide, plus cover any pay hikes mandated by lawmakers and any health-care benefit and utility rate increases, and in-state students won’t pay higher tuition next fiscal year, which starts July 1.

  • Messiah came from predestined heritage

    The Bible predicts the coming of a true messiah. After Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God proclaimed that an offspring of Eve would crush the devil’s head, while the devil would bruise her offspring’s heel (in Genesis 3:15).

    This word gave hope to Adam and Eve and their descendants that one day the devil would be totally defeated, even though the woman’s seed would have his heel bruised by Satan.

  • Thanks to all who helped with Christmas parade

    To all who participated in the 2013 Van Wyck Christmas Parade:  Thank you so much! The weather on Saturday, Dec. 7, started out iffy, but we received a much-prayed-for window that permitted everyone to participate.

    The Indian Land Band, under the direction of Mathew Willis and Scott Fleischman, sounded terrific and looked so good in their “ugly” Christmas sweaters. The IL ROTC was impressive and sharp in its presentation and in the number who participated.

  • Christmas memories on Gillsbrook Road

    It’s Dec. 24, 1994, and, no, I’m not longing to be up North. I’m actually longing for the Christmas Eves of so many years past.

    I really can’t lay claim to one particular one, but rather the hustle, bustle and excitement of preparing for last-minute trips to the mall, lunching at Pizza Hut with the cousins and seeing family crowd into a house that threatens to bust at the seams.

  • McClennen column: Rerouting IL road would ease traffic

    There was a potential solution to some of the school traffic woes that may have slipped away, which many in the community may not have been aware of.
    The S.C. Department of Transportation held a hearing in January 2013 regarding rerouting Harrisburg Road. Harrisburg Road could have been rerouted to line up with the main Lowe’s entrance on S.C. 160. This also would have become a lighted intersection.

  • Carnes column: County has lower property taxes than most

    Recently, there have been some editorials written about the high property tax rates in Lancaster County. As chairman of the county Finance Committee, I would like to address the hype with the facts.
    As I discussed in last month’s column, property tax revenue is one of the major funding sources for Lancaster County.
    The property tax revenue is split mainly between Lancaster County School District and Lancaster County government, with about 70 percent going to the school district and 30 percent to county government.

  • What comes after the welfare state?

    The welfare state is now omnipresent in every part of the United States. The federal budget is dominated by entitlement spending, with 45 percent of federal spending in 2012 going to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare (among other health care entitlements).

    Simultaneously, states are struggling under the fiscal burdens imposed on them by mandatory entitlement programs: for example, spending by the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services (primarily on Medicaid) has averaged $1.21 billion over the last three budget years.

  • Business, innovation and the four states of S.C.

    Recently I had occasion to be in all four parts of South Carolina, talking with a wide variety of business people about innovation, our state and its future. What they said was both extremely encouraging and extremely discouraging.

    First the good news. From one end of this state to the other, there are lots of really smart people who fully understand what we have to do to become competitive in the challenging global economy of the 21st Century. They get it.