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Today's Opinions

  • Hebdo murders remind us that free speech isn’t cheap

    Journalists did not need the atrocity of the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris to know that ours is a risky business. But it has made the rest of the world aware of the price of exercising free speech.

  • ‘Child of the soil’ rescues baby buzzards

    I have a friend, Betty Jean. I have told her many times that she is a “child of the soil.” This means she a is a lover and caretaker of all flora and fauna. This past summer she took fauna farther than even I calculated, which I very much do admire.

  • Watch those property tax deadlines

    While many of us are recovering from the holidays and looking forward to a busy 2015, it’s important that county homeowners remember the residential property tax deadline is coming soon. All residential property taxes are due in our office by Thursday, Jan. 15 – and the late penalties can be costly – so please don’t be late.

    Those homeowners whose tax payments are postmarked after Jan. 15 will have a 3 percent penalty assessed. This penalty will rise to 10 percent after Feb. 1, and to 15 percent after March 16.

  • Hadicol, spaceships rock small world in the 1950s

    As a small boy in the 1950s, I lived in a very small world; and that world was ruled by people twice my size. Other than the farm, I knew Kershaw, Heath Springs; and I went to Lancaster once to see a tooth doctor. That’s a whole nother story. The best thing about Lancaster was Macs Hamburgers on Main.

  • Keep the city pool open

    When are we going to start putting our children first? I was forced to ponder this question when I was informed that Lancaster County Council voted not to jointly own the the city pool with the city of Lancaster.

    Closing the pool would affect numerous kids, including members of the recreation and the high school swim teams, and others who use the pool during the summer. It is disheartening that we can build a $33 million courthouse, but fail to invest in the future – our children.

  • City seeks to do away with annexation notification

    Are you a county resident who happens to receive water and sewer service from the city of Lancaster? If so, you probably remember that little agreement you had to sign that said if the city limits ever came up to your property line that you agreed to be automatically annexed into the city of Lancaster.

  • Shootings make case for making autopsy reports public in S.C.

    Michael Smith
    Carolina ForestChronicle
    Officer-involved shootings in Ferguson, Mo. and other cities further illustrate why autopsy reports should be made available to the public, according to state lawmakers and open government experts.
    Now a bill prefiled in the State Senate could make that a reality.
    Senate Bill 10 amends the S.C. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to specifically make autopsy reports public information.

  • S.C. Supreme Court’s new role: Education czar

    The S.C. Supreme Court issued a momentous decision Nov. 12. In a case that’s been going on for years, three out of five justices ruled that the state has failed to meet its constitutionally required obligation to provide a “minimally adequate” education to students in eight suing school districts.

    As a result, the court has ordered both the plaintiff districts and the defendants (representatives of the state) to reappear before the court and present a plan to address the constitutional violation. The resulting plan will have to be approved by the court.