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Today's Opinions

  • Column: 50th-place ranking should jolt us to action

    There is probably no topic that has been the subject of this column more often than education. And the reason is very simple: if we don’t fix education in this state, nothing else really matters.
    The road to a prosperous future for South Carolina runs past the schoolhouse door.
    Unfortunately, in South Carolina this road (like our highways) is full of potholes and in great need of repair after suffering from years of neglect. As a recent US News and World Report ranking showed, overall our state is 50th in education.

  • Column: S.C. Research Authority pays PR firm $855K

    The South Carolina Research Authority, chartered by the state in 1983 to “foster and enrich South Carolina’s innovation economy,” has paid political consultant Bob McAlister at least $855,500 since 2011.
    The payments are all to McAlister’s firm, McAlister Communications, most in consistent monthly amounts invoiced for “public relations services.” Jessica Cokins, SCRA’s director of marketing and communications, said McAlister was paid as a communications consultant.

  • Column: 5th District candidates, what will you do about Alzheimer’s disease?

    There are a lot of controversial issues at stake in the upcoming special election for South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District. But I’d like to ask all of the candidates to address an issue that is truly purple.
    Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, and the only one among the top 10 killers that cannot be prevented, stopped or even slowed. It’s also the most expensive illness in the nation, with costs that exceed those for heart disease and cancer.

  • Letter: Thanking everyone for help during crisis

    Editor’s note: The writer was married for 47 years to Coleen Burgess, who died April 6 when a tree fell on their Buford home.
    I am writing you to thank everyone for their contributions to the Burgess family, from our neighborhood, from Lancaster and all around. Especially the churches that gave, Bethany Presbyterian Church in Monroe and Bethlehem Baptist Church in Lancaster, and all who mailed in gifts.
    God bless all of you.

    James C. Burgess Sr.
    Buford

  • Letter: How do residents benefit from being incorporated?

    I have a question for Russell Rhoads, whose letter in the April 7 issue addressed incorporating Indian Land.
    Please explain the benefits, in detail, of one more layer of government by the incorporated township of Indian Land, so we all know what to expect when and if it happens.
    How much money will be needed? How much will taxes increase?  Who and how will the leaders be elected, such as a mayor or supervisor and council persons? Someone needs to run the town.

  • Letter: Plenty of opportunity for HOA hypocrites

    In the April 7 issue of The Lancaster News, Russell Rhoads found it hypocritical that a person who elects to live in a community with an HOA should speak against incorporation because of the additional cost.
    After an informal look at the communities up and down U.S. 521, Fort Mill Highway, Shelley Mullis, Harrisburg  and Jim Wilson roads, I suspect that most have an HOA.
    By Rhoads’ logic, if you live in a community with an HOA and speak against incorporation because of the additional cost, you are a hypocrite.  

  • Column: Paper or plastic? The choice is crucial

    Over the 40 years that I have known her, I have come to have great respect for my wife’s political antenna. She’s not a political junkie in the traditional sense, but when she thinks an issue is important, I have learned to pay attention.
    This time it’s plastic bags.
    As she said the other day, “There is no good reason that they should not be banned. They are killing our oceans and it’s only the plastic bag industry that is keeping the ban from happening.”
    She is right.

  • Column: There’s a right way to pass a tax hike, and this isn’t it

    While the Senate was busy debating the gas-tax hike last week, the House decided to reinsert itself into the argument – but not in any normal way.
    Last Wednesday afternoon, House leaders placed their version of the gas-tax increase into the state budget as a budget provision, more commonly known as a budget proviso.