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Opinion

  • Tomorrow is Labor Day. For many workers (those lucky enough to have jobs), it’s a holiday. But not so much for those who provide law enforcement and emergency medical services.

    Schools and government offices are also closed. It’s summer’s last hurrah. The extended weekend means cookouts, picnics and last-minute getaways.

  • Take a ride down Meeting Street. Drive slowly as you approach Market Street. Look right at the back and side yard of the house on that corner. I don’t know who lives there, but I have taken notice of the yard in my times passing. It brightens my day.

    I am assuming a gentleman lives there as he is the only one I have seen outside. He has taken an unnoticed spot and turned it into an interesting lovely garden that shows creativity and imagination.

  • My name is Derek Smith and I am running for City Council District 5. Many of you do not know me, so I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce myself. I was born and raised in Lancaster. I graduated from Lancaster High School and also graduated from the University of South Carolina at Lancaster. Living in the area for all this time has given me a unique opportunity to see and learn our community and also recognize the problems I want to address as a council member.

  • I just read with great interest how a few people think that someone who has been in Congress for 27 years should go back.

    If  John Spratt hasn’t accomplished his goals by now, it is time to retire.

    I worked for 18 years for a U.S. congressman in Pennsylvania and we scheduled monthly town meetings in all parts of our district.

  • I wholeheartedly agree with The Lancaster News staff when they state that voters must educate themselves about the candidates running for the mayor’s race.

    In doing so, I caution readers not to use the newspaper’s Our View section as its primary source of information due to the unbalanced slant that it occasionally places on issues.

    If the staff and writers are unwilling and unable to write a fair and unbalanced view, it is in my opinion, that they should do more in-depth coverage of the story and keep their thoughts and views to themselves.

  • A while back signs with former President George W. Bush’s face on them saying, “Do you miss me yet?” started to appear. Yes, I miss Bush, as much as I’ll miss a second term of Obama’s kindergarten, Marxist economics.

    Are you kidding me? For the last hundred years, presidents, Congress, of both parties, and the Supreme Court have denuded our Constitution.

  • We’re worried about the old jail. It’s got a sagging roof that could collapse. How soon and how much damage that could cause is another question. And we’re not sure what the answer is, because, frankly, we’ve heard some conflicting information.

    When we first learned about the problem in June, Lancaster County Administrator Steve Willis said the county’s Emergency Operations Center was moved out of the building after a structural engineer noted that the roof was sinking and could collapse.

  • It’s hard to believe that summer is nearly over for Lancaster County schoolchildren. While autumn doesn’t officially arrive until next month, Monday morning thousands of local students will say goodbye to the carefree days of summer and return to the classroom.

    This week, teachers began getting their rooms ready for their new students. Their planning and preparation will pay off as they welcome students back. Many students will be sporting new clothes and shoes and carrying new lunch boxes and backpacks full of new school supplies.

  • I would like to respond to the letter, “S.C. needs Spratt.” For the record, U.S. Sen. John Spratt’s opponent in the coming election is Mick Mulvaney.

    To characterize Mr. Mulvaney as towing the party line or being a puppet to the Republican message is laughable when compared to the party voting record of Mr. Spratt.

    The Congressional voting record for Mr. Spratt provides ample documentation regarding his commitment to Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. He votes the party line more than 95 percent of the time.

  • This letter is in response to an article on the second-quarter finance reports of U.S. Congressman John Spratt and his challenger, S.C. Sen. Mick Mulvaney, as reported in The Lancaster News (July 23) and Carolina Gateway (July 28). The piece quoted several Mulvaney releases in which he painted himself as the favorite and the most supported by local residents.

    Neither paper, it appears, fact-checked his statements, though campaign finance reports are readily available from the Federal Election Commission at http://www.fec.gov/disclosure.shtml.

  • I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to little Jaylen Jackson’s family. Arlene Harris, you and your daughter have endured a profound loss of your precious granddaughter and daughter.

    My heart aches for you. I am hopeful that in the time since your loss that you have experienced support and love from most in our community.

    I pray that you can heal from the additional hurtful things that your family has recently been subjected to.

  • I am writing this letter to inform the people in Lancaster and South Carolina of some of the finest people in our county. I know the economy is in turmoil. I know jobs are being lost daily. But the adult education and literacy program should never be put at stake.

    The Lancaster program is one of the best and most appreciated of its kind. The staff and teachers are blessed. They go above and beyond their call of duty.

  • County Council did the right thing July 27 when it refused to amend the county’s building codes after a developer interested in building a gas station near the new Walmart in Indian Land sought a change.

    The developer evidently had a problem with the code that says commercial buildings in certain parts of the Panhandle can’t have prefabricated metal on more than 25 percent of the structure.

  • The recent death of Dr. Bill Duke, a retired physician, leaves a void in our community, but a great legacy to follow.

    Duke practiced medicine for nearly 40 years in Lancaster until retiring about 14 years ago.

    During that span, he touched and save countless lives in his dedication to his profession and his patients.

    “He was very committed to what he did,” said his son, John Duke. “His care for people – that was the way he thought he could give back to the community.”

  • I knew it was just a matter of time after they changed one blue law before that someone would want alcohol sales here on Sunday. I was 100 percent right.

    Someone has started a signature petition to try and get a referendum put on the ballot. If she is successful, I hope the residents of this great county will say no. Lancaster is just fine without alcohol sales on Sunday.

  • For about the last 30 years the Republican Party has increasingly brought libertarian philosophy into their platforms and plans for the United States. While many of us may applaud some of the certain aspects of this ideology, in its larger context and application to state and local life it may surprise you as to its very destructive elements.

    These applications of libertarian philosophy can add to the current massive problems for our country:

  • I just want to give extra kudos to U.S. Rep. John Spratt for receiving the Distinguished American Award from the Nation’s Capital Chapter of the Air Force Association. He is truly deserving of this honor. Over the years, Congressman Spratt has been a dedicated supporter of South Carolina’s military bases.

    He worked diligently to secure more than $100 million in building projects for Shaw and helped the base remain a viable force in our state. Congressman Spratt has also helped local National Guard units obtain the Army’s top-notch artillery system.

  • As many of you may recall, about this time last year the S.C. Senate had just closed the book on our debate over the first round of federal stimulus money. Now, with a year’s worth of information, we can start to assess its effectiveness.

    Looking back, I had three concerns:

    u Would the money come with too many strings attached?  

    u How much would it actually benefit job creation?

    u Would the stimulus have any adverse affects?

  • Andrew Jackson High School is on the verge of its 41st birthday and the school has had its share of moments to celebrate in 40 years serving the communities of Kershaw, Heath Springs and Flat Creek.

    AJ has fashioned a reputation as a school, which supports its athletic teams no matter the record or score. The Vols play hard to the final whistle and give it their best shot.

  • Mary Bernsdorff, a life-long educator, is a candidate for the S.C. House District 45 seat.

    I had the opportunity to meet Mary and was impressed with her knowledge and passion for improving economic opportunity for the people of Lancaster and York counties.

    Bernsdorff addressed several issues concerning the need for real, comprehensive tax reform and pointed out that the state loses $4-5 billion in tax revenue annually.

    She said the state is not broke, the system is broken.

    She gave the following as examples: