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Columns

  • Column: Let’s all return to civility in nation’s public debates

    My wife and I were walking around the streets of Annapolis, Md., most of last Wednesday. We had been visiting my Navy son who lives up the road, speaking to a church group and taking an afternoon to enjoy Annapolis.

    I never dreamed we were just one day and a few streets away from what would become America’s next horrific shooting. A newspaper office staff was gunned down by a crazed gunman. Our hearts go out to all the loved ones of those shot at the Capital Gazette.

  • Column: An element of school reform that will take very hard work

    It was a tiny exchange in the Henry McMaster-John Warren debate that was remembered, if at all, for giving Mr. McMaster another laugh line.

    The governor was explaining that the key to improving education is economic growth and sort of vice versa when he announced: “And now that I will be in charge of appointing the superintendent of education, we’re going to get a lot more done in South Carolina in education reform.”

  • Column: Small-town news people are cut from the same cloth

    Overworked, underpaid, unappreciated outside a building with no windows and borderline burned out, I come close to quitting my job at least once a week.
    I have a wife and daughter, and most days I don’t see them long enough to have a conversation.
    After 20 years in this newsroom, I drink too much coffee and eat too many sandwiches at my desk.

  • Column: The killings have shaken every newsroom family

    For years, newspaper men typed “-30-” when they were done writing their stories. It was a signal to copy boys, copy editors and typesetters that they had reached the end of the story.
    -30- also seems to be the most fitting tribute to the five employees murdered Thursday at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md.
    Combined, Gerald Fischman, Carl Hiaasen, James McManus and Wendi Winters had more than 100 years of journalism experience. The fifth person, Rebecca Smith, was a sales assistant.

  • Column: We get into this business to tell our readers the truth

    A dedication to the truth and the communities we serve – that is what journalism is all about. A commitment to the people’s right to know.
    That idea is out of public favor these days.
    President Trump has led the charge against the news media. At one campaign rally, he jokingly imitated a journalist’s physical disability. Now he routinely labels accurate reporting as “fake news.” He calls the press pool that covers him “the most dishonest people.”

  • Column: What SCDOT isn’t telling us about gas-tax road spending

    At last week’s S.C. Department of Transportation Commission meeting, agency head Christy Hall bragged about the “record level of road work under way in South Carolina.”
    “We have delivered results for our taxpayers and for our citizens of this state,” Hall proudly told commissioners Thursday.
    But as of the end of May, less than 8 percent of the quarter-billion-plus dollars collected from the gas-tax hike and other related tax and fee increases that took effect last July 1 had been spent, DOT records show.

  • Column: Common sense: Before all else on immigration, stop the influx

    Your bathtub is over flowing. What’s the first thing you should do?
    Should you call a meeting of everyone in the household to discuss the overflow and to determine how to ease the problem or clean up the mess?
    Should the residents spend time discussing whether the water has a right to cover the floor? Or whether to forgive the water and give it amnesty to continue the overflow? Or what happens when the water fills the house?
    No! The first thing you do is shut off the water.

  • Column: Pets and fireworks are not a good mix

    With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, Phantom Fireworks would like to remind our friends and customers that some pets adversely react to the lights and noise of fireworks.
    With a little extra effort, our pets can be spared the trauma they sometimes experience from fireworks.
    Phantom Fireworks asks that you please be mindful of the following tips:
    ◆ Keep your pets indoors during fireworks displays.

  • Column: Despite Parnell’s long-ago wrong, Norman is bigger threat to women

    I struggled with my decision to vote for Archie Parnell as the Democratic candidate in the 5th Congressional District.
    The revelation of his domestic violence incident was a surprise, and I had to rethink all that I knew about Mr. Parnell. I reviewed information on the other candidates and concluded that Mr. Parnell was still the best candidate and had the best chance to beat Republican incumbent Ralph Norman in the November election.  

  • Commentary: House budget creates data warehouse on S.C. residents

    A little-known proviso in the House budget would create a statewide personal information data warehouse. The proviso’s language is vague, the permissions are sweeping, and the accountability mechanisms are completely absent.
    This proviso (117.155) is currently in conference committee – and unless it is taken out in the committee, this all-encompassing data warehouse will be created.