Today's Opinions

  • Column: S.C. lawmakers probably will fill long-open PSC seat with insider

    After nearly a year and a half of delays, state lawmakers are poised to fill a $107,822 Public Service Commission seat with either an incumbent who voted for electric rate hikes for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project, or a former longtime commission staffer.

  • Column: DHEC’s process for selecting agency chief violated state law

    The board of directors of the state’s largest and perhaps most vital regulatory agency, the Department of Health and Environmental Control, has announced its selection of a fellow board member to be the agency’s new director.
    The hiring of Rick Toomey came on the heels of a search lasting 13 months in which the search firm, Find Great People, was unable to identify a candidate satisfactory to the board. Notwithstanding that failed search and the insider hiring of Toomey, the search firm will be paid 20 percent of Toomey’s $178,126 salary for its work.

  • Editor's Column: Linda Blackmon in charge? Inhale…exhale

    Thanksgiving dinner in our family involves serious logistics, workflow management, food-safety expertise, communication skills and social-host savvy. It’s a hefty production trusted to people who know what they’re doing.
    One relative leads the effort – usually the person whose roof it’s under – but there’s always a plan B in case that person is under the weather or gets sidetracked by some emergency. If needed, the No. 2 steps in – someone with the skills to keep the big event going on short notice.

  • Column: In U.S., officials don’t get to dictate what reporters publish

    On Jan. 6, “60 Minutes” aired an interview with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi with two notable revelations.
    El-Sisi denied that his country has political prisoners, despite documentation. And he confirmed prior reports that Egyptian and Israeli forces have coordinated airstrikes against an Islamic insurgency in the northern Sinai.

  • Column: Yow’s priorities: Teacher salaries, voting machines, state tax rebates

    We have been hard at work in Columbia in committees focusing on the 500 bills that crossed the desk the first day of session.
    There are more than 70 bills in the House Education and Public Works Committee, on which Speaker Jay Lucas has appointed me to serve, and well over 100 bills in the Judiciary Committee alone.
    In the chamber last week, I joined my fellow House members in unanimously supporting legislation to exempt federal workers in South Carolina from being penalized for not paying their property taxes on time while the federal government is shut down.

  • Column: S.C. ag agency: If we build it, they will come

    The S.C. Department of Agriculture, which for years has been involved with taxpayer-backed economic development projects, now wants millions to construct buildings statewide in hopes of attracting new agribusinesses.
    In his written budget request for fiscal 2019-20, Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said the agency needed another $1 million to “continue funding agricultural related economic development projects not supported by traditional state incentives,” though he didn’t give specifics.

  • Column: Let’s not take for granted our plentiful access to food

    I was born and raised on a dairy farm in Catawba County, N.C.
    I enjoyed the farm life, but knew I didn’t want the seven days a week commitment of a dairy farm. That is why I studied computer science and eventually moved to Lancaster.
    Jan. 11-15 was the 100th American Farm Bureau Convention, and I accompanied my father to the convention in New Orleans. He has been involved in Farm Bureau and is supportive of their mission to enhance and strengthen the lives of rural Americans and to build strong, prosperous agricultural communities.  

  • Column: Kindness should become America’s default reaction

    Every night, l fall asleep in a world filled with people caught in situations that require a helping hand, while others hurry along, remaining inattentive to any thought of reaching out to lend that helping hand.
    I dream of a world different from this, one where we strive to show kindness to one another, one where every person is accepted without stipulation, one where diversity is a unifying force rather than demarcation. This is the world I hope to someday awake to.