• On Feb. 22, County Council will vote on third reading of an ordinance that bans smoking and use of other types of tobacco products in all county-owned buildings and vehicles.

    It looks like there is enough support to get the ban approved. Council voted unanimously on first reading, then 6-1 on second reading.

  • The Lancaster County Council on Aging Heath Springs lunch bunch community seniors and Mount Calvary Outreach seniors are truly appreciative for the gift of love from the class of Hillside Highside Class of 1970 for the shoe box gift. The boxes contained useful items that we all need and will carry us well into the new year.

    Each time we use them, we will certainly think of you. In spite of the economy, you came through for us to make our Christmas merrier and we are elated that you remembered us in such a special way.

  • One of the most important things any government entity should do is ensure there is proper accounting for public funds so that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and opportunities for waste or fraud are minimized. That’s as true for small town government as it is for state government.

    Unfortunately, the goals of doing careful bookkeeping, providing strong financial oversight and being transparent with how money is spent are often paid mere lip service by those in charge of government purse-strings.

  • I wanted to correct some information in the recent editorial: “County seeks to untangle Edenmoor quagmire.” Lawson’s Bend LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of L.M. Sandler & Son of Virginia Beach, Va.

    Lawson’s Bend hired GS Carolina to oversee the development of Edenmoor. As of March 2009, GS Carolina is no longer affiliated with Lawson’s Bend and is no longer on the Edenmoor Homeowners Association Board, since they obviously have nothing to develop.

  • It’s a no-brainer that driving while texting is dangerous. But people do it every day. The worst offenders are probably younger people, especially teens and young adults in their early 20s.

    We say this because we see how immensely popular texting via a cell phone or a personal digital assistant (PDA) is with the younger crowd.

  • Robin Helms has some big shoes to fill. Chances are Helms knows that fact more than anybody.

    Helms, who served as Linda Blackmon’s assistant in the Lancaster County Veterans Office, has a first-hand knowledge about what Blackmon has done as the Lancaster County Veterans Affairs officer.

    Blackmon retired from her post at the end of last year to devote time to her family.

    If Blackmon is able to devote the time to her loved ones that she did with Lancaster County veterans, those good folks are in for a treat.

  • A few years ago I read an article that asked the question, what do Ronald Reagan, Dianne Feinstein, Thomas Jefferson, Milton Friedman, DC Mayor Anthony Williams, both Presidents Bush and former U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan have in common?

    My first thought was not much, however it turns out that the common interest they shared is what I have always believed about education – parents should have the chance to make decisions about how their children are educated.

  • It is quite appropriate to celebrate American Heart Month in February. Focusing on the affairs of the heart provides a perfect opportunity to focus on the health of our hearts.

    The reason for American Heart Month is because cardiovascular diseases, including stroke and heart attacks, are our nation’s No. 1 killer.

    The purpose of American Heart Month is to raise public awareness about cardiovascular diseases by raising money for research and to encourage heart-healthy habits.

  • The U.S. Constitution guarantees to each state a representative form of government. We do not now have a representative form of government. Instead, what we have are elected members from the Democrats and Republicans whose primary interest is party supremacy. Membership in these two parties combined are a minority when compared to independent voters, yet the two parties rule supreme.

  • I want to respond to two items recently printed in the opinion section.

    In his letter to the editor, Jim King compared S.C. Sen. Mick Mulvaney with U.S. Congressman John Spratt. King praised Mulvaney, a South Carolina state senator, for his availability and his community participation.

    It was an unusual juxtaposition to then read the guest column above King’s letter, which explained Mulvaney’s role in the Edenmoor development and his broken promises.

  • A couple of talented Lancaster County natives were recently honored for their notable achievements.

    Cathy Smith Bowers, a Lancaster High graduate and a former Lancaster High School teacher, was recently installed as the North Carolina poet laureate, a prestigious honor.

    Lindsey Pettus of Indian Land was presented the S.C. Wildlife Federation Lifetime Achievement Award at its annual banquet last month.

  • Will you take 10 minutes to help give South Carolina and Lancaster County a brighter future?

    Ten minutes is all it takes to answer the 10 questions on the 2010 United States Census that will arrive in your mailbox in March. The once-a-decade census determines our state’s share of the $400 billion in federal aid distributed each year and how much political power South Carolina will wield in Washington.

  • During September, the team at Studio Images Salon got involved in a bigger picture. We felt a need in our community, like so many others, and decided to do something about it.

    So, through Christian Services, we put out an ad in the paper to collect coats, new and used, for needy children. The mission was named “Coats for Kids.” Little by little, we collected one coat after another.

    Surprisingly, we had more coats dropped off after the deadline than we did before. All the coats went to underprivileged children, who really needed them.  

  • Imagine a loved one disappearing without a trace. That when he walked out the door, his family would never see him again.

    Imagine finding your loved one shot to death in his own home. His killer or killers still unknown.

    Imagine every parent’s nightmare – the call in the middle of the night. Your 19-year-old daughter’s body found in a burning car. Her date’s body is in the trunk of the torched vehicle.

    These are the horrors that no one wants to face. Yet, several Lancaster County residents have done just that.

  • History is the framework that gives us leverage into the future and a raison d’etre for today. All of us, black and white, need awareness and strengthening in our understanding of what blacks have accomplished – great and small.

    Did you know Maggie Walker (1867-1934) was America’s first black female president of a bank? Mrs. Walker was honored for her contribution to Richmond, Va.’s economic and civic progress by the governor of state. She grew up in dire poverty, but finished high school.  

  • I would like to thank the Rev. Bill Knight for the book, “Mill Hill Memories,” he recently completed. Bill spent approximately three years interviewing people, collecting photos, personal stories and information from families and other sources. I appreciate his tireless effort and long hours spent putting this book together.

    Thanks to him I now have many years of photos and memorials combined in one book.

  • In the Jan. 31 edition of The Lancaster News, I wrote a column titled, “We cannot judge what goes on in another person’s mind.”

    In that column, I misquoted Myra McCants. I said McCants wrote in a Dec. 30 letter to the editor that anyone who commits suicide commits an unforgivable sin in the eyes of God.

    McCants did not use those words. McCants actually said, “Suicide is a selfish act.”

  • A great deal of debate ensued recently when I announced a proposal to raise South Carolina’s lowest-in-the-nation cigarette tax to the national average, with the proceeds split between health care and education. I remain convinced that this is the right course of action for our state.

  • On Tuesday, Feb. 9, Lancaster City Council will vote on an ordinance to annex four Arrowood Estates lots into the city. If it passes, this vote will open the door for more of Arrowood to be annexed.

    In 1962, my father started development of a subdivision outside the city limits. With him, our family trekked through deep woods as he imagined and planned how this subdivision would evolve. He found an arrow that would determine the name for his, and others, dream, Arrowood.

  • I am writing this letter as a businessman, parent, taxpayer, a fiscal conservative and former chair of the State Board of Education. We have an opportunity in South Carolina to reduce some of the public education bureaucracy in Columbia by sunsetting the Education Oversight Committee (EOC.)

    I ask the General Assembly to support the bill introduced by Rep. Bakari Sellers (D-Bamberg), which will do exactly this.