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Opinion

  • Our letters column today contains the last of the letters of endorsement we have received for the political primary cycle.

    The N&R does not endorse candidates. We do endorse voting. The Democratic and Republican primaries are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday, June. 8.

    Get out and vote.

  • This is the last time we will get to speak to you before the election, and we are going to reiterate that we do not endorse candidates.

    We are going to stress something, as a reminder, that we put in a headline last week. Voters may have to make a choice between voting in statewide races of their choice, and voting in local races.

    You see, what happens from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday June 8 has all the trappings of an election. We’ll be going to precincts and pushing buttons in the iVotronic machines.

  • We welcome the state Class A state championship trophy back to Chester County. The Lewisville High trophy case, to be precise.

    Congratulations to the Lewisville High School boys baseball team. You did it.

    Chester County has been a hotbed of sports recently. The Great Falls football team went to the Class A finals in 2007. Chester football went to the Class AAA finals in 2007 and 2008. The Great Falls basketball team went to the hoops finals for the 2008-09 and ’09-10 seasons. Great achievements.

  • We’ve got a lot of talented students in the county. Sometimes, our students are among the best in the nation, but we rarely get to find that out.

    We have a chance, however, to see how a few of our students measure up.

    First, the Lewisville High School Marching Band is going to a national competition, but it needs the community’s help.

    The marching band has choosen to go to Bands of America Grand National Championship. No school in Chester County has ever attempted to perform in this competition.

  • For us , the most wonderful time of the year is fast approaching. Spring means summer’s coming, and summer, means yes, barbecue. Yes. Yum.

    There are some in the editorial department of The News & Reporter who grew up not knowing that barbecue was a noun. It was just a verb, and it meant getting out some charcoal and the grill for hot dogs and hamburgers. But we’ve caught up and are all on board. Barbecue is properly a noun.

    Sure there are places that you can get barbecue year-round.

  • Chester County wrote its solid waste franchise ordinance in 1990. The ordinance was wisely intended to bring some control over waste industries.

    The county now has no such ordinance. It repealed the franchise ordinance, in its entirety, last week.

    It was repealed, mainly, because South Carolina passed a sweeping solid waste act one year after the county passed its ordinance. County Attorney Joanie Winters told the council some things in the ordinance contradict state law and other things are difficult to justify or do under the ordinance.

    We accept that.

  • On Friday, May 14, Relay for Life will get underway at Lewisville High School. The purpose of the annual event is to spread awareness of cancer prevention, treatments and cure while honoring survivors and raising money for research to find a cure.

    The event has proven to be a success each year. It raises money each year for the American Cancer Society.

  • We have in the past defended Chester County’s ordinance that requires a performance bond for demolition work on large structures, particularly our old, dilapidated mills.

    The simple fact is, the ordinance, when county officials stick to it strictly, works.

    Chester County Council, however, has a pretty bad track record of strictly adhering to the ordinance. A year ago, a Tega Cay man who wanted to demolish the Eureka Mill came before the council and asked for leniency in the performance bond requirement.

  • We think giving people choices is a good thing for democracy. Even if those in office are doing a good job, a great job, the voters should have choices.

    In local races, we again have a competitor in the supervisor race. One county councilman has an opponent in the Democratic Primary. Another will face an opponent in the General Election.

    We don’t endorse candidates. We say it often. But we can certainly endorse the idea of having opposition in elections.

  • Well, it’s election time again. Candidates are busy getting ready to run for political office and ask for your trust.

    We play a role in the process by getting information to you about the candidates, and about where and when to vote, etc.

    Here’s a run-down of our policies.

    Announcements

    Candidates for office in upcoming elections are welcome to send an announcement of their candidacy to the paper.

    Announcements for the primary races must be received by next Monday at noon for the April 7 edition of The N&R.

  • The N&R will run endorsement letters on its weekly opinion page, following rules set up in prior elections.

    Letters will cut off two weeks before an election, to prevent a last minute letter that might contain a false allegation or that a candidate will not be able to respond to.

    A candidate who feels he or she has been treated unfairly will be given a chance to respond up until the last week before an election.

  • We’ve run stories recently about a bill to add an exemption for sales taxes on materials and electricity used at facilities like the Institute for Business & Home Safety’s testing lab currently under construction at the S.C. Highway 99 Industrial Park. The bill also would exempt the lab from property taxes.

  • We wrote an editorial in December on the county’s handling of the Covanta Energy situation.

    County Council put zoning approvals on the fast track for this industry, which would put a waste-to-energy incinerator on S.C. Highway 9 between Fort Lawn and Richburg, creating about 50 permanent jobs.

    County officials admit they fast tracked it. They say they did it because the company is on a tight schedule and needed zoning approval before it could apply for state environmental permits.

  • We’re proud of the Red Devils boys basketball team. No South Carolina team in high school basketball history has done as much over the years.

    But also, no team has done as much over the past two years.

    The Red Devil program is the envy of the state because of Coach John Smith. He won’t appreciate the accolades, but they are deserved. He’s the winningest basketball coach in South Carolina high school basketball history.

  • We told you last week that it was Sunshine Week, a national observance that focuses on open government.

    Freedom of Information is a core principle of The News & Reporter, and it should be a core principle of our government officials.

    When it isn’t a principle held by our officials, you know you’re going to hear about it from us, on this page and in this spot.

  • Sunshine Week is a national observance that focuses on open government. Its organizers do a lot to push a stronger Freedom of Information Act on the federal level.

    But we care more about the state law. South Carolina has had a sunshine law since the 1970s. The S.C. Press Association helped lobby for it.

  • Work has begun at one of Chester’s dilapidated mills, and may soon begin at another.

    We’re pleased with the former, not so pleased with the second. Not many are pleased with the second.

    First, the demolition of the Springsteen Mill is underway. The City of Chester had condemned the building as a nuisance and the city and county partnered to get an Environmental Protection Agency grant to pay for the work. A company that is expert in environmental cleanup is doing the work.

  • What is going on with Chester County Council and its government?

    In November, the county pushed through zoning changes for an industry. It was in a bull’s rush, surprising residents and limiting time to react and, perhaps, to oppose.

    Last summer, the county attorney was told to go to Fort Lawn. She threatened to sue residents.

    On Monday night, we saw it again.

    Councilman Archie Lucas did not like a letter that ran in The N&R last week on the county’s discussion of placing a sign at the S.C. Highway 99 Industrial Park.

  • To the Editor:

    Recently I attended the Chester County Council Meeting on 02/01/10 and I would like to bring to the attention of all Chester County residents the fact that our esteemed leaders are about to spend approximately $4,000 + for a sign for the S.C. Highway 99 Industrial Park.

  • A larger number of readers of OnlineChester.com have some kind of reservation about the proposed waste-to-energy incinerator to be built on S.C. Highway 9 between Richburg and Fort Lawn, though the single largest group of respondents support the plant while rejecting claims of possible health or environmental harm.

    The poll is not scientific though it has some security features to prevent repeat votes.

    The poll ran for about a month, with 232 respondents.