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Opinion

  • Both the State Law Enforcement Division and the State Budget & Control Board are looking into purchases made by the town of Fort Lawn and particularly one officer. Procedures weren’t followed. We’ll know soon enough whether that means anything criminal occured.

    That is not our major concern.

  • So Gov. Mark Sanford has compared himself to the Biblical King David.

    The comparison works, a little.

    David was a brilliant figure who gave in to a temptation of the flesh and was later forgiven.

    But David actually had a man killed to obtain the woman of his desire. There’s no indication Sanford even looked crossly at another man in his quest for his Argentinian Bathsheba.

  • To the Editor:

  • Gov. Mark Sanford can’t catch a break. How many people recently have been wanting him to go take a hike? Yet when he finally does, it becomes a media whirlstorm.

    If you missed the story, Sanford left Columbia Thursday, leaving his security detail and his cell phones behind. He was out of pocket through Monday. Not even SLED Chief Reggie Lloyd knew where he was.

  • "We have met the enemy and he is us,” an old comic strip, Pogo, once opined. It meant that, sometimes, we are the ones who cause our problems.

    It seems like jobs are going away every time we exhale in Chester County. We look to this agency and that official for a solution. Many go by the unemployment office looking for a job, a job lead, or just a touch of hope.

  • We talked last week of our disappointment that Gov. Mark Sanford chose to go to federal court to try to get what he wanted in the stimulus showdown.

    In today’s print edition we have a short story about some of the reaction from state leaders to the decision. We have an expanded version of that same story online.

    There are some interesting things to note in the reaction.

  • The response when I showed family and friends was universal.

    Or their response was universal. Mine was not.

    I got a package last month from the University of South Carolina. In it was a letter from a Chester native.

    Alex Stroman is now the vice president of the Student Government at USC. He said he was going through some old files. In a drawer from the ‘80s, he saw some meticulously clipped copies of student government coverage in The Gamecock.

    He saw a recurring byline on a lot of them. Mine.

  • We sat back and laughed a bit when we saw the vehement reaction from state Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler about state Rep. Dennis Moss’s defection from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party.

  • We didn’t have a chance Friday to wish you a safe Memorial Day weekend.

    We’re not sure how it became the start of summer holidays and the start of the big summer movie season and the grilling and cookout weekend, etc.

    We’re also not sure how it became a time to “Support the troops” and to honor veterans.

    For the latter, we have a Veterans Day, every year. It is intended to honor those who served our country and got back.

  • We have a governor who says he is for something called tort reform. Frivolous lawsuits jack up the cost of everything, he says. Stop frivolous lawsuits and South Carolina becomes a more business-friendly state.

    How pleasant. But it’s not a principle. It’s just red meat for conservatives. When confronted with an impasse between him and the General Assembly, Gov. Mark Sanford heads to court — to federal court — to get a decision in his favor.

    What a fine example he is setting.

  • We gave a little information last week about hand sanitizers because the Chester Regional Medical Center donated two wall-mounted dispensers to the YMCA for use in its gym.

    The hospital is doing what is called “preventative medicine.” It is trying to prevent problems, in this case, infections. The hospital and medical facilities are being required to fight infection as well as to track infections by both federal and state regulations.

    The hospital isn’t required, however, to go to the length it is going.

  • We think a lot of those who fight fires in Chester County, always have.

    As much as we like all the men and women who are willing and able, at any time of the day or night, to run into a burning building and try to protect our property, as much as we always like to give credit where credit is due, we want to give special attention to what we reported upon last week.

    The Lewis Fire Department has a new board and a new chief. We can’t get out to cover all our fire districts like we should and this one had fallen under the radar.

  • We were glad to see the meeting last week when the City of Chester released a final presentation and a master plan from its charrette.

    Three years ago the city went through a brief but intensive review period for analysis and planning. Part of the presentation from Arnett, Muldrow and Associates was a market survey, which shows the commercial economy of Chester is leaking.

    People that live in the Chester area spend more than $335 million a year, but nearly $150 million of that goes out of town.

  • Three years ago, the City of Chester underwent a charrette, an extended, intensive information gathering and planning session.

  • We’re in the business of relating facts to our readers. It’s a business that is a little bit under fire and threatened, but we think it an important task.

    Our job is based, then, on getting facts. The facts we present are prepared by human beings, who get the information we pass along, almost always, from other human beings. And inevitably, mistakes are made.

    Sometimes, the mistake is based on the people giving us bad information. We report what we were told, but what we were told isn’t always the case.

  • I could feel the love. I had been missed. Yup, 975 e-mails were sent to my e-mail address while I was out, for a month, recovering from eye surgery.

    Then, of course, I noted the ones colored brown. Spam. I took out the spam -- 190 of that.

    Then of course I put on my filters and 443 e-mails went into separate folders, indicating they were things that MIGHT develop into a story. But actually none did. Some of those were repeaters.

  • We understand emotions can run high when you talk about schools in small rural communities.

    But this new talk about possible school consolidation in Chester County has to be based on several things. Loyalty to one’s alma mater is admirable, but it can’t be the only major factor. Also, the decision shouldn’t be based solely on what spreadsheet tells the district. Some pretty important considerations can’t be given a number or a dollar sign. Let’s all get all the facts, first.

  • We all see that times are tight everywhere these days, from our towns to our state to our nation?

    We need a wisdom to get past our problems, wisdom we have not seen, as a school board member said, since Solomon.

    One wise thing to do might be identify exactly what our problems are and who is to blame, because the ones to blame are probably the ones who can fix messy situations.

  • We’re writing today about another issue where bad state-level policies are either creating or exacerbating local problems.

    This one arises from the current state budget currently under preparation in the state House of Representatives.

    Perhaps the biggest, most important long term issue affecting Chester County and the region in which we live is the lawsuit with the state of North Carolina over that state’s inter-basin transfer policy.

  • It’s Sunshine Week again. Every year, mostly media companies celebrate and get together to push for more government openness. You won’t be able to tell a lot of people in government this and convince them. Secrecy, however, is bad.

    If nothing else, it fosters distrust of government. It does not create any confidence in the decisions that are made.