• It would seem difficult to have government by the people and for the people if you don't have, well, people.

    A pair of municipal elections are coming up in the near future in Chester County, but interest seems to be lukewarm at best, almost non-existent at worst.

  • I’ve written about my eye problems before and written about my upcoming surgery in a column when it was scheduled. I joked about it, because of the timing.

    I’ll be having it Monday, March 16. St. Patrick’s Day “Eve,” so I wrote I’d have a bloodshot left eye on St. Patrick’s Day, but not for obvious reasons. That made my mother and sisters a bit angry.

    Normally around St. Patrick’s Day, I try to regale my readers with Irish jokes or tell them at length about Irish music and songs and writing.

  • What goes around comes around, the saying goes. The rest of the nation, slowly but surely, is beginning to get a taste of what we have been experiencing in Chester County for years.

    It’s taken massive bank and housing institution failures for them to get there. For us, we were told it was just the cost of doing business in a global economy. People overseas can do what so many of us here could do, but for much much less than we expect here.

  • So I’m friends with Henry McMaster now.

    Doesn’t mean I’ll vote for him. Doesn’t mean I won’t.

    But he’s on Facebook now, and I got a “friend” request from the Attorney General of South Carolina, the guy suing the state of North Carolina to keep the towns of Concord and Kannapolis from withdrawing millions of gallons of water a day from the Catawba River, so they can get “developed.”

  • What an almost surprise it was last week when the Chester County School Board voted to chuck Great Falls-Lewisville school consolidation.

    We have urged both the board and the public to take this slowly. As sudden as this issue appeared, at least to the public, it went away just as fast. Almost too fast.

    We knew this might happen. We’d heard chatter from some board members and district staff backpedaling. From the get-go, the board’s plans were labeled as “considerations,” but this was more than just idle talking points on the agenda.

  • We think the community forums being held by the school board to discuss possible school consolidation in Chester County have been constructive, for the most part.

    As in everything, there are a few hot heads. But good questions have been asked and some good answers have resulted.

    But we have to deal quickly with a something we heard at the first forum in Great Falls. Someone said the school district should cut out Adult Education to save money. We can cut it, the person said, mainly because of the new Chester Center of York Tech.

  • The News & Reporter is preparing once again its annual Discover Chester County magazine.

    It basically contains all the information you need to get by in Chester County, from fire department phone numbers and insurance ratings to churches, some history, a list of public officials, etc.

    There is a lot of et cetera, to be honest.

    Each year we run a number of ads telling folks to check out the information they have in it and to give us a call, a fax, a letter or an e-mail to update it if anything has changed.

  • If you are a keen observer of print specs and gutter widths, you might notice that our papers, since Wed-nesday, are a little bit different.

    The newspaper industry is going through a rough patch for many reasons, causing many changes. Our business has been in Chester County for a while now, and to keep it going, we need to control costs.

    There are a lot of things people can say about the business-side of the newspaper business. One I love is, “Don’t argue with people who buy ink by the barrel.”

  • We reported last week on a Tega Cay man’s complaints to Chester County Council that his work crews have been blocked from tearing down the old Eureka Mill. Back in September, workers were found in the mill, attempting to demolish it. Another company had earlier been working there, more than two years ago. But that company stopped and its demolition permits had lapsed.

  • We sometimes look back at the seminal” events of our “future” history that, over the years, writers, many of them science fiction writers, told us would happen.

    George Orwell told us that “1984: the world would be run by a totalitarian state that controlled the language. With “NewSpeak,” langauge was changed, word by word, whenever truths became inconvenient for the government.

  • Right around Christmas, we ran the obituary of Lilia Crosby, a 102-year-old woman.

    When she was born, she did not have the right to vote because of her gender. But that changed.

    There were efforts to deny people of her skin color the right to vote. That changed too.

    Born when flight was thought impossible, she lived to see a man on the moon.

    She had spunk. She got herself down to the voter office Nov. 4 and she cast a ballot in her 21st presidential election. I talked to her on the phone, then went to her little house, met her, took her picture.

  • We wrote an editorial a few weeks ago about Gov. Mark Sanford, saying that many times he is unfortunately right about things..

  • We now have a new sheriff in Chester County... we attended both of his swearing-in ceremonies.

    Sheriff Richard Smith was sworn in Monday night at a ceremony with other county officials, but took his oath of office again at a ceremony Tuesday morning with his staff. He has about 80 that he lists as his staff, all deputies, though with three classes. Some are jailers, some are road deputies, others investigators and some whose duties might be more office-related.

  • We are obviously not just welcoming a new sheriff here in Chester County but bidding farewell to our former sheriff and some members of his staff.

    Some deputies familiar to the public will remain with the Sheriff’s Office. Some of those are in new roles.

    A few other deputies are no longer with the department. If you are used to talking to a particular deputy, you might have to deal with another.

    And Sheriff Robby Benson is gone.

  • We carry elsewhere on this page a guest column from S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford explaining his reasoning for a delay in requesting a federal loan to shore up the money the state uses to pay jobless benefits.

    In the most recent listing of jobless information, the state hit a 20-year high in the percentage of jobless. Chester County also hit a high mark it hasn’t seen in four years.

  • You may have read recently about the dust-up over state unemployment benefits, and I thought it was worth taking a minute to let you know why we’re making noise about this issue, and why it’s important you do the same.

    In simplest form, our state is running out of money to pay unemployment benefits, and our office has been drawn into the debate because it’s up to us to request a band-aid loan of sorts so that these checks can continue being issued.

  • My left eye is going to be bloodshot on St. Patrick’s Day.

    I’m 100 percent Irish, but it won’t be for obvious reasons. I’ll be having eye surgery on March 16. I will have a cornea transplant and that’s the soonest they can schedule it.

    I’ve had a condition in both my eyes since I was probably 14 called keratoconus. “Kerato” is Latin for wart. The conous is the “cone” of my eye, the cornea.

  • We know some in our community might be more worried, maybe even scared, at this time of the year.

    Times are tough, all around. There’s no escaping it. It seems to get tougher every week.

    We’ve looked back and had this theme in our editorials at this time of the year, each year. Despite all that’s bad, we find that there are still things for which we should be thankful.

  • We do Christmas right in Chester County. We do Christmas big. We have five parades. Five.

    A couple are institutions, like Great Falls, which kicks off the season first every year, usually right after Thanksgiving. Chester, Fort Lawn, Lowrys and Richburg follow, though not in that order. Lowrys is an event in itself.

    It’s not just parades. The lights have started going up on city light poles. We saw one home on the J.A. Cochran Bypass decorated — about two weeks ago.

  • Carlisle Roddey says he really doesn't want to "go home" to meet his Maker. That was a joke he'd said many times in his other career, the one broadcasting Cyclone football.

    He wants Chester to win the state championship, and that would make him happy enough. He got his chance last year to broadcast from the booth at Williams-Brice Stadium press box. But Chester came up a couple of points short.

    A year later, Chester is headed back to the finals. This time, he'll be in the same press box that Jim Phillips for many years broadcast Clemson football games.