Opinion

Graduates: Big things come from small areas

Dear graduates,

First, we want to congratulate you all on your achievement! From kindergarten through high school, and some through college, you have studied, memorized, calculated, analyzed and recited. You have been tested (and retested), scored and graded.

Now you have reached the final week of school.

Wow. It seems like standing at the edge of a canyon, feeling the wind on your face and having the urge to fly like the birds around you.

Pay homage this holiday

On Monday, May 29, there will be a lot of celebrations. It’s a holiday! It’s graduation weekend! It’s the start of summer!

But Memorial Day is more than all that - much more.

It is a time to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect and defend the United States of America.

In Barnwell County, a Memorial Day service will be held at the Veterans Memorial Park at 10 a.m.

It is our hope that many in our community will take the time to attend the service and spend a little time remembering what the holiday is all about.

‘Age out loud’ during Older Americans Month

Dear Editor,

John F. Kennedy first designated May as Senior Citizens Month in 1963. Since that time, each May has been a time to celebrate and pay tribute to older Americans.

What is now known as Older Americans Month offers a special opportunity to learn about, support and recognize our older citizens.

The Administration on Aging has announced that this year’s theme is “Age Out Loud”.

Gadson family extends their appreciation

Dear Editor,

The Family of the late Deacon/Chief Luther “Luke” Gadson would like to extend a heartfelt appreciation, gratitude and many, many thanks for all acts of kindness shown during the time of his illness and timely death of our beloved brother, husband, father, grandfather, uncle, cousin, mentor and friend.

Your prayers, visits, monetary gifts, food and all gestures of love shown us during this very difficult time in our lives will always be treasured in our hearts and mind.

School board elections need to be in November

Elections are a vital part of our democracy. They are also costly and not always well-attended by voters.

That’s why we believe it’s time for a change in Barnwell County.

We encourage our three public school districts to follow the example of other districts across the state by doing away with the stand-alone election that has been the norm locally for so long. It’s time to merge the annual school board elections with the general election held in November every other year.

FOIA reform bill gives faster, cheaper access

It’s been a long time coming, but citizens of South Carolina will soon have faster and cheaper access to public documents.

For seven years, the Legislature has for one reason or the other not passed an FOI reform bill. They did so on the last day of the session this year, and it offers some real improvements in our state’s open government law.

A joy ride: Alice Jo Mole remembered by friend

So, now the circle has become smaller.

On Tuesday, May 2, 2017, my beloved Alice Jo Mole made her exit from this place as quietly as she had lived in Barnwell during the past three quarters of a century.

Folks from all walks of life are feeling this newly-created void in their hearts. If you never met Alice Jo, “Mole”,”Allie”, ”Jojo” or more recently,”AJ”, allow me to make the introduction. Please pull up a chair. You see, she was my very first friend.

Good weekend to support good causes

This weekend presents several opportunities to have a good time for a good cause.

The annual Relay for Life is set for this Friday, May 12 from 6 p.m. to midnight. This year’s event is being held on the Allendale-Fairfax High School football field due to the merger of Allendale and Barnwell County’s events.

This is a great, fun way to raise money for the American Cancer Society to fund cancer awareness and research!

County needs to provide scanner for library

Dear Editor,

As someone who has lived other places, I often find myself staring in wide-eyed disbelief at the way a number of things are handled in Barnwell County.

Several months ago, I visited the main branch of the Barnwell County Library. I found an item of interest and wanted to scan a copy of it. I was shocked to learn than the main branch of the library does not have a scanner.

When I inquired the librarian told me that they usually had about three inquiries a day about using a scanner.

Charitable meal plan needed for NCAA athletes

Dear Editor,

Black people may leave a religious center to worship the devil but they go back to their religious centers at a faster rate than other races who worship the devil according to various studies (laughs).

Most of the NCAA student-athletes are black and they are left without meal plans on the weekend. This is odd because the college student-athletes are what you see in the media more than any other thing of a college.

It is important for student-athletes to eat healthy and the majority of NCAA sports teams have religious service on Sundays.

Pernell continues ‘healthy discourse’ on Confederate Memorial issue

Dear Editor,

I write in response to Mr. James Harley’s April 26 letter.

First, I should say how thrilled I am that my original letter regarding the necessity for removing the Confederate Memorial has inspired various personal reflections from our community members. Opportunities and fora to address social issues our community finds essential—even if controversial—are rare. And healthy, nuanced, and respectful discourse about such issues—especially ones that already divide our community—are important.

With that in mind, I address Mr. Harley’s concerns below.

Ancesters of slave owners should be honored only ‘behind closed doors’

Dear Editor,

An average day for a park ranger at Fort Sumter consisted of giving a 10-15 minute history tour, then parading the grounds of where the first shots of the Civil War took place.

One day while parading the grounds I was approached by a woman who realized, from my nametag, that we share the same last name. It was later revealed, during our conversation, that we were from the same, Barnwell, county. Immediately I made the connection that we were distant relatives, bound together by the foul chains of slavery.

Public needed to be helpers, not hindrance

What’s the recipe for a thriving, successful community?

Crime, violence and a lack of cooperation are definitely not the right ingredients.

Unfortunately, some are trying to taint the community we love and call home. With four shootings and the firing of Barnwell’s police chief, it’s been a trying week in Barnwell County.

In some of the shooting cases, the victims and witnesses are not cooperating with police. No one saw anything or knows anything that can prove helpful in solving the case.

Reader takes exception to Pernell statements

Dear Editor,

I have some serious concerns about the false and inaccurate statements that Mr. Brence Pernell opined in your newspaper.

First of all, I am deeply offended that he would compare my confederate ancestors to the Nazis. The southern people didn’t exterminate six million slaves. The southern people did not systemically round up African slaves and kill them by the millions just because of who they were.

Now, I am not naive enough to deny the fact that the slaves were sometimes mistreated because they were, and it was not right.

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