Opinion

Prepare now for enjoying solar eclipse

Ready or not, the solar eclipse is coming!

This is a pretty big deal as it is the “first coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in nearly 100 years. It will also be the first total eclipse exclusive to the U.S. since before the nation’s founding in 1776. That’s why it’s being called the NATIONAL ECLIPSE,” according to www.nationaleclipse.com.

We encourage residents to make preparations now and become educated on what to expect on Monday, August 21 so you aren’t left, quite literally, in the dark.

Students will return to school and experience a myriad of ‘firsts’

All the news about the upcoming eclipse has just about “eclipsed” the other big event happening this week - the return of students to the classrooms.

For many, Thursday will be a day of “firsts” for them - first day of kindergarten, first day of first grade, first day of middle school, first day of high school, first day of their senior year.

It may be the first time a youngster has ever ridden a school bus or found their way through a lunch line.

The first day of school is the one day when most students show up with new clothes and bookbags.

Sanders family expresses gratitude

Dear Editor,

No words could ever express our appreciation for the love and support you have all shown to us after the passing of our beloved wife/mother, Mrs. Annie Bell Sanders.

As you know, she was a devoted wife to our dad, Willie Dean Sanders, and a wonderful mother, grandmother, sister and aunt to her children, grandchildren, siblings, nephews and nieces.

We are blessed to have had her love and presence in our lives for 75 years.

Your many gestures have made this time easier to bear.

Thank you for being there when we needed you most.

Collaboration results in better communities

“Many hands make light work.” – John Heywood, 16th Century English writer known for his plays, poems, and collection of proverbs

“If everyone does a little, no one will have to do a lot.” – Ferlecia Cuthbertson, President of the W-E CommUNITY Coalition in Williston

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” – quote from J.K. Rowling’s book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

“All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.” – quote from Alexandre Dumas’ book, The Three Musketeers

Jeremiah Holston Family expresses gratitude

Dear Editor,

The Holston Family would like to express our sincere gratitude for all the visits, phone calls, cards, flowers, thoughts and prayers for the family during the passing of our loved one, Jeremiah Holston. Whatever your contribution it has helped to make this moment more acceptable.

From each of us to all of you, Thank you!

The Holston Family

Shop local first during tax free holiday

Preparing to go back to school can be expensive as you make sure your children have the necessary supplies.

However, this weekend offers a slight reprieve since South Carolina’s annual Sales Tax Holiday will be observed August 4-6. This is the one time a year when school supplies such as paper and pencils, as well as computers, book bags, clothes, shoes and other approved items can be purchased tax free.

Axis 1 partnerships benefit county

There are many things that can be accomplished by a single person.

But there is so much more that can be accomplished by people who work together towards a common goal.

To do that, relationships and partnerships need to be formed.

An organization that seems to have perfected the art of forming relationships is Axis 1.

Most people think of Axis 1 as the “alcohol and drug abuse” agency but this agency is actually so much more.

They partner with all three school districts for personal health education, teen pregnancy prevention and alcohol/drug services.

Sales tax for schools better than consolidation

Dear Editor,

I do not think many citizens in Barnwell County are aware of the political movement afoot to consolidate public schools in Barnwell County. I doubt many people understand that the ultimate goal of consolidation is a centralized high school in Barnwell County.

Our politicians will tell us that the cost of running three school districts is too high and our schools are failing. They won’t tell you that consolidation in other counties in South Carolina hasn’t lowered taxes or raised the quality of education in those counties.

‘Debate issues without debasing each other’

Dear Editor,

I appreciate so much everything you said in the section of your editorial on July 5 which began “Let’s talk about words.”

It takes courage to put in print what so many people think, but do not have the courage to say. I wish more media – such as newspapers, radio, television – would say the things you wrote.

“We can debate issues without debasing each other.” Hopefully others in all walks of life will embrace that statement. You have led the way.

Sincerely,

Betty Jane Miller,

Hilda

Have children read to avoid summer ‘slide’

With summer flying by we encourage students along with their parents or guardians to make the most of the next five weeks or so that are left before school bells ring.

Many children often experience what education experts have termed the “summer slide”. This is the tendency for students, especially those from low-income families, to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous year.

Actions and words have consequences

First, let’s talk about actions.

We were seriously disappointed to learn that the Allendale County School Board took action and filed suit against the State Department of Education after State Superintendent Molly Spearman declared that district in a state of emergency and took over control.

This is a power play that has nothing to do with educating the children of Allendale County.

The board has obviously failed to set the policies and guidelines in place, and to get the right leadership in order to pull Allendale County schools out of its pit.

Drowning victim’s family expresses thanks

Dear Editor,

The family of Stanley P. Ray would like to thank you all for your dedication: To the SCDNR, EMS, Coroner of Allendale County, Sheriff’s Office and anyone else that had a part in finding and recovering my son, Stanley P. Ray, from Little Hell boat landing. Stanley drowned there on June 17, 2017 at about 7 p.m.

It was a tragic thing for my family and me. You never get over a tragedy of this kind. But hopefully we can learn to live with them.

Our flag still waves for our freedom

The United States of America is resilient.

Take the flag that flew over Fort McHenry more than 200 years ago as a visible symbol of our country’s strength and perseverance.

American lawyer Francis Scott Key was the first witness to this truth. As he watched the continuous bombardment of the Baltimore fort by the British on September 13, 1814, Key kept watch for the flag.

As long as the flag stood, Key knew the fort and city were safe.

He wanted to be assured the American flag was still there.

It was.

New crew needs chance to make Allendale sail

Sometimes tough decisions have to be made in order to bring about a positive change.

Such is the case earlier this week when State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman declared a “State of Emergency” in the Allendale County School District.

It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was a necessary one, she said, after thinking about what is in the best interest of the district’s students.

We concur.

Why every day should be Earth Day

Dear Editor,

We recently commemorated Earth Day and it got me thinking. Earth Day is a day we set aside to both learn about our environment and to do something to conserve and improve it.

Whether we realize it or not, all of us benefit from the natural resources all around us. From the food we eat to the clothes we wear and the technology we use every day, in one way or another our daily lives are affected by things that come from our beautiful planet.

There’s plenty to do locally this summer

Summer is here and many students are ready for a much-needed break.

However, we encourage students to stay active – both physically and mentally – this summer so they can avoid the “summer slide”. This is a term education professionals use to describe how students, especially those who come from low-income families, tend to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year.

You worked hard all school year to learn and grow, so don’t let that work be in vain.

‘Civilian’ salute carries thanks

Dear Editor,

The Memorial Day service touched me in a way I can’t fully describe but perhaps this thought can sum it up.

At the closing of the ceremony it was explained that previously, discharged and off duty servicemen couldn’t salute the flag until a law was amended to allow such.

The main speaker shared the amended bill, explained it and asked all former, current and off duty veterans to stand with him and salute their fallen brethren.

Work continues as teen pregnancy rates decline

Dear Editor,

Did you know?

• The teen birth rate in Barnwell County has dropped 70 percent from its peak in 1991.

• In 2014, Barnwell County had 37 teen births and was ranked #3 in South Carolina for teen births.

• In 2015, Barnwell County had 18 teen births among females ages 15 to 19 - a decrease of 19 teen births for a decrease of 48.6 percent! The county’s ranking for teen births dropped from 3rd to 30th in the state.

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