Opinion

Attendant is good envoy of recycling cause

Dear Editor,

Did you know on March 3, South Carolina Recycling had its 15th annual awards day in Columbia?

A local morning attendant from the #6 recycling/convenience center at Rosemary in Williston received the Attendant of the Year award - Patricia McClure.

This place has become an enjoyable place to bring your trash in the mornings, as echoes of springtime music flow through the air, coming from the attendant's station.

Mrs. McClure takes her time to screen things that can be reused instead of dumping and filling our landfill with reusable items.

City enacts parking policy for Lemon Park

It is that time of year - baseball season is here again.

The Barnwell Baseball Association will hold its first games April 19 and its opening day ceremony April 24. This year Dixie Boys will be using the new 300-foot field next to Hagood Avenue.

Barnwell Recreation Director Emily Randall has created a parking policy this season to alleviate the congestion from last season.

Teasing sister cost a kidney

My brother Kenneth and I came down with the measles at the same time; I was 8, he was 12. Our dad gave us a choice: We could haul our little splotchy bodies to Mama and Papa Hudgins' house down on the farm or to Mama and Papa Stevens' house in town. But we couldn't stay home.

We chose the farm, where Mama Hudgins sequestered us in a dark bedroom with the shades pulled and the calendar turned to the wall so we wouldn't strain our eyes trying to read it.

Coach's version of bus driver issue

Dear Editor:

I thoroughly enjoyed the "bus drivers speak out" letter in your March 24 paper. The article was so full of half-truths and non-truths that I thought I was reading an article out of a gossip tabloid.

Let me shed some light on the items addressed in their letter that affect me.

First, the letter states that the scheduled to drive teams were taken away from the drivers by administration.

The schedule for softball was given to the transportation supervisor before Christmas.

Schools affect property values, so all should participate in board elections

Dear Editor:

Do you realize that a failed public school system can rapidly and significantly devalue your property? I agree with Mr. Kinlaw's letter from two weeks ago which basically stated that our public school system is a foundation for recruiting quality industry. I would like to add that there is a connection between poor schools, fewer jobs and property values.

Healthcare bill is sick legislation

Dear Editor,

I am writing in opposition to the U.S. House Democrats approving a government take over of the health care system March 21, voting over unanimous Republican opposition by 219-to-212.

There is no debate regarding the issue that the health care system needs some type of reform.

The House gave final approval to legislation passed by the Senate Dec. 24. The only bipartisanship demonstrated occurred when 34 Democrats joined Republicans in voting against the bill.

When stimulus well runs dry

Next year, money from the $787 billion "stimulus" will run out, and South Carolina - like all other states - will find itself at the edge of a "funding cliff."

A "funding cliff" is a government budgeting term used to describe what's created when government uses one-time or non-recurring money, like stimulus money, to add or expand government programs that'll have recurring annual expenses. (It's like using one's entire tax refund to make the first payment on an expensive new car. After the initial payment, all the others would have to come from the household income.)

Use diversity as chance to learn, not excuse to divide

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to this week's letter regarding the "racism" in Barnwell School District 45.

I am a bi-racial 10th grade student at Barnwell High School. As a student I feel that this issue is not being addressed properly, at all levels. Who's asking the students' opinions on this?

Many people are saying "this is about the children,",but I have yet to hear a student's opinion. So I want to voice mine.

False alarm fine excessive, unfair by police and city

Dear Editor:

There is a legitimate concern regarding the Barnwell County police department imposing a charge upon business owners for doing their jobs of protecting us and our businesses. I don't know if any other businesses have experienced this but we would like to enlighten you about our experience.

About a year ago, we received a letter from the City of Barnwell stating that we would be charged for them responding to false alarms at our business.

Bus drivers speak out

Dear Editor:

We, the bus drivers of Barnwell District No. 45, have been getting a very unfair shake in the opinion of the people of Barnwell. There is so much more to this issue of the drivers not driving for certain school functions and it seems that our school officials, the school board members, Roy Sapough (superintendent), Linda Zionkowski (high school principal), and Rosey Anderson (athletic director) continue to let these rumors fly without correcting misinformed parents, teachers and the citizens of Barnwell.

Make opting out a medical option

Now that the Senate version of ObamaCare is moments from becoming the law of the land, we need strategies to safeguard the doctor-patient relationship from government intrusion.

The most effective approach is for both patients and physicians to opt out of the third party payment system.

From the patients' perspective, opting out makes sense. Insurance companies will not be allowed to deny care for pre-existing conditions.

"...for the children..."

If democracy were seen as a ladder, then this office might very well be its first rung up from the floor.

It's an elected position that holds few perks but a title and many hours in meetings away from families and evening meals.

The "junkets" for these elected officials usually do not mean overseas trips to exotic locations as "fact-finding" missions. In fact, most conferences are in-state.

Racism is a learned attitude, not inherent

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to some of the things said by Mr. Myers as a representative of the NAACP at the last district meeting. I was not able to attend this meeting but did read his comments in the paper and can assume they are his words.

I am not replying in anger, malice or any intentional ugliness whatsoever; I am responding only to tell my story. Here is just that:

City preps ballfields for spring

Spring is not here yet but the city recreation department is hard at work on the Lemon Park ballfields.

Workers are currently redoing the infields and adding 25 tons of professional clay to the infields. This will allow the fields to better absorb rainwater and recover to a playable state faster than last year. The city's first tournament this year will be in early March. The exact time will be announced later. The tournament will be sponsored by the South Carolina Independent School Association.

A mother's defense of her son

Dear Editor:

My son, Marcus Fields applied for one job in Barnwell 45 school district for the position of a teacher.

When the school superintendent recognized his leadership ability, she promoted him to the position of director of transportation. Marcus performed this job so well until when the new superintendent came on board, he recognized the superb job that this director was doing.

When I introduced myself to Mr. Sapough at the drop-in to welcome him to Barnwell, he commented on the fine job my son was doing with the transportation department.

A quiet example

Maybe no one caught the quiet irony within the charged atmosphere of the Feb. 25 Barnwell 45 school board meeting.

The meeting was crowded with about 90 people. They weren't all parents there for the students who qualified as National Merit scholarship finalists or the ones selected for the Hugh O'Brian Leadership awards.

Many in the crowd were there because of the controversy that emerged again over the transportation of sports teams by the regular bus drivers.

Regional hospital an idea worth revisiting

"Consolidation" is a term that many industries have come to know - both in definition and reality - in 2009. Barnwell County itself has felt the positive and negative effects of the double-edged sword of consolidation. Consolidation has shuttered some of the county's plants and dissolved local jobs, such as with the Hanesbrands and Allied Air factory closings.

Yet as we have felt that sting of disappointment, we have experienced the glow of anticipation when Crane Corp. announced that it would be nearly doubling its Dixie-Narco plant.

Confessions of an untooled do-it-yourselfer

People who can fix and build things with ease are a mystery to me.

My granddaddy built his own house, outhouse, chickenhouse, car house, smokehouse and barn. All six were still standing decades later.

I didn't inherit any of granddaddy's good genes (although I do have a pair of his overalls). It took me three days to build a rabbit hutch. Trying to do it myself has been frustrating at times.

My wife gave me a beautiful tool chest on wheels, and it's full of nice tools. The only thing missing is a lock to keep me from getting to them. Tools are dangerous.

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