Opinion

Weapons of mass confection: Candy bombers

Doris Galambos was 7 when she and her two brothers shared a piece of hard candy that dropped out of the sky over Berlin, Germany, where they lived.

At the time, she didn't know where the candy came from. But she never forgot it.

It was in the mid-1950s when she heard about a pilot called "the candy bomber." He was mentioned in a film clip about post-war Germany and the Berlin Airlift, the U.S. operation that flew food and coal to Germany following the Russian blockade. One pilot decided to drop candy to the children.

City completing several projects

May is winding down and several of the ongoing city projects are coming to completion.

The Fuller Park PARD grant for the Fuller Park basketball courts and hill only require the paving of the parking lot for completion. This will be completed next week.

Hopefully Barnwell residents will be happy with the landscaping of the hill; this is one of the first areas seen by visitors to the city.

We are 90 percent complete on the Circle traffic upgrades with only one handicapped area and parking lines left to be installed.

Hope springs anew with grads

Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion.
- Georg Wilhelm, German philosopher

Where's the hope?

Any high school or college student who has been monitoring current events in the last year might have been tempted to flunk their senior year.

By this time next month, hundreds of thousands of high school and college graduates will don flimsy robes, awkward mortarboard caps and walk across a stage for a handshake and a diploma or degree that took years to obtain.

Unpayable debts

Long before President Lyndon Johnson declared Waterloo, N.Y. as the birthplace of Memorial Day with a presidential proclamation in 1966, individual towns and cities had been observing a day in late May as Memorial Day.

In fact, towns had been decorating the graves of the Civil War dead even before that great and personal conflict had ended. The first officially declared observance of Memorial Day (originally called Decoration Day, because of the grave decorations) was May 30, 1868 as people marked the graves of Union and Confederate dead alike in Arlington National Cemetery.

A rundown of finances on Barnwell's municipal projects

(The following is a regular column by the Barnwell city administrator on actions and events in whcih the city is involved.)

There has been several questions lately concerning the funding of the various city projects. Many residents may have questions and concerns about the city's various projects, especially in a time when the economy is slumping.

First of all, these projects were started more than a year ago when the economy was booming, and once committed to, the projects have to continue to completion.

During tough times, remember there are others in worse conditions than yourself

(This sis a guest column from Richard Eckstrom, who is the state's chief fiscal officer. The comptroller general's office handles the receipt and disbursement of public money.)

Even in the best of times, it's important for those who have enough to meet our own needs to share our blessings with those who do not. Helping others is our highest calling in life.

Decisions: State, federal and ours have far-reaching effects

Perhaps one good thing is happening from Gov. Mark Sanford's behavior over the federal stimulus package money from Washington D.C. - the issue has brought a new light on public education in South Carolina.

More people are seeing how precariously funded the public education system is in the state through the state sales tax. This has been quite evident through the $387 million in cutbacks the state education department - one department - has suffered through in this fiscal year.

Winds of economic change are blowing

It has been a tough year for education in South Carolina. Granted, South Carolinians and Americans in general are having a rough ride economically.

However, with the school year closing at nearly the same time as the fiscal year, people are noting more the wins and losses of a school from its profit and loss financial statements than from its athletic scores or academic report cards.

Government checkbooks should be open books

What do the town of Irmo and the county of Anderson have in common?

Both want taxpayers to see how their hard-earned dollars are being spent.

Anderson County and Irmo have recently begun posting their spending details on the Internet, empowering their constituents with click-of-a-mouse access to information on how public money is used. In doing so, these two governments are demonstrating that they understand it's not government's money they're spending - it's the citizens' money. And those citizens deserve nothing less than full spending transparency.

"Cash for Clunkers" not good eco-solution

Dear Editor:

The "Cash for Clunkers" bill (H.R. 1550), which is touted as having long-term environmental benefits, could actually do more harm than good to the environment if the bill is passed.

Proponents of the bill say that it will benefit the environment because it will take older cars off the road, replacing them with new, more fuel efficient vehicles.

'Look before you leap' is still good advice

Dear Editor,

I keep learning more about our county's problems and I speak out because I think the citizens should be heard and I hope more will speak out.

The paper wrote about the nursing home problems last week and the latest plan that will solve the problems and get it to making a profit. Now I know that having a nursing home here is important and that it means a lot to a lot of people. I might need it myself someday and I would like it to be there.

Sea changes needed in state and education for growth

A rising tide raises all boats. - Anonymous

When someone talks about a "sea change," they mean a gradual but fundamental transformation where the form of something is retained, but its basic composition is altered.

Jim Rex talked a lot about sea changes, just not in so many words. Rex, the state superintendent of education, gave an overview of South Carolina's public education system. Rex spoke to the Rotary Club of Barnwell County.

Fishing rodeo needs community support to continue its mission

Dear Editor,

The Barnwell County Chamber of Commerce and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources will co-sponsor the 21st annual "Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs" Fishing Rodeo for Barnwell County. The rodeo will be held Saturday, May 2 at the fish hatchery on Dunbarton Boulevard in Barnwell.

This function is the largest of its kind in the state. It provides education and information on drug abuse, environmental protection and wildlife habitats.

Transparency should be part of government's actions

The governor works for you. So does your local county administrator, your mayor, your legislator and the superintendent of your school district.

This means you have a right to know how each of them spend your tax dollars and how they arrive at decisions that affect you.

This week, March 15-21, is National Sunshine Week. Its purpose is to celebrate - and raise awareness of - laws that grant citizens access to public records.

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