What's the final word on obituaries?

Charging for an obituary in the newspaper never seemed quite right to me. After all, one of the first lessons I learned when I joined a news staff as a teenager was this:
A lot of people get their names in the newspaper twice: when they are born and when they die. So make sure you get it right both times.

And now, in some papers, you're charged when they die.

It's true that many larger newspapers will run a "death notice" for free. It gives only the basics: who, what, where, when. If, however, you want to say nice things about your loved one, you'll have to pay.

DeMint hindering stimulus plans for South Carolina

As the nation struggles with its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, some in Washington D.C., are fighting a rear-guard action to block President Obama's stimulus plan.

Among them, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint is jockeying to become leader of the heel-dragging pack.

This professional ad man knows the importance of burnishing his brand. He has become a stock fixture on the national media circuit. If you need someone to defend the failed economic policies of former President George Bush, schedule DeMint for your show.

Stimulus should spur work, not idleness

Dear Editor,

By now, the U.S. Senate will have already voted on the stimulus bill.

The current stimulus bill in its trimmed down version still contains unnecessary spending for special interest. Supposedly this bill has been trimmed from $930 billion down to $780 billion.

We are now being informed that in this bill's present form, it consists of 58 percent spending and 42 percent tax cuts.

Joining two problems may create one solution

Where two problems exist, maybe one solution can be found for both.

The problems?

Despite the bad economy, taxes - like death - continue. Yet people have less money and are trying to stretch every dollar.

The other problem is that because of the bad economy, the county is cutting back too.

However, the county government still has the same workload as it did during better times, only now because of employee furloughs, it has less work hours in which to do it.

Trowelling for ideas will lead to spades of solutions

Two basic tools any gardener worth his soil keeps in his tool shed are shovels and spades.

Obviously, these earth implements are good for turning dirt over - one in wholesale amounts and the other, the spade, a little more specifically.

Thoughts, opinions and minds were turned over in the Feb. 2 meeting that brought together 30 of Barnwell County's civic, political, service and business leaders.

Stark little label full of helpful nutritional information

It's the ubiquituous black and white generic panel that is part of almost every package that contains food - usually the back part.

It's the "Nutrition Facts" panel.

Nutrition information about that particularly package of food is printed in the "Nutrition Facts" panel, usually found on the side or back of the package. The top section of this label contains product-specific information. This includes serving size, calories, and nutrient information, which varies with each food product.

Barnwell Municipal News - January

It is difficult to believe that 2008 is gone. It was a year of accomplishments for the City of Barnwell, its employees and City Council. It would be a good time at this moment to review the year and to give an idea of what to expect in 2009, which looks to be another exciting year.

One can't reflect on the year without first thinking of the city employees and department heads. The numerous accomplishments of 2008 would not have been possible without the team effort these employees achieved.

'Nuclear academy' would benefit area, state and nation

(This editorial first appeared in The People-Sentinel Jan. 14, 2009)

If there was an overall theme to the discussion occurring at the legislative workshop attended Jan. 8 by South Carolina lawmakers and state media, it was "Where has the money gone and where can it be found?"

Money for state operations and government has become like bugs scuttling away from the harsh accounting light of this new year and its 118th legislative session.

The General Assembly is already poring over the state budget looking for new ways to cut expenses while seeking new revenues.

One other political task should be clear

(Thie editorial first appeared in The People-Sentinel Jan. 7, 2009)


The new year always brings with it promise - promise of new hopes, better intentions and the promise of a new unfolding calendar in which to achieve these promises.

The new year also brings with it (for 2009 at least) a new crop of state and local politicians, the victors from the Nov. 4 elections. Many of them too will likely bring their own promises - made on their campaign trails, as well as the promise of new ideas and viewpoints for the respective offices for which they have been elected.

U.S. conversion to digital television poorly done

On Feb. 17, all full-power analog television broadcasts in the United States will cease and TV stations will begin broadcasting exclusively in a digital format. The switch to digital television (DTV) will free up frequencies for emergency uses and allow broadcasters to provide more programming through "multicasting."

As a practical matter, people will need to subscribe to a cable or satellite television service, use a digital set, or connect a converter box to an analog TV set, to continue watching broadcast television.

Best gift isn't found under Christmas tree

 (This editorial first appeared in The People-Sentinel Dec. 17, 2008)

"(It's) the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys."
- Ebenezer Scrooge's nephew, on Christmas

Every year it happens. In fact, it's the one moment that defines Christmas in different ways for each of us.


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