Every day, in every area of our state, hardworking South Carolina taxpayers are being robbed. They are not held up at gunpoint and their homes are not burglarized. But, they are the victims of theft just the same. Criminals are stealing federal funds and using that money for their personal benefit. They are committing fraud against the food stamp program. In fact, they pocket more than $2 million of your tax dollars every year in South Carolina alone.
From 1999 to 2006, I tuned in to every episode of "The West Wing" starring Martin Sheen. It was one of the smartest shows I've ever watched with a superb cast and excellent writing. Like every television show, it had its ups and downs. Its detractors felt it was too idyllic and -- being an Aaron Sorkin product, like "The Newsroom" in more recent years -- too preachy.
You may be surprised to learn people sometimes disagree with me. You may be equally surprised I sometimes see their point in the disagreement. Sometimes I agree with the disagreement.
Flowers are blooming, the sky's blue and it's motorcycle-riding season.
OK, so the time changed nearly two weeks ago, but this week's installment of my thoughts and musings is about the recent time change and the proverbial "extra hour of daylight" we get to enjoy from now until autumn.
The daffodils are nodding their pretty yellow heads all over town. To me, they are the harbingers of spring, blooming long before the weather is really warm. They give us hope the warm days really will return soon. In my yard, they pop up in the bed by my yard's Victorian cast iron fence -- in the bed I meant to transform into a perennial cottage garden wonderland. Twenty-one years ago, when we moved in, I dug a vegetable plot in the back yard and the long border bed out front. Back then, when I was doing historic preservation consulting ...
The controversy encircling former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her use of private email to conduct public business provides our latest example of government in the shadows, a situation we know well in South Carolina.
WASHINGTON -- On March 2, the story broke Hillary Clinton had possibly violated email regulations while secretary of state.
So I ran into an old friend the other night -- always a good thing.
It's Sunshine Week in South Carolina and the nation.
WASHINGTON -- Amid all the verbiage about Hillary Clinton's email, one irrefutable fact emerges: Polls will drive us crazy before the Clintons do.
This week marks the 10th annual observance of Sunshine Week by, primarily, the nation's newspapers, but other forms of media as well.
Sometimes, I look across our yard and sigh somewhat woefully, "Too much of that stubborn red Georgia clay shines through." I think, "Oh, one day…."
Economic development is undoubtedly the front burner topic in our state and in Kershaw County. For good reason. Economic development is the key to stable employment and to developing and nurturing a tax base that will support community needs for education, public safety, recreation, roads and infrastructure, and human services.
The grumbles resonated from the kitchen. The sound wasn't particularly loud or piercing at least in the beginning. I guess you could describe it as a low, irregular whine of sorts. I walked in and there he was -- my 11-year old son slumped over his math sheet looking as if the world would end if he did not finish the problems before him. Of course, he was absolute in the fact his mom could not help him with this "math Armageddon." He insisted he would fight this battle alone. I thought to myself, "Does anyone like math? He must ...
After I wrote a column last week detailing my secret dream of becoming a symphony conductor, my friend Waylon Fortenberry of Chesterfield County called me.
WASHINGTON -- When postal worker Doug Hughes -- otherwise known as the gyrocopter dude -- landed his gizmo on the West Lawn of the Capitol, he wasn't worried about being shot down, he says.
In what could be considered an extension of my column from last week, which was about the misuse and abuse of government programs such as "food stamps," EBT cards and welfare, I've been giving the matter a lot of thought on a broader scale.
It is often said South Carolina is a big small town where everyone knows everyone else. And if we don't know someone personally, then it's usually "I know who they are."
WASHINGTON -- Here we go. If you're a woman who might prefer someone other than Hillary Clinton as the next president of the United States, you're a self-loathing, anti-woman traitor.
By now, everyone has weighed in on the various police transgressions all over the country.
Much has been made in the last few years about the disconnect between children and nature. Richard Louv popularized the issue in his best-selling book, Last Child in the Woods. While the trend isn't necessarily intentional, it cannot be ignored either. The awareness we are attached to something more is a key component to our continued existence upon Earth. Fortunately, I think the roots of this respect are already planted in the passions of the most perfect people, our children.
Who would have thought a goofy looking guy with bad teeth from Britain named John Oliver could make us laugh so hard about the insanity of American government excesses, healthcare bureaucracy and even something as seemingly boring as net neutrality?
To be honest, I was more than a mite worried. I was plenty worried. My husband, raised not in the South or in the country, wanted a chainsaw. The one farm accessory which has brought down many a man. From an early age, I was taught respect for that chewing, sawing, respect-for-no-man power tool.
I was extremely pleased earlier this year to be invited with school board Chairman Ron Blackmon to participate in the Kershaw County Council planning retreat. It was a very informative experience for both of us. At the retreat, I was asked to outline what I see as the school district's most critical challenges. I've since been asked by several other groups to do the same presentation, so I thought what I had to say might be of interest.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
WASHINGTON -- Americans, perhaps more than anyone, worship the future and resent the past.
I read with great interest last week news reports about a lawmaker in Missouri proposing tighter restrictions on what food products would be allowed to be purchased using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The EBT card is the modern-day equivalent of what is commonly called "food stamps," and is a government-provided program for people of lower income to acquire food. EBT cards have a benefit amount credited to them each month and at the store function the same as a debit or credit card.
Springtime in the South comes with a guarantee of two things: great clouds of pollen and azaleas in full bloom. Springtime in the golf world means it's finally time for the Masters. My husband, an avid, albeit average golfer, was glued to the television when the Masters was being played. It was nirvana for him when his spring break fell during Masters Week. He could watch it every minute it was on the air. Of course, he was watching and appreciating the game of golf. I, on the other hand, was gawking at the golf course at Augusta every ...
You think you're alone on the highway. You're sure of it -- not a soul in the rear view, not a glimmer on the horizon. Not even a billboard or bridge abutment.