Americans are a forgiving lot when it comes to politicians, and South Carolinians are obviously among the most forgiving of all, having handed former Gov. Mark Sanford a resounding victory in the Republican Congressional primary down in the Lowcountry last week. Sanford defeated a large team of GOP rivals to claim the nomination and will now face Elizabeth Colbert, sister of comedian/commentator Stephen Colbert, for the seat which was vacated when Tim Scott was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Jim DeMint. Whew, that's a mouthful.
• We have noted before our apprehension about Hollywood celebrities who confuse their entertaining ability with their political views, thinking voters will pay attention to their often-pompous pronouncements. We recently observed talented Hollywood artist Rob Reiner going on and on in a pontifical manner about what this country should do. We'd like to nominate him as Undersecretary of Silence, hoping he would pay attention to the title.
Sports events sometimes become metaphors for life, and there is no better showcase for that than the ongoing March Madness basketball tournament; a national champion will be crowned Monday night to culminate the annual event. In the round of 8 which was played March 31, number-one seeded Louisville was playing perennial power Duke when Cardinal forward Kevin Ware jumped to block a shock and broke his leg as he fell. It was a gruesome injury, and replays showed the leg projecting at a nasty angle – a horrid break – when he hit the floor. Coaches and teammates wept for him as ...
Last week's unveiling of the statues of Larry Doby and Bernard Baruch, and the attendant ceremonies which were held, amounted to a tripleheader: well-conceived, well-planned and well-executed. The hundreds of people who turned out Friday at the Camden Archives to witness the event were indeed buoyed by a ceremony that truly reflected the theme for the day: reconciliation.
• Actress Ashley Judd has been fooling around with the idea of running for the U.S. Senate from Kentucky against Mitch McConnell, the minority leader. Apparently she didn't like what she was seeing in polls, for she announced last week she would not run. Frankly, we're not disappointed that we won't be subjected to Judd's brand of Hollywood wisdom over the next couple of years.
Those of us who live in Kershaw County often tend to take for granted the Carolina Cup, which is known across South Carolina and the Southeast as one of the premier sporting and social events of each year. While many natives don't attend the race and might grumble good-naturedly about traffic tie-ups on Cup Saturday, thousands upon thousands of people flock here each year to attend the races, and that is an incalculable benefit for Camden.
Camden City Council is considering two projects that would utilize hospitality tax funding, one which would create a "pocket park" where the former Maxway building -- an eyesore by any measure -- is located in the downtown business district, and the other the creation of a tavern at the Historic Camden campus.
• U.S. airlines, which tout customer service but don't practice it very often, could take a cue from Lufthansa, the German line which flies many routes between the United States and international destinations. Lufthansa offers incentives for medical doctors to let the airline know when they're aboard, and they reserve a particular seat -- it happens to be 36G -- for the physician, so flight attendants always know where they can find help in an emergency. Now that's a nifty plan that serves everyone's interests.
The U.S. Postal Service is losing nearly $16 billion a year, and the attrition of traditional mail continues as people communicate, pay bills and make reservations on the Internet, along with a host of other tasks that used to involve mail. Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe announced recently that Saturday mail delivery would be eliminated; this, of course, isn't everybody's first preference, but it's necessary to try to help stem the flow of red ink. But the post office has always been a political football, and our representatives in Congress -- the same ones who agree on almost ...
A state Senate bill that would allow early voting in South Carolina makes perfect sense and will benefit thousands of Palmetto State voters if it becomes law. Many other states already allow people to cast their ballots several days before an election, but South Carolina voters haven't been allowed to do that unless they were able to provide one of 18 different reasons to cast an absentee ballot. In reality, those wishing to vote early haven't had a problem in doing so by designating one of the basketful of absentee-voting reasons, but it's a needless process. This ...
• There is something comforting about tradition, and the election of a new pope -- with the tell-tale white smoke billowing from a chimney atop the Sistine Chapel -- is about as traditional as it gets. With 1.2 billion members, the Catholic church is facing both challenges and opportunities as newly elected pontiff Pope Francis begins his tenure. He has won adherents from the beginning because of his humility, and it will be interesting to see how he takes on the challenges of the church.
Supporters of President Obama say the ratcheting up of a group called Organizing For Action is simply a way for the president to get his message out and pressure Congress to adopt his agenda. Critics say it's a way for big-money donors and special interest groups to buy access to the White House. As the controversy swirls, we are reminded of the Clinton presidency and the brouhaha around "the Lincoln bedroom," which was the practice of allowing large donors to have a sleepover in the White House.
There's an interesting situation working up in Charlotte, where the owners of the Carolina Panthers are asking the city of Charlotte and the state of North Carolina for more than $200 million to fund stadium renovations at 17-year-old Bank of America Stadium -- a facility, by the way, that was built not with the owners' investment but primarily through the sales of "permanent seat licenses" to those who bought season tickets, along with some funding from the city of Charlotte.
• We note with sadness the death of longtime Camden resident Ed Bracey, who was a veteran of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was also a civil rights pioneer, helping pave the way for the integration of South Carolina's public universities, and he was a tireless advocate -- sometimes through his columns here in the Chronicle-Independent – for justice. He leaves the world a better place.
Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has been an outspoken critic of the ideological stalemate in Washington, and Graham, who's taken considerable political heat from the right fringes of his own party because of his willingness to reach across the aisle, played a key role in a Wednesday night Washington dinner in which President Obama sat down with GOP leaders to discuss the sequester and the ongoing fight over the budget.
• We hope the community will join us in cheering on five Camden Military Academy (CMA) cadets who will travel in June to the University of Maryland to enter their National History Day performance piece into competition. The play is based on events from the 1950s and '60s surrounding the Civil Rights movement in Summerton, just an hour south of Camden. It's not just a matter of grabbing a few quotes off the internet and slapping together a script. The cadets, lead by CMA Dean of Students John Heflin, extensively researched the events leading to the landmark Briggs v. Elliott ...
Ernest Kinard, who died earlier this week, was made for the law. Possessed of a keen intellect and a probing curiosity, Kinard practiced law for 24 years in Camden before being elected a circuit court judge in 1988. He remained on the bench until his retirement in 2010, and in a "keep working" program for retired judges, he continued until recently. In all his years as a judge, he never missed a day of holding court, establishing a remarkable record of consistency and longevity. Kinard mentored a number of young attorneys who practiced with him or clerked for him over ...
As we noted Monday, the Camden Planning and Zoning Commission was scheduled to hear a proposal Tuesday night for a rezoning request for the Beechwood property on Knights Hill Road, a move which could lead to a retirement community being built there which would be a tasteful and feasible addition to the Camden community. We hope the project moves forward.
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