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Go play outside

It's no secret that childhood obesity -- right here in Kershaw County and across the nation -- has reached epidemic proportions. And statistics indicate that obese kids become obese adults, complete with all the health complications that come with being overweight. At the same time, officials of national parks across the country are grappling with the fact that kids don't have the same enthusiasm for being outside that previous generations did. In fact, a movement called "Leave No Kid Inside" attempts to revive the spirit of adventure and exercise that is disappearing all too fast for all too many kids ...

November 08, 2013 | | Editorials


KH trustees

It's been a turbulent year for the board of trustees at KershawHealth, with flowing red ink, major management changes and a transition in leadership of the board itself. Given all that, and with the future of the hospital as a locally owned institution at stake, it would make perfect sense for board members to ensure an open and transparent -- yes, that's an overused word, but it's appropriate -- process as they search for an interim CEO to fill the position of Donnie Weeks, who recently stepped down under pressure. After all, public trust in the hospital has never ...

November 06, 2013 | | Editorials


Noted and passed - Nov. 4, 2013

• We're glad to see Catharine Ammons and James Watson of Kershaw County sentenced to long prison terms for their role in abusing Ammons' daughter (see today's front page). The couple battered her unmercifully, and the little girl's barely survived broken bones, damaged organs and malnutrition. They were given 20 years in prison, and we hope they'll ponder their misdeeds during their long years beyond bars, which is exactly where they belong.

November 04, 2013 | | Editorials


Iowa

Out in Iowa, a state whose early presidential caucuses have given it inordinate influence over the political process, Republicans are worried that the state is losing influence because far-right conservatives are dominating the process and causing some moderate GOP White House hopefuls to consider skipping the state. Actually, the country would probably be better off if Iowa's caucuses didn't carry such weight, because they allow a small percentage of the electorate there to play such a big role in presidential momentum.

November 01, 2013 | | Editorials


YMCA ruling

The latest chapter in the city of Camden's now-defunct attempt to build a new YMCA facility was written last week when a circuit court judge ruled the city had been within its legal rights to attempt to use hospitality tax revenue to construct the facility. Ultimately, the city's controversial plan for a Y was defeated in a November 2012 referendum, and the furor surrounding the matter played a major role in Mayor Jeffrey Graham's defeat. So, Judge Alison Renee Lee's ruling was something of a Pyrrhic victory for the city. Yet it did vindicate some elected ...

October 30, 2013 | | Editorials


Noted and passed - Oct. 28, 2013

• There's a bit of confusion and disagreement among Camden City Council members and officials about just how quickly the development process for the former Maxway building site should move, but one thing is clear: without any improvement at all, the site already looks better than it did when the rotting building stood there. It will be interesting to see what finally happens, but we'll offer a tip of the hat to council members for proceeding with the demolition.

October 28, 2013 | | Editorials


Healthcare.gov

The website rollout of the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, is almost a parody of all that is wrong with government and the way it functions in too many cases. We're not referring here to the bill itself; certainly there are those in Kershaw County who think the concept of Obamacare is a wonderful thing and there are others who see it as a poorly conceived, overly expensive plan that the country can't afford.

October 25, 2013 | | Editorials


California answer?

There are undoubtedly many Kershaw County residents fed up with the gridlock in politics. The recent government shutdown was unnecessary and avoidable, and it represented all that is bad about Washington and the way our country is run. While Congress itself gets single-digit approval ratings from the public, people across the country seem to like their own representatives, and they return them to office again and again. Part of that is because redistricting in most states -- drawing the lines that make up congressional districts -- is done by the party in charge, which tends to create safe havens for members of ...

October 23, 2013 | | Editorials


Noted and passed - Oct. 21, 2013

• During her years in Camden, Karen Eckford has taken on numerous civic responsibilities, donating countless hours to various causes. She now faces her most challenging assignment as she assumes the chairmanship of the KershawHealth Board of Trustees. The hospital is at a critical juncture and the next couple of years will go far in determining whether it remains independent or is taken over by a larger institution. We wish her well in her duties.

October 21, 2013 | | Editorials


Cell phone towers

Members of the Lake Wateree Association, voicing the sentiments of many lake residents as well as people who live in other rural areas of the county, say more cell phone towers are needed to improve communication. The association urged people to attend a Monday night meeting of the county's planning and zoning commission to make their voices heard and they're also asking citizens to show up at the next county council meeting. Council had passed on two readings a measure that would have made it more feasible to increase the number of cell towers, but suddenly tabled that ...

October 18, 2013 | | Editorials


American Party

History hasn't been kind to third-party movements in this country, but that's not deterring two South Carolinians -- one with Democratic roots and the other with a Republican background -- from trying to launch the American Party, which they contend can be a viable alternative to the two majority parties. Jim Rex, who was superintendent of education in this state, and Oscar Loveless, a physician who once ran for governor, think voters need another option. In light of the gridlock in which our Congress has become mired, that's not a bad idea. The odds are long against the success ...

October 16, 2013 | | Editorials


Noted and passed - Oct. 14, 2013

• Technology is wonderful, but there are a few things in the world that should remain the way they've always been. One is a gondola ride on the canals of Venice, Italy, but it appears that, too, is giving in to modernity. GPS will be introduced, along with an electronic traffic control system. In fairness, there have been severe accidents lately in which gondolas have been hit by larger boats, but this change makes us a bit wistful.

October 14, 2013 | | Editorials


Brain power

It's no secret that American young people are lagging their counterparts in many other countries in academic performance. For several years, we've been bombarded with news stories about the problems kids are facing in a competitive world. Now comes word that it's not only American youths who aren't able to compete, but adults in the workplace, too. And it's disturbing.

October 11, 2013 | | Editorials


ACA enrollment

If the initial days of government healthcare enrollment are any indication of the quality of care that people are going to receive, there are going to be a lot of very ill people in this country. The healthcare.gov web site was beset by technological glitches that left people frustrated and angry, and the explanation provided by the person in charge was pitiful. When the site failed to work because lots of people tried to access it, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park said, "These bugs were functions of volume. Take away the volume and it works." That's ...

October 09, 2013 | | Editorials


Noted and passed - Oct. 7, 2013

• We offer a tip of the Chronicle-Independent hat to Bill Byars of Camden, who's stepping down as director of the S.C. Department of Corrections, one in a string of government jobs he's held. Byars practiced law for many years in Camden before being elected a family court judge and then moving to the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice, a troubled agency which he helped turn around. He's "retired" several times but don't bet on his sitting on the sidelines even after this one.

October 07, 2013 | | Editorials


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Articles by Section - Editorials


Noted and passed - July 21, 2014

• It looks like it's full steam ahead for KershawHealth and its strategic plan. In recent weeks, we have reported on the creation -- after several years of hard work -- of a general surgery division; the recruitment of a new orthopedic surgeon; the signing of an agreement with Orthopedic Advantage to create a top-level orthopedic center in Kershaw County; and an already established agreement with Team Health to transform KershawHealth's emergency department in order to fast-track non-emergent patients allowing staff to focus on those in true emergency situations. Dr. T. Chris Tran, the new orthopedic surgeon, joined Camden Bone & Joint ...

July 21, 2014 | | Editorials


Not so transparent

President Obama, who promised the most transparent administration in history, has delivered perhaps the least transparent. Following the trend of other recent presidents, Obama has kept a tight lid on the press, rarely interacting with reporters in a spontaneous fashion and instead relying on the spin of his White House press directors. And it has gotten worse the longer Obama has been in office; one report last week indicated that the administration was denying access on a variety of subjects with increasing regularity. The Associated Press reported, "In category after category -- except for reducing numbers of old requests and a ...

July 18, 2014 | | Editorials


Obama and race

Attorney General Eric Holder's recent statement that race plays a part in some Americans' opposition to President Obama's policies has stirred strong reaction from both liberals and conservatives, and reaction has highlighted the fact -- no surprise here -- that blacks and whites often look at issues of race differently. We suspect that Kershaw County would mirror the national opinions of a recent Gallup poll in which people were asked whether this country's criminal justice system is biased against blacks. More than two-thirds of whites said no, while about the same percentage of blacks said yes.

July 16, 2014 | | Editorials


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