Articles by: Special to Statehouse Report

MY TURN, Kinard: Reconsider proposed changes to state pension plan

MY TURN, Kinard: Reconsider proposed changes to state pension plan

Open letter to S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster:

I hope this letter finds you well after our Labor Day holiday. I find it disheartening, on the day after a holiday designed to commemorate and honor American workers, that I must write to you about a choice you are making that will greatly harm and jeopardize the livelihoods of workers in South Carolina that you now govern. You are taking a stance against your own public employees by seeking to remove their pensions and retirement plans because of actions over which they had no control.

I find it not only heartless but also ill-conceived to wish to alter the benefits of current and future public workers in our state and would ask that you reconsider this position before it does irreparable damage to our state, its economy and the lives of our workforce.

MY TURN:  Carolina Umbra

MY TURN:  Carolina Umbra

By Marjory Wentworth, S.C. poet laureate

Boats fly out of the Atlantic
and moor themselves in my backyard
where tiny flowers, forgotten
by the wind, toss their astral heads
from side to side.  Mouths ablaze, open,
and filling with rain.

After the hurricane, you can see
the snapped open drawbridge slide
beneath the waves on the evening news.
You go cold imagining
such enormous fingers of wind
that split a steel hinge until
its jaw opens toward heaven.

A satellite image on Sept. 6, 2017, of Hurricane Irma approaching the U.S. coast/

MY TURN:  Disaster recovery is a long-term commitment

By Kelly E. Cruise, special to Statehouse Report  |  When a disaster strikes, we witness the horror nature can inflict on us.  The focus is often on the destroyed buildings, flooded streets or toppled trees. We see scared, displaced families, filling shelters and waiting in long lines for basic needs like water or food. It’s scary and we feel an urge to ‘do’ something.  Thank God we do. 

When the immediate threat and rescue efforts are over and the headlines change, most of us, understandably, resume our normal routines. But for those impacted by a disaster, the story doesn’t end when the news crews leave.  It actually has just begun. Communities are left to pick up the pieces, both literally and figuratively. Recovering from a disaster takes a long time. …

Votes on the Confederate flag and gas taxes could impact GOP primaries next year.

MY TURN:  Groups already at work to make redistricting more transparent

By Lynn Teague, special to Statehouse Report  |  It was great to see your article on the crucial importance of the process of redrawing legislative district lines after the 2020 census. Improving this process is indeed our best hope for a better legislature in South Carolina. The public needs competitive elections and candidates who speak to a broad range of citizens.

Instead, we have groups of voters selected by legislators as likely to give them the support that they need for easy re-election. This is what is known as gerrymandering. The consequences include increased polarization in our General Assembly as well as voter apathy. Why should a politician consider a wide range of public concerns if his or her election is determined by a carefully chosen group of likeminded people?

MY TURN: Voters can go “nuclear” to stop rewarding incompetence

MY TURN: Voters can go “nuclear” to stop rewarding incompetence

By Jim Rex, special to Statehouse Report  |  As residents of South Carolina wait patiently for the [Solicitor] David Pascoe corruption investigation of South Carolina legislators and others to reach what will almost assuredly be a repugnant and embarrassing conclusion for our state and its citizens,  we have been reminded that a culture deficient in accountability for its elected and appointed representatives will inevitably find multiple ways to set aside the interests of the many to satisfy the wishes of the few.

The nuclear plants’ fiasco in Fairfield County has proven, yet again, that too many of our elected and appointed representatives are not willing to take on powerful corporations when they take advantage of consumers and taxpayers.

MY TURN:  Repairing Obamacare won’t fix our health care mess  

MY TURN:  Repairing Obamacare won’t fix our health care mess  

By Lynn Bailey, special to Statehouse Report  |  The most recent sign we weren’t going to fix our health care system was the flame out in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in July.  After seven-plus years of chanting “Repeal Obamacare,” Congress just couldn’t do it.  The reason is simple: health insurance is the WRONG way for a complex modern economy to finance and manage health care services for people!  It is a 70+ year-old business model which is no longer sustainable. 

The United States is the only modern economically-developed nation using an employer-based private insurance system with a parallel public health insurance scheme to finance health care.  Other developed nations have long recognized health as a public service sector requiring a robust public-financing mechanism. Some nations do use insurance but it is not like America’s. …

PHOTO:  DuBose and Dorothy Heyward, authors of the play, “Porgy” (1927)

HISTORY: DuBose Heyward, author

SC Encyclopedia | Author DuBose Heyward was born in Charleston on Aug. 31, 1885, the son of Edwin Watkins Heyward and Jane Screven DuBose. Both parents were dispossessed aristocrats from the Upstate who had come to Charleston to better their opportunities. Joining the once powerful families in Charleston that had been reduced to genteel poverty by the Civil War, “Ned” Heyward eked out a living in a rice mill then died in a tragic industrial accident when DuBose was not quite 3.

MY TURN: Let’s clean up our state and become litter-free

MY TURN: Let’s clean up our state and become litter-free

By Sarah Lyles and Mallory Biering, special to Statehouse Report  |  Litter is a passionate subject. Either one is vehemently against it or one is decidedly apathetic.

Whichever side you lean on, it can’t be denied.  Litter affects all of us. While our Main Streets and interstates get cleaned regularly, our side streets and rural roads are continually treated as a travelers’ trash can. Whether litter is intentionally dumped or accidentally flies out of an unsecured or improperly covered load, it needs to be addressed in a number of ways. Ideally that timeline would involve enforcement of state or local litter laws, a citation to the guilty party, fine levied by the judge and finally pick up.