Sunday, Nov. 21, 2004
leaves environmental legacy
SC Statehouse Report
21, 2004 - - Just about every South Carolinian has an opinion
about retiring U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings who, as most know,
has an opinion on just about everything.
Regardless of your view, you're going to miss Hollings if
you love South Carolina's special places.
In decades of public service to the state, Hollings' environmental
stewardship and leadership are a legacy that anyone will be
hard-pressed to beat
According to his office, Hollings was able to secure funding
for South Carolina that protected almost 5 percent of all
of the land in the state. In just the last 15 years, he steered
$200 million to the state to buy, protect or build facilities
on 890,000 acres of South Carolina's most pristine land.
to learn more about Hollings' legacy.
"History books will show he has done more for the environment
than anybody in the history of South Carolina," said
John Frampton, head of the state Department of Natural Resources.
As a former spokesman for Hollings, this writer admittedly
may look a little kindly at the senator's career. But that
experience also provides a background that gives a special
understanding into all he has accomplished.
At his core, Hollings, like many people from South Carolina,
believes the outdoors is a sanctuary that must be protected
for future generations. He's practical in balancing the need
for growth and development with the need to keep what's special.
But his record really doesn't need any "spin."
His "performance over promise" for South Carolina's
outdoors speaks for itself:
Protector of special places. When South Carolina's
treasures became threatened by development, Hollings secured
federal funding to protect them. Funding went all over the
state - - along the Cooper River at Bonneau Ferry, around
Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, at the Lake Jocassee
Wilderness area and along the ACE Basin. In Myrtle Beach,
he helped to create the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge.
- First National Park. Hollings, in teamwork with
U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, helped to create Congaree National
Park in the Midlands - - the culmination of a three-decade
effort to protect the South's largest remaining bottomland
- Coastal savior. Hollings is recognized as the father
of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -
- a federal agency that oversees national ocean and coastal
research. Throughout his career, he brought multitudes of
NOAA research projects to South Carolina to protect its
coastline and help better understand fish populations, turtles
and more. An important NOAA research lab is in Charleston
thanks to Hollings.
- Environmental education. Hollings also helped provide
federal funding for the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium to provide
important educational training to professionals to help
them be better stewards of the sea.
- Legislation that changed America. Hollings authored
the national Coastal Zone Management Act, the Marine Mammal
Protection Act and the Ocean Dumping Act, all of which became
models on how to deal with important ocean-related issues.
In 2000, he created the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy,
which recently released a report that challenges America
to clean up and protect oceans.
WORLD: Extreme wing angels in heaven
Better two-party system needed
Who's up and down
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Perhaps no more fitting tribute that outlines the sweeping
context of Hollings' contributions is one that comes from
South Carolina's junior senator, Lindsey Graham, who has been
modeling how he delivers for South Carolina after Hollings:
"He seems to have been there every time his country
needed him," Graham said, adding later that Hollings
always pushed the envelope to deal with important national
problems. "Since Sen. Hollings has been in the Senate,
he hasn't let any grass grow under his feet...
"From the mountains to the sea, Sen. Hollings has been
integrally involved in protecting what God has given us
time in the Senate will be felt by South Carolinians as long
as there is a South Carolina. You have made our state a better
place to live."
11/21: Turkey Day
The latest from cartoonist Bill McLemore:
Current education model doesn't work
To the editor:
Vouchers, Private School, reduced state funding, blah, blah,
blah, etc., does not influence the quality of education in
any given State or district.
Public Education , S.C.E.A., N.E.A., and yes S.C.S.B.A, and
the Democratic party will continue to support any position
that keeps eggs in their basket ( tax money). The will complain
about any accountability standard that is applied (NCLB) and
they will continually avoid the truth that we are failing
to educate our children.
Alternative programs are not the enemy. In my county we are
spending somewhere North of $9000.00 per child exclusive of
capital improvement debt and less than half of the student
population scores proficient on PACT. We hand pick a select
few of our students to take S.A.T. and we average less than
900. Private schools down the road charge less than $3500
per student inclusive of capital improvement costs and have
remarkably stronger academic scores.
When a system openly discusses a "head count" as
a manner to increase budget revenue, that system has lost
focus of why it exists.
Public Education can work. Our current model does not work
and should not receive continued protection. Our children
deserve better and our local economy should demand better.
-- David L. Cope, Jasper County Board Of Education, District
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SOUTH CAROLINA SCORECARD
Here's a "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" related to various
political events from the past week:
Carolina Investors. Folks who had their money in the
bankrupt Carolina Investors finally will start recovering
some of their assets as checks from $40 million recovered
are being mailed.
Wilkins, Spratt, Clyburn. House Speaker David Wilkins
says he hopes to keep his job and won't go to the Bush Administration.
Democrats John Spratt and Jim Clyburn keep their national
party leadership posts.
Hollings. Hats off to retiring Sen. Fritz Hollings,
who gave his last floor speech this week.
Morris. Former Lt. Gov. and Comptroller Gen. Earle
Morris was found guilty this week of 22 counts of securities
Sanford. The governor's numbers on the cost of government
are being questioned seriously. He needs to fix a growing
credibility gap -- and stop arguing with lawmakers.
SC and women. The state is 49th of 50 in women's issues.
It needs to do better.
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