Are things still not getting done, senator?
In his column Thursday ("Get S.C. moving again"), Sen. Vincent Sheheen attacked the leadership of South Carolina, and Gov. Mark Sanford specifically, on so many issues that space limits the ability to address each one.
His overriding point seems to be: "For almost 10 years, our state has suffered through ineffective state leadership, aggravated by an unwieldy, antiquated government structure. The result has been a lost decade for our beloved state".
Leadership goes beyond one or two individuals and rests with the entire legislative body, where Sen. Sheheen has served, in either the House or Senate, for the bulk of his "lost decade."
It is rather inconvenient for Sen. Sheheen that the Boeing announcement ran the same day as his column. Not a bad job for amateur Commerce secretary Joe Taylor. I wonder if Sen. Sheheen would like to change his stance on having economic development professionals running the Department of Commerce rather than "political buddies."
The State's coverage mentioned the previous work of former Commerce secretary Bob Faith and Gov. Sanford and the recent efforts of House Speaker Bobby Harrell, Senate President Pro Tempore Glen McConnell, Sen. Hugh Letterman and secretary Taylor for sealing the deal. After the announcement, Gov. Sanford was in the lobby to personally thank McConnell and Leatherman.
I am not sure where Sen. Sheheen was. He is not in the picture of the senators celebrating on the Senate floor; perhaps he was in a corner somewhere writing commentaries on how, because of a lack of leadership, nothing is getting done.
G. THOMAS COBB
Columbia lost wow factor long ago
The Oct. 8 edition of The State featured a great front-page story, "Tourism expert: Midlands need 'wow' factor." After reading it, I came up with some ideas of my own.
First, let's invite an NFL team to have its inaugural season at Williams-Brice Stadium. It would bring in millions to the local economy and hundreds of thousands of visitors to attend the games.
Second, let's lure a minor league baseball team to Columbia. Inexpensive family fun, hot dogs, cotton candy and the 7th-inning stretch. People will come from miles around.
Third, let's build an arena as a permanent home for a minor league hockey team. All the kids playing hockey in the Midlands would bring their friends and family. It'll be huge.
Finally, lure NCAA tournaments to the Midlands. I hear they have all kinds of sports, from soccer to volleyball. I hear they even have tournaments for baseball and football. People would come from two or three states away and stay for days and days, having all sorts of fun.
After further thought, let's continue as a sleepy little burg and attend college football games seven days a year.
Columbia's threat tantamount to takings
I'm no lawyer, just an average accountant. But I am a good enough of a businessperson to know that if I buy a piece of property in good faith and there is water and sewerage connected and someone or something subsequently causes the water or sewer to be removed, my property has lost value. In the case reported in The State on Sunday, the city of Columbia is threatening to cut off the water supply of residents in the "doughnut holes" if they don't ask for annexation.
Again, I don't practice law, but I'll wager that one of our city's fine attorneys can find a way to connect Columbia's threatened acts to a :taking" of property. I'll almost wager that the work would be done pro bono. I believe there are also statutes regarding public employees and abusive behavior.
I am a good enough accountant to evaluate the city's financial statements and know that the city doesn't have the cash to pay for an endeavor such as it is proposing.
JAMES M. HOLLOWAY JR.
Mayor Halfacre does excellent job
Randy Halfacre is a gentleman who is doing an excellent job as the mayor of Lexington and chief executive officer of the Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce. I take offense to the editorial in Tuesday's paper questioning the integrity of Mayor Halfacre and accusing him of conflict of interest ("Whose interests are being served in town of Lexington?").
Randy Halfacre has served in both positions for two and a half years, so surely the editorial writers could find more than the dangers of outside smoking to use as an example of conflict of interest.
Reader satisfied with Medicare
I have had Medicare for 20 years. I cannot think of one negative thing to say about it.
I can choose any doctor I want to see, and my doctor can refer me to any other doctor. I am always treated with respect and courtesy. I would be willing to pay more than I now pay.
The only thing I question is the fact that the payment for doctors are going to go down 21 percent in January, and I think their payment is already too low.
We need the public option very badly, and I hope it passes.
MARCELLE C. CROW