Letters to the Editor

USC freshman appreciates crackdowns on bars to improve Five Points students’ safety

A large crowd blocks the sidewalk on Harden Street. Thousands of people will make their way through Five Points to various bars in one night.
A large crowd blocks the sidewalk on Harden Street. Thousands of people will make their way through Five Points to various bars in one night. The State file photo

In 2013, then University of South Carolina freshman Martha Childress was paralyzed from the waist down after being shot in Five Points. Six years later, Five Points remains a perilous area for the city’s college students and other citizens. Four bars in the past year have closed down after their failure to comply with a local law, which cost them their liquor license.

These recent crackdowns, aimed at protecting the life and property of those living in close proximity to Five Points, also provide an opportunity for better standards of health and safety for Columbia’s college students. Less late-night congestion around the bars will likely lower the risk of violence associated with the bar scene.

As a student at USC, the crackdowns could not be more welcome. Since entering USC two years ago, I have begun to anticipate shootings in the Five Points area. Instead of constantly taking a defensive position against potential violence each weekend, the city is now taking an offensive step that will protect the student population and neighbors nearby.

Jessica Fields


Land and Water Conservation Fund would protect great outdoors

On one level, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is a system by which the United States government distributes funding for parks and forests across the country. But that’s like describing a mountain range as some rocks and trees.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund helped preserve the forests I grew up playing in, the ones I earned merit badges in while in the scouts, and the ones I fell in love while hiking outside of my university.

We need to push our Congressional delegation to support full funding for the LWCF because many Americans have this kind of close and amazing relationship with the great outdoors, and we want those after us to get to have the same relationship. The LWCF is an amazing and beautiful thing. Let’s stop the practice of Congress treating the LWCF as a piggy bank that they can divert funds from. Let's fully fund the LWCF and keep America beautiful.

Carrie Katan


Clyburn needs to fully back for Land and Water Conservation Fund

If you’ve ever walked around a park or played at a baseball field in Columbia, chances are that land was protected and funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). This little-known fund protects national parks and forests and historical sites as well as local recreational centers and baseball fields. The fund has been a steward for the Grand Canyon and the Great Smokey Mountains National Parks. In South Carolina, the fund has provided support to the Fort Sumter National Monument, Folly Beach Lake Warren State Park and the Emily Douglas Park right here in Columbia.

Unfortunately, over the years, significant sums of funds designated for the LWCF have been diverted away from the fund to the tune of $22 billion. This is money that should be going to protecting our parks and open spaces, which are critical to our community.

Rep. Clyburn has indicated some support for the fund, but he needs to vote for the LCFW to be fully funded. This initiative has support from politicians on both sides of the aisle, but it’s only got full funding twice since 1964. We don’t want politics to get in the way of protecting our parks.

Rishi Shah