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Florence Living

home : opinions September 30, 2014 

Welcome back fall!
Fall is here! The fall season officially began Monday evening at 10:29 p.m. For many of us, fall is a welcome reprieve from the high humidity of summer. We are ready for cooler temperatures which makes enjoying the outdoors more comfortable. Fall also ushers in spectacular color displays from our trees and shrubs. According to the University of Illinois Extension, fall color starts in September with poison ivy and sumac, and ends in November with the larches and weeping willows. Frost and freezing temperatures stop the coloration process and blacken the leaves. 
Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Lessons from Hurricane Hugo
It’s been a quarter century since South Carolina felt the wrath of Hurricane Hugo, but it remains a defining moment for our state. Shortly before midnight on Sept. 21, 1989, a category 4 hurricane made landfall near Charleston, battering our coastline, destroying homes, and downing power lines.  Many coastal residents evacuated their homes, either taking refuge at shelters established at schools and community centers or scrambling further inland to get away from the coast. Those who stayed behind emerged the next morning to the scene of uniformed troops from both the S.C. National Guard and S.C. State Guard patrolling a scarred landscape resembling a war zone. 
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ten at the Top: a big idea for S.C.
This week more than 800 movers and shakers from 10 Upstate counties gathered in Greenville. It was an amazing event because of (1) what they said, (2) what they did not say, and (3) what it means for the rest of the state. First, who are they? Ten at the Top, or TATT as they like to call themselves, is made up of community leaders from the 10 county regions we generally call the Upstate who have come together to creatively tackle their common problems. They don’t really care where the county lines are, what the divisions between government and business are, or which non-profit group does this or that. 
Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Popular sayings take 'the limelight'
A friend sent me some popular sayings and how they came to be. For instance, people in the public eye are said to be “in the limelight.” Ever wonder about a limelight? Well, a limelight was produced by burning a cylinder of lime which created a brilliant light. Around 1825, it was used to light the stage of theaters. So, in the theater, a performer “in the limelight” was the center of attention. Why are many coin collection jar banks shaped like pigs? Long ago, dishes and cookware in Europe were made of dense orange clay called pygg. When people saved coins in jars made of this clay, the jars became known as “pygg banks.” When an English potter misunderstood the word, he made a container that resembled a pig and it caught on.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Shop locally and improve your community
The benefits of shopping locally can’t be overstated. When we spend our money at locally-owned businesses, we’re often reinvesting in our community. The dollars spent at local stores, shops, restaurants, garages and other businesses tend to remain in local circulation, boosting the local economy and keeping many people in jobs. Various studies have tried to quantify the benefit. The York County Regional Chamber of Commerce estimates that 45 cents of every dollar spent at a local business stays within a community, compared to just 15 cents of every dollar spent at national chains and other non-local businesses.  And when we support our local businesses, they often return the favor by giving back to the community.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The very strange world of race, politics in S.C.
In November, South Carolina will make history by electing its first African American to the US Senate. And, if the polls are to be believed, it will be Republican Tim Scott. Ironically, he will be elected without significant African-American support on the Republican ticket – the party that is widely perceived to be indifferent, if not hostile, to African Americans. Scott’s opponent, Columbia City Councilwoman Joyce Dickerson is also African American, so if by chance lighting did strike and she won, our US Senator would still be an Africa American. There are two other African Americans on the statewide ballot. Thirty-year-old Democrat Bakari Sellers is running for Lt. Governor in a race that he characterizes as David vs. Goliath – he’s David. And Democrat Tom Thompson is in a very tough race for Superintendent of Education. Including this year’s primary elections, there were seven African Americans running for statewide office in 2014 and most predict that the only one who will prevail is a Republican.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Paper dolls and Sears catalog
Like me, Betty Boykin, who retired this year from the Pee Dee State Farmers Market, enjoyed playing with paper dolls as a young girl. She remembers a time when less than $1 could buy hours of happiness and limitless imagination playing with paper dolls. “I probably had about every book of paper dolls from the five and dime that money could buy,” she told me, “but I enjoyed others such as Katy Keene and Betsy McCall when I could get them.” The most fun, she said, was when her cousins taught her how to cut entire families of paper dolls from the Sears catalog, as well as clothes for them and everything the paper doll family needed, including furniture, toys, etc.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Time to put prayer back in schools
Much has been said both for and against prayer in schools; however, there are indisputable statistics that tell us that the downward spiral in behavior started about the time of the Supreme Court decision to remove prayer from the public school system. The removal of prayer from public schools was an official stamp on the removal of God from a very crucial part of our society. It was simply one large step among many small ones, which has contributed to the moral and spiritual disintegration of the United States. The court’s decision was a leap across the narrow chasm separating a God-fearing moral country to the chaotic ‘everything goes’ situation that we find ourselves in today. The message the Supreme Court sent to the country on that day when they voted to remove prayer from our public schools said that it was okay to ‘remove’ God from his rightful place.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Help Veterans Resource Center help veterans
Most of you know we opened a Veterans Resource Center in Florence in April. It is called the Veterans Resource Center of Florence and Lighthouse Ministries was gracious enough to offer us an office to help us get started. We are located in the Lighthouse Ministries building at 201 East Elm Street in Florence and are open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The phone number is 843-629-0830, Ext. 18. The resource center was established as a one-stop referral source for any honorably discharged veterans. Sometimes veterans don’t know where to go for help or who to talk to. That would then be our job if they so desire. We work with any local, state or federal resources for the full benefit of the veteran.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Good news: Marriage is challenging
I like good news, except when the good news turns out to be false. Recently it has been reported that we have been misled by social scientists for decades about the divorce rate in the United States. Some are writing that the divorce rate has never been close to 50 percent and that the actual divorce rate is near 20 to 25 percent. If it were true that marriage is in much better shape than previously thought, it would indeed be very good news. But it simply isn’t true and making such claims put people at risk.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fundamental and technical analysis
When investing in the stock market, investors can approach their stock selection by using two methods: fundamental or technical analysis. Research firms, market analysts, and financial commentators use these methods to determine the potential value of a company’s stock. The use of fundamental analysis may be considered the more traditional of the two methods. By closely examining a company’s financial statements, analysts hope to gain insight to the company’s growth rate, financial strength, and management effectiveness in order to estimate the organization’s future potential for growth and profitability.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

State rankings for women's equality
Monday, Aug. 26, was Women’s Equality Day. To gauge the scope of gender-based disparities in the United States, WalletHub ranked each of the 50 states based on 10 key metrics. Following are some statistics about how women are faring: In every state, women earn less than men. Arizona has the lowest pay gap, with women earning just 13.2% less. Wyoming has the highest, with women earning 34.5% less. In every state, male executives outnumber female executives. Utah has the highest gap, with 73.48% more males. Alabama has the lowest, with 25.52% more males. Men have longer average workdays than women. 
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Who is speaking out for those who the media has forgotten?
In the past few weeks, the mainstream media has been consumed with the tragic events that continue to unfold in Ferguson, Missouri. An unarmed 18-year-old American named Michael Brown was shot at least six times by a Ferguson police officer. Needless to say, the media has a lot to talk about. A white police officer shot an unarmed American who happens to be of African decent. Members of the press were detained by the police. 
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

SC Women - Afghanistan, Rwanda
The world is shrinking and with the Internet we are now all hyper-connected. One result of this is that where once we looked at problems as local or maybe state and national issues, now we can see issues simultaneously on a local to global level – all at the same time and in real time. Practically no other subject lends itself more effectively to this type of local-to-global analysis than the issues of women. And some smart folks at Clemson have just released a terrific study about women in South Carolina that not only shows how the issues are similar but also how many of the solutions are the same worldwide. 
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Enjoy your Labor Day
Come this Monday, Sept. 1, we will be celebrate Labor Day. This national holiday signals a beginning and an end for many things. It is the end of summer, but the beginning of football season. It is also a major shopping day. Some will celebrate by shopping for sales and bargains. Others will take advantage of this longer weekend to participate in weekend get-a-ways, outdoor activities or get-togethers and parties. While it was designed to be a day off for workers, that is not the case nowadays. Because Labor Day has become an important sales weekend, those employed in retail will have to work and some will have to work longer hours.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NFL could always use another dose of sportsmanship
I’m always excited to see Clemson or USC athletes ascend to the NFL, but it was particularly thrilling to watch former Gamecock quarterback Connor Shaw play in the preseason Monday Night Football matchup between the Cleveland Browns and Washington Redskins. Mr. Shaw, who wasn’t picked up in the NFL Draft but was signed by the Browns as free agent, delivered a sterling performance. As one of three Cleveland quarterbacks to play in the game, he completed an impressive eight passes in nine attempts for 123 yards and a touchdown. It was especially noteworthy because his team’s stable of quarterbacks includes Johnny Manziel, the much-hyped first-round draft pick and Heisman trophy winner.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Low country Local First: Who are those guys?
Thus, Butch and the Kids frequent refrain: Who are those guys? I kept asking myself the same question — who are those guys? — at a recent one day meeting in Charleston called the Good Business Summit put on by Lowcountry Local First. There were over 200 young people, virtually all in their 20s and 30s, probably three-fourths of whom had recently moved to Charleston and they were all focused on one thing – how to do well in business while creating a positive community impact. Lowcountry Local First is the brainchild and creation of Jamee Haley and it has grown with the hard work of conference organizer Lauren Gellaty and a small but dedicated staff.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So, why are buttons opposite for women
Have you ever wondered. . . Why do men’s and women’s shirts button on different sides? Justin Brown, an artist and contributing editor for “Primer Magazine,” researched this question and reported that most sources cite a simple rationale that dates back over a century. Mens’ buttons are on the right side because men have always tended to dress themselves and most men (and women, for that matter) are right-handed. Womens’ buttons are on the left side because years ago (say, during the Victorian Era), the women that could afford fancy clothing with a bunch of buttons would rely on maids to help dress them. 
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Celebrate Women's Equality Day
Elizabeth and I encourage each reader of this letter to join the League of Women Voters as we celebrate Women’s Equality Day with a presentation of Eleanor Roosevelt at the Doctors Bruce Lee Florence County Library Tuesday, Aug. 26. Refreshments will be served at 5:30 p.m. followed by the program. Dyan Cohen, long-time Darlington County League member and currently serving on Darlington City Council, will bring Eleanor to life. What is Women’s Equality Day? In 1971 the U.S. Congress designated Aug. 26 as “Women’s Equality Day.” The date was selected to commemorate the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote. 
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Earmark reform not just a federal issue
Your state will spend around $25 billion this year. That is a vast amount of money, but you know virtually nothing about what’s being spent, or why. That’s not because you’re uninformed or lazy. The state budget is designed to be as opaque, secretive, and abstruse as possible. The state spending plan is supposed to begin with a hearing on the governor’s budget by the House and Senate budget committees, and by law that hearing is supposed to be open to the public. Unfortunately, lawmakers ignore that law. Instead, the budget begins in a dizzying array of committees and subcommittees, making it literally impossible for even experienced budget-watchers to have any firm idea of what’s happening.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grasshoppers, butterflies and flies
One evening last week a tiny green grasshopper hitched a ride on my car windshield. I picked him or her up at the Townhouse Restaurant before heading to my mom’s home off S. Cashua. The grasshopper was at eye level on my windshield which made him or her easy to observe. As I drove 35 mph down W. Palmetto, grasshopper stood still with head high and antennas pushed back by the wind. He reminded me of Rose in the movie “Titantic.” When I stopped for stoplights, he or she would stretch out its long back legs to move across the glass.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The case for low taxes
They boast about how they “bring home the bacon.” They take credit for new buildings, new parks and new programs for which they’ve secured public funding. But all too often, politicians forget to thank the people who made it possible – the taxpayers. One of the fundamental problems facing government at all levels is the casual attitude which is often displayed toward tax dollars. Too many public officials see taxpayer dollars as the answer to every problem, seeming to forget whose money they’re spending. Rather than making tough budget choices, too many prefer to simply increase taxes – giving short shrift to the people who continually fork over more and more money to operate government.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Greenville is doing it right
Let me begin with full disclosure: I was born in Greenville and even though my family moved away when I was five years old, I still consider Greenville my hometown. And, as with a first love, one’s hometown will always be something special. So it is with me and Greenville. The Greenville of my childhood in the ‘50s is a very different place than Greenville today. My father was the minister at the Second Presbyterian Church and my earliest memories of both truancy and exploration were my sneaking away between Sunday school and church to explore the nearby Reedy River and the wilds of downtown Greenville.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The cost of living
We all know the cost of living is constantly increasing. Like death and taxes, it is a fact of life. Sometimes it is fun, but depressing, to look back at what things used to cost. For example, in 1958, regular gasoline cost less than a gallon of milk. Gas was 24 cents a gallon and milk was $1.01 per gallon. Eggs were 28 cents a dozen and bread was 19 cents a loaf. A movie ticket was $1. The average cost of a new car was $2,155, and the cost of a new house was around $12,000. McDonald’s “pure beef” hamburgers were just 15 cents and for 20 cents more you could get a milkshake to go with it.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Quit selling cookie dough and let parents give directly
A federal nutrition program that places new restrictions on snacks and beverages sold in schools also provides an opportunity for some fresh thinking about school fundraisers. As reported by The State newspaper recently, The Smart Snacks in Schools program creates a dilemma: how will schools raise private dollars if they can no longer sell snack foods? “If we can’t sell a candy bar anymore, what can we sell?” asked one school official. “We are going to have to get creative.” How creative would it be simply to stop selling? When was the last time your college asked you to buy a candy bar? Non-profits, colleges and universities don’t sell stuff to raise money; they simply appeal for support based on the organization’s mission. Why don’t our public schools? 
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Five good things happening in SC - and why
Newspapers and the media are often accused of only reporting the bad things that happen – and there’s some truth in this. And it’s particularly easy to fall into this trap in South Carolina where it seems that there is a lot more bad news than good. We all know the saying, ‘If it’s a list of bad things SC is at the top, and on a list of good things we’re at the bottom.’ As true as this may be, there are some good things that are happening in our state that have been generally overlooked by the media. Here are five of them and though they may seem unrelated, I think there is a common message for us in all of these examples. First, SC ranks 6th in the country in the number of new businesses owned by women. 
Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Galloway Mosley
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