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Florence Living







home : opinions January 25, 2015 

Remembering church ladies in hats
I watched a rehearsal of “Crowns” last week and it reminded me of the importance of ladies hats when I was a child. Growing up in the 1950s, it was common for ladies to wear a hat to church on Sunday morning. In fact, it was unusual if they did not. Today, that custom seems to have ended with caucasian ladies, but continues with the African-American church ladies. The musical “Crowns” deals with their tradition of hats, tracing them from African rituals to contemporary times. I remember looking at all the pretty hats women wore to church because I was there every Sunday. The styles varied from wide-brim hats to tiny little headbands. Every year I got to pick out a hat of my own to wear with a new outfit, including gloves, on Easter Sunday.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Troopers' replies to lawbreakers
A reader sent these comments supposedly made by South Carolina troopers and taken off their car videos. I have not been able to verify if these are true or not, but they are entertaining. I think you will agree. 
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Finding the right school for your child
If you’d like to send your child to a different school next year, now’s the time to start the process of researching your options. As South Carolina prepares to commemorate National School Choice Week later this month at 120 events across the state, and nearly 11,000 events nationwide, many parents will begin evaluating the educational opportunities that are available for their children. Believe it or not, seats in schools are already beginning to fill up for the 2015-2016 school year. Interest in school choice – the process of actively choosing a public, charter, magnet, private, or online school – is high. That means that waiting until the spring or the summer to begin researching schools for your children could restrict your options.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Let's talk about value investing
Two fundamental styles of investing, growth and value, historically have performed “countercyclically.” This means that when one style falls out of favor, the other type becomes the preferred choice. Thanks to wide fluctuations in the stock market lately, some investors are rediscovering value investing once again. While growth investing focuses on companies that are believed to be in the early stages of considerable earnings growth, value investing concentrates on stocks that are temporarily out of favor with investors on Wall Street and are believed to be undervalued by the market. A more conservative approach than growth investing, value investors tend to approach investing with a long-term perspective.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Thoughts on this and that
A few thoughts . .. . Imagine the world if everyone just abided by the Golden Rule. Are all politicians crooked or just 99%? What happened to the United States of America? Divided instead of united seems to fit better now. Does Congress still have a job in Washington or have executive orders taken their place? Must you have light skin to be a racist or Muslin to be a radical? The love of money is said to be the root of all evil. Government thinks it is the answer to all problems. If you build it they will……have to be maintained. 
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Charlie Hebdo and free speech
Journalists did not need the atrocity of the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris to know that ours is a risky business. But it has made the rest of the world aware of the price of exercising free speech. The combat correspondent is almost legendary. Ernie Pyle died from a sniper’s bullet in a ditch on Ie island during the battle for the Pacific in World War II. I’ve lost friends and colleagues in wars and conflicts in Iran, Nicaragua and Bosnia. Don Bolles, a founder of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) was murdered in Arizona with a car bomb. Victor Riesel, a crusading columnist, was blinded by acid when attacked on a New York street. But cartoonists? In their office? In Paris? 
Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What technology to expect this year
The new year has dawned, so what might we expect in this time of rapidly advancing technology? A quick Google of what to expect in 2015 and we discovered the following predictions: If you think the smartphone is smart enough, think again. It is about to get even smarter – and cheaper. The cell phone experts say that smartphones will be faster, four times faster. That might make talking and texting a little difficult for us “slow talking and slow typing” southerners. More good news is smartphones may get less expensive. Samsung will be introducing its Tirene-powered Z1 in India in June and it is expected to come with a price tag of $100.
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

DDRA thanks 2014 members
As we prepare for a new year, the Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association (DDRA) would like to take a moment to recognize and thank our 2014 DDRA members publicly for their support of our efforts to promote and grow our business community. Our members for 2014 include: Accountable Insurance Partners Inc. (Nationwide), Burt Jordan Realtors, Carolina Bank, Causey Law Firm, Chase Oil Company, City Council member Dyan Cohen, Darlington County Cultural Realism Center, Darlington County Water & Sewer Authority, Darlington IGA, Darlington Kiwanis Club, Darlington Lions Club, Darlington Office Supply, Darlington Raceway, Dedicated Community Bank, Deatrice Barrett-Curtis Attorney at Law, Diamond Hill Plywood, Duke-Progress Energy, Eads Chiropractic & Wellness Center, Fast Track Convenience Store, First Citizens, Flower Baskets by Becky, Gardner Law Firm, Hardees, Housing Authority of Darlington, Kilgo Law Firm, Moore Insurance Agency, The News & Press, North American Construction Co., Nucor Steel, Palmetto Breathing Solutions, Pam T. Sherrill & Company, Paulling & James Law Firm, Pee Dee Electric Cooperative, Raceway Ford, Rotary Club of Darlington, Sonoco Products Company, SPC Credit Union, State Farm Agent Bill Moore, Retired Fire Chief James C. “Jim” Stone, The Dairy Bar, Vaughan Insurance, W.H. Bristow Oil, and Wilson Senior Care. 
Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Looking back as a new year dawns
A new year, 2015, is on the horizon and I am still getting used to idea that I’m living in the 21st century. The older I get, the faster time seems to pass. And, I am amazed at the technology we are witnessing and experiencing. Since the dawn of the New Millennium, we have been introduced to cell phones, texting, IPads and IPhones, FaceBook, DVRs, YouTube, GPS, Apps, WiFi and Google. Thanks the Internet and the Google website, history and knowledge are at our fingertips. Taking advantage of this technology, I “Googled” the year 1915. Here are some of the things I found: Technology was on the move 100 years ago when the first coast-to-coast long-distance telephone call took place. 
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The year 2014 in review
So it’s that time again. As we look back at the major new stories of the year, a couple of themes emerge. One is a shift in global politics as represented by the struggle to establish democracy in the Ukraine, and the rise of the Islamic extremist group ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The overarching domestic themes were the midterm elections and the immigration crisis on the American border. It is also a year of discovery marked by the rousing success of the ambitious European Rosetta space project, which for the first time in history achieved an orbital probe and landing on a comet. The major themes were highlighted with several flashpoints, namely a renewed focus on race, crime and police conduct as represented by the tragedies in Ferguson, MO.,and New York City involving the deaths at police hands of unarmed black males.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Was the U.S. founded as a Christian nation?
Recently, many authors have debated whether or not the United States of America was founded as a Christian nation. I wish to provide a few historical quotes from our Founding Era that lend credence to the supposition that we indeed were founded as a Christian nation. Granted, God is not mentioned in the Constitution, but He is mentioned in every major document leading up to the final wording of the Constitution. For example, Connecticut is still known as the “Constitution State” because its colonial constitution was used as a model for the United States Constitution.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Celebrate the miracle and the mercy
Another Christmas is here. No matter when we celebrate or how we celebrate, the best is the fellowship with others – whether it is spending time sharing a meal, drinking coffee or gathering around a Christmas tree. Some of us get overwhelmed trying to do so many things to make Christmas Eve or Christmas Day special. But, in truth we have no power over the specialness of Christmas. It is special because of what it represents, and that is that God came to earth as a man in the form of a little baby born in Bethlehem over two thousand years ago. That miracle brought hope to a sinful world along with the wonderful gift of mercy whereby we might escape death. So enjoy your Christmas knowing whatever you have or don’t have doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

It All Started with BBQ - SC's Weird and Wonderful History
Last week I had lunch with three old friends. All of us are proud South Carolina natives, amateur history buffs and great fans of BBQ. We decided to meet at a new BBQ joint that we were all anxious to try. As a member in good standing of the SC BBQ Association, I felt it was by solemn duty to educate my friends to the fact that BBQ was invented in South Carolina – as indeed it was. This led to one of the more interesting lunches I’ve had in a long time, as we attempted to one up each other in our knowledge of state’s weird and wonderful history. Although, as a reader, you can’t indulge with us in the joys of our slow-cooked feast with spicy mustard sauce, I can elucidate you as to 11 of the most interesting facts about our state’s history, as determined that day by the SC BBQ Gang of Four. 
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

WWII veterans invited to May Honor Flight
I was appointed as the civilian aide to the Secretary of the Army in June 2014 and I have been very committed to sharing the message about the value of our service members and their families to our communities.  I am also the founder of Honor Flight of SC and very proud that our organization has provided an opportunity for over 2,000 WWll and Korean War veterans to travel to Washington, DC to visit the memorials dedicated to their service and sacrifices. Thanks to your newspaper publishing stories about Honor Flight, we have received many applications from your area.  Our organization helped organize the Honor Flight programs in Charleston and Myrtle Beach.  Honor Flight SC has scheduled the next Honor Flight. It will depart on May 13, 2015 from the Columbia Airport.  
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Campaign cash for criminal defense? Please
You wouldn’t have expected a meeting of the House Ethics and FOIA Ad Hoc Study Committee to be a good show. But it was. Most of the meeting was taken up by Rep. Ralph Norman (R-York) contending for stronger language in a committee proposal. The majority of members didn’t care for the stronger language, and eventually things started to crackle. A proposal out of Rep. Kirkman Finlay’s (R-Richland) Campaign Finance subcommittee was pitched to the committee as a ban on using campaign funds to pay fines, fees, or other charges as a result of a criminal matter. There was a catch, though – as there often is when lawmakers are proposing laws that eliminate their special privileges: the prohibition would only apply once an elected official is found guilty of the crime.
Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Enjoy the light displays
One of my favorite things to do during the Christmas season is drive around town to enjoy the decorations and lights. I have found some spectacular home displays on Edisto Drive, St. Anthony Ave., Brunwood Drive, and I always enjoy driving down Juanita, Oleander and Iris Drive. This year Florence has the added light displays at the Florence Festival of Lights which continues this weekend, Dec. 19 and 20. This is at Hoffmeyer Place, which is located at 2441 Hoffmeyer Road. There is a small fee, $10 for cars with eight of less people, but the money goes to help find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. The bonus is you can see a lot of colorful displays located in one place and you can stop to visit Santa’s Village where there is hot chocolate and hot apple cider. Gates open at 5 p.m. and close at 9 p.m. The Festival of Lights is similar to the Lights at James Island County Park near Charleston. 
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Holidays extremely challenging for teens
The holiday season is an important time in the lives of the children in our community. For teens, this can also be an extremely challenging time as they are potentially faced with difficult choices in how to safely enjoy their holiday activities. Along with the traditional events of the holiday season, there is also a dramatic rise in underage drinking, alcohol related car crashes and other traumas requiring emergency room visits. The legal consequences of underage drinking can also cause financial hardship, loss of employment, strained family and social relationships along with serious injuries. With nearly 70% of high school students reporting the use of alcohol, underage drinking is indeed a serious issue in our community.  
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

S.C. (Republicans) have an attitude problem
When I was a school boy, there was a kid down the street named Rodney who had an “attitude problem,” or at least that’s what the adults called it. To me and my friends, Rodney was just a jerk. He had a big chip on his shoulder and was always complaining that others were taking advantage of him or whining about things not being fair to him. Rodney didn’t have any friends, and our parents pretty much forced us to include Rodney in our activities. Recently I read two articles about how our state was dealing with two important issues, government finances and education, and it made me think about Rodney. 
Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas thoughts and quotes
  • Remember, This December, That love weighs more than gold! – Josephine Dodge Daskam Bacon 
  • Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas. – Peg Bracken 
  • It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air. – W.T. Ellis 
  • I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. – Charles Dickens 
  • When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs? – G.K. Chesterton 
  • Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall. – Larry Wilde, 
  • The Merry Book of Christmas At Christmas, all roads lead home. – Marjorie Holmes 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Exchanges fail to protect colon cancer patients
Colon cancer will claim more than 50,000 American lives this year. One in 20 people will be diagnosed at some point in their lives. Thanks to better screening and new treatments, the death rate from colon cancer has been dropping for more than 20 years. But even the best screening and treatment can’t help those unable to afford health care. The Affordable Care Act was designed to help make sure patients could receive the care they need. But it’s failing America’s most vulnerable patients. Congress must make sure the Affordable Care Act lives up to its name and enables people to access the health coverage they need. When Congress passed healthcare reform, one key protection for patients was a requirement that insurers cover a minimum set of “essential” benefits. Another protection banned insurers from discriminating based on health status.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Turkeys, Obama's amnesty and America
In my family, it’s a tradition that my daughter does all the cooking for Thanksgiving. Like all good traditions, it is a part of the fabric of our family holidays. On Wednesday before Thanksgiving, she and I went to the local Publix to buy all the ingredients for this special dinner. I know that it’s special as the tape read $157.23 for this one meal’s fixings, but we’ll have to save the high price of groceries for another column. Toward the front of the store, there was a special section where they had grouped all the items needed for the traditional Thanksgiving feast. The store manager had gone all out with decorations. There were several oversized crepe paper turkeys and colorful Pilgrim cardboard cutouts surrounding the big cans of yams, cranberry sauce, creamed corn, etc., and a six foot pyramid of boxes of stuffing mix.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Can you find the mistletoe?
Now that the trees are dropping their leaves, you can see mistletoe flourishing off their branches. I love searching and spotting mistletoe high up in naked trees. When travelling with my granddaughters, I encourage them to help me look for the green masses tugging on tree limbs. They indulge me, but really don’t get into it as much as I do – at least not yet. I’m not sure if it is the legend of Mistletoe or just a fondness of nature that appeals to me, but I love finding and breaking off a twig of the small green leaves and white berries that have become entangled in our Christmas traditions. I’ve been fascinated with mistletoe since hearing as a child the song “I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Under the Mistletoe Last Night.” 
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Did you thank the birds and the bees?
Rooted in gratitude for a good harvest, Thanksgiving is a day of togetherness and feasting for many Americans. It is a time to wipe the dust off Grandma’s delicious recipe cards or to head to the Deli Fresh grocery aisles for savory string beans and pumpkin pie. For many, Thanksgiving is the purest and most important holiday of all, unblemished by the commercialism that threatens to tarnish Christmas and other celebrations. Behind the scenes, however, the cornucopia of foods for which we give thanks is now under siege, in part due to a new and insidious class of insecticides called neonicotinoids, or “neonics.” First introduced in the US in 1994, the neonics quickly became the most widely used insecticides on Earth, applied to two-thirds of the world’s croplands. 
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thy medicine is thy food
In today’s society everyone seems to be aware that a healthy diet is key to maintaining good health, whether we choose practicing it in our lives or not. But a connection that seems more difficult for people to make is that food is actually medicine. That is, your food is your medicine if it enhances your health; but it can actually be a poison if we consume things that destroy the healthy functioning of the mind and body. The thinking around food and medicine seems to be caught up in the notion that medicine can cure you in a short period of time. We are accustomed as a society to alleviating uncomfortable symptoms with a pill. The medical profession in this country has turned into a pill-pushing mill, bought and paid for by the pharmaceutical industry. It has produced a system in which the connection between diet and health are paid mere lip service, while hawking an ever expanding cacophony of new drugs promises to cure whatever ills us dominates the economics of the industry.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Being thankful for everything
As we approach the day of Thanksgiving it is easy to look around and find many blessings that God has provided. Sometimes, however, we go through circumstances wondering where the blessings are. That is the real test. Usually, time and patience will provide the answer. God’s Word instructs us to give thanks for everything. (1 Thessalonians 5:18). So, how do I give thanks when someone I love passes? My best answer at this point is to be thankful for the relationship with that person, their love, and for the time we had together. I can also be encouraged knowing that person is with the Lord! How do I give thanks when someone comes into my home and steals my gold jewelry, including pieces that were sentimental and irreplaceable? My best answer today is that while I miss having those things, I really didn’t need them – I am fine without them.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Hunting is not a sport

I am completely disgusted by the photograph in last week’s issue of your newspaper of the man and the boy standing next to the deer they killed. The deer’s eyes appear to be focused on the camera, which makes the photo look macabre. I get furious every time I think about it. Wow. What an accomplishment. Eleven years old and the boy already knows how to kill. And not only that, someone wanted to boast about it in newspaper. The photo and article made me sick. From now on the New Journal is going straight into the trash. Hunting is not a sport; if it was, the deer could shoot back. I try to understand that there is an overpopulation of deer, but teaching a boy to kill and brag about it is nauseating. Ann Moore, Florence


Tuesday, November 25, 2014








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