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Category Archives: Opinions

The view from the front porch

In the early morning in the rain, we can sit on the front porch with the first cup of coffee and watch beads of rain roll down the center of the elephant ears and drop off to the leaves below.

The rain beads look white, and it’s as though someone broke a string of pearls and dropped them out from the porch roof.

It is a magic trick of the weather. But the light has to be just right for this to happen.

When the rain stops later in the day, and early evening approaches, a cloud of yellow swallowtail butterflies flutter around the lantana on the walkway. This afternoon, I counted 13 on the lantana there and six on the butterfly bush nearby. There were other smaller butterflies — not as showy as the swallowtails, but beautiful in their own way.

I don’t know where butterflies go when it rains, because I never see them

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Letters to the Editor

What to do when being pulled over

Dear Editor,

I had a pleasant surprise last week.

I was driving to Lowe’s in Easley, heading east on Highway 93. Coming the other way was a state trooper in one of those Camaros (I think), and I noticed him pass me and turn around. Ut-oh, I thought. The officer then got behind me, and the blue lights came on.

When I was working at a local newspaper a few years ago, I wrote an article on what to do when you get pulled over. Thinking back to that article, I immediately put my right turn signal on to let the officer know I saw him, and turned into a parking lot near the Plez-U.

I then rolled down the window all the way, put my car in park, shut it off,

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Heading back to school

Here we are once again, it is back to school time! With that brings excitement, possibly dread, hope and sometimes chaos. I will admit, I am glad my wife and I are past that particular stage in life with our children, but there is also some sadness knowing those times are past. We aren’t here to talk about me, though, we are here to share some back to school information “From the Eyes of a First Responder.”

Slow down … bet you have heard that before, and you know it is still true. Speed is one of the leading causes of accidents. Traffic is going to increase and be bad for a little while. Parents and students are having to learn new schools and routines. There is road construction and closures. Student drivers are on the road. Pedestrian traffic will increase.

Oh, and then there are those big, yellow school buses. Every year we see

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Listen for the sound of thundering hooves

Silky was one of the most beautiful mares we ever had. She came from a stable in Lexington, Ky., and was trained for buggy racing. Fowler bought her at a horse auction in Kingsport, Tenn., and brought her home. She was probably not fast enough on the track to be competitive, most likely the reason she was sold.

She was a little high-strung, but she was a thing of beauty racking along the road pulling our buggy.

The rack is the pace trained buggy horses must exhibit to pull a buggy as fast and smoothly as possible.

Trained gaited horses are supposed to exhibit the rapid forward motion. It isn’t to be confused with a trot, which

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Meekness is not weakness, but strength under control

We know that atheists and agnostics have been around since the beginning. There is always someone in the crowd who will disagree about the existence of God, and sadly this view seems to be growing.

I admit that our freewill and independent thinking are beneficial components to establishing what we believe, but it never ceases to amaze me that we would argue over the reality of a divine creator. I can understand different worldviews about science, social issues, politics and even some religious differences, but the subject of whether or not there is a God troubles me deeply.

I have also noticed an increased animosity from those who do not believe in the Bible toward those who do. As a Christian minister, I’ve had my share of attacks from individuals who declare I am insane for accepting the God of the

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Courier Letters to the Editor 8-8-18

Immigrants in the US military

Dear Editor,

Recently, several newspapers have published articles about the Department of Defense discharg-ing immigrant recruits from the military. These articles referenced immigrants who enlisted with a promised path to U.S. citizenship. It is true that the military has a small and very exclusive pro-gram that benefits immigrants and the U.S. military called Military Accessions Vital to the Na-tional Interest (MAVNI). It is a special recruiting program that has been available to certain im-migrants interested in joining the military with a desire to gain eligibility for U.S. citizenship. Additional research indicates that a current estimate of 40 immigrants have a questionable appli-cation jeopardizing their contract with the military and their future path to citizenship out of an estimated 10,000 currently serving in the military.

Every individual who applies for military service must pass background checks, regardless of cit-izenship. Some may require additional screening depending on their background. In 2016, the Obama administration

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From the eyes of a first responder

This column has been on my mind for months. An opportunity for those who serve you — the first responders of Pickens County, to get information out that hopefully will make you aware, answer questions and ultimately keep you safe.

It isn’t meant to be a debate column or even an opinion column. My goal is for facts to be shared and valuable information passed along. Maybe an occasional personal interest story.

Something that has become increasingly evident to me is that the general public does not truly know or understand how emergency response works in Pickens County. Did you know that all fire departments are not the same? All ambulances you see on the road do not provide the same services or even answer 911 calls? What about the rescue squad I see — where do they fit in? How is all of this funded? Who staffs what, and how is my emergency handled?

There will be some who already know the answer (or believe they do), thus

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They’ve got rhythm, music and a band

I’ve been to every one of their concerts and enjoyed them all. Friday night, Aug. 3, at 7 p.m., the Pickens Community Choir is bringing a smorgasborg of tunes from the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s to their summer concert at the Holly Springs Center.

I loved the spring concert with its toe-tapping, finger-snapping hits. The summer concert has singers and musicians bringing the Beatles and he Mamas and the Papas hit “Here Comes the Sun,” as well as some favorites jazz pop and folk hits.

This versatile group of area singers and musicians are going to rock it out, and I’ll certainly be there.

The Summer Pops Concert will be at the Holly Springs Center this time. The

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Courier Letters to the Editors 8-1-18

Working for the system

Dear Editor,

By now I think most realize the Pickens County Council has closed the recycling centers on Wednesday and has added a load of days to the holiday schedule.

Two years ago, the county budget was $57.2 million. With all the new houses going up and new spending, the budget this year is $64.6 million. A healthy increase, but yet they can’t maintain the existing level of essential services?

Part of skilled budget management is setting priorities. Essential services are at the top of the list. Cuts to those services are a last resort and should be done only when facing a budget crunch, not when revenues are at record levels. This provides yet another example of how the new council knows how to spend

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Just the facts — the bear facts

This just in. The reports of the widely wandering bear doing the rounds in the Rice’s Creek community have been updated. According to witnesses, last week’s account of the activities of the wandering bear may not be completely accurate.

A first-person account from a witness who wishes to remain anonymous claims there is more than one bear involved in sightings.

According to Jane Doe, a pseudonym for the anonymous witness, more than one bear has been sighted on her property at almost the same time.

Doe said, “There was one good-sized bear and another near who was smaller.”

“Then, just a few minutes later,” Doe said, “a third bear was sighted.”

John Doe, Jane Doe’s spouse, said that there is a possibility that the third bear

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