Courier Letters to the Editor 9-7-16

Pickens United?

Dear Editor,

I attended the first of four “Pickens United ” meetings organized by Rep. Neal Collins in Easley on Monday, Aug. 29, from noon-1:30 p.m.

How many of you were even aware this meeting was scheduled? Not anyone I talked to at the YMCA today was aware there was one scheduled, which had representatives of city, county and state government present.

It is sad that only a handful of citizens were in the audience. What was even more sad is the citizens couldn’t ask questions or make comments.

I videoed the event because I knew there wouldn’t be very many of us taxpayers there due to the lack of advertisement of the meeting and the fact it was held during a weekday and most citizens are at work during that time frame. You can view the video by going to if you want to hear what was said by the elected leaders who are making decisions about your tax dollars.

In summary, I have to say the overall meeting could be called a love fest of progressives. They are definitely united … united on the fact that government is woefully underfunded and if they just had more of your money they could solve all the problems in our city, county and state.

So get ready for a tax increase, citizens … it’s coming — a possible gas tax increase, a possible property tax increase, maybe another sales tax increase, who knows? But according to one of the elected officials now that we have all these new people in elected positions … the “sky’s the limit.”

The only way you the taxpayer can stop an inevitable increase in the amount of taxes you already pay is to get involved! Come to the next Conservatives of the Upstate meeting, held on the second Thursday of each month. Go to for more information.

If you don’t stand up and voice that you are taxed enough already and tell these elected officials they need to live within their means just like you, then you will find yourself struggling to make ends meet and pay your property tax, and the government will seize it.

The next scheduled meeting of the “Pickens United” elected officials to give you updates on their agenda of what I call “tax ‘em some more” will be Oct. 31 in Clemson. Halloween, very appropriate — scary stuff. Maybe you should attend dressed as a farmer with a pitchfork.

Johnnelle Raines


What is a true hero?

Dear Editor,

First of all, true heroes are made, not born.

They may wear uniforms or capes, but don’t have to to be a hero. True heroes can be a man that works long hours even when he is so sick he can hardly move to see that his family is taken care of.

A hero can be a woman who struggles to survive after her husband passes away, leaving her and their five children alone. Yet she manages to raise them to adult life. A true hero can be a person who risks their life to save those in danger, never thinking of their own life being lost. No age, size or social standing has anything to do with being a true hero.

True heroes don’t brag on themselves or talk about how much they themselves have sacrificed. Narcissism has no place in a true hero’s life. True heroes are givers who sacrifice their very lives if need be, yet they will never mention it or any other things they have done.

True heroes let others mouths praise them, not their own. True heroes never let the praise go to their heads. They are grateful for any attention they receive. Those who talk about themselves all the time and their greatness are nothing but braggarts, and braggarts are a dime a dozen. I’ve always heard it said, “those who have the least of anything or have done the least always talk the most about it.” Nothing but a bore, nothing more. They are a nuisance to the ears. True heroes deserve praise — braggarts should be ignored by all means. Do you know someone that you consider a true hero ? Why not show them you care?

A kind word can be worth more than silver or gold if spoken at the right time. True heroes thank God for them.

Eddie Boggs


Vote against Saitta’s act of desperation

Dear Editor,

Recent news accounts about prayer at Pickens County school board meetings raise some serious questions about the motives of a certain school board member who is, once again, stirring up controversy at a critical time for our school district.

Many of us remember that our school board debated and held open forums about public prayer at its meetings (not in our schools) more than a year ago in response to receiving a threatening letter from an activist group that fights against religion in public spaces.

So here’s my question: Why, then, is a single board member bringing up this long-resolved issue when there are far more pressing items on the table?

It seems obvious that this is a desperation move as District 3 school board trustee Alex Saitta begins his campaign for re-election, where for the first time in years he is facing a formidable opponent. Having been defeated in his bid for county council, Saitta has now begun to draw attention from more serious matters to try to win votes (or at the very least, free publicity) by playing on our community’s strong Christian faith.

While I am wholeheartedly in favor of Christian prayer anywhere or at any time, a decision was made to change the guidelines at board meetings due to the threat of lawsuits, among other things. And we all know how tight money is. After all, we closed two great schools last year because there wasn’t enough money to keep them open. Given that the District 3 trustee favors spending cuts and tax rollbacks over funding our schools, it’s curious that he would be willing to waste it on a frivolous lawsuit.

We all are aware that this is a strong faith-based community. We also agree that prayer does change things. Why then is only one person continuing to bring this up? The answer is simple: political shenanigans.

This community is smarter than this one board member gives us credit for. So voters, look closely. Listen intently. And know that the answer to ‘Why is prayer coming up again now?’ is simple: At best, it’s a distraction. At worst, it’s an injustice to our students.

Personal political aspirations should not be achieved at the expense of our kids. It’s time for us to speak up and vote on Nov. 8 — against Alex Saitta.

Terri Cassell


No Sunday alcohol sales

Dear Editor,

Elected officials in Easley and Central have place a Sunday alcohol sales question on the November ballot. They are excited about additional revenue generated by yet another day of alcohol sales. How long have Easley and Central survived without Sunday alcohol sales? Quite a while.

Estimates are that alcohol-related costs to society are in the billions. Auto accidents kill more than 40,000 people in the U.S. each year and are the No. 1 cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 34. We are more likely to die in auto accidents on weekends than any other time, and the most dangerous day on the highway is Saturday. Do you think that’s a coincidence? I don’t.

Getting in a car is the riskiest thing most people do every day, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Eighteen percent of fatal crashes during the day are alcohol-related, while 54 percent of crashes at night are alcohol-related. The average American is at the legal limit after four drinks. 22 percent admit they often drink too much.

 Some say this change will only allow sales at special events and restaurants — what can that hurt? I say the risk is too great.  Think about your children and grandchildren as you read below the events of the evening of Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014. Events resulting in the deaths of three young people and the hospitalization of two more at the hands of a drunk driver. They were on their way to their grandparents’ house.

Jessica, 20, Hope, 17, and Cory, 22, died that day. According to press reports, the drunk driver visited multiple restaurants and minutes after leaving the last he killed three innocent youngsters. He has since been sentenced to 18 years in prison. This is just one alcohol horror story. There are hundreds.

At 6:51 p.m.: Ate chicken wings and split a pitcher of beer with a friend at Hooters on Interstate Boulevard in Anderson, with the driver drinking about three 12 oz. beers in an hour. At 8:15 p.m.: Left Hooters and went to The Bench on Electric City Boulevard. At 8:20 p.m.: Started drinking, drinking four 16 oz. beers and at least two Royal Flush shots (Crown Royal Canadian Whiskey, Peach Schnapps and Chambord). At 11:07 p.m.: Left The Bench and returned to Hooters to retrieve a bank card he had left behind. He stayed and drank three more beers from a 64 oz. pitcher. At 12:02 a.m.: The man, who a lawsuit says was stumbling and having difficulty walking, left Hooters. Approximately 12:15 a.m.: three lives ended.

Who has blood on their hands? Easley and Central, you decide Nov. 8.

Phillip Bowers

Chairman, Pickens County Republican Party

Trustee, School District of Pickens County