I always read Mr. Williams column, but his “Mama is asleep, don’t wake her! had an unexpected personal jolt for me. I belong to the Daughters of the American Revolution. DAR boasts 185,000 members in 3,000 chapters across the United States and internationally. It was founded in 1890 and headquartered in Washington, D.C. It is a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children.
For the first year, the world renowned DAR library started a book club and gave us two books to read. One was “Rush” by Stephen Fried, the same Dr. Rush that Mr. Williams described. I haven’t read the book yet, but did write the DAR Library today and sent them the link to Mr. Williams column. If we are able to have our Convention in Washington at the end of June, I will share with all that will listen about Mr. Williams column and how it got my attention during my own personal quarantine. Thank you, Mr Williams.
I am saddened to read your news that about 130 employees and contractors will be laid off or redeployed from the Liberty Steel plant in Georgetown. After so much work went into securing that contract for a long-idled manufacturing plant...what now? With only a few workers being retained for maintenance of the “wire rod plant”...I have to wonder: Did any of our local politicians...from mayor to county council to elected officials serving in Columbia...try to negotiate a new or revised deal? If there’s a market for “wire rods”, why not push for a new product line? How about eco-friendly, stainless steel drinking straws that could be used in the countless restaurants and bars around here? What about reusable, stainless steel drinking bottles made right here in South Carolina, with the state Palmetto tree/crescent moon logo, or with annual event and festival logos, or branded with names of popular local restaurants?
Let’s think outside the box, let’s urge our elected officials to create a task force to get those jobs back. Stamp those products “Made in America”? Nah...stamp them “Made with Pride in South Carolina!”
The current COVID-19 actual case numbers do not match the actions of the Georgetown County Council. This is simple for anyone to look at using the SCDHEC website. April 25th will be the end date for a continual drop in new cases for the Covid-19. Why does the county council want to keep the beach closed for another two weeks past that date? I am looking for a glimmer of hope, what I am receiving is a dose of depression. Are they implying the Governor does not have a clue? If they are using the “possible cases” number, anything is possible. Why not use the actual factual number? Please re-consider when you meet again on the 28th of April, 2020.
Proposed sales tax
It’s time Georgetown County Council ends the folly of imposing another capital project sales tax on citizens.
The county has amassed an $11 million surplus from the last capital project sales tax and seems to be struggling for ways to spend it. More money from taxpayers is not needed, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 economic meltdown.
Incredibly the commission County Council appointed to formulate the sales tax project list has been having “virtual” meetings during this crisis, open to only those who use social media. So much for open meetings.
In its rush to take even more of our money, County Council is absolutely tone deaf to the economic plight we’re in. Unemployment is going out of the roof and council is talking about how to tax and spend even more.
Its sales tax commission has so far amassed a $238 million project list, four times more than what a sales tax can even generate. This spending spree includes aquatic parks, a parking garage, pickle ball courts, dog parks, corporate airplane hangers, and 20 more tennis courts for the county’s tennis pro to manage. And yes, the county has a tennis pro on its payroll.
The $238 million doesn’t include the money to operate and maintain these projects. Where will it come from? I think you can guess: through eventual property tax hikes.
If County Council continues down this ridiculous path, I for one, will work as hard as I can to defeat the sales tax referendum in November.
Fire the sales tax commission and end this folly.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues, people across America, and right here in South Carolina, are affected deeply. Among those most impacted are our vulnerable populations, like those impacted by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
The healthcare system is under strain like we have never seen before. This has shed light on the need for better care planning. When faced with an acute life-threatening disease, vulnerable populations like those with Alzheimer’s and dementia need proper planning to manage their diagnosis. As the caregiver for my husband, I know the challenges of this disease first hand.
Congress has the opportunity to act and protect these communities in the next round of stimulus relief.
Elder abuse is a constant problem. In times of crisis, it becomes even more of an issue. The Promoting Alzheimer’s Awareness to Prevent Elder Abuse Act will require the Department of Justice to provide best practices to professionals working with those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
During this time care-planning is critical. The Improving HOPE act will provide important services to help those affected by Alzheimer’s and dementia trying to manage a diagnosis. Congress needs to pass this legislation. Congressman Tom Rice and Senator Tim Scott have shown their support by co-sponsoring this bill.
Nonprofits and charities of all sizes are going through tough financial times during this crisis. In order to continue serving their communities, Congress must create an exclusive fund, that includes loan forgiveness, for non-profits with 500-10,000 employees.
Please join me, and the Alzheimer’s Association, in asking Congressman Tom Rice, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Senator Tim Scott to include these bipartisan policies in the next stimulus bill.
Last month, despite the challenges currently faced by Covid-19, the City of Savannah, Ga. voted unanimously on a resolution which aims to have the City transition to 100% clean energy by 2035. Savannah’s resolution also emphasizes making this transition in a just and equitable way. But Savannah is in fact only the 5th city in Georgia to issue such a resolution.
Savannah does not face the risks of climate change alone. In fact, geographic factors such as Mean Sea Level, topography, offshore bathymetry, ocean currents, and Atlantic hurricanes are shared by neighboring SC coastal communities. The risks related to these factors—such as Sea Level Rise, storm surge, increasingly frequent high tides, and coastal flooding—are not unique to Savannah; it would only be prudent for SC communities to follow suit with similar commitments.
However, in addition to these goals, mechanisms must be in place to achieve them. One such mechanism to rapidly reduce emissions, commonly cited by economists and environmentalists alike, is a carbon fee. Currently, there is a bill in the House— The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act—that would do just that. The Act would impose a fee on the carbon content of fossil fuel at their point of production. This fee is progressive over time and is intended to provoke positive change in the practices of industries and business. It is projected the Bill could reduce emissions by as much as 45% over the next decade, as affirmed by a recent study from Yale. Finally, the funds raised by this revenue stream would be distributed back to the taxpayers on a per capita basis.
But SC communities have the power to do more than wait for a literal act of congress. Over 130 local governments have already passed their own resolution in support of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.
The profound risks due to the consequences of climate change are not felt uniquely by Savannah, Ga. Their coastal neighbors here in SC should not only follow their example by passing similar 100% clean energy goals, but should also support & advocate for the tools such as the Energy Innovation and Dividend Act to meet that ambitious goal.
Citizens Climate Lobby