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These are our editorials and columns.


Pedal Into Labor Day and Support CAA

This Labor Day weekend kicks off with a new event, one which we hope becomes our annual activity to say goodbye to Summer.

On Saturday, the "Tour De La France" will offer a 13.74-mile Bicycle trek, which begins at 8 a.m. at La France Elementary School, and a mini-ride of 1.8 miles for beginners and chidren, which begins at the Great Escape and ends at the Anderson County Farmer's Market. Electric City Transit will provide transportation back to the school or the Great Escape.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Cancer Association of Anderson. So dust off your old bike and go register today.


Best of Clunkers Could Have Been Useful

More than a few of the cars and trucks traded in at Anderson Dealerships as part of the "Cash for Clunkers" government program, are no where near deserving of their title or the junk heap. More than a few low mileage cars less than 10 years old dot the parking lots of dealerships awaiting their day of destruction. Certainly the goals of increasing fuel efficent cars on the highway and jumpstarting new car sales had merit. But many of the vehicles which will end up scrapped by government edict could have been used by local charities to provide reliable, and in many cases stylish transportation.

With a simple addendum to the program, the government could have allowed deals to designate the most desirable "clunkers" to be given to non-profit organizations who could have put them into service improving our community.

In an article at, says the "clunkers" are of very little use to recyclers and points out: "points out the current scrap value is $140 a ton, which means a two-ton vehicle is only worth $280 as scrap. Subtract out the estimated cost of $200 to detox the vehicle as required by law and the total value is only $80 per car if nothing can be sold on it."

Read the entire article here.

The $3 billion program helped sell 625,000 new vehicles and certainly took some older less envirnomentally friendly cars and trucks off the road. But better planning could have led to benefits which don't show up ledgers.



Kicking Off Fall

The students are back at school and the days are growing shorter. It all adds up to the most wonderful time of the year: football season.

Friday night high school football teams snap on their helmets and look to make somebody pay for long two-a-day practices in the summer heat. Marching bands, sweat out the late August night in their uniforms, while the booster clubs crank up concessions stands in support.

Forget the calendar, football is the official kick off to autumn. It is a reminder that before the schedules reach there mid-point, the nights will require light jackets and Denver Downs will have their corn maze ready, fields full of pumpkins.

Hanna is at Westide, Palmetto and Wren are playing at home, BHP is at Laurens, so get out and celebrate the the season. And buy something at the concessions stand.


County Council should Look Ahead

By Greg Wilson

Editor/Publisher, Anderson Observer

     Mention Anderson County Council tomorrow at work or at lunch with friends and you will likely be met with a roll of the eyes or smirk, sometimes accompanied by the shaking of a head. The past year or so has been one of constant turmoil, no doubt.Greg Wilson, Editor/Publicher

     The tumultuous departure of a long-time administrator and an election changed many of the faces who now lead county government.

     Such change generally offers opportunities to surge forward, to aggressively plan and take action on those things which will help the county shake off the dust of controversy which seems to still hang in the air, even as 2009 races toward fall.

     There have been some bright spots. The hiring of Rusty Burns, a long-time Anderson leader with a solid grasp of the issues, as interim county administrator was a good call. Those of us who have known him, believe that he has a tremendous amount to offer in that position and we hold out hopes he might be offered - and actually consider accepting - the position full time. He is in the perfect position of being local, being eminently qualified and not really needing the job. Can you say ideal public servant?

     But there is a central philosophical concept which needs to be addressed for even a strong leader to take Anderson County forward. Somehow, some way, Anderson County's elected officials have got to find a way to leave the past behind. The obsession with putting a microscope on what has gone on in recent years needs to end. The proposal approving more funds to pay investigators will hopefully be among the last of its kind.

     It is time to take the spotlight off of whatever has gone before, good or bad, to let go of whatever emotional hangover that is left and move on.

     The leadership is in place. We have a largely experienced council, none of whom are reticent to express their positions, which can be a good and healthy thing. Each of these men and women bring something to the table, and were elected by folks who believe they can provide leadership the county needs. The time has come for each county council to remember this charge. Leaders lead.

     It is not really that things are bad, at least yet. Despite the catcalls of critics, Anderson County is not a laughingstock, it is a place many of the other counties in the state visit to see how we do things here because we do them well. No reason to believe this will not continue. Many of those on council have visions and ideas which would accomplish this goal.

      Since the passage of Home Rule in 1975, Anderson County government - even with its bumps in the road - has progressed far beyond many of the other counties in the state because we seemed to have elected passionate leaders.

      The current council is no exception. Love them or hate them, you have to admit they are a passionate bunch. But the time has come to refocus that passion on innovative and forward-thinking leadership and finally let go of the past. Maybe before the leaves change.






Anderson Cares, and That's Good

     At least 500 citizens packed into the Anderson County Library Monday night to hear the results of a Strom Thurmond Instute story on options for reforming Anderson County Schools. (Story here). The Anderson County Board of Education members, the superintendents of the school districts and school trustees, all had to find something good in a room full of their neighbors taking time away from their families the night before schools start to take part in discussion of the future of education in our county.

     There were no big surprises. If you read our story last month, you knew most of what was presented at the meeting. There were the same tensions between the powers that be that have existed for a long time. But there was tension and drama and passion, and those who seemed to mistake the meeting as a soap box for their own agendas, but in end the end no vote on anything. But it was a good community moment, folks coming out on a Monday night to express their opinion or to sit and gather information about our schools. All good.

     No matter where you come down on the particulars - and there were enough hoots, groans and a few cat calls as the night went on - in the end there seemed to be a strong sense of willingness to at least begin to cooperate across district lines by folks who have devoted their lives to education.

     So a tip of the hat to everyone in the room last night for coming out. One more thing that makes our community a special place. (Oh, and there's a county council meeting tonight....)


Why an Opinion Page?

     Newspapers are supposed walk through the minefield of political thought with no bias, right?

     While it is true news stories should provide straight ahead accounts of events, the editorial page has traditionally offered a place to discuss ideas provoked by news. Such opinion general comes in the form of editorials, op-eds (local opinion columns), letters to the editor and syndicated columnists. The Anderson Observer will give space to each of these areas.

     Our editorials will offer insights, ideas and advice on local issues based on informed analysis. Editorials are designed to provoke thought and public debate. We hope ours do. These will be a mix of praise, criticism and musings of what could be.

     We will also feature regular commentary on local events from area leaders. These op-eds will allow leaders in the community to directly address important ideas and events which will effect Anderson County in their own words. Their conclusions are informed ones, based on experience and knowledge. The Anderson Observer welcomes such contributions.

     We also welcome letters to the editor. Letters must be 500 words are less, and including the full name, city/town of the writer, and a contact number to confirm the letter (the number will never be published). All letters must be submitted via the "Submit Letter" form listed under "Opinions."

     Finally, we will feature links to columnists whose work represents almost every major political viewpoint. This list will be constantly updated.

     It is our hope these opinion pages stir up healthy discussion on local issues.

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