Most in S.C. Favor "Path to Citizenship"

Three out of four South Carolinians support immigration reforms that include giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, according to a Winthrop University poll released Wednesday.

The results to that poll question – asked exclusively for The State – were nearly the same for registered voters who identified themselves as Republicans and Democrats. According to the poll, 77 percent of Republicans and 74 percent of Democrats support a immigration reform plan that is line with a much-anticipated proposal from the U.S. Senate’s “Gang of Eight.”

That group of eight U.S. senators put forward a reform plan Wednesday that would offer undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship – but one that would take more than a decade, and require the payment of fines and back taxes.

“It’s refreshing to know that many (self-identified) Republicans support the path to citizenship,” said Chip Felkel, a longtime S.C. GOP consultant in Greenville.

Republican touting of the reform plan in recent weeks could help explain the state’s 3-to-1 support for it, said Winthrop Poll director and political scientist Scott Huffmon.

The poll asked respondents whether they would support or oppose a “path to citizenship” as part of larger immigration reform.

Winthrop pollsters asked respondents whether they would support giving legal, documented immigrants priority over illegal immigrants in applying for citizenship, requiring immigrants seeking citizenship to take English proficiency exams, ensuring immigrants are paying taxes and imposing a fine for those who are here illegally.

According to the poll, about 17 percent of self-described S.C. Republicans or GOP-leaning registered voters oppose that plan, compared with about 14 percent of self-described Democrats or Democrat-leaning registered voters.


PlaySafe Expands Board of Directors

PlaySafe, a 501c(3) non-profit organization, providing certified athletic trainers (ATCs) to secondary schools and many community athletic events in Anderson, Pickens and Oconee Counties  announced today that Dr. Larry Bowman, Dr. John McRoberts, Rex Maynard and Tim Arellano have joined the Board of Directors of PlaySafe.

Dr. Bowman founded Blue Ridge Orthopaedics in 1982 and has been the Team Physician for Clemson University for over 25 years. Dr. McRoberts of Clemson Family Dentistry has been providing dental care in Clemson since 2000.  He has been native to the Seneca/Clemson area since 1989. Mr. Rex Maynard of Belton is the President of Maynard’s Home Furnishings and has been recognized numerous times for his community work and involvement through the years. Mr. Tim Arellano, serves as the General Counsel for AnMed Health.  “PlaySafe is honored to welcome Dr. Bowman, Dr. McRoberts, Rex Maynard and Tim Arellano as new board members. Each one provides diverse perspectives and experiences from their work within the community and surely will enhance our efforts to serve the field. We are so pleased these exceptional leaders will offer their guidance and leadership,” offered Jim Stoker, PlaySafes’ Chairman of the Board.  

 “An estimated 2 million injuries occur each year in high schools. 62% of all reported injuries occur during practice with 23% of injuries occurring to the head and face of the athletes” according to PlaySafes’ Executive Director, Bob Garguilo.

PlaySafe exists to support our schools, parents, businesses and the community at large in an effort to keep our youth and community Safe, Healthy and Active. PlaySafe is funded in part by Clemson Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation, AnMed Health and Blue Ridge Orthopaedics . For more information on PlaySafe, please visit www.playsafesc.org or contact Bob Garguilo, Executive Director bob.garguilo@playsafesc.org or (864) 973-4412.


Annual AIM Auction April 28

On April 28, Anderson Interfaith Ministries will be holding their 7th Annual AIM Board Spring Auction. The auction will take place at Sullivan’s Metropolitan Grill in downtown Anderson from 6pm to 10pm. Tickets are $30 per person or $50 per couple. They can be purchased on the website at www.aimcharity.org.  The proceeds from this event will go toward general funding for AIM in order to “give hope and change lives” in Anderson County. 

AIM is also still accepting donations for items for the auction.


Floyd Said Toxaway Mill "Dream" Closer to Reality

Anderson County Councilwoman Gracie Floyd said what started as a dream to reclaim a blighted neighborhood is one step closer toGracie Floyd stands in front of the cleanup site at the Toxaway Mill.reality, as stage two of the Toxaway Mill Mill cleanup draws near a close.

Floyd said the neighborhood would like to see the site become a nature park with access to the rive and an AnMed extension campus. She said it depends on what the neighbors want when they see the finished site, now being cleaned up. 

The 11-acre site will hopefully soon be cleared of the debris from the old mill. Floyd said no hazardous material remains in the current demolition/cleanup. 

The county will likely need close to $450,000 to complete a park-type site once the property is cleared. Floyd said obtaining funds for stage three would require participation of the community.

"We need citizens of this neighborhood and all of Anderson County to come out to county council meetings to show their support for this project," Floyd said. 

The Toxaway/Riverside Mill site ceased operation in the 1980s, and had been a source of crime and blight in the years since.

The Riverside Mill Cleanup Phase and the Toxaway Mill Warehouse Asbestos Abatement projects were worked on simultaneously.  

The Riverside Mill Cleanup is led by Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC PBC) and Hepaco. The purpose of the cleanup phase was to limit exposure pathways of contaminants found during previous assessment testing on-site. 

The Toxaway Mill Warehouse Asbestos Abatement was be conducted by SynTerra Corp. and NCM Demolition and Remediation, LP


Opinion: Brennan Manning a Voice in the Wilderness

Tullian Tchividjian/Christian Post

Brennan Manning died Friday night.

Long before the recent resurgence of interest in "gospel-centrality", Brennan was a voice calling out in the wilderness–a voice reminding us that we are great sinners but God is a greater Savior. Theologically quirky and personally idiosyncratic, he was nevertheless a broken man on a passionate mission to remind Christians of the truth that while our sin reaches far, God's grace reaches farther. He desperately wanted bedraggled, beat-up, and burned-out Christians (like himself) to recover a sense of God's "furious love" for them.

A lifelong alcoholic who spent his entire life ferociously battling the demon of addiction, he was uncomfortably transparent about his weaknesses and failures which made him a prime candidate to teach us something of God's scandalous grace (2 Corinthians 12:9). Every addict I've ever known–every person who has crashed and burned and, as a result, come to terms with their own powerlessness–has taught me something about God's grace that I would've never known otherwise.

Brennan's life (tragic and sad as it was, according to him) was a living testimony that horizontal consequences for sin (they led to untold miseries in Brennan's life) cannot forfeit the "no condemnation" that is ours in Christ Jesus. This was his hope. His lifeline. Unable to bank anything on himself, he banked everything on Jesus. In this sense, his well-documented weaknesses were a gift to him. And to us.

I never had the chance to meet Brennan, but I know many who knew him well…and their lives were never the same. He knew Jesus, loved Jesus, and is now with Jesus…finally enjoying the full measure of the freedom he longed to experience.

The night after he died, I sat in bed and read (once again) these amazing words from his bestselling book The Ragamuffin Gospel–a man after my own heart:

 Put bluntly, the American church today accepts grace in theory but denies it in practice. We say we believe that the fundamental structure of reality is grace, not works–but our lives refute our faith. By and large, the gospel of grace is neither proclaimed, understood, nor lived. Too many Christians are living in a house of fear and not in the house of love.

Our culture has made the word grace impossible to understand. We resonate with slogans such as:

"There's no free lunch."

"You get what you deserve."

"You want love? Earn it."

"You want mercy? Show that you deserve it.

"Do unto others before they do unto you."

"By all means, give others what they deserve but not one penny more."

A friend told me she overheard a pastor say to a child, "God loves good little boys." As I listen to sermons with their pointed emphasis on personal effort–no pain, no gain–I get the impression that a do-it-yourself spirituality is the American fashion.

Though the Scriptures insist on God's initiative in the work of salvation–that by grace we are saved, that the Tremendous Lover has taken to the chase–our spirituality often starts with self, not God…We sweat through various spiritual exercises as if they were designed to produce a Christian Charles Atlas. Though lip service is paid to the gospel of grace, many Christians live as if only personal discipline and self-denial will mold the perfect me. The emphasis is on what I do rather than on what God is doing. In this curious process God is a benign old spectator in the bleachers who cheers when I show up for morning quiet time. Our eyes are not on God. At heart we are practicing Pelagians. We believe that we can pull ourselves up by our bootstraps–indeed, we can do it ourselves.

Sooner or later we are confronted with the painful truth of our inadequacy and insufficiency. Our security is shattered and our bootstraps are cut. Once the fervor has passed, weakness and infidelity appear. We discover our inability to add even a single inch to our spiritual stature. Life takes on a joyless, empty quality. We begin to resemble the leading character in Eugene O'Neill's playThe Great God Brown: "Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and grace and song and laughter? Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of the earth and sky and sea? Why am I afraid to love, I who love love?"

Something is radically wrong.

Our huffing and puffing to impress God, our scrambling for brownie points, our thrashing about trying to fix ourselves while hiding our pettiness and wallowing in guilt are nauseating to God and are a flat out denial of the gospel of grace.

With Brennan, I concur that it is high time for the church to honor its Founder by embracing sola gratia anew, to reignite the beacon of hope for the hopeless and point all of us bedraggled performancists back to the freedom and rest of the Cross. To leave our "if's" "and's" or "but's" behind and get back to proclaiming the only message that matters-and the only message we have-the Word about God's one-way love for sinners. It is time for us to abandon once and for all our play-it-safe religion, and, as Robert Farrar Capon so memorably put it, to get drunk on grace. Two hundred-proof, unflinching grace. That's the kind of drunkenness Brennan would endorse–especially from where he is now. The radicality of grace is shocking and scary, unnatural and undomesticated…but it is also the only thing that can set us free and light the church, and the world, on fire.

Brennan "got" that. He "gets it" even better now.

See you on the other side, brother!

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/brennan-manning-of-the-ragamuffin-gospel-all-is-grace-94023/#fPvdmrSkIL36RiMj.99 


Clemson Percussion/Steel Band to Perform April 26

The Clemson University Percussion Ensemble and Steel Band will take the audience on an early island vacation as they join for a high-energy spring concert at 8 p.m. April 26, at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

The percussion ensemble begins the evening with “Fanfare for the Return of Shadow,” an intense landmark work for eight percussionists by Brett Dietz. Selections from "Carmen" by George Bizet and arranged by Claire Omar Musser will follow.

A variety of percussive instruments come together on John Cage’s “Dance Music for Elfrid Ide” as it’s scored for six players with such instruments as tom-toms, slit blocks, cowbells, a rattle, whisk, claves and hand claps. The ensemble concludes with “Cactus Hip Rag” written by Alex Orfaly in ragtime style and with the melody passed around between three different instruments.

The Steel Band follows with pieces reflecting the island spirit. “High Mas” by David Rudder is a classic steel band tune that features a prayer, several modulations and an unforgettable melody. Next, the group takes on “Under the Mango Tree” by Tony McCutchen, a bossa nova from Brazil and “We’re One,” an upbeat energetic soca by Trinidad native Murdock.

The band also will perform Bob Marley’s classic reggae tune “Stir it Up” and “Pan in My System” by Ray Holman with its fast tempo and heavy syncopation.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and are available for purchase online at www.clemson.edu/Brooks and through the box office at 864-656-7787 from 1 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.


P.A.W.S. Offering $5 Felines Through April 20

Anderson County PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) is offering a special profomotion "$5 Felines" (over 1 year in age) through April 20. All cats are $5; vaccinated, micro-chipped, neutered or spayed. Anderson County PAWS is located at 1320 Highway 29 South. For more information call 864.260.4151 or visit  www.petango.com/andersoncountypaws


George Beverly Shea Dies at 104

Beloved gospel singer George Beverly Shea, 104, of Montreat, N.C., soloist of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, died Tuesday evening following a brief illness.
Graham's senior by ten years, Shea was a mainstay as the worship singer with a deep voice, who preceding the famous evangelist in song for every crusade for 60 years.

"Bev was one of the most humble, gracious men I have ever known and one of my closest friends," said Graham in a statement released by the BGEA. "I loved him as a brother. My prayer for his wife, Karlene, and his children, Ron and Elaine, is that God will strengthen them during this time."

Graham said he first met Shea while in Chicago when he was on Moody Radio. Since Shea first sang for him in 1943 during the radio hymn program, "Songs in the Night," Shea has faithfully carried the Gospel in song to every continent and every state in the U.S.

"As a young man starting my ministry, I asked Bev if he would join me. He said yes and for over 60 years we had the privilege of ministering together across the country and around the world," Graham said.

The booming baritone was the recipient of ten Grammy nominations, a Grammy Award in 1965, and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Grammy organization in 2011. He was also a member of the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame (1978), and was inducted into the Religious Broadcasting Hall of Fame in February 1996. Shea was also inducted into the inaugural class of the Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists' "Hall of Faith" in 2008.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/george-beverly-shea-billy-grahams-booming-baritone-dies-94098/#pgAZpZmbKKdGHvik.99 


Poll: Haley Approval Rating Rising; Graham Falling

A pair of major 2014 candidates in South Carolina watched opinions about them go in different directions in a new poll released Wednesday.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s job approval is rising among voters -- especially those in her Republican party, while U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham saw his support within the GOP falter over the past two months, according to a new Winthrop University poll.

Meanwhile with the sequester starting, views about President Barack Obama among South Carolinians have deteriorated, while the poor opinion about Congress remained rather dismal.

Haley’s approval rating among South Carolinians rose to 43.5 percent, up a percentage point from two months ago.

The first-term Republican scores 45 percent among registered voters -- also up a percentage point and the fourth straight gain in the past year of Winthrop polls.

More than one in three does not like the governor’s performance in office.

But Haley’s popularity among Republicans rose two percentage points to 69 percent since February -- a high in two years of Winthrop polls.

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, a Camden Democrat who lost the governor’s race to Haley in 2010, announced he would run again in 2014 while the latest poll was being taken.

Graham, a Seneca Republican who has been targeted by fiscal and social conservatives, has seen his favorable job marks among Republicans tumble to 57.5 percent from 71.6 percent in February.

His approval among registered voters dropped four percentage points to 44 percent in the past two months and slid among all South Carolinians two percentage points to 45 percent.

Two challengers -- a Democrat and a Republican who are not considered serious threats by political observers at this point -- have announced their intention to run for the Graham’s seat.

Newly appointed U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-North Charleston, has a 38 percent job-approval mark, which is 18 percentage points higher than those who like dislike his performance.

But 40 percent of South Carolinians were not sure of their opinion about the former congressman and state representative who has been in the senate for less than four months.

The sequester starting in March cost Obama’s approval rating four percentage points in the past two months to 43.5 percent.

For the first time since November, he is upside down with a 46.5 percent disapproval mark.

South Carolinians still have a low opinion of Congress with a 15 percent giving them a thumbs up. That drops to 11 percent among registered voters.

Three out of four South Carolinians disapprove of Congress.

Positive opinion about the S.C. General Assembly fell slightly to 38 percent, while those disapproving rose to 36 percent.

Meanwhile, the debate over restricting food stamp recipients from buying junk food is split among political parties.


Council Tables Smoking Propsal; Oks Motorcycle Safety Month

Anderson County Council Member Gracie Floyd asked council on Tuesday night to make salary increases for county employees one of the top priorities in the 2014 budget. Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns said council members will receive the first draft of the budget ThursdayMembers of the Anderson Motorcycle Awareness Alliance attended Tuesday's county council meeting in support of the proclamation of May as Motorcycle Safety Month. afternoon.

Floyd said that providing across the board raises for county employees, who have not received a raise in five years, would require $786,000 for a two-percent increase and$1,180.000 for a three-percent raise. Councilman Tommy Dunn said that he agreed that  county employees are important, but cautioned that the 2014 budget will be tight.

Council also tabled a proposed ordinance which would restrict smoking at all county facilities to designated areas. Anderson County Councilman Eddie Moore said he proposed the amendment as a result of parents concerns of their children being exposed to second-hand smoke.

Councilman Tommy Dunn proposed tabling the amendment to allow for more research on the issue, and to bring the city - home of the Anderson County Sports and Entertainment Complex - into the discussion. 

“I am very disappointed in my fellow council members,” Moore said. “There are children who have the right to go to ballgames without breathing in second-hand smoke. The longer we put this off we are putting our children at risk. We need to step up to the plate and protect our children and have a designated smoking area.” 

Anderson County Councilman Tommy Dunn holds up a motorcycle safety t-shirt.Meanwhile, more than two dozen members of Anderson’s Motorcycle Awaremess Alliance turned out to hear council declare May 2013 as Motorcycle Awareness Month in the county. The alliance, which originated in Anderson County, showed up their support for the proclamation and to promote the “Look Twice, Save a Life” campaign. Members of the group passed out t-shirts and bumper stickers to council members to mark the event. 

Earlier, council approved a proclamation proclaiming April 2013 as Conservation Month in Anderson County, encouraging all  residents to nurture and protect the natural resources throughout the county. Anderson County Council Chairman Francis M. Crowder, Sr., asked Anderson County citizens to recycle at the county xxx centers as part of the month’s observation. Crowder said recycling at the county centers helps keep solid waste costs down for taxpayers. 

Also on Tuesday night, council: 

Approved district rezoning in the Denver-Sandy Spring district. 

Gave final and unanimous official approval to tax structures for Mclaughlin Body Company, Inc., and  SMF-SC, LLC. Last week announcements by those two companies brought the promise of nearly nearly 400 new jobs for Anderson County.

Unanimously approved an mutual aid and inter-jurisdiction agreement between the Anderson County Sheriff’s Office and the Belton Police Department. 

Approved, on second reading an ordinance approving a Knightsbridge subdivision special tax district.

Heard a report from the Animal Welfare Ad Hoc Committee to provide information on tethering ordinances restrictions from 150 cities and counties. Allen said he wanted to take the best of these ordinances and potentially add a paragraph to the current animal control laws in the county. The committee will meet Friday. 


AIM Needs Items for Annual Auction

Anderson Interfaith Ministries is looking for donations from local businesses and individuals for the organization's annual Spring Auction Event April 20. The event is one of the ministry's largest fundraisers each year. 

If your business has not been contacted by an AIM board member or volunteer about donating to the auction, or if you would like tickets or more information contact Kelly Evans at (864) 226-2273 Ext: 119

The auction will be held April 28 at Sullivan's Metropolitan Grill between 6-10 p.m. and features heavy hors d'oeuvres. Tickets to the event are $30 for individuals and $50 for couples.

In the past the auction has featured such items as: artwork, vacation packages, hotel vouchers, tickets to sporting events or entertainment events, tickets to area attractions, rounds of golf, gift baskets, autographed books or photos, restaurant gift certificates, salon service gift certificates, catering services, carpet cleaning, cosmetic services, interior design, advertising space and many other unique items. 

All donations to the auction are tax deductible, so be generous. Large items such as new furniture, new or classic automobiles, boats, etc., would make great donation ideas. For more ideas on donations or more detailed information email kelly.evans@aimcharity.org

Thousands of lives in Anderson County are touched every year by AIM's ministry. AIM meets the needs of struggling individuals and families in Anderson County, and was founded by churches to eliminate duplication of assistance to those in need. For more than two decades, AIM has stabilized the community and continues to do so using its “hand up, not hand out” philosophy. AIM is known for doing “a lot with a little” and continues to significantly help its clients positively change their lives long-term. AIM is unique because of its numerous professionally run programs and passionate, committed volunteers. AIM is well known in the upstate for giving hope and changing lives and continues to do so with unparalleled levels of energy, efficiency, and reliability.


County Offers Free Paper Shredding During Block Party

In celebration of Earth Day, Keep America Beautiful of Anderson County in cooperation with Anderson County Environmental Services, will offer paper shredding on Thursday to businesses and residents. This event will take place from 4-6 pm in Downtown Anderson during the weekly Block Party. This week's entertainment is 'THOSE GUYS'. For more Block Party information: https://www.facebook.com/MainStreetProgram.AndersonSC


"Routes of History" Showcases Aviation, Anderson Airport 

Before Anderson ever had an airport, Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, landed her Beech-Nut Autogiro in Anderson near the present-day Civic Center. On Thursday at 6 p.m. the Anderson County Museum will open Phase One of their Routes of History transportation exhibit which features Earhart’s landing and the building of the Anderson Airport.

Earhart was on a thirteen state southeast tour when she landed here on November 14, 1931. The tour was sponsored by Beech Nut Gum with Amelia handing out gum, souvenir pins, and tour programs. She ended her visit with a speech in which she said she had enjoyed her visit and hated to leave. Earhart disappeared forever on July 2, 1937 during her attempt to be the first woman to fly around the world.  

The early history of aviation in Anderson County was at the site of Buena Vista Park, where many feats were accomplished using hot air balloons and dirigibles. Level baseball fields were used as landing areas for these shows, but in 1928, many locals felt the need to have a safe landing area for planes and air mail in case of emergency. The landing field that was chosen was a level dirt field near the present-day Civic Center. In the 1930’s, the landing field became a hazard, so in 1933, with the help of the Anderson Chamber of Commerce, Anderson City and County, 263 acres were purchased to build an airport, and on May 27, 1938, the Anderson Airport was dedicated.

 “Opening in three phases over the next three years, ACM Executive Director Beverly Childs said Phase Two of the transportation exhibit would focus on the electric trolley in Anderson. Phase Three will be the largest and most extensive of this permanent exhibit featuring railroads and all other forms of transportation Childs said.” The reception for Routes of History is sponsored by the ACM Friends Board and is free and open to the public. It will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 18.

The Anderson County Museum is at 202 East Greenville Street, in downtown Anderson. The Fred Whitten Gallery and Museum Store hours are Tuesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Reading and Research Room is open 1 to 4 p.m. on Thursdays and by appointment. ACM is handicap accessible and admission is free. Donations are always welcome. For more information, contact the Anderson County Museum at (864) 260-4737.