Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - October 11, 2007

Winthrop event was one of many

This letter is in response to the Oct. 4 letter from Winthrop University parent Pamela Boswell. In her letter, she alleged that Winthrop provided culture credit for a "gay rally" and a "gay wedding" during a gay and lesbian week.

I would like to set the record straight about statements related to the gay and lesbian week, called Open. Open was a campaign that highlighted various social topics pertaining to GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender) issues throughout a week of programs that educated and generated understanding within the Winthrop community. The two events that Boswell stated for Open were not for culture credit.

The programming for Open consisted of seven various events of which three were culture credit. The events that were culture credit were Saving Face (movie), Don't Ask, Don't Tell (speaker), and Historical Perspectives on Gay & Lesbian Culture (presentation). In addition, there was not a "gay wedding" on the Winthrop campus; instead there was an event where various students made statements on their ideas regarding same-sex marriage. At the event, audience members and onlookers were able to vote on the issue of same-sex marriage, eat wedding cake, and drink coffee from the cafe CUPPS.

Students were not forced to attend these culture events; however, Open events were among dozens offered each semester from which students could select.

Open was a student-led project that gained support from 20 student organizations, departments, and one local business.

Angad Chera

Winthrop University

Chester County needs an economic boost

Do any of our council members ever look at the state or condition that our county is in? The taxes here in Chester County are already high, and they are on the rise once again, and for what? To pay for the movement of county offices out of the courthouse and into the former Southside School building? What are citizens gaining from this tax increase? Nothing.

While we have people here fighting industry, growth and progress, our county is losing out. Sure, we have the right to oppose what we want and don't want, but when we have nothing to work with and nothing to start with, we should embrace and welcome any opportunity that comes our way. Other areas such as Rock Hill, Fort Mill, Lancaster and Indian Land can pretty much hand-pick the progress they want, but we really don't have a choice. It seems as if our neighbors are expanding, growing, gaining, developing and moving along with time.

These and other areas are in the new millennium, the 21st century, while it seems we here in Chester are back in the 18th or 19th century. Our neighbors to the north and east are benefiting from the growth spurt of the Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Growth and development has and still is spilling over into Fort Mill, the Baxter Village area, Indian Land and Lancaster County at enormous rates. In these areas, the citizens are having to deal with crowded schools, new schools being built, new highways, new homes, shopping centers and restaurants, while here in Chester we are standing still.

Union County is getting growth and development from the Greenville-Spartanburg area. Fairfield County will get growth from the Columbia/Richland County area. All of these areas are experiencing growth increases, but our population has declined and nothing is being done about it. When is our growth going to arrive and where is it coming from? Our fellow citizens need employment. Career opportunities and jobs are a must. The unemployment rate in our county is already one of the worst in the state.

It has been said many times, but we desperately need recreation and entertainment for our young people. Chester needs a movie theater, bowling alley, skating rink or any type of recreation. We applaud the announcements of the proposed Montrose community and proposed housing developments of Lando and Fort Lawn. Even though these projects are still in the planning stages, we can't just sit around and wait for it to fall out of the sky. We can't put all of our hope in one opportunity and just stop trying. We must continue to attract other opportunities and bring more into the county.

We need growth, development, progress and, most importantly, jobs. Now! Just as some citizens were protesting against the CSX rail terminal, why can't petitions and requests be presented in favor of things much needed here? That same strength, energy and power of rejection displayed then can be used to change the face of Chester. We most sincerely need change here in our county. Not looking to the past but at the present and very much the future. If we don't act now, Chester will be a ghost town in the near future.

Frank A. Gladden


These men have earned our respect

Seldom to never is there a voice of the people giving honor and praise to the well-deserving men of Rock Hill. Such honors and space is reserved for the, "Hey, look at me" politicians and those of like sort.

With this letter, I wish to give honor to those I call real men of valor -- men with no desire to be in the public eye, whose great honor is the silent dedication to mankind. I call them the Rock Hill nine. They are: Doug and Robbie Westmoreland, Vincent Blackwell, Ron Myers, Bobby Shillinglaw, Ernest Brown, Joe Strickland, Rev. Larry Robertson and Dr. Winslow Schock. I speak of men who don't need public title of community leader to be great, but desire to be called good and blessed within their own homes. Men of great strength. Able to fall deep into the valley of despair and arise again to the mountaintops of honor. Men whose deeds are done in silence so that the glory of God is broadcast aloud.

I've written letters to The Herald for over 15 years. I've met scores of men in and out of politics and religion. But today, I present to the city of Rock Hill my opinion of the Rock Hill nine.

Baxter Tisdale

Rock Hill

Reform national electoral system

"I'm sick and tired of this and won't take it anymore!"

A line similar to this was spoken in the movie "Network" and is probably true for many today, but the "this" referred to will vary with the individual, as it does for me. My "this" is plural: War, lobbying and electoral votes.

Your readers' possible solutions to these problems may differ, but mine follows:

War: If the president and Congress agree that war should be declared, then an automatic draft should be activated with draftees called up in this order-- blood relatives of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, including those of draft age in the government. Next would be blood relatives and those of draft age in order from upper, middle and lower classes, with no college deferment (This is war!)

Lobbying would be a felony or grounds for impeachment for "bribe-takers."

Electoral votes should be based on a percentage of the popular vote received and not "winner take all" as it now stands. For example, if a state has 10 electoral votes, then Candidate A with 60 percent of the popular vote would receive six electoral votes, while Candidate B with 40 percent would, accordingly, receive four.

Charles J. Krall

Rock Hill

Law helps tribes govern themselves

I am sorry for laughing at your Oct. 5 story on "683 grants" in reference to renewed federal funding for the Catawba Indian Nation. I believe in referring to "683 grants," you are talking about Public Law 93-638, the Indian Self Determination Act of 1975.

If you want to know more about this federal law, which helps tribes run their own governments, you may find it under PL 93-638.

Jim Largo

Rock Hill

Why are molesters not in prison?

There was an article in The Herald several weeks ago, and I just can't seem to forget it. I need an answer -- perhaps someone in The Herald family can help me understand this.

The article was "Judge OKs $660 million clergy abuse settlement." Why are these people (clergy) not in jail? To me, they are worse than the ones who practice sexual perversion on the street, and yet they are asking or trying to get 25 years on the first offense for them, which I think they deserve.

These clergy have a captive audience. They are supposed to be these children's teachers and spiritual leaders. How can a judge allow them to go free if the church pays a price to the families? How can this be? Where is the justice in this? They, too need to be behind bars instead of being sent to another area to teach and molest again and again. These people need help and perhaps being sent away from children would be a start.

We do need to pray for all men and women who have twisted and perverted minds, I think. But for the grace of God, I could be in their parent's shoes.

If someone has the answer to this will you please help me to understand it.

Edna M. Robinson

Rock Hill