Letters to the Editor

Voice of the People - March 1, 2008

McCain has weak record on environment

I was appalled to learn that John McCain was the only senator who two weeks ago chose to skip a crucial vote on the future of clean energy in America -- dooming the measure to fail by just a single vote.

Now I am even more appalled to learn that this is a pattern with Sen. McCain. On the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) scorecard, he received a zero for missing the 15 most important environmental votes in 2007.

McCain's lifetime LCV score of 24 exposes the real record behind the rhetoric: A pattern of voting with polluters and special interests, and ducking the important votes.

Frank J. Traficante

Rock Hill

Take another look at district priorities

I agree with the recent editorial, "Is new gym necessary?" We continue to bemoan the decline in academics at our schools, yet once again the school board seems to be more interested in athletics than in academics.

Perhaps the $2.4 million earmarked for a new gym at South Pointe should be spent on more classroom space for our overcrowded schools. For example, at Rock Hill High, some teachers have to "float" between classes because there are not enough classrooms for the 2,200 students there.

The population in our city and county is rapidly growing; the overcrowding at all of our schools is only going to get worse.

The school board needs to reevaluate the priorities of this school district.

Ron Hough

Rock Hill

Here's why they're called Gamecocks

A recent letter to the editor raised the question: Why would the USC sports teams be called the Gamecocks? They were called that probably more than a century ago when no one worried about being politically correct, but its origin is much older than football itself.

During the American Revolution, when Charleston was invaded by a sizable British army in May 1780, the state government, such as it was, fled to North Carolina. There were two South Carolinians who, on their own, gathered volunteers wherever they could find them. Thomas Sumter, whose plantation home had been burned, headed into present York, Chester and Lancaster counties where he knew that there was a concentration of Scots-Irish who hated the English. In the low-country, Francis Marion gathered up some of the French Huguenots and others who would strike suddenly, usually at night, and retire to the swamps.

Each won enough battles to stymie the much larger British army. Each earned a nickname from the British officer, Col. Banastre Tarleton. Tarleton called Sumter a gamecock, and from that time on it was Thomas "The Gamecock" Sumter. Marion he called a fox, from which we get Francis "The Swamp Fox" Marion.

Anyway, I'd prefer to root for the Gamecocks than for the Swampfoxes.

Louise Pettus