Restaurants buckle to non-smokers
Perhaps we all agree in Rock Hill that smoking in restaurants should be regulated by restaurant owners, and not the government. This being said, I am surprised at the number of area restaurants that have buckled to the non-smokers.
Many of these establishments once had smoking and non-smoking areas, and we all seemed to get along just fine. The non-smoking folks did not stop going to these restaurants; apparently, some of them just complained on a regular basis.
In one restaurant in particular, I noticed a separate smoking area and a very strong, separate ventilation area. This restaurant has since buckled to the "no smoking" crowd.
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In short, it has become obvious to me and many others that these people cannot bring themselves to admit that they don't like the smell of smoke (they like to hide behind health issues to justify their cause).
Folks, let's be honest about this. Even when you don't smell the smoke, you complain, just because you see someone smoking. This is childish, to say the least.
I have and will continue to avoid restaurants that don't allow smoking. I call upon other smokers to do the same. We can have a happy medium with smoking and non-smoking areas.
Be polite and signal when turning
Do you have pet peeves? I know I do. What about folks not using their turn signals? When our communities were smaller, everyone knew that the green Ford truck with the dent in the bumper belonged to Tom (and the dent belonged to his wife, according to Tom). Everyone also knew that Tom and his wife lived off of Such and Such Road. So if you were behind him near that area, you knew that he was probably going to be turning onto that road to go home, and you slowed down accordingly, whether he remembered his turn signal or not.
For better or worse, those days are gone. There are many more people on the roads these days, and we rarely know who is driving the car ahead of us. I don't know if the red Honda will be turning into the grocery store lot or needs to change lanes to get to the Wal-Mart. That's why it's so important to use turn signals.
Turn signals are not optional equipment that you have to pay extra for, and they are not optional in their usage. Under the S.C. Code of Laws Section 56-5-2150 (turning movements and required signals) it is the law that to operate your vehicle safely:
(a) No person shall turn a vehicle or move right or left upon a roadway ... without giving an appropriate signal as provided for in this section.
(b) A signal of intention to turn or move right or left when required shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle before turning.
Failure to comply with this law can cost you two points on your license and possibly an accident.
When we are in our cars, there is a sense of isolation from others and no deterrent for being inconsiderate. But please be aware that your actions affect the people around you.
Robinson touched the lives of many
The sudden passing of Eric Robinson leaves a void in not only Saluda Trail Middle School, but also in the community. From 2000-2006, I served as the youth sports director at the Rock Hill YMCA, and every year Eric was there to help. He coached at least one basketball team every season, and the lives he positively affected cannot me counted.
He not only coached the players on his team, but he also served as a role model, friend and father figure to so many others. When the game he was coaching was over, he always asked what else he could do to help. I learned so much from him about helping other people, and I am a better person for it.
I never knew Eric Robinson to have a bad day. The YMCA owes him so much for helping teach its mission. The young lives he touched will never be fully realized, but so many young people in this community are stronger for having Eric in their lives. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, and I hope they find comfort in knowing that the morals he practiced and believed in live on in all of those he came in contact with, especially me.
Commissioned officers are honorable, too
I'm a 10th-grader at Northwestern High School and would like to say that I applaud Andrew Dys' recent column on Sgt. Sanders. He truly is an American hero. I had only one problem with the article and unfortunately I find it to be a major one.
In the article, Dys talked about how noncommisioned officers are vital to the military. I am not taking anything away from these men, as I believe their job is honorable and just as important as a commisioned officers. However, in that paragraph Dys referred to commisioned officers as "those bigshots people see on TV." I find this to be very demeaning of the men and women in these positions.
My grandfather served most of his life in the military as a commisioned officer because he graduated from an ROTC program and worked his way up. He received two bronze stars as well as a purple heart. Does this make him a bigshot?
My uncle was in the military for a career and is a green beret as well as a ranger. He, too, was a commisioned officer, and finished out as a full colonel. Does his service to our country deserve to be talked negatively about in any way?
I would like to run by Dys a few names of commisioned officers, and I would like for him to tell me whether they deserve to be talked bad about or not: Robert E. Lee, George Patton, George Pickett, George Washington, Dwight Eisenhower, Colin Powell, Joshua Chamberlain, Douglas MacArthur. These men served their country bravely and honorably. They are true patriots, and I ask Dys if they deserve to be deemed "bigshots." They earned their rank and did their job with respect and honor. I ask that Dys continue to support our troops in Iraq and all around the world and that he take this into consideration. God bless America.
Keiger was devoted public servant
The community of Rock Hill recently lost a fine gentleman, James A Keiger Jr. Mr. Keiger served this community in many ways and was always interested in reaching out to others. He served as chairman and a board member of the Rock Hill Housing Authority for 32 years. This is probably a record for time spent in public service. This is a non-paid position and comes with responsibility and time requirements.
Mr. Keiger was chairman when I was hired as the executive director of the Authority in 1994, and during my tenure, he was always available to provide guidance and wisdom in helping our staff meet the needs of the families and individuals we served. Mr. Keiger was my friend and mentor, and he will be long remembered by many in this community.