City without art is a sterile place
It was unfortunate that the Rock Hill City County reneged on a prior $50,000 commitment to support design of a public project at the water filtration plant. A bit of Rock Hill's soul was lost in the process. It was not an uplifting moment; more like a cloud that had cast a pall on our good town.
Sadly, the project was lost because of misinformation. The media was largely responsible for this. Citizens were not informed that the funds allocated for the project could not legally be used for purposes other than the promotion of tourism. We might argue until doomsday whether or not the project itself would create tourism. But, this was not the heart of the matter.
The question of public art is difficult to explain, even to ourselves. It's a question of our community's heart and soul and how we feel about the place we chose to live. A city lacking an adequate display of creative architecture and art is a sterile place, a ho-hum place. Centuries ago it was the church and wealthy rulers of city-states that provided for public art of the Renaissance. We still benefit from those treasures. More recently it was wealthy art patrons like Yves Saint Laurent, the Getty Foundation, Armand Hammer and the Rockefeller and Mellon families who sponsored works of public architecture and art for our enjoyment.
The church and wealthy patrons now provide less funding for public art. The torch has been passed to communities. Rock Hill should develop its own creative thoughts relating to the uniqueness of this place. Through necessity we must fund it collectively. This is what city council, working with Tom Stanley and students at Winthrop, had committed to do.
I trust City Council might reconsider its present position. Further, that Council will accept a different and creative approach toward its role for supporting public art and design.
Sanford and DeMint stood up to stimulus
I wish to publicly applaud Gov. Mark Sanford and Sen. Jim DeMint for having the courage to speak out against the so-called stimulus bill recently passed. What courage and integrity it must take to stand against a corrupt administration and Congress to say to this nation, "This is not good for our country." Very few of us know all the waste that is included in this bill, waste that will create zero jobs and that will have a negative impact on the economy. Also, waste that will burden our children and grandchildren for many years to come. Maybe Gov. Sanford or Sen. DeMint will be able to make the pork items in the bill and who placed them there public knowledge. However, I wouldn't expect to see such a list printed in The Herald.
To these two wonderful men from South Carolina, a job well done. I wish there were more men and women fighting for what's best for our great nation.
All the other politicians who voted for the bill should be tried for a treasonous act against this nation and dealt with accordingly.
Dys has no regard for facts
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a job where you could be habitually wrong and not get fired? Say you're a newspaper reporter and you could print anything you wanted without regard to factual information. And even have your articles printed on the front page with actual news stories and have no regard for the facts. Impossible? No, we have one right here at The Herald, and his name is Andrew Dys, hereinafter called A.D.
A.D. has proven himself an accomplished writer in many areas and has shown caring and depth of feeling on a number of subjects in his career at The Herald. But he has a real problem outside of the human-interest genre. Whenever he ventures out in an attempt to cover a news story, he has difficulty and rambles like he is talking in his sleep. I think he might have slept through the class in journalism school that explained the need for factual information as the basis for a news story. To his detriment, he has never let facts get in the way of his bombastic style.
Last April (Fools) he wrote a story about a conversation he had with someone from Kansas where he explained how all the elected officials in York County were corrupt for all the terrible decisions they made, giving examples. After each, he explained to the (probably fictitious) Kansan, "That actually happened in Rock Hill." His intent was to make a fool of his home community.
Nearly a year later, he continues to make a fool of himself. If I had a chance, I would explain to A.D.'s made-up Jayhawk friend that we have a reporter at our local newspaper who actually ignores factual information, deliberately misleads the public and tries to create controversy where there is none.
Let's look at the most recent examples of A.D.'s attempts at stirring up trouble where there is none: In his "Raise Your Voice ..." article of Feb. 15, he attempts to point out where democracy triumphs over evil government. In that piece he uses the recent school consolidation issue in Chester County to attempt to start a controversy over school district consolidation in York County. He called Dr. Lynn Moody's comments in a previous Herald article "bureaucratic doubletalk." What Dr. Moody was describing was a meeting with other county school superintendents to discuss possible ways to use our collective resources to save money. In other words, do what our taxpayers expect of us.
He goes on and on, sleepwalking his way through a long scenario of his making, deriding the evils of consolidation when none have been raised. He even threatened every elected official in the state with his wrath if this fictitious, concocted situation happens. A "pre-emptive stink" he called it. The whole article was rather pungent. Kind of like a tabloid piece.
In the same article, he further showed his ignorance by insinuating that the success of the Fort Mill school district has been due to its size. He actually wrote that. He also used Fort Mill's success to impugn the standards of the other three York County school districts, insulting more than 30,000 teachers, staff and students. All because of his favorite pastime: fabrication for the purpose of causing controversy.
And then he prints on his "popular" blog site (43 topics since 10-10-08; 16 hits; 32 got none) that the proposal to maintain our two 30-plus-year-old tracks at Rock Hill and Northwestern high schools is our "latest boondoggle." You guessed it, he printed this with no call to the district to discuss, no facts, no knowledge and no caring about the circumstances or the truth. A.D.'s journalistic philosophy: Find controversy; if none, create one. At least he is consistently inept.
Smoking ban abridges freedom
The York County Council's unanimous vote for a countywide smoking ban violates the freedom of York County residents to make their own choices.
The members of the council allowed themselves to be intimidated by the anti-smoking pressure group, and allowed that pressure group to decide what's best for the rest of us.
What's really best is having freedom of choice to make our own decisions about the risks and pleasures of smoking. Some of the councilman were reportedly "reluctant" to support the ban but their vote on the basis of "what their constituents wanted."
Which constituents? Sacrificing some constituents to the wishes of other constituents is something tyrants do. A free nation protects the rights of every constituent -- not just some of the expense of others.
I myself am a nonsmoker, but there are plenty of York County residents who choose to smoke. In a free country, a private business owner has the right to choose whether or not his business will be a smoking establishment -- and private citizens have the right to choose whether or not to patronize or work for that business.
Our York County Council members have set a dangerous precedent. What's next? A ban on chocolate? French fries? Ice cream? By appointing themselves as the keepers of our health, they betray our trust in them as keepers of our constitutional right to make our own choices.
Hitler would feel right at home.
Eddie Black should run for public office
The Herald recently ran a column written by Eddie Black, "Its the simple things." I thought the column was absolute truth. I am a resident of Lancaster and happen to know this gentleman. He has meant a lot to our community.
Over the past several years, he has helped residents of this town find ways to get medicine or health care when they were down on their luck. I use to work for Wal-Mart in Lancaster a while back. This guy has done amazing things to bridge upper management together, always standing for what is right and never falling victim to a power trip.
I know he has contemplated running for public office. I know several of our citizens here have literally tried to talk him into it. Eddie is exactly the type of person who should be running for public office. What you at The Herald and the Lancaster papers should be doing is supporting his efforts. I know the public would benefit greatly having someone who actually cares about people and will voice his opinion loudly and effectively when he thinks something is wrong.