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South Carolina editorial roundup

September 19, 2018

Recent editorials from South Carolina newspapers:

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Sept. 17

The Post and Courier of Charleston on the design for the National Medal of Honor Museum:

It’s often difficult to peer into the future, but Mount Pleasant town officials should focus on what Patriots Point will look like in 50 years rather than the singular design of the National Medal of Honor Museum.

Patriots Point is on the verge of a major growth spurt, and what it will look like in the future won’t depend so much on the design of the museum as it will on what grows up around it. But make no mistake: The museum would be the nucleus of a new, larger wave of development, including a planned 60-acre resort complex and conference center.

It’s understandable that town officials and the citizen-based Planning Commission have been reluctant to green-light architect Moshe Safdie’s ultra-modern museum design. It would rise 99 feet out of the marsh, down from the original 125 feet but still exceeding the town’s 50-foot height limit. And years of fast-paced growth have created all sorts of pressures on the idyllic, highly desirable community.

The museum, however, represents a once-in-a-lifetime chance to create a centerpiece for a major new tourism hub. And if there was ever a good reason for a zoning variance, this is it.

The museum should stand out, just like the aircraft carrier Yorktown.

The project has had setbacks that caused fundraising to stumble. But the foundation created to build the museum has since rebounded, installed a capable new CEO, expanded the board and signaled it’s ready to move forward.

Mayor Will Haynie remains unconvinced. He doesn’t like the design, thinks construction will be too expensive, and worries that foundation won’t be able to pull off the feat and the town will be left holding the bag.

But he should remember that the project is a national one proposed on state-owned land, and that Mount Pleasant stands to reap great benefits with few responsibilities other than approving the design and helping to pay for realigning Patriots Point Road.

Now, Medal of Honor Foundation CEO Joe Daniels is ready to submit the revised design for the town’s approval by the end of this month. And, if it is approved, he anticipates being able to meet deadlines set out in the contract with the Patriots Point Development Authority and get back to fundraising.

But Mayor Haynie and at least one council member have been working behind the scenes to engage a new architect and cobble together a public-private partnership to handle the construction. Even if well-intentioned, that’s not fair to Mr. Daniels or Patriots Point, and it’s ultimately unfair to residents across the Lowcountry who want to see the museum built, appropriately, at Patriots Point.

Sometimes important projects deserve special consideration. Take, for instance, Charleston’s Gaillard Center. It stands 187 feet tall.

But city officials didn’t reject the design because it violated height limits. They made an exception for what became an exceptional performing arts center.

Ideally, Mayor Haynie would get behind the museum foundation’s efforts. If not, perhaps he can at least give Mr. Daniels a fair shot at bringing what is now a six-year project to fruition.

Online: https://www.postandcourier.com

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Sept. 19

The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg on scams as people donate to charities for Hurricane Florence recovery:

People in The T&D Region and much of South Carolina have a lot to the thankful for after Hurricane Florence spared so many. But things are bad in parts of the state and terrible in neighboring North Carolina, which took the brunt of the storm.

As is customary in our community, state and nation, people are anxious to help others. But there is need for caution. Scammers will be out in force as they see an opportunity to capitalize on people’s generosity.

Looking to get ahead of the scams, Secretary of State Mark Hammond is encouraging South Carolinians to stay vigilant when giving to those in need.

“Our hearts go out to all those who have been impacted by Hurricane Florence,” Hammond said. “However, I urge everyone to do their research before making a donation. While most people see this as an opportunity to help their communities, some see it as a chance to take advantage of others’ generosity.”

Hammond encourages anyone considering making a charitable contribution to help victims of Hurricane Florence to do the following:

. Research the charity before making a donation. Donors may inquire about the status of a charitable organization by using the Charity Search feature on the Secretary of State’s website at www.sos.sc.gov, and review registered charities’ financial information including total revenue, total expenses, fundraising costs, and the percentage spent on charitable programs.

. Make sure the charity you are donating to has a long track record of helping those in need. Beware of fly-by-night organizations that appear right after a disaster and that can disappear just as quickly.

“With crowdfunding sites and social media, it has become far too easy for scammers to deceive the generous and well-intentioned,” Hammond said. “Consider limiting your donations to organizations with a long track record of transparency and accountability, and that have the infrastructure to make sure your donations get to those who need it most.”

. Don’t be pressured to make a donation right away. If a person or charitable organization asking for a donation is legitimate, they will welcome the opportunity for you to independently review their mission and their record of charitable activity before making a donation.

. Know who’s calling before pledging a contribution over the phone. If you receive a call from a professional solicitor, they must disclose the following at the time of the call: that he/she is a paid solicitor; the name, location and purpose of the charity; and the registered, true name of the professional fundraising organization for which he/she works.

. Don’t give out your personal or financial information over the phone. This includes your birth date, Social Security number, credit card number, and bank account information. When in doubt, hang up.

. Notify the Secretary of State of any concerns you have about a charitable solicitation. In 2017, the Secretary of State’s Office launched its Online Charitable Solicitation Complaint Form. This online application allows donors to confidentially file a complaint with the Division of Public Charities, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also call the Division of Public Charities at 1-888-CHARITI (242-7484).

In short, help will be appreciated. But it has to get to the people doing the helping — not those out to make quick bucks by victimizing those trying to help the victims.

Online: https://thetandd.com

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Sept. 19

Index-Journal of Greenwood on people helping those affected by Florence:

It is indeed true that the Lakelands was largely spared this past weekend. Many preparations were made and the best forecasting was, for quite some time, indicating much of the region would receive tremendous rainfall and tropical force winds. We had some power outages, we had some trees and limbs down, as well as some street flooding.

In short, most Lakelands residents were blessed while our neighbors in both Carolinas were not so fortunate. And for many, the situation remains dire. Florence has long since dissipated, but floodwaters remain and more are expected as rivers rise and spill over their banks.

So while we have seen a return to summer-like temperatures and skies, many, many others continue to struggle in the storm’s aftermath, trying to put their lives, their homes and their businesses back together. But not without the help of others, including many here in the Lakelands, who are compelled to share their time, talents and money in assisting Florence’s victims.

There are many who are making generous donations to nonprofits, such as the Red Cross and The Salvation Army, who have disaster relief teams they readily mobilize. And there are more who have underwritten relief efforts being carried out by area residents who want to help. They are supplying funds, materials, food and other supplies that will make their way to some of the hardest hit areas.

One such effort is headed by Steve Cribbs, owner of LifeTime Group, Sports Break/Break on the Lake businessman Kevin Prater and James Long, owner of Lakelands Overhead Door. They’re mobilizing a convoy that will set up a kitchen at a church in the Wilmington, North Carolina area. From there, they intend to feed chicken to volunteers, evacuees and National Guard troops.

They’re busy enough folks already, running their businesses, but they and those who have responded to their call for help serve to remind us that while there is plenty of bad in this world, there also exists plenty of good. At times, the word “mankind” might sound like an oxymoron. But not when we witness such humanitarian acts for total strangers.

Online: http://www.indexjournal.com

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