Andy Brack

BRACK:  Is a 25 percent evacuation rate good enough?

BRACK: Is a 25 percent evacuation rate good enough?

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | An estimated 350,000 people along our coast evacuated for Hurricane Matthew in a withdrawal that didn’t turn out to be a disaster in and of itself.

Even if you plodded in traffic on Interstate 26, the Matthew evacuation was nothing like the one years ago with Hurricane Floyd. Even if you were without power for days or suffered in the flooding aftermath in North Charleston or in the Pee Dee, it’s pretty clear that the state’s disaster plan passed the test of working effectively and efficiently to restore normalcy as quickly as possible.

by · 10/17/2016 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
Red Cross volunteer Von Reagan of Charleston is comforting a four-legged residents at a pet-friendly shelter in North Charleston.   Photo by Bob Wallace/American Red Cross.

BRACK: Thanks to everyone for helping during Matthew

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Every one will have a different way of remembering Hurricane Matthew, which got everybody’s attention after it killed hundreds in Haiti on its way north to make a tempestuous landfall in South Carolina.

From now until eternity, I’m sure that every time I encounter a chocolate-covered almond, I’ll remember eating them while waiting out the storm in Georgia at my parent’s home with my daughters in the Atlanta area. My dad had a Costco-sized container full of them that we all ate until they were gone, And then another container miraculously appeared.

One daughter says she’ll likely remember visiting her grandparents whenever asked about Hurricane Matthew. Another daughter predicts she’ll recall worrying about the fate of our home in Charleston as the storm blew through.

by · 10/09/2016 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
Photo of seven workers pouring a foundation at a Civilian Conservation Corps camp in California about 1940. Source.

BRACK: Strive for more “We Generation,” not more “Me Generations”

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Maybe it’s time for America to reinstitute conscription or develop a program to require national service for youths after high school or college.

Or maybe schools need to do a better and more comprehensive job of providing instruction on how America works from when students start school until they graduate.

by · 10/03/2016 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Yes, love is progress and hate is expensive

BRACK: Yes, love is progress and hate is expensive

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | If you’re relatively new to the state or under age 50, you may not know the story of Esau Jenkins.

But you should. And now, the world knows more about this incredible Johns Island civil rights leader thanks to a permanent exhibit in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture that opened Saturday. The exhibit displays Jenkins motto — “Love is Progress, Hate is Expensive” — on the back panels of a Volkswagen microbus that ferried people on the sea islands to work, school and the voting polls.

by · 09/26/2016 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  High court should keep holding state accountable on education

BRACK: High court should keep holding state accountable on education

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Boy, the S.C. legislature’s lawyers have some gall.

In a state where public education has been underfunded by about $4 billion since 2010, lawyers for the General Assembly and Gov. Nikki Haley essentially say they’ve done enough to comply with a state Supreme Court order to do more for poor school districts.

Yeah, right. More than two decades ago, a handful of poor school districts brought suit against the state seeking more equitable education funding. Referred to as the Abbeville case, the lawsuit wound its way through a too-slow judicial process until late 2015 when the state Supreme Court finally ordered the General Assembly and school districts come up with a way to pay for the state’s failure to provide adequate public education opportunities, especially in poor, rural districts. The court said it would provide oversight on the case until the state got its act together.

by · 09/12/2016 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Political cockfighting starts over next year’s budget

BRACK: Political cockfighting starts over next year’s budget

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Political positioning has already started for next year’s state budget, not that you should be surprised.

The culprits are two big numbers causing some confusion before the debate even begins.

Last month, the state Board of Economic Advisors projected South Carolina lawmakers would have about $440 million in new revenues for the 2017-18 budget. It’s not the $1.2 billion they had to craft the current budget, but it’s not small potatoes either. The lower number — which would have been a dream come true during the Great Recession a few years ago — reflects a slowing economy, perhaps. But it’s important to note this: The economy is still growing.

by · 09/05/2016 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
Former U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings at a 2008 event at the University of South Carolina.

BRACK: Enjoying Fritz Hollings’ colorful language again

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | More than a decade after South Carolina’s Fritz Hollings left the United States Senate, people still talk about how he would talk about things.

Whenever Hollings took the floor of the Senate to make a speech, staffers would often stop their day-to-day business and watch on the Senate’s internal television network to listen to what he would say.

“That’s like delivering lettuce by way of a rabbit,” Hollings could be heard when discussing something dysfunctional about government spending.

by · 08/29/2016 · 3 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  On Sanford, unemployment, airport parking, bike lane and Trump

BRACK: On Sanford, unemployment, airport parking, bike lane and Trump

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | A bunch of headlines — some good, some not — scream out for some kind of commentary, so let’s dive right in.

Our congressman, Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, offered a self-serving opinion piece/lecture of Aug. 15 in The New York Times that urged his party’s presidential standard bearer, Donald Trump, to release his federal income tax returns.

He’s right, particularly to suggest that Trump’s “obstinacy” in releasing returns would have dramatic impacts in down-ballot elections and in future elections because others wouldn’t feel they had to be as transparent as candidates in the past.

by · 08/22/2016 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
Winter, center, at a Mississippi church service.  Images courtesy of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.

BRACK: We need more inspirational leaders like William Winter

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Whenever there’s a letter or card in the mail from Mississippi, it’s bound to be inspirational. And it’s bound to be from a guy you might not have heard of but should know more about.

Meet former Mississippi Gov. William F. Winter, a public sector healer whose decency, goodness and vision for a better South gently motivates people to be kinder and more accepting of each other.

by · 08/15/2016 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views