Our View

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: #PickPageland, don’t delay

    Have you nominated Pageland to be the next small town in America to get a downtown makeover?
    If not, considering yourself formally asked.
    Join the #PickPageland revolution.
    It is simple to do.
    Go to https://www.deluxe.com/small-business-revolution/main-street, the website for the show Small Business Revolution Main Street.
    Fill out the nomination form, (hint, Pageland’s population is about 2,700). You have up to 500 words to say why Pageland is deserving of a downtown makeover.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Good start on festival solution

    The compromise reached last week between the Pageland Chamber of Commerce and the town council is in the best interest of the Watermelon Festival – possibly for the long term.
    The council and the chamber have been stumbling like two junior high students at their first dance since August when chamber announced it no longer wanted to produce the festival.
    The chamber’s best move was its opening honesty. The new chamber board said the festival required too much of its time, time that could be better used to improve the town’s economic health.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Helping neighbors who have been silenced by Hurricane Florence

    When I initially saw Debra Walters holding her granddaughter, I stopped to ask the child’s age and possibly distract her. She seemed “fussy” and my “Grandpa Tom” instincts were taking over.
    As we talked, it was apparent the Walters were the people I wanted to find at the “Chesterfield Team South Carolina Day” at the Free Worship church in Cheraw.
    I had come to the event hoping to ask Gov. Henry McMaster what has being done to help those who fall through the cracks.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Tejas Strong bolsters Chesterfield Co.

    We are Palmetto Strong. We are Chesterfield County Strong.
    We also have a lot of Texas Strong, or more specifically Tejas strong.
    Tejas is a Caddo Indian word that the Spanish co-opted into the word “Texas.”
    Tejas means friend.
    Yes, after Hurricane Florence, we are Tejas strong.
    Take Harold Hainey, Chesterfield County’s emergency management director, for example.
    Hainey sat through meeting after meeting as Florence slowly made her way across the Atlantic Ocean.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Let's all act smart and stay safe

    The advice from then-Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina in 2014 before Hurricane Arthur resounds even more today as the Carolinas brace for Hurricane Florence: “Don’t put your stupid hat on.”
    Chesterfield County emergency response crews are preparing for everything – high winds, flooding, downed trees, lost power and distressed people.
    It’s anyone’s guess when Florence will touch Chesterfield County – and how strong it will be when it gets here.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Pageland, a place to come from or go to?

    It has been almost four decades since the head of the state agency responsible for helping downtowns declared Pageland as the ugliest town in South Carolina.
    Last week, the president of the Pageland Chamber of Commerce gave a grim prognosis for downtown – it’s dying and nobody is doing anything to help.
    So to paraphrase the great Mark Twain, are reports of Pageland’s demise a great exaggeration, or not?
    Much has been done over four decades to beautify downtown. There are banners, flowers and “way finding” signs.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Closed for lunch day

    Today is National Bow Tie Day. It is a day to not only celebrate the fashion statement, but to honor those who have made the bow tie their trademark.
    As you can see from our front page, it is a fun day. And it’s a local day as we celebrate our own king of the bow tie, Omoro King, principal at Jefferson Elementary School.
    In the spirit of national days, the Progressive Journal would like to declare Sept. 18, also a Tuesday, “Pageland is Closed for Lunch Day.”

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Thoughts on Trump, nursery rhymes and comic strips

    More than 300 newspapers, big and small, have answered the Boston Globe’s call to defend the power of a free press and refute President Donald Trump’s assertions that the media is the enemy of the people. 

    When the request went out last week, I wondered what the Progressive Journal, as a small, rural South Carolina newspaper, could add to the national conversation.

    An editorial by the New York Press Association summed up the issue quickly and forcefully. 

    “We are not the enemy. We are the people. 

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Pageland togetherness

    On July 21, 1951, Pageland held the “biggest day in the 40-year history of this fast growing town” – the first Watermelon Festival.
    Among the first of firsts for the annual festival were:
    ◆ Ann Robertson, who was named Miss Watermelon Festival. The week before, she won the local American Legion beauty contest.
    ◆ Six grand marshals led the parade, all on horseback. B.C. Moore & Sons and A.M. Moore Co. combined to win the float contest. A “snappy Jeep sportster” pulled the float, which featured large butterflies.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Reading is a performance art

    Most journalists have a story for every occasion.  Left unchecked, we can monopolize the conversation at family gatherings.

    For all these stories, there is also the all-time list of worst assignments: the events, people or occasions we didn’t want to go to in the first place. 

    You protest, but you go. Assigning editors hold great power. 

    High on my worst list initially was covering a poetry reading.