Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Florence, SC : The Most Violent City in America?? C'mon !

Well, we had our annual Crime Statistics survey come out again, and somehow the Greater Florence-Darlington area was rated as the highest crime area in America, followed by Sumter at Number 9. The obvious question needs to be asked: How does this happen every year? There are reasons we may want to avoid, and reasons that aren't quite fair..

The numbers are based on a wide array of crimes, from Murder all the way to Robbery. It is no surprise that Florence would max out in this survey. Petty theft is a big problem in town( see the previous post on the car break-ins). It's pretty simple: we report a lot of crimes here, and the more reported, the worse we look... we arrest people for passing bad checks , for Pete's sake! Per capita stats are more magnified in smaller towns. I might have a reputation for being negative a lot, but there is NO WAY Florence is worse than Detroit or Philadelphia or any major city.

That being said, Florence has a long way to go to get off the list. There are too many areas where crime is high, and some of them are in my district. Maple Park had a rash of nearly 50 car break-ins, done by 2 guys. Together with the City police, they caught the guys and the break-ins stopped. Vigilance and cooperation goes a long way towards solving crime, and a lot of other problems communities face. So, like most statistics, it's not as bad as it sounds, but it's worse than we wish it were.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Okay, I'm Not Dead or Being Held Against My Will.......

Sorry for the long gap in between posts. there's been a number of reasons that I've been on hiatus.. First, I've been campaigning - like a good candidate should! Secondly, my computer ate something really bad, and I couldn't get online or download anything. Thanks to Bobby for curing my Dell's Ills..

So where have I been? Buried in a spider hole just north of Lake Marion!! Just kidding. For a great dramatization of where I was, go to Earl Capps blog - very funny! Labor Day marked the start of the final push for November, so I've been bouncing around the area , getting the message out. Want proof? Here's a pic of me and Karen Floyd at David Beasley's house..

She called me Sweetie... Karen probably just forgot my name. Michael Reese, eat your heart out!

Last Night was huge.. The Florence League of Women Voters had the bi-annual Candidates Forum. It essentially is the only debate the candidates have to make their points and to show what they really know. I think I did a pretty good job, but there's always room for improvement. Funny part is, the Morning News and Channel 13 skipped it. Guess a dozen local candidates in the same room talking about issues isn't newsworthy - unless it's their idea.

Well, now that my equipment is back and working, SC6 should be back in action! Thanks for wondering where I was, and I'll see you soon.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Rest in Peace, Randy and Erika Nash.....

All of my co-workers and I were dealt a shock when we learned that we lost one of our own suddenly. On Labor Day, Randy Nash and his wife Erika died when their private plane crashed outside of Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia. Randy was 34, Erika was 28.

Details are not all in yet, but they encountered some severe fog after takeoff , and upon trying to turn around, their Cessna 150 broke apart and ended in an area so densely wooded that resuers had to go by ATV. They spent the weekend in Virginia visiting family, and to attend Erika's 10 Year High School Reunion.

I didn't know Randy all that long. I've been at Newsome Automotive for 4 months, and Randy came two months before me, but he was a real good technician (not a mechanic), and he was pretty darned funny - I just can't tell you some of his jokes here. Most importantly, he was a real easygoing guy who seemed to be enjoying life - more than most of us do. Flying, jetskiing and riding his motorcycle were just a few of his hobbies. If you would have asked him what would he want to be doing when he died, one of those three would be it..... But my guess is he would ask for a little more time .

I hate to say this, but I've been here before. When I was 25, my buddy Andre was killed in an amateur speedbike race at Pocono Speedway. I didn't see him for almost a year til that Friday. We chatted , and decided to have lunch Monday and catch up - he died the next day. Some of us go our whole early adulthood without events like these, but usually we find an empty chair, or toolbox once or twice.

So what am I trying to say.... Don't fly or ride motorcycles?? I don't know, but I doubt it. What's more important is that we take the time to tell those around us that we appreciate them, because you never know. We might argue, might fight, but we're all a family - in one way or another. Tell someone thanks tomorrow.. As for me, thanks Randy - we miss you already. Let me know if they let jetskis in Heaven....