Letters to the Editor June 3, 2015

Opportunity Missed

First, I applaud your professionalism as you have taken command of your position at the N&P! However, I must note the missed opportunity for community enlightenment that you, the editor, could have been an instrument of cohesion and heightened awareness per to the tone of the conversation surrounding the recent controversy between our Chief of Police/Assistant City Manager Watson and private citizen Albert (Uncle Albert Barbecue Sauce) Johnson.

I know that this dilemma has reached a stage where opining has little chance of impacting outcomes, as well it should not, but may be just a little bit of investigative journalism/inquiry could have been inserted into the conversation for the entire public’s good and at such a sensitive time in our evolving democracy!

Putting Mr. Johnson’s particular concern aside, what could be gained from insight into standard operating procedures, who gets the last word in yea/he said or nay/she said situations, and that most harrowing question that Mr. Johnson posed to City Council concerning chain of command, etc.? It certainly peaked my interest!

Darlington, SC

Venus and Jupiter

If anyone wonders what the brilliant white object in the west that sets about two hours after the sun is, it’s Earth’s “Twin”, the planet Venus. To its left on June 13th, about 10-degrees away and bright yellow, is the largest planet in the solar system, Jupiter, “King of the Planets.”

Watch them after sunset for the rest of June as they draw closer and closer together for a spectacular planetary “conjunction.”

Something very interesting, historical, and epic is going to happen on June 30th. The two planets will be less than one-half of a degree apart and, according to Sky & Telescope magazine, we’ll be witnessing an almost identical event that closely resembles the series of conjunctions that the Wise Men might have seen in 3 BC to 2 BC – the Star of Bethlehem.

Coincidentally, this is taking place in the Constellation of “Leo” the Lion, the tribal sign of Judah, given to him by his father Jacob in the book of Genesis.

If the weather cooperates, head outside just after sunset for the next three weeks and view this event; it will be something you will not want to miss!

Francis Parnell
Darlington, SC

A special announcement from Burry Bookstore

In January of this year I shared with you that Burry Bookstore may be writing its final chapter and closing by the end of 2015. I am delighted to announce the bookstore is in the process of being purchased and will continue the tradition of offering a large selection of books and great customer service to our community of readers.

Over the last four months it has been refreshing to discuss and dream with two new friends, Sandi Brown and Shane Gottwals, the way Burry Bookstore can maintain its legacy of service to the community, yet transform and position itself for a viable future in Hartsville’s downtown district.

Sandi Brown will acquire ownership of the bookstore later this year. To the mix of new books, children’s toys, teacher supplies, greeting cards, and other services, she will add another exciting element – the ability to buy and trade used books. Shane Gottwals’ Georgia-based Walls of Books franchise will be an integral part of the bookstore’s business plan. Sandi and Shane share my passion for books and are successful, experienced leaders among their professional peers. Sandi’s vision for the bookstore’s future is innovative and progressive. Not only will customers be able to browse through stacks of books and enjoy a cup of coffee by the fireplace, her goal is for it to become a gathering place for all ages in the community. She will offer activities for children, reach out to high school and college students, appeal to young professionals, offer events for families, and provide the traditional services that our most seasoned patrons are accustomed to receiving.

Are there mixed emotions for my family and me? Of course there are. No positive change occurs without the giving up of something. But change has to occur and time refuses to stand still. I will take with me the many happy memories and experiences that you, our loyal customers have provided. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to make a difference in the community I love, and I greatly look forward to what the future holds for what is dear to my heart and the place I have called my second home for almost 43 years.

Emily Burry Phillips
Hartsville, SC

Author: Duane Childers

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