To people educating themselves – There was a full house at South Aiken High on Thursday for a meeting where state transportation officials explained a proposed widening of Hitchcock Parkway from two to four lanes with a center turn lane. Residents were quite vocal and many already have strong feelings one way or another. But we applaud them for showing up and taking time to see the proposal and listen to the rationale behind the project.
To veterans – Monday is Veterans Day, the day set aside to officially honor those who have served our country. We thank each of you for your service and sacrifice.
To AGY's “unprecedented” glass fiber – When companies develop products that can make improvements it's a good thing. AGY, a leading global producer of glass fiber yarns and high-strength glass fiber reinforcements based in Aiken, announced it has introduced a new glass fiber that will allow designers and manufacturers to use glass fiber reinforcement in areas previously limited to other types of fibers. Innovation and creation make this country stronger.
To One Table – The annual community Thanksgiving dinner is one of the things that makes Aiken special. Organizers are looking for volunteers who want to help with clean up, food service and preparing food. If you'd like to help, visit www.onetable.org.
To furloughs – Most Savannah River Nuclear Solutions employees will be furloughed for three days Thanksgiving Week. Officials there did a good job trying to minimize the pain of furloughs, especially around the holidays, but it's scary that the budget crisis forces such action.
To enduring political ads for too many weeks – We should give the fact that the incessant flurry of TV political ads is finally over, it's a thumbs down that we had to endure it. The bright side is that local television stations got a windfall in ad revenues from those ads, but couldn't some of those millions spent around the country have been put to better use?
To voter fraud – We don't know if claims around the state of fraud during Tuesday's election are valid. We're glad citizens can protest problems they may see, and hope that any charges aren't being made because someone didn't like the outcome of a race. Our right to vote is precious. When someone tries to cheat the system it hurts all of us.
To hackers – Gov. Nikki Haley said Thursday that an investigation into the hacking of millions of state tax returns is almost complete and she hopes to report next week on what happened. She said it's unclear whether as many as 3.8 million returns were compromised by a hacker with an international IP address who got into the state Revenue Department system. That's scary stuff.
To Hurricane Sandy – The devastation in the Northeast from this hurricane is painful to watch. A snowstorm on top of the damage only made matters worse. Our hearts go out to the people there and hope they are able to begin rebuilding their lives quickly.
To Jared Lee Loughner – The man who tried to kill former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others and wounded 13 others during a shooting 2011 shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., was sentenced last week and will never leave prison. We hope we never have to see that smiling smug mug shot again.