Caslen remarks not likely to deter candidates for presidency of flagship university

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Caslen and character

Mr. Caslen proved his lack of character with his recent public remarks.

Mr. Caslen proved his lack of character by destroying the university’s relationship with Darla Moore because he was too busy attending a basketball game to take a moment to console our major donor when her mother died.

Mr. Caslen proved his lack of character by accepting the presidency of the University of South Carolina despite an obvious corruption of the search process.

The shame is on Mr. Caslen and any candidate for the presidency with any wisdom will comprehend that.

Harriet Showman, Columbia

Quality childcare needed

Childcare deserts existed in South Carolina long before the pandemic gripped our local communities. A childcare desert exists when three or more children need childcare but there is only one slot available in a licensed childcare facility. Since the pandemic, the situation has worsened.

After recently speaking to a mother who was dropping off her infant at a center in West Columbia, I learned she was driving every day from St. Matthews to bring her baby to our center before heading to her full-time job as a school bus driver. St. Matthews lacks access to a local center, so her only option was a 45-minute drive in each direction, twice a day.

Robust federal investments are needed to be sure that all children in South Carolina have access to high-quality, affordable care. This kind of support will build a healthier economy where parents can afford to work. Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott should vote in support of the Build Back Better plan to achieve these results.

Elaine Harp, Cayce

Local candidates and the environment

Environmental and equity issues are centrally important to the quality of life and the future of our city. With this in mind, the Sierra Club of the Midlands and the Sierra Student Coalition at UofSC, of which I am the president, organized a forum with our municipal candidates to discuss these issues.

Across the mayoral, City Council at-large, and District 1 ballots, we looked at Columbia’s issues with water infrastructure, housing and development of renewable energy sources. This brought together the student population, through moderators such as UofSC Senior Emma Sylves-Berry and myself, and the concerns of minority groups with our future political representatives.

I urge everyone to revisit the workshop recordings on Facebook at

I hope that our candidates and public come away from these forums with a greater sense of responsibility for environmental and equity concerns and an understanding of how they can be addressed.

Thank you to mayoral candidates Moe Baddourah, Daniel Rickenmann, Tameika Isaac-Devin, and Sam Johnson; at-large candidates Tyler Bailey, Heather Bauer, Aditi Bussells, John Vernon Crangle, Deitra Matthews, Aaron Smalls and Jonathan Tyler; and District 1 candidates Tina Herbert and Christa Williams.

Dalton Fulcher, Cayce

Support Amanche preservation

Yesterday, I dug up old photos of a 2016 camping trip out west with my 23-year-old son, part of which involved visiting an obscure site with the odd name of Manzanar. Thanks to WiFi, we were able to learn what Manzanar was all about.

Now a national historic site, Manzanar was a Japanese-American internment camp from 1942 to 1945, occupied by 10,000 American citizens who only had the unfortunate luck of having Japanese ancestry. We were stunned.

Manzanar National Historic Site presented visitors like my son and me with the stark reality of what this country did because of racial hysteria during World War II.

The National Park service at Manzanar has done a superb job with interpretive exhibits. We both left there changed persons.

By odd coincidence, the same day I revisited these photos, I read an editorial by Carlene Tanigoshi Tinker and her campaign to protect Colorado’s Amanche incarceration center, another Japanese American internment camp not yet federally protected. I recalled the words on the plaque at Manzanar: “May the injustices and humiliation suffered here as a result of hysteria, racism and economic exploitation never emerge again.”

Let us support Ms. Tinker’s entreaties to Congress to preserve the Amanche site. Let us ensure that future generations who walk through the preserved sites then leave “hysteria, racism, and economic exploitation” where it belongs: in the past.

Don Gibson, Fripp Island

School lunches save lives

Seventy-five years ago, President Truman signed the National School Lunch Act, forming the National School Lunch Program, which paved the way for school breakfasts, after-school meals, summer meals, and more.

Across the country, 30 million students participate in the school lunch program, including nearly 386,000 kids in South Carolina. Last year, more than 58 million healthy and nourishing school lunches were provided to kids across the state.

Yet, this year, as the pandemic continues, school nutrition professionals are facing an immense set of challenges, including supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.

Despite these obstacles, school nutrition workers continue to collaborate with principals, teachers and other school staff to get kids the food they need.

This month, which includes National School Lunch Week (Oct. 11-15), we recognize those leaders who are behind the scenes, making decisions to help staff and students stay safe, healthy and nourished. Your tax dollars help ensure kids are healthy and ready to learn, providing a constant in these challenging times. Feeding kids today is one of the smartest investments we can make.

Erica Olmstead, No Kid Hungry South Carolina

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