Monday, July 26, 2010

KISS's U.S. Military's Salute!

 The following arrived today in my email. I have never paid any attention to KISS but the video is very moving.
KISS's U.S. Military's Salute!
The music will blow you away. I've always thought that Gene Simmons and the band "KISS" were a bunch of strange people. But it seems I have been wrong on this issue. This was filmed in Iraq on a USO Tour at a U.S. Marine Base. Play It and Send it to every single person you know

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Aiken Standard and Media Bias

The following AP story by Jim Davenport appeared in The State today. The same story was published in the Augusta Chronicle. The Aiken Standard published what appeared to be the entire story but in fact it was edited in a way that exposes it's bias. I have highlighted the remarks that were dropped in the Aiken Standard version.

EDITOR UPDATE: The managing editor of the Aiken Standard emphatically denies any bias in editing the following article and asked for it to be removed.He informed me that the story was too long for the space available so it had been edited from the bottom by an assistant in accordance with standard practice.No bias was intended. Even so I believe that a fair and balanced AP report was substantially changed and readers should be informed. I also hope that in the future the Aiken Standard will pay more attention to editing of such stories.

COLUMBIA, S.C. South Carolina GOP governor candidate Nikki Haley is changing more than the face of state politics.
She has altered positions on tax pledges and on Republicans who voted for bank bailouts. She has also been meeting privately to reassure business leaders after her campaign called the state Chamber of Commerce a "big fan of bailouts and corporate welfare."
Republicans are quick to defend their nominee when asked about Haley's sometimes jarring shifts.
"I think that, respectfully, this is a case of trying to make the facts fit the story rather than the story fit the facts," said Joel Sawyer, the state Republican Party's executive director.
Haley's status as a rising star has diverted attention from her political record as she begins a race against Democrat Vincent Sheheen, a Senate colleague in the Legislature.
When Haley first ran for the state House in 2004, she told The State newspaper's editorial board she was against signing the Americans for Tax Reform "no new taxes" pledge.
"No one wants to see taxes raised, but I think that it would be closed-minded to sign a pledge," Haley told the Columbia paper's editors.
Yet in a debate in May, Haley claimed she had signed the group's pledge - even though Americans for Tax Reform had no pledge from Haley at the time of the debate. ATR state affairs director Patrick Gleason recalled Haley's campaign had spoken about becoming a pledge signer in March, but his group didn't receive her signed pledge until after the debate.
Haley spokesman Rob Godfrey explained: "Unlike Vince Sheheen, Nikki has been so consistently against tax increases that she figured there was no harm in making a pledge to do what her record already proves is her position."
Sawyer said that while Haley was in the Legislature, she saw pledge signers breaking the pledge and people who called themselves fiscal conservatives spending liberally.
"I think it makes sense to put some sort of assurance out that you're not going to behave in the same sort of way you've seen others vote around her," Sawyer said.
In an April interview with The Associated Press, Haley said no member of Congress who voted for the Wall Street and banking system bailout should be re-elected. What about U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, who represents her district? "Absolutely not," Haley said. But earlier this month, Haley's campaign said Wilson's overall record merited support.
"In the case of Joe Wilson, she's supporting the conservative candidate in the race," Sawyer said.
"It's a hands-down easy choice," Godfrey said.
Haley told voters in the primary she was the only GOP candidate who had voted against using federal stimulus money.
But during the 2009 budget debate, Haley had voted to spend federal stimulus cash. She later voted against final passage of the budget and to sustain a veto of the stimulus cash. She called the earlier votes procedural. "What matters to the people of this state, what matters to the people of this country is the final vote that affects the people," she said.
Sheheen's campaign notes he led efforts to force Gov. Mark Sanford to take federal stimulus cash from the Obama Administration. On that point, Haley's campaign agrees.
"There's a day-and-night difference between Nikki Haley and Vince Sheheen on the stimulus," Godfrey said. "Sheheen is the biggest champion in the General Assembly of the Obama big spending approach."
Last month, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, which had endorsed U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett and Sheheen in the primary, decided not to endorse Haley. The campaign brushed it off. "The state chamber is a big fan of bailouts and corporate welfare, so it's no surprise that they would prefer a liberal like Vincent Sheheen over a conservative like Nikki Haley," Godfrey said earlier this month.
Business leaders fear that Haley could have the same at-odds relationships with lawmakers that Sanford had, slowing progress on some of their interests. Haley has embarked on a series of close-door meetings to reassure them and introduce herself. People have come out of those meetings saying Haley makes a convincing case.
"There's a very big difference between the state Chamber of Commerce's board and actual business leaders," Godfrey said. He added that Haley "will meet directly with business leaders every day of the week to work on ways to improve our state's economy."
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Thursday, July 22, 2010


APPROVAL TO DISCONTINE CITY COMMERCIAL GARBAGE SERVICE – Council agree to discontinue providing commercial garbage services to companies within the City of Aiken. There are some issues still to be resolved regarding a few downtown businesses.

DISCUSSION OF ZERO BASED BUDGETING – Zero Based Budgeting is a technique that sets all budgets to nil at the beginning of the year and requires from the departments that they justify all of their expenditures, not just those exceeding the budget. Money is allocated to the departments based on merit and not based on the previous year budget plus or minus some percentage such as in many traditional budgeting systems.

I am delighted to report that City Council agreed to begin the process of zero base budgeting beginning in the October time frame. We will do so on a Department by Department basis. The public is invited to attend any or all of our meetings.

APPROVAL AND MODIFICATION OF LOCAL SALES TAX MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING – The Aiken County Tax Committee which is formed to evaluate and approve the final list of capital projects list for Aiken County Council met shortly before our Council Meeting began. They rejected all allocations that Aiken City Council had approved for non-profit agencies. Specifically they included $1 million for the SPCA, $350,000 for the African-American Center, $500,000 for the Teen Center, and $400,000 for the YMCA. Assistance City Manager Richard Pearce also reported that the Tax Committee retained the $200,000 previously allocated to the Railroad Depot based on his statement that the Railroad Depot would be a City facility before monies are raised from the extension of the Capital Sales Tax project if it is approved by voters in November.

As a result of the Committee’s rejections the City Council needed to re-allocate $2.25 million. We did so as follows: $1 million to Animal Control, $500,000 to Open Space, $150,000 for Hopelands/Rye Patch Building Renovations ,$300,000 to Renovate Existing Public Safety Headquarters, and $300,000 for the Railroad Depot. The County Tax Committee must meet one more time to give final approval for this list. If the Committee rejects the additional $300,000 for the Railroad Depot as well as the $200,000 already approved by the committee the City Council has voted to allocate the entire unallocated $500,000 to Water/Sewer Infrastructure. The Tax Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday, July 26 at 6:00 P. M. at Aiken County Chambers.

The issue of using public money for the Railroad Depot is both historic and emotional. It is historic because there are some in our community who feel that the building of the railroad depot replica is of significant historical importance and ought to be remembered in some way. In fact, many in our community have felt strongly enough about this project to contribute personal funds to the project. These private contributions represent a significant percent of the total needed to complete the construction. It is emotional because there are many in the community who do not feel that public money should have been used to construct this facility. That said, it must be noted that City Council has continually supported the use of public money for this building since the process began in 1999. It voted to allocate $250,000 in Accommodations Tax money and to assume responsibility for maintenance of the building (now estimated to be approximately $75,000 to $100,000 per year). The City Tourism Office will be located in the building.

Jane Vaughters and Dick Smith consistently opposed the use of public money and were outvoted by a 5-2 margin. During my campaign, I heard clearly from many residents that they did not favor using public money for the Railroad Depot. Both Reggie Ebner and I have voted against using public money for this project at every opportunity. We first voted against the inclusion of $200,000 for the depot in Capital Project Sales Tax and then again against the additional $300,000 for this same program at our last meeting.

It is clear that the Railroad Depot building will become a city building in the near future. It was built on City land with Council’s concurrence ( tacitly or formally). Council will be asked to vote to accept ownership of the building at our August or September meeting and the votes are there to approve the request. I have objected to the fact that this project has not been part of our budget process and has used a “back door” for approval. Long term planning and financial management controls have been questionable given the relationship of the Aiken Corporation to the City of Aiken. Keep in mind that the Aiken Corporation is an outgrowth of the Aiken Downtown Development Association (ADDA) and was established to diversify and expand the City’s economic base and improve the quality of life in Aiken. It was established as a non-profit development corporation and a public-private partnership between the Aiken Corporation and the City of Aiken. On their own, they have initiated several projects for which the City has had to assume some financial responsibility. Several members of City staff are and have been active participants with the Aiken Corporation for many years.

I am also concerned that approval of the Local Option Sales Tax Program is in jeopardy because this project is included. While the $500,000 represents a small fraction of the total of approximately $138 million, some in the community may not vote to renew the Capital Sales Tax measure expected to be on the November ballot.

My email contained a list of the approved projects. It is not possible to include the list in this posting. If you want a copy of the approved list, please email me at and I will send it to you.

PRAYER BEFORE COUNCIL MEETINGS – The Aiken Standard has reported that the City received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation objecting to the prayer before our Council meetings. While we will make some changes to procedures, our intent is to continue to say a prayer before each Council meeting and to do so in compliance with all laws. We will follow the practice in use by the South Carolina Legislature.

TELEVISING COUNCIL MEETINGS – Last week the City of Rock Hill was recognized by the Municipal Association of South Carolina for upgrading their local access television channel. They have improved the televising of their City Council meetings and are looking for other ways to make Rock Hill government more transparent.

As many may have noticed, the Aiken Standard no longer televises City Council meetings on a regular basis. They have told me that the will televise future meetings as their schedule permits.

I investigated a contract with a private vendor, but determined it to be too expensive at this time. They would have put our City Council meetings on the web and made them available on demand on a 24 hour basis.

I could use some help on this issue. If you want to view our City Council meetings on our local access Channel (4) or want to view them on the web, please let members of the Council know your views. When they only hear from one or two Councilmembers on an issue, they don’t feel compelled to take action. We could also televise Planning Commission, Design Review Board, Board of Zoning Appeals and other meetings of importance. My goal is to make our city operations as transparent as possible.

NEXT COUNCIL MEETING – Our next Aiken City Council meeting will be on August 9, 2010. I will send an update before then highlighting our agenda.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Power Line on the New Black Panther Case

Power Line once again gives great coverage to an important story downplayed by the MSM.

Paul Mirengoff has been deliberating over the proper weight to be accorded the story involving the dismissal the case against the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia by the powers-that- be in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. I'm one of those who thought it was a big story, not so much because of the dismissal per se as because of the rationale underlying it. According to whistleblower J. Christian Adams, the dismissal derived from the Obama Department of Justice's view that voting rights cases should be pursued depending on the race of the victim and/or the perpetrator.More

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

She Means Business

The following letter was received from the Nikki Haley campaign today. Please read and consider making a contribution.

"She Means Business"

Dear Friends,

I wanted to write you a quick note about National Review's latest article on Nikki's incredible primary victory and message of conservative reform focused on creating a pro-business, accountable government that's truly working for the people of this state. Take a moment to read a few excerpts below.
National Review: She Means Business
South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley is a chamber of  commerce conservative

[H]aley says she often felt that her family’s business, along with other companies in town, was not getting a fair shake. “Small businesses are the absolute heart of what turns this economy,” she says.“Unfortunately, every time something went wrong with the economy, we were the ones hit. I wanted to find a way to help strengthen them.”

At age 26, Haley did. “I joined the Orangeburg County Chamber of Com merce in 1998, and then did the same later in Lexington, after we moved there,” she says. By 2003, she was a board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners and the president of its Columbia chapter. “I had a business mentality,” she notes, “and was focused entirely on that.” …

The itch to enter politics finally came in 2004...“I had no interest in that path — I wanted to change state government. My motivation came from my frustration about how hard it was getting to make a dollar in South Carolina and how easy it was for the government to take it. My parents always taught us to not complain, so I decided to do something about it. I did not realize what a challenge it would be.”

During her rough-and-tumble run, Haley had pledged to rattle the establishment once she got to the legislature in Columbia, and to become a leader, which she quickly did...Estranged from the GOP establishment, Haley nonetheless won plaudits from good-government types and reform-minded conservatives. …

Haley is often described as a tea-party conservative. She happily accepts that mantle, but her views and her story, she says, are all her own. While Haley respects others’ ideologically driven policy work, that approach is not for her...Her political principles, as she explains them, are rooted in her own balance-sheet conservatism.

If Haley wins this fall against Democrat Vincent Sheheen, she’ll become the first governor in South Carolina history who is not a white male. While Haley says she “understands the excitement,” she pays little attention to the glass ceiling, as has been the case throughout her business career. It’s those lessons from the living room, and the legislative chamber, that she most hopes to take to the governor’s mansion.

Thank you for all your hard work on our behalf. But we're not done. We need your help to keep our momentum building and movement growing. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to our campaign today.  I can promise you that we are spending campaign contributions wisely.


Tim Pearson
Campaign Manager

 P.S. - Don't forget - we need you to get Nikki's message out.  So contribute, volunteer, and get the gear.

Friday, July 9, 2010

City Council Update from Dick Dewar

APPROVAL TO DISCONTINE CITY COMMERCIAL GARBAGE SERVICE – Over the last several years, City Council has been discussing whether or not to completely eliminate the City's commercial garbage service. Several years ago City Council decided to allow the private market to serve commercial customers within the city. Up until that time the City had a monopoly on this service. Since then the City has lost over half of our customers who now use one of four local providers. However, in the last three months alone, another 25% of those customers have decided to go with a private service.

At our last meeting Council discussed several exit strategies concerning the elimination of this service. It was the consensus of Council to totally get out of this service with the possible exception of a couple of locations in the downtown area. Council also discussed possibly changing some of our ordinances and regulations if necessary to help maintain the health and sanitary conditions needed at these commercial locations. These could be reviewed in the future on a case by case basis to determine what, if any, changes are needed.

A letter was sent to all of our remaining commercial garbage accounts to let them know that on October 1, 2010, the City may discontinue our commercial garbage service. They were notified a public hearing would be held at tonight's meeting to give them an opportunity to express their thoughts and concerns involving this action. After hearing their concerns Council can then decide whether to continue or discontinue the service.

DISCUSSION OF ZERO BASED BUDGETING – Over the last several months, a couple of Councilmembers have asked that we consider the process of using zero based budgeting for the next fiscal year budget. Last week I met with the City of Greer's Manager, Ed Driggers, to discuss this issue since they recently went through this process. If you recall the City of Greer had over 40 community leaders visit Aiken last year since our cities are very similar in size and the services we provide. He stated they started in October and met approximately four times a month through January with the meetings lasting two to four hours. It gave the opportunity for each of the Department Heads to go over the budget line by line and to discuss with City Council the staffing, equipment and other operations within each of the service areas. Some, but not many, of the items were changed, but it gave everybody a much better idea as to what and how the services were provided.

Since it will take a few months to prepare this information we would like to formally know if Council would like to go through this process. If so, we would suggest setting aside the first and third Thursdays of every month and the second and fourth Tuesdays. This would mean having our Council meetings on Monday night followed by a budget meeting the next day. Or, we could do it any other day of the week should Council desire. Some of these meetings could be held during the mornings or later in the afternoons and some in the evenings. We understand that not every Councilmember will make it to every meeting, but we would like to make sure that if we use this process that as many Councilmembers as possible could be present. If Council approves this format, we would start with Public Safety in October, followed by Public Works, Parks & Recreation, and the various other departments thereafter. Altogether we will need to review approximately 60 divisions or areas during this process.

At tonight's meeting we would like to get a consensus or vote from Council on whether or not you would like us to begin the process for zero based budgeting for our next fiscal year which would be from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.

USE OF CROSLAND PARK FUNDS FOR RENOVATIONS – Last April, City Council approved borrowing from reserve funds to start the Crosland Park Project. This money was used to purchase vacant lots and homes in Crosland Park and to renovate these homes. In total the City has purchased 32 properties, including 3 vacant lots. To date 2 vacant lots and 1 home have been sold. We have almost completed 3 more homes and 3 others are under construction. We would anticipate selling three more homes within the next 30 to 60 days and would like to use the funds from these sales to continue the renovation process on the remaining homes.

Our overall plan is to renovate 100 to 150 homes and at tonight's meeting we would like Council to approve the reuse of the $1.5M as a rollover fund until we complete this entire project. At the very end of the project after the last home is sold, the money would be paid back with interest to the City. In addition to the homes that we have already purchased, approximately 70 other homes are optioned by the City. These will be purchased over the next few years as we continue this renovation process. Most of the homes were purchased between $45,000 and $55,000 with the final renovation costs raising the market value of the home to the low 90's. The investment made by the City, in many cases doubles their value and increases the real estate taxes that we receive from this area. More importantly though, we are developing home ownership with families that are bringing new energy and stability to this community. The operating revenue and expenses which are shown on the attached sheets include the sale of properties and grants that we have received. The major portion of our expenses includes startup costs, consultant fees, equipment and materials and the primary contractor's overhead. Altogether we have $62,000 currently available as rollover funds for this project. With Council's permission tonight we would use this money and other funds to continue funding the project as homes are completed and sold.

APPROVAL AND MODIFICATION OF LOCAL SALES TAX MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING – At the April 26, 2010 City Council meeting, Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding that listed projects for the One Cent Sales Tax totaling $38.6 million. On July 6, 2010, the County appointed Local Option Sales Tax Committee did not meet. They are meeting on July 12 at 6:00 P.M. to discuss the City LOST projects. At that meeting they will review the non-city projects originally in the City's Local Option Sales Tax Memorandum of Understanding. These include the SPCA, the Center for African American History, Arts, and Culture, the Galaxi Teen Center, the Railroad Depot, and the YMCA. Depending upon how they vote on these listed projects, Council may need to re-allocate the funding from these projects by either increasing the funding for projects already approved, adding new projects, or reconsidering some of the projects that you did not originally approve. Assistant City Manager Richard Pearce will attend their meeting and then report to Council how the LOST Commission voted. Therefore, at tonight's meeting we would like Council to review the action taken by the LOST Commission and see what further action, if any, needs to be taken.

MANURE CONTAINERS: Our Equine Committee has resolved to make recommendations to City Council regarding the placement of manure containers within the city limits. A copy of Equine Committee Chair Lucy Knowles’ letter to Mayor Cavanaugh is attached for your information. Planning Director Ed Evans has informed me that he anticipates this matter will be reviewed by the Planning Commission later this year, and definitely no later than the first of next year. After that review, Ed anticipates forwarding Planning Commission’s recommendations to you for your review.

SECOND READING OF AN ORDINANCE TO APPROVE THE ANNEXATION AND CONCEPT PLAN FOR WOODSIDE PROFESSIONAL SUITES – Sidewood Development LLC is requesting annexation of 2.25 acres of a total 3.88 acre tract, , 350 feet north of the Woodside entrance on Silver Bluff Road. In addition, they are requesting approval of a Concept Plan which would allow a maximum of four professional/medical buildings totaling 16,000 square feet to be built on the 3.88 acre property. The 1.63 acre portion which is already in the City was annexed as part of the first phase of Woodside in 1985 and is zoned as part of the Planned Residential zoning for the entire Woodside development. Under the PR zone 5% of this property can be used for commercial development of which only slightly over 3% has been used for this portion to date. The area just to the north of this development is currently occupied by Harbor Chase Assisted Living Center (formerly Eden Gardens) and a cross easement with this development is one of the conditions for approval of this annexation and Concept Plan.

Silver Bluff Road is planned to be widened in the next couple of years to a three lane section in front of this location which will provide some additional capacity and safety for individuals entering and leaving this location. For this reason a single access driveway is provided and turn lanes are not warranted due to the continuous center lane which will serve as the southbound left turn lane.

The Planning Commission unanimously approved the annexation and Concept Plan with the following conditions:
1. that the development comply with the submitted concept plan, building elevations, signage plan, and narrative;
2. that prior to annexation becoming effective, a plat combining the lots be approved by the City and recorded at the RMC office;
3. that minor changes to the buildings and site, including tree preservation, be approved by the Planning Director;
4. that the proposed driveway access to Silver Bluff Road be allowed;
5. that prior to approval of the site/landscape plan, an easement be granted and recorded with the RMC to allow the property to the north occupied by a nursing home to connect to the subject property;
6. that there be a note added to the Concept Plan that the project will comply with the Planned Commercial provisions at 4.3.8 which includes the lighting provisions;
7. that the signage comply with the signage plan submitted as part of the Concept Plan and that the Planning Director have the authority to approve minor changes in the signage;
8. that the owner execute an agreement listing the conditions of approval and that the agreement be recorded by the City at the RMC office within 90 days of approval by City Council

SECOND READING OF AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE ZONING ORDINANCE CONCERNING ACCESSORY BUILDINGS – This past spring, City Council discussed the current side and rear yard setbacks for accessory buildings. In 2005 the Planning Commission reviewed the then current accessory building regulations and recommended that accessory buildings could be allowed 3 feet from the property line instead of the current 10 feet. However, after several meetings Council voted not to approve the 3 foot side and rear yard setbacks but to leave it at 10 feet. Two of the concerns brought to Council by staff this past spring concerned reducing the side and rear yard setbacks for buildings that could store combustible materials and locations where buried utility lines were located. We feel that each of these concerns could be dealt with on a staff level should Council decide to reduce the setback distance.

At the March 8, 2010, City Council meeting Council asked the Planning Commission to develop amendments to the Zoning Ordinance that would allow the Planning Director to waive the requirements for an accessory building to be at least 10 feet from the side and rear property line. There already are precedents in the Zoning Ordinance which allows the City Engineer, the Planning Director, or City Manager to allow administrative waivers. The proposed changes to the Zoning Ordinance regarding accessory building setbacks would allow the Planning Director the ability to have an administrative waiver to reduce the setback.

When an application is filed prior to receiving any waivers, the Planning Department will mail a letter to the owners of each of the lots directly contiguous to the subject lot. Once the letters have been mailed, the request cannot be approved for at least 15 days to allow time for the neighbors to comment should they desire. In addition the Planning Director will also receive input prior to approval from the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Public Works/Engineering to address their concerns.

At the June 15, 2010, Planning Commission meeting, they unanimously approved amending the Zoning Ordinance which allows the Planning Director to reduce the side and rear yard setback for an accessory building if the applicant can demonstrate that there is no other reasonable place for the building that would meet the required setback and can justify the request based on one or more of the following:

1. The size, shape and/or topography of the property would make it difficult to comply.
2. Compliance would substantially affect the usability of the property.
3. The location of other structures on the property would make it difficult to comply.
4. The location of vegetation would make it difficult to comply.
5. The proposed location would allow preservation of valuable vegetation.
6. The area of the reduced setback is adjacent to land that will not be developed.

When an application is filed prior to receiving any waivers, the Planning Department will mail a letter to the owners of each of the lots directly contiguous to the subject lot. Once the letters have been mailed the request cannot be approved for at least 15 days to allow time for the neighbors to comment should they desire. In addition the Planning Director will also receive input prior to approval from the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Public Works/Engineering to address their concerns.

SECOND READING OF AN ORDINANCE REVISING RULES AND REGULATIONS FOR TRESPASS NOTICE – Unfortunately due to the behavior of certain individuals, the City has had to place them on trespass notice, therefore restricting them from certain city buildings or certain properties. These notices could involve individuals who had acted unruly, made threats or gotten into altercations with the public or city staff. Trespass notices have been issued by Public Safety in the past for H. O. Weeks, Virginia Acres, Smith-Hazel, Municipal Building, Public Safety, etc. Most of the time the trespass notice is for a set period of time and when that time expires, the individual is allowed back on the property if they follow the rules and regulations and conduct themselves in a proper manner. We have attached the Building Rules which our Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department use for their facilities. This is one of the tools that helps us maintain a safe environment at their facilities.

We recently discovered that the South Carolina Trespassing statute that the City has used over the years may not apply to public places. In order for the City to place individuals on trespass notice for city facilities, it is necessary to revise our City Code concerning rules and regulations for public parks and public facilities. Therefore, to assist us in maintaining the preservation of health, peace, and safety in our public facilities, we recommend that Council approve the attached trespass ordinance.

BUSINESS INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY EXPO - is the Business Innovation and Technology Expo at the USCA Convocation Center from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. This Expo is part of our Celebrate Aiken Third Quarter: Business, Innovation, and Technology. It is a free event. Over 40 Exhibitors are scheduled to appear and include: the national champion M’Aiken Magic Robotics team, the American Chemical Society, the S.C. National Guard, Aiken Electric Cooperative, Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Bridgestone-Firestone, Kentucky-Tennessee Clay Company, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Savannah River Remediation, USC Aiken, Vista Bank, Aiken Technical College, the Center for Hydrogen Research, the world-leading hydrogen home construction being developed at The Ridge at Chukker Creek, Sitec, Aiken School of Cosmetology; an Amateur Radio Group; Advanced Chiropractic, MTU Diesel, Glaxo-Smith Kline; MOX Services; MTV; URS; Honda Cars of Aiken, and much, much more.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 19, 2010 at 7:00 p.m., City Council will hold Talking Shop with Aiken Businesses, our focus groups, to discuss issues affecting the Business City, in the City Hall Conference Center.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nikki Haley and Tea Party News

NIKKI HALEY CAMPAIGN- As you know Nikki had a very convincing victory in the Republican Primary. However the race for Governor is far from over. Her opponent is a strong Democrat who will doubtless garner some support from  some good old boys who don’t want to change the way they have always done their business. The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has already shown its preference for retaining the status quo by endorsing Democrat Senator Sheheen.  here  They argue that Nikki Haley will not be able to accomplish anything because she will be just like Governor Sanford. (i.e. this means she “will not go along to get along.” But their real fear is that the strong support she has received from the people demanding real change will force the establishment to work with her or lose their jobs.

NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE COVER STORY-In case you did not see or hear of it the following link will take you to an informative story about Nikki Haley. Newsweek article

ATTENTION-Tea Party supporters, a link to the new Aiken County Tea Party web site follows.  Chris Powers has done a wonderful job with the site. The link will take you directly to a posting regarding Lindsey Graham’s recent comment here  regarding the tea party movement.

A tea party reorganization meeting is scheduled for today Thursday, July 8th at the K of C hall at 1003 Spaulding Dr., Aiken.  Spaulding Dr. is located off Dougherty Rd.  The Meeting is scheduled to begin at 7:00pm.  Information concerning the reorganization and an agenda will be available at the door.