Aiken Standard, April 26, 1995, Page 8

Aiken Standard

April 26, 1995

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Issue date: Wednesday, April 26, 1995

Pages available: 40

Previous edition: Tuesday, April 25, 1995

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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - April 26, 1995, Aiken, South Carolina OPINIONS Aiken #tanftarb PUBLISHER: Scott B. Hunter MANAGING EDITOR: Jeffrey B. Wallace ADVERTISING DIRECTOR: Charles O. Grice PRODUCTION DIRECTOR: Sue S. Brown BUSINESS MANAGER: Ellen C. Priest CIRCULATION DIRECTOR: Andrew D. Morgan Page 4A, Aiken, S C., Wednesday, April 26,1995 OUR VIEW J. Peter Grace J. Peter Grace, who died April 19 in New York City, for 47 years ran W R. Grace and Co., a $5 billion specialty chemicals and specialized health care company. His grandfather, William R. Grace, had founded the company as a shipping and trading operation in 1854. Mr. Grace’s career with W R. Grace actually spanned 59 years. He went to work in the company mail-room in 1936 after graduating from Yale, where he lettered in three sports. The New York Times, in an obituary last Friday, described Mr. Grace as “the outspoken and at times controversial industrialist who headed a major American company longer than any other chief executive.” Mr. Grace was equally well known as chairman of the Grace Commission, which was formed by President Ronald Reagan to eliminate waste and inefficiency in government. He headed a group of 2,000 business executives who worked on the project. At least one Aikenite remembers Mr. Grace as a student at Aiken Preparatory School, where he got his start as a polo player in 1926-27. A fellow-APS student, F. Skiddy von Stade speaks of Mr. Grace as “a wonderful fellow with an uncontrollable temper.” He remembers a polo match when he had his polo helmet “stove in by my polo partner, Pete Grace.” But Grace, he recalls, was “a gorgeous polo player.” Mr. von Stade went to Harvard and Mr. Grace to Yale, and faced each other in polo matches between the two schools. After World War II, Mr. von Stade was invited to the Grace plantation — an opulent layout near Walterboro — for a dove shoot. Aside from APS, Mr. Grace had other ties with Aiken. His uncle and aunt, the late Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Grace, maintained a home, Two Trees, on Magnolia Street for many years. Mr. Grace was a cousin of Alan L. Corey of Aiken. Another who spoke fondly of Mr. Grace was August Hecksher of New York City, author, distinguished biographer of Woodrow Wilson and former director of the Twentieth Century Fund. “He was one of my oldest friends,” Mr. Hecksher said. “We went through Aiken Prep, St. Paul’s and Yale together.” Mr. Grace, he said, “absolutely loved Aiken, and he attributed to the school there everything he became.” Mr. Grace, he said, “was absolutely determined to do things well. I knew he had great ability. He was obviously destined to succeed in whatever he undertook, and he did brilliantly.” He described Mr. Grace as “picturesque, forceful.” Mr. Grace was a devout Roman Catholic and a supporter of Catholic charities. The Times noted that he was active in a number of charitable interests, “especially those whose activities focused on New York City’s disadvantaged youth.” He was a founding member of Legatus, an international organization of Catholic chief executives whose mission is to study, live and spread the faith in their professional and personal lives.” Peter Grace was one of many alumni whom Aiken Preparatory School can claim as outstanding citizens. LETTERS To The Editor 'We Acted Honorably* On April 12 former Secretary of Defense Robert MacNamara gave an interview on “Prime Time” television. This poor excuse for a human being had the unmitigated gall to tell the public that he was wrong about our involvement in Vietnam some 20 years after the fact. He further went on to shed a tear or two for his children who protested the war. It is beyond belief when you consider the impact our government had on our young people back in the ’60s and ’70s. Our leaders boasted in the media about taking a stance against Communism, making it seem right to join the service and fight for the rights of the little guy. I for one joined the United States Marine Corps in 1966. In 1967 I turned 18 years old and was sent to Vietnam. I thought, as did my service brothers and sisters, that it was a noble cause. Now, some 20-odd years later, one of the figureheads that was instrumental in getting our country involved in an alleged police action that killed thousands says it was wrong. I was wounded in the D.M.Z. while with the 26th Marine Reg. 3rd Marine Div. I ended up on a IOO percent total disability due to my wounds. I am outraged at the fact that a former leader of our armed services can go on public television and state that he was wrong about Vietnam and that he wrote a book about it. In my opinion, the message he sent was buy my book, I need the money. Because I have been left at the mercy of our government while they do their cutbacks on veterans hospitals and benefits, I can honestly state that I am totally disgusted beyond comprehension with all concerned. It took me years of fighting the system to get my IOO percent total permanent disability rating only to hear now that it was just a big mistake. I personally take offense at anyone who would sell our veterans down the river for the sake of the almighty dollar. Too many people fought and died for God and country. We acted honorably and that is more than I can say about anyone else who thinks otherwise. Gregory J. Topliff Aiken Aiken ^tanbark (USPS-010-020) Get In Touch Subscription Rates Location: 124 Rutland Drive Mailing Address: P.O. Box 456, Ajken, S C. 29802 Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday Subscribe: For a daily subscription to the Aiken Standard dial 649-5316 Delivery Problem? Delivery by 5 p.m. Monday through Friday: 7 a.m. on Saturday; 8 a.m. on Sunday. lf not, dial 649-5315 for re-deliver/ Hours of service 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday-Friday: 8-10:30 a.m. Saturday; 8-11 a.m. Sunday Switchboard: 648-2311 Fax: 648-6052 News Tips, Story Ideas: lf you know of something newsworthy happening locally dial 648-2311 and ask for the City Editor, Features Editor or Sports Editor. Home    County    Other Delivery    Mail    Mail Monthly $8.50    $10.75    $17.00 3 months    $25 50    $32.25    $51.00 6 months    $51.00    $64.50    $102.00 12 months $102.00 $129.00 $204.00 Advance payments should be made to: Aiken Standard - PBM Subscription The Aiken Standard (ISSN 0893-2557), established in 1867, is published weekday afternoons and Saturday and Sunday mornings by Aiken Communications Inc., P.O. Box 456, 124 Rutland Drive, Aiken, S.C. 29802. Second class postage paid at Aiken, S.C. POSTMASTER: send address changes to the Aiken Standard, P.O. Box 456, Aiken, S.C. 29802. No Justification For Heartland Horror Perhaps the worst of the horrors is how easy it was. Rent a truck. Get some fertilizer and fuel oil, a battery, a timer and a detonator. It’s not hard to find instructions in a handbook or even on the Internet. Set the timer or use a remote control device. Park the truck. Walk away. Easy as that, children as young as 6-months-old can be killed. Easy as that, scores of adults can be blown to death, hundreds terribly hurt, many still missing in the dangerous debris. Easy as that, a nation’s sense of security can be shattered. Easy as that, the bitter conflicts of the Middle East or the insanity of a maniacal cult or the grievances of a couple of guys against the government can sear America’s heartland. Easy as that, the vulnerabilities of the most powerful country on Earth lie exposed like the guts of the Oklahoma City federal building. But perhaps the worst of the horrors is realizing how hard such terrorism is to stop. All the metal detectors, ID cards, security guards and explosives-sniffing dogs can’t protect against car bombings or nerve gas left in a satchel on a crowded commuter train. All the peacemaking efforts of America and the United Nations can’t heal the bitter, age-old hatreds in the Middle East. All the intelligence and counterintelligence agents can’t ferret out all the terrorist groups, uncover all the terrorist plots, stop all the religious and political fanatics who think they are doing their god or their cause or their country service. It’s hard to stop terrorists from slipping into this country through airports using fake ID or sneaking across unguarded borders. It’s hard to keep them from slipping away again or extradite them from wherever they have fled. Even if they are caught, it’s hard to convict them quickly and execute them as they deserve. It is difficult, too, to keep track of all the groups which might see a justification to commit terrorism, all the deranged individuals with a deadly grievance, all the cults whose members are JOAN BECK Knight-Ridder Service fascinated with firearms, explosives and doomsday scenarios. The arrests in the Oklahoma City bombing makes it less likely there is a Middle East connection in this, most recent disaster. Timothy McVeigh, 27, and at least one unnamed accomplice are thought to have rented the Ryder truck that carried the explosives slated for the federal building. But nothing is known to the public about them or their sick motivations at this writing. But it is also scary to realize how many leads and tips the FBI is still tracking down, to consider how many people might have felt justified in blowing up a federal building and scores of helpless people. Just nine days before the Oklahoma City bombing, Ramzi Ahmad Yousef, the alleged mastermind of the New York Trade Center explosion, issued a statement from jail published in an Arab newspaper claiming that because the United States supports Israel, it is a partner in all the crimes committed against Palestine and Palestinians. Because taxes from American citizens are used to support Israel, it is “logical and legal” to hold the American people responsible for all these crimes. Palestinians “have a right to hit at American targets,” he said. Warnings were also circulated that revenge might be taken for the assault on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, on April 19, the second anniversary of that fiasco Reportedly, seven men who took part in the incident worked in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms office in the Oklahoma City federal building. “This was murder. This was evil. This was wrong,” pounded the president, in the White House Rose Garden. How do we stop it? The fact that there are no good answers is part of the horror. We could “harden” file construction of buildings so they could better withstand explosions without collapsing. But the cost would be unbearable. And terrorists could easily make do with easier targets and other means. We could tighten the security around us, invest in more metal detectors, insist on ID cards everywhere, hire more guards, install more alarms, put up more surveillance cameras. But the economic cost is high, the psychological costs even greater and the results likely to be only partially successful at best. The more freedom we lose, the greater the victory terrorists have won. We could try to get better control of our borders. Millions of undocumented people from all over the world have found their way here to stay in recent years. For well-financed, determined terrorists, it’s almost as easy as buying a plane ticket. But the reluctance to put more bars on America’s doors runs as deep as our immigrant roots. If it’s impossible to “harden” all of our buildings, we can harden our attitudes toward terrorism and its excuses. No real or perceived injustice should ever be allowed to justify a terrorist act. Certainly the president of the United States should not have welcomed the Irish Republican Army’s Sinn Fein leader into the White House. Congress, in recent years, has made it easier for people with terrorist connections to enter the country and harder to deport them. This can be changed — and must be, immediately. We should outlaw groups which advocate terrorism or are connected to extremist groups abroad, shut down their operations in the United States, stop their fund-raising and deport any aliens involved. Dealing with dangerous domestic cults and violent individuals is trickier. We are still a nation that must protect the civil rights of all individuals and groups, even knowing some risk may be involved. The horror is that the brunt of that risk was borne this week by toddlers in a day-care center, seniors in a Social Security office, federal employees, office workers, even people in a building across the street. Joan Beck is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. Valley Can Choose Its Own Destiny Why should we consolidate? In today’s big picture of the people’s government, we as rural citizens of Aiken County, are literally at the mercy of the Aiken County, South Carolina and federal governments, and many times, our desires fall on deaf ears. We now have an opportunity to change that scenario, but only if we work together. How must we do that? Under the statutes of South Carolina, we as the citizens of the Midland Valley area are left with only one alternative. A community of people that wish to incorporate, cannot do so if an existing incorporated city is within five miles of the affected area. Therefore, we the citizens of the Valley have three choices, and all of these are in regards to the three existing cities that are within the specified limits. We may choose from Aiken, North Augusta and Burnettown. These are our restrictions. Why should we pick Burnettown? Aiken and North Augusta have their priorities, and their citizens have specific ideas as to how they want their cities to function. These ideas may be in direct conflict with how we wish our area to progress and would not benefit our region at all. Burnettown being the other option, is just the opposite. Its citizens are part of the Valley, and share the genuine concern for our citizens and their specific CHUCK JONES & GAIL BARRON Guest Columnists wants and desires. At the present time, Burnettown functions under the mayor/council form of government with all members being elected at large. After the proposed incorporation of the entire Valley area, then it has been recommended that this change to districts electing their council member, and only the mayor having an at large position. Of course, until this change is instituted, the city will continue to operate as is. The Burnettown government has control over only the “Burnettown” water system, and is restricted by state statute from affecting any of the special purpose water and fire districts that are now in existence. The Burnettown council’s position is that they wish to assist these districts in any way possible, but in no way wish to control or adversely affect any of these areas. The Burnettown Council has the position that the valley area will be much improved if we united in one consolidated government. They view the opportunities available to our community will be immensely increased if we join together as one voice for our concerns. We, the Valley, would be the large municipality this side of Columbia if \ incorporate together. Just think of the i sources that we could enjoy if our horde were extended. We would be able to e tice industries back to our area and off them the benefits that other cities ne eqjoy. We feel that there is a concern over ti other communities in the valley area Ic ing their identity if they join in with Bi nettown. We share the same concern ov the loss of the heritage that is associate with the various areas of our communit From Vaucluse to Storm Branch, fro Jordantown to Piney Heights, each these areas enjoy their identity, and \ do not feel that these names shou change at all. We want to function as ti central government for all of these area be it Burnettown, Midland Valley, Hor Creek Valley, or any other name that ti people choose to select in a referendur not the council. We welcome any comments, question or suggestions. Please contact the belc address with any concerns: The writers are co-chairmen of the Ui Bed Government Committee for Visit 2004, the strategic planning organizati* for the development of Horse Creek Vi ley. Comments, questions and suggt Bons are invited. ( ;