Friday, July 29, 2005

Good Sense 

Someone wrote a great letter to The State about the NAACP boycott of South Carolina (yes, that's still going on). With all that's happened in the world lately, the location of an old rag seems less and less important each day. The letter can be found here, the second one down, but I've excerpted the whole thing below because I think it's too good to let it pass into oblivion a week from now when the link expires.
The NAACP is standing firm to its economic boycott of South Carolina, but is it helping or hurting African-Americans in South Carolina?

The NAACP should give more attention to the real issues that affect today's people, such as AIDS, gang violence, low home ownership, job disparities and the increasing number of African-American men being incarcerated.

The boycott is only hurting African-Americans because it will begin to affect jobs, and nine times out of 10, the people who will lose their jobs will be African-Americans.

I am an African-American woman, and while I don?t agree that the Confederate flag should have been taken off the top of the State House and put in front of it, I believe there should be a better way for the NAACP to support this issue than an economic boycott.

In the long run, what?s more important — a flag and its history or the well-being of our people?


West Columbia

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Midtown at Forest Acres 

Richland Mall has been struggling ever since I moved to Columbia. For whatever reason, the mall just keeps losing stores and has trouble finding new ones to replace them. Since it's the closest mall to me, literally right down the street, I still shop there. The anchor stores — Parisian, Belk, Barnes & Noble, Blacklion — seem to be doing all right, but the hallways between the anchors are lined with empty storefronts.

When I heard about the latest mall redevelopment project, I was cautiously optimistic. Various firms have been trying to revitalize Richland Mall for years, but no one's been successful so far. The new developers, Peerless Real Estate Services (no web site), however, have a more radical plan than anyone's tried so far.

They want to completely rebuild the mall and turn it into a mixed-use development with condos, office space, shops, and restaurants. Despite the growing popularity of these open-air type malls, we don't have one yet in Columbia. I think this just might work.

A web site showing the proposed development has now gone live, revealing the mall's new name: Midtown at Forest Acres.
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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Give and Take 

Today I stumbled across Freecycle, an online goods exchange. Freecycle aims to help people "reduce, reuse, and recycle" stuff they already have but don't use by giving it to people who need it. It's the information age equivalent of giving your extra rake to your neighbor when his breaks. There are exchange message boards for just about every town and city in the U.S. Recent posts to the Columbia group include a request for bedroom furniture and an offer of computer peripherals.

For businesses, South Carolina WasteXchange serves the same purpose, allowing businesses to use other businesses' leftover supplies.
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