Your Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Just because you haven’t had one yet this week, and are probably pining for it:

  1. US and UK pull staff out of Yemen (BBC) — Well, at least we’re not the only ones cutting and running. For a more dramatic headline touch, try NPR: ‘Depart Immediately,’ State Dept. Tells Americans In Yemen.
  2. George W. Bush undergoes heart surgery in Dallas (WashPost) — They put in a stent. He seems to be doing fine.
  3. As trial opens, accused Fort Hood gunman says, ‘I am the shooter’ (WashPost) — Actually, he said “The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter.” You attorneys will not be shocked to learn that he is representing himself.
  4. Broad Decline in Obesity Rate Seen in Poor Young Children (NYT) — The Times is currently leading with this man-bites-dog trend story. Good news. Awesome news, really.
  5. U.S. Files Charges in Libya Attack (WSJ) — I’m not quite sure what to make of this yet. Too many unanswered questions.
  6. DOD furlough reductions will soften economic impact on SC ( — Just trying to get something with a local angle onto the page. Not a lot of news in SC at the moment.

33 thoughts on “Your Virtual Front Page, Tuesday, August 6, 2013

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    3. He cannot plead guilty because prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. I would have let him plead, waiving the death penalty, and suffer in his wheelchair for the rest of his life!

    1. Bryan Caskey

      This is shaping up to be the world’s shortest trial. Also, if you’re against the death penalty for this guy, you’re just against the death penalty. Mass murder and treason kind of requires it.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        I am indeed against the death penalty, but if I weren’t, he would not be at the top of my list. He suffers from religious delusions. Somebody like Irmo bookie and coldblooded wife murderer Brett Parker is more like someone I could pull the switch on….

        1. bud

          Well said Kathryn. I too oppose the death penalty. But if I were to make an exception it would be Susan Smith. Why did she avoid the death penalty?

        2. Silence

          Him and about a few billion other people all suffer from “religious delusions”. Before I get jumped for saying that, delusional religious people come in all denominations.

          Kill ’em all, let the Flying Spaghetti Monster sort em out.

          1. Doug Ross

            What purpose is served by having an inmate spend 40 or more years in prison with no chance of parole?

            There are plenty of cases that go beyond any chance of reasonable (or even unreasonable) doubt existing that should result in a death sentence. This is one of them. The victims’ relatives deserve true justice, not an ongoing reminder that a killer gets to live.

          2. Kathryn Fenner

            Delusional religious people who kill as a direct result of said delusions should be locked up for life, not killed.

          3. Doug Ross

            Why? If at some point they claim to no longer have those delusions, do they get set free?

            With the death penalty, the punishment fits the crime. The cost of each life without parole inmate is significant. There are better uses for limited tax dollars.

    2. Bart

      He wants to make his statement, be convicted, executed, and become a martyr for his religion. His acts and sacrifice will be celebrated in the Muslim world. Not complicated at all otherwise he would have an attorney and plead out.

  2. Mark Stewart

    He just wants to make a statement. They should close the court to spectators outside of the families and the media should stop following him until the day they announce his execution date.

    1. Doug Ross

      “Proposals for adaptive reuse of Palmetto Compress are welcome, including those involving student housing”, Fred Delk said.

      Wait – I thought there were all sorts of people lining up to buy the Palmetto Compress building? Now they’re looking for anybody who might have a plan?

      How much money has been spent already on the empty building?

      1. Silence

        Fred Delk and the Columbia Development Corp haven’t have a hit since the Congaree Vista, maybe 701 Whaley was theirs. I think most of their recent efforts have been flops.
        Historic Columbia Fire House
        Fuel Cell District
        Battery at Arsenal Hill
        900 Pulaski
        City Club
        Lofts at Printers Square
        Rosewood Hills
        Shandon Square

    1. Doug Ross

      At least she’s open about her intent to treat people differently based on their notoriety. How else do you move up in the world unless you provide special favors to well connected people?

  3. Kathryn Fenner

    My, my, my, aren’t we all just rays of sunshine about the City of Columbia and its affairs! Since Doug doesn’t even live here, I will let his predictable negative assessments slide, but one ha to wonder why Silence still lives here, since clearly everything sucks!

    1. Doug Ross

      I’ve lived within 15 minutes of downtown Columbia for over 20 years. I’ve sent plenty of money to USC and paid plenty of hospitality and sales taxes downtown.

      You’ve reach the point where the only response to direct questions about questionable policies is “love it or leave it”. Too few people question the activities of politicians — and that’s why Columbia is what it is.

      You were deeply involved in the Palmetto Compress project. Where are the buyers? What can be done with the building considering its limited windows and internal structure?

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Fred’s strategy was to wait to market it fully until he had lined up all the detils on the various, numerous financing/tax credit, etc. opportunities. Also, they have been doing structural studies. Yes, this would have been better to do before the city bought it, but the sellers outmaneuvered us all.

        Many options have been floated, and more than a few can co-exist; a performing arts space, shops, restaurants, a hotel, classroom space for USC, an incubator for tech companies, and even student housing. Understand that the article in the paper was written with the usual attention to accuracy that attends local news stories, which is not a whole lot. My guess is that they asked Fred is student housing is an option, and he responded, “of course, we are considering all offers.” A local architect had drawn up plans for student apartments, sort of townhouse-type multi-floor units lit by skylights. The east side can be pretty freely modified. The others not so much.

        OF course Innovista is being retooled. The Recession did a number on most development plans everywhere. It makes sense to house students near where they study, and the only open spaces are there and to the south. It makes a lot more sense than having them live out I-26 towards Irmo, as my brother did in the early 80s, or out in student slums where they are bussed in, as now. Students who are in frats and sororities that have houses in the Greek Village pay for meals there whether they eat them or not, and I think fewer than half can actually live there. For example.

    2. Silence

      Not everything! Plus, where else would I go? I don’t have a job offer anywhere else, yet.

    3. Mark Stewart

      Lot’s of people want to see Columbia and the Midlands (and also South Carolina as a whole) become a better place to live and work. I hear lots of people pushing for progress, each in their own way here.

      However, it is important to acknowledge that a lot of people are resistant to change and unwilling to committ to the effort and sacrifice necessary to leave a society bettered and made stronger. Too many are content to push their own agenda without regard for the greater needs of a society – which are rich and complex; and also undefined. It isn’t always easy to sort out the path to take.

  4. Mark Stewart

    … “but the sellers outmaneuvered us all.”

    Actually, I think the leaders of this futile effort walked into the wall all by themselves.

    1. Doug Ross

      Mark – in your professional opinion, what are potential uses for the Palmetto Compress Building? Can it realistically be used for housing or office space? How much alteration can be done structurally to the building? and can you foresee a buyer who would consider it cheaper to retrofit than to build new?

      As for Dormovosta, I was reading the comments on The State’s story and the biggest concern appears to be the added traffic that will result in an already congested area. 1700 beds = 1700 cars more or less with most of them trying to get to classes in the morning commute hours.

      Wait – I get it. They need students to fill the city owned parking garages!

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Um, the students are already coming to campus. This way, they’ll be already here. No need to drive….

        Reading the comments section of any newspaper site will rot your brain.

        1. Doug Ross

          You expect them to walk from Huger Street? or from the Amtrak Station to class? Google says its over a mile to the Russell House. These are kids whose parents drove them door to door to school til they were in high school.

        2. Silence

          Most of the non-commuter students seem to have cars these days. I used to have an office on campus, right across from some of the women’s dormitories. The view was very nice, particularly in the springtime. One thing that struck me as interesting was how many on-campus residents went home Friday afternoon. I guess in-state students aren’t really very far from home, most under two hours, certainly all the in state students here are under three hours from home.

          This was different than what I had experienced in my undergrad days, when a lot of the in-state students were three or five hours away from home, and so trips home were less frequent than most weekends. Also, when I started undergrad, only two of my freshman friends had access to cars, now it seems a lot more prevalent.

          1. Doug Ross

            When I was at Purdue in 1980, freshmen couldn’t have cars… I did simply because I couldn’t afford flights back and forth to Mass. but I parked in remote areas a good mile from my dorm.

          2. Silence

            At the first U I attended resident freshman couldn’t have cars – if they received financial aid, unless they had a job off campus. Pretty much everyone had some sort of finanacial aid, so almost no freshmen had cars. The two guys I knew who “had” cars both lived on campus, but were also locals, so they just disregarded the rule.

      2. Mark Stewart

        Doug, I said what I could about this months ago, and my voice is but a tiny squeak. The money has been distributed to the sellers. Those investors are happy. It’s a short list of happy for this deal…

        I wish the City of Columbia good luck in extricating themselves from this. Real estate investing is all about proving the IRR – and achieving it.

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