Sunday, March 29, 2015

Town of Summerton S.C. - New Web Site

The town of Summerton S.C. has a new web site. Summerton based information technology (IT) organizations, Duke Computer Concepts (DCC) and COSITech.Net, have partnered with the town in redesigning and updating its old website - at no cost to the town.

Please take a few minutes to look over the new web site and let us know what you think. Both DCC and COSITech will continue to work with the town to further enhance and maintain the web site - again, at no cost to the town.

Check out some of the following pages and key functionality on the new web site:
  • Home Page - In addition to providing visitors with a brief introduction to Summerton, the home page also contains a quick Video Tour of historic Summerton.
  • About - In addition to providing a brief history of Summerton, a link is provided to the much more detailed Historic Summerton web site.
  • Staff Directory - This page provides contact information to key local government offices and individuals.
  • Council - This page provides the names and available email addresses of the Mayor, Mayor Pro-tem, and members of the Town Council.
  • Ordinances - Links to key town ordinances are posted on this page.
  • Printable Forms - Includes access to forms related to licenses, permits, zoning, and jury duty jury.
  • Payments - Provides instructions and online systems for submitting payments for Traffic Tickets and Summerton Water & Sewer. It also includes a link to the Public Works Department web pages.
  • Links - Provides key links to web sites for local government agencies, businesses, and non-government organizations (NGO) in Summerton and the surrounding area. Check out the new online Summerton Phone Book.

Over the coming year new functionality and content will be slowly added to the town of Summerton's new web site, e.g. schedule of town council meetings, agendas, minutes, plans, local laws, and much more.  

Also, please send your constructive comments and suggestions on improving the site to the mayor of Summerton, Mac Bagnal, at mbagnal@scwa.org   You can also contact Rick Duke, CEO of Summerton based Duke Computer Concepts (DCC) at rick@dukecomputerconcepts.com or Peter Groen, CEO of COSITech.Net and Editor of the online Summerton Weekly News Roundup at groenpj@cs.com.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

American Alligators in South Carolina


The other day I was hiking through the Santee National Wildlife Refuge just outside historic Summerton, South Carolina. It was a warm spring day in late March and the alligators appeared to be out in force. I don't know much about alligators but have a healthy respect for them, so I took care to keep an eye out and stayed far away from them - though I did take some cool photographs of them from a distance.

After returning home, I did a little research and decided to share what I found with other novices who might be visiting and hiking through swamps to observe the local wildlife in South Carolina. Here are some basic facts about American alligators you might find interesting.

Basic Facts

  • Alligators in the wild are believed to live 35-50 years. In captivity their life span may be significantly longer, perhaps 60-80 years. The longest recorded length for an alligator is 19' 2'. However, most wild alligators do not get above 13 feet in length and may weigh 600 pounds or more.
  • Alligators do not like to chase people. One SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employee who has trapped more than 2,000 alligators in 17 years has not had a single alligator, that wasn't cornered, move aggressively toward him.
  • The American alligator is quite agile and is capable of moving at 30 miles per hour for short distances. However, it is rare for an alligator to pursue a human because they are too large to be suitable prey. They are most likely to charge at you if you are near their nest. If an alligator charges you, run better fast and straight - away from the alligator.
  • Alligators have very good eyesight, which is an important adaptation for hunting. They are especially adapted to see and sense movement of potential prey animals. Also, alligators have sharp claws and powerful tails to help them push their bodies up and have been known to actually climb fences to get to water or escape captivity.
  • The American alligator is the only large predator remaining in South Carolina, yet many visitors and residents remain unaware of how to avoid potential conflicts with it. Good judgment and the ability to understand the animals’ behavior are important for avoiding problems.
  • Because alligators are regularly observed lazily basking along water bodies, some people mistakenly assume that they are docile and harmless. Normally, alligators will stay away from humans and pose little threat to them. However, alligators should never be approached and people should avoid becoming complacent in and around water bodies.
  • Alligators’ predatory nature and potentially large size demands respect. Although attacks on people are rare, they do occasionally occur. Most attacks on humans are by animals 9-10 feet or larger. Attacks on pets are not uncommon.
  • Most alligator problems occur between early March and July which is the breeding season. They are also generally more visible at this time of the year because they want to get out of the cold water and warm up in the sunshine. Remember, alligators will not normally flee while on land – they will face you and stand their ground.
  • Alligators should normally retreat into the water at the approach of humans. Nevertheless, don't get closer than 15 feet to an alligator. If it hisses or opens its mouth in defense, you should back away immediately. Most attacks associated with alligators occur when they have been fed by humans or when they are defending their nests.

Safety tips

  • Most attacks occur while the victim is at least partially in the water. Work in pairs and stay alert when working in or near fresh and brackish water. Remain on the lookout and be aware of your surroundings. Most attack victims report they were unaware of the alligator's presence until the last minute.
  • Leave alligators alone. Observe and photograph alligators only from a distance. Smaller alligators, four feet or less, pose little threat. However, never toy with smaller alligators. In the wild. Their mother may be nearby.
  • Never feed or entice alligators - it’s both dangerous and illegal. When fed, alligators overcome their natural wariness and learn to associate people with food. Feeding alligators creates a danger for everyone.
  • Alligators are most active between dusk and dawn. Therefore, swim only during daylight hours. Large alligators feed most actively during the evening hours. Closely supervise children when they are playing in or around water.
  • Don't let your pets swim, exercise, drink from, or run along the shoreline of waters that may contain alligators as they are about the same size as an alligator’s natural prey. Appropriate fencing of your waterfront property will help protect family and pets against incursions by alligators.
  • Don't try to remove alligators from their natural habitat or try to keep one as a pet. It is strictly against the law to do so and is dangerous. Alligators do not become tame in captivity and handling even small ones can result in injury.
  • Finally, every alligator bite requires prompt medical treatment because of the high infection potential.



Selected Sources of Information on American Alligators







Saturday, March 14, 2015

Mobile Technology & Apps

You probably already have a smartphone and are already using a collection of mobile apps. That's great - but maybe it's time to learn a little more about the subject. So, the following are selected links to mobile app organizations, news sites, free & open source mobile apps, and other tools now available to individuals and organizations.

Mobile App Resources
Also, remember to check out the USA.Gov Mobile Apps and the SC.Gov Mobile Apps web sites. In fact, Governor Nikki Haley just tweeted about South Carolina's free PalmettoPride Trash Tracker mobile app.

Mobile App Organizations
  • Mobile Data Association - A non-profit industry association dedicated to representing and promoting all mobile data centric businesses.
  • Open Mobile Alliance- Representing the world's leading mobile operators, device & network suppliers, information technology companies and content providers.
Mobile Tech News
Mobile App Development Tools
Don't just be an uninformed user. Take the time to learn a little bit more about mobile technology and mobile apps.

If you have a great new idea for a mobile app, do a little research and take a shot at developing a new app and share it with the rest of the world. If its really good, sell it and make a few million.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Ridiculous Behaviour and Stories by the News Media


Editorial:  Ever feel like the country's news media is no longer reporting the news. They're more into themselves, into offering their opinions rather than providing facts, and just simply being entertainers - and not very good ones at that. All while ignoring major news stories that are all around us. For example:
  • On the morning news shows, they're more focused on laughing and giggling amongst themselves about inane stuff while ignoring catching us up on the news.
  • Several news media chains are obviously tools of political parties or billionaire owners that lean to the 'right' or the 'left'. Every story is slanted to advance their political or business agenda.
  • Every news story tends to have very few facts, but lots of opinions and commentary that fills up time but adds no real value. The commentators are not as bright as they think they are.
  • News stations get locked on stories like Hillary Clinton's use of a private email service, or secret service agents that got drunk while off duty, or some off the cuff comment by a political figure... and they go on and on for hours and days about this silly stuff.
  • So many stories use the same news clips that are not up to date and really have nothing to do with the news story.
  • Also, everything is breaking news nowadays. Even the silliest stories of little value. Often they are entertainment news items.
  • A lot of breaking news stories get ahead of the facts and immediately jump to conclusions, spin what-if theories, and mislead the public as they try to fill air time.
In the meantime, what is the latest news and facts about the Mexican drug wars, Russian aggression, Christian persecution, Syria, Boko Haram, misconduct by bankers, new and useful technologies, space travel, advances by China, and so much more. Give us a quick, concise factual update every day - like the BBC does for its audience. Let's inform and educate people to what is really going on around the world.

By the way, have you looked at Google News or Yahoo News online and checked what stories they are running about South Carolina? About 80% of the news is about Clemson or Gamecock sports. C'mon, there's lots more going on across the state that ought to be reported.

What do you think? Is the TV news media contributing to the 'dumbing down' of America? Can they do better?

Monday, March 9, 2015

Looking for a Job near Summerton, S.C. in 2015

Spring 2015: Summerton is a small town in rural South Carolina that has become known as a wonderful place to vacation, raise a family, run a business - or retire to, when all is said and done. The deep spiritual commitment and sound family values of its people are reflected in the many churches and close-knit residential communities in Summerton and the surrounding area on the shores of beautiful Lake Marion.

Are you looking for a job in Summerton, S.C., or the surrounding area? There are currently quite a few jobs available nearby in Manning, Santee, Sumter, Orangeburg, etc.  Check out the following links: 
While Summerton retains the feel of a small rustic town, it has also benefited from the creation of numerous new residential and business communities that are continuing to grow up around beautiful Lake Marion.  These are bringing new jobs into the area.

Summerton and Lake Marion are well known across the South for offering a wide range of outdoor recreational activities like camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, kayaking, boating, and golfing to its many visitors. Make sure you visit the Summerton SC: Nature & Outdoor Recreation web site.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Legislative Update from Senator Kevin Johnson

A message from Senator Kevin L. Johnson
District 36 - Clarendon, Darlington, Florence, and Sumter Counties
Columbia, South Carolina- February 2015


We have now completed the 2nd month of the 121st session of the South Carolina General Assembly. This month the vast amount of our time has been spent on S.1, an ethics reform bill. Another major bill that is being debated is S.3, which deals with Criminal Domestic Violence. Both of these bills are progressing much slower than necessary but I hope we can get these bills passed so that we can begin to deal with the issue that I think will be the most important this year. In my opinion, 2015 needs to be the year that we finally approve a plan to address the horrible condition of our highway infrastructure. This is a safety issue and an economic development issue. Many options and ideas are currently under consideration and it is my hope that one or a combination of them rise to the top so that we can begin the long and arduous task of repairing our roads and bridges.

Also, many different sentiments have been expressed this month in reference to the issues at South Carolina State University. While I readily admit that some tough and difficult decisions must be made to strengthen and improve their financial situation, I do not feel that closing this historic institution of higher learning is the answer. Several bills have recently been introduced in the House and Senate that would require new leadership at SCSU. It is my
understanding that these bills will provide the necessary financial assistance to the University that will still allow the students to receive a quality education.
 

This month the Senate approved bill S.11. This bill relates to the notice of meetings for public bodies, to require that a public body must provide an agenda for all regularly scheduled meetings and that items shall not be added to that agenda later than twenty-four hours before the meeting, except by a two-thirds vote of the body. Bill S. 177 was also approved, it is a bill that wishes to provide a procedure for the certification of domestic and foreign records of regularly conducted activity, or business records, in accordance with federal rule 902(11) and (12). Also approved was bill S. 78, a bill to enact the "forfeited lands emergency development act", and to provide for the authority of county councils and forfeited land commissions to petition legislative delegations for the use of the special authorities provided in this act. Together these Bills have now been moved over to the House of Representatives.
 

Also, Senator Thomas McElveen and I have requested that the SC Senate initiate a formal inquiry into the current State of the Pinewood Hazardous Waste Site.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Local High School Varsity Baseball Scores, Schedules & Stats - March/May 2015

Check out the upcoming schedule, results, and statistics on your favorite local Clarendon county high school Varsity Boys Baseball teams at MAXPREPS.Com

You can also use MAXPREPS.Com to look up scores, schedules, and stats on other varsity boys and girls sports teams, e.g. Softball, Football, Track & Field, Volleyball...

Monday, March 2, 2015

Series on the History of Black Americans in South Carolina

The Times and Democrat Newspaper in Orangeburg, S.C., recently published a series of articles on the chronology of Black History in South Carolina. The author of the series, Richard Reid, is president of the Orangeburg Historical and Genealogical Society.

The series of articles are about people, events, places, and the daily lives of Black Americans that have lived within the state of South Carolina since 1670. The four part chronology below makes for interesting reading. Check it out!


Speaking of history, don't forget to visit the web site on Historic Summerton, S.C.