Congratulations and thank you to all those involved in the decision to hire Mark Bonsall as CEO of Santee Cooper. It is a wise and most effective choice.
From 1976 to 1982, I served as financial adviser to Salt River Project near Phoenix. In that capacity, I worked with Mr. Bonsall on SRP’s financial plans and bond issues. He was smart, thoughtful, innovative and diligent.
SRP is considered the leader in its field, noted for ratepayer satisfaction and the ability to excel in an industry facing extraordinary challenges.
Santee Cooper needs an executive respected in the industry and, even more importantly, in financial markets.
However Santee Cooper’s debt is structured or restructured, it will require a leader that the rating agencies and major investors trust. Mr. Bonsall is such a person. They will be willing to work with him to attain the best possible solution for Santee Cooper’s customers.
Only the future will tell if Mark Bonsall and his team will succeed. But I can say that he and his team will be doing considerably more than rearranging the deck chairs.
Knights Hill Road
I don’t post on Facebook but do read many posts. Reading them, and in particular political posts, amazes me.
More amazing is the number of educated professionals who offer comments on a regular basis. Stunning vitriol is written from the left and the right relative to political issues, and many comments are factually iffy.
These posters fail to realize how ugly they appear to readers. Some applaud and some rebut, but the ugliness is obvious.
Still, I would go to war tomorrow to support freedom of speech, however ugly it can be.
Headed for space?
Finally, some good, inspiring news to celebrate: Two South Carolina students will attend Embry-Riddle, the world’s premier aviation and aerospace university, as Boeing Scholars this fall.
Alijah McDonald and Irvin Espinoza are among 22 students who received scholarships created by Boeing and Embry-Riddle to encourage students, with a focus on those from underrepresented communities, to pursue careers in aeronautics.
Irvin, from Jasper County, will start at Embry-Riddle as a first-generation college student. Alijah, from Myrtle Beach, attended the Academy for the Arts, Science and Technology.
Both students’ fascination with aeronautics started well before committing to Embry-Riddle. Irvin was in his school’s inaugural drone class cohort and was one of only two students to complete the class on the first try. Alijah compares his excitement watching rocket launches to the feeling you get watching your favorite band play.
Both were introduced to Boeing at the 2019 SC STEM Signing Day, presented by Boeing, BMW and SCMA, and powered by Tallo, a career guidance service in Mount Pleasant.
I read recently that American children are nearly three times more likely to aspire to be a YouTuber than an astronaut. To continue to foster excitement about space and home-grown talent 50 years after the Apollo 11 moon landing, we must support initiatives like this. After all, how cool would it be if the next Neil Armstrong or Sally Ride was from South Carolina?
Belle Isle Avenue
I am a frequent visitor to Charleston and enjoy touring the historic houses downtown and the nearby plantations.
I’ve noticed over the years that tours given by the guides at Drayton Hall and Middleton Plantation have changed in that more attention is now given to the experience of enslaved African-Americans.
This is a good thing, but I believe they could tell the story more completely if they talked about the working and community lives of the enslaved people.
The one time I visited McLeod Plantation, soon after it became a county park, the tour was short and only discussed the house, grounds and pointed out the slave cabins.
At Drayton Hall and Middleton in the past couple of years, the docents have spent a great deal of time talking about the middle passage on the slave ships and then the hardships slaves endured. All that is important information, but I wanted to hear more about the kind of work the enslaved people did: building and maintaining the rice fields, working in the “task system” and around-the-clock work during harvest season.
I have read about slave communities that developed in the “streets” where families were formed, and where vegetable gardening, storytelling and religious services, including funerals, took place.
I think relating some of this history, along with the truth of the cruelty endured, would bring a more complete story of enslaved African-Americans on Lowcountry plantations to life.
A July 23 Post and Courier letter writer expressed joy that we can all still come together when we sing the traditional seventh-inning-stretch song.
Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before the “everything offends me” crowd sets its sights on the venerable pastime.
“Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowds (clearly triggering for agoraphobics and enochlophobics).”
“Buy me some peanuts (really? What about allergies?) and Cracker (racist) Jack (why not Jill?)”
“I don’t care if I never get back (sure, if you’re rich and don’t have to work for a living).”
“Let me root, root, root (porcine shaming) for the home team (jingoistic), if we don’t win it’s a shame (hypercompetitiveness).”
“For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out (damaging to self-esteem) at the old (ageist) ball game.”
Don’t even get me started on the second verse.