COMMUNITY UPDATE: August 2008

I hope you and your family are having a safe summer and enjoying everything our community and state offers! How many places in America can you live and travel to the mountains and the beach both within about 2 hours from home?

If you have events you’d like me to share on the site, please contact me directly through Nathansnews.com and I’ll be happy to see how I can help pass along the news. Before I continue with the update, I wanted to mention a special event to you. I hope to see you there!

*** SPECIAL EVENT *** The 3rd Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast will be held this year, Thursday September 25th at 7:30 a.m., at Gateway Baptist Church . The event is made possible through sponsorships of $250 (table of 8). Please help us continue this wonderful annual gathering and consider sponsor a table or reserve a ticket ($8). You may contact me or Representative Chip Huggins (ch@scstatehouse.net).

STATE HOUSE

Education Finance Act Study Committee: You may have noticed that we are attempting the daunting task of improving (hopefully) our Education Funding in South Carolina. To that extent, I am joining other members of the committee in ongoing meetings that will certainly last until (and including) our session in 2009. Our next meeting is Tuesday, August 5, at 1:30pm. If you have any suggestions, I’m listening!

What bills would you introduce? The Legislature doesn’t return until January, but during the next several months is when I do my research and planning for what I feel (or have heard form you) is needed in our state and can move our state forward. I’d like to hear from you!

Did you know? Lobbyists: Ever wondered how many lobbyists/lobbyist principals there are in our state? You may be surprised.

YOUR MONEY

“Sales Tax Holiday” is Aug. 1 – 3:
South Carolina’s annual back-to-school “Sales Tax Holiday” – the state’s popular three-day sales and use tax break on traditional back-to-school purchases – is less than a month away. The ninth annual tax-free weekend begins at midnight Friday, Aug. 1 and concludes at midnight Sunday, Aug. 3. During the long weekend, the state’s sales and use tax is lifted on purchases of clothes, shoes, school supplies, book bags, computers, computer parts, printers and more. South Carolina shoppers typically save about $2.8 million in sales tax during the event. The popularity of the tax-free weekend has made it the third busiest shopping period of the year, exceeded only by the weekend after Thanksgiving and the weekend before Christmas. South Carolina adopted the sales tax holiday in 2000 and in following years, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee have also implemented similar tax-free weekends. This year, each will hold their tax-free weekends at the same time as South Carolina.

Richland County Council defeats road tax:
Richland County recently rejected placing a 1% sales tax increase on the November ballot. The revenue from the tax would have funded roads, bike paths, and public transportation.

COMMUNITY

Friarsgate Park / Irmo Little League: There will be another of the Friarsgate Advisory Committee tonight (Wednesday night) at Friarsgate Park with law enforcement, elected officials, the Irmo Little League, and parents/neighbors in the area to talk about recent events at the park and the need for safety awareness. If you live in the area or have children who play sports at the park, please attend. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.

National Night Out: Next Tuesday evening, August 5, several homeowners associations in our area will bring neighbors outdoors for food, fellowship, and community awareness events. I’ll be joining local Community Action Team member Amanda Lee and Sheriff Leon Lott that evening at Riverwalk, Waterford, and other neighborhoods.

FLW tour comes to Lake Murray: The top 77 professionals and 77 co-anglers in the world will compete for a $1 million top award in the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup presented by BP and Castrol — bass fishing’s world championship — on Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C., Aug. 14-17. Many of these anglers, representing 31 states and Japan, are fishing on teams sponsored by some of the nation’s leading brands. The event is expected to have a $40 million impact on the area!

Jenny Sorenson coming home! Hospitalized since January 23, Jenny is coming home August 11. Many have followed Jenny and her family’s journey and last March, Gateway Baptist Church hosted a Blood Drive for Jenny. Scott (Jenny’s husband) thanks everyone in the community for their ongoing prayers and support.

SCHOOLS

Got a “Straight-A Student” in your house? Once again, I want to recognize any K-12 student in our community who receives “Straight-As” on their report cards! Parents – please email your student’s name, school, and grade and I will have a State House Certificate of Recognition prepared in his/her name and mailed to your home address!

Prayer Walk at Irmo High School: August 16th at 9:00 am, there will be a Prayer Walk with Principal Eddie Walker and others at Irmo High School. The walk is in preparation for the upcoming school year.

Filing starts for School Board Elections: August 1st is when the filing period starts for School Board Officers throughout the state. Here in Lexington/Richland District Five, voters will fill three seats this November. Seats currently held by Robert Gantt (Richland) and Paula Hite (Lexington) and the seat held by the late Jerry Fowler (Lexington).

Bond Referendum: Over the next few months, you’ll see lots of information (for/against) another bond referendum for our schools. I encourage everyone to review all information, ask questions, and vote in November.

THANK YOU

Thanks again for staying informed by visiting the site! Please let your friends and neighbors know about it so that they can stay as informed as possible, too. As you can see, I try to write often and regularly update photos from our community as well as videos.

You have given me a great honor by choosing me to represent you in the South Carolina House of Representatives and I remain as committed as ever to staying in touch.

While we will not return for the next session until January 2009, please know I am just a phone call or email away. If you have a civic organization, church or homeowners’ association meeting or event – I would love to attend and hear from your members.

Please contact my office, 734-2969, or email me at BallentineN@scstatehouse.net anytime I can be of service to you or your family.

Nathan Ballentine
www.nathansnews.com
House of Representatives, District 71
Richland-Lexington Counties
320A Blatt Building
Columbia, SC 29221