Trees and private property
I really do hate to jump on Rick Baumann every time he sticks his head up, but sometimes he just asks for it.
I have read that Trees For Tomorrow is hosting an upcoming seminar to encourage tree planting.
Trees For Tomorrow is a great program in theory but unfortunately its stated goal is disingenuous.
I have to remind the public about the Letter To The Editor swap that took place several months ago between Rick and myself as organizer of Speak Out!, a private property rights organization here in Georgetown County, concerning the live oak issue. A tree which, as it turned out, was recommended to be cut by an Arborist.
The flap then was Rick stating his ultimate goal of protecting every indigenous tree on private property.
The flap here is Rick now adding “preserving” to the theme of his organization. This is totally in keeping with his goal. It has to be noted that, in early e-mails between Rick and the Sierra Club and other groups and individuals supporting all issues against private property rights, Rick stated that his goal was to use TFT to gain public favor and support and then use that support to persuade county government to pass ordinances that would protect all indigenous trees on private property. Then it was “plant,” now it is “plant and preserve.” I shouldn’t have to tell you what a nightmare it would be to have the government and The Sierra Club protecting every tree in your yard.
So please, if you live in Georgetown County and you have a spot in your yard where you can plant a tree, do it! But be very careful, because the folks who encourage you to plant it today may sue you tomorrow if you decide that you want to chop it down.
There are people we meet in our life that make such an impression that the encounter changes us forever. Our parents, family, and friends help make us who we are, but I am referring to those folks who might never know their impact but who stamp us with a mark so that we are never the same again.
Growing up in Georgetown I have met and grown to admire many folks I now refer to as friends, but two people in particular changed my life in ways I could have never imagined.
First was Trudy Bazemore. My first impression of Trudy was that she had to be one of the smartest people I’d ever met. One day while working on a college history paper, I arrived to do research at the library and Trudy helped me find newspaper articles, books, pamphlets and other useful material. I thought how wonderful it must be to be able to help people all day long and do research and have all this information at your fingertips. From that day forward I found myself watching how Trudy interacted with the patrons and her obvious enjoyment with her job. When I finished college I went to work but I was still looking for my “career.” I thought of Trudy and decided I wanted to be a librarian. I went on to get a Master of Library and Information Science and have been in this field for nearly twenty years. Thank you Trudy for your inspiration.
After finishing library school, and yes, there is a library school, I was offered the job of Library Director in Williamsburg County. I was the director of two old library facilities filled with good books and a great library staff. I really had a desire to help people just as Trudy did but I also wanted to get new facilities for these towns. However, county officials told me that we needed trash trucks more than we needed libraries. I didn’t like it but I understood the dream just wasn’t realistic. Then I met the other person who changed my entire outlook.
Senator Yancey McGill took the time to listen to my little idea about providing a better library for the county and helped make this idea a reality. Yancey introduced me to people and he believed in giving every person a chance to make their lives a little better. He supported the libraries with more than lip service; he supported us with real action and, with his help the funding was secured for not just one but two new libraries for Williamsburg County.
I realized then that the people we elect as leaders, and those that take on a position of leadership, have a heavy responsibility to the people they lead. Yancey McGill understands that responsibility and takes it seriously. And just as I did those years before I started watching Senator McGill. He worked with folks in Williamsburg to get funding for education initiatives like the libraries in that county, he did the same in Georgetown with the Carver’s Bay and Waccamaw libraries and the technology initiatives in Andrews. He spearheaded efforts in Florence County with library projects in Lake City and Johnsonville and he, just as Trudy Bazemore, took pleasure in getting people to the information sources he knew they would need.
Since leaving Kingstree I have married and have a family of my own and, as I’ve taken on roles of civic responsibility, I try to pay forward a little of what was given to me.
Thanks, Yancey and thanks, Trudy. You might not remember me, and that is OK, but your everyday actions made a great impression on my life. So please never underestimate your actions toward another person no matter how small because it will affect others now and in the future.
Russell F. Altman
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