Thumbs up to Prysmian, the Italian cable-making company in Abbeville, for its plans to expand and create another 16-20 jobs. Sure, that might not seem like many jobs to some, but this is more than just a jobs machine at work. This represents a commitment, an investment in Abbeville County on the part of one of its industrial residents. That’s good for some people out of work, in the short term, but it’s great for the overall economy of Abbeville County in the long term.
Sometimes people look for new business, new industry to arrive at their doorsteps and forget about the existing ones. It says plenty about that business or industry when it has notched 10, 20 or even more years -- such as Fujifilm celebrating its 25th year in Greenwood. Existing industry and business deserves thanks and support as much as newcomers deserve thanks and gratitude.
 
We absolutely love the back-to-school tax-free shopping weekend, as probably a good many others do. What we absolutely abhor is just how ridiculous the list of exempt and non-exempt items plays out. Come on, does it really make sense that a wedding dress can be bought tax-free but a bicycle cannot? We realize many of today’s kids think it’s anything but cool to ride a bike to school, but where the heck is the logic in making wedding dresses tax free during a back-to-school sales blitz weekend? What are we saying here? This must be for the young bride who is at least still pursuing her education. And the groom? Well, he has to buy the tuxedo, not rent it.


We’d like to see the list either fine-tuned more or just open it up to just about everything. If you look at the list of exempt and non-exempt items, you’ll scratch your head a bit, too, we think. Buy a whole computer system and it’s tax free. Buy a keyboard alone and it’s not. As for other items, clearly the list will help the college kid who has a dorm room or apartment to furnish and decorate, but it’s also a great time for someone who is ready to redecorate the home and doesn’t even have kids in school. All sorts of recreational equipment counts, but again, why not bikes? Heck, why not cars? Kids get cars as a means of transportation to and from school. Oh, and who among those going back to school buys a corset? Or corset laces?
Heck, now we don’t know how to count this. Is it a thumbs up? Thumbs down? Guess we’ll label this one a sideways thumb.
 
Ann Crawley gets a thumbs up this week. Crawley has a passion for helping people, something she did much of her life, whether with Community Initiatives in Greenwood or other nonprofits in Pennsylvania. Crawley is hanging up official duties, stepping away from Community Initiatives, which she helped found in 2000, but we suspect it will not be in her nature to just kick back. She’ll find ways to stay busy, and we won’t be surprised if she is found volunteering where she can help others, whether they be at-risk residents or people who just need someone to visit and spend time with them. Congratulations, Ann, on a good career of service to others. But do take some time for yourself during retirement, OK?