Sunday, December 17, 2006

Special Delivery to Pinopolis

Here in the remains of the day we've pulled up at the U.S. Post Office at Pinopolis, SC., 29469 as far as the postal system is concerned. Beyond its zip code it doesn't count for much in Washington. There are, however, special interests in Washington and elsewhere which have designs on the life and land in these parts.

The few actual villages we have left in South Carolina lie at the termination of dead end roads. Since progress does not pass through them it passes them by. The little towns which lie in the way of progress usually perish in its wake. Progress can be like a predator on the prowl. Many little hamlets crouch like rabbits waiting for the wolf to move on, hoping it neither sees nor smells them. It is powerful vested interests rather than actual progress which is disturbing the peace of this community and what they smell is a fast buck.

Three of those posted bills on the board are pleas for help in resisting a new plan to bring heavy barge traffic through the Tailrace Canal via the Pinopolis Dam. While these handbills represent popular sentiment in this area, they don't stand up to the promise of jobs and prosperity being dangled by supporters of the project and their political allies. Orangeburg County in general and the town of Santee in particular are pushing the barge project. It is so often at the local political level where the quality of community life and the integrity of our natural resources get sold down the river as elected officials are recruited by one means or another to do the bidding of developers. At least developers build things for the money they make off the land, but CaroLinks barge plan would simply consume.


Blogger Windviel said...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Special Delivery to Pinopolis":

I really have enjoyed your pictures and stories of the SC Lowcountry. I grew up 1/2 mile from the Pinopolis Post Office which was built and donated by Mr. A.D. Hare to the community. Though I have been gone for many years my thoughts often return to my rambling through the woods and fields of Pinopolis.

In regard to Carolinks proposed barge traffic, I never understood the panic folks worked themselves into about the project.

Having spent many a weekend traveling from Lake Moultrie through the Pinopolis Dam locks to the Cooper River, I knew it was physically impossible to move more than a couple of hundred barges through the locks in a day. The navigation through the winding portions of the river would require breaking the barges into very small segments and the fuel costs would be prohibitive.

It really seemed to be a scheme to get government agencies to invest in a project that would be a black hole for money.

Thanks again for the SC pictures.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Thanks for your comment, Anonymous. You are correct in your assessment of the very strange proposal to ship containers by barge up thorough the Tail Race. Anyone who bothered to take a boat up that route would clearly see the folly of the project. There was, it seems, another agenda held in the second shoe.

While it did seem most impractical, most local folks were scared because they have seen so many dreadful projects undertaken which defy both logic and responsibility to the impacted communities. Stranger things will happen.

Pinopolis is probably preserved because it's a dead end in the road. Who knows what horrors would have obtained had it been on a road to some resort.

We share your love of this pastoral spot.

12:39 PM  

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