BY COLLEEN TROY | permalink
JOHNS ISLAND, S.C., July 21, 2014 -- A design-build company with decades of experience in the Lowcountry is changing hands in a unique way.
Wally Seinsheimer founded Dolphin Architects and Builders in 1990, ultimately building a collection of fine homes valued at over $200 million. At about the time the beloved local philanthropist and executive was ready to retire, a young business man raised his hand to help.
Earlier this month, Christopher Ibsen stepped in as owner and chief executive of Dolphin. Armed with years of local experience (including successful stints at Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company and Porter-Gaud School), an MBA from Duke University and experience in construction management, he's ready to lead Dolphin through the coming decades.
But he won't do it alone; a key part of the sale was Seinsheimer's agreement to stay on for three years in an advisory capacity. A similar model was recently tested in a Kansas community, where a new generation of business leaders is encouraged to buy established businesses, and founders are required to stay involved for at least a year.
"Wally has been a valued mentor of mine for nearly 18 years," said Ibsen. "I've always admired him personally, and respected the business and brand he built with Dolphin. In exploring a new opportunity for my career, this made perfect sense."
"Christopher has terrific business savvy and drive," said Seinsheimer. "He feels - as I do - that this company is all about its reputation, and its people. He deeply values the existing team, and having him here to guide Dolphin through future changes gives me the confidence to start the next chapter of my life."
Located on Johns Island, Dolphin employs eight full-time professionals and numerous subcontractors. Homes designed and built by Dolphin typically range in value from $750,000 to $2.5 million, and can be found throughout the greater Charleston market.
"There is no signature 'Dolphin' style," says Ibsen. "Rather, the homes we build reflect their owners. We listen closely to their wishes, and bring them to life. Wally assembled a great design-build team to make those dreams real; I'm thrilled to carry on the tradition, with continued guidance from the founder."
JULY 21, 2014 -- This is the story of two Charleston County voter referenda that will be on the ballot in just over three months.
One seeks to extend a 1-cent sales tax from 2016 to 2022 to generate $540 million, 70 percent of which would go toward capital projects. The rest of the money would help maintain school buildings and add technology across the Charleston County School District. Currently, the district is benefiting from a 2010 referendum that is projected to generate $450 million for new schools by 2016 when the penny tax will dry up.
The new referendum to continue the tax for six years is wholeheartedly supported by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, which has voted to lead a voter education campaign that will cost $75,000 to $150,000 to encourage county residents to support it.
"As you may know, this will be an extension of the sales tax that passed in 2010," said Mary Graham, senior vice president in charge of business advocacy. "Our chamber led that campaign as well. Preparing a skilled and work ready talent pool of future employees continues to be a top priority of our business owners and leaders."
The other referendum on the ballot will ask voters to back a $108 million bond program to improve the county's libraries, which haven't had major renovations in 28 years. That's before the Internet existed. This referendum envisions construction of two new libraries, completely replacing three libraries, and renovating and upgrading technology at 13 remaining branches. Since the 1986 referendum, which funded four regional libraries, the county's population has grown 27 percent and the library's circulation went up by almost 300 percent.
Unlike the school measure, the library referendum isn't wholeheartedly embraced by the chamber. Instead, it has given lukewarm support that's little better than lip service.
"The chamber's Business Advocacy Committee, which establishes all chamber issue positions and evaluates all referendum support requests, did a thorough vetting of the Charleston County Public Library referendum request," Graham explained. "The business leaders, who comprise the committee, recommended a neutral position on the library referendum due to the work required to advance the chamber's other major advocacy responsibilities and taking on the campaign to extend the sales tax for Charleston County public schools. The Business Advocacy Committee is extremely deliberate in only selecting advocacy priorities that it believes our chamber can effectively tackle. At this point, they feel that our bandwidth is being fully pressed with the agenda we have at hand."
Hogwash. It's irresponsible for the chamber to give the green light to one referendum and dilly-dally with the other. It would have not taken much gumption at all for the chamber's public advocacy campaign to shift from "Vote Yes for Schools" to "Vote Yes for Charleston" in backing both referenda.
So now what happens? The chamber will move forward with its planning that has not "outlined the specifics or needed funding at this point." And the library will have to move forward on its own to get voter support. That effort likely will cost at least another $150,000 to be done right for effective communications with voters.
Unfortunately, both efforts are running out of time. They've raised little to no money and haven't communicated much with potential voters. While the last library referendum passed with the approval of three-fourths of voters and the library currently has very high approval ratings from its thousands of patrons, the political climate is much different these days.
Don't be surprised if the Koch brothers' cynical Americans for Prosperity group, which recently opened a South Carolina branch in Mount Pleasant, makes a big push to discourage voters from voting for either referendum.
of excluding the library from its voter education effort, the Charleston
Metro Chamber should welcome the county's library system. Otherwise, neither
referendum -- both of which back efforts that are vitally needed here
-- may get voter approval.
Charleston RiverDogs: Don't miss a game!
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is the Charleston RiverDogs. The Lowcountrys leader in sports entertainment, Charleston RiverDogs baseball is an attractive, affordable medium for your group or business. The RiverDogs develop the next major league stars for the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees at one of the finest ballparks in Minor League Baseball -- Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park.
words sum up the every day approach taken by the Charleston RiverDogs
front office. The brainchild of club President Mike Veeck, the nine-letter
phrase Fun Is Good is meant to be a guideline and daily reminder
of how employees should approach their jobs and in turn capture the imagination
of the fans to turn them into repeat customers.
spots for kids that keep summer reading hot
JULY 21, 2014 -- When a child leaves a grade level behind and summer commences, every parent hopes the child will somehow retain enough vital knowledge to enter the next grade level on a strong foothold.
Schools assign a summer reading list to encourage children to keep their minds as active as their bodies and we are fortunate to have a wonderful public library summer reading program that supports this aim.
For the last eight years, we at Pluff Mud Kids have been fans of the summer library reading initiative and have found other local venues that offer creative reading areas for children as well. By supporting these local booksellers we find bargain books and help with age appropriate selections thus keeping small businesses with inviting reading spaces alive and well in our community.
Browsing books allows children to discover for themselves what's popular with their peers as well as leafing through selections their parents or grandparents may have enjoyed as kids. Herewith, a list of bookshops and libraries we have grown particularly fond of with special consideration for children. After all, whether you cuddle up and read aloud to your child or they settle into a book on their own, reading is a wonderful retreat on a hot summer day! (All of the locations listed here are featured on pluffmudkids.com in the archives under "Books" and/or "Library." Check out our reviews.)
These spaces all offer their own special twist on book nooks for kids of all ages:
All of these local bookshops and reading spaces are featured in stories on pluffmudkids.com with more entries to come. Enjoy your summer reading!
From shark-themed dive shows to shark touch experiences, the S.C. Aquarium's Shark Week offers "jaw-some" fun for all from Aug. 1 to 10.
Reel in the Shark Week experience with tons of toothy fun! From shark themed dive shows, interactive shark carts, and our popular Shark on the Shelf, there's excitement for all ages all week long:
There's also a Dark Blue kick-off party July 31 with food, drink and dancing.
Big Red shoes to be filled in October with new charity walk
McDonald House Charities of Charleston is presenting the first-ever Red
Shoe walk, this October in Hampton Park to help raise money to benefit
the 27 families of critically-ill children they help each night.
sign up now at RedShoeWalk.com
for the Oct. 25 walk, which will start at 9 a.m. in the city park, and
get a brand new pair of big red shoes. A $50.00 registration fee is required.
Sign up on the website to have a private link to send to family and friends
for donations! Between now and Oct. 25, the charity is asking each participant
to raise $1,600, the cost of running the house for one night.
"On average, our House turns away 8 families every night due to a lack of space," according to a press release. "This year, we are expanding our home to help more families in need. We will be adding 5 bedrooms for a total of 32 rooms. "
Local newspaper thinking "outside the box" with context
A new outdoor
art project and contest will help the WestOf community newspaper to increase
distribution and presence in the West Ashley area.
newspaper, which runs publisher Andy Brack's Statehouse Report column,
has purchased more than 35 refurbished metal, outdoor newspaper vending
"Outside the Box" contest, with help of chART (Charleston's
Outdoor Initiative and Gallery), West Of is looking for 25 to 30 Charleston-based
artists to participate turn the "blank canvases" of the newspaper
vending machines into creative art. An art show will take place in the
shops and along the sidewalks in the Avondale neighborhood in the fall.
A panel of local artists and art enthusiasts will select the winning boxes.
The artists of the "Best In Show" box will receive a $500 cash
prize. There will also be prizes for the runner-up, a "Reader's Choice"
winner, and the "Most West Ashley" box.
be few restrictions for the artists as long as the art is not offensive
and does not cover up the front glass where the paper will be displayed.
The coin mechanisms will be removed from the boxes so that the paper will
continue to be offered free to the community.
Thirty Girls is a novel based on a real-life event: the 1996 abduction of thirty girls from a convent school in Uganda, at the hands of rebel forces who believe their leader is receiving instructions from God. The girls are beaten, deprived of food, forced to march great distances, and otherwise abused. Some of them are taken as wives by rebel soldiers; some bear children. It's a disturbing story, but Minot shows the horror without being gratuitous or overly graphic. In a parallel narrative, Jane, an introspective American journalist, travels to Africa to investigate the kidnapping, becoming involved with a group of expatriates of various nationalities as she navigates a way of life and a world far removed from anything she has ever known.
The country gradually became Charleston-conscious, and as a result tourists began to come, especially in the spring, to "America's Most Historic City." Tourism was enhanced by improved transportation, not least of which was the opening of the Cooper River Bridge in 1929, which facilitated automobile traffic with the north and provided makers of sweet-grass baskets direct access to passing motorists.
Hotels such as the Francis Marion and the Fort Sumter were built in the early 1920s to accommodate the influx of visitors. Azalea festivals, musicals, and house and garden tours were offered as entertainment but also served as fund-raisers.
Former plantations, such as Magnolia Gardens and Middleton Place, welcomed tourists to their newly restored gardens. Most of the visitors were northerners, and many of the wealthier ones purchased derelict area plantations, which they restored and transformed into hunting preserves.
more notable figures who came to coastal Carolina in the 1930s were Solomon
R. Guggenheim, who loaned to the Gibbes Museum of Art his collection of
nonobjective painting for its inaugural exhibition; Archer M. and Anna
Hyatt Huntington, who acquired various Allston family plantations to form
Brookgreen Gardens; and Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Kittredge, who transformed
the old rice fields at Dean Hall plantation into Cypress Gardens.
Making reading fun
We encourage you to check out our sister publications:
Charleston Currents offers insightful community comment and good news on events each week. It cuts through the information clutter to offer the best of what's happening locally.
Charleston Currents is provided to you twice a week by:
Address: P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413
We hope you'll keep receiving the great news and information from CharlestonCurrents.com, but if you need to unsubscribe, click here.
© 2008-2014, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. Charleston Currents is published every Monday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.
6.39 | Monday, July 21, 2014
Learn about local history
Charleston County Public Library will offer four talks about history impactingCharleston.
Take a listen:
and Slavery: The Apprentice System in Early Charleston: 6 p.m., Aug.
12, Main Library auditorium, Charleston
Sea and Service Stories:
Noon, Aug. 16, Poe/Sullivan's Island Branch Library, Sullivan's Island.
Fortifying Charleston during the War of Jenkins' Ear, 1739-1748: 6 p.m., Aug. 27, Main Library, second floor classroom,
"I'm from the Spencer Tracy school: Be on time, know your words, hit your marks, and tell the truth. I don't have any theories about acting, and I don't think about how to do it, except that an actor shouldn't take himself too seriously, and shouldn't try to make acting something it isn't. Acting is just common sense. It isn't hard if you put yourself aside and just do what the writer wrote."
Insert your email address and click subscribe for free.
submissions sought: Through Sept. 1. Join a forum for self-published
authors and readers, and submit family-friendly content to Steven Schwengel,
Main Library, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC, 29401. Submissions must
be family-friendly and include the author's name, phone number, email
and postal addresses. Authors of approved submissions will be invited
to present their works during 4- to 8-minute presentations September 25.
This event is not a sales forum, but a literary exchange for authors and
readers More: phone 843-805-6943.
Charleston: A Novel: 5 p.m., July 31, Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King Street, Charleston. The shop will hold a book launch party for novelist Margaret Bradham Thornton on her new novel. More.
Be Brave Bunch: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Aug. 1, Cooper River Room, Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. The Center for Women will host its annual "Be Brave" celebration in honor of Women's Equality month. Online submissions are being taken through June 23 to honor five brave people. More.
Thursday Night Boogies: This new summer dance series is at the Mount Pleasant Pier. Dancers age 21 and older are invited to do dance starting at 6 p.m. on August 14. Learn more.
(NEW) Hitchcock movie marathon: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Aug. 29, St. Andrews Regional Library, West Ashley. The library will offer the best of Alfred Hitchcock in this day-long marathon.
Family movies at Freshfields Villages: 8:30 p.m. every Wednesday, Village Green at Freshfields Village near Kiawah Island. Starlight Cinema is a free outdoor movie series that offers top new releases and family classics. Coming soon: Muppets Most Wanted (July 30).
Yappy hour and more. Charleston County Parks will offer dog-friendly, after-work socials at James Island and Palmetto Islands county parks a dozen times over the summer. At James Island, Yappy Hour will be held starting at 4 p.m. with live music on Aug. 7, Sept. 18 and Oct. 16. At Palmetto Islands, dogs, owners and musicians will appear with food trucks in Pups, Yups and Food Trucks on July 24, Aug. 21, Sept. 25 and Oct. 23. More.
Bird walks: 8:30 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Saturday. This is the time of year that a great variety of migrating birds fly through the Lowcountry so what better time to take part in one of the regular early morning bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Pre-registration is suggested. Cost is $5. Walks also are conducted on James Island and Folly Beach.Learn more online.
takes a virtual village