15, 2014 -- The Christmas Village at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens will
serve as a depot for Santa's train, a photo studio for family holiday
portraits and a place where children can scamper and hide.
15, 2014 -- As state lawmakers gab next year about how to fix failing
roads, under-performing schools, rising poverty and more, they need to
keep their eyes on something less concrete, but nonetheless important:
how to restore the public's confidence in government.
"easy" answer may be just to stop all of the bickering and focus
on things that have real and major impact, such as substantive ethics
reform to clean up a culture of corruption or dedicating more funding
to pave pothole-plagued roads.
a national level, the public's trust in government is near an all-time
low. Just 24 percent of Americans have confidence in the federal government
most of the time, according to the Pew Research Center for the People
and the Press. That's a remarkable decline from 60 percent in 2001 after
the September 11 attacks on the U.S.
South Carolina in 2012, about a third of state residents said they trusted
state government to do what was right most of the time, according to a
Winthrop Poll. More than 45 percent said they trusted local government.
Interestingly, approval ratings about how the legislature is handling
its job actually have been on the increase -- from 33 percent in 2012
to 45 percent last month, polls show.
you wouldn't know it from listening to people in restaurants, on television
or around the water cooler, particularly following the quick downfall
of ex-House Speaker Bobby Harrell of Charleston.
job number one for the General Assembly is to pass comprehensive ethics
reform to help reinstill public confidence in government.
would be a big step forward, a positive signal for the public, for those
legislators who have been stonewalling independent investigation of complaints
involving legislators to welcome an effective and fair independent system
of oversight," said Lynn Teague of the League of Women Voters of
all of the ethics reform in the world may not be enough to repair the
damage done by years of glad-handing, back-slapping and knee-jerking around
issues that don't really make much of a difference.
"A less partisan, less polarized environment would also be helpful," said College of Charleston political science professor Gibbs Knotts. "When the Republicans took control of the S.C. Senate, there was considerable collaboration between Democrats and Republicans. This has not occurred in recent legislative sessions."
Cause of South Carolina's John Crangle suggests the state needs a major
whistleblower law to allow public employees to report corruption without
retaliation. Passing ethics reform without a whistleblower law would be
like having a "boat with a big hole in the bottom," he said.
This week, state Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden, introduced a tough whistleblower
Mayor Rick Danner says local governments can play a big role in restoring
confidence in government by creating efficiencies that lead to better
performance, generating more transparency, collaborating with citizens,
providing better communication and creating an atmosphere of proactive
must challenge the conventional role of public service and reawaken public
understanding of the critical role thousands of public servants, like
ourselves across the state, play in helping us achieve the high standard
of living we all expect and deserve," he told a group of local finance
officials earlier this year.
activist Brett Bursey of Columbia urges major fixes to the state's election
system, particularly the vast number of non-competitive legislative districts
due to gerrymandered redistricting.
bleached, packed and segregated political districts that are the nation's
least competitive yield no statesmen or even productive politicians, but
rather a kabuki dance with trite lines and predictable outcomes,"
he said, adding that the best way to fight the complacent system was through
building "a progressive coalition of the majority of South Carolinians
who are being played for fools and ripped off."
key solution to better governing, Teague says, is for public officials
to just tell the truth -- that there is no free lunch and that we can't
keep on scrimping along.
need more political courage to discuss difficult issues," she said.
"We have gone about as far as we can by moving money from one place
to another within the existing budget and shifting responsibility from
one place to another.
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The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In today's issue, we shine the spotlight on SCIWAY, South Carolinas Information Highway. Pronounced sky-way, SCIWAY is the largest and most comprehensive directory of South Carolina information on the Internet. It includes thousands of links to other South Carolina Web sites, including Charleston Currents, as well as an amazing collection of maps, charts, articles, photos and other resources.
Battle of Tulifinny Crossroads
After multiple failed attempts to sever the Charleston and Savannah Railroad line, including the November 30 Battle of Honey Hill, the Union army decided to muster one more assault. Their mission was to eliminate the use of the railroad as a means to reinforce the Confederates troops in Savannah about to face General William T. Sherman and his army. Sherman sent a telegraph to Washington: "I would like to have [General] Foster break the Charleston-Savannah Railroad about Pocotaligo about the first of December."
Foster assembled 5,000 troops for this attack, including a battalion of U.S. Marines. From December 2 - 4, the Marines trained at Beaufort and Parris Island to prepare for this land battle. At the same time, the entire Corps of Cadets prepared and drilled in Charleston. On December 4, the entire Corps moved from Charleston to Pocotaligo.
On the morning of December 6, Foster and his army landed at Gregorie Point in Jasper County. They captured Gregorie Plantation unopposed and started moving toward the railroad lines near the town of Yemassee through a peninsula bordered by the Tulifinny and Coosawatchie Rivers. At the Old Pocotaligo Road, the Union troops surprised the 5th Georgia Infantry. As the fight ensued, the Cadets could hear the fire and marched at the "double quick" to reinforce the small Confederate force engaged. Even with the arrival of the 343 Cadets, the Confederate troop strength was only 900 troops, facing an army five times their number. The Union troops did not press their advantage, but they hastily constructed entrenchments on the Gregorie Point peninsula.
The Cadets quickly dug in at the bridge that crossed the Tulifinny, calling their position "Camp Tulifinny." On the morning of December 7, a skirmish line of Cadets and three companies from the 5th Georgia Infantry advanced to test the Union position. Joined by the 47th Georgia and a militia unit, the Confederates crossed the road and engaged the entire Union line. The Union troops were driven back several hundred yards but eventually stood firm. During the surprise attack, one Georgia veteran watching the Cadets in action is reported to have said, "Dang, them fellers fight like Hood's Texicans," a great compliment to a group of young men. During the fight the Citadel professors instructed their troops always using their surname preceded by "mister." This amused the Georgia troops who noted, "Them Charleston people is the damnest politest officers to their men I ever struck up with in the army." The remainder of the day and through December 8 was spent by both armies caring for wounded.
On the morning of December 9, Union forces made a final assault on the Confederate position. The battalion of U.S. Marines advanced on the far right of the Union line, placing them on a collision course with the Citadel Cadets. The Marines got within fifty yards of the railroad line when they were turned back by the Cadets. In a brisk firefight, Union troops began a retreat with the Confederates in hot pursuit. The 127th New York Volunteers were positioned on the left of the Marines. When the New York troops faltered in their advance and began to pull back, the Marines were left without support and no cover on their flank. The Citadel Cadets turned back the Marines and pursued them during their retreat.
Though outnumbering the Confederates five to one, the Battle of Tulifinny Crossroads was another Union defeat while trying to break the railroad line. The Union army suffered 300 casualties. Confederate casualties were 200. The Cadets suffered eight casualties with one Cadet killed in action.
The Battle of Tulifinny Crossroads was the only battle in which the entire Corps of Cadets participated. In fact, this was the only time in military history in which an entire student body and their professors of a U.S. college were engaged in battle. The Corps of Cadets received their final orders from the governor on May 9, 1865, from the governor on the courthouse steps in Newberry. They were the last Southern military company to disband east of the Mississippi River.
of Tulifinny Crossroads was one of the rare times when U.S. Marines fought
in combat in the Civil War. And today, the Marines are still training
at Parris Island.
Tech to offer one-night classes on Charleston history, landscape and inspiration
Here are some other news briefs you may find interesting:
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Part 1 of 2
South Carolina has an abundance of rivers that originate from within the state or that enter from North Carolina and Georgia and drain land as far away as Virginia. These rivers flow generally from the northwest to the southeast, following the geography from high elevations in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont to the lower elevations of the coastal plain. The Blue Ridge and Piedmont contain narrow drainage divides between river tributaries, some only a few miles wide. The result is a landscape that is almost completely dissected by streams and rivers. Some rivers begin at the base of the Sandhills and cross over the coastal plain to the Atlantic Ocean. Others begin outside of the state and flow into South Carolina, forming three large river systems: the Santee, the Savannah, and the Pee Dee.
Santee River system is the largest on the east coast. It drains water
from North Carolina and carries it through South Carolina through three
major rivers (Saluda, Catawba, Broad) and through smaller tributaries
(Enoree, Tyger, Reedy). The Broad and the Saluda join at Columbia to form
the Congaree River. Geomorphic features of interest on the Congaree floodplain
include oxbow lakes and an extensive series of meanders. In the north,
the Catawba River enters South Carolina near Rock Hill and is renamed
the Wateree as it flows south to form Lake Wateree. Further downstream
just above Lake Marion, the Wateree and the Congaree join to form the
Santee River, which then flows into the Atlantic Ocean, forming the Santee
Delta just south of Georgetown.
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Address: P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413
7.07 | Monday, Dec. 15, 2014
Why you should buy local
Here are 10 reasons to buy local, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and recently published by Lowcountry Local First:
1. Local character and prosperity. In an increasingly homogenized world, communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character have an economic advantage.
2. Community well-being. Locally owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.
3. Local decision-making. Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will fell the impacts of those decisions.
4. Keeping dollars in the local economy. Compared to chain stores, locally owned businesses recycle a much larger share of their revenue back into the local economy, enriching the whole community.
5. Job and wages. Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.
6. Entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship fuels America's economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.
7. Public benefits and costs. Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip shopping malls.
8. Environmental sustainability. Local stores help to sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers-which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.
9. Competition. A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.
10. Product diversity.
A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based, not on
a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their
local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
Gift of life
"While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die -- whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness."
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NEW ON THE CALENDAR
(NEW) Predatory lending workshop: 2 p.m., Dec. 16, Trident United Way's Summerville Prosperity Center, 222 Old Trolley Road, Summerville. Learn what predatory lending is, how to avoid check-cashing fees, what to watch out for and more in this two-hour workshop that will help you preserve some of your money. More.
Medal of Honor Bowl: 2:30 p.m., Jan. 10, 2015,
at Johnson Hagood Stadium, The Citadel, Charleston. You can support the
second-annual event by purchasing a ticket for just $15 and, if you show
up, you'll have a chance to win a brand new Mercedes sedan. Read more
(NEW) Storytelling contest. The Charleston County Public Library will host a free three-day workshop featuring the internationally-renowned Center for Digital Storytelling to help people learn to use today's technology to preserve stories. The Jan. 22-24 workshop will include scriptwriting, image preparation, voiceover recording and editing. Because of limited space, individuals or pairs who want to enter have to submit a video or written essay on why they want to participate. Applications are due by Dec. 31. Learn more here.
DON'T MISS THESE EVENTS EITHER
Yule choirs at
Magnolia. Three choirs will sing 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 20 at
the Yuletide Gospel and Choral Jubilee at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
Performances are free with garden admission to hear the St. John's Parish
Church choir, the Choraliers Music Club of Charleston and the Mount Zion
Spiritual Singers at Mount Zion AME Church. More.
Charleston Christmas Special: Through Dec. 21, Charleston Music Hall, John Street, Charleston. This show is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit with former Broadway performers entertaining with holiday classics, comedy and more. Tickets are $60 and include a three-course dinner. Learn more and get tickets here.
A Christmas Carol: Through Dec. 21, Dock Street Theatre, Charleston. Charleston Stage will present a new production of the Dickens classic with special effects, new scenery, new costumes and new music. The show will feature a cast of 29 performers. Tickets range from $38.50 to $57.50 with senior, student and military discounts. More: CharlestonStage.com
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.
Moredock: New station
of Honey Hill
more open in helping
fun for all