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Issue 1.05 | Monday, Nov. 17, 2008 | Forward to your friends!

These bright pansies loved the cool temperatures that blew in over the weekend. If you haven't yet planted, hop to it! (Photo by Andy Brack.)

:: Hard times help us know selves, values

:: Bet you can recycle more than you do

:: Love the non-gloomy content

:: Public library's top 5 DVD requests

:: Holiday cards, Meacham, Gibbes, more


___:: CALENDAR: Coming events
___:: REVIEW: Send us your review
___:: HISTORY: Poetry Society of SC
___:: QUOTE: On an equal chance
___:: BOOKSHELF: Interesting reading


ABOUT US is a new online twice-weekly publication that offers insightful community comment and good news on events. It cuts through the information clutter to offer insight and news on the best of what's happening locally. More.


Hard times offer chance to know ourselves, values a little better
Executive director, Lowcountry Food Bank
Special to

NOV. 17, 2008 -- When I give a speech about feeding the hungry, people are usually expecting to hear about a homeless person on the street with nothing but their clothes on their back. People who are lazy, unwilling to work, or have an addiction. Perhaps they have a character defect or make poor personal decisions, or maybe they are just not smart enough to get and keep a job.


But it is often a shock when people hear about the fastest-growing segment of the population that is struggling with hunger: the working poor. Nearly half of the people coming to food pantries today are working a full-time job, sometimes two and three jobs, to make ends meet. At the Lowcountry Food Bank, we currently serve 31,000 individuals a week through more than 320 partner agencies.

Most hungry individuals' first impulse is not to ask for help or a handout. They prefer to help themselves, to take responsibility for their own situation. In fact, most of these individuals are reaching out to a food pantry for the first time. Somehow they always seem to manage to get through lean times. They have stretched their resources, done without, and sacrificed for their families, always believing that if you work hard, the best is yet to come.

When we ask those in need to share the circumstances of their situations, they talk about affordable housing and mortgages, living wages and accessible health care. Without health care, a simple or a severe case of the flu which results in a hospital visit could be a major disaster. With all of these challenging conditions, families are forced into some very tough decisions. These are choices that a parent who is working hard every day should not have to make.

Many of us grew up in a time knowing that if we worked hard, took care of our family, contributed toward making our community a better place and kept our part of the social contract, we could expect that life would get better, and that our children might even do better than we did. The dream seems to have come and gone for so many Americans.

History has shown us that hardship and challenges have often brought the best out of all of us as Americans. Perhaps, now is a time for us to stop and take a breath and be thoughtful, a time to come together, and a time to help each other when we need it the most. Now is the time to draw deeply on our faith; the time to pay attention to the small things in our life that bring happiness and meaning to our core. It is our time to seize the moment, and be willing to sacrifice to sustain the movement.

My grandmother taught me that living fully means there will be difficult times, along with good times -- that life naturally ebbs and flows. In fact, it's a periodic occurrence that gives yet another opportunity to know ourselves, our values, our beliefs and what we are willing to work hard for. It's a time of reflection.

And in the meantime - which is where we spend the majority of our moments -- let us continue to provide hope, healing and health to our neighbors, and fully embrace that we bring out the best of America when we are serving each other.

For more information about the Lowcountry Food Bank, go to The Food Bank is a non-profit partner of

You might be able to recycle more than you think
By ANDY BRACK, publisher

NOV. 17, 2008 -- Ever hear the one about how you are supposed to remove the plastic tops to plastic bottles before you recycle them? Like me, did you think it was a kind of urban myth?


Turns out that it's not. Those bottle tops are made from a different kind of plastic than found in bottles. If they go through sorters at Charleston County's recycling center on Romney Street, they can slow things quite a bit because they tend to jam machines or pop off and fly through the air as they're crushed, said the center's recycling marketing specialist, Theresa Martin. To avoid such problems, Martin says it's best to recycle the bottles, but trash the tops.

The Recycling Center on Romney Street annually gets a lot of stuff -- 16,317 tons (yes, tons) of paper, plastic and metals. The Bees Ferry Landfill recycles more than 6,000 pounds of tires and metals. Overall, recycling generates about $2.75 million annually, which essentially offsets the county's curbside collection costs.

With all the stuff recycled here, you might discover there is more that you have that can be put on the curbside or taken to a collection center. For a long list, view the Recyclable Materials List on the county's Web site. But here are some key things to keep in mind now:

  • Certain plastics. Charleston County currently accepts two major kinds of plastics in the blue bins at curbsides: #1 plastics, such as water bottles and soft drink bottles; and #2 plastics, which include thicker plastics that make up laundry detergent bottles, milk jugs and juice containers. The county doesn't take plastics with any other number (#3 through #7) because, as Martin explains, there isn't a vendor in the Southeast to whom the county can sell the material. And there generally isn't as much of these kind of plastics, anyway.

  • Other containers. You also can recycle steel food cans, aluminum cans, aerosol canisters, and glass containers and jars. Recyclers encourage you to ensure the containers are washed out and free of food.

  • Newspapers, paper products. The Recycling Center also asks residents to put paper products in brown bags separately to cut down on sorting. (Or you could get an extra blue bin like we have just for paper.) Not only can you include newspaper, but you can add paperboard products (thin paper packaging that's found in beer cartons and cereal boxes), magazines, office paper and junk mail.

There are a lot of other products the county will recycle, but you have to drop them off at recycling centers throughout the community. Things not to put in curbside recycling include cardboard, electronics, oil, paint, tires, petroleum products, batteries, yard waste and fluorescent bulbs.

It would be good for the county to figure out a cost-neutral way to add more recycling opportunities at the curbside, including #3 to #7 plastics. And it would be better for more people to put their recycling on the curbs every two weeks for the county to pickup.

For now, just remember to take off the plastic tops, recycle paper products, and wash out jars and bottles before putting them in the bins.

Andy Brack is publisher of Statehouse Report LLC, which includes the new

Love the non-gloomy content!

To the editor:

"I am thoroughly enjoying CharlestonCurrents. Being self-employed, I find little time for in-depth reading. I love the quick-read articles and information and especially the non-gloomy content of CharlestonCurrents. Keep up the great work!!"

-- Debbie Kirby, Johns Island, S.C.

Our policy: We encourage readers to submit feedback or letters to the editor. Send your thoughts to editor Ann Thrash. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. One submission allowed per month. Make sure to include your name and phone number. Submission of a comment grants permission to us to reprint. Please keep your comment to 250 words or less.


The public spiritedness of our underwriters and nonprofit partners allows us to bring to you at no cost. This issue's featured nonprofit partner is the Center for Women, the only comprehensive women's development center in South Carolina. The Center for Women is a nonprofit organization whose misssion is to make personal and professional success an everyday event for Lowcountry women. The Center, honored in 2006 by Oprah's Angel Network with a $25,000 grant, has reached more than 70,000 women since it started in 1990. Not only has it connected thousands of women to professional sources for practical help, support, counseling and referrals, but it continues to provide outstanding educational programs to help women in their careers and businesses. Learn more:

  • To learn more about all of our underwriters and nonprofit partners, click here.

Holiday cards now on sale to benefit Children's Hospital

'Tis the season to order holiday cards, and to help out the MUSC Children's Hospital while spreading the seasonal good cheer.

The Children's Hospital is now accepting orders for the cards, which are designed by patients and other youngsters connected with the hospital. Local underwriters pay for the costs of the project, which makes it possible for all the sales proceeds to go directly to research and other hospital programs.

Cards are sold in assorted packs of 17 cards for $15. Also available this year are sheets of gift tags - an assorted pack of 20 tags for $10.

Orders should be placed by Dec. 17. To see the card designs and place an order, go to

This year's distribution locations for the cards include local branches of BB&T (an underwriter of, First Federal banks, S.C. Federal Credit Union locations, the MUSC Gift Shop, Belk stores, and members of the Bishop England Key Club and the MUSC Children's Hospital Foundation.

Newsweek editor to talk about Jackson book at Citadel

Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek magazine, will visit The Citadel on Nov. 18 to talk about his new book on former president Andrew Jackson. The program, which is open to the public, is a fundraiser for the S.C. Historical Society. Admission is $25 per person.

Meacham's book, "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House," looks at Jackson's roots in the Carolinas and his rise as the founder of the Democratic Party and America's seventh president.

The talk begins at 7 p.m. at the Holliday Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Ave., Charleston. It is part of The Citadel's Fulghum Lecture Series, which was created in 2007 by the Department of History's Southern Studies Program to promote a better understanding of the American South and to help prepare students to be principled leaders in the region.

The series is named after its benefactor, Mount Pleasant resident Leonard C. Fulghum Jr., Citadel class of 1951 and member emeritus of The Citadel's Board of Visitors.

Gibbes launches creative new interactive Web site

The Gibbes Museum of Art has launched a highly interactive redesign of its Web site that lets online visitors create landscapes, woodblock prints, miniature portraits and more while learning about the art of Charleston, the Lowcountry and the American South from colonial times through today.

The goal of the Web site,, is to make the museum's rich collection accessible to a wide audience, according to a press release.

The new site includes themed tours of the museum's collection of early-American, Modern and Contemporary objects, as well as a section called "Explore/Interactions," in which signature works of art serve as launching points for an in-depth exploration of the artists, subjects and styles that have shaped American art of the South.

For example, online visitors can take a virtual tour through the works of Charleston artist William Halsey, learn about abstract expressionism and even try their hand at putting jigsaw-puzzle pieces of a Halsey painting back together in their proper places.

The site also offers a component called "Just for Educators" that lets teachers create their own virtual gallery, as well as a research option that allows users to search the Gibbes' collection by keyword.

Business leaders needed to be Principals for a Day

The Education Foundation of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce is looking for business leaders who would like to be "Principals for a Day" in local schools. Dec. 4 is the date of the program, and business leaders are needed for more than 140 schools in Charleston County, Berkeley County, Dorchester Two and Dorchester Four school districts. Applications are due by Nov. 20.

In the program, business leaders meet the principal at the start of the first school bell and shadow them throughout the day. Principals are asked not to plan a special day but rather to let their executive see what the day-to-day work of a principal involves. This might include greeting students as they arrive, meeting with parents, visiting classrooms, observing disciplinary hearings, making announcements, sitting in on staff meetings or other activities. The next day there is a de-briefing breakfast where participants share their experiences.

The goal of the program is to bridge the gap between schools and businesses and to help create a lasting relationship. The Education Foundation works to engage the business community's participation in the program to share ideas, resources and an overall sense of responsibility for public education by providing a first-hand look at the decisions and responsibilities principals face each day.

To fill out an application to be a Principal for a Day, contact Heather Vanscyoc at or call 805-3080.

Send us a review

HAVE A REVIEW? If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Ann Thrash. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.

Poetry Society: A literary legacy

The Poetry Society of South Carolina incorporated in Charleston on Nov. 17, 1920, but the movement it spearheaded had been developing for years. One key player was John Bennett of Ohio, who upon settling in Charleston in 1902 encouraged the use of local motifs and lore in the creative arts. It was not until after World War I, however, that his ideas caught on. The younger DuBose Heyward turned to Bennett for writing advice, as did Hervey Allen of Pittsburgh, who moved south following military service. For several years the three met together to discuss literature and art.

At the same time, Laura Bragg of the Charleston Museum, another nonnative, mentored a group of women, including Helen von Kolnitz (later Hyer) and Josephine Pinckney. Meeting together, the two groups worked on Heyward's idea to found a local organization, based on the Poetry Society of America, with its aim to encourage all Southern poets. This was a novel idea at the time, for the South was lagging behind culturally, a lingering result of the Civil War.

Writers affiliated with the Society won two Pulitzer Prizes (Julia Peterkin for fiction and Robert Lathan for editorial writing) and became the ranking poets of their day, later moving on to prose and drama. The impact of the society was greater than literary, however. As an umbrella organization, it fostered the cultural rebirth of the area and stimulated the growth and development of many other agencies, such as the Preservation Society of Charleston and the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals.

The society declined in national prominence by the end of the 1920s, and over the following years its fortunes waxed and waned. However, it continued into the twenty-first century as a viable group encouraging poets and the writing of poetry.

-- Excerpted entry by Harlan Greene. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)

CREDITS is provided to you twice a week by:

  • Editor: Ann Thrash, 843.494.4468
  • Publisher: Andy Brack, 843.670.3996

    Address: P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413

© 2008, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.

Public library's top 5 DVDs

Following are the five currently most requested DVDs in the Charleston County Public Library system. DVDs can be rented free for seven days at any of the library's 16 branches. Go to to reserve a DVD online through the catalog, then pick it up at your neighborhood branch. According to CCPL Public Relations and Marketing Manager Jamie Thomas, the library system has 102,919 DVDs and videos, and 44,511 audio books and CDs -- everything from classics to current hits -- available for patrons to borrow.

1. "The Bucket List"

2. "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"

3. "88 Minutes"

4. "The Bank Job"

5. "Deception"


"You should remember that though another may have more money, beauty and brains than you, when it comes to the rarer spiritual values such as charity, self-sacrifice, honor, nobility of heart, you have an equal chance with everyone to be the most beloved and honored of all people."

-- Archibald Rutledge (1883-1973), South Carolina's first poet laureate


Networking Event: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 17, Holliday Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Ave., Charleston. Center for Women's seventh annual Entrepreneurs Networking Event features a talk by Terry Haas, a Charleston resident and the host of HGTV's "Designed to Sell," and a facilitated speed-networking session. Light refreshments. Cost: $10 for Center for Women members, $15 for nonmembers. Free parking at Johnson Hagood Stadium (across the street from the Holliday Alumni Center). To learn more or register: click here.

Help for Startups: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 17, Charleston County Library Main Branch, 68 Calhoun St, Charleston. Free talk by Mimi Scharf of the S.C. Women's Business Center. More info: 805-6930 or click here.

Sustainable Design: 6 p.m. Nov. 18, Charleston Visitor's Center Theater, 375 Meeting St., Charleston. Part of the Lulan Sustainable Community Lecture Series. Speaker Nathan Shedroff, chairman of the MBA in Design Strategy program at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, will give a talk titled "Design is the Problem and the Solution: The Future of Design Must Be Sustainable." More info:

"Old Hickory" Talk: 7 p.m. Nov. 18, Holliday Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Ave., Charleston. Jon Meacham, editor of Newsweek magazine, discusses his new book "American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House." Fundraiser for the S.C. Historical Society. $25. See Good News for details.

Meet Your Legislators: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 20, S.C. Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce has invited more than 330 local, state and federal elected officials to the event, which gives local residents a chance to speak directly with lawmakers about their concerns. Cost: $75 per person, or $55 Chamber member discount before Nov. 17. Click here to register.

HCF Benefit Rug Sale: Nov. 20 to Nov. 23, Aiken-Rhett House, 48 Elizabeth St., Charleston. Peter Pap, a nationally renowned expert on Oriental rugs who frequently appears on the popular PBS series "Antiques Road Show," will exhibit some of the world's finest rugs at the sale. Portion of proceeds will benefit the Historic Charleston Foundation. Free and open to the public. Preview showing 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 20; show and sale hours 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 22; noon to 5 p.m. Nov. 23. More info: 723-1623 or visit

Grinch in Toe Shoes: Charleston Ballet Theatre's production of "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." Performances at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 22; and 3 p.m., Nov. 23 at Charleston Ballet Theatre, 477 King St., Charleston. Part of CBT's Children's Series, sponsored by the Wachovia Foundation, the Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation and the McNair Law Firm. $20 adults, $10 children. More info: 723-7334 or


Faith Hope and Charity: Through Nov. 29, Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St., Charleston. PURE Theatre production of the play by Odon Von Horvath. Set in the socially and economically oppressed South during the Great Depression, the play tells the story of a young woman's struggle to survive. Tickets: $30. Call 723-4444 or click link for more info:

Holiday Festival of Lights: Through Jan. 4, James Island County Park, 871 Riverland Drive, James Island. Millions of sparkling lights and hundreds of imaginative displays line a 3-mile drive through the park. Also includes marshmallow-roasting and activities for kids, gift shop and walking trail through Winter Wonderland. More info: Also see more here.

"Doctor Atomic" Simulcast: 12:30 p.m. Nov. 29, Charleston County Library Main Branch, 68 Calhoun St., Charleston. Free. Simulcast from the Metropolitan Opera, "Doctor Atomic" is John Adams' contemporary masterpiece exploring the story behind the creation of the atomic bomb and how it changed the course of history. Auditorium will be open 90 minutes before the simulcast to secure seats. More info:

29th Annual Parade of Boats: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 6, Charleston Harbor. Lighted boats decorated for the holiday season parade through Charleston Harbor, followed by a fireworks display. View the procession along the waterfront or decorate your own boat and join the fun. Parade begins on the Mount Pleasant side of the harbor; viewing from the peninsula begins at 6:30 p.m. Fireworks at approximately 6:45 p.m. More info: 724-7305.

(NEW) Santa in the Swamp: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 6, Cypress Gardens, 3030 Cypress Gardens Road, Moncks Corner. Kids can greet Santa as he arrives in the swamp by flat-bottom boat. Holiday festivities include musical performances, a jump castle and free take-home crafts activities for kids. Handmade gift items will be available from local vendors, and a special "Santa Shop" for kids will feature gifts for less than $5. More info: 553-0515 or

(NEW) CSO Gospel Christmas: 8 p.m. Dec. 6, Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. Charleston Symphony Orchestra musicians and the CSO Gospel Choir sing songs of the season under the direction of guest conductor Vincent Danner. Soloist: Jennifer Bynum. Tickets: $30. To purchase, click here.


In this section, we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:

A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson

A Turn in the South, V.S. Naipaul

The Book of Marie, Terry Kay

Charleston Jazz, Jack McCray


11/13: Sandstrom: Holiday Festival of Lights
Hill: CVB rings up holiday successes
Alterman: Center for Women expanding
: Kapeluck: Election turnout


11/13: Secret great dining place unveiled
Slaughterhouses part of city's past
: Meet


11/6: Election reflections


11/13: MUSC's top procedures
Bertauski: 5 winter shrubs
Dupree: Thanksgiving prep
: McCray: Charleston Jazz


We encourage you to check out our sister publications:

SC Statehouse Report -- a weekly legislative forecast that keeps you a step ahead of what happens at the Statehouse. It's free.

SC Clips -- a daily news compilation of South Carolina news from media sources across the state. Delivered by email about the time you get to work every business day. Saves you a lot of money and time. Sign up for a free trial subscription today.

GwinnettForum -- an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.




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