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Issue 1.12 | Monday, Dec. 15, 2008 | Forward to your friends!


A CITADEL CHRISTMAS:
Charlie Company in 1st Battalion at The Citadel is festooned with lights and greenery for the holidays. (Photo by Russell K. Pace/The Citadel)


TODAY'S FOCUS
:: Chamber's 2009 agenda

ANDY BRACK
:: Getting holiday spirit via Germany

FEEDBACK
:: A different state meat

THE LIST
:: Five stats from the C of C

GOOD NEWS
:: Lights, awards, Blackbaud action

ALSO INSIDE

___:: CALENDAR: Coming events
___:: REVIEW: Send us your thoughts
___:: HISTORY: Historic Magnolia Gardens
___:: QUOTE: On working amidst freedom
___:: BOOKSHELF: Interesting reading


UNDERWRITERS AND PARTNERS




ABOUT US

CharlestonCurrents.com 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.

   
 

TODAY'S FOCUS
Chamber outlines priority issues for 2009
By J. RONALD JONES
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com

DEC. 15, 2008 -- As the voice of business, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce works on behalf of our members and the local business community to advocate policies and legislation that help businesses grow and our community prosper.


Jones

The chamber's board of directors adopted the 2009 legislative agenda in November, empowering the Public Policy Committee and Chamber staff to communicate these priority issues to local, state and federal officials. We know with the current economic challenges that this is not the year to focus on issues that are going to require new revenue. However, we have a number of issues that we believe we can help push through.

Among those are an increase in the state's cigarette tax, changing the way funds are allocated for public education and modifications of some of the things changed in the 2006 property tax law - specifically, changes that are negatively impacting the sale of real estate.

On the federal level, the chamber will focus on funding for roads and infrastructure, the development of a comprehensive energy policy that includes nuclear power, exploration of offshore drilling and other ways to lesson dependency on foreign oil and reduce impacts to the environment.

Another key issue for the chamber is to keep legislation that takes away workers' rights to secret ballot elections from passing. The chamber, along with chambers of commerce across the country, the S.C. Chamber and U.S. Chamber, are doing everything possible to keep the federal legislation, called the Employee Free Choice Act, from passing. This act is not just bad for business, but it's also bad for workers. We oppose it because of the negative impact it will have on businesses, and because we support the rights of workers to organize through the secret ballot process.

Locally, one of the chamber's key initiatives in 2009 is to launch a green initiative. We know that the majority of our members are small business and they have told us they want to do what they can to reduce their carbon footprint, but they just don't know how. We want to start an effort to help educate and show them that no matter what their size, there are specific things we can all do to become more green.

The issues in our legislative agenda are based on surveys and input from chamber members from our annual survey of the membership, as well as the work and recommendations of various volunteer committees and task forces. Each May, the board of directors takes all the research and information gathered and set the priorities for the chamber through the development of the annual Program of Work. Based upon the four-year Strategic Plan, the Program of Work outlines the focus of the chamber's programs for the coming 12 months. By identifying the key issues of the membership and reviewing the overall strategic goals, the board helps the Public Policy Committee to begin to focus on issues.

In late summer, the Public Policy Committee begins its work for the new program year, often with briefings on various issues followed by discussion as to which issues to add to the annual agenda. The Public Policy Committee is composed of representatives of various committees, task forces and sectors of the chamber's membership in an effort to ensure all types, sizes and business interests are involved in the public policy process.

For a copy of the chamber's legislative agenda, visit www.charlestonchamber.net.

Ron Jones, a partner with Clawson and Staubbes LLC, chairs the Public Policy Committee of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.

ANDY BRACK
Going to Hamburg to find holiday spirit
By ANDY BRACK, publisher

HAMBURG, Germany, Dec. 13, 2008 -- When I left Charleston last week for a business trip to Germany, the spirit of Christmas seemed far away, lost somewhere between the economic gloom and doom that fogged the state for months.


Brack

The atmosphere couldn't have been different in Berlin, Potsdam, Hamburg and Husum, a small town on the North Sea. In meetings with federal government officials, corporate bigwigs and nonprofit officials, Germans were keen and upbeat about their work and economy, the world's third largest. A BMW representative touted his company's hydrogen-powered luxury car. One solar panel manufacturer in Berlin admitted that a 40 percent drop in the company's stock value had done little to impact the company's excitement for growth. A shipping company said revenues were down some, but growth remained positive. A manufacturer of modern-day windmills continues to expand.

SOME FACTS ABOUT GERMANY

Population: 82.3 million, the largest nation in Europe

Population growth: -0.1 percent

Ages: 14 percent are less than 15; 20 percent are over 65

Size: 137,847 square miles -- just under the size of Montana.

Coastline: 1,484 miles

Government: Multi-party democratic parliamentary federal democracy; 16 federal states, five of which are city-states.

Economy: World's third largest economy with GDP of €2.4 trillion in 2007. It's also the world's leading exporter with the US as its second largest trading partner (France is first).

Higher ed: 383 institutes of higher education, 103 of which are universities.

Beer: A major producer. It's tasty.

More: http://www.deutschland.de

The story was the same on the streets. Amid grilling bratwursts and a sweet-and-sour mulled wine sold at special outdoor Christmas markets across the city-state of Hamburg, Germans shopped and caroused with glee. An oompa band played "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" from a third-floor balcony in freezing weather outside a major department store. Kids ate candied apples. Christmas trees topped cranes at the port, straddled busy streets, and filled hotels and businesses.

But it wasn't Germans just being enthusiastic about Germany and how they are doing well. Day after day, Germans wanted to know more about what was happening now in America that Barack Obama was set soon to become president. They showed a remarkable hope that he would help America get back on track soon - almost as if it were a fait accompli.

So the lesson of all of this German enthusiasm for Germany and America is that we are headed for more than a season of giving to our friends and family. As a nation, we seem to be headed for a season of renewal. Yes, we'll have ups and downs. Yes, a lot of people are hurting.

But it took a trip to another country to remind me what we all know -- that the goodness and strength of South Carolina and the nation's other 49 states will pull us together so we can pull the country together. It will get better. Let's keep that in mind as our holiday wish … and make our holiday commitment to work for a better, brighter future.

Andy Brack is publisher of CharlestonCurrents.com. You can reach him by email at: publisher@charlestoncurrents.com.

FEEDBACK
Barbecue not best choice for state meat

To the editor:

Everyone knows that fried chicken or country fried steak should be our state meat. We don't want to be like our Georgia or North Carolina neighbors.

-- Ronald D. Padgett, North Charleston, SC

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.

SPOTLIGHT

The public spiritedness of our underwriters and nonprofit partners allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents.com 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 mission 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: http://www.c4women.org.

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

GOOD NEWS
Chanukah in the Square to mark holiday in city

A citywide celebration of Chanukah will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 21, the first night of the holiday known as the Festival of Lights, in Marion Square Park.

Festivities will include the lighting of the first candle in the city menorah, live music, a performance by the Jewish Choral Society, and craft tables for children and adults where participants can make their own dreidel, menorah and even donuts. A jump castle and face painting are also part of the fun.

The event is free and open to the public.

Cenegenics, LS3P earn awards for interior design

Cenegenics South Carolina, a medical institute located in Charleston, recently won major awards from two of the nation's largest interior-design associations.

The facility's interior, designed by LS3P Image Studio of Charleston, won one of two Merit Awards in the health-care category from the Carolinas chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) also recognized the design with an Honor Award during the recent Carolinas Designworks Awards ceremony in Charlotte. It was the only health-care award that IIDA presented this year.

Cenegenics South Carolina helps patients manage the aging process through a customized regimen of exercise, nutrition and hormone. The chief executive officer is Dr. Mickey Barber, a board-certified anesthesiologist and former assistant professor at Tulane University.

The award-winning space featured an environmentally friendly design using sustainable materials, such as cork flooring and nontoxic paints, and maximizing the flow of natural light throughout the interior.

For more about Cenegenics South Carolina, call 724-7272 or visit http://www.cenegenics-sc.com. For more about the LS3P Image Studio, visit http://www.ls3p.com.

Blackbaud donates $25,000 to Crisis Ministries

Blackbaud, a Daniel Island-based provider of software and services for nonprofit organizations worldwide, recently donated $25,000 to Crisis Ministries. The Charleston agency serves more than 1,500 hungry and homeless people each year.

Nearly two dozen Blackbaud employees have volunteered in the Soup Kitchen, Family Center and Men's Shelter, according to Crisis Ministries. The agency held "Blackbaud Day" earlier this month to recognize the company's support.

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.

HISTORY SPOTLIGHT
Historic Magnolia Cemetery

Overlooking the Cooper River north of Charleston, Magnolia Cemetery was established in 1850. An excellent example of the rural cemeteries then popular in mid-nineteenth-century America, it followed the example of such cemeteries as Mount Auburn near Boston, Laurel Hill near Philadelphia, and Green-Wood near New York City.

Magnolia Cemetery, described at its dedication as a "spot most precious to the musing hour," was designed by the Charleston architect Edward C. Jones. It features family plots surrounded by stone coping or cast-iron fences; winding streets and paths with cast-iron benches; ornamental trees and shrubs such as magnolias, live oaks, cedars, and hollies; a small lake; and a vista of the marsh and the nearby river. Gravestones include marble or granite tablets, ledgers, box-tombs, tomb-tables, obelisks, and pedestal-tombs, as well as several prominent mausoleums.

Among the most striking monuments are the Elbert P. Jones Monument (1853), designed by the architect Francis D. Lee; the Vanderhorst Mausoleum (1856), an elaborate Egyptian-revival structure; the Colonel William Washington Monument (1858), designed by the architect Edward Brickell White and sculpted by William T. White and featuring a fluted column with a rattlesnake coiled around it; and the Defenders of Charleston Monument (1882), the focal point of the Confederate section.

The cemetery also features many fine examples of work by the White brothers of Charleston - William, Edwin and Robert - perhaps the most prolific and accomplished stonecutters of nineteenth-century South Carolina. Their stones, often cut from imported Italian marble, are notable for their distinctive lettering and remarkably detailed carving.

Some of the prominent South Carolinians buried here include the antebellum industrialist William Gregg, the US senator and secessionist Robert Barnwell Rhett, the author and poet William Gilmore Simms, the merchant and secretary of the Confederate States Treasury George Alfred Trenholm, and Confederate generals James Conner, Micah Jenkins, Arthur M. Manigault, and Roswell S. Ripley. Captain Horace L. Hunley and the second crew of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley are also interred in Magnolia Cemetery.

-- Excerpted entry by Tracy Power. 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

CharlestonCurrents.com 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. CharlestonCurrents.com is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.

THE LIST

Five C of C class facts

Five facts about the College of Charleston's Class of 2012, whose members are now freshmen at "the College of Knowledge:"

1. Most common names among female students: Emily, Lauren, Elizabeth.

2. Most common names among male students: William, Andrew, James.

3. Largest feeder high school: Wando High School (85 students).

4. Age: The youngest member of the class is 16; the oldest is 26.

5. Number of miles traveled to the college by the student who lives farthest away: 9,977 (from Singapore).

Source: College of Charleston

QUOTE


Einstein

"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom. "

-- Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

CALENDAR: THIS WEEK

(NEW) The Grinch is Back: 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Dec. 20, and 3 p.m. Dec. 21, Charleston Ballet Theatre, 477 King St., Charleston. Following a successful run in November, the CBT has added extra performances of Dr. Seuss' classic "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas." Cost: $20 adults, $10 children. Tickets: 723-7334 or http://www.charlestonballet.org.

(NEW) Holiday Pops: 8 p.m. Dec. 20, Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, 77 Calhoun St. Nearly 200 musicians and singers will be on stage when the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, CSO Chorus and other community organizations celebrate the season. Scott Terrell is the conductor. Beginning at 7 p.m., the Palmetto Bronze Handbell Choir will perform as the audience arrives. Cost: $20-$45 adults; $5 students with ID. Tickets.

Chanukah in the Square: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 21, Marion Square, downtown Charleston. Citywide celebration of the Festival of Lights, marking the first night of Chanukah. Live music, performance by the Jewish Choral Society, craft tables for kids (make your own dreidel or menorah), face-painting and more. Free and open to the public. See Good News.

'A Christmas Carol': Dec. 4-21, College of Charleston Sottile Theatre, 44 George St., Charleston. Charleston Stage production of Charles Dickens' classic novel of the season. Tickets: $41-$10. To see showtimes and buy tickets, click here.

CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON

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.

(NEW) Customer Relations Coaching: 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Jan. 7, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speisegger Drive, North Charleston. Part III of the chamber's "Managing Through an Economic Crisis" series. Session focuses on how to deliver the kind of customer service that wins and retains clients. Cost: $15 for chamber members, $30 for nonmember. Click to register.

MLK Concert: 4 p.m. Jan. 18, Mount Moriah Family Living Center, 7396 Rivers Ave., North Charleston. "Perseverance: Where Do We Go From Here: A Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.," presented by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir and the city of North Charleston's Cultural Arts Department, featuring music, historical audio and video footage. Free; donations will be accepted at the door to support the choir's community outreach work. First-come, first-served entry tickets available at the Gaillard Auditorium Box Office in downtown Charleston; Mount Moriah Family Living Center in North Charleston or the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department.

ON THE BOOKSHELF

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
  • Going Deep: 20 Classic Sports Stories, Gary Smith (review)
  • I'll Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes, Chris Lamb (List)
  • Suggest a book to us

FOCUS ARCHIVES

12/15: Jones: 2009 Chamber agenda
12/11:
Silverman: Invest locally
12/8:
Butler: Fort Johnson's 300th
12/4:
Brooks: Rural Mission's job
12/1:
Lively: Classes give job edge
11/24:
Maybank: Great wines
11/20:
Nelson: Manageable health goals
11/17:
Husser: Hard times and ourselves
11/13:
Sandstrom: Festival of Lights
11/10:
Hill: CVB and holiday successes
11/7:
Alterman: Center for Women
11/3
: Kapeluck: Election turnout

THRASH ARCHIVES

12/11: The scoop on ambrosia
12/4:
Museums offer holiday insights
11/20:
Helping with books
11/13:
Secret great dining place unveiled
11/10:
Slaughterhouses part of city's past
11/3
: Meet CharlestonCurrents.com

BRACK ARCHIVES

12/15: Finding Xmas spirit in Hamburg
12/8:
Barbecue should be state meat
12/1:
Depression was far worse than now
11/24:
Time for CSO to answer questions
11/17:
Recycling more than you think
11/6:
Election reflections

LIST ARCHIVES

12/15: List of 5 C of C stats
12/11:
5 ways to feel younger
12/8:
Top 5 requested art works
12/4:
Lamb: Top veep quotes
12/1: Stahl's top holiday tunes
11/24:
Five Charleston firsts
11/20:
Gibbes' newest acquisitions
11/17:
CCPL's top DVDs
11/13:
MUSC's top procedures
11/10:
Bertauski: 5 winter shrubs
11/6:
Dupree: Thanksgiving prep
11/3
: McCray: Charleston Jazz

SISTER PUBLICATIONS

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.

Georgia Clips offers a similar daily news compilation for the scores of newspapers in Georgia's 159 counties.

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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