|Issue 1.25 | Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 | Forward to your friends!|
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FEB. 5, 2009 -- Having trouble finding perspective in the "green" business conversation? Don't worry. You are not alone. For the past decade or so, the concepts of green living, sustainable practices and environmental stewardship have grown in interest throughout the U.S. and the world. We can thank a number of pioneers for bringing these issues into mainstream discussion, amongst them William McDonough, author of "Cradle to Cradle," Thomas Friedman, author of "Hot, Flat and Crowded" and Al Gore, producer of "An Inconvenient Truth." Additionally, organizations like the U.S. Green Building Council, Energystar and Green Seal give additional validity to the growing field of sustainability.
A considerable challenge develops, however, when any issue is thrust so quickly into the mainstream, as the message risks becoming garbled due to so many individuals, businesses and organizations seeking "green attention." It is difficult to place priority on the overload of information; to know what is valuable and what is simply "greenwashing."
As a means to distill the problem into simpler terms, let me suggest three areas to consider in your analysis of personal green choices:
First, embrace the reality that green is here to stay. Already a global movement, green will continue to grow and, increasingly, those businesses neglecting a green plan and a green message will face losing market share. This fact will gain further traction as fuel costs return to the levels of mid-2008 and the Obama administration follows through on its commitment to green energy investment. As consumers become savvy, purchasing choices will routinely include evaluation of a product's green profile. Businesses will be held accountable for their sustainable practices. In short, no PR plan should omit a green message.
Second, green management is good for the bottom line. With increasing costs of operating buildings, primarily in electricity, water and waste removal, green initiatives can act as a direct offset to these expenses. Any respectable plan for sustainable operations includes aggressive steps toward reduction of kilowatt usage, as well as water use reduction strategies and reduction of waste stream through purchasing policies and recycling. The assumption that "green practices are good for the earth but don't make sense financially" is simply false. Bringing a green culture to any organization means substantial improvement to net profit.
Lastly, and most importantly, implementation of green programs within a company can dramatically impact team building and labor cost reduction. When a decision is made to start a green program, the first strategy is to form a group of line employees into a Green Team and to empower the group to bring plans forward for a sustainable operations strategy.
Unlike so many other types of efforts to unify a staff around various types of organizational goals (increased customer service, for example), green teams emerge around individual shared ideals as opposed to simply following the directives of supervisors. As a result, the "ownership" taken is real and is meaningful. The result is a staff that feels genuinely engaged in the effort. Out of the shared green mission emerges a culture in which the staff hold each other accountable for the performance of the green effort and managers are less likely to need to effect change by downward mandate. It is a truly bottom-up movement of committed effort.
An unexpected benefit derived is the payroll savings emerging from job sharing. Once a culture of thrift and conservation is in place, unnecessary personnel and tasks become increasingly awkward and a sense of teamwork will open the door to job sharing and cross training. As the staff evolves through this synergy, it is common to experience a lessening of the total man-hours required to fulfill the weekly functions of the business.
In a word, green thinking is the thinking of reduced consumption, reuse of materials and a general spirit of thrift. This thrift translates into savings in the expenses of business materials and utilities and will have the additional benefit of developing efficient, motivated teams, operating at less cost and with higher morale.
George Buell is the president of WhyGoEco, a Charleston-based green consulting company. He is a LEED Accredited Professional with 30 years of leadership experience in the hospitality industry. Contact him through his company's Web site, http://www.whygoeco.com.
FEB. 5, 2009 -- Next time you drive across Shem Creek, try to picture the Father of Our Country, George Washington, standing on a ferry boat heading out of the mouth of the creek and across the harbor to Charleston. These days, with the creek packed with power boats and bars and restaurants, it's a little hard to imagine that scene, but it really happened in 1791, when then-President Washington visited the Lowcountry on his "Southern Tour."
Shem Creek was a working creek then, and over the centuries it's been home to rice mills, ship-building facilities and lime kilns where bricks were made to supply the brickyards that were once a powerful force in the local economy. The creek is still a working creek today, although in a much different way, and many of us hope it always will be.
I grew up in Mount Pleasant in the 1960s and '70s, when the creek was jammed with shrimp trawlers and the shrimp houses beside the docks were filled with people heading the vast quantities of shrimp that the trawlers hauled in. There were only two restaurants then, the Trawler and the Lorelei. As a little girl, I always got the giggles when I read the signs on the restroom doors at the Lorelei: "Gulls" and "Buoys." They don't write 'em like that anymore, do they?
Memories of Shem Creek -- both its place in my own life and its long history -- were inescapable earlier this week when I heard that the town of Mount Pleasant is seeking input for its master plan to preserve and protect the area. Town officials say that survey work has begun in earnest on plans for Shem Creek Park and the Bailey Docks, and they're urging citizens to share their views as plans take shape.
"We plan to address the redevelopment of the Bailey Docks and former OK Tire property with all the due care that this area deserves," Mount Pleasant Mayor Harry M. Hallman said in a press release. "The design of the Shem Creek Park and Bailey Docks will not be created without a great deal of participation by many stakeholders. We cannot do this alone and we need the input of a wide range of participants to create a product that will benefit the entire community and future generations to come. We have a number of priorities, not the least of which are public access for the most photographed location in South Carolina, and the preservation of docks for our shrimp and fishing fleet."
It's encouraging to see the list of groups and individuals whom the town is working with on the plans. It includes local shrimpers and sailors, neighborhood groups (who in the past have complained about noise from the bars), business operators along Shem Creek, the Coast Guard and Corps of Engineers, the Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, the Coleman Boulevard Revitalization Advisory Board, and the Ocean and Coastal Resource Management staff.
The master plan being developed will address uses for the high ground (the park) and the docks, and will also consider parking, pedestrian routes and how the whole project fits in with the refurbishment that's under way on Coleman Boulevard.
A public meeting will be held for residents to weigh in with their comments, but the town is also encouraging residents to speak up at any time during this "input stage," which is expected to conclude by approximately March 12. Send your thoughts by email to town engineer Kevin Mitchell. When a date is set for that public comment meeting, we'll let you know.
Ann Thrash is editor of CharlestonCurrents.com. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter BB&T, a regional bank that has built on a tradition of excellence in community banking since 1872. BB&T is a mission-driven organization with a clearly defined set of business principals and values. It encourages employees to have a strong sense of purpose, a high level of self-esteem and the capacity to think clearly and logically. BB&T offers clients a complete range of financial services including banking, lending, insurance, trust and wealth management solutions. To learn more, visit BB&T online or drop in to talk with its professionals at the main branch office at 151 Meeting Street, Charleston. Phone: (843)720-5168.
"Scarred Justice: The Orangeburg Massacre 1968" will have its Charleston premier on Feb. 9 as part of The Citadel's commemoration of Black History Month. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at Burke High School on President Street, two blocks from The Citadel.
"We are honored to be the sponsor for the Charleston premier of this important film," says Bo Moore, dean of The Citadel's School of Humanities and Social Sciences. "The Orangeburg Massacre has too often been missing from substantive discussions about the civil rights era in South Carolina. It is our hope that this documentary will promote a better public understanding of this tragic event and the lingering impact that it has had on race relations in our state."
The one-hour documentary, funded by PBS, chronicles the massacre, which occurred after four days of student protests to desegregate a whites-only bowling alley in downtown Orangeburg near the historically black colleges of South Carolina State and Claflin University. On Feb. 8, 1968, eight seconds of police gunfire left three young men dead and 27 wounded. It was the first time police had opened fire on students on a U.S. college campus, predating the uprising at Kent State University by two years.
The film includes interviews with a number of those involved, including students, state police, the late Gov. Robert McNair, Cleveland Sellers (now president of Voorhees College) and author Jack Bass, a member of the history faculty at The Citadel.
Following the film, there will be a Q&A session with co-producers and co-directors Bestor Cram and Judy Richardson, along with Bass, who is co-author of the book "The Orangeburg Massacre." Copies of the book as well as DVDs of the movie will be available for purchase.
RiverDogs offering 'Stretch Your Dollars' deal now only
As part of a seasonlong "Stretch Your Dollars" promotion, the Charleston RiverDogs are offering a family-oriented package of fun for RiverDogs games.
The Staycation package features four upper reserve ticket vouchers, four hot dogs, four Pepsi and chips vouchers, a pass for free parking, two RiverDogs caps and logo baseballs, all-access passes to the Kidz Zone and a group picture with the team's famed mascot, Charlie T. RiverDog, all for $45. The package would normally be valued at more than $100.
"Our fans can realize that they don't need to leave the area in order to have a quality vacation," says RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols. "They can let the RiverDogs take care of that at Riley Park for them."
The Staycation deal is good through Feb. 27. Once processed, undated ticket vouchers, food vouchers and the parking voucher will be mailed in mid-March. When fans arrive at the ballpark, they can exchange the ticket vouchers for game day tickets and present their Staycation receipt at Guest Services to claim their caps, baseballs and Kidz Zone passes and coordinate their photo with Charlie T. RiverDog.
Vouchers can be redeemed for any regular season home game, although a $2 charge for the July 3 Independence Day Celebration Game and the annual postgame Christian Concert Game will apply.
To buy a Staycation package, go to http://www.riverdogs.com or call 577-DOGS (3647).
CBT to save by staging 'Cinderella' instead of 'Camelot'
Taking a fiscally conservative approach in the midst of ongoing economic hard times for the arts, the Charleston Ballet Theatre has announced that it will close out the 2008-09 season in March with "Cinderella," rather than the previously planned production of "Camelot," which is more expensive to stage.
Last presented in 2003, "Cinderella" will be performed only twice -- at 7:30 p.m. March 21 and 3 p.m. March 22 -- with both shows at the Sottile Theatre. With the switch in productions, CBT hopes to save nearly $10,000 in production costs by eliminating rental costs for the fly system in 'Camelot' as well as the additional crew needed to run the show," says a statement from the CBT.
Tickets will be available starting Feb. 16 exclusively through the CBT box office at 477 King St., by calling 723-7334 or online at www.charlestonballet.org. Tickets are range from $35 to $45, and student tickets are $10 off any ticket price with a student ID.
Launch party to be Saturday for new local children's book
A book launch party will be held Feb. 7 for "Shackles," a new children's picture book by S.C. poet laureate Marjory Wentworth and local artist Leslie Pratt Thomas, both of whom live in Mount Pleasant.
The book is set on Sullivan's Island, and that's where the launch party will be held: at the Sandpiper Gallery next door to the Laundromat on Middle Street. The part runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Based on a true story, "Shackles" describes what happens when a group of little boys search for buried treasure in their backyard on Sullivan's Island and dig up a bit of history - a set of shackles used centuries ago on slaves who were held on the island. The boys' neighbor and friend, Mr. Green, explains the painful hidden history of Sullivan's Island - that one out of every three African-Americans has ancestors who were brought to Sullivan's Island and held or perished in the "pest house."
Ultimately a story of healing, "Shackles" is already receiving praise from prominent writers such as Mary Alice Monroe, a New York Times best-selling author. "Reading the story and marveling at the illustrations, I laughed and I cried," Monroe says. "I love this book. 'Shackles' is a must read for children of all ages."
Melvin H. Purvis Jr. was born in Timmonsville on Oct. 24, 1903. He gained national fame during the 1930s as the nation's "ace G-man," credited with gunning down the notorious outlaws John Dillinger and Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd - although throughout his life Purvis maintained that each event was a team project.
Purvis earned a law degree from the University of South Carolina in 1925 and then practiced law in Florence for two years. Frustrated in his efforts to enter diplomatic service, in February 1927 he joined the Justice Department's Bureau of Investigation, the forerunner of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Purvis quickly came to the attention of bureau director J. Edgar Hoover, who offered Purvis opportunities to earn rapid promotion. In 1932 Purvis was named senior agent in charge of the bureau's Chicago field office, where he orchestrated the capture of the bank robber and murderer John Dillinger, America's "Public Enemy Number One."
On July 22, 1934, acting on a tip from a Chicago brothel operator, Purvis and his team of agents surrounded the Biograph Theater, where Dillinger was attending a movie. When Dillinger walked out, Purvis lit his cigar, signaling other agents that he had spotted the fugitive. Purvis reportedly said to Dillinger, "Stick 'em up, Johnny, we have you surrounded," but Dillinger pulled his gun and ran. Agents fired, and Dillinger died at the scene. Purvis refused to take personal credit for Dillinger's death, nor did he identify the agents who shot Dillinger. Three months later, on Oct. 22, Purvis led the collection of federal agents and local police that tracked down and killed the outlaw Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd in a field near Clarkson, Ohio.
Reporters took an instant liking to the modest Purvis, and the mild-mannered G-man quickly became a national celebrity. Hoover, however, was jealous of Purvis's publicity. He assigned Purvis to bad cases and subjected him to close review. In 1935, just a year after he had captured Dillinger, Purvis resigned from the FBI. Hoover undermined his efforts to find work in law enforcement, despite numerous job offers. Moving to California, Purvis practiced law and capitalized on his celebrity, endorsing products such as Dodge automobiles and Post Toasties cereal and publishing an autobiography, "American Agent" (1936).
In 1938 Purvis returned to Florence County, where he married Rosanne Willcox on September 14. They had three sons. He published a daily newspaper, the Florence Evening Star, and then became a partner in the ownership of local radio station WOLS in 1941. During World War II he served in the provost general's office, attaining the rank of colonel by 1945. After the war, Purvis was appointed deputy director of the War Crimes Office of the War Department. Purvis died of a gunshot wound at his home in Florence on February 29, 1960. The FBI initially reported his death as a suicide, but later reports stated that he died accidentally. He was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, Florence.
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What's the home state of most visitors to the Charleston area? If you believe the jokes in the press about the Lowcountry being overrun with folks from Ohio, think again. Here are the top five states, according to a study by the College of Charleston Office of Tourism Analysis for the Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau. (By the way, Ohio ranks No. 6.)
"You cannot go around and keep score. If you keep score on the good things and the bad things, you'll find out that you're a very miserable person. God gave man the ability to forget, which is one of the greatest attributes you have, because if you remember everything that's happened to you, you generally remember that which is the most unfortunate."
(NEW) Sea and Save: Throughout February, S.C. Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston. Reduced admission fee of $10 for all South Carolina residents during the month, a savings of $7 off regular adult admission. Proof of residency required. More info online or at 577-3474.
'Uptown in Downtown Charleston': Throughout February, Saul Alexander Gallery, Charleston County Library Main Branch, 68 Calhoun St. Watercolors by artist Andrea Hazel, a native Charlestonian, will focus on the neighborhood people, corner stores and small businesses that becoming harder to find in downtown Charleston. The paintings are part of an ongoing series that reflects Hazel's love for her hometown and the streets where locals live and hang out.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Singles in the City Mixer: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 10, Tristan Restaurant, 55 S. Market St., Charleston. Singles in the City, a local social networking group for those age 35 and older, will hold a Valentine's mixer with cocktails, appetizers, socializing and party games. Cost: $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Tickets/details.
(NEW) Child Suicide Prevention Seminar: 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 13, Embassy Suites Charleston Area Convention Center, 5055 International Blvd., North Charleston. Sponsored for the community free of charge by the North Charleston Breakfast Rotary Club, the seminar is designed for teachers, school counselors, district administrators and staff from other organizations that serve children. Speakers include a child psychiatrist, a cyber-bullying expert, a state lawmaker who sponsored anti-bullying legislation, and the parent of a child who committed suicide. regarding the facts about child suicide and how to prevent it. Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are available to counselors, social workers and psychologists. Register by email or call Stacey Lindbergh at 745-5166.
Southeastern Wildlife Exposition: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 13 and Feb. 14; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 15, downtown Charleston (eight venues). SEWE features 120 artists, lectures, Busch Wildlife shows, sporting outfitters, and conservation exhibits. In addition, the popular Dock Dogs competitions return, along with retriever demos, free flight shows by the Center for Birds of Prey, and children's activities. Tickets start at $10 & kids 10 and under are free. VIP packages available. More info/tickets: http://www.sewe.com or 723-1748.
CSO, CBT Collaboration: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14, Sottile Theatre, 44 George St., Charleston. The Charleston Ballet Theatre and Charleston Symphony Orchestra will offer a joint performance of three ballet masterworks underscored by works from a trio of celebrated composers. Tickets: $35-$45, available only through the CBT box office, 477 King St., by calling 723-7334 or ordering online.
Winter Golf Classic: Feb. 16, Wild Dunes Resort's Links and Harbor courses, Isle of Palms. Sponsored by Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, with 60 teams and plenty of chances to network. Following the event, there will be a Business After Hours at the Sweetgrass Pavilion. Sponsorships still available. Tournament cost: $650 per team, or $200 per individual. To register or learn more, click here. For sponsorship info: Laura Kate Whitney, 805-3113.
Entertaining with Nathalie: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 16 through Feb. 20, Culinary Institute of Charleston, Palmer Campus, 66 Columbus St., Charleston. Join internationally known cookbook author and Charleston resident Nathalie Dupree for "Entertaining With Ease," a week's worth of classes on the art of entertaining, including recipes, ideas and tips for preparing ahead. Each day's class includes a brief talk and demo followed by hands-on cooking with Nathalie. The week concludes with dinner at Nathalie's Charleston home on Feb. 20 featuring the menu prepared that day. Cost: $899. Click here to register (it's course number is XPOC 657-501) or phone 574-6152.
An Evening in the Orient: 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Feb. 21, Charleston Museum, 360 Meeting St., Charleston. Annual fundraiser sponsored by Friends and Needed Supporters (FANS) of the Charleston Museum. Far East food, culture and items from the museum's Asian collections are showcased. George Read of Sotheby's will preside at an auction, with items including vacations, jewelry, Charleston silver, a 100-person oyster roast, a quail hunt, and artwork by local artists. Tickets: $60 members, $70 nonmembers. To register: 722-2996, ext. 264, or http://www.CharlestonMuseum.org.
Chefs' Feast for Food Bank: 6:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Feb. 22, Embassy Suites Charleston Area Convention Center, North Charleston. 10th annual Chefs' Feast fundraiser for the Lowcountry Food Bank features approximately two dozen chefs from the area's top restaurants serving samples of their best dishes. More than 95 percent of proceeds support programs that fight childhood hunger, and all money raised stays in the community. Tickets: $150 per person, available online. Corporate and event sponsorships: Miriam Coombes, 747-8146, ext. 104, or email@example.com.
(NEW) Photographing Your Baby: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. March 15, Charleston Center for Photography, 654 King St., Suite D, Charleston. Portrait photographer Julia Lynn will lead this workshop, giving demonstrations and teaching students how to choose the right location for shooting, properly position the baby and get a great exposure every time. Aperture, shutter speed, ISO and lens selections will be discussed as well. Cost: $125. Register here.
Penguins 'n' Pajamas Family Sleepover: 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. March 20, S.C. Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston. Sleep with the penguins at the aquarium on the night that the new Penguin Planet exhibit opens. Family sleepover will offer special chances to watch the penguins dive underwater, learn about penguin colonies and discover what makes them march. One adult required per two children attending the event. Reservations and advance payment required. Cost: $30 per member child, $40 per member adult; $40 and $50 for nonmember child and adult, respectively. Reservations: 577-3474. More info.
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