driver offers perspective on animals' care
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
Editor's note: Libby Campbell, formerly a
driver for Palmetto Carriage in Charleston, wrote this column
in response to CharlestonCurrents.com Publisher Andy Brack's recent
column on a request from People for the Ethical Treatment
of Animals for the city to end carriage rides. For another response
to the original column, see today's Feedback
11, 2009 -- I was a carriage driver with Palmetto Carriage (PCW)
for several years. I've never had a job which was so much fun and
so much hard work. This article is based on my experience with one
company; I can't speak to the others.
with a friend
appreciate Mr. Brack's research; however, the conditions under which
PCW's mules work are quite different from Army mules during World
War I. Today's carriages have a fifth wheel, increasing the turning
radius exponentially. They are equipped with springs which act as
shock absorbers, and the wheels have ball bearings. Charleston's
streets are paved; the steepest hill the animals encounter is driving
south on Church Street to Cumberland. Due to the mule's native intelligence,
if a carriage is overloaded, those mules won't budge.
has a national reputation for having the best animal health-care
record in the industry. The doors to the Red Barn are open to anyone
who wishes to come in and take a look. There is a veterinarian next
door. Animal Control officers drop in unannounced to inspect the
premises and the animals. I'd never have spent the years I did as
a driver if there were any mistreatment of the animals. I don't
know anyone who works in the industry who condones animal maltreatment.
animals have their temperatures checked at the end of each tour.
These are recorded, and the records are available to Animal Control
officers at all times. To prevent overheating, animals are pulled
off duty and cooled down until their temperature drops. Mules will
not work if overheated or sick. (Mules won't do anything that might
put their own precious hides in danger, including being overloaded
am not aware of any special treatment the carriage industry gets
from (Charleston) City Council. As for the pocketbooks of the companies'
owners - consider the cost of running a carriage company. When carriages
stop to get a zone tag, the officer on duty records the number of
passengers. Carriage companies pay a tax for each passenger and
for each tag issued. There is a sizeable fee for the parking spots
along Anson and Market streets. The companies pay for street sanitation,
business licenses, the costs of purchasing the animals, feeding
the animals, providing veterinary care for the animals, and shoes
for the animals, operational expenses not only for a barn in town,
but for a farm where animals can be rotated out, the cost of carriages,
tack, and the maintenance and repair of same, wages and benefits
for employees, and insurance.
20 carriages are allowed on the street at any time, making the maximum
number of residential tours that can be done in a day 160. Five
companies compete for these tours. That "160" only works
if the process runs without a hitch - there isn't a "tag wait,"
no traffic tie-ups, no construction detours, no shutting down due
to the heat, and we aren't having a Charleston monsoon - a finite
amount of income to cover an infinite number of expenses.
are draft animals, bred specifically to work. Draft horses carried
the knights into the Crusades. Without mules, it would have taken
a hell of a lot longer to settle the United States. (Thank God PETA
didn't exist then; we'd never have gotten further west than St.
Louis.) Most recently, mules were drafted into service in Afghanistan.
If you think employment opportunities for people are scarce, there
are even fewer positions available for draft animals. Without "jobs,"
there would be no reason for any of these animals to exist. They
would eventually disappear. Ouch.
you are concerned about the health and well-being of Charleston's
carriage animals, I invite you to visit the barns. Talk to the owners,
the drivers, the barn hands. Call the vets. Talk to the Animal Control
officers. Don't just shake your head and think, "Oh, those
poor animals." Take a true look at both sides of the issue.
Campbell is a former Palmetto Carriage driver who now lives in Columbia.
Time for legislators
to do something instead of nothing
ANDY BRACK, publisher
Editor's note: The following commentary first
appeared Friday in SC
Statehouse Report. We thought you'd find it to be interesting.
11, 2009 -- To get an idea of how the General Assembly has made
a difference this year, just look at what may be its most stellar
accomplishment so far: passage into law of a measure that allows
school districts to have more flexibility in moving funds around
so they can respond to shortfalls. Whew.
and the Legislature approved renaming of the Western Carolina Regional
Sewer Authority to Renewable Water Resources. And it
passed measures to study criminal domestic violence, sentencing
reform and stroke systems of care.
But it hasnt yet, for example, passed anything on how to get
more jobs for the thousands of unemployed people in the state. Or
how to dramatically improve schools. Or how to make health care
more accessible. Or how to protect special places.
So much for what the state really needs. Instead, legislators and
the governor have spent the whole session bickering over the budget
and stimulus money. Now with just two weeks left (yes, this year,
theyre adjourning earlier than usual), the likelihood that
theyll approve a long-anticipated cigarette tax hike or tougher
rules on payday lending or any of a host of other needed measures
is rapidly vanishing.
But remember, they did actually agree to exempt students in several
districts from make-up day requirements and to approve regulations
involving the light brown apple moth quarantine. Important stuff.
Maybe the thing that will impact people the most is approval into
law of a measure that allows establishment of micro-distilleries
of alcoholic beverages. This landmark legislation brings two quick
thoughts to mind:
Weve gone from minibottles to micro-distilleries. It took
decades to get rid of those minibottles at bars. But it only took
three years to jump to a new law that will allow establishments
to produce small batches of liquor - - gallons of it -- on site.
the electorate drunk. What a quick change this is on the fears
about alcohol in society. If you were a cynic, you might think
they want to keep us drunk to ignore what theyre not doing!
Sen. Phil Leventis, D-Sumter, offers this observation on how the
General Assembly is stuck. According to Senate rules, only three
bills at any time can be set for special order, which
moves them to the top of the list to be considered. The reasoning
is that sometimes the Senate needs to take up something quickly
because it is important to the state.
One of the three bills now on special order is a measure to call
on Congress to follow the Constitutions Tenth Amendment, which
you might recall says powers not granted to the federal government
or prohibited to the states are reserved for the states.
Can you see how bad off we are when we say, Please obey
the law, to the members of Congress? Leventis asked.
Thats really, really out of touch with whats going
on in the state when we have people out of work and the Employment
Security Commission about to run out of money again for unemployment
State legislators should start thinking about why theyre in
Columbia in the first place to make a positive difference
in peoples lives, not to enjoy the trappings of power for
powers sake. Instead of fiddling with different silos of state
government, they should start looking at whats best for the
state as a whole. It might be time to again review our Palmetto
Priorities offered earlier this year:
and retain 10,000 small business jobs a year.
the states dropout rate.
the cigarette tax.
affordable and accessible health care.
a state energy policy.
special interest tax exemptions.
and stabilize the states tax structure.
the prison population through alternative sentencing.
bridges and upgrade roads.
the political system.
is publisher of CharlestonCurrents.com. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
offers rational ideas for safeguarding animals' welfare
to Andy Brack for presenting such a rational
argument in favor of protecting the carriage horses' health
and welfare. I live next to the stables and so have a chance to
observe their care on a daily basis as they are groomed in the doorways
both morning and evening. Only once in three years have I observed
rough handling by one of the stable personnel, so I would give the
staff high marks for gentle, loving care. I think the carriages
add cachet to our historic city as the caleches (horse carriages)
do to Quebec City in Canada, but I would not want them if it was
at the expense of the horses' lives. My hope is that the opposing
sides of this debate will sit down in good faith and iron out a
compromise based on mutual advantage and well-researched data such
as Mr. Brack's article on the subject. Bonne chance!
Penny Leighton, Charleston, SC
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featured nonprofit partner is the Lowcountry Food Bank, which
was founded in 1983 as a clearinghouse for donated food items. The
Food Bank, which receives more than 10 million pounds of donated
food annually, seeks to feed the poor and hungry of the ten coastal
counties of South Carolina by soliciting and distributing healthy
food and grocery products to nonprofit agencies serving the poor,
and to educate the public about the problems of and solutions to
domestic hunger. For more, visit the Food Bank online at: http://www.lcfbank.org.
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to feature works of intellectually challenged adults
City Hall will be the setting for "Breaking Out," an exhibition
of eclectic works from eight intellectually challenged adults, during
Piccolo Spoleto May 22 through June 7. The exhibit will be displayed
in the first floor hallway and will be open to the public from 9
a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. City Hall is located on the
corner of Broad and Meeting streets downtown.
'Breaking Out' provides an opportunity for these intellectually
challenged adults and artists to express their thoughts through
art, breaking down the walls raised through their disabilities,"
said Paula Byers, co-coordinator of the exhibition. "From pottery
to paintings and drawings, audiences will observe that the world
of these talented artists is brightened by their inner light and
just as exciting, complicated, happy and sad as anyone else's."
reception will be held at City Hall from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. May 17
and is open to the public.
include Eddie Gregory, who paints realistic landscapes, and Chris
Peery, who specializes in abstract landscapes; Donnie Driggers,
who does colored pencil drawings of cartoon characters; Chris Pilcher,
who creates geometric abstracts; Jerald Fraser, who specializes
in school buses and gas stations drawn on recycled paper; Joey Helgret,
who loves landscapes; Michael Bonyne, who focuses on seascapes;
and Christian Royal, who is a potter. Works by Mark Goldmintz, who
passed away in 2008, are also included.
exhibition is sponsored by The Hulsey Law Firm and is coordinated
by Special Olympics of South Carolina, City of Charleston Office
of Cultural Affairs, VSA Arts of South Carolina and the South Carolina
at the Museum' to offer family fun, surprises
and parents alike should be ready for all kinds of fun and surprises
at Nighttime at the Museum, planned for 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
June 5 at the Charleston Museum on Meeting Street. The museum staff
will be bringing history to life in an array of creative and unexpected
the event, it's entirely possible that you might bump into a band
of pirates, Teddy Roosevelt, a unit of Revolutionary War soldiers,
a Viking, George Washington or even some wild "animals."
King Tut will be there to help teach kids how to write their name
in hieroglyphics. Museum curators and staff will be stationed throughout
the dimly-lit galleries (bring your own flashlight, please) to share
astonishing stories about collection pieces and a tall tale or two.
Kids can come as they are or join in the spirit of the occasion
by dressing as their favorite animal or historical character.
activities include a scavenger hunt to win four tickets to the movie
"Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian"; colonial
games (hoop rolling, nine pins, and graces); making a paper waistcoat,
Native American vest or girl's sleeveless jacket; and making animal
at the Museum includes a light supper. Tickets are $10 for member
adults, $20 for nonmember adults, $5 for member children and $10
for nonmember children; those younger than 3 get in free. Advance
reservations are recommended and can be made
online or by calling 722-2996, ext. 264.
the Gibbes free on Saturday during Community Day
Gibbes Museum of Art will hold its quarterly Community Day on May
16 with free admission and family activities for all guests between
10 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the museum, located at 135 Meeting St. downtown.
The Junior League of Charleston sponsors Community Days to give
visitors the opportunity to experience the Gibbes' dynamic programming
free of charge.
Discoveries" is the theme for Saturday, with art-making activities
for children as well as musical performances. Visitors can tour
current exhibitions, which include "The Charleston Story,"
"Prop Master: An Installation by Juan Logan and Susan Harbage
Page" and "Jeff Whetstone: Post-Pleistocene." Rising
High Café will provide beverages.
more information, call 722-2706 or go
offering classes for businesses, tech ventures
a program of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce that promotes
entrepreneurship and small businesses in South Carolina, is offering
three classes that begin this month for both new and established
businesses, as well as technology ventures.
NewVenture is designed to help entrepreneurs evaluate and perfect
their idea for a business. The program lets participants "workshop"
their plans in a safe, supportive environment to find out if their
ideas makes economic sense. Classes begin May 18 and run for 10
weeks, meeting each Monday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the chamber
office, 2750 Speissegger Drive, North Charleston. Tuition is $195.
FastTrac TechVenture class shows technology entrepreneurs how to
determine the economic possibilities of their concept, re-evaluate
the feasibility of the technology, design a business model that
matches their vision, and create a business plan to communicate
the opportunity to investors. Classes begin May 19 and run for 12
weeks, meeting each Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the chamber
office. The cost is $395.
third class, FastTrac GrowthVenture, encourages entrepreneurs to
streamline their business processes, analyze strengths and shortcomings,
and achieve more balance in their work and personal lives. Participants
will work with other entrepreneurs in the class, sharing ideas,
strategies and successes, and will learn skills to help a business
survive not only in today's tough economy, but in the years ahead.
Classes begin May 20 and run for 10 weeks, meeting each Wednesday
from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the chamber. Tuition is $295.
register for any class or find out more, go to http://www.FastTracSC.org
or call 805-3089.
us your recommendations
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.
chemical element iodine derives its name from the violet color of
its gaseous form. A rare element (sixty-second in global abundance),
it occurs naturally as a trace chemical in certain soils, rocks,
seawater, plants, and animals. In humans, it is largely found in
the thyroid gland, which secretes iodine-bearing hormones responsible
for regulating metabolism. A deficiency of iodine causes an unsightly
swelling of the neck and jaw known as a goiter.
the late 1920s the South Carolina Natural Resources Commission began
a public relations campaign to advertise the high iodine levels
found in fruits and vegetables grown in the state. Even South Carolina
milk was promoted as containing extraordinarily high levels of iodine.
Promotional tracts sought to expand the national market for South
Carolina produce by warning midwestern and west coast residents
of the consequences of iodine deficiency in the young, including
enlarged thyroids, mental and physical birth defects, and even sterility.
The campaign placed the motto "Iodine" on South Carolina
automobile license plates in 1930 and then expanded the phrase in
subsequent years to "The Iodine State" and "The Iodine
radio station WIS took its call letters to promote the "Wonderful
Iodine State." Even lowcountry moonshiners around Hell Hole
Swamp jumped on the iodine bandwagon, advertising their brand of
liquid corn with the slogan "Not a Goiter in a Gallon."
the promotional gimmicks, South Carolina agriculture saw little
benefit from the iodine campaign. With the advent of iodized salt
in the 1940s, Americans had a convenient dietary supplement and
demand for foods high in iodine content declined.
from the entry by Robert T. Oliver. To
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
encourage you to check out our sister publications:
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P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413
Report LLC. All rights reserved. CharlestonCurrents.com is published
every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261,
Charleston, SC 29413.
metro area racks up awards from national publications on a regular
basis. Here are five of the latest honors, courtesy of the Charleston
Convention and Visitors Bureau:
- Kiawah Island
is listed as second-most-romantic beach in the country
by America's Best & Top Ten.
- HGTV, the
Home & Garden Network, named Charleston one of its top
was ranked No. 7 in the Most Romantic Vacations category
and No. 14 in the Best Culture & History Vacation in the U.S.
& Canada category by Tripadvisor.com.
of Golf World magazine, in their 2009 Readers' Choice Awards,
chose Kiawah Island Golf Resort as the No. 1 resort in
America, and Charleston/ Kiawah Island as No. 1 of the top 38
golf destinations in North America and Europe.
- The Sanctuary
at Kiawah Island was ranked the No. 3 resort in the mainland
United States by Condé Nast Traveler.
you're getting old when you get that one candle on the cake. It's
like, 'See if you can blow this out.'"
on the Water: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 12, South Carolina
Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston. Sample sustainable-seafood
dishes prepared by some of Charleston's finest chefs, enjoy live
entertainment and more. All proceeds benefit the aquarium's conservation
and education programs. Ages 21 and up only. Tickets: $20 aquarium
members, $25 nonmember. Advance reservations and payment (required):
on Wheels Spring Gala: 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. May 13, Omar
Shrine Convention Center, 76 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant.
Third annual event, presented by Eventa Bella and sponsored by Piggly
Wiggly. Cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and silent and live auctions to
benefit East Cooper Meals on Wheels. Attire: coat and tie. Food
provided by Ashley Bakery, Crave, Cru, Dining With Sal, Home Team
BBQ, Langdon's Restaurant and Wine Bar, the Old Village Post House,
Outback Steakhouse, Red Drum Gastropub, Robert's Restaurant of Charleston,
and Royal Grand Events. Music by Sam Singleton. Cost: $100 per person.
Tickets: 881-9350 or http://www.ecmow.org/events.php.
Wine Weekend: May 15-16, Woodlands Inn, 125 Parsons Road,
Summerville. Master Sommelier Robert Bath, one of the world's most
recognized wine experts, will lead a series of wine seminars throughout
the weekend and join seminar participants for special wine dinners
each evening. For a specific schedule, prices and details, call
1-800-774-9999 or go
Summer Pier Kickoff Tournament: 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. May
16, Folly Beach Fishing Pier. Registration begins at 6 a.m.
and takes place on-site only. Tournaments end at 4 p.m. and prizes
will be awarded at 4:15 p.m. in the following categories: Adult
Angler, Lady Angler, Youth Angler (12 and under), Senior Angler
(60 and over), total weight of five fish, and King Mackerel. Open
to ages 3 and older. Cost for King Mackerel contest: $12 Charleston
County resident, $14 nonresident; for all other tournaments, $9
residents, $12 nonresidents, or $7 for ages 3-12. More info: 588-3474.
Listening to Your Business: 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May
16, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive,
North Charleston; also offered June 20, same time. FastTracSC,
a nonprofit coalition that promotes entrepreneurship and small business
in South Carolina, will sponsor the workshop to help business owners
learn how to evaluate their companies and put them on the path to
success. Topics include setting a three-year plan, determining where
you are now and translating your goals into action. Cost: $50. Registration:
Mary Dickerson, 805-3089 or email@example.com.
Life in Antebellum Charleston: 1 p.m. May 16, Charleston
County Main Library, 68 Calhoun St. Free talk hosted by Dr. Nic
Butler, special-collections manager at library. International fans
of the legendary Swedish operatic tenor Jussi Bjorling (1911-1960)
are gathering in Charleston this year to celebrate Bjorling's legacy.
Illustrated presentations by Butler and others will look at the
musical life of antebellum Charleston and its connections to the
operatic world of 19th-century Sweden.
ONGOING AND SOON
Photos Exhibit: Through May 29, Charleston Center for Photography,
654 King St., Suite D, Charleston. "Red-Right-Returning: Buoys
of the Ashley and Cooper," a free exhibit of photographs from
Charleston photographer Jack Alterman, will be featured throughout
May. In the photographs, Alterman combines the landscapes of the
Ashley and Cooper Rivers with the colors that mark a mariner's course.
A Spoleto Opening Reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. May
21. More info: 720-3105 or http://www.ccforp.org.
Cage Aux Folles":
Various dates in May, Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen
St., Charleston. The Footlight Players bring to the Lowcountry this
Broadway smash about love, family and acceptance in an untraditional
setting, filled with outlandish costumes, extravagant dance numbers,
and snazzy songs. Tickets: $30 adults, $27 seniors, $20 students.
Show dates and times: 722-4487 or visit
to the Military: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 19, 28 Bridgeside,
Mount Pleasant. Reception presented by the Charleston Metro Chamber
of Commerce to show support for the local military and celebrate
their contributions to the community and nation. Awards will be
presented to active-duty personnel and reservists from each branch
of the military. The U.S. Air Force Blue Aces Popular Music Ensemble
will entertain. Cost: $75, or $45 for active/reserve military and/or
military spouse. Registration.
Sweetgrass Cultural Arts Festival: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. June
5 and noon to 8 p.m. June 6, Laing Middle School, 2213
Highway 17 North, Mount Pleasant. Gullah-Geechee skits, gospel groups,
storytelling, folklore, music and dance performed by local entertainers.
The largest showcase of diversified sweetgrass baskets in the Lowcountry
will be displayed by local basket makers, along with handmade quilts,
paintings and crafts. Kids' activities include jump castles, water
slides, face painting, and arts and craft. Lowcountry foods will
be provided by local restaurants and vendors. More
In this section,
we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:
Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
Turn in the South, V.S. Naipaul
Book of Marie, Terry Kay
Jazz, Jack McCray
Deep: 20 Classic Sports Stories,
Gary Smith (review)
Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes,
Chris Lamb (List)
Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, Merle Miller
a book to us
New local music CD
Uses of social media
Time for renovations
Dog days at Drayton
Get it clean
Cheer on US rugby
Dress for Success
Field to Families
Book burning event
on car tags
way of tithing?
green bus here
Mt. P. promo
weekend at home
P. Farmers Market
Food + Wine Festival
Creek park input
bald eagles thrive
man moves up in contest
to old clunker
to squeeze in
is in the air
at the ballpark
leaves great legacy
positive about economy
at three books
hood on "reform" efforts
book is great pleasure
band is inspiring
know you're from...
the school menu
Day Fest facts
to bid on
in the sun
go the lights
on duck race