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Issue 1.62 | Thursday, June 18, 2009 | Worn out any umbrellas lately?

JUST PEEKING: It might look like this Carolina terrapin (bottom left) is reading an information board at some tabby ruins at Fort Frederica National Monument on St. Simons Island in Georgia, but it really is digging a hole to lay some eggs. Neat! (Photo by Andy Brack.)

:: Dress for Success helps women


:: Group to help Old Village businesses

:: Send us your comments

:: Five to bid on

:: Carolina Day, photo camp, more


___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
___:: REVIEW: Send us your thoughts
___:: HISTORY: State song
___:: QUOTE: Bad taste from Parker
___:: BOOKSHELF: Interesting reading
___:: SPOTLIGHT: Meet an underwriter


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 | Reader testimonials


Dress for Success benefit to outfit women for career goals
General manager, Vendue Inn
Special to

JUNE 18, 2009 -- Today at 5:30 p.m. at The Rooftop at The Vendue Inn we're holding a Little Black Dress Party to benefit Dress for Success Charleston County.


We're inviting women to join us attired in their "Little Black Dress" (LBD) and to donate an article of clothing to Dress for Success, which offers "Suits to Self-Sufficiency." Women who wear their LBD will receive a complimentary martini. Local favorite band Meeting Reid will be playing. All attendees who donate will be entered to win a free dress from Utopia. We know people from Charleston are very giving, so we have high hopes for a great success. We hope this event is the beginning of an ongoing relationship with the charity.

We're holding this event because Dress for Success is an organization that we feel gives a lot support to women who are trying to make a place for themselves in the business world. I am hoping to have a large turnout and that we can introduce others to Dress For Success. Giving a little thing such as an outfit can help so many people.

According to Margaret Johnson-Jefferson, director and founder of Dress for Success, the mission of the organization is to "promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. DFSCC works to empower disadvantaged women in the Lowcountry to build their careers and change lives." The Charleston County chapter is affiliated with the national DFS organization.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "Hotels and other lodging places often provide first jobs to many new entrants to the labor force. In 2006, about 17 percent of the workers were younger than age 25, compared with about 14 percent across all industries." More than 50 percent of the workers in the hospitality industry are women, leading many other sectors in the source of employment for women. (Click here to learn more about women and employment.)

The hospitality industry offers all types of employment to women, those with college degrees, those with high school diplomas and those who are bettering themselves while on the job. Being in the hospitality business, I see so many young people just getting started in their careers. Many of these individuals do not have foundations to build upon. I feel that anything we can do to help them - and, of course, other women who need things that so many of us take for granted - is the least we can do.

I have been very fortunate to have had just about everything I ever needed or wanted. I realize that not everyone can say this. I have lived a really good life. This makes me appreciate what Dress for Success does for the community even more.

Hospitality is about making people feel welcome as I do in my own home. This is what we emphasize at The Vendue Inn and what we want to give our community. I want my team to be part of that, and so helping people who may be seeking jobs in our industry is really helping ourselves.

Susie Ridder is the general manager of the Vendue Inn.

New group will promote businesses in Mt. Pleasant's Old Village
By ANN THRASH, editor

JUNE 18, 2009 -- When Jan Clouse travels, she's like many of us: She likes to experience her destination from a local point of view. After all, it's the hometown folks who know a place from the inside out. Where do the residents go to get great local food that's typical of the area? Which local shop owners do they know, trust and patronize? That's the kind of information Clouse hopes to share with people from far and wide through a new alliance of businesses that are promoting the Old Village area of Mount Pleasant.


Clouse, president of Lowcountry Lanterns and the owner of Lowcountry Lighting Center on Chuck Dawley Boulevard, is one of the organizers of the Old Mount Pleasant Shopping District, a group of locally owned businesses that are teaming up to encourage residents and visitors to shop in the town's Old Village area - roughly, around Houston Northcutt Boulevard, Coleman Boulevard and the nearby Pitt Street area, Ben Sawyer Boulevard, Chuck Dawley and Bowman Road.

" 'Where the locals shop and eat' - that's kind of our tag line," Clouse says. She adds that along that loop of shops, there are local businesses that meet just about every need - and it doesn't cost a penny to park.

The alliance is open to any business in those areas that is locally owned and that has a Mount Pleasant business license, Clouse says. Some of those that have already signed up, in addition to Clouse's own company, are Atkinson Pools & Spas, Foxworth Decorative Hardware, GDC Home, Lord & Evans Paints, Palmetto Carpet & Flooring, and Royall Hardware.

For a membership fee of $250 annually, business owners will get a presence on a special map of the shopping district, a listing at the alliance's soon-to-be-up-and-running Web site and a link from that site to their own homepage. They'll also get posters, door stickers and other materials that promote that they're members of the Old Mount Pleasant Shopping District.

In addition, the businesses will be able to be part of cooperative advertising that promotes the whole district. At a time when money is tight for many businesses, shopping district members will get the benefit of more affordable advertising because all district members will bear the cost together.

Clouse tells us that some special promotional events are already in the discussion stages, such as a no-tax shopping day, possibly in the fall, and a guys' night out for shopping in the district during the Christmas season.

If you're interested in joining the Old Mount Pleasant Shopping District or learning more, call Clouse at 881-4170 or e-mail her at

Ann Thrash, editor of, can be reached at:

Vent: Send us your thoughts on community issues

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 200 words or less.

Joye Law Firm

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. In this issue, we highlight the Joye Law Firm. Committed to fighting for the rights of the wrongly injured in South Carolina for more than 40 years, the experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyers of the Joye Law Firm want to help you get every dollar you truly deserve for the injuries you've suffered. Whether you've been injured in an auto accident, by a defective product, in a nursing home, or on the job, we may be able to help you. For more information, contact Joye Law Firm at 843.554.3100 or visit online at:

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

Fort Moultrie to mark Carolina Day with displays, musket fire

The National Park Service will celebrate Carolina Day at Fort Moultrie with several weekend events on June 27 and June 28. Carolina Day marks the June 28, 1776 defeat of British land and naval forces by patriots fighting for freedom.

It was the first decisive victory by the American Colonies in their fight for independence and prevented the British from gaining a foothold in South Carolina for another four years.

To commemorate the battle, artillery and musket firing demonstrations will be performed on both days, with volunteers portraying the various units that took part in the battle. There will also be a display of 18th-century medical devices near the Fort Moultrie Visitor Center. Following the last artillery demonstration on June 28, a short program about the battle will take place.

Admission to Fort Moultrie for the weekend event is free. For more information, call the park at 883-3123.

Center for Photography schedules teen photo camp

The Charleston Center for Photography will offer a weeklong Teen Summer Photo Camp next month for high school students of all photographic skill levels. The camp will meet July 13 through July 17 from 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. each day at the center, 654 King St., Suite D.

Campers will learn to tackle individual and group photographic projects designed to teach them the basics of photography, the digital darkroom and more. Local photographer Alice Keeney will lead participants in a variety of fun projects ranging from an image treasure hunt to creating their own blog to document their photographic journey, all with the goal of teaching a strong foundation in photography.

At the end of camp, each student will have his or her own featured gallery on the Center for Photography Web site.

The camp costs $600 and includes lunches. For details or to register, call 720-3105 or go here online.

Drayton Hall to give 'America's heroes' free admission

In celebration of July Fourth and in honor of their service to country and community, America's heroes - the military (active duty and veterans), firefighters, police officers and EMS workers - will be admitted free to Drayton Hall plantation from July 1 through Sept. 15.

Admission includes extensive access to the property, including a professionally guided tour of the house, a 45-minute interactive program on African-American life, self-guided marsh and river walks, the self-paced "Voices of Drayton Hall" interactive landscape tour on DVD, entrance to the African-American cemetery, and more.

"As a Vietnam veteran of the First Infantry Division, I believe that it is vital for all of us to recognize and to thank the men and women who serve our country and our communities," said Drayton Hall Executive Director Dr. George McDaniel. "By learning about Drayton Hall, they'll have the opportunity to connect with the legacy of the men and women who have contributed to this nation over the years. Further, our military, firefighters, police officers, EMS and their families put so much at risk, often without substantial rewards, so this is a step forward by Drayton Hall to say: 'Thank you. Job well done.' "

Participants must show an official identification card at the front gate to receive free admission for themselves and a guest. For more information, call 769-2600 or visit online.

Chamber's annual meeting to offer networking, new format

A new format, more networking and new features are on the agenda for the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce's 236th annual meeting, a black-tie event planned for 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. June 26 at the Charleston Area Convention Center.

New this year are silent and live auctions featuring artwork, golf packages, sailing and dinner packages, architecture and IT consultation services, culinary packages and other items. More than 600 chamber members and guests are expected to attend the event, which will also include the official passing of the gavel from the chamber's outgoing chairman of the board, Robert O. Collins, to incoming chairman David Maybank III of Maybank Properties. Awards to be presented include the 1773 Chamber Award of the Year, the Joseph P. Riley Leadership Award and the Volunteer and Staff Person of the Year awards.

Dinner, networking and the silent auction are planned for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the program and live auction from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The evening will conclude with dessert and dancing from 9:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The cost is $150 per person. To register, visit online here. For more information, e-mail Laura Kate Whitney at

Send us your recommendations

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.

'Carolina,' state song

South Carolina's oldest official song is "Carolina," with words by Henry Timrod (1828-1867) set to music by Anne (Annie) Custis Burgess (1874-1910). The General Assembly adopted it as the official state anthem on February 11, 1911.


Henry Timrod was a Charlestonian who became one of South Carolina's most beloved poets. "Carolina" was one of his most popular patriotic Civil War poems, in which the poet called on the people to rise up and defend their state against the Northern invaders until "all thy fields and fens and meres / Shall bristle like thy palm with spears."

Anne Custis Burgess was born in Mayesville, Sumter County. She earned a degree in music from Converse College and taught music in Summerton, Williamston, and at Winthrop College. She also wrote and published poetry. Her setting of Timrod's "Carolina" received its first public performance in 1905 and was published the following year.

In 1911 the South Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution presented a memorial to the General Assembly asking that "Carolina" be adopted as the official state song and observing that Anne Burgess's composition had been praised by noted American professors of music and other leaders, including Charleston's respected former mayor William Ashmead Courtenay. The opening lines of the song are "Call on thy children of the hill, / Wake swamp and river, coast and rill, / Rouse all thy strength and all thy skill, / Carolina! Carolina!"

-- Excerpted from the entry by David C.R. Heisser. 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.)


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Five to bid on

The Charleston RiverDogs will host their 10th annual Kindness Beats Blindness RP Silent and Live Auction beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. Proceeds go to MUSC's Storm Eye Institute and its ongoing fight to prevent retinitis pigmentosa, a disease that causes the loss of sight. Rebecca Veeck, daughter of RiverDogs President Mike Veeck, is battling RP. Here are five of the many neat and distinctive items up for bid at the auction, which runs through the sixth inning of Saturday's 7:05 p.m. game with Savannah.

  • Tickets to a New York Yankees game at the new Yankee Stadium.

  • Golf with comedian Bill Murray, a co-owner of the RiverDogs.

  • Baseballs signed by John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Reggie Jackson, Goose Gossage and more.

  • A batting glove signed by Jeff Francoeur.

  • A pair of shoes that Steve Smith wore in a game.

To learn more, go online here.

On bad taste


"A little bad taste is like a nice dash of paprika."

-- American humorist and author Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)


Dress for Success Benefit: 5:30 p.m. June 18, Rooftop Bar at the Vendue Inn. A "Little Black Dress Party" will be held to benefit Dress for Success, a nonprofit that provides women with the professional attire needed to thrive in the workplace. Women who arrive wearing a black dress will receive a free martini, and those who donate an item of clothing will be entered into a raffle to win a new dress from Utopia, courtesy of The Rooftop Bar and Vendue Inn. Live music by Meeting Reid. Full bar menu available. All donations benefit Dress for Success.

Scouts Day at Whirlin’ Waters: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 20, Whirlin’ Waters Adventure Waterpark at Wannamaker County Park, 8888 University Blvd., North Charleston. Special admission of $12.99 for all Scouts (Girl, Boy, Cub and Brownie) and their family members. Take part in the Playing It Safe program with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics to learn the seven principles of the Leave No Trace approach. Training begins at 11 a.m. and each paid participant will be able to earn the Playing It Safe patch (patches are $2 each and must be ordered in advance). Lunch on your own in the park, or reserve a place by June 12 for a catered lunch ($6 for a hamburger or hot dog, chips, brownie and lemonade). Registration for Scouts Day must be made in advance by June 19. Go online for more or call Beth Kempton at 762-8042.


Managing Health Care Costs: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. June 24, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive, Suite 100, North Charleston. Sponsored by the chamber's Charleston Area Business Council, the workshop will show employers how to ensure that they are not paying more than they need to in order to cover their employees. Topics will cover what to do when you can't afford to provide health care coverage and tips from small business on how to manage costs. Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. Register online.

Charleston Harbor Fest: June 26-28, Maritime Center complex, downtown Charleston. Free festival featuring tall ships open for touring, maritime arts and crafts, an "Old Charlestowne" living history camp, wooden boat displays, free sailing, air shows, live music, food and, at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, a "Harborpalooza." Schedules/more info.

(NEW) S.C. History Talk: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 27, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, 125 Bull St., Charleston. Historians Jack Bass and W. Scott Poole will lead a free discussion of their latest book, "The Palmetto State: The Making of Modern South Carolina," which presents defining episodes in state history and traces the importance of race relations, historical memory and cultural life in the progress of the Palmetto State. More info: 953-7627.

Farm to Plate Picnic: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 28, Thackeray Farms, 1364 Harts Bluff Road, Wadmalaw Island. Picnic is a fundraiser for Slow Food Charleston's Organic Garden Project at Sanders-Clyde Elementary School. Guests should bring their own picnic dinner, beverages and a blanket. Slow Food will host an "American Pie Auction" featuring homemade pies that will be sold to the highest bidder. Farm tours, live bluegrass and a book signing by local author Holly Herrick are also planned, with a portion of book sales benefitting Slow Food Charleston. Tickets: $10 for Slow Food members, $20 for nonmembers. More info: 225-4307 or by email.

(NEW) CSO Benefit Concert: 5 p.m. June 28, City Gallery, Waterfront Park, 34 Prioleau St., downtown. Charleston Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Yuriy Bekker, violinist, will perform in works by Cesar Franck and Claude Debussy in a concert to benefit the CSO's upcoming season. Pianist Ghadi Shayban will accompany Bekker. Tickets: $100 per person, which includes a post-performance reception with the artists; to reserve, call 723-7528, ext. 110.

(NEW) Spiritual Journey: 7 p.m. June 28, Circular Congregational Church, 150 Meeting St., downtown. The newly formed Charleston Symphony Orchestra (CSO) Spiritual Ensemble will perform "A South Carolina Spiritual Journey" to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the state law making the spiritual the official music of South Carolina. Tickets: $10 at the door. More info.

Archaeology of Charleston's Colonial Fortifications: 6:30 p.m. June 30, Charleston County Main Library, 68 Calhoun St. Members of the Mayor's Walled City Task Force will review the findings from the recent dig on East Bay Street. See images and artifacts and hear about the latest discoveries of Charleston's early waterfront fortifications. More info: 805-6930.

Fourth of July Blast: 4 p.m. to midnight July 4, Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum. Hosted by Patriots Point and the Town of Mount Pleasant, the 13th Annual Fourth of July Blast is a free event with live music, a play area for kids, a 40-foot Ferris wheel, food, drinks and more. Fireworks show over the harbor begins at 10:05 p.m. and will be set to patriotic music. Admission to the Yorktown will be reduced to $5 after 5 p.m. Festival-goers are asked to bring a canned food item to benefit local charities.

People of the Land Exhibit: Through July 15, Charleston County Main Library, 68 Calhoun St. The work of Lowcountry native and documentary photographer Vennie Deas Moore will be featured. Moore has devoted much of her career to exploring the vanishing traditions along the S.C. coast, and her photographs show the connections between cultures, the value of work and the symbiotic relationship between the black and white communities. On June 28 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Moore will discuss her photographs and her new book, "Home: Portraits from the Carolina Coast." More info: 805-6930.


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
  • The Book of Marie, Terry Kay
  • Charleston Jazz, Jack McCray
  • I'll Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes, Chris Lamb (List)
  • Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, Merle Miller

  • Suggest a book to us


9/3: Deaton: Thrive Prize
Rawl: Charting courses
Jurcova-Spencer: Creatives
Brooks: Rural Mission
Yarian: New local music CD
Fisher: Uses of social media
Hall: Time for renovations
Morris: Dog days at Drayton
Lindbergh: Gifted school
Jackson: Insurance tips
VanBogart: Singles
Stewart: Get it clean
Rosenberg: Elect women
Nathan: Turtle release
Johnson: Online school
Thiers: Protect skin
Lee: Scoring supplies
Shockley: Company wellness


9/3: Cold comfort, more
Being a fan
Good, bad, spineless
Locals on Runway
Cookie contest
Vote on car tags
True confessions
New way of tithing?
Lookout for manatees


8/31: This and that
SC's treasures
8/17: RIP to old clunker
8/10: Lots to squeeze in
8/3: On flying Delta
7/27: Conspiracy theories
7/20: Protect carriage animals
7/13: Economic thaw here?


9/3: Free legal clinics
8/31: CofC Class of 2013
8/27: Citadel Class of 2013
7 stores, 7 days
You know you're from...
On the school menu
Wines for grilling
First Day Fest facts
Sales tax holiday
Twittering tips
Fall planting
5 for teens
7/20: Beach reads
Save the books
7/13: Hot plants
Staying cool
Old Exchange 5

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