Why South Carolina
needs more women elected
By GINGER ROSENBERG
Marketing coordinator, Center for Women
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
23, 2009 -- Once again our beautiful Palmetto state is dead last
on a measurement of national importance. South Carolina has the
unfortunate distinction of having the fewest number of women in
elected political office of any state in the union. We send no women
to Washington, D.C., to serve in Congress. We have only 17 women
in our state House of Representatives and none in the state Senate.
the average state legislature in the United States is about one-quarter
women, our state legislature is only 10 percent women. Ten state
legislatures are represented with 30 percent or more women, the
highest being Colorado with 39 percent. In South Carolina, no woman
holds a statewide elected executive position (such as state treasurer
or secretary of education) compared to the U.S. average of 24 percent.
And, there is no woman mayor of the dozen or so South Carolina cities
with a population of 30,000 or more.
Why does the lack of women elected officials matter? Why should
we all be concerned? To every job we engage in, whether paid or
not, we bring our unique set of skills and sensibilities. To truly
reflect our culture and society, any large organization needs to
be represented by both sexes, be racially inclusive and have a range
of ages. A legislative body in a democratic government should especially
be representative of its people.
1st District congressional candidate Linda Ketner laughs it
up at a June campaign training event for women.
women are seated at the table, issues such as education, health
care, housing, quality child care and domestic violence receive
greater attention. This is certainly not to suggest that men don't
care about these issues. It's that each of us prioritizes somewhat
differently based on our past experiences and the primary roles
we have filled in life. We bring our knowledge, insight and "gut
level" feelings to the discussion. A wider net is cast for
the betterment of all.
has also been shown time and time again that women and men have
different communication styles. Women tend to seek common ground
and look for consensus while men tend to promote their opinions
and achievements. A healthy mix produces the best end result. If
the goal of legislatures and government is to work on behalf of
all the people, the best results will be produced when issues are
prioritized and solutions developed by both men and women.
South Carolina State Legislature has 170 representatives, 17 of
whom are women. Think about an organization you belong to or are
familiar with that has 170 members - maybe where you work or your
church. Now picture that organization if there were only 17 women.
It wouldn't be the same place, would it? Could it even function
smoothly? Until we elect more women in South Carolina, we can't
expect our Legislature to, either.
Rosenberg handles marketing for the Center for Women and is running
for Charleston City Council this fall for the West Ashley District
10 seat. The Center for Women is a nonprofit partner of CharlestonCurrents.com.
True confession: Words can come back to haunt you
ANN THRASH, editor
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
23, 2009 -- Between the death of esteemed newsman Walter Cronkite
and the recent
story about some supposedly objective reporters offering Gov.
Mark Sanford a "friendly" place to talk about the mess
involving his affair, the media's integrity has been in the news
lately. That brings back an incident when I found myself using one
of a reporter's most valuable tools - the ability to choose words
precisely - in a way that wasn't completely honest. It wasn't anything
nearly as consequential as reporters offering to cut the governor
a little slack on a matter of public concern, but it's something
that, almost 25 years later, I still think about sometimes.
1985 I was a rookie reporter, just out of college and working at
a small six-day-a-week newspaper in North Carolina. We'd been hearing
rumors that Steven Spielberg's new movie, "The Color Purple,"
was going to be filmed in our county. The problem was, we couldn't
get anyone in a position of authority to confirm the rumors so we
could reliably publish a story. But then we got a break.
of my beats was the local school board, and a woman on the board
told me one day that she and her husband had been invited to a private
meeting about the movie. Her husband owned a funeral home on a street
where much of the filming would be done, and the production company
was hosting a meeting the following night so business owners could
hear about the movie plans. She and her husband offered to let me
go to the meeting with them.
hitch, of course, was that the producers weren't going to want a
reporter there (even one who'd been invited by a legitimate participant
in the meeting). How was I going to get in, get the story and not
editors and I had a long discussion, and they decided that since
I'd been invited by a legitimate attendee, I should attempt to go
to the meeting and see what happened. But my executive editor made
one thing very clear: "If they get suspicious and ask if you're
a reporter, you cannot lie." I was nervous the rest of the
day about what was going to happen, but I wanted to get the story.
I figured I'd be safe if I just sat quietly in the meeting and listened.
None of the invitees would have to say anything, I thought -- they
were just there to hear the plans.
meeting was in the early evening at a bank. I pulled into the parking
lot at the same time as my school board acquaintance and her husband,
and we walked in together. We took seats together at one end of
a "U"-shaped arrangement of chairs: Mr. Morgan, then Mrs.
Morgan, then me. I was sure everyone in the room could hear my heart
man walked to the front of the room, introduced himself as part
of the production company, then said, "Let's go around the
room and everyone can say their name and who they're with."
Then he looked at Mr. Morgan -- two seats away from me -- and said,
"Let's start with you."
was my worst nightmare. I didn't dream we'd be asked to go around
the room like a group of school kids and identify ourselves. How
could I say my name and who I was with without lying? I didn't want
to get myself in trouble, or the Morgans, either. But there I sat,
two people and about 10 seconds away from being busted. There was
nowhere to run.
Morgan said his name, and that he was from Morgan & Son Funeral
Home. Then Mrs. Morgan said, "Ginny Morgan, Morgan & Son."
Then it was my turn. "My name is Ann," I said, "and
I'm with the Morgans."
was technically true -- I was "with the Morgans." In fact
I had come in the door "with the Morgans." But I was not
"with" Morgan & Son Funeral Home in the way that I'd
implied. I hadn't done anything wrong, though, had I? No one had
asked me if I was a reporter, so I hadn't lied about that. The movie
guy hadn't asked us to say the "business" we were with.
He asked us to say "who" we were with. But I knew very
well what he had meant.
a split second that felt like an eon, the movie guy said, "OK,
next?" and moved on down the line. And while he spoke to the
group and officially confirmed all the rumors we'd heard, I sat
there with my heart in my throat. My editors said not to lie, and
I hadn't, exactly. But I felt like I hadn't told the truth, either.
I couldn't tell whether the knot in the pit of my stomach was because
I hadn't been honest, or because I knew I was about to get the biggest
story in town.
the movie guy invited everyone to wander up and look at some drawings
on a table in the middle of the room, I knew I'd pushed my luck
enough. I pretended to wander off in search of a restroom but I
headed for the door. When I got outside, I jumped in my car, sped
down the road to a McDonald's, pulled into a parking space and grabbed
the notebook and pen that I'd stashed in the glove compartment.
I furiously wrote down everything I could remember while it was
fresh in my mind. The story was on our front page the next day.
movie became the talk of the town, and I was proud that my small
paper had gotten the story first -- but I've always felt funny that
I told a half-truth to get it. As I said, I know it's a matter of
no consequence in the grand scheme of things. But when I read about
reporters getting manipulative with words, I think about how I did
the same thing to get that story. Now that I've owned up, I feel
a little better. I think.
Thrash, editor of CharlestonCurrents.com, can be reached at: email@example.com.
should spur city to take action to help animals
rock, Andy! A
great article. Thank you for shedding light on this important
issue and for helping to put pressure on council to do the right
thing. Our city is super slack when it comes to basic animal rights
- not just for horses but for dogs as well. Last year they wouldn't
even pass a law to prohibit dogs riding in the backs of pick-ups
going over 35 mph. They have no chain-time-limit laws either, which
is basic in many cities. And, of course, there are no licensing
requirements for dogs, which is one of the No. 1 ways you can prevent
pet overpopulation (unaltered dogs cost more to license). All this
is why we kill more than 6,000 animals in Charleston every year.
That's about 16 a day!
Robin Welch, James Island
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a new Web service that connects Lowcountry nonprofits and the businesses
that serve them. Nonprofit organizations register for free, and
can search across more than 100 categories or fill out a simple
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to team with Red Cross in effort to prevent drownings
response to several recent drownings in the Lowcountry, BB&T
will partner with the Carolina Lowcountry Chapter of the American
Red Cross to support the agency's WHALE Tales Swimming and Water
Safety Program. WHALE stands for Water Habits Are Learned Early,
and through the new partnership, more than 80 BB&T employees
will train to become certified WHALE Tales instructors who will
teach safe swimming behavior in and around the water to Lowcountry
partnership is part the BB&T Lighthouse Project, a companywide
community service initiative during August and September. The philanthropic
effort is the largest in BB&T's 137-year history. "Our
employees take seriously the protection of children where water
hazards are concerned," says Frank Bullard, president of BB&T's
Charleston-based Coastal Region. "We feel compelled to help
families in our community, and the BB&T Lighthouse Project shines
a light on our ongoing commitment to make a real difference in the
is a leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children
under 14. Simply knowing how to swim is not enough, considering
that thousands of children are admitted to hospital emergency rooms
every year with water-related injuries. WHALE Tales instructors
teach children about water safety in a classroom session using colorful
posters, activities and a video that features "Longfellow,"
an animated whale. Kids who complete the course earn a scholarship
for free swimming lessons hosted by the American Red Cross.
are appreciative of BB&T Bank and its employees," says
Louise Welch, regional executive director of the Carolina Lowcountry
Chapter of the Red Cross. "Because of their generosity, we
will be better positioned to educate families and prevent water-related
injuries and deaths in the Lowcountry."
class information, go to http://www.lowcountryredcross.org
or call 764-2323, ext. 355. Classes are offered throughout Berkeley,
Charleston, Dorchester, Colleton, Jasper, Hampton and Beaufort counties.
is an underwriter for CharlestonCurrents.com.
of self-taught black artists to open July 31 at Gibbes
& Innovation: African American Art from the American Folk Art
Museum" will be on display at the Gibbes Museum of Art from
July 31 through Oct. 11, featuring the artistic work of self-taught
black artists. A traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian, "Ancestry
& Innovation" includes complex and vibrant quilts, paintings,
works on paper, and sculpture, mostly by contemporary African American
artists from the rural South and urban North.
exhibit also includes paintings by an elder generation of creators,
such as David Butler, Sam Doyle, Bessie Harvey and Clementine Hunter;
works by contemporary masters, such as Thornton Dial Sr.; and provocative
pieces by emerging artists such as Kevin Sampson and Willie LeRoy
C. Hollander, senior curator and director of exhibitions at the
American Folk Art Museum, and Brooke Davis Anderson, director and
curator of The Contemporary Center at the museum, are the curators
of the exhibition. "The unique presentation of vibrant quilts
in conjunction with sculpture and painting enriches the viewer's
appreciation for the complexity and vitality of African American
expression," Hollander says.
more information on the exhibit or on the Gibbes, go to http://www.gibbesmuseum.org.
Subs gives town grant for cardiac-arrest device
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation has awarded a $16,000 grant
to the Mount Pleasant Fire Department that will provide for a device
that can be used in cases of sudden cardiac arrest, also called
SCA. The device, called an AutoPulse, is an automated, portable
piece of equipment that squeezes the entire chest, improving blood
flow to the heart and brain during SCA. Fire Chief Herb Williams
said the award was secured through the grant-writing efforts of
Capt. Rob Wronski.
of Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation made the presentation
to town fire officials on Tuesday at the Firehouse Subs shop on
Johnnie Dodds Blvd. There were also demonstrations of how the device
works. "(It) moves more blood, more consistently than is possible
with human hands," says Wronski. "It allows rescuers to
provide compressions while performing other lifesaving activities,
or while transporting a victim down the stairs or in the back of
a moving ambulance."
says the town already has a device in service on Engine Five at
Park West and is working to secure funding for additional devices,
with the goal of having an AutoPulse with every Mount Pleasant fire
engine company. All fire department personnel have been trained
in how to use the device, he says.
an abrupt disruption of the heart's function that causes a lack
of blood flow to vital organs, claims more than 325,000 lives each
year in the United States. It is the leading cause of unexpected
death in the world and strikes without warning. Currently, only
about 5 percent of victims survive.
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.
the earliest times, South Carolina's coastal creeks, rivers, and
bays have been used for commerce and communication, providing a
transportation route far safer than plying the open ocean. Native
Americans in dugout canoes were replaced by white settlers and black
slaves using larger craft propelled by oars, poles, paddles, and
sails. The advent of steam navigation in the early nineteenth century
enhanced the value of inland waterways, and increased efforts were
made even before the Civil War to dig "cuts" to connect
1808, amid a heated congressional debate over the constitutionality
of using federal funds for internal improvements, Secretary of the
Treasury Albert Gallatin offered a report of the country's transportation
needs. One of his recommendations called for the building of canals
to connect the natural waterways of the Atlantic seaboard to form
a continuous route protected from the ocean. While state and local
interests began working on local canal projects as early as the
1790s, Gallatin's vision of a continuous waterway was not attained
until 1909, when Congress authorized the first surveys of the Intracoastal
Waterway. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began
to make systematic improvements to connect coastal waterways. Congress
consolidated these projects in 1917, completing them with the opening
of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) in 1936.
740-mile-long channel of the AIWW runs from Norfolk, Virginia, to
Fernandina Beach, Florida, with shallower extensions running south
to Key West and north to Boston. The South Carolina portion of the
waterway extends for 203 miles and is dredged to an average depth
of between nine and eleven feet. While recreational users of the
Intracoastal Waterway abound, the route also carries a substantial
amount of commercial cargo traffic. In 2000 intracoastal waters
in the South Carolina section carried 378,000 tons of cargo, which
accounted for twelve percent of the total cargo carried by the entire
AIWW. Approximately seventy percent of this cargo was petroleum
or pulp and paper products.
Excerpted from the entry by Allan D. Charles.
To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
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Charleston, SC 29413.
shops have long been a secret of smart shoppers, but today the word
is out: They can help you clean out your closet and make money doing
it. Here are five consignment tips from Amanda Rosen, owner of three
high-end women's consignment stores: Butterfly and Victoria's, both
located in Mount Pleasant, and the new Butterfly, which just opened
on Monday at 482 King St. downtown.
- Do your
homework and research the store to find out if it's the right
place to consign the items you have (high-end vs. vintage, clothes
vs. furniture, etc.). The best way to do this is visiting the
- Make sure
the clothes are clean, pressed and on a hanger. Expect to earn
about one-third of the retail price on items consigned. Also,
items with the tags still on get higher prices.
- Don't be
discouraged if your item is not accepted. Stores only accept what
they know will sell.
- Know the
terms of the consignment agreement. Most stores donate unsold
items (typically after 60 days). If you want an item back, know
the terms of the agreement.
- Sign up
for the store's contact list for special seller and buyer promotions
of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear
mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves."
Pascal, French mathematician and physicist (1623-1662)
Habitat Fundraiser: 7:30 p.m. July 24, Blackbaud Stadium,
Daniel Island. The Charleston Battery's match with the Carolina
Railhawks will be a benefit for local Habitat for Humanity organizations.
Tickets are $15 each, and the entire ticket price will be donated
to the organization provided that the tickets are bought in advance
from Habitat. Call Habitat at 768-0998 to purchase.
on the Cooper: 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. July 25, Mount Pleasant
Pier at Memorial Park, foot of the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant.
Shag under the stars at the new pier. Music provided by The Sneakers
(four-piece party band playing beach music, jazz, funk and blues).
Beverages available for purchase on-site. Tickets: $8; only 800
tickets will be sold and must be purchased at the event (no advance
sales). More info: 795-4386.
ONGOING AND SOON
"The Tryal of Major Stede Bonnet": 4:30 p.m. Saturdays
through Sept. 26, Old Powder Magazine, 79 Cumberland St.,
downtown. A one-of-a-kind interactive theatrical event that brings
to life the story of "gentleman pirate" Stede Bonnet,
who plied his trade in the waters off Charleston in the early 1700s.
The 40-minute show was written and is performed by Rodney Lee Rogers
of PURE Theatre. Cost: $8 and $12. Tickets/info: 534-6169 or online
Preparedness for Businesses: 7:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. July
30, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive,
North Charleston. The chambers Business Continuity Planning
Council will host the workshop, which features experts from local
governments and utility companies explaining how to write a business
continuity plan that works before, during and after a storm. Cost:
$25 chamber members, $35 nonmembers. Registration
Choir Auditions: 5:30 p.m. July 30 and Aug. 4,
Citadel Square Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 342 Meeting St. Charleston
Symphony Orchestra Gospel Choir will hold voice-assessment auditions
for new volunteer members; singers whose voices are in the lower
ranges (tenor and bass) are especially needed. Candidates should
come prepared to sing a solo of their own choosing and also to vocalize
in a choral setting. More
Ensemble Auditions: 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Aug. 8, Citadel
Square Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 342 Meeting St. Charleston
Symphony Orchestra's Spiritual Ensemble will hold voice-assessment
auditions for new volunteer members; singers whose voices are in
the lower ranges (tenor and bass) are especially needed. More
Education Open House: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Aug. 11, Continuing
Education Center (Building 910), Trident Technical College Main
Campus, 2001 Mabeline Road, North Charleston. The event is designed
to familiarize participants with TTC continuing-education courses
and they can provide training for a new career or personal enrichment.
Talk with course instructors, tour the facilities, register for
fall classes, learn about financial options, and enjoy refreshments
and prizes. More info: 574-6111.
Rucker Homegrown Concert: 7 p.m. Aug. 13, Family Circle
Tennis Center, Daniel Island. Rucker will offer a special concert
to help bring in donations of school supplies for needy local students.
Country music star Dierks Bentley will be among the special guests.
Fans are urged to bring school supplies to the concert to donate.
Tickets: $40 for floor or first-tier reserved seats; $32 for reserved
second-tier seats; $25 general admission third-tier seats. To purchase:
Ticketmaster Charge-By-Phone (1-800-745-3000), local Publix outlets,
Family Circle Tennis Center ticket office, or online
Seining at Sullivan's: 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 28, Station
30, Sullivan's Island. The Station 30 area on Sullivan's Island
area has been a seining hotspot for generations. Join the experts
from Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission to catch and
discover a variety of marine critters at the first CCPRC seining
program on Sullivan's Island. A registered and paid chaperone is
required for participants ages 15 and under, and pre-registration
is required. Open to ages 6 and up. Cost: $7 Charleston County residents,
$9 nonresidents. Registration/more
info, or 795-4FUN.
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
Book of Marie, Terry Kay
Jazz, Jack McCray
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
new food show
on car tags
way of tithing?
to old clunker
to squeeze in
Class of 2013
Class of 2013
stores, 7 days
know you're from...
the school menu
Day Fest facts