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Issue 1.72 | Monday, July 27, 2009 | Slow down; it's hot

YOU ARE … WHERE? Do you know where in Charleston this photograph was taken? If you're the first one to e-mail the right answer to, you'll win two tickets to both Saturday's and Sunday's RiverDogs games against the Lexington Legends. We'll tell you the answer and give the name of the photographer and the prize winner in Thursday's issue.

:: Why getting things clean matters


:: Conspiracy theories and truth

:: Tell us what you really think

:: Five for teenagers

:: Commissions, $5, museum programs


___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
___:: REVIEW: Tell us why you like a book
___:: HISTORY: Pigeons
___:: QUOTE: Wright on fishing
___:: 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


Clean for looks vs. health: Why it matters
Vice president/owner, Castle Keepers Inc.
Special to

JULY 27, 2009 -- Cleaning is the science of controlling contaminants and is one of the most basic ways we manage our environment. The primary purpose of cleaning has been to protect human health, with a secondary purpose to restore and maintain the appearance of valuable property. Far too often, the objective of cleaning has been the reverse: We have cleaned for appearance and failed to consider health implications altogether.


This approach has led to an illusion that surface cleaning is healthy - that neat equals clean equals healthy. As a result, some people, in an environment that appears to be neat and clean, still will have adverse health reactions. In the modern building or home, their responses may take the form of skin or eye irritation, difficulty breathing, general malaise, or outright illness and infection.

How clean is clean? There are degrees or levels of cleaning. Public health specialists define three different levels of cleaning: Sterilization, disinfection and sanitation.

A sterile environment must be 100 percent free of contamination. The state of sterilization can be achieved, but it is extremely difficult to do so and is not normally done in routine cleaning.

Something is disinfected if we remove or make safe the vast majority (95 percent) of harmful substances in it. We eliminate the pathogens that are most threatening to humans.

A sanitary environment is cleaned to the point that it protects health in general. A risk of disease exists, but it is at an acceptable risk level for the majority of people. At minimum, cleaning must always achieve a state of sanitation.

So, what do we clean? Biopollutants are the most dangerous contaminants found in the indoor environment. Keep them in your line of fire so they do not get out of control. Because biopollutants have serious health consequences, they require specific cleaning activities.

All biopollutants are living organisms, or are derived from them, and they come in many forms. Some produce severe to mild health effects ranging from cancer, pneumonia, fever, asthma and rhinitis to membrane irritation and headache. Some common biopollutants are bacteria (E.Coli), fungi (aflatoxin), viruses (influenza), mammals (cats), arthropods (dust mites) and green plants (ragweed).

For biopollutants to cause problems indoors, they need reservoirs, such as standing water or rotting matter, although a very dirty, neglected carpet is also considered a reservoir. Nonliving biopollutants, such as mite feces, come from organisms (a reservoir), but can exist by themselves in a mattress. Biopollutants also must grow or increase in concentration before they can harm people, and they have to be disseminated - a way and a means to leave the reservoir and get to the human receptor.

An example of how a biopollutant works can be seen in a house cat. Cats produce an antigen in their saliva that some people are allergic to. The cat is the reservoir of the antigen. It licks its fur, and the antigens begin to amplify, or concentrate, in the fur. When the cat scratches its fur or rubs against a rug or chair, the antigen is disseminated into the air where the human is exposed to it.

In the outdoor environment, we have little control over biopollutants, but indoors we can control their reservoirs and amplification by controlling their sources with routine cleaning and preventive maintenance.

1) Control the environment - moisture and temperature - so the organism can't grow. For example, squeegee walls and doors of showers after showering.

2) Take away any foods so the microorganism will starve. For example, vacuum carpets, floors and upholstery frequently with an ultra-filtered vacuum that can catch particles up to 1 micron in size to remove dirt, food crumbs and skin cells so mites and bacteria don't much to eat.

3) Keep any organism or other pollutant away from humans. Kill it, remove it or contain it. An efficient, safe way to kill microorganisms is to use a vapor machine that uses high-temperature vapor to kill germs and insects and makes it easy to remove soil from surfaces.

Cleaning for appearance is important because it protects valuables and provides a sense of mental and social well-being. But appearance, no matter how pleasing, is less important than the enhanced quality of life that is achieved reducing human exposures to hazardous, allergenic, disease-producing or toxic substances.

Janice Stewart spent 20 years as a registered dietitian and has a background in biochemistry and experience in hospital infection control. She and her husband run Castle Keepers, a commercial and residential cleaning business. Stewart also is a regular contributor to The Housekeeping Channel, an online resource offering information for consumers on how to clean, protect and enhance their homes.

racy theories get in way of the truth
By ANDY BRACK, publisher

JULY 27, 2009 -- If something sounds too good to be true, there might be a reason: it’s not true.


But some people, being people, will keep trying to believe in them despite logic, facts and irrefutable evidence.

There are people, for example, who still believe there was a conspiracy and cover-up in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Others think man never walked on the moon . Instead, they hold astronauts really were filmed walking on a desert made to look like the moon.

These days, popular conspiracy theories hold that President Barack Obama isn’t an American citizen (he is) or that global warming doesn’t exist (it does).

So why do these myths, legends, theories and assertions flourish? Two main reasons are the glut of information – some true, some plain false – available through the Internet and the reality of diminishing resources by our truth watchdogs, the traditional media.

Two years ago, the St. Petersburg Times started as a way to debunk erroneous information spouted by politicians and the media, including bloggers and chain e-mailers.

“I felt the news media had not done enough to fact-check claims in American politics,” said Bill Adair, Washington bureau chief for the Times and editor of PolitiFact. “We were letting people in politics get away with big falsehoods … and it was our job to blow the whistle on that.”

Adair noted crackpot theories in American politics have always been around, but that widespread use of the Internet has provided people with a way to publish their claims to a world where other people listen.

“Before the Internet, a guy with a wacky theory didn’t have access to that many people,” Adair said. “He could write letters to the editor or call into radio stations. He didn’t have that megaphone. Now he does.”

In the past, the media acted as a barrier and check on outlandish rumors and theories. But now, those trying to stir the pot can bypass the traditional media through misleading viral emails, blogs, Web sites, social media and more. In essence, the traditional media has been trumped as a filter. Now, Adair argues, the media need to debunk false and misleading assertions as part of their job. The problem? Media outlets have fewer resources to spend on correcting the record. Hence the need for and a similar site,

Just take the issue of global warming. Despite the fact that the world’s top climate scientists from more than 130 nations agreed in 2007 that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal” due to man’s impact on the environment, there are scads of people who just don’t believe it.

Former U.S. Sen. John Warner, R-Va., said he wouldn’t have spent a good part of his last two years in the Senate pushing for a climate change bill if it were not real. He pointed to the melting of the Antarctic ice cap and the famine and drought of Somalia, Darfur and other places in Africa as conditions that linked global warming to our national security. [To learn more, see reports by CNA.]

Nations in Africa, for example, are fragile sovereignties because of stresses caused by climate change. “If those governments topple, you have a situation where people flow in who often are against the principles of freedom,” said Warner, who was in South Carolina to highlight how global warming had security implications.

University of South Carolina Professor Greg Carbone said man was expected to double the pre-Industrial Age amount of carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere by 2050.

“For the climate to have no response to that would be extraordinary,” he said while traveling with Warner. “The likelihood that there would be no change at all is very unlikely by the year 2050.”

So when you hear someone say global warming doesn’t exist or President Obama is really Kenyan, go to trusted news sources or the library to find out the real deal. (Hint: You might want to stay away from Wikipedia because its content can be modified by anyone with a computer and Internet connection.)

Andy Brack, publisher of, believes the Chinese are our country's biggest threat. He can be reached at:

Tell us what you really think

Have a comment or want to vent? If you have something to say about leadership in South Carolina, the state of baseball today, good barbecue or something about your community's government, drop us a line to: Please send no more than 200 words and include contact information (phone number, hometown) so we can get in touch with you.


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.

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

County Council seeks to fill vacancies on boards

Charleston County Council is looking for volunteers to fill the following vacancies on boards and commissions:

  • Construction Board of Adjustment and Appeals - one vacancy for a registered architect.
  • Saint Paul's Fire District Commission - one vacancy for the Edisto Island seat.
  • Procurement Appeals Board - two vacancies.
  • Board of Assessment Appeals - one vacancy.
  • Charleston Center Advisory Board - one vacancy.
  • Forestry Board - one vacancy.
  • Firemen's Insurance and Inspection Fund (1% Commission) - two vacancies from St. Paul's Fire District and two vacancies from St. Andrews Public Service District.
  • Disabilities and Special Needs Board - three vacancies.
  • St. Andrews Parks and Playground Commission - two vacancies.
  • Charleston Public Facilities Corporation - one vacancy.
  • Trident Workforce Investment Board - three vacancies for private sector seats and one vacancy for a labor representative.

Any Charleston County citizen who is willing to volunteer his or her time may submit an application for appointment. The application deadline is Sept. 15. Click here for an application form.

County Council's Administration Policy and Rules Committee will consider the applications and recommend appointees to the full council. A final vote on the appointees is expected on Oct. 6.

For questions or more specific information on each board, call Kristen Salisbury, Deputy Clerk of Council, at 958-4031 or visit online here.

Five Dollars in Five Days project to help My Sister's House

My Sister's House is asking people to spend five minutes online to donate as little as $5 to help domestic violence victims in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties live free from abuse. The Five Dollars in Five Days campaign aims to attract enough donors to raise $10,000 between July 27 and July 31. Donations will pay for needs such as baby food, bus far, rent and car insurance for women who have experienced domestic violence.

Donations can be made at

"Domestic violence touches all of our lives, whether or not we realize it," says Elmire Raven, executive director of My Sister's House. "Even in this economy, a lot of people can spare at least $5. We're hoping they'll give what they can and ask their friends and family to do the same. We can all play a part in keeping victims
safe from abuse."

South Carolina ranks second in the nation for number of women killed by men, and seventh in the number of domestic violence incidents. Charleston County consistently ranks highest in numbers of reported domestic violence victims, and Berkeley and Dorchester counties rank in the top 20.

My Sister's House is the only organization in the tri-county area that delivers shelter-based services, programs and resources to empower domestic violence victims and their children to live free from abuse. For more information about My Sister's House, visit

Museums to offer free history program for teachers

The Powder Magazine and the Gibbes Museum of Art will offer "Charleston: On and Off-The-Wall," a free program for South Carolina public school teachers, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Aug. 13. A maximum of 25 teachers will be accepted.

Powder Magazine

The program will begin at the Gibbes, where educators will explore "The Charleston Story," which highlights significant people, places and periods in local history, including Charleston's beginning as a British colony, its role in the American Revolution, the ravages of the Civil War, and its development as a culturally diverse and dynamic community today.

Teacher will then visit the Powder Magazine, South Carolina's oldest public building, for a tour of the museum led by the museum director. In addition, local historian Michael Coker will share some unusual-but-true stories of Charleston's past.

For more information or to register, contact Alan Stello at 722-9350 or e-mail him at

New deli is a great addition to Mt. Pleasant

My friend PJ and I had a terrific lunch last week at the new deli Mozzo in the Food Lion Shopping Center on Coleman Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. The space (formerly Schlotzky's) is fresh, sunny, bright and open. There are so many creative sandwiches, salad and burger choices that you need to allow a few extra minutes -- seriously -- to read them all on the huge chalkboards over the counters and make up your mind. We got different sandwiches then split them, so each of us got to try two things. Our hands-down favorite was Dig The Fig -- a deliciously different sandwich with prosciutto, grilled onions, Asiago cheese and fig preserves, served panini style on ciabatta. It was top-notch. We also loved the Chicken Caprese -- marinated, grilled chicken with a classic basil pesto, Asiago and sundried tomatoes. Mozzo currently offers breakfast and lunch seven days a week, and does catering as well. It's worth checking out.

-- Ann Thrash, Editor,

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.

Palmetto Pigeon Plant

While serving as an infantry captain during World War I, the Sumter attorney Wendell M. Levi set up the Pigeon Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, having had experience raising homing pigeons as a hobby. Harold Moïse, an air force pilot and a graduate civil engineer with building expertise, shared Levi's interest in pigeons. In 1923 the two men founded the Palmetto Pigeon Plant on thirteen acres of farmland in Sumter County and recruited state senator Davis Moïse to be vice president of the firm.

Patty Levi Barnett, right, and her twin brother Wendell M. Levi, Jr., at the Palmetto Pigeon Plant. (UNC Library photo)

Palmetto's original breeding stock came from the pigeons Levi raised for the army. The plant gradually expanded to become America's largest squab producer and the sole supplier of pigeons for use in medical and dietary research. Squabs -- young pigeons that have not yet flown -- are considered haute cuisine in many parts of the world. Farm-raised or wild, pigeons were common fare in Carolina until fifty years ago. Besides squabs, the Sumter plant also raised and processed poussins (young chickens) and quail, and bought partridges, rabbits, and additional squabs from growers around the state.

Palmetto Pigeon Plant was operated by Levi and Moïse family members until 1990, when Anthony Barwick, a Pineville native and recent graduate in poultry science at Clemson University, became manager. In 1997 Barwick purchased the Moïse family stock and became president and CEO of the company. Wendell M. Levi, Jr., served as secretary-treasurer.

A $4 million business with sixty employees in 2002, Palmetto Pigeon reached a level of production its founders could not have imagined. The plant's 20,000 pairs of pigeons produced an average of 7,000 squabs a week. Also, 230,000 poussins and 80,000 black chickens were shipped yearly to brokers in New Orleans, New York, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, and San Francisco and distributed to restaurants, retailers, retail groceries, airlines, and cruise ships. By the early twenty-first century consumers worldwide could buy Palmetto poussins and squabs through the prestigious distributor D'Artagnan.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Dale Rosengarten. 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.)


We encourage you to check out our sister publications:

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© 2008-2009, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.

Five for teenagers

Public libraries have been rediscovered during the economic downturn as great sources of free programs for all ages -- even those hard-to-please teenagers. Here are five teen-friendly programs coming to a library near you in August.

Teen Summer Reading Finale: 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 3, St. Andrews Regional Library, 1735 N. Woodmere Drive. Teenagers can celebrate their summer reading accomplishments with games, prizes, snacks and music. More info: 766-2546.

Young Adult Ice Cream Party: 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 6, Otranto Road Regional Library, 2261 Otranto Road. Ice cream social for ages 12-17 and/or grades six through 12 to mark the finale of the summer reading program. More info: 572-4094.

Hip-Hop Jeopardy: 4 p.m .Aug. 13, Dorchester Road Regional Library, 6325 Dorchester Road. Students in grades six through 12 can show off their hip-hop trivia knowledge. More info: 552-6466.

Back-to-School Bonanza: 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Aug. 19, Johns Island Regional Library, 3531 Maybank Highway. Students in grades six through 12 can watch the movie "Race to Witch Mountain" with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, followed by a game of "Disney Jeopardy" to win cool school supplies. Snacks will be served. More info: 559-1945.

Chess Club: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 20, Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road. Young adults who want to play chess or learn the game are invited. Chess sets are provided, but you may bring your own. All skill levels welcome. More info: 849-6161.

On fishing


" There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot."

-- Steven Wright, comedian (1955 - )


Hurricane 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 chamber’s 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 (required).

Gospel 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 info.

"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 here.


(NEW) "Food, Inc." Showing: 7:15 p.m. Aug. 3, Terrace Theater, Maybank Highway, James Island. Lowcountry Local First and Slow Food Charleston, groups that promote the benefits of local, sustainable food, will host a showing of the movie "Food, Inc.," a documentary that looks at surprising information about what we eat, how it's produced and how that affects us as a nation. After the movie (about 9 p.m.), there will be a panel discussion featuring local farmers and producers. Regular Terrace ticket prices apply. More info: 762-4247, or

(NEW) Free Skin Cancer Screening: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 8, Splash Zone Waterpark at James Island County Park, Riverland Drive, Charleston. The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission and dermatologists from the MUSC Mobile Health Unit (a fully equipped doctor's office on wheels) will offer a free skin cancer screenings. More skin cancer info: MUSC Health Connection, 792-1414.

Spiritual 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 info.

(NEW) Shagging on the Cooper: 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 8, Mount Pleasant Pier at Memorial Park, foot of the Ravenel Bridge in Mount Pleasant. Shag under the stars at the new pier. Music starts at 8:30 p.m., provided by The Coppertones (a formally dressed six-piece ensemble party band that plays classic R&B and beach music). Beverages available for purchase on-site. Tickets: $8; only 800 tickets will be sold and must be purchased at the event (no advance sales). Tickets available in gift shop at pier beginning at 3 p.m. the day of the event. More info: 795-4386.

Continuing 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.

Darius 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 here.

Surf 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:

  • 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


10/15: Bender: Special Olympics
Baron: Breast Center
Ginn: Growing prosperity
Buffum: Waterkeeping
Personal branding
Acker: Designer fashion
Spencer: Art galleries
Riley, Moryl: MOJA
Gaither: Green Room
Chesson: Museum Mile
Barnette: Chas. Ballet
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


10/15: Bob's new food show
10/8: Robot ice cream
10/5: Costumes, snarks
Must-see TV
9/17: Fall leaves
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


10/12: Renovated Gaillard?
10/1: Napa wine trip
9/28: Anti-crime measures
9/21: Caw Caw park
Debris policy
Mystery solved
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?


10/15: Giving blood
Top ratings
Major league
Book sale
Citadel football
Taste of Charleston
Feeding the need
History for sale
Shrimp baiting
Day of Caring
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

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