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Issue 1.74 | Monday, Aug. 3, 2009 | Avoid a bad hair day

Visitors take advantage of a sunny morning to check out the new pier at Mount Pleasant’s Memorial Waterfront Park. The town’s Community Development and Tourism Office recently launched Wednesdays on the Waterfront, a series of musical performances that will be offered from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through mid-October at the pier plaza near the gift shop. The concerts are free and open to the public. (Photo by Ann Thrash)

:: Vehicle insurance tips


:: A flight delay and wildflowers

:: Your airline thoughts?

:: Twittering tips

:: Green space, housing, more


___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
___:: REVIEW: Tell us why you like a book
___:: HISTORY: Roaches, damned roaches
___:: QUOTE: Lithgow on time
___:: 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


Tips on ins and outs of vehicle insurance in S.C.
Jackson Insurance Agency
Special to

AUG. 3, 2009 -- All states require drivers to maintain liability insurance coverage on their vehicles on the road. But in the state of South Carolina, the law requires you to maintain liability insurance coverage for your vehicle at all times. If you do not, your insurance company will notify the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles of your policy cancellation electronically through the Automobile Insurance Liability Reporting System (ALIR).


When SCDMV receives this notification, a letter is sent to the registered vehicle owner requiring him to provide proof of insurance coverage within 20 business days. If you fail to respond to the request for verification, your privilege to drive, license plate and registration(s) of the vehicles listed on the policy could be suspended.

So, what can you do to prevent penalty fees? Here are some tips from the SCDMV:

  • Check your VIN: Because your vehicle identification number (VIN) is the primary match between SCDMV and insurance records, you should ensure that the VIN on your insurance policy matches the VIN on your vehicle registration.

  • What to do if you sell: If you sell your vehicle, complete a Notice of Vehicle Sold (Form 416) and return your license plate to the SCDMV before you cancel the insurance coverage on the vehicle.

  • Non-operating vehicles: If you are not driving your vehicle and plan to cancel the insurance coverage, you must return the license plate to SCDMV before canceling the insurance coverage. Otherwise, you will be subject to a $5-per-day fee for each day your vehicle was uninsured.

  • Changing your address: If you move, notify SCDMV to ensure your correct address is included in your record. SCDMV is only required to send correspondence to the address of record. You are responsible for meeting all requirements.

  • Do not operate an uninsured vehicle: If you own a vehicle that is operated or insured by someone else, you are still financially responsible for the vehicle. If the other person’s insurance coverage lapses, you are responsible for insuring the vehicle. If you do not have liability insurance coverage or you are operating an uninsured vehicle and you have an accident, your privilege to drive will be suspended.

Presently, the minimum limits for our state are “25/50/25,” which means you must have at least $25,000 of bodily injury coverage for each person you may injure in any single accident; $50,000 of per-accident bodily injury coverage; and at least $25,000 for property damage coverage for each accident you may cause.

Take the time now to review your insurance policy and make sure that your policy is in effect and that your coverage is up-to-date. If it is not, or if your situation has changed, talk to your agent as soon as possible. The SCDMV will not accept not knowing the law’s requirements as an excuse or reason to waive fees once they have been assessed against you.

Johnny L. Jackson ( is the president of Jackson Insurance Agency, which is celebrating 20 years in the insurance industry this year.

At least the wildflowers helped while stranded

By ANDY BRACK, publisher

AUG. 3, 2009 – So Delta, the champagne of airlines?


After being held at the carrier's mercy all day Sunday, perhaps not. Our 9:45 a.m. flight from Chicago to Atlanta was overbooked. Just like the 11 a.m. one, the 12:10 p.m. flight, the 3 p.m. fight and so on.

So as we sat at a gate in Midway airport waiting to learn our flight fate, we ran into Charleston businesswoman Colleen Moring, also caught up in the snafu.

“These days, you have to have a Plan B and Plan C,” she said. Just to get to Chicago earlier in the weekend, she was bumped off a flight from Atlanta to Chicago. Instead of waiting on Delta, she went to another airline to buy a ticket so she wouldn't miss an evening engagement in the Windy City. But guess what happened Sunday? She was bumped again. Talk about adding insult to injury.

Thanks Delta. Thanks a lot – from me and Colleen.

Note to Delta PR people: Instead of your gate people telling irritated passengers that all flights for the day have been overbooked (that got a lot of people's blood boiling), it might have been smarter to give a little context. After questioning, we learned a Saturday flight from Chicago to Atlanta actually had been canceled. And that caused the airline to rebook Saturday's passengers for Sunday, which created all of the overbooking nightmares on Sunday.

The explanation made us feel a little better (in addition to the monetary bribe that Delta gave us for the “inconvenience”). But happy with this “champagne” of airlines, we are not.

Next time, we'll go with AirTran or USAirways.

* * * * *

This is one of the helpful signs visitors to Millennium Park in Chicago find as they wonder the names of the beautiful native plants in The Lurie Garden.

On a more uplifting subject, one of the great things about Chicago is its Millennium Park. Not only is it filled with great public art, such as two four-story rectangular fountains that create waterfalls to the glee of children, but the park has an outstanding space of teeming native plants, the Lurie Garden.

On Sunday (after heading back into town to wait for the 7 p.m. Flight), we were surprised to spy a brown rabbit munching on plants in the garden. Amidst bumblebees and butterflies, we saw lots of flowers that grow well here – coneflowers, small sunflowers, sage, bee balm, calamint, daylilies, hyssop, Joe Pye weed, butterfly weed and more.

Even more interesting were the signs put up by the park that outlined what was in bloom in the garden. That's an idea that would benefit residents and tourists who look at our public gardens in Charleston. It also would be fun if some of our public spaces had large wildflower beds like in the Lurie Garden.

Hats off to Chicago. Maybe the parks folks in Charleston will take a tip from you.

Andy Brack, publisher of, can be reached at:

So what do you think about the airlines?

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.

Center for Women

The public spiritedness of our underwriters and nonprofit partners allows us to bring to you at no cost. This issue's featured nonprofit partner is the Center for Women, the only comprehensive women's development center in South Carolina. The Center for Women is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make personal and professional success an everyday event for Lowcountry women. The Center, honored in 2006 by Oprah's Angel Network with a $25,000 grant, has reached more than 70,000 women since it started in 1990. Not only has it connected thousands of women to professional sources for practical help, support, counseling and referrals, but it continues to provide outstanding educational programs to help women in their careers and businesses. Learn more:

Center plans workshop for first-time homebuyers

The Homeownership Resource Center, a division of Family Services, will offer a free workshop for first-time homebuyers on Aug. 29. To take advantage of a limited-time $8,000 federal tax credit, first-time buyers must close on a home by Nov. 30, and that’s not far off in terms of all the work that goes into buying a home. The workshop is designed to help guide potential buyers through what can sometimes be an intimidating process.

The workshop will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Wachovia Auditorium in the College of Charleston’s Beatty Center, 5 Liberty St. Lunch will be provided.

The Homeownership Resource Center, a counseling agency approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will provide experienced advisers to help workshop attendees understand the key steps in the homebuying process. Buyers who qualify and purchase a home before the deadline could receive up to the full $8,000 tax credit, which does not have to be repaid. The only repayment requirement is if the homeowner sells the home within three years after the purchase. To sign up for the workshop, go online to or call 735-7862.

County Council OKs variety of greenbelt projects

Charleston County Council recently approved just under $10 million in greenbelt projects: $9,299,392 for six projects submitted under the county’s Rural Grant Program, and $529,000 for six projects submitted under the Urban Grant Program. The projects will be funded by the greenbelt portion of the Transportation Half-Cent Sales Tax revenues.

Greenbelt funds are awarded to eligible entities so they can acquire land or purchase development rights through a conservation easement. Funds may also be used to support certain minor improvements that provide public access and use of conservation lands purchased with Greenbelt funds, including boardwalks, unpaved roadways, foot bridges, unpaved small parking areas and unpaved trails.

The urban projects that were awarded funding are $163,000 to the town of James Island for the town to purchase a .30-acre parcel in the Clearview subdivision to be used as a passive public park, and $366,000 for the city of North Charleston to buy 27.915 acres (five properties) for community or passive parks in the Park Circle, Chicora/Cherokee, Filbin Creek and Noisette Creek areas.

Following are the rural projects that were awarded funding:

  • Ten Mile Community Association: $220,142 for the fee-simple purchase of 1.08 acres that the association will use to extend its current park, which provides a place for outdoor activities.

  • Edisto Island Open Land Trust: $224,000 to place a conservation easement on 62.48 acres of property that are the center point of Sunnyside Plantation, with 2,000 feet of water and marsh frontage along Store Creek.

  • Lowcountry Open Land Trust: $2,505,250 for two projects to place conservation easements on properties on Slann Island and Johns Island. The projects will preserve lands used for farming, protect natural resources and preserve scenic landscapes.

  • Nature Conservancy: $1,180,000 for the fee-simple purchase of 374 acres near Awendaw and adjacent to the Francis Marion National Forest.

  • Town of Awendaw: $5,170,000 for the fee-simple purchase of 292 acres to provide outdoor access and recreation.

Ntl. Lighthouse Day events planned for Sullivan’s

The National Park Service will hold an open house and other programs at the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse on Aug. 8 to mark National Lighthouse Day. All of the activities are free and open to the public.

The open house is planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the grounds of the Coast Guard Historic District site at 1815 I'On Ave. on Sullivan’s Island. During the event, the lighthouse grounds, quarters cupola and boathouse will be open to the public. Because of safety concerns, only the base of the lighthouse will be open.

A Coast Guard representative will give a talk at 11 a.m. about lighthouse maintenance, and Save the Light, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the Morris Island Lighthouse near Folly Beach, will report on the progress of those efforts. Refreshments will be served.

Commissioned in 1962 as the last lighthouse to be built in the United States, the Sullivan’s Island Lighthouse replaced the original Charleston Harbor light (the Morris Island Lighthouse), which was built in 1876. Plans are in the works to have the lighthouse added to the National Register. For more information on Lighthouse Day events, call 883-3123.

Wine + Food Festival plans launch party/benefit

The newly renamed BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival will have a launch party and benefit on Sept. 3 to announce programming and kick off ticket sales for the 2010 festival. The party will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Founders Hall at Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road, west of the Ashley.

Barbecue and beverages will be presented by Cabot, Charleston Bay Gourmet, Cypress, Firefly Distillery, Food for the Southern Soul, Here’s to Beer, High Cotton, Home Team BBQ, JB’s Smokeshack, Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, McCrady’s and Shelton Vineyards. The event also will include the latest news about next year’s festival, including the lineup of chefs and authors, and entertainment by the Blue Plantation Band.

Tickets are $10 per person cash or check at the door, with proceeds benefiting the festival’s charitable efforts. Space is limited, so those interested in tickets should reserve them by Aug. 31 by e-mailing this address or calling 727-9998, ext. 4.

The festival, formerly the BB&T Charleston Food + Wine Festival, recently changed its name after a trademark challenge from Food & Wine magazine.

What's your favorite?

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 bug

Three hundred million years ago, during the Carboniferous period, cockroaches (or palmetto bugs) and their insect relatives (crickets, grasshoppers, dragonflies, cicadas, and mayflies) made their appearance on earth. It took another 150 million years, and the development of flowers, before butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, and true flies appeared. While thousands of species have become extinct, the cockroach thrives. It is truly an ancient survivor and is well adapted to its current circumstance.

The staff of has elected to NOT display an image of these nasty critters in this space. We don't like seeing them in person, much less in a photo.

The American cockroach or palmetto bug is the largest of the cockroaches to infest our homes and is well known by citizens of the South Carolina coastal plain. The smokey-brown roach is closely related to the American cockroach, and they are often lumped together by pest-control specialists as the palmetto bug. They differ from the German cockroach, another of the cockroach pests, in size and habitat. The palmetto bug may grow to one and a half inches in length and has reddish-brown wings. Both males and females have fully developed wings and can run fast and fly. They live in moist, warm areas and are usually found in basements, under decks, in ivy outside the home, in mulch, and in tool sheds and garages. They love city sewer systems. The palmetto bug survives for a single year, and during that time the female produces approximately 150 offspring.

The German cockroach is smaller, less than an inch in length, and is light brown with two dark stripes traversing the length of the body. Like palmetto bugs, they eat food of all kinds. However, they prefer produce departments in grocery stores and may actually ride home with you from the market in shopping bags. They tend to hide in kitchen cabinets and under washing machines and refrigerators, and they are rarely seen in daylight.

There are several myths concerning the origin of the term “palmetto bug.” One is that the insect drew its name from its home in the stubs of palm fronds left on the trunks of palmetto trees. Another is that proper South Carolinians did not have common cockroaches in their homes, but rather a more genteel insect they dubbed the “palmetto bug.” With the advent of electricity, homeowners found that with a flick of a switch in the kitchen, they might see dozens of roaches heading for a hiding place. Rural women sometimes jokingly referred to the vain attempt to stomp the intruders as the “bug dance.” Whether native or immigrant, the palmetto bug is very much a part of South Carolina, from the mountains to the sea.

– Excerpted from the entry by David H. Rembert Jr. 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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© 2008-2009, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.

Twittering tips


Taking the plunge into the world of Twitter? Tina Arnoldi, technology officer for the Coastal Community Foundation in Charleston, has five tips that might help novices get the hang of it. She also volunteers to coach those with questions – just “tweet” her at @TinaArnoldi.

1)Set up a user name that makes it clear who you are, but not too long that it takes up too many characters. Remember: You’re limited to 140.

2)Include a picture, preferably one of yourself to make it personal.

3)If you don’t have a Web site, include a link to your blog, Facebook profile, etc., so people know where they can learn more about you and/or your company.

4)Fill out your bio so people can easily see what you are about. It can be a mix of personal and professional information.

5)I think it’s a good idea to send out a few tweets before following. This lets people get a feel for who you are before they follow you back. 

On time


“Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug.”

– John Lithgow, American actor (1945-)


"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, Lowcountry Local First or Slow Food Charleston.

Gospel Choir Auditions: 5:30 p.m. 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.

Marketing Mistakes: 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Aug. 5, Charleston County Library Main Branch, 68 Calhoun St., downtown. “Five Marketing Mistakes That Will Kill Your Business” is a free workshop led by marketing pro Chris Cooper to help businesses and nonprofits extend their brands and reach their goals. Bring a brown-bag lunch. More info: 805-6930.

(NEW) First Fridays on Gallery Row: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 7, Broad Street. The Broad Street Merchants Association sponsors this free event, which includes fine art and refreshments in the boutiques, art galleries and bodegas on Gallery Row. Participating merchants include Ellis-Nicholson Gallery, Hamlet Fine Art, Edward Dare Gallery, COCO VIVO, Mary Martin Fine Art, UTOPIA, Atmah Ja’s, Spencer Galleries, Ella Walton Richardson Fine Art, Martin Gallery, SCOOP Studios, Jake’s, Blind Tiger and Oak Steak House. More info: 722-1944, by email here, or go online here.

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.

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.

Take the Bite Out of Sharks: Through Aug. 8, South Carolina Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, downtown. A weeklong celebration of “all things more dangerous than sharks” during the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. Enter the aquarium through the mouth of a great white shark, then explore the facts about sharks through special displays and activities. Visitors can earn an “O-fishal Investigator” certificate in a Mythbusters Mystery Hunt, enjoy a shark-themed dive show, “adopt” a sand tiger shark and more. More info: online here or 577-FISH (3474).

"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.


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.

(NEW) DeMint talks: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Aug. 17, Daniel Island Club, Daniel Island. U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., will speak at a meeting of the Daniel Island Neighborhood Association that is open to the public. Topics will include economic development and jobs in South Carolina, as well an update on what’s going on in Washington. Cost: $12.50 (to cover breakfast). RSVP by Aug. 10 to Stacey Lindbergh.

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


11/5: McCutcheon: Work gap
Ohl: On carpooling
Wiedman: Women at Gibbes
10/26: Matouchev: Bear markets
Conover: BarCamp buzz
Wilson: Symphony update
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


11/5: Improving turnout
10/29: Celebrating a year
10/22: Good, bad signs
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


11/2: Boeing highlights needs
No place for prejudice
Have fun at Halloween
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?


11/5: Weather watching
5 cooking classes
Best lists of year
Oyster recycling
Howl-o-ween fun
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

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