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Issue 1.76 | Monday, Aug. 10, 2009 | Get out and walk a little

Last month's contest to guess the location of a close-up photo of a Charleston landmark was a lot of fun, so we decided to do it again. Take a good look at this photo of an architectural detail on a local building and tell us what building it is. The first person to e-mail us ( with the right answer wins two tickets to a RiverDogs game this week.

:: Drayton Hall goes to dogs


:: Lots left to pack in before school

:: Correction needed

:: First Day Fest Facts

:: Health care movies, Fields to Families


___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
___:: REVIEW: Tell us why you like a book
___:: HISTORY: WJ Cash
___:: QUOTE: Wilson on being here
___:: 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


Drayton Hall goes to the dogs in August -- and year-round
Communications Director, Drayton Hall
Special to

AUG. 10, 2009 -- Drayton Hall staff members are serious animal lovers. Most of us have at least one rescue dog -- many have two or more. We are proud to work for a historic site that is not only pet-friendly, but active in supporting organizations that are dedicated to animal rescue and protection.

Morris and her dog, Quinn

For readers who might not be familiar with Drayton Hall, it is the oldest preserved plantation house in America that is open to the public and a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Its mission is one of preservation, education, and inspiration - in preserving and interpreting the site and its surroundings, and inspiring people to embrace historic preservation.

Our newest promotion might seem a bit unusual for a site that is associated with architecture, archaeology and preservation, and with educational topics that include the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, but actually it fits right in. That's because "Dog Days" has education as its primary goal - helping build awareness for important pet-related matters, from simple safety tips to more critical issues that have an effect on the quality of life in our region.

According to Pet Helpers, 23,000 animals are euthanized in tri-county shelters every year - a number that is twice the national average. Drayton Hall's Dog Days supports Pet Helpers' efforts to increase awareness through public education and to end the euthanasia of all adoptable pets through low-cost spay and neuter surgeries.

Drayton Hall staff members pose with their rescue dogs on the steps of the historic home. (Photo provided by Drayton Hall)

Here's how Dog Days works:

  • $4 of every full-price adult admission benefits Pet Helpers Rescue and Adoption Shelter in Charleston.

  • To participate, visitors present a Dog Days coupon at the front gate. Coupons are available at, at, and at our sponsors' locations (see below), as well as area hotels, visitor centers and veterinarians' offices.

  • As visitors check in at our Museum Shop, they will redeem the coupon for a free goodie bag with gifts, treats and great deals from our sponsors - All Is Well, Fetch Doggy Day Care and the Wag Factory -- plus hot-weather safety tips from the ASPCA.

  • Pet parents will enjoy everything from our acclaimed house tour to our artisan-inspired museum shop. Dogs will appreciate walks by the river and marsh and naps under the outdoor "Connections" tent while their family attends the program. They can also take long drinks of cool water from our refreshment stations and enjoy some surprise treats from their goodie bag. (Sorry, dogs are not allowed in the main house.)

Dog Days will run through Sept. 30. We hope that visitors will come out, bring their pet, and make a day of it to support Pet Helpers. Please visit our Web site for all the details.

Kristine Morris is communications director at Drayton Hall. Quinn, her 2-year-old Maremma-Labrador rescue dog, is one of Drayton Hall's visitor liaisons.

More fun left before school starts

By ANDY BRACK, publisher

AUG. 10, 2009 - Where did the summer go? With just one week left, there probably is a list of things that you meant to do with your children but didn't have time for. Or you've plain run out of things to do.


Here's a list of things to consider cramming in before the kids have to get back to school.

  • Tour Magnolia Gardens. Our family went to the petting zoo, train ride and other attractions on Sunday. Not only were the deer, pigs, peacocks, goats and other animals a hit with the young ones, but adults thrilled to see turtles and alligators close-up.

  • Head to the ballpark. The RiverDogs are in town all week. If you haven't yet taken your family, it's a whole lot of fun. And because games start at 7:05 p.m., the searing heat of the day is past, thanks in part to the breezes from the nearby Ashley River.

  • Get a dose of history. You can check out Fort Sumter, the Charleston Museum, Charles Towne Landing and more.

  • Get a dose of culture. Or head over to the Gibbes Museum, the Children's Museum or the South Carolina Aquarium for exciting events and exhibits. The recent Shark Week was a big hit around our household.

  • Get wet. Neighborhood pools, the beach and county water parks offer a refreshing way to cool off as temperatures approach triple digits. Remember, though, to keep your body hydrated inside too!

  • Pick up books, videos. Your neighborhood library is a great place for learning through books and videos. While the popular summer reading program is over, there's no reason you can't still get some fun stuff at the library.

* * * *

TAX-FREE: Many of you may have enjoyed the past tax-free holiday weekend brought to you by South Carolina's legislators. However, as we outlined Friday in our sister publication, S.C. Statehouse Report, the holiday is nothing more than political gimmickry and voter candy. Read more.

* * * *

HELP WANTED: is approaching its 10-month anniversary. Hundreds are reading us twice a week, but let's get it to thousands! Assuming you enjoy our publication, help us spread the word by forwarding this issue with a suggestion to people on your email list to sign up for free.

Andy Brack, publisher of, can be reached at:

Nice cookie contest column, but a correction is needed

To the editor:

Thank you for the nice article about the cookie contest. But I just noticed that although my last name was correct under the photo, it was misspelled in the body of the article. Pontiff is correct, not Pollitt. Thank you.

-- Nona Pontiff, Mount Pleasant, SC

NOTE: Oops. We apologize for the error. We've corrected it in the earlier edition.

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 to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Horne/Guest, a local employee benefits consulting firm that's home to Charleston's best workforce engineers. Horne/Guest is poised to fill this demand by offering greater flexibility, service and expertise. Innovative employee benefit plan design ideas, state-of-the-art employee benefit plan communication techniques and up-to-date compliance information is what makes us unique. Horne/Guest is sensitive to every opportunity in which we can help our clients improve their employee benefit plans. To learn more about Horne/Guest and its Applied Wisdom Advantage™ , visit the company online at:

N. Chas. group to offer health-care films and public forum

The Greater Park Circle Film Society will offer a forum on health care reform in conjunction with the premiere of two independent films on the subject, including a documentary called "Charleston Health Care Stories." Organizers say they have invited representatives of Rep. Henry Brown, R-S.C., and Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., to attend, but have not yet confirmed the list of panelists. Audience participation in the forum is invited.

The forum and film showings are planned for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20 at the North Charleston Picture House, 1080 E. Montague Ave. in North Charleston.

"Charleston Health Care Stories" is a 10-minute documentary by director and Mount Pleasant resident Edward Faircloth. " 'Charleston Health Care Stories' is simply 10 minutes of real people telling real accounts of their challenges with our real health care system," says Faircloth. " It is one thing to hear our president discuss the need for health care reform, but quite something else to have a real person sitting in front of you … describing how they must sacrifice their own health because they can't afford to pay their bills and also have health care insurance."

The other film that will be shown is "Damaged Care: The Musical Comedy about Health Care," by Michael Schiralli. The film features two physicians who offer comedic but compelling musical numbers with titles such as "Another Outbreak of Us Superbugs," "Doctors in Cyberspace" and "The Spare Parts Blues." The film has been shown in 27 states and has been featured in The New York Times and the Boston Globe, as well as on CNN, ABC, PBS and other national media.

Following the films, panelists will react to the movies and discuss issues related to health care reform. According to Dr. James Sears, executive director of the Olde North Charleston Picture House, "This evening conversation is among persons who have expertise in this topic but don't necessarily agree with one another." One of the goals of the film society, Sears says, is to educate. "We hope that everyone leaves the theater more informed about this national issue and that everyone has an opportunity to express themselves within a framework structured for civil dialogue."

Tickets for the event will be available at the theater box office, which opens at 6:45 p.m. Seating is limited, and a standing-room-only crowd is expected. There is a suggested donation of $2 for film society members or $5 for nonmembers. For more information, visit online or call 478-3911.

Fields to Families to hold 'Pounds for Prizes' event

Fields to Families will hold "Pounds for Prizes," an event to raise awareness and gather donations of fresh produce for the hungry, on Aug. 11 at Earth Fare in the South Windermere Shopping Center. Between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., shoppers and any interested members of the community can donate fresh produce and, in return, get an entry into a drawing for prizes donated by local businesses.

All produce collected during the event will be made available to the community free through James Island Outreach.

Fields to Families, established in 2006, helps improve nutrition for local residents who are hungry by coordinating the distribution of fresh produce obtained from local gardens and farms. In 2008, the agency coordinated the distribution of more than 82,000 pounds of donated fresh produce from area farmers to local food distribution agencies.

For more information on Fields to Families or the Pounds for Prizes event, call 388-2487 or visit online.

C of C, student featured in college-decision book

The College of Charleston and one of its students are featured in the recently released book "Acceptance: A Legendary Guidance Counselor Helps Seven Kids Find the Right Colleges - and Find Themselves."

The book, written by David L. Marcus, tells the story of guidance counselor Gwyeth "Smitty" Smith, whose unorthodox approach is based on the principle that getting into college shouldn't be just about getting in; it should be a student's first great moment of self-discovery. Smith sometimes talks a seeming shoo-in candidate out of setting her sights on the prestigious Ivy League while goading another long-shot student into aiming for that same Ivy League school.

One of the students whose college decision process was featured in the book was a young lady named Chelsea who had to make a decision between New York University and the College of Charleston. The book stated, "Chelsea loved the historic feel of both the city and the campus. As she strolled through the art building, a woman asked if she needed help. She turned out to be the assistant director of the department, and they spent the next 45 minutes chatting."

Chelsea ultimately chose the College of Charleston.

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.

W.J. Cash

A writer and an acerbic commentator on southern life, Cash was born in Gaffney on May 2, 1900. The oldest child of John William Cash and Nannie Lutitia Hamrick, he was named Joseph Wilbur Cash. Disliking his first name, Cash reversed the order and used the initial J. rather than Joseph. His father managed the company store for a local cotton mill. Cash was graduated from Boiling Springs High School in North Carolina in 1917 and enlisted in the Students' Army Training corps - a home-front service during World War I. Following the end of his enlistment, Cash entered Wofford College. After one year at Wofford, Cash attended Valparaiso University in Indiana and then in 1920 enrolled at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. At Wake Forest he wrote for student publications and discovered the writings of H. L. Mencken.


After graduating in 1922, Cash attended law school for a year and then tried teaching - first at Georgetown College in Kentucky and later at Hendersonville School for Boys in North Carolina. Returning to writing, Cash had a brief stint with the Chicago Post before joining the Charlotte (N.C.) News in 1926. In 1928 ill health forced him to return to Boiling Springs. He edited the short-lived Cleveland (N.C.) Press and in 1929 wrote "Jehovah of the Tar Heels," which appeared in Mencken's American Mercury. "Jehovah of the Tar Heels" was an exposé of the anti-Catholicism of U.S. Senator Furnifold M. Simmons, an anti-Al Smith Democrat. Later that year his second article, "The Mind of the South," caught the attention of the editors at Alfred A. Knopf. In March 1936 the publisher contracted with Cash to write a history of the South. Finding free-lancing difficult in the dark days of the Depression, Cash returned to the Charlotte News in 1935 and stayed there until 1940. While in Charlotte, he married Mary Northrop on Christmas Day 1940.

Cash's masterpiece and only book, The Mind of the South, appeared in February 1941 to wide critical praise. An instant classic that has not been out of print since its initial publication, the work sought to dispel myths about the "Old South" by tracing the pervasive influence of racism on southern history and culture. Antebellum ideals remained dominant in the twentieth century South, despite the upheavals of the Civil War, Reconstruction, industrialization, urbanization, and Depression. Indeed, Cash's compelling chronicle of the persistence of an Old South mentality, especially its emphasis on race, individualism, and agriculture, led the author to assert that much of southern history has been a march "from the present toward the past." National publications hailed The Mind of the South, and even many southern reviewers found much to admire in Cash's penetrating analysis of the region.

Awarded a prestigious Guggenheim fellowship, Cash traveled with his wife to Mexico, where he planned to write his first novel. In Mexico, Cash's history of psychological instability, alcohol abuse, and ill health caught up with him. Ill with dysentery and in a state of paranoia and depression, Cash fled to another hotel. On July 1, 1941, searchers found him in the Hotel Reforma hanging by his own necktie. Cash's body was cremated and his ashes buried in Sunset Cemetery, Shelby, North Carolina.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Alexia Jones Helsley. TTo 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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First Day Fest facts

Charleston County public school students go back to class on Aug. 18, and the First Day Festival is designed to help them be not just prepared, but excited. The festival will take place from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 16 at Liberty Square next to the South Carolina Aquarium, and there will be free school supplies (while they last), entertainment, food, music, free aquarium tours and free boat rides in the harbor. Here are five numbers from last year's festival. For more info, go here online.

  • 9,000 -- Number of families and children who attended last year's festival.

  • 4,500 -- The number of people who took free tours of the South Carolina Aquarium.

  • 850 -- Number of free boat rides around the harbor offered by SpiritLine Cruises and Charleston Harbor Tours.

  • 106 -- Number of local businesses that made the Mayor's Honor Roll for supporting the festival.

  • 2,160 -- Pounds of materials recycled when the festival made a push to take a more "green" approach.

On why you're here


"You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand."

-- President Woodrow Wilson (1856 - 1924)


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.

"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.


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.

Going Green for the Girls II: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 20, Halls Chophouse, 434 King St. Green Drinks Charleston, Carolina's Eco-Unit, and Halls Chophouse are throwing a second cocktail hour to help fund some simple energy-efficiency upgrades and retrofits to the historic building downtown that houses the Center for Women. Donation of $10 (cash or check at door) includes food samples. There will be a cash bar. More info online.

Buy or Burn Book Sale: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 22, Village Square Shopping Center, 1650 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. (formerly The Map Room); sneak preview ($10-per-person admission) from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 21. Event to benefit Trident Literacy Association. Wide variety of books, CDs, DVDs and other electronic media will be priced for quick sale; only cash or check will be accepted. Book donations will be accepted at the sale site from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily Aug. 17 to Aug. 20, or books can be dropped off at any Trident Literacy location. More info online or 747-2223.

(NEW) RiverDogs Cow Bingo: 6 p.m. Aug. 22, Joe Riley Stadium. The Charleston RiverDogs' inaugural Cow Bingo contest will give participants a chance to win $5,000. The baseball field will be marked off as a grid with 10-foot-squares. Fans can purchase a square for $25, and if a cow "drops a chip" in a purchased square, that square's owner will win the money. There will also be line-dancing, hillbilly horseshoes, "moo'shine," "Ye Haw" contests, food, a dunk tank and more. The $25 fee for a square also includes two tickets to the event. Regular event tickets (square not included) are $5 (free to ages 12 and under). Tickets/more info: Online or 577-DOGS.

Women in IT: 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 27, Tate Center, College of Charleston, Room 207 and Gallery. The forum will explore the challenges and opportunities for women in the IT industry with a panel of local industry leaders and educators. An MIT Enterprise Forum video from Technology Review's EmTech08 Conference will be shown, featuring successful female entrepreneurs in the industry with companies such as ZipCar, GoLoco, and Daily Grommet. Lunch and networking opportunities included. Registration (required): $20 (includes lunch). More info/registration.

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.

Wine + Food Launch Party: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3, Founders Hall, Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road. Barbecue and beverages will be available, and the latest news about next year's BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival, including the lineup of chefs and authors, will be announced. Entertainment by the Blue Plantation Band. Tickets: $10 per person cash or check at the door, with proceeds benefiting the festival's charitable efforts. Reserve tickets by Aug. 31 by e-mailing or calling 727-9998, ext. 4.

(NEW) Wednesdays on the Waterfront: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesdays through mid-October, Pier Plaza at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. Free concerts for the community. Beverages available for purchase at pier shop. Bring a chair or use the benches and tables at the site. Upcoming performers include Nick Collins, acoustic guitar, Aug. 12, and Jeff Norwood, Southern Blues revivalist, Aug. 19. More info: Online or 884-8517.


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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