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Issue 1.86 | Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009 | Life is good today ...


LIFE IS GOOD:
Regardless of whether you like graffiti, this slogan spotted over the weekend on a groin at Folly Beach captures the beach spirit. Check out a beach in September -- it's cooler and less crowded. (Photo by Catherine Brack)


TODAY'S FOCUS
:: Green room showcases resources

CURRENTS

:: Fall foliage going to be good

FEEDBACK
:: Livability fines unreasonable

THE LIST
:: History for sale

GOOD NEWS
:: Film series, weddings, Gibbes

ALSO INSIDE

___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
___:: REVIEW: Send us a review
___:: HISTORY: Taxpayers' conventions
___:: QUOTE: Repplier on happiness
___:: SPOTLIGHT: Meet an underwriter


UNDERWRITERS AND PARTNERS




ABOUT US

CharlestonCurrents.com 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

   

TODAY'S FOCUS
New business showcases local resources for 'green' homes
By COLE GAITHER
Owner, The Green Room
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com

SEPT. 17, 2009 -- The Green Room is a venue created to display local companies' products that are renewable, sustainable and/or energy efficient. The products are presented in a fashion that is interactive and educational in an open-air-market style that offers the visitor time to preview the items in a leisurely way.

Our goal is to present the products that are currently available in today's market that can be used to create a Near Zero Energy Home and to demonstrate the applications in the Green Room. The information and understanding of these sustainable, renewable, energy-efficient products should, we hope, facilitate their use in the visitor's next home or construction project.

The Green Room came about through a combination of events. As the economy slowed and residential construction stalled, so did my construction development business. In an effort to restructure and conform to the trends towards conservation, I used the "free time" to try to understand the combination of products that could be integrated into a starter home that would result in the lowest affordable electric bill.

During the educational process, I visited many "green" trade shows and discovered that conservation could be achieved in many other areas with little effort. It is this knowledge and understanding of the sustainable, renewable, energy-efficient products that are available and how they can be incorporated into mainstream construction that the Green Room hopes to convey to its visitors.

The American public has been jolted by the recent economic downturn, and the resulting changes in our consumption patterns will be evident in the way we view future purchases of all kinds. Recognizing the public sentiment, the Green Room displays the products locally available that provide these features.

Sustainable products are those that meet our current needs while preserving the source of the product for use by future generations. Renewable products are those replaced by nature at a rate equal to or greater than that at which they are consumed. Energy-efficient products are those that use less energy to produce the same results. The Green Room displays products with these characteristics and in ways that demonstrate their qualities.

The vendors in the Green Room represent a wide variety of products, from the Stokes Honda 43 mpg Insight to the Heritage Plank Floors reclaimed pine flooring. An LED lighting display by Controllit gives visitors a demonstration of the excessive heat generated by incandescent bulbs vs. LEDs. Bamboo flooring by Floor It Now and bamboo kitchen cabinets by Advanced Kitchen Designs of Charleston are among the renewable products displayed.

In addition, other renewable products represented include solar wind and power by Eco-Bilt and geothermal by Earth Comfort. Water conservation and retention products by Cloud Stream and a working dual flush toilet by Moluf's are displayed as well.

When it comes to conserving energy Global Building Solutions' structurally insulated panels house gives the customer a first-hand look at this thermal package used to frame a house. Water retained off the Summit Green Solutions roofing products is used to water the drought-resistant grass in the Carolina Fresh Farms and Accu-Brick outdoor products area. Low-voltage lights by Nite Lites give this area an energy efficient lighting option. A unique electric zero radius riding mower from Eco Mow will cut three acres very quietly on a single charge.

These vendors and the Green Room have come together in an effort to bring the public an ongoing showcase of the products that will be the future of residential construction. The "Green Room: Near Zero Energy House Plans" publication will offer the construction plans for homes with few or no electrical bills. We hope that you will drop by and visit or watch for one of the events that we hope to bring to the Green Room at 26 Cumberland St. in the near future.

Cole Gaither is the owner of The Green Room.

CURRENTS
Expect to see red (and more) in S.C. mountains this fall

By ANN THRASH, editor
CharlestonCurrents.com

SEPT. 17, ,2009 -- All it takes is a few cool evenings and a few college football games to make some of us - present company included - start thinking about serious signs of fall, including what kind of show the leaves up in the mountains are going to put on this year. For a little preview, Charleston Currents turned to the folks at the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, who kindly put us in touch with Scott Stegenga, a park interpreter at Table Rock State Park in Pickens.


Thrash

"Right now everything is still pretty green," Scott says, but before long the blush to red will start. The sourwoods, which are understory trees, will start to turn first, he says, followed by the dogwoods and sweetgums. "If we have some nice warm days and chilly nights, that helps bring out the reds, and that's pretty much what the weather has been in September," says Stegenga. "We've been having highs in the upper 70s and low 80s, and at night it's been in the upper 50s and low 60s."

The amount of rainfall in the months leading up to fall has an affect on colors, too. A drought can delay the arrival of fall colors by several weeks. On the other hand, a warm, rainy spell during the fall isn't good either, because that can dilute the intensity of leaf colors. This year, Stegenga says, things seem to be working out in just about the right combination.

"Moisture was good up until June but July and August have been pretty dry," he says. "Last year was pretty good (for fall colors) and the drought was a little worse then."

What everyone wants to know, of course, is when the peak leaf-peeping time will arrive. "I think it will probably be around the end of October - I'd say anywhere between Oct. 25 and the first week in November," Stegenga says.


Raven Cliff Falls in Caesars Head State Park. (Photo courtesy of SC Parks)

If you're looking for a place to take in the fall beauty, Table Rock State Park off S.C. Highway 11 has a lot to recommend it. Table Rock Mountain looms over the park, and there's a nice overlook where you can pull off the road, get out of the car and breathe it all in. "Around the lakes, you can see up toward the mountains and you get some nice reflections," Stegenga says, adding that those who hike up into the mountains have a great perspective, too: "It's equally as impressive looking down as it is looking up."

Another drive in the vicinity of Table Rock State Park, he says, is up Highway 130, north from Highway 11, to the Whitewater Falls/Oconee State Park area.

If you want to keep up-to-date on these colorful developments, go to the Table Rock Web paget . There's a link there to a live Web cam showing the mountain, so you can check in on the progress of the color changes anytime you want.

  • Good news from the market: After we lamented in this space (more than once) that the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market didn't last past the end of October, we're pleased as punch to give the town a laurel and hearty handshake for its decision to keep the market season going until Nov. 24. That's two days before Thanksgiving. Excellent! Can't wait to get my Turkey Day veggies there and support our local farmers.

Ann Thrash, editor of CharlestonCurrents.com, can be reached at: editor@charlestoncurrents.com.

FEEDBACK
Livability fines 'unreasonable' for responsible homeowners

To the editor:

Bravo and kudos for your remarks re: the city policy of ticketing for "livability" infractions. It seems to me that they could encourage livability if they suspended unreasonable ordinances. A $1,000 fine or 30-day jail term? Are they kidding? Unreasonable response (to) effective upkeep of home property.

It's more than (the) friendly city that is flaunted. It's an unreasonable and irrational response to a homeowner necessity in maintaining the appearance of his residence.

I luckily have a yard service, which I specifically arranged for a Tuesday so that I could have my yard materials removed the following day (Marsh Cove) to avoid any such notices. But I perfectly well understand that some work can be completed only on weekends, so (I) am never critical of my neighbors' cuttings and leaf bags visible until pickup on Wednesday.

I hope you indeed have a positive effect with city officials - often very officious as well as obstinate. Good luck!

- Leona Baker Hall, Charleston

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: editor@charlestoncurrents.com. Please send no more than 200 words and include contact information (phone number, hometown) so we can get in touch with you.

SPOTLIGHT
Joye Law Firm

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

GOOD NEWS
CCPL film series to look at civil rights movement

The struggles of black Americans from the mid-1950s to mid-1960s are the focus of a seven-part documentary and discussion series that the Charleston County Main Library will offer during the next two months. The series, "Eyes on the Prize: Part One," begins with the story of Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., and continues through the days of Malcolm X and the movement's evolution to Black Power.

The programs start at 1:30 p.m. Mondays in the Main Library Auditorium, 68 Calhoun St., on the following dates: Sept. 28, Oct. 5, Oct. 19, Oct. 26, Nov. 2, Nov. 9 and Nov. 16.

For more information or schedule specifics, call the library at 805-6930.

Museum looking for Lowcountry wedding stories, old and new

The Charleston Museum is collecting personal stories about weddings held here in the Lowcountry in conjunction with a new exhibit, "Aisle Style: 150 Years of Wedding Fashion," that will run from Oct. 16 through June 30, 2010.

Whether the wedding was as recent as last year or as long ago as the 1940s (or earlier), personal histories are welcome. The museum staff will archive selected stories for future generations of Charlestonians to read and will also post them on the Aisle Style Web site. Stories can be submitted online.

The Aisle Style exhibit explores wedding traditions, from orange blossoms and blue garters to the magnificent white gowns. The garments in this exhibition date from the early 19th century to the mid-20th century. Most were worn in the Lowcountry, and all reflect the changing fashions of the different decades. The earliest wedding dress dates to 1806.

While focusing on brides and their fashions, the exhibition will also include accessories, men's garments, trousseau treasures and photographs. The museum will also offer a number of workshops and programs in connection with the exhibit. More information is available at the Web site.

Mobile phone company crews refurbishing youth club site

Charleston is one of 10 sites nationwide to be taking part in the T-Mobile Huddle Up, a national community outreach program designed to connect kids, primarily from single-parent families in high-need urban communities, to positive people, places and programs.

In Charleston, about 150 T-Mobile employees and volunteers are giving an "extreme makeover" today to the Boys & Girls Club building at 22 Mary St. downtown. Plans include creating a "Huddle Up Zone," a customized after-school space stocked with computers, furniture, books and games; adding murals to the gym; setting up an outdoor courtyard with landscaping and places to sit; and repainting the entire facility.

This is the fourth consecutive year for the T-Mobile program nationally, but its first effort in Charleston.

Get in the Gibbes free on Sept. 26 for Folk Art Community Day

The Gibbes Museum of Art, with support from the Junior League of Charleston, will be offering a Folk Art Community Day on Sept. 26 with free admission and family activities from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Junior League Community Days are held quarterly to offer visitors the opportunity to experience the Gibbes' programming free of charge.

Community Day events will include art-making activities for children, a ballet performance by Once Upon a Ballet, and beverages from Rising High Cafe. Visitors can also enjoy the special exhibition "Ancestry & Innovation: African-American Art from the American Folk Art Museum."

The Gibbes is located at 135 Meeting St. Go to http://www.gibbesmuseum.org for more information or details.

REVIEW
Send us your opinion

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.

HISTORY SPOTLIGHT
Taxpayers' Conventions

In 1871 and 1874 white Democrats in South Carolina, frustrated with high taxes and the Republicans' domination of the state government, held statewide conventions to register their protests. The 1871 convention met in Columbia to protest that year's tax increase to the unheard-of level of eleven mills on the dollar. William D. Porter of Charleston presided, and the leading members of the convention were Matthew C. Butler and Martin W. Gary of Edgefield. The delegates undertook a rather cursory review of the state's finances and (erroneously) pronounced the state's debt to be entirely legitimate. They also advocated a scheme for "cumulative voting," which would have increased the representation of the minority party (the Democrats) in the legislature.

In 1873 widespread reports of profligate spending and financial malfeasance by the Republican state government surfaced, accompanied by the highest taxes of the Reconstruction era (twelve mills). A second Taxpayers' Convention therefore met in February of 1874, with William D. Porter again presiding. Martin Gary again played a leading role, this time proposing to solve the problems of white South Carolinians by recruiting white immigrants into the state in order to outnumber blacks. The convention submitted a petition to President Ulysses Grant and to Congress complaining of "taxation without representation," by which they meant that the class that paid the bulk of the taxes-white Democrats-was unable to win elective office. Neither Congress nor the president was impressed by this logic.

The 1874 convention, like its predecessor in 1871, achieved its most important results indirectly: by shining a light on the financial situation of the state, both conventions shamed the Republican government into conducting its own investigation. The second investigation, completed in June 1874, provided the most revealing picture yet of Republican financial mismanagement and laid the foundation for the rapid improvements that took place during Governor Daniel Chamberlain's administration.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Hyman S. Rubin III. 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.)

SISTER PUBLICATIONS

We encourage you to check out our sister publications:

SC Statehouse Report -- a weekly legislative forecast that keeps you a step ahead of what happens at the Statehouse. It's free.

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Georgia Clips offers a similar daily news compilation for the scores of newspapers in Georgia's 159 counties.

GwinnettForum -- an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.

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THE LIST
History for sale


Handel

If you'd like to add some authentic Charleston history to your home, you have a rare opportunity to do so this weekend. The Historic Charleston Foundation is selling a variety of salvaged architectural elements to the public, including many items recovered around the city in the wake of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at 575 Meeting St. We asked Leigh Handal, HCF's director of communications and public programs, to clue us in to five interesting items she saw this week among the merchandise up for sale. Here's Leigh's list:

  • A lunette window frame from the Capt. James Missroon House (HCF's office and headquarters).
  • A stained glass door/window.
  • Frances Edmunds' typewriter (Edmunds was the first executive director of the foundation).
  • 19th-century door sidelights.
  • Nine-over-nine window sashes.
  • An old weight and balance set
  • Victorian molding pieces
  • Marble scraps
  • Beautifully detailed door brackets

QUOTE
On happiness


Repplier

"It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere."

-- Agnes Repplier, American essayist (1855 - 1950)

CALENDAR: THIS WEEK

Third Thursdays: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sept. 17, downtown Summerville. The Summerville D.R.E.A.M. group (Downtown Restoration, Enhancement and Management) sponsors the event the third Thursday of each month to promote local businesses and community spirit. This month's event features the Cobblestone Jazz Trio playing selections from Duke Ellington, Frank Sinatra and other favorites. Businesses will be open for shopping and dining, and artists will display their work on Short Central Avenue as part of the Art Central Art Walk.

ECCO Hurricane Party: 7 p.m. Sept. 18, Omar Shrine Temple, Mount Pleasant. To mark 20 years of service, East Cooper Community Outreach, which was founded in the wake of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, is having a Hurricane Party featuring a an auction, music and dancing to the music of the Mighty Kicks, heavy hors d'oeuvres by Cru Catering and an open bar featuring hurricanes. Tickets: $50 in advance, $60 at the door. More info/tickets: 971-9500 or online.

Lowcountry Spiritual Journey: 7 p.m. Sept. 19, Christ Episcopal Church, 2304 Highway 17 North, Mount Pleasant. The newly formed Charleston Symphony Orchestra Spiritual Ensemble, under the direction of Nathan L. Nelson, will kick off its first full season with this performance, which is free (donations are accepted) and open to the public. A pre-concert voice recital featuring lyric soprano Shanelle Woods of Charleston Southern University will begin at 5:30 p.m. More info.

CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON

ABWA Meeting: 6 p.m. Sept. 21, Wescott Country Club at Wescott Plantation, 5000 Wescott Club Drive, Summerville. Meeting of the Jessamine Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association. All local business women are welcome. Meeting lasts about two hours and includes dinner; the guest speaker is Sue Mac Ridgeway of Divine Creations, speaking on interior design. Networking starts at 6 p.m.; meeting and dinner are at 6:30 p.m. Optional dinner cost: $15 (includes tax and gratuity) payable at the door by cash or check; cash bar will also be available during the networking time. Reservations (required): Send an email to Shirlie Taylor, 873-6769.

ECMOW Golf Tournament: Sept. 22, RiverTowne Country Club, Mount Pleasant. The 11th Annual Outback Steakhouse Charity Golf Classic to benefit East Cooper Meals on Wheels will feature a daylong tournament and banquet. More info: 881-9350 or visit here online .

(NEW) 'Quick Connect' Webinar: 8:30 a.m. Sept. 23. Pluff Mud Connect will host a free online webinar detailing five reasons that successful for-profit businesses benefit from nonprofit customers. Laura Deaton, a nationally renowned nonprofit expert and founder of Pluff Mud Connect, will lead the webinar, which will last less than 20 minutes. To join the discussion, register in advance online. Pluff Mud Connect is an underwriter for CharlestonCurrents.com.

MOJA Festival: Sept. 24 through Oct. 4, various locations. Tickets are now on sale for the annual arts festival, which highlights black artists' contributions to dance, music, literary arts, visual arts, theater and the overall cultural community in Charleston. Schedules, tickets, more info: http://www.mojafestival.com.

SEWE Fall Party: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 25, Charleston Visitor Center, 375 Meeting St. Casual event to unveil featured artist Luke Frazier's official poster for the 2010 Southeastern Wildlife Expo. Includes oysters, barbecue and side from Buck Ridge Plantation, plus live music by Triple Lindy, an open bar, and a silent auction and raffles to benefit Ducks Unlimited. Attendees must be 21 or over. Tickets: $40 in advance through http://www.sewe.com or by calling 723-1748; at the door, if available, tickets are $50.

Benefit Fashion Show: Noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 26, Jasmine Porch restaurant, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. Fashion show and luncheon will benefit the Center For Women. Models will wear fashions from Eden Boheme and Cose Belle, and jewelry designers will display their work. Three-course lunch includes champagne. Cost: $45 plus tax and gratuity; portion of the proceeds go to the Center for Women. Lunch guests also get complimentary beach access at The Sanctuary for the day. More info/reservations: 768-6253. The Center For Women is a nonprofit partner of CharlestonCurrents.com.

Concert in the Park: 6 p.m. Sept. 26, Mayflower Court park, next to the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, 30 Race St., Charleston. The concert is part of the church's year-long centennial celebration. Program will feature Holy Trinity's Centennial Choir performing liturgical music as well as secular selections in both Greek and English; in addition, Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers will perform spirituals. Cost: $15 for adults; $3 ages 17 and under. Tickets available at the Hellenic Center, 30 Race St., or by calling 577-2063 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays before Sept. 25).

Entertaining Charleston Style: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 30 through Nov. 18, Culinary Institute of Charleston's Palmer Campus, 66 Columbus St., Charleston. A series of short courses celebrating the many facets of entertaining with a focus on Charleston style and traditions. Guest presenters include hosts, event professionals, authors, collectors, stylists and other specialists known for their distinctive contributions to local hospitality and tourism. Light beverage and cocktail samplings will be provided. Cost: $149. More info/registration.

(NEW) Pork and Politics in the Park: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1, Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. Mix and mingle with candidates for Mount Pleasant mayor and Town Council at this event sponsored by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce. Cost: $30; includes food and beverages. Registration.

FOCUS ARCHIVES

9/14: Chesson: Museum Mile
9/10:
Barnette: Chas. Ballet
9/3:
Deaton: Thrive Prize
8/31:
Rawl: Charting courses
8/27:
Jurcova-Spencer: Creatives
8/24:
Brooks: Rural Mission
8/20:
Yarian: New local music CD
8/17:
Fisher: Uses of social media
8/13:
Hall: Time for renovations
8/10:
Morris: Dog days at Drayton
8/6:
Lindbergh: Gifted school
8/3:
Jackson: Insurance tips
7/30:
VanBogart: Singles
7/27:
Stewart: Get it clean
7/23:
Rosenberg: Elect women
7/20:
Nathan: Turtle release
7/16:
Johnson: Online school
7/13:
Thiers: Protect skin
7/9:
Lee: Scoring supplies
7/2:
Shockley: Company wellness

THRASH ARCHIVES

11/19: LowCANtry holiday
11/12:
Hawks vs. doves
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
9/24:
Must-see TV
9/17: Fall leaves
9/3:
Cold comfort, more
8/27:
Being a fan
8/20:
Good, bad, spineless
8/13:
Locals on Runway
8/6:
Cookie contest
7/30:
Vote on car tags
7/23:
True confessions
7/16:
New way of tithing?
7/9:
Lookout for manatees

BRACK ARCHIVES

9/14: Debris policy
9/10:
Mystery solved
8/31:
This and that
8/24:
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?

LIST ARCHIVES

9/14: Shrimp baiting
9/10:
Day of Caring
9/3:
Free legal clinics
8/31: CofC Class of 2013
8/27: Citadel Class of 2013
8/24:
7 stores, 7 days
8/20:
You know you're from...
8/17:
On the school menu
8/13:
Wines for grilling
8/10:
First Day Fest facts
8/6:
Sales tax holiday
8/3:
Twittering tips
7/30:
Fall planting
7/27:
5 for teens
7/23:
Consignments
7/20: Beach reads
7/16:
Save the books
7/13: Hot plants
7/9:
Staying cool
7/2:
Old Exchange 5

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