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Issue 1.91 | Monday, Oct. 5, 2009 | Smile

More than 10,000 book lovers are expected to descend on Gaillard Auditorium Oct. 9-11 for the Friends of the Charleston County Library's annual "THAT Big Book Sale." More than 60,000 books, DVDs and more will be available at prices starting as low as $1. See The List for fun facts and more info. (Photo provided by Charleston County Public Library)

:: Waterkeeper focuses on water's future


:: Costumes, mothers-in-laws and sharks

:: Send in your thoughts

:: THAT big book sale

:: ATI, Italian TV, DNR director


___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next

___:: REVIEW: Send us a review

___:: HISTORY: Amethyst

___:: QUOTE: Reagan on grassroots

___:: 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


WTF (Water the Future) is Waterkeeper's mission, message
Executive director, Charleston Waterkeeper
Special to

OCT. 5, 2009 -- September marked the one-year anniversary of the local nonprofit organization Charleston Waterkeeper and the launch of the Water the Future (WTF) campaign. While typically anniversaries reflect on the past, Charleston Waterkeeper is choosing to focus on the future, inviting every citizen of the tri-county area to celebrate the importance of our waterways while standing together to see that they are protected.

(Photo by Chrys Rynearson)

The mission of Charleston Waterkeeper is simple: to defend our waterways from pollution, to protect the public's right to clean water and to improve the quality of our waterways in such a way that we leave our natural playground healthier, cleaner and more enjoyable for today and tomorrow. Combining the roles of investigator, scientist, lawyer, educator and community organizer, Charleston Waterkeeper strives to improve the quality of Charleston's waterways while raising awareness in the community that we all have a fundamental right to clean water and that it is our responsibility to see that this right is protected.

Charleston Waterkeeper invites the public to "Water the Future" in three different ways:

  • First, people can submit their photographs of our waterways, the good, the bad and the ugly. In order to protect our waterways, it is first essential for the community to see the two faces of our waterways: the beautiful and the impaired.

  • Second, people, businesses and organizations are invited to join Charleston Waterkeeper by becoming members. The stronger the community working to improve the quality of our waterways, the greater the impact will be.

  • Finally, everyone is encouraged to spread the word. This movement must be controlled not by one organization, but by an entire community.

Water is the common thread that links every individual together throughout our diverse communities. It is essential that we preserve and protect the quality of our waterways for this generation and for future generations to enjoy. To find out more information on Charleston Waterkeeper and the Water the Future campaign, please visit or

Costumes, mothers-in-laws, and sharks vs. snarks

By ANN THRASH, editor

OCT. 5, 2009 -- A couple of short notes today, beginning with a follow-up on Charleston entrepreneur Leslie Haywood's appearance last week on the ABC show "Shark Tank." Haywood went on the show to pitch her idea for Grill Charms to a panel of five self-made multimillionaires, with the goal of getting them to invest in her company and take it to the next level.


Grill Charms are little markers that you can put on grilled meat, chicken or whatever so you can easily tell what's what - in other words, so you don't have Haywood's experience of getting a super-spicy chicken breast when you thought you were getting a mildly seasoned one.

All four of the male sharks seemed very impressed with the Grill Charms idea and with Haywood herself. The exception on the panel was the lone female shark, poor thing, who didn't have much to offer other than a rather snarky remark about not knowing whether the men really liked Haywood's business idea or were just googly-eyed over her charm.

The sticking point in the deals that three of the sharks offered was that they wanted too big a piece of the Grill Charms pie. Two sharks wanted 50 percent ownership of Haywood's company in return for the $50,000 she had requested, and another said he'd give her the money and settle for just 20 percent of the company, but only if he received a 7 percent royalty on sales. In the end, Haywood went with the shark who offered exactly what she'd asked for at the beginning of the show: $50,000 and 25 percent ownership of the company.

The winning shark is one of the countless tech multimillionaires out there who the majority of us have probably never heard of. His name is Robert Herjavec, and ABC says he's the son of Croatian immigrants whose family savings were lost when his mother, who could barely speak English, was swindled by "a smooth-talking vacuum salesman." He ended up establishing his own technology company, selling it to AT&T, then negotiating another tech company sale to Nokia for $225 million. He lives in a 50,000-square-foot mansion that no doubt is now well-supplied with Grill Charms. Way to go, Leslie Haywood!

Mother-in-Law Points: Did you know there's actually a Mother-in-Law's Day? Even more importantly, does your mother-in-law know there's a Mother-in-Law's Day? The only way your intrepid Charleston Currents reporter knows that is because the folks at the Woodlands in Summerville recently sent us information on their special Mother-in-Law's Day brunch. Seating begins at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 25 (that's Mother-in-Law's Day) for a three-course brunch that includes a glass of champagne, a special tasting menu from the chef, a framed photo of your mom-in-law and family, and complimentary valet parking. The whole shebang is $39 per person, not including tax and gratuity. For reservations, call 308-2115. And hey, Woodlands: Thanks for the heads-up.

No Tricks, Just Treats: Stumped about what to wear to that Halloween costume party? Tired of dressing like yourself when you take the kids out trick-or-treating? If so, you're in luck in a big way. The Footlight Players are having a costume-shop sale on Oct. 17 that will offer some great deals on center-stage-worthy costumes and benefit the theater group at the same time. "You won't believe what we found!" says a Footlight notice about the sale. "Vintage hats, band uniforms, shoes, suits, evening and cocktail dresses, clothes for everyday wear, and even furniture. Many of the items could be used as a Halloween costume, or there are plenty of items where you could make your own." The sale will take place from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 17 in Philadelphia Alley, which is right next door to the Footlight Players Theater at 20 Queen St. Sounds like a fun and unusual way to support one of our most venerable local arts groups; we wish them the best.

Ann Thrash, editor of, can be reached at:

Send us a letter

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:

Local company makes WSJ list of top small businesses

A North Charleston company has been named to a list of the nation's top 15 small businesses that's compiled by the Wall Street Journal and Winning Workplaces, an Illinois nonprofit that helps small and midsize companies create better work environments.

Advanced Technology Institute, a private nonprofit that facilitates research programs between companies, universities and government agencies, has 54 employees and brought in $50.5 million in revenue in 2008, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The top-15 list noted that the company, which was founded in 1998, has a "rigorous talent-management program." The WSJ story took particular note of ATI's hiring process, saying that job interviews were expanded from an hour or two to a longer evaluation process that includes a candidate having lunch with employees to help evaluate the prospect's skills, as well as a final interview with company president Rick Self to determine whether the prospect and the company's culture are a good fit for each other.

ATI also recently began offering a $500 bonus to any employee who refers someone who is hired and stays at the company at least six months.

Italian TV show gets a real taste of the Lowcountry

The cast of an Italian television series took a bite out of the Lowcountry recently when participants came to Charleston as part of a special tour of the Americas. The popular show, "Donnavventura," selects six young women from more than 65,000 applicants to serve as "travel reporters." The women take a 100-day trip to sites around the world, recounting their adventures and insights not only for the television show, but for Italian magazines, radio and Internet outlets as well.

The show's producers worked with the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, which asked Mitchell Crosby of JMC Charleston to come up with a distinctive way to show off the area. Crosby collaborated with Justin Croxall and Paul Cheney of Frogmore Catering to give the cast and crew of the show an outing to the Crosby Docks. The young women got to see firsthand how shrimp and fish come off the boat, and Croxall taught them how to devein shrimp, fry them and make hushpuppies. Cheney prepared his specialty, Frogmore stew, and also served Johns Island corn and tomatoes.

The Italians also enjoyed horseback riding at Seabrook Island and a ghost walk led by Bulldog Tours. They were based at the Market Pavilion Hotel. "This was a great way to give the girls of 'Donnaventura' a little taste of the Lowcountry," said Crosby. "It was such a pleasure to be a part of their experience, and it just proves that there are no language barriers when you are having a good time."

The group's tour started in the Caribbean, wound its way to Florida and has been traveling up the East Coast. It will end in Quebec and is expected to air in Italy in January.

DNR director is new president of national wildlife group

S.C. Department of Natural Resources Director John Frampton, who grew up in the Lowcountry, was recently selected as the president of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies at the group's 99th annual meeting in Austin, Texas. Frampton has more than 35 years of experience with DNR, where he started his career as a field biologist.


AFWA, based in Washington, D.C., serves as the collective voice of North America's fish and wildlife agencies at every level of government. It provides member agencies with coordination services that range from migratory birds, fish habitat, and invasive species to conservation education, leadership development and international relations. AFWA also represents its state agency members on Capitol Hill and before the administration on key conservation and management policies.

Frampton says that during his one-year tenure as president, he plans to pay particular attention to the issues of climate change and energy development; the Teaming With Wildlife and State Wildlife Action Plans; Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund reauthorization; and bridging the gap between state agencies and the fishing, hunting and shooting sports industries.

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.


Amethyst, the state gemstone, is violet or purple-colored quartz. The word amethyst comes from the Greek amethystos, meaning "not drunken." This reflects the tradition that ancient Greeks and Romans liked to drink wine from cups studded with the stone, believing that they would not become intoxicated. For centuries it was customary for bishops to wear amethysts in their rings, giving rise to the term "bishop grade" for the finest stones of deep purple.

In medieval England, the amethyst was believed to be a protection against disease, and King Edward the Confessor (reigned 1042-1066) is said to have worn the stone for that reason. Amethyst was one of the gems set into the breastplate of ancient Israel's high priest, and it figures in the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) as one of the precious stones in the foundation of the wall of the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Amethyst became the official South Carolina gemstone by a law signed by Governor Robert McNair on June 24, 1969. The legislators noted that South Carolina is one of the few states "where the gem stone amethyst of good quality is found in the United States" and that "the amethyst is the most prized type of quartz for its wide use and various shades and hue from deep orchid color."

One of the best amethyst finds in the United States occurred in 1965 at the Ellis-Jones Amethyst Mine, near Due West in Abbeville County. This was a fifteen-pound cluster of amethyst crystals of rich purple color. A large group of the Due West crystals was put on display in the Gems and Minerals Section of the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and appeared on a postage stamp issued in 1974.

-- Excerpted from the entry by David C.R. Heisser. 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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THAT Big Book Sale

Tens of thousands of "gently used" books, CDs, DVDs, cassettes, videotapes and rare collectibles will be on sale during the 27th annual THAT Big Book Sale, which the Friends of the Charleston County Public Library will sponsor this weekend at the Gaillard Auditorium. Sale hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 9 and Oct. 10; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 11. Here are five numerical facts about the sale, compiled especially for by the Friends of the Library. For more sale specifics, go to this Web site.

  • 60,000: Estimated number of books, DVDs and CDs available at bargain prices at this year's sale.

  • $1: The starting price for books.

  • 300: Dedicated volunteers needed to run the event.

  • 26: Number of years that the longest-serving volunteer, Clara Mae Neuman, has helped organize and work at the sale.

  • 50: Subject categories of available books, including fiction, travel, biography, children's books, cookbooks, spy and state history.

On grassroots power


"All great change in America begins at the dinner table."

-- Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States (1911-2004)


(NEW) FCC broadband hearing: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 5, Ravenel Community Hall, 5700 Connor Street, Ravenel. Two commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission will hold a consumer hearing on development of a National Broadband Plan. On Tuesday, Oct. 6, the commissioners will hold a field hearing at Palmer Campus of Trident Tech in downtown Charleston with industry and other representatives.

"Blithe Spirit": Various times, Oct. 7-Oct. 18, Sottile Theatre at the College of Charleston, 44 George St. Charleston Stage will present Noel Coward's classic ghostly comedy just in time for Halloween. The plot in brief: Charles is celebrating his second marriage when the ghost of his first wife, Elvira, shows up to join in the celebration. When his old wife and his new wife cross paths at a séance, spirits and tempers fly. Tickets: Online or call 577-7183.

Mom to Mom Sale: 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Oct. 10, National Guard Armory, 245 Mathis Ferry Road, Mount Pleasant. Sponsored by the MOMs Clubs of Mount Pleasant, the sale features toys, books, clothing, baby equipment, bedding, furniture and more from 100 different consigners. The event also includes a special half-off sale from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. for all remaining items. Proceeds will benefit the Charleston Autism Academy and Carolina Children's Charity. There is a $1 entry fee to the sale. Send e-mail for more information..

Teddy Bear Picnic: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 11, Hampton Park. Free, family-focused event hosted by the Park Angels, the volunteer group of the Charleston Parks Conservancy. Events will include storytelling, face painting, crafts, music, a parade with children and their dressed-up teddy bears, and a booth where children can plant seeds. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, or attendees can bring their own picnic fare. More info: 724-5003 or visit online.

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.


Personal Branding Seminar: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 12, Wescott Plantation Clubhouse, 5000 Wescott Club Drive, Summerville. Sponsored by the Summerville chapter of the American Business Women's Association (ABWA), the program is open to the public and will ABWA members Shauna Heathman of Mackenzie Image Consulting and Cheryl Smithem of Strategic Marketing & Charleston PR, experts on personal image, strategic marketing and public relations. They will be discussing the significance of building an effective and appealing personal brand to help you reach your career goals. Cost: $20 ABWA members, $25 nonmembers; price includes dinner and tea or water. Register by Oct. 3 by contacting Kathy Berman by email or at 795-9751.

Growth Forum: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 20, Charleston Marriott. Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Growth Forum will have recommendations from the city of Charleston’s Green Committee (CGC), which is advising the city in the creation of a local action plan for climate protection and sustainability. Charleston County Deputy Administrator Kurt Taylor will provide an update on major road projects that are being funded through the half-cent sales tax program. Cost: $45 chamber members, $60 nonmembers. To register: visit this Web page.

Making Great Presentations: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 20, Center for Women, 129 Cannon St. The Entrepreneurial Woman Series, which focuses on helping women create, manage and build businesses, will look at how to make a great presentation and maximize your time in front of a client or customer. Debbie Cooler of Dale Carnegie and Claire Gibbons of Powerspeak Communications will lead the program. Cost: $20 for CFW members, $40 nonmembers. Register online.

Museum Picnic: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 25, Dill Sanctuary, 1163 Riverland Drive, James Island. The Friends and Needed Supporters (FANS) of the Charleston Museum will host their annual family picnic, which includes nature walks, live bluegrass by the Eagle Creek Band, a Lowcountry dinner (fried chicken, ham, red rice, etc.), a touch tank with marine animals, games, hayrides and demonstrations by experts from the Center for Birds of Prey. Cost (all-inclusive): $15 FANS member adults; $20 nonmember adults; $7 for children; free for ages 5 and under. Advance reservations are required; call 722-2996, ext. 264, or register online through the calendar. 

The Red Party: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Oct. 29, Old City Jail, 21 Magazine St. The American College of the Building Arts will present the party, during which the always-spooky Old City Jail will be transformed into a rich red venue. Attendees are asked to dress in red and wear masks. The event features a raffle and silent auction with items such as luxury trips to Africa and the Caribbean. DJ Arthur Brouthers will provide music for guests to dance to on a color-changing, illuminated dance floor. Open bar; food by Carolina Catering. Tickets: $55 in advance, $65 at the door. To purchase, call 577-5245, visit online or e-mail Brittany Darwin.

(NEW) Nighttime at the Museum: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 30, Charleston Museum. A special Halloween-season edition of the popular event will feature glimpses of rarely seen animal mounts, fencing demonstrations, a colonial nautical touch table, new historical figures, and an elaborate scavenger hunt. Kids will be able to make Halloween crafts, learn about the Museum's funerary collection, and more. Costumes welcome. Cost: museum members, $10 per adult, $5 per child; nonmembers, $20 per adult, $10 per child; under 3 get in free. A light pizza supper is included with the ticket price. Registration (required): online or 722- 2996, ext. 264.


12/23: Christian: Mannie's story
Bender: Polar Plunge prep
Brooks: Homes for Christmas
Doll: Enjoy holidays sans lbs.
Yarian: Instruments of Hope
De Armas: Latin biz expo
Blevins: Autism
Hutchisson: Giving
Barnette: Nutcracker
Franklin: Reverse mortgages
Wutzdorff: Be a principal
Haley: Buying local
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


12/17: Cookbook, shopping
The Pig's wines
Neat shopping
LowCANtry holiday
Hawks vs. doves
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


12/23: Photographer Meyer
Ain't over on Sanford
Back off a little
Sanford presses on
Now is time for courage
Alliance's good news
SC's hidden gems
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?


12/23: Blackbaud 5
4 on holiday lights
Five about oysters
Winter finds
Free parking
Holiday parades
Home fire stats
Being a tourist here
Growing your business
Electronics recycling
Beyond the lights
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

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