Local' week adds new events, opportunities
By JAMEE HALEY
Executive Director, Lowcountry Local First
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
9, 2009 -- Across America we are seeing the effects of an economy
that has become embedded in Wall Street while sacrificing our Main
Streets, leaving both large corporations and mom-and-pops wondering
what the future holds.
became a part of Lowcountry Local First because it spoke to me on
a personal level - first as a business owner not willing to outsource
my product to China or sell to online retailers, but also as someone
with a culinary background and an appreciation for what is grown
close to home and those who farm our land.
after I served on the original steering committee for LLF, the opportunity
to lead the organization was presented to me, I could not say no,
and spent the first year investing sweat equity into an organization
that I hope is making a difference in our community. We hope to
see that return to Main Street and family farms as we reinvest in
our own communities.
recently launched the 10 Percent Shift this past summer, which encourages
all business owners, government agencies, and community members
to shift at least 10% of their annual budget from nonlocal businesses
to local-independents. LLF would like to see those shopping during
the holidays to go beyond the 10 Percent Shift in support of local-independents.
Many of these businesses rely on the holidays for the bulk of their
sales, and without the support of the community they may not be
here for another holiday shopping season.
year I took it upon myself as a personal challenge to do all my
holiday shopping with local businesses. The response that I received
from these retailers when telling them of my endeavor was one of
gratitude and appreciation for the extra effort it sometimes takes.
It was all worth it, though, when I saw the quality of service and
products that I received!
surprisingly, this year the Department of Commerce reported that
December 2008 retail sales overall were down a record 9.8 percent
over December of 2007, but a survey conducted by the Institute for
Local Self-Reliance found that cities with active "Buy Local"
campaigns reported much stronger holiday sales than those in cites
without such campaigns. Independent retailers in these cities reported
an average drop in sales of 3.2 percent, compared to a steeper decline
of 5.6 percent for those cities without an active Buy Local initiative.
again, as part of our ongoing efforts to heighten community awareness
of the importance of supporting those businesses that are owned
and headquartered within our community, Lowcountry Local First will
be celebrating our third annual "Buy Local Week" Nov.
30 through Dec. 6. As this grassroots movement grows, so has our
week of events, which highlights local retail, restaurants, artists
and nonprofits with a variety of happenings throughout the week.
invite you to fully take part in what is offered during this week
and support those businesses and organizations that support LLF
and other nonprofits in our community. Some of the fun happenings
during Buy Local Week are "Eat Local Night"; an Independent
Movie Night and after-party at the Hippodrome; the Alternative Giving
Fair; Pure Theater's production of "It's a Wonderful Life";
our Holiday Stroll, which will take place on the peninsula, in Avondale
and in Mount Pleasant; and our final event of the week, the Buy
Local, Be Local Bash at The Landing on Shem Creek.
local was never so much fun! See http://www.lowcountrylocalfirst.org
for more details or to join Lowcountry Local First.
Haley is executive director of Lowcountry Local First.
gems flourish across Palmetto State
ANDY BRACK, publisher
9, 2009 - Our state, known for its "smiling faces, beautiful
places," has countless hidden gems - restaurants, parks, communities
that shine for their uniqueness and special offerings.
all have a special place that we value, whether it's a waterfall,
a mountain walk, a blackwater river, a country store, a prime fishing
hole or a tucked-away corner of a beach. Over the last week, we've
asked people from across South Carolina to share their hidden gem.
Here are some of the best:
Tunnel, Walhalla. State Sen. Kevin Bryant, R-Anderson, suggests
a trip to this uncompleted tunnel started during the Civil War.
Cool in the steamy summers, it reportedly is where Clemson's famous
blue cheese was housed in the early days. "It's very dark,
wet and creepy in the back," Bryant says - just the thing for
a kid around Halloween time. More.
County. S.C. Coastal Conservation League leader Dana Beach says
a great place to check out is this rural, poor county that is abundant
with natural resources - "the Black River, Black Mingo Creek,
beautiful longleaf pine forests and small towns without the clutter
of development." And if you're hungry, stop by Brown's to get
some of the best barbecue around. More.
County. Wendy Wagner at Chesterfield General Hospital writes,
"Enjoy the peace and beauty of nature in Sandhills Wildlife
Refuge in an area with the best air and water quality around - Chesterfield."
Charleston view. Former 1974 gubernatorial candidate Pug Ravenel
of Charleston recommends a visit to the top floor restaurant on
Holiday Inn on the Ashley River in Charleston because it has
"the best panoramic view in South Carolina - marshes, Ravenel
Bridge, the Citadel, Fort Sumter, downtown old houses and the Atlantic
of the birds spotted at Caw Caw Interpretive Center near Ravenel.
Charleston politico Phil Noble says a must-visit is to the small
of Willington, which is rebranding itself as a destination for
book-lovers to buy books. "Willington is truly an inspiration,"
he says. "It was once a thriving little town that nearly died
and is now coming back to life. And they are doing it in a unique
and creative way that can show countless other struggling communities
- in South Carolina and across the country - what can be done with
bold leadership, a sense of a caring community
.and just plain
hard work. They are true heroes."
restaurant. S.C. Chamber of Commerce President Otis Rawl couldn't
say enough about the Four
Moons Restaurant and says that some of his well-traveled friends
rate it as one of the top dining spots in the world. "The menu
and wine selection is second to none. The atmosphere is delightful.
The quality and the variety of the food is the experience."
eatery. Not to be outdone is
Grits and Groceries, a Belton restaurant that is a favorite
of GOP gubernatorial candidate Gresham Barrett. "Grits and
Groceries offers a taste of New Orleans right here in rural South
Carolina. Heidi and Joe [the owners] always live up to their motto
of 'real food, done real good.'"
Woods, Aiken. Steve Hale says this 2,000-acre preserve in Aiken
is "a true treasure and people in Aiken would riot if someone
wanted to disturb it." More.
Allen Stalvey of the S.C. Hospital Association recommends his hometown
and its "small streets, beautiful old homes, large oak trees,
a nice riverfront area near the beach." More.
Joe. Charleston RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols says one
of the nicest, soothing spots in Charleston is the back railing
near the marsh during sunset at Charleston's Joseph
Garden, Rock Hill. Marketing coordinator Laurie Helms says the
renovated 11-acre garden is a jewel in the heart of Rock Hill: "No
matter who visits, no matter the time of year, Glencairn Garden
leaves guests with the strong imprint of the beauty and history
that live within its flower-filled borders." More.
one of my hidden gems? Caw
Caw Interpretive Center near Ravenel. This Charleston County
park is a wonder of calming marsh vistas and trails. Wildlife is
abundant. On recent visits, my daughters thrilled to the swooping
flight of a great blue heron, jumping mullet and baby foot-long
alligators within a few feet of their 8-foot mother.
you have a hidden gem to share, send an email to: email@example.com.
Brack is publisher of CharlestonCurrents.com.
historic preservation a priority in suburbs
of the Charleston and Savannah Railroad trestle over the Ashley
River in (the Nov. 5) issue. It highlights a serious problem that
needs to be addressed - historic preservation in the suburbs of
construction of this bridge changed the course of history for West
Ashley. Before it was constructed in 1880, the main line for the
Charleston and Savannah line followed the path of the West Ashley
Greenway from Johns Island Station to Croghan, the site of Porter-Gaud
School. The line opened in the fall of 1860. Charlestonians from
downtown would take the ferry across the Ashley to the depot.
the construction of this trestle in 1880, the line from Johns Island
Station to Croghan became only a spur line which served many truck
farms along the route. The only remaining piece of West Ashley's
railroad history remaining today is the former shed at Dupont Crossing
at the intersection of Savannah Highway and Wappoo Road. It has
been more recently known as Limehouse Produce. This property is
in grave danger of demolition and has no protection from local government.
Charlie Smith, Charleston, SC
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Stud' wins grand prize for Hay in New Ideas SC contest
Henry Muhler Hay won the 2009
New Ideas SC Contest with his patent-pending integral attachment
system for windows and exterior doors called the Storm Stud. The
results of the contest, which drew more than 300 entries from 28
counties in the state, were announced recently at the Small Business
Innovation Summit in Charleston. Entries were judged on the idea's
viability, innovation/vision and profit/revenue potential.
Storm Stud system is designed to offer an affordable solution for
hurricane or wind protection of windows and doors that starts with
a simple addition to the frame during construction of the window
or door. Once it is in place, the homeowner has a secure place to
support whatever type of protection he wants to install.
grand prize winner, Hay, who owns The Muhler Company, will receive
$5,000 in seed money for his idea, a scholarship to a FastTrac entrepreneurial
training program and a "dream team" of mentors for a year
to help him cultivate his idea.
first place prizes were also awarded in the categories of Bio-Science,
Software/Information Technology, Engineering, Environmental Sustainability
and the Wild Card. Each winner will receive $2,500 and a scholarship
to FastTrac. There were also five $1,000 honorable mention prizes
distributed in each category.
was the category winner in Engineering. Other local category winners
were Pearce Gilbert of Charleston, who won the Environmental Sustainability
category with a household glass grinder that will convert glass
containers into sand that can be recycled in yards or more conveniently
delivered to a recycling facility; Rusty Ashby of North Charleston,
who won honorable mention in that category for a machine that compacts
yard waste and other biomass products into a fire log; and Brian
Bowers of Charleston, who won the Wild Card category with the "KEB-Lock"
or "Keyless Entry Bike Lock," an automatic lock/unlock
mechanism (point and press) for bikes.
Fare at farmers market to feature local chefs
second annual Charleston Farmers Market Harvest Fare, which spotlights
local chefs making delicious use of seasonal produce from local
farmers, will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 14 at the
Charleston Farmers Market on Marion Square. The demonstrations are
free and open to the public.
schedule of chefs and demos is: 9:30 a.m., "MELT Down,"
with market vendor and MELT Chef Nathan Albertson; 10:30 a.m., "From
Farm to Plate," with Craig Diehl, executive chef at Cypress
Restaurant, using Fields Farms organic produce; 11:30 a.m., "Organic
Table," with Mike Lata, executive chef of FIG, joining forces
with organic herb vendor Lee Burbage to honor the Southern tradition
of growing organically; and 12:30 p.m., "Swamp Fox Dessert
Treat," with chef Ryan Kacenjar preparing a sweet treat for
Harvest Fare is a wonderful way to celebrate the delicious produce
found here in the Lowcountry and experiment with the many tasty
ways we can mix the flavors," says Ellen Dressler Moryl, director
of City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs. "We are glad
to showcase these highly creative local chefs who offer not only
their time, but share their tricks of the trade - it's a real treat!"
team up with parks pros to spruce up Northbridge
city of Charleston's Department of Parks pitched in with a group
of young volunteers on Saturday to spruce up the Northbridge area
after a local student offered to help spearhead the project.
Carruth, a local high school student, recently approached Charleston
City Council member Aubry Alexander to propose a beautification
project for the area directly off the North Bridge when entering
the West Ashley area. Carruth also offered to gather volunteers
to help with the project. Alexander coordinated the project with
the Parks Department.
teamed up last weekend, with the city's Department of Parks planting
five crape myrtles on Friday and youth volunteers planting 80 nandinas
and salvias, as well as mulching, on Saturday.
Department of Parks was responsible for the design of the project
and worked with the S.C. Department of Transportation for the encroachment
permit. Several local businesses made donations to the effort: the
Northbridge Piggly Wiggly donated $500; West Ashley Home Depot donated
the nandinas; Kapstone Paper donated the mulch; and Charleston County
donated the compost.
your view to our readers
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.
National Beta Club was founded January 8, 1934, at Landrum High
School by Dr. John West Harris, faculty member at Wofford College.
Reared on a farm and aware of the privations of his day, Harris
worked to develop youth for effective leadership and achievement.
His high standards and goals were fashioned after Phi Beta Kappa
and the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs. He knew achievers made A and B
grades, and subsequently chose Beta (or B) for the organization's
name. He asked principals and superintendents for permission to
present his plan to local literary societies and sponsors.
Landrum High School Literary Society (fifteen members) and sponsor
Helen Prince were the first to apply for membership. Before the
school year ended, eight other literary societies had become Beta
Clubs. By the end of the following year there were seventy-five
chapters in four states.
dues are paid by members, and an endowed foundation supports the
organization and its programs. The Student Loan Program assisted
fifteen hundred worthy students before it became a Scholarship Program,
supported by many national corporations and philanthropists.
assemblies are held for members and sponsors at the state level,
and delegates are elected to an International Convention. Each member
receives a membership pin and a certificate, subscription to the
Beta Club Journal, subscription to Beta Web network, a membership
card, and a diploma seal for graduating seniors. Junior Beta Clubs
began in junior high schools in 1961.
of 2005, the National Beta Club, headquartered in Spartanburg, had
more than 417,000 members in the United States, the Bahamas, Germany,
Guam, Puerto Rico, Russia, and the Virgin Islands. Among the nearly
five million former members are Erika Dunlap, Miss America 2004;
NFL quarterback Jake Delhomme; former president Bill Clinton; the
television journalist Diane Sawyer; and Millard Fuller, the founder
of Habitat for Humanity.
Excerpted from the entry by James Walton Lawrence Sr. To
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The
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When you think
of the Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park, the
three-mile drive through the fabulous light displays is the first
thing that comes to mind. But there are plenty of ways to enjoy
the show on foot. This year, park the car and take in these five
additional attractions at the festival. Go
to this Web page for hours, prices and more.
Sculpture: Damon Farmer of Shadetree Studio always has something
special up his sleeve - and some sand in his shoes - as he creates
a seasonal masterpiece from 50 tons of sand.
Rides: Let the kids take a spin on a traditional, 18-animal
merry-go-round that always draws a crowd.
Train Rides: Head to the train depot at Santa's Village for
a ride through the Enchanted Forest and an up-close look at the
Cards: Created by local school groups, these 4-foot-by-8-foot
oversized holiday postcards are displayed at Winter Wonderland.
Check out who won the blue ribbons this year.
Santa: You'll have to wait until Nov. 25 for Santa to be able
to break free from the North Pole and sit down for photos at the
park, but beginning that night, he'll be on hand every evening through
sleeping on it
a common experience that a problem difficult at night is resolved
in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it."
Steinbeck, American writer (1902 - 1968)
Maximizing Connections: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Nov. 11,
Virginia College, 6185 Rivers Ave, North Charleston. The Charleston
Metro Chamber's North Area Business Council will sponsor the meeting,
which features Margaret Seidler, author of "Power Surge: A
Conduit for Enlightened Leadership." Participants will learn
high-energy networking skills to help diversify their contacts and
business opportunities. Cost: $15 for chamber members, $30 nonmembers.
Luncheon: Noon to 1:30 p.m. Nov. 12, Trident Technical
College Complex for Economic Development. The Charleston Regional
Development Alliance's annual luncheon will feature a talk by David
Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times and
the author of "The Inheritance: The World Obama Confronts and
the Challenges to American Power." Book signing will follow
the luncheon (copies will be available for purchase at the event).
Tickets: $60, available
Electronics Recycling Day: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 14,
Tanger Outlets parking lot (on the Tanger Outlet Boulevard side),
North Charleston. Sponsored by Charleston County's Environmental
Management Department, residents can bring electronic items (TVs,
computers, phones, fax machines, microwaves, VCRs, etc.) to the
event to be safely recycled. Open to county residents only; no businesses
or contractors. More info: 720-7111 or see
this Web site.
Trades and Harvest Day: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 14, Charles
Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road. Costumed interpreters and craftspeople
will interpret what life was like for Charleston's first settlers
as the winter approached. Learn about open-hearth cooking, colonial
foodways, the deerskin trade and colonial medicine. Participants
can also dye an article of clothing with indigo dye and witness
the smoke and thunder of a militia drill. More info: 852-4200 or
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
ONGOING AND SOON
Networking: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 16, Holliday Alumni
House at The Citadel, Hagood Ave. Sponsored by the Center for Women's
Entrepreneurial Woman Series, the event is expected to feature more
than 150 local businesswomen. Through "speed networking,"
participants can meet other entrepreneurs quickly and have the chance
to introduce themselves, their business and their interests to everyone
at each table. Light refreshments provided. Cost: $15 for Center
for Women members; $20 for nonmembers. Free parking at Johnson Hagood
Oyster Roast: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 22, Elks Lodge, 1113
Sam Rittenberg Blvd. Oyster roast and a silent auction will benefit
the Outreach Learning Center at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in
Charleston (on King Street across from Marion Square). Oysters,
fish stew, hot dogs, cole slaw, dessert; bring your own beverages.
Live music by Wood & Steel. Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at
the door, $10 for children under 12; available at the center, 403
King St., or online
'A Spiritual Christmas': 6 p.m. Nov. 27, St. Stephen's
Episcopal Church, 67 Anson St., Charleston. The Charleston Symphony
Orchestra Spiritual Ensemble under the direction of Nathan L. Nelson
will perform African-American spirituals set to a holiday theme.
Tickets: $10 per person at the door.
Polar Plunge prep
Homes for Christmas
Enjoy holidays sans lbs.
Instruments of Hope
Armas: Latin biz expo
Be a principal
Women at Gibbes
new food show
on car tags
way of tithing?
over on Sanford
off a little
is time for courage
place for prejudice
fun at Halloween
to old clunker
to squeeze in
on holiday lights
a tourist here
lists of year