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Issue 2.04 | Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009 | Ride a bike

MEAN, GREEN DANCING MACHINE: The Grinch weasels his way into the hearts of Lowcountry families beginning this weekend when the Charleston Ballet Theatre stages "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," starring (from left) Alexander Collen as Max, Steven Boston as The Grinch and Jennifer Balcerzak Muller as Cindy Lou Who (who was no more than 2). See the calendar for ticket info. (Charleston Ballet Theatre photo)

:: Be principal for a day


:: Hawks vs. doves in Mount Pleasant

:: Send us a letter

:: Electronics recycling

:: Food Bank truck, Honor Day, more


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

___:: REVIEW: Send us a review

___:: HISTORY: Peg Leg Bates

___:: QUOTE: Wilson on the South

___:: 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


Why not go back to school -- this time as Principal (for a Day)?
Executive director, The Education Foundation
Special to

NOV. 12, 2009 -- The sixth annual Principal for a Day program will take place on Thursday, Dec. 3 in the Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Two and Four school districts, and local business executives who are interested in participating still have time to sign up.


The Charleston County School District initiated the Principal for a Day program in this region in 2004. With the help of The Education Foundation, which serves as an intermediary organization between the business and education communities, the event has grown each year and last year drew a record 144 executives to spend a day at nearly all of the region's schools.

The 600 percent growth in participation since the inception of Principal for a Day is a tremendous indicator that the business community wants to become more engaged in education. Participants came from small to large businesses that represented all of the major economic drivers of our region, including finance, health care, hospitality, manufacturing and the military.

A follow-up survey of 2008 participants indicated that 98 percent of respondents had a "good" or "excellent" impression of the educational program they observed, and 100 percent would recommend Principal for a Day to their colleagues. Here are some comments of past participants as they have reflected on their experiences:

  • "I learned more about educating our children in one say than in my 30 years of experience as a parent and business person involved with our school systems."

  • "If you need a recharge on how good the future will be, spend some time in an area public school."

  • ""Now I fully understand all the ramification of why schools must have good principals for leadership."

  • "I would like to challenge the business community to get involved by opening your doors to students and by visiting schools and classrooms to introduce students to the opportunities and skills needed for successful work. If we all stop pointing fingers and work collectively, just imagine what our public schools can achieve - and the whole community will be the beneficiary."

Nationally, Principal for a Day (PFD) programs have a long track record of success in many school districts across the country. Inviting business executives and other community leaders to shadow a principal for a day is an effective strategy for building a stronger foundation between businesses and schools and can lead to lasting relationships and creative ideas for engaging small and large businesses in the education of students.

Business engagement with schools can take many forms, and Principal for a Day is an important mechanism for communicating what schools need and what business can do. Examples of partnership opportunities include opening a business' doors to students and educators to learn more about the world of work, participating on a business advisory board for a program of study in a school or district, and working with teachers to create classroom experiences that illustrate how core subjects such as English, math or science are actually applied in the workplace.

Executives and their principals discuss these and other ideas at a debriefing breakfast the morning after the Principal for a Day program. Participants share their experiences and further explore how businesses can play a vital role in educating students.

If you are interested in participating in Principal for a Day, contact Heather Cooke at 805-3080 or to submit an application. The deadline is Nov. 20.

It's hawks vs. doves on the home front, and it's war
By ANN THRASH, editor

NOV. 12, 2009 -- Charleston is home to multitudes of bird lovers, and we know some of them read, so we're hoping a couple of you can help us resolve a Catch-22: We can't figure out how to feed our backyard birds without making them sitting ducks.


A year or so ago, we had a couple of feeders in our yard, and we kept them well-stocked with a variety of kinds of seeds and suet cakes. We even branched out a little and got some dishes that attached to the birdfeeder poles so we could supply our visitors with grape jelly, orange halves, peanuts and other goodies designed to draw some new and different guests, maybe Baltimore orioles or some cool woodpeckers. We hoped that, from a bird's-eye view, it would look like the buffet over at Ryan's.

Whatever we put out, though, we mostly got doves.. In the mornings, we'd sit on the porch with our newspaper and coffee and count dozens of mourning doves and Eurasian collared doves on the feeders, on the ground underneath the feeders, on the fence nearby, everywhere.

So somehow word got out among the hawk community east of the Cooper that the best happy hour in town was in our backyard. We started to regularly witness hawks swooping into the yard, seemingly out of nowhere, cutting like a laser through the branches of our big old oak tree in hot pursuit of the doves. The sound of these huge flocks of doves taking off out of the backyard was startling. On more than one occasion, we saw a hawk with a dove in its clutches - and finding feathers and "parts" on the ground became all too common. Sure, it's nature, survival of the fittest, and all that stuff - but it was also sad.

A hawk sits in an oak tree in editor Ann Thrash's backyard. (Photo by Ann Thrash)

About the time the weather started warming up back in March, we decided that the buffet was going to close. We took down all the feeders, and now we have only a birdbath in the backyard. Most of the bird life we see now is in or over the nearby marsh - herons, egrets, wood storks, gulls, purple martins, etc. We don't get nearly as many doves, but we do still see them nest in a tree near our kitchen window. And despite the decline in the number of doves we've seen, the hawks keep hanging around. We see them on a regular basis, looking like they're on patrol.

I miss all the pleasures of watching the feeders and the birds they used to attract, including the finches, chickadees, titmouses (or is that titmice?), cardinals and even the boisterous blue jays. But we know from experience that whatever kind of seed we put out, we'll get a lot of doves showing up - and we feel like we're setting up them up to get killed.

Any bird lovers out there with advice on how to make everybody happy - the hawks, the doves and us? Please e-mail any thoughts or suggestions you have to We welcome your ideas!

Ann Thrash is editor of

Send us your thoughts

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.

Maybank Industries

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Maybank Industries, LLC of Charleston, SC. With broad experience in commercial and government operations, Maybank Industries applies deep-rooted commitment to teamwork, reliability and personal service to provide innovative business solutions for project development, information technology, logistics, vessel design, shipping agency services and marine terminal operations, both locally and internationally. Maybank Industries applies a powerful blend of professional expertise to research, analyze and develop tailored solutions with thorough plans of action, combining a heavy dose of common sense to solve today's needs that can adapt to changing or evolving requirements. More: Maybank Industries and Maybank Systems.

Walmart to donate $85,000 refrigerator truck to Food Bank

Walmart and the Walmart Foundation will donate a brand new $85,000 refrigerator truck to the Lowcountry Food Bank today as part of the "Walmart Gives Back" holiday giving initiative. The program will provide $32 million nationally in monetary and in-kind donations to nonprofits this holiday season.

The truck will arrive loaded with 12 pallets of Walmart's Great Value brand products and fresh apples, just in time for Thanksgiving. The organization Feeding America estimates the new trucks, which are being donated to the Lowcountry Food Bank and 34 additional food banks across the nation, will transport up to 52.5 million pounds of food per year, the equivalent of 41 million additional meals.

Nationally, estimates are that one in eight Americans is currently fighting hunger, and 90 percent of food banks are reporting an increased demand driven by first-time users of food assistance programs. There has been a 30 percent increase in emergency requests for food assistance since July 2008.

Patriots Point to host Honor Landing for all vets on Saturday

Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum will host a special Honor Landing on Saturday for all veterans of military service, but specifically to salute those who were unable to go on the recent Honor Flight to Washington, D.C., because of poor health or the inability to travel.

From 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., those veterans will gather aboard the Yorktown to meet, eat and swap stories with each other. At noon, all veterans and their families are invited to a brief ceremony in the Hangar Bay of the Yorktown featuring veterans of World War II, Vietnam and the war on terror. Among the guests will be Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. James E. Livingston. Veterans will also be on hand in the Hangar Bay after the ceremony, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., to talk to the community.

Admission is free on Saturday between 9 a.m. and noon, but normal parking fees will apply.

United Way looking for models for 'Live United' campaign

Have you been "Living United" lately? Maybe it's building a new house with Habitat for Humanity, walking in the Heart Walk, or even attending a PTA meeting. Whatever you've been doing on a volunteer basis to help the Lowcountry, Trident United Way wants to know about it. The agency is offering area residents a chance to be one of its 2010 "Live United" models to be featured on billboards, posters, and Trident United Way materials.

To apply, e-mail the agency at with your contact information and a brief description of your volunteer work. Trident United Way will photograph you doing your volunteer work and choose the top three models. Even if you aren't selected as a model, Trident United Way might still use the photos of you in action for various publications.

Models who are selected for the campaign will be identified by name, town and company affiliation, if applicable. For more information, go to

FDR's grandson to visit Citadel, talk about health-care policy

James Roosevelt Jr., grandson of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, will visit The Citadel on Dec. 3 to talk about health-care policy in America. Roosevelt is president and chief executive officer of the Tufts Health Plan, a nonprofit health maintenance organization, and in November 2008 was appointed by then- President-Elect Barack Obama to co-chair his transition team's review of the Social Security Administration.


The lecture, titled "Health Care Policy in the Balance," will begin at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3 in Duckett Hall Auditorium. Sponsored by the John C. West Chair Speaker Series in the Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Before joining Tufts Health Plan, Roosevelt was the associate commissioner for retirement policy for the Social Security Administration in Washington, D.C. He has also served as chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Democratic Party and is co-chairman of the Rules and By-laws Committee of the Democratic National Committee.

Tell your view to our readers

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.

Clayton 'Peg Leg' Bates

Born in Fountain Inn on October 11, 1907, Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates came from an extremely poor sharecropping family whose father deserted them when Bates was only three years old.


During World War I, Bates took a job in a cottonseed-oil mill. Soon after he began working there, the lights failed and the twelve-year-old accidentally stepped into the open auger conveyer. The equipment chewed up his leg so badly that an amputation was necessary. Since hospitals were segregated, the doctor performed the procedure on the family's kitchen table.

Bates had a desire to dance that persisted despite the loss of his leg. So, fitted with an artificial wooden limb-or "peg"-he adapted tap dancing steps to his own specifications. By age fifteen he was entrenched in a professional career as a tap dancer. He worked his way up from minstrel shows to carnivals, from the African American vaudeville circuit TOBA (Theatre Owners Booking Association) to the white vaudeville circuits. Throughout the 1930s he played top Harlem nightclubs, including the Cotton Club, Connie's Inn, and Club Zanzibar. In the late 1930s he was the opening act for the Ed Sullivan Revue, traveled the Keith and Loews circuits, and appeared to great acclaim on Australia's Tivoli circuit. He performed throughout the 1940s, including dancing in the popular Los Angeles version of Ken Murray's Blackouts.

Bates had an active career in television, including twenty-one appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, the most by a tap dancer. In the 1960s he opened the Peg Leg Bates Country Club in Kerhonkson, New York, which catered to a primarily African American clientele. Bates retired from dancing in 1989 and died at Fountain Inn on December 6, 1998. He was buried in Palentown Cemetery, Ulster County, New York.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Rusty E. Frank. 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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Electronics recycling

Charleston County held its first Electronics Recycling Day last November, and it was such a success that there was no doubt about repeating the effort this year. Any county resident (but not businesses) can take old, nonworking or unused electronic items to the Tanger Outlets parking lot on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for recycling. Here are five numbers from last year's event.

51: Number of cell phones accepted and donated to Pak Mail to help raise money for U.S. troops.

1,331: Total number of recyclable items collected.

423: Computers brought in (the most popular item for recycling).

186: Telephones brought in (second most popular item).

236: Approximate number of vehicles that volunteers helped unload.

On the South


"The South is the only place in the world where nothing has to be explained to me."

-- Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States (1856 - 1924)


CRDA 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 online.

(NEW) Streetscaping Celebration: 4:30 p.m. today, 131 King St. (halfway between Broad and Queen). City of Charleston will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the Lower King Street Streetscaping project. Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. will cut the ribbon (if the weather is inclement, the ceremony will be held inside 145 King St., near the corner of King and Queen). Event will be followed by the Lower King Street Stroll, with merchants in the area open for extended hours.

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.

Colonial 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 online here.

(NEW) 'The Grinch': Nov. 14, Nov. 15, Nov. 21 and Nov. 22, Charleston Ballet Theatre, 477 King St. The CBT will stage "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," based on the timeless Dr. Seuss classic. The 48-minute show is suitable for the whole family. Times: 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Nov. 14 and Nov. 21; 3 p.m. Nov. 15 and Nov. 22. Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children; call 723-7334 or order online at

Entertaining Charleston Style: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 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.


Entrepreneurs 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 Stadium. Register here.

(NEW) Third Thursday in Summerville: Nov. 19, downtown Summerville. Enjoy a holiday open house at local stores, with refreshments, strolling carolers, a jazz trio and other entertainment and promotions. Sponsored by Summerville D.R.E.A.M. (Downtown Restoration, Enhancement and Management).

Benefit 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 here.

'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.


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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