Subscribe today for free

Insert your email address and click subscribe.

About | Underwriters | Archives | Subscribe | Submit | Contact | HOME
Issue 2.06 |Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 | Expand your reach

St. Nick is quite the multitasker this time of year. He'll soon be visiting the South Carolina Aquarium daily to help feed the fish in the Great Ocean Tank. Find out more about Scuba Santa and a cool new aquarium effort to help needy local residents in today's Currents column. (Photo provided by the S.C. Aquarium)

:: Ballet starts 'Nutcracker' partnership


:: Aquarium holds LowCANtry holiday

:: Thanks for the heads-up

:: Being a tourist at home

:: Meals on Wheels, workshop, award


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

___:: REVIEW: Send us a review

___:: HISTORY: Hash

___:: QUOTE: Grizzard on life, football

___:: 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


Ballet Theatre initiates partnership with schools for 'Nutcracker'
Administrative director, Charleston Ballet Theatre
Special to

NOV. 19, 2009 -- When preparing to bring its annual holiday tradition, "The Nutcracker," to the North Charleston Performing Arts Center for the first time in its 22-year history, the Charleston Ballet Theatre approached the powers-that-be in the Dorchester District 2 schools about the possibility of holding some auditions locally for children's roles in the production.


That small summer audition turned into two well-attended, overflowing events in two locations, displayed a hunger for dance opportunities in the Dorchester and Berkeley areas, and provided a unique partnership between CBT and the schools.

It isn't a well-known fact, but nearly every school in the Dorchester 2 School District has its own dance instructor in house, a rarity these days in educational and arts funding cutbacks. That luxury became an essential element in planning such a large-scale collaboration between CBT and the entire school district. With the blessing of district Fine Arts Director Larry Barnfield, the school district and the ballet developed a wonderful partnership to accommodate the needs of both groups. CBT also met with North Charleston's Mayor Keith Summey and North Charleston Director of Cultural Affairs Marty Besancon to assure the success of bringing "The Nutcracker" educational outreach to the families and children of the North Area.

After casting of the North Charleston production was finished, each elementary and middle school in the Dorchester 2 district, along with Rollins School of the Arts, discovered it would be represented by at least one child who would get to perform in the classic ballet. Now 90 children from all over the school district have taken part in special after-school rehearsals and will be appearing on stage, dancing next to the seasoned professional dancers of the Charleston Ballet Theatre, South Carolina's world-class professional dance company.

"We are thrilled and honored to be able to include these wonderfully diverse and talented children in our first North Charleston production of 'The Nutcracker.' " says CBT Resident Choreographer Jill Eathorne Bahr. "It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these children to be able to work one on one with world-class professional dancers. We hope this experience will inspire them and show what it means to be a professional artist in every way. We plan to make this partnership grow exponentially as we work with Dorchester 2 schools on these new 'Nutcracker' performances for years to come!"

The children of the Dorchester 2 school district will be performing "The Nutcracker" twice at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center: at the school matinee performance on Dec. 18 and then again the following evening at the public performance on Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m. Boeing is the exclusive sponsor of the North Charleston shows.

"The Nutcracker" will also be performed at the Gaillard Auditorium in downtown Charleston in a school matinee performance Dec. 11 and public performances Dec. 12 and Dec. 13. Atlantic Bank and Trust is the exclusive sponsor of the downtown shows.

Ticket rates vary from $30 to $48 for adults. Child/student tickets are $10 off any seat. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets are available by calling 723-7334, visiting or going to the CBT box office at 477 King St. downtown.

Aquarium's new holiday program is one you CAN't miss
By ANN THRASH, editor

NOV. 19, 2009 -- Even as this trying economic year winds down, many local businesses will be doing their part during the holidays to ensure that 2009 ends and 2010 begins on a hopeful note for those in need. One of the neatest new efforts we've heard about comes from the South Carolina Aquarium. It's called the LowCANtry Holiday, and it sounds like a must-see for the holiday season.


With some generous donations from Piggly Wiggly and the architectural firm LS3P Associates, the aquarium will become home to a collection of fantastic -- or is that CANtastic?- - aquatic-themed sculptures made entirely out of canned food. The Pig donated the cans, and the folks at LS3P donated their time to design the sculptures. The "CANstruction" projects will be on display at the aquarium from Nov. 27 through Dec. 28. Beth Nathan, the aquarium's public relations manager, says that after that date, the cans will be donated to Crisis Ministries to help feed those in need. The Children's Museum of the Lowcountry is part of the effort as well and will also feature several sculptures, Nathan says.

What's more, visitors to the aquarium can support the food drive and get a discount on admission at the same time. Just bring a canned good with you when you visit the attraction and you'll get $2 off an adult ticket.

A "tree" made of recycled Mountain Dew cans.

The LowCANtry Holiday actually wraps a couple of aquarium events into one festive package for visitors. Another part of the program is "Scuba Santa" -- yes, Saint Nick himself will be feeding the fish in the Great Ocean Tank every day at 3 p.m. from Dec. 1 through Dec. 23. In addition, on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m., you can catch a Penguin Parade, where one of the facility's penguins will venture out into the great hall on a special "Waddle Waggon." Visitors can talk to the specialists who care for the penguins, learn more about the birds and even have a chance to get their photo taken with the penguin.

Nathan says all of these LowCANtry Holiday activities are part of the aquarium's efforts to give visitors a one-of-a-kind experience while also working with partners like The Pig and LS3P to support the work of Crisis Ministries and other organizations that strive to make the community better for everyone. "I have to say, hats off big-time to Piggly Wiggly and LS3P for making this idea really come to life," she says.

The number of cans to be used in the effort is massive -- it's expected to top 10,000 -- and when you add in the donations from aquarium and museum patrons, it's clear that the LowCANtry Holiday will have a lasting impact on the community.

Hawks vs. doves update: Last week's column on battle between hawks and doves in my backyard drew some interesting replies from bird-loving readers. The dilemma we've been facing is that our birdfeeders draw a large number of doves that turn into sitting ducks for the hungry hawks that inhabit the area. We were having some pangs of guilt over that, so we had reluctantly decided to take the feeders down.

Pat Campbell, who lives on the Isle of Palms, wrote: "Please keep feeding your birds at least in the winter months, as they can use a boost then. Your resident birds are territorial. Even those who lay over in winter stay in their seasonal area. The hawk is also territorial, most likely year-round. My red-tail hawk has been here for years. Now they all get hungry, although for different foods, and they all will find that food in their home stomping grounds. The hawk will eat the doves whether you feed them or not -- they are plentiful, with several broods a year, and slow on the wing. We don't lessen the annual population even during a good dove-hunting season. Good thing with a hawk is that he takes care of many less-desirable critters as well. So what we come down to is recognizing that all of nature's work ain't pretty, but our observation of it at work, while chilling, is sort of a microcosm of life itself. I have convinced myself that what I am watching is part of nature, and I have become appreciative of the hawk's agility and speed. In the end, the feeding and viewing of birds is so worthwhile that it overrides the hawks' feeding habits. I enjoy Charleston Currents -- keep up the good work."

I also heard from Cheryl Smithem, who lives on Folly Beach, with the ocean as her "front yard" and the marsh in back. "Shortly after we moved in, we noted that there are red-tailed hawks and ospreys who regularly patrol the marsh areas for their meals. They each try to roost/hunt from a telephone pole in the edge of the marsh. As we returned from a meeting (last week), we noticed Mr. Red Tail sitting to the left side of the drive dining on a furry critter -- we think a rabbit. I don't know how we can find a way to convert the raptors to vegetarians or the doves to omnivores. However, as much as I hate to think of a rabbit losing his life, I am awed by the presence of the hawk that will metabolize the rabbit."

Pat and Cheryl have me convinced: I think our bird buffet will be back!

Ann Thrash is editor of You can reach her by email here.

Thanks for the word on Citadel cadet heading into space

To the editor:

How exciting! Thanks for the heads-up about (former Citadel cadet and current astronaut Randy) Bresnik and the rest of the Atlantis crew (main photo, Monday's My husband and I were at Kennedy Space Center for our anniversary a few weeks ago. Exciting stuff!

-- Tina Newton, Mount Pleasant, SC

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.

Charleston Green Commercial

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. In this issue, we turn the spotlight on Charleston Green Commercial, a full-service commercial property management company that pays attention to detail, provides exceptional personal service and is committed to adding value to buildings. Offering professional property management, consulting and other services, the company strives to improve clients' bottom lines with superior service, accessibility, reliability and a wealth of knowledge of the Charleston real estate market. By blending use of proven contractors and contacts with environmentally-conscious practices, the company helps clients stay on the leading edge of commercial real estate practices. More.

Meals on Wheels gets Subaru grant to help seniors

East Cooper Meals on Wheels has been awarded a $1,000 grant from Subaru of America and the Meals on Wheels Association of America as part of Subaru's "Share the Love" campaign for the holidays. The funding will help ECMOW prepare and deliver nutritious meals to 461 seniors in need during December.

"This is the season of giving, and we are so thankful that Subaru has decided to give back to our program to help us deliver meals to our recipients for the holidays," said Patricia Walker, president and CEO of ECMOW. "This grant truly is a gift." In honor of the grant, labels with a holly berry design will be applied to 461 meals to be delivered during the holidays. The labels have the message "Provided for you by Subaru of America - Share the Love for the Holidays."

ECMOW provides daily nutrition to homebound residents and seniors living east of the Cooper. Volunteers pack and deliver well over 300 meals every weekday with 260 meals going out for the weekend. Community support and funding such as Subaru's makes it possible for the agency to provide the meals free of charge and without having anyone to be on a waiting list, waiting to be fed. For more info, visit

Oral history workshop to be offered at The Citadel

The Citadel Oral History Program, the South Carolina Historical Society and the Low Country Oral History Alliance are inviting members of the community to take part in an oral history workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 5 in Bond Hall, Room 165, at The Citadel.

The interactive workshop, led by experts from the sponsoring agencies, will cover each aspect of the oral history process, including project planning, interview strategies, recording technology, and archiving. The program is designed to be of value to those involved in family or community projects that are well under way, as well as those in the planning stages. Teachers, community activists, genealogists, and high school and college students are especially encouraged to attend.

Because space is limited, pre-registration is suggested. Participants are being asked for a $5 donation to defray the cost of lunch. Call Kerry Taylor at 953-5357 for more information and to register.

City Rec Department wins Agency of the Year, other honors

The city of Charleston Department of Recreation won three awards earlier this week at the annual S.C. Recreation and Parks Association (SCRPA) Conference, including Agency of the Year in its population category.

The award selection committee gave Charleston the Agency of the Year Award for Class IV (cities with populations of 50,000 and above) because, it said, it was impressed with the quality of programs the city offers and the innovations by staff to meet the ever-changing needs of the city service area.

The Recreation Department also won the Class IV Innovative Program of the Year award for its partnership with Carolina Studios, a nonprofit organization led by Hootie and the Blowfish guitarist Mark Bryan, to offer children and teens free music writing and recording experience through their studios in the City's Forest Park Playground and the Boys and Girls Club Shaw Unit. In addition, Stacey Collins, an athletics coordinator who oversees youth and women's soccer for the city, won the District Merit Award for the Southern District of SCRPA.

Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said, "The caliber and diversity of the programs offered by our great staff of the Recreation Department is impressive and serves our community well. I am so proud of the department, led by Laurie Yarborough. They care about the people they serve and work hard to provide the very best."

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.


Hearty meals have been cooked in large, cast-iron pots since the Middle Ages. Variations are endless and limited only to the imagination of the maker and palate of the consumer. In South Carolina, hash takes the place of honor held by Brunswick Stew in nearby Georgia, Virginia, and North Carolina. Usually served over rice, hash is more than a mere accompaniment to barbecue and maintains an important role as a congregational food. Hash is a community-based tradition, cooked in big pots for large numbers of people. Recipes are far from consistent, with variations built around techniques that spring from rural folklife.

As did other southern stews, hash developed out of a need to turn leftovers, scraps, and whatever one could find into a palatable one-pot dish. While hash variations are countless, three loosely defined geographic regions can be identified. Lowcountry hash can consist of hogsheads and organ meats such as pork liver, cooked down in a stock favoring vinegar and ketchup. Vegetables can include onions, corn, and diced potatoes. Hash from the Midlands typically consists of leaner pork cuts combined with onions, cooked in a mustard-based stock. Finally, upstate hash is largely beef-based with onions, butter, and no dominant ketchup, vinegar, or mustard base. These regions are largely historical and today the most enduring regional difference rests in the sauce or stock.

Recipes perpetuated by hash masters are a source of immense personal and local pride, and makers go to great lengths to retain the uniqueness of their hash recipes and cooking techniques. While many rural fire departments, agricultural clubs, and other civic organizations cook hash for community fund-raisers, the most prolific producers are locally owned barbecue restaurants, many of which developed from family "shade tree" cooking traditions. While hash might have been born out of necessity, this one-pot treasure has long since made the transition to a "comfort food."

-- Excerpted from the entry by Saddler Taylor. 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.)


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.

SC Clips -- a daily news compilation of South Carolina news from media sources across the state. Delivered by email about the time you get to work every business day. Saves you a lot of money and time. Sign up for a free trial subscription today.

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.

CREDITS is provided to you twice a week by:

Address: P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413


We hope you'll keep receiving the great news and information from, but if you need to subscribe, click here.

© 2008-2009, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.

New 'Be a Tourist' spots

The Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau's annual "Be a Tourist in Your Own Town" pass has always been a heck of a good deal, and it just better. Eight new local attractions and restaurants have signed on for the 2010 pass, which offers tri-county residents free one-time admission to 33 area attractions and discounts at 24 restaurants during the month of January. The family pass (good for four people) costs $50 but has a value of $840. Individual passes are just $20. To buy a pass or see a full list of all the attractions and restaurants involved, go online here. Meanwhile, here's a list of who's new to the campaign for 2010.

  • Blu Restaurant and Beach Bar
  • The Buccaneer
  • The Charleston Museum
  • Colonial Dorchester Historic Site
  • Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ
  • Manny's Neighborhood Grill
  • Saffire
  • Southend Brewery and Smokehouse

On life and football


"The game of life is a lot like football. You have to tackle your problems, block your fears, and score your points when you get the opportunity."

-- Lewis Grizzard, Southern author and newspaper columnist (1946 - 1994)


(UPDATED) Third Thursday in Summerville: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today, 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) and local merchants. More info.

'The Grinch': 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

(NEW) Feline Fine Sunday/Tom Cat Blitz: Nov. 22, Pet Helpers, 1447 Folly Road. Male cats will be neutered for just $11 at this event, and adult cats can be adopted at the reduced rate of $25. Cat owners must make an appointment for neutering; call 302-0556 for more information about requirements. More info online or call 795-1110.

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.

Candlelight Memorial: 5:30 p.m. Nov. 22, Colonial Lake, downtown. Hospice of Charleston's 21st Annual Candlelight Memorial Ceremony. The lighting of hundreds of memorial luminaries placed around the lake will be followed by a brief ceremony of music and readings and a performance by Ann Caldwell. For details or to order a memorial to a loved one (money raised benefits Hospice), visit this Web page, click here to send an email or call 216-7323.


(NEW) Cookbook Release Party: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 23, Blue Bicycle Books, King St. downtown. Blue Bicycle Books and Garden & Gun magazine will host a release party for "Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook," by Chris and Idie Hastings. Chef Chris Hastings' roots are in Pawleys Island, where his great-great-grandfather belonged to a 19th-century epicurean hunt and fish club called Hot and Hot. Hastings and wife Idie now run the Hot and Hot Fish Club in Birmingham. Their first cookbook ($35) features 200 recipe, lifestyle menus, and profiles of a dozen local purveyors who supply them with fresh ingredients. Party is free and open to the public. More info: 722-2666.

'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.

(NEW) Citadel Candlelight Service: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4, Dec. 5 and Dec. 6, Summerall Chapel, The Citadel. The S.C. Corps of Cadets will present its Christmas Candlelight Service for the Lowcountry. Cadets from the Protestant, Catholic and Gospel choirs, the Chorale, the Women's Ensemble, and members of The Citadel Regimental Band will take part in the annual celebration, which features Scripture lessons and carols (both traditional and international favorites). Free and open to the public. More info: 953-5049.

Holiday Parade of Boats: 5 p.m. Dec. 5, Charleston Harbor. This Lowcountry holiday tradition features festively decorated and lighted boats of all sorts parading through the harbor, following by a fireworks display. View the procession along Charleston's waterfront or decorate your own boat and join the parade. Parade begins in the harbor off Mount Pleasant at 5 p.m.; viewing from the peninsula begins at 6:30 p.m., and fireworks start about 6:45 p.m. More info: 724-7305.

Small-Business Lending: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Dec. 9, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speisseger Drive, Suite 100, North Charleston. The chamber's Charleston Area Business Council will discuss small-business lending and how to obtain financing in today's current lending climate. Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More info/registration.

(NEW) Latin American Business Expo: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dec. 10, 10 Storehouse Row, Noisette, North Charleston. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce's Latin American Business Council (LABC) will host a seminar and expo to educate attendees on the economic impact that Latin Americans and their businesses have on our region, and to offer local businesses an opportunity to exhibit to this community. The event will also provide Latin American and traditional business owners with an opportunity to network with industry experts. Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More info: Email Emily Brown.

(NEW) "Beauty, Bliss and Scrooges": 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, Omar Shrine Temple, 176 Patriots Point Blvd., Mount Pleasant. Family-oriented event to benefit Windwood Farm features Santa, snow, live performances, the Grinch, Scrooge, shopping from local retailers, carolers, cocktails and more. Tickets: $5; free for kids age 12 and younger. More info: 971-2860.

Kimono Silks Exhibition: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 10, 214 King Street Gallery, 214 King St. Kimono Silks features new works by batik master Mary Edna Fraser. Fraser discovered the vintage narrow silks on a recent Australia trip and has blogged about the experience at A master dyer, Fraser came home with aerial landscapes featuring batiks, monotypes, oils and archival prints. Exhibition on display through Jan. 24; gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. More info: 762-2594 or at


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

About | Underwriters | Archives | Subscribe | Submit | Contact | HOME