agenda: Community needs and beyond
By MARY GRAHAM
Senior vice president of public policy/regional advancement
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
7, 2010 -- As the voice of business, the Charleston Metro Chamber
of Commerce works on behalf of our members and the local business
community to advocate policies and legislation that help businesses
grow and our community prosper.
issues in our 2010 Legislative Agenda are based on surveys and input
chamber members, including our annual survey of the membership and
the work and recommendation of various volunteer committees.
the Legislative Agenda is developed each year so that it is released
prior to the S.C. General Assembly session in Columbia, this year's
agenda also has a big focus on federal issues as well, including:
of international trade and commerce
for two new facilities on Charleston Air Force Base (new to this
year's federal agenda)
gas emission regulations and other quality regulations
Free Choice Act
the state agenda, new issues of focus include:
legislators to further study harbor and channel deepening needs
and costs before moving forward with the joint Georgia/South Carolina
port in Jasper County
for an S.C. Department of Transportation study for high-speed
rail along the coast
higher education institutions that receive state funding more
flexibility in spending
to the regulations on dissolved oxygen levels which impact water
and sewer providers in the region
push for comprehensive tax reform
again on the state agenda are issues such as funding of 4K public
education, increasing the state's cigarette tax and changing the
formula used for funding public education.
Metro Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Legislative
Reception at the South Carolina Aquarium from 6 p.m. to 8:30
p.m. Jan. 14. The chamber will present its Legislative Agenda
for 2010 and make a special presentation to the lawmakers
who helped secure the Boeing expansion. The event also offers
Lowcountry residents a chance for informal networking with
local town council members, mayors, state legislators and
federal lawmakers. Tickets are $45 for chamber members, $65
for nonmembers. To register, visit
this page online.
one of the chamber's key initiatives in 2010 is to push for adoption
of the chamber's Sustainable Growth Ethic. The Growth Ethic has
been adopted by the chamber board of directors and also endorsed
by the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors and the S.C. Coastal
Conservation League. The Sustainable Growth Ethic is based upon
the principals of choice, balance and stewardship, and that growth
of the region is needed but also needs to be managed in order to
balance growth with quality of life.
the agenda is established: In May 2009, the chamber board of
directors took all the research and information gathered from member
surveys and set the priorities for the chamber through the development
of the annual Program of Work. Based upon a four-year Strategic
Plan, the Program of Work outlines the focus of the chamber's programs
for the coming 12 months. By identifying the key issues of the membership
and reviewing the overall strategic goals, the board helps the Public
Policy Committee of the chamber begin focusing on issues.
In late summer the Public Policy Committee began its work for the
new program year, often with briefings on various issues followed
by discussion as to which issues to add to the annual agenda. The
committee is composed of representatives of various committees,
task forces and sectors of the chamber's membership in an effort
to ensure all types, sizes and business interests are involved in
the public policy process.
The chamber's board of directors adopted the agenda in November,
empowering the Public Policy Committee and chamber staff to communicate
these priority issues to local, state and federal officials.
a copy of the chamber's Legislative Agenda, visit http://www.charlestonchamber.net.
Perry Gets a Job,' and more, in new books
ANN THRASH, editor
7, 2010 -- The last time you interviewed for a job or spoke to a
potential customer about your business, chances are you didn't give
much thought to what your handshake was like. You knew to take a
shower that day. And you knew what to wear - if there was any indecision,
it probably concerned a detail like which necktie or earrings would
for many of the people Betsy Wolff knows, nothing about a job interview
can be taken for granted. They're the people who inspired her to
write a series of books for adults who are struggling with literacy
but working hard to get their lives together - and Wolff says they
offered her some job-hunting advice that she never would have thought
who lives in Columbia, recently established Readable & Relevant
Press to publish a series of short (about 60-page) books with entertaining
stories designed to appeal to adults reading at a fourth- or fifth-grade
while also offering them news they can use in a practical way. The
first book, "Henry Perry Gets a Job," looks at how the
title character prepares for and lands his first job.
more than 25 years providing counseling on health and social-service
resources in rural parts of the state, Wolff saw an unmet need for
practical, inspiring books that really speak to adults who are struggling
to get their feet on the ground - not only with their reading skills,
but with their life skills. The men she has worked with over the
years, particularly a group she's counseled recently in Columbia,
are the inspiration behind the stories.
worked as a counselor for three or four years with a program run
by the Sisters of Charity in Columbia for men in their 20s and 30s
who are trying to get their lives in order and get a job so they
can meet their parenting responsibilities and pay child support,"
she says. "They needed real basic information about getting
a job, like how to dress for an interview, how to shake hands, and
how to look people in the eye."
be sure she was on the right track with Henry Perry, Wolff took
the manuscript right to the source. "I took copies to four
men who were in an adult literacy program working with a tutor.
They all work for the city of Columbia and are reading on a fourth-
or fifth-grade level," she said. The men read the book, then
Wolff asked them what they thought.
all said, 'You've got to put in there about the ballcaps. You have
to say that' " - meaning that the men thought readers like
themselves needed to know that they shouldn't wear a baseball cap
indoors or during an interview. "And you've got to talk about
the saggy-baggy pants," the men said - so "Henry Perry
Gets a Job" spells it out: "Do not let your pants sag.
Wear a belt and your best shoes. Do not wear a hat inside."
resource section in the back of the book adds job-hunting advice
for women, including, "Avoid very high heels that look like
party shoes," and "Take Henry Perry's underwear advice
- never let your underwear show."
& Relevant Press are available through the company's
Web site or by calling publisher and writer Betsy Wolff at
803-782-0238. Books are available in both English and Spanish,
and most have accompanying CDs and teacher resource materials.
The books are suitable for use with middle-school ages and
older, as well as for English as a Second Language students,
Perry Gets a Job" is just the first book in the series. Henry
and his dog, Buddy, will be recurring characters. Upcoming titles
include "The Devil in Henry Perry's Cousin," which focuses
on addiction and its affects on families, and another job-related
book that offers advice on how to communicate in the workplace.
"That's a real Achilles' heel," Wolff says, "for
people who haven't held a job before."
speaks passionately about her work, noting that during her career,
she has seen one too many hastily Xeroxed flyers offering impersonal,
one-size-fits-all advice to the Henry Perrys she has known.
unspoken message for all those Henrys, perhaps, has been that they
aren't worth much more than the copy paper that advice was printed
I tried to do was put together a book that looked like someone went
to some trouble to do something that was culturally relevant to
these readers, something that was entertaining and that they could
learn from," she says. "I wanted it to be something that,
at the end, they might say, 'Wow, I just read a book! I think I
might want to read another.' "
Thrash is editor of CharlestonCurrents.com. You can reach her by
When you see the Pig, you know you're home
for the interesting article about Piggly Wiggly. The beginning of
the article sounded as if my husband and I wrote it. We make the
same statement: When we see the Piggly Wiggly distribution center
on I-26, we know we are on the last leg of our trip, wherever it
was. Thanks for sharing.
Diane M. Beck, John's Island
a comment or want to vent? If you have something to
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Charleston Green Commercial
public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents
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menus part of Restaurant Week Jan. 11-17
than 30 local restaurants are taking part in South Carolina's first
statewide Restaurant Week, being sponsored from Jan. 11 through
Jan. 17 by the Hospitality Association of South Carolina.
association says it's taking a page from the playbook of New York's
successful Restaurant Week to promote local dining and the culinary
community. Restaurant-goers will have a chance to sample special
discounted dinner menus at participating establishments. Tickets
aren't required, but reservations are advised.
details and a list of participating restaurants, visit http://www.restaurantweekcharleston.com.
Market to be open as usual during renovations
two-phase restoration of Charleston's City Market is officially
under way, with Monday marking the first day of efforts to refresh
and improve the historic site. The market will be open for business
as usual during the work, city officials say.
1 of the project includes the restoration of the open sheds (known
as Buildings A, B and C) between Church and East Bay streets. Work
on Buildings A and B, which are between Church and State streets,
is expected to take about two months to complete. Vendors who usually
set up shop there have been relocated to Building C and the open-air
section of Market Hall at Meeting Street.
Buildings A and B are completed, merchants will move back and Building
C's restoration will begin. Its merchants will be moved to the renovated
buildings and to tents set up on South Market Street, which will
be closed between Church and State during construction. The renovations
to Building C will also take about two months to complete. Reopening
is scheduled for early May.
The restoration consists of brick repointing, roof repair and replacement,
upgrade of the floors, security cameras, the addition of new restrooms,
improved lighting and air circulation, and other improvements. Phase
2, scheduled for later this year, will involve renovations to the
enclosed shops in Market Hall (the building between Meeting and
Market Preservation Trust took over the management of the City Market
on October 1, 2008. "We have confidence that Hightower Construction
Company is uniquely qualified to give the City Market the facelift
that it so desperately needs," says Hank Holliday, the trust's
principal. "We expect sales to increase as a result of the
renovation improvements and our hope is to draw Charlestonians back
to the Market and restore a sense of community."
City Market was established in 1804 as a public market on land donated
by the Pinckney family. It is one of the oldest public markets in
the country. The existing buildings were built in 1841 and now occupy
over 40,000 square feet of covered space, not including the Confederate
Museum on the second floor of the Market Hall building. There are
265 active vendors on the City Market tenant list, including 17
enclosed shops, 165 permanent vendors and 86 temporary vendors.
of the Lowcountry' opens this month at Gibbes
of the Lowcountry," a new exhibition featuring 16 large-scale
mixed-media photographs by artist John Folsom, will open Jan. 22
in the Main Gallery at the Gibbes Museum of Art. The photographs
are from a series shot by Folsom around the region, including Palmetto
Bluff, Edisto Island, and Georgia's Cumberland Island. To explore
the art-historical precedents of Folsom's work, the exhibition will
pair his photographs with 14 early Lowcountry landscapes from the
Gibbes collection, including late-18th- and early-19th-century paintings
by Thomas Coram and Charles Fraser.
process begins with a photographic image that is divided into a
grid and printed on separate panels. The panels are then attached
to a large wooden panel to create a unified image. However, the
grid lines remain visible as a reminder that the image is a construction
of the artist's making, not an objective representation of nature.
Folsom pushes this idea further by working the surface of the image
with oil paint and sealing it with a wax medium. The technique gives
the surface of Folsom's work a rich patina that suggests the layers
of history accumulated in the Lowcountry landscape.
Lowcountry has always captivated the imagination of artists who
have visited her salt marshes and majestic oaks," says Angela
D. Mack, executive director of the Gibbes. "We are delighted
to share these images of early landscape painters alongside John
Folsom's contemporary mixed-media landscapes. The juxtaposition
of these objects reinforces our understanding of the creative process."
of the Lowcountry" will be on exhibit through April 18. Go
for more information.
Library now offers
free text questions
PETER LUCASH, contributing editor
NOTE: Today we begin a new business-oriented column by local consultant
Peter Lucash. Every two weeks, he'll offer interesting local and
regional tidbits of information that may be helpful to the Charleston
7, 2009 -- The Charleston County Public Library has announced that
you can use SMS messaging to ask a librarian a question: simply
text 66746 and begin your question with askccpl.
will be available whenever the Main Library is open and the Library
does not charge for the service. Of course, you can still call them
at 843-805-6930, email email@example.com
Message the library through its Web site. It's your call.
Science Boot Camp coming Jan. 20 to MUSC
entrepreneurs in the life science areas: "What does it take
to commercialize a technology?"
This half-day program will focus on what is necessary to take your
new technology to the pharmaceutical, bio-tech and medical device
industries. Learn about the licensing process, patent protection,
company formation and, most importantly, how to get the funding
Nelson Mullins law firm put this event together. It will be held
at MUSC on Jan. 20, 2010. The best part? No charge. To register,
contact Mary Dickerson at the Chamber at 843.805.3089 or email her
flyer; there's no info on the time and place on the program
other than directions to contact the Chamber.)
Lucash is a Charleston-based businessman who runs Digital
CPE, a training, consulting and information media company that
works to improve the business management of organizations. You can
read and subscribe to the full edition of the Business
Indigo blog here.
us your critique
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.
act in 1749 to provide a "public hospital for all sick sailors
and other transient persons" began the organized care that
led to the joint effort by the city of Charleston and the federal
government to build the Marine Hospital. In 1830 Congress finally
appropriated funds to hire the architect Robert Mills to design
a hospital building. After various changes in the proposed location
and construction, building began on the Marine Hospital about 1831
and was completed in 1833. The city began its operation in 1834,
using federal funds for maintenance.
earliest Gothic-revival-style building, the hospital on Franklin
Street faced west, with double piazzas for the use of the patients.
There were eight wards: three on the first floor for surgical cases
and five on the second floor, one for venereal cases and four for
the outbreak of the Civil War the hospital was placed under the
direction of the surgeon Alexander N. Talley, medical director of
the Confederate forces in South Carolina, but sick seamen still
retained the privilege of admission. After a short time the direction
of the hospital returned to the municipal authorities, who operated
it until the end of the war. Damage from the Union bombardment was
so extensive that federal authorities decided the building should
be abandoned as a hospital.
1866 to 1870 a free school for black children was conducted in the
building by the Episcopal Church, staffed by fifteen white Charleston
women. In 1895 the Marine Hospital building was occupied by the
Jenkins Orphanage, founded for black children in 1891 by the Reverend
Daniel J. Jenkins, a black Baptist minister. In 1939 the Housing
Authority of Charleston remodeled it as its administrative offices.
The two rear wings, weakened by fires, were demolished during the
Excerpted from the entry by Jane McCutcheon Brown. 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.) To
read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina,
check out The
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
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New at SEWE
Wildlife Expo will be back in town before we know it (Feb. 12-Feb.
14, to be exact), and there are several new events this year, according
to marketing director Ashley Slane. Here's a quick look at the latest
additions to the event calendar. Unless otherwise noted, tickets
should be ordered in advance
online or the SEWE office at 723-1748.
Wild Game Dinner: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10, Halls Chophouse, 434
King St., downtown. Five-course dinner with wine pairings. $115.
- An Evening
with Jack Hanna:
7 p.m. Feb. 12, South Carolina Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, downtown.
Spend an evening with animal expert and SEWE favorite Jack Hanna.
Guests will be able to meet Hanna, enjoy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails,
and hear stories about his animal adventures around the world.
$85 per person ($75 for aquarium members, who can order by calling
723-1748 and giving their member number).
of Prey Brunch:
9 a.m. to noon Feb. 13, Francis Marion Hotel. Jim Elliott, executive
director of the Center for Birds of Prey, will show off some of
his feathered friends. Hearty buffet-style brunch includes coffee,
tea, juice, and bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys. $42 per person;
tickets may also be purchased at the door.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 12, Feb. 13 and Feb. 14, Charleston Cooks,
East Bay St. Prepare fish and wild game in fun, hands-on cooking
classes, then enjoy the food prepared in class along with a glass
of wine. $75 per person.
is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let
David Thoreau, American author (1817-1862)
Oyster Roast: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 9, Dill Sanctuary,
James Island. The Charleston Museum will mark its 237th birthday
with its annual oyster roast and nature walk. Enjoy oysters along
the banks of the Stono River, a natural walk led by local naturalist
Billy McCord (walk starts at 3 p.m.), bluegrass music by Blue Plantation,
and the sights of the sanctuary, including a variety of wildlife
habitats, four earthen Confederate batteries, a six-acre pond with
three nesting islands, and prehistoric, colonial, antebellum and
postbellum archeological sites. Tickets (which include oysters,
barbecue, fixings and full bar) are $25 for museum members, $35
for nonmembers. Advance tickets (recommended): 722-2996 or online
Journey": 3 p.m. Jan. 10, Gibbes Museum of Art,
135 Meeting St., downtown. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra Spiritual
Ensemble and the Gibbes Museum will present "A Lowcountry Spiritual
Journey II" in the Gibbes Rotunda. Performance will coincide
with the conclusion of the exhibition "Daufuskie Island: Photographs
by Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe," wife of tennis legend Arthur Ashe.
Tickets: $7 museum members and students; $15 non-members. Buy
online or by calling 722-2706, ext. 18. Advance purchase advised.
ONGOING AND SOON
Small-Business/Nonprofit Lunch: 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. Jan.
12, Charleston County Main Library, 68 Calhoun St., downtown.
Casual networking lunch for small businesses and nonprofits. Business
librarian Amanda Holling will share tips and advice for making the
most of one of a business' smallest assets: the business card. Participants
are asked to bring a bag lunch. More info: 805-6930.
at the Sea: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 13, South Carolina
Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra
and the aquarium are teaming up to offer aquatic-themed performances
throughout the aquarium. Attendees can wander through the exhibits,
interact with the musicians, and sample light hors d'oeuvres and
nonalcoholic beverages. Tickets: $10 for aquarium and CSO members;
$20 for nonmembers. Call 577-FISH (3474) or go to http://www.scaquarium.org
Reception: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 14, South Carolina
Aquarium. The Charleston Metro Chamber will host the reception to
provide the community a chance for informal networking with local
town councils, mayors, state legislators and federal legislators.
Leaders who helped secure the Boeing facility will offer special
presentations. Cost: $54 for chamber members, $65 nonmembers. More.
Park Tour: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 16, Two Pines Park near
McClellanville. A Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission
naturalist and historic specialist will lead a preview tour of the
new Two Pines county park site, an 812-acre covered with pine flatlands
and bottomland hardwoods. Open to ages 12 and up; a registered,
paid chaperone is required for participants younger than 15. Cost:
$12 Charleston County residents, $15 nonresidents. More
info/registration or 795-4FUN (4386).
Creatures" Signing: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 21, Blue
Bicycle Books, 420 King St. Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, authors
of the young-adult novel "Beautiful Creatures," which
is set near Summerville, will sign books. "Beautiful Creatures"
opened at No. 3 on the New York Times best-seller list (Chapter
Books), and Warner Brothers has acquired the screen rights. More
Art of Dueling': 7 p.m. Jan. 21, Charleston Museum. Museum
Curator of History Grahame Long will give a presentation titled
"Two Pistols, Two Seconds: The Art of Dueling in South Carolina."
Discover why it has been argued that Charlestonians participated
in more duels than any other community in the United States. Free
and open to the public. More
info or 722-2996.
Oysters for Pets: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 22, Charleston
Crab House, 145 Wappoo Creek Drive. Oyster roast to benefit Pet
Helpers with 100 percent of proceeds going to the Pet Helpers Adoption
Center and Spay/Neuter Clinic. Cost: $20 adults, $10 kids. More
info: 795-1110, ext. 16.
Lowcountry Oyster Festival: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 31,
Boone Hall Plantation, Mount Pleasant. Gates open at 10:30 a.m.
for the event, sponsored annually by the Greater Charleston Restaurant
Association to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House, Hollings
Cancer Center, Travel Council and Charleston County Science Materials
Resource Center. Oysters sold by the bucket (three to four dozen)
for market value and served with cocktail sauce and crackers. Other
food available as well, along with beer and soft drinks. Live local
music, oyster-shucking and eating contests, children's area and
more. Free parking. Tickets: $10; available online
Picky Eaters Group
On Jim Fisher
Rural Mission's needs
Fish to buy
guide book for kids
looks at success
all of the cuts
look at summer camps
should get out
at White House
for King Day