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Issue 2.21 | Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010 | Where is there real leadership?

This poignant, graphic sign on top of a gas pump on a Folly Road service station caught our attention. AAA Carolinas has been pushing a message since last year that drivers need to drive when in their cars, not talk on cell phones too. Learn more.

:: New long-term care program


:: Tell Mount Pleasant what you want

:: Rockwell painting helped civil rights

:: Greek church turns 100

:: For co-workers, PIT training, webinar

:: Haiti, county site, Burdette


___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
___:: REVIEW: Send us a review
___:: HISTORY: Minibottles
___:: QUOTE: Iacocca on management
___:: 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


New state program promotes planning for long-term care

Founder, Franklin Associates
Special to

JAN. 21, 2010 -- With more than 75 million baby boomers in the United States, all of whom are headed into their retirement years, the question of who will care for these people as they age - especially if they need care at home or in a facility - is becoming a critical issue.


Long-term care insurance is an important tool in your efforts to be prepared for the future. We don't think twice about creating a retirement fund, preparing a will or establishing a trust fund for our grandchildren, and long-term care insurance is no less important. It's especially important for those who want to "age in place" and receive care in their home for as long as possible. Unfortunately, too many people don't take responsibility for their care, assuming they can solely rely on Medicaid, which pays only for care in a nursing home.

South Carolina does have a new program that aims to give consumers more motivation to plan for their long-term care needs. The Long-Term Care Partnership program, which marries private insurance with a government program, is intended to reduce dependence on Medicaid by allowing Americans to invest in private long-term care insurance and keep more of their hard-earned assets should they spend through those funds and qualify for Medicaid.

Here's how the program works: If an individual purchases a Partnership policy and receives $300,000 in benefits, he would be able to keep an additional $300,000 in assets -- in addition to the assets the state already allows him to keep -- and still meet the guidelines to qualify for Medicaid.

And with fewer people relying on the government for their future care, states save money on Medicaid costs. In fiscal year 2007 alone, South Carolina spent more than $4 billion on Medicaid. Many states are even having to cut Medicaid budgets as they grapple with budget shortfalls. In five, 10 or even 15 years, we can't be certain Medicaid will even exist.

This is really about personal responsibility. If you want to ensure quality and choice of care in the future, you need to prepare now. We're living longer, and the costs of care are rising. A number of adult children end up caring for their parents, which can place a financial burden on their own family.

We encourage people to take responsibility for their futures and make plans -- whether that is long-term care insurance or another option. By planning ahead for your future, you can have peace of mind that you will be taken care of without causing strain and stress for your children and loved ones.

Barbara Franklin founded the Charleston-based Franklin & Associates Inc. in 1995 to help individuals, couples, families and business owners throughout the United States with long-term-care planning and financing. She has earned the Long-Term Care Professional designation from the Health Insurance Association of America. Contact her at

Tell us what you really think, town asks residents
By ANN THRASH, editor

JAN. 21, 2010 -- If you've got an opinion about working or doing business in Mount Pleasant, now's your chance to share it with town officials - from the comfort of your computer. The town recently set up a Web site to give residents and business owners a chance to weigh in on what they like, and don't like, about the community.


The site also is meant to be sort of a backyard fence for neighbors to chat over. There are blog posts that welcome comments, newsy snippets to check out and a budding town photo gallery. The site also says that requests from potential "guest bloggers" are welcome.

Ashley McKenzie, community development and tourism officer for the town, says the results from the resident and business surveys will be put together with other research as part of a marketing initiative that will be included in the town's business plan. The plan encompasses quality-of-life issues, what it's like to work in Mount Pleasant, the business climate, town services, home values, tax rates and more. The town is working with local marketing and design company Gil Shuler Graphic Design, as well as marketing partners Blue Ion, Foster Associates, and the McNair Group.

"Nowadays, the best way to get people involved is by using the Internet," says McKenzie. With approximately 65,000 folks calling Mount Pleasant home, it sure beats going door to door, too.

The Pitt Street Bridge, refurbished several years ago by the town of Mount Pleasant, is a popular destination for dog walkers, fishermen and those who just enjoy looking out at the water. A new town Web site is seeking photos from favorite sites around Mount Pleasant, as well as residents' input on living and working in the community. (Town of Mount Pleasant photo)

During a visit to the site a few days ago, I took the residents' survey, and it was quick and painless - less than 5 minutes. The surveys are anonymous. There are multiple-choice questions (how long have you lived in the town, where did you live previously, etc.) as well as some open-ended questions that give you the chance to elaborate on your thoughts.

For example, after a question that asks you to rank the things you like least about living in Mount Pleasant - the choices are the cost of housing, overall cost of living, traffic/congested roads, taxes, concerns about hurricanes/coastal flooding, and other - there's a space for you to offer details on what you'd change about the town if you could change only one thing. You also get to rate your experience with town employees such as the police department, town hall staff, sanitation crews, etc.

McKenzie says the business survey asks some similar questions, delving also into why the business chose Mount Pleasant to set up shop, what other locales the company considered and what kinds of experiences the company has had working with town administration.

"We hope to conclude the research phase in February," she says, with the goal of getting the marketing plan in place by April.

McKenzie hasn't seen any of the survey results thus far, so she's as eager as anyone to find out what local residents and business owners have to say. "I'm very excited to get the community input and see how people think and what business owners have to say," she says.

Ann Thrash is editor of Charleston Currents. She can be reached at:

Rockwell painting helped civil rights

To the editor:

[On your column about Rockwell's painting]:

Tinkelman also states that "This painting did more for the civil rights' cause than Picasso's 'Guerinica' for the Spanish people and the idea of the horrors of war."

No need to be a art historian to understand Rockwell. You cannot say that necessarily about Picasso despite his genius. 'The Problem We All Live With,' with its simplicity and attention to historical detail, adds even more power and impact. Keep up the great work Andy. Glad I could help.

-- Kenneth Laird, High Point, NC

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.


The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter BB&T, a regional bank that has built on a tradition of excellence in community banking since 1872. BB&T is a mission-driven organization with a clearly defined set of business principals and values. It encourages employees to have a strong sense of purpose, a high level of self-esteem and the capacity to think clearly and logically. BB&T offers clients a complete range of financial services including banking, lending, insurance, trust and wealth management solutions. To learn more, visit BB&T online or drop in to talk with its professionals at the main branch office at 151 Meeting Street, Charleston. Phone: (843)720-5168.

Those who work independently have new place to gather
By PETER D. LUCASH, contributing editor

JAN. 21, 2010 -- This past Tuesday saw the first gathering of the Charleston Co-working Group, a social gathering of a group of people who work independently.


While coffee shops have been a favorite haunt to get out and be around people, Ken Hawkins (The Digitel) and Chrys Rynearson took the lead in organizing a weekly place for us to gather, work, talk, share and sometimes collaborate. The next gathering will also be at Rehava, 5060 International Blvd. in North Charleston, above Starbucks (and across from Panera, natch!) from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.-ish - come as you can. There is a high-speed Internet connection. The cost will be $10 to help cover expenses. In one to two months, the gatherings will move to space in Park Circle provided by the city of North Charleston. More info and an introduction video.

Learn how to go "Lean" through NASCAR PIT training

For years, businesses from around the country have sent their executives to the Performance Instruction & Training (PIT) facility, located deep in the heart of NASCAR country in Mooresville, N.C., to learn the concepts of lean manufacturing. Businesses have increased productivity by as much as 200% through these "Lean" tools. Now the S.C. Manufacturing Extension Partnership has partnered with PIT to offer a new program with three open enrollment dates when anyone can attend. This program is an exciting two-day experience taught by SCMEP and real professional pit crews. The first date is Feb. 9-10, and only a few spots remain. If you would like to bring more than 12 attendees from your company, private courses are available. Click here to enroll or learn more.

Export Assistance Center offering free webinars

Exporting holds untapped opportunity for many small businesses, but developing the skills and experience can be a challenging task. Supported by the U.S. Department of Commerce, there are now free webinars that get you under way. The portal hosts free export webinars developed by the U.S. Export Assistance Center in Atlanta and the University of Georgia SBDC. Webinar topics begin with helping you determine if you're ready to export, and move on to conducting global research, payment terms, costing, shipping and SBA financing.

Peter 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.

Cadets organize 'Help Us Help Haiti' concert for tonight

The Citadel's Class of 2010 and the cadet Human Affairs team have organized a benefit concert, "Help Us Help Haiti," to take place tonight after the home basketball game against upstate rival Wofford.

The concert will start at approximately 9 p.m. in Buyer Auditorium at Mark Clark Hall (the basketball game tips off at 7:05 p.m.). Two local bands -- the Mitch Wetherington Project and the Charles David Band -- will perform. The concert is open to the public and will wrap up at 10:30 p.m. Alcohol is not permitted.

Donations of any size will be accepted for admission, but the cadets are asking for a minimum of $10. All proceeds will be donated to the American Red Cross for earthquake relief. "This is an excellent opportunity for our institution to help others who are in dire need of help," said Cadet Trey Swinton, one of the organizers.

County Web site revised to offer easier calendar access, info

Charleston County government recently gave a makeover to its Web site to provide local residents with more accessible information on county meetings. The new consolidated calendar feature lets citizens click on the calendar link on the county's homepage to access a calendar detailing upcoming county meetings. Clicking on the meeting link brings up information on meeting times, locations and other information.

Previously, each department had its own calendar, and citizens had to click on different areas of the Web site to find out the details for certain meetings. County officials say they hope the new calendar will be a useful tool to keep residents aware of public meetings.

Burdette earns CCSD 'Behind the Scenes Hero Award'

Mount Pleasant Town Administrator R. Mac Burdette recently received a newly created award, the "Behind the Scenes Hero Award," from the Charleston County School District. The award recognizes individuals who have influenced the district and its students in meaningful ways.


Bill Lewis, CCSD's chief operating officer in charge of capital programs, nominated Burdette for the award. "Under Mac's positive leadership, the town explored opportunities to partner with the district to find win-win opportunities to improve town services, to reduce the town's tax burden, and to increase opportunities for students, parents and community members," said Lewis.

He mentioned the newly opened Moultrie Middle School and Mount Pleasant Academy as examples of Burdette's commitment to excellence and creative thinking. Both schools had longstanding joint-use agreements in place for the recreation facilities at or adjacent to CCSD campuses, said Lewis. In return for maintaining these first-class athletic fields, town staff could use the facilities after hours for little league, soccer and basketball programs.

"Mac will be the first person to give the credit to other members of his staff," said Lewis. "But rest assured, none of this would have happened without his vision, positive leadership and behind-the-scenes efforts to get these two schools opened on time."

Footlight Players to donate some ticket proceeds to Haiti

The Footlight Players will donate 25 percent of the ticket proceeds from the Jan. 28 performance of "The Miracle Worker" to Charleston-based Water Missions International to support relief efforts in earthquake-devastated Haiti.

Water Missions is providing purifying units that can supply clean drinking water, one of the biggest needs right now in the crisis zone. To date, 12 units have been dispersed to Haiti to purify their water, and 10 more are in transit. Each unit can provide water each day for 5,000 people. Ultimately, Water Mission International plans to send 100 water systems to Haiti.

The Jan. 28 "Miracle Worker" performance begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors, $15 for students, and $10 for children 10 and younger. Call 722-4487 or buy online through Etix.

Send us a review

HAVE A REVIEW? If you have a review or recommendation 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.



The minibottle became part of the South Carolina social scene on March 28, 1973. This change in drinking habits was preceded by statewide rejection of the sale of liquor by the drink in 1966, dissatisfaction with brown bagging (patrons transporting bottles wrapped in paper bags into clubs and restaurants), and recognition of both the potential benefits of increased tourism and the widespread illegal consumption in metropolitan areas.

During the 1972 session, the General Assembly wrestled with a proposal permitting some restaurants, hotels, motels, and private clubs to dispense liquor in bottles of between 1.6 and 2 ounces. Those in favor, including Governor John West, stressed that this would assure quality (the minibottle would be opened in the presence of the purchaser), reduce public drunkenness (since brown baggers would not feel obligated to finish their bottles before departing), and provide considerable tax revenue. Those opposed warned of increased crime and rampant alcoholism.

In November 1972 the electorate backed a constitutional amendment that ended brown bagging by a vote of 143,083 to 103,219. Had the minibottle era been a success? Tourism certainly increased, and chamber-of-commerce folk quickly praised the minibottle as "a more civilized approach" to the traditional cocktail hour than brown bagging. However, drinks became much more expensive, and only Class A restaurants (at least forty-seat capacity) and true nonprofit clubs were supposed to stock minibottles-rules that were not always strictly observed.

By the close of the first decade, some five thousand hotels, motels, clubs, and restaurants were dispensing minis. Revenue was impressive, but not as great as had been predicted. There was reportedly less public drunkenness, and alcohol consumption did not seem to be increasing at an unreasonable rate. But minibottles earned the opposition of some groups, including the hospital industry, chambers of commerce, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and others. In 2004 nearly sixty percent of South Carolina voters approved a referendum to remove the minibottle requirement from the state constitution.

- Excerpted from the entry by John H. Moore. 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 by permission.)


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Church turns 100

The historic Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity at 28 Race St. downtown has been marking its centennial with special guests and events during the past year. On Jan. 30, the church will hold celebratory services and a centennial brunch. Melanie Mathos, the public-relations chairperson for the festivities, shared these five facts about the congregation and its history. Go online here to learn more about the Jan. 30 services and other events.

  • In 1908, the first Greek Orthodox liturgy in Charleston was performed in St. John's Episcopal Church located at the corner of Amherst and Hanover streets.

  • Subsequent religious services were held in a house at the corner of Calhoun and Coming streets.

  • In 1910, seventy Greek immigrants held an organizational meeting at Carpenter's Hall on Vanderhorst Street with the express purpose of building the first Greek Orthodox Church in the Carolinas - and in the oldest city in the Carolinas.

  • The first Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity was on the corner of St. Philip and Fishburne streets. It was later torn down to allow the Crosstown Highway to be built.

  • The current Holy Trinity building, the first church in the United States modeled in the authentic Byzantine style, was dedicated on May 17, 1953.

On being a manager

"Management is nothing more than motivating other people."

-- Lee Iacocca, American auto industry executive (1924 - )


"Beautiful 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 info: 722-2666.

'The Art of Dueling': 7:30 p.m. (new time) 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.

"The Miracle Worker": Various shows, both matinee and evening, Jan. 22 through Feb. 7, Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen St., downtown. The Footlight Players open the new year with the play based on the life of Helen Keller, who was deaf and blind, and her extraordinary relationship with governess Annie Sullivan. Tickets: $25 adults; $22 seniors; $15 students; $10 children 10 and under. Call the Footlight Players Box Office at 722-4487 or buy online here.

"Dear John" Premiere: 6:30 p.m. Jan. 24, Terrace Hippodrome, Aquarium Wharf. Join the stars of the new movie "Dear John," which was filmed in Charleston, for a private screening that is also a benefit for Carolina Autism. Event includes a red-carpet arrival by some of the movie's stars and an official after-party at the South Carolina Aquarium. Cost: $250 per person (tax deductible as allowed by law). Tickets/more info.


ABWA Dinner: 6 p.m. Jan. 25, Wescott Country Clubhouse, Wescott Plantation, 5000 Wescott Club Drive, Summerville. Dr. John Clarkin of the Tate Center for Enterpreneurship will speak to a dinner meeting of the American Business Women's Association on the topic "What We Can Learn from Entrepreneurs." Networking at 6 p.m., meeting at 6:30 p.m., dinner served during meeting. Open to any interested businesswomen in the Lowcountry. Cost: $15, payable at the door. Reservations (required): Make online or send an e-mail.

Spoleto Auction: 7 p.m. Jan. 29, Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St., downtown. Thirty anniversary "La Dolce Vita" auction to benefit the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra. Silent auction begins at 7 p.m. with an hors d'oeuvres buffet and cocktail bar. Champagne and gourmet sweets will be offered during the live auction beginning at 8:30 p.m. Early bidding on some items available online through Jan. 27. Auction items include artwork, a variety of deluxe travel packages, locally hand-crafted furniture and more. Tickets: $100; buy online or call 720-1114.

(NEW) Financial Services Fair: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 30, Northwoods Mall. Tri-county nonprofits will be providing free tax prep, housing help and other services as part of National Earned Income Tax Credit Day. Working families earning less than $49,000 may qualify for free tax preparation and the Earned Income Tax Credit, worth as much as $5,000. The fair is sponsored by Trident United Way, Trident Urban League and the IRS. More info: 740-9000.

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 here.

(NEW) Art-Collecting Advice: 6 p.m. Feb. 4, Gibbes Museum of Art, 135 Meeting St., downtown. Barbara Guggenheim, an author and art consultant, will give a talk titled "How the Art World Works: New Twists on the World's Second Oldest Profession." A reception will follow the talk. Tickets: $10 museum members, $20 nonmembers. Advance purchase required; buy online through Jan. 29 or call the Gibbes, 722-2706, ext. 22.

Gourmet Wild Game Dinner: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10, Halls Chophouse, 434 King St., downtown. One of several new events associated with the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Five-course dinner with wine pairings. Menu includes local oysters, quail, bison ribeye and more. Cost: $115/person. Tickets: Buy online or phone 723-1748.

Women in Business Conference: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12, Charleston Marriott. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Women will present the conference, which focuses on integrating female business professionals into mainstream networks and expanding their business opportunities by providing access to successful business leaders in the region. Cost: $75 for chamber or Center for Women members; $100 for nonmembers. Registration: Online.

An Evening with Jack Hanna: 7 p.m. Feb. 12, South Carolina Aquarium, 100 Aquarium Wharf, downtown. Spend an evening with animal expert Jack Hanna during his visit to the Lowcountry for the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. Guests will be able to meet Hanna, enjoy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails, and hear stories about his animal adventures around the world. Cost: $85 per person ($75 for aquarium members, who can order by calling 723-1748 and giving their member number). More info: Online or 723-1748.

Birds of Prey Brunch: 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 13, Francis Marion Hotel, corner of King and Calhoun streets, downtown. Jim Elliott, executive director of the Center for Birds of Prey, will show off some of his feathered friends in this new event, which is part of the Southeastern Wildlife Expo. 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. Tickets: Online or 723-1748.

SEWE Cooking Classes: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 14, Charleston Cooks, 194 East Bay St., downtown. A new feature of the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition calendar. The hands-on cooking class will give participants a chance to prepare fish and wild game, then enjoy the food prepared in class along with a glass of wine. Cost: $75 per person. Tickets: Online or 723-1748.

House & Garden Tours: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 9 and April 10, downtown Charleston. The Garden Club of Charleston offers its 75th annual walking tour of private homes and gardens in the Historic District. Homes also feature flowers arranged by garden club members, and refreshments will be served in one of the gardens. All proceeds benefit the garden club's year-round maintenance of several public gardens, including those at the Manigault House, the Heyward-Washington House, the Gateway Walk and the Healing Garden at MUSC. Tickets: $35. Details: or 530-5164.


7/1: Shaffer: Picky Eaters Group
6/28: Bender: Fishy Fourth
6/24: Belden: Society 1858
6/21: Stevenson: Summer reading
6/17: Handel: On Jim Fisher
6/14: Reeves: Summer dress
6/10:Martin: Garden tips
6/7: Dubrofsky: Green homes
6/3: McCutcheon: Young pros
McFaddlin: Health benefits
5/27: Ledbetter: Senior riders
5/24: Myers: Microloan's impact
Gadson: Rural Mission's needs
5/17: Bender: Bocce bashing
DeMarco: Homeless help
Spencer: Ending violence
5/6: Westmeyer: Fish to buy
Maas: Spoleto tips


3/4: Green mowers
Get outdoors
Local guide book for kids
Reviewing Jenny's book
MSNBC looks at success
Tell Mt. Pleasant
Winter plant tips
New books


3/1: Cut all of the cuts
A look at summer camps
School district Einsteins
About mules
Bauer should get out
Gibbs at White House
Friend's new show
Rockwell painting
Palmetto Priorities
Piggly Wiggly visit


3/4: Tickets still left
Eat & Run
RiverDogs' auction
Recycling bins
Designer data
SC Olympians
Prohibition cocktails
Tops for Charleston
Sweet treats
Free at SEWE
Artists' gift
Sharks at Aquarium
Church turns 100
3 helping Haiti
Civil War lectures
5 for King Day
New at SEWE
Staying warm

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