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Issue 2.63 | Monday, June 21, 2010 | Praying for the Gulf

About two dozen people gathered at dusk Sunday at Pitt Street Bridge park in Mount Pleasant, S.C., to pray and sing for the Gulf. The event was poignant, sad and uplifting at the same time. More: (Photo by Andy Brack)

:: Ways to keep kids reading


:: Haley's record is thin on leadership

:: Send us your thoughts

:: Fashion Week's impact

:: Senior center, TwitteRealtor, Blackbaud


___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
___:: REVIEW: Send us a review
___:: HISTORY: The Big Apple
___:: QUOTE: On temptation
___:: SPOTLIGHT: Meet an underwriter


ABOUT US offers insightful community comment and good news on events twice each week. It cuts through the information clutter to offer insight and news on the best of what's happening locally. What readers say


We encourage you to follow us through Twitter @chascurrents.


10 ways to keep kids reading -- even in the summer

Children's Services manager, John's Island Regional Library
Special to

JUNE 21, 2010 -- School is out and summer fun is in full swing. But now is not the time to let your guard down, parents.


Kids who do not read all summer will suffer the consequences when they go back to school. Reading is a skill that requires practice, so here are some fun tips to keep the whole family reading all summer!

1. Make sure to have a large variety of books available for that random moment of entertainment -- short books, long books, picture books, books about animals and other topics that your child is interested in! Many boys find it difficult to read fiction stories and value factual reading more.

2. Attend Make A Splash Summer Reading programs at your local library. A schedule of these weekly events can be found at Take this time to stock up on more books, too.

3. Join the Summer Reading Program at your local CCPL branch. It's not just for kids! We have programs for teens and adults, too. Also, check out the programs at the local bookstores. There are lots of incentives to keep kids reading, like free books, passes to water parks, ice skating, soccer games and much more.

4. Magazines are a great way to keep kids occupied, and they usually have entertaining crafts and activities based on the articles. Past issues of magazines can be checked out at some of the CCPL libraries. Ask your librarian if your location does this.

5. Make a craft or learn a new board game. Kids will have to read and follow the directions and will be rewarded with creating something wonderful.

6. Book Club Party! Invite friends over and have a book club party. Serve foods and play games that go along with the books. Everyone can read the same book, or each child can share his or her favorite book. Meet once a week or every other week like any other play date.

7. Make this an opportunity to establish a family reading time. In the summer the evenings are not so jammed with activities, and you may have more time to establish a ritual of reading before bed or after dinner. Take advantage of this time and read with your child.

8. If your child is reading for fun (not school related), don't pressure him or her to complete every book. Reading for fun is just that! If the child hates the book, then reading it is no longer fun. If you are having trouble finding something the child is interested in, visit your local library for suggestions.

9. Read the newspaper or your favorite news blogs and websites together. Show your child that it is important to keep up with world events.

10. Tie books in with the things you do this summer. If you go crabbing, get a book about crabs. If you visit the Hunley, check out a book about this historic piece of Charleston. Follow up fun activities with a book so your child will have a more solid understanding of the event.

Jana Jones Stevenson is the children's services manager at the Johns Island Regional Library, located 3531 Maybank Highway.

Haley's thin record offers little leadership hope
By ANDY BRACK, publisher

JUNE 21, 2010 - - The really bitter irony of the June 8 elections is that the angry people who voted for Nikki Haley as the GOP’s choice for governor are in for a big shock one day: Instead of being a change, she represents more of the same.


The hyper-ambitious Haley is little more than Mark Sanford in drag.

Like Sanford, she doesn’t get along with the legislature and, quite frankly, many lawmakers don’t trust her. She’s bickered with the House and Senate leadership over accountability and internal voting procedures as if she had the only solution to any problem. As governor, she’d have the same “my way or the highway” attitude that’s plugged up progress for the state for the last eight years. In a state that needs forward progress, Haley would offer little.

Like Sanford, Haley swallowed whole the libertarian notion by Washington insider Grover Norquist that government should be so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub. She doesn’t respect how government is the civilizing influence on society that allows us to live at more than a subsistence level.

Like Sanford, she’s got a lot of charm. She can twinkle and jab, smile and joust with the best of the media.

But unlike Sanford, she’s not got much substance. In a state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, Haley offers no detailed plan to create jobs. Instead she talks about economic prosperity in a dozen lines on her Web site. Relying primarily on rhetoric, she’s riding a wave of Tea Party zeal inspired by that rocket scientist of a politician, Sarah Palin.

When our state needs real leadership that will bring in more jobs, solve a coming budget earthquake and try to get South Carolina off the bottom of lots of lists, Haley offers nothing more than fluffy lines to appease people who have seen the movie “Network” too many times. (“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.”)

For example, she says South Carolina – with its Republican governor, Republican House and Republican Senate – needs to be conservative, not just Republican. Is she kidding? That South Carolina – the nation’s testing ground for any whacked out divisive policy that comes along from school vouchers to prolonged abortion waiting periods – is not conservative? What’s she smoking?

Here are some highlights from Haley’s thin record:

  • Little real leadership. First elected to the S.C. House in 2004, Haley desperately wanted to be chair of the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee in late 2008. But her zeal for a leadership position backfired after continued tussling with House Speaker Bobby Harrell, who eventually reassigned her to the Education and Public Works Committee. At the time, he noted she was “just pandering to voters and grabbing for headlines.” (From February through May this year, Haley attended no meetings of the committee.)

  • Opportunism. GOP runoff opponent Gresham Barrett highlights an “honest difference” with Haley in her budget votes. According to Barrett’s Web site: “[Haley} voted for every state budget until she announced her campaign for governor – for a total of $2 billion in budget increases.”

  • Opacity, not transparency. For all of Haley’s high-falutin’ appeals for transparency, she refused to release her legislative correspondence, including email, prior to the June 8 election. Why? Because she was trying to kill stories about much-denied allegations that she was involved in an extramarital affair. Also, according to Barrett’s site, she’s been unwilling to bring her income tax returns into the light of sunshine like many candidates do.

Nikki Haley may just win the June 22 runoff. If so, she’ll face more intense scrutiny in the months ahead. As she does, ask yourself these questions: Is this really the kind of person that you want running the state? Is this your best hope for South Carolina’s future?

Andy Brack, publisher of, can be reached at:

Send us your thoughts

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Joye Law Firm

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. In this issue, we highlight the Joye Law Firm. Committed to fighting for the rights of the wrongly injured in South Carolina for more than 40 years, the experienced, dedicated personal injury lawyers of the Joye Law Firm want to help you get every dollar you truly deserve for the injuries you've suffered. Whether you've been injured in an auto accident, by a defective product, in a nursing home, or on the job, we may be able to help you. For more information, contact Joye Law Firm at 843.554.3100 or visit online at:

Want a West Ashley senior center? County needs opinions

A group of passionate West Ashley volunteers is surveying local residents to get their views on a possible senior center to serve West Ashley area residents age 50 and older. Citizen input will identify which services, programs and facilities would be most vital and what specific opportunities would be the most popular.

The West Ashley Senior Services Coordinating Committee (WASSCC) has already collected more than 400 surveys from residents. June 30 is the deadline to submit a survey, which can be filled out here -- Citizens who can't fill out a survey online may fill out a printed version at the Lowcountry Senior Center on James Island, West Ashley Library, St. Andrews Library, Bee's Landing, Charleston Tennis Center, Jewish Community Center or St. Andrews Family Fitness Center.

The coordinating committee was created by citizens who have been meeting since the summer of 2009 at "Coffee with Colleen and Aubry," a weekly coffee get-together at Sojourn Coffee with Charleston County Councilmember Colleen Condon and Charleston City Councilmember Aubry Alexander. In addition to the citizens on the committee, there are representatives from the Jewish Community Center, St. Andrews Parks and Playground, Roper St. Francis Healthcare, Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, Charleston County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Trident Area Agency on Aging, and city and county staff.

The center would serve as a gathering place where activities such as bridge, book clubs, lectures, fitness, and other programs are offered to residents over age 50. "Similar centers in Mount Pleasant and James Island have been extremely successful," says Condon, "and we should do the same in West Ashley. I believe a partnership between Charleston County, the city of Charleston, St. Andrews Parks and Playgrounds, and other agencies can serve this need extremely well."

Alexander agrees, adding, "We provide incredible opportunities for our children in the West Ashley area. Once the funding and the vision are in place, it is time to promote our existing senior opportunities and expand on them through a dedicated senior center."

As of the 2000 Census, there were 17,000 residents who were age 50 and up in the West Ashley area, representing 28 percent of the area population. Those numbers are expected to grow when data from the 2010 Census are released.

Real estate firm recruiting new agents solely via Twitter

Charleston Your Home, a boutique real estate agency, recently decided to take a different approach to recruiting new agents: a new Realtor Roundup campaign that offers iPads and accepts applications solely via Twitter.

Company owners say they believe that the use of the latest technology is essential for marketing real estate, so they're looking for agents who are knowledgeable about social media tools. In the Realtor Roundup campaign, running June 15-July 15, the company will be accepting applications only via Twitter and will also offer an iPad to any agent who joins the agency within that time frame and upon closing of his or her first $250,000 transaction.

The company will also produce a YouTube video to e-mail to local agents, taking a lighthearted look at the attempts to recruit agents in this market.

Charleston Your Home agents write the Charlestonism blog, maintain a Facebook page and are active on Twitter, Flickr and YouTube. The agency has also won a national award for best agent website and sold a home via Twitter last fall.

"By recruiting tech-savvy agents, we're reaching consumers in a way they expect in today's Web-based market place, and that in turn makes for a long and successful career in real estate for the agent," says Diane Szoke, co-owner of Charleston Your Home. "Plus, who wouldn't want an iPad? They're such a great tool for Realtors on the go!"

To apply to join the Charleston Your Home team, send a Direct Message via Twitter to @Charlestonism with a link to a resume on the Web or a LinkedIn profile. For more information and complete details about the campaign, please visit the site or call 324-9645.

Blackbaud establishes Index of Charitable Giving

Blackbaud recently launched the Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving, a broad-based fundraising index that reports revenue trends of 1,400 nonprofit organizations representing $2.2 billion in yearly revenue on a monthly basis. The index is based on actual revenue statistics from nonprofit organizations of all sizes representing the arts, culture and humanities; education; environment and animals; health care; human services; international affairs; public and society benefit; and religion sectors. (Read more about the methodology here.)

"Economic conditions, natural disasters, and market fluctuations have made it extremely difficult for nonprofits to make fundraising decisions informed by the latest donor behavior," says Chuck Longfield, chief scientist for the Daniel Island-based company. "That is why we created the Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving -- to provide fundraisers with up-to-date data on fundraising trends and to couple that information with valuable analysis by leaders in the sector."

The first index, released last week, reported that overall revenue increased by 12.1 percent for the three months ending April 2010 as compared to the same period in 2009. A significant portion of this increase was related to the outpouring of support to organizations helping with earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.

The data show that donations for smaller organizations bottomed out in July of 2009, remained roughly flat throughout the second half of 2009, and turned upward starting in January 2010. Donations to large organizations may have reached bottom in December 2009, but it is hard to tell which part of the large upturn in March was due to Haiti versus general improvement in ongoing donations, especially since donations declined in April.


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 Big Apple

This dance was born in the mid-1930s in a black nightclub operated by a man named Fat Sam on Park Street in downtown Columbia, in what was once the House of Peace Synagogue. The Big Apple was popularized nationally when it was taken to Manhattan by University of South Carolina students. A combination of the square dance and various jazz routines of the 1920s, the Big Apple caught the attention of white college students who, encouraged by Fat Sam, paid 10 cents to watch dancers from the nightclub balcony. Soon they were repeating the steps at fraternity parties.

By the spring of 1937 the Big Apple was attracting more than local attention. In August of that year several student couples performed the dance at New York's Roxy Theatre and then toured cities throughout the Northeast. The Big Apple received such an enthusiastic reception that it became a brief national craze.

According to a 1937 report in Time magazine, the routine opened with the dancers in a circle led by a caller, somewhat like the Virginia Reel. The fundamental steps seemed to be the Lindy Hop with bits of the Black Bottom, Suzy-Q, Charleston, Shag, Truckin', and an Indian rain dance thrown in. It all ended on an irreverent note as the group leaned back, arms outstretched to the heavens, and shouted "Praise Allah!"

After about a year the Big Apple dance faded from view, and so did the nightclub. The building was moved to its present location adjacent to the Richland County Library and restored to its former elegance in the late 1980s. It is operated by the Historic Columbia Foundation and is rented for various social events.

-- 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.)


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Fashion Week finances

Charleston Fashion Week has increasingly made a name for itself in the fashion world, and it's making a significant contribution to the local economy, too. Here a list of notable stats about the 2010 event, held in March, from the College of Charleston's Office of Tourism Analysis.

  • The five-night celebration of the region's fashion and design community boosted the local economy by $1.7 million.

  • CFW attendees say they spend an average of $5,000 per year on fashion and that they planned to visit the event's participating retailers. And 40 percent of attendees reported an annual household income of more than $100,000.

  • Fashion Week visitors spent more than the average Charleston tourist -- $202 per day on food, lodging and area shopping, compared to $168 for the average tourist.

  • About one-third of attendees were from outside the tricounty area, and nonlocal folks stayed an average of 3.6 nights in Charleston.

  • The Catwalk For Kids auction benefiting MUSC Children's Hospital raised more than $250,000.

On temptation

"Most people would like to be delivered from temptation but would like it to keep in touch."

-- Robert Orben, American magician and comedy writer (1927 - )


Ocean Connections: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. June 23, Charleston Maritime Center. The free family ocean education event and fundraiser will celebrate how we're all connected to the ocean. Local author and science educator Merrie Koester Southgate will be featured with both storytelling and improvisational theater from her new ocean adventure novel, "Agnes Pflumm and the Secret of the Seven." Southgate will donate proceeds of the sales of the novel to the 21st Century Spirit Ocean Adventure dropout prevention and literacy program offered by the South Carolina Maritime Foundation. Event also includes a professional drum circle, food, prizes and tours of the Spirit of South Carolina tall ship.

Hurricane Business Plans: 7:30 a.m. to noon June 24, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 4500 Leeds Ave., Suite 100. The chamber’s Business Continuity Planning Council is hosting a workshop to help businesses prepare for hurricane season, including instruction on how to write a business continuity plan and how to test it before a disaster hits. Cost: $25 chamber members, $35 nonmembers. Registration.

Blogging Tips: 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. June 24, Charleston County Main Library, 68 Calhoun St. This month's Small Business & Nonprofit Networking Lunch looks at the differences between blogging, blogging professionally and having a professional blog. Presenter Heather Solos of will cover tips and strategies for using a blog as part of your small business marketing strategy. Registration is not required. More info: 805-6930.

(NEW) Face to Face Social: June 24, Old South Barber Spa, 10 State St., downtown. Professional singles both male and female are invited to a Face to Face Charleston event featuring image consultants from Southern Protocol presenting information on men's style and grooming trends. Face to Face Charleston is a social network and matchmaking company for successful professionals. The cost of the event is $10 per person. Event space is limited and reservations are required. For event time or reservations, call 529-9660 or e-mail

Book Signing: Noon to 2 p.m. June 25, Waldenbooks, Charleston Place. Authors Daan Muller and Frank Glenn will sign copies of their book “Charleston from Above,” which features aerial photos of the Charleston region. More info.

Kindness Beats Blindness Auction: 6 p.m. June 26, Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park on the banks of the Ashley River. The Charleston RiverDogs' 11th Annual "Kindness Beats Blindness RP Auction" raises money for the MUSC Storm Eye Institute. Live and silent auctions featuring items such as tickets to a Broadway show, use of an Edisto Island beach house, fine jewelry, a seven-day cruise for two, and lots of sports memorabilia. All fans that enter the ballpark are eligible to bid. More info online or 577-DOGS.

Food and Farming Course: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays for nine weeks, beginning in June. The Food and Farming Entrepreneurship Course is offered by FastTracSC and Clemson Extension for those who are interested in becoming food-system entrepreneurs (urban/rural farmers, local food artisans, chefs/caterers, bakers, food media, processors, etc.). Cost: $145. More info:

Colonial Art Tour: 4 p.m. each Thursday, Through June 24, Heyward-Washington House, 87 Church St., downtown. Explore the art of portraiture and satirical engravings popular with wealthy colonial Charlestonians. The Charleston Museum's art collection at the house features portraits by Jeremiah Theus, Samuel F.B. Morse and Henry Benbridge; later copies by Johann Stolle and George Whiting Flagg; and original, irreverent engravings of William Hogarth. Cost: $10 adults, $5 ages 3-12; free for Charleston Museum members. Reservations not required. More info: 722-2996, ext. 235.


Jaycees Networking: 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. June 29, Harbour Club, 35 Prioleau St., downtown. The Charleston Junior Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a professional networking event with light refreshments. You do not necessarily need to work in an occupation that sells goods or services to attend. In addition to mixing, mingling and networking, there will be a program featuring social media consultant Ashley Caldwell of Modern Connections sharing a few social media tips. Cost: $5 per person; benefits Jaycee Camp Hope, a statewide residential camp for citizens with intellectual disabilities. RSVP/more info: Jennifer “Juice” Davidson, 343-7578 or, or Jeremy Mills, 814-5739 or

Revolutionary War Tours: 4 p.m. Thursdays in July, Heyward-Washington House, 87 Church St. The museum house will offer the special tours, which focus on the connection the house and its previous residents had to the Revolutionary War. Cost: $10 adults, $5 children (free for Charleston Museum members). Reservations not needed. More info: 722-2996, ext. 235.

(NEW) Revolutionary War Kayak Trip: 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. July 3, Charleston Harbor. Spend a morning on Independence Day weekend paddling a sea kayak in historic Charleston Harbor and getting a look at patriot sites along the way, including Fort Sumter and the Battery. Sponsored by Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission. Meet at CCPRC Headquarters. Open to age 16 and up. Cost: $40 for Charleston County residents, $48 nonresidents. and travels up the Wappoo Cut with views of patriotic Ft. Sumter and the Battery. To register, click here.

(NEW) Barrier Island Sampler: 9 a.m. to noon July 10, Lighthouse Inlet Heritage Preserve. The program is a half-day session of the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission's Master Naturalist program. CCPRC naturalist Keith McCullough, lead instructor of Charleston's Master Naturalist Program, will teach the group the importance of undeveloped areas on barrier islands and improve students' identification skills of seabirds, shorebirds and songbirds, as well as the many plants and animals of dune systems, salt marshes and maritime forests. Pre-registration required. Cost: $10 Charleston County residents, $12 nonresidents. Open to ages 16 and up. To register, click here.

Fused Glass Workshop: 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 6 and 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. July 13. The Charleston Museum and Blue Heron Glass are offering the workshop, in which students will learn how to cut glass to a pattern, the basics behind the science of fusing glass (melting compatible glasses together), and how to embellish with fused accents to create a crazy-quilt effect. Students will have a decorative 8-inch panel to take home. The workshop begins at the museum with a tour of “Crazy Quilts.” The rest of the workshop will take place at Blue Heron Glass in West Ashley. Participants are responsible for their own transportation. Advance registration required. Cost: $75 museum members, $90 nonmembers (includes all supplies). Register online here or call 722-2996, ext. 235.


8/19: Peters: Getting lead out
Frazier: Magnolia gardeners
8/12: Myers: Redux art
Ginn: Opportunity Next
8/5: Barnette: Hedwig show
Deaton: Lured back
7/29: Hannah: SCRA center
Parezo: Personal chefs
Bender: Shark Week
7/19: Witty: Growth in down market
Carroll: Networking
7/7: Blanchard: Financial planning
Shaffer: Picky Eaters Group


8/19: Nirvana, Class of '14
History is interesting
Robert, Variety Store
Lazy? Boiled peanuts
Purple Toes book
Art opens doors
Lots to do on 4th
Ways to nab skeeters
Dump the Pump, more
Lots to do locally
Dancin' for dollars


8/16: Pharmacy, juice
Cherry juice, Gardner
Biden on Hollings
About Turkey
Campaign trash
Impatient electorate
Haley's thin record
Daddy-daughter trip
Gulf spill report


5/27: Facebook on privacy
Spark Charleston, more
Green Wizard, more
Encouraging biz signs
Biz fair, CED venture
Lowcountry tech hub
Advice on working with Boeing
1/21: Co-working group
1/7: Free library text questions


8/19: 5 local blogs
8/16: More plaudits
5 local dog romps
8/9: New heritage sites
8/5: 5 around Chucktown
Bedside reading
7/29: Five for fall
Hollings library
7/22: Wine + Food fest
New Chas app
Chas at top
7/7: SC films
7/1: Keeping cool

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