a course for our economic future: Measuring success
By DAVID T. GINN
President and CEO, Charleston Regional Development Alliance
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
9, 2010 - Over the coming weeks, the Charleston Regional Development
Alliance and a team of economic development experts will be reaching
into every corner of the three-county region, seeking public input
on a critically important effort: the development of a new regional
while the team will cultivate much insight from their one-on-one
work (50+ interviews, numerous focus groups), perhaps the most important
component of this program concerns every one of you. We are inviting
-- and relying on -- the public to help shape this strategy by sharing
their vision for the region.
online survey can be found at www.opportunity-next.com.
We invite all residents - from business owners to employees, students
to retirees, urbanites to rural residents alike - to take a moment
to help shape our shared economic future.
your opinions matter?
can assure you, they will. Public involvement helped create our
most recent regional economic strategy. Six years ago, a similar
effort led us to adopt a cluster-based strategy focused on five
specific industry sectors: advanced security, aerospace, automotive,
biosciences and creative.
strategic focus has paid real dividends for our communities. Now
it's time to dust off the crystal ball and consider our opportunities
for the future. Public input will be layered into analysis of economic
conditions, workforce demand, regional assets and global trends.
CRDA is this region's economic development arm, and our efforts
rely on leveraging the region's physical and intellectual assets
to compete globally for high-value jobs and business investment.
We will be successful when economic prosperity touches every resident,
in every corner of our diverse region.
three-county region has made much economic progress in recent years.
Even with the Great Recession's continuing impacts, we're well-positioned
to rebound more quickly than many other communities. Recent developments
like Boeing, Southwest Airlines and Clemson's wind turbine testing
facility will have lasting economic benefits.
our work is not done. Indeed, a recent comparison of our region's
economy to others found that while we have many strengths, we also
face some significant challenges. For example, we underperform in
areas of innovation and in the mismatch between earnings and cost
of living (view this report at www.crda.org/economicscorecard/).
that assessment is the beginning of a story, we all have the opportunity
to shape the upcoming chapters. With your help in directing the
storyline, I'm betting on an instant bestseller with a very happy
So how many
med schools does our state really need?
By MARSHA GUERARD, editor
9, 2010 -- When I hear that leaders in South Carolina are revving
up to open a third medical school, I reach protectively for my wallet.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not a tea-chucking, anti-tax purist. I
think we should spend more for education programs that work, for
infrastructure, for the state's parks and historic sites, among
does a state of 4.5 million people -- roughly one million fewer
than the metropolitan area of Atlanta -- need a third medical school?
Friday, the boards of the University of South Carolina and the Greenville
Hospital System approved a plan to expand their existing collaborative
program and open a four-year medical school in Greenville. The hospital
system figures it will pay $35 million to $39 million during the
next decade or so, and the University says its contribution will
come from the tuition paid by medical students.
what's the problem? That doesn't sound like tax money.
let's be honest here. While the state may not reach directly into
your pocket to pay for this medical school, someone will. If you
live in Greenville, expect to pay more for medical services at the
Greenville Hospital System. Those costs rose about 3 percent this
year, according to the GHS website. Higher medical costs aren't
limited to patients in individual cities - they're absorbed by insurance
companies and passed on to policyholders. And, if you plan to attend
medical school at USC or in Greenville, get ready to swallow a tuition
hike - it was nearly 10 percent last year.
does this plan to open a third medical school say about our state's
priorities in a time of severe economic crisis? For that matter,
did we even need the second medical school at USC, or was that a
purely political decision made during better financial times? Our
Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston has been nationally
recognized for research and education quality. Instead of dividing
limited resources three ways, why not beef up this Charleston success
the past two years, South Carolina legislators have been steadily
hacking away at higher education appropriations. Our state spends
$2,000 to $3,000 less to educate each college undergraduate student
than surrounding states - we can't even say 'thank God for Mississippi'
in this instance.
our state colleges and universities have approved tuition increases
of 4.5 percent to 14.75 percent for the coming school year. That's
understandable, since their state appropriations are evaporating.
But the fact is, it costs $9,386 per year in tuition for a South
Carolina undergrad to attend USC. In North Carolina, an in-state
student pays only $4,815 to attend the nationally ranked University
of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
proponents of this new Greenville medical school argue that the
state needs more primary care physicians in rural areas. That's
no doubt true, but there's little guarantee that medical students
will spend at least $120,000 to obtain a degree in order to serve
there. In fact, there's no guarantee they'll even stay in South
hoping someone with clout will look at this process and think clearly
about what South Carolina needs most.
Guerard, editor of Charleston Currents, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We love getting input from you. If you have an opinion you'd like
to share (150 words or less), send your letters to: email@example.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!
public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents
to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Maybank
Industries, LLC of Charleston, SC. With broad experience in
commercial and government operations, Maybank Industries applies
deep-rooted commitment to teamwork, reliability and personal service
to provide innovative business solutions for project development,
information technology, logistics, vessel design, shipping agency
services and marine terminal operations, both locally and internationally.
Maybank Industries applies a powerful blend of professional expertise
to research, analyze and develop tailored solutions with thorough
plans of action, combining a heavy dose of common sense to solve
today's needs that can adapt to changing or evolving requirements.
Industries and Maybank
Church recognized as American treasure
Unitarian Church in Charleston has received a $200,000 federal grant
through the Save America's Treasures program to preserve and rehabilitate
its 160-year-old sanctuary.
grants totaling $20 million from the Department of Interior, National
Park Service were are to conserve significant U.S. cultural and
historic treasures. The Unitarian Church in Charleston was the only
Save America's Treasures grant awarded in South Carolina for 2009.
second-oldest church building on the peninsula, the English Perpendicular
Gothic Revival-style building is designated a National Historic
Landmark. The grant will be used to complete the restoration of
the interior of the Church to its former glory, including replastering
and repainting the beautiful fan-vaulted ceiling in the nave and
chancel, considered among the finest in the country.
more information on this project, please contact the Unitarian Church
in Charleston at 843-723-4617 or go online to see pictures of the
Challenge winners announced
do a restaurateur, a soccer team and a computer software firm have
in common? They're the city of Charleston's first Green Pioneer
Green Business Pioneer Awards were presented to Tony Bakker, The
Charleston Battery and Blackbaud. Mayor Joe Riley announced the
winners, private sector business candidates who early on made a
choice to think and act sustainably, at the city's Best in Green
(B.I.G) and Local Expo competition on Friday.
Bakker was recognized for his sustainable leadership of The
Buccaneer, Queen Anne's Revenge, and McCrady's restaurants. Bakker's
sustainable practices include using unbleached and biodegradable
cups, bags, and to-go containers, recycling all of the glass, plastic,
and paper used in the restaurants, installing energy and water-saving
kitchen equipment, and the use of local produce in many menu items.
Andrew Bell, director of soccer and stadium operations for the Charleston
Battery soccer team, accepted the second award. The Battery
plays at Blackbaud Stadium, which includes one of the largest private
solar panel arrays in the region. Installed in 2008, there are 60
solar panels located behind the goal posts generating 11 kilowatts
of power -offsetting approximately 12 tons of carbon dioxide per
year. The team also switched from incandescent bulbs to compact
fluorescent lights, uses high efficiency units for beer coolers
and eliminated the sale of bottled water.
The third award went to software company, Blackbaud, which
has adopted a beach and does regular beach sweeps, supports an oyster
reef restoration project with DNR and uses energy efficient machines.
Blackbaud employees are creating a community garden, called Sprouts,
complete with composting.
The Green Business Challenge will help local businesses save money
and resources, support environmental stewardship and be recognized
for sustainable business leadership. Companies interested in participating
can contact Carolee Williams, city of Charleston, 843 -724-3776
, by email at CharlestonGBC@charleston-sc.gov
or go online.
Foundation gives $242,250 in local scholarships
The Coastal Community Foundation has awarded $242,250 in scholarships
to 142 area students for their continuing educations in colleges,
universities, and technical schools.
scholarship funds and endowments at Coastal Community Foundation
were established as living legacies or to commemorate a lost loved
one. All of the students who received scholarships have goals and
dreams of helping their communities and striving to make the world
a better place.
Established in 1974, Coastal Community Foundation is a public grant
making foundation fostering philanthropy for the good of the community
in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown,
Hampton, and Jasper counties. Thousands of families, businesses,
individuals and organizations have built more than 550 individual
funds and endowments. To
learn more, go online.
entrepreneurs graduate from farming class
recently graduated from the first Charleston class of the FastTrac
Food and Farming business planning course.
farm hands and restaurant owners to a candle maker and a healthy
foods school startup, 22 budding entrepreneurs and small business
owners have spent the last nine weeks learning how to grow their
companies into successful businesses.
Local First, which encourages businesses and consumers to support
the local economy and environmental sustainability, helped tailor
the course for entrepreneurs interested in cultivating a stronger
local food system.
were led by Will Culler of the Clemson Institute for Economic and
Community Development. Culler is Clemson's statewide representative
a coalition of education and business groups that helps entrepreneurs
create, manage and grow successful businesses.
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 Marsha Guerard.
Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
politician, planter, poet, essayist. Grayson was born in Beaufort
District on November 12, 1788. An avid reader, Grayson attended
boarding schools in the North and graduated at the top of his class
in 1809 from South Carolina College. He married Sarah Matilda Somarsall
of Charleston in 1814 and amassed a fortune as the owner of two
Wando River plantations and 170 slaves. Throughout his life he held
numerous public offices, serving terms in the S.C. House of Representatives
(1813-1815 and 1822-1826); the S.C. Senate (1826-1831); the U.S.
House of Representatives (1833-1837); and as Charleston's customs
editor of the Beaufort Gazette, Grayson promoted nullification,
winning his Congressional seat in 1832 on the states' rights ticket.
He experienced a change of heart after his return to South Carolina
and joined the Whig Party, fearful that the South's dependence on
cotton would lead to economic disaster. The stridency of Robert
Barnwell Rhett and other "fire-eaters" also appears to
have chastened Grayson's earlier flirtation with radical political
theory. He despaired over the high emotion in American public life
and particularly the debates about slavery. As a devoted classicist,
Grayson believed that Romanticism's celebration of "human folly
and madness" portended cultural decline, a theme he frequented
in his late-antebellum essays for Russell's Magazine. On the eve
of disunion, Grayson's defense of classicism, "What is Poetry?"
(1859), articulated his view that in all human endeavor, reason
and order must guide behavior and expression.
is best remembered for his proslavery verse, The Hireling and
the Slave (1854), a rejoinder (structured in heroic couplets)
to Harriet Beecher Stowe's depiction of slavery in Uncle Tom's
Cabin. Grayson found abhorrent the wage labor systems of England
and the North, characterizing them as an even greater injustice
than slavery. But Grayson was also a Unionist, and vigorously defended
the principles of America's founding throughout the sectional crises
of the 1850s. In a pamphlet (1850) addressed to Governor Whitemarsh
B. Seabrook, Grayson prophesied, "Union is the source of peace,
prosperity, and power to the Nation." Secession would herald
the victory of abolitionism, the triumph of anarchy. Only the "imprudence"
of the southern people and "the rashness" of their leaders,
warned Grayson, could make manifest such a catastrophe. For this
and his satirical essay, The Letters of Curtius (1851), in
which he ridiculed the South's material inability to wage war with
the federal government, Grayson was removed from the office of customs
collector in 1853.
his Autobiography, written during the early years of the
Civil War, Grayson mourned the destruction of the United States,
whose repair he could not foresee. "I witnessed the death of
the great Republic with sorrow. I was born with it and I survive
it. It seemed to me an unnatural event for an individual to be longer
lived than a powerful State." His attenuated war diary (May-November
1862) captures the emotional tautness of Charleston during the Union
Army's first sustained attempt to capture the city.
died at his daughter's home in Newberry on October 4, 1863, and
was buried in Charleston's Magnolia Cemetery.
Excerpted from the entry by Elizabeth Robeson.
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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The World Heritage
Committee last week wrapped up its annually session in Brasilia
and named 21 new sites to the overall list of 911 properties that
are considered to have outstanding universal value. Among them were
five natural sites you should add to your list of dream vacations.
Danxia is the name given in China to landscapes found in southwest
China characterized by spectacular red cliffs and a range of erosional
landforms, including dramatic natural pillars, towers, ravines,
valleys and waterfalls.
- La Réunion
National Park, Reunion Island, in the southwest Indian Ocean.
Dominated by two towering volcanic peaks, massive walls and three
cliff-rimmed cirques, the property includes subtropical rainforests,
cloud forests and heaths.
Island Protected Area, marine and terrestrial habitats in
the Southern Pacific Ocean. The property encompasses the Phoenix
Island Group, one of three island groups in Kiribati, and is the
largest designated Marine Protected Area in the world. Includes
one of the world's largest intact oceanic coral archipelago ecosystems,
together with 14 known underwater sea mounts (presumed to be extinct
volcanoes) and other deep-sea habitats. The area contains approximately
800 known species of fauna, including about 200 coral species,
500 fish species, 18 marine mammals and 44 bird species. PIPA
represents one of Earth's last intact oceanic coral archipelago
ecosystems with reefs being what a reef might have looked like
one thousand years ago.
- The Putoransky
State Nature Reserve, in northern Central Siberia. Situated
about 62 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The area includes subarctic
and arctic ecosystems in an isolated mountain range, including
pristine taiga, forest tundra, tundra and arctic desert systems,
as well as untouched cold-water lake and river systems. A major
reindeer migration route crosses the property, which represents
an exceptional, large-scale and increasingly rare natural phenomenon.
- Sri Lanka's
highlands, in the south-central part of the island. The property
comprises the Peak Wilderness Protected Area, the Horton Plains
National Park and the Knuckles Conservation Forest. Home to an
extraordinary range of flora and fauna, including several endangered
species such as the western-purple-faced langur, the Horton Plains
slender loris and the Sri Lankan leopard. The region is considered
a super biodiversity hotspot.
The root of all
"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at
the people he gave it to."
North Charleston City Gallery: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to
Saturday, through Aug. 31. Local artist Pedro Rodriguez presents
expressionistic acrylic paintings of real and dream-world places
with characters as ethereal as the cityscapes this month. The Gallery
is located in the public areas of the Charleston Area Convention
Center and admission is free.
Childhood Notions Exhibit Launch: 6-7 p.m., Aug. 9.
Photographer Mahmood Fazal will speak at the Second Monday Lecture
Series tonight at 7 p.m. after kicking off his "Childhood Notions"
exhibition opening at the Charleston Center for Photography, 654-D
King St. Fazal is a self-taught photographer based in Charleston
for the last 15 years. The current series 'Childhood Notions' has
been a deliberate departure form 'pure' photographs via the injection
of a heavy dose of digital manipulation and digital content creation.
Come and get an inside look from the artist himself. Free.
legislative priorities: 4 to 6 p.m., August 10. The annual
South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Grassroots Meetings are the first
step in forming the 2011 Competitiveness Agenda, the business community's
annual list of legislative priorities. Join fellow business leaders
to discuss legislative issues that need to be addressed by the General
Assembly from 4 to 6 p.m. at Trident Technical College. Register
Fun Day: Aug. 11. The town of Mount Pleasant has a full day
of fun free events planned at its Memorial Waterfront Park, beginning
at 10 a.m. with Splash Day. Children are invited to come and slide
on two water slides and one slip-and-slide. Parent or guardian must
stay with child. Event ends at 2 p.m. Parents also can bring their
children to do a fun, free activity at the park's playground from
10 a.m. to noon. Then, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the Pier Plaza
across from the pier store, musician Nick Collins will entertain
with classic rock, blues, and bluegrass with some jazz undertones.
Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Bring your own
chair. Benches and tables are available on a limited basis. Onsite
parking available at 50 cents per hour. More.
Brilliant Branding: 5:30-7:30 p.m., Aug. 11. The Center
for Women hosts a workshop in Summerville on smart ways to shape
and improve perceptions of you and your business with Shari Schleis
of Splash Marketing. Networking and refreshments from 5:30-6 p.m.,
program begins at 6. Cost: $20. Registration
required. Greater Summerville Chamber of Commerce, 402 N. Main
Emotional Legacies Brown Bag Lunch: Noon, Aug. 12.
Barbara Currey, M.Ed., leads a discussion of the relationship between
mothers and daughters and their emotional legacies. Explore what
you have inherited from your mother and your grandmothers. It may
surprise you. Cost: Free. Registration
required:Call (843) 763-7333.
Tournaments: Registration begins at 6 a.m., Aug. 14. Aug.
21 and Sept. 11. Get ready to catch some fun at the Folly
Beach Fishing Pier's annual Big Kahuna Tournament on Aug. 14. The
Mount Pleasant Pier's final tournament of the year will be Aug.
21, and the Folly pier will hold its end-of-the-season tournament
on Sept. 11. At the Big Kahuna tournament on Folly, competitive
fishermen and women can compete at Folly's pier for a chance to
win a boat, motor and trailer with a state record catch of Whiting.
For more information, call (843) 588-FISH (3474), the Mount Pleasant
Pier at (843) 762-9946 or go
Science Saturday: 10 a.m., Aug. 14, The Charleston Museum
will offer this two-hour science time to allow students the opportunity
to examine the stages of matter and experiment with dry ice. Free
for Museum members; free for nonmembers with general admission.
Day Festival, 1 p.m., Aug. 15, Liberty Square, downtown
Charleston. The City of Charleston hosts the 8th First Day Festival
to help students transition back to school. Not only will they be
able to play in a Kids Zone, they'll be able to tour the S.C. Aquarium,
get school supplies and get their face painted. Last year's festival
drew more than 10,000 kids. Learn
ONGOING AND SOON
2011 Piccolo Spoleto applications: Deadlines in September. The
City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs is accepting applications
for the 2011 Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Applications
Comic Gallagher at RiverDogs: First pitch at 7:05 p.m., Aug.
18. Be prepared to get messy. His act is legendary. His signature
hair and mustache are iconic. He is a man so renowned that he goes
by only one name. Get ready for a smashing good time, as world-famous
comedian Gallagher brings his watermelon-smashing antics to Riley
Park during the RiverDogs' game against the Rome Braves, the Single-A
affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Fans of the outrageous performer
are encouraged to get seats up close to the action as Gallagher
and his "Gallagear" always gets the audience involved
in the act. Ticket information online
or call the RiverDogs Box Office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647).
Human Resource Workshop: 7:30-11 a.m., Aug. 18. Experts
will discuss important legal updates concerning employment and labor
law, immigration and e-verify and non-compete agreements during
the Labor Climate Network Human Resource Workshop at the Charleston
Metro Chamber of Commerce, 4500 Leeds Ave., Suite 100, in North
Charleston. Industry experts and HR professionals will discuss how
they can connect businesses with the right resources. Cost: $55
Members, $95 non-members, which includes breakfast. Register.
Port Tour: 2-6 p.m., Aug. 19. The Charleston Metro
Chamber's annual Port Tour and Briefing will feature an update from
Port leadership on plans to recapture Charleston's national position
among ports by attracting new business. The tour includes a bus
tour of the new terminal site and waterside view of all terminals.
Cost: $75 for Chamber members $150 for non-members. Register.
Date and Bait Event: 6-8 p.m., Aug. 19. Face to Face
Charleston combines business networking and a dating event at Charleston
Harbor Resort & Marina in the Reel Bar at 20 Patriot's Point
Drive. This event caters to men ages 30 to 60, and brings them together
with some of the best women in the Charleston area. Happy hour drink
specials and live acoustic guitar by Brantley Harris provides a
great backdrop to mingle and meet new people. Attendees can fill
out profiles in advance to be specially introduced by professional
matchmakers. Required reservations are $10. Go
online or call 843-529-9960. No payments at the door will be
Networking: 7:05 p.m. Aug. 19, RiverDogs game. Charleston
Hoteliers and Exchange Club will host an after-hours get together
at the game at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Park. Hoteliers, caterers, tour
management companies, museums, plantations, meeting planners and
others in the hospitality business are invited, whether members
or nonmembers. More
Do Lunch: Noon, Aug. 20, Fish Restaurant. Have a great
meal at Fish Restaurant and help out Louie's Kids, a local organization
that raises funds to help treat childhood obesity, which afflicts
25 million American children today. King Street Marketing Group
will host and each guest will receive a King Street Goodie Bag,
free parking and an opportunity to take home valuable prizes from
King Street and Charleston Peninsula businesses. Ticketed admission
is $18. More
online or call (843) 303-1113.
Annual Lowcountry Jazz Festival,
Sept. 3-5. The city will come alive as local and international
artists join forces at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center
and other locations around the city. Confirmed artists include legendary
contemporary jazz band Spyro Gyra; saxophone journeyman Euge Groove,
formerly of Tower of Power; Paul "Shilts" Weimar, former
bandleader of Down To The Bone; and noted Charleston jazz musician
Charlton Singleton. All proceeds from the festival will benefit
"Closing The Gap In Healthcare Inc." More
info online or call (704) 534-4228.
and writing: 9 a.m., Sept. 11. The Charleston County
library is sponsoring a discussion on spirituality and writing featuring
novelists Denise Hildreth, Beth Webb Hart and Nicole Seitz. Admission
is free to the session, which will be held at the main library,
68 Calhoun Street, Charleston. More: Phone 843-805-6947.
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