Chamber launches support campaign for cruise terminal plan
By ROBERT W. PEARCE JR.
Chair, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com | permalink
30, 2010 - The South Carolina State Ports Authority has spent a
great deal of time and energy over the past year engaging the residents
of the Charleston region in discussions about the redevelopment
of the current Union Pier cruise terminal located at the busy end
of Market Street downtown.
hosting numerous meetings with the public and with affected separate
groups, the SPA has proposed a plan which would move the cruise
ships calling on Charleston away from this very busy Union Pier
area and free up that area for redevelopment for the benefit of
the general public.
In addition, the new cruise terminal to be developed further north
of Union Pier would be a one-berth terminal. Yes, that is correct:
Only one cruise ship at a time could call on Charleston. That sounds
like the best of all scenarios, with a move north to free up additional
space for the public to enjoy and with a one-ship structural capacity
the hard work of the SPA in listening and responding to comments
and suggestions about this plan, there have recently been a few
negative statements in a couple of letters to the newspapers. Here
is a response to those letters.
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce has launched a campaign to
educate the community about the cruise ship industry and to encourage
support for the redevelopment of the Union Pier cruise ship terminal
as proposed by the SPA because it is a good plan which balances
all citizens' desire for more and better job opportunities with
a plan which reduces car, train and ship congestion in our fair
Chamber believes it is important to speak up and support the SPA
in its efforts to build a new passenger terminal to support the
cruise business, allowing the non-maritime redevelopment of the
Union Pier property, because of the broad economic contribution
of both the Port and the cruise industry to Charleston. The cruise
ship industry has been serving Charleston since 1973 and today has
an estimated $37 million annual economic impact on the Charleston
region and employs over 400 people locally.
recent survey found that 33 percent of cruise visitor are coming
to Charleston for one to two nights ahead of embarkation and staying
in area hotels, dining out and visiting attractions. More importantly,
an estimated 40 percent of visitors are coming to Charleston for
the first time. Once a visitor experiences Charleston, they are
highly likely to visit again according to the survey, increasing
their spending and economic impact in the area. In fact, 87 percent
of those surveyed said they absolutely would be returning to Charleston
to visit again.
to the SPA, there are 94 cruise ship visits expected in 2011. Contrast
that with the over 200 visits per year by the very large car-carrier
ships which will no longer tie up in this area of the port but will
be moved north, away from residential neighborhoods, to the Columbus
mentioned, the Union Pier plan proposed by the SPA will open up
significant downtown acreage to redevelopment and provide waterfront
access for both residents and visitors. The proposed redevelopment
also greatly enhances traffic management for cruise passengers -
an issue the Chamber knows concerns both downtown residents and
businesses. All of the car, van and truck traffic carrying passengers,
luggage and supplies for the cruises will be moved north, thankfully
into a less-congested area. In addition, the move of the car carriers
to Columbus Street terminal as part of this plan will remove a further
estimated 1,800 cars weekly from the area.
benefit of the SPA's plan is that, with the move of the car carriers,
there will no longer be any car-cargo rail activity south of Charlotte
Street any longer, eliminating the multiple train switches that
block traffic and cause congestion in the area, often more than
Port -- whether cargo business or cruise oriented -- is a major
economic driver of our economy and has been such since our wonderful
city's founding in 1670 as a port city in the New World. We need
to do all we can to support this vital economic engine while at
the same time being mindful of protecting our incredible quality
of life here. The SPA plan for the new cruise terminal and related
relocations does that. A new one-berth cruise terminal moved north
from the current congested Market Street location along with the
move further north of the car-cargo port business is an excellent
plan which balances the interests, and in fact enhances the interests,
of all concerned.
is critical that we, as community and business leaders, support
the Port as it brings much-needed jobs and money to our economy,
while also effectively managing the responsibilities that come with
it. The Chamber is committed to supporting our Port, our region,
our lifestyle, and our businesses.
W. Pearce Jr., chair of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce,
is a lawyer with the Nelson Mullins firm.
make impact over three months
By ANDY BRACK, publisher |
30, 2010 -- Today marks the 100th photograph posted to our BetterGulf.org
photo blog that tells stories in pictures about what's happening
along the Gulf of Mexico following the big April Deepwater Horizon
the beginning of June, the site has offered a new photo every single
day. Viewers can see images of oiled and dead birds, fish kills,
brown marshes and goo on beaches. There have been breathtaking aerial
shots of a sea covered in an oily sheen, marshes colored brown by
oil and thick black smoke from oil burn-offs.
there have been more optimistic photos too -- shots of workers working
in burning sun on white sandy beaches to clear tarballs and goop.
You've been able to see Coast Guard images of people cleaning oiled
birds, eventually setting them free. Thousands gathered in hundreds
of places to celebrate Hands Across the Sand to raise awareness
of dangers inherent in drilling oil. The Sierra Club placed 10,000
small American flags on the National Mall in Washington to send
the months, I've been struck by the generosity of photographers
along the Gulf coast who share their work. Among the most notable:
Wheelan, American Birding Association. For weeks since
the spill, Wheelan has been documenting the impact of the spill
on wildlife, particularly migratory birds that roost along the
Louisiana coast. He's offered touching pictures of oiled birds,
fish kills, dismantled boom that wasn't doing its job and dead
wildlife. Through the months, the spill has had physical, as well
as emotional, impact on Wheelan, who had to leave the area for
several days after getting sick from noxious fumes.
The war photographer went to the Gulf on his own dime to uncover
the untold story of the spill. He's rewarded viewers with an image
of a toe
tag being put on a dead bird, another of a carcass collection
sign and another of a bird being cleaned. In coming days, he expects
to put a photo essay on his blog.
Garland. The Southern photographer highlighted the impact
of the storm on people with portraits
taken against a black background. Adjacent to the photo, she offered
the impact written in their own words.
Oilspill Expedition. Three photographers, including Pinar
Ozger and Kris
Krug, swept into the Gulf in July and took amazing photos
of oil burning in the Gulf, the sheen that dotted the sea and
other photos that showed the impact.
Shephard. The Massachusetts photographer used an ultralight
plane in June to take gripping photos of oil
pools along the Louisiana coast and more.
Fulton Alt. This conceptual artist from the Chicago area
in a nontoxic but oily-looking substance and had them stand
in Lake Michigan to demonstrate how everyone had a responsibility
in the spill because of the nation's addiction to oil.
Coast Guard. Day in and day out, photographers with the
U.S. Coast Guard have documented the agency's efforts to help
up the spill and coordinate help.
If you like what you see, you can sign up for free to get a daily
email of photos that are posted.
* * * *
UPDATE: Last week's commentary urging readers to thank
teachers garnered a lot of comment at our sister newsletter,
StatehouseReport.com. And thanks to publication of it in The
(Jesup, Ga.) Press-Sentinel, we made contact with three former
classmates who helped identify members of the class. Of the 26 people
in the photo, we know who 23 are -- and probably will be able to
find them for a possible book project. Only three more to identify.
Brack is publisher of Charleston Currents and StatehouseReport.com.
He can be reached at: email@example.com.
letter meant a lot to her
you for your
commentary this week. I, too, wrote my favorite teacher about
20 years after I had his class. I still have the letters we exchanged.
also a former teacher (now administrator) and I received a phone
call last spring from a student I taught 30 years ago. I hadn't
seen or heard from her during that time. What a surprise! I can't
begin to describe how much it meant to me.
-- Dr. Janice H. Poda, Deputy State Superintendent of Education
for Administration, Columbia, S.C.
Send us your letters. We love getting input from
you. If you have an opinion you'd like to share (150 words or
less), send your letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to hearing from you!
public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents
to you at no cost. In this issue, we shine the spotlight on ChefEnan.com.
Led by Executive Chef Enan Parezo, ChefEnan.com is an innovative
new type of personal chef service specializing in gourmet healthy
meals at reasonable prices. ChefEnan.com offers personal chef service
without the personal chef price! Each week, ChefEnan.com will prepare
a customized menu for your family and fill your refrigerator with
freshly-cooked, easy-to-serve, restaurant-quality meals. And boy,
is it convenient! It saves time at the grocery store and in the
kitchen (especially with that pesky clean-up). Check
out how easy it is to join this new way to get healthy meals. Visit
project lights up Lowcountry Children's Center
Boy Scout Jack Schaaf and a group of about 30 volunteers slipped
on their safety glasses Saturday to complete the third phase of
an energy efficiency upgrade for the Dee
Norton Lowcountry Children's Center.
has put in many hours on ladders while working on his Eagle
Scout project at the Lowcountry Children's Center. Photo
by Marsha Guerard.
16-year-old Academic Magnet High School student's Eagle Scout project
involves retrofitting the Upper King Street center's lighting system
for energy efficiency. In addition to upgrading the ceiling lights,
all desk and table lamps, exit lights and specialty lights were
programmable thermostats are part of the project to control the
large heating and air conditioning systems more efficiently after
hours and on the weekends when the facility is not in use saving
on costly utility bills.
project is expected to save the Lowcountry Children's Center $100,000
over a 10-year period. As with many nonprofit organizations, such
savings are a huge budget boost, Center Director M. Elizabeth Ralston
said Saturday. "We don't have a lot of money" in the annual
addition, the project will show a substantial reduction in greenhouse
gasses, one of the city of Charleston's goals for all city buildings.
am so proud of this ambitious young man who volunteered his time
and effort to upgrade one of our city buildings," Mayor Joseph
P. Riley Jr. said. "His project will benefit the children of
the Lowcountry as well as the environment for years to come."
chef launches 'underground' supper club, L.I.M.E.
(Local. Impromptu. Moveable. Evening.) is Charleston's newest underground
experience created by local chef Renata Dos Santos. L.I.M.E. seeks
to provide guests a fun and memorable top-secret dining experience
where they can enjoy a stellar meal while making new connections
over food. The first installment of L.I.M.E. will take place at
5 p.m. Sept. 18.
Santos will serve as the chef for this initial event, and there
will be a guest mixologist. The L.I.M.E. location will only be revealed
two days before the event via email to confirmed guests.
L.I.M.E. will incorporate the traditions of local and sustainable
dining, and adhere to the Slow Food mission of reconnecting locals
with the people, traditions, plants, animals, and waters that produce
The name for this new club is derived from the term "lime,"
which is Trinidadian slang for a group of friends hanging out together.
A "lime" can be large or small, pre-arranged or impromptu,
and always involves food and beverages. Dos Santos is from Trinidad
and to her, "liming" is an outlook on life that values
good times with good friends.
Tickets to the September L.I.M.E. are $125, and a portion of the
proceeds will benefit Simply Divine Garden, a local non-profit that
plants personalized organic gardens at the homes of people undergoing
treatment for cancer. Tickets can be purchased online.
doctor uses device to combat sudden cardiac death
A Trident Medical Center physician is the first in the Lowcountry
to use an implantable cardioverter defibrillator, a new and smaller
medical device implanted in the body to help regulate the heart's
An implantable cardioverter defibrillator
monitor the heart's rhythm for very fast and potentially dangerous
rhythm disorders and then deliver therapy when they detect abnormal
heart rhythms. The ICD features advanced battery technology and
circuitry that allows for the smallest device footprint in the industry
and rapid charge times.
"In some patients, conventional ICDs don't provide enough energy
to reliably defibrillate patients who are experiencing cardiac arrest,"
Dr. Harold Stites, cardiac electrophysiologist with Arrhythmia Specialists
of Charleston, said. "In these instances, we have had to implant
additional shocking coils or patches."
Fortify ICD's narrow shape allows surgeons to implant the device
using a smaller incision. It can improve patient comfort by reducing
the bulk of wires in the patient's chest.
About 325,000 people per year in the U.S. are struck with sudden
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.
at what survives
Aiken-Rhett House, located in a block-long lot at 48 Elizabeth St.,
is one of the most historically significant properties in Charleston.
house and its outbuildings are one of the most complete and best
preserved urban domestic complexes of the antebellum era. John Robinson,
a wealthy merchant, began construction of the house in the suburb
of Wraggborough around 1818.
the early 1830s, the house and lot had become the property of William
Aiken, Jr., a congressman, governor, and one of the wealthiest planters
in South Carolina. Aiken dramatically altered the property, moving
the entrance from Judith Street to Elizabeth Street, adding an eastern
wing, enlarging the kitchen and slave quarters, and building a chicken
coop, cowshed, and privies. In the 1850s he renovated these structures
and added a northwest wing to house his art collection. With the
exception of the cowshed, all of these additions and outbuildings
have not only survived but also have remained largely unaltered
since the 1850s.
the death of Aiken and his wife, the property was inherited by his
daughter and her family, the Rhetts. In 1975 descendants transferred
the site to the Charleston Museum, which operated it as a museum
and planned to restore the house to its antebellum splendor. Twenty
years later, however, the museum sold the site to Historic Charleston
Foundation for $600,000. The building's unrestored and unaltered
attracted HCF, which saw in it a unique opportunity to understand
and present antebellum urban life and the African American heritage
of Charleston to the public. The foundation has no plans to restore
or furnish the Aiken-Rhett House complex and instead invites visitors
to "marvel at what survives from the nineteenth century rather
than search for what is missing."
Excerpted from the entry by Alexia Jones Helsley. To read more
about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check
South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used
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to these five runs
is a local running coach certified by USA Track and Field and the
Road Runners Club of America. He serves on the board of the Charleston
Running Club and is the Director of Training for the Charleston
Marathon. Coach Greg writes about running at CharlestonRuns.com.We
asked for his five favorite local races.
Hole Swamp Gator Run and Walk - I love small towns in South
Carolina and every one of them seems to have a festival of some
sort. Jamestown, at the intersection of Highways 41 and 17A, has
the Swamp Fox Festival, named for Revolutionary War general Francis
Marion. As early as 4:30 a.m., people begin lining the race route.
Not because they're road race fans - they're there for the parade
that starts after the race. The race starts with one of the local
men firing his shotgun and the 10K run goes through the national
forest. Race Director Michael Lake gives out the awards afterward,
but not before he reads the poem he writes while the race is being
run. The awards are creative - stuffed gator heads mounted on
cypress. (The gator heads are harvested from an alligator farm
in Florida.) Local runners head to Jamestown just to attempt to
win the coveted trophies.
River Bridge Run - Come hang out on the first Saturday in
April with 40,000 of your closest friends. It's fun to run and
walk on the 'Cuz'way the other 364 days of the year, but this
is a great party at America's seventh-largest race. My personal
hint for a stress-free experience for locals: Pick up your race
packet in the weeks before the race at Bridge Run HQ in Mount
Pleasant so you avoid the race expo downtown. After the race hint:
Be a member of the Charleston Running Club (you can join at the
race) so you can get a free, fresh cooked post-race breakfast.
No need to shove your way through the crowd to get to pawed-over
bagels and oranges.
Children's Charity Run/Walk - There's only one race through
Hanahan each year and this 8K is it. The volunteers are top-notch
- I think because they're passionate about the Children's Charity.
The age group prizes run three deep and with a small field, many
who have never won anything in a race have a chance to walk away
with some race day booty.
Day Run and Gobble Wobble - This 5K runs through downtown
Charleston on Thanksgiving morning. It is the third-largest race
in the area, with over 4,000 finishers. It's a great way to burn
off just a few calories before you head inside to consume an obscene
amount of food. I would say it's the friendliest race for families
and dogs. They even have a separate finish chute for strollers
so folks don't get tangled up at the finish line.
Breakaway Series - This is a new series of five 5K races held
every other Tuesday evening during the summer on the Citadel campus
and through Hampton Park. The field is small and very friendly
and the race management, handled by Citadel coaches Jody Huddleston
and Kris Kut, is outstanding. It's fun to head out there and see
how you improve from week to week.
Links to all
of these races and other local races can be found on the Charleston
Running Club Web site.
your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes."
Disraeli, British politician (1804 - 1881)
THIS WEEK |
He Dead? 8 p.m., Sept. 2-4 and 9-11; 3 p.m., Aug.
29 and Sept. 12. Footlight
Players Theatre launches its 79th season with the premier of
Mark Twain's previously unpublished play, "Is He Dead?"
Written in 1898 in Vienna as Twain emerged from one of the deepest
depressions of his life, the play illustrates its author's superb
gift for humor operating at its most energetic. Tickets are $25
for adults, $22 for seniors, $15 for students. To purchase tickets,
contact the Footlight Players box office at (843) 722.4487 or go
online. Footlight Theatre, home to Footlight Players, is located
at 20 Queen St. in downtown.
with a cause: 7:05 p.m., Aug. 30, Joe Riley Stadium.
Presence Foundation is being spotlighted for "Dogs With
a Cause" at the Charleston RiverDogs game. The Birthday Presence
Foundation is a nonprofit grassroots effort founded by Nicole Thomas
in September 2009 to help impoverished children. Working with My
Sister's House, Carolina Youth Development, Florence Crittenton
and other community partners the foundation provides birthday packages
to children in the tri-county area. Find out more and buy tickets
to the RiverDogs
game online at the News and Events page.
Wine on the Water:
7-9 p.m., Aug. 31. The South Carolina Aquarium and several
Sustainable Seafood Initiative partners invite wine and food aficionados
to join them for an evening near the sea. Mingle with friends while
enjoying five sustainable seafood stations led by Charleston chefs
from Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar, Blu Restaurant and Bar, The Buccaneer,
High Cotton, and Saffire at the Marriott. Each seafood sampling
will be paired with wine provided by Southern Wine and Spirits.
Tickets are $35; members enjoy discounted tickets at $25. Reservations
and payment must be made in advance. Proceeds benefit the conservation
and education programs of the Aquarium. For reservations, call (843)
577-3474 or purchase
and golf: Aug. 31. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
presents Business on Ocean Course, a full day of golf at the 5-star
Ocean Course on Kiawah Island. Cost: Individual, $250; Team: $995.
Artists Helping Artists Preview: 6 to 9 p.m., Sept. 2,
Michael Mitchell Gallery, 438 King St. The Charleston Symphony Orchestra
League and Michael Mitchell are holding a Pre-Benefit Party featuring
the works of many live and silent auction artists that will be featured
at the October Artists Helping Artists Black Tie Benefit. Food and
spirits by Poogan's Porch. Casual attire. Suggested donation $10
at the door.
art exhibition: 5-8 p.m., Sept. 3, 43 Broad St. Local
landscapist, Bernie Horton, first debuted his outstanding work in
1997 and has been a Charleston favorite ever since. The work of
the gallery's guest artist, Sara Stenlund, also will be on display.
Contact the gallery for more information at 843-727-4343 or email@example.com.
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.
ONGOING AND SOON
tickets on sale: Tickets to the annual MOJA arts festival are
on sale now, and it's time to become a Friend of MOJA as well. MOJA,
a celebration of African-American and Caribbean arts, will run Sept.
23 to Oct. 3 in Charleston. For tickets, go
online, call the ticket line at (843) 724-7295, or visit in
person or seek a mail order form from 2010 MOJA Tickets, City of
Charleston, Office of Cultural Affairs, 180 Meeting St., Ste. 200,
Charleston, SC 29401.
Piccolo Spoleto applications: Deadlines in September. The City
of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs is accepting applications
for the 2011 Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Applications
for Young Readers: 4-6 p.m., Sept. 7, Blue Bicycle Books,
420 King St. Michelle Zink, author of "Prophecy of the Sisters"
will be signing copies of her second work, "Guardian of the
Gate." The two books are the first in a trilogy. 843-722-2666.
ABCs of Nutrition: 6-7 p.m., Sept. 8. Good nutrition
doesn't have to be difficult, time-consuming or scary. Tina Whetzel,
owner of EatFit LiveFit + CrossFit Mt. Pleasant, hopes to give individuals
and families the tools they need to be healthy with her free course,
The ABCs of Nutrition. The event is at 1118 Park West Blvd. in Mount
Pleasant. Children are welcome. Attendees will leave with quick
recipes, ideas for healthy snacks and practical information about
nutrition and its role in a healthy lifestyle. For more information,
call 843-475-2459 or e-mail Whetzel at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tournament: Registration begins at 6 a.m., Sept. 11.
Get ready to catch some fun at the Folly Beach Fishing Pier's end-of-the-season
tournament on Sept. 11. For more information, call (843) 588-FISH
(3474) or go online.
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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