Nonprofit listens, then invests in community assets
By the REV. BILL STANFIELD
Special to CharlestonCurrents.com
8, 2010 - "Oh, I know that community," says the woman
in a recent conversation, "you don't want to be in there at
the wrong time of day." She is describing the neighborhood
where I live and work each day as the CEO of the Metanoia Community
works with the southernmost neighborhoods in North Charleston with
a particular focus on the Chicora-Cherokee community. By many accounts
our community is struggling. We have low graduation and homeownership
rates and the crime rates in our community routinely average higher
than other neighborhoods in North Charleston.
yet, at Metanoia we work with the firm conviction that this is only
half the story of our neighborhood. On my walk to work I pass many
great residents on their way to jobs or school. I see a school that
is beating many odds and I pass houses purchased by first-time homebuyers.
Our focus is to target investment in these community assets because
they are the individuals and institutions most capable of bringing
sustained change to our community. While most get a picture of our
neighborhood from the media or negative statistics, we have gathered
a group of motivated and inspired community residents who want to
too long, even those in the nonprofit sector believed only the negative
stories of our neighborhood. As a result, we focused only on filling
needs instead of building capacities. We saw the community as a
place only of deficits and needs, not as a place of potential. Yet,
every successful individual or group has been backed by someone
who invested time and resources in their strengths, not just their
way we focus on assets at Metanoia is to discover community-based
leaders and allow them to make decisions about how our resources
are used. Metanoia recognizes local residents are the true experts
for their communities. By granting local individuals a say in how
investments are made in a community, we find our efforts quickly
gain traction. No longer is it enough to do a good work to our more
vulnerable neighbors. We now focus on working with those who are
often labeled as having nothing to give.
has three areas of primary investment. We focus our efforts in identifying
neighborhood assets to build leaders, establish quality housing
and generate economic development. By focusing in these three areas
we have developed a holistic model of community transformation that
can address several areas of our community at once. In the seven
years of our existence, we have seen students in our Youth Leadership
programs excel in school, 14 new homebuyers in the community, and
crime decrease by over 60 percent on one street where our homeownership
efforts were focused.
2009 Metanoia was one of 10 charities of the more than 8,000 registered
in the state of South Carolina to receive an "Angel" designation
from the South Carolina Secretary of State. This award is given
to groups that operate with low overhead and achieve exemplary outcomes.
News of this award was humbling for us and it was confirmation that
by focusing on neighborhood assets we can effect change in a way
that is both authentic and efficient.
to know more? We would love to have you visit Metanoia and talk
with us about our many opportunities for volunteering or supporting
our work. If you come, be prepared to see our community as a place
of potential rather than problems. Be prepared to become part of
a dynamic movement that is achieving measurable results with a community
that many are quick to write off.
Rev. Bill Stanfield is the CEO of Metanoia. For more information,
Learn more about Metanoia at a fundraiser Christmas Jubilee at 6
p.m. Thursday, Dec. 2 at the Charleston Area Convention Center in
North Charleston. Tickets are $30 per person; $15 for children;
$240 for a table. Advance purchase is required by Nov. 19. For information
on the Jubilee or to purchase tickets, call 843-529-3014.
of a "new era" for South Carolina
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
5, 2010 The headline in a local newspaper Wednesday after
the GOP sweep in South Carolina was, A New Era.
South Carolina has elected Nikki Haley to be its first woman to
serve as governor. But ideologically, shes almost just like
her mentor and predecessor, Gov. Mark Sanford libertarian,
confrontational with the legislature and set in her ways. We hope
shell work with state lawmakers, not against them.
South Carolina has elected the first black GOP congressman in a
century, but dont expect a lot to change in how he deals with
people from Charleston to Horry counties. Hell vote the party
line like his predecessor, Rep. Henry Brown.
South Carolina will have a new lieutenant governor, but judging
from the shenanigans that went on around election day involving
alleged illegal robo-calls, things arent starting off on a
great foot. Perhaps newcomer Ken Ard has taken some plays from the
strategy book of outgoing Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, who has had his
own problems with the law.
Republicans will keep control of the S.C. House of Representatives,
with a pickup of a seat here and there. Theyll have a larger
majority than last year, but the way the House works wont
change much, unless some Haley-ites are successful in upending House
Speaker Bobby Harrell. (Dont count on it.)
Republicans won a sweep in the constitutional offices so that now
there is no statewide elected Democrat.
that, my friends, is the only substantive change that South
Carolina lost its last statewide Democratic officeholder when Greenville
lawyer Frank Holleman was unable to keep the superintendent of education
position in the blue column. Now with Republican Mick Zais in control
at the Education Department, look for lots of broom-sweeping as
education professionals with a lot of seniority likely will find
the door out pretty quickly.
unclear what that will hold for South Carolinas children in
public schools, but a betting person might take odds that education
wont get better despite Zaiss pledge to put more money
in the classroom. Well just have to see.
now, the election should be seen as a huge wake-up call to the S.C.
Democratic Party, which evidently ignored similar wake-up calls
in 2002 when Sanford ousted Jim Hodges and in 2006 when the GOP
made other gains.
to State Dems: Continuing to do things the same way and expecting
different results is Einsteins definition of insanity. Its
time for new leadership, new ideas, a new strategy and effective
use of modern tools to deliver the message of your vision, why you
are relevant and why you are not a party of bogeymen.
for Democrats to bulk up politically and be a serious alternative
to the Republicans is, quite frankly, bad for democracy in our state.
If the only ideas being considered are unchallenged by vigorous
debate, then we might as well have an autocracy. As Mark Twain once
said, To lodge all power in one party and keep it there is
to insure bad government.
* * * *
the national level, dont look for things to get nicer anytime
soon. With the GOP retaking control of the U.S. House, the nasty
rhetoric of the past few months likely will get shriller.
remembering how they were triangulated by President Bill Clinton
after the 1994 House takeover, wont want to cooperate much
at all. Instead, as one Senate leader suggested, it will be all-out
war to try to make President Barack Obama become the political equivalent
Obama will turn on the charm and try to figure out his own way to
work with Republicans to get things done. If nothing happens, hell
blame them over the 2012 presidential campaign, which, if you havent
noticed, already is under way.
onto your seats. Its going to be a wild ride in the Palmetto
State and nationally.
Brack, publisher of Statehouse Report and Charleston Currents, can
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Drop us a line -- about the election, food, the community
us your letters. We
love getting input from you. If you have an opinion you'd like
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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 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: http://www.joyelawfirm.com.
planned for proposed West Ashley senior center
More than 500 people responded to a recent survey about a proposed
center for senior citizens in the West Ashley area, and interested
seniors are invited to attend a free preview Wednesday to see what
activities the center may offer.
preview will be from 2 to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Jewish Community
Center, 1645 Wallenberg Boulevard, off St. Andrews Boulevard and
Ashley Hall Road.
West Ashley Senior Services Coordinating Committee is crafting the
vision for the proposed gathering place for adults over age 50.
Citizen input helped identify the services, programs and facilities
people feel are most vital. After Wednesday's preview, the next
step will be to determine funding sources and the best site for
The West Ashley Senior Services Coordinating Committee was created
by citizens meeting since the summer of 2009 at "Coffee with
Colleen and Aubry," a weekly get-together at Sojourn Coffee
with Charleston County Council member Colleen Condon and City Council
member Aubry Alexander. In addition to the citizens on the committee
and County Councilman Vic Rawl, there are representatives from the
Jewish Community Center, St. Andrews Parks and Playground, Roper
St. Francis Healthcare, and city and county staff.
committee has identified a wealth of senior resources already in
the area, but under 10 or more roofs. Seven housing facilities that
focus on senior residences are located in West Ashley. As of the
2000 census, there were 17,000 residents who were age 50 and up,
representing 28 percent of the West Ashley population area.
on the proposed senior center, news and survey results can be found
Dames d'Escoffier sponsors Harvest Fare event
The third annual Charleston Farmers Market Harvest Fare will feature
cooking demonstrations, local produce and vendors from 9:30 a.m.
to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Charleston chapter of Les Dames d'Escoffier, a worldwide philanthropic
society of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine
beverage, and hospitality, will sponsor the event along with Stage
New this year, a Children's Tent will offer activities and tastings
just for children's palates. Several Farmers Market vendors also
are creating seasonal specialties in honor of the Harvest Fare:
Charleston Crepe Company will feature a crepe made with local, seasonal
ingredients; Rio Bertolini will create special, seasonal ravioli
and Messy Apron will debut a seasonal pumpkin and sweet potato soup.
Seven cooking demonstrations will be hosted by Les Dames d'Escoffier
International members, chefs and vendors.
all of our members are involved in this market every week, whether
as vendors, chefs purchasing goods, or simply as Saturday shoppers.
The Charleston Farmers Market is an essential ingredient in Charleston's
food community, and we are proud to support and expand the annual
Harvest Fare," says Maggie Kennedy, Les Dames d'Escoffier member.
to apply for county board jobs
deadline is Dec. 6 to apply for voluntary jobs on Charleston County
boards and commissions.
County Council announces the following vacancies:
Charleston Center Advisory Board, three vacancies
License/User Fee Appeals Board, three vacancies for applicants
with strong financial background
of Assessment Appeals, one vacancy
Johns Firemen's Insurance and Inspection Fund (1% Commission),
one vacancy for applicants who live within the Saint Johns Fire
County Greenbelt Bank Board, three vacancies
Board of Trustees, two vacancies
Off Debt Collection Officer, one vacancy
and Trash Abatement Hearing Board, two vacancies
County Council encourages citizens of Charleston County who are
willing to volunteer to serve on one of these important boards to
submit an application for appointment.
County Council's application
for appointment can be found online. Applications will be considered
by County Council's Administration Policy and Rules Committee at
4:15 p.m. Dec. 16. County Council will vote on the committee's recommendations
at 7 p.m. Dec. 21.
fair set for Thursday in Moncks Corner
Upward Bound Math and Science Center at Trident Technical College's
Berkeley Campus is holding a free community health fair from 10
a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday at Trident's Berkeley Campus, 1001 S. Live
Oak Drive (Highway 17-A) in Moncks Corner.
public is invited to learn about improving physical, financial,
personal and home health. Vendors will provide demonstrations, information
opens today on Queen Street
latest addition to Charleston's restaurant scene, Husk, will open
for dinner tonight at 76 Queen Street.
service will begin on Nov. 14, and the restaurant will serve lunch
starting on Nov. 22.
by Executive Chef Sean Brock, Husk will be a refined interpretation
of ingredients sourced only from the South. In the words of Chef
Brock, "If it ain't Southern, it ain't walkin' in the door."
the restaurant's day-to-day operations will be Chef de Cuisine,
Travis Grimes. A native of Charleston, Chef Grimes has worked at
McCrady's since 2003. Grimes will run the Husk kitchen and oversee
the menu, working closely with Brock to ensure the menu's authenticity
and commitment to traditional Southern techniques is upheld.
Husk's use of ingredients from Southern farmers, artisans, and fisherman
- including Thornhill Farm, a 100-acre parcel of land operated by
Farmer Maria Baldwin that will provide fresh produce to the kitchen
- means that the menu will consist of what is fresh and available
County Technology Services employees Donald Giacomo (left) and
Brenda Wheatley, celebrate their award with Assistant Administrator
for General Services Walt Smalls. Photo by Jennie Davis Flynn.
employee wins international award
Wheatley, Charleston County's Geographic Information Systems coordinator,
has been recognized because the county's work with GIS technology
was among a few projects honored from more than 100,000 organizations
around the world.
received Esri's Special Achievement in GIS award, which is given
to the Esri software user sites around the world to recognize outstanding
work with GIS technology.
your thoughts about books, dining
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.
about losing trade to Savannah, Aiken brought railroad
son of James Aiken and Elizabeth Read, William Aiken was born in
county Antrim, Northern Ireland, on August 20, 1778. He immigrated
to South Carolina with his family in 1789 and settled near the town
of Winnsboro in Fairfield County. Before the death of his father
Aiken was apprenticed to Charleston cotton merchant and factor Samuel
Blakely. Aiken matured quickly and often managed the firm when Blakely
was away on business.
of 1833 South Carolina transportation map showing 136-mile route
of railroad from Charleston to Hamburg, built and operated by
the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company.
support from Blakely, Aiken went into business for himself in 1803
and brought in his brother, David, as an apprentice. Two years later
Aiken opened a branch in Winnsboro in order to secure a larger share
of the growing inland cotton trade. Utilizing Blakely's international
trade connections, Aiken added banking to his accomplishments, later
serving as a director of the Planters' and Mechanics' Bank of South
Carolina, the Union Insurance Company, and the Charleston branch
of the Bank of the United States. Also, he began to purchase rice
lands in Colleton District. His son and heir, William Aiken, Jr.,
would subsequently become one of the largest rice growers in the
1823 to 1830 Aiken represented St. Philip's and St. Michael's Parishes
in the S.C. House of Representatives, serving on the committees
on accounts, internal improvements, and ways and means.
one of Charleston's leading businessmen, Aiken was acutely aware
of the city's loss of trade to Savannah and other cities. In March
1828 Aiken served on a Chamber of Commerce committee to investigate
the feasibility of constructing a railroad from Charleston to the
Savannah River near Augusta, Georgia. Accordingly, "a respectable
portion of our citizens," wrote planter Elias Horry, "agreed
that a railroad would be beneficial to revive the diminishing commerce
of the city." Later that year Aiken and others received a charter
from the General Assembly authorizing the creation of the South
Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company.
the railroad's largest investor, was soon chosen as president of
the newly chartered company. Under his direction, a route was selected
and track began to be laid between Charleston and the new cotton
boomtown of Hamburg, across the Savannah River from Augusta. Aiken
angered states' rights advocates, however, when he went to Washington,
D.C., in an unsuccessful bid to secure a federal subscription to
would not live to see the completion of the railroad. Aiken was
thrown from his carriage in Charleston on March 4, 1831, and died
injuries the following day. He was buried in the Second Presbyterian
Churchyard, Charleston, a church he helped to found in 1809.
Excerpted from the entry by Louis P. Towles. 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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to keep warmer
as we edit this edition of Charleston Currents, so we thought we'd
ask Renee Patey of The Sustainability Institute for tips on how
to keep warm without breaking the bank this winter.
- Switch your
ceiling fans to draw air up and circulate warm air during the
- Wrap your
hot water tank in a thermal blanket. These will reduce the heat
loss when you're not using hot water, and it will pay for itself
in less than a year.
a programmable thermostat and program it to heat when you are
home and to set back the temp when you're not - you don't need
to heat an empty house. Recommended temp for winter is 68 degrees,
every 1-degree shift can mean a 4-6 percent shift in you utility
- Use weather-stripping
on your windows, doors and attic hatch, and use caulk under shoe
molding to keep out the drafts (FYI, this is good for all seasons).
a lot of time indoors and online? Set your computers to go into
sleep mode after 15-20 minutes of non-use and eliminate the use
of screen savers. This will reduce the phantom energy use of your
most popular home electronics.
Sustainability Institute for more tips and tricks on saving energy
and reducing your utility bills; and for a list of our upcoming
Home Energy Conservation Workshops. Call: 843-529-3421, send
an email or visit
on the Web.
gum for the eyes
chewing gum for the eyes."
Lloyd Wright, (1869-1959), American architect
THIS WEEK |
seafood dinner: 7:30 p.m., Nov. 8, at Pane e Vino, 17
Warren Street. The South Carolina Aquarium and Pane e Vino present
a relaxing evening of mouth-watering sustainable seafood and seafood
education. Enjoy dishes highlighting natural products from our coast
prepared with an Italian flair, all while learning about how your
seafood choices can affect the fish of the future. Dinner reservations
are $45 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Ten percent
of the total will go towards the South
Carolina Aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Initiative. Space is
limited. For reservations, contact Pane e Vino at (843) 853-5955.
Charleston job searching: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 10,
Springhill Suites, 98 Ripley Point Drive. Charleston Young Professionals
hosts a panel discussion over lunch on effective ways to job search
in Charleston. A panel of local experts will share tips and tricks
for getting your foot in the door and landing the job you want.
The cost is $25 for non-members, and $15 for members. To register
Blessing of the Vine Festival: 1 to 5 p.m., Nov. 13,
Irvin-House Vineyard, located at 6775 Bears Bluff Road on Wadmalaw
Island. At the 8th Annual Blessing of the Vine Festival, wine lovers
can witness the blessing of muscadine grapevines by a priest, and
enjoy live music from The Hawkes while taking in the charming setting
of Irvin-House Vineyard. The event, which includes a burger-cookng
contest, is open to the public, admission is $5 per car. Food will
be available for purchase from Taco Boy, Home Team BBQ and Alchemy
Coffee Shop. The Blessing ceremony will start at 2 p.m. For more
information, call (843) 559-6867.
Artist lecture and book signing: 7 p.m., Nov. 10,
Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip St. Kendall Messick, a
photographer, filmmaker and installation artist whose multi-media
exhibition, "The Projectionist," showed at the Halsey
Institute in 2007, will discuss the progression of the project and
its star, Gordon Brinkle. "The Projectionist" is a documentary,
multi-media exhibition and now a book that explores one man's lifelong
fascination with the golden age of film and, in particular, the
grand movie palace. Gordon Brinkle (1915-2007) devoted his life
to one project stemming from his passion for this waning era in
American culture: The Shalimar Theatre, a fully functional, 9-seat,
faux-vintage movie "palace," which he lovingly constructed
in the basement of his modest Delaware home.
3rd Annual Rural Mission Oyster Roast: 3-6 p.m., Nov.
14, Bowen's Island Restaurant. Don't miss this terrific November
oyster roast that supports the outreach programs of the Rural Mission,
which helps those who have the least. Enjoy great roasted oysters,
food, drinks, live music and a great sunset view. Tickets are $25
for adults, $5 for children and are available from the Rural Mission
at 843-768-1720, or buy at the door or order
feast: 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Nov. 14, Rosebank Farms, 4455
Betsy Kerrison Parkway on Johns Island. The second annual Lowcountry
Field Feast honors all things local, from landscape to produce to
seafood. Proceeds from the farm field trip and family-style supper
will benefit Lowcountry Local First's sustainable agriculture program.
James Beard Award-winning Chef Mike Lata of FIG restaurant will
cook supper, Sidi Limehouse and Louise Bennett of Rosebank Farms
will serve as hosts and the dinner will take place in their backyard
by Haulover Creek. Local bluegrass band The Bushels will entertain.
Tickets for the event are $125. To purchase tickets, visit www.lowcountryfieldfeast.com
or call 843-853-9120.
ONGOING AND SOON
art of negotiation workshop: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Thursday,
9:30 a.m. to noon, Friday, begins Nov. 15, 297 East Bay St.
Erica Ariel Fox leads this workshop using the Beyond Yes Method
to turn stressful personal or professional relationships into successful
ones. Cost: $850. Go
online for more information or phone the Sophia Institute, 843-720-8528.
Metanoia's Christmas Jubilee: 6 p.m. Dec. 2,
Charleston Area Convention Center, North Charleston.
Tickets are $30 per person; $15 for children; $240 for a table.
Advance purchase is required by Nov. 19. For information
on the Jubilee or to purchase tickets, call 843-529-3014.
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