:: Only in SC and Pakistan
:: Simple act of beauty started changes
CharlestonCurrents.com 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
2011 -- It's been five months since The Humane Society of the United States
released a national investigation showing disturbing
video of four bear baiting competitions in South Carolina.
the first time that images of these violent spectator events, sometimes
called "bear baying" by participants, have been available for
the public to see - and they show sustained acts of cruelty that South
Carolinians have been appalled to learn about.
are judged on how successfully they can torment and control a bear, and
their handlers are awarded trophies and prizes. Almost unbelievably, crowds
of spectators watch and encourage the ordeal. We found events occurring
just about every weekend, so the captive bear may be subjected to this
fear and misery on an ongoing basis. This practice was outlawed in the
1800s and is illegal worldwide, although South Carolina joins Pakistan
in allowing this form of staged animal combat.
understandable that an agency with the broad responsibility to conserve
all of the state's wildlife and habitat has made few inspections of each
bear since permits were granted years ago. However, since the investigation,
the DNR has refused to revoke captive bear permits from those participating
in bear baiting competitions.
FEB. 10, 2011 - By the early 1990s, the town of Bakersville, N.C., was threatened with extinction.
A tiny town not all that far from the Lowcountry, Bakersville is the Mitchell County seat and sits at the foot of beautiful Roan Mountain. In just a few short months - if this interminable winter will ever end -- Charlestonians will begin making their annual pilgrimage to Western North Carolina to see what Roan Mountain does best -- an annual burst of beauty from the rhododendron that grow wild over 600 acres there.
But the beautiful show of blossoms each June was not enough to sustain the town as jobs dwindled in tobacco farming and furniture factories began building our sofas and dining room tables offshore. Even Bakersville's high school moved away, consolidated with the school in another town.
That's when a couple whose families had lived in Bakersville for six generations, Lee Roy and Sue Ledford, decided the town needed a shot in the arm. They got the high school band teacher to agree to let his students march in a revival of the town's Christmas parade. They invited others to come, carrying candles as they walked in the parade. About 100 people - one-third of Bakersville's population - took part.
The Ledfords were the catalysts for saving Bakersville, according to a study just released by The Kettering Foundation. And though the process took several years and involved many other Bakersville "catalysts" as well, the town was transformed. That's why the study is called "Extraordinary Results in Ordinary Communities."
Some of the study's conclusions will sound familiar to those who serve as catalysts in the Lowcountry. This report's conclusions call to mind the successes of North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey and his citizens, although theirs is far from a small-town example.
In North Charleston, the steps occurred in a different order. The city's old downtown area on Montague Avenue was spruced up long before its beautiful waterfront park was built, for example. Like Bakersville, the list of people who serve as catalysts in North Charleston has grown quite long. Think of the neighborhood associations who work to keep crime out of their small areas, or the exponential growth of North Charleston's arts community.
But each of the steps took place because someone stepped up to spearhead the effort.
According to the Kettering Foundation, the communities they studied are still at risk, so checking back in a decade or so might truly define whether their results can be called extraordinary. Still, the progress that regular folks made cannot be denied, and it should inspire all of us whether we live in a tiny town or a big city.
"Perhaps the most important and potentially longest lasting forms of reinvestment come with the growth of people Members of all the organizations have attested to the fact that they, themselves, have grown as individuals and citizens. They attribute their growth to being a part of meaningful tasks and have found power in working together."
spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents
to you at no cost. In this issue, we turn the spotlight on Charleston
Green Commercial, a full-service commercial property management company
that pays attention to detail, provides exceptional personal service and
is committed to adding value to buildings. Offering professional property
management, consulting and other services, the company strives to improve
clients' bottom lines with superior service, accessibility, reliability
and a wealth of knowledge of the Charleston real estate market. By blending
use of proven contractors and contacts with environmentally-conscious
practices, the company helps clients stay on the leading edge of commercial
real estate practices. More.
PeopleMatter created a talent management solution for high-volume, high-churn companies -- restaurants, convenience stores, and so on.
GreenWizard is a technology company offering a Web-based software solution for architects, engineers, and contractors to search, compare, buy and document green building materials from thousands of manufacturers.
Business & Nonprofit Networking Lunch Main Library
Kucha coming Feb. 24
Researcher Toni Carrier will give a lecture on African American genealogy at noon Saturday at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
Carrier, founding director of the Lowcountry Africana project, will present "Lowcountry Africana: Free Resources for African American Genealogy" from noon until 1:15 p.m. in Magnolia's Orientation Theater.
Lowcountry Africana is a free Web site sponsored by the Magnolia Plantation Foundation. Based at the University of South Florida Africana Heritage Project, the Web site is dedicated to African American genealogy and history in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
For more information, call Magnolia at 843-571-1266.
Former Citadel instructor publishes counter-terrorism thriller
A retired Special Forces officer who spent three years teaching cadets at The Citadel has published his first novel - a fictional tale of a clandestine operator named Pike Logan who must intercept an attack planned not by a terrorist group or organization, but by two men operating independently and in possession of a powerful weapon.
Brad Taylor, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Army's Special Forces, will sign copies of "One Rough Man" from 1 to 3 p.m. on March 7 and 8 at The Citadel Bookstore inside Mark Clark Hall. The book will be released nationwide on Feb. 17. Taylor will hold a book launch party at 6 p.m. Feb. 21 at The Windjammer on the Isle of Palms.
Taylor served in the Army for more than 21 years, retiring as a Special Forces lieutenant colonel. He commanded multiple troops and a squadron, and has conducted operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other classified locations.
His final assignment was as an assistant professor of military science at The Citadel, where he was the executive officer of the Army ROTC battalion. Besides supervising the planning and execution of all battalion activities, he also taught all 400-level Army ROTC classes, instructing cadets on various facets of national security. Taylor's family ties to The Citadel run deep. His twin brother graduated from The Citadel in 1988, and his father is a member of the Class of 1960.
When not writing, Taylor serves as a security consultant on asymmetric threats for various agencies. He lives in Charleston with his family.
Eat some oysters and give some Birthday Presence
It's a great time of year to shuck some oysters, and the Birthday Presence Foundation offers a great way to enjoy the bivalves while also supporting children in need in Charleston.
The Birthday Presence Oyster Roast will be at Bowen's Island on Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. It will feature all you can eat oysters, beer and wine, a silent auction and raffle, live music and a DJ, and the Jack's Cosmic Dog Truck for those who aren't oyster fans.
Tickets are $20 per person in advance, $25 at the door, and children 12 and under are free. For more information, go to the Birthday Presence Foundation's Web site.
Everyone who attends is asked to bring a new toy or educational item in its original packaging to be given to an impoverished child on his/her birthday.
County parks to hold job fairs soon
County Park and Recreation Commission is holding job fairs for part-time
employment starting this Saturday.
first fairs will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at James Island County
Park and at Palmetto Islands County Park in Mount Pleasant. The next will
be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the following Saturday, Feb. 19 at Wannamaker
County Park in North Charleston.
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce has new leader
Bryan Derreberry has been named President and CEO of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
Derreberry is president and CEO of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce in Kansas. He will take over in Charleston in April. Charles H. Van Rysselberge, the president and CEO of the Charleston Chamber for more than eight years announced his plans to retire on March 31, 2011.
Derreberry was one of six finalists. He was contacted about the position by a national search firm retained by the Charleston Metro Chamber to conduct their candidate search.
strongly believe that Chambers of Commerce must lead their community's
quality of place transformation efforts. Business, talent, and intelligence
are all drawn to attractive and engaging communities," Derreberry
said. "Charleston's natural aesthetic beauty, incredible downtown,
strong South Carolina business setting, diverse business clusters, and
national brand identification make for a winning economic and community
By DOUGLAS W. BOSTICK, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents | new feature
When Major Robert Anderson moved his Federal garrison to Fort Sumter under the cover of darkness on Dec. 26, 1860, the families of his officers and soldiers were taken to Fort Sumter as well. Concerned over the mounting tensions, Anderson decided to evacuate the families to New York.
On February 3, the Marion docked at Fort Sumter, picking up the precious cargo of the wives and children from the garrison. One of the wives would write:
Despite the urgent times, the South Carolina Jockey Club announced that race week, the first week in February, would be held, just as in prior years for a century before. Race week was an intoxicating mix of sport and society and everyone in Charleston, from slave to master, attended. The Jockey Club Ball, always on Friday, was the biggest event of the year for high society. The editor of the national racing magazine, The Spirit of the Times, wrote of the elaborate meal, "It would seem the entire animal and vegetable kingdom had been placed at the command of the Club's caterer and that heaven itself had furnished the cooks."
Governor Francis W. Pickens attended all the festivities of the week, including the daily races. On Wednesday, opening day, he ordered all the batteries on the harbor to ready for a 48-hour bombardment. On Saturday, after the great match race, he declared martial law on Sullivan's Island, causing concern with everyone that hostilities were about to commence.
By early February, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas joined South Carolina in seceding from the Union. Delegates from these Southern states assembled for a convention in Montgomery, Alabama, forming the Confederate States of America. Jefferson Davis, the newly elected president, informed Pickens that any decisions regarding Fort Sumter were now the responsibility of the Confederate government.
While the newly organized Confederate States were meeting in convention, Virginia was in the midst of a peace convention to determine its course of action. Former President John Tyler, a Virginian and an avowed states' rights supporter, sent a telegram to Pickens from the Virginia convention: "Can my voice reach you? If so, do not attack Fort Sumter. You know my sincerity. The Virginia delegation here earnestly unite."
We encourage you to check out our sister publications:
Charleston Currents is provided to you twice a week by:
Address: P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413
We hope you'll keep receiving the great news and information from CharlestonCurrents.com, but if you need to unsubscribe, click here.
© 2008-2011, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. Charleston Currents is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.
Five for going on TV
They say that for most Americans, giving a speech is more frightening than death. As a former television host and reporter and now a media consultant, Ryan Nelson often is asked to coach others when they are making their debut on local television. "As easy as it is for me to jump in front of a camera, for many, getting in front of the camera can cause nervousness, stomach aches and even a huge case of stage fright," Nelson told us. So here's her list of easy tips to consider when you get your chance to be in the spotlight:
For more on Ryan Nelson and her firm, Nelwater Consulting, visit www.nelwater.com.
to be Cary Grant. Even I want to be Cary Grant."
Nerds at the Dock: 7:30 p.m., Feb. 11-19, 3 p.m. matinees on Sundays, Feb. 13 and 20. Fresh off of Broadway, the Tony Award-winning musical comedy "25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" follows six young people in the throes of puberty, overseen by grown-ups who barely managed to escape childhood themselves. Charleston Stage's production will feature local celebrities as guest spellers each night. The show, which contains adult language, is recommended for theater-goers 13 and over. For more information and to buy tickets, go online.
SEWE Kick-Off on the Creek: 5:30 p.m., Feb. 12, at The Lighthouse on Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant. The event will feature live music from national recording artists Ken Block & Drew Copeland of Sister Hazel, as well as Tyler Mechem of Crowfield. Guests will dine on steamed local oysters and a buffet, plus unlimited adult beverages. Barrier Island Marine will have new 2011 model boats in the water offering free sunset cruises to event-goers. This event is sponsored by Red's Ice House, Barrier Island Marine, Miller Lite and WEZL. Tickets are $40 in advance, available at Red's Ice House on Shem Creek or by calling SEWE at 843-723-1748, or $50 at the door.
signing: 4 to 6 p.m., Feb. 12, Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King
St. Fans of Nicole Seitz's highly acclaimed novels "Trouble The Water,"
"The Spirit of Sweetgrass," "A Hundred Years Of Happiness"
and "Saving Cicadas" will treasure "The Inheritance of
Beauty," a poignant story of Maggie and George, childhood sweethearts
whose 70-year marriage is forged of their devastating shared secrets from
the tragic events of the summer of 1929.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
(NEW) Free flu shots: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Feb. 15, East Cooper Medical Center, Second Floor Conference Room. The Lowcountry has seen a high volume of flu cases in local emergency rooms, including the ER at East Cooper Medical Center. To prevent the spread of the flu, East Cooper Medical Center is offering free flu shots. Pre-registration is required by calling 843-884-7031.
Artist demonstration and lecture: 7 p.m., Feb. 15, Bond
Hall room 165, The Citadel. The Citadel School of Humanities and Social
Sciences and the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition educational partnership
sponsor a demonstration and lecture by SEWE artist and Citadel alumnus
Larry Seymour. Seymour was voted South Carolina Wildlife Federation Artist
of the Year in 1986, and has participated in SEWE for many years. Free.
Black History Celebration: 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Feb. 23. Trident Technical College's Berkeley Campus in Moncks Corner will hold its celebration of Black History Month in the library.
Window Exhibit: Through Feb 28, 2011, The Meeting Place, 1077 East Montague Ave. North Charleston. In his exhibit, "Sea and Shore," local artist David Springer will present metal sculpture depictions of Lowcountry birds, plants, and wildlife. Window viewing, free parking.
Cuban Exhibit: Through March 28, City Gallery at Waterfront Park. An opening reception for Polaridad Complementaria: Recent Works from Cuba, an exhibition that introduces North America to the new generation of influential artists from Cuba, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 4. The exhibit offers more than 40 works of painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and installation art to provide a sense of the serious aesthetic and conceptual concerns that characterizes Cuban art today. The City Gallery, at 34 Prioleau St., is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
We encourage you to follow us through Twitter @chascurrents.
DOUG BOSTIC: CIVIL WAR HISTORY2/10: War prep offsets horseracing
MARSHA GUERARD2/10: Simple act of beauty
1/3: Spoleto plans
12/27: Hunger, homeless
11/11: Veterans Day
10/21: Charleston: good performer
8/19: How many med schools for SC?
PETER LUCASH: BUSINESS INDIGO
GREG GARVAN: CHARLESTON GREEN
ANN THRASH: FOOD & DRINK
on SC Path