CHALK ONE UP. A sidewalk artist on Church Street just behind First Baptist Church School declared goodbye to school for the summer, but admits she'll miss her classes. There's still plenty to smile about as well as summer fun approaches. Photo by Michael Kaynard.
UNDERWRITERS AND PARTNERS
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
MAY 30, 2011 -- I, like many others, am relieved that Osama bin Laden is dead. As a company commander in the South Carolina Army National Guard, I know that our mission is nowhere near being completed, and we remain at a high level of readiness and awareness. And as an Iraq War veteran, I rejoiced with others when Saddam Hussein was brought to justice.
Now that Bin Laden has met his maker, we cannot forget what he caused. America must continue to put pressure on our known and possible enemies and remain focused and alert. We must not let terrorists enter our homeland nor allow others to commit genocide or destroy the way of life of our allies.
Emotions are high since the Al-Qaeda leader is no longer on this earth, and Americans are impatient as a result and want all service members back home now. This war has drained the Armed Forces, military families, and the country's finances. Public support has wavered, and some have forgotten that we are a nation at war.
The work to prevent the training and breeding of terrorists is the work of the military and our intelligence community. In order for this country to remain a democracy and a free nation, our president, the Armed Forces, and all Americans must remain on the offensive and not be reactive to situations that may catch us off guard. Our military's personnel continue to amaze us, and their ability to gather intelligence, connect the dots, and work together proves that progress is being made.
We must make sure that a vigilant attitude stays the norm in order to keep another Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden from emerging. The Taliban have a saying, "America has all the watches, but we have all the time." When you understand that mindset, you no longer have to ask whether or not we should try to seek a treaty with these folks. Facing such a mentality, America and its citizens have no choice but to show the Taliban and their affiliates that while they are sleeping, we are planning; while they are training, we are fighting; and while they are fighting us, we are killing them. This is why the fight will continue and we must not waver in our efforts.
During this Memorial Day holiday, the focus should not be on having a day off from work, shopping, nor relaxing. The focus should be on the original meaning of Memorial Day: honoring the U.S. soldiers who died while in military service defending the freedoms we so often take for granted. Reflecting on their service and sacrifice during such a holiday is more important than sleeping in late and going to a cookout. Do something productive for them and their families as we continue to engage in this war and in other conflicts.
When partisanship trumps intelligence, doing what's right
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
MAY 30, 2011 Maybe Mick Zais (rhymes with face) is a retired general who just cant think outside of his hyperpartisan box.
Thats the only way we can explain the odd pronouncement this week by the new state superintendent of education that South Carolina wont compete to get a $10 million to $50 million grant from a $200 million federal pool of money to improve public schools.
While the state lost (some say barely) in the first two rounds of hundreds of millions of dollars of Race to the Top grant funding, it and eight other states now have been given a chance to get a new grant.
But South Carolina apparently wont even try for it, thanks to Zais. He said in a statement that he was opposed to the grant process because it would expand the federal role in education by offering pieces of silver in exchange for strings attached to Washington.
Hogwash. The generals narrow-minded ideology is trumping intelligence and trumping whats right for South Carolinas kids. Hes giving up without even trying, something that seems counter to what any general is ever trained to do. The guy who is supposed to be charging ahead to make schools better for all kids not just Republican kids is waving the white flag before a grant contest begins.
It is not federal intrusion or federal mandates that are impeding student achievement in South Carolina's schools but rather insufficient human capital, poverty and low expectations, said noted national education reform consultant Hayes Mizell of Columbia, who added that local school districts in South Carolina have lost 4,300 employees in the last year.
Race to the Top funding would not solve these problems, but it would help local school districts address them, Mizell said. Blaming the federal government for South Carolina's woes is a tactic the state's leaders have used for two centuries, but there is no evidence the state is better off for it.
Earth to Zais: Maybe we need these so-called government strings. Why? Because whats been happening so far with us at the bottom of education lists hasnt been working out that well, especially when you consider the future.
Did you know, for example, that India has more honor students right now than there are students in the United States? And just about all of them speak English? This and a host of other interesting tidbits about the future are in a must-see video that Sonys board of directors viewed a couple of years ago.
So instead of wallowing in partisan blather about smaller government and trying to get vouchers to let people use public school money for private education, South Carolinas education leaders need to enact strategies of TRANSFORMATIONAL reform that will overhaul how South Carolinas children learn.
So how about universal 4-year-old kindergarten, for example? According to state education officials, some 18,293 of the states 4-year-olds already are in some kind of half- or full-day program funded by state and local dollars. Another 4,678 poor students in poor school districts that sued the state for providing less than a minimally adequate education are in the sixth year of a court-mandated pilot education program for 4-year-olds. About 500 kids in the same counties are getting 4K training in non-school settings. And somewhere around 10,000 young students are getting 4K help through Head Start.
But that leaves between 16,000 and 20,000 South Carolina 4-year-olds who may not be getting early childhood education, educators say. And they agree roundly that the earlier kids can get in school, the more prepared they are down the road. In turn, that will make them more successful in later years, which might help get South Carolina off the bottom of all of those lists.
It wouldnt be cheap to implement universal 4-K schooling, but were already halfway there. If we can do more even earlier, we might not have as many costly future problems, including having a large chunk of the workforce being not ready to compete with all of those honor students in India.
Yes, Zais may rhyme with face as the superintendent oft says to remind people how to say his name, but this week it also rhymes with disgrace.
We love getting input from you. If you have an opinion you'd like to share (150 words or less), send your letters to the address below. We look forward to hearing from you!
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. Today we shine our spotlight on a company familiar to many across the Lowcountry: Force Protection, Inc. Since its founding in 1996 in Charleston, S.C., Force Protection has emerged as a leading manufacturer of Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles that are deployed in support of armed forces and security personnel serving in theaters of operation around the globe. With a mission of bringing our heroes home safely, Force Protection is continually researching, developing and delivering leading-edge, life-saving solutions designed to counter roadside bomb threats, including IEDs and EFPs. For the complete profile, visit www.forceprotection.net.
MAY 30, 2011 - It's lights, camera, action for Lowcountry seafood in one of the first episodes of the new show "Hook, Line & Dinner" on the Cooking Channel. The series follows host Ben Sargent, a chef and restaurateur, as he travels the coastal United States in search of the best regional seafood.
page at the Cooking Channel Web
site says, "Ben uncovers the country's best seafood joints and
regional specialties while taking viewers on the awesome journey from
sea to table.
In each episode, Ben visits a new coastal locale
where he teams up with the expert locals to secure the catch of the day,
and then he follows that catch straight to the best seaside kitchens."
on the implementation of the ban, which was originally scheduled to begin
June 30, will give council the opportunity to hear from various municipalities
and public service districts, as well as county staff, regarding the anticipated
financial impact to the government entities as well as their citizens.
RiverDogs ring in June at
For more information or to order tickets to any RiverDogs game, please call the Riley Park Box Office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or log on to www.riverdogs.com.
Clemson Master Gardeners, H.E.N. Project offer free classes
A series of free vegetable gardening classes will be offered by master gardeners from the Clemson Extension Service and the H.E.N. Project (Hunger Ends Now) in Moncks Corner for four Thursdays beginning June 9.
The classes are:
Children are welcome with an adult. The HEN Project Community Garden is located at 116 Carolina Ave., right next door to the rescue squad and the train tracks. No pre-registration required. Call or email for details Jennifer Schlette at 843-251-7061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Textile Workshop participants will learn to make peasant dress
The Charleston Museum Institute continues its Textile Workshop series with a Girls' Peasant Dress Workshop on June 18, from 9:30 a.m. to noon.
Local designer/owner of The Fresh Stitch, Corinne Citrolo, will teach participants how to make her signature peasant dress for babies and little girls. This modern style has an elastic neck and cap sleeves and is perfect for spring and summer.
During the workshop, we will also look at a selection of girls' dresses from the Museum's collection. While this project is fairly simple, students will need to provide their own sewing machine and be comfortable operating it. Participants will supply their own fabric and several other basic notions (supply list to be provided at registration).
fee is $30/member, $35/non-member. Advance reservations are required;
register through the calendar of events at
Located in Lee County, the Ashwood Plantation project was a government-sponsored agricultural community established as a resettlement site for tenant farmers displaced by the Great Depression.
In 1934 the Federal Emergency Relief Administration acquired 7,000 acres south of Bishopville, including the 2,200-acre Ashwood Plantation of former governor Richard I. Manning. Other parcels ultimately raised the total to about 11,000 acres. A succession of state and federal agencies would oversee the project in the ensuing years, including the federal Resettlement Administration, the South Carolina Rural Resettlement Corporation, and the federal Farm Security Administration. Project directors planned to settle about two hundred families at Ashwood. After proving their mettle as renters, settlers could purchase small farms on extended credit, receive advice in agronomy and farm management, and eventually become self-sufficient yeomen.
By the late 1930s, the project had built homes for about 160 families, who rented crop land for $3.50 per acre. Woodlands and pasturage were furnished free of charge. Rental allowances were based on the number of draft animals a family owned. A tenant with one horse (or, more commonly, one mule) could rent thirty acres, while a two-horse tenant might rent fifty acres. In addition to housing, the FSA built three schools, an auditorium and gymnasium, a medical facility, a shop, and a community center.
Despite the best intentions, Ashwood was dogged by problems. Many Ashwood residents and administrators lacked farming experience. Others did not demonstrate a satisfactory work ethic. Yet another problem was the size of the farms; low crop prices made the smallest units financially unsustainable. The FSA disbanded the project in 1944 and turned over the property to local administration. The lands were eventually sold and most of the surviving buildings were razed in the 1980s.
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.
5 motivational books
Visit with David
Gilston and there's a good chance you'll leave his office with a motivational
book - or two. But Gilston isn't a man who thinks leadership is simply
handing out books and quoting an inspirational saying or two. He has built
a successful career based on the principles he's put into practice for
almost 50 years.
In the 1970s, Gilston started the David M. Gilston Insurance Agency, which supports insurance brokers and agents across South Carolina through its Columbia and Charleston locations. The Gilston Agency is one of the state's largest health insurance marketing and support organizations.
"In the first
place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."
sampler. Here's a mere sampling of this week's Piccolo Spoleto events.
For a calendar of all events, go
My Father, Myself: Creative Resilience in Aging: 6:45 p.m., May 31, Main Library, 68 Calhoun St. Can art save us from the ravages of dementia, or transform the experience of aging? Jerald Winakur discusses how art can help the aging and their caregivers cope with the changes in their lives. Winakur is the author of Memory Lessons: A Doctor' Story which chronicles his life as a geriatric doctor and his experiences caring for his father, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. A book signing will follow the lecture; books will be available for sale.
Chamber's Annual Meeting: 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., June 2, Francis Marion Hotel. The Charleston Metro Chamber's annual meeting will feature Scott Lillie on Inside the Magic: Leadership Principles from a Life at Disney. Cost: $179 for non-members; $129 for members. Register.
Floppin' Flounder 5K: 8 a.m., June 4, near Sullivan's Island Fish Fry Shack. The 20th Annual Floppin' Flounder 5K Run/Walk is one of Charleston's favorite races. Hosted by the Charleston Running Club, with help from the Sullivan's Island Fire & Rescue Department. The fee before June 1 is $20 ($15 for Running Club Members) and after June 1 it is $25 for all participants. Registration fee includes a race shirt, food and drinks. Register online.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Upstairs at McCrady's: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. sets, Now through June 10, McCrady's, 2 Unity Alley. Jazz Artists of Charleston announces its 4th Annual JAC Jazz Series, regular sets at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. featuring some of Charleston's premiere jazz musicians, along with regionally, nationally and internationally acclaimed artists. The series will include two special events, Holy City Homecomin' featuring Art of the Song and The Charleston All-Stars. Detailed ticket and program information are online.
You Are Safe: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday to Friday through
June 25, Rick Rhodes Photography Gallery and Studio, 1842 Belgrade
Ave., Charleston. An interdisciplinary art project presented by Tina Christophillis,
visual art; Justin Nathanson, video/photography; and Brit Washburn, poetry.
(NEW) ART FOR CHARITY: 5:30-7:30 p.m., June 10, 438 King St. A special reception and gallery event to benefit the American Red Cross. With entertainment provided by D&M Productions, food from Rue de Jean and wine provided by Ice Box. Suggested donation at the door: $10. For more information, go to artforcharitysc.com.
Charleston Arts Festival: The
city of North Charleston's Arts Festival continues through June 13
with dozens of lectures, concerts, displays and performances. Admission
to these events is free. Go
online for a complete listing. A few highlights:
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
We encourage you to follow us through Twitter @chascurrents.
for Ard to go
IN OUR SISTER PUBLICATION
Here's the latest from our sister publication, Statehouse Report:
Twitter feeds via TweetsWind: a Twitter widget