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JULY 11, 2011 - This is the 9th year the Charleston Mayor's Office for Children, Youth & Families will host the First Day Festival. This year's Festival will be held on Sunday, August 14, at Liberty Square at the S.C. Aquarium and the Charleston Maritime Center. Over the last nine years, we have been able to consistently grow the number of children and families we serve and proudly anticipate 11,000 attendees to this year's festival.
In order to provide every child with a great start to the school year, the Festival provides school supplies, healthy snacks, entertainment, aquarium tours, boat rides, and information on student support services at no cost to attendees. Made possible through contributions from individuals and businesses alike, the event is a wonderful way to unite the community around an important cause.
About First Day
First Day of School Initiative generates widespread encouragement and support for the education of our community's children. Our goal is to ensure that students are able to start school with the resources necessary to participate fully in the learning process. The First Day of School Initiative is a community-wide celebration of education that encourages parents to attend school with their children on the first day, urges businesses to support parents by giving them time off to get involved in their child's education, and enhances public engagement in our schools.
How you can get involved
The success of the First Day Initiative is the result of collaborative partnerships and extraordinary community support. Key partners provide financial, in-kind and volunteer support for the First Day Festival. The community has embraced this initiative and established a model of public engagement in support of education. Organizations that show support in one or more of the following ways are recognized on the First Day Festival Honor Roll.
Here is how you can support the First Day Festival:
Higher education needs more flexibility
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
JULY 11, 2011 -- With relatively high tuitions, more students and fewer state dollars at the state's public colleges and universities, there are whispers about whether the state should consider privatizing these institutions.
At first blush, it might make sense to some. But relinquishing a say in what happens at research universities, four-year colleges and technical schools might not be the smartest thing to do.
Over the last 10 years, the state has dramatically cut its financial support of public colleges and universities. Ten years ago, 16 percent of the state's revenue went to higher education. Now after a nasty recession and no major revenue increases, the state's share is about half that.
"Using an apples-to-apples comparison, we currently rank 38th among the states and 15th out of the 16 states in the South in support for higher education," according to a 2010 report by the state Commission on Higher Education.
Just look at the base level cuts suffered last year in which the state slashed every public college or university by about 30 percent:
It became even worse this year (2011-12) when federal aid ran out. With each institution's total budget made up of fees, tuition, grants and more, the state's amount is often less than 10 percent of the whole:
So with the state's funding accounting for a lower percentage of what's needed to run a college, privatization might seem to be a good option, but there are huge pitfalls:
MUSC President Ray Greenberg also noted a harder-to-define, but equally difficult problem with changing from a public to private institution. It involves how the mission of the university might shift a big focus away from helping people in South Carolina.
"Once your privatize, you begin to change, to some extent, the focus of who your audience is and what your responsibilities are," he said in a recent interview.
So what could help public colleges and universities now in the midst of fewer state dollars? Greenberg points to the possibility of a hybrid model in which the institutions accept the reality of fewer state dollars and don't try to return to funding levels of 10 years ago. In return, he said, the state could provide more flexibility to the institutions so they could be more competitive.
Instead, for example, of having to go through the time-consuming process of four bureaucratic levels of approval just from the state for building approval, it would save money to have one or two reviews. They also could be freed of other bureaucratic requirements.
Bottom line: Just as it is time for the state to make serious tax structure reforms it is high time to work with colleges and universities to provide more flexibility, allow the state's residents to be the mission focus and avoid the costly pitfalls of privatization.
The 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. More: Maybank Industries and Maybank Systems.
2011 - A cooking class being offered this month at Charleston Cooks caught
my eye this week because of one particular item on the menu: Lady Baltimore
cupcakes. Lady Baltimore cake has a fun, historic connection to the city
of Charleston, so I was glad to see the folks at Charleston Cooks keeping
the tradition going and promoting this underappreciated local treat, and
I'm eager to learn more about how the talented chefs there have interpreted
this classic as a cupcake.
The Sustainability Institute is offering free home energy conservation workshops, including one on Tuesday.
A hands-on, one-hour workshop will teach:
Tuesday's workshop will begin at 6 p.m. at Bible Way Baptist Church on Savage Road. Another workshop will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 4 at the Charleston Jewish Community Center on Raoul Wallenberg Boulevard, and a third will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 16 at St. Julian Devine on Cooper Street in downtown Charleston.
information, contact Renee
Patey at The Sustainability Institute, 843-529-3421.
At 6 a.m. on Tuesday, area companies, professional groups and other organizations can begin claiming their 2011 Day of Caring projects online at www.tuw.org/DOC2011.asp.
Trident United Way's Day of Caring will take place throughout the Lowcountry on September 9. Last year, more than 7,000 volunteers participated at 400 projects in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. Our community claims the largest Day of Caring, per capita, in the world.
Signing up early means claiming the project that best fits your organization. All participants get a Day of Caring T-shirt and the warm glow of community service.
There will also be a project for unaffiliated individuals. That will be announced soon.
Trident United Way's Day of Caring brings $1 million of labor and supplies to local non-profits in a single day.
Summer memories contest offers up sweet rewards
Everybody has a summer memory that involves fun, sun and good food. And now, Chocolate Moose (Greenville) and Cupcake (Columbia, Charleston and Mount Pleasant) are celebrating those summer memories in cupcake form.
company has launched a new Savor the Summer Contest, which invites fans
to share a summer memory, and suggest how to render it in a cupcake. Fans
are encouraged to think big, and enter their ideas online.
Fans go to either www.chocomoosebakery.com or www.freshcupcakes.com to submit their contest entry. Complete details of the contest are posted on both Facebook pages on their note pages (Moose | Cupcake).
prove the competition for the final prize - a flavor featured on Cupcake
and Chocolate Moose's permanent flavor rotation - will be fierce.
Chocolate Moose is located in Greenville at 120 N. Main St. Cupcake stores are in Charleston at 433 King St., Mount Pleasant at Belle Hall Shopping Center and Columbia at 1213 Lincoln St.
First laser to correct cataracts arrives in Charleston
The first laser in the Southeast, and one of the first in the country, to correct cataracts recently arrived here in the Lowcountry.
Local ophthalmologist Dr. Kerry Solomon was chosen to be one of the first to use the laser technology for cataract correction, the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States. Dr. Solomon was involved in the development of the technology. The only other four lasers in the United States are currently located in Utah, Texas, Missouri and New York.
The femtosecond laser is developed by LenSx and is the same technology used to perform LASIK procedures. By using a laser for cataract correction, ophthalmologists are able to plan and customize each procedure based on patient anatomy as well as create more precise and consistent incisions.
"This is the wave of the future," Dr. Solomon says. "In five to 10 years, all surgeries will be done with the laser."
Light entering the eye passes through its lens. The lens focuses that light on the retina at the back of the eye. A cataract is a clouding of the eye's lens. A clouded lens interferes with how light passes through it, in much the same way that fingerprints or smears on a window interfere with the view of what is on the other side of the glass. Cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans age 40 and older with more than 30 million expected to have cataracts by 2020.
The laser is located at Physicians Eye Surgery Center in Charleston.
Regional Development board has two vacancies
County Council announces two vacancies for seats on the Charleston Regional
Development Alliance Board of Directors.
The landscape of South Carolina is highly eroded. The state, and indeed most of eastern North America, was formed by collision with other land that thrust up high mountain ranges. The eroded roots of these mountains are exposed as the Blue Ridge and Piedmont terrains, which form the upper one-third of the state. The coastal plain makes up the lower two-thirds of the state, formed largely from the sedimentary products of the erosion of upstate mountains. This erosion has provided many of the state's valuable mineral and rock products, including clay, granite, sand, and topsoil. In contrast, some human activities adversely affected erosion, which caused a tremendous loss of topsoil during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that still affects the environment today.
Erosion is the natural, geologic process whereby rock and other earth materials are loosened or dissolved from their original positions and redeposited elsewhere. The high mountains that were uplifted as South Carolina formed 505 million to 245 million years ago have almost completely worn down. The rocks of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont are the remnant cores of mountains that are gone. The sands and clays that were produced by the erosion of these mountains were carried downstream. They formed an immense wedge of sediments that begin thinly at the Sandhills in the upper coastal plain and continue thickening seaward until, at the coast and on the lower coastal plain, this wedge is many thousands of feet thick. The sediments continue off the coast and make up huge deposits that overlie Piedmont basement rock on the continental shelf. They are composed of clays, shales, sands, and sandstones and are interlayered with limestones that give evidence for intermittent changes in sea level over time.
South Carolina contains many interesting erosional features, among which are caves. On the western edge of Lake Marion at and near Santee State Park lies the only site of karst topography in the state -- caves and sinkholes cut into the limestone on the coastal plain. Caves form through weathering as acidic water percolates through basic limestone, initiating a chemical reaction that displaces the limestone. At Santee, as the acidic groundwater moved through and hollowed out the limestone in the Santee caves, some of the roofs collapsed to form sinkholes, some retained water to become small ponds, and some remained dry. The caves contain an underground river system that is visible in places through holes in the rock called "chimneys."
Other erosional structures include the Blue Ridge Escarpment and the towering sheer rock faces of Table Rock (at left), Caesars Head, and other prominent monadnocks. These are exposed through the erosional process brought on by the rise and fall of the sea level, uplift of the land through isostatic rebound, and through heating and cooling of the land during and after collision and disengagement. A closer look at the rocks shows erosional features characteristic of granite. Because granites are formed deep underground under tremendous pressure, the minerals that compose them are less stable at the surface. Over time, the granite reacts to the release of pressure by exfoliating, or popping off in large slabs to form its characteristic rounded surfaces.
To the south, the Orangeburg Scarp is a steep grade formed as a wave-cut ridge by the sea. Adjacent to the scarp are the Sandhills, discontinuous ridges of sand and clay that cut the state diagonally from northeast to southwest. The sediments that make up the Sandhills eroded over millions of years from the mountains to the north and northwest. They were carried by streams and rivers downslope, where they were transported further by wind and ocean currents and shaped into huge deposits of sand. In the Piedmont, the consistent elevation of the ridges shows that what was once the rock of high mountains wore away, and then the terrain was again uplifted and dissected anew by the many streams of the region.
The erosion of the soils in South Carolina is a chapter in soil management that has had an impact on the entire country. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, many of the state's farmers were careless, even cavalier, about soil management. The demand for cotton led South Carolina farmers to plant on the highly sloped land of the upstate with little thought to the ultimate effects on the soil and the long-term health of agriculture. Consequently, it is estimated that nearly forty percent of South Carolina's arable topsoil was lost to erosion. This, in turn, affected the rivers as sediments moved downslope, killing fish and permanently altering the ecology of the rivers. To address the problem of erosion in South Carolina and elsewhere, in 1933 the federal government created the United States Soil Conservation Service to help manage and preserve the soils throughout the country.
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Five in Georgetown County
Unless you're planning to escape the heat with a trip to Vermont, we'd like to recommend a short road trip up the coast to the stretch of sand starting at Georgetown. Here are five don't miss spots to visit, recommended by our friends at SCIWAY.
(NEW) Woodlands Author Dinner: 7 p.m., July 12, Woodlands Inn, Summerville. Dinner with local authors Harriet McLeod, author of Good Morning Lowcountry and John R. Young, A Walk in the Parks. A book signing will be from 5 to 7 p.m., and dinner begins at 7 p.m. Cost is $68 per person, including the book. Reservations required for dinner package. Book signing portion is open to public.
Lowcountry Local First: 6 p.m., July 13, Cone 10 Studios, 1080-B Morrison Drive. Meeting for members and prospective members of Lowcountry Local First. Theme is supporting the local arts scene.
(NEW) Laugh for a Lincoln: 8 p.m., July 13, Theatre 99, 280 Meeting St. Comedy performance, admission $5.
(NEW) Bastille Day Soiree: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., July 14, Fish Restaurant on King Street. There will be Can Can dancers, French wines and beers, specially created cocktails, a pomme frites and crêpe station. Cost: $35 to $45.
Theatre: 10 a.m., July 15 at Northwoods Park and Recreation
Center, 8348 Greenridge Road in North Charleston, and 2 p.m., July
15 at Sterett Hall Auditorium, 1530 7th St. Flow Circus presents Paul
Miller's one-man variety show of juggling, mystifying magic, and comedy.
Fee: Children $2, Adults Free. Group reservations required. Call 843-740-5854.
(NEW) Moonlight Mixer at Folly: 7 p.m., July 15, Folly Beach Fishing Pier. DJ Jim Bowers will keep your feet moving with the hottest oldies and beach music. Tickets are $10 per person ($8 for Charleston County residents). Advance purchase is recommended. Food, beverage or parking fees are not included in ticket price. Food and beverages will be available for purchase on-site. More info online or call 795-4386.
& Palate Stroll: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., July 15. Stroll
through the historic district's streets and galleries, enjoying the works
of nationally renowned artists and feasting on local cuisine. Tickets
are $45 and proceeds go to the Charleston Fine Art Dealers Association's
arts scholarship. To make a reservation, go
(NEW) Book Signing: 2 to 4 p.m., July 16, Barnes and Noble, 7620 Rivers Ave. Susan Hudson Chellis, a resident of Summerville, SC, will be available to sign copies of her novel, The Kitchen Table.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Revolutionary War focus tours: 4 p.m., July 12, 19, 26, Heyward-Washington House, 87 Church St. The Charleston Museum's Heyward-Washington House will offer special Revolutionary War focus tours every Tuesday in July. Reservations are not required. Admission is $10/adult and $5/child (free for Charleston Museum members). For more information, Call 722-2996 ext. 235. Please note: the July Revolutionary War Focus Tours are not available to tour groups during this time slot.
It Forward, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., July 20, The Square Onion Too,
411 Coleman Blvd. Each year, more than 3,500 wild animals are displaced
from their natural habitat in the Lowcountry and taken to a local animal
refuge, Keeper of the Wild. The cost of caring for these animals is rising,
and this local nonprofit organization has been selected as the beneficiary
of the July installment of Pour It Forward wine tasting. A $10 donation
is requested. With that donation, patrons will enjoy a wine tasting, healthy
snacks, music and more.
Third Thursday: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., July 21, historic downtown Summerville.
Includes Summerville's Got Talent contest finale, First Federal Bank's
game of hide and seek with Filbert their mascot, the town's Cultural Arts
Alliance's new Quilt Show in the Town Municipal building, a sidewalk sale
from town merchants, and food sales. Contact Summerville
DREAM for more information (843) 821-7260.
(NEW) Entrepreneur Money Management: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., July 23, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 4500 Leeds Ave., North Charleston. BizBuilderSC, which offers statewide entrepreneur and small business training, is offering a class called "Money Matters, the NxLevel® Guide to Money Management." Tuition is $75. More information or to register, or contact Laura Williams at 843-805-3102.
Family Fun Weekends: Saturdays and Sundays, July and August. South Carolina residents who want to enjoy a "staycation" can take advantage of reduced admissions at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Weekend admission to the gardens and a nature train ride will be $40 for each vehicle carrying up to five passengers. Free snow cones and popcorn will be served at the Peacock Café. For more information, call 571-1266
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