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Issue 3.81 | Monday, Aug. 22, 2011 | Green chiles: Grill 'em now

Charleston is full of yard and porch art, some of it quite famous and some of it arresting. Photographer Michael Kaynard said he was drawn to this one because "everyone needs a heifer on their front porch."

:: Keep Charleston unique by growing businesses

:: Metro Charleston can help grow economy

:: 6 ways to ease back into school

:: Local chef to be on Iron Chef

:: Planning forum, readiness, Civil War course

:: Lowcountry painter


:: FEEDBACK: Send us your letters

:: SPOTLIGHT: Force Protection

:: BROADUS: Green chiles

:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next

:: QUOTE: Quote her on that



ABOUT US offers insightful community comment and good news on events twice each week. It cuts through the information clutter to offer the best of what's happening locally. What readers say


Keep Charleston unique: Help grow local businesses
Special to Charleston Currents

AUG. 22, 2011 - A recent trip to Asheville demonstrated what the future of the local movement in Charleston could be. The signs in the windows of the nearly all local-independent businesses that reside in the booming downtown, say "Local, it's the new black." This partnered with the "Love Asheville, Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is" shows the loyalty and commitment of a community to local independent businesses.


While the support of local independent businesses has greatly increased with the Buy Local movement initiated by Lowcountry Local First in Charleston, we still have room for improvement. The idea of purchasing food from local farmers has become more than a trend but a way of life for many. When LLF first started almost 5 years ago there were no Community Supported Agriculture programs in the area. We now have over 14 farmers and fishermen participating in CSAs and over 3,000 members of our community now receiving the direct benefits of their labor.

How do we translate the same connections with growers in our area to other local businesses? We support area farmers and fishermen because we want to know who grew our food; the fresh products taste better and we want to play a part in the preservation of our farmland and seafood industry. These same desires can be translated to supporting local independent businesses: We typically receive better service, we can meet the shop or business owner, and we want to keep our area unique.

The benefits of supporting these local businesses are 3 times that of supporting a national chain. Local business owners live here, pay taxes, support our schools, parks and arts, and are engaged in the community. According to a study done by the National Federation of Independent Businesses, nonprofits receive an average 350% more support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.

So, I believe we have a great opportunity here to stop chasing the elephant that so many in our communities see as the answer to economic recovery. The idea that the huge corporation is going to come into the area and solve all of our economic woes is dated to say the least. But I often have to remind myself of the Buckminster Fuller quote, "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete." The existing model is obsolete and we as a community have the opportunity to create the new model by investing in the people who already are invested in our community.

Charleston's rich history, natural beauty and understandable pride can be enhanced by being a little more like our friends in Asheville. The recognition Charleston receives as a Top Destination city in the country is not because we have national retailers on King Street, but because of the wonderful dining and shopping experiences that visitors and locals alike have when seeking out the those truly special experiences.

Lowcountry Local First is now over 400 members strong and our network of local business owners and community members is growing at a rapid rate. We continue to develop programs and ideas that ease the process of supporting our local independent businesses by offering discounts and promotions through the Buy Local card, establishing a new website with a more robust searchable directory, our 5th Buy Local campaign coming this holiday season and more.

The great thing about this movement is that it is one that everyone can get behind. It falls neither on the left or the right of the political line and establishes the new model that will sustain us for the long haul!

  • Want to learn more about Lowcountry Local First or become a member? Go online.

    Jamee Haley is the executive director of Lowcountry Local First. She can be reached by email or by calling 843-276-6731.

Metro Charleston can help lead the next economy
By ANDY BRACK, publisher

AUG. 22, 2011 -- With an overflow crowd set to meet Tuesday [See Good News below] to learn more about the tri-county area's new regional plan, let's recall some lessons offered by a Brookings Institution senior fellow less than a month ago.


Amy Liu, co-director of the think tank's Metropolitan Policy Program, gave a fact-filled presentation here July 28 in which she argued that the next American economy would be fueled by metropolitan areas like Charleston. [You can see and read her full presentation here.] Some of the major points:

  • America's "next economy" will be driven by exports and powered by a manufacturing sector that focuses on low-carbon products. Less than 1 percent of American companies export today, she said, which makes increasing exports imperative. In doing so, that will boost American manufacturing, which will boost jobs. And the right place to focus, she added, was the clean economy because it offers a sector with huge potential because of the worldwide demand for renewable energy products.

"These technologies are not just 'cool toys,'" Liu said. "They will change lives, save lives, drive investment, create jobs and transform jobs. However, in order for the U.S. to be the world's Innovation Nation, we need to fully embrace science and technology."

  • Metro areas will drive the next economy. The nation's 100 largest metro areas generate 75 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, she said.

"Here in South Carolina, 10 metro areas drive the state's economy, producing more than 80 percent of the state's economic output," Liu said. "The region has one of the nation's largest container ports, but the region could do a better job of being an original producer of goods or services experts, not just shipping it. The Charleston metro area ranks 79th among metros on its volume of export sales, 78th on its number of export-related jobs, and 17th, a bit better, on export growth over a five-year period."

  • The tri-county area must lead with strong federal and state partners.

    "You clearly are, with Opportunity Next and your Scorecard," Liu observed. "You've brought together, business, civic, nonprofit, philanthropic, and political leaders in this region to act with vision and intention to lay the foundation for short- and long-term prosperity. I want to reinforce that to lead, you must operationalize those strategies, with accountability and performance metrics, so that such strategies are not reports on a shelf. And you need to determine the civic infrastructure to sustain your plans. Too many regions fall on this score."

Last year, I met Amy Liu when moderating a panel on the future of the Gulf region. She offered smart insights then about the recovery of the Gulf states and New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina and the Gulf oil disaster. Now in Charleston, we need to listen to her advice on how to grow more -- and higher-paying -- jobs here.

* * *

SPEAKING OF THE GREEN ECONOMY, a recent science story in The New York Times educated us about the array of new bulbs available for lights throughout the home. Not only are power-saving fluorescent bulbs more affordable -- and dimmable -- but an array of LED bulbs now on the market will last a lifetime without changing. While the LED bulbs are expensive -- $40 for one interior spotlight -- the heat they produce is minimal. Over the weekend, we changed eight incandescent interior floods in our great room with eight fluorescents (about $9 each) and are amazed at how the new bulbs generate far less heat than what we had before.

* * *

MOVE OVER SUMMER. You can tell that fall is on the way as the end of August is knocking the edge off of the high heat and humidity that we've experienced this year. One indicator is in our garden, which has started producing eggplants again. Six weeks ago, the heat seemed to have triggered the "off" button on the plants, but lately, they're growing again.

* * *

FREEDOM INDEX. In the most recent issue of Statehouse Report, there's a commentary on how South Carolina ranks on a Freedom Index produced by a right-leaning think tank in Virginia. You might find the results to be pretty interesting -- and instructive for the future.

Andy Brack, publisher of Charleston Currents and Statehouse Report, can be reached at:

Want to vent? We print!

  • Send us a letter on something you like -- or don't -- about what's we're publishing or what's happening in Charleston County. 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!

Force Protection

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

Chef Robert Carter to compete Sept. 4 on 'Iron Chef America'
By ANN THRASH, contributing editor

AUG. 22, 2011 - It's been a heckuva summer for Charleston restaurants and chefs in the national media, highlighted by last week's designation of Husk as Bon Appetit magazine's Best New Restaurant in America). Now it looks like the acclaim train is going to keep on rolling into the fall with the news that local chef Robert Carter of Peninsula Grill fame will appear on "Iron Chef America" on the Food Network on Sept. 4.

Carter, who is currently on hiatus from Peninsula Grill to work on a cookbook, shared the "Iron Chef" news on his Facebook page and blog over the weekend. "I am so excited to finally announce the airing of my 'Iron Chef America' episode on the Television Food Network," he said. The episode was shot more than a year ago, on July 29, 2010, at the Food Network studios in New York City. Carter faced off with the only female Iron Chef, Cat Cora.

This will mark the third "Iron Chef" appearance by a local chef in the past nine months. Chefs Mike Lata of FIG and Sean Brock of Husk appeared on back-to-back shows last December. Lata fell to Iron Chef Jose Garces, and Brock lost to Iron Chef Michael Symon. Although we admit to being a bit biased about our local chefs, we still regard those results as highly suspect. If you've ever watched the show, you've probably noticed that the Iron Chefs almost always win. Maybe one day we'll get out our calculator and analyze what percent of time the Iron Chef beats the challenger; our guess is that it would be a very interesting number.

At any rate, we'll be watching on Sept. 4 to see if Carter can turn the tide and claim a victory for the Lowcountry. The episode airs at 10 p.m., with rebroadcasts planned for 11 p.m. Sept. 8 and 5 p.m. Sept. 10.

Cooking Class Spotlight
Quick and Easy: Seven-Ingredient Weeknight Meals: 6:30 p.m. Aug. 29, Charleston Cooks, 194 East Bay St. With school back in session and family schedules getting crowded with clubs, sports and other activities, there's no better time than this to get some ideas for fast, delicious suppers everyone can enjoy. The menu at this Charleston Cooks participation class includes Bacon, Mushroom and Herb Meatloaf with Pan Gravy; Pork Chops with Green Apple Sauce over Smashed Potatoes; Chicken and Red Rice Stuffed Peppers; Stuffed Crust Three Cheese Pizza with Homemade Marinara; and Chocolate Almond Torte. Cost: $60 per person. More: Info/registration.

Mount Pleasant writer and editor Ann Thrash can be reached at:

Tuesday's regional planning forum adds satellite locations

The BCD Council of Governments reports that response to its Aug. 23 Regional Forum has been tremendous.

"It has been wonderful to see how many citizens care about the future of our region and want to provide input in crafting a preferred growth scenario," Council of Governments Senior Planner Kathryn Basha said.

To accommodate the citizens interested in the regional forum, BCDCOG has increased the size of the meeting space at Trident Technical College's Complex for Economic Development. Satellite locations also have been added in each county. Even with the increase in capacity, there is a waiting list for the 5:30 to 9 p.m. forum at Trident Tech's Rivers Avenue facility.

"Adding the satellite locations not only allows us to accommodate overflow from the live event, they also offer a closer option for those who live on the outer edges of our large tri-county region," Basha said.

Satellite locations for the 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. regional forum on Tuesday, include:

  • Summerville Town Hall - 200 S. Main St., Summerville
  • Berkeley County Administrative Building - 1003 Highway 52, Moncks Corner
  • Mount Pleasant Municipal Complex - 100 Ann Edwards Lane, Mount Pleasant
  • Trident Technical College St. Paul's Parish Site - 5231 Highway 165, Hollywood

Satellite locations will provide a simultaneous webcast of the forum presentations and materials to participate in the exercises. Satellite location participants will be able to communicate questions and comments with forum leaders at the Trident Tech Complex for Economic Development via WebEx while the forum is occurring. While keypad polling capabilities will not be available to provide real time input at the satellite locations, input received at every location will be incorporated into the development of the preferred scenario.

The program at the satellite locations begins at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. Persons interested in participating who have not yet registered can register for one of the satellite locations via an email to

Being prepared: Red Cross pushes disaster readiness

Red Cross and community officials encouraged area residents to be ready for disasters during an Aug. 17 news conference.

"Being prepared and supporting each other is essential" said Charleston Mayor Joe Riley.

The Red Cross has pre-positioned a 53-foot Red Cross tractor-trailer filled with emergency supplies to assure the community that Red Cross staff and volunteers will have the tools they need to effectively respond to a local disaster.

"Only 7 percent of Americans are considered Red Cross Ready for disasters. We want, and need everyone, to be prepared," said Louise Welch William, CEO of the Charleston region of the American Red Cross.

Families and businesses should have a disaster plan in place, she added.

"If community organizations or businesses need help making their plan, please call us and we will be happy to give you a 20-minute preparedness presentation."

Trident Tech offers course on Civil War in Charleston

Life on the homefront during the Civil War is the focus of Charleston History and Inspiration, a continuing education course offered by Trident Technical College.

This course will meet 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesdays, Sept. 13-Oct. 4, at the Culinary Institute of Charleston at Palmer Campus, 66 Columbus St. The cost is $125. Course topics include:

  • Daily Homefront Battles: Women and Children, Helen Sughrue, re-enactor

  • Living History of Civil War Families, Bob Sherman, Middleton Place interpretative coordinator

  • The Music Continues, Nic Butler, South Carolina Room librarian and author

  • Northern Women, Southern Perspectives, Ruth Miller, tour guide and researcher

  • Civilian Achievements, Brooke Foxe, Waring Historical Library, Medical University of South Carolina

  • Soldiers' Suppers and Blockade Dinners: The Civil War Food History of Charleston Harbor, Olivia Williams, Fort Sumter park guide, with Mary Hatcher, volunteer

  • The Heir's Property Threads from Civil War to Present, Tish Lynn, resource development coordinator for the Center for Heirs' Property Preservation

Charleston History and Inspiration is approved as a recertification course for tour guides by the city of Charleston Tourism Commission.

  • Go online to register or call 843-574-6152. For more information, call 843-574-6655.

Hanahan business to be honored today for job creation

The regional administrator of the federal Small Business Administration, Cassius Butts, is scheduled to visit Hanahan firm UEC Electronics today to recognize its record of job creation and tour its 48,000-square-foot production facilities.

UEC, an engineering and manufacturing firm, recently earned a spot in the SBA 100 - one hundred businesses from across the nation that have each created at least 100 jobs since receiving SBA assistance. UEC had 10 employees in 1998 when founder Rebecca Ufkes first visited the Charleston Small Business Development Center, an SBA resource partner. She regularly received guidance on government contracting from the SBDC and later from SBA staff. Today, UEC has 130 employees and counting, with openings for 37 more.

College celebrates anniversary of "Daughters of the Dust"

Twenty years ago, filmmaker Julie Dash broke through racial and gender boundaries to become the first African-American woman to debut a film with wide release across the country.


"Daughters of the Dust" is a highly artistic film that introduced many Americans to the history, opulence, and complexity of the South Carolina Gullah-Geechee culture and contextualized it within wider discourses on race, class, gender, and skin-color at the turn of last century.

On Sept. 16 and 17, The College of Charleston's Avery Research Center, Carolina Low Country and Atlantic World Program, and African American Studies Program, The International African American Museum and the South Carolina Historical Society plan to examine the lessons learned from "Daughters of the Dust" and its influence in the academy and society.

The two-day symposium will feature lectures, discussions and the screening of the film in Hampton Park.

  • For registration and more information, go online or contact the Avery Research Center at 843-953-7234.

Humanists, freethinkers, atheists to gather in November

For the first time, humanists, freethinkers, atheists and members of other secular groups across North and South Carolina are coming together to plan important initiatives for 2012 and beyond.


The last few years have seen a strong and steady growth in the number Carolinas residents openly moving away from religion. They are adding rapidly to the numbers of lifelong humanists and atheists who make up almost 20 percent of American society, but go largely unrecognized in many regions of the U.S.

Fully secular community groups have been forming at an increasing rate across the region and group leaders are recognizing the importance of sharing and cooperation on a wider scale, They plan to meet at Carolina Beach on Nov. 11 to 13 to begin to build and strengthen these ties.

The event is sponsored by the national groups The American Humanist Association and United Coalition of Reason and hosted by the local group, the Humanists and Freethinkers of Cape Fear. A highlight of the weekend will be the Carolinas Freethinkers Banquet, from 7 to 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 12 at the Courtyard by Marriott, Carolina Beach.

The keynote banquet speaker will be Dr. Darrel Ray, author of "The God Virus,"on the subject of "Sex and Secularism: What Happens When You Leave Religion?" based on his recent study of over 10,000 survey submissions on sex lives across all faiths.

Have a review or recommendation?

  • 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.

Don't curse the humidity. Paint it.

Painter Louis Rémy Mignot was born in Charleston on Feb. 3, 1831, into a French-Catholic family. At the age of 17 he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts at The Hague, where he remained for five years. He became a student of Andreas Schelfhout, a highly regarded Dutch landscape painter.


In 1854 he returned to the United States and became actively involved in the New York art world. In the manner of the Hudson River school painters, he went on sketching forays in the Catskill Mountains. He specialized in landscape painting and on several occasions provided the backgrounds to ambitious figure groups, as in Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon, a collaboration with Thomas P. Rossiter in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Mignot's landscapes were exhibited at the prestigious Century Association and the National Academy of Design, where he was elected to the status of associate academician in 1858.

Mignot was one of the first tenants of the Tenth Street Studio Building, the earliest American facility designed specifically for artists. One of his fellow tenants was Frederic Edwin Church, a leading exponent of the second generation of Hudson River school painters. In 1857 Church and Mignot made an expedition to Central and South America, traveling to Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador; trekking along the "Avenue of Volcanoes" and taking in such Andean landmarks as Cotopaxi, Cayambe, and Chimborazo. From sketches obtained on this expedition Mignot developed some of his most acclaimed canvases.

Painting of a marsh by Mignot

On January 11, 1860, Mignot married Zairah Harries of Baltimore. The couple had one son. During the Civil War, Mignot remained in New York until 1862, when he departed for England.

Because his career was relatively short and his works scattered, Mignot has suffered from comparison to his better-known friend Church. While the scholar Katherine Manthorne maintains that "Mignot was arguably the most accomplished southern-born painter of his generation," she also recognizes a fundamental dilemma, namely, "the degree to which he should be classified as a southern artist." Mignot never seems to have painted scenes of his native region. However, during his lifetime critics saluted Mignot's singular ability at rendering humid atmosphere, which they viewed as a direct result of his youth in South Carolina. This was the judgment of the noted art connoisseur Henry Tuckerman, who wrote in 1867, "Quite diverse from the exactitude and vivid forest tints of our Eastern painters, are the southern effects so remarkably rendered by Louis R. Mignot, whose nativity, temperament, and taste combine to make him the efficient delineator of tropical atmosphere and vegetation."

Major paintings by Mignot are in the collections of Greenville County Museum of Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, Detroit Institute of Arts, Brooklyn Museum of Art, and Bowdoin College Museum of Art. On September 22, 1870, Mignot died of smallpox in Brighton, England, and was buried at Brighton Cemetery, Woodvale.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Martha R. Severens. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)

Mmmmmm. Hatch green chiles.

It's that time of year -- the week that Hatch green chiles are available in local markets. If you've ever been to New Mexico, you'll know how people of that state put roasted green chiles on everything -- cheeseburgers, eggs, steaks, chops, burritos and more. We got some Saturday in a local store and started roasting. Here's what you do: Char the chiles over an open flame or on a grill until they're mostly black. Then put them in a brown paper sack (or plastic bag, some say) and let them steam. After a few minutes, you'll be able to slide off the skin. While green chiles are not as hot as many other varieties, you might want to remove the seeds and ribs to get the mellow heat they're known for. Mmm...mmm...good. (Photo by Andy Brack.)


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Easing back into school

Here are six tips from Eileen Wacker, mother of four and author of the award-winning Fujimini Adventure Series, for helping to distress the first weeks back at school for your children:

  • Understand the school's electronics policy and get your child ready. Since technology is moving so quickly, policies shift quickly to adapt. Do they allow?laptops and cell phones? Are the cell phone ringers turned off but texting is allowed? Use something sharp to scratch your child's name onto any device that leaves your?home. If a device gets misplaced, you want it to come back and you want your child to recognize their device on sight and be able to prove it is his or hers.

  • For elementary school kids, find one child in his/her new class they are "glad about" and have a play date with him/her. Children worry a lot that there may be "no one they like" or that they will have no one to talk to and play with. And, you can emphasize that he/she can still see their "bestie" at recess, lunch and after school.

  • Think about your individual child's personality and strengths and weaknesses. Actually think through a few reasons you are sure this is going to be a great year for him/her. For example, our oldest child struggles to get good test grades. So we emphasize she has amazing organization skills and always gets her homework done.

  • Make an agreement with each child about how you will wake them up. One of our kids likes to get carried to the kitchen and placed in a chair. Another uses an alarm clock while another wants the shades opened up.

  • Celebrate the end of a school week. We go to dinner and take small video clips of a funny interview with each child. We ask what their favorite things were about the week and to make an imitation of the teacher. Then we email their clips to them - they think they are so funny and enjoy watching themselves endlessly.

  • We put small notes in their backpacks, sports bag or lunch. We write things like "you are brave" or "have the best day ever." We ask open ended questions every day and try not to correct them when they answer. Who do you sit next to in class now? What was lunch like? What's your new teacher like?

For additional information on the Fujimini Adventure Series, please visit

Quote her on that

"I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound -- if I can remember any of the damn things."

-- Dorothy Parker

THIS WEEK | permalink

Auditions for Youth Plays: 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Aug. 22, South of Broadway Theatre Company (a non-profit organization), 1080 E. Montague Ave.,North Charleston. Ages 13-18: Power Play, remounting last year's popular production, with additional school performances in discussion. Ages 9-13: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a creepy musical experience. Power Play performance dates: Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 20 at 3 p.m. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow performance dates: Nov. 12 at 7 p.m., Nov. 13 at 3 p.m.

(NEW) RiverDogs At Home: 7:05 p.m., Aug 22, 23, 24, 25. The RiverDogs have a four-game homestand against the Greenville Drive, with fun themed events each night. For information and tickets, go online or call the box office at 843-577-3647.

Facebook Seminar: 9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 23, Charleston Digital Corridor Flagship, 475 E. Bay St. (corner of East Bay and Calhoun streets). Step Ahead offers two seminars sharing tips for successfully using Facebook to promote and grow your business. Part 1 will focus on the basics of setting up a Facebook page, behind-the-scenes functions, posting strategy, photos, videos and tagging. The second will explain how to customize your page, strategies for generating results, Facebook apps and Insights (analytics). Each seminar is $65 or register for both and save $10 ($120 for both). For more information or to register, visit here or email here.

Femivore: 6 p.m., Aug. 23, Ashley Hall, 172 Rutledge Ave. The evening will feature food from area female chefs, wine, champagne, snoballs and music, as well as presentations on the local food movement. Tickets, $30, are available online.

Hurricane & Earthquake Expo: 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Aug. 24, at SCRA MUSC Innovation Center, 645 Meeting St. The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce hosts a Hurricane and Earthquake Awareness Expo. Get resources on how to prepare for and protect your business from natural and man-made disasters. Also speakers on how Charleston prepares for a disaster, how to protect your employees and more. Cost: $55 Chamber Members, $95 Non-Members. Register online.

Women's Wellness Weekend: Aug. 26 and 27, Woodlands Inn, 125 Parsons Road, Summerville. Weekend will include facials, manicures, pedicures and massages, as well as yoga classes, tennis lessons, and heart healthy meals served in Woodlands' Five Star Dining Room. There will be classes in cocktail-making and cooking, as well as health screening and seminars. Rates start at $645 per person, based on double occupancy. Day-only rates are available upon request. To make a reservation, call 843-308-2106, e-mail or visit online.

Women In Defense: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Aug. 26, Carrabba's, 2150 Northwoods Blvd., North Charleston. State of the Organization meeting featuring annual reports from committee chairs, announcements from executive and election boards and future plans. RSVP by email to attend by Aug. 22. $20 member/$25 non-member. Cash only at door. More: visit this site.

Grape Stomping Festival: 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., Aug. 27, Irvin~House Vineyards, 6775 Bears Bluff Road on Wadmalaw Island. Join in the yearly harvest and stomping of the grapes at Charleston's only winery, Irvin~House Vineyards. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket to picnic on the expansive lawn, but no coolers. The highlight of the Grape Stomping Festival is the Lucy Look-A-Like Contest. For more information, visit Admission is $10 per car.

Black Woman Redefined: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Aug. 28, Mount Pleasant Towne Centre Barnes & Noble. Sophia A. Nelson, a national opinion columnist, JET Magazine feature political writer, and MSNBC analyst, will be signing copies of her book, "Black Woman Redefined." Nelson arms black women of this and the next generation with the necessary tools to redefine themselves and overcome destructive notions that black women can't have it all-a career, a love life, and a healthy balance.


The Rule of Law: 2 p.m., Aug. 31, Charleston County Public Library Main Branch, 68 Calhoun St. Larry Krasnoff, Ph.D., of the College of Charleston, will begin a four-part lecture series based on the book, "Law and the Long War: The Future of Justice in the Age of Terror," by Benjamin Wittes.

Wine and Beer Festival: 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sept. 4, on the Green at Freshfields Village on Johns Island. The 5th Annual Lowcountry Wine and Beer Festival will benefit the Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic, Inc. Guests will enjoy an array of wines and beers, Lowcountry cuisine, a silent auction, and live jazz music will be provided by the Cobblestone Quartet. Tickets are $35 in advance, and $40 at the gate. Junior tickets (age 10 to 20) are $20, and children under 10 are free. Tickets may be purchased at Hyams Garden and Accent Store, Paul's Hairstyling, Forsberg's Wine and Spirits, the Johns Island UPS Store, Schoen Ace Hardware, Indigo Books, Freshfields Village Guest Services, Seabrook Island Real Estate and Kiawah Island Town Hall.

(NEW) Girls' Night Out: 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., Sept. 19, Savory Sushi and Catering at 1956-B Maybank Highway, Terrace Shopping Center. A free Girls Night Out event featuring a wine tasting and pairing with Savory's Gourmet-to-Go selections, a trunk show of Stella and Dot Jewelry, and access to special deals from Go Charleston Deals. The bonus for the first 50 guests will be a Goodie Envelope filled with savings coupons from all event presenters. Space is limited and RSVPs are requested. More: Call 843-762-3338 or go online.


We encourage you to follow us through Twitter @chascurrents.


11/14: Hills: Aviation hero Moffett
Nikolajevs: Chamber music
Whetzel: Waterway app
Williams: On Charleston
Kaufman: Sustainability film
Wutzdorf: Education Foundation
Echols: RiverDogs give back
Raven: My Sister's House
Dewhirst: Arthritis battle
Blanton: "Neck" charrette
Ginn: Scoring our economy
Miller: Urban Horticulture Center
Frazier: Magnolia's azaleas
Stone: Helping
Blessing: Veterans to meet
Haley: Grow businesses
Harley: Better carriage law
Hargett: Regional plan
Renfroe: Bachelor Bid
Saunders: Law school news
Sarnoff: Cancer prevention
Savicz: Charleston's choirs


11/14: Battle of Port Royal
Fleet headed South
Port Royal Sound
Ohio native helps CSA
Blockade intensifies
Hampton's Legion
5/12: Beauregard prepares city
4/14: First shots fired
3/10: Student vs. instructor
2/10: War prep offsets horseracing


11/14: Election reflections
SC's immigration pickle
Stop messing around
Occupiers, tea partiers
On campaigning, fixing stuff
Our Civil War hangover
Great day in SC, Charleston
Do more to cut violent crime
Aquarium birthday party
Not the trip, the questions
Report shows kids' challenges
Metro Charleston impact
Tea party zealots
Fiddling with election law
New Orleans vs. Charleston
Time for Ard to go
Camp Ho Non Wah
Higher ed flexibility
A different Eden


9/1: Bill Regan, more
Aware of bed bugs
Violence and redemption
Emily in perspective
Yep, there's an app
Sunscreen and tennis
A good birthday
Help name a dog
Rain good; more needed
Family lexicon
Can Boomers earn encore?
5/19: Napa's not intimidating


11/14: Franklin's turkey
Perfect rice
Free tastings
Stack's Evening Eats
Herrick's new cookbook
Carter on Iron Chef
Sivvy beans
Figs on steroids
Lady Baltimore cake
Palette & Palate
That's the Spirit
Hook, Line & Dinner
Royal wedding cake
Brock on TV
G&G food brackets
Market counting
Wine + Food
Frozen Frogmore stew
Home cooking
SEWE 2011
Dry-erase board of shame
Restaurant Week


8/25: 2 tech companies move here
7/28: Discovery training
7/14: Business training
Witty makes Inc. list
Boeing opens
Digital corridor expanding
Manufacturing key?
5/5: PeopleMatter's funding
AITP event
4/7: Enviro firm, more
3/24: April tech events
3/10: Networking about blogs
2/24: Internet addresses

2/10: Companies at conferences
1 /27: Levelwing head to speak
1/13: Health care reform


10/17: Contrarian nuke voice
Recycling efforts
Green roofs, more
Single stream recycling
Port gets nod
Marketplace dissatisfaction
New green jobs in Jasper
Good for business
Boeing and green power
: Green economy moving
3/17: New offering
3/3: Recycling more
2/17: Veggies profitable
2/3: Companies at conferences
1/20: Green initiative
1/6: Green initiative


11/14: McCray's jazz list
Home safety tips
5 for fright night
For ghouls, goblins
Art busting out
Getting outdoors
Giving Back awards
School improvements
Top Outside towns
Helping Sea Island kids
Speaking out
Homeless programs
Small biz help
Storm tips
Back to school
Savannah treats
New photo site
Charleston rum
What to do in Charleston
Debt ceiling list
Family Circle stats


Here's the latest from our sister publication, Statehouse Report.


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