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SEPT. 12, 2011 - The Charleston Regional Development Alliance (CRDA) recently released its second annual Regional Economic Scorecard. This report uses national and regional data, trends and insights to measure how well the Charleston regional economy is performing against key competitors for jobs, talent and investment.
Loaded with data drawn between 2005 and 2009, the scorecard paints a vivid picture of a region in transition. By contrasting this region's performance against eight key metros - Greenville, Jacksonville, Fla., Knoxville, Tenn., Lexington, Ky., Richmond, Va., Savannah, Austin, Texas and Raleigh, N.C. - the report identifies areas where we are "best in class" and evidence of where we are underperforming.
We're ahead of the class, performing well in many important ways relative to quality of place and entrepreneurial vitality. Among our best subjects:
While we still have work to do, these are positive signs our economic development efforts are working to drive more money into the local economy and drive more competitive, higher average wages.
Yet critical improvements are needed for many areas affecting our regional economy, including:
The CRDA invites the community to study the 2011 Regional Scorecard and examine the strengths and challenges it identifies for our region. Get involved, discuss solutions with community leaders and find opportunities to engage in positive, proactive ways to grow our region's economic prosperity now and into the future.
Aquarium throws a heckuva birthday party
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
SEPT. 12, 2011 -- Boy, those folks at the Aquarium know how to throw a kids' birthday party.
In celebration of our elder daughter's eighth birthday, 10 of her friends met us at the Aquarium Saturday for pizza, cake and good times. Just take a look at all they packed into two-and-a-half hours at the attraction:
Pizza party. The kids each ate a piece of tasty pizza (or two) in a special classroom near the first-floor gift shop.
Parents, some of whom got a long break from children and went for a lunch "date," picked up their offspring and heard excited tales of things they saw, touched and felt. All in all, it was a delightful party done well at a fair price. It wasn't cheap, but it didn't cost an arm and a leg. Thumbs ups for the S.C. Aquarium.
* * * * *
Every year at this time, the joy of a child's birthday party is mixed with the emotion of the country's loss 10 years ago on September 11. Here's a reflection that I offered this year for the Center for a Better South:
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. Today we shine our spotlight on the most famous Pig in the Lowcountry: Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company.
Founded in 1947 in Charleston, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Company proudly serves customers at more than 100 stores throughout South Carolina and coastal Georgia. Piggly Wiggly offers the finest quality meats, cut to order by skilled, in-store butchers, more local produce than anyone in the state, and freshly prepared deli foods that satisfy the Southern soul. The Piggly Wiggly family provides legendary customer service, delivered every day by the Employee Owners of our 100 percent employee-owned company.
By using their Pig Card, customers earn Greenbax that returns incredible value by offering free gas, free groceries, free gift cards, and many other opportunities to cash in and save. Piggly Wiggly remains deeply committed to investing in the communities we serve by supporting not-for-profit organizations of all missions and sizes to enrich the regions quality of life. Piggly Wigglys roots run deep in the Lowcountry, and Mr. Pig invites Charleston Currents readers to invest in our local economy by shopping The Pig! More: http://www.thepig.net.
You can get your fill of American history with events celebrating the United States Constitution -- one today and throughout the week at the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site.
Today at noon, noted law and security scholar Benjamin Wittes will discuss changes in national security policy during the Bush and Obama administrations at noon today in a Charleston School of Law lecture celebrating Constitution Day.
"Constitution Day gives everyone the opportunity to reflect upon these words that transformed a nation - words that recognized rights of people, words that limited the power of government," said Visiting Prof. Debra J. Gammons, director of diversity initiatives at the Charleston School of Law. "We are grateful to have Mr. Wittes here in Charleston to speak about the role the Constitution plays in the ways two different presidents have shaped policies to protect and defend this country when deadly threats remain, particularly on the day following the tenth anniversary of the September 11 tragedy."
Wittes, who will speak in room 333 of the AT&T building on Meeting Street, is senior fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and co-director of the Harvard Law School-Brookings Project on Law and Security. In November, Brookings will publish a new book, "The Case for Candor After Guantanamo."
Throughout the week are several free events at the Charles Pinckney National Historic Site on Long Point Road. The Mount Pleasant park preserves the last 28 acres of Snee Farm, a plantation that was once owned by Charles Pinckney, a principal framer and signer of the U.S. Constitution.
A new citizens' Naturalization ceremony will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, officially welcoming more than 100 new citizens of the United States.
Also, the SCETV Documentary, "Forgotten Founder: The Story of Charles Pinckney," will be screened at 2 p.m. on Sept. 17 and 18. The film uses original art work, period illustrations, historical documents, dramatic reenactments and studio interviews to tell the story.
Two days of living history are scheduled at the park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 23 and 24. Watch craftsmen in period dress demonstrate rice-pounding, indigo-dyeing, iron-smithing, brick masonry and domestic arts. Also included are Revolutionary War soldiers, 18th century music, sweetgrass basket sewing, quilting, African drumming and Gullah story-telling.
Throughout the week visitors may take part in the "I Signed the Constitution" program, signing a scroll in remembrance of what occurred 224 years ago in Philadelphia when Charles Pinckney and 38 other delegates signed the world-changing document on Sept. 17, 1787.
All events are free. For more information or group reservations, call the park at (843) 881-5516.
City holds 'Annexation Open House' on James Island today
of Charleston is holding a James Island Annexation Open House today at
6 p.m. at the James Island Charter High School located at 1000 Fort Johnson
Road. James Islanders are invited to come ask questions and get answers
about joining the city.
Communities In Schools partners islands for EduFest
Three area organizations are partnering to produce EduFest, a Sept. 21 wine and cheese social, to raise funds and recruit volunteers to help public school students on Johns and Wadmalaw islands.
Communities In Schools of the Charleston Area has joined up with the Kiawah Island Community Association and Seabrook Island Property Owners Association for the event, which will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at The Sandcastle Community Center on Kiawah Island.
The event will benefit students attending Angel Oak, Frierson and Mt. Zion elementary schools, Haut Gap Middle and St. John's High School.
"Communities In Schools has enjoyed a long and strong relationship with Sea Island students. We are proud to partner with the local residents in an effort to bring our dropout prevention, academic, and social services to almost 700 children and their families during this next school session," said Jane Riley, executive director. "This event is a great way to thank our supporters and dedicated volunteers, as well as to educate and encourage others to help make a difference in a child's life."
EduFest will profile the five island schools and the needs of their students. In addition, it will offer the Sea Island Cookbook for sale with all proceeds going to benefit island area students. Those unable to attend can donate online to the EduFest Event through the Communities In Schools Web site. Volunteer forms are also available on the site, and CIS will process cookbook orders online after Sept. 21.
Book examines career of former Citadel president
W. Gary Nichols, emeritus professor of history at The Citadel, has published the most comprehensive book to date examining the life and Army career of Gen. Charles P. Summerall.
"American Leader in War and Peace: The Life and Times of WWI soldier, Army Chief of Staff and Citadel President General Charles P. Summerall" was published this summer by White Mane Books in Shippensburg, Pa. The 455-page book explores the life of Summerall, who rose from poverty to graduate from West Point and lead troops in battle and command forces in World War I.
Summerall served as president of The Citadel from 1931 to 1953. He is credited with transforming the college in the midst of a financial depression and state of neglect. The most significant facilities transformation and growth in the college's history occurred during Summerall's tenure. His legacy remains on Summerall Field, the Summerall Chapel and the Summerall Guards silent drill platoon.
served as a member of the history faculty from 1965 to 2007 and still
resides in Charleston. During his Citadel tenure he was selected as a
Citadel Foundation Fellow and served as director of The Citadel - University
of Charleston Master of Arts in History Program. A graduate of University
of Alabama, Nichols lectures frequently on the life and career of Summerall.
Holly has a nearly $900 million annual impact on the South Carolina economy,
according to the results of two economic studies the company recently
issued. The Goose Creek aluminum manufacturer is responsible for nearly
4,000 jobs statewide and generates $110 million in local and state revenues,
as stated in the studies.
"Alcoa Mt. Holly provides stable, family-wage jobs for approximately 560 employees and 80 contractors, but our impact extends far beyond our direct jobs," said Mike Rousseau, Plant Manager. "We commissioned the studies to get a better understanding of our impact on the region."
Mt. Holly is currently in discussions with Santee Cooper to secure a new, long-term power contract. The plant must give notice by June 2012 if it plans to continue its current contract.
Day of Caring covers toothbrushes to landscaping
Thousands of area residents participated in the United Way Day of Caring on Friday, including employees of Select Health of South Carolina and SCE&G.
Since Select Health's mission is to help people get care and stay well, the employees who volunteered at James Simons Elementary focused on giving students dental, vision, hearing and body mass index checkups.
More than 135 SCE&G employees volunteered at Tri-County Family Ministries, 3349 Rivers Ave., as well as a nearby apartment building Family Ministries is renovating on Reynolds Avenue. Family Ministries is a nonprofit that provides food, clothing, medical care, counseling, transportation, shelter, financial assistance and other services for the less fortunate in the Lowcountry.
A member of SCE&G's Energy Team performed a Home Energy Check-up on the facility, visually inspecting windows and doors, caulking, weather stripping, insulation levels and heating and cooling systems. The teams helped with some of the weatherization recommendations based on that check up.
Defending Port Royal Sound
SEPT. 12, 2011 -- In September, President Lincoln was growing impatient to begin the southern campaign with the ultimate objective of capturing Charleston, the seedbed of secession. By mid-month, he urged Gideon Welles, secretary of the Navy, to prepare an expedition against Port Royal. He assembled the largest and most formidable armada in the history of the United States Navy.
Port Royal was the finest natural deep-water harbor south of the Chesapeake Bay, and its capture would allow the Union army to secure Hilton Head, Parry's Island (now Parris Island), Phillip's Island, and, ultimately, Beaufort. This base of operations would allow a staging area for the ultimate attack on Charleston.
Confederate engineer Francis Dill Lee was responsible for the construction of two forts on Port Royal Sound. One defensive earthwork was constructed on Hilton Head Island at Coggins Point Plantation, built of sand and palmetto logs. The design called for seven large-caliber guns to be placed on the seaface. The fortification was named "Fort Walker," in honor of Confederate Secretary of War L.P. Walker in hopes that the honor would persuade the secretary to send the new fort the weapons requested.
Walker was honored but not persuaded. Instead of seven large guns, Fort Walker received 13 small and rebored guns, not nearly the required armament to defend the position against a sea attack. Two of the larger guns arrived without carriages and had to be buried in the sand in the direction they assumed the enemy would come.
Across the sound at Bay Point on Phillip's Island, a second fort was constructed. It was named Fort Beauregard, in honor of Brig. Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, now serving in Virginia. Like Fort Walker, Fort Beauregard was armed with light caliber guns, insufficient to meet the coming challenge.
Brig. Gen. Thomas Fenwick Drayton was in command of all Confederate forces at Port Royal Sound. Col. William C. Heyward, 11th Regiment, South Carolina Volunteers, was placed in direct command of Fort Walker. Drayton's son, Lt. William Drayton, was part of Heyward's command at Fort Walker.
Drayton continued to lobby his superiors for more troops and larger guns for the defense of Port Royal. Additional troops were dispatched slowly to increase the forts' manpower, but larger guns never arrived. General Ripley in Charleston, also short in armament, was not willing to gamble on transferring any of his guns. Secretary Walker's priority was the war front in Virginia. Though poorly armed, Drayton readied his troops to face whatever the Federal command sent his way.
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Helping Sea Island students
As we noted in the Good News item about the Sept. 21 EduFest, the Communities in Schools organization has teamed up with Kiawah and Seabrook islands to raise funds for schools on Johns and Wadmalaw islands. We thought you'd like to know more about what Communities in Schools achieved during 2010-11 for 640 case-managed students.
Communities In Schools of the Charleston Area provides a dropout prevention program that surrounds students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life. Using an evidenced-based approach to bring community services to students, their families, and schools, the organization has had 21 years of excellent outcomes now tracked on a multilayer data management system. Ninety percent of donated income goes directly to program services. The nonprofit organization partners with Charleston and Berkeley county school districts to implement the CIS model ($65,000 per school), placing 26 student support specialists inside 18 public schools.
"War is a cowardly
escape from the problems of peace."
(NEW) Social Media Seminar: 9 a.m. to noon, Sept. 13, Charleston Digital Corridor Flagship, 475 East Bay St. "Social Media Step by Step: LinkedIn for Business" will be presented by Lyn Mettler of local social media firm Step Ahead Inc. LinkedIn has upgraded and added features that make it a useful tool for businesses to network, market themselves, promote job openings and increase search engine visibility. More.
(NEW) Dorothea Benton Frank Lecture: 7 p.m., Sept. 14, Charleston Library Society, 164 King St. Lowcountry author Dorothea Benton Frank will discuss and sign her latest book, "Folly Beach." A small reception will follow. There is a $5 fee. Call 843-723-9912 or email to register or for more information.
Summerville's Third Thursday: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sept. 15. There will be musical entertainment in historic downtown starting with the Shakin' Martinis playing on Hutchinson Square. More music on Short Central provided by Josh Padgett Jazz Trio. A popular Third Thursday attraction will be back -- the Cinderella carriage rides. The Art Walk will be back on Short Central with artists and artisans displaying their work. Stop by the stores to seek out special deals and have an outdoor meal.
(NEW) Prostate Screenings: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sept. 15 and 22, and 5:30p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Sept. 29. Trident Health System is offering three free prostate cancer screenings at its medical centers. THS has joined the NFL and the American Urological Association Foundation's "Know Your Stats" campaign to raise awareness on the importance of prostate cancer screenings. The Sept. 15 event will be at Trident Medical Center; the Sept. 22 event at Summerville Medical Center; and the Sept. 29 event at Moncks Corner Medical Center. To register for any of these free screenings, please call Consult-A-Nurse at 843-797-3463.
(NEW) German Consul General: 6:30 p.m., Sept. 15, Room 165, Bond Hall at The Citadel. Lutz Hermann Goergens, the German Consul General in Atlanta, will discuss German business and manufacturing in the region. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the lecture.
(NEW) I Love A Piano: 7 p.m., Sept. 16, Charleston Library Society, 164 King St. "Unedited: A Concert Series with Laura Ball and Friends," the annual gala fundraiser will feature the piano in its many incarnations: classical, four hand, jazz and more. The event will feature performances by The Rudy Waltz, Wayne Helmly, Jessica Minahan, and Laura Ball. Dress is black tie. Tickets are $50. Purchase online or call 888-718-4253.
The Bridge Ride: 6:30 a.m., Sept. 17, Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. Includes a spin session at the park, as well as a bike ride across the bridge. Proceeds go to East Cooper Community Outreach. Registration is open online.
(NEW) Gibbes Museum Community Day: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sept. 17. A folk art-inspired Community Day with complimentary admission, art-making activities, musical performance by The Three Dudes. Visitors can enjoy the folk art exhibition The Creative Spirit: Vernacular Art as well as the exhibition In Search of Julien Hudson: Free Artist of Color in Pre-Civil War New Orleans. Sponsored by Roper Saint Francis Healthcare.
(NEW) Play Fest: 7:30 p.m., Sept. 17 and Sept. 24, 1080 E. Montague Ave., North Charleston. This play festival is modeled on such iconic destination play festivals as Louisville's prestigious Humana Festival. "One Down," a play by Mike Poblete of New York City, will be performed on Sept. 17. On Sept. 24, "Perfectly Normel (sic) People," by Thomas Burke Heath and Judy Heath of Charleston, will be performed. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 children to age 17.
Chicago: Through Sept. 18, Charleston Stage at the Dock Street Theatre. For the first time, the razzle-dazzle of Chicago comes to the Dock Street Theatre stage to open Charleston Stage's 34th season. For times and ticket information, go online or call 843-577-5967.
Hurt Locker Charity
Golf Tournament: 8 a.m., Sept. 18, Redbank Golf Course, Joint
Base, Charleston. Benefits the Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation and EOD
Memorial Foundation. Captain's Choice, lunch included. Sponsorships available.
Registration must be received by Sept. 9. Donations accepted through Sept.
18. Registration forms available
(NEW) Undy 500 Ride: Sept. 18. Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina's 3rd Annual Undy 500 motorcycle charity ride will cover just over 100 miles and will benefit local homeless and struggling veterans. All proceeds will go to support the Annual Stand Down Event (hosted by Goodwill and the VA) and Goodwill's homeless veterans program. For information, call 843-377-2845
ONGOING AND SOON
(NEW) Art Exhibition: Open now through Oct. 19, City Gallery at Waterfront Park. Special Moments: Works from the Collection of Dr. Harold Rhodes, a 2011 MOJA Arts Festival exhibition. Features art by Leroy Campbell, Arianne King Comer, Tom Feelings, Tyrone Jeter, Cassandra M. Gillens, Jonathan Green, Terry K. Hunter, John W. Jones, Leo Twiggs and others. Admission free.
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
(NEW) Minx Launch Party: 7 p.m., Sept. 21, The Chart, 1078 E. Montague Ave., North Charleston. Minx, a new monthly publication for Lowcountry women, debuts with the hope to inspire readers with a desire to become uninhibited and empowered with strength through humor and uplifting information. There will be food, drink and live entertainment.
(NEW) Pour It Forward: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sept. 21, The Square Onion Too, 411 Coleman Blvd. Local animal rescue, SWAT (Southern Women Animal Task Force), will be the beneficiary of the September installment of Pour It Forward, a monthly wine tasting and giving event. A $10 donation is requested.
(NEW) Roper Free Prostate Screenings: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sept. 22, at Roper Hospital, Charleston; Roper Hospital, Berkeley; Roper St. Francis Cancer Center, Bon Secours St. Francis campus; and Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital. Roper St. Francis Cancer Care is offering free prostate cancer screenings. Participants can expect to spend less than an hour at the event. Men must register in advance to ensure that a slot is available. The free screenings will be available for men who meet the following criteria: African American and Hispanic men, 35 years and up and all other males 40 years and older; not currently under the care of a urologist; no prior history of prostate cancer; at least 12 months since last prostate screening. Register by calling 843-402-2273.
(NEW) Time Stands Still: 7:30 p.m., Sept. 22 to Oct. 14, PURE Theatre, 477 King St. PURE Theatre's production of Time Stands Still by Donald Margulies. Sept. 23, 24, 29, 30, Oct. 7, 8, 13, 14 at 7:30 p.m. with a Sunday Matinee Performance at 2 p.m. on Oct. 9, and a Pay What You Can Preview Sept. 22 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $25, are available at puretheatre.org or by phone at 866-811-4111. Tickets can also be purchased the night of the show at the Box Office, which opens 30 minutes before showtime. Seating is limited.
At The Gibbes: 6:30 p.m., Sept. 24, Gibbes Museum of Art. Charleston
Ballet Theatre will perform a series of New Orleans-themed dance vignettes
at the Gibbes Museum of Art. New Orleans Through the Years will be?a musical
response to the Gibbes Museum exhibition In Search of Julien Hudson: Free
Artist of Color in Pre-Civil War New Orleans. Tickets are $15 for members
of the Gibbes Museum of Art and members of the CBT Connoisseur Society
and Dance Partners. Tickets for non-members are $25. Tickets can be purchased
by calling 843-722-2706 ext. 22, or in person at the Gibbes Museum of
(NEW) Tech Entrepreneur Training: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays from Oct. 4 to Dec. 12 at the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 4500 Leeds Ave. BizBuilderSC, which offers statewide entrepreneur and small business training, is offering the 10-week course "NxLevel for Tech Entrepreneurs." Tuition is $345, and includes materials. For more information or to register, visit online or contact Laura Williams at 843-805-3102.
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