4.09 | Monday, Jan. 2, 2012
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2012 -- Alcoa
Mount Holly now proudly features a new banner at the plant entrance
announcing recertification in the South Carolina Environmental Excellence
Program (SCEEP). This important recognition of our environmental stewardship
reflects Alcoa's pledge to operate in a safe, responsible manner. It also
demonstrates the daily commitment of the 600-plus people employed at Mount
Holly to respect the environment and the health of their co-workers, their
neighbors and the greater community in which they work and live.
was the first aluminum plant in the world to be registered to ISO 14001
Environmental Management System Standard, a process for controlling and
improving organizational environmental performance. In 2004, we first
earned membership in the SCEEP, and in May of 2009 we received a S.C.
Smart Business Recycling Award from S.C. Department of Health and Environmental
Control. Mount Holly's environmental efforts also helped us earn recognition
as the 2009 as the Silver Crescent Large Manufacturer of the Year.
of Mount Holly's environmental recognition is due to significant reductions
in water use and wastewater discharge. In 2003, Mount Holly designed and
planted the sprayfields, a 2.6-acre plot of hybrid poplars and native
grasses that act as a natural system to absorb excess water discharge.
As those trees mature, an additional 13.1 acres have been designed and
permitted to enable the plant to get closer to zero process water discharge.
This unique water reuse effort, coupled with water usage reductions through
process and metering improvements, enabled the plant to surpass Alcoa's
2020 goal of reducing water use by 10 percent compared to a 2005 baseline.
We're now moving toward our 25 percent reduction goal for 2030.
on-site reduction and reuse, and off-site recycling, Mount Holly has made
tremendous progress toward reducing landfilled waste. We continue to develop
ways to reuse materials in our process and find recycling outlets for
others. Changes in recycling markets over the last few years have challenged
us to find different markets for our waste streams that provide a greater
insulation against changing economic times. We're well on our way to achieving
the Alcoa goal of 75 percent reduction in landfilled waste by 2020, compared
to a 2005 baseline.
Mount Holly's environmental achievements -- from awards and certifications
to water and waste reductions -- would be possible without the engagement
of our employees. Employees drive our progress toward environmental goals,
and their passion and leadership sustains our environmental programs.
Through the voluntary efforts of Alcoa and our employees, the Mount Holly facility maintains the balance between environmental, social and economic performance. I'm proud of our achievement with SCEEP because of the commitment and dedication to environment that it signifies.
A different kind of New Year's celebration
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
JAN. 2, 2012 -- New Year's Eve around the Brack household has developed into something of an odd tradition. For the last four years, we've avoided crowds and stayed home to watch the celebrations on television. But with a twist: We watched the Spanish-speaking network.
We generally have no idea what the folks were saying on Univision, but one thing was clear: they were having a whole lot more fun in a studio filled with cheesy male pop stars with bad haircuts, wannabe divas with push-up bras and shiny dresses, and an ancient host who seemed to revel in peering down plunging necklines.
The network periodically broke away for a live remote shot from New York, Disneyland or Acapulco, where we watched the same decked-out older couple dance back and forth in the background, obviously enthralled that they were on TV for the world to see.
Viewing New Year's on Univision seemed like a step back into time. Much as the characters on "Mad Men" dress for success, the male hosts wore slick suits and ties. The women in evening gowns had highly-stylized hair and an abundance of make-up. Studio audience members were dressed up and festive.
To give you more of a sense of the unrehearsed atmosphere that was refreshing when compared to overproduced American efforts, here are some chronological notes of Saturday night's celebration:
Just under an hour later, we watch a dazzling fireworks display as partiers in Acapulco rang in the new year. There the hosts, like many throughout the night, spoke in machine-gun Spanish. But all were having fun. We can't say that for sure about folks we saw in New York.
* * *
New creation for the new year: The Collard Dog. We grilled a hot dog and stuck it in a bun laced with ketchup and yellow mustard.
Instead of topping the dog with sauerkraut, we smothered on freshly-cooked collards, dripped on some pepper vinegar and sprinkled on some field peas. We hope it will bring us luck in the new year!
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In this issue, we turn the spotlight on West Of newspaper, the West Ashley's community newspaper that highlights community news, opinions, schools, dining, arts and more for the 62,000+ people who live west of Charleston's Ashley River. West Of also publishes the James Island Messenger for people who live on James Island. Visit West Of online or via Twitter.
JAN. 2, 2012 -- Happy 2012! Still got some champagne left but not feeling inclined to drink it anytime soon? If so, I feel your pain. But never fear - the unused bubbly doesn't have to go to waste.
You can use leftover champagne -- whether it's still fizzy or has gone flat -- just as you would use wine in many recipes. If you Google "leftover champagne recipes" or "flat champagne recipes," you'll find a bunch of ideas. I liked the ones I saw at MyRecipes.com, which offers seven great ideas, including an easy Scallops in Champagne Sauce recipe from Cooking Light magazine and a risotto as well.
Of course, you can freeze the leftover bubbly, too. Find an old ice-cube tray and freeze the champagne in cubes; that's a great way to have it on hand for use in sauces.
Cocktail contest: The BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival will be here before you know it (the first weekend in March), and those of us who live in the Lowcountry are lucky to be able to enjoy some of the warm-up events such as the Official Mixologist Competition. From 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Michael Mitchell Gallery at 438 King St. downtown, four local bartenders will be serving up their original cocktail creations, all of which will include either Milagro Tequila or Hendrick's Gin.
Mixologists Jon Calo (the Cocktail Club), Mick Matricciano (the Gin Joint), Evan Powell (Fish) and Brent Sweatman (Biggie's Southern Gastropub) will battle it out, with a panel of judges picking the winner. The champ will become the official cocktail of the festival, but all of those in attendance will get to cast their own vote for a crowd favorite. You can also taste some hors d'oeuvres provided by one of Charleston's newest restaurants, The Grocery.
Prize-winning columnist and television news commentator Eugene Robinson
will keynote the 12th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Business and Professional
Breakfast. It will be held 7:30 a.m. Jan. at the Gaillard Auditorium,
in Charleston. The event is sponsored by the YWCA Greater Charleston and
the City of Charleston and is part of the community's 40th Annual MLK
raised in Orangeburg, Robinson was 13 years old and lived about a block
away from the scene of the "Orangeburg Massacre" in 1968 when
three youths were killed during a police firing on students protesting
a segregated bowling alley.
In a 25-year
career at the Washington Post, Robinson has written about race,
civil rights and politics. He won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his commentary
on the presidential race that resulted in the 2008 election of President
who started his journalism career at the San Francisco Chronicle,
joined the Post in 1980 as city hall reporter. After years of working
as city editor, foreign correspondent, foreign editor and assistant managing
editor, Robinson became an associate editor and columnist in 2005.
Turtle nonprofit seeks online help
Saving loggerhead turtles just got easier. Over the few weeks, EdistoBeach.com is offering an online fundraiser for Learning Through Loggerheads, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting threatened turtles on the beaches of Edisto Island.
One hundred percent of donations will go to the organization. Meg Hoyle and Susan Ford, who spearhead Learning Through Loggerheads, offer educational programs about the turtles for area school children and adults, year-round.
Additionally, local middle and high school students work as interns during the summer months where they actively participate in all aspects of the loggerheads' protection in Edisto's Botany Bay Wildlife Management Area, the second-largest nesting aggregation on the South Carolina coast. This educational program provides students from all walks of life with an opportunity that instills a lifetime love of learning and appreciation for the environment and conservation and ensures that future generations will continue to protect the sea turtles.
"If we don't pass along information and knowledge we put the turtles at risk," Hoyle said.
EdistoBeach.com says it will donate the following to anyone who makes a contribution:
Stickers and shirts are donated at no cost to LTL and are not deducted from the donation.
Charleston native launches "Charleston Girl" perfume
CHARLESTON, SC, December 29, 2011--- Charleston native Kelly Gaskins just launched "Charleston Girl," a perfume inspired by the southern women of Charleston.
"If you ask anyone that visits our city about the women here, they will tell you that Charleston girls are naturally smart, sexy and sophisticated," said Gaskins, a former journalist. "Charleston girls possess an elegance and charisma that never seems to age. We exude a confidence and charisma that lights up any room."
"Charleston Girl" eau de parfum is a sultry, enticing fragrance that opens with a burst of sparkling-fruity top-notes, weaves a delicate and sensuous floral middle and finishes with a soft, amber and sandalwood dry-down, according to Gaskins. While including ingredients native to Charleston, this luminous fragrance captures the spirit of a true Southern belle.
Gaskins played a major role in designing the fragrance. Gaskins teamed with perfume manufacturer Alpha Aromatics to make the vision of her scent a reality.
"I wanted to create a scent that would appeal to the refined tastes of every Charleston girl and bring out the fun, fearless southern belle in every woman. It was fascinating to learn that you can layer so many different scents to create a beautiful end result."
The 1.7 ounce bottle retails online at www.CharlestonGirlPerfume.com for $39.99. It is also sold in select fine boutiques.
to unveil new online recreation tool
of Charleston Recreation Department on Wednesday will launch a new online
tool called Recreation Online that will let residents to register
for recreation programs, activities and athletics throughout the city,
as well as view and request facility reservations for certain facilities.
Payments for programs can also be made through Recreation Online.
of Charleston Recreation Department and Department of Information Technology
worked during 2011 to use technology to streamline operations and administrative
hope is that those who participate in city recreation activities or use
city facilities will find Recreation Online easy to use, make registration
for programs more convenient and be a way to save time," said Charleston
Mayor Joe Riley. "This should especially be helpful for parents of
participants in our youth programs."
The last decades of the nineteenth century saw considerable railroad development. By the end of the century, South Carolina boasted nearly four thousand miles of track. These new lines, which reached every county, resulted from several railroad-building strategies. Interstate "system building," which swept the region in the 1880s and 1890s, became the most important.
Three outside companies, the result of an array of corporate mergers, leases, and construction, became dominant: Atlantic Coast Line (ACL), Seaboard Air Line (SAL), and Southern (SRR). By World War I the ACL covered the Lowcountry, with its main line connecting Wilmington, North Carolina, with Savannah, Georgia, and serving Charleston and Florence. The SAL operated its principal stem between Hamlet, North Carolina, and Savannah, which served Columbia. This busy artery, made possible by the construction of ninety-one miles of new track between Cheraw and Columbia in 1900, largely superseded the earlier SAL route via Charleston. The main line of the Southern between Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia, sliced through the upstate with major facilities at Greenville and Spartanburg. But the SRR controlled a web of additional track that included the South Carolina Railroad and a Charlotte-Savannah line via Columbia.
Even though system building dominated, some earlier and even later short-lines remained outside the orbits of the "Big Three." The Pickens Railroad, for example, chartered in 1892 to build a nineteen-mile road between Easley and Olenoy Gap via Pickens, in 1898 completed only a ten-mile segment between Pickens and Easley, where it connected with the SRR. The Pickens remains an independent short-line.
Another illustration is the Lancaster & Chester Railway. This twenty-nine-mile short-line, which still served the communities of its corporate name as of the early twenty-first century, began in 1873 as the Cheraw & Chester Railway, one of only three narrow-gauge common carriers built in South Carolina. Although planned as a fifty-five-mile route between Lancaster and Cheraw, the company, like the Pickens Railroad, failed to realize its intended goals. After it was reorganized in 1896 as the Lancaster & Chester Railway, its owners wisely converted their property to standard gauge six years later and benefited from traffic generated from local cotton mills.
South Carolina experienced another type of short-line, the "tap" road. These pikes were usually not common carriers but were affiliates of a single industrial operation, likely associated with timber or turpentine production. Examples abound. In order to serve its mill in Summerville, the D. W. Taylor Lumber Company in 1880 built a fourteen-mile private railroad to reach stands of trees in the Wassamassaw Swamp of Berkeley County. Until abandonment in mid-1920s, this tap road expanded and contracted under various corporate banners.
The "Railway Age" in South Carolina lasted until after World War I. With greater usage of automobiles, buses, and trucks, which traveled over ever-improving public roads, the need for freight and passenger trains diminished. Yet, mileage did not shrink dramatically until the 1960s, eventually declining to fewer than 2,400 miles.
The difficulty of winning regulatory permission to abandon lessened with the Transportation Act of 1958 and other legislative measures. Moreover, appendages and even secondary and main lines became less desired by major carriers as a result of corporate mergers, which affected every one of the state's three primary railroads.
In 1967 the ACL and SAL combined to form the Seaboard Coast Line (SCL), and in 1980 SCL joined with the Chesapeake & Ohio system to create CSX. Then in 1982 the Southern merged with Norfolk & Southern, producing Norfolk Southern (NS). With development of two dominant carriers in South Carolina, CSX and NS, hundreds of unwanted miles were either abandoned or sold to existing or new short-line operators. The Waccamaw Coast Line Railroad is an example.
In 1984 CSX wished to dispose of its fourteen-mile branch between Conway and Myrtle Beach. In order to continue movement of forest products and other bulk commodities, Horry County bought the line and leased it to the newly formed Horry County Railroad. Three years later the county leased the property to the Waccamaw Coast Line.
In the twenty-first century, railroads in South Carolina remained vital arteries of freight transport. The few remaining passenger trains, operated by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak), created in 1971, served principal stations along the former ACL, SCL, and SRR.
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© 2008-2012, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. Charleston Currents is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.
Five protected places in the Lowcountry
When you're looking for things to do, history comes alive at any of the federal parks and lands throughout the Lowcountry. Here's a quick list to remind you of the treasures we have in our backyard.
"Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally."
Thursday. Charleston County Council will have a Finance Committee
meeting followed by a special council meeting 5 p.m. Thursday in the Lonnie
Hamilton III Public Services Building in North Charleston. On the agenda:
Selecting leadership for 2012. More.
(NEW) Open houses: Throughout January. Palmetto Scholars Academy, the state's first gifted and talented charter school, will hold six open houses between Saturday and Jan. 31 for potential students. The school, which will have students in grades six through 10 next year, has an enrollment period through Feb. 8. More on times and the process here.
Dognapping comedy: Starts Jan. 4 and runs through Jan. 7 at Threshold Repertory Theatre, 84 1/2 Society Street, Charleston. Theatre veteran Kyle Barnette will star in Lee Blessing's one-man comedy, "Chesapeake," in its regional premier at What If's new performance location. More: WhatIfProductions.org.
Slow Food potluck: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Jan. 8, Glass Onion, 1219 Savannah Highway, Charleston. Slow Food Charleston will hold its annual membership meeting and potluck. Event is BYOB and guests are asked to bring a dish to share. More.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON.
Museum oyster roast: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., Jan. 14, at the Dill Sanctuary, James Island. The Charleston Museum will celebrate its 239th birthday at an event that will feature oysters by Ben Moise, a curator-led history walk, live bluegrass and spectacular views of the Stono River. Tickets are $30 for members, $40 for non members. More info: www.CharlestonMuseum.org.
(NEW) Shuck-A-Rama: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Jan. 14, Gold Bug Island. The Brain Injury Association of South Carolina will hold its first-ever "Shuck-A-Rama" oyster roast fundraiser. Tickets are $35 in advance, $45 at the door. More.
Ballet: 7 p.m., Jan. 14, Gaillard Municipal Auditorium, Charleston.
Charleston Concert Association will start the second half of its season
with this "imaginative mash-up of classical technique with Alvin
Ailey roots and 'So You Think You Can Dance' accessibility." More.
"The Last Flapper:" 7:30 p.m. Jan. 20 and 21; 3 p.m., Jan. 22, 1080 East Montague Ave., North Charleston. The South of Broadway Theatre Company will present this one-woman show starring Leslie Vicary that's based on the writings of Zelda Fitzgerald. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for students. More: 745.0317.
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