4.18 | Monday, March 5, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: You're not Southern if ...
:: SPOTLIGHT: West of
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: QUOTE: Hitchens on journalism
:: BROADUS: Take a wild guess
WHERE IS IT?
MARCH 5, 2012 -- As the weather warms and green growth expands into view, our efforts start moving toward springtime garden activities. All it takes is a trip to the local garden center and before you know it, the car is overflowing with beautiful treasures. It is at this point where many will scratch their brow, questioning what they need to do next.
And while we humans seem to lean toward making things more complicated than they actually are, this healthy activity doesn't have to bring with it intimidation and doubt. Gardening success requires a little more planning and preparation than just popping the plants in the ground.
Choose your plants based on the correct growing conditions in your yard. A plant that grows best in full sun needs five to six hours a day to stay healthy. Improperly sighting it in a shady nook is only going to cause heartache for you and your new addition.
about your plants' needs from reputable Southern sources. The Internet
is a great place to look, but make sure the information is relevant to
our area of the world. A good place to start is the Charleston Parks Conservancy's
resources. For native plant questions, check out the Lady
Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Web site. For information on roses
that really like it here in the South, check out the Antique
Water your plants in their pots before you plant and immediately after you plant. Simple right? This important step is a killer if not done. Your commercial irrigation system just won't cut it for keeping the plants watered until they have sent new roots out into the soil surrounding the root ball you just planted. The soil might be wet, but the root ball will be bone dry. Water the plants by hand. Get close up and make sure the soil has made contact with the root ball. A drenching will ensure the roots can make their way into the surrounding soil. Once this happens, irrigation systems can take over. As a general rule, it takes a 1-gallon shrub a good month to root in. Less or more time as you move down or up in container size.
Mulch your new plantings. Use leaves, pine straw or finely shredded pine bark. Add mulch about 3-4 inches deep to keep weeds from growing up around the plants, cool the soil in our hot times and help keep moisture in the soil. Don't overdo it, though. Too much mulch gives pest and diseases a place to hide. We have all seen examples around town where volcanoes of pine straw ring trees. This does more harm than good. More isn't better!
Want to learn more about gardening in the South? The Charleston Parks Conservancy offers several Educate You classes. Upcoming topics include learning to grow your own fruits and berries on March 17 and using native plants in the garden on March 24. Check out the full schedule.
MARCH 5, 2012 -- Despite overwhelming evidence that investing more money in early childhood education will yield huge dividends in the lives of South Carolinas children, the typical refrain from Republicans who lead the legislature is cold and disheartening: Well, you just cant keep throwing money at education. You just cant.
Ahem. Yes, you can. And yes, you should.
invest more money by paying teachers better than average. You can invest
more to give them the support they need so they can teach. You can upgrade
technology. And you can get rid of old schools that arent good enough
to be used as warehouses.
But what does the legislature do again, year after year? It tries to get education on the cheap. Why? It certainly doesnt help that we rank 49th from the top in state and local tax burden and 50th in state tax collections per capita, according to the Tax Foundation. All of the wailing and moaning about high taxes in South Carolina is a bunch of ridiculous hooey. We have a stressed-out system of public education because our leaders arent bold enough to innovate or courageous enough to do whats right for the 693,000 children in our schools.
If you asked a financial adviser to characterize a business strategy that relied on tucking away a little money every month for retirement, the adviser would immediately agree that it was a conservative business strategy.
If families can do that for retirement, why cant our leaders invest in our people -- to ensure them a better chance in life, a chance that would pay off to all of us with lower rates of poverty, incarceration, drug use, welfare and on and on?
A substantial investment in early childhood education -- making it possible for every 4-year-old in the state to attend some kind of pre-kindergarten program -- would pay off massively. If the state spent just 10 percent of its enormous $900 million in new revenues this year, it could guarantee pre-K programs across the state.
And look at the payoff in reducing poverty and giving more people a chance, according to the Riley Institutes Don Gordon:
The Pew Foundation uses national data to show that for every $10,000 spent on high quality pre-kindergarten programs which render children more ready for school and less likely to drop out, we save society a quarter of a million dollars in a dropouts reduced contribution to society, he told a group of state leaders at a late February conference.
Furthermore, According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, if the number of male South Carolina students who graduated from high school increased by just 5 percent, our states economy could see a combination of crime-related savings and additional revenue of $151 million each year.
Unfortunately, South Carolina legislators continue to underfund public education, year after year. State law requires K-12 education to receive base student funding calculated through a long-accepted formula that may be due for an overhaul. But based on that formula over the last 20 years, state lawmakers have fully-funded education only five times.
Last year, for example, the formula called for $2,790 in base student funding, but lawmakers provided about two thirds of that with $1,880 in funding, an improvement because the original plan was for funding to be $1,788 per student. (They upped the formula funding by moving around some funds and adding some one-time monies.)
For 2012-13, the House Ways and Means Committee is calling again for a base student cost of $1,788, which is $1,002 per student less than what is called for fully-funding education. If you extrapolate that to reflect the 693,431 students projected to be in public schools next year, lawmakers are considering a budget that would underfund South Carolina education by a whopping $694,817,862 less than the law requires.
you wonder why South Carolinas students lag the rest of the nation?
Not investing $700 million a year certainly is one big reason. We can
with you, Andy [2/27: "American
South is different than it used to be"].
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.
MARCH 5, 2012 -- There are many community gardening opportunities this spring. One of the more interesting ones is at the James Island Recreation Center, and is an ongoing monthly class. More: 843.724.7327.
Also of note, Brownswood Nursery will be teaching this one hour gardening class the First Wednesday of every month at 10 a.m. It will be fun, fast paced, and focused on inspiring and empowering you to become a better gardener. More.
You can get your fingers in the dirt as the SC Green Fair has announced the first annual 'Carolina Dirt farm' event to be held the last weekend in April. This will be a great opportunity for gardeners and others who want to really get involved more with local growing work. More.
Also in the news:
Greg Garvan of James Island is president of Money with a Mission, an 18-year-old, fee-only financial planning firm that specializes in socially responsible/ 'green' asset management. On the Web: moneywithamission.com.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and columnist Nicholas Kristof of
The New York Times will speak at noon March 22 about how to fight
poverty and repression by empowering women and girls. The speech, coordinated
by the Center for Women, is part of the organization's recognition of
women's history month.
The $60 ticket price includes lunch and a copy of his bestseller, "Half the Sky -- Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide." In the book, Kristof and his wife, co-author Sheryl WuDunn, discuss the repression that women and girls face -- from sex trafficking to acid attacks. In their stories, readers learn how they believe the key to economic progress lies in unleashing women's potential. The work outlines how throughout much of the world, the greatest unexploited economic resource is the female half of the population.
Kristof, a Harvard graduate and Rhodes scholar, and WuDunn won a Pulitzer Prize in international reporting in 1990 for coverage of the Chinese pro-democracy student movement and Tiananmen Square protests. In 2006, he won a Pulitzer for commentary for his graphic columns on genocide in Darfur.
The March 22 event, which will be held at the Montague Terrace in the North Charleston Coliseum, Convention & Performing Arts Center, is sponsored by the James O. and Harriet M. Rigney Literacy Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.
Power of emerging technology is conference focus
experts will convene March 14 to March 16 in Charleston to share the latest
innovations at the Emerging Technology Exchange conference, which will
offer forums in advanced security and information technology, aerospace,
biomedical topics and wind energy.
of these identified economic clusters will be represented with discussions
taking place on the new technologies impacting businesses, according to
the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce.
conference, BenefitFocus CEO Shawn Jenkins will talk about transformative
technologies and futurist Rick Throckmorton will give a local, national
and global outlook. There will be participation from Amazon, Lockheed
Martin, Microsoft and more.
The cost is $250 for Chamber members and $375 for non-members. The three day discussion and idea-sharing conference will take place at The College Center at the Complex for Economic Development, Trident Technical College.
Charleston makes another top 10 list
is ranked third in the nation on a new list of Top 10 spring destinations
for families, according to Livability.com.
The site, which highlights more than 500 of the country's best places to live, says Charleston is one of the most family-friendly cities on the East Coast. According to a press release, "In addition to 40 miles of beachfront loaded with things to do, this city offers attractions that appeal to both parents and children. To sum it up, Charleston has an 'awe factor.'"
ideal destination provides a wide range of activities for families with
children of different ages and interests," says Annette Thompson,
a board member of the Society of American Travel Writers, whose members
offered opinions on great spring break cities for families. "There
should be things to do both indoors and outdoors as the weather is not
something even the best itinerary can predict."
Give me another 10
Here's an interesting way to raise some money -- having a team of six do as many push-ups in 30 minutes.
That's what Communities in Schools is doing from 9 a.m. to noon on April 28. Yes, it's a long way away, but you'll need to start bulking up now if you and your mates want to participate to help raise funds to support the organization's dropout prevention programs for Lowcountry students.
In its fifth year, the Push-Up & Up Challenge is designed to literally "push-up" at-risk youth in the Charleston area through family fun by promoting healthy lifestyles, building awareness of the need for quality dropout prevention programs and securing funds for Communities In Schools.
Teams are comprised of individuals from local businesses, gyms, community groups, sports teams and schools raising at least $1,000 per team leading up to the event. Team members will ask friends, family, or businesses to "sponsor their push-ups" at $1 per push-up for any number of push-ups they would like.
Years back, someone told me a school integration story involving a white teacher who started to teach at a school on the Sea Islands filled with mostly black children. The teacher, trying to understand how much students knew so she could start teaching them at an appropriate level, got very frustrated when she thought she couldn't get answers to simple questions, such as "What color is the sky?"
The perturbed teacher then went to the school's black principal to complain about how she thought the school's students were, to put it a nice way, "challenged." The principal listened quietly and told the teacher she had to ask questions in the right way. The pair returned to the classroom and, to prove a point, the principal asked, "Children, how sky stand?" They answered, "Sky stand blue."
This was my introduction to Gullah, the African-influenced creole language spoken by up to 250,000 people along the coast from Georgetown to northern Florida. In a new book out Tuesday, linguist Elizabeth Little explores Gullah to highlight its beauty, its influence on American culture and how it wasn't a language that was a combination of "simplicity and stupidity."
In the wide-ranging Gullah chapter that also discusses ironworker Philip Simmons, "Porgy and Bess," and historic homes in the Charleston area, Little traces how the language really is different than being just a black version of English. An example: "In Gullah communities, many children are traditionally given nicknames called basket names -- that is, a name given when the baby is still small enough to sleep in a basket ... there is far more African influence to be found in basket names than there is English influence."
In "Trip of the Tongue," Little concludes she is hopeful for continued vitality for Gullah, particularly because of regional festivals, exhibits, symposiums and more. It also doesn't hurt that there's now a federally-backed Gullah/Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor that seeks to keep Gullah alive.
If you're looking for an entertaining and informative read about the non-English languages that permeate pockets of the United States, pick up Little's "Trip of the Tongue" and learn more about the Gullah that's in our backyard. More: www.Elizabeth-Little.com.
Union troops introduced baseball to South Carolina during the late stages of the Civil War. The game soon blossomed into a major social and athletic event in many rural and urban communities during Reconstruction. Both Columbia and Charleston formed local teams that played against the northern occupation forces. By the time Wade Hampton III became governor in 1877, the game was firmly established. In a game played the following year in Charleston between the "Carolinas" and the "Palmettoes," attendance was so large that fans disrupted play by crowding onto the field. Spectators' interest also included wagers on their favorite side.
By 1886 professionalism had come to South Carolina's game. Charleston's Southern Association team reportedly paid its players as much as $2,000. Its biggest rivals in these early years were Georgia teams. Some Charleston fans even paid 15¢ to follow away games telegraphed, play-by-play, into Hibernian Hall. Amateur and semiprofessional baseball had equally large followings. By 1889 Camden was the site of a "flourishing Base Ball Association owning a park where the best amateur games of the State are played." Two years earlier, a lively game in Greenwood between the "Columbias" and the "Greenvilles" was so competitive that a riot nearly ensued after the Greenville team won, 7 to 6.
By the end of the nineteenth century, some of the state's most loyal baseball fans were found in South Carolina's mill villages. In the 1870s and 1880s, when the textile industry began taking root in the upstate, mill-sponsored baseball clubs emerged, and they were thriving by the start of the twentieth century. Initially, mill teams consisted of the best players in each local workforce. But as the rivalries between mill towns grew, owners sought better talent and recruited talented players from outside the community, sometimes snatching the best players from rival mills.
Mill baseball provided textile communities with both entertainment and a source of pride. One of the earliest mill champions was the Piedmont team led by Champ Osteen. In 1899, after beating most of the local opposition, the Piedmont squad received a challenge from a team from Augusta, Georgia, which they also defeated. Until the twentieth century, mill leagues were informal and focused on local tournaments and other games throughout the summer months. Some of the first organized mill leagues appeared in 1908 with the formation of the South Carolina Mill League and the Greenville Mill League.
During the next half-century, regional mill leagues developed throughout the upstate and the Midlands, including teams from Anderson to Gaffney and Graniteville to Winnsboro. Hundreds and sometimes thousands of fans attended local games. Hotly contested matches sometimes led to fights both on and off the field. Perhaps the greatest triumph for any mill town came in 1936, when the Spartanburg American Legion team won the state's first national championship in any sport by defeating a Los Angeles team in a five-game series (some twenty thousand fans attended the fifth and deciding game). Mill leagues continued to thrive into the post-World War II era. But by the early 1950s, automobiles and televisions undermined mill league baseball's following. Attendance dwindled, and by the early 1960s the textile leagues had virtually ceased to exist.
We encourage you to check out our sister publications:
Charleston Currents is provided to you twice a week by:
We hope you'll keep receiving the great news and information from CharlestonCurrents.com, but if you need to unsubscribe, click here.
© 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 Irish facts about Charleston
With all things Irish about to start again on St. Patrick's Day on March 17, we thought you might enjoy some fun Irish facts about Charleston, courtesy of the S.C. Irish Historical Society. Did you know:
Sullivan's Island is named for Irishman Florence O'Sullivan, who was a captain of one of the ships in the first fleet to arrive in Charleston in 1670. He soon became a deputy to one of the Lord Proprietors and was named the colony's surveyor general. In the late 17th century, he was lighthouse keeper on the island.
The Hibernian Society got its start in 1801 as an Irish benevolent association. The current Hibernian Hall on Meeting Street was built in 1840 and is the only remaining building associated with the Democratic National Convention in 1860, which split the party and led to the election of Republican Abraham Lincoln. The Hall was the convention headquarters of candidate Stephen A. Douglas.
An Irishman named "England" was the Catholic Diocese of Charleston's first bishop. John England of Cork, Ireland, was named bishop in 1820. Today's Bishop England High School honors his dedication to the area.
"Charleston's first noteworthy slaying" came in 1671 when a man named Brian FitzPatrick reportedly killed an Indian, according to two sources. Efforts to arrest him apparently failed and he fled to St. Augustine, Fla., where he told the Spanish that he was a persecuted Catholic and provided intelligence on the size of the Charleston settlement that later was helpful in an attack.
Charlestonian John Rutledge, whose father was of Scots-Irish descent, was a signer of the US Constitution and the nation's second chief justice of the Supreme Court. His appointment, done during a congressional recess by President George Washington, was the first to be rejected by the US Senate. Rutledge's brother, Edward, signed the Declaration of Independence.
"I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information."
"Inga Binga:" March 9-25, Dock Street Theatre, 135 Church Street, Charleston. Charleston Stage offers this play featuring a young JFK and his Danish bombshell. More: www.charlestonstage.com. Read the story about it in our Feb. 27 issue.
Mullet Haul Train Run: 10 a.m., March 10, Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, Johns island. The second annual run encourages runners to sport either real or imitation mullet hairstyles during their participation in the race. The race will feature both a 5- and 10-mile off-road race. A prize will be awarded for the best mullet in the race. Fees to participate in the 5-mile run are $34 or $28 for residents of Charleston County. Fees to run the 10-mile leg are $44 or $36 for residents of Charleston County. Register.
benefit: 2 p.m. to midnight, March 11, Pour House, Maybank
Highway, James Island. You're encouraged to go out for Hawk Rawk, a music
benefit for Josh Dybzinski, who was in a December car accident in which
he injured his spinal cord. the benefit will have lots of bands, food,
a silent auction and more to help Dybzinski with medical costs. Tickets
are $20 per person with kids for free. To make a donation or learn more,
contact Merideth Garrigan.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
(NEW) Summerville's spring: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., March 15, downtown Summerville. The town's Third Thursday and Art Walk are back with outdoor music and entertainment. More.
Beautiful bulldog contest: 12:30 p.m., March 17, Johnson Hagood Stadium. The Citadel Football Association is holding its second annual Beautiful Bulldog Contest before the school's spring football game. They're looking for English bulldogs to participate (last year they had 54 dogs). You can visit with dogs and owners starting at 11 a.m. Cost: $5, with proceeds to provide support for The Citadel's bulldog mascots and the school's athletic scholarships. More: On the Web or 864.230.6002.
Free admission: March 18. Charleston County's parks will be open for free March 18 during Customer Appreciation Day. The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission says it's a way for it to say "thank you" by offering free gate admission to Ravenel Caw Caw Interpretive Center, North Charleston Wannamaker, Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands and James Island County Parks. Plus, delight in free parking at Kiawah Beachwalker Park, Isle of Palms County Park, and the Folly Beach Edwin S. Taylor Fishing Pier, where fishing is also free for the day! The Mount Pleasant Pier will also offer complimentary fishing on March 18, but parking fees will still apply. More: www.ccprc.com
(NEW) Gardening school: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., March 24, Charleston Exchange Park, Ladson. The 2012 Carolina Yard Gardening School by Clemson Extension and Tri-County Master Gardeners includes two garden lectures, two hands-on workshops, one soil test, lunch and refreshments, educational exhibits, plant problem diagnosis clinic, a chance to win a door prize, books and plants for sale on site, plus complimentary compost. Cost: $75. Space is limited. To register and learn more, go online here.
Walk for Water: 9 a.m., March 24, Cannon Park, Charleston. Water Missions International will have its sixth annual Walk for Water to help raise money to provide safe drinking water around the globe. During the 3.5 mile walk, participants carry a bucket of water to symbolize the trek made daily by women and children in developing countries to collect water. Registration is $15 and includes a free T-shirt. Children under 10 are free. More.
(NEW) Paint a turtle: 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., March 24, S.C. Aquarium, downtown Charleston. Children ages 9 to 14 are encouraged to join the "Fear No Easel" painting workshop and get free painting guidance from Fear No Easel instructional artists. Participants will paint the South Carolina State Reptile, the Loggerhead Turtle with acrylic paints. Members $15/Non-members $20. Space is limited. Reservations required. More: Call (843) 579-8518 or go online.
Easter promenade: 11 a.m., April 7, Meeting Street, Charleston.
You can see lots of great hats as the Hat Ladies of Charleston stroll
along Meeting Street to White Point Gardens during their 11th Easter Promenade.
The parade starts at the Four Corners of Law. More
online or phone 843-762-6679.
Charleston Jazz: 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., March 24, Charleston Music Hall, 37 John Street, Charleston. Join the Charleston Jazz Orchestra for "Swingin' Soul," a big-band tribute to the golden era of rhythm and blues. Tickets: $30 to $40. More: Jazz Artists of Charleston.
Bird walks: 8:30 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Saturday. This is the time of year that a great variety of migrating birds fly through the Lowcountry so what better time to take part in one of the regular early morning bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Pre-registration is suggested. Cost is $5. Learn more online.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
We encourage you to follow us through Twitter @chascurrents.
Home House Press
visit is awesome
connection for Star
IN OUR SISTER PUBLICATION
Here's the latest from our sister publication, Statehouse Report.
Twitter feeds via TweetsWind: a Twitter widget