4.23 | Monday, April 9, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: Thanks for your help
:: SPOTLIGHT: Rural Mission
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: QUOTE: Wiseguy
:: BROADUS: Eating BBQ for vets
WHERE IS IT?
APRIL 9, 2012 -- We are used to thinking of the rainforests and wetlands as being the most endangered ecosystems on our planet, but did you know that there is an ecosystem right here in South Carolina that is even more at risk? It is the longleaf pine forest.
Longleaf pines once covered over 90 million acres across the southeastern United States, reaching from Virginia to eastern Texas. This ecosystem had been in place for thousands of years, no doubt aided by the frequent forest fires set by Native Americans because longleaf pine is a fire-adapted species. In fact it is the keystone species in a fire-adapted environment. Frequent fires kept out other less well adapted plants and animals, prepared the ground to receive the longleaf pine seeds, and allowed these magnificent trees to dominate the coastal plain of the southeast. The trees and the fires both supported a whole host of plants and animals that were adapted to regular, small intensity fires and could grow in the filtered shade of the longleaf. The result was an ecosystem that is one of the most ecologically diverse in the world and is home to some of the most rare and unique plants and animals on the continent.
Native Americans maintained this forest because it provided ideal habitat for plants and animals that were useful to them, notably white-tailed deer and wild turkeys, made it easier to travel, and kept down the instance of wildfires. European settlers saw the benefits of maintaining the forest and found a number of additional uses for the forest and its products. The superb and moderately rot-resistant lumber was used for a variety products, and the high resin content of the trees was tapped to produce a number of "naval stores" such as pitch, tar and turpentine. These forest industries supported many communities until the advent of the steam powered saw mill in the latter part of the 19th century brought about the their quick destruction.
Very little of the original virgin forest still exists, and it is estimated that no more than about 3.5 million acres of longleaf pine forest remain in the region, about 3 percent of the original. Compare that to the 65 percent of remaining wetlands in the Southeast, and the 43 percent of the remaining rainforest in the world, and one can see just how endangered our longleaf pine forest really is. And even the 3 percent figure is probably too high because many of the longleaf pine forests are not managed and no longer actually support the ecosystem that accompanied these outstanding trees. The destruction of the forest, and more importantly the destruction of the ecosystem, has resulted in 29 plants and animals ending up on the federally-listed threatened or endangered species list.
Fortunately today, there are a number of government and non-profit organizations working to bring back the longleaf pine. A variety of grants are available to promote the planting of longleaf pines, and much information is available to landowners on the proper management to ensure their survival. These efforts are paying off and it is believed that we are now seeing an increase in longleaf pine acreage across the region. Most of this increase is happening among large private landowners who are planting the trees for a variety of reasons, one of which is a strong conservation ethic. But there are also good economic reasons to consider planting longleaf pine. They are more drought resistant than other pine species, more resistant to hurricanes and many insect pests, and provide better quality timber and habitat for bobwhite quail and wild turkey.
are interested in finding out more about efforts to increase the acreage
of longleaf pines check out the Longleaf Alliance Web bsite at www.longleafalliance.org.
Steve Moore is director of Climate and Energy with the S.C. Wildlife Federation. He lives on Johns Island.
APRIL 9, 2012 - Gov. Nikki Haley's new book is sure to cause three differing reactions:
like Haley and want to be pumped up, go ahead and spend $28 for what seems
more like a transcribed version of a lot of self-taped conversations than
a book. Otherwise, don't bother. Haley is trying too hard to be a real-life
here are some observations of Haley's "Can't Is Not an Option:"
Bottom line: Plant a garden. It's spring. There are better things to do than read this book.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring CharlestonCurrents to you at no cost. This issue's featured nonprofit partner is Rural Mission on John's Island. The organization is many things to man people: a hand up in times of crisis and need a mission, service and faith volunteer experience for the young and older a caregiver and advocate for young migrant children and a support system for migrant families a provider of a warm, comfortable home in winter and a greatly appreciated giver of desperately needed home repairs to make low income homes safe, healthy and decent. For all, Rural Mission is a source of hope for low- and very low-income residents, the elderly and families living in the rural underserved Sea Islands of Charleston County, from Johns Island to Wadmalaw to Edisto and Yonges Islands. To learn more about this extraordinary organization, visit Rural Mission online. To talk to someone about giving your time or money to help, phone: 843.768-1720.
APRIL 9, 2012 -- Some people may think the song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" applies to Christmas, but in my book, the most wonderful time of the year is now-because it's farmers market time again. The City of Charleston raised the tents on another market season at Marion Square last Saturday. Next up is Mount Pleasant, which holds its first market on Tuesday (April 10) beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the pavilion at Moultrie Middle School. The North Charleston market opens April 19 at the Felix C. Davis Community Center at Park Circle.
If you're on Facebook, be sure to "Like" your favorite market's page, whether it's Charleston or Mount Pleasant or both. Last year was the first time I'd done that, and it was great to be able to get much-needed, last-minute info -- "We're opening an hour late today because of the rain" -- or happier news flashes, such as "The first peaches of the season are here!" The Facebook pages also usually promo the entertainment of the day, new seasonal vendors, special events and such. Ain't technology grand?
The Charleston Farmers Market is open each Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Marion Square and runs through Dec. 16. Mount Pleasant's market is held from 3:30 p.m. until dusk each Tuesday until Oct. 16. It's long been my hope that the Mount Pleasant market would continue through early December, as Charleston's does; guess I'll have to keep working on that one.
Restaurant to host Communities In Schools benefit
For the eighth year, the restaurant High Cotton at 199 East Bay St. will host a three-course lunch on April 25 in honor of Administrative Professionals Day, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Communities in Schools. CIS is a nonprofit dropout prevention agency that serves more than 10,000 students and their families in two dozen Charleston County and Berkeley County schools. Last year's lunch raised $4,200 for the agency.
The special lunch will be offered between 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. The full menu is available online. The cost is $25 per person (tip not included). Reservations are required and can be made online () or by calling 724-3815.
The 2012 Charleston International Film Festival, first created in 2007, opens April 11 at the Sottile Theater in Charleston and at Cinebarre in Mount Pleasant for a five-day run of what is being called "one of the most alluring film events in the Southeast."
This year's festival, which kicks off with a 7 p.m. sneak preview of Sundance award-winning drama "Robot and Frank" at the Sottile. There's a cocktail reception starting at 5 p.m.
The festival features screenings of seven feature-length films and documentaries and more than 60 short films. There's also a Young Filmmakers Program and the 2012 S.C. Film Commission Indie Grant Program. Winners will be announced at a 6:30 p.m. Sunday gala at Lighthouse on the Creek in Mount Pleasant.
Kidzymphony Orchestra to perform April 17 at MUSC
Young musicians from the Charleston Academy of Music's Kidzymphony Orchestra will perform 12:15 p.m. April 17 at the Hollings Cancer Center at MUSC as part of an ongoing concert services that's just starting to make classical music more accessible throughout the Lowcountry. Also performing will be Caleb Borick on piano and Benjamin Halford on violin.
The Charleston Academy of Music is a nonprofit with the mission to "empower students to become achievers by providing superior professional musical instruction and performance opportunities." The academy offers high quality music instruction through its core programs: Academy, Honors, Orchestra, & Summer Camps. For more information on the concert and the academy, go online here.
More Mexican food offerings on the way
Del Taco, the nation's number two Mexican quick-service restaurant change, has announced plans to open up to 10 restaurants in the Charleston area and is seeking qualified restaurant operators as franchise partners.
"We see Charleston as a critical market for Del Taco in the Southeast," said Michael Vogel, vice president of franchise sales for Del Taco. "Our research shows consumers in the Charleston areas are looking for an alternative Mexican quick service option and we expect Del Taco's fresh, made-to-order food to be well received here." To learn more on franchising, go here.
Aquarium again receives much-desired AZA accreditation
The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) announced April 4 that the South Carolina Aquarium has again received accreditation from the organization. Fewer than 10 percent of wildlife exhibitors in the U.S. meet AZA standards.
"South Carolina Aquarium has demonstrated its leadership within the zoo and aquarium community by meeting high Association of Zoos and Aquariums Accreditation Standards," said AZA President and CEO Jim Maddy. "Only the finest institutions in the world rise to this level, and we congratulate the professionals at the South Carolina Aquarium for their hard work."
To be accredited, the South Carolina Aquarium underwent a thorough review to ensure it has and will continue to meet ever-rising standards, which include animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education, and safety. AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process every five years in order to be members of the Association.
"South Carolina Aquarium is an ideal place for people to get in touch with nature," Maddy added. "Like all members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, South Carolina Aquarium supports its community by providing affordable family recreation and science-based education programs that inspire."
Help the Palmetto Project to win $15,000
You can do something right now to help the Palmetto Project win $15,000 -- and you don't even have to leave your computer. (But you have to be a Starbucks fan.)
This month, Starbucks is giving away $4 million to nonprofits around the country whose missions are similar to those of the Starbucks Foundation. Only four South Carolina nonprofits have been selected, including the Palmetto Project. All four are guaranteed to win $10,000 -- but one of the four can get an extra $15,000 if its supporters go online and vote. (Ahem, it's a Starbucks marketing ploy because you have to have a Starbucks card, which costs money, but hey, if you already have one, it's easy to vote and you'd be doing a great service for the folks at the Palmetto Project.) You can vote once a week.
The Boykin Spaniel was originally bred in South Carolina before the 1920s. This amiable little dark brown retriever is both a superb hunter and loving family pet. It was bred to provide an ideal dog for hunting fowl in the swamps along the Wateree River, which demanded a sturdy, compact dog built for boat travel and capable of retrieving on land or water. Lemuel Whitaker "Whit" Boykin, a planter and sportsman from the Boykin community near Camden, tested many dogs to answer these needs. With luck and selective breeding, the multi-purpose retriever was being bred to type by the 1920s.
The precursor of the breed was reportedly a stray spaniel-type dog that befriended Spartanburg banker Alexander L. White around 1905. After the spunky dog showed an aptitude for retrieving, White sent the dog, called "Dumpy," to his friend and hunting partner Whit Boykin. In Boykin's hands this little stray developed into a superb turkey dog and waterfowl retriever. The popularity of the breed grew steadily and the Boykin's ability in the field and amiable nature brought the dog praise in all forms.
In 1977 the Boykin Spaniel Society was founded, with headquarters in Camden, and counted 2,544 human members by 2000. In that same year, the official Boykin Spaniel registry, begun in 1979, listed 16,285 Boykins in forty-nine states and many foreign countries. On March 26, 1985, Governor Richard Riley signed into law an act making the Boykin Spaniel the official South Carolina state dog.
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Five South Carolina poets
One of the things that good writers do is to read other good writers to learn from them. Award-winning Georgetown writer, poet and writing coach Lucinda Shirley recently sent along a list of her five favorite South Carolina poets:
"A word to the wise is not sufficient if it doesn't make sense."
The Impact of Hate: 5:30 p.m., April 9, Physicians Auditorium, College of Charleston. Shane Windmeyer, a national leader in gay and lesbian civil rights and a champion for LGBT issues on college campuses, will speak as part of the Office of Institutional Diversity Signature Speaker Series. The event is free and open to the public. More info: Contact the Office of Diversity by email or phone 843.953.5079.
Haley book signing: 6 p.m., April 9, Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King St., Charleston. Gov. Nikki Haley will sign copies of her new memoir, "Can't is Not an Option" in Charleston. NOTE: Books must be purchased at the store. Each book comes with a ticket for entrance into the signing line. Pre-orders are encouraged online or by phoning 722.2666.
Book launch and reception: 6 p.m., April 9, Charleston Library Society, Charleston. Local businesswoman Darla Moore will introduce noted author Charlotte Beers for the debut of her new book, "I'd Rather be in Charge: A Legendary Business Leader's Roadmap for Achieving Pride, Power and Joy at Work." More info: Phone 723.9912. Seating is limited.
(NEW) Pet fest: April 14 to April15, Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park. The two-day event is an opportunity for local pet organizations and businesses to showcase their causes, products and services. And there's lots of fun for pet owners -- Flight Frisbee Dogs, dock diving, music, jump castles, slides and more. Admission: $5. Learn more.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
contest: Entries due June 6. If you want to submit pictures
to the 2012 photo contest by Magnolia Plantations and Gardens, you can
start taking picture now. Submissions start April 1 for photos
taken between March 5 and May 31. More
Gibbes on the Street: 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., April 19. The Gibbes Museum of Art will throw its third annual street party with an evening of food, fun and music on Meeting Street between Cumberland and Queen streets. Lots of food by top area chefs will be available. Tickets are $100 for members and $135 for non-members. More: Go online or call 843-722-2706 x22.
East Coast Canoe & Kayak Festival: April 20-22, James Island County Park. More than 50 commercial exhibitors will be on hand at the 22nd annual festival that's filled with on-water classes, lectures and demonstrations for paddlers of all ages. More.
Chef's Potluck: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., April 22, Middleton Place Pavillion, outside Charleston. Lowcountry Local First offers its 5th annual Chef's Potluck where several of the community's most high-profile chefs partner with growers and producers to make a great meal. Cost: $65 for members; $70 for others. More.
(NEW) Aquarium gala: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., April 28. The S.C. Aquarium's annual gala, this year titled "An Evening in Madagascar," to generate money to support environmental programs. In addition to a seated dinner and theatrical performances will be an Environmental Stewardship Awards presentation. More.
Tall ships in Savannah: May 3 to May 7. The five-day
festival will give visitors the chance to view 14 tall ships and board
many of them. It's the only Southern stop during an Atlantic coast race.
Tickets are $20 to $50. Learn
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.
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