4.24 | Monday, April 16, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: How to win RDogs' tickets
:: SPOTLIGHT: SCIWAY
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: QUOTE: From the silent one
:: BROADUS: Grit and determination
WHERE IS IT?
APRIL 16, 2012 -- Unlike most books about atheism, mine is largely personal, with less emphasis on philosophical or scientific arguments. My Orthodox Jewish background growing up in Philadelphia played into my life choices, so you'll read about the family values on which I was raised, or, more accurately, the values on which my family tried to raise me.
Why would a liberal, Yankee, Jewish, atheist with four strikes against me, decide to run for governor of South Carolina? It wasn't through blind ambition or unrealistic expectations, and certainly the devil didn't make me do it. There really was a method to my madness. When I learned in 1990 that our South Carolina Constitution prohibited atheists from becoming governor, I thought this anachronism would be easy to correct. It wasn't. I describe an eight-year battle that finally ended in a South Carolina Supreme Court victory, nullifying the anti-atheist clause in our Constitution.
Prior to this experience, I was an apathetic atheist, as most atheists are. I had previously seen no more need to proclaim my atheism than to say I believe in a round Earth. A Flat Earth Society still exists, but it doesn't have the political power of a well-organized religious right. If it did, we'd need a Round Earth Society, especially if some school boards wanted "flat-earth theory" taught in science classes.
During my political campaign, I heard from many who thought they were the only atheists in South Carolina, so we formed a much-needed community-the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry. When people tell me I'm the only atheist they know, I respond, "No, I'm not. You know hundreds. I'm the only atheist you know who's public about it." Attitudes will change when people learn they have friends, neighbors, and even family members who are atheists.
A number of national humanist and atheist organizations were working on causes I supported, but each was doing its own thing in isolation. Our secular community was spending too much time arguing about labels (atheist, agnostic, humanist, freethinker, etc.) and too little time showing our strength in numbers and cooperating on issues that affect all secular Americans. So I helped organize a cooperative nontheistic movement called the Secular Coalition for America, with missions to increase the visibility of, and respect for, nontheistic viewpoints; and to protect and strengthen the secular character of our government.
My book is for apathetic atheists, who I hope will become motivated to get off their apathy. The book is also for religious people, who I hope will learn to understand and respect those of us who know it's possible to be good without God. And this book offers constructive approaches for dealing with family conflicts over religious differences. In other words, I guess this book is for just about everyone.
In my math profession, I discovered that one of the best ways to learn a subject is to teach it. I also discovered that one of the best ways to learn about yourself is to write about yourself. Maybe after reading about my life, you'll be inspired to write about yours.
I try to make my points, philosophical or otherwise, with humor. I'm a serious person, but I don't take myself too seriously. I hope you'll see the funny side of my serious stories and the serious side of my funny stories. People quite understandably ask my wife, Sharon, why she not only puts up with me, but also seems to like me. She says: "Because he makes me laugh a hundred times a day." If you don't laugh while reading this book, blame Sharon, because she told me you would.
APRIL 16, 2012 -- Imagine my surprise on a trip to local strawberry fields over the weekend when we spied a sign for the "Easu Jenkins Memorial Bridge" " across Church Creek between Johns and Wadmalaw islands.
At first, I didn't think I saw it right. "Easu Jenkins?," I wondered. "Surely the Highway Department couldn't have made that whopping of a mistake."
Yes, it did. Boneheads.
Esau Jenkins (1910-1972) was a Johns Island native and local civil rights hero for his life's work to improve economic, health and political conditions for residents of the Sea Islands of South Carolina. According to the South Carolina African American History Calendar, Jenkins got his big start in community service in the late 1940s when he and "his wife Janie purchased a few buses to transport their own and other Island children to a public school in Charleston, and other residents to jobs in the city. As workers made the morning commute, Jenkins and his wife taught them to read the section of the Constitution required for them to become registered voters."
Other highlights of his long service to the area:
So to get this man's name wrong on a bridge that connects two important islands is a slap in the face every day to people who travel Maybank Highway and to the memory of Esau Jenkins.
We certainly make periodic spelling mistakes in Charleston Currents. But this is more than an "oops" by the S.C. Department of Transportation. It borders on the outrageous. The DOT should immediately take down the misspelled signs and do some community outreach to repair a public relations nightmare and honor Jenkins' lifetime of service. And -- somebody at the Highway Department needs to write "Esau Jenkins" 100 times on the blackboard.
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The most recent Statehouse Report commentary will tell you something you probably already know: Despite elections set for November, not much will change at the Statehouse in Columbia. With Republicans in control of the redistricting process, new lines are even more favorable to the GOP than 10 years ago. We project that the GOP will increase its majorities slightly in the state House and Senate. To learn more -- and to see our race-by-race projected outcomes -- click here.
From now until August, the best letter of the month will win four box seat tickets to a baseball game featuring our own RiverDogs. Just drop us a line and you're automatically entered into our ticket giveaway. So, what's on your mind?
So drop us a line and tell us what's on your mind or what's bothering you? Or send us other thoughts. We love getting input from you. If you have an opinion you'd like to share (150 words or less), send your letters to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you!
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In today's issue, we shine the spotlight on SCIWAY, South Carolinas Information Highway. Pronounced sky-way, SCIWAY is the largest and most comprehensive directory of South Carolina information on the Internet. It includes thousands of links to other South Carolina Web sites, including Charleston Currents, as well as an amazing collection of maps, charts, articles, photos and other resources. To learn more about this extraordinary information hub that 7 million people visit a year, go to: http://www.SCIWAY.com.
APRIL 16, 2012 -- The 'GrowFood Carolina' warehouse downtown on Morrison Drive is starting to really make a difference.
With a goal of increasing our reliance on regional small farms and the backing of the Coastal Conservation League, the warehouse is currently helping 20 farms get their fresh food into local restaurant chefs' hands. By the end of the year, they expect to increase that to 30 farmers. Why do we care at the retail level? Because local and healthy foods being more accessible help all of us eat healthier and build the local economy. Start asking at places you eat if they are using the GrowKood warehouse. More.
The Citadel Regimental Band and Pipes will hold its annual spring concert Tuesday with a new twist -- Capt. Brian Walden, the commanding officer and conductor of the U.S. Navy Band in Washington, D.C., will serve as its first guest conductor.
The concert, free and open to the public, will start at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in McAlister Field House.
A native of South Carolina with strong ties to James Island, Walden served as a trumpet instrumentalist while stationed in Charleston and has served with the U.S. Navy Show Band, U.S. Naval Academy Band, the Navy School of Music, the Navy Band Great Lakes and the Allied Forces Southern Europe (NATO) Band. He has guest conducted ensembles and performed as a trumpet instrumentalist in more than 74 countries during his career.
"We are thrilled to have Capt. Walden with us as our first guest conductor at the spring concert," said retired Navy Cmdr. Mike Alverson, director of music at The Citadel. "The cadets are looking forward to working with him on several music selections during the concert."
Hamilton wins 2012 arts
Hamilton III will receive the Summey Barkley Rucker award during a gala
that starts 6 p.m. May 8 at the South of Broadway Theatre Company in Park
a local professional musician for more than 50 years and former 24-year
member of Charleston County Council, was the unanimous winner based on
his lifelong body of work and mentoring of youths during his career, said
Charleston County Fine Arts Coordinator James Braunreuther, who chaired
the selection committee. The award is named for North Charleston Mayor
Keith Summey, Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts Founding Chair
Nella G. Barkley and popular singer Darius Rucker.
Hamilton toured with the Jenkins Orphanage Bands during the mid-1940s, and played with his own band, Lonnie Hamilton and the Diplomats, which was the house band at Henry's, a popular jazz nightclub, from the 1970s through the early 1990s. He was also the band leader at Bonds-Wilson High School from 1955 to 1976. In 2003, and at Lonnie's urging "to give something back to the community," a scholarship fund in his honor was formed to fund local high school band students in the pursuit of their dreams. To date, more than $20,000 has been awarded to Lowcountry youths for assistance in pursuing their musical dreams through this fund.
Elmore named CEO of Charleston Animal Society
The Charleston Animal Society has announced the appointment of Joe Elmore to the new position of Chief Executive Officer. He is responsible for the overall strategic and tactical direction of society, one of the nation's oldest animal organizations, including overseeing all program areas, legislative efforts, financial development and administration.
"Joe is an accomplished executive with a strong record of achievements, having led four other organizations across the country as their chief executive," stated Barbara Eggers, president of Charleston Animal Society's Board of Directors. "During Joe's 25-year tenure in the nonprofit arena with both local and national organizations, he has built a proven track record in successfully managing a variety of complex organizations and projects."
Elmore joined the organization in late February following six years at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), where he served as senior director of community initiatives and oversaw a variety of projects.
Elmore is an alumnus of the University of Alabama. He has been recognized by the Governors of Washington and the Virgin Islands for his work in the nonprofit field and is the only person globally to have concurrently held Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA), Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certifications.
CresCom Bank has creative social media contest
today, CresCom Bank is partnering with for local radio stations for a
"Have a nice bank" social media scavenger hunt cash giveaway
where listeners will have a chance to win up to $1,400.
"This unique social media and traditional media promotion is a superb way for area residents to have some fun and win some cash, while also learning more about CresCom Bank," said David L. Morrow, CEO, CresCom Bank. "We believe that our customers receive the best banking experience in the state and we are proud to use this opportunity introduce more people to our banking philosophy. Today and beyond, we are committed to making sure customers 'Have a nice bank.'"
Bank is the new name for the consolidation of Crescent Bank and Community
FirstBank. More info: www.haveanicebank.com.
have a review or recommendation of a book, movie, restaurant or local
arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Andy
Brack. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.
Major General John C. Pemberton, commander of the Confederate forces in South Carolina and Georgia, found himself in turmoil as soon as he arrived in Charleston. His relationship with Governor Francis Pickens was acrimonious. He had talented officers on his staff but was faced with constant bickering and distrust of his abilities to effectively defend the coast from the inevitable Union attack.
Confederate Brigadier General Nation "Shanks" Evans commanded 3rd Military District, south of James Island to just north of Savannah. Evans and Pemberton argued constantly about the deployment of their meager resources. With the Federal troops gathering at Edisto Island, Pemberton wanted Evans to move the bulk of his troops to the Rantowles Bridge, a railroad stop west of Charleston. Evans, arguing instead to focus his troops at Adam's Run, viewed Pemberton as a bureaucrat with little tactical understanding.
Pemberton was also constantly receiving requests from Richmond to pull troops in his command to send to Virginia for the defense of the Confederate capital. After an urgent request from Robert E. Lee in April 1862, Pemberton sent the South Carolina 12th, 13th and 14th regiments under the command of Colonel Maxcy Gregg to Virginia.
Another of Pemberton's subordinates who had little regard for his commander, Brigadier General Roswell S. Ripley, commander of the 2nd Military District at Charleston, pleaded for a transfer to Virginia. While Pemberton did not like the hard-charging, hard-drinking Ripley, he did recognize his talent as an officer and refused the request.
Being woefully short of troops, Pemberton authorized the formation of the 24th South Carolina under the command of Colonel Clement H. Stevens. During the April 1861 firing on Fort Sumter, Stevens had designed and constructed the iron-clad battery on Morris Island. He later served as aide-de-camp for his brother-in-law Brigadier General Barnard Bee at the 1861 Battle of Manassas and was wounded during the Confederate victory.
Lt. Colonel Ellison Capers served under Stevens with the 24th. Capers graduated first in his class at The Citadel in 1857, and, by 1860, was a full professor at his alma mater. The 24th South Carolina was sent for duty at Coles Island to defend against the growing Union warships anchored near the mouth of the Stono River.
On April 11, Confederate Colonel Charles H. Olmstead surrendered Fort Pulaski, on Cockspur Island at the mouth of the Savannah River, after a 30-hour bombardment. The capture of Fort Pulaski effectively closed the port of Savannah and completed the Union blockade of all southern ports in Georgia and Florida.
With the significant victories at Port Royal in November 1861 and now Fort Pulaski in April 1862, the Federal command for the Department of the South was ready to turn their attention to Charleston. Major General David Hunter had a total of 16,989 officers and men from Saint Augustine, Florida to Otter Island, South Carolina. The capture of Fort Sumter and Charleston was needed by the Lincoln administration to both boost morale and support for the war in the North.
The Federal blockade had been in place in Charleston since 1861, but smaller ships were still able to move in and out of the port. In April 1862, the New York Times reported that more than 32 smaller sloops and schooners had evaded the blockade at Charleston and arrived with goods from Nassau. US Senator John P. Hale, the chairman of the Committee on Naval Affairs, was outraged to read of the number of blockade runners able to move in and out of Charleston and he called for an investigation.
Everything was in place for the ultimate confrontation at Charleston between the Confederate defense and the Union's Department of the South. While there was no Union advance toward Charleston by the end of April 1862, it was only a matter of time.
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Five for no-see-ums
Texas native and James Island resident Susan Milliken says she has five favorite places around town for getting "eaten up by no-see-ums." With the lack of a real winter and odd spring weather, we're pretty certain you could make a similar list for mosquitoes. Here's Susan's list:
"We think too much and feel too little."
(NEW) Glass ceiling speech: 5:30 p.m., April 18, Tate Center, College of Charleston, 15 Liberty Street, Charleston. Jennet Robinson Alterman, executive director of the Center for Women, will present "The Glass Ceiling in Corporate America: Is it self-imposed by women or not?" as part of the Think Differently Forum at the college's School of Business. Free.
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.
(NEW) Monkey business: 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., April 20, Terrace Theater, Maybank Highway, James Island. The theater and Magnolia Plantation and Gardens are teaming up before the screening of the new Disney film "Chimpanzee." Thirty minutes before screenings, Magnolia's zoo and nature center director will present a display of small animals in the theater lobby to help benefit the Goodall Institute. More information, visit www.terracetheater.com
(NEW) "Bully:" 4 p.m. April 22, Terrace Theater. WINGS for Kids will host a special screening of "Bully" to get people talking about bullying, which affects 13 million U.S. kids a year. Free cupcakes will be available after the documentary.
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.
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
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.
(NEW) Weekend water fun. Splash Zone Waterpark at James Island County Park, Splash Island at Mount Pleasant Palmetto Islands County Park, and Whirlin' Waters at Wannamaker County Park will be open on weekends in May. Splash Zone will open daily beginning May 21, Whirlin' Waters and Splash Island open daily beginning May 28. More: www.splashparks.com
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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