4.34 | Monday, June 25, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: Drop us a line
:: SPOTLIGHT: SCIWAY
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: THE LIST: Pesky mosquito facts
:: QUOTE: Size doesn't matter
:: BROADUS: We can hear you now
WHERE IS IT?
2012 -- It sounds simple: Move people from point A to point B. It's what
we have been working on at Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) for years.
But when it comes to equal rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
population (LGBT), our community moves slowly.
it take to pierce the shield of "what do I care, I am not gay,"
or the wall of "things will never change here?" Do you remember
the kids in the old Life cereal commercial who wouldn't try the product
till someone else (Mikey) did? When it comes to activism, many of us are
still like those kids, waiting for someone else to go first.
campaigns in the LGBT rights movement offer the supportive, "It gets
better" model. While that campaign has been effective in giving LGBT
youth-very often the targets of bullying-a hope for their future, it also
has the potential to give people permission to wait. Wait for change.
It will get better. Someone else will do it. The fact is, "It"
doesn't get better-we do. Both gay and straight people working at change
make life safer and more productive for LGBT people.
of AFFA's work in the past 14 years has grown out of our belief that we
cannot afford to wait, and we know this is another time to say it loud:
We, LGBT and straight allied people, have to take responsibility now.
We create the change in our lives. It gets better when we get better.
this year began with actual headlines about the LGBT population. We simply
changed the target of the headline to another population in our community.
Negative statements about the LGBT community are so common that we become
deaf to them. Change the target and we are reminded just how harsh and
unjust those statements are. And when the new object of discrimination
in the headline is closer to home or part of the diversity picture we
already embrace, the stark reality of the statement pushes us further
along the road to activism. We need to speak out.
a call to stand up and be heard. Our television ads are heartfelt and
heart-moving messages reminding us all how far we have to go to live on
a level playing field.
The first part of the campaign is composed of three ads, each with its own startling headline. [Ad 1 | Ad 2 | Ad 3] The second phase is speaking out-the viewers of the ad are directed to the Web site with a specific "speak out" page that lists a number of ways people can speak out, from stopping an anti-gay joke at the water cooler -- to writing a legislator -- to speaking up at your church, with resources to help along the way.
Off-hand remarks and gay jokes are not funny. Religious views condemning fellow citizens are not "free speech." Jokes are not "just jokes" and speech is not "free" when it is used to bully and intimidate and harm.
We are not entitled to deny another's rights in the name of religion. It is risky facing discrimination head on, but it is time for us all to move beyond what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. identified in an earlier struggle, "The appalling silence of the good people."
JUNE 25, 2012 -- The 160 predominantly black public schools in South Carolina seem to have one thing in common -- low expectations by their communities.
On paper, the schools challenges appear almost insurmountable. Theres little diversity, a lot of poverty and a relatively low on-time graduation rate.
But visit the schools and prepare to be surprised.
For example, take Burke High School in Charleston, a facility built for 1,200 students but home to half that many from grades seven to 12. Out of 596 students in 2010-11, only four were white. The rest were black, except for two.
On paper, Burke is failing. Considered an at-risk school being looked at for possible takeover by the state, Burke has a 55.6 percent graduation rate and just over half of students passing two standardized subtests of the high school exit exam.
But Burke also offers an outstanding ROTC program. Its got a cool literary magazine. It has a 90.3 percent attendance rate, a third of students enrolled in advanced programs and a very high percentage of parents attending conferences. More than half of teachers have advanced degrees. The average teacher salary in 2011 was $42,609. Theres an energy at the school where visitors are welcomed with a big banner that says Burke High School Is Always Striving to Be the Best.
The story is similar at Scotts Branch High School outside Summerton in rural Clarendon County. On paper, the rural school looks like it might have problems. More than 94 percent of the school is black. Only 62 percent of students passed two standardized tests in 2011.
But this school, which in 1947 gave birth to South Carolinas battle to end segregation, is a comfortable, friendly, modern place to visit. Students in ninth grade get laptops to use for free for a year. The Internet allows students to take advanced courses in virtual classrooms.
One thing Ive never accepted is that the quality of education depends on the color of skin, said Clarendon One Superintendent Rose Wilder, who seems to know every student by name when walking through school hallways.
Whats missing is cultural diversity. Predominantly black schools like Burke and Scotts Branch in urban and rural settings across the lower half of the state dont have what most kids take for granted in many suburban schools -- kids with various skin colors and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Just look at West Ashley High School in Charleston, where about half of the students are black and most of the rest are white. Not only are they exposed to different cultures, but the size of the school -- 1,871 students in 2011 -- offers students a lot of educational options.
Very often, the societal expectations that kids bring to the school are emulated by other students, observed West Ashley Principal Mary Runyon. If you dont have these peer models, its very difficult to break out of those neighborhood expectations in schools with little diversity.
Maurice Cannon, principal at Burke, said he wished his students had more cultural diversity because they would be able to learn about different experiences that just the so-called black experience. Theyd be able to debate and discuss different ways of doing things and, in turn, grow.
But at schools like Burke and Scotts Branch, the schools dont appear to be failing the students. Instead, communities seem to be failing students because they dont embrace their schools as hubs of the community. Imagine, for example, what Burke would be like if white parents who send their kids to tony private schools were to support Burke fully. Instead of being half empty, it would be full -- of students, of curiosity and of different experiences.
Yes, public schools in South Carolina desegregated. We dont have separate but equal school systems, one each for blacks and whites. But 40 years after desegregation, we now have a lot of schools like Scotts Branch and Burke that are functionally segregated. Why? Because, in large part, people with economic means, most of whom are white, send their kids to private schools or teach them at home.
Unfortunately, thats the way it is. But we shouldnt accept it. Why? Because its continuing to foster a patrician culture for the next generation. And until we get around that, we really are failing a lot of South Carolinas children.
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.
JUNE 25, 2012 -- Keeping money active in the Charleston community to build the local economy requires many things working together for success.
One of the things working against that is the rash of so called payday lenders. A quick history shows that after the legislature finally cracked down in 2009, the lenders crafted a work-around -- a 6-12 month so-called short -term loan.
Since then, more than 100 of the lenders have changed their licenses over so they can do the new loans. Why? Well the annual interest rate of return for them is 400 percent!
"If the mortgage meltdown didn't show us why we need strong regulations, I don't know what would," said Sue Berkowitz, director of Appleseed Legal Justice in Columbia
Some states, including the neighboring states of North Carolina and Georgia, have banned payday lenders. Wouldnt it be great if we could create reasonable alternatives here? The ' Slow Money' chapter here in town might want to look at this.
announced a $100,000 gift on June 22 to help pay for replacement of a
7,000-foot boardwalk at the Francis Beidler Forest in Harleyville. The
donation to Audubon South
Carolina's attraction that draws more than 350,000 visitors annually,
is the largest corporate donation to date going to pay for boardwalk reconstruction.
boardwalk allows people to experience part of the 45,000 acres of old-growth
swamp forest one of only two left in South Carolina that
includes black water sloughs and lakes that are home to a wide variety
of animals. The boardwalk has also directly contributed to the preservation
of thousands of additional acres of the surrounding forest habitat. What
began as approximately 3,400 acres of conserved forest has increased to
nearly 17,000 acres as a result of the appreciation of the value of this
natural habitat that has taken place through visitors experiences
along the boardwalk trail. The new boardwalk will be wider than
the current boardwalk, making it fully ADA-compliant to improve accessibility
for people with special needs. In addition, it will have a projected longevity
of more than 50 years.
are so very grateful for this generous gift from MWV to the reconstruction
of the boardwalk, said Norman Brunswig, who has been the director
of the Francis Beidler Forest Sanctuary for nearly 40 years. Our
corporate partners have made it possible for us to reach thousands of
school children to teach them the importance of protecting natural habitat
for the wild creatures that make their homes in it, and for residents
and visitors who learn how much these places add to our quality of life."
T. Seeger, president of MWV of Community Development and Land Management,
noted that Audubon and the company had a long history of partnering in
projects to preserve natural treasures in the Lowcountry. The boardwalk
is a vital link that connects our communities to the natural world of
which they are a part.
South Carolina launched the Boardwalks capital campaign in 2011
and has secured $931,000 of the estimated $1.7M needed for its completion.
Construction is scheduled to begin in 2013.
Charleston Fashion Week pumps in $2.4 million
year of Charleston Fashion Week in the spring pumped more than $2.4 million
into the local economy, according to a study by the Office of Tourism
Analysis at the College of Charleston.
key characteristics of the event noted in a press release from CFW:
are very pleased with the continued success and growth of the 2012 Charleston
Fashion Week and the recent survey results reinforces the growing economic
impact the event, said Jed Drew, the president of GulfStream Communications,
which owns and produces Charleston Fashion Week, as well as Charleston
magazine. Regarding 2013, we anticipate announcing some exciting
new additions over the coming months, and the 2013 event is scheduled
for March 19-23, 2013.
Gibbes will display Google doodles in July
The Gibbes Museum of Art will exhibit South Carolina Doodle 4 Google finalists for the month of July starting July 3 in the museum's Welcome Gallery, which can be accessed without paying museum admission.
special exhibition will feature top submissions from 10 finalists from
kindergarten through high school. Finalists are students in Bluffton,
Conway, Johnsonville, Pickens, Rock Hill, Simpsonville, Mount Pleasant
and North Charleston. T
Doodle 4 Google is one of several efforts by Google to encourage and celebrate the creativity of young people by asking students to create their own Google doodle. The theme this year was If I could travel in time, Id visit... Doodle 4 Google gives students a blank canvas to harness their curiosity and imagine the past, present, and/or future anywhere in the world.
SCRA's Mahoney named nonprofit executive of the year
Last week, we told you how SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney was a finalist in a national competition to be nonprofit executive of the year. Great news: He won!
I am humbled and grateful to have received this esteemed award, said Mahoney after he earned the Gold Stevie Award at the 10th Annual American Business Awards event on June 18. It was a surprise and honor to be nominated, and to receive this acknowledgement is truly inspirational. Our dedicated employees are integral to SCRAs success, and I share this award with them.
Since joining SCRA as its CEO in 2005, Mahoney has helped build a Knowledge Economy in a state that historically has lagged behind others in resources, intellectual property and capital funds. Named as one of The Greater Columbia Business Monthlys "50 Most Influential People, Mahoney has helped SCRA achieve record revenues throughout his tenure, which have more than doubled from $74 million to $195 million over six years. In keeping with that growth, the companys economic contributions in South Carolina have also doubled to over $14 billion in the time period. Last year the company was recognized by the South Carolina Chamber as one of the Best Places to Work in South Carolina. Since 2006, SCRA has been continuously recognized for entrepreneurial support, innovation and technology-based economic development on local, regional, national and international levels.
Stevie Award, more
than 3,000 nominations for organizations of all sizes and in virtually
every industry were considered this year in a wide range of categories.
These included: Most Innovative Company of the Year, Management Team of
the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility
Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others.
For much of the states history, education was left principally to families. Nonetheless, while historically the states support of schooling has been hesitant, sporadic, and limited, the last two decades of the twentieth century witnessed growing attention to schools. By the end of the twentieth century, reform of South Carolina public schools had entered the forefront of political debate.
Reflecting the English roots of colonial South Carolina society, early education was centered in the home and church. For formal education wealthy, white families might hire tutors or send their children to private schools in Charleston. Education for crafts was provided through apprenticeships.
The first expressions of public support for free schools came in the early eighteenth century. Some individuals had bequeathed money for the purpose of supporting free schools. In 1712 An Act for Founding and Erecting of a Free School in Charlestown was passed, actually recognizing a school already established in Charleston under John Douglas, but also providing limited public funds for the support of free schools established in other parishes as well. Masters had to be Anglicans, and instruction was required in Grammar, and other arts and sciences and useful learning, and also in the principles of the Christian religion.
Free schools were operated for the children of poor whites who could not afford a private school or tutor. Organizations establishing such schools included the South Carolina Society, the Winyaw Indigo Society, the Mt. Zion Society, and the Anglican Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. The most long-lived of such schools was a manual training school established in the Abbeville District through a 1797 bequest by John de la Howe.
Educational opportunities for black South Carolinians were extremely limited. While the wives of masters might instruct favorite slaves in Christianity and the reading of the Bibleand occasionally black students received instruction in free schools, most notably at the school of the Reverend Alexander Garden in Charlestonmost whites were skeptical of the value of educating blacks. Beginning in 1740 and continuing throughout the colonial and antebellum periods, the South Carolina legislature passed statutes limiting the teaching of writing and reading to slaves and free blacks. Despite these laws, schools for free blacks supported by religious and fraternal organizations survived in Charleston during the antebellum period.
Throughout the colonial period and beyond, private education remained the norm. Tuition-charging academies were the mainstay of secondary education. Notable schools included the Mt. Bethel Academy in Newberry, Moses Waddels Willington Academy in Abbeville District, and Madame Ann Mason Talvandes French School for Young Ladies in Charleston. Other private academies sprang up throughout the state, sometimes with limited state support. The curricula of these schools tended to the classics, Greek, Latin, and mathematics but varied according to the gender of the students. One female academy in Columbia, for example, offered a course of study that included belles lettres, French, music, drawing, and plain and ornamental needlework. There were 117 academies in the state by 1840 and more than 200 in 1860. An 1850 act provided support for the establishment of military schools in Anderson, Marion, and Spartanburg.
In 1811 the General Assembly passed a new free school act authorizing the establishment of schools in each district equal to its number of representatives in the legislature. The state subsidized these schools at a meager level, and any white child could attend free, with priority given to orphans or children of the poor. These free schools came to be seen as pauper schools, a stigma that kept many away. Typically the quality of both the buildings and the instruction was low. In 1860 there were only 1,395 teachers operating 1,270 schools for 18,915 students.
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We'll publish next Monday, but so we'll also have a little time off for the July 4 holiday, we'll offer a more limited publication than usual.
Put 'em in their place
Thanks to this year's
odd weather, you can expect to get bitten by pesky mosquitoes just about
anytime you step outside. But you can reduce infestations of the buggers
by flushing birdbaths and other outside water containers, keeping gutters
clean, keeping your grass cut, fixing leaky fosters, chlorinating pools,
putting fish in landscape ponds anything to reduce standing water
where larvae breed.
Here are five facts
about mosquitoes provided by the professional mosquito killers at Charleston
County, which has more planes in the air than usual these days to spray
away the critters:
To request service or to get information on Charleston County Mosquito Control activities, call (843) 202-7880. More on mosquitoes can be found online.
Size doesn't matter
Anyone who thinks that they are too small to make a difference has never tried to fall asleep with a mosquito in the room.
Carolina Day Parade: 10:30 a.m., June 28, Washington Park near Charleston City Hall. Parade-goers who want to celebrate the 236th patriot victory in the Battle of Fort Moultrie will meet in Washington Park and process to White Point Gardens at 11 a.m. More and RSVP: Charleston Library Society, 843.723.9912.
book signing: 2 p.m., July 1, Blue Bicycle Books, 420 King
Street, Charleston. Atlanta author Wendy Wax will sign copies of her brand
new breezy summer novel, Ocean Beach, which will be published
June 26 by Berkley.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
July 4 celebrations: There's a bunch to do to celebrate the nation's independence on July 4. Check out these offerings:
and Palate Stroll: 5:30 p.m. To 7:30 p.m., July 13. The Charleston
Fine Art Dealers' Association will offer an evening stroll dedicated to
fine art, unique cuisine and wine as galleries and restaurants pair for
a fun evening. Among the pairs: Corrigan Gallery Barsa Tapas; Dog
and Horse Fine Art Circa 1886; Ella W. Richardson Fine Art
BLU; Helena Fox Fine Art Anson; Horton Hayes Fine Art Oak;
Smith Killian Fine Art McCradys; The Sylvan Gallery
Elis Table; and Wells Gallery Social. Learn more about the
$45 per person event at: www.cfada.com.
Parks for Tomorrow: Meetings are scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at these times and locations: July 24, Charleston (Burke High School media center); July 25, Yonges Island (Baptist Hill High School cafeteria); July 26, McClellanville (St. James Santee Elementary School). These three meetings are left to give public inputon topics including parks, recreation and trails to incorporate into the master plan for the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission. More info.
Homegrown Concert: Aug. 17-18, Family Circle Magazine Stadium, Daniel Island. Hootie & The Blowfish will host the 10th annual HomeGrown Concert to raise back-to-school supplies for the Charleston County School District. Tickets ($31) are on sale at Ticketmaster outlets. More online.
Through Aug. 17, Avery Research Center, 125 Bull Street, College
of Charleston. This three-month exhibit of the art of Bernice Mitchell
Tate is a material culture, historic, fine craft, and art installation
exhibition honoring the collective spirit of female identity and African-American
womanhood. The exhibit serves as a personal tribute, a "herstory",
recognizing the life and times of Tate's mother, the late Veronica Robinson-Mitchell
of Sheldon, South Carolina. Furthermore, it is a celebration of Lowcountry
culture and authentic African-American Gullah-Geechee heritage. More info:
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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