4.35 | Monday, July 2, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: Send your letters
:: SPOTLIGHT: Maybank Industries
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: THE LIST: What Coroner's Office does
:: QUOTE: On the other hand
WHERE IS IT?
2012 The Municipal Association of SC on Friday recognized nine
South Carolina cities and towns this week for innovative projects and
programs. Among the winners were two Lowcountry communities, which are
1-1,000 : Town of Edisto Beach
visit Edisto Beachs beautiful Bay Creek Park to fish, picnic or
enjoy the waterfront vista, they never would guess they were standing
on a previously derelict and environmentally contaminated site. A public-private
project spearheaded by the Town of Edisto Beach overcame numerous challenges
to turn the once undesirable property into a public gathering place that
is an asset to the community.
1,001-5,000 : City of Isle of Palms
Erosion is a problem for many beach communities, and the Isle of Palms is no exception. Also like other communities, the city did not have millions of dollars to renourish its disappearing beaches. To protect the islands tourism livelihood and ensure public safety, city officials organized a group of stakeholders to help beach renourishment become a reality, and city staff took on the role of project manager for the endeavor.
Started in 1987, the Municipal Achievement Awards program gives South Carolina hometowns recognition for superior and innovative efforts in that improve the quality of life for their residents. The program also provides a forum for sharing the best public service ideas in South Carolina.
this year included:
JULY 2, 2012 -- With more than a fourth of South Carolinas public schools being functionally segregated today, its legitimate to question whether policymakers ought to look for ways to reduce racial disparities in South Carolina classrooms.
Earlier in this series, we outlined how 28.2 percent of the states public schools are predominantly black or white. Some 160 schools, generally from the Midlands to the coast, have 80 percent or more black students while a similar number, many of which are in the Upstate are 80 percent or more white. We also discussed how it kind of made sense for the mostly white schools to be in the Upstate, because thats where fewer blacks live -- but the high number of mostly black schools in the rest of the state pointed to their problem with having enough cultural diversity for students.
In other words, from the Midlands through the Pee Dee to the Lowcountry, scores of predominantly black schools have disadvantaged populations that continue to get a different school experience than students in more integrated, generally suburban schools.
Research shows that all students who attend racially integrated schools have better critical thinking skills, according to the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. And because of diverse learning opportunities in integrated schools, all students become better communicators and problem-solvers.
Integrated school environments do not harm the test scores of white students, according to a 2008 CRP report on voluntary school integration. In fact, white students who grow up in racially segregated neighborhoods are likely to benefit from integrated school environments as they gain the opportunity to understand and value multiple perspectives and emerge from school better prepared for living and working in our increasingly diverse American society.
Furthermore, integration really makes an impact on the lives of black children, most of whom start up a rung on the ladder below white children.
The experience of an integrated education made all of the difference in the lives of black children -- and in the lives of their children as well, education policy guru David L. Kirp wrote in a May 20 opinion column in The New York Times. Interestingly, the longer that black students were in integrated settings, the better they did, he said. He noted a 2011 study that showed black students in desegregated schools earned 25 percent more than those who didnt attend them and theyre a lot healthier too.
For Kirp, the lesson is as plain as the nose on your face: integration works. If were serious about improving educational opportunities, we need to revisit the abandoned policy of school integration.
Unfortunately, thats not the trend. Today in education, theres a wave of new charter schools and other public choices in South Carolina that tend to clump similar people together. Of the 44 charter schools in the state in the 2010 school year, 10 were predominantly black and six were predominately white. Almost two in five, compared to one in four of all public schools, are predominantly one race of another.
Jon Butzon, president of the Charleston Education Network, laments how regular public schools, already drained of a lot of talent because of the 39,000 mostly white students in 262 private schools, are losing with the growth of more choices in public education. [As an aside, the zeal for more choices makes perfect sense because parents, tired of ill-performing public schools, are setting up charter schools to try to offer more to their kids.]
Charter schools are particularly tough on disadvantaged students when theyre based on merit because poor children tend to be less ready when they get to school in the first place.
Anytime you set up a system of education that is based on merit, you will exclude the vast majority of minority students because it is those students we have historically and repeatedly under-educated and continue to under-educate, Butzon said. Its harder for charter schools to do that -- harder, but not impossible. Dont you have to be gifted to get into a gifted charter school?
Bottom line: Encouraging strategies that continue to siphon off money and talent from regular public schools is just going to make them worse. How about looking for ways to improve all schools so we dont have to come up with piecemeal solutions that may fail our children?
NEXT WEEK: Big ideas for better schools
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Maybank Industries, LLC of Charleston, S.C. With broad experience in commercial and government operations, Maybank Industries applies deep-rooted commitment to teamwork, reliability and personal service to provide innovative business solutions for project development, information technology, logistics, vessel design, vessel construction, shipping agency services and marine terminal operations, both locally and internationally. Maybank Industries applies a powerful blend of professional expertise to research, analyze and develop tailored solutions with thorough plans of action, combining a heavy dose of common sense to solve today's needs that can adapt to changing or evolving requirements. More: Maybank Industries and Maybank Systems.
JULY 2, 2012 -- Want to celebrate the Fourth in the style of our Founding Fathers? Um, maybe not, unless youre ready to scarf down 5,000-plus calories in a single day. And if that doesnt put you in a food coma, well, youre still probably going to miss all the fireworks displays, because youll have passed out from the alcohol consumption.
I was wondering the other day if there were any legitimate historic records about the founders dining habits on July 4, 1776. Certainly they must have adjourned from the Assembly Room in the Pennsylvania State House (later known as Independence Hall) and gone to a nearby tavern after signing the Declaration of Independence. Right? Well, perhaps. Various historic accounts say that a Philadelphia establishment called the City Tavern (still in existence) was a popular watering hole for Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, et al., but there dont seem to be any copies of an original bill of fare for such a group on that particular day.
Judging by what the experts say, though, any meal in that era likely would have been a heavy one. An American Institute for Cancer Research article from a few years back says diets in colonial America were centered on fat, meat, salt and alcohol. (That sounds remarkably like what I once heard a comedian call the four Southern food groups: flour, sugar, lard and alcohol.)
The AICR article continues, Some nutritionists estimate our Founding Fathers consumed well over 5,000 calories a day, much of it from pork and beef that were significantly higher in fat than today's meats. Food often was preserved by salting or smoking. Drinking water was frequently unsafe, so hard cider, ale and rum were consumed in great quantities. This high-calorie diet, however, supported a life of hard manual labor. Small farmers and laborers probably did have marginally better health than their wealthier contemporaries because they got regular physical activity and ate more plant foods, such as squash and root vegetables.
Interesting food for thought for the Fourth. Celebrate safely, yall.
Wine magazine salutes local restaurants
Three local restaurants Charleston Grill, Circa 1886 and Husk made Wine Enthusiast magazines just-released 100 Best Wine Restaurants list. In the southern region (13 states), only 24 restaurants earned the award, and Charleston put more restaurants on the list than any other city except New Orleans (which got four spots).
In the list at the magazines website, click on the restaurant name and youll see a short description of its wine list and cuisine, along with some fun categories such as Destination Bottles (a plan-your-meal-and-your-night-around-it wine), Riot-Worthy Dish (the dish that cant be taken off the menu for fear of sparking riots from patrons) and Perfect Pairing (a notable match between a menu item and a wine on the list).
Also nice to see on the restaurant pages: links to the individual restaurants websites and info on making reservations.
Art lovers will thrill to the wide array of exhibitions coming to the Gibbes Museum of Art over the next year, including iconic rock and roll photography, the work of Lowcountry sculptor Willard Hirsch and civil rights era images by a nationally acclaimed photographer. There's even a show of art from the personal collection of popular Lowcountry artist Jonathan Green and partner Richard Weedman.
artists and themes we have chosen are meant to promote the relevance of
the South in American art, which is at the heart of the museums
mission, said Angela Mack, executive director of the Gibbes. From
the birth of Rock and Roll to the Civil Rights movement, art has played
an import role in the cultural identity of the South.
17th century Charleston artifacts on permanent exhibition
of Charleston's early wall are now on exhibit in the Lowcountry History
Hall at The Charleston Museum. Sections of brick parapet and cypress pilings
from the protective palisade were retrieved from the archaeological dig
at Tradd Street in 2008 and 2009, conducted by The Charleston Museum and
the Walled City Task Force.
exhibit also includes a cedar piling from Johnson's ravelin, retrieved
during the archaeological dig by New South Associates at the Charleston
Judicial Center in 1999 and palings from the 1745 moat in front of the
Half Moon Battery, recovered by The Charleston Museum in 1979," adds
Martha Zierden, the Museum's curator of historical archaeology.
was the only English walled city in North America. Fearing assault by
the Spanish and French from the water and landward incursions by hostile
Native Americans, the Carolina proprietors ordered construction of a brick
"curtain wall" along Charleston's waterfront in 1694.
named S.C.'s 2012 Coroner of the Year
Charleston County Coroner Rae H. Wooten was named 2012 Coroner of the Year late last month by the South Carolina Coroner's Association.
was totally surprised and so honored to be voted Coroner of the Year,
said Wooten. I feel privileged to serve the citizens of Charleston
County and alongside the other coroners of South Carolina.
Stand Up Charleston is a new community initiative of community leaders and residents to work with Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. and city staff to create specific steps to build active engagement and community support to send a clear message that the community stands together and will not be idle as a few evil people attempt to harm it.
announced last week by Riley and Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen,
is expected to facilitate greater accomplishments in efforts to pass crime
legislation, prevent crime in the community and sustain Charleston as
a great city.
The common school movement that swept the North and Midwest during the 1840s and 1850s missed South Carolina. State leaders debated the need for education for the laboring classes, and most seemed to feel that it would make them dissatisfied with their lot. Most estimates suggest that by 1860 only half of the states white children received any schooling. Charleston was the exception. There, city fathers combined state allocations with a local tax to support schools attractive to all social classes, thus removing the pauper school stigma. The scheme included a city high school for girls to which was appended a normal, or teacher-training, school.
change to South Carolina society resulting from the Civil War was the
abolition of slavery. As federal troops occupied the Sea Islands, and
later the entire state, teachers sponsored by northern philanthropic and
missionary societies followed, establishing schools for former slaves.
Notable among these were the Penn School on St. Helena Island and the
Avery Institute in Charleston. Enthusiasm among freedmen for education
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What the Coroner's
With Charleston County
Coroner Rae Wooten being named the state's Coroner of the Year (see below),
we thought it might be helpful for you to learn a little more about the
office, which conducts independent investigations of deaths in Charleston
County and serves as a representative of those who died and and survivors.
An investigation's purpose is to determine the manner of death and ensure
that the circumstances surrounding it are thoroughly understood. Among
the coroner's functions:
The office, which started centuries ago in English law, does not perform autopsies, issue death certificates or provide burial services. More info is online.
Look at it another way
"On the other hand, you have different fingers."
Uncle Sam Jam: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., July 4, Mount Pleasant Pier. Celebrate the Fourth of July as you dance to live classic oldies and beach music performed by Permanent Vacation. Beverages will be available for purchase. As only 800 tickets will be sold, advance purchase is recommended. Fee: $10/$8 CCR (Charleston County Resident). More info online or phone 843-795-4386.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
(NEW) Bastille Day celebration: 6 p.m., July 14, Marion Square, Charleston. The folks at What If? Productions will storm Fish Restaurant in style during its 4th annual Bastille Day Celebration that will feature can-can girls, a costume party, cocktail specials, Marie Antoinette, burlesque and more. Dress as your favorite French peasant or character and join the fun. More online.
(NEW) Book sale: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., July 20; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 21, John's Island Branch of the Charleston County Library, 3531 Maybank Highway. Charleston Friends of the Library will offer great bargains on good books at the branch's book sale. More info.
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.
(NEW) Global trade luncheon: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., July 25, Montague Terrace, 5001 Coliseum Drive. The World Trade Center Charleston, an initiative of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, will offer a luncheon to allow leaders to connect on global trade growth and discuss international trade. The speaker will be Phillip Poland, director of export control and trade integrity for International Trade and Compliance at DHL Express USA. Also schedule to talk is Jim Newsome, president and CEO of the S.C. Ports Authority. More.
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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