4.39 | Monday, July 30, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: One on Terra, 3 on I-526
:: SPOTLIGHT: Twenty Six Divine
:: BROADUS: A flip-flopping time
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: THE LIST: Olympians with SC ties
:: QUOTE: On coming in second
WHERE IS IT?
2012 -- For the next fortnight, we will huddle in living rooms, pubs and
even around laptops in our quadrennial rite of jingoism known as (cue
trumpets) the Olympic Games. Before invading London, NBC invested $1.2
billion in broadcast rights and countless more in rain jackets ("No
Savannah gets to wear the red one") to show us what the
world's premier rhythmic gymnasts and trampoline artists have been up
to since Beijing.
are intriguing in the marquee sports. Jamaica's Usain Bolt, who shattered
world records while taunting pursuers at the 2008 Games, will be challenged
by America's Tyson Gay in the 100-meter dash. One man who didn't even
meet his country's qualifying standards will garner more attention on
the oval. He'll be the one without legs. South Africa's Oscar ("Blade
Runner") Pistorius, a double-amputee, will race in the 400 meters
and the 4x400 relay.
Women's boxing highlights the three new competitions. Call it the Snooki factor. Baseball and softball were eliminated after Beijing. Maybe modern pentathlon will become our new national pastime.
The new face of American women's soccer is 23-year-old Alex Morgan, who scored twice in an opening-match win over France. Look for Morgan to boot Hope Solo from Madison Avenue, especially given the goalkeeper's recent linkage with performance-enhancing drugs.
Other interesting subplots:
2012 -- This isn't good news, but it's something you need to know.
A Charleston County woman is the first person this year in the state to test positive for West Nile virus, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced late last week.
If that doesn't chill you to the bone, then what will?
"This woman was identified as positive for the virus after donating blood," interim state epidemiologist Dr. Linda Bell said in a news release.
donated blood is routinely screened for WNV to ensure the safety of our
blood supply. Fortunately, she is recovering from her illness."
worrisome, particularly with all of the rain we've been having, is the
potential for the virus to grow. Fortunately, a perfect storm of events
has to occur for humans to get the virus, a disease of birds transmitted
to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes
become infected after feeding on infected birds. People bitten by an infected
mosquito may become ill within two to 14 days with flu-like symptoms,
including fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, and occasionally,
nausea and vomiting, according to DHEC. Often they experience sensitivity
to light and inflammation of the eyelids. Some may have a rash.
most important step anyone can take to prevent West Nile virus infection
is to protect against being bitten by a mosquito," Bell said. "The
risk of serious illness is low. Less than 1 percent of people infected
develop a potentially fatal swelling of the brain, known as encephalitis."
So far this year in South Carolina, in addition to the person from Charleston County, the virus has been detected in one dead crow, one horse and one mosquito pool.
Be careful ... and take a look at the Four Ds in the blue box for tips on how to avoid mosquitoes.
* * *
Some brief thoughts last week in this space about guns led to a full-fledged column in our sister publication, Statehouse Report. Essentially, it's time for a deep national conversation about guns. The column outlined a lot of facts about guns. An excerpt:
To the editor:
Thank you for including the July 23 Today's Focus article about the Terra Summer program. Sybil Fix's creative educational program addresses many learning styles, and promises a generation of children who can feed themselves well. I love the idea of incorporating many subject areas -- geography, history, math, science -- while pursuing a discipline of interest, such as cooking. It's an approach that encourages lifelong learning.
This program should be adopted by Charleston County's elementary schools as an adjunct to their classroom offerings. Sybil Fix is certainly capable of running it.
Interstate 526 extension too costly, harmful
To the editor,
Thank you for sharing your recent experience with West Ashley voters regarding the 526 extension. As you noted, a handful of elected officials would like us to believe that "overwhelming" support exists and your article helps show it does not.
I would like to emphasize and expand upon one of the key concerns you mentioned: extending 526 would indeed be harmful to Mother Nature. That is why the EPA, NOAA, SCDNR, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service all recommended that the Army Corps of Engineers deny the S.C. Department of Transportation's (SCDOT) permit request.
The EPA for instance, noted that SCDOT provided little evidence to show that 526 would improve safety, and that the 36 seconds it would shave off an average commute does not justify the intense harm it would cause.
Likewise, despite Mayor Joe Riley's regular threats of "killed people" and "bodies found," NOAA specifically warned that "hurricane evacuation should not be included" in a list of reasons to extend 526, explaining that "traffic from increased population growth would negate" any benefits the road might have.
That said, concern for the environment is by no means the only objection people have to extending 526. Its high cost is also a huge factor. A friend of mine laughs and says the road should be named 556 instead of 526, because that's its current price tag. Originally estimated at $469 million, the cost has jumped up $87 million in just two years. The State Infrastructure Bank has pledged $420 million, which means that almost a quarter of the cost -- or a whopping $136 million -- is unaccounted for.
Add to this the fact that SCDOT staff actually estimated the current price tag at $608 million during their spring 2012 board meeting and that changes to the proposed plan, such as building an overpass at Folly, would drive the cost up even more. In addition, due to federally-documented public opposition and the permitting problems outlined above, this project would certainly be subject to legal challenge. If costs are increasing by $87 million every two years, who knows how much it would cost us by the time construction began?
Meanwhile, we are wasting a golden opportunity to create solutions that would address our region's biggest needs -- improving I-26, addressing traffic and mass transit in and around new job centers like Boeing, and increasing freight access to the East Coast's second largest port.
Not all of our leaders think it's smart to extend 526. As County Councilman Dickie Schweers recently said, "Absent political favoritism, 526 is not the state's top transportation priority. It's not even Charleston County's top priority."
Brack's stance on Interstate 526
Your editorial today stated the following: "Maybe high-profile supporters of extending Interstate 526 think if they continue to say a majority of people in the county support the road, then it will be so. But what's the evidence that such an assertion is even true?"
said, "What's most surprising about the new ruckus over the road
is how some Republicans -- yes Republicans -- and Democrats want to impose
even more taxes to pay for something that may not be in the best interest
of a lot of people on Johns Island (although Kiawah and Seabrook islanders
are hopeful for a way to cut their road time.)"
questioned at the beginning of the article "But what's the evidence
that such an assertion is even true?" I would like you to provide
information about how you came to your conclusion of "although Kiawah
and Seabrook islanders are hopeful for a way to cut their road time."
my "evidence" is purely anecdotal, I know of no one living on
Kiawah or Seabrook who are "hopeful for a way to cut their road time."
The people on the Kiawah and Seabrook that I speak with all are far more
concerned about the safety of the roads than how long it takes them to
drive into W. Ashley or Charleston. How did you reach your conclusion
about cutting road time?
Good words on Interstate 526
To the editor:
It certainly appears that the political "brass" (and the Post & Courier) believes saying I-526 needs to be completed is enough for them and a lot of other folks to thinks it's the best possible option.
As a James Islander and someone who loves the Lowcountry, I appreciate your article and agree that "Other alternatives may make more sense."
Listen to what patron Joey Bradshaw of Charleston has to say about the fresh-cooked meals available for delivery and the cafe offered at the establishment:
"Twenty Six Divine is kind of an odd name for a restaurant. If you ask someone who has never been to meet you there for lunch they will invariably say, "Where is Divine Street?" It's their wedding anniversary. The owners, Jen and Enan Parezo, were married on the 26th of May, and both of their birthdays fall on the 26th. It's a bit fluffy, but the Parezos can't help it. They are romantics. They still talk about their wedding as "the greatest party they have ever thrown."
"Buddhists believe that food holds the energy of its content and preparation. If you eat sad chickens made by sad people you are filling your belly with their sadness. Contrarily when you eat Jen's and Enan's food, you can seriously almost taste what it's like to be in a healthy relationship. Jen, a pastry chef trained at Le Cordon Blue in Scottsdale, and Enan, trained at Johnson & Wales, have been cooking together since they began their careers at Seabrook Island resort. She makes the sweets and he makes the savories. The synchronicity of their talent is most evident in their vegetable tart, where Jen makes a damn perfect pie crust and Enan fills it with mouthwatering roasted vegetables.
So where is Divine Street? It's a place in the mind -- like Margaritaville, but significantly less tacky. It's where the chefs who make your food actually hand it to you. Its where even a $12 lunch is plated with painstaking detail. It's a little café, a place without pretensions, a romantic enclave on Upper King. More: TwentySixDivine.com.
The Citadel and College of Charleston have good news for the coming year
The College expects to welcome 49 high school valedictorians and salutatorians when classes get underway next month. Of the total, 22 come from public high schools in South Carolina. The rest represent nine other states from New Jersey to Texas.
Meanwhile, The Citadel is poised to break lots of records. For the fourth consecutive year, it has received a record number of admission from high school seniors and transfer students -- 2,760 applications as of July 24. Among the record-breaking application groups are women, minorities and African Americans. Furthermore, applications from South Carolina residents are the highest in 10 years.
"We are excited that families see the value in a Citadel education and that more and more students are seeking an educational experience that gives them the opportunity to develop leadership skills as well as earn a degree," said Admissions Director Lt. Col. John Powell, '77, USMCR.
The cadet Class of 2013 reports for military training on Aug. 11. The college expects to enroll between 730 and 775 freshmen. The largest known freshman class to matriculate, based on records dating back to 1965, was in the fall of 1975 when 763 freshmen reported, the school said.
seeks Haven Award nominees
Community Foundation is accepting nominations for the 2012 Malcolm Haven
Award for Selfless Community Giving from residents in Berkeley, Charleston
and Dorchester counties.
for one of the Community Foundation's founding members, Malcolm D. Haven,
the award is presented biennially to an individual for his or her "Selfless
Community Giving" in Charleston, Berkeley or Dorchester counties.
The recipient receives $1,000 to give to a charitable organization of
choice and will be recognized at a Foundation-hosted ceremony in November
as part of Philanthropy Week in the Lowcountry.
received the inaugural award in 1983, he spoke of the "movers and
doers" of the community as the M.A.D. group. "Life is exciting
as you witness situations evolve for the better due to your participation,"
Nomination forms must be submitted by the Monday, August 20th deadline and may be obtained at Coastal Community Foundation offices, 635 Rutledge Avenue, Suite 201, Charleston, SC, 29403, or can be downloaded here.
DeLoach is new head of Charleston
a marketing consultant with Crowson Stone, is the new president of the
board of directors of the Charleston chapter of the American Marketing
Association for the 2012-13 year.
include president-elect Ronii Bartles of Bartles and Associates; secretary
Jordan Freeman of Trio Solutions, Inc.; and treasurer Scott Love of SDL
Private Advisors LLC.
American Marketing Association supports and enhances the needs of marketers
and business owners at all levels and provides access to valuable information
and business contacts, boosting careers and building business. How? By
delivering relevant programming for marketers, organizing dynamic networking
events for professionals to connect and exchange ideas with energetic
marketers, and by providing members with access to current and evolutionary
The mid-June Battle of Secessionville was intended to be the triumphant capture of the "seedbed of secession." Instead, the embarrassing defeat left the Federal army in disarray and the Union commander, Brigadier General Henry Benham, facing a court martial.
On June 27, Major General David Hunter issued general orders for all Union troops to abandon James Island and return to Port Royal and Hilton Head. Brigadier General Horatio Wright, still on James Island, confirmed his receipt of the orders and indicated that the evacuation would begin immediately.
In Charleston, citizens and Confederate authorities alike were uneasy about the intentions of the Federal invaders after the battle. When Federal transports arrived at the mouth of the Stono River, Confederate pickets first thought that the Union army was sending reinforcements. Instead, Wright began removing his troops on July 1.
One Union officer who fought at Secessionville wrote his friend Robert Gould Shaw with the 2nd Massachusetts Infantry in Virginia, "Benham, after having got himself foolishly into a scrape, didn't have courage enough to carry this thing through." Charleston native Percival Drayton, the commander of the USS Pawnee, serving in the Stono River, wrote that he was, "in a state of total disgust at the abandonment of James Island."
When the Union troops started withdrawing from their James Island foothold at Grimball Plantation, they left "Quaker guns" in a vain attempt to fool the Confederates. Quaker guns were logs that were stripped and painted black to make the Confederates think that artillery was still in place. The Confederate troops, anxious to re-claim all of James Island, were not fooled and advanced as their enemy withdrew to keep the pressure on.
Union soldiers left several signs at Grimball Plantation to be found by their pursuers. One Confederate soldier found a sign at the Federal camp that read, "7 ½ miles to Charleston, 2 miles to Hell," referring to Secessionville. Another sign warned, "Farewell Secesh! We go but will soon come again."
July 4th was a day of grand celebrations in Charleston as citizens were jubilant over the elimination of the threat to their city. By July 6, James Island and Sol Legare Island were both abandoned. The only remaining Federal troops were a small rear guard at Battery Island on the Stono River. By the next day, the last of the Federal troops were gone.
An article in The New York Times declared:
Such a bold proclamation notwithstanding, the defeat at James Island left the Federal army, the Lincoln administration and the Northern press demoralized. One Union private, riding in a transport back to Port Royal, wrote his wife, "You will see by the [news]papers that James Island was avacquatted (sic), it was a bad move ever going there atall (sic)."
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© 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.
Olympians with South Carolina ties
Here's a list of Olympic athletes with ties to the Palmetto State:
Athletes with local ties who are participating for other countries:
"Finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver. Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion."
Shark Week continues.
The S.C. Aquarium continues Shark Week with lots of neat stuff about sharks.
At 7 p.m. Aug. 2, you can see your favorite shark movie -- "Jaws"
on a big screen with the ocean in the background. More on all of the stuff
during Shark Week
is online here.
Book signing: July 30, Barnes and Noble, West Ashley. Norb Vonnegut, a Charleston native and cousin to novelist Kurt Vonnegut, is scheduled to sign his new thriller, The Trust. The new book takes place near the corner of Broad and East Bay streets. It is the story of a wealthy Charleston family nobody we know whose philanthropic interests fall prey to a real sicko skilled in international finance.
Softball challenge: 7:05 p.m. Aug. 4, Joe Riley Park, Charleston. Louie's Kids will host its second annual Slim Down the South Celebrity Softball Challenge as two teams of local and national celebrities take the field to raise awareness about and funding for childhood obesity efforts. To meet confirmed celebrities and learn more, go here online.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Festival: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 10, Liberty Square at the
S.C. Aquarium and Charleston Maritime Center. This community event emphasizes
the importance of having kids start the school year right. You can bring
nonperishable food to donate, participate in a school supply drive or
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.
(NEW) Yappy Hour: 4 p.m., Aug. 23, James Island County Dog Park. Rawberry Jam will provide live music as dog lovers meet for fun after a long day of work. You and your pup can mingle with friends until sunset. Beverages will be available for purchase. More online.
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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