4.47 | Monday, Sept. 24, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: Road user fee
:: SPOTLIGHT: Twenty Six Divine
:: BROADUS: Four grants
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: THE LIST: Getting tax-ready now
:: QUOTE: The brain in your head
WHERE IS IT?
SEPT. 24, 2012 -- "The History of Charleston's Hampton Park" is a product of an act of desperation.
After moving into Hampton Park Terrace in 1996, I got involved in our little neighborhood association. Like many innocent victims of neighborhood associations, I was soon elevated to the august post of president.
The main problem I faced was finding something that would unite the elderly retirees who had moved into the neighborhood in the 1960s and the 20-somethings looking to make their homes in an affordable corner of downtown Charleston. Social events, baseball outings and volunteer efforts skewed to one demographic or the other, but never both.
Finally, I decided to put my own love of local history and architecture to use and created a monthly column for our newsletter called "Do You Know Your Neighborhood?" Each month, I would write an extensive history of a house in the neighborhood. I thought the long-term residents would enjoy sharing their own histories and photos while newbies would enjoy learning about the historic homes that lured them to Hampton Park Terrace.
Over time, I kept finding myself researching stories about Hampton Park, the adjacent park which gave us our neighborhood name. I collected old postcards, stories from residents, photos from many sources, and eventually had several files full of clippings, and odds and ends. About two years ago, a local publisher was put in touch with me about writing a history of the park for publication, and I cautiously agreed. I knew there was a long and interesting story to tell, but I wasn't sure it would fill more than 100 pages.
I was wrong. For two years, I scrolled through literally thousands of pages of newspapers, pored over deeds, read colonial histories, tracked down all sort of odds and ends, and by the end, had to trim far, far more from the book than I would have ever expected, just to squeeze it into 120 pages.
At every turn, I found that the history of Hampton Park was even more fascinating than I knew. The broad history of the park was known, but many of the details were consistently wrong. For example, everyone knows that the land had once been the site of a plantation, but how many know it had nothing to do with current Lowndes Grove? Rather, Orange Grove Plantation, the home of the Gibbes family, had stood nearly where the Parade Grounds on the Citadel campus are today with highly formal gardens surrounding them and even greenhouses specially for growing pineapples. While researching the book, I came across what is perhaps the only existing image of the old plantation house that was destroyed sometime around the Revolutionary War.
Everyone knows that the grounds were once a racetrack for horse races, but how many know that part of the course still survives hundreds of miles away? The Jockey Club developed a very elaborate racetrack with beautiful stands known as the Washington Race Course from the early 1800s through the Civil War. During the War, the grounds were closed and used as a Confederate camp and as a gravesite for more than 100 Yankee soldiers who died while house there. Afterwards, racing never picked up again, and the facility was converted into farmland. In about 1905, the old gates were donated (without permission) by the City's Parks Commissioner to August Belmont who was building his own race course in New York. They were dismantled and shipped north. Today, the old gates can still be seen at the Belmont Race Course.
Everyone knows that a major trade exposition known as the South Carolina and West Indian Exposition was held in the area in 1901-1902 and brought President Theodore Roosevelt to town, but how many know that it had been preceded by another regional expo in the 1870s? None of the earlier histories had even mentioned it, much less any of the interesting details. The trade expo included all sorts of events including one in which a live chicken was greased up and hung by its legs from a tree. Horsemen then rode by in what must of been a gruesome event to watch and tried to jerk the head off the live chicken! (Eventually, someone took pity on the poor bird, pulled it down, and beat it against the ground until dead.)
Everyone knows that The Citadel took over part of Hampton Park around 1920, but how many are aware of the school had tried to grab even more of the parkland in the 1970s? Before the park was restored, the Citadel tried to acquire the southwest corner of the park to build an amphitheater and graduate center.
Everyone knows that the bandstand used to host band concerts, but how many know that there is a much less savory history of music at the park? During the summers, as many of 5,000 people would spontaneously arrive at Hampton Park and blast disco music, much to the consternation of the city. When the city tried to lock down the power supply to prevent the music, impromptu concert organizers trucked in their own generators, and the music went on. Tensions ran high, and one city councilman threatened that more crackdowns might lead to race riots!
Hampton Park has, easily, the most interesting and complex history of any park in Charleston, yet practically no one knows about the full story. I hope that "The History of Charleston's Hampton Park" will become the definitive source on the park, that residents will share my enthusiasm for the park, and that they will come enjoy it and discover it themselves.
SEPT. 24, 2012 -- Four years ago when Barack Obama and John McCain were battling for the presidency, people were whispering: "What will happen if HE wins?" or "We're going to have to move if SHE becomes vice president."
All of the water cooler chatter and quiet gossiping made me realize that regardless of the outcome of the election, half of America would be mad, or at best irritated, and that quite a few might wonder whether they ought to pack up and leave the country.
So I bought WhereShouldWeMove.com and launched it as a way to start a discussion. This simple site didn't really work because it got off the ground too late, but four years later after a lot of work and investment, its offspring debuted last week.
TravelOrMove.com is a fun, new, database-driven Web site that highlights top destinations for viewers considering whether to travel or move. So far, viewers can pick from 64 communities around the world -- places like Charleston (of course), Chapel Hill, Santa Fe, London, Sydney and Helsinki. There are big cities as well as small places like Apalachicola, Fla., Lindsborg, Kansas and Cascais, Portugal. There are college towns and hip communities. In the days ahead, we'll add more "super cool" places to travel or move.
How does a place get on our list? Through research, recommendations and experience. Once picked, we offer a lot of detailed information from the area's culture and quality of life to indicators on its economic and political environment.
But what's online now in our "beta site" will undergo a dramatic change in the next 10 days. Currently, users can see a list of super cool communities on the home page and in an expanded list in the "destinations" section. But soon -- and what will make the site kind of like a travel game -- users will be able to create their ideal super cool community by picking choices on various community indicators offered.
For example, if someone wanted to live in an area with less humidity than Charleston, they might pick "four season weather" in the climate category. When users finish their choices, they click a button. In turn, this will initiate a background program that compares the users' choices to communities in our database. In an instant, users will be offered a results page that shows TravelOrMove communities that are the closest match to their ideal places.
For now, we want users to have a taste of what's to come. In a little more than a week, we'll be able to whet their appetites with more fun. Let us know what you think.
opinion piece on the gas tax [Letter,
9/17] is pure malarkey. A user tax is an appropriate and fair
way to fund road construction and maintenance. Fuel prices are really
too low in the US anyway to promote serious conservation. The fact that
elderly or less affluent residents drive less fuel efficient cars is fundamentally
irrelevant. Why should some users subsidize others, as would happen if
road funding came from general state revenues?
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.
SEPT. 24, 2012 -- Dirt, the food section of the Charleston City Paper, reminds us of the Charleston Permaculture Guild, which has a Facebook page and regular meetings, and their efforts to not only save money, but also improve our quality of life.
A recent meeting had attendees ranging in age from 20 to over 60, a diverse group of people who work in affordable housing, agriculture, medicinal herbs and computer science. The common thread among the group is learning how to utilize permaculture principles to help themselves and others live more efficiently, with a smaller footprint, and with increased self-sufficiency. Check them out!
Theodore S. Stern, the man often credited with guiding the College of Charleston to where it is today, will celebrate the publishing of his biography today at 6 p.m. -- just three months before his 100th birthday.
The College of Charleston Friends of the Library will present a peek into the book during "An Evening With Ted Stern." This free event will be held in Stern Center Ballroom at 71 George Street at 6 p.m. Please RSVP to email@example.com or 843.953.6526.
Stern, the college's sixteenth president, will discuss some highlights his life and experiences as he approaches his 100th birthday on Dec. 25, 2012. The biography will be published in 2013 by the College of Charleston Foundation. Biographer Bob Macdonald will participate in tonight's event.
The completed work will trace Stern's life, from the early years growing up on New York City's Upper West Side to a distinguished 28-year naval career followed by his college presidency and his life today.
Four days after retiring from the Navy in 1968, Stern began work at the College, inheriting leadership of a private school close to bankruptcy and in danger of losing its accreditation. He quickly righted the ship and, at the same time, oversaw the integration of black students and faculty. As president from 1968 to 1978, Stern transformed the College of Charleston from a small, private institution with 482 students and a faculty of 27 to a public college with 5,000 students and a faculty of 181.
In 1970, he lobbied state legislators to accept the college as a state school, and then, with the creation of the College of Charleston Foundation, embarked on a building and buying spree. Under his leadership, the college acquired approximately 80 buildings and constructed many of its most important facilities. He also helped introduce the College's first graduate programs and South Carolina's Governor's School. He is also responsible for closing College and Green streets and paving sidewalks with the distinctive herringbone-patterned bricks.
Macdonald has more than 47 years as an innovative museum leader, executive and consultant responsible for directing large- and medium-sized public and private museums in the U.S. and across the world. He has also developed award-winning educational programs and noted publications. Since he and his wife, Cathy, "retired" here in 2002 he has served as vice chair of the South Carolina Aquarium, member of the board of the International African American Museum, member of the strategic planning committee of the Gibbes Museum of Art, and as an adviser to Mepkin Abbey.
Mozart" tribute set for CSO Spiritual Ensemble opening
Spiritual Ensemble will open its 2012-2013 concert season Oct. 6 under
the direction of new director David A. Richardson with a unique performance
bringing to light the extraordinary life and musical talent of a little-known
composer known in France in the 1700s as "Black Mozart."
four African-American soloists in concert with the acclaimed CSO Spiritual
Ensemble, the evening will honor Joseph Bologne, known in his time as
Le Chevalier de Saint George for his renown in France as a competitive
fencer and as the "Black Mozart." Despite his little known reputation
in modern times, he was a considerable musical sensation for his talent
composing symphonies, concertos, quartets, sonatas and operas, many considered
to be some of the best in Europe while Mozart himself was composing in
life's journey was dramatic: an elite musketeer of the King's Horse Guard;
a master swordsman and Europe's fencing champion; a composer, violin impresario,
and opera director that influenced Mozart; and conductor for the largest
orchestra of his time who commissioned Franz Joseph Haydn to compose his
Paris Symphonies. A playboy and military hero in the French Revolution,
Saint George accomplished much in his 54 years in an age when slavery
was widespread and white superiority was the norm.
African-American quartet will be featured soloists: Taylor L. Johnson,
soprano, Ginger Jones, mezzo soprano, Johnnie Felder, tenor and Byron
J. Barr, bass performing the Mozart Requiem in Saint George's honor.
At 7 p.m., a pre-concert talk about Saint George will take place with
Dr. Isaiah R. McGee, the newly-appointed artistic director of the CSO
Spiritual Ensemble and CSO Gospel Choir.
Blackford, Elliott win leadership awards
Henry Blackford and Dick Elliott, two well-known Charleston business leaders, have won leadership awards from two of the community's top groups.
Blackford is winner of the 2012 Malcolm Haven Award for Selfless Community Giving for his 36 years of service to the Coastal Community Foundation.
named in recognition of CCF founding member Malcolm D. Haven, serves to
highlight a heavily engaged community leader -- someone who has not only
eagerly served, but has also inspired others to do the same. These distinguished
"movers and doers", or the MAD group, were, according to Haven,
"the salt of the earth, those folks that made things happen. This
MAD Group was driven, inspired to make a difference. It wasn't about who
did the doing, rather it was about getting it done."
to his professional role as senior vice president of First Citizens Bank,
Blackford's record of varied, yet dedicated nonprofit involvement distinguishes
him as a community catalyst to be recognized. Blackford has invested immeasurable
amounts of time and effort for the benefit of our community. Although
impressive in themselves, Blackford's efforts reach far beyond the list
of obligations for his volunteer positions at the Trident United Way,
Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston Chamber of Commerce, College of Charleston,
Porter-Gaud School and Coastal Community Foundation.
by Janet B. Newham, senior vice president of the Charleston Metro Chamber
of Commerce, as "tireless," "willing," and "committed,"
this altruist "always goes well beyond what you would expect to be
done in his volunteer roles." Not only are Blackford's personal efforts
commendable, but he also is unique in his ability to encourage. Newham
continued, boasting that Blackford "has the ability to keep people
together through difficult decisions. He has the ability to maintain the
forward momentum of the group even when all parties are not in 100 percent
agreement. He accomplishes all of this with a great sense of humor."
president and founder of Maverick
Southern Kitchens, last week was presented the Joseph P. Riley Leadership
Award by the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce at its 2012 Honors Night.
P. Riley or "Big Joe" Leadership Award is reserved for an individual
that celebrates a visionary leader doing extraordinary work to strengthen
the community. This award recognizes a outstanding community volunteer
demonstrating a lifetime of leadership.
Charleston region has many challenges to work on---challenges we face
because we're striving to be a better place for people to learn, work
and play," Elliott said at the awards ceremony. "The Charleston
region has so many talented, industrious people who really care about
meeting those challenges. I'm grateful they have allowed me to work with
them. And I'm filled with wonder to be in the company of previous Riley
Leadership Award recipients."
Inspired by a personal conviction to help others through education, economic development and the arts, Elliott is active in many civic and charitable efforts throughout the region. He was the 2001-2002 Chair of the board of directors of the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, where he served as an officer or board member from 1992 to 2012. The Maverick Southern Kitchen family includes Slightly North of Broad, Charleston Cooks! (Charleston, Greenville), High Cotton (Charleston, Greenville) and Old Village Post House.
Barrier islands, which run parallel to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, are so named because they shield the mainland (as well as inland Sea Islands) from damage caused by sea storms. South Carolina has thirty-five barrier islands, more than any other state except Florida.
Among South Carolinas major barrier islands (from north to south) are Waites, Pawleys, Debordieu, North, South, Cedar, Murphy, Dewees, Isle of Palms, Sullivans, Morris, Folly, Kiawah, Seabrook, Botany, Harbor, Hunting, Fripp, Hilton Head and Daufuskie. Hilton Head, the states largest barrier island, actually consists of an erosion remnant island as well as a barrier island; the two are separated by Broad Creek.
Two types of Sea Islands border the South Carolina coast: barrier islands and erosion remnant islands. Located inland from the ocean, erosion remnant islands originally were part of the mainland. When Ice Age glaciers lowered sea levels, streams cut river valleys into the newly dry land. But once the glaciers melted, the ocean level rose and flooded the river valleys.
Less is known about the creation of barrier islands, and two theories exist regarding their origin. The first argues that barrier islands began as offshore sandbars, which waves built up with sand deposits. The second theory suggests that they are sand dune ridges remaining from the big glacier meltdown.
Barrier islands tend to possess an elongated shape. In general, the northern end is longer than the southern end, which is constantly affected by erosion. While varying in size and shape, all barrier islands generally share certain characteristics. Each is shaped by ocean surfs, which constantly shift and erode their beaches. Grassy dunes occupy the terrain immediately behind their beaches, while the interior of barrier islands is dominated by maritime forests and wetlands. Most barrier islands possess lee or bay-side salt marshes that face the mainland.
Besides protecting the coastlines, barrier islands provide crucial habitats for vital flora and fauna such as algae, sea oats and bitter pancum, sawgrass, crabs, offshore and inshore fish, snakes, deer, raccoons, opossums, sea turtles, and sea fowl. These salt marsh ecosystems also act as filters, purifying runoffs from inland waterways. Unlike the more stable inland Sea Islands, barrier islandswhich border the oceanare dynamic; their terrain is constantly changing. Despite this inherent instability, South Carolinas barrier islands were heavily developed throughout the latter half of the twentieth century as vacationers made their beaches popular tourist attractions.
of Edingsville Beach and Morris Island perhaps best illustrate the fragile
and dynamic nature of barrier islands. Edingsville, off Edisto Island,
once supported a bustling summer vacation village, until a hurricane in
1893 swept away much of the island. Since then, the island has remained
a sandy bar, supporting primarily only shrubby growth. Morris Islands
rapid erosion is attributed to Charleston harbors jetties. In the
late nineteenth century the Morris Island Lighthouse sat 2,700 feet inshore.
A century later it stands approximately 2,000 feet offshore.
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How to lower your 2012 tax bill
Local certified public accountant Steve Hiott, co-founder of M&H CPAs, offers these ideas for cutting taxes before the end of the year:
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who'll decide where to go."
-- Dr. Seuss
Slave trade lecture: 6 p.m., Sept. 26, Old Slave Mart Museum, 6 Chalmers St., Charleston. Donald West, coordinator in Trident Tech's Department of History, Humanities and Political Science, will give a lecture titled "The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade: An Academic and Personal Perspective." West, awarded a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship in 1998 to travel and study in Cameroon, has visited important sites connected to the slave trade through the years. Space is limited. More: 843.958.6467.
(NEW) Concert: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27, Rose Maree Myers Theater, School of the Arts, North Charleston. Students from the Charleston School of the Arts will present a patriotic "Americans We" concert to raise awareness about the Wounded Warrior Project.
MOJA Arts Festival: Sept. 27 through Oct. 7, Charleston. Opera start Denyce Graves will sing 7 p.m., Sept. 30, at the Dock Street Theatre as one of the highlights of this year's MOJA Arts Festival, a multifaceted event that includes visual arts, classical music, dance, gospel, jazz, poetry, R&B music, storytelling, theatre, children's activities, traditional crafts, ethnic food and lots more. Online at: www.MojaFestival.com.
Bubbly and Brew: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., Sept. 28, Harborside East, Mount Pleasant. My Sister's House will present the 4th annual Bubbly and Brew fundraiser with champagne and lots of tasty food, as well as live music, a silent auction and a live auction. Tickets are $60 in advance, $75 at the door. More.
More shagging: 7 p.m., Sept. 29, Mount Pleasant Pier. Charleston County Parks has added an additional "Shaggin' on the Cooper" concert that will feature Groove Train with its classic R&B, pop and rock favorites. Tickets are $10. More.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
by former Ambassador Michael Cotter: 6 p.m., Oct. 3, Holliday Alumni
Center, The Citadel. The ambassador, publisher of the American Diplomacy
online journal, will speak to the Charleston Foreign Affairs Forum. More.
Latin American Festival: Noon to 6 p.m., Oct. 7, Wannamaker County Park. There will be live Salsa and Merengue music for people to enjoy at the 2012 festival that will offer authentic food, crafts, kids' activities and more. $10 park entry fee.
That BIG Book Sale: Oct. 12 to Oct. 14, Omar Shrine Auditorium, Mount Pleasant. More than 60,000 used books, CDs, DVDs and more will be on sale to benefit the Charleston County Public Library. More.
Free notary public training: 6 p.m., Oct. 22, Building 920 Campus Center, Trident Technical College, 7000 Rivers Ave., North Charleston. The Secretary of State's office will offer a free regional seminar for anyone interested in being a notary. This seminar will address state laws governing the duties and responsibilities of notaries. The unauthorized practice of law will also be addressed in a joint session with a representative from the South Carolina Bar. To register in advance, contact Renee Daggerhart online.
Fiber artist exhibit: Open daily Tuesday through Sunday through Oct. 28, City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston. Curator Cookie Washington has curated "Mermaids and Merwomen in Black Folklore: A Fiber Arts Exhibition." It features the works of more than 50 of the country's premiere African-American fiber artists including internationally-known artists Donna Chambers, Marion Coleman, Arianne King Comer, Michael Cummings, Dr. Deborah Grayson, Dr. Kim Hall and Patricia Montgomery.
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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