4.48 | Monday, Oct. 1, 2012
:: FEEDBACK: Send us your thoughts
:: SPOTLIGHT: Charleston RiverDogs
:: BROADUS: Folly River wreck
:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
:: THE LIST: Cantey's 5 tech tips
:: QUOTE: Time will tell
WHERE IS IT?
OCT. 1, 2012 -- Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina is not in Florence, SC. It's in Charleston, and has a proud 115-year history of helping pregnant teenagers and their children from across our state.
People in the community sometimes wonder, "Why do we need Florence Crittenton in 2012?" The question is legitimate. Teen pregnancy no longer results in school expulsion or severe social stigma. In fact, shows like "16 and Pregnant" seem to be glamorizing young mothers.
However, Florence Crittenton remains critical today. Last year, just under 7,000 teens gave birth to babies in our state. Over 4,000 of those children will grow up in a home with a single mother who is a high school dropout. Those children are 50 percent more likely to repeat a grade in school. Boys born to teen moms are three times as likely to end up in prison. Their daughters are much more likely to become teen mothers themselves. Most scary, they are very likely to suffer physical abuse and neglect.
Furthermore, teen pregnancy costs us money as taxpayers. Charleston County residents paid over $10 million dollars in 2010 in costs of teen pregnancy. Our state costs were $180 million.
Florence Crittenton interrupts that cycle. Follow up studies show 95 percent of our clients stayed in school. Alumnae are less than half as likely to repeat teen pregnancy. Staff teach parenting skills, child development and practical life skills. They stress the fact that young mothers need goals, for themselves and for their child. Our state is replete with individuals who benefitted from Florence Crittenton: nurses, teachers, businesswomen - all productive, contributing members of our society.
Our community has experienced too many incidents of child abuse and death. These incidents illustrate why FCP is needed more than ever. Because giving birth does not make one a good parent. And that is what Florence Crittenton is about. Healthy Babies. Responsible Mothers. One life at a time.
2012 -- If anything has become crystal clear in politics over the last
few months, it's that legislators aren't very good police officers of
their own behavior.
that earlier this year, Republican activist John Rainey complained to
the House Ethics Committee that GOP Gov. Nikki Haley wrongly acted as
a lobbyist while she was a member of the House. The committee met in private
session and quickly threw out the allegations, only to receive massive
criticism for acting too rashly and out of the public eye. So it started
the process again, got evidence, investigated and held a two-day hearing
in June, only to throw out the allegations again. Rainey, never one to
give up, asked the state Supreme Court to hear
an appeal on whether the charges can be heard in court. In August,
the court agreed, but hasn't yet set a hearing date.
about the same time, Haley put on a two-day, dog-and-pony show calling
for ethics reform at the Statehouse because nobody ought to be "forced
to sit in that seat like I did." Sounding the familiar call for government
transparency and accountability, Haley
stomped the soap box in four cities calling for recusals by lawyer-legislators
from some votes, dissolution of legislative ethics committees, more disclosure
and stronger Freedom of Information laws.
time, House Speaker Bobby Harrell (R-Charleston) stuck it to Haley for
not adequately explaining what she did to earn thousands of dollars from
a political supporter, noting, "It's ironic, that if we had these
reforms in place before Governor Haley committed her actions, she would
probably still be meeting with the Attorney General, only in a different
the other shoe has dropped and Harrell may be looking at meeting with
the attorney general, too. Over the past few days, news reports highlighted
how Harrell has been less than candid about campaign reimbursements of
more than $325,000 since 2008 for travel expenses, most of which apparently
were for use of his private plane. The Post and Courier asked for
receipts and itemized expenditures for a month, only to be told, "The
Speaker is in full compliance with all requirements of the S.C. Ethics
the week, Harrell repaid $23,000 into his campaign account for expenditures
he apparently couldn't account for and told the Associated Press that
he "probably will be
more specific" on finance forms about reimbursements in the future.
line: Both ethics stories illustrate how the ethics system for lawmakers
is broken. But it shouldn't be a surprise. The State Integrity Investigation
ranks South Carolina 45th
out of 50 states with a grade of F in its 2012 Corruption Risk Report
Card based on a number of factors -- financing of politics, lack of transparency,
institutional secrecy and loopholes in ethics laws.
South Carolina, critics say, politics trumps law, and politicians often
rule as lords as evidenced by documented accounts of clear abuses of power,"
to the investigation. "An undercurrent of fear and political
interferences bubbles throughout the state's civil service, one that is
shot through with cronyism and patronage."
should be done? Wholesale reform far beyond what Haley has proposed that
takes into account the separation of powers. To be constitutional, reforms
must allow House and Senate leaders to be the judges of their behavior.
But reform doesn't mean they have to run investigations about their own
foremost, lawmakers must establish an independent joint ethics oversight
panel charged with taking complaints, investigating them and making recommendations
for real action to the House and Senate. Such a commission should include
a respected former judge or Supreme Court justice as chair overseeing
members who include former legislators and private citizens.
legislators need to beef up the State Ethics Commission to give it more
authority and power to deal with all ethics complaints involving state
and municipal officials and agencies. Instead of cutting the commission's
budget, it should grow in the name of accountability and transparency.
lawmakers must comb through the ethics codes to remove loopholes and politics
from the process.
all three can voters start trusting their government a little bit more.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is the Charleston RiverDogs. The Lowcountrys leader in sports entertainment, Charleston RiverDogs baseball is an attractive, affordable medium for your group or business. The RiverDogs develop the next major league stars for the 27-time World Champion New York Yankees at one of the finest ballparks in Minor League Baseball -- Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. Three short words sum up the every day approach taken by the Charleston RiverDogs front office. The brainchild of club President Mike Veeck, the nine-letter phrase Fun Is Good is meant to be a guideline and daily reminder of how employees should approach their jobs and in turn capture the imagination of the fans to turn them into repeat customers. Call them today at (843) 723-7241 or visit online at: www.RiverDogs.com.
OCT. 1, 2012 -- The "Cooking Class Spotlight" section that appears at the end of this space usually highlights just one class, but this week, in surveying the choices at the three main local culinary class providers, there was an embarrassment of riches.
The latest schedules from the Coastal Cupboard, Charleston Cooks and the Culinary Institute of Charleston are brimming with classes for adults and kids on a wide range of topics-fall baking, holiday fare (from Halloween right on through Christmas), seasonal cooking with local ingredients and more.
Here are a few classes that caught my idea. Follow the links provided to register and to see all the other fun classes out there.
Time for Hoppin' John
New Year's Day is still three months off, but it's about to be Hoppin' John time in Charleston. John Martin Taylor, author of "Hoppin' John's Lowcountry Cooking," will be in town on Friday to mark the release of a new 20th anniversary edition of his seminal cookbook on Charleston's culinary heritage.
As we noted in this space a few weeks ago, Taylor will be signing copies of the book from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at the Preservation Society of Charleston, 147 King St. (at the corner of Queen Street) downtown. The event is open to everyone.
Taylor will also be lecturing on Oct. 6 at the Charleston Heritage Symposium, but his talk, titled "Charleston's Culinary Heritage," is sold out.
The Charleston County Public Library's One Book Charleston County program continues this month with special programs, book discussions, movie screenings and exhibits based on the book spawning community-wide discussion: "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close," a novel that tackles the raw emotional drama of a boy who learns about his father's death in the Sept. 11 tragedy in New York City.
Novelist Jonathan Safran Foer will be in Charleston at 5 p.m. Oct. 23 at the College of Charleston's TD Arena to discuss the book, which was made into a movie starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock.
One Book Charleston County is designed as a community-wide event to encourage residents to read and discuss the same book at the same time. More than 600 copies of Foer's novel are available to be checked out at any of the county's 16 branches. It's also available for digital download through the library's Web site -- www.ccpl.org.
Other programs ahead include a discussion, "Religion in a Post-9/11 World," scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at the John L. Dart branch library on upper King Street, and "Touched by Autism," scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Oct. 17, at the St. Andrews Regional branch library in West Ashley. For more information on the book, film screenings, a teen scavenger hunt and more, click here.
Crafts fair set for Oct. 13-14 at Magnolia Plantation
More than 35 vendors with stained glass, jewelry, pottery, folk art, photography and more will be on hand Oct. 13 and 14 at Autumn on the Ashley, a two-day open-air craft fair at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
The craft fair, which will also feature blacksmith and wood-carving demonstrations, is free. It opens at 9 a.m. and closes at 5 p.m. both days.
Master gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and receive soil samples, which will cost $6 each to be tested. Call 843-722-5940 to get tips on how to collect a sample. Plants and gardening books will be on sale.
event, sponsored by Magnolia and the Tri-County Master Gardeners Association,
includes a contest to pick a logo for the 2013 edition of the fair. Anyone
can enter the logo contest by submitting a photo of your design to AutumnontheAshleylogocontest@gmail.com
and bringing a mounted copy of your design to the festival. The logo entries
will be displayed to give the public an opportunity to select the winner.
The winner will be announced at 5 p.m. on Oct. 14. The winner will be
awarded $250. More info on the fair: call Mary Ann Johnson at 843-571-1266.
who has been called "the best-known criminal lawyer in the world,"
will be at the Sottile Theatre 7 p.m. Oct. 14 for a discussion offered
by the Charleston Jewish Federation.
as "Israel's single most visible defender -- the Jewish state's lead
attorney in the court of public opinion," Dershowitz is expected
to discuss threats to Israel in this event, which will also raise funds
for the nation's defense.
The event is free, but reservations are required. You can RSVP online at: www.JewishCharleston.org. The Sottile Theatre is at 44 George Street, Charleston.
Get your Gotham on with leotards and capes
Talk about creative -- the Sustainability Institute will hold its annual fundraiser at Hibernian Hall by encouraging guests to dress as their favorite superhero.
Because promoting sustainability requires some real super powers, it says.
The SuperHero Soiree is set for 7 p.m. Oct. 11 in downtown Charleston
to help the Institute in its work to promote the power of saving energy.
In addition to food and drinks from to restaurants and vendors, you can
get your picture taking in the "blower door" photo booth. Tickets
are $50 for non-members. Click
here for more.
Other coming events by the Sustainability Institute:
Operation Lost Trust was arguably South Carolina's largest and longest-running political scandal. Including the investigation, trials and retrials, the Operation Lost Trust saga extended from 1989 to 1999.
The key player in the FBI's investigation into legislative corruption was Ron Cobb, a lobbyist and former member of the S.C. House of Representatives. He was arrested in April 1989 for trying to buy a kilo of cocaine in a deal orchestrated by the FBI for the purpose of securing his involvement as the front man in the Lost Trust investigation. He told members of the General Assembly that he represented the Alpha Group that was seeking support for a bill legalizing dog- and horse-track betting in South Carolina.
Cobb recruited Representatives Robert A. Kohn and Luther Taylor to help in securing legislative votes by paying members money in exchange for their support and votes. The transactions were captured on surveillance tapes.
The federal investigation resulted in the conviction of 17 members of the South Carolina General Assembly, seven lobbyists and three others for bribery, extortion or drug use. All but five of the 27 convictions were the result of guilty pleas.
In 1991 and 1992, five legislators were granted new trials because of legal errors. U.S. District Judge Falcon Hawkins then dismissed the charges against the five for alleged misconduct by the federal prosecution team led by U.S. Attorney Bart Daniel. Judge Hawkins's ruling was overturned in November 1998 by the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which reinstated the criminal charges.
During the period between 1991 and 1998 two of the five legislators died after long illnesses. The three remaining defendants were retried in 1999, and all three were convicted.
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Five tech tips to improve your life
Depending on which day it is, computers can be a bane or blessing. Willis Cantey at Cantey Technology in Mount Pleasant offers five helpful tech tips that should make your digital life a bit easier:
You may delay, but time will not.
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.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
Tour of Duty: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Oct. 12, North Charleston
Convention Center. The 2012 American Red Cross Tour of Duty will showcase
what the organization does and how it works with the community when disaster
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.
(NEW) McCray tribute: 4 p.m., Oct. 17, Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St., Charleston. Vocalist Rene Marie is a special guest during Jazz Artists of Charleston's special tribute for the late jazz enthusiast and journalist Jack McCray. The orchestra's 17-piece resident big band will perform. Tickets are from $25 to $250. More online.
(NEW) Museum picnic: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 21. The Charleston Museum will host its annual family picnic at Dill Sanctuary, 1163 Riverland Drive, James Island. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children. On tap: a nature walk with naturalist Billy McCord, a butterfly release, music, Lowcountry food, games, hayrides and more. Advance reservations are required. 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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