5.21 | Monday, March 25, 2013
Carolina: What's your idea?
MARCH 25, 2013 -- What must we do to make South Carolina world class and globally connected in the 21st Century?
This is a very simple question, and how we as a state answer it will determine if we become a national and international leader in the 21st Century or if we continue to drift and fall farther and farther behind.
Envision South Carolina is an exciting new project being launched next week to engage the people of our state in a conversation about this question and to offer their ideas and suggestions. The project is being sponsored by the College of Charleston, with the help of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce, numerous newspapers, TV stations, and other business and civic-sector groups from around the state.
And everyone -- yes everyone -- in the state can and should be a part of Envision SC and contribute their ideas.
It all began with a simple column last year about how in colonial days South Carolina was world-class -- a global leader in business, politics, arts and science. But, this success was built on slavery and when the Civil War thankfully changed that, our state struggled with poverty and racism. Only in the second half of the 20th century did South Carolina begin to emerge from our troubled past and take our rightful place in the nation.
Now, in the new, globally-connected, high-tech world of the 21st century, the question is, will we in South Carolina do the things we need to do to be successful in this new era? Will we invest in education and technology in ways that make real progress possible?
The cynics will tell you they already know the answers to those questions. They'll say that our state is too poor, too backward, too . . . whatever to ever embrace a forward-looking, transformational approach to its future.
But, as is so often the case, the cynics in this instance are wrong. South Carolina today is poised for greatness. It has great natural beauty, a rapidly emerging advanced-manufacturing sector featuring companies like Boeing, BMW and Michelin. In Charleston alone, the state has over 250 information technology companies. Most importantly, the state has a diverse, hard-working population that has learned over the past two generations how to live and work and learn together. These are the essential ingredients for success in tomorrow's global economy, and South Carolina is blessed with all of them.
Envision South Carolina brings together over 40 of our state's best and brightest in a series of interview discussions about what we must do to be successful. These interviews will be published and broadcast by the state's media over the next seven weeks and everyone will be encouraged to go to our website and respond to these interviews and give us their own ideas and comments about what we as a state should do.
We expect Envision SC to culminate with a special celebration day on the College of Charleston campus, which will bring together our state's world-class doers, thinkers, students, business people and the public.
But the most important part of Envision SC is YOU -- the people of South Carolina.
We need everyone to give us their ideas and suggestions of what we as a state must do to be successful. History has shown that the best ideas always come from the bottom up and not the top down that's why we want everyone to participate.
So, what's your idea? What do you think we need to do to become world-class in the 21st century?
Look for the Envision SC interviews on television and in newspapers, visit our website www.EnvisionSC.org and give us your ideas.
Working together, we can all make South Carolina world-class again!
for the $2 million in campaign spending
MARCH 25, 2013 -- If you thought millions of dollars of campaign ads assaulted your eyeballs over the last two months, you were right. The 18 candidates for the seat, which became open when Tim Scott was appointed to the U.S. Senate, spent more than $2 million since December in jockeying for the seat.
Fifteen candidates -- 14 Republicans and one Democrat -- spent more than $1.5 million of their own money and contributions in losing efforts. But the number is probably a lot higher, as will be seen when final election reports become available soon. [Numbers in the chart below generally are through Feb. 23, with the exception of GOP candidates Mark Sanford and Curtis Bostic, who face off in an April 2 runoff, and Democratic winner Elizabeth Colbert Busch.]
What's really amazing about all of the money in the race is the amount of loans or cash that candidates pumped in themselves. Attorney John Kuhn loaned his campaign $500,000, followed by state Rep. Chip Limehouse at $400,000 and State Sen. Larry Grooms at $100,000. Candidate Teddy Turner gave his campaign $317,000. School board member Elizabeth Moffly loaned her campaign $200,000, but took back $175,000 more than a month before the election.
Meanwhile Sanford showed his fund-raising prowess by pulling in the most from individual or other contributions with donations of $412,707, followed by Colbert Busch at $309,559. Grooms, Limehouse and Turner were the only other candidates to generate individual or committee donations that broke $100,000.
WERE YOU surprised that Bostic, a lawyer and former Charleston County Council member, placed second in the field of 16 GOP candidates? Many were. We hear he narrowly nabbed the second-place finish by building a good voter turnout effort among Christian conservatives. Bottom line: Looks like the ground game in this primary paid off -- which is one of the first lessons in Politics 101. Too bad most candidates just flooded the airwaves in an attempt to buy the election.
IF YOU REMEMBER, only four candidates filled the Charleston Currents election survey. None won, but candidate Jeff King outlines in a letter below why he thought it was one of the best surveys he took during the three-month race.
MOST CANDIDATES have done a pretty good job in removing the trash (i.e., campaign signs) from highways between Charleston and Hilton Head Island, but there are some who need to do a better job. On that list are Moffly, Limehouse, Kuhn and Rep. Peter McCoy. We've also seen a few signs still standing from campaigns run by Grooms, Turner, Ray Nash and Shawn Pinkston. Take 'em down. They're eyesores (not to mention that it is against the law to put signs on public right-of-ways).
Enjoyed the candidate survey
I enjoyed the article [on the SC-1 candidate survey]. I have to admit when I first read your survey I was curious about the motivation behind some of the questions (grocery bills, cars owned, free Saturday afternoons). However when I sat down to answer the questions, it was probably the most enjoyable survey that I filled out.
In my extensive
eight week experience as a congressional candidate, I have found that
we basically get asked the same 15 questions everywhere we go. It was
refreshing to be asked something different. Just an FYI.
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.
The season opens in just a few days in Greenville on April 4 with the home-opener on April 11 versus Augusta! See the schedule. Call the 'Dogs today at (843) 723-7241 or visit online at: www.RiverDogs.com.
Good policy can help smooth
MARCH 25, 2013 -- "The Capitalist's Dilemma" is a book being written by Clayton Christensen, author of "The Innovator's Dilemma."
Two quotes from a recent interview with Christensen:
Clayton is spot on. We will continue to go boom/ bust cycling unless we deliberately push, by policy and thought, that our capital is for the long term -- years -- not a spin on the gambling machines. Society's dilemma is whether we want to let everyone be "as dumb as we wanna be," as Thomas Friedman refers to in his "Hot, Flat and Crowded," or whether government policies directing us toward longer term results are really the smart approach.
"Light It Up Blue" campaign focuses onon autism
If you see a bunch of blue lights at homes, businesses and landmarks in April, it's nothing to worry about. It's part of a national campaign to celebrate World Autism Awareness Month.
The campaign, pushed locally by MUSC, the Lowcountry Autism Consortium and other autism groups, urge support for "Light It Up Blue" to support raising awareness of autism, a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders -- autism spectrum disorders (ASD) -- caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences.
Charleston area, you will see blue lights at the MUSC Tower as well as
on the Old Exchange Building, Dock Street Theatre and several boats in
Charleston's harbor. Local media are expected to air shows on autism before
the campaign. Local mayors are expected to sign proclamations that April
will be autism awareness month.
Autism Speaks awarded a $1 million grant to MUSC for the South Carolina
Children's Educational Surveillance Study, a three-year autism study for
broad screening and targeted diagnostic assessment to better understand
typical development in 8-year-old children as well as estimate the prevalence
of ASDs among 8500 children in Charleston, Berkeley and Dorchester counties.
In a major
study released last March, the Center For Disease Control found that 1
in 88 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum. The report signaled
a dramatic 78 percent increase in ASD in the last five years. Children
with ASD display mild to severe impairments in social interaction and
communication as well as repetitive and restrictive patterns of behavior.
"Anyone can help us shine a light on the rising rates of autism. Just go to the Autism Speaks website and learn how you can create your own blue lights display," said Dr. Rob Scharstein, a retired radiologist and founder of the Lowcountry Autism Consortium and father of two adult autistic sons.
Plan offers blueprint for Lowcountry's future
A three-county plan created over several years will be unveiled at 11 a.m. today by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments. The plan, called "Our Region Our Plan," offers a blueprint for the region's future.
"Our Region Our Plan articulates a vision of how goals, shared by residents, businesses and industries, for a healthy environment, vibrant economy, and high quality of life can be achieved," according to the BCDCOG. "It provides a framework for local and regional decision making that will balance our needs for infrastructure, economic growth and development with desires to preserve the environment and resources that are unique to this region and way of life."
According to the plan's preface, "By the year 2040, the tri-county region is expected to grow by at least 200,000 residents. This is the equal to adding another City of Charleston and Mount Pleasant to the region. ... "The good news is that continued growth need not further diminish these enviable [natural beauty and historic identity] resources or our quality of life," adding that negative consequences can be avoided by collaborative planning and other efforts.
Core recommendations of the plan focus on integrating land use choices with the demand for transportation infrastructure to promote a better quality of life for the region's citizens.
The plan "balances our region's needs for infrastructure, economic growth and development with our desire for preservation and conservation. The end result will be a sustainable future - one with more choices and opportunities for all residents," said Larry Hargett, current BCDCOG chair
to get free admission to Charleston County's parks
If you have a little extra time this spring , you can earn an annual pass that grants access to Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission facilities.
commission is seeking enthusiastic volunteers to work at park special
events. Those who complete 30 hours this year will get an official volunteer
ID with park and attractions admission privileges.
are being recruited for a variety of events, including the Lowcountry
Cajun Festival at James Island County Park, Pet Fest at Palmetto Islands
County Park, and East Coast Paddlesports and Outdoor Festival at James
Island County Park.
duties range based on needs, but can include festival setup, assistance
with event activities, beverage sales and recycling.
Those individuals serving over 30 hours by the end of June 2013 or December 2013 will receive a PRC Volunteer ID, which is good for one calendar year.
ID has reciprocal pass privileges that allow the recipient and one other
person general admission into all of county parks. Plus, the pass allows
the owner and a guest free admission into other select Charleston attractions.
Studio offers art possibilities
Instead of your child building campfires this summer, why not have them build on their creative potential at Summer Studio? Not your typical summer camp, Summer Studio puts students in a hands-on, collaborative environment, where they learn new skills in the fields of design, culinary, media arts or fashion.
This four-day summer program at The Art Institute of Charleston is open to high school juniors and offers these workshops: Culinary Arts, Design (graphic, web and interior design), Fashion and Media Arts (film and photography). Under the direction of Art Institute of Charleston faculty, students will work on exciting real-world projects and use professional-grade tools and technology to see if a creative college like The Art Institute of Charleston is right for them.
"At Summer Studio, students have the unique opportunity to share their creative passion with like-minded peers, receive feedback from our instructors and get a taste of the college experience," said Newton Myvett, president of The Art Institute of Charleston.
Summer Studio at The Art Institute of Charleston runs June 16-19. Deadline to register is June 7. Learn more here.
Birds and waterfowl in South Carolina
Waterfowl abound in the waterways and marshes of the coastal plain, among them the pied-billed grebe; common loon; double-crested cormorant; anhinga; American and least bitterns; great and snowy egrets; little blue and tricolor herons; black-crowned and yellow-crowned night herons; white ibis; glossy ibis; wood stork; green-winged teal; black duck; northern pintail; northern shoveler; gadwall; canvasback; black scoter; and hooded merganser.
Other avian species include the black vulture; swallow-tailed and Mississippi kites; bald eagle; black rail; clapper rail; purple gallinule; semipalmated plover; American avocet; willet; marbled godwit; semipalmated and least sandpipers; laughing gull; Caspian, royal, sandwich, and least terns; black skimmer; ground dove; yellow-bellied sapsucker; red-cockaded and pileated woodpeckers; marsh wren; blue-gray gnatcatcher; black-throated green warbler; prothonotary warbler; painted bunting; Bachman's, seaside, and song sparrows; bobolink; and the boat-tailed grackle. Along the coast, the brown pelican is a familiar sight.
More than one hundred species of birds are found throughout the state either as permanent residents or seasonal migrants. Among them are the great blue heron; wood duck; blue-winged teal; ring-necked duck; bufflehead; turkey vulture; osprey; red-shouldered hawk; American kestrel; peregrine falcon; northern bobwhite; American coot; Wilson's plover; upland sandpiper; Hudsonian godwit; common snipe; American woodcock; herring gull; mourning dove; yellow-billed cuckoo; barn, screech, great horned, and barred owls; chuck-will's-widow; ruby-throated hummingbird; red-headed woodpecker; downy woodpecker; northern flicker; great crested and scissor-tailed flycatchers;
martin; bank and barn swallows; blue jay; American crow; Carolina chickadee;
white-breasted nuthatch; Carolina wren; golden-crowned kinglet; eastern
bluebird; wood thrush; American robin; gray catbird; northern mockingbird;
brown thrasher; loggerhead shrike; white-eyed vireo; magnolia, hooded,
and yellow-throated warblers; common yellowthroat; yellow-breasted chat;
northern cardinal; blue grosbeak; indigo bunting; rufous-sided towhee;
field, savannah, and house sparrows; red-winged blackbird; eastern meadowlark;
brown-headed cowbird; orchard oriole; and American goldfinch.
Flock of flamingos
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Park and play
With tens of thousands of runners headed to Charleston for the April 6 Cooper River Bridge Run, here's a list of parking places that the city of Charleston is offering for just $5 from 5 p.m. April 5 to 2 p.m. April 6:
Some good news
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IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Spring break camp: March 26-28, Dill Sanctuary, James Island. The Charleston Museum will offer morning camps for children age 5 to 10 where they'll take marsh walks, collect fiddler crabs and make crafts. More info.
"Quidam" by Cirque du Soleil: The dance group will perform March 27 to March 31 at North Charleston Coliseum with a show that tells the story of a young girl who escapes into the world of imagination. Shows are at 7:30 p.m. March 27-30 with matinees at 3:30 p.m. on March 20 and 2 p.m. March 31. Tickets are available online at $45 to $103 for adults and $37 to $85 for kids under 13. More info is online.
(NEW) Easter Egg Hunt: 11 a.m. (3 to 5 year olds), Noon (6 and 7 year olds) 1 p.m. (8 and up), March 30, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. There will be lots of prizes and family fun. Free with garden admission. More.
CONTINUING AND IN THE WEEKS AHEAD
"Anything Goes:" Opens April 5 for a month-long run at the historic Dock Street Theatre. Charleston Stage will offer Cole Porter's classic musical comedy as the grand finale of its 35th anniversary season. Choose from among 15 performances through April 27. Tickets range from $38.50 to $57.50. Available online at: www.CharlestonStage.com
(NEW) La Dolce Vita Auction: 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., April 6, Halsey Gallery, Cato Center, College of Charleston. An auction will benefit Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival, a four-day event held in November to celebrate Italian film and culture. The auction will feature food, wine and music. The cost is $30. More info.
Lowcountry Cajun Festival: Noon to 6 p.m., April 7, James Island County Park. There will be lots of Cajun and Creole food, great music and more at this event that costs just $10 for anyone over 12. More.
Security 101: Starts 9 a.m., April 9, Coastal Community Foundation
offices, 635 Rutledge Avenue, Charleston. The S.C. Tech Academy will offer
four classes on successive Tuesdays on computer security and how nonprofits
can protect their data. Learn
(NEW) War of 1812 talk: 6:30 p.m., April 9, Daniel Library, The Citadel. Don Hickey, recently named the Gen. Mark Clark Distinguished Visiting Chair of History at The Citadel, has been called "the dean of 1812 scholarship" by "The New Yorker." Author of scores of articles, he'll give remarks at this free discussion.
Dig South: April 12-14, College of Charleston TD Arena, Charleston Music Hall, The Alley and Redux. The interactive festival explores the intersection of technology, social media, marketing and the arts. More.
Hunt & Habit: Through April 21, Charleston Museum, Meeting Street. The museum will present an original exhibition of women's and men's riding habits, hats and accessories from the 19th and early 20th century. More info.
(NEW) Where the Wild Things Run: 8:30 a.m., April 27, Caw Caw Interpretive Center, Ravenel. Run through the marshes and woods in this 5K race. Cost is $28 to $34. Online registration is open through April 26. More online at: www.ccprc.com.
Images due by June 6. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is holding
its annual photo contest for photos taken at the attraction between March
1 and May 31. Entry is $25. To enter and look at rules, visit the Lowcountry
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. Walks also are conducted on James Island and Folly Beach.Learn more online.
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