5.28 | Monday, May 13, 2013
Rehab hosts Nashville singer, band
13, 2013 -- It isn't unusual to hear country music during patient sessions
at Roper Rehabilitation Hospital. But it is a little strange to hear live
that was the case May 3 when Roper Rehab hosted Nashville, Tenn.-based
singer Michelle Murray and her band.
stop comes as Murray is in the midst of her 120-city, 15-month "My
Finish Line Movie Premier and Music Tour." The titular film chronicles
the story of Sam Schmidt, an Indy Car driver who was paralyzed in an on-track
crash in 2000.
and Murray met in 2005 and Murray has since become a spokesperson for
the former driver's foundation, which focuses its efforts on finding a
cure for paralysis. (The foundation is also a large supporter of the RSF
and MUSC collaborative Center for Spinal Cord Injury.)
the tour this way lets us tell Sam's story," said Murray, a Chicago
native who formerly resided on Hilton Head Island. The mother of three
has even penned a song about Schmidt, "It Won't Be If, But When (Sam's
said her performances and "My Finish Line" are meant to encourage
and inspire those affected by life-altering injuries and illnesses. Her
show Friday seemed to do just that, as patients took time from assembling
puzzles and mobility exercises to nod along with Murray's self-described
mix of country with Chicago flair.
everybody likes the same music but they can appreciate good, and this
was," said rehab patient Kevin W. O'Grady, an erstwhile bass player
happened right before we left, so I literally called 25 guitarists before
we found someone who was available," said Murray, who also left her
tour bus in Nashville with mechanical problems.
Murray's tour in the immediate future will align with the IndyCar racing
schedule. Over 14 stops, "My Finish Line," much of which was
filmed at the Indianapolis 500 and highlights Schmidt's daily obstacles,
will be premiered 17 times and Murray will play 60 shows. (Film sponsor
Firestone helped defray the cost of obtaining race footage, which can
cost thousands of dollars for just a few seconds.)
a wheelchair-accessible van and wheelchair lift maker, is one of the "My
Finish Line" tour's sponsors. The only Lowcountry BraunAbility dealership,
Ilderton Conversion Company, played host to Murray Friday afternoon. She'll
appear at Ilderton's Charlotte location later in the tour and will be
back in Charleston in the fall, though details of that stop haven't been
win pre-determined by gerrymandering
Because the outcome of Tuesday's election was practically determined two
years before the special contest between GOP former Gov. Mark Sanford
and challenger Elizabeth Colbert Busch. Why? Because constitutionally-required
redistricting to even population changes after the 2010 census made it
tough for any Democrat to win.
First Congressional District, for example, voting age blacks comprised
just 18.2 percent of voters. Huh, you might wonder? On the coast where
African Americans comprise 30 percent of Charleston County, 26 percent
of Dorchester County, 25 percent of Berkeley County and 20 percent of
It's because of how congressional district lines were gerrymandered by the General Assembly. An adjacent district -- the so-called "black district" -- of U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn finds blacks comprising 55.2 percent of the voting population. If, for example, Clyburn's district were made of only 45 percent of black voters (which still all but guarantee his victory) and the First District were drawn in such a way to have 28 percent of black voters, Colbert Busch probably would have won.
same story all over the state, a story brought to you by Republicans who
carved district lines in state House, Senate and congressional districts
to maximize the number of Republicans elected. [To be fair, Democrats
did little different when they were in charge.] As we wrote in 2011, reapportionment
is the political equivalent of the fox guarding the hen house because
the very people who redraw the lines are those in office. [The percentages
of blacks and whites in House districts are shown at right. Click
here for similar Senate figures.]
late 1980s, Gov. Carroll Campbell actively persuaded Democratic House
members to join the GOP. By the early 1990s when it was time for redistricting,
an emboldened GOP approached black Democrats and made a deal that guaranteed
them a higher percentage of black voters in their district, thereby making
it easier for them to win reelection. In turn, the GOP got whiter "white
Just look today at the 124 House seats. Some 30 districts have black voting percentages of greater than 50 percent. All are Democratic. Just five are represented by white Democrats. Six other districts have black voting percentages of at least 40 percent; two are represented by blacks.
10 House Democrats -- all white -- who represent districts with less than
40 percent of black voters, from Leon Stavrinakis of Charleston (23.2
percent black) and Beth Bernstein of Columbia (26.4 percent black) to
Jimmy Bales of Eastover (39.5 percent black).
It's not much different in the state Senate where nine of 46 districts have a black voting age population of more than 50 percent. Sen. John Scott (D-Columbia) has a district that's 63.8 percent black, while an adjacent district for Senate President Pro Tem John Courson (R-Columbia) is 18.7 percent black.
want to have more of a chance in the Statehouse -- which would make the
whole governmental system more competitive and vigorous -- then they're
going to have to have more of a say in the redistricting process. To do
so, they have to win at least one of the two chambers. The House is so
overwhelmingly Republican that it would be tough, but a switch of six
seats in the Senate would return it to Democratic control.
Furthermore, what needs to happen in the next redistricting process is for black districts to get less black and white districts to have more people of color. If that were to happen, political races would be more competitive, which would mean more vigorous debates and a step away from predetermined policy solutions that skew Republican.
that all of this has had on our political system is truly spectacular
and depressing. A majority of Republicans and Democrats in office run
for re-election virtually unopposed because the numbers are in their favor
to win. Turnover of seats tends to happen when someone retires, dies or
decides to run for something else.
That needs to change.
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The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In this issue, we turn the spotlight on Charleston Green Commercial, a full-service commercial property management company that pays attention to detail, provides exceptional personal service and is committed to adding value to buildings. Offering professional property management, consulting and other services, the company strives to improve clients' bottom lines with superior service, accessibility, reliability and a wealth of knowledge of the Charleston real estate market. By blending use of proven contractors and contacts with environmentally-conscious practices, the company helps clients stay on the leading edge of commercial real estate practices. More.
recovery of the guns of the Keokuk
During the ill-fated ironclad attack on Fort Sumter on April 7, the USS Keokuk was hit point-blank 90 times. Nineteen of those shots either pierced the hull or hit below the waterline. One Union officer observed that the Keokuk was "riddled like a colander."
retired 1,300 yards off the southern end of Morris Island, which was held
by the Confederates. The crew worked diligently to plug the many holes
and leaks, keeping the ironclad ship afloat overnight. The next morning,
when the wind picked up creating a rough sea, the Keokuk began
to sink. The officers and crew, including many wounded men, were transferred
to a Union tugboat just before the ship went down.
19, Confederate Major D.B. Harris, General Beauregard's chief engineer,
and General Ripley visited the site of the sunken ship. Assessing the
opportunity, they believed the two large Dahlgren guns below the sea could
The first task was to remove the top of the Keokuk's turrets, a job that had to be done within view of the Union fleet during the day. The decision was made to conduct the salvage operation under the cover of darkness. The turrets were only exposed for two hours each night at low tide. With the delicate work to be done with no noise or lights, it took two weeks to cut a hole in both turrets large enough to remove the guns. The CSS Chicora and CSS Palmetto State provided escort for the salvage crew should the Union fleet become aware of the operation.
In one of the greatest engineering feats ever conducted at sea, the first gun was recovered on May 2. Three nights later, the second gun was recovered from the wreck of the Keokuk. The Federal fleet was completely unaware of the operation until May 6 when the Charleston Mercury announced the successful recovery of the guns. One Dahlgren gun from the Keokuk was mounted at Fort Sumter and the other at Battery Bee on Sullivan's Island. In their new locations the Keokuk guns played an important role in the defense of Charleston.
The Keokuk gun at Battery Bee was moved to be displayed at White Point Garden at The Battery in downtown Charleston where it is still displayed today. The eventual fate of the Keokuk gun mounted at Fort Sumter is lost to history. The USS Keokuk still rests in its watery grave off Morris Island.
Douglas W. Bostick grew up on James Island, and his ancestors in South Carolina date back to colonial America. He is the author of several books and numerous articles that have appeared in historical journals, magazines and national newsletters. A graduate of the College of Charleston, Bostick earned a master's degree from the University of South Carolina. He is a former staff and faculty member of the University of South Carolina and the University of Maryland.
Google grant supports free Wi-Fi access in Charleston parks
You can get online in Charleston's parks thanks to a Google community grant to the Charleston Digital Corridor. The network is now live and available to the public. Local folks and visitors will now be able to connect to the Internet in Waterfront Park along with Marion Square
information, please visit charlestonfreewifi.com/wp.
is also offering 360-degree imagery of the Waterfront Park area that will
showcase Charleston on Google Maps. See
Franklin inducted into local Goodwill Hall of Fame
Goodwill Industries of Lower South Carolina inducted volunteer Paul Franklin into its Hall of Fame on May 10 at its Shining Star Awards banquet attended by more than 200 business and agency partners.
The organization said Franklin was instrumental in the facilitation of Goodwill's first Strategic Plan. Prior to becoming board chair, he served on the search committee as Goodwill's leadership transitioned. As chairman, Franklin forged a refinement of the current Goodwill Mission Statement, "To help People Achieve their full potential through the Dignity and Power of Work." This broadening of the mission statement led to the tremendous growth of Goodwill's services.
"Paul Franklin is committed to helping Goodwill be a first class organization in order to best provide our services to the community," said Goodwill President and CEO Robert Smith. "His passion and support helped build the Goodwill organization. It is a great honor to induct Paul into the Hall of Fame and recognize him for his dedication and support of Goodwill's mission."
Franklin follows fellow Hall of Fame inductees Bill Perry, Kenny Fox, Henry H. Lowndes, Jr., Joseph P. Laferte, Jr., Merrill J. Kinder, Henry 'Bud' Brawner, William Sandy Stuhr, Mary Croghan-Ramsay, Drs. Vince Moseley, Theodore S. Stern, Erbert F. Cicenia and Margaret B. Luzski.
Other Goodwill's 2012 Legacy Award Winners: Graduate of the Year award went to Michael Reid; Fredrick Gaillard, Achiever of the Year; Suelene Guiles, Goodwill Works! Award; Cindy Scarborough, 2012 Employee of the Year; and Maghan Johnson, 2012 Barbara Banks Customer Service Award. Goodwill's Volunteer of the Year was Robert Calcote.
H&M coming, Trident designation, big donation, more
The term "Edgefield pottery" is used to identify alkaline-glazed stoneware first produced in Edgefield District in the 1810s. Edgefield pottery blends the cultural traditions of England, Europe, Asia, and Africa. Many of the potters came from English, Irish, and German backgrounds and contributed their forms and techniques, while African American slaves performed the majority of the labor-intensive tasks. The distinctive glaze (made of wood ash, feldspar, clay, and water) and use of the groundhog kiln were typical of pottery techniques used in the Far East.
By 1817 the Landrum family was the first to produce alkaline-glazed stoneware at Pottersville, thereby capitalizing on the need for low-cost, durable pottery in South Carolina and the surrounding states. Some scholars believe that Dr. Abner Landrum read the letters of Pere d'Entrecolles describing the manufacture of porcelain, while others argue that Richard Champion brought this knowledge from England to Camden, South Carolina.
Up until the production of pottery in Edgefield, utilitarian wares had to be purchased from the northern states or from Europe. In North Carolina the Moravians were producing lead-glazed earthenware, but lead was expensive and poisonous. Earthenware broke more easily than the high-fired, more durable stoneware. Churns, storage jars, pitchers, jugs, plates, and cups were produced in great quantities. At the peak of production in the 1850s, as many as five factories turned out upward of fifty thousand gallons of pottery annually. The stoneware was sold statewide via wagon and railway. Most potters advertised the production of vessels holding up to twenty gallons, at a price of ten cents a gallon.
At the Lewis Miles Factory, an enslaved African American potter named Dave made enormous jars that held as much as forty gallons. Dave, who later took the name David Drake, was a literate slave who signed and dated many of his works and occasionally wrote a poem on the side, such as, "Great & noble jar / hold sheep goat and bear, May 13, 1859."
Slip-glazed wares were produced in order to compete with more decorative ceramics produced in the North and those imported from Europe. At the Phoenix Factory and Colin Rhodes Factory, popular design motifs included bell flowers, loops, and swags created in iron or kaolin slip or written advertisements and pictorial scenes of girls in hoop skirts.
Figural vessels and "face jugs" were produced between 1840 and 1880, the majority of which were made by African Americans, possibly for their own use. Major factories included Pottersville Stoneware Manufactory, John Landrum Pottery, Colin Rhodes Factory, Lewis Miles Factory, Miles Mill, Phoenix Factory, B. F. Landrum Factory, Trapp and Chandler, Palmetto Brickworks, Seigler Pottery, Baynham Pottery, Hahn Pottery, South Carolina Pottery Company, and Roundtree-Bodie Pottery.
pottery tradition migrated westward into Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi,
Louisiana, and Texas. Inexpensive glass production and the collapse of
the plantation system led to the demise of the Edgefield pottery production
in the early twentieth century. Many examples of Edgefield pottery survive,
however, and have become highly sought after by museums and private collectors.
The tradition has attracted a high level of scholarly attention, and the
price of individual pieces has reached tens of thousands of dollars.
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Traveling with friends
Travel writer Terri
Peterson Smith offers some good advice for traveling with friends in her
new "Off the Beaten Page: The Best Trips for Lit Lovers, Book Clubs,
and Girls on Getaways." The book, which features a chapter with literary
trip advice on Charleston, suggests that two general thing need to be
done before leaving on a fun trip:
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage"
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IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Color in Freedom Experience: Through May 20, Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture. This interactive exhibit involving the Underground Railway experience offers 49 works by artist Joseph Holston. More.
CONTINUING AND IN THE WEEKS AHEAD
Run to Remember: 6:30 p.m., May 23, Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant. The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission offers the inaugural evening run as a way to kick off Memorial Day celebrations. Online registration is open through May 22 at www.ccprc.com.
Great watercolors: May 24 to Sept 15, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston. In conjunction with Spoleto Festival USA, the Gibbes will present watercolors created in Charleston in the early 1990s by celebrated contemporary artists Stephen Mueller and Carl Palazzolo, who will give an opening day gallery talk at 2:30 p.m. at the museum. Art is from the collection David and Carol Rawle. More: GibbesMuseum.org
(NEW) Run, Forrest, Run: 4 p.m., May 25, The Joe stadium, Charleston. The Charleston RiverDogs will host the 10th annual "Run Forrest Run" 5K race before that day's 6:05 p.m. baseball game against the Greenville Drive. Pre-registration is $30. More online.
Photo contest: 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 Photographic Club.
(NEW) Spivey Hall Children's Choir: June 7-11, around town. The internationally recognized chorale group from Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga., will perform as part of its summer tour in local retirement homes and at Piccolo Spoleto at 3 p.m. June 9 at Grace Episcopal Church. More online.
(NEW) Charleston Carifest Caribbean Carnival: June 20-23 with events including a June 22 parade led by diplomats from Trinidad and Tobago. Learn more online about the festival's broad cultural events.
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.
Noble: Envision SC
brand to government