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: Where in the world might we have spotted these great eyelashes recently? The third person to guess wins a pair of RiverDogs vouchers for any game. Email your guess to: editor@charlestoncurrents.com. Photo by Andy Brack.

Issue 5.30 | Monday, May 27, 2013
Help folks in Oklahoma
American Red Cross
| Salvation Army

FOCUS Lessons from Oklahoma storm
BRACK Drum Island's piles of dirt
GREEN Prepping for an evacuation
GOOD NEWS Mansion, TUW ratings, more
HISTORY Indian mounds
SPOTLIGHT Kaynard Photography
FEEDBACK Glad I found you
BROADUS All dressed up ...
THE LIST Hurricane tips
QUOTE An historic meeting
CALENDAR This week ... and next

Oklahoma storm offers lessons for hurricane preparedness

MAY 27, 2013 -- On May 20, we were reminded that natural disasters of all kinds can bring devastation on a massive scale. In just a few seconds, the lives of Moore, Okla., residents were changed by an EF-5 tornado that destroyed entire buildings while injuring or killing residents as they took shelter.


We can't prevent natural disasters, but we can prepare for them. By being ready and knowing what to do in a disaster, we can minimize risk, reduce the time it takes to recover and most importantly, prevent the loss of life.

As response and recovery continues in Oklahoma, those of us who live in hurricane-prone areas must now turn our attention to our own preparedness efforts for the upcoming 2013 hurricane season.

This year during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, May 26 - June 1, and throughout the year, I encourage everyone in hurricane-prone areas to make a pledge to prepare and then act on the pledge and be ready in advance of the hurricane season that officially begins June 1.


2013 Charleston County Hurricane Guide

Charleston County Emergency Management Department

Charleston County emergency shelters

Charleston County emergency evacuation zones

We are asking you to take these simple steps: know and understand your weather risk, take action, and be an example for your family, friends and neighbors.

  • Know your risk: Understand how hurricanes and tropical storms can directly affect you and your family where you live, work and go to school whether you live on the coast or inland. Check the weather forecast regularly, sign up for local alerts from emergency management officials, and get and use a NOAA weather radio.

  • Take action now: Complete your Ready Emergency Preparedness Plan, update your Emergency Supply Kit, and download the FEMA smartphone application to access important safety tips on what to do before, during and after a hurricane.

  • Be an example: Encourage your family, friends, colleagues, and neighbors to prepare and inspire others by posting your preparedness story on your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter accounts. Post the Hurricane Widget on your social media profiles. Follow us at Twitter and share our Hurricane Preparedness Week tweets.

Join us today and pledge to prepare at www.ready.gov/hurricanes.

Major Phillip May is administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Region IV, which coordinates preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation activities in eight Southern states, including South Carolina.


The story behind Drum Island's piles of dirt
By ANDY BRACK, editor and publisher

MAY 27, 2013 -- Ever notice the piles of dirt on Drum Island as you zoom over the Cooper River bridge from Mount Pleasant to Charleston? Seem like they've been moving around for the last few months, but for no apparent reason?

Well, there's a method to what's happening as explained in a recent visit to the 160-acre island of dredge material, or spoil, that the bridge crosses.

The S.C. State Ports Authority is preparing to raise the walls of a dirt dike that surrounds the island so that it can dispose of silt removed from berths at Union and Columbus street terminals. When the walls are around six feet taller around Drum Island, the SPA says it will be able to put dredge material on Drum Island for eight to 10 more years.

To get the island ready, a lot of dirt needs to be moved to facilitate the drying process. On the surface (at left), the dirt looks like a tan drought landscape pocked by deep surface cracks. But if you dig down just one or two feet, the dry dirt will quickly change to liquid pluff mud that is unmanageable, explains SPA project engineer Ben Morgan.

"We cut ditches across the island to lower the water table," he said. "The purpose of the ditches is to dry out the silt." Water seeps from the spoil basin into ditches and drains into Town Creek and the Cooper River through four big outfall pipes.

An excavating machine deepens ditches only after it has spread its weight across a wooden mat of support. The "mat" is a network of parallel wooden beams that look like extra-long railroad ties with metal hoops at the end. When the excavator is done with one portion of a ditch, it picks up beams from one part of the mat and moves them further along the ditch so the machine can move forward and dig some more.

It's a long process that takes patience. Months pass as the silt basin dries and operators dig and re-dig ditches to allow water to drain.

Toward the end of summer, it should be time to start moving the dried silt. First, a bulldozer -- which can operate on the cracked dirt of the island because its weight is spread across its treads -- will push piles between two drainage ditches to form a center "haul road," says lead operator Jeremy McCarren, a contractor from Calabash, N.C.

Next, a tractor will drag a special scoop along the road to scrape up thousands of pounds of dried spoil, which then is moved to the exterior of the island to build the dike higher. As the tractor takes away spoil, a bulldozer will push more dry spoil from the area between the ditches to the haul road to keep the process going. After three or four months, the dike should be at the right height to be strong enough to add more spoil to the basin for several years.

Despite all of the big earth-moving equipment on Drum Island, the huge project is pretty simple in one sense because it relies on prepping the island's basin for time and Mother Nature's gravity. When they've done their work, the machines kick into high gear to move the dirt to raise the wall.

Now, we know!

Andy Brack is publisher of StatehouseReport.com and CharlestonCurrents.com. He can be reached at: publisher@charlestoncurrents.com.


Glad to find you

To the editor:

So glad to learn about your publication from a pool buddy. I've got a lot of reading to catch up.

-- Robert Dickson, Charleston, S.C.

Send us your thoughts. If you have an opinion you'd like to share (150 words or less, please), send your letters to: editor@charlestoncurrents.com. Please include your name, address and phone number for verification purposes. We look forward to hearing from you!


Kaynard Photography

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. Today we shine our spotlight on Kaynard Photography, a business run by contributing photographer Michael Kaynard of West Ashley.

Kaynard Photography grew from Michael's love of walking the streets of the Charleston's historic district. It developed into a passion for capturing everything Charleston through a camera lens. Kaynard can be seen walking the streets of Charleston many days from dawn to darkness. He calls his work "At Street Level." His photos are available for viewing and sale at kaynardphotography.webs.com.


Getting ready for an evacuation
By GREG GARVAN, contributing editor

MAY 27, 2013 -- Are you ready for .. evacuation? Most of us aren't, but based on past year hurricane realities, we probably should be.

While more of us have focused on an "emergency" kit -- water, canned food, weather radio -- for sticking around, spending a few minutes now can help you save money whenever it is we are ordered to evacuate.

To do:

  • Decide a target destination where you'd go and get a list of hotels and phone numbers for places you'd stay at. With pets, be sure to see what places will accept your dog, cat, bird, etc.

  • Make copies of your homeowners/ renters insurance policy and the phone numbers and Web sites. If you haven't reviewed coverage in more than three years with your agent, call and do it. Costs and coverages have changed, a lot!

  • Paper valuables that are critical for your lives -- passport, legal documents, credit card accounts -- should be stored in a fireproof box that you can take with you. A better idea is to also scan these documents into a secure site so that they are reachable wherever you are.

Evacuating is bad enough. Save yourself some money by planning ahead.

  • The Goodbiz Summit (June 20, in Charleston) is taking registration and I'd encourage almost all of you to go. There will be great speakers and networking for everything from co-working space to ' B Corp.' (Benefit Corporation) models to learning from others that have made the commitment to running socially responsible businesses. More.

  • Pope Francis continues to advocate for the poor and denounce the capitalist consumer culture we so seem to love here in Charleston. 'Shop, shop, shop' calls from local media and community. I, for one, would sure love to hear a louder voice from those in solidarity with less consumerism. More.
Greg Garvan of James Island is president of Money with a Mission, an 18-year-old, fee-only financial planning firm that specializes in socially responsible/ 'green' asset management. On the Web: moneywithamission.com.

Wentworth Mansion gets nation's top ranking for hotel service

Charleston's Wentworth Mansion has the best hotel service in the United States -- and second best in the world, according to Travel + Leisure magazine's new World's Best Awards survey.

"Winning this award is an incredible honor and validation for the hard work our staff does and their goals to ensure each guest leaves the Wentworth Mansion with memories of a lifetime," said general manager Noreen Marchant.

The local hotel missed being the world's top hotel for service by just 0.12 percentage points. It trailed The Peninsula in Hong Kong by 0.11 points. Rankings are based on reader votes collected in the Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards survey.

Travel + Leisure surveyed the general managers at the top 16 hotels in each region on what makes winning service. The results:

  • 44 percent admitted to using Google and Facebook to research guests before check-in.

  • 31 percent said they ensured each guest was greeted by a manager upon arrival.

  • 38 percent described their service style as "genuine;" 13 percent described the service style as "efficient."

  • 56 percent offered room service 24 hours a day.

Cooking show to feature S.C. oysters, barbecue

The second season of Cooking Channel's "Man Fire Food" will premier 9:30 p.m. June 3 with spotlights on a McClellanville man's oyster roaster and the tasty barbecue of Hemingway's Rodney Scott.

Chef Roger Mooking, one of Canada's top chefs, will be in South Carolina to learn about traditional whole hog barbecue from Scott and about Lowcountry oyster roasts from Oliver Thames, who invented a unique oyster roaster that piles local cluster oysters over a metal sheet positioned over a firebox. Wet burlap bags are placed on top of the oysters to help them steam open.

In Hemingway, home to Scott's Bar-B-Q, Mooking will meet pitmaster Scott and his mother Ella.

"Rodney has been cooking whole hog since he was 11 years old," according to the show. "His smoke-filled pit room cooks up to 14 hogs at a time. Roger helps Ella pull the pork and season it with their secret sauce."

Trident United Way gets top charity rating

For the fifth consecutive year, Trident United Way (TUW) has earned top marks for its fiscal responsibility from Charity Navigator, the charity evaluation website.

The four-star rating is based on TUW's organizational efficiency and capacity, and is bestowed upon a charity that "exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in its cause."

"Financial responsibility and accountability are part of our core philosophy, but they're just pre-conditions for the real work we do achieving our community's bold 10-year goals," said Christopher Kerrigan, president and CEO of Trident United Way.

"That is, increasing the high school graduation rate to 88 percent, helping 30 percent more people leave poverty and 25 percent more to lead healthy lifestyles."

The top rating puts Trident United Way among the top 3 percent of all charities in the country for fiscal responsibility. In addition, Trident United Way earned a 100 percent rating on Charity Navigator's Accountability and Transparency checklist.


Indian mounds

Dotting South Carolina's streams and rivers are vestiges of her prehistoric past. These mounds offer fragmentary evidence of the cultures that thrived before the Europeans arrived. Five of South Carolina's Indian mounds are listed in the National Register of Historic Places: Adamson Mounds (Kershaw County), Blair Mound (Fairfield County), Lawton Mounds (Allendale County), McCollum Mound (Chester County), and Santee Mound (Clarendon County).

At least sixteen Woodland mounds and nineteen Mississippian mounds have been identified in South Carolina that are at least fifty percent intact. Another eleven known sites have been destroyed or are underwater. Woodland period mounds are located primarily along coastal rivers, while Mississippian mounds are found along inland rivers near the fall line. Beaufort County has the largest concentration of mounds, followed by counties located in the Midlands. Similar mounds are found in Georgia and North Carolina.

In the late prehistoric period and early contact period, some of South Carolina's mound builders were part of vast Mississippian chiefdoms. South Appalachian Mississippian ceramics indicate that a similar culture embraced South Carolina, Georgia, and neighboring areas. These mounds, built between c.e. 1200 and 1500, were ceremonial, cultural, or administrative in nature and at times were associated with villages and burials. Some of them were also associated with the Pee Dee, Lamar, or Irene culture that flourished ca. c.e. 1400-1700.

Historical evidence suggests that as many as 150 mounds were present in South Carolina at the time of European contact. In 1540 Hernando de Soto encountered the mound dwellers of Cofitachiqui on the Wateree River. The accounts of his journey are important documentary sources for understanding the mound dwellers. During the Revolutionary War, the British recognized the strategic potential of the mounds. They built Fort Watson on the Santee Mound, which patriot forces captured in 1780. Erosion and looting threaten the survival of South Carolina's Indian mounds.

Excerpted from the entry by Alexia Jones Helsley. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)


All dressed up and nowhere to moo

West Ashley's Coburg Cow is especially stunning with in this pink formal attire along Savannah Highway. Thanks to contributing photographer Michael Kaynard for eyeing this outfit that is just to die for.


We encourage you to check out our sister publications:

Statehouse Report -- a weekly legislative forecast that keeps you a step ahead of what happens at the Statehouse. It's free.

SC Clips -- a daily news compilation of South Carolina news from media sources across the state. Delivered by email about the time you get to work every business day. Saves you a lot of money and time. Sign up for a free trial subscription today.

TravelOrMove.com -- a fun, interactive site where you can input your travel or retirement preferences and find places you might not have considered.

Georgia Clips offers a similar daily news compilation for the scores of newspapers in Georgia's 159 counties.

GwinnettForum -- an online community commentary for exploring pragmatic and sensible social, political and economic approaches to improve life in Gwinnett County, Ga. USA.


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More hurricane tips

Kiplinger's suggests six tips to prepare your home and finances for the coming storm season:

  • Look into flood insurance now:Spring and summer flooding often causes damage, which is not covered by homeowners insurance. There is a 30-day waiting period before flood coverage takes effect, so buy it soon to be sure your policy is active near the beginning of storm season.

  • Add sewage-backup coverage: Heavy rains can overburden the storm water system, causing water or sewage to back up into your house-a common (and pretty gross) problem during storm season. Most homeowners' insurance policies no longer cover sewage backup automatically, but it generally costs only $50 to add up to $20,000 of sewage-backup coverage.

  • Consider a home generator: Not only will you be more comfortable with lights, electronics, your refrigerator and air conditioning, but the generator can also help you avoid other problems such as flooding when your sump pump stops working or mold that can grow if your basement floods when your air conditioning is on the blink too.

  • Use new tools to update your home inventory: If you do have storm damage, an up-to-date home inventory can help get your insurance claim paid more quickly. Take photos and video rather than writing everything down and email it to yourself so you can access it anywhere.

  • Trim trees: Fallen tree branches frequently cause damage during any storm. Trim shrubs and low-hanging tree branches, and clean your gutters of any debris so they can handle heavy rains to help avoid having to pay any yard cleanup or tree removal costs.

  • Put together a disaster kit: Have a battery-operated radio, flashlights and a phone that isn't dependent on electricity in case the power is out for a while. Before the storm, stock up on groceries and water, charge your cell phone and electronics and make sure your car has a full tank of gas.

More: Kiplinger's.


An historic meeting

"I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter."

-- Winston Churchill



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Free admission: May 27, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Active-duty members of the military and their immediate family will be able to get free admission to the attraction for general garden admission. More: MagnoliaPlantation.com.

(NEW) JAC Jazz Series: May 29 - June 7, 493 King Street, Charleston. Check out the Jazz Artists of Charleston's sixth annual jazz series here for times and prices: http://www.CharlestonJazz.com

(NEW) Home is Where the Art Is: May 30 to June 9, 70 Warren Street, Charleston. Curators have outfitted their home for a show of the art of Tim Parsons and Jessica Charlesworth. More info.

Conversation with West Fraser: 6 p.m., June 3, Preservation Society of Charleston Book and Gift Shop, 147 King Street, Charleston. Lowcountry traditionalist painter West Fraser will offer his thoughts on Charleston, his style and more. Reception starts 30 minutes before the lecture. $15 for members/$20 others. More: PreservationSociety.org

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.


Nighttime at the Museum: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., June 7, Charleston Museum, Meeting Street, Charleston. Bring your flashlight to the annual event as living historians represent many time periods. The event will help history come to life for your children. Tickets are $10 for member adults, $20 for non-members; rate is half of that for kids. More: CharlestonMuseum.org

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.

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.

Great watercolors: Through 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

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.


7/15: Kaynard: Mepkin Abbey
McCandless: At-risk youths
McGee: Monroe's new book

Williams: Avoiding foreclosure
Dewey: Preventing suicide
Hoover: Clean kitchens
Kulp: On breathalyzers

5/27: May: Hurricane prep lessons
Home converted into gallery
Roper Rehab hosts singer
White, Vinson: Digital library

4/29: Greenberg: Not insurmountable
Harleston: Transportation tax
Heister: How indigo used
Heister: Indigo's history
Angstadt: Manatees

3/25: Benson, Noble: Envision SC
3/18: Hedden: Walking tours
Koroglu: Dervishes
Richards: Teddy Bear Picnic

Thomas: Storytelling event
Logo contest
Anderson: 2-1-1's 10th
Colwell: Teen pregnancy

1/28: Ross: Root of stress
Roberts: SEWE 2013
Begin with Books update
Vail: Jr. Achievement


6/10: "A furious barbarian"
Recovery of Keokuk guns
"Turrets are coming!"
Preparing to attack
Blockade is broken
Stono Rebellion

Charleston Christmas
"Satan's Kingdom"
Christening ironclads
Beauregard's return
Second Battle of Manassas
Secessionville aftermath
Battle of Secessionville
Robert Smalls
Preparing for the attach
Yankee in charge?
Lee and Traveller
Stone Fleet


7/15: Give brand to government
S.C. keeps treading water
Brad Taylor's new thriller

Brookgreen Gardens
New fee bring us closer?
Great new library service
On Robert Ford

5/27: Drum Island's piles
Southern Crescent of Shame
Sanford win, gerrymandering
SC to get more angels

4/29: Pinckney's heroic story
Cleaning up messes
Take expansion money
Sanford tough to beat
With no vision ...

3/25: Candidates spend $2M
Eating on $35/wk
Ads aren't worth much
Scary SC-1 survey

Old-timey customer service
New House Speaker?
Reject Riley tax hike
Episcopal schism

Nullification talk wrong
Tailgaters: Back off!
A lot to be proud of
Myth of big government


5/6: Revocable Living Trusts
Resources to help seniors cope
On life estates
Next step in health care


6/24: GoodBiz Summit
Getting ready to evacuate
Tax policies
On good policy
Heirs' property
1/28: Two conferences

11/26/12: Consumerism
Can we be a better town
Permaculture, more
Bank on Charleston
Did you know?
Payday lenders hurt economy
Waterkeeper event
GrowFood difference
Earth Day festival
Lorax Project
More gardening tips
Food Waste program
Energy from farms
Turtles that fly
Art from beach trash

Coal ash, more
Boeing's solar farm
More eco-tours
More recycling ahead


5/20: Birds, bees, butterflies
Signs of spring abound
Great local parks
What's new in Charleston is old
1/21: Blaze a trail in 2013
12/10: Great holiday adventure


7/1: Mosquito facts

Curbing mosquitoes
Twitter tips
Help for job applicants
Summer projects

5/27: Hurricane tips
Cleaning up rooms
Traveling with friends
5 on melanoma

4/29: 5 on Cinco de Mayo
Best in Charleston
Generous cities
Spring cleaning tips
Vacation ID tips

3/25: Park and play
On the menu
Still no response
No response

2/25: Five on storytelling
Earth Day duties
For the heart
Home energy tips

Cold water boating
On Ted Stern
SMART goals
Dealing with email



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