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The main branch of the Charleston County Public Library will have another big book sale Friday through Sunday. The sale, organized by the Charleston Friends of the Library, offers great bargains on books, DVDs and CDs. Admission is free to the event at 68 Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston. Doors open at 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday and a 2 p.m. Sunday. Also in today's issue below, columnist Andy Brack outlines a great new way that the library is serving the Charleston area. (Photo provided.)

Issue 5.32 | Monday, June 10, 2013
Picking fresh tomatoes yet?

FOCUS How to make your kitchen cleaner
BRACK New great offering from library
SC AT WAR "A furious barbarian"
GOOD NEWS Cleanup, seminar, history fair
HISTORY Clemson Extension Service
SPOTLIGHT Florence Crittendon Programs
FEEDBACK Send us your thoughts
BROADUS Mystery photo
THE LIST Help for job seekers
QUOTE A turtle on a post
CALENDAR This week ... and next

How to make your kitchen cleaner
Clemson Extension Service
Reprinted with permission

JUNE 10, 2013 -- We all know that cleanliness in the kitchen is crucial for the prevention of foodborne illness. Constant cleaning and sanitation of counters, appliances and utensils is a requirement.

While most of us are good at keeping the obvious kitchen items clean, there may be germs lurking in places that you haven't thought about. A recent study by NSF International revealed the "germiest" kitchen items to be:

  • Refrigerator vegetable and meat compartments;
  • Refrigerator water and ice dispensers;
  • Blender gaskets;
  • Can openers;
  • Rubber spatulas;
  • Knife blocks; and
  • Food storage containers with rubber seals.

These items tested positive for the presence of harmful bacteria in many of the tested kitchens and is a good reminder that germs are not always living in the most obvious places. Bacteria that cause disease are called "pathogens."

Foodborne pathogens that are capable of causing illnesses include: Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli 0157 and Salmonella. The presence of even small amounts of these bacteria can make you and your family sick.

Effective cleaning in the kitchen involves four steps: cleaning, rinsing, drying and sanitizing. When these steps are properly followed, dirt and debris are removed and germs are reduced to a safe level.

  • To clean the "germiest" items in the kitchen start with removing and emptying bins from the refrigerator.

  • Unplug electric items and remove gaskets, seals and washable parts of the blender, can opener, rubber spatulas and food storage containers.

  • Remove knives from the knife block. Thoroughly wash all items with warm soapy water and rinse with clean water. Dry with a clean towel or paper towel.

  • Sanitize by spraying a mixture of 1 tablespoon chlorine bleach (6 percent) to one gallon of water. Let chlorine mixture remain on items for one minute and then air dry or wipe dry with a clean paper towel.

Daily cleaning and sanitation of the kitchen is necessary for good health. As an additional precaution it is recommended that you periodically clean the "germiest" items and also take a good look around your kitchen to identify other places that may be harboring bacteria.


Great new library service will save you money
By ANDY BRACK, editor and publisher

JUNE 10, 2013 -- If you haven't checked out the Charleston County Public Library on the Web, you might not realize what you're missing.

For months, we've been downloading great fiction and nonfiction titles to an electronic tablet (a Kindle, in our case; but you can also read on your computer screen if you wish). Accessing books online has cut down on trips to the library and exposed us to some works that we might not have otherwise read.

But the library's latest upgrade will save money. Now through a partnership with Zinio.com, you can download free, new issues of a wide variety of magazines -- from The Economist (which we love, but don't want to pay $100+ a year) to Esquire, Rolling Stone and Dwell. There's more than 150 magazines offered through the service.

And all you have to have is a library card to read them.

We spent an enjoyable afternoon over the weekend by flipping through an array of issues. We never would have thought about getting caught up in a book review of a new biography of the artist Titian, but the new issue of ARTnews had one that was captivating. Some other stuff we read about and learned:

  • How to build a shed (Family Handyman);

  • Honeybees have hair on their eyes (Mental Floss);

  • Teddy Roosevelt had a tattoo of his family crest (Mental Floss);

  • Former President George W. Bush is considered a "serious amateur" and pretty good painter (Utne Reader); and

  • The rural South is losing a lot of people, particularly in Mississippi (The Economist).

According to the library, there's no limit on how many people can read and download the same magazine, which means you don't have to wait for someone to "return" an issue or have to fiddle with placing a "hold" on an item as you do with books.

There are a number of steps that you have to go through to set up the Zinio account and get it on your tablet, but the directions are clear. By the way, make sure you access it through the library's Zinio portal because if you don't, you could end up paying for the magazines.

* * * *

In our most recent Statehouse Report column, we highlighted now the state legislature has been shortchanging South Carolinians for years. And we're the culprits who have allowed it by playing along like pawns and feeding a diet of anti-tax complacency to legislators.

Despite the fact that South Carolina has one of the lowest tax burdens in the nation, state lawmakers believe they'll be thrown out of office if they even think of raising taxes.

And because they're deathly afraid of taxes, they've actually cut state revenue sources time and time again to the detriment of a lot of needs. As such, South Carolina has been falling behind other states. Just look at a how the legislature has failed public education.

Over the last 10 years, state lawmakers have fleeced public education of mandated formula funding by almost $2.9 billion. Using the Great Recession as a crutch, the last five budgets -- including the one being currently developed -- have provided millions of dollars less in base student costs than required by state law. [Legislators did, though, provide required funding in the previous four cycles.]

Last month, Statehouse Report conducted budget simulations with a cross-section of leaders in Florence and Sumter after presenting them an array of data ranging from education statistics to information about roads, income taxes and sales taxes. While participants didn't have political pressure on them to keep taxes low, just about every group came to the exact same conclusion: Generate more revenues by making a few budget cuts while raising revenues at the same time.

For the record, these diverse groups mixed with conservatives and liberals weren't shy. Their suggested revenue hikes averaged about $500 million a year with one group going as high as $1.2 billion.

Here are the kinds of things these groups suggested increasing: Raising the cigarette tax to the national average; cutting sales tax exemptions on phones and electricity; removing the state's $300 car sales tax cap and adding a new income tax bracket of 8 percent on incomes of $250,000 or more a year.

Bottom line: South Carolina has a lot of work to do. Groups of informed South Carolinians quickly figured that out. Lawmakers should learn the same lesson. Continuing to ignore the problems like they did in the session that ended Thursday will fuel a downward decline of our society.

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


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!

Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. This week, we welcome our nonprofit partner for the coming year, the Florence Crittenton Programs of South Carolina. The organization, which got its start in Charleston in 1897, provides young, at-risk pregnant and parenting women with comprehensive services to help them become self-sufficient and responsible mothers. Its residential program is for pregnant girls and young women from 10 to 21 from anywhere in South Carolina. Its family development program provides home-based support services to at-risk, low-income single parents with children ages 5 and under throughout the Tri-County area. To learn more, visit online at www.FlorenceCrittentonSC.org. To see its wish list, click here.


"Carrying on war like a furious barbarian"
By DOUGLAS W. BOSTICK, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents

With the failure of the April 1863 ironclad attack on Fort Sumter still stinging, President Lincoln and his cabinet were contemplating personnel changes for the campaign to take Charleston. Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles relieved Du Pont of command and replaced him with Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren.

During the April ironclad attack, Union Major General David Hunter, who had established a foothold on Folly Island, was to cross Lighthouse Inlet to Morris Island to engage the Confederate positions there. Hunter told a junior officer that crossing Lighthouse Inlet to Morris Island was too hazardous. Like Du Pont, Hunter was relieved of command and Brigadier General Quincy Gillmore was given command of the army.

Gillmore revived his old plan for the capture of Charleston written when he was chief engineer for General Thomas Sherman. He planned to capture the southern end of Morris Island, attack Confederate positions on Morris Island, and destroy Fort Sumter, thus allowing the Union navy to reach the inner harbor of Charleston and force the city's surrender. Morris Island was a large sand island on the western side of the channel into Charleston. The island was 3 ¾ miles long and ranged from twenty-five to one thousand yards wide.

The Confederate army was entrenched on Morris Island. Battery Wagner, named in honor of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Wagner who was killed at Fort Moultrie, was strategically located at the narrowest part of the island where only 25 yards of sand separated the marsh on the west and the ocean on the east. One Confederate officer wrote of the battery, suggesting "nature designed this spot for defense, and there is no other site of the Island equal to it." Just beyond the marsh, 250 yards in front of Battery Wagner, was a sand ridge, a perfect location for pickets and sharpshooters. Battery Gregg was located on the northernmost tip of the island at Cumming Point, approximately three-quarters of a mile north of Battery Wagner.

General Henry W. Halleck, Lincoln's general in chief, questioned the approach over Morris Island versus attacking through James Island. Gillmore wrote in response, "The answer is simple. The enemy had more troops available for the defense of Charleston than we had for the attack." Gillmore, however, was wrong. He had 11,500 troops assembled on Folly and Seabrook Islands ready to assault Charleston, while Beauregard only had 5,841 troops to defend the region. The defeat at Secessionville in 1862 left the Union army overcautious about traversing James Island to capture Charleston. Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard anticipated that the Union army would move from Folly Island to Morris Island and, from there, attempt to capture Fort Sumter. He assessed, "They will find that to be a piece of folly."

Gilmore at tent on Folly Beach.

When Beauregard learned that Gillmore had replaced Hunter, he decided to write to the Union general to express his hopes for the gentlemanly and appropriate conduct of the Union army in the coming fight. In a lengthy letter, Beauregard wrote, "In the interest of humanity, it seems to be my duty to address you, with a view of effecting some understanding as to the future conduct of the war in this quarter." Beauregard continued to detail acts committed by the Union army while commanded by Hunter that he regarded as violations of the established rules of warfare. These violations included the burning of Bluffton, South Carolina; the destruction and looting of Darien, Georgia; and the burning of Jacksonville, Florida.

Beauregard quoted and directed Gillmore's attention to the Law of Nations, written by Swiss legal philosopher Emmerich de Vattel in 1758. Vattel's work guided the work of the American founders when drafting the United States Constitution. His guidelines pertaining to the proper conduct of war were long regarded as a guideline for civilized nations. Beauregard asserted that to destroy or ravage the country of one's enemy and attack noncombatants was, in the words of Vattel, the "result of hatred and fury…Savage and monstrous excess…the belligerent who wages war in that manner must justly be regarded as carrying on war like a furious barbarian."

As the city had done every year since 1776, on June 28, 1863, Charleston celebrated Carolina Day, the defeat of the British fleet at Fort Sullivan and the British army at Breach Inlet. Now, almost a hundred years later, another enemy had arrived by the sea, and Charleston prepared to face the threat.

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.

Folly Beach cleanup, celebration to be Saturday

An effort to keep Folly Beach "barefoot friendly" will start at 3 p.m. Saturday during the a public beach cleanup and celebration as part of the Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project.

The Barefoot Wine Beach Rescue Project, now in its seventh year, helps keep beaches, rivers and lakes across America "barefoot friendly." In 2013, Barefoot Wine and the Surfrider Foundation, along with community volunteers, are embarking on a tour of 15 cleanups nationwide, stopping in Folly Beach. Following the cleanup, volunteers 21+ are invited to attend a Surfrider-hosted celebration featuring Barefoot Wine & Bubbly and surf-inspired fare.

The beach cleanup will start Saturday at the beach access spot on 2nd Street East (look for the Surfrider tent). A post cleanup celebration will be at the Folly Beach Shrimp Company, 11 Center Street, Folly Beach.

Share tips to become more successful at June 17 seminar

If you're looking for ways to drive profitability and improve technology at your small business, you might consider attending a free June 17 seminar sponsored by the county.

Charleston County Government's Small Business Enterprise program will host the three-hour seminar, which starts at 4 p.m., in the Public Services Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston.

The seminar instructor will be Karan J. Sorensen, president of a strategic management consulting firm specializing in technology solutions and driving profitable growth and operational excellence for corporate clients. Sorenson has served as an executive and chief information officer with Fortune 500 companies. Attendees will receive certificates and will be qualified to attend a second-level technology workshop to be announced in the near future.

The topics covered will include:

  • Plugged In…the Who, When, Where and What is Going On in Business
  • Social Media (the good, the bad and the useful)
  • Online Sales and Marketing (options, pros and cons)
  • Your Website (brand, image, commerce, to blog or not to blog)

  • Register and learn more online here.

Magnolia Plantation to hold history fair

Magnolia Plantation and Gardens will showcase more than 30 of the Lowcountry's historic organizations, businesses and institutions at a "History Fair" on July 6.

The History Fair lineup includes four research groups that study rice cultivation, African-American family ties, history and culture, and the workmanship of legendary blacksmith Philip Simmons.

The event is also a time to honor those who serve America, according to the attraction. On July 6, free garden admission will be offered to firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical technicians, physicians, nurses, and active duty military and immediate family. Valid identification is required.

During the History Fair, the public will have an opportunity to meet representatives of local organizations with proud and colorful histories. A staff member from each organization will distribute information and make presentations.

Online tool helps you shop for health care services

UnitedHealthcare now offers a health cost estimator to people in the Charleston area as a new way to shop for health care services based on quality and cost.

The service, myHealthcare Cost Estimator, is free to employers and UnitedHealthcare plan participants at myuhc.com and through the Health4Me app. It helps consumers find quality care while being able to estimate the cost of more than 450 common services with enhanced accuracy. In Charleston, according to a press release, there are significant price variations for health care services and procedures. For example, the total cost for a colonoscopy at hospitals in the greater Charleston area can be between $1,663 and $6,531. For a MRI, the cost ranges between $526 to $3,379 at local health care facilities

Estimates are personalized to reflect an individual's own health plan benefits, including their real-time account balances when applicable. myHealthcare Cost Estimator provides plan participants the ability to compare quality and cost information for more than 540,000 physicians and 4,500 hospitals nationwide.


Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service

The Cooperative Extension Service was created on May 8, 1914, when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Smith-Lever Act, legislation coauthored by South Carolina congressman Asbury F. Lever. The act ended the rivalry between state agriculture commissioners and land grant colleges over the administration of extension work. In its place, Smith-Lever created a partnership of federal, state and local governments that worked to improve the quality of rural life by disseminating the latest information to farmers, homemakers and communities.

The South Carolina General Assembly accepted Smith-Lever by a joint resolution approved by the governor on February 12, 1915, which designated the Clemson Agricultural and Mechanical College as the state agency for agricultural extension work. The first efforts in South Carolina actually took place in 1906 with support from the federal government, the General Education Board of the Rockefeller Foundation, and by the state through Clemson.

In 1907 Seaman Knapp, head of extension work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), came to South Carolina and appointed two district agents and five county agents. W. W. Long, who came to Clemson from the USDA in 1913 to head up extension work, was the first director under the Smith-Lever Act. Along with Edith Parrott, state home demonstration agent, Long built Cooperative Extension Service work around a nucleus of workers appointed during the previous seven years. Agents relied heavily on teaching techniques developed by Knapp, who came to be known as the father of agricultural demonstration work. He believed that a demonstration farm using Cooperative Extension Service recommendations would persuade others to follow the same practices.

Under the same philosophy, the Cooperative Extension Service evolved as the public's information needs changed. By the start of the twenty-first century, efforts focused more on families and youth, while still maintaining a strong agricultural base and its traditional emphasis on economic and community development, environmental issues, food safety and nutrition.

Clemson's Cooperative Extension Service sponsors the 4-H program, which reaches more than 104,000 South Carolina youths through school and community programs, special-interest clubs, and camping. Offices are located in all 46 counties, staffed by 165 county agents plus support personnel and backed by seventy specialists stationed on the Clemson University campus and at Research and Education Centers at Charleston, Blackville, Florence and in Richland County.

Staff members are trained in disciplines such as agronomy, animal science, entomology, forestry, plant pathology, economics, and food and nutrition. Personnel serve as an unbiased source of information for families, agricultural and forestry producers, and food industry professionals, much of it developed at Clemson's South Carolina Agriculture and Forestry Research System.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Thomas W. Lollis. 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.)


Mystery photo

Readers seem to enjoy solving photo mysteries so here's a relatively easy one. If you are the fifth person to identify WHERE and WHAT this picture is, you'll win a pair of RiverDogs ticket vouchers. Send your guess to: editor@charlestoncurrents.com by Friday. Be sure to include your name and current hometown. Photo by Michael Kaynard, Kaynard Photography.


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.


Charleston Currents offers insightful community comment and good news on events each week. It cuts through the information clutter to offer the best of what's happening locally.

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© 2008-2013, Statehouse Report LLC. All rights reserved. Charleston Currents is published every Monday and Thursday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.


Help for job applicants

If you're looking for a job as a new graduate or you just want a new challenge, here are five tips that might make things easier, according to a new book, "Zebras & Cheetahs: Look Different and Stay Agile to Survive the Business Jungle" by Micheal J. Burt and Colby Jubenville:

  • Respond quickly to job postings and leads.

  • Show up in person and be early when you can to help make a good first impression.

  • Differentiate yourself from others.

  • Learn to leverage your past so you can demonstrate how you are adaptable and can overcome adversity.

  • Showcase your innovation.

    More: www.zebrasandcheetahs.com


Turtle on a post

"Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post, you know he had some help."

-- Alex Haley



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(NEW) Great place for lunch: Every Tuesday and Thursday through the end of July (except during July 4 week), 181 Palmer, Palmer Campus, Trident Tech, Columbus Street, Charleston. For just $15 per person, you can get a great lunchtime meal by student chefs with the Culinary Institute of Charleston. Make reservations here or phone 843.820.5087 for more.

Patriots Day Camp: 9 a.m. to noon, June 14 and June 28, Charleston Museum. Kids aged 7 to 12 can become a patriot for a day at this special camp. Cost: $25. Reservations required. More.

That Summer Book Sale: June 14 through June 16, main branch, Charleston County Public Library, 68 Calhoun Street, Charleston. The Charleston Friends of the Library will hold its big sale of bargains on everything from books to DVDs to help fund library services. Admission is free. Check here for times.


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.

(NEW) Email marketing: 2 p.m., June 20, S.C. Tech Academy, Coastal Community Foundation, Charleston. The academy presents a two-session class to help nonprofits set up a new email marketing program or polish their existing tools. Learn the secrets to creating a professional, targeted and informative email newsletter that gets attention - and results! More.

(NEW) Potluck dinner: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., June 20, Coast Brewing Company, 1250 N. Second St., North Charleston. Slow Food Charleston hosts the dinner to celebrate food traditions. There is no charge to attend, but guests are encouraged to bring one fresh, seasonal dish to share. Tastings of Coast beer will be available for $1 to $4. More: SlowFoodCharleston.org.

(NEW) Book launch: 6 p.m., June 26, Old Slave Mart Museum, 6 Chalmers St., Charleston. The museum will host the launch for Dr. Joe Kelly's "America's Longest Siege: Charleston, Slavery and the Slow March toward the Civil War." Tickets are $30 and include a copy of the book. More: 843.727.2165.

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.


7/29: Sheahen: Poverty grows
Ferguson: Plate at the table
Kaynard: Mepkin Abbey
McCandless: At-risk youths
McGee: Monroe's new book

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


7/8: Assault on Battery Wagner
"A furious barbarian"
Recovery of Keokuk guns
"Turrets are coming!"
Preparing to attack
Blockade is broken
Stono Rebellion


7/29: New poverty study
Engage in trade war
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


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


7/29: B Corps
GoodBiz Summit
Getting ready to evacuate
Tax policies
On good policy
Heirs' property
1/28: Two conferences


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


7/29: Beer shakes
Tall buildings
Keep pets safe
List recalibration
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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