all that's left: main photo
5.33 | Monday, June 17, 2013
with a particular kind of sadness
JUNE 17, 2013 -- When a life is lost to suicide, a family and friends often are left bewildered that their love one has taken their own life.
Families, friends, mental health counselors and chaplains would do anything possible to offer a "life raft" for the person to not make that final decision of taking their life. I often refer to people who make this decision as being overcome by "pluff-mud" in that they do not see a way out of their struggles -- struggles they view as insurmountable. My heart is broken each time I, or another chaplain, respond to a suicide, for not only have we lost a member of our community, but a family and friends are left without their loved one.
The end-of-the-year holidays are often viewed as the time when more people die of suicide than any other time of year. I feel, however, that this is a misconception. Depression does abound more at the end of each year, but during that time, families, friends, civic clubs and congregations seem to look out for those at risk during this season.
But suicide knows no particular season. Our duty and privilege is to become more of a caring community during all seasons of the year, not just the holidays.
The Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy has responded to too many of the area's suicides over the last 24 years. My chaplains and I work very closely with the coroner, her staff and law enforcement officials. Every time we leave a scene, our hearts are broken for the individual who made a final decision that left many asking - "Why? What could I have done better? If only I had not gone shopping and been home this would not have happened," Children, spouses, parents and friends are never be the same. They attempt to move on, but there is always be a void in their life left by this person's confused mindset and their decision.
The latest figures on suicide from the Center of Disease and Control are from 2010. A few of the sad facts:
If you are concerned that a person may hurt themselves, then do something. Do not be afraid of asking them if they are depressed, and if they are perhaps considering hurting themselves. If they answer they are down and have considered suicide, you have a responsibility to help them access to further care. I would encourage reaching out to Hotline, which can be accessed by dialing 2-1-1 from any phone. Also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week is Mobile Crisis at 414-2365 and the Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy at 724-1212.
When in doubt, ask the person, and then reach out for help - obviously calling 9-1-1 if the situation is dire and there is an immediate threat.
How to help
There are several things you can do to help to protect people who are depressed:
The Charleston area is known for our wonderful way of life. My hope and prayer is that we will become an even better known for being a caring a community to those who are in need of our care, support and referrals.
a new fee bring us closer together as a state?
JUNE 17, 2013 -- Everybody who lives in South Carolina pays sales taxes. Everybody, directly or indirectly, pays property taxes. But income taxes -- that other sturdy leg of the state's tax portfolio? Lots of people don't pay income taxes.
Most of them don't make enough money. Or they make enough to be able to figure a way around it through the dozens of exemptions and tax credits that are available.
According to the state Department of Revenue, some 884,516 individual income tax filers -- some 43.1 percent of those who filed -- paid absolutely no state income taxes in 2010. Another 39,230 filers paid $25 or less.
In lots of ways, it just doesn't seem fair, especially since everyone benefits from services provided by state government. Seems like everybody ought to pay just a little bit so that they will have some "scratch" in the game.
So here's a proposition that's bound to cause some double-takes: What if the state added a new $25 per year fee for every income tax return that's filed? Two caveats: If you pay more than $25 a year in income tax, you wouldn't have to pay the fee. And if you pay between zero and $25, you would have to pay the difference until you reach $25.
Instituting such a filing fee would generate more than $22 million a year -- more than enough to pay for the annual cost of SCETV or the state library system or a whole bunch of new school buses. But beyond the revenue, would a new fee be worth it?
The left-wingers who still remain in the state might squawk that requiring a fee from everybody would make the income tax less fair and penalize people who pay nothing. And they would be right. Requiring everybody to pay a little in income tax would shift the nature of income tax, which was originally started as a "progressive tax" (not a political term, but an economic one) to require those who earn more to pay more to balance the regressive nature of things like sales taxes, which take away a larger share of the poor's disposable income.
And they would also be right in observing that the poor already pay a larger share of a lot of things in the state budget because of all of the fees associated with the criminal justice system, which the poor get involved with disproportionately.
But come on, shouldn't everybody be able to find a way to pay just $2 a month for state-funded services that they receive?
Just as left-wingers might squawk a little about this notion, right-wingers might be tempted to grin and think things like, "It's about time" or "Good idea. 'They' should be paying something."
Frankly, this kind of thinking is short-sighted. It would continue to foment the seeds of division -- "us" versus "them." Democrats against Republicans, the poor versus the rich, black against white, and on and on.
Remember if everybody pays a little bit, it will be a little harder to ignore people who have been ignored by policymakers for far too long. It will be a little harder for right-wingers to play the polarizing politics of "us" and "them."
So think longer-term about what this new fee could do. It could become easier to feel and observe that "we're all in this together," which might make it easier to work together on our multitude of problems, develop a statewide agenda and implement it.
of having everybody pay an income tax filing fee might still have some
kinks in it. But in the long run, it just might be a way to reduce the
combative, partisan nature of politics at the Statehouse. When everybody
has a little scratch in the game, we might work more like a team of South
Carolinians toward common goals, not a discombobulated group of partisan
hacks trying to score points with every policy volley.
Thanks for the plug
To the editor:
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, staff and customers of the library, thanks for your continued support [6/10: "Great new library service will save you money."]
Our library offers a zillion hidden gems and I am glad you discovered Zinio.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Maybank Industries, LLC of Charleston, S.C. With broad experience in commercial and government operations, Maybank Industries applies deep-rooted commitment to teamwork, reliability and personal service to provide innovative business solutions for project development, information technology, logistics, vessel design, vessel construction, shipping agency services and marine terminal operations, both locally and internationally. Maybank Industries applies a powerful blend of professional expertise to research, analyze and develop tailored solutions with thorough plans of action, combining a heavy dose of common sense to solve today's needs that can adapt to changing or evolving requirements. More: Maybank Industries and Maybank Systems.
summer adventures abound in our backyard
2013 -- Keeping young minds engaged in the summer months can be fun as
well as enriching if you know where to look for interactive, outdoor challenges.
have found that short bursts of time earlier in the morning before the
heat of the day sets in help to keep an adventure fresh and entertaining
rather than a hardship tour. Listed below are three tried and true local
activities that help engage the hearts, hands and minds of children of
all ages as we navigate through these hazy Lowcountry days of summer.
There's just something about a hunt for a place, landmark, or object that
keeps children excited and "all in" as opposed to merely being
along for the ride.
all three of these programs and make it a power-packed summer of learning
and deepen your family connection to your local surroundings.
Civil War photo exhibit ahead in the fall
The Gibbes Museum of Art will offer "Photography and the American Civil War" from Sept. 27, 2013, to Jan. 5, 2014.
The exhibition, organized by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, offers more than 200 important and sometimes haunting photographs from the war. It also depicts photography's evolving role during the conflict in which up to 750,000 lives were lost.
"We are thrilled to bring this exhibition to Charleston, the very city where the Civil War began," says Curator of Exhibitions Pam Wall. "These photographs tell a powerful story of our nation's greatest struggle, and the fascinating intersection between history and photography during this time period."
Trident Cancer Center announces $6.1 million upgrade
Trident Health will renovate and expand its cancer center in North Charleston by 3,500 feet that will add the area's first Trubeam Linear Accelerator, a state-of-the-art radiotherapy device that seeks to destroy cancer with treatments that last just a few minutes a day.
"Having all of this new technology available in one area will provide easy access to advanced cancer treatment services for our patients," said Ryan Clements, Trident Cancer Center Director.
The $6.1 million construction project will begin in the fall.
on the Waccamaw Neck in Georgetown County, Pawleys Island is one of the
oldest summer resorts on the east coast. In the eighteenth century rice
planters, their families, and slaves stayed in cottages of cypress and
pine near the saltwater to escape malaria. By 1822 cottages appeared on
the island, and by 1858 eleven stood on this four-mile-long, one-quarter-mile-wide
stretch of sand.
In the early twentieth century U.S. Highway 17, connecting New York to Miami, passed through the community. The Hammock Shop opened on the highway by 1939, as did restaurants and stores. Marlow's Store sold items ranging from caviar to flip-flops. Area residents once earned a living farming, fishing, logging, or commuting to the paper mill or to motels.
Hurricane Hazel destroyed many houses on the island, yet spurred an interest
in the resort. In the 1980s plantations were developed as golf communities
and many visitors made the island their permanent home. In 1985 the town
of Pawleys Island incorporated. Hurricane Hugo in 1989 brought major challenges
to homeowners and businesses on the Waccamaw Neck.
retains an "arrogantly shabby" uniqueness. Creek docks, porches,
and lookouts define its skyline. A mixed culture of natives and newcomers
and of affluence and poverty, Pawleys has strong traditions. The spirit
of the "Gray Man," a local legend, is said to appear to warn
islanders of impending storms in this barefoot paradise.
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Twittering tweets of Twitterism
The old iambic pentameter
You know, I used to say, when people say, 'How do you think about what to write about in the poems every week?' And I say, 'Well, I have to turn it in on Monday, so on Sunday nights I turn the shower to iambic pentameter and it sort of works out that way.'
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IN THE WEEK AHEAD
Small business seminar: 4 p.m., June 17, Public Services Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston. The county is offering this three-hour class to help you improve your small business. More.
(NEW) Shaggin' on the Square: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., June 20, downtown Summerville. Summerville's Third Thursday will feature dancing in the street with the Local Motion Party Band. Arts, crafts, restaurants and more also will be available. More.
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.
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.
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.
Hat giveaway: Noon, June 21, corner of King and Calhoun streets, Charleston. The Hat Ladies of Charleston will distribute free hats to celebrate National Hat Day. More.
(NEW) Restart your career: 7:30 a.m., June 22, Seacoast Church, Mount Pleasant. The Restart Career Development Community offers professionals who will give help to people who want to get back into the work force. Topics include social media tips and tricks. More.
Juneteenth: 3 p.m., June 22, Jenkins Orphanage, 3923 Azalea Drive, North Charleston. The Lowcountry Junteenth Association will hold its 16th annual celebration of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. More.
AND IN THE WEEKS AHEAD
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.
Patriots Day Camp: 9 a.m. to noon, 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.
(NEW) Uncle Sam Jam: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., July 4, Mount Pleasant Pier, Mount Pleasant. The pier will offer an excellent viewing area for fireworks. Dance to live classics by Permanent Vacation. Admission is limited. Tickets $10 in advance; $8 for Charleston County residents. More.
History fair: July 6, Magnolia Plantations and Gardens. The attraction will showcase more than 30 of the area's historic organizations, businesses and institutions. More.
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.
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.