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Issue 5.33 | Monday, June 17, 2013
Kick back a little; it's summer

FOCUS Coping with a particular sadness
BRACK Could a new fee bring us closer?
KIDS Three interactive adventures
GOOD NEWS Civil War exhibit, expansion
HISTORY Pawleys Island
SPOTLIGHT Maybank Industries
FEEDBACK Send us your thoughts
BROADUS Turtle treatment
THE LIST Twitter help
QUOTE Iambic pentameter
CALENDAR This week ... and next

Coping with a particular kind of sadness
Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy
Special to Charleston Currents

EDITOR'S NOTE: Today's subject -- suicide -- is particularly difficult to talk about in our society. But it's important to discuss if we are to help people who may be on the edge. We asked Chaplain Rob Dewey to provide his unique insight into this troubling and painful subject.

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.


For family and friends who have unfortunately lost a person to suicide, I highly recommend three local support groups:

Survivors of Suicide, which is led by Charlotte Anderson. This group meets at the Heartland of West Ashley, 1137 Sam Rittenberg, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

Compassionate Friends meets at 7 p.m. on the last Tuesday of the month at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 1393 Miles Dr., in West Ashley.

Bereaved Parents meets the second Monday of the month at 7 p.m. in the second floor break room at the North Charleston City Hall, 2500 City Hall Lane, North Charleston.

By word searching "suicide" on the web, many helpful articles and information is available. One of the best sites is the American Foundation for Suicides at www.afsp.org

-- Rob Dewey

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:

  • 38,364 people died in the U.S. from suicide in 2010, which means we lose a person every 15 minutes to this disease.

  • South Carolina lost 637 persons in 2010 to suicide. Our state has more people who die by guns in suicides than by homicides.

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:

  • Supportive family and community ties;
  • Skills in problem-solving, non-violent conflict resolution;
  • Cultural and religious beliefs contrary to suicide;
  • Access to effective mental health care; and
  • Restricted access to lethal means (having weapons removed from the house).

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.


Could a new fee bring us closer together as a state?
By ANDY BRACK, editor and publisher

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.

The notion 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.

Andy Brack is publisher of Charleston Currents and Statehouse Report, where this commentary first appeared. He can be reached at: publisher@charlestoncurrents.com.


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.

-- Janet Segal, chair, Charleston County Public Library.

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!


Maybank Industries

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.


Interactive summer adventures abound in our backyard
By LEIGH SABINE, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents

JUNE 17, 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.

I 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.

  • Charleston Parks Conservancy Park Passport Contest. Now through the end of June, the CPC offers a park hunt challenge for families. This is your passport to finding six featured CPC parks in downtown Charleston. Simply visit each park and take a picture of yourself at a designated landmark to post on the CPC Facebook or Twitter page. Once you post all six parks, you are eligible to win a great prize pack chosen monthly through June. We discovered a new park this year that we never knew existed and have enjoyed seeing the many enhancements of these properties. Click here to familiarize yourself with the parks and landmarks before you go. Good luck and happy hunting! (Check Pluff Mud Kids blog for a glimpse at some of these parks.)

  • Chapel Street Park

    The Charleston Visitors Center Explorers Passport Club. Head to an area visitors center (check the link provided here for all locations) and register your child (0-18 years) to receive a cool passport that comes with a beach bucket and shovel. Carry the passports with you throughout the summer to visit area attractions for a passport stamp. Log in your visits via computer to earn points toward prizes you will receive in the mail. The featured locations are many and varied, so click here to review the complete list. We love the idea of scouting around the Charleston area to collect that all-important stamp while discovering a local hot spot! There is no expiration date, so take your time and enjoy this interactive learning program.

  • The annual Charleston County Library Summer Reading program. My Pluff Mud Kids have participated in this fabulous reading program for nearly a decade and it is always a summer hit that I highly recommend. Register your child at any area library and start logging your summer reading. This year, the goal is to complete 10 books to receive prizes (children may read alone or out loud with a parent or grandparent).

    To make your book lists more interactive, choose some local interest topics and then visit areas that build a connection with the theme. For example, read a book about the Hunley and then visit it or pick a favorite animal theme to read about and study and then pack a camera and venture to the Columbia zoo and let your child take photos of the animal in person. There is nothing like spending a day at the beach or the pool in the hot sun and then cuddling up in a cool room with a great book!

Incorporate all three of these programs and make it a power-packed summer of learning and deepen your family connection to your local surroundings.

Writer Leigh Sabine of Mount Pleasant offers a monthly look at fun activities for Lowcountry kids. It's based on her great blog, PluffMudKids. Check it out.


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."

Image is courtesy Gibbes Museum of Art. "Captain Charles A. and Sergeant John M. Hawkins, Company E, 'Tom Cobb Infantry,' Thirty-eighth Regiment, Georgia Volunteer Infantry," (1861-62) Ambrotype, quarter-plate; applied color; David Wynn Vaughan Collection. Photo: Jack Melton.

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.


Pawleys Island

Situated 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.

The decline of rice caused a rise in timber harvesting, and Atlantic Coast Lumber Company bought land on the neck. In 1901 the company ran a railroad from the river to the beach, bought or built houses, and created an employee retreat. Others opened homes to paying guests. Beginning in 1905, northerners bought river plantations as winter retreats.

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.

In 1954 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.

Pawleys 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.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Lee G. Brockington. 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.)


Turtle treatment

S.C. Aquarium veterinarian Shane Boylan, right, recently performed a live demonstration of a new therapy laser that helps injured turtles heal and get relief from pain. Sara Painter, co-owner of Loggerhead Apparel, holds a turtle for Boylan. Painter's company donated $7,500 to help pay for the new laser. An anonymous donor gave the rest of the money for the $24,000 device. See a movie that demonstrates the laser. Photo provided.

Hats off to Doug MacIntyre of Charleston who was the fifth to guess last week's mystery photo as the splendid sword gates on Legare Street in downtown Charleston. And so he won tickets to a RiverDogs' same. Thanks also to several readers to identified the gate too: Bud Ferillo of Columbia, Chris Brooks and Sean Kittrell of Mount Pleasant, Tina Arnoldi of Charleston and Deborah Getter.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.

Charleston Currents is provided to you twice a week by:

Address: P.O. Box. 22261 | Charleston, SC 29413


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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.


Twittering tweets of Twitterism

After the folks over at Georgia Tech studied hundreds of thousands of tweets by 500 Twitter users, they developed nine ways that users can increase followers:

  1. Talk about more than yourself.
  2. Engage with others by using @ symbols and retweeting.
  3. Be positive.
  4. Describe yourself fully on your profile.
  5. Tweet often, but not in bursts.
  6. Use hashtags sparingly. More than one per tweet is tough to read.
  7. Use good words. Twitter users gauge tweets on good vocabulary.
  8. Follow your followers.
  9. Tweet on a narrow range of subjects.


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.'

-- Calvin Trillan



Insert your email address and click subscribe for free.





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.

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.

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.


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.

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


6/3: Pensions for wartime vets
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


6/17: Interactive adventures
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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