5.34 | Monday, June 24, 2013
homeowners to avoid foreclosure
24, 2013 -- Retirement nest eggs, children's college funds, rainy day
savings, valuable equity in a home -- many South Carolinians have worked
their entire adult lives to build these critical financial safety nets.
But due to the lingering effects of the recession, most notably continued
unemployment and underemployment, many hardworking people who are responsible
homeowners and have been for years are concerned about paying their mortgages
and are often using every bit of savings to try and keep their homes.
in South Carolina, we don't believe that unforeseen, catastrophic economic
events that are beyond a homeowner's control should cost them their homes
or savings. Many of these homeowners -- our friends, neighbors and even
families -- could be eligible for financial assistance through the South
Carolina Homeownership and Employment Lending Program (SC HELP).
in early 2011, SC HELP is a foreclosure prevention program backed by the
U.S. Department of the Treasury and the S.C. State Housing Finance and
Development Authority. SC HELP has already assisted over 5,000 homeowners
in our state, helping to keep their mortgages from slipping into default
or foreclosure. Financial aid through SC HELP has provided a lifeline
for our state's families, communities and economy.
National Homeownership Month and it's important to understand that the
effects of widespread foreclosure are far-reaching: Families are stressed
and displaced; homes are left vacant, potentially resulting in increases
in crime and a devaluing of surrounding homes; tax revenues used to support
our schools and critical services are negatively impacted.
It is imperative
that we, as citizens of South Carolina, support the work SC HELP is doing
to slow the tide of preventable foreclosures in our state. Support begins
with understanding who qualifies and what kind of assistance is available
through the program.
to apply, homeowners must be faced with at least one of the following
If a neighbor, co-worker, employee or even a family member is facing one of these hardships and struggling to keep up with their mortgage, it is imperative that they immediately begin the SC HELP application process. Lenders begin the foreclosure process quickly and SC HELP can most benefit homeowners who seek assistance before the foreclosure process begins.
HELP cannot help everyone, even homeowners who don't qualify for funds
through the program can find local resources, agencies, assistance and
tools for their individual situations at SCHELP.gov.
homeowners all over South Carolina have worked hard all of their lives
to support their families, and in turn, SC HELP is available to provide
eligible homeowners with assistance that keeps families in homes and neighborhoods,
communities and savings accounts intact.
Gardens offers enchanting, marvelous outing
JUNE 24, 2013 -- One of the most enjoyable outings our family has had of late is a visit to Brookgreen Gardens in northern Georgetown County.
If you haven't been there, you might not realize what you're missing: More than 1,000 magnificent outdoor sculptures in formal gardens, a zoo with native animals in outdoor habitats, a butterfly house and more. Since 1932, Brookgreen Gardens has also served as an outdoor museum filled with majestic trees and blooms of all sorts of seasonal flowers.
But front and center are the captivating sculptures throughout the 9,100-acre attraction, reportedly the largest collection of outdoor sculpture by American artists in the world. Among the offerings:
Brookgreen Gardens got its start after a 1929 visit by the wealthy Huntingtons, who originally bought the four plantations that make up the property to be the site of a winter home. Soon however, Anna Hyatt Huntington (1876-1973) realized the area would be perfect to highlight her sculpture and that of others. Mrs. Huntington, the first woman artist to be elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has sculptures and monuments of magnificent athletic horses and other subjects all over the world, including Washington, D.C., New York, Connecticut, Cuba, Spain and Argentina.
A visit to Brookgreen Gardens is well worth it. As a bonus, your ticket ($14 for adults, $7 for kids) is good for a full week to encourage you to return if you're vacationing nearby and are looking for something to do to augment trips to the beach.
* * * * *
EARLIER THIS MONTH, two former gubernatorial candidates - one Republican, another Democratic - were evangelizing in Charleston about the benefits of a new political party for South Carolina, the American Party.
Oscar Lovelace, a Newberry doctor, and Jim Rex, a former state superintendent, say they're frustrated with how our two-party system fails to perform and, instead, ends up perpetuating the same petty politics that have limited the state for decades.
"This system is not going to improve if we leave it up to the duopoly," or two parties, Rex said at the Charleston organizational meeting. Lovelace added, "If gridlock doesn't work in your home or your business, why should we expect it to work in our government?"
Both men, who said they realized that they agreed on a lot more than they differed when they got to know each other, pointed to multiple problems in government at state and national levels: the corrupting influence of money, legislative logjams, career politicians, partisanship and the lack of real transparency and accountability.
$25 is more than you might think
To the editor:
$25 as a minimum state tax payment may seem inconsequential to you and me, but it's a mountain for someone surviving on unemployment or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or welfare. It's food for a week or more for one person - perhaps two children. We are just coming out of a horrendous recession, and it's dismaying to see so many attempts to demonize those in need (cutting Food Stamps, drug tests for unemployment compensation, etc.). I understand your concept, but in reality, it just piles on for those who are surviving on the edge - and those are the ones you are seeking to target (those most likely not to have to pay a tax).
Lots of folks not required to file
To the editor:
Many of those, especially people over 65, who pay no tax also aren't required to file. If they now must do that to pay a minimum, a large part of that $25 might be used to cover the cost of having the SCDOR process the returns, especially if people mail them in as I do.
By the way, many of those who pay no SC tax are those of us who have much of our income earned in another state. That's offset by all the North Carolinians and Georgians who work and pay taxes in SC. Will you make them pay a minimum? What about students who don't earn enough to need to file?
Those are examples that occurred to me in just a few minutes; others will have many more. In the 35+ years I've been preparing taxes, very few attempts at tax simplification have done anything but add complexities. That doesn't mean that I favor a flat tax, but it does make me sympathize with the reasons behind that drive.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. In this issue, we turn the spotlight on Charleston Green Commercial, a full-service commercial property management company that pays attention to detail, provides exceptional personal service and is committed to adding value to buildings. Offering professional property management, consulting and other services, the company strives to improve clients' bottom lines with superior service, accessibility, reliability and a wealth of knowledge of the Charleston real estate market. By blending use of proven contractors and contacts with environmentally-conscious practices, the company helps clients stay on the leading edge of commercial real estate practices. More.
Summit promoted sustainable businesses
JUNE 24, 2013 -- Last week's "Goodbiz Summit," sponsored by Lowcountry Local First is part of the movement to promote sustainable businesses that are succeeding and sustaining. Among the topics covered were how to create an impactful business, creating a local supply chain, "benefit corporations" or B-corps.
you missed it, check out this
Facebook page and make some connections of your own.
As Charleston grows, one of the things that can help that growth be sustainable and long term is to help businesses that are making a dollar, while also making a difference in social impact. Our business, in its third decade, has been part of that world for a long time. There is lots of room here in the low country to grow this movement, and we hope you'll use your dollars to help grow 'Goodbiz.'
IN TROUBLE? Publix is reportedly in a little trouble its support of the American Legislative Exchange Council. More. ALEC is working hard to turn back renewable energy and environmental initiatives at the same time Publix says they are promoting being 'Greenwise.' Not so much folks.
to get top French honor today
U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings is scheduled to receive the highest honor from
France, the Legion of Honor, during a 2 p.m. ceremony today at the Dock
Street Theatre in Charleston, as first reported Friday by our sister publication,
Friday is Carolina Day, marking 237th battle anniversary
Day, celebrated June 28 to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of
Sullivan's Island, is filled with events in Charleston and on Sullivan's
Island this year, the 237th anniversary of the event.
June 28, 1776, the 2nd South Carolina Regiment, under the command of Col.
William Moultrie, fought a day-long battle despite being outmanned and
outgunned by nine British warships. At the end of the day, the patriots
prevailed, winning the first victory in the American fight for independence
and preventing the British from gaining a foothold in Charleston for four
years. Also, the victory gave confidence to colonial leaders a few days
later as they considered the Declaration of Independence, dated July 4
but signed throughout the month.
Magnolia History Fair bridges past, present on July 6
More than 40 local businesses, organizations and institutions with historic ties to the Lowcountry will convene July 6 at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for a history fair.
"It is truly awesome that all of these organizations will be in one place for a History Fair," said Lisa Randle, Magnolia's director of research and education "This affords the historians, researchers and visitors the opportunity to learn about one another in a convenient and festive outdoor setting. Whether you are a professional or novice at history, history will come alive at this event."
Groups will offer information and presentations on rice cultivation, African-American genealogy and history, Native-American culture, military and Southern history, the workmanship of legendary blacksmith Philip Simmons and South Carolina's links with Barbados. A representative of the national heritage corridor, created by Congress in 2006 and dedicated to the preservation of Gullah-Geechee culture, will also participate in the day-long fair.
will showcase well-known names in education, religion, business, social
services, the arts and tourism, including Charles Town Landing State Historic
Site, a state-owned park on the grounds where the Carolina Colony was
founded in 1670.
At the History Fair, Magnolia will be joined by its Ashley River neighbors Drayton Hall and Middleton Place under the banner of the Historic Ashley River Plantation District. Randle said, "These plantations have been together on the Ashley River for centuries. Now they are coming together to tell their unique histories."
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.
has heard of Stephen King. I have read many of his novels but never one
like "Joyland." It took me back to being 21 again when, you
might recall, as a very confusing time of life. When you pick this book
up, don't have any other plans for awhile as you will not want to put
It is set in North Carolina at an aging carnival by the sea. It is sweet and sad, all at the same time. For me, it took me back to a kinder, gentler time, but it soon became a "dark and stormy night."
book about coming of age, lost love, found love, a boy and his dog. Are
you hooked yet? You will be from page one. It is one that will remind
you about how novels used to be written.
This was the site of the June 28, 1776, American victory in the Revolutionary War. Fort Moultrie I, the Revolutionary War-era fort, was replaced in 1798 by Fort Moultrie II, which was followed in 1809 by Fort Moultrie III, which served as a military post until 1947.
Fort Moultrie I was located on Sullivan's Island at the mouth of Charleston harbor. Construction began in February 1776 on the then-unnamed palmetto log and sand fort. A square fort with corner bastions, its walls were five hundred feet long, more than ten feet high, and sixteen feet apart, with the space between filled with sand. On June 28, 1776, Colonel William Moultrie commanded the half-completed fort, which mounted thirty-one cannons and a garrison of more than four hundred soldiers. In the nine-and-one-half-hour battle, nine British warships with almost three hundred cannons were defeated. After the victory, the fort was completed and named in Moultrie's honor. After the war the fort was not garrisoned and fell into disrepair.
Completed in 1798, the second fort was a five-sided brick, timber, and earthen structure with walls seventeen feet high and sixteen mounted cannons. Built near the site of the 1776 fortification, Fort Moultrie II was almost destroyed by a hurricane in 1804.
The third Fort Moultrie was completed in 1809 on the site of the 1798 fort. It had five fifteen-feet-high brick walls and originally mounted forty cannons. When South Carolina seceded on December 20, 1860, Fort Moultrie III was commanded by Major Robert Anderson, who transferred his command to Fort Sumter on the night of December 26. South Carolina troops moved into Fort Moultrie the next day, and on April 12, 1861, it played a major role in the bombardment of Fort Sumter.
Though heavily damaged by Union bombardments during the Civil War, Fort Moultrie played a key role in the Confederate defense of Charleston harbor. After the war, the fort was repaired but not garrisoned, and by 1887 it was once more in need of major repairs. In 1897 the fort was again garrisoned. After the Spanish-American War in 1898 concrete batteries were built and other improvements were made inside the fort. The army also purchased land on Sullivan's Island to construct more batteries and other structures, establishing the Fort Moultrie Reservation. During World War I as many as three thousand army personnel lived on the reservation. After the war it served as a U.S. Army National Guard and Civilian Conservation Corps training facility.
During World War II the garrison was increased and its defenses improved. While no combat occurred, German U-boats mined the harbor entrance in September 1942. In 1944 an army-navy command post was constructed inside Fort Moultrie to provide a single location to direct the artillery defending the harbor and control the shipping. The Fort Moultrie Reservation was deactivated in 1947 and its buildings sold to private individuals or given to the state of South Carolina. In 1960 Fort Moultrie was transferred by the state to Fort Sumter National Monument, a unit of the National Park Service.
Passing the gavel
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How you can help reduce mosquitoes
With afternoon rains
becoming more frequent, the Charleston County Mosquito Control folks are
spraying to keep down mosquitoes. But they say there are steps you can
take to reduce mosquitoes in your area:
Whipping them up
"Since the beginning
of time, the ignorant had always screamed the loudest, herding the unsuspecting
masses and forcing them to do their bidding."
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IN THE WEEK 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.
AND IN THE WEEKS AHEAD
Reopening of Folly Beach County Park: 9 am., July 3,
Folly Beach. An hour after the reopening, there will be a ceremony will
be the day to celebrate the stabilization of the shore at the park. Click
here for an update.
(NEW) Fish, Fun and Fireworks: 7 p.m., July 4, S.C. Aquarium, Charleston. The attraction will offer evening hours leading to a great place to watch Independence Day fireworks. There will be barbecue, local beer, music and more. Tickets are $55 for adults, $30 for children. More.
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.
(NEW) "The Practice Child:" July 11-21, Threshold Theatre, 84 1/2 Society Street, Charleston. What If? Productions will feature a world premiere production of Tyler Stuart's outrageous comedy that won the company's 2012 Playwrights Festival. Click here to learn more about tickets and times.
(NEW) Book launch: 6:30 p.m., July 16, The Rooftop Bar at Vendue Inn, 19 Vendue Range St., Charleston. Local New York Times bestselling author Brad Taylor will launch his brand new Pike Logan thriller, "The Widow's Strike," at this event. 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.