5.36 | Monday, July 8, 2013
police chief reaches out to at-risk youths
JULY 8, 2013 -- North Charleston Assistant Police Chief Reggie Burgess hasn't forgotten where he came from and knows well how the choices we make can profoundly affect the path we take in life.
Drawing from his own first-hand experience he delivered a poignant and impromptu cautionary tale to at risk Lowcountry students participating in Carolina Youth Development Center's (CYDC) Freedom Schools summer enrichment program on June 25.
Burgess had been invited to our CYDC Freedom Schools to read a book aloud to youth (he picked "If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks," by Faith Ringgold, which profiles Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks) and answer routine questions about his favorite books and what it's like to be a police officer. We didn't ask for or expect anything more.
But the North Charleston native and former football standout pleasantly surprised us all when he spoke off the cuff about his own upbringing in a tough neighborhood, some of the bad choices he made as a youth, and how he managed to turn it all around and find success.
The vivid personal account of his own transition from misguided teen to responsible young adult sent a powerful message to Freedom Schools youth. At CYDC where our primary focus is preparing children for adulthood and helping youth transition into independent living, his story struck a chord.
Burgess harkened back to a time when he was a teen playing high school football, and his mother, with whom he had formed a strong bond and admired and loved deeply, implored him to come straight home after football games and avoid the streets at night, which invited trouble. He admitted that he chose to ignore this advice until one fateful night that changed him forever.
On this particular evening Burgess had stayed out on the streets for nearly four hours after his football game before returning home. When he arrived to the house, a crowd was gathered outside and there was an ambulance and flashing lights. Burgess rushed inside to find the person he cared about most in this world and who likewise loved him the most, lying on the bed in a severely debilitated state.
His mother had suffered a stroke.
"Who did this to you?" Burgess recalled crying in anguish to his mom. She slowly raised a weakened arm and pointed in his direction.
Burgess cited that moment as the turning point in his life, and credited his mother, who taught him the difference between right and wrong and the consequences of one's decisions, with turning his life around and molding him into the man he is today.
Thankfully his mother survived the stroke and has lived on to see Burgess get an athletic scholarship and play football at Morgan State University (Burgess even tried out for some NFL teams at one point) and rise through the ranks of law enforcement to become North Charleston's Assistant Chief.
Burgess concluded his story that day by advising the approximately 50 youth participating in CYDC Freedom Schools to "do the right thing" and "take advantage of the opportunities you're given."
"Be your own man or your own woman," said Burgess, who has been in law enforcement for 24 and a half years. "Pick your own destiny."
told Freedom Schools youth that it's easy to do the wrong thing,
Well said, Mr. Burgess. Well said.
* * * *
Carolina Youth Development Center is in its ninth year serving as a host site for the nationally- recognized Freedom Schools program. The innovative program with documented outcomes, which launched June 17 and runs through July 26, is built upon the twin prongs of inspiring a love for reading and fostering an enhanced feeling of self-worth among participants.
Colin McCandless is the PR and marketing coordinator for the nonprofit Carolina Youth Development Center in North Charleston which serves at risk Lowcountry youth through its nine residential and outreach programs. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Carolina keeps treading water
2013 -- Unless South Carolina leaders change how they do things, our state
is going to stay on the bottom of lists compared to other states.
again is clear in the new annual Kids Count report that showed the Palmetto
State dropped from 43rd to 45th from the top overall in its rank for the
well-being of children who grow up here.
ranking, however, doesn't mean South Carolina makes no progress. Today's
children are a lot better off than kids growing up 40 years ago. Schools
certainly are better, not only because most are air-conditioned but because
the curriculum is better, teachers are better and students have more tools,
such as computers. Our economic well-being is better because the poor
have more safety nets.
unclear whether child health is really better because of today's predominance
of junk food, empty calories and lack of activity around many homes. At
least teen pregnancy and infant mortality rates have been dropping of
late, which indicates positive change. And, people in South Carolina have
access to a lot more sophisticated medicines, research and tools, such
as MRIs, than they did a half century ago.
story isn't all bad when you look at how South Carolina is compared to
how it was many years ago. But the state's dysfunctions show up when you
compare it to how other states are doing. Why? Because just as we are
working hard to make improvements, other states are trying to improve
too. And while we all get better, South Carolina doesn't improve enough
to get out of the cellar and away from the hangover of a century of Southern
neglect after the Civil War.
chief executive officer of the Children's Trust of South Carolina, explains
it simply: "Until can get that sustained commitment [for real change],
we keep treading water."
will take a visionary strategy, leadership and money to create change
that will help children. Just look at how South Carolina became a leading
manufacturing state. That didn't happen overnight. It occurred because
successive governors and legislatures invested in the technical education
system for decades to provide better job skills for unskilled workers
who had only known textile mills or farming. That's the kind of commitment
it is going to take to move South Carolina out of the doghouse and ahead
in rankings like the four criteria measured by Kids Count:
line: Our state leaders must craft a bold vision for South Carolina that
stops saddling children with conditions that cripple their future. To
get off of the bottom of lists, we have to have exponential progress,
not incremental change.
Enjoyed column on Brookgreen Gardens
To the editor:
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.
assault on Battery Wagner
the morning of July 10, the Union troops on Folly Island and the Federal
fleet in the harbor channel opened fire on the Confederate position on
the south end of Morris Island.
three hours of combined army and navy gunfire, two thousand Union troops
dislodged the Confederate troops there, and secured the southern end of
Morris Island. The next day, Gillmore ordered an attack on Battery Wagner,
thinking he could quickly overwhelm the sand fort. The Union troops suffered
339 casualties in a fierce fight with the Confederates before they withdrew.
The Confederates only had 12 casualties in Battery Wagner.
as they neared the sand fort, a massive fire poured forth from Wagner.
Wagner's fire was supported by Confederate guns from Fort Sumter, Battery
Gregg and James Island. All of the Confederate troops in Battery Wagner
moved into action with the exception of the 31st North Carolina which
refused to exit its bombproof, leaving the left salient of the battery
undefended, which allowed Union troops to enter Wagner.
When the second brigade stalled, this left the surviving men of the 6th Connecticut and 48th New York without support. They were quickly engaged in hand-to-hand fighting as the Charleston Battalion moved over to defend the left flank. All of the Union troops obeyed the order to remove the caps from their guns and make a bayonet charge except the 100th New York in the second brigade. When the 100th New York reached the moat in front of Wagner, it lost its composure and fired a volley, only to other Union troops. One Union soldier later wrote, "Men fell by the scores on the parapet and rolled back into the ditch; many were drowned in the water, and others smothered by their own dead and wounded companions falling upon them."
Though a general retreat was ordered for the Union troops, fierce hand-to-hand combat continued for another three hours until the Union troops in the battery were killed, wounded or captured. By 10:30 p.m., the attack was over. The Union army suffered more than 1,500 casualties, including 111 officers. The Confederate casualties only totaled fewer than 200.
Beauregard was elated with the victory and, the next morning, he telegrammed General Joe Johnston in Brandon, Mississippi, writing:
Praise be to God! The anniversary of Bull Run has been gloriously celebrated. After shelling Battery Wagner all day yesterday [the] enemy attempted to storm Battery Wagner last night, but was gallantly repulsed with great slaughter.
CAPTION: The caption for the engraving: "The Battle of Battery Wagner as sketched by Frank Vizetelly, war correspondent for the Illustrated London News."
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.
New Charleston exhibit combines large-scale photos, poetry
"Past Presence - Works by Robert Epps and William P. Baldwin" will open for a month at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park starting July 20 to showcase the vibrant large scale photography of Robert Epps with the city-themed poetry of William Baldwin that showcases the iconic environs of Charleston.
Working at times in tandem, the local artists have spent the last four years exploring the way in which Southern culture manages to endure. Exploring Charleston's hidden richness through the photographs and poems, Epps and Baldwin create an atmosphere that invites the viewer to examine the sometimes fragile and elegiac character of buildings that have played a large part in the history of the city. Baldwin's poems, integrated with Epps' photography, allow viewers to open doors that cannot be accessed by something as tangible as a view camera. Through this mixed media exhibition, viewers can dive deeper into the emphasis that Southern culture places on its sense of loss.
An opening reception is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 20. Epps and Baldwin will host a lecture at the gallery at 3 p.m. Aug. 10.
The City Gallery is located at 34 Prioleau St. in downtown Charleston, SC, and gallery hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday, 10 am until 6 pm, Saturday and Sunday, noon until 5 pm.
Two new exhibitions open at Charleston Museum
Two new exhibitions at the Charleston Museum caught our eye:
Civil War: "Our Duty was Quite Arduous." In the museum's continued commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, it presents artifacts recovered from the Union encampment on Little Folly Island from 1863 to 1865. Accelerated erosion caused by Hurricane Hugo in September 1989 uncovered a wealth of materials from the Federal presence there during the Civil War. Most were remarkably preserved and now provide a rare glimpse into the daily lives of Union soldiers garrisoned on Folly Island. On exhibit through March 2014.
Fashion Accessories: Hats. This exhibit highlights hats, an essential fashion accessory for centuries. Before the 1960s, men and women never left home without a hat. From warmth-giving necessity to the ultimate fashion statement, hats for both men and women have taken many shapes and sizes. With this fashion staple in mind, the Charleston Museum continues its five-part accessories exhibition with Fashion Accessories: Hats. Installed in the study drawer section of the Museum's historic textiles gallery, headwear on display ranges from the accordion-folded calash of the 18th century and the stiff little pillbox of the 1960s to men's ever-popular top hat and Derby. On exhibition through January 2014.
Old Exchange Building, Charleston
One of the grandest and most significant public buildings constructed in colonial America, the Exchange and Customs House at 122 East Bay was designed by William Rigby Naylor in 1766 and constructed by Peter and John Adam Horlbeck between 1767 and 1771 on the site of the earlier "Court of Guard" and Half-Moon Battery. The original design included a cellar, a first-floor open arcaded piazza, and a large second-floor assembly room. The roof was hipped with a parapet and lead-coated cupola.
During the colonial era, royal governors were greeted at the east portico, the front of the building facing Charleston harbor. On Dec. 3, 1773, a large gathering of Charlestonians met there to protest British tea taxes. While the British occupied Charleston from 1780 to 1782, many prominent citizens were confined in the cellar as political and military prisoners. After 1783 the Exchange became City Hall and was the site of South Carolina's convention to ratify the federal Constitution in 1788. The building also hosted visits to Charleston by George Washington in 1791 and the Marquis de Lafayette in 1825. Later architectural changes included removal of the west stair wings, enclosure of the arcaded piazza, and stuccoing of the Flemish bond exterior. For much of the nineteenth century it served as a post office.
Threatened by demolition, the Exchange became the property of the Rebecca Motte Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1921. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Since 1976 the building has been administered by the Old Exchange Building Commission. A renovation undertaken as part of the American bicentennial observance returned the building to use in 1981. The Exchange Building was subsequently operated as a museum dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the history of the Old Exchange, the city of Charleston, and colonial and antebellum America.
We encourage you to check out our sister publications:
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
We hope you'll keep receiving the great news and information from CharlestonCurrents.com, but if you need to unsubscribe, click here.
© 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.
A Charleston recalibration
Regardless of what Travel + Leisure magazine says, Charleston didn't make the list of top 10 snobbiest cities. Why? Because fourth place went to Minneapolis/St. Paul, which is one metro area but two separate cities. That means there were 10 cities ahead of us. Therefore, a recalibrated T+L list of snobbiest cities:
Yes, Charleston came next. But doesn't it make you feel better to be 11th? And at least the mag got it right in naming us the overall top city in the U.S. and Canada for the first time.
Agreements start arguments
"There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement."
Insert your email address and click subscribe for free.
(NEW) Reggae Concert Series: 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., July 13, James Island County Park. De Lions of Jahwill offer an evening of live reggae music Food, beverages, and souvenirs will be available for purchase. Outside alcohol and coolers are prohibited. Advance tickets will not be sold.: $8; free for Gold Pass Holders and ages 12 and under.
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.
(NEW) Main Street USA: 6:30 p.m., July 18, Trident Technical College main campus, 7000 Rivers Ave., North Charleston. Celebrate summertime in America with Trident Technical College's Main Street USA program. Food, refreshments, ice cream sundaes, jazz and more. To request a free ticket or for more information, call TTC's Student Activities office at 843.574.6012.
Book sale, John's
Island: Starting at 9 a.m. on July 26 and 27. The Charleston
Friends of the Library will present the John's Island Branch Book Sale
at the John's Island Regional Branch, 3531 Maybank Highway, Charleston.
Great deals to be had on books and other media. More.
(NEW) Monroe to have signing: 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., July 28, Lowcountry Artists Gallery, 148 King Street, Charleston. Local nationally-acclaimed novelist Mary Alice Monroe will have a book signing of "The Summer Girls," which was reviewed July 1 in this publication. 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
2013 Showhouse: Open at various times now through Oct. 20.
The magazine's newly-constructed home along the Wando River on Daniel
Island is open for tours with a portion of the $15 ticket proceeds to
info and times here.
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.
Angel of Death