5.42 | Monday, Aug. 19, 2013
ways for kids to give back in our community
AUG. 19, 2013 -- I started my blog, Pluff Mud Kids, in September 2012 as a means of sharing information relevant to places and activities that foster a healthy and educational childhood for our children. It is a privilege to investigate each and every place we highlight and my children and I never take these experiences for granted. We are aware that not all children have access to such a childhood.
On more than one occasion, PMK readers have reached out to me with questions regarding ways our children can help within our community -- most especially ways our children can volunteer their time to help those less fortunate. Often our children are still too young to meet the guidelines of the age requirement of a given organization's volunteer status.
There are ways to work around that so your child can still be a big force as a volunteer in our community. Here are a few of my favorite ways for local kids to reach out and help others:
need to stop pulling wool over our eyes
Lawmakers last week touted a Tax Foundation study that showed South Carolina government spending in real dollars grew 16.8 percent over the 10 years from 2001 to 2011 -- the third lowest rate in the country.
"South Carolina isn't just leading the nation in restraining government growth but is helping to set a new national standard for how fiscally conservative states should handle taxpayers' money," House Speaker Bobby Harrell said in a press release.
But what legislative leaders are doing to the state isn't fiscal conservativism or being frugal. They're playing fast and loose with numbers. They pass all sorts of tax cuts -- $28.8 billion since 1995, according to Harrell -- without really sharing the true long-term impact on state government.
In the short term, tax cuts sound good and get legislators re-elected. But this approach to government is irresponsible because it is gutting the foundations of the everyday, meaningful services that people rely on.
Just look at state government's real spending numbers, as outlined in a historical analysis by the State Budget and Control Board. From 2001 to 2012 in dollars not adjusted for inflation, the state's spending in 2012 was $5.5 billion -- only 1.7 percent more than in 2001. If these numbers were adjusted for inflation, they'd show that state government actually spent less last year than at the turn of the new century.
what happens if you factor in public education and Medicaid, the two largest
parts of the state budget:
What's mind boggling is that because overall state spending has been virtually flat as education rose some and Medicaid rose a lot, the result to the rest of state government has been cataclysmic. All of the other agencies in state government suffered an overall cut in state spending of more than 27 percent -- from $2.6 billion in 2001 to $1.89 billion in 2012.
Those kind of cuts have impacts. They're why the bridges and roads are crumbling. They're why regulatory oversight of our special places is slipping. They're why tuberculosis outbreaks happen. They're why prisons are full and our crime rate is high.
"It's penny wise and pound foolish," said Clemson economist Holley Ulbrich, a recognized expert on state government funding. "They are seriously neglecting the responsibilities of state government for basic state services, public education, public safety, higher education and infrastructure."
University of South Carolina political scientist Mark Tompkins echoed the short-sightedness of trying to have state government for nothing. Not keeping up our government infrastructure and programs hurts us in the long run, he said.
"We're giving up our long-term advantage, to some degree, by not taking care of the many resources we have here -- the human resources and our natural resources," he said. "In the long term, there's a bill to be paid and if we don't take care of these resources, we're going to be uncompetitive."
Ulbrich and Tompkins are being mostly nice in their criticisms.
The truth of the matter, however, is much darker. State legislators simply are starving government without talking about or ignoring the long-term implications to the general welfare of people who live here. To score points, they cut taxes. To avoid scrutiny, they avoid debates on the real problems and impacts of what they do.
What's really sad is that these folks are proud about how they've undercut South Carolina's future. Perhaps they figure, "I've got mine and the hell with everybody else."
we have this fiscal negligence? Because South Carolina has no real plan
for the future. It's time to get one and stop letting legislators pull
the wool of the state's fiscal picture over our eyes.
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Society to unveil civil rights marker Sept. 8 on Johns Island
If you want to really learn in person how the civil rights era got a foothold in the Charleston area, you might want to attend the unveiling of a marker at the Progressive Club at 2 p.m. Sept. 8 on Johns Island. It's free and historic.
The Preservation Society of Charleston will honor the club's importance with a civil rights marker at its building on 3383 River Road, Johns Island. While the club is on the National Register of Historic Places, the building has suffered major damage and requires a lot of reconstruction work, according to the society.
Civil rights leader Esau Jenkins (1910 - 1972) started the club to provide civic education for area residents. Following the unveiling will be tours of the nearby Moving Star Hall, a rural praise house built around 1917.
Speakers at the Sept. 8 event include Jenkins' eldest son Abraham Jenkins, civil rights leader Bill Saunders, society Executive Director Evan Thompson and more.
Installation of the marker is part of the society's 2011 Seven to Save listing of civil rights era sites.
Symposium to recall landmark case on right to counsel
The Charleston School of Law and S.C. Commission on Indigent Defense will host a major symposium Sept. 20 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that led to the creation of the nation's public defender system.
In the case, Gideon v. Wainwright, the high court overturned existing case law involving the conviction of a Florida man who accused of a break-in who was too poor to hire one. He was tried without representation, found guilty and sentenced to five years in jail. After the high court's decision in the case, the man, whose case was portrayed in the award-winning book and movie "Gideon's Trumpet," got a new trial with representation. A jury acquitted him in 10 minutes.
On September 20 at the Charleston Museum, some 28 jurists, scholars and practitioners from across the country, including keynote speaker Abe Crash who worked on the case, American Bar Association President-elect William Hubbard of Columbia and S.C. Supreme Court Justice Jean Toal, will participate in the all-day symposium. The event is $75, but free to law school students and S.C. public defenders.
Great market for minor league sports
As many people in Charleston have known for a longtime, minor league baseball is at its best in Charleston with the local RiverDogs, where you can get great food that's recognized nationally and a great time during any game.
Journal, one of the nation's top authorities on the business side
of sports, says the Holy City is the nation's 11th best minor league market
in the country.
know we live in a great sports area and this SportsBusiness Journal article
confirms it," RiverDogs General Manager Dave Echols said in a press
the City of Charleston and our facility (Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park) rank
high in a multitude of polls, we, as the RiverDogs, take pride in that
we listen intently to our fans and try to provide them with a wholesome,
to SBJ, the ranking is determined by fan base, tenured clubs and
the economy. This year, researchers analyzed 235 markets, 47 leagues,
408 teams, 249.8 million in total minor league attendance, and 2.64 billion
in construction at 50 new or extensively renovated venues.
includes the Lowcountry's minor league teams that include the Charleston
RiverDogs, the South Carolina Stingrays and the Charleston Battery.
project measures what market best supports its minor league teams through
thick and thin," said SportsBusiness Journal research director David
Broughton, who has spearheaded this study since creating it in 2005.
SC Bar Foundation awards more than $125,000 in local grants
The South Carolina Bar Foundation has awarded $129,000 in grants to three local groups supporting civil legal aid and other projects. Among the recipients:
The Foundation awarded a total of $1.88 million in grants across the state this year, according to a press release.
God's Back: Gullah Memories
2013 -- I was born in Augusta, Ga., and lived there during the 1950s and
most of the 1960s. When I started reading "Behind God's Back,"
it brought back a lot of memories of quickly changing times.
James Louis Petigru
James Louis Petigru was born near Abbeville on May 10, 1789, the eldest child of William Pettigrew, a farmer, and his wife, Louise Gibert, a well-educated Huguenot. He attended Moses Waddel's Willington Academy, graduated from South Carolina College in 1809, and taught at Beaufort College while he read law. Admitted to the bar in 1812 shortly after changing the spelling of his name, he served as Beaufort District's solicitor from 1816 to 1822. In 1816 he married Jane Amelia Postell, with whom he had four children: Alfred, Caroline, Daniel, and Susan.
In 1819 Petigru moved to Charleston, where he became James Hamilton's law partner. Appointed South Carolina attorney general in 1822, he prosecuted all Charleston District civil and criminal cases, represented the state in appeals courts and federal courts, and advised the legislature. Upholding state authority, even as he strove to curtail the excesses of public officials, he also appealed to federal over state law when defending an army officer on slave-related charges. In addition, after a federal judge refused to rule on the state law that required free black sailors aboard vessels in Charleston harbor to be jailed, Petigru made no effort to enforce it.
In 1830 Petigru, a leader of the Unionist faction, resigned as attorney general and was elected to the state House of Representatives. Despite defeat in 1832, he remained a major spokesmen for his party until the repeal of nullification in 1833. In 1834, arguing for the plaintiff in McCready v. Hunt, he won a state appeals court decision that the nullifier-imposed test oath for all state officials violated South Carolina's constitutional ban on such oaths. Months later he framed the legislative compromise subordinating state to national allegiance. Despite a second term (1836-1837) in the legislature, Petigru's political career was destroyed by his loyalty to the checks and balances in the United States Constitution that restrained legislative power by judicial power and state government by federal government.
It was his preeminence as a lawyer that made Petigru a public man after 1840. Although he believed that common law must change in response to new social and economic conditions, his state's limited industrialization restricted his contribution to such change to a few transportation and banking cases. In Pell v. Ball (1845), however, he argued successfully that plantation property did not differ from other forms and must be distributed among heirs by the same principles.
In the 1850s Petigru's most distinctive equity practice relied heavily on arbitration and mediation to avoid erratic decisions from judges he considered inept. In court he appeared twice as often for the defendant as for the plaintiff. In cases involving abusive husbands, he served both rich and poor women, but his most visible representation of the legally disadvantaged served free people of color. As adviser to the British consul's campaign to thwart the incarceration of black seamen and when he rescued the free children of George Broad from slavery, he acted both behind the scenes and in court. And though he never challenged the institution of slavery, he defied public opinion when he successfully represented Reuben Smalle, an itinerant Yankee believed to be an abolitionist.
In recognition of his legal expertise rather than political conformity, in 1859 the legislature appointed Petigru to codify South Carolina civil law, a task he finished in 1862. His code, whose only significant substantive changes benefited free blacks, was not adopted until 1872, and then only in a reorganized form. Torn between conflicting allegiances to federal constitution and to southern culture, Petigru had an unchanging commitment to justice and order through law. His loyalty to a constitutionally defined balance of power never wavered, whether it was defending minority rights from majority incursions, checking legislative excess by judicial action, or contending that knowledgeable judges shape juries' findings within the confines of the law.
in his condemnation of South Carolina's April 1861 attack on Fort Sumter
for having set "a blazing torch to the temple of constitutional liberty,"
Petigru went to court to block the Confederacy's confiscation of absentee
Carolinians' property and its requirement that lawyers, like other citizens,
inform against such owners. Although he scorned the Richmond government
and deplored war-time civilian dislocation, Petigru mourned Southern battlefield
disasters, especially those injuring or killing his young kinsmen. He
died in Charleston on March 9, 1863. In an impressive tribute, city and
state officials as well as Charleston's Confederate officer corps followed
his coffin to St. Michael's cemetery.
Contest: Name that river!
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World's top 10 ice cream eaters
Only Australia outpaces the United States when it comes to per capital consumption of ice cream, according to this Web site (Liters per person in 2000):
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Stomp some grapes: Noon to 5 p.m., Aug. 24, Irvin-House Vineyards, Wadmalaw Island. You can celebrate the annual grape harvest and get some purple feet at the 10th Annual Grape Stomping Festival. Admission is $10 per car, with part of the proceeds going to Frierson Elementary School. On hand will be music, family fun, great food -- and adult beverages. More.
Be Brave Bash: 6 p.m., Aug. 26, Alhambra Hall, Mount Pleasant. The Center for Women will have its second celebration of Women's Equality Day, which commemorates the day in 1920 (Aug. 26) when voting rights for women officially became a part of the U.S. Constitution. At this fundraiser, the Center will offer great food and an open wine bar, as well as an interactive art collage, photo booth, live music and more. Tickets start at $25. More.
(NEW) 9 to 5: Aug. 30 to Sept. 21, Dock Street Theatre, Charleston. Charleston Stage kicks off its 36th season with "9 to 5: The Musical," one of Broadway's most outrageous comedies. For tickets, prices and times, click here.
signing: 5 p.m., Aug. 30, Le Creuset store, 241 King St., Charleston.
Acclaimed Chef Edward Lee, a Louisville, Ky., resident who won Iron Chef
America, will sign his new book "Smoke & Pickles"). The
day before, he will conduct a 6 p.m. cooking demonstration at Le Creuset
Atelier at Ripley Point. Tickets are limited. More.
Moonlight Mixers: 7 p.m., Aug. 30, and Sept. 20, Folly Beach Fishing Pier. DJ Jim Bowers will keep your feet moving with oldies and beach music during the summer's last two mixer events. Costs are $8 for Charleston County residents. More.
Shagging on the Cooper: 7 p.m., Sept. 7, Mount Pleasant Pier. You can tell summer is coming to a close when there are only two chances to enjoy live music on Mount Pleasant Pier. Palmetto Soul will play on Aug. 17; Coastal Breeze Band will perform at the last event. Costs are $8 for Charleston County residents. More.
OPEN Arts Expo: Noon to 4 p.m., Sept. 8, Cistern Yard, College of Charleston, Charleston. The Charleston Regional Alliance for the Arts and College of Charleston School of the Arts will host this fourth-annual event that's a sneak peak of what's to come from more than 35 local arts organizations. More.
(NEW) Boldorini concert: 4:30 p.m., Sept. 9, Bishop Gadsden Chapel, James Island. Raquel Boldorini, one of South America's most renowned pianists, will perform a free concert including music by Clementi, Schumann, Dubussy and Villa-Lobos. Earlier in the day, she will offer a master class at Charleston Academy of Music. More.
(NEW) Tees & Turtles: 11 a.m. shotgun start, Sept. 10, Daniel Island Country Club. This second annual golf tournament will benefit the S.C. Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rescue Program, which aids threatened and endangered turtles. 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
(NEW) Carolina Green Fair: Noon to 6 p.m., Sept. 22, James Island County Park. The fair will highlight conservation education through fun and inventive demonstrations, interactive play, music and experts. Enjoy beer, food and music. No coolers, outside food or beverages. More.
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.
on Fort Sumter
on estates, wills