5.44 | Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013
autism forum set for Saturday to promote awareness, more
SEPT. 3, 2013 -- Imagine you're a parent whose child has just been diagnosed with autism. (In the United States, autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability; 1 in 88 children receive a diagnosis.) Now, in addition to caring for your family, you face a challenging maze of possible supports, programs, and interventions. You have no idea how to navigate this new world.
Or perhaps you're an educator or advocate supporting adults with autism. The individuals you serve have tremendous gifts, and you want to offer them the best possible education and employment options. Yet you're struggling to effect change, in part because you haven't been able to forge partnerships with other local organizations.
Enter the Lowcountry Autism Consortium (LAC) which I nurtured into being with the help of Drs. Frampton Gwynette and Jane Charles, both of whom are with MUSC. We began work in April 2011 to gather key providers and services in the Lowcountry to serve those in the autism community in a collaborative fashion. I am a retired radiologist, longtime Charleston resident and the father of two young men on the spectrum. The LAC idea arose from my experiences as a parent.
The LAC supports the Charleston-area autism community by bridging the gap between individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) and high quality, regionally-based services. In response to rising ASD rates, the LAC provides families and professionals with practical, empowering information in an accepting atmosphere, and advocates for autism awareness, research and lifelong care.
A primary way in which the LAC lives out its mission is through its free annual Autism Forum, held at the College of Charleston. The Forum, now in its second year, brings together top autism experts to speak about the real-life issues that affect the community. That community is growing rapidly. Autism prevalence rates are at epidemic proportions. A recent CDC study revealed that the likelihood of an American school-aged child being diagnosed with an ASD increased 72 percent in just four to five years from 2007 to 2011-12. Increasingly, families are searching for the latest in autism research and quality services.
Keynote speakers for the 2013 Forum include: Peter Gerhardt, Ed.D. (education director for the McCarton School, NYC), Lorri Unumb (vice president for state and governmental affairs for Autism Speaks, Columbia, S.C.), Dr. Frampton Gwynette (pediatric psychiatrist for the Medical University of South Carolina) and Dr. Jane Charles (developmental pediatrician for the Medical University of South Carolina). The 45 autism experts conducting workshops include James Emmett (a Chicago-based vocational and disability consultant) and Barbara J. Newman (the Michigan-based author of "Autism and Your Church"). Workshop topics include early diagnosis and treatment intervention, social skills development, vocational and occupational training, residential care and placement, and long-term care planning
How you can participate
power of county legislative delegations
2013 -- The perfect example of South Carolina legislators saying one thing
and doing another is the decades-old struggle between state and local
rhetoric will fill buckets about how the national government is horrible
for forcing Obamacare, unfunded mandates and regulations onto the state.
They'll spout talking points about how government should be closer to
happens when the same logic is applied to the relationship between state
and local governments? Yep. The conversation gets much, much quieter.
because state lawmakers, for all their puffery, don't want to give up
their fiefdoms. If they truly unleashed local governments from state controls,
they wouldn't have as much power. All kidding aside, might that not be
a good thing?
early days of the Carolina colony, a central authority controlled local
spending and taxes -- first through a Commons House of Assembly under
the Lords Proprietors and later through a legislature outlined in the
state's seven different constitutions, the most recent of which is 118
the U.S. Supreme Court's "one man, one vote" decision in 1972,
states had to equalize election districts based on population. Gone were
the days of one senator representing each county, regardless of its size.
Gone were the days in which a county's senator and its state representatives
wrote the "supply bill," or budget, to fund government in the
county. In the end, the new rules greatly weakened rural power that controlled
the state for decades.
the General Assembly, following a constitutional referendum approved by
voters, passed the Local Government Act, which set out some ways local
governments could have "home rule," or set their own destiny.
Prior to this act, counties had limited powers to tax and issue bonds
for things like road building and repair, jails and local courts, unlike
municipalities which had broader powers.
local governments got new ways to operate with new revenue streams, the
state didn't fully pull back. It reserved many powers -- so much so that
one longtime government observer suggested that ever since the Home Rule
act devolved powers to local governments, the state has been trying to
take them back.
forward to today. Indirectly, the state still exerts a lot of control
over local government purses. Just a few years back, it significantly
curbed the ability of local powers to levy residential property taxes,
replacing it with sales tax revenue collected by the state.
cap a county's ability to be creative about revenue-raising," one
local government administrator says. "If the people don't like what
the county does, they'll vote out the council members."
State officials also frequently interject themselves in what should be county business.
make sense, for example, for legislators to appoint members to local boards
of elections, which are paid with county money? Had the Richland County
Election Commission been under local control instead de facto rule by
the state, maybe it wouldn't have had as many problems in the 2012 election.
make sense for county lawmakers to have board positions on Charleston
County's airport authority, the group that just hired a state senator
to run it?
continue to hold significant sway in local school decisions because changes
in governance, such as consolidation, have to go through Columbia. They
appoint regional boards. They hold delegation hearings to put agencies
on notice, such as a recent circus to complain about whether a privately-held
law school could be sold to a private company.
South Carolinians voted almost 40 years ago that "all laws concerning local government shall be liberally construed in their favor." People still want real accountability. It's time for county legislative delegations to finally get out of the way.
Thanks for the recommendation
For anyone who liked Gordon Bubber Jenkinson's novel, "River Road," get a copy of Jon Buchan's "Code of the Forest" ASAP. This novel is set in Georgetown, and Buchan, a media attorney in Charlotte, tells a terrific tale of SC politics, legal matters and journalism. I could not put it down, and at the same time, I did not want it to end.
And thanks, Andy Brack, for publishing Ross Lenhart's recommendation of this book in Charleston Currents. I wouldn't have read it otherwise."
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.
myths about Medicaid, assets and planning for your future
SEPT. 3, 2013 -- As we've discussed in past months, there are a lot of myths involving elder law and estate planning. Here is some more information:
MYTH: To qualify for Medicaid, you should transfer your assets to your children.
Medicaid imposes a penalty on transfers made, within 5 years of the Medicaid application, for less than fair market value. There are certain exceptions for transfers (i.e. transfer to a spouse, disabled child, caretaker child), but there are specific parameters to these. Further, there is no cap to the penalty imposed if the transfers don't fall within one of those exceptions. Therefore, I behoove you to consult with an elder law attorney before transfers are made for the purpose of qualifying for Medicaid or, if transfers have already been made, before filing the Medicaid application.
MYTH: I will lose my house if I apply for Medicaid.
Up to $536,000.00 of equity in the primary residence is considered an exempt resource as long as the Medicaid applicant has an intent to return home (see this document). Further, the house is also exempt if a spouse or a disabled and/or dependent child lives there. As a precaution, the Medicaid applicant should consider doing some planning in order to avoid recovery against the estate of the Medicaid recipient for monies Medicaid paid on his/her behalf.
MYTH: There is no difference between elder law and estate planning.
Elder law is longevity planning with a focus on helping you help yourself when faced with the devastating costs of long-term care. Estate planning is death planning with a focus on helping you protect your assets for your heirs.
Both areas of law typically help you plan for incapacity and the distribution of your assets at your death. If you are a senior and believe you have enough assets to privately pay for long-term care (which averages approximately $70,000 year), then estate planning might be right for you. Otherwise, you should consider seeing an elder law attorney to help you plan for all the things you might need while you are alive and aging. The laws and regulations for asset protection, estate, gift and GST taxes and government benefits are complex and ever-changing. Make sure your estate planning attorney or elder law attorney has committed her practice to the particular field you need.
Catherine LaFond, J.D., LL.M., of catherine e. lafond, p.a., is an elder law attorney accredited with the VA to assist veterans and their surviving spouses with the presentment of claims for Improved Pension and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843.762.3554. She is VA Accredited Attorney #19668.
Beach to get weekly Friday market
Beach will have its own weekly market from 4 p.m. to dark on Fridays starting
September 13, according to a collaboration of farmers, artisans and bakers
committed to a high quality, consistent and family-friendly weekly farmers
market. The band Katrina
Rose will perform at 5:30 p.m. at the market's debut.
which will be held at the city's River Park, will feature more than 20
vendors who will sell a wide variety of fresh produce and flowers, baked
goods and other prepared foods, hand-crafted bath, body and home products,
as well as various offerings from local artisans. Supporting Folly Beach
and surrounding local businesses is a priority for the creators of the
market and all vendor products will be grown, produced or crafted in the
Lowcountry or immediate surrounding area, according to a press release.
Local editor buys James Island newspaper
Charles Morrison, editor of the James Island Messenger since its inception five years ago, will also become its publisher following his purchase of the newspaper from Wiser Time Inc., publisher of West of newspaper in West Ashley.
Morrison's company, First Shot Publishing, LLC., took over operations on September 1 of the weekly newspaper, also known as JIM.
Wiser Time president Lorne Chambers started JIM in response to what he saw as a void of quality news coverage on James Island. The paper quickly became a respected voice for many on the Island and provided a focused advertising option for local businesses wanting to reach their community.
Since the very first issue of JIM was published, Morrison has been an integral part of the newspaper. Initially hired as a staff writer and distribution manager, Morrison grew in his years at JIM, eventually being promoted to the position of community editor, a position he has held at the paper for the last year and a half.
"I have been personally vested in the James Island Messenger for some time," said Morrison, who lives in Riverland Terrace. "Investing in the paper financially was for me, the natural thing to do considering how excited I am about the future of the paper and the future of James Island."
Morrison said JIM would relaunch later this month with a slightly refined look and new features. The paper will continue to have favorite columns such as "The Beer Snob," Andy Brack's political column "Brack Talk" (hooray! -- ed.) and "The Folly Buzz," which highlights happenings on neighboring Folly Beach.
5th annual Museum Mile Weekend draws near
Where in the world can you do all of this on the same weekend: scavenger hunts, see the country's third largest collection of miniature portraits, learn about the Revolutionary War, practice rolling musket cartridges and witness a musket firing demonstration?
In Charleston during the fifth annual Museum Mile Weekend.
special events and exhibitions are scheduled for the Museum Mile Weekend
from September 20 to 22. A single pass allows visitors complimentary admission
to 13 sites along and around Meeting Street in historic downtown Charleston
over the course of the three-day weekend. Many of the cultural institutions
will also offer special programs during Museum Mile Weekend. The weekend
Pass is $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. If purchased
separately, adult admission for the participating sites would cost more
than $100 for adults and more than $50 for children.
in 2008 as a cooperative marketing effort among non-profit organizations,
Charleston's Museum Mile features the richest concentration of cultural
sites open to visitors in downtown Charleston. Along and around the one-mile
section of Meeting Street, visitors can discover six museums, five nationally
important historic houses, four scenic parks and a 300-year-old Powder
Magazine. Once a year during Museum Mile Weekend, the attractions collaborate
to offer admissions with a single pass.
Charleston to add water taxi dock at end of month
A new water
taxi dock will become available to the public from the Waterfront Park
at Vendue Range and Concord Streets during the week of September 25.
"What a great alternative means of public transportation for our area. Our waterways have historically been used as a means for getting from one place to another," Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. said. "This transportation service will be valuable to the Market area, the SC Aquarium, Patriots Point, Fort Sumter Museum and tours, and other downtown locations. This water taxi dock will offer residents and visitors unique transportation which doesn't require a car to get around."
built by contractor Salmon Dredging Co. at a cost of $419,237, will be
a location for a water taxi to tie up and pick up and drop off passengers.
The gated dock is at the northeast end of the pier at Waterfront Park.
The dock is 10' by 50' and is ADA accessible. There was a dock previously
located near the Cruise Passenger Terminal for water taxi service but
due to post-2001 security concerns, it had to be removed.
for the dock were from funds received from online travel companies. After
going through a public solicitation process, a non-exclusive agreement
with Charleston Water Taxi, LLC, for use of the dock is on the September
10 agenda for City Council with second and third readings on September
24. Charleston Water Taxi also has a dock at the Charleston Maritime Center,
Charleston Harbor Resort, Patriots Point and Shem Creek.
World of the End
author Ofir Gafla wrote an amazing book that takes a look at life and
death and the relationships between people. The main character, Ben, is
an epilogist, who writes the end of stories for others who cannot figure
out a proper ending. He loses his wife in a freak accident and is so in
love with his wife that he wants to follow her to the other world that
he believes exists after death.
himself and wakes up in another world that is utopian in the way life
is self-determined. It is an amazing journey with many characters with
their own side stories and bizarre events that makes their world intersect.
All of us have a beginning, a middle and an end story. How much control
do we have to find the perfect ending? Is there another world beyond the
flesh and bones we know.
Carolina's rice culture
Rice cultivation in the South Carolina Lowcountry is often associated with large plantations worked by many slaves in specialized tasks. Such units of production were often highly capitalized, marked by economies of scale, and owned (if not directly operated) by white men and women of great wealth. This image is not so much wrong as incomplete. To be sure, rice planters were often wealthy, and many planter families were more or less stereotypical grandees. It is important to note, however, that rice plantations, even large ones, were not always extremely profitable (particularly by the late antebellum period), and that many small Lowcountry farmers grew some rice. It is also worth remembering that rice cultivation was concentrated in certain parts of the Lowcountry and that only a minority of Lowcountry farmers grew rice. For example, according to the Census of Agriculture of 1859, less than 40 percent of Lowcountry farms grew any rice at all.
South Carolina was unquestionably the leading North American rice producer for almost two centuries, from the late 1600s until the 1880s, when Louisiana surpassed the Palmetto State in rice production. Although data on total rice output are lacking until 1839, good data on rice exports existed from the start, and the broad parameters of the early rice period can be spoken of with confidence. Rice exports from "Carolina"-South Carolina and North Carolina combined-averaged 268,602 pounds annually between 1698 and 1702, growing to more than 30 million pounds annually between 1738 and1742 and more than 66 million pounds annually between 1768 and 1772. The vast majority of these "Carolina" exports originated in South Carolina, but a small amount of "Carolina" rice exports during the late colonial period originated in the Cape Fear region of North Carolina.
Except for small quantities grown in Louisiana and Florida, almost all North American rice came from "Carolina" and Georgia in the eighteenth century, and these two areas constituted the two largest producing regions until the Civil War. American rice production grew substantially during the eighty-five years between the Revolution and the Civil War, although rice exports stagnated after about 1800. Throughout this period South Carolina dominated production and exports, constituting roughly three-quarters of total US rice production in both 1839 and 1849, and about 64 percent of a much higher total in 1859.
The expansion of European trade with Asia changed things. As early as the 1790s European merchants were importing large quantities of cheaper Asian rice, and thus making inroads into South Carolina's markets. This development intensified throughout the nineteenth century. Between 1800 and 1860 cheap Burmese, Javanese, and Indian rice came to dominate European markets, and South Carolina rice was gradually forced out of Europe and into the Caribbean (especially Cuba) or into the domestic market of the United States. Despite increasing European demand for rice, US rice exports to Europe were far lower in the 1850s than they had been in the 1790s, demonstrating that American rice was becoming uncompetitive as global market integration proceeded.
With the coming of the Civil War, the competitive decline in the South Carolina rice industry became precipitous. Indeed, the United States as a whole actually became a net importer of rice from the time of the Civil War until well into the twentieth century. There are several reasons for this. Asian rice continued to undermine the position of American rice-including that produced in South Carolina-in global markets, as improving transportation and communications facilities increasingly linked low-cost producers in Asia to consumers in Europe and elsewhere. As a high-cost producer of a basic commodity, South Carolina's rice industry was probably doomed even without the Civil War. Even so, the wartime destruction of infrastructure, emancipation of the labor force, and the postbellum transformation of agriculture doubtless hastened its demise.
International competition cost the rice industry in South Carolina and Georgia not only its export markets, but ultimately its domestic customers as well. In the 1880s and 1890s American rice production shifted to Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas. In these states, and later in the Sacramento Valley of California, rice producers attempted to meet low-cost Asian competition by replacing labor with machinery. In so doing, growers in these areas-aided by tariff protection-rebuilt the US rice industry.
These solutions were unavailable to South Carolina rice producers. The swampy Lowcountry could not bear the weight of the new equipment, and investor interest and capital were short in any case. With the loss of its export markets and the establishment of more efficient domestic competitors, the southern Atlantic rice industry simply collapsed in the 1870s and 1880s. South Carolina, which produced almost 120 million pounds in 1859, saw its rice output fall to about 30 million pounds in 1889, a decline of seventy-five percent. Nature had a hand in things as well. Between 1893 and 1906 a series of hurricanes struck the rice coast, further damaging the decaying infrastructure. By 1919 the state's rice production had dropped to about 4 million pounds, about three percent of its annual antebellum output. As a commercial activity, South Carolina rice was dead and gone.
legacy lived on for a long time, however. Throughout its long history,
rice production was synonymous with the Lowcountry. Although other crops
were grown there-Sea Island cotton, indigo, naval stores-this ecologically
fragile and economically limited region was built by and for rice, with
the building done largely by blacks and largely for whites. Without rice,
the heavily black population of the Lowcountry had few viable options,
and the once-wealthy region withered into one of the poorest in the nation.
Only with the onset of World War II did the region begin to rise again.
The Lowcountry's economy in the early 21st century was based largely on
tourism, forest products, military installations and service-sector employment
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Best new restaurant in the South
Congratulations to Charleston's The Ordinary, named the best new restaurant in the South, according to Southern Living magazine.
Writes editor Jennifer V. Cole, who traveled more than 31,000 miles looking for great new Southern food, "When Mike [Lata] first opened Charleston's FIG with partner Adam Nemirow 10 years ago he made veggies with pedigree chic Mike has turned his attention to the fruits of the sea. I'm convinced his efforts will inspire kitchens well beyond the Lowcountry."
Cole also lists her
100 Southern restaurants, which includes these from South Carolina:
The importance of labor
"Labor was the
first price, the original purchase -- money -- that was paid for all things.
It was not by gold or by silver, but by labor, that all wealth of the
world was originally purchased."
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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.
Civil rights marker:
2 p.m., Sept. 8, 3383 River Road, Johns Island. The Preservation
Society of Charleston will unveil a civil rights marker at the Progressive
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.
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.
(NEW) Positively Paisley: Sept. 11, 2013, to Jan. 5, 2014, Charleston Museum, Charleston. A special exhibit in the Textiles Gallery will feature woven and embroidered shawls from the early 19th century through groovy styles of the 1980s. A curator-led tour will be 10:30 a.m. Sept. 13. More info.
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
Lowcountry rice: The Charleston County Public Library will offer four programs at county libraries in September that offer 10 things everyone should know about Lowcountry rice. Dates and locations: 6 p.m., Sept. 19, John's Island Regional Library; 6 p.m., Sept. 23, Otranto Road Regional Library 6 p.m., Sept. 26, Main Library; 1 p.m., Sept. 28, Mount Pleasant Regional Library.
Moonlight Mixer: 7 p.m., 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.
9 to 5: Through 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.
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.
(NEW) Fraser lecture: 6:30 p.m., Sept. 26, Room 165, Bond Hall, The Citadel, Charleston. Renowned textile artist Mary Edna Fraser will discuss her batiks, some of the largest in the world, followed by a book signing and reception in the Daniel Library. The library is displaying some of her large-scale batiks through Oct. 26.
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 estates, wills