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WONDER WHAT THIS IS? It's goldenrod, South Carolina's state wildflower since 2003. A common sight at this time of the year, it attracts a wide range of birds, butterflies and bees. According to SCIWAY, native Americans in South Carolina used goldenrod's leaves and flowers on cuts and wounds to promote healing. A tea from the plant's leaves also was used to make stomach cramps. Even more interesting: Thomas Edison experimented with using the plant's leaves for a source of rubber, which naturally occurs in the leaves. More. Photo by Andy Brack.

Issue 5.50 | Monday, Oct. 14, 2013
Break out your fall allergy medications

FOCUS County, schools and green teams
BRACK Time zips by: Holiday on way
SC AT WAR Shelling Fort Sumter
GOOD NEWS Hopper painting, award, more
REVIEW The Stench of Honolulu
HISTORY Mather Academy
SPOTLIGHT Kaynard Photography
FEEDBACK Fewer hyenas
THE LIST Learn about fire safety
QUOTE Making decisions
CALENDAR This week ... and next

County, schools partner to support green teams
Special to Charleston Currents

OCT. 14, 2013 -- Charleston County Environmental Management's Greening Schools Program has collaborated with Charleston County School District's Sustainable Schools Initiative to sponsor and support student green teams.

This new initiative allows students and facilitators to identify issues, make recommendations, and take action towards greening their school. The creation and formation of student-based green teams is integral to wholly achieving one of the Sustainable Schools Initiative's core goals of sustainable, healthy schools, as well as furthering its mission of educating students to become stewards of their environment and community. Student green teams tackle waste reduction, recycling, composting, energy conservation, health and wellness, and pollution prevention by educating and motivating their peers.

The program is intended for elementary, middle and high school students. Each school should structure and engage green team members to take on issues specific to their unique goals. Green team members provide accurate and relevant materials to students, faculty, and staff at their school, such as efforts to raise awareness about which items are recyclable and the benefits of waste reduction.

The responsibilities assigned to student members are dependent on their grade level and the goals of their school. Some students may monitor recycling stations in the cafeteria during part of their lunch time to ensure that items are being properly sorted. Other green team members may prepare educational presentations for their peers or work on environmental projects in their school or community such as vegetable gardens.

A waste audit is a good way to generate awareness and stimulate change in schools. A green team can perform the audit by taking a sample of trash from the cafeteria or a classroom and classifying it into groups such as: paper, recyclable plastics, compostables, and landfill. This informative exercise illustrates how much waste the green team can divert from the landfill and helps them set obtainable goals.

Each team's success relies heavily on a team coordinator who is responsible for selecting student members, coordinating with school administrators and their school's Green Liaison, as well as overseeing the implementation of programs. The team coordinator arranges opportunities for education and awareness and outlines the goals and responsibilities for each green team member.

Charleston County Environmental Management (CCEM) in conjunction in with CCSD has developed guidelines for green team coordinators and is offering support to faculty, staff, and parents by recommending guest speakers and providing educational opportunities for students, such as tours of the County's recycling center, composting facility and landfill. Additionally, the Greening Schools Program is offering green team starter kits which include T-shirts and reusable water bottles to incentivize student participation. CCEM recommends that green teams receive recognition, such as an annual award, for exemplary members. Another suggestion for school administrators is to offer age specific incentives, such as casual days for schools that require uniforms.

Green team membership should be considered a privileged opportunity. The development of a new skill set as well as practice in leadership and teamwork can empower students and increase self-confidence. Members also get a chance to meet other students with similar interests to build friendships and ultimately they have fun experiencing the satisfaction of making a difference.
Not only do student members benefit from the program, they lead their peers toward increased awareness of environmental issues, their teachers can utilize the program as a tool to reinforce lessons learned in the classroom, and their communities profit from the reduction in pollution, decreased energy consumption, and diversion of waste away from landfills.


Life seems to be moving too fast
By ANDY BRACK, editor and publisher

OCT. 14, 2013 -- Where in the world did 2013 go? It's already October 14 and we've started getting press releases for the 2013 Holiday Festival of Lights at James Island County Park, which starts in just three weeks or so. Yikes!

Some say time flies more as one ages. But perhaps a more reasonable culprit is the amount of distractions that exist now in daily life -- Twitter, Facebook, ads in every conceivable medium, email. For some reason, the media-induced pressure that we live through didn't seem to be around in the days before the computer. Just think back to how your parents or grandparents sat for hours on the front porch at the end of an evening and relaxed. Recall your childhood before your life got embroiled with hourly bombardment of media. Yes, it was a much simpler time. And life didn't seem as harried.

Studies seem mixed on the number of advertising messages we see daily. A study from about a dozen years back suggested that people see anywhere from 3,000 to 20,000 messages in a day. These apparently include every single label you pass when going through the grocery store. More recent -- and somewhat saner -- studies suggest that we get 247 commercial messages on average a day (Consumer Reports) to 600 messages (Business Journal Phoenix) to more.

All we know is that it would be great if things would just slow down a bit. Maybe the answer is in breathing, as the Korean master says in "Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins."

Some other assorted thoughts:

  • Big Lots: We don't know if you've ever shopped at this discount store, but we continue to be blown away with how much money one can save on brand-name items. A recent $50 shopping trip for pantry staples -- soups, paper towels, snacks, olive oil and more -- would have cost more than $80 in a regular grocery store. Big Lots has come a long way in recent years as it now offers much more than food and goods rescued from overstocked trucks.

  • South: Many thanks to The Post and Courier's Robert Behre for the kind and informative story he wrote on the Center for a Better South's Southern Crescent project in Sunday's paper. More below in Good News.

  • Ethics: Friday's commentary in Statehouse Report focused on the critical need for ethics reform in the General Assembly. An excerpt:

"The right time to fix the roof is before the storm hits," observed Henry McMaster, a former GOP state attorney general who co-chaired a special gubernatorial commission that made multiple suggestions to improve accountability and transparency.

"The government at all levels should be above suspicion or corruption in order for business to thrive and prosperity to grow," McMaster told Statehouse Report. "The people must have confidence in their governments at all levels. The best way to do that is to have clear, understandable rules that everyone can follow that send the message to anyone who asks that government in South Carolina is clean, accountable and not corrupt."

Hear, hear.

Andy Brack is publisher of Charleston Currents and Statehouse Report, in which this commentary originated. He can be reached at: publisher@charlestoncurrents.com.


More than hyenas needed

To the editor:

I enjoyed your article on General Robert, which I just read us in Free Times. I found his connection to South Carolina intriguing, especially since he wrestled with it at a crucial point in his life.

We need more leaders who have the ability to respect order instead of that pack of hyenas South Carolina sends to Congress now.

-- T. Michael Smith, West Columbia, S.C.

Send us your thoughts. If you have an opinion on something we've offered or on a subject related to the Lowcountry, please send your letters of 150 words or less to: editor@charlestoncurrents.com. Please include your name, address and phone number for verification purposes. We look forward to hearing from you!


Kaynard Photography

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.

  • Now headquartered at 114 East Bay Street in the W. Hampton Brand Gallery across from Rainbow Row in the Charleston Historic District.

Shelling Fort Sumter
By DOUGLAS W. BOSTICK, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents

After the capture of Morris Island, Union commander Quincy Gillmore was promoted to major general. Battery Wagner was renamed Fort Strong, in honor of Union Brigadier General George Strong who died of his injuries on the July 18 assault on the battery. Battery Gregg was renamed Fort Putnam, in honor of brigade commander Colonel Haldiman Putnam, killed in the same attack.

In October 1863, the garrison at Fort Sumter began remounting some of its guns. On October 26, Gillmore opened fire on Fort Sumter from Forts Strong and Putnam. Rear Admiral Dahlgren supported the attack with fire from the Patapsco and Lehigh. This action began the second great bombardment of Fort Sumter, which would last for forty-one days.

One soldier wrote of daily life in the fort during this time:

All that we can see is the bursting of shells, and the flying of bricks, and fragments of shells through the air, and our sole thought is how to keep out of the way of them. The continued cry of the sentinels "Look out" from the parapet continuously in the ear, until every sound seems to bear the same refrain. On yesterday one of the sentinels on post was literally torn into pieces by a shell. Poor fellow he never knew what hurt him!

Most of the top of Fort Sumter's walls and the gorge wall were reduced. Major Elliott grew concerned that another amphibious assault may be attempted as the debris fell outward from the fort, leaving the fort vulnerable to a breach.

Painting by Seth Eastman of Fort Sumter after the Union bombardment. Courtesy of the Collection of the US House of Representatives. To see a larger version of this picture, click here.

Theodore Honour, a private with the Washington Light Infantry stationed at Fort Sumter, recorded in his journal:

The sea-face to the fort is completely demolished, and in its stead is an incline of rubbish that will make it no difficult matter for the Yanks to land, and try by a desperate charge to fain entrance to the fort, but we are here to defend that weak spot.

On October 31, 13 men with the Washington Light Infantry (WLI) were killed at Fort Sumter when a Union shell forced the collapse of a roof that fell on them. Honour also recorded the events of that day:

The firing from the batteries on Morris Island all day and night was terrific; nothing like it since the last days of Battery Wagner, and we were certain that it would culminate in an attack in barges. The firing from the land batteries together with the enfilading fire from the iron clads kept up one continued roar of cannon & mortars, and it was estimated that 1,000 shot & shells were fired at the fort. It was computed by us that for some time two shells a minute burst inside the fort. . . . About midnight, a shell from a 300-pound Parrott from the battery on Morris Island or perhaps from one of the iron clads struck the end of the main girder to the room in which our men were sleeping and on which rested hundreds of tons of debris & old iron from the demolished east face of the fort, fell in upon the sleeping men. In an instant of time the WLI's Company A had lost 13 of their men, crushed with the falling of the rubbish.

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.


Hopper painting on exhibit

A masterful watercolor of Charleston by famed artist Edward Hopper is on display in the Gibbes Museum of Art through December 31.

"Charleston Slum," a 1929 painting on loan to the Gibbes from a private collector, is a result from a three-week visit in April 1929 by Hopper and his wife, Josephine "Jo" Nivison Hopper. During their three-week stay, Hopper produced work that became part of the artistic legacy of the Lowcountry and helped to define the "American Scene" movement.

"Hopper's visit to Charleston-though brief-was a productive one, and it underscores how significant Charleston was as a destination for artists during that time. We are thrilled to be able to include an example of Hopper's Charleston work in our exhibition this fall," says Sara Arnold, Gibbes' curator of collections.

In 2006, the Gibbes exhibited a series of works based on Hopper's visit to the Lowcountry titled "Edward Hopper in Charleston." Featured in the exhibition was the painting "Charleston Slum," which depicts a three-story structure in ruins amid the makeshift shanties and apartments of Charleston's African American and working-class ghetto. The house has been identified as 56 Washington Street in the northeastern part of Charleston called Mazyckborough, and highlights Hopper's command of urban isolation.

Regional data center Web site wins award

The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments has received a 2013 Innovation Award from the National Association of Development Organizations Research Foundation on behalf of the Charleston Regional Competitiveness Center (CRCC).

The Center offers a free one-stop data source on Charleston's regional economy. It is made available through the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments, the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Charleston Regional Development Alliance and the Trident Workforce Investment Board. The portal (CharlestonRegionalData.com) is designed to provide up-to-date economic and workforce information on the Charleston region, which consists of Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties in South Carolina.

"The Charleston Regional Competitiveness Center is a collaborative effort that we are proud to be part of," said Ron Mitchum, BCDCOG Executive Director. "The website provides citizens with the tools and information on business and community demographic information and is innovative and creative. We are honored to have received such an award."

Holiday Festival of Lights on the way soon

You can get an up-close preview of this year's 24th annual Holiday Festival of Lights at a two-mile, non-competitive Fun Run and Walk at James Island County Park on November 6 and 7.

The attraction opens November 8, the date that it will announce top winners in an annual Gingerbread Competition. An awards ceremony will be 6:30 p.m. that day. Registration is required by November 1 with a fee of $5. There are three age divisions. Learn more about the event and registering here.

Meanwhile, you can get a sneak peek of the festival's 700-plus illuminated displays and amenities, during the Fun Run. The race begins at 6:30 p.m. Race fees are $12 per person (ages 3 and up) until Nov. 5, and $15 thereafter. All participants must be pre-registered and have an admission ticket (not receipt) to enter the park. There will be no on-site ticket sales. Registration closes when space is full. Lost tickets will not be replaced.

Because much of the Holiday Festival of Lights is normally seen from a vehicle, the Fun Run and Walk is the way to go for seeing the entire light show on foot. Advance registration is required for this preview, so reserve your spot today before it sells out! More.

Learn more about the American South today

There's an updated resource available to you that's packed with figures and data on the South and its 11 states that may help shape your coverage of issues like poverty, unemployment, health care, education and more.

Every other year, the Charleston-based, nonpartisan Center for a Better South offers a Briefing Book on the American South to paint a picture of Southern states to put them in context in the region and among the 50 states. This month, the Center has updated the Briefing Book with its 2013 edition.

It includes 38 categories of data with more than 98 data points on each of 11 Southern states. Information is taken from an array of government and nonprofit resources to provide a statistical overview that highlights how the South's diverse economic engine continues to face educational, environmental, poverty, health and other challenges brought on, in large part, by a long period of neglect following the Civil War.


The Stench of Honolulu: A Tropical Adventure
By Jack Handey

Some may recognize Jack Handey from Saturday Night Live in the '90s, on which "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey" was a popular bit featuring hilarious one-liners between sketches. Handey's newest novel includes similar absurdist humor within a tale about two men who travel to Hawaii to steal an ancient golden artifact.

The Stench of Honolulu is a small book with brief chapters and an unreliable narrator. While it could be easily read in one sitting, Handey's humor works best when absorbed in small portions. Ultimately, the humor in this book is not enough to support a weak plotline with zero character development.

-- Charleston County Public Library

Find this and similar titles from Charleston County Public Library. This item is available as a book, audio book and downloadable eBook. To learn more or to place a hold, visit www.ccpl.org or call 843-805-6930.

  • An invitation: What Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us a short paragraph review of why you liked a recent visit to a restaurant or a book that you recently read. Send to: editor@charlestoncurrents.com

Mather Academy

Mather Academy was the vision of Sarah Babcock Mather. She went to Camden in 1867 and opened a school for African American children. The overcrowded school was financed with her money, and Mather sought to establish a larger institution. She purchased twenty-seven acres near Camden to build a school but soon returned to Massachusetts. The school Mather envisioned was founded twenty years later by the New England Southern Conference (NESC) of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church. As corresponding secretary of the NESC, Mather was able to enlist help in building the school. The conference provided funds for one building, and Fanny O. Browning of Connecticut provided $2,000 for a second structure. In 1887 the Browning Home and Mather Academy opened.

Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy

The school grew slowly in the 1890s. The curriculum expanded to include high-school-level science, mathematics, and language courses. Boys were admitted in 1890, and enrollment passed two hundred by 1900, which included thirty-seven girls boarding at the Browning Home, where they were trained as homemakers. By the early 1900s additional buildings had been constructed and a normal-school curriculum added. Enrollment reached almost four hundred students by 1920. In 1934 Mather Academy became an "A" class high school (one of only four in South Carolina) and a member of the Southern Association of Secondary Schools and Colleges. Mather's most noteworthy alumnus, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, was in the 1957 graduating class.

Mather merged in 1959 with the struggling Boylan-Haven School of Jacksonville, Florida, and became Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy. The school remained in Camden, but amid declining enrollment and shrinking dollars it fell into disrepair. Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy graduated its last class in 1983, and its buildings were demolished in 1993.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Linda Meggett Brown. 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.)


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Make fire safety a priority

More than 2.4 million burn injuries are reported annually, making fire safety something that should be on tops of people's minds as the weather turns cooler and people turn toward heating their homes. According to the folks at Trident Health's Burn Clinic, there are a number of things you can do to keep your family safe:

  • Keep space heaters away from blankets/curtains/stuffed animals and small hands.

  • Unplug electrical appliances while not in use.

  • Discard appliances with faulty electrical cords.

  • Protect your family and home with smoke alarms!

  • Be sure to change the batteries in your home's smoke detector every year.

  • And most importantly have a fire plan! There is a high level of chaos during a fire, it is important to review your plan of escape with your family before an event occurs, being sure to have an agreed upon meeting place for everyone to report to.


Making decisions

"It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong."

-- Thomas Sowell



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(NEW) Lippman to perform: 7 p.m., October 17, ILA Hall, 1142 Morrison Dr., Charleston. Singer Dave Lippman will perform some of his great hits, such as "I hate WalMart," at this free show. More on Lippman is here.

Family Fright Nights: 6 p.m. October 17, 19, 25 and 26, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. The attraction's fifth annual Family Fright Nights will bubble up from the swamp with Halloween games, prizes, a costume contest and more. Tickets are $10 per person or $40 per car. More.

(NEW) Book signing: 7 p.m., October 18, Blue Bicycle Books, King Street, Charleston. Sara Peck, store manager of the shop, will sign copies of her first book of poetry. The event also will celebrate the release of stories by College of Charleston professor Anthony Varallo. More.

Coastal Living's 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 charity. More info and times here.

Colour of Music Festival: Oct. 23-27, throughout Charleston. More than 20 events -- from organ recitals and chamber music matinees to recitals and special events -- will be held throughout Charleston during the Colour of Music Festival, which will feature all-black classical musicians. Check online to learn more about the breadth and depth of this event.

Bazaar: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 26, Christ Our King Stella Maris School, Mount Pleasant. The school's 62nd annual bazaar will offer entertainment, games, food, a cake booth, water blast, mystery bags, face painting, crafters corner, spooky wheel and much more. Free.

(NEW) Harvest Festival and Block Party: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Oct. 26, Olde Village, North Charleston. The City of North Charleston will hold this inaugural event with live musical performances, art exhibits and children's activities. More.

Oyster Roast: 1 p.m., October 27, Goldbug Island. East Cooper Meals on Wheels will have an Oyster Roast and Chili Throwdown to help raise money for the organization. Tickets are $30 each for adults and $10 for children over 2. More.

(NEW) Art on Paper Fair: November 1-3, Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston. The weekend event will feature the sale of prints, watercolors, photos and drawings that celebrate the South. There are several events over the weekend. More.

Harvest Festival: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., November 2, Mullet Hall Equestrian Center, 2662 Mullet Hall Road, Johns Island. The 12th annual Harvest Festival will feature a barbecue cookoff, bluegrass music from five local bands, hay rides, pumpkin decorating, lasso demonstrations and more. Cost $12 per person; kids under 12 are free. More.

Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival: Nov. 7-10, Sottile Theatre, College of Charleston, downtown Charleston. The four-day festival will celebrate Italian contemporary cinema and culture with several films and special guests. More info.

(NEW) Park Day Festival: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., November 9, Daniel Island. The annual festival will offer lots of family fun with a wide range of activities, including a mobile zip line, obstacle course, climbing wall and more. Online 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.


12/23: Simpkins: Meeting Mandela
12/16: Creech: Safety first
12/09: Heddinger: Arbor Day
12/02: Troy: Photo contest for birds

11/25: USC-Clemson book rivalry
11/18: Boyd: Remembering JFK
11/11: Weirs: Photographing cats
11/4: Frazier: Azalea talk at Magnolia

10/28: Kaynard: Slow it down
10/21: Gambrell: Changing education
10/14: Smetana: Green teams
10/7: Gress: More to do on equality

9/30: McCarter: Safe water
9/23: Diebolt: One Book program
9/16: Mercer: Civil War photos
9/9: 30th MOJA Festival soon
9/3: Scharstein: Free autism forum

8/26: Ringler: Chasing after a cure
8/19: Sabine: Kids giving back
8/12: Frazier: Bat lab
8/5: Hathorne: Kudzu bugs

7/29: Sheahen: Poverty grows
7/22: Ferguson: Plate at the table
7/15: Kaynard: Mepkin Abbey
7/8: McCandless: At-risk youths
7/1: McGee: Monroe's new book

6/24: Williams: Avoiding foreclosure
6/17: Dewey: Preventing suicide
6/10: Hoover: Clean kitchens
6/3: Kulp: On breathalyzers


12/9: A Christmas to remember
11/18: Jefferson Davis visits
10/14: Shelling Fort Sumter
9/9: Assault on Fort Sumter
8/5: The Angel of Death
7/8: Assault on Battery Wagner
6/10: "A furious barbarian"
5/13: Recovery of Keokuk guns
4/8: "Turrets are coming!"
3/11: Preparing to attack
2/11: Blockade is broken
1/14: Stono Rebellion


12/23: Who's been naughty, nice
12/16: Education, workforce related
12/9: MacDonald's mysteries
12/2: S.C. has coolest flag

11/25: Enforce robocall law
11/18: Library referendum needed
11/11: Oh, the Things You'll Miss
11/4: Wild gov's race ahead

10/28: Lake City's surprises
10/21: Challenging exceptionalism
10/14: Holidays approaching
10/7: Tired of Congress

9/30: On Henry Martyn Robert
9/23: New American inspire
9/16: 10 years later: Letter
9/9: Welfare today
9/3: End legislative delegations

8/26: What would Dr. King say?
8/19: Wool over our eyes
8/12: Essays on ordinary summer
8/5: Ford needs to get out of the way

7/29: New poverty study
7/22: Engage in trade war
7/15: Give brand to government
7/8: S.C. keeps treading water
7/1: Brad Taylor's new thriller

6/24: Brookgreen Gardens
6/17: New fee bring us closer?
6/10: Great new library service
6/3: On Robert Ford


10/7: Let's celebrate aging
Medicaid and your future
More on estates, wills
Estate planning myths
Pensions for wartime vets
Revocable Living Trusts
Resources to help seniors cope
On life estates
Next step in health care


9/30: What happens when rates rise

9/16: It's harvest time
Kids giving back

Childrens' museums
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



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