INFO CONTEST: We're still trying to find out the history behind this grand house about five miles northwest of Holly Hill, S.C. where U.S. Highways 15 and 176 split. We're told a family that just had a daughter (see if you can find the pink stork sign) is renovating it slowly. Whoever supplies the most information about this house will win a pair of tickets to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens -- a great place to visit during the holidays. Send information to: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Make sure to include your name and hometown.) Photo by Andy Brack.
Issue 6.05 | Monday, Dec. 2, 2013
You want what? To put a tree in your house?
photo contest is for the birds
S.C., Dec. 2, 2013 -- Feathers are not just identifiable - and often beautiful
- markings on birds. Feathers are engineering marvels that aid in mobility,
weather protection and even successful coupling.
for Birds of Prey is celebrating "Fantastic Feathers" with a
photo contest designed to show off photographers' best avian shots with
residents aged 18 and over are encouraged to share an original photo that
illustrates feathers and plumage in a unique and artful way. Participants
(excluding center employees or board members) are encouraged to email
a .jpg or .gif at least 2MB in size and no larger than 25MB to email@example.com.
Photos received by 4:59 p.m. ET January 6 will be entered in the photography
contest. Entries are limited to one photograph submission per person.
For full contest rules, visit the center's Facebook
will be judged on the center's Facebook page from January 7 through February
7 at 4:59 p.m. The image with the most "likes" by the contest
close will be declared the winner.
includes numerous benefits: A full-color 16"x 20" color canvas
print of the winning photo, recognition and display at the Southeastern
Wildlife Exposition, visibility on the Center's Facebook page as the cover
photo for the month of February, a complimentary pass to a future Photography
Day event at the center and possible promotional or merchandising opportunities
via the center's retail activities.
to the center is $12 for adults, $10 for youth (ages 6-18) and free for
children younger than six. Admission includes a guided tour and flight
demonstrations. Center hours are Thursday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 5
p.m. with tour times at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. and flight demonstrations
at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
got the coolest flag? We do!
2013 -- There's no doubt that South Carolina tops one list: best state
flag in the country.
you take a look at all of the states' flags, about 30 of them are as dull
as dishwater. They feature state seals pasted on a field of color and
call that a flag.
A few states
took more time and effort. California's flag features a bear; Wyoming's
has a bison. And Maryland's flag, which kind of looks like a yellow version
of the checkered flag at NASCAR events, has history behind it because
its design is based on the heraldic banner of the family of George Calvert,
the first Lord Baltimore and founder of the state.
pure graphic design, look to Arizona's flag, which sports red and yellow
rays coming from a center star with a field of blue at the bottom. Neighboring
New Mexico's red sun symbol of the Zia tribe on a field of bright yellow
is distinctive, too. Most people also are familiar with the Lone Star
State's red, white and blue flag that Texans proudly wave.
But South Carolina's iconic blue flag with a palmetto tree and a crescent-shaped object in the upper left corner is arguably the best flag in the country because it is instantly recognizable, has a clean graphic design and is linked inexorably to the two wars that shaped America.
wonder why we wrote "crescent-shaped" instead of "moon."
That's because the shape probably isn't a moon, but a medieval gorget,
a crescent-shaped plate of armor designed to protect the throat. By the
18th century, gorgets mostly were ornamental, but were still well-known
symbols of battle.
historical view of it was it was a gorget from the Second Carolina Regiment
[of the Continental Army], said Revolutionary War historian Carl Borick
of the Charleston Museum. "That was what was initially on their flag,"
referring to a white gorget with the word "liberty" inscribed
on the emblem.
was instrumental in holding off the British at Fort Moultrie on June 28,
1776, at the Battle of Sullivan's Island, the first colonial victory of
the Revolutionary War. As many South Carolinians know, the "Liberty
flag" is also known as the "Moultrie flag" after its designer
and the fort's commander, Col. William Moultrie. During the battle as
British ships sent waves of cannonballs onto the palmetto log fort, Sergeant
William Jasper grabbed the flag when it was shot down and held it aloft
to rally the troops to hold fast.
historian David Shimp of Mount Pleasant, a retired Navy captain and vice
president of Maybank Industries in Charleston, argues that it makes sense
that the symbol on the Moultrie flag is a gorget. Moultrie, he says, bore
great allegiance to John Rutledge, then president of South Carolina. Rutledge's
family coat of arms (at left) features three gorgets and the Moultrie
flag is a tribute to him.
1861, a palmetto tree was added to the Moultrie flag to symbolize the
strength of palmetto logs and, in a likely tip of the hat to state's secessionary
sentiment then, how South Carolinians could be strong again.
time, most people assumed that the gorget was a crescent moon, a widely-held
belief that continues today.
to David Letterman, here's our top 10 list of best state flags:
Finally, we're at the top of a good list.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, address and phone number for verification purposes. We look forward to hearing from you!
spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents
to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is the Charleston
RiverDogs. The Lowcountrys leader in sports entertainment, Charleston
RiverDogs baseball is an attractive, affordable medium for your group
or business. The RiverDogs develop the next major league stars for the
27-time World Champion New York Yankees at one of the finest ballparks
in Minor League Baseball -- Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park. Three short words
sum up the every day approach taken by the Charleston RiverDogs front
office. The brainchild of club President Mike Veeck, the nine-letter phrase
Fun Is Good is meant to be a guideline and daily reminder
of how employees should approach their jobs and in turn capture the imagination
of the fans to turn them into repeat customers.
the "thanks" into Thanksgiving
2013 -- Thanksgiving was this past Thursday, November 28. It presents
such a wonderful opportunity to gather with family and/or friends, abandon
our diets, eat our favorite comfort foods and reflect on all the reasons
we have to be thankful. Yet there is an undercurrent of anxiety. It is
based on the U.S. economic recovery and its ability to sustain itself.
causing our jitters?
of heights seems justified as the U.S. equity market landed record highs
in November. The recovery is the sharpest in post-World War II market
history. A primary reason for our growth momentum is the stimulus strategy
that the U.S. government implemented. This strategy helps create the economic
improvement, but its implementation adds to our already extreme national
debt via the Federal Reserve's asset purchase program. We want our debt
needs to be reduced, or at a minimum controlled, so -- here's some anxiety.
prospect of the eventual removal of the strategy is at hand. While we
don't like the strategy, we are afraid of its removal because the markets
may then collapse. A large fear is that the markets will collapse while
interest rates rise. So while the debt platform of the strategy itself
causes angst, the removal of the strategy is disconcerting as well.
To top it off the federal government can't get its act together. It does not truly seem to be able to govern. The method appears to be about the battle and which party -- Republican or Democratic -- is the best. Often this battle is short-sighted. The victory of the short term battle outweighs the desire to lead our country as a whole nation for the long term. The recent federal shutdown is an example of this. The debt ceiling and its management are up for discussion, and we've just kicked the can (a recurring national theme) down the road until early next year.
the anxiety ever end?
of hope: The stimulus strategy created some wind in the sails of the U.S.
economy. Now corporate fundamentals appear to be improving on their own
merits. These improving fundamentals can create a foundation to support
sustainability without government infusions. Currently led by housing
and consumer spending, these fundamental improvements are already happening
in many diverse sectors of the U.S. economy. To augment the concept of
sustainability, the monetary policy should remain unusually accommodative
for the next few years. These factors create positives for equity valuations
and provide meaningful incentives for equity positions with long-term
The U.S. market continues to show the world that our foundation is built on other fundamentals often hard to measure. Our leadership in technological innovation and an environment that rewards entrepreneurs create persistent structural advantages within the U.S. economy. Additionally, the recent boom in energy production is likely to develop into another durable benefit. Our resiliency and uniqueness are a blessing.
Yes, there are some growth challenges around the world. Most of Europe chose austerity as its strategy for handling the recent economic crises. Its recovery lags the U.S. substantially, but strength appears on the horizon. The Euro and the pound have improved markedly as compared to the U.S. dollar in the last five months. Even emerging, undeveloped markets are rising from their lows of the past year.
This slow, but steady evolution of strength benefits the U.S. market in 2 ways. Our market rebound was based on stimulus and most of the foreign markets on austerity. These anti-correlated strategies are the core foundation for diversification and "safety" in the market ride. The U.S. boom may slow down due to stimulus easing, while the foreign markets take hold and continue their climb.
The second way the U.S. markets will be supported by the foreign rise is because so many of our corporations are global. They have 30 percent to 40 percent of their revenue from overseas. This helps our U.S. corporations navigate the federal easing when they have foreign markets that remain productive. The foreign markets are still lagging, but the timing for when we need them could work out nicely.
Our U.S. consumers are more prepared than we were five years ago. Nominal household net-worth has been fully restored to pre-crisis levels. While we are ready to spend and improve the quality of our lives, there is a renewed focus on long-term savings and conscious cash budgeting. There can be a good balance with mindfulness around spending and savings, and perhaps it is our fear of the crash that helps preserve this balance. We can even be thankful for our fear as it keeps us in check.
There is more to be thankful for than fearful of. Let us put the thanks completely back into Thanksgiving. Let's celebrate the rest of the year-end holiday season with joy, love for others and a mindful reason to be thankful.
you should have a Personal Property Memorandum
DEC. 2, 2013 -- While home for Thanksgiving, my mother and I embarked on the daunting task of deciding who will inherit what when she meets her demise.
Initially mom wanted to leave all of her personal property to me to distribute as I saw fit. Forgetting my inability to share well (I am, after all, the youngest of four and the only girl), she said she was sure that I'd be fair and would know exactly what she would want. I expected this because mom, like most of my clients, would prefer to avoid this arduous part of the estate planning process and give it to the "fair" child (me, in my mother's case). Ultimately, I convinced her that this was a bad idea for many reasons and she agreed to create what estate planners call a Personal Property Memorandum ("PPM").
This memorandum is authorized by S.C. Code §62-2-512 and is an important estate planning tool for several reasons:
Things to remember when drafting your Personal Property Memorandum:
I both hope and believe that my mother will be around for many more decades (among other reasons, she makes the best cranberry sauce on this planet) but, regardless, we are both relieved that this part of the unwinding process has been addressed. As you approach the holidays, if you don't already have a Personal Property Memorandum, please create one. I assure you that the relief it yields will likely be one of the greatest gifts you impart to your loved ones.
Help provide free tax services to qualifying families
How would you like to help low- and moderate-income families become more financially stable? How would you like to learn new tax law, develop tax preparation skills or hone those you have? How would you like to join Trident United Way, Charleston Trident Urban League, The Benefit Bank of SC and AARP in providing free tax preparation for local families?
These organizations provide free tax preparation services for hard-working families that qualify. Free tax services are made possible by volunteer tax preparers.
Volunteer tax preparers get training and certification. They choose when to volunteer and where. They learn a lot, meet people and work one-on-one with grateful families. The average family got $1,300 back last year from the IRS, according to the Trident United Way. That money gets recycled back into our local community.
You don't have to be a math whiz to volunteer. You just have to like helping people.
Week is back -- and on film
second year in a row, the Baker Motor Company Charleston Fashion Week
in March will include a fashion and film competition to highlight film's
importance in the fashion industry.
so much natural overlap between fashion and film we wanted to highlight
this art form as part of our programming," said Jed Drew, president
of Gulfstream Communications, the owner and producer of Charleston Fashion
Week. "We want CFW to continue to be a pipeline of talent across
the fashion spectrum, and we're thrilled to offer this opportunity to
filmmakers this year."
The films submitted must tie in with fashion, and must be creatively and tastefully executed, according to a press release. Entries will be judged and selected by a panel of video editors. Up to five prizes of $200 each will be awarded. Winning films may be screened at Baker Motor Company Charleston Fashion Week® on March 18-22, 2014.
for film submissions is Feb. 1, 2014. To submit a film, visit
this Web page, which includes submission procedures and eligibility
Biggest Style Event in the South by The Daily South and profiled on CNN,
Charleston Fashion Week presents high-end runway shows, interactive entertainment,
chic after-parties and press events. The 2013 event held under the tents
in Marion Square in Charleston, SC, featured more than 45 runway shows
Peatsy Hollings to get posthumous award Saturday
Peatsy Hollings, the late wife of U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings, will be inducted Satirdau into the 2013 Hall of Fame of the S.C. Democratic Women's Council in Columbia Saturday during the organization's fall forum.
Mrs. Hollings, the senator's feisty confidante who was known to speak her mind, died in 2012 at age 77 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. She and the senator had been married for 41 years. [You can keep up with Sen. Hollings' latest writings online at www.FritzHollings.com.]
The forum, which will start at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m., will be held at the Clarion Hotel, 1615 Gervais Street, Columbia. The keynote speaker is to be U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif. Additional speakers include U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., S.C. Rep. Bakari Sellers, Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and Manning Mayor Julia Nelson.
of the Flies
"Lord of the Flies" is a classic story about a handful of British schoolboys who crash-land on an island paradise during a war zone evacuation. A cursory examination of the book introduces readers to a world where boys become accustomed to living unconstrained by societal norms. A deeper look reveals the complex symbolism Golding weaves throughout the story, as the characters descend into depravity and violence during their pursuit of power and entertainment.
It's easy to understand why the book inspired two film adaptations. The plot is simple yet absorbing; the character arcs are subtle yet terrifying; and the protagonists, Ralph, Piggy and Simon, are as charming as their dialects. While those who previously read "The Lord of the Flies" might recall some plot imperfections, like how the fuselage of a plane that safely deployed its cargo of school-aged children entirely disappears overnight, they shouldn't be stopped from revisiting this treasure.
The chemical element iodine derives its name from the violet color of its gaseous form. A rare element (sixty-second in global abundance), it occurs naturally as a trace chemical in certain soils, rocks, seawater, plants, and animals. In humans, it is largely found in the thyroid gland, which secretes iodine-bearing hormones responsible for regulating metabolism. A deficiency of iodine causes an unsightly swelling of the neck and jaw known as a goiter.
In the late 1920s the South Carolina Natural Resources Commission began a public relations campaign to advertise the high iodine levels found in fruits and vegetables grown in the state. Even South Carolina milk was promoted as containing extraordinarily high levels of iodine. Promotional tracts sought to expand the national market for South Carolina produce by warning Midwestern and West coast residents of the consequences of iodine deficiency in the young, including enlarged thyroids, mental and physical birth defects, and even sterility.
The campaign placed the motto "Iodine" on South Carolina automobile license plates in 1930 and then expanded the phrase in subsequent years to "The Iodine State" and "The Iodine Products State." Columbia radio station WIS took its call letters to promote the "Wonderful Iodine State." Even Lowcountry moonshiners around Hell Hole Swamp jumped on the iodine bandwagon, advertising their brand of liquid corn with the slogan "Not a Goiter in a Gallon."
Despite the promotional gimmicks, South Carolina agriculture saw little benefit from the iodine campaign. With the advent of iodized salt in the 1940s, Americans had a convenient dietary supplement and demand for foods high in iodine content declined.
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Toy trends for
Experts say 2013
doesn't have a "must have" toy for kids, but David Wyman, a
seasoned toy inventor and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship
at the College of Charleston, offers insight into this season's toy trends:
On the holidays
"Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice."
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(NEW) Holiday Festival of Lights: Through December 31, James Island County Park. You can see more than 750 holiday light exhibits and get $5 off Monday through Thursday with donation of a canned food item. More info.
Holiday inspiration: 4 p.m., December 3 and 10, Heyward-Washington House, 87 Church Street, Charleston. You can get inspiration for holiday entertaining at the historic house run by the Charleston Museum. More.
"Annie:" December 6 to 22, Dock Street Theatre, Charleston. Charleston Stage will present the award-winning Tony musical to "lift everyone's holiday spirits" with Charleston's own Madelyn Anderson as Little Orphan Annie. Tickets and info.
Shopping with Friends: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., December 6, Hibernian Hall, 105 Meeting Street, Charleston. Lowcountry AIDS Services will celebrate 10 years with a new twist on its annual fund-raiser. Jazz artist Charlton Singleton will perform with a 14-piece Big Band. More.
That Holiday Book Sale: 9 a.m., December 6 and 7, Mount Pleasant Regional Library, 1133 Mathis Ferry Road, Mount Pleasant. Books, CDs and DVDs will be on sale during the annual event with prices starting at just $0.50, this is a bargain that can't be beat. Sponsored by the Charleston Friends of the Library. More.
Christmas Festival and Parade: 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., December 7, Park Circle, North Charleston. While the parade will begin at 5 p.m., there will be lots of fun at the holiday market and festival. More.
Celtic Christmas: 7:30 p.m., December 9, Grace Episcopal Church, 98 Wentworth Street, Charleston. The Taylor Festival Choir and fiddle group Na Fidleiri will present traditional Irish holiday music with storytelling and more. Tickets are $10 to $30. More.
Art of Pinar Del Rio: Through December 29, City Gallery at Waterfront Park, Charleston. The gallery will host an exhibition of works by more than a dozen contemporary Cuban artists curated by local artist Reynier Llanes. Llanes' lecture: 3 p.m., December 7. More info.
(NEW) Polar plunge: 1 p.m., January 2, 2014, Dunleavy's Pub, Sullivans Island. The pub will offer its annual New Year's Day Polar Plunge this year to raise money for Special Olympics South Carolina. The fun starts at 11 a.m. when people gather for food and drinks, with a mass walk to the beach at 12:30 a.m. Registration is now open. More.
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.
Christmas to remember
time: great gift for seniors
activities to do