2013 -- At the Sept. 23 Charleston City Council meeting, Mayor Joe Riley
spoke at length about how the proliferation of a single land use, such
as bars and nightclubs, can lead to the deterioration of the healthy mix
of land uses in adjoining neighborhoods.
Jane Jacobs, the mayor made the point that the proliferation of bars and
nightclubs in the North King Street area had begun to cause livability
issues in the adjoining residential areas. I could not help but concur
with Mayor Riley, but the example that came to my mind was not Upper King
Street, but Savannah Highway. The culprits were not bars and nightclubs,
but automotive dealerships and related uses that seem to claim every square
inch of available land on the Savannah Highway corridor ... land that
once supported businesses that made our adjoining neighborhoods livable,
walkable and safe.
a few years ago, we still had Bi-Lo at the end of Betsy Road. Kerr Drug
was still at the Wappoo and Savannah Highway intersection. The produce
shed was still in use and Kmart had most everything we might need in an
emergency. These businesses and many others like them are now gone. As
a result, the basic needs of the neighbors in these areas can no longer
be met without getting into a car and adding more traffic to an already
overburdened Savannah Highway.
has become more obvious than any other in the recent and well-publicized
Turky's Towing dispute that has now spilled over into city council. Our
neighbors have finally stood up and said no to businesses that are a threat
to our community and which have no place in our neighborhood.
a welcome turn of events which will hopefully continue. Unfortunately,
there are other people involved in the discussion, such as our city councilman
Bill Moody. They don't seem to grasp the broader discontent now being
expressed by the neighbors (a.k.a. voters) who are tired of these commercial
intrusions. In the Turky's Towing case, Mr. Moody has preferred to stay
focused on his perceived business liaison role rather than on his primary
role as advocate for the neighbors.
Towing case was simply the last straw for the neighbors who had hoped
to find an advocate in their councilman and instead found an opponent.
Public officials (and candidates for public office) must decide in matters
such as this if they are going to serve their constituents or serve the
more powerful business interests against the constituents.
that "We all do better when we all do better," I'm going to
hope that we can step back from the most recent unpleasantness and find
a solution that does not involve a towing company/impound lot being forced
onto our neighborhood. We need a solution that restores our sense of place
in our neighborhood and which values human beings over the opposing business
interests that would do harm to our neighborhoods.
been some discussions recently of a compromise that would allow a local
automobile dealer to purchase the Turky's Towing property and to trade
it to the city for property on which to replace the fire station at Savannah
Highway and Markfield Road. So long as the ingress and egress to and from
Pebble Road is permanently eliminated, this is a reasonable compromise
and would be supported. The purchase of the property for a farmer's market
and daytime venue would also work.
of the DuPont community are not uncompromising and they are not unwilling
to negotiate. What they are unwilling to do is to be dictated to without
having had any voice in the dramatic changes happening to our neighborhood.
SEPT. 29, 2014 -- Surely, it was just a coincidence.
On Friday, a caller to the Charleston Police Department wondered what was being done -- or whether anything could be done -- about the seemingly increased number of panhandlers around town, particularly some who seem to be working in shifts at the foot of the Ravenel Bridge and near the bridge over the Ashley River on the Crosstown.
On Saturday morning, two squad cars were parked in the right lane under the bridge "interviewing" a man who looked like he had been asking for money from people in cars stopped at the bridge off-ramp.
"Not a total coincidence," one city official later told us.
We didn't think so.
With our temperate climate, strong tourism economy and vibrant downtown, it's surprising that more people don't hold cardboard signs to ask for money. It's not, in case you didn't know it, against the law. Yes, there is a law against soliciting -- selling things like palmetto roses and the like -- without a business license. But it's not illegal to ask for donations on public property if you're not being aggressive or violent or breaking any other city ordinance.
"I was told any law against panhandling would be unconstitutional because it falls under the First Amendment," said police spokesman Charles Francis. In other words, someone asking for a donation has the right to do so through free speech protections.
One city official told us that some of the panhandlers aren't truly homeless -- that they have places to live, but beg as a livelihood. Many of the truly homeless seek help at shelters, such as the new One80 Place. And if they're not from the area, they may be just passing through, testing the waters before heading south for the winter.
We're told that police and other city officials are very aware of folks asking for money. And so far, about all that can be done officially is to discourage them from being in one location, like the police were doing Saturday.
But if it bothers you, you can do something -- and tell your friends to do the same: Don't roll down your windows and give to those asking, despite seeing gut-wrenching, hand-lettered signs that might say the bearer is a homeless veteran or describe how the person is stuck here from Alaska.
"Those gangs at the base of the bridge-- that's been a lucrative stop for them. Don't contribute to the problem by contributing," a city official said.
If those asking for donations don't get money, it won't be in their financial interest to stay. If you want to do some good, make a contribution to a church that has a homeless ministry or give directly to One80 Place.
But if you just have to give them something, go buy some meal vouchers at a local restaurant and distribute vouchers instead of money. We're told that many of the frauds asking for money don't want vouchers. But those who need help appreciate them.
One thing that we as a community should not do is to start criminalizing homelessness like some communities have. Instead of throwing people in jail for sleeping on benches or requiring groups that want to feed the homeless in parks to have permits, our city, the most polite in the nation, should listen to the people who are having a tough time and try to figure out ways for them to get the help they need.
* * * * *
This week's issue of Statehouse Report included two pieces that you might find of interest. First, there's a news story on down-ballot races for constitutional officers, which includes a look at Sullivan's Island resident Ginny Deerin, who is running for secretary of state. Next is a column that outlines why it's important to broaden the state's tax base -- to be fairer in our taxation policy and to smooth out rollercoaster cycles that can wreak havoc in a variety of ways.
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.
Now headquartered at 114 East Bay Street in the W. Hampton Brand Gallery across from Rainbow Row in the Charleston Historic District.
about ways to grow your personal happiness
SEPT. 29, 2014 -- Robin Williams recently committed suicide. He was not only one of the most capable actors and comedians of our time, but he was also respected for the character of his person. He had plenty of money and apparently people around him who loved him. His money and wealth did not provide him with happiness.
This spoke to me. I am a Certified Financial Planner professional, and my job is to help people use their financial resources to achieve personal goals and aspirations that hopefully make them feel fulfilled and, yes, happy. So what makes people happy, and what is the role money plays?
There are several studies that relate happiness and money. One study created a happiness scale. It associated one's salary to their level of happiness. What is surprising about this study there is no consistency between happiness and high salaries. Once the salary is enough to provide emotional well-being, beyond that point money is less of a variable - even with salaries above $500,000.
There is a set of results that shows people who spend money on experiences are more often happier than people who spend money on material goods. The theory is that consumer spending on things leaves us wanting more. David DeSalvo, a contributing journalist for Forbes Magazine points out though that this is not an absolute truth. If someone spends money on disappointing experiences or experiences that don't accurately affect who they are, they may not end up any happier than before. On the other hand a consumer may purchase a piece of original art done by a local artist, and it brings her joy to see it regularly as she goes about her daily routines.
Laura Rowley, author of Money and Happiness, writes that money can be associated with feelings of stress, joy and freedom. The key to financial happiness is aligning money with your own core values. The good life can be had when you spend money in ways that provide you with your authentic purpose. She says start with what you believe in your heart. Look at your own life, your own thoughts, your own beliefs, and your own practices.
Do you have subconscious beliefs that control how you view and use money? Money can be used in so many ways. How does it make you feel to get out of debt, save for a rainy day, invest for the future, take a friend to lunch, buy a new outfit, or donate to your favorite charity? Money used in ways that provide us with purpose, meaning, or deep life experiences have a direct correlation with the ensuing of happiness. A famous psychologist wrote "you're not going to find the meaning of life hidden under a rock written by someone else. You'll only find it by giving meaning to life from inside yourself." Therefore, if you spend money on things that fulfill your sense of purpose and that add to your own life's meaning, your sense of happiness is also enriched.
In my research for this article, I found some other things to share about happiness and money. The idea with these is to help you identify things that may provide or stimulate happiness and also some items that were at the bottom of the happiness scale. It appears that we have to work on our own self-awareness and clarity of purpose to know how to apply our money towards happiness:
Robin Williams' story tore at my heart strings. It is not an amount of money or the accumulation of wealth itself that brings happiness. It is our ability to use money in ways that align with our personal values, and to fulfill our life's purpose, our dreams, and our ambitions. My authentic wish is for your personal happiness to ensue!
House is looking for a few good men to "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,"
the annual Tri-County event that's part of a similarly-named international
day to promote men's participation in speaking out against domestic and
sexual violence. During the event, men march in women's high-heeled shoes
to protest sexual and domestic violence.
This year's local event, which will be led by the Garrett High School Marching Band, will start at 10:30 a.m., Oct. 11 at the Park Circle Community Center in North Charleston. Registration begins an hour earlier, or you can register online here. Tickets are $25 each.
event, themed "Man to Man: Speaking Out Against Domestic Violence,"
will feature Charleston radio personality Geno Jones as guest speaker.
The walk will help raise money for a new shelter.
House is recruiting men of all ages to march in women's high heeled shoes,
in order to protest sexualized violence & domestic violence, to educate
our community members about the serious issues surrounding domestic violence,
and to raise money for our new shelter!
House, Inc., a 501c3 nonprofit organization, got started in 1980 to provide
services to women and children who courageously deal with domestic violence,
according to a news release. All funds from the event will benefit the
charity and directly help local victims of domestic violence and their
houses up to 36 women and children who suffer abuse in the Charleston,
Berkeley, and Dorchester counties in South Carolina.
Aquarium features "Salvage for our Seas" art installation through Jan. 15
Marine animals come to life through recycled metal, tools and old engine parts in the South Carolina Aquarium's newest art installation, Salvage for our Seas.
exhibition, on display through Jan. 15, 2015, features sculptures by Charleston
artist Daniel Miner that represent the Lowcountry's diverse animals and
can rent your home for more days now and still get lower tax rate
this year broadened a state law to allow owners to receive a 4 percent
legal residence tax exemption for renting their properties. Prior to this
year, owner-occupied properties could rent homes only 14 days a year to
get the lower rate. The new law extends the period to 72 days, according
to the Charleston County Assessor's Office. The change isn't retroactive
owners who did not previously qualify for the legal residence exemption
because they rented their property more than 14 days may now qualify for
the exemption. Owners who believe they are in that category must file
an application to receive the exemption. Owners who believe they fall
into that category should apply as soon as possible as applications for
the exemption soar after tax bills are mailed. The 4 percent legal residence
is available on the Charleston
renting a property that is already qualified for the legal residence exemption
must promptly notify the Assessor's Office in writing of the rental. Notification
is required even if the property is rented for less than 72 days. If the
owner does not notify the assessor and is later found in violation of
the statute, back taxes and substantial penalties will apply, the office
Girls of August
In The Girls of August, Anne Rivers Siddons crafts a short, emotionally-charged novel, perfect for an end-of-summer beach read or road trip. This is a novel about women -- how women interact and react. This is also a story about loss, about family and about friends. The Girls of August group began over 20 years ago with four women -- Melinda, Rachel, Barbara and Maddy, who shared the same challenges of being married to medical students. They gathered together to spend a week at the beach, renting a new house each subsequent year on a remote island. The tradition continued until the tragic death of Melinda in a car accident.
Melinda's husband Teddy eventually remarries a 20-year-old named Baby, and he convinces Rachael, Barbara and Maddy to continue the ritual with his bride at her beach home on Tiger Island off the coast of Charleston. The Tiger Island setting is remote except for a few resident enclaves of Gullah people. After a few days on the island, it is obvious the women are not getting along and have drifted apart with the death of Melinda. Baby the Bride is too young and the girls feel like they are on vacation with a child instead of a close friend. Each one of them has deep-rooted problems that soon surface and keep you enthralled to find out how they will be resolved.
in 1919, Allendale is South Carolina's youngest county, yet it contains
the oldest known human habitation in the state. Archaeological investigations
in Allendale have found evidence of human settlement dating back more
than sixteen thousand years. These prehistoric people used "Allendale
Chert" in making stone tools.
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NEW ON THE CALENDAR
Festival: Oct. 3-5, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 30
Race Street, Charleston. Enjoy Greek food, music, dancing and culture
at this second annual fall festival, which complements its spring festival.
Diversity Conference: Oct. 11-12, College of Charleston. The National
Association of Holmes Scholars Alumni and the college will host its 2014
diversity conference to discuss building partnerships to support youths
of promise. Keynote speaker is Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of
the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Lots of events and a celebration.
cancer book-signing: 5 p.m. Oct. 15, Blue Bicycle Books, 420
King St., Charleston. Author Marjorie Belson will discuss breast cancer
survival and recovery during a book-signing for "Nothing is Promised,"
her story that chronicles her story and her joy of survival. Learn
(NEW) Fences: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16-18, 23-25, and 30-Nov. 1, with 3 p.m. matinees on Oct. 19 and 26, South of Broadway Theatre Company, 1080 E. Montague Ave., North Charleston. The Pulitzer-Prize-winning play by August Wilson will be reprised here with tickets at $20. More.
(NEW) Annual Family Picnic: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Oct. 26, Dill Sanctuary, James Island. The Charleston Museum will hold its annual family picnic with fried chicken, ham and lots of good food, as well as bluegrass music, a nature walk, children's games, hayrides and more. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children.
OTHER NEAT EVENTS
Play by Euripides: 7:30 p.m., Through Sept. 30, Emmett Robinson Theatre, Simons Center for the Arts, 54 St. Philip Street, Charleston. The College of Charleston's Department of Theatre and Dance will stage a modern interpretation of Euripedes' "The Bacchae" with a 24-person cast. Tickets are $10 to $15. More.
Piano series to open: 7:30 p.m., Sept. 30, Sottile Theatre, College of Charleston. Israeli pianist Ran Dank will open the 2014-15 Season of International Piano series with a performance of Chopin and Liszt to mark his Charleston debut. Dank has also become the director of piano studies at the college. Admission is $20; free for students. More.
Women Painting Women: Through Sept. 30, Principle Gallery: Charleston, 125 Meeting Street. Some 86 paintings by 73 female artists from around the world showcase the female form. More.
Wine Down Wednesdays: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 1, 15 and 29, Old Towne Creek County Park, West Ashley. You can get another sneak peek at a future county park and enjoy a wine social at the same time. Formerly Ashem Farm, the 67-acre estate has open fiends and lots of live oaks. More.
Latin American Festival: Noon to 6 p.m., Oct. 5, Wannamaker County Park. Live Salsa and Merengue music will fill the air as families enjoy authentic food, craft items, kids' activities, and much more. Featured performers will include UltimaNota, Bachata Flow, Capoeira Charleston, Buen Ache Dance Company, DJ Luigi Bravo and more.
Brewsdays: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 7 and Oct. 21, Old Towne Creek County Park, West Ashley. Building on the success of Wine Down Wednesdays, Charleston County Parks will offer live music, eats and beer with this new event for the beer crowd. Cost: $6 per person, not including food and drink. More.
Speaker on Middle East: 6 p.m., Oct. 8, Citadel Holliday Alumni Center, Charleston. The World Affairs Council of Charleston will host the first of a new season of speakers when Dr. Barbara Sude, a think tank analyst, will discuss "The Multiple Crises in the Middle East: Where are they headed and what can Washington do about them?" Social reception starts at 5:15 p.m. Go to this Web site for ticketing and other information.
Oktoberfest Run/Walk: 6 p.m., Oct. 9, Mount Pleasant Waterfront Park. The East Cooper Breakfast Rotary Club will host its annual Oktoberfest 5K run and walk the club's fundraising efforts to give bikes to Toys for Tots at Christmas and Rotary Happy Feet which provides shoes to East Cooper children in need. Fees are $25 to $35. A party will be after the race. More.
Zombie pub crawl: 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., Oct. 18, at restaurants and bars in North Charleston's Park Circle area. Holy City Brewing will offer the fourth annual Pint of Hope Zombie Pub Crawl as a fundraiser to help Lowcountry AIDS Services. Tickets are $20 in advance; $25 at the door. More
An Evening with Joseph McGill: 6 p.m., Nov. 1, Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston. The organization will present an evening with the historic preservationist to benefit the Slave Dwelling Project that works to preserve existing slave dwellings. Tickets, which are $50, include a cabin tour by McGill and garden tour between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. prior to the reception. More.
Yappy hour and more. Charleston County Parks will offer dog-friendly, after-work socials at James Island and Palmetto Islands county parks a dozen times over the summer. At James Island, Yappy Hour will be held starting at 4 p.m. with live music on Oct. 16. At Palmetto Islands, dogs, owners and musicians will appear with food trucks in Pups, Yups and Food Trucks on Oct. 23. More.
TEDxCharleston is accepting applications through October 14 for speakers and performers for its 2015 event. Next year's theme: "Embrace chaos." 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.
Moredock: New station
an app for that
run/walks for family