Articles by: Special to Charleston Currents

FOCUS:  Preserve the Gullah showcases a past that’s under your nose

FOCUS:  Preserve the Gullah showcases a past that’s under your nose

By Asia Batey, special to Charleston Currents  |  Preserve the Gullah has been a three-year effort which all started when three North Charleston locals were introduced to the Sol Legare area, and with the help of their mentor, discovered the wealth of knowledge and history within this small, hidden community.

In 2015 in the midst of statewide flooding and the subsequent damage to the cookie-cutter subdivisions and businesses throughout Charleston, Willie Heyward, Asia Batey and Milton Tyus witnessed homes built many decades ago — by hand, mind you — barely chip a single bit.

Within the first week of moving to the area, they met families who still gardened and ate from the land.  They were taught how to dig up dandelion root and learned of its health benefits, and they discovered that lemon and lavender are perfectly functioning natural mosquito repellents.

PALM: Time to take sea-level rise, I-526 planning more seriously

PALM: Time to take sea-level rise, I-526 planning more seriously

By Fred Palm, special to Charleston Currents  |  The Union of Concerned Scientists study headlined in in the July 12, 2017, edition of The Post and Courier points to a need to act on factoring sea level rise into the county’s long-range capital plan and beyond its present horizon.

The foundation of Charleston’s present and future economy and the elements identified in the Charleston County Comprehensive Plan rests on water as many of the county’s other challenges — traffic, housing affordability, balancing a thriving tourism industry with a high quality of life, economic development etc. — is directly and indirectly affected by flooding, storm surge and in our future, varying estimates of sea level rise.

OUR TURN:  7 secrets for dealing with press interviews

OUR TURN:  7 secrets for dealing with press interviews

By Katherine Barrett and Richard Greene, republished with permission  |  We’ve been conducting interviews for an alarmingly long time and the last 25 years of have been largely devoted to talking with state, county and city officials. Based exclusively on personal experience, we’ve developed a solid sense of the things that our interviewees can do that will optimize their chances of communicating their message well.

by · 06/26/2017 · Comments are Disabled · My Turn, Views
FOCUS:  Assessing an almost-invisible population in Charleston

FOCUS: Assessing an almost-invisible population in Charleston

By Becca Hopkins, special to Charleston Currents | People flock to Charleston. They come in droves for the weather, the culture, the food, the slower pace of life. For most people, Charleston is an eminently livable city and both the tourist industry and the pace of residential growth reflect that.

However, there is one almost-invisible population in Charleston that is not enjoying the advantages that Charleston has to offer. Charleston is home to hundreds of individuals under the age of 25 who are either experiencing homelessness or some variety of housing insecurity. An even greater number are experiencing food insecurity, meaning that they don’t get an adequate amount of nutritious food regularly. This population is mixed in with our K-12 students and college students, though there are many who are not in school and are living off the grid and outside of any systems.

FOCUS:  Educators urge governor to sign pension reform bill

FOCUS: Educators urge governor to sign pension reform bill

By Bernadette Hampton, special to Charleston Currents | The South Carolina Education Association encourages residents of Charleston County, especially all educators in the Charleston area, to urge Gov. Henry McMaster to sign the responsible, bipartisan pension funding bill. This bill allows South Carolina to keep its obligations to public employees and remain competitive with other states. And, pensions remain the best bang for the buck for our taxpayers.

Public pensions cover over 549,000 teachers, firefighters and other South Carolina workers. In fact, 1 out 9 South Carolina residents are covered by our pensions systems. With an average benefit of just $21,000 a year, pensions provide a modest but dignified retirement for our public employees. Under this bill, teachers will contribute a greater percentage of their pay, now 9 percent of pay, toward their pension, sharing the sacrifice of increase with the state.

by · 04/24/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
SCPP:  Shem Creek, by Pamela Talbird

FOCUS: S.C. Picture Project seeks sponsor to document culture, state

By Robin Welch, special to Charleston Currents | In just a few short weeks, SCIWAY will turn 21, which means we are now old enough to buy a good stiff drink!

As it turns out, we may need one. Over the past two decades, we’ve grown from a simple online portal with links to 23 other South Carolina websites – all that existed at the time – into a wide-ranging collection of original maps, detailed essays, and useful guides to state and local resources, including such things as S.C. events, S.C. elections, S.C. pronunciations, and – especially important this time of year – S.C. taxes.

by · 04/18/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news, Photo Essay, Photos
Photo provided by Lou Cattano.

FOCUS: No Kill S.C. is changing the face of animal welfare

By Joe Elmore, special to Statehouse Report | Despite Charleston County becoming the Southeast’s first No Kill Community in 2013, tens of thousands of animals in other areas of South Carolina are dying needlessly due to a lack of best practices and resources.

To combat these alarming statistics, Charleston Animal Society, South Carolina’s first animal protection organization and one of the oldest (143 years) in the nation, launched No Kill South Carolina (NKSC) in 2015. Funded by a generous grant from Petco Foundation, No Kill South Carolina hit the ground a year later and is arguably the boldest grassroots animal care initiative ever undertaken in the U.S.

by · 04/10/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS:  Look at health care, not just police, in opioid crisis

FOCUS: Look at health care, not just police, in opioid crisis

By Elaine Pawlowski, special to Charleston Currents | I am thankful that it has been announced that more than 10 bills are filed to address the S.C. opioid epidemic. Although legislative steps are needed, I would say that the devil is in the details on whether the legislation will reduce the overdose rate.

by · 03/27/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS:  Government contracting is big part of area’s booming economy

FOCUS: Government contracting is big part of area’s booming economy

By Joshua Hatter, special to Charleston Currents | When most people think of Charleston, they think of it as one of the best “new” places to go visit (or move to!) with historical architecture, friendly people, delicious cuisine and beautiful beaches. And while tourism has become a booming industry for the city and the surrounding region, most people don’t realize that the statewide economic impact of defense spending of $19.3 billion now exceeds tourism spending in South Carolina of $19.1 billion.

That statistic may come as a surprise, but I can guarantee everyone has heard about some part of Charleston’s long and rich military history – whether it was the siege of Charleston during the American Revolutionary War, the first shot of the Civil War being fired at Fort Sumter or, more recently, the U.S. Navy’s presence at the Charleston Naval Base from 1901 until its closure in 1996. That base closure in 1996 was a very visible change in the region’s operational military footprint.

Young and older enjoy stories at Charleston Tells.  Photo by Michael Kaynard.

FOCUS: Charleston Tells evolves into a quarterly storytelling series

By Cynthia Bledsoe, special to Charleston Currents | I’ve been a storytelling lover now for more than 40 years. What is it about stories, anyway?

As a child I loved listening to family stories: stories about how my parents met, what my father was like when he was a child, and what my brothers and sisters did before I was born. That love of stories quickly moved into a love of reading, though my love of listening never died. When I found out that there are actual storytelling festivals where professional tellers spin yarns and stories that make you tear up and laugh until your sides hurt, I was hooked and discovered I’m not alone.