Students from North Charleston Elementary and Mason Prep are participating in the new Kindred Kids program by Wings for Kids.  Photo provided by Mason Prep.

FOCUS: Promoting friendship, understanding with Kindred Kids

By Bridget Laird | In the wake of yet two more high-profile mass shootings—in Colorado Springs and San Bernardino—and as two more communities embark on the long, painful healing process, America is again confronted with the terrible toll of intolerance and hatred.

Our own community, here in Charleston, continues to struggle against those forces. And we are all working daily to soothe the still-raw wounds of the nine murders at Mother Emanuel AME Church, the latest tragedy in our city’s long legacy of racist violence.

However, in response to an attack intended to inspire increased hatred and divisiveness, Charleston has instead witnessed the tremendous power of community and compassion.

by · 12/14/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS: Helping S.C.’s flood victims over the holidays

FOCUS: Helping S.C.’s flood victims over the holidays

By Steve Skardon | The circumstances of many destitute South Carolinians this holiday season are among the most distressing since Hurricane Hugo. The aftermath of massive flooding, broken dams, and swollen rivers has left thousands in the Midlands and Lowcountry displaced and in chaos as they face the holiday season.

Assistance from both government and non-profit agencies is slow, and many of these families cannot expect to be in back in their own stable living situations for another six to eight months.

The effects of this netherworld weigh heavily on children, especially with Christmas only weeks away. Many of them have been forced to leave their friends and neighborhoods and sleep on the floors of generous family members, while their parents struggle to make ends meet.

by · 12/07/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
The new campus will open in January in Hunley Park.

Palmetto Scholars Academy is an education success story

By Kristen L. French | Palmetto Scholars Academy (PSA) was founded in 2009 with a mission to serve gifted students in the Lowcountry. Many schools are not equipped to meet the different learning needs of gifted children. This often leads to laziness, boredom, frustration, a loss of self-esteem and underachievement. PSA has developed a liberal arts environment which provides academic and artistic challenges while also serving the social and emotional needs of gifted students. PSA is open to all South Carolina students from 6th to 12th grades, resulting in a diverse student population that crosses economic and demographic lines.

Tolerance of each other’s differences seems to come naturally to the PSA community. The teachers and staff foster tolerance while maintaining a disciplined environment.

by · 11/30/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
Photo by J. Henry Fair, courtesy of S.C. Coastal Conservation League.

FOCUS: Captain Sams Spit back in development headlines

By Katie Zimmerman, S.C. Coastal Conservation League | Captain Sams Spit is in the crosshairs of development again.

The Spit is a 150-acre pristine sandy land mass at the southern end of Kiawah Island, relied upon by the piping plover, diamondback terrapin, bottlenose dolphin, and other rare and threatened species for nesting and feeding.

For eight years, the Coastal Conservation League, represented by the South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP), has challenged numerous permits issued to Kiawah Development Partners (KDP) and its affiliates. The first round of permits would have allowed construction of a half-mile long concrete wall in connection with KDP’s proposal to build a high-end residential development on the undeveloped, highly dynamic Spit.

by · 11/23/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus
FOCUS: 200+ attend Lowcountry conservation session

FOCUS: 200+ attend Lowcountry conservation session

By Elizabeth Brown | Lowcountry Land Trust engaged the business community Wednesday to explore the business of conservation at its inaugural Flourish event.

More than 200 conservationists, leading companies, creatives, entrepreneurs, citizens and corporations converged to converse, collaborate and create new ways to protect and preserve the lands, waterways and the way of life that make the Lowcountry one of the world’s most beloved places. The overlaying theme of the day was it is time to craft the next chapter of our community’s conservation story — together.

by · 11/16/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus
Celebrating our 8th birthday!

Celebrating our 8th birthday!

Today’s issue marks a big milestone — the start of our eighth year of publication. [Flashback to our first issue? Click here.]

We continue to be happy to serve as a great conduit for Charleston-area residents to get good news about the Lowcountry. (We still believe there’s way more good news out there that goes unreported by traditional media, which gives us a leg up on the competition!)

During the past seven years, some features have dropped away, such as a weekly list of cool stuff offered by readers, friends or from sources we’ve found while perusing media. But in place of the list, we now offer a weekly Mystery Photo, which readers seem to enjoy thoroughly.

by · 11/02/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS: 26th annual Holiday Festival of Lights is less than 3 weeks away

FOCUS: 26th annual Holiday Festival of Lights is less than 3 weeks away

By Sarah Reynolds, CCPRC | The beloved Holiday Festival of Lights is returning for its 26th year with even more to experience! Featuring an estimated 2 million shimmering lights, Charleston’s most popular holiday event is open nightly at James Island County Park Nov. 13, 2015, through Jan. 3, 2016.

More than 4 million people have toured the Holiday Festival of Lights, which is hosted by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission at James Island County Park. The event has received many awards and mentions in publications throughout the country, and the three-mile driving tour delivers more every year.

by · 10/26/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news

FOCUS: Citizenship in the brave new – digital – world

By Pamela Lackey | Regardless of where we consider “home,” we are all citizens of a digital world. Advances in communication and computer technology have revolutionized nearly every aspect of life, from how we work and play to how we stay in touch with others.

Some people seem to be completely at home in an online, interconnected community. For example, Beloit University’s “The Mindset List” notes that members of the Class of 2015 have never known a world without the Internet.

by · 10/19/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS: Helping victims of the Great Flood of 2015

FOCUS: Helping victims of the Great Flood of 2015

By Tim Ervolina, president, United Way Association of South Carolina | This flood has a thousand stories.

I could tell you about the disaster response volunteer from Danville, Virginia, who called in the midst of the deluge to offer tractor-trailers full of relief supplies, along with trained volunteers to pass them out.

I could tell you the community health worker who was looking for infant formula for a Hispanic mother of a fragile baby. When we got it to her, we found that the worker had been in a shelter since her own evacuation days ago.

I could tell you about the faith communities, the first responders, the medical staff, the animal shelter volunteers and the ordinary people who opened their hearts, their homes and their wallets to their neighbors and to total strangers.

by · 10/12/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS, photo essay:  Rain, rain go away

FOCUS, photo essay: Rain, rain go away

Photo essay: Dale Poulnot of Charleston wanted to know what Charleston harbor looked like around high tide during Saturday’s deluge of rain. So she stepped outside, walked to the Battery and snapped this photo. “I thought it was scary spectacular!” she told us. “Wasn’t surprised since it was a strong east wind and high tide. Sure made me glad that Hugo came at low tide!” For getting out in the storm and taking a striking photo of something familiar, she’s top winner of our first (and we hope last) Rain Photo Contest. Her prize: A can of beef stew!

by · 10/05/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Photos