FOCUS: In race to be a voice for the voiceless

By Toby Smith, candidate for Charleston mayor | I’m 315 pages into Isabel Wilkerson’s masterpiece, The Warmth of Other Suns. This saga of the Great Migration should be required reading across the board. I see my great grandparents, grandparents and parents, and better understand the economic challenges that continue to be vexing, why the pursuit of education is so very critical for minority populations, and the suffocating impact of bias, discrimination and racism. Frankly, I see myself, my life and the challenges I’ve overcome.

by · 09/07/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
MORRIS: Don’t panic about market’s fluctuations

MORRIS: Don’t panic about market’s fluctuations

By Kyra Morris | Ten days ago on Augst 21, the DOW fell more than 500 points. Then on Monday, August 24, the DOW fell again another 500 points. By Tuesday, August 25, it looked like the DOW was on an upswing, but then in the last hour of the day it fell and closed again down more than 200 points. Whoa! Then … here comes Wednesday and Thursday with a rebound that was one of the best two-day percentage gains in more than six years. What’s happening and what will be next?

Most financial professionals doubt that this will be a repeat of the 53 percent drop experienced from October 2007 until March 2009. Why – what’s the big difference? The lack of a real negative economic event like we had back then makes this different.

by · 08/31/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
Characters Atticus Finch and Bob Ewell have words in the movie adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

HAMILTON: Blacks not only victims of racial discrimination

By Kendra Hamilton | I enjoyed the Statehouse Report’s discussion of “the elephant in the room” on July 31. But I think a missing element is South Carolina’s legacy of violence against and coercion of … other whites. Two “integration stories” told by friends my age come to mind — stories that helped to shape my thinking, as an African American with deep South Carolina roots, on the dimensions of the problem facing us.

The first, I heard 20 years ago. A bosom friend from Gonzales, La., confided the terror and confusion that descended upon her childhood when she learned that her best friend’s father, a known Klan leader, was believed “by everyone” to have murdered another classmate’s father, a Jew who was active in civil rights.

by · 08/17/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS:  The photo sleuth

FOCUS: The photo sleuth

By Elizabeth Halberstadt | Sunday, July 19, was a particularly hot and humid summer day in Charleston. I planned to browse in the extra-cold air conditioned Barnes & Noble, but instead found myself drawn to the estate sale signs on the road near the bookstore.

The estate sale was for multiple estates and I found a room with black and white photographs. Old photographs have always piqued my interest. I sat on the floor for an hour, sifting and admiring the images with imprints from studios around the country.

by · 08/10/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
Click image to see a larger map.

FOCUS: Get facts straight on sex ed curriculum

By April L. Borkman, special to Charleston Currents | Almost 20 percent of South Carolina middle school students have had sexual intercourse, according to the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey This number only continues to increase as students enter and attend high school with 57 percent of high school students reporting being sexually experienced. While we have made abundant strides in reducing teen pregnancy rates in South Carolina over the past 20 years, South Carolina still ranks 11th for teen pregnancy nationally.

On Aug. 4, members of the Charleston County School Board’s Secondary Education Committee (SEC) will vote on a new sex education curriculum, which is called “Making Proud Choices” (MPC). It is an evidence-based, proven, effective and comprehensive sex education curriculum.

by · 07/27/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news

FOCUS: Thoughtful, considerate action should bring sustainable unity

By Maurice Washington, candidate for mayor | The tragedies of last month will forever be in our memories. Our hearts are with the families of the nine worshippers whose lives were taken in a premeditated rage. In spite of this horrific crime of hate, love has overcome these horrible moments, and, once again, the Charleston community has shown the world how a God-loving community can and should act under the most awful circumstances.

The families of the victims, choosing to forgive rather than condemn, demonstrated the very essence of Christianity. …

by · 07/20/2015 · Comments are Disabled · 2015 Mayor, Focus, Good news
MORRIS:  Charleston is part of a global community

MORRIS: Charleston is part of a global community

By Kyra Morris, contributing editor | My husband and I traveled all over Australia last month. At the beginning of June, only a few people we met were familiar with Charleston, our fair city. By the end of our travels because of the tragedy at Mother Emanuel, most of the people we met knew of Charleston.

Their comments were kind expressions of sorrow, but also of how they were impressed by the total community support and display of love and unity that Charleston showed to the families of the victims. This unity was felt by the world.

We did that part right. We let the world know that Charleston is not a place of hate. …

by · 07/13/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Money, Views
FOCUS: Two groups seek to increase youth mentoring

FOCUS: Two groups seek to increase youth mentoring

By Nicole LaChance | Two Charleston-area organizations are expanding their existing partnership in hopes of increasing the long-term success of local youth and boosting the region’s economic future.

Be a Mentor, an in-school mentoring program that works to ensure that every child in the Lowcountry has a caring adult in their lives, and Charleston Young Professionals (CYP), Charleston’s premier organization for young professionals, aim to involve 10 percent of CYP members in mentoring by the end of the year.

by · 07/06/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS: The healing power of art

FOCUS: The healing power of art

Staff reports | The Gibbes Museum last week highlighted a way to use art to promote community healing following the tragic June 18 church shooting that left nine dead.

“Throughout history, people have looked to the arts for inspiration and healing during times of deep sadness,” an email said. “Members of the local art community are responding to the tragedy through their creativity, and the staff and board members of the Gibbes Museum have been profoundly touched by theses meaningful photographs, videos, drawings and illustrations that have been shared with us.

by · 06/29/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news
FOCUS: Memorial in Charleston

FOCUS: Memorial in Charleston

By Jack Bass | JUNE 19, 2015 | The only time I sat in what is known in Charleston as Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church was in the early nineteen-sixties, when Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered a sermon. I was a reporter at that time, and I remember King speaking not as a civil-rights leader but as a preacher, with call and response to his message coming back from the congregation.

A few years ago, though, I met Mother Emanuel’s pastor, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney. Interested in getting to know him, I called one day to ask if we could meet, and he offered to come to my office. We visited for almost half an hour, talking about current issues before the state legislature. Pinckney was murdered at his church on Wednesday, along with eight members of his congregation. Now I regret not recalling more of our conversation.

by · 06/22/2015 · Comments are Disabled · Focus, Good news