Andy Brack

BRACK: New statue of Hollings captures his spirit, leadership, energy

BRACK: New statue of Hollings captures his spirit, leadership, energy

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Sculptor Rick Weaver captured the body language of Fritz Hollings just right in a new statue unveiled Monday as former colleagues heaped praises on the retired senator, now 95.

Three things stand out in the bronze figure – the warm, but determined, look on Hollings’ face; how his left hand is grasping a rolled-up document; and, most notably, an outstretched right hand, a familiar gesture to many of the senator’s former staffers and friends.

“I asked him what he felt was the quality he possessed that allowed him to succeed in his work,” Charlottesville, Va., sculptor Weaver said in the ceremony program. “He said very quickly, ‘My ability to make friends.’ So in subtle ways, I tried to show that – his hand gesture, him turning to face someone. I wanted to convey how actively engaged he was all his life.”

by · 04/18/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: City must find courage to stem growth of hotels

BRACK: City must find courage to stem growth of hotels

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | It’s pretty sad – and kind of amazing – that a 10-year-old can reach a common-sense conclusion that seems to elude a majority of Einstein members of Charleston City Council and its planning commission.

“Daddy, we don’t need any more hotels,” my daughter said while looking recently at the skyline pollution of crane after crane.

No, honey, we don’t. What we need are city leaders who will start listening and thinking about the continuing glut of hotels and what greed to build more will cause down the line.

by · 04/10/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
Pug Ravenel, known as a trailblazing political figure in South Carolina, also was a star Harvard quarterback who made national news.

BRACK: Remembering Pug Ravenel

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Pug Ravenel’s intensity on the football field – his zeal to be the best – stretched into the political arena years later when he inspired young men and women who wanted to change how politics worked in the state. His “reformer” spirit guided newcomers like Joe Riley, who became Charleston’s longtime mayor.

Ravenel, who later ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate against Strom Thurmond in 1978 and for Congress two years later, outlined a new path in politics in South Carolina. As one Facebook observer noted, “South Carolina lost so much for not electing him three times.”

We’ll miss Pug’s intensity, his piercing intellect, his openness to new things and his thoughtful energy fueled by ideas and common sense.

by · 03/27/2017 · 8 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: How can S.C. Democrats start winning more?

BRACK: How can S.C. Democrats start winning more?

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | With strings of losses in statewide contests over the last few years, you’d think South Carolina Democrats would be down and out. But with President Donald Trump irritating people left and right, there’s a growing enthusiasm that maybe Democrats can take advantage of new cards being dealt them.

To do so, they’re going to have to be disciplined, raise money, create a more appealing message and target sympathetic voters. And, as one longtime insider notes, they’ll have to have some pretty good luck. But the conditions in reliably red South Carolina are bubbling for Democrats at the state level to have a little more success.

by · 03/20/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  If I were King for a Day …

BRACK: If I were King for a Day …

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Sometimes the way to clarify where you stand on something is to stretch your brain with the game, “If I were King for a Day, I would ____” and then fill in the blank.

If I were King of the City of Charleston, I would:

* Stop construction of hotels.
* Build the bike lane.
* Build more affordable housing.
* Elevate the Crosstown.
* Transform Citadel Mall into a destination.

by · 03/13/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  S.C. needs to stop shooting itself in the foot

BRACK: S.C. needs to stop shooting itself in the foot

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | There’s some high-fiving going on in Columbia as state lawmakers are pushing through measures to raise the gas tax and fix the state employees’ pension system.

Unfortunately, these are solutions for problems of the legislature’s own making. Had the General Assembly done its job years ago, legislators wouldn’t have to be raising taxes to fix crumbling, pot-holed roads. They wouldn’t have to be charging taxpayers and state employees more to make up for dumb losses to the state’s pension fund.

by · 03/06/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  We must now deal with opioid abuse

BRACK: We must now deal with opioid abuse

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | If you don’t think abuse of legally-prescribed painkillers is a problem in South Carolina, just keep this number in mind: 61 million.

That’s the number of powerful, synthesized narcotic pills, known as opioids, that medical professionals prescribed in 2014 in just three counties — Charleston, Greenville and Horry. In Charleston County alone, more than 15 million opioids are prescribed annually!

by · 02/27/2017 · 1 comment · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Being proud to be Southern ain’t going away anytime soon

BRACK: Being proud to be Southern ain’t going away anytime soon

In “The Resilience of Southern Identity: Why the South Still Matters in the Minds of its People” [UNC Press, $29.95], the authors argue the notion of being “Southern” is alive and well, despite years of massive changes in society from the end of institutionalized segregation and increasing urbanization to the influx of millions of people not born in the South, now the nation’s largest region with 121 million people.

Many argue, the authors write, the region’s identity is becoming less important because of years of these changes. Yet they found the opposite in a 134-page study that includes reviews of academic literature, polling data and discussions with focus groups.

by · 02/20/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Where’s the saber-rattling over the ask for a federal bailout?

BRACK: Where’s the saber-rattling over the ask for a federal bailout?

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Two questions:

1. What is the state that was offered $11 billion from the federal government to provide better health care for the poorest of its citizens and said no?

2. What is the state that now wants the federal government to provide a $5 billion bailout for roads after not doing enough over the last 30 years to meet their infrastructure obligations?

Answer: South Carolina, also now known as the Hypocrisy State.

by · 02/13/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  Gentrification is putting crimp on Charleston’s style

BRACK: Gentrification is putting crimp on Charleston’s style

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | The new Charleston: Too many cranes. Too many hotels. Too much hustle. Too much bustle.

The Holy City’s very success in attracting tourists and newcomers to enjoy its sleepy charm and lifestyle is rubbing off Charleston’s shine. If we don’t watch it, our success in attracting three dozen new people to move into the metro area every day will cause us to become just one more vanilla, metropolitan city filled with a homogenized population of gawkers who happen to live where there’s some interesting stuff to see.

by · 02/06/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views