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The S.C. Supreme Court building in Columbia, S.C.

BRACK: High court lets legislature off the education hook

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  Shame on a majority of the legislatively-elected S.C. Supreme Court for letting the General Assembly off the hook on funding poor, rural schools.  State leaders haven’t yet spent enough money or done enough work to upgrade these neglected schools so that they’re on par with urban and suburban public schools.

On Nov. 17, the court ruled 3-2 to dismiss the 24-year-old Abbeville v. State of South Carolina school equity funding lawsuit.  The order, however, is premature because state legislators only started moving these schools toward parity after a 2014 order by the court.  Now without the court’s oversight, there’s no pressure on the General Assembly to make good on its promises.

With gazillions of dollars of state funding needs, do you really trust legislators not to continue a legacy of inattention in the so-called “Corridor of Shame” area where a multitude of challenges persist?

by · 11/27/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK: Let’s be thankful for one of our own, Septima Clark

BRACK: Let’s be thankful for one of our own, Septima Clark

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  All South Carolinians – white, black, brown, newcomer and native – can stand to learn more about a real homegrown patriot, the late Septima Poinsette Clark.

The mere mention of her name today invokes reverence in the black community.  But white Southerners seem to forget that she was so respected for her work in the civil rights movement that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. asked her to accompany him to Oslo, Norway, in 1964 when he accepted the Nobel Peace prize.

“In a sort of casual way, he would say, ‘Anything I can’t answer, ask Mrs. Clark,’”  she recalled in a 1986 memoir.

From 1916 when she was 18 until she was fired 40 years later with 41 others in Charleston County for being a member of the NAACP, Clark was a teacher, first on John’s Island and then in Charleston, McClellanville, North Carolina, Columbia and again in Charleston.

by · 11/20/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
MY TURN: Both sides need to stop gerrymandering

MY TURN: Both sides need to stop gerrymandering

By Elliott Brack, special to Charleston Currents  |  Gerrymandering is nothing less than a majority government being unfair to the minority of its citizens in a particular area.

It is also an obvious case of bullying by the majority government. If it happened on the playground, people would yell, holler and stop it.

Yet it’s happened repeatedly in our halls of government, and no major challenge has risen to outlaw this practice. Why can’t our legislators understand this unfairness, and move to outlaw it?

by · 11/20/2017 · Comments are Disabled · My Turn, Views
BRACK: Push back on dumbing down of American citizenship

BRACK: Push back on dumbing down of American citizenship

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  If you periodically read commentaries like this one about public policy, you are probably considered a pretty good citizen – somebody who cares about how our society operates and is governed.  You probably vote, fret about tax rates, get roused by bureaucratic incompetence and care about issues of public importance.

But what about people across our state and nation who don’t read much, pay little attention to what’s going on in neighborhoods and towns – people who tune out, not tune in?   What about other people, liberals and conservatives, who have perverted American principles for their own ends to make America less than what it has been?

by · 11/13/2017 · 2 comments · Andy Brack, Views
View from atop the lighthouse -- a great reward for those who climb a wooden, 77-step circular staircase.

COMMENTARY, Brack: Visit to Sapelo Island is familiar, special

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  A weekend visit to Sapelo Island, one of Georgia’s sea islands proved it to be special, a place only accessible by ferry or boat.  But Sapelo is also familiar – a coastal haven that feels much like Bull’s Island in the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge near Awendaw.

Like Bull’s Island, Sapelo island is protected from development.  Almost all of the 16,500-acre island, other than a 440-acre Geechee community called Hogg Hammock, is owned by the state of Georgia.  Much of it is used by University of Georgia researchers to study the coastal ecosystem of the barrier island.

by · 11/06/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Photo Essay, Photos, Views
Mayor John Tecklenburg, left, speaks at an event earlier this month at Williams Terrace.  At right are Charleston Housing Authority Executive Director Don Cameron and the agency's board chair, Edward Kronsberg.

BRACK: Vote YES on Charleston’s $20 million housing bond referendum

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  Charleston needs more places for police, firefighters, teachers and seniors to live if we want to keep the fabric of our community diverse and strong.  If there aren’t affordable places for people to live, we’ll keep heading down the path of becoming a historical Disney world for rich tourists and rich folks who want to have a second home here.

You can do something to keep Charleston vibrant by voting YES in a Nov. 7 citywide bond referendum that seeks $20 million to buy, build and equip safe and affordable housing for people and families with low to moderate incomes.  

“We need more housing that working families can afford — firefighters, police officers, nurses, teachers and more,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg told us.  “That’s why this bond is so critical to our city’s future, and it’s why I’m asking our citizens to support it on Nov. 7th.”

by · 10/30/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
MY TURN: Let’s evacuate better next time by adding rail

MY TURN: Let’s evacuate better next time by adding rail

By Fred Palm, special to Charleston Currents  |  Every emergency is different and each one gives rise to the opportunity to study and improve our responses in the next one. Try this for a moment.

Can South Carolina use the existing rail system to evacuate people, especially Charleston? Read more.

by · 10/30/2017 · Comments are Disabled · My Turn, Views
BRACK: Cast of characters grows in corruption probe

BRACK: Cast of characters grows in corruption probe

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  With three politicos added last week to the ongoing corruption scandal at the Statehouse, it’s getting kind of hard to keep up with the cast of characters.  Here’s a handy guide for what’s going on:

To date, seven Republicans – six legislators or ex-legislators and uber-consultant Richard Quinn Sr. – have been indicted in the probe that goes back to 2014 when state officials started looking into the campaign finances of the sitting House speaker.

by · 10/23/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
COMMENTARY, Brack: Looking beyond corruption at the Statehouse

COMMENTARY, Brack: Looking beyond corruption at the Statehouse

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher  |  The S.C. General Assembly is far different than 27 years ago when Operation Lost Trust blew open the cozy culture of the Statehouse with federal charges against 28 legislators and lobbyists in a cash-for-votes sting.

People went to jail.  Some avoided it.  Ethics rules were changed to become some of the toughest in the nation as it became virtually impossible for people to buy a cup of coffee legally for a friend in the legislature.  

by · 10/16/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
CAREERS:   How to use anxiety to your advantage

CAREERS:   How to use anxiety to your advantage

By Ben Fanning, contributing editor  |  There is a lot of information out there sharing the steps to deal with anxiety. It’s all mostly geared to help you reduce it.

However, I’m going to offer you something today that will show you how to use anxiety to your advantage.  A few years ago, I picked up this tip from a friend at a barbecue restaurant…a place where I often gather pearls of wisdom.

Me:  “I found myself waking up at 2 a.m. every morning.”

Friend: “Me too. That’s when I get around to my to-do list.”

Me:  “Huh?”

by · 10/16/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Careers, Views