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Close-up of Penchick by South Carolina artist Melvin Way.

BRACK: S.C. artists well-represented in national museum

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | The creativity, inventiveness and talent of people who grow up and live in the South, and particularly South Carolina, never ceases to amaze.

A week ago during a visit to Washington, D.C., we stumbled upon the Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM), also home to the National Portrait Gallery. We were familiar with all sorts of other Smithsonian museums, but had never heard of this one, located a few blocks north of the National Mall.

by · 05/08/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  A pat on the back for Grooms, Sheheen for practical roads bill

BRACK: A pat on the back for Grooms, Sheheen for practical roads bill

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Larry Grooms and Vincent Sheheen pored over spreadsheets for weeks looking for a solution that hornswoggled their state Senate colleagues for three years: A practical way to raise the state’s gas tax to fix roads.

By Wednesday, an idea by Republican Grooms – allowing state drivers to get rebates of their portion of the 12-cents-per-gallon hike in the gas user fee – blended with tax cut priorities by Sheheen, a Democrat, to cobble together a piece of winning legislation. While Sheheen brought a solid bloc of the minority Democrats to the table, Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, and Grooms delivered a group of moderate Republicans who stuck together, vote after vote, to thwart filibuster threats and get the bill passed.

by · 04/30/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
BRACK:  We’ve all got the “Pothole Blues”

BRACK: We’ve all got the “Pothole Blues”

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Sometimes the only way to make a point and make sure it gets through is through humor.

As the state Senate stumbles drunkenly to find a way to figure out a way to fix state roads and bridges, former gubernatorial candidate Tom Ervin of Greenville turned to song to make his point.

He wrote – and had recorded – an aptly-named song, “Pothole Blues,” as first reported Sunday by our sister publication, Statehouse Report.

He says he’s gotten so frustrated by the continued “lack of vision and failed leadership” by state senators and Gov. Henry McMaster in funding the billions of dollars of needs for state road and bridge repairs” that he had to do something.

by · 04/24/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Andy Brack, Views
Fanning

FANNING: Three easy steps to have your most productive day ever

By Ben Fanning, contributing editor | I used to start every day with checking email… then I’d respond based upon whatever was there.

I often felt out of control like I spent my day running from one fire to the next. Then one Monday something happened that led to my most productive day ever…

…the email server was down… no sending or receiving emails. (This was before the advent of Blackberries and iPhones, so no checking your emails remotely.)

by · 04/24/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Careers, Views
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 · 4 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
REAL ESTATE:  Local real estate market continues to boom

REAL ESTATE: Local real estate market continues to boom

By Doug Holmes, contributing editor | 2016 was a banner year and so far, 2017 is even stronger for real estate sales in Charleston. 2016 turned out to be our second-busiest year ever with over 17,000 residential home sales. Only 2005 was stronger with almost 18,000 sales. The median sales price reached an all-time high in 2016 of $245,000.

by · 04/10/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Real estate, 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
FANNING:  How you can worker smarter right now

FANNING: How you can worker smarter right now

By Ben Fanning, contributing editor | Ever noticed there are certain times of the day when you find it hard to get quality work done…even to the point of frustration? You see, not all hours are created equal. You are naturally more productive at certain times of the day. This acknowledgement is essential for your success, and not recognizing it can be like fighting human nature.

by · 03/27/2017 · Comments are Disabled · Careers, 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