December 16, 2005
Crisis Ministry and Food Bank Meet the Challenge
December 13, 2005 - Two of Charleston's dynamic caregivers gave presentations that were well in tune with the holiday spirit of helping others. Stacey Deneaux, Director of the Crisis Ministry, told us that 3.5 million people nationally, of which 40% are children, are homeless. A major reason is the shortage of affordable housing. Thus, when it comes to a choice of food or house, they will give up their homes. On average 3000 people per day are homeless in the Charleston area, 2000 of whom come to the Crisis Center at some time during the year. Eventually, about 300 of these find homes.
Assistance takes the form of mental, physical and spiritual help. The center at 573 Meeting Street is staffed by 7 social workers, one nurse and other part time specialists. Despite these efforts, there are over 40% more women and children being served this year over last year, and an increase of 2% in men. The causes of homelessness are poverty, lack of housing, being a victim of violence, job loss and for 80% mental illness, 40% of whom it is very severe.
Homeless persons are 3 to 4 times more likely to die early, or at an age of 47 rather than the national average of 77. Chronic illnesses such as asthma or diabetes which many people live with can become fatal to the homeless. To combat such issues, the center teachers classes in cleanliness and diet. These classes have been highly successful.
Jermaine Husser, Director of the Food Bank, shared alarming statistics noting that 37 million people in America have inadequate food, with 450,000 being in South Carolina. The nation spends 1 billion per year caring for children born with low birth weight and another 1 billion on problems related to obesity. Thus, the dichotomy exists that 27% of the nations food is wasted. Still, the local Food Bank provides 10 million pounds of food per year.
In addition to giving out food, the Bank is training persons to get jobs in the food service industries, teaching children to eat more nutritiously and avoid obesity and providing education to expecting mothers. This area alone can save the nation billions in medical expenses later on.
The Food Bank sent 48 million pounds of food to Katrina victims. In so doing, it is recognizes that hurricane disaster always looms over Charleston and the help may come back again in another time. The bank operates on a low overhead cost of 2%, thus every dollar given turns into a donation of about $20, as the bank marshals food resources from all over. The goal is to end the time of homeless and hungry people in America.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
December 11, 2005
December 13, 2005 - Ed Wax, former Chairman of Saatchi, a most prestigious advertising firm, spoke to Rotarians today on the subject of truth and ethics in advertising. Ed was both informative, as well as entertaining, as he educated Rotarians about what is, and is not truth about this industry.
Ed began his talk hypothesizing whether, in this post-Enron environment, the term "business ethics" and "truth in advertising" had become oxymorons. He assured his audience that this was not the case and that the majority of advertising one sees is, in fact, the truth.
Unfortunately, that isn't the general perception shared by the consumers. In a survey of ethics intended to rank public perception of ethical behavior by industry, the advertising industry came in 23rd, followed only by that of the used car industry and by politics. Further, eighty- five percent of the public believes most advertisements are not truthful and sixty-three percent believes the government should institute regulatory controls on the advertising industry.
Mr. Wax pointed out that the fundamental issue should not be whether or not every single bit of truth is offered in an ad. Advertisers always wants to present their product in the best possible light and, after all, there is such a thing as offering too much of the truth. Rather, the real point should be whether or not it conveys the whole truth while not being misleading or not misrepresenting the truth it purports to tell. An ad which is either deceptive or patently false does a disservice not only to consumers but also to the advertising industry as well.
Members of this industry subscribe to a rigorous code of ethical standards and must follow a prescribed regulatory approval process. Each ad begins with a detailed storyboard which is then submitted for approval. Before the ad ever appears on television, the networks must also pass off on it according to the criteria they have established for truth and tastefulness. Additionally, any simulations which are shown in an ad must be documented with substantive evidence that the simulation is true and that it happened exactly as it appears in the ad. Proof is usually offered in the form of the simulation video and affidavits from those involved in the simulation . One particular ad which demonstrated stacked champagne glasses on the hood of a Lexus going 145 miles per hour was given as an example of this process.
Advertisers can also find themselves subjected to significant external pressures exerted not only by members of their own industry but also by watchdog groups. Ed presented an example of a Citigroup ad in which a woman talked about an action figure she went to great lengths to find for her son. At the end of the ad, she remarked that her son had broken the action figure, but "Citibank took care of it". American Express took exception to the ad and presented statistics they conducted indicating that fully 35% of respondents thought those words meant that Citibank would replace the little action figure. The ad was withdrawn.
So why do perceptions continue about the lack of truth in this industry? Usually, it is due to local advertising which is not regulated in any way. Ed calls for local groups to become more diligent in creating forums for discussion and to begin the process of self-regulation.
In concluding , Ed said the cost of cheating is very high. For whatever reasons advertising should not be misleading or untruthful whether the advertising is local or national, the primary reason should be because it is the right thing to do.
Submitted by Helen Harloe, Keyway Committee
December 2, 2005
Port Posting Dynamic Increases
November 29, 2005 - Bernie Groseclose, President and CEO of the SC Ports Authority, brought us a detailed report on the current status of the Port Expansion Project. Several years ago the long range forecast was for the port to increase by 4.3% per year. But at the end of the current fiscal year the port had increased by 14%, yet its operating costs rose but .3%! With ever increasing numbers of clients the port is literally running out of space. One third of the business is now Asian and India has surpassed most European clients in port usage.
Charleston is the 4th largest port in the U.S. and the 2nd largest on the east coast. Yet, unlike major competitors Savannah and Norfolk, who are tax subsidized, Charleston is a private venture.
Six years ago all eyes were on Daniel Island as the place for expansion, but the 2002 state legislature declared that Daniel Island was no longer under consideration. The focus today is the old navy base in North Charleston. Permanent applications are now in place with the Corps of Engineers and the state to expand the port on the old navy base site. $5,000,000 has been spent to date on the studies, much of which has repeated studies done in the late 1990's, but this is the way the public process works.
A major focus now is the mitigation plan for the areas affected:
- Marshes will be restored
- The Cooper basin will be preserved
- An oil spill recovery program will be put in place
- A 17 acre research site will be given to Clemson University
- A new park will be created
- Job training with scholarships will be set up
In addition, studies are underway to minimize the impact of increased transportation in the immediate area. And finally the expansion project will:
- Use space on a base which is largely a wasteland
- Create local jobs
- Provide economic development statewide
- Pump significant money into the local economy
In response to a question about railroads Bernie noted that about 25% of the freight is currently moved by rail, but 65% of the freight goes through the Wando terminal and there is no rail line to support it.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
November 24, 2005
Crisis Looms in the Future
November 22, 2005 - Norrine Noonan, Professor of Science and Mathematics at the College of Charleston, gave a dynamic and enlightened presentation of the value of science and mathematics in today's world and of the great shortcomings being experienced in our ability as a nation to teach these areas.
A recent recipient of the NASA Public Service Medal, Norrine came to the college in 2003 from Florida Technical College, where she was Vice President for Research. She has also been an Assistant Director of Research for the Environmental Protection Agency.
At the outset of her talk she thanked our Rotary for its support of our own Ambassadorial Scholar, Stephanie Wheeler, who addressed us a week ago, and whom Norrine helped train in biology at the College of Charleston.
Looking at the broad picture of deficiencies in the training of Mathematics and Science teachers, Norrine cited the financial reality that a teacher in Charleston with a Master's Degree and 20 years of experience can earn $53,000. By contrast a brand new MBA graduate can enter the world of work at a salary between $70,000 and $100,000. It is no wonder then that many college students enter the field of medicine, but few are entering the pure sciences of chemistry, physics and biology? Many potential scholars are steered towards the major research universities, while few are encouraged to go to the colleges who train teachers. Who then will be there to train the scientists, researchers, and doctors of the future?
The solution requires more than money. The top college professors of today must be teaching the entry level science courses to drive home the importance of mathematics and science if America is to maintain its position as an international leader.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
November 18, 2005
Q and A Session Answers Rotarians Questions
November 15, 2005: Sam Hoerter of the Charleston International Airport was at Tuesday's meeting to give Rotarians information about what is happening at the airport. Mr. Hoerter first commented that experience had taught him Rotarians did not usually tend toward shyness and that there seemed to be no end to questions and discussion on the subject of airlines and airports so he thought he would offer to conduct a question and answer session rather than a presentation.
Anticipating the first question, Mr. Hoerter beat the group to the punch by announcing that the parking garage would open on Sunday, November 20. He further offered that the garage is an exceptional facility. The next question requested that Mr. Hoerter share his thoughts about how the downturn in the airline industry might affect Charleston. Sam responded that the Charleston airport intentionally minimized contractual requirements of the airlines in order to make it easy for airlines to come and go. By doing so, Charleston would always be served with a new airline when one departed . This has proved to be the case for 20 years.
Mr. Hoerter next answered the question about why air fares to NYC were so much higher in Charleston than in Myrtle Beach. In responding, he attributed the high fares between Charleston and New York to the increasing wealth in the community as people move here who are willing to pay those higher fares. Charleston air fares to NYC are about a third more than the national average. On the other hand, Hoerter pointed out, the airport that can command high fares will always be attractive to new carriers which, in turn, will assure that Charlestonians always have air transportation available when they need it.
Because of the continuing and obvious interest in this topic with no lack of questions, Mr. Hoerter promised President Earl that he would return to our club at a later date to cover the subject in greater depth .
By Helen Harloe, Keyway Committee
November 11, 2005
Clean Water Worldwide
November 8, 2005 : Molly Greene, a fellow Rotarian, shared the wonderful things that Water Missions International has been doing to help people have clean water, which is so necessary to help both abroad and in the United States. As you know, providing clean and safe drinking water is one of the major focuses of Rotary.
Molly shared with us, along with some great pictures, the accomplishments that Rotary has helped make and provide water systems to underdeveloped countries and even to the Hurricane victims in the Gulf. Her husband and fellow Rotarian, George Greene, has created and Water Missions has installed 248 portable water systems. 108 went to Tsunami victims alone.
Not only was it good to know the magnitude of the impact of the water systems, but it was also great to understand how the system came about. The first system, which we saw pictures of, was designed in six days after Hurricane Mitch in 1998. From that time, their mission has grown exponentially. Currently, they have over 50 systems in Srilanka 9 of which support a refuge camp of 20,000 people. Living Water Treatment System is transportable and can provide a continuous supply of safe clean drinking water for a community up to 3,000.
Molly showed a number of pictures of the Gulf area that chronicle devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina. Her observation was, "Everything is as bad in Mississippi as it was in Srilanka." Seeing a comparison of pictures of Tsunami devastation and Katrina was very telling. Systems were designed and built within 6 days of Katrina hitting. We saw pictures of the volunteers that went down to help with not only the systems, but also other relief efforts. If you would like to volunteer for assisting with Katrina relief OR in the future, go to www.watermissions.org/volunteer.htm.
About 33 percent of the world's population does not have access to reliable sources of clean water, and millions die each year due to diseases spread by contaminated water.
We would like to thank both George and Molly for the great presentation and even greater efforts to provide clean drinking water and support for Rotary's mission.
By Wayne Outlaw
November 4, 2005
November 1, 2005 : SHAWN JENKINS, president and founder of Benefit-Focus.com, started a so called "dot.com" company in Charleston five years ago with himself and a partner. By the end of the year, 18 persons were employed and today the company has 250 employees and is growing briskly.
A graduate of Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pa. in the field of aviation, the Daytona Beach, Florida native began his working career as a commercial airline pilot. All the signs for starting his new venture were stacked against him: it was the wrong time, Charleston was the wrong place, there could be no financing available. But by the end of the first year he purchased a 31,000 SF former Walmart in Mt. Pleasant and the specialized software company took off from there.
The thrust of the company is to write software to create a single website from which individuals can transfer basic data to other settings. The goal is to tremendously reduce hard copy paperwork. When Blue Cross/Blue Shield of South Carolina came on board the company was well underway with a major focus on the health care industries.
As the fifth year comes to a close the company has a new 140,000 SF building on the drawing boards to be constructed on Daniel Island . They expect to spend a half million dollars in the next year on recruiting alone.
In many respects the company has been radical in its enthusiasm to grow with Shawn cheering the company on and literally ringing a gong at the work place when a new client comes on board. The company's creed is two fold: Have respect for each individual. Stress an anticipation of future service. Clients are visited regularly as the company strives to offer new techniques to solve age old problems. 311 new clients were brought on board in the past 4 weeks.
Putting their technology to work for themselves, major contracts are prepared and "signed" electronically. He credits the Federal government as being way ahead of private industry by enabling the legality of electronic contract services.
The company operates with virtually no formal salespersons, but company representatives are constantly going to the clients to provide orientation to the new programs.
In response to questions from the floor:
Initial financing was through mortgages and loans, but major investors came along and joined the board.
Recruiting qualified programs is an ongoing challenge. Locally there are enough masters level applicants, but there is no local Ph. D. level pool. They have established good relationships with SC colleges and universities but are also recruiting nationwide.
They do not anticipate outsourcing work overseas.
They are looking at Brazil as their next marker
The company is very pleased to be in Charleston, but it is a conservative environment which does not quickly take to new ideas. They have dealt with this by emphasizing personal hospitality and stressing the point: "Do what you say you are going to do!"
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
October 28, 2005
October 25, 2005: Our own Rob Dewey gave a moving program showing the devastation of both property and, most importantly, people's lives on the Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Katrina. On August 27th, Rob was put on standby and on Sunday was deployed as part of the team to Gulf Port, MS area working with the identification and handling of victims using a portable mortuary.
Rob is a sensitive and caring representative of the Lowcountry, historic Charleston Rotary Club, and his faith. The most moving pictures he showed were not just of the property destruction, but the people working to make life better for the victims.
One picture showed Charleston Police Department on the scene before others and ready to assist as apart of the Outreach by the Lowcountry to others in response to the help we received during Hugo. Rob was asked how Katrina compared to Hugo and his response was, "You can't compare them." He showed a photo of the areas hit by 40 foot wall of water in Bay St. Louis. Even among all this destruction, Rob shared it was very important to keep the sense of humor to deal with the tragedy like this.
One question Rob was asked was how we can create a communications link that connects people who lost loved ones and to support that is needed. The "211" number was given as an excellent example of a way to provide this type of assistance. We have 211 in the Charleston area but unfortunately it is not nationwide and help is needed in promoting it. More will be provided in the newsletter concerning how you can support legislation for a nationwide "211" number for assistance.
One of the photos brought to mind Rotary's "service above self." Rob showed a picture of a tent provided to victims with the Rotary logo on the side for temporary shelter. Rotary was making a difference. We would like to thank Rob not only for great presentation, but also for his tireless support for those in need.
October 21, 2005
South Carolinians can now specify how their donations to schools will be used!
October 18, 2005 - DonorsChoose is "the future of philanthropy" according to the New York Times. Today that future arrived in Charleston via the DonorsChoose bus. DonorChoose program is a process by which families, businesses and philanthropic organizations can easily provide monetary support to South Carolina teachers and classrooms and to specify the exact project or program they wish to fund. Through the use of a user-friendly website with a virtual menu of options, donors can pinpoint the exact program to be the fortunate recipient of a gift. Donors can make a donation on behalf of someone in lieu of a gift when there is a special reason to do so. Missy Sherburne, the Executive Director of DonorsChoose told Rotarians how this program began and how it evolved into a state-wide initiative in South Carolina.
In 2002, a teacher in New York had the idea to build a web site through which parents and businesses would have a simple way to financially support teachers who were spending their own money to fill budget shortfalls and enhance classroom activities. He built the website on his own time and it was an immediate hit! Word spread quickly and before long DonorsChoose was recognized as a national model by The New York Times, Oprah, and by National Public Radio. When word of this idea reached Charleston, people were quick to want to find out more information and to begin the work necessary to get such a program up and running. As it so happens, Greenville schools had also heard about DonorsChoose and were pursuing their own interest in the program. The two cities learned about one another and quickly joined forces. Through the sponsorship of a number of exceptional organizations and the hard work of people in Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina is only the second state to adopt this program on a state-wide basis.
Ms. Sherburne then gave us an on-screen glimpse of the DonorsChoose web site (www.donorschoose.org). It is an easy web site to access and to use. Potential donors can't help but be impressed by the creativity and motivation of our teachers as they read through the variety of ideas expressed in the project proposals. All of the proposals represent class projects designed to enhance and support learning in classrooms K -12 and for which money is not available. One can search the proposals by subject matter or by location and donations can be made to schools in South Carolina from any location in the US. Some of proposals submitted by our creative and talented teachers are, for example, "Chapter Challenge" ($185) to "Don't Let Genetics (Fruit) Fly By" ($428), and "Who Gives a Hoot?" ($908).
At today's meeting, Rotarians had a chance to log onto the web site. One Rotarian who boarded the DonorsChoose bus to log on was Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson. Dr. Goodloe-Johnson told the club how impressed she was by all of proposals she read but one jumped right out at her. Because of her lifelong love of jazz and because music has been such a constant in her life, a proposal involving a small after-school jazz group held special appeal. The proposal would benefit a group of kids who stay after school because of their love of jazz. The only set of drums to which they have access is currently shared by three children. Their wish is for a second set of drums. Dr. Goodloe-Johnson promptly donated $100 to this effort and then challenged Rotarians to come up with the other $900.00 necessary to buy the drums. Within 15 seconds Rotarians had committed significantly more than the additional $900 she requested.
Won't you take a minute to look to this web site? Go to www.donorschoose.org and most likely you, too, will begin to appreciate the potential of this program to positively benefit our schools.
Reported by Helen Harloe, Keyway Committee
October 14, 2005
Making Charleston a Premier Culinary Destination
October 11, 2005 -Rotarians today were left salivating after hearing about the mouth-watering plans for upcoming Distinctively Charleston Food and Wine Festival scheduled for the first weekend in March. Television personality and author, Nathalie Dupree along with Angel Postell, the Director of the executive committee for the festival, spoke to the Rotary Club of Charleston to tell us about the background and evolution of this festival.
Ms Dupree, a 1999 winner of the esteemed James Beard Award, told us how she became involved with this event. She talked about a group of young Charlestonians who are passionate about launching a festival dedicated to the one feature of our city that they believe has somewhat neglected by the media. The group intends to address this oversight by positioning the city to become a premier culinary destination with a top-tier festival dedicated to the culinary arts featuring the food which is characteristic of our rich cultural history. They envisioned an occasion on par with Spoleto, where experts could gather to share, learn and celebrate their skills along with those who merely enjoy them and do so against the backdrop of our elegant and historical city. The city's many exceptional restaurants, outstandingly talented chefs, and dishes unique to the lowcountry will be showcased as they are joined by celebrity chefs and authors and wine experts and vendors to enjoy the four day weekend.
The Executive Director of the event, Angel Postell, then gave us a tiny preview of the schedule and activities which are already in place for the weekend. There will be more than 65 interactive events which include cooking demonstrations, wine seminars, a restaurant "dine-around", book signings, a champagne and dessert with noted pastry chefs, and all throughout the festivities there will be a massive "culinary village" located in Marion Square where the many vendors will display and demonstrate. There will be a gala on Saturday night to benefit the two selected initiatives sponsored by the festival. One of the beneficiaries will be the new Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Tech. The weekend will culminate in a gospel brunch to be held on Sunday morning.
You can access more information by going to the festival web site: http://www.charlestonfoodandwine.com/ . Surely, this festival is destined to become one of the country's premier destinations for food and wine enthusiasts .
Reported by Helen Harloe, Keyway Committee
October 7, 2005
Safety Officer Tells All
October 4, 2005 : Port Security Official, Pam Zarask, gave an informative talk about the safety story at the Port of Charleston, which is the 4th largest port in the USA and the 2nd largest on the East Coast. Each day over 15,000 containers are brought into Charleston. Operating as the Custom Border Patrol, Zarask's organization is the largest branch of the Department of Homeland Security. Its task is to handle all evaluations and be a clearing house for people and goods. At the same time the agency dares not choke the legitimate flow of goods so as to disrupt the economy. The operation has several key phases:
The 24 hour rule prohibits any container from entering Charleston that had not been on a lading manifest for 24 hours.
A National Target Center, based in Washington, DC does an analysis of shipping.
An Auto Targeting System identifies all high risk goods, based upon prior intelligence and insures that said goods are inspected.
The Automated Commercial Environment provides enhanced detection and analysis of cargo.
A non intrusive inspection system provides radiant detection devices, both large and small. Key containers are x-rayed and the back door opened. In general trucks can roll right through the detection system without stopping. An international agreement of 37 ports, which will soon expand to 70 provides world wide inspections. This venture is a combination of private companies and the CBP.
Specialized training of agents is done in collaboration with the Coast Guard and includes both basic and advanced training.
The bottom line is "TRUST BUT VERIFY".
In response to a questions as to how often the Charleston group has found something wrong, Zarask responded:
There have been 15 container seizures in 2005
8 million dollars in fines have been levied
Some irregularity occurs 2 to 3 times per week.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
September 30, 2005
September 25, 2005 - College of Charleston professor and Director of the Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Institute for Urban Affairs and Policy Studies, Andy Felts, spoke to the Rotary about the recent Supreme Court decision of Kelo versus the City of New London, Connecticut. In this case, private waterfront property was taken by the city for the greater public use, i.e. the ability to generate greater tax revenue. While this case seems on the surface to be rather shocking to many people, Felts told straight out that he did not think it was a "big deal" as there is considerable precedence to support it and the court loves to uphold precedence. The key sentence in the decision states that "without exception the public good has been broadly defined", with deference being given to legislative judgment.
In 1984 the Hawaii Housing Authority v. Midkiff, and in 1954 Berman v. Parker, the court held that taking of property for economic development qualified as a valid public use under both the Federal and the State Constitutions.
A more complex issue according to Felts is the partial taking of resources. He noted that both the State and Federal governments have mandated legislation which costs local communities thousands of dollars to comply with new regulations yet have given the locals no funds with which to do it. Many communities, like New London, have declining tax revenues and no means to fund the mandates, thus new creative avenues have had to be found.
The key solution, according to Felts rests with the state legislature to fix the problems. He anticipates that the South Carolina legislature will soon prohibit the use of property tax for the schools, to be replaced with an additional 2.5% sales tax [property tax would still continue for other local services such as trash removal, libraries, etc.] The problem with this "solution" is what the communities can do if the economy fails.
Traditionally, the state has made it very difficult for cities to annex ground, the reason being that the legislature is primarily rural oriented. The tough stance that exists is meant to stifle the growth of the cities.
In the question period members raised the issue of the recent receipt of tax bills in Charleston which have caused taxes to double and triple in some cases. A series of "speeches" rather than questions quickly showed that the Rotary members gathered were as puzzled and frustrated over the whole issue of taxation as is any other gathering.
Submitted by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
September 23, 2005
September 21, 2005 - Rotarians received a very interesting presentation on the exhibit, "Everybody Did Something: Charleston Remembers World War II", at the Charleston Museum. Carl Borick, the Assistant Director of the Museum, gave great insight into the origin and his research for the Exhibit. Most importantly, the presentation showed the contributions of Lowcountry residences to the war effort and why they are remembered as "the greatest generation."
The Exhibit commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II and presents a compelling look at the war in the South Carolina Lowcountry from many facets. It focuses on the experiences of our citizens who served in the armed forces here and abroad and gives unique insight on those unsung heroes who kept the home fires burning.
The Exhibit commemorates not just those who were active in the conflict, but also the volunteers, hospital workers, and even the children who collected money to support the war effort. It contains many interesting artifacts and images that create a nostalgic look at the contributions these Lowcountry people made to our freedom and the impact the war had on everyone's life.
Charleston was not only a great shipyard providing repairs, but also an embarkation point for thousands of military personnel. There were also two active military hospitals that were very instrumental in caring for the injured when they returned. Its medical personnel saw firsthand the horrors of war.
Our military personnel were not the only people coming here from the war zone. Charleston housed German prisoners of war. Its first prisoners were the crew of U Boat #352. Many others from the North African Theater were housed here.
The Exhibit celebrates the spirit that banded the city and county together to defeat a common enemy. It celebrates not just the contributions, but also the individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice. A number of our own Rotary Group were recognized for their contributions and service during World War II.
The Exhibit is open through February 6, 2006. Take the opportunity to go to see it and pay tribute to those who made our freedom possible today.
Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee
September 18, 2005
September 1 3, 2005- David DeNotarius is a nationally known motivational speaker, a radio personality, a consultant to the state of New Jersey, an author, and a world-class athlete. David is also blind. His many life accomplishments and awards attest to his positive outlook and his determination to live life to the fullest.
David is in Charleston to help the Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation create excitement about their November 5th James Island Connector Run. The purpose of the Gavalas-Kolanko Foundation is to make a difference in our community by working to develop concepts, resources, and ideas that affect the way we look at individuals with disabilities. David opened his talk by encouraging all Rotarians to get involved with the James Island Connector Run.
David grew up with consistent messages about how he was limited in his abilities because of his blindness. Nevertheless, and with the help of his family, David learned that it was up to him to decide what he wanted to do and then just figure out how to do it. He has used that approach as a guide for living and the template which enables him to face challenges head on and to overcome every obstacle life presents.
There are statistics indicating that 70%- 85% of people with disabilities are not employed and that almost 20% of the population has some type of disability. These numbers are significant in that they represent a huge pool of untapped talent, and in David's mind education is the key. In his book and his speeches, David spreads the message that we must all begin to focus on an individual's potential instead of the limitations and constraints placed on them because of a disability. Further, we must reach out to help those individuals by encouraging them to focus on what they can, instead of what they cannot do.
David reminded Rotarians that we are all blessed and that we all face challenges. David's approach to life and his inspirational message reminds us to see potential in challenges and to remember to always try to "turn a mess into a message and a test into a testimony" when facing obstacles.
For information about the James Island Connector Run Weekend, please go to www.GKfoundation.org
September 9, 2005
Governor Ramsey Sets the Challenge
The Spirit of Rotary International
Focusing on Rotary International he told us that our organization is the oldest of its kind in the world. The excitement was evident as 43,000 Rotarians from worldwide gathered in Chicago for the 2005 convention.
Looking to history for his message he told of Sgt. York of World War I fame who ranked his Rotary membership pin as equal to his Medal of Honor. The 32,000 Rotary clubs world wide demonstrate the Spirit of Rotary. This spirit focuses on three truths of what Rotary members contribute:
1. Networking and professional contacts which are essential to friendship which is critical to life.
2. High ethical standards with an emphasis beyond self.
3. Promotion of international understanding to promote world peace.
Focusing on Rotary International he told us that a committee is currently at work to expand Rotary to China; another committee is focusing on re-establishing Rotary in Cuba, remembering that in 1959 the Havana club was world famous; a third is dedicated to spread a culture of free enterprise and education throughout the Atlantic World.
The Spirit of Rotary can be summed up by a recent Wall Street Journal speaking of Rotary's work in fighting polio which stated that Rotary "is the most effective private health effort ever; Rotary deserves the Nobel Peace prize."
Submitted by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
September 2, 2005
Ombudsman gives insight into one of best years ever
August 30, 2005 - Rotarians received an update on what our state is doing to attract and retain business and industry from Chuck Bundy, Small Business Ombudsman in the Business Solutions Division of the South Carolina Department of Commerce (DOC). The Business Solutions Division provides resources and people to assist South Carolina's existing businesses through its five program areas: Entrepreneurship and Small Business Services, Business Financing and Equity, Recycling Market Development, International Trade, and the SC Film Commission.
Bundy assured the group that there are "things going on at Commerce". The state appears to be coming out of a downturn in recent years, and DOC's economic development efforts are "stronger than ever." Although DOC measures its effectiveness by the number of new jobs and new investment, Bundy's department plays a crucial role in another form of job creation, which is expansion.
Bundy claims that job creation (new projects only) in the state has been the highest it has been in 13 years. We can directly observe this here in the Lowcountry with the location of such projects as the Vought-Alenia plant near the airport and other industries that have located or expanded in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties. This is a testament to what Bundy calls the "team sport" efforts of local economic development officials in the region.
Currently DOC has 280 active projects in its pipeline--the most we have seen in a long time. These projects span a multitude of industries to try and diversify South Carolina's economy and locate quality industries that meet the target industries identified by state and local economic development plans. These industries would help raise South Carolina's per capita income and put our state on a path to a knowledge- and service-based economy.
Current marketing efforts are focused on clusters, which are industries and suppliers that co-locate geographically based on the ability to share resources and increase productivity. Clusters that have been identified by the State as important to recruit include Biotech, Aerospace, Automotive, Plastics and Composites, and Advanced Textiles (which still has a strong presence in South Carolina). Industries in these clusters have already been proven to be successful, with probably the best example being BMW in the Upstate. Bundy said the Charleston region is "right in step" with state priorities for recruitment with similar clusters being pursued.
Bundy claims that DOC is also very active in recruitment abroad, and has opened offices in Shanghai and Tokyo, and also participates in trade shows that offer opportunity of recruiting specific industries or clusters, such as the Philadelphia Biotech trade show. Bundy works with other DOC divisions to make the environment more competitive for existing industry. For example, the Rural and Community Development Division works with smaller rural communities across the state to ensure they are competitive as well. This division runs the Certified Sites Program, which prepares and qualifies land to be used for industrial development. This ensures communities have available product and gives them the resources to compete with larger communities.
As for Bundy's own department, Governor Sanford and Secretary Faith have placed emphasis on small businesses, which account for a significant part of South Carolina's economy. According to Bundy, there are currently 92,000 firms with less than 50 employees, and an additional 200,000 self-employed proprietorships (one person companies). Business Solutions has helped these businesses identify resources and programs to help them be productive, and possibly expand, which benefits us all.
Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Editor
August 26, 2005
Interpreting the African American Experience
August 23, 2005 - Rotarians enjoyed a history lesson by Dr. Marvin Dulaney, Executive Director of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture at the College of Charleston. Besides being the Executive Director of Avery for 11 years and the former Chair of the History Department, Dr. Dulaney is currently writing a book on the history of African Americans in Dallas, Texas. He also was a former Rotarian, and many pleas were made for him to return to the Club.
Dr. Dulaney showed a video of the history of the Avery Research Center and its mission, which is to "collect, preserve and document the history and culture of African Americans in Charleston and the South Carolina Lowcountry". The video, Preserving the African American Experience, showed how slaves who once struggled for emancipation were merely struggling for survival at the end of the Civil War. The Avery Research Center emanated from the Avery Normal Institute, which was founded in 1865 as the first accredited secondary school for African Americans in Charleston. Avery Normal Institute became Palmer College in the 1950s, but eventually the building fell into disrepair. The building was finally purchased by the State under the auspices of the College of Charleston, who joined the Avery Institute for Afro American History and Culture to become the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture.
According to Dr. Dulaney, the heart of the center is its archive collection. Avery boasts many books, photographs, periodicals, and artifacts that carefully document the African American experience in the Lowcountry. Avery is also proud of its outreach programs, such as the Avery Scholars Program, which offers tours and lecture series with an emphasis on the SC Lowcountry. We are very proud of this resource to continue to interpret the African American experience and teach generations, black and white, for years to come.
August 21, 2005
Fall Fashion Show
August 16, 2005- Ellen Berlin and Bob Prenner presented an excellent program that featured both men's and women's fashions. We saw the latest in fall wear featuring our own Rotarians as live models and a high-tech presentation.
The colors of brown, grey, and black continue to be popular among women for the Fall. Men are moving towards brighter colors for Fall fashion with an emphasis on comfortable, wearable fashions. Fabrics are natural and a great deal of corduroy is featured for both men and women. For the gentlemen, tweed is modernized, but still great. Corduroy continues to be big and the name means ribbed cloth of Kings. Easy-to-wear, fitted, and comfortable are the watch words this year.
Some exciting women's fashions come in "one size fits all" and fit very well. We saw a beautiful creation for evening for women that "one size truly fits all."
Bob Prenner treated us to a number of fashion sayings; the most dramatic was "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society", according to Mark Twain. Ellen and Bob showed us that a great fashion is timeless and also how we can step into fall with our best foot forward.
August 11, 2005
Encouraging news from the Superintendent
August 9, 2005 - Our very own Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, Superintendent of the Charleston County School District (CCSD), updated Rotarians about the Charleston Plan of Excellence and the progress the District has made in the past two years since she has taken over the responsibility of making our schools work. Goodloe-Johnson stated she was the "Mom" of 43,000 kids, and that her #1 goal was to make us proud of our Charleston County schools, no matter where you sent your kids to school.
Goodloe-Johnson likened the District to a "half-billion dollar business," and how important it is to have that business be accountable to all its stakeholders, namely Charleston County taxpayers. We all have much at stake, even if you do not send your children to public school. She stated that the two most important things to remember are that we are property owners in Charleston County, and that our kids do grow up and become a part of the community. In other words, an investment in Charleston County schools is an investment in the community as a whole.
In terms of finances, it is important for the District to be accountable and be good stewards of the taxpayer's money. Although small, the District is one of the largest in the nation (ranked 104 out of 16,000 districts nationally), and is also one of the largest employers in Charleston County with more than 7,000 employees. The District identified two major problems with their finances: inadequacy of information and separate "silos" of activity, leading to an unclear financial picture.
In order to straighten out the District's financial issues, the District hired a new CFO and established a financial advisory committee to make critical financial decisions. Six new policies and procedures were also implemented, including implementation of a cost control program, revision of cash flow spreadsheets, and ensuring the budget process is "open, collaborative and transparent." The District also needed to ensure that resources were identified and money was budgeted for the Charleston Plan of Excellence (Dr. Goodloe-Johnson's plan for the District) as well as other goals that have been set in order to make CCSD the best District by 2010.
Other measures of success include PACT testing scores, which do not currently meet proficiency levels, the "coherent curriculum" which includes English, Language Arts, Reading and Math, and others. But the budget is probably the most measurable and must drive the Plan of Excellence ("blueprint for success") to make it a reality.
What can we do as concerned citizens for CCSD? Dr. Goodloe-Johnson encouraged everyone to mentor a child, purchase school supplies and books to donate, adopt a classroom or a school, or become a business partner, which is a desire of the Superintendent's for all schools. Whatever we do, she assures us we will be proud of our Charleston County schools!
Reported by Amy Riley, Keyway Committee
August 5, 2005
Coach Fresh from the NFL
August 2, 2005 - Coach Kevin Higgins graduated from West Chester University in Pennsylvania in 1977 and proceeded to make a career for himself in college and professional football. He served as assistant football coach at Gettysburg College, University of Richmond and then spent 13 years at Lehigh University, seven of these as head coach. Next he became an NFL coach with the Detroit Lions, serving four years as quarterback and wide receiver coach. His wife is a former collegiate coach and his son currently plays football for the University of Florida.
In his first few days at The Citadel he quickly realized how much more gratifying it is to work with young students who respond with a "yes, Sir" after several years of million dollar players challenging every direction given to them. The challenge he faces at The Citadel is to provide a sense of stability and continuity that has been disrupted by a parade of coaches in the past few years and to broaden the geographic area of recruitment. He does not feel that the program can find enough outstanding players in this state alone. He feels that there are teachable, potentially great players "out there" who can both profit from The Citadel education and make a contribution to the school.
Higgin's primary goal is to keep the students in school and enable them to develop. He sees the college as a leadership laboratory where pride, leadership and discipline are the rules of the day. He looks to four broad areas of concentration for each player to have as his goal:
1. Every player must be results-oriented and seek to win. He will continually focus on winning the Southern Conference Championship.
2. Every player must be passionate about playing college football and truly love the game. Otherwise success will be difficult in an environment that stresses military drill, academics and leadership.
3. Every player must handle adversity for life has trials. The military mode of The Citadel will strengthen this ability.
4. Leaders (players) care about the people around them. Far too many people today care primarily about themselves.
Coach Higgins decried the trend in many communities for parents to wear pins with huge pin pictures of their sports playing children. "Not in my family", he says. "It is not about me." The Citadel has a long tradition of looking at the world as a big picture. He will strive to insure that his football players and students learn to see this concept. If they do, success in football and in the world will follow.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
July 29, 2005
A Year of Notable Accomplishments
July 26, 2005 - Today the Rotary Club of Charleston kicked off our series of lunches at member's places of business at the Charleston Metro Chamber, hosted by Charles van Rysselberge, CEO and member of our Club since 2003. Van Rysselberge highlighted a successful year at the Chamber, and enlightened Rotarians on the many efforts the Chamber undertakes for its members and our community.
With 2,500 members and a $4 million budget, the oldest local Chamber in America relies on its full time staff and over 900 volunteers to accomplish its five strategic objectives: education, growth, public policy, regional advancement, and resource development.
Within its mission statement, the Chamber has three main priorities, which are executed through a number of councils and campaigns: advancing the region's economy, improving the quality of life in the region, and making its members successful. Each of these priorities has been accomplished this year through various Chamber initiatives. For example, in the area of advancing the region's economy, the Chamber supported efforts to keep Charleston off of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list instituted by the Department of Defense. The Chamber compiled data that will hopefully make a strong case in Washington, D.C. for leaving our military installations and jobs here in Charleston.
The Chamber is also very committed to improving the quality of life in our region, which is next on its list of priorities. The Chamber was heavily involved in the efforts to pass the half-cent sales tax, and headed up a campaign to educate the public as to what exactly the tax would provide and for how long. The tax passed, and as a result, Charleston County can look forward to improved roads, mass transit and greenspace. CARTA, our public transportation system for the region, was saved thanks to this tax, which is a critical component of a region of our size.
Finally, the Chamber strives to make its members successful. Because 90+% of the Chamber's membership is small businesses, there is a real need for representation and education for its member businesses. The Chamber provides opportunities for its members to succeed through its Leadership Charleston program, networking events, Area Business Councils (ABCs), and other member-to-member opportunities provided by the Chamber and its staff.
As the Chamber welcomes Brian Moody as its new Chair for 2005-2006, van Rysselberge recognized our own Rotarians who have been past Chairs of the Chamber and thanked them for their efforts, including Anita Zucker, Bill Scarborough and Doug Donehue.
Rotarians also enjoyed a video from the Chamber highlighting their successful year, which included such events as the Legislative Reception, held every year at the SC Aquarium, the Annual Gala, Delegate's trip to Washington, D.C., Total Resource Campaign (where there Chamber raised $1.4 million to finance new and existing programs to support their mission), as well as member networking events, and Ambassador and volunteer efforts.
Van Rysselberge answered questions regarding the Chamber's relationship to other organizations, including the Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) and other local Chambers. He assured us that the Chamber works closely with these and other organizations, and has good relationships with all. In fact, the Charleston Metro Chamber came together with the Berkeley and Dorchester chambers over 10 years ago to create and initially fund the Charleston Regional Development Alliance, which today markets the Charleston region for economic development. The Chamber has also worked with the CVB on such hospitality issues as the mini bottle, the smoking ban in Charleston, and the culinary arts.
We are very proud that our Chamber has been in existence since 1773, and that its mission and objectives have helped this region achieve its reputation as a great place to live, work and raise a family. Thank you Charles, Chamber staff, and volunteers for all your hard work!
By Amy Riley, Keyway Committee
July 22, 2005
It connects us all
July 19, 2005 - Chairman Patterson Smith, and Howard Chapman, Director of Transportation, presented a very thoughtful program that will help us understand the history, the challenges, and the vision for CARTA. It has just completed a successful re-launch of mass-transit throughout Greater Charleston.
"Mass-transit of Charleston goes back to the horse-drawn carriages," member Patterson Smith stated. South Carolina Electric & Gas replaced the horse-drawn carriages with electric buses that were later transition to diesel.
In 1997, the utility company got out of the transportation business; creating a need for mass-transit in Charleston and that need was met by CARTA. Like all public owned utilities, it requires a subsidy to operate. In 2000, the referendum failed to get the vote necessary and in 2002 was passed, but overturned in the South Carolina Supreme Court. During this challenging period, CARTA adapted to its reduced income by cutting back or cutting out some expenses. In November 2004, the referendum was successful and today the challenge to CARTA is to meet the needs of the Charleston Area.
According to Chapman, the organization has done significant research and is now re-launching to better meet the needs in Charleston's environment. Wilber Smith & Associates have done a survey that considered population density, changes in employment density, median income, and transportation needs. The result is a new plan with express routes, Dial-a-Ride service, and neighborhood services.
After the study was completed, phase one implemented public hearings. Fortunately, Charleston County in the intern advanced money to CARTA so they could roll out the services. On June 27, 2005 the new service was re-launched; a week ahead of its schedule. Challenges continue and the organization is addressing operational issues, leadership clarity, as well as, branding and marketing in the community.
CARTA is now using every opportunity to get the message out, including new systems overview maps, road maps (which are now available in Spanish), new bus stop signs, CVB Kiosk, an enhanced website, and brochures designed to reach everyone including those who are sight impaired. The initial "free ride day" boosted ridership from 1,200 per day to 6,500 to reintroduce CARTA. This was an indication of the need.
The 18 board members from 8 different municipalities are working with the staff of CARTA to provide transit for the future. Not only is bus service being reintroduced, but they will also be looking at the addition of light rail transit in the future.
By Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee
July 17, 2005
Rotarians Thank Mark Smith and Welcome Earl Walker
July 12, 2005 - On July 12 Rotarians thanked President Mark Smith for his leadership and service to the club as he passed the gavel to new president, Earl Walker. Mark presented a summary of the highlights of his term before recognizing and thanking those individuals who had contributed so much.
Mark began his remarks by introducing his wife, Elaine, and expressing his gratitude for her support throughout his term of office. President Mark then listed some of the major accomplishments of the year such as our newly formed sister club in Brisbane, Australia, the many successful open houses hosted by and for club members, the single fund raiser to which he committed (and the associated challenges), and the sculpture intended for the Rotary fountain at Marion Square. Although the latter is not yet finished, he personally promised to see this effort through to completion.
Other important highlights that he went on to mention included the 5 Rotarians to join the Paul Harris Society, the 30 others who became Paul Harris Fellows, and the number of Citations awarded to The Rotary Club of Charleston including the recently received Membership Development and Extension Award.
Mark concluded his remarks by recognizing and thanking each of his board members. He then paused to extend his special thanks to Carroll Schweers, Amy Jenkins, Harold Arnold, Dan Ravenel, Lisa Thomas, and Andy Brack. Finally, Mark addressed the entire membership saying it had been an honor and a privilege to serve them. Mark then passed the Rotary charter and presidential pin to the club's new president, Earl Walker. Every Rotarian present then rose to applaud thereby demonstrating their thanks and appreciation to Mark for his leadership, dedication and hard work.
It was then Earl Walker's turn to take the podium as the new President of the Rotary Club of Charleston. He first thanked the club for their vote of confidence in his leadership and then made a few comments about his vision and goals for the coming year. Earl said that the Rotary theme of Renewal, Regeneration, and Rejuvenation would play a strong role in guiding his efforts toward continuous improvement of our great club. Specifically, he envisions increasing the level of active participation among members, along with working to encourage more young people to join our club while building a more diverse membership. His other objectives include finding new opportunities for outside service, fostering greater fellowship among members both personally and professionally, and finding a new project for club members to adopt.
A few innovations Rotarians will soon see include brief committee updates at the start of each meeting, immediate distribution of contact information for new members, committee selection at new member orientation and finally, equal division of monies collected weekly among the Rotary Fund, Charleston Rotary Fund, and the District's Alzheimer's (CART) fund.
As a fitting conclusion to this, his first official meeting, Earl asked Anita Zucker and Bruce Murdy to talk about two important principles familiar to every Rotarian. Anita Zucker gave a heartfelt talk about the phrase "service above self" and what it has meant in her life. Bruce Murdy ended the meeting by expressing his thoughts on the subject of the Rotarian Four-Way Test.
Submitted by Helen Harloe
July 1, 2005
Charleston celebrates a significant day in American history
June 28, 2005 - Today marked the 229th anniversary of the Battle of Sullivan's Island, which proved to be a most significant victory against the British. June 28, 1776 has come to be commemorated as "Carolina Day," and South Carolinians all over the state were preparing to celebrate this important victory, despite the heavy rains and miserable weather.
During the Battle of Sullivan's Island, 2200 British forces tried to cross what we now know as Breach Inlet (and we all now know how dangerous Breach Inlet is!) at night from Long Island, or what is now Isle of Palms. Those who made it across were faced with hundreds of Patriot forces, and the battle eventually proceeded to Fort Sullivan on the Island, and although the fort was not completed at the time, it withstood British fire with the help of the palmetto logs which made up its construction. General Moultrie and his South Carolina patriots eventually won the battle of Ft. Sullivan was the first Patriot victory during the Revolutionary War, and was won six days before the official signing of the Declaration of Independence.
Many heroes were born from this battle and from the War in general, including General Moultrie (for whom Fort Sullivan was renamed), Sgt. William Jasper (a Georgian who was recruited by Francis Marion), General Charles Lee, and Sgt. James McDaniel who was wounded during the Battle. In fact, General Moultrie was so revered, he went on to serve two terms as Governor of South Carolina.
The Palmetto Society was founded in 1777 to commemorate Carolina Day, and the organization still exists today. It is the 13th oldest organization in the state of South Carolina. Events planned to commemorate this day included a service at St. Michael's Episcopal Church (downtown), tours at the Gibbes Museum of Art, a procession form Washington Park to White Point Gardens, wreath laying at White Point Gardens, and a ceremony at Fort Moultrie.
Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Editor
June 26, 2005
Addressing challenges while preserving quality of life
June 21, 2005- We have all felt the effects of growth in our community: traffic, congestion, sprawl, etc. The question remains: what can we do about it? Rotarians listened to Rep. Ben Hagood and his ideas about regional planning as a means of tackling the growing pains we are feeling in the Lowcountry.
Rep. Hagood began his talk by thanking all those who have served or whose families have served the public, which he paralleled to our Rotary motto of "Service Above Self." He then talked briefly about how he became involved in politics because he wanted to serve the area where he is from. His district currently includes parts of Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan's Island and the Isle of Palms. His district, Mt. Pleasant in particular, is one of the fastest-growing regions in the state, and Mt. Pleasant is, by some accounts, the 4th largest municipality in SC. Hagood quoted reports that forecast growth of 250,000 people in the next 30 years!
Obviously, we have to be thinking of how to plan for this many people and where they are going to live, work and raise their families. We feel the effects of this growth everyday when we drive Johnnie Dodds Boulevard or take our kids to overcrowded schools. But how can we address these challenges while maintaining the quality of life that draws so many people here in the first place? Hagood believes the answer lies in regional planning.
So what does that mean for our region? The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester region (BCD) currently has 35 arms of local government, each creating and implementing their own plans and ordinances. To think regionally, we must not worry only about what our municipality is doing, but what others are doing and how they might affect us. Hagood stated he is working on several initiatives at the state level to assist local governments in planning with more of a regional focus. He favors a "bottoms-up" planning approach, meaning that local governments and citizens make their own decisions (such as land use), but they are coordinated at the regional level with the assistance of Hagood has worked on the Infrastructure Priority Investment Act (IPIA), which is intended to alleviate conflict between local governments over land use decisions. The IPIA has the following tenets: 1) to coordinate with adjacent jurisdictions and other relevant jurisdictions such as school districts, public service districts, utilities and transportation agencies; 2) to identify priority infrastructure investment areas where development and community facilities are recommended to be directed; and, 3) to include a specific transportation element in the local comprehensive plan.
The bill allows local governments to continue to plan on their own, but requires that they coordinate with other governmental entities. The bill stalled and was re-filed with some provisions added for incentives for developers who build Traditional Neighborhood Design (TND) projects, and incentives for affordable housing.
Another tool mentioned by Hagood that may assist with regional planning includes "donut hole zoning authority," where comprehensive zoning plans deal with pockets of municipalities that remain in one jurisdiction while the surrounding area are part of another. This is prevalent East of the Cooper where parts of the community are within Mt. Pleasant's jurisdiction and parts remain in Charleston County. Other tools include annexation law reform and user fees.
Although many questions are left to be answered, Hagood believes that the only way to get the dialogue started is to address these issues and start planning for our future now. Hagood also reflected on his time in the State House, and let us in on his "Five P's of Politics" which stands for People, Principles, Policies, Pork and Power. All of these are necessary for politics to work the way it is supposed to, but never forget the most important is People.
Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Editor
June 19, 2005
June 14, 2005- The first speaker for this program was Lara Leroy, Director of the Jewish Community Center and in charge of the Remembrance Program. Lara is the granddaughter of two grandparents who are survivors of the Holocaust. She has recently edited a video in cooperation with the College of Charleston about Holocaust Survivors.
Lara made an initial presentation in which she showed slides of the recent trip by 24 people to Poland to remember and reflect on the horrors of the Holocaust. Several camps were visited with special emphasis on Auschwitz. The pilgrimage of persons of all faiths is to show respect for and honor all humanity. The group gives special attention to the many memorials present at the camps and helps maintain them for posterity.
The second speaker was Joe Engel, himself a survivor of Auschwitz, having spent time there between 1942 and 1945. His emotional, heartfelt presentation touched all who listened to him speak of the terror of his experience and his dedication to ensuring that such an event can never happen again. He showed pictures of the many memorials at the camps and urged all persons to make the pilgrimage to Poland to see first hand what happened. Only by such a visit can one understand what one human being can do to another human being, persons who suffered strictly because they happened to be Jewish. He does not know why he survived, but he is the only remaining member of his family. He spoke of the "killer machine" which separated children from their parents. The world should never forget what happened there.
In response to questions from the floor, Lara and Joe made the following observations. The Holocaust Museum in Washington is well done and well worth everyone visiting. There are currently virtually no Jewish people in Poland. Most were killed and those who survived would not want to return to that area. Joe's personal testimony has been recorded and is a part of major historical records. The Marion Square memorial is very special. Being within the city, the sponsors did not want it to be a horrific sight. Instead the wrought iron work provides a sanctuary and the sculpture within can be interpreted in many different ways, according to the image seen by the observer. It projects the victims, the perpetrators, and those who stood by and just watched.
There is an increasing amount of anti-Semitism in the world today, necessitating a state of vigil by all.
HATE IS A PEOPLE PROBLEM.
Submitted by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
June 12, 2005
June 7, 2005 - On Tuesday, Rotarians were treated to a firsthand look at Charleston's newest manufacturing facility, the Vought-Alenia plant. Newt Newton of Vought-Alenia told us how construction is progressing at the new plant, gave us some interesting information about the Boeing 787 and then shared a few of the reasons why the city of Charleston was chosen out of 64 other candidates.
Mr. Newton began by introducing himself. He told the group that he knew from the time he was a little boy that he wanted to build airplanes. He trained as a mechanical engineer and joined the Boeing Company in 1967 only to find himself working on the first 747. Since that time, he has had the opportunity to contribute to the development of seven new Boeing models and has been involved in the start-up of five manufacturing facilities. At the Vought-Alenia plant, he will be part of the team to build the body of every 787. Materials for the fuselage will be manufactured here and together with parts flown into Charleston will make up about two-thirds of each aircraft's fuselage.
According to Mr. Newton, this newest Boeing will bring about the advent of a new generation of aircraft. The composite material which will be manufactured here to build the 787, is the key that will bring about this change. The new material consists of fibers about 2 times the diameter of a single hair. Untold numbers of fibers are sealed together with an epoxy-type glue and then submitted to enormous pressure. The result is a material which is lighter than aluminum and stronger than steel.
This composite material has been used by the military and from all reports it does not corrode, has no known fatigue life, and the process of shaping it is incredibly versatile. When used on airplanes, the plan will be 25% lighter and 20% - 25% more efficient than any plane in existence. Additionally, the Boeing 787 will be completely e-enabled. That is, a passenger can take his or her cell phone, computer, or blackberry around the world and stay in touch with the office even while in flight.
Vought-Alenia will employ about 1000 people. Approximately 75% will come from the Charleston area. Since the plant will have such a high need for continuous and on-going training, they will have a training center located right at the work site. When asked why the company selected Charleston, Mr. Newton said our city stood out early in the process. The company was initially attracted to our port facilities which are located right next to a major airport. Secondly, the quality of life here in Charleston was a positive draw. Management knew they would have to ask at least 250 employees to relocate and they wanted to make the process as easy as possible. Finally, and Mr. Newton became serious at this point, "It was the friendliness of the people." And, he warned, "Don't ever loose that quality. It is your greatest asset."
Submitted by Helen Harloe
June 3, 2005
Festival directors commit to improving Charleston's performing arts facilities
May 31, 2005 - With the 29th Spoleto Festival USA upon us, Rotarians were treated to a talk by General Director Nigel Redden. Redden gave us the "inside scoop" on some of the performances, but mainly he was here to convey that although Spoleto has had its ups and downs financially, it has been running 9 years in the black and is ready to give back to the community.
To paraphrase Barbara Williams of the Post & Courier, Spoleto has reached a level of "maturity" that comes with its share of responsibilities. Redden feels these responsibilities include investing in Charleston's performing arts infrastructure. Charleston has long been associated with the arts, with theatres (past and present) dating back to the 18th century and rivaling some of the best in Europe (according to many). While some of these have long since been demolished, many have survived in "unfortunate" shape. One example of this is Memminger Auditorium on Beaufain Street downtown.
Memminger Auditorium is physically part of Memminger Elementary, but is too large to be used for the school as it stands today. The Theatre was basically ignored and used for storage until 2000, when Spoleto officials decided to clean it up for performances, including the Peony Pavilion, the 18 hour Chinese opera that took place in 2004. Memminger continues to serve as a Spoleto venue despite its bare bones condition and uncomfortable seating (which Redden claims was replaced thanks to seats purchased from eBay). Redden and Spoleto officials have commissioned the architect Hugh Hardy who plans to renovate the auditorium into a useful performance venue for Spoleto. The community is behind Redden and his efforts. In fact, Mayor Riley and the City of Charleston have appropriated $1 million to the renovation of Memminger. The space is especially important to restore given its location as a gathering place: the Auditorium is centrally located between many residences, businesses, and of course, Memminger Elementary.
Redden spoke of the changes we hope to see to the Auditorium, including a minor change to the facade and turning the parking lot into outdoor lobby space to make up for the lack of lobby space inside. Redden hopes the renovation will be complete by Spoleto 2007.
Renovating Memminger also provides opportunities for restoring some of Charleston's other fine performing arts venues, including the Dock Street Theatre and eventually, the Galliard Auditorium. After successfully completing a $25 million fundraising campaign (that was not even geared toward the Festival but to "bricks and mortar",) Redden believes that Spoleto can muster the funds to tackle these ambitious projects. He stated that a public-private partnership had been established to facilitate the process, since Memminger is currently owned by the Charleston County School Board.
Renovating our performing arts facilities strengthens the arts community and solidifies the ties we have to the Festival itself. Asked if he envisions the Festival to grow in the coming years, Redden stated that we are pretty much at capacity based on the facilities we have. Supporting the Festival, no matter how big or small, preserves this legacy for our children and ensures our heritage as an art community for years to come.
By Amy Riley, Keyway Editor
May 30, 2005
MAY 24, 2005 -- The program was introduced by Ellen Dressler-Moryl . The topic addressed the importance of cultural arts programs in elementary school curriculums. Rotarians were treated to performances by young artists who had benefited from one such arts program called "Project Artistic." This program was the result of a 3-year grant and the combined efforts of many individuals.
The Director of Project Artistic explained the critical role Cultural Arts programs play in a comprehensive elementary school program and the positive impact it can have on the children and the community. As a former school principal, the Director commented, "While others around me were working to increase grades, those of us involved in the cultural arts were involved in changing lives through these arts." He also talked about the importance of teaching the arts to young children because it instills them with an appreciation. He believes this appreciation goes on towards guaranteeing a community’s commitment to preserving those arts.
The Ashley River Creative Arts Elementary School chorale first demonstrated their talent with a harmonious rendition of "America the Beautiful," which followed the Pledge of Allegiance. Later in the program the chorale sang three songs. The first song was “This Pretty Planet” followed by a Baroque hymn and finally, a song in Hebrew. Next, Rotarians were treated to lively examples of African drumming. Fourth grade students from Memminger Elementary School along with their instructors enthusiastically beat out three West African rhythms and Rotary members were captivated. In fact, most members stayed long after the official meeting concluded in order to enjoy this treat.
-- submitted by Helen R. Harloe
May 24, 2005
May 17, 2005 -- Rotarians learned more about the ongoing debate of whether or not school choice is what South Carolina needs to improve our state's education system. Sherry Street and Jon Butzon, two key players involved in this issue, discussed the SC Put Parents in Charge Act (PPIC), a bill that has gone through many forms and is now in front of the SC House Ways and Means Committee. The bill, if enacted, would allow tax credits or vouchers (based on eligibility) for qualified tuition payments to a public or independent school.
Sherry Street is a proponent for school choice, and shared examples of regions where school choice has been successful, namely Milwaukee, WI. Street claims that this is the best example of school choice at work, and the program has been in place for the past 15 years. The main point she conveyed was that school choice gives parents educational options, and gives power to those who have never had power before. She stated that African-Americans and the poor working class are usually the groups who benefit the most from school choice. She worked to dispel many myths that are a part of this debate, such as
concerns that PPIC will destroy public education, the best students will leave and leave the worst behind, and that schools will re-segregate.
Jon Butzon believes the main issue is maintaining status quo, and needing to make leaps in ways we can improve the educational system of our state. He admits the debate has become very political, and pointed out that for every example of a program that works, there is one that does not. He claims we should be looking for the public policy lesson in this issue: how are we going to make policy and are we spending enough on public education in SC? Issues include money, skill of teachers, leadership, choice, & privatization -- we have lots more facts to weigh before an effective program can be crafted using either solution.
In other business. . .
Dyson Scott gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Peter Lucash welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests. Margaret MacDonald offered Health & Happiness, and President Mark thanked the Adopt-A-Highway volunteers. Ted Creech and Earl Walker were recognized for their Paul Harris Fellow contributions, and President Mark congratulated
the Board on its 100% Paul Harris Fellow representation. Amy Riley kicked off the 4-Way Test special series with “Is it the Truth?” and Larry Tarleton introduced our speakers, Sherry Street and Jon Butzon.
May 17, 2005
Saluting our future's best and brightest from all around Charleston
May 10, 2005 -- Rotarians were introduced to the 2005 Rotary Scholars, which included 20 bright Charleston County high school seniors who are bound for higher education. Accompanied by their parents and principals, each scholar received a certificate from our Club, as well as a $200 scholarship check to be used for their future education. One scholar per high school
was selected, who was the most deserving based on their accomplishments during their high school career.
Many belonged to the National Honor Society, Math Clubs, Latin Clubs, Junior Varsity and Varsity sport teams, even theater, and received academic and extracurricular awards and recognition. Many also were involved in their respective communities, and volunteered for such places as the American Red Cross and the local hospitals.
The list of these impressive scholars is as follows:
Kathryn Anne Baldwin.........................Ashley Hall
Emily Page Canup................................ West Ashley High School
Jordan Marie Casey..............................James Island Charter High School
Keshia Nekole Colleton........................Burke High School
Yekaterina Demchenko...................... North Charleston High School
Elizabeth Wade Folsom.......................James Island Christian School
Robert Jefferson Griffith................ Trident Academy
Reem Aida Hannun.......................... Porter-Gaud School
Sarah Frances Hart.......................... First Baptist Church School
Arthur Wesley Holtzclaw................ Bishop England High School
Stephanie Cierra Jenkins................ Lincoln High School
Keturah Ann Ladson....................... Garrett Academy
Felicity Madeleine Beverly Lenes.... Wando High School
Kenneth Mungin.............................. St. John’s High
Veronica Denise Ransom................ Baptist Hill High School
Ronnie Roland.................................. R.B. Stall High School
Paul Christian Saylor...................... Charleston County School of the Arts
Dominique Nicole Smalls................ Septima P. Clark Corporate Academy
Sydney Walmsley.......................... Charleston Collegiate
Ching Zhu........................................ Academic Magnet High School
Congratulations to these fine students! You make Charleston County very proud! Good luck in your future endeavors—we would love to hear where your academic travels have taken you!
In other business. . .
Jennet Alterman gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Greg Robinson welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests. John Milkereit offered Health & Happiness, and Cooper Coker announced the Adopt-A-Highway this Saturday. Gordon Jones announced his trip to Dublin, Ireland and flag ex- change, and Bill Eaton thanked volunteers who participated in the Alzheimer’s volunteer opportunity. Cindy Williams announced the 4-Way Test special series, and Myron Harrington announced the Rotary Scholars.
May 10, 2005
Speaker Michael Maher discusses plans for neighborhoods after the bridges come down
MAY 3, 2005 — Rotarians learned about the City’s plans for the area underneath the existing Cooper River Bridges, as well as other initiatives undertaken by the City’s Civic Design Center. Michael Maher, Director of the Charleston Civic Design Center (CCDC), explained what the Design Center is all about, and elaborated on some of the vision that is going into the City’s East Side neighborhood, which was bifurcated by the approaches to the Cooper River Bridges.
The Civic Design Center is part of the City’s Department of Design, Develop- ment and Preservation, and focuses on the mission of promoting the future vision of the City. As the spouse of a Rotarian, Maher likened the Center’s 3- pronged mission to the Rotary 4-Way Test. The Center promotes education, collaboration, and innovation as a means for enhancing
the quality of life in Charleston through good design.
Education includes activities for citizens that educate us in urban design and how it affects the City. The activities include workshops, exhibits, and lecture series, among many other opportunities for the public to be involved in urban design issues. Collaboration refers to bringing people interested in development with those who practice in this field. The Center was designed to be a collaborative design resource, so that urban design issues can be discussed by those who are affected by them, and not just City staff.
Finally, innovation refers to such initiatives as the Urban Design Studio where the Center serves as an advocate for the public realm. This promotes creative responses to rising urban design challenges and fosters a dialogue
on today’s urban design issues.
Current initiatives undertaken by the CCDC include sidewalk dining, MUSC zoning regulations, promoting a green axis through the spine of the City, City/ FEMA height regulations, the Charleston Neck Redevelopment Plan, and the areas under the Cooper River Bridge approaches in the East Side neighborhood. This effort is one of the most ambitious being undertaken by
CCDC because it not only involves removing the existing bridge structure, but also involves “reknitting” the East Side neighborhood back together to help mend physical and psychological barriers that were imposed on this neighborhood when the Silas Pear- man Bridge was built in the 1960s.
Besides removing the old structures, the Plan includes reconnecting certain north/south streets, such as Nassau and America Streets, as well as creating an east/west connection between East Bay/Morrison and Meeting Street. Improvements are also planned for existing pub- lic space (and creating new space), drainage, street frontages, and pe- destrian access,
including bike lanes. A new connection to Meeting Street is also important to make a “grand entrance” into the City.
CCDC has held a series of public workshops to identify issues from the perspective of the citizens who live there, which has developed into a guiding set of principles. These principles are important to make sure the needs of this neighborhood are being met. The types of uses are still being determined with the help of the citizens, including housing mix, retail and neighborhood services.
Working with the CCDC, Charleston citizens now have a venue to ex- press concerns or ideas about the future of our City, so that the City can truly plan with the public in mind. For more information on the Civic Design Center, please visit www.ci.charleston.sc.us/dept/?nid=336 .
In other business. . .
Conrad Zimmerman gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Lisa Thomas welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests. Doug Donehue of- fered Health & Happiness, and Cooper Coker announced the next Adopt-A- Highway. Jim Geffert announced the Alzheimer’s volunteer opportunity. Joan Ustin introduced our speaker Michael Maher.
May 3, 2005
Teacher of the Year and Honor Roll teachers honored
Ms. Marques grew up in
Ms. Marques believes in three tenets of learning which have made her a successful teacher:
1) students must feel respected,
2) learning must build on prior experience, and
3) students must be active participants in their learning.
Marques believes that teachers are special in the eyes of their students, and teachers are responsible for creating and shaping young minds, but she knows
In other business. . .
Robin Freer gave the invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Chris Kerrigan welcomed visiting Rotarians and guests. Dan Ravenel offered Health & Happiness, and Andy Brack announced our new Club history book. Cooper Coker inducted new member Erin England, and Carol Collins an- nounced a volunteer opportunity for Alzheimer's. Honor Roll Teachers Diane O’Neill, Anne Halter, Jane Windham, Melissa Cario Parrish, and Bridgette Marques were honored. Maria Goodloe-Johnson introduced our speaker Bridgette Marques.
-- Amy Riley
April 26, 2005
10th Anniversary of the Oklahoma City Bombing
How the Chamber of Commerce helped recovery efforts
In other business. . .
-- Amy Riley