December 29, 2006
Dec. 19, 2006: Special thanks are in order to Rotarian Steve Dopp, General Manager of the Francis Marion Hotel, for agreeing to host our annual Holiday luncheon. The hotel was beautifully decorated and the food outstanding.
Entertainment was provided by the John Tecklenburg trio and the student chorus from Fraser Elementary School, brought to us through the efforts of Rob Dewey.
Wendy Marcus gave us a brief history of Hanukkah and lit the candles of a Menorah for us. She gave thanks to the Rotary for being a group that encompasses folks from all races and religions.
But it is pictures that tell the story, to glance on, find yourself and friends, and remember not to return to fellowship with the club until January 9th.
Submitted by Fred Sales, Keyway Commitee
December 15, 2006
Dec. 12, 2006: Today Rotarians learned a little more about what national organizations are doing to conserve and protect land locally in our beautiful Lowcountry. David Agnew discussed the Trust for Public Land and its role in preserving Morris Island, a local barrier island.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national, nonprofit, land conservation organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, community gardens, historic sites, rural lands, and other natural places, ensuring livable communities for generations to come. Locally, TPL has been preserving land in South Carolina since 1990. TPL is currently working with three major programs in South Carolina: Charleston County, Beaufort County Rural and Critical Lands, and Hilton Head Island Conservation.
While there are many organizations that work to conserve land, TPL is different in that it works to put the land into public use, such as a park, playground or open space. This is increasingly important, as Agnew showed on a map depicting urban areas in South Carolina. These urban areas continue to grow, and Clemson University predicts that South Carolina will have 868 square miles of urban space by the year 2030!
Part of the land TPL is trying to save in Charleston County includes Morris Island, which is located at the mouth of the Charleston Harbor. Morris Island is very historically, culturally and environmentally significant, and TPL has been working tirelessly with other organizations to save it from development. In fact, one of the partners in this effort is a forward-thinking local developer, the Ginn Company. In February of this year, Ginn bought the island for $6.8 million and sold it back to the Trust for $4.5.
TPL is trying to raise money to achieve three goals for Morris Island: protect it from development in perpetuity, develop a master plan and put the island into public ownership, and provide meaningful public access to the island. So far, significant contributions have been received from the SC Conservation Bank and Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, as well as future donations from the SC State Ports Authority and private funds. If you are interested in helping this worthy cause, please visit , View by State, South Carolina.
Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Committee Chair
December 10, 2006
December 5, 2006: Sheriff J. Al Cannon Jr. spoke to the club on Tuesday. Sheriff Cannon began his career in law enforcement over three decades ago with the North Charleston Police Department. After earning a bachelor's degree and master's degree from the College of Charleston, and his juris doctorate from University of South Carolina, he turned back to law enforcement. He was first elected to his present position as Sheriff in 1988.
Sheriff Cannon spoke to our club about some political trends he has been noticing since the November elections. He expressed his concern that the public is not educated about what is happening around it. For example, the reality is that this community is at risk for terrorist attacks due to the port. Our port sees a large volume of traffic which makes it a potential target or a place of entry for terrorists. Sheriff Cannon said there is no spot in our community that is more or less likely to be attacked - everywhere is potentially vulnerable in these times.
Sheriff Cannon raised many other interesting topics for reflection. He noted that there is a public sentiment that our President is not adept in foreign relations and that he may not be intelligent. Then how is that he has managed to convince Congress and allied countries to follow his lead in Iraq? Sheriff Cannon discussed how widespread some public misconceptions may be right now.
Some interesting questions came from our club members: Why would the media show the best places to attack the nuclear plants? Why are we letting secure information leak out onto the internet? Can we do something locally to block out illegal immigration from our northern borders? What can we do to protect our community from terrorist attacks? These questions probably have no certain answers, but Sheriff Cannon will broaden your perspective if you lend him your ear.
Submitted by Jackie Gottfried, Keyway Committee
December 3, 2006
November 28, 2006: Susan Richards, representing the League of Women Voters, spoke on the key issue of transportation and growth management. She showed how both can support or detract from each other. She has the expertise to speak on this topic as she has completed a two year state-wide transportation study and spearheaded efforts to encourage the adoption of transportation as an issue at the 2002 State League convention. Currently she serves on the Charleston County Transportation Advisory Board and the CHATS Commuter Rail Committee.
According to Richards, in the past real estate deals were connected to transportation needs and that has led to what we now know today as urban sprawl. In 1998 the Charleston area had a total urban area of 155 square miles. Currently that has grown to approximately 419 square miles and in 2030 we are projected to have 860 square miles of urban area. It is easy to see that transportation is a key issue that will affect all of us more and more as years go by. Richards made the point that, when you address the issue of transportation, it must be addressed in the regional level; not just by municipalities.
She shared information from "Growing by Choice or Chance: Statewide Strategies for Quality Growth in South Carolina." The report cited that with the state office of research and statistics projection, South Carolina will add 1.1 million new residents to the current population in the next 25 years. The land-use decisions of today will impact us and our children for the next 100 years.
From the report, Richards shared the 10 Principles of Quality Growth for South Carolina and the State Actions being taken to ensure quality growth. She emphasized transportation and land use in planning and the principles for successful development focused around the transit system. She cited examples of organizations that are using transportation and growth management, such as Allendale County's Scooter Program and counties using a Ride Program, to improve the quality of life. She cited the need for "complete streets" in our area, which are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists and transit riders. Transportation and growth is and continues to be a key issue affecting all of us and needs our involvement.
Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee
November 23, 2006
November 21, 2006: Today's presentation by Richard Dowell, Mike Jones, Lou Mello and Robert Freer focused on the Rotary Foundation. Richard reported that in September the board made in two key decisions. They were to have 1/2 of the contributions to Rotary International return to the District in scholarships and grants and also approved the development of a contingency fund in the budget to cover unique situations that if any fund is not used it is contributed to the Rotary Foundation. Recent contributions included $500 to a Water Mission project and $1250 for a project in Brazil.
Lou Mello presented a Paul Harris Society Award to Kyra Morris and a Paul Harris Fellow Award to Johnny Stuhr. These two club members are excellent examples of those contributing to the Rotary Foundation and all aspects of Rotary.
Mike Jones made a presentation on the Family of Rotary Initiative which is a strong focus this year. It is a way to build relationships, grow the organization and improve overall image. It allows matching funds for gifts to the Foundation and also gives recognition to family members. Those who were not at the meeting or would like more information can learn about the program by going to at www.foundationgiving.org. or contacting Carroll or Richard Dowell .
Robert Freer shared a unique view if value of foundation. He was introduced to Rotary in 1968 when he was asked to be part of a Group Study Exchange before he became a Rotary member. During this program in Germany he built a relationship that his lasted a lifetime. He and the attorney he stayed with have continued to be involved and are godfathers of each others' children. Without Rotary and this program would never have met.
Richard explained the Polio Plus program and its evolution to the Polio Plus Partners program. Rotary had significant involvement in the largest humanitarian effort of all time to inoculate 2 billion people in the polio. It was thought that polio was no longer a problem yet in 2004 there was another outbreak. With Polio Plus Partners, Rotary members and volunteers go into the areas affected and help inoculate the population.
Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee
November 19, 2006
November 14, 2006: Dr. Debose Kapeluck, professor of political science at The Citadel reviewed the mid-term elections with a special emphasis on the national scene. The Democratic party made a strong showing to take control of the House with 230 members compared to 196 Republicans, a loss of 28 seats by the Republicans. In the Senate there is a 51 to 49 Democratic majority Among the governors of the nation there are now 28 Democrats to 22 Republicans, a Republican loss of 6. The Democrats also control 23 state legislatures, a gain of 5 states. However history tells us that the Democratic party has been the party in control most of the time since 1922. Recently the Republicans have been in control of the house since 1994. The Senate is more likely to shift between the parties.
Three broad factors tend to affect election changes: 1. Candidate Specifics, such as qualifications, being an incumbent, money available and the presence or absence of scandals. This time around there were a number of scandals and improprieties. 2. Party Specifics can affect one or the other party. This term events have included problems of corruption and ethics, the Iraq war [55% of the voters opposed to the war], and the economy. 3. The Election Cycle, which in this case was the fact that it was a mid-term, a time when the party in power almost always loses seats. Other issues include the fact that we as a nation are in a time of divided government. In this election year there were even members of the majority party speaking against the administration, such as Senators Hagel and McCain. Overall the election became a referendum on the president. There was a great deal of focus on individuals rather than issues, and the preponderance of negative advertising tends to suppress voter turnout.
Asked for a projection for 2008, Dr. Kapeluck stated that the Republicans will need to find a moderate candidate, and also seriously consider a woman vice president such as Condoleeza Rice, since he expects Hillary Clinton to take the Democratic party position.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
November 12, 2006
November 7, 2006: Today, Rotarians got a special treat from one of our own members who also happens to be the President of the Citadel where our meetings are hosted each week. In fact, Lieutenant General John Rosa joked that when the President speaks, we get a new sound system. (Applause...)
Lt. Gen. Rosa came to the Citadel from the Air Force Academy, where he said he and his wife had a 'tough three years' while trying to get that school on the right path. He likened the two schools to one another in their prestigious natures and changing faces (co-education, diversity), and said he was "proud" to be at the Citadel. After all, he was a 1973 graduate of the Citadel, so he has a vested interest in making it a better place.
He touted the schools most recent achievements, including its 2007 rankings by U.S. News and World Report as #2 Best Value in the South, and #7 Best Overall School. Rosa was also proud of the school's 4-year graduation rate of 55%, and the low fees relative to other schools in South Carolina (below SC average), despite the fact that the state only provides 18% of the school's funding. General Rosa also touched on the "areas of emphasis" he feels are critical to developing well-rounded students. These areas include a four-year leadership program, instilling values and respect, and student accountability. These areas are intended to mold what the school expects of its students because, as Rosa pointed out, the values and accountability are oftentimes not there when they arrive.
In addition to academics and student character, another important area of the General's focus is, of course, sports, and Rosa was quick to point out the improvements to the stadium, which will eventually have a facade similar to that of the Holliday Center directly across the street. The football team will also hopefully enjoy some stability with its newest coach, Kevin Higgins, who has also been a guest of our Club.
Because the Citadel is the Military College of South Carolina, one would assume that most of its graduates will naturally go into some sort of military duty. This has actually not been the case in recent times. For the academic year 2005-2006, only 36% of graduates entered the military upon graduation (which General Rosa identified as "artificially low"). He attributed this to the many opportunities that students have upon graduation. Although these percentages are down from when Rosa himself was at the Citadel, he claims that the school has the largest Army contract in the past 10 years.
General Rosa concluded his presentation with a tribute to the Alumni who have lost their lives in the name of duty, including a few recent (2005/2006) graduates. He asked us to support the school this weekend during Homecoming, which also falls on Veterans Day. The school plans to honor all WWII Veterans this weekend, and at last count estimated that 75 WWII Veterans would be in attendance.
If you are interested in showing your support for the Citadel and the Bulldogs, the game against Virginia Military Institute (VMI) begins at 2:00 at Johnson Hagood Stadium. For more information on other Homecoming activities, please visit www.citadel.edu/homecoming06_sked
Reported by Amy Riley, Keyway Committee
November 5, 2006
October 31, 2006: Elections are just one week away! Our Rotary members are still closer to being some of the most informed citizens in the county.
Eight Charleston county school board candidates from West Ashley and Charleston (downtown) visited us this week: Lurline Fishburne, Toya Green, Marian Mentavlos, Jo Anne Cannon, Sandi Engelman, Ann Oplinger, Ruth Jordan, and Kay Kernodle. In their brief introductions, the candidates told us why they are vying for a seat.
Toya Green (downtown) is a local attorney, and is married to one of our own Rotary Club of Charleston members. Green's level headed approach to problems includes focusing on the root of educational needs in young children. She also discussed the need for support as opposed to dissension from the board.
Lurline Fishburne (downtown) is also married to one of our own Rotarians. Fishburne is running with the "A" team which is composed of four candidates with common goals. She drew attention to the 150 years of business experience the team brings to the table, and how beneficial it would be to the system.
Marian Mentavlos (downtown) has 30 years of teaching experience, and masters and doctorate degrees in the educational field. She mentioned that the board will benefit greatly from having an educator on it. Mentavlos is comfortable working with individuals in the school system and wants to translate that into success for the whole district.
Sandi Engelman (WA) hopes to forgive past mistakes made in the district and move on to fix them. She has two children of her own, which is why she is driven to run for school board.
Engelman's children have been recipients of Rotary awards.
Jo Anne Cannon (downtown), also an educator, has taught at the middle school level much of her career. Cannon discussed our four-way test in relation to the school system.
Ann Oplinger (WA) is a retired principal and school teacher from the Charleston county schools. Both of her children were educated in Charleston public schools. Oplinger also taught in McClellanville for eight years.
Ruth Jordan (WA) mentioned the ideal of seeing all children treated equally. Jordan supports the Charleston plan for excellence, and would like to see more fiscal responsibility to taxpayers.
Kay Kernodle (WA) has been a substitute teacher, and is also a small business owner. She suggested focusing this election on the children and staying away from political influences.
Candidates also briefly responded to questions submitted by club members.
Reported by Jackie Gottfried, Keyway Committee
October 29, 2006
October 24, 2006: Larry Tarleton introduced Jim Rex as a lifelong leader in education reform who started out as a High School English teacher and football coach and also served as the Dean of Education for Coastal Carolina University and Winthrop University; the Vice-President of the University of South Carolina and the President of Columbia College. Mr. Rex responded to the introduction as a man who's never run for office before and "who's wife is sitting in the parking lot at this moment waiting for AAA to come change our flat left front tire." After a round of empathetic applause from 110 Rotarians and their guests he added, "if you see a short brunette with grease on her hands come in, please give a hearty welcome for allowing me the privilege to speak with you today while she took care of the dirty work." Mr. Rex continued to warm the audience with a story about his Winthrop University interview in 1981...for those not in attendance, please ask a Rotarian who listened to Mr. Rex's anecdote; ask where the phrase "don't worry, his battery is dead" came from...it's worth your time to listen to the story.
Mr. Rex moved on to more serious topics discussing his beliefs that motivated him to run for the Secretary of Education: "there needs to be an educator in the job" and "the stakes are the highest seen for the SC public education system in a life time." He continued to espouse "our schools are getting better but incremental improvements will not get the State where it wants to be." "Legislators tinker with piecemeal reform that yields unintended, negative consequences." This led to a campaign theme: "I propose a comprehensive plan that reforms, improves, and supports public education." He went on to elaborate that his twelve-month strategy is composed of five major themes...but Jim couldn't move forward on the serious topics without relaying a story that his stint as a High School coach and English teacher was a "juxtaposition" which means: he was, as one of his players relayed, "the only coach who yelled in complete sentences." This comment segued smoothly into his first theme:
Innovation: Things are happening "in spite of, not because, of the state of SC...it's time for us to do some wheel inventing."
Choice & Flexibility: "Americans demand choice. I'm against vouchers: Parents should have the right to choose a private school but they should pay for that. They shouldn't ask us to subsidize that choice."
Adjust & Revise: "We need revisions in accountability; tests are tools. We're de-emphasizing curriculum if it's not part of the test and this is not helping our students prepare for the future. Within every pill there is a piece of poison (when you ask the Rotarian about the 'battery story'...ask about this also).
Rejuvenate & Educate: "We're getting close to a demoralized and compromised teaching force. They are a critical employee group. There are ominous clouds on the horizon....over the last 6-7 years we've hired more foreign teachers than U.S. in the Math and Science areas. Over the next 4-5 years we're losing an extremely high percentage of teachers."
"Minimally Adequate" is Not Where We Want to Be: We need to put in place a way to more fairly and evenly fund all school districts. Our Legislators spend millions defending our policies in order to keep "minimally adequate" as our standard. That's like an invitation for all of us to get on the ground and stay there together. "We need to set a new standard that translates to a new Goal."
In summary, Mr. Rex said we need to put all five themes into a comprehensive plan we all can embrace. He ended with a very unique political thought: "Make this position [Secretary of Education] a non-partisan position...there are six states that have done this already and their education systems are in the top of the Nation's.
Reported by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee
October 20, 2006
October 17, 2006: Governor Mark Sanford gave Rotary Club members a broad perspective of his vision for the state. He noted that we get most of our news in small sound bites which often leave out a balanced view of both sides of the issues. He asked us to look down on the state with him from "30,000 feet high". Quoting from journalist/author Tom Friedman, he said he was a real fan of Friedman's position in his recent book that The World is Flat. Like no time in the past we today must compete on a world-wide basis. Globalization of our world means that a single South Carolinian can interact directly with others in the emerging nations of China and India and directly export products and services to persons who live there.
To be successful in the global market one needs both education and equipment. In so doing we must maximize those things in South Carolina that have the best chance for success in the world market, and recognize that it is fruitless to compete in areas where we cannot win. We no longer can compete at the level of minimum skill labor; those jobs have gone elsewhere.
The founding fathers of our nation established three equal branches of government - legislative, judicial and executive. South Carolina is the only state in which these three agencies are not equal because we have a 4th group, the budget control board. The governor can only directly influence 16% of the annual budget. To achieve proper accountability in the state we need to open up the system to more voices, so that the people can truly be heard.
In response to questions, Governor Sanford stated that the long term medical care of older citizens is a major issue. 750,000 people in the state are on Medicaid. This problem is both a Federal and a state issue. We must find ways to enable older people to stay home. It would be more cost effective for the state to fund a wheelchair ramp at a private home than cause the elderly person to have to go to a full time care facility.
Asked what major changes in state governance he would like to see, the governor responded that the Lt. Governor should be elected with the governor from the same party. When the Lt. Governor is from a different party, as was the case during Governor Hodges time, there is an immediate conflict facing the governor as he begins his work.
He also felt that there must be major changes to the budget control board.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
October 15, 2006
October 10, 2006: Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer shared with us his approach to the position, his past successes and hopes for the future at our meeting. He stated that he was extremely happy that during his tenure he has expanded the duties of Lt. Governor and had significant successes to report.
His office has taken on the challenge of our aging population. It is his passion to ensure the needs of South Carolina senior citizens are met. He felt there is a great need for addressing the aging issue in South Carolina. He pointed out that South Carolina has a shortage of doctors in the state that specialize in geriatric medicine. What makes shortage even more critical is that South Carolina has the fifth largest immigration of seniors. These senior family units are well educated responsible citizen with significant assets averaging approximately one million dollars per family. According to Bauer we must ensure that the state can meet the needs of this key group.
Lt. Governor Bauer reported that he was proud that during his term not only has his office expanded its database and services but it has also provided more value to the state while the cost of running his office has decreased. By reducing office space and staff they have been able to deliver more with less.
He was also very pleased to report that under his leadership in the Senate there were had no tax increases. He used his power as leader of the senate and his tie breaking vote to ensure no new taxes.
He felt government not only had to do more standardization and reducing their cost but also to find new revenue streams rather than continually asking residents to increase tax payments. He gave an example of California which sold advertising on the back of their library cards and received $50,000 in revenue which did not have come out of the taxpayer's pocket.
When asked whether the Governor and Lieutenant Governor should be elected separately he resoundingly said yes. He felt that if the lieutenant governor ran on the same slate as a governor this would not provide enough separation of powers when the lieutenant governor controls the upper chamber of the legislature and can essentially determine what issues reach the floor.
He spent a great deal of time talking about his accomplishments and acknowledged that the last year has been very difficult for him personally. He suggested that the focus be not on personal issues but on what someone is done while in office.
He closed by stating that a person's character is shown not so much about what happens to them but how he or she responds to what happens. He shared a great many insights and responded candidly to questions.
Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee
October 8, 2006
October 3, 2006: Larry Tarleton introduced Robert Barber, South Carolina's Democratic candidate for Lt Governor, as a Charleston native who earned his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Wofford College, his Doctor of Divinity from Duke University, and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas..."a Preacher and Lawyer, now that's hard to comprehend." Larry also touched on the fact that for over 15 years, Robert has run his world-famous family restaurant on Bowen's Island and received a special award in New York with "shrimp sauce on the front of his dinner jacket." On the serious side, Robert Barber was elected three times to the State House of Representative from a strongly Republican district and served three terms on the Charleston County School Board where he was elected Chairman for two years.
Mr. Barber related to our Rotarians that he remembers leaving Folly Beach as a 10 year old sitting in the "back seat of a '58 Chevy" not wanting to move away from his home in Charleston. He moved to the Columbia area where he met his wife LaNelle in the 5th grade, "although she's 18 months older," and they remain married today with two children and two grandchildren. He then emphasized his campaign themes: "one year and two weeks ago, to the day, I kicked off my campaign based on Main Street Values." "To me that means hard work, spirituality, fiscal grounding, and common sense." He smiled firmly and added: "there seems to be a shortage of that in Columbia and I will change that."
Education is an additional challenge on Mr. Barber's docket. Although not specifically in the Lt Governor's job description, he strongly feels it's a challenge we all must embrace: "we must make our public schools successful." How do we make good schools? Hire good teachers.
Mr. Barber's wife is a school teacher who "gets up at 10 minutes after 5 every day...I get up about an hour and a half later." He was passionate in stating his personal opinion that "our teachers should earn as much as doctors and lawyers." He observed there are children in China and India getting prepared for jobs in South Carolina that "we want our children and grandchildren to have."
Mr. Barber moved to a different challenge and received a hearty Charleston Rotary Club laugh when he stated "we have an aging population; I can see that in this room!" He wants to keep seniors independent in their homes. To do that we must commit the funding at the State level to:
- Provide home-delivered meals
- Allow home-based health care
- Ensure medical transportation
In summarizing additional areas he feels are important, Mr. Barber stated his desire to go to Columbia with a small business background. His theme in this venue is to represent the low country where he lightheartedly mentioned he "even put indoor restroom in his Bowen Island restaurant 10 years ago." On a more serious note he emphasized he's met the responsibility of signing the front side of a paycheck every week and he still rolls up his sleeves to work in the kitchen. Those experiences have provided him with an element of good judgment and maturity.
With a smile on his face, Mr. Barber concluded his remarks that in this campaign "word of mouth is everything" and he would appreciate if we "would talk to friends and let them know Robert Barber is a decent guy who will do a good job."
Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee
September 29, 2006
September 26, 2006: We kicked off our political series by hosting five impressive school board candidates. Larry Tarleton introduced our five school board candidates: Arthur Ravenel, Gregg Myers, Susan Simons, and, Robin Beard, all from the East Cooper area, and Ray Toler, from the North Charleston area.
Each candidate spoke individually, giving us a glimpse at their campaign, views, and background. The mediator then asked all of the candidates five questions, and we heard the diverse responses from the candidates. The questions varied from how the candidates felt about charter schools, to their reaction to the recent district court case involving a middle school teacher from a Charleston county school.
Arthur Ravenel related that he has been concerned about the county schools and drop-out rate, and decided to stand up and take action. He discussed educating students from their earliest levels through high school. He brought up the interesting point that technical trades may be learned at the high school level and provide for career skills.
Ray Toler, the sole North Charleston representative at the meeting, also spoke about bringing back vocational schools. Mr. Toler raised three children of his own, and has moved around a considerable amount due to his former naval career. He has been seen many different school systems, and feels his experience can benefit our community
Gregg Myers has served on the school board since 1996, and has enjoyed his position. Myers spoke of having continuity in the top positions in the school system. Myers feels a commitment to meeting goals, and is optimistic.
Susan Simons also has three children, and feels committed to the goal of educating each and every child in the Charleston county school system. She mentioned that our county has been making great strides.
Robin Beard spoke about the need for accountability to each student, regardless of income level. He mentioned that the budget could be reviewed in more detail, and that some spending could be redistributed. Beard related his passion for seeing that all children have education, and also recess time.
Submitted by Jackie Gottfried
September 23, 2006
"Your University located in Orangeburg, SC"
September 19, 2006: Andy Brack introduced Dr. Andrew Hugine, Jr. as a gentleman from Green Pond SC...a town with more homes than people. He also made sure every person in the audience understood the fourth year President of South Carolina State University (SCSU) is an extremely accomplished professional who holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from SCSU and a PhD from Michigan State University. Before assuming his current position, he also was SCSU Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Hugine's theme for his address to our Club was obvious: First, SCSU has come a long way since it's first President, Thomas E. Miller described SCSU as "a faculty of 13, eight small buildings, nine degree programs, 10 milk cows, 25 hogs, and a few chickens." Second, SCSU has a lot to brag about today and third, it has distilled a clear vision for a bright future.
Today the comprehensive 1890 Land Grant University has:
- 220 faculty members, 57 academic programs, 107 buildings (physical plant)
- 4500 undergrad/graduate students (378 from Charleston/Dorchester counties)
- 93 percent of its programs that can be accredited are accredited
More notably, SCSU has a pedigree of programs unique to the University. It's the nation's only undergraduate environmental sciences field station in the nation. Additionally, it's SC's only:
- undergraduate degree program in nuclear engineering
- master of science degree in transportation
- MBA degree with a concentration in agribusiness
- Doctor of Education degree in the state focusing on education administration; ranked third in the nation in graduating minorities with the Doctor of Education degree
Dr. Hugine was very proud in stating that eighty percent of the Faculty hold doctoral degrees and are fourth highest in the state in generating external research grants and contracts totaling over 41 million dollars. The areas are impressive including: neuroscience and brain computer interface (artificial intelligence) with implications for combating Alzheimer's and clean energy research with emphasis on using hydrogen as an alternative fuel. SCSU has the most diverse Faculty in the state. In describing the student body, Dr. Hugine referred to SCSU as a statewide resource with 80 percent of the students being native South Carolinians. He emphasized it's important not to have "brain loss" outside of the state after graduation and stated that of the 26 thousand living alumni, 18 thousand or 69 percent live in South Carolina. He cited some alumni notables: Rickie Green, a lead construction engineer on the recently completed Cooper River Bridge Project: Harry Carson, a NFL Hall off Fame inductee; six college presidents; nine members of the current SC General Assembly; and the first and only female Athletic Director in SC's public institutions. Additionally, SCSU ROTC commissioned more minority officers than any other institution in the nation.
Other highlights of Dr. Hugine's presentation centered around the University as an "economic engine," having a total economic impact statewide of 181.5 million dollars, supporting 1335 jobs, and generating 4.9 million dollars in state-level taxes. In doing so, SCSU never looses it's focus of "making a difference in the lives of our young people." It's a student centered institution that was ranked number nine in the nation by The Washington Monthly with particular emphasis on Social Mobility, moving low income individuals into the middle class, where SCSU was ranked number one in the US.
Dr. Hugine concluded his talk by explaining SCSU's vision on how they will "continue to make a difference:"
- Be one of the top 25 public universities, among peer institutions, as measured by recognized independent ratings
- Enrollment Goal: 8000 by 2014
- Create additional programs to meet projected societal needs and support economic development particularly along the I-95 Corridor.
Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee
September 17, 2006
September 12, 2006: Phil Noble, Internet Technology Specialist and originator of the Palmetto Project, enthusiastically gave us a picture of past and present technology and challenged us to utilize it to make a better future. He quoted Bill Gates, who opined: "The internet is radically different and will change the world with equal intensity as did the printing press and the coming of the industrial age."
In the past year, more computers were sold than TV's; more laptops sold than desktops; more cell phones than landline phones. We all have a global world in our pockets. In technology the power of the hardware and software doubles every two years and the price is cut in half, and still the sales boom.
A U.S. company is currently manufacturing a laptop in China which will be sold to school children for $100, but the sales are going to Chile, Brazil, Nigeria, Egypt and Burma, the developing world. We can only imagine the impact this will have on the need for every American child to be literate, competitive, and educated for the new world, as Tom Freedman says in his new book, "The World is Flat"!
South Carolina, however, is in a quiet crisis, sort of like termites eating the house, which are a lot less noticeable than if the house is on fire. The state was on top in the Agricultural Age and in the Industrial Age, but today in the Digital Age the state is still in a time of slippage, which began after the Civil War. We badly need to improve in Education, Technology, and Innovation. Today we have the highest school dropout rate in the nation. We are 50th in state test scores, and 48% of the 19 to 24 year age group is unskilled to do the most basic of jobs. 60% of adults feel that their children will not do as well in their lifetime as they did. To solve the problems, Phil Noble suggests:
ACTION: We must believe that we can do it. Give every child a laptop and teach him/her how to use it; guarantee college for all; teach all to be good citizens.
TECHNOLOGY: With it we can provide more, and save money doing it.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
September 8, 2006
September 5, 2006: Leon Stavrinakis, Chairman of the Charleston County Council, brought the Rotary Club up to date on the plans and progress of the 2004 half cent tax increase. While it seems like a long time ago the tax underwent 3 different votes and the money did not start to come in until August of 2005. The board initially had many small projects in mind but the ever increasing costs of doing public works projects caused a change in thinking.
First, it must be noted that a major payment for the Cooper River bridge is made each year. Recognizing that inflation would make it impossible to implement all needs, the board plans to do all major projects over a ten year period and will borrow money against the projected tax income so as to maximize that which can be completed.
The board is dedicated to careful planning and accountability and has created a master plan that improves roads, stabilizes CARTA and sets aside green spaces. This plan will go before the voters in the November election, not to seek new tax money, but to approve the plan itself. All of the area mayors and Chambers of Commerce have joined in support of the plan.
In response to a question, Chairman Stavrinakis noted concern that the recent Post and Courier letter by Mayors Summey and Hallman was in error. While contractors who bid on projects must include On The Job Training for local workers in their bid, no money from the tax increase has been diverted for this purpose.
For the future he believes the State Legislature must mandate that local communities work together in regional planning.
Finally, Leon thanked the Rotary and all members of the community for the great support he feels that he received during his years on the county council. His term is ending and he feels proud of his opportunity to serve the community.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
September 2, 2006
August 29, 2006: Last Tuesday, John Miall dosed us with his wit, intelligence, and Southern charm, as he explained how there is hope for reducing pharmacy related costs in cities like Charleston, S.C.
Mr. Miall, an honorary member of the American Pharmacy Association, has dedicated his efforts to creating and exploring "The Asheville Program". The program began in Ashevillle, N.C., about ten (10) years ago, as an experiment of sorts. The object was to find out if healthcare costs for chronically ill individuals in the workforce could be reduced. The project was partially funded by Glaxo Smith-Kline. Miall and his team gathered diabetic individuals as trial subjects for their program. The individuals agreed to participate in monthly monitoring visits with their pharmacists.
The monitoring pharmacists did not practice medicine, but checked the diabetic subjects vital signs, and kept tabs on their health. The idea was to report to treating physicians the first sign of a problem before it could become severe. Problems such as loss of limbs, organ failure, and heart disease are preventable if caught and treated early. In exchange for participation in these visits, the diabetic individuals were given access to free insulin, blood sugar monitors, other health supplies and prescription medication. This system controlled costs by reducing the number of major hospital stays and missed days from work.
Mr. Miall explained how "The Asheville Program" picked Charleston as one of the ten cities in which to continue testing out its hypothesizes. The project is going on now in our city, with participants from some local businesses . Ideally, the lessons learned from Miall and his colleagues will translate into lower healthcare costs for employers and more cost efficient care for everyone.
Submitted by Jackie Gottfried, Keyway Committee
August 25, 2006
August 22, 2006: Our club was honored with a visit from District Governor Bernie Riedel, who has been a member of the Rotary Club of Hilton Head since 1983. DG Riedel braved the plane and Porsche ride from Assistant Governor Rick Moore (Charleston Breakfast) to speak to us about his goals and vision for our District this year. He began by touting our new Rotary International President, Bill Boyd, who claimed to be an "ordinary Rotarian given an extraordinary task." President Boyd's Rotary theme this year was held secret until Governor-elect training, which revealed the "Lead the Way" theme to be upheld by the District Governors. DG Riedel was relieved given past themes which were a challenge to remember, let alone execute. And he has hit the ground running in executing this theme.
DG Riedel has already developed his strategic plan for the year and is ready to roll it out to District 7770. The plan covers what he called getting "back to basics", and highlighted his goals and objectives through a trip through Rotary history. He emphasized fellowship, as this was why Rotary was founded. Rotarians can experience lots of fellowship at the upcoming joint District (7770, 7750) Conference May 23-25 at the Marriott on Hilton Head Island. He encouraged networking in our clubs as well; discussing business goes back to the roots of Rotary. Another area of focus is service, because Rotary became a service organization in 1907 with the completion of two community projects in Chicago. He has asked each Club to adopt a club from District 6840 in New Orleans which sustained damage due to Hurricane Katrina. President Amy was happy to update the DG that our Club had in fact adopted a club, and raised over $13,000 (largest donation to-date) to restore a public high school which was devastated by Katrina, including rebuilding and restocking its library through speaker gifts handed out each week.
Supporting the Foundation is the third area of focus, and DG Riedel highlighted all the wonderful things the Rotary Foundation has done all over the world. In fact, RF was recently awarded the highest ranking by Charity Navigator, but he didn't need that ranking to verify what he already knew. Most importantly, he stated that the Rotary Club was the lifeblood of Rotary, and that we as Rotarians must nurture our clubs by signing up for volunteer opportunities, hosting families, and seeking out the best and brightest for its members. www.rotary7770.org
Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Committee Chair
August 19, 2006
August 15, 2006: Our speaker was Nancy McGinley, second in command of the Charleston County School District (CCSD). Ms. McGinley delivered a very informative speech that updated the club on the Charleston Plan for Excellence three years into the Superintendent's tenure; illustrated how the CCSD's progress was tied to national education goals; and related their challenges for the 2006-07 school year. She was passionate in stating the need to always view education in a social context. Her experiences lead her to believe any community's health may be measured by the efforts and resources it puts into educating their children. "Charleston has a great opportunity; we are in a roll analogous to the civil rights movement."
Ms. McGinley stated curriculum improvement was her number one goal. The enablers for improvement are sound financial/business practices, increased accountability, integrated public engagements that create allegiances/partners, and best practices for safe, orderly schools.
In order to combat the increasing dropout percentage (up 2.2% between 2000-01 and 2002-03) CCSD is creating a continuum of care to help meet the needs of the full spectrum of children. One size does not fit all. The first level is Preventative Programs to reinforce positive behavior and reward accomplishment. The second is Intervention Programs that will attempt to reverse any negative trend before it becomes acute. The third is Rehabilitative Programs which are designed to isolate children with strong dropout characteristics and provide individually tailored help. These programs are critical to reverse the trend that shows not only is the Charleston rate higher than Greenville and Berkley counties but theirs is decreasing while Charleston county continues to increase. The target grade for dropout prevention is ninth grade.
Ms. McGinley stated that the CCSD continues to stick with the key elements of the Plan for Excellence: coherent curriculum, benchmark testing, and differentiated instruction. She expounded on the testing stating "we check three times a year which facilitates tailoring the differentiated instruction." There are impediments to optimizing the testing results. When the testing shows a students not in the correct class for their knowledge level there is a lack of alternative placement options. CCSD has just one percent opportunity as compared to five-ten percent nationwide. "We've gone to great lengths to help this situation" stated Ms. McGinley. In November 2006 we will outsource to Community Education Partners to increase our placement options. That combined with the Accountability Court Program we implemented in 2005-06 we should start seeing results. The court requires parents to attend parenting courts with their children/students. The third element, differentiated instruction, includes academic intervention which combines intense literacy and math classes with behavior modification.
Ms. McGinley ended her talk using a comparison of CCSD standardized testing scores with seven other counties nationally. The emphasis was not on the comparative numbers, but on the trends between grades 3, 5, and 8. Testing scores drop dramatically. She summarized, "in CCSD we see children of all economic backgrounds test about the same through grade 3 and then drop off dramatically after that." "Those counties around the nation who maintain higher standardized scores teach concepts and have a better distribution of nationally certified school teachers throughout the entire district...we must move to do the same."
Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee
August 11, 2006
August 8, 2006: Our speaker was Matthew Sloan, Executive President of Daniel Island Company, which has been key to the positive development of Daniel Island over the last 10 years. His experience as a Development Consultant beforehand helps him and his partner guide the Island's development to create an atmosphere that is unique and the environment of the Southeast. He shared with the group how Daniel Island has progressed in the last 10 years and what is in-store for future development both on and off the island.
Daniel Island creates a sustainable lifestyle using a small town experience to make a unique environment in the middle of a city, such as Charleston. Recently it was named the Leading Smart Growth Development in the Southeast, which was only one of many awards.
He shared the results of their master plan after 10 years. It has created a truly unique lifestyle where nearly 2,200 households reside in a community with a unique "southern Lowcountry" architectural feel. In order to take advantage of the access the Mark Clark Expressway created to Daniel Island in 1993 the two partners created a partnership with Crow Holdings. Both firms continue to have an interest in Daniel Island and future developments.
The Daniel Island Company's philosophy of development includes a seamless integration of different social economic groups to create a unique tapestry that forms a community. There has been a special focus in creating a pedestrian friendly downtown for Daniel Island. The unique feel, architectural style, and design of Daniel Island has created a community that is one of the top home selling communities in the Southeast. It is projected that 15,000 people will be living on Daniel Island by the year 2015. Real estate has appreciated significantly on Daniel Island over the last few years. The typical residence ranges from $600,000 to over a million dollars.
The Daniel Island Company is moving north and developing another area with a lower price point and significant open space. The Carnes Crossroad area provides the development of a unique opportunity of 4 miles of highway frontage which will be a life style rather than a builder driven development. This allows not only the development of a residential neighborhood with trails, parks, and protect areas, but also the commercial and retail aspects that are essential to a community.
While Daniel Island's growth has been significant, a large explosion of growth will take place outside of I-526 boundary. This area of growth will create a new population center in Moncks Corner/Summerville areas, which in the near future, is projected to have 100,000 homes. The area will have an unparallel use of greenways along with a system of lakes to enhance the natural beauty of the area. There will be an emphasis on streetscape with a mixture of both larger and smaller homes. The first residents in this area are ready to move in late 2006 or early 2007. Daniel Island Company is working with the city of Goose Creek with the goal of creating a new downtown which will have a similar look and feel of Daniel Island.
Matt shared the unique approach that created the success of Daniel Island Company from its architecture to the attraction of being the home of a professional soccer team, a top national tennis event, and even a national golf tournament this fall. Matt showed us the innovation his company used to address the needs of the community that enhanced the beauty of the Lowcountry.
Submitted by Wayne Outlaw
August 4, 2006
August 1, 2006: Our speaker was Ed Sellers, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, an organization that insures half of all South Carolina commercially-insured residents. Setting the stage for the complexity of understanding the high cost of medical care he told us that there are a host of issues to be considered, many of which he could not even begin to discuss, such as: How technology affects medical costs; the dilemma of the uninsured; the new all inclusive health care plan implemented by the state of Massachusetts; or the privatizing of medical insurance into major business ventures.
Medicine 101 tells us that a simple formula explains it all. One must simply divide the total U.S. population into the total of all costs that it takes to deliver medical care to the U.S. "All costs" includes buildings, salaries, new medical machinery, all of which eats up about 50% of the delivery cost. Unless the population goes up significantly to spread the cost over more people, the unit-specific delivery cost will only continue to rise. As the costs rise, the medical providers must ensure their reimbursement increases to cover the increased costs per visit. In some cases the consumer may also visit the doctor more often or use more of the new tests and services that are coming available, which also helps cover the increased costs for the providers.
Since the Federal government does not significantly increase its reimbursement for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, the overall cost of medicine for the commercially-insured population will rise to offset the provider losses on the governmental patients. At present, governmental healthcare costs are approaching 3 trillion annually and represent approximately 15% of the gross national product.
Another trend is a literal explosion of privately owned clinics and service delivery centers, especially physician-owned, such as a center with an MRI machine. The more patients who go to the private facilities, the deeper the trouble for the hospital systems, who also have the same equipment. It should be noted that the private, non-hospital facilities focus on profitable services and do not accept uninsured patients or Medicaid patients, thus they can offer the same service at a cheaper rate.
Medical plan premiums are expected to go up in the year 2007 in a range of 8 to 11 percent, which is lower than the increases over the last few years. Every new hospital built, such as the planned new East Cooper Hospital, adds to the overall cost of the delivery of medicine in the region. So what is the BC/BS response to these issues?
1. Implement consumer directed health plans where the consumer has higher out-of-pocket costs than under traditional managed care insurance, and therefore should be more interested in the value (cost and quality) of the services provided.
2. Consumerism/Transparency - provide tools for consumers to use to understand the type, quality, and costs of health care services.
So, what does he see in the future?
There will definitely be continued health care inflation.
There will be some medical breakthroughs, but they will not contain costs, because they will be focused on small segments of the population (e.g. stem cell research).
The states will continue to struggle with the cost of Medicaid.
Individuals will become more empowered as they learn more about medicine.
The poor will continue to be very vulnerable.
Asked what he would do to solve the problems if he were totally in charge, Ed Sellers responded:
I would work on problems in small bites.
I would add a 5% tax on all goods to go into a medical pool.
I would make every person have medical insurance just as they must have car insurance.
I would help people pay their medical premiums, from the pool, adjusted by their income.
Reported by Ellen Jackson and Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
July 27, 2006
Joe Riley Speaks to Rotarians on the State of Charleston
July 25, 2006: Mayor Joe Riley was introduced by Amy Riley as a "visionary, leader and statesman". Lately, the Mayor has assumed another role to which he has already demonstrated great commitment and devotion- that of grandfather to his new baby granddaughter!
Mayor Riley has served the city of Charleston for eight consecutive terms of office during which Charleston has become a major vacation destination now ranking as the fourth most desirable city to visit in North America according to Travel and Leisure Magazine. Mayor Riley stated that a continuing goal for him at this point is to establish the means and methods by which we can maintain and secure the beauty and integrity not only of Charleston but also of the entire surrounding region long into the future.
Clearly, the city of Charleston is not just affected by issues and concerns that arise within the city limits. The decisions made here in Charleston and by nearby cities and counties have impact all over the low country. Mayor Riley spoke in terms of "corridors" like the Ashley River Road/Highway 61 corridor and the digital corridor of knowledge-based businesses which have been attracted to the low country. The term "corridor" paints a picture of shared concerns and purposes with interests that now overlap and cross established boundaries which previously were thought to be rather separate and distinct. Because our issues and interests are now so interrelated, it is imperative that we work together to formulate a single, comprehensive long range plan which will serve to guide and direct the growth and development of this region long into the future.
In order to shape and mold this long-term future , Mayor Riley suggests we first begin thinking of ourselves as a regional entity and consequently to assume a sense of ownership for creating an integrated public policy which will benefit everyone both singularly and as a whole.
The next step is for a business-led, private, non-government group, much like Historic Charleston Foundation was when it began in 1947, to step up and take the reigns of responsibility for spearheading efforts to establish such a regional plan .
Mayor Riley also addressed other concerns that matter to those of us who enjoy life here in the low country. The park and ride commuter rail transportation system is due to start up in October. While the cost sounds inordinately expensive is substantially less than a fixed rail system because it utilizes infrastructure already in place. These efforts are going to have considerable impact on traffic congestion by providing park and ride services for commuters.
Mayor Riley spoke of his concern about crime and about the need to put repeat offenders into the jails and to keep them there. The systemic challenges in the judicial system are many and Mayor Riley has been working closely with police and judges to find ways to address these challenges to put and keep criminals in jail.
Finally, Mayor Riley told Rotarians about the anticipated uses for certain sections within the city such as the Federal building on Marion square, the section where the old cooper river bridge began, and land in the Calhoun and Concord streets area. Most will reflect some combination of residential and commercial use with ample parking and green spaces.
At the conclusion of Mayor Riley's talk, President Amy thanked him and presented a certificate for a book purchased in his name for the new library at Warren Easton High School in New Orleans, LA.
Reported by Helen Reynolds, Keyway Committee
July 23, 2006
North Charleston is Booming
July 18, 2006: Today, Mayor Keith Summey, told Rotarians how pleased he was to come to "south Charleston" to speak. He was more pleased to report on the astounding growth experienced by North Charleston in recent years, especially in the retail sector. Although Mayor Summey said the Governor does not share his beliefs that retail is an "industry", the Mayor begs to differ, and the $6 billion in retail sales last year is his proof. In fact, North Charleston saw a 15% increase in retail sales last year, and that's even before Tanger Outlets opens in August!
Mayor Summey also discussed the increased population growth experienced by the City in recent years, especially in the Dorchester Road and Ladson Road corridors, and Deer Park. The question remains: how do we control this growth and handle it so that we provide proper planning for the City and provide the necessary infrastructure to serve future generations? The Mayor stressed that we need to take a regional approach to planning and growth management. We need to create inner city density to abate sprawl and create communities that enhance our quality of life. Living in a place that you can afford, where you can walk or ride a bike, or just have a shorter commute to work, will help us enhance our quality of life, and we need to create these places because they haven't happened in the past. He pointed to Hilton Head Island as an example of needing to plan for the future of the whole community. Hilton Head did not include "workforce housing" in its long-term planning, and as a result, no one who services the Island can afford to live there, and must drive many miles from Bluffton and beyond to go to work on Hilton Head. Which led us to another issue: traffic and transportation.
Traffic has gotten so bad in the region that we have to work together regionally to solve the issues. Mayor Summey was quick to point out that "while he was no engineer, he knew a four-foot pipe would quickly back up when dumped into a two-foot pipe." We should support a sales tax referendum in all three counties to support regional infrastructure to support all those moving to our region.
Reported by Amy Riley, Keyway Committee
July 13, 2006
Getting past the obstacles of life with grace and spirit
July 11, 2006: In 1969, Tom Mikolajcik graduated from the Air Force Academy and embarked on a military career as a pilot and a tour as Charleston base commander when the new C17 came into being. In 2003, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Schlerosis (ALS) and told he had from 1 to 3 years to live. Fortunately, his affliction has progressed more slowly and he is handling it as the General that he is. Instead of giving up, he is driven to teach all who will listen about the disease.
In the USA, there are only 30,000 cases and a huge number of these are military, especially pilots and also many civilian pilots. Why? Is it stress, it is toxins present in aircraft or in military life? No one knows, but veterans are hit hard.
At this time, Tom has lost the use of his hands. He requires help to eat and to dress. He is losing his voice but determine to use computers to tell his story. The VA is getting better all of the time in helping provide for ALS sufferers. The good news, according to Tom, is that you have time to get your affairs in order, to provide for family and indeed say goodbye.
His fine neighbors recently came to him and demanded that he tell them how they can help and he now recognizes that when you allow others to help you, they are helping themselves to become better citizens. Tom noted that Johns Hopkins University and Medical Center has assumed a leadership role. MUSC has now opened a ALS chapter in Charleston. His immediate goal is to see that a nation registry of persons with ALS becomes a reality. He urged all to contact their local congressional leaders to see that Charleston and South Carolina do its share in this venture.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
July 7, 2006
Getting around the City quickly and safely without your car
June 27, 2006: In a growing region which has become stifled by traffic congestion, we need to become more aware of other ways to get around. That was the message conveyed to Rotarians by speakers Don Sparks and Benjamin Leigh of Charleston Moves, a non-profit organization advocating active lifestyles and active communities through walking, biking and transit. Sparks, President of Charleston Moves, gave some general tips for walking and biking safety, and debunked a few myths including which way to ride your bike in traffic (with traffic, not against!). He was also asked to identify the best places in Charleston to ride your bike, but was quick to point out that the natural landscape lends itself to ride anywhere with Charleston's flat terrain (with the exception of a few major arterials and collector streets).
Next, Benjamin Leigh spoke about a project he is developing with a grant from the BCDCOG's Active Living by Design program. Leigh is developing a map showing Bicycle Levels of Service (BLOS) and their ratings. BLOS is similar in nature to a standard road Level of Service, but is designed to assist cyclists in planning a commute, assist city planners with determining streets needing bike paths, and make walking and biking better for all of us overall. He plans to rank the levels of service and assign safety ratings, as well as include a bridge-crossing guide and electronic atlas for CARTA.
This project is important for many reasons: first, demographics show that many residents of the region do not have access to cars, so integrating bicycling and walking with public transportation is crucial for people to simply get where they need to go. This map will allow them to do it safely by identifying safe areas to bike and walk, as well as where transit could be accessed to cross busy or dangerous intersections and bridges. Second, the project has health implications to encourage our population to choose healthier transportation alternatives and fight obesity from sedentary travel. Third, there are environmental concerns as well, including oil and energy costs. With rising gas costs, we could all appreciate having an alternative to driving. And besides, as Sparks pointed out, it takes him less time to ride his bike downtown than to drive and find a parking place!
Benjamin Leigh's BLOS map will be available in a few weeks, so keep checking the Charleston Moves website for more details (charlestonmoves.org). For more information on other cycling resources: Coastalcyclists.org
Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Committee
June 22, 2006
Getting South Carolina Ready for the World
June 20, 2006: Anita Zucker, who has been very active in education and has a terrific passion for developing children's skills and abilities, introduced our speaker. Ann Marie Stieritz is the owner of AMSC Consulting, LLC and is currently contracted to serve as the Statewide Coordinator for the establishment of Regional Education Centers mandated under the South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA).
Ms. Stieritz brings an international background in both education and economic development to her work. She served as the Assistant Director/Vice President of the Ponape Agriculture and Trade School, the only academic and technical high school serving students from across the Micronesian region in the Central Pacific. She also taught English with the United States Peace Corps in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. She holds degrees from Xavier University in Ohio, the Universite de Paris, la Sorbonne, and New York University. In addition to her many activities, she is a member of the Columbia Rotary Club and is the incoming Chair of the Club's World Community Service Committee and has been involved with the Guatemala Literacy Project of Rotary International.
Her program, Pathways to Success: Preparing All South Carolina Students to Compete in the Global Economy, showed the change in vision and direction for the State with the publishing of the Education and Economic Development Act in 2005. It showed the challenge of globalization and how South Carolina students lagged behind somewhere between 49th and 50th depending on the state. Workforce Gap, which is the gap between what is needed and what students possess upon graduation, is significant in this state, and our future growth and economic prosperity rests on narrowing that gap. To narrow the gap and provide greater skills with a new approach that is different than the traditional role in the past, students now have their Personal Graduation Plan based on their objectives along with family input.
A goal of the program is to get one Guidance Counselor per 300 students to help students understand what is needed to develop their plan. The program has 16 career cluster areas that not only provide career awareness, but also provide skills and work habits that enable students to move into the workforce. This promotes a more rigorous education, as well as being relevant to students' needs.
From kindergarten through fifth grade the focus is career awareness. Grades 6 through 8 focus on career exploration, assessment, and investigation. In grade 8 the students develop a long-term goal and choose the career cluster. In grades 9 through 12 the students prepare their career and post secondary education, such as college, employment, and career placement.
It is in all of our best interests to develop the workforce and as business owners we can do a great deal to help. Giving students the opportunity to learn through job shadowing and lending expertise to schools is helpful. Also, we can support the policy makers and help the Regional Education Centers become a reality. Become a "Positive Ambassador" to help make the South Carolina Education and Economic Development Act (EEDA) successful.
Submitted by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee
June 16, 2006
June 13, 2006: Patrick McDavid, of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency of the Department of Homeland Security was at today's Rotary meeting to talk about how current immigration issues affect the low country. Patrick is the Resident Agent in Charge of the Charleston office, who along with 16 other agents, work to enforce existing customs and immigration law. Mr. McDavid's office focuses on three main categories of investigation: those pertaining to national security, investigations regarding smuggling and public safety, and financial investigations.
It is estimated that 330 million illegal aliens cross our borders annually. This number is approximately 15% more than the total US population. Up to 5,000 people a day are coming into the United States from Mexico and, in fact, about half of all illegal aliens coming into the US are from Mexico. This is a significant and growing problem here in South Carolina because we live in a state which is perceived by illegal immigrants to be a safe haven. The means and man power is just not available here in South Carolina to apprehend, take into custody and then deport illegal aliens. There are not enough agents, bed space to hold detainees, and deportation is cumbersome since it requires that detainees be processed through Atlanta.
Mr. McDavid told Rotarians that most illegal immigrants are well-intentioned individuals living in extreme poverty who are willing to do whatever it takes to have the opportunity to work hard in order to provide for their families. His office considers their job to be one of prioritizing and targeting high profile and undesirable individuals who are terrorizing neighborhoods, committing crimes, or are involved in illegal activity.
Business owners have the responsibility to follow all laws pertaining to customs and immigration and must determine the legal status of every individual they employ. He reminded business owners that even picking up an illegal alien and transporting them to a work site is considered harboring and is therefore subject to worksite and employer sanctions if caught. Mr. McDavid also advised that government contractors were more likely to be the focus of interest by their office than is the average small business.
Submitted by Helen J. Reynolds, Keyway Committee
June 11, 2006
June 6, 2006: Our Club officially transferred its leadership today from President Earl Walker to President Amy Jenkins. President Earl reflected on this past year's theme: Rotary Renewal: Regeneration and Rejuvenation. President Earl recognized the Board Members and Committee Chairs for their hard work and achievements, and how their reports to the membership kept us all informed of the action and projects of the Club. He mentioned the Club's accomplishments, of which we should all be proud, including the 27 of 28 goals we have achieved. These goals included growing the membership by 20 members (and young members!), raising over $13,000 for Hurricane Katrina Relief, producing an every-member canvas to increase service from Rotarians, improving the website and Keyway, and many others. President Earl closed with thanks and quotes from Max DuPree's The Artful Leader which have guided him as our President this past year. Thank you President Earl for all your hard work and Service Above Self!
President Amy presented President Earl with a plaque and pin, and recognized our Assistant District Governor Rick Moore who was in attendance. She then detailed some of the upcoming projects for the next year, including adopting a club impacted by Katrina (see announcement) and donating a book as a gift to our speakers, strengthening the Capital Creation Committee, fulfilling our obligation to the City of Charleston for the sculpture at the Rotary Fountain in Marion Square, assisting the Rotary Club of South Brazil with a grant for a hospital upgrade, and eventually raising funds for the Lowcountry Food Bank's training kitchen. President Amy stated our Club's goals included growing the club's membership, getting to know one another through expanded fellowship opportunities, and fixing the head table! We will also strive through our projects to fulfill the goals of Rotary International, which this year include Literacy, Water Management, Health and Hunger, and Family of Rotary, as well as District goals including Fellowship, Adopt-A-Club, Public Image, Building Stronger Clubs, and Family of Rotary. We have an exciting year ahead of us, and President Amy is energized and ready to lead the way! Thank you, Amy!
Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Editor
June 1, 2006
May 30, 2006: Reminding Rotarians that hurricane season begins again on June first, Bruce Murdy introduced our two speakers who were quite familiar with the subject of hurricane preparedness. Bill Walsh, the Chief Meteorologist for Channel 5 News talked about what we might expect this year according to predictions and our own Bob Baldwin took a few minutes to offer his suggestions about how to protect and preserve financial documents in the event of a hurricane.
Taking some preliminary steps to protect financial documents before the advent of a hurricane will pay huge dividends in the event of a hurricane disaster according to Bob Baldwin who is President of the South Carolina Association of CPA's. Bob began by asking how many Rotarians had actually read their insurance policies well enough to know how their carrier defined the term "hurricane". The type and kind of insurance we carry as well as how much risk we assume is critical in the event of a hurricane. Bob warned that when a hurricane is approaching the coast it is already too late to begin wondering whether our insurance coverage has kept up with increasing property values
Any disaster preparedness plan should include provisions to protection and transport critical financial documents especially in the event that an evacuation becomes necessary. By taking the time to scan and copy relevant information onto a CD, copies of insurance policies, credit cards, lists of important contact numbers, photographs of possessions, warranties and medical information can easily be taken with you when you leave town. In the event a weather disaster occurs, the recovery process will be much easier if you have that information at your fingertips. Mr. Baldwin mentioned three web sites we might want to consult when constructing a disaster preparedness plan: The sites are: www.redcross.org; www.ready.gov and www.360financialliteracy.com. In his final comments, Bob reminded us to be absolutely sure that we password protect any CD containing our personal financial information .
Bill Walsh, the two-time Emmy award winning meteorologist at Channel 5, has been covering hurricanes for 20 years here in the lowcountry. In a normal hurricane season an average of 11 storms will be named. This year, it is predicted that 17 storms will large enough to be named, 9 will become hurricanes and 5 will be considered major hurricanes of a category 3 or more. Regardless of whether predictions call for a quiet season or an active season, the only important consideration turns out to be that one hurricane which happens to be bearing down on the Charleston coastline.
One reason hurricanes represent such a danger is due to the rapidity with which the intensity can change. Mr. Walsh told us that hurricane Hugo was rated a category 2 the morning before it hit. By 5 pm that afternoon it had been upgraded to a category 4. Because flooding is the single greatest threat associated with a hurricane, leaving when a voluntary evacuation is announced is crucial. One only has to move inland and away from the coast in order to avoid the potential storm serge.
Even though we have learned lessons from other hurricanes and now have good predictive systems and solid emergency evacuation procedures in place, having to pack up and leave when a hurricane approaches is one of the the few trade offs we must make in exchange for living in such a beautiful city on the coast.
Contributed by Helen Reynolds, Keyway Committee
May 29, 2006
May 23, 2006: Amy Riley introduced Ellen Dressler-Moryl, who was the first Director of Cultural Affairs of the City of Charleston. She shared information about the upcoming events, especially the Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Piccolo Spoleto was established to give access to local citizens who could not afford or would not otherwise attend Spoleto Events. Since its inception in 1977, Piccolo Spoleto has grown to 700 events and has a budget of $1.1 million. While its budget is less than the Spoleto's budget of $7 million, it provides a real impact on citizens in the local area. Even with the much smaller budget, Piccolo Spoleto accounts for almost half or $31 million of the $67 million economic impact from the Spoleto each year.
Piccolo Spoleto's events range from free puppet shows to concerts by the Charleston Symphony Orchestra with admission fees. It serves a broad rang of individuals and diverse groups in the community. Most importantly, it provides opportunities for local artists to participate and develops a "love of the arts" with the residents.
A very important part of Piccolo Spoleto is the Charleston Symphony Orchestra. David Stahl, Director of CSO, shared many of the things the CSO does year round, not just during Spoleto, in its vital role of promotion of the arts in Charleston. According to David, "Art is at the heart of any great city." With that being said, we are very fortunate to have the Charleston Symphony Orchestra as one of the best of its type which contributes immeasurable to art and our great city.
We also heard from Scott who recently became the Resident Conductor. He related his last experience in front of a Rotary group when he received a Rotary Scholarship to a summer art program which helped fuel his enthusiasm for the arts. Of the 240 services each year, CSO does 15% to 20% devoted to education and David is heavily involved. The community-oriented events range from Kinder Concerts for children under the age of 5 to Platinum Concerts given at senior citizens' homes.
Recently, CSO has been making great progress in solidifying their financial position and hopes soon to provide more support to the musicians. David said "he very much wanted to be able to pay musicians more than $18,000 a year." The group was very heartened by the progress that CSO is making and very grateful for their contribution to the cultural life of our city. David thanked the members of Rotary for their active support of the organization in many ways, not just financially.
Contributed by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee
May 19, 2006
May 16, 2006: Today, the Club learned more about an important resource in our community: Hospice of Charleston. Hospice of Charleston is a nonprofit organization which provides care for those diagnosed with terminal illnesses. The new Hospice of Charleston facility, which officially opens next month, is located on Wando Park Boulevard in Mount Pleasant. The 20-bed facility serves patients and their families from all over the Lowcountry and enables the patient to focus on living their life as best they can and not focus on dying. To quote our speaker and fellow Rotarian, Executive Director Kit Cosgrove, "It's not about how you die, but how you live." This beautiful new facility embodies this principal in its design, including outdoor living spaces, wide hallways for relaxing outside patient rooms, and patient services including massage and nutritional counseling.
Hospice of Charleston was started in 1978 by a grassroots initiative of local doctors, nurses, clergy and social workers involved in providing care and counseling to patients who were terminally ill. Through the years, legislation enabled hospice to be funded by Medicare, and eventually to be provided on an inpatient basis. Hospice of Charleston underwent a $3 million capital campaign in 2000 and by 2002 was awarded its Certificate of Need for a new inpatient facility which was completed this year. Hospice of Charleston offers six programs of care including home care for those patients not quite ready for hospice, as well as a KidsPath program for children and teenagers coping with illness or loss. Hospice of Charleston's Bereavement program offers support for family and friends following the death of a loved one. They also sponsor grief counseling and support groups for anyone in the community who has experienced the death of a loved one.
We are proud of Kit's work with Hospice of Charleston, and the organization boasts many Past Presidents who are members of our Club. What a wonderful resource we have in our community and a beautiful facility of which we can be proud knowing it will bring comfort and dignity to those spending their last hours there.
For more information, please visit www.hospiceofcharleston.org.
Submitted by Amy Riley, Keyway Committee
May 12, 2006
May 9, 2006: Today, the club recognized our 2006 Rotary Scholars who represent the best and brightest students from 18 Charleston county high schools. This cross section of academically distinguished student-leaders included class officers, yearbook editors, National Merit scholars, National Merit Scholarship finalists, student government leaders, varsity athletes and hours and hours of volunteer work at churches and non-profit organizations throughout our community. Each student was accompanied by a representative(s) from their individual schools along with their parents and other family members. Many school board were also present to honor the recipients.
Undoubtedly, these talented students will go on to distinguish themselves at colleges and universities across the nation. Those colleges and universities include: Georgetown University, The College of Charleston, Brown University, Dartmouth, Vassar, The Citadel, Clemson, The University of South Carolina, Davidson, Wake Forest University, Swathmore. Trident Technical College and Furman.
This year one student was selected as Rotary Scholar of the Year and to receive a monetary award in the amount of $3,000.00. Two runners-up were also named each receiving an award amounting to $1,250.00 . This year's winner was Erica Charlana Russell and the runners up were Rachel Elizabeth Campbell and Shemequa Lavette Pringle.
The list of these impressive scholars is as follows:
Carley McCall Anderson, Wando High School
Travis Michael Bowker, Trident Academy
Kenneth Alan Butler, Garrett Academy
Rachel Elizabeth Campbell, First Baptist Church School
Hau Chan, West Ashley High School
Janeigh Leann Cooper, R.B. Stall High School
Christopher K. Fulghum, James Island Christian School
Catherine Pierce Haar, Ashley Hall
Benjamin Scott Hamner, Academic Magnet
Helen Virginia Harley, Porter-Gaud School
Ellen Nancy Heath, Bishop England High School
Sabrena Latasha Heyward, St. John’s High School
Rosa Emily Jenkins, Charleston Collegiate
Sheila Janay Jenkins, Lincoln High School
Christopher Ryan McGuiness, James Island Charter High School
Frances Johanna Morris, Charleston County School of the Arts
Shemequa Lavette Pringle, North Charleston High School
Erica Charlanda Russell, Baptist Hill High School
We congratulate all the Rotary scholars and send them our best wishes for success in whatever their chosen careers.
Submitted by Helen Reynolds, Keyway Committee
May 4, 2006
May 2, 2006: Today The Rev. Dr. Jimmy S. Gallant, III, member of City Council, Chaplain to the Charleston Police, and ordained member of the Episcopal Diocese, told us how he came to be the founder of G.E.M. Inc. After 16 years on a national crusade to address the problem of gang violence he came to realize that the problem is universal not just something relative to Charleston. He found himself time and again serving as the minister at funerals of young people who had died violent deaths, and who had no church home from which to be buried. As he sought to heal the wounds he sought a vision to provide healing.
From this vision the midnight basketball league was born. It was not really about basketball, but about something that young people would like. Yet many fine athletes evolved form this program and it was the young people who pegged his movement as "GEM" - Gallant's Evangelistic Ministries. The young people with whom he worked were totally involved in a very small world: home, school, and a few afterschool activities. Many had never in their lifetime been to the nearby Atlantic Ocean beaches. Thus, a trip to the Isle of Palms was a major event.
Dr. Gallant and his colleagues began to take the young people on trips, some local and some more distant. Every weekend they did something, year around. Sometimes the activity was to a nice restaurant where the young people learned about plates, forks and etiquette. An underlying theme has been to teach against violence, and counsel those who observe violent happenings. Included in the Gallant group are a dozen policemen and state troopers, both white and black.
The greatest killer of young people today is suicide, followed by death by shooting, and though not fatal, next in occurrence in their desperate lives is rape.
The young people being served by G.E.M. are not just from the east side. They come from all over Charleston. It is best to find those who are to profit from this association when they are about 8 years old. Anyone wishing to help can come to Calvary Episcopal Church on any weekend, or call 864-3636.
Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee
April 30, 2006
April 25, 2006: Today the Rotary Club honored five very special individuals who were the Honor Roll Teachers and the Teacher of the Year for the Charleston County School District. Their comments and remarks confirmed that we're truly privileged to have individuals such as these invest their time, energy, and emotions to create a positive educational experience for our students. Dr. Marie Goodloe-Johnson, a member of our Club and Charleston County School Superintendent, introduced the individuals with many glowing accolades with a clear sense of personal pride.
Teacher of the Year
Jennifer Middleton, a Science Teacher at Military Magnet Academy, has above her door a sign that reads, "I love science, and I hope that you will too!" She supports a "hands-on" science experience which draws children into the lesson and gives them control of their learning. Her passion for teaching and getting parents involved in the school have made a tremendous difference and positive influence over children's lives.
Ms. Middleton's address to our group was her first public speaking experience. She used a technique of picturing us as sixth grade science students to calm her fears. Hopefully she realized that, even though public speaking may be listed as the #1 fear, with audiences like Rotary that fear is exaggerated. Hopefully, a warm Rotary reception paved the way for many great speaking experiences.
In her early years of teaching, Ms. Middleton realized that student difficulty in High School can be traced back to Middle School. In early years, students most often seem truly energized to learn, but somewhere in the Middle School years they lose their enthusiasm. She uses her engaging manner and ability to motivate to create an environment students want to be in and where they want to learn. Her philosophy is to encourage people and to help them feel successful. She said, "I sell my product, Learning Science, with the same zeal as others, such as McDonalds does when selling their Big Mac." She stresses that Teachers need to work smarter, rather than harder, to elicit the support of everyone and feels dedicated teachers cannot do the job alone. They must have the support of parents and even members of Rotary, which a few years ago sent members into her class to spend time and to give extra attention to the students.
Being a true Teacher she could not speak to the group without a quiz. The question she asked was, "Of the elements in the air, which is the most prevalent?" She engaged the group with that question, and not everyone knew it was Nitrogen. Her closing not only engaged us, it also encouraged us to continue learning.
Honor Roll Teachers
Millibeth Currie, a Science Teacher at Moultrie Middle School, believes that her role as a middle school teacher is to prepare the students for the future. She has done breakthrough work in helping students get out of their comfort zones and speak up in math and science classes. She has designed an after-school program for adolescent girls entitled, "Women in Charge: Women Engineering Their Lives."
Marsha Moreland, a Guidance Counselor at Buist Academy, spent her early years as a French and English Teacher. One of her priorities was to establish a rapport with her students. She offers a comprehensive developmental guidance program to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.
Lauren Romano, a 4th Grade Teacher at Drayton Hall, believes in differentiation of instruction to meet the needs of individual students. She has been an inclusion coach, working with seven West Ashley schools to assist teachers to work with special education students in mainstream classes. Her inclusion classroom is a model for her colleagues in the District, and has earned her an invitation to present next year at the Staff Development for Educators National Differentiation Conference.
Marshall Swindall, before becoming a Social Studies Teacher at West Ashley High School, was an Ordained Minister and has done work with the US Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. He believes that the key to student success in the classroom, and in adulthood lies in their learning how to think and solve problems. As a Social Studies teacher in the "trenches" with students who are not typically motivated to learn, he links classroom curriculum with real life and the workplace for a student-centered environment for learning.
We are truly blessed to have been able to honor such great individuals who give selflessly to hold the future through those they teach.
Contributed By Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Commitee