October 31, 2008


October 28th, 2008: President Andy Brack introduced Steve Stegelin, a talented political cartoonist. He is currently publishing original political satire of a visual nature in both the Charleston City Paper and South Carolina Statehouse Report.

He began his fascination with visually showing the true nature of something very early and is now fulfilling his life long dream of being a cartoonist, while working as a technical writer. He likes to poke good-natured fun at the political figures in the local, state and even national arena. His philosophy is that there's a lot going on in our world today that can make you cry. However, one must to learn to laugh and find humor in situations. For many years his insight has been helping his readers not only understand what's going on around us, but also developing a brighter outlook.

Stegelin graduated from the University of Cincinnati, is a full-time technical writer at BlackBaud, and is fully enthralled with South Carolina and the quality of our life. He has been contributing to the City Paper for several years and has contributed to the Statehouse Report for approximately a year and one-half.

It has been a 30-year-old dream of his to show the insight and humor in life. Steve gets his inspiration and ideas from the news shows, the media, life around us and even other insightful minds. He is particularly fond of such programs as the Steve Colbert Show and the Daily Show.

According to Steve you must really understand your audience to connect with them. For example, you can take two very different topics and connect them. He showed a number of great cartoons and four are included in the newsletter. One was an example of connecting two different concerns about payday loans in the State budget and putting them into a cartoon poking fun at the State getting a payday loan. His cartoon of going to the door on Halloween and having your 401K say "Boo" really got nervous laughter.

Most importantly, he wants people to have a sharper, clearer image of what's going on in the world and to get them to respond. The best response is laughter, but that response is not always what his cartoons elicit.

Our speaker showed us how an insightful, creative individual can develop innovative visual art to challenge our thinking and help us enjoy the world around us.

Reported by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

October 26, 2008


October 21st 2008: Today we had the pleasure of hearing from Mr. Paul Stoney of the Cannon Street YMCA. At the ripe old age of seven, Mr. Stoney began his involvement with the YMCA as a member and now for over a quarter of a century Paul Stoney has dedicated his life to his passion, and his work at the YMCA. The mission of the long standing non-profit is to connect individuals, families, and communities. In Mr. Stoney's words "the Y should be that third place; after our home and our work, the Y should be the third place" that is safe that promotes learning, exercise and relationships.

The Cannon Street YMCA that exists today is the combination of the former Christian Family "Y" on George Street and the Cannon Street YMCA. Paul earned the CEO position for the Charleston "Y" two years ago. His goal is to grow the organization to serve all children in the downtown and surrounding areas. Charleston is the only metropolitan area of our size without a major YMCA presence; Mr. Stoney intends to change that. The "Y" currently hosts many projects for children, young adults, and families of all backgrounds; the YMCA is committed to making diversity one of its top priorities. Some of the local programs include: an after school program serving 55 children that utilizes a partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank to provide quality snacks, activities such as tennis, golf, swimming for 284 children, Y Dance- teaching tap, ballet and other dance to 95 students, Y Princess and Y Guides, father/daughter and father/son programs to strengthen strong parental relationships, Camp Hope - a joint effort by Chief of Police Mullin and Mr. Stoney to host a summer camp for students from Frasier Elementary, and Camp Edisto - a joint effort with the Presbyterian Church of Edisto. In addition the "Y" offers Little Legends Youth Golf, Black Achievers, Black College Tour, Collegiate Achieves and Healthy Kids Day to address childhood obesity. The "Y" is proudly offers scholarships to many children: states "no one will ever be turned away due to inability to pay."

The YMCA has been a valuable part of the Charleston community for many years, the combination of their partnership with entities such as the Lowcountry Food Bank and The United Way Day of Caring combined with the leadership of Mr. Stoney and his team will allow the Y to continue offering the experience and value of the "Y" to every child.

Reported by Elizabeth Burwell, Keyway Committee

October 17, 2008

"Get Ready to Vote: Congressional Candidates 2008"

October 14th 2008: We hosted a very civil debate between the two Congressional candidates, Henry Brown and Linda Ketner. Mr. Brown has held his position since being elected in 2000. Ms. Ketner is running in hopes of ousting Mr. Brown.

Henry Brown is himself a Rotarian, but comments that his responsibilities have regrettably kept him away from some meetings. He commends Rotary for its ideal of service, and says that he feels called to duty by virtue of the same principles. He hopes to continue serving his constituents, and believes he has the experience and knowledge to get the job done. He highlights the need to address our energy policy if he serves another term.

Linda Ketner is formally trained in business and can bring that know-how to Washington. She sees directly to the root of problems, instead of only seeing their symptoms once it is too late. She believes long-term solutions require major foresight instead of short-term panaceas. Speaking to the current economic crisis, she describes how our government removed safeguards in the banking and investment sectors with the termination of legislation and passage of new legislation in and around 1999.

After their introductions, the candidates responded to questions posed by moderator Larry Tarleton, that had been submitted by club members. The candidates had two (2) minutes in which to respond to the questions and one (1) minute in which to rebut.

Ketner was asked about her policy on immigration and dispelled the rumor that she supports amnesty. She regrets that the states are left with the job of cleaning up after the Federal government's lack of prosecution and prevention of illegal immigration. Both candidates expressed concern over the security threat posed along with illegal immigration. Ketner was also asked about her ability to handle the liberal influence of Nancy Pelosi. She said with no uncertainty that she can handle herself against liberals in Washington and will represent her constituents without giving way to the whims of any faction. Brown was asked why he spends so much on mailings to his constituency and referenced the growth of the area and the need to keep people updated. Brown was also asked about the Republican balanced budget and tax plans and said he supports a balanced budget.

Both candidates discussed which regular publications they read, and naturally the Post and Courier is one of them. The candidates were given two (2) minutes for closing statements, in which they expressed their eagerness to sit in the next Congress. We appreciate the time that Mr. Brown and Mrs. Ketner graciously shared with our club, and wish the best to them both. It was a pleasure to host them and their supporters.

Reported by Jackie Grau, Keyway Committee

October 10, 2008

"Journalism Today"

October 7th 2008: Andy Brack introduced our speaker today and it was very timely due to the current interest in the elections. We were honored to have Charles Bierbauer, an esteemed Television Journalist with over 20 years experience with networks, such as CNN, with assignments covering the White House and spanning five presidential elections. Currently, the Dean of Journalism and Mass Communications at The University of South Carolina, Bierbauer shared his insight about not only the state of journalism, but he also gave us great insight into USC's journalism school and how journalists cover the election.

Since 1996 Bierbauer has guided his department and had the opportunity to influence many future journalists. He was careful to reiterate that USC focuses statewide and addresses the needs of the entire state, not just Columbia its graduates.

According to Bierbauer, "today newspapers are shrinking, the number of newsroom jobs diminishing, and as a result newspapers must respond to a challenge of adapt or die." Newspapers are but one area of journalism that is changing. TV is being forced to adapt its "one voice" to many voices and mediums such as the Internet and iPods, which quickly deliver the next generation of communication. These changes are signified by Visual Communication becoming the fastest growing major at the journalism school; replacing what we knew as photojournalism. The challenge is to stay relevant and keep the audience engaged, especially in a medium such as television where people multitask while they watch.

In terms of objectivity Bierbauer stated "the media doesn't tell us what to think- it tells us what to think about." In a time where the lines between journalism and editorial are increasingly blurred, it's critical to maintain a distinction between journalism and editorial.

During the question-and-answer period, Bierbauer provided excellent insight as to how journalists may not be able to separate themselves from their biases, but it is important they be aware of it and understand how it affects them.

With only 28 days until the election, he pointed out that the pace of the news will continue to quicken and go beyond traditional media. He stated that there were 112 million blogs on the Internet sharing information, which in the past would be transmitted through the traditional media. This medium certainly will carry a message that many will receive.

Reported by Wayne Outlaw, Keyway Committee

October 3, 2008

"Barr Demands a Higher Degree of Accountability"

September 30th 2008: Former U.S. Rep. Bob Barr said the current financial crisis has breathed life into his Libertarian bid for the presidency because many people think that party's philosophy of less government and free markets is far superior to the $700 billion bailout plan that failed on Monday. "It's provided me an issue that we have some credibility on," he said Tuesday after one of several campaign stops in Charleston.

Barr spoke to the Rotary Club at lunch, and his remarks largely centered on the historic financial and political events of the week. He held up a copy of Tuesday's edition of The Post and Courier newspaper and took exception to its banner headline that read "Financial Meltdown." "What we don't have is a financial meltdown," he said. "What we have is a leadership meltdown."

Barr, who was a Republican when he represented Georgia in Congress, said he began to become disillusioned with the GOP after 1998, when party leaders worked with Republican incumbents to ensure that a spending bill had projects they wanted for their home districts.

Asked what he would do to address the current financial mess, Barr said he would hire a new Treasury secretary more familiar with Main Street, that he would veto any bail-out bill and that he would encourage the U.S. Department of Justice to prosecute financiers whose fraudulent dealings led the nation to this point.

The Rotary crowd gave Barr a polite, but not enthusiastic, welcome. He drew little applause, but some members and guests approached him afterward to chat or shake his hand. Leslie Fellabom, a real estate agent who described herself as a political independent, asked Barr about his running mate and later said, "There was very little that he said that I could argue with."

President Andy said a lot of people would agree with Barr's condemnation of the lack of leadership in Washington "regardless of what party you're in."

Barr said he hopes to be on the ballot in as many as 47 states, but South Carolina is one of a dozen states that his campaign is concentrating on.

He acknowledged the long-shot nature of his bid but hopes to do well enough so that the Libertarian Party candidate won't have to jump through onerous hoops to get on the ballots of certain states in 2012.

Contributed by Post & Courier Journalist Robert Behre