April 28, 2010


April 27, 2010: Vice Chairman John E. "Butch" Howard of the Public Service Commission told us that the commission began in 1878 as a Railroad Commission, followed by the PSC in 1919 and the two groups became one in 1934. The mission is to regulate the state's investor owned utilities. Today the PSC regulates Electric: Duke Power, Lockhart Power, Progress Energy and SCE&G. Also Natural Gas: Piedmont Natural Gas and SCE&G, Water and Sewer, Telecommunications, For Hire Transportation, Household Goods Movers, and Hazardous Waste Transportation and Disposal.

Act 175 of the SC Legislature moved the regulatory functions to the Office of Regulatory Staff making PSC a Quasi-Judicial Body. The PSC can no longer handle complaints but encourages settlements by adversaries. Hearings have involved Telecommunications 30%, Transportation 28%, Electric 20%, Water/Wastewater 17% and Gas 5%.

In two cases before the U.S. Supreme court standards were set entitling utilities to earn a reasonable and sufficient rate of return, and to fix just and reasonable rates to balance both investor and consumer interests.

Among the issues facing PSC:
- Rate Requests
- Energy Efficiency Programs
- Demand Side Management Programs
- Renewable Energy
- Nuclear Energy Production
- Emission Control
- Quality of Service

On response to a question about nuclear power, he noted that the projected cost of 18 billion dollars to build a new plant has made such construction virtually impossible.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

April 23, 2010

Pathways Program Helps Students, Businesses

APRIL 20, 2010: A statewide Internet-based workforce assessment and development tool is helping South Carolina high school students improve their performance and transition better to college, according to marketer Bill Barlow.

Barlow, who is the state's spokesman for a program that schools, parents and job seekers to businesses, told Rotarians that the Kuder Connect 2 Business program is positively impacting how students prepare to enter the workforce.

Starting in the eighth grade, every South Carolina student, in coordination with school counselors, uses the C2B Internet tool from the state's Personal Pathways to Success program to develop an individualized graduation plan. Not only does the program help students target career clusters and plan their high school education, it is flexible enough to change as students' interests mature.

So far, 97 percent of students in grades 8-10 have an Individualized Graduation Plan, Barlow said. "It's an ongoing process - a living document that helps students prepare for a post-secondary education." Among the results of the program:

School performance. For 20 percent of the students involved in the program, there is a demonstrable increase in school performance, Barlow said.

To college. Some 91 percent of students in the program go beyond high school to post-secondary study - quite a difference from the 67 percent of students nationally who move forward to college.

Better picks. The program is believed to help students complete college more quickly as 60 percent don't change their major, compared to 40 percent nationally.

While students reap big benefits from the C2B program, South Carolina businesses can too, Barlow said. The program seeks to add business partners to its database so that students can learn of career possibilities. Businesses that create profiles on the C2B program also can use it to recruit candidates, get publicity and give back to their communities.

"We are scratching the surface of opportunities for businesses right now," Barlow said. Learn more online at: http://www.scpathways.org/.

Submitted by: Andy Brack, Keyway Committee

April 18, 2010

Charleston Navy Week

April 13, 2010: Today's speaker, Rear Admiral John Goodwin began his presentation with a little comic relief as he gave newly engaged Ken Caldwell the same advice his father, a Navy Chief in World War Two, gave him years ago: "Marriage is an institution. Are you sure you want to live in an institution?!" As laughter ensued, Goodwin was sure to credit his "Mrs. Always Right" with his success in life and naval achievements.

Goodwin's naval achievements began upon his graduation from the University of South Carolina and commission in May of 1975. He was designated a naval aviator in February 1977. Goodwin's naval career spans from a flight instructor in the TA-4j Skyhawk to flying the FA-18 for the Strike Fighter Squadron 25. He jokingly compared the aircrafts as a Volkswagen to a Corvette.

More recently, following Naval Nuclear Propulsion training, Goodwin served as executive officer of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) until April 1998. He assumed command of USS Rainier (AOE 7) in June 1998. Goodwin assumed command of the Pre-Commissioning Unit Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) and became the first commanding officer, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) in July 2003. His most recent assignment was Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic.

His decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, as well as numerous unit commendations and awards.

During his Rotary presentation, Goodwin answered the question "what is the Navy doing and why does it matter?" in three parts: Full Combat, Humanitarian Relief and Piracy. He discussed the Navy's role in the Middle East and how their commitment to fighting terrorism is evident in the number of sailors on the ground versus at sea. The commitment is focused on "playing the away game and not the home game;" a dedication clearly focused after September 11th.

Goodwin discussed the Navy's recent humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti and Indonesia and their commitment to providing fresh water. While he applauded Water Mission International's local efforts, Goodwin noted the Navy's impressive ability to provide 400,000 gallons of fresh water a day.

During Goodwin's remarks on piracy and their efforts to disrupt commerce, he emphasized the important role the ocean plays in our world and its vast size, covering three-fourths of the world. In order to protect our waters and defeat modern day pirates, Goodwin explained that the Navy is part of maritime strategy and national defense.

In addition to Goodwin's three-part Navy review, he discussed the events of the upcoming Charleston Navy Week:

- The Blue Angels will fly over Charleston Harbor on Saturday and Sunday.
- Divers will demonstrate bomb dismantling in a dive tank at the Aquarium.
- Sailors will volunteer time at Habitat for Humanity as part of their service project.

Goodwin concluded his presentation remarking on his great enthusiasm for this generation of armed service men and women and his belief that the "future of this country in is good hands." He closed with "It's an honor to be in South Carolina and in this country. God bless you and God bless America."

Submitted by: Teal Van Saun, Keyway Committee

April 9, 2010

The Civil War Facts or Fiction ...

April 6, 2010: Andy Brack provided an overview of the new Civil War lecture series that was kicked off today with a presentation by The Citadel History Professor, Kyle Sinisi. He provided a compelling overview of the timeline of how historians since the 19th c. have qualified the genesis and justification of the conflict (aka, "the great unpleasantness," "the war between the states..."). Andy introduced lecturer, Kyle Sinisi, professor of History at The Citadel. He listed the other installments of the new series on the Civil War:

May 18 -- Dr. Nic Butler, Charleston County Public Library, who will discuss material from an upcoming book he is writing that looks at militia music in the South during the Civil War: Music played mostly by African-American musicians that served as a precursor to Jenkins Orphanage bandstand later, Charleston's brand of jazz.

June 15 -- Dr. Bernard Powers, history professor at the College of Charleston, will review "Slavery and the Coming of the Civil War."

July 27 -- Dr. Stephen Wise, Director of the Marine Corps museum at Parris Island, will speak about blockade running during the Civil War. He is author of a highly-acclaimed book on the subject, Lifeline of the Confederacy: Blockade Running During the Civil War .

Dec. 7 -- Dr. Eric Emerson, Director of the S.C. Department of Archives and History, will discuss South Carolina's secession in Dec. 1860 (150 years earlier). He will bring the original copy of the Ordinance of Secession to the meeting. Eric is a former member of our club.

Professor Sinisi spoke to the rapt audience about the various views of the Civil War by historians over time. He provided an interesting overview of how historians have studied and assessed the reason for the war, the role of secession and the differences in values, or "belief sets" of the north and south (e.g., industrialization vs. agrarianism, art, music, government, etc.). One summary illustrated the shared responsibility in the start of the war due to regional beliefs. He cited the role of good and evil in the war as compared to World War II, where evil was more obvious and concrete. Interestingly, it wasn't until the post WWII era that historians began studying the Civil War through the lens of good vs. evil and rested on slavery as the main source of that tension.

Submitted by: Mark Danes, Keyway Committee

April 2, 2010

Growing the School of Business, at the College of Charleston

March 30, 2010: Valerie Morris introduced Dr. Alan Shao, Dean of the Business School of the College of Charleston. Dr. Shao indicated that, prior to taking the position of Dean of the Business School of the College of Charleston, he taught at the U. of Alabama and was Dean of the Business School at the U. of North Carolina for 19 years. He said that he has traveled to China more than a hundred times, often as a business consultant to many major companies who do business with the Chinese. In 2005 he was listed in the Journal of Advertising as one of the most influential leaders in the country. Shao stated that his mother is from South Carolina though his ancestry in China.

Dr. Shao said that the number one challenge in higher education today is competition from for-profit schools. From 1988 - 1998, growth in for-profit schools grew by 319%. From 1998 - 2008, growth in for-profit schools grew by 664%. An example he cited was that the U. of Phoenix currently has 455,000 students on the rolls. For-profit institutions have grown at a rate of 9% per year over the past 10 years. He said that the reason for this is that these schools are: 1) Student focused; 2) Convenient within a community; 3) Make up 7% of all college enrollments.

In South Carolina, Dr. Shao said that there is a minimal support for state run schools - 10%; and maximum control of the C of C by the state - 100%. Only $424 million is offered in financial support to all schools in the entire state. Whereas, $458 million is given by the state of Georgia to the U. of Georgia alone.

Dr. Shao then showed an excellent video highlighting qualities of the C of C Business School. He boasted that only 5% of the business schools in the entire United States have as high of a certification as the C of C. Currently he is celebrating his first full year as Dean of the business school. He said that a current and ongoing goal is that of globalization. He wants to strongly market the school outside of the United States.

Dr. Shao then outlined five goals that he has for the business school. They are:

Step 1: Globalization (they are currently working closely with China).
Step 2: Increasing graduate programs.
Step 3: Increase community partnerships.
Step 4: Train students to "think differently."
Step 5: Increase online education opportunities.

These steps are a snapshot of where he sees the future of the business school heading. He added that they are also attempting to become less dependent on state support and provide a more student-oriented educational experience. When asked about how much money the business school wanted from the state, he responded by saying that he wanted the school to become 100% independent from state resources and that to do that he will be generating funds from private sources. He wants to reduce dependence on the state and become self-supportive.

Reported by: William K. Christian, III, Keyway Committee