March 26, 2013

Walk in the Steps of Heroes
March 26, 2013:  Patriotism and the Rebranding of Patriots Point were the subjects of Ray Chandler’s remarks when he spoke to us on Tuesday, March 26, 2013.  Mr. Chandler, a native South Carolinian and Citadel graduate, is the Chairman of the Patriots Point Development Authority.  Upon graduating from The Citadel, Mr. Chandler earned his J.D. from The University of South Carolina and served in the Army JAG Corps from 1972-1976 where he handled over 500 cases.  While in service, the Army awarded Chandler the “Trial Award.”  He is currently in private practice in Manning, South Carolina where he is a partner with Coffey, Chandler, Kent & McKenzie, P.A.  He is also a Past President of the Manning Rotary Club and was honored with the Order of the Palmetto Award, the highest civilian honor in the State.

The State created the Maritime Museum and Development Authority in 1973.  The Patriots Point Development Authority Board consists of nine (9) members appointed by elected officials, including the Governor.  Chandler reported that “We are a state agency with no state funds and turn a profit.”  Out of the 54 naval museums in the United States, Patriots Point ranks third in the United States behind San Diego and New York.

Patriots Point has what Chandler describes as the “Three Ship Navy:” The USS Yorktown, The USS Laffey and The USS Clamagore.  It takes $9.7 million to operate Patriots Point and this year they anticipate a $1 million profit.  Patriots Point has a $50 million annual economic impact to the region with approximately 230,000 visitors each year, many of whom are overnight visitors.  Patriots Point hosts the third largest overnight camping program in the United States.  Many groups including the Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Explorers, and ROTC students stay overnight on The Yorktown.  Patriots Point recently celebrated its 500,000th overnight camper.  In addition to campers, there are 14,000 students enrolled in the Institute of History, Science and Technology programs annually.

In venue rentals, Patriots Point generates $450,000 annually.  There are approximately 250 events each year.   Patriots Point tenants include:

•       Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina            •       Blue Marlin Fish House Restaurant

•       Patriots Point Golf Links    •       College of Charleston Sports Complex.

Patriots Point is the home of the Congressional Medal of Honor Museum.  Next week, Patriots Point will host twenty three (23) servicemen of the greatest generation for the last reunion of The USS Franklin.  Two of the men are Congressional Medal of Honor recipients: one is the only Chaplain to receive the award since the Civil War.  Patriots Point will honor these men “as they pay their final goodbyes to one another and dissolve their USS Franklin organization.”

When discussing the future of Patriots Point, Mr. Chandler emphasized the “Goal to be a destination, not an attraction.”  He believes the three (3) keys to the future for Patriots Point are:

· “See it, hear it, touch it, live it technology:”  By 2016, all attractions will be interactive, which is a $4 million investment raised by private funds.  For example, visitors will be able to fly one of the flights from the Battle of the Midway.  The goal is to make World War II history come to life for young people accustomed to using technology.
 · Flight Academy: Students will learn and experience the wonders of flight and aviation technology with a focus on the fundamentals of Math, Engineering, and Science.  Patriots Point will host the first and only Aircraft Carrier-based Flight Academy in 2014.
· The National Medal of Honor Museum at Patriots Point, which will be a 60,000 ft museum with a hotel and shops.  Currently, there are 89 Medal of Honor recipients still alive.  The goal is to complete the Museum during their lifetime, which means time is of the essence.  This addition is expected to add 2 million visitors.
Mr. Chandler discussed the following challenges in implementing the aforementioned plans:
· Restoration and maintenance of the fleet of ships.  This is very expensive, with no state funds.  A nonprofit has been started to raise the required $500,000 needed on an annual basis.
· Finding the right fit for the future development of real estate at Patriots Point.
· Proving our political and social relevance to the state and the nation.
There is no one more suited to take on these challenges than Mr. Chandler and his board.  He has taken it upon himself to ensure the museum endures while meeting the challenge of preserving history for future generations of Americans. 
Reported by Abby Saunders, Keyway Committee

March 19, 2013

Identity Theft

 March 19, 2013:  Having recently surpassed drug trafficking, Identity Theft is now the fastest growing crime in the United States according to Holly Stevens and Christian Rogner, of The American Identity Theft Council.  Stevens and Rogner work with a number of businesses on compliance issues, specifically those that deal with personal identifiable information.  Their presentation to the membership on Identity Theft and informed us that no one is immune.  Identity Theft has been the #1 consumer complaint for 13 years in a row according to the Federal Trade Commission.  To put this into perspective, over 400,000 dead people opened bank accounts last year.

Stevens and Rogner explained that there are seven (7) different types of Identity Theft:

Financial Identity Theft is the most well-known type and occurs when someone obtains access to another’s bank account or credit card number.  Consequently, a person’s life could be turned upside down when – upon being denied a mortgage to buy their first home or a student loan to continue their education – they learned an identity thief had stolen their identity.

Medical Identity Theft is when someone uses another’s healthcare information.  As Rogner and Stevens informed us, this is a large market due to the fact that thieves think a person does not look into depth at their medical records.  As a result of this type of crime, one’s credit can be destroyed.  The Federal Trade Commission statistics show that in 2009, 300,000 Americans were victims of Medical Identity Theft.  As a result, this is now one of the top five (5) issues for Federal Government.

Criminal Identity Theft is when a criminal uses an individual’s name and information when they are arrested for a crime.  In this case, the Identity Theft victim may not know that there is a warrant for arrest issued under his/her name.  Unfortunately, the trouble of clearing one’s name within the criminal justice system is primarily on the victim.

Child Identity Theft: Over 10% of children in the United States are victims of Identity Theft.  According to Rogner and Stevens, “These children have credit files that are in pristine condition.”  They gave an example of an 18-year old student who tried to open her first credit card when she started college.  To her surprise, thieves had incurred $1.5 million in debt with 42 accounts, using her name.  The criminals defaulted on all credit cards, and this student is still working on the issues with her credit.  Rogner and Stevens made it clear “to tell your children never to give up their social security number without your permission and to check their credit reports on a regular basis.”  In order for a parent to check a child’s credit report, a parent should call all three (3) credit bureaus and ask what is required since it changes each year.  When asking for your child’s credit report, the answer you want from the bureau is that “We have nothing on file.”

Driver’s License Identity Theft occurs when a thief obtains an individual’s drivers license number or work ID (which may often provide entry to restricted areas).  This can result in serious security breaches in the workplace.

Synthetic Identity Theft is the newest form of Identity Theft and “is highly sophisticated.”  This type of crime occurs when the thief takes pieces of information from several victims and combines the data to create a new person.  Although this is challenging to prevent, “E-Verify is starting to help with this problem”.   
The presenters referenced “The Michelle Brown Story” (which can be found at where Ms. Brown ultimately had to prove that she was herself.  It all began when Michelle Brown walked into an office one day to fill out a simple rental form, then handed it to the receptionist.  Michelle soon began receiving hefty bills for services and merchandise she never purchased.  It did not take her long to realize someone had stolen her identity.  When a warrant was issued for her arrest, she ultimately appealed to the United States Senate for more concise identity theft laws.  
Social Security Identity Theft occurs when a criminal uses an individual’s Social Security Number or tax ID number.  In South Carolina, 80% of taxpayer records (3 million taxpayer records from the past fourteen (14) years) to include credit and debit card numbers have been exposed.  As a result, many South Carolina taxpayers may be victims of an international identification attack.  South Carolina is providing one (1) year of credit monitoring with Experian for taxpayers.  Stevens and Rogner provided the following advice for those affected by this crime:
1. "You need all three (3) credit bureaus to review your credit because each bureau does not communicate with one another.”  South Carolina has hired a consultant to conduct a security review and has spent $25 million in the process.  While Experian is providing credit monitoring for South Carolina taxpayers, Stevens and Rogner said that “this is not enough and there are other ways that thieves can steal your identity."  A person is allowed up to four (4) credit checks or “soft hits” on his/her credit report per year (when the individual contacts the credit bureaus not when a business conducts a credit check).                                                                   
2. Restrict information you give out to a business or a service provider even if you feel uncomfortable asking why they need your information.  The presenters gave the example of medical providers who frequently ask for all identifiable information.  They suggested making a copy of your driver’s license and blacking out any unnecessary information.
3. Always review bills, bank statements, and medical records.  Your medical records are as important as tax records.  Contact credit bureaus and “do all you can to slow crooks down.”  The average amount stolen from Identify Theft victims is $92,893.00 and it takes on average 600 hours of the victim’s time to restore their credit.
When asked if Identity Theft Insurance is valuable, the presenters stressed the importance of purchasing insurance where all three (3) credit bureaus monitor your credit 24 hours a day/seven (7) days a week.  They also said to ensure that the insurance can provide full restoration with full access to investigators who will take the file and do the work for you, should a crime be committed.
Last but not least, the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) is available for any individual who has applied for individually underwritten life or health insurance in the last seven years.  If you qualify, there is no charge to request a free copy of your MIB Consumer File once per year directly from MIB using their toll free line (866.692.6901) or their online process.   

Reported by Abby Saunders, Keyway Committee  

March 12, 2013

Congressional Candidate Forum

 March 12, 2013:  Our club hosted an informal forum for candidates in the running for the 1st Congressional Seat. Every candidate was invited to attend and distribute campaign materials as they talk with our members. Candidates were stationed at their own tables and members were invited to move from table to table speaking with the candidates of their choice. Five minutes increments were marked by the sounding of the gavel to keep members abreast of the time, and encourage circulation. We hope everyone enjoyed the opportunity to hear from the various candidates.  The election is this Tuesday, March 19th. 

March 5, 2013

Historic Charleston Foundation

March 5, 2013: The Historic Rotary Club of Charleston was honored to have Kitty Robinson as the speaker this week.  Kitty is the President and CEO of the Historic Charleston Foundation (HCF).  Early in her career, Mrs. Robinson worked as a volunteer with Historic Charleston Foundation’s Festival of Houses and Gardens, a position that later evolved into a full-time job as the festival’s director.  Mrs. Robinson currently serves or has served in a leadership capacity on more than a dozen civic boards and organizations. From 1994 – 2000, she sat on the city’s Board of Architectural Review.  Her professional affiliations include the Charleston Green Committee, the Civic Design Center Board of Directors, the Fort Sumter/Fort Moultrie Trust and a host of organizations involved in the region’s key tourism industry.  Mrs. Robinson grew up in Montgomery Alabama and attended Converse College.  She moved to Charleston with her husband in 1971. 

The HCF was somewhat a result of the ‘Ordinance of 1931.’  This ordinance established the first historic zoning district in the US and the first Board of Architectural Review in Charleston.  Established in 1947, the HCF is dedicated to preserving and protecting the architectural, historical, and cultural character of Charleston and its Lowcountry environs, and to educating the public about Charleston’s history and the benefits that are derived from preservation.  Frances Edmunds served as the first Executive Director and held that position for nearly 40 years.

The HCF was the first organization in the country to develop the Revolving Fund as a preservation strategy.  Nearly 100 houses and properties have been purchased, protected, preserved and resold through the Foundation's Revolving Fund. On the occasion of the HCF’s 60th anniversary in 2007, the Fund was appropriately and reverently renamed the Edmunds Revolving Fund.  The initiation of this fund in 1958, enabled the Foundation to begin the Ansonborough Rehabilitation Project, an extraordinary effort to save a six-block neighborhood bordered by Market, Calhoun, East Bay and Meeting Streets.  Through the Revolving Fund, the HCF sought to purchase, stabilize and resell historic properties with protective covenants in Ansonborough where, over a 12-year period, more than 60 structures were rehabilitated. The accomplishment was hailed nationwide, and other preservation programs across the United States modeled local initiatives on the Charleston program.  Recently, the Revolving Fund has allowed the HFC to purchase the Gibbes House, Mulberry and Auldbrass Plantations, the Nathaniel Russell House and Drayton Hall. 
Other notable accomplishments include the following:
· In 1984, the HCF began an Easements and Covenants program with historic property owners interested in historic preservation.  In essence, an easement is a partial interest in a piece of property that takes the form of a set of restrictive covenants attached to a deed. The nascent program accepted eight easements in the early 1980s and has now grown to nearly 400 properties throughout the Lowcountry.
· The Neighborhood Impact Initiative had also been an important preservation program that has combined the efforts of the HCF, the City of Charleston and Habitat for Humanity.  Beginning in June 1995 with 33 Bogard Street in Elliottborough and continuing to more recent projects on St. Philip Street, the program has successfully rehabilitated twelve historic properties. 
· The HCF also participated in the 1994 Tourism Management Plan, the establishment of the Cooper River and Ashley River Historic Districts and the preservations of the Old Powder Magazine, the McLeod Plantation, the Aiken-Rhett house and the Charles Pinckney house.
· The HCF won the 2008 National Trust Award and has received the Angel Award from the Secretary of State in honor of their fiscal responsibility.
Much of the fundraising comes from the Annual Festival of Homes and Gardens and the Charleston Antiques Show.   The HCF also operates two shops and has produced a Tour Guide Manual for the city.  It is estimated that more than 10,000 people per day pass through the HCF shop in the Charleston City Market.           

Reported by Doug Holmes, Keyway Committee