"I did so at my own peril."City Councilman Kathleen Wilson last week, on sending out letters to more than 2,000 James Islanders, trying to entice them into being annexed into the City of Charleston. The Town of James Island, or at least a third version, may be but a few weeks away, depending on how fast its paperwork is processed in Columbia.
Bring 'Em Home ·
Just in case Vice President Dick Cheney didn't get the point from the protesters trying to congregate at Hibernian Hall where he spoke on St. Patrick's Day on Friday, Drinking Liberally (DL), a local lefty elbow-lifting club, is against the war. Teaming with several other local organizations like Charleston Peace, DL posted tiny green toy army men in odd spots throughout Charleston County last week. The soldiers had little signs pasted to them that read, "Bring Me Home." Nearly 8,000 little green men invaded stores, offices, and public places in James Island (Monday), N. Charleston (Tuesday), Mt. Pleasant (Wednesday), West Ashley (Thursday), and downtown (Friday). Unfortunately, the war rages on, no one shot Cheney in the face in a hunting "accident," and there were some complaints that the mouth-sized toys posed a swallowing risk for small children who could stumble across them. "We're not putting them in kids' mouths," said one DL member in defense.—Bill Davis
6.1That's the percent of trial judges in South Carolina who are black, despite the state's population being almost 30 percent. By contrast, in 2004 approximately 11.5 percent of the NBA was made up of white players who'd been born in America.
$27millionThat's how much Project Seahawk, a Charleston-based collaborative counterterrorism task force charged with tracking and neutralizing threats to this nation's port security, may lose in funding if the federal Justice Department has its way. The budget cut would likely kill the task force, which coordinates info and efforts among more than 50 different agencies across the nation. Source: The Post and Courier
Mark Sanford: Man of the Land ·
Gov. Sanford hit on an idea that was, for him, novel: Protect land on Daniel Island by giving it to everybody, instead of just allowing a rich dude to hide it in a tax easement. Last week, Sanford urged the State Ports Authority to do something "extraordinary" with the 1,300 acres it owns on the island, like preserving its tip as a public greenspace which could rival Central Park in a half-century. To make things even better, SPA was probably caught flat-footed, as Sanford was just supposed to be informed as to the SPA's plans before he stood in opposition to them. The SPA, thwarted from destroying Daniel Island's livability with its quashed Global Gateway, is considering how it will develop — or sell — the remaining land. The SPA's plan initially proposed to put development along the waterfront, and then allow for docks all along the same waterfront, sort of like eyelashes. Boy, that would be great if the big cargo ships swamped yachts parked along the coast. —Bill Davis
Columbia Week in Review ·
Whew, and what a busy week it was! With property tax reform somewhat on the back burner, looks like the General Assembly wanted to take care of some other weighty matters in the lull. First and foremost, the state House has approved a bill that could strengthen the state's abilities to condemn private property through eminent domain proceedings. But the measure, which still has to clear the Senate, where it has died several times in the past, wouldn't have gotten out of the House at all if it didn't include a takings provision that requires local government to reimburse landowners if a new regulation lessens a property's value. For example, a flower shop is doing a fine business, but a new ordinance is passed, allowing an adult porn shop to open up next door. Now, the municipality could be on the hook for any drop in future business at the flower shop. Also, a law strengthening state laws and punishment for "humans" who organize gambling fights between animals, like hog-dog fights, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. A bill is being debated in the Senate that could force some promiscuous teens to wear tracking anklets similar to ones probationers sport to help concerned parents rein in their kids' wild oats. Sen. Robert Ford (D-Chas.) is fighting for a bill that would force hospitals and doctors to charge uninsured patients the same amount for the same services they charge insured patients, who often benefit from lower costs because they are part of a network of providers.
Brokeback Magazine ·
Word has it that Charleston Magazine is considering hosting a Dining with Friends event this year using a Brokeback Mountain-inspired theme, among others. DWF is a national charity event run locally by Lowcountry AIDS Services that raises money for AIDS research largely through donations given at dinner parties held in private homes. We here at the City Paper applaud the magazine's commitment to human health issues and boring films. As such, we will be hosting a Dining With Friends event of our own, theme to be announced. Please find out how much you can help by taking part in one of these events and by giving until your wallet cries out in pain. —Bill Davis
"I think it is right in the strike zone of what the founding fathers thought about when they talked about high crimes and misdemeanors."U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.) last week, calling for possible impeachment or censure of President George W. Bush for his role in the National Security Agency's wiretapping of American telephone lines in the months following Sept. 11.
Haiku O'The Week
Uniter or divider?
Only time will tell.