"Confuse the people and they'll do anything."This was said by Mary Clark in a rally held last Wednesday. The self-proclaimed James Island "mayor in exile" charged Mayor Riley with using phone banks and intimidation tactics to press for James Island annexation. The vote on incorporation is on June 20. Source: Post and Courier
8.5%That's the jump in tuition approved last Monday for College of Charleston in-state students. Out-of-state tuition will go up 9.5 percent. Source: College of Charleston
Exit Strategy ·
June 1 marked the beginning of hurricane season. The City Paper would be shirking its duty to the public interest if we did not throw in our own cautionary two cents. Forecasters from the National Hurricane Center predict up to 16 storms this season, with six possibly being classified as major hurricanes. Charleston has not been hit by a major hurricane since Hugo wiped out much of the Isle of Palms in 1989, killing 82 and causing over $7 billion in damages. After nearly 14 years of relative calm, many Lowcountry residents are saying that "we are due" to be hit by another large storm. Even Gov. Sanford has been persuaded into a little doomsaying: "Though we have been spared for a long while here, we're more than due. Maybe not this year. Maybe not next year. But it's a mathematical certainty that South Carolina will be hit again."
"If our number is up, our number is up," say others. Fortunately, our numbers are down. The Atlantic is not as hot as it was last year, and across the board — percentages, odds, and number of storms — predictions are for fewer storms and less risk this year.
Either way, Charleston is prepared. Charleston County's Emergency Preparedness Division held Hurricane Awareness Programs at the end of May, and storm guides were recently published by The State and The Post and Courier. New access routes have been created on Interstate 26 for evacuations and temporary housing needs have also been worked out in the state's disaster plans.
For more information, visit the Charleston County website at www.charlestoncounty.org. —Elle Lien
"Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you."Leviticus 11:12. This verse — and a number of others — are being used by the group "God Hates Shrimp" in response to Christian groups calling homosexuality an abomination. The group has launched a mocking campaign to rid all restaurants of the demon crustacean. Find out more at www.godhatesshrimp.com.
$9 billionThat's the nationwide amount expected to be spent on Father's Day gifts this year, according to a study done by BIGresearch. Kids typically spend around $88 dollars on dad, while shelling out over $122 on mom. Source: National Retail Federation
8That's the number of bills Sen. Jim DeMint has sponsored this year to suspend duties on the industrial products made to produce water-resistant pants. Are you having leakage issues, Jim? Source: Congressional Record at www.thomas.loc.gov
What's Four More Feet? ·
After nearly two hours of discussion among neighborhood residents, architects, Citadel officials, and lawyers at the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) meeting last week, the BZA gave The Citadel the go-ahead for its revised stadium improvement plans.
The Citadel updated its plans, which had been approved in 2002, after discussions started last fall about sharing the stadium with the National Guard. The deal would bring $10 million in federal dollars and would add 12,000 square feet — two wings for National Guard weekend training — to the compound's footprint.
Because only a small window of time existed between funding approval and constructions, the updated plans were not shared with residents until May of this year, limiting community contributions. Kevin Eberle, president of the Hampton Park Terrace neighborhood association, said that the new plan did not mitigate the residents' concerns as effectively as the old one.
"This is a taller, larger, and less compatible plan," he said in his presentation, one of only a few against the project.
Hampton Park Terrace resident Jim Myrick did not argue against partnering with the Guard — an incentive touted by almost everyone present — but voiced a need for careful, deliberate planning that more actively address residents' concerns such as parking, lighting, and open space. The Citadel's usual willingness to engage with the residents had been rushed this time around, he said, leaving the board to decide what citizens could do on their own.
Despite a few citizens' complaints about the process, BZA could only rule to amend the height variance and the "special exception" for the appropriate use of the shared land itself.
Mark Brandenburg, general counsel for The Citadel, said an engineering necessity changed the tower height to 100 feet — four feet more than was approved in 2002. Some board members noted that architects should be able to design within those already loosened restrictions. Residents' concerns, however, focused heavily on parking.
By agreeing to move the parking lot — an already contentious issue between residents and The Citadel, especially on the six game-day Saturdays — the board ruled that zoning requirements had been met and approved the design.
Even dissenters like Myrick didn't express any disgust, though.
"It's my neigborhood, and that makes it personal. But I expect compromises to happen in the future."
Only time will tell. — Lynsy Smithson Stanley