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"Yes, Virginia, Pluto is a planet."

Richard Binzel, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, on the proposal to reclassify Pluto as a subcategory of planet called a pluton. The recommendation also would add three more planets, bringing the total, for all those Jeopardy!-challenged, to 12. Source: The Washington Post

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani came to Charleston last Wednesday for a Republican Party fund-raiser, quickly trying to frame his visit as aid to Republicans seeking election in 2006. Good try, but all eyes are on 2008, even if the mayor is trying to put off presidential aspirations until after November. South Carolina primaries will be important to any candidate hoping to get to the big dance and those jockeying for the spot have been showing up early and often.
"I'm not here talking about running for president," he says, noting somebody has to run the government between 2006 and 2008. "My objective is to do everything I can in 2006 to elect Republican candidates."
The former mayor praised President George Bush for taking the fight to the terrorists and noted Americans need to understand there are new and expanding threats that don't begin with "Al" and end with "Qaeda."
"We have to make it hierarchal," he says of American logic. "That's how we explain things. There are other terrorist groups that are equally dangerous."
Though attention has been focused on air travel, Giuliani says port security will have to be improved, beginning overseas.
"You've got to inspect the cargo when it's put on the ship," he says.
As for his socially liberal points of view on abortion and gay rights, Giuliani says he's long been fingered by detractors as the most conservative Republican in New York regarding his policies on tax cuts and crime.
"I wish they would come down here now and go around saying that," he says. But then again, who cares what we think? He's not running for president ... yet.—Greg Hambrick

$6.5 billion

That's the economic impact of the recycling industry on South Carolina's economy, according to a study by two economists at the College of Charleston. "Based on the numbers of this study, it clearly shows that it does pay to recycle," says Gerry Fishbeck, Chairman of the Recycling Market Development Advisory Council. Source: South Carolina Department of Commerce


That's the number of books Charleston residents donated in July for Barnes & Noble's "Read Up a Storm" book drive, according to Barnes and Noble spokesman Matthew Brockbank. The books are heading to Martin Behrman Elementary School in New Orleans.
Pimp My City ·

The city of Charleston recently announced two agreements with private developers in hopes of revitalizing some aging properties.
Earlier this month, contractor James Meadors closed on the $650,000 purchase of two historic buildings on Broad Street that the city bought more than 20 years ago for preservation. Meadors has agreed to develop the properties with an eye on conserving as much of the original structures as possible. The Boucquet-Simmons House at 93 Broad Street was built in 1785 and the home at 97 Broad was built by Mordecai Cohen in 1835.
And construction has begun at Windermere Boulevard to improve walkability and introduce a few impediments to speedsters that drive the strip like Cannonball Run. There will be landscaping, lots of it, and three raised crosswalks (which translates to "speed bumps"). The $658,000 cost for the project will be split among the city, the county, and the owners of the South Windermere Shopping Center.
"This is a key neighborhood center for the Ashley Bridge District and the beautiful landscaping, wider sidewalks, and safer parking will further improve the livability of this area," says Mayor Joe Riley. —GH

Vote, because your girlfriend will ·

If Election Day is like Christmas for the League of Women Voters, then this time of year is like the Friday after Thanksgiving. The ladies are keeping very busy registering voters and will host a special event on Mon., Aug. 28, at 7 p.m. to celebrate the anniversary of women gaining the right to vote. Co-sponsored by 11 other organizations, the event in room 100 of the College of Charleston's Maybank Hall will include a screening of Women's Rights and a panel discussion following the film. Of course, they'll be registering people to vote.
Already have your voting clothes picked out? Well, be sure to register at the county's voter offices and motor voter sites or download an application at The deadline is Oct. 7. — GH


That's the number of Iraqis who died in sectarian or political violence in July, according to Iraq's Deputy Health Minister Adel Muhsin. It's the highest monthly death toll for civilians since the war started in March 2003. Source: The Associated Press

$1.2 million

That's the estimated worth of 6,200 vehicles donated by Charleston residents since 2001 for the National Kidney Foundation, leading the state. If you're ready to let go of that beat-up Corolla, visit Source: Charleston County

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