Monday, August 21, 2017

Darkness on the edge of town: Eclipse at the Battery

Sol and circumstances

Posted by Dustin Waters on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 5:19 PM

Kendall Waters on Greensboro, N.C., views the solar eclipse at the Battery - DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters
  • Kendall Waters on Greensboro, N.C., views the solar eclipse at the Battery
The heavy cloud cover broke and the hundreds lined along the Battery got their peek at the solar eclipse as it neared totality. A mixture of cheers and gasps rippled through the crowd as the chanting of a handful of protesters stood at the monument dedicated to the “Confederate Defenders of Charleston.” The temperature dropped as the skies shifted into darkness and a storm began to rattle to the west. It was 2:45 p.m., but for a brief minute and a half nightfall had arrived.

Architectural and interior photographer Mark Schwenk travelled from Virginia to see the eclipse. In the past, he has sailed in and out of Charleston port. When he learned that the Holy City would be the final major location from which to view the eclipse in its totality, he knew that Charleston was where he would find himself for the event. He planned for six months leading up to Monday’s eclipse.

“This is a very cool experience, just to see an eclipse. I haven’t seen one since I was a child. Then to do it in a town I really love, I love coming here,” Schwenk said as he stood next to his camera gear in White Point Gardens.
Herb Planchock on Port St. Lucia, Fla., wears a modified welding helmet to view the eclipse - DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters
  • Herb Planchock on Port St. Lucia, Fla., wears a modified welding helmet to view the eclipse
On the other side of the park, seated in a camping chair on the Upper Battery was Herb Planchock, who travelled to Charleston from Port St. Lucie, Fla. Reclining in his chair, Planchock pulled down the visor on his modified welding helmet. After his time in the Marines, Planchock worked in construction and did his fair share of welding, he said. But the helmet he wore to view the eclipse won’t be making its way to the shop. Planchock says it was a special purchase just for the eclipse, and after today it will be added to the shelves of souvenirs back in his home Port St. Lucie home.

“We won’t have a chance to see anything like this for another 380 years,” he said. “I figured I’d better get my shot at it.”

As the midday sun became almost completely hidden behind the moon, the nearby protesters gathered among the families seated on the Confederate memorial at the edge of White Point Gardens. For most of their time there, the seven protesters stood silently holding signs that read “Black Lives Matter. Black Trans Lives Matter,” “The Confederate Defenders of Charleston statue was erected during the height of Jim Crow,” and “Whose heritage is preserved here? Whose legacy is law?”

Protesters gathered at the Confederate memorial in White Point Gardens look up at the solar eclipse - DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters
  • Protesters gathered at the Confederate memorial in White Point Gardens look up at the solar eclipse
After the sun began to peek back around, the protesters disbanded without incident. The crowds who had gathered to view the eclipse slowly began to make their way from the park, as well.

Among those lingering just for a moment along the edge of the Battery was Kendall Waters, a look of excitement still registered on her face. She made the trip to Charleston from Greensboro, N.C. to see the eclipse. And in her opinion, it did not disappoint.

“It was really cool. I didn’t realize how dark it would get,” she said. “It was like night.”


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Only 12,640 days until a total solar eclipse comes near Charleston again

Save your glasses

Posted by Sam Spence on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 4:36 PM

Keep your glasses around for the 2052 eclipse - NASA
  • NASA
  • Keep your glasses around for the 2052 eclipse
If you were outside in Charleston that time the moon stepped in front of the sun for a minute this afternoon, you know it was a pretty special experience. From the temperature dropping to obscene chants directed at our life-giving star, it was quite a time to be alive in the Holy City.

Well here's good news: The next path of totality near Charleston comes in just 34 short years, on March 30, 2052.

Unlike today's eclipse path, which stretched from one corner of the state to the other, the path of the March 2052 eclipse will barely clip the Lowcountry. The direct path will sweep across the southeast from Panama City Beach, Florida to Savannah, Georgia, with Charleston getting in on the action as well.

So, just keep those glasses around 'til next time.

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The Agenda: McConnell positions himself against secessionists; Wilson says SLED chief's statements "not true"

Pelosi pushing for some Confederate-era statues to be removed from Capitol

Posted by Sam Spence on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 12:55 PM

College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • College of Charleston President Glenn McConnell
A $500,000 incentive from the City of North Charleston has not lured any major grocery stores to a vacant field next to the abandoned hospital in a USDA-classified 'food desert.' A city spokesman calls it a "chicken or the egg" problem. Source: P&C

Forest Lake Club, the all-white country club in Columbia where Gov. Henry McMaster is a member, has admitted its first black member, Ashleigh Wilson, a 31-year old lawyer from who sits on the State Ethics Commission and formerly worked for Republican Attorney General Alan Wilson. Source: P&C

In other Wilson news, he has accused SLED Chief Mark Keel of making misleading statements to a state grand jury about an ongoing Statehouse corruption probe. Keel says he stands by the statements. Source: P&C

President Donald Trump will address the nation at 9pm tonight to discuss his strategy on the nation's long-running conflict in Afghanistan. Source: CNN

Republican primary candidate for governor Catherine Templeton has hired a national GOP consultant to head up her effort to unseat McMaster. Source: AP

After the failure of the VC Summer plant in Jenkinsville, the state Department of Regulatory Staff says it did its job in weighing the interests of utilities and its customers, S.C. power customers. Source: The State

CofC President Glenn McConnell came out on Friday opposing a planned "flagging event" by the S.C. Secessionist Party, which he called a "fringe political group" without naming them outright. In the past, McConnell has been an outspoken supporter of displaying the Confederate flag. McConnell: "This is an 'honor' I do not welcome and one that I denounce wholeheartedly." Source: P&C

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says she's supportive of efforts to remove pro-slavery statues from the U.S. Capitol. Each state is represented by two statues, one of John C. Calhoun and Wade Hampton. Source: P&C

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Tomorrow is your opportunity to weigh in on Charleston’s short-term rental rules

Checking in

Posted by Dustin Waters on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 11:55 AM

Ten of the Short-Term Rental Task Force's 18 members gathered for a special meeting on Aug. 8, 2017 - DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters
  • Ten of the Short-Term Rental Task Force's 18 members gathered for a special meeting on Aug. 8, 2017
For all those hoping to weigh in on Charleston’s short-term rental debate, tomorrow is your chance to be heard.

The city’s Short-Term Rental Task Force will be meeting at 3 p.m. in the school board hearing room on the first floor at 75 Calhoun St. First on the agenda is a public comment period to allow citizens to provide input on what recommendations will ultimately shape a city ordinance to governing short-term rentals. The rest of the meeting will focus on a discussion regarding which properties should and should not be eligible to operate as short-term rental units.

But before you head into Tuesday’s meeting, look back at City Paper’s most recent coverage to catch up on the recent goings on with the task force and where they stand on the major issues related to how the city of Charleston can best regulate short-term rentals.



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On eclipse day, Bill Murray offers tips on preparing for the apocalypse

"I hope you go to the right place."

Posted by Sam Spence on Mon, Aug 21, 2017 at 10:51 AM

Here we are, just a few hours before the total solar eclipse, and who really knows what we're in for? If there is anyone who can provide helpful pointers on how to best prepare for the unknown, it's Bill Murray.

After Saturday's RiverDogs game at the Joe, Bill stuck around for a few minutes to offer some sage advice to MiLB.com ahead of Monday's celestial showstopper. If we are indeed just hours away from the reckoning (and who's to say we aren't?), just press play on this video and then make a few calls.
The short of it is that Bill recommends calling those you owe a 'Thank you' to. "The phone lines ought to be burning up," he said. No word on if Bill will be on hand today at the Joe where the R'Dogs are opening up the gates at 1 p.m. for prime eclipse viewing before a 4 p.m. game against the Augusta Green Jackets. Seats are already sold out, but some standing room tickets are still available.

Bill has some well-wishes if there is no tomorrow: "I hope you go to the right place."

So we got that going for us, which is nice.


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