Monday, June 19, 2017

This week: Three opportunities to give your input on Charleston's future transportation planning

Beep Beep

Posted by Sam Spence on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 1:08 PM

  • Flickr user maduko
Charleston-area urban planners are updating the regional long-term transportation outlook and they want to hear from you this week.

The Charleston Area Transit Study (CHATS) is a 25-year plan crafted by the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments that sets out priorities for spending federal money on local transportation projects. Every five years, it gets an update to keep it within federal regulations and incorporate some new thinking since the last update. The priorities laid out in the plan cover everything from fixing existing deficiencies to bike-ped policy to freight mobility issues.

Currently, Charleston is considering a regional transit and mobility plan, has recently implemented a downtown bikeshare system, and private efforts are underway to build a pedestrian path down the center of the peninsula.

The BCD-COG is holding three meetings this week, starting tonight. More info is available at

6/19, 6-8pm
Stern Center Ballroom (4th floor), C of C
71 George St.

6/21, 8-10am
S.C. Research Association
315 Sigma Dr.

6/21, 12-2pm
Goodwill Industries (behind donation center)
2150 Eagle Dr.
North Charleston

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The Agenda: Ten years since Sofa Super Store fire; SC-5 a test of Trump's popularity?; Millions spent on S.C. online charter schools

Posted by Sam Spence on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 12:03 PM

Captain Chris Villarreal carried a memorial helmet at a 2012 remembrance - JOSHUA CURRY FILE PHOTO
  • Joshua Curry file photo
  • Captain Chris Villarreal carried a memorial helmet at a 2012 remembrance

The Agenda is our daily news round-up of stories affecting South Carolina.

Sunday marked the ten year anniversary of the Sofa Super Store fire in West Ashley, which claimed the lives of nine local firefighters in the blaze. Source: P&C

On the two-year anniversary of the Emanuel shootings Saturday, the church announced that Michael Arad, the designer of the 9/11 Memorial in New York, will design a memorial for Emanuel AME Church. Source: AP

South Carolina Republicans and the state's lone Democrat in Washington agree that the aftermath of the Alexandria shooting last week is a time for "peace and soul-searching," not political appeals. Source: P&C

Voters head to the polls tomorrow in a special election in the 5th District of S.C. to fill the seat left vacant by Mick Mulvaney. Though the district leans heavily Republican, as one of the first federal races since President Donald Trump took office, its outcome will likely be seen from both sides as a test of the president's popularity in the area. Source: P&C, McClatchy, AP

Reporters from Reuters talked with Whole Foods workers from Mt. Pleasant after the announcement Friday that Amazon will buy the high-end grocery chain. Source: Reuters

$350 million: The amount of money the state has spent since 2007 on the poorly-performing statewide online charter school district. Source: P&C

One of three shootings that took place in Myrtle Beach over eight hours Saturday night was reportedly streamed live on Facebook. MB Mayor John Rhodes said he is worried that having violent incidents shared widely on Facebook could hurt the city's image. Rhodes: "We’re gonna send a message to do everything that’s humanly possible to stop this violence in our city." Source: Myrtle Beach Sun News

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The Charleston RiverDogs expertly trolled Tim Tebow all weekend

Charlie 3:16

Posted by Dustin Waters on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 11:46 AM

  • RiverDogs Facebook
The arrival of minor-league sensation Tim Tebow in Charleston this weekend offered the RiverDogs the perfect opportunity to roll out their best jokes as it relates to the notoriety that surrounds the Columbia Fireflies outfielder.

From Charlie T. RiverDog Tebowing his way along the third-base line to donning the former NFL quarterback’s John 3:16 eye black, the RiverDogs’ mascot was more than willing to play up the hype surrounding Tebow’s visit to the Lowcountry.

One highlight of the three-game homestand was Tebow accidentally whipping his bat into the stands, giving the RiverDogs’ official Twitter feed more fuel to continue their series of burns on the visiting team.

The scoreboard operators at The Joe even got in on the joke. Regardless of who was at bat for the Fireflies, the big screen in the stadium brightly displayed “Not Tim Tebow” below their picture, which was accompanied with the image of a teary-eyed Tim Tebow.

Following an opening loss, the RiverDogs managed to win the final two games in the series — but the real winners were those who got to experience an exciting weekend of minor league ball and major league trolling. As for now, at least we have the memories.

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Woman climbs Angel Oak, leading to 5-hour standoff with police

Out on a limb

Posted by Dustin Waters on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 at 9:12 AM

The 400-year-old Angel Oak on Johns Island was the scene of a lengthy standoff on Sunday - FILE
  • file
  • The 400-year-old Angel Oak on Johns Island was the scene of a lengthy standoff on Sunday
A five-hour standoff took place Sunday as local police attempted to talk one woman down from Charleston’s historic Angel Oak.

At around 11 a.m. Sunday morning, Charleston police and emergency crews responded to the Angel Oak on Johns Island following reports that an individual had scaled the 400-year-old tree and was shouting obscenities. Once on the scene, authorities realized that an unidentified woman had climbed the fence at the closed Angel Oak Park and perched herself atop the natural landmark.

According to a statement released by the Charleston Police Department, officers entered the park and made contact with the woman, who refused to abandon her post. Police say the women initially responded to requests for her to climb down from the tree by repositioning herself on a branch approximately 35 feet above the ground.

After five hours of trying to talk the woman down from the tree, she finally heeded requests from law enforcement officers and climbed down from the Angel Oak without further incident. The woman was met on the ground by members of the Charleston Police Department’s Crisis Negotiation Unit, Charleston Fire Department, the city’s Urban Forestry Division, and EMS workers.

Once safely on the ground, the woman was transported to a hospital for evaluation. No injuries were reported

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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Re-watching Barack Obama’s eulogy of Clementa Pinckney two years later

A Call to Action

Posted by Sam Spence on Sat, Jun 17, 2017 at 1:37 PM

President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy at the funeral for Celementa Pinckney at TD Arena on June 26, 2015 - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy at the funeral for Celementa Pinckney at TD Arena on June 26, 2015
We all remember when then-President Barack Obama drifted into singing "Amazing Grace" as the hopeful capstone of the somber remembrance of Rev. Clementa Pinckney, killed two years ago today. But for 38 minutes before that, Obama reflected on the legacy left by "Clem," as he called him, and set out a call to action to learn and follow Pinckney's example.
If you haven't watched the speech since 2015, or maybe you only saw the end, you should watch it in its entirety. The video is below.

Of course, Pinckney wasn't the only person killed at Mother Emanuel that night and many words have been said in remembrance of the nine lives cut short and innumerable others forever changed. But Obama's eulogy of Pinckney, especially the examination of his faith and core beliefs, could be applied to each of the members of his flock lost that night—"bound together by a common commitment to God," Obama noted.

From the U.S. Archives transcript (in full below):
As a nation, out of this terrible tragedy, God has visited grace upon us, for he has allowed us to see where we’ve been blind. He has given us the chance, where we’ve been lost, to find our best selves. We may not have earned it, this grace, with our rancor and complacency, and short-sightedness and fear of each other — but we got it all the same. He gave it to us anyway. He’s once more given us grace. But it is up to us now to make the most of it, to receive it with gratitude, and to prove ourselves worthy of this gift.

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