60 Years Ago the Pen Died, but the Imagination of Christopher and Pooh Lives On

By Mark A. Leon (Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy)
By Mark A. Leon (Credit: Pictorial Press Ltd/Alamy)

“I suppose that every one of us hopes secretly for immortality,” – A.A. Milne – 1926

Alan Alexander, “A.A.” Milne lived from January 18, 1882 to January 31, 1956.? During his writing career, A.A. Milne wrote seven novels, five nonfiction books and thirty-four plays as well as serving as editor of Granta and assistant editor of Punch Magazine.? Yet most of you know Milne for the four children’s books and two poetry collections that he wrote that amassed a total of 70,000 words (the length of an average novel).? These four books would open up the window of imagination for generations to come.? It’s two central characters were CR Milne and his beloved teddy bear.

For children around the world, A.A. Milne’s son and his teddy bear are best known as Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh.

The legacy of these books and his words have inspired children and adults for generations and will continue to be a part of our lives for years to come.? In the most loving way a father can show his love for his child and leave an immortal message of imagination, friendship, hope and love, A.A. Milne created a world unlike any other we have seen in literature.

by Marcus Adams, half-plate glass negative, 14 March 1928
by Marcus Adams, half-plate glass negative, 14 March 1928

In the words of A.A. Milne ,?“If ever there is tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something you must always remember. You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… I’ll always be with you.”?? This was his promise not just to his readers, but his family.

In a way, he was sending a message to his cherished child, that immortality is stored in the love we feel for one another.? Through the bonds of friendship where life is as simple as getting honey from a beehive, we too can live in harmony, where we respect each other.? Whether we hold the hyper tendencies of Tigger or the depressed world of Iyor, every one of us is special.

A.A. Milne saw the world through the eyes of his own child and found a level of inspiration never before seen in a world of childhood fantasy.

Unfortunately, like most that find light in the areas of darkness, the tremendous success of the Pooh series placed challenges on Milne and Christopher Robin.? In 1929, shortly after the books and characters had hit a peak of success, Milne decided to discontinue writing children’s books and in 1930, he sent Christopher off to boarding school to escape the limelight and find direction for himself.? His publication, Punch would not even publish any new works because nothing gave him as much publicity as those wonderful characters.

During his time at school Christopher was ridiculed and later in life, in his memoirs, he insisted the character was fictional and not based on him.? He even declared that his family never even called him “Christoper Robin”, but by his nickname Billy.

Whether reality or fiction mirrored each other, the lives of Christopher Robin, Winnie the Pooh and all their friends have become a part of our hearts.

As we reflect on each of our childhood’s and continue to see the world through the eyes of our own children, let us reflect on his words and their importance:

“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.”

“Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.”

“It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?”

“I think we dream so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”

“Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

“Promise me you’ll never forget me because if I thought you would, I’d never leave.”

“How do you spell ‘love’?” – Piglet
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” – Pooh”

“I used to believe in forever, but forever’s too good to be true”

On January 31, sixty years to the day that A.A. Milne penned his last word and last breath, we say thank you for creating a world of simplicity, imagination, friendship and immortality.? In the world of Pooh, something as simple as a hug can truly make the world a better place.

Can we end homelessness in Charleston? Project Hands Up Lowcountry believes we can

By Mark A. Leon - Photo Courtesy of Amanda Marquette-Baird
By Mark A. Leon – Photo courtesy of Amanda Marquette-Baird

Every Sunday at approximately 12:30 PM near Simmons Park (33 Columbus Street) on the East Side, a migration begins.? Much like the plight of the penguins, pockets of Charleston area homeless gather for a community event; weekly pot luck in the park.? This past week, the event took an evolutionary step offering health screens to the humble masses.? Project Hands Up Lowcountry, led by the efforts of Dana Clayton see a future where our area homeless have a roof above their heads, food on the table and provide a valuable contribution to society.

A medical professional by trade whose past took her from providing healthcare to the migrant farmers in the tobacco fields of North Carolina to dedicating herself to providing all the resources to reduce and ultimately end the homeless issue in Charleston County, Dana Clayton continues to give all of her time and efforts to this cause and her voice is being heard.

Her vision of partnership, financial support, training, education and government assistance are separated by short and long term goals.? These goals, though challenging and often overwhelming are attainable.

Often we are driven by a personal cause, an event or a situation that forces our conscious to seek salvation in a solution.? On the weekend of the 1000 year flood, Dana found a homeless veteran who had passed through Charleston and walked 65 miles in sandals in the treacherous rain trying to get down to Jacksonville, Florida for a job interview.? She described the condition of his feet in such detail that her words made me turn my head in sorrow.? After providing medical treatment to this man, her commitment to ridding this city of homelessness became a focused mission.

Dana and I sat down for a candid discussion focused on goals, accomplishments, areas of improvement and the minds and souls of the homeless whose daily struggles in a city thriving have left many wondering.

CD:? Where can the homeless be found?

DC:? Some much recent media attention has been given to the Tent City downtown that many don’t realize there are homeless in other areas of the county.? There are communities on John’s Island, James Island, West Ashley, North Charleston and downtown.? It is an immense challenge to develop programs, consolidate efforts and find a common organizational front.? Last week at the Tent City Initiative meeting at the Charleston County Library downtown, voices were heard and steps began to formulate toward a collective effort.? We are really excited to see the direction we are moving.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Marquette-Baird
Photo courtesy of Amanda Marquette-Baird

CD:? What are the short and long term goals for these program initiatives?

DC:? More funding and government partnerships.? These are two critical pieces of the puzzle.? We also need consistency in our volunteer efforts and a strong communication channel for planning.? Long term we want to get more homeless back in the workforce and create affordable housing.? In additional provide educational, legal and counseling resources.

CD:? What are key elements missing from the existing programs?

DC:? We need to get these individuals identification cards.? Many have no form of ID and without it, they cannot get any medical care, interview for jobs or register for any type of city offered training programs.? Healthcare is critical.? There are two free clinics, but they are in Mount Pleasant and North Charleston and the current transportation issues provide a new set of challenges.? We need better care for the mentally ill.? Realistically, about 60% or more of the current homeless population have some form of mental illness.? Finally, we are in brainstorming sessions for providing educational resources and job placement training opportunities.

CD:? What options are currently available for emergency shelters?

DC:? Currently, there are no permanent downtown options available.? Hibben United Methodist Church in Mount Pleasant provides bus service and shelter for the downtown homeless.? Overall, there are four shelters that aid in getting the homeless out of the deep freeze overnights.

CD:? How do you measure success and true homeless population?

DC:? Unfortunately, this is a group that you won’t find analytics or a community website for.? In our minds, every life matters.? In about two weeks, we will have a website that will provide information about events, resources and a volunteer calendar.

CD:? If anything, what needs to change in the short term?

DC:? Stronger political partnership.? We need to be hand in hand with the new administration to drive programs, awareness and support.? We are currently looking at programs around the United States that have succeeded and seeing how we can make them scalable to this area.

CD:? What have you seen as the greatest success of the program?

DC:? The feeding programs have been growing and more volunteers are helping.? This has fueled more exposure and greater awareness.? We hope this trend continues into the future.

Photo courtesy of Amanda Marquette-Baird
Photo courtesy of Amanda Marquette-Baird

There is an overwhelming amount of support in the Charleston Community, but a long way to go.? There are a number of organizations working independently, but with talks opening up, efforts are being made to create a cohesive organization focused on one primary goal:? End homelessness in our area.

It begins with a gesture, fueled by a passion and resolved with compassion.

The commitment of Dana Clayton and others like her remind us that the struggle exists, but with these tireless efforts the darkness can become light.

To Learn more about volunteer opportunities or program initiatives:

projecthanduplowcountry@gmail.com / 843.471.0697

“Collected Stories” at Midtown Theatre, a Must See For All

CS_R&L.toasting
By Minta Pavliscsak.

Midtown Productions, owner and operator of Midtown Theatre located at 2816 Azalea Drive, North Charleston has started 2016 off strong with a captivating show that will make you laugh, reminisce, and ultimately contemplate those all too important “life decisions” you made back in your college years.

“Collected Stories”, produced by Sheri Grace Wenger is winding down it’s production at Midtown Theatre.?Written by Donald Margulies, “Collected Stories” first premiered at South Coast Repertory in California on April, 1996 and had a two month run on Broadway in 2010. It follows the dynamic relationship between a celebrated writer and her graduate student protégé over the course of six years in the 1990’s.

Angst, intimidation, pride, doubt and an insatiable need to be accepted are only a few of the emotions that leap off the stage from the only two stars sharing in the spotlight. The performance takes place in the Greenwich Village apartment of Ruth Steiner, a straightforward professor and mentor, played by two time winner of the Charleston’s “Best Actress” Samille Basler. Opposite her is exceedingly bubbly Lisa Morrison, played by Charleston newcomer Sarah Glendening. Seemingly incompatible at first, Ruth and Lisa develop a bond that far exceeds that of your typical professor/student rapport.

The pair develops an intimate mother daughter tie fueled by penetrating moments where life and school lessons are shared in a tapestry of complex exchanges. We watch them go from lightheartedly sharing afternoon tea to having a falling out over the thing that brought them together in the first place which establishes the main conflict of the play. The emotional separation begins to build momentum subtly around the same time that Lisa’s writing career flourishes.CS.Lisa@window1

The author scripts out a poignant moment in the play when Lisa gets her first review and she is overwhelmed with feelings of uncertainly and depression.? This mental tug of war between success and seeking refuge in a mentor is one so many in the academic circles must face.? Ruth, being true to her unapologetic ways, tells Lisa “There’s nothing worse than getting what you wanted.”

Set Designer Ryan Ahelert did an exceptional job with “Collected Stories”. We were easily transported back to the 1990’s in part to his careful attention to detail. We spend the entire play sharing in Ruth’s living room space. It’s comfortable here with her bookshelf filled with books of influence and interest, coat rack that has one too many coats hanging on it, and a messy desk piled up with folders and mail. Ruth and Lisa’s movements flowed seamlessly around the stage and nothing seemed to distract the audience from them.

Midtown Theatre is structured to offer an open cabaret style format.? Along with engaging theatrical performances, the theater offers wine, charcuterie and dessert plates. ?Midtown Productions has been happily calling this place home for just over a year now, and they are excited for what their future here holds.

There are only three more opportunities to catch Samille Basler and Sarah Glendening in their starring roles as Ruth Steiner and Lisa Morrison this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You can purchase tickets here for the three remaining 8:00 shows. Make sure to keep Midtown Productions on your watch list. They have some great shows coming up for the rest of this season including an upcoming performance of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” beginning February 11.

CS_.Both.Woody1
Photos courtesy of Nancy Santos.

Daniel Scruggs brings global musical expressionism and education to Charleston

By Jennifer Baker
By Jennifer Baker

You can often hear Daniel Scruggs before you see him. I’ve followed the sound of his drumming and turned to find him helping yet another Charleston child join a loud and joyous drum circle. With his expertise, the rhythm is kept well enough that the novices don’t ruin a thing.

And when Daniel is playing drums in Charleston, he’s doing so having brought parts of the world back with him. From Mexico, Egypt, Indonesia, Yemen, Ethiopia, to Brazil… Scruggs has made a career of his talent, friendliness and travel to both perform and teach drumming.

When it comes to drums, Daniel had a colorful (and dutiful) start. He began in The Colonial Williamsburg Fife and Drum Corps at age ten, learning the marches and techniques of the actual colonial musicians and

Early drumming in Colonial Williamsburg
Early drumming in Colonial Williamsburg

playing both snare and bass drum. He went on to study jazz drumming, sociology and anthropology in college and eventually, drumming led to the Brazilian martial art Capoeira. Training for years here with a talented Brazilian, Scruggs eventually came to join the oldest continuous group out of Rio de Janeiro,? Brazil, The Bonfim/Chocote de Couro Group.? He travels there frequently for training with the other members and its “Grand Master”; a man named Claudionor.

If you haven’t seen Capoeira, it is the martial art with all of the cartwheels and flips, kicks and sweeps, astounding agility, and?the tambourine-like instrument (the Pandero) that gives Capoeira it’s distinctive sound. Developed as a means to flee slavery, it was disguised as a dance so that its practice could be hidden from authorities. There is no contact, no scoring, no winners, and players return to the familiar back and forth dance moves (called “Jinga”) after performing spectacular feats. Scruggs tells me that Capoeira “Bridges the line between spectator and performer- and you are supporting the person, clapping and singing. The essence of it is inclusion is critical self-expression and use of the body.” Hundreds of children in Charleston have now been exposed to this martial art, thanks to Daniel.

Scruggs also has a collection of instruments he has presented at countless schools in the area. He brings the Berimbau, an instrument also used in Capoeira, and found in parts of Africa – made of a gourd and a long stick and a wire, the west African djembe?drum, and other instruments children just marvel at, like?the didgeridoo of Aboriginal Australia, the Tibetan singing bowl, and Peruvian rain stick.

Here is a video introduction to his work.

When asked why he is a dedicated to introducing new music and musical expressionism, Scruggs explains, “Music gives a voice to people that often times don’t know how or can’t express their feelings, it is empowering there’s been countless studies on the medical benefits and the holistic well-being components of recreational music making. When people start playing together they start matching the rhythms; bringing a sense of belonging and inclusion. So it allows a person to feel empowered by creating a sense of connection – your irreplaceable part of the group and the parts are greater than the whole.”

And why is Charleston so lucky? Scruggs, a life-long surfer and lover of people, thinks that having a beach near the city is ideal. And down here, he says, people have a somewhat laid-back attitude. “It’s nice to have people who say good morning and hello. I like the history and the diversity of the city.”

Scruggs is bringing a member of the The Bonfim/Chocote de Couro Group to Charleston in late march to do intensive workshops in the Community (contact him here for information).

All photos provided graciously by Photographer Adam Chandler and Daniel Scruggs.

Passion for educating young children
Passion for educating young children
Global Travels
Global Travels

10 Charleston activities to warm the winter blues

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

As we wistfully watch the snow flurry disappear from our radar and bask in our moment of wintry bliss, we are reminded of the few months a year where we must dust off our winter attire and embrace those days of chilly temperatures.? As we continue into the last remaining months of winter, we wanted to provide you with a list of 11 indoor activities that are fun, engaging and will keep you warm while the weather is cold.

Wine & Design – 1331 Ashley River Road, West Ashley, SC – How about you and that special someone or your closest group of friends enjoy an evening of wine and paint.? Unlock your creative side while enjoying a nice velvety Cabernet or Malbec.

SkyZone – 411 Wando Park Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC – Trampoline! Trampoline! Trampoline!? You won’t find a better way to relief your body from a day of inactivity and work all those muscles than jumping on trampolines.

Coastal Climbing – 708 King Street, Charleston, SC – Yes, Charleston has indoor rock climbing.? Get out your gear and reach for the skies.

Museums – Charleston has some wonderful museums that can be shared with children and adults alike.? We would like to recommend two for you.? North Charleston Fire Museum and Charleston Museum.

Comedy Anyone? – Charleston has a small but talented comedy scene and one worth checking out.? With a blend of localized humor and national subject matter, you are bound to find some great evenings of laughter.? We recommend Theater 99 at 280 Meeting Street with shows every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and many shows on Thursday.

This one may seem a little silly for this list, but why not ice skating.? Carolina Ice Palace at 7665 Northwoods Blvd, North Charleston has skating 365 days a year including lessons, open skate, ice hockey leagues and party rentals.? We sometimes go just to watch a little league play.

Live Team Trivia – Throughout the Lowcountry bars and restaurants open their venues one night a week for competitive live trivia.? Play alone or bring ten friends.? This is an opportunity to have a drink or dinner, test your knowledge of history and pop culture and win some bar cash.? Find a local spot and stretch those brain muscles.

Storytime Hours – Charleston County Public Libraries – Our library system offers open story readings for all ages throughout the county.? Bring the infants and young adults for a day or night of imagination.

Charleston Rush Indoor Go-Karting and Lazer Tag – 3550 Ashley Phosphate Road, North Charleston – Open 365 days a year, this indoor fun park offers karting, lazer tag and an arcade to keep everyone’s energy level high.

 

Redux Studios Adult Creative Classes – 136 St. Philips Street, Charleston, SC – From etching to drawing to painting, Redux offers classes to help you fine tune your creative skill set.? Register today and begin to share your talents with the world.

 

 

Yelp honors its top contributors with the first Yelp Charleston Awards at 5Church

By Mark A. Leon - Photo by Victoria Armstrong
By Mark A. Leon – Photo by Victoria Armstrong

Last evening, the most noted members of the Yelp Charleston community, arriving in dresses, tuxedos and bow ties took part in an award ceremony in an intimate room at the new 5Church Restaurant on Market Street. Hosted by community manager Scotty Carpenter, this dinner and ceremony celebrated the thriving restaurant and retail industry in Charleston, SC and decorated those that have dedicated themselves to providing insightful reviews for locals, tourists and future patrons.

Yelp is a multi-platform website and app where patrons can review businesses, provide tips and photos and make reservations through its online system SeatMe. This platform is used globally and allows for honest and open shared conversation about experiences including restaurants, retail, parks, sites and services.

Many geographic regions have a community of socially aware users that partner to provide the most detailed perspective so customers can make educated decisions on where to dine, shop and play. With the close microscope on the growing scene at home, Charleston is no exception. Each region has a manager who serves as event planner, coach and cheerleader. Charleston’s group is led by Scotty Carpenter, who just celebrated three years in the role.

Charleston’s cultural explosion in hospitality and retail has donned a great deal of excitement and competition and through nothing more than dedication, this group of “Elite” users are giving back by providing the best input of their personal experiences.

On Tuesday Night, 5Church, in the location formally housed by Mad River, hosted this group of super users with an Oscar worthy three course meal, wine and cocktails. The Yelp Elite community was treated to a night where Yelp corporate and the collective businesses of Charleston said thank you.

Photo by Victoria Armstrong
Photo by Victoria Armstrong

From Review of the Year to Most Valuable Yelper to Best Photographer, the winners came up through the red carpet, posed for pictures and there was even room for a speech for the Lifetime recipient.
The next time you are dining out and not sure if you want to take the risk, turn to Yelp and think about those that utilize their writing and photography skills to provide you with insightful content to help you make the most educated decision.

The key to life is happiness; the key to happiness is good judgement and the fuel is knowledge sharing.
To the Tim’s, Wendy’s, Mike’s and Lauren’s, bon appetite and thank you for sharing your thoughts on Charleston with the world.

Finding Hope in Tragedy: Threshold Repertory Theatre presents a riveting adaptation “Of Mice and Men”

By Mark A. Leon - Photo courtesy of Mystic Productions
By Mark A. Leon – Photo courtesy of Mystic Productions

Companionship is the only thing that keeps this lonely journey of life bearable.

During the Great Depression, America became lost; a feeling so void of emotion that the idea of existence was the only medicine in a society exposed to a viral disease leaving our country numb. Within this melting pot of nameless faceless wanderers without dreams, without hope, were the migrant farmhands who bailed hay to make enough money to drown their sorrows in whiskey and the company of a young woman behind closed doors. This is the world of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Director Chris Weatherhead took this depression-era classic and has given it a new life at the Threshold Repertory Theatre in Charleston, SC

Actor Daniel Jones’ depiction of the mentally-delayed Lennie, whose brute strength and infantile maturity, was one blessed with inspiration. Some of his more poignant moments came when he did not speak, but as a member of the audience you were drawn into his empty gaze. Within his eyes, one can see Lennie is disconnected from reality and viewing the world from a place of imagination. I found myself reflecting on my youth when I saw Lennie’s limitless world, where his dreams blocked the harshness of reality. Lennie’s American Dream was that of a young boy who liked to embrace comforting objects, laugh and find a place to call home.

Philip Gajewski’s empowered performance as George was one filled with palpable frustration. Through years of caring for a mentally challenged friend, George developed a facade of mistrust and aggressive, yet gentle vigilance over Lennie. He also showed an inviting side, making him authentic and approachable. As a first time player at Threshold, he gave a masterful lead performance.

Daniel and Philip were complimented with seamless synergy by the supporting cast that included the tall gentleness of Paul O’Brien as Slim and rough jealousy of Mike Kordek as Curly. Nat Jones played the role of Candy beautifully, with his one arm holding on to the last bit of hope and Kyle Taylor portrayed a damaged and subjugated soul who has accepted his place in society (Crooks) as a black man during the Depression. Daniella DeRobbio, one of the only female cast members, plays the painfully lonely farmer’s wife.

With each passing interaction, the thought of two men traveling together baffled the farmers and even led Slim to theorize that maybe we are all just afraid of each other. Trust plays a deep underlying theme in this production as this group of strangers must determine what elements of trust can be extracted in order for them to fulfill their personal dreams.

Photo courtesy of Mystic Productions
Photo courtesy of Mystic Productions

This production exposes the audience to a deep underlying theme of unspoken friendship. In a period where blacks and whites were treated differently and the poor were second class citizens treated with just enough respect to keep them from insanity, this play drives three key relationships: Candy with his aging crippled dog, Slim and Crooks who value companionship over societal norms favoring racism, and Lennie and George whose unique caretaker/partner relationship is more complex than it seems.

From the opening scene, where Lennie and George lounge on a hilltop by a tree stump eating beans, looking at one chapter of their lives close and another about to begin, you see a bond established in the backdrop of a nation struggling for answers. Like a father to his child, George tells a tale where Lennie plays with the rabbits all day, they have a home to call their own, they work only 7 or 8 hours a day and they live by their own rules. George doesn’t believe his words, but he knows Lennie does. As the story evolves, Candy, Crooks and even George begin to believe. Not just because they truly feel this dream is attainable, but because they have to believe there is something better.

The conflict of the play comes in the form of a beautiful, dark-haired young lady who belongs to the boss’s son, Curly. She is torn by a life of emptiness and unfulfilled promise of a new beginning in Hollywood. Her alienation from the men and jealousy of her husband drives a spike through her foundation of sanity. Her loneliness clouds the judgement of the men and creates the illusion she is a tramp, not a woman, just seeking a friend to talk to.

The foreshadowing of her ambitions and flirtatious behavior scripts an impending doom and casts a cloud over a group of ranchers who cannot remember the feel of sunlight warming their souls.
The director and cast remind us that good and bad is not black and white. We are all flawed; flawed by our upbringing; our surroundings, our influences; our ambitions and fears. It is this dichotomy that as an audience member, left me mixed with hope, rage, pain and faith.

The cast collectively took the characters in this classic and channeled them the way not many theater companies could. They internalized a life of struggle and put themselves in a position of alienation, where the only means of survival are the brief moments of escape. They captured the crudeness of slang language, fleeting moments of trust between untrusting humans and the rough conditions of poverty, bringing the audience to a place we have never seen or experienced. This production was poignant and hopeful for better days ahead, the days that our nation now enjoy.

We urge you to join Chris, Daniel, Philip and the rest of the exceptional cast for a night of reflection, struggle, friendship, hope and moments that will resonate with your own life.

Ticket Information for Of Mice and Men

Famous figures and celebrities calling Charleston, SC their home

Actress Mabel King poses for a portrait in circa 1977. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Actress Mabel King poses for a portrait in circa 1977. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

We know some of the big names from Stephen Colbert to Darius Rucker who were born Charleston proud.? Here are a few more well known individuals you may or may not know were born in the area.

There are many more talent people that we did not even name.

William Aiken Jr.
William Aiken Jr.

What is the value of living in Charleston, SC?

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

I know many have witness an increase in prices across the board from restaurant meals, to rent, to housing costs, to entertainment.? We have been engrossed in a renaissance of cultural and economic explosion and it has affected our wallets.? Lets look at Charleston by the numbers and see the changes by the statistics.

Household Value / Rent / Income Summary

  • Median Gross Rent (2013):? $970
  • Median Household Income:? $54,970 ($35,295 in 2000)
  • Estimated average house and/or condo value:? $241,500 (SC Average:? $139,200)

*city-data.com

2015 Charleston City Budget – 187,752,856 (Up 4.75% from 2014)

Revenues:? $149,378,687

Expenditures:? $154,496,385

General Fund Deficit:? -$5,117,698

Per Capita Income (www.usa.com) – Based on Data from 2010-2014

  • Charleston – $33,117
  • South Carolina – $24,222
  • United States – $28,555

Median Individual Annual Income:

  • Charleston – $30,706 / South Carolina – $26,972 / United States – 30,815
  • Males: Charleston – $35,663 / South Carolina – $31,966 / United States – $36,116
  • Females:? Charleston – $26,782 / South Carolina – $22,711 / United States – $25,692

Taxes:

  • Sales Tax – Charleston, SC – 8.500% / South Carolina – 6.000%
  • Hospitality Tax / Restaurant Tax – Charleston, SC – 2.000% / Total Restaurant Tax – 10.500%
  • Tour Tax – Charleston, SC – $0.50 fee on every ticket of admission
  • Hotel Tax – Charleston, SC – 12.500%http://www.areavibes.com/charleston-sc/cost-of-living/

Population Categorized by Career Industry

  • Top population: Management, Business, Finance – 15.160%
  • Lowest population:? Farming, fishing, forestry – 0.170%
  • Top income category:? Less than 15K – 16.510%
  • Lowest percentage income category:? Between 150K – 200K – 4.420%

Cost of Living Index – Charleston, SC

  • Charleston, SC – 112
  • South Carolina – 95
  • National (United States) – 100
  • Housing Index:? Charleston, SC – 131 / South Carolina – 78 / United States – 100
  • Utilities Index:? Charleston, SC – 112 / South Carolina – 104 / United States – 100
  • Groceries Index:? Charleston, SC – 108 / South Carolina – 109 / United States – 100
  • Health Care Index:? Charleston, SC – 107 / South Carolina – 100 / United States – 100

Friends to Avoid on Facebook

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

Facebook has become a wonderful tool for global social interaction without actually having to interact. We can check the local weather from friends posting on their drive to work, get the most recent viral videos about crazy cats or dancing old ladies and of course endless online game requests. It clearly is the next stage in our evolutionary development.? We would have no clue about the next celebrity death if it wasn’t for our favorite social media frenzy trends.

There are also key indicators and behavior that give us a better understanding of the types of friends we interact with and there are some “friends” you want to avoid.

Here are a few clear signs of Facebook friends you want to avoid in “real” life.

  • The friend that does daily affirmation posts about what they are thankful for – This is a very strong indicator of low self-esteem and an individual yearning for acceptance, even in a virtual community.
  • The constant self portrait taker – First, this person has a lot of time to themselves. That could be a big red flag and they continuously post pictures of themselves in the mirror, car, beach or sitting at home. If they need to be their own personal paparazzi for attention, this is an indicator of someone that needs attention constantly.
  • The Constant Game Requester – Just plain annoying. We went through the Atari, GameBoy, PlayStation, Xbox and Wii addiction already. It is old and boring.
  • The Foodie – If you feel the obsessive need to take a picture of every meal and describe every ingredient, start a food blog unless you are too lazy to actually put effort into writing.
  • The Check-In Person – The one who checks in to every place they go including but not limited to laundry mats, bakeries, restaurants, work, bus stops, beach, bathrooms, rest stops, airports and grocery stores.? Is there a reason we need to know everywhere you go on a given day?? Does this make your life more important than ours?? Inquiring minds want to know.
  • The “What is everyone doing today” Person – Yes, there are those that have 1000 Facebook friends but need to reach out to everyone to find someone to have brunch with or hang out with.? This could be a big blinking light of “panic”.
  • The Political Activist – Political activism is a good thing.? It is a healthy part of our democratic process.? Facebook gives us the option to write quick and candid posts without thinking through the logic and consequences of the comment.? Sometimes a little too radical can go a long way in the wrong direction.
  • The Bad Mouther – The person that takes every little wrong in life and blames someone publicly on Facebook and typically with a rated “R” dialogue.? That doesn’t need much more explanation.
  • The Facebook Stalker – They are a little harder to detect, but they are constantly checking your status updates.? A few signs you have a Facebook are are 1.? They comment or “like” on most of your posts, 2. Show up randomly at places you have checked into or 3. They start liking things you like on Facebook or adding friends that you are friends with.
  • Pet Profile – This is the person that creates a profile for their pet cat, dog, hamster, gerbil or other little furry creature.? Some give them human characteristics and some disguise it as their own profile to avoid others knowing about their deviant lifestyle.? Either way, a little weird.

There you have it.

fail2

Your personal guide to the people you should avoid on Facebook.

Print it out.

Bookmark it,

Put it in your wallet and use it often as a reference.