Monday, December 18, 2017
I’ll begin this week’s news summary with the topic “politicians who say things that don’t seem to make sense.”
This article from the Post and Courier reports that despite abundant evidence that offshore seismic testing and oil drilling threaten South Carolina’s tourism economy and the coastal environment on which it depends, Georgetown Senator Stephen Goldfinch is all for it.
Post and Courier: As many oppose coastal gas and oil exploration, South Carolina Sen. Stephen Goldfinch…
Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Every year or so, a politician pronounces that something he supports must be done to protect the city or county’s credit rating. Consider Charleston County Council, for example, where I-526 boosters have routinely justified building the interstate to Johns Island because our “bond rating would suffer” if they didn’t. This was always hogwash and most people knew it.
But here’s a real threat to local government credit. Bloomberg News reports that Moody’s, the bond rating agency, will…
Monday, November 27, 2017
The Thanksgiving weekend was glorious in every way. The rainy, cool day of thanks was perfect for running. Charleston’s Marc Embler set a state record in Charleston’s Turkey Day 5-kilometer race, in the “antique” category, (in which I was an “also ran”), with a blistering 17:43 time. It was also ideal for leisurely dining, without the anxiety of cleaning up in time for an afternoon outing.
We took our Thanksgiving field trip to Bulls Island…
Monday, November 20, 2017
Once an idea has taken hold of the American people’s minds, whether it’s a just one or an unreasonable one, nothing is more difficult than to uproot it. The same thing has been observed in England, the European country which for the past century has had the greatest liberty of thought and also the most invincible prejudices.
Alexis de Tocqueville, “Democracy in America”
Democracy is the worst form of government,…
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Finally, winter was here! (Yesterday…)
The first item of the week comes from the Charlie Rose of Charleston… the Dick Cavett of Marion Square… the Oprah Winfrey of Wentworth Street… Quintin Washington! In this episode, Quintin interviews me on a wide array of subjects – our incoming Executive Director, Laura Cantral; our beloved state’s pre-modern, pre-logical political culture; the nuclear plant fiasco; getting stuff done; flooding solutions; and, of course, the continued paralysis over the…
Tuesday, November 7, 2017
After almost suffocating under an avalanche of important news, I have finally winnowed this week’s news summary to a few themes. I’ll start with housing.
Sunday’s Post and Courier featured a front-page article on Charleston’s housing affordability crisis, proclaiming that it is “on pace to mirror San Francisco’s.”
Post and Courier: Charleston’s housing crisis is on pace to mirror San Francisco’s. Shunning development could make it worse.
Housing affordability in the metropolitan area is indeed a critical and…
Friday, November 3, 2017
What is the latest on those wonky DHEC setback lines? (To comply with the Beachfront Management Act, DHEC is updating the baseline and setback lines for coastal development. You can read all about it in my last blog entry here. Remember: The last day to comment is November 6!)
Here’s the latest: Last week, Governor McMaster called on DHEC to delay setting the lines by extending the public comment…
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
I hope everyone had an enjoyable, breezy weekend.
You’ve probably heard about the epic battle between Robert Moses (“The Master Builder”) and Jane Jacobs (“The Death and Life of Great American Cities”) over the proposed Lower Manhattan Expressway, a 10-lane elevated highway that would have plowed through Greenwich Village. The short story is that Jacobs, with a cadre of “mothers,” as Moses characterized them, and others, prevailed, handing Moses one of the few defeats in his…
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
In the last few years, coastal communities have weathered intense storms and difficult periods of recovery. This trend will continue. In order to build resilience, we must be forward-thinking. Now is the time to craft sound regulatory decisions around coastal policy.
South Carolina is on the right track. Last spring, members of the Coastal Conservation League, citizens, and our conservation coalition partners worked with Rep. Peter McCoy (R-Charleston), Rep. Bill Herbkersman (R-Beaufort), Rep. James Smith…
Monday, October 23, 2017
Long time, no news summary… And it’s not because nothing has been going on! (I’ve just been too distracted to summarize…)
The first item falls under the category of “no good deed goes unpunished.”
South Carolina dedicates comparatively little state funding to land conservation unlike, say, Florida, which persistently deployed around $300 million a year to protect habitat. But despite the modest size of our financial commitment, we have done a spectacular job of spending money…