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Love Conquers Hate, Amazing Grace, Singing Presidents

Saturday, June 27, 2015 obama-eulogy

Folks, The events of these last two weeks will undoubtedly be counted among the most important in decades. I suspect we will not fully understand their implications for years. President Obama visited Charleston on Friday to deliver a eulogy for Senator Clementa Pinckney. Senator Pinckney and eight of his parishioners were murdered last week in the sanctuary of his church, the historic Mother Emanuel AME on Calhoun Street.The president’s theme was grace. There could be no…

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The second kick of a mule; DHEC punts on offshore; Sun City shines; Local food hub fever.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Folks, Strange bedfellows is the theme of the week on transportation. Five groups that don’t ordinarily jeehaw (to use a fellow conservationist’s favorite term) gathered in Columbia on Wednesday to express their agreement on the overriding importance of getting politics out of the road funding arena before raising the gas tax. The S.C. Policy Council, League of Women Voters, S.C. Campaign for Liberty, American’s for Prosperity and the Conservation League urged legislators to…

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No slush funds this year, the hubris of bulldozers and offshore drilling, Isle of Palms steps up for the ocean.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Folks, The news of the week is that the S.C. Legislature has adjourned, abiding (perhaps unintentionally) by the principle “First, do no harm.” (This mandate, incidentally, originates from the Hippocratic school of philosophy, but is not part of the Hippocratic Oath.) In fact, the 2015 legislative session produced almost nothing. In the case of transportation funding (and a variety of anti-environment measures), this was a good thing. Both the House and the Senate had persistently refused…

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Captain Sams redux, again; Plain facts, disputed; A noose; But on the good side…

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Folks, If you aren’t confused by what is going on with Captain Sams (no apostrophe) Spit, then you haven’t been paying attention. The latest news flash on the proposal to develop the sand bar on the western end of Kiawah Island is that the state has issued a permit for a sea wall. It is essentially like the one the Kiawah developers applied for some years ago. The first permit request was blocked by an SC…

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Road Rage and Motivated Avoidance

Monday, May 25, 2015 dana-francis-marion

I suspect many of you have been sitting by the computer this Memorial Day thinking, “I hope I will receive an update from Dana.”  Actually, I hope you are outside enjoying this magnificent weekend and don’t see this until Tuesday. After a three week hiatus from me, I can say that things have not changed much in the transportation arena.  The Legislature is still considering passing a massive tax…

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Peril on the Edge

Sunday, April 19, 2015

This week’s theme is edges. The first article, by Sammy Fretwell with The State, describes the threat to the edge of the Francis Beidler Audubon Sanctuary at Four Hole Swamp from the expansion of a solid waste landfill. Waste Management received a permit to fill 14 acres of wetlands in the Four Hole drainage to increase the capacity of their facility. The law regarding wetland fill establishes an extremely high standard for…

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Imagine an alternative to traveling by car…

Thursday, April 16, 2015 light-rail

Recognizing the need for transit alternatives (like Bus Rapid Transit, Light Rail, or Commuter Rail) along the I-26 Corridor between Summerville and Charleston, the Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments (BCDCOG) initiated the I-26 Regional Fixed Guideway Transit Alternatives Analysis study (I-26ALT). The purpose of I-26ALT is to enhance regional mobility with transit along the I-26 Corridor between Summerville and Charleston – providing people with an alternative to sitting alone in their car in gridlock on…

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Protection for Prince George, but not yet for Captain Sams. A new tack for cruise ships, and water policy in a time of drought.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

In celebration of the arrival of a glorious spring, The State‘s Sammy Fretwell reports that the University of South Carolina Development (and Conservation!) Foundation has sold the 1,200 acre Prince George tract, just south of Pawley’s Island, to a conservation buyer. The future of this extraordinary property, formerly part of Arcadia Plantation, had been uncertain, with development a troubling possibility. The Conservation League’s Nancy Cave has followed the project for the past…

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It’s open season, and not just for turkeys…

Friday, April 3, 2015

What a week it has been! Spring is finally here. The pollen has largely washed away. Spring break is over (for our family anyway). That’s the good side. On the other hand, the Legislature, and one DOT commissioner, are still up to an unprecedented level of mischief. This article by Sammy Fretwell with The State sums it up perfectly. Although only turkeys are in season in the Lowcountry, it is open season on environmental…

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Flip This Island

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 Captain Sams Spit

“You won the first round, but you’re not going to win the second round.” This comment was made by Senator Paul Campbell at today’s hearing on the beachfront protection act. Sen. Campbell is promoting an amendment on behalf of a Charlotte-based development company (which is, incidentally, backed by a hedge fund in New York.) His amendment would have allowed the beach building line to move seaward, facilitating the construction of a road and…

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