Monday, July 25, 2016
This week’s news is a mixed bag — success and chaos, root causes and aerial insights, and a bucket list of fish.
The Post and Courier reports that the Charleston City Council did the right thing with the Ashley River bridge, by the slimmest of margins. The Council voted 7-6 in favor of devoting one out of seven lanes on Highway 17 across the Ashley to bicycles and pedestrians.
Remarkably, in spite of the years spent analyzing…
Monday, July 18, 2016
In spite of, or perhaps exemplified by, the Legislature’s action on highway funding this session — they rejected a gas tax increase, approved spending $200 million in one time funds on transportation improvements, and substantially reformed the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank — the tug of war between new highway construction, (eg. I-526 to Johns Island), and repairing the existing road system continues. On one side, the vast majority of South Carolina residents, businesses, conservation groups, low-tax and good…
Monday, June 20, 2016
This week brought three topics together that are too often considered in isolation: affordable housing, urban design and transportation.
The first article, by Warren Wise with the Post and Courier, reports on Thursday’s housing summit in Charleston, sponsored by the Lowcountry Community Loan Fund. The theme of the conference, around which there was virtually unanimous agreement, is that poor planning and zoning is a major contributor to the Lowcountry’s housing affordability problem, and that solving…
Monday, June 6, 2016
Beautiful is the best way to describe Acacia Mack’s description of her childhood home on James Island Creek. Ms. Mack, whose family has lived in a bucolic family compound on James Island for more than three generations, says it is her “Battery, Waterfront Park and Pineapple all wrapped up in one.” Diane Knich writes in the Post and Courier that the I 526 extension would have obliterated this small community of relatives and neighbors, passing within 80 feet of the modest…
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
This was a banner week for transportation in South Carolina. On Thursday, after more than a decade of blood, toil, sweat and tears on the part of concerned citizens and the Conservation League, the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) voted to withdraw funds for the I-526 extension to John’s Island. The demise of this project, which had become the most expensive highway in South Carolina’s history, has the potential to launch a fresh, new discussion about transportation planning.
Monday, May 16, 2016
This was a big week for birds (especially small ones). Deborah Cramer, whose beautifully titled Pulitzer prize winner, “The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, An Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey,” celebrates the courageous — even miraculous — life of the red knot, spoke at the Library Society on Wednesday to a standing room only crowd. Who would have guessed that there could be such enthusiasm for an obscure bird that appears in…
Sunday, March 27, 2016
With the presidential primaries in full swing, this week brought the usual fare of annoying, discouraging and alarming news. One could put David Slade’s coastal population growth article in the Post and Courier in the last category. All David needed to do was dust off the article he wrote last year and change the dates. (Being an excellent journalist, he didn’t.)
In 2015, the three fastest growing metro areas on the Atlantic Coast were…
Sunday, March 20, 2016
The long, dark night of offshore oil is over. The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has withdrawn its proposal to allow drilling in the seabed along the coasts of Virginia, North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Right whales, bottlenose dolphin, grouper and marlin can celebrate, free from deafening seismic blasts. Pelicans, gannets and terns can fish safely in non-oiled waters. Krill and plankton — foundations of life in the ocean and…
Monday, March 7, 2016
Last week the good news was about the resurgence of monarch butterflies on their wintering grounds in Mexico. This week, it’s the lithe monarch’s antipode, the Florida manatee, as the Washington Post reports. Once threatened with extinction, the population of this peaceful, herbivorous resident of Florida’s freshwater springs, (and, increasingly, South Carolina’s coastal waters), has grown from several hundred in the 1970s to roughly 6,000 today. The manatee’s rebound is the direct…
Sunday, February 7, 2016
We live in three physical media (air, water and land), and each was in the news (media) this week. The first article (on land), from CNN, provides a wonderful retrospective on “America’s Best Idea,” the National Park System, whose 100th anniversary we celebrate this year. It is fascinating to learn, for example, that Yellowstone was established as a national park not because anyone was particularly wild about the idea of federal parks,…