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Tuesday
May252010

"Bleeding Gums Murphy" Featured at Farmers' Market Tonight

Saxaphone player Doug Norwine, whose work can be heard on "The Simpsons" (he played the sax heard for cartoon jazz great  "Bleeding Gums" Murphy and for Lisa Simpson), will be the featured player of the Bruce Helgeson Trio for the season's grand opening of the Anderson County Farmers Market tonight 5-8 p.m. The market is located at 402 N. Murray Avenue. Admission is free.

Norwine has maintained a busy schedule as an in-demand studio musician in Los Angeles for the last two decades. He has been heard on the soundtracks of shows such as Roseanne, Full House, Seinfeld, Mad About You, Rugrats, Suddenly Susan, The Tonight Show, Family Ties, Will and Grace, West Wing, General Hospital and Frasier. His film credits include JFK, True Lies, Ten Things I Hate About You and Fright Night, which are just a few of his gigs while a staff musician for major motion-picture companies including Touchstone, Universal, Warner Bros, Fox, Paramount, and Sony.

Another dimension to this multi-faceted artist is his extensive recording and touring credits with some of the biggest names in jazz and pop music. Doug has been a soloist on numerous recordings with such artists as Chaka Khan, Melissa Manchester, The Four Tops, Ray Charles, Maureen McGovern, and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons and, in addition to his studio work, has performed and toured with many famous artists such as Frank Sinatra, Paul McCartney, Bette Midler, Tony Bennett and Harry Connick, Jr.Other jazz artists coming to the SWU Summer Jazz Program includes studio trombonist Wes Funderburk, from Atlanta; respected teacher and trumpet player Pat Harbison from Indiana University, and Stockton Helbing from Denton, TX on drums. The clinic will also feature a selection of local musicians.

In addition to live music, tonight's event will feature art exhibits, children’s activities, and dinner from local restaurants serving locally grown foods! Over 40 local vendors will be showcasing and selling their fruits, vegetables, cheeses, plants and local crafts. 

Tuesday
May252010

OPINION: S.C. Higher Education Spending Needs Oversight

OPINION

By S.C. Sen. Kevin Bryant

The University of South Carolina recently paid $890 thousand to a felon to get out of a deal with the felon for buildings that the felon never built at Innovista. One might chuckle at that sort of spending in a government bureaucracy like higher education—but it could be your money.

The $890,000 only adds a drop to the bucket of the $58 million in direct state aid to Innovista. The $58 million in state money has been nearly doubled by local taxpayers. For over $100 million we now have two empty buildings down by the river. Keep that in mind the next time you talk to a laid-off teacher. The average teacher makes $58,000 per year in salary and benefits.

USC claimed in a press release that it paid off the felon from the Development Foundation and that therefore “no taxpayer or donor funds are being used.” A 2007 Federal Form 990 reveals however that the USC Development Foundation received $3,093,934 in “Direct Public Support.” The 2006 Form 990 indicates that the Foundation received $4,439,918 in “Direct Public Support.”

“Direct Public Support” means contributions or gifts from donors. USC does not give us the identity of those donors.

The fact is that the public colleges in South Carolina fight tooth and nail to prevent you from knowing how they spend your money.

The colleges pushed legislation this year to reduce the paperwork requirements in their procurement practices. They claimed that it would cut down bureaucracy and save them money (it really would save you money, but they never actually phrase it that way).

I agree with the legislation, but I also insist that when public entities spend your money without strict oversight that they post that spending online in order to foster accountability.

I made the same demand last year when the Department of Education asked for spending flexibility in local schools, and the school districts agreed. Now anyone can see for themselves how a school district spends your money.

The colleges, however, said no. The colleges refused to add transparency to their spending flexibility legislation. I refused to let the legislation pass. Their reluctance to open their books to the public has evolved over this legislative session into a militant resistance to any attempt at sunshine.

The colleges decided to walk away from their legislation instead of opening up their books.

A few days before that the president of a research university literally chased Senator Lee Bright down a hallway imploring him not to request a Legislative Audit Council review of the school.

The culmination of the stonewalling by higher education came during the budget debate on the Senate floor. Senator Mike Rose offered a budget amendment to force a college board of trustees to conduct a public vote on fee or tuition increases.
The amendment in no way precluded such increases. The amendment set no extraordinary bar for passage of such increases. The amendment simply required a public vote on such increases. The Senate ruled the amendment out of order.

Senator Rose immediately then offered an amendment to require that all colleges post online all transactions over $100. Again, defeated. That second action confused me inasmuch as the Senate passed the very same amendment last year to require public schools to post their transactions online. The very same provision that requires transparency in your local school district that the Senate passed last year, and that remains in the budget today, was defeated when proposed for the colleges.

The colleges have something to hide. I have been lobbied by lots of people for lots of things. I have seen special interest groups and their hired guns grease the rails for one pet bill and then turn around and kill another bill dead in its tracks. The colleges are particularly good at it.

But I have never seen the maniacal resistance to anything that I have seen to transparency in higher education. And do not forget that you are paying for the lobbying efforts that keep you from knowing where your money is being spent. The colleges have $1.9 million budgeted in this fiscal year alone just for lobbying.

The colleges this year are spending $1.9 million not on dorms or professors or keeping tuition low but on preventing you from knowing exactly where they spend the rest of your money.

Something definitely is rotten in Denmark, and Clemson, and Columbia and Charleston. I will not stop until we will discover what stinks.


Kevin Bryant represents Anderson County in the South Carolina Senate

Tuesday
May252010

FARMER’S MARKET BEGINS SENIOR NUTRITION PROGRAM ON JUNE 3  

Anderson County Senior Citizens Program partners with Farmer’s Market and SC Dept. of Social Services to provide healthy local produce to Anderson’s senior residents and to support SC’s small farmers

ANDERSON COUNTY, SC—On June 3-4, Anderson County Seniors may apply for produce vouchers as part of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. The Anderson County Senior Citizens Program and the Anderson County Farmers’ Market, in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Social Services and other state agencies, will issue vouchers to eligible senior citizens. Vouchers can be used to purchase produce at participating farmer’s markets from May through October 15, 2010. Each eligible person will receive $25 worth of coupons. Vouchers are issued on a first come basis until the supply is exhausted.

Individuals aged 60 or older, with a low monthly income, or who receive SSI or Food Stamp benefits are eligible for these free coupons. Individuals must apply in person; provide proof of their identity, age and their Anderson County residency. Applicants must also meet household income eligibility limits. Information regarding the income of all household members is required to determine eligibility. Verification of Social Security numbers is also required.

Individuals wishing to apply for homebound seniors must provide a statement from the senior granting permission to submit an application on their behalf. Proof of identity and proof of income for the homebound senior must be presented at time of application.

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program’s goal is to supplement the diets of low-income seniors with fresh, nutritious produce while supporting South Carolina’s small farmers. South Carolina is one of several states that receive funds from the USDA to operate this program. 

Application vouchers will be at the following locations & available first come, first served:

June 3 at 8am: Belton Farmer’s Market

June 4 at 8am: Anderson County Farmer’s Market

For detailed information on The Effects of Food Assistance and Nutrition Programs on Nutrition and Health seehttp://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/FANRR19%2D3/

Monday
May242010

District 5 Plans Free Summer Food Service Program  

Anderson School District Five will conduct its Summer Food Service Program again this year at six locations.

Both breakfast and lunch will be served Monday through Friday from June 7th through August 13th, with the exception of July 5th through 9th, when the district will be closed. The locations are: Centerville, New Prospect and Homeland Park elementary schools, South Fant Early Childhood and Education Center, and Lakeside and McCants middle schools. 

Free healthy meals will be available for all children age 18 and younger. Adult meals will be available for purchase. Adult breakfast will cost $1.35 and adult lunch will cost $3.10.

Breakfast will be served from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Lunch will be served from Noon to 1 p.m.

Monday
May242010

Southwood Celebrates National Honor  

Students, parents, faculty and staff at Southwood Middle School will gather on Friday, May 28th to celebrate being named a “School to Watch” by a national organization.

The celebration will run from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the school. Invited guests are asked to arrive by 9:15 a.m.

In February, Southwood was one of two schools in South Carolina named “Schools to Watch” by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform

Southwood was selected by state leaders for its academic excellence, its responsiveness to the needs and interests of young adolescents, and its commitment to helping all students achieve at high levels.

In addition, Southwood was found to have strong leadership, teachers who work together to improve curriculum and instruction, and a commitment to assessment and accountability to bring about continuous improvement.

The “Schools to Watch” designation is one of several prestigious awards won recently by the Southwood family. In October 2009, Southwood was one of only two schools in the state and only 118 nationwide named as a national AVID Demonstration School. AVID stands for “Advancement Via Individual Determination,” an in-school academic support program that focuses students toward the goals of college eligibility and success.

“Southwood is truly a model of school reform and a school that continues to earn state and national recognition,” Mrs. Bagley said. “The reason for Southwood’s success is a strong, instructionally oriented culture that fosters a sense of community and cooperation among students, faculty and staff members.”

“We are extremely proud of this recognition,” said Southwood Principal Evelyn Murphy. “Our students, faculty, and staff continuously work together to create a culture that is student focused and maintains high expectations. We all share the responsibility for school improvement.” 

In recent years, Southwood has changed its student schedule from five periods to six, in order to provide students who are having difficulty with grade level work an extra period of enrichment, according to Principal Evelyn Murphy. Also, the school has added an After School Program and Before School Program to provide assistance with homework and additional instruction. 

Like all other District Five schools, Southwood has made use of the district’s Approved Curriculum as the basis for instruction in state standards. In addition, as the district’s only Title I middle school, school leaders have spent Title I federal funds on enhancing technology in the classroom as yet another means of aiding student achievement.

Other South Carolina schools named as “Schools to Watch” in past years include Belton Middle School (2009), Blythewood Middle School (2008), Palmetto Middle School (2008) and Lugoff-Elgin Middle School (2007).

Monday
May242010

Community Comprehensive Planning Meeting May 25  

The Anderson County Planning Division has scheduled a Community Comprehensive Planning Meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25th for School District #2 at the Friendship Fire Department. The purpose of these meetings is to define the Comprehensive Plan and explain the development process and most importantly, gather input from residents regarding their vision for their community.

The meeting will offer a brief PowerPoint Presentation, followed by a question-answer period. Remaining time will be allotted to hear residents’ “wish lists” for their community.

Surveys will be distributed at the meetings; and are also available on-line at www.andersoncountysc.org.

If you have any questions, please contact the Planning Division at 864.260.4043.

Monday
May242010

11 in S.C. receive stimulus funds for alternative vehicle projects  

Eleven organizations in South Carolina will share more than $4.5 million awarded through the South Carolina Budget and Control Board’s State Energy Office to convert vehicles to run on new fuels and to build the state’s network of alternative vehicle refueling stations.

A total of 361 vehicles will be refitted to operate with either propane, compressed natural gas (CNG) or hybrid technology. In addition, 71 refueling stations will be built to service these vehicles, most of which will be available for public use, including ethanol, biodiesel, propane and compressed natural gas facilities. 

“These funds will reduce harmful emissions by promoting the use of alternative vehicles and creating jobs in our state,” Ashlie Lancaster of the South Carolina Energy Office said.

The Energy Office partnered with the Triangle J Council of Governments in North Carolina to apply for this Clean Cities grant. A total of $300 million was awarded nationally to 25 organizations to expand the use of alternative fueled vehicles and advanced technology vehicles throughout the country. 

Projects funded in South Carolina are:

  • $850,000 to Spinx Company to install 18 ethanol refueling stations and 8 biodiesel stations in Greenville, Anderson, Spartanburg and Oconee
  • $350,250 to the City of Rock Hill to convert five city vehicles to operate with compressed natural gas and to install compressed natural gas, biodiesel and ethanol refueling stations
  • $240,000 to Plug In Carolina to install 32 plug-in electric recharging stations in Charleston, Greenville, Spartanburg and Columbia
  • $164,125 to M&M Oil and Propane of Charleston, the City of Charleston and Jones Ford to convert 19 vehicles to operate with propane and install two propane refueling stations
  • $117,800 to the University of South Carolina to convert 13 vehicles to operate with propane and to a install propane refueling station
  • $101,900 to Anderson County to convert 13 county vehicles to operate with propane and to install a propane refueling station
  • $94,100 to the City of Greenville to convert 10 city vehicles to operate with propane and to install a propane refueling station
  • $85,145 to Midlands Biofuels of Winnsboro to install a biodiesel refueling and blending station
  • $52,000 to OM Biofuels LLC of Charleston to install a biodiesel refueling station

These projects will reduce the petroleum use in both North and South Carolina, helping save more than 724,000 gallons per year while reducing air pollution.

About the South Carolina Energy Office

The South Carolina Energy Office (SCEO) provides a broad range of resources designed to help citizens, businesses and public entities save energy and money. In recent years, the SCEO has helped save South Carolina over $300 million through public and private energy-saving measures and new energy technologies. The SCEO is a unit of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board. Additional information can be found atwww.energy.sc.gov.

Monday
May242010

County to Mark Memorial Day with Saturday Event

The Anderson County Veterans Association present “A Day of Honor,” Saturday May 29 at 11 a.m. at the Anderson County Veteran’s Monument. (Bring a Lawn Chair, Rain or Shine)

All veterans, active duty personnel, reservists, National Guardsmen and family members of veterans are welcome. 

The Anderson Community, like communities throughout our Country, pauses to remember our loved ones who have fought for freedom. May we all strive to live our lives in a manner that makes those in military service proud. We appreciate the service of the men and women who have passed on.

Here is the order of events:

Memorial Day 2010 

Welcome by Master of Ceremonies:

Richard Williams, ACVA President

Presentation of Colors:

Westside High School AJROTC

Invocation:

Rev. Bob Philyaw, KWV Chapter 244

(Please stand and remain standing for the Pledge)

Pledge of Allegiance:

Cpt. Leon Tate, Campbell Patriots

“The Star Spangled Banner”:

Ms. Janey Turner 

Salute to Veterans & Placing of Wreath:

Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary Post 5996 

(Veterans & auxiliary should stand as their unit is called.)

American Legion, Post 14 & Auxiliary; American Legion, Post 44; American Legion, Post 50; American Legion, Post 51; American Legion, Post 113 & Auxiliary; American Legion, Post 121; American Legion, Post 184; American Defenders of Bataan & Corregidor; Combat Infantryman’s Association Battalion 11; Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 40 & Auxiliary; Fleet Reserve Association, Branch 234 & Auxiliary

Korean War Veterans – 244

Marine Corps League Detachment 1106

Purple Heart Association

Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 5996 & Auxiliary; Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 6089 & Auxiliary

Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 9727 & Auxiliary

Military Officers Association of America

Veteran’s Affairs Office

POW/MIA   

Salute to POW/MIA

Prof. David Allen, President
Vietnam Veterans of America

Moment of Silence

Introduction of Keynote Speaker

Master Chief Michael Johnson, US Navy, Ret.:

Richard Williams   

Benediction:

Chaplain Garnet Hanley, Purple Heart Association   

Bagpipes:

Preston Gravely

Rifle Team:

Campbell Patriots Honor Guard   

 “Taps”:

Campbell Patriots Honor Guard

Friday
May212010

22 Cyclists Join City, County Leaders for Ride

Twenty-two cyclists gathered outside the Anderson County Library to follow our leaders on an early morning ride through Downtown Anderson. Anderson Mayor Terence Roberts and County Administrator Rusty Burns blazed the trail on their bicycle built for two. The event was one of several Bike Month activities initiated by the Complete the Streets Committee, a group of individuals representing Anderson County, the City of Anderson, Imagine Anderson, the Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor’s Committee on Disability. Complete the Streets is dedicated to promoting safe roadways for all users and encouraging everyone to SHARE THE ROAD. 

“The City of Anderson is embracing bike riding and encouraging all citizens to be active, said Mayor Roberts. “ Our success as a community depends everyone’s commitment to healthy lifestyles.”

“Anderson is well on its way to becoming a biking community,” said Burns. “It is exciting to see residents come out and enjoy these opportunities. Mayor Roberts and I accepted the challenge to demonstrate our teamwork by making the circuit on a tandem bike. It was an invigorating ride and we actually performed like a well-oiled machine.”

“The Convention and Visitors Bureau was excited to participate in Ride With Our Leaders,” said CVB Director Kathy Benson. “Cycling opportunities draw tourism and we are thrilled to see Anderson well on its way to becoming a Bike Friendly Community! We owe a special thank you to Donald Meksavanh at Holiday Inn for providing breakfast for the riders.” 

Sandy Hanebrink (Mayor’s Committee on ADA & Touch the Future), and Matt Schell (County Parks) completed the downtown circuit on hand-cycles. Hanebrink has worked with City and County staff on ADA (Americans with Disabilities) issues and compliance and she was instrumental in getting Anderson County’s 2nd annual Tour de LaFrance Bike Race on the official US Handcycling Team’s Circuit.

Friday
May212010

District 5 Seeks Name for New Elementary School  

Anderson School District Five is asking students, parents and all community members to suggest names for the new elementary school we are preparing to build on a tract of land along Higway 81 North.

District Five completed the purchase of the 36.69 acres of land in December 2009. The purchase and the construction of the new school is funded through the district’s $140 million bond issuance, which was approved in an April 2007 referendum by more than 60 percent of district voters. The bond funds can only be used for capital improvements such as new buildings and renovation. Operational expenditures such as salaries cannot be funded through the bonds.

The new school will be the the 11th elementary school in the district.

The naming process will be governed by the guidelines set in place by the District Five Board of Trustees. They include:

Where feasible, schools will be named to denote location. Community, street and geographic areas will be considered in the selection of a name.

Names suggested by the natural setting and habitat of the school location may also be appropriate.

Schools will not be named for living persons. In very unusual situations, names of persons who have been deceased for more than 10 years may be considered in selecting the name for a school.

The building committee for a specific school will be responsible for recommending to the board a name or names for that school.

The committee will accept recommendations from persons living within the new school area, from the school district at large and from school district personnel.

Suggestions of names for the new school may be sent via e-mail or U.S. mail to Bill Baker, Coordinator of Communications for District Five, at BillBaker@Anderson5.net or 400 Pearman Dairy Road, Anderson, S.C. 29625. Please include your name and address with your suggestion, and please conform to the rules outlined above.

Friday
May212010

Christian Writers Group to Meet Saturday

Alan Melton, founder of Disciple Like Jesus ministry, and co-author of Disciple Like Jesus For Parents, which has recently been picked up by Calvary Press, will address the Upstate SC American Christian Writers' meeting May 22 at the Anderson County Library from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Melton's  ministry encourages parents and grandparents to disciple their children in the same manner that Jesus made disciples. His articles have been featured in numerous publications, and he speaks at churches, associations and conferences. He has also served the Lord as a church planter, pastor-elder, ministry leader and business owner. He led Evangelism Explosion and FAITH evangelism training ministries for 10 years and juvenile delinquent ministries for 16 years. Married to Donna since 1977, they have two children: Jennifer and Ryan.

Thursday
May202010

Truth is Stranger: Kevin Costner May Solve Gulf Oil Spill

Thursday
May202010

Ride with Mayor, Administrator Today

Ride with the Mayor & County Administrator Friday, May 21 @ 7:00 AM – 8:30 AM

Registration @ 7:00 AM and Ride begins @ 7:30 AM

LOCATION:  Anderson County Library (300 North McDuffie Street)

Ride is free. All riders MUST wear a bike helmet and

sign a waiver form...NO EXCEPTIONS.

For questions or more information contact Angela C. Stringer

astringer@andersoncountysc.org

864.260.1052   864.934.6451

During the month of May, our local Complete the Streets initiative is celebrating National Bike Month.  This is one of those community events.