“It appears to be a trojan horse. The prohibition against card games and board games is really a smokescreen.”

Hanahan resident Miguel Betancourt, who spoke against proposed legislation (S. 535) that would allow home card games and charity casino nights. Betancourt says that it will open the window for the gambling industry to return to South Carolina. State legislators took local comments last week
for the bill prior to Senate deliberations.

Remembering CofC Political Guru Bill Moore

William Moore, 64, known in our pages for his political insights and at College of Charleston basketball games as the voice of the Cougars, died on Wed., March 25.

Moore was an invaluable source for political commentary and perspective for the City Paper over the past several years, most notably during the 2008 elections. He was quoted in the last two issues discussing Statehouse politics and the 2010 election cycle.

Moore always offered a frank, spin-free perspective as he helped us sort through complicated topics, patiently answered our silly questions, and passionately shared his experience.

Aside from offering his keen eye on politics for us and other news outlets, Moore served for nearly 40 years on the CofC faculty.

“Professor Moore’s vast knowledge of Southern and American politics, sharp insights, and historical references made him the go-to source for colleagues, researchers, and reporters across the state and region,” says CofC President George Benson. “He will be sorely missed.”

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Mon., April 13, in CofC’s Physician’s Auditorium. Memorials may be made to the William V. Moore Scholarship Fund, College of Charleston Foundation, 66 George Street, Charleston, SC 29424. J. Henry Stuhr Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. —Greg Hambrick

Grant Request Outlines City’s DUI Crackdown

Charleston has always had the reputation of being a drinking town. These days, it may be more accurate to call it a drinking enforcement town.

In a new $210,000 grant request for two additional DUI officers, a patrol car, and other equipment, the Charleston Police Department lays out the numbers of what has been a massive crackdown on drunk driving. After slowly increasing DUI enforcement for a few years, the department created a DUI Task Force in 2008 with five officers dedicated to stopping drunk drivers.

In 2006, Charleston police made 132 DUI arrests. That number increased to 416 in 2007 and up to 669 last year — more than four times the number of arrests just two years earlier. License checkpoints have also increased from 26 in 2006 to 152 last year.

Other than using the new officers to increase DUI check points and coverage, the city also plans to expand education programs regarding DUI laws and penalties in order to deter drunk driving — particularly among those under 35, whom account for most of the people involved in DUI-related collisions.

Other data included in the grant request makes it difficult to determine whether the increased enforcement has been a good deterrent. Fatalities have decreased slightly in the last year — from five in 2007 to three in 2008. The number of people involved in DUI collisions hasn’t seen a consistent drop: 227 in ’05, 141 in ’06, 253 in ’07, and 141 in ’08. —Greg Hambrick

$3 million

That’s how much the Lowcountry will receive in additional federal grants
announced last week for local energy efficiency improvements, including
more than $1.1 million for the City of Charleston and nearly
$980,000 for North Charleston. The money is expected
to go toward projects that reduce total energy
use and fossil fuel emissions and
improve energy efficiency.
Source: U.S.
of Energy

Hallman Asks Sanford To Take Stimulus Cash

Nearly 80 municipal leaders across South Carolina have joined Charleston Mayor Joe Riley in his written plea to Gov. Mark Sanford and the state legislature to accept $700 million in federal stimulus aid. Mt. Pleasant Mayor Harry Hallman did not sign on to Riley’s letter, instead penning his own appeal.

In a letter sent late last month, Hallman told the governor that he understood the desire to stand on principle, but these are unique times.

“The stimulus plan is the law of the land,” Hallman wrote. “More importantly, our nation, but particularly our state, needs its leadership to be of single purpose regarding our economic condition …

“I personally think the majority of residents believe that there is at least some chance of the stimulus funding helping our economic condition in the short term. That, I think, is the most important voice to listen to.” —Greg Hambrick

S.C. House
Looks To End Session Early

The tough economic times may lead the state legislature to turn off the lights a little early this year. Rep. Anton J. Gunn (D-Kershaw and Richland) says the House leadership notified representative last week that the 2009 session may end in mid-May rather than June as normal. The reason cited: The House may need to shave a few dollars off of its budget.

Gunn says an early recess makes sense considering budget shortfalls. He believes that state elected officials can do the business of the people in a more effective and efficient manner. According to Gunn, a final decision has yet to be made. —Chris Haire

67 percent

That’s the percentage of survey respondents who said they were more active
since the opening of the pedestrian path over the Cooper River. Conducted by the College of Charleston at either end of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge, the survey has
been touted by supporters of pedestrian and bike lanes as proof the walkways work.
Source: Charleston Moves

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