News 2 reports on a proposal from state Sen. Mike Fair to tax porn mags.

State Senator Mike Fair wants to add a 20 percent surcharge on magazines like Playboy and Hustler that show frontal nudity. He says the tax hike would raise $385,000 dollars for the state to pay for tracking devices for sex offenders.

And his reasoning goes like this:

“Just as we’re trying to do with cigarettes, we have tried to do and continue to try to do with alcohol, is lets the users of those products pay for some of the consequences that come from that,” Fair explained.

I tell you. All of this baffles me.

My first question: I would like to ask Fair is if he has any peer-reviewed proof that looking at nudie mags transforms otherwise upstanding citizens into sex crazed maniacs?

My second: Do people still buy porn mags? It’s not like the internet doesn’t give it away for free. Just saying.

Speaking of vice related matters, North Charleston City Council is considering imposing a smoking ban in all public places, according to a Post and Courier report. While the proposal will likely lead to a fierce debate, it’ll probably also lead to a lot of hyperbole too. Like this statement from North Chuck Councilman Bob King:

“We shouldn’t be the only jurisdiction in the area not to have this,” King said. “We want to get away from the situation where anything goes in North Charleston. It’s a quality of life issue. There’s nothing worse than going into a restaurant to eat and have somebody light up next to you.”

“There’s nothing worse”? I mean, I can think of a few things. Like picking up the paper in the morning and finding that it’s a soggy mess. Or running out of milk when after you’ve poured a bowl of cereal. Or having to get up from the john to get another roll of TP.

Things aren’t looking so good for Shem Creek shrimpers according to this ABC News 4 report.

The controversy is over the dock which was part of land recently purchased by the town of Mount Pleasant. An inspection called the dock unsafe, that’s why the city had asked the shrimpers to leave.

News 4’s Josh Cascio reports that fixing the dock could cost $1 million.

The State reports that the General Assembly is considering a ban of salvia divinorum, a type of mint that, avert your eyes kiddies, will get you real high. Best, or is that worst, of all, it’s legal.

Oh. You’ve never heard of salvia. Well, let The State enlighten you:

Psychic effects of the drug, long used by the Mazatec Indians in Mexico for ritual healing and prophesying, include hallucinations, seeing bright lights and overlapping realities, according to the federal agency, which lists adverse effects of lack of coordination, dizziness, and slurred speech.

The effect can be like a mild version of illicit mushrooms, but the trips don’t last as long, said Matthew Gever, a policy associate with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The P&C found a local tie to a recent tragedy in Maryland in which a father drowned his three children. It’s a horrible situation for sure. My heart goes out to the children’s grieving mother, who, the P&C reports once lived in Lowcounty. (The father also called the Charleston area home for a time.) What’s particularly odd about the article, aside from the fact that the P&C is reporting on this meaningless connection, is how the article gives the reader the impression that the mother is dead.

Amy Castillo’s peers and instructors in the pediatrics residency program at the Medical University of South Carolina say she was well-liked. They expressed disbelief at the horrible news regarding the family of the bubbly, vivacious, smart doctor they remember.

Dr. Williams Basco of Mount Pleasant was in the pediatric residency class one year behind Castillo. “Amy was the kind of resident you always wanted to be on call with,” Basco said. “She was a great colleague.” She was generous and helpful, he said, “very vivacious.” They played on a recreation league volleyball team together.

“She was good at what she did and she loved what she did,” Basco said. She was voted best senior resident, he said.

Local resident Michael Caristi said his wife, Dr. Kimberly Caristi, was a year behind Castillo in the pediatrics residency program. “She (Castillo) gave a lot to the Lowcountry when she was here caring for needy people,” he said. Michael Caristi described her as outgoing, compassionate and vibrant. “All-American glowing smile,” he said.