“Victory is Great, but Honor is Greater. Defend your Southern heritage.”

This message was posted on a billboard near Darlington Raceway by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The sign was removed at the request of South Carolina Central Railroad — owners of the land. “That is the most chilling thing I’ve seen against freedom of speech,” says Don Gordon, spokesman for the slighted Sons of Confederate Veterans. Source: The Greenville News

Council Updates ·
Charleston County Council approved a referendum on a half-cent sales tax loan. The proposal will appear on the ballot this November and would allow the county to borrow $300 million against future tax revenues. The funds will be used for a number of road projects, as well as awarding $95 million for the county’s greenbelt plan, which preserves rural land and maintains public areas in both rural and urban settings. Council also approved the use of half-cent sales tax money to bail out the indebted Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA). The allocation will award CARTA $1.1 million in additional funds for its 2007 budget.
With money no longer on their minds, County Council asked, “Where my dogs at?” The Ladson flea market was the unwelcome response. The Council took steps to ban pet sales at the flea market. A second reading will be given of the ordinance before a final vote.
Meanwhile, Charleston City Council got its zone on last week. In a major move to redevelop the Charleston Neck area, the council intends to re-zone the areas between Interstate 26 and Town Creek. Currently classified as light industrial, the area will be changed to a mixed commercial, residential zoning classification. Council has also proposed a 55-foot height limit — with the same limits being imposed on King, Meeting, and Calhoun streets. Businesses that currently exist in the area and do not fit into the new zoning limitations will be given a reprieve. A final decision on the matter was deferred to allow time to make the public aware of the changes. “This is being done to respond to changing dynamics in the area as a result of the new bridge,” says Lee Batchelder, assistant director in charge of zoning administration. “There is a lot of new interest in redevelopment — housing, offices, etcetera.” The rezoning will make way for a Ginn Company resort and golf course planned along Morrison Drive, although the new height limits may stymie some of Ginn resort plans. —Elle Lien

$750 million

That’s how much the Bush administration has dedicated to “healthy marriages” during its tenure. The funds have been diverted from social services — primarily child care. Source: Mother Jones

Return Fire ·
In the June 14 story “Pistol Whipped,” the City Paper reported about a New York sting investigation perpetrated on local gun dealers, resulting in a lawsuit filed against Summerville pawnshop owner Larry Mickalis. The operation was carried out against 60 different gun dealers. Adventure Outdoors, a Smyrna, Ga., store netted in the sting, is now filing a countersuit against New York and Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The $400 million lawsuit filed last Thursday has drummed up popular and political support. Former Georgia Rep. Bob Barr (you may know him better from frequent Saturday Night Live impersonations) believes that the lawsuit “represents a fair evaluation of damages reflecting the egregious nature of the misconduct of the New York mayor.”
Larry Mickalis’ lawyer Carl Pierce has indicated that they may also join the lawsuit. “We aren’t going to sit here and take it,” says Pierce. “This is a political battle that has total disregard for the individuals and families getting caught up in it. He targeted small businesses not because they were ‘rogue gun dealers,’ but because they were the people without the resources to fight back.”
“Maybe Bloomberg should worry about getting people electricity,” says Pierce. “There would probably be less gun crime if people had lights and security systems.” Over 100,000 New Yorkers have been without power for over a week. —EL

“The idea of reauthorizing military commissions as written would bea mistake.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), responding to the Supreme Court’s ruling that Bush abused executive power when he bypassed Congress to establish military commission for Guantanamo Bay detainees. Graham is the only senator who is also an active military lawyer. He is leading the way in congressional efforts to reformulate the unconstitutional tribunals. Source: Washington Post

33%

That’s the portion of the population in eight high-risk hurricane states that said they would not evacuate if a hurricane hit their area. The study was conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health and surveyed residents in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.

6.7%

That’s the jobless rate for South Carolina, now the second highest in the country and well above the national average of 4.6%. Sanford administration Department of Commerce Secretary Joe Taylor suggests these numbers “fly in the face of what we actually see going on with our economy.” The department offers its own set of more positive percentages — personal income rising 1.6 percent in the first quarter of 2006, and a per capita income that grew 4.3 percent in 2005. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Bureau ofEconomic Analysis