“Everybody supports the troops. Everybody here is a patriotic, red-blooded, flag-waving, God-fearing, Bible-bleeding, gun-carrying, monogamous American. Some of us are even lawyers.”

Judge Alex Sanders, former College of Charleston president, during a Democratic rally in support of Congressional candidate Randy Maatta

Alley-oop ·

The NBA has arrived in Charleston — that’s the National Brownfield Association, dedicated to cleaning up abandoned industrial properties where redevelopment has been hampered by environmental hazards. The Chicago-based organization will host their South Carolina chapter’s inaugural reception on October 25 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the Palmetto Club in Columbia. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley (and NBASC Chapter President) will speak about the benefits of revitalizing brownfields, including new jobs, boosting economies, and cleaning up soil and groundwater. Good thing, because it’s certainly better to expand into brownfields than green forests. —Stratton Lawrence


That’s how many employees lost their jobs recently when Shell Oil Products U.S. closed its lubricants operation on Virginia Avenue in North Charleston. A spokeswoman at Shell’s Houston headquarters said, “the move was being made to increase the efficiency of operations.” Source: Charleston Region Business Journal

“Oh, we’ll be on time on election day.”

School board candidate Ruth Jordan, a black woman, following board member Sandi Engelman’s comment on WTMA that Marie Goodloe-Johnson worked on “CPT.” Engelman says it means “certain people’s time,” but “CPT” is known by most people in these parts as “colored people’s time.”

100+ MPG ·

Vehicles that easily get three digits to the gallon already exist, but we can’t buy them. The newly formed Plug-In Hybrid Coalition of the Carolinas hopes to change that by urging automakers to manufacture them on a large scale. These cars achieve their impressive mileage by combining a plug-in hybrid with gas-electric hybrid technology, then dropping in a larger, rechargeable battery. The Coalition pushes for government funding and incentives to automakers, gathers “soft fleet” orders, and is promoting a petition campaign. The mayors of Greenville, Columbia, Georgetown, and several North Carolina cities have endorsed the movement, a refreshing sign in a time where electric vehicles are being destroyed by the thousands despite our heavy reliance on foreign oil (see www.dontcrush.com). Exxon’s “record profits” division just wet their pants. —SL

High court in the Lowcountry ·

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts gave a special visit to Charleston’s burgeoning law school last week, calling attention to concerns of partisanship and a troubling lack of technology in the judicial system in a self-deprecating conversation with a worshipful audience.
Roberts first noted the invitation by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) came on the night of the justice’s confirmation.
“Your senator understands leverage,” he joked.
Roberts fielded questions through a panel discussion, noting the independence of the judiciary is what sets America apart from the rest of the world.
“There has to be an appreciation of an independent judiciary that’s not seen as an extension of the political parties,” he says.
Technology is the biggest challenge facing the courts, Roberts says.
“I think that technology is impacting the way court precedent is interpreted,” he says. “We have technology that can see through walls. What does this mean for establishing principles of privacy?” —Delia Smith

“I kind of feel like I lost a member of our family.”

Robert Barber, owner of the Bowens Island restaurant and Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, on the Sunday fire that destroyed the three-generation restaurant. He’s vowed to rebuild. Source: The Post and Courier


Candidates for the District 119 state House of Representatives race squared off last week in a rare opportunity to compare the candidates.
Out of the gate, Republican Suzanne Piper borrows a familiar campaign message that the district’s interests would be ignored in the Statehouse if Democrat Leon Stavrinakis held the seat with Republicans leading the House.
“We’re not mathematically challenged,” Piper says, holding up signs that read “74” and “50” to signify the Republican and Democratic totals in the House. “We’ve got the numbers.”
Stavrinakis notes he has worked with people from both parties as County Council Chairman to bring money and resources back to Charleston and that this attempt to divide the district won’t sell.
“We’ve got to end this bitter partisanship in the statehouse,” he says.
While Piper notes Stavrinakis’ plans for increased classroom funding and regional planning aren’t new ideas, Stavrinakis says he has never claimed to be the engineer of the ideas, just the one that’s ready to get them done.—Greg Hambrick