“You can’t kick the person sitting next to you.”

One of the reasons Stono Park Elementary kindergarten students gave in a proclamation on why it would be hard to be a school board member.

An Imperfect Circle ·

Around Thanksgiving, City Paper covered the plight of small farmers on Johns Island, featuring Rita Bachmann of Full Circle Farms on the cover alongside old-timer Joseph Fields. Bachmann started Full Circle with the financial backing of Henry and Cindy Sawyer, owners of Cindy’s Seafood Market on Bohicket Road, converting the two acres of land into a productive, USDA organic-certified farm in under a year’s time. She was a familiar face at last year’s farmer’s markets.
The Sawyers recently notified Bachmann that funding was unavailable to continue the farm, after which she began planning a benefit event to get them through the winter. City Paper followed up with the Sawyers, learning that the farm will actually continue with Bachmann’s Full Circle name, but without her. “The only thing that’s changed is we’re just letting her go,” explains Cindy Sawyer. “She wanted to serve all the restaurants in Charleston. We really wanted it for us, and if we had excess we would sell.”
Bachmann feels that the decision to sell to restaurants like FIG, McCrady’s, and Cassique was a mutual understanding. “We discussed what was going on, and what I got from them was that Henry was proud of me for seeking out businesses,” says Bachmann. “If they ever wanted to make the farm profitable they needed to branch out.” By the time fresh produce is regarded as “excess,” says Bachmann, it’ll no longer be desirable.
While the “privatization” of Full Circle is certainly a blow for the farm’s restaurant clientele, Full Circle’s precedent has established a growing demand for local, organic produce, and Bachmann hopes to soon begin farming elsewhere. —Stratton Lawrence

19,000

That’s the number of women the National Institute of Environmental Health and Sciences is seeking to complete a study on the causes of breast cancer. The institute is more than halfway to a goal of finding 50,000 women who have a sister who had breast cancer. The group is looking for women between the ages of 35 and 74 for the limited 10-year-study. Visit www.sisterstudy.org for more details.

$50

That’s the fee proposed by Sen. Larry Martin (R-Pickens) for driving carelessly as a result of being distracted. Driving carelessly could include reading, writing, personal grooming, interacting with passengers or pets, or using a computer or cellphone.

“The most dangerous foreign policy blunder in this country since Vietnam.”

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), blasting the president’s plan to send more than 20,000 troops to Iraq, bolstering the argument that Republicans will be running against Bush’s record in ’08, not the Democrats. Source: CNN

Rose Peddler Reprieve ·
On Jan. 9, Charleston City Council delayed action on a proposed ordinance requiring rose peddlers to get a $7 permit and take a $15 training course on how to properly approach customers on the street. Kids have been selling the palmetto fronds shaped into flowers for several years, but city officials are hoping the course and permit requirements will curtail some aggressive behavior by the rose peddlers and other sidewalk vendors.
While some may be peddling the roses to get money, City Councilman Jimmy Gallant says that other kids are forced to sell the roses to pay for their parents’ crack habits.
“Let’s not act like we don’t know what’s going on,” he says.
As originally introduced, panhandlers will also be required to get a $7 permit to ask for change under the new ordinance and will be prohibited from certain areas, including the waterfront and the aquarium. The penalty for bumming without a permit would be more than $1,000 or 30 days in jail. —Greg Hambrick

31%

That’s the drop in Charleston home sales in December compared to the same month in 2005. Source: The Post and Courier

$7.25

That’s the proposed new minimum wage that was approved by the U.S. House last week.

61.2 million

That’s the number of people who volunteered between September 2005 and 2006. Source: The U.S. Department of Labor.