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SCIWAY News No. 51 – January 2008


Previous Issues of SCIWAY News


In This Issue

  1. SCIway on the Highway – Recommend a Road Trip!
  2. January's Top Ten – Notable SC Websites
  3. SCIway and Sponsors Partner for SC Food Banks
  4. Upcoming SC Festivals & Events
  5. SC Picture of the Month
  6. First in the South – Ready or Not!
  7. So What's a Sandlapper Anyway?

1. SCIway on the Highway – Recommend a Road Trip!

South Carolina is an amazing place with much to see, but here at SCIway we often spend long days looking at our computer screens instead. We make this website to celebrate where we live, yet we don't always get to explore it as much as we wish we could.

SCIway does take an awful lot of work to create and maintain, and last year we managed to break out of the office only three times – once to visit Greenville's bustling downtown, once to stroll through beautiful Cheraw and tour nearby Blizzard Branch Mill, and once to trek through the mighty and bountiful ACE Basin.

That is why this year, our resolution is to take our show on the road more often! But given that our state has so much to offer, we're asking for a little help from you.

If you know of a South Carolina spot we simply must see, send your suggestion to service@sciway.net. It could be a town, a school, a landmark, a festival – anything! We will pick the best suggestions, pack up, and head out. We'll take lots of pictures and when we come home, we'll write a story in this newsletter to share what we learned with our readers.

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2. January's Top Ten – Notable SC Websites

Affordable Housing Coalition of South Carolina - advocates for affordable, safe, and decent housing for the 40% of South Carolinians who can't afford to pay rent

Clean Energy for SC - blog represents SC's fight for clean energy alternatives to newly proposed coal plants

Gay and Lesbian Resources Guide - support, advocacy, and social groups for the GLBT community

Healing Species - violence intervention curriculum using rescued dogs

ITNCharleston Trident - volunteers provide dignified transportation for area seniors

MidlandsBiz - latest local business news plus advice on issues affecting businesses in the Columbia area

South Carolina Poetry Initiative - promotes reading and writing of poetry in SC by organizing poetry workshops, contests, and writing camps

Southern Highroads Trail - explore upcountry waterfalls and lakes on the SC portion of this four-state trail

Statehouse Report - weekly SC legislative agenda, policy forecast, and political news

US Green Building Council, SC Chapter - learn about LEED certified buildings & green building practices in SC

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3. SCIway and Sponsors Partner for SC Food Banks

Last month we announced our plan to donate 50% of the money we received from December's new SCIWAY Sponsors to three SC food banks. We're pleased to report that this partnership between SCIway and our advertisers generated $960 for these important organizations.

Golden Harvest, Harvest Hope, and Lowcountry Food Bank stretch their donations to help hundreds of thousands of hungry South Carolinians each year, and we know this money will be put to good use. (If only we didn't need to earn money and could do this every month!)

Special thanks to December's new sponsors, whose advertisements enabled us to donate this money:
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4. Upcoming SC Festivals & Events

Homesteader – York & Lancaster Edition - site no longer exists

For a complete calendar of South Carolina festivals and events, visit http://www.sciway.net/calendar.html. Here are just a few of January and early February's highlights:

Republican Presidential Debate - Myrtle Beach Convention Center - Jan 10

Greenwood Music Festival - chamber opera and classical music - Jan 17-20

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration - community service events, civil-rights speakers - USC campus - Columbia - Jan 18-21

South Carolina Republican Presidential Primary - Jan 19 - page no longer exists

Battle of Cowpens Anniversary Celebration - American Revolution battle reenactment - Jan 19-20

Winyah Bay Heritage Festival - Georgetown - celebration of local hunting & fishing traditions - Jan 19-20

Democratic Presidential Debate - Myrtle Beach - Palace Theater - Jan 21 - page no longer exists

Greenville News Run Downtown - Jan 26

South Carolina Democratic Presidential Primary - Jan 26 - page no longer exists

Lowcountry Oyster Festival - Mount Pleasant - Boone Hall Plantation - Jan 27

Hilton Head Island Gullah Celebration - Feb 1-29

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5. SC Picture of the Month

Our January Picture of the Month brings together night and day skies in this dramatic shot of Bluffton.

Night Music
—  Night Music  —

Lamar Nix generously shared his photograph with SCIway. It sums up nicely what an autumn sunset on the SC coast can look like. To see more of his photographs, check out Lamar's photo galleries.

Contribute your shot to the SC Picture Project or see our most recent photo submissions.

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6. First in the South – Ready or Not!

South Carolina is again hosting the "First in the South" primaries, and ready or not, here they come.

After months of bemoaning early media coverage of the upcoming presidential primaries, we know who "won" the debates and which candidates are ahead in that day's polls. But do we know what each candidate wants to do in their first months of office, or how they are preparing themselves to assume leadership of America?

If you find yourself scrambling for substantive information on the presidential hopefuls and would like to spend some time comparing candidates, visit our guide to the SC Presidential Primaries (guide no longer available since 2008 elections are over). Here you'll find all of the Democratic and Republican candidates that will be on the SC ballot this January, with links to their national website and their SC website if they have one.

For the first time, the State Election Commission will be managing the primaries in SC instead of leaving this to the parties. In many ways, this is sure to result in a more professional and organized voting process, with non-partisan oversight and poll managers trained by the counties.

However, because of tight funding, some counties are having to adjust their voting procedures. Polling places in 24 counties are being consolidated as a money-saving measure, so voters there should be prepared for the possibility of a different poll location.

To see if your polling location is the same, visit our newly updated SC Elections page and look up your precinct. You can also get a tutorial on the touchscreen voting machines, access statewide political commentary and blogs, find out how to vote absentee, and even find out which candidates your neighbors are giving money to! Remember that both primaries are on Saturdays – and may the best candidates win!

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7. So What's a Sandlapper Anyway?

In South Carolina, we call ourselves Sandlappers. What's more, we share this nickname with things we care about – elementary schools, sports teams, publishing houses, real estate companies, chamber choirs, and magazines. Ad infinitum.

Like Palmetto, Sandlapper can be a pretty ubiquitous term in our state. But unlike Palmetto, which we know as our state tree and the focal point of our flag, the reference to Sandlapper is not so easily understood. (Hint: It isn't a bird – that's a sandpiper!)

In fact, the origin of this word is so troublesome we're willing to make a small wager. Ask the next person you see, anyone at all, "What's a Sandlapper?" Then see what they say. We suspect that no matter who you ask – teacher, doctor, lawyer, librarian – they won't know. (Of course, make sure you don't ask someone who reads this newsletter too!)

We can make this wager with some confidence because after weeks of exploration, we aren't exactly sure ourselves! However, with research we've been able to turn up some pretty good theories. Here are some of the highlights we've found so far ....
  • George Washington used the term sandlapper or sandhiller during his Goodwill Tour through South Carolina in 1791. We don't know which (he may have used both), and we don't know how (affectionately or otherwise). We do know Washington was dismayed by the extreme poverty he encountered as he made his way from Augusta to Lancaster, and he called the stretch between Columbia and Camden the "most miserable pine barren I ever saw, being quite a white sand, & very hilly." If we can find copies of such early records, they may shed light on the original meaning.

  • We also know that South Carolina's geography is well known for its sand – and not just along the sea. The red clay of the Sandhills region, which covers much of the Midlands, is interspersed with sand. The sand is left over from the days when, millions of years ago, the center of our state was actually its coast. The Upstate also has its fair share of "sandy" places – Sandy Springs (Anderson County), Sandy Flat (Greenville County), Sandy River (Chester County), and Sand Creek (Laurens County), just to name a few.

  • For decades, tens of thousands of South Carolinians suffered from a perplexing disease called pellagra. Many even died from it – about 1,500 in 1915 alone! The Spartanburg Pellagra Hospital was established in 1914 to study the disease, which was eventually discovered to be caused by a lack of niacin and protein. Pellagra caused what is known as the Four D's: Diarrhea, Dermatitis, Dementia, and Death. It also made people desperate to eat dirt – possibly earning them the moniker Sandlappers.

  • Our favorite story so far involves American soldiers at Fort Moultrie during the Revolutionary War. The fort's walls were made of palmetto logs packed with sand. We've heard that when the British fired cannonballs into the walls, sand would spray out and stick to the soldiers' lips, which were moist. This may well be the original source of our unique sobriquet.
These theories are interesting, but something is still missing. We have asked librarians and historians across the state, and now we are asking you. Does anyone out there have a missing piece to this puzzle? We have found SCIWAY's readers to be extremely helpful in the past, and we hope that together we can solve this mystery. Send your ideas to service@sciway.net, and stay tuned for the next installment of SCIWAY News!

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© 2008 SCIway.net, LLC. "SCIWAY News"™ is written by the team at SCIWAY – with a lot of help from people throughout South Carolina. ISSN: 1527-3903.

Our mailing address is PO Box 13318, James Island, South Carolina 29422.

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SCIway, pronounced "sky-way," is an acronym for South Carolina Information Highway.


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