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SCIWAY News is a free, concise electronic newsletter that will keep you informed about what's happening on South Carolina's Information Highway. It is usually published once a month and spotlights new South Carolina websites and other noteworthy state online resources and services. If you find SCIWAY News useful, please forward this issue to others who are interested in South Carolina. But if you don't want to receive any more issues, just send the word "unsubscribe" to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two Upstate Treasures
Much of this issue of SCIWAY News was written at Table Rock State Park. Table Rock is located northwest of Greenville in Pickens County, just a few miles from the North Carolina border--and it has long been one of my favorite places in South Carolina. The park has two lakes, 14 cabins, 100 campsites, a miniature golf course, and a restaurant. But what makes it so special are the 13 miles of forest trails that wind their way, sometimes beside streams and waterfalls, to the top of Table Rock and Pinnacle mountains, two of our state's highest peaks. In May the air is reasonably cool ... the forest is alive with bright colors ... and at least until the weekend, the trails are nearly deserted. It's like having your own private wilderness.
For more information about Table Rock and South Carolina's other 47 state parks, see http://www.southcarolinaparks.com. This guide features a picture of Table Rock Mountain on its home page.
However, the high point of this visit to the Upstate was a raft trip down the "Wild and Scenic" Chattooga River with Wildwater Ltd. (http://www.wildwaterrafting.com). It was the first time I've been whitewater rafting, and it turned out to be one of the most beautiful and interesting days of my life. Look for a fall-by-fall description, with pictures, in the July issue of SCIWAY News.
In the meantime, if you want to cool off this summer and have a great time while you're doing it, contact Wildwater. They are located in Long Creek (western Oconee County) ... they are the only Chattooga River "outfitter" headquartered in South Carolina ... and most importantly, they know what they're doing and they do it well.
Read SCIWAY News on the Web
This month's issue of SCIWAY News is being published on the Web the same day it's being emailed. The Web version (as well as all back issues of SCIWAY News) can be found at http://www.sciway.net/sn. It is easier to navigate and all of its links should be clickable, regardless of whose browser you're using.
Thanks to John Warner, president of Greenville's Capital Insights
New and Notable South Carolina Web Sites
Companion Healthcare Introduces New Web Resource
Companion HealthCare, a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina, is our state's leading health maintenance organization (HMO). To help its members and make it easier for other South Carolinians to learn about its services, Companion HealthCare has recently launched a new Web site:
This site provides LOTS of useful, easy-to-understand information, including information about Companion HealthCare's benefits and performance. But if you're already a member, I think you'll appreciate the "Customer Service" section most. It includes everything you need to know to contact Companion HealthCare by telephone, email, or postal mail ... an up-to-date, searchable directory of participating health care providers ... and a collection of commonly used forms you can easily print with the help of Adobe's free, downloadable Acrobat Reader.
If you're not a member of Companion HealthCare, I think you'll be impressed by the page that describes its award winning "Great Expectations for health" programs. These personalized programs help members make lifestyle changes that may improve their health. You can learn more about them by clicking "Products & Services" on Companion HealthCare's home page:
SCIway Poll: South Carolina Fast Facts
Judging from the questions we receive via email and Ask SCIway, there's a real need for an online source where people can find quick answers to some basic factual questions about South Carolina. So we've decided to develop a new SCIway page called "Fast Facts." This page will have a prominent link on SCIWAY's home page (http://www.sciway.net).
You can help design Fast Facts by sending us one or more factual questions about South Carolina that you would like to know the answer to ... or alternately, the answer to a question you think should be included in Fast Facts. Either way, please mail your response to email@example.com. And thanks for your help!
Seven Nations to Rock Midlands, July 3-4
Imagine a band. A rock band. The essentials, of course: bass, drums, lead guitar. But add a bagpiper or two ... and a step-dancing fiddler who has more energy than the Lord ought to allow. Then mix in some soul-tugging music that ranges from the can't-sit-down excitement of Clumsy Lover to an entrancing, haunting blend of Scotland the Brave and Dixie.
Now you have a taste of Seven Nations, an extraordinary Celtic rock group.
I first heard Seven Nations one Charleston Saturday night about three months ago (see http://www.sciway.net/reviews/7n3-20-99.html). When they're not on the road, the band lives in Florida, but they have strong South Carolina ties. Seven Nations rehearsed their three studio albums near Sumter (in a barn owned by the lead singer's dad), and every February they play a "Homecoming" concert in Sumter. Last November they also played two concerts at the Newberry Opera House (http://www.newberryoperahouse.com), which were filmed by SC ETV and televised throughout South Carolina this spring.
Happily, Seven Nations is returning to the Palmetto State this Fourth of July weekend. They will be playing in Columbia Saturday night, July 3, and at Shaw Air Force Base near Sumter Sunday night, July 4. Both concerts start about 7:00 pm ... both are open to the public ... and both are free. Hard to beat!
The Columbia concert will be held in Findlay Park, which is located in downtown Columbia. It's being sponsored by the Columbia Action Council (http://www.columbiaactioncouncil.net/ - site no longer exists) as part of its popular Summer Concert Series. Food and drinks will be available for purchase, and you can also bring coolers. However, glass containers, pets, grills, and radios are not allowed in the park during concerts.
The Sumter 7N concert is part of Shaw Air Force Base's biennial "Jammin' July 4th" celebration, which will begin at 5:00 pm. The opening band is Brandy, a Top 40 group ... and there will be a fireworks display after Seven Nations' performance. Shaw Air Force Base is located about 10 miles west of Sumter (toward Columbia) on US 378/76.
I know there's a lot going on this Fourth of July weekend, but I can promise you that Seven Nations' music is special ... like nothing you've ever heard. It takes a lot to get me away from the ocean in mid-summer, but this year I'm going to spend the first weekend in July in the Midlands, enjoying 7N.
Two More SC Libraries Add Web-based Catalogs
Both the South Carolina State Library in Columbia and the Dorchester County Library have new Web-based catalogs. This brings the total number of state Web-based catalogs to 28, all of which you can find on this SCIway library directory: http://www.sciway.net/lib/counties.html
Searching for Information about South Carolina's Governors
This is a busy summer at SCIway. In addition to the South Carolina Indians project described in last month's issue of SCIWAY News (http://www.sciway.net/sn/sn20.html), Billy Nation, a graduate student in USC's College of Library and Information Science, is developing 80+ new pages about our state's governors. If you know of any Web resources, books, articles, documents, pictures, drawings, or other information related to South Carolina's governors, please let us know about them by writing Billy at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are especially interested in pictures and portraits that are free of copyright restrictions.
Surprise of the Month: South Carolina Presidents
One of the most interesting things I've learned from Billy's project is that South Carolina's first two elected chief executives–John Rutledge and Rawlins Lowndes–were actually called "presidents." They served from 1776 until 1779. John Rutledge was re-elected under a new constitution in 1779, and this time he was called "governor."
Another surprise, at least for me: All 46 South Carolina presidents and governors "elected" between 1776 and 1865 were actually chosen by a secret vote of the state legislature. Ordinary citizens were not allowed to vote for South Carolina governors until after the Civil War.
Throughout this period, most of our governors were elected for two-year terms. It was not until the 1880s that South Carolina governors were regularly elected for four-year terms.
Upcoming Festivals and Events
For the latest information on upcoming South Carolina events, please see http://www.sciway.net/calendar.html.
Will Pendleton: State Employee of the Month
While we were at Table Rock, my daughter Julia needed to email a file to one of her professors. Since the park cabins do not have telephones, we went to the new park office to ask if we could use a telephone line to make a toll-free connection to an Internet service provider. Even though it was close to closing time, the lady at the counter cheerfully allowed Julia to plug her laptop into a nearby telephone jack. But after many attempts, we were unable to dial out.
Just as we were about to give up, Will Pendleton, Table Rock's assistant superintendent, walked in and explained that the problem we were experiencing was caused by a feature of the office's new telephone system. But he offered to let us use his home Internet connection if we were willing to wait until he finished his work.
A half hour or so later Julia's file was on its way to Michigan, and I was sitting in Will's kitchen asking him questions about whitewater rivers.
Will Pendleton has worked for the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for six years, and he's in his second year at Table Rock. We appreciate his help and hospitality. No one could ask for more.
SCIway Poll Reminder
Please take a minute to tell us what you think SCIWAY's new South Carolina "Fast Facts" page should include. Send your email response to email@example.com. The more people we hear from, the more useful this service will be. Thanks!
Copyright © 1999 SCIway, LLC. SCIWAY News is written by Rod Welch of James Island, South Carolina–with a lot of help from people throughout South Carolina. Circulation: 23,500+
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