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This issue of SCIWAY News is sponsored by the Online Gallery of John Carroll Doyle, Charleston artist. Poster prints, limited edition prints, and original oil paintings can be viewed and purchased though the Gallery's Web site: http://www.johncdoyle.com.
In This Issue
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 email@example.com.
Shop on the Internet ... at South Carolina Stores
In February of this year, we announced a new SCIway service called buysouthcarolina.com (http://www.sciway.net/shop/). It features South Carolina businesses that have websites where you can make online purchases with a credit card ... or obtain complete pricing and ordering information.
Buysouthcarolina.com started with 30 SC online businesses and now includes more than 100. Please take some time to visit the South Carolina merchants you'll find there. They offer distinctive products that you can't find in discount stores or at Amazon.com.
I know that shopping online is convenient. But when we buy from Amazon.com and its cousins, we send our money and our jobs straight to the Northeast and the West Coast. So as much as possible, Buy South Carolina!
If you own a South Carolina online business and are interested in joining buysouthcarolina.com, you can find complete information at http://www.sciway.net/join-us/.
New and Notable South Carolina Web Sites
New SCIway Advertisers
Monitoring South Carolina Legislation--Automagically
If you have an interest in keeping up with what's happening in the South Carolina General Assembly, you're going to like the new, free "legislative activity tracking service" being offered by Legislative Printing and Information Technology Resources (LPITR).
To subscribe to this service, go to http://scstatehouse.net/maintrk.htm - page no longer exists and use the subject search and simple subscription form to indicate what bills you want to track. You will then be automatically notified by email whenever an action is taken concerning "your" bills.
You can also ask to be notified when legislative meetings or agendas are changed.
There is no charge for this convenient, innovative service, and all you need to use it is an email address.
Reporting New SC Employees Can Now Be Done Online
One of the results of recent Federal welfare reforms is that South Carolina employers are now required to provide the name, address, and social security number of newly hired or rehired employees to the SC Department of Social Services' Child Support Enforcement Division (http://www.state.sc.us/dss/csed/).
This information will be used to ensure that parents who are supposed to pay child support do so–which will help children and taxpayers.
To make it easier for employers to meet this new requirement, the Child Support Enforcement Division has created a new Web site (http://scnewhire.com). It includes an online reporting form and complete instructions.
You can learn even more about South Carolina's New Hire Reporting Program by visiting http://www.scnewhire.com/.
Much Better Consumer Tips!
We received lots of mail concerning last month's tip on how to handle computer-dialed telephone solicitation calls (the ones that begin with a brief silence). Most writers suggested better approaches. Here are three of the best.
Carl Blum of Johns Island (Charleston County) writes: "We use a different tactic at our house. As soon as we know that it is a solicitation, we interrupt with our standard response: 'I'm sorry, we do not accept these types of calls.' Then we hang up. We don't stay on the line for their approval; we don't need it. And once we tell them that we do not accept theses types of calls, they are legally obligated not to call again, or face fines. We have found that the number of calls we receive has gone way down."
Neila Rosenkranz of Cheraw (Chesterfield County) has had a similar experience: "Telemarketing companies are now required to honor your request to 'remove your name from their calling list.' If you state it like this, they have to abide by your request. I have even had some callers verify my name and phone number and assure me that my name is being removed. I can also say that I have noticed a real decrease in calls."
Karen Harper of Aiken recommends a proactive strategy: "I wrote Telephone Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, PO Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014 and asked to be removed from telemarketing lists. It took a while for my request to go into effect, but now I can tell a big difference in the number of calls I receive. This does not affect local organizations that call, just national groups and the phone companies!"
Karen also explains how we can reduce paper junk mail: "Writing to Mail Preference Service, Direct Marketing Association, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008 will help cut down on some of the junk mail you receive. I don't think it's quite as effective as writing the Telephone Preference Service, but I don't get nearly as many credit card offers as I used to."
If you have some useful advice or consumer information that you would like to share with other South Carolinians, please send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Librarians Only
The Library of Congress recently assigned SCIWAY News the following International Standard Serial Number (ISSN): 1527-3903. If you find SCIWAY News useful, we would appreciate your adding it to your library's catalog (or encouraging your cataloger to add it). Thanks!
Upcoming Festivals and Events
For the latest information on upcoming South Carolina events, please see http://www.sciway.net/calendar.html.
SC Progress Report: Per Capita Personal Income, 1950-1998
Throughout our history, we South Carolinians have often become absorbed in emotional public issues that have little to do with our long-term well-being.
I would like to help change this ... because I think it's important that we focus instead on fundamental, enduring concerns such as our collective health and safety, jobs and income, the quality of our environment, and our ability to compete and prosper in the decades ahead.
To make it easier for all of us to see how we're doing, future issues of SCIWAY News will include a new section called the "South Carolina Progress Report." The heart of these small-dose reports will be simple charts or graphs that compare South Carolina with other states ... or different areas or groups within South Carolina.
If you would like to suggest subjects for future South Carolina Progress Reports or contribute data, please write email@example.com.
Surprise of the Month: The Poinsettia's Palmetto Connection
Like millions of people throughout the United States, I have long enjoyed the outburst of poinsettias we see every year at this time. But I only recently learned that this popular flower is named for a South Carolinian, Joel Roberts Poinsett.
The son of a French physician, Poinsett was born in Charleston in 1779. He was educated in Connecticut, London, and Edinburgh, after which he traveled for several years in Europe, Asia, and North America. Later he served in the US military and in South Carolina's General Assembly.
Poinsett was also an ardent amateur botanist and maintained several greenhouses on his Greenville plantations.
In 1825 President James Madison appointed Poinsett as the first United States ambassador to Mexico. His primary mission was to buy Texas. He did not succeed, but in December of 1828, while exploring the Mexican countryside near Taxco, he "discovered" a tall, leggy bush with brilliant red blooms. He immediately sent cuttings of the plant to Greenville, where he began propagating them in his greenhouses and distributing them to friends and botanical gardens.
Today the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is the top-selling potted plant in the United States. It is grown primarily in California, Florida, and Texas.
Poinsett was not popular in Mexico, and in 1829 the Mexican government forced his recall. He returned to the United States and later served as Secretary of War under President Martin Van Buren.
Unlike many South Carolina planters, Poinsett was a strong Unionist who did not believe that states had the right to nullify Federal laws or secede. He died in December 1851, nine years before the South Carolina General Assembly passed the Ordinance of Secession.
If you would like to learn more about Joel Poinsett and poinsettias, I recommend these sites:
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. ISSN: 1527-3903. Direct circulation: 27,000+
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