Jim Newsome was spending his weeks commuting from Georgia to New Jersey as head of global shipping line Hapag-Lloyd's U.S. division when a friend gave him a tip about a potential job opportunity.The S.C. State Ports Authority, the agency that runs the Port of Charleston, had parted with its executive director on terms that were less than amicable just weeks into 2009 and in the depths of a national recession.In the former director's final year, the authority had seen its cargo levels drop 19 percent, revenues had plunged 17.5 percent and the agency was about to lose its biggest customer — container shipping giant Maersk Line — which accounted for roughly 20 percent of the port's annual cargo volumes.The SPA and Charleston's port were on the ropes. It was a challenge Newsome couldn't resist."I've always done weird stuff in my career," Newsome said this month as he reflected on his past decade at the authority's helm. "I have always wittingly or unwittingly gone into … [Read more...] about Newsome’s decade as SC ports CEO has revived Charleston’s maritime industry
An influential Republican donor who spent much of last year arguing for a sea wall in Charleston hasn't stopped there. Jay Faison, a Charlotte entrepreneur, has continued to play a hands-on role in trying to fix flooding in Charleston, even though many people working on that issue say they hadn't seen him since last year.An advocacy group he founded is paying for almost half of the city's signature flooding study known as the Dutch Dialogues, and emails show Faison communicated directly with study leaders about that funding. He's part of a statewide commission on flooding, as well.Some think Faison is trying to reclaim the issue of climate change, and its impacts, such as flooding, for the GOP. Faison is a lifelong member of the Republican Party and has donated both personally and through political action groups to support vulnerable Republicans who also back clean energy initiatives. Faison said he's "been painted by the left as a guy who cares about Republicans and not … [Read more...] about Charleston’s biggest Dutch Dialogues funder is a GOP climate advocate
When I got married in my hometown of Charleston, I quickly identified the song for my walk down the aisle. Though it was an autumn wedding, that song would be “Summertime,” the Charleston-sprung favorite that George Gershwin and DuBose Heyward wrote for “Porgy and Bess.” It had comforted me on many a chilly night while living in New York City.At our outdoor wedding, jazz trumpeter Charlton Singleton delivered it in a gorgeous, striking solo as I walked down the aisle. Standing before the afternoon marsh, his brass gleamed and his eyes smiled my way as I strode toward my groom and our future.Thoughts of the song and that moment are fresh in my mind this week, with the opening of the Metropolitan Opera’s new “Porgy and Bess.” While the opera famously focuses on an African American community surrounding a Catfish Row in Charleston, it was written by three white men (Ira Gershwin is also credited). This fact has prompted the Met to program … [Read more...] about The winds are shifting in Charleston. Can we still enjoy Gershwin’s ‘Summertime’?
More than 60 authors will gather for the latest Black Ink book festival, which is slated for 2 p.m. Oct. 5 at at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain St., Charleston.Poet-activist Nikki Giovanni will be the keynote speaker. The festival, a program of the Charleston Friends of the Library and a part of the MOJA Arts Festival, celebrates African American writers.Admission is free, though advance registration is required for attending the keynote address. Reserve tickets are available at http://bit.ly/2Ku2DIY.Giovanni, a veteran of the civil rights movement, has written more than two dozen books, including volumes of poetry, illustrated children’s books and three collections of essays. She is a distinguished professor at Virginia Tech.She has received 21 honorary doctorates and a host of other awards, including the Governors’ Awards in the Arts from both Tennessee and Virginia."Rosa," her biography of civil rights activist Rosa Parks, won Caldecott Honors and the … [Read more...] about Black Ink book festival, featuring poet Nikki Giovanni, kicks off in Charleston on Oct. 5
Three Charleston hotel projects are looking to move forward this week, including an "apartment hotel" concept on King Street and a new Marriott flag planned for upper Meeting Street. A boutique property slated for the former Dixie Furniture building at 529 King is up for its second of three reviews from the city's Board of Architectural Review. The property recently changed hands for $11 million to a firm affiliated with Roost Apartment Hotels, a concept based out of Philadelphia that develops lodgings catered to extended-stay guests. The designs received some glowing feedback from the detail-oriented BAR the first time around. New York City-based Morris Adjmi Architects, the same firm that designed Roost’s Philadelphia lodgings, presented the plans along with Charleston-based LS3P Associates Ltd. Plans submitted for next week's review have a new addition: a rendering for a central courtyard area lined with decorative ironwork. … [Read more...] about 3 Charleston hotel projects look to move forward with design, demo requests