vhansen

Chinese Lantern Festival Comes to Charleston

By vhansen

Silk alligator designed by Zigong Lantern Company to reflect Lowcountry wildlifeAmerica's oldest gardens will blossom this winter with an ancient Chinese tradition; a lantern festival. A glowing 20 foot dragon will greet visitors as Magnolia Plantations and Gardens opens at night for the first time since becoming a Charleston tourist attraction in 1870. The Zigong Lantern Group of China has been busy building more than 20 displays that will illuminate nine acres. "It's coming together piece by piece," says Public Relations and Marketing Manager Herb Frazier. "Every element and every stage of it reveals yet another level of beauty." Frazier has worked at Magnolia for nine...

Lowcountry Diver Remembers Recovering Apollo 8

By vhansen

young Bob Coggin in Navy uniformBob Coggin was just back from serving in Vietnam as a diver in an underwater demolition team when he got his next assignment from the Navy: train to possibly recover Apollo 8. The first manned spacecraft to leave the earth's atmosphere and orbit the moon would soon splash down in the Pacific Ocean. Coggin understood the importance of the astronauts' mission. But he didn't think much of his own role. "It was a big deal back then, but we couldn't understand why it was such a big deal," he says. "It was just another day kind of thing really." The day was December 27, 1968. Coggin's team was one...

Conservationists File a Lawsuit to Stop Seismic Blasting off our Coast

By vhansen

People gather at the federal courthouse in downtown Charleston to support a lawsuit to stop seismic air gun blasting on the coast.It may have been cold outside the federal courthouse in downtown Charleston Tuesday morning, but the crowd was fired up about a newly filed lawsuit to stop what’s believed to be a precursor to drilling off our coast; seismic airgun blasting. The lawsuit claims the National Marine Fisheries Service violated the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act when it issued five permits for such blasting a little more than a week ago. Congressman-elect Joe Cunningham ran on the issue during the midterm elections, promising he would not allow...

Congressman-Elect Joe Cunningham Clinches an Historic Win

By vhansen

Joe Cunningham addresses the press at the International Longshoremen's Hall on Morrison Drive in CharlestonAfter a nail biting night and an all too close early morning win, Congressman-Elect Joe Cunningham addressed the press Wednesday night in front of a small group of family and friends at a longshoremen’s union hall in Charleston. He spoke about a campaign that began at a kitchen table with no money, no staff and no idea how to run for election. But Cunningham said he decided to run to fight for a nation less divided for future generations. “I wanted to run a positive campaign,” said Cunningham. “We focused not on tearing our opponent down, but talking about the issues that affected folks at...

Raising Charleston's Historic Homes in Hopes of Saving Them

By vhansen

Contractor Gary Walters in front of 42 Rutledge AvenueHow do you raise a large, historic home? Better yet, how do you put it back down? Should such an old home be raised at all? All are tough questions in a city that until recently had never lifted one before. “There’s a lot of head scratching going on,” said long-time contractor Gary Walters. He’s been working on a massive home at 42 Rutledge Avenue in Charleston, S.C. since last fall. That’s when its owner, Jack Margolies, finally got approval from the city’s Board of Architectural Review to raise the 1859 structure. “We bought it right after Hurricane Hugo,” said Margolies. “The third floor...