Haven of Rest Serves Record 3,300 for Thanksgiving

The Haven of Rest provided a record of more than 3,300 meals to hungry folks across the county on Thursday, thanks to the donations of local churches and individuals. Working with volunteers and First Presbyterian Church, no one was turned away and hundreds of meals were served to shut ins. 

The Haven is now beginning preparations for the Christmas meal they provide each year, and they need hams. The ministry is in particular need of hams. To help call 226-6193 or drop off donations of hams at the Haven at 214 West Orr Street, Anderson.


Saying Grace Transforms Our Celebration

By Anne Lamott

No matter how you say it, grace can transform an ordinary meal into a celebration—of family, love, and gratitude.

We didn’t say grace at our house when I was growing up because my parents were atheists. I knew even as a little girl that everyone at every table needed blessing and encouragement, but my family didn’t ask for it. Instead, my parents raised glasses of wine to the chef: Cheers. Dig in. But I had a terrible secret, which was that I believed in God, a divine presence who heard me when I prayed, who stayed close to me in the dark. So at 6 years old I began to infiltrate religious families like a spy—Mata Hari in plaid sneakers.

One of my best friends was a Catholic girl. Her boisterous family bowed its collective head and said, “Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts. …” I was so hungry for these words; it was like a cool breeze, a polite thank-you note to God, the silky magnetic energy of gratitude. I still love that line.

I believed that if your family said grace, it meant you were a happy family, all evidence to the contrary. But I saw at certain tables that an improvised grace could cause friction or discomfort. My friend Mark reports that at his big southern childhood Thanksgivings, someone always managed to say something that made poor Granny feel half dead. “It would be along the lines of ‘And Lord, we are just glad you have seen fit to keep Mama with us for one more year.’ We would all strain to see Granny giving him the fisheye.”

I noticed some families shortened the pro forma blessing so they could get right to the meal. If there were more males than females, it was a boy chant, said as one word: “GodisgreatGodisgoodletusthankHimforourfoodAmen.” I also noticed that grace usually wasn’t said if the kids were eating in front of the TV, as if God refused to listen over the sound of it.

And we’ve all been held hostage by grace sayers who use the opportunity to work the room, like the Church Lady. But more often, people simply say thank you—we understand how far short we must fall, how selfish we can be, how self-righteous, what brats. And yet God has given us this marvelous meal.

It turns out that my two brothers and I all grew up to be middle-aged believers. I’ve been a member of the same Presbyterian church for 27 years. My older brother became a born-again Christian—but don’t ask him to give the blessing, as it can last forever. I adore him, but your food will grow cold. My younger brother is an unconfirmed but freelance Catholic.

So now someone at our holiday tables always ends up saying grace. I think we’re in it for the pause, the quiet thanks for love and for our blessings, before the shoveling begins. For a minute, our stations are tuned to a broader, richer radius. We’re acknowledging that this food didn’t just magically appear: Someone grew it, ground it, bought it, baked it; wow.

We say thank you for the miracle that we have stuck together all these years, in spite of it all; that we have each other’s backs, and hilarious companionship. We say thank you for the plentiful and outrageous food: Kathy’s lox, Robby’s bûche de Noël. We pray to be mindful of the needs of others. We savor these moments out of time, when we are conscious of love’s presence, of Someone’s great abiding generosity to our dear and motley family, these holy moments of gratitude. And that is grace.

Anne Lamott’s book, 
Help, Thanks, Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, is in stores now.


Calif. Organic Garden Company Coming to Anderson

Move Creates 27 New Jobs

A family business that specializes in the manufacturing of garden products, premium potting soils and both natural and organic dry and liquid fertilizers is establishing operations in Anderson County. FoxFarm Soil and Fertilizer Company <http://foxfarmfertilizer.com/> is investing $6.9 million to locate in Pendleton., creating an expected 27 new jobs.

Founded in 1985 and headquartered in Samoa, Calif., FoxFarm is a nationally-recognized company dedicated to both the production of high-quality gardening products and protection of the environment. Available for purchase in local retail establishments in every state, including 14 locations in South Carolina. 

Located at, 1001 Lebanon Road in Pendleton, S.C., the establishment of FoxFarm’s Anderson County operations will include the construction of a 60,000 square-foot facility to house the company’s manufacturing and packaging operations. After several years, FoxFarm anticipates further expansion to its Anderson County operations.

In an effort to strengthen community relationships, FoxFarm is reaching out to local colleges and universities to offer industry-related internship programs to viable candidates. Currency can take on many forms and FoxFarm will participate in specialized education for the community. Furthermore, FoxFarm pledges to actively participate in local shelter and food programs by providing supply for the local food banks and outreach programs through the company’s trail gardens, while promoting healthy living through naturally grown products.

Hiring for the new positions is expected to take place in January 2015. Those interested in joining the FoxFarm team may visit the company’s online career page: <http://foxfarmfertilizer.com/index.php/frontpage/about-us-careers.html> to apply. For more information on FoxFarm Soil and Fertilizer Company, visit www.foxfarmfertilizer.com<http://www.foxfarmfertilizer.com>.


•           FoxFarm Soil and Fertilizer Company is establishing a manufacturing facility in Anderson County.

•           $6.9 million investment creating at least 27 new jobs.

•           The 60,000-square-foot facility is anticipated to open in late fall of 2015.

•           FoxFarm Soil’s Anderson County facility will be located at 1001 Lebanon Road Pendleton, SC 29621

•           Those interested in joining the FoxFarm team may visit the company’s online career page to apply.

FoxFarm Soil & Fertilizer Company® is passionate about producing the finest Hand Crafted Natural and Organic soil mixes, fertilizers, and Micro-Brewed liquid plant foods. Using FoxFarm is a conscious choice to improve the environmental health of the garden, without chemicals and animal waste. It’s good for the soil, your family and for the generations to come. As a nationally recognized family-owned company, FoxFarm takes great pride in the reputation it has built over the last 30 years for uncompromising quality and supreme customer service. For more information on FoxFarm Soil and Fertilizer Company, visit www.foxfarmfertilizer.com<http://www.foxfarmfertilizer.com> to learn more.


Michelin Chief Calls S.C. Roads a "Disgrace"

The chairman of Michelin North America believes South Carolina's roads are a "disgrace" and is asking state leaders to find a way to fix them.

Pete Selleck, president and chairman of the Greenville-based Michelin North America, spoke of his observations last week during his company's recruiting trip to the University of South Carolina's Darla Moore School of Business.

In response to a question from a student about challenges faced by the company, Selleck said, "The roads in this state are a disgrace."

He went on to say that if the state's leaders fail to solve the projected $42 billion funding shortfall for long-term infrastructure needs, "then Michelin is going to have to look about further expansion in this state."

A Michelin spokeswoman said today the company is not threatening to leave the state and Selleck's remarks were aimed at the state's long-term situation.

"It's easy for anyone to see the condition of the roads in our state," Selleck said in a statement to GreenvilleOnline.com. "We're asking our government leaders to work together to reach a long-term solution to this problem."

Lawmakers have said the state's crumbling infrastructure will be a top priority when they return to work in January. The Senate set infrastructure funding as a priority for debate earlier this year but never took up the road funding legislation.

Full Story Here


Raw Milk Bill to be Pushed in S.C. 

The South Carolina Legislature will have only one more Republican vote next year than it had this year, but Delegate Kelli Sobonya (R-Cabell) thinks her colleagues may be more “liberty minded” in 2015. During the 2014 session, Sobonya sponsored two bills to promote raw milk sales in South Carolina, but both measures were killed in committee.

When the legislature convenes in Charleston in January, Sobonya will be back with her bills, one to permit the commercial sale of unpasteurized milk, and the other to allow raw milk to be acquired through herd shares. She won’t be alone.

Ernie Fazenbaker, owner of Windy Ridge Dairy in Independence, is looking to Sobonya and South Carolina State Sen. Daniel Hall (R-Wyoming) to push raw milk during the coming session. Hall introduced measures in the Senate that were similar to those backed by Sobonya in the House. Hall’s bills also died in committee.

Hall will chair the SC Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Committee come January, but he’ll need support from Sen. Ryan Ferns, who will chair the Health and Human Services Committee, if raw milk legislation is going to get a SC Senate floor vote. Hall, who will also be majority whip, predicts that Fern will give raw milk “a fair shot.”

Sobonya says that raw milk is part of “food freedom” and that all food comes “with a risk.” She points to raw oysters, sushi, rare steaks, and other foods people enjoy, but that come with a certain amount of danger.

Fazenbaker says he is only seeking to sell raw milk from his 35 dairy cows to his friends and neighbors. Some returning South Carolina lawmakers say they will oppose retail sales of raw milk in the state, but might be open to herd or cow share schemes to allow people who really want raw milk a way of obtaining it.

As in other states, the pasteurized dairy industry is expected to continue to oppose bills to liberalize raw-milk sales in South Carolina.

The GOP next year will have a 28-18 edge in the South Carolina Senate and a 78-46 margin in the House.


G News: S.C. Airline Collisions Rare

Chances of lightning striking someone is nearly 100 times more likely than the potential for an airplane collision at a South Carolina airport, federal records show.

An analysis by The Greenville News of 6.4 million flights to and from the state's eight airports since 2002 shows no runway collisions.

However, records show two instances at Charleston International Airport of collisions narrowly avoided, one five years ago and another seven year earlier.

Neither situation involved a commercial aircraft.

Odds of lightning striking someone in their lifetime are one in 12,000.

Statewide, 120 of 122 runway incursions reported to the FAA since January 1, 2002, involved anyone in harm's way. A runway incursion occurs when a person, aircraft or other vehicle is an area without permission where a plan could land possibly land.

Greenville's three airports have a combined 12 runway incursions since 2002 – Greenville-Spartanburg International with six, Donaldson Center with five and Greenville Downtown with one.


Brine Your Turkey for Best Thanksgiving Ever

Also, always start cooking the bird, breast-side down! (see below)

Editor's Note: I tried this a couple of years ago and it resulted in the most amazing turkey ever. Even the leftovers had far more flavor. It's a little time consuming, but not very difficult. Cooking the turkey breast-side down for most of the time is important, so do not overlook this instruction.


For the turkey:

  • 10 pints 11 fluid ounces (6 liters) water
  • 4 1/4-ounces (125 grams) table salt
  • 3 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons allspice berries
  • 4 star anise
  • 2 tablespoons white mustard seeds
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) caster sugar
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1 (3-inch) piece ginger, cut into 6 slices
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons clear honey
  • Handful fresh parsley leaves, optional (only if you've got some parsley hanging around)
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 1 (9 to 11 1/4-pound) (4 to 5-kg) turkey

For the basting glaze:

  • 2 3/4 ounces (75 grams) butter
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup

For the turkey:


Place the water into your largest cooking pot or bucket/plastic bin and add all the turkey ingredients, stirring to dissolve the salt, sugar, syrup and honey. (Squeeze the juice of the orange quarters into the brine before you chuck in the pieces.)

Untie and remove any string or trussing attached to the turkey, shake it free and add it to the liquid. Add more water if the turkey is not completely submerged. Keep the mixture in a cold place, at or below 40 degrees, even outside overnight or for up 1 or 2 days before you cook it, remembering to take it out of its liquid (and wiping it dry with kitchen-towel) a good 40 or 50 minutes before it has to go into the oven. Turkeys - indeed this is the case for all meat - should be at room temperature before being put in the preheated oven. If you're at all concerned - the cold water in the brine will really chill this bird - then just cook the turkey for longer than its actual weight requires.

For the basting glaze:

Place the butter and syrup into a saucepan and cook over a low heat, while stirring, until the ingredients have melted and combined. 

Brush the turkey with the glaze before roasting, and baste periodically throughout the roasting time.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Put the turkey, breast-side down, in the pan.

Cook the turkey for 30 minutes at this relatively high temperature, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees F and continue cooking, turning the turkey breast-side up and the oven back up to 425 degrees F for the final 15 minutes or so if you want to give a browning boost to the skin. For a 9 to 11-pound turkey, allow 2 1/2 to 3-hours in total. But remember that ovens vary enormously, so just check by piercing the flesh between leg and body with a small sharp knife: when the juices run clear, the turkey is cooked.

Just as it's crucial to let the turkey come to room temperature before it goes in to the oven, so it's important to let it stand out of the oven for a good 20 minutes before you actually carve it.


Hitt to Remain Haley's Commerce Chief

Robert M. "Bobby" Hitt III will continue as South Carolina's Secretary of Commerce into Gov. Nikki Haley's second term, Hitt and the Governor's Office confirmed.

Haley and Hitt have a "tremendous partnership," announcing more than 57,000 jobs and $14 billion in corporate investment over the past four years, said Haley spokesman Doug Mayer.

"The governor looks forward to continuing this work with Secretary Hitt," Mayer said.

Hitt said he'd spoken with Haley about continuing as the state's top jobs recruiter, next to the governor herself, but "more importantly, I've spoken with my wife."

The former BMW executive and newspaper editor is well known in the Upstate's business community and economic development circles.

Earlier this month, he received the third-annual Wellington Collaboration Award from Ten at the Top, the public/private regional planning organization with headquarters in Greenville.

Dean Hybl, Ten at the Top's executive director, said the award is given to recognize efforts at fostering collaboration and Hitt was a "natural fit."

Hitt, 64, is a Charleston native and graduate of the University of South Carolina.

He worked for 17 years as a newspaper journalist in Columbia and was managing editor of The State newspaper before joining the Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough law firm as director of planning and development.

Later, he spent about 18 years in the Upstate as manager of corporate affairs at BMW Manufacturing Co. in Greer.

His civic roles during that time included chairman of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance and board member for the Upstate SC Alliance, the regional economic development organization based in Greenville.

Hitt became Secretary of Commerce in January 2011 at the start of Haley's first four-year term.


S.C. Takes over Health Cooperative after Investigation

Some 4,600 employees of small businesses around South Carolina will be responsible for their own medical bills now that the state Department of Insurance has taken over their insurer, saying it didn't have the funds to pay claims.

"This is a serious situation," DOI Director Ray Farmer told The Greenville News. "We have seized the company and its bank accounts."

The insurer, the South Carolina Health Cooperative, Inc., is a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) headquartered in Seneca that offers benefits to about 530 small businesses from landscaping firms to convenience stores with fewer than 50 employees each, Farmer said.

In a MEWA, a group of employers pool contributions in a self-funded health plan for employees and bear the claims liabilities, according to the department. The SCHC is the only MEWA licensed in the state.

The co-op was the brainchild of Cooper Littlejohn, a young Georgia Tech business student, and enabled by legislation passed in 2008.

The idea was that businesses with two to 50 employees could act as one entity to purchase coverage at lower rates than they could get individually. By increasing the size of the pool, the risk can be spread among many employees, thereby reducing costs.

SCHC representatives couldn't be reached for comment.

Full Story Here


Table Talk for Thanksgiving (after Giving Thanks)

Thanksgiving is remembered for feasts, family gatherings and ... awkward conversations.

You know what I'm talking about. You're back with relatives you haven't seen in years, and the conversation takes a frightening turn toward politics, religion or, worse, your love life.

You need help. You have to switch to a newsy but neutral topic. Here's a handy list of conversation changers you can use at any time.

Just start each sentence with, "Hey, did you know that ... " and here are the safe categories:

The Road

- AAA, the auto club, predicts 46.3 million people will be driving at least 50 miles for the Thanksgiving weekend. That's the most for the holiday since 2007 and up 4.2 percent from last year.

- Gasoline prices are a bargain. The average gallon is hovering around $2.85, compared with $3.28 last year, AAA says.

- If you need to buy, say, 50 gallons of gas for your round trip, you'll be able to save $21.50 at the pump compared with last year.

The Sky

- This is the busiest air-travel time of the year. Airlines for America, the airline trade group, says 24.6 million passengers will fly over the Thanksgiving holiday period.

- The busiest day will be Sunday, Nov. 30. Other peaks come on Wednesday, Nov. 26, and Monday, Dec. 1.

- The airline group says air travel will be up 1.5 percent, but the number of passengers remains about 6 percent below the pre-recession level.

- The latest consumer price index showed airfares rose 2.4 percent just in October.

The Food

- The American Farm Bureau Federation's annual price survey found the average cost of this year's Thanksgiving meal for 10 is $49.41, a 37-cent increase from last year.

- Don't blame the turkey for the slight uptick. The AFBF says the typical 16-pound turkey will cost $21.65. That's an 11-cent decrease from last year.

- In fact, cranberries, stuffing and pie shells are down in price. The slight rise in total meal cost can be blamed on higher prices for sweet potatoes, milk and whipping cream.

The Shopping

- Since the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924, most Americans have regarded the following day as the "official" start of the holiday shopping season.

- Struggling to boost sales in the wake of the Great Recession, many retailers began opening on Thanksgiving Day. But some customers prefer shopping at stores that allow workers to stay home on the holiday.

- So there's a split. Wal-Mart, Kmart, Sears and Target — even Macy's — are opening on Thanksgiving. But Costco, Nordstrom, Crate & Barrel and many others will be closed.

- The National Retail Federation predicts a 4.1 percent increase in holiday sales.

There you have it — four categories of Thanksgiving factoids that can help steer any strained conversations back to a safe zone. Feel free to give thanks for them.


Comedian Kevin Hart Coming to Clemson

Comedian Kevin Hart will perform at Littlejohn Coliseum Saturday, March 28, 2015, TigerPaw Productions announced. Clemson University was selected as a part of Hart’s “WHAT NOW” national tour.

Tickets will be available to the public at 10 a.m. Dec. 5 at the Hendrix Student Center Box Office, Littlejohn Coliseum Box Office and online at ticketmaster.com.

Hart will be seen next in the Chris Rock-directed film “Top Five” alongside Adam Sandler, Jerry Seinfeld and Whoopi Goldberg; and has already completed production on three other comedies slated for 2015: Screen Gem’s “The Wedding Ringer,” “Get Hard” opposite Will Farrell and “Ride Along 2,” the sequel to this year’s $100 million-dollar blockbuster hit.  Hart starred earlier this year in “About Last Night,” a re-make of the iconic 1986 film, which opened to huge box-office success as well.

Hart is a force in television too, executive producing the show “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” which premiered its third season in September. He also released a feature version of his comedy show “Let Me Explain.” With his passion for stand-up and entertainment, Hart continues to tour the country to sold-out audiences.


Foundation Gives $1 M to Clemson Lifelong Learning Institute

The Bernard Osher Foundation has awarded a $1 million gift to Clemson University’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a continuing education and membership program for older adults.

The gift – a $950,000 endowment gift and $50,000 in operating funds – is the foundation’s second $1 million gift to OLLI at Clemson and a recognition of the institute’s contributions to the local community, said OLLI Director Julie Vidotto.

OLLI at Clemson offers lectures, courses, excursions and social events to adults ages 50 and older, as well as access to Clemson events and resources. The institute holds approximately 215 classes each year in interest areas including technology, philosophy, history, fine arts, culture, travel, nature and fitness, among others.


News: S.C. In Early Stages of Drought

State officials say all of South Carolina is now in the early stages of drought.

The state Drought Response Committee voted Thursday to place all 46 counties in South Carolina in an incipient drought. The lowest stage of drought means conditions are getting unusually dry.

Officials say this fall hasn't seen a lot of rain, and lake levels have been dropping. There is rain forecast statewide for the end of the weekend, but State Climatologist Hope Mizzell says the state will need above normal rainfall over the winter to get out of the drought.

The United States Drought Monitor map also lists nearly the entire state except for Charleston, Berkeley and Oconee counties as abnormally dry. A small area near the Savannah River Site is listed in moderate drought.