Monthly Archives: November 2010

Charleston Things to Do This Weekend (Nov 12-14)

Looks as though fall has arrived.  Here’s some of what’s happening the weekend  of Nov 12th.  Get out and enjoy the lowcountry. Mild weather is still with us.  Great time to hit the beaches for a morning walk and play the local golf courses.  How about take a stroll along the Battery or thru the market.  Be a tourist in your own home town. College and pro football are on tap at your favorite neighborhood sports bar.  Plenty of fall festivals in your local community or church. Get out and be social.

Start the weekend off with a relaxed wine tasting. Join Des at Crushed Fine Wine in the Shelmore Village Mt. Pleasant for a TGIF Friday night wine tasting from 5-7pm.  One of the best ways to kick off the weekend. 

The 5th annual Improv-a-Thon presented by the Have Nots takes place this Friday from 7-11:30pm at Theatre 99, 280 Meeting Street. More than 40 Theatre 99 regulars will perform in this non-stop laughfest.  For tickets or more details call 853-6687.

The Village Playhouse 730 Coleman Blvd. Mt. Pleasant present the classic stage production, ‘Oliver Twist’. Charles Dickens’ masterpiece like you’ve never seen it before. A dark and brilliant adaptation of a classic for new audiences. This is not your momma’s Oliver! Fagin, Bill Sikes, Nancy, the Artful Dodger. Join us for a theatrical event like none other as we experience the sinister and frightening world of Victorian England through the eyes of Dickens’ most beloved heroes- Oliver Twist. Showtimes Friday & Saturday nights at 8pm with Sunday matinee beginning at 3pm. For info call 856-1579.

Charleston’s newest underground dining experience: L.I.M.E. (Local.Impromptu.Moveable.Evening), will be hosting a dinner to benefit Lowcountry Orphan Relief on November 13, 2010. L.I.M.E.’s emphasizes the concepts of Slow Foods, Local, Sustainability, Community and Family. The chefs are either graduating students or alumni of The Culinary Institute of Charleston. Each month’s featured chefs chose the charity of their choice. Chef Laura Vein has chosen LOR as her benefiting charity for her November LIME. Each chef is usually paired with either a mixologist or a sommelier. Chef Vein will be featuring a 7 course French Inspired menu. The November LIME is an all-inclusive dinner, meaning your ticket price covers food, beverage, gratuity and tax (with the optional tax write off). Tickets are $125 per person and can be purchased online.

The Music Farm presents the Sequoyah on Friday night featuring All Get Out and Rocket Boys. Doors open at 8pm.  Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 day of show. Drop in the Farm on Saturday from 10am until 3pm for Lowcountry Artist Market featuring local artists selling their wares, including handmade jewelry, vintage clothing, and more.  Admission is free to the event. Call the Farm at 577-6989 for more info. Come out to the Pour House 1977 Maybank Hwy on Friday night for the CD release party of Deepwater Soul Society, with special guest Fireworks Show. Doors open at 9pm for a 10pm show time. Visit on Saturday for the CD release party and show from Joel T. Hamilton.  Special guests include Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent.  Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.  Call the  House at 571-4343 for details.

This weekend at Morgan Creek Grill on the IOP, enjoy the live music of Angela Easterling Duo on Friday night 6:30 – 10:30pm.  On Satuday come out for an oyster roast on the grounds and enjoy the music of the John Satterfield Band from 6:30 -10:30pm.  Plenty of good food & drink while relaxing on the intracoastal waterway.  For more info call 886-8133.  Every Tuesday sail the Sunset Cruise from our dock -6:30-8:30pm with live music from Rene Russell.  Call Aqua-Safari for reservations at 886-8133.

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain appears athe performing arts center 8pm on Friday. Chef and author of Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain is best known for traveling the globe on his stomach, daringly consuming some of the world’s most exotic dishes on his hit Travel Channel TV show, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Tickets are $45 and $35.  To purchase visit the coliseum box office or call 800-745-3000.

Comedian, television, and film actor Mike Epps will perform Saturday evening at 8pm at the peforming arts center in North Charleston.  Tickets are $40.50 and $48.50.  Visit the box office or call 800-745-3000 for details.

The Charleston Ballet Company present the beloved holiday story, ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas’.  The production opens Saturday with two shows at 11am and 1pm.  Additional shows are Sunday at 3pm and the following times next weekend. Tickets are $22 for adults and $12 for children.  For details call 723-7334.

Legendary rock n’ roll group the Doobie Brothers perform in concert on Sunday night at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center. The Doobies have been entertaining audiences since the mid 1970’s with classic rock hits such as ‘China Grove’ and ‘Jesus Is Just Alright’.  Concert is scheduled for 7pm start.  Tickets are $39.50.  To purchase visit the box office or call 800-745-3000.

Stop by Winestyles (next to Belks) in Mount Pleasant Towne Center on Friday night for a themed wine tasting event. The party happens between 5:30 – 7:30pm.  On Saturday’s make an afternoon of it and stop by for special wine tastings from 2 – 7:30pm. Call the shop at 388-8233 for more details.

East Cooper Habitat for Humanity, Inc. is hosting their Hard Hat Event which will include entertainment, martini bar, hors d’oeuvres, and live and silent auctions. The event will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 13, 2010, in the Atrium at Blackbaud Headquarters on Daniel Island. Tickets are $100 per person and can be purchased by contacting Christine at (843) 881-2600, ext. 201. Proceeds will be used to purchase land and building materials. East Cooper Habitat has built over 60 homes for working low-income families in the past 20 years. “Building Homes, Changing Lives”.

The Charleston’s Children Museum will host a ‘Mad Science’ get together on Saturday from 10am until noon.  Those attending will witness experiments and demonstrations having to do with sound.  Admission is free to museum members or with paid admission. For details call 722-2996.

SpongeBob Squarepants will make an appearance at the South Carolina Aquarium on Saturday from 10am – 4pm. Children can have their photo taken with SpongeBob. The first 1000 kids will receive a Starfish Silly Band. The aquarium is located at 360 Concord St. downtown Charleston.  For more details call 720-1990.

The Buccanneers of Charleston Southern University play host the Blue Hose of Presbyterian College in CSU’s annual Senior Day football game.  Kick off is 1:30pm at Buccanneer Field.

Remember favorite highschool football teams are back in action this weekend.  Get out and support your local schools.

The Rural Mission Organization will sponsor an oyster roast at Bowen’s Island Restaurant 1870 Bowen’s Island Rd. on Sunday from 3-6pm. Come out and enjoy oysters, food, beer, and live music.  Cost is $25 for adults in advance, $30 at the door. Children 12 and under are $5. Proceeds benefit the mission.  For info call 768-1720.

New to the box office this weekend include, ‘Morining Glory’. When hard-working TV producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) is fired from a local news program, her career begins to look as bleak as her hapless love life. Stumbling into a job at “Daybreak” (the last-place national morning news show), Becky decides to revitalize the show by bringing on legendary TV anchor Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford). Unfortunately, Pomeroy refuses to cover morning show staples like celebrity gossip, weather, fashion and crafts — let alone work with his new co-host, Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton), a former beauty queen and longtime morning show personality who is more than happy covering morning news! Rated PG-13. Also new, the action thriller ‘Unstoppable’. Denzel Washington and Star Trek’s Chris Pine star in this action thriller from director Tony Scott. The plot surrounds two locomotive operators who team up to stop a runaway train filled with explosives. Live Free or Die Hard’s Mark Bomback provides the script for the 20th Century Fox production, co-starring Rosario Dawson. Rated PG-13. Sci-fi fans might enjoy ‘Skyline’.  Strange lights descend on the city of Los Angeles, drawing people outside like moths to a flame where an extraterrestrial force threatens to swallow the entire human population off the face of the  Rated PG-13.

Whether it’s a movie, a play, a concert, or just a day in the park, get out and enjoy the great weather and all that the lowcountry has to offer

By Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer for Lowcountry Today

Pros and Cons of Hiring Independent Contractors

Benefits of Using Independent Contractors

There are several major advantages to using ICs rather than employees, with financial savings topping the list.

–You will probably save money. Even though most employers pay ICs more per hour than they would pay employees to do the same work, it usually ends up costing employers more to hire employees. When you hire an employee, you will have to pay a number of expenses that you don’t have to pay with ICs, including the cost of employer-provided benefits, office space and equipment. You will also have to make required payments and contributions on behalf of your employees, including: your share of the employees’ Social Security and Medicare taxes, which comes to 7.65% of employees’ total compensation; state unemployment compensation insurance; and workers’ compensation insurance.

All together, these payments can easily increase your payroll costs by 20% to 30%–or more.

–You have more flexibility in staffing projects. Working with ICs allows employers greater leeway in hiring and letting go of workers, which can be especially advantageous for employers with fluctuating workloads. You can hire an IC for a specific task or project, knowing that the worker will be gone when the job is finished. You won’t have to face the trauma, expense and potential legal trouble that often accompany firings and layoffs.

You may also enjoy greater efficiency when you use ICs. Because most ICs bring specialized expertise to the job, they can usually be productive immediately, which eliminates the time and cost of training. By using ICs, you can expand and contract your workforce as needed, without taking on unnecessary expenses.

–You reduce your exposure to lawsuits. Employees have a wide array of rights under state and federal law–and therefore a variety of legal claims they can potentially bring against their employers for violating those rights. Because ICs are considered independent businesspeople, they are not protected by many of these laws. Among the rights that are available to employees but not to ICs are:

–the right to receive at least the minimum wage and, for employees who qualify, overtime compensation at the rate of one-and-a-half times their regular hourly wage

–protection from discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, gender and so on

–the right to form a union, and

–the right to take time off to care for a sick family member or bond with a new child.

Employees may also be able to sue their employers for wrongful termination, in circumstances that vary from state to state. ICs cannot bring this type of lawsuit (although there may be restrictions on your right to terminate an IC relationship, depending on what the written IC agreement says).

Disadvantages of Using Independent Contractors

After reading about the possible benefits of hiring ICs, you may be thinking that you’ll never hire an employee again. But there are also some important drawbacks to using ICs and the significant risk that your classification decision may be questioned by government agencies.

–You have less control over your workers. Unlike employees, whom you can closely supervise and micromanage to your heart’s content, independent contractors enjoy a certain autonomy to decide how best to do the job for which you hired them. If you interfere too much in an IC’s work, you risk making the IC look like an employee–for whom you should be paying payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance premiums and more. If you want to exercise ultimate control over your workers, classify them as employees.

–Your workers will come and go. Many employers use ICs only as needed for relatively short-term projects. This means that workers will be constantly coming and going, which can be inconvenient and disruptive. And the quality of work you get from various ICs may be uneven. Employers who want to be able to depend on having the same workers available day after day would be better off hiring employees rather than ICs.

–Your right to fire an IC depends on your written agreement. You do not have an unrestricted right to fire an IC, as you might with your employees. Your right to terminate an IC’s services is limited by the terms of your written IC agreement. If you fire an IC in violation of the agreement, you could be liable for damages.

–You may be liable for injuries an IC suffers on the job. Employees who are injured on the job are generally covered by workers’ compensation insurance. In exchange for the benefits they receive for their injuries, these employees give up the right to sue their employer for damages. ICs are not covered by workers’ compensation, which means that they can sue you for damages if they are injured on the job because of your carelessness.

–You may not own copyright in works created by an IC. If you hire an IC to create a work that can be copyrighted–such as an article, book, or photograph–you might not be considered the owner of the work unless you use a written agreement transferring copyright ownership from the IC to you. In contrast, if an employee creates such a work, you will automatically own copyright of the work in most circumstances.

–You face a risk of government audits. State and federal agencies–particularly the IRS–want to see as many workers as possible classified as employees, not ICs. The reason for this preference is financial: The more workers classified as employees, the more tax and insurance money flows into government coffers and the harder it is for workers to underreport or hide their income from the tax man.

Any number of state and federal agencies might audit your business if it believes you have misclassified employees as ICs. At the federal level, you might face an audit from the IRS; the Department of Labor, which enforces federal minimum wage and hour laws; the National Labor Relations Board, which enforces employees’ rights to form a union; or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which enforces workplace safety laws.

At the state level, you could attract the attention of your state’s unemployment compensation or workers’ compensation agency if a worker you classified as an IC applies for benefits. You could also face an audit from your state’s tax agency.


Nearly One-Third of Employers Are Concerned About Top Talent Leaving Their Organizations, Finds New CareerBuilder Survey

Career Builders – As the recession eases and companies begin to add to strained staffs, employers are also taking action to retain existing top talent at their organizations. According to a new CareerBuilder survey, nearly one-third (32 percent) of employers are concerned about losing their high performing workers in the second quarter, while one-third (33 percent) of workers said it is likely they will start looking for a new job when the economy picks up. As a result, employers are turning to a variety of different retention strategies to hold onto those workers and their valuable intellectual capital. The survey was conducted between February 10 and March 2, 2010 among more than 2,700 employers and 4,800 workers.  Increased workloads, longer hours and fewer resources related to the recession may be contributing to higher job dissatisfaction. Looking at key factors that influence job satisfaction and company loyalty, workers reported the following:

Pay – Nearly one-third (32 percent) of workers said they are dissatisfied with their pay, up from 29 percent during the same period last year.
Work/life balance – Nearly one-quarter (22 percent) of workers said they are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their work/life balance, up from 20 percent last year.

Career progress – Twenty-seven percent of workers are dissatisfied with the career advancement opportunities provided by their current employers, up from 24 percent last year.
Of workers who have their sights set on making a career move, they shared the attributes they will be primarily looking for in a new employer in addition to competitive pay and benefits. Good career advancement opportunities (60 percent) and good work culture (57 percent) topped the list. These were followed by:

Company’s financial stability and growth potential – 52%
Training and learning opportunities – 47%
Less stressful work environment – 45%
Flexible work arrangements – 43%
Sense of ownership in their position, that they can make a difference – 42%
Camaraderie, more family-like work environment – 34%

“Many employers were forced to make unpopular, though necessary decisions during the recession in terms of adjustments in headcount, pay and overall strategy,” said Jason Ferrara, vice president of corporate marketing for CareerBuilder. “As the economy improves and resources are reinstated, companies are employing different ways to repair and enhance the employee experience and strengthen morale.”

Employers are implementing different measures to help hold onto top talent and reduce turnover. Offering more flexible work arrangements, investing more in training and promising future raises or promotions topped the list. More performance-based incentives such as trips and bonuses and providing a higher title without a higher salary also ranked in the top five.