Gills Creek Watershed Association Newsletter
December 4, 2013
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Gills Creek Watershed In The News
Friday, November 1, 2013 - The Columbia Star
Homeowners suffer from dam controversyBy Rosanna Winters Lomas
For the past two years, 14 families, most elderly and in financial strife living along Arcadia Wood Lake ( Coopers Pond), have been crippled by an emergency order instituted by Department of Health and Environmental Control ( DHEC) Bureau of Water to immediately empty their lake in an effort to prevent damage to life should there be a dam failure.
Read more here...
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - The State
Feds fining Columbia $1.5 million for pollutionBy SAMMY FRETWELL — firstname.lastname@example.org
After more than four years of investigation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to hit Columbia with $1.5 million in fines and cleanup costs for spilling sewage into rivers from the city’s aging wastewater treatment system.
Federal officials plan to assess $476,400 in fines against the city and require another $1 million to address flooding and cleanse parts of three major streams that flow into Columbia’s rivers: Rocky Branch, Gill’s Creek and Smith Branch, according to a proposed consent agreement posted on the city’s website.
Read more here...
Read the consent degree ordinance...
Spring 2013 - ArcUser Magazine
Story Maps in the ClassroomBy Sarah E. Battersby and Kevin C. Remington, University of South Carolina
Incorporating Esri's story maps into the geography undergraduate senior seminar at the University of South Carolina helped students communicate results from their semester-long projects. The authors discuss the successes they had and the challenges they faced to help other instructors recognize the possibilities and minimize the limitations of using story maps in their own classrooms.
For the fall 2012 semester, six groups of students were working on projects with three local agencies: the Gills Creek Watershed Association, Lexington County GIS, and Sustainable Midlands.
Read more here...
Sunday, Oct. 07, 2012 - The State - News - Local / Metro
PENNY SALES TAX
How Richland County’s local sales tax would address recreation, safetyBy DAWN HINSHAW - email@example.com
Nearly 14 years ago, construction began on the first leg of walking trails along Columbia’s wooded, largely hidden riverfront.
Since then, the Three Rivers Greenway has opened the river to businesses that rent inner tubes, created cachet for State Street coffee shops and attracted mansions with sunrise views.
Even before the county called for a sales tax referendum, the Gills Creek Watershed Association was working on a feasibility study for a greenway, funded with a $15,000 grant from the Richland County Conservation Commission. Two sections of the creek are listed in the sales tax plan.
Read more here...
Monday, Aug. 27, 2012 - The State - News - Local / Metro
Richland Co. devotes money to improve trails, drainage in Rosewood
$50,000 requested by neighborhood leaders to formalize trails, add signageBy DAWN HINSHAW - firstname.lastname@example.org
Richland County is working on a plan to improve trails through a wooded area in Rosewood where children play and couples walk shady footpaths.
The project at Owens Field Park, requested by neighborhood leaders, will formalize the system of well-worn trails and pay for signs identifying native plants and trees, community and county officials say.
Pete Mayers, 70, said the woods are one of the few quiet places around where people can walk and just let their thoughts wander.
Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012 - The State - News - State & Regional
SC wants owners to check dams before Isaac rainsThe Associated Press
COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina environmental officials are asking dam owners and operators across the state to check the structures and begin lowering water levels if necessary.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control says heavy rains possible from Tropical Storm Isaac after it moved inland next week could stress out dams already dealing with recent rains.
The National Weather Service says up to 5 inches of rain could fall across South Carolina, with up to 8 inches possible in the Upstate.
2012-07-06 / Education - The Columbia Star
Hammond School student awarded Eagle Scout medalContributed by Barbara Luksik Jacob Carter Luksik cleaned out a 1400 foot long section of 8 Mile Branch Creek (part of Gills Creek Watershed) that runs behind Timmerman School.
2012-04-27 / Columbia Star
Snapping turtle comes a knockin’By Warner M. Montgomery
Janie Stancik was startled when she opened the front door of her home to find a giant snapping turtle. So startled, in fact, that she called Rudy Mancke at ETV to ask him what to do about it. Rudy said, “Don’t feed it and it will go away.” She didn’t, it did, and Rudy reported it on the radio.
The turtle, disappointed because Janie’s husband, Steve, a marine scientist, was not home, made it’s way back to Gills Creek and disappeared.
See the turtle...
Posted: Apr 23, 2012 5:55 PM EDT
Property owners look for fix to 'Devil's Ditch'By Taylor Kearns - WIS-TV
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Just north of Columbia's Owens Airport is an urban stream that lives up to its name: Devil's Ditch. it carries storm water out of Shandon - and brings with it a host of headaches for residents.
The ditch has been a mess for quite a while, according to Charles Walter. He grew up on its banks and says the over growth is becoming a flooding hazard and haven for snakes.
Read more and see the video...
Issue #25.16 :: 04/17/2012 - 04/23/2012
The 2012 Green Issue: 11 Treasures Worth ProtectingBy FREE TIMES
It’s hard to care about something when it’s abstract. Sure, there are lots of facts and figures out there about air quality, soil erosion, climate change and contaminated groundwater, but until an issue affects you in a personal way, it can be difficult to wrap your brain — and your heart — around it.
Herein lies the starting point for this year’s Green Issue. Maybe you’re getting bored of being told to compost your garbage and get your HVAC system serviced regularly. No doubt those things are still important — but first, you need to care about something.
2012-03-30 / News - Columbia Star
Gill’s Creek Watershed Association Urban and Paddle Country PicnicBy Cathy Cobbs
The Gills Creek Watershed Association’s Urban Paddle and Country Picnic, despite weather-related obstacles, had a successful fundraiser on Sunday, March 25.
Plans to paddle a section of Gills Creek from 1-3 p. m. had to be scraped because of rising waters in the wake of Saturday’s torrential weather. However, the sun broke through in time for a BBQ picnic at Millaree Hunt Club off Bluff Road later that day. Attendees enjoyed music, a nature walk led by “Cowasee Basin” author John Cely, along with good food and fellowship.
Friday, Jan. 06, 2012 - The State Newspaper - Business - Shop Around
Upscale restaurateur serving more basic fare at The DinerBy Kristy Eppley Rupon - email@example.com
Fulvio Valsecchi passed by the little building at 4405 Fort Jackson Blvd. for years, always thinking he’d like to try a restaurant there. His timing couldn’t have been better.
Shortly after Valsecchi – who also owns the upscale Ristorante Divino – started working on his new venture, The Diner, Edens development company announced it would redevelop a nearby vacant shopping center into a Whole Foods-anchored Cross Hill Market.
Meanwhile, Edens is holding a Food Truck Rodeo 4-9 p.m. Jan. 14 to announce the newest Cross Hill Market retailers to go along with Whole Foods. Entry is $5 and includes live entertainment. Proceeds benefit the Gills Creek Watershed Association and The Jubliee Academy.
Friday, Nov. 25, 2011 - The State Newspaper - News - Local / Metro
Creek advocates using new technology to report spillsBy DAWN HINSHAW - firstname.lastname@example.org
A dozen volunteers are carrying cellphones allowing them to quickly report the exact location of sewer spills and other water contamination along Richland County's Gills Creek.
The program, announced last week, started in September through a grant with AT&T, said Jessica Artz, director of the Gills Creek Watershed Association.
Using smartphones, volunteers can photograph clogged storm drains, sewer-line breaks or illicit dumping. An application attaches directions to the problem site, using a global positioning system. The volunteer then emails the photo and location to both county and city stormwater departments, the county ombudsman's office and the watershed association.
2011-11-18 / Government / Neighborhood - The Columbia Star
RICHLAND COUNTY COUNCIL MEETING
Three groups combine to reduce pollution and increase water qualityBy Mike Cox
A major step toward actually achieving success along the Gills Creek Watershed was announced by three groups who are combining efforts to reduce the pollution and increase the water quality of this urban waterway long identified as an example of urban water quality failure.
Carol Kososki, of the Conservation Commission, announced a joint venture between the Commission, the Gills Creek Watershed Association, and AT&T. The two conservation groups will donate $8,500 each and AT&T executive Ted Creech presented an additional $11,500 to the effort. AT&T will also be a link in the actual project. I-Phone apps will be available to volunteers to report any potential pollution sites along the creek and adjoining lakes. The apps will identify the exact location of the pollution, automatically notify area officials, and send information to the Gills Creek Watershed Association. The idea is to reduce the labor involved with volunteers trying to pinpoint trouble areas and notify the correct body to get results.
Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011 - The State Newspaper Editorial
Huguley: Let landfill close as plannedBy MARK HUGULEY - Guest Columnist
Abraham Lincoln said, “I walk slowly but I never walk backward.” Richland County is in danger of “walking backward” as County Council members ponder the future of a landfill near Sumter County and the Wateree River.
County Council soon will decide whether to rescind its earlier policy limiting the life of the Northeast Landfill owned by Republic Services of Arizona. In doing so, it would void a 2007 agreement between Republic’s predecessor and Richland County that restricts the life of the landfill to 2018.
In 2005, the county’s solid waste management plan outlawed the expansion of existing landfills, and the landfill sued. According to Richland County administrative officials, the lawsuit ended in a 2007 settlement agreement that granted the landfill the authority to expand its Lower Richland facility but required it to close 10 years following the issuance of the DHEC permit. Additionally, Richland County would receive a host fee of $1 per ton for all waste the landfill accepted from outside of the county.
Now, Republic proposes to increase the host fees paid to Richland County if the county agrees to allow operation until the landfill is full. Based on past use rates, this means the landfill would continue to operate until about 2040. The company also would start paying the host fee for in-county waste.
To further leverage its position, Republic implies it is willing to sell Richland County the environmentally important Cook’s Mountain property, which it has an option to purchase and a stated desire to re-sell.
The right way for Richland County to address this proposal is to buy Cook’s Mountain straight out with no link to a landfill that is possibly harmful to both the environment and people. Nearly the entire mountain is in a conservation easement that would prohibit its use as a landfill. Republic’s proposal appears to be arm twisting.
November 9, 2011 - The Free Times
City Puts Brakes on Stadium Sale
Walmart Development Slowed; Public Meetings to FollowBY EVA MOORE - Free Times Issue #24.45 :: 11/09/2011 - 11/15/2011
"The city slowed its move toward selling the Capital City Stadium to a developer who hopes to put a Walmart supercenter there.
City Council has already taken the required two votes to approve a contract with Bright-Meyers for the sale of the property, which borders the historic Olympia community and is in the Rocky Branch Creek floodplain. However, the city manager never signed the contract — and on Nov. 1, Council has told him to hold off signing it until the developer answers some questions about environmental and community impacts.
“We need to pause, need to reflect,” said Councilwoman Belinda Gergel during a Nov. 1 council meeting at which Mayor Steve Benjamin announced Council’s plan.
Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2011 - The State Newspaper
Re-energizing Decker Boulevard
A vision of trails along Decker-area creeksRichland County and landowners reach for a conservation plan
By DAWN HINSHAW - email@example.com
Wooded wetlands could become shady walking trails if Richland County and landowners can agree on a conservation plan for Decker Boulevard.
Members of the county’s planning staff have approached federal regulators with a concept to restore the polluted urban stream that runs behind strip malls on Decker Boulevard, developing a system of trails through the woods.
The project could gain traction because it appeals to an environmental base keenly interested in improving the Gills Creek Watershed. The watershed connects a chain of Richland County lakes that serve wildlife, provide recreation and are simply beautiful to the folks who live around them.
Thursday, Jul. 14, 2011 - The State Newspaper
Let the clippings fall where they willBY AMANDA MCNULTY - Associate Extension Agent, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, and co-host of ETV'S Making It Grow - firstname.lastname@example.org
"There is something essentially Southern about details that show you are nice.
Some of these obsessions signal that you have lots of labor to expend, be it from people hired or just a major case of can't sit stillness. If there were push mowers to use, cows to milk, or even flowers to cut and arrange, maybe we wouldn't be so obsessed with blowing our yards clean.
What isn't natural is the urban landscape with impervious paved streets engineered so rain water runoff and anything it carries is diverted to the storm drainage system. Grass clippings aren't very different from slow- release fertilizer, returning 4 percent nitrogen, 1 percent phosphorus, and 2 percent potassium to the environment as they decay. This is a wonderful recycling process if the clippings are left on the lawn to complete their cycle of renewal. When blown on the street or dumped at curbside from the mower's catcher, they end up in our streams and lakes."
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