Friday, July 30, 2010

North Charleston Neighborhoods Turn out to Stomp out Crime

On Tuesday, August 3rd citizens, law enforcement agencies, community groups, businesses and local officials in over 10,000 communities and military bases worldwide will join forces to mark the 27th Annual National Night Out.

Locally, the North Charleston Police Department, in conjunction with national sponsor Target Stores, will sponsor the 27th Annual National Night Out event Tuesday, August 3, 2010 from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

At 6:00 pm, Mayor Pro-Tem Bob King, along with Ferndale neighborhood president Charlynne Smith, will join residents to kick off a neighborhood cookout and crime prevention walk. The event will take place at the Ferndale Gym located on Piedmont Avenue.

Similar events will occur simultaneously in neighborhoods throughout the city to include: Forest Hills I, Midland Park/Stall Road Corridor, Charleston Farms | Singing Pines, Oak Preserve, Union Heights, Accabee, Dorchester Waylyn, Wescott, Horizon Village. Citizens are asked to turn on their porch lights as a sign of unity and to let the criminals know that the City of North Charleston is organized and fighting back.

National Night Out is designed to (1) heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) generate support for and participation in local anti-crime programs; (3) strengthen neighborhood spirit, police and community relations; and (4) send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods around the world are
organized and vigilant against crime.

Nationally, over 33 million people will participate in ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime’ this year.

Full Schedule of Events by Neighborhood

Cookout at the Accabee community center starting at 6:00 pm.

Ashley Shores
Community cookout beginning at 6:00 pm

Charleston Farms and Singing Pines
These two communities will hold a block party/cookout at the Charleston Farms Community Center beginning at 6:00 pm

Dorchester Waylyn
Neighborhood walk beginning at 6:00 pm at the Geanne Batten community center.

Cookout at the Ferndale Gym parking lot on Piedmont Avenue beginning at 6:00 pm. Mayor Pro-tem Bob King to kick off the event.

Forest Hills I
Neighborhood flashlight walk through the community beginning at 7:00 pm at the Lil Cricket at the corner of Foxwood and Dorchester.

Horizon Village
Nieghborhood cookout.

Lakes of Northwoods
Neighborhood flashlight walk starting at 8:00 pm at the neighborhood pool on Brookforest Dr.

Oak Terrace Preserve
This Cookout in the park in front of the school off Lackawanna starting at 6:00 pm.

Pines at Charleston Park
Cookout in their community in a culdesac starting at 6:00 pm. This community is located off Dorchester Rd across from Whitehall.

Stall Rd, Midland Park, Colony North, and Pepperhill
Four neighborhoods will combine for a cookout at the New Covenant Church on Stall Rd beginning at 7:00 pm.

Union Heights
Flashlight walk within the community following their monthly community meeting. The walk is expected to begin around 7:00 pm.

Cookout to be held in the parking lot of Lowes beginning at 6:00 pm.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Message from Fire Chief Gregory Bulanow

Fire Chief Gregory Bulanow
Thank you for your interest in the North Charleston Fire Department.  Our department includes a diverse group of over 225 men and women working collectively to accomplish our mission to protect the quality of life in the City of North Charleston from all predictable hazards through prevention and emergency response.  The mission extends far beyond responding to fires or other emergencies and includes contributing to the quality of life in our City.  For those who assume that our firefighters are lounging at their stations waiting for an emergency call, our mission statement may seem confusing.  What does it mean for a fire department to protect quality of life, and what would that look like?

To see for yourself, you do not need to schedule a visit or tour a station.  In fact, you may not even find us there.  Instead, simply look for us as you participate in the things that are important to you and your family.  Each weekend our crews participate in school festivals, church picnics, neighborhood block parties, corporate family days, charitable fundraisers, and a variety of other events, providing fire safety information and prevention displays.

We offer medical first responders at sports tournaments, competitive run/walks, and neighborhood service days.  You may see us on the water providing assistance to boaters in distress during events, such as the recent Blue Angel’s air show.  You may see us on bike patrol during large events at North Charleston’s beautiful Riverfront Park, or at a child’s birthday party at North Charleston’s fantastic Fire Museum.  Late at night, you may see members of our Fire Marshal’s Bureau at nightclubs and restaurants to ensure the safety of those enjoying the City’s night life.

During the week, our firefighters are active in our schools, teaching fire prevention, as well as serving as positive role models in reading and mentoring programs.  You may see us at your place of employment, providing inspections to ensure compliance with fire codes to ensure your workplace is safe, or “pre-planning” a building for accurate information in the event of an emergency.  Our certified technicians help parents of small children learn to properly install safety seats in their vehicles.

Throughout the year, our crews join with the other City departments for the Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET), working to improve the quality of life in targeted neighborhoods.  Our crews go door-to-door installing free smoke alarms as part of our award winning program that has provided thousands of these life saving devices to North Charleston residents.

Any one of these sights is a glimpse of us meeting the demands of our mission.  Our crews are engaged directly with our residents and businesses, working to prevent emergencies or in position to give immediate assistance in ways that fit specifically with the needs of our City.  Our crews also keeping a rigorous training schedule and maintain a constant state of readiness to respond en force to any emergency incident.  These initiatives and activities help us remain proactive and vigilant in providing fire protection.

We work hard to ensure that you will not need us in our traditional role of emergency responders, but if you do, be assured that you will experience the same high quality response that the North Charleston Fire Department has provided since our beginnings in 1937.  While our mission has expanded to meet the demands of the 21st century, it remains consistent with the oldest and finest traditions of the fire service.

Hop over to the City's website for more information on the North Charleston Fire Department

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fundraiser to support World Series bound North Charleston baseball teams

To support North Charleston’s World Series bound Pre-Majors and Dixie Majors baseball teams, a luncheon fundraiser will be held on Wednesday, July 28, 2010 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Felix C. Davis Community Center (4800 Park Circle, North Charleston, SC 29405).  All lunch proceeds will assist the teams in travel expenses to their respective tournaments.

The Dixie Pre-Majors World Series Tournament will be played at Ogletree Park on the Bill Moore Majors Baseball Field and at Guntersville High School in Guntersville, Alabama.  Games begin on Saturday, July 31, 2010.  North Charleston Pre-Majors, ages 15-16, will take on Columbia County, Georgia in its opener at 1:00 pm on July 31.

The Dixie Majors World Series Tournament will be played at Independence Recreation Park in Independence, Louisiana.  Games begin on Saturday, July 31, 2010.  North Charleston Dixie Majors, ages 17-19, will take on Duplin County, North Carolina in its opener at 10:00 am on July 31.

Each double elimination tournament consists of the eleven 2010 State Champions throughout the Southeast and one team from each respective host city.

For more fundraiser information or donations, please contact Belinda Swindler at (843) 745-1028.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

North Charleston to honor long time community leader

The public is invited to celebrate the commitment, dedication, and contributions of Mr. Gary McJunkin to the City of North Charleston in the field of recreation on July 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm at Felix C. Davis Community Center (4800 Park Circle, North Charleston, SC 29405).  Complimentary refreshments will be served.

Affectionately known as “Mr. Mac,” Gary McJunkin has served the residents of North Charleston for over 55 years, seeing generations of families participate in quality recreational programs.  Mr. McJunkin’s contributions are many throughout North Charleston.  While administering North Charleston’s recreation program, he oversaw the building of ball fields, playgrounds, and developed a robust list of recreational activities.  Even when funds were scarce, Mr. McJunkin coordinated thousands of volunteers to give countless hours to the building of facilities and programs.

North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey stated, “Mr. McJunkin continues to be an active leader in the City’s recreation programs with many recreation professionals looking to him for guidance and support.  We in North Charleston are honored to have him as part of our city.  We salute Mr. McJunkin as a recreation professional, community leader, mentor, and friend of the City.”

North Charleston Rail Plan Maps

Rail lines BEFORE implementing North Charleston plan

Rail lines AFTER implementing North Charleston plan

Rail lines BEFORE & AFTER implementing North Charleston plan

Friday, July 9, 2010

Details of the North Charleston Rail Plan

On Thursday, July 8, 2010, North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey publicly presented a three-party Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and Agreement between the City of North Charleston, CSX Transportation, and Shipyard Creek Associates, LLC to address the ongoing rail issues surrounding the former Charleston Naval Base and the southern portions of the City.  City Council unanimously agreed to move the MOU forward to Committee of the Whole for additional discussion. Pending City Council's approval, final adoption would be later in August.

Download the full MOU and Agreement here. (Synopsis below)

Slides from Mayor Summey's presentation

The City long ago announced its intention to see Northern rail service to the Navy Base terminated in favor of a new Southern route.  After years of effort, the City of North Charleston has been able to reach an agreement with Shipyard Creek Associates, LLC, and CSX Transportation that would, if seen to fruition, make this a reality.  The MOU and agreement sets forth a long-term, multi-year plan by which CSX Transportation would abandon its rights of way beginning at a mutually-agreed upon location between Clement Avenue and Viaduct Road and extending Northward to just North of the intersection of Braddock Road.  CSX Transportation will discontinue its rail operation over the old routes in favor of a new Southern access route and rail yard.  The new rail yard would not be permitted to operate prior to abandonment of the old lines.

In support of the outlined plan, the City may contribute certain city-owned property and assist CSX Transportation in acquiring other property for use in the Southern access route.  In addition, the City would commit to use TIF money (if available) to purchase from CSX Transportation the rights of way associated with certain portions of CSX Transportation’s old line locations.  The anticipated cost of the City’s purchase obligations would be between $3 and $5 million dollars.  Additional project funding would come from federal grants sought by the developer.  In the event that the TIF and/or federal grants do not generate sufficient funds then the parties would have the option, but not obligation, to contribute other sources of revenue later.

It is important to note that CSX Transportation’s obligations are subject to several contingencies.  One of the more notable of these is funding.  The proposed plan is heavily dependent upon federal grant financing and the existence of sufficient property tax revenues to permit bonding against City TIF districts.  Another is that CSX Transportation must be up and running on the newly-established lines before it would relinquish any rights to the pre existing lines.  Obstacles to the project, whether they are from lawsuit, funding, governmental regulation, or other sources, could mean that the project may have to be abandoned.  If the project failed then any land or TIF money the City previous contributed would be returned to it to the fullest possible extent.  If the project is successful, the City will have succeeded in relocating rail access to the Base and new SPA terminal from the North to the South, thus improving the quality of life within some of North Charleston’s oldest neighborhoods.

City of North Charleston MOU Synopsis

The MOU between the City of North Charleston, CSX and Shipyard Creek Associates can be broken down into three key components which are outlined below.  This document is a win-win for the community, the City and the railroad because they all will be able to see the fulfillment of some of their long-range goals.  This MOU honors and further advances the existing MOU between the City and the State by routing rail out the southern end of the City as opposed to the northern end of the Navy Base through residential neighborhoods.

1. Abandonment of the Rail Along Spruill Avenue

  • CSX would abandon through Rails to Trails or by deeding to the City the property the rail occupies along Spruill from approximately Braddock to approximately Viaduct.
  • The total acreage that the City will receive is 32+/- acres.
  • The City Comprehensive Plan, LAMC Plan and the Noisette Plan all call for the removal of this rail to allow Park Circle, Olde North Charleston, Century Oaks, Horizon Village, Noisette, Union Heights and Chicora-Cherokee neighborhoods to be re-knitted back together.
  • No rail would come through Chicora-Cherokee and rail would be shifted out of the Park Circle area.
  • Potential for a greenway for pedestrian and bicycle connection to Downtown Charleston.
2. Redevelopment of the Stromboli Corridor
  • Through federal grants the City will purchase 40+/- acres of industrial land along the Stromboli Corridor.
  • Area has been targeted by LAMC as a redevelopment area to re-knit Union Heights, Windsor Place, Chicora Cherokee and Jacksonville Road Area.
  • City will use the land for community revitalization working closely with LAMC.
  • A new overflow rail line would be run through the Stromboli Corridor.
3. Redevelopment of the Cooper Yard/Macalloy Site
  • The Cooper Yard/Macalloy Site would be redeveloped into an intermodal rail yard and warehousing facility.
  • This would be a major job generator for the area.
  • A sound wall would be constructed along Spruill Avenue.
  • The project would reduce the number of trucks on local streets and roads.
  • The Clemson Wind Turbine Cluster would be allowed to move forward, creating more jobs.
  • Would not require re-opening the Environmental Impact Statement for the new port terminal.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Stall High School wins national Jefferson Award

Last week at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, and before a crowd of over 500, RB Stall High School received the Bronze Medallion for the Students in Action National Award For Outstanding Service By a High School as a result of effective implementation of the Jefferson Awards system and more importantly, their outstanding track record and culture of service within their high school.

The Jefferson Awards for Public Service was founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft, Jr. and Sam Beard to create a Noble Prize for public and community service. The mission of the Jefferson Awards is to encourage and honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public and community service.

The Jefferson Awards Students in Action program was created in partnership with Deloitte with the aggressive goal of passing the tradition of volunteerism along to our youth and helping double volunteerism in America’s high schools. The strategy is to create Jefferson Awards youth leadership teams in each high school that celebrate great volunteers, inspire others to get involved and help raise additional resources to expand volunteer activities in areas of need.

For more information about the Jefferson Awards and Students in Action, visit

Monday, July 5, 2010

Public Forum to discuss revitalization plans

North Charleston Mayor R. Keith Summey and City Council invites the community to Felix C. Davis Community Center within Park Circle on Thursday, July 8, 2010. There will be a neighborhood cookout at 5:00 pm, followed by a public forum at 6:00 pm to discuss the potential implementation of the City’s ongoing revitalization plans.

North Charleston’s City Council meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 7:00 pm will be at Felix C. Davis Community Center, rather than City Hall.

Thursday, July 8, 2010 at Felix C. Davis Community Center
5:00 pm – Neighborhood Cookout
6:00 pm – Public Forum
7:00 pm – City Council meeting