Friday, October 29, 2010

Veterans Day - Honoring All Who Served

On Thursday, November 11, 2010 from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm in Park Circle, the City of North Charleston will host its annual Veterans Day event with keynote speaker Medal of Honor recipient Major General James E. Livingston, RET USMC. We ask the public to join Mayor R. Keith Summey and City Council in this special ceremony honoring our veterans of all wars. Last year, over 400 veterans were honored.

The Department of Defense and the National Committee for Veterans Day has selected North Charleston as a Regional Site for Veterans Day 2010.  "On Veterans Day we celebrate the lives and legacy of America's 23 million living Veterans," said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki.  "From the National Veterans Day observance to regional celebrations nationwide, I encourage all Americans to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank our Veterans for their service."

All veterans in attendance will be recognized and will receive a commemorative medal. To take part in the ceremony, veterans are urged RSVP no later than October 29 by calling 745-1028 or via email at

Prior to the ceremony, from 9:30am – 10:30am, a story swap will be held in the Felix Davis Community Center.  Veterans will have an open opportunity to share memories and stories about their service with fellow veterans.  The story swap is open to the public.  Coffee will be provided.

Our guest speaker, Major General James E. Livingston, RET USMC is a native of Towns, Georgia. He is a graduate of the Amphibious Warfare School, the Marine Corps Command and Staff College and the Air War College. His decorations include the Medal of Honor; Silver Star, Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with 1 Award Star, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Combat Action Ribbon with 1 Award Star, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Navy Unit Commendation with 2 Service Stars, Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation with 3 Service Stars, National Defense Service Medal with 1 Service Star, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with 2 Service Stars, Vietnam Service Medal with 6 Service Stars, Humanitarian Service Medal with 3 Service Stars, Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon with 1 Service Star, Vietnam Gallantry Cross with 2 Gilt Stars, Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation, Vietnam Civil Actions Unit Citation, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal and various other service and foreign decorations. He is also a qualified military parachutist.

Halloween Fire Safety Tips

Halloween is approaching fast. Here are some fire safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association presented by the North Charleston Fire Department:
halloween pumpkin
First, begin thinking safety.  When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long, trailing fabric. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
Provide children with flashlights to carry for lighting or glow sticks as part of their costume.
Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs, and heaters.
It is safest to use a flashlight or battery-operated candle in a jack-o-lantern. If you use a real candle, use extreme caution. Make sure children are watched at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside jack-o-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way of trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
jack2005Keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
Tell children to stay away from open flames.  Be sure they know how to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice, stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards.  They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
Happy trick-or-treating! 

Friday, October 22, 2010

School of the Arts unveils "Save Noisette Creek" mural

The mural concept and coordination was done by Mary Neal, an AmeriCorps*VISTA member who works with the Michaux Conservancy.   The mural was designed and painted by Charleston County School of the Arts eighth-grade students under the guidance of visual arts teacher Marie Nichols. Rob Maniscalco, the city of North Charleston's Artist-in-Residence, also contributed to this work.   The Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium and the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department provided funds to purchase the materials.

Read more about the unveiling and see the mural going up over at the Michaux Conservancy's blog.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fire Chief Bulanow tells about the new fire department patch

A patch is an important representative symbol and point of pride for a fire department. It features prominently on uniforms, apparatus, signs, letterhead and sometimes even tattoos. Firefighters from different fire departments often exchange patches in an act of camaraderie and brotherhood.   The most basic purpose of a patch is that it should identify those that wear it to those they serve. It should also distinguish those who wear it from other agencies with whom they may work. Ideally it should also feature symbolic elements that represent the identity of the organization.

In the course of time, events may transpire that may provide cause for a fire department to change the design of their patch.  This has occurred before in the history of the North Charleston Fire Department (NCFD).

My understanding is that the NCFD’s current shield-shaped patch was designed by Chief W. Frank New, who served as Chief during the split from the North Charleston District Fire Department in 1972. The creation of two distinct entities, the “City” and the “District”, necessitated that each department have their own patch. The shield-shaped patch prominently featured the city seal in its design. After 24 years apart, these two departments rejoined on April 1, 1996. This date is also important for me personally because it is the day I began my career with the North Charleston Fire Department. For 14 years I have worn the shield-shaped badge on my shoulders with enormous pride in the privilege that I have to identify myself as a member of the NCFD.

In 2009, the City of North Charleston changed the city seal from the design featured in the NCFD’s patch, thus making it obsolete. This change provided the opportunity to consider a fresh design for the NCFD’s patch.

I am pleased to present the new patch for the NCFD. The bold design is rich in symbolic significance.   The new city seal is the center point of the design because protecting the quality of life in North Charleston is central to our mission as a department. The city seal is framed by the Maltese cross, and the Maltese cross outlines the patch itself. This ancient symbol representing courage reflects our proud heritage that dates back to the knights of the Middle Ages and it immediately identifies us as firefighters. Crossed pick head axes complete the design. While firefighters have many tools to use at all types of emergencies, none is more versatile than the pick head axe. Used for striking, chopping, cutting and prying the pick head axe represents the versatility required of a 21st century firefighter.

I thank Assistant Chief Trey Coker for designing our new patch. As a second generation firefighter and a career veteran of the NCFD, he approached this task with meticulous attention to detail, sensitivity and great pride.

We will soon begin the transition to our new patch that will represent the proud men and women of our department into our bright future.

Gregory A. Bulanow, Fire Chief
North Charleston Fire Department

A Fire Safety Message

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

North Charleston Intermodal Facility awarded $6 million in grant funding

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) will receive $6,020,126 in grant funding for the North Charleston Intermodal Facility through a new transit initiative called the State of Good Repair Program.  The grant was awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation on Monday, Oct. 4.

Following Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-South Carolina) announcement, Mayors Summey and Riley, alongside Charleston County Council Chairman Teddie Pryor, CARTA Intermodal Center Committee Chairman Kurt Taylor, Councilman Sam Hart and Judge Vic Rawl joined together in a local announcement at the Intermodal Center site.

Mayor Summey said, “I extend a special thanks to Senator Graham, with support from other members of the Congressional Delegation, for having at heart the well-being of the Lowcountry.  Senator Graham’s diligent work on behalf of the people of South Carolina will impart a new front door onto the Lowcountry and will greatly enhance the traveling experience for our many tourists that visit the Greater Charleston Area.  In a down economy, this is certainly great news that will construct a key piece of our tourism infrastructure and will create job opportunities for our residents.”

As a part of the State of Good Repair program, these funds will help construct the new Intermodal Facility that will serve as a transportation hub for AMTRAK passenger trains, commuter trains, Greyhound buses, CARTA buses, area taxis and shuttles used by the Charleston International Airport and the North Charleston CARTA Express park-and-ride lot.

“The Lowcountry is an international tourist destination, and we deserve a fitting Intermodal Center to welcome those visitors,” said Mayor Riley. “This exciting announcement, following the hard work of many area leaders, is a big step in the right direction.”

CARTA has completed Phase I construction to develop the Intermodal Center site infrastructure, which included demolition of current buildings onsite, clearing and grubbing, excavation work, a storm water pond, and a park and ride lot.

An additional $2 million is needed to move forward with construction. The State of Good Repair Funds will allow preliminary engineering work on the proposed Intermodal Center design to be completed, which is anticipated by the end of 2010. North Charleston, the CARTA Board and staff, along with other area leaders including Amtrak, commuter rail and Greyhound will continue to be involved.

North Charleston Passenger Intermodal Facility rendering
Designed Intermodal Facility
Charleston Union Station, circa 1910
Charleston Union Station, built 1907

In total, the Intermodal Center site encompasses more than 36 acres in North Charleston off of Montague Avenue on the corner of Seiberling Road, which was purchased by CARTA with federal, state and local funds.

The State of Good Repair (SGR) initiative provides funds to public transit providers to finance capital projects to replace, rehabilitate, and purchase buses and related equipment and to construct/rehabilitate bus-related facilities in an effort to bring the nation’s transit infrastructure into the 21st Century.

Existing and new riders are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the Express routes by calling (843) 724-7420, by visiting the CARTA website (, or the CARTA Express micro site at, or by visiting the CARTA Office at 36 John St. in downtown Charleston. Maps and schedules are also available on all CARTA buses.

North Charleston Elementary receives the Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Grant

NCES receives fresh fruits & veggies grant North Charleston Elementary receives the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Grant. The grant Program is a federally assisted program providing free fruits and vegetables to students in participating elementary schools during the school day.  The goal of the Fresh Fruit Vegetable Program is to improve children's overall diet and create healthier eating habits to impact their present and future health.

NCES has been awarded a total of $24,400 to purchase supplies and produce for the school year. The FFVP will help schools create healthier school environments by providing healthier food choices; expanding the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables children experience and consume; and help combat the childhood obesity epidemic.

Participants responsible for the FFV Grant
Latisha Vaughn-Brandon, Principal
Katherine Thornton, Physical Education
Denfield Wade, Cafeteria Manager
Leslie Skinner, Communities in Schools
Cheryl Dunn, Nurse