Friday, October 28, 2011

New park and state of the art sports complex coming to North Charleston

In Spring 2013, city of North Charleston residents will begin playing ball at Wescott Park, a new state of the art sports complex with a Ripken Training Facility, which broke ground on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 10:00 am. The 48-acre park will be located behind Fire Station 11 at 9002 Dorchester Road.

Each of the three ball fields at Wescott Park have been designed differently to scale of Boston Red Sox’s Fenway Park, Atlanta Braves’ Turner Field, and San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park. The field in the image of Boston’s Fenway Park will even feature the “Green Monster.” Each field will be equipped for baseball and softball for athletes 12 years old and under.

A Ripken Training Circle, patented by Cal and Bill Ripken, will be incorporated into the facility for instruction and practice of our rising baseball players. The design of the Circle allows for bases and home plates to be substituted for teaching of fundamentals and drills, maximizing the efficiency of instruction. To complete the park as a Ripken Training Facility, batting cages and pitching mounds will be incorporated.

Apart from being a sports complex, Wescott Park will feature passive areas for visitors to enjoy, including an amphitheater for outdoor performances, greenspaces and multi-purpose fields, walking trails through the park’s wetlands, and a number of enclosed and open air shelters for a variety of community and family events.

In cooperation with our school partners, the park will have a direct connection to Fort Dorchester Elementary School. With a direct pathway in close proximity to the school, Wescott Park will add to the recreational opportunities for Fort Dorchester’s students and teachers.

Renderings of Wescott Park

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Olde Village of North Charleston to host Ghost Walk

Halloween on Main Street
Flick user Loren Javier
Get into the Halloween spirit with spooky tales and creepy legends appropriate for all ages at the North Charleston Ghost Walk on Saturday, October 29, 2011 from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. The Olde Village along East Montague Avenue in North Charleston will host eight storytelling stations featuring lively presentations of local folklore and traditional ghost stories by the talented members of the Backporch Storytellers of Charleston.

Groups will begin their haunted adventure at The Meeting Place, located at 1077 East Montague Avenue. Guests may visit any number of storytelling stations, with the full tour lasting approximately one and a half hours. Stations are located both indoors and outside. Participants are encouraged to add to the Halloween fun by attending in costume.

Tickets are available for purchase on the night of the event, $4 for adults and $1 for children 12 and under. A special rate of $6 is being offered for groups consisting of one adult and three children. All proceeds from the event will benefits the City’s Christmas Fund benefiting needy families.

About the Backporch Storytellers
The Backporch Storytellers is a non-profit organization created in 1987 to serve as a storytelling support group for adult storytellers and listeners and a resource for people interested in oral literature. The mission of the group is to preserve and perpetuate the ancient art of Storytelling and to preserve the multi-cultural stories of the Old South, which includes Sea Island and Gullah tales and stories. Several members are listed on the Artist in Residence in Education roster for the South Carolina Arts Commission. For more information, visit

The North Charleston Ghost Walk is sponsored by the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department. For more details about the event, or for information about other programs and services offered by the department, call (843) 740-5854 or email

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Juie Rattley at City Gallery in November

Hometown Hangout
The works by North Carolina artist Juie Rattley III will be on exhibit at the North Charleston City Gallery from November 1-30.

In New Faces and Places, Rattley presents oil paintings of portraits and landscapes in the tradition of Lucian Freud, Nicolai Fechin, and John Singer Sargent. The exhibition is the artist’s first in South Carolina and will showcase up to 20 works, all of which are inspired by his life. “I view my work as a tool to create a visual document to freeze time,” Juie explains. “When I am caught in the moment of painting, I use my hands and my paint as a record of my life.” This concept is particularly evident in his series of self-portraits. Hatched from the pain of losing his best friend, Curtis DeAngelo “DD” Lennon, during an apparent home invasion in 2007, Rattley believes the portraits have become his way of coping. “I have always felt that if I created paintings about my life, I would stay true to myself as a painter and would always have something to paint about,” he says.  

Crime Scene
Rattley was born in Lumberton, NC, and raised in a small community outside of Whiteville, NC. He received a BFA at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and an MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he was awarded the Adelaide Fortune Holderness Fellowship and the Maud Gatewood Painting Scholarship. He has exhibited in venues throughout North Carolina and teaches in Guilford County Schools as part of an outreach program sponsored by the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art. He currently resides in Kernersville, NC. For more information about the artist, visit

The North Charleston City Gallery is located in the Charleston Area Convention Center with free parking and admission during regular Convention Center operating hours 9:00am-5:00pm, daily.  The Gallery is staffed on Friday, Saturday, and Monday only.   Inquiries regarding artists or purchase information may be directed to the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843) 740-5854. For information on additional exhibits, programs, and events, visit the Cultural Arts section of the City’s website at

Monday, October 24, 2011

North Charleston unveils Pink Fire Truck

The City of North Charleston unveiled its very own pink fire truck in front of city hall on Friday, October 21, 2011. Inspired by the Pink Heals National Fire Truck Tour, the city will use the pink fire truck to raise awareness for women and local non-profits in their fight against cancer.

At the unveiling, the fire truck was dedicated to Brenda Cawley who has shown brave resolve and been an inspiration to others in their fight against cancer. In addition, all city employees who have battled cancer will be specifically acknowledged on the fire truck.

An all-female crew from Fire Station 3 drove the fire truck to city hall with North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey as their passenger.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Garrett Academy students present Mayor with Adirondack chair

Garrett Academy students present Mayor with Adirondack chair Students from Garrett Academy of Technology’s Carpentry and Metal Fabrication Class presented an Adirondack chair they crafted from Heart Pine to North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey. The wood, donated by the Sustainability Warehouse (a 501(c)3 nonprofit), was reclaimed from Cross Seed Company facility after its closure. The students will sell the Adirondack chairs in order to raise money to participate in the Skills USA Competition on entrepreneurship.

The Skills USA Competition is a team event testing students' knowledge in starting their own businesses by developing business plans that identify needed products or services in a local market. Emphasis is placed on financial planning and practicality of product/service. Teams give oral presentations based upon their written plans and the team must successfully answer questions by a team of judges in response to typical problem encountered by entrepreneurs during their first year of business.

Target unveils new library, food pantry at Burns Elementary

Library makeover at Burns Elem from Target
Students, families and staff from Edmund A. Burns Elementary School along with Target Corp., volunteers and The Heart of America Foundation celebrated the unveiling of the school’s newly renovated library. As a result of the makeover process, the library at Edmund A. Burns Elementary School now features 2,000 new books, eco-friendly design elements, a complete technology upgrade, as well as new furniture, carpet and shelves. As part of the unveiling festivities, each student will receive 7 new books to add to their own at-home collections.

In addition to the remodeled library, the Edmund A. Burns Elementary School community will receive a Target Meals for Minds school-based food pantry, which was incorporated as part of the renovation process. The pantry will allow all students and their families to choose from a variety of staple foods and fresh produce to take home.
Burns Elementary & Target Meals for Minds
Each student will take home 22lbs of food each month.

If a families has 3 students attending Burns Elementary, then that family will receive 66lbs of food a month.

As part of the 2011 Target School Library Makeover season, Target will renovate a total of 42 school libraries nationwide. The Target School Library Makeover program is part of Target’s commitment to help more U.S. children read proficiently by the end of third grade. As a result of programs like this one, Target is on track to give $1 billion for education, with a focus on reading, by the end of 2015.

More photos:
Charleston County School District Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley addresses the students and attendees.
A volunteer from Target paints new artwork in the hallway of Burns Elementary School.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Charleston County sponsoring creative recycling art contest

Recycle Please
Flickr user kfisto
Entry deadline is Friday, Nov. 4- prizes awarded to winners in all categories

Charleston County’s Environmental Management Department is seeking participants for the 2011 Creative Recycling Art Contest. The art contest is being held to celebrate America Recycles Day 2011 in Charleston County.

America Recycles Day is recognized annually on November 15 to celebrate the successes of recycling while providing an educational platform to raise awareness about the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling – every day throughout the year. America Recycles Day is a national initiative of nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, Inc. (KAB).

“Reusing materials and using them as supplies to make artwork helps to close the recycling loop – reduce, reuse, recycle and buy recycled. The purpose of this contest is to encourage people to think creatively about our recyclables,” said Bronwyn Santos, Recycling Educator for Charleston County Environmental Management.

This year marks the 14th anniversary of the County’s Creative Recycling Art Contest. An awards reception will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 15, at the Charleston County Main Library (68 Calhoun Street, Charleston).

There are two categories to enter:
  • Students, grades 7-12
  • Adults (18 years and older)
Students in grades 7-12 and adults may enter artwork that is created with a minimum of 70 percent recycled materials. First place winners in each category will receive a $300 gift card.

The deadline to submit artwork is 5 p.m. on Friday, November 4.

Detailed Criteria for Grades 7-12 and Adults (18 years and older) Categories:
  • At least 70 percent of the materials used in the creation of your entry must be material diverted from disposal and reused. Art supplies such as glue, paint, markers, nails and staples are allowed.
  • Art entries can be in any medium and take any visual form, including but not limited to sculpture, weaving, fashion, mosaics, ceramics, painting, etc.
  • The size of art entries must not exceed 24 inches in height x 24 inches in width x 24 inches in diameter.
  • Only one entry per person.
  • All art entries must be labeled so that each entry can be easily identified. Labels must be securely attached with name, address, phone number, school name, grade, art teacher, name of entry and medium description.
  • First place student, grades 7-12: $300 gift card.
  • First place in the adult (18 years and older) category: $300 gift card.
  • Runner-up and Honorable Mention awards will be named in each category.
This art contest supports Charleston County’s recycling partnership with the Charleston County School District. Recently announced, this partnership will foster environmental sustainability within the school system and across the community. In addition to collecting recyclable materials, Charleston County will be conducting waste assessments and providing a comprehensive education and outreach program for teachers and students through a school recycling representative. These actions in conjunction with CCSD Sustainable Schools Initiative will ultimately lead to a reduction in the amount of garbage generated and support County Council’s goal of a 40% recycling rate.

For more information on the Charleston County Creative Recycling Art Contest or to submit your contest entry, contact Bronwyn Santos, Charleston County Recycling,13 Romney Street, Charleston, SC 29403 or call (843) 720-7112

For more information on America Recycles Day, visit

For more information on Charleston County Government, visit

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fire Station 5 dedicated to Council Member Phoebe Miller

Fire Station 5 was recently dedicated to long-serving Council Member Phoebe Miller. The station on lower Dorchester Road is the city of North Charleston's newest, opening its doors on February 18, 2011. It houses an engine and a ladder truck with a total of eight crew members each day.

North Charleston Fire Chief Greg Bulanow, North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey, and Council Member Phoebe Miller participated in the ceremony.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Patriot Award presentation by the ESGR

From the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) presented Belinda Swindler, a long time Recreation Department employee for the City of North Charleston, the Patriot Award on Thursday, October 13, 2011 at North Charleston’s City Council meeting.

The Patriot Award honors individual supervisors for contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America’s National Guard and Reserve force.  Only members of the National Guard and Reserve forces are eligible to nominate their employers for the Patriot Award.

A city employee for 11 years, Ms. Swindler serves as the recreation department’s senior coordinator, planning, organizing, and facilitating all senior programming in North Charleston.  In addition, she supervises operations and staff at the Felix C. Davis Community Center at Park Circle.

Ms. Swindler was nominated by Dominique Johnson who is currently serving with the United States Army Reserves’ 914th Transportation Company of North Charleston, SC in Iraq.  The 914th Transportation Company was ordered into active military service in January 2011.  Prior to deployment, Ms. Johnson was employed by the City of North Charleston in the Recreation Department with Ms. Swindler serving as her supervisor.

ESGR is a Department of Defense organization. It is a staff group within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, which is in itself a part of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

ESGR was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve component members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee's military commitment. It is the lead DoD organization for this mission under DoD Directive 1250.1.

Today, ESGR operates through a network of thousands of volunteers throughout the nation and Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Monday, October 10, 2011

1000 FREE smoke alarms from the North Charleston Fire Department

12 Smoke Detector
Flickr user _Pixelmaniac_
The North Charleston Fire Department and the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Division of Fire and Life Safety, are partnering to help reduce fire-related deaths and injuries through the “Get Alarmed, S.C.” smoke alarm installation program.

1000 smoke alarms will be provided to the North Charleston Fire Department for installation in homes throughout the community. In addition to installing smoke alarms, fire service personnel will provide information on general fire safety awareness and, if necessary, assist in preparing a home escape plan.

The Get Alarmed program has been credited with saving 27 lives in 13 different fires in North Charleston since its implementation in 2006. These additional alarms will help firefighters save even more lives in the city.

“Smoke alarms and fire safety awareness are essential to aid in preventing fires, injuries and fire fatalities,” S.C. State Fire Marshal Adolf Zubia said.

North Charleston Fire Chief Gregory Bulanow agrees. “This on-going partnership has been very effective in getting these life-saving devices in the homes of thousands of our residents,” he said.

Each household receiving a smoke alarm will be provided with a Smoke and Fire Safety Action Planner to assist with the development of an emergency plan of action based on each individual living situation. The Action Planner helps identify any special assistance that may be needed to help the very young, elderly or disabled escape in the event of a fire.

“Although having a working smoke alarm doubles your chances of surviving a fire, it is not the total answer in making your home fire safe, it is just the beginning,” Zubia said. “Practicing good fire safety behaviors and being prepared to take action should an emergency occur will serve to make people in our state safer from the tragedies of fire.

To receive an alarm or have your current alarms checked, call North Charleston Fire Department Headquarters at (843) 740-2616. Firefighters will contact you and schedule a time to inspect your current alarms and/or install new ones in your city residence.

“I credit the dedication of our fire crews who install these alarms at every opportunity to make our city safer,” said Bulanow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

KaBOOM! designates North Charleston a “Playful City USA” Community

The City of North Charleston was recently named a “Playful City USA” community by KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to saving play for America’s children. 151 cities and towns across the country received the designation of which only 5 were recognized from the State of South Carolina. KaBOOM! created “Playful City USA” in 2007 to help local governments address the play deficit by ensuring children have the time and space they need to play.

“The power of play can impact many of the urgent problems facing our cities, from the epidemic of childhood obesity to poor school performance,” said Darell Hammond, KaBOOM! Founder and CEO. “When leaders support the cause of play, children live happier and healthier lives.”

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey stated, “The North Charleston Recreation Department offers a wealth of activities and space for play that promotes healthy lifestyles including sports for all ages at our many athletic complexes, senior programming in our community centers, afterschool and summer camps for our city’s youth, and passive play at the numerous playgrounds dotting the city.” Mayor Summey continued, “We take great pride in providing our citizens with play areas and programming that rival the best in the nation.”

In November 2009, KaBOOM! donated and assisted in building a state of the art, handicap accessible playground on Brookside Drive in North Charleston. KaBOOM! representatives, local non-profit The Sustainability Institute, community volunteers, and civic leaders participated in the single-day build of the playground. View photos of the build day.

The 151 Playful City USA communities are now eligible for grants via Let’s Play - a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple Group to get kids active nationwide. The first Let’s Play initiative is a $15 million, three year commitment to KaBOOM!. Together, through Let’s Play, Dr Pepper Snapple Group and KaBOOM! will build or fix up 2,000 playgrounds by the end of 2013, benefiting an estimated five million children across North America.

For more information on the KaBOOM! Playful City USA program, including Let’s Play grants and applications for 2012, visit

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

North Charleston seeks “Citizen of the Year” nominations

The North Charleston Citizen Advisory Council is seeking nominations for the 2011 “Citizen of the Year.” Each year, North Charleston citizens are nominated to identify, honor, and reinforce the activities of exceptional citizens whose service or performance positively contributes to the quality of life in North Charleston.

All applications are welcome, and should include a detailed explanation for the nomination along with the nominee’s name, address, and phone number. Also, the individual(s) submitting the application should include their name, address, and phone number as well. Applications must be submitted online or postmarked by Tuesday, November 1, 2011 for consideration.

Nominations may be submitted below or mailed to:

City of North Charleston
Citizens Advisory Council
c/o Executive Department
P.O. Box 190016
North Charleston, SC 29419-9016