North Charleston City Council Considers Smoking Ban

North Charleston council considers smoking ban
Robert Behre Posted: Friday, August 17, 2012 12:06 a.m. (Post and Courier)

Years after most Lowcountry cities banned smoking in their bars, restaurants and workplaces, North Charleston appears ready to follow suit.

City Council members agreed Thursday to draft a proposed ordinance that would ban smoking in enclosed public places — one much like ordinances that Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Sullivan’s Island and other cities have passed.

Several new council members have been elected since a 6-4 vote in May 2008 not to ban smoking, and there now may be enough votes to pass it.

Thursday’s informal discussion revolved largely around health concerns over smoking, the dangers of secondhand smoke as well as whether business owners should set their own rules in their workplace.

City Councilman Dwight Stigler said seven other area governments already have banned smoking and North Charleston is the only one of the state’s 10 largest municipalities without a ban.

“A lot of people in South Carolina think it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “It’s not a new argument.”

Councilman Ron Brinson said he favors a ban because of his concern for the health of those working in the city’s bars and restaurants. “I haven’t heard from any businesses, in anticipation of this meeting tonight, saying ‘Stay away from this.’ ”

Mayor Keith Summey said he doesn’t smoke, and his wife’s former restaurant didn’t allow it. He noted only two establishments along East Montague Avenue allow smoking, and both do heavy bar business.

But Summey indicated he still wouldn’t be for it. “With me, it’s purely about how much government intervention we do with people’s rights,” he said.

Councilman Ed Astle agreed. “If we do this, then when do we do trans-fats and … sweet tea?” he added. “If we’re protecting the citizens, we might as well go whole hog.”

Councilwoman Rhonda Jerome described herself as council’s only smoker and said she did not like smelling smoke when she eats. But she also expressed concern over private business owners’ rights.

Five people, including representatives from the Smoke Free Lowcountry Coalition and the Charleston Area League of Women Voters, urged

council to pass the ban, noting it hasn’t hurt business in the other cities after their smoking bans.

Thaddeus Bell, a North Charleston physician, said smoking contributes to heart disease and cancer, the state’s two leading causes of death. “If you want to protect children who can’t make decisions about healthy lifestyles, then you should be about putting a smoking ban in,” he said.

City Council asked City Attorney Brady Hair to draft a no-smoking ordinance, and it’s unclear if smokers and their allies will be able to rally enough support on council to snuff it out.

A few council members wondered aloud Thursday how many of the city’s restaurants even allow smoking any more.


District 4 Updates – August 16th

August 10, 2012

The economic downturn lingers but turnaround indicators abound, especially in our neighborhoods. The Palmetto Commerce Parkway has become South Carolina’s most dynamic industrial and commercial development corridor. Most Realtors report that residential home sales are picking up, values are firming.

And there are signs aplenty of growth and development activity.

Renting is rapidly becoming an attractive intermediate step toward home ownership, and   this is igniting fresh market demands for apartments.

As the first phase of The McKewn planned development now underway across from the Joe Pye Elementary School, we will see 320 residential apartments built on a sprawling campus. Near the northwest quadrant of Wescott Boulevard and Patriot Boulevard, a long-ago approved plan for 230 apartment units will soon be underway.

That’s 550 residential apartments within roughly a mile of each other!

So, clearly growth and development are returning to our community – sharpening anew our common concerns about impacts on schools, roadways and general public amenities.

We can anticipate freshening plans for widening Patriot Boulevard, from Wescott Boulevard to Palmetto Commerce Parkway and a clearer timeline for the construction of roadway assets like the new Palmetto Commerce Parkway connection to a new access ramp on Interstate 26 between Highway 78 and Ashley Phosphate. I will do my best to keep you informed about public meetings to discuss these and all other such projects.

Public school capacities seem especially vulnerable. The Dorchester District 2 system is several schools short of “adequate” capacity. The District 2 Board is likely to propose new funding sources by referendum in the November general election.   In the meanwhile, builders/developers of each residential unit, including apartments, pays $2,500 per unit in school ”impact fees.”  This revenue, however, is currently held up in escrow as the state law which mandates the impact fee is litigated.

I’d appreciate hearing your views on growth and growth management.


Look for a quickening pace of construction on Dorchester Road, between Trump and Wescott Boulevard.  The City’s new youth baseball and public park complex is approaching its final phases. If all goes well, the fields will host a national baseball tournament next summer.

A creative tree-loss mitigation plan has cleared the way and -at last- the Corner at Wescott development should begin early site clearance and construction within the next two weeks. Harris Teeter and Marshall’s are anchor stores for what should be   an attractive shopping facility.  Other probable commitments include Starbucks, Moe’s, Rack Room Shoes, a national pet store chain and a national women’s clothing store. I’ll keep you informed as we learn more about the final line-up of stores and restaurants.

The Hendon Company of Atlanta is the general developer of the Corner at Wescott. Hendon also is the developer of the remaining property across Wescott Boulevard and west of   Lowe’s. With economic conditions improving, we should anticipate the Hendon company will move very quickly to plan for the “completion” of the “Lowe’s footprint plan.


Our neighbors throughout the Charleston Park developments will be glad to know that there is finally a working plan to install a traffic signal at Trump and Dorchester Road.  The city will advance funding needed to get the project started and will be reimbursed by developers who had agreed to finance the signal once traffic counts warranted it. Dorchester Road is a state highway so state permits and planning must be achieved. If all goes well the light could be controlling traffic at this very busy intersection within 6 to 9 months.


The lane restriping of Patriot between Appian Way and Ashley Phosphate has been completed. Now the City is working with the S.C. Electric and Gas Company to install street lights in this busy corridor. The ultimate planning goal: a divided median with controlled pedestrian crossings.

Coosaw’s Crocodiles – American crocs are very rare outside southern Florida, but Coosaw’s swimming crocodiles have done it again, winning the Coastal Carolina Aquatic Association Championship “City” Meet for the second consecutive year. The team, which includes swimmers from many nearby neighborhoods, also finished the 2012 season undefeated.

Congratulations to the nearly 100 swim team members and Coach Jayson May and his staff. The team was honored by Mayor Summey and City Council July 26.

Watch the ceremony at

Web   Sites    …..     Regular City Council meetings are held at 7 p.m. he second and fourth Thursdays of each month. Did you know that you can watch these meetings live via the city’s   web site?  Please continue to access the website for the police activity report.  Also, visit frequently for news about community activities and for any information you might need about to city services.

And, please always contact me if I can help in any way

City of North Charleston Appoints New Artist-in-Residence

Local fiber artist, Kristy Bishop, to fill role for 2012-2013


The City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Department is proud to announce the appointment of contemporary fiber artist Kristy Bishop as Artist-in-Residence for 2012/13. The City’s Artist-in-Residence serves as a   key resource for the department’s outreach programs, especially in the area of   art instruction. The selected artist shares his/her unique skills, talents,   and experiences by providing services to senior groups, public schools, group   homes, and various other groups within the city limits of North Charleston.   Kristy will be available for visual art residencies of 12-15 hours at a   minimum of two hour increments at North Charleston schools and is also   available to host workshops for community groups of all ages.


Kristy Bishop,   originally from Charleston, received a BA in Studio Art with a concentration   in painting from the College of Charleston in 2008. In the spring of 2009 she   moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where the beauty and fragility of the Mojave   desert became the primary inspiration for her paintings. It was in December of   that year that Kristy began experimenting with fiber mediums, incorporating   sewn and embroidered elements into her paintings. By the time she returned to   Charleston in the summer of 2010, Kristy had made the transformation from   painter to mixed media/fiber artist.  Her most recent works are created   solely from fabric, featuring hand-dyed silk that is cut, gathered, and sewn.    By hand dyeing the fabric, she creates a multitude of colors that   she uses as her palette for creating new work. Thousands of tiny pieces of   hand-dyed silk are manipulated to create large scale abstract pieces that   employ texture and color to convey and evoke a number of emotions.  In   March, 2012, Kristy was featured in Charleston Magazine. Her most   recent works can be viewed in an exhibition titled Pinned Down, on view   from August 17-28 at Stems, located at 208 Coming Street in downtown   Charleston.


Art teachers and school   liaisons may initiate the request for FREE services by the Artist-in-Residence   by contacting the North Charleston Cultural Arts Department at (843)740-5854.   Community groups are also welcome to submit requests, which will be considered   on a first come first served basis. All project requests should be placed at   least two weeks in advance, with residences completed by the end of May, 2013.


The North Charleston City   Gallery will host an exhibition of Kristy’s work throughout January,   2013.  The gallery is located within the Charleston Area Convention   Center at 5001 Coliseum Drive in North Charleston. School liaisons, arts   teachers, and the general public are invited to meet the artist at a free   gallery reception on Thursday, January 3, 2013, from 5:00-7:00pm.


More information about the   Artist-in-Residence program, as well as the department’s other programs,   exhibits, and events, can be found on the Cultural Arts section of the City’s   website at For more   information about Kristy, visit









LOWCOUNTRY VOICES is a culturally and socially diverse chorus performing standard choral repertoire to the highest standard with a special focus on African-American music traditions. The choir will regularly rehearse on the first and third Mondays.


Each member must complete a voice assessment.






For further information: e-mail or call 843.609.5137 or 843.729.5397

North Charleston selected as Regional Veterans Day Site by National Committee

North Charleston selected as Regional Veterans Day Site by National Committee


NORTH CHARLESTON, SC – The Department of Defense and the Veterans Day National Committee has once again selected North Charleston as aRegional Site for Veterans Day 2012.  North Charleston is the only regional site in the State of South Carolina and has been selected for 3 consecutive years.


The City of North Charleston will host its annual Veterans Day tribute on Monday, November 12, 2012 from 10:30 am – 1:00 pm at Park Circle. We ask veterans and the public to join Mayor R. Keith Summey and City Council in this special ceremony.  Last year, over 500 veterans in attendance were honored.


Prior to the ceremony, from 9:30 am – 10:30 am, 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.


Additional details about North Charleston’s Veterans Day event will be released over the coming months.


From past Veterans Day events

Photos: Veterans Day 2011

Photos: Veterans Day 2010

Video: Medal of Honor recipient Major General Livingston on Veterans Day

Video: 10 year old Tre’ Williams on what it means to be a veteran

Video: Major Joe Lysaght on the history of the Pledge of Allegiance


Fall Programs in the Recreation Department‏

Mini Camps

Mini Camps will be offered to North Charleston residents on Monday, August 6 to Tuesday, August 21, 2012. 16 North Charleston community centers will open to accommodate the children of North Charleston. Camps were well staffed by playground leader employees that work in the community centers and Charleston County School District after school program staff. Camps will open from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Fees are $7.00 per day, per child. Residents can register for camps at City Hall or at the Community Centers. Community Centers that will be offering Mini-camps are:

Armory Park
Charleston Farms
Felix Pinckney
Green Grove
Gussie Green
Highland Terrace
Miner Crosby
Murray Hill
Persephone Moultrie
Raymond Buck Miller
Thomas Evans Sr.
Whipper Barony


After School Programs

After school programming in 15 Community Centers will commence on Wednesday, August 22, 2012. Programs will run in correlation with the 2012-2013 Charleston County School District calendar. Programming will include recreational activities, games, arts and crafts, field trip excursions and homework assistance. Children are well supervised and encouraged to learn and take part in team building activities and games during the program. After school programs run Monday to Friday, 2:30pm to 5:30pm. Locations are to include the following Community Centers: Charleston Farms, Felix Pinckney, Ferndale, Gethsemani, Gussie Green, Green Grove, Highland Terrace, Miner Crosby, Murray Hill, Northwoods, Persephone Moultrie, Raymond Buck Miller, Russelldale, Thomas Evans Sr, and Whipper Barony.

For any additional information please contact Trish Elsie at 740-5807 or Shaniqua Simmons at 740-5805.

We need YOUR HELP by this Friday August 3rd to save Mayor Summey


Time is Running Out!


 Take a look at the important video below from North Charleston Police Chief John Zumalt.  We need

YOUR HELP in finding Mayor Summey before August 3rd at noon.  Please visit

and register as a Private Investigator to solve this Crime!

Click here to view video

Lowcountry Mystery is now coming down to its final days.  Over the month of July we have been revealing a series of clues from a list of key suspects who may have kidnapped Mayor Summey.

Watch the full playlist of clues here.

Then go to  to register as a Private Investigator and make a guess at who took Mayor Summey.  You have until August 3rd at noon to submit your answer! Watch the videos, make a guess and let’s find the Mayor!

(not to mention helping Metanoia get off to a great start on its annual fundraising campaign)