CARTA, Town of James Island Cut Ribbon on Camp-Folly Bus Stop Shelter

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Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority
A BERKELEY-CHARLESTON-DORCHESTER COUNCIL OF GOVERNMENTS PROGRAM

CARTA, TOWN OF JAMES ISLAND CUT RIBBON ON CAMP-FOLLY BUS STOP SHELTER

Town funded construction of the new structure

James Island, S.C. (Oct. 22, 2018) – Charleston Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) and Town of James Island officials today cut the ribbon on the transit system’s newest shelter at the intersection of Camp Road and Folly Road.

The Town funded the $32,000 shelter, built on land provided by Walgreens. The structure was part of the Charleston County-led Camp Road at Folly Road Intersection Improvement Project.

“This is an excellent example of partnership among multiple government agencies and the private sector,” said CARTA board of directors chairman Mike Seekings. “The CARTA board thanks to the Town of James Island for funding the shelter, Walgreen’s for providing the necessary easement and Charleston County for their role in the project.”

“The Town recognizes the importance of public transit on James Island and placing a shelter at this important intersection made sense,” James Island Mayor Bill Woolsey said. “We also hope to find further ways to partner with CARTA in the future.”

The ribbon cutting comes ahead of a public meeting next week to discuss possible service changes on James Island that potentially include shorter headways and more trips per day. The meeting will be held from 3-7 p.m. on Oct. 29 at St. James Presbyterian Church, 1314 Secessionville Road.

Elsewhere in the system, CARTA is in the midst of constructing more than 60 shelters this fall.

ABOUT CARTA

The Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority (CARTA) is a public transportation system dedicated to providing affordable transit in the Charleston community through local fixed routes, on-demand paratransit service, and express commuter routes. For the latest on CARTA, visit www.ridecarta.com, like us on Facebook or follow on Twitter at @RideCARTA. All customers are encouraged to plan rides and track buses with the CARTA-endorsed Transit app.

23 James Island Roads Slated to Be Repaved

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The Town of James Island just received notification from County Councilman Joe Qualey about the following James Island streets slated for repaving under the County’s 1/2 sales tax program.

  • Arthur Drive
  • Brockman Circle
  • Brockman Drive
  • Burnett Drive
  • Castle Pinckney Drive
  • Darwin Street
  • Fred Street
  • Harbor Place Drive
  • Harrill Court
  • Joey Circle
  • Kushiwah Creek Court
  • Kushiwah Creek Drive
  • Maple Crest Drive
  • Martello Drive
  • Old Plantation Road
  • Regatta Road
  • Sheld Circle
  • Stebbins Court
  • Stebbins Street
  • Weir Street
  • West Capers Road
  • Willingham Court

Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series Kicks Off This Friday at James Island County Park (June 1)

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Good Music. Good Vibes: https://www.ccprc.com/1619

The Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series at James Island County Park (871 Riverland Dr, Charleston, SC 29412) features traditional old school roots reggae with a new school attitude in a beautiful outdoor setting. Bring your chairs or blanket. It’s Irie.

Summer 2018 Schedule

  • June 1 with Ras Bonghi Reggae All Stars
  • June 22 with NDKA
  • July 20 with Amani Smith and the Give Thanks Band
  • August 3 with Mystic Vibrations

Gates open at 7:30 p.m.; music begins at 8:30 p.m. Gates close at 10:30 p.m., and concerts end at 11 p.m.

Admission

Concerts take place rain or shine. No refunds will be given due to inclement weather. Food, beverages, and souvenirs will be available for purchase onsite. ID is required to purchase alcohol. Outside alcohol and coolers are prohibited.

We reserve the right to use photos or videos taken of visitors while they are at Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission facilities or events for publicity purposes.

World Finance Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening – James Island – April 27, 2018

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James Island, SC — World Finance Corporation, one of the largest small-loan consumer finance companies in North America will hold a grand opening on April 27, 2018 to unveil their new location. The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a ribbon cutting at 915 Folly Road, Suite 1, Charleston, SC 29412. The public is invited to attend this grand opening and attendees may also enjoy prizes, food and a live radio broadcast.
Visit World Finance Loans and Taxes at 915 Folly Road, Suite 1, Charleston, SC 29412 Mondays and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Saturdays 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. For more information call (843) 406-8646 or visit www.loansbyworld.com.

Young actors find a home at the Charleston Performing Arts Center on James Island

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By Mark A. Leon

Yesterday, the James Island Junior Theater opened the stage to a sell-out crowd for their inaugural performance of “The Little Mermaid Jr.”? With a cast of youth actors up to age 18, parents, friends, siblings and loved ones smiled, laughed, and felt complete admiration as these talented and often brave young actors performed 20 scenes of the beloved classic “The Little Mermaid Jr.”.? With a constant flow of set changes during this single act performance, I was amazed at the level of talent and discipline of these young aspiring talents.

Scott Pfeiffer, Director and Operating Manager of the Charleston Performing Arts Center grew up surrounded by the arts and found his home early in his career performing youth theater in California.? His connection with the live stage and passion for helping to develop the talent of actors at all ages, lends itself to the remarkable achievement this Junior Theater has found.

With a generous team, including Savannah Schoenborn on choreography, Andrea Roule, music director, Kirk Pfeiffer on costumes and wigs, Shawn McIntosh leading scenic construction and painting, Jordan Benton on lighting and Derek Alverson on sound, we were taken to an underwater paradise where 25 humans, mermaids, crustaceans, fish and ocean life led us through a musical journey of love and fantasy.? All around the audience of eager fans were blue lights shot to the ceiling creating the illusion of the ocean while on stage painted canvases of teal and green made the transformation complete.

The show was highlighted by a spirited performance from Madelynne Burt as Sebastian with her humorous accent and nervous demeanor.? She was charming, energetic and nailed her vocals and dialogue with poise.? Lucy Dixon brought an innocence to the stage as Ariel.? She had a natural curiosity and awkwardness in her journey to find true love and you can’t help but want to see end up with her prince.

The two primary male leads, Joshua Tolbert as Prince Eric and Leo West as King Triton, were both strong and pronounced.? Both characters resided in extremely different places, but find parallels in their place in society with one holding a royal role under and one above the water.? Each must tackle a major challenge that tests their souls to find what they truly seek in life.? These were two excellent and heartwarming performances.

The remainder of the cast elevated the show with large ensemble musical numbers, keen supporting roles and a natural ability to remove their human skin and become one with their fantasy bigger than life characters.

Live theater is achieved when the collaborative efforts of a group of people both in front and behind the scenes come together in a passionate and cohesive exercise of love.? It takes hard work, rehearsal and a vulnerability to take on a character and become the embodiment of them.? Only a rare individual with inner strength and confidence to step out in front of hundreds of people and entertain can take on such a position.? I witnessed a great deal of talent on that stage and expect to see many of these performers for years to come.

The Charleston Performing Arts Center on James Island is making a selfless commitment to the Charleston area community to harness and shape the future of live performing arts in the Lowcountry.? We were honored to be part of the inaugural performance and season.

Including remaining shows for “The Little Mermaid Jr.”, the company will be performing “The Wizard of Oz”, “Peter Pan” and “Hairspray” to usher through this 2017-18 season.

Learn more today – Ticket and Audition Information

 

O2 Fitness Clubs Unveils Flagship Facility on James Island

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28,000 square foot gym is O2’s largest facility to-date

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (Oct. 13, 2017) – O2 Fitness Clubs is pleased to enhance and expand its footprint in the Lowcountry with the unveiling of the company’s largest, flagship facility on James Island. Now open for memberships, the 28,000 square foot club features state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor functional training turf, Kids Club, a robust set of fitness classes and a Mind-Body studio for yoga, barre, pilates and stretching.

“As the largest of 24 facilities across the Carolinas, this new club is a major step towards our mission of making a healthy lifestyle more attractive and accessible in the Lowcountry,” said O2 Fitness Clubs CEO Michael Olander, Jr. “Whether you’re looking for an energizing group fitness class, one-on-one session with a personal trainer or child care while you get your ‘me time’ in, this new facility has more options than ever for all ages and fitness levels. The most important aspect of this club to note though is the welcoming, inclusive and fun fitness community that anyone who walks in our doors will experience. That’s what matters.”

In addition to indoor and outdoor turf areas, there is a dedicated cycle studio, TRX, functional training space, Mind-Body studio, unlimited group fitness classes and a cyber lounge with free Wifi. The club also offers luxurious locker rooms, towel service, Kids Club and two free Program Design sessions (fitness assessment, goal setting and a path for success) with a personal trainer.

The O2 Fitness Club is located at 848 Folly Road on James Island and offers memberships starting at $49 per month with access to all 10 other locations in the Lowcountry. For more information on joining, call (843) 641-7773 or visit www.o2fitnessclubs.com/gyms/james-island/.

About O2 Fitness Clubs

Home to more than 20,000 members in the Lowcountry, O2 Fitness Clubs offers access to state-of-the-art equipment, more than 250 weekly classes and customized personal training services at 11 South Carolina locations. The club is dedicated to offering the ultimate fitness experience, providing something for everyone, including tailored programs to help meet health and fitness goals. O2 Fitness is a company that cares about giving back and will often be seen out and about supporting local events and charities. Learn more at www.o2fitnessclubs.com.

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Desirable Places in Charleston, SC to Escape Life

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By Minta Pavliscsak

Ever have one of “those” days? Sure you have; we all have. The type of day where you just want to be alone and escape life for a bit. Between work, school, family, friends, and the constant connection with technology, places where you can just be alone are difficult to come by.

However, as long as you do not check in on Facebook or Yelp when you get there, you can seclude yourself and escape life if you wish to do so. Turn off your phone, bring a book, magazine, your puppy, a notebook, or simply your own thoughts, take a few deep breaths and enjoy your solitude.

Here are a few of the best hidden places in Charleston to escape life, if only for a few minutes.

Folly Beach: You have a few options here. The best places to go to be alone with your thoughts are as far east as you can go on the island, and as far west as you can go. On the east end you will enjoy a scenic view of Morris Island Lighthouse. The far west end is a bit further of a walk, but totally worth it. The walk there is part of the destination itself.

Charleston Waterfront Park swings at night: There’s not a sound much more soothing than the sound of water, and when accompanied by the feeling of gently swinging back and forth under the moonlight, worries seem to melt away. Bring a comfy sweatshirt, even in summertime as it tends to get a little chilly.

Melton Peter Demetre Park (formally Sunrise Park): If you want a unique view of Charleston and the surrounding areas, here is your spot. Nestled deep within James Island, this is the perfect place to start your day or spend the afternoon in peacefulness.? In the distance you can view the Cooper River Bridge or the church steeples of the peninsula.

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Allan Park

Fishing and Crabbing Dock at James Island County Park: Even if there is someone fishing, they usually just nod to say hi and focus on catching a big one. The dock is large enough for you to have your own spot to yourself. Bring your fishing pole, crab net, or just sit and enjoy the view.

Allan Park: Located just off of Ashley Avenue near Hampton Park, Allan Park is a splendid half acre of tranquility. There is a large fountain in the center and plenty of grass for picnics. There are also benches around the fountain if a blanket is not your thing.

Caw Caw Interpretive Center: Located about sixteen miles from downtown Charleston, Caw Caw Interpretive Center has remained virtually untouched over the years. Once several rice plantations, it is now home to a multitude of wildlife which you can enjoy along over six miles of trails winding throughout swamplands, cypress trees and boardwalks.

Magnolia Cemetery: Not many people think “relaxing” when it comes to cemeteries, but trust us on this one. Magnolia Cemetery is located on the banks of the Cooper River and in our opinion has to be one of the most beautiful places one could spend their resting days. Taking a stroll through this 92 acre stretch of land can give a whole new meaning to “escaping life”.

MUSC Urban Farm:? Right in the heart of the medical district off of Bee Street between Ashley and Courtenay is a safe haven.? In the heart of this square escape is an educational community garden where you will find everything from lemons, to rosemary to sunflowers with free gardening and nature lessons weekly.? Just outside the garden are open grassy areas and benches to relax, have a meal or just daydream.? Also, enclosed in this area are stretching equipment to keep your body physically fit.? This is a true mental and physical realm of health and solitude in the heart of the Charleston peninsula.

 

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Magnolia Cemetery

We know there are more, but we do not want to give away all of the secrets! If you have a favorite spot that you like to go to escape life and would like to share, please comment below.

The Real Reasons We Shouldn’t Expand James Island

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By Mark A. Leon

The natural progression of the light speed transition in the Lowcountry is James Island.? From a proximity perspective, it is within three (3) and ten (miles) from historic Charleston and two (2) to ten (10) miles from Folly Beach.? This is prime development land any way you shape it.? Local and out of state investors see the writing on the wall and they are trying to take advantage of all the available property.? This is evident in the number of downtown closures, extraordinary development of new hotels and boutiques and a city that is transitioning away from the historic culture it had built.

There are a few things we know to be true about James Island

  1. Parts of James Island are under Charleston jurisdiction.
  2. As tourism and population growth continues, James Island is a prime location for housing and hotel development.
  3. Charleston has a mayor with a background in real estate development
  4. Outside money is pouring in to capitalize on the popularity of this area.

There is tremendous admiration for the residents of James Island that are taking to public forums, digital chatter and petitions to curb the expansion of this beautiful area.? We stand in solidarity.

Let us for a moment remove the politics, the greed and the overwhelming clout and money tearing this area and look at the core reasons why expanding James Island is a poor idea.

McLeod Plantation

Why James Island Should Not Expand

  • During the peak season, traffic to Folly Beach (with a heavy emphasis on festivals and weekends) can be backed up for miles causing disruptions to daily traffic patterns on Folly Road and hurting local businesses.
  • Constant traffic throughout the day on Folly Road has deterred consumers from stopping at businesses on road because of the difficulty to get back on the roadway, especially in the opposite direction.
  • Construction on Fort Johnson and Harborview, Camp and Folly and Central Park are only the beginning of massive road work to accommodate the growth and increased driving volumes.
  • The intersection of Maybank Highway and Folly Road and the draw bridge can be a logistical nightmare. This already has an affect that stretches to John’s Island and River Road.? Think about what a 20% growth in new residents will do.
  • The Annual Festival of Lights causes a two plus week annual influx of traffic that congests the James Island Connector, Central Park, Riverland and Maybank. Expansion could force changes to a major local area tradition.
  • Folly Road offers an abundance of bars (Bohemian Bull, The Barrel, The Brickhouse, Cajun Blues, The Break, White Duck, Lowdown Oven and Bar, La Hacienda, La Carreta, Garage 75, Kickin Chicken, O’Brion’s Pub, Stag Erin Pub, Zia, How Art Thou, The Pour House). That is 16 bars in 7 miles.? That is only a small snapshot.? Many restaurants offer alcoholic options as well.? With a limited staff of law enforcement, dramatic growth in population could have a negative effect on roadway safety.
  • James Island offers an aesthetic of simplicity, natural beauty and serenity. With places including fishing docks, Sunrise Park, Dock Street Park, McCleod Plantation, James Island County Park, Stono River, more apartments/condos and increasing traffic will destroy the natural element this community has grown accustomed to.
  • Our restaurants and bars still have a local hometown appeal. Bartenders and patrons, staff and guests have personal relationships.? It is what separates the island from the peninsula.
  • James Island continues to face challenges around alternative transportation (biking and CARTA). This is an area that must be resolved before we can move forward with this level of expansion.
  • New state of the art development will raise property values forcing up rents and housing prices.

Changes are already in motion.

The Carmike Cinema was closed and an entire staff was told in one day, they lost their jobs.

Residents lost the only area roller rink.? Drivers are making illegal U-Turns and going through red lights due to uneven traffic light patterns and lack of patience.? There has been a rise in local area accidents.

The battle is simple:? Corporate greed vs a standard of living built on community, family and comfort.

Keep fighting James Island.

Even if change is inevitable and the island turns into condos and hotels, know that you fought until the end.

Dock Street Park

Maybank Public House Offers James Island’s Solution to Late Night Dining

By Mark A. Leon

Late night dining on James Island.? A phrase often reserved for pub food, comfort food, modified menus filled with carbs and fried delights.? That is what we have come to expect from James Island late night edibles.? Don’t get us wrong, there is an appreciation and market for late night urges with Paisano’s, Smoky Oak, Marco’s and Huddle House accommodating the needs of the night owls.

What about the patrons whose day has gotten away from them and before they know it, the time is 10:30 PM and they want a really good salad or pan seared chicken?? Maybank Public House has answered your prayers. (1970 Maybank Highway, James Island, SC)

Seven days a week, this eatery offers a full menu in the bar area until 12:30 AM.? Whether you are catching a late movie at the Terrace or a show at The Pour House, they are ready to please.

In a recent visit, we were taken back by the exception quality of customer service, food offerings and overall hospitality.? We wanted to take a moment and provide you a visual of what our experience entailed.? Upon arrival, we were offered to take a seat where we were comfortable and greeted immediately with two menus, napkins and silverware.? It was a five star hosting experience.? After two glasses of water arrived a few moments later, we learned of some of the great dining options.

We took a few moments with the menu and decided to shared the Smoked Gouda and Pecan Smoked Bacon Mac and Cheese and and the Arugula,? Beet, Green Bean and Goat Cheese Salad.? These two dishes were exceptional with fresh local ingredients and flavor that remained on the pallet after each bite.? Yet, even before we ordered, we had a challenge determining our appetizer and salad selection.? From lamb sliders to blue crab and spinach dip, steamed clams, fried green tomatoes or BBQ shrimp, there were no bad options and that posed quite a challenge.? We feel we made the right choice for this visit.

Smoked Gouda and Pecan Smoked Bacon Mac and Cheese

The Mac and Cheese was a virtual explosion of intense flavor, soft pasta and well blended mix of cheese and bacon to ensure every fork full was filled with the right mix.? This dish alone was a meal for two so expect to not leave hungry at the end of your evening.? The salad can compete with any of the five star downtown restaurants in presentation and taste.

This eclectic menu, offers an array of soups, salads, flat breads, burgers, and features including Shrimp and Grits, Fish N’ Chips, Pan Seared Chicken, Seafood Linguini and Red Curry Rubbed Salmon.

During our stay, we paced out meal with some long conversation.? During that time, our services was exceptional.? There was proper spacing between the appetizer and salad and we never felt any rush during our entire stay.

If dining isn’t your goal and having a cold beverage or glass of vino is more your preference, Maybank offers 18 craft beers on tap and a full menu of red, white, rose and bubbly wine selections.

Though the air was brisk, most nights are ideal for outdoor dining.? There are available tables if you wish to dine under the stars.

The dining area closes at 10:00 PM leaving only the bar area open, but during the day, the restaurant is in full operation and we love the design of the building offering a separation point between the dining area and bar area so patrons have the option of fun conversational bar crowd or quiet intimate dining room ambiance.

Stumbling on this gift of late night dining got us in the door, but the warm and professional customer service, exquisite flavor packed food and complete experience is what wants us coming back.

Arugula, Beet, Green Bean, Goat Cheese Salad

Is James Island Becoming the New West Ashley?

By Mark A. Leon

It is often said that a dog owner over time begins to take on the attributes and look of its furry companion.? This analogy may hold true for James Island, SC.? Once the gateway to the natural wonders of Johns Island and Folly Beach, is now taking on a facelift right before our eyes.

Just a bridge away from downtown Charleston, beautiful Windermere area of West Ashley and Johns Island, James Island is a hub for the beauty of the coast.? While it has struggled to find its own identity, James Island is still a resourceful community based town that took pride in family and local commerce, tradition, sports and education.

Like most of Charleston county, times are evolving and changes are happening that some see as progress while others see as a loss of identity.

One very distinct commonality between West Ashley and James Island remains:? Struggle to differentiate from Charleston and find its own sense of identity.

Black Diamond Group Development of new structure for Walgreens relocation
Black Diamond Group Development of new structure for Walgreens relocation

Signs of the changing landscape of James Island:

  • O2 Fitness will be joining the Folly Road retail strip along with Gold’s Gym – Two known chain fitness corporations.
  • PetSmart will be opening in the BiLo plaza in 2017.
  • There are now 3 Harris Teeters within seven miles on the same road.
  • Camp and Folly Road Improvement Project
  • Rite-Aid, CVS and Walgreens are within 3 miles of each other
  • Folly Road offers a bike lane, but it is still in a high risk, high traffic area
  • Traffic issues on Folly Road have gotten worse pouring overflow into HarborView, Riverland and Maybank
  • Within 3 miles are three fast food chain pizza companies:? Marcos, Dominos and Little Caesar’s
  • The Roller Risk on Folly Road that created so many childhood memories is now gone.
  • There are 7 automotive parts and/or repair shops with a 4-mile radius.
  • Chik-fil-a, Publix, Sonic, Huddle House, IHOP, Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, Arby’s, TCBY, Dollar Tree, Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Tuesday Morning contribute to the corporate logos high above the roadways.
  • Badd Kitty was welcomed in 2016 to James Island
  • New housing developments in the works or completed on Fort Johnson, Folly Road and Maybank Highway.
  • Farmer’s Market moved from a neighborhood park to the back lot of The Pour House

These are a few of the changes happening on James Island right before our eyes.? Soon, this small town, with its own unique identity only a stone throw away from Charleston, Folly and Johns Island, will become a corporate suburb.

Do not be surprised if the rise of hotels soon becomes the new skyline of James Island and tourists adopt this area as their vacation starting point.