July 22, 2009


July 21, 2009: Since the year 2000, the City of Charleston has been refining the Century V master plan [yes, 5 centuries as the city was established in 1670]. With a population of 120,000 [37K on the peninsula and 57K in West Ashley], the city has five regions: The Peninsula, West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island, and the Wando Peninsula, which includes much of Daniel Island.

The present goal is to complete a new plan within a 12 month period. Areas that are being given special attention include:

The Calhoun Corridor: from Frances Marion Square to the aquarium, and including Concord Park and the Maritime Center. It will have affordable housing, be pedestrian friendly, and have a park and more trees along the Calhoun corridor to the river.

The Union Pier: With the eventual demolition of several large warehouses, the whole passenger terminal area will be redesigned.

Concord Park: The area will include affordable residences, an inn, retail space and a park similar to Marion Square.

The Magnolia Project: The area has 216 acres, including 153 highlands. It runs between I-26 and the Ashley River. A first step bridge is under construction. Once the economy improves look for residential housing, offices and retail spaces.

Midtown [north King St.]: Watch for a hotel, condos, apartment, retail and some higher buildings.

West Ashley Projects: Includes housing beyond the new super Walmart, extension of the McConnell Parkway and new housing areas.

Bees Ferry Park: This new park will include tennis and playgrounds and open in 2010.

Long Savannah: Watch for new parallel roads to the Savannah Highway and more housing.

Johns Island: New codes are being worked on to maintain the rural character.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

July 17, 2009


July 14, 2009: For over thirty years, Rudy Mancke has been the star and voice of "Nature Scene" on SCETV. He has taken nature walks in all 30 of South Carolina counties, and all 50 states of the US. He told us that a naturalist "is a person who studies the world of nature and marvels at all of it." From his earliest recollection he has been fascinated by all forms of nature be it animals, bugs, plants, fish or any other aspect of nature. The question most asked of him is: "What is it?". Every day he receives several e-mails with photos of things people have seen and are curious about. That natural curiosity must be satisfied. Once they know what it is, the second question is: "What good is it?" This is a question that for the most part cannot be answered, but a more important question to ask, that can be answered is: "How does it fit in with the rest of the world?"

South Carolina is the smallest of the southern states but has an incredible diversity of natural areas, from the mountains to the sea, with many regions in between. One famous plant, the Venus Fly Trap is only found in South Carolina and a small part of North Carolina. Thus, it is vitally important that we all continue to work to save the natural resources that we have. South Carolina and SCETV is known the world over for its work by naturalists.

He has concerns currently about the drought going on in the mountains and the resulting surge of insects eating away at many major trees, but over all feels that the people of this state are working to conserve what we have for future generations. He noted that some of the worlds greatest conservationists like John Audobon, traveled through the Charlestown area. We are at the very center of an important part of the natural world.

Reported by Fred Sales, Keyway Committee

July 3, 2009

"Times are Changing"

June 30, 2009: Today President, Andy Brack led his final meeting as president of our fine club: he thanked his board, his fellow Rotarians and turned over his gavel to Kyra Morris. Andy took time to review a job well done! Over the last twelve months the Rotary Club of Charleston has accomplished great things , here are some highlights below.

- Local Projects included:Day of Caring, bell ringing with the Salvation Army, Rotary Readers, holiday gifts to seniors, multiple Adopt-A-Highway days, honoring Chas. County teachers of the year, Rotary Club of Charleston Foundation Grants and more.

- Big projects completed were our fundraiser Rotary Wheels, where we raised $23,000 to help fund our commitment to the Lowcountry Food Bank. Launched our new international service project with Water Missions International and "parlayed $50,000" that was sent to South America to work towards clean water for all. Additionally, we funded our first World Peace Scholar, Kelly Robinson, and gave $10,125 to Ending Polio Now (goal was $7800).

- Internally, we ended the "blue" donation buckets, transformed the Wellness Committee, worked to integrate new members with a new video, contract, and strategic plan focused on members. We had three wonderful socials events, including one with a beard contest. Lastly, the leadership restructured the committees to better serve the members, and created a new relationship with the Coastal Community Foundation (which was started by this club years ago).

After President Andy presented his board members with their very own golden shovels, our Assistant District Governor, Gene Pardee, swore in the new board and the new president, Kyra Morris, who took a few minutes to tell us where we're going. The 2009-2010 year will echo the Rotary International theme of "The Future is in our hands", our local goal being to "stir the pot" harvest the talents of our members and utilize them to serve others above ourselves!

Submitted by Elizabeth Wooten Burwell, Keyway Committee Chair

July 2, 2009

"Social Media: A Critical Tool for Business Today"

June 23rd, 2009:

Lyn Mettler, President of Step Ahead, Inc. treated our Club to a new world: the use of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, as critical tools for success in today's business world. She asked, "Why do I care what you are doing right now?" The answer, "I don't care about what you're doing personally ... but I do care about what the social media, as a critical communications tool can do for my business success."

Lyn provided four reasons why social media is critical for today:
1. Customer Service:
Instant, personalized contact; catch the good & the bad; clarify the rights & the wrongs.
2. Brand Management:
Can't wait "24 hours" to fix threatening situations;
Dominos corrected 2 employee's You Tube brand management "slam"
3. Capturing Leads:
Dell increased sales by $3 million using Twitter.
4. Expand Awareness & Public Relations:
Stay in front of clients & potential clients.

She also outlined the tools for our social media arsenal:
Twitter ........... the Oprah Affect; info from Iran
Facebook ............. business pages; real-time monitoring
Blog ............... position self as an expert; web site optimization
Video ......................... You Tube; handle things difficult to explain
Review Sites ................... Yelp; IGOUGO
iPhone Applications .............. Mobile connections to your entire arsenal

Find more on www.stepaheadinc.com

Submitted by Bill Crowe, Keyway Committee Chair