Island Vibes Feb 2024

EXTINGUISHING A CAREER See Page 8 EROSION UNDER EXAMINATION See Page 3 COUNCIL RETREAT RECAP See Page 6 Photo by Tonya McGue Vol.2 Issue 2 February 2024 SNOWBIRDING Pros/Cons (See Page 7) ISLAND LOVE STORIES (See Page 16) CAREER POWER COUPLE (See Page 24) Isle of Love

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n the western side of Isle of Palms, the farthest end of Ocean Boulevard nearest Breach Inlet, stands a recently built concrete slab that has been described as a seawall, an erosion control structure and an erosion control device. It sits on private property, but its presence on the beach raises questions of whether it is in violation of state and local law. Officials with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) must determine if the device is contributing to further erosion and if the structure’s exact location matches up to current setback requirements for private coastal property. “This structure violates an IOP city 3 NEWS Continued on Page 5 Beach structure under investigation for illegal erosion control By L. C. Leach III O Custom Insurance Protection Home | Auto | Boat | Business | Flood | More Meet Greer Narowski! You have worked hard for what you own... let us help you protect your most valuable assets with affordable and comprehensive coverage that meets your needs. Visit us online at or call us at 843-816-8780 WE MAKE FINDING THE PERFECT PROPERTY A SEAMLESS PROCESS. Krista M. Swingle REALTOR® Brand Name Real Estate Charleston, SC Hugh Swingle IV Property Manager In Charge (843) 474-1200 Responsive Results Driven Hands On ordinance,” said Steven Traynum, president of Coastal Science & Engineering in Columbia, and coastal engineer consultant for IOP. “It was built landward of the setback line, which IOP city regulations do not allow. I don’t see any way for the property owner to get around these violations.” Mayor Phillip Pounds and city Councilman Blair Hahn added that while jurisdiction in this matter now rests solely with OCRM, the act of a private property resident building the structure is the most pressing concern. “The property owner is claiming a constitutional right to build the structure – that he is protecting his property rights, and that these rights are more important than the public right to the beach,” Hahn said. “The Coastal Conservation League (CCL) is aware of the situation as well and will be involved.” OCRM first became aware of the issue on Oct. 4, 2023. Staff conPhoto Provided.

of Palms community newspaper, we strive to bring people together. Whether it’s digitally at www., feeling the paper in your hands or attending an in-person event such as our monthly launch party. Bringing the community together in as many ways as possible is why we exist. Cheers! Bill Macchio, Publisher hew! Now that we’ve plunged into the new year, whether it’s polar plunges or Dry January, I hope all of you are keeping up your resolutions. However, do as I say and not as I do. My resolution is the same every year: stay true to yourself. My esteemed publisher Bill once told me, “We don’t create a newspaper, we create a brand.” Island Vibes is far more than a monthly periodical; it’s a conduit for fostering community and keeping the island spirit alive and positive! There is no time like the present and February being the “Month of Love” is the perfect opportunity to spread joy to the island. Perhaps you could perform an act of kindness ’m reminded every day how blessed I am to live where I live and do what I do. One day last week, I was coming out of Starbucks when I heard someone yell as they were leaving the neighboring Mozzo Deli, ‘Hey Bill, what a great job you’re doing with Island Vibes.’ The response to Island Vibes has been better than I could have ever imagined, starting with the inaugural issue. Here is an excerpt of an email from a longtime friend: “Just received my inaugural copy of Island Vibes. I love it. You continue to amaze me with your talent and entrepreneurial spirit. Best of luck to you and your new undertaking. Hope you are doing well. Your old friend, Tommy Hartnett.” Tommy, hopefully you’re reading this edition of Island Vibes. You knew Fritz Hollings well, and I hope you and the rest of our readership will enjoy Mary Coy’s article on Page 24, “IOP’s power couple of the past,” about Fritz and Peatsy. After all, February is the month 4 FROM THE CREW D The pride of Isle of Palms today, tomorrow and always. I Island Vibes Vol. 2, Issue 2 February 2024 PUBLISHER BILL MACCHIO PUBLISHER@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM MANAGING EDITOR ZACH GIROUX EDITOR@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM ART DIRECTOR BETHANY LONG ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER JENNIFER BURKE JENNIFER@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM BRAND AMBASSADOR SONYA BUCKHANNON SONYA@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER MORGAN WINNINGHAM SOCIALMEDIA@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM COPY EDITOR COLIN MCCANDLESS PHOTOGRAPHY TONYA MCGUE CONTRIBUTORS ISABEL ALVAREZ ARATA • HEATHER ROSE ARTUSHIN RYAN BUCKHANNON • SONYA BUCKHANNON • JOHN CHITWOOD MARY COY • LAURA FOGARTY • MAURICE FRAZIER CLARK LEACH COLIN MCCANDLESS PHILLIP POUNDS SALES REPRESENTATIVES ANDY BIMONTE ANDY@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM STACEY MCLOUGHLIN STACEY@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM MAURICE FRAZIER MAURICE@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM ADMINISTRATION & BOOKKEEPING GINGER SOTTILE BOSS DOG REGGIE DISTRIBUTION ISLE OF PALMS • WILD DUNES • GOAT ISLAND DEWEES ISLAND • U.S. POST OFFICE HARRIS TEETER • PUBLIX • ASHEVILLE/ HENDERSON AIRPORT • ALL SC WELCOME CENTERS Island Vibes is published locally by a team of independent contractors. Island Vibes is published 12 times per year by Islands Publishing LLC. 1013 Chuck Dawley Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 Copyright © Islands Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction electronically or in print format without the expressed written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited and a violation of U.S. copyright laws. Content, including editorial, advertising or comments, that threatens, harasses or degrades others may be revoked or refused from print and online publication at the sole discretion of Island Vibes. Inquiries to: Island Vibes P.O. Box 22617, Charleston, SC 29413 Editor’s Note W Publisher’s Note of love and they were Wild Dunes residents for many years. Speaking of love, make sure to check out Page 16 to catch the article on Isle of Palms residents who found love. To anyone reading this, Zach and I would love to meet you. Every issue of Island Vibes has a launch party at one of the island’s businesses. Become part of our community at to discover where each month’s gathering will be held. As the Isle for a neighbor or go out of your way to help a stranger in need. Don’t forget to treat your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day! Speaking of love, how romantic is our front cover? Two lovebirds, one heart and one stunning sunset. The story of their young love is even sweeter. No spoilers. Read About the Cover on Page 3. Speaking of romance, if you’re looking for everlasting love, check out Island Love Stories on Page 16. I’m not Cupid, nor do I pretend to be, but I guarantee this issue will make you catch the love bug. At the very least, you will catch our vibe because it’s very contagious and addicting! One island. One heart. One love! Positively yours, Zach Giroux, Managing Editor 5 NEWS From Page 3 ducted inspections at the site of the property. During the inspection, OCRM officials confirmed that approximately 1,255 square feet of non-beach compatible fill and other materials – including clay, gravel/ rock, artificial turf, metal fencing, filter fabric, geogrid and timber – had been placed on an active beach’s critical area without authorization from DHEC. OCRM officials further found evidence of marine debris, resulting from tidal and wave interaction with the non-beach-compatible fill and materials. “We have heard reports from citizens of an erosion control device being found on the property,” said Emily Cedzo, director of conservation programs & policy with CCL. “We are not sure whether this was built in addition to the above referenced materials or if these materials have hardened to form some sort of erosion control device.” New erosion control devices are explicitly prohibited on state beaches as well as by the City of Isle of Palms. The primary reason for their prohibition, according to the South Carolina General Assembly, is because armoring devices perpetuate a false sense of security to beachfront property owners. In many instances, they increase vulnerability of beachfront property to damage from wind and waves while contributing to the deterioration of the beach, which is a public trust resource. “It’s important that property owners understand alternative means to protect their properties against erosion,” Cedzo said. “If one private resident builds a device at their own discretion to control erosion, others will often follow suit and doing so can also exacerbate erosion on adjacent properties.” Attempts to stave off erosion on IOP beaches have been ongoing since 2007. Efforts across the island have included sandbag placement, dredging, pumping, beach condition monitoring, shoal realignment and management, dune restoration, targeted sand scrapings and the moving and replacing of beach-compatible sand. From 2008-14, more than 100,000 cubic yards of sand were dumped along the eastern fill area of Seascape and Ocean Club. Since the summer of 2023, Breach Inlet has been dealing with extensive erosion, according to Traynum. The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to add approximately half a million cubic yards of sand to the south end area in the next couple of months. In 2013-14, during a routine OCRM inspection of sandbags at the east end of the island near the Ocean Club, OCRM found a timber wall behind the sandbags, according to former IOP Mayor Dick Cronin, who served from 2009-17. The matter was resolved by OCRM taking the wall down and fining the owner. “Any erosion control action you take on your own can impact public use of the beach or further contribute to erosion of the area,” Traynum added. “Rapidly eroding shorelines are a very difficult management issue that often forces homeowners and beach managers to face difficult choices with unpredictable outcomes.” Photos Provided. About the Cover Sunset lovers By Laura Fogarty ust before sunset on a brisk January evening, photographer Tonya McGue prepared to take the cover photo for our February issue. The community dock at the Isle of Palms Exchange Club provided the perfect location to capture the spectacular view and gave us a chance to chat with the sweet and lighthearted couple featured on our cover. Anna Raquel Robison met her husband Jonathon Clark at Erskine College where they both attended the school on athletic scholarships. Anna was born in Charleston and raised on the Isle of Palms with her younger siblings, while Jonny hails from slightly farther off—Aberdeen, Scotland. After coming to the United States to attend college and play soccer, Jonny fell in love with not only his future wife, but also her hometown. Deciding to stay in the United States, close to Anna’s family, was a decision that came naturally to both. Jonny admits the weather here is hard to beat, and the people and the pubs make it a place he’s content to call home. J

ivisiveness was evident among the nine members that make up Isle of Palms City Council in 2023. After a recent meeting of the minds, there is optimism that that’s no longer the case in 2024. IOP Mayor Phillip Pounds held a oneday council retreat on Jan. 5 at the Post House Inn in Mount Pleasant, in hopes of building more unity and camaraderie to move forward into a new year that looks to have even more pressing issues on the horizon. “Part of the focus was to start us all on the right foot toward this goal,” Pounds said. “And our initial goal was to establish strategic objectives for the next few years and to receive some technical training from the Municipal Association of South Carolina on ethics, effective meetings and council’s role.” 6 NEWS Council retreat aims to mend division among city elect By L. C. Leach III FINDING THE RIGHT INSURANCE FOR ALL ISLAND RESIDENTS Family Owned & Operated COASTAL COVERAGE SPECIALISTS 843.881-4707 Mount Pleasant & Beaufort AUTO • HOMEOWNERS • CONDO • LIFE • WIND & HAIL • COMMERCIAL • FLOOD D Presenting for the Municipal Association was field manager Charlie Barrineau, who provided an overview of best practices for council governments, effective government practices, ethics and matters involving the Freedom of Information Act. Barrineau pointed out that while city and town councils across the state often disagree on how best to handle an issue or resident concern, such open division can lead to decisions that adversely affect entire communities. “For example, Isle of Palms operates on a fiscal year that runs from July 1 to June 30 – which means that the city is only five months out from approving a new fiscal budget,” Barrineau continued. “So now is the time to discuss strategies and goals for the upcoming year, so members can begin monetizing those goals and ideas that they will begin working on soon.” Barrineau added that with certain pressing issues still smoldering – such as short-term rental licenses and an island-wide noise ordinance – IOP Council members now more than ever need to adopt a few simple measures including: • Be as eager to listen as to speak. • Concentrate on what you have in common, not what separates you. • Make your point about the issue, not the person. • Make your case on merits, not on what people want to hear. “Isle of Palms is one of 271 towns and cities that we provide orientation and onboarding for elected officials throughout the year,” Barrineau said. “My part of the retreat was primarily aimed at IOP’s two newly-elected members. But it also served as an effective reminder for all current members as well.” New councilwoman Ashley Carroll said afterwards that the retreat put all members in a hopeful spirit. “And if we can keep that attitude going, we can all be successful for what we have to do for the residents of Isle of Palms,” Carroll said. Pounds said that while he too is hopeful for a better 2024, he wants all council members to understand that disagreement doesn’t have to mean division. “In the past two years, we’ve made significant progress on many fronts such as the marina, short-term rentals and regulations for large gatherings on public property, like the beaches,” he added. “Going forward, we certainly won’t agree on each project or issue we will face. But our residents expect us to be prepared, engaged, deliberate the issues constructively and fully and then arrive at the best decisions for our community. And that’s the only agenda that should be driving us all.”

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8 FOR OUR IOP LOCATION EMAIL US AT PAPISTAQUERIA@GMAIL.COM COME SEE US AT PAPI’S TAQUERIA! (843) 926-7274 • 1012 Ocean Blvd Isle of Palms, SC FOR OUR FOOD TRUCK TEXT US AT 843-214-6299 Follow Us @cachitaskitchen on Instagram THANK YOU MOUNT PLEASANT FOR VOTING US BEST FOOD TRUCK! 2024 ® IOPFD Fire Marshal retires after near decade of service By Heather Rose Artushin here’s been a passing of the torch at the Isle of Palms Fire Department and it’s fair to say that Fire Marshal Travis Stafford will be dearly missed by many following his recent retirement after serving the past eight years at the post. IOPFD shared their warmest wishes for Stafford in a statement noting, “He has valiantly served the IOPFD and the IOP community with dedication to ensuring fire safety, fire prevention and fire education. He will be missed by many, including all IOP departments, businesses and neighboring jurisdictions alike. He was recognized by his wife, friends, colleagues from internal IOP departments, members from the Town of Mount Pleasant Fire Department and IOPFD personnel. The foundation he set for the community regarding fire prevention and safety will continue to grow forward and his work will not be forgotten.” Fire Chief Craig Oliverius expressed gratitude for all that Stafford contributed to the IOPFD during his T time as the island’s fire marshal. “He would interface with our business community and our residents on a daily basis, as his main responsibility was our community risk reduction program. Last year he facilitated a public safety open house where our police and fire departments participated together, and he also organized the hurricane expo in conjunction with the Isle of Palms Recreation Department.” Residents also have Stafford to thank for the island’s implementation of the Sparky the Fire Dog program. “You see Sparky out at different public events and in our golf cart parades,” said Oliverius. “We even took Sparky on a tour of some of the hospital floors at MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and talked to the kids there at Christmas time. That was a great experience. Travis was always about trying to connect with the community. That’s what the fire department is – part of the fabric of the community.” An important piece of Stafford’s legacy is helping the IOPFD become a designated Fire Safe South Carolina community. “There’s a certain matrix of classes that your personnel have to attend and activities to document as a part of the process,” said Oliverius. “We were redesignated recently, so he’s continued that legacy. He’s done a lot!” IOPFD’s new fire marshal, Sean Harshaw, spent a few months working in a transitional capacity with Stafford to keep the continuity of operations in the community. “We’re going to continue doing what we’ve been doing in serving our community,” emphasized Oliverius. “Obviously Travis left big shoes to fill, but that’s what we want, for each person to take this position to do a fantastic job.” Photo Provided. NEWS 9 WELCOME TO 609 OCEAN BOULEVARD Vacation in style and live like royals when you book our spacious and luxurious beach home. Stay right opposite the ocean at one of the best spots in the area and spend a memorable time with your loved ones. At Carroll Realty, we are eager to tell you about the conveniences and amenities. Featuring five bedrooms and four full baths, this beach wonder offers both private and common areas at its finest. The house has ample space for accommodating up to 12 guests. You can socialize and spend quality moments in the common area before retreating to your private bedroom for some much-needed rest. As the house is just few steps away from the ocean, you can save your valuable commute time. With the ocean opposite the house, you can easily spend every single moment in a productive way. Take the fun outside, where a private pool and hot tub wait for you for some fun-filled memories. You can also find an outdoor grill perfect for spending your evening with great food by your side. 843-886-9600 | @ THE DINGHY 2PM TO 10PM ISLE OF PALMS SONGWRITERS FESTIVAL Sunday, April 14 Mel Washington - Irene Rose - Byron Moore - Doug Walters Ronnie Johnson - Nathan Davis - Kevin & Lauren - Kevin Fox To benefit the Lowcountry Orphan Relief and the Lowcountry Music Scholarship Tax Questions? CALL TODAY! 843.886.6218 James M.Ward, CPA, PC CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT 2207 Hartnett Blvd., Isle of Palms, SC D The pride of Isle of Palms today, tomorrow and always. Become a Marketing Partner! For more information call 843-530-0403 or email Direct mailed to Isle of Palms & Sullivan’s Island residents Statewide distribution through Welcome Centers Each digital version receives a reach of 200,000 impressions

leadership and unwavering commitment to our community make him the ideal person to lead us forward. Accompanying him on this journey is Alex Stone, our new vice president. Alex's innovative thinking and passion for community engagement will undoubtedly invigorate the chamber's initiatives. I am also delighted to announce that Sandy Stone and Scottie Frier will continue to offer their invaluable expertise as treasurer and secretary, respectively. Their continued dedication provides a stable foundation for our chamber's ambitious plans. While transitioning from my role as president into immediate past-president, my commitment to the Isle of Palms remains steadfast. I will focus more intensely on orchestrating events celebrating our local busiear Isle of Palms community, As the sun rises on a new chapter for the Isle of Palms Chamber of Commerce, I am pleased to introduce the chamber's revitalized leadership team, an ensemble of dedicated individuals committed to fostering growth and unity within our beloved community. Rod Turnage, a visionary with a deep understanding of our island's unique business landscape, is stepping into the role of president. Rod's Chamber Notes A new era of leadership brings new energy, excitement By Ryan Buckhannon Past President, IOP Chamber of Commerce 10 BUSINESS Living and Selling the Lowcountry Lifestyle 2021-2022 Sales volume $94,000,000+ IOP RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE 1100 Palm Blvd. 2C Isle of Palms, SC 29451 Amy Rogers REALTOR OF DISTINCTION 843-824-4892 As seen on nesses and spotlighting our community's philanthropic spirit. Together, we will continue to weave the fabric of our island's vibrant culture. At our recent January meeting, Chad Holbrook, the head coach of the College of Charleston baseball team, gave an inspiring talk that paid testament to the incredible potential that lies within our community. His message underscored why we cherish our island and this community – a sentiment that will resonate through our exciting lineup of speakers this year. As we embark on this journey, I encourage you to stay connected with us. Follow @DiscoverIOP and @IOPchamber on social media for updates on chamber and community events. Your participation and support are vital in shaping the Isle of Palms into the best place to live, work and play. Together, let's embrace this new era with enthusiasm and unity. Warm regards, Ryan Buckhannon Isle of Palms Chamber of Commerce Past President D

ello! I hope your new year has started off in a good way. Each year when we get to Nov. 30, I usually breathe a sigh of relief—as it’s the end of hurricane season. However, since then we have had significant storms in successive months that have wreaked some havoc. During the December storm which had an almost 10-foot tide and 8 inches of rain, there were areas of our island impacted that haven’t had water damage since Hurricane Hugo. It certainly highlighted some areas where the drainage infrastructure may need adjustments or improvements. We’ll use this opportunity to reevaluate the design of upcoming drainage infrastructure projects to ensure we are enhancing the level of protection for our community. However, we must keep in mind that island-wide improvements to build infrastructure to withstand 100year events may be cost prohibitive. Improving drainage infrastructure remains one of our top priorities and we will prioritize projects that increase our community’s resilience to these storm events. There are a lot of projects going on around our island. Here are a few highlights: COMMUNITY ENRICHMENT PLAN – This important 11 Mayor’s Message Drainage infrastructure top priority after storm season By Phillip Pounds Mayor, Isle of Palms CIVICS H initiative continues to move forward. Almost 800 of you responded to the community survey and the results were recently reviewed by the city council. The next step is to form a committee of residents, business owners, city leaders and tourism experts who will be tasked to develop recommendations based on survey results that address livability and tourism management concerns and facilitate community enrichment on a continuous basis. 41ST AVENUE DRAINAGE OUTFALL PROJECT – Project started in mid-January and will take about four months to complete. From Waterway Boulevard to the Intracoastal Waterway, the ditch will be piped to help prevent flooding in this area and will create additional parking for our marina visitors. WILD DUNES HARBOR GOLF COURSE – The resort ownership is investing $8-plus million in a renovation and upgrade project from March to October. The course will be closed during that time frame. BEACH MAINTENANCE AND RESTORATION – Emergency restoration efforts continue around Breach Inlet and Beachwood East to maintain a dune system to protect property and maintain access to the beaches. The beneficial use project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Breach Inlet should start in mid to late February. This project will place almost 600,000 cubic yards of sand which will allow us to rebuild the dune system and address erosion from Breach Inlet to 10th Avenue. WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT – Our Water and | Explore The Best of Front Beach Sewer Commission is finalizing their project to add capacity to the existing Forest Trails plant at 41st Avenue and Waterway Boulevard. They will soon start the deconstruction of the plant in Wild Dunes. I encourage you to get involved in the community and here are a few upcoming events to get on your calendar: • Wild Child Triathlon – Feb. 25 8-11 a.m. at Palmetto Hall at Wild Dunes Resort. IOP Law Enforcement Neighborhood Support (LENS) organization along with Wild Dunes Resort is sponsoring a kid’s triathlon for ages 6-12. More info can be found at wildchildtri. • Front Beach Fest - March 2, noon to 4 p.m. Vendors, local restaurants, food trucks, children’s activities and live entertainment. • Golf Cart Safety Expo – March 9, noon to 2 p.m. at the rec center. Join the IOP Police Department and IOP Law Enforcement Neighborhood Support (LENS) Foundation to learn more about golf cart safety on the island. Thank you for the opportunity to serve! See you around the island! Phillip Pounds, Mayor IOP 843-252-5359

“ ” Matt is the quintessential agent... BLAIR H., BUYER “I’ve been buying houses for over 30 years and never have I run into a more professional and quintessential expert. Matt understands all of the idiosyncrasies related to transactions and is always looking out for his clients. He saved me a lot of money by being proactive and supportive. Hire Matt first —anyone else, you’ll regret it.” “Matt helped us sell our home on Isle of Palms after the listing had grown stale with another Realtor. Matt is honest and hard-working and does exactly what he promises.” A Carroll Realty Broker 843.532.6288 MATTDEANTONIO.COM RON & TRACY S., SELLER CRIME Rookie of the Month Following up on our last report, we’re thrilled to announce the final recruit for our underage Isle of Palms rugby team. This one is a triple threat. Our latest recruit, aiming for the team captain title, has a minor in possession, a first-time DUI and not one, not two, not even three, but four counts of possession of false ID. A pro tip for next time: Try using ‘Nick Pappagiorgio’ on your fake ID. It’s got a better success rate! DUIs on the decline In a twist of fate, DUIs have dropped to nine this month, two less than last month! It’s a small win, but we’ll take it. Is it a sign of collective learning or just the off-season lull? Summer is around the corner and we’re prepping for another round of ‘DUI Whack-a-Mole.’ Suspension anyone? Remember when getting suspended meant you mouthed off in class or rode down the hallway in the principal’s chair propelled by a fire extinguisher? (Real lesson learned, don’t.) Ah, simpler times. Now, we’re talking about suspensions of a different sort. This month, driving under suspension nearly doubled to 40. The city may have to increase its public safety budget to hire Oprah Winfrey. She’ll be handing out DUS citations like it’s a favorite things episode: “You get a DUS! You get a DUS! Everybody gets a DUS!” We hit a record with 18 first-time DUS incidents, three second-time incidents and three thirdtime incidents, with one ambitious individual also nabbing the title of ‘habitual traffic offender.’ Three strikes is indeed the magic number to join this exclusive club. Mostly green, with a dash of white Now to our drug violations, down a few ticks from last month to only 20. The usual suspects are the Green Monster, Reefer Madness, Mary Jane and their fragrant friend, Stinky Pete. But only one this month strapped on the skis and plowed some snow as he cut tight lines through the fresh powder and blew past everyone, leaving them in the dust to get to the nearest vending machine to grab some coke (hint: not Coca-Cola). This individual is also a part of the DUI and suspension teams. A true go-getter. I’m sure their LinkedIn is blowing up with job offers. 12 By Detective Dusty Dunes SAME LAWS STILL APPLY IN NEW YEAR The following incidents were obtained from the Isle of Palms Police Department media log reports. This is a parody of real criminal events that took place between Dec. 17, 2023 - Jan. 17, 2024. Names of individuals and business locations have been omitted out of respect and privacy. Remember, this is a humorous take on the police report and is not intended to make light of the serious nature of these offenses. Always stay safe and within the law, folks! POLICE BLOTTER

he Isle of Palms Recreation Department will host its annual Front Beach Fest on Saturday, March 2 from noon to 4 p.m. at Front Beach. This free admission event will feature live music, craft vendors, children’s activities, local restaurants and food trucks. There is no cost to enjoy the entertainment, and artists and food vendors will have items available for purchase. The rec department organizes and coordinates the event, which is funded through the City of Isle Palms’ accommodations tax. It is designed to bring people together down at Front Beach and serves as the official kick off to the event season, according to IOP Rec Department director Karrie Ferrell. Recreation supervisor Kelsey Marsh said Front Beach Fest is a really great way to get the community out to see live music, enjoy some family-friendly activities and support local business13 RECREATION Front Beach Fest to amp up spring fun By Colin McCandless More about Mount Pleasant's only home show visit or call 843-539-0403 MOUNT PLEASANT HOME SHOWCASE OMAR SHRINE CONVENTION CENTER | MARCH 9 AND 10 ROB FOWLER Hurricane Preparedness MAYOR WILL HAYNIE March is Home Improvement Month Everything you need to know about Golf Carts JANE YAGER BAUMRIND Mount Pleasant’s coordinator of Short-Term Rentals speaks about the town’s position on STR Every home needs a dog presented by Sit Means Sit Omar Shrine Convention Center Saturday and Sunday, March 9th & 10 Everything you need to know about your home. It’s all about peace of mind. Learn about the benefits of whole-house generators. T All photos provided by IOP Rec Department es. “It’s the first big event of the year,” noted Marsh. “It gets people out after the winter months.” Kids’ activities abound and will include face painting, rides provided by Charleston Jump Castles, ax throwing and a rock climbing wall. Other whimsical amusements provided through Good Clean Fun entail a bubble play area with giant wands to blow bubbles, bicycle-powered spin art, a juggling stilt walker and mermaids. Additionally, there will be further interactive arts and craft opportunities, such as creating decorative sand art with Seaside Island Art. Local groups and civic organizations like IOP Exchange Club and the Island Turtle Team will be setting up booths as well. Marsh said they will be limiting food trucks so that the primary focus will be on showcasing island restaurants. The live music lineup features two Charleston-based bands, The Coppertones and The Yacht Club. The Coppertones, who describe themselves as “the South’s premier party band,” will be taking the stage at noon to start the festivities. This veteran group of talented musicians has been performing shows throughout the Carolinas and Georgia for more than 20 years. Their versatile repertoire includes everything from Motown, beach/shag music, wedding band standards, ‘70s funk, disco and ‘80s dance favorites to newer party favorites. They will be followed by The Yacht Club, South Carolina’s smoothest rock band. The band plays up-tempo versions of ‘70s and ‘80s classics, while keeping the melodies intact. Melding sounds of smooth soul, smooth jazz, R&B, funk and disco, fans will have a blast joining in and grooving along. “It’s a great day. It’s a lot of fun,” said Ferrell.

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16 LIFESTYLE Eternal summer love Island couples share stories of lifelong romance By Heather Rose Artushin There’s nothing quite like falling in love on the Isle of Palms and for these three lucky couples, the island has played an integral part in their life stories. From watching the sunrise on the beach after prom, to getting married on the rooftop of their beach house, to watching the island blossom with their love over more than 35 years, the Isle of Palms is truly a place where love grows. Sarah and Andrew Vega were both born and raised in Summerville and grew up attending the same schools together. “We knew of each other for quite a while, but we didn’t officially meet until we were both in high school band together,” shared Sarah. “In the fall of 1997, we both ended up in a class called “Personal Fitness,” and we were the only two upperclassmen amongst the freshmen enrolled, so we kind of stuck together during class and talked a lot while running, playing basketball or doing sit-ups.” When Andrew asked Sarah out on a date one December, she said no because she was babysitting. But he thought she wasn’t interested. “He didn’t ask again until March and our first date was to see the movie ‘Titanic!”’ Sarah shared. “We came to IOP to watch the sunrise after prom in both 1998 and 1999. Andrew also proposed on the beach in January 2004.” Andrew attended the United States Air Force Academy, while Sarah enrolled in Winthrop University and ultimately earned a Master of Public Administration from the College of Charleston. “When he went away to school, we would stay up so late chatting via AOL Instant Messenger, and phone cards were a coveted gift so that he could call when his schedule allowed,” she recalled. “We never really ran out of things to talk about back then, and it’s always been that way.” Andrew served from 2003-12 on active duty, deploying four times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and he spent an additional 11 years serving our country in his reserve unit, all as a C-17 pilot. When Mike, 66, owner of a sports marketing agency in Charlotte, and Michele, 62, a local realtor, first met six years ago, they never would have imagined one day getting married on the rooftop of their Isle of Palms beach house during a global pandemic, with only the pastor, photographer and their three dogs bearing witness to their special day. A mutual friend arranged for them to meet, and after talking on the phone a few times over the holidays, the couple finally had their first date at Wood & Grain on Dec. 28. Little did they both Sarah & Andrew Vega Michele & Mike Boykin The couple share two children, Christian, now 11 and Emilie, 7. When they moved to the Isle of Palms in August 2018, five days before Christian started kindergarten, they knew they were living the dream. “Living here has been a goal for a long time,” shared Sarah. “Our favorite part about living here is sharing our home with friends and family, whether it’s for a day visit, an overnight or an entire vacation. Having kids, we absolutely love all the great community events that happen throughout the year, as well as the programming at the IOP Recreation Center that puts the focus on having fun and building skills.” One of Andrew and Sarah’s favorite activities as a couple is going for a run on the island. “More often than not, we make sure our route includes popping out to the beach to take it all in – the waves, people, dogs, sunrises, wildlife and more – and we cool down with a walk out to the public dock at the marina. Living so close to the water is ultimately what makes island life so amazing for our family!” Amid a lively New Orleans Mardi Gras back in 1982, Carol met Dan while visiting a friend. “Dan lived in New Orleans at the time,” Carol shared. “We knew we were in love spending Mardi Gras day together.” Now in their 60s, the couple recently celebrated 40 years of marriage. Dan, originally from Cocoa Beach, Florida, is a North Carolina State graduate and retired mechanical engineer. Carol, from Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, graduated with a Master of Science in nursing from MUSC in 1995 and is a retired psychiatric nurse. The two now enjoy traveling, live music and spending time with friends on the island. “We have two favorite date nights,” said Carol. “Riding in our golf cart to have dinner and drinks at one of our wonderful local establishments or a sunset boat ride in our 1966 restored 28-foot classic Donzi.” While Dan has become a classic car, boat and motorcycle builder and enthusiast in his retirement era, Carol embraces being a yogi and owner of CSB Jewelry Designs. Living on the island since 1987 has been a dream come true for Carol and Dan. “The Isle of Palms is our paradise,” Carol said. Island living has also served to strengthen the couple’s marriage in difficult times. “Living through Hurricane Hugo and rebuilding our house certainly cemented our relationship and made us appreciate how much a marriage needs to be a partnership,” reflected Carol. know this is where Mike would propose almost exactly three years later! The date went so well, they continued to the bar at Charleston Grill. “Well, we were talking with everyone else in the bar and finally he asked if I’d like to go back to see his house and open the bottle of Caymus that he had received for his birthday the day before,” shared Michele. “It wasn’t really that late, and I didn’t have too far to go home from IOP, so I agreed.” After sharing the wine, listening to music and even dancing a little, Michele noticed the clock. “I was suddenly shocked to realize it was now almost 2 a.m.!” With two important closings in the morning, Michele took an Uber home. “After a few blocks, the Uber had a flat tire, and an ice storm was starting,” she recalled. Mike didn’t want her to wait alone, so he literally ran to meet her and keep her dry and warm under his umbrella while she waited for the tire to be changed. “He called to make sure I got home safely, and also called the next morning to wish me good luck and make sure I was going to make it to the closings on time. Well by this time, the storm had played havoc and bridges were closed, no taxis or Ubers were running—and I had left my car at the restaurant the night before. Mike insisted that he help and got in the car with Toby, his Jack Russell, and headed towards Mount Pleasant. Right as he approached the connector, the police had just blocked it off due to the ice and he had to turn around…I finally did get to my closings, and with both settled, I achieved my goal for the year! After only one full year in real estate, I reached the Realtor of Distinction. Mike liked that I was goal-oriented, and I liked that Mike was caring.” Michele made a bold move and told Mike what she was thinking after this first adventure together. “After a polite exchange I said, ‘I just want you to know, you’re everything I wanted.’ That took him off guard, but in a good way. It was a bit risky maybe, but I saw that he cared about people, was kind and had qualities that I liked and wanted to let him know. For those that may be single or newly single, you never know. Be open to the possibility and know that love could happen when you least expect it. But it starts with being open to love,” expressed Michele. Carol & Dan Burns Photos Provided.

palms. Muscle relaxer. Dark ‘n’ stormy. Ankle breaker. Bounty 17 FOOD & BEV Restaurant Review Wild Dunes offers a smorgasbord of dining options By Maurice J. Frazier Behind the Bar Pam, the pride of Smugglers By Maurice J. Frazier ild Dunes Resort is not only the perfect place for a true staycation experience, but they offer a wide variety of restaurants to enjoy as well. With 12 eateries from which to choose, there is something for every palette. You can literally visit a different restaurant for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and cocktails. Coastal Provisions, which specializes in locally-sourced meats and sustainable seafood, as well as seasonal vegetables sourced from local and regional purveyors, serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Hudson’s Market & Cafe, established in 2008 and located in the heart of the village lodging area of the resort, is the go-to spot for all market and café goodies. From grab-and-go wraps to fresh fruits and Lowcountry treats, Hudson’s Market has you covered. Woody’s Eatery is a casual and laid-back spot serving up breakfast favorites all day and lunch. From the Brawley breakfast sandwich (scrambled eggs, cheddar W cheese, bacon, tomato, Duke’s Mayo, Texas toast) to the Woody’s Burger, it’s a great spot for breakfast and lunch any day of the week. Wild Dunes is paradise so why not try the Caribbean-infused cuisine of Laughing Gull Restaurant & Bar? This poolside restaurant offers all the perks including big screen TVs. Feeling thirsty? Try one of their signature cocktails like the Tipsy Turtle, featuring RumHaven Coconut Rum, or the Pukalani Punch featuring Appleton Rum and RumHaven Coconut Rum. Once you’re done with the pool, head to the beach to enjoy the sea breeze and relax to the soothing sound of waves crashing onto the shore. If you work up an appetite, the seasonal Beachside Burgers & Bar is located at the end of the boardwalk in the Grand Pavilion. If you are visiting Wild Dunes to play golf, then stop by Huey’s on the Links Course, a casual lunch and small bite lounge menu. Once you’re in the restaurant, you can indulge in a side of Isle of Palms history as well. Are you ready for Tequila? Tacos & Tequila is a vintage airstream food truck located on the Sweetgrass Plaza. This seasonal eatery is available to guests and visitors and will be opening soon once the heat and humidity returns. Also on the Sweetgrass Plaza is an Italian restaurant the entire family will enjoy. Serving up pizzas with toppings such as shrimp scampi, BBQ chicken, fig and prosciutto, Coastal Crust will have you craving more. They don’t just serve pizza; their traditional Italian menu offers the classics as well. Charleston is known for many things: historic plantations, golf, tennis, the beaches, sweetgrass baskets and, of course, oysters. Oystercatcher Restaurant & Bar is a comfortable lobby bar with a patio serving up tasty, globally-inspired small and shareable plates. Every Thursday between 3-4 p.m. the restaurant features Shuck and Savor, which provides the opportunity to explore the rich history, regional influences and unique flavors of oysters through a curated platter of four distinct varieties. This is also one of the few restaurants offering a late-night menu after 10 p.m. Wild Dunes isn’t just a place where you can play golf or tennis and relax at the spa. They have also made their culinary mark on the Isle of Palms. To make a reservation with any of these restaurants, visit Better yet, book an overnight stay and indulge. hunter. If you know these drink names, then you know Smugglers. Pam Speer has been bartending at Smugglers ever since it opened three years ago. A Georgia native, Speer has called the Lowcountry home since 1999. “Working here is fun. I love people watching,” Speer said. “The bar has a direct view of the sidewalk. So, especially during the summertime, it’s fascinating.” Speer loves interacting with her customers and the local community that patronize the bar. The most common topic Pam hears or is asked about, by tourists or visitors, concerns trying to buy a house somewhere here in Charleston. “People love Charleston, they love Isle of Palms and are wanting to purchase a home down here,” Speer said. She has witnessed the change in the community, not to mention all the new developments. The landscape of Isle of Palms has altered over the last 20 years and Speer embraces it. When it comes to hobbies, Speer enjoys yoga and Pilates. Staying healthy and living an active lifestyle are her prescripPhoto Provided. Photo Provided. tion for a bright future. That, combined with Speer’s passion for bartending and being around people. “I enjoy bartending because I listen to people,” Speer shared. “I love meeting new people and hearing their stories, their walks of life. Now, some stories I would never repeat. I’m like, ‘okay I’m still making my drink and I didn’t hear that.’” Some of Speer’s favorite drinks to make are mojitos and muscle relaxers. If you want to swing by and see her, she typically tends bar on Mondays and Tuesdays. “We are slowing down right now. SEWE will give us a little pop and then comes the spring breakers starting after that,” she stated. From Mother’s Day weekend to mid-October, Smugglers stays busy. So, if you want to see a bright, smiling face with a thorough knowledge of Charleston, who can concoct a veritable library of delectable libations, then visit Smugglers and order a drink from Speer! 1

18 WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21 Windjammer @ 6-8 p.m. Happy Hour! WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13 Islander 71 @ 6-8 p.m. Pre-St. Patricks Day! UPCOMING EVENTS Sponsored by: Food + Drinks + Live Music = POSITIVE VIBES Bringing the community together through monthly launch parties! D The pride of Isle of Palms today, tomorrow and always. TOP TEN MOST EXPENSIVE HOMES SOLD Lee Keadle Carolina One Katherine Cox Coldwell Banker Misti Cox King and Society Winslow Carroll & Jim Carroll Carroll Realty Noah Moore & Everett Presson Carolina One Joanne Grimshaw AgentOwned Realty Preferred Katrina Johnson Carolina One Currie McCullough Brand Name Real Estate Mary Molony The Boulevard Company Jennifer Kandrick The Real Estate Shoppe Troy Barber King and Society Jim Carroll Carroll Realty James Miles Sand Dollar Sara Louise Saad The Boulevard Michael Fox Family Team Carolina One Amy Rogers IOP Residential Alexandra Berney The Boulevard Company Paul Smith EXP Realty Mary Molony The Boulevard Company Janet Daniels Southern Shores Real Estate 5/1/23 3/31/23 4/6/23 5/2/23 4/21/23 1/3/23 9/19/23 5/8/23 10/19/23 6/30/23 $6,750,000 $1,530.96/ft² $6,350,000 $864.06/ft² $6,350,000 $1,356.55/ft² $6,340,000 $1,352.10/ft² $6,100,000 $898.12/ft² $5,700,000 $1,593.96/ft² $5,550,000 $1,558.11/ft² $5,500,000 $1,891.33/ft² $5,300,000 $1,481.27/ft² $5,125,000 $1,067.71/ft² * Island Publishing, LLC does not take responsibility for any information deemed to be incorrect, including: MLS listed or sold price, listing agent or company, selling agent or company. Please note that agents and companies can and do change. January 1, 2023 - December 10, 2023 01 02 03 REAL ESTATE