Island Vibes March 2024

Vol.2 Issue 3 March 2024 Hoppyness PURSUIT OF Spring Break Beach Rules (Page 23) IOP Waterfront Park Preview (Page 5) IOP’s First Female Mayor (Page 24) CONTAINING COYOTE ISSUE See Page 8 CITY ROLLS OUT AI SOFTWARE See Page 3 SURVEYING ENRICHMENT PLAN See Page 6

O Real Estate Sales 800.476.8444 | Vacation Rentals 888.250.8730 | Nobody knows the Charleston Coast better.® Whether you’re making vacation memories, planning a move, or looking for an investment... Stay a While... Scan to start planning your 2024 charleston coast Staycation!

for city employees. Riley added that because Isle of Palms and other, bigger municipalities provide so many services, it is now imperative to have a city government system in place that streamlines all forms of communication, both with city employees and residents, and the many thousands of visitors that the island sees year-round. A total of 85 similar systems have been installed for other city governments including North Charleston, Denver, Fort Lauderdale, Baltimore and Long Beach, California. “It took a few months to get everything in place and tested,” Riley added. “The whole idea is to save time, and as people use the new IOP system, we will monitor it to see what people need most and ways to improve it going forward.” 3 NEWS City website introduces artificial intelligence software By L. C. Leach III retend you need to contact Isle of Palms City Hall for a building permit, to ask questions about beach laws, parking or inquire about new recreational league programs and schedules. To make this entire process faster and more effective, IOP recently launched a new online chatbot system that allows users to make requests and find answers in a timely fashion. “This platform will allow us to extend the lines of communication with our residents and everyone who seeks more information about the island,” said IOP Mayor Phillip Pounds. Suppose you want to observe one of the island’s nesting sea turtles, but aren’t sure the best way to do this or who to speak to about it. With the new Citibot system, named Sunnie, here’s how you can find out: Go to the city’s website Click on the button at the bottom right section of the browser window that says, “Let’s Chat.” A white and gray box will pop up with a message saying, “Hello I’m Sunnie, the City of Isle of Palms’ virtual assistant! For City information, please type your question.” Type in your message or question in the area that says start typing... and then click message. Another box will appear that says, “I'm working to get the best answer for you...” An answer will appear in a few moments, explaining options on viewing nesting sea turtles, or whether your intention is even legal to pursue, considering that IOP sea turtles are an endangered species. “And if at any time during the interaction an IOP resident or visitor needs assistance from city staff, they can send a message to ‘Sunnie,’ and the appropriate staff member will follow up with them,” said Chaundra Yudchenko, IOP public relations & tourism coordinator. The new system was created and installed by Citibot founder and CEO Bratton Riley, son of former longtime Charleston Mayor Joe Riley. Riley’s purpose in creating this new artificial intelligence (AI) system was to build automated chat solutions with the specific needs of local government in mind. “This system is built for local government by people who understand local government,” said Riley, who founded the company in 2016 with the express purpose of helping make local governments more accessible to the public and more efficient P

pring has sprung! I know this to be true because the Easter Bunny is on spring break, according to our front cover. He was responsible for bringing a cooler and not littering his carrots. He also caught some decent waves and perhaps even a suntan. Springtime on the Isle of Palms means the start of the tourist season. Warmer weather means more visitors and busier beach parking along Palm Boulevard. It also means more traffic congestion with drivers coming on and off the IOP Connector. Be sure to pack your patience! Whether you’re a resident or a tourist, it makes no difference because the beach is free and meant year. IOP Recreation Center will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt on Friday, March 29 at 4 p.m. All children 12 and under are welcome to join the fun (Page 16). Get your spring cleaning done early so you can get outside and enjoy this lovely weather. Cheers! Positively yours, Zach Giroux, Managing Editor come a reality, I called Tonya, who I knew lived in Wild Dunes. She was as excited about reconnecting as me. Our front covers are truly a collaboration from everyone in our publishing family, but Tonya’s eye behind the lens helps us express our vision of positive vibes. Everyone here appreciates how enthusiastically y’all have embraced our efforts on the island and we would like to say, ‘thank you.’ It’s an honor and a privilege to publish the exclusive community newspaper of Isle of Palms, Island Vibes. Cheers! Bill Macchio, Publisher s I review the final pages before we send the March edition to the printer, I cannot help but think of everyone involved in creating Island Vibes. I’ve always said publishing is a team sport. It’s all about the publication, that’s what we care about the most. With that in mind, I wanted you to know a little bit more about the publishing family of Island Vibes. A special thanks to those not mentioned as well. Managing editor Zach Giroux has always worked in the newspaper industry, with stints at The Moultrie News and The Daniel Island News prior to serving as editor of Mount Pleasant Magazine. Zach has been instrumental in creating the hyperlocal content and feel of Island Vibes. Art director Bethany Long has been part of this publishing family since 2018. She began managing all marketing material and creating ads when needed. During COVID, Bethany ensured we didn’t miss 4 FROM THE CREW D The pride of Isle of Palms today, tomorrow and always. A Island Vibes Vol. 2, Issue 3 March 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 COPY EDITOR COLIN MCCANDLESS PHOTOGRAPHY TONYA MCGUE SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER MORGAN WINNINGHAM SOCIALMEDIA@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM CONTRIBUTORS ISABEL ALVAREZ ARATA • HEATHER ROSE ARTUSHIN • RYAN BUCKHANNON • MARY COY • LAURA FOGARTY • MAURICE FRAZIER CLARK LEACH • COLIN MCCANDLESS PHILLIP POUNDS • ROD TURNAGE SALES REPRESENTATIVES STACEY MCLOUGHLIN STACEY@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM SARAH ROSE SARAH@ISLANDVIBESIOP.COM LAURA FOGARTY LAURA@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 S Publisher’s Note an issue of Mount Pleasant Magazine. She also helped us launch Charleston Women Magazine in the middle of the pandemic. Bethany now works as the art director for Island Vibes, responsible for editorial layout and designing ads when needed. She has a great mentor in Dana Coleman, who has been the art director for Mount Pleasant Magazine for 25 years. Brand ambassador Sonya Buckhannon is the newest member of our publishing family. Everyone here enjoys working with Sonya. Her love for the Isle of Palms and Island Vibes is evident. She would be the first to say that she is very new to the publishing industry, but everyone here appreciates the fact she wants to be part of our family. As we grow the Island Vibes brand, so grows our relationship with Sonya. Photographer Tonya McGue captures all of those delightful cover images for Island Vibes. Tonya was essential in starting Charleston Women in March 2020. When I realized Island Vibes was going to beto be enjoyed by all. That being said, the beach also needs to be respected by all. Whether you’re a local or just visiting on spring break, be sure to follow the rules put in place to help protect the natural beauty our beaches (Page 13). Spring also marks the end of oyster season. A good rule of thumb is if the month has an “R” in it, from September through April, you’ll find fresh harvests. The IOP Exchange Club is hosting its annual Bud and Cecily Stack Memorial Oyster Roast on Friday, March 9 from 2-6 p.m. Proceeds go toward funding scholarships for local high school seniors and other youth education programs (Page 16). Get out there and shuck for a good cause! Don’t forget, Easter is in March this

and will include two kayak/SUP launches, swings and benches. Other park amenities are to include public benches overlooking the waterfront, kayak storage and bike and golf cart parking. In May 2023, work was completed on a boardwalk on the intracoastal 5 NEWS About the Cover By Laura Fogarty hat a glorious day to be near the sea! For this issue of Island Vibes, we turned to none other than Ryan Buckhannon to portray everyone’s favorite bunny on our favorite isle. A warm, sunlit morning provided the perfect backdrop for the Easter Bunny to take a break from surfing and relax and refuel with a cooler full of carrots beneath the shade of a beach umbrella provided by the Isle of Palms Beach Chair Company. IOP Beach Chair Company, owned by locals Burke and Katrina Limbach, strives to serve residents and guests by providing sustainable and accessible access to our beautiful beaches. IOP Beach Chair rents wooden beach chairs, umbrellas, bikes, surf and SUP boards and beach wheelchairs while proudly delivering exceptional customer satisfaction. We thought it was a wonderful way to kick off spring break, Easter and a family-owned island business on the island. Cheers to all who participate in warm weather and days by the water! IOP Waterfront Park expected to be ready by fall By Colin McCandless Conceptual plan for the IOP Waterfront Park, drafted by island resident and landscape architect Kelly Messier. Photo Provided. project initially conceived four years ago is expected to come to fruition later this year with the completion of the new Isle of Palms Waterfront Park. On Sept. 22, 2020, IOP City Council voted to approve the creation of a public dock and greenspace at the IOP Marina. City council sought feedback from the community on the Waterfront Park’s conceptual plan, the first draft of which was developed by island resident and landscape architect Kelly Messier, back in November 2020. The park will encompass a 300foot by 25-foot-wide area along the bulkhead of the marina facing the Intracoastal Waterway. It will feature a small greenspace leading to a public dock for residents and visitors to enjoy. City council approved the construction contract with Truluck Construction for the public dock and greenspace on Jan. 11. Construction is anticipated to begin on the new dock in March and is expected to be finished prior to Memorial Day. The greenspace area may take a little longer to complete. Mayor Phillip Pounds estimated that the park likely won’t be done until the fall due to a delay in finalizing a new parking layout with Islander 71 and the city. According to Pounds, the new dock will be 16-feet wide (much wider than the current one) side of the marina. Pounds said the boardwalk should tie the project together when everything is finished. “As significant improvements have been made to the entire 5 acres over the past few years, the new dock and greenspace will just add to the attractiveness of this area and continue to make it a destination for residents and visitors,” stated Pounds. The IOP Marina has decided to make parking and launch fees free for residents. Pounds added that there has been no discussion among city council to this point about charging for using the dock. “Also, as a result of our drainage project recently started on 41st Avenue we will be adding even more parking availability by piping the drainage ditch from 41st out to the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway). We have been discussing this project for some time so it’s exciting to have our contractor starting on the dock in March. We look forward to bringing another venue to enjoy the great IOP sunsets!” A W Photos by Tonya McGue.

6 NEWS Community survey reveals chief concerns among IOP residents By L. C. Leach III Stormwater management, beach preservation and parking and traffic management during peak tourist season were revealed as the top three challenges facing Isle of Palms in a recently completed online Community Enrichment Plan Survey. The survey, compiled in late 2023 from the input of 748 respondents, both resident and visitor, is intended for enhancing the island’s current quality of life and making improvements in necessary areas. Over the next decade, as the island becomes even more in demand by daily and seasonal vacationers, IOP city leaders say the survey will help them make changes to keep the island from being overrun by a county-wide growth boom that currently has no end in sight. “The island's tourism industry has experienced tremendous success, and residents' quality of life is a core component of a thriving visitor economy,” said Chris Campbell, vice president of strategy & external affairs with Explore Charleston in December 2023. “There's no better way to build the best IOP for tomorrow than to develop a community enrichment plan that engages residents' voices as the primary driver of the process.” The College of Charleston, Explore Charleston and Mount Pleasant consulting firm The McNair Group are working with the City of IOP toward developing a specific plan based on the survey’s findings, such as: • Vehicle Traffic 59 percent of respondents said a more creative approach is needed to handle traffic management during high visitation – which in the summer months can reach 12,000-20,000 visitors per day – and up to 60,000 in day trippers, especially for July 4 weekend. • Water Drainage 46 percent said stormwater management is the community’s most pressing environmental issue. City leaders began a longterm project in 2017 to improve stormwater and tidal drainage across the entire island. Work has progressed up to Phase 3, and includes a Master Plan for Phase 4, estimated to cost $46.3 million, to eliminate standing water in residential neighborhoods and other key areas. • Visitor Parking Especially as it concerns beachgoers, 44 percent said parking for island beachgoers needs ‘definite improvements.’ The island’s 7 miles of beaches can become so crowded at peak season that it’s sometimes hard to see the sand even from a short distance. To help encourage fewer individual vehicles, daily bus service provided by the Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority is one ongoing solution. “Just the comment section of the survey alone is about 70 pages, small font,” said The McNair Group CEO David McNair, in a presentation before the city council on Jan. 23. “People have a lot to say – from where golf cart parking is, to where bike racks should be, to underground lines, and you can imagine, everything in between.” Environmental concerns mentioned in the survey included: • Beach preservation – 37 percent • Water quality and septic tank issues – 29 percent • Reducing litter – 24 percent • Sea level rise – 18 percent McNair added that while most of the findings were expected, the survey will serve as a starting point for which concerns should get precedence. “You don’t ever underplay affirmation,” McNair said before the city council. “It’s now how do we look at them in priority, and how do we get some task force members to work with the community on what else is there.” McNair suggested to council that an advisory taskforce mix of eight to 10 residents and business owners be finalized by the end of February and that listening sessions begin in March. “My hope is we will have some tangible items we can tackle very quickly,” said IOP Mayor Phillip Pounds. “And if there are specific tasks that come out of this work that improves the resident and visitor experience, that’s a win-win for all involved.” The survey showed that this ‘winwin’ is already prevalent on many other fronts. For example, more than 98 percent of respondents said IOP is a safe place to live. More than eight out of 10 said emergency response is a ‘strength for our island.’ Another 7.5 out of 10 said IOP is appropriately proactive in ensuring that ‘we protect and work to improve our community.’ Regarding property rentals, the survey opinions were almost as favorable: • 71 percent said there is a good balance of rental property on the island. • 69 percent said more enforcement is needed on current rental property rules. • 42 percent said more needs to be done in curbing rental property growth. These findings tended to further confirm the November 2023 island-wide referendum to limit short-term rentals. For all of 2023 and part of 2022, short-term rentals underwent a long back-and-forth battle between proponents who favored an island-wide STR license cap, and those preferring an ordinance that would permit a cap in areas where STRs are already low. The measure was defeated in the Nov. 7 city elections by a decisive 54.5 percent of the eligible resident vote. IOP City Council is already working to determine measures that will strengthen the island’s residential and rental balance. Of course, there are other concerns just under the survey’s radar – such as a noise ordinance that will soon be enacted in some form. But probably the most pressing concern is one for the near future: quality of life on the island. More than three in four survey respondents said, ‘Overall quality of life on the island is superb’ or ‘nice quality with a few key areas needing attention.’ Only 20 percent said this same quality is nice ‘but it’s declining, and I’m concerned.’ Acting now on the elements and input of the survey’s findings will help keep that 20 percent from growing any larger. While Isle of Palms continues to change with the times as necessary, it can always remain the same seaside resort it started as in 1897. “Communities across the Lowcountry are now inextricably connected,” said McNair in December 2023, when the survey results were still pending. “Most of us live, work and recreate across multiple community lines, and each is charged with responsible stewardship that ensures a vibrant and sustainable foundation for today and for those generations to come.”

o answer this question, I think we’d need to first contemplate the general hazards, statistically, to those of us who typically choose walking as a preferred mode of transportation. Distractedness tops the list of dangers to pedestrians, whether it’s a distracted driver or a distracted walker. Aggressive, impaired and reckless drivers are among the chief distractions that contribute to otherwise avoidable collisions. The human element of pedestrian peril comes with a multitude of factors to consider when assessing the danger of any roadway. Age is one factor, with pedestrians on either side of the age spectrum, 7 OPINION Is the IOP Connector safe for pedestrians? By Laura Fogarty T young children and the elderly being generally at a higher risk of getting struck by a vehicle or otherwise being injured while walking. Pedestrians often contribute to collisions by jaywalking, not following traffic signals or walking on roadways without considering real-time traffic situations. The CDC reports that one wrongful pedestrian death occurs every 75 minutes in our country, but it doesn’t have to be this way with a little extra vigilance on the part of drivers and walkers alike. Since the re-striping and lowering of the speed limit on the Connector, DOT officials have noted a decline in accidents. With the reconfigured bike and pedestrian lanes on a 2-mile stretch of the connector, 3 feet of additional space to vehicle lanes were added, improving the safety along this section of the East Coast Greenway. The East Coast Greenway is a 3,000mile national bike-pedestrian corridor along the East Coast, stretching from Maine to Florida. According to their website, which maps and codes each section of the greenway, the Connector is not deemed a high threat area. Which leads me to the opinion that running, walking and biking the IOP Connector can be safe as long as we all pay attention and stay in our own lane. Photo Provided by Open 7 Days a Week 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM (843)-242-8934 1517 Palm Blvd., Suite A Isle of Palms, SC The Refuge ISLE OF PALMS SINCE 2016 Tuesday: Steak Night Wednesday: Live Music Sunday: Lobster Night Weekly Events

f you visit Isle of Palms and happen to see a coyote prowling the beaches, don’t rub your eyes or think you’re seeing things. While coyotes are not often associated with resort beaches, they are just one of the many exotic wildlife species you might encounter. But if you do happen to cross paths, don’t panic. IOP coyotes have not only adapted to living around humans, so far they have maintained a healthy fear of getting too close to them. “Coyotes on the Isle of Palms are not new – our animal control officer has been keeping a log of coyote sightings since 2015,” said IOP Police Department Sgt. Matt Storen. “We just see more of them now because they are venturing out farther for food sources, especially during winter months.” In 2023, 61 coyote sightings were reported on IOP. Four sightings have been reported in 2024 as of mid-February. The coyotes come from the mainland areas of Mount Pleasant and are capable of swimming across rivers such as the Intracoastal Waterway and walking through the marshes. To maintain a balance between coyotes and island inhabitants, IOPPD teamed up with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources last year to host a coyote information session for residents. The focus, Storen said, is to “educate our residents and visitors to cohabitate with the coyotes just like any other wildlife that lives on the island." “Our animal control officer continues to monitor potential den locations,” Storen said, “and to use signage in the area warning citizens that coyotes may be in the area.” Storen also encouraged both residents and visitors to help by limiting food sources to wildlife, securing garbage bins, not discarding food waste outside and limiting 8 FOR OUR IOP LOCATION EMAIL US AT PAPISTAQUERIA@GMAIL.COM Follow Us @cachitaskitchen on Instagram FOR OUR FOOD TRUCK TEXT US AT 843-214-6299 THANK YOU MOUNT PLEASANT FOR VOTING US BEST FOOD TRUCK! 2024 ® COME SEE US AT PAPI’S TAQUERIA! 1012 Ocean Blvd. Isle of Palms, SC (843) 926-72741 Coyote issue continues to stalk IOP By L. C. Leach III I NEWS outdoor time for small pets because “they are an easy target for coyotes.” But while coyotes by nature are predatory and carnivorous, the ones on IOP beaches have so far presented no danger to humans. “Coyotes shouldn’t pose any more threat than any other wild animal that one might encounter, in or out of the water in that area,” said Jay Butfiloski, certified wildlife biologist with SCDNR. “Certainly, like any other strange animal, if you encounter one, the best course of action is to slowly back away.” Butfiloski added that coyotes have become far more common on Isle of Palms, as well as statewide, at the turn of the 21st century. “Coyotes were first documented in the state in 1978 and documented in all counties sometime in the 1990s,” Butfiloski said. “The outer barrier islands may have been some of the last places to infill, but coyotes have been in Charleston County for some time. And I suspect the population to remain roughly about the same as it is now, with normal annual fluctuations.” It is uncertain whether the IOP coyote population will pose any future problem for the island and its large influx of daily and seasonal visitors. In the meantime, Butfiloski suggested a healthy dose of time-honored caution: don’t bother them and they won’t bother you. “A coyote is in the dog family,” Butfiloski added. “And you should do the same as you would when encountering any strange dog, even more so when you have a pet.” 9 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 HAS RECEIVED 650,000 DIGITAL IMPRESSIONS THROUGH GEOFENCING. Digital and print readership locally and regionally has increased expediently. To learn more about our print and digital distribution email GEOFENCING Delivering your message directly to homeowners NEIGHBORHOOD GEOFENCING DELIVERING YOUR MESSAGE DIRECTLY TO ISLAND VISITORS AND RESIDENTS SPREADING POSITIVE VIBES THROUGH 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

ello Isle of Palms community! I am honored to serve as the Isle of Palms Chamber of Commerce president for 2024. I want to give special thanks to former president Ryan Buckhannon for helping the chamber achieve success in its second year. Our chamber is built on a strong foundation of collaboration, outreach and unity between residents and the business community. We are grateful to everyone who has supported us over the past two years, including our members, island residents, businesses, city employees and elected officials. For the remaining 10 months, we will focus on three core areas to support our future members and leaders: 1. Attracting new members and associate members – We welcome all potential business members and enChamber Notes New ‘associate membership’ available to residents and beyond By Rod Turnage, President, IOP Chamber of Commerce BUSINESS 10 H courage new business memberships and renewals. We also recently established an "associate membership" for residents or freelancers who want to be involved in our chamber efforts to support our business community. For more information on memberships, visit 2. Structures and procedures – We will look closely at our structures and procedures to best support our foundational framework in the coming years. The chamber will implement an outreach and campaign calendar, leadership and member surveys and establish our Strategic Plan. 3. Expanding reach and relevance – We value open dialogue and involvement from the city, residents, businesses, new members and visitors. We will continue to support community and nonprofit events. In addition, we will be identifying committee groups and assignments in the coming months. Most committees will align to a community business need or area of interest. Some examples include food and beverage, nonprofit, community engagement/local events and good neighbor best practices. The chamber would like to extend thanks to the Isle of Palms Police Department for hosting a business roundtable session on Feb. 16. Many of our members and local businesses attended and are appreciative of the police department for being proactive in planning and scheduling. Team members from the police department are consistently attending chamber meetings while providing valuable community updates around public safety, livability and code enforcement. You can stay informed on all things community and IOP Chamber by following @DiscoverIOP and @ IOPchamber. We invite you to join us on March 26 from noon to 1 p.m. at the IOP Exchange Club for our IOP Chamber meeting. Our guest speaker Jeff Minton, Wild Dunes director of sports, will provide a full update on the Wild Dunes golf course renovations and other Wild Dunes sports news. Thank you for your continued support and for making the Isle of Palms a world-class home to live, work and play.

ow – hard to believe it’s almost spring! Let’s talk about our beaches. Recently, there has been a lot of activity and questions about the emergency work happening on our beaches. The city continues to address the erosion issues on the north and south ends of the island. Prior to 2023, the south end of the beach had been stable and accretional and only required periodic post-storm emergency berm repairs. The area in question became highly erosional in 2023 due to numerous storm events and abnormally high tides. You may know that our beaches are highly regulated for their protection and it is important that the city comply with the standards set forth by the appropriate regulatory agencies that have jurisdiction. As soon as the shoreline eroded to the point that it met regulatory standards to allow emergency work, the city began restoring dunes to provide better protection against structural damage. You’ve probably noticed our contractor has been in the Breach Inlet area for the past few months restoring the dune system in the area that meets emergency conditions. At Beachwood East, the city’s contractor is placing sandbags where permitted to protect those properties from further damage due to erosion. The city is coordinating with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) on a Beneficial Use Project that is expected to begin in March, which will place approximately 500,000 cubic yards of sand (with an approximate value of $10 million) along the intertidal zone between Breach Inlet and 10th Avenue. The city plans to leverage this project to use some of this sand to further enhance the dune system along this area. The project is expected to be completed within four months. The city has assisted with funding major beach renourishment projects in the north end and post-storm emergency protective measures. In 2023, IOP City Council approved spending up to approximately $1.9 million to protect the public beach and property through a combination of emergency sand scraping, trucking in beach-compatible sand and placement of sandbags at Breach Inlet and Beachwood East. Several years ago, the city established a Beach Preservation Fund funded by a 1 percent charge to all sleeping accommodations provided to island visitors. The current balance of this fund is $8.3 million, and it grows by an average of $1.3 million annually. However, the city is forecasting a total need of almost $30 million for beach projects in the next five to six years. These projects will need to be covered between Mayor’s Message Beach renourishment top of spring cleaning checklist By Phillip Pounds Mayor, Isle of Palms CIVICS Thank you for the opportunity to serve! See you around the island. Phillip Pounds, Mayor IOP 843-252-5359 11 W | Explore The Best of Front Beach public and private funding efforts, so we must be good stewards of these funds for the benefit of all 7 miles of beach. This year, the city created a Beach Preservation Ad Hoc Committee made up of council members and resident volunteers tasked with developing recommendations on current preservation policies, future projects and funding alternatives. The group has already started meeting and will continue to do so regularly. The city remains committed to finding solutions for beach erosion that will protect the environment and benefit the overall community. Maintaining a healthy beach is an ongoing collective effort and is of the utmost importance to city leaders and staff. • March 29 Easter Egg Hunt – Easter bunny, egg hunt, jump castles, music and concessions. 4 p.m.- 6 p.m. at the Rec Center. • April 13 Community Yard Sale – Over 50 vendors selling used and like new products. 8 a.m.- noon at the Rec Center. UPCOMING CITY EVENTS

CRIME Daring Driving Decisions We’ve had a grand total of 39 reports of drivers testing the rules of driving under suspension again this month. Whether it’s driving without a license, with a suspended one, expired tags or expired insurance, we’ve seen it all. Two particularly audacious individuals were charged with driving under suspension for the third time. One of them decided to double down by adding drug paraphernalia and intent to distribute to their resume. Who knew driving with a suspended license could lead to a mobile drug emporium? The other genius thought driving without a license plate was the ultimate stealth mode. Hint: it’s not, but it is effective in painting a target on their back for law enforcement because nothing screams “pull me over” like a car without its identifying mark! And then there’s the one who turned a simple DUS into a full-blown escapade, complete with a failure to stop for blue lights, fleeing to evade arrest and reckless driving. Rule of thumb, never break another law while in the process of already breaking one. Breaking four laws at once? Clearly, he’s a firm believer in the saying, “Go big or go home,” even if home is Leeds Avenue. Marijuana Madness In the realm of recreational substances, it’s been a month dominated by everyone’s favorite friend: Mary Jane. With 31 reports of drugrelated charges, it seems the Isle of Palms has developed a particular fondness for the devil’s lettuce this month. However, amidst the sea of stinkweed, there was one brave soul who dared to spice things up with a touch of methamphetamine trafficking. A round of applause for breaking the monotony, good sir! Tipsy Troublemakers Last but not least, we can’t forget our 11 intrepid souls who embarked on the exhilarating journey of driving under the influence for the first time. As it’s been so eloquently sung by our local musical celebrity Darius Rucker, hopefully for these folks, ”This is the last time, you did something for the first time.” Let’s hope they take those words to heart and find safer hobbies like extreme sea wall building, where you won’t be charged for breaking the law. 12 By Detective Dusty Dunes THERE’S A FINE LINE BETWEEN INTREPID AND STUPID 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 Jan. 18 - Feb. 18. Names of individuals and business locations have been omitted out of respect and privacy. That’s all for this month’s edition of the Isle of Palms Police Blotter. Remember folks, stay safe, stay legal and try not to break too many laws at once. POLICE BLOTTER Deepwater DREAMHOME located on Morgan Creek with its own 120 foot deep-water dock. This NEW construction home will be approximately 6,808 sq ft with 6 bedrooms and 7 1/2 bathrooms. Careful thought and consideration has gone into the planning and creation of this home to maximize the views and exposure to the surrounding environment. 34 Waterway Island Drive UNDER CONSTRUCTION • 1012 Ewall St, Unit B Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 • 843-388-4674 Misti Cox, Selling Agent (843) 754-7826

f you come to the beach at Isle of Palms, leave your smokes, alcoholic drinks, fireworks, vehicles and even part of your curiosity in another place. Especially this spring break and summer when day visitors and vacationers are expected to reach higher levels. “Each year we experience more visitors enjoying our beaches,” said IOP Police Department Sgt. Matt Storen. “This means we have to enforce the beach rules for more people, and most of these rules are attached to a city ordinance.” Knowing the rules might save you a lot of headaches and help avoid unnecessary fines. If you need a helpful reminder, here are some regulations you are expected to adhere to: • Do not litter. Help keep the beaches clean by taking trash to the garbage and recycling containers found on each of the 13 RECREATION IOP beach rules enforced year-round, not just spring break By L. C. Leach III I beach access paths. • Smoking in any form is prohibited. Storen further pointed out that smoking turns to littering since people tend to put out stubs in the sand “and they’re not biodegradable.” • Plastics. Single-use plastic bags, plastic straws, polystyrene (Styrofoam) coolers, cups and food containers and balloons are prohibited on the beach. The use of reusable, recyclable and compostable products is encouraged. • Vehicles. Motorized vehicles, including golf carts, are not allowed. Electric vehicles, including electric bikes and skateboards are not allowed on the beach between Memorial Day and Labor Day. • Beach Equipment Storage. Overnight storage of beach equipment, such as tents, chairs, coolers, toys, etc., is prohibited. Personal property left unattended on the beach after sunset may be removed and disposed of. • Beach Holes. Fill in holes dug in the sand before you leave the beach. Large holes pose a threat to sea turtles and humans. Sea turtles cannot climb out of holes without help, and often die if they fall into one headfirst. • Sea turtles. Do not interfere with sea turtles as they are an endangered species. • Watercraft. Jet skis and motorboats may not be operated in designated swimming areas. • Dogs/Pets. Dogs must be kept on a leash, and owners must clean up after their pets. For exceptions, visit • Beach gatherings of 50 people or more require a permit. • Use designated beach access paths to help protect the fragile dunes. • Alcohol and glass bottles are not permitted. • No commercial business. • No fireworks. No open fires. • No overnight sleeping. “Littering, alcohol, glass on the beach and smoking are the toughest things for us to enforce,” Storen said. “Because, for example, on a July 4 weekend, we can have up to 60,000 people, mostly day trippers, and trying to find violators is difficult.” It’s a long way from 1953, when IOP city leaders passed the island’s first-ever ordinance banning automobiles from the beaches – a law still in place. And while most beach violations are solved with simple warnings, Storen said all beach rules are enforced at the discretion of the IOPPD. “Some offenses are jailable and others carry a maximum fine of $1,087, but it usually doesn’t come to that,” Storen added. “We’re family friendly and supportive, and the Isle of Palms Police Department is committed to keeping all those who live, work and visit our beautiful beach safe.”

Guide to IOP Real Estate Discover more of Isle of Palms • Isle of Palms Agents • Custom Homes On the Island • Real Estate Podcast showcasing IOP • Top Ten Isle Of Palms Homes Sold Scan or visit THE-WINDJAMMER.COM | 843-242-8121 (843)-885-7009 The pride of Isle of Palms today, tomorrow and always. 1 2 5 3 Want to know more about Mount Pleasant? SCAN TO READ 2024 ® BEST OF THE BEST – BRIDAL – YEAR IN REVIEW *Voted by Readers, Earned by Experts JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2024 DANIEL ISLAND | ISLE OF PALMS | SULLIVAN’S ISLAND

Showcase your business on this map! Email, Bill Macchio at D , DINGHYIOP.COM 843.242.8310 COME SEE US AT PAPI’S TAQUERIA! (843) 926-7274 1012 OCEAN BLVD ISLE OF PALMS, SC Point | Scan SAVE MONEY Save money on your next real estate transaction! ISLANDREALTY.COM 866.380.3983 The Rental Experts! 4 6 7 We will mail you POSITIVE VIBES anywhere in the U.S. POINT•SCAN•SUBSCRIBE Keep a piece of Isle of Palms with you no matter where you live.

fter all of the hard work that goes into the Isle of Palms Exchange Oyster Roast, which returns on March 9 from 2-6 p.m. at the IOP Exchange Club at 201 Palm Blvd., the most rewarding part is the scholarships awarded. The question occurs, “Where are our scholarship winners now?” 16 RECREATION Oysters and scholarships By Robbie Berg Easter Egg Hunt to deliver ‘eggcitement’ A T Well, that question was answered a month ago when we received a thank-you letter from one of our past recipients. Dear IOP Exchange Club Members, I was incredibly fortunate to receive an IOP Exchange Club scholarship in 2011. I am writing to convey my gratitude and to give an update on my education and career since the scholarship. I attended college at Princeton University, where I studied biology and completed minors in creative writing and global health. After college, I worked in health policy in Washington, D.C., for a year, which was a great learning experience. Then, I returned to Charleston for medical school at MUSC. I really appreciated the chance to serve the Charleston community and learn more about the health care and social needs in the area where I grew up. During my training, I helped with research projects on cervical cancer prevention in South Carolina, India, and Malawi, which was highly rewarding. Now I am training in internal medicine at Duke and this summer I will start a hematology-oncology fellowship here. Working in oncology is my dream job. Cancer medicine is constantly evolving with so much still to learn and I feel I can make a concrete positive impact by helping patients and families navigate a life-altering and emotionally-charged disease. I hope that my creative writing education and public health experiences will help me be an empathetic clinician and a useful cancer researcher. Thanks again for your early support for my career and for all that you do for the broader Isle of Palms and Charleston communities! Sincerely, Shannon McGue Consider attending the Oyster Roast to help our outstanding youth and those who have overcome many of life’s challenges at an early age and provide them with a chance at furthering their education and serving in our communities. For more information, visit www. he Easter Egg Hunt is back! On Friday, March 29 at 4 p.m., children ages 12 and under will begin a mad dash for eggs at the largest Easter Egg Hunt on Isle of Palms. The free event will be held on the grounds of the IOP Recreation Center, located at 24 28th Ave. For the hunt, participants will be divided into four age groups: 3-under, 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. All participants will receive a bag of Easter candy for their efforts. After hunting for eggs, children can enjoy jump castles, snow cones and face painting, and have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny. In the event of inclement weather, all festivities will be moved inside to the gym. Photos Provided. For more information, call 843-886-8294 or visit

lair Hahn never imagined when he attended a dinner party years ago that meeting Warren Ostergard would lead him into a career in the movie industry. Ostergard, a Johns Island resident, is a member of the Directors Guild of America and has made more than 40 feature films. “I had an idea for a movie and he wanted to expand on that,” shared Hahn, currently an Isle of Palms City Council member and real estate broker at Black Bear Realty. “As a result of that we became friends, but never made the movie. But we’ve had fun, nevertheless.” Hahn and Ostergard have made films together since 2016, when the pair started a movie studio called Black Bear Studios with the intent to make independent feature films. “Hollywood no longer makes films, other than big dollar action films,” Hahn explained. “HBO, Netflix, Amazon Prime are now in the movie business and are making some films and series. But most of the non-action high-dollar movies are made by independents and that was interesting to me.” While making a living in the independent film business is a gamble, Hahn has made the most of his experiences along the way, working with big stars like John Travolta, Danny Glover and Charlie Sheen. As an executive producer, Hahn was primarily involved in the financial side of making movies. “Most of the movies I was involved in were through Producer Capital Fund, a company I started to provide financing for tax credits and that was typically the last piece of financing to be put in place on an independent film so they could greenlight the movie,” Hahn said. “The easier films to make are horror 17 LIFESTYLE Blair Hahn of Hollywood Bringing La La Land to the Lowcountry By Heather Rose Artushin B Photos Provided. films, so we’ve done some horror movies. We’ve done some thrillers that are on the edge between horror and action. It just depends on the script, really, and who is attached to it, who the directors and actors are. And then there’s the financial end of it. You have to put the entire financial package together or the movie won’t get made.” Though connecting with prominent Hollywood actors and producers has been an adventure for Hahn, he’s learned to have fun and not take himself too seriously. “Actors are all regular people, and they want to be treated as regular people. They have a job to do. This is their profession and they want to be respected for their work, just like everybody else.” While the independent film industry can be very difficult at times, Hahn is open to exploring projects of interest with his partner, Ostergard, in the future. “If there’s a project that he’s passionate about, that would probably pique my interest. Right now we do have “THE PHARM,” a screenplay about a lawyer that sues big pharmaceutical companies and that is what I did for a living for over 30 years. It is certainly not autobiographical, but it does have aspects of my experience in that screenplay. We’ve got a director attached to it and the screenplay written. We had, at one point, Anthony Hopkins attached to it but then he needed back surgery and we missed that window. Now, we’re back to looking for actors to attach to the screenplay and ultimately financing to back the movie.” Hahn has been a full-time Isle of Palms resident for 10 years, though he’s been visiting the island since he was a child in the 60s. “I was hanging out on the Isle of Palms before Ocean Boulevard had any houses on it because it was underwater. It’s a joy after a hard day or frustrating day to come over the Connector and see the ocean. Yes, there’s traffic on the island, but the difference is when you’re caught in traffic downtown or in Mount Pleasant people are typically angry, but if you’re caught in traffic on the island people are usually happy.” Hahn ran for city council to advocate for residents on the island, particularly when interfacing with South Carolina Department of Transportation and other officials involved in managing parking and traffic flow challenges. “I’m hoping that I’ll be able to effectuate some change that will be important for the city.” At the end of the day, Hahn embraces a lighthearted approach to enjoying life. “I have a vanity license plate on my car that says BYBF&BH – Be Young, Be Foolish and Be Happy. We are all human beings walking on this earth and we all have stories and a lot of our stories are interesting in different ways. Just celebrate the humanness of who we all are.”

raving breakfast any day of the week, but don’t want to cook it yourself? For over three decades, Sea Biscuit Café has been serving breakfast classics and favorites to locals and visitors from around the world. 18 LOCAL SINCE 1989 Real Estate 800.476.8444 Vacation Rentals 888.250.8730 . . . FEATURED LISTING 32 Yacht Harbor Court, Wild Dunes 4 Beds, 4 Full & 1 Half Bath, 3579 Ft2 Offered for $2,995,000 Enjoy breathtaking views of the marina and beautiful sunsets from the living room and primary suite of this gorgeous waterfront home overlooking Morgan Creek. Other notable features include a soaring two-story entry with a grand curved staircase, reclaimed 125-year-old heart pine floors, a bright and open floor plan, convenient elevator, a 5-car garage, and more. FOOD & BEV What’s on the Menu Life is gravy at Sea Biscuit Café By Maurice J. Frazier From blueberry walnut French toast to spinach, tomato and feta omelets, you will leave here craving seconds or thirds. Open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sea Biscuit is a cozy little place situated at 21 JC Long Blvd. on Isle of Palms. With rotating daily specials, you can try a new dish and never repeat. When you walk in, you are greeted with a smile and sat right away if there’s an open table. It’s almost as if you are walking into your grandmother’s house to enjoy a homecooked meal. Whether it’s off season or high season, Sea Biscuit is always busy. Perhaps that’s because the food is delicious and the servers are friendly. If you miss their breakfast, Sea Biscuit also offers a lunch menu featuring sandwiches such as their basic chicken salad or turkey club, as well as soups and sides. An island staple for 37 years, Sea Biscuit has withstood the test of time. It has survived numerous trends, hurricanes and even a pandemic. Despite these obstacles, they are still here serving the community one breakfast dish at a time. Their menu prices are fair and affordable, but don’t forget to bring cash, as they don’t accept credit. And if you do forget to bring cash don’t worry, there’s an ATM machine right outside the restaurant. The next time you wake up and have a hankering for some classic breakfast favorites, head down to Sea Biscuit. Support your local mom and pop restaurants and local businesses. For more information, visit or call 843-886-4079. C Source

19 FOOD & BEV Behind the Bar Rachel & Liz, dynamic duo of The Dinghy By Maurice J. Frazier ometimes going to work can get mundane, but when you know you’re working with your best friend that changes everything. If you have ever been to The Dinghy, at 8 JC Long Blvd. on Isle of Palms, then you have experienced the dynamic duo that is Rachel Antognioni and Liz Mulkeen! Antognioni hails from Vermont, with a bartending career spanning 12 years. Her first job when she moved to Charleston was at Dog and Duck in Park West, which was her father’s favorite place. She initially worked as a server, then once she turned 21, she quickly transitioned over to bartender. After a stint at Acme Lowcountry Kitchen, Antognioni took a brief hiatus to explore other career options outside the food and beverage industry such as the medical field. Until one day she received a call from Bret Jones, owner of The Dinghy. “He (Jones) said he was opening a new bar on IOP and wanted me to work for him,” Antognioni recalled. She started on the same day as Mulkeen. They worked alongside Jones to get the bar open to the public and haven’t blinked since. “Working at The Dinghy is like having a big extended family,” Antognioni said. “I had my baby shower there and easily 150 people showed up. That’s love.” Mulkeen’s career in bartending didn’t begin at The Dinghy. Her first job was at Morgan Creek Grill where she started off waiting tables and eventually found herself behind the bar. Laying the foundation, Mulkeen worked there for about three years followed by a stint downtown at Vendue Rooftop. She too received a call from Jones and the rest was history. “Rachel and I are like two peas in a pod, going from co-workers to truly family. That’s my sister,” Mulkeen stated. “The best part about working at The Dinghy are the regulars and when summertime rolls in, no day is the same. From wedding parties to celebrities and everyone in between, The Dinghy is always popping.” The Dinghy is known for celebrating the regular’s birthday parties. The Dinghy will be celebrating their 10year anniversary in July. If you are feeling hungry or thirsty then you better come down and spend some time with these two ladies. The Dinghy is like the bar from “Cheers.” A place ‘where everybody knows your name.’ For more information, visit dinghyiop. com or call (843) 242-8310. S 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 Liz Mulkeen and Rachel Antognioni. Photo Provided.