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Frequently Asked Fencing Questions
At Five Star Fence, we do everything in our power to make your fence installation easy, streamlined, and effortless on your end. If you're considering a new fence installation, you probably have some questions about our process. To help address some of your concerns, here are answers to some of the most common questions that come across our desks.
Q. I need a fence installed for my home in Charleston. How long will it take?
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Whether you need a new, beautiful wood fence to enhance curb appeal or an aluminum fence to help secure your residential property, Five Star Fence Company is here to help. After 28 years in the business, we have the knowledge and the experience to get the job done right. We pledge to provide you with honest work and the best fencing services in the Lowcountry. Contact our office today to get started on your free quote. Before you know it, your property will be a safer, more enjoyable place to spend time all year long.843-607-2855
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Latest News in Charleston, SC
Gallien out as Charleston superintendent
The Charleston County School District (CCSD) Board of Trustees on Friday unanimously approved a mutual settlement agreement to end Dr. Eric Gallien’s employment as superintendent. He started July 1. His deputy, Horry County native Anita Huggins, was named acting superintendent.In today’s deal, approved 8-0 by trustees and signed off by Gallien, the educator will get more than $350,000. He&rsq...
The Charleston County School District (CCSD) Board of Trustees on Friday unanimously approved a mutual settlement agreement to end Dr. Eric Gallien’s employment as superintendent. He started July 1. His deputy, Horry County native Anita Huggins, was named acting superintendent.
In today’s deal, approved 8-0 by trustees and signed off by Gallien, the educator will get more than $350,000. He’ll be paid 12 months of his annual salary of $275,000 in bimonthly installments, plus an extra $50,000 “non-wages.” The district also agreed to reimburse expenses from July to September and pay $34,000 in Gallien’s attorney fees. In return, Gallien agreed to dismiss his pending lawsuit against the district for breach of contract.
Friday’s decision wasn’t the first contentious end to a CCSD superintendent’s tenure. Gerita Postlewait abruptly resigned without much explanation at the end of 2021 after serving six years as head of the county’s consolidated school district. What’s more is the settlement with Gallien comes after controversy about his initial hiring and the rate of his $275,000 salary, which was a substantial increase.
The settlement came after an early Friday meeting of the board, including an executive session out of the public’s ears. It followed an investigation into Gallien’s behavior after a complaint by a CCSD employee who alleged “the superintendent’s actions led to a hostile work environment.”
An investigation, which the school district said would be made available to the public on Nov. 3, was conducted by local attorney Allan Holmes, who concluded there was no evidence to support the allegations. But the settlement did note that “Dr. Gallien has violated a clear, published directive established by the CCSD Board.” No explanation of what was violated was released.
But a news release said that after Gallien received a clear warning, he continued to violate the directive. Such behavior “improperly and significantly modified the terms and conditions of the complainant’s employment to her detriment,” according to the settlement.
Meanwhile, the settlement also said Gallien alleged his employment contract “superseded” his violation of the directive. As a result, Gallien filed a lawsuit on Oct. 5 against CCSD — which was still pending before Gallien agreed to drop it in the settlement.
The settlement also stated Galliend consented to “waive any notice requirement under the Employee Agreement.” The cause of his removal is listed under the Employment Agreement as “no reason.”
Finally, the district and Gallien essentially agreed to hold each other harmless in the settlement, agreeing that “neither payment nor any action taken pursuant to this agreement shall be considered or construed as an admission or establishment of wrongdoing on the part of either party.”
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A boom in outbound boxes: Charleston’s port offsets import losses with export bump
More exported goods are leaving South Carolina this year, and that’s helping the State Ports Authority outperform its Southeast competitors as inbound cargo shipments continue to wither in the nation’s post-pandemic economy.The number of loaded export containers moving through Charleston’s terminals grew by more than 12 percent in September compared to a year earlier and they have increased by 8.6 percent year to date. The increases have helped to counteract double-digit drops on the import side of the business....
More exported goods are leaving South Carolina this year, and that’s helping the State Ports Authority outperform its Southeast competitors as inbound cargo shipments continue to wither in the nation’s post-pandemic economy.
The number of loaded export containers moving through Charleston’s terminals grew by more than 12 percent in September compared to a year earlier and they have increased by 8.6 percent year to date. The increases have helped to counteract double-digit drops on the import side of the business.
“Exports are up due to both the strength of commodities, such as chemicals and agricultural goods, as well the continued boom of manufactured goods, including parts and tires,” Byron Miller, the SPA’s chief commercial officer and vice president of marketing, said in a written statement.
Those commodities are driving increased activity at the maritime agency’s inland ports in Greer, which primarily handles manufactured goods, and Dillon, where agriculture and other products are shipped. The Greer site near the BMW plant set a record in August for the most cargo handled since it opened a decade ago.
“South Carolina continues to attract massive investments from existing and expanding manufacturers alike, particularly in the automotive industry,” Miller said. “While (overall cargo) volumes are down from the prior year, South Carolina’s strong manufacturing base continues to facilitate growth in both imports and exports.”
The Port of Charleston’s terminals handled 199,208 20-foot cargo containers in September — down about 12 percent compared to the same period last year. Cargo levels have fallen nearly 13 percent through the first nine months of 2023.
Imports are lagging by about 15 percent monthly and year-to-date because consumers have shifted their spending away from the household goods that drove the economy during the pandemic and toward services and experiences, such as concerts, restaurant meals and traveling.
“Regarding imports, we saw significant U.S. consumer spending on discretionary and retail goods during the pandemic,” Miller said. “Now we are seeing a shift, or a reset, in consumer behavior to more ‘normal’ buying patterns.”
The decline in imports has been experienced nationwide, although Charleston’s port has fared better than most. Overall cargo has fallen by 19 percent year to date in Savannah and Virginia has seen a 22.3 percent drop in cargo.
Nationally, imports declined by 13.5 percent in August, the most recent data available, and are expected to finish the year at that same level, according to the National Retail Federation.
“Retailers stocked up early this year as a safeguard against supply chain labor issues and are well-situated to meet consumer demand,” Jonathan Gold, the federation’s vice president for supply chain and customs policy, said in a written statement. “Shoppers are spending more than they did last year, but the rate of growth we’ve seen the past couple of years has slowed and retailers are working to strike the right balance of supply and demand.”
Maritime analyst Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates, said growth in consumer spending is likely to come in at the low end of forecasts for the year, at roughly 4 percent.
“We are already seeing this in the operational decisions carriers are making,” Hackett said. “They have slowed down their ships in an attempt to cut capacity without having to take vessels out of service ... ships are not sailing fully loaded, and freight rates are declining as a result.”
Hackett said in a written statement that there will probably be no cargo growth at the nation’s ports for the near future.
“Perhaps 2024 will be better,” he said.
The late summer and early fall are typically peak shipping seasons as retailers gear up for back-to-school season and the holidays. Those big months haven’t materialized this year.
Miller of the SPA said one reason for the lull is that many shippers “were sitting on a lot of inventory remaining from over-ordering during the later pandemic period, and many also shipped some seasonal products earlier this year, negating a traditional peak season.”
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Superior to Construct $72.6M Pedestrian Bridge in Charleston
NewsSoutheastThe 4,100-ft bridge will feature a cable-stayed movable spanOctober 27, 2023Superior Construction will start work next year on a cable-stayed, horizontal hydraulic swing pedestrian bridge over the Ashley River in Charleston—a $72.6-million project that will be the first of its kind in the U.S., project leaders say.Working with d...
The 4,100-ft bridge will feature a cable-stayed movable span
October 27, 2023
Superior Construction will start work next year on a cable-stayed, horizontal hydraulic swing pedestrian bridge over the Ashley River in Charleston—a $72.6-million project that will be the first of its kind in the U.S., project leaders say.
Working with design partner Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Superior will kick off design in November and break ground with at-grade tie-ins to existing infrastructure on each end of the project in the second quarter of 2024, says Richard Kirkman, Carolinas division manager at Superior. Work on the bridge itself will start later in 2024.
Expected to complete in 2027, the bridge will traverse the Ashley River, connecting downtown Charleston to the city's West Ashley area with a 4,100-ft pedestrian-only bridge featuring a 225-ft cable-stayed movable center span that will be constructed in the open position to minimize impacts to marine traffic. It's the first bridge with a cable-stayed movable span to be built in the United States, according to Superior.
“We were challenged by the city to come up with a unique design,” says Kirkland, on the inclusion of the cable-stayed movable span. “When you approach a design-build project, you try to approach it with an open mind, and think outside the box.”
The design was developed with engineering firm TranSystems, and its subcontractor COWI, he says, helping the team secure the contract from the city.
According to a city website on the project, its conception dates to an $18.1-million BUILD grant Charleston received in 2019, to which the city, county and the Medical University of South Carolina matched $4.6 million for a total $22.7 million.
The city’s initial cost projections of about $42 million were found to be insufficient as firms began to submit proposals, local media reported in September, with city leaders citing inflation and construction costs for the increase.
The design-build project will be funded by Charleston, Charleston County, the South Carolina Dept. of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration. The bridge will be constructed with large-diameter drilled shaft foundations of 8-9 ft.
Five spans will traverse the river itself, including the cable-stayed movable span, and four others constructed of traditional girders with poured deck spans. On other parts of the bridge, 34-ft spans will cross the marshy areas with a precast, prestressed concrete box slab design stacked transversely to create the riding and walking surface, Kirkland says—an approach that’s expected to speed design, fabrication and construction.
More than 63,000 cars cross the Ashely River every day on two parallel bridges with narrow sidewalks, which has resulted in more than 100 pedestrian-related crashes in the five-year period between 2014-19, according to a news release from Superior, necessitating multi-modal transportation options. A key feature of the bridge will be a V-shaped pylon, while the bridge’s outward-leaning stay cable plane will reduce risk of ice on cables falling onto the pedestrian path.
Most of the bridge will be 15 ft wide, with tapering portions to expand to 24 ft for the five spans crossing the river. The scope of work also includes new movable bridge operations with CCTV monitors, a touchscreen display and discrete pushbuttons for the gates, as well as s trailhead with benches, water stations and bike repair stations.
Korean, Indian cuisine on the menu for Charleston restaurant’s 1st ‘industry night’
Parker Milner firstname.lastname@example.org://www.postandcourier.com/food/gingerline-industry-night-pop-up-seol-ahs-coterie-charleston-sc/article_c4dd64f8-7423-11ee-ac4a-cf26d685eb98.html
Pop-Up Picks is a recurring series in The Post and Courier’s Food Section that previews an upcoming pop-up breakfast, lunch or dinner and the chefs behind it. ...
Gingerline General Manager Maureen Samu admits that it’s been difficult for the 1-year-old coastal-inspired restaurant to reach local diners, a challenge she partially attributes to the restaurant’s 55 South Market St. location, a hotbed for Charleston tourists.
With the goal of attracting more Charleston-based diners, particularly those in the food and beverage industry, the coastal-inspired restaurant is launching a series of Sunday Industry Night pop-ups. The first, taking place from 5-10 p.m. Nov. 5, will feature a Korean and Indian menu of street snacks, including kimchi samosa, seared pork belly with gochujang curry, butter tikka loaded fries and more.
The menu is being curated by Damian Sandoval, new chef at Coterie, and Lynn Hobart and Josh Hill of Seol Ah’s, a Korean fusion pop-up serving bulgogi kimchi sandwiches, crushed ramen-wrapped corn dogs and more.
Raised in New York and Philadelphia, respectively, Hobart and Hill previously operated a stall called South Philly Steaks in exploratory food court Workshop prior to its May 2021 closure.
Less than six months later, they launched Seol Ah’s, naming the pop-up after the Korean translation of Hobart’s first and middle name. Hobart was born in Seoul, South Korea, before moving to New York at age 1.
ST. GEORGE — Sweeping the floor following the lunch rush at Nannie’s Kitchen, Sherrie Benson sings along to “It Matters to the Master” by Southern Gospel group The Collingsworth Family.
By the time the small St. George restaurant has closed at 3 p.m., Benson has been hard at work for close to 12 hours, baking off biscuits and muffins in the wee hours of the morning. Later in the early evening on this Monday, she will lead a Bible study at the restaurant she opened with her husband Shane in November 2021. The group of about a dozen women planned to discuss a book titled, “Twelve Extraordinary Women: How God Shaped Women of the Bible, and What He Wants to Do with You.”
Some restaurants feel like they’ve been around for decades, even if they haven’t. Nannie’s Kitchen, located at 307 North Parler Ave. just under one hour from downtown Charleston, is one of those places.
Homegrown knickknacks fill the walls, from coffee mugs to children’s soccer jerseys. By the door, there is a photo of Edna, or Nannie, Benson’s grandmother and the inspiration for the small restaurant. Edna was a praying grandmother who helped get Benson through tough times, she told me after I recently visited Nannie’s for lunch.
After placing my order for the barbecue sandwich with mustard sauce, I turned my attention to the baked goods case, which Benson later told me was decimated from a busy weekend. There was still more than enough to choose from, including apple fritters, blueberry muffins and a chocolate-covered cake pop with a delightfully unexpected strawberry filling. In addition to the baked goods, Nannie’s Kitchen serves breakfast sandwiches, soups, salads, meatloaf, grilled pimento cheese, hot dogs, Hershey’s Ice Cream and more.
Food first connected Sherrie and Shane when they met, but opening a restaurant only became a reality when they moved to St. George from Summerville in 2020. The couple fell in love with the calm streets and friendly neighbors in their new South Carolina home, a place that felt more comfortable than a rapidly developing Summerville.
Before opening, the Bensons talked about the venture with their nephew. He told them that the restaurant would either be accepted with open arms or ignored. As Shane completed the renovations himself in just 90 days, Sherrie prayed that they were making the right decision.
“I rely on God for everything. And I knew that he would see me through it,” Benson said. “And he has.”
Close to two years later, customers are calling in their biscuit orders from the interstate, and the dentist down the road is coming by for an Americano with frothed cream. Nannie’s Kitchen sees a steady stream of weekly business, serving a community with just a handful of independently owned restaurants.
“They have embraced us,” Sherrie Benson said. “I have customers that have become like family.”
It’s hard not to think about family when you walk inside Nannie’s Kitchen. As I looked up at the 20-plus flavors of Hershey’s scoops sold to the left of the baked goods case, I couldn’t help but think of my own grandfather, who adored green mint chip ice cream.
In a world of restaurant service fees and difficult-to-snag reservations, it is refreshing to step inside a place with such a strong focus on faith and community. The food — from the fluffy muffins to griddle-crisped barbecue sandwich — is worthy of praise, too. Next time, I must try Sherrie Benson’s biscuits, which road trippers have been clamoring for as they pass through St. George to and from Charleston.
Nannie’s Kitchen is open from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. For more information, nannieskitchenllc.com.
’The Bear’ sparks reflections on restaurant culture
The Bear, an acclaimed television comedy-drama about life in the restaurant industry, dropped its second season over the summer, generating conversation about food and beverage workplace culture across the country — including here in Charleston. Local chefs recently talked to the Charleston City Paper about the TV show, the things they love about their jobs and what they think needs to change in the industry.The first step of becoming a chef is choosing to pursue it. Like main character Carmy Berzatto in Th...
The Bear, an acclaimed television comedy-drama about life in the restaurant industry, dropped its second season over the summer, generating conversation about food and beverage workplace culture across the country — including here in Charleston. Local chefs recently talked to the Charleston City Paper about the TV show, the things they love about their jobs and what they think needs to change in the industry.
The first step of becoming a chef is choosing to pursue it. Like main character Carmy Berzatto in The Bear, Anthony Marini, owner and chef of The Pass on St. Philip Street, was born into a family centered around food. Home was the first place he experienced cooking.
Alternatively, Charleston-based freelance chef Ashley Jenkins’ desire for the culinary arts was driven by the familial experiences she didn’t have. Jenkins “comes from a family where everyone is really spread out,” she said. Her cooking, she realized, was a bit of an icebreaker. “I just noticed that my food is good for people. It makes them talk,” she said.
And Bintü Atelier chef Bintou N’Daw Young, who first began cooking in her home country of Senegal, said she was touched by The Bear’s Sydney Adamu, a Black woman trying to find her place in such a competitive industry. Adamu, she added, represents those with “a lot of experience … but nobody sees them because of their color and the stereotype of their culture.”
Stepping into the industry is one thing. It’s another thing entirely to stay. To have a successful career, you’ve got to be obsessed with your work, said Sean Rieflin, 167 Raw chef/operator. Or as Isabella Macbeth, lead shucker at Rappahannock Oyster Bar, put it, when “you’re cooking for 1,000 people, you have to be as passionate about the first plate as the last.”
Obsession, however, is a double-edged sword, as there’s a “restlessness” that comes with it, Rieflin said, which The Bear skillfully depicts.
Jenkins’ obsession with food and cooking earlier in her career was constant. “I remember the chef show [I watched] — I used to just have it running in a loop. Even when I would fall asleep,” she said.
For N’Daw Young, the restless mind takes the form of an addiction to the industry’s chaotic environment. There’s a level of stress, she told the City Paper, that she and her coworkers find necessary to function.
Unfortunately, she said, this means restaurant workers are prone to more risky types of addictions, especially given their hours.
Food service specialist and galley chef William Baker added, “What’s open when you get off work? Bars.”
Jenkins said, “I’ve actually lost … three chefs that I’ve worked with in the past [to addiction]. … They were some of the dopest people that I’ve ever worked with.”
The Bear is well-known for its characters’ oft-repeated phrase, “Yes, chef!” — which depicts the culture one might encounter in the restaurant industry after deciding to stay. “Yes, chef!” represents the mandatory obedience, authoritarian chain of command and verbal degradation that are sometimes commonplace in food and beverage work.
Hamfish BBQ owner Blair Machado said, “The ‘yes, chef!’ mentality was 100% the culture from the earliest stage of what I can remember. [It was a] very militant mindset. You didn’t argue. You didn’t express your opinion.”
N’Daw Young also spoke of a military mindset “where [your bosses] abused you to a point where you break.” After that, she told the City Paper, you are essentially a soldier, except your “country” is the restaurant.
This analogy may be more literal than it seems: Baker said he’s seen four kitchen stabbings. But even still, time off wasn’t an option: He remembered coworkers who were “bonded out of jail [by their boss] because they had to be in the restaurant to make bread the next morning.”
Burwell’s Stone Fire Grill chef Jesse Sutton said the military chain of command is actually effective in the kitchen, but only when it’s done correctly. There’s also got to be a military chain of accountability, he said, where the people in charge take ownership of their mistakes: “You can’t have one without the other.”
It does seem that the industry might be heading in a more accountability-centered direction. Even though Machado grew up in “yes, chef!” culture, he admitted that today’s restaurant environments are different. The employees are taught a greater level “of communicating and expressing themselves” that his generation “didn’t have room for,” he said.
Macbeth concurred. In her experience, since the pandemic, the industry has “really taken massive leaps and bounds … to drop that kind of culture” of mistreatment and blind obedience. Customers also play a role in the overall environment.
“[Cooking] is not easy,” Macbeth said. “People come in and definitely take some places for granted. … I think we deserve a little bit of respect,” she added.
On mental health issues, the industry had a head start. Baker said he noticed a transition in the early to mid-2000s away from the dominant narrative of post-shift partying and toward prioritizing self-care outside of work hours.
“I’m a big advocate for Ben’s Friends,” Baker said, which is a national food and beverage alcohol and drug addiction support group started in Charleston by former Charleston Grill general manager Mickey Bakst and Indigo Road managing partner Steve Palmer.
Jenkins added the industry followed the maxim “if you need something, say something,” even when today’s resources weren’t available, as in, if someone needed help, everyone would pitch in to assist them. “That part has never changed,” she said.
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