Heating & Air Conditioning

AC Repair in James Island, SC

Your Reliable HVAC Contractor in James Island

Your Reliable HVAC Contractor in James Island, SC

If you’re like most residents living in the Lowcountry, your home is your happy place. It’s where you come to unwind, rest, and regroup for another day at work. But when your HVAC system fails, your peaceful property can turn into an uncomfortable, even unsafe environment. You need to get it fixed, and you need it fixed quickly.

As the most trusted HVAC company in James Island, Burke HVAC Services, Inc. has the tools, experience, and technicians to help, whether you need a simple maintenance check or emergency HVAC repair. We truly care about your comfort and will do everything in our power to restore your home to the happy place that you love.

Our Service Areas

Our Service
Why Choose Burke HVAC Services, Inc.

Why Choose Burke HVAC Services, Inc?

When we opened Burke HVAC Services, Inc. many years ago, we did so with one goal in mind: To exceed our customer’s expectations by ensuring that each of our clients received individualized service.

Since that time, we have grown and expanded into one of James Island’s largest HVAC companies, but we still hold true to that goal. Despite our growth, we are proud to say that we continue to offer a boutique, personalized experience for all of our clients.

When you call our office, you will speak to a trained, knowledgeable customer service professional. When you make an appointment for an estimate, we will come to your residence rather than asking you to come to ours. When you need emergency service, you can rest easy knowing an HVAC tech is their way, no matter what time of day.

Why Choose Burke HVAC Services, Inc.

James Island’s Most Trusted HVAC Business

At Burke HVAC Services, Inc., our customers keep coming back because we believe in hard work, timely service, and fair pricing. Honesty is the backbone of our business, and that will not be changing anytime soon.

Here are just a few more reasons why the Lowcountry leans on Burke HVAC Services, Inc. for their heating and cooling maintenance and repair:

Professional Staff

Professional Staff

Each of our HVAC experts is an EPA Certified Factory Trained Technician. When one of our HVAC techs comes to your home or business, you can rest assured that you will be working with the best of the best.

support

Friendly Customer Service

We know how important that helpful, personable customer service is for our customers. Unlike some heating & air companies, our customer service professionals are local, efficient, and ready to help with all your needs and questions.

Services

24/7 Services

Heating & cooling units tend to break down in the most inopportune times. It doesn’t matter if your HVAC system stops working at 2AM on a Saturday night. Our team is ready to work at the most inconvenient times so you can get back to enjoying your home in comfort.

Licensed & Insured

Licensed & Insured

Burke HVAC Services, Inc. is fully licensed and insured to protect your investment and maintain your peace of mind. If you are not 100% satisfied with our work, we will do everything possible to correct any mistake and make the situation right.

On-Site Estimates and Consultations

On-Site Estimates and Consultations

We won’t ever ask you to come to our offices for an estimate or consultation. Instead, we come to your home or business, so you don’t have to change your daily routine. We cater to your schedule, not the other way around. Call us today at (843) 568-7336 to learn more about our on-site estimates or to schedule a consultation.

Financing Available

Financing Available

To make life a little easier, we offer flexible financing to all of our customers. If you need to pay your bill one payment at a time, we are here to make your HVAC experience as convenient as possible.

When you and your family need the highest level of indoor comfort in South Carolina, Burke HVAC Services, Inc. is ready to get to work – 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.

Our unbeatable HVAC and air quality services include:

AC Repair in James Island, SC

Having your AC go out during the hottest days of summer is no fun, but don’t sweat it; Burke HVAC Services is here to keep you cool!

We know that your home’s AC system needs to be fully operational to keep your family comfortable when summertime rolls around. Our skilled AC repair techs in James Island are ready to help with any AC issue you are having, whether it be a quick fix or full system replacement.

We provide trustworthy AC maintenance services when you need them the most, so you can focus on more important things like your family or business. With the most comprehensive list of AC services in James Island, we can get your air conditioning pump up to snuff so you can cool down no matter how hot it gets outside.

A few of our most common AC repair services in James Island include:

  • Filter replacement
  • Broken fan replacement
  • Duct and airflow optimization
  • Motor replacement
  • Thermostat replacement
  • Fan belt replacement
  • Coil replacement and maintenance

Burke HVAC Services, Inc. also offers preventative maintenance and tune-up options for homeowners that would like year-round confidence in their air conditioning system. It doesn’t matter if you have a central heating system for your home or a wall-mounted AC unit for your office – we are just a phone call away from keeping summer heat at bay.

AC Repair in James Island
AC Installation in James Island

AC Installation in James Island, SC

When properly maintained, a good air conditioning system can last for many years. However, if no amount of repairs or maintenance will fix your AC system, it’s probably time to send your old unit to the scrap yard. Before you call us for a replacement system, let us provide you with a thorough exam to make sure it is needed. If we discover that a replacement AC system is required, our skilled technicians would be happy to travel to your to complete the job.

At Burke HVAC Services, Inc., we understand how important it is for you and your family to stay cool during the hot summer months in South Carolina. That is why we are proud to install the highest-rated cooling systems available. When we come to your home or business to install an AC unit, we will take all the time needed to walk you through the process and answer any questions you have.

Any time we install a new air conditioner for a client, we strive to let them know what may be wrong with their original system. We’ll discuss what unit might be best for your home, budget, and cooling needs. Once we have a good understanding for what you need, we will get to work right away to minimize your time without air conditioning.

Our goal is to do the best job possible the first time out, with minimal interference in your life. That way, you can continue enjoying summertime while we work hard to give you a fast, effective AC solution.

Signs You Need AC Replacement in James Island, SC

Did you know that a broken heat pump or air conditioner can lead to higher utility bills? Updated cooling systems, like the replacement systems installed by Burke HVAC Services, are more reliable and can help lower your utility costs over time.

But how do you know if your air conditioning system is on its last legs? Here are a few telltale signs that your AC unit might need to be replaced:

Signs You Need AC Replacement in James Island
Warm Air Blowing from AC Unit

Warm Air Blowing from AC Unit

This is a sign that you might need a complicated repair or a replacement AC unit. Before you call Burke HVAC Services, Inc. for an estimate, you should check your air filter first. If it’s too dirty to allow airflow, clean or change the filter and check to see if cool air is flowing now.

Outdated AC Unit

Outdated AC Unit

AC systems typically last between 12 and 15 years. If your AC system has more than 15 years of regular use, it might be time for an AC replacement in James Island.

Rise in Utility Bill

Rise in Utility Bill

AC units become less efficient over time. Old AC systems use more electricity, which will raise your energy bill. Unfortunately, this situation will only get worse until you replace the system with a newer, more energy-efficient model.

Cost to Repair vs. Replace

Cost to Repair vs. Replace

If you find that it will cost you half or more of a new unit’s price to fix your old one, it might be time to consider a replacement AC system. Rather than spending money to fix a dying AC unit, you can purchase a new one that is more energy efficient, which will save you money over the long run.

If you are in need of a replacement cooling system for your home in James Island, Burke HVAC Services, Inc., is here to help.

Give us a call Today, & and one of our skilled AC technicians will explain the best AC replacement options for your home and budget.

AC Installation in James Island

Heating Repair in James Island, SC

Few things are worse than having your heater go out in the middle of winter. Fixing your heater is of the utmost importance when it’s freezing outside, and Burke HVAC Services, Inc. has the tools and technicians to help. With our 24/7 emergency heating repair services, you won’t have to worry about being left out in the cold. Our talented HVAC contractors in James Island are only a call away, whether you need a minor fix or a replacement heater.

Here are just a few common issues that Burke HVAC Services, Inc. heating technicians can help solve for you:

  • Overheating of your system
  • Faulty or broken heat exchangers
  • Damaged blower or motor
  • Dirty burners
  • Busted limit switches
  • Misconfigured blower belts

Before you start looking at replacement heaters, call Burke HVAC Services, Inc. first so that we can inspect your heating unit. Your issues might be resolved with a quick fix. If we discover that you need a replacement unit, our heating experts will offer guidance on choosing the best unit for your unique situation.

Signs You Need Heater Replacement in James Island, SC

Signs You Need Heater Replacement in James Island

If you notice any of the following signs from your furnace, contact Burke HVAC Services, Inc. for an inspection. Our fully-trained furnace repair technicians will detail what issues your furnace is experiencing and offer solutions tailored to your home and budget.

Pilot Light is Out

If your furnace runs on gas and its pilot light will not come on, it is important to address the issues as soon as possible.

Warming Your Home Takes a Long Time

There are many reasons why your furnace isn’t heating your home quickly. From duct cleaning to heating element replacement, our furnace repair technicians in James Island are here to help.

Broken Thermostat

If your heater isn’t warming your home to the temperature you desire, your thermostat might be broken.

No Airflow

Little to no airflow throughout your home is usually a sign that your ducts or air vents are blocked. Move any furniture away from air vents. If that does not solve your problem, you should seek help from a professional heating repair company like Burke HVAC Services, Inc.

Noisy Heater

While all heaters emanate noise, you should be concerned if you can hear loud noises coming from a different room or your basement. Be cognizant of how much noise your furnace is making. If it seems like a lot, it’s time for a thorough furnace inspection in James Island.

Our Promise

“Burke HVAC Services, Inc. is committed to providing our customers with the highest quality HVAC services in James Island. Our goal is to exceed your expectations consistently, from the moment you speak to our representatives to the time our HVAC contractor in James Island leaves your home. “Remember that any company can make an honest mistake, but it is what they do about it that makes a difference. We will work to make things right by you; that is our promise.”

Larry H. Burke Jr. President

Our Promise

Latest News in James Island

James Island congregation attempting to find ‘message in the mess’ after church fire

JAMES ISLAND — When Fort Johnson Baptist assembles for worship this Christmas, members will gather in the church’s gymnasium, not the sanctuary.That’s because a fire destroyed the church’s main worship space in September.But Fort Johnson’s parishioners understand that the spirit of Christmas isn’t limited to a specific space. The joy and love that accompanies the holiday season can be manifested wherever believers come together.After all, this wasn’t the first time Fort Johnson B...

JAMES ISLAND — When Fort Johnson Baptist assembles for worship this Christmas, members will gather in the church’s gymnasium, not the sanctuary.

That’s because a fire destroyed the church’s main worship space in September.

But Fort Johnson’s parishioners understand that the spirit of Christmas isn’t limited to a specific space. The joy and love that accompanies the holiday season can be manifested wherever believers come together.

After all, this wasn’t the first time Fort Johnson Baptist had seen devastation.

A spray-painted wooden sign was used to announce worship services days after Hurricane Hugo in 1989 toppled the church’s steeple. The sign, which had been stored above the church’s ceiling, reemerged after a portion of the overhead surface gave way during the September blaze.

“It’s a good reminder that even after disaster, good things can happen,” said Pastor Marty Middleton, 43.

During the Christmas holiday season — one of the most important times of year for the Christian community — Fort Johnson finds itself attempting to preserve a sense of hope as the congregation continues grappling with the destruction of its house of worship. At the same time, congregants are revisiting what it truly means to be a church, inspired by an outpouring of support from the community and congregations that have faced similar challenges.

A message from the mess

A preschool student was the first to smell the smoke on Sept. 9, telling his mother, “it smells like a cookout out here.” The boy’s mother, a teacher at the church’s preschool, called emergency officials around 8:30 a.m. to report a fire at the church, located at 1473 Camp Road.

Firefighters with the James Island Public Service District Fire Department and other area agencies were able to put out the blaze within an hour. Officials determined a lightning strike hit the steeple and caused the fire. The steeple fell during the blaze, taking about half of the roof with it.

The fire damage is primarily concentrated in the sanctuary. The church’s educational building, which houses the preschool, wasn’t harmed by the fire itself, though it did receive water damage from fire hoses.

Helen Needham grew up in Fort Johnson. Her family served as charter members of the congregation, established by James Island Baptist in 1960.

Fort Johnson’s sanctuary holds precious memories for their family. Needham, her sisters and her daughter all had their weddings in the church’s sanctuary. Needham’s children were baptized there. She held back tears as she recalled the day the building was engulfed in flames.

“When I saw that the church steeple was gone, I cried,” she said.

Standing in the pulpit of the sanctuary earlier this month, Middleton surveyed the rubble. Broken glass, charred wood and other debris was scattered across the floor and atop pews. The sanctuary’s ceiling caved in, leaving a gaping hole that reveals a blue sky. Mold has overtaken many of the walls. The floor was soaked with rainwater.

The destruction is a visual reminder of the messiness that exists in the world, Middleton said. The concept rings especially true this year as we all continue to navigate, with uncertainty, the pandemic.

“Sometimes, when you come to church, your life is a mess,” Middleton said. “But God is in the business of restoring that mess — taking that mess and making a message.”

The church has adjusted, relocating its preschool to a separate campus building and its worship services to the church’s gymnasium, normally used for local recreational basketball games. The pastor anticipates reconstruction will begin in a few weeks, once the church’s insurance company determines whether it will be feasible to renovate the existing sanctuary, or if the church should tear it down and build a new one.

Middleton said his task is to help his congregation stay focused on the church’s mission and to remain positive. His most recent sermon series, “Hopeful Expectation,” tells congregants to expect goodness at the end of this tragedy. This ties into the holiday season, when themes of hope and peace are prominent.

Fort Johnson’s members have been looking forward to positive, yet simple, changes that might come out of fire, such fresh carpet, new pews, and possibly a new sanctuary.

The worship services, though in a nontraditional setting, have been a source of inspiration. Attendance has been steady and a sense of hope permeates the room, Middleton said.

“God’s promises are true,” Middleton said. “So when he says he comes to bring peace and comfort, he’ll do that when we trust in him.”

The tragedy has also taught parishioners at Fort Johnson to focus more on relationships.

Since the fire, church members have come together some Wednesday nights to pray specifically for the restoration process. New relationships are being formed, too. The congregation has grown with the addition of five families who’ve joined the church in the last three months.

For the most part, Fort Johnson has sought to maintain a regular rhythm of Christmas programs and mission activities.

The church’s preschool relocated its annual Christmas pageant to the front lawn. Small children, dressed to depict angels and wise men, retold the biblical Christmas narrative and sang holiday songs. The church continued its involvement in Operation Christmas Child, an initiative where churches buy Christmas gifts for children across the world. The congregation has also bought gifts for a few local families caring for foster children.

“We haven’t let the fire stop us, “Needham said.

Continuing to serve

Fort Johnson has also seen an outpouring of support from the community.

One church donated sound equipment for the church to use during Sunday worship. Another congregation gave Fort Johnson toys and tables to use for the preschool to replace items that had been damaged by smoke. Local businesses donated food for congregants who, on the weekends, had been setting up chairs and equipment in preparation for Sunday worship.

Several other faith communities sent financial donations, including St. Andrew’s in Mount Pleasant, which donated $10,000 to Fort Johnson to express its support.

St. Andrew’s can relate to the difficulties being faced by the James Island group. The Mount Pleasant church lost its entire ministry center to a massive blaze in 2018, leaving the roughly 2,000-member congregation without a place to worship and its day school without a place to meet.

Bishop Steve Wood recalled that the days following the fire involved mostly addressing those immediate concerns. But Wood said he also tried to keep St. Andrew’s focused on its mission of service.

In doing so, he wrote a letter after the blaze that eventually became a regular form of communication, keeping members encouraged and updated on the reconstruction timeline.

“I just told them we’d be OK,” he said.

The church then engaged in ministry outside the building. St. Andrew’s “adopted” a Mount Pleasant fire station and served firefighters baked goods. Lawyers and architects in the congregation offered their skillsets to help the church with its renovation process. Members conducted prayer walks throughout the Mount Pleasant neighborhood where the church sits. Parishioners bought rosebushes for a few neighbors. Congregants began building relationships with teachers at Mount Pleasant Academy, where the church began holding Sunday services.

Wood’s advice for Fort Johnson is to, in spite of the tragedy, seek opportunities to serve others.

“The most challenging thing is that a fire, and these kinds of circumstances, can be so consuming that you miss what God is actually doing in the moment,” Wood said. “Maintain a mission focus. Keep the main thing the main thing. Be attentive to what God is doing around you. He’s mobilizing people around you.”

Reach Rickey Dennis at 937-4886. Follow him on Twitter @RCDJunior.

Millers All Day debuts food truck as construction for second location starts on James Island

It’s difficult to snag a seat at popular King Street breakfast restaurant Millers All Day, which opened in Charleston in 2018. Starting Jan. 15, locals throughout the Charleston area will be able to order fried chicken biscuits, shrimp and grits, home fries and other Millers favorites from the eatery’s new food truck.“We’ve had a lot of people come to the downtown location and ask us to help them in other markets (and) get Millers there,&r...

It’s difficult to snag a seat at popular King Street breakfast restaurant Millers All Day, which opened in Charleston in 2018. Starting Jan. 15, locals throughout the Charleston area will be able to order fried chicken biscuits, shrimp and grits, home fries and other Millers favorites from the eatery’s new food truck.

“We’ve had a lot of people come to the downtown location and ask us to help them in other markets (and) get Millers there,” said co-owner Nathan Thurston. “Putting a brick-and-mortar in different areas is very challenging but we thought that a food truck might be a great way to bring Millers to the people because they’ve asked for it quite a bit.”

The truck will be run by staff members who will eventually work at Millers All Day’s second location in the former Zia Taqueria space in the Terrace Plaza Shopping Center on James Island, Thurston said. After searching for four months, Thurston and Millers co-owner Greg Johnsman of Marsh Hen Mill on Edisto Island found a California-made truck in Minnesota equipped with the tools necessary for cooking breakfast on-the-go.

“Finding one that was right for us took some time,” Thurston said. “The outfit of the truck — the equipment, the layout — was actually a great fit for us.”

The food truck will make its debut 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Jan. 15-16 at Brewlab Charleston (2200 Heriot St.). The truck will serve Millers favorites like its biscuit cinnamon roll; pimento cheeseburger with bacon and pepper jam; bacon, egg and cheese sandwich; and shrimp and grits, a recent hit at Millers All Day.

“We decided to kind of offer our most popular items on the truck,” Thurston said.

The truck will also serve specialty items like lobster fries, a dish Thurston said is their variation on lobster poutine. Millers’ fan-favorite home fries — boiled then fried to create a crispy home fry that’s tender inside — are topped with bacon, Mornay sauce, lobster, scallions and a sunny egg.

“It’s a beautiful dish and people love it, so pretty excited to get that out there,” Thurston said.

The food truck will likely pop up at local breweries following its weekend at Brewlab. Thurston said breweries are a great place to “catapult the truck” by offering brunch at times when food is sometimes not available for folks sampling the area’s craft beer. The truck is also available for private events.

While plans for the truck were being finalized, construction for Millers All Day’s second location at 1956 Maybank Highway commenced in December. Thurston anticipates the renovation will take 10-12 weeks and hopes to open in April 2022.

For Millers All Day’s food truck location and times, follow the restaurant on Instagram or check Street Food Finder.

MUSC Foundation receives $1M from Town of Kiawah Island in support of Sea Islands Medical Pavilion

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 13, 2022) –The Medical University of South Carolina Foundation has received a commitment of $1 million from the Town of Kiawah Island in support of MUSC Health’s Sea Islands Medical Pavilion.“We are grateful to the Town of Kiawah for its major investment in our mission and their ongoing partnership to help us enable the right care, in the right place and at the right time,” said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president. “This donation will make a significant differ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Jan. 13, 2022) –The Medical University of South Carolina Foundation has received a commitment of $1 million from the Town of Kiawah Island in support of MUSC Health’s Sea Islands Medical Pavilion.

“We are grateful to the Town of Kiawah for its major investment in our mission and their ongoing partnership to help us enable the right care, in the right place and at the right time,” said David J. Cole, M.D., FACS, MUSC president. “This donation will make a significant difference as we seek to improve the well-being of the Sea Islands community, expand access to appropriate care, and bolster connectivity to the state’s only comprehensive academic health system when patients require the most complex care.”

The donation has been designated for a healing, restful green space and garden immediately adjacent to the new facility. Construction on the Sea Islands project is expected to begin in early 2022 and conclude in fall 2023.

“The Town is proud to invest in MUSC's Sea Islands Medical Pavilion and excited about the emergent care services it will provide to Kiawah, Seabrook, Johns and Wadmalaw Islands, and the broader community,” said Town of Kiawah Mayor John D. Labriola. “Our geography has always been a challenge and concern. This new facility will make a crucial difference in life-threatening emergencies and provide the Sea Island communities with greater ease of mind. We are grateful to MUSC for their pursuit of this project, to Kiawah Partners for donating the land, and to the other community partners who have made this possible.”

During the next five years, double digit population growth is anticipated in the Sea Islands community. This growth, along with the islands' geographic isolation, demographics, and community health profiles, has created an urgent need for additional health care services in this part of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

The area also accommodates a large seasonal population of tourists, many of whom have trouble navigating local health care services.

To meet this growing need, MUSC Health is building a new medical facility on Johns Island in the immediate vicinity of Kiawah and Seabrook islands. The facility will provide residents and visitors alike with convenient and rapid access to MUSC Health’s emergency care services, select outpatient services, and some of the nation’s top providers in primary and specialty care.

“People living in this area have to travel 30 or 45 minutes to reach the nearest hospital, sometimes more depending on traffic. That’s a big problem for someone having a stroke or cardiac event,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health CEO and vice president for Health Affairs, University. “This new facility brings that care directly into the community. We’re extremely grateful to the Town of Kiawah and Kiawah Partners for helping to make that possible.”

The project was made possible in part by Kiawah Partners, which donated six acres of land to the Medical University Hospital Authority (MUSC Health), valued at $4.85 million. The project is estimated to cost $24 million. Of that amount, MUSC is working to raise $15 million in private support.

The 22,740-square-foot facility will be located at 1884 Seabrook Island Road, near Bohicket Marina. The ED will include four exam rooms, two trauma rooms, imaging and lab services and a helicopter pad. The medical office will offer primary and specialty care. A telemedicine network will connect the entire facility to MUSC Health providers in downtown Charleston for additional care and consultation, if needed.

In mid-June 2021, McMillan Pazdan Smith (MPS) was chosen to design the project. MPS is also one of two architectural firms working on designs for a new MUSC Health hospital in rural Williamsburg County.

Renderings of the Sea Islands medical pavilion are available upon request.

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About the MUSC Foundation

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Foundation was chartered in 1966 as a charitable educational foundation to support the education, research, patient care and other programs at the Medical University. The foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, contributions to which are tax-deductible.

Since its beginning, the MUSC Foundation has encouraged such worthwhile academic enterprises as endowed professorships; scholarships; the acquisition and development of campus facilities to serve student, teaching, research or clinical needs; and awards in honor of academic excellence. In addition, it has encouraged achievements in biomedical research.

The Foundation is governed by a 31-member board of directors. The president of the Medical University is an ex-officio, non-voting member of the board. Three members of the MUSC Board of Trustees also serve on the board. The remaining 27 at-large directors are not directly affiliated with the university. Five are alumni of MUSC. The foundation’s funds are invested and managed by professional money managers selected by the foundation’s Investment Committee. This committee uses a professional investment advisor to assist in evaluating its managers.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, MUSC is home to the oldest medical school in the South as well as the state’s only integrated academic health sciences center, with a unique charge to serve the state through education, research and patient care. Each year, MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and nearly 800 residents in six colleges: Dental Medicine, Graduate Studies, Health Professions, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy. MUSC brought in more than $327.6 million in biomedical research funds in fiscal year 2021, continuing to lead the state in obtaining federal and National Institutes of Health funding, with more than $220 million. For information on academic programs, visit musc.edu.

As the clinical health system of the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC Health is dedicated to delivering the highest-quality and safe patient care while training generations of compassionate, competent health care providers to serve the people of South Carolina and beyond. Patient care is provided at 14 hospitals with approximately 2,500 beds and five additional hospital locations in development, more than 300 telehealth sites and nearly 750 care locations situated in the Lowcountry, Midlands, Pee Dee and Upstate regions of South Carolina. In 2021, for the seventh consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report named MUSC Health the No. 1 hospital in South Carolina. To learn more about clinical patient services, visit muschealth.org.

MUSC and its affiliates have collective annual budgets of $4.4 billion. The nearly 24,000 MUSC team members include world-class faculty, physicians, specialty providers, scientists, and care team members who deliver groundbreaking education, research, technology and patient care.

BRACK: Want to make a difference? Get involved

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | For a teenager in the 1970s, the Boy Scout Handbook offered an escape into a practical world that provided answers to lots of things for a young, curious mind: how to tie knots, start campfires, safely hike and camp in the woods, use a compass, identify trees and track animals. Manuals for merit badges provided more detailed information on everything from survival to citizenship. (In my view, the Boy Scouts’ three merit badge manuals on citizenship – for the community, nation an...

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | For a teenager in the 1970s, the Boy Scout Handbook offered an escape into a practical world that provided answers to lots of things for a young, curious mind: how to tie knots, start campfires, safely hike and camp in the woods, use a compass, identify trees and track animals. Manuals for merit badges provided more detailed information on everything from survival to citizenship. (In my view, the Boy Scouts’ three merit badge manuals on citizenship – for the community, nation and world – are better than the civics materials provided in school.)

So it came as a surprise that a new book on all things maritime, appropriately called The Ocean, is based on a version of the Handbook, now called a Fieldbook, of nautical skills, as explained by co-author Chris Dixon of James Island.

A few years back, Dixon said he was talking with an old friend for whom he once worked, surfing buddy and laid-back singer/entrepreneur Jimmy Buffett. Over a plate of shrimp and grits, Dixon shared the concept of a new book of maritime skills – a kind of “Poseidon’s bible – a guide to all things ocean that’ll be fun to read in a hammock strung between two palm trees, but will also help save your ass in a pinch,” as he wrote in the introduction.

Buffett chuckled and said, “The stuff you only really learn from time on the water. … When I was a kid, I learned so much from this book called The Sea Scout Handbook,” which the authors then described as an inspiration for their new book.

They ended up sharing scores of practical skills for the water. Get a flavor through some of the subtitles in six chapters of the 350-page book:

Their book, in fact, inspired a cover feature story in the Charleston City Paper that showcases 29 different things regular people can do to help protect the ocean.

In addition to recommendations to get out on the water to learn it and love it, there are suggestions on how you can promote sustainability of the seas, protect local waterways and be good land stewards to help the ocean. Several ideas focus on how to get greener in your life intentionally to make a longer term difference with such actions as eliminating single-use plastics, not using hygiene products with plastic microbeads, properly disposing machine fluids, reducing harmful herbicides and pesticides that might run off into streams, and being careful with sunscreens that you use.

But the story also included practical ways to participate in democracy to make it stronger.

“Never underestimate your power to make a difference, through volunteerism, recycling, political advocacy, sharing via social media or engagement in citizen science projects,” S.C. Aquarium Executive Director Kevin Mills said.

Emily Cedzo of the Coastal Conservation League added, “Take action to protect the ocean. Whether it’s opposing offshore drilling or supporting protections for the endangered right whale, there’s a lot of information out there, so get some help gathering it. You can send emails or make calls to local, state and national officials or speak at public meetings.”

Bottom line: To make a difference in any endeavor in which you’re passionate – from protecting oceans to fighting to ensure fair election lines – get more involved. Connect with groups that share your passion. Vote. Help people register to vote. Interact with people in your neighborhood and get them to help. Donate to organizations that do what you want done. Support elected officials who you support by giving your time or money during campaign season.

As the Boy Scouts taught me, being a good citizen is about being involved. We need more of that spirit today to keep America moving forward.

Andy Brack, editor and publisher of Statehouse Report, also is publisher of the Charleston City Paper. Have a comment? Send to: feedback@statehousereport.com.

Restaurant Week 2022 in Charleston, SC

Charleston Restaurant Week is (almost) upon us, friends. This celebration, held Jan. 13-23, sheds light on local restaurants and provides the opportunity to try something new from Lowcountry favorites like 39 Rue de Jean, Halls Chophouse + MESU.If you’ve never experienced the holy grail of the Charleston food + bev industry that is Restaurant Week, you’ll need a bit of guidance, as the choice...

Charleston Restaurant Week is (almost) upon us, friends. This celebration, held Jan. 13-23, sheds light on local restaurants and provides the opportunity to try something new from Lowcountry favorites like 39 Rue de Jean, Halls Chophouse + MESU.

If you’ve never experienced the holy grail of the Charleston food + bev industry that is Restaurant Week, you’ll need a bit of guidance, as the choices can get overwhelming — though too many options is never a bad thing, right?

Different eateries offer special deals to encourage people to get out + dine in at local restaurants. With 40+ Charleston area restaurants participating, the hardest part will be choosing where to dine. We’re here to highlight a few of the participating restaurants and their Restaurant Week deals.

39 Rue de Jean, 39 John St. | 3 dinner courses for $45 | Stop by this brick-walled bistro + enjoy French classics and cocktails from the bar.

82 Queen, 82 Queen St. | 2 lunch courses for $20, 3 dinner courses for $40 | Not sold on the award-winning She Crab soup? Take a look at the jambalaya and get back to us.

Bourbon N’ Bubbles, 570 King St. | 3 dinner courses for $45 | We have to say, it’ll be hard to decide between the bruschetta + crispy tempura shrimp.

CO, 340 King St. | 3 dinner courses for $25 or 4 for $30 | Spicy crab rangoon with the option of a sake pairing? Sign us up.

Coast Bar & Grill, 39D John St. | 3 dinner courses for $45 | You can’t go wrong with any dish from this seafood eatery, but the surf & turf is definitely grabbing our attention.

Coastal Provisions, 200 Grand Pavilion Blvd., Isle of Palms | 3 dinner courses for $40 | Calling all gnocchi lovers: the sweet potato gnocchi dish looks ah-mazing.

FortyEight – Wine Bar & Kitchen, 547 Freshfields Dr., Kiawah Island | 3 dinner courses for $35 | There’s just something special about the ambiance of a wine bar. Pair it with the FortyEight Pimento Burger? We’re in.

Florence’s Lowcountry Kitchen, 90 Folly Rd Blvd., Ste B-4 | 2 lunch courses for $20, 3 dinner courses for $30 | This Lowcountry eatery has blessed us with two opportunities to enjoy its delicious Southern dishes. I’ll have an order of the shrimp & grits, please.

Frothy Beard Brewing Co.,1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd.| 2 people for $30 | Pro tip: This brewery includes two pints of beer in its Restaurant Week deal.

Jalisco Taqueria & Tequila, 1217 Folly Rd. | Saturdays only: 3 lunch courses for $25, 3 dinner courses for $25 | Enchiladas, and salsa, and churros — oh my.

MESU, 570 King St. | 3 dinner courses for $25 | Can’t decide between Mexican + sushi? Grab an app of chips and guac before enjoying one sushi roll as your main course. Best of both worlds.

New Realm Brewery, 880 Island Park Dr. | 3 dinner courses for $30 | We can confirm that the Ultimate Wagyu Burger is worth the hype.

Swamp Fox Restaurant & Bar at Francis Marion Hotel, 387 King St. | 2 lunch courses for $20, 3 dinner courses for $40 | Enjoy all your Lowcountry favorites at this restaurant. We’re looking at you, hush puppy + deviled egg lovers.

The Salty Dog Cafe – Seabrook, 1882 Andell Bluff Blvd., Johns Island | 3 courses for 2 people for $50 | Looking for your fish ‘n’ chips fix? Look no further.

Virginia’s on King, 412 King St. | 2 for $15 brunch, 3 dinner courses for $30 | Mix it up and enjoy brunch at this popular spot, including a mimosa + your choice of a breakfast burrito or strawberry waffles.

Pro tip: Make sure you’re staying up to date on the restaurants’ latest COVID-19 updates and potential closures.

The best part? This isn’t all. Click here to see all 47 participating Charleston area restaurants + the deals they’re offering.

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