Information and advocacy for a Mt. Pleasant Town Sailing Center
April 8 Update- Town May be Appointing Commission
FAIR Winds Blog, Up to date information and links
Full report on our Feb. 20 Open Public forum
Our current best information on what has happened and what the facts are.
How You can Make
A Difference (PDF)
How you can help bring community sailing to Mt. Pleasant
What You can Do
|To get updates, ask to be placed on our email list.|
|We're forming working groups on programs & activities, facilities planning, Site selection and Political Issues. We need involved citizen/sailors to work towards a Town Sailing Center. Bring your ideas and become involved. If you have input, email it in and we'll forward it to our developing leadership.|
|Invite us to bring our PowerPoint Talk to your Community Group- Learn about what community based sailing can do for everyone in Mt. Pleasant. Request a presentation. We have the screen, projector and the latest version of the presentation.|
|Write a letter to the Editor as Kimberly Heck did. Read this page from the Moultrie News with her letter and learn how to submit your own. Guidelines for letters are at the bottom left corner of the page.|
|Join Twitter at www.twitter.com/fairwindsmp/ and get notices on our efforts by email, cell phone, web or IM. Be ready to act.|
Information and Resources
|FAIR Winds Blog - Our newest information and the text of our email updates to members can be found here. Included links to archive and out of date materials. Newest material listed first. We're not listing everything on this page any longer, so go to the blog page to get the most up to date material.|
|Full report on our Feb. 20 Open Public forum Our current best information on what has happened and what the facts are. What you can do handout distributed at meeting.|
|Sailing Centers and Program - Check the web pages for various types of sailing programs around the United States. From Arizona to Boston, there is a lot going on in award winning programs.|
|Freedom Of Information Act Activity
Initial Report on the materials provided by the Town of Mt. Pleasant. Freedom of Information Act Request Submitted to the Town regarding the sailing center. Town Administrator Mack Burdette's response to the request.
|FAIR Winds Powerpoint Presentation - Current Version of what we're presenting to community groups.|
|Article on Sailing Center in February 2, Post and Courier New Debate Over Mt. P. Sailing Center|
|Editorial in the Moultrie News supporting Sailing Center. The position of people involved with the town seems inconsistent with earlier statements.- Read Setting Sail PDF|
|Porches to Sidewalks Column in the Jan. 30 edition of the Moultrie News. Download a PDF version of the column: Sailing against the wind: Youth sailing center up in the air|
|Post and Courier Article disclosing that Santos and Council had agreed not to build sailing center at park, Jan 25, 2008. More recent statements about the center have been ambiguous. Read Mount Pleasant to open park in '09|
|ION Radio MP3 Recording of Mount Pleasant Town Councilman Gary Santos promising that Sailing Center will be built as part of the first phase of the park, May 2007. Listen to what Councilman Santos said.|
|ION Radio MP3 recording. Spring 2006. Councilman Santos talks about making sailing available to kids who can't afford to be part of a yacht club before the last town election. Listen to Santos on Community Sailing.|
Two years ago, after a strong demonstration of support from the Charleston area sailing community, the Town of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina agreed to establish a community sailing center near the end of the pier at the new waterfront memorial park beneath the Arthur Ravenel Bridge. Several members of town council were opposed to the idea. The plan was announced shortly before a town election in which several members of council faced opposition at the polls. They were reelected, in part with the support of the sailing community.
A local non profit organization already running a High School Sailing program, Charleston Community Sailing, offered to design, build and operate the center at no cost to the town, but their input and support was refused. The town said it would design and operate it's own sailing center. For the next year and a half, public announcements, plans and discussions with members of town council contained repeated assurances a sailing center was planned and would be constructed and operating. Last fall Town Council voted to extend its terms and delayed the next town election by 14 months.
Sometime in December 2007, after secret negotiations, it was decided that the current in the river was too strong and a sailing center there would be unsafe. Young people have sailed in this part of the harbor for two generations. Sailing programs like the one planned operate with powerboat support and trained supervision. The statement about the current is clearly untrue. It is believed that the true reason the center is opposed is that the State Ports Authority and Maritime Industry, which plans a large new shipping terminal upstream, does not want any more recreational use of Charleston harbor, since the huge increases in ship traffic will be resented by those using the harbor, causing political resistance similar to that which killed the Global Gateway terminal plan for the Wando River a few years ago.
Statements by John Cameron which Councilman Gary Santos conveyed to Town Council were apparently undocumented and unsupported by any documented technical studies or scientific measurements. Professional Sail Trainers believe the pier is an appropriate location..
Commercial shipping traffic has the right of way and sailboats are required to leave the channel with container ships are transiting the harbor. In the event a containership was entering the harbor and there was a problem, a power boat is always available to tow a sailboat to a safe location in a professional sailing program. Of course, years ago, young people enjoyed sailing in the harbor using inexpensive boats without adult supervision, but the volume of shipping traffic brought in by the Wando Welch terminal makes the river and harbor too unsafe for unsupported youth sailing now.
The space at the Waterfront Memorial Park Pier is the only publicly owned waterfront in Mt. Pleasant which could be utilized for a sailing center in the near future. The center would be visible and available to the entire community. It could be, if necessary, self supporting, as the existing Charleston Community Sailing effort on the Ashley River is now.
A sailing center can be as simple as the one operated at Ashley Marina by Charleston Community Sailing now. We've put together a page of images of that facility so visitors to this page and see what that facility looks like and we're developing a list of community sailing programs around the US. We're looking for reviews and information on good programs which get people, youth and adults, on the water, under sail..
Statements from people connected with the Town's decision have become conflicted and vague since significant public opposition has appeared. It seems clear that pressure will have to maintained if Mt. Pleasant is ever to have a sailing center. FAIR Winds anticipates having to maintain pressure until the center is open and operating given the apparent opposition of the Mayor and other members of council. Clearly promises cannot be depended on here.
FAIR Winds is a grass roots citizen effort to bring a community sailing center to Mt. Pleasant in the near future and to promote an open and honest discussion of public access to our public waters for the benefit of young people in Mt. Pleasant, SC. It is not associated with any other organization and its efforts have not been endorsed by any other group or association. Since many of these groups receive financial support from the commercial Maritime industry, Against the Wind wants to make it clear that it speaks only for its own members, so as not to endanger those organization's ability to obtain donations in the future.
If you would like to join us, register to "follow" our efforts through www.twitter.com/againstthewind and receive updates on your cell phone, email account, im client or pager. You can be placed on our traditional mailing list by emailing email@example.com.
Full contact information for William J. Hamilton, Attorney at Law - Provisional Executive Director of Against the Wind
Last Page Revision 04/08/2008