In an unusual fifth week of March, there aren’t many public meetings, but there’s just enough to keep you busy.

RAIL: The State Ports Authority’s Review and Oversight Commission will be holding a meeting Thursday in Columbia “to discuss rail issues in the greater Charleston area,” according to a release. This is a follow-up to the meeting in North Charleston a few weeks ago on competing plans for a new rail yard to service the port. The state’s Department of Commerce, as well as influential members on the commission, support running trains through the city’s proposed Navy Yard redevelopment, while the city is supporting a private rail yard that would direct new train traffic south and avoid the Navy Yard and nearby Park Circle. The meeting is expected to begin at 1 p.m., depending on when the House and Senate adjourn. It will be in room 209 of the Gressette building on the Statehouse grounds.

BUSINESS: The Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce will host the annual Economic Outlook Conference and Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Charleston Area Convention Center. Boeing Vice President of Marketing Randy Tinseth will be giving the keynote. The event has lost some of its entertainment factor since losing creative fashion plate and disgraced economic professor Al Parish to the penal system. Parish provided economic forecasts that are now provided by the chamber’s Economic Outlook Board. Tickets are $105 for members and $160 for non-members. For more info, visit

SCHOOLS: The finance team at the Charleston County School District will host the last of several budget workshops at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the school board chambers at 75 Calhoun St. This year, like every other year, is supposed to be the worst on record as funding dries up from Washington and Columbia. There’s approximately $28 million in cuts that budget writers are trying to come up with. Ideas? Come out and share them. More info at

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