Bringing Our Community Together

Daily archive

November 09, 2011

In memory of Smokin’ Joe Frazier

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Beaufort and the boxing world lost a legend when Smokin’ Joe Frazier died from liver cancer at age 67 on Monday, November 7.

Frazier, left, at his gym in Philadelphia.

Smokin’ Joe Frazier was born Joseph William Frazier in Beaufort, South Carolina, on January 12, 1944.  He is considered one  of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all times.  Frazier left Beaufort at the age of 16 and moved first to New York and then Philadelphia, escaping the poverty and segregation of the South to pursue his dream to box. He won the Gold Medal in the heavy-weight division at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.  He turned pro and went on to hold the heavyweight title from 1970 to 1973, defeating Muhammad Ali in the “Fight of the Century” in 1971.
After retiring, he opened Joe Frazier’s Gym in one of Philadelphia’s troubled neighborhoods to train urban youth. Governor Mark Sanford awarded Frazier the  state’s highest civilian honor, the Order of the Palmetto, on September 27, 2010. Frazier would visit Beaufort several times a year and family members still live in Laurel Bay, some on the same 10 acres where he grew up.

Frazier accepting the Order of the Palmetto presented by then-Governor Mark Sanford during a ceremony in Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in September 2010.

Parade, events honor Veterans Day

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On Friday, November 11, Beaufort community members can show their respect to the men and women who’ve dedicated a lifetime to serving our country by attending the Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony.
Edward Ray, Beaufort Country Veterans Affairs Officer, said small tributes like attending the parade and ceremony go a long way in showing appreciation: “Our soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen deserve a great deal of appreciation for preserving our freedom and our American way of life. The gratitude of our citizens means a lot to them.”
The parade begins at 9:30 a.m. at Rogers Street near the national cemetery and will move along Boundary Street toward downtown, onto Bay Street, right onto Bladen Street and back to the cemetery.
At 11 a.m., the Veterans Ceremony will have a keynote speech at Beaufort’s National Cemetery (1601 Boundary Street) by Gen. Lori Reynolds, Commanding General at Marine Corps Parris Island Recruit Depot.
Retired Sgt. Major Carl R. Green, USMC, a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, will be the grand marshal of the parade. Whale Branch Early College High School’s band will perform in the parade and the ceremony. Also appearing in the parade will be high school bands from the area as well as the color guard of each branch of service along with marching military personnel.
Local veteran service organizations and ladies auxiliaries will be there, with various local businesses, school groups, civic organizations, fire departments, state and local elected officials, the Water Festival Pirettes and the Patriot Guard Riders.
A reception will follow the ceremony at the AMVETS Post #70 (1831 Ribaut Road, Port Royal). Come rally on and make the parade and ceremony your duty this Veterans Day.

County Closings for Veterans Day

• All Beaufort County Administrative offices, Solid Waste and Recycling Convenience Centers and the County Courthouse will close Friday, November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. Offices and the courthouse will resume normal hours of operation Monday, Nov. 14.
• The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles also will be closed on Friday, November 11 in observance of the Veterans Day state holiday.

Responding to visitor criticism

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By Mayor Billy Keyserling

Here is an email I received on Monday morning November 1:
“Visited your city last Tuesday and received a parking ticket for an expired meter. My fault. I don’t understand how you can promote tourism for your downtown area and not provide free public parking. This is nothing but a money grab run by a private company for the city. Talking with some of the business owners they are not happy with the situation. I’ll never visit your city again and will spread the news. John D Cespedes”

My Response on Monday afternoon, November 1:
Dear Mr. Cespedes:
Thanks for your kind and thoughtful note.
I am glad you had an opportunity to visit beautiful Beaufort and am sorry our value proposition of fine shops, excellent restaurants, our world class waterfront park, the open vistas throughout our city, the ancient moss draped oaks and history whichever way you turn, is not worth giving up a little something.
“Giving a Little Something” has nothing to do with city revenue, since parking revenues are invested — through Main Street Beaufort and our City Redevelopment Commission —  directly into downtown improvements for the people who live here and those who visit and for marketing our special downtown. Fees do not go into the city operations budget.
The reason Beaufort has had paid parking since the 1930’s is because the merchants asked for it. Unfortunately, it takes parking fees and fines to prevent all day parking by some downtown merchants and their employees who, up until we started the current system, were  dominating parking thereby making it nearly impossible for locals and visitors to find spaces.
The good news, for the merchants, residents and visitors, is that we can now find spaces to park in the greater downtown area.
Ironically, in this sense, it appears that what bothered you actually made parking more available to you and others.
The City’s Civic Investment Plan calls for a parking deck, with perhaps lower or no fees. But, a $5 million plus investment out of a $14 million annual budget for a city of only 12,000 moderate to low income people, half of whom rent, is not likely in the foreseeable future when the private sector engages as a partner in this lofty ideal.
When I recently received a ticket for an expired meter and paid it knowing I too was wrong, I realized that it is not a bad thing because the reason for meters and fines creating better access to downtown stores and restaurants.  We have suggested to the merchants who have complained that they provide parking tokens to their customers and we agreed to work with them on a program to do so whereby they could purchase tokens at a discounted rate. As of yet, none have stepped to the plate.
And finally, you should know — notwithstanding the few who are not in the majority — the current system with modifications was developed and recommended by the downtown merchants.  And that using the outside vendor, as opposed to police officers managing parking, saves the city money, and even more importantly ensures police officers remain focused on the public’s greater safety.
Again, I am glad you came to Beaufort, sorry you got the ticket and hope that once you cool off you will reconsider.  Should that happen and you give me adequate notice, I will be happy to take you to lunch downtown and personally foot your parking tab.  The value is great.
Beaufort is a very special place and we do the best we can, as a small city, to make it even better. We market our city to tourists and those considering relocating to the area because we believe we have something of great value to share. We are grateful that visitors shop, dine and often use overnight accommodations. Some just sit in the park and watch the boats passing. And we are happy to be able to provide the hospitality.
By chance, when you visited, were you able to see the fantastic Robert Smalls and Beaufort Infantry exhibits at Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Verdier House on Bay Street, attend the nationally acclaimed Gary Sinese Band’s Wounded Warrior Benefit Concert, attend the regionally renowned Shrimp Festival or visit some of the most unique art galleries in the region? Or stop by the Bay Street Outfitters, take one of its renowned guided fly fishing tours, see the Metropolitan Opera or Swan Lake at the USCB Arts Center, partake in the  Historic Beaufort Annual Tour of Homes, attend the some of the many activities at ARTworks, enjoy high tea at the Beaufort Inn or simply take time to sit on a swing and enjoy the southern breezes and vistas from the bluff (no parking fees on the bluff) or the serenity of the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park when you were here? Or did you visit some of our historic homes, churches and graveyards, some of which are centuries old. Or take a class at USCB’s Osher Life Long Learning Center or The Technical College of the Lowcountry. I hope you did not need the services of our exceptional Hospital which, through a partnership with Duke University, has the best heart and cancer care facilities and programs in the Southeast.
I certainly hope you had the time and interest to take in some of our exceptional offerings, meet some of our friendly and welcoming citizens and will, once you cool off, tell others as our community works hard to foster and promote these types of activities for those who live in and visit the best hometown in the world.
Thanks for taking the time to visit and to share your thoughts.
Billy K

Weekend Crime Reports

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ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: Last Saturday, an irate female customer at Smokers Express threw a can of beer at a clerk, damaging the credit card machine. The woman left the scene but a warrant was obtained for her arrest on account of vandalism of property. Now, if she had just stuck to what she came there for (uh, smoking?) there wouldn’t have been said problem. Go to a meeting, girl, it will change your life.

DEFRAUDING AN INN KEEPER: Relax, incident reports tend to sound a lot more dramatic than they truly are. See what happened was a broke female ate a meal at Applebee’s for $11.32, probably the Asiago peppercorn steak with herb potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Well, see, she ate that meal knowing she couldn’t pay for it and then tried the not-so-old-fashion dine-and-dash maneuver in which one leaves a restaurant without paying.  However, an employee stopped her and held her until officers arrived. Oh snap, that’s embarrassing. She should probably try the $5.99 all-you-can-eat lunch combo.

URBAN PUNCH: Yes, there exists an Urban Dictionary, and according to the Urban Dictionary, the word “punch” can be used in several dozen urban turn phrases. For example: punch buggy, punch bunny, punch break, punch a giraffe, punch a cranky, punch a grump, punch a kitten, punch the munchkin, et al. (Review the terms at your discretion.) Which, however, could be used to describe the situation last Saturday night at Panini’s in which a male was punched in the side of the head, leaving him knocked out and in the arms of the EMS? How about this description for “punch face”: “1. A reference to the type of face adorning someone who you want/need to punch in the face, with or without justification; 2. A face that immediately makes the person seem like a complete tool and makes you want to punch it.”

YOU’RE NOT IN KANSAS ANYMORE: It’s sad the day has come that Beaufort is no longer a safe place to leave your cars unlocked, un-fearing that someone won’t steal your belongings inside. Two cars were robbed in the same location last Sunday on Church Street. A purse and a GPS were stolen from one unlocked vehicle, and tools and miscellaneous items were taken from another car that was locked, granted, but the widow was down. Those of you following the Weekend Crime Reports understand, but for you others: roll your windows up and lock your cars because everyone’s crap is getting stolen in town from the vehicles.

BONNIE & CLYDE: Not quite the love story, but a couple did manage to collectively receive four charges last Saturday: one count of Public Drunkenness, one count of Malicious Injury to Real Property, one count of Criminal Domestic Violence and one count of Disorderly Conduct.  At only 10:30 p.m. at Applebee’s (yes, the same Applebee’s) an intoxicated Clyde jumped onto another person’s car and dented the ride. When the intoxicated Bonnie tried to get him to stop, Clyde threw her to the pavement. Once he was arrested — for the first three above-mentioned charges — Bonnie began “causing a scene” and was incidentally arrested for Disorderly Conduct. Ah, true love.

Compiled by Tess Malijenovsky. Crime Report items are chosen from the files of the Beaufort Police Department. Please contact the police with any insider information on these cases.

News Briefs

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Main Street Beaufort holds awning project
The Design Committee of Main Street Beaufort, USA announces plans for an Awning Project to be completed in first quarter of 2012. Any business and/or property owner in the Main Street Beaufort designated area in need of a new or replacement awning is eligible to participate.
The vision of the project is to give downtown a makeover with multiple new awnings. Participating business/property owners will receive design renderings free of charge, assistance with city applications and review boards processes, and a discount on the awning. Requests for proposals for awning companies wishing to participate in the project are now available and due by December 2nd. Since the project has a goal of 12 participants and is asking for a minimum of 8 participants, Main Street Beaufort is requesting a considerable discount for the bulk purchase. The designated area of Main Street Beaufort, USA is the area bounded on the west by Ribaut Road, on the south and east by the Beaufort River, and on the north by Boundary Street, with both sides of named streets included therein. Business/Property owners wishing to participate should alert Main Street Beaufort, USA by December 16. Please contact LaNelle Fabian, 843.525.6644 or with questions.

Coastal Conservation League has new director
Mr. Steven Eames recently assumed the position of Director of the South Coast Office of the Coastal Conservation League in Beaufort. Steve is a native of Australia, but has lived in the Charleston area for the last four years. He comes to Beaufort from Global Container Terminals with experience in “smart growth” and strategic planning for transportation, ports and industrial parks, having worked in Europe, Asia and Africa.

New McTeer Bridge to close for week
The new span of the McTeer Bridge (SC 802) will close Sunday, November 13 at 9 p.m. and re-open Friday, November 18 at 3 p.m. while contractors complete the final interface between the roadway and the bridge.
During the closure, traffic will be routed along the original span of the bridge. For more information on this transportation improvement project, which is largely funded through a sales tax approved by voters, visit the Beaufort County website, . Look under the “How Do I” options on the home page.

County Council names America Recycles Day
Beaufort County Council will proclaim November 15 as “America Recycles Day” throughout the county.
Through the proclamation, County Council plans to encourage residents to visit the recycling information located on the Public Works Department pages of the county website,  to learn more about recycling services in the county. Council also wants to remind residents about the county’s,, an online market place for citizens to advertise unwanted items for reuse.

Mayor names Small Business Saturday

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By Tess Malijenovsky
Mayor Keyserling made the official proclamation at Tuesday’s public Beaufort City Council meeting that Saturday, November 26, (the first Saturday after Thanksgiving) will officially be “Small Business Saturday.” This proclamation was made in effort to support small, local businesses, which not only benefits the community and its economy but also that of the nation’s.
During public comment, members of the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce (BCC) stepped forward to thank the council members for a grant that will help fund a rural Micro-entrepreneur Assistance Program. The money will be used for business-based technical training for small and/or disadvantaged business owners. Beaufort’s is the only Black Chamber of Commerce to receive the grant. With the support of City Council, the BCC achieved its first 2011 goal.
During reports, councilman George O’Kelley pointed out that Thursday, November 10, is the 202nd birthday for the Marine Corps when Captain Samuel Nicholas formed two battalions of Continental Marines in 1775 in Philadelphia as naval infantry.

Firefighters minimize damage of home blaze

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Just after midnight on November 3, the Lady’s Island St. Helena Fire District was called to the Alston Road neighborhood of Lady’s Island for the report of a possible house fire. Information given to 9-1-1 was that the caller could see their neighbor’s home completely covered with fire.
The first fire engine arrived in a matter of minutes of the call and was told by the neighbor that she feared the two male occupants of the home were still inside. “When we arrived there was a moderate amount of fire and a large volume of smoke coming from one side of the home” reported Jon Bekemeyer, company officer of the first in fire apparatus. Jon then relayed his findings to the additional in coming units and set about finding the homes occupants.
Firefighters made entry into the structure and fought to keep the fire contained to one side of home to minimize damage. While Jon and his crew were fighting the fire and searching for those feared inside, the occupants were thankfully not found to be in the home at the time of the fire. Firefighters were able to keep the fire damage compartmentalized to one side of the home as the fire was extinguished within 20 minutes of their arrival.
While the fire was quickly extinguished and contained to one side of the home, the rest of the structure was rendered uninhabitable due to smoke damage. Firefighters, Paramedics from Beaufort County EMS, and Sheriff’s Officers from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Officer were on scene for approximately three hours extinguishing the fire and investigating its cause. The official cause is still under investigation as preliminary findings have been inconclusive.

Celebration at Charles Street Gallery

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Seven Lowcountry artists, with great international flair, fill the Charles Street Gallery in Beaufort with scenes of salt marshes, kayakers, horse paddocks, green rolling hills, Jordanian architecture, and French cabbage gardens. Join them for a reception and celebration of new work on Friday, November 18, at 5 p.m.
Joan Templer fills the first floor gallery of the renovated home in historic downtown Beaufort. Her work is always grand, and can focus to bring a particular tonality to the viewer, or her canvas can open up into a wild neo-primoridial scene from Africa. Her book, Joan’s Eye, documents her career, and is also available.
The Charles Street Gallery dedicates their second floor to the work of Lynn Brown, Sharon DeAlexandris, Carol Henry, Jim Rothnie, Sara Timmons, and Nancy Sturgis. The work of these six artists celebrates the wide world of colors, imagery and scenes that drip, slide and smudge from their brushes and esoteric artist tools— they know how to trumpet vibrant tones, share with holiday joy, and spread around beauty, as delicious as chestnuts on an open fire.
Meet the artists and enjoy the reception on Friday, November 18 at 914 Charles Street in Beaufort. The Charles Street Gallery is an established source for Lowcountry and international art, presented within a carefully renovated house surrounded by a lush garden in the middle of Beaufort’s historic district. 843-521-9054,

Growing up in an art town

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ARTworks’ after school program spans visual, performing, and literary arts. When students, 6 to 16 years old, entered the studio-classrooms in the fall session, they created paintings on bark paper, baskets with reeds, gargoyles out of clay, short stories with inspiration from maps of Beaufort County, mandalas with compasses, and delved into nature art and the black box theater.
When the classes ended, the students were asked what they had learned. Yancey Morena, said that he learned about “cutting the clay a certain way to make a box. People should make art so they can express themselves through a brush and their hands.” He mentioned that the clay class fueled his interest in origami.
Like all the students, the basket making crowd filled out the survey about what they most proud of, and what they had a hard time with, and the answer to both questions was often “my basket,” which means that these kids tackled the process and produced a piece of art about which they can feel accomplished.
Brenden Glover also took the creative writing class (his third at ARTworks) and said that “I could write a story about it, to tell people how to make baskets, and put instructions in.”
Felicity Swanson seemed to comprehend her early artistic career in very practical terms: “I’m not really an artist, but I can say that I am really good at drawing pictures.”
November and December classes for kids at ARTworks:
• Paper Making with Deanna Bowdish, for ages 10-16, November 15-17, skip Thanksgiving week, November 29 – December 1.
• Printmaking with Deanna Bowdish, for ages 10-16, December 6-8 and 13-15.
• Writing for the Stage with Heather Denardo, ages 9-16, December 6-8 and 13-15.
• Ornament Creations with Jean Norton-Torjussen, ages 6-9, December 6-8 and 13-15.
ARTworks is at 2127 Boundary Street, Beaufort 29902; 843-379-2787,

Fall series of Friday organ concerts continues

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Jared Johnson, Canon Organist and Choirmaster of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, concludes the fall series of Friday Organ Concerts at noon on November 18 at the Parish Church of St. Helena (Episcopal).  The 45-minute recital is free and open to the public.  As an organ recitalist, Johnson has appeared in major venues throughout North America, Great Britain, Sweden, and Australia. Prior to his appointment at Trinity Cathedral, Mr. Johnson served on the music staffs of Trinity Church in Boston, the Memorial Church at Harvard, Trinity Church on the Green in New Haven, CT, and the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale. Johnson is a graduate of Oberlin College, where he earned a B.A. in English as well as a B.Mus in Organ Performance under the tutelage of Haskell Thomson. He earned his M.M, M.M.A and D.M.A. degrees at Yale University as a pupil of Thomas Murray. In 1997, he was awarded a Watson Fellowship for a year’s study of choral music and conducting in London . The Trinity Cathedral Choir under his direction has sung in residence at Washington National Cathedral; St. Thomas Church , New York; St. Philip’s Cathedral, Atlanta; and Gloucester Cathedral, England. His solo recordings have been broadcast nationally on public radio’s “Pipedreams.” He chairs the Artistic Committee of the S.C. Philharmonic, and was co-chair of the S.C. Mozart Festival in 2006. For more information on the fall concert series, contact the Pat Gould, the music director at the church, at or 843-522-1712 or visit

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