HBF bestows awards at its annual meeting

By Lanier Laney The annual meeting of the members of Historic Beaufort Foundation was held Monday, March 19. The featured speaker was Nancy Tinker of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  HBF gives their highest Preservation Honor Award every year to exemplary restoration or adaptive use projects. This year’s winners for the Restoration Award were Beek Webb and Ashley Hefner for 302 King Street, owned by Ann and Sam Bluntzer. The Adaptive Use Award was given to the Garrett Family and Campbell Thorp. Chuck Ferguson was the contractor who remodeled 302 Carteret Street — the former City Hall that became Lowcountry Produce Market and Cafe.                     ...

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Behind the lens: Spring photo club winners

The Photography Club of Beaufort’s semi-annual print competition was held Monday, March 19.  Three local artists served as judges for the club:  JW Rone, director of ARTWorks; Stuart Lathrop, IT director and visual artist; and Bob Sofaly, photojournalist. They studied each of the 40 entries, analyzing each for composition, technical quality and interest. Often they rose from their seats and checked the focus or close up detail of the prints. As the judges deliberated, club members were able to view the same images, submitted digitally on a projected screen.  As a learning tool, judges constructively commented on each image as the scores were tallied. The top winners of the 2012 Spring Photo Competition for the Photography Club of Beaufort are: Expert: Lamar Nix, “Three-Gabled Manse” Advanced: Phyllis Kaupp-Seas, “Cloud Cover” Intermediate: Ellen Corbett,   “Singin’ the Blues” Three-way tie for Novice:   Charlotte Gonzales, “Flower and Bee”; Tom Brady, “Dragonfly”;  Patricia Powers, “In Flight.” Ellen Corbett’s “Singin’ the Blues” was also part of the club’s American Music exhibit at the Beaufort Library... ...

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Two Beaufort County schools win Palmetto’s Finest award

Hundreds of Beaufort County school supporters clapped and cheered in Columbia’s Koger Center for the Performing Arts last Tuesday as Beaufort Middle School and Hilton Head High School were announced as winners of 2012 Palmetto’s Finest Schools Awards. With the double victory in the middle and high school categories, Beaufort County became only the third South Carolina district in the award’s 34-year history to have two winners in the same year, according to the South Carolina Association of School Administrators. “To be the last schools left standing after such a long and rigorous statewide selection process is simply amazing,” said Superintendent Valerie Truesdale.  “And to have not one, but two winners in the same year is extraordinary.” The extensive judging process for Palmetto’s Finest includes evaluations by previous award winners and fellow educators who focus on student achievement, faculty training, program goals, teaching quality, office practices and community involvement. Awards are presented to two elementary schools, one middle school and one high school. Entrants in the Palmetto’s Finest competition submitted... ...

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Best drag race in the Lowcountry returns this weekend

Beaufort Beauties is back this Saturday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. at The Shed in Port Royal, 809 Parris Ave. Prominent local businessmen put their best “high heel” forward by dressing as women and competing in a hilarious beauty pageant complete with choreographed musical numbers to raise money for four local charities. The event will be hosted by former “Saturday Night Live” Alum, Terry Sweeney, as the poison-tongued “Lucinda Ravenel.” This year’s contestants are Mike McFee, Hometown Realty and Beaufort City Councilman; Will McCullogh of Low Country Real Estate; Karl Wells with 104.9 The Surf; Bob Cunningham, Merry Maids; Hank Herring of Green Herring Art Gallery; and Worth Liipfert of Griffith, Saddler and Sharp Law Firm. Ticket sales and silent auction items will benefit Main Street Beaufort, USA as well as FRIENDS of Caroline Hospice, the Lions Club of Beaufort and Thumbs Up. Miss Congeniality will be crowned according to the man/woman who raises the most money. Your tax deductible tickets can be purchased ahead of time for $25 from... ...

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Jury is out in the case of the courthouse

By Chris Damgen No one I know has ever called Beaufort architecture boring or mundane. However, it can certainly be understood that visitors to our area often get overwhelmed with the T-floor plans, the two-story piazzas, and the differences between federal and neoclassical chimney designs. It is interesting though whenever I take out-of-town visitors for a walk around the historic district that the one building that always draws measured interest is the very one that doesn’t fit the vernacular of our antebellum district. It is the federal courthouse building. The courthouse has been sitting on the Bluff like a forgotten beauty on prom night for many decades. What was once an ornate county courthouse on the tight corner of North and Bay gave way to a beautiful and elegant Art Deco design of the WPA era, as was the popular architectural trend at the time. Although having sat quietly in recent years as court cases moved away, the building received a fresh coat of spectacularly white paint only last year... ...

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Reproductive rights take center stage at Statehouse

Reproductive health advocates from across South Carolina echoed many of the same messages being heard at the national level when they hosted their annual legislative action day on Wednesday, March 28. The 10,000 member grassroots coalition Tell Them presented a “Reproductive Bill of Rights” to lawmakers calling for uncensored reproductive health education and access to services for all South Carolinians. The “Bill of Rights” was designed to challenge mounting legislation in South Carolina that puts basic health rights at risk.  Some state lawmakers want to take away access to birth control, in-vitro fertilization (IVF), emergency contraception for rape or incest victims, and even undermine the standard of care established with the Hippocratic Oath. “The recent national focus on reproductive health rights has inspired many everyday citizens to learn more about their own state policies,” said Tell Them member Deborah Billings, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Health Promotion, Education and Behavior at the Arnold School of Public Health; Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina. “It’s troubling to see how... ...

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Beaufort takes first steps to buy Commerce Park

In what Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling called “a bold decision, a historic decision, an important decision,” the Beaufort City Council Tuesday night unanimously put the gears in motion to annex, buy and rezone a 167-acre Commerce Park near the Marine Corps Air Station. Final consideration and votes on the Commerce Park purchase and annexation are scheduled for Tuesday, April 3 at 7 p.m. Current owners of the Commerce Park parcels petitioned their land to be annexed into the city limits. At the same time, City Council approved on first reading the purchase of the Commerce Park for $1.85 million —less than what the property had been appraised at last year. The contract with SCBT bank calls for the deal to close within 60 days. The council also approved initial reading of an ordinance to amend the Unified Development Ordinance to create an “industrial park” zoning district for the Commerce Park. The site will be used for heavy and light industrial purposes. “This is a big first step in providing a... ...

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Lowcountry Broil

Proposal for Whitehall property Last May I sent this proposal to the Beaufort County Open Land Trust  … that the Whitehall property would make an incredible natural park, with its view of Beaufort over the water. And it should be named in honor of Harriet Keyserling. Support the performing arts at USCB When I moved to Beaufort from Washington, DC, earlier in the year, I did not expect the sophisticated level of cultural entertainment that I left behind.  But, lo and behold, I discovered USCB’s splendid blend of theater, independent film, and musical performances whose pricing and accessibility easily topped what I was used to in DC.  The latest French film, “Women on the Sixth Floor,” was one of the most endearing and enjoyable movies I’ve seen in years. I have been disheartened, however, by the often sparse attendance and it concerns me about the future of these programs.  USCB’s program offers a varied and thoughtful selection of performances in a spacious,  lovely, and technically up-to-date setting, close to a... ...

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Adage Re-visitation Team launched

By Jack Sparacino Well finally, some good news from the rough and tumble language front: the Adage Re-visitation Team was successfully launched last month.  Seven members, plus four backup players, ready to look before they leap into action at a moment’s notice. Their charter is to take a careful look at some of the most notable old expressions and sayings — adages — that most of us grew up with.  Knock the rust off them, they were urged. Look under the hood. Kick the tires. Run them up the flagpole. And tell us which of them is basically true and which may be bogus.  Talk about some heavy lifting! We gave our team plenty of high-tech tools — an easel loaded with paper, colored markers, Post-It notes, scrap paper, a pocket calculator and a nice big wicker waste basket.  Oh yes, and access to the library and the Internet. We’re proud to present their initial results. 1. Opposites attract, or birds of a feather flock together? Turns out the former... ...

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For all the ladies in the house …

By Pamela Brownstein I thought it appropriate that March 12 marked the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts during Women’s History Month. I was a Girl Scout for many years (well, technically, I was a Brownie and then graduated to the green garb) but during that time I learned many important skills — how to get out there and sell cookies, work with other girls (without being too bossy) and the adventures of camping (even if it was in a cabin). My mom was the leader of our troop for seven years, and when she passed away in 2010, I received messages from almost every girl in Troop 419 telling me how much she meant to them and thanking me for those memories from elementary school. The Girls Scouts as an organization is devoted to giving girls confidence, and our troop learned how to be active, engaged members of our community. At a time when women have more choices, and with that more challenges, the positive message that the Girls... ...

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