By Lanier Laney
The charity fundraiser “Beaufort Beauties” sold out at the Port Royal Performance Center (aka The Shed) with a great audience that was as entertaining as the action on stage.
Ivey Liipfert and husband Worth as Crystal Balls --The Winner of Beaufort Beauties!
The judges this year were Holly Jahn, Judge Ned Tupper, Representative Shannon Erickson, City Councilman Mike Sutton and Attorney Jared Newman. They were all great sports during host Lucinda Ravenel’s (Terry Sweeney’s) withering introductions.
Attorney Worth Liipfert took the highest honors with his character Crystal Balls and also won Miss Congeniality (for raising the most money) and won the talent competition for his amazing banjo rendition.
Councilman Mike McFee as Michelle De Tainedalot came in a close first runner-up and also won the Evening Gown competition. Hank Herring as Hot Chocolate came in third.
Of special mention, Brad of Bliss Salon did the best hair of the night with Mike’s amazing curly red hair high rise ‘do. Dusty Conner and Allison Barlow did the great make-up. Richard Van Bortel of Amazing Rentals did a fabulous job converting The Shed into a glamorous pageant venue complete with a mirrored ball. And
Bob Cunningham as Bobalina and Mike McFee as Michelle De Tainedalot.
the Greenery helped out with the plants.
Paul Nurnberg “saved the show” by bringing in much needed lighting for the stage at the last minute from his photography studio across the street. And Deanna Kraszewski volunteered her time to teach “the girls” their great opening dance number.
The whole event was saved by a miracle as all the power went off in Port Royal for four hours due to a storm and it only came back on four minutes before the doors opened and the nearly 300 attendees lined up were allowed in. And the show went on!
The event and silent auction items raised money for four great charities — Friends of Caroline Hospice, Thumbs Up! and Lions Club of Beaufort along with Main Street Beaufort USA. Special thanks go to all the men who participated as “Beauties”: host Terry Sweeney; the judges; the great audience; Modern Jeweler’s Kevin Cuppia; sponsor Holly Zahn; all the
Host Terry Sweeney as Lucinda Ravenel
volunteers; the drama department of Beaufort High School; along with all the hard work by Androula and LaNelle of Main Street without which this event would not have happened.
HUNTING ISLAND EGG HUNT: Hop over to Hunting Island State Park on Saturday, April 7 at 11 a.m. for an Easter Egg hunt. One hunt is for ages 6-12 and one for children 5 and under. There will also be a drawing contest. Go to www.southcarolinaparks.com and download the coloring sheet and bring it on the day of the hunt or color one on site. Prizes will be awarded for both hunts and both age categories for the coloring contest. The Easter Bunny will also make an appearance.
Eighth graders at St. Peter Catholic School portrayed a live Stations of the Cross for the parish of St. Peter Catholic Church.
COMMUNITY BIBLE: Beyond the Cross: Easter Musical, will be Good Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m. The Easter Message, Easter Sunday, April 8, is at 9:15 and 11 a.m. at Community Bible Church, 638 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort, www.cbcofbeaufort.org.
An Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 7 at 10 a.m. will be at Pick Pocket Plantation in Beaufort, off Burton Hill Road. Free egg hunt, games, jumpers, hot dog lunch, puppet shows and music. For more info, contact 843-525-0089.
ST. HELENA: Good Friday, April 6, will have three service choices: 12 p.m. Good Friday Service; 12 p.m. Children’s Good Friday Service; and 7 p.m. Stations of the Cross. There will be two opportunities for baptism on April 7, Holy Saturday. Baptisms in the river will be at 11 a.m. and baptisms in the church will be at 2 p. m. Easter Sunday, April 8, will begin with a Festival Eucharist of the Resurrection at 7 a.m. Another Festival Eucharist of the Resurrection and Flowering of the Cross will be held at 9 a.m. Two more services will follow at 11:15 a.m. and 6 p.m. The Parish Church of St. Helena is an Episcopal church located at 505 Church Street in Beaufort. Please call 843-522-1712 for more information.
JUST FOR DOGS: Easter Egg Goodie Hunt will be Saturday, April 6, from 10-11 a.m. at Pigeon Point Park, featuring a “Golden Egg Pasture.” Each Golden Egg is only $5 with prizes valued at $15 and up. $5 for three eggs or $10 for 7. Teams (dog and human) will hunt for hidden treats and great team prizes. The proceeds will benefit Chain Free Beaufort.
Seeking a brighter future for Beaufort’s children and for military families, the Beaufort City Council on Tuesday, April 3, approved the purchase of the 167-acre Beaufort Commerce Park for $1.85 million.
Last week, the 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.
Also on March 27, the City Council 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. Both the annexation and rezoning require additional steps before they are finalized.
“I feel a passionate sense it’s our time to take the lead (on local economic development). It’s a new day,” said Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling.
he area will help Beaufort’s families stay in Beaufort, and also will create opportunities for local military to take their unique skills to a local job.
The Commerce Park has all utilities available on site. Located across U.S. Highway 21 from the Marine Corps Air Station and its soon-to-arrive F-35 Joint Strike Fighter squadrons and high-tech training center, the Commerce Park also is within an hour and 15 minutes of Boeing’s new Charleston facility and 45 minutes from Gulfstream’s Savannah operations.
In Beaufort’s three military installations, “we have a huge untapped economic development asset in the disciplined, focused and experienced Marines and sailors who, with appropriate training, could provide a workforce unlike any other,” Keyserling has said.
Beaufort City Councilman Mike Sutton agreed, saying Tuesday night, “We have a very vibrant city … City-building is important to us. We are missing a reason for kids to stay here. We don’t have the magic bullet … but (the Commerce Park) might be the catalyst to new growth.”
The agreement to buy the land requires the deal be closed within 60 days after environmental reviews and other due diligence.
The Commerce Park was most recently owned by the Lowcountry Economic Network, a public and private-funded group that collapsed after it couldn’t pay the loan on the park.
Each year, Beaufort sets aside funding for land purchases and currently has $1.034 million available. Several options, to include financing, are available for the balance, and none of them require a tax increase for city residents, Keyserling said.
Following DHEC approval, Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s entire Emergency Department (ED) will begin moving Monday from its current location to a temporary location at the Cochrane Heart Center entrance to allow the renovation and expansion project to move forward. The entire move will take a few days.
The temporary Emergency Department entrance will be used for EMS, walk-in patients and visitors. The patient assessment (triage) and Fast Track areas will be located on the first floor in a newly renovated space adjacent to the heart center lobby. The main patient treatment area will relocate to the second floor of the hospital. Private ambulances will drop off and pick up patients at the Birthing Center/Surgery Center entrance.
“We will have eight months of very tight quarters, but there’s no getting around it,” says ER Director Kevin Kremer, RN. “We have to make room for the new construction to continue, so we’ll make the best of it.”
Kremer advises the public to be aware that parking around the temporary ER will be even more limited than it has been up to now. He encourages people to remain patient, because space will be at a premium. He also encourages people to limit the number of people accompanying a person to the ER to one if at all possible.
Upon completion of the construction project, the Level 3 ER will be expanded from 9,500 square feet to 20,500 square feet with 26 private treatment rooms — two of them trauma rooms, a decontamination room, and a waiting area to receive test results.
A $1.5-million donation made by Beaufort philanthropist Dr. Bruce Pratt in honor of his parents provided the start-up money to launch the ambitious project. Last year, the hospital renamed the ER the George N. Pratt and Sarah Meyer Pratt Emergency Center.
In addition, major upgrades will be made to the hospital’s infrastructure, including increasing the capacity of the cooling system, which is vital to the operation of the advanced technology currently being used in the ER. Three new Caterpillar 800KW generator sets have been installed in a new power house, along with the latest in electrical switchgear technology.
The larger footprint also will allow for other hospital improvements.
“I think our doctors, patients and staff will be thrilled with the changes we will be making in the new facility,” said ER Director Kevin Kremer. “It will take us some time and inconvenience to get there, but we are very excited about it.”
By Tess Malijenovsky
Beaufort Dog at Habersham and The Green Room present the Fourth Annual Beaufort Pet & Kid Fair, a benefit for rescue animals. This event is not exclusive to your adorable, furry friends — bring the whole family for a jam-packed day of performances, demonstrations, veterinarian clinics, contests, entertainment and more from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 14.
Is your dog as cute as Lefty the black Lab? Go to www.beaufortdog.com and submit photos of your dog to win prizes.
When Kelley Blackston of Beaufort Dog at Habersham took over the annual Pet Spring Fling four years ago, she brought Beaufort the Pet & Kid Fair. Its first year coincided with the opening of Beaufort Dog. “The concept was to have a benefit where all the rescues could come out at one time,” said Kelley.
“A lot of people don’t realize that there are local rescues that have just golden retrievers and labs and puppies. People are shying away from going to rescue sites because they want a certain type of dog.”
The Pet & Kid Fair raises money for all participating rescues, but everyone can benefit from the fun and games. There will be music by Beaufort’s Junior Orchestra, gymnastics with the Sports Academy, dance with Studio B and a karate demonstration. Kids can run and play on the inflatables and playground or participate in kid activities put on by Jumpin’ Jaxx throughout the day.
Come with your pooches for some dog agility demonstrations, dog contests and games. There will also be a low cost wellness and rabies vaccine clinic (make your reservations at the vet clinic).
One of the ways the fair is raising money for the participating rescues is through its photo contest. Submit your cutest, ugliest, silliest and most talented pictures of your dog for a chance to win prizes from stores in the area. Log onto BeaufortDog.com and click the link to submit your photos. The cost to enter or vote is only $1 and 100% of the proceeds go to charity.
Beaufort Dog provides a variety of services for your pets while you’re away at work or vacation including dog boarding, daycare, grooming and training. The Beaufort Pet & Kid Fair is a free event at the Habersham town center, located off Joe Frazier Road.
By Jack Sparacino
Hello seafood fans, and that’s practically everyone, isn’t it? The Florida stone crab, menippe mercenaria, is actually fairly plentiful in Lowcountry waters — welcome information for newcomers. For those who have been thinking about trying their hand at recreational crabbing, this clunky critter is one of the absolutely tastiest things you can harvest from our tidal creeks and rivers. It is also one of the potentially most dangerous to handle.
Stone crab claw.
Let’s start on the bright side. Though you may very occasionally catch a stone crab while fishing (I do this roughly once every two years) or shrimping, stone crabs are commonly mixed in with the blue crabs one catches in conventional traps. They are attracted to the same protein-based bait and aren’t terribly picky (the remains from cleaned fish work great, but chicken necks or backs are a reasonable substitute and if you can get them, whole menhaden, mullet or other small bait fish are also quite effective).
My experience has been that stone crabs are more readily trapped when the water temperature is 75-85 degrees. That’s right, if you are taking a break from fishing because of intense summer heat, you can always keep a trap or two in the water and hope the stone crabs find you. On many occasions, I’ve found nothing BUT stone crabs in my traps in the dead of summer, some of them rather large.
Now for the warning. While handling blue crabs with a long handled pair of tongs is a good way to avoid getting bitten, they don’t usually do any lasting damage if they do get hold of you. We’re talking about an annoying pinch. Stone crabs, on the other hand, generate tremendous crushing power, enough to overcome oysters, for example. So taking off one of your fingers would not be unthinkable.
Fortunately, stone crabs aren’t as aggressive as blue crabs or nearly as fast. (Nor do they swim or look as pretty.) I prefer to use tongs to get them on their backs, then quickly and firmly grab each claw by hand (heavy gloves are a good idea). One must be sure to leave the crab with one remaining claw, the smaller of the two, and if you achieve a nice clean break (garden shears do this nicely), the crab will regrow the lost claw and live to fight another day. Which is the idea, in the name of sustainable fishing. Speaking of which, be sure to check DNR size and other regulations.
Now the fun part, deciding what to do with your catch. First, steam the claws as you would a batch of blue crabs. Many restaurants then simply chill them, crack off most of the shell, and serve them with melted butter or cocktail sauce. They can also be made into crab cakes, or added to sautéed minced onions and celery and served over pasta. Or substituted in any of your favorite recipes for blue crabs. If you REALLY want to impress your family and friends, you might try serving whole cracked claws (or just the meat) with mango ceviche.
If stone crabs were human, it would be easy to come up with appropriately colorful nicknames. Crusher. Crabzilla. Rocky. Smasher. Once in your kitchen, you can think of friendlier terms and you are absolutely certain to serve up a real local treat. A “killer” appetizer or main course, as it were.
By Lanier Laney
If Beaufort had a upcountry “sister city,” it would be Aiken. The towns are similar in size and both have beautiful historic homes. There are a surprisingly number of former Aiken residents in Beaufort, Judge Mary Sharp being one of them.
Says Mary, “Aiken was a great place to grow up, and is the kind of place where you can go back, and feel like you never left. And, like Beaufort, it’s beautiful in the spring and fall.”
Judge Mary Sharp.
Mary grew up there because her father was a nuclear engineer at the nearby Savannah River Plant and her mother taught English at Aiken High School. Both she and her sister had their mother as a teacher in the 10th grade, which Mary says, “It may sound bad, but it was probably harder for her than for either of us.” Her parents retired to a house on Lady’s Island in 1996 which is how Mary found Beaufort.
“I moved, I thought temporarily, to Beaufort with my parents after taking the bar, and planned to look for a job from Beaufort. While driving through the Penn Center one afternoon, I noticed the Neighborhood Legal Assistance Program (NLAP) offices, which was at Penn at the time, and called that afternoon to find out whether they had any need for some free help. Martha Dicus, the executive director, called me back that afternoon, and told me, sight and resume unseen, that she would love to have me, and within the week I was working there full time, and she had introduced me to literally every lawyer and judge in Beaufort. She also introduced me to Mitch Griffith and Nancy Sadler, and persuaded them they needed to hire an associate, which they reluctantly did,” said Mary with a smile. “Fortunately, things worked out and now 18 years later we have grown from a three lawyer, three staff member firm to an eight lawyer, ten staff member firm,” she added.
Not only is Mary a partner now at Griffith, Sadler & Sharp, she’s also been a municipal judge for the City of Beaufort since 2000 and shares that job with Judge Ned Tupper.
“Ned and I split the duties between us. He typically does morning bond hearings, and I do the afternoon. He typically does Monday and Thursday afternoon bench trials, and I handle the jury selection and jury trials, which we have about once a month. In South Carolina, people charged with any misdemeanor including speeding tickets, can get a trial by jury, rather than by judge, at the outset of their case, which is not typical. But we treat those trials just as seriously as a larger court would a bigger crime, because we understand how important they are to the people who are charged. And our City of Beaufort residents, who sit on the juries, treat them seriously too,” described Mary. Of serving with Ned Tupper, who has a reputation for his courtroom wit and sense of humor, she said, “Ned is definitely funnier than I am. But recently someone approached us who had been in front of both of us, and said that while Ned was ‘funnier,’ I was ‘fairer,’ and we both took it as a complement.”
Mary went to N.C. State where she developed a great love of ACC basketball. Then she got her law degree from Wake Forest. She says, “My father thought I should be an engineer, and I think still wishes I had been. As the only lawyer in the family, I have spent a lot of time over the years giving free help to friends and family, which I actually don’t really mind, but I mentioned that a family member had asked my advice on a problem one time to my Dad, and he said ‘I told you you should have been an engineer. Nobody has ever asked me for free nuclear engineering advice.’ ”
Mary is a civil trial lawyer, and handles cases for individuals, businesses and insurance companies in state and federal court. That’s civil law, as opposed to criminal law, and civil litigation involves really any kind of dispute people have, usually over money. Working in a smaller firm, in a smaller town, has allowed Mary the leeway to handle a wide variety of cases including premises liability, automobile accidents, contract disputes, real estate litigation, homeowners association litigation, environmental litigation and construction litigation. She’s tried over 40 jury trials and recently has started serving as a third-party mediator to help parties resolve their disputes before a trial is necessary.
Says Mary, “One thing I like about being a lawyer is that the days are never the same, and you never know exactly what might happen when you walk in the door in the morning. I guess that could be a bad thing, but generally it’s good.”
She also feels it’s better to practice law in a small town than a large city, saying, “Beaufort is a great place to practice law. The lawyers in this town are a collegial group all in all, and most can argue against you in court one day, and invite you to dinner that night. It’s a nice way to live.”
Mary appreciates that she can be in a formal federal courtroom in Charleston or Greenville one day and in a Magistrate’s Court courtroom in a convenience store in a small town in South Carolina the next. One of the first jury trials she ever had was at the Woods Store on Highway 17. Says Mary, “We had a jury of six people in Magistrate Woods’ small office which was off to the left of the store, and the lawyers had to stand directly over the jurors to argue. There was not much room. I objected to a question the other lawyer asked, and the judge said, ‘All right, meet me in tackle,’ where we argued the objection.”
Mary’s work philosophy is simple: “I work hard, and try to figure out at the outset of a case what it is the client wants in the end, and try to get them there as efficiently and effectively as possible. I work with other like-minded attorneys, which is why our firm has been successful.”
She is passionate about a number of things, including the equality and empowerment of women, and has been involved in advocacy on those issues, on the national and state levels, through the legal profession. In 2010, at the American Bar Association (ABA) Meeting in San Francisco, she was elected President of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations, and she’s currently its Immediate Past President. She is a past liaison to the ABA’s Commission on Women in the Profession, which was first chaired by Hillary Clinton. She served on the Board of South Carolina Women Lawyers Association from 1997 to 2005, and in 2003, served as its president. She is currently a South Carolina Liaison to the ABA Section of Litigation Woman Advocate Committee.
In 2009, Mary was honored as one of 10 South Carolina “Leaders in the Law,” by South Carolina Lawyers Weekly, in their inaugural year of presenting those awards. She was also just named a 2012 South Carolina Super Lawyer. The annual selections for Super Lawyer are made using a rigorous multi-phased process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, and an independent research evaluation of each nominee’s background and experience. The designation is given to those who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Only five percent of the lawyers in S.C. are selected for inclusion in South Carolina Super Lawyers.
Mary is also active in the community, and currently serves on the boards of Lowcountry Legal Volunteers, the Historic Beaufort Foundation, The Surgery Center of Beaufort, and Broad River Healthcare, and has served as a member of the Beaufort Memorial Hospital Institutional Review Board. She also served as President of the Board of the Friends of Caroline Hospice, from 2004-2007; as President of the Board of Low County Legal Aid, Inc., from 2009-2010; and was on the board of the Child Abuse Prevention Association from 1995-2001.
She says, “I really love living in Beaufort because of the people, and the good friends and family I have here, and the people I practice law with. That’s what makes it home to me.” And Beaufort is lucky that Mary has chosen it to be her home.
By Terry Sweeney
“Mary had a little lamb
Its fleece was white as snow
Till Mary baked it in pan
And served it with Bordeaux!”
If I were you, I wouldn’t share that little ditty with the kiddies this Easter. ‘Cuz as much as a lamb is as cute a creature as they come, we carnivores can’t help but wanna stick one in an oven, in a stew or on a skewer. Come Easter, Christian cultures around the world traditionally celebrate it with a rack of lamb or a lamb roast that is the mouth-watering culinary centerpiece of their holiday feast. Yet since the animal most identified with Easter is the Easter bunny; why not serve rabbit? It made me wonder if all the rabbits got
Belleruche label with braille.
together and pulled the wool over our eyes pretending they were the noble bearers of baskets full of chocolate eggs and marshmallow chicks and pointed us instead in the direction of those not-too-bright baa-baaing country bumpkins — sheep!
Whatever the case may be, roast lamb is so darn delicious and is the natural choice in many Mediterranean cuisines but especially the French culture which has a long and historic connection to sheep. Sheep actually can manage beautifully on the wild grasses found in the ancient and arid Mediterranian soils where few crops other than grapes or other livestock can survive. So grazing sheep and planting vineyards often went hand in hand. Not since peanut butter met chocolate and the Reese’s Cup was born has there been such a primo pairing like lamb (fed on the wild herbs and grasses) and the Rhone wines (wild gamey wines made from Syrah and Grenache). When it comes to lamb, Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz” said it best: “There’s no place like Rhone!” (OK, not an exact quote.)
But unfortunately, some of these French red beauties can be expensive; many hovering not much under the $50 mark. What’s a Happy Wino to do? Well, besides sitting on the side of the freeway with a sad handpainted “Will work for wine” sign, I think a more time-saving solution might be to try what I consider the best inexpensive red Rhone I’ve found thus far …. Belleruche Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge (under $15). It’s a delicious balance of the leathery damp terroir flavors of the Syrah with the lush full mouth, fruit-forward raspberry jamminess of the Grenache. Yum. Of course, you may have a little trouble remembering the name; however if you just asked your local wine merchant for the Cotes-du-Rhone with the braille on the label, that will most assuredly narrow it down. At first I thought it was there in case you got “blind drunk” but actually the Chapoutiers — the brilliant, cutting-edge, dedicated wine family who make this wine — bought the land from the gentleman who invented braille and wanted to honor his life-changing discovery.
Speaking of a life changing discovery, I ran across this French leg of lamb recipe I cut out of Saveur magazine (Oct. 2009) with every intention I’d make it someday. It’s called “Gigot de Sept Heures” (Seven-hour leg of lamb). It’s got the shank end of a leg of lamb covered in olive oil, kosher salt and black pepper, 20 cloves of garlic, a bottle of white wine, 10 sprigs of fresh rosemary, thyme, savory and five fresh or dried bay leaves. Does that sound fab or what?! Simple and straight forward, it’s seared then baked at 300 degrees for seven hours. Yes! I’m going to make it this Easter!!! This year I am thumbing my nose at the 50 yard dashing Honey Baked Ham and going for this French long distance runner instead. There’s only one problem, can you imagine how many glasses of this Belleruche Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge wine I can drink in seven hours? Lawd! I may be out cold myself by the time that damn lamb’s ready to come out. Wish me luck! Cheers!
By Tess Malijenovsky
Concert band students at Whale Branch Middle School were surprised with brand new band instruments courtesy of Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation, which donates new and refurbished musical instruments to community and school music programs across the nation.
Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation holds that children thrive when given the chance to learn and play music, and that putting instruments into their hands improves the quality of their education and their lives. And yes, it was inspired by the 1995 motion picture about a beloved high school music teacher, works to give youngsters the many benefits of music education, help them to be better students and inspire creativity and expression. Over the last 15 years, more than 15,000 new and refurbished instruments have been donated to 1,260 school and community music programs across the country.
Whale Branch Middle School Principal Matt Hunt said the school applied for a grant last fall to purchase expensive instruments that most students could not afford and to refurbish larger band instruments that need repairs due to years of constant use.
“A key part of the grant application was demonstrating the strength of our school’s program,” Hunt said, “and that wasn’t a problem because roughly one of every four students here is involved in our music program. This is a really exciting day for our kids.”
Hunt said the school’s music program received two trombones, two flutes, two clarinets and one concert snare drum. In addition, the school received $1,500 for repairs to musical instruments.
Just two weeks ago, Whale Branch Middle also received the national TAP Founder’s Award — a $50,000 prize — before more than 1,000 educators and policy leaders at the 12th National Teacher Advancement Program Conference in Los Angeles.
Beaufort County Board of Education Chairman Fred S. Washington Jr. has been honored with the 2012 SIC Advocate of the Year Award for his efforts on behalf of School Improvement Councils (SIC).
In addition, the Port Royal Elementary School Improvement Council received honorable mention for the South Carolina SIC’s Dick and Tunky Riley Award for School Improvement Council Excellence. The award recognizes the significant contributions made to public education by the 14,000-plus local SIC members who volunteer in the state’s 1,100 public schools.
“Each year, the SC-SIC Board chooses to recognize someone who has gone above and beyond the call to advocate for School Improvement Councils in their community of influence,” said SC-SIC Associate Director Tom F. Hudson.
Port Royal Elementary’s SIC worked with a local church to establish scholarships for after-school care for needy students at the nearby YMCA and sponsored a school clean-up day that involved more than 100 community members and the Town of Port Royal, followed by a community picnic.