Bringing Our Community Together

Monthly archive

May 2012

Get ready to do the LoCo Motion

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By Marie McAden
Come on, join Beaufort Memorial Hospital this fall and do the LoCo Motion.
The three-day, 30 mile walking and running event—set for Sept. 28-30 on Callawassie and Hilton Head Islands—is the signature fundraiser of Carolina Cups, a Lowcountry non-profit organization supporting breast cancer education, screening, treatment and clinical research.
For the second year, Beaufort Memorial will serve as the lead sponsor of the event, expected to draw more than 1,000 participants from across the country. In addition to being a sponsor, Beaufort Memorial’s Keyserling Cancer Center is one of the recipients of the proceeds.
“Part of our mission is to improve the health of the community,” said Connie Duke, Beaufort Memorial’s director of oncology services. “This event gets people exercising and raises awareness of the health benefits to being fit. It’s not just about fighting cancer; it’s about decreasing your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.”
Trekking 10 miles a day, three straight days requires some advance training. To help participants build up their endurance, event organizers have put together a 17-week training schedule you can download at
In addition, free group training sessions are being offered in Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head Island to help participants prepare for the big fall show date. You don’t have to be registered as a LoCo Motion participant to take part in the training events.
“We want to make sure people have fun and are not crawling across the finish line on the last day,” said event organizer Laura Morgan. “Most people are not conditioned to walk long distances back to back to back.”
LoCo Motion was designed to appeal to a greater audience by allowing participants to walk or run and choose if they want to complete one, two or three days of the event.
“We want people to get out and get their bodies moving,” Morgan said. “Walking with others can help you stay motivated to get fit and healthy.”
BMH will host the Beaufort training program beginning June 4. The free sessions are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 7 a.m. Saturdays at the hospital’s LifeFit Wellness Center. Call 522-5637 for more information.
“There’s strength in numbers,” said Hollie Smith, an exercise physiologist at BMH and of the LoCo Motion trainers. “Walking or running with others makes your workout more fun. And you’re less likely to skip a session if you know there are people expecting you to show up.”
Clinical Nutrition Manager Roxanne Davis-Cote will offer tips on what to eat and drink during the training sessions and the three-day event.
“I recommend four to eight ounces of water per mile,” Davis-Cote said. “If you start to feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.”
A well-balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy and lean meats also is essential to condition your body for an intense workout.
To stay fueled, runners may want to pack energy gels that are easy to carry and eat on the go. For walkers, a piece of fruit or yogurt will help maintain stamina.
To learn more about Carolina Cups or the LoCo Motion event, visit or call 540-3284.

Supporters of the arts get Pickled on the Porch

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By Lanier Laney

Bonnie Hargrove organized Pickled on the Porch, a recent fundraiser to benefit the USCB Center for the Performing Arts. The event took place on the porch of a beautiful home on the Point and included wonderful pickled shrimp recipes, and of course a bit of wine.  Thanks to all those who came and helped raise money for Beaufort’s new local arts school.  Here are some pics for you:


Pickin by the River

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On Saturday, June 2, from noon to 5 p.m., come play or listen to bluegrass, country and folk music in Waterfront Park downtown. There will be a stage show and open jams. All acoustic instruments please, no drums, no alcohol, no amps. If you have a group and would like to play on stage, call 843-379-9084. The gathering seems a way to pay tribute to one of the greatest pickers, Doc Watson, who passed away Tuesday at age 89.

Artist Showcase 2012 a success

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By Lanier Laney

The Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce welcomed local and visiting exhibitors to the Artist Showcase 2012 last weekend at the Sea Island Best Western in downtown Beaufort. In its 10th year, the wonderful event is produced by the Black Chamber along with Liz and Charlie Mitchell of the Mitchell Group and showcased almost two dozen artists. Alyss Valerio and Hailey Grooms were the youngest exhibitors after their work was chosen from their class. Here are some artist pics:

Claudette and Ted Humphrey.Marguita Willis


Patrice M. Cole and Hank D. Herring.
Young artists Alyss Valerio and Hailey Grooms.

Lowcountry Broil: Sounds like parking is still a hot button issue

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Orange parking tickets unfriendly for guests
The city has listened and has tried hard and has made positive decisions on downtown parking.  But come on, this weekend is the Gullah Festival, May 26 and 27. People come from all over the region to attend the festivities and bring lots of money, goodwill and fun to our town, as does all of the other festivals.  It is a poor state of mind to see these people getting orange envelopes on their windshield, just an unfriendly way to greet our visitors on a special occasion.  How do you visit this town for an all day and evening event and contend with a two-hour meter? Could not the main day, like usually a Saturday, be free parking? Hey let’s get creative and have weekend free parking. Yes, dollars are lost to the city on the meters but the increase in business to the downtown just might compensate for bigger retail sales and higher business license fees and other taxes. And our guests do not leave pissed.

Imagine the dismay at finding a parking ticket
Imagine my delight when my granddaughter, her husband, my Daughter and great-grandson from North Carolina came for his first visit to Beaufort. One of the first places I thought of was the Waterfront Park playground. It is a great place for little ones.  My sister from Memphis was also visiting with us. Excited, we took off to enjoy a beautiful afternoon, all of which came to an abrupt end upon our return to their vehicle.
Imagine my embarrassment when she had a bright orange ticket on the windshield for parking. I was under the mistaken impression that parking is free on weekends. Add that to the fact no one saw a sign that gave you any indication that you needed to search for a faded number and then search for where to pay.  Of course I paid the ticket which stated on it that no comments were allowed.
Imagine the bad impression this gave to my out-of-town guests. Has Beaufort become so money hungry that the city fails to be hospitable? Would it not have been better to give a warning to a vehicle with an out-of-town plate?

Pity parking for tourists
Working in a retail store in the downtown area has brought to my observation a few issues that still need to be addressed by our city on an old and worn out subject — PARKING!
Pity the poor tourist who has the somewhat misfortune of visiting our town by automobile and needs to utilize the parking meters.
1.  What are the parameters on the parking meters?
• Why isn’t there more visible signage on each meter pole posted with information stating what coinage can be used, how many minutes you get for each amount plus the longest duration you can park at that particular meter?  Right now this information is not located in an easily read location.
• Tourists do not know they don’t have to feed the meters after 6:00 p.m., which holidays are free and that Sundays are free.  This information should also be included on the visible signage.
2.  Where do parking patrons go to get change for the meters and to register complaints about non-functioning meters?
• Could the address for the parking company office be posted as a place to secure change on this pole signage?  Wouldn’t it be feasible for the parking office to be open on weekends plus during festivals and special events with a minimal crew?
• Couldn’t change machines be installed around town so change is not the burden of the retail stores and restaurants in the downtown area?  One could maintain that if a person comes into a store to get change then that person will stay and shop.  Seldom true plus it drains each store of needed change to conduct normal business.  Many extra quarters are purchased at the bank for parking meter purpose but it never is enough when there is a large festival for a long holiday weekend and the banks are not open during this time and neither is the parking company office.
On another issue:  We need signs posted as to where the public restrooms are located in the area.  This is an old town with many old buildings with old plumbing.  It should not be the responsibility especially of stores to provide public bathrooms and it should not be the responsibility of store employees to clean up after the heavy volume of requests for a restroom.  Restrooms become filthy and toilets clogged and overflowing to the point that our restrooms become unusable to our employees or need major cleaning before employees can utilize the facility.  We discourage the use of our bathroom for these reasons plus employees resent having to clean up the mess.  If signs were posted with public restroom locations it would diminish the number of requests placed on businesses.  I’ve seen signage like this in other towns and it certainly would also help the tourists.

Finding fault with fee
Hey, city council members, if you are considering making me pay a “fee” of $35 per vehicle, at least have the cojones to call it a tax. We already pay a tax when we purchase our vehicles and then we pay a yearly personal property tax for the privilege of owning a vehicle. I know state law allows municipalities to charge “fees” for certain things.  I guess I always thought of a fee as an elective thing that I could choose whether I wanted that service or not. If our governmental agencies would leave more of our money in our pockets perhaps we could jump-start this economy.

Beaufort beauty vying for Miss South Carolina, passionate about organ donor awareness

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By Tess Malijenovsky
Twenty-year old Samee Cannon of Beaufort won Miss Colleton County Rice Festival and is now in the running to become 2012 Miss South Carolina, a branch of the Miss America Pageant. Aside from holding the title of “prettiest eyes and smile” in the Miss Colleton County Rice Festival, Samee has an important platform that she will be talking about with the judges — organ donor awareness.
When Samee was only 11 she learned that her older brother, Sean, was diagnosed with PSC, a liver disease that’s definitive treatment is liver transplantation. When Samee graduated from Beaufort High School, she postponed going to college to move in with her brother and help pay the bills since

Samee Cannon

he had to take a year off work.
“I think that’s when the seriousness of the matter hit me,” said Samee.
Sean’s been on the donor list for nine years now still waiting his turn. “There’s not nearly enough organ donors in the world,” said Samee. She and her family promoted organ donor awareness locally last September with Save Our Superman. Samee was inspired to see her Beaufort community respond to the campaign: “I figured if we could do that much with just our community in a couple months, that me doing organ donor awareness for the Miss South Carolina Pageant could make a huge impact.”
According to Samee, the symbol on someone’s driver’s license simply isn’t enough. She encourages people to sit down with their families and discuss becoming organ donors. Anyone can register to become an organ donor on, a site where medics can quickly look up an individual’s organ donor status in a fatal situation.
Many people hold the belief that a physician or EMT will not do everything possible to save one’s life in an emergency situation if one is registered as an organ donor. The fact is that by law medical personnel must follow strict medical and legal guidelines before declaring death. Donation can only occur after there is an official declaration of death based on the laws of one’s jurisdiction. Upon death, one’s organs can save the life of someone else, like Samee’s brother.
Beaufort is excited for Samee and wishes her the best at the pageant June 7-14 as she models her bathing suit and evening wear, sings Laura Bell Bundy’s “Giddy On Up,” and discusses her platform on organ donor awareness.

New businesses launch

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By Lanier Laney
Congratulations to Beaufort’s own Rachel Loomis for the debut of her new Fabulous Girl Clothing Line at three special “trunk show” events this Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The clothes are mostly for young girls, mainly sizes 2-8. She also makes baby bibs, burp cloths, jewelry items and other accessories. She just started a baby boy line “Buddy Boy Duds”.  For ladies, she does make hostess gifts such as aprons and Glamour Girl dish gloves. And she will soon be debuting some new ladies’ clothing.

Bernie Schein selling Bernie's Best Tomatoes.

The owner/designer of Fabulous Girl Clothing lives in Battery Point and she has invited the whole town to see her new spring/summer line at 101 Palmer Lane, Beaufort, Battery Point Subdivision. Here’s a link to her blog: Thursday, May 31, 7-9 p.m., is Oh! So Fabulous Ladies Night Out; Friday, June 1, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., is Mom’s Morning to be “Charmed;” Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., it’s a Charming Day in the Neighborhood.
Also congrats to Bernie Schein for launching his new business: Bernie’s Best Organic Tomatoes. He supplies Griffin Market with them and has a list of private clients. He hopes to be at the Downtown Farmer’s Market next Wednesday or you can contact him directly at 379-2772 or at to get on his list. (He is pictured above hard at work at his roadside stand.)
Alzheimer Fundraiser at the Shed
By the way, speaking of Bernie, or rather if you want to hear the very funny Bernie speak, save the date for June 16, at The Shed in Port Royal at 6:30 p.m. for “Beaufort Stories Momma Never Told You.” Bernie joins Steven Keyserling, Harry Chakides and Ron Dais, for this Alzheimer’s Family Services of Beaufort’s fun fundraiser. For tickets and more information, call 843-521-9190 or go to

Gullah Festival brings Waterfront Park to life

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Margie Washington, right, of the Geechee/Gullah Ring Shouters from Darien, Ga., spins a Gullah tale while others translate her story during the annual Gullah Festival on Saturday, May 26, at Waterfront Park.Anita Prather as Aunt Pearlie Sue entertains the crowd with her down-home Gullah stories during the weekend-long festival.
Huge crowds make their way through the vendor’s market on Saturday, May 26, during the annual Gullah Festival in Waterfront Park. Photos by Bob Sofaly.

New principal named at Beaufort High School

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Corey Murphy, a high school principal in Chester County and a U.S. Army Reserve captain who recently returned home from a 15-month deployment to Afghanistan, will take over as the new principal of Beaufort High School on June 18. The Board of Education unanimously approved his selection at a special meeting Tuesday, May 30.
In Murphy’s five years as principal of Great Falls High, the school’s on-time graduation rate improved from 74 percent to 83 percent. Great Falls High serves about 500 students in grades 6-12.
“Everyone who has spoken with Mr. Murphy has come away very impressed,” said Superintendent Valerie Truesdale.  “He sets high standards not only for students’ academic performance, but also for their personal behavior and decorum.”
“I’m tremendously excited to have the opportunity to lead such a fine school,” Murphy said.  “My family and I are looking forward to becoming part of a great community of students, parents, educators and school supporters.”
Before becoming principal at Great Falls High five years ago, Murphy was an assistant principal for four years at Camden High School in Kershaw County. Prior to that, he taught high school biology and chemistry classes at Eau Claire High in Columbia and at the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.
In the U.S. Army Reserve, Murphy serves as the battalion logistics officer for a unit that trains Army drill sergeants.  Prior to joining the Army Reserve, he was a military police officer in the South Carolina Air National Guard.
Murphy graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1992 with a bachelor’s degree in biology.  He earned a master’s degree in Education Leadership from USC and is currently working toward a Ph.D. from USC.
Murphy’s hiring was recommended through a two-part process. After all applications for the Beaufort High principal’s position were screened to make certain that the candidates met the basic qualifications, a screening team reviewed the applications in depth and recommended candidates for personal interviews.  The screening team included a district principal of a similar-sized school, a principal from a school in the same attendance area and the current support staff person of the year at Beaufort High.
Next, an interview team met with the recommended candidates.  That team comprised nine members: two parent leaders selected by the School Improvement Council; the current and immediate past school teachers of the year; two student government leaders; Sean Alford, the district’s chief instructional officer; Cynthia Hayes, the district’s Student Services Officer; and Superintendent Valerie Truesdale.
After the interviews were completed, the team developed a consensus on the best match for Beaufort High’s priorities and needs.  Once that person was determined, the candidate’s personal references were checked by teachers, parents and students.  Teachers interviewed teachers at the candidate’s current school, parents interviewed parent leaders and students interviewed students.  Then, based on the interview team’s selection, Superintendent Truesdale made her recommendation to the Board of Education.

Stories from the Surf

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By Jack Sparacino
My wife, Jane, sometimes tells people that I must have been born with a fishing rod in my hands.  Well, not quite, though I have been at it a long while and it is a passion. Some of my very favorite fishing experiences have been off the beaches and piers of both coasts, including acrobatic blues from the surf at Great Point in Nantucket and muscular bonito and kelp bass off the famous Malibu and Santa Monica piers in California.  Along with the wonderful scenery and fishing, I’ve been fortunate to meet some interesting people, both fishermen and “non’s” alike, and to harvest a string of memorable stories.  Collectively, they represent a box of unforgettable keepsakes in my mind.
That lucky string rolls along here.  Last year, my friend Steve Brotzman and I met more wonderful people while fishing at Hunting Island.  The first story here comes from an afternoon of surf casting, the second from the pier.  While we caught fish both days, these stories are really about the people we met and why they help make the Lowcountry fishing experience so special.
1. 110 in the shade. We picked a beautiful October day and headed out for Hunting Island beach.  Reports we heard first hand earlier in the week at the Nature Center of TUNA being caught off the beach piqued our interest. Frankly, though, it sounded too good to be true so we prepared for the usual whiting and small sharks. Which is mostly what we caught, along with small pompano and even a sand dollar.  We took a break after an hour or so to reassess our bait situation and grab a soda from the cooler.  Steve then ambled across the jetty to say hello to a family playing in the surf.
What a nice family, it turned out.  The father was mid-30’s, we estimated, as was his wife. Both attractive and fit, accompanied by their two children and two dogs. This “postcard” soon became more interesting as Steve learned that the man was born in the Dominican Republic, was now an active Marine, and was stationed here.  As the conversation unfolded, Steve noted that he was old enough to be the man’s grandfather.  “No, you’re really not,” our Marine noted, “my father was born in August, 1900.”  Wow, Steve thought, that’s incredible … “when did he die?”  “Oh, he’s still alive” said our Marine, “and just had his 110th birthday party back home in Mendoza.”
We marveled at this encounter as we headed home. Back at his computer, Steve did a little digging on Wikipedia and found a list of people known to be 110. A bit more sleuth work uncovered a web video of the birthday party for the man from Mendoza, which we watched with amazement and delight. The gentleman in question, Jose Lantigua Ramirez, has 24 children and (deep breath…) 1,200 grand, great grand, and great-great grandchildren.  He attributed his super longevity to perseverance and persistence. Judging from the video clip, which you can view on YouTube by typing in “Hombre dominicano celebra sus 110 anos de vida,” there must be a lot of additional mileage to be gained by being enveloped by the shade cast by a huge, rapturous family.  If a picture was ever worth a thousand words, this one sure proves the point. Happy birthday indeed, Senior Lantigua Ramirez!
2. Living off the land.  Our second story comes from the Hunting Island pier, one of our favorite places to play with the fish and meet people. Lots of tourists, easy to identify by their questions (what kind of fish/bird is that, is that a dolphin, what are you using for bait, etc.) or clothing (pink is usually a giveaway, as are Beaufort shirts though in my case a Beaufort hat is a necessity).  But also lots of locals and some semi-locals, like two ladies from Sun City.
We didn’t recall their names, but they were smiling from ear to ear at all the whiting they were catching (yes, Steve and I caught our share, too, though it was incidental on this perfectly lovely day.) They told us how well the fish would go with a dinner including the vegetables they grow themselves and how they loved to crab.  They were also excited about taking a class to learn how to throw a cast net so they could catch their own shrimp and baitfish for their crab traps.
We nodded and laughed in admiration as they explained how little they spent on food, though they planned to stop at Dempseys on their way home to pick up some supplementary produce and they also liked to stop in Beaufort for lunch.
They reminded me of a conversation we had with some of our son’s friends who came here to visit. Both Laura Amodeo and Rachel Stern dove right into the fishing and crabbing, marveling at the ready abundance of seafood in the Lowcountry. They even took it upon themselves to jump into the creek bed behind our house at low tide one day —in January no less. Within a half hour, they jumped back up over the bulkhead with a pail of husky mussels that they dug out of the mud.  “Livin’ off the land!” they shouted in unison. Then they proceeded to make delectable lemon squares using some of the Meyer lemons we grow in our back yard.
In subsequent trips back to the pier, we’ve met and chatted with an unending stream of interesting locals and visitors.  With such good company and gorgeous scenery to be had each time out, catching dinner takes a distinctly back seat. Well, not quite.  We always love the wonderful meals afterward, perfectly seasoned by those stories from the surf.

Jack Sparacino has a Ph.D. in psychology from The University of Chicago.  He has published over 20 articles in psychological and medical journals.  He is retired from United Technologies Corporation and now lives with his wife, Jane, and their two dogs on St. Helena Island.  His hobbies include fishing, clamming, crabbing, shrimping and writing.

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