On Thursday, June 14, our American Flag will be 235 years old. In honor of this event, the Beaufort Council and Assembly of the Knights of Columbus will sponsor a birthday celebration at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort. The festivities will begin at 6:30 p.m. The celebration will consist of the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, the singing of the National Anthem and a patriotic musical program presentation by members of the St. Peter Catholic Church Choir.
All are invited to join State Sen. Tom Davis, Rep. Shannon Erikson, Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling, the Knights, the Boys and Girl Scouts and all your friends and neighbors for this patriotic celebration. Come early, bring the family, lawn chairs, picnic baskets and blankets. Be prepared to be uplifted. Be prepared to feel proud — proud to be an American. For those who are unable to attend, remember to pause at 7 p.m. and recite The Pledge of Allegiance.
Honor flags support LDW3: This year, for $100 you can be a Lt. Dan Band Concert Honor Flag sponsor. The beautiful American-made 12×18 flag will be posted on the concert fence, along with an attached pennant with your name, your company’s name or the name of a particular individual you’d like to see honored at this important event. When the concert is over, take the flag home with you as a memorable keepsake. Can you imagine the visual effect of having the entire concert ringed by Honor Flags? What a great way to do something meaningful to support the troops. Lt. Dan Weekend 3 will be held in September.
Chose one of three ways to support:
1. Mail a check: Flag Sponsor, PO Box 1171, Beaufort, SC 29901.
2. Sponsor online by visiting the LDW3 store at www.LDW3.com.
3. Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you an invoice.
Don’t forget to include who you want to honor with the flag pennant!
By Daniel Brownstein
On my father’s bulletin board, hangs a note written to him from his father. My dad, often brimming with sentiment, had penned his dad a letter on Father’s Day 1986, thanking him for being such a wonderful role model and for raising him the way he did. That sparked a return note about how proud of him my grandfather was.
My grandfather grew up the poorest kid in town after his father — an immigrant from Romania — died of tuberculosis when he was just five. He scratched his way into the middle class after joining the Army Air Corps as an airplane mechanic. His boss was so impressed with his work ethic that he took him along to NASA.
Four generations of Brownstein boys, from left: Herbert Sanford Brownstein, Daniel Sanford Brownstein, Sanford Wolfe Brownstein and Barry Jay Brownstein.
He and my grandmother put both of their boys through college and set up a scholarship to help pay for their six grandchildren to get the education they had valued so much, but couldn’t afford to obtain when they graduated from high school.
My dad has a knack for figuring out how things work, whether it was an airplane part in his first career as an aeronautical engineer, or a computer (his second career) or the human body (his third career).
Twenty-five years after that note was written, my father spends a considerable amount of time caring for his father, who at age 91 is as sharp mentally as he ever has been, but has faltering vision. He does it to honor the man who put him on a trajectory to have such a great life, and to spend as much of his remaining years with the man he so admires.
I could fill this column with funny stories about my dad: him sliding down a ravine to “save” my friends and me during a camping trip; breaking his ankle while showboating on the basketball court; cursing up a storm while trying to fix something (anything) around the house.
I could also fill this column with times when he patiently helped me with something, when the two of us had a blast, seemingly-mundane occasions that are memorable like meeting for lunch once a week throughout college and my early working life or the times I’d like to forget, the instances when I let him down or said something out of teenage rebellion that I now regret.
While all of those things are aspects of being a father, they aren’t the essence of being a father. These days, I hope I have the best of my father and his father inside me.
In January, my wife gave birth to our first child, a son, something I have felt woefully unprepared for. There are no books for how to be a good father, although I am sure you could find more than a few in a bookstore. And the hospital doesn’t send you home with an instruction manual. If they did, most fathers wouldn’t read it anyway.
For the past six months, I have fumbled my way into competency in a variety of skills any dad of an infant should possess: changing his diapers, holding him, feeding him, calming him, coping with a sleep-deprived wife when you too are so tired that you’re not sure you can take another day of this.
I realize these sort of skills will only get me so far, like until the point he can ask a question, encounters a schoolyard bully, suffers loss, discovers lust and love, rebels against everything I’ve taught him, tries to figure out what to do with his life and becomes a dad himself. These things require other, more advanced skills like being a role model and dispensing fatherly wisdom.
It is this less tangible aspect of fatherhood I still haven’t mastered. I struggle to make a good enough impression on a little person that I only see first thing in the morning and when he goes to sleep because I spend all day working and all night studying to become someone or something better than I currently am.
No one teaches you the obligations of fatherhood, and that is perhaps why many people run from it, with disastrous consequences. It is hard, but not thankless. In fact, it is just the opposite. I am thanked every time my son smiles at me when I lift him from the crib or when I crack him up with a silly face or when he enthusiastically watches me do something that would be terribly uninteresting to anyone else.
Like my father, his father and my grandfather’s father — the man who came to a new country for the prospects of something better — my child will be my greatest legacy. For him, I seek to be the best man I can be, so that he may someday be greater.
That is the essence of being a good father.
By Tess Malijenovsky
“It was fairly early in my wife’s pregnancy,” David Byrne remembers. “And I’ll never forget when the lady who was doing the ultrasound said, ‘Um, everything’s OK … Dad, do you want to have a seat?’ ” David learned he’d be the new father to triplets — George, Olivia and Samuel.
At 28 weeks pregnant, Bethany and David received news no parent wants to hear. While Samuel had always been a bit small, his growth had come to a standstill and he was actually losing nutrition. The longer the pregnancy continued, the greater the risk of losing him. David and his wife had an important decision to make: Risk losing Samuel or deliver the babies 12 weeks early.
David Byrne reading with his triplets — Olivia, George and Samuel.
On January 28, 2009, George was born at 2 lb., 10 oz. and lived in the NICU for nine weeks. Olivia was born at 2 lbs., 12 oz. and also lived in the NICU for nine weeks. Samuel was born at 1 lb.., 9 oz. and lived in the ICU for 14 months, fighting for his life every day for more than a year.
“It was not your typical fatherhood experience,” says David.
He and his wife took turns traveling to Charleston every night to be with Samuel in NICU. When Samuel came home he was on a trache and a ventilator for another year. “As challenging as the time was and as much travel and worry was involved with a baby in ICU for 14 months followed by 12 months of having a ventilator and trache in the house, we were lucky he continued to grow the entire time,” David says.
What David loves the most about being a father, especially after 12 years as a teacher at Beaufort Academy, is watching his children grow and learn. “It’s truly a miracle to watch them grow, watching them learn. They’re just like little sponges. I’m a high school teacher so teaching addition and subtraction, going over our colors, looking at animals, isn’t something I’m trained to do, but it’s a lot of fun,” he said.
As a dad, David has three small children who make him laugh on a daily basis: “I love to play, and what better playmates than 3 year olds? It’s just a trip. Last night we were saying prayers and my son George was thankful for the windows, the blinds, the door and his underwear. I don’t know in what world he connects the four, but it worked for him and I chuckled.”
David never knew his biological father being that he was adopted, and his father unfortunately passed away a few years ago from lung cancer. His number one goal as a dad is to spend a lot of time with his kids, to be there for them.
“I feel very fortunate as a teacher to have two weeks off at Christmas and a week spring break and my summers off. Teachers don’t become teachers for the salary, but I see the benefits as a dad.” David says. “Trying to be there for my kids now, playing with them, helping them learn and being a positive example for them are the most important things.”
Of course, being the father of triplets has its challenges. “When [the kids] get frustrated with each other we have to remind ourselves that they spend their entire day with each other and they’ve spent their entire lives with each other, so getting time to parent them not in a group but individually is a big challenge with triplets,” says David. “For the most part, they play with each other very well. We can sit back and watch them play.”
One idea David and Bethany came up with was “Date Night,” where one day of the month each parent spends one-on-one time with one of the triplets on a date.
Fatherhood is a life-changing experience, one that David’s embraced full-heartedly with thanks to two other people: “I could not be a good dad or an effective dad without a wife that works as hard as my wife does and without a mother whose been as dedicated as my mom. We’re lucky to have her here,” says David. David may be the proud father of triplets, but sometimes it takes three to raise three.
By Lanier Laney
Beaufort native Randy Hamilton is very proud of his three great kids: Ta’vaughn, 12, Kameron, 11, and Miciah, 5, and they are equally proud of their dad.
Randy said he also loves “my wonderful, hard-working wife Susan Hamilton, we have been married for 11 years and I knew I wanted to marry her from the first time we met.”
Randy is a talented cook and has recently been promoted to Kitchen Manager at Breakwater Restaurant.
From left, Kameron, Randy, Miciah and Ta’vaughn Hamilton.
Says Breakwater co-owner Donna Lang, “Randy has a great work ethic and he has consequently moved ‘up the ladder,’ so to speak, in the kitchen. He’s now training to be a Sous Chef for us. From day one, he’s been a pleasure to work with.”
I asked Randy what his philosophy is when I comes to raising children. “I try to teach my kids things that will make them succeed in this world,” he said. “Some basic things like respecting others and themselves, to live within their means and to be aware of your actions because of the consequences that will follow. Being a father can be challenging. Sometimes it takes tough love, that they may see as unfair at the time, but it is necessary at times, to make them better people in the future. I grew up part of my life without a father, so the best thing I could possibly give them is to be there for them no matter what. As I reflect on the last 12 years, I am pleased so far on how much impact I have had on their lives in such a positive way. The most important thing that I hope they take with them as they get older is that if you work hard at anything, the sky’s the limit.”
Six-year-old Nathan Tran of Beaufort took first place in the PBS KIDS Go! writing contest. Nathan won as an independent entry for his original story called “Ice Escape.” His story is now in the second round of national judging. Nathan’s mom, Emily, said he will be a first grader this fall at Coosa Elementary.
Mix turkey, sausage, 4 tbsp cheese, 2 tbsp parsley, 2 garlic cloves, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl. Moisten hands and form mixture into 1-inch balls. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes. Add 2 garlic cloves; stir 1 minute. Add tomatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add meatballs to sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling water until just tender but still firm to the bite. Drain pasta; return to pot. Add some sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Transfer pasta to bowl; top with meatballs and remaining sauce.
Sprinkle with remaining parsley and cheese. Serves 4.
Pour dad’s favorite red wine and watch him smile!
By Terry Sweeney
The same thing happens to me every June as it suddenly dawns on me that summer is actually already here and I will, sooner or later, be called upon to appear in public in my bathing suit. A private confab with my closet’s full- length mirror confirms the worst. Either some cruel prankster has exchanged my grown up middle-aged man-trunks for those of a much skinnier 12-year-old skateboarder, or I have overeaten myself into my best imitation of a Vietnamese pot-belled pig. A Happy Wino friend of mine says she has summer shorts and khakis in various sizes depending on the ups and downs of her girth. But when June comes around and she can’t fit into her biggest pair (her “fat” pants as she calls them); the jig is up and she immediately stops eating — but not drinking!
The problem with mixing dieting and drinking — or going “skinny sipping” as I call it — is that when you cut out breads, pasta, potatoes, and other fattening carbs, there is nothing in your system to absorb the booze. The results can have you flying much higher than you ever intended and heading for a very rough landing the morning after. To be fair, earlier in the evening, you didn’t innocently start out with your first glass of chablis with the intention of ending the evening drunkenly climbing on the bar at The Filling Station and tossing your bra to a cheering crowd of blue collar bad boys. But it happened. And why? You didn’t eat anything because you wanted to be skinny!
Believe me, I too, have gone skinny sipping and certainly done things I wasn’t proud of the next day. Maybe not tossing my bra to a cheering crowd, but only because I didn’t have a bra to toss. What makes the difference between a pleasant night out having a couple of cocktails chatting with friends, and a blurry bacchanal slurring it up with a bunch of strangers is having some skinny sipping ground rules to keep you … well … grounded.
So if you’re on a diet like me but still want to party, I’ve come up with some golden rules to keep you from waking up the next morning to a bleary-eyed photo of yourself on the cover of “Mug Shots”:
1. Eat something like guacamole with baked chips, a microwaved bake potato with light butter or some sliced cheese and salami on fiber crackers before going out. Especially if you are meeting someone for a “pre-drink.” That’s the drink before your night even starts which easily turns into two or three drinks and you later being carried to your car.
2. Beware of well-meaning hosts who refill your wine glass to the top before you are even finished. You can easily lose track of how many glasses you’ve had and end up spending the next day with an ice pack on your head, cursing your friend and wishing you were dead.
3. Also watch for fellow revelers buying you another drink in a bar or even worse, generously sending over a bottle when you’ve already had enough. If they insist on doing something nice for you, politely tell them they can treat you to an appetizer.
4. The simplest and most dietetic: Drink a glass of water after every two glasses of wine or after every two mixed drinks.
5. Don’t get stuck somewhere for hours. Like on a boat with Captain Drunk-As-A-Skunk. You may be ready to find land and go eat, but your host and fellow partiers may have other plans. You can be sure that booze barge ain’t docking ‘til there’s not a drop left! Also make sure you have your own car or the card of your favorite taxi company in your wallet when catching a ride to a party or a bar with other people. Your friends may just be up for an all night booze-a-thon and then you’re trapped! (Hey, they’re probably on a diet and not eating solid food either!)
Important note: Leave quietly. Don’t say goodbye! Or they will no doubt beg you to stay and have just one more. No! Go home and eat your Lean Cuisine!
So there it is, the naked truth about the perils of skinny sipping. Remember — you want to lose weight, not your dignity. So don’t try to drink yourself skinny. Instead, go join a gym or, better yet, do what I do … get a bigger swimsuit.
Here’s to a great summer. I raise a glass of … water to you!
By Pamela Brownstein
When I heard recently that Port Royal Pasta Company on Ribaut Road had closed, I was surprised. It seemed to be busy, and there was a buzz about the food. When I heard that Heckler’s in Beaufort Town Center had closed, I was shocked. The food was really good, and it appeared to me to be a popular place, especially during karaoke night. Then when I heard that The Tooting Egret downtown was closing, I was floored. The food there was excellent, and I always saw people eating outside. It was personally upsetting because the general manager Matt had been so generous by donating his time and knowledge of wines to help us throw a fundraiser at the restaurant that was just fabulous.
The restaurant businesses is tough, and no more so in a still-struggling economy, so I wish all the employees a speedy job recovery.
But in the midst of this depressing news, there is hope on the horizon. The old Koth’s grocery store on North Street will likely see new life as “Ole Cantina,” a barbecue joint is slated for the former coffee shop in Port Royal, and a bakery could make its home on Carteret Street. As sad as it is to see local businesses close their doors, the news of these ventures opens up many windows of possibility and opportunity.
I feel fortunate that The Island News is able to feature local restaurants weekly. Eateries graciously open their doors to the Lunch Bunch, and we provide our readers with a sampling of what the menu offers. Our goal is to reach diners who might otherwise not have known about the restaurants. I often drive past a place and think, “That looks good, I wonder what it’s like? Or, I wonder when it’s open?” Hopefully, our articles help take the guess work out for would-be clients.
Also, our Dining Guide on page 26 lists all the local spots and is a good resource for the question that arises at least once a week in our house: “What do you want for dinner?” It’s fun to pick any place on that page, especially somewhere you’ve never been before, and try it at least once.
For Beaufort, maintaining our identity as a worthwhile destination depends a great deal on providing delicious, unique, affordable restaurants that appeal to both residents and tourists. So get out there and support your local businesses!
By Jack Sparacino
An old friend from work recently wrote to me from New Mexico about a trip he made to Walmart. He thought I might get a kick out of seeing one of the newer products they had for sale, and he included a picture. The item is called “Batter Blaster.” It’s pancake batter in a pressurized can, made by a company in Austin, Texas. No time to mix up your own batter? Too much work involved? Well, just heat up a griddle and spray away. Minutes later you’ve got pancakes or waffles, and in four different flavors no less. Life is good, right?
I was so excited about this invention, I grabbed my buddy “Flip” (he loves pancakes) and we started brainstorming other new product ideas to help people avoid lifting any more fingers than absolutely necessary. Here are some of our initial concepts. We hope you like them, too.
1. “Batter Up.” This one was directly inspired by Batter Blaster. But instead of using a whipped cream type dispensing system, we think we can save even more time by having the batter come in a pocket inhaler. It could go right on your keychain and be used anytime, anywhere, something like some people treat asthma symptoms. No fuss, no muss, super low calories, plus we’re designing attractive little containers for it — including one that glows in the dark and therefore doubles as a handy map light!
2. “Mow-bot.” Too busy or tired to mow your lawn? Problem solved with the fabulous “Mow-bot.” This is a fully automated mower that can be programmed to open your garage door, cruise onto your yard and mow away in a precise, customized pattern. When it’s finished, it propels itself back into the garage, turns itself off and lowers the door. All you do is add gas periodically. But fear not, we’re thinking about an all electric model that even includes a lawn feeder and grass catcher in the rear. Take that, R2-D2!
3. “Yacht-o-matic.” Here it is, folks, the inflatable, fully portable yacht we’ve all been waiting for. Pull the cord, and it inflates to full size (80 feet!) in just seconds. Pull a second cord, and the bar inflates as the ice maker is activated. Pull a third cord and, well you get the idea. All electronics currently come separately but we’re working on something built in (the “mad dash” kit).
4. “Dip-lo-matic.” Too much trouble to go to school? Too much studying, too long a drive? Got all the schooling you need but just can’t find some of your old diplomas? This software lets you print your own degrees, complete with fantastic graphics such as photos of your very own self hard at work thinking about studying. Now just to keep everything on the up and up, each diploma automatically appears with the disclaimer “not a real diploma, we made this up” in bold letters in the lower right hand corner. Well, at least it’s good for parties and a few laughs. Invite some “diplomats.”
5. “Cliffhanger Notes.” Lots of us would like to read more, but it just takes so much TIME to really read a book carefully and absorb it. Our notes are really 5-7 simple bullet points on a single page, with all the valuable content and major lessons of any book (including those pesky college textbooks) summarized in 70 words or less. Imagine “hanging up” an entire library in just a short PowerPoint file on your computer!
6. “Pants-o-Plenty.” The idea here is so simple we’re absolutely sure it’ll be a big hit: reversible pants for guys who don’t want to do too much laundering. We’re also considering special shirts with Velcro strips on the front that make it amazingly convenient to stick on a tie (regular or bow)… or even suspenders! (Jackets sold separately.)
7. “Joke in the Box.” Too tired or laid back to learn jokes or borrow someone else’s stories and anecdotes? Relax, we’ve got you covered with “Joke in the Box.” This is a potential iPhone app which includes jokes and stories told IN YOUR OWN VOICE, all at the push of a button. Amaze your friends and delight strangers you meet at parties. (Just move your lips a little in synch with some of the sounds if you’ve got the strength and maybe no one will know the difference.)
8. “Baconinajiff.” Love bacon but hate to deal with cooking your own with all that grease and mess? Don’t even want to cook the kind that goes directly into your microwave because it takes too long and you have to sort of guess at the timing? Well, now you can have great tasting bacon-like goop (we’re trying to think of a more appealing term) in a convenient squeeze tube.
9. “Designated Patient.” Too busy to see the doctor? Can’t be hassled with those unpleasant tests and procedures? Now you can just dial our special 800 number and arrange for someone else who’s roughly your age to undergo all that medical business for you. Sure it may cost an arm and a leg and not always be in your express interest, but we are trying to save you time and hassle, right?
10. “Quantitative Easement.” This one is for those of us who sometimes feel numerically challenged or just want to make sure they get a math problem or other calculation done right. Call our other special 800 number and pose your question to a genuine mathematician — or at least someone whose “Dip-lo-matic” degree claims they are one — and put your tired mind at rest. No problem too complex, no algorithm beyond us. In fact, it’s as easy as one, two, three point six nine nine ninety nine. In fact, that’s about what we’ll charge!
So that’s our preliminary list of fabulous ideas. Here’s the only problem. We’re excited about these new products but don’t have the time or energy to develop, produce or market any of them right now. Maybe we need to write some software or find a cool gizmo to expedite the entire process. You know, it would just “blast” ideas right through to sales and shipping. As long as we don’t have to work too hard or often, it should be a snap. We’ll get to it, at some point. Maybe.
But for now, we’ll just take it easy. Pass the pancakes, please.
Beaufort’s proposed budget for 2012-13 provides a 3 percent cost of living increase for all qualified city employees but Beaufort City Council nixed the idea of a $35 fee for private vehicles registered within the city.
Instead, council directed to staff to find alternatives to the $313,390 that would have been raised by the vehicle fee.
Raising the city’s stormwater management fee from the current $65 to $105 is an option proposed by City Councilman Mike Sutton. Another option is to reduce capital expenditures such as new police and fire vehicles.
The $16,142,646 budget received first-reading approval Tuesday by City Council. Final review and voting is scheduled for June 26 at City Hall.
“This is a balanced budget, this is a sound budget, and this is a budget that takes care of the City of Beaufort,” City Manager Scott Dadson said. “There aren’t any ‘extras’ in it, but we tried to continue the momentum we’ve started.”
The city has enjoyed stable cost structures for the past several fiscal years due to austerity on the part of the City Council and department heads who have controlled costs in a challenging economic environment yet worked to improve service delivery at the customer level, Dadson said.
“These savings have allowed the city to re-invest in its self. The city has leveraged these savings into matching programs, grants, and intergovernmental agreements and is currently managing an estimated $24 million in capital investment throughout the city and has seen a rise in building permit activity, steady business license revenue, and hospitality and accommodations taxes,” he said.
Included in the budget on first reading, but subject to cuts in order to balance the budget, is almost $1.1 million in capital investments, among them:
• $162,753 for new police vehicles and equipment
• $400,000 for a new fire truck, carried forward from the 2012 budget
• $40,000 in street and sidewalk repairs
• $14,749 in park improvements at Pigeon Point, Tic-Toc and Horse Hole parks
• $215,000 for a new street sweeper and other stormwater projects
• $254,000 in capital needs associated with the Bladen Street and Duke Street improvements
• $11,000 for a new riding mower for the Public Works Department.
The proposed $35 vehicle fee would have been used to maintain the street rights of way, bike paths, sidewalks and public access easements throughout the city. Such vehicle fees aren’t uncommon in South Carolina. In recent years, Richland County levied a $20 per vehicle fee for road repairs.
But Sutton and others said the vehicle fee wasn’t fair because non-city residents use the streets and sidewalks without charge. Several city residents spoke against the fee during the council’s Tuesday night public hearing.
As part of the council’s vote, council members directed Dadson and his staff to seek new ways to balance the $16.1 million FY13 budget — either by making cuts or finding alternatives to raise the $313,390.
Accounting for $404,000 in the $16.1 million Beaufort budget are the cost of living adjustment and increased employer contributions to retirement systems, said Dr. Kim Foxworth, director of human resources for Beaufort.
Employer contributions to the State Retirement systems are increasing effective July 1. Employer contributions for the State Retirement System of South Carolina increased from more than 1 percent and the Police Officers Retirement System contributions increased from almost as much.
The impact of the cost of living adjustment and the increased contribution to the retirement systems is an increase of $403,961 to the salary and benefit budget.
By Pamela Brownstein
On Friday, June 8, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley spoke at the Beaufort County Law Enforcement Center and urged residents to take responsibility for their own safety in case of a hurricane.
She said emergency officials on the local and state level are prepared should a disaster strike, and she expects the people in South Carolina to do the same.
Gov. Nikki Haley speaks in Beaufort County as George McKinney, director of the S.C. Emergency Management Division, at left, looks on.
“You need to know where you’re going to go,” Haley said, if there is an evacuation.
The governor and other local and state emergency responders emphasized the importance of having a preparedness plan that includes having water, batteries, a full tank of gas, and even good tire pressure. The biggest change this year is that evacuations will not be voluntary, only mandatory. This way, officials said, once the evacuation is issued, residents are likely to take it more seriously.
Other speakers included Todd Ferguson, Beaufort County Emergency Management Director; George McKinney, Director of the South Carolina Emergency Management Division; Dick Jenkins, State Traffic Management Engineer for the Department of Transportation; and Robert Woods, Commander of the South Carolina Highway Patrol Traffic Management Unit.
For more information about evacuation routes and hurricane preparedness, go to the Beaufort County website at www.bcgov.net.