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July 19, 2012

Burton Fire District celebrates promotions

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The Burton Fire District held a ceremony recently promoting seven of its members to new ranks including a new officer.

Engineer Justin Blankenship (left) receives his promotion to lieutenant from Burton Fire Chief Harry Rountree.

Firefighter Justin Blankenship was promoted from Engineer to Lieutenant and will now serve as an engine company officer. Lieutenant Blankenship is a ten year veteran of the Burton Fire District and has been decorated for actions on the emergency scene as well as assisting with the Blue Angle’s crash.
Firefighter II Brandon Thompson, Andrew Wright, Jedidiah Huth, Chad Coates, Kahn Sejour, and Matthew Pennington were promoted to their current rank. All firefighters were required to pass both written and practical examinations that met both local and national standards’ for firefighting.
“We are proud of all the newly promoted firefighters,” said Burton Fire Chief Harry Rountree. “The demands on our personnel are growing with increased emergency calls along with the dynamics of those calls which involve everything from medical situations to hazardous materials. Our promotional process is very demanding to ensure our personnel can meet those challenges for those we serve. Great job to all!”

Photos sought for 2013 Land Preservation Calendar

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Contest Theme: Beaufort County Birds & Their Habitats

Beaufort County Birds and Their Habitats is the theme for Beaufort County’s annual photo contest and photographers have until September 4 to submit pictures of birds and/or selected habitat locations.

Winning photos will be used to create a 2013 calendar, which will serve as a public information tool regarding the County’s Rural and Critical Land Preservation Program.

The contest has been held every year since 2005. It began shortly after Beaufort County Administrator Gary Kubic was hired. He said this year’s theme will appeal to birders and anyone else who appreciates the outdoor beauty of Beaufort County.

“The enthusiasm generated each year among local photographers for this project has been very rewarding. We want to be flexible, though, so we have given photographers the option of shooting specific scenic habitat locations if they wish. They do not have to submit photos of birds unless they want to. The contest has always been a lot of fun for photographers and for my staff and me.

“We are working with local Audubon Club members who will help provide informative content within the calendar and identify species that will appear in the winning photos,” Kubic said.

Photos of birds may be taken anywhere within the physical boundaries of Beaufort County – from Port Royal’s Cypress Wetlands to Hunting Island State Park, Pinckney Island National Wildlife Refuge or one’s own backyard. Photos of habitat locations (with or without birds) must be taken at one or more of the following Beaufort County Rural and Critical Land sites: Ihly Farm near MCAS in northern Beaufort County, the Trumps site on Factory Creek on Lady’s Island, Crystal Lake on Lady’s Island, The Green in Beaufort’s Old Point, the Barringer tract and Ft. Fremont on St. Helena Island, the Buddy and Zoo Landing on Station Creek, Widgeon Point on Lemon Island, Altamaha Town Heritage Preserve, Okatie Preserve, New Riverside and Pinckney Colony in greater Bluffton, the Bluffton Oyster Company, Stoney Preserve and the Mitchellville Road Beach Parcel on Hilton Head Island.

Maps and directions to the selected sites may be found at the Beaufort County website: The information will be posted on one of the large graphic sliders on the home page.

Legal waivers are required for some sites because they are not yet open to the public and are still in their wild state. County leaders warn they could present a danger from snake bites, poisonous plants, unseen holes or stumps or other hazards. Those who enter these properties to take photos are advised to do so with a friend.

Up to 3 photos of any combination of birds and or sites may be entered in the contest. All photos must include the name of the photographer and the location of the shot on the back of the print. Both 8 x 10 prints and digital images are required. Images must be in jpeg format and at least 300 dpi. Photos will not be returned. They must be submitted on disc and mailed with prints and required forms to:

Beaufort County Photo Contest

Beaufort County Administrator

PO Drawer 1228

Beaufort, SC 29901-1228

For more information, call (843) 575-5196.

The Baby Diaries: What to do when he’s on the move

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By Pamela Brownstein
Wanted: A smart, friendly, funny, caring nanny who cooks, cleans my house, teaches my baby to walk and talk, sings songs in a British accent about helping the medicine go down, has a cheery disposition about working for free, then flies home using her umbrella.
Oh, wait a second. I just described Mary Poppins. I forgot she’s a fictional character. Still, when it comes to babysitters, she sets some pretty high standards.
Even though she’s not real, my situation is: Realizing that I won’t be able to take care of my baby and work at the same time. I have been fortunate that I have been able to juggle both, since I work from home, and for the first six months, my baby had fairly simple needs, and he’s really sweet and good.
But now at six and a half months, Wolfe is a busy boy. He is eating baby food and moving all over the place (not at the same time, obviously). These are awesome milestones — I love to feed him new flavors and watch him get sweet potatoes all over his face, or smile as he tries to crawl into the dog’s cage — but they’re not exactly conducive to deadlines, and this juggling act is taking its toll on me and is not fair to him.
It’s a decision every working mom has to face eventually: Finding the right daycare provider.
I know there are a lot of good daycare facilities in Beaufort, but I have yet to explore them seriously. What I really want is someone who watches kids at her house, a flexible home-y environment. But I have yet to find that yet.
So if you know of anyone who fits that description, tell her I’m in the market for good care. Otherwise, if you see Mary Poppins on your rooftop, let her know I’m hoping she drops by my house soon.

Pam’s POV: Pamela Brownstein is a 5-foot-tall Scorpio who loves Beaufort and is trying to figure out this whole parenting thing. You can contact her at

Lowcountry Broil: Enhancing the appearance of our city is a shared responsibility

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I agree wholeheartedly with the comments recently published in Lowcountry Broil suggesting some needed improvements to the entrance of Beaufort’s National Cemetery.  While the cemetery is well maintained and offers appropriate and solemn homage to our honored dead, visitors are greeted by a view of the maintenance facility and associated heavy equipment. This seems unnecessary and inappropriate considering the natural beauty of the site and its important purpose. It should be possible to identify a less obtrusive location on the grounds and relocate these maintenance facilities particularly given the recent expansion of the acreage, yet it may ultimately fall to local citizens to bring this concern to the attention of city fathers and the VA.
There are other locales in Beaufort we see every day that could benefit from similar improvements. While other residents may have their own list, I can’t help but think that the city could upgrade the landscaping and maintenance of the three city-owned cemeteries bordering Boundary Street as, in the same vein, the Sixteen Gates cemetery across from K-Mart could benefit from a wall rather than a rusting wire fence to demarcate its property.  Even USCB could enhance its prominent campus location both on Carteret and New streets through more comprehensive landscaping.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, however we share common responsibilities to enhance the appearance of the town we love. It’s not so much a matter of money as it is about focusing on where citizens and institutions can make sensible improvements.

Sound Off: Did you get a boot on your car parking downtown or is the traffic light on your street ridiculously slow? Or would you like to thank a stranger for a random act of kindness? Here’s your chance to sound off about what you love and hate. Send your comments to and you could see them in our new column called Lowcountry Broil. Don’t worry: They’re all anonymous.

The Indie Film Corner: “Your Sister’s Sister”

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“Your Sister’s Sister” from The Indie Series presented by Emerging Pictures in HD at USCB Center For the Arts Wednesday, July 25 at 2 p.m.
Synopsis: A year after his brother Tom’s death, Jack is still struggling emotionally. When he makes a scene at a memorial party, Tom’s best friend, Iris, offers up her father’s cabin on an island in the Pacific Northwest so Jack can seek resolution in solitude. Once there, however, he runs into Iris’ sister Hannah who is reeling from the abrupt end of a seven-year relationship and finds solace in Tom’s unexpected presence. A blurry evening of drinking concludes with an unplanned sexual happening, made even more embarrassing by Iris’ sudden presence at the cabin the next morning. A twisting tale of ever-complicated relationships is set in motion with hilarious and emotional consequences. The outcome of the triangle is in doubt from beginning to end.
Ratings & Reviews:  Internet rating sites, IMDb: 6.7; Rotten Tomatoes: Critics: 86/Audience: 80 Very Good marks. Critics: USA Today: “…romantic, funny, surprising and thoroughly involving … a rare film”; Wall Street Journal: “… lovely tale of swirling feelings was shot in a mere 12 days, on a budget that must have been minuscule. A couple of minutes after it’s started, though, you know you’re in the presence of people who will surprise and delight you.”
Previewer Comments: This is a warm dramatic comedy that is acted so well you will understand and identify with each character and their situation intimately. The scenery is beautiful, the relationship issues real and deep with emotion and layers of conflict. This film is acted so naturally and the character’s dialogue works so well, you will feel like a fly on the wall experiencing real people, real emotions, and real issues. Featured and well reviewed at many Indie film showings in U.S. and Canada, it now has reached limited distribution in the U.S. and UK. Try not to miss it.
Rated: R for language and some sexual content.
Tickets for adults are $7, seniors $6, students $5. Call USCB Center for the Arts box office at 843-521-4145 or purchase day of performance. Box office opens one hour prior to show time.

Dennis Tavernetti is a resident of St. Helena Island and retired to the Lowcountry having a lifelong interest in the arts. He encouraged USCB ‘s Center for the Arts to investigate the possibility of utilizing new technology to bring  Indie, World and Documentary HD films to Beaufort.

Please stand up

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By Danette Vernon
You hit the gym after work, and for dinner you have brown rice, grilled salmon, and a salad. Then you sit down to a little TV before bed. After all, after an eight hour day at the office, you’ve earned it! Or maybe you eschew television for a game of Solitaire on your computer while posting on Facebook and checking your email. Either way, you may spend the whole evening just relaxing.
If that’s your day, well, despite your best efforts, you may be on your way to a heart attack, diabetes and a host of back ills. You might want to consider standing up as you read this. Why?
Sitting for long periods of time, “promotes a lack of whole body muscle movement,” which Swedish-based researchers say is the more correct way to define sedentary behavior.
Even if you exercise regularly or take an evening walk every night, as a woman, your risk of metabolic syndrome, a precursor to diabetes and heart disease, jumps 26 percent for every extra hour at day’s end that you sit in front of the TV or your computer.
But isn’t sitting down after a long day at work one of the fruits of life? Well, not if you’ve been sitting all day (more than 7.4 hours). Even after only four hours of sitting per day, you’re on your way to being “fat,” and maybe even to an early death, as genes regulating the amount of glucose and fat in the body start to shut down in just that brief a period of time.
A study in the International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders suggests people with a low level of hours of sitting per day, less than 4.7 hours, were less likely to be overweight. Conversely, other studies show that rates of heart disease, diabetes and obesity are doubled and even tripled in people who sit a lot.
Part of the problem is sitting stops the circulation of lipase, an enzyme that absorbs fats. So instead of being absorbed by your muscles, when you’re sitting, fat recirculates in your bloodstream where it may end up stored as body fat, clogging arteries or contributing to disease. In fact, simply standing up as opposed to sitting engages muscles and helps your body process fat and cholesterol in a positive way, regardless of the amount of exercise you do.
People who live to be a 100 don’t exercise per se, they incorporate exercise into everyday living. So use the stairs, get up and walk around, change position every 20 minutes or so while at work. Develop a way to use a standing position while you use your computer at work or home. Stand up while watching TV or reading. It doesn’t matter how, just please stand up!

Moment of Wellness with Danette Vernon at Therapeutic Solutions: Offering a unique approach to your active health care needs using a variety of healing modalities, nutritional and wellness coaching to empower you to a new state of health and well-being. 73 Sams Point Road, 524-2554.

DeLoach gets lifetime of leadership award

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Robert DeLoach, vice president of Beaufort Engineering Services Incorporated (BES Inc.), was awarded the 2012 Lifetime of Leadership Award by the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce. Mr. DeLoach is one of only 10 recipients to have received the award from the chamber.
With the exception of his time in college and his service in the Navy during WWII, Mr. DeLoach has lived in

Robert DeLoach with family and coworkers at the Beaufort Chamber of Commerce’s annual Civitas award ceremony at Dataw Island Clubhouse on June 29.

Beaufort since his birth in 1926.  For 37 years Mr. DeLoach was employed as a mechanical engineer by the Department of Defense at Parris Island. Upon his retirement, he received the Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, the highest medal awarded by the Department of Defense during peacetime to a civilian.
Mr. DeLoach has been affiliated with BES Inc. for the last 36 years. During his tenure with the company, BES Inc. has grown from one office in Beaufort into a regional company with five offices throughout the Southeast with over 50 employees.
In the last 61 years, Mr. DeLoach has mentored over five generations of new engineers and countless office staff, been on the board of directors, and held the position of president or another appointed or elected position in close to 15 different community organizations in Beaufort.

Social Security: A woman’s perspective

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By Whitney McDaniel
Regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman, Social Security will not — and was never designed to — provide all of the income you’ll need to live comfortably during retirement. At best, your income from Social Security will supplement that from other sources. So if you’re planning to factor Social Security into your retirement plan, you should learn all you can about how to enhance your benefits.
For females, however, there are some unique factors to consider in the equation. Because Social Security generally has annual cost-of-living adjustments, you have an inflation-protected benefit for as long as you live — and for women, those increases are vital since women generally live longer than men. In addition, Social Security provides dependent benefits to spouses, divorced spouses, elderly widows and widows with young children.
While Social Security is neutral with respect to gender (individuals with identical earnings histories are treated with the same in terms of benefits), the following 2008 numbers released by the Social Security Administration Office of Research and Statistics highlight how certain demographic characteristics of women compare with the entire population.
• Women reaching age 65 need to prepare for approximately 20 more years of living expenses. Females represented 57 percent of all Social Security beneficiaries age 62 and older and approximately 69 percent of beneficiaries age 85 and older.
• The average annual Social Security income received by women 65 years and older was $11,337, compared to $14,822 for men.
• For unmarried women age 65 and older (including widows), Social Security comprised 50 percent of their total income.
• Of all elderly, unmarried women receiving Social Security benefits, 46 percent relied on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.
• Of the women who were employed fulltime, only 51 percent participated in an employer-sponsored private sector plan.
Additionally, women generally received lower pension benefits than men due to their relatively lower earnings. Probably none of this comes as a surprise, considering that the statistics are directly related to the realities surrounding women earning less and spending more time out of the work force than men.
So how do women offset this gap? By getting retirement plans in place so that Social Security benefits are an income supplement and not a mainstay. With longer life expectancies than men, women tend to live more years in retirement and have a greater chance of exhausting other sources of income.

*Source: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, 2009
This article was written by Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Whitney McDaniel, CFP®, AAMS®, Financial Advisor in Beaufort, SC at 843-524-1114.
Wells Fargo Advisors does not render legal or tax advice. While this information is not intended to replace your discussions with your tax/legal advisor, it may help you to comprehend the tax implications of your investments and plan tax-efficiently going forward. The material is solely for informational purposes and is not a solicitation or an offer to buy any security or instrument or to participate in any trading strategy.
Investments in securities and insurance products are: NOT FDIC-INSURED/NOT BANK-GUARANTEED/MAY LOSE VALUE
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC, Member SIPC, is a registered broker-dealer and a separate non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company.

Local chef cooks up fun at book signing

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By Lanier Laney

Debbi Covington had record sales at her ‘Celebrate Everything’ book signing event at the Beaufort Yacht and Sailing Club the other night. She said, “Thank you! I’m overwhelmed by the number of friends and customers who attended our soirée and cookbook signing!” Congrats also goes to Paul Nurnberg who did the beautiful food photographs as well as the cover of the book. Just shows you what can happen when two great Beaufort talents come together.  Good luck on your book tour, Debbi. Here are some pics for you from Susan DeLoach.















Christening ceremony ‘awakens the dragon’

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The beautiful and moving DragonBoat Beaufort Christening and Remembrance ceremonies were held at the Water Festival last Saturday afternoon. As the brand new 48’ dragon boat docked at Beaufort’s Downtown Marina, high priestess Mary Ann Mikell asked Dick Stewart to paint in the eyes in the traditional DragonBoat

DragonBoat Beaufort takes to the water.

“Awakening” ceremony for race readiness. His wife then poured Champagne over her bow, christened her “Braveheart” and pronounced her ready to race on her cancer survivor mission.
Once awakened, Braveheart put on an DragonBoat Exhibition of precision paddling and racing for Water Festival spectators highlighted by the traditional Survivor’s Ceremony. Each of the 20 paddlers, the Helm and the Drummer dropped a red carnation into the Beaufort River as the name of a friend or a loved one lost to this ubiquitous disease was called out to the crowd.
DragonBoat Beaufort is a nonprofit that sprang into being when several Beaufortonians saw the “Awaken

Champagne is poured over the bow.

the Dragon” documentary winner at this year’s Beaufort Film Festival. In just under five months, a dynamic team has formed and raised enough money to buy their first boat to activate their mission of promoting physical and mental wellness among cancer survivors and their community. DragonBoat Beaufort currently fields a team of male and female cancer survivors and their supporters and is looking for new recruits for a second boat that has been pledged. The team will be competing in Lake Lanier, Ga., and Trophy Lake, Johns Island, festivals this September.
Here are some pictures from the event by Andrew Nicholls.

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