Island Notes

By Jim Hicks

A blended community.  The recent agreement between the City of Beaufort and a property owner as to the type of development authorized on a portion of the island serves as a reminder to Lady’s Island residents that “government wise” ours is a blended community in which cooperation and coordination is necessary.  Lady’s Island consists of 13,579 acres.  The City of Beaufort has annexed 1,043 acres on Lady’s Island.  There are an additional 1,720 acres that are contiguous to the annexed property that could, under South Carolina law, also be annexed into the City upon request of the property owners.


Similarities of professions. As the school district struggles to establish a budget for another school year one cannot help but notice the similarities between those that chose to enter the religious ministry and those that became school superintendents.  Both professions are accepted as noble, worthwhile and serving a valuable role in the community.  Both must depend on a variety of sources for their funding and periodically must “solicit additional funds”.  Both professions have high educational and experience standards but everyone appears to be blessed with the knowledge of how their job could be accomplished. The objectives of both professions receive vocal support from the public in general but sadly rank near the top of the list for “belt tightening” measures when the economy takes a nose dive.  To all of our local religious leaders, school superintendent and educators thank you for your dedication to your professions and your important contribution to our community.


Thanks Ms. Statler.  Kim Statler, as former  head of the Lowcountry Economic Network and presently providing support to the Lowcountry Economic Alliance as a consultant, fought many battles (an unskilled workforce and permitting challenges just to mention a few) as she attempted to attract businesses and jobs to Beaufort County.  While leading the county economy development effort she represented our community with style, grace, dedication and professionalism.  Thanks Ms. Statler for your contribution to our community and we in LIBPA hope to work with you in future endeavors to improve the business climate for our community and county.


Low Country School of Performing Arts relocates.  Ms. Deanna F. Kraszewski, owner and artistic director of The Low Country School of Performing Arts, has announced their studio has relocated from the facility in the rear of Video Warehouse on Sams Point Roar to 206 Carteret Street in Beaufort.  Space is available in most new classes scheduled to begin in the fall at their new location and additional information is available at www.lowcountrysopa.com. We wish her every success at the new location.


Change in Fitness Centers.  EarthFIT who operates a fitness center in the Habersham community has opened a second center in the facilities located to the rear of Video Warehouse on Sams Point Road and formerly occupied by Get Fit who recently closed their doors.  We wish Mr. Ian Hart, owner and certified strength and conditioning specialist, great luck with his new business and thank him for selecting Lady’s Island as its home.


Welcome Ms. Mona L. Dickson – New Principal of Lady’s Island Intermediate and Middle School. Ms. Mona L. Dickson will be the Principal of Lady’s Island Intermediate and Middle School for school year 2011/12.  As a resident of Lady’s Island each of her 4 children attended LIMS.  Professionally, she has served as Assistant Principal of Beaufort High School and for the past 3 years as Principal of Whale Branch Middle School which was the first middle school in Beaufort County to collocate the 5th grade in the same facility as the middle school and guided the introduction of a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum.  Under her leadership Whale Branch Middle School has been repeatedly recognized for its achievements.  The new principal brings with her experience as a parent of students attending Lady’s Island Middle School, experience with the STEM program which LIMS has adopted, experience with the 5th grade being collocated with a Middle School and a proven record of producing academic improvement.

Welcome to Lady’s Island Intermediate and Middle School Ms. Dickson. As a community we look forward to working with you.


Congratulations to Ms. Blakely Williams –New President and CEO Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Ms. Williams was recently selected to serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.  Having served for the last 4 years as Director of Member Services for the Chamber she is familiar with the business scene of our county, member’s concerns and key issues facing our community.  We congratulate her on her selection as President and look forward to working with her.


Mark your calendar!  Historic Beaufort Foundation’s Fall Festival of Homes & Gardens for Beaufort’s tricentennial year is scheduled October 21 – 23, 2011. A luncheon and lecture, “Purchasing Antiques for Historic Interiors,” will be held October 21 at noon at Dataw Island Clubhouse, featuring renowned English antiques expert Judith Miller. Also, a late afternoon visit to the Tabby Ruins on Spring Island, including wine and hors d’ouevres, and performances by the B.J. Scott Choir of Huspah Baptist Church will conclude the tour on Saturday, October 22. Two new events have been added to the traditional Fall Festival line-up of Friday’s Twilight Walk, Saturday’s Ramble around Beaufort and Sunday’s Kitchen & Cuisines Tour. Tickets are $55 per person for the luncheon and lecture while individual tickets for each other event are $45 per person. A complete tour package which includes one ticket to each event is $215. Tickets are available online at www.historicbeaufort.org or by calling HBF at 843-379-3331, email:  HYPERLINK “mailto:events@historicbeaufort.org” events@historicbeaufort.org.


Worth Considering!  A recent article in the Wall Street Journal by Douglas A. McIntyre entitled “The 10 States That are Losing Children the Fastest” points out that South Carolina is ranked #10 in regard to a declining population of young people (15 and under) having experienced almost a 10% decline in the last decade. He states (in his opinion) “The state is not a promising environment for employment or creation of a larger middle class.”  The other states included in the top 10 were Alaska #1, Maryland, California, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York, New Hampshire and # 9 Virginia. No one questions the need to be able to offer employment to our young families and provide them (and older residents) a realistic way to stay in South Carolina and make a decent living.  The challenge is figuring out a way to accomplish it.


Lady’s Island Park Report.  The first phase of construction of the new Lady’s Island Park is nearing completion in that the first ball field is complete and fencing surrounds the park.  The children’s playground equipment has arrived as has the pavilion and equipment for the bathrooms.  Assuming receipt of the necessary permits the team at JOCO Construction, who is building the park, indicates the final phase of construction  (second athletic field, pavilion, bathrooms, children’s playground) should be complete in time to allow a grand opening of the park in the November time frame.


Congratulations Councilman O’Kelly.  We offer our congratulations to new City of Beaufort councilman Mr. George O’Kelly and look forward to working with him in the future.  To LIBPA member Ron Petit who also ran for the office we extend our appreciation for his willingness to serve our community.


An example for us all.  As you travel toward the Air Station on Highway 21 there is a large sign with a picture of LIBPA member Robert DeLoach along with the phrase “60 years of engineering excellence”.  The sign is an appropriate gesture by Beaufort Engineering Services to highlight the contributions Mr. DeLoach has made to this community.  He completed his first career of 37 years as an engineer at the Parris Island Recruit Depot, was one of the original founders of Beaufort Engineering Services and as the LIBPA representative coordinated the design of Sams Point Road when it was widened.  It should be noted he has no plans for retirement.  Thanks Mr. DeLoach, you are a great role model for us all.     





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