News briefs for December 7th-13th

14 mins read

Photo above: Vanessa (Pringle) Givens received the Senior Civilian of the Year Award serving at Commander, Navy Region Southeast (CNRSE). Givens is a Beaufort High School graduate and Beaufort native, who works an equal employment opportunity specialist for CNRSE. Photo provided.

Coalition offers to work with developer

This is an artist’s rendering of the Whitehall development. Rendering provided by the Sea Island Coalition.
This is an artist’s rendering of the Whitehall development. Rendering provided by the Sea Island Coalition.

The Sea Island Coalition has offered to work with MidCity Partners “to define a future for Whitehall that works for you as well as the greater Beaufort community,” according to a coalition newsletter.

The 19-acre parcel property is at the foot of the Richard V. Woods Memorial Bridge.

MidCity Real Estate Partners, in Atlanta, had proposed a cluster of seven apartment towers, an independent living facility and nearly 20,000 square feet of retail/commercial space for the property. 

The proposal was dealt a setback Nov. 13 when the Metro Planning Commission denied its application in a 6-0 vote. 

The development did not meet the requirements of the new Beaufort Code, nor was it consistent with the City’s Civic Master Plan, according to the Sea Island Coaltion’s newsletter.

Sea Island Coalition chairman Chuck Newton said the group expected to see Whitehall developed at some point, “and if the plan is smart, and inspired, and character-enhancing, the coalition could be fully supportive.”

He said, however, that the challenge is getting to a proposal that meets a strict reading of the code, complies with the spirit of the Civic Master Plan and gets the support of community advocates such as the coalition, the Coastal Conservation League and the Lady’s Island Business & Professional Association (LIBPA).

“We can’t always just say no,” said Newton in the newsletter. “But until we see a proposal that fits the property and gets the support of the community, we’ll never get to yes. We have asked the developer to work with us to define a plan for Whitehall that meets our objectives and theirs, and I do hope they will take us up on the offer,” he said.

“If Whitehall is to be developed,” said the newsletter, “our goal is to see development that goes beyond lowest-common-denominator thinking, and is inspired given the nature of the parcel and the challenges the site presents. It has to fit the Beaufort character, and ideally, it will be development that puts and keeps Beaufort on the map. If we share these goals, I’m certain a level of collaboration in seeking a solution can be put to good work.”

Beaufort County schedules burning of storm debris

Beaufort County established two debris management sites this past September allowing residents to dispose of storm-related debris resulting from Tropical Storm Irma. 

The sites are located at Ihly Farms and Pinckney Point. The sites were closed Oct. 8. 

All of the construction debris has been removed from each site and disposed at the landfill. The white goods have been collected and placed in the stockpile at the county’s Public Works site on Shanklin Road to be recycled.

The yard waste/woody debris will be consolidated at the Pinckney Point site to be burned. Burning of this waste was scheduled to begin Dec. 4. Hours for burning will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. There will be no burning after 5 p.m. or on weekends. 

The burning operation is expected to take two weeks, weather permitting. 

Additional information can be obtained by calling the Solid Waste and Recycling Office of the Beaufort County Public Works Department for more information at 843-255-2736.

Indivisible Beaufort to meet on Dec. 9

Indivisible Beaufort SC will hold its December meeting at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, in the meeting room of the Beaufort Branch Library on Scott Street in downtown Beaufort.  

Its program will be “Justice – Before, During, and After Trial.”  

The program will include a presentation on the best-selling book on evidence suppression, incarceration and re-trial chances entitled “Just Mercy,” by lawyer Bryan Stevenson.  The group will then discuss the issue of right to counsel, as exemplified by the recent suit brought against the City of Beaufort by the American Civil Liberties Union charging failure to provide counsel to those standing trial in municipal court.  

Attendees will also be surveyed for the top issues to follow in the upcoming 2018 South Carolina legislative session in January. The public is welcome.   

Councilman York Glover to hold public meeting 

Beaufort County Council Member York Glover, District 3, will hold his quarterly public meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13. 

The meeting will be held at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall, 706 Newcastle St. in Beaufort. 

Coastal Conservation League Executive Director Dana Beach and Beaufort County Treasurer Maria Walls will be the guest speakers.

Residents do not need to register in advance for the meeting. For more information, contact Glover at yglover@bcgov.net, 843-838-3647, or by mail at: c/o Clerk to Council, Beaufort County, PO Drawer 1228, Beaufort, SC 29901

Toys for Tots needs community’s help

United Way of the Lowcountry is partnering with Toys for Tots, The Salvation Army, Love House Ministries, Bluffton Self Help and the Deep Well Project this year to provide Christmas assistance to those in need through Operation Holiday Heroes. 

Operation Holiday Heroes is a countywide collaboration to ensure that every child and family in need throughout Beaufort and Jasper counties has toys and food for Christmas.

Last year, Operation Holiday Heroes provided Christmas gifts and meals to 1,816 families throughout Beaufort and Jasper counties, including 3,936 children.  

Donate toys by dropping them off at any of the United Way of the Lowcountry offices (Beaufort, Bluffton, Ridgeland) or at one of the many Toys for Tots boxes throughout Beaufort and Jasper counties. 

For a full list of toy donation drop-off locations, visit www.toysfortots.org.

To make a monetary donation to Operation Holiday Heroes, visit www.uwlowcountry.org  or send a check payable to “Operation Holiday Heroes” to United Way of the Lowcountry, P.O. Box 202, Beaufort, SC 29901; or drop off at United Way of the Lowcountry (Beaufort office), located at 1277 Ribaut Road. 

Other ways to help include hosting a holiday or dinner party and collecting gifts for Operation Holiday Heroes; making a donation in memory of a loved one or in honor of them; or for businesses to become a Toys for Tots drop-off location by requesting a box on the Toys for Tots website at www.toysfortots.org.

Those needing Christmas assistance this holiday season, should register by calling the Salvation Army at 843-524-3727; or calling or visiting Love House Ministries at 843-525-1043, 423C Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort. 

Love House Ministries will be conducting its registration process from 12:30-5 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday through Dec. 22. Children are not allowed at sign-up or toy distribution.

Free parking offered at Downtown Marina

The Beaufort City Council has approved the Parking Advisory Committee’s recommendation that there be free parking in downtown Beaufort this holiday season. 

However, it will be offered in a different way than it has been in years past to allow shoppers more time to explore what all of the merchants have to offer as well as to provide time to enjoy lunch or dinner without having to worry about a parking time limit.

Free parking will be offered now through New Year’s Day at the Downtown Marina parking lot on the waterfront and accessed from Bay Street at the intersection of Charles or Newcastle streets

There are 167 parking spaces available and there will be no time limit on parking.

All other metered parking spaces/areas in the downtown will be paid parking, including Bay Street, and their respective time limits will be enforced. Paid parking is enforced from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.

Beaufort County offers free electronics recycling 

The Beaufort County Public Works Department Solid Waste and Recycling Office will host two free electronics recycling events for county residents. 

The next events will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following locations on Saturday, Dec. 9: Beaufort County Public Works, 9 Benton Field Road; and 40 Shanklin Road in Beaufort.

Any personal computers, laptops, CRT monitors, LCD monitors, CRT televisions, non-CRT televisions, printers, hard drives and miscellaneous electronics (microwaves, cell phones, radios, fax machines, and typewriters) will be accepted. 

Call the Solid Waste and Recycling Office at 843-255-2736 for more information or visit www.bcgov.net/recycle.

Audubon bird count coming to Fripp Island

The Audubon Christmas Bird Count began over a century ago and its success is the result of the dedication and commitment of volunteers. 

This year tens of thousands of volunteers across America will take part in the 2017 count. 

Data collected in this long-running wildlife census is used to assess the health of bird populations, and to help guide conservation action. 

To participate (no experience necessary) Fripp Island Audubon volunteers will meet at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at the Community Center.

“We will divide into groups and count birds,” a press release states. “It’s pretty much as simple as that. Guides will be on hand to help everyone get started. In appreciation of your efforts, Fripp Audubon will be offering food and drink at the Community Center following completion of the count.”

Volunteers are also needed to count birds from home on back yard feeders.

The data collected by observers over the past century has allowed Audubon researchers, conservation biologists, wildlife agencies and other interested individuals to study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. 

It provides a picture of how the continent’s bird populations have changed in time and space over the past hundred years. 

The long-term perspective is vital for conservationists. 

It helps form strategies to protect birds and their habitat, and helps identify environmental issues with implications for people as well.

To sign up, contact Sally Jessee at skjessee365@gmail.com or call 843-838-3655; or Sandra Rice at sandra.rice@me.com or call 864-979-4531.

CORRECTION

A story in the Nov. 30 edition misidentified the host of a Thanksgiving community meal. It should have said it was Union Baptist Church at 1708 Old Shell Road, Port Royal.

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