News briefs for February 23rd-March 1st

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Hopeful Horizons earns national accreditation

Hopeful Horizons has been awarded re-accreditation by the National Children’s Alliance following an extensive application and site review process. 

Hopeful Horizons is a Beaufort County children’s advocacy, domestic violence and rape crisis center. It creates safer communities by changing the culture of violence and offers a path to healing. 

As the accrediting agency for Children’s Advocacy Centers (CAC) across the country, the National Children’s Alliance awards various levels of accreditation and membership to centers responding to allegations of child abuse in ways that are effective and efficient, and put the needs of child victims of abuse first. 

Accreditation is the highest level of membership with National Children’s Alliance and denotes excellence in service provision.

Visit www.hopefulhorizons.org. 

Website focuses on Sea Island Parkway

The Sea Island Corridor Coalition has launched a new website to help residents of Lady’s Island and St. Helena monitor information on planning and development deliberations and decisions affecting the Sea Island Parkway.

The website, www.seaislandcoalition.com, is designed as a central community resource, featuring a calendar showing major city and county planning and zoning meetings; links to key county, city and state websites and web resources; and current news on matters affecting the community including growth and development, zoning and annexation, traffic, tree and marsh preservation and political accountability.

The site also hosts an “alert” function through which residents can notify the coalition of the first signs of re-zoning or development, or simply rumors that may signal new activity, and have their questions answered.

Chuck Newton, a convener of the Sea Island Coalition, said, “Seaislandcoalition.com is designed to keep the community up-to-date on local development matters, and help us gather new information, get people organized and advocate more effectively on behalf of Lady’s Island and St. Helena.

“It’s the first time the community has had a tool like this to work with, and it opens up all kinds of interesting possibilities.

“Without an aware public, and a mechanism such as this website to bring people together, city and county planning decisions will run right past us, with no opportunity for substantive input, as they did with Walmart, Oyster Bluff and with the explosion of traffic growth around the Sea Island Parkway/Sam’s Point Road intersection,” Newton said.

The coalition, formed in early 2016 after a community outcry on the clear-cutting of Oyster Bluff, now boasts more than 400 members and is a frequent contributor to city and county deliberations on development and planning issues. 

In concert with the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, the coalition is sponsoring a community forum, Designing A Future For Lady’s Island, on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Lady’s Island Elementary School. More than 200 are expected to attend. 

More information is available at coastalconservationleague.org/events.

Family recognized for helping bridge cultural gap

Esquivel DSC_0664 e1

The Esquivel family will receive the Peggy May Inspiration Award at the Foundation for Educational Excellence’s annual “Jewels and Jeans” event from 6-9:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at the Country Club of Hilton Head, 70 Skull Creek Drive. 

The Esquivel family will be recognized for their work as the unofficial voice of Lowcountry Latinos helping to bridge the cultural gap throughout the Lowcountry.

The Peggy May Inspiration Award recognizes persons who demonstrate extraordinary dedication, passion and skills that influence and inspire local students. 

The award is named for former recipient, the late Peggy May, who served as county and state director of Adult Literacy, and board chair of the Foundation for Educational Excellence. Other previous recipients include 2013 American Idol Winner Candice Glover and Food Network contestant Orchid Palmieri, and Dr. Narendra Sharma, of The Neighborhood Outreach Connection.

Since coming to the area in 1983, the Esquivel family has dedicated their lives to improving the lives of Latinos in the community while helping to educate non-Latinos on their culture.

“Hector and his wife, Barbara, along with their children – Hector Jr., Eric and Margaret – demonstrate the values of hard work, a strong sense of culture, and a desire to always give back to the community,” according to a release.

Hector Jr. is an immigration attorney who works to bridge legal gaps for local Hispanics. Eric is the publisher of La Isla Magazine, whose mission is to provide a Spanish-language magazine that connects the diverse Lowcountry Hispanic community. Margaret Esquivel helped Eric develop and grow La Isla Magazine into the publication it is today and continues to use her Spanish and cultural understanding of her Latino heritage on a daily basis. 

The Esquivels founded the Lowcountry Immigration Coalition, which has played a vital role in challenging immigration laws that discriminate against Hispanics and has helped to bridge the informational divide for immigrants. 

Tickets for the event are available now.  For more information, visit FoundationEdExcellence.com or call 843-415-2331.

BJWSA says no action needed for overflow

The Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) said that results from three bacteriological samples from the wastewater released into Battery Creek on Feb. 16 show that no further action is required. 

As a precautionary measure, the nearby shellfish bed will remain closed for 21 days.

The overflow occurred due to a power failure on the service line to the station.  

“BJWSA crews responded to the overflow, and took appropriate cleanup/repair action, including reporting the incident to South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control,” the release states.

For more information, visit www.bjwsa.org or call 843-987-9213.

Beaufort County to offer hazardous waste collection

The Beaufort County Public Works Department Solid Waste and Recycling Office, with the support of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, will hold a free household hazardous materials collection event for Beaufort County residents.

It will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 4, at Beaufort County Public Works, 140 Shanklin Road, Beaufort.

Residents can dispose of cleaning materials, batteries, paint, thinners, antifreeze, automotive and boat products, fire extinguishers, fluorescent bulbs, gasoline, hobby chemicals, insecticides, oil, photography chemicals, poisons, propane tanks, stains, varnishes tires and turpentine. 

These items are often commonly marked with the words “Warning,” “Danger” or “Caution.”

Ammunition, fireworks, medical waste, smoke detectors and syringes will not be collected. 

To help ensure safe transport and collection of items, residents should ensure lids and caps are tightened. Items should be left in their original containers and positioned in a box which should be placed in the vehicle’s trunk or back seat.

Also, this event will not include collection of expired or unused medicine. For information regarding proper disposal of these items, contact the non-emergency number at the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office at 843-255-3200. 

Only residential materials will be accepted at this event. Commercial contractors or businesses with hazardous materials should contact the Solid Waste and Recycling Office at 843-255-2736. 

For more information about Beaufort County’s recycling events, visit www.bcgov.net/recycle.

Two roads to get asphalt paved

Asphalt paving will take place between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m .on the following dates and roads:

• Joe Fraser Road (from Morrall to Laurel Bay) on Thursday, Feb. 23.

• Chowan Creek Bluff and Distant Island (from Sea Island Parkway to to the end of state maintenance), Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25.

This work could be intermittent during these times due to weather conditions and unforeseen mechanical failures.  

There will be lane closures, but traffic will be maintained through the use of traffic control devices. Motorists are asked to use caution when driving through the work zone.