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Hilton Head Island Magazine and News


Just a few months ago, the buzz among the employees at Downtown Deli was palpable. Some kind of big meeting was coming up. But no one knew what it involved, why the staff was being kept in the dark, and why they were going to the old Piggly Wiggly building, of all places.


The Fourth of July without fireworks is like Christmas without Santa Claus. And while nothing says summer fun like an evening of brightly colored sparklers, local officials say it’s best to leave the big pyrotechnics displays to the professionals. 

According to Town of Hilton Head Island staff attorney Brian Hulbert, it is legal to shoot off fireworks on the island — but you’ll need a permit from the town manager if you want to light up your display on the beach, which Hulbert said is defined as the shoreline between Fish Haul Creek Park on Hilton Head’s north end and Lands End in Sea Pines. 

Deputy Chief Joseph Manning has been promoted to police chief, according to Bluffton town manager Marc Orlando.

“Maj. Manning has demonstrated his ability to lead our police department,” Orlando said. “His unrelenting work during Hurricane Matthew, his day-to-day ability to foster and support our community policing program, along with his extensive law enforcement experience and education, make Maj. Manning a natural and obvious choice to move into the role as our next police chief.”

Yes, Hilton Head Island is known for its 12 miles of sandy, blissful beaches. But you’re missing out if that’s all your seeing this summer.

It’s been written on countless tacky T-shirts and risqué bumper stickers that “Life’s a Beach.” And that might be true for some folks. But not everyone.

If you’re reading this, it means that it’s after June 1st, the official beginning of hurricane season. Being from Florida, the season, which ends on November 30th, is something that is not just noted like the coming of summer, it’s a time that in my mind, I consciously recognize and develop mental notes towards being prepared. I have discovered that, for longtime residents of the lowcountry, the mindset, however, is totally different. Matter of fact, the expectation of a storm actually coming this way was so low, (and I do say was) that the consensus had some people taking the storm (and their preparations) very lightly. Until it was time to evacuate. 

When Charles Fraser came to the island to begin early development, he recognized that good design in relation to the island’s history and environment was important

Hilton Head Island’s ocean views and wetlands look stunning in the dwindling light of sunset — but take in their beauty too long on a moonless night and you’ll find yourself in complete darkness, thanks to the island’s strict lighting rules.

Russell Fredericks Makes Dramatic Career Transition

Russell Fredericks, a brand new Bluffton resident, has made a subtle, but dramatic career transition.

Two months ago the 49-year old New Jersey native was tending to historic fountain sculptures, dealing with cranky TV film crews, and making sure tons of debris were swept up daily. There was also the occasional dead body fished by his team from the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in the heart of New York City's world-renowned Central Park.

Many families have made the Lowcountry their home over the years, but few family trees are as deeply rooted in area history as the Kirk family, who originally owned Bluffton’s Rose Hill Plantation in the 1800s. Today, Eleanore Leavitt De Sole — a descendant of Dr. James Kirk, who died in 1858 — relishes her connection to the area and to the past.

Each month this column profiles Lowcountry citizens who offer fresh insights and a deeper sense of connection to our community.


Jamie Berndt, 52, is the mother of four children: Ian, Ali, Marisa and Keira, ranging in ages from 27 to 17. She’s a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where her father coached football. Her husband, Eric Wojcikiewicz, is a retired trader, entrepreneur and philanthropist who co-founded an initiative to build a rural school in Haiti and provide college scholarships for underprivileged kids in Chicago. Before they moved to Hilton Head Island six years ago, they lived in suburban Chicago for 20 years.  

Attorney finds working for dad elevates her game

Catherine Scarminach grew up on Hilton Head Island and wanted to explore new lands after high school.

She went to Atlanta for college, Knoxville to teach and Nashville to practice law.

But then her father, Chuck Scarminach, managing partner of Novit and Scarminach, called in 2011 with an offer that gave her pause.

Try to name a business where exceptional customer service doesn’t make a difference. With all the news about United Airlines and Dr. Dao, a sometimes Hilton Head Island resident, I thought I would examine this idea of what customer service is all about.  The “Success Center” defines customer service as “the support you offer customers – both before and after they buy your product – that helps them have an easy and enjoyable experience with you.  It’s more than just providing answers; it’s an important part of the promise your brand makes to its customers, and it is critical to the success of your business.”

On March 15, the Federal Open Market Committee, or the FOMC, raised its benchmark rate for the second time in the past three months. This move might not normally get your attention, but since this was only the third increase in the past nine years it is truly notable. The “Fed Funds” target rate now stands at a low range of between .75 percent and 1 percent, still at a level considered anything other than a stimulant to our domestic economy.

ENGEL & VÖLKERS introduces exclusive real estate technology to the Promenade in Bluffton. The inter-active touch screen, seen in the centre panel in this photograph, has a direct feed to the Hilton Head and BLuffton MLS. People on the busy Promenade can search for all homes for sale in the MLS by simply touching the buttons on the window.

In the good old days, interior cooling and heating were limited to a specific room or portion of a building with localized units. That worked out just fine, so long as the entire family didn’t mind camping out in the living room. Some could afford more than one unit. Most could not.

Sophisticated homeowners in the Lowcountry have never been beholden to the latest kitchen and bathroom trends. We know what we like, pure and simple. If it happens to be trendy, so be it.

Interestingly, the Hilton Head area has either been a trend-setter ahead of the national curve or behind it by a few years…if ever. Our trends with sustained traction either originate in Hilton Head or trickle down from Atlanta or other cities up and down the seaboard to our inviting shores.

It’s summer, and not only is it bathing suit season, it’s that time of year when we’ve moved from warm soups and heavier meals to light and healthy eating. According to WebMD, enjoying a salad every day is one of the healthiest habits you can adopt. And there are so many ways to make it exciting! Different proteins. Different greens. Different textures. So many choices in veggies and fruits. The choices are truly endless! So take some tips from these next few pages and get your green on! And if time is short, run by and grab one, because all of these are available in our area right now! So no excuses. Living healthier is just a short drive away.


Torrential rain is coming down, it’s late, and the gas gauge is on empty. Not great incentives to go food shopping (in a future article, we’ll review “Planning Ahead”). Cooking with what’s on hand does not come naturally to most because we’ve been conditioned to follow somebody else’s recipe. And nine times out of ten, we’ll be missing a key ingredient which requires a trip to the store – exactly what we’re trying to avoid in the first place.

One that places a premium on sourcing delicious seafood from local sources and lightly preparing it with a deep respect for regional foodways and Lowcountry culinary history. 

Lowcountry tennis guru Bob Brockman shares all the local tennis news and league information in this weekly tennis blog.

Resuming the Tennis Update now that tennis is starting up again. We hope everyone is well and looking forward to a less eventful future.

Give dad the gift of the game with some hot new items for this year.

If you’re reading this, odds are you either have a golfer in the family or you are the golfer in your family. If it’s the first case, and that golfer is your dad, pay attention. We’ve compiled some of the best gear you’re going to find for 2017 – gear that will improve his game or have him hitting the links in style.

International Junior Golf Academy students had a special treat recently when former world No. 1 Sir Nick Faldo visited the academy and gave students a private golf clinic. The three-time Masters champion (1989, 1990 and 1996) and three-time Open champion (1987, 1990 and 1992) also won the Sea Pines Heritage (now the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing) during his career. In total, he has won six major championships and three other PGA Tour events.