The name Spanish Wells conjures up images of galleons and wooden buckets — a romantic vision that seems far removed from the Hilton Head Island of today. But you wouldn’t be far off of the origin of the island community’s name — or the names of several other island landmarks.

SHORT-TERM SALES TAX INCREASE COULD HAVE LASTING IMPACT

Of all the choices Hilton Head Island and Bluffton voters face in this month’s election, deciding whether to approve a 1 percent sales tax increase may have the most impact on their quality of life over the long term.

The transportation sales tax referendum would fund a project designed to ease severe traffic congestion between the mainland and Hilton Head — but could cause uncertainty for property owners along U.S. 278 between Moss Creek Drive in Bluffton to Squire Pope Road on Hilton Head. Expanding U.S. 278 could encroach upon their land.

The Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island recently held its annual Teacher Appreciation Program to honor 14 educators at Hilton Head Island schools.

Teachers honored were:

The Boys & Girls Club of Hilton Head Island has received a $10,000 grant from the Palmetto Electric Trust to help fund the club’s Intervention Reading Program. The award, part of a highly competitive grant process, is part out of $513,000 in grant money awarded. The trust funds are collected through the Palmetto Electric Operation Round Up program. 

The Greater Bluffton-Jasper County Volunteers in Medicine celebrated the ribbon-cutting on its new location in September. The new clinic is located at 29 Plantation Business Park, Units 601-604. The new space will allow the organization to better serve clients as well as offer expanded services. The new clinic includes a pharmacy, offices and exam rooms.

The Outside Foundation of Hilton Head was the 2018 recipient of the ACA Green Paddle for Waterway Conservation Act. The award recognizes organizations who have illustrated exemplary leadership, service and dedication to various aspects of paddlesport.

The American Red Cross is seeking blood drive hosts this winter to help prevent blood shortages and potential delays in medical care. In South Carolina, about 115 more blood drive hosts are needed this winter. Blood drive partners who host a drive between Dec. 20 and Jan. 6 will receive long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirts for all who come to give. To learn more about hosting a blood drive or to sign up, go to www.redcrossblood.org/hostadrive.

In spring 2019, United Airlines will begin flying into Hilton Head Island Airport. The airline will run seasonal service to Washington, D.C.; Chicago and New York City. The Hilton Head airport recently finished a runway expansion project that made it possible for larger jets to land there. The partnership between United Airlines and Hilton Head Airport has been in the works for nearly 18 months. The new service hopes to serve as an important business opportunity for the region and help attract new tourists to the area.

THE LOWCOUNTRY’S PREMIERE NETWORK OF LOCAL BUSINESSES IS CELEBRATING ITS TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY

It began with a speech, one of many that media entrepreneur Marc Frey has given during his career. He was addressing a group of politically minded women when he posed a frightening what-if scenario for the country’s future: What if, he posed, you left your house one day to find your choices limited to Walmart, Target or going back inside and ordering from Amazon?

Dominion EnergyAs early as the end of the year, some Lowcountry residents could have a new power company. SCANA, the parent company of SCE&G, has announced a plan to merge with Virginia-based Dominion Energy.

SCANA and Dominion held a public meeting Oct. 2 in Beaufort County to discuss the merger. Approximately 60 residents attended, asking questions about Dominion’s customer benefit plan and other issues. Bluffton Monthly had a chance to talk with C. Ryan Frazier of Dominion Energy; here’s what he had to say.

Peacock SubaruPeacock Subaru Hilton Head recently donated 150 award-winning science books to Okatie Elementary School. For a month, the dealership in Peacock Auto Mall asked customers to personalize custom labels for the science books that were supplied by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The effort was part of the company’s Subaru Loves Learning initiative.

COMPETITION FUELS MANY COUNTY AND LOCAL RACES

Lowcountry voters have a lot to consider when they go to the polls on Nov. 6 to fill seats in local elections. The following profiles are drawn from candidate responses to questions from the League of Women Voters Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area and candidates’ websites.

MEET THE CANDIDATES RUNNING IN STATE ELECTIONS

On Nov. 6, Lowcountry voters will elect a new governor and send a new representative to Congress. Closer to home, for the first time in many years, Democrats are trying to upset Republican incumbents in two of the three area state legislative districts. The following profiles are drawn from candidate responses to questions from the League of Women Voters Hilton Head Island/Bluffton Area and candidates’ websites.