Highlights for the Town of Hilton Head Island

The FEMA Disaster Assistance Center opened in the Town Council Chambers at Town Hall, One Town Center Court, on Thursday November 3rd. Some 70 citizens were served on the first day. The Center will be open on Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm; and from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Saturdays until further notice.

 

WHOSE ‘STORY’ IS IT, ANYWAY? 

Recently, I paid $99 to Ancestry.com for a DNA kit, provided the requested sample, and waited six weeks for a scientific analysis of the most fundamental elements of my identity. Like most of us, I wanted to unravel the mystery of my past; to find and make sense of those elusive pieces of the complex puzzle that is me. Probably, on a deeper level, this is motivated by a very Freudian search for personal wholeness (but that’s another article).

As a result of weather-related delays caused by Hurricane Matthew, the Town of Hilton Head Island has revised the schedule for the completion of the Beach Renourishment Project. 

As Hilton Head Island continues to pick up the pieces after Hurricane Matthew, our closest neighboring island begins its journey to return its community to normal.

Daufuskie Island is 8 square miles of private land that is only accessible by boat, so naturally many were concerned when Gov. Nikki Haley mentioned in her pre-hurricane press conference that storm surges would leave the island “under water.” For a community of small residences and businesses, staying behind to endure Hurricane Matthew was a gamble, but one that about a quarter of the residents decided to take. 

Good job, Bluffton. Your actions during the evacuation for Hurricane Matthew and after the storm had passed made us more proud to live in this beloved town. Bluffton is blessed that Mother Nature didn’t do the damage here that our Hilton Head Island neighbors experienced with this Category 2 storm. There were countless examples of when a tree fell, it chose to fall on the ground, not on a person or a house. And though not all were unscathed, speaking for the town as a whole, Hurricane Matthew could have been much worse.

PHOTO: Hilton Head Island mayor David Bennett and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford survey saltwater damage to the 18th fairway of Harbour Town Golf Links.

Preparedness, teamwork, cooperation, kindness and thankfulness are five words that come quickly to mind when describing how our hometown Island got through last month's Hurricane Matthew impact and immediate aftermath in a positive fashion.

Condé Nast Traveler recently ranked Hilton Head Island the No. 3 island in the United States as part of its annual Readers’ Choice Awards. The Hawaiian islands of Maui and Oahu took the top two spots. The magazine had high praise for Hilton Head’s “pristine” beaches, shopping, bike trails, golf and restaurants “that could compete with major cities.”

“American Pickers” is looking for Hilton Head Island and Bluffton collectors to feature on an episode of the popular TV show. Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and their team explore the world of antique “picking” on the History Channel.

Hilton Grand VacationsHilton Grand Vacations recently opened its new Ocean Oak Resort, located near Coligny Beach Park on South Forest Beach. The resort features 125 oceanfront suits, a zeroentry pool and sits on 7 acres.

parcelblThe town of Bluffton is set to acquire a 1.47 acre parcel of land located at 68 Boundary St. Situated between Dubois Park and the Bluffton Historical Preservation Society’s Heyward House, the property will be used as public open space and will provide additional public parking spaces in the Bluffton Historic District.

The town of Bluffton recently began construction on the next phase of the Buck Island-Simmonsville Community sidewalk project. The project will install 1,200 linear feet of 5-foot wide sidewalks on Buck Island Road adjacent to the Toy Fields neighborhood across from the Wellstone development.

campbellThe Rotary Club of Hilton Head Island recently announced that Emory Campbell and Caroline “Beany” Newhall will be inducted into the Hilton Head Island Hall of Fame on Nov. 10. Campbell is being recognized for his outstanding contributions to the cultural and environmental heritage of the Lowcountry.

The Coastal Discovery Museum recently held a grand opening for donors who supported the construction of a new $400,000 educational building and learning laboratory at the Coastal Discovery Museum. It was the first public announcement that the building was named in honor of Tom Peeples in recognition of his foresight in preserving historic Honey Horn and helping develop a successful public-private partnership between the Coastal Discovery Museum and the Town of Hilton Head Island.

German Batista of Hilton Head Island graduates from Veterans Treatment Court at the Beaufort County Courthouse on Sept. 20.

German Antonio Batista is a combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient. He received two Bronze Stars following a tour of duty in Iraq during the Gulf War. He is also a recovering abuser of alcohol and drugs.