Periodically, the Town of Kiawah Island hosts a podcast with people or issues that are of interest to the residents in the area.
In this episode, Town of Kiawah Island Council Member Michael Heidingsfelder speaks with Andell Inn Owner Don Semmler about Don’s background, the history and future of the inn, and his insights on how the island has changed over time.
Are you like most people and only go into the Berkeley Electric Cooperative website when you have a question about your service or your bill? Interestingly, there is a wealth of information there that you may find helpful on their website.
Sign up for the Operation Round Up program. “Small change that changes lives” is the foundation on which the program was built. Members agree to round up their monthly electric bill to the next highest dollar to help pay for such items as home repairs, HVAC repair or replacement, and building wheel chair ramps for qualified individuals. You can find more information on the My Community dropdown menu.
Register for Peak Alerts to help hold down the cost of power. You will receive a notice that shows the projected time of a peak so you can voluntarily delay the use of appliances, such as dishwashers and clothes dryers.
Berkeley Electric Co-op has partnered with Redwood Materials to recycle lithium-icon battery and rechargeable device recycling. Battery recycling bins are available in each of the Co-op’s district offices. The closest one to Seabrook Island is at 1135 Main Road, Johns Island.
Are you thinking of buying an electric vehicle (EV)? The website has information about choosing an EV as well as finding rebates, tax credits, incentives and discounts. It also gives you information about installing a level 2 24oV charging system in your home. Once on the website, click on the My Energy dropdown.
Do you need to know where you can charge your EV when you are not at home? To find a charger anywhere in the United Sates and Canada, click on the My Energy dropdown.
There is additional information about a variety of topics on their website. Check it out!
Topic: “Why Africa Matters” presented by Christopher Day Date: Wednesday, September 20, 2023 Time: 5:15 – 7:00 pm Location: The Citadel Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Avenue, Charleston
Topic: “Volvo Cars: From Sweden to South Carolina” presented by Katie Ovenden. This is an International Business Luncheon. Date: Wednesday, September 27, 2023 Time: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm Location: Halls Signature Events, 5 Faber St, Charleston Click here to register for the business luncheon presentation. Reservations and prepayment are required. Payment can be made on-line at: www.waccharleston.org or by mailing a check to the World Affairs Council of Charleston, P.O. Box 21260, Charleston, SC 29413-1260.
Topic: “Putin’s War: Russia Against The West and With The Rest” presented by Angela Stent Date: Monday, October 23, 2023 Time: 5:15 – 7:00 pm Location: The Citadel Alumni Center, 69 Hagood Avenue, Charleston
The World Affairs Council of Charleston is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to educate and engage the wider Charleston community through timely non-partisan activities on world affairs and international relations.
The availability of police presence and services for Seabrook, Kiawah, and Lower Johns Island has long been a concern of local residents and officials. Charleston County Sheriff Kristen Graziano addressed this issue at the August 15 meeting of the Town of Seabrook Island Public Safety Committee. She explained that a realignment of county law enforcement resources was needed.
Previously, District 10 comprised Johns, Wadmalaw, Seabrook and Kiawah Islands, which is an expansive geographic area. Effective July 1, 2023, a new District 11 was created separating a significant area from District 10. The newly configured District 11 now includes Seabrook, Kiawah and Lower Johns Island.
This new district configuration guarantees round-the-clock surveillance with visible patrols, substantially bolstering coverage for the islands. The enhanced coverage serves as a force multiplier for the region and contributes to reduced response times.
Last August, South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP) filed an appeal on behalf of PreserveKiawah, Inc., a non-profit group comprising Kiawah property owners. The appeal challenged the Town of Kiawah Island Planning Commission’s July 6, 2022, decision to extend the approval of the Kiawah developers’ preliminary subdivision plat for Captain Sams Spit for another year.
The plat, initially approved in 2015, laid out plans to construct 50 single family homes on this 190-acre dynamic, teardrop-shaped isthmus located on the southern end of Kiawah Island. This land is surrounded by the Kiawah River, Captain Sams Inlet and the Atlantic Ocean.
As of July 28, 2023, both parties of this dispute now agree that the plat extension has expired and is no longer valid. The parties requested that the case be dismissed as moot. Any further attempt to develop Captain Sams Spit will need to be initiated from square one. To read the complete news release, click here.
The Charleston County Planning Commission will hold a meeting on Monday, August 14, at 2:00 pm to consider a request from the Kiawah Island Golf Resort to rezone the Andell West property (behind Freshfields) to a commercial-only Planned Development. The meeting will be held at 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston. The current site plan, shown below, has been revised extensively by the developer in response to input from stakeholders.
If you have any comments, send them to CCPC@charlestoncounty.org by noon on Friday, August 11. The meeting will be held at 4045 Bridge View Drive, North Charleston and will be livestreamed here.
Seabrook Island Natural History Group (SINHG) has some insight about the high temperatures and heat wave that we have been experiencing.
Weather, hot weather, is leading the news this summer (June was Earth’s hottest month ever recorded, according to the NOAA), and although for us it’s undoubtedly a Lowcountry summer out there, we’re fortunate in having a nearly constant sea breeze to moderate temperatures somewhat during this typically warmest month of the island year.
It’s been considerably hotter in past years on the island – near one hundred degrees back in 2015, for example. The highest temperature recorded to date in greater Charleston was 105 degrees on August 1, 1999, the hottest the city’s ever been since records started being kept in 1893. A close second was in June of 2021, at 102 degrees recorded at the airport.
Heat waves can be stubborn. Formed when a high pressure system forces warm air closer to the ground, that same system pushes other, potentially cooler systems aside until too much static charge builds between the systems and thunderstorms develop. And if that trapped warmer air continues to heat up for too long, the dreaded “heat dome” forms that can last for weeks at a time. So far, though, we’re experiencing mostly average temperatures for the island thanks to coastal winds.
Acclimating to southern heat spells can be challenging, sometimes taking more than week of exposure to adjust. We all know, too, to keep outdoor activity to morning and early evening hours (just like our wildlife does) to avoid the signs of pending hyperthermia – profuse sweating , nausea and red, sensitive skin. And, of course, stay hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty while you’re outdoors, especially if you’re jogging or otherwise engaging in physical activity. Make it a cool summer!
Seabrook Island Natural History Group explores the ecology, history, and culture of the Carolina Lowcountry. For more information about SINHG, please go to sinhg.org.
-Submitted by Seabrook Island Natural History Group
During the annual Sales Tax Holiday, a variety of purchases are exempt from South Carolina’s 6% sales tax and any applicable local taxes. Tax-free items range from clothing, accessories, and shoes to school supplies, backpacks, and computers. As long as an item is eligible, it is tax-free whether purchased in-store or online. Click here for more information.
In past years, South Carolina shoppers have saved between $2 million and $3 million during the holiday weekend.
Items such as jewelry, cosmetics, eyewear, sports equipment, and layaway purchases are not exempt.
On July 9, 2023, a SIPOA resident doing yard work on his property adjacent to the golf course was attacked by an alligator living in a lagoon nearby. While the Property Owner was walking 6-8 feet from the lagoon edge, the alligator quickly emerged from the lagoon, knocked the Owner to the ground, and clenched the Owner’s leg in his jaws. Fortunately, the alligator relaxed its grip, and the Owner was able to escape to safety. The alligator returned to the lagoon.
The Owner contacted 911. SIPOA officers and EMS responded. The Owner was transported by EMS and his injuries were treated at MUSC. During that time the Charleston County Sheriff, SCDNR, an alligator trapper and SIPOA officers were on site. The alligator was captured and transported.
This was a terrifying and rare alligator encounter with a surprisingly fortunate outcome thanks to the Owner’s quick thinking. As we know, not everyone in similar situations is this lucky.
SIPOA publishes alligator safety reminders on a regular basis from early spring through fall. We would like to take this opportunity to again remind our Owners and their guests to be aware of alligators, and actions to take should they encounter one.
Alligators less than four feet long are incapable of eating anything larger than a small turtle and are too small to pose a threat to even small pets or people. Alligators at least four feet in length that are aggressive and pose a threat to people, pets or property are considered “nuisance alligators”. FOR YOUR SAFETY:
Keep your distance. Alligators can run faster than you.
Do not attempt to move alligators out of the road.
Stay away from alligator nests or small alligators. Female alligators are very protective of their territory.
Keep your pets and children away from alligators.
Do not corner or trap alligators.
Be alert around the shore of freshwater ponds or wetlands.
Don’t feed alligators. Not only is it illegal, but feeding alligators threatens peoples’ and animals’ safety. Providing food for these wild animals makes them bolder, encourages them to seek out people, and alters their natural diet in an unhealthy way. If you enjoy seeing alligators, please understand that feeding them endangers them. When alligators lose their fear of humans, they become aggressive and must be removed. Remember- a fed alligator is a dead alligator. If you see someone feeding alligators, contact the S.C. Department of Natural Resources at 1-800-922-5431.
If you have a concern about an aggressive or nuisance alligator on SIPOA properties or roadways or at your residence, call the Gatehouse at (843) 768-6641. SIPOA will contact our on-call professional alligator trapper licensed by SCDNR to evaluate the alligator which then may be removed and euthanized. If you are on the golf course contact the golf shop or Sean Hardwick at the Seabrook Island Club for assistance.
In any location, if you are attacked by an alligator or you observe an attack, call 911 for emergency response. Don’t waste valuable response time by calling the Gatehouse – 911 should be your first call for any emergency. When 911 is called, the Gatehouse is automatically notified by Charleston County and can respond as needed.
Again, we are fortunate that this didn’t become a tragic event. We are very thankful that our resident escaped and injuries were minor. Please keep these safety precautions in mind when outdoors.
We have four new nests this week bringing our total to 30 for the season.
July 2, 2023 – Nest 27 Walkers had to contend with a high tide and onshore winds today but Rachel and Neva Carter with Valerie and Mark Doane found Nest 27. The 106 eggs were relocated to higher location North of Boardwalk 3.
July 3, 2023 The tides were high and there isn’t much to report but a few chairs were found above the wrack line and subsequently reported to beach patrol. Fortunately very little other debris was found. Looks like our merry band of Seabrookers, guests and visitors are being caring stewards of our beaches and wildlife. Interestingly, two pelican eggs were found on the beach by Camp Saint Christopher.
July 4, 2023 Happy Fourth of July. Apparently, turtles are not fans of fireworks as there were no new nests left overnight. The good news is the tide last night did not get near the bird nesting area and the Oyster Catcher pair, U5 and mate, are still sitting on their nest.
Special thanks to Judy Morr for entering her LSV in the parade and additional thanks to Lori Porwoll, Marnie Ellis, Vivien Joklik and Donna Mrozek and her granddaughter Kate for helping to decorate Jane Magioncalda’s LSV for the parade. Hope you all enjoy these pictures of the action. Please see the group photo showing from the left – Donna Mrozek, her granddaughter, Kate, Jane Magioncalda, Judy Morr, Carol Heilman, her granddaughter, Lana, Nancy Shenton and Lori Porwoll, reprising her role as “The Turtle”. Thanks to everyone who helped decorate and ride in the parade and those of you along the route who cheered us on!
July 5, 2023 Today’s Post and Courier had the disheartening headline “Dirtiest Day on the Beach” but here on Seabrook Island we are happy to report the amount of trash and beach equipment left was relatively minimal. It was not a “Dirty Day” here so give yourselves a pat on the back! The SITP does so much more than check on Sea Turtle activity. We are also involved in education and daily trash removal from the beach. Yes, SBI is crowded this week, but we all appreciate your efforts to protect our beaches and natural resources. Thank you so much to all the Seabrookers and visitors who help keep our beaches beautiful.
July 6, 2023 – Nests 28 and 29 Storms seemed to encourage the turtles to come up on the beach as we have nests 28 and 29. Both nests were found north of Boardwalk 3 by Pixie Hider, Charlie Faught, Paula Baram (not pictured), Debbie Vaughan, Joanne Galivan and Heather Fife. One hundred six eggs from Nest 28 were relocated about 100 yards north of Boardwalk 3 and 112 eggs from Nest 29 to a spot 20 yards north of Boardwalk 3.
July 7, 2023 It was a very quiet, breezy morning on the beach with very little trash. While there were no new turtle nests, we did spot one of the Oyster Catchers, U5 or his mate, happily sitting on their egg. We hope this beleaguered couple has continued success this time.
July 8, 2023 – Nest 30 Walkers, Nancy Chomel, Vivien Joklik and Elaine Morris found a predated new nest near Boardwalk 3. Sadly, 99 broken eggs were strewn about the area by a coyote. This is the first time in many years that we’ve seen coyote predation on Seabrook Island. Hopefully this won’t be an ongoing issue. The remaining 25 viable eggs, creating Nest 30, were relocated just south of Boardwalk 3.|
In other sad news, a deceased Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle was found floating in the surf between Boardwalks 6 and 7. DNR certified stranding responder, Mike Vinson, took the required DNR information and determined the turtle was the victim of a boat strike. If you find a dead, sick, or injured sea turtle, please call SCDNR’s 24-hour hotline at (800)922-5431.
On a happier note, I would like to again thank all of Seabrook Island’s residents, visitors and guests for their stalwart preservation and care of the island’s natural resources and wildlife. Even during this crowded holiday week, there was a great level of willingness and effort to help preserve the beauty of our little island and very little inconsiderate behavior.