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Valentine’s Day is a holiday that really celebrates something meaningful to everyone — love. It is difficult to become emotionally involved in some holidays, such as a president’s birthday or Labor Day, but Valentine’s Day is different. Everybody can appreciate being loved.

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I have been asked to give a speech Jan. 20 on the “Risks and Opportunities for the Next Decade for an Island Community,” as part of a speaker series organized by the Heritage Library and Coastal Discovery Museum entitled “Hilton Head in the Modern Era.” (See the ad on page 142).

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David Bennett will be the new mayor of Hilton Head Island. With a 2-to-1 margin, this is not a victory, but a mandate.

It was not a coincidence to discover that many of the most respected community leaders representing the most diverse backgrounds one can think of were supporting Bennett’s quest to become mayor. How diverse you ask? How about people in the fields of architecture, arts, banking, business, land development, education, hospitality, media, nonprofits, politics, real estate, religion, sustainability, volunteer groups and world affairs, just to name a few?

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I had an opportunity to meet with neurosurgeon Rudy Kachmann recently. After an interesting discussion about the effects of living an unhealthy lifestyle, I invited him to write a column on the topic in place of my regular “Last Call.” I hope you find his information as useful as I did.  — Marc Frey

Good lifestyle choices could eliminate most common illnesses.
By Dr. Rudy Kachmann

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An estimated 80 or 90 percent of the time our cars are standing idle in the garage, at work or some other place. This is a huge amount of underutilized capital and physical mass.

In all likelihood, the future of personal transportation will challenge not one but two models we take for granted today: personal possession and human beings behind the wheel.

Over 40,000 people die in road accidents each year in the U.S. and human error, not mechanical failure, causes almost all of them.

Advanced technology will soon make it possible for us to enter a vehicle and punch in the destination, then sit back and watch as the car of the future will take off and safely deliver us at the desired arrival point.

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monthly-loriOctober is just an amazing month for us here in the South. The weather cools down, the trees start to change and tons of annual festivals take place. For me, each month has a purpose. November is for turkey. December is for Christmas lights. My October is pumpkins, Halloween candy and (in honor of Oktoberfest) beer.

There’s nothing better than spending a sunny fall day outside with family and friends, enjoying a well-crafted brewski poured into an ice-cold pint glass.

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LANCE-HANLINWith Marc Frey out of the country, this month’s Last Call has transformed into the … LANCE CALL

Last month we asked our readers a question: How can traffic to Hilton Head Island be improved?

The choices were:

  • Do nothing.
  • Widen the current bridge to the island.
  • Build a new bridge to the island.
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marcfrey150As a first generation European immigrant, I’m compelled to compare the Old World with the New World.

One of the essential things that attracted me to the U.S. is American optimism — the will to focus on the positive instead of bemoaning the negative, believing that things will look up and we will always find or invent a way to make things better. Isn’t that the soul of America, the spirit which fueled the development of our country in the first place?

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LORI GOODRIDGE-CRIBBOur name is the Lowcountry, and it’s no secret: We’re petaholics. It seems everywhere you turn, you see somebody with a dog, cat or other animal.

They’re frolicking at the beach, lounging on restaurant patios, prancing around the park and strolling down bike paths.

Hilton Head Island and Bluffton people love their animals, and why not? Studies have shown pets can add years to our lives.

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marcfrey-soccerUnless you have been living under a rock you know that the 2014 soccer World Cup is in full swing in Brazil.

More than 200 nations compete for a spot for the final 32 teams that make the World Cup qualifications held every four years. The 2014 draw contains soccer superpowers such as Brazil and Italy, tiny countries such as Costa Rica and Ivory Coast and countries one might not expect such as Iran and South Korea.

It’s easy to understand why soccer is the world’s most played and most watched sport. It is the one sport that most closely mirrors real life. It’s full of drama, surprises and injustice. It requires in equal measures a plan and improvisation. It takes a team of 11 players to win; yet outstanding individual contributions make the difference. One moment it can be so exhilarating, whipping a whole nation into a frenzy. The next moment, the mood can swing the other way.

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LORI GOODRIDGE-CRIBBWhere I grew up in Ohio, fresh fish was not something you could just order off a menu. You could get trucked-in fish from places such as Red Lobster, Captain D’s or Long John Silver’s, but it wasn’t particularly fresh and it certainly wasn’t local.

Eating fresh-caught seafood here was one of our many family vacation highlights. For decades, local chefs have taken advantage of our coastal waters, serving boat-totable cobia, red fish, flounder, sheepshead and more.

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marcfrey150Most of our readers chose to make Hilton Head Island their ZIP code …. or did it choose them?

Sure there are a few rational reasons like the climate, reasonable taxes and low crime rates, but the same qualities are true for many other small towns. Yet there is something in our subconscious that brought us here and attracted people from across the U.S. and the world.

When Charles Fraser first conceived Sea Pines, he thought green before the word green stood for sustainable and not just the color of grass. His vision was to incorporate the beauty of nature into the everyday life experience of its inhabitants and create a human-scaled community in harmony with its environment. He would say, “Respect the things that were here before we came.” In doing so he laid the foundation of what makes our island so unique.

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lori-juneThe visitors have officially returned. Look around and you will notice parking lots full of license plates from Georgia, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio and New York.

A few years ago, USC-Beaufort headed up a survey to see where our annual visitors were coming from. Atlanta finished No. 1, followed by New York City, Washington D.C., Charlotte and Chicago. Augusta, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Cleveland were also well represented.

Families from those cities pass many vacation destinations on their way here. We should never take that for granted.

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