marc jun216It is a reality that Hilton Head Island and Bluffton are socially and economically joined at the hip. To get a feel for just how much the two towns are connected, just stand at the bridge at any time day or night and watch the traffic rush by.

It is also a reality that healthy local economies depend on updated infrastructures, which includes the transportation system. Since there is no real viable public transportation in the Lowcountry, roadways remain the only way to get from place A to place B.

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Lori juneIt’s funny how large we can make this small community we live in. With the way we’ve split Hilton Head Island and Bluffton into sections, one could easily confuse the Lowcountry for a metropolis such as New York City or Chicago.

On Hilton Head, there are the north end, mid-island and the south end. Over the bridge is the mainland and its many areas (Old Town Bluffton, new Bluffton, Buckwalter, May River Road and Okatie).

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SAVANNAH – HARDEEVILLE - BLUFFTON/HILTON HEAD ISLAND - BEAUFORT

25 years ago, when I predicted that the Savannah, Beaufort and Hilton Head Island triangle would grow into a cohesive population and commerce center, most people looked at me with disbelief.

This was at a time when the Savannah airport was a one-story terminal with only a handful of flights arriving and most things were still done by hand. (SAV is currently offering direct flights to 13 different cities). Driving to the island was via a twolane winding road covered with a canopy of trees. Somewhere on the right there was Bluffton, which was a small, quaint little town that mostly went unnoticed.

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I always called him Tripp. I remember mornings at South Carolina Yacht Club’s summer sailing camp, putting together the boxy Optimists before launching them into the water. The effort of the work was worth it with the release of your boat into the water, yours alone, its one sail getting fat in the wind. Our shared childhood started at Hilton Head Preparatory Academy, trading Legos in the sandbox in a tight-knit trio: me, Prentice “Tripp” Brower and John DeZeeuw. But while my dad always had to pull me back to the water, it was hard to peel Tripp away, his skin growing ever tanner. When I migrated to public school, Tripp stayed at Prep, where he started its first sailing team.

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lori jan2016For me, the world’s greatest thoughts happen in the shower. Maybe it's the steam or shampoo suds or smell of my fancy Harris Teeter soap that triggers random bits of brilliance. Or maybe it's the only place where technology and other people can't distract me.

It’s rewarding when one of those “shower thoughts” transforms into something our readers enjoy. 

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PROMISES, PROMISES, PROMISES… We heard them all: Affordable healthcare for all, free community college, a 1,900-mile-long wall on the southern border, $15 minimum wage, deporting 11 million hard-working Latinos, strengthening our nuclear and non-nuclear military capabilities, carpet bombing ISIS, etc.

It never fails to amaze me how many things are being promised by presidential hopefuls without telling us exactly how we are going to pay for all of it. If you believe “The Donald,” Mexico will at least pay for the wall (which of course is not going to happen), and if you are feeling “The Bern,” the 1 percent will pay for most of it — never mind that his proposed tax reforms will not pass unless Congress shifts to a Democratic majority.

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Jessie Peterson Tarazi’s studio is tucked into a basement in Manhattan’s Chinatown, down a set of pre-war iron steps, past two pet pigeons roosting in their cage. Not hers, she adds. We’ve arranged to meet in a brief window before she’s off sending Kiawah residents into Southern nostalgia. She’s agreed, gleefully, to their offer to be Artist-In-Residence and to give her first artist’s talk, that is—on her own work.

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lori marc16I’m not the biggest “Star Trek” fan, but I was moved by the final message tweeted by Leonard Nimoy before he passed away last year. “Life is like a garden,” he wrote. “Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.”

For as long as I can remember, the garden has been my happy place. There’s just something about breaking new ground and working in the dirt that gives me energy. It also reminds me of those I love most.

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marco freyA quick scroll through my Facebook feed reveals the inevitable Bernie Sanders ad, my friend posts, “Maybe Canada should be president of the U.S.,” and my Brooklyn neighbors sharing the latest addition to their family, a rescue dog they’re naming “Ladies and Gentleman.” Have no doubt, we’re talking about my very own artsy, liberal Facebook feed. If you’re like me, you’ve pruned yours of caustic friends, chatter boxes and broken records. Instead, you’ve groomed your feed to show posts you care about, that share your interests, or highlight news that confirms what you already believe. It’s your personal online gated community.

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As I enter Think Coffee, Chris Schembra is joking with the table to his left, a couple I assume he has brought along.

It turns out that in the short time he’s waited, Schembra has befriended a theater producer — by no small coincidence. I’ve done a bit of homework. Schembra is himself a producer of the five-time Emmy Award-winning one-man play “The Little Flower,” and he is an investor in two Broadway shows. I’ve scanned his LinkedIn profile and watched his segment on Bravo’s “The Singles Project” and, more importantly, his Times Square Light-a-Candle charity flash mob. 

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IF THE U.S. WANTS TO LEAD THE WORLD, WE FIRST NEED TO ELECT A VISIONARY TO LEAD OUR OWN COUNTRY.

Our current global system is in need of a major revision. The focus needs to be on building sustainable economic environments all around the world rather than relying on growth at all cost driven by shortterm greed. The global playing field is not only changing around us, it is changing at an accelerating rate.

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lori febr2016If you do good things and treat people well, good things will come back to you.

This is how I’ve always lived my life. I firmly believe that compassion, kindness and patience for others are especially important in a small community such as this one. You never know when your paths will cross again.

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masksTHERE ARE ONLY TWO KINDS OF PEOPLE. GOOD PEOPLE AND BAD PEOPLE.

It’s not a question of gender, race, religion, geographic location or wealth. Regardless of any of the aforementioned attributes, there are good people and there are bad people — it is just a simple as that.

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lori jan2016This is our 19th year “Intriguing People of the Lowcountry” issue — and it’s a little hard to believe that we haven’t featured everyone who lives here by now. To this day, I am amazed at the number of people with incredible backgrounds, talents and interests who choose to make the Lowcountry their home.

And this year is no exception: Wait until you read about Holocaust survivor Allen Kupfer, sixth-generation native islander Alex Brown or Kroger chief financial officer and executive vice president Mike Schlotman.

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