IS IT JUST ME, OR ARE WE HOLDING OUR COLLECTIVE BREATH?

The economy is doing well, unemployment is low, and yet I get the uncanny feeling that there is more tension in the air than I can remember since coming to America 40 years ago. A general feeling of unhappiness has creeped in, and it is starting to deteriorate one of our most important aptitudes: the ability to think positive.

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Anuska Carol

Dear Reader, 

“One of life's most persistent and urgent questions is, 'What are you doing for others?’” Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. posed this question in a 1963 speech about the importance of altruism versus selfishness. We believe that caring for others is worth celebrating, and every year, our August issue looks at pure and boundless love — the best part of the decidedly mixed bag called human nature.

Many Lowcountry residents spend a lot of time making sure the pets, seniors and children in their lives are well cared for and happy. This month, we celebrate our love for animals, compassionate care of the elderly and the late summer rite of students returning to school.

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Carol Weir2SC SOLAR SUPPORTERS WELCOME NEW ENERGY BILL

Like the rest of the country, South Carolinians often disagree: on politics, on the environment, on education. But it seems we’re all on the same side when it comes to solar energy — and competition — being good for our state.

In May, in front of media, renewable-energy activists and solar-industry entrepreneurs, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law the Energy Freedom Act, a rare example of bipartisan cooperation.

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Dear Reader,

In July, the Lowcountry welcomes thousands of visitors who flock here for precious vacations with family and friends. Despite some traffic headaches, tourism is one of the largest job creators in the Lowcountry and we are grateful that so many families want to spend their time and money here. Many Beaufort County residents work hard to make sure these guests have a wonderful time while they’re here, and in this issue, we introduce you to some of the folks who are on the front lines of summer every day: guarding our beaches, serving meals, guiding boats safely to shore and more.

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im MacleodAt risk of ruffling some feathers, we need to look at income inequality in America.

Income distribution in America changed significantly after 2008’s Great Recession, leading to a decrease in the number of families who describe themselves as “middle class.” Consider these 2018 statistics about wealth distribution in the U.S.: the top 1 percent of all households earned 20 percent of the nation’s pre-tax income. The bottom 50 percent of households earned just 13 percent of the nation’s pre-tax income — down from 20 percent in 1979, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The 40 percent of households in the middle of the income distribution today earns less than 40 percent of the nation’s pre-tax income, down from 45 percent in 1979.

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It’s finally summer — the season that children and teachers have been longing for.

All over the Lowcountry, we’re rolling out the red carpet for the visitors who sustain our economy and show us just how good we’ve got it living here year-round. From all over the country and the far corners of the world, they’re arriving to revel in what we sometimes take for granted: wide, clean beaches; rolling waves; and days filled with golden sunshine.

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We can all agree that monopolies are only good for the company that has achieved dominance.

We can all agree that Google, Facebook and Amazon hold virtual monopolies on search, social media and online shopping, respectively, and combined are the main provider of news to a majority of Americans.

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The Lowcountry is a special place in the spring.

As the last bit of cold fades away and the wisteria and Carolina jasmine bloom, we’re ready to get back outside and explore all the Lowcountry has to offer.

Here at Monthly, we’re celebrating mothers in this issue. We hope you enjoy writer Laura Jacobi’s story about the sacrifices made by parents of promising young athletes, and our feature about a Hilton Head Island mom who is a social media entrepreneur. We also sit down with Laura Cramer, who is 93 years old and still actively — and very successfully — selling real estate in Sea Pines with her daughter, Carol.

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Marc FreyThirty years ago, a new way of communication emerged. I vividly remember hooking up my Olivetti microcomputer to a landline and transmitting five lines of text to a friend. At the time it felt like we had joined a secret society with a select few in the circle. We couldn’t have anticipated how much the invention of the HTML protocol would transform communication. 

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Anuska Frey publisherSpring in the Lowcountry is glorious:

Mother Nature showers us with magenta azaleas, pink camellias and snow-white dogwood blossoms, accompanied by the songs of Carolina wrens, wood thrushes and other local birds. With green-themed March in the rear-view mirror, April is time for Hilton Head Island to get its plaid on — more specifically Heritage Plaid, the modified Royal Stewart tartan created for the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing golf tournament, played annually at Harbour Town Golf Links since 1969.

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Fifty years ago, Charles Fraser was in tune with the environment long before words like “sustainability,” “organic” and “environmentally-friendly” entered the American mainstream. When he pioneered the modern development phase of the Lowcountry, the term “green” meant the color green. Sea Pines at the most southern tip of Hilton Head Island became one of the first developments to use covenants and deed restrictions to protect the environment. The homes were designed to blend in with the pine forests.

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Spring is here and it’s time to open our windows and our hearts. It’s a season of rebirth and reawakening, and at Monthly we are springing into it, full of enthusiasm and ready for new adventures. 

PHOTOGRAPHY BY IVS PHOTOGRAPHY
Members of the Monthly team were all smiles at the Hilton Head Bridal Show. From left: Mary Ann Kent, Carol Weir, Cathy Flory, Anuska Frey, Meredith DiMuzio and Katie Hatfield. 

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Collett beach2Good leaders see needs and concerns and bring people together to fix them.  My wife would say I have been blessed with this gift, I’d say this is something I love to do. I seek to serve.

Marcia and I adore living on Hilton Head Island, this beautiful place we have called home for 18 years. Both in Maryland, where I spent most of my career as a corporate planner, and here in the Lowcountry during our retirement, I’ve been involved in numerous efforts to improve our community and have developed a strong ability to bring people together to get things done. This requires a lot of listening and developing a high level of trust.

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anuska carol feb“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”

While reading about love and thinking about Valentine’s Day, we stumbled upon this quote by late African-American author and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston. Even for those who proclaim themselves cynical about the holiday, her words are uplifting: Love makes you brave enough to come out of hiding and reveal yourself. But it’s also complex. Hurston’s use of the verb “crawl” shows how difficult love is — we sometimes enter it reluctantly, slowly, almost against our will.

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