It stands to reason that if a nation spends twice as much on health care as a percentage of GDP compared with other developed nations, that care would be twice as good. But that is simply not the case. Despite our health care spending, we Americans are not rewarded by higher life expectancy, which might be the most meaningful way to measure health-related costs versus rewards.
Ah, spring! Arguably the most beautiful month in the Lowcountry, spring has come just in time to rescue us from the coldest winter many of us have ever seen on Hilton Head Island. Azaleas and daffodils are blooming and the days are getting longer. The warm sunshine makes us hopeful — and why shouldn’t we be? We live in a beautiful place where the most popular local hobby is helping others. In this issue, we celebrate some of the powerful, kind and diverse women who make Hilton Head and Bluffton great places to live. In the pages of our People section, we focus on leaders from the nonprofit sector and public education. Business leaders and others answer questions about their lives and careers in our Leading Ladies special section.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise there of; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
– The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution
Once an easily dismissed phrase, fake news is now embedded in our public discourse. It is a political weapon whose repetitive use chips away at a foundation stone of our democracy – a free and independent press.
It’s February and love is in the air. Did you know that 40 percent of engagements happen between Christmas and Valentine’s Day? In honor of this romantic time, we look at love in its many forms. Lasting love is celebrated in two profiles of local couples who have been married for more than 30 years. Finding love by way of dating websites and apps is increasingly popular, so we’ve included two perspectives on love in the digital age. We also bring you the humorous side of first dates, some of which became first steps on a path to marriage.
Hilton Head Island and Bluffton started as small towns and the “weak mayor” system seemed sufficient. Since then, however, both have experienced major growth and a “strong mayor” system might serve us better.
There are challenges and advantages with each system. Let’s focus on the council-manager system in place across the Lowcountry. The biggest advantage is the lack of partisanship, which should not be undervalued. The professional town manager can make decisions without the political calculation of elected officials. But this benefit often comes at the cost of dynamic leadership with the “mayor effectively reduced…to the role of cheerleader and external promoter of his city’s image and interests.” It is hard to tell who is in charge when an unelected manager has more power than the elected mayor.
Some years drag on, while others are gone in the blink of an eye.
It seems like only yesterday that we made the decision to devote our January issue to telling the fascinating stories behind each familiar face in our annual Intriguing People of the Lowcountry issue. In fact, this installment marks the 21st edition of that feature.
I venture to say the Lowcountry would rank very high nationally if measured by its citizens’ giving per capita. In addition to writing large and small checks, many people in our region donate countless hours of volunteer time to raise money, organize events, direct aid, build homes and provide other services to those in need. Then there are the countless in-kind donations from local businesses and the never-ending coverage by local media of the area’s thriving nonprofit community.
With bellies still full from Thanksgiving we enter the last month of the year. December was always a special month growing up. Counting down the days to Christmas, lighting candles at night, and the smell from baking cookies are all part of the memories we cherish most.
As we grew older the joy of giving became more important than receiving and eventually the most important part about the holidays turn out to be spending time with family.
LETS MAKE SOME TIME FOR TIME.
Imagine, if you will, that you are reaching the end of the road. It’s time to prepare to say farewell to your life on this planet. If someone asked what you would change if you could do it all over again, what would your answer be? In all likelihood, you wouldn’t wish you had bought a bigger house, added one more car to your collection, or anything like that. Most people probably would answer, “I wished I found more time to talk to my children, spent more fun nights with my friends, took one more trip to Italy, read the book I bought a few years back.” In other words: We’d all want more time. Time to discover ourselves, time to discover new places, or time to simply cherish the people who we appreciate.
HILTON HEAD ISLANDER ACTS, DIRECTS AND SINGS IN MANY LOCATIONS
Lili Torre was still texting “here” when I spotted her sitting on the wide steps of Union Square. She leapt up and smiled with the same bright eyes I’d known since our Hilton Head Island High School days, when she sang and I played drums in our school’s production of “Les Miserables.” She moved to New York just over five years ago to chase a career in musical theater, and that’s how we found ourselves on a bench in a city most people only visit.
In the Lowcountry, we all live surrounded by luxury. It’s everywhere, as ever-present as the tides and the marsh grass.
It’s in the sleek lines of a multi-million dollar yacht docked at one of our marinas. It’s in the solid metallic clink of a well-aimed tee shot down crisply manicured greens on a world-class golf course. It’s in the throaty purr of a sports car winding down live oak-lined streets in front of elegant Lowcountry homes. Luxury has a seat at the table in our famed restaurants that promise tantalizing culinary adventures within.
The internet is a technology breakthrough that has the power to change everything: The way we communicate, the way we interact with each other, the way we do business and even the way we think.
Yet with all it offers, there is no enforceable ethical or legal framework that protects individuals. Most thinking and writing on the matter is focused on technological prowess as we blindly admire its constant growth and growing influence; but not enough has been documented and agreed upon regarding how we should harness its power while curbing its capacity for harm.
When I stepped on stage at King Dusko in Charleston in 2012 to perform with my rock band, I didn’t know that McKenzie Eddy, founder of the small bar and performance space, was from Hilton Head Island. And I knew nothing of her past life running a record label in New York City.
In September, we bit our fingernails as we stared down yet another hurricane, hoping our collective will would change Irma’s mind. We watched as she decimated the vulnerable Caribbean and then barreled straight up Florida. Then, even as many of us had evacuated, the fierce storm drew further west, to our relief. It was certainly an emotional time that stung more with the fresh memory of Hurricane Matthew.