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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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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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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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The rebellious city on the Pacific Rim is offering a glimpse into the future.

San Francisco was 15 years old when the San Francisco Chronicle started to publish its first edition 150 years ago. Much has changed since the early days, and will continue to change. What has not changed is that the Bay Area remains a magnet and kaleidoscope of influences from around the world and all walks of life.

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There are hundreds of small business owners in the Lowcountry, solo entrepreneurs, family-run organizations, larger companies with management teams and even some that have boards.

Together, they drive the vast majority of our economy since we don’t have government branches, military bases and only a few institutions that provide employment in our region. Most cater to local needs but some do the inverse, meaning they are located here but their customer base is not local.

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marc lastcallAs Hilton Head Monthly celebrates its 30th anniversary, it seems appropriate to contemplate what the next three decades have in store.

It’s hard to believe that 30 years ago, the following things did not dominate our daily lives: cellphones, emails, portable personal computers that connect via Wi-Fi nearly everywhere, high-definition TV with hundreds of channels, and the Internet that ushered in the connectivity revolution.

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The flight that changed our destiny:

Swissair flight 204 ZRH – ATL August 10. 1987

In the summer of 1987 our workload did not allow us to make any vacation plans in advance. So when my wife and I found a 10-day window in our schedule we had to make up our mind quickly. Swissair just started a new daily flight from Zurich to Atlanta. Discovering a new part of the USA sounded interesting. The next day we boarded the plane and crossed the Atlantic. Upon arrival we picked up our rental car and drove down to the coast. A friend told us we should visit Hilton Head Island, where we had a reservation at a hotel on the beach. How are we going to find the hotel my wife asked? Don’t worry there will be a big red neo sign…

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Growing up in Zurich, Switzerland, I was fortunate to have public drinking fountains strategically placed on my walk to school, on my bike ride to the soccer field or when accompanying my mother to the farmers market. To be exact, there are 1,200 water fountains in operation still today.

So the idea of paying for drinking water is quite foreign to me and I stare with disbelief at consumers who schlepp cartons full of plastic containers filled with filtered tap water to the trunk of their cars.

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If we put the interests of the American people first, we can lead our nation to a path of sustainable prosperity & security and become a role model for the world

Poll after poll confirms that the majority of Americans believe the nation is headed in the wrong direction.

It can be argued that since the end of the Cold War about 25 years ago, our thinking has not been clear enough — our leaders too narrowminded, our policies too small and our actions too short-sighted — to fully understand what is happening and come up with a clear vision of how to address it.

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What happens if you fill a room with highly educated and intellectually curious people? Does the combined IQ coefficient cancel itself out or does it elevate the discussions to a higher level?

After attending three days packed with presentations, storytelling and conversations, to me the answer is clear: It seems to lift everybody up a notch. Suddenly I felt smarter, more knowledgeable, more inspired and more empowered than before I entered the room.

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While planning for my family’s future, I looked up aging tables and I took two different “life expectancy calculator” tests. The results were both good news and shocking at the same time. The general life expectancy has continually been moving up and, as a result, we have to plan for a longer life than the old common wisdom suggested, with all the consequences that come along with it positive, hopeful and scary, depending on your own level of confidence in what aging might mean.

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zurich-church-towersLOCATION: ZURICH, SWITZERLAND IN THE HEART OF THE OLD TOWN
A white light wakes me up in the morning; its color is uniform, making it difficult to guess the actual time. I get up and peak out the window, looking at two large church towers each bearing a grandiose clock on their walls, confirming it is 6:27 a.m. Soon the bells will ring.

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