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Want to find the friendliest city in the world? Here in South Carolina, you won't have to go far. Charleston has topped Conde Nast Traveler’s list of the  "Friendliest Cities" in the world. In justifying the ranking, the magazine quoted one reader who said, "it has the charm of the South, the sophistication of the city, and a warmth and friendliest that is unmatched."

Uber, the on-demand car-hailing service, operates in more than 450 cities around the world, including the Town of Hilton Head Island. Monthly “Ubered” for a week, interviewing local drivers. Here’s what we learned.

The next time you Uber, don’t be surprised if your neighbor rolls up to the curb in a polished Lexus or Mercedes with leather seats.

We all know that the United States was built on the notion of the American dream. This concept has fundamentally impacted not only our way of life, but who we are as a people. We all strive for it. It’s like apple pie and baseball. It is the core principle that has driven us as Americans. And it is the American dream that attracts people from around the world to our way of life — they are attracted to our country by the limitless possibilities that the American dream represents.

The town of Bluffton and its Historic Preservation Commission recently congratulated the partners involved in completing the first phase of renovating the historic Graves House. Located at 85 Calhoun St., this century-old house has been moved 16 feet and stabilized by placing it on a new foundation, making way for further rehabilitations and future uses.

bluftonbudayBluffton Buddy, an app for smartphones and tablets that portrays the people, places and traditions that make Bluffton the heart of the Lowcountry, is now available for free download in the App Store for Apple iOS devices and Google Play for Androids.

The town of Bluffton’s Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2017-18 is now available via the town’s website, townofbluffton.sc.gov. The 34-page, two-year strategic plan establishes the framework for guiding policy and financial decisions. The plan is also a flexible tool, helping Blufton Town Council align town resources with strategic priorities to best benefit the residents and business owners of Bluffton. The action plan is divided into six strategic focus areas: May River and surrounding rivers and watersheds, town organization, economic growth, fiscal sustainability, community quality of life and infrastructure.

Bluffton has been recognized by the Municipal Association of South Carolina for outstanding management of growth while implementing plans to keep the historic Old Town area a charming community center. The municipal association credited the town’s long-term strategic planning as an example of successful planning. 

Cornerstone Church in Bluffton has reached an agreement with the town to allow public parking in the church parking lot adjacent to Calhoun Street. Parking will be accessible every day, with the exception of Sundays between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., the annual Bluffton Village Festival, and the Christmas at Cornerstone Festival. This will make an additional 55 parking places available to the public.

Bluffton leaders are working to update the town code to include a more comprehensive set of rules and regulations for public docks and boat ramps. Current town code only refers to the “Bluffton dock,” though there are now three within the town limits, and does not address ramps or piers at all. The new rules will address safety concerns as well as make sure that the docks are not being monopolized by commercial users. 

pokemon gameLocals who are playing Pokémon Go, the latest version of the Pokémon franchise in the form of a smartphone app, can head to the Bluffton library to train their Pokémon and battle with other players. The Bluffton library has embraced its status as a Pokémon “gym” and has created a display area announcing what team is currently in control of the gym. Ryan Easterbrooks, the librarr’s director of children’s programs, plans to keep the excitement going with a Pokémon club in the fall. Coligny Plaza and Bluffton’s Old Town are also popular local destinations for players.