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Sometimes the world needs admirers

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By Lee Scott

There was a woman ahead of me in the hallway at our local community center the other morning. She was walking slowly and then stopping. It was then I realized she was looking at the display of Christmas quilts made by the local quilting club. 

I walked up next to her and we both started to comment on the beauty of each of the quilts. There were wreaths and placemats, large bed quilts and throws.

They were extraordinary, each with a colorful Christmas theme designed by the quilter. 

As we stood there, “ooohhhing” and “aahhing” the assortment of quilt hangings, I said to her, “I love to look at these, but I really do not have the desire to learn to do it myself.”

“Oh well,” she responded. “The world needs admirers. And we are admirers.”

I was struck by her comment because it is so true. The world is full of various artists: photographers, painters and designers, talented individuals who entertain us with their work.  

There are so many things I marvel at, but have no earthly interest to do, like playing a musical instrument. My spouse performed in an orchestra when he was in high school. He loved to play an instrument and enjoyed learning the music. I, on the other hand, just wanted to sit in the audience and listen.  

I find so much joy in closing my eyes and hearing piano and violin duets in concert. And yet, I never took lessons as a child even though both my parents played the piano and loved to sing along.

This admiration theme also reminds me of an event I attended recently. 

The garden club I belong to set up a festive luminary night in our community. The small buildings were decorated with greenery and wrapped with white lights. The tables were beautifully covered with pine cones, holly and candles.

A local choir from Bethesda Christian Church sang. It was spectacular. I sat there that night listening to the music, admiring the decorations put together by my friends, Nancy and Cindy (along with a bunch of their elves) and eating homemade biscuits and brownies, and I recalled how much I had admired everything the volunteers had contributed. Although there were numerous kudos to the organizers after the event ended, I think they were pleased just to see people like me enjoying themselves that night. 

Now I understand what my friend Roberta was saying in the community center that morning.  

There is nothing wrong with being one of those people who sits back and admires. We cannot all be singers, bakers, creative designers or quilters. And as she reminded me, “The world needs admirers.”

Child-proofing a house is challenging

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By Lee Scott

Recently I discovered that my house is very unfriendly. This came to light when my husband and I heard that our youngest grandchild was coming to visit. 

Most of the grandchildren are between the ages of 4½ and 10 years old, so we had forgotten about the whole “unfriendly” house issue.

My husband walked into the living room and spotted me on my hands and knees crawling around the floor.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m getting ready for Little ‘T,’ ” I said, “but I also found a couple of the dog’s toys stuffed under the couch.”

I reminded him that our house was a hazard to little kids. There are lamp cords hanging down to electric plugs, not to mention the electric outlets themselves. 

Then there are the pointed edges on the coffee table and the silk flowers in the beautiful vase that might be a temptation. 

Everywhere I looked there were potential problems, including all the cabinets in the dining room, kitchen, family room and the bathrooms with tempting doors. Our cleaning products had all migrated to the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink.  

Having been out of the child protection mode for a long time, I had forgotten about little ones. 

As I wandered around the house putting those plastic plugs into the electric outlets, my spouse suggested we put the kids up in a nearby motel. Although that might have been easier, I said no. My real objective was so the parents could sit around with us for hours and talk without having to jump up every two seconds to rescue their son.

When they arrived, sure enough, Little “T” headed for the fireplace (which was unlit) but still had some ashes from the last fire. Then there was the liquor cabinet which I had totally forgotten about and the adjacent wine cooler.  Little “T” discovered how much fun it was to open and close the door.

It was then his grandfather said in his very authoritative voice “No! Do not touch that door again.”

And that was that. My unfriendly house became very safe. It did not take long before grandfather and grandson were communicating on their own level. Little “T” would look over to touch something and he got a nod or a shake of the head. It worked out beautifully until the morning, when I looked up at the railing outside of his bedroom and saw him ready to throw a toy below.  

That is when he learned, that even grandmothers can say “No!”

He left our home unharmed and my unfriendly house returned to normal, until the next time a little one shows up.

County leaders struggle to achieve consensus

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By Bill Rauch

Among executive sessions, the Beaufort County Council’s Oct. 4 work session was a doozey. 

That was the closed door meeting where the full council interviewed Daniel J. Alfonzo, W. Anthony McDonald and Josh Gruber in advance of their attempting to choose one of the three to fill the vacancy left by County Administrator Gary Kubic, who had the previous month cleaned out his desk and returned to Ohio to attend to pressing family business.

Hilton Head Island Town Manager Steve Riley had been on the headhunter’s list, but he had recently withdrawn his name. Alfonzo was then and still is the city manager of Miami. McDonald had recently left a three-year stint as Richland County’s administrator. And Gruber was Beaufort County’s deputy administrator, having been hand-picked by Gary Kubic several years before.

The county had paid Slavin Management Consultants of Norcross, Ga., about $25,000 for their professional services plus expenses to develop the list of four.

According to several council members who attended the session, on his way out the door Kubic had spoken to the council members one-by-one, saying that Gruber, a lawyer who had by then prepared three complete county budgets, hired six county department heads and was conducting searches for three more, and dealt with a host of other politically ticklish issues, was, at age 36, ready for the top job.

Some agreed with him, others weren’t so sure.

Unlike Alfonso and McDonald who were unknowns, the council members had a history with Gruber. He had prosecuted, for example, on behalf of a majority of council, a couple of dangerous dog cases where the dogs’ owners were required to obtain $50,000 in liability insurance on the dogs or face charges, opinions that drew passionate objections from dog-loving council members. 

It had also been Gruber who on behalf of the county took on the county’s 13 part-time magistrates over the issue of their receiving full county-paid health insurance coverage when the county’s other 150 part-time workers were denied the benefit. That issue too split council. 

And, perhaps most divisive, Gruber represented the county in the court of public opinion as the County Council first voted unanimously to deny health insurance to some of its retirees. 

But then, caving to criticism, some council members then changed their votes, leaving Gruber once again to carry the ball for a thin majority. 

There were other controversies as well, mostly ones related to appointments to boards and commissions where candidates that council members favored for one reason or another didn’t get the nod.

Some of those wounds were still raw on Oct. 4.

After the interviews, Chairman Paul Sommerville dismissed everyone but the other 10 council members from the room. Then the 11 elected officials had it out over the single issue that is of the utmost personal and political importance to them: Who among the three could they trust to fairly implement the directives they would promulgate in the upcoming years? What if they didn’t yet have the full support of council behind their issue? What would he do? How tall would he stand? Who among the three could they count on to work with them, to stand by them, maybe even to carry some water for them as they sought to advance their own agendas?

After a tough discussion of pros and cons, Sommerville went around the table asking each council member to express his or her preference so that the leadership could gain “a sense of council.”  

When each had spoken it was clear there was no consensus, there was no agreement among the group. Seeing that Gruber was close to gaining what could be considered a thin majority, Sommerville asked if anyone who hadn’t jumped before wanted now to jump onto the Gruber train. None spoke up. 

The jury was hung and $25,000 of the taxpayers’ dollars were out the door.

A couple of days later council members Rick Caporale and Steve Fobes shared a cup of coffee at the Indigo Run Barnes & Noble latte parlor that has become the successor 21st century version of the “smoked filled back room” for Hilton Head Island pols since the Atlanta Bread Company (“ABC”) closed. 

The two decided there, Councilman Caporale explained last week, that “the process needed to be rebooted. We agreed,” he recounted, “that Slavin had done a poor job.” 

At the next county council meeting, again in executive session, the two made their case that Slavin should be ditched and a majority of council concurred.

Councilman Steve Fobes did not return calls, but other council members confirmed Caporale’s version of the events.

But how then to proceed?

A few weeks of internal discussions then ensued during which council considered that since Gruber was now acting administrator and as such the one who instructs the county’s attorneys, how could the county’s attorneys be asked to write an unbiased request for proposals (RFP) for a new search firm? 

Finally another one of the group, Councilman Brian Flewelling, who represents County Council on the Lowcountry Council of Governments (LCOG) board suggested the COG be brought in to write the RFP and to circulate it.

In one-on-one phone calls, a majority of council was able to agree on that approach and on Nov. 20 County Council entered into a contract with the COG the provisions of which state that for $12,500 the COG will write up and circulate an RFP that solicits proposals from search firms, and bring all the candidates back to County Council for their evaluation in February 2018. 

The contract with the COG contains a “tentative schedule” that suggests a new search firm will be in place on March 1.

Lowcountry Council of Governments Executive Director Sabrena P. Graham didn’t return calls requesting clarification of the details of the COG’s efforts, specifically whether the COG had issued the RFP, as the contract’s tentative schedule suggests they should have by last week, or whether their efforts are already behind schedule.

Others say the COG’s schedule is optimistic. Council Finance Committee Chairman Jerry Stewart, for example, who favors tapping Gruber for the top job now, predicts that at this rate it will be the end of the summer and at least another $60,000 after the COG is paid before a new administrator is in place. That is just to pay for the newly-initiated search process. 

“This process is costly and a waste of time,” he observed last week. “ Josh is there. He wants the job. He’s doing the job. Gary did a hell of a job hiring good people, and he supports Josh. What’s the problem here?”

Ironically it appears the biggest thing keeping Gruber from being formally tapped for the top job is exactly that: that he’s already doing the job. Councilman York Glover, for example, took pains to reassure me last week “that Josh is serving as interim.”

Councilman Caporale who could with a phone call get Gruber the job told me last week: “There’s no urgency. Josh is there. He’s handling everything. He’s a smart guy.”

A third who could provide the swing vote, Councilman Flewelling, agreed, using almost the same words. “There’s no real urgency,” he explained to me last week. 

“Any of the day-to-day operations can be handled by Josh. What we’re not sure of is his ability to bring us the long-term planning expertise we’re looking for.”

That too is ironic, of course, because it was Kubic’s decision to elevate Gruber to deputy county administrator in 2014 that allowed Kubic to get out of the weeds and start thinking big picture.

Besides the new $75,000 to pay the COG and the new search firm, what might be other costs of keeping Gruber in his present interim status for the next nine months to a year, I asked. 

From the council members I got two answers. (1) Gruber might take another job elsewhere where he is assured more job security. He has, after all, requested twice to be considered for the top job in other counties, and (2) while he is in interim status he has no deputy and thus cannot get out of the day-to-day weeds and focus on the county’s long-term needs any more that Kubic could before he elevated Gruber. 

The county’s leadership thus must face the real possibility of their being seen as “just treading water” for most of 2018, which for some is an election year.

Sommerville, a longtime Gruber supporter, characteristically tries to find the common ground. “When the disarray manifests itself I ask, ‘Where can we find consensus?’ ” he said last week.

He was answered concisely by council member Alice Howard, nearing the end of her first four-year term and also a Gruber supporter. 

“After 3 1/2 years of working with and watching Josh,” she told me last week, “I don’t know any reason why he couldn’t ultimately be the consensus candidate.”

Bill Rauch was the mayor of Beaufort from 1999-2008. Email Bill at TheRauchReport@gmail.com.

Can fish oil help dry eye?

in Contributors/Dr. Mark Siegel, MD FAAO/Health by

By Dr. Mark Siegel

While artificial tears or ointments are a common treatment for dry eye, studies suggest consuming omega-3 fatty acid supplements may also provide relief. 

Omega-3 oils appear to improve function in the eye’s meibomian glands, which produce the oily part of tears. Improved function of those glands can ease dry eye symptoms.

Dry eye becomes more common as a person ages. The problem develops when the eye cannot maintain a healthy coating of tears. 

Dry eye can be caused by hormonal changes brought on by menopause. There are also a number of other causes. These include a dry environment or workplace (such as wind or air conditioning); sun exposure; smoking or secondhand smoke exposure; or cold or allergy medicines.

The National Eye Institute notes that in some patients with dry eye, supplements or dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids (such as tuna fish or salmon) may decrease symptoms of irritation.

Omega-3s in fish oil are believed to reduce inflammation. If inflammation of the eyelids or surfaces of the eye worsens dry eye, it makes sense that a supplement could help the problem. 

Dry eye is pretty complex, and there is no cure. However, treating the inflammation can improve some of the symptoms and there are many studies that support this.

A study of more than 32,000 women from the Women’s Health Study published in 2005 found those who consumed the most omega-3 fats from fish had a 17 percent lower risk of dry eye, compared with women who ate little or no seafood. More recently, a study in the International Journal of Ophthalmology concluded omega-3 fatty acids “have a definite role for dry eye syndrome.”

Omega-3 oils may also help in the treatment of other eye diseases. The oils may reduce growth of abnormal blood vessels that occur in age-related macular degeneration and other retinal vascularization diseases. 

Talk to your doctor to find out whether omega-3 supplements are right for you. 

And as 2017 comes to a close, Sea Island Ophthalmology wishes everyone a safe and happy holiday, good health and vision in the New Year!

Dr. Mark Siegel is the medical director at Sea Island Ophthalmology at 111 High Tide Drive (off Midtown Drive near Low Country Medical Group). Visit www.seaislandophthalmology.com.

What’s sitting in your mother’s jewelry box?

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By Lee Scott

When I was a child, my mother had a collection of broaches in her jewelry box.

One of distinction was the broach I made for her for Mother’s Day when I was in Brownies. It was made of wood and had “Mother’s Day” spelled out in macaroni, and had been shellacked. I’m sure she loved wearing it to church, before the macaroni started to start to fall off and the meaning was lost.  

I was reminded of all my mother’s broaches recently when I was traveling and noticed a young woman sitting next to me wearing a beautiful broach on her jacket. It was round with emeralds surrounded by diamonds. I commented to her how beautiful it was, and she said it was her late grandmother’s broach.

It wasn’t long before I started to notice other young women wearing decorative pins and broaches, maybe because it can be a very expressive form of body art without using a tattoo needle. 

Surprisingly, there are numerous broaches that women can wear that make a statement. There are dog and cat broaches for people who want to show love for their pet. I have also seen colorful butterfly broaches.  

According to one of the saleswoman at a local women’s clothing store, it has become quite popular to wear and use vintage jewelry nowadays. Her shop sells magnets designed by a local artist using vintage broaches. The shop also sells beautiful long necklaces made from an assortment of old jewelry.

That’s when I remembered I still had some of the old jewelry from my mother and mother-in-law, who had both died in early 2008. 

I was amazed at the number of broaches I found in their collections. 

The first batch I went through included a cameo broach with two doves kissing over a basket of flowers. It’s beautiful, but like many of the others, needs some tender loving care. 

Some of the broaches have matching clip-on earrings too. (Are there women who still wear clip-on earrings?) 

The other various broaches reflected different holidays throughout the year, like hearts and cupids for Valentine’s Day and Christmas trees and angels for Christmas. I recall my mother wearing some of the broaches on her winter coat over the holidays.  

I’m not sure why my four sisters and I never picked up on wearing broaches. I guess we thought they were too old fashioned, looking more like our grandmother’s era. 

But it is nice to see some of this jewelry becoming popular again, or at least recycled.  

And maybe it’s time for me to start wearing some of the vintage jewelry that my daughter was wearing that day. 

IMG_3661

Gobble up those Thanksgiving dinner traditions

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By Lee Scott

There was a recent talk show on television where the host introduced his mother, who was going to prepare their traditional Thanksgiving dessert. 

The mother began by melting two cups of chocolate chips and mixing them with a couple of eggs and powdered sugar. Then she folded a quart of softened chocolate mint ice cream into the chocolate mixture and poured the combination over a graham cracker crust which she had already pressed into a Pyrex dish. Then she placed the dish in the refrigerator.  

She explained that on Thanksgiving morning she always prepared it early so it would be ready for that afternoon’s dessert.

As we sat there watching this program, I said to my spouse, “I don’t recall the pilgrims having chocolate chips available.”

To which he replied, “I was actually wondering where they stored the chocolate mint ice cream.”

This prompted a conversation regarding the dishes we considered traditional for a Thanksgiving dinner. 

We agreed on the nice fat turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, candied yams, cranberry sauce and of course, pumpkin pie. But if you look back into history, some of those items were probably not served at the original feast back in 1621. 

Cranberry sauce as we know it now was not served until much later and it is presumed that there was probably a lot of shellfish served since it was so abundant at that time.  

The Wampanoag Indians who showed up for the celebratory meal loved to hunt deer. It would make sense that venison was part of the menu too. 

Then we started to explore some of the non-traditional foods incorporated into our own Thanksgiving dinner over the years. My mother-in-law served sauerkraut with their turkey, which was something I had never heard of before. And I like to cook up some mild Italian sausage to mix in with the turkey stuffing. And both of our mothers would prepare whipped cream by beating the cream up in a cold metal bowl and adding a little vanilla extract. There is nothing like it when served over pumpkin pie.

We both love to eat crab dip as an appetizer before dinner, and he loves apple pie for dessert. We also have family members who smoke turkeys instead of roasting them in the oven. Which, when you think about it, is probably more traditional than putting it in an oven.    

This all led us to the conclusion that maybe the chocolate mint ice cream pie was not so unusual after all. It was a dish the family had embraced as part of their Thanksgiving tradition and that was all that mattered. 

So, bon appetit! Enjoy whatever is on your Thanksgiving table this year. 

How should society deal with mass shootings?

in Bill Rauch/Contributors/Voices by
Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy
Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy

By Bill Rauch

As the tolls from mass shootings in the U.S. escalate (the death toll is twice in 2017 what it was in 2016) the proposed remedies from lawmakers continue to fall tediously into two categories. 

Republicans focus on the mental health problems from which the shooters are said to suffer, and Democrats focus on stricter gun control measures. 

There is today no consensus on what to do to confront what has become a national epidemic.

Our local law enforcement professionals are an exquisite case in point. Last week I sent an eight yes/no-question questionnaire to the five men we count most upon to keep our community safe: Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner, Jasper County Sheriff Christopher Malphrus, Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy, Bluffton Police Chief Joseph Manning and Port Royal Police Chief of Police Col. T. Alan Beach.

Only one — Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy — would go on the record with his responses.

Why?

Because this is controversial stuff and — like the lawmakers in Washington, Columbia and elsewhere — in the absence of a clear way forward they prefer to avoid the controversy.

So what were the eight questions four out of five of the pros chose to duck?

Here they are:

1. Several of those who have recently engaged in mass shootings told psychologists that they have regular “homicidal thoughts,” but the psychologists didn’t tell anyone in law enforcement. Should it be required that such information be shared with law enforcement?

Chief Clancy answered YES, observing that “psychological issues are the one common factor in these crimes.” Clearly in my view to prevent future occurrences the medical and law enforcement communities must work together more closely. I have no problem with professional consequences for those who fail to cooperate with law enforcement. Government has already placed way too much mental health work in the laps of our police officers and those in the corrections community. The relationship should be a two-way street.

2. Had the Air Force notified the National Instant Criminal Background Check System of the Texas shooter’s criminal background, he’d have been prevented from purchasing legally the firearm he used in the church. Should there be criminal penalties for those failing to make such notifications?

Chief Clancy chose the word “oversight” over “criminal penalties.” My experience in government causes me to believe there’s a paper trail that leads to the desk of the person in the Air Force who should have made the notification that instead “slipped through the cracks.” A little jail time for a couple of bureaucrats who let the wrong one slip, and there’ll be a lot less slipping. Let’s not forget, the lives of innocent women and children have been lost because someone somewhere neglected to file the proper paper. The Texas church was not the first time. 

The Mother Emanuel AME Church shooting in which our Clemente Pinckney lost his life was also conducted with a military style fully automatic firearm that the shooter would have been forbidden from purchasing had the proper papers been filed. 

Last week, providing a glimmer of hope in the area of a bi-partisan approach to the epidemic, Sen. Tim Scott and seven of his colleagues (four of them Democrats) introduced a bill that would do some of this. I favor it, but am under few illusions it will become law. 

3. Should the sale and use of assault weapons be banned except for their use by law enforcement and the military? 

Chief Clancy believes fully automatic rifles are sufficiently regulated. I say until the reporting side gets better about notifications slipping through the cracks (what lawyers call “negligent entrustment”) the stakes are too high. In 2014, one in five of the police officers who were killed in the line of duty was shot with an assault rifle. 

Having used automatic weapons on the target range, I freely admit they’re a kick to use, and tens of thousands of responsible Americans use them responsibly every weekend. Bring back their sale when the system works better.

4. Should high capacity magazines be banned except for use by law enforcement and the military? 

Chief Clancy says NO. I respectfully disagree. Bring them back when the system works better.

5. Should bump stocks be illegal?

 Chief Clancy says they should be regulated under the National Firearms Act. That would be a good start.

6. Should Muslim extremist groups be more closely monitored and their sympathizers be banned from entering the U.S.? 

Chief Clancy says YES, adding that he would expand the ban to “all terrorist groups of foreign or domestic origin.” 

I agree, and appreciate the chief’s religious sensitivity. We end up in pretty much the same place. To quote a recent story in The Orange County Register: “… let’s not pretend we don’t know who attacked the Pulse nightclub, Fort Hood, two Chattanooga military bases, the Inland Regional Center in San Bernadino or who drove the deadly truck in New York City. The answer is Muslim immigrants or first-generation Muslims radicalized by Islamist extremist groups.”

7. Should the entertainment studios and video game manufacturers that portray for-profit gun violence be held criminally liable when it can be shown that their message contributed materially to a shooter’s decision to kill? 

Chief Clancy says YES, adding that these prosecutions have to date all failed. I say, take heart, plaintiff lawyers. Remember Big Tobacco!

8. Should we celebrate news organizations that at the expense of lower ratings neither profile nor even use the names of mass murderers? 

This is a tough one for both Chief Clancy and me. The chief notes that “giving these killers attention is counterproductive.” Everyone with any sense agrees with him.  

But in a free society with a free press, how can reporting on events such as mass killings — events with which the public is clearly fascinated — be curtailed? 

The only idea I have heard that addresses this obvious need is that there be a “gentleman’s agreement” among news organizations not to use the names, nor do profiles of the individuals, who commit these crimes. Reporters would instead refer to these individuals as, for example, “The alleged Mother Emanuel AME church shooter” when reporting on the tragedy.

Reporters, gentlemen? I can say this because I got my first job as a newspaper reporter when I was 17. Did you ever eat with one?

But Beaufort Police Chief Matthew J. Clancy?

Yes.

And a stand-up guy too.

Bill Rauch was the mayor of Beaufort from 1999-2008. Email Bill at TheRauchReport@gmail.com.

Can you have too much company stock?

in Business/Contributors/Wells Fargo by

Many companies offer their employees a stock purchase plan, enabling them to purchase company stock at a discounted price and invest in the company they work for. 

While this can be a great way to invest in the stock market, as an investor you need to question whether it’s good to load up too much on your company’s stock — or any company’s stock, for that matter. 

Investing in your company may be a good idea, but you need to make sure you set some guidelines and strategies to diversify your holdings not only among individual stocks other than your company’s, but among industry sectors as well. 

Although diversification does not ensure a profit or protect against loss, doing so may help reduce the effects of the price fluctuations that will undoubtedly occur in your portfolio. 

As you decide whether to participate in your employer’s stock purchase plan, keep in mind that owning too much of any single stock is rarely a good idea. While you may be confident of your company’s prospects for success or you want to demonstrate your loyalty to your employer, you need to recognize that you may take on additional risk if you don’t diversify. 

Also, as you evaluate your holdings, don’t overlook the potential danger in concentrating your investments within one industry, even if you spread your investments among several stocks in that industry. Oftentimes when bad news hits one stock in an industry, it can also have a similar impact on other companies within the same sector. 

So, how can you help reduce the risk in your portfolio? One way to help protect yourself is to diversify your portfolio among several stocks. In addition to your company’s stock, you should try to broaden your equity holdings to include 20 to 30 stocks in at least six to eight industry sectors with different investment characteristics. 

Keep in mind that no more than 25 percent of your total portfolio value should be invested in any one sector. 

Another good rule of thumb is to have no more than 15 percent of your total portfolio — including investments in your 401(k) and IRA — invested in one single stock. 

You should strive to maintain a balanced asset allocation with not only stocks in different industries but also bonds and other investment vehicles as well. Keep in mind that an investment in stocks will fluctuate in value and when sold might be worth more or less than the original investment.

Once you have reviewed your portfolio and evaluated your investment objectives, you may realize that you have a “concentrated position” — that is, you have too much of your holdings in a single stock or you are heavily invested in a single industry sector. If this is the case, it is a good idea to contact a financial advisor and discuss strategies for reducing your concentrated holdings. 

There are a variety of strategies that can help you reduce the risk involved in having concentrated positions in both taxable and tax-deferred accounts.

Your investment objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon will help dictate the appropriate asset balance for your financial situation. 

Because each and every investor has different investment needs, seeking professional assistance is usually the best alternative to avoid keeping your eggs all in one basket.

This article was written by/for Wells Fargo Advisors and provided courtesy of Whitney McDaniel, financial advisor in Beaufort at 843-524-1114.  

Any third-party posts, reviews or comments associated with this listing are not endorsed by Wells Fargo Advisors and do not necessarily represent the views of Whitney McDaniel or Wells Fargo Advisors and have not been reviewed by the Firm for completeness or accuracy.

Investments in securities and insurance products are not FDIC insured and may lose value.

Will you still need me, will you still feed me…

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

Fifty years ago, in November of 1967, I turned 14 years old. It was that same year that the Beatles released a song on their Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album titled “When I’m 64.”  

Now 50 years later, here I am, walking around my house singing “When I’m 64.”

It’s hard to imagine that my 14-year-old self would ever guess she would someday turn 64. I am of the generation that did not want to be older than 30. But somewhere along the way, 30 seemed kind of fun, and then came my 40s, 50s and now my 60s. Each year brings new adventures.

But Paul McCartney’s words seem foreign in many ways now as I look around at all the men and women I know who are in their 60s and 70s.  

These are vibrant active people. Many are still working, not willing to stop and just take a “ride on a Sunday morning,” unless it is in a golf cart. The lyrics suggest something of an end-of-life connotation as if there is nothing else left. 

“He can be handy mending a fuse.”

“You can knit a sweater by the fireside.”

The song lyrics also do not suggest that Paul, at 25 when the song was released, would have every guessed that 50 years later he would still be performing concerts.  

According to his website, he is going on tour next month in Australia, performing five concerts in Australia and one in New Zealand. 

It did appear that he planned on growing old with a spouse. But his wife Linda died at the age of 56 after being married to Paul for 29 years.  

Sometimes, life throws a curve ball, and things you planned when you were young are not able to happen. But happily, his wife Nancy, 57, will be with him for a while.

No, I am not “losing my hair,” and neither is my spouse, but I do expect “birthday greetings with a bottle of wine.” And although we do have many grandchildren, not one of them is named “Vera, Chuck or Dave.” Still the song is sweet and appropriate for me to be singing as I welcome this birthday turning 64. 

And so, as I sauntered up behind my spouse yesterday and once again sang the last line of the song, which ends with this question, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?”

My spouse turned to me and said, “Yes, only if you promise not to spend the next year singing that song.” 

We shall see. 

Looking for fall foliage, finding a hurricane

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By Lee Scott

Having grown up in the north, I am used to seeing rolling hills of colorful leaves this time of year.  

Although the live oaks in my yard have shed their fall leaves and are replaced now with green leaves, they never provide me with colorful fall colors. 

So my spouse and I decided to go in search of some fall foliage.  

The warm fall we have had delayed some of the leaves changing in the South Carolina and North Carolina mountains, so we headed farther north. But even Maryland was behind in changing seasons and we only saw a few trees with colors. 

The decision was made to go farther north until we hit Quebec City in Canada. There, at the end of October, we finally entered fall-like weather with its colorful foliage. 

It was so much fun to walk on the sidewalk, look down and see the fallen Canadian maple leaves. We decided to try our luck and head farther north. As we traveled around Saquenay, Quebec, we realized we we had gone too far. The bare trees reminded of us of why we moved south to our beautiful Palmetto trees and live oaks. Winter can be so dreary without any leaves on the trees.

We then headed over to Nova Scotia and there in Halifax found our fall foliage all around. It was spectacular! 

It was during our drive over to Peggy’s Cove, the sight of a spectacular lighthouse perched out on some large rocks, when my spouse said, “Did I mention to you that we’re getting a visitor here?”

“What visitor?” I asked. “Who do we know in Nova Scotia?”

“Phillippe,” he said calmly. 

“The hurricane?” I asked in shock. He nodded his head.

“Are you telling me that we traveled over 1,500 miles only to have a hurricane follow us?”

I have really had it with hurricanes this year.

But he echoed my sentiments when he said, “At least it didn’t go to Beaufort.”

Fortunately, Philippe was slowly dissipating so we were not impeded in our trip. However, those 70 mph winds coupled with a strong rainfall sure felt like a hurricane.

After the front came through and the leaves were stripped off the trees, we began our trek south. 

The Maine coastline did not disappoint us and one can guess why maple syrup is so popular in Canada and Maine. There were maple trees everywhere.

But the post-hurricane weather was followed by cold air and we began to layer on our clothes in the brisk fresh air.

Time to head south we agreed. Our fall foliage excursion was over and we headed home.

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