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Look closely and you can see sand blowing by this shell on the beach at Kiawah Island. Contributing photographer Michael Kaynard snapped the shot on a blustery February day. More: Kaynard Photography.

Issue 5.18 | Monday, March 4, 2013
Time to think about gardening

FOCUS Curing nature deficit disorder
BRACK Survey must have been too scary
SENIORS Resources for seniors
GOOD NEWS Helipad, big grant, atheist, more
HISTORY Medical Society of S.C.
SPOTLIGHT Maybank Industries
FEEDBACK Send your letters
THE LIST Guess who didn't do survey
QUOTE On courage
CALENDAR This week ... and next
BROADUS Have a guess, win tickets

Picnic in the park helps cure 'nature deficit disorder'
Special to Charleston Currents

MARCH 4, 2013 -- According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has doubled in children and tripled in teens in the last 30 years. A report from the National Wildlife Federation finds children spend half as much time outside as they did 20 years ago and more than six hours a day connected to electronic media.


The result is a something author and founder of the Children & Nature Network Richard Louv wrote about in his book, "Last Child in the Woods." Louv coined the term "nature deficit disorder," giving a name to the very real disconnect between children and the outdoors.

Stop and think about it. When was the last time you and your family really spent some quality time outdoors? Even if you did pause to soak up a pink Charleston sunset or walk on the beach, is that part of your regular routine? We spend most of our time indoors, eyes on the electronic connections, not the natural ones.

In an effort to connect children and families to nature, the Charleston Parks Conservancy is once again hosting its annual Teddy Bear Picnic in Hampton Park. Put on by our volunteer Park Angels, this free event encourages families to get outside and play in the park. We hope to introduce attendees to our incredible (and free) park resources. Most people don't realize the city of Charleston has more than 120 parks and green spaces - all ripe for play and exploration.

The entire mission of the Conservancy is connecting people to their parks and what better way to do that than with a family friendly picnic in the park. We want children to see how much fun it can be to spend time outdoors. We hope in addition to creating a last memory, we're instilling in children a love of the outdoors and a lifelong connection to parks.

We like to think of this event -- and all our events and volunteer opportunities - as a cure for nature deficit disorder. We live in an amazing climate surrounded by parks and recreation opportunities so there's no reason for our families to be nature deficient. Our mission is to make them nature proficient.

The fourth annual Teddy Bear Picnic 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., March 10, in Hampton Park. The event is rain or shine. Activities include face painting, seed planting, storytelling, cookie decorating, crafts and a Teddy Care Station for "injured" bears. John Cusatis will provide music and other entertainment will include dancing and hula hooping. Food will be available for purchase or families are welcome to bring a picnic. The afternoon wraps up with a Teddy Bear parade.

Neves Richards is the volunteer director for the Charleston Parks Conservancy.


The survey too scary for 14 candidates?
By ANDY BRACK, publisher

MARCH 4, 2013 -- It must be the survey that's just too scary to fill out.

Charleston Currents sent a 15-question survey on Feb. 5 to the 18 candidates seeking to be the next U.S. congressman to represent the First District stretching from Charleston County to Beaufort County.

Want to guess how many had the courage or guts to fill it out?

Four. Yep, four.

Either the questions were too hard (not likely) or they saw an ulterior motive (there was none, although I ran as a Democrat for Congress in 2000) or some other creative excuse.


Below is a list of candidates in the First District race. You can read responses by clicking on the links. (DNR indicates "did not respond" with completed survey.)


  • Elizabeth Colbert-Busch (DNR)
  • Ben Frasier (DNR)


  • Keith Blandford (DNR)
  • Curtis Bostic (DNR)
  • Ric Bryant
  • Larry Grooms (DNR)
  • Jonathan Hoffman (DNR)
  • Jeff King
  • John Kuhn (DNR)
  • Tim Larkin
  • Chip Limehouse (DNR)
  • Peter McCoy (DNR)
  • Ray Nash
  • Elizabeth Moffly (DNR)
  • Andy Patrick (DNR)
  • Shawn Pinkston (DNR)
  • Mark Sanford (DNR)
  • Teddy Turner (DNR)

We gave the two Democrats and 16 Republicans plenty of time. After we sent the survey initially, we sent a reminder that the Feb. 26 deadline was approaching. And after the deadline passed, we sent an email letting them know that their lack of participation had been duly noted, which generated two more completed surveys. We also got this uber-sensitive reply from Michael S. Smith II, campaign manager for Teddy Turner, who complained that its campaign had 60 surveys to complete in a short time frame:

"Please note that our inability to meet your deadline is not a reflection of disinterest in your work, or your readers' concerns on the part of Teddy or anyone who is involved with the campaign. Given such, we very much regret that your e-mail suggests you intend to portray our failure to meet your deadline in this light. This is false."

Well, that told us, even though we always intended to list whether candidates completed the survey. In fact, we planned to make Democratic and Republic endorsements, but that's not possible with no Democratic responses and only a handful of GOP ones.

But what's most interesting is that those who returned it -- Ray Nash, Jeff King, Tim Larkin and Ric Bryant -- don't have a lot of fancy staff members like the big-time campaigns of Turner, Mark Sanford, Chip Limehouse, Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, John Kuhn and Larry Grooms. Yet these four guys found 15 minutes to answer serious questions so that voters could get a better idea of what they value.

With 16 candidates in the First District GOP race, it's hard to be able to distinguish who is best for the district in a way that goes beyond slick televised soundbites or consultant-driven talking points. Voters want -- and demand -- more than trying to figure out who has the prettiest yard sign as they consider who is best to serve them in Washington.

It's definitely a dogfight out there on the campaign trail. In the box at right, you can click on the unedited responses of the four candidates with the courage to fill out our simple questionnaire. And you can clearly see who was skittish about sending it back. Next week, we'll offer more thoughts on the congressional race. In the meantime, an invitation is open to the 14 candidates who ducked the survey: We'll publish your answers if you get them to us by March 10.

So with much to do, here are the questions that four candidates answers and 14 avoided:

1. What bills do you plan to introduce immediately in the U.S. House if you are elected (100 words maximum)?

2. Did you get a flu shot in 2012 (25 words)?

3. Do you believe government programs such as Medicare, Social Security, and the Women's, Infants and Children's (WIC) program are "entitlements" or a "safety net" (25 words)?

4. Is climate change a serious issue that the federal government should address (25 words)?

5. Do you believe a ban on semi-automatic weapons would make you and your family less or more safe (25 words)?

6. Pick one: Wind farms, natural gas wells or neither off the S.C. coast (25 words)?

7. When were you last inside a public school classroom in South Carolina during school hours (25 words)?

8. Are you for or against using federal money to help pay for harbor deepening in Charleston (25 words)?

9. If you could close or expand one federal agency, which would it be and why (50 words)?

10. Are you for or against raising the federal debt ceiling (50 words)?

11. If you only had $250 to spend at a grocery store to feed a family of four for a month, what would you buy? How does this compare to your typical grocery bill (100 words)?

12. List the vehicles owned by you and any member of your immediate family that lives in your primary residence (100 words)?

13. Please rate South Carolina's schools in the First District on an A to F scale. How did you determine your rating (100 words)?

14. When your career in Congress is over, what do you want the public to remember about the work you have done (100 words)?

15. If you had an entirely free Saturday afternoon, what would you enjoy doing best (100 words)?

Andy Brack is publisher of Charleston Currents and Statehouse Report. He can be reached at: publisher@charlestoncurrents.com.


Send us your thoughts

Looks like all of the church letters have stopped finally. If you have an opinion you'd like to share (150 words or less, please), send your letters to: editor@charlestoncurrents.com.

Please include your name, address and phone number for verification purposes. We look forward to hearing from you!


Maybank Industries

The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Maybank Industries, LLC of Charleston, S.C. With broad experience in commercial and government operations, Maybank Industries applies deep-rooted commitment to teamwork, reliability and personal service to provide innovative business solutions for project development, information technology, logistics, vessel design, vessel construction, shipping agency services and marine terminal operations, both locally and internationally. Maybank Industries applies a powerful blend of professional expertise to research, analyze and develop tailored solutions with thorough plans of action, combining a heavy dose of common sense to solve today's needs that can adapt to changing or evolving requirements. More: Maybank Industries and Maybank Systems.


Resources are available to help seniors cope with aging
By CAROLE CAMPBELL, contributing editor

MARCH 4, 2013 -- What if you are a senior and are fighting the good fight to remain independent as long as possible? What if you don't want to be a burden to your children and want to extend and have the quality of life you have always had and that your children want for you going forward?

We have all heard the term "Aging in Place." Aging in place is a broad, broad term that simply means moving forward in the aging process in the place of your choosing and that fits one's limitations physically, mentally and financially. This could mean staying in the home utilizing assistive internal and/or external resources, independent living, assisted living or nursing home.

Even when the decision is to move out of the home, modified independence can still be achievable upon considering all the contributing circumstances. In my last article, I wrote about exploring available resources. There are a couple of local gems that can help with those explorations. One is a non-profit organization in Charleston called the South Carolina Aging in Place Coalition that is composed of caring, dedicated individuals and companies that reveal valuable resources ranging from non medical home care agencies to hospice agencies, long term care insurance companies, supportive relationship companies (to include geriatric care managers), attorneys and the list goes on. The website is www.scaipc.org.

Another organization that is very valuable and useful to maintaining independence is iTN Charleston/Trident, a non-profit organization that provides dignified transportation for seniors (over the age of 60) and the visually impaired (over the age of 18) which is dedicated to encouraging and enhancing independence providing rides 24 hours/day 7 days/week to wherever the rider wishes to go. When the application process is complete, member riders simply notify the office (preferably) 48 hours in advance and live in the greater Charleston/North Charleston areas. Primarily comprised of volunteer drivers, they make the ride like riding with a friend. Their website is www.ITNCharlestonTrident.org. They are accepting applications for member riders and are always looking for volunteer drivers.

Social isolation is one of the leading causes of depression among the elderly. Giving up a license is difficult enough, but being stranded at home waiting on a relative or someone else to come take you to the doctor, WalMart, an art class or even to have your dog groomed has to be frustrating and depressing.

Seniors don't want to be a bother or an inconvenience. They want to continue their life as "usual." Utilize these resources. Call upon the local agencies to extend the quality of life to which they are all entitled.

Carole Campbell, RN, CCM is a Certified Geriatric Care Manager and owner of CoverageComplete, Inc.


Roper's new helipad will save time, lives

Patients transported to the Charleston peninsula via helicopter will receive medical intervention 15 to 20 minutes faster by landing on Charleston's first hospital rooftop helipad at Roper St. Francis Healthcare's Roper Hospital.

The Roper Hospital helipad, erected on top of the hospital's South Tower, will allow patients to get life saving treatment within minutes of arrival via airlift.

Before the helipad, patients had to take the additional steps of being moved from a helicopter landing pad on a downtown parking garage to an ambulance, through traffic, to Roper Hospital and into the emergency room or Heart and Vascular Center.

According to a press release, many of the airlifted patients will include those who live near coastal and more rural areas of the Lowcountry. For example, an air ambulance flight from McClellanville to the new Roper Hospital Helipad will take 15 to 17 minutes as opposed to almost an hour by conventional ambulance.

"We love where we live, but our friends and neighbors in McClellanville are very happy to know they now have a rapid route to interventional emergency treatments at Roper Hospital thanks to the new helipad," said Rutledge Leland, mayor of McClellanville.

The travel times from Kiawah and areas of John's Islands will only be seven minutes to the new Roper tower helipad whereas transport time via roadway from there takes approximately 50 minutes.

"It is comforting for people on the barrier islands to know that there is now a faster way to get intensive emergency care for the most demanding medical situations," said Jimmy Bailey, COO, Kiawah Island Community Association. "Those living, working or vacationing on Kiawah Island believe the new Roper Hospital Helipad presents a greatly improved scenario for emergency services on the Charleston peninsula."

Officials said the time from event to treatment saved by the Roper Hospital helipad will be especially helpful for conditions like heart attacks that worsen second by second. Now, once an air ambulance lands on the Roper Hospital Helipad it takes approximately 3 minutes to unload the patient and get them into the heart catheterization laboratory so that an artery can be unblocked, rather than the 20 minutes it took to deliver the patient from the old landing spot.

"The RSFH rooftop helipad will improve our patient delivery and significantly reduce travel time for our patients going to Roper Hospital," said Don Lundy, director of Charleston County EMS.

MUSC gets $560,000 grant to decrease premature births

The Medical University of South Carolina has received a federal grant of almost $560,000 to help develop ways to decrease the number of premature babies born in the U.S. Every year, more than a half million babies are born prematurely. Pre-term deliveries cost about $26 billion a year.

"Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are helping communities across the country improve prenatal care for expectant mothers so that they can have a healthy delivery and a healthy baby," said U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "The Strong Start initiative will help find ways to reduce the rate of preterm births, which is a public health problem with significant long-term consequences for families and children."

The university won the grant from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) as part of its new Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns initiative to fund enhanced approaches to prenatal care. Across the country, the $41.4 million grant program will be used by states, caregivers and others to find new ways to prevent significant, long-term health problems for high-risk pregnant women and newborns enrolled in Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Locally, the Medical University of South Carolina is using its nearly $560,000 to improve birth outcomes with a maternity care home approach.

World's most famous atheist to talk March 9 in Charleston

Richard Dawkins, an eminent evolutionary biologist known as the world's most famous atheist, will engage in a public conversation about science and religion 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday with Herb Silverman, South Carolina's most famous atheist,


The event, at the College of Charleston's Physicians Memorial Auditorium at 66 George Street, is free and open to the public.

Richard Dawkins was the Charles Simonyi Professor of the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University in England from 1995 to 2008. His first book, "The Selfish Gene," has been translated into all major languages. "The Blind Watchmaker" won the Royal Society of Literature Award and Los Angeles Times Prize. His latest book, "The Magic of Reality," was published in September 2011.

Dawkins is also founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, which supports scientific education, critical thinking and evidence-based understanding of the natural world in the quest to overcome religious fundamentalism, superstition, intolerance, and human suffering.

Silverman is founder of the locally-based Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, founder of the national Secular Coalition for America and distinguished professor emeritus of mathematics at the College of Charleston. He was a candidate for governor of South Carolina in 1990 to challenge a state law that required religious belief to hold public office. In 1997 the South Carolina Supreme Court unanimously struck down this religious test requirement. Silverman's book, "Candidate without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt," was published in 2012.

SEWE has a great 31st year

The 31st Southeastern Wildlife Exposition had great success with more ticket sales and attendees despite cold, gloomy weather. Officials said overall SEWE sales were up 20 percent from 2012 and more than 40,000 people attended the three-day exposition.

"Every year, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition contributes to the local, regional and state economies through direct sales, accommodation and sales taxes, fees, and other revenues," said Executive Director John Powell. "We measure our success not just by the amount we take in through our sales, but also by the contribution that our event makes to both the Lowcountry and South Carolina economies."

Peninsular Charleston hotel occupancy rates averaged 96.8 percent, according to the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Halls Chophouse proprietor Bill Hall Sr. said the weekend was good for his restaurant, too.

"From four years ago when we did 100 covers a night during this event, we have seen covers grow to over 300 per night from Wednesday through Sunday. Attendees who visit Halls are making reservations for next year as they leave the restaurant. We are seeing our customer base expand from California to Maine and they love Charleston and appreciate SEWE. I wish we could have two or three more shows a year."

The 32nd annual Southeastern Wildlife Exposition will be held Feb. 14-16, 2014.


Medical Society of South Carolina

The fourth-oldest medical society in the United States, the Medical Society of South Carolina was founded in 1789 to "improve the Science of Medicine, promoting liberality in the Profession, and Harmony amongst the Practitioners." Though Charleston physicians predominated, membership was open "to any gentleman of merit in the medical profession." Peter Fayssoux served as the organization's first president.

The society quickly acquired a leading role in medical and public health issues. In 1790 the organization planned a dispensary for the relief of the sick and indigent, which evolved into the Shirras Dispensary and served the Charleston community until merging with Roper Hospital in 1921. The society established a medical library in 1791, which helped physicians stay abreast of current literature. In 1801 the Charleston City Council requested that the society form a board of health, and the society appointed officers and a port physician to serve in this capacity. From 1805 to 1815 the society operated a botanic garden to promote "the study of that valuable branch of Science." In 1817 the General Assembly entrusted the society to serve as an examining committee to license physicians and apothecaries, though a license was not required until 1895.

The Medical College of South Carolina was founded by the society in December 1823, with society members constituting six of the original seven faculty members. The school become a state institution in 1913 and the Medical University of South Carolina in 1969. The society opened Roper Hospital in Charleston in 1856. Although management of the facility passed to CareAlliance Health Services in 1998, the society continued its interest in the hospital as a founding member of the CareAlliance corporation.

The Medical Society of South Carolina provided leadership in the founding of the American Medical Association (1847), the South Carolina Medical Association (1848), and the Charleston County Medical Society (1951). In the early twenty-first century the Medical Society of South Carolina remained an active organization, whose interests and activities continued to respond to ongoing evolution of the medical profession.

Excerpted from the entry by Jane McCutchen Brown. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)


Have a guess ...

Contributing photographer Michael Kaynard took this photo on the Charleston peninsula, but where and what is it? Send your guess to: editor@charlestoncurrents.com (put "Photo Guess" in the subject line). Make sure to include your contact information. The first to guess correctly will win a pair of tickets to a baseball game featuring the Charleston RiverDogs. More: Kaynard Photography.


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No response

Here's a list of First District congressional candidates who wouldn't fill out the Charleston Currents survey printed below in Andy Brack's commentary:

  • Keith Blandford
  • Curtis Bostic
  • Elizabeth Colbert-Busch
  • Ben Frasier
  • Larry Grooms
  • Jonathan Hoffman
  • John Kuhn
  • Chip Limehouse
  • Peter McCoy
  • Elizabeth Moffly
  • Andy Patrick
  • Shawn Pinkston
  • Mark Sanford
  • Teddy Turner


On courage

"Courage is the greatest of all virtues, because if you haven't courage, you may not have an opportunity to use any of the others."

-- Samuel Johnson



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(NEW) Photo contest: Images due by June 6. Magnolia Plantation and Gardens is holding its annual photo contest for photos taken at the attraction between March 1 and May 31. Entry is $25. To enter and look at rules, visit the Lowcountry Photographic Club.

Steel Magnolias: Through March 9, Charleston Acting Studio and Theatre at the corner of Folly and Camp roads on James Island. The performance of the classic play put on by Midtown Productions, features the story of some zany women in the Chinquapin Parish in Louisiana. More.


Gardening in the air: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., March 16, Charleston Exchange Park. The 2013 Carolina Yard Gardening School is open for registration. For $75, participants will enjoy two lectures, two workshops, a great lunch, door prizes and free compost. Register here.

(NEW) Book signing lunch with Lee brothers: 10:30 a.m., March 22, Fleet Landing restaurant, 186 Concord St., Charleston. Blue Bicycle Books is offering this special access to the Lee brothers as they discuss their new book, "The Lee Bros. Charleston Kitchen." For $75, you can get a great lunch and signed book. More.

(NEW) Natalie Merchant: March 23, Charlotte Symphony, Belk Theater, Charlotte. The singer-songwriter will perform in Charlotte with its symphony with music from her new album, as well as from her solo and band days. Tickets start at $44.50 and can be bought online.

Free admission to county parks: March 24. The Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission will offer free admission to all county parks on this day as part of Customer Appreciation Day. Visitors also will be able to win waterpark and fishing passes ... and more. More: www.ccprc.com

(NEW) Spring break camp: March 26-28, Dill Sanctuary, James Island. The Charleston Museum will offer morning camps for children age 5 to 10 where they'll take marsh walks, collect fiddler crabs and make crafts. More info.

(NEW) Lowcountry Cajun Festival: Noon to 6 p.m., April 7, James Island County Park. There will be lots of Cajun and Creole food, great music and more at this event that costs just $10 for anyone over 12. More.

Hunt & Habit: Through April 21, Charleston Museum, Meeting Street. The museum will present an original exhibition of women's and men's riding habits, hats and accessories from the 19th and early 20th century. More info.

Bird walks: 8:30 a.m. to noon, every Wednesday and Saturday. This is the time of year that a great variety of migrating birds fly through the Lowcountry so what better time to take part in one of the regular early morning bird walks at Caw Caw Interpretive Center in Ravenel. Pre-registration is suggested. Cost is $5. Walks also are conducted on James Island and Folly Beach.Learn more online.


4/1: Angstadt: Manatees

3/25: Benson, Noble: Envision SC
3/18: Hedden: Walking tours
Koroglu: Dervishes
Richards: Teddy Bear Picnic

Thomas: Storytelling event
Logo contest
Anderson: 2-1-1's 10th
Colwell: Teen pregnancy

1/28: Ross: Root of stress
Roberts: SEWE 2013
Begin with Books update
Vail: Jr. Achievement

12/31: Hester: Tech trends
Abrams: Holiday time
C. Brack: Help others
Sabine: Pluff Mud for kids
LaFond: Health directives

11/26: Stevens: Thank you letters
McConnell: Retirement plans
Franklin: Long-term care
Middleton: You make the call

10/29: Herrick: Saucy new book
Spencer: Invest in arts
Ferillo: Hope's promise
Brooks: Senior hunger
Belton: Florence Crittenton

Eberle: Hampton Park
Ringler: Child cancer
Craft: Our water
SC Dems: Convention


5/13: Recovery of Keokuk guns
"Turrets are coming!"
Preparing to attack
Blockade is broken
Stono Rebellion

Charleston Christmas
"Satan's Kingdom"
Christening ironclads
Beauregard's return
Second Battle of Manassas
Secessionville aftermath
Battle of Secessionville
Robert Smalls
Preparing for the attach
Yankee in charge?
Lee and Traveller
Stone Fleet


4/1: With no vision ...

3/25: Candidates spend $2M
Eating on $35/wk
Ads aren't worth much
Scary SC-1 survey

Old-timey customer service
New House Speaker?
Reject Riley tax hike
Episcopal schism

Nullification talk wrong
Tailgaters: Back off!
A lot to be proud of
Myth of big government

12/31: Mexican new year, more
Looking back at 2012
Action, not talk, on guns
Two off Bucket List
1-526 hoodwinking

11/26: Guilty pleasure
Earlier education
Lessons from the election
Battleground state

10/29: 16 days, Gov. Haley?
Our next mayor?
Remembering Peatsy
Haley's options
Reform ethics system

9/24: New TravelOrMove site
Cake and I-526
Raise gas tax
Doby on stamp, book


4/29: Tax policies
On good policy
Heirs' property
1/28: Two conferences

11/26/12: Consumerism
Can we be a better town
Permaculture, more
Bank on Charleston
Did you know?
Payday lenders hurt economy
Waterkeeper event
GrowFood difference
Earth Day festival
Lorax Project
More gardening tips
Food Waste program
Energy from farms
Turtles that fly
Art from beach trash

Coal ash, more
Boeing's solar farm
More eco-tours
More recycling ahead


2/18: What's new in Charleston is old
1/21: Blaze a trail in 2013
12/10: Great holiday adventures


4/1: Vacation ID tips

3/25: Park and play
On the menu
Still no response
No response

2/25: Five on storytelling
Earth Day duties
For the heart
Home energy tips

Cold water boating
On Ted Stern
SMART goals
Dealing with email

12/31: New Year's prep
Last-minute gifts
Gift of insurance
Creative finals
Great kid gifts

11/26: Giving back winners
Tech gift list
S.C.'s top golf courses
We're No. 2!

10/29: Anti-hacking tips
#1 best in world
Earthquake tips
Great U.S. streets
5 tech tips

Be tax-ready
One long swim
Clean water
Going postal


TRAVEL or MOVE, a sister site

If you want to learn about some SuperCool places around the nation and globe, we encourage you to follow TravelOrMove and visit the site to learn where you might want to travel or move based on your preferences.

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