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Did You Know This About Coffee Filters?

Coffee filters – Who knew? …and you can buy 1,000 at Fred’s for almost nothing.

1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.

2. Clean windows and mirrors. Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling.

3. Protect China and separate your good dishes by putting a coffee filter between each dish.

4. Filter broken cork from wine. If you break the cork when opening a wine bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.

5. Protect a cast-iron skillet. Place a coffee filter in the skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
6. Apply shoe polish. Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7. Recycle frying oil. After frying, strain oil through a sieve lined with a coffee filter.

8. Weigh chopped foods. Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a kitchen scale.

9. Hold tacos. Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.

10. Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot. Line a plant pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through the drainage holes.

11. Prevent a Popsicle from dripping. Poke one or two holes as needed in a coffee filter.

12. Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows? Use strips of coffee filters.

13. Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken fingers, etc on them, they soak out all the grease.

14. Keep in the bathroom. They make great “razor-nick fixers.”

Oh yeah, they are great to use in your coffee maker, too

Winter Wonderland


Most of the Midwest and Northeast have had horrible weather today. This photo was sent to us from Louisville, Kentucky, displaying the weather they endured today… and according to my fancy little weather station that receives time so accurate it comes from the Atomic Clock in Boulder, Colorado, we had a high today of 80 degrees. Yes, it is good to live in Florida!

Ron Sapp Will Not Seek Re-election

Ron Sapp announced that he will not run for another term as a Fernandina Beach City Commissioner. He has served on the commission off and on for the past 24 years and said, “I just have no more fire in the belly.”

City elections are scheduled for April 14th and those interested in running for this vacancy have from February 13th until March 13th to qualify. For more information visit the city’s Web site.

Smurfit Filed Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

We knew it was coming and now it is official. One of Fernandina Beach‚Äôs largest employers has filed for bankruptcy protection. Chapter 11 permits the company to reorganize and no formal announcements have been made in regards to our friends and neighbors employed there. Smurfit plans to restructure their debt while their daily operations continue. Patrick J. Moore, chairman and CEO, said, “The authorization we received from the court is an important and positive first step in our reorganization and allows us to operate in a business as usual mode. We are focused on providing our customers with quality goods and services. Smurfit-Stone intends to pay vendors in the ordinary course under existing terms for all goods and services received after the filing date. We are moving forward to restructure our debt and develop a capital structure more suited to support our long-term growth and profitability.”

In a press release dated 01-28-09 the company publicized the following: ‚ÄúSmurfit-Stone Container Corporation today announced that it received a “Staff Determination” notification from Nasdaq that its equity securities will be delisted from The Nasdaq Stock Market. The decision was based upon Nasdaq’s Marketplace Rules 4300, 4450(f) and IM-4300, and was made after reviewing the company’s press release that it had filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and other publicly available information. Trading of the company’s common stock and 7% Series A Cumulative Exchangeable Redeemable Convertible Preferred Stock will be suspended at the opening of business on February 4, 2009. Nasdaq will file a Form 25-NSE with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which will remove the securities from listing and registration. The Company does not plan to appeal the Staff Determination. These securities will not be immediately eligible to trade on the OTC Bulletin Board or in the “Pink Sheets,” but may become eligible if a market maker makes application to register in and quote the securities in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 15c2-11, and such application is cleared.‚Äù

Fernandina Pirate’s Blood Drive

“Donate a pint or we’ll spill one for ya,” declared the Amelia Island pirate wench, Wicked Wanda, chairperson of the Fernandina Pirate Club’s blood drives. The costumed Pirates sponsored their most recent blood drive at the Super Wal-Mart in Yulee this past weekend.

Well it is official, they had 84 donors! A rush only stifled by the quantity of blood bank buses available for this all too important issue. The Fernandina Pirate spilled so much blood, the blood bank has offered an unprecedented three buses for their next drive scheduled for March 21, 2009 at Chili’s in Yulee from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

So save the date‚ and plan to have ye blood spilled for a great cause! For more information contact the Fernandina Pirates Club.

Happy Chinese New Year

By: Judie Mackie

January 26 marked the Chinese New Year for 2009. This celebration lasts about 15 days and some in China will take weeks of holidays to enjoy feasting with family and friends. The Chinese calendar has a 12 year cycle and each of those years is named for an animal. 2009 is the year of the Ox. The animal ruling over a year is believed to influence the traits of those born in that year.

Legend and tradition say that Buddha called for all the animals to come bid him farewell before he departed the earth. The twelve animals that showed up were the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig, in that order. Buddha showed his appreciation by naming each year after the animals and in the order they arrived.

According to the Web site 123 Chinese New Year, people born in the Year of the Ox will have leadership and organizational skills. They are strong and responsible, but can be stubborn, narrow minded and have low public relations skills. In keeping with the 12 year cycle, those born in the year of the Ox would include those born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and not again until 2021.

Feasting, fireworks, family and friends mark this exciting time for the Chinese who will traditionally wear red for the occasion. The foods chosen for feasts have symbolic meaning such as oranges for wealth and good fortune and eggs for fertility.

Perhaps one of the largest US celebrations of the Chinese New Year is the Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year parade and Festival held on Saturday, February 7th at 5:15 p.m., but the festivities run from January 24th until February 15, 2009. San Francisco plays host to such exciting events as the Miss Chinatown Pageants and the Flower Market Fair with plenty of oranges and tangerines, the symbols for abundant happiness, and live blooming plants to honor rebirth and new growth. Entertainment includes lion dancing, Chinese opera, martial arts demonstration, a petting zoo for the children, basketball events and much, much more.

I think next year I may plan a vacation to San Francisco to join in all of the festivities, until then, Kung Hei Fat Choi! (Happy New Year!).

Get Your Mortgage Approved

By: Nick Deonas
I have talked with people with absolute great credit scores, 750 and above, who have tried to get loans at local banks and they were turned down. Just ask anyone if they think it is easy to get a mortgage today, and the answer will almost be an overwhelming “tuff” to do.

We have talked about this for many months now, banks have tightened down and they are making it very difficult to get a loan. A couple of things are going on here, one the banks are hoarding money trying to make their books look better against all the bad toxic debt they have, and second, they are now trying to be as prudent as possible but are leaning more on the side of not loaning and keeping it in the banks.

There is talk of forming a Federal “Bad Bank”, a bank that will absorb all the toxic debt from banks. This is a way to get the banks to start lending again. If all the toxic debt is removed then the banks have no choice except to start lending again, it will be the only way they have to turn a profit. But for the present time what can we do to increase our chances of getting a mortgage loan?

  1. Make sure you have all your facts and figures in order. The good ole days of walking into a bank and walking out with a loan based entirely on stated income are gone. So make sure you get all your ducks in a row and can account for your income and expenses.
  2. If you are in an adjustable rate mortgage you should consider getting out of it. Rates today are so low you would be better off refinancing to a fixed rate rather then keeping that old adjustable. Lenders are more likely to lend to someone who is trying to reduce their monthly obligation, especially if you are not asking for additional funds to be added to the new mortgage.
  3. Do Not Stop Making Payments. There is a misconception out there that the only way you can get a lending institution to help you is to be behind on your payments, my advice is don’t do it. Regardless of what you hear on the street, there is no substitute for a good credit rating when negotiating with a lender. Remember you are in control of your credit score, but not the approval of a new loan.
  4. Consider paying up front for a lower rate. Over the long haul it will pay off.
  5. Ask the Government for a loan, why not? GM, AIG and Bank of America had no problem asking, and they got a loan, why shouldn’t you? Check on FHA (Federal Housing Authority) and VA (Veterans Administration) and see if you qualify for one of their loans. Remember, Government-run programs will accept borrowers with lower credit scores and usually a lower down payment, in some cases as low as 3.5 percent. One thing is for sure, you will never know if you qualify if you don’t ask.

These are just a few things for you to consider if you are thinking of applying for a new mortgage. it is not totally impossible, very difficult today yes, but not impossible.