Banks are being sued for non performance

Let's sue the big banks, they're not performing

Let's sue the big banks, they're not performing

About a year ago I wrote an article around what you would hear from the television attornes. Something to the order of, “Have you applied to your bank and been turned down for a loan, call the law offices of blah blah blah now.”  Now I know that some people thought this was a little far fetched, but I still stuck by it.

Today I found out that there is now a class action law suit against Bank of America and Wells Fargo.  The suit is charging that these two banks failed to live up to their promise to permanently modify home mortgages.  The claims are simple: “When a large financial institution promises to modify an eligible loan to prevent foreclosure, homeowners who live up to their end of the bargain expect that promise to be kept.”

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is the main federal plan for reducing mortgage payments, part of a $75 billion plan to slow the national foreclosure crisis. The program calls for a three-month trial period, intended to give time to the homeowner to demonstrate an ability to keep up with the lower payments. However, there are growing reports of homeowners in trial plans ultimately being rejected for modifications, despite making their trial payments or even being foreclosed on during the process. 

The modification process has generated so many complaints that regulators and lawmakers are pressuring lenders to improve their performance.  Banks are still not responding to the needs of the public as they should, considering they received tax payers monies to keep their doors open.  Small businesses are at an all time stand still and are laying off more and more people weekly.  Home values are continuing to fall as more homeowners are simply walking away from their homes, it’s not worth staying for many.

The evening news is now shifting from “all is well” and we have finally turned the corner to, we may be slipping into another round of the recession, the dreaded double dip. I wonder how long it took them to figure that one out?  Of course Washington is on top of it all, their solution is simply to provide tax credits to employers who hire.  Gosh, I wonder how many will just jump at this opportunity?  Folks when there is no business, there is no business, it’s as simple as that.  As a business owner I don’t care how many tax credits they give me, if there is no business because nobody’s buying, and I can’t meet payroll, I can’t hire anyone.  Better yet, I won’t hire anyone.

This is like an ongoing soap opera, every day it seems there is new drama coming out of Washington.  All the while we are sinking deeper and deeper.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

A Legal Feeding Frenzy Called Toyota

The Vultures are starting the feeding frenzy

The Vultures are starting the feeding frenzy

They say for every door that closes another door opens. Is this what is happening before our eyes with Toyota?  For decades this was one of the safest auto makers in the world and sold many cars that gave their owners trouble free service.  Today there have been mistakes made, not just simple ones but rather mistakes that may have caused death’s in some cases.

I watched a little of the hearing on Capital Hill where Toyota appeared before Congress to explain what happened and what they are doing to correct the problem.  I see nothing wrong with that but I do think it has opened the doors untold wealth for attorneys.  I think before long we will began to see on television advertisements that ask if you own a Toyota then you are encouraged to call the law firm of ABC to protect your rights.

With this new door now opening is it closing another door at Toyota?  I see nothing wrong with legal council, I do however think it may be pushing it a little when the attorneys plant in your mind that perhaps you can have money coming if you will just simply give them a call.  In some ways I see this as an abuse on the system.  I hope Toyota comes out of this alright and I wish the families that truly have suffered a loss are given their day in court.  I don’t want to see the baby thrown out with the bath water.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Shooting Machine Guns From a Helicopter

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Not everyday do you get to crawl into a helicopter and start shooting a 7.62mm M-240D machine gun out the side of it. That’s what I got to do today at Second Amendment Gun Range in Yulee, Florida. They’ve got a specially built helicopter gunner simulator that gets commissioned by the likes such as the U.S. Coast Guard and the Swedish Air Force in order for their gunners to practice the skills of their trade.

When the simulator is not in use by official military purposes, Second Amendment has to stay up to date and trained on its operation so they allowed us to climb aboard and see how it works. The simulator is a lot like a virtual reality video game at the arcade. You climb into a big box supported by hydraulic arms that move and tilt the unit to simulate movement by a real helicopter. Once you climb inside they shut the door behind you and you have to put on this helmet-goggle setup. The goggles have little screens inside that coincide with the direction you look. So if you look at the cockpit, you see the cockpit in the lenses. When you look out the side of the helicopter you see landscape and foliage, or whatever is designed into the program you are running. And if you stick your head out the side of the helicopter, there is a fan blowing that makes it feel like real wind whipping past your head!

Our job, as helicopter gunners, was to shoot the bad guys… or anything else that happened to fall within our sights. The simulation was extremely realistic. At one point we even got to use Night Vision Goggles to shoot at the bad guys during a nighttime scenario. The simulator is so realistic that the machine gun has a drag to it while you’re flying through the air, making aiming the gun more difficult. The bullets followed a realistic trajectory that is determined by something like a 27-page algorithm written into the simulation code. Needless to say, the helicopter gunner simulator was loads of fun, and the purpose of my writing this article is just to say “Na na na na boo boo! I got to ride in a helicopter simulator and you-oo didn’t!” Lol.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on Twitter

You can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

True Love Waits

True Love Waits

True Love Waits

The Journey Church sponsored True Love Waits. This evening was about purity and the commitment to wait. About 150 teens and adults sacrificed their bodies to Christ and with support and admiration from family and friends they vowed to remain sexually pure from this night until their wedding night.

The church resembled a wedding reception with the round tables, turquoise table clothes and vases of pure white feathers. This indeed was an important step in their lives and many received rings as a symbol of their commitment.

Becky DeBerry, student pastor at The Journey Church, had trouble at times holding back her emotions throughout the evening. The music by Paula Sellek was stunning, and the live drama presentation, “I Had Sex”, performed by Doug Duggan and Destiny DeBerry will have you laughing out loud until the end.

Participants were presented certificates affirming their commitment to live a life of sexual purity at The Journey Church. The reciting of the vows followed the ring presentation and it was indeed an emotional highlight of the evening surrounded by presentations of skits, music and a reception that followed.

Romans 12:1-2 – “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Here is a video of some of the evenings activities:

If you have not been to The Journey Church, I highly recommend you attend one of their three, identical and convenient, Sunday services (9:15 AM, 11:15 AM and 6:15PM). You may find the extended family you have been searching for!

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on Twitter

You can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Give me a Starving Crowd

Gary Halbert, the greatest Marketer yet

Gary Halbert, the greatest Marketer yet

While preparing for our Free Lecture on Monday evening for everyone who wants to learn about online marketing and the use of Social Media, I ran into this Jewel of an anecdote by one of the best marketer copywriters that have ever walked this earth: Gary Halbert. For anyone out there who plans to build a business on the internet or to come and learn from this lecture here is a story I proudly share with you taken from the Niche Market Blackbook, published by the Market Samurai. It describes where internet marketing, or for that matter ALL marketing begins.

The “cutting edge” online marketing strategies that we use today were actually pioneered by old school direct marketers long before the internet was even invented.

Back then, these “paper-and-ink men” who would usually send their sales copy out with a stamp, rather than a mouse-click. But there’s a big difference between marketing today, and marketing back then.
While today, we can send an email to thousands of people practically for free – the “pen-and-ink men” would need to pay up-front for paper, stamps, envelopes, printing costs, and someone to stuff thousands of envelopes!

This meant the stakes were much higher back then, compared to today.
If the “pen and ink” men couldn’t make enough money to pay for stamps and envelope-stuffing, there was no cheap-hit second chance – no sticking up another web-page and trying again! So they had to create a profitable marketing campaigns every time – or risk going bankrupt!

This profit-or-die world of direct marketing back then created some of the sharpest, most street-smart marketers seen today – and one of the sharpest of them all was Gary Halbert.
Gary had a reputation in the industry as the “The Prince of Print” – he was a master of the written word.
Equipped with nothing more than a pad and pen, he would seduce crowds of people to buy just about anything:

…the latest Rolls Royce convertible, celebrity diet plans, perfume fragrances, martial arts courses, guides to good sex, histories of a surname…
You name it, he sold it – making him (and losing him) millions of dollars along the way! …And he did it all before the internet was even a twinkle in some computer engineer’s eye.

But it wasn’t just his marketing skill that set Gary apart as the “Prince of Print”. Gary also was incredibly generous in sharing what he knew about marketing. Keep in mind that the lessons Gary had learned came as a result of a lifetime of very difficult (and expensive) learning experiences.
What he knew cost him a lot to learn!

But he’d share what he knew liberally, through his newsletter “The Gary Halbert Letter” – or every once in a while, in a classroom-style setting, at a marketing seminar. One of these seminars in particular is now part of internet marketing legend – people still speak about this event today.

Something happened this day…
It was still early in the day, and Gary had already given away more pearls of marketing wisdom than most seasoned pros would gather in a lifetime. He was just about to start talking about the difference between a successful marketing campaign, and a marketing flop.

And then… Gary Halbert paused.

Turning to the audience, he asked a single question. This question was so simple, yet so devastatingly powerful, that people in the direct marketing world still talk about it today.
Facing his students, he asked:

“If you and I both owned a hamburger stand and we were in a contest to see who could sell the most hamburgers… …What advantages would you most like to have on your side to help you win?” The room fell silent for a moment – you could almost hear people think.
Everyone respected Gary Halbert as a wise marketer, but few people saw him as a jolly and affable old man.
To most people, Gary Halbert was an arrogant and pompous prick!
Every one of his students wanted the satisfaction of being able to knock Gary Halbert off his insufferably smug perch – just once – and here was their opportunity!

Almost at once, they began shouting a volley of responses:
“I would use the tastiest, freshest hamburger meat!”
“My prices would be the lowest!”
“I’d pick the busiest location!”
“I’d want a world-famous recipe!”
“I’d offer customers credit, so they could pay later!”
“I’d have more staff so that I could serve more people faster!”
“I’d sell my burgers wholesale!”

Gary Halbert listened patiently to all of their answers, until everyone had their turn. “OK…’ he replied, smugly smiling the weathered, all- knowing grin of an old master. “I’ll give you every single advantage you have asked for… I only want ONE advantage and, if you give it to me, I will whip the pants off all of you when it comes to selling burgers!” The students leaned forward in their chairs.  What answer could they have possibly missed?
Sure, Gary Halbert was a brilliant sales person – but how could he possibly compete against every other advantage – let alone beat them all at once!?

“The only advantage I want is…”  “…A Starving Crowd!

Gary knew something that the other marketers had overlooked… He knew the value of a large market, full of motivated buyers.
You can have every other advantage in the world – the best location, the best reputation, the best prices, the best terms, and the best product – but if you can’t find people hungry for your hamburgers, how can you possibly expect to make sales?
It had taken years for Gary Halbert to realize that the most important element of any marketing campaign is the quality of your target market.
The master had taught his students well.

That’s why this story is retold by direct response marketers.  It’s because this story shows the value of getting the market research phase right!

Hope to see you on Monday night at 6pm at Fernandeli’s on S 8th St. across from Fred’s.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Last Leg Rally Video

Last Leg Rally

Last Leg Rally

The Inaugural Last Leg Rally, featuring destinations in and around Fernandina Beach, Yulee and Northeast Florida, was held last weekend as a fund raiser to benefit the Wounded Warriers project and Anchors Aweigh Charters.

The weather was spectacular for this bike show, two motorcycle runs, vendors area, biker games and pub crawl. We were able to attend a few of the events and captured some video so you can remember the great time you had, or see what you may have missed. Either way, we look forward to next year’s Second Annual Last Leg Rally.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on Twitter

You can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Commission to Vote on Isle of Three Flags

Commission to Vote on Isle of Three Flags

Commission to Vote on Isle of Three Flags

There is a regularly scheduled meeting of the Fernandina Beach Commissioners on Tuesday, March 2nd at 6:00 PM. The second reading of a sign ordinance involving the legalities, permitting fees and fines associated with flying more than three flags will be discussed and this includes flying the eight flags of Amelia Island at any one time on any one property. The businesses in this town are struggling to stay afloat and if you have an opinion on how these elected officials are going to limit your right and freedom to fly a flag on your property, you NEED to attend this meeting. If this passes, our history will be changed and we will no longer be a proud island of an eight flag heritage. No, we will have to tell of our home’s heritage… three flags at a time!

Here is the agenda:

1. CALL TO ORDER
2. ROLL CALL
3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE / INVOCATION
Invocation by Reverend Brett Opalinski from Memorial United Methodist Church.

4. PROCLAMATIONS/PRESENTATION

4.1 PRESENTATION – MAYOR’S TROPHY – Presentation of the Mayor’s Trophy for the Best Holiday Lighting will be presented to “Red Otter”. Mrs. Joann Bean, last year’s recipient, will be present to present the trophy with the Mayor.
4.2 PROCLAMATION – PROBLEM GAMBLING AWARENESS WEEK – Proclaims March 7-13, 2010, as “Problem Gambling Awareness Week”. Police Chief James Hurley will be present to accept the Proclamation.
4.3 PRESENTATION – MIKE PIKULA – Mr. Mike Pikula will make a brief presentation regarding potential Greenway additions.

5. CONSENT AGENDA
5.1 RESCINDING RESOLUTION 2010-07 REGARDING THE PROPOSED INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT WITH NASSAU COUNTY – RESOLUTION 2010-26 RESCINDING RESOLUTION 2010-07 REGARDING A PROPOSED INTERLOCAL AGREEMENT WITH THE NASSAU COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS REGARDING THE PROPERTY LOCATED AT 11 N. 14TH STREET; COMMITTING TO DONATE $25,000, PAYABLE WITHIN THIRTY DAYS, TO THE NASSAU COUNTY COUNCIL ON AGING, INC., TO ENABLE FORWARD PROGRESS IN THE BUILDING OF A NEW FACILITY LOCATED AT 11 N. 14TH STREET; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Synopsis: Rescinds Resolution 2010-07 and approves the donations of $25,000 within 30 days to the Nassau County Council on Aging, Inc.
5.2 APPROVING MONETARY DONATION TO THE NASSAU COUNTY COUNCIL ON AGING, INC. – RESOLUTION 2010-27 PLEDGING TO DONATE A TOTAL OF $150,000 OVER A THREE-YEAR PERIOD TO THE NASSAU COUNTY COUNCIL ON AGING INCORPORATED, TO ENABLE FORWARD PROGRESS IN THE BUILDING OF A NEW FACILITY LOCATED AT 11 N. 14TH STREET; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Synopsis: Pledges to donate a total of $150,000 in three installments over three years to the Nassau County Council on Aging.
5.3 FACILITIES USE AGREEMENT – BRIDGESTONE FIRESTONE NORTH AMERICAN TIRE – RESOLUTION 2010-28 APPROVING THE FACILITY USE AGREEMENT WITH BRIDGESTONE FIRESTONE NORTH AMERICAN TIRE FOR A DISPLAY IN THE CAR PARK AREA OF THE CITY AIRPORT TO BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE CONCOURS d’ELEGANCE; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Synopsis: Approves Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire for use of Airport property on March 14, 2010, between 7:00am and 7:00pm.
5.4 CONTRACT APPROVAL – SHRIMP FESTIVAL FIREWORKS – RESOLUTION 2010-29 PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION 14-1 (A) OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES AND THE FRANCHISE FOR OPERATION OF THE ANNUAL SHRIMP FESTIVAL, PROVIDING THAT THE CITY SHALL SPONSOR AND CONTRACT FOR THE FIREWORKS DISPLAY DURING 2010 SHRIMP FESTIVAL AND FUTURE SHRIMP FESTIVALS FOR A PERIOD OF UP TO 5 YEARS; PROVIDING THAT THE SHRIMP FESTIVAL SHALL PAY ANY REQUIRED DEPOSIT TO THE CITY PRIOR TO SHRIMP FESTIVALS AND THE REMAINING COST OF FIREWORKS TO THE CITY WHEN ALL OTHER CITY COSTS ARE DUE; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Synopsis: Approves hosting a fireworks display on April 30, 2010 during the 2010 annual Shrimp Festival and future Shrimp Festivals for a period of up to 5 years.
5.5 BUDGET TRANSFER – FINANCE, GOLF, AND GARAGE DEPARTMENTS – RESOLUTION 2010-30 APPROVING AN AMENDMENT TO THE BUDGET FOR TRANSFER OF FUNDS WITHIN THE FINANCE DEPARTMENT, GOLF COURSE FUND, AND GARAGE FUND; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Synopsis: Approves the transfer of funds for the unanticipated expenditures in FY 09/10.

6. REQUESTS FROM THE PUBLIC TO BE HEARD ON ITEMS NOT ON THE AGENDA
6.1 CITY RESIDENTS
6.2 NON-CITY RESIDENTS

7. RESOLUTIONS
7.1 SUPPORTING OF THE MICAH’S PLACE COMMUNITY ART PROJECT “SHRIMP EXPRESSIONS” – RESOLUTION 2010-31 DEMONSTRATING SUPPORT FOR THE MICAH’S PLACE “SHRIMP EXPRESSIONS” PROGRAM, PROVIDING LIMITATIONS ON PLACEMENT OF THE SHRIMP STATUES, PROVIDING NOTICE OF PERMITS NEEDED, AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Synopsis: Supports the “Shrimp Expressions” program, ensures any necessary permits are obtained prior to placement of the shrimp statues, ensures any special events permits for any banners are obtained, and requires that the statues be removed no later than October 1, 2010.

8. ORDINANCES – SECOND READING
8.1 LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE AMENDMENT – AIRPORT – ORDINANCE 2010-07 AMENDING THE LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE, CHAPTER 1, SECTION 1.07.00 ACRONYMS AND DEFINITIONS AND CHAPTER 4, SECTION 4.03.04, STANDARDS FOR DEVELOPMENT IN THE AIRPORT OVERLAY; SPECIFICALLY AMENDING THE LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE TO ADD LANGUAGE TO ADDRESS THE AIRPORT DESIGN STANDARDS AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Synopsis: LDC Text Amendment in Chapter 1, Section 1.07.00, and Chapter 4, Section 4.03.04, to add language to address the Airport Design Standards.

Isle of Three Flags

Isle of Three Flags

8.2 LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE AMENDMENT – SIGNS – ORDINANCE 2010-09 APPROVING AMENDMENTS TO THE LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE, CHAPTER 5, SIGNS; SPECIFICALLY AMENDING THE SIGNAGE CODE TO ADD LANGUAGE FOR THE PURPOSE OF ENHANCING THE EXISTING CODE TO BETTER COMPLY WITH RECENT CASE LAW; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE. Synopsis: Amends the Land Development Code, Section 5.03.00, regarding signs.

9. BOARD APPOINTMENT
9.1 BOARD OF ADJUSTMENT – 2 Appointments.
9.2 GOLF COURSE ADVISORY BOARD – 2 Appointments.

10.DISCUSSION – DIRECTION – ACTION ITEMS
10.1 PRIORITIZATION OF CRA DENSITY SCORECARD

11. CITY MANAGER REPORTS
12. CITY ATTORNEY REPORTS
13. CITY CLERK REPORTS
14. MAYOR/COMMISSIONER COMMENTS
15. ADJOURNMENT

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on Twitter

You can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Putting North Florida Tsunami Fears in Perspective

Tsunami Travel Time

Tsunami Travel Time

With the 8.8 quake and ensuing tsunami recorded in Central Chili this morning and the devastating quake in Haiti last month and a smaller quake of Japan this week, thoughts are immediately coming to mind about our own vulnerability to tidal waves here on a Florida barrier island, barely high enough to handle a 20ft transatlantic wave.

With alarm stories inundating the press and internet in recent years that a volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma, called Cumbre Vieja, is set to erupt and drop a landmass the size of the island of Man into the Atlantic Ocean causing a 300 ft. (100 meters) high Tidal Wave to race across the Atlantic and hitting us with 150ft water columns about 8 hours later, I went to research realities of this potential disaster.
When Mother Earth gets angry, even scientists who monitor earth quakes and volcanic activities daily get a little nervous about accuracy of their predictions, so history becomes the only real measuring stick for probability. And history gives us the following important observations:

1. Tsunamis caused by earthquakes are far more deadly and destructive than tsunamis caused by Volcanic eruptions. History only shows the volcanic collapses on the island of Santorini in Greece (ending the Minoan Civilization) and the Krakatau in Indonesia in 1883 as having caused catastrophic waves with the stipulation that death and destruction were mostly within a hour distance of the origin. Studies and experiments show that relatively short waves from these small, though intense, occurrences do not travel as do tsunami waves from a major earthquake.

2. No mega tsunamis as a result of a volcanic collapse have occurred in either the Atlantic or Pacific oceans in recorded history. NONE.
Scientists will not deny the existence of regular mega-tsunamis in geological history, nor their capacity to wreck true carnage, but a bit of perspective is in order before we install more groundless fear.

I checked on earth quake initiated tsunamis in the Atlantic in the past 250 years and came up with 3 of such occurrences (see maps):

Lisbon Portugal Tsunami 1755

Lisbon Portugal Tsunami 1755

• In 1755 a large earthquake off Lisbon, Portgual generated a tsunami that affected the coasts of Portugal, Spain, North Africa, and the Caribbean. The tsunami reached Lisbon about 20 minutes after the first destructive shock. It rose to about 6 meters (18 ft) at many points along the Portguese coast and reached 12 meters (36ft) in some places. The tsunami reached Antigua in the West Indies about 9.3 hours after the earthquake. Later waves, with estimated runup heights of 7 meters (21ft), were observed at Saba, Netherlands, Antilles. The earthquake and tsunami killed between 60,000 and 100,000 people.

• A magnitude 7.3 Mw earthquake on October 11, 1918, in the Mona Passage, west of Puerto Rico, not very far from the recent Haitian earthquake, generated a tsunami with runup heights reaching 6 meters (18ft), causing extensive damage along the western and northern coasts of Puerto Rico. The earthquake and tsunami caused $29 million damage, 116 people were killed and 100 were reported missing.

• On November 18, 1929 a magnitude 7.4 Mw earthquake occurred 250 km (170mph) south of Newfoundland along the southern edge of the Grand Banks, Canada. The earthquake was felt as far away as New York and Montreal. It triggered a large submarine slump which ruptured 12 transatlantic cables in multiple places and generated a tsunami. The tsunami was recorded along the east coast of Canada and the U.S., as far south as Martinique in the Caribbean, and across the Atlantic Ocean in Portugal. The tsunami caused an estimated $1 million damage and 28 deaths in Newfoundland, Canada.
Further research indicates that: Compared to the Pacific Ocean, tsunamis are rare both in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Note: The contours on the maps are in 1 hour time intervals. The contours are colored according to the scheme: red contours are for 1-4 hour arrival times, yellow (5-6 hour arrival times), green (7-14 hour arrival times), and blue (15 to 21 hour arrival times).

The current version of the Global Historical Tsunami DataBase (GTDB) covers the period from 1628 B.C. till present and contains nearly 2250 historical events with 1206 of them occurred in the Pacific, 263 in the Atlantic, 125 in the Indian ocean and 545 in the Mediterranean region. In total, these events are responsible for 694,000 lives lost in tsunami waves during all the historical period of available observations.
Also out of the total 2250 events, only 223 tsunamis resulted in any fatalities, all others were weak local events observable only in several particular areas of the nearest coast. From these 223 deadly tsunamis, 212 (95%) fall into the category of local and regional events with most of damage and all fatalities limited to one-hour propagation time. In total, they are responsible for 322,000 (47%) fatalities.

And in closing, the 11 trans-oceanic tsunamis that occurred in the World Ocean during the last 250 years are responsible for 372,000 (53%) fatalities. Among them, 280,000 people were killed during just one event – the December 26, 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Other 10 trans-oceanic tsunamis are responsible for 92,000 deaths that is only 13% of all tsunami-related fatalities.
The Christmas 2004 tsunami happened in one of the most dense populations in the world and hopes are that the Chilean quake tsunami this morning will not have this frightful impact on the islands and nations on its way. After 4:05 EST today we should get reports from Hawaii and other Pacific islands how bad it is going to be. Predictions are however that the islands will see a series of big waves rather than one wall of water. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Philly Boyz Facebook Discount

Philly Boyz Facebook Discount

Philly Boyz Facebook Discount

Here is an example of a local business, Philly Boyz in historic Fernandina Beach, stimulating our local economy by saving you money!

On their Facebook page they are offering the following discount good only from March 1st until March 12, 2010:

Monday-everything on our menu 50% off
Tuesday– everything on our menu 40% off
Wednesday– everything on our menu 30% off
Thursday-everything on our menu 20% off
Friday– everything on our menu 10% off

You must mention this Facebook ad to receive your discount! While you are there go ahead and become a “fan” – maybe they will post other cool discounts again soon.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on Twitter

You can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

As the US and EU Government Models are Failing

I was going to sit back and relax and let Friday and the weekend take over after a week of spreading my opinions, researches, comments and other more or less personalized visions over our loyal audience. Many stories in the pipeline; stories about travel, stories about tourism on our island, stories about economic bottle necks and advice to people who are still willing to listen on how to pick up your own future prosperity.
I had my glass of Remy Martin ready when the following story came in on my laptop. I read it and wanted to share it with you. Here is some food for thought.

The European Union and the United States should consider the successful freedom model of Swiss confederation government rather than the failed top down examples of other nations and empires. Few would question that Switzerland is the most secure, stable, and freedom-oriented nation in the world but it is time to ask what is so unique about the Swiss.

The answer is there is nothing particularly different about the nation or its people. They like to work hard, play hard and provide a good life for their families. So do the citizens of most other nations when given the opportunity. 

They prefer peace and diplomacy to war and aggression but will fight to defend their independence and liberties. They prefer a stable currency, low taxes, financial privacy, economic prosperity and a government that represents and defends the people. Again, these are not unusual wants but few nations and governments provide an opportunity for these basic human needs and rights to flourish.

So why is Switzerland different?

Here are some examples of why the Swiss government model works and the European Union and American Union have failed to deliver on their big-government utopian promises. 

National Expansion By Voluntary Association vs Force — The term “Willensnation” is a Swiss concept of national growth and expansion by attraction through the voluntary association of neighboring principalities, cities, and individuals. This makes Switzerland a nation created by acts of free will rather than force. Growth by attraction of those willing to be part of the Helvetian Confederation rather than war and invasion have served the Swiss well over the last few hundred years of peace and prosperity.

How totally different from the American model of “manifest destiny” and military aggression which is how most of the national expansion of the United States took place. The growth of the Union was followed again by force with the outright invasion of the Southern states that decided to leave by Lincoln’s armies during the War Between the States.

The history of Europe has been even far worse than the US both historically and now with the EU. Today the citizens in most European nations were never allowed the opportunity to vote on throwing away their national sovereignty and coming under EU rule. Whether these nations can voluntarily withdraw is still an open question. 

Tax Competition vs Forced Tax Harmonization — In Switzerland the vast majority of taxes are collected at the canton (state) level while the federal income tax level is quite small and comparable to state tax rates in the United States. This allows different cantons and even localities in individual cantons to dramatically compete for residents, corporations, businesses and even retirees. 

The tax difference can range over 20% of income from high-tax cantons like Zurich and Geneva to low-tax jurisdictions like Zug. Tax competition keeps the cantonal governments lean and productive and the politicians honest.

Retirees from outside Switzerland can even create a type of low-bid competition for a set amount or percentage tax rate between cantons. This is the ultimate in tax competition. 

In the US, there is little reason to move or locate businesses in specific states because the majority of the parasitic tax burden is universal at the federal level. The tax difference between the few states with no income tax and the others is minimal and with most states and cities on the verge of bankruptcy like the federal government, taxes will be rising everywhere.

It is the same with the failing European Union. The EU preference is a harmonized tax rate that guarantees a steady supply of revenue to governments and politicians and the ultimate goal is to end low-tax jurisdictions so there will be no tax competition. For example the EU requires a VAT tax of at least 15% in each country whether the nation or people want or need this burden on top of already crushing income tax rates.

Competing Currencies vs Currency Monopoly —

In Switzerland, most retailers, hotels and restaurants will gladly price your purchase in Swiss francs or the Euro depending on your preference. Change is given in Swiss francs but the freedom to choose your preferred currency is usually available. Recently, in the Zurich train station, Burger King was even accepting dollars on a one to one basis with the Swiss franc. 

Contrast Swiss currency competition to the silence from US political establishment when Ron Paul called for currency competition here in the US. Private entities like the Liberty Dollar people are threatened and imprisoned just for attempting to offer a gold and silver alternative to the Federal Reserve’s fiat paper dollars which have an intrinsic value of absolute zero.

Here the European Union nations do have a possible alternative to the Euro. Each nation should again issue their own currency and allow it to circulate with the Euro with each national central bank or treasury pegging the national currency in a range relative to the Euro just like the Swiss central bank does. 

While much has been written about how the EU is threatened by the government debts and questionable accounting methods used by nations including Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain, why should the concern stop here? Today’s Greece, could be tomorrow’s UK, France and even the United States. Few of the western democracies have a monopoly on corrupt politicians or out-of-control national debts.

Ultimate Citizen Control vs Political Establishment —

In Switzerland, the voters ultimately rule over the politicians and political elites due to the political rights of referendum and initiative. Is the majority always right, of course not as Thomas Jefferson warned about the dangers of democracy and mob rule but at least they aren’t always wrong like politicians controlled by special interests. Switzerland has a very weak “confederation model” central government with most of the programs, regulations and taxes handled at the local level. This way programs benefit the people rather than powerful federal politicians and interests like in most other nations. 

Switzerland has a neutral non-interventionist foreign policy because this is the will of the people. This is why the Swiss waited 50 years to join the United Nations even though most of the UN organization is based in Geneva.

For similar reasons, this is why the Swiss have a stable currency, why individuals can buy stock in their central bank, why they have financial privacy and a low crime rate. The Swiss people demand this from their government or else the people will act. They can nullify a law or legislation by referendum or pass legislation through the right to actually create legislation and laws by-passing parliament with the right of initiative. 

Again, this is a direct contrast to the United States where everything runs downhill from the federal government to the states, local jurisdictions and ultimate the people sort of like a political sewer system.

Our representative democracy does not allow direct citizen control or oversight at the federal level and this is why the will of the people is usually ignored other than with false rhetoric at election time. 

The EU should act as a decentralized confederation of sovereign states similar to the Swiss Confederation as did America’s first government, the Articles of Confederation if it wants to prosper and benefit the nations of Europe. Each nation should be given the opportunity to vote on membership, to have the option of maintaining their own currency and uniqueness of their nation.

Time to Look at a Successful Political Model —

Both America and the upstart European Union would do well to look at the Swiss model of limited government over state jurisdictions rather than the failed dictatorial and fascist models which are all too prevalent in history. Freedom, liberty and independence have survived to a remarkable degree in Switzerland for hundreds of years despite the hatred and fear both near and far from nations and politicians more interested in looting their citizens than in promoting liberty and limited, efficient government. 

We are in the death throes of the grand experiment of top down, special-interest-controlled government and fake prosperity based on unlimited debt. The time is up for Brussels, sell-out national politicians and Washington. I hope the political elites and international financial interests who screwed the people of the world and future generations all for short-term profits and political gains will be held accountable.

How About Freedom? —

Finally, it is time for the nations and peoples of the world whether occupied by corrupt political elites or foreign troops to demand what the Swiss have had for centuries: a government of their own, controlled by the citizens that works to benefit the nation instead of outside interests. I truly believe unique Switzerland has the government model which holds the key to freedom, prosperity and independence for many nations in the world today. 

Now is the time to work, build and restore a limited government which promotes freedom and free-markets rather than force in governing and solving problems. George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and our founding fathers would do no less and we can do no more.

Regards,
Ron Holland
LewRockwell.com

Jump, Jive and Wail on Amelia Island

Jump, Jive and Wail on Amelia Island

Jump, Jive and Wail on Amelia Island

Looking for an event to take someone dancing on Amelia Island in March? Jump, Jive and Wail, a Swingin’ Dance and Show will be held at Sheffield’s at the Palace on March 27th from 7 to 10:00 PM. Presented by Moet & Chandon, The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band, with vocalist, Bonnie Eisele, will have you dancing the night away.

This is an open seating event, with a cash bar, but limited tickets are available so get yours today by calling the Palace Saloon at (904) 491-3332, or stop in at Sheffield’s at the Palace Saloon at 117 Centre Street or the UPS Store, next to Publix.

Bonnie Eisele, the band’s featured vocalist, began her career as a student of opera in Chicago until she toured Europe with the Free Street Theater Company, spending a year in Brazil studying their singing and dancing traditions. Eisele received a call from DeMerle inviting her to audition for his band and eight weeks later, they were married.

Les DeMerle, band leader and modern jazz drummer, has performed with the Harry James Big Band, Wayne Newton, Manhattan Transfer, Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Joe Williams just to name a few. As the founder of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, a portion of the proceeds from Jump, Jive and Wail will benefit the Amelia Island Jazz Festival Scholarship Program.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Artist Presentation on Amelia Island

Artist Presentation on Amelia Island

Artist Presentation on Amelia Island

The Plantation Artists Guild and Gallery is presenting Tina DeVoe, a watercolorist. Her works will be on display, “Notes from my Watercolor Journal” on Monday, March 1st at 7:00 PM.

Wintering on Amelia Island, Tina spends her summers in Maine. Come hear her describe how she combines her passion for painting and her love of writing into this FREE presentation.

The Gallery is located at 94 Village Circle at the Plantation Spa and Shops.

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on Twitter

You can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Forever Fit Challenge Week Four

Forever Fit Challenge Week Four

Forever Fit Challenge Week Four

Week four of the Forever Fit Challenge at Club 14 Fitness had many of the contestants rethinking their diet and exercise strategy as this was not a very productive week for most.

Changing your lifestyle is not an easy thing to do, especially when you share your home (and your fridge) with others. Adapting to new schedules, new menus and working out can be stressful. When the results are not as desired you have to dig deep to keep from letting discouragement take over and suddenly you are back to your old bad habits.

Four weeks is enough time for your body to adjust to the changes you have made. Eating healthier does not always mean fewer calories. Working out does not always mean weight loss; muscle is heavier than fat. When you work out you are replacing some of the fat with heavier muscle. Your pants may fit better, but the scales do not reveal how truly hard you have been working.

Here is the Week Four video so you can see how each of the contestants fared this week. Even though Dawn was not present this week for the weigh-in, she did work out with the group this week. We just received a Facebook message that she has lost two pounds for the week, that is great news!!!

Bill, group fitness instructor at Club 14 Fitness told us, “It’s time to pick it up a notch because your body is getting used to what you are doing – time to try different classes.”

Contestant, Alex Watts, wrote in his fitness journal, “This week seems to have been my plateau week. It seems a bit too soon to not have lost weight, but I attribute it a little to my eating habits. Somewhere in the back of my mind I’ve been telling myself ‘it’s okay to eat a little more.’ Then I end up eating too much. I’ve been ingesting a lot of protein, but at the same time I’ve also been consuming cheese and bread here and there. Cheese and bread are not on the list of ‘okay’ things to eat on the Paleo diet, but I admit that I’ve never had strong willpower. A tip for next week, straying from the diet is not okay. The results are obvious. I believe that I will have to step it up during the next four weeks if I expect to be a contender for the most weight lost in the Forever Fit Challenge.”

If you have missed earlier videos from this series, just click on any of the links below. Remember, this is for a total of $3,000.00 in prize money so you can bet the competition will get heated as we enter the 2nd half of this challenge to lose weight and get into better physical health.

The Weigh-In
Week One
Week Two
Healthy Grocery Shopping
Week Three

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on TwitterYou can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

Jump, Jive and Wail on Amelia Island

Jump, Jive and Wail, a Swingin’ Dance and Show will be held at Sheffield’s at the Palace on March 27th from 7 to 10:00 PM. Presented by Moet & Chandon, The Dynamic Les DeMerle Band, with vocalist, Bonnie Eisele, will have you dancing the night away.

This is an open seating event, with a cash bar, but limited tickets are available so get yours today by calling the Palace Saloon at (904) 491-3332, or stop in at Sheffield’s at 117 Centre Street or the UPS Store, next to Publix.

Bonnie Eisele, the band’s featured vocalist, began her career as a student of opera in Chicago until she toured Europe with the Free Street Theater Company, spending a year in Brazil studying their singing and dancing traditions. Eisele received a call from DeMerle inviting her to audition for his band and eight weeks later, they were married.

Les DeMerle, band leader and modern jazz drummer, has performed with the Harry James Big Band, Wayne Newton, Manhattan Transfer, Lou Rawls, Sammy Davis Jr., Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme and Joe Williams just to name a few. As the founder of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, a portion of the proceeds from Jump, Jive and Wail will benefit the Amelia Island Jazz Festival Scholarship Program.

Family Friendly Florida Spring Break

Family Friendly Florida Spring Break

Family Friendly Florida Spring Break

Just about all schools have a Spring Break, including colleges, so finding a family friendly place to spend spring break with the youngest of students often seems hard to locate. All of the well known destinations in the Caribbean, Texas, Mexico and Florida are overrun with tourist traps that encourage late nights and loud behavior, so you may need to dig a bit deeper to find a suitable vacation spot for your young family this spring.

Consider Fernandina Beach in Northeast Florida for your spring vacation. Just a day’s drive from Atlanta, Miami, Pensacola, Charlotte and Columbia, Fernandina Beach is located on Amelia Island. This 13 mile by two mile island is one of Florida’s best kept secrets. Home to world class resorts such as the Amelia Island Plantation and the Ritz Carlton, there are fabulous golf courses, miles and miles of white sandy beaches, a Victorian seaside shopping village and some of the friendliest folks you will ever meet.

Located just 35 minutes from the Jacksonville International Airport you can easily escape to our world. Ask any of the locals, we even operate on our own time zone – Island Time!

Whether you are interested in fishing out in the Atlantic Ocean or fishing the rivers and streams, our local charter boat captains know where to catch the “fish of the day”. Jogging our nature trails of the Egan’s Creek Greenway, touring the civil war era Fort Clinch, cycling through the State Park, catching waves or hunting shark’s teeth on our pristine beaches will have you craving a meal at any one of our local dining establishments. Seafood, Asian fusion, steaks, Mexican, French, southern hospitality or fine dining, you will find them all right here in Fernandina Beach. We even lay claim to our local restaurants serving some of the best Philly Cheese Steak, New York style Pizza or a homemade corned beef or pastrami in the country…, no kidding! Save room for dessert because Fernandina’s Fantastic Fudge and Peterbrooke Chocolatier will irresistibly tempt your sweet tooth!

Amelia Island is not your typical Florida destination; we don’t even have snow birds! Our busy season is in the summer. Because we are an island, the Atlantic Ocean and inter-coastal waterways play a huge role in moderating our weather. We stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter than the mainland, and quite often those afternoon thunderstorms are kept at bay by a soothing ocean breeze.

For most of the United States, winter this year was brutal everywhere and folks are looking for a nice place to visit. So, go ahead and make plans to visit us on Amelia Island, you are welcome here!

Feedburner If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment below or subscribe to the feed to have future articles delivered to your e-mail and get the latest Amelia Island News, business, tourist activities and videos every morning!

SearchAmelia on Twitter

You can also choose to follow SearchAmelia on Twitter to get your daily updates!

1 2 3 17