A Push Chair that magically Turns into a Bicycle

Innovation and environment friendly the Taga

There is this website called newslite.tv which picks ups many creative ideas from around the world. They kind of undersell themselves with the by-line “it barely qualifies as news”, yet brings very entertaining topics. This morning my wife sent me a link to a new bicycle cq push chair, box-bike, grocery cart. We recently took on biking, as in pedaling across the island, followed  quick stops at the grocery store. I even go to meetings or take my video and still cameras in my back pack and pedal around. Love it, get lots of fresh air and exercise, but have to admit that sometimes I would need a bit more carrying space when I try to fit a bunch of specials from the store into my back pack.

So here is the introduction of some very creative thinking that came from that little country that I still call home at the north sea. As a kid I remember our  baker making his rounds twice a week with a box bike in which he carried his assortment of breads, cookies and pastry and especially on Saturday’s we made sure we were hanging somewhere around the house when he brought two dozen of his French bread pistolets. A bit of butter and some fresh cut ham and cheese (on special occasions with a touch of Apple Stroop (butter) in between and a $100 dinner of Chateau Briand and Pommerol with Chateau Petrus and main lobster as appetizer could not compete.

His baker’s bike looked like this one, which if you type in BAKFIETS in Google Images, you’ll find dozens of clever variations that recently are seeing a huge revival in European cities.
And that’s where TAGA fond its inspiration for this magnificent innovation of an old friend: A pushchair which can be converted into a child-carrying bicycle in just 20 seconds.

It is credited as an urban vehicle to suit your transportation needs and has become a hit with eco-friendly mothers across the world.
The universal appeal of the bike is actually uncanny, but not surprising. Taga was born as a global application of green energy and innovation. It was created by an international team with expertise in a wide range of fields, who had however in common parenthood, passion for bicycles and a desire for a product like this in their own lives.

City squares resemble old van Gogh and Vermeer scenery paintings

Cycling is a huge part of Dutch culture and cargo or carrier bikes, three-wheeled vehicles with wooden boxes in the front, are very popular as a way to travel with kids these day, sometimes even 3 or 4. The idea behind Taga was to take the carrier bike concept a couple of steps further and adapt it for the rest of the world.

At a price tag of about $2,250 a Taga Bike rivals India’s tiny Tatra automobile in price, but it appeals to eco friendly parents and the savings are obviously in the use. At one point it looks like a ‘normal’ pushchair but after a bit of twisting, folding and flipping becomes a fully functioning bike with a child-seat on the front.

While I love the engineering feat which is the pushchair-bicycle, I foresee one glaring problem in my case… I have no plans to have a young child anytime sooner or later.
I guess my wife sent me the link as a hint as there is one 10 month grand child and another one on the way. And guess what…their parents don’t do bicycles!

First Coast Crime Stoppers

First Coast Crime Stoppers

First Coast Crime Stoppers

First Coast Crime Stoppers is an anonymous tip line you can call regarding crimes anywhere in Florida’s First Coast. This partnership between law enforcement, the media and members of the community has a motto, “Work Together to Solve and Prevent Crime.”

Started in the Southwest in the mid 1970s, the idea of re-enacting an unsolved crime, offering an award, and the promise of anonymity drew tips from the public giving birth to this crime fighting movement.

If you have a tip for law enforcement, you can report online or you can simply call (866) 845-TIPS (8477) and a call center in Texas takes your call. You will not be asked for your name, your location or how you obtained a tip and there is no Caller ID, but you will be given a tip number that corresponds to the crime you are calling about. Rewards are paid based on arrests, not convictions. You can call a local number (904) 448-9110 on Tuesdays between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM (again, there is no Caller ID) and use your assigned tip number to check the progress of your reported tip.

After an arrest is made, a reward is approved and the amount is determined by the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors, a group made up of volunteers in the community. Tipsters can pick up their reward at a local bank, with no questions asked! Rewards can be as high as $1,000.00.

First Coast Crime Stoppers is not a part time job or a great way to establish an extra income stream, but this is a way to help keep your neighborhoods safer by reporting criminal activity anonymously and making a little cash for your effort!

If you have news or information about our community that you would like to share, please send it to us by clicking here.

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7 Habits of Highly Responsible Students

7 Habits of Highly Responsible Students

7 Habits of Highly Responsible Students

Everyone with school aged children is trying to get back into the swing of their family school routines. Nassau sounds, the Nassau County Back-to-School newsletter reminds us of the Seven Habits of Highly Responsible Students.

Now is the right time to get the school year off to a great start, and these tips are good reminders for us all!

“To the three “R’s” taught in school, many parents and teachers would like to add a fourth – Responsibility. They know that responsible students grow up to be responsible adults.

Responsible students don’t have any one secret for their success… but they do practice some habits that help them. Here are seven habits that can make any child a highly responsible student.

1. They Set Goals!
Goals keep kids focused on the future. That’s why they are the foundation of responsible behavior – and success in school.

Goals help students focus on what’s important and what’s not. If they have a vision of where they want to go, they’re more likely to get there.

2. They plan their time!
Responsible people meet their obligations – whether it’s turning in a paper on the day it’s due or having a report on the boss’s desk when it’s needed. But it takes planning.

Use a big calendar to help to teach your child how to organize his/her time. Have them write down all their commitments and use the calendar to plan time for homework each day.

3. They study every day!
Learning any subject is like building a brick wall, you do it steadily, one step at a time. Responsible students set aside time for homework or studying every day.

4. They take notes in class!
Students who earn all “A’s” seem to have one thing in common: they all take notes in class. They have learned that teachers will almost always spell out what they think is important (which is what’s likely to be on the test). Teach your child to take notes when the teacher is talking.

5. They have the tools they need!
A carpenter wouldn’t think of showing up without a hammer. A nurse always has a stethoscope. Students need pencils, paper, textbooks and other tools.

6. They keep their commitments!
Responsible people honor their commitments – to others and to themselves. They succeed in school by doing their assignments well and on time. They do their share of the group project.

7. They get ready ahead of time!
Some students start out every morning in a crisis. They can’t find their homework. They don’t have time to eat breakfast. The shirt they want to wear isn’t clean. Responsible students have learned that being late, or being early, is not something that simply happens to them. It is a choice they can make.

Teach your child to take 5 or 10 minutes before bedtime to get ready for the next day. Pack their backpack, make lunch and lay out their clothes. Children will soon see that those few minutes will make the morning easier… and help him get to school ready to learn.

Help Build Responsible Habits in 21 Days:
Experts say that if we repeat an action every day for just 21 days, it is likely to become automatic. So, for the next 21 days, encourage your kids to act on the habits of responsible students. They’ll soon find they do them without even thinking. And, they’ll be more responsible and more successful in school as well!”

If you have news or information about our community that you would like to share, please send it to us by clicking here.

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Are Cruise Ships Pulling out of US?

This is a normal day on St.Maarten when 3 or 4 mega ships drop 20,000 visitors for a day of shopping and sightseeing. It helps the economy, but the price tag is huge.

The headline on a recent travel industry article announced: Many U.S. cruise ports in a funk. Many ships are leaving US homeports for Europe and Australia. The story took me back to the 1990’s when  an old high school friend of mine down on the island of St.Maarten was caught up in orchestrating the financing for the island’s cruise port expansion.  I remember lengthy discussions St.Maarten style at Boardwalk Cafés overlooking Great Bay beach, arguing about shopping opportunities, restaurant and entertainment facilities and security arrangements. We were putting numbers together on Heineken Beer coasters and calculated that with a doubling of cruise ship arrivals in 8 years, the debt load could be paid off in 8-10 years.

It was easy in the early days as security was not a real consideration and the industry was growing by leaps and bounds. Then 911 happened and we allowed the world to change beyond the realistic need for safety and security.  After 911 it became a different story as no-one without a triple checked clearing had access to what used to be a quaint, good-natured and uncontrolled cruise port where local crafts were sold on the pier and natives danced and drank with visitors until the ships horn announced departure.

When the first $40 million port was built, additional expansion plans were already on the table and consecutively realized. Even St.Maarten’s $100 million plus new airport found an important motive in the cruise industry, called Homeporting. Build a big enough facility to become one or more cruiselines’ homeport. Of course that only works if the combination of air and cruise price is a feasible proposition in any economy. After 911 St.Maarten rapidly adopted American Security standards both in cruise port and airport requirements and this year’s arrival projection is 1.4 million visitors. Project an average of 46 cruise ships per month on an island the size of Amelia Island and you know that life is never going to be the same.

As a result of 911 the cruise industry in the US also changed dramatically.

For years Americans were afraid to go to foreign destinations and consequently a lot of coastal cities with some type of a port facility, scrambled to become part of the growing home porting phenomenon.
I remember being part of a Sunday afternoon conversation in the now (disgracefully) defunct Wicked Davy’s Saloon about two and a half years ago, where several local politicians were discussing readying the Port of Fernandina for homeporting, as if there were no paper mills to relocate and historic downtowns to protect.
I saw first hand how an idyllic, picturesque island in the Caribbean exchanged short term prosperity for long term misery, I have seen how Key West changed dramatically in the past 15 years through the arrival of megaships and became a mecca of hardnosed commerce instead of old laid back Cuban Conch Village we called heaven.

In 2007, Norfolk, VA opened its glassy, modern, $36 million Half Moon cruise terminal to great fanfare. 

In December, San Diego is planning to open a $21 million cruise terminal. 

A little to the north, the Port of Los Angeles is investing $10 million in improvements to its cruise facility, even though cruise ship arrival will be few and far in between. 
Despite making significant investments, each of these ports will host its lowest number of cruise vessels and passengers in more than five years.

Brandnew Halfmoon Terminal in Norfolk, VA is waiting for better times.

The drop in San Diego is a hefty 45% in cruise ship traffic this year. In 2011 Los Angeles will drop a staggering 121 arrivals compared to its 265 arrivals in 2008. And yet, those numbers would be heaven in the ears of Norfolk’s Half Moon terminal, where a total of 11 ships will call this year, with only six calls on the books for 2011. 

What happened?

Cruise Ships are Mobile and Flexible

The extended economic downturn left cruise ship operators with clearcut options and at this time European and other faraway ports are again beacons for cruise lines. Besides the economy, cruise lines have also been balking at constant increases in security fees that are making cruising too cumbersome and expensive for many.

So, in a move that could mirror the exodus of drilling platforms from the Gulf to Africa and Brazil, Celebrity Cruises earlier this summer said it was canceling its departures out of Baltimore and would instead move operations to Australia and New Zealand next year, typically reversing a 2008 decision to leave the Down Under market and put a ship in Baltimore. 
That kind of mobility enables cruise lines to tap new markets and create new itineraries with relative ease, while the ports they serve enjoy no such flexibility. 

In addition to Celebrity, Royal Caribbean International, Holland America and Princess have also committed additional capacity to Australia over the next few years, increase the cruise capacity Down Under with as much as 20%. 

Princess recently announced it was putting an unprecedented four ships in Australia in 2011 as the result of increased demand from Australians, while Princess’ sister company, Cunard Line, recently said that the Queen Mary 2 would be based in Australia in 2012 for a circumnavigation of the continent, a first for Cunard. Royal Caribbean will deploy two ships to Australia in 2011, adding the Radiance of the Seas out of Sydney. The Radiance will join the Rhapsody of the Seas, already sailing its third Australian summer season.

Remember Dubai with the tallest building in the world; it’s rapidly becoming a homeport

Dubai, that much discussed Emirate in the Desert is yet again witnessing a major increase in cruise traffic and consequently Royal Caribbean will lengthen the 2,500 passenger Brilliance of the Seas’ Dubai season during winter 2011-12. 

Costa Cruises also signaled its dedication to Dubai last February by choosing this ‘Disneyworld of the Middle East’ the naming ceremony location for its newest ship, the 2,286-passenger Costa Deliziosa. 
Costa, Carnival Corp.’s Italian cruise brand, says it will carry 140,000 passengers on three ships from Dubai this year, triple the number when it began in 2006. And as a result of this continued growth, Costa decided to reduce its ships out of Florida next year from two to one.

But the hardest-hit of U.S. cruise markets are on the West Coast, where Royal Caribbean pulled the Mariner of the Seas from the Mexican Riviera in favor of a move to the Mediterranean beginning in January; Norwegian Cruise Lines pulled the Norwegian Sun from the Mexican Riviera in 2011, at the same time that it will be homeporting a ship in Copenhagen, Denmark, for the first time. 

Carnival Cruise Lines took the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation from its year-round perch in San Diego this past spring and instead is sailing the ship out of Mobile, Ala.; its newest ship, the 3,690-passenger Carnival Magic, will mark the line’s return to Europe next year after a two-year hiatus, sailing the Mediterranean from Barcelona.

Alaska keeps its charges up

Princess Cruises and Holland America Line, Alaska’s two largest cruise operators, have significantly reduced their Alaska capacity: Princess by 16% this year and HAL by 7% in 2011. 
Much of the loss for U.S. ports is Europe’s gain. Holland America will base seven ships in Europe this summer, including its newest vessel, the Nieuw Amsterdam, while Princess will have its largest-ever Europe deployment this year and next. 

In explaining these moves, those lines’ parent company, Carnival Corp., cited the “astronomical” costs Alaska puts on the cruise industry in taxes and fees.

With the mobility of the ships, global marketing structures in place and ground handling operations available almost anywhere these days it pays to pull a ship from Alaska and put it in Europe or Australia or Vietnam or Scandinavia. Operators are constantly going through those reviews as vessels move around to meet its best market potential.
Is it all a result of cyclical trends? 

Not really. U.S. homeports are by no means out of the game; in fact, several are doing well and some are doing extremely well.

Port of Everglades, homeport to some of the largest ships on the 7 Seas

Florida obviously has the huge advantage of being a stone’s throw away from the Caribbean Islands and it helps especially south Florida that the world’s largest cruise line, Carnival, has underscored its faith in homeport cruising, while most new ships in the cruise fleets begin life in a Florida port. Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades is homeport to the world’s largest cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas and Miami is home base for the Norwegian Epic.

Baltimore is serving a huge market place

Newcomer Baltimore has seen a tremendous growth and will host 91 cruise ship visits this year, up from 27 in 2008.
 Baltimore will welcome a record 190,00 cruise passengers coming through its port this year, only four years after opening. The success is often attributed to the fact that the Baltimore cruise port lies in the center of a vastly populated megalopolis, that does not have to go through the hassle of flying and security issues to get on a cruise ship.
 The growth has been called fantastic and stunning, but frankly is really a natural progression from 911 fall-out.

Even though industry experts claim that this latest shift is the result of improved consumer confidence — Americans are traveling abroad again — and because some nations’ economies, such as Australia’s, did not suffer as much as that of the U.S., I am convinced that the fear factor is still as strong as ever, coupled with the inconvenience of airline traveling to a homeport destination. 

Industry experts point at a variety of reasons why certain homeports work and others don’t and mostly they point out the the shift to mega ships versus older, midsize vessels and the fact that the recession has caused a lull in shipbuilding, which means there are fewer new vessels to go around. 

In addition, as new cruise ships have gotten larger, and as the older, smaller ships are increasingly sold to Old traditional brands, there are fewer U.S. ports with the market size required to fill the mammoth ships.
Ports like Galveston and New Orleans do well because of the market size they claim, experts claim.
If that were exclusively the case however, San Diego, Los Angeles and even Norfolk Virginia would be able to pull impressive numbers in terms of accessible markets. And New Orleans has not really an affluent market size available either.

Marketing a homeport is the exclusive power that rests with the cruise ships. The industry dictates both the homeport and the destination how and when to play ball. The only reason why Alaska can demand high fees from the cruise operators is because Alaska is rich, pristine, with a relatively small population that lives there by choice and over time have formed a sense of stubborness, not even a powerful cruise line can penetrate. The same story is already an issue on the island of Bermuda for decades. Some upscale islands in the Caribbean will (hopefully) not fall for cruise ship pressures and promises and build homeports of cultural alienation.

Personally I am glad that the talk about turning the Port of Fernandina into a cruise home port never materialized into something serious and was just a Sunday afternoon’s exchange of thoughts, better left inside a pub or at the bottom of a glass of beer.

Captain Magic’s Floating House Party

Captain Magic's Floating House Party

Captain Magic's Floating House Party

The Fernandina Little Theatre is presenting Captain Magic’s Floating House Party on Labor Day weekend, September 3, 4 and 5th at 8:00 PM.

Captain Magic’s Floating House Party, an evening of music and magic featuring Andrew “Captain Magic” Yellen and Ruthellen “Dr. Cha Cha Cha” Mulberg, will be backed up by the Boys of the Band: Jon Yellen, keyboards; Andrew Yellen, Jr., drums; and Vance Peeples, bass.

The show will highlight favorite standards and tunes, along with baffling mental telepathy.

Tickets are $12.00 and can be purchased at The UPS Store located in the Publix shopping center.

While looking for more information about Captain Magic and Dr. Cha Cha Cha, I found they do have a rental vacation home called, Peace O’ Heaven, that boasts a 180 degree sunset view of St. Thomas. For more information visit Vacation Rental by Owner, Listing number 47062.

If you have news or information about our community that you would like to share, please send it to us by clicking here.

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Welcome to the Hampton Inn at the Beach

The Hampton Inn on Sadler in Fernandina Beach

The first time I met Jeff Malone was several months ago at the CVB office on Centre Street for a meeting of the newly formed Amelia Island Blues Festival Committee. We instantly clicked, which is not really that surprising for musicians. But Jeff has something extra, something more than music. He has a drive. A relative newcomer to the island, he is already part of the scenery but not yet part of the furniture. He helps out wherever he can, gets around, participates and hasn’t met a stranger yet. You run into Jeff on about every island event.

A former small business owner he is intimately familiar with what it takes these days to keep a business successful and capture people’s focus and attention.
When Jeff indicated that he would be interested in advertising the Hampton Inn at the Beach on SearchAmelia, I flat out told him that advertising with us comes with a mutual understanding. I told him that SearchAmelia is a cooperative effort; it’s a networking effort. If he planned to advertise, he would also have to plan to send relevant articles, essays, opinions, editorials, press releases and announcements from the business on a very regular time schedule.

True to his commitment, here is Jeff’s first submission, the top 12 things to do while visiting Amelia Island. He expands and refreshes this list from time to time as he introduces guests at the Hampton Inn at the Beach to the island.

#12 Kayak Amelia – great peddle through the beautiful marsh areas at the south end of the island.

#11 Ride Sea Horses – relaxing horse ride on the beach, mostly on the south end of island.

#10 Deep Sea Fishing or Nautical Sight Seeing – From the City Marina, any local captain will put you on the fish. Any and all species can be caught around the island with all day and half day charters along with back water and marsh fishing available.

#9 Sunrise on the beach. Bring your camera for incredible shots. The picture with this article is one of Jeff’s sunrises.

#8 Golf on our beautiful Fernandina Beach Golf Club City course with Live Oak and Palm trees throughout. Tennis at the Atlantic Blvd. city courts. The back court will be the one you want if available.

#7 A Lunch or Dinner Experience at Cedar River (across street from hotel) or Sliders (on the beach, 1 block from hotel), The Marina Restaurant, Joe’s Bistro or Brett’s (all 3 located in the historic district). Lunch at Happy Tomatoes (3rd St., historic district) for Sandwiches or Sandy Bottoms (at Main Beach) for great fried shrimp. Check Amelia Bites for Customer Reviews

#6 Drive, walk or bike around 13 square blocks of the historic district to see the homes and bed & breakfast locations. Take your camera if you can. Many homes are worth a snapshot.

#5 Bike ride anywhere (our favorites are Main Beach to the City Marina biking down Atlantic Blvd., Eagan’s Creek Greenway, Fort Clinch, and all through the historic district. Unless you are avid bikers I would not recommend biking from your hotel to these areas unless you went down Sadler Rd. and cut over on 14th St. to get to Atlantic Blvd. via Citrona. Try your feet at beach biking when it’s low tide.

#4 Tour Fort Clinch and Florida’s longest fishing pier. Make sure you tour our Lighthouse too although unfortunately there is no access to the top.

#3 Beach Time – only 1 block from the Hampton Inn at Sea Side Park, or respectively a mile south to Peter’s Point or north to Main Beach.

#2 Amelia River Cruises – the sunset cruise is the most relaxing. You can also take a cruise to Cumberland Island and see the wild horses there. (board at the City Marina at the end of Centre Street). You get the best historic insight in the importance of Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island in the heydays of piracy when the island was still Spanish and St.Marys was Georgia in the USA 

and smuggling was the national pasttime.

#1 Walk down historic Centre Street to see the various shops, restaurants and coffee houses on your way to the City Marina to watch all the boats coming in. Have early dinner at Brett’s and be sure to find a rocking chair outside for the sunset. Bring your CAMERA!
Have fun and enjoy our Mayberry with a Beach!!

Jeff Malone is Director of Sales at the Hampton Inn at the Beach.

Warrior Vacations at Sunsplash this Saturday [video]

Sunsplash, a new beach party in 2010

As another summer is coming to an end, Fernandina Beach is pulling out all the stops this weekend with Sounds on Centre on Friday evening, September 3rd, followed by a whole day of Sunsplash Reggae Music and Family Entertainment on Saturday, September 4th at the Seaside Park Beach on Sadler and Fletcher. For the program just click on the banner ad on top of this page when it comes along and it will take you to the website or click here.

Now at this last Sunsplash of the year Warrior Vacations summer long fundraiser drawing that started in June will have a booth for the sales of fundraiser tickets.

Remember the Prizes made available by the local SEARS store and many other local businesses? Warrior Vacations management has decided to add one more event to the calendar to purchase raffle tickets on Saturday September 11 at the Second Amendment Gun Range on SR 17 in Yulee, when a day long 911 commemoration will be observed with monumental activities. At 5pm sharp on that day we will have two separate raffle drawings at the Gun Range for some great prizes such as a Craftsman stand-up tool chest on wheels, a one month Silver Membership to Second Amendment Indoor Gun Range, a one month memberships to Club 14 Fitness, and FREE concealed weapons permit classes donated by the Fernandina Beach Police Department. Remember, every dime raised is used to support the Warrior Vacation initiative!

In the grand prize raffle you can enter to win fabulous prizes including a Dyson vacuum cleaner, a weekend at the Residence Inn by Marriott or a brand new Fisher & Paykel washer and dryer valued at over $1,000.00, all donated by Sears.

More local sponsors

SearchAmelia and Warrior Vacations are summer long Sunsplash Sponsors

Crawford Jewelers gave a $100 gift certificate, Doo Wop Diner gave two $25 gift certificates, Search Amelia (yep, that is us) gave a 6 month free banner ad ($360), Amelia Massages gave a free one hour couples massage, Petanque America gave a set of 8 petanque balls ($75), Montego Bay Coffee, who sets up at the Farmer’s Market and now at Peter’s Point, gave a gift certificate and Pinch a Penny gave a Water Pop mesh pool lounge and 14″ Artisan Decor outdoor quartz clock with thermometer and a bunch of other gift certificates

So be there and donate royally to the Warrior Vacation Fundraiser. We’ll be in the big blue tent. Can’t miss us. You can come and enjoy the fun at Sunsplash and buy raffle tickets, you can go to the Sears Store on 14th Street and buy raffle tickets. To keep it private and safe, drop us an email at publisher@searchamelia.com if you want to support the cause that way.

And if you need a reminder on how much fun Sunsplash really is, take a look at this video from the July 4th weekend.

Great Southern Tailgate Cookoff Results [Video]

Great Southern Tailgate Cookoff Results

Great Southern Tailgate Cookoff Results

The Great Southern Tailgate Cookoff was held on Amelia Island for the first time this past weekend and the results are in. Nearly 40 professional cooking teams competed for $20,000 in prize money.

This barbeque event was wildly popular with the locals and the barbeque sold out early, but great entertainment and a beer tent kept people hanging around through the awards ceremony.

According to their website, “THE KANSAS CITY BARBEQUE SOCIETY (KCBS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and enjoying barbeque, is the world’s largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts with over 13,000 members worldwide.

KCBS sanctions almost 300 barbeque contests coast-to-coast throughout America. From volunteering to actual event production, our members also offer assistance to civic and charitable organizations who organize events.

KCBS serves as a clearinghouse of barbeque information which provides:

Networking with related trade associations and other contest-sanctioning organizations
Tracking trends in barbeque related products, and equipment
Teaming up with other food organizations and the media to promote barbeque
With our library, and extensive archive of barbeque related articles, KCBS offers educational programs, consultation services, and civic organization presentations to help promote barbeque as America’s Favorite Cuisine.”

In case you missed this weekend’s Tailgate Cookoff, we caught some of it on video just for you!


For individual category winners please visit their website. Here are your overall winners:

Grand Champion: Bub-Ba-Q
Reserve Champion: Munchee’s Smokehouse

1 Bub-Ba-Q
2 Munchee’s Smokehouse
3 Blazen BBQ
4 Rescue Smokers
5 Chatham Artillery BBQ
6 Cool Smoke
7 Jack’s Old South
8 U Rub Me Raw
9 Late Night WhiskeySmoker
10 C Eliots BBQ
11 Brittons BBQ
12 Two Big Slugs & Dan
13 Team Two Eggheads
14 Big Papa’s CountryKitche
15 Forrest’s Fine Foods
16 Grog N Hogs
17 Budmeisters
18 GB’s BBQ
19 Two Old Men and a Grill
20 Bethel Smokers
21 Holy Smoke
22 Swamp Boys
23 Southern Smoke
24 Fine’ly Ready BBQ
25 Smokin-AJ’s
26 Pack-A-Smokes
27 Sweat’s BBQ
28 Que’n Stew’n & Brew’n
29 Seriously Smokin’ BBQ
30 Papa G’s Pigletts
31 Smoke Shack BBQ – Ormond
32 Kick Back Cove Racing&BB
33 General Porktitioners
34 Native Sons BBQ
35 Porkerface BBQ
36 The Happy Tomato
37 JDB’s BBQ
38 Whammy BBQ Co.
39 Rub-B-Dub-Dub-DeGrub

If you have news or information about our community that you would like to share, please send it to us by clicking here.

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Best of the Best for the Waterwheel Art Gallery

Best of the Best for the Waterwheel Art Gallery

Best of the Best

Stephanie Medina was proud to pose for this shot with her Best of the Best plaque presented by the Fernandina Beach Newsleader as voted on by its readership.

This is the 7th year the Waterwheel has been voted Best of the Best art gallery! This is the only full service gallery in our area and customers enjoy in-home framing and art consultations. The also offer delivery and installation, hand painted french mats, hand wrapped fabric mats, personal framing design appointments and much more.

They also work closely with Alexandra Von vonHawk, who has been awarded Professional Associate’s standing with the american Institute of Conservation under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute, to provide the absolute best care for your art work.

For more information visit the website or give them a call at (904) 261-2535.

If you have news or information about our community that you would like to share, please send it to us by clicking here.

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Nassau Humane Society Fifth Annual Pasta for Paws

Nassau Humane Society invites you to attend The Fifth Annual Pasta for Paws Spaghetti Dinner on October 2, from 4:30-7:30 PM at the Atlantic Recreation Center.

Tickets are $12.00 for your dinner that includes salad, spaghetti, meatballs, bread, beverage and dessert. Additional desserts are $2.00 and takeout will be available. Children 6 and under eat free.

Live Music will be provided by Frankie’™s Jazz Jam and there will be a huge silent auction. Tickets are on sale now at the Nassau Humane Society Dog Park, Red Bones Dog Bakery and First Federal Bank of Florida. All proceeds benefit homeless animals at the shelter.

Phone Guy Sasanfar at 206-4092 for more information.

If you have news or information about our community that you would like to share, please send it to us by clicking here.

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Sometimes Karma is a Cat

Sometimes Karma is a Cat

Sometimes Karma is a Cat

This humorous piece was sent to us as a reminder that God takes care of those who do bad things.

The original author is unknown, but this likely is a true story because you simply cannot make this stuff up!

The Kohl’s Shopping Trip

Clutching their Kohl’s shopping bags, Ellen and Kay woefully gazed down at a dead cat in the mall parking lot. Obviously a recent hit…no flies, no smell. “What business could that poor kitty have had here?” murmured Ellen.

“Come on, Ellen, let’s just go.”

But Ellen had already grabbed her shopping bag and was explaining, “I’ll just put my things in your bag, and then I’ll use this tissue…”

She dumped her purchases into Kay’s bag and then used the tissue paper to cradle and lower the former feline into her own Kohl’s bag and cover it.

They continued the short trek to the car in silence, stashing their goods in the trunk. But it occurred to both of them that if they left Ellen’s burial bag in the trunk, warmed by the Jacksonville, Florida sunshine, while they stopped to eat lunch, Kay’s Lumina would soon lose that new-car smell.

They decided to leave the bag on top of the trunk, and they headed over to Applebee’s.

They were seated at a table by the window qand they had a view of Kay’s Chevy with the Kohl’s bag still on the trunk.

But not for long! As they ate, they noticed a big woman in a red gingham shirt stroll by their car. She looked quickly this way and that, and then took the Kohl’s bag without breaking stride. She quickly walked out of their line of vision. Kay and Ellen shot each other a wide-eyed look of amazement.

It all happened so fast that neither of them could think how to respond. “Can you imagine?” finally sputtered Ellen.

“The nerve of that woman!” Kay sympathized with Ellen, but inwardly a laugh was building as she thought about the grand surprise awaiting the female thief.

Just when she thought she’d have to giggle into her napkin, she noticed Ellen’s eyes freeze in the direction of the hostess station. Following her gaze, Kay recognized the big woman in the red gingham shirt with the Kohl’s bag hanging from her arm. She was insisting a certain dining section from the hostess.

Helplessly they watched the scene unfold:

The woman was seated at a table across from theirs. She put the bag on an empty chair and began to look at the menu.

After ordering, she casually lifted the bag into her lap to survey her treasure. Looking from side to side, but not far enough to notice her rapt audience three tables over, she pulled out the tissue paper and peered into the bag.

Her eyes widened, and she began to make a sort of gasping noise. The noise grew. The bag slid from her lap as she sank to the floor, wheezing and clutching her upper chest. The waitress quickly recognized a customer in trouble and sent the busboy to call 911, while she administered the Heimlich maneuver.

A crowd quickly gathered that did not include Ellen and Kay, who remained riveted to their chairs for seven whole minutes until the ambulance arrived.

In a matter of minutes, the big woman with the red gingham shirt emerged, still gasping and securely strapped on a gurney.

Two well-trained EMTs steered her to the waiting ambulance, while a third scooped up her belongings. The last they saw of the distressed cat-burglar was as she disappeared behind the ambulance doors, with the Kohl’s bag perched on her stomach!

God does take care of those who do bad things! AND once in a while, He allows us to witness!

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Continuing the Search for Happiness

Continuing the Search for Happiness

Continuing the Search for Happiness

There are plenty of things in life that may bring you contentment. Your children’s success, volunteering in your community and fellowship, but what really is the difference between contentment and happiness? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines contented as a feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status or situation. Happiness is defined as a state of well-being and contentment. Because contentment is used to define happiness, is happiness a secondary condition of contentment?

Continuing the search for happiness, I quickly realized spending frivolously is out! I consider chocolate and rationalize the wonderful “feel-good” side effects are out too. No, I must dig deeper to find the emotional triggers of happiness.

I packed my bags and looked at the brochure on my journey for happiness. I like what Martin Seligman, PhD, said. “The good life consists of the roots that lead to flow. It consists of first knowing what your signature strengths are and then recrafting your work, your romance, your friendships, your leisure and your parenting to deploy the things you’re best at. What you get out of that is not the perpensity to giggle a lot; what you get is flow, and the more you deploy your highest strengths the more flow you get in life.”

Well, unpack the suitcase! I understood what Dr. Seligman was saying. By recognizing our individual strengths, we use those to excel. It is to our own personal advantage we use these gifts in a positive direction by repurposing their use in our lives.

In my household, I am the writer. My husband excels at cooking. I handle the correspondence in our home, writing Christmas cards, party invitations, letters to teachers and business correspondence, while he handles meal preparation, cooking, packing lunches and the grocery shopping. These are just two examples of how taking advantage of our strengths makes the best use of our natural talent. Not neccessarily what we enjoy the most, but what we are naturally good at.

This frees us up to do more of the things we truly enjoy. Take a look at your own personal strengths. What are you really good at? Use these gifts to your advantage. Go ahead and give finding more flow in your life a try. Then pack your bags and use your free time to select a destination that will give you a temporary state of the “giggles.”

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Library Board Appointments

Library Board Appointments

Library Board Appointments

Recently appointed to the Nassau County Library Advisory Board are Philip Morton (Bryceville) and Donna Paz Kaufman (Fernandina Beach).

There are seven members on the board who represent the county. Other board members are: Bernita K. Dinwiddie (Hilliard), Joan Carr (Yulee), Louise Banks (Callahan), William Hartshorn (Fernandina Beach) and William Flynn, (Fernandina Beach) Current Chair.

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to act as liaison for the communities of Nassau County, the public library system and the Board of County Commissioners. The Library Advisory Board meets quarterly and their meetings are open to the public.

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The Pencil Parable

The Pencil Parable

The Pencil Parable

Artist Jennifer Maestre holds a long list of accolades and accomplishments with her unusual beading work. She is a graduate of Welsley College and holds a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art. Jennifer has been teaching her offloom techniques for many years.

The Pencil Parable

A pencil maker advised the pencil of five important lessons just before putting it in the box:

    1. Everything you do will always leave a mark.
    2. You can always correct the mistakes you make.
    3. What is important is what is inside of you.
    4. In life, you will undergo painful sharpenings, which will only make you better.
    5. To be the best pencil, you must allow yourself to be held and guided by the hand that holds you.

We all need to be constantly sharpened. This parable may encourage you to know that you are a special person, with unique God-given talents and abilities. Only you can fulfill the purpose which you were born to accomplish. Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot be changed and, like the pencil, always remember that the most important part of who you are, is what’s inside of you.

Author Unknown

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Florida Folk Art Definitions, Distinctions and Descriptions

Florida Folk Art Definitions, Distinctions and Descriptions

Sudduth Cow

Mark your calendars now for Friday, October 15, 2010, when the Amelia Island Museum of History hosts a free lecture on Florida Folk Art: Definitions, Distinctions and Descriptions.

How do we understand, value, and embrace Florida’s folk art — a world that encompasses the paintings of Ruby Williams, Purvis Young, and Mary Proctor; Nicario Jiménez’s Peruvian retablos; Taft Richardson’s bone sculptures; and Ginger Lavoie’s quilts?

Attend this free presentation by Dr. Kristin G. Congdon, professor of philosophy and humanities at the University of Central Florida and director of the Cultural Heritage Alliance. Dr. Condon will be signing Just Above the Water: Florida Folk Art, co-authored with Tina Bucuvalas.

This program is made possible by the Florida Humanities Council in partnership with the Friends of the Library, Fernandina Beach, and venue host, the Amelia Island Museum of History.

The Amelia Island Museum of History is located at 233 South Third Street in historic Fernandina Beach and this free presentation will be from 6:00 to 7:30 PM.

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