American Legion Post 54 Open to the Public this Weekend

American Legion Post 54 Open to Public this weekend

On Saturday night the local American Legion Post 54 is open to the public for an evening of Rock, Blues and Folk Pop with local duo “Evolution”.
Since the legion moved from their Atlantic location to its new home on the westend of Gum St. and Third in Downtown, people have often wondered about the facility. On Saturday evening, Sunday and Monday July 4th, on the occasion of Independence Day Weekend, the American Legion invites friends and neighbors over to come party with them.
With a full bar, food (hot dogs, burgers etc.) and live music from the 60s, 70s and 80s by Evolution, two “veterans” with music in their veins, the night will be one of great atmosphere and sing-a-longs to the best tunes from the past.

After an absence of almost 2 years, Dave Ferraro and Han Ramakers joined forces again earlier this year and have been playing originals and covers around town in locales such as Café Karibo, Green Turtle, Florida House, Kelly’s Courtyard etc. This Saturday evening, July 2nd. they’ll be performing for our veterans and the public from 7-11pm.

The Legion has a history dating back to 1939 when Rayonier, which opened its Fernandina mill in 1938, donated the logs to construct the cabin. It served various purposes until around 1943, when the American Legion took it over.
At first, veterans of World War I, the Spanish-American War, the Indian Wars and perhaps even the Civil War gathered there. Today, it’s veterans of World War II and the Korean, Vietnam and Gulf wars.
When the Legion grew beyond 300 members around 2007, plans were developed and financing attracted to build the new facility that will now be open to the Public this Independence Day Weekend.

So come with friends and family and enjoy an Evening at the Legion with Evolution.

Curried Shrimp and Spinach Recipe

Curried Shrimp and Spinach RecipeThe term curry can be a bit misleading because it includes so many different types of dishes from India or South Asia.

This healthy recipe calls for curry powder, which is a blend of turmeric, coriander, and cumin and comes from the website

Curried Shrimp and Spinach takes about 15 minutes to make, and is a great way to prepare those delicious fresh shrimp we can get right here in Fernandina Beach, the Birthplace of the Modern Shrimping Industry.


    2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
    2 tbsp ghee, butter or coconut oil
    1 onion, chopped
    2 tsp curry powder
    2 tsp tomato paste
    1/2 cup homemade chicken stock
    1 cup full-fat coconut milk
    2 tightly packed cups shredded spinach
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


    Heat a large skillet over a medium-low heat and cook the onion in the ghee, butter or coconut oil until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
    Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, stir in the curry powder and continue cooking for a minute.
    Place mixture in a blender or a food processor, add the tomato paste as well as the chicken stock and coconut milk. Process or blend until smooth.
    Pour the mixture back in the skillet and bring to a simmer.
    Add the shrimp and spinach and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes, until the shrimp are just cooked.

For a cookbook packed full of Paleo recipes check out

Fernandina Beach Cadet Graduates from Riverside Military Academy

Cadet John Gatling Graduates from Riverside Military AcademyFernandina Beach Cadet John Gatling graduates from Riverside Military Academy!

Gainesville, GA – Cadet John T. Gatling graduated from Riverside Military Academy (RMA) on May 14, 2011. He was a member of Echo Company.

Cadet Gatling was awarded the JROTC Varsity Athletic Ribbon. He participated as a member of the varsity football team at RMA.

Cadet Gatling will attend the University of West Florida. He is the son of Mr. John M. Gatling and Ms. Sandra Gatling Still of Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Riverside Military Academy, founded in 1907, is one of the premier college preparatory academies for young men in grades 7-12. The Riverside Corps of Cadets consists of over 350 students from 15 countries. The Academy is located one hour north of Atlanta, Georgia. Please visit for more information.

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Keeping Florida Our Home Sweet Home, Part 1

Keeping Florida Our Home Sweet Home, Part 1Contributed By: Marty Winchester

A shadow of doubt cast over the typically booming real estate market in the Sunshine state is finally lifting. After months of debate, the Florida Legislature met in mid-June for a Special Session lasting three days; after three days in session, legislators announced the result of their massive brainstorm. A $210 million property tax relief bill had been signed and would take effect for Floridian taxpayers in the 2012 tax season.

To balance their state budget, the Florida Legislature is making cuts from water districts that will result in job loss for a yet unreported number of workers. But jobs are not the only sacrifice that the water district will have to make – many are concerned about changes to the quality of the water as well as budgeting for state park restoration projects.

Katherine Aponte is one such concerned party. “If we’re going to have bad water, it’s not worth it.”

Kirk Fordham, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, fears the worst for Florida’s waterways and calls the bill “a slap in the face”. The Everglades park system has already faced deep budget cuts once this month from the House Appropriations committee.

In a state where tourism is king, a lot of outside revenue pours in for cute animated characters and thrilling rides. Amelia Island, however, relies on the rich scenery and sport to be had by its beach-goers whether in a kayak or behind a fishing pole. Droughts in Southern Florida paint a bleak picture for the future of state parks and, perhaps, the future of its booming tourism industry.

As the most subtropical state on the mainland, Florida is home to over 67 species of animals on the Federal endangered lists. Even though the bill has already been signed, residents concerned with preserving Florida’s native assets can start making conservation efforts at home. Federal tax cuts apply to many homeowners who seek to make their homes more “green” but there are limitations and hoops to jump through.

Look for part 2 of Keeping Florida Our Home Sweet Home next week, when we overview the tax season of 2012’s tax cuts you’ll want to jump on now, including the most “green” improvements for living spaces, rental properties and vacation homes.

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Amelia Island July Movie Series

Amelia Island July Movie SeriesMouth of Amelia has sent us some great information about the July Movie Series, presented by the Amelia Island Film Society.

Movies will be held at Fernandina Little Theater located at 1014 Beech Street. Most tickets screenings are only $10.00. Call (904) 624-1145 for more information.

Here are the screenings

Friday, July 1
Welcome to the Rileys (2010)
Starring James Gandolfini at 7:30 pm.

Saturday, July 2
Northeast Florida Premiere of Bill Cunningham New York (2011)
7:30 PM, with a special photographer’s reception for $15.00 (AIFS Members $12).
Area photographers are encouraged to attend!

Sunday, July 3
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Starring James Cagney at 2:30 pm
with 2 encore screenings of “Bill Cunningham New York” at 5 & 7:30 pm.

Big Engine Hosts Benefit Concert

Big Engine Hosts Benefit ConcertBig Engine’s Tony Mikus has worked passionately to put together a benefit concert to help his sister, Brenda. Funds are being raised for her double lung transplant and medication.

Besides the attraction of nearly 20 bands, there will be food, raffles, t-shirts, silent auction, a trip to Las Vegas, a signed Tim Tebow helmet, a signed basketball by Gators Coach Billy Donovan, guitars autographed by the bands, a DMR custom drums snare drum, a leather jacket from The Leather Lady, and much, much more!

From Jacksonville, Big Engine is a four-piece, crowd favorite rock bank that are in such demand they play over 300 shows a year! Their high-energy music and exciting stage presence leaves the name, Big Engine, implanted in your musical soul.

The Benefit is Saturday, July 2nd, at 1500 Airport Road in Jacksonville, Florida. Look for the tents behind the 747 Lounge and the Airport Motor Inn on the service road to the left of Airport Road, next to Zaxby’s.

Big Engine Bands start at 1:00 PM and a different band will take the stage approximately every 30 minutes.

Here is the line-up:


… then some bands will play again, time permitting.

There will be a covered pavilion for seating, eating and drinking. So come on out for a great day of music for a worthy cause.

If you can’t make the event but would like to send a donation, please make checks payable to:

Brenda Mikus Lung Transplant.
Wells Fargo
P O Box 1581
Callahan, Fl 32011
The account number is: 1010320147195

Call Gretchen Nighbert at Wells Fargo at (904) 879-3510 if you have any questions about making a donation to the account.

Think I’m Not American? Pass the BBQ Please.

Stage Deli's Roger Maris Sandwich

Most of my steady readers know by now that I love to dissect surveys and research reports as they too often confirm what they were set out to proof in the first place and are most often sponsored by stakeholders/beneficiaries of the outcome. A couple of weeks ago I read the result of a study that concluded that “Immigrants and their children may choose to eat American food as a way to fit in”, adding that this may help explain why immigrants are catching up to America’s obesity levels in less than 15 years.

I thought it was less than professional how the study was introduced to immigrants by casting doubt on some subjects’ Americanness, asking if they spoke English or saying they had to be American to participate. Psychologically this provokes what psychologists call stereotype threat, the fear you’ll confirm negative stereotypes about your group or nationality. Although white immigrant participants weren’t as much affected by these questions, Asian-American participants were more inclined to list quintessentially American foods — burgers, BLTs, mac and cheese — as their favorites, when the researchers called their status as American into question. They were also more likely to order and eat those dishes, consuming an average of 182 more calories than their non-threatened counterparts. And that apparently was the motive for the study.

Just based on the demographics (school kids) they chose for the study, it seems that this particular group is still very susceptible to peer pressure. In my personal experience having a lot of Asian-American(?), European-American(?), African-American(?) and purely Asian acquaintances and friends in every place in the world, I have to say that when an individual no longer has the pressure to “fit” in a specific environment, and their cultural differences are just accepted by their peers, they tend to choose whatever is available AND they like. Sometimes that’s Asian, Middle Eastern, Chuggi, European and sometimes American.

Seeing is deceiving. It’s eating that’s believing.

As an immigrant myself I think that Food is one of those amazing things that tends to mark how we see the world, and yet, once you are exposed to many different cultures, it is just natural to learn to appreciate everything and everyone. Food is one of those rare things that can unite us more than divide us.

If you want proof of that belief then take a trip to New York where you can find food turned into a melting pot of tastes and flavors, as well as the authentic cuisines from around the globe, more than in any other city in the world.

I’m coming to the end of a fifteen day trip that took me to a great variety of eating establishments in the Adirondacks, Saratoga, New York City, Washington DC, Richmond VA, a magnificent Southern BBQ hole in the wall in South Carolina and last but not least, Charleston and once again discovered that truly the choice of food has little or nothing to do with my trying to fit in an American Culture, but has everything to do with what I can get for a decent price at a decent quality and at what time of the day. Honestly I don’t think it’s even a national thing. Ask any Californian who’d visited what Mexican food is like in Minnesota (not unlike eating a photograph of a burrito: it looks like one but tastes like cardboard). Ask any Pennsylvanian what a cheesesteak is like in California (for the love of God, why would you put avocado and lettuce in it?). If you are an Asian in the Midwest, your choices are bad Asian food, very bad Asian food, or burgers and pizza. If you are a central European in the Midwest, your choices are driving 250 miles to Chicago, or bad Asian food. Or burgers. I think the people will also assimilate to the good local foods rather than endure the terrible bastardizations of what they love back home. Nothing to do with fitting in, everything to do with availability.

Most of my friends shudder when I mention liver as one of my favorite foods, if prepared well. My favorite sandwich at the world famous Stage Deli in New York is the “Roger Maris” loaded with rare roastbeef, fried bacon and liver mousse. Not many Americans order this or eat goose-, duck- or liver paté. To me it’s a delicacy, as is a bagel loaded with nova scotia salmon and cream cheese with onions and capers. It’s a Jewish tradition born in New York. My favorite Italian dish is Oso Bucco, and have a burger at least once a week, as I go for Chinese once a week too.

From my trip and especially the New York City part of the vacation, I can positively reaffirm that the cultural divide is not one of nationalities, but is much more split along two different axes: Omnivore versus Vegetarian and Drinkers versus Non-Drinkers.

Seriously however, if the point of the TFA was to promote more fear about eating crappy food, they should just keep the findings of a flawed study like this to themselves. Reading the study’s conclusions made me hungry for crappy food. Forget mac & cheese… pass me the poutine.

Sounds on Centre Margaritaville Party

Sounds on Centre Margaritaville PartySounds on Centre, held the first Friday of each month from March to October is presenting a Parrot Head theme on July 1st from 6 to 8:00 PM in historic Fernandina Beach.

This free concert features the music of Jimmy Parish and The Ocean Waves and you are invited to come in your beach attire. This Margaritaville Party will be celebrating the music of Jimmy Buffet.

Put on your dancing shoes, bring the kids and a chair for some great fun to kick off your 4th of July weekend on Amelia Island. Raffles prizes, t-shirts, pirates and more can be found at this family friendly event!

New Rotary Officers Now in Place

New Rotary Officers Now in Place

Click to enlarge this photo by Helmut Albrecht

Right to left: New President Katey Breen, Treasurer Karyn Hartke, Secretary Vic Buscaino,
Sergeant At Arms Suzanne McLeod, President-Elect Christal Fish,

Chairs: Sharon Stanley, Caroline Blochlinger, Mark Dennis, Julie McCracken and outgoing president Art Shuster.

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets for breakfast every Friday 7:30am – 8:30am at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. Everyone is invited!

They support many local charities and causes and have reported that in fiscal year 2010/2011 (July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011), the Sunrise Club has contributed thousands of dollars in total and a minimum of $100.00 to each of the following organizations:

    Boys & Girls club of Fernandina
    Exchange Student Program
    Micah’s Place
    Council on Aging
    Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA)
    Paul Harris Commitment
    Haiti Relief
    Oceans of Reading
    Big Brothers Big Sisters
    Mercy Ships
    Amelia Island Jazz Festival
    Nassau County Schools
    Baptist Health Extension

For more information on how to become part of a great Club, which is making a difference in our community, go to

Waterwheel Art Gallery has Moved

Waterwheel Art Gallery has MovedThe Waterwheel Art Gallery is relocating to the Pelican Palms Shopping Center!

After almost 30 years in the same location, they are moving to a more centrally located storefront that will give their customers better access, easier parking and a convenient location.

New Location: 819 S. 8th Street in Fernandina Beach

Waterwheel Art Gallery is now in the Pelican Palms Shopping Center along with Current Runnings, Redbones Dog Bakery and Beadlemania. With a private framing design room, our clients can now schedule design appointments and enjoy the artistic creativity in custom framing. Finish and detail work will still be done in house and an elegant showroom will showcase their renouned artists.

Stephanie and her team are doing their best to keep up production and get current framing orders out on time but due to the current state of shifting equipment, tools, supplies and 30 years of aquired stuff.

This wonderful framing gallery hopes to be in full production mode by July 1st if not sooner.

If you have any questions, please give them a call at (904) 261-2535.

The Oatmeal Myth

The Oatmeal Myth

The Oatmeal Myth

Due to a growing number of our members telling us they eat oatmeal for breakfast, I’ve asked Leanne Richardson, our CrossFit Nutrition Coach here at CLUB 14 FITNESS to dispel the “myth”. We love our members and not only want you healthy, but informed! Please, please read what we’ve learned in the article written by Leanne, we care about you!

We all know that oatmeal can be a great source of carbohydrate to get you going in the morning, and steel cut or rolled oats are full of fiber. Right???

Admittedly, oats CAN be a plentiful source of carbohydrate in the morning. But is that what you really want from your breakfast??? You have to ask yourself, “Who am I and what are my needs?” If you are a marathon runner who needs to have plenty of fuel for the loooong road ahead, a dense carbohydrate with some healthy fats might be perfect: think oatmeal with walnuts. I feel safe to assume that you are not running a marathon at your office every morning. A bowl-full-of-sugar, as carbohydrate is broken down and metabolized in our bodies as glucose, can put you at the front of the line for a daily blood-sugar rollercoaster. Normalize these blood sugar swings with a high protein breakfast for a few days and see if that “two-thirty” feeling goes away.

Get more fiber! One ½ cup serving of steel cut oats has about 3 grams of fiber. You should also know that one medium apple has at least 4 grams, at about half the calories! Don’t be fooled by marketing. The facts are out there, we’re just not looking hard enough. Whole grains, including oatmeal, are NOT the gold standard. Use your brain, fruits and vegetables have WAY more fiber, calorie for calorie, than grains.

Here’s where it gets sticky. Oats contain an antinutrient called Phytate (also known as phytic acid), which binds with minerals in our bodies and inhibits the absorption of those minerals. You know, important minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc! Try sweet potato as an alternative where you might needs some extra carb, like after your workout if your goal is recovery. Again, “Who am I and what are my needs?”

Consider replacing your bowl of oats with a nutrient and protein rich breakfast of eggs and fruit. If you’re short on time grab 2 hard-boiled eggs and an apple on your way out the door.

Just The Facts

2 Whole Eggs + ½ cup Blueberries

    13 grams protein
    11 grams fat
    13 grams carb
    3 grams fiber

Cafe Night for Teens at Fernandina Branch Library

Cafe Night for Teens at Fernandina Branch LibraryThursday, June 30 from 6 to 8:00 PM, teens are invited to Cafe Night at the Library hosted by In Search of Me Cafe.

In Search of Me Café is a website that’s all about you and other teens like you. Find yourself in this website. Ask questions, and seek answers. Communicate, share and interact with other teens from all around the world about life, its issues and its successes.

Watch videos on the big screen. Browse the site on personal computers in the library. Talk about it with your friends. Then, speak your mind about it on-camera. Your video will appear on In Search of Me Café in the next two weeks!

The Fernandina Library Branch is located at 25 N. 4th Street in Fernandina Beach. There will be pizza, soft drinks and other goodies.

For additional information about the event please contact the Youth Librarian, Michelle Forde, at (904) 227-7365 or check them out online: OR

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Street Signs and Markings in Fernandina Beach

Street Signs and Markings in Fernandina BeachWho determines the signage and road markings for the streets in Fernandina Beach? Apparently, Citrona is now an 85 mph speed zone! Obviously, this was a prank, but it got a few of us talking about city streets.

For example, when you are heading downtown on 8th Street there is a traffic light at 8th and Gum where many 18 wheelers hauling logs turn left towards the mill. Have you noticed how short the left hand turn lane is?

On Sadler Road heading towards the beach, near Pipeline Surf Shop, there is a sign that clearly displays the right lane is about to end, but no one hardly ever merges into the left lane. Why didn’t they make a right turn only lane for the traffic turning into Cedar River, Dairy Queen or onto First Avenue?

If you are heading south on Citrona towards Sadler Road, there is a left hand turn lane at the traffic signal, but the small clearance painted on the road for drivers to pull into that lane is located near the back entrance to the post office prompting you to get stuck behind a car turning left into Walgreens. If you wait until after the Walgreen’s entrance to get into the left turn lane, you are crossing a solid line painted on the road which you are not supposed to do.

How about the double stop sign at First Avenue and Long Boat Drive? This is a three way intersection that so many people run, they installed two stop signs, one right above the other one… and people still don’t stop!

The planning and strategic thought that must have gone into designing 14th Street amazes me. How difficult was it to line up those manhole covers on the portion of the road between Sadler Road and the movie theater? They are not flush with the road either, nope, they feel like a rhythmic pot-holes and are perfectly lined up like mini speed bumps.

But still what comes to mind for most people when discussing the roads on Amelia Island is, “What is up with all of the traffic circles?” That topic, we have covered before on SearchAmelia, mostly because people simply don’t know how to properly drive through one.

Summer is here and we are a tourist town, so drive safely and pay attention to other drivers because they are busy navigating unfamilar roads while trying to read directions, find a street number or catch a glimpse of the ocean.

Which streets bother you the most?

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GUTS FORMULA Well Received at Xtreme Business Success Seminar

GUTS FORMULA Well Received at Xtreme Business Success Seminar

Deb Cottle

The Xtreme Business Success Seminar included something for everyone with six featured speakers, including author Deb Cottle, president of World on A String. Each presenter offered quality information that was relevant in today’s current economic times and the reviews from this Jacksonville event are in: “The event was inspiring, motivating and educational. I highly recommend going to future events,” said Kenny Harper, digital marketing/web design professional.

Deb Cottle’s 4Step GUTS FORMULA for Success is a simple plan that offered attendees a great strategy for business success. Her formula is easy to remember and practical to implement into your life immediately.

“I think all of the attendees, not only enjoyed themselves, but learned from each and every speaker,” Deb said. “I was honored to be asked to participate.”

Other speakers included Cindy Coates, an expert in networking, and Matthew Barrett of Brain-Trainers who shared his technique for remembering names in an energetic presentation. Jim Mainwaring, CPA, offered ten tax tips and Ashley Berg discussed five strategies to save money in your business. Event organizer, and owner of Web Marketing of North Florida, Chuck Hall, talked about maximizing exposure on the internet.Deb Cottle appears as a keynote speaker around the country motivating individuals and groups for major corporations, non-profits and associations. She also offers private coaching to help you exceed personal and professional expectations.

To learn more about Deb, her book, Success Simplified, or her newest CD, Music & Motivation (Songs and Messages to Lift the Spirit, Volume 1), visit her website at or give her a call at (904) 261-2712.

Lombardis versus Artes; a Celebration of Pizzas

Inside one of Lombardi's many alcoves

They’re both located on islands, in what we would call downtown. They both serve pizza southern Italian style thin crust. Lombardis found its beginning in 1905, during the great Italian Immigration to America and set up shop in Little Italy on Manhattan Island, while Artes came to Amelia Island sometime in the 1990s ( I think). Restaurant Critic Zagat  Survey named Lombardis the Place for the Best Pizza on the Planet. So we visited Lombardis for lunch and the lines of people waiting for seating was three deep into the street. We were lucky as tables for two were in less demand, so 30 minutes later we were guided through a labyrinth of alcoves and dining rooms past the kitchen and seated majestically in the center of a backroom, surrounded by every language on earth from adjacent tables.

Lombardi’s is cash only and I quickly calculated that just for the time we spent there, their take must have been in the neighborhood of $5,000, if the average table of two would walk out with a ticket of $40, excluding tip and taxes. Not bad for a food that once was considered “poor people’s food”, sold in the streets only. That all changed in 1889 when in June 1889, to honor the Queen consort of Italy, Margherita of Savoy, the Neapolitan chef Raffaele Esposito created the “Pizza Margherita,” a pizza garnished with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and basil, to represent the colors of the Italian flag. He was the first one to add cheese. Lombardi’s introduced the Pizza Margherita to New York 16 years later.

There are two sizes of pizza at Lombardi’s. We ordered the smaller 14 inch with three extra toppings, salami, onions and mushrooms, and a caesar salad to share. The only real remarkable part of the pizza was the salami, which had a bacon flavor that made it delicious, but for the rest we both agreed that Arte’s Pizza beats Lombardi’s hands down at approximately 2/3 of the price tag.

When we walked out, the line was as long if not longer than when we came in, which enforces the power of celebrity advertising as Lombardi’s walls are “littered” with smiling actors, musicians and artists. Remarkably few politicians however, which made me briefly wonder about the old New York Italian Heritage until I found a picture of Republican stalwart and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani smiling and shaking hands.

Next stop was South Street Seaport and the Fulton Fish Market where we heard that John Lennon’s kid Sean, was giving a free concert at 7pm. During extended moments of his sound check, I heard his father’s song writing and voice. But more about that later.

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