We’ve Gotta Get Out of Florida

quiet amelia island beach walk

Peaceful amelia island morning beach walk

I guess we Floridians have to leave the state now that Men’s Health has determined that Florida is one sad state. No matter that we have the most sunshine here in Florida, we are the saddest bunch in the Nation, according to one statistical observation by Men’s Health.
The magazine claims that suicide rates and unemployment rates show a statistical certainty that St.Pete on the Gulfcoast is the saddest place in the nation, but Tampa across the bay, Miami down south and our neighbor Jacksonville to the south on spot 88 and Orlando on spot 82, all contribute much to Florida being the saddest and most depressed state around the country. Yes, Orlando with a score of 82 out of 100 (St. Pete’s spot) being the worst in the nation scores the highest for our state, says Men’s Health, while claiming to have tested the results, with checking households with the most pill popping anti depressants.

And the results are clear: We’ve gotta get out of this state and move to, say Madison Wisconsin(6) or Fargo North Dakota (3) and freeze our booties off 7 months out of the year. Oh wait, there is Jersey City on spot 18, maybe we should give that a shot.
Oh no, I almost forgot; I lived in that hell-hole 25 moon years ago and got sick every day from the gases pouring out of the Lincoln Tunnel onto my condo deck with views of the Manhattan skyline.

Eight out of the ten top scorers as Blues Proof Cities on this list are located inside of the arctic circle, while Honululu, the capitol of Hawaii, proudly takes the number one spot, because of climate I presume? Surely it cannot be because a one million people population of the city have made traffic smooth and Waikiki Beach livable.

That we probably pop some more pills on average here in Florida could be explained by the fact that on that same average, we have more seniors living down here then anywhere else in the nation.
That some of us might be feeling the blues a bit more could also be the hangover from some devastating losses in the construction and real estate markets in recent years. Maybe not entirely our fault, considering that before 2008, it was almost mandatory for people up north to move to Florida, once they turned 55. Retiring in Florida was the goal.
The bitter consequence was, that Florida, being the fastest growing state in the nation for the better part of 8 decades,  was overrun by anyone who knew what a hammer was,to start work in construction. Many of these unemployed construction workers have not been able to scratch enough pennies together since the crash, to move on to the next gold rush, although I hear that some of them have made it to the new oil fields up in the Dakotas.

I wonder what Men’s Health wants to Accomplish?

I would really consider the world screwed up sideways, if vacationers kept preferring the Sunshine State by the millions (55 million in Orlando alone last year), if we were all walking around with frowns on our faces.

As a matter of fact, I walked the beach here on Amelia Island for about an hour this morning, with a huge smile on my face, encountering only smiling, upbeat people. My little dog was racing the dunes and the shoreline, having the time of his life (which he has almost every day here on the beach) and the temperature was in the low sixties with a beautiful clear sunny sky. Hardly circumstances to be depressed.

There are no anti-depressants in my house and the only blues you will hear comes from the stereo speakers. Unusually high unemployment may have some impact, but that is a nationwide phenomenon and suicide rates…oh well, it is a well known fact that the happiest countries in the world also report the highest suicide rates. As a state Hawaii for example reports the fifth highest suicide rate in the nation.
In any case, I can not argue that given the motivation of the report, more people die in Florida, because that’s where a lot of people go if they are looking for golden years in a friendly, peaceful climate, before they pass away.

So here are two possible scenarios for this story:

One: Most of the depressed people in Florida cities are recent transplants from other cities…a lot of which are listed in the top 20. So this is the place where all the saddest people congregate I guess, and sooner rather than later the sunshine will cheer them up,


Two: Always keep in mind that “there are two kinds of statistics: the kind you look up and the kind you make up”; the latter is many times just paid advertising to sell products, services and even cities…

12th Annual Parade of Paws

12th Annual Parade of PawsNassau Humane Society will host the 12th Annual Parade for Paws on Saturday, December 3rd at Central Park on Atlantic Ave in Fernandina Beach. Late registration begins at 10:00 a.m. and the parade begins at 11:00 a.m. Registration fee is $10.00 per dog.

Pre-register online at www.nassauhumanesociety.com/events.html, or at Redbones (904)321-0020, or the NHS Dog Park (904)491-1511. Awards announced immediately after the parade.

This is a festive parade where dogs of all sizes and shapes don their holiday finery (if they want to) and bring their owners to walk in this parade! There are two routes along Centre Street, a 1/2 mile and a 1 mile route! Both routes end up back at the park. Immediately after the parade (which usually lasts about a half hour), there are awards for the best costume. Dogs can take their owners home anytime, but usually the humans like to hang around a bit and talk to friends and check out the vendors.

Refreshments and music will be available.

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December Events at the Amelia Island Chamber of Commerce

December Events at the Amelia Island Chamber of CommerceIsland Council
8:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 7
Applebee’s, 2006 S. Eighth St., Fernandina Beach
Grow your business by making and strengthening your connections with Amelia Island businesses at the Chamber’s Island Council. This business council meets at 8:30 a.m. the first Wednesday of every month. Optional breakfast is available for $8.00.

Annual Meeting
Noon, Thursday, December 8
Sliders Seaside Grill, 1998 S. Fletcher Ave. Fernandina Beach
Get an overview of the Chamber’s activities in 2011, meet the incoming members of the Board of Directors and find out what the Chamber has planned for 2012 at our annual membership meeting. Admission is $18 for Chamber members; $25 for non-members. RSVP to the Chamber at (904) 261-3248 or info@aifby.com by Monday, December 5.

Ribbon cutting
4 p.m., December 9
Blue Heron Inn, 102 S. Seventh St. Fernandina Beach
Chamber Ambassadors and Directors welcome the Blue Heron Inn to Fernandina Beach with a ribbon cutting. Come wish owners Julie and David Jones success, enjoy light refreshments and tour this beautiful new bed and breakfast.

Paradise awaits you at the Blue Heron Inn on Amelia Island. Experience the warmth and elegant comfort of a 19th-century home transformed into a beautiful Florida bed and breakfast. Enjoy a savory three-course gourmet breakfast, relax by the secluded heated pool or share island adventures with new-found friends in the gathering room. Unwind in the tranquility of an area rich in history and brimming with charm. Located in the heart of the National Historic District of Fernandina Beach, the Blue Heron Inn Bed and Breakfast is only steps away from Amelia Island’s beautiful picturesque Victorian island village. Take in the sun on pristine beaches, tour historic sites or browse numerous art galleries. Explore the island by horseback, kayak or bicycle and immerse yourself in its tranquil tropical surroundings. At the end of the day, return to the warm hospitality of the Blue Heron Inn and enjoy a drink poolside before dining at any of the exquisite restaurants.
For more information, visit www.ameliaislandheroninn.com or call (904)445-9034.

Ribbon cuttings
5 p.m. Monday, December 12
Advance Rehabilitation – 463688 State Road 200, Suite 9, Yulee
Anytime Fitness – 463688 State Road 200, Suite 11, Yulee

Chamber Ambassadors and Directors will celebrate the opening of new locations in Yulee for Chamber members Advance Rehabilitation and Anytime Fitness with a ribbon cutting at both. Come tour these beautiful new facilities and enjoy light refreshments.

Advance Rehabilitation is a locally owned physical therapy practice providing high quality rehabilitation services. Advance Rehab specializes in physical therapy, sports medicine, industrial rehabilitation and athletic training. Staff includes highly trained professionals who serve as a bridge between injury and recovery to help patients get back to pre-injury status as quickly as possible. Advance Rehab accepts all major insurance including Medicare/Tricare and Workers Compensation. For more information, call (904) 261-4414 or go to www.advancerehab.com.

Anytime Fitness is a 24-hour fitness center with a state-of-the-art security system. As a member of Anytime Fitness, a national franchise, you have access to more than 1,600 locations worldwide. Anytime Fitness features cardio equipment, strength equipment, locker rooms, saunas, group fitness classes and free WiFi access. For more information, call (904) 432-8120 or www.anytimefitness.com.

Yulee Area Council
8:30 a.m., Tuesday, December 13
Café @ The Hamptons, 95742 Amelia Concourse, Yulee
Grow your business by making and strengthening your connections with Yulee businesses at the Yulee Area Council. This business council meets at 8:30 a.m. the second Tuesday of every month. Admission is free; optional breakfast is available.

For more information about any of these events, contact the Chamber at (904)261-3248 or info@aifby.com.

Mission Statement
The Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce is a membership-based association of Nassau County businesses, professional leaders and individuals working together to provide leadership which will aggressively promote and defend responsible economic growth, employment opportunities, government and excellence in education and quality of life.

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Micah’s Place Adopt-a-Family

Micah's Place Adopt-a-FamilyThe Adopt-a-Family Holiday program offers donors the opportunity to provide assistance during the holiday season to individuals/families that are victims of domestic violence and are struggling to start their lives over. During this challenging and stressful time of their lives, many of these women are not in a financial position to provide their children with the joyful holiday experience that is such an enriching and memorable tradition in our lives.

Each November, Micah’s Place begins asking individuals, businesses, community groups, schools and faith-based organizations to consider participating in its Adopt-a-Family Holiday Program. Participating donors will be matched to one or more families and donors can choose to either give holiday gifts to their adopted family or give gifts cards which enable the parent to shop for the children’s gifts or purchase food for their holiday table. Either way, your gifts will go a long way toward facilitating a family’s joy and happiness during an otherwise difficult holiday season.

Please remember that these victims are clients of Micah’s Place, and as such, their names are kept in the strict confidence. Should you wish to participate in this program, please contact Micah’s Place at (904)491-6364 ext. 100 or send an email to: adminassistant@micahsplace.org.

How does it work?

    • Advocates offer eligibility to participants that are in need over the holiday season who have been continuously accessing our resources throughout the year through outreach or are currently staying in our shelter.
    • Interested donors will contact us requesting to adopt a family. We will email you the Wish list of your adopted family. The Center always maintains integrity to client confidentiality, so donors will not know names or any specifics about their adopted family other than the specifications provided by clients on their Wish list.
    • To assist donors with their shopping, our clients fill out Wish Lists including clothing sizes, color preferences, and preferred items wished for by their family members. Donors are not obligated to purchase everything on the lists. Wish lists are simply a tool to give some direction of the interests and needs of our families.
    • If you can not adopt an entire family you can choose to adopt a single woman by providing items such as slippers, robes, cosmetics and gift cards. Also purchasing miscellaneous Adopt-a-Family gifts is another way to contribute. These gifts work well as we are constantly working with clients and end up with families who are not adopted. We encourage miscellaneous gifts for teenage girls and boys and if you have experience with this age group we appreciate your assistance.
    • Please gift wrap only the gifts for the mom’s or single women. All gifts for children should NOT be gift wrapped and should be tagged with the adopted family # and specifics to which family member the gift is for, i.e., Family 12, Girl age 9. Most our moms would like the pleasure of wrapping the gifts for their children and tagging them from Santa especially if she has young children. It will be greatly appreciated if you could please provide wrapping paper for these gifts.
    • We would greatly appreciate the gifts to be bagged or boxed together and delivered to the administration office located inside the Purple Dove Resale Center by Monday, December 12th.
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The Travel Agency Donates to Boys and Girls Club

The Travel Agency donates to B&GC Nassau County

Boys and Girls Club in Nassau County is recipient of Travel Agency Donation

The ladies at THE TRAVEL AGENCY thank everyone who attended or assisted with their recently concluded “Test Drive the World Luxury Travel show”.  As a result of the great turn out, the Agency, which has a reputation for lots of charity work, was able to present The Boys and Girls Club of Nassau County Foundation with $2,800.00 toward their much needed facility for the Fernandina Club that has started construction recently at the Lime Street location.

The Agency also donated $280.00 to R.A.I.N. to help with their wonderfully successful RAIN Train project that helps find homes for our oversupply of homeless animals to areas that need adoptable animals!  The Shrine Club has always been an inspiration to us.  They have so much fun while raising the funds to support their Burn Center.

The “girls” at the agency had a wonderful time at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island introducing some of their favorite clients and their friends to twenty-six of the agency’s favorite travel suppliers from around the world!  If you were not able to join us this year, they want you to watch for the “save the date” announcement for 2012!  The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is already watching for an optimum date for next year when the Travel Agency will re-introduce some of the same suppliers with newly developed travel products and new suppliers from different exciting places as well!

For their clients, the agency will once again hold a Travel Photo Contest next year, promising it to be bigger and better than this year’s event!  So here is the advice, think camera on your travels and start setting aside those spectacular shots  and watch for the instructions later in 2012 to submit them for more great prizes!  If you haven’t already, go to http://the-travel-agents.com/winners-in-the-first-annual-photo-contest/ to see all the winners and their prizes!! Scroll to the bottom to see some pictures of the show itself!  Click on the photo contest link to see all of the great entries!

In above picture: The Travel Agency donating $2,800 to Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation (BGCNF), collected from the voluntary admission fees to their recent Discover the World Travel Show at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island. Shown left to right: Ange Wallace – The Travel Agency founder, Patrick Sabadie – BGCNCF treasurer, Salli Roberts – BGCNCF co-chair of volunteers, Bill Gower – BGCNF president.

Amelia Community Theatre Presents A Christmas Story [Video]

Amelia Community Theatre Presents A Christmas Story [Video]Come to the Amelia Community Theatre in December and be transported to a Northern Indiana Christmas where young Ralphie Parker dreams of finding a Red Ryder BB-Gun under the Christmas Tree. First, however, he must overcome unsympathetic authorities who insist, “You’ll shoot your eye out.”

The talented and skillfully clever Toni D’Amico directs a large cast through alleyway bullies, freezing flagpoles, a major award, and the Parker’s neighbor’s menacing dogs. Her experience unwraps a delightfully charming package for the audience, a must-see production that will put you into the holiday spirit.

Jonathan Maurer

Jonathan Maurer

Ralphie’s quest for the “Official, Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass and this thing which tells time built right into the stock,” is fast paced and captivating.

The cast includes 11 children, all professional and believable. Corey Oliver’s expressions as the young Ralphie are priceless, and Elizabeth Eberwine as Esther Jane (who has a crush on Ralphie) is just too cute.

Impressive is Devin Hughes’ performance as the grown up Ralph who talks directly to the audience, narrating the entire play with believable nostalgia.

Devin Hughes

Devin Hughes

Ralph – Devin Hughes
Ralphie – Corey Oliver
The Old Man – Brian Gilvey
Mother – Cari Cahill
Miss Shields – Wendy Gilvey
Randy – Berenger Burkhardt
Flick – Jonathan Maurer
Schwartz – Matthew Taylor
Scut Farkas – Daniel Cahill
Helen – Reegan Graves
Esther Jane – Elizabeth Eberwine
Kids Ensemble – Andrew Prax, Christopher Cahill, Brighton Burkhardt, Elizabeth Foster

While this 3 1/2 minute video hardly does justice to a play that runs about two hours, be warned…

Do NOT Watch this video if you have never seen the movie!


Produced by Vicki Grethe, A Christmas Story‘s opening night is already SOLD OUT! Official showings are December 1-3, 8-11, 15-17, 2011. Amelia Community Theatre is located at 207 Cedar Street in Fernandina Beach.

Cari Cahill and Brian Gilvey

Cari Cahill and Brian Gilvey

Online tickets are available HERE.

ACT is also helping to stock the Barnabus Food Pantry and they are asking you to bring non-perishable food items when you come to see the show. The most needed items are powdered milk, macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, cereal, pancake mix, syrup, canned meats, powdered potatoes, peas, pasta, rice, ketchup and mustard. Here is an astonishing statistic found on the ACT website:

“More than 17 million, or almost one in four, American children are at risk of hunger. In 2010,14.5% percent of households (17.2 million households) were food insecure. In 2010, 5.6 million households in the U.S. accessed emergency food from a food pantry one or more times. Florida ranks in the top nine states in America with a higher than national average household food insecurity.”

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Quality Health First Annual Car Show Video

Quality Health First Annual Car Show VideoQuality Healthcare and Rehabilitation of Amelia Island’s first annual car and truck show was a fundraiser for their Angel Christmas Fund. They started the Angel Tree several years ago to help provide all of their residents with Christmas gifts. There is a “tree” in their lobby, on Lime Street, with Angels representing each Resident. Anyone adopting an Angel will be given an information sheet containing sizes, preferences, and more for the resident.

They do ask that all gifts be returned to the Quality Healthcare by December 16th.

I spotted this plaque on display at the event:

“There are angels among us,
Old and frail,
There are angels among us,
Wrinkled and pale.
Angels among us,
Aged and Wise,
Angels among us,
Missing yesterday’s ties.
These angels among us,
Rely on our care,
They need touches of love,
That you can share.
Provide a little something extra,
Just to show that you care.
Ageless angels among us,
Sign up for 10 if you dare!

Be an angel for an ageless one!”

Here is a quick video of their First Annual Car and Truck Show:


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2011 5 Dollar Holiday Jewelry Sale

2011 5 Dollar Holiday Jewelry SaleIt is time for the $5.00 Holiday Jewelry Sale that benefits Baptist Medical Center Nassau’s Auxiliary.

Mouth of Amelia has forwarded us the details to this exciting event:

WHEN: Friday, December 2, 2011. 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM

WHERE: Board Room of the Baptist Medical Center Nassau Hospital.

WHAT: This is one of the Mouth’s favorite events! Our fabulous vendor arrives every year at this time with literally thousands of items for sale. Most of it is costume jewelry made with “gem quality glass” that won’t turn your fingers green. Promise! The Mouth owns “diamonds”, “amethysts”, “sapphires” and more that would knock your socks off. She’ll be looking for “rubies” this year, and nothing costs her more than $5.00 each. The vendor also usually brings other gift items as well, like a line of really nice leather wallets, children’s stocking stuffer items, and even nice “Pashminas” and cubic zirconias some years.

WHY: If you have teenagers on your list, this is the place to shop! They notoriously lose things, so why pay more than $5.00 for a gorgeous ring or CZ earrings? Your assignment between now and then is to find the ring sizes of all your relatives. You won’t be sorry you came to this sale! BESIDES, the proceeds of this sale benefit the Auxiliary which, in turn, benefits the hospital.

COST: Free admission but we hope you will support our auxiliary and buy lots of presents.

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Fifth Annual Holiday Home Tour

Fifth Annual Holiday Home TourThe Amelia Island Museum of History’s 5th Annual Holiday Home Tour is December 2nd and 3rd, 2011, from 10:00 AM until 4:00 PM in historic Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Five beautifully restored homes, professionally decorated for the holidays, will be open to the public with free trolley service to each of the homes. Also available this year is a gourmet luncheon available at the Beech Street Grill. There will be two seatings each day at 11:30 and 1:00 with reservations and ticket purchase through the Museum at a cost of $15.00 (Lunch only this price does not include the Holiday Home Tour admission).

Costumed docents, first person presenters and costumed carolers will be circulating at the houses. Also available will be raffles, gingerbread house centerpieces and specially designed aprons for the holiday for sale.

Tickets are $25.00 in advance or $30.00 at the door. On the days of the tour, tickets may be purchased at any of the tour homes.

Tickets are on sale now at the museum, The depot on Centre Street, Peterbrooke Chocolate, The Plantation Shop, Golf Club of Amelia Island, or Resort to Home.

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It Really IS a Small World

Searchamelia; it is a small world

As the world is getting smaller, questions beg for answers.

Living in an age of jet travel, the internet and mobile communication have their advantages. They make our world of 7 billion people seem a bit smaller since we’re just one plane ride or one “click of the mouse” away from connecting with anyone in the world.

But, along with the good comes the bad.
Worldwide interconnectedness not only connects us socially, it also connects us economically. What happens in China, for example, doesn’t necessarily stay in China. A collapse of their real estate market or a revolt against the government could have repercussions around the world.

A bit closer to home, the sovereign debt problems in Europe are helping keep a lid on stock prices in the U.S., according to MarketWatch. As the debt problem spreads from the peripheral euro-zone countries to the core in Germany – which had a failed bond auction last week — the U.S. is also caught in the cross fire.
What’s disappointing about being joined at the hip with Europe is that the U.S. economy is actually performing okay.

Consider these positive points:

  • • Our trade deficit declined for the third month in September, thanks to rising exports.
  • • Industrial production rose strongly in October.
  • • Residential building improvements are touching record highs.
  • • October car sales hit the highest level since February.
  • • Consumer sentiment in November rose to the highest level since June, according to data from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters.
  • • Personal income in October showed the largest increase since March.
  • • Black Friday sales rose sharply from a year ago.

Sources: Economist; MarketWatch

Of course we have to take into consideration that these improvements are coming off a low base and are so fragile that this modest recovery in the U.S. could get derailed if the euro-zone situation continues to deteriorate. Our small world is now focused on Europe and whether it can pull out of its debt debacle. Time to do so is running out for our friends across the pond.

DOES IT MAKE SENSE to invest outside of the United States? The concept of diversification suggests that you own a diverse group of investments that have uncorrelated return characteristics. One of these diverse groups of investments could include non-U.S. stocks. That might make sense because, as the following chart shows, the U.S. stock market captures only 29% of worldwide stock market value based on market capitalization.Global Market Caps

The above chart shows some interesting trends:

  • • The U.S. is still, by far, the single largest market in the world, but it has declined substantially in the past five years.
  • • China has catapulted to second place with dramatic growth in the past five years.
  • • Japan, UK, France, and Germany join the U.S. as developed countries that have lost ground over the past five years.
  • • Emerging countries such as Hong Kong (technically of course part of China), India, and Brazil have shown strong relative growth.
  • • Although not shown on the chart, back in the late 1980s, Japan’s stock market represented 45 percent of world equity market capitalization. Now, it’s less than 8 percent due to a 20-year bear market.

As the world turns from developed countries to emerging ones, we should all keep our eyes open and our pencils sharpened for the investment opportunities that might arise beyond our borders.

How to Manage Returning Migraines

searchamelia health tips

Debilitating Headaches can be managed these days

Migraines start softly somewhere in one side of the brain (Greek: hemikranion= half skull) and by the time it turns full force life becomes unbearable for anywhere between 4 and 72 hours. When my friend and pharmacist Dick Luttekes, who owns several pharmacies on the beautiful Caribbean Island of St.Maarten, sent me a blog story on how to manage Migraines for upload to his website PhilipsburgPharmacy.com, I had just witnessed several migraine attacks in the aftermath of Thanksgiving’s excessive Food intake. Knowing that Dick wouldn’t mind, I would like to share his advice  with our readership. Dick, who has one pharmacy serving the hundreds of thousands of cruise ship passengers daily docking on St.Maarten and another one near Juliana International Airport. Americans with prescriptions frequent his pharmacies daily, because of pricing and service.

Are you suffering from Debilitating Migraines?

by Dr. Dick Luttekes

Almost 10% of the US population and three times more women than men suffer from migraine headaches. Although any head pain can be miserable, a migraine headache is often disabling. It is believed that even 50% of migraines are not diagnosed or mislabeled as tension or sinus-headache (which is rare according to experts).  In some cases, migraines are preceded or accompanied by a sensory warning sign (aura), such as flashes of light, blind spots or tingling in your arm or leg. A migraine headache is also often accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine pain can be excruciating and may incapacitate you for hours or even days.  When left untreated, a migraine headache typically lasts from four to 72 hours, but the frequency with which they occur can vary from person to person. You may have migraines several times a month or just once a year.

Fortunately, management of migraine headache pain has improved dramatically in the last decade. If you’ve seen a doctor in the past and had no success, it’s time to make another appointment. Although there’s still no cure, specific life style adjustments and medications can help reduce the frequency of migraine headaches and stop the pain once it has started.  Most important: You are the manager of your life and need to communicate with your doctor how to keep the migraine under control.  If you ask your doctor about help with migraine and his answer is handing over a prescription, please look for another doctor. Initially medications may help, but without the right knowledge in using them they could quickly become counter effective.

Migraine headache symptoms in children

Migraines typically begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood and may become less frequent and intense as you grow older. Children as young as age 1 can have these headaches. In addition to physical suffering, severe headaches often mean missed school days and trips to the emergency room, as well as lost work time for anxious parents.
Children’s migraines tend to last for a shorter time. But the pain can be disabling and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, lightheadedness and increased sensitivity to light. A migraine headache tends to occur on both sides of the head in children, and visual auras are rare. However, children often have premonition signs and symptoms, such as:
·    Yawning
·    Sleepiness or listlessness
·    A craving for foods such as chocolate, hot dogs, sugary snacks, yogurt and bananas

Food Groups that may cause migraines

Migraine headache triggers.
Migraine is a genetic neurological disease affecting the bloodvessels in the brain. Whatever the exact mechanism of migraines is, a number of things may trigger them. Common migraine headache triggers include:
·    Hormonal changes. Fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone seem to trigger headaches in many women with migraine headaches. Women with a history of migraines often have reported headaches immediately before or during their periods.  Hormonal medications, such as contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy, also may worsen migraines but sometimes also give relief.
·    Foods. Certain foods appear to trigger headaches in some people. Common offenders include alcohol, especially beer and red wine; aged cheeses; chocolate; fermented, pickled or marinated foods; aspartame; caffeine; monosodium glutamate — a key ingredient in some Asian foods. Skipping meals or fasting also can trigger migraines.
·    Stress. A period of hard work followed by relaxation may lead to a weekend migraine headache. Stress at work or home also can instigate migraines.
·    Sensory stimulus. Bright lights and sun glare can produce head pain. So can unusual smells — including pleasant scents, such as perfume and flowers, and unpleasant odors, such as paint thinner, secondhand smoke and my co-workers armpit.
·    Physical factors. Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, may provoke migraines. Changes in sleep patterns — including too much or too little sleep — often  initiate a migraine headache.  It is important for migraineurs to keep a steady daily rhythm
Triggers may not inevitably lead to migraine, often more triggers are needed to offset the brain i.e. lack of sleep, dehydration and alcohol. Although sensitive people might get migraine every time they drink a glass of red wine .

Management and Medical  Advice

Migraines are a chronic disorder, but they’re often undiagnosed and untreated, often waived as incidental headaches.  If you experience signs and symptoms of migraine, track and record your attacks and how you treated them including (or especially) the over the counter medication you took. Then make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your migraines and decide on a treatment plan.

If you don’t have a treatment plan when a migraine headache strikes, try over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve) or  paracetamol, or other self-care measures for a day or two. Keep in mind that soluble formulations in a high starting dose often work the best and can be combined with i.e. domperidon or metoclopramide to promote absorption if the migraine is accompanied with  nausea . If you don’t get relief, see your doctor.


Sometimes your efforts to control your pain cause problems. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) and aspirin, may cause side effects such as abdominal pain, bleeding and ulcers, especially if taken in large doses or for a long period of time.

Migraine Journals to manage the pain

Make a Journal and over time the pain can be controlled.

In addition, if you take over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription headache medications more than two or three times a week or in excessive amounts, you may be setting yourself up for a serious complication known as rebound headaches. Although these drugs can give you temporary relief, they not only stop relieving pain, but actually begin to cause headaches. You then use more pain medication, which traps you in a vicious cycle. If you’re caught in the rebound headache trap, talk to your doctor.


At one time, aspirin was almost the only available treatment for headaches. Now there are drugs specifically designed to treat migraines. Several drugs commonly used to treat other conditions also may help relieve migraines in some people. All of these medications fall into two classes:

·    Pain-relieving medications. These stop pain once it has started.
·    Preventive medications. These reduce or prevent a migraine headache.

Pain-relieving medications
For best results, take pain-relieving drugs as soon as you experience signs or symptoms of a migraine headache. It may help if you rest or sleep in a dark room after taking them:

·    Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  (Ibuprofen, Naproxen, Diclofenac, others) may help relieve mild migraines. Drugs marketed specifically for migraine, such as the combination of acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine (Excedrin Migraine), also may ease moderate migraines, but aren’t effective alone for severe migraines.  Combination drugs are suspected to have a higher incidence of initiating medication induced (rebound) headache.

·    Triptans. Sumatriptan (Imigran) was the first drug specifically developed to treat migraines. It mimics the action of serotonin by binding to serotonin receptors and causing blood vessels to constrict. Sumatriptan is available in oral, nasal and injection form. Injected sumatriptan works faster than any other migraine-specific medication — in as little as 15 minutes — and is effective in most cases. A number of similar drugs have become available, including rizatriptan (Maxalt),  zolmitriptan (Zomig) and eletriptan (Relpax). Experience has shown that sometimes people have to try 3-5 different triptans before they find the one that suits them best. A look at the different durations of effect and relative strengths might be helpfull. Dispersable tablets (wafers) do not have a quicker onset of effect or additional advantage with nausea. In fact the highest concentration in the blood is reached even at a later time then with conventional tablets. Taking triptans during the aura has no effect and might reduce the effect due to earlier elimination. Taking them when the pain becomes unbearable has no use either, they will not work anymore.

·    Ergots. Drugs such as ergotamine (cafergot) and dihydroergotamine help relieve pain. Due to the fact they have more side effects than triptans, they are less prescribed and reserved when the patient is resistant to other drug therapies. Most used is DHE as injectable.

·    Medications for nausea. Metoclopramide (Primperan) or domperidon are useful for relieving the nausea and vomiting associated with migraines, not the migraine pain itself. It also improves gastric emptying, which leads to better absorption and more rapid action of many oral drugs. It’s most effective when taken early in the course of your migraine or even during the aura before your headache begins.
Morfine like medications like vicodin, oxycodone etc. are very effective painkillers as long as they last. Due to their highly addictive properties, drug dependency  and weaning of effect they should be avoided for treatment of headaches.

Preventive medications

Preventive medications can reduce the frequency, severity and length of migraines and may increase the effectiveness of pain-relieving medicines used during migraine attacks. In most cases, preventive medications don’t eliminate headaches completely, and some can have serious side effects. They are considered an option with more than 2 attacks per month.

·    Cardiovascular drugs. Beta blockers — which are commonly used to treat high blood pressure and coronary artery disease — can reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. These drugs are considered among first-line treatment agents. Calcium channel blockers and certain RAAS drugs (atacand) are also used. Consider these medication as choice if you suffer from high bloodpressure as well.

·    Antidepressants. Certain antidepressants are good at helping prevent several  types of headaches, including migraines. Most effective are tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, taken in low dosage at night) Newer antidepressants (SRNI’s), however, generally aren’t as effective for migraine prevention. Effect has been measured with ie venlafaxine. In some people these drugs may cause headaches.

·    Anti-seizure drugs. Some anti-seizure drugs, such as valproic acid (Depakin) and topiramate (Topamax), which are used to treat epilepsy and bipolar disease, seem to prevent migraines. Gabapentin (Neurontin), another anti-seizure medication, is considered a second-line treatment agent. They might stabilize the nerve cells that trigger migraines.

·    Cyproheptadine. This antihistamine specifically affects serotonin activity. Doctors sometimes give it to children as a preventive measure.
Preventive medications are normally tried when suffering more then 2 x monthly from migraines. It may take 3 month of slowly increasing dosage before the effect can be evaluated.


Whether or not you take preventive medications, you may benefit from lifestyle changes that can help reduce the number and severity of migraines. One or more of these suggestions may be helpful for you:

·    Avoid triggers. If certain foods seem to have triggered your headaches in the past, eat something else. If certain scents are a problem, try to avoid them. In general, try to establish a daily routine with regular sleep patterns and regular meals. 
To detect triggers it is important to keep a daily diary in which you keep note of daily life events and medications taken and effect on possible migraine as well. Most smartphones have apps for migraine diaries.

·    Exercise regularly. Regular aerobic exercise reduces tension and can help prevent migraines. If your doctor agrees, choose any aerobic exercise you enjoy, including walking, swimming and cycling. Warm up slowly, however, because sudden, intense exercise can cause headaches.

·    Reduce the effects of estrogen. If you’re a woman with migraines and estrogen seems to trigger or make your headaches worse, or if you have a family history of stroke or high blood pressure, you may want to avoid or reduce the amount of medications you take that contain estrogen. These medications include birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy. Women that experience migraines during the stopweek might consider continuous  treatment. Talk with your doctor about the best alternatives or dosages for you.

·    Quit smoking. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about quitting. Smoking can trigger headaches or make headaches worse.

·    Supplements to consider.  Additional Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) Magnesium and CoQ10 , have shown effect in several studies

·    Relaxation techniques, massage, physical therapy, yoga etc. can all have a beneficial effect.


A Diary is important to evaluate if you use your medication the right way.  The right time, dosage form, rate of effectiveness and if you are not using to much or maybe to less. It is also important to identify possible triggers for the migraine. A 2 month period of recording would give your doctor (and yourself) a good assessment tool.

Lifestyle is important, taking the right medications is also important. Worrying on dietary triggers is less important. 
It will probably take several months to get the combinations right of type and dosage. This may count for preventive and relieve medication.

Keep in mind to limit the amount of painkillers and triptans to 2-3 days per week. If not you might see a tendency of increase in the frequency of headaches and related an increase in medicine consumption and before you know it you are in a vicious circle of medication dependent headaches. You can always improve !  Do not hesitate to ask for help.

Light Up a Life Benefits Take Stock in Children

Light Up a Life Benefits Take Stock in ChildrenLight Up a Life is a benefit for Take Stock in Children. Come enjoy an evening of delicious food, wine, music, and a silent auction. There will be a cash bar will also be available for those wishing cocktails or beer.

Thursday, December 1, 2011, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM at the Amelia Ballroom, located at the Omni Amelia Island Conference Center.

Tickets are only $75.00 per person and may be purchased by cash or check at the following venues:

Images Salon – 1699 S. 14th St. in Fernandina Beach (904) 321-4171
First Federal Bank – 1500 Sadler Rd. in Fernandina Beach (904) 321-2337
First Federal Bank – 463845 SR 200 in Yulee (904) 321-2337
The NewsLeader – 511 Ash St. in downtown Fernandina (904) 261-3696
The Plantation Shop at Palmetto Walk (904) 261-2030
Resort to Home– Spa & Shops of Omni Amelia Island Plantation (904) 432-2216

For more information please call (904) 548-4464.

Take Stock in Children Nassau is one of 57 Take Stock in Children programs throughout Florida whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty in this generation through education. By providing scholarships to college and with guidance from caring mentors, Florida’s at-risk youth have a chance for success and hope for a better future.

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Victorian Holiday Brunch or Tea

Victorian Holiday Brunch or TeaMouth of Amelia invites you to a holiday Victorian brunch or tea presented by the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library.

WHEN: Thursday, December 1. Victorian Brunch is at NOON. English Tea will be at 3:30 PM.

WHERE: Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, 98 South Fletcher Avenue, Fernandina Beach, Florida

WHAT: During the Victorian era (1837 to 1901), the English resurrected or began many customs, such as the Viking winter figure the Spirit of Christmas and later called Father Christmas, the ancient pagan use of evergreens for decorations, caroling, and the first-ever Christmas cards. Family and friends gathered at meals and teas as part of the holiday celebrations. These customs have long endured and are still holiday traditions today.

One of the favorite and most influential holiday stories of the Victorian time, and whose popularity has never waned, was Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol. Reading from this holiday classic, will be Ron Kurtz who will capture our imaginations and lead us back through time. Ron is the perfect person to be giving this reading! In the appropriate garb, he even looks Dickensian!

As a guest at each event, you will receive a gift tussy mussy, a cone-shaped holder popular in the Victorian era, filled with favors, and a chance to win a beautiful holiday edition of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. There may even be a visit from Tiny Tim!

WHO: Ron Kurtz has entertained audiences at local and regional theatres as both a performer and a director, and as a reader at past holiday events. In addition, he is an author of a popular history of Amelia Island and a series of children’s books and sits on the Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library board.

WHY: This is a fundraiser for the Library!

COST: The cost for either the brunch or the tea is $30 for Friends of the Library and $35 for non-members. Tickets will be available starting November 1 at the Fernandina Beach Library. Seating is limited at both events. Get your tickets early! These holiday readings usually sell out!

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation whose main mission is two-fold, to promote literacy and life-long learning and to advocate and raise funds for the library. For information on membership or events, send an email to FernandinaLibFriends@gmail.com or visit www.nassaureads.com and click on Friends of the Library.

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Forward Fernandina Waterfront Redevelopment Meeting

Forward Fernandina Waterfront Redevelopment Meeting“WHAT IS FORWARD FERNANDINA?
Forward Fernandina (F2) is a partnership between the City of Fernandina Beach and the Amelia Island-Fernandina Restoration Foundation (Restoration Foundation) focused on strategic planning for the revitalization of downtown and adjacent areas, including the Amelia River Waterfront, the 8th Street entryway, and surrounding neighborhoods. F2 capitalizes on prior community visioning efforts, particularly Vision 2000, in order to continue momentum towards reaching community-identified goals.”

I received the following agenda from the city of Fernandina Beach that I thought some of our viewers may find interesting:

F2: Goal 1 – Waterfront Redevelopment Activities Project Approval Team

Waterfront Park Revisions Group

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

City Hall Conference Room

1.1 Discuss Team Waterfront Park “Revisory” Group Role + Key Decision Points
1.2 Establish Group Communication Strategy and Meeting Schedule
1.3 Brief Review of Previous Waterfront Park Plans

Lessons from the Globalization of Stereotypes

Pu Yi, China's Last Emperor, drove a 1932 Buick Tudor

As a Chinese developer is angered by the Icelandic decision to reject his bid and plan for a resort development on the North Atlantic island, calling the decision a sign of Western Hypocrisy and Prejudice stereotyping against China, western companies and especially car companies are grappling with an alternate universe of brand associations in China.

Of course this is not new here in the States where most brands tend to come fully equipped with stereotypes, all included in the price. Ford Crown Victoria (recently cancelled from production): law enforcement professional. Toyota Prius: upscale yuppie environmentalist. Hummer: gas-guzzling egotist. Mercedes Benz – retired conservative. BMW – spit and vinegar on corporate ladder.

In China, where the market for imported passenger cars dates back only a little over two decades, an entirely alternate set of stereotypes is taking root — and the stakes have never been higher for foreign carmakers. Take, for example, Mercedes-Benz, a brand that in much of the world suggests upscale respectability portrays the domain of the retiree in China . 
The Buick, long associated in the United States with drivers who have a soft spot for the early-bird special at a Smorgasbord, is by contrast one of the hottest luxury cars in China. 

But get this, as the Audi brand is taking over the BMW progressive quality formula in the US, in China the Audi A6 has developed a reputation as the semi-official choice of Chinese bureaucrats. From the country’s southern reaches to its northern capital, the A6’s slick frame and invariably tinted windows exude an aura of state privilege, authority and, to many ordinary citizens, a whiff of corruption. 

“Audi is still the de facto car for government officials,” said Wang Zhi, a Beijing taxi driver who has been plying the capital’s gridlocked streets for 18 years. “It’s always best to yield to an Audi — you never know who you’re messing with, but chances are it’s someone self-important.”

With annual growth hovering above 30 percent in recent years, the Chinese auto market is rapidly surpassing the United States’ as the world’s most lucrative and strategically important. Last year alone, the Chinese bought an estimated 13.8 million passenger vehicles, handily topping the 11.6 million units sold in the United States. Foreign-origin brands, most of which are manufactured in China through joint ventures, accounted for 64 percent of total sales in 2010, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Even if Chinese brand associations can seem remote and perhaps amusing to those outside the country, no one can simply overlook that in 2010, Buick sold over 550,000 cars in China, more than triple its sales in the United States, while Audi sold 227,938 vehicles in China of which almost 50,000 to the government and more than double the number in the United States.

BMW’s image fighting uphill battle

BMW, which only entered the Chinese market in 2003, has found itself in an uphill battle as the brand BMW has acquired a reputation as a vehicle for the arrogant and the rash, making it largely off-limits to wealthy officials who prefer a low-key public image. Part of this stereotype is rooted in a 2003 incident in which a young female driver in the northeastern city of Harbin intentionally ran over and killed an impoverished man who had accidentally dented her BMW X5. Despite the transparent nature of the case — a clear motive and numerous eyewitnesses — the case was settled out of court for $11,000. The incident was seen as driving a wedge between China’s rich and poor, damaging BMW’s nascent image. 

More recently, a driver in a BMW M6 struck and killed a pedestrian during an illegal street race in the city of Nanjing, setting off a public outcry. “If it hadn’t been a BMW, I don’t think it would have been as big of a deal,” said a young man who had taken part in the race and spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was awaiting trial. “Had it been all Toyotas, Mitsubishis or even Audis, I don’t think it would have provoked as dire a reaction.”

China Market revived Buick from the dead

Stereotyping can be a PR nightmare or a godsend  for any company or country trying to globalize its influence. For example General Motors has found the Chinese market to be a life-saving opportunity for the reinvention of the Buick brand. Since 2005, when Bob Lutz, the vice chairman of G.M., famously declared Buick a “damaged brand,” America’s oldest surviving automobile brand has successfully positioned itself in China as a top-tier luxury carmaker. 

Even though largely the result of effective marketing and remodeling, it did help more than just a bit that China’s romance with the Buick also has historical roots. The last Chinese emperor, Pu Yi, was the proud owner of two Buicks, as was the country’s first provisional president, Dr. Sun Yat-sen. The black Buick 8 driven by onetime prime minister, Zhou Enlai, is still displayed at his former residence in Shanghai, now a museum. 

Sina Weibo, the country’s most popular microblogging service, a recent posting summed up the car clichés as “A gathering of Mercedes indicates a get-together for old folks, a group of BMWs means young nouveaux riches are about to run someone over and have a party and several Audis, and you know it’s a government meeting.”
This stereo-typing may be of interest to individual brand perceptions, but it also enforces the cliché in this particular case that German built Cars are Superior.

A Chinaman in Iceland

Millionaire Chinese Developer Huang Nubo should have realized that the rejection of his plan to build a resort on Iceland, is anchored in stereo-typing that can only be overcome by time. He should have partnered with a local ice-lander in this first venture, and learn that investing in a culture and its common ethnic ancestry works much better than assuming that money can buy off a stereo-typical form of national, chauvinistic or protectionist patriotism.

Corporate or global brand stereo-typing can be effectively and rather speedily addressed in these days of massive and interactive communications. Buy the services of a well loved top performer, artist, sportsman or national hero, and execute a believable PR program and stereo-types will change rather quickly. In the 1980s, perception was everything in American stores was Made in Japan and in the 1980s, Japan was seen as evil, as they were buying every Golfcourse in America. Reality is now in 2011 that about 170 courses in the US (out of 14,000 plus course), primarily on the westcoast and Hawaii, are owned by Japanese interests.

National stereo-typing has taken centuries to develop and it will take time and actual political policy adjustments to change. My grandparents called China the Yellow Threat in the early 1960s. There is no doubt in my mind that there are quite a few grandparents today who tell their grand children about the dangers of the Muslim Threat. In my early years I lived and worked with highly stereo-typed cultures: don’t trust a German, count your fingers when you’re dealing with a Jewish partner, you’ll never understand the Chinese Culture, Muslims are out to get you, the French are the best cooks and lovers (hahaha), blondes have more fun, Africans have smaller brains, Latin people are lazy….oh I could continue for another paragraph. And I’ve learned that all of these stereo-types are based on ignorance and stupidity and do a tremendous injustice to mankind.

I am glad to live in a world where ongoing technological and communications improvements allow us to quickly find out when global stereo typing is steering us wrong.
Last week for example I learned that stem cell research has effectively stopped in the USA , leaving notably China as the global frontrunner, for what could well be the only medical solution in a future of immense cost increases of medical and pharmaceutical availability. Stereo-typing should not lead to situations where human health and cures for heart disease, cancers, Aids, Immune deficiencies etc. can come from any corner of the globe.

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