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City Manager Candidates Resumes Now Available

City Manager Candidates Resumes Now AvailableThe resumes for the City Manager finalists are now available online. Citizens are invited to attend a Meet and Greet at the Fernandina Beach Golf Course on May 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm. Interviews will be held on May 12, 2012.

Be warned – there are 43 pages to view. Here is a quick preview:

I found it interesting that Joe Gerrity‘s resume is the first one to display… coincidence? His references include Regina Duncan from the Chamber of Commerce and Foy Maloy, the publisher of the Newsleader.

Also under consideration is local resident and CPA, Gene Knaga, the current Nassau County Clerk of Court/Comptroller Yulee, Florida.

David Lott made the short list, also a Fernandina Beach resident. I’ve heard that most residents have been pleased with Dave as the Interim City Manager, but it is interesting to note he has listed Lynn Williams and Ron Sapp as personal references.

Next in the resume pool I found a Michigan candidate, Michael Stampfler. It appears he has city management experience in the South, including Talladega, Alabama and Casselberry, Florida. He also went to school in Holland, Michigan and I like everyone I have ever met from there!

Paul White has an interesting resume including experience in both Gainsville and Riviera Beach in Florida. His longest employ includes jobs as City Manager, so this may be perfect for him.

Judy Whitis has also applied and she would be coming to us from Panama City, Florida. Her references include relationships with supervisors employed by both Smurfit and RockTenn over in the Panhandle.

I just hope these candidates know what they have signed up for, otherwise, I can only offer this advice, “Run, Forrest, Run!”

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A Savory Taste From a Savory Place

A Savory Taste From a Savory PlaceNassau County, FL Micah’s Place is having an exciting fundraiser called “A Savory Taste from A Savory Place.” We will have Chefs from the Micah’s Place Board Members, Auxiliary and Volunteers, and local civic and church groups participating in a cook-off using recipes from our A Savory Place cookbook. We will have samples of wine and beer as part of the tasting.

This event will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 4-7pm at the Atlantic Rec Center in Fernandina Beach. Tickets are on sale for $35.00/person. We are expecting 300 people to attend our event. There will be a variety of live music for everyone’s listening pleasure.

A tasting sample of each recipe from the cookbook will be given to each guest. Guests will vote for their favorite recipes. A variety of awards will be given to the favorite Chef. Exhibitors will decorate their tables based on a theme that relates to their recipe and/or business or group.

Join us in this fun-filled day by signing up as a Chef with your church group, gardening group, civic group, book club… we welcome everyone! There is no charge to be a Chef.

Entry tickets are $35.00 and can be purchased through the Purple Dove Resale Center, next to Dick’s Wings Restaurant in Yulee or contact Kelly Monti at projectcoordinator@micahsplace.org or 904-491-6364, ext. 102 to sign up to be a Chef or to buy your tickets.

Help us raise much needed funds for Micah’s Place services and programs by participating in this unique and enjoyable event.

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Parking and Street Closure Notice for 49th Shrimp Festival

Parking and Street Closure Notice for 49th Shrimp FestivalPublic Notice: EFFECTIVE FOR THE WEEK OF SHRIMP FESTIVAL
The following street and parking lot closures will be effective this week in order to set up for the 49th Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival:

City Waterfront Parking Lot B will be closed from Midnight, Wednesday, May 2nd until Midnight, Sunday, May 6th.

City Waterfront Parking Lots A, C, and D and the Library Parking Lot will be closed to unauthorized vehicles from Midnight, Thursday, May 3rd until Midnight, Sunday, May 6th.

Beginning at 5:00 PM Friday, May 4th, there will be NO PARKING on the streets and public parking lots of the downtown Centre Street Business District (bordered by Ash St. and Alachua St. from 8th Street to the Waterfront). This area will remain closed to parking until Midnight, Sunday, May 6th, in order to finish clean up and street sweeping.

Signs will be posted throughout the downtown area and unauthorized cars will be towed.

Editors note: They are not kidding about this… you WILL BE TOWED if you park in an unauthorized location.

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And The Turtles Are Baaack…….!

First Leatherback Turtle nest of 2012 on Amelia Island

First Leatherback Turtle nest of 2012 on Amelia Island

Not only did we get a visit of two French Navy schooners with some 50 plus crew this weekend, it seems that a 1,000lbs female Leatherback turtle must have followed them in their slipstreams.

Early Sunday morning a guest at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island spotted the turtle making her way back to the ocean after a night of hard labor laying about 60 eggs, making this nest the earliest one on record on Amelia Island.

Earlier today I received this update from the resort’s Director of Public Relations, Joseph (Joe) Murphy:

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,

As you know, it is our policy not to report on celebrities visiting the hotel but today we can share that a rare Leatherback turtle chose our property to nest. It’s the first nest of the season on Amelia Island and one week before the official season begins. It’s also the earliest date that a turtle nest has been recorded on Amelia Island. The turtle weighs an estimated 1000 lbs. and buried an estimated 60 eggs. It’s distinctive sand tracks are still in place. The Sea Turtle Watch organization has marked the nest near the resort’s Ocean Front Lawn.

So let this be a warning for all of us on the beach, it’s once again time to pay attention to the bright light issue along Fletcher Ave. homes, condos and resorts, to keep the turtles safely away from the road.

Great Fun with French Navy

Also in town were the French Navy Schooners ‘Etoile” (Star) and “La Belle Poule” – the Pretty Hen is the literal translation, but what is really implied is a beautiful girl. Actually the legend is that the original 26 gun warship was named after one of Napolean’s sweethearts, he had nicknamed “La Belle Poule”.

We had the pleasure of having dinner with the entire crews on Friday Evening at the American Legion and on Saturday we went out to see the ships and had some champagne French style on the beach.

With the impromptu organization of a Pétanque Tournament on the Riverfront Sunday afternoon and some final toasts to a joyful visit and happy continuation of the Festivities, the two magnificent schooners left our Fernandina Beach docks around 10:30pm on their way to Jacksonville, Savannah, Annapolis, Philadelphia, New York and St.Pierre-Miquelon before heading back across the Atlantic ahead of the hurricane season.

Bon Voyage Nos Amis, you gave us a great practice run ahead of next week’s Shrimp Festival.

May 1st Fernandina Commissioner Meeting Agenda

May 1st Fernandina Commissioner Meeting AgendaHere is the agenda for the regularly scheduled meeting of the Fernandina Beach city Commissioners. The meeting will begin at 6:00 PM, at City Hall on Ash Street in historic Fernandina Beach, Florida.

1. CALL TO ORDER
2. ROLL CALL
3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, Invocation by Chaplain Don McFadyen.

4. PROCLAMATIONS
4.1 PROCLAMATION JEAN RIBAULT PARK – Proclamation dedicating the Anchor Pocket Park as the “Jean Ribault Park”. A representative from the Amelia Island Museum of History and Planner Adrienne Burke of the Community Development Department will be present to accept the Proclamation.

4.2 PROCLAMATION – NATIONAL PRESERVATION MONTH AND HISTORIC PRESERVATION MATTERS DAY – Proclamation proclaiming the month of May, 2012, as “National Preservation Month”, and May 19, 2012, as “Historic Preservation Matters Day”. Planner Adrienne Burke of the Community Development Department will be present to accept the Proclamation.

4.3 PROCLAMATION – NATIONAL POLICE WEEK AND PEACE OFFICERS’ MEMORIAL DAY – Proclamation proclaiming May 13-19, 2012, as “National Police Week” and May 15, 2012, as “National Peace Officers’ Memorial Day”. Police Chief James T. Hurley will be present to accept the Proclamation.

4.4 PROCLAMATION – OLDER AMERICANS MONTH – Proclamation proclaiming the month of May, 2012, as “Older Americans Month”. Mr. Bill Hardy, Director of Operations for Elder Source, will be present to accept the Proclamation.

5. CONSENT AGENDA
5.1 AGREEMENT APPROVAL – FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION – GUM STREET RAILROAD CROSSING – RESOLUTION 2012-65 AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A RAILROAD REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT FOR THE INSTALLATION OF GRADE CROSSING TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES LOCATED ON GUM STREET, AND FUTURE MAINTENANCE OF ADJUSTMENT OF SAID DEVICES; PROVIDING FOR THE COMMITMENT AND EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves a commitment for future funding of annual operation and maintenance costs for the Gum Street railroad crossing signals.

5.2 AGREEMENT APPROVAL – FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION – LIME STREET RAILROAD CROSSING – RESOLUTION 2012-66 AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A RAILROAD REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT FOR THE INSTALLATION OF GRADE CROSSING TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES LOCATED ON LIME STREET, AND FUTURE MAINTENANCE OF ADJUSTMENT OF SAID DEVICES; PROVIDING FOR THE COMMITMENT AND EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves a commitment for future funding of annual operation and maintenance costs for the Lime Street railroad crossing signals.

5.3 AGREEMENT APPROVAL – FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION – DOT – LIME STREET SYNCHRONIZATION OF GRADE CROSSING – RESOLUTION 2012-67 AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF A RAILROAD REIMBURSEMENT AGREEMENT FOR THE SYNCHRONIZATION OF GRADE CROSSING TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES LOCATED ON LIME STREET AND FUTURE MAINTENANCE OF ADJUSTMENT OF SAID DEVICES; PROVIDING FOR THE COMMITMENT AND EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves a Railroad Reimbursement Agreement for the synchronization of Grade Crossing Traffic Control Devices on Lime Street and commitment for future funding of annual operation and maintenance costs.

5.4 SEWER AND REFUSE EXEMPTION – RESOLUTION 2012-68 APPROVING TWO (2) ADDITIONAL APPLICATIONS FOR CITY SEWER AND REFUSE EXEMPTION FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2011/2012; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves two (2) additional applications for exemption of City sewer and refuse costs.

5.5 DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PROPERTY – RESOLUTION 2012-69 DECLARING CERTAIN TITLED CITY PROPERTY SURPLUS; AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO DISPOSE OF SAID PROPERTY IN A MANNER CONSISTENT WITH THE CITY’S POLICIES AND PROCEDURES; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Declares certain property as surplus, and authorizes the disposal of such.

5.6 APPROVING RULES OF PROCEDURE – RESOLUTION 2012-70 PROVIDING FOR RULES OF PROCEDURE FOR CITY COMMISSION MEETINGS; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Adopts Rules of Procedure for City Commission Meetings.

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

7. RESOLUTIONS
7.1 ALLOCATING FUNDS FOR LIBRARY REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS AND BUDGET AMENDMENT – RESOLUTION 2012-71 ALLOCATING FUNDS FOR ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING DESIGN SERVICES FOR EXPANSION AND RENOVATION OF THE EXISTING DOWNTOWN FERNANDINA BEACH LIBRARY, APPROVING AN AMENDMENT TO THE 2011/2012 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET TO TRANSFER FUNDS FROM THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FRONT STREET REHABILITATION ACCOUNT TO THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT LIBRARY ACCOUNT, AUTHORIZING A QUALIFICATION REVIEW COMMITTEE AND AUTHORIZING ISSUANCE OF A REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS FOR ARCHITECTURAL AND ENGINEERING DESIGN SERVICES; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves funding for Architectural and Engineering Design Services for expansion and renovation of the Downtown Fernandina Beach Library and a Budget Amendment of $85,000.

7.2 PURCHASE APPROVAL – FIRE DEPARTMENT – RESOLUTION 2012-72 APPROVING THE PURCHASE OF FIREFIGHTER SAFETY EQUIPMENT USING U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY (FEMA), ASSISTANCE TO FIREFIGHTERS GRANT (AFG) MONIES; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the purchase of Firefighting equipment using AFG monies in the total amount of $215,300.

7.3 APPROVING SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT – COE – RESOLUTION 2012-73 APPROVING THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT IN THE CASE OF JIM COE V. CITY OF FERNANDINA BEACH; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the Stipulation and Agreement in the case of Jim Coe v. City of Fernandina Beach, Case No. 2011-CA-327.

7.4 APPROVAL OF PURCHASE – RAYONIER PROPERTY – RESOLUTION 2012-10 APPROVING A PURCHASE AND SALE AGREEMENT WITH RAYONIER PERFORMANCE FIBERS, LLC FOR THE PURCHASE OF 3 PARCELS, INCLUDING PROPERTY LOCATED ON FRONT STREET, IN THE AMOUNT OF $75,000; CREATING A NEW ACCOUNT FOR THE PURCHASE OF THE PROPERTY; APPROVING AN AMENDMENT TO THE 2011/2012 FISCAL YEAR BUDGET TO TRANSFER FUNDS FROM THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FRONT STREET REHABILITATION ACCOUNT TO THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT LAND ACQUISITION RAYONIER ACCOUNT; AUTHORIZING EXECUTION; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves a Purchase and Sale Agreement with Rayonier Performance Fibers, LLC in the amount of $75,000 and approves a Budget Amendment to the new account.

8. ORDINANCES – FIRST READING
8.1 CODE AMENDMENT – STREET PERFORMERS AND STREET ARTISTS – ORDINANCE 2012-07 CREATING CHAPTER 70, ARTICLE III OF THE CODE OF ORDINANCES TITLED “STREET PERFORMERS AND STREET ARTISTS”; CREATING SECTION 70-150 PROVIDING FOR INTENT AND LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS; CREATING SECTION 70-151 PROVIDING FOR DEFINITIONS; CREATING SECTION 70-152 PROVIDING FOR THE ISSUANCE OF PERMITS; CREATING SECTION 70-153 PROHIBITING ACTIVITIES IN CERTAIN AREAS OF THE CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT AND HISTORIC DISTRICT OVERLAY; CREATING SECTION 70-154 PROVIDING FOR PERMIT REGULATIONS; CREATING SECTION 70-155 PROVIDING FOR THE DISPLAY OF PERMITS; CREATING SECTION 70-156 PROVIDING FOR SUSPENSION AND REVOCATION OF PERMITS; CREATING SECTION 70-157 PROVIDING FOR A PERMIT FEE; CREATING SECTION 70-158 PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES; PROVIDING FOR THE REPEAL OF SECTIONS IN CONFLICT; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves a Code Amendment creating Chapter 70, Article III, Street Performers and Street Artists.

8.2 CHANGE IN LAND USE – CORMIER – ORDINANCE 2012-08 CHANGING THE FUTURE LAND USE MAP FROM GENERAL COMMERCIAL (GC) TO CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT (CBD), FOR ONE PARCEL TOTALING 5,000 SQUARE FEET OF LAND LOCATED AT 229 SOUTH EIGHTH STREET, PARCEL ID NUMBER 00-00-31-1800-0040-0052 AND; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the Change in Land Use from General Commercial (C-2) to Central Business District (C-3) for property located at 229 South 8th Street.

8.3 CHANGE IN ZONING – CORMIER – ORDINANCE 2012-09 CHANGING THE ZONING MAP FROM GENERAL COMMERCIAL (C-2) TO CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT (C-3), FOR ONE PARCEL TOTALING 5,000 SQUARE FEET OF LAND LOCATED AT 229 SOUTH EIGHTH STREET, PARCEL ID NUMBER 00-00-31-1800-0040-0052 AND; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the Change in Zoning from General Commercial (C-2) to Central Business District (C-3) for property located at 229 South 8th Street.

8.4 LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE TEXT AMENDMENT – ROTORCRAFT SIGHTSEEING BUSINESSES – ORDINANCE 2012-10 AMENDING THE LAND DEVELOPMENT CODE TO ALLOW ROTORCRAFT SIGHTSEEING BUSINESS AS A PERMISSIBLE USE SUBJECT TO SUPPLEMENTAL STANDARDS IN THE W-1, I-W, I-1, AND I-A ZONING DISTRICTS, PROVIDING FOR DEFINITIONS IN CHAPTER 1, SECTION 1.00.07; AND AMENDING CHAPTER 2, SECTION 2.03.02 TABLE OF LAND USES; AND AMENDING CHAPTER 6 BY ADDING SECTION 6.02.27 PROVIDING SUPPLEMENTAL STANDARDS FOR A ROTORCRAFT SIGHTSEEING BUSINESS; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves a Land Development Code Text Amendment to allow Rotorcraft Sightseeing Businesses subject to Supplemental Standards.

9. ORDINANCES – SECOND READING
9.1 CODE AMENDMENT – BUILDING AND BUILDING REGULATIONS – ORDINANCE 2012-02 AMENDING CHAPTER 22, ARTICLE II, SECTION 22-26, ADOPTION OF CODES BY REFERENCE; REPEALING SECTION 22-29, AMENDMENTS TO BUILDING CODE; ENACTING A NEW SECTION 22-29 AMENDMENTS TO THE BUILDING CODE; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves a Code Amendment, Chapter 22, Building and Building Regulations – Implementing the current Florida Building Code Standards and adopting local revisions to Chapter 1 of the 2010 Florida Building Code, Administration.

9.2 CODE AMENDMENT – ART IN PUBLIC PLACES PROGRAM – Ordinance 2012-03 Creating CHAPTER 70, ARTICLE 3, SECTIONS 70-150 THROUGH 70-154 OF THE CITY CODE OF ORDINANCES establishing an Art IN Public Places Program, Providing for purpose; providing for Definitions; providing for establishing committee roles and responsibilities; providing for ownership and maintenance; Establishing an Art in Public Places Fund; providing for severability; and Providing FOR an Effective Date.
Synopsis: Code Amendment by adding a new article under Chapter 70 to allow for Art in Public Places Program.

9.3 CHANGE IN LAND USE – TIZZANO – ORDINANCE 2012-04 CHANGING THE FUTURE LAND USE MAP FROM GENERAL COMMERCIAL (GC) TO CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT (CBD), FOR TWO PARCELS TOTALING 0.11 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED AT 109 NORTH THIRD STREET, PARCEL ID NUMBERS 00-00-31-1800-0009-0270 AND 00-00-31-1800-0009-0272 AND; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the Change in Land Use from General Commercial (C-2) to Central Business District (C-3) for property located at 109 North 3rd Street.

9.4 CHANGE IN ZONING – TIZZANO – ORDINANCE 2012-05 CHANGING THE ZONING MAP FROM GENERAL COMMERCIAL (C-2) TO CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT (C-3), FOR TWO PARCELS TOTALING 0.11 ACRES OF LAND LOCATED AT 109 NORTH THIRD STREET, PARCEL ID NUMBERS 00-00-31-1800-0009-0270 AND 00-00-31-1800-0009-0272 AND; PROVIDING FOR SEVERABILITY; AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
Synopsis: Approves the Change in Zoning from General Commercial (C-2) to Central Business District (C-3) for property located at 109 North 3rd Street.

10. BOARD APPOINTMENTS
10.1 BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE POLICE AND FIRE PENSION PLAN – 1 Appointment.

11. DISCUSSION – DIRECTION – ACTION ITEMS
11.1 MAIN BEACH BOARDWALK.
11.2 REVIEW CITY MANAGER APPLICANT QUESTIONS AND DISCUSS INTERVIEW PROCESS.

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

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2012 Salt Cooking School at the Ritz Carlton

2012 Salt Cooking School at the Ritz CarltonThe chefs guide students step by step in a format designed to accommodate every skill level in this exciting cooking school offered by Salt at the Ritz Carlton Amelia Island. The classes are limited to twenty students to create an intimate environment where fun and camaraderie are apparent.

Each cooking series begins with a continental breakfast each morning. The first day features a tour and an overview of the responsibilities held by each member of the Salt culinary team. Students then visit work stations for personal instruction to a four-course lunch menu. Later that day, students and teachers share a family-style, communal lunch paired with a selection of fine wines and lively conversation about morning experience.

On the second day, students refine their new skills as they rotate throughout the kitchen preparing a complete gourmet feast and once again dine with the Salt chefs in the Salt dining room overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. At the conclusion of the session students are proudly packing their apron, recipe book, and exchanging e-mail addresses with new friends.

Step out of the dining room and into the kitchen with a new series of interactive cooking schools at Salt.

Cooking at the Ritz CarltonCooking School 2012 dates and themes:

French Rivera Favorites
June 20-21 2012
Eating along the coast with tapenade, ratatouille, bouillabaisse, cassoulet, pat au feu and tarte tropezienne.

Salt Cooking School: Asian Cuisine
August 29-30, 2012
Eating healthy with Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese traditions with peking duck & dim sum, sushi rolling & shabushabu, pad thai & red and green curry.

Italian Holiday Classics
December 19-20, 2012

    – Overnight accommodations for two nights in a coastal view room
    – Two-day cooking school at Salt
    – Daily breakfast, champagne du-jour, and luncheon
    – Salt apron and recipes
    – 4 p.m. check-out
    – Overnight valet parking

One person rate: $879 for the two night package
Two person rate: $1,239 for the two night package

Package is subject to availability and cannot be combined with any other offer. Advance reservations are required; rates do not apply to groups. Rates listed are per room, for two nights, single or double occupancy, and exclusive of taxes, gratuities and other charges unless otherwise noted.

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$250 for a Single Brick

$250 for a Single BrickNassau County, FL – The Council on Aging’s Capital Campaign to raise funds for The Life Center continues. In addition to asking for donations, we have added an exciting new way to leave your name on our building with a personally engraved brick paver to be placed in the courtyard of the new facility.

These pavers, engraved with your name or the name of a loved one, are now available for purchase. Since many of you might have been born on this site of the former hospital, we’d like to invite you to buy a paver in The Life Center to celebrate you! But don’t forget your anniversary, your loved one’s birthday or any special occasion!

The Life Center will provide 15,000 square feet dedicated to serving our seniors, including seven flexible areas for exercise classes and wellness programs, as well as room for lifelong learning opportunities, and a large gathering space for group meals. This new center will also provide a more functional area for our Adult Day Healthcare program, space for a 60 percent increase in the number of case workers, training space for In-Home workers, and other desperately needed space for new programs.

Pavers With a Purpose, support the Council on Aging with a $250.00 brick.

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A Human Quality That Is Truly Valuable

The ability to create

The ability to create and execute

The other night I caught a glimpse of one of my wife’s favorite shows, “Survivor”. She actually once auditioned for it. After rearing and raising 6 children I thought she would be uniquely qualified, but apparently not according to the show’s masterminds. Yet I watched one of the contestants, I think her name is Kim, in a crying spell confessing her fear to be seen as a weak player or a follower by the other tribesmen and women.

This got me thinking about real life where arguably 90% of the people are followers and 10% are leaders or pioneers of some sort. Now I’m not implying that followers are weak, because they are NOT. They are operators. And trying to find the why for this automatic assessment, I kind of clearly found what really makes the difference between non-productive attention grabbing and pure value contribution. This girl on Survivor used tears to grab attention and illicit compassion.

In that same context I read the story a couple of weeks ago about a British 4 year old being admitted to MENSA and how that grabbed the headlines. What was even more interesting in my opinion was learning that there is already a 2 year old in this “exclusive” club. A two year old? what would be the purpose of admitting a 2 year old to MENSA, except maybe a boatload of expectations the little tike can never live up to or collect on while it actually might send him to an early grave. Usually parents with an overactive exhibition drive are the root behind the insanity.

It’s a good thing to be smart or intelligent, but there is another more unique human quality that goes far beyond mere perception or test models for IQ evaluation. Think about it: what is that single quality that makes someone precious and yes often, indispensable? Beyond intelligence, loyalty, kindness, respect, discipline, pride, passion and compassion, it’s…

..the ability to create.

Sounds so simple. But truth is, the vast majority of people spend their lives learning how to follow and execute other peoples’ game plans. Fitting their skills, abilities and mindsets into the predefined responsibilities and tasks required by a predefined job. And, that’s fine and needed. We need people like that in the world. Actually we need a lot of people like that, who’s only real creation will be a solid family life and procreation of the human race. It’s often referred to as Salt of the Earth. If that’s you and you work with pride and add value and that makes you happy, rock on.

But, know and more so, accept too that you regardless of how “hard” you work, you will very likely never be toward the top of the “gotta keep ’em” food chain. Not because you’re bad at what you do, not because you don’t add value. Not because those around you don’t like or even love you. But because there will always be a sea of people lined up to take your job and who can do what you do in a similar enough way to make your boss, partner, colleague or collaborator happy.

And for every creator, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of operators.

Which is why, when you’re a creator, everything changes. Rather than being the one people ask to carry out a plan, people look to you to create a plan. To solve a problem, to innovate a new idea, product, service or campaign, to see opportunities where everyone else sees barriers, to blaze a new trail rather than follow a well grooved one.

And here is the thing, it’s, most often not about radical departures from the norm or earth-shattering breakthroughs.

What I’m talking about is the ability to create solutions on a daily basis. To understand we’re at point A and we need to get to point B, then tap your creative/problem-solving juices to conjure the best possible way to get there. As someone who’s steering the ship, that ability is immensely more valuable to me than someone who needs to be told every step from A to B (provided I also have skilled Operators in the pipeline). Because it frees up my own creative juices to focus on other projects, while trusting in another’s ability to figure out how to get done what needs to get done.

But like every gunslinger will find an opponent who’s even better and more accurate, the creator’s value bows down to one person who’s even more valuable than the pure creator/problem-solver.

And, that’s the Creator-Operator–the individual who can not only create anew, solve problems and map out innovative pathways, but also possesses the ability to execute, to bring those plans to life. People who can do both are extraordinarily rare finds, because creation and implementation are very different processes and almost always inhabit different brains and bodies, too. Most peoples’ minds just don’t function well on both levels. Which is why those folks tend to rise quickly up the ranks and often become entrepreneurs of great importance.

What Tourists Need to Know About Swimming off Amelia Island

What Tourists Need to Know About Swimming off Amelia IslandWhen tourists are getting ready for a vacation in Amelia, Florida they always pack their swimming suit. No vacation to Florida is complete without a day in the warm sun enjoying a day at the beach or laying at the pool. You don’t have to be fresh out of swimming lessons to enjoy the sun in Fernandina Beach, but there are a few things you will want to remember to make your vacation great.

One thing Florida is not short on is water. There are plenty of beaches to enjoy on Amelia Island. Although we want you to have fun, safety must always come first. Injuries and accidents can take the fun out of any vacation. The best way to keep your vacation enjoyable is to be prepared.

Rip Currents
A rip current, also referred to as a rip tide, is caused by wind and weather conditions. These strong channels of flowing water can endanger even the best swimmers. Swim in an area that is life guard protected, and be aware of rip current warnings.

If swimmers are not careful, rip currents can drag them away from the beach. Rip currents cause more than 100 deaths annually in the United States Rip currents cause 80% of rescues needed by beach lifeguards. Please obey warnings and stay clear of these currents.

Editor’s note: On July 27, 2008 we posted the following information on SearchAmelia.com and it is worth publishing again.

Please pay attention to the following so you know how to escape if you are ever caught in a rip tide:

If you are on a surfboard or raft, keep it with you to stay visible and afloat. You may get pulled further out to sea, but you have a crutch with these items.

Remain calm! Riptides are usually no more than 100 feet wide, so you can get out of this if you swim parallel to the shore.

NEVER try to swim directly back to shore; you will drown! You must conserve your energy. Again, swim parallel to the shoreline until you are out of the current and then you will be able to swim back to the beach.

If you wear polarized sunglasses, you may be able to recognize rip currents.

    -Look for a channel of choppy water, or a trench in the sand.
    -A very distinct color varience in the water.
    -Breaks in the wave pattern.
    -Debris or seaweed heading out to sea.

If you are not an experienced swimmer, swim in areas where a lifeguard is on duty, pay attention to the warning flags and NEVER swim alone.

Lightning
Florida has frequent lightning storms during the summer. Lightning can strike swimmers and is more attracted to water than land, so people in the water are more vulnerable. Bad weather conditions just offshore may also cause heavy waves that can knock down people just at the water’s edge and drag swimmers into deeper water, even if the storm hasn’t made it to shore yet. Please vacate the beach immediately at the first sign of lightning.

Sunscreen
It truly doesn’t matter what beach or pool you are at, sunscreen is a must. Nothing can ruin a vacation like a painful, red sunburn. Sunburns can occur in as little as 15 minutes. Be sure to apply sunscreen at the beginning of your day in the sun.

Research has shown that the best protection is achieved by application 15 to 30 minutes before exposure, followed by one reapplication 15 to 30 minutes after exposure begins. Further reapplication is necessary after activities such as swimming and sweating.

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Golf Tournament Includes Field of Honor

Golf Tournament Includes Field of HonorThe Council on Aging of Nassau’s Memorial Day Golf Tournament will feature a “Field of Honor” with special signs dedicated to your patriotic friends and family members, alive or deceased, who have served in the Armed Forces.

These signs will be on display at COA for the month leading up to Memorial Day, and displayed prominently at their golf tournament.

Your $100.00 Donation will add your sign to their “Field of Honor”, give them a call at 904.261.0701 x117 for more details. You can honor OUR Heroes by supporting YOUR Council on Aging.

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The French Are Coming…!!!

These schooners can be viewed on Saturday at the Fernandina Harbour

Four hundred and fifty years ago around this time of the year, some natives might have wondered about the ships on the horizon when French Sailor and settler Jean Ribault decided to step ashore and build a small settlement on our island which he had called Ile de Mai. The year was 1562.

Until then there had been little interest among the early discoverers of the new world. That would soon enough change however and Ile de May changed flags no less than 8 times before it finally became Amelia Island.
To commemorate the start of it all, we are welcoming two Atlantic crossing French Navy Schooners (L’Etoile and La Belle Poule) this weekend at the docks of Fernandina Beach and in honor of the decision to make the first mainland stop of their historic Atlantic crossing here on Amelia Island, we will party: French style, which means games, good food and lots of throat caressing fluids.
This is quite a different welcome than 450 years ago when French and Spanish were contesting supremacy in the area. Without going into the details once again of the cruel life created by religion in those days, it should be noted that in true sense of history, Amelia Island was settled 3 years before St.Augustine, when Ribault built a settlement here called Fort Caroline.
The bloodbath in “the name of the Lord” at Matanzas led to the annihilation of the residents of the island’s first settlement and in the process created yet another historical abberation that qualifies for the “He who Wins, Writes History” trophy.

The fight over the title " oldest settlement in America"

The fight over the title " oldest settlement in America"

This time around however, the French sailors, after tying up to our docks, will find pleasantness, music, wine and good food and an invitation to participate in a Spring Pétanque tournament on coming Sunday, in which the “local” Petanqiers, coming from Tallahassee, St. Augustine and Amelia Island, hope to playfully “massacre” the sailors in a competitive encounter at the downtown riverfront.

The Ships

The 123 ft long sister ships were built in Fécamp, France in 1932.
The “Belle Poule” was named after the original 26-gun frigate that started the French intervention in the American War of Independence in 1778 in its famous battle with England’s “Arethusa”. Both ships served the Free French Forces during the Second World War and since serve as training vessels.
They came to Florida in honor of the 450th anniversary of French Capt. Jean Ribault’s arrival. After celebrations in Jacksonville on May 1st, they will head to Savannah, Annapolis, Philadelphia and New York. Fernandina Beach welcomes the sailors for a well deserved weekend of R & R after their 7 week voyage across the Atlantic.

How Amelia Island became their first stop on the Mainland USA?

One reason, and one reason only. That reason is called Philippe Boets; the same guy that brought us the game of Pétanque and the Dutch Bells on the Waterfront a couple of years ago. Philippe read about the history and the Schooners sailing to the “New World” and climbed in the phone to arrange for our island to get its proper place in the historic line-up. And…he pulls it off once again. I won’t bother you with all the logistics involved in having two foreign Navy schooners dock in a US port for a couple of days of R&R. Most people would walk away from it at one point or another in the slow and frustrating process. Not Philippe Boets.  The man is just remarkable and I’m proud to call him my friend.

Program of Celebrations

Here is the celebration program for this weekend.

Fri  April 27
At 4pm (irrespective of ships arrival time)
Brief welcome by:
● Ms Arlene Filkoff, Mayor of Fernandina Beach.
● Mr François Kloc, Consul of France in Jacksonville.
● young singers from St Michael Academy.
at the north pier of the FB Harbor Marina.
Sat  April 28
Ships are open to the public.
From 9 to 11am and from 2 to 5pm.
Visits are free.
Sun  April 29
Petanque (French bowling game) tournament.
From 12:30 to 6pm
Local teams from Amelia Island, Jacksonville, St Augustine and Tallahassee will take on the French sailors.
At the south end of the Marina parking lot.
Free to the public.
Wine, beer, food and lots of French music.
Around 10pm. Ships depart
PS: Did you know that Fernandina Beach once back in the 1860’s had a French Mayor who developed the production of Olive Oil on the Island?  His great grand children just visited me at the Amelia Oceanfront Bed and Breakfast. Quite a fascinating story. More about that next week.

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act

Image stolen from www.digitaltrends.com/web/white-house-warns-of-cispa-flaws/

The following story was stolen, with permission, from The Tireless Agorist. He wants YOU to know the CISPA House debate begins April 26, 2012.

A note from The Tireless Agorist: If you haven’t been keeping up with CISPA, here are two earlier Tireless Agorist posts about CISPA: CISPA Keynotes Cybersecurity Week and Who’s Buying CISPA and Selling Us Out?

The ACLU is asking that you to contact your representative because the House of Representatives will open a debate on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, including more than 40 potential amendments. The first link above includes a lookup for your representative’s phone number and even a sample script for the phone call.

Have you made that phone call yet? Don’t disappoint the ACLU, Tim Berners-Lee, Ron Paul, this Tireless Aorist, and a large group of other people. Go make your call, then come back and read what those people, and others, have to say about CISPA.

Here’s the latest analysis of CISPA from Zachary Katznelson at the ACLU.

Tomorrow, the House of Representatives is scheduled to being debating the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, authored by Reps. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.). In the name of cybersecurity, the legislation threatens to blow a hole through every privacy law on the books and allow companies to share customers’ private information with the US military. It’s not pretty.

Think for a minute about all the things in your life that are kept on computers, but you would like to keep private. How about your medical records? Your banking and financial records? What about your education or library records? How about the things you bought on Amazon last year? Or those love letters you emailed? Or the political opinions you share with close friends? Do you think the bureaucrats and spies at the National Security Agency have any right to gather that information on you, when you’ve done absolutely nothing wrong?

What if we tell you that once the NSA has the information, it can keep it forever, share it with whomever it deems necessary, and that no court will be able to look over the NSA’s shoulder and keep it in check? Yet that is exactly the scheme envisioned by the champions of CISPA. Does Congress really think our Founding Fathers would support this?

Reason Magazine has made note of the fact that industry protests concerning CISPA are almost non-existant, as I pointed out in Who’s Buying CISPA and Selling Us Out?

The companies that’d be sending the information to the government, predictably, aren’t opposing CISPA with the same vigor as they did SOPA. Nevertheless, the ACLU and others hope to be able to replicate the online activism that led to SOPA’s demise.

Unfortunately, their hopes don’t seem to be panning out. The outcry against CISPA is a fraction of that heard against SOPA and PIPA. Have you made your phonecall yet?

Fortunately, at least some people and organizations such as the ACLU are speaking out. OpenSecrets.Org offers a brief summary as well as a list of companies that lobbied on the bill and contributed to the Mike Rogers, the author of the act, or his PAC. Notable contributors include SAIC, Lockheed Martin, AT&T, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Time Warner Cable, US Telecom Association, and Exxon Mobil, among others.

Truth-Out.org points out that CISPA is being billed as an expansion of the Defense Industrial Base Pilot program.

The legislation is being billed as an expansion of a collaboration between the National Security Agency (NSA) and major ISPs dubbed the Defense Industrial Base Pilot. Under the DIB Pilot, the NSA shares classified cyberattack signatures and information about cybersecurity threats with large ISPs that provide Internet service to major defense contractors.

Texas Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul is one of the few Congress people who have spoken out strongly against the legislation. He draws strong parallels between CISPA and the earlier SOPA/PIPA controversy.

Earlier this year, strong public opposition led by several prominent websites forced Congressional leaders to cancel votes on two bills known in Washington as “SOPA” and “PIPA.” Both of these bills threatened search engines and websites with possible shutdowns if the Justice Department deemed them insufficiently cooperative with our phony “war on terror,” or if they were merely accused of copyright infringement. Fortunately the American public flooded Capitol Hill with phone calls and Congressional leaders dropped both bills.

But we should never underestimate the federal government’s insatiable desire to control the internet. Statists of all parties, persuasions, and nationalities hate the free, unbridled flow of information, ideas, and goods via the internet. They resent the notion that ordinary people can communicate and trade across the world without government filters or approvals. So they continually seek to impose controls, always under the guise of fighting terrorism or protecting “intellectual property” rights.

The latest assault on internet freedom is called the “Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act,” or “CISPA,” which may be considered by Congress this week. CISPA is essentially an internet monitoring bill that permits both the federal government and private companies to view your private online communications with no judicial oversight–provided, of course, that they do so in the name of “cybersecurity.” The bill is very broadly written, and allows the Department of Homeland Security to obtain large swaths of personal information contained in your emails or other online communication. It also allows emails and private information found online to be used for purposes far beyond any reasonable definition of fighting cyberterrorism.

…Simply put, CISPA encourages some of our most successful internet companies to act as government spies, sowing distrust of social media and chilling communication in one segment of the world economy where America still leads.

…CISPA is Big Brother writ large, putting the resources of private industry to work for the nefarious purpose of spying on the American people. We can only hope the public responds to CISPA as it did to SOPA back in January.

Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer engineer who devised the system that allows the creation of websites and links, said that of all the recent developments on the internet, it was moves by governments to control or spy on the internet that “keep me up most at night”. He says the extension of the state’s surveillance powers would be a “destruction of human rights” and would make a huge amount of highly intimate information vulnerable to theft or release by corrupt officials. Although he was speaking of similar legislation being considered in the UK, his warnings are equally valid when it comes to CISPA. Russia Today has additional coverage of Tim Berners-Lee’s remarks.

Others voicing major concerns with CISPA include Kevin Gosztola of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, C/Net, and Demand Progress (including a simple letter/petition form). Additional coverage is also available from The Raw Story, CISPA Primer and David Seaman of Business Insider, who calls it The Worst and a Major Threat, Period.

Have you made that phone call yet?

…and that’s all I have to say about that.

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Cuba, The Island’s Past and Present

Cuba, The Island's Past and PresentThe Center for Lifelong Learning in Nassau, the Amelia Island Museum of History and the Florida State College Betty P. Cook Center invite the public to a glimpse inside the fundamental changes taking place in our enigmatic neighbor to the South, Cuba. A seminar entitled, Cuba: The Island’s Past and Present, will be held in Burns Hall at St. Peter’s Church on Saturday, April 28 from 11 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The program will start with a one hour illustrated overview of Cuba presented by Peter Johnson, a retired State Department Official. He visited Cuba in 2011 and just recently returned from another visit. He annually teaches the Great Decisions course for the Center for Lifelong Learning. A panel discussion, moderated by Peter Johnson, will take place after lunch. Panelists include Antonio Zamora, a leading Miami lawyer who specializes in international law with an emphasis on Cuba, and Tessie Aral, the CEO of ABC Travel, a major travel agency who specializes in travel to Cuba. Audience questions are encouraged.

Light refreshments (drinks and cookies) will be provided by the Center for Lifelong Learning in Nassau. FernanDeli will be selling Cuban sandwiches and chips on site for $7.00. Advance reservations are appreciated. Please call 548-4432 to reserve your seat and, if desired, order lunch.

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HMS Bounty Comes to St. Augustine

HMS Bounty Comes to St. AugustineSt. Augustine, FL — The tale of the H.M.S. Bounty is perhaps one of the most infamous tales of mutiny on the high seas. And pirates in St. Augustine have become the stuff of legend.

This month, the two join forces for Pirates on the Bounty, an action-packed weekend of pirates and privateers in the Nation’s Oldest City, presented April 28 through 29 in conjunction with the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum and the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration.

A joint and discounted ticket to tour the H.M.S. Bounty and The Pirate Museum will be available at The Pirate Museum and on the museum website: www.thepiratemuseum.com. The ship will be open for tours on April 27 through 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the museum is open throughout the weekend from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

ADULTS: $18.99 ($22.99 value)
CHILDREN 5-12 YEARS OLD: $9.99 ($11.99 value)
CHILDREN UNDER 5: FREE

Known for the storied 1789 mutiny in Tahiti aboard the historic vessel, the current Bounty replica scheduled to sail into St. Augustine for the first time in history was built for the 1962 movie Mutiny on the Bounty with Marlon Brando, and has appeared in documentaries and films like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.

“This city is so rich in history,” said Tracie Simonin, director of the H.M.S. Bounty. “The Bounty has never been to St Augustine before and I like to bring the ship to new and interesting cities.”

The H.M.S. Bounty sails the country offering dockside tours on the history of sailing vessels from a lost and romanticized period in maritime history. And it will lend its towering presence to Pirates on the Bounty.

“This is a great opportunity to provide the community with a first-time, hands-on historic experience that ties in with its rich maritime and pirate history,” said Dana Ste. Claire, St. Augustine’s director of heritage tourism and historic preservation, and director of development for the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration.

Tours of the world-famous tall ship will kick off at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina at 111 Avenida Menendez. The Pirate Museum is located within short walking distance from the marina at 12 S. Castillo Drive, just opposite the Castillo de San Marcos.

“Mutineers and pirates are the perfect combination, especially for St. Augustine where centuries ago tall ships sailed in and pirates pillaged,” said Pat Croce, celebrity founder of The Pirate Museum and renowned pirate historian.

Opened in December 2010, the St. Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum features one of the world’s largest collections of authentic pirate artifacts, Florida shipwreck treasures and interactive fun, including the world’s only pirate treasure chest and Disney Imagineer-designed audio show. It was named a top national attraction by Budget Travel magazine.

“We’re excited to be a part of such an amazing weekend of pirates,” said museum executive director Cindy Stavely.

For more information about the H.M.S. Bounty, visit www.tallshipbounty.org or call (631) 584-7900. For more information on the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration, call (904) 825-1053.

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Making Mosquito Repellent with Mint Leaves

Making Mosquito Repellent with Mint LeavesMany of us grow mint leaves in our gardens to flavor ice tea. Recently, I learned that mint also repels mosquitoes and you can make mosquito repellent with mint! All species of mint, both wild and cultivated, contain aromatic properties repulsive to insects. The essence is contained in the stems, leaves and flowers of the plants. When the plants are brushed against or crushed, the pungent scent is released.

To make mosquito repellent, first you have to extract oil from the mint. Oil is extracted from both leaves and stems. If you are using mint from your garden, water plants thoroughly for several weeks before harvesting. Next, wash the mint and remove any brown wilted areas. Pack the mint into a plastic container. Fill the container completely and then saturate with vodka. Let it soak for five weeks.

Remove the plant pieces from the container and save the liquid portion. Freeze it for two days. Alcohol does not freeze well, so when you remove the container from the freezer, the mint oil will be the frozen portion. Drain off the liquid alcohol. Rinse the ice with water to remove the residue from the vodka. Put the ice in a container and let it thaw on a shelf or in a pantry. This is mint oil. Store the oil in a capped bottle. Keep the bottle on a cabinet shelf, out of the sun.

Since we did not have much of a winter, I expect that the mosquitoes are going to be plentiful this summer. To keep from being bitten, we will need to keep plenty of bug repellent on hand. Store-bought bug sprays are fine, but some people have serious skin reactions to DEET.

Here’s an effective recipe that I found to keep the mosquitoes away:

Materials:
1. 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar
2. 1/3 cup witch hazel (or cheap vodka)
3. 5 drops of mint oil

Tools:
1. Spray bottle
2. Funnel

Steps:
1. Using the funnel, pour all the liquid ingredients into the spray bottle.
2. Shake the bottle to mix the liquids.

Tada! You have created a bottle of your own organic mosquito repellent. It is safe to use on your pets or around food too. It is not waterproof or sweat-proof so you will need to reapply as necessary. It won’t protect you from ticks, but if you just want to keep the bugs at bay during your next barbeque, this should do the trick. This process takes a bit of time, but to get started I purchased some mint plants this weekend at Home Depot. They had apple mint, sweet mint, peppermint, and spearmint in stock.

However, take care in how you plant mint, because it can become invasive. It is best planted in containers or in a manner that controls the spread of its roots. You can place containers of mint between garden rows to help keep nearby plants insect free.

It seems Jacksonville, Florida is one of the Buggiest Cities!

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