Fernandina Beach Tree Removal Permitting Information

Fernandina Beach Tree Removal Permitting InformationFernandina Beach, FL – In the aftermath of the significant damage to trees from Tropical Storm Beryl, questions have arisen about the need for Tree Removal Permits. Under the City’s Land Development Code Section 4.05.09, a waiver for tree removal permits can be granted only for a period after a state of local emergency has been declared. The City has not made such a declaration so the tree permitting requirements remain in effect. If you have any questions, please call the City’s Planning Department at (904) 277-7325.

Important facts to know are:

    • The City’s tree protection and permitting requirements only apply to trees that are 5″ or greater in diameter measured 4 ½ feet from the base of the tree. Smaller diameter trees can be removed with no permit.
    • A property owner has the right to immediately remove any tree damaged by disease, fire, windstorm, lightning, or other acts of nature, which pose an imminent danger to life or property. The owner should document the damage through a photograph and submit an after-the-fact Tree Removal Application form to the City. There is no fee for such removals.
    • If a protected tree has been damaged but does not pose an immediate safety hazard, the property owner should document the damage showing the need to remove the tree and submit a Tree Removal Application to the City to get approval before the tree is removed. Again, there is no fee associated with the permit for this type of removal.
    • Tree Removal Applications forms are available on the City’s website www.fbfl.us/DocumentView.aspx?DID=149 or at the Planning Department located at City Hall, 204 Ash Street. The counter is open Monday – Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Property owners are cautioned to deal only with licensed contractors. The City cannot make any recommendations or referrals of a specific contractor.
    • The City suggests that the property owner obtain the cost of all work in writing before the work is started and the work statement clearly states the quantity of work that will be done, payment terms and how debris removal will be handled.
    • The City is proud to have been designated as a Tree City USA for the 10th year.
    • Using 2008 aerial photos of the City, it was estimated that the overall tree canopy coverage for the entire City is 37%.
    • Trees are not just aesthetically pleasing, they also provide environmental benefits such as storm water management and increased air quality.
    • The City’s tree management plan is currently used by multiple departments, such as Maintenance and Parks & Recreation, to better care for the City’s existing public space trees by helping to identify hazard trees and to identify and prioritize maintenance tasks, such as pruning.
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June 2012 Events at the Chamber of Commerce

June 2012 Events at the Chamber of CommerceAmelia Island, FLGovernment Affairs Committee
8:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 5, AIFBY Chamber, 961687 Gateway Blvd. Suite 101G, Amelia Island

The regularly scheduled May meeting of the Chamber’s Government Affairs Committee has been rescheduled to Tuesday, June 5. The Government Affairs Committee works to increase awareness of regulatory and legislative issues affecting AIFBY Chamber members by encouraging input and participation in local/state committees and boards. The GAC meets monthly to discuss issues and to recommend formal policy stances for adoption by the Chamber’s Board of Directors. For more information, contact Chamber President Regina Duncan at (904) 261-3248.

Island Council
Wednesday, June 6, 8:30 am, Applebee’s, 2006 S. 8th Street, Amelia Island

Grow your business by making and strengthening your connections with Amelia Island businesses at the Island Council. June’s meeting will include a discussion about best business practices as we move into the second half of the year. What’s working well and where could you do better? Let’s share some great ideas!

This business council meets at 8:30 a.m. the first Wednesday of every month to network and discuss business issues. Admission is free; optional pancake breakfast is available for $8.00.

Ribbon Cutting
Wednesday, June 6, Noon, Ark of Nassau, 86051 Hamilton St., Yulee, Florida. Join AIFBY Chamber Directors and Ambassadors at a ribbon cutting celebrating Ark of Nassau’s new name.

Previously known as ARC Nassau, Ark of Nassau is a non-profit organization serving mentally and physically challenged adults throughout Nassau County. Our programs include: adult day training, chore services, companion, homemaker services, in-home supports, personal care, respite care, supported employment, supported living and transportation. These services are available for individuals on the Medicaid Waiver and also through private pay participants.

Join us in marking this new chapter for Ark of Nassau and enjoy light refreshments. For more information about Ark of Nassau, call (904) 225-9355 or go to www.arkofnassau.org.

Chamber Day at Chick-fil-A
Friday, June 8, Chick-fil-A, 464004 State Road 200, Yulee, Florida. Join us for Chamber Day at Chick-fil-A. Eat at Chick-fil-A on June 8, let your cashier know that you are there to support the Chamber, and a portion of your purchase will go to enhance Chamber programs for small businesses.

For more information about Chick-fil-A Amelia Island, call Lita Fannin at (904) 491-5552 or go to www.chick-fil-a.com/ameliaisland.

Yulee Area Council
Tuesday, June 12, 8:30 am, Café @ The Hamptons, 95742 Amelia Concourse, Yulee, Florida

Speaker Graeme Nichol will discuss the “Power of Email Marketing” at the June meeting of the Yulee Area Council. This business council meets at 8:30 a.m. second Tuesday of every month to network and discuss business issues. Admission is free. Optional breakfast is available.

Ribbon Cutting
Friday, June 15, 12:30 p.m., CORE Health Clinic of Chiropractic, 96026 Lofton Square Court, Yulee, Florida. Join AIFBY Chamber Directors and Ambassadors at a ribbon cutting for new business CORE Health Clinic of Chiropractic.

CORE Health Clinic of Chiropractic is here to optimize the health of the Nassau County community and create a paradigm shift utilizing chiropractic. Join us in welcoming Dr. Levy Riley to the community and enjoy light refreshments. For more information about CORE Health Clinic of Chiropractic, call (443) 939-8210.

Member Benefits Breakfast
Tuesday, June 19, 8:30 a.m., Amelia River Golf Club, 4477 Buccaneer Trail, Amelia Island

Find out how to make your Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce membership work for you at the Chamber’s next Member Benefits Breakfast.

Get an overview of how to get the most out of your membership and enjoy speed networking during this fun and informative event. The Member Benefits Breakfast is an ideal introduction to the Chamber for new members and great way for existing members to get up-to-date.

There is no admission charge; optional breakfast is available for $7.00, includes taxes and drinks. Cash only. If you plan to attend the Member Benefits Breakfast, please contact the Chamber at (904) 261-3248, by Friday, June 15.

Health Care Council
Tuesday June 26, 8 a.m., Osprey Village, 48 Osprey Village Drive, Amelia Island

The Chamber’s Health Care Council focuses on raising awareness of health care services in Nassau County as well as developing professional contacts among local health-related organizations.

June’s speaker will be Jason Mudd, APR, principal of The AXIA Public Relations Firm, a public relations firm specializing in national public relations and media relations campaigns. Mudd will discuss “Launching into Social Media.” Admission is free.

Government Affairs Committee
Wednesday, June 27, 8:30 a.m., AIFBY Chamber, 961687 Gateway Blvd. Suite 101G, Amelia Island.

The Government Affairs Committee works to increase awareness of regulatory and legislative issues affecting AIFBY Chamber members by encouraging input and participation in local/state committees and boards.

The GAC meets the last Wednesday of the month to discuss issues and to recommend formal policy stances for adoption by the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

For more information, contact Chamber President Regina Duncan at (904) 261-3248.

Ribbon Cutting

Thursday, June 28, 5 p.m., Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners, 4800 First Coast Highway Suite 230, Amelia Island

Join AIFBY Chamber Directors and Ambassadors at a ribbon cutting for new business Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners.

Keller Williams is an international real estate brokerage proudly serving the residents of Nassau County. Our local office is located in the Harris Teeter shopping center on First Coast Highway. Keller Williams has approximately 700 offices throughout North America.

Join us in welcoming Keller Williams to the community and enjoy light refreshments. For more information about Keller Williams Realty Atlantic Partners, call (904) 247-0059 or go to www.kellerwilliamsbeaches.com.

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

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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The People Have Spoken

The People Have SpokenFernandina Observer Writer Suanne Thamm continues her series with an article about Civics 101.

Here is an excerpt:
“The people have spoken. No taxation without representation. If the people have not approved this project via referendum, then it is illegal for the city to implement it.”

We’ve all heard comments like this. Maybe in a moment of frustration, we have even made some of these comments. The question is: are these statements true always, sometimes or never?

The answer goes straight to the heart of the type of government we have: a representative democracy.

Read her complete article HERE.

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Savory Taste Benefits Micah’s Place on June 2nd

Savory Taste Benefits Micah's Place on June 2ndMouth of Amelia reminds us that A Savory Taste from a Savory Place is this Saturday, June 2, 2012. Presented as a fundraiser for Micah’s Place, join your local friends and neighbors as they play “Chef” from 4:00 to 7:00 PM and serve up tasty dishes from the book, A Savory Place.

WHEN: Saturday, June 2, 2012 from 4-7 PM.

WHERE: Atlantic Recreation Center in Fernandina Beach.

WHAT: 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 their “A Savory Place” cookbook. Samples of wine and beer are part of the tasting, as well as a variety of live music for everyone’s listening pleasure. A tasting sample of each recipe from the cookbook will be given to the guests who then will vote for their favorite recipes. A variety of awards will be given to the favorite “Chef.”

WHO: 300 people are expected to attend this event. It is a perfect opportunity to show your support for Micah’s Place. Exhibitors will decorate their tables based on a theme that relates to their recipe and/or business or group.

WHY: This fundraiser will help raise much needed funds for Micah’s Place services and programs.

COST: Tickets are $35.00 per person and can be purchased through the Purple Dove Resale Center, next to Dick’s Wings Restaurant in Yulee, or by contacting Kelly Monti at projectcoordinator@micahsplace.org or by calling 904-491-6364, ext. 102.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please call 904-491-6364.

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Pictures at an Exhibition

Orli Shaham

Orli Shaham

Mouth of Amelia invites us to Pictures at an Exhibition, presented by the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival.

This concert features Orli Shaham, piano; Amy Schwartz Moretti, violin; and Christopher Rex, on the cello.

WHEN: This THURSDAY evening, May 31st, at 7:00 PM.

WHERE: Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 2600 Atlantic Avenue, Fernandina Beach, Florida.

WHAT: This concert will include music of Messaien and Mussorgsky. Orli Shaham, world famous pianist, will play “Pictures at an Exhibition.”

WHO: Orli Shaham was recognized early for her prodigious talents. She received her first scholarship for musical study from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation at age five to study with Luisa Yoffe at the Rubin Academy of Music in Jerusalem. By age seven, she traveled to New York with her family to begin study with Nancy Stessin, and became a scholarship student of Herbert Stessin at The Juilliard School a year later. She has also won the Gilmore Young Artist Award and the Avery Fisher Career Grant, two prestigious prizes given to further the development of outstanding talent. In addition to her musical education, Orli Shaham holds a degree in history from Columbia University. Today she has established an international reputation as one of the world’s most gifted pianists.

COST: $40.00 per person.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Please contact www.aicmf.com or (904) 261-1779.

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Fernandina Observer Post Memorial Day Articles

Fernandina Observer Post Memorial Day ArticlesFernandina Observer posted information regarding Tropical Storm Beryl’s arrival in Fernandina Beach, despite electrical outages, numerous updates were posted throughout Sunday and Monday. The response to this coverage is remarkable, considering many homes were still without power, and the Fernandina Observer is still in its infancy.

Also, Memorial Day weekend celebrations were held at the Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center. Gerry Clare covered this story and also focuses on two individuals whose lives we celebrate this Memorial Day weekend.

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Egg on their Face(book)

Did Facebook want OPERA so bad, it decided to last minute greed at the IPO?

The Facebook initial public offering (IPO) leaves investors with a bad taste, all eyes are still on Europe, and despite a shaky stock market and a 10-year bond yield at a new low, overall signals are actually less gloomy than you might think.

Just days before the IPO, Facebook raised its offering from 337.4 million shares to 421.2 million shares – all of it from insiders. They also raised the offering price from $25-$35 to $34-$38 before finally pricing it at the top of the revised range and giving the news media much to crow about.
Only days before the overhyped IPO, General Motors chickened out with plans to stop advertising on Facebook, citing little impact on sales as a result of ads placed on the social media site. Facebook concedes it is having some trouble monetizing the fast-growing mobile platform. According to the Wall Street Journal, lawsuits are beginning to fly, including one that alleges Facebook and its underwriters failed to properly disclose changes to analysts’ revenue forecasts.
Now the politicians are beginning to weigh in, and that’s rarely good for anyone. There is also the possibility that state regulators will begin scratching around for evidence of potential wrongdoing. A typical aspect of initial public offerings is too much supply combined with a high offering price that primarily rewards insiders (one of the many reasons I typically do not recommend IPOs to clients).
So far, Facebook hasn’t been all it was cracked up to be for the average investor, and the sliding price of the world’s largest social network creates another rotten odor for financial markets. A steady diet of negative headlines doesn’t do much for investor confidence, and they can certainly reinforce the notion that markets are “stacked against the little guy.”  On the other hand, IPOs are certainly risky, but one seemingly failed offering should not taint an overall market that offers many solid, dividend-paying, wealth building investment opportunities.  Nor should this latest disappointment override an otherwise sound financial plan you have already built for yourself.

Compared to Europe, the U.S. Looks Relatively Good

Since the euro broke through $1.30 on May 9, currency traders have been dumping it amid fear of further contagion. The current rate is barely above $1.25, bringing the currency to a 23-month low. Last week, the former prime minister of Greece reportedly said that a Greek exit from the eurozone was inevitable, though he later walked back those comments on CNBC that same evening.  Despite chatter in the media that a Greek exit is manageable, activity among eurozone stocks, German bonds, U.S. Treasuries, and the euro say otherwise.
Although U.S. markets have been frothy recently and the 10-year Treasury bond yield reached a new modern low, other significant indicators are not all bad. For example, existing home sales pushed upward during the critical month of April.
While forward progress has halted, jobless claims remain near the bottom of the recent range (hey, at least it isn’t getting worse).   Keep in mind that some may be finding employment, but others who exhaust their benefits may simply drop out of the labor force. After all, one must be actively seeking work to qualify for benefits and be counted among the unemployed.  Those who simply give up looking effectively but artificially lower the official unemployment rate.
On the other hand, driving to job interviews is getting less costly. Thanks to the poor global economic climate, gasoline prices peaked early and have been headed lower, giving American drivers a much needed break.

A Peek at the Coming Week

Europe hasn’t changed much and remains fluid.
  • Keep an eye on sovereign debt yields and – very important – potential bank downgrades by major ratings agencies.
  • Keep another eye on upcoming Greek elections on June 17. Any indication that the New Democracy party might come out on top could soothe market fears of an early Greek exit from the eurozone.
  • Expect headlines to create volatility in either direction.
  • Focus returns to Friday’s employment report.
  • ADP provides a sneak peek of private-sector employment on Thursday.
  • Citing weather, the Fed mostly dismissed recent reports of weak job growth, but another fall off in nonfarm payrolls will likely get their attention.
  • Most economists see unemployment holding at 8.1%, but they rarely forecast changes. Will we see another artificial drop tied to a declining labor force, rather than an actual increase in the number of people finding jobs?

A Very Personal Encounter with TS Beryl

Beach erosion as a result of TS Beryl
Beryl swallowed The Turtle Nest that 2 days earlier had appeared

I am El Nino! All other tropical storms must bow before El Nino! For those of you who don’t “habla Espanol”, El Nino is spanish for… The Nino!

I first received message of an approaching storm early last week from my friend Shaun Harrell, who took a vow of real life celibacy several months ago and decided to take his cat to the keys and the Bahamas for several months. His message came from the Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos where he decided to hole up for what a couple of days later would become the second tropical storm of a season that has not even officially started yet named BERYL.

For most of it’s tropical existence, Beryl followed the course of what tropical storms are supposed to do, feed on the warm waters of the Gulfstream until it reaches the Outer Banks or points beyond and on a rare occasion pay a visit to Charleston to keep that city’s superiority complex within acceptable margins.

Not Bitchy Beryl. She decided to ride comfortably on the Gulfstream’s energetic impulses and then, just before disappearing in the graveyard of lesser storms, sneakily veered off to the left and decided she hadn’t seen enough of Florida yet.
Honestly I’m mad at Beryl, not because she was any real threat to people and property, unless you were that 17 year old Georgian muscle kid with a surf board and too many hormones under pressure, but I’m pissed because Beryl turned my true belief that tropical systems can not reach us on Amelia Island, into a big fat lie.
History on Amelia Island is truly sketchy on the supposed direct hurricane hit sometime in the 1800s. Hurricane Dora in the 1960s left a ton of water in the streets of Fernandina, but never put it’s eyewall closer than 50 miles to the south of us. There is some mention that a hurricane hit Cumberland island sometime in the mid 1800s, but I can’t get any facts to prove that. And of course Beryl did not hit us with the eye either, as that came ashore in South Jacksonville. However Beryl gave us the “pleasure” of hitting us hardest. Harder than any other neighboring county or community, she hit us here at the Fletcher Ave beach with blows that became fearsome as the hours moved towards and past midnight.

We saw the Jax TV news trucks passing from our bedroom window, but the cowards never reported from the beach; they went to the cozy Center Street area close to The Palace Saloon and Pirate’s Punch to do their animated reporting. Give me Weather Channel’s Jim Cantore any day to do the real work, as he adds passion to the fear that comes with standing at the frontwave of an approaching tropical system.

I have now been through 7 tropical systems, with Cat. 5 Hugo and Gilbert as the two ultimate beasts, and fear came my way each and every time. I don’t think it’s fear of death, because death in a hurricane is usually the result of absolute stupid behavior, which I personally welcome as a thinning of the gene pool. Kids surfing in tumultuous breaking waves that spell RIPTIDES in capital letters, falls under that category, the stupendous amount of people driving cars on slippery windswept roads are part of another category, people that drink themselves into hurricane party stupor, is yet another. I think the fear is really a phobia for something so big and powerful, that you know it controls you anytime it wants to.

Yet I have learned through many hurricanes that the safest spot is in the house and if it’s a monster hurricane you get into the smallest, preferably concrete, room you can find. Get enough water, some crackers, a flashlight, a pillow and maybe a blanket and closed thick soled shoes (there will be nails everywhere when the system has passed), and hunker down for the duration. I have seen 2×4’s slicing through palm trees, I have seen a metal roof decapitating a grown man, I have seen a flying trash can demolish a car driving on the road. Going outside in a hurricane, or even a tropical storm is not smart.

But… I had to abandon that safety principle last night, and as a result started this story with one of my favorite Chris Farley skits, El Niño.

Because we spent most time on preparing the Inn, which had a full house of guests, there was little time left for the personal residence and as the storm grew stronger more objects on our porch became projectiles, mostly landing innocently somewhere in the yard against a fence. One object however had different plans; the porch swing. Under normal circumstances the swing would not have enough surface for the wind to get a grip on, but as the evening progressed Beryl slowly stripped the vinyl porch ceiling from its anchors and at one point a large grouping of vinyl panels lodged itself in the ropes that held up the swing, which started wildly dancing in the growing winds, like a plane in severe turbulence. As the winds turned cataclysmic, our wooden porch swing started beating the side of the house with immense ferocity, slowly closing in on the kitchen window. One good hit and the interior of the house would be compromised because of a broken window. I knew I had to go out and cut the ropes and put the swing somewhere safe. “I’m going to sit on you,” said my wife, “you’re not going outside.” “I have to”, I said, “or this swing is going to create much more damage than this creepy little storm should get credit for“.

So I decided to use the bathroom door to the outside, as it was the only door that opened inward, so the howling, sucking wind couldn’t get a grip on it. In my mumu (ask my friends,  they tell you I love to wear them) with absolutely nothing underneath, I scaled the distance to the swing in under two seconds, cut the robes with a sharp knife, grabbed a hold of the swing and as I turned to take the darn thing back to the bathroom for emergency storage, Beryl saw me naked. A windgust inside of 80 mph took my mumu almost over my head as I was struggling to direct the swing. My wife lit up my encounter with Beryl with a flashlight and at that moment I thought of Chris Farley’s El Niño skit and almost choked in laughter.

Hurricane Hazards: Winds 2012

Hurricane Hazards: Winds 2012Hurricane Preparedness Week bring the discussion of wind and wind speeds. What does a category one or a category 2 really mean? Below you will find the definition of wind speeds and their hazards based on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scalewww.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php classifies hurricanes into five categories based on their sustained wind speed at the indicated time. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and property. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous and require preventive measures.

It is important that you know your hurricane warning and alerts terminology www.youtube.com/watch?v=oE19um4VlGU&cc_load_policy=1&list=PL63A9138A2047B1A4– the difference between watches and alerts:

Tropical Storm Watch: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.
Tropical Storm Warning: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.
Hurricane Watch: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
Hurricane Warning: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.

Hurricane wind damage often result in power outages. FEMA works very closely with the Department of Energy who serves as the focal point for response and recovery efforts by monitoring energy infrastructure and coordinates the response across the federal community, state and local governments, and industry.

The Energy Departmen’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) is the designated Federal Sector-Specific agency directing activities for the Energy Sector. In the event of an emergency, this office maintains teams of responders that specialize in energy infrastructure.

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Meet the 12th Class of Leadership Nassau

Meet the 12th Class of Leadership NassauAmelia Island, FL – The 12th class of Leadership Nassau, the Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce’s community leadership development program, graduated Monday, May 21, 2012.

PHOTO CAPTION
Graduation ceremonies for the Leadership Nassau Class of 2012 were held May 21, 2012, during Business After Hours at The Amelia Island Club at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation on Amelia Island, Florida. The graduates include (back row from left) Jorge Puentes, Patricia Scattolon, Jennifer Rines, Shanea Jones, Angel McClellan, Chelsea Hill, Nancy Bell, Karen Klima, Sarah Bell, Hank Martinez, Kimberly Fahlgren, Mike Beard, Katrina Bearden, Donna Martin, Lauren Toffolo, (front row from left) Linda Simmons, Amanda Thien, Lyn King, Peggy Albrecht, Barbara Herring, John Martin. Class 12 members Oliver and Pat Welch were unable to attend and are not pictured.

The commencement ceremony, held during Business After Hours at The Amelia Island Club, wrapped up class members’ 10-month immersion into the history, economy, environment, government and culture of Nassau County.

Participants met all day once a month from September to April and attended key governmental meetings throughout the year. The daylong classes once a month covered areas of interest to the business community: economic development, education, justice and law enforcement, health and social concerns, government, arts and culture, environment and recreation, and regional business.

“This year’s class has toured a submarine at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay and the Federal Aviation Administration Air Traffic Control Center in Hilliard,” said Leadership Nassau Steering Committee Chairman Noelle Perry. “They have spoken with RockTenn employees on the company’s environmental and economic impacts and heard from a myriad of local organizations which work diligently on a daily basis to provide much needed services to our county, such as Micah’s Place and the Barnabas Center.”

More than 200 Nassau County residents have now participated in Leadership Nassau, with graduates going on to become members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, local political officeholders and candidates, and leaders in nonprofit organizations.

Leadership Nassau is open to any resident of Nassau County, but recruitment targets individuals with diverse geographical and socio-economic backgrounds and seeks a racial, gender and age mix reflective of the population. Cost is $650 for members of the Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce, $850 for non-members.

Applications for the 2012-13 Leadership Nassau class are now available at the Chamber, 961687 Gateway Blvd., Suite 101G, Amelia Island, and on the Chamber’s website at www.islandchamber.com/Leadership-Nassau.aspx. To have an application e-mailed or faxed to you, contact the Chamber at info@aifby.com or (904) 261-3248.

Application deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, July 20, 2012.

Leadership Nassau Class of 2012

Peggy Albrecht
Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce

Mike Beard
Nassau County Health Department

Katrina Bearden
Family Support Services

Nancy Bell
Science First

Sarah Bell
Attorney

Kimberly Fahlgren
Exceptional Case Services, Inc., Nassau County School Board

Barbara Herring
Paralegal

Chelsea Hill
Servpro

Shanea Jones
Nassau County Office of Management & Budget

Lyn King
Guardian Ad Litem

Karen Klima
Klima Consulting Group

Angel McClellan
Sutton Place Behavioral Health

Donna Martin
Florida State College at Jacksonville, Nassau County School Board

John Martin
Nassau County Veterans Services

Hank Martinez
Nassau County Sheriff’s Office

Jorge Puentes
Florida Public Utilities

Jen Rines
CBC National Bank

Pat Scattolon
Amelia Urgent Care

Linda Simmons
Real Estate

Amanda Thien
UF/IFAS Nassau County Extension

Lauren R. Toffolo
CitiCorp

Oliver Welch
Retired

Pat Welch
Retired

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FEMA Partners and the Public Response Capabilities

FEMA Partners and the Public Response CapabilitiesAs National Hurricane Preparedness Week continues, attention is drawn to Hurricane Response: FEMA Partners and the Public Response Capabilities. Below is a good description of what FEMA is and what they do. Since Hurricane Katrina, many people are confused over the mission of FEMA and this week is a great time to discuss FEMA.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.

DISASTER
It strikes anytime, anywhere. It takes many forms, a hurricane, an earthquake, a tornado, a flood, a fire or a hazardous spill, an act of nature or an act of terrorism. It builds over days or weeks, or hits suddenly, without warning. Every year, millions of Americans face disaster, and its terrifying consequences.

On March 1, 2003, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) became part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

With the approaching hurricane season, FEMA is continuing to aggressively prepare for the upcoming hurricane season, coordinating across the administration while working with state, tribal and local officials to be ready and prepare their communities.

FEMA is part of the emergency management team. That team includes federal partners, state, tribal and local officials, the private sector, non-profits and faith-based groups, and most importantly – the general public.

FEMA encourages all individuals, communities, local, state, tribal governments, private sector, non-governmental and faith-based organizations, congress and senate members to join the National Hurricane Preparedness Week by Making A Pledge, completing your Ready Emergency Preparedness Plan, Updating Your Emergency Kit and sharing your story.

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Bible as Seen Through the Eyes of a Child

Bible as Seen Through the Eyes of a ChildHere is a piece of Sunday humor for you to enjoy this Memorial Day Weekend. The original author is unknown.

A child was asked to write a book report on the entire Bible:

In the beginning, which occurred near the start, there was nothing but God, darkness, and some gas. The Bible says, “The Lord thy God is one, but I think He must be a lot older than that. Anyway, God said, “Give me a light!” and someone did. Then God made the world.

He split the Adam and made Eve. Adam and Eve were naked, but they weren’t embarrassed because mirrors hadn’t been invented yet. Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating one bad apple, so they were driven from the Garden of Eden. Not sure what they were driven in though, because they didn’t have cars. Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel.

Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something.

One of the next important people was Noah, who was a good guy, but one of his kids was kind of a Ham. Noah built a large boat and put his family and some animals on it. He asked some other people to join him, but they said they would have to take a rain check.

After Noah came Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Jacob was more famous than his brother, Esau, because Esau sold Jacob his birthmark in exchange for some pot roast. Jacob had a son named Joseph who wore a really loud sports coat.

Another important Bible guy is Moses, whose real name was Charlton Heston. Moses led the Israel Lights out of Egypt and away from the evil Pharaoh after God sent ten plagues on Pharaoh’s people. These plagues included frogs, mice, lice, bowels, and no cable. God fed the Israel Lights every day with manicotti. Then he gave them His Top Ten Commandments. These include: don’t lie, cheat, smoke, dance, or covet your neighbor’s stuff. Oh, yeah, I just thought of one more: Humor thy father and thy mother.

One of Moses’ best helpers was Joshua who was the first Bible guy touse spies. Joshua fought the battle of Geritol and the fence fell over on the town.

After Joshua came David. He got to be king by killing a giant with a slingshot. He had a son named Solomon who had about 300 wives and 500 porcupines. My teacher says he was wise, but that doesn’t sound very wise to me.

After Solomon there were a bunch of major league prophets. One of these was Jonah, who was swallowed by a big whale and then barfed up on the shore. There were also some minor league prophets, but I guess we don’t haveto worry about them.

After the Old Testament came the New Testament. Jesus is the star of The New. He was born in Bethlehem in a barn. (I wish I had been born in a barn too, because my mom is always saying to me, “Close the door! Were you born in a barn?” It would be nice to say, “As a matter of fact, I was.”)

During His life, Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Democrats. Jesus also had twelve opossums. The worst one was Judas Asparagus. Judas was so evil that they named a terrible vegetable after him.

Jesus was a great man. He healed many leopards and even preached to some Germans on the Mount. But the Democrats and all those guys put Jesus on trial before Pontius the Pilot. Pilot didn’t stick up for Jesus. He just washed his hands instead.

Anyways, Jesus died for our sins, then came back to life again. He went up to Heaven but will be back at the end of the Aluminum. His return is foretold in the book of Revolution.

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THE RITZ-CARLTON, AMELIA ISLAND invites local kids to Summer Tennis Camp

The Tennis Pros at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

“Kids of all skill levels are welcome to a fun camp taught by the professional tennis staff at The Ritz-Carlton”. The resort, which is currently in the last phase of completing a 5 year, $65 million renovation and improvement investment, also is “seeking closer ties with the local community,” says Director of Public Relations Joseph Murphy.

As the proud founding sponsor of the Annual Concours d’Elégance, the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island has built a global reputation of excellence, benefiting the local economy substantially. Now the resort is implementing initiatives to attract the local population to its “shores”. One of those initiatives is the organization of ten Kids Summer Tennis Camps, from June through August 17.

The morning classes, 8:00 a.m. to10:30 a.m., are for players 10 years and younger and children, 11 years and older, attend the 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. class.  “Children do not have to be experienced players”, he stresses, “and the tennis camps are limited to 10 players per session for a very personalized approach. Like on the sacred courts of Wimbledon, the kids learn to play on the clay courts at the resort.

“The purpose of these camps is to teach kids new skills while having fun in a nurturing environment,” says Director of Tennis John Watson. Both Watson and his colleague pro Rado Kovalcik are certified with the U.S. Professional Tennis Registry and have a passion for working with children of all skill levels. They are truly looking forward to teaching this program

The camp runs Monday through Thursday with Friday reserved as a rain date.  The cost is $100 per week/per child or $30 Daily Fee.  The 2012 dates include:

• June 4-8, 11-15, 18-22 and 25-29
• July 9-13, 16-20, 23-27, July 30-Aug-3
• August 6-10, 13-17

For information and reservations, please call the Resort Tennis Shop at 904-491-6793.

What You Need to Know About Moving to Florida

What You Need to Know About Moving to FloridaArticle contributed by: Casey Haslem

As the sunshine state, Florida is a beautiful place to live. The sunshine state offers beautiful beaches, warm weather and a clean environment. While moving to the southern states may feel like one is finally living in paradise, there are some important things to know about moving to the south.

First, the weather can vary drastically in Florida. Summer is typically the “rainy” season. Along the coastlines, the tropical thunderstorms can be quite fierce. One should be prepared for the ways in which rain can compromise one’s driving as well.

Driving in the rain can be downright dangerous for new residents. If you ever are caught in the rain and are driving down I-95 or other highways, simply pull over to the side of the road. Wait until the rain has cleared and then continue on your drive. Many car accidents are caused every year due to people who attempt to drive through the tropical rainstorms in this state.

The summers tend to be very hot. Be prepared for hot and humid weather in the summer. Living near a beach is optimal, because you can always go to the ocean to cool off during the summers. Southwest Florida makes for a wonderful place to live for families, singles and retired people. Naples and Marco Island tend to be popular communities for retired people. Orlando is an attractive city for younger people, as well as Fort Myers. Families also enjoy Bonita Springs for the affordable homes offered on the coastline. Fort Lauderdale is also another highly attractive place for singles and families.

Editors note: I am very pleased the author is not promoting folks to move to our Paradise here in NE Florida, though we all know it is the BEST place to live in Florida!

One of the most attractive features of the south is its low cost of living. One can afford to live quite luxuriously in Florida. There is no state income tax, and this factor also makes it an attractive place for high-powered investors and business people. With no state income tax, professionals may be able to keep thousands of dollars in their pockets. There are also many homestead exemptions available, which is why many elderly people tend to live in this state.

New residents may also want to use a self storage unit to help with the move. A self storage unit can protect valuable belongings during the move to Florida. A self storage unit can also protect antiques that may be damaged due to exposure to sun.

Florida is a wonderful place to live, and it is definitely somewhere that people aspire to live all of their lives.

Casey Haslem is a writer for Storage.com in Boston. In her spare time she travels as much as possible and loves reading.

Sponsors of SearchAmelia have included:
Bridgeview Self Storage (Just west of Amelia Island)
Amelia Island Self Storage (Behind Ace hardware on Amelia Island)

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Let Freedom Ring, A Concert for 2012

Let Freedom Ring, A Concert for 2012Mouth of Amelia reminds us of the Annual Let Freedom Ring concert presented by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra held on Amelia Island Monday, May 28, 2012 at 7:00 PM.

Held at First Baptist Church, on South 8th Street in Fernandina Beach, this is a wonderful, spirited patriotic concert for the whole family to celebrate Memorial Day performed by members of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

This concert is an annual event presented by ARIAS for everyone! ARIAS, founded in 1999, works with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra to bring music and other events to Nassau County. Some of its main efforts are to expose 4th grade children in the county to various instruments through Instrument Zoo presentations, to bring ensembles from the symphony to the schools for musical appreciation, and to send area children to Jacksonville to hear symphony performances.

Tickets are $20.00 and are available at The Book Loft, Front & Centre, Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau, Fernandina Beach Golf Club, The Golf Club of Amelia Island, and the Reception Center of the Omni Resort at Amelia Island Plantation.

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