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Professional Heating and Air Conditioning Training at FSCJ

Professional Heating and Air Conditioning Training at FSCJAir Conditioning, Refrigeration, and Heating Technology classes will be offered at the Nassau Center in the evenings starting January 13, 2014.

Florida is hot! Air conditioning and refrigeration are far more than luxuries; they are necessities and so are the well-trained people who install and maintain these systems. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers is expected to grow 34 percent (much faster than the average of all occupations) between 2010 and 2020. Commercial and residential building construction will drive employment growth as the construction industry continues to recover from the 2007-09 recession. The growing number of sophisticated climate-control systems is also expected to increase demand for qualified HVAC technicians.

The Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Systems Tech program prepares students for a career in the HVAC industry. Instruction consists of classroom as well as laboratory and hands-on training designed to prepare the student for industry standards and practical certifications. Upon successful completion, students will be qualified for a position as an entry level Air Conditioning, Refrigeration and Heating Technology technician.

Two evening classes will be offered for the spring term – Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Theory I (ACR0001) and Basic Electricity and Schematics (ACR0100). The Nassau Center plans to offer the entire 1,350 hour program in the evenings, which can be completed in five semesters.

Individuals interested in this program may qualify for federal financial aid if they have earned a high school diploma or GED and meet the income requirements.

For more information about the program, please attend one of the meetings or contact Don Hughes, Executive Director of the Betty P. Cook Nassau Center, at (904) 548-4481 or dhughes@fscj.edu.

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Property Appraiser To Return Over $145k to the County

Property Appraiser To Return Over $145k to the CountyNassau County, FL – When Property Appraiser Mike Hickox took office in January, his budget had already been established by his predecessor. After working diligently throughout the year, the property appraiser’s office announced this week their intentions of returning over $145,000 back to the Board of County Commissioners and the other taxing authorities.

According to Florida Statutes, each county officer must pay into the county general fund all money in excess of the sum to which they are entitled. “Since January, we’ve made a series of budgetary cuts while implementing efficiencies that have saved several thousands of dollars”, said Hickox. “This has afforded us the opportunity to give so much back.”

Budget and finance officer for the property appraiser’s office, Donna Chandler, said that by maintaining responsible funding practices, she’s been able to effectively maneuver the funds and implement a large disbursement to the county. “It’s been a challenging process, but with the great reduction in legal services and a small reduction in staff, we’ve been able to manage the budget quite efficiently”, she said. Chandler, who’s been with the office since 2009, took on her budget and finance role when Hickox took office. “Donna has been a huge asset in our budgeting process”, said Hickox.

Earlier in the year the property appraiser eliminated a large expense by not using outside attorneys and appraisers for Value Adjustment Board proceedings – a savings of almost $50,000. “It’s been a goal of mine to improve the office budget and I feel we’ve done a pretty good job”, said Hickox.

Each year the property appraiser must submit a budget to the Department of Revenue for approval that will subsequently be funded by the Board of County Commissioners. By working together, Hickox feels the county can provide a better service to the citizens. “It’s a team effort”, he said. “Hopefully this trend will continue for our county.”

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Holiday Flavors at the Downtown Farmers Market

Holiday Flavors at the Downtown Farmers MarketThanksgiving has passed and many of us use Santa to bribe our little ones for a month of very good behavior. But, if you are looking to bribe the grown-ups you love we have good some secret weapons at the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market.

Open every Saturday, rain or shine, N. 7th Street in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach is transformed into an open air market from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM where you will find nearly 40 booths of traditional farmers’ market fare.

ARS Cake Creations has delightful jams such as gingerbread and cran-raspberry flavors and I hear he is experimenting with peppermint, too. Mrs. Shepperd has a sweet and hot mango and Datil pepper jelly that is wonderful on top of the horseradish goat cheese from Blue Moon Creamery. Shepperds is also offer a mix-n-match gift basket this year, you pick the basket and the three flavors to create a personalized gift, or a little treat for yourself.

Speaking of treating yourself, Tressa with A Natural Wave Soap offers smaller sizes for stocking stuffers and gift bags, and she has just made a brand new supply of felted soaps.

Powerful contemporary Christian duo, Joey and Jeanie, will be playing tunes from their Christmas CD with original holiday songs and your favorite classics including Away in a Manger and Go Tell It on the Mountain.

Please join us on N. 7th Street, in historic downtown Fernandina, this and every Saturday. For more information find us on facebook, visit www.FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com, or call (904) 557-8229.

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FSCJ Offers Bachelor Degree in Logistics

FSCJ Offers Bachelor Degree in LogisticsFSCJ (Florida State College at Jacksonville) receives first approval for Logistics bachelor degree Next step: SACS Commission on Colleges review and approval with an anticipated program roll-out in the Fall 2014 semester.

The Florida Board of Education has approved the Bachelor of Applied Science in Logistics for Florida State College at Jacksonville. The FSCJ Logistics degree will join 10 existing bachelor’s degree programs currently offered by FSCJ. The proposal was wholly supported by FSCJ’s regional educational partners, the Division of Florida Colleges and regional transportation and logistics industries.

FSCJ began to explore offering a bachelor’s degree in Logistics in early 2011, by inviting leaders from logistics, transportation and shipping, retail, grocers and distribution companies, along with educators and civic leaders, to give their input on the necessary skills and knowledge FSCJ Logistics program graduates should have when entering the workforce. The degree will be offered, pending approval of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, in the fall term of 2014. The program will initially be offered through a selective admission process to a small number of students.

According to FSCJ Interim President Will Holcombe, graduates of the bachelor’s degree program will be “management-ready,” prepared for positions as warehouse managers, logistics managers, operations managers and logistics coordinators. This degree also provides career advancement opportunities for those who are working in the field, or those who may have already earned certificates and associate degrees in supply chain management.

The Logistics bachelor’s degree is also in support of Governor Rick Scott’s $10,000 bachelor’s degree initiative, announced in November 2012.

“Higher education is key to helping our students succeed in the 21st century economy and to grow jobs in Florida,” said Scott in a press release issued earlier this year, after all of the state colleges that offer bachelor degrees had signed on to meet his challenge. “Our goal should be that students do not have to go into debt in order to obtain a degree… nearly all of our state colleges meeting this challenge puts us closer to achieving that goal for our students and families.”

Bachelor’s degrees currently offered by FSCJ include Biomedical Sciences, Business Administration, Computer Systems Networking & Telecommunications, Converged Communications, Digital Media, Early Childhood Education, Information Technology Management, Nursing, Public Safety Management, and Supervision & Management. FSCJ is currently developing additional baccalaureate degrees in Financial Services, Early Childhood Development, and Human Services, which are also scheduled to begin in fall 2014.

For more information about the Bachelor of Applied Science in Logistics degree, call (904) 633-8109.

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A Thanksgiving Lesson

A Thanksgiving LessonThe following Thanksgiving Lesson has been floating around cyberspace and after receiving it more than once in my “inbox” this Thanksgiving season, I began searching the World Wide Web for its original author. While I didn’t find the exact article, I believe the original article may have been published November 20, 2009, and authored by Chip Wood.

“Did you know that our Pilgrim forefathers tried communism when they first landed at Plymouth Rock?

How’s that for a dramatic beginning to a story? Years ago, when I used to give a lot of talks to high school classes, this was one of my favorites. It always got the students’ attention. And I have to admit, I also enjoyed seeing some liberal teachers get so upset with me they almost lost their lunches.

Here’s the story I told those students in those long-ago presentations.

The Pilgrims who arrived at Plymouth Rock in 1620 were incredibly brave and hardy souls. They were motivated by the noblest of virtues. They vowed, each and every one, to be as selfless as possible—to always put the needs of the group first. They agreed to own everything in common and to share everything equally.

And their naïve piety almost killed the entire colony.

We all know how the adventure begins. A group of devout Christians, seeking religious freedom for themselves and eager to ‘advance the Gospel of the Kingdom of Christ’ in the New World, sets sail from Plymouth, England in 1620. An investment consortium known as the Merchant Adventurers of London paid the expenses for the trip, including chartering the Mayflower and its 40-man crew.

The deal was simple: The Pilgrims agreed to establish a colony in northern Virginia where they would plant crops, fish the waters and hunt in the forests. They would return a certain percentage of each year’s bounty to London until their debt had been repaid.

Things went wrong from the start. First, the syndicate changed the deal, drastically reducing the amount they would loan the Pilgrims. The brave adventurers were forced to sell many of their own possessions, and much of their provisions, to pay for the trip. As a result, they landed in the New World badly short of supplies.

Next, the small ship they had purchased in Holland, which was to accompany them to America so they could fish the waters off the coast, had to be abandoned in England.

Shortly after they set sail, the ship, badly misnamed the Speedwell, became ‘open and leakie as a sieve,’ as its captain reported. They returned to Dartmouth, where the boat was dry-docked for three weeks as repairs were made.

But to no avail. After leaving Dartmouth, the group sailed less than 300 miles when the captain decided the Speedwell ‘must bear up or sink at sea.’ This time the ships put in at Plymouth, England, where it was decided to go on without the Speedwell. On Sept. 16, 1620, the Mayflower set out alone to cross the Atlantic.

A month later, when they had reached the halfway point, fierce storms battered the ship and threatened the lives of passengers and crew. Many wanted to turn back for England. But if they abandoned the journey, they would lose everything they had invested. The Pilgrims decided to trust in God and sail on.

Despite the storms, the hazards, the crowding and the poor food, only one Pilgrim died during the voyage, a young servant. His death was balanced by the birth of a son to Stephen and Elizabeth Hopkins, who named their child Oceanus.

There were 102 passengers on board the Mayflower—50 men, 20 women and 32 children—along with a crew of 40. The captain set a course along the 42nd parallel, a bearing that would carry him to Cape Cod. From there he intended to swing south and follow the coast to northern Virginia.

A little over two months later, on Nov. 19, land was finally sighted and the captain turned the ship south, toward Virginia. However, they soon encountered such ‘dangerous shoals and roaring breakers’ that they turned back to Massachusetts. It was then that the grumblings of dissent turned into a full-fledged roar. Many of the passengers insisted on landing in Massachusetts, where ‘none had power to command them.’

The Pilgrim leaders decided to meet the explosive situation by asking each male on board, except for the crew, to sign a formal document that would lay ‘the first foundation of their government in this place.’ Thus the Mayflower Compact was born.

The Pilgrims were a diverse lot. Many of them were illiterate. Yet in creating the Mayflower Compact they showed an extraordinary political maturity. They agreed to establish a government by the consent of the governed, with just and equal laws for all. Each adult male, regardless of his station in life—gentleman, commoner or servant—would have an equal vote in deciding the affairs of the colony. Of the 65 men and boys on board, all but 24 signed the agreement. The only ones who did not were the children of those adults who did sign, or men who were too sick to do so.

The first decision made under the covenant was to abandon efforts to reach Virginia and instead to settle in New England. The first explorers landed at Plymouth on Dec. 21, 1620.

Weather delays kept the majority from seeing their new home for nearly two weeks. On Jan. 2, 1621, work began on the first building they would erect—a storehouse.

Because provisions were so scanty they decided that the land would be worked in common, produce would be owned in common, and goods would be rationed equally. Not unlike the society Karl Marx envisioned of ‘from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.’

Unfortunately, thanks to illness, injury and attitude, the system did not work. Pilferage from the storehouse became common. Suspicions of malingering were muttered. Over the course of that first, harsh winter, nearly half of the colonists perished. Four families were wiped out completely; only five of 18 wives survived. Of the 29 single men, hired hands and servants, only 10 were alive when spring finally came.

The colonists struggled desperately for two more years. When spring arrived in April 1623, virtually all of their provisions were gone. Unless that year’s harvest improved, they feared few would survive the next winter. The Pilgrim leaders decided on a bold course. The colony would abandon its communal approach and permit each person to work for his own benefit, not for the common good.

Here is how the governor of the colony, William Bradford, explained what happened then. This is taken from his marvelously readable memoir (if you can make adjustments for the Old English spellings), History of Plimoth Plantation:

The experience that was had in this commone course and condition, tried sundrie years, and that amongst godly and sober men, may well evince the vanitie of that conceite of Plato & other ancients, applauded by some of later times;—that ye taking away of properties, and bringing it in communitie into a commone wealth, would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.

For this communitie (so farr as it was) was found to breed much confusion & discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefite and comforte. For yet young men that were most able and fitte for labor & services did repine that they should spend their time & strength to worke for other men’s wives and children with out any recompense.

Once they replaced communal efforts with individual responsibility the differences were dramatic—and life-saving. Men went into the fields earlier and stayed later. In many cases, their wives and even their children (some barely past the toddler stage) worked right alongside them. More acres were planted, more trees were felled, more houses were built, and more game was slaughtered because of one simple change: People were allowed to keep the fruits of their own labors.

The Pilgrims arrived deeply in debt to the London merchants who sponsored them. They worked for more than 20 years, as individuals and as a community, to pay off the crushing burden. In 1627, they borrowed money to pay off the Merchants Adventurers. By 1645, they had paid off the entire debt to the company which had advanced them the sums to pay off the Merchants.

When their debt had been paid in full (at the astronomical interest rate of 45 percent per year), the company that had advanced the sums wrote the Pilgrims:

Let it not be grievous to you, that you have been instruments to break the ice for others who come after with less difficulty. The honour shall be yours to the world’s end.

As we celebrate this coming Thanksgiving Day, some 380 years after the Pilgrims celebrated the first of this uniquely American holiday, let us remember the sacrifices they made… the devotion they showed… and the lessons they learned.

Until next time, keep your powder dry.

—Chip Wood

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7th Annual Holiday Home Tour

7th Annual Holiday Home Tour7th Annual Holiday Home Tour will showcase five vintage private homes decorated by professional florists and designers in the Historic District of Fernandina Beach, Florida. Free trolley service will transport guests to the featured homes while costumed carolers and characters from Fernandina’s colorful past return them to the Victorian era.

The tour is held on Friday December 6th, and Saturday December 7th, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m.

Tickets are only $25.00 before December 6, 2013, with $30.00 tickets on the days of the event. Group rates for parties over 10 are available.

Breakfast With Brett
The perfect beginning to your Tour day. Join renowned Island Decorator and Restaurateur C. Brett Carter for delicious food, creative decorating and entertaining tips, fabulous door prizes, and a genuine good time. The fun begins at 9 a.m. both mornings (December 6 & 7) at Brett’s Waterway Cafe on the harbor in the Historic District of Fernandina Beach.

Limited seating is available and it is recommended you purchase your $25.00 ticket in advance.

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Indulge in the Holidays with Fruitcakes

Indulge in the Holidays with Fruitcakes (Pictured is Dale Hair shopping our downtown farmers market. He makes an appearance in the play, Fruitcakes)

What better way to indulge in the holiday season than with FRUITCAKES? And Fruitcakes is opening at the Amelia Community Theatre.

This family comedy opens 8:00 PM on November 29, 30 and December 5-7, 12-14 and at 2 PM on December 1 and 8, on the main stage at 207 Cedar St.

Adult tickets are $20, and student tickets through college are only $10.00.

ACT’s holiday comedy is perfect for the entire family. It celebrates small-town life and the colorful characters who add flavor to both life and fruitcakes. The show features a cast of adults, teens, and children.

FRUITCAKES is part of the season ticket package and the 5-show pass is still available through December 14 for $85.00.

Purchase tickets at www.ameliacommunitytheatre.org or call 904-261-6749. The ACT Box Office is open from 10 AM – 2 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.

Festival of Trees – November 29-December 14
Come see beautifully decorated holiday trees and wreaths in our Main Stage Lobby during the run of ACT’s comedy, Fruitcakes, November 29th through December 14th. These table top festive trees and wreaths, for your home or business, may be purchased by visiting our box office or calling 904-261-6749 or during the intermission of any performance.

The proceeds of the sale of these trees through the ACT Guild benefits the Amelia Community Theatre! The wreaths and trees are priced from $25 to $75 depending upon type and size.

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Fernandina Beach Pajama Party 2013

Fernandina Beach Pajama Party 2013It is the annual Historic Fernandina Business Association(HFBA) PJ Party on Friday, November 29th in downtown Fernandina.

The Annual Pajama Party Sale & Contest is snuggling back into the holiday shopping season once again in historic downtown Fernandina Beach. Held on “Black Friday” from 8 to 11 a.m., the Pajama Party Sale invites shoppers to slip into their footed pajamas, bunny slippers, and other assorted sleepwear to enjoy special deals and discounts, along with fresh juice, coffee and pastries to fuel their shopping spirit.

Enjoy holiday music and contests for “Best Dressed” (group and individual) and “Most Outrageous.”

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Relay for Life Team Captain Holiday Meeting

Relay for Life Team Captain Holiday MeetingIn April 2014, the American Cancer Society will be holding its annual Relay For Life of Fernandina Beach/Yulee and the holiday meeting for Team Captains is coming December 3rd.

Since 1985, Relay For Life has grown from one man – Dr. Gordy Klatt, who walked, jogged and ran around a track for 24 hours raising money for his local American Cancer Society unit – to a movement to eliminate cancer that now takes place in more than 5,100 communities in the United States and in 20 other countries around the world. Nearly 4 million people participate in the life-changing event, which has raised a total of more than $4 billion to fund the American Cancer Society’s mission.

Everyone in Nassau County who has been touched by cancer is invited to attend. This team event builds friendship among team members by having fun and raising money for the fight against cancer. It’s the perfect team-building event for any organization.

relay-for-life-holiday-meeting

The event consists of teams who spend 18 hours together in efforts to raise money and fight cancer. Each team has at least one member walking or running the track during the entire event.

Relay For Life is about celebrating, remembering and fighting back. The Society celebrates cancer survivors by inviting all local cancer survivors to start each Relay event. The Survivors Lap honors those who have won their fight against cancer and those who are currently undergoing treatment.

The Society remembers all of those touched with cancer with the Luminaria Ceremony after dusk. The track is lined with luminaria marked with the names of those who survived and those who lost their battle with cancer. The Society fights back by raising money for research, education, local patient services, and advocacy.

The event is also filled with music, live entertainment, games and other activities.

relay-for-life-holiday-captain-meeting-2013

We need your support! By forming a team from your company, church, school, neighborhood, etc., you will not only be part of a great community event, but you will raise funds to improve the quality of life for cancer patients today and the outlook for those diagnosed in the future.

There will be a meeting for Team Captains or those who want to learn more, on Tuesday, December 3, 2013, from 6:00 – 7:00 PM at the Fernandina Beach Police Station on Lime Street, in their community room.

If you are interested in learning more about this important event, please call Anne Taylor at 904-391-3645.

It’s about being a community that takes up the fight!

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World’s Largest Gingerbread Pirate Ship Arrives on Amelia

World’s Largest Gingerbread Pirate Ship Arrives on Amelia
The World’s largets gingerbread pirate ship arrives at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island.

Imagine a 17 foot Gingerbread Pirate Ship with pirate characters sculpted from chocolate standing before you. Festive garland hangs from the elegant molding as if to encase the ship and the sounds of holiday songs play gently through the lobby of this dynamic hotel. Your eyes are drawn into the Courtyard where hundreds of gleaming lights twinkle on a 40 foot Christmas tree. Spellbound, you are captivated by the essence of tradition.

“Holiday tradition,” says, General Manager, James E. McManemon, “is what grandparents and parents want a child to experience and every child remembers their first Ritz-Carlton Santa’s Storybook Tea or the desserts at Santa’s Holiday Dinner and taking family pictures in front of the pirate ship,” continues McManemon.

The festivities start on Wednesday, November 27 at 8:00 a.m. when the Gingerbread Pirate Ship is unveiled. The ship is a tribute to the famed privateer Louis Aury who held the island captive for three days in 1817.

Later in the evening, guests and the public will line the Courtyard sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies from the pastry kitchen to attend the 17th Annual Tree Lighting to benefit the YMCA Scholarship Program for families in need. The Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival Brass Quintet plays holiday music accompanied by local students who sprinkle fairy dust on the tree moments before Santa and Mrs. Claus light the tree to start the holidays on Amelia Island.

Santa’s Storybook Tea
A Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island tradition; a fireside holiday storybook read by Santa plus an afternoon tea, with finger sandwiches, pastries, candy, cakes and a picture with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Join us in the Lobby Lounge on Saturdays, November 30, December 7, 14 and 21 at 12 Noon. Price is $49.00 per adult and children ages 6 and up. $10.00 for children 5 and under, includes service charge.

Santa Tuck In
Children will enjoy a visit from Santa as he brings cookies and milk, reads a holiday story and presents a gift for the child every Saturday, November 30, December 7, 14, and 21 for $25.00 per child. Reservations recommended.

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At My Age I Don’t Belong on Facebook

At My Age I Don't Belong on FacebookThe following funny was forwarded from my mother and it sums up all of the frustration I hear from my older friends and relatives. The original author is unknown:

“When I bought my Blackberry, I thought about the 30-year business I ran with 1800 employees, all without a cell phone that plays music, takes videos, pictures and communicates with Facebook and Twitter. I signed up under duress for Twitter and Facebook, so my seven kids, their spouses, my 13 grand kids and 2 great grand kids could communicate with me in the modern way. I figured I could handle something as simple as Twitter with only 140 characters of space.

My phone was beeping every three minutes with the details of everything except the bowel movements of the entire next generation. I am not ready to live like this. I keep my cell phone in the garage in my golf bag.

The kids bought me a GPS for my last birthday because they say I get lost every now and then going over to the grocery store or library. I keep that in a box under my tool bench with the Blue tooth (it’s red) phone I am supposed to use when I drive. I wore it once and was standing in line at Barnes and Noble talking to my wife and everyone in the nearest 50 yards was glaring at me. I had to take my hearing aid out to use it, and I got a little loud.

The GPS looked pretty smart on my dash board, but the lady inside that gadget was the most annoying, rudest person I had run into in a long time. Every 10 minutes, she would sarcastically say, ‘Re-calc-u-lating.’ You would think that she could be nicer. It was like she could barely tolerate me. She would let go with a deep sigh and then tell me to make a U-turn at the next light. Then if I made a right turn instead… well, it was not a good relationship. When I get really lost, now I call my wife and tell her the name of the cross streets and while she is starting to develop the same tone as Gypsy, the GPS lady, at least she loves me.

To be perfectly frank, I am still trying to learn how to use the cordless phones in our house. We have had them for four years, but I still haven’t figured out how I can manage to lose three phones all at once and have to run around digging under chair cushions, checking bathrooms, and the dirty laundry baskets when the phone rings.

The world is just getting too complex for me. I’m still having issues every time I go to the grocery store. You would think they could settle on something as simple as a grocery bag, but this question of ‘Paper or Plastic?’ every time I check out just knocks me for a loop. I bought some of those cloth reusable bags to avoid looking confused, but I never remember to take them with me.

Now I toss it back to them. When they ask me, ‘Paper or plastic?’ I just say, ‘Doesn’t matter to me. I am bi-sacksual.’ Then it’s their turn to stare at me with a blank look.

I was recently asked if I tweet. I answered, ‘No, but I do fart a lot.’

In my opinion, we senior citizens don’t need any more gadgets. The television and cable remote controls, and the remote for the garage door are about all we can handle.”

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Supermarket Shelves Reflect Paycheck-to-Paycheck Society

The Beauty of the Midnight Sun

Dear Readers. Today in this weekend bulletin I was going to talk a bit about ‘the dos and donts‘ with crypto currencies such as Bitcoin, why gold is still being kicked in the balls by an stupendously exuberant Wall Street and why you should consider having your website hosted in an overseas territory, considering all the limitations and restrictions to be expected out of Washington. But after reading that Norway’s Army is battling Global Warming by going vegetarian, while the GOP is planning to cut alternative energy subsidies in half, I figured that it is all hog wash anyway. And if you don’t think so you should read Hugh Gusterson’s insightful article about “Which Drone Future Will Americans  Choose?” and still believe that we actually do have a choice.

So instead I decided to talk about reflections from my 3 times weekly grocery trips as well as some Festive information about the Holiday Season and some Sunday Morning Humor.

A Paycheck to Paycheck Society

As we are going into the last four week dash of grocery shopping and gift hunting, I would like to share a little secret with those of you, who always shy away from buying the larger bottle of ketchup in favor of the smaller one because of cash flow considerations. American grocery stores offer interesting reflections of financial irony, enticing (allowing) the poor to buy higher priced smaller packaged items, while the more prosperous among us take the advantage of buying those same products in larger volumes, but at substantially lower prices. Is this news to you?

There’s some real irony in this as often the stereotype of someone making bulk purchases is a person down to his last penny and watching every cent. But in reality, larger purchases at discounted pricing are for the better off; while buying the tiny packages at higher pricing is for the poor.

Of course I’m familiar with the economic law that states “the more you purchase of a product, the better the price you purchase at.” What rational person would prefer to pay more for a product when the same product in a larger packaging is staring them in the face for 30% less? But that’s only one side of the equation. The other side presents a real economic conundrum.

Imagine finding yourself in the condiments row of a supermarket where you notice that two bottles of ketchup – one larger and one smaller, same brand-name with the per-ounce price of each clearly labeled for the shopper. After doing some quick math in your head, the bigger bottle turns out to be about 30% cheaper than the small one per ounce of product. You quickly verify that you’re “comparing apples with apples” and this isn’t some special sale, but just the normal price, the only difference being packaged in a different size. According to any financial markets theory, this opportunity shouldn’t exist.

Designed Around Paycheck to Paycheck

Yet, whether it’s ketchup or just about anything else at the grocery store, one can save money by simply purchasing a larger package these days. And no I’m not even talking about bulk discount retailers like Costco, Sam’s Club or Restaurant Depot, but just your regular neighborhood grocery store. For people like me this advantage is in reality an earning, rather than a saving, but for the average American in the grocery store, the sad truth is that the pricing system of our entire society is based on people living paycheck to paycheck. It is designed around shoppers with near zero dollars in their checking accounts and that is why there are so many people buying the smaller packaged quantities? For many Americans the difference between a weekly $100 grocery bill and a $200 bill is enormous, which directs not only the purchase behavior from brand-name to store brand, but also the packaged sizing of products purchased.

I had a friend down in St.Maarten who bought a pack of cigarettes every day. Cost $2. A carton of 10 packs was only $12 or $1.20 per pack. $0.80 savings per day is $5.60 of earnings per week, had he bought a carton. Per year he would have had earned $292 in risk free income. His reason for purchasing one pack a day was: “Maybe I quit tomorrow.” He never did.

Next time I’m going to the grocery store and earn 5% to 10% riskless return on my groceries I know it’s great for me, but it’s disheartening to know that these savings are essentially the result of a paycheck-to-paycheck society. Either people can’t afford to make their ends meet with their paychecks, or they have completely lost control of their spending. But then again, there is something virtuous about these prices as well. In the free market, the price system actually rewards one for earning a greater income by offering cheaper prices for larger purchases. The same is true of other pricing as well. With a bigger down payment and more income, one pays lower interest rates on the mortgage – again, a reward for doing better. When it comes to government however, it’s the complete opposite. We are actually punished for earning greater incomes by paying higher taxes. Funny, isn’t it?

And while talking about government, here is a WARNING

After a recent wave of identify thefts, the FBI estimates there are over 500 fake ACA (Obamacare) websites set up for the sole purpose of stealing your personal information. So protect yourself and remember: the real one is the one that doesn’t work!

Restaurants Open on Thanksgiving Day

Courtesy of the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council

Following Restaurants are open and take reservations for Thanksgiving:

• Amelia Island Coffee – 207 Centre Street – (904) -321 2111

• Barbara Jean’s – 960030 Gateway Blv – (904)-277 3700

• Café 4750 (Ritz Carlton-Amelia Island) – 4750 Amelia Island Pkwy – (904) 277 1100

• David’s Restaurant – 802 Ash Street -(904) 310 6049

• Horizons – 4828 First Coast Highway – (904) 321 2430

• Huddle House – 1855 South 8th Street – (904) 261 2933

• Jack and Diane’s – 708 Centre Street – (904) 321 1444

• Marché Burette – 6800 First Coast Highway – (904) 491 4834

• Merge – 510 South 8th Street – (904) 277 8797

• Pablo’s Mexican Grill – 12 North 2nd Street – (904) 261 0049

• Slider’s Seaside Grill – 1998 South Fletcher Ave – (904) 277 6652

• Salt – (Ritz Carlton – Amelia Island) 4750 Amelia Island Pkwy – (904) 277 1100

• The Surf – 3199 South Fletcher Ave. – (904) 261 5711

• The Verandah – 6800 First Coats Highway – (904) 321 5050

Some Sunday Funday Impressions

Hunting Season has started here in North Florida so I thought you might like this one:

Click on Photograph for 360° tour

Daily I receive loads of great stories and beautiful pictures, but I was very happy to receive one last week with a 360° photograph one of our guests at the Amelia Oceanfront B&B took last June. Amazing technology. If you’re interested in finding out more about this contact Suburban Video directly.

In Closing for Today I’ll leave you with some of my favorites for this week. Click on them to enlarge.

This is a tattoo I would wear

HAVE A GREAT WEEK AND THANKS GIVING DAY

Authors Salute the U.S. Military with FREE Books

Authors Salute the U.S. Military with FREE BooksJacksonville, FL – To honor the men and women in uniform, and their spouses, the thriller-writing team of Gary Williams and Vicky Knerly are donating copies of their e-books to all active and retired members of the U.S. military, and their spouses, during this Holiday season.

“We wanted to recognize all the brave men and women who have served in the U.S. military and their spouses for the sacrifices they have made and will continue to make. We are a free country because of your unending dedication, commitment, and support. Please enjoy our stories and know that you have our heartfelt gratitude.” – Gary Williams & Vicky Knerly

Beginning November 18 and continuing through January 1, service members and their spouses can download FREE copies of novels by Williams and Knerly: Death in the Beginning, Three Keys to Murder, Before the Proof, and Manipulation, by going to:

williamsknerly.com/militaryappreciation1.aspx

…where download instructions are displayed.

About the authors:
Gary Williams lives in Jacksonville, Florida, with his wife and children. Williams has a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing and writes full time. His father and two uncles served in the military during World War II. One uncle, Audre W. Markham, paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Vicky Knerly is a native of Syracuse, New York, has two sons, and resides on St. Simons Island, Georgia. Knerly has a bachelor’s degree in English and two masters’ degrees. She has won awards for her research-based writing, and works for a private university based in Melbourne, Florida, where she also teaches as an adjunct professor.

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Rotary International Provides Support in Fernandina and Across the Globe

 Rotary in Fernandina and Across the GlobeSince 1917, the Rotary International has been actively operating under the motto “Do Good In the World”, and that spirit is alive and well in Nassau County as members of Rotary International, and local Rotary Clubs provide support in Fernandina Beach as well as across the globe.

On Friday, November 15th, Art Shuster updated the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise on the activities and organization of Rotary International. Art described the 5 areas that Rotarian efforts and dollars are dedicated including grants for local Rotary Clubs, the eradication of polio worldwide, funding for other charitable causes locally and worldwide, and sponsorship of Rotary Peace Centers.

The Rotary Annual Programs Fund also works on five areas of focus
-Peace and conflict resolution
-Disease prevention
-Water availability and sanitation
-Maternal and child health
-Economic and community development.

Pictured here is Art Shuster, member of the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise and club representative for Rotary International along with club president, Mark Dennis.

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets every Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club. For more information about the club or to attend a morning breakfast meeting, please visit www.ameliaislandrotary.com.

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Holidays and Chocolates; Inseparable Twins

Win this Gift Basket At Peterbrooke Chocolatier

Win this Christmas Gift Basket At Peterbrooke Chocolatier

My wife and I were talking the other day about the upcoming Holiday Season and the need for us to get out and enjoy them more than we have in recent years. It seems that ever since we took over the Innkeeper role at the Amelia Oceanfront B&B 2 years ago, our outgoing social life has suffered a great deal, primarily because guest arrivals and check ins happen around the same time frame as parties and social events around the island. Deciding that we wanted to change that this season, I was happy to see the Peterbrooke Chocolatier season invitation to the Chocolate Martini Party  on November 15, the precursor for two additional Holiday Events on Friday and Saturday November 29 and 30th and Saturday December 7 (see programs below).

One reason for my happiness was to see Sandy and her staff, delightful ladies who know their way to a man’s heart (Chocolate obviously) and the other reason was knowing that I was going to see quite a few of our good friends and acquaintances at the shoppe. No disappointments here. The Chocolate Martinis were better than any White Russian I ever tasted and the rest of the sampling was so sinfully decadent that I had to force myself not to go for seconds.

Couldn’t stop myself however from purchasing a pound of their New Black and Tan Truffles and am teaching myself to savor one-a-day (right around the time that I’m writing this story).

If you’re looking for new ideas for Holiday Season desserts a trip to Peterbrooke Chocolatier is a “must”. I’m ready to break a long eggnog tradition for a new tradition called Chocolate Martinis.

Click on Posters to ENLARGE