Edward Jones to Host Open House

Edward Jones to Host Open HouseBrian Henning, a local financial advisor for the financial services firm Edward Jones, invites the public to attend an open house from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, 2014 at 95766 Amelia Concourse (just before North Hampton).

“We are happy to be part of the Fernandina Beach/Yulee community and would like to express our appreciation for the confidence and support we receive year-round,” Henning said.

Refreshments will be served.

Henning may be reached at (904) 261-9392.

Edward Jones provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 10,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients to understand their personal goals, from college savings to retirement, and create long-term investment strategies that emphasize a well-balanced portfolio and a buy-and-hold strategy. Edward Jones embraces the importance of building long-term, face-to-face relationships with clients, helping them to understand and make sense of the investment options available today.

Edward Jones is headquartered in St. Louis. The Edward Jones interactive Web site is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting Web site is www.careers.edwardjones.com.

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Veterans Services Open House in Yulee

Veterans Services Open House in YuleeVeterans Services Open House will be held at the FSCJ Betty P. Cook Nassau Center, Thursday, May 29, from 6 – 7:30 p.m., in the Lewis “Red” Bean Technical Center, Nassau Room – T126.

FSCJ is hosting this open house to highlight the services available locally to Veterans.

Services for Veterans include disability compensation, pension, education and training, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment VetSuccess program, life insurance, home loans, healthcare, burial, and dependents and survivors benefits.

A brief presentation will be given at 6 p.m. by representatives from VA Health Care Enrollment, FSCJ Military and Veterans Service Center, Community Hospice and the Nassau County Veterans Services Office. The representatives will be available for questions from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Representatives from local Veterans civic organizations have been invited to participate.

Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, call the Betty P. Cook Nassau Center at (904) 548-4432.

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Someone’s Son Took My Place by Crowns of Creation

Someone's Son Took My Place by Crowns of CreationJoey and Jeanne, the two musicians who make up Crowns of Creation Ministries on Amelia Island, just released their new song Someone’s Son Took My Place honoring U.S. veterans of foreign wars, especially Vietnam era soldiers.

Their inspirational music and testimonies are filled with emotion as they continue to inspire others into discipleship with Jesus Christ.

This is a personal story of thanks to those who went to war in Vietnam allowing Joey the option for college deferment.

The song is particularly moving and it is appropriate for all of the Armed Forces holidays: Veterans Day, Flag Day, Armed Services Day, and of course on this Memorial Day 2014.

Crowns Of Creation
crownsofcreation.com, © 2014

    I was 18 on my way to war
    When someone’s son took my place.
    Off to college, “2S” deferred.
    I never saw the enemy’s face.

    Soldier’s standing in my shoes
    While I ran barefoot and free.
    I didn’t see it clearly then,
    Someone’s son rescued me.

    I was just a child at 18,
    Thinking I knew everything.
    When war ended I heard things,
    Unimagined sufferings.

    They came home to no support,
    And no appreciation.
    Fighting an unpopular war
    No ticker tape. Just alienation.

    Marching toward the Eve Of Destruction,
    Endless killing season,
    Foxholes turning soldiers into saints.

    One day I heard about a Son of man.
    Obeying orders from High Command.
    Gave His life for the human race.
    Someone’s Son took my place.

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Driverless Cars Force Police Budget Changes

autonomous 1

I think this would be great!!!!

I have been fascinated by the possibilities of driverless cars ever since I read John Barnes’ sci-fi thriller “Mother of Storms” in 1995 after Hurricane Luis devastated my favorite island St.Maarten.
One of the things that makes this story really interesting aside from all of the carnage created by a giant hurricane that spawns off siblings left and right to crush the far corners of the world, is that at this point in time (2028) the entire world is linked by a virtual-reality network, so everyone can experience the devastation as if they were living through it. And in the middle of it operates a media reporter whose driverless RV moves effortlessly between all projected danger zones. Amazon still has the book available and if you like a more qualified glance into the future, I recommend it as a summer read – even though it’s not an easy read.
The line in the novel that I remember as the first time realization that cars in the future will be driving autonomously was: “Randy Householder is cruising I-80 out of Sacramento in a car so old it had to be retrofitted to drive itself.”

Well add 20 years to the timeline and Google’s driverless cars have now combined driven more than 700,000 miles on public roads without receiving one citation, The Atlantic reported this week. While this raises a lot of questions about who is responsible to pay for a ticket issued to a speeding autonomous car – current California law would have the person in the driver’s seat responsible, while Google has said the company that designed the car should pay the fine – it also hints at a future where local and state governments will have to operate without a substantial source of revenue. Many car manufacturers have made major progress in developing autonomous cars.

Changing Law Enforcement Budgets

Approximately 41 million people receive speeding tickets in the U.S. every year, paying out more than $6.2 billion per year, according to statistics from the U.S. Highway Patrol published at StatisticBrain.com. That translates to an estimated $300,000 in speeding ticket revenue per U.S. police officer every year. State and local governments often lean on this source of income when they hit financial trouble. A study released in 2009 examined data over a 13-year period in North Carolina, finding a ‘statistically significant correlation between a drop in local government revenue one year, and more traffic tickets the next year,’ Popular Science reported. So, just as drug cops in Colorado and Washington are cutting budgets after losing revenue from asset and property seizures from marijuana arrests, state and local governments will need to account for a drastic reduction in fines from traffic violations as autonomous cars stick to the speed limit.”

But that is of course only the beginning of the new realities unfolding.
Don’t forget how driverless cars will ravage car insurance companies, public transport, shipping and taxis, inasmuch as electric cars will ruin service and gas stations. In the end, the amount of change happening because of driverless and electric cars is going to be staggering, on a scale that we can’t really fathom yet.

But then also remember the poor horse and buggy, typewriter, 8-track, vhs, projection/crt display, etc. etc. etc and slave whip & chain industries.
We don’t know what the future will bring even if we imagine going back a long time ago, before air travel, electricity, internet, tv, vaccines and whatever else. We only know for sure that things are changing.

autonomous2Ultimately we may see a road system like the Internet. If packets of information can find their own way through private networks to their destination, why shouldn’t people? Imagine if neighborhood roads were privately-owned, a resident committee would set their own speed limits and potential fines. As a customer, if you didn’t feel safe or got ripped off from an arbitrary fine, you could always choose a different route.
But above all the taxpayer would be given a deal he can’t refuse and therefore will not be allowed to take.

Law Enforcement however will have less to fear from diminishing budgets because of technological advancements because it’s function is already secured with the creation of the “War on Terrorism”. Even though Historians have already established the fact that the atrocities of terrorism are indiscriminate because they are committed by groups of dissenting individuals willing to forcefully take their dissent to the street, while as an enemy they are essentially invisible as it can not claim a particular nation as its home.
When war on terror materialized as an option for continuous conflict, Governments rapidly developed a plan to justify budgets like never before, justified by something as ludicrous as the words: “credible threat.”

But with technology moving forward we have to learn to embrace irony in the making. Why do you think we are looking at pot legalization in the next few election cycles? The fact that the entire stance on pot, even the war on drugs, was based on lies, has been known for a long time. The fact that it’s safer than alcohol is pretty much uncontested now, so what changed?
Well two things are happening:
• safety and protection have become the main concern of many western societies, allowing governments to allocate any some of money needed to execute their programs and
• technology allows for complete control of citizens’ lives, whether it’s by controlling the houses they live in, the cars they drive (or being driven in), their jobs, their travels and any aspect of the lives they live.

So the irony for the future foresees, that driving a driverless car while intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol will not be illegal anymore! Nor will be texting, amorous encounters in the backseat or eating a 4 course dinner while watching a movie about marijuana growers in Oregon.

Take that for a future.

The Finisher, by David Baldacci

The Finisher, by David BaldacciOne Book, One Community begins again! The Nassau County Public Library announces the One Book, One Community read for 2014 will be The Finisher, by David Baldacci.

This incredible new novel is a dystopia story for all ages!

    Why would Quentin Herms flee into the Quag? There was nothing in the Quag except certain death.

    Vega Jane has never left the village of Wormwood. But this isn’t unusual — nobody has ever left the village of Wormwood. At least not until Quentin Herms vanishes into the unknown.

    Vega knows Quentin didn’t just leave — he was chased. And he’s left behind a very dangerous trail of clues that only she can decode.

    The Quag is a dark forest filled with terrifying beasts and bloodthirsty Outliers. But just as deadly are the threats that exist within the walls of Wormwood. It is a place built on lies, where influential people are willing to kill to keep their secrets. Vega is determined to uncover the truth — but the closer she gets, the more she risks her life.

Start reading! Events will follow, check your local library branch for events and times.

ALSO

Wireless Internet Access available at Nassau County Public Libraries!

Thanks to all the Friends of the Library groups for renewing wireless internet access for all Nassau County residents. Wireless access is available at the Fernandina Beach Branch, the Callahan Branch, the Hilliard Branch and the Bryceville Branch libraries.

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The Good Body Review

The Good Body ReviewI had the opportunity to catch the final dress rehearsal of Eve Ensler’s The Good Body at Amelia Community Theatre.

The Good Body has moved up from Ensler’s Vagina Monologues, and this time focuses on her forty-something belly and her mid-life obsession to have a good body, including a flat stomach.

As Eve travels around the world she finds herself in body image conversations with other women like Helen Gurley Brown of Cosmopolitan fame, an aging model with a plastic surgeon husband, a woman she meets in India working out on the treadmill, and more.

The show is laugh-out-loud funny taking socially placed values of women head-on, but it also stirs up emotions when some of these women disclose personal, and often uncomfortable memories.

You’ll learn from women who have had liposuction, breast reduction, and faced the buttocks spread. You’ll meet a wise African tribal woman, a Lesbian, and an Afghani woman, and you’ll never think about bread, kale, ham or ice cream the same way again.

Aimed at women and the men who love them, this show is not for the mild mannered and you can expect to be rocked out of your comfort zone by more than one “F-bomb” dropped on the audience.

The cast in order of appearance:
Laura Swaim
Susan Raab
Michele Giltmeir
Christie Miklas
Cynthia Riegler
Diana Herman
Buffy Wells

The show will run on Saturday evening, May 24th at 8:00 PM, and once more at 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon. Friday night’s show has already sold out… and now that I’ve seen the play, I suggest you buy your tickets right away because the other two shows are likely to sell out, too!

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World’s Largest Swimming Lesson 2014

World's Largest Swimming LessonThe World’s Largest Swimming Lesson aims to draw attention to the importance of teaching children how to swim as a key component in drowning prevention.

On June 20, pools, waterparks, and other aquatic facilities around the globe will host local swimming lessons simultaneously in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record.

Get involved today!

It’s OFFICIALLY GO TIME for this year’s World’s Largest Swimming Lesson event!
Wouldn’t it be cool if our local Recreation Center and the YMCA got involved?

Get your 2014 WLSL plans rolling by registering your facility today.

Once you have completed all the steps of the registration process, you’ll gain access to the updated Host Location Guide and dozens of colorful, eye-catching marketing materials ready for you to download and use in your community today. This includes logos, web banners, posters, flyers and so much more!

This fifth annual WLSL event is the perfect kick off for the official start of the summer. Join Team WLSL as an official host location, instructor, volunteer or participant and make 2014 the year we reach 100 million with the vital message SWIMMING LESSONS SAVE LIVES™!

Register now to join the 2014 WLSL Team. Be a part of this exciting, world-record setting event and help us prevent childhood drowning.

Registered WLSL Host Locations receive:
-The 2014 WLSL Host Location Guide covering all aspects of implementing your community event.
-The official 2014 WLSL Curriculum
-New 2014 Media/print ready promotion materials including: WLSL Logos, snipes, web banners, flyers, posters, rack cards, yard signs, vinyl banners, and mini counter-top brochure.
-Press release and media advisory templates
-The new 2014 Guinness World Record required submission guidelines and required correspondence
-New WLSL participant recognition certificates
New WLSL water safety tip sheet
-New WLSL water safety message web banners
-25 signature orange WLSL Swimming Lessons Save Lives wristbands
-Groups of multiple facilities will be sent a maximum of 75 wristbands
-Shop for additional wrist bands and other WLSL gear at www.watersafety.com

There is a $59 registration fee for the 2014 program. Great discounts are available for registering multiple locations.

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Why Tourism and Travel Matters to Florida

thThe Travel industry is beyond any question the lifeline and blood in Florida’s economy. From Miami and the Keys to Orlando and the Gulf Coast, to the Panhandle us up here on the First Coast, without the tens of millions of visitors every year, this state would still be a quilt of swamp land, dry savannas and sinkholes and residents would be taxed with state income tax.

In a previous article, I introduced the effect that certain industries have on our economy, not just from a domestic standpoint but from a global perspective as well. As we discovered, coffee production, as large as it is, still pales in comparison to the travel business. With billions of travel dollars generated every day, I want to share with you  some of the impact this industry has on the U.S. as well as our home state of Florida.

Here are a few facts:

TRAVEL AND TOURISM IS ONE OF AMERICA’S LARGEST INDUSTRIES
♣    In 2013, tour and travel generated $2.1 trillion in economic output.
♣    Wages shared by American workers directly employed by travel was $209.5 billion.
♣    Generated tax revenue for local, state and federal governments was $133.9 billion. (Without this income, it is estimated that each U.S. household would pay more than $1000 in extra taxes and we’d definitely paying personal income tax here in Florida)
♣    Travel makes up 2.7% of the U.S. GDP – Gross Domestic Product
♣    Travel ranks No.1 among all U.S. industry exports
♣    1 out of 9 U.S. jobs depends on travel and tourism
♣    Travel ranks No.6 in terms of employment compared to other major private industry sectors

TRAVEL AND TOURISM IN FLORIDA
♣    Domestic and International travel to the state generated over $75 billion dollars last year.
♣    Generated tax revenue for state and local governments was over $11 billion dollars.
(These dollars help fund jobs and public programs like police, firefighters, teachers, road projects and convention centers)
♣    Employment payroll was nearly $21 billion dollars.
♣    Jobs created in 2012 – over 800,000. This represents 13 percent of the state’s total non-farm employment.
♣    For every $1 million spent by travelers to Florida, 11 jobs are created.

It is also worth mentioning that Travel is among the “Top 10” industries in 49 states and D.C. in terms of employment.

I hope this helps you to understand the enormity of the Travel industry in the U.S economy as well as the stability of Florida’s economic status. It may also help understanding the necessity for a long term travel and tourism plan on local, regional, statewide and national level, much of which is unfortunately still sorely lacking vision.

Memorial Day Weekend Arts and Farmers Markets

Memorial Day Weekend Arts and Farmers MarketsThe May 24, 2014 Fernandina Beach Market Place and Fernandina Beach Arts Market are shaping up to be one huge event! Located on N. 7th Street in historic downtown Amelia Island, the Market Place farmers’ market brings over 30 all natural food and product vendors each and every Saturday, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, rain or shine. The Arts Market, located adjacent to the farmers market, adds another 20 vendors on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month showing off their handmade arts and crafts.

Joining the farmers market will be Olive My Pickle. Shai, owner of Olive My Pickle will be bringing pickles, made from fresh and local cucumbers, stuffed olives, fabulous hummus flavors, stuffed grape leaves, baby ganoush and the oh-so-popular Pickle on a Stick.

image - bokchoyAnother weekly vendor, A Natural Wave Soap, is having a huge clearance sale offering all products at 25% off! If you spend $50.00 you will receive a FREE gift set valued at $14.00. Also, her wash cloths are regularly $4.50 each and they are on sale this week for $4.00 or 3 for $10.00. Scrub or bath salt spoons are now $4.00 each or two for $7.50 AND you still get the 25% off on top of these sale prices!

Moore Pigs will return with their fresh pork made from happy pigs. I recently had the opportunity to visit this lovely young family and their 50 acre farm. The Moore’s never give steroids or antibiotics to their pigs, Berkshires and Herefords, and they take great pride in treating them humanely by not restricting their natural rooting ability with rings in their noses or clipped teeth. They are fed a diet of non-medicated, locally milled grains, planted pasture, and acorns, and they grow fruits and vegetables for the pigs to eat as well. The pigs graze, forage and play in the mud. A rotational grazing system is used to ensure their Heritage breeds are always on fresh ground.

See the Moore Pigs farm in this video:

These are just three of the amazing friends we have joining us this Saturday in the farmers’ market, and in the Arts Market you’ll find stained glass, pottery, apparel, fine jewelry, art, photography, knitted scarves and so much more.

image - peachesMusic by Hambone will fill the market area; having played private and corporate events together for over three years, Hambone’s musicians are inspired by the Beatles, Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton, and this will be a real treat for market attendees because the band has just recently begun playing at public events.

Boxer Rescue will be our featured non-profit, and Kayak Amelia will be joining us as our featured Brick-and-Mortar to show off their Stand Up Paddleboards, Segways and Kayaks.

For more information, please visit either website, FernandinaBeachArtsMarket.com or FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com, or call Joe at (904) 557-8229.

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The Good Body at Amelia Community Theatre

The Good Body at Amelia Community TheatreBotox, bulimia, breast implants. Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues, rocks our view of what it means to have a “good body.” Whether undergoing botox injections or living beneath burkas, The Good Body examines women of all cultures and backgrounds and how they feel compelled to change the way they look in order to fit in.

Amelia Community Theatre (ACT) will present this extraordinary piece of theatre as a benefit for Micah’s Place to lend support to Nassau County’s only Certified Domestic Violence Center.

Together we can make a difference in our community!

Micah’s Place is a Certified Domestic Violence Center and the only one serving Nassau County Florida.

If you are currently experiencing emotional, physical, psychological, economical, verbal, or any other kind of abuse, call 800-500-1119 or 904-225-9979. For more information visit their web page www.micahsplace.org

ACT and Micah’s place are both 501 c 3 organizations.

Tickets for the May 23rd performance, being sold through Micah’s Place – have SOLD OUT!

Tickets for May 24 & 25 are available by calling ACT at 904-261-6749 or go here: https://app.arts-people.com/index.php?ticketing=act11

May 24 & 25 we will be collecting items for Micah’s Place from their wish list below. When you come to the show please choose any of the items to bring with you.

MICAH’S PLACE WISH LIST
• Assorted sizes of ladies new underwear and bras
• Assorted sizes of New Socks, Hose and slippers
• Women’s Feminine Hygiene products (various types and sizes)
• Brushes, Combs, hair flatirons, hair dryers, curling irons
• One size fit all night gowns, pajama’s, season appropriate leisurewear
• Hair Dye, hair products
• Deodorant/Antiperspirant
• Shampoo/Conditioners
• Body Wash
• Razors
• Makeup (Concealer, foundation, etc.)
• Lotions
• Manicure, Pedicure Kits
• Baby monitors
• Clothes Hampers
• Clothes Baskets
• Wal-Mart, Target, and Gas Gift Cards

OTHER WAYS TO ASSIST MICAH’S PLACE
• CLOTHES DRIVE FOR PURPLE DOVE RESALE STORE: CHILDREN’S CLOTHES, DONATE CLOTHES FOR INTERVIEWS AND COURT APPEARANCES
• HOUSEHOLD AND FURNITURE DRIVES: HOUSEHOLD ITEMS FOR THOSE PARTICIPANTS ESTABLISHING THEIR OWN NEW RESIDENCES

The Purple Dove Resale Center is located at 474311 East SR 200, in Fernandina Beach, Florida. (904) 261-5227. Hours of operation are:
Monday – Friday 10:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM TO 5:00 PM
Sunday – CLOSED

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Hilarious Satire Video on Advertising in the 21st Century

 

The Tender Years
The Tender Years

During a lifetime in advertising and marketing, dating back to the mid 1970s, I’ve always adhered to Bill Bernbach’s Principal Quotes as the one and only “advertising strategy” that works. The founder of New York’s premier agency for much of the 20th century often said: “Everything you write … everything on a page-every word, every graphic symbol, every shadow-should further the message you’re trying to convey.” If Bernbach believed a product could not live up to its advertising, he would not take on the client. No matter the budget. That’s integrity!

Compare that to advertising today and sadly realize that the industry over-all has degraded to vague, inspirational nonsense to try and capture people’s attention. Just watch the stupendous pharmaceutical commercials these days and cringe as a narrator’s voice spews incomprehensible words and terms into your living room in an effort to convince us that they have the answer to what maybe ailing us.

Bernbach would have agreeably smiled however over the words New York copy writer Kendra Eash wrote in an amazing bit of satire mocking how the ad industry these days likes to use vaguely formulated nonsense to capture people’s attention. So when Dissolve, a stock video distributor, that provides many of the emotionally loaded scenes used in commercials took her words and visualized them in an amazingly nondescript, faux-inspirational video (from stock footage) that tells you absolutely nothing at all, I had to naturally think off Bill Bernbach. Watch the video…it’s kind of hilarious. 2:19 is my favorite moment.
If you run an ad agency, please use this as a clarion call to say actual things in your clients’ commercials. Things that actually add something to the discourse. Stop being bombastic.

For the reader’s convenience I have included the written copy.

Narrator: We think first of vague words that are synonyms for progress and pair them with footage of a high-speed train. 
Science is doing lots of stuff that may or may not have anything to do with us. See how this guy in the lab coat holds up a beaker? That means we do research. Here’s a picture of DNA.

There are a shitload of people in the world, especially in India. See how we’re part of the global economy? Look at those farmers in China, but we also do business in the U.S.A. Or want you to think we do. Check out this wind energy thing in Indiana, and this blue-collar guy with dirt on his face. Whew. Also, we care about the environment, loosely. Here’s some powerful, rushing water, and people planting trees. Our policies could be related to these panoramic views of Costa Rica.

In today’s high-speed environment, stop-motion footage of a city at night with cars turning quickly makes you think about doing things efficiently and time passing. Lest you think we’re a faceless entity, look at all these attractive people. Here’s some of them talking and laughing, and closeups of hands passing canned goods to each other in a setting that evokes community service.

Equality, innovation, honesty, and advancement are all the words we choose from a list. Our profits are awe-inspiring like this guy who’s looking up and pointing at a skyscraper or a kite while smiling and explaining something to his child. Using a specific ratio of Asian people to black people to women to white men, we want to make sure we represent your needs and interests, or at least a version of your skin color in our ads. Did we put a baby in here? What about an ethnic old man and his wrinkled smile represents the happiness and wisdom of the poor. Yep.


If only Miss Eash would have put a dancing puppy or adorable kitty somewhere in this wonderful essay, satirical perfection would have been accomplished.

CNN Warns Customers to Change eBay Passwords

CNN Warns Customers to Change eBay PasswordsJose Pagliery wrote in CNNMoney Wednesday that hackers broke into eBay and stole user information, and they are now warning users to change their passwords. PayPal, an eBay subsidiary, is kept on a separate network.

When a hacker gets ahold of employee credentials, they have access to the customer database. Be on guard for upcoming fraudulent offers and fake details and don’t reveal your bank details or social security number to anyone.

This is a good time to revisit the importance of setting secure passwords that are easy for you to remember, yet difficult for hackers to decipher.

The following video Choosing a Password: 4 Easy Tips from Megabite offers great information in this 3 1/2 minute video:

For more information or for help with your computer, call Deryck at Megabite, (904) 430-0350.

For more information on this hack, visit eBay’s anouncement page at:
http://announcements.ebay.com/2014/05/ebay-inc-to-ask-ebay-users-to-change-passwords/.

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Rotarians Learn About Talbot Island State Parks

Rotarians Learn About Talbot Island State ParksOn Friday, May 16th, Alison Conboy from the Talbot Islands State Parks provided the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise an inside look at the activities and current happenings on the Talbot Islands State Parks.

The club was thrilled to learn of the treasures, many unknown to most, the state parks have to offer Fernandina Beach residents who enjoy such close proximity to the parks.

The Talbot Islands State Parks include Little Talbot Island, Big Talbot Island, Fort George Island, Amelia Island, George Crady Fishing Pier, Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve, and Yellow Bluff Fort.

Alison reminded the group of all the fun activities that can be had within the state parks, such as canoeing, kayaking, surfing, fishing, birding, Segway touring, picnicking, horseback riding, shelling and sunbathing.

Further, there are several hiking trails covering all aspects of the parks. The Rotarians loved being reminded of all the fantastic natural resources available to the residents of this area, and they were inspired by the pride shown by Alison in her love of her job and the state parks.

The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise meets every Friday at 7:30 a.m. at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club.

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Retirement? Will You Outlive Your Money?

Gasoline 20ctsIn recent years I have seen more and more commercials promote the conscious fear for retirement (when the checks stop coming in…), as even the most optimistic baby boomers are starting to get nervous, with the prospect that their money will run out before they do. Social Security, 401Ks, annuities,stocks and bonds, if we were to believe the financial advisors, you need to set every penny aside to secure your “golden years”, as if there was no inflation, no interest paid for money, no deflation or a currency crisis in the making and that real state will never loose its value. Historically retirement was never a financially secure option, so why would it be now? I see the advertisements, TV commercials and billboards plastered with happy seniors, walking hand in hand down a tropical beach smiling at each other. Life is good! Well, of course there are some that lucked out and kept their health and their money and ended up financially secure enough to enjoy the fruits of a life of hard work. But for every handful of the lucky ones, there are thousands that wonder where all the promises went. Yesterday in the super market I was drawn into a conversation about pricing by what must have been an 85 year old gentleman who wondered what happened to the cost of groceries. Shaking his grey manes as he walked away he said:”I remember the days when a pound of Cube Steak cost 43cents!” Honestly I don’t know how most people will go into retirement and survive. But I know that there are always options.

Having operated a B&B for the past 2-1/2 years I have come in contact with many guests on the edge of retirement, wondering if and how they can afford the remainder of their lives in preferred financial stability. During many a conversation, I have been trying to convey the message that building an internet based business can not only provide them with income, but also with the means to diversify. To be sure, I’m not talking about your regular guy in the street, who can hardly afford a $200 a night vacation on the beach; I’m talking about people who during their active years built up a practical knowledge base or have committed a lifetime to learning and applying hobbies and other skills, that can be translated into a sellable proposition.

All that is needed is to create a product or service that appeals to a group of people willing to learn from your mistakes and ultimate successes. Whether a series of e-books, instructional videos or even podcasts; whether a newsletter or a seasonal webinar or seminar, if your product or service makes sense, there will be a subscriber base willing to pay for your knowledge and your research.
And the beauty of internet sales is, they become financially attractive already in the smaller numbers. Suppose your videos on “Learning to Play the Ukelele” attracts initially 300 subscribers willing to pay $19.95 a month to learn to play from a beginner to intermediate to advanced (a 3 year process), you would earn a cool $215,460 over those 3 years. Now if during the course of time you would expand your services and products with e-books, personal instruction lessons, a book on the history and manufacturing of Ukeleles, best strings, picks etc. etc., you may turn a nice $100K per year and that’s assuming that your subscriber base does not grow.

You’ve been a PR or Human Resources Manager all your life? Believe me there is a group of takers out there that will pay for your experience in a well published booklet.

One of our sons is on a managerial fast track in a solid retail company. Often when we drive to get supplies for the B&B we talk about his work and him leading his team, strength and weakness propositions etc. and I advise him based on my 40 somewhat years in corporate management and people skills. Obviously I don’t charge him, but when on one trip he kind of hinted that my reimbursement for all the advise would be him taking care of us (his mom and me) when we reach the age of ‘decrepit’ I realized that I do not look forward to those potential days. I appreciate the thought behind it however.

So when analyzing your skills and knowledge, don’t be too negative or hesitant. You’ll be amazed of the diversity of needs there is among the world’s populations. From cooking recipes, to cocktails, to tax advice, to explaining laws or government regulations, explaining home remedies, the needs are practically unlimited. Pick one that fits you best, stay up-to-date with knowledge and tailor-make the advise for those who cannot commit the time or resources, to stay ahead; package it in a neat easy to understand form and sell it on the internet.

I know a young man who is creative with a video camera. Commercials on his youTube channel generate a $15K income a month for him. I don’t think age has anything to do with that initiative.

Internet Opportunities

As we are now thoroughly in the Internet age, starting an Internet-based business or restructuring an existing business to be operable over the Internet, offers numerous opportunities in terms of diversified income plus international maneuverability into another jurisdiction should it become necessary to avoid many of the regulations of the home country.
This is a very real possibility for many. An Internet-based business does offer the potential to create an income that is either equal or similar to that which one would enjoy. In addition, in many cases, this is possible without having to change clientele or learn a new language. Therefore, the Internet-based business tends to minimize the level of financial fear for the future, that one would need to go through.

The Internet is not regulated by any country at present yet, which allows for tremendous freedom. But, here is where the bad news comes in. There can be no doubt that, at present, Internet-based business is a tremendous boon to those who are hoping to escape the clutches of their financial fears for the future. But those words, “at present,” are a reminder that many desperate governments are hot on the tail of Internet-based businesses, to make sure that they get their unearned piece of the pie.

Internet Regulations to Consider

As the unravelling of the internet is gaining speed, the countries that have been the major players in the development are increasing legislation and regulation. The leaders of this trend are the US and the EU, but there are others. Rest assured that, the greater the trend toward financial independence through Internet-based incomes, the greater the push will become to regulate and tax Internet-based incomes.
The US has already begun with the introduction of The Marketplace Fairness Act, that has passed the Senate and is on its way to the House of Representatives. Any legislation containing the word “fairness” virtually guarantees to be the opposite, is the experience of a long life of fighting against the dictatorship called “majority rules”. The purpose of the Marketplace Fairness Act is to apply sales tax to any online transactions, much in the same way as we now pay sales tax over an item purchased in a Second Hand Store, where the sales benefits a charity. Should this Act be passed (as it is likely to, either in this go-round or in a future form), there would be three principle negative effects that an Internet-based business would experience.

First, whatever savings the business might have been offering to consumers as a freedom from sales tax, would be eliminated. Second, whatever benefit the business owner sought to enjoy through the avoidance of sales tax would be eliminated. Third (and most debilitating), the Internet company would be buried in paperwork and tax-filings.

There are legal ways to avoid any of this, which is what I’ll explain in next week’s business essay. Until then, think about what you would like to share with the world that somebody out there would be willing to pay a small amount for. I guarantee you will not outlive your money and what’s more you will stay active and interested and that’s truly happiness, or at least joy.

Johan
PS I’m working on an E-Book titled “Is Having a B&B on your Bucket List?”. Stay tuned.

Let Freedom Ring 2014

Let Freedom Ring 2014Let Freedom Ring is an Annual ARIAS Memorial Day Weekend Concert featuring the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. This year the concert will be held on Thursday, May 22, 2014, at 7:00 PM.

Admission is only $15.00 for adults, and children 18 and under are $5.00. The concert will be held at First Baptist Church located at 1600 8th Street, in Fernandina Beach.

Tickets can be purchased at The Book Loft, Front and Center, Fernadina Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Golf Club of Amelia Island, and Fernandina Beach Golf Club. Tickets can also be purchased at the door the night of the concert, starting at 6:30 pm.

The annual Memorial Day weekend Let Freedom Ring concert, sponsored by ARIAS, brings the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra to Amelia Island where they will present a revised program including marches and Americana music, together with a special feature that will provide a living review of our country’s armed forces and a glimpse of their history. And, as another extra, ARIAS is subsidizing attendance by the school children of Nassau County, to treat them to the music of an outstanding symphony orchestra in the context of the history of our armed forces.

We all know that there is a need to support music and the arts in today’s world, and ARIAS has consistently helped to provide music education to our school children through its Instrument Zoo, and by bringing ensemble players from the Jacksonville Orchestra to the county’s many school buildings. And while this is the thirteenth year that the Orchestra has come to Fernandina Beach for Let Freedom Ring, this time there is a special effort to bring the school children to the Orchestra. Tickets for school children under 18 have been set at just $5, an extraodinarily low amount for such an event, providing a strong incentive for parents to come with their kids. And, with a special feature recognizing the respective branches of the armed forces, and some of the marches that Americans consider their favorites, it will be a grand evening for all ages to appreciate our heritage.

The concert will open with the Star Bangled Banner, sung by Bob Quinby, of Amelia Island. This is something that Bob has been doing for the last sixty years at sporting events. He started singing as a boy soprano soloist in New York City, and appeared on the TV program “Ford Festival Theatre”. Bob has sung with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadlephia Orchestra, Leonard Berstein and the New York Philharmonic, and for the last ten years with the Chorus of the Jacksonville Symphony. He reminds us that our national anthem was written to celebrate a victory of our armed forces during the war of 1812.

The music selected for the concert will include two favorites that are quintessentially American: selections from the Rogers and Hammerstein favorite, Oklahoma, and Gershwin’s An American in Paris. There will be lots of other traditional Memorial Day music, including marches. And, of course, one of the marches will be by a certain Mr. Sousa, a must for the occasion. Central to the program is a piece titled Armed Forces Medley, arranged by Lowden. This piece includes the well-known songs of each of the armed forces branches, and as has been done in prior concerts, those in the audience who served will be invited to rise when their song is being played. This year we will have an extra local attraction, namely a representative of each armed services branch who will wear his uniform dating from the time of his retirement, and will present the flag of his branch during his song. Each of the flag bearers is a resident of Amelia Island.

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