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She Stoops to Conquer at Fernandina Little Theatre

She Stoops to Conquer at Fernandina Little TheatreFernandina Little Theatre’s Readers Troupe will be performing a staged reading of the classic comedy, She Stoops to Conquer, again on Thursday, October 2, 2014.

This performances is at 7:30 PM. The theatre is located at 1014 Beech Street.

First performed in 1773, this charming comedy has delighted audiences for over two centuries, with an abundance of merry mix-ups and sly satire, and it remains one of the most read and performed of all English comedies.

The Readers Troupe includes both familiar and new performers: Andrew Yellen, Barb Deely, Buffy Wells, Ed Deely, Ed Moore, Jane Sandhaus-Packer, Joe Parker, Karen Antworth, Mike Bond, and Ruthellen Mulberg; the production is directed by Kate Hart.

Tickets are $8.00, and may be purchased in advance at The UPS Store in the Fernandina Beach Publix shopping center.

For info on FLT activities and events, check our website ameliaflt.org.

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Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

Bullying Prevention Awareness MonthOctober is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month – when individuals, families, schools, and communities across the nation help to raise awareness about bullying prevention.

Bullying remains a widespread problem with nearly 30 percent of adolescents in the U.S. reporting some experience with bullying, whether as the victim, the bully or both.

An infographic developed by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) highlights important facts and information about bullying prevention.

We know that there are a number of emotional effects that can result from bullying such as depression and anxiety. There are also physical effects as well, like headaches and stomachaches, and sleep problems. In a special supplement of the Journal of Adolescent Health supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) we see how researchers continue to investigate the complex relationship between bullying and suicide.

But help is available. There are a number of exciting activities and initiatives that HHS will be launching during Bullying Prevention Awareness Month.

•Media Guidelines for Bullying Prevention. Media coverage of social issues can have a widespread impact on how communities understand and address problems. This guidance offers help to journalists, bloggers, and others to engage in responsible reporting on this important topic.

•Conversation Starters Mobile App. Later this month, SAMHSA will release a mobile app for parents to help start conversations with their children about bullying. This app will be available for both Android and Apple platforms.

•Bullying Prevention Training Center. This revamped section of stopbullying.gov provides a one-stop-shop for training materials for educators and community leaders.

Successful bullying prevention can’t happen alone! Across the country, youth are encouraged to talk about bullying by organizing bullying prevention social and educational events through youth organizations in their communities.

•The Department of Education has issued guidance in the form of a Dear Colleague letter that provides an overview of school districts’ responsibilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to address bullying of students with disabilities.

With all of these resources available, it’s a great time to consider how you can help raise awareness about bullying and take action to stop it.

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Images of our Greenway with Bill Birdsong

Images of our Greenway with Bill Birdsong

Join the Amelia Island Museum of History, in Fernandina Beach, Florida, for their next Brown Bag Lunch on Wednesday, October 1st, at noon. Their special guest will be Bill Birdsong who will deliver a lecture entitled Images of our Greenway.

Bill is an amateur photographer who began to visit the Greenway near his home several years ago. The two sections offer a walk through a salt and fresh water environment, each with distinct plant and animal populations.

The Greenway has recently increased in popularity, but is still unknown to some.

The talk will be an introduction to the Greenway, illustrated with his photographs.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information contact Gray at 261-7378 ext 102.

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Save My Place – A Book Signing and Reception

Save My Place - A Book Signing and ReceptionA love story set in the South during the 1960s and 70s against the backdrop of the Vietnam war, Save My Place is the story of Elisabeth’s meeting and marrying her beloved Kincaid, and the evolution of their married life. Even as difficulties arise in their lives. Elisabeth’s jaunty voice lifts us, along with herself and Kincaid, through seemingly unbearable situations. Upon meeting her, Kincaid exclaims, “You strike me as a very entertaining person.” Indeed, Elisabeth’s ability to find humor and joy amid sorrows, such as Kincaid’s deployment to fight in the Vietnam War, enlightens us about a powerful source of resiliency.

Still, Elisabeth is a realist. Though she wishes to abide in Peter Pan’s Neverland existence, and has a “magic door inside… that kept all the ills of the world at bay,” the door comes ajar. Yet, even when their child is diagnosed with leukemia, her indomitable spirit eventually allows her to engage in life and assist her husband in doing the same.

Olivia DeBelle Byrd has created an admiral character for readers to appreciate in Save My Place.

Olivia will be at The Book Loft September 30th, from 4:00 to 6:00 PM, signing her books at a wine and cheese reception.

About Olivia
Olivia deBelle Byrd is a self-proclaimed Southern Belle who resides in Panama City, Florida, with her husband, Tommy, and is the proud mother of Tommy Jr. and Elizabeth. She is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College and a Kappa Delta. Like many Southerners, Olivia has a penchant for turning ordinary happenings into entertainment. The result is her first collection of humorous essays, Miss Hildreth Wore Brown-Anecdotes of a Southern Belle.

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Waking Up in the Land of the Free

The Power from Above and the Dissident with the Flower

The Power from Above and the Dissident with the Flower

If you subscribe to dozens of local, national and international news sources, you don’t only deal with more than 1,000 emails in your inbox daily, you also learn to “headline hunt” for the real stuff and have direct access to a bottle of headache relief.  From last week’s valiant effort to save the Rhino from extinction by ruthless poachers, to the idiot who got caught carrying some 300 turtles on his body and travel gear to illegally import exotic species into Canada this week, where they reportedly fetch an insane $1,300 to $1,500 each, I shake my head so often that I’m afraid I will soon need neck braces for support.

So in an effort to,-as objectively as possible-, share some of the information that comes across my desktop, I will make selections of this far obscure news bits, that over time, at least in my opinion (and yes I know that is not very objective), will become mainstream news, affecting primarily the freedom we were once so proudly proclaiming.

Here are just a handful of superficially non related topics in a very connected world at the beginning of their journey to notoriety when one day they will directly affect you and your family and your way of life.

Subprime Auto Loan Risks

Auto loans to borrowers considered subprime, those with CREDIT SCORES at or below 640, have spiked in the last five years with roughly 25 percent of all new auto loans made last year subprime, a volume of $145 billion in the first three months of this year. Now the New York Times reports that before they can drive off the lot, many subprime borrowers must have their car outfitted with a so-called starter interrupt device, which allows lenders to remotely disable the ignition. By simply clicking a mouse or tapping a smartphone, lenders retain the ultimate control. Borrowers must stay current with their payments, or lose access to their vehicle and a leading device maker, PassTime of Littleton, Colo., says ITS TECHNOLOGY has reduced late payments to roughly 7 percent from nearly 29 percent. “The devices are reshaping the dynamics of auto lending by making timely payments as vital to driving a car as gasoline.

Mary Bolender, who lives in Las Vegas, needed to get her daughter to an emergency room, but her 2005 CHRYSLER VAN would not start. Bolender was three days behind on her monthly car payment. Her lender remotely activated a device in her car’s dashboard that prevented her car from starting. Before she could get back on the road, she had to pay more than $389, money she did not have that morning in March. “I felt absolutely helpless,” said Bolender, a single mother who stopped working to care for her sick daughter. Some borrowers say their cars were disabled when they were only a few days behind on their payments, leaving them stranded in dangerous neighborhoods. Others said their cars were shut down while idling at stoplights.Some described how they could not take their children to school or to doctor’s appointments. One woman in Nevada said her car was shut down while she was driving on the freeway. Attorney Robert Swearingen says there’s an old common law principle that a lender can’t “breach the peace” in a repossession. That means they can’t put a person in harm’s way. To Swearingen, that would mean “turning off a car in a bad neighborhood, or for a SINGLE FEMALE at night.”

My Comment: There is work in the wings for another 10,000 lawyers freshly out of law school.

More from the Automotive Front

In the meantime federal lobbyist The National Automobile Dealers Assocation (NADA) continues to fuel the conflict between state governments and Tesla motors. Latest development “Iowa joined a growing list of states tussling with Tesla Motors’ business model when it told the company to cut short three days of test drives earlier this month in West Des Moines. The Iowa Department of Transportation said the test drives were illegal for two reasons: Tesla isn’t licensed as an auto dealer in Iowa and state law prohibits carmakers from selling directly to the public.” While the action touches on the legal restrictions on selling cars in Iowa, it seems that Tesla was only providing test drives.

My Prediction: Tesla represents the world of the future and therefore will win

Seattle Passes Law To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

The new rules allow garbage collectors, yes garbage collectors as law enforcement?!, to inspect trash cans and ticket offending parties if food and compostable material makes up 10 percent or more of the trash. The fines will begin at $1 for residents and $50 for businesses and apartment buildings. “SPU doesn’t expect to collect many fines, says Tim Croll, the agency’s solid-waste director. The city outlawed recyclable items from the trash nine years ago, but SPU has collected less than $2,000 in fines since then, Croll says. ‘The point isn’t to raise revenue,’ he said. ‘We care more about reminding people to separate their materials.”

My Assessment: Garbage collectors with the power of the law behind them, looks a lot like another gun-toting TSA in the making

Microsoft Puts Immigration Laws under Labor Force pressure

Even as it cuts about 14% of its workforce, Microsoft is complaining that the company might be denied some of the “roughly” 1,000 H-1B visas for foreign workers it intends to seek, and made it clear that the company could shift some work to Canada or overseas if it can’t get talent on its terms. “If I need to move 400 people to Canada or Northern Ireland or Hyderabad or Shanghai, we can do that,” said William Kamela, a senior federal policy lead at Microsoft, who later explained that about 60% of Microsoft’s workforce is in the U.S., yet it makes 68% of its profits overseas (where it also stashes its cash out of IRS reach). Kamela made the statements on a panel at a two-day conference on high-skilled immigration policy, where he sat next toFelicia Escobar, special assistant to President Barack Obama on immigration. The day before the conference, Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us PAC — which counts Bill Gates as a Founder and Steve Ballmer and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith as Major Contributors — posted its “MythBusters” video on H-1B visas.

FBI Director says Apple and Google facilitate customers to operate beyond the Law

The FBI is concerned about moves by Apple and Google to include encryption on smartphones. “I like and believe very much that we should have to obtain a warrant from an independent judge to be able to take the contents,” FBI Director James Comey told reporters. “What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law.” From the article: “Comey cited child-kidnapping and terrorism cases as two examples of situations where quick access by authorities to information on cellphones can save lives. Comey did not cite specific past cases that would have been more difficult for the FBI to investigate under the new policies, which only involve physical access to a suspect’s or victim’s phone when the owner is unable or unwilling to unlock it for authorities.”

Comment: Looks like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook and other Internet giants are picking up the gloves for a good fight. Chinese Alibaba’s IPO on Wall Street last week should be seen in that light as well.

Governments are Getting Desperate for Funds

Interesting is also that just weeks after the Spanish government’s announcement to start charging solar panel consumers for sunshine, a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory comes out to predict that distributed rooftop solar panel installations will grow from 0.2% market penetration today to 10% by 2022, during which time they’re likely to cut utility profits at least 15%. Using those same metrics, electricity rates for utility customers will grow only by as much as 2.7% over the next eight years. By comparison, the cost of electricity on average rose 3.1% from 2013 to 2014. Never mind that FPU just charged us with a 4.5% hike. The study was performed for the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under the U.S. Department of Energy. One of the main purposes of the study was to evaluate measures that could be pursued by utilities and regulators to reduce the financial impacts of distributed photovoltaics. If you’re interested, here is the report in PDF format.

And in closing here is another idea for our government to copy cat.

The Argentine government has used drones to reveal 200 homes and 100 pools in an upper class area about ten miles south of Buenos Aires that had not been detailed on tax returns. Tax officials said the drones took pictures of luxury houses standing on lots registered as empty. The tax evasions found by the drones amounted to missing tax payments of more than $2 million and owners of the properties have been warned they now face large fines.

My take on this: It only just began 6 years ago as it is now slowly perfecting

Have a great week and send me some of the incredulous stories you hear or receive, I just got a fresh bottle of Advil.

The Trilogy of Life’s Important Questions

Eye to Eye

Eye to Eye

As I’m quickly approaching the age the Beatles sang about in 1967 on the incomparable album St.Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band (When I’m 64), I increasingly ponder the questions of life that I could, would or should have asked myself at a much younger age.
Over the years I have been able to narrow them down to three essentials:

1. What am I going to do with my life?
2. With whom?
3. And where?

I first came across this practical nutshell of wisdom several years ago, when I read an essay by rogue economist Bill Bonner. I thought it was pretty nifty then and I still think to this day, that it is  a neatly packaged piece of wisdom. Especially at almost 64, when precious time seems to be ticking away like a roll of toilet paper running towards the end.

Sure, at the beginning of each year, some of us, me included stop and consider the choices we have made, the corrections that need to be made – and the choices we can still pursue, however old we are – so that we can have the best possible lives, considering our particular circumstances.

Here are those 3 questions a little more in-depth.

What Are You Doing?

What?

What?

I guess it is never too late to ask, “Am I doing what I want to do? Is it giving me all of the benefits I want and need? How close is it to my perfect job and how do I accurately measure my progress.”
About 5 years ago I published an essay on this website titled: The Ballad of the Clock and the Compass, dealing with the fact that most people go through life by the seat of their pants, always answering to the urgent demands of the watch, without much regard for the direction of the compass. Sometimes I still catch myself doing that: getting involved instead of saying no, listening to whispers and promises that many times over in my lifetime were just that, allowing mediocrity to slip in where only excellence can prevail. I realize in those moments how strong early childhood influences are imprinted into subconscious behavior.

After all when I grew up, there were many existential and geographic limitations to life’s choices. We actually believed that anyone can be anything they want, right? Well, they can’t.

Had Steve Jobs been born in a different time – or just a different town – he might have spent his days as an illiterate sheep herd in the Swiss Alps. Had virtuoso guitar player Joe Bonamassa been born into a different family, without dad being a guitar player owning a music store, his life’s outcome would probably be different as well. As it was, he could pick up a guitar at age 4 and never look back.

Your circumstances matter

Steve and Joe’s real childhood had what mattered most: the opportunity to stumble upon what they were born to do, and to go completely bananas doing it.
Most of us however had to go about it differently and that usually started in early childhood. If you were lucky enough to have been born into a family that supported the ideas that children are fearless and relentless, need to question everything under the sun and live in a fantasy world without the limitations of reality, you probably figured out early what you wanted to do in life and set your compass accordingly. If not, you may find solace these days in the fact that the internet has given you access to the entirety of human knowledge, to get you closer to your passions.

Play. The first time baby Joe Bonamassa or Eric Clapton picked up a guitar, I doubt they seriously ran a cost benefit analysis. If you’re trying something out, don’t be in too much of a hurry to take it seriously. Aim to simply enjoy. The effort will come if the passion is there.

• Get reckless. If you really don’t know what you want to do, you’re going to have to try things you haven’t done yet. And you’re going to fail – a lot – trying many different things, most of which won’t work. Kids find this a lot easier because they don’t worry about consequences. They don’t have to worry about them. Parents do. Still I encourage you to do the same. Go ahead make it a proud part of your identity: start fearlessly trying as many things as possible.

• Question everything. You know how everyone knew the world was flat until it wasn’t? You have similarly limiting beliefs in your head right now – probably things like “artists can’t earn a living” or “I’m not smart enough to do this”. Maybe, but have you checked? Have you tried – really tried, like a gun is pointed at your kneecaps – to find an alternative? Most really successful people didn’t just find a way, they created one. And before you start working real hard on creating one, know this: “DO NOT FOR A SECOND believe it is enough to ‘work hard’. Hard work is not inherently a good thing. Hard work is a disgusting waste of your life when it’s thrown at the wrong things.”

• Ignore reality. You know how kids always dream of becoming astronauts, pop stars and giant transforming robots? Barriers don’t apply when you’re five years old. And whilst that seems like a stupid habit that you’d be wise to grow out of, if you’re not sure what you want to do, don’t be in such a hurry to shut your dreams down. Explore the impossible. Often it doesn’t lead to exactly what you’re after (say walking on the moon) but it finds something else instead (like a love of science that starts a whole career). You can’t know this in advance. Just dare to follow where your heart takes you.

Chances are, even if you don’t know what you want, that your childhood at least left you some hints. Are there things you think of fondly, but never find the time for? Start there.
Take a few moments now to think about it and take inventory of where you are today. It might help to look at this brief list that identifies what – at least for me – are the most important characteristics of the perfect job.

• I would be happy to do the work I do for free.
• I believe it has value – to me and to the people who pay me for it.
• It is fully challenging. It engages both the logical and the creative sides of my brain.

If you find that the “what to do” of your life is not perfect or still a matter of developing stages, don’t panic. If it involves paying the bills now, it is something we all need to go through. Our first responsibility, as moral citizens of the world, is to support the financial well-being of our families. Once that is on track you’re on your way to question things such as your work falling short in other areas – if, for example, it doesn’t challenge your intelligence and imagination – . If so, commit to making changes.

If you are lucky, you may discover an opportunity to create or slip or into your “perfect” job. More likely, you can move toward it step by step by making adjustments, as I did many times in my life. If you’re good enough at something, there’s a way to make it work by yourself. But don’t expect anyone to tell you what to do or give you permission.
One caveat: you have to be good enough, and you have to persist.

The Perfect Partner(s)

With Whom?

With Whom?

Initially I considered the question “with whom” to be about one’s spouse, and that is probably its original intended meaning. Looking back at the requirements of the process of establishing what you want to do with your life, it would be wise to wait as long as possible choosing a mate/spouse, in order to avoid much pain and heartache. It often turns out that early partners and their dreams do coincide with your journey towards accomplishing the life you dream about. But since that goes very much against human genetic behavior, modern reality is increasingly proving that you’ll end up with more than one domestic partner over a life time.

In this essay I’d prefer to point out the relevance of perfect partners in one’s occupation.
The people with whom you work – your boss, your partners, your investors, your colleagues and your employees – determine to a great extent both the satisfaction and the success you will have from your working life. If you stop to think about the work experience you’ve had, you will realize that much of the pleasure or pain you’ve experienced came from the relationships you had – your interactions with the people with whom you worked or work.

And you may think that you have no choice in these matters -after all, you can’t hire your boss, your client, your guest, your reader- but in fact, you can. In choosing the business or profession you work in, you are choosing your future colleagues, audience etc.
If you find yourself in a toxic work environment (say a work environment that is political rather than entrepreneurial), don’t hesitate to look for a better workplace.
And when it comes time to hire employees, don’t consider only their work skills and talents. Consider also whether or not you will enjoy working with them.
The following characteristics should help you choose the best possible partners:

• He/she respects you.
• You have his/her back.
• He/she has yours.
• You don’t expect him/her to change. You are happy with him/her as he/she is.

These four characteristics may seem obvious, but I managed to ignore them for part of my working life and got punished for it. Gradually however, I came to recognize how important it was for me to make good choices in terms of partners. Since I have committed to the belief that you may question someone’s performance, but you can never question any of the above 4 characteristics.

The Perfect Place to Live

Where?

Where?

Where you live and work is hugely important too. The physical environment you naturally prefer, very much affects your perfect life. (Do you love the mountains, the plains, the beach? Do you prefer big, bustling cities or tranquil little towns?)

When you are starting out, you may have to go where the work is. But as you move up the ladder, you will get more choice in the matter. This is especially true in today’s world, where in so many industries one can work remotely.
Consider, also, your commute. Some people enjoy spending an hour or more every day commuting. They use this time profitably to relax and listen to music or books on tape and so on.

Other people – like myself – prefer a very short commute. For instance, I have been living on small islands for the past 30 years, locating my office in my house or at a short walking distance.
And even more specifically, the quality of your immediate work environment – your office – affects the quality of your life. Since you are likely to be spending a big portion of your active day in that one place, make sure you like everything about it.
Your office should not be an accidental, junky place that has what you need. It should be a haven where you can work productively and a bit of paradise filled with art, photos and artifacts that give you pleasure.

Putting It All Together

Whether you are young or seasoned, beginning a career or enjoying a retirement job, you can always find good answers to all three questions.
But you do have to honestly conjure up your perfect life. And then begin the process of having it.
And if you think you’re too old to start something new than Google these senior citizens and learn what they accomplished later in life.
Jack Cover, Edmond Hoyle, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Takichiro Mori, Grandma Moses, A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, Tim and Nina Zagat, Winston Churchill, Socrates, Chaucer, Ogilby, Vaclav Havel.

More on this later.

Amelia Island Awarded “Best of Show” In Statewide Advertising Programs

horseback riding on the beachThe Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) won Six Flagler Awards for outstanding tourism marketing at VISIT FLORIDA’s annual Florida Governor’s Conference on Tourism. The CVB took top honors in three of 15 categories, accepting coveted Henry Award trophies during the conference’s opening night Flagler Awards Ceremony held Monday night, September 22, at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Florida. The CVB also won a Silver Award and Bronze Award, and was furthermore honored with one of just three Best of Show Awards for its marketing efforts.

“We work diligently to maintain an effective, top-notch marketing strategy and it is gratifying to have our hard work recognized among our industry peers and partners,” said Gil Langley, president and CEO of the Amelia Island CVB. “Our entire marketing team is proud to have such a great showing at the Flagler Awards this year.”

The Amelia Island CVB won Henry Awards in the Direct Marketing, Print Advertising and Mixed Media Campaign categories, and took home a Silver Award for Mobile Marketing and Bronze Award for Tourism Advocacy. The CVB’s Mixed Media Campaign entry was also honored with a Best of Show Award.
This is the CVB’s second Best of Show Award in the past three years. Additional, Flagler Awards include a Henry Award in Rural County Marketing (2013), Best of Show for the Amelia Island Visitor’s Guide (2012), and Silver Award for Special Events (2011).

As the state’s annual tourism marketing competition, the Flagler Awards recognize Florida’s travel businesses and organizations who demonstrate outstanding tourism marketing efforts. Each year, the Flagler Awards honor many of the countless individuals and organizations that help position Florida as a premier travel destination and pay tribute to the determined efforts of those who help ensure the continued success of the state’s most important industry.

In an addendum to above press release Mr. Langley noted correctly that “awards mean nothing without measurable performance“, pointing out this has been a record year for Amelia Island tourism. For the 12 month period ending July, 2014 overnight visitors were up 12.8% over the same period last year, culminating in 550,000 overnight guests.
Mr. Langley also pointed out that according to Florida TaxWatch, 88 new visitors create on average one new job. For Nassau County, this means over 200 new jobs, with one in every four private sector employees in the county working in the hospitality business now.

Overnight tourism for the mentioned period produced an economic impact of $485.3 million, while during the May-July time period, over 42% of local sales taxes were collected by tourism related businesses. This year, for the first time, over $100 million will be spent by guests on lodging alone.

Numbers that clearly justify Amelia Island’s Tourism Promotion budget moving into the ‘big spender league’ this year. “We are now part of he ‘Big Boys Club’ of destinations spending more than $1 million in advertising per year”, says Gil Langley.

For additional information about Amelia Island, please visit www.ameliaisland.com.

Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Your Backyard

Outdoor Lighting Ideas For Your BackyardMaking your backyard space bright and inviting can be achieved by using pole lighting. Once relegated to curbside appeal of the front yard, lighting poles utilized in a back yard can also create magic behind your home as well. With the right type of lighting, you can achieve a dramatic outdoor room that can be enjoyed throughout the year.

Lighting Poles

A lighting pole is a light fixture, usually constructed of weather resistant materials, mostly aluminum or steel and is constructed to resist elements. The pole can either house the wiring and controls that lead to the light fixture that it supports or serve as a base for a self-contained unit such as a solar, candle or other type of self-powered light.

Lighting poles can either attach to an existing structure with mounting brackets or be freestanding. An outdoor lighting pole can make a dramatic statement about your home or business as well as illuminating an area for visibility and safety.

lamp-post-cropWith Outdoor lighting poles and fixtures are becoming less expensive, create a vintage, gaslight look with a post light or hanging lantern that hails back to a bygone era. This French outdoor accent light is both beautiful and functional. Fulham ballasts are used for light fixtures to provide simple and hassle free process.

When decorating an outdoor space, choosing the right type of lighting poles can be important. This Asian or Craftsman style lantern is beautiful in nearly any type of landscaping project and gives off an aura of mystery.

The warm glow evocative of the desert is especially alluring when coupling a Moorish lamp that has been electrified and suspended as part of a lighting pole. The cut-outs in the lamp cast beautiful patterns on walls and around green spaces.

You can construct your own lighting poles and string cafe or even Christmas lighting to light up your patio, deck or garden space by using lighting poles constructed of electrical conduit, conduit pipe straps and end caps. (http://brightjuly.blogspot.com/2012/09/diy-outdoor-string-lights.html) You can even use wooden poles to hold the conduit straps and hold your lighting in place. You can anchor these by attaching them to your deck or putting them in the ground or large planter pots.

These are just a few different choices in using lighting poles to give patio entertaining its own special glow.

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Concours d’Elegance Tickets for 2015 Now on Sale

Concours d'Elegance Tickets for 2015 Now on SaleTickets are now available online for the 20th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. The three-day Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 13-15, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island Resort, Amelia Island, Florida.

The centerpiece is schedule for Sunday on the Golf Club of Amelia Island and the field opens at 9:30 A.M., remaining open until 4:30 P.M.

Discounted advance sale tickets are available now online at www.ameliaconcours.org for $80.00 per adult and $40.00 per youth (ages 12-18). Early entry tickets (allowing entry to the field at 8:30 A.M., one hour before the general public) are available for $100.00 per adult and $60.00 per youth (ages 12-18). Early entry with a buffet lunch, called Concours and More, are available for $170.00 per adult and youth.

Tickets at the gate are $100.00 per adult, $40.00 for individual youths 12-18 years of age, and $40.00 for active duty military personnel (with ID) and their accompanying individual immediate family members. All tickets include an official program. Children under 12 years of age are admitted to the Concours field free on Sunday March 15, 2015 with a paying adult.

New this year we are offering, for $12.00, a pre-paid ticket good for lunch on the field on Sunday, March 15, 2015. Children under 12 do not need an entry ticket for the event but will need to pre-purchase a lunch ticket. Active Duty Military can pre-purchase lunch tickets as they are not available day of show. You will be able to purchase your event tickets (with military ID) beginning Thursday, March 12, 2015 inside the Ritz-Carlton and also at the gate.

You will have a choice of the following (selection to be made at the event):
1. Char-grilled all beef hot dog on a sesame bun
2. Half pound grilled Black Angus burger with lettuce, tomato and onion on a corn dusted kaiser roll
3. Shaved oven roasted turkey wrap with Swiss cheese, lettuce and garden tomatoes
4. Italian wrap with ham, salami, provolone cheese and olive tapenade

All items include a bag of chips and a non-alcoholic drink.

CLUB AMELIA is also available in advance. Club Amelia guests will be hosted for breakfast, lunch, a snack, and three-drink tickets at the Club’s private bar in the CLUB AMELIA PAVILION on the concours field. Also included are an official program, admission to the Concours, one VIP parking pass valid from Friday through Sunday, and a 2015 event poster (one per couple). Individual tickets are $425.00.

Two enthusiast seminars are scheduled for the 20th Annual Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. At 3:00 P.M. on Friday, March 13, 2015 in the Talbot Ballroom of the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island will be the Design DNA of Iconic Cars Seminar. A discussion by world leading designers regarding maintaining the brand appearance (Design DNA) of iconic cars. The panel will include designers from Porsche, GM and Mercedes-Benz.

Tickets are $30.00 per person, in advance or at the door, while supplies last.

On Saturday March 14, 2015 the Talbot Ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton will host the Car Guys of Television seminar at 10:30 A.M. Learn about the challenges of producing an automotive television show. Panel to include Wayne Carini, Ray Evernham, Peter Klutt, Barry Meguiar and Dale Walksler. Tickets are $30.00 in advance or at the door, while supplies last.

The PORSCHE DRIVING EXPERIENCE will commence with a Drivers’ Meeting at the Fernandina Beach Airport at 7:00 A.M. Friday March 13, 2015. Participants will travel to Mayport Naval Station in their personal vehicles where they will enjoy activities to include an autocross in one of the latest Porsches and a high speed ride with Hurley Haywood or another Porsche factory driver. Lunch will be held at Mayport Ocean Breeze. You do NOT need to own a Porsche to participate. The entry fee is $220.00 per car (includes 2 people). Additional passengers are $110.00 each.

Donations to The Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance Foundation, a 501C3 charitable organization, are appreciated and accepted in the Ticket section of the Amelia Concours website.

VISA and MASTERCARD are accepted online at www.ameliaconcours.org or at the gate.

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Fernandina Arts Market is Festive and Friendly

Fernandina Arts Market is Festive and FriendlyFall finds Fernandina friendly and festive at the Arts Market on Amelia Island. Open on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, September 27th brings over 20 artisans downtown where you will find their crafts available for viewing and for sale.

You will discover fine jewelry, hand crafted wood work, photography, textiles, glass and more. Enjoy the opportunity to connect with the artists about their handcrafted pieces you simply won’t find anywhere else. Meet the Potter who creates dishes, bowls, cups, plates and other fine pieces into works of art… art that is meant to be used every day. Meet the Seamstress, the Knitter, the Painter and more!

Market owners take great pride in the quality of arts and crafts available at the Fernandina Beach Arts Market, and the majority of the booths are full-time artists, not hobbyists.

Located adjacent to the downtown farmers’ market, on N. 7th Street, the Arts Market is open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. There will be live music and your well-behaved, leashed pets are welcomed.

The Market is filling up fast for the holiday season, so if you need more information or booth space availability, please like us on facebook, visit our website at FernandinaBeachArtsMarket.com, or call Joe at (904) 557-8229.

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Fall Consignment Crawl and Resale Tour

Fall Consignment Crawl and Resale TourAmelia Island, FL – As a result of the success of the Summer Consignment Crawl and Resale tour celebrating International Resale Day last July, a Fall Crawl Weekend has been planned for Saturday, October 25, 2014. Ten local area resalers will participate in the Fall Consignment Crawl. The event will highlight a variety of local area resale, consignment, and thrift shops specializing in women’s, children’s, home décor and furniture. The crawl is during each participating shop’s hours on Saturday, October 25. Each host will provide refreshments throughout the day at the shops located in Nassau County with one common goal in mind – to heighten awareness of the resale industry. Many shops will also provide in store promotions as well during the Fall Crawl. As an incentive to visit all 10 participating shops, a Grand Prize raffle prize will be offered to participants who complete the crawl.

Resale provides a convenient outlet for consumers to sell their “good as new” merchandise and earn some extra cash for recycling. Resale shopping is economical for savvy shoppers in search of a bargain, a “green” alternative to consumerism, and it’s just plain fun earning bragging rights for that one-of-a-kind find.

Many of the participating shops are also a part of ConsignAmelia in Fernandina Beach.

“Sustainability is important to our collective Nassau County communities and resale provides our clients a much needed solution for those who want to give their lightly loved clothing and home decor and furniture a second life instead of it going to a landfill or sitting useless in your closet or storage. It’s an environmentally friendly and affordable approach to fashion and furnishings,” explained Jessica Miller, owner of Fifi’s Fine Resale of Amelia Island. “It was so much fun to see all of the families participating in the Summer Crawl together last July,” Miller continued. “The joy on their faces as the search for the incredible one-of-a-kind finds was infectious, and the Crawl introduced many participants to shops they had never before been inside!”

If you are a seasoned pro or this is a new adventure in shopping for you, grab a friend or your family, map your plan of attack, and caravan or carpool on over to your favorite resale and consignment shops participating in the Crawl.

Support local shops!

Be sure to pick up a punch card from a participating shop. If you visit each shop participating in the Crawl on Saturday, October 25 you will be entered to win a Grand Prize raffle package: a $25 gift certificate to The Crab Trap.

Participating stores, addresses, phone numbers and hours are found below:

Buy Gones Fernandina Beach
1014 S. 7th Street
904-277-4071
10:00-5:00
Left at Kelp onto S. 7th Street

Buy Gones Yulee
464073 SR 200
904-206-9475
11:00-5:00
A1A at Blackrock Road, Verizon Plaza

Fifi’s Fine Resale
1853 S. 8th Street
904-277-4430
10:00-5:00
Across from Taco Bell

Little Hoots Kids Consignment
463155 SR 200
904-849-7290
10:00-7:00
Corner of A1A & 17, The Shoppes at Midtown

Micah’s Place Purple Dove
474311 East SR 200
904-261-5227
9:00-5:00
Next to Dick’s Wings on A1A

Nassau Humane Society’s Second Chance
1002 S. 14th Street
904-321-0022
10:00-5:30
8 Flags Shopping Center

New to You Barnabas Resale Store
930 S. 14th Street
904-321-2334
9:30-5:30
Corner of 14th Street and Jasmine

Retail Therapy Consignment
732 S. 8th Street
904-277-1248
10:00-5:00
Corner of 8th Street and Hickory

What’s In Resale Boutique
1875 S. 14th Street
904-491-1180
10:00-5:00
Magnolia Plaza

Wiggle Worms
1881 S. 14th Street
904-277-2185
10:00-5:00
NEW LOCATION Palmetto Plaza

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Farmers Market is a Community Staple

Farmers Market is a Community StapleThe Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market is a community staple offering a large selection of vendors including seasonal produce and fresh baked breads and pastries. You will find homemade jellies, tapinades, salmon, beef, honey, candies, eggrolls, hot sauces, pasta, goat cheese, seasonings, sea salts, crab cakes, succulants, granolas, sweet breads, live landscaping plants, pickles, olives, hummus, smoothies, dressings and fresh flowers, and even live entertainment by the Hambone Stumps Band on Saturday, September 27th.

The Market Place is family friendly. Letting the kids select a colorful new fruit or vegetable at the farmers market is a great way to introduce healthy alternatives to your family’s table. Your family’s football fan will find dips, spreads, jerky and other snacks that are perfect for a half-time treat! Have a perpetual dieter in the house? Fresh produce, seafood and protein rich quinoa are natural foods that are good tasting, and good for you, too. Need to send a care package to someone in the military or college? Make up a gift basket full of comfort foods made fresh and hand crafted by the vendors at Fernandina’s farmers market.

Bring the whole family (even your four-legged friends will enjoy the all natural pet treats) and experience what makes the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market so special.

We are located on N. 7th Street, between Centre and Alachua Streets on Amelia Island, Florida. For more information, “like us” on facebook, visit FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com or call (904) 557-8229.

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Invitation to Sponsor Amelia Island Jazz Festival

Invitation to Sponsor Amelia Island Jazz FestivalImage credit: Marcus Glenn “Festival Jazz” Amelia Island Jazz Festival

“Dear Future Sponsor:

We invite you to view a very exciting 2 minute video describing our exciting upcoming 10/16 to 10/19 Amelia Island Jazz Festival:

You will see the festivals endorsements from Jazz legends Wynton Marsalis and Tony Bennett, plus many other world class Jazz musicians like David Sanborn and Ramsey Lewis who have played the festival and want to return.

You will also see our jazz in the schools presentations that each year inspire hundreds of middle school and high school students to reach for the higher note.

You will also see our scholarship winner perform, and learn about our annual scholarship program. Plus other AIJF presentations, Jazz for seniors and Jazz for kids.

Jazz is America’s unique art form and in order to keep jazz alive on Amelia island we need the support of the community.

Our jazz festival website has all of our history and our Sponsorship information, and if you become a sponsor at the Bronze Sax level you will be invited to our Oct 13 Sponsors Party at the Omni/Amelia island Plantation to experience the energy of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival in full swing.

It would also by my pleasure to meet you personally that evening as I will be performing with my all-star Jazz Quartet featuring vocalist Bonnie Eisele and our special guest, 2014 AIJF scholarship winner 18 year old saxophonist Luke Stribling.

I thank you for considering sponsorship and for taking the time to view this video.

I have dedicated my life to Jazz, and my biggest passion is to share this music with the world.

Thank you for your support

Les DeMerle
Amelia Island Jazz Festival
Founder and Artistic Director”

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Parental Welfare is as Bad as it Gets

bratI often catch people, friends, family  and acquaintances, in heated conversations about how this country has been turned into a welfare state, with millions of beggars living off the state’s coffers. Most of them in every day life, operate substantially to the right of the political spectrum. Most of them are sufficiently educated, hard working, god fearing family men and women with high standards of morality and respect. Many of them have children in early to grown adult categories and many have no clue that their behavior and actions steal from their kids’ futures.

If you’re thinking:”I’d never take anything from my children”, let me assure you I’m not talking about “borrowing” from their piggy bank or savings account. I’m talking about robbing your kids of the tools they’ll need to live ambitious, independent lives.

And that’s what I call “parental welfare.”

Parental welfare starts with something as simple as paying for your teenager’s gasoline without the need for any counter performance. Or it could be as damaging as paying the living expenses of adult children.
Parental welfare is like lifting weights for your children… and thinking they’ll get stronger for it. That’s exactly what you do each time you “deny” them an opportunity to struggle and learn how to do and earn things on their own.

Parental welfare is a form of theft of the worst kind as it robs your children of the same life lessons that taught you how to become an income earner or wealth creator. It robs your children of the motivation to succeed. It denies them the opportunity to find the joy of work. And it eliminates the productive pain that goes hand-in-hand with learning how to be self-sustaining adults.

Showering your kids with all that they desire is destructive. It turns young children into needy tyrants… who grow up to be needy, whining adult tyrants. Instead let your children work for their needs and desires outside of the obvious tools that come with parenting. And most of all….let them fail!! Be there to offer encouragement, but …do not ‘deny’ them the heavy lifting required to create productive lives of their own. It’s the only way to prepare them…even if you’re accused of “Tough Love”.

Quit These Bad Habits and Save Your Joints

Quit These Bad Habits and Save Your JointsAny illness, disease or disorder does not come all of a sudden. Either it is in your genes or in your routine. If something is already running in your family history, then you should be more careful and adopt habits which will not make you fall in the same category as of your ancestors. One of the most common disorders are of joints, which almost every third person complains of.

The critical treatment of a joint disease, like arthritis, might be serious medication or a surgery. Obviously, nobody wants that. Then, the thing you can do easily is quit the habits which are bad for your health, especially joints.

Repetitive activities
Avoid repetitive activities or reduce them. We all happen to be in the era of smartphones so it is not easy to stay away from them, but it does not mean that we should exert our joints by texting or using that phone excessively on a daily basis. Texting and other such repetitive actions like dicing food, typing or writing can affect all the joints, from your shoulders to your thumbs. Quitting or breaking this habit is as easy as taking a break of a few minutes or choosing an alternative to do the same thing. Like you can use the handset to talk to someone instead of texting if you want to talk more or get a slicer/chopper to dice vegetables and fruits instead of the knife that you use.

Not going for the good moves
Exercise is one of the greatest habits to give you healthy muscles and bones, but you probably not do it everyday. No regular walks, jogging, or half an hour workouts. And it is not just about exercising, it is rather about not changing your positions while you are sitting somewhere. An example of such a habit is like sitting for the entire day in your office, without stretching out or taking a small walk. Sitting with your knees locked for long hours is an equally unhealthy habit. Break this habit; change positions, take a walk, stretch out and adopt daily exercises to prevent your muscles and bones from getting strained and tired.

Carrying heavy backpacks or purses
Carrying your backpack or purse over the same shoulder and in the same way for every day and especially when it is too heavy, it is actually affecting your posture. It strains out the joints and muscles of your neck and shoulders. Break this habit by reducing the weight of your bag or changing the angle you take it with.

Not working to strengthen yourself
People see yoga as a gentle exercise, but it is actually a workout which strengthens your inner self and your entire body. It enhances your postures and allows your joints to move freely. If you are not doing any such thing, then break this habit by adopting yoga in your daily routine.

Exertion
Exerting yourself is not a good idea. You might think that you can drive for hours and hours without taking a break or do more and more exercises every day, but your body might not agree. Overworking yourself is doing no good to you. Break this habit and realize when your body had enough and when you are getting tired. Take a break at that time, rest or avoid that activity for a while.

Sleeping Less
Sleep is the time where your body takes a rest and undergoes a repairing process. If you are not sleeping for seven to eight hours, then you are being your own enemy. Sleep is there to help you recover from whatever you have done to your body during the entire day, like exertion and straining. Break this habit by working on your sleeping duration.

Smoking
How much do you hate the cars’ smoke, or any other smoke caused by something burning. Smoking is like consuming that smoke into your most precious organs and make your body initially weak. And Nicotine is believed to block the blood vessels which provide blood to your joints, especially affecting the spine. Is it not the worst thing you could be doing to yourself? Yes! So, break this habit by controlling the urge to smoke and reduce your habit the best you can. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health.

Putting on weight
If you are not taking care of yourself and not noticing how much weight you are gaining with every month that passes by, then you are leading your joints to suffer. Gaining weight makes your feet carry more weight than before, the heaviness on your knees and other important joints will cause pain in different parts of the body and you might ultimately suffer from some joint disease. Break this habit by keeping a check on your weight and diet.

Not consuming Calcium and Vitamin D
These supplements are not only for the people who are prescribed to have them for some medical illness, but calcium and vitamin D are very important for everyone to keep their bones strong. Weak bones make us vulnerable for all bone illnesses. So don’t wait for a warning, ask your doctor about these supplements to see if you need them for better bone health.

Not paying attention to your body
Your body might warn you about many disorders, but by not paying attention, you just make the matters worse. Pay attention to your body; any kind of swelling, stiffness or any other unusual condition might want you to see a doctor.

Quitting these daily habits can reduce the chances for you to suffer from any joint disease.

Author Bio:
Zyana Morris is a blogger who usually writes about health related topics. She also writes for different health related brands.

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