2nd Annual St Jude Golf Classic

2nd Annual St Jude Golf ClassicA golf tournament so popular they are going to do it again! It is the 2nd annual Champions for St. Jude Golf Classic. The event will be held at St. Johns Golf and Country Club on Monday, November 10, 2014. Registration starts at 10:30 a.m. and at the Shotgun Start begins at noon. It costs $125 per golfer. Here is a description of the event:

Join Champion Brands, Coors Light and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for the second annual Champions for St. Jude Golf Classic, hosted by Champion Brands and Coors Light at the exclusive St. Johns Golf and Country Club.

This tournament unites golfers of all skill levels, playing 18 holes to make an impact on the lives of children battling cancer and other deadly diseases not only in Florida, but around the world. The day of activities includes 18 holes on a premier course, exclusive golfer gifts, access to putting green and driving range, amazing activities and contests, great food, beer samplings and a silent auction.

You can find this information at www.stjude.org/championsgolf

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News-Leader’s Unhinged Editorial

News-Leader's Unhinged EditorialThe Fernandina Beach News-Leader is part of the privately owned Community Newspapers Incorporated chain of weeklies and it can print whatever it sees fit. But there is little virtue in having editorial and news pages that the paper’s masthead says are “…dedicated to the truth, integrity, quality and hard work” and whose aim is to expand the horizons of its readers if those pages contain sycophantic suck-up endorsements and blatantly false claims, and its news pages are edited to paint a picture preferred by a stridently prejudiced publisher and editor on personal vendettas, who knowing they can’t win intellectual arguments, seek to influence opinion by portraying those they oppose with an editing pen dripping with bias, animosity, innuendo and omission. Its editorial pages bear a greater similarity to a psychological disorder than they do to standard political discourse.

The Internet and the online upstart Fernandina Beach Observer newspaper have helped expose the paper’s demonization of those not in its favor, but it is still up to what’s left of the News-Leader’s readers and subscribers to sort the wheat from the chaff, but sometimes they need assistance.

For example, the paper has dutifully been running verbatim press releases on the bottom right front page submitted by candidates running for the Fernandina Beach City Commission. However, readers wouldn’t know if these releases have been edited if they haven’t seen the original press release as was the case with candidate Tim Poynter when the paper’s editor and/or publisher struck the following from Mr. Poynter’s submission: He was the only commissioner to oppose the proposed FY2012-13 city budget that called for both higher taxes (a 15 per cent increase, the highest in ten years) and higher franchise fees.

Maybe that sentence would make the paper’s endorsement by its publisher, Foy Maloy, of the two folks (Charlie Corbett and Sarah Pelican) who have actually increased taxes, but are running on a platform of lowering them, appear awkward and foolish. Maloy also credited Corbett and Pelican with accomplishments (library expansion and train depot restoration) that belong to the last commission which included Poynter and were paid for with funds from the Forward Fernandina project, a program that an obviously confused Maloy criticized with all the finesse of a guy leaping into the nosh pit just as the crowd parted.

But the heartiest yuks came this past this past Wednesday in an above-the-fold front page piece headlined “Restaurateur seeks commission ‘seat'” bylined by the paper’s editor, Michael Parnell, that was a detailed story about all the laws, permitting rules, and regulations that Tim Poynter meticulously followed while opening and expanding his downtown eateries.

Parnell, doing an exceptional imitation of a Mother frantically searching for a Playboy Magazine hidden under her son’s mattress, tried his best to portray Poynter as someone who took advantage of his commission seat to get around the various permitting and regulations, but came up empty handed.

His story asked: “Did the then city commissioner receive favorable treatment from the city in obtaining his permits?” The answer was a resounding “NO.” City Manager Joe Geritty said he didn’t. Parnell even stated that there is “No evidence that Poynter or his businesses acted illegally…” Oh, Parnell failed to mention that Poynter received almost a $10,000 refund on impact fees proving that he paid what was due, but apparently that didn’t fit into Parnell’s story line. He also failed to mention that Poynter laid out thousands of dollars to redo inside and outside doors and storage areas of his existing restaurant to comply with a city inspector on his first day on the job. Oh, by the way, Poynter’s businesses employ some 55 local people, more I’m betting than the News-Leader. So what was the point of the article Mr. Parnell?

Obviously the facts got in the way and Parnell, on a tight deadline, was left with a non-story to plug a gaping hole on the front page that certainly raises questions about the credibility — not of Poynter — but of the paper and Parnell’s “journalistic” credentials. In its rush to print what they hoped would be a scathing expose it ended up scrambling to publish a piece that is an embarrassment to the paper’s owners and its staff and leaves no doubt as to why it is losing subscribers and advertisers faster than passengers abandoning a cruise ship with an Ebola outbreak.

While the News-Leader buries, forgets, ignores or lies about gaffes, misstatements and blunders by the current Curly, Larry and Moe commission trio it enthusiastically and blindly endorses, it comically does pratfalls as it tries to conjure up images of those it opposes as frivolous ne’er-do-wells. News-Leader targets can take comfort in the late British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s comment: “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”

Personally I’m voting for Poynter, a former commissioner and owner of two downtown businesses, whose four kids grew up here and who has a vested interest in the community’s success and understands city government inside and out; and Robin Lentz, a bright and energetic young lady and county educator so dynamic she was named teacher of the year her rookie year and who has two young children she wants to grow up in a vibrant, healthy community that she can help shape.

The Corbett-Pelican duo scare me, because if re-elected they might violate their long-standing political credo of “Don’t just do something. Stand there” — thereby creating havoc within the city.

The saddest part is that ridiculous and insubstantial candidates can run for city office and, until recently, no one ever knew because the News-Leader didn’t report it, worse they endorsed them. That is all changing.

(Dave Scott writes a weekly blog www.davescottblog.com)

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VIP Dog Salon Grooms Aflac Duck

 VIP Dog Salon Grooms Aflac DuckThe Aflac Duck had a great time being groomed at the VIP Dog Salon this morning. He was a little messy from playing out in the duck pond but that didn’t deter Jennifer! Jennifer had The Aflac Duck looking spiffy in a flash!

Jennifer is the owner and Senior Groomer at VIP Dog Salon and NOW boarding! She was born and raised in Bristol, CT and started working with dogs when she was 8 years old. Jennifer was even a Jr. Handler in AKC shows until she was 17. At 18, Jennifer started working at Petco as a dog bather and was quickly asked if she would like to attend training as a groomer. Jennifer worked as a groomer for Petco for a little over a year before being offered a position in West Harford, CT in a private salon with a master groomer who mentored Jennifer and taught her so much. Jennifer spent 5 years with this master groomer while growing in her field attending trade shows and seminars.

Jennifer takes great pride in her education as a groomer as well as studying animal behavior and pack mentality as well as basic health, anatomy, CPR and first aid. After completing an extensive course, Jennifer worked as an intern with some of the best veterinarian’s in the CT area. Jennifer was offered jobs in veterinary medicine but refused the offers because grooming is her passion.

Jennifer is truly passionate about grooming. She really enjoys training puppies to stand on the table and become a dog that loves grooming. Jennifer takes pride in the fact that her clients love her and really like to come back and greet her with big wet kisses. Aflac Duck waited his turn for a smooch too after his grooming! VIP Dog Salon is one the newest businesses in Fernandina Beach to offer Aflac to their staff! Congratulations Jennifer on choosing Aflac for your voluntary benefits!

VIP Dog Salon is excited to announce that they are now offering boarding! Be sure to stop in or call Jennifer at VIP Dog Salon, 1559 S. 8th Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 or (904) 628-1847.

Article contributed by Nancy Dervaes.

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Halloween Fun for Seniors

Senior HalloweenWe hope you enjoy the following piece of humor for seniors this Halloween:

Rules for Halloween for Seniors

You know you are too old to Trick or Treat when:

10. You keep knocking on your own front door.

9. You remove your false teeth to change your appearance.

8. You ask for soft high fiber candy only.

7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.

6. People say, “Great Boris Karloff Mask,” and you’re not wearing a mask.
.
5. When the door opens you yell, “Trick or…” and you can’t remember the rest.

4. By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.

3. You have to carefully choose a costume that doesn’t dislodge your hairpiece.

2. You’re the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.

And the number one reason Seniors should not go Trick Or Treating…

1. You keep having to go home to pee.

Have Happy Halloween!!!

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Georgia, Florida and Booth Contest at Farmers’ Market

Georgia, Florida and Booth Contest at Farmers' MarketWe have a very special farmers’ market planned for Saturday, November 1, 2014 at the Fernandina Beach Market Place on Amelia Island.

It is Georgia/Florida Weekend and that means it is time for our Best Decorated Booth Contest where our farmers and producers decorate their booths for either Georgia, Florida or Halloween. The winning exhibitor receives a FREE booth space and YOU are the judges. Swing by the management booth to pick up a ballot and vote for your favorite, decorated booth on Saturday.

With barely 50 days left until Christmas, we are rapidly approaching that most wonderful time of the year… Joy Shepperd of Shepperd’s Farms will be bringing a variety of gift baskets so you can mix and match your favorite jams and jellies for holiday hostess and gift giving; completed basket prices start at only $10.00.

Harlows All Natural Products have conjured up some holiday scents and will be offering Pumpkin Spice Beer Bar Soap, and Sugar and Spiced Apple Cider Bar Soap. Fall Harvest and Autumn Night room sprays, and Fall Harvest and Vanilla Bean, and Peppermint lip balms are now available, too.

New to the farmers’ market is one of the island’s most popular restaurants, Jack and Diane’s. There will be no tricks when it comes to vegan and gluten free cookies, a specialty item they plan to bring every Saturday, and in addition they will be treating us to suprise dishes each week.

Lulu’s at the Thompson House is famous at the farmers market for their crab cakes and pimento cheese spreads, but what you may not realize is that owner Melanie Grimley is an accomplished writer as well. Come see her new book, “Lulu’s Island Cat” and meet the illustrator, Sallie Haugen, who is joining Melanie in her booth this Saturday. Sallie is an art instructor and freelance illustrator living with her husband and two cats in Minneapolis, MN. Amelia Island has always been a place that is close to her heart; she has been vacationing here with family since she was very young. She holds a BFA from the University of WI Madison, and an MA from the Savannah College of Art & Design in Historic Preservation. She hopes that her love for animals (cats in particular of course!), historic buildings, and Amelia Island show in her work on Lulu’s Island Cat.

The market has grown and we now have about 40 weekly vendors treating you to seasonal produce, fresh baked breads, delicious desserts, honeys, goat cheese, dairy, dog treats, beef, jerky, dips, sea salts, granolas, pickles and so much more.

Entertainment this week is provided by the one-and-only Dan Voll. Members of the Fernandina Pirates Club will be on-site with the Blood Mobile encouraging you to donate blood and help save lives. Unique donor T-shirts, sporting the Blood Alliance’s mascot dressed-up as a pirate with crossed bones, are available free to donors while supplies last. You can schedule your appointment to donate online by visiting FernandinaPirates.com or www.thebloodalliancedonor.org.

The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers’ market is located on North Seventh Street in historic, downtown Fernandina Beach. The Market Place is open form 9:00 am to 1:00 pm every Saturday, rain or shine. For more information call (904) 557-8229, find us on facebook, or visit our website at www.FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com.

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3rd Annual Trees For Troops

3rd Annual Trees For Troops The 3rd Annual Trees for Troops hopes to provide at least 100 lighted, two-foot Christmas Trees, presents and filled stockings to United States military troops serving in the Middle East.

Hosted by Mothers of America’s Military Fallen, Spc Kelly J. Mixon Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 tax expempt not-for-profit organization established in Kelly’s memory. He grew up in Nassau County, Florida and graduated FBHS in 2005. Kelly was killed in action in Afghanistan on December 8, 2010.

Donations ideas include:
LIghted and decorated 2-ft artificial trees (Non breakable ornaments, please.)
Beef jerky
Summer sausage
Tuna packets
Crackers
Hard Candy
Granola bars
Hot cocoa packets
Boxed cookies
Gum
Lip balm
and more…

Trees for Troops will be held at Maxwell Hall, Memorial United Methodist Church on Saturday, November 1, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Located at 601 Centre Street, there will be a “drop off” service available on North Sixth Street.

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America’s Youth Visit Rotary Sunrise

America’s Youth Visit Rotary Sunrise
John Gilbert serves. He has served his church, our country, and every day he serves the youth of Fernandina Beach. John is the Director of America’s Youth, a non-profit organization that assists the children by giving them a safe place to spend their time when they are not in school.

John spoke to the Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise to share with the club what his organization is all about. America’s Youth, located at the intersection of 11th and Indigo Avenues, serves all ages of children with a staff of 100% volunteers. There are around 30 children in the program that emphasizes the importance of family and life skills. The staff believes in “Fixing the problem – not spending time on assigning blame.”

During the school year, students can go to America’s Youth after school where they will work on their homework, participate in planned activities and sometime have dinner together. During the summer, the children will have breakfast together, work on an activity, brush up on school skills – all before lunchtime. After lunch they will read to Camp Mothers, participate in more planned activities including field trips and sometimes have dinner together.

John and his staff are making a big difference in the lives of many children in Fernandina!

The Rotary Club of Ameila Island Sunrise donated funds to America’s Youth and presented their donation to John Gilbert.

Pictured: (L to R) is Art Shuster, Rotarian and America’s Youth Volunteer; John Gilbert, Director of America’s Youth, and Mark Cutshaw, president of the Rotary Club.

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Fall 2014 Bosque Bello Workshop

Fall 2014 Bosque Bello WorkshopAmelia Island Museum of History is providing an opportunity to learn more about the Bosque Bello Master Plan, and add your input, too!

Saturday, November 1st, from 10:00 to noon you can learn about applicable laws, cemetery layout, operations, burial options, expansion ideas and more.

What they’d like to learn from you:
-How do you see the future of Bosque Bello?
-What are your concerns for the cemetery?
-Do you have ideas to help protect and preserve Bosque Bello?
and more…

For more information contact Adrienne Burke at (904) 310-3135.

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Free Benefit Concert for Chef Thomas Tolxdorf Family

Where Once was a Wall is now light

Where Once was a Wall is now light

Several months ago Angela Wallace Pierson of Wallace Pierson Travel (formerly The Travel Agency) and myself started working on an idea for a Benefit Concert for Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island’s Executive Chef Thomas Tolxdorf, who sadly passed away in a car crash on June 7 this year.

The day we finally chose was Sunday November 9, in commemoration of the fact that 25 years ago on that day, the Berlin Wall came down. Chef Thomas was born in East Berlin in 1965, four years after the Wall was erected and cherished the day in 1989 the wall came down and his journey to becoming an internationally recognized chef really began.

The concert is performed by local band Island Vibe with a little help from well-known musicians Chris Kellam and Blistur, Jennifer Burns, Jay McPerson and others at The Green Turtle in downtown Fernandina Beach.

With the help of monster guitarist Chris Kellam and Blistur, the Fall of the Berlin Wall will be commemorated with some Pink Floyd covers, while Jennifer Burns will attach her magnificent voice to a selection of well and lesser known hit songs. Jay McPherson will treat us to some good old Allman Brothers tunes, while other local musicians will sit in as Island Vibe runs down the list of some of the most popular tunes of the sixties, seventies and eighties. The program that kicks off at 3pm also includes several auctions and raffles and offers free food.

The auction items include gift certificates for free hotel and b&b stays, dinners, liquors and spirits, a signed guitar and other valuable mementos and objets d’art. Raffle tickets can be purchased at Wallace Pierson Travel on 14th St/Courson, the Green Turtle and the Luxury Travel Show at the Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island on November 8.

Make sure to keep your agenda open for Sunday afternoon, November 9 from 3-7 pm at the Green Turtle. Free admission, free food, lots of auction and raffle prizes.

Micah’s Place Receives Grant from Mary Kay

Micah's Place Receives Grant from Mary KayFernandina Beach, FL – While domestic violence has experienced a recent boost in awareness due to recent events, women and children in Nassau County are in need of housing, resource and support programs as they flee abusive situations and work to rebuild their lives.

Micah’s Place in Nassau County, Florida received a $20,000 grant from The Mary Kay Foundation as part of the organization’s annual Shelter Grant program to maintain critical services and programs. The Mary Kay Foundation awarded a total of $3 million in funding to 150 domestic violence shelters in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam in advance of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October.

“It’s been a bigger challenge than ever for shelters to keep their doors open and grants from The Mary Kay Foundation are a vital part in helping shelters move forward in their missions,” said Anne Crews, board member for The Mary Kay Foundation and Vice President of Public Affairs for Mary Kay Inc. “The shelter grants are a signature program of the Foundation and represent just one of the ways Mary Kay is committed to ending domestic violence. We are proud to support local shelters like Micah’s Place that are on the front lines of helping women and children who need shelter and support from abuse.”

Micah’s Place is a Certified Domestic Violence Center – and the only one serving Nassau County, Florida. The mission is to provide prevention and intervention services to victims of domestic violence and to provide education within the community to affect change in behavior and attitudes relating to domestic violence. Micah’s Place offers safe, confidential shelter, advocacy, a 24-hour toll-free hotline, counseling, legal advocacy, and support groups to victims of domestic violence.

All services are free and confidential. For more information, please visit www.micahsplace.org or call the administration office at (904) 491-6364 or the Hotline: (800) 500-1119.

For nearly 20 years The Mary Kay Foundation has supported the prevention and elimination of domestic violence, an epidemic that touches one in every four women in her lifetime. Through the Foundation’s annual shelter grant program, $37 million has been granted to domestic violence organizations since 2000. Nearly 700 shelters requested funding this year.

About The Mary Kay Foundation
The Mary Kay Foundation was created in 1996, and its mission is two-fold: to fund research of cancers affecting women and to help prevent domestic violence while raising awareness of the issue. Since the Foundation’s inception, it has awarded more than $37 million to shelters and programs addressing domestic violence prevention and nearly $22 million to cancer researchers and related causes throughout the United States. More than 97% of each donated dollar goes to the missions. To learn more about The Mary Kay Foundation, visit marykayfoundation.org or call 1-877-MKCARES (652-2737).

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DOCtoberfest at Fernandina Little Theatre

DOCtoberfest at Fernandina Little Theatre

Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

An astonishing story of obsessive love, the uplifting chronicle of a renowned critic’s love affair with the movies and life itself, a hip-shaking exploration of the tiny Alabama town that created some of the greatest pop music ever made, a look at the reviled paparazzo who helped foster today’s celebrity-media complex, and a provocative examination of the prosecution of one’s of the United States’ most notorious gangsters will all screen as part of the Fernandina Little Theatre’s second annual DOCtoberFest.

This three-day celebration of the art of documentary film making will take place October 31-November 2 at FLT, 1014 Beech St. in downtown Fernandina Beach.

Individual tickets are $7; a festival pass for admission to one showing of each of the festival’s five selected new and award-winning documentaries is $30. Advance tickets are available at The UPS Store in Fernandina Beach, located next to Publix on Sadler Road. FLT is an intimate space and filmgoers are urged to purchase tickets in advance.

For complete screening schedule, visit www.ameliaflt.org.

Crazy Love
2007, 92 minutes
“I couldn’t stop watching. A shockingly fierce and funny spell-binder that leaves your head spinning. Electrifying” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Dan Klores’ Crazy Love tells the astonishing story of the obsessive roller-coaster relationship of Burt and Linda Pugach, which shocked the nation during the summer of 1959. Burt, a 32 year-old married attorney, and Linda, a beautiful, single 20-year-old girl living in the Bronx, had a whirlwind romance, which culminated in a violent and psychologically complex set of actions that landed the pair’s saga on the cover of endless newspapers and magazines. With the cooperation of the principles, Klores examines the human psyche and the concepts of love, obsession, insanity, hope and forgiveness. Crazy Love earned the Best Documentary award at the 2007 Santa Barbara Film Festival.
Screening: 7:30 p.m. Friday, October 31; 1:30 p.m. Sunday, November 2

Life Itself
2014, 120 minutes
“A thrilling tale with unforgettable characters. Ebert’s life contained as much melodrama, tragedy and uplift as any weepie movie he reviewed. Any biographical documentary demands onscreen star quality, and this one has a hero and a heroine worth rooting for.” – Richard Corliss, Time

Acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) and executive producers Martin Scorsese (The Departed) and Steven Zaillian (Moneyball) present Life Itself, a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert – a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, Life Itself explores the legacy of Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America.
Screening: 6 p.m. Saturday, November 1; 4 p.m. Sunday, November 2

Muscle Shoals
2013, 111 minutes
“Hugely entertaining – a soulful musical feast. It’s mandatory viewing for fans of the classic rock, soul and R&B of the ’60s and ’70s.” – Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

Located alongside the Tennessee River, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, is the unlikely breeding ground for some of America’s most creative and defiant music. Under the spiritual influence of the “Singing River,” as Native Americans called it, the music of Muscle Shoals has helped create some of the most important and resonant songs of all time. At its heart is Rick Hall who founded FAME Studios. Overcoming crushing poverty and staggering tragedies, Hall brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to create music for the generations. He is responsible for creating the “Muscle Shoals sound” and The Swampers, the house band at FAME that eventually left to start their own successful studio known as Muscle Shoals Sound. Gregg Allman, Bono, Clarence Carter, Mick Jagger, Etta James, Alicia Keys, Keith Richards, Percy Sledge and others bear witness to Muscle Shoals’ magnetism, mystery and why it remains influential today.
Screening: 11 a.m. And 8:30 p.m. Saturday, November 1

Smash His Camera
2010, 87 minutes
“Ridiculously entertaining – a deceptively complex look at the fluid nature of celebrity, glamour, privacy and art.” – Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him, Marlon Brando broke his jaw and Steve McQueen gave him a look that would have killed, if looks could kill. To the celebrities he pursued, photographer Ron Galella was the beast who threatened beauty. As it turned out, he gave them a strange and lasting beauty they might never have known without him. Inherent in the story of this notorious paparazzo are the complex issues of the right to privacy, freedom of the press and the ever-growing vortex of celebrity worship. He sneaked around and invaded and bribed and held up his camera and shot till he dropped (or someone dropped him). His was the artistry of the sniper. Yet Galella found something essential in his real-life subjects, and he gave it permanence. Director Leon Gast (When We Were Kings) won the Documentary Directing Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
Screening: 4 p.m. Saturday, November 1; 11:30 a.m. Sunday, November 2

Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger
2014, 107 minutes
“Berlinger is a stone-cold master at chronicling this kind of legal reckoning. This tough-minded true crime doc vibrates with the same municipal unease as Chinatown.” – Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out NY

From Academy Award-nominated director Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost trilogy) Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger is a sweeping and revelatory documentary film that follows the trial of the infamous gangster James “Whitey” Bulger, using the courtroom action as a springboard to examine accusations of multi-faceted corruption within our nation’s law enforcement and legal systems.
Screening: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, November 1; 6:30 p.m. Sunday, November 2

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Georgia, Florida and the Swingin’ Medallions

Georgia, Florida and the Swingin' MedallionsFrom 1986 to 2010, a favorite annual event at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation was the big Georgia/Florida (or Florida/Georgia if you are so inclined) bash thrown the night before the big game featuring the “Party Band of the South”, The Swingin’ Medallions.

The tradition ended when the property changed ownership in 2010, BUT… Omni AIP has decided it’s time to bring it back! On Friday, October 31, 2014, The Swingin’ Medallions will return to kick off the weekend festivities with a poolside party from 7-11pm on the largest poolscape in Northeast Florida, and it will be open to the public!

Tickets are $25 per person and include two drinks, with additional food and beverage available for purchase.

Tickets are available by CLICKING HERE.

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Relay For Life 2015 Kick Off Party

Relay For Life 2015 Kick Off PartyFernandina Beach and Yulee Residents are invited to kick off the American Cancer Society Relay For Life 2015 Fernandina Beach and Yulee residents are invited to kick off the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Fernandina Beach/Yulee. This community celebration is open to anyone who wants to learn more about Relay For Life and how to get involved. Relay For Life is a community event that honors cancer survivors, current cancer patients and caregivers. Relay also pays tribute to those who have lost their battle with cancer.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Fernandina Beach/Yulee will be held on Amelia Island, in the spring of 2015. The Relay For Life kick-off party is an opportunity for our community to come together and learn more about the event and how to get involved. Anyone is welcome!

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life will be a 12 hour, community celebration where individuals and teams set up their home base, then barbecue, dance and take turns walking around a track relay-style to raise funds to fight cancer. There will be live music and entertainment, themed laps, contests, prizes and more! At nightfall, participants will light hundreds of luminaria around the track in a moving ceremony to honor cancer survivors, as well as friends and family members lost to the disease.

The Relay Kick-off Party will be held Thursday, October 30th, at Lulu’s at the Thompson House, 11 South Seventh Street in historic Fernandina Beach, from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. To RSVP please email Melanie Oberkrom, Melanie.Oberkrom@cancer.org by October 29, 2014. For more information about the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

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Town Hall Meetings Continue at VA Facilities Nationwide

Town Hall Meetings Continue at VA Facilities Nationwide
Washington DC – Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald has directed all Veterans Affairs (VA) healthcare and benefits facilities to continue to hold quarterly town-hall events to improve communication with, and hear directly from, Veterans nationwide. This follows the recent completion of town-halls at these facilities held between August and the end of September of this year.

“Every one of our medical centers and regional benefits offices held town hall meetings around the country in August and September, but we have more listening to do to better serve Veterans and their families,” said Secretary McDonald. “As part of our Road to Veterans Day, VA is taking a hard look at everything we do in order to reorganize the Department around the needs of Veterans. Direct feedback from Veterans, employees and stakeholders is an important component of that Roadmap, and key to improving our services and operations,” Secretary McDonald added.

Details of events at each location will be forthcoming from local facilities. Additionally, VA is looking to continue to improve the town hall notification process, making sure we have the benefit of extensive local input. In addition to Veterans and their families, the quarterly meetings are open to Congressional stakeholders, Veterans Service Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations and other community partners.

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Focusing on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Focusing on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Most children get restless, rowdy, or distracted at times. That’s all part of being a kid. But some kids have such trouble paying attention, staying focused, and finishing tasks that it interferes with their schoolwork, home life, and friendships. These difficulties might be signs of a developmental disorder called attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

ADHD is a common brain condition in children. Nationwide, more than 1 in 10 kids ages 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD. Many will have all or some of their symptoms as adults too. While there’s no cure for ADHD, it can be treated and managed with medication and therapy.

“Kids with ADHD are impaired in their functioning in school, with friends, in activities, at home, or in the community,” says Dr. Benedetto Vitiello, a psychiatrist and child mental health expert at NIH. “The diagnosis is made because the level of hyperactivity or lack of concentration is extreme and prevents the child from engaging in what would be expected activities appropriate to their development.”

Children with ADHD usually get diagnosed around age 7, but more severe cases may be identified earlier. Often a teacher or parent notices the child seems out of control and has more serious and persistent behavior problems than other kids the same age.

Some children with ADHD are hyperactive (overactive) and impulsive (acting quickly without thinking). These kids are constantly in motion, fidget a lot, and find it hard to sit still. They’re impatient and have trouble controlling their behavior or waiting their turn.

Other children with ADHD, especially girls, are mainly inattentive (have trouble paying attention). Kids with the inattentive kind of ADHD have a hard time concentrating and following instructions. They often forget and lose things; they can’t seem to get organized or complete assignments or chores. Most kids with ADHD have a combination of the hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive types.

Researchers have been studying what might cause ADHD. The condition tends to run in families, but experts believe many complex factors may play a role.

Studies suggest that some aspects of brain development can be delayed by 2 or 3 years in kids with ADHD, especially in the parts of the brain involved in thinking, planning, and paying attention. For many kids, Vitiello says, the brain later develops normally and these kids catch up, even though some symptoms may continue throughout their lives.

There’s no single test to diagnose ADHD. If you’re concerned about it, talk with your child’s doctor or a mental health specialist. Medication and counseling can help kids focus and learn skills so they eventually won’t need constant reminders to do and finish routine tasks.

“Make sure there’s a good schedule of activities and a system of reinforcing the child to follow through on assignments,” says Vitiello. “Reward the child for good behavior and discourage distraction, impulsiveness, and other problematic behaviors.”

The most effective ADHD medications are stimulants, Vitiello says. In kids with ADHD, stimulants reduce hyperactivity and improve attention. Children taking these drugs should be monitored by a doctor. If symptoms don’t improve, or if side effects occur (such as loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, or anxiety), the doctor might lower the dose or change the medicine.

“Considering there are different types and forms of the condition,” says Vitiello, “each child and each family needs to identify and tailor the approach to that child, without relying just on medication alone.”

Help kids with ADHD stay on top of their game:
-Keep children on the same daily schedule, from waking up to bedtime.
-Organize clothes, toys, and other commonly used items. Keep everything in its place.
-Use organizers for schoolwork and supplies.
-Be clear and consistent with rules; praise and reward kids when they achieve goals.

Article written and provided by the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Managing Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations) and Dana Talesnik.

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