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American Business Women’s Association Hold Shop With Cops Auction

American Women's Business Association Hold Shop With Cops AuctionPictured: Attendees from the Fernandina Beach Police Department, with auctioneer Terry Steptoe.

The Eight Flags Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) held a live and silent auction event at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club recently. Our auctioneer, Terry Steptoe enlightened the crowd on all things auction, motivating guests to relax, have fun, and spend some money!

This event is one of three yearly fundraising initiatives hosted on behalf of Eight Flags ABWA, to benefit the community of Nassau County. Proceeds of the live and silent auction benefited our local youth through the “Shop with Cops” Christmas giving program as sponsored yearly by the Fernandina Beach Police Department (FBPD).

eight-flags-ABWA-prez-julie-barcus-cropPictured: Eight Flags ABWA Chapter President, Mrs. Julie Barcus.

The event included items from local vendors, businesses, and community members as acquired by the chapter. Fernandina Beach’s finest were in attendance offering their own brand of live entertainment, performing theatrics that led in the cash donation portion of our auction. Total proceeds donated from this Eight Flags’ ABWA event was $2,000.00.

The Eight Flags Chapter of ABWA would like to sincerely thank all guests in attendance, our auctioneer Terry, and the many community and business donors who gave their time and wares for this wonderful cause.

A very happy bidder!Pictured: A very happy bidder!

The American Business Women’s Association is a national professional association with local chapters throughout the United States, whose mission is to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, network support, and national recognition.

The Eight Flags Chapter offers monthly meetings that host a guest speaker with educational topics covering small business, corporate development, how to be successful in business for today’s environment, outreach, and other professional development subjects. If you would like to join our chapter, please contact our membership Chairwoman Monica Hayes at (904) 624-0949, or eightflags_abwa@yahoo.com.

For more information on the Eight Flags ABWA Chapter, please visit us on Facebook. You can also visit the national website of ABWA at www.abwa.org.

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Common Pests, Allergies and Natural Prevention

Common Pests, Allergies and Natural PreventionGetting your home infected with pests, is one of the most annoying things. Not just apparently infuriating, but they also pose a serious threat to our health. Studies and medical researches have proved that pests are responsible for causing and triggering asthma and other allergies.

Some of the most commonly found household pests, such as cockroaches, molds and dust mites, can cause and stimulate asthma and different allergies.

The kitchen is considered the most favorable place for a cockroach infestation. Often, the presence of Cockroaches in your home can cause allergies. Studies say, that almost one in five homes with cockroach infestation may have a substantial level of allergen and other such pollutants in dust and fabrics.

To stay healthy we have to fight with these pests. In order to get rid of these pests, we often choose the easy and quick, but a highly toxic way which can be hazardous to our health, much more than these pests. The use of toxic and chemical pesticides can also cause allergies and prompt asthma. Consider their health and environmental influence before selecting chemicals as an option.

Cockroaches:
Both cockroaches and pet dander are common allergy triggers. Cockroach waste, saliva, and body parts are a problem in many homes.The bacteria residing in these particles is responsible in triggering various allergies.
Natural Prevention:
To prevent yourself from Cockroach allergens it is highly recommended that you keep your house clean specially your kitchen. Don’t allow cockroaches to enter your house by minimizing the welcoming agents like food scraps, leaking pipes etc. Reduce damped conditions and keep carpets as less as possible. Seal any cracks or openings around or inside cabinets. You can also use Boric Acid and Sugar as a bait.

house-dust-mitesDust Mites:
Dust Mites which are tiny and can hardly be seen with naked eye can cause serious problems for you. About 20 million Americans are allergic to these little bugs!
Do you know that the dust itself can contain pet dander, mold spores, pieces of dead cockroaches, dead skin and these tiny little creatures called dust mites. Unbelieveble! A light blow of wind with some dust can bring a lot of diseases into our homes.
Natural Prevention:
For dust mites, wash bedding regularly in hot water this will kill the resident dust mites, as well as washing out their feces and dead husks. According to a Korean study and experiment the use of pennyroyal, a type of mint, with essential oil produced excellent results. You can spray it directly onto your bed by mixing these oils with alcohol in an inexpensive spray bottle and making up a spray.

Rodents:
Rodents are the most nuisance causing pests. Not just they cause damage to our property and belongings but are also known to cause allergies and diseases. They contaminate everything they make contact with and unfortunately they just love biting and gnawing into our food and things we mostly use. They have been known as a cause for asthma. Their dander when it becomes dry can lead to many air borne diseases and allergies. Also, their waste which they usually contaminate everything with, is considederd extremely harmful to human health.
Natural Prevention:
The best thing to control a rat infestation in your house is to not leave food or food particles open for them to feed upon. Block and seal all broken windows, cracks or crevices in order to cover all access points. Place rat catchers at places where you think they are coming from. Pepper mint oil has also been known to get rid rodents.

Do not always begin with chemical pesticides to kill pests. At first, try to repel them from natural and organic repellents and if you think these repellents are not working then you may try some non-toxic sprays. If you go for applying any toxic pesticide, consult a pest control professional and make sure he’s using EPA approved pesticisdes.

About the author:
Sheerin Jafri is a passionate blogger who loves to write on fashion and lifestyle related topics. Follow @sheerinjafri for more updates.

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GratitudeAmerica Military Appreciation Oscar Night Gala

GratitudeAmerica Military Appreciation Oscar Night GalaGratitudeAmerica, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization who provides critical support for veterans who served post 9/11 in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as their families and families of the fallen, is rolling out the red carpet for an Oscar Night Gala at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 22, 2015, at the Amelia Island Omni Plantation Resort to benefit U.S. veterans suffering the “invisible wounds of war.”

GratitudeAmerica offers retreat programs that use integrative approaches to assist participants affected by deployment exposure, such as Post Traumatic Stress and Traumatic Brain Injury, and to connect warriors to resources through a network of community partners. These American heroes are owed a debt that can never fully be repaid, but GratitudeAmerica is passionate about making a difference in their lives.

Cost to enter is $150 per person and $200 per person after February 11; tables of eight or 12 are available by request. The black tie and blue jeans affair will feature red carpet arrival and video welcome, plated dinner, silent and live auctions, live entertainment, wide screen TVs for monitoring Hollywood events LIVE and friendly wagering via ballot for Academy Award winners.

All funds raised during the event will directly benefit GratitudeAmerica’s initiatives and programs.

To learn more or to make a reservation, call John November at (904) 525-3042 or email jnovember@gratitudeamerica.org.

GratitudeAmerica, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to champion an alliance of service and support organizations that partner to provide comprehensive community resources for veterans, their families, and the families of the fallen. While GratitudeAmerica’s main mission is to connect service and support organizations with our military heroes and their families, we also perform outreach activities such as the retreats and community forums located at the Town of Marineland in Northeast Florida.

Visit www.gratitudeamerica.org for more information.

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Welcome to the Machine Era has arrived

The many faces of the machine

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
Where have you been? It’s alright we know where you’ve been.

Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.
What did you dream? It’s alright we told you what to dream.

A Wikipedia entry claims that Pink Floyd’s songwriter/bassist Roger Waters wanted to express his disappointment with the music industry when he wrote Welcome to the Machine for the 1975 release of the album “Wish You Were Here”. That is utter crap as a man like Roger Waters has and had much bigger fish to fry than a music industry that lacked a visionary business concept and social consciousness. I know that Waters addressed the empire and the corporation and the system of the world we were making for ourselves…the machine. We’re born, we’re “informed” (some call it education) and then we serve and reproduce and go into massive debt (this guarantees our further servitude) and then we tell our kids “welcome my son…welcome to the machine” and they in turn will do it all over again.

The signs have been there all along and definitely long before Julian Assange’s Wikileak or Edward Snowden came along and made some of us realize the threat was real. Without defining what the threat is, their revelations were only part of the story, and frankly not really the most important part.

The electronic surveillance machine is so much larger than their leaked indiscretions portrayed, including not just government abuses, but also massive commercial abuses. And guess what, the structure of this vile machine is in advanced stages of completion. It is in the stage where it can not only record and register, but it can manipulate and incentivize, it can punish and reward and it can create a world of insinuation that defies legal rights and protections. And that really is always the threat when such power comes into the possession of the wrong people. Discussions about the Constitution or Amendments thereof are declared unimportant in the name of public safety and protection.

Unfortunately it becomes a one-sided discussion if the machine is in the hands of the self imposed overlords. In return for their protection, you will eat the food they describe, drink the beverage they dictate, visit the doctors they favor, swallow the pills they prescribe, drive the cars they manufacture and accept the Hollywood dream as real.
Case in point maybe last weekend’s record breaking release of the movie American Sniper.
But before going into some more detail, here is a small memory lift that encapsulates the essence of the new surveillance machine to play in the background while reading on. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbifrXX2Ltw):

I’m a huge Pink Floyd fan, and I think they nailed this one in 1975 – 40 years ago on the album “Wish You Were Here”. There are two primary functions of this machine: full-life surveillance (“We know where you’ve been”) and persistent, deep manipulation (“We told you what to dream”). I could help but think about this last one, when I learned that the movie “American Sniper” broke all kind of records at the box office, while an internet related warning like “Blackhat” bombed sorely.

I increasingly think that it’s pathetic of me, trying to warn you that this machine of horror has already been built and that we are sitting right in the middle of it. I often think of hanging it up, as the general population’s interpretation of horror is apparently quite different from mine. And yes I’ve tried to put my head in the sand and abstain from writing, but then I think of the observation that contrary to popular belief, ostriches do not bury their heads in sand to avoid danger; only humans do that.

Yes, I know this is something many people don’t want to hear. Far too many are like the ones who complained to the prophet Isaiah, telling him, “Speak unto us smooth things.” But some things are not smooth… yet they’re true anyway.

And so here is the story once again Why Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more MUST Sell You and not always to the highest bidder.

Facebook—and all the other big, ‘free’ services—are selling your minds, thoughts, emotions, opinions and lives just like a butcher sells meat. And please understand: In our materialistic system, they have no choice. Not if they want to keep their quarterly numbers positive. Now also understand that I have no ideological problem with materialism. Capitalism which breeds materialism, has moved our civilization more forward in recent history, than in thousands of years previously. It is greed that creates the problem.

Think about this: Facebook, Twitter, Google, Instagram and the likes don’t charge a penny to you for their platform use. So if you’re a Facebook user, you are not its customer. Someone pays Facebook; those revenues come from somewhere, but they don’t come from you.
So if you’re neither the company nor the customer, then what are you?
Yep, that’s right—you’re the product. Facebook, Google, and their ilk are selling you to their customers.
And please understand that the free model gives these companies no choice at all. Their users won’t pay, and they have to make money somehow.

“That’s okay; a few ads won’t kill me.”

Facebook’s gross revenue is estimated at more than $1 billion per month. Google’s is approaching $4 billion per month. You don’t really think they get all that income by selling lame ads for tooth paste and concert tickets? These companies are selling you in far more sophisticated ways than that.
Back in 2009 Google’s boss bragged that “We know where you’ll be Tuesday morning,” and you can be very, very sure that they’ve been selling such information for the past five years and rest assured, they’re a lot better at it now.
Three years ago Facebook ran an experiment on 689,000 of its users, to see if it could alter their moods by altering the headlines they saw? The experiment was a resounding success?
They found out that it could alter people’s moods, making them happier or sadder as it wished. And Facebook found something else: those users would transfer those moods to their friends in a cascading effect. Do you really think Facebook hasn’t done anything with that information in the meanwhile? Do you really think Google hasn’t?

Turning up the heat a bit, both of these outfits are in bed with all branches of the feds, headhunters, recruiting companies and yes Facebook’s infamous experiment was partly financed by the US Army. Google is deeply intermingled with the US State Department (as well as other agencies). If you’re curious about this, read Julian Assange’s new book on the subject.

You Want Proof?

Step into Google’s shoes for a minute. Auctioning off little ads would never bring in billions per month; you’d have to find better ways of supercharging your ad revenue. This is what they do?
First, they tell their advertisers they can get ads and other actionable information to people the moment they expressed the first interest in their product. Seems like a perfectly sound move, but that moment came, was monetized, and went more than 10 years ago. So new ideas are needed to juice the quarterly reports.

Now what would you do in their shoes?

Guess what?! You learn how to implant desires in your users. And if you want to do it well, you do it in ways that are specific to each individual. After all, what works to manipulate me may be completely ineffective for you.
And that’s where we are now at this stage of the game. And when I say that these companies fulfill Pink Floyd’s lyric of “We told you what to dream,” I don’t mean that they tried to make everyone dream the same thing; I mean that they got your friend to dream things that will squeeze money out of her life… and that they’ll make you dream different things, things designed to squeeze money out of your life. They can distinguish, read profile, an adventurer from a homebody and create pertinent campaigns. Your profile says you’re a conservative, you’re targeted with ads about guns and conservative value products and opinions. Democrats get an entirely different scope of products and services.

Here’s how to prove this: Take your laptop to a friend’s house, or take your spouse’s computer i your own house. Both of you log in to YouTube, or Facebook, or Google. Notice how you’ll both see different screens. And that means that you’re getting customized environments and that’s already going on for more than 5 years.
So if you were Facebook or Google, why would you give people customized environments? Shall we really pretend that Google, Facebook, and the others are doing this as a public service?
Of course not; the purpose of everything they do is to generate more revenue. In other words, they’re manipulating you for their profit. That’s the only way they can make money from you. That’s why you’re not charged for an account. YOU ARE THE PRODUCT THEY SELL.

Facebook experienced an outage the other night that shut down Facebook and its Instagram photo-sharing service for about an hour. The company said that a change it made in its configuration systems caused the problem, while all the self proclaimed media experts went on record to state that Facebook’s real issue is to make more money. The release of2014 and 4th Quarter earnings of the social media giant saw a drop in earnings
However with almost a quarter of the world population subscribing to its service, I’ll leave you to understand where this is likely to go, and if you’re going along. Competitive pressures from other niche market provider may force FB to redirect or split its audience into multiple sub services, but don’t count on it to go away. Knowing the habits, preferences and whereabouts of more than 1.5 billion people and being able to manipulate their decision making processes, is way too much power to go away easily.

Menopause is Saving Us a Fortune on Heating Bill

Menopause is Saving Us a Fortune on Heating Bill

I’ll admit it, menopause has been knocking on my door and since I’ve no choice but to let her come on in, I’ve noticed we are saving a small fortune on our heating bill – but my husband (and the dog) is freezing!

Menopause is a right of passage for women once we reach a certain biological maturity level, and it varies in intensity and duration. WebMD.com says, “There are a number of factors that affect a woman’s age at menopause, but one is more important than any other: the age her mother experienced menopause.” While some women begin menopause as early as 40 years old, at 50 (um, cough, cough) I am statistically… average. If statistics hold up and I take after my mother, I shouldn’t experience the symptoms for very long, though some women go through the “change” for years.

After doing some research I have realized that I’m not quite there yet, as menopause is defined as the absence of a woman’s menstrual period for 12 months, but the anniversary – without a doubt – will someday arrive.

This gradual transition is referred to as perimenopause and symptoms include abnormal periods, hot flashes and mood changes. Of course, I have had NO mood changes; just ask my husband!

Visiting my doctor recently, I mentioned that I thought I was beginning to have menopausal symtoms. He glanced at my chart, surely to calculated my age, and quickly agreed with me.

So, it has now been confirmed, there is a reason our heating bills have gone down this year.

Also, if you see me out and about and I’m not quite acting myself, well, let’s just say that I’m learning how to age gracefully.

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Footwear Forecast: Shoes you Need for Spring

Footwear Forecast: Shoes you need for SpringThere is no such thing as enough shoes for women, there is never enough and there shouldn’t be. Like bad hair days there are bad shoe days, where you simply can’t find that perfect pair which goes along with your entire look, accentuating it to perfection. If that’s exactly how you feel, then welcome to the I-always-need-new-shoes club. With that comes good and bad news together.

Let’s talk about good first, you’ll get to know what’s trending in shoes and where are all those heels and flats headed to. Do you really want to hear the bad part? Bad part is, you’ll be left with a lust of an infinite more.

Here’s a drool worthy list of some of the trendiest shoes you need for the coming season.

metallic-sandal-by-j-crew

The Metallic Sandals:
Well, sandals all covered in their metallic sass were all over the spring/summer 2015 runways. Since then they are making quite an appearance from models, fashion shows, street styles to general women fashionistas. Everyone is embracing this new shoe trend.

Unlike last year’s ugly sandals, this pair does have a semi-formal panache to it. The metallic bling makes me want to believe that this spring and summer will be a whole lot shinier.

pointed_toe_flats

Flats that point:
Runways were stormed by all kinds of super comfy and uber chic flats. If we talk about a particular number of pointed toe flats, they will be trending big this coming season.

Sling back pointed toe flats will transform our shoe collection from mostly pointed toe heels to pointed toe flats. You can’t just get enough of them with ankle straps; glittered details tie back, strappy, metallic and what not.

If you are into flats and you don’t feel the need for heel everyday then this spring and summer will be bringing a lot of shoes for you.

platform-shoes-2015
Platforms are back:

Good news for those who loved the 60’s and 70’s platforms for they are back in vogue and making quite a statement.

The broad yet comfier feel of platforms is undeniably needed in our shoe collection. Ultimately we need to alleviate from pencil heels and give our feet a platforming twist.

If you want to know how and with what you can stylishly pair them with then the answer is: with all your formal and semi-formal dresses. They are certainly the alternative you were looking for to get out of your pencil heels.

block-heel-shoes

Block your heels:

Your heels got a sudden twist, they are not so pointed anymore.

The runways are indicating that we will be wearing more block heels then the pointed ones. With fringed details, or embellishments around, strapped over the ankles or tied all the way up there’s a new block heel intervention taking over this spring and summer.

lace-up-sandals

All laced up:

If you have noticed there is a common element among all these shoes that will be making shoe statements in spring/summer 2015; yes, they all have laces.

Be it laced up till your ankle or almost around your knees, there is a lot of lacing up going on her.

The designers tried amalgamating this particular trend into most of their shoes and sandals. What really sets the mood for spring, are these barely-there, laced up sandals.

This was just a quick round up of footwear you’ll be seeing on most feet in spring and summer this year.

You can always experiment with the trends and your own fashion intuition to come up with something that is unique and stylish in its own way.

About the author:
Sheerin Jafri is a passionate blogger who loves to write on fashion and lifestyle related topics. Follow @sheerinjafri for more updates.

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21st St. Mary’s Mardi Gras Festival, Parade and Chili Cook-Off

21st St. Mary's Mardi Gras Festival, Parade and Chili Cook-OffSt. Mary’s, GA – It is time for the 21st Annual Mardi Gras Festival! The 2015 Valentine’s Day (February 14, 2015) event in St. Mary’s, Georgia, will follow a “Love Stories” theme that will enhance the parade floats and costumes which are the highlight of the day. Coastal Georgia is rich in tradition and downtown St. Marys’ annual Mardi Gras Festival is a favorite for locals and tourists. The festival features all family friendly activities from 9am to 5pm and includes the 10am parade and over one hundred vendors offering arts, crafts, food and activities. Some favorite past activities have been the zip line and the mechanical bull. The center stage will be active with entertainment throughout the afternoon and the St. Marys Waterfront Park will host the 11am-2pm Great Camden County Chili Cook-Off benefit and the 1pm costumed pet-parade benefit.

Kelly Davis, a St. Marys Downtown Merchants Association member and long-time festival organizer, stated, “The 2015 Mardi Gras Festival has, again, been selected as a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event. It promises to be a great day of food and fun and is a day that positively benefits the economy in St. Marys.”

Mardi Gras would not be complete without a formal ball and the traditional announcement of the new 2015 King and Queen. This Monarch of Merriment and Queen of the Carnival will hold court by representing the St. Marys Mardi Gras Festival at various area events and functions over the coming year. The privilege of being selected as royalty occurs by being the person who finds the trinkets in their dessert. Another honor announced during the evening is the Rosie Kelley Community Service award winner. The accolade recognizes outstanding community service to St. Marys. Ball tickets are $35 per person and include dinner and entertainment with a 6:30pm start time. Attire is a “Love Stories” themed costume or formal wear and tickets can be purchased with cash or check at Once Upon A Bookseller or the St. Marys Welcome Center. The ball location is Chaser’s at J’s British Pub and prizes will be awarded for various costume categories.

During the Mardi Gras celebration you can also ride the rails on the “Wild West Steam Express.” This frontier experience will feature an authentic steam locomotive that will pull you into an unforgettable Wild West adventure complete with a shoot-out showdown. The train will depart from the Theatre by the Trax, 1000 Osborne Street at noon, 2pm and 4pm and tickets must be purchased in advance at www.stmarysrailroad.com, or by calling 912-200-5235. The train will also run on February 15, 21 & 22.

For Parade participation or Vendor/Sponsor information contact Once Upon A Bookseller at stmarysdma@gmail.com or 912-882-7350. For any additional information contact the St. Marys Welcome Center at VisitStMarys.com or call 912-882-4000

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Great Super Bowl Dishes Found at Local Farmers Market

Great Super Bowl Dishes Found at Local Farmers MarketWe may not have busty blonde supermodels at the farmers market in historic Fernandina Beach, but we do have a vendor who sells fresh, au naturel beef like the Carl’s Jr Super Bowl commercial (shown at the end of this article) is promoting during Sunday’s game. So, if you love all natural like model Charlotte McKinney suggests, be sure to visit JD Beef’s booth. Real beef with no antibiotics, no added hormones, and no steroids.

The Fernandina Beach Market Place has other great foods you will want to have on hand for your Super Bowl party, too. How about making potato skins from fresh, red potatoes? Or you could offer your guests ready-to-go jerky from Wook’s Beef Jerky, who also has a delicious alternative to their beef, a mushroom jerky.

Olive my Pickle returns on January 31st with a wide variety of tasty pickles and olives, and their flavorful hummus is perfect when paired with bagel chips from Great Harvest Bread Company. Another great appetizer to offer comes from Lulu’s at the Thompson House. They have a pimento cheese spread that is available in both plain and spicy, great for serving at any party.

Jack and Diane’s salsa is a personal favorite of mine, but you won’t want to share it; that one is so good you will want to buy a jar to keep for yourself! You can still share a tasty salsa, simply toss together some fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro and chopped onions for a fresh twist on your own homemade salsa.

Stop by King’s Kountry Produce and pick up some delightful chow chows and relish to compliment a fresh relish tray of sliced tomatoes, onions, and lettuces by visiting our four, fresh produce vendors. Or a fresh assortment of fruits like strawberries, pineapple and melons?

You will also find breads, desserts, honey, plants, soaps, dog treats, salmon, scallops, coffee, smoothies, pasta and more on North Seventh Street, between Centre and Alachua Streets, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. We are open every Saturday.

This week we will have someone from the Nassau County Department of Emergency Management to help you plan for natural and man-made disasters and emergency situations.

We are family friendly, and this week’s live musical entertainment will be the incredible Hambone Stumps Band. Well behaved, leashed pets are welcome. For more information please visit www.FernandinaBeachMarketPlace.com, or call (904) 557-8229.

The commercial will be shown regionally, so it may not air in Florida, but here is the video if you’d like to watch it:.

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Amelia Island’s Mark of a Man has been Published

Amelia Island's Mark of a Man has been PublishedFernandina Beach, FLAmelia Island’s Mark of a Man is the much anticipated third novel in The Goodbye Lie, a historical romance series. Set in the bustling Victorian seaside town of Fernandina on Amelia Island, Florida, author Jane Marie Malcolm, wife of former mayor Bruce Malcolm, once again awakens the beloved Dunnigan family characters to tease and treat readers. “Where ‘Little House on the Prairie’ meets ‘Gone With The Wind’” is the phrase often used to describe TheGoodbye Lie and Amelia Island’s Velvet Undertow, the first two books of this trilogy.

Amelia Island’s Mark of a Man lives up to that description, as well. The time is 1898. Amidst the Spanish American War and a devastating hurricane, the Dunnigans struggle to salvage their once wonderful island existence, now dripping with danger. Hero or heel, Pat Dunnigan lives hard and loves wild. His sister, Marie, is a magnet for trouble. Will she forgive the unforgettable? Will Pat’s demons become hers? Sprinkled throughout are Grandmother Peeper and Aunt Noreen, who continue their hilarious squabbling.

“Intense drama, passion and laughter satisfy every emotion. With an assortment of realistic characters, convincing dialogue and slap-you-silly moments, Amelia Island’s Mark of a Man will delight and charm,” Kate Brown, author of The Rose Legends, points out.

AmeliaIsland’s Mark of a Man is part of a trilogy comprised of individual sagas focusing on the suspenseful entanglements of each of the grown Dunnigan children from the Isle of Eight Flags, called Amelia Island. Packed with mystery, humor and insight, it illuminates how romance and family love never go out of style, encouraging readers to cherish their own families and to realize that with understanding, comes forgiveness.

Amelia Island’s Markof a Man, is by Jane Marie Malcolm. You can contact the author be email at: GraciousJaneMarie@yahoo.com

The book is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book sources everywhere.

About the Author
Originally from Erie, Pennsylvania, Jane Marie Harkins Malcolm is also known to her readers as Gracious Jane Marie. Shec elebrates heart and home every day with roses, recipes, and romance at www.GraciousJaneMarie.blogspot.com, her family friendly blog, which includes The Goodbye Lie Diaries. Former first lady of Fernandina Beach, Florida, by virtue of marriage to former mayor Bruce Malcolm, she makes her home on Amelia Island, Florida with their cat, Button, and Abby, the singing Chihuahua. An avid handbell ringer and artisan, she is also a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Post 54, the Amelia Island Museum of History, and the General Duncan Lamont Clinch Historical Society of Amelia Island.

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It’s a Noisy Planet, Protect Your Hearing

It's a Noisy Planet, Protect Your HearingSounds surround us. We enjoy many of them—like music, birdsong, and conversations with friends. But loud or long-lasting noises—from motors, power tools, and even headphones—can permanently damage your hearing. Take steps to protect your ears from harmful noises.

Loud noise is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. An estimated 26 million Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 already have irreversible hearing loss caused by loud sounds. And up to 16% of teens have hearing loss that may have been caused by loud noise.

“Noise damage can begin at any age, and it tends to accumulate over time. That’s why avoiding excess noise is so critical,” says Dr. Gordon Hughes, a clinical trials director and ear, nose, and throat specialist at NIH. “Hearing loss caused by noise is completely preventable.”

For adolescents, music players with headphones are a common source of noise exposure. “With adults it may be power tools, lawn mowers, snow blowers, and other sources of that type,” Hughes says. “Workplace noise—like farm machinery, construction, and noises associated with military service—may also cause problems.”

Noise-related hearing loss can arise from extremely loud bursts of sound, such as gunshots or explosions, which can rupture the eardrum or damage the bones in the middle ear. This kind of hearing loss can be immediate and permanent.

But most noise-related hearing problems develop slowly over time, with ongoing exposure to loud sounds. Loud noises can injure the delicate sensory cells—known as hair cells—in the inner ear. “These cells have little hair-like tufts on one side,” Hughes says.

Hair cells help to convert sound vibrations into electrical signals that travel along nerves from the ear to the brain. These cells allow us to detect sounds. But when hair cells are damaged and then destroyed by too much noise, they don’t grow back. So hearing is permanently harmed.

Sometimes loud noises can cause tinnitus—ringing in the ears that lasts anywhere from a brief period to a lifetime. Loud noises can also cause temporary hearing loss that goes away within hours or a couple of days. “But some research suggests that even though the symptoms disappear, there may be molecular or chemical abnormalities that build up and cause potential for long-term damage to hearing,” Hughes says.

It’s best to avoid loud noises when possible. But how loud is too loud?
Sound is measured in units called decibels (dB). Sounds less than 75 dB are unlikely to harm hearing. Normal conversation, for instance, measures about 60 dB. A typical hair blow dryer has an intensity of about 85 dB, but if they’re used for just brief periods, they’re unlikely to damage hearing.

However, long or repeated exposure to sounds at or above 85 dB can cause problems. The louder the sound, the quicker the damage.

“At maximum volume, an audio player with ear buds might produce 105 dB. There’s potential for noise damage to occur at barely 30 minutes of exposure,” Hughes says. A siren may be 120 dB, a rock concert 110 dB, a motorcycle 95 dB, and a lawn mower 90 dB. All these have the potential to harm hearing over time.

“Wear ear protection such as ear plugs if the sound can’t be avoided. Or just get away from the sound, or reduce it, like turning down the volume on an audio player,” Hughes says. Foam insert earplugs can keep some sound intensity from reaching the eardrum, as can protective earmuffs, available at hardware and sport stores. For better ear protection, talk with a hearing specialist about getting a custom-fitted ear mold.

Finally, don’t forget to protect the ears of children who are too young to protect their own. And get a hearing test if you think you or a loved one might have hearing loss.

Your ears can be your warning system. Noise is too loud when:
You have to raise your voice to be understood by someone standing nearby.
The noise hurts your ears.
You’ve got a buzzing or ringing in your ears, even temporarily.
You don’t hear as well as you normally do until several hours after you get away from the noise.

If you’re around noises at this level:
Turn down the sound.
Avoid the noise (walk away).
Block the noise (wear earplugs or earmuffs).

This article was written by NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison
Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D.
Managing Editor: Vicki Contie
Contributors: Neyal Ammary-Risch, Vicki Contie, Alan Defibaugh (illustrations), and Helen Fields

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Dominos on Amelia Island Did NOT Close

Dominos on Amelia Island Did NOT CloseDominos on Amelia Island did not close. In fact, the owner of the Yulee location purchased the Fernandina Beach store and it was not closed for a single day.

When the ten-year contract on the Fernandina Beach Dominos expired, the owner decided not to renew the franchise agreement. The corporate offices of Dominos worked with Dave and Paula Crow, the new owners, expediting the process so the restaurant could remain open.

Dave is a hands-on owner and has owned a variety of pizza parlors within the chain over the past 20 years.

His store in Yulee employs about 20, and the Fernandina store employs about ten, but they are hiring drivers and help for inside the store.

In addition to pizza, Dominos also offers oven baked sandwiches, pasta, and wings. (Editor’s note: “If you like spicy, then try the mango-habanera wings… yummy!”)

Dominos is always offering specials, but the “Grand Opening” carry-out special is for a large, three-topping pizza for only $7.99. This special is usually offered only on Mondays thru Fridays.

About half their business is carry out, and the other half is delivery.

Dave invites you to come by and check out his new store, and we always encourage supporting businesses that are owned locally and hire our neighbors!

To learn about their most recent specials, give ’em a call at (904) 277-2200.

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Rendezvous at Sheffield’s for Movies on Thursday Nights

Rendezvous at Sheffield's for Movies on Thursday NightsRendezvous Festival has teamed up with Sheffield’s at the Palace creating a Movie House on Thursday evenings leading up to this movie, music and gaming festival coming to Northeast Florida in June. With the recent closing of the Carmike Cinema 7 on Amelia Island, this is a great way to satisfy your movie cravings!

The Movie House officially opens on January 29th featuring the film Dragon Day, where a family getaway to a mountain town turns deadly when China launches a massive cyberattack against the USA, forcing former NSA Engineer Duke Evans to fight to save his wife and daughter in the New World Order.

Upcoming movies include the 2013 Outstanding Achievement Award Winner at the Williamsburg International Film Festival, The Heroes of Arvine Place, on February 5th; Academy Award Winner Luke Matheny’s newest film, The Birder’s Guide to Everything on February 12th and Hide Your Smiling Faces, a film that has earned a variety of awards and nominations, showing on February 19th.

A new movie will be featured at Sheffield’s every Thursday night until the Rendezvous Festival opens on June 5, 2015. The doors open at 6:30, and the movie screenings start at 7:00 PM. Tickets are only $10.00 and include a bag of popcorn. Hola! Cuban Café’s menu is available for order, and there is a cash bar.

Located in American Beach, Evans Rendezvous was a music club that once hosted famed musicians such as Louis Armstrong, James Brown, Billie Daniels, and Ray Charles in the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s. In 1964, the Rendezvous was hit hard by Hurricane Dora and everything was destroyed. The Rendezvous Festival is all about entertainment and brings artists and the community together for a nine day event.

For more information visit the website: www.rendezvousfestival.com.

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Amelia Island is a Sweet Valentine’s Day Escape

Amelia Island is a Sweet Valentine's Day EscapeAmelia Island, FL – Drawing on her many irresistible charms, Amelia Island is luring a new flock of lovebirds to her shores for a romantic Valentine’s Day escape. In addition to the year-round appeal of moonlit strolls on the beach, sunset sails, soothing spas, and quiet cafes, a number of Amelia Island hotels, inns and resorts are offering some sweetheart deals to make a Valentine’s Day getaway as affordable as it is romantic.

The selection of packages and special rates currently offered by Amelia Island accommodators for Valentine’s Day 2015, include:

Amelia Hotel at the Beach is offering a Hearts and Flowers Package for Valentine’s Day, available February 1 through 22. The package, which starts at $438, includes a two-night stay in a premium view room, champagne with keepsake flutes, chocolate covered strawberries, rose petal turn down, and fresh baked cookies in room before arrival. To book the package guests must use code HFBN and reserve the room at least 72 hours prior to arrival. The package is based on limited availability and some restrictions apply.
904-206-5600

The Amelia Island Williams House invites guests to wow their valentine with their special Will you be my Valentine Getaway. The getaway includes a bottle of chilled champagne and chocolates in room upon arrival, horse drawn carriage for two, and dinner with a special menu at the upscale David’s Restaurant. The package can be added to any two-night stay for $195 from February 6 to 28.
904-277-2328

Located in the historic district, Fairbanks House is offering upscale, adult-focused packages for both Valentines couples and Valentines friends. The Be My Valentine Package includes lodging in luxurious accommodations, a bottle of wine, chocolate-covered strawberries, roses and a dinner voucher for a local fine-dining restaurant. Packages are available from two to seven nights and start at $525 for two. The My Friends Are My Valentines Package includes lodging, for up to five ladies, in a large private cottage or 1,600-square-foot private floor in the mansion, hot fudge sundaes, chocolate chip cookies, souvenirs from the gift shop, and concierge service for spa appointments, dinner reservations and tours. Rates start at $79 per person per night. Both packages include daily gourmet breakfasts, complimentary use of bikes, beach equipment, pool and more.
888-891-9881

ERA Fernandina Beach Realty is offering a Hearts & Chocolates Valentines Package from February 13 through 16. The offer includes a 10 percent discount and a box of chocolates. Valid on stays of two nights or more, rates start at $145 per night. Rates are subject to taxes and fees.
904-261-4011

The Omni Amelia Island Plantation is offering a special romance package certain to entice guests for Valentine’s Day. The Couples Connection package, which is available through April 2015, offers luxurious oceanfront accommodations, welcome amenity of specialty massage oils and lotions, private in-room “Bubble Bar” with fresh fruit extracts to flavor your champagne and $100 recreation credit. The package starts at $289 per night, with a minimum of two nights required. Additionally, the resort is offering a Pamper Your Partner Couples Spa Service throughout February. The 80-minute spa service includes a 50-minute couple’s massage followed by 30 minutes of customized massage instruction. Each partner will learn how to massage the other and will be tailored to their specific needs. Couples will also get 30 minutes in the Couples Relaxation Room and will receive a massage oil and golf ball massage tool as a parting gift. The spa package is available for $400 plus gratuity.

In addition to their accommodation and spa packages, the Omni Amelia Island Plantation has several dining opportunities available for Valentine’s Day weekend. The Verandah is offering a three-course prix fixe menu for $69 per person, Oceanside is offering a three-course prix fixe menu for $59 per person, and Sunrise Café is offering a specialty menu for $49 per person. These special dining opportunities are available February 13 and 14. To make reservations, guests can call 800-654-9999 or go to opentable.com.
904-261-6161

The Residence Inn – Amelia Island is offering a You and Me by the Sea Package, available from February 12 through 16. The package offers accommodations, box of decadent Godiva Ballotin chocolates and two splits of red and white wine, along with two stemless glasses. Each additional night booked will offer additional chocolates and a choice of wine or champagne. Guests staying during Valentine’s weekend will be able to participate in the hotel’s many planned activities. To book the package, guests must use promo code D60.
904-277-2440

Starting at $409, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is offering a Romance Package for Valentine’s Day. Available February 12 through 15, the Romance Package includes American breakfast for two daily at Cafe 4750 or In Room Dining, chocolate covered strawberries and Champagne upon arrival, valet parking, late checkout at 2 pm, and a rose petal turndown service. Guests can also add on a Luxe Artisan Chocolate Bar for an additional $25 per person on February 13 and 14.To book, guests must visit the package section on the website.
904-277-1100

All packages are based on availability and cannot be combined with any other discount. Restrictions apply based on individual property. Contact individual properties for restrictions and to book a package.

About Amelia Island
Northeast Florida’s coastal treasure, Amelia Island is a barrier island rich in colorful history and breath-taking natural beauty. Amelia Island offers long, beautiful beaches, abundant wildlife, and pristine waters. Upscale resorts with world-class spas, championship golf and exclusive dining blend effortlessly with a captivating collection of bed and breakfast inns and historic districts. The island is home to Fernandina Beach, once a vibrant Victorian seaport village, and now a charming downtown district of eclectic shops, attractions and eateries. Forget the everyday getaway; Come make memories on Amelia Island.

For visitor information and online planning, visit www.ameliaisland.com.

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The Talking Centipede

The Talking CentipedeImage found on pt.dreamstime.com

Here’s is another, fun, family-friendly, Sunday read… The Talking Centipede was sent to me from my mother-in-law and I thought it was worth sharing!

A single guy decided life would be more fun if he had a pet. So, he went to the pet store and told the owner that he wanted to buy an unusual pet.

After some discussion, he finally bought a talking centipede, (100-legged bug), which came in a little white box to use for his house.

He took the box back home, found a good spot for the box, and decided he would start off by taking his new pet to church with him.

He asked the centipede in the box, “Would you like to go to church with me today? We will have a good time.”

But, there was no answer from his new pet. This bothered him a bit, but he waited a few minutes and then asked again, “How about going to church with me and receive blessings?”

Again, there was no answer from his new friend and pet. So he waited a few minutes more, thinking about the situation.

The guy decided to invite the centipede one last time.

This time he put his face up against the centipede’s house and shouted, “Hey, in there! Would you like to go to church with me and learn about God?”

This time, a little voice came out of the box, “I heard you the first time! I’m putting my shoes on!”

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Explanation of Police Harassment From Chula Vista

Explanation of Police Harassment From Chula VistaFound on the internet, original author is unknown.

Recently, the Chula Vista, California Police Department ran an e-mail forum with the local community (a question and answer exchange) with the topic being, “Community Policing.” One of the civilian e-mail participants posed the following question: “I would like to know how it is possible for police officers to continually harass people and get away with it?”

From the “other side” (the law enforcement side) Sgt. Bennett, obviously a cop with a sense of humor replied:

“First of all, let me tell you this… it’s not easy. In Chula Vista, we average one cop for every 600 people. Only about 60% of those cops are on general duty (or what you might refer to as “patrol”) where we do most of our harassing. The rest are in non-harassing departments that do not allow them contact with the day to day innocents. At any given moment, only one-fifth of the 60% patrollers are on duty and available for harassing people while the rest are off duty. So roughly, one cop is responsible for harassing about 5,000 residents.

When you toss in the commercial business, and tourist locations that attract people from other areas, sometimes you have a situation where a single cop is responsible for harassing 10,000 or more people a day.

Now, your average ten-hour shift runs 36,000 seconds long. This gives a cop one second to harass a person, and then only three-fourths of a second to eat a donut AND then find a new person to harass. This is not an easy task. To be honest, most cops are not up to this challenge day in and day out. It is just too tiring. What we do is utilize some tools to help us narrow down those people which we can realistically harass.

The tools available to us are as follow:

PHONE: People will call us up and point out things that cause us to focus on a person for special harassment. “My neighbor is beating his wife” is a code phrase used often. This means we’ll come out and give somebody some special harassment.

Another popular one: “There’s a guy breaking into a house.” The harassment team is then put into action.

CARS: We have special cops assigned to harass people who drive. They like to harass the drivers of fast cars, cars with no insurance or no driver’s licenses and the like. It’s lots of fun when you pick them out of traffic for nothing more obvious than running a red light. Sometimes you get to really heap the harassment on when you find they have drugs in the car, they are drunk, or have an outstanding warrant on file.

RUNNERS: Some people take off running just at the sight of a police officer. Nothing is quite as satisfying as running after them like a beagle on the scent of a bunny. When you catch them you can harass them for hours to determine why they didn’t want to talk to us.

STATUTES: When we don’t have PHONES or CARS and have nothing better to do, there are actually books that give us ideas for reasons to harass folks. They are called “Statutes” – Criminal Codes, Motor Vehicle Codes, etc… They all spell out all sorts of things for which you can really mess with people. After you read the statute, you can just drive around for awhile until you find someone violating one of these listed offenses and harass them.

Just last week I saw a guy trying to steal a car. Well, there’s this book we have that says that’s not allowed. That meant I got permission to harass this guy. It’s a really cool system that we’ve set up, and it works pretty well. We seem to have a never-ending supply of folks to harass. And we get away with it. Why? Because for the good citizens who pay the tab, we try to keep the streets safe for them, and they pay us to “harass” some people.

Next time you are in my town, give me the old “single finger wave.” That’s another one of those codes. It means, “You can’t harass me.” It’s one of our favorites. Hopefully sir, this has clarified to you a little bit better how we harass the good citizens of Chula Vista.

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