Contests Galore at Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival

jason-poppy-trophyThe Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival offers a wide variety of entertainment and activities, but they also offer a handful of specialty contests and participating in one of them may be idea for someone you know. Marie Cumberland is the Shrimp Festival’s Contest Director and she has been working hard preparing for all of these fun contests.

On Saturday, April 29, 2016, there are two Pirate Costume Contests for those under 18 years of age held in the Kid’s Fun Zone on Atlantic Avenue in Fernandina Beach. While Singer Songwriter Ray Stevens may dress up his tots in “silver buckled slippers” and tight, shiny pants, you would do well to adorn the little one in your life with an eyepatch, a hook, a sword and a parrot. Dress up the youngsters and bring them to the stage in the Kid’s Fun Zone. Sponsored by Mason’s Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, Inc., registration begins at 9:00 a.m., and the contests start at 10:00. Depending on the age of the entrant, little contestants will enter either the Pirates in Training Contest (ages 5 and under) or the Little Pirates Contest (ages 6 and up).

Do you know someone with an irresistibly, touchable beard? The Marina Restaurant is sponsoring the 49th Annual Topsy Smith Memorial Beard Contest. Bring your full beard, goatee, chin strips, balbo, soul patch, chin curtain, or any other style of beard to the Riverfront Stage on Saturday, registration begins at 11:30, with the contest scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Marie will find volunteers from the audience to touch, caress, and pet beads of the contestants and together they will declare a winner.

At 1:30 p.m. it is time for the adults to compete in the resurrected, Best Dressed Pirate Contest. Back by popular demand, and sponsored by, this G-Rated event invites those willing to show off their finest attire from the corsair’s closet. Buccaneer’s boots, a raider’s rapier, and marauder’s medieval mainstays are all acceptable accessories in the Best Dressed Pirate Contest. Prizes are cold hard cash! The winner takes home $100.00, 2nd place is awarded $50.00, and the third place winner walks away with $25.00. Marie will begin accepting registrations at 12:30 p.m. at the Riverfront Stage.


ice-cream-eating-contestSunday, May 1, 2016, offers the Annual Ice Cream Eating Contest, sponsored by Amelia Island’s Cold Stone Creamery. Divided into three age categories, 12 and under, and 13 to 17 year olds, try to be the first one in their age group to finish a Mine size container, which is 16 ounces of ice cream. Those competing in the 18 year old and above category will have to polish off a 32 ounce tub or Ours sized ice cream. This fun-to-watch contest could have you eating large amounts of ice cream with a miniature sized spoon made for sampling the ice cream. You’ll get messy, you’ll get full, and you’ll likely get a brain freeze! Five mystery flavors are layered in the contestant’s cups, and in the past have included cotton candy, mint, sweet cream, or even coffee, but one thing is for certain… the top layer will be a tasty frozen layer of shrimp flavored ice cream. This contest will be held at the Riverfront Stage at 3:30 p.m. and Marie will begin accepting registrations at 2:30.

Whether you plan to enter, or just plan to watch, the contests at the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival are entertaining indeed.

The Shrimp Festival is held in historic, Fernandina Beach April 29 – May 1, 2016. There will be food booths, a dedicated and newly expanded Kid’s Fun Zone, nearly 400 booths of arts, crafts, and antiques, fireworks, Pirates, Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Parade, and live musical entertainment featuring a Chicago Blues Night on Friday and a free Gin Blossoms concert on Saturday.
Admission is free. For more information, please visit

Dave Scott Publishes 2nd Annual News Wrecker Parody Paper


Dave Scott is at it again… he’s published the 2nd Annual News Wrecker, a parody paper that pokes fun at Amelia Island’s sacred cows. Here is the press release:

FERNANDINA BEACH, FL – A massive iceberg threatening Amelia Island, a demolition derby at the Concours d’Elegance and the International Hide & Go Seek Finals being held here are just a few of the “news” stories in the second edition of the Amelia Island News Wrecker, a satirical tabloid newspaper that made its debut on Amelia Island during last year’s Shrimp Festival.

The popularity of the paper, which publisher and editor Dave Scott, initially expected would be a one-off publication generated a demand for a second edition from both readers and advertisers says Scott.

The free 24-plus-page tabloid News-Wrecker is available in island pubs, restaurants, businesses and selected shops and other establishments says Scott, a Fernandina Beach resident who also writes the weekly An online version of the News Wrecker will be available mid May.

The tag line for the paper is “Amelia Island’s sacred cows make the best burgers” and according to Scott, “Its purpose is to generate laughs without resorting to obscenities and vulgarity. “The only thing I can be possibly be accused of is bad taste,” says Scott.

The newspaper idea was motivated by Scott’s devotion to Mad Magazine when he was a kid, and the National Lampoon along with inspiration from the Onion, a national print and online satirical publication. Last year’s inaugural issue included a front page story on how the Fernandina Beach City Commission decreed that the daily sunset would alternate between the east and west sides of Amelia Island and the town’s shabby South 8th Street being declared a “scenic highway for the vision impaired.”

“From the feedback I received the self-deprecating ads generate as many chuckles as the absurd stories,” claims Scott. “The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive. However, if you’re sitting next to someone in a pub who thinks any of the stories in the News Wrecker are authentic, then you’ll probably want to move down a couple of seats.”

This year’s publication also includes news reports about a local Caucasian family criticized for its lack of diversity, a local man discovered without tattoos, a nuclear bomb testing ban declared by Fernandina’s environmentalist mayor, local restaurants being ordered to install scales to avoid serving overweight customers, and many, many more “timely and accurate articles” says Scott.

Free copies of the paper are available at the advertiser’s locations and most restaurants and bars on the island and Yulee.

“The News Wrecker pokes harmless fun at our small but vocal liberal and far right wing populations, local governing bodies, the Shrimp Festival, local news gathering organizations, and other area sacred cows,” says Scott.

Scott said that if this issue proves as popular as last year’s he’ll continue the annual publication prior to each year’s Shrimp Festival. Last year’s edition can be read online at Scott can be reached at or

Shrimp Festival’s Antique Show 2016

Shrimp Festival’s Antique Show 2016 The older I get, the more I seem to appreciate antique furniture and vintage jewelry, and the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival offers an amazing display of vendors on Saturday and Sunday in the festival’s Antique Show. You’ll find furniture, nautical items, jewelry, dolls, plates and other collectibles. These exhibitors offer true antiques and vintage products. Reproductions and new retail items are not permitted. Many of these vendors have been coming to the Festival for 10, 15, and 20 years. Some come from as far away as Maryland, and Key Largo, Florida, just to participate in the show.

You could spend days looking at all of the items sold in the antiques section of the Shrimp Festival. There will be quilts, fossils, sharks teeth, glassware, pottery, beads and vintage jewelry, and the old wood carvings and folk art are amazing.

spoon-bracelet-by-harmony-in-designOld silverware and gemstones are transformed into wearable art as seen in the picture of the spoon fish bracelet by Jim and Lia Harmon of Harmony in Design. Depression glass, old photography equipment and vintage fabric items will also be up for sale.

Antique and vintage items are great when you are looking to decorate your home or office, or add to an existing collection, but do you know the difference between antique and vintage? In 1930, the United States passed a law defining antiques as an item produced prior to the year 1830. This was to help people distinguish the difference between vintage, reproduced, and antique items. However, that law became outdated and was changed in 1966 to simply define antique as an item that was at least 100 years or older. There are some conditions that were added to clarify repairs and restorations. Vintage items refer to items that are at least 20 years old. For example, an item from the 1950s would be vintage, not an antique.

Adding an antique, or a piece of vintage furniture, will add warmth, and conversation to your space, but how do you know what to look for? If you find a piece that sparks your interest take a closer look. Look at how it is made. Look for chips, cracks, stains or breaks. Do these imperfections add character or is your “find” about to fall apart? Ask the seller if they know the history of the piece. If you select a piece that requires alterations such as refinishing or reupholstering, keep in mind those endeavors can become costly and they would diminish the value of a truly antique piece.

Old pieces will look old. It’s a good idea to look in the crevices of the wood for dust and debris, use a flashlight if you need to. Older pieces are constructed with old fashioned hardware. Furniture will be held together with nails and not staples. If an item is handmade, the dovetail cuts won’t be perfect.

Talk to the exhibitors. Folks that travel to sell their wares at festivals love to meet other people and you will find they are have a wealth of knowledge they are willing to share, after all, this is the business they are in.

Your best bet is to be prepared by doing a little homework if you are considering an expensive purchase. Read books on Depression glass, or look at auction sites for specific items you may be interested in, such as an antique pie safe. With a price range from a couple hundred dollars to a couple thousand dollars, my novice shopping skills and budget would restrict me to purchasing an imported reproduction pie safe for $49.95. But, even if you are no expert in antiques or vintage merchandise, shopping those items at the Shrimp Festival is still a lot of fun and this year I’ll be looking for old shop signs, nautical items, and of course, vintage jewelry.


Terry and Carol Bodeker
Port Charlotte, FL
Antique glassware, pottery
Vintage jewelry, collectibles

Barbara and Frank Charboneau
Bushnell, FL
Small collectibles

Quoc Boa Chaw
Melbourne, FL
Antique ceramics, glassware, jade

Laura Czarnecki
Holly Hills, FL
Vintage collectibles, jewelry

George Diaz
Jacksonville, FL
Fossils, shark teeth

Christine & Christopher Dillon
Fernandina Beach
Antiques, folk art, wood carvings

Karen Eberly
Gainesville, FL
Vintage kimono, jackets
Jewelry, textiles

Janis Gager
Orlando, FL
Beads & collectibles

Jim and Lia Harmon
Harmony in Design
Middle River, MD
Antique silverware & gemstones
Made into unique wearable art

Randy Jesper
Dunnellin, FL

Elizabeth Kiefer
Spring Hill, FL
Quilts, pottery, beads, jewelry

Paul Luczynski
Coconut Critters
Key Largo, FL
Antiques, glass, pottery

Ann McDaniel
Zephyrhills, FL
Antiques, collectibles, jewelry

Sue McDaniel
Pinellas Park, FL
Depression glass, pottery,
Old cameras

Marilyn Meredith
Meredith’s Antiques, Inc
Deerfield Beach, FL
Antiques, vintage collectibles
Silver jewelry

Arlene Minschel
Island Treasures
Fernandina Beach, FL
Antiques, collectibles, nautical

Debra Moffat
Jacksonville, FL
Antiques, recycled jewelry

Ronni Nagel
Jacksonville, FL
Handmade vintage fabric
Pillows and bags

John Netcher
Olde Tyme Antiques
Jewelry, nautical, glass, pottery
Art, small furniture

Genie O’Brien
Newberry, FL
Rocks, stones, fossils, jewelry

Victoria Pierce
St. Petersburg, FL
Jewelry, furniture, smalls

Tania Sante
Umatilla, FL
Men and women collectibles

Sandra Smith
Zephyrhills, FL
Antiques, collectibles

Bridget Zelnick
Groveland, FL
Antique glass, china

FSCJ LINCS Students among First to Earn All SCPro™ Fundamentals Certifications

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – The following Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) students are among the first group of college students in the United States to earn all eight SCPro™ Fundamentals certifications awarded by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP):
· Ramona Federico
· Mark Krancer
· Joseph Larsen
· James West
· Michael West

The LINCS Supply Chain Management Program at FSCJ administers the courses needed to earn the CSCMP certifications. LINCS stands for Leveraging, Integrating, Networking and Coordinating Supplies. It is funded by a $24.5 million U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant.

“Employers are focused on hiring graduates that have gone beyond just getting a degree in a discipline; certifications demonstrate specialization in their chosen industry,” said Philip Seely, program manager of the TAACCCT LINCS grant at FSCJ. “Students who position themselves with specialized certifications stand out from the average and have a much higher likelihood of securing a prime position.”

The LINCS program includes the eight industry-recognized certification tracks: customer service operations; demand planning, inventory management; manufacturing and service operations; supply chain management principles; supply management and procurement; transportation operations; and warehousing operations.

Many of the students in the FSCJ LINCS program are seeking a second career and degree, while others include unemployed workers, first-time students and military veterans. Students may graduate from the program with an associate degree in supply chain management or receive their Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.S) in Logistics.

The demand for more workers in supply chain management is steadily increasing as such factors as an aging workforce, increased trade from Asia, the Panama Canal expansion and the new free-trade pacts play a part in what’s happening in the industry.

FSCJ is a part of a consortium of nine colleges and three universities that was awarded a portion of the TAACCCT grant to develop a national curriculum, enroll students into a credit-bearing supply chain management degree plan, provide credentials and place graduates in jobs and/or provide transfers into four-year universities.

For more information about the FSCJ TAACCCT LINCS program and the supply chain management and logistics program, visit

Shrimp Festival 2016 Entertainment Line-up

shrimp-at-the-festivalThe entertainment schedule has been confirmed for the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival coming to historic Fernandina Beach April 28 – May 1, 2016. Come for the arts, the crafts, the food, the antiques, the Kids Fun Zone, the Pirates, the official T-shirt and souvenirs, the free concerts, the shrimp boats, the demonstrations, or just come to people watch, the Shrimp Festival offers something for everyone!

The activities kick-off with a Pirate Parade held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 28, 2016. Sponsored by the Fernandina’s Residence Inn Marriott on Sadler Road, this year’s parade theme is, “Celebration of All American Shrimp.” If you arrive hungry, Memorial United Methodist Church will be having their annual Spaghetti Dinner on North Sixth Street, in Maxwell Hall from 5:00 to 8:30 p.m., dinner for adults is $8.00 per plate, and $5.00 for children.

Friday’s activities begin early with the Historical Fernandina Business Association’s Annual Sidewalk Sale. Downtown merchants are marking deep discounts and you should take advantage of this great sale!

Friday evening, the expanded Kids Fun Zone, located at Central Park on Atlantic Avenue, is celebrating Family Appreciation Night. Purchase a Ride-All-Night wrist band for $20.00 and rides are included from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. This is a family night of fun with rides, activities and interactive entertainment featuring shows by Rick Hubbard’s Kazoobie Show and JuggleSTUFF throughout the night.

2015-miss-shrimp-festivalThe official Opening Ceremonies will be held Friday evening on the Riverfront Stage at 6:00 pm, with the distribution of scholarships to the winners and runners-up of the Miss Shrimp Festival Pageant by Hampton Inn & Suites, Amelia Island “Historic Harbor Front Hotel”, beginning at 6:30. Enjoy sponsor booths, a marine exhibit, tour a real shrimp boat, and feast on delicious fare from a variety of food booths, all operated by Nassau County’s non-profit organizations, located on the waterfront all evening. At 7:15 the Pirate Parade Awards will be given and then Chicago Blues Night comes to Amelia Island! Presented by the Amelia Island Blues Society, Mud Morganfield (the son of Muddy Waters) will take the stage at 7:30. At 9:00 there is the exciting Invasion of the Pirates as they come booming up the river and take over the stage, followed by a brilliant presentation of fireworks at 9:15. Stick around; after the fireworks the Blues Man of the South, Gitlo Lee, will take the stage until the festivals activities end at 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 30th, brings the opening of nearly 400 arts, crafts, antique, and food booths throughout the downtown area from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Kids Fun Zone will be open all day with shows by Rick Hubbard, and JuggleSTUFF, with the addition of the Mason’s Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Pirate in Training Contest (ages 5 and under) and the Little Pirate Contest (ages 6 and up) at 10:00 a.m. At 11:00, the dancers from the Bean School of Dance will delight audiences, and at 3:30 the Fernandina Pirates Club will help the youngsters, “Learn to be a Pirate”.

On the Riverfront Stage the Fernandina Beach High School Jazz Ensemble performs at 10:00 a.m. and you’ll be dancing in the streets to the band DRB at 11:00. At 12:30, bring your beards to the 49th Annual Topsy Smith Memorial Beard Contest, sponsored by The Marina Restaurant, and at 1:00 p.m. those gnarly Pirates will invade once more. You are encouraged to put on your best pirate attire and enter the G-Rated, Best Adult Pirate Contest, sponsored by (Yep, that’s us!) at 1:30, and then enjoy the amazing, combined sounds of the guitar and the didgeridoo, by Dominic Gaudious at 4:00 p.m. The Contest Registration Booth, located at the Riverfront Stage, will open one hour prior to contests held in the riverfront area.

Gin-Blossoms-PHOTO BY_ Sakiphotography-shrimp-festivalThe Gin Blossoms take the Riverfront Stage for a FREE concert at 4:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon and will have you dancing and singing along to their Top 40 Hits like Hey Jealousy, Follow You Down, ‘Til I Hear it From You, Found Out About You, and Allison Road. Festivities end at 6:00 p.m.

A full day of fun is expected from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with the all of the exhibitors and vendors returning on Sunday. The Kids Fun Zone will be open all day with more performances of the Kazoobie Show and JuggleSTUFF. Pak’s Karate Academy will offer a demonstration at 11:00 a.m. and the kids will delight as they “Learn to be a Pirate” at noon, or again at 3:30 p.m.

randy-cuthrell-wreath-search-ameliaThe Riverfront Stage will offer a Sunday Morning Celebration at 11:00 a.m., and at 1:30 all eyes turn to the river for the Blessing of the Fleet, Laying of the Wreath, and the Best Decorated Shrimp Boat Parade and Contest. The Party Band of the South, the Swingin’ Medallions will take the stage at 2:30, with a Cold Stone Creamery Ice Cream Eating Contest (think shrimp ice cream), and Shrimp Boat Awards at 3:30. The Swingin’ Medallions will take the stage for another set at 4:00, and play until the festival ends at 5:00 p.m.

The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is easy to find, just come to Amelia Island in Northeast Florida and follow the signs to Park and Ride, where you can find easy, stress-free parking for only $10.00 per carload, and then catch a free, air-conditioned shuttle to and from the Shrimp Festival.
For more information, find them on facebook or visit

New Banks May Finally be on the Horizon

Coral Gables, FL – BauerFinancial, Inc., the nation’s leading independent bank rating firm, applauds FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg after recent remarks that both championed community banks and tried to spur interest in de novo applications.

In his own words:
* Community banks are the only banks with a physical presence in a fifth of all U.S. counties.

* Community banks account for 44% of all small business and farm loans and most small business lending by large banks is only via credit cards.

* Banks that had less than $100 million in assets in 1985 were the most resilient of any size group in the 30 years since.

* 93% of the industry today meets FDIC’s research definition of “community bank” (less than $1 billion in assets AND operating in a traditional manner of lending and deposit gathering).

* FDIC research has found that most economies of scale are reached at the $100 million dollar asset level; they cease to realize any significant benefits beyond the $300 million asset mark.

* Community banks have been outpacing the industry as a whole in many areas, including earnings growth, and loan growth in: residential mortgages; C&I loans; and CRE loans.

* In spite of the drastic consolidation in the banking industry over the past 30 years, there are roughly the same number of banks with assets between $100 million and $1 billion today as there were in 1985, and they hold a higher volume of assets.

The FDIC is looking for ways to facilitate the process of establishing new community banks and has seen indications of increased interest in de novo charter applications in recent quarters, and that is music to our ears. From 1980-2000, an average of more than 200 de novos opened each year. Then it began to drop. By 2008, there were only 98 new charters and in the seven years since, there have been just 45. In fact, in three of the last five years there were zero. Anything done to spur interest is a positive.

BauerFinancial provides star-ratings on all federally-insured banks and credit unions. To look up the rating of your bank or credit union, simply visit

It’s Simple. It’s Smart. And it’s Free.

BauerFinancial has been providing the public with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions regarding their banking relationships since 1983… BauerFinancial is the source that bankers and consumers trust when making important banking decisions.

2016 Katie Ride for Life

2016 Katie Ride for LifeOne of Amelia Island’s premier fundraising events is the Katie Ride for Life. Inspired by the heart-breaking death of a teen aged girl, young Katie Caples’ saved five lives, and over the years has touched countless others because she chose to be an organ donor.

Though she didn’t know it at the time, Katie started a movement that anyone and everyone should register to become an organ donor.

The Katie Caples Foundation inspires others to live, breathe, walk, run, ride, educate and advocate for organ donation. They are committed to increasing the number of registered organ donors and eliminating the wait for the more than 125,000 adults and children in need of a lifesaving organ transplant.

If you are not familiar with the story, please take a moment and meet Katie, and one of the lives she saved:

125,000 adults and children are waiting for an organ transplant. 21 people will die today while they wait, and tomorrow 144 more will be added to this “too-long-of-a-list”. We know those people in dire need of a transplant could be your mother, father, son, daughter, sister, brother or friend. Together, we will do the right thing and end the wait.

So join the movement and help others share life by saying, “Yes!” Become an organ donor, because “yes” saves lives.

The Katie Ride for Life will be held on April 16, 2016, beginning at 7:30 a.m. at the Atlantic Recreation Center on Amelia Island. Expect delays and traffic congestion until 3:00 p.m.

Island Chamber Singers’ Mass of the Children


The Island Chamber Singers present a spring concert of John Rutters Mass of the Children, featuring the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus. Directed by Jane Lindberg, the Singers will be accompanied by a woodwind quintet, percussion, double bass, and piano.

There are two performances. One on Friday, April 15th, at 7:00 PM, with a reception to follow; and a second performance on Sunday, April 17th, at 3:00 PM.

Mass of the Children will be held at the Amelia Plantation Chapel located at 36 Bowman Road in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

Advance admission $20.00
Admission at the door $25.00
K-12 and college students are FREE!

Advance ticket locations:
Peterbrooke Chocolatier
Harrison’s Mercantile at Omni Shops
Amelia Island Visitor Center (Train Depot)
AIFBY Chamber of Commerce (Gateway)

Are You Ready to Wear Shorts?

romanesco-by-judie-mackieSummer is coming, will you be ready for swimwear and shorts? Let’s face it, filling up on fresh vegetables goes a long way in cleaning up your diet and living a healthier lifestyle. But, many find it tough to get more vegetables into their daily diet. As the manager of the Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market, I asked my friends, family, vendors and customers how they increase their vegetable intake. Here are some of their ideas:

-Have more vegetables on hand. If you have fresh vegetables in your house, you are more likely to eat more fresh vegetables.
-Make menus. Making daily menus makes it easier to prepare meals in advance, including shopping for and preparing more fresh produce to serve at the family table.
-Add onions and peppers to just about anything, especially scrambled eggs or omelets for breakfast.
-Put slices of onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce on your sandwiches.
-Wrap sandwiches in lettuce, kale or spinach instead of breads.
-Add as many vegetables as you can to your salads, or to your pizza.
-Mix it up. Some people get tired of eating the same foods over and over again.
-Try foods you’ve never eaten before. Kohlrabi, Romanesco, mizuna, and Asian turnips are all available from our vendors and are ones I had never tasted before managing a farmers market.
-Sneak vegetables into ordinary dishes. For example try making zucchini casserole, adding mashed roasted eggplant to your mashed potatoes, slip some peas into your guacamole, or even put pureed cooked beets into your favorite chocolate cake recipe.

With spring in hand and summer on its way, there are many vegetables coming to harvest and I’m sure you will find a new and unusual favorite such as baked sweet potato fries, kale or spinach chips, and oven roasted beets to help get you ready for summer.

The Fernandina Beach Market Place farmers market is open rain or shine, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., every Saturday of the year, except for April 30, 2016. The market will be closed for the 53rd Annual Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival.

Located on North Seventh Street, in historic Fernandina Beach, Saturday, April 9th, the adjacent Fernandina Beach Arts Market will be open, too, with over 20 talented arts and craft vendors. Entertainment this week is by Jennifer Burns.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and our “Booth with a Cause” will be the Women’s Center of Jacksonville. They are the certified rape crisis center for Duval, Baker and Nassau counties.

For more information about the market, or to find a recipe for my Zucchini Cobbler, please visit

Landscape Matters 2016

Landscape Matters 2016The Nassau County Cooperative Extension monthly series, Landscape Matters, are held from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am and given by Nassau County Extension Agents and/or Master Gardeners.

These presentations will be held at the Yulee Satellite Office, 86026 Pages Dairy Road, Yulee. Rose Class and Pruning Class will be held at the Demonstration Garden, Yulee Government Complex, 96135 Nassau Place.

We have listed the presentations on our event calendar; here are the presentations for the remainder of the year.

April 6th -Hummingbirds
Fee $10 for recycled feeder.
To register email
Rebecca Jordi

April 20 – Snakes
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Karl Shaffer

May 4 – Hydrangeas
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Joanne Templeton

May 25 – Palm Trees
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Demonstration Garden Location
Yulee Governmental Complex
Rebecca Jordi

June 1 – Garden Pests
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Rebecca Jordi

June 20 – Lawn Problems
St. Augustine grass
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Nelson Peterson

July 6 – Drought Tolerant Plants
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Rebecca Jordi

July 20 – Native Plants
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Rebecca Jordi

August 3 – Vegetables
Joseph Smith

August 17 – Invasives and Alternatives
Rebecca Jordi

September 7 – Landscaping for Wildlife
Bea Walker

September 21 – Butterflies
Ginny Grupe

October 5 – Tree Planting and Selection
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Rebecca Jordi

October 19 – Bulb Propagation and Division
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Rebecca Jordi

November 2 – Herbs
10:00 a.m. to 11:00 am
Claudie Speed

November 16 – Are Bats Beneficial?
10AM – 11:30AM
Pre-register by Nov 9. Fee $15.
Cindy Steighner and Karl Shaffer

Nov 30 – Holiday Mailbox Decorating
Carol Ann Atwood & Sylvie Baxter

These programs are free to the public, so please call (904) 530-6350 or e-mail if you plan to attend.

If response is too small, the program will be canceled.

Fernandina Seeking Labor Attorney

Fernandina Seeking Labor AttorneyThe City of Fernandina Beach is looking to hire someone as their contracted labor attorney. The qualified candidate will handle the traditional scope of work including legal counsel, legal opinions, consultation and coordination with the City Attorney and City Manager.

Attendance at a variety of meetings may be required, including but not limited to labor negotiations, administrative hearings, arbitrations, City Commission closed sessions and/or open public meetings, and employment-related litigation court appearances and administrative hearings, as specified.

Other services may include legal advice, counsel, services, training, consultation and opinions to the City Attorney, City Manager and City Commission on a wide variety of labor assignments, including but not limited to:
-Laws against discrimination (federal and state).
-Methods to avoid civil litigation.
-Labor negotiations, arbitrations, labor and employment counseling, PERC proceedings and employment litigation.
-Drafting and/review for legal correctness and acceptability; legal documents, contracts, settlement agreements, severance agreements, releases, collective bargaining agreements and other legal drafting, as requested.
-Appearance for and representation of the City in labor negotiation matters, as requested.
-Guidance to the City, as well as representation when necessary, regarding personnel actions, policies and procedures, employment discrimination claims, and the like.

The City has appointed an Evaluation Committee tasked with performing the evaluation of all qualified proposals.

Official Request For Proposal is available under “bid postings” at, and should be returned no later than 2:00 pm, March 29th, 2016.

2016 Relay For Life at Main Beach March 5th

Relay Poster-800

Click to enlarge poster

In communities throughout Florida people are gathering together to help fight cancer at a unique event called Relay For Life. Relay is the American Cancer Society’s national signature activity that brings together teams of families and friends from local companies, schools, clubs, churches, and other organizations to walk around the track in relay fashion.

All proceeds raised from this event are used for cancer research, education, prevention and patient services. The five-year relative survival probability for all cancers diagnosed between 1999 and 2006 is 68 percent, up from 50 percent in 1975 to 1977. This survival rate can be increased through more research and greater community awareness of health issues. Relay For Life combines a way to share vital cancer education and programs with community members and a way to raise money to fund more cancer research.

The success began in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma, Washington surgeon and
American Cancer Society volunteer, ran and walked on a local track for 24 hours, traveling a total of 81 miles and raising $27,000. Since Dr. Klatt’s one-man marathon, thousands of people nationwide have passed the “baton” and raised billions of dollars for Relay For Life’s battle against cancer.


Click to enlarge schedule

“Survivor – Let’s Vote Cancer off the Island” is the message of this year’s Relay For Life Fernandina Beach/Yulee, being held March 5, 2016 at Main Beach Park on Amelia Island. The 12-hour event is free and open to the public.

Opening ceremonies begin at 10:00 a.m. with a welcome from Mayor Johnny Miller, and a message of hope from cancer survivor Judie Mackie. The first lap of Relay For Life celebrates cancer survivors. Anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer, whether currently undergoing treatment or in remission for 50 years, is invited to participate. Caregivers, and then participating teams, will be invited to the track.

Members from our community are encouraged to continuously walk the track representing how cancer never takes a break. There will be family games, activities, entertainment, and six live bands will perform throughout the event. Themed laps will occur at the top of each hour, and Relay teams will compete in “Tribal Challenges” to earn immunity and of course, bragging rights.

After dusk, the Luminaria Ceremony remembers all of those who battled cancer. Candles surround the track with bags marked with the names of those still fighting, those who won the battle, and those we have lost. This ceremony of light symbolizes our mothers, our fathers, our sisters, our brothers, our sons, our daughters, our friends and our loved ones. The lights remind us of hope, and our shared vision for a cancer-free future. Fernandina Beach Vice Mayor Robin Lentz, and cancer survivor Patti Jubell, will share their emotional stories, and every Relay participant is encouraged to find a way to fight back against cancer, by raising money, making a healthy lifestyle choice or speaking up for cancer patients through advocacy.

ALL proceeds from the day’s activities, as well as vendor’s booths, will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

For more information about Relay For Life Fernandina Beach/Yulee please contact Alexandra Davis at (904) 391-3643.

For information about Relay For Life or about cancer, call toll-free anytime 1-800-227-
2345 or visit the American Cancer Society Web site at

Big Changes for SearchAmelia Coming

Since 2008, we’ve been bringing online news and events about Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach, Nassau County, and Northeast Florida to you – and those interested – in our little piece of Paradise. After eight great years, it is time to give a new look. We will continue to write articles about our town, stories about interesting people, cover more friendly events, and maintain our comprehensive community event calendar.

This new year brings worldwide adventures for my partner, Han; and for me the new year brings a new look at life after having battled cancer the past three months – and in turn it is only fitting that we bring a new look for, too.

In the meantime, sit back and watch your inbox… we’ll be back online soon!

Reason Why You May Have Frequent Nose Bleeds

nose-bleedsNose bleeds or bloody noses can be incredibly difficult to deal with the first time. Frequent nose bleeds, though not a common sign of a serious health condition, are caused by things that you may do everyday and not even think about.

A dry climate can be one reason that your nose bleeds so often. The heat and lack of moisture will dry out the nose. When your nose is dry, the mucus inside begins to crust over. This can become itchy or become irritated, and then you have a nose bleed. Summers in dry areas are notorious for causing nosebleeds in healthy people. Avoid scratching at or picking at your nose in this situation to avoid nose bleeds.

During a cold, blowing your nose can be the cause of a nose bleed. Well, in general, blowing your nose too much can be a cause of nosebleeds. This could be from allergies (which carpet cleaners could help avoid if the allergen is airborne), or from a cold, like stated earlier. Blowing your nose too much, or too forcefully, can result in breaking some of the blood vessels in the nose. They are extremely fragile, and bleed easily. They are in the front and back of the nose.

A less common cause of nosebleeds is an injury to the face. These could occur from a punch to the face, a car accident, or a fall. While many nose bleeds will not require medical attention, these will – no matter how long they last. This kind of nose bleed could mean a more serious injury – a broken nose, internal bleeding, or a skull fracture. If you know what kind of injury caused the nose bleed, it’ll help the doctor that’s treating you.

Another cause of common nosebleeds can be blood-thinning medicines, aspirin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – NSAIDs. This prevent blood clots from forming. The blood must form a clot for a nosebleed to stop, which can make any nosebleed from a previous cause difficult to stop. However, medicines that thin the blood can cause more frequent nose bleeds. Clopidogrel and warfarin are two examples of blood thinners that have the risk of more frequent or longer nose bleeds. Any common medication for atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, also has the risk of creating more nose bleeds.

Other Uncommon Causes
The previously mentioned causes are among the most common reasons nosebleeds can occur often. There are plenty of uncommon or rare causes that might be concerning.

One such concerning cause is the use of too much alcohol. There is also data that proves that alcohol can cause nose bleeds if it’s consumed in high enough doses. Alcohol can cause blood to be unusually regulated. This can cause more blood to go to the nose, and one of the previous cases could cause a nose bleed easily. Unless it doesn’t stop within 20 minutes or so with direct manual pressure, it’s not life threatening or serious. The serious cause is the alcohol – which does more damage, but that is not for this article.

Furthermore, alcohol can cause the blood to act as if you are on a blood-thinning medicine. Blood pressure can be altered, and dehydration is also a risk.

Another uncommon cause is nasal surgery. Bleeding will be common for two to three days after the surgery. Nasal packing is usually given to keep the bleeding from getting out of hand. However, ignoring post surgery instructions can increase the frequency of post surgery bleeding. Blowing the nose the week immediately following the surgery is a big no-no. Strenuous exercise can also create the conditions for a bleeding nose after surgery.

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Finding Stepping Stones Across the River

Stepping stones for life's balancing act

Stepping stones for life’s balancing act

This year my birthday falls on Black Friday which somehow cheapens the experience into a 50% off or 2-for-1 deal.
As far as milestones go I’m turning 65, a cross road where most of someone’s life comes together or should. The big retrospection and the choices and options for the future. The point where the inevitable decline of the body’s physical abilities meets it mental acceptance.

Somehow I have arrived at the intersection of who I once wanted to be and the one I have become. A man who struggles and triumphs (luctor et emergo), a man who doubts and searches, who gains insight and sometimes feels like crying for a world that has lost its direction once again. A man who fakes fights with his past while nourishing the unfulfilled dreams. A man who had his heart broken by some, just to have it glued back together by others. The sum of a life that saw pendulums shifting direction as often as politicians break their promises. And in that spectrum of life’s possible outcomes, I found virtue between the extremes of excess and deficiency.

I’ve learned that many things are the way they are. If I leave an open can of beer on the counter, it’s going to go flat. It doesn’t matter what I or anyone else thinks about it. Step off the curb at the wrong time, and a crosstown bus will flatten you. No point in arguing with it. That is objective reality. That’s just the way it is.

I have also learned that reality doesn’t correspond to what the crowd thinks or what it wants. I have found that ‘something for nothing’ is a sadly misguiding human survival incentive and I have learned that what people expect almost never comes into existence; at least not in the projected timeline. And then there are things that exist because we just think (perceive) they do, without ever looking for objective proof. Religion calls it dogmatic acceptance.

Many subjective realities around us are perceptions, much like government, wealth without worry, religion, institutionalized education. None of them disperses warranties. I have learned that I can only guess how much upside or downside there is left in every swing of the pendulum, but I am now officially old enough to know that when thoughts and actions consciously focus on the positive, you will change the world. I’ve also learned that the secret of happiness is not something you feel, it’s something you do.

Therefore I am now much more than the sum of my regrets or accomplishments. My mind’s hard drive was formatted by the seventies, but my heart always stayed a child of the sixties. Without regret I report that it took me 45 years to learn and accept that when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. And yes I have often wished that I didn’t know now what I didn’t know then, but really it doesn’t matter, because I have also learned that the heart always has the last word.

The heart has the last word

The heart has the last word

So when I awake tomorrow morning, life will look me in the eyes with a faint mysterious smile around her lips, as she knows where I came from and senses where I’m going to.

“Surrender”, she will whisper seductively yet stern. “Follow me. I need men on my path. Men without labels; men who are not solely fed by materialism and hunger for power, men devoid of the narcissistic need for recognition and admiration. Real men, whose successes I have quietly shared and who I embraced in their deepest failures.”

“I will touch your courage when you cross your river at this 65th bend and surprise you with new horizons. And then, hopefully years from now, when you’re finally done exploring the mysteries of life, you’ll know the exact place where you will bloom for the last time in rich colors and scents and you will measure your life’s meaning only with what you had to give up to get there. And only then will you know for certain if you made a difference.”

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