Comedian Amy Beckham’s Take on Election 2016

Just in time for Election 2016, local Comedian Amy Beckham offered her poetic take on the presidential candidates.

Amy Beckham is the optometrist at the Yulee Mall, better known as the Super Walmart. Most of the people I know use her as their eye doctor, including my entire family, BUT – did you know she is also a stand-up comedian? I had the pleasure of catching her show at the Amelia Musical Playhouse theatre on Amelia Island Saturday evening, and she gave me permission to film and share a portion of that show… this 3 1/2 minute take on Election 2016 is sure to put a smile on your face!

To learn more about Amy, please visit: AmyBeckham.com

Mark Kaufman and Donna Paz Kaufman Present to Rotary

Mark Kaufman and Donna Paz Kaufman Present to RotaryMark Kaufman and Donna Paz Kaufman were recent guests of The Rotary Club of Amelia Island Sunrise and gave a presentation on the future of retail bookstores.

Their company, Paz and Associates – The Bookstore Training Group, helps booksellers develop knowledge and skills to successfully operate profitable, independent bookstores.

In addition to helping them in their operations, they can help with store design, layout, lighting and all aspects of effective marketing. They also have expertise in cafe operations, which is becoming a common feature of bookstores.

Mark and Donna stated that the independent bookstore industry is healthy and growing. Rotarians found the presentation interesting and informative.

Rotary is an international service organization with over 34,000 clubs world-wide. The Amelia Island Sunrise Club meets Fridays at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club at 7:30 a.m.

Make a Splash with Artist Jose Garcia

Make a Splash is the newest exhibit at the Plantation Artists’ Guild and Gallery. Amelia Island resident, Jose Garcia, features beautiful art that will be on display from August 6 through September 10, 2016, at the Plantation Artists’ Guild & Gallery.

Garcia began drawing as a young man and soon developed a love of color that he used to paint the birds, fish and animals he saw on his world travels. Comfortable with a variety of media, he favors oil on canvas to paint his abstracts and tries to express emotion with each brush stroke.

The Plantation Artists’ Guild & Gallery is located at 94 Amelia Village Circle at The Omni Shops. Gallery hours are Tuesdays 9-1; Wednesday – Friday, from 11:00 a.m until 5:00 p.m., or by appointment.

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Brian Henning Wins Spirit of Partnership Award

Brian Henning of the financial services firm Edward Jones in Fernandina Beach/Yulee recently won the firm’s exclusive Spirit of Partnership Award for outstanding performance during 2015.

Jim Weddle, the firm’s managing partner, calls Henning a leader in the firm and an example of what a dedicated Edward Jones financial advisor can achieve.

“Brian has demonstrated unyielding dedication and enthusiasm for his business of serving individual investors,” Weddle said. “Brian has reached a benchmark in his career that deserves recognition, and the Spirit of Partnership Award provides that recognition. I am proud to call him an Edward Jones financial advisor.”

Henning said he is honored to receive the award.

“Edward Jones is a partnership. That structure is not just financial, it’s a philosophy,” Henning said. “We work together, help each other and all share in the rewards of working with long-term individual investors. That brings out the best in everyone.”

Henning was one of only 1,108 financial advisors out of the firm’s more than 14,000 to receive the award.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 14,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 10 on FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2016, is headquartered in St. Louis. The Edward Jones website is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

Highly Decorated Officer Promoted to Police Sergeant

Highly Decorated Officer Promoted to Police SergeantJason Smith, a ten year veteran of the Fernandina Beach Police Department, has been selected to be the next Police Sergeant after successfully completing the recent competitive promotional process.

Sergeant Smith has twice been recognized as the Police Officer of the Year by the Fernandina Beach Police Department based on his volume of work, initiative and dedication. He received the annual MADD Outstanding Performance Award in 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 given by the Northeast Florida MADD organization for his continuing efforts to reduce DUI traffic offenses. He has served as a Field Training Officer and Drug Recognition Expert.

Sergeant Smith is an active mentor in the Take Stock in Children program in Nassau County. He is also an active instructor for NACDAC, teaching Responsible Alcoholic Beverage Training curriculum on a quarterly basis.

Smith, hired on May 15, 2006, began his new supervisory duties on Sunday, June 19th.

Live in Flip Flops, an Amelia Island Company

Live in Flip Flops, a Northeast Florida, woman-owned company, has launched their fourth calendar in the Flip it series; Flip it… for God’s Glory – Faith-filled Messages to Flip Your Day!

Unlike a tear-off calendar, Flip it is a “perpetual” calendar to be enjoyed every day, year after year. Each calendar measures approximately 4″ x 3″ and weighs just under a pound, then bound with a durable spiral coil and a built-in easel stand. Flip it… for God’s Glory is bursting with 366 faith-inspired quotes, powerful Scripture verses and uplifting prayers certain to brighten your day!

• Your ordinary story bears the fingerprints of an extraordinary God.
• “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
• Faith is not believing that God can; it is knowing that God will.
• Stop focusing on how stressed you are and remember how blessed you are!
• If God is all you have, you have all you need!
• Sometimes God lets you hit rock bottom so that you realize that God is The Rock at the bottom.
• Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out.
• If you don’t believe in miracles, perhaps you have forgotten… You Are One!

Visit LiveinFlipFlops.com to view additional decorative items, as well as the growing collection of Flip it calendars; Flip it… Inspiring Messages to Flip Your Day, Flip it… for Dog Lovers, Flip it… and Get Organized, and upcoming editions, Flip it… for New Parents, Athletes, Caregivers, Couples and more!

Live in Flip Flops is a registered trademark with corporate offices in Amelia Island, Florida.
All products are created and manufactured in the U.S.A.

Amelia Toffee Company uses Beer, Rum and Bourbon, NOT Your Grandma’s Toffee

amelia-toffee6-2016Amelia Toffee Company is the ONLY toffee made with the mgic of beer, rum and bourbon; this is NOT your grandma’s toffee!

Amelia Island, FL – With each bite of Amelia Toffee, first-time fans rave about the consistency, not too hard. just the right firmness and it melts in the mouth. Anita Comisky’s new confection has hit northeast Florida with meteoric acclaim since its debut on the culinary scene in July 2015.

Although Comisky dabbled with making toffee as a child with her mother and grandmother, her first commercial production of the buttery smooth toffee’s diverse flavors boasts the unique and distinctive tastes of:

– Beer (Great Divide’s Yeti Chocolate) ~ brewed in Denver, CO
– Rum is made at The Distillery in St. Augustine, Florida
– Bourbon is Maker’s Mark
– Coffee extract from Amelia Bay (formulated specifically for Amelia Toffee)

“I’ve done a lot of research about taste and what is innovative. As I spent hours walking fancy food shows, farmers markets, liquor stores and specialty food stores, I realized I wanted to do something unique and introduce infusing with alcoholic beverages and flavors. The current generation is eager to try new things; they enjoy tasting and then purchasing.”

INNOVATION & INSPIRATION:
Amelia Toffee Company was created in 2015 to provide innovative toffee flavors to die-hard toffee lovers. Each day Comisky discovers new flavors that elevate her grandmother’s original toffee recipe, infusing with beer, coffee extract, rum and bourbon and fresh green tea extract. Maintaining the lightness of flavor with her rich crunchy toffee, fans open each bag that is filled with love and exciting flavorful toffee.

amelia-toffee6-2016-217Blending her grandmother’s affection for new tastes and father’s exploration of new foods, she developed a curiosity to be creative. The specialty toffee is eye pleasing first, yet appeals to all senses when eating, a crunchy sound, the irresistible smell of combined ingredients and then an unforgettable taste.

INGREDIENTS & COOKING PROCESS:
A. Chocolate comes from Chocoley ~ Atlanta, Georgia family-owned company
B. Almonds are roasted and dusted with sea salt from Jerry’s Nuts in Denver, Colorado ~ family-owned company
C. Amelia Toffee uses the best butter locally sourced in northeast Florida ~ with recipe 1-to-1 butter to sugar
D. Beer ~ Great Divide – one of the best craft brewers in the US
E. Rum ~ The Distillery, St. Augustine, Florida
F. The unique cooking process is via electric heat, using thin pots that conduct the heat well and manage the Florida humidity.

Each season and celebration will challenge Amelia Toffee to develop new flavors and combinations.

For more information, or to find out where to purchase Amelia Toffee, visit their website at: AmeliaToffee.com

Longtime Property Appraiser Employee Retires

Janet Gill and Mike HickoxNassau County, FL – Janet Gill, a longtime employee of the Nassau County Property Appraiser’s Office, retired at the end of May after 39 years of service.

According to current Property Appraiser Mike Hickox, Janet has worked for 6 of the 9 elected Property Appraisers. “She has years of institutional knowledge and is truly irreplaceable.”

A native of Callahan, Janet began working for Eddie McKendree in 1977 as a data entry clerk. She would then work her way up into supervisory roles and take the lead on the Save-Our-Homes Amendment.

A celebration was held in Janet’s honor as nearly 60 current and former co-workers, friends, and family attended, including former Property Appraiser Greg Haddock and Ms. Patsy Page, wife of the late Property Appraiser James Page.

Pictured are Janet Gill and Mike Hickox.

Shrimp Festival Seen at USA Today Online

shrimp-festival-shrimp-taken-by-kimberly-kappel

Photo by Kimberly Kappel

Author Susan B. Barnes, co-host of #girlstravel Twitter Chat, Mondays at 2:00 p.m. had a piece on seafood festivals across the U.S.A. published this week on USAToday.com, and the Shrimp Festival is included.

SearchAmelia takes tons of images and video each year at the Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival, and were thrilled to see they used two of our submitted photos.

The picture of the cooked, fresh, wild caught shrimp was taken by Kimberly Kappel and she was thrilled to see her picture! Kappel said, “I spent ten years writing and taking pictures professionally. It was a pleasure to make the fron page of the local newspapers. Now, after years of volunteer event photography, a friend submitted a picture and it’s been nationally published.”

I’m honored she called me “a friend”.

My picture is of the kids in the parade.shrimp-festival-parade-fernandina-photo-by-Judie_mackie-2

Here is a link to the article: Click HERE

To learn more about Barnes, please visit her website www.travlingirl.com.

Local Author Releases New Book, TICO!

Local Author Releases New Book, TICO!Fernandina Beach resident, Dr. Richard A. Smith, releases his debut children’s book, TICO.

WHEN: Saturday, October 17th, 3:00-5:00 PM
WHERE: Lulu’s, 11 South 7th Street, historic Fernandina Beach.

All are welcome to stop by Lulu’s at the Thompson house for a meet and greet, and book signing. Rich will be there as well as the book’s illustrator, Mandy Stoffa.

TICO is the story of one girl, one dog, two countries and three languages. Poor, lonely puppy Tico lives on the streets of Costa Rica. He has no family, and barely survives on scraps and handouts. One day, Tico meets an outgoing American student, and she starts to feed and care for him. But, when the student has to return to the U.S., will Tico be forced to go back to living on the streets?

Based on a true story, TICO is written in English and in Spanish. Read it in one language and then flip it around to read it in the other. What’s the third language? Wait & see!

TICO is by Dr. Richard A. Smith and illustrated by Mandy Stoffa. María Díaz created the Spanish translation and Jude Dvorak designed the book layout.

rich-smith-authorDr. Richard A. Smith is Professor Emeritus of Elementary Education at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, where he taught for over 20 years. His teaching experiences at the elementary and middle school levels aided in the development of his first children’s book, TICO. He lives on Amelia Island, Florida with his wife of over 50 years, Julie, and works as Director of Parish Life at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Fernandina Beach.

Mandy K. Stoffa is a fifth generation Floridian who draws inspiration for her artwork from the beauty and natural surroundings of her native state. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Fine Arts from Florida State University, and has taught and created art in various media for many years. She lives in North Florida with her husband and her kitty cat, Violette.

After the book release on October 17th, copies of TICO can be purchased on amazon.com.

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Writers by the Sea Meets on September 17, 2015

Writers by the Sea Meets on September 17, 2015Writers by the Sea has announced their September program. The meeting will be held at 6:00 pm, on September 17, 2015 at the Nassau Public Library located at 25 N. 4th Street, in Fernandina Beach.

A 6:30 presentation, Imagination, Perspective, and Creative Writing Techniques, will be followed by break out groups.

The guest speaker is Jim Weinsier. He is a retired businessman-turned local community activist, artist, and author, and this evening promises a bit of something for everyone.

Using creative writing techniques that are designed to enhance writing, he will discuss how to apply them to the toughest topics. Weinseir’s presentation encourages audience members to join in the discussion.

At Writers by the Sea, attendance is free to all writers, from all backgrounds (adult and young adult), with an invitation to join the larger Florida Writers Association (FWA). During September, Writers by the Sea will meet at Nassau County’s Public Library.

Local Attorney Seeks Commission Seat Citing Tax Dollar Waste

Local Attorney Seeks Commission Seat Citing Tax Dollar WasteFernandina Beach, FL – Local attorney Clinch Kavanaugh, a seventh generation Fernandina Beach resident and long-time critic of the city’s legal and management executives, announced that he has filed to seek election to the Fernandina Beach City Commission, Group 5. Kavanaugh cites wasteful spending and balanced growth as his top platform issues.

“The people that operate our city need to understand that the money they spend does not belong to them, not one cent of it,” says Kavanaugh. “That money comes out of the pockets of the taxpayers who live here, work here, and own property here and it is the job of the commission to ensure it is spent wisely and in the best interests of the community.”

Clinch Kavanaugh - Copyright 2015 Steve Leimberg-300

Clinch Kavanaugh – Photo courtesy of Steve Leimberg

Kavanaugh represented local business and home owners in the recent class action lawsuit regarding crippling impact fees imposed by the city government on local businesses, and new homeowners. The lawsuit was settled in favor of the business owners, but only after the city spent millions of tax dollars in legal fees fighting its own citizens. “We filed the case in order to recover money that was illegally taken by the City Government from its citizens. This is just one example of the misguided and inept legal advice the city is currently receiving that is almost criminal itself. This needs to change,” says Kavanaugh. He cites his experience as an attorney as a means to focus on eliminating wasteful spending on legal expenses as the city faces new lawsuits in the future.

Aside from wasted tax dollars, Kavanaugh cites a gap in leadership when it comes to utilizing the city’s assets. “This is a wonderful and beautiful community. It has so many things going for it. As commissioner, I will work to finally see the marina will be redesigned so that it can be economically viable and efficient,” says Kavanaugh. Other changes Kavanaugh is focused on creating a “rational and balanced approach” to growth, protecting both the environment and people’s property rights. “We need to protect all public beach access. The beach access ordinance needs to be amended to reflect that no one may infringe on the public’s right of using our public beach access either now or in the future.”

He graduated Magna Cum Laude from University of West Florida (with a degree in history. In 1976 earned his law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston. After graduating he became a member of the Texas Bar and soon thereafter a member of the Florida Bar. Initially he practiced law in Bradenton and Sarasota and in the early 1990’s moved to Fernandina, but his family has been deeply invested in the community since 1853 when his great, great grandfather founded the Fernandina’s First Presbyterian Church. His mother, Mary Celeste Hardee Kavanaugh was born in Fernandina and his is father E. Clinch Kavanaugh, Jr. moved here before WWII to work as an Engineer and helped construct the Rayonier Mill. His family has lived on North 6th Street since the early-1850s. Kavanaugh currently practices in Fernandina, focusing on Government, Administrative, Land Use and Environmental Law as well as General litigation.

Clinch Kavanaugh welcomes the opportunity to answer your questions and participate in town hall meetings, debates or interviews. For more information, to volunteer, or to contribute to his campaign, Kavanaugh can be reached at (904) 753-0370, or email him at clinch@clinchkavanaugh.us

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Edward Jones Financial Advisor Wins Award for Outstanding Performance

Edward Jones Financial Advisor Wins Award for Outstanding PerformanceBrian P. Henning of Edward Jones recently won the firm’s coveted Zeke McIntyre Pioneer Award, which recognizes new financial advisors who achieve high levels of success early in their careers with the financial services firm. Henning was one of only 247 of the firm’s more than 14,000 financial advisors to receive the award.

Jim Weddle, the firm’s managing partner, said the award is a strong indicator of a financial advisor’s future success.

“We recruit and hire our financial advisors from among the best, so we expect them to do well,” Weddle said. “But to achieve such success early in his career with Edward Jones is outstanding, and I commend Brian for his performance and dedication.”

The award is named after Edward Jones legend Zeke McIntyre, who opened the firm’s first branch office in 1957 in Mexico, Mo.

Edward Jones, a Fortune 500 company, provides financial services for individual investors in the United States and, through its affiliate, in Canada. Every aspect of the firm’s business, from the types of investment options offered to the location of branch offices, is designed to cater to individual investors in the communities in which they live and work. The firm’s 14,000-plus financial advisors work directly with nearly 7 million clients. Edward Jones, which ranked No. 6 on FORTUNE magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2015, is headquartered in St. Louis. FORTUNE and Time Inc. are not affiliated with and do not endorse products or services of Edward Jones. The Edward Jones website is located at www.edwardjones.com, and its recruiting website is www.careers.edwardjones.com. Member SIPC.

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