Amelia Island Welcomes Pétanque Players and Spectators

Press Release: AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. Amelia Island’s surprising French flair will be showcased during the Pétanque Amelia Island Open (Nov. 10-12), the largest pétanque event in the Americas, where world champions join enthusiastic newcomers for competition and camaraderie. Free to spectators, the tournament draws world champions and players from across the 50 states and more than 19 countries, including Mongolia and New Zealand. The competition and related festivities unfold at the waterfront courts at Fernandina Harbor marina from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 12. Highlights of the weekend’s activities can be found at http://bit.ly/petanqueamelia.

“Amelia Island is perfect for pétanque, a social sport with international appeal,” said Kate Harris, the Amelia Island CVB’s director of digital and international, who is producing this year’s tournament. “With our French history, harborfront historic district, and beaches, the island is not unlike the Mediterranean coast where pétanque began. During the weekend, you’ll hear dozens of languages and meet people from all over the world. It’s a true celebration of ‘joie de vivre’ on this Florida island.”

The event is free to spectators and will feature food trucks, live music at lunchtime, pop-up French lessons presented by the Alliance Francaise of Jacksonville, and artisan cocktails from Amelia Island’s own distillery, Marlin & Barrel.

The game of pétanque (pronounced pay-tonk) is growing in popularity around the world and, integrated with similar games such as bocce, is currently under consideration to be played in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Teams of players compete and throw hollow steel balls across a hard-packed dirt course, aimed at a colorful wooden ball called the pig.

The 2017 event will feature a number of world champions, including 12-time champion Phillipe Quintais; Dylan Rocher, dubbed “The Crown Prince of Pétanque;” along with world champions Damien Hureau, Julien Lamour, Marco Foyot, Claudy Weibel, and seven-time champion, Bruno Le Bouriscaud.

Camille Durand, one of the up-and-coming stars of pétanque and the winner of France’s top national women’s title, will be making her first U.S. tournament appearance on Amelia Island. On Friday, Nov. 10, the finals of the Women’s Confederation Cup will take place at the harborfront courts. World Champions will be hosting training sessions and playing friendly matches against enthusiastic amateurs. At 4 p.m., two young talents (both aged 13) and their teams of veteran players will compete in a special Panam Confederation contest.

For more information, go to ameliapetanque.com.

Story and Song, Indie Bookstore, Opening in Fernandina

You’ll find the new bookstore located in the heart of the island at 1430 Park Avenue in Amelia Park’s commercial district (former home of Artistic Florist, and before that, KP’s Restaurant.)

A general interest indie bookstore, “Story & Song” will offer nearly 10,000 new books for all ages with a variety of interests, the best selection of unique greeting cards in Nassau County, fun toys, and gifts for the reading lifestyle.

You’ll discover books, music, art, wine, coffee, and fresh food in a lively, friendly space – making Story & Song a favorite destination for friends and neighbors, especially those who understand the importance of supporting locally-owned businesses.

The peaceful neighborhood setting offers a relaxing, refreshing escape from ‘screen fatigue’ and the busyness of our lives.

Upstairs, “The Second Story for Arts & Creativity” will showcase art books and art by local creators and will be a place to come for programs and performances, story time and discussions. Area book groups and non-profit community groups will now have a mid-island gathering space.

Find them on facebook for the latest details.

Amelia Island Named Top 10 U.S. Island by Condé Nast Traveler Readers

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. – Northeast Florida’s Amelia Island has placed among the Top 10 U.S. Islands in the 2017 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.  Amelia Island finished in the #3 spot and was the only Florida island included in a list comprised of destinations such as Maui, Nantucket and Oahu in the 30th annual competition.

“Amelia Island continues to enchant visitors, resulting in an ever-growing list of accolades and recognitions,” said Gil Langley, president and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Readers have voted our island paradise into this elite group of global destinations eight of the last nine years. It’s a true testament to Amelia’s enduring appeal, and an invaluable endorsement from discerning travelers.”

Three of Amelia Island’s award-winning accommodators also placed among the Top 25 in the Resorts in Florida category – Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, a 25-room beachfront Inn (#12); the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, a 446-room beachfront resort (#22); and the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, a 404-room beachfront resort (#23).

Condé Nast Traveler announced the results of its 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards on October 17, ranking the best hotels, resorts, cities, islands, airlines, and cruise lines in the world. More than 300,000 dedicated readers took part in the 30th annual Readers’ Choice Awards survey submitting millions of ratings and more than 100,000 comments, voting on a record-breaking thousands of hotels and resorts, hundreds of cities, islands, and cruise ships, and dozens of airlines and airports. The result? Condé Nast Traveler’s largest-ever list of Readers’ Choice Award winners, ranking the best travel experiences in the world.

The Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards are the longest-running and most prestigious recognition of excellence in the travel industry and are commonly known as “the best of the best of travel.” Under Editor in Chief Pilar Guzmán, the Readers’ Choice Awards have become more selective and specific to the passions that inspire today’s travelers.

The Readers’ Choice Awards are announced in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler, on newsstands nationwide on October 24, 2017. The full list is published exclusively online, at www.CNTraveler.com/rca.

About Condé Nast Traveler
As the most discerning, up-to-the-minute voice in all things travel, Condé Nast Traveler is the global citizen’s bible and muse, offering both inspiration and vital intel. Condé Nast Traveler is the most trusted and celebrated name in travel with six National Magazine Award wins and 26 nominations in its 28-year history. Advertising Age named Pilar Guzmán Editor of the Year in 2014 and CNTraveler.com attained four Webby Awards since 2015. www.cntraveler.com
 
 

The cr(AP)py Poll

Can someone please explain to me the thought process that goes on when picking the top 25 teams for the AP poll each week?

Year after year, week after week, I am dumbfounded with certain decisions that are made and I am sure I’m not the only one…

Let’s back up a little bit.
The 2017 season started off with what was supposed to be one of the biggest games in all of college football – #1 Alabama vs. #2 Florida State. This game was to set the whole season in motion and a loss for either team did not put them out of playoff contention. As we all know, Alabama came out victorious and FSU lost their starting quarterback to a devastating knee injury. The Seminoles held The Tide to only 24 total points, which is pretty impressive considering this is the lowest score for Bama we’ve seen through the first 7 weeks. With heavy hearts, Seminole fans all over the country carried on with their lives that following Sunday, waiting for good news and optimistic about the remainder of the season. That is, until the AP poll was released. FSU dropped 8 spots to #10, despite multiple reports stating that it wasn’t over and they are still a very powerful team. Granted, FSU has definitely not proven to be a top 25, let alone a top 10 team, but during week 1, a loss to the #1 team in the nation shouldn’t be the end-all be-all for ANY team.

Fast forward to week 7…with no top 25 matchups, honestly on paper this weekend didn’t look to be very impressive or entertaining. As a diehard football fan, I knew this could only mean one thing; UPSETS GALORE! What I didn’t know was that it would start on Friday night with #2 Clemson falling to unranked Syracuse. This was probably the most unexpected loss for me, personally, but since I graduated from FSU in May, I was not sad to see one of our rivals lose. I woke up Saturday morning to the news that Cal not only upset #8 Washington State, but ran all over them. Now, this is where things got interesting. Michigan pulled off an important win in OT, Miami barely skated by to an unranked team for the 2nd week in a row, #10 Auburn gave up a 20-0 lead and ultimately lost to LSU, Florida wore the ugliest jerseys of all time and still walked away with a loss at home, USC BARELY outlasted Utah on a failed 2-pt conversion to avoid OT, and Boise State and Arizona State handed San Diego State and Washington their first losses of the season, respectively.

All in all, this ultimately became one of the most exciting football Saturdays I’ve seen in recent years, so imagine my disappointment when the AP polls were released this afternoon.

Michigan WON and dropped 2 spots, the Miami Hurricanes moved up 3 spots after a 2nd last minute win against an unranked team, Clemson dropped 5 spots to #7 (WHAT? Need I remind you that FSU dropped much farther after a much more impressive loss??), USC moved up 2 spots, Washington State is still in the top 15 after an atrocious loss to an UNRANKED TEAM, and Georgia stomped all over Mizzou and only went up one spot. Penn State had a bye week this week so they were unable to prove their worth and with one of the toughest remaining schedules in all of the NCAA I don’t see them staying up there for much longer, so why didn’t UGA get the coveted #2 spot in the poll? Recent experience (when FSU didn’t play due to a hurricane and still descended down the polls) shows that bye weeks don’t stop the committee from dropping teams when others do well. With a true freshman starter and arguably the best running back duo in the country, I think the Bulldogs should be right up there with Alabama, who also show no signs of wavering any time soon.

Hopefully these upcoming weeks will be less controversial, and I will be the first to admit that I love upsets, but for the love of god, BE CONSISTENT. If a team loses to a someone ranked higher than them, there isn’t much surprise and they shouldn’t be punished too greatly for it, but when you have SEVEN top 25 teams lose to unranked opponents in the same weekend, maybe you should reassess your poll standings.

FSCJ Named Eligible to Compete for $1 Million Dollar Prize

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) has just been named one of 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance in America’s community colleges. This is the second time in the last three years FSCJ has been ranked in the top 10%.

FSCJ was selected from a pool of nearly 1,000 public, two-year colleges nationwide to compete for the $1 million Aspen Prize.

“The selection as one of the most prestigious colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute is a testament to the dedicated work of both our faculty and students at FSCJ,” said FSCJ President Dr. Cynthia Bioteau. “Our leadership at every level within the College works diligently to provide exceptional academic opportunities for our students. This recognition is proof that we continue to improve outcomes for all students.”

Awarded every two years since 2011, the Aspen Prize recognizes institutions with outstanding achievements in four areas: learning; certificate and degree completion; employment and earnings; and high levels of access and success for minority and low-income students.

FSCJ will move forward to the next round of the competition for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence by submitting an application to be reviewed through a rigorous evaluation for a spot on the top 10 Aspen Prize finalists list. Top 10 finalists will be named in May 2018. The Aspen Institute will then conduct site visits to each of the finalists and collect additional quantitative data. A distinguished Prize Jury will select a grand prize winner, finalist(s) with distinction, and rising star(s) in spring 2019.

FSCJ to Host First Event in Business Speaker Series

Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) will host its first event in its new Business Speaker Series which is presented by First Florida Credit Union.

“Generational Dynamics in the Workplace” will feature Certified Keynote Speaker Matt Beaudreau who will share with the audience ways different generations can best come together in the workplace and ways to market and relate to these different audiences, along with the nuances seen within Northeast Florida.

Mr. Beaudreau’s speaking clients include Wells Fargo, Honeywell, Wasserman Media and Sandia National Laboratories. He’s presented to more than 20,000 people across the U.S. and Mexico. With a reputation as a leader in his own generation, he was a featured TEDx speaker and named corporate trainer of the year at Stanford University.

The series is made possible by a $250,000 commitment from First Florida Credit Union to support initiatives that will help local students and community members become future business leaders. The funding helped launch the series and will bolster the College’s Financial Skills Academy over the span of five years.

Online registration is required. Visit fscj.edu/business-speakers.

WHEN: Thursday, November 9, 2017, at 8-10:30 a.m.
WHERE: Nathan H. Wilson Center for the Arts
FSCJ South Campus, 11901 Beach Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32246

Man Drowns in Rough Surf

PRESS RELEASE: On September 24, 2017 at 3:18 PM Fernandina Beach Police Officers, Fernandina Beach Fire/Rescue and the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of two swimmers in distress during “Red Flag” conditions at Beach Access #6, which is in the 600 block of South Fletcher Avenue.

Upon arrival first responders found a 20 year old man safely out of the water, but in need of medical attention. He reported that his father was still in the water and needed to be rescued.

Rescue swimmers from Fernandina Beach Fire-Rescue, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, and an off-duty Fernandina Beach Lifeguard responded and began searching the rough waters. A local pilot responded to the call for assistance by circling the area looking for anyone in distress.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office Air Unit and the United States Coast Guard also arrived in the area in support of the search for the missing swimmer.

At 4:50 PM, an hour and a half after the first report, the drowning victim was located in the surf about 75’ south of where he had last been seen. Christopher Brian Murray, 49 years of age of Fernandina Beach, was pulled from the surf and pronounced deceased at the scene. The victim’s son, Cale Murray, was medically cleared by Fire/Rescue at the scene.

Home Sites at Amelia Island’s Crane Island Development Going Fast

AMELIA ISLAND, FL – The master planned community of Crane Island, located on Florida’s Amelia Island, has confirmed reservations for 27 lots, which is more than half of the available inventory in Phase I. Sales for the 169-acre community – with approximately 100 acres set aside for preservation – began Jan. 11. Phase I includes 48 lots, with a total of 110 home sites in all, starting from $300,000.
 
“In less than 40 days, we’ve seen incredible interest and intent for this community,” stated Crane Island Developer Jack B. Healan, Jr. “The location, access to resort-like amenities, exceptional homebuilder offerings and our dedication to preserving this natural setting have made Crane Island a highly sought after home site in Northeast Florida.”
 
The first new development on Amelia Island with deep-water access to the Intracoastal Waterway in 15 years, Crane Island is also the island’s last waterfront land available for new home construction with boat access.
 
Developed by long-time Amelia Island resident Jack B. Healan, Jr., Crane Island is designed as a low-impact development with minimal disturbance to the natural environment. The developers aim to create a small, but vibrant neighborhood that is surrounded by an extensive waterfront park.  The development will also include a private clubhouse, day dock, pool and walking paths. In addition, residents will have the opportunity for exclusive membership at Amelia Island Club, which includes privileges at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation for world class golf, spa, dining, tennis, beach service and more.  Builders for the development include Rutenberg Homes, Pineapple Corporation and Lendy Homes. 
 
The Crane Island Sales Team expects to break ground this summer on Phase I. For more information about Crane Island, visit the Sales Office Gallery (960185 Gateway Blvd., Suite 109, Fernandina Beach, FL), online at www.CraneIsland.com or call 904-432-8390.

White Oak Accepting Summer Camp Applications

2017-white-oak-spring-camp

This summer, students will embark on a global journey into conservation! Each day they will learn about threats to nature on a different continent, connecting to not only animals – but people and places as well. This STEM camp will put them up close to wildlife, science and leading experts in conservation! 

The adventure begins on Sundays when campers arrive for their week-long experience. During the week, campers will spend time in our conservation center, veterinary clinic, and our world-class conference center. In addition to learning about wildlife, they will engage in classic camp activities such as boating, hiking, swimming, bowling and so much more. Campers depart on Friday evening after our parent event that tops off their week. 

Your student will leave camp with critical thinking and leadership skills that will enhance their ability to make decisions that benefit people and wildlife worldwide. While at White Oak, they will gain independence and make friendships and memories that will last a lifetime! 

To learn more, visit our website at www.whiteoakwildlife.org/summer-camp/ to watch a camp video, read the camp FAQs and start your application today. 

Preference for camp spaces will be given to:
-Applications submitted by March 30
-Camp alumni and their siblings
-Families that were on the 2016 camp wait list
-Students attending White Oak Education Partner Schools

Residential Week-Long Camps: $1100
Sessions begin the week of May 28 and end the first week of August!

Crane Island Now Open for Sales on Florida’s Amelia Island

crane-island-sales

Amelia Island, FL – Crane Island has officially begun sales for its 72-acre master planned community, located on northeast Florida’s Amelia Island – consistently rated among the top island destinations in North America. With panoramic coastal views, The Range at Crane Island is first new development on Amelia Island with deep-water access to the Intracoastal Waterway in 15 years. It is also the island’s last waterfront land available for new home construction with boat access, making Crane Island a rare opportunity to own part of Amelia’s enviable island lifestyle. The gated community will include 110 homesites starting from $300,000.
 
“Crane Island offers a magnificent natural setting and is ideally situated at the heart of Amelia Island, making it arguably one of the most desirable properties available on the Eastern seaboard today,” said Vann Simmons, Director of Sales for Crane Island. “Here you can enjoy the benefits of your investment while living in one of the world’s top vacation destinations.”
 
Developed by long-time Amelia Island residents Saad Wallan and Jack B. Healan, Jr., Crane Island is designed as a low-impact development with minimal disturbance to the natural environment. Graced by spectacular old-growth trees and undisturbed lands, Crane Island offers homesites with stunning views of water, protected marshes and a manicured park. The developers aim to create a small, but vibrant neighborhood that is surrounded by an extensive waterfront park. “It’s the perfect locale for socializing, relaxing, and creating memories to last a lifetime,” said Healan. “And with quick access to the Intracoastal Waterway and Nassau Sound, it’s ideal for enjoying life on the water.”
 
The development will also include a private clubhouse, day dock, pool and walking paths. In addition, residents will have the opportunity for exclusive membership at Amelia Island Club, which includes privileges at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation for world class golf, spa, dining, tennis, beach service and more.
 
Crane Island features beautiful wooded lots for custom homes, as well as a limited number of builder residences. Builders for the development will include Rutenberg Homes, Pineapple Corporation and Lendy Homes. 
 
Crane Island Sales Team expects final sales to close by the end of summer with new home builds to begin this fall. For more information about Crane Island or real estate opportunities, visit www.CraneIsland.com or call 904-432-8390.
 

Flowering Fernandina

flowering-fernandina

Flowering Fernandina is a grassroots volunteer project to plant and water beautiful flowers on Centre Street.

Donations Needed
Please make donations to:
Flowering Fernandina c/o HFBA
P.O. Box 473
Fernandina Beach, FL 32035

For more information, please email: floweringfernandina1@gmail.com
Working together to make historic Fernandina Beach more beautiful

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