$hrimpfest generated over $14.7M economic impact locally this year

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
June 28, 2016 8:54 a.m.


Just a few weeks ago Fernandina Beach hosted the 53rd annual Shrimp Festival. This celebration of Fernandina’s unique history with respect to the shrimping industry is held the first weekend of May. It has become one of the most prominent festivals of its sort in the Southeastern United States. Over the years it has grown in size and scope to include many vendors of food and merchandise in addition to a local parade and pirate landings. People have sometimes wondered whether the economic impact of the event justifies investment of public funds to assist the Shrimp Festival Committee in providing such an event. Others have asked whether local citizens, who may experience some inconvenience when the masses of festival visitors descend upon Fernandina Beach, really derive any benefit at all.

A recently released Research Data Services, Inc. (www.ResearchDataLLC.com) study commissioned by the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau should put such fears to bed. Their report dated June 22, 2016 concluded that the total economic impact of out-of-county visitors to the 2016 Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival is estimated to be $14,765,400. Additionally, Nassau County residents who live outside of Fernandina Beach spent an estimated $275,700 at the event and Amelia Island merchants while on the island for the Shrimp Festival. Continue reading

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Nassau Boys & Girls Clubs win National Award

Submitted by Alan Donaldson
Boys & Girls Club

June 27, 2016 2:00 p.m.

Boys & Girls Club LogoThis month, Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County Foundation was awarded a perfect, 100%, Four- Star rating by Charity Navigator (CN). This highly-respected ratings organization publishes annual assessments of some 8,000 non-profits, nation-wide. Only 49 charities in the USA are recognized as “perfect” and the local Boys & Girls organization made that list!

CN looks at a number of factors in arriving at their ratings but Continue reading

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Nature photo winners exhibit and concert at Fort Clinch

Wild Amelia Press Release
ContactKathy Brooks

June 27, 2016 1:30 p.m.

The winning photographs from the 8th annual Wild Amelia Nature Photography Contest will be exhibited at the Fort Clinch Visitor Center, and the exhibit will open with a reception for the winning photographers and the public at the Visitor Center of Fort Clinch State Park on Friday evening, July 22, from 7:00-8:45 p.m. See the stunning images of the wildlife and wild places of Amelia that wowed the judges and meet the photographers.

Arts & Music Under the stars crop
“Art and Music Under the Stars” will be the theme of the opening of the photo exhibit of the winning images from the 8th annual Wild Amelia Nature Photography Contest at the Fort Clinch Visitor Center on Friday, July 22, from 7-8:45 p.m. The Amelia Ramblers will offer a bluegrass concert on the patio for attendees. Fort entry fees will be waived. Photo–Kathy Brooks

A slideshow of all of the contest entries will be shown as well. To add to the fun of the evening, the Amelia River Ramblers will offer a concert on the patio of the Visitor Center, so bring chairs to enjoy the folk/bluegrass music of this talented local group. Light refreshments will also be served. This event is free and open to the public; there will Continue reading

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A thirteen mile risk? – An opinion

Submitted by Faith Ross
June 27, 2016 1:15 p.m.

FOpinions_-Smaller-Cropped-300x108In a recent quest for information concerning the risks of storing hazardous materials in a flood plain, it appears that the Right-to Know Act and our Emergency Planners might give all of us some guidance as to what to do with hazardous materials. In particular, a software package used by the EPA called CAMEO has assisted our emergency service providers in calculating the size of a chemical hazard zone in the event of an accident. Individuals who are interested in promoting public safety should probably take a close look at the new 2016 Nassau County Emergency Management Mitigation Plan.

Utilizing software, the new mitigation plan is clearly alerting emergency service providers and the public to the risks they may be presently facing. The new plan not only alerts emergency staff to the daunting task of evacuating Amelia Island and Continue reading

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“Letter from Edinburgh” – The E U vote

Submitted by Charles Burns
June 26, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Fernandina resident Charles Burns with Zoe the youngest of two granddaughters.

I happened to be in Edinburgh when the United Kingdom (UK) voted, 52% to 48%, to leave the European Union (EU). I am here often, visiting my grandchildren. (What lengths we will go to for the opportunity to read “The Philharmonic Gets Dressed” to a three year old.) Anyway, that’s the extent of my being an expert on this subject.

Some observations from here:

1) Let’s get my opinion out of the way. I thought the UK had a pretty good deal. It is in the EU and even had negotiated some special privileges regarding social benefits that other EU countries don’t have, yet it is NOT part of the Schengen Agreement nor is it a member of the Eurozone (EZ). (There be dragons, for sure.) The failings of the EU are plenty, but I thought the UK had the best of all worlds. Clearly, 52% of the UK electorate doesn’t agree. It is useful to see how, geographically, the UK voted:

Scotland located on the northern portion of the map above Britain indicates strong support for “Remain” in blue.  Below is England  indicating support for “Leave” in red. Northern Ireland to the east is majority for “Remain.” Photo courtesy of N Y Times

Note that Scotland didn’t even have one voting district that voted to leave the EU.

2) Since 1945, virtually all of the many agreements between the Continue reading

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Friends of the Library offers class for recognizing anxiety and depression

Media Release
Friends of the Library
Mary Pitcher, Communications Chair

June 26, 2016 6:21 p.m.

FOLAre you or someone you know dealing with anxiety or depression? Depression is often characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities.

Friends of the Fernandina Beach Library is offering a FREE three-week class with Robert B. Howat, retired psychotherapist and licensed marriage and family therapist. Mr. Howat will help participants successfully identify the symptoms and ways to cope with the effects of this illness.

The classes will be held sequentially on three Wednesday evenings, Continue reading

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Former legislative aide develops 5 rules for interns

Submitted by Alli Elwell
June 26, 2016 4:00 p.m.

Ali Elwell CroppedAsk any college student in the country, and I mean any single one, and ask how much pressure they are under to basically become the greatest person ever. You walk into your first day as a freshman and it’s like you’ve been thrown into The Hunger Games arena and everyone is your opponent – may the least burned out win.

Luckily for me, I was able to land an incredible internship in the Capitol this past spring and couldn’t have been more excited. I was not only going to be in the thick of all the political action, but having my own office (!!!) and feeling like Elle Woods.

Turns out, the word ‘office’ can be used loosely, and I was planted in a glorified shoe box. Also, I was not greeted as if I were Elle Woods, I was greeted as if I was just another scratch on the wallpaper, and Continue reading

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Jacksonville Symphony decrees 2016-17 is the season of “you”

Media Release
June 26, 2016 3:00 p.m.

Create Your Own Series and Reap Benefits

Jacksonville Symphony

The Jacksonville Symphony 2016-2017 season is being termed ‘The Season of You’ and what better way to celebrate ‘you‘ than with the Create Your Own Series. Create Your Own Series allows subscribers to select specific concerts whether they are Masterworks or Pops.

Create Your Own Series subscribers receive the following benefits:
• Great discounts versus purchasing single tickets
• Complimentary ticket exchanges
• Single ticket buyer 15% fee is waived
• Discounted pre-paid parking
• Invitations to Open Rehearsals
• Best available seats

Create Your Own subscribers must pick six or more concerts. Pricing depends on the seating area selected and the number of concerts Continue reading

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Amelia Island revealed . . .

Submitted by Amy Wade
June 26, 2016 1:00 a.m.

“Feeding Time!” Video courtesy of Amy Wade

Editor’s Note: Since appearing on Facebook, Amy Wade’s video is getting a lot of attention and rightly so. Amy is a Fort Clinch volunteer  and has managed to capture this video showing a mother deer feeding a set of twins (Donny and Marie).  Another baby fawn joined in.  Among her friends, Amy is known as the “Deer Whisper.”
Continue reading

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Communities in Schools Nassau announces retirement of Susan Milana

Press Release
Contact: Jamie Bernard, Director of Community Resources
Email: jamie@cisnassau.org
June 25, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Susan Retirement Photo Crop
Jorge Puentes (Florida Public Utilities) CIS Secretary Susan Milana (Retiring Executive Director) Tammi Bach (Fernandina Beach City Attorney) CIS Chairwoman

Communities In Schools of Nassau, announces the retirement of Executive Director, Susan Milana effective June 30, 2016. Susan served the affiliate for the past 14 years. She is longest serving director since the establishment in 1993. “The Board of Directors thanks Susan on her 14 years of service and wishes her well on her retirement, “said Continue reading

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