Tips for holiday gift card shopping

By Cristina Miranda
FTC Division of Consumer & Business Education
December 13, 2019

Gift cards are one quick way to get through your last-minute holiday shopping list. But before you give (and get) gift cards, here are a few things you need to know.

  • Inspect gift cards before you buy. A gift card should have all its protective stickers in place. Report the card to the store if anything looks scratched off or damaged.
  • When you buy, save the receipt. Keeping the gift card receipt can be helpful if you run into problems with the card. 
  • Treat gift cards like cash. Report a lost or stolen gift card to the card’s issuer immediately. Most card issuers have toll-free numbers you can find online to report a lost or stolen card. Depending on the card issuer, you may even be able to get some money back.
  • Buy gift cards from sources you know and trust. Think twice about buying gift cards from online auction sites, to avoid buying fake or stolen cards.
  • Read the gift card’s terms and conditions. Know the deal you’re getting with gift cards. For example, are there fees every time it gets used – or if it sits unused?

And here’s the most important gift card tip of all: Continue reading

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Students recognized by Boys & Girls Clubs

Boys & Girls Club
Press Release
Submitted by Andrew Schmidt
December 13, 2019

Student of the Month
Blake Rothermel
Roberts Learning and Achievement Center

Blake Rothermel

Blake has been an outstanding and active member at Roberts Learning & Achievement Center for a year and other members, staff, and volunteers all love his positive attitude. “The staff are nice and creative with the activities that I have participated in…I look forward to coming to the Club after school,” says Blake. Although sports may be the first choice for this athletic and energetic young man, he also loves putting his geometry to work when playing billiards in the games room.

During the first few weeks of membership at the Club, Blake relied on close friends from Emma Love Hardee Elementary to help him acclimate. Relying on friends for support is nothing new to Blake who is also on the Pirates 8-and-under football team. This straight-A student says he would love to play in the NFL someday. No matter what, his future is bright and we are sure to hear about the great accomplishments of Blake Rothermel thanks in part to his membership at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau.

Youth of the Month
Mason Caknupp
Miller Freedom Center
November 2019

Mason Caknupp

Mason is a long-time, well-known member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Nassau County’s Miller Freedom Center. A great help to staff and volunteers alike, this second grader loves to ask how he can assist with different tasks at the Club. He knows it all because he has done it all. Mason is calm, well-spoken, and well-mannered which makes him very popular among his peers. Mason is often joined at the Club by his sister.

Mason loves playing games and hanging out, but he especially loves spending time running around outside or in the gym. When he’s not playing baseball or football, this sports fan can be found learning something new in one of the program areas at the Club. Mason loves both math and writing and has dreams of being a professional football player Continue reading

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Limiting airport traffic – An opinion

December 13, 2019
By Faith Ross

Each time a new project surfaces as a possible economic opportunity for the airport, the surrounding residential neighborhoods seem to pick up their pitchforks, march to City Hall, and lay siege to any project discussions. Resignedly, adjacent residential neighbors all admit that they knew they were buying homes next to an airport. However, the reason given for pulling out the pitchfork is often given that their properties were purchased when there was little air traffic. And no one is denying that air traffic has increased greatly in the last few years with rising noise levels.

Perhaps there are also some other very good reasons to limit the air traffic at Fernandina’s airport. A new park with a playground for small children, particularly those of special needs, and those bound to a wheelchair is to be constructed on the south side of Simmons Road. According to the latest plans, the ADA accessible nature walk will be located approximately 1,800 feet from an active runway and the playground will only be 2,300 feet away. At times, aircraft will likely be landing and taking off almost directly over the new park at low levels.

It is no secret that airports are major sources of air pollution. And with rising PM 2.5 air pollution levels, the EPA has recently been aggressively encouraging citizens to self-monitor air pollution that is particularly damaging to young children, asthmatics, and the elderly. New studies are now linking PM 2.5’s (very fine particulate matter) to a significant increase in cases of heart attacks, strokes, dementia, autism, and the increased, early onset of asthma in young children. (Since children breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults, they receive more exposure and damage from air pollution.) These tiny particles are so fine that they carry with them the chemical pollutants from jet/plane exhaust, car exhaust, and diesel exhaust, among other pollutants, directly into the blood stream through the lungs and nasal passages. This is not to say that our airport causes massive amounts of PM 2.5 to be added to our air. However we have no baseline to measure the amount of pollution generated.

Studies and statistics are growing with new concerns for exposure to polluted air from airports, and particularly for the most penetrating PM 2.5 and smaller fine Continue reading

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Weekly comments by Dale Martin

Dale Martin
City Manager
Fernandina Beach
December 13, 2019

City Manager Dale Martin

Although I am likely and appropriately identified as the City Manager in the byline of this column, please recognize that, for this instance, I am not officially representing the City of Fernandina Beach. This is a personal effort not officially endorsed as a City event.

Last year, my wife, Lisa, and I had no family planning to visit over the Christmas holidays. With five daughters (and associated spouses and boyfriends and now a grandchild), extended family gatherings are becoming more and more rare (and cherished). The November and December holidays should be festive celebrations of family and friends.

With no family, though, we invited “friends” to an inaugural Community Christmas dinner. Again, this was not a City or church event (the dinner was held at the First Presbyterian Church last year), but simply a personal effort to share the joys and blessings of the holidays with others. Although it was cobbled together with minimal preparation and notice (my first public announcement of last year’s event was not until Dec 21!), it was a remarkable success with about eighty people participating. Wow, did we have a lot of good food!

Everyone (and I mean everyone) is hereby invited to the Second Annual Community Christmas Dinner.

The dinner will be held at the Nassau County Council on Aging Life Center (1901 Continue reading

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City construction, planning projects may be awarded in early 2020

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
December 12, 2019

The City of Fernandina Beach is anticipating construction downtown, at the beach, and at the marina in early 2020.  Additionally, it will begin work on a beach habitat conservation plan.

This month the City of Fernandina Beach is scheduled to open responses to three advertised bids for construction and demolition services at the beach and at the marina.  The responses for beach work must be submitted no later than 2:00 p.m. on December 19.  The marina bid period will close on December 23 at 2:00 p.m.  

  • ITB 19-24 BEACH WALKOVERS 2S, 5S, 8N, 9N 

Two additional bids will be opened in early January 2020:


For additional information on responding to these bids or on what type of work will be awarded, consult the City website .


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