SAB NEWS June 2014

lgh11Start Your Work Week With

The  St Augustine Beach Area

Monday News

*Visit often for news that never goes into the recycle bin *

The Latest News Archive: ARCHIVE

News: June 30, 2014

A Legacy To T.O.U.C.H.

Tactile Orientation for Understanding Creativity and History

Foot Soldiers 3-sm

Students from the FSDB Blind Dept. discover the TOUCH Markers photo: Alisha Gray

What began as a spark of inspiration has developed into one of the most unique projects St Augustine has seen in a very long time. The TOUCH-Tactile Orientation for Understanding Creativity and History- St Augustine Braille Trail, a 450th Legacy Project, was created out of a need to give people who are blind and visually impaired an opportunity to see the beauty of St Augustine in their own way. It was the historic statuary located throughout St Augustine that City Commissioner Nancy Sikes-Klien and Elyse Brady, Administrator of the St Augustine Art Association felt needed another audience to enjoy the beauty as well as the history of the pieces.

Foot Soldiers 2-sm

Teachers from the FSDB explain the TOUCH markers photo: A. Gray

No stranger to catering to people with disabilities, The St Augustine Art Association (StAAA) presents an annual hands-on tactile art exhibit which gives visitors to the gallery the opportunity to feel and touch the art. Along with a tactile workshop the StAAA holds for students from the Blind Department of the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind (FSDB) this unique show gives people who are blind or visually impaired as well as people with other disabilities the opportunity to experience the art in their own way-by touch and feel. Due to the lack of opportunities in the community for those visually impaired, the StAAA Tactile show is one of the most inspirational and relevant events the students from the FSDB attend and they look forward to it every year.

When The Kansas Braille Transcription Institute sent a braille flag plaque to be included in the tactile art exhibit, Brady had the inspiration and now knew just what was needed for the TOUCH St Augustin 450th Legacy Project.“When I saw the flag I knew that is just what we needed for our Braille Trail,” said Elyse Brady. But where to start?

With the creative spirit of the arts community as well as the city’s approval and support, grants were written and funds were secured from the Community Foundation of NE Florida, including funds endowed by The JoAnne Chrisp-Ellert Foundation as well as donations for phase-one of this innovative project. Beta Sigma Phi sponsored the base at the Pedro Mendez TOUCH marker as their contribution to the 450th celebration and the city of St Augustine donated the manpower. What started as a touch of inspiration had now hit the ground running.

Foot Soldiers 1-sm

Liesl Swogger designer of the TOUCH Plaques talk to the students. photo: A. Gray

The five statues chosen for the Braille Trail included: Ponce de Leon(bay-front), Henry Flagler (Flagler College), Pedro Menendez (Lightner Museum), Father Pedro Camps and the Minorcans (West Basilica Courtyard), St Augustine Foot Soldiers (Plaza).

Along with approval from the prospective owners, each and every statue had to be photographed and recreated in a relief for the plaques. A written description of the historic significance and the physical attributes of each statue needed to be developed, created, finalized and written in braille.

Liesl Swogger of the St Augustine Art Association was instrumental on the plaques design and arrangement as well as the creation of the statue in relief form. Working closely with the staff at the Florida School Deaf Blind for for over a year, the designs were finalized, proofed and sent to the foundry to be cast in bronze.

After much contemplation on the optimal placement of where to place the braille plaques and with the assistance of volunteer Clyde Brady, retired architect (no relation) the bases were designed, formed and erected.

What began as a vision has now been realized and on June 25th the bronze braille plaques were finally installed for all to enjoy. How fitting it was as the students from the FSDB, blind department gave the braille plaques their inaugural touch. The  FSDB has one of the largest population of people who are blind in the state.

“Our students finally have a destination where they can go to experience St Augustine first hand,” said Elisha Zuaro a teacher in the Blind Department.

Foot Soldiers 6-sm

Foot Soldiers Monument  and TOUCH Plaque photo: A. Gray

Phase-one of this amazing project has ultimately come to fruition thanks not only to the hard working staff and volunteers of the St Augustine Art Association, but also to the many community members who took it upon themselves to make the city of St Augustine a place for all people to enjoy.

Phase-two of the TOUCH St Augustine Braille Trail is already in the works with the TOUCH Art Garden at the St Augustine Art Association being developed as the starting point of the TOUCH St Augustine Braille Trail.

The TOUCH garden secured grant funds from the Community Foundation of NE Florida as well as a $50,000 matching funds award by Bill Mayer and Diane Bradley (StAAA president) in memory of  her late parents, Bruce and Betty Bradley.

The TOUCH Art Garden, the trails starting point,  is being created for everyone to experience and enjoy. There will be artistic statues as well as braille plaques, bubbling water features, fragrant gardens and various factors to fill all the senses. The Art Garden is slated for completion by the end of 2015. With the unique statues in our city of SAB it would be welcomed  to expand the TOUCH Braille Trail to St Augustine Beach for all to enjoy.

The TOUCH St Augustine Braille Trail will have an impact on St Augustine and touch the hearts and souls of the visitors and residents of this city for years in the future, finally giving everyone the opportunity to see and touch the beauty of St Augustine first hand. Not just some but EVERYONE!

Those wishing to contribute to the TOUCH St Augustine Project visit or call the StAAA (904) 824-2310.

NOTE: There will be a special 50 Year Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 commemoration at the St. Augustine Foot Soldiers monument on Wed, July 2 at 3:30pm. Open to the public.


Open Your Mind And Your World Expands

St Johns County Anastasia Island Branch Library

anastasia Library kids sec

Gotta Love The Library

Open the doors to the library and you have opened the door to one of the most magical places at the beach. The St Johns County Anastasia Island Branch Library is more than just books, our library is considered by many to be one of the most welcoming places in the city. Located in the heart of Sea Grove, along with books, the library has programs for people of all ages to enjoy. With the help of The Friends Of The Library providing the funds, new programs, classes and exhibits are created to connect people with a world of ideas and information.

anastasia library nicole & mikki

Mikki Sampo and Nicole Jebbia

Established as a County Library system in 1977, the St Johns County Library has over 100,000 patrons registered. St Johns County has six standing libraries and one bookmobile that travels throughout the county.

The Anastasia Island branch was opened in 2007 and is eighty one hundred square feet. Along with print items such as books and magazines the library offers wireless internet, computer terminals, printing and photocopies, electronic books, music, movies, genealogy, law and braille collections. There is a meeting room available for any resident to use and if you can’t make it to the library the library has a Books-By-Mail program as well as a Home-Bound service. Best of all, the library has someone there to assist with anything you may need. If you are looking for something specific or hard to find just ask the librarian. Librarians are the best “treasure hunters” on the planet!

Maanastasia island library kidsny consider our library to be the heart of the community. Open to both visitors and residents of the beach, the library offers the community a variety of things to see and do. Although it is located at Sea Grove, “80% of the kids come from the east side of A1A,” said Nicole Jebbia, Youth Services Director.

During the summer it is great for the little ones to take a break from the sun and come inside to work on a craft, watch a movie, read a book or just hang with a friend. The library offers Baby Time and Toddler Time for the small tykes and gives mom the opportunity to sit back and relax.

If you are looking for a friend the library is surely the place to find one. With programs for teens and preteens offered throughout the summer, there is no need for your child to say “There is nothing to do.” Art lab is offered through July and the special summer programs happen every Wednesday. Your child can experience everything from Science to Magic at our Anastasia Island Branch. For the older crowd there are programs and workshops offered to enhance and improve the quality of your life.

According to Mikki Sampo, Anastasia Island Branch Manager, “Everyone appreciates what we do and we love this community.”

We truly consider this community to be fortunate to have such a dedicated and heartwarming library staff. Every time you walk through the door you are greeted with a smile. We believe that libraries continue to be needed and are a communities most valuable learning and community resource. “The best thing is that we are paid in hugs and love,” says Jebbia.

No matter what your age…Ya just gotta Love the library!


Sleepy Little St Augustine Beach Awakes

oak trees

Oak Trees on the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel lot

Sleepy little St Augustine Beach has awoken. With the newly built Salt Life Food Shack on A1A Beach Blvd as well as the 145-room remodel and restaurant project in the works by Key International, located on the old Beachfront Resort property this town is growing whether we are ready or not.

In 2013 the SAB City Commission granted a 2 year extension deadline for when construction was to begin on a 206-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel planned for west of A1A Beach Blvd between Fifth and Seventh Streets. Due to the downturn in the economy the hotel was put on hold but thing have changed and Manoja Bhoola, president and COO of Elite Hospitality, plans to break ground for the Courtyard by the fall. Taking about two and a half years to build, the project should be completed by 2016. The permitting on this project is finished and the hotel will include conference and meeting rooms. The approval allows for “architectural features,” with heights of up to 42 feet.

An agreement was made between the developer and the city of SAB which states that the developer is required to preserve two live oak trees which sit on the property as well as reserving 10 lots, which the developer owns between Seventh and Eighth Streets, for parking by the hotel guests as well as by the public. The hotel will be built across the Sixth Street right of way and the developer is required to pay the city of SAB $560,000 in impact fees and for vacating the right-of-way between A1A Beach Boulevard and Second Ave.

Along with the Courtyard By Marriott Hotel, Elite Hospitality also owns and operates the Hilton Garden Inn as well as the Hampton Inn on St Augustine Beach. Another smaller scaled hotel is also scheduled to be built in the St. Augustine Beach City limits.

With the growth of our beach comes various challenges and demands of both the residents and businesses in the area. The assistance of our city and county government professionals is needed now more that ever. Our sleepy little town is growing up. Now lets hope we are ready for it.

 News: June 23, 2014

Big Friends Helping Little Friends

A Gathering Of Friends-Children’s Arts Festival

Great Volunteer 2-p

Alex Thomas-Tutt volunteers at the SJC Library table

Families came from all around the state to enjoy a day at the St Augustine Amphitheatre for A Gathering Of Friends- Children’s Arts Festival. This celebration of the Arts welcomed children and gave them an opportunity to experience the many different forms of art first hand. From dance, music, painting and poetry the children were filled with the creativity spirit throughout the day. This family-friendly event featured interactive booths as well as entertainment all around the venue. With workshops, art stations and live performances the children were given numerous opportunities to learn and try different art forms and all the participants were applauded for their efforts.

FOSAA1Jessica Ray & Kristina Acosta

Kristina Acosta & Jessica Ray  FOSAA members enjoy the day

To say this event for children was a success is an understatement. The Friends of the St Augustine Amphitheatre (FOSAA) outdid themselves by putting the needs of the children first and working hard to achieve their goal.

According to Jessica Ray, “The Idea for this event was born in April 2013.”

With the leadership of Carol Gladstone, Jessica Ray and Kristina Acosta and the FOSAA board members, “The art festival for children was discussed and the group was in agreement that it was just what was needed to inspire the children to embrace creativity since they are our…audience of the future.” said Ray. Funds and donations were secured and the group was off and running.

making art 3-p

Puppets R Cool – CREATE!

When the clock struck 2pm on Saturday June 21st, the doors opened and  hundreds of families poured into the Amphitheatre.

“This is a great way to bring people from the community into the Amphitheatre to see it and experience it first hand.” said Jessica Ray.

The kids were ecstatic and with so much to see and do some said it was as good as Disney World.

The event featured over fifty interactive art experiences for children led by professionals in the arts community. With so many caring adults from the community coming together to encourage and support the children, the impact of this one day event will be apparent for years to come.

 The St Johns County Library staff was on hand to present a musical story-time as well as assist the children as they created fun creatures at their craft table on the lawn. Ancient pirates acted the part as they swaggered throughout the venue and The St Augustine Art Association really brought art and the smart-phone age together with their “Mona Lisa Selfies” project. Music and dance was happening throughout the day and many families kicked up their heels as they experienced their first “Old Fashioned Hoedown” thanks to Tommy Bledsoe and Friends.

From puppets, pirates, poetry and painting, creativity was at the forefront on Saturday giving our children the opportunity to appreciate and experience all aspects of art. Thanks to the Friends of the St Augustine Amphitheatre for bringing this community together and encouraging our next generation to express themselves by taking a risk in creating art.Thanks go to the caring volunteers for keeping smiles on all the faces, even in the rain.

This Gathering Of Friends- Children’s Arts Festival surely showed us all that the arts do revitalize people as well as the community. Art enhances our quality of life and opens our eyes to a world full of beauty.

    Visit Our FRIENDS PHOTO GALLERY  .            To Learn More About FOSAA Visit: FRIENDS

For The Love Of Words-Ancient City Poets Rejoice

ancient City Poets

Michael Henry Lee, Robert Waldner, Chris Bodor   – Ancient City Poets

poetry jillian ardis

Jillian Ardis shows off her poetry book.

The love of the written and spoken word is evident when you meet Chris Bodor, a founding member of Ancient City Poets. Chris along with fellow poets Michael Henry Lee and Robert Waldner founded Ancient City Poets in 2009 to give “rouge poets an outlet for their art,” said Bodor.

With 75 active members, the group gets together on the last Sunday of the month to interact, create and share their poetry. “Everyone is welcome to our poetry workshop, tourists and locals alike,” said Bodor.

The workshop is held the last Sunday of the month from 2pm to 3pm at Gallery Cafe, downtown St.Auggie. At 3pm the group heads over to City Coffee to share and read their work. The reading ends when everyone has the opportunity to share.

potery trees-p

Jillian’s Poem Trees

This week the guys were at A Gathering Of Friends-Children’s Arts Festival to share their love of poetry with the youth in the community. The three men created a poetry workshop for the youth and the children were engaged and enlightened as they participated in the endeavor.

Third grader,Jillian Ardis was there writing her heart out. You could almost see her self-esteem increase as her Ancient City Poetry Book filled up with the poems she created. Turning each page carefully, this award winning artist showed off her poetry book and explained what she loved about poetry. “ I like writing and hearing what others write.” she said. The poetry workshop gave Jillian the opportunity to expand her skills by doing something she loved. “I like to write a lot!” she exclaimed. “A lot!”

As Jillian turned and walked away with her mom, you could see that Ancient City Poets mission was accomplished. Another lover of the written and spoken word was discovered and introduced to poetry and her mom could not have been any more thrilled. All For The Love Of Art!


flag SAB governmentAnd They’re Off…

Friday was the last day anyone could qualify to run for political office for the 2014 election cycle in St Johns County. The St Augustine Beach has one contested seat for St Augustine Beach City Commission.

Those registered to run for Seat 4 are Margaret England, No Party Affiliation, 760 Ocean Palms Way and Michael Longstreet, No Party Affiliation, 11 13th St. Presently the seat is held by Brud Helhoski. Commissioner Helhoski’s term will expire this year-2014. Seat 3 is uncontested with our present Commissioner,  Undine Pawlowski George, No Party Affiliation, 9 C St. on the ballot and Seat 5 is also uncontested S Gary Snodgrass, No Party Affiliation, 712 Ocean Palms Way on the ballot . Mayor, Andrea Samuels and Vice Mayor, Rich O’Brian’s term will expire in 2016. T

he Primary Election will take place on August 26, 2014  and the General Election is scheduled for November 4, 2014. Early voting for the Primary Election will take place August 15, 2014 through August 23, 2014. Early voting for the General Election will take place October 20, 2014 through November 1, 2014.

To Learn More About:  sample ballots / vote by mail / up coming events / elections results / registration 


News: June 16, 2014

In Honor Of A Life Well Lived – Paddle-Out For Andy White

paddle-out for andy 2

Paddle-Out for Andy White.  Surfers enter the ocean.

Almost a hundred surfers crowded the beach south of the pier on Saturday morning to celebrate a life well lived. A Hawiian Paddle-Out was organized for long time St Augustine Beach resident Andy White. Andy lost his life last Saturday, June 7th while competing in a motorcycle race in Atlanta.

Jack White 1

Jack White Speaks During The Ceremony.

Flowers littered the beach along with surfboards as people of all ages gathered to show their last respects to a friend and fellow surfer.

“He always had my back.” said a friend and coworker.

Along with his racing career, White worked security at numerous local establishments and was considered a part of the family everywhere he worked. The staff at Panama Hattie’s was instrumental in organizing the paddle-out to honor a part of “their family.”

As the group came together in a circle on the beach, a lone dolphin was spotted swimming in the water in front of the pier. People began sharing stories and memories of Andy’s life with a common theme. “Andy lived life to the fullest no matter what he did.” “He was brave.” and his brother Jack White using sign language said, “He was a good and loyal friend and brother.” A prayer was said and together the surfers, including his brother Jack, headed into the waves carrying flowers to scatter in the water in memory of Andy.

paddle out for andy 4

Flowers and Surfboards to honor Andy

While Andy’s mom and family watched from the pier, his friends and fellow surfers paddled out together. Some people swam while others, including parents with their children on a single surfboard, paddled to the south end of the pier where the water was calm.

The surfers gathered on their boards and formed a circle, which is a part of the paddle-out tradition.* Words were said and a colorful array of flowers were distributed in the ocean in the middle of the circle. Together, chanting Andy’s name, the group began splashing water to the sky in honor of a life well lived.

Note: A memorial service for Andy White has been scheduled June 19 at Good News Church, 1357 Wildwood Dr., St. Augustine. Visitation will begin at 4:30pm with the service starting at 5:30pm. In honor of Andy, many will be wearing his racing colors-black, orange and white.


USA Volleyball Hits The Beach

USA volleyball girls team

USA Volleyball Jr Girls

Over 40, two person volleyball teams hit the beach on Saturday in the Junior Girls USA Volleyball Tournament put on by USA Volleyball. Girls between the age of 10 and 18 years old started the day out playing doubles in the sand. With parents and friends watching, the junior girls adrenaline was surely flowing. Their moves made the girls look more like professional players as they dished out digs, dives, blocks, slams and spikes during every match. With St Augustine’s own Marley Banton and Ashley Banton placing first in the 12 and under category and Madison Canova and Alex Petrilli taking third place in the 14 and under spot, St Augustine was proudly represented.

usa volleyball girls 1

USAV Girls Compete In St Augustine Beach

USA Volleyball (USAV) is a national association and worldwide leader in the sport of beach volleyball. The year 2015 will mark the one hundred-twentieth anniversary of the invention of volleyball and the sport continues to grow in popularity around the globe. According to Steve Bishop, tournament director,”USA Volleyball was established 32 years ago and has over 12,000 members in Florida alone.” It is a goal of USA Volleyball to increase the number of opportunities available to beach athletes by increasing the number of high-level competitions. USAV members not only compete in this country, they also compete internationally with a primary goal of winning Olympic medals.

steve bishop usa volleyball

Steve Bishop  Director

As USAV continue to expand the sport of volleyball, they make sure everyone who loves the game has the chance to play. With teams for both adults and youth, USAV also offers volleyball for those unable to walk. Sitting volleyball is offered for those who have been injured or are unable to compete on their feet. This Paralympics sport gives both men and women the opportunity to compete worldwide. For USA Volleyball it’s not just about medals it’s about quality of life for everyone.

USAV also focuses on indoor volleyball and while the Junior Girls Tournament was taking place in St Augustine Beach the junior boys were competing indoors in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “This is a great family activity.” said Bishop. “The parents play in the adult leagues and the kids get involved with our junior teams. It’s a way to keep our kids active and engaged.”

With families sitting under tents and the girls competing in the sand, not even a little sprinkle could deter the crowd. The girls were focused and engaged doing something they loved and the parents were captivated watching their daughters. USA Volleyball is committed to creating a safe and fun environments for our youth. With the hard work of the volunteers and staff at USA Volleyball, we can be sure our next generation is headed in the right direction.

To Learn More Visit: FLORIDA VOLLEYBALL       See More USAV PICS

Improving Our Beach One Brick At A Time

brick pavers

8th Street  Pavers

Laying pavers has begun at the 8th St  parking area. What was once a parking lot of puddles and mud made of compact sand will soon be an economically friendly  area made of pavers. After a rain, the brick pavers design allows water to filter and drain away from the parking area to prevent puddles and moisture from setting in. The pavers will allow water to penetrate to the earth and reduce runoff and pollution ensuring a cleaner water-table.

The choice of pavers was made not only because it fits in with the landscape designs at the beach but also because they are more suitable to extreme weather conditions and rainfall. Cement or asphalt parking areas are expensive to create, harm the environment by promoting storm-water runoff and need to be replaced every decade or two. With proper maintenance the pavers will last 50 years or more. The project should be completed by the end of the month.

St Augustine Beach City Commission Update / June

food truckMobile Food Vending: When the food vending issues was brought in front of the Commission the main focus was on ice cream trucks. Commissioner Brud Helhoski said if we allow ice cream truck it opens it up to other vendors. “It is something we need to look into.” stated Helhoski. Food vendor Brendan Schneck now operates a food truck at the Wednesday Market as well as at the Old City Farmers Market. He stated when asked by the commission that he obtained a certificate from the Health Department and pays a tax in each county in which he operates. The commission discussed allowing businesses the opportunity to put food trucks on their property. Mayor Samuels would like to “get information to see if we can’t find a middle ground.” It was put on the agenda for July.

Music / Noise-The City Commission agreed not to make any changes as of now to the Noise Ordinance presently in effect at the beach. “ The ordinance is unique to the city.” stated Police Chief Robert Hardwick. There is a 200 foot rule where there is a 60 decibel limit. When questioned whether the meter used will pick up the deep base sound or impulsive sound Chief responded that the meter will not pick up impulsive sounds. Mr Patel, owner of Super Eight Motel said he was loosing customers due to the noise in his area. The police department will train additional officers on how to use the meters and the ordinance will stand as is until review of City of SA.

Parking- With the lack of public parking at the beach becoming more of an issue, the St Augustine Beach City Commission voted to remove the no parking signs from 16th St. Commissioner Andrea Samuels made the request to make the change to allow parking from A1A Beach Blvd west to the condo driveway. Removing the signs will free up space for 19 parallel parking spots. Although this will not satisfy the parking issues at the beach, “It’s a step.” stated Commissioner Udine Palowski. A letter will be sent to notify residents in the area about the change. The changed ordinance will be ready for the July City Commission Meeting.

 News: June 9, 2014


Professional Motorcycle Racer Andy White Lived Life Full To The End

andy white racing

Andy White #361 ( photo: Red Spade Racing)

andy white racer

Motorcycle Racer Andy White

Professional Motorcycle Racer and long time St Augustine Beach resident Andy White (29) was killed Saturday while racing in Atlanta.

Andy grew up in St Augustine Beach and graduated from St Augustine High School in 2003. He was a part of the Yellow Jackets football team that played in the state championship game. An avid sportsman, Andy was also an all-star baseball player in St Johns County and won numerous surfing contests at the beach.

Because of his love of surfing, he traveled around the world to catch the “perfect wave”. Andy was an integral part of the St Augustine community and worked security at Panama Hatties, Dunes361 Cracker House and the Conch House for many years. He was also employed at First Coast Power Sports and at Mountain Motorsports in Atlanta, Ga. In his later years he competed in MMA and most recently raced for WERA National Motorcycle Racing where he took home numerous first place awards.

White’s latest four awards were first place finishes at the Roebling Road Raceway. Andy had many professional cycling sponsors including: Lion Heart Moto, Dunlop, Marietta Motorsports, DP Brakes, Vortex, Pit Bull, Park Star Moto and Bell. Andy recently posted on his facebook page ”Nothing can stop me from reaching my goals.”

White reached his last goal when his professional membership in the American Motorcyclist Association was accepted and delivered on the day he died.

Survived by many racing fans, friends and a loving family, he will be… Forever In Our Hearts #361 Andy White.

 Keeping Our Beach Safe For The Sea Turtle 

Sea Turtle Patrol 2

Sea Turtle Patrol- Diana Justice & Bob Fraser

Take a walk on the beach in the early morning hours and you most likely will see the St Augustine Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol patrolling our beaches. Diana Justice, a Sea Turtle Patrol volunteer, is responsible for St Augustine Beach and patrols it daily in search of the signs of sea turtle nesting on our beach. According to the Conserve Turtles website, about 90% of all sea turtle nesting in the United States takes place on Florida’s beaches and much of it along the beaches of St Johns County. There are five sea turtles that swim in our waters and nest on our beaches. Those include: Loggerhead, Hawksbill, Leatherback, Green and Kemp’s ridley, and all of Florida’s sea turtles are designated as either threatened or endangered and are protected under state statutes.

Known as one of the oldest species on earth, sea turtles have remained essentially unchanged for millions and millions of years. Today, with the challenges of ocean pollution, habitat destruction, disease and over-harvesting of eggs for food as well as intentional killing of adult turtles for their shells and skin the sea turtles face an uncertain future. That is why the work of the St Augustine Sea Turtle Patrol is essential for sea turtle survival.

SeaTurtle nest

Relocated & Marked Sea Turtle Nest

Sea Turtle tracks

Sea Turtle Tracks On The Beach.

According to Diana Justice, “sea turtle protection began in the1970’s and is finally beginning to make a difference.” It takes the loggerhead sea turtle approximately 30 years to mature and reproduce, and only the females come ashore to nest; males rarely return to land after entering the sea as hatchlings. With most of the female turtles returning to nest on the beach where they were born, it is important to keep our beaches clear, safe and undisturbed for the female turtles return.

On St Augustine Beach, between the pier and “A” St there are six marked sea turtle nests. “The sea turtles seem to like the re-nourished sand,” said Justice.

On Saturday morning Justice and Sea Turtle Patrol volunteer Bob Fraser, discovered a nest which was too close to the high tide line. For the safety of the eggs the nest was relocated to the dune line and marked for protection.

“The ocean would come in and wash the nest away if we did not move it.” Fraser said.

They relocated 119 sea turtle eggs and most likely, according to Justice “ if left undisturbed, all will hatch and crawl back into the sea to begin the cycle again. Of those 119 eggs it is possible only one will survive to return and reproduce.”

To Learn More     Visit: SEA TURTLES                    Visit: ST JOHNS COUNTY TURTLE INFORMATION

Help Save The Sea Turtles

sea turtle logo

Dianna Justice and Bob Fraser of the St Augustine Sea Turtle Patrol, were passing out “Help Save Our Sea Turtles” magnets to homeowners along the beach. “It is our hope to have a magnet on every refrigerator, in every beachfront home,” stated Justice. The magnets are reminders of ways to make our beaches safe during sea turtles nesting season.

With sea turtle season between May 1 and October 31 it is the responsibility of beachfront property owners and visitors to the beach to keep our beaches sea turtle friendly. With about 90% of all sea turtle nesting in the United States taking place on Florida’s beaches, St Johns County has a part to play in helping to keep the endangered sea turtle from becoming extinct.

Endangered status means a species is considered in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Extinct means to be gone from the face of the earth forever more. With human activity the primary cause for the decline in sea turtle population, there are many things that we can do to- Help Save The Sea Turtle!

  1. Beach deep hole in the sand

    Large holes in the sand are deadly for sea turtles.

    Turn Off Your Lights. The sea turtle follows the light of the moon. Artificial lighting often causes nesting females and hatchlings to become disoriented and head inland instead of toward the ocean. Adult females also may avoid brightly lit areas that would otherwise provide a suitable nesting site.

  2. Pick Up Your Trash. Sea turtles mistake plastic, balloons and other debris for food. Consuming trash often leads to nutritional problems or death. Turtles may also get tangled in trash, fishing line or plastic bags.
  3. Never Leave Belongings On The Beach Overnight. Sea turtles may become entrapped or disoriented by items left on the beach.
  4. Fill In Holes On The Beach. Adult sea turtles or hatchlings may fall in the hole unable to crawl out trapping the sea turtle. Fill in tire tracks and knock down sand castles.
  5. If You Find A Sea Turtle Do Not Disturb It. If help is needed call FWC Wildlife Hotline at 888-404-3922

Leave Only Your Footprints In The Sand!

The Journey Of A Lifetime


Elliott and Graeme Goal Fulfilled (photo:P.Willott)


A walk across the USA (photo:

The journey of a lifetime ended in the Atlantic Ocean at Crescent Beach, Florida on Sunday. Elliott Lannen and Graeme Lithgow started their journey in San Francisco, California in March 2013 just like any other journey-one step at a time. Walking across the country had it’s challenges and pushed the two to the limit. The heat of Death Valley took it’s toll having the pair sleep during the day and walk at night. Using a compass and the stars as their guide, the pair were more like the explorers of the past. Walking between 15 and 20 miles a day along the highways and byways of the United States, Elliott and Graeme experienced the kindness of people first hand. Food, clothing and rides were offered along the way. They chose St Augustine to end their journey because the heard it was a pretty nice place. Dipping their feet in the Atlantic Ocean was just another step in the journey for two guys and a goal fulfilled.


Treasure Beach Dredging Closes Butler Park West

Butler Park West closed

Butler Park West Closed Until November


With the dredging of the canals beginning at Treasure Beach, it was decided that the closing of Butler Park West Gator Dredgingand the boat ramp was required for the next six months. Because of the close proximity to Treasure Beach and the space required for the extensive dredging equipment as well as containment of the fill, Butler Park West was chosen. The silt from the canals will be pumped to Butler Park West and than carried away in dump trucks to a containment site making the entire park a construction site and unsafe for visitors. Presently the park is completely fenced and posted. Waterfront residents of Treasure Beach will pay for the dredging including the boat ramp extension in yearly installments which will be included with their tax bill. Canal improvement for the Treasure Beach residents as well as improvement to the boat ramp at Butler Park West is scheduled to be completed in November closing the park throughout the summer and for the next six months. Upon completion of the project, the boat ramp will be extended allowing for larger boats to launch.

News: June 2, 2014

Old Mr. Fredrickson The Iguana Is Safe And Sound

Devon & mike

Devon, Mike & Old Mr Fredrickson Home At Last!

Missing from his home at the beach since last week, we are happy to report that Old Mr Fredrickson the iguana has finally been found. Mr. Fredrickson came to live with Devon and Mike after he was found crossing A1A by Marineland. When found, the iguana was extremely dehydrated and malnourished and missing most of his tail. Devon, an employee at St John’s Veterinary Clinic decided to take Mr. Fredrickson home to care for him. “We named him after a character in the Disney movie -Up”, Devon said “Mr. Fredrickson looked like an old guy who needed a title as well as a name,” noted Mike.

“We are not sure of his age. But by the looks of him he is quite old.” Devon reported.

“For all we know he could be 35.” said Mike.

St Johns County Iguana Mr Fredrickson

Old Mr. Fredrickson Hanging Out

Be it five years old or thirty-five years old everyone in the neighborhood was on the look out for Old Mr. Fredrickson and concerned for his safety.

After fliers were distributed Mike got a call that Old Mr. Fredrickson had been spotted a block over. “The neighbors have been great,” said Devon and it was a neighbor who found Mr. Fredrickson.

While working around her yard Rose spotted something very frightening. Lying on the patio curled up around a warm cement planter was Mr. Fredrickson. Not sure if he was dead or alive, Rose got a hold of Mike and sure enough when Mike picked him up the iguana opened his eyes.

Mike and Devon were thrilled to bring Mr Fredrickson home and the other critters in the home also seemed glad. All but the cat…the cat seemed a little put out.

Devon and Mike plan on keeping Mr. Fredrickson, after all he has now become a part of the family and a better family he could not find. With two dogs, two birds, turtles and a cat Mr. Fredrickson fits in quite nicely. Welcome Home Old Mr Fredrickson…Welcome Home!


Plan Now For The 2014 Hurricane Season

HurricaneCompositeHurricanes of the 2005 season (photo: hurricane science)

The 2014 hurricane season will officially start on June 1 and end on November 30. On May 22, 2014 the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts there will be between eight and thirteen named storms and of those between three and six will become hurricanes. NOAA predict one or two will become a major hurricane. The National Hurricane Center reminds people that hurricane winds are not the only deadly force, the greatest threat to life is the storm surge. The storm surge is ocean water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds. The waves along with the tides can increase the level of the water by 30 feet or more flooding the coastal communities. As the water moves inland, rivers and lakes can be affected and add to the rising flood level. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina brought a storm surge with flooding 28 feet above normal tide levels causing $75 billion in damage.

What To Do In The Event  A Hurricane Evacuation Is Ordered For Anastasia Island

Hurricaine on landLandfall With Tidal Surge (photo: contributed)


When a mandatory evacuation is established for Anastasia Island everyone MUST evacuate.

If you require any type of assistance during an emergency situation, please fill out an Evacuation Assistance Request Form which you can find online. EMERGENCY FORM

  • In order to return to the island after an evacuation had been issued, you must have a reentry pass. Obtain a reentry pass from the SAB Police Dept. (Proof Of Address Is Needed. ID, Utility Bill, Business Tax Form…)

    Remember to make plans for your special friends.

  • Know Your Evacuation Route and make sure you have enough gas.
  • Decide where you and your family will stay/ meet during the disaster. (Shelter / Friend / Hotel…)If you are staying at a hotel remember to make a reservation.
  • Have a contact person out of the area (write phone numbers down on paper )
  • Turn off gas appliances at their individual shut-off valves inside your home.
  • Secure outside items. Bring in any items that may blow around during a storm
  • Take important documents, insurance papers and extra medication with you
  • Recommended Drinking Water for family members (at least 1 gallon daily per person for 3 to 7 days)
  • Disaster Supply Kit (see SJC Emergency Mgmt for info)
  • Plan for your pet.
  • Remember: shelters are not made for comfort. Bring your disaster supply kit.

There are two (2) Pet Friendly Shelters in St Johns County. You must stay with your pet while at the shelter and pets must be in an airline approved container.

South Woods Elementary School-4750 SR-206 Elkton 32033 * Timberlin Creek Elementary School 555 Pine Tree Ln. St Aug 32092

If you or a family member have a disability SJC has two Special Needs Shelters. Inform Department of Emergency Management at (904) 824-5550 to preregister.

Hastings Community Center, 6195 S. Main St, Hastings 32145 * Pacetti Bay Middle School, 245 Meadowlark Ln, 32092

For More Information About St Johns County Shelters & Procedures

sjc emergency

Click For SJC Emergency Info


More Gamble Rogers Folk Music To Come

Gamble Rogers St Johns County

click to enlarge

Bob Patterson

Bob Patterson (contributed photo)

Michael Reno Harrell

Michael Reno Harrell (contributed photo)

Join The Gamble Rogers Folk Festival Inc. for another amazing concert at the Whitney Lab’s Lohman Auditorium on Saturday, June 28th .  Gamble Rogers Folk Festival Inc., is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the arts and art education. The concert features two nationally known and often honored singer/songwriter/storytellers, Michael Reno Harrell from South Carolina and Bob Patterson from Northeast Florida.

Michael’s recordings continue to top the Americana Music Association charts year after year. His original songs and stories have been described as “Appalachian grit and wit.” Michael has traveled extensively throughout the South as well as Europe and you will surely feel like an old friend as you listen to his songs and storytelling.

Bob Patterson is an integral part of the Florida folk music scene as a founding member of the Gamble Rogers Folk Festival. Having played throughout the United States along with musicians such as Emmy Lou Harris, his music and storytelling is filled with fun facts and folklore of the people of Old Florida. Sit back and listen as he takes you on a musical journey full of humor and imagination.

The event will take place at Whitney Lab’s Lohman Auditorium on June 28th (Saturday). The doors will open at 6 PM and the music will begin at 7 PM. There will be light refreshments available. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the evening of the show. Tickets will be available as of June 1st and may be purchased on line or locally in St. Augustine at Music Matters (196 State Road 312), Simple Gestures (4 White Street) or the Bead Chick (78 San Marco Ave.) or by calling Paul at 904 794 4163.  Seating is general admission and limited so do get your tickets early. This promises to be a wonderful evening of music and story that will send you home laughing, humming and thinking!    




Visitor views painting at the St Augustine Art Association (PHOTO by Alicia Gray)

The St. Augustine Art Association presents The Annual Honors Show June 6 – July 6, in the Main Gallery at 22 Marine Street, St Augustine, Fl.  A diverse display of “the best of the best,” the exhibit features new works by artists who have won awards for outstanding artistic achievement at the Association during the past three years.

Flagler College Art Professor Don Martin will select the coveted $500 Jean Wagner Troemel Best in Show Award, along with other special memorial awards, including the Emmett Fritz Award for Best Oil Painting and the Ted Karam Award for Best Sculpture. Awards are presented during First Friday Art Walk, June 6, at 7 p.m.

To learn more, call the St Augustine Art Association at (904) 824-2310 or visit

 Some Updated Photos Of Whats Going On In SAB

 Demolition Continues At The Beachfront Resort

Beachfront Resort Demo