Posts tagged America

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St. Augustine Haiku Workshop – Plant-A-Poem



gallery cafe 1The Gallery Cafe of St. Augustine (located at 1974 US-1 South, in the OLD Staples Plaza) will see the return of Ancient City Poet Michael Henry Lee, and Jacksonville poet Antoinette Libro, to lead a fun and informative writing workshop on Sunday April 27th to celebrate National Poetry Month (April).

They are both members of the Haiku Society of America and local Coquina Haiku Circle, who offered a well attended workshop a few months ago, will return to lead this fun and engaging hour dedicated to the art of “one breathe poetry”.

Please register at 1:45 p.m. The ACP Plant-A-Poem workshop begins at 2:00 p.m. and ends at 3:00 p.m. A small fee of $10 at the door is request to participate, which provides for endless coffee and sweet treats. Bring a haiku idea or two. You will learn how to cultivate a haiku seed and help it grow with the miracle grow of feedback from other workshop participants.


Source: Ancient City Poets


St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches This Week



black experience


Journey: 450 Years of the African-American Experience – Journey: 450 Years of the African American Experience covers the long and storied history of African-Americans in St. Augustine. The story of African-Americans begins in St. Augustine with the first Africans both free and slave among founding colonists in 1565. The exhibition is designed for cultural and heritage visitors interested in the full history of America and its beginnings and comprises four themes: Genesis of the African-American Experience; Fortress of Freedom; Breaking the Chains; and Crossroads of Change.  Tickets are $5 for adults; $4 for seniors; $3 for youth 7-12; under 7 free. Free admission for military in uniform. Located at the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center, 10 West Castillo Dr., St. Augustine.


El Galeón Tour – Tour a full-sized replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon. Docked at the St. Augustine City Marina, El Galeón Andalucia is an exact replica of the famous galleons that played an important role in the creation and maintenance of the Spanish Empire.  Built in Spain, it is similar to the galleon that brought Pedro Menendez to Florida where he founded St. Augustine in 1565.  The ship is available for tours beginning at 10 a.m. daily. Admission is $15 for adult; $8 for youth. 111 Avenida Menendez. 904-824-1606


“The Colors of Spring” Exhibit – Lost Art Gallery features the colorful works of Darwin Chaves.  Rainbows are the pallet of this Peruvian-born artist.  Rich in color and texture, Chavez paints his favorite beach scenes, streetscapes and gardens in acrylic on canvas. Through April 30. 210 St. George St., St. Augustine. 904-827-9800


Spring Members Show – The St. Augustine Art Association’s Annual Spring Members Show features a broad array of artistic styles, media and subjects.   The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday noon – 4 p.m. and Sunday 2-5 p.m. Admission is free.  22 Marine St., St. Augustine. 904-824-2310



And Much More!



Source: Visitors & Convention Bureau



Endangered Species Act Protection Proposed for Wolverine


Loss of Spring Snowpack From Climate Change Primary Threat to Feisty PredatorPORTLAND, Ore.— In accordance with a historic agreement with the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today proposed Endangered Species Act protections for American wolverines in the contiguous United States. The fierce, solitary hunters once roamed a large swath of the mountainous West, from Colorado to the Sierra Nevada in California and north through Washington and Montana. Today they are limited to Montana, Idaho, Washington, Colorado, Oregon and a single animal in California. Their dependence on persistent spring snowpack for denning makes them severely threatened by climate change.


The wolverine has a reputation for killing prey many times its size, but it’s no match for global climate change, which is shrinking spring snowpack across the West,” said Noah Greenwald, the Center’s endangered species director. “I’m glad wolverines are finally getting the protection they need to survive, but if we’re going to save the wolverine and countless other wildlife species, as well as the world we all depend on, we need to take immediate steps to substantially and quickly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.”

The Center has been working for protection of wolverines since 1995, including participating in litigation with allies to overturn a negative finding made by the Bush administration, resulting in it being placed on the candidate list. In 2011 the Center reached a settlement agreement requiring the Fish and Wildlife Service to make protection decisions for 757 species, including the wolverine, which was required to get a decision this fiscal year. A total of 54 species have received final protection under the agreement.  The wolverine is the 64th species proposed for protection with final protection expected within 12-months.


“Our settlement agreement is moving protection forward for dozens of plants and animals that have been waiting for decades,” said Greenwald. “From the iconic wolverine to the unusual Ozark hellbender, some of America’s rarest and most unique creatures are benefitting from this agreement.”

Endangered Species Act protection for wolverines will likely put an end to plans by the state of Montana to allow wolverine trapping. It also will mean a likely reintroduction of the animals to Colorado, with today’s rule allowing for wolverines to be moved to the state under relaxed regulations that defines released animals as experimental and nonessential. Similar rules have been used to reintroduce wolves to Yellowstone National Park and the Southwest and black-footed ferrets to several areas.

“By protecting the wolverine from trapping and other threats and reintroducing it to historic habitat, we’re giving it the best possible chance to survive a warming world,” said Greenwald. “Today’s decision will allow many Americans the chance to one day see one of these magnificent animals in the wild.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 450,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Flagler College sign

The Fall 2013 Flagler College Community Lecture Series begins on Sept. 17


The Fall 2013 Flagler College Community Lecture Series will kick off on Sept. 17 with an examination of the art inherent in the Hotel Ponce de Leon.

Flagler College Art Professor Catherine McFarland will discuss the Aesthetic Movement of the 19th century, placing the National Historic Landmark in the historical context of the movement.CatherineMcFarland

The Aesthetic Movement is an art movement supporting the emphasis of aesthetic values more than social-political themes.

“John Ruskin, the art historian, critic and philosopher, was the inspiration for this hugely important movement,” said McFarland. “We teach Ruskin at Flagler College, partly because of his influence on the aesthetics of the old hotel.”

McFarland’s lecture, “The Aesthetic Movement in America,” will feature approximately 60 images, including some pre-Raphaelite paintings, and will include anecdotes about the artists and writers.

Professor McFarland earned an M.A. in Art History from Emory University and a B.A. in Art History from Smith College. She received studio instruction in painting, sculpture, printmaking, design and photography from Atlanta College of Art and has completed post-graduate work at Emory University.

In honor of the 125th anniversary of the former Hotel Ponce de Leon, the 2013 Community Lecture Series is focused on “The Hotel Ponce de Leon Deconstructed: Building the Future for Modern America.”

The series features a lineup of historians and scholars discussing Henry Flagler’s vision for St. Augustine, social classes and American politics during the late 19th century, and the influence of art, music and literature during the Gilded Age.

Tickets to the lecture are $5 per person. Active military personnel may attend at no charge. Lectures begin at 10 a.m. in the Flagler Room at Flagler College, 74 King St. The lecture will last approximately one hour and will be followed by a coffee and pastry reception.

This year, thanks to VISIT FLORIDA’s Cultural Heritage and Nature Tourism Grant Program, Flagler College is offering complimentary admission to the fall 2013 Flagler College Community Lecture Series for any St. Johns County tourism employee. Tourism employees interested in attending the lecture will need to present their employee name tag or ID at the lecture series registration table.

Reservations for the lecture series are required due to limited space. Call (904) 819-6282 for reservations or more information. To watch a live stream of these lectures, visit

Source: Flagler College


Obama pulls plug on wolves life support


Obama Administration Strips Wolf Protections Across Most of Lower 48 States

Plan Ends Prospects of Wolf Recovery in Southern Rockies, California, Northeast, Pacific Northwest

WASHINGTON— In a move questioned by some of the World’s leading wolf researchers, the Obama administration announced plans today to prematurely strip Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves across most of the lower 48 states, abruptly ending one of America’s most important species recovery programs. The proposal concludes that wolf protection in the continental United States, in place since 1978, is no longer needed, even though there are fledgling populations in places like the Pacific Northwest whose survival hinges on continued federal protection.

Most wild wolves will lose federal protection. The sates have interest in protecting wolves--a key animal in ecosystem health.

Most wild wolves will lose
federal protection. The states have little or no interest in protecting wolves–a key animal in ecosystem health.


“This is like kicking a patient out of the hospital when they’re still attached to life-support,” said Noah Greenwald, endangered species director with the Center for Biological Diversity.  “Wolves cling to a sliver of their historic habitat in the lower 48 and now the Obama administration wants to arbitrarily declare victory and move on. They need to finish the job that Americans expect, not walk away the first chance they get. This proposal is a  national disgrace and our wildlife deserve better.”

Wolves today occupy just 5 percent of their historic habitat in the continental United States. Today’s proposal means that wolves will never fully reoccupy prime wolf habitat in the southern Rocky Mountains, California and Northeast, and will hinder ongoing recovery in the Pacific Northwest.

The proposal will hand wolf management over to state wildlife agencies across most of the country – a step that has meant widespread killing in recent years. Following removal of protections for wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains and western Great Lakes in 2011, states in those regions quickly enacted aggressive hunting and trapping seasons designed to drastically reduce wolf populations. In the northern Rocky Mountains more than 1,100 wolves have been killed since protections were removed; this year populations declined by 7 percent.

“By locking wolves out of prime habitat across most this country, this proposal perpetuates the global phenomena of eliminating predators that play hugely important roles in ecosystems,” said Greenwald. “Wolves are well documented to benefit a host of other wildlife from beavers and fish, to songbirds and pronghorn.”

In response to a petition from the Center for Biological Diversity, today’s proposal maintains protections for the Mexican gray wolf as a separate subspecies. Only 75 Mexican wolves roam a recovery area restricted to portions of Arizona and New Mexico. The population has not grown as expected because of a combination of illegal poaching and government mismanagement that requires wolves to be removed from the wild or killed when they leave the recovery area or depredate livestock.


“It’s obvious that Mexican gray wolves continue to need protection and we’re glad they’re getting it,” said Greenwald. “But it is equally obvious that wolves in the Pacific Northwest, southern Rockies, California and Northeast also need continued protection.”

Press release–The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 500,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.



Toyota Display at the 2013 Denver International Auto Show

Toyota Display at the 2013 Denver International Auto Show


We visit the Toyota Display at the 2013 Denver Auto Show and look at the all new 2014 Toyota models, some still in production. The Avalon, Tundra, Rav-4. Prius cars and the Toyota Sienna Denver Zoo Elephant Passage special model.

Toyota Avalon is a pinnacle of full size sedans with standard V6 power, lots of interior space and a reputation for reliability, the redesign for 2013 Avalon brings an even more premium look and feel.

1794 Toyota Tundra, This special edition is a icon of toyota’s long time presence in the farming industry and the start date of their ranch in San Antonio where the Toyota factory is today. The All-New 2014 Tundra Reworked inside and out is a force to be reckoned with. Tundra’s have loads of features and haul more than 2000 lbs. and tow over 10,000 lbs.

Toyota Rav4, From its efficient engine to its new 6-speed automatic transmission and updated suspension, RAV4 is every bit a driver’s machine. Let’s rediscover our sense of adventure, the inspiration behind the completely redesigned 2013 RAV4. Toyota built a vehicle that is the perfect partner for fun with friends and family. With a sculpted, sleek exterior and soft, inviting materials on the interior. It has room for all your stuff, enough power to get you there, and offers all the latest technology to keep you connected.

Toyota Prius, Cutting-edge. User-friendly. Undeniably eco-sensitive. The 2013 Prius is all of these things. In its third generation, Toyota’s iconic hybrid has elegantly demonstrated that there can be harmony between man, nature and machine. Prius has also shown that there can be consensus among many different types of drivers. Those who demand fuel efficiency, and those who like to take the fast lane. Those intrigued by highly advanced technology, and those who insist on proven reliability. Those interested in reducing their carbon footprint, and those who are hesitant to sacrifice practicality in order to do it. With all that Prius has to offer, it may well be the one form of transportation that we can all agree upon.

Toyota Sienna, Family life can keep you on the go. Luckily, there’s a vehicle that can help you keep up. Meet the Toyota Sienna. The minivan that’s designed for parents as much as it is for kids. With its wide stance and streamlined profile, it looks and handles more like a performance car and less like a people mover. And it’s loaded with advanced technology that will impress the little ones without frustrating the grown-ups. Plus, it’s assembled in America, with some of the highest levels of North American content in the segment.

Chevy Display at the 2013 Denver Auto Show

Chevy Display at the 2013 Denver Auto Show


We visit the Chevy Display at the 2013 Denver Auto Show and look at the all new 2014 Chevy Silverado, the Chevy Cruze, Chevy Corvette the Chevy Camaro.

2014 Chevrolet Silverado – Silverado pulls is weight and then some with over 10,000 pound towing capacity and Chevy’s Ecologic fuel saving features, the All new Silverado is strong , smarter and more capable, With Power, Pulling, and Payload for Both Work and Play, It’s the truck built to get you through the day.

Chevrolet Cruze Diesel – has estimated 42 mpg on the highway with 2.0L turbo diesel, With a 5-Star Overall Vehicle Score for safety the Chevrolet Cruze offerd up to 42 MPG hwy which is the best fuel economy of any gas engine in America, Cruze offers everything you need for a life on the move. Everything you’d expect from a Chevy, in one compact car.

Chevrolet ZR1 Corvette – The fastest production model ever offered by General Motors, with a top speed of 205 mph, the ZR1 is the ultimate expression of Corvette’s technology-driven performance legacy. Even more exciting than its production specs is the fact that customers who opt for the Corvette Engine Build Experience can participate in the assembly of their engine at the General Motors Performance Build Center in Wixom, Michigan.

2013 Chevrolet Camaro – In the Chevrolet Camaro’s case, “cool” is exemplified by its exterior design, which not only pays homage to previous generations of the vaunted pony car, but also thrusts it in a futuristic direction. Your $25K won’t get you much more than the base version, but that version includes a 323-horsepower direct-injection V6, 6-speed manual transmission and a 6-speaker audio system with Bluetooth — plenty of reasons to consider the Camaro cool.

Dan Culberson

“The Force That Changed America”


Here’s what gets me.

Star Wars was changed, as you know, and in 1997 could also have been changed to “Twenty years ago in a Hollywood universe far, far away a young man named Lucas fulfilled his vision and managed to make a sappy space opera filled with mythological overtones, innovative special effects and filmmaking techniques that were a throwback to Saturday matinee serials, and young Lucas was also farsighted enough to keep all the merchandising rights for his creation, which became so successful that it changed how we look at movies, how Hollywood makes movies and society itself, which became seduced by the Dark Side of merchandising and greed.”


On May 25, 1977, Star Wars opened in a little over 30 theaters and went on to do blockbuster business, earn obscene amounts of money, spawn many equally successful sequels, make George Lucas a wealthy man and an unequaled force in the entertainment industry and perhaps “single-moviedly” create movie fan clubs and people obsessed with collecting every collectible associated with the movies they could get their hands on.

However, Star Wars is more than just a sappy space opera filled with mythological overtones, innovative special effects and filmmaking techniques that are throwbacks to Saturday matinee serials. It is also a transference of power and importance from one generation to the next, and it might not just be coincidence that the “special edition” came 20 years later, the time of one generation.

If you were one of the millions who stood in line at one of the 1800 theaters in which Star Wars (Special Edition) opened January 31, 1997, you might have noticed how it was not as interesting if you already knew everything that happens and what everything means. Wait! We already knew that from the many, many times we had already seen it, whether in theaters the first time around long, long ago or on TV from either broadcast showings, movie rentals or our own private collections.

We already know that Mark Hamill was a wooden actor, that the story is sappy at the beginning when Luke Skywalker is with his aunt and uncle and that scenes go on way, way too, too long to show us the razzle-dazzle of special effects rather than advancing the story. And we already knew that the superficial banter between Han Solo and Princess Leia is just a cover-up for their mutual attraction.

Yes, we knew how the movie begins, how it middles and how it ends. So, why were we so fascinated to want to see it again when it was already etched in our brains like a historical myth?

Well, that depends on who “we” is. Some of us were (ahem) old, old enough to have seen it the first time around, which means we were probably Baby Boomers and didn’t want to grow any older and were reliving that experience again, which helped us to think we were still that age of 20 years earlier.

Some of us were just old enough to have children, and we probably wanted to see it again with our kids, sort of like passing a sacred totem on to the next generation.

And some of us were (ahem) young, young enough to have never seen it on a large screen, where Lucas maintained it was meant to be seen.

Lucas said he was only 50% to 60% happy with the film 20 years earlier and later he was 80% happy with it. He said, “The only thing I joke about now is it would be fun–and we can’t do this for another 10 years or so–to go back and digitize the entire movie and clean it up.”

May the Force help us!

Was this how we wanted Hollywood to treat our icons? Was this how we wanted movies made and remade as new technology allowed filmmakers to ignore the limitations of their raw material?

Think of Independence Day. Think of Plan 9 from Outer Space. Heck, think of Mars Needs Women.

Star Wars created Hollywood’s obsession with the blockbuster, it created the phenomenon in which merchandising earns more than the box office and it probably has a direct influence on why magazines and newspapers contain more advertising than text over time, companies now sponsor sporting events and even uniforms, and athletes make more money from endorsements than they do from playing their sports.

Star Wars is the Force that changed Hollywood, and as Hollywood goes, so goes America.

I rest my case.

Promised Land - Movie

Promised Land – Movie Trailer


Promised Land is the new contemporary drama directed by Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, Milk). Matt Damon plays Steve Butler, an ace corporate salesman who is sent along with his partner, Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand), to close a key rural town in his company’s expansion plans. With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer, for drilling rights to their properties, as much-needed relief. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher (Hal Holbrook) with support from a grassroots campaign led by another man (John Krasinski), as well as the interest of a local woman (Rosemarie DeWitt). Promised Land explores America at the crossroads where big business and the strength of small-town community converge.

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