Posts tagged kids

St. Vincent - Movie

St. Vincent “Big Rewards”


“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

stvincentposterST. VINCENT is the latest film starring Bill Murray, and that is all you need to know to make you want to see it, and you will be pleased you did. Murray plays Vincent, who is the furthest thing you can imagine being a saint at the beginning of the movie.

Vincent lives in a run-down house in Brooklyn, he drinks, he gambles, and he has a so-called “friend,” who is a pregnant Russian stripper and hooker named Daka, who is played by Naomi Watts.

Well, one day some new neighbors move in next door, and things get off to a bad start when the moving truck breaks a branch off a tree in Vincent’s front yard, which falls onto Vincent’s car parked in his driveway and damages it.

The car, not the driveway.

The truck also runs over Vincent’s fence, and he wants the new neighbor to pay for that, too, although we have already seen Vincent run over the fence himself while driving his car into the driveway drunk and backwards.

The new neighbors are Maggie, a woman going through a divorce played by Melissa McCarthy in a surprisingly and thankfully toned-down performance, and her young son Oliver, who says when he is told about Vincent, “It’s gonna be a long life.”

Maggie has a new job at a hospital, and Oliver starts a new school, which happens to be Catholic, although he is not, nor are many of the kids in his class, as the teacher finds out when he introduces Oliver to the class.

The teacher, Brother Geraghty, is played by Chris O’Dowd.

On his first day at school, Oliver gets picked on by some bullies, and his clothes are stolen, and so when he gets home he is locked out of the house and goes next door to use Vincent’s phone in order to call Maggie.

When Oliver tries to explain why he wants to use Vinent’s telephone, Vincent says, “I don’t need to hear the whole story,” which Vincent will say more than once in this movie.

When Maggie gets home, she anticipates future needs to use Vincent, and so they agree that Vincent will babysit Oliver for a small wage whenever necessary.

Well, you can see where this arrangement is headed, can’t you?

ST. VINCENT pays off with big rewards.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

Facebook good neighbor by funding financially strapped police annex.


Facebook is funding the police annex near it’s campus for the next three years. What would ordinarily be a local story has Officer Facebook: 34-year-old Mary Ferguson is the Facebook Cop in Menlo Park whose $194,000 salary and benefits are paid for by the tech giantblown up into a national story for us living in Menlo Park. Because of our wealth some in the media have taken a sinister view suggesting Facebooks good neighbor policy will some how buy privilege with Menlo Park police. Try drivnin g drunk through the neighborhood and see how much privilege you receive.
Meet Mary Ferguson, AKA the Facebook Cop, whose position was created through public-private partnership between tony Menlo Park and the social media giant.
Over the next three years, Facebook agreed to pay $600,000 to the town, where the company also happens to be headquartered.
Ferguson, 34, who’s paid $194,000 in salary and benefits per year for her services, keeps an eye on the internet behavior of potentially unruly kids by using an online persona that hides her true identity.
Ferguson’s primary duties apart from patrolling Facebook include keeping children in school, working with juvenile offenders, and helping large area businesses equip themselves for natural disasters, campus shootings or other violent crimes, reports the Wall Street Journal.
‘Mary is a pro-active police officer who enjoys working with kids,’ Commander Dave Bertini told NBC Bay Area in March, when the force first accepted the funds. ‘Her passion and enthusiasm for truancy abatement will drive the department’s program in a successful direction for the youth of Menlo Park.’
While many residents of the well-off tech town appear happy with the unusual corporate partnerships, some people see a conflict of interest.
Menlo Park Mayor Ray Mueller supports the partnership.
‘Facebook moved into a part of town that was blighted, that was hurting,’ Mueller told the WSJ. ‘One of the first things we’re seeing is this public safety net coming down to protect everyone.’
Mueller brushed off suggestions that the tech giant is acting solely out of self interest.
‘Anyone who has the perception that Facebook is trying to protect themselves really doesn’t understand the situation,’ he told the WSJ. ‘That place is a fortress—they don’t need the Menlo Park Police to protect them.’
Some experts have their doubts.
‘That raises some potential conflicts that, if I was the chief, I am not sure I’d want to wrestle with,’ University of South Carolina criminal justice professor Geoffrey Alpert told the WSJ.
Alpert said he worries about skewed loyalties. ‘What do you tell your officers about how to treat people who work at Facebook?’ he wondered.
For it’s part, Facebook has called the $600,000 donation a no-strings-attached gift.
‘We just identified a need in the community,’ Facebook spokesperson Genevieve Grdina told the WSJ. ‘It’s not the “Facebook officer”; it’s the officer for the whole community.’

by Menlo Park C1N staff

the Wall Street Journal and Guardian contributed to this story.

sky guy

Who is Sky Guy


A graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Tom Vilot is an artist and self-taught software engineer. He has been part of numerous group shows and participated in Boulder’s jurried “Open Studios” two years.
After working in the software industry for almost twenty years, Mr. Vilot decided it was time to merge his two passions: astronomy and kids.
Being the quintessential “kid magnet,” Mr. Vilot has been volunteering at the Fiske Planetarium in Boulder, CO., in their K-12 outreach program.
Mr. Vilot studied acting for two years.
He launched, a series of short videos answering the many questions he has received from kids while volunteering at Fiske. The project is an abrupt change from his past, throwing himself into a completely new industry and learning all new tools. Once again, he is rapidly teaching himself. This time it is video, lighting, sound, editing and animation.

Muppets Most Wanted Movie

“Muppets Most Wanted” Most Enjoyable


“Most Enjoyable”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Muppets Most Wanted Movie PosterMUPPETS MOST WANTED reminded me of that old vaudeville saying, “a little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants,” as the Muppets once again do what they do best: act silly and be entertaining during the course of a story that brings them all together.

All your favorite Muppets are back, and many of your favorite human entertainers appear in surprising cameos or as major characters advancing the story.

The cameos include such entertainers as Tony Bennett, Hugh Bonneville, Sean Combs, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Salma Hayek, Frank Langella, Ray Liotta, Usher, Stanley Tucci, and Christoph Waltz, who in fine Muppet tradition dances the waltz onstage during a performance in Berlin.

The story has the Muppets reuniting and being convinced to go on a world tour by Dominic Badguy, played by Ricky Gervais, who promises them houses that will be sold out and worldwide adoration if they will hire him to be their manager.

Dominic says, “Kermit, how about the Muppets go on a world tour?” and says that his last name is pronounced “Badgee” even though it looks like “Badguy,” because it is French and actually means “Good guy.”

Meanwhile, Constantine, the World’s Most Dangerous Frog, breaks out of a gulag prison in Russia and becomes an integral part of the story, because he looks just like Kermit, except that he has a dark mole above his lip.

Well, Dominic has a dastardly plan for the cities he picks for the world tour, and, sure enough, Constantine replaces Kermit on the tour, and Kermit is arrested as Constantine and sent back to the Russian gulag, whose commandant is Nadya, played by Tina Fey.

After a museum robbery in Berlin engineered by Dominic and Constantine, Interpol sends Jean Pierre Napoleon, played by Ty Burrell, and Sam Eagle from the CIA shows up to solve the case, but after interviewing all the Muppets, they conclude that the Muppets are too stupid to be behind the robberies, which now include another museum robbery in Madrid.

Meanwhile, back at the gulag, Nadya has ordered Kermit to be in charge of the annual musical review, and she has started to have fond feelings for Kermit.

Incidentally, stay for the end and Nadya’s solo, which is priceless.

MUPPETS MOST WANTED of course contains a major marriage subplot with Miss Piggy.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

Muppets Most Wanted Movie Poster

Muppets Most Wanted – Movie Trailer


Disney’s “Muppets Most Wanted” takes the entire Muppets gang on a global tour, selling out grand theaters in some of Europe’s most exciting destinations, including Berlin, Madrid, Dublin and London. But mayhem follows the Muppets overseas, as they find themselves unwittingly entangled in an international crime caper headed by Constantine-the World’s Number One Criminal and a dead ringer for Kermit the Frog-and his dastardly sidekick Dominic, aka Number Two, portrayed by Ricky Gervais. The film stars Tina Fey as Nadya, a feisty prison guard, and Ty Burrell as Interpol agent Jean Pierre Napoleon.

Enders Game

“Ender’s Game” Is Game Over


“Game Over”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Ender’s Game is based on Owen Scott Card’s novel of the same name for young adults, and so if you are not a young adult, meaning a teenager, you can skip this movie.

Enders Game

In my opinion, even if you are a young adult, a teenager, immature, or even fascinated with video games, you can skip this movie.

Sure, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, and Ben Kingsley appear in it, but they are there only as adult window dressing for a story that is about kids and for kids.

The hero is Ender Wiggin, the time is in the future, and the plot is that Earth has to be saved from a future invasion of aliens.

Already, I can hear the room filling with a loud chorus of Ho Hums.

We are told that the world’s smartest children are the planet’s best hope, and the reason is that the future invasion will be fought like a video game, which is strange when you think about it, because the only reality casualty in playing video games is something that might just be called “remote thumb” in order to correspond to tennis elbow.

Anyway, don’t think about it, because there is nothing in this movie worth thinking about, except that the filmmakers are probably hoping that this will be the first in a series of franchise movies and there will be more coming, on which they can lose money.

Anyhow, Ender is a young teenage boy who is bullied at school, but who is clever enough at playing video games that he is singled out for special training in anticipation of the future alien invasion.

Ender has a sister, and he tells her, “All I could think was, what would Peter do?”

Peter is their brother, who was selected for training before Ender, but he washed out of the program, which consists of being treated like privates in a military boot camp, but with training that consists of floating around in huge zero gravity sets and firing weapons at each other.

Can I get a “Ho Hum”?

Of course, there are one or more kids who give Ender a hard time, of course there are other kids who support him, and of course Ender succeeds and advances to higher levels of more rigorous training.

Ender’s Game just makes me say “Game over!”

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

Kick-Ass 2

“Kick-Ass 2″ Thankfully Ends


“Thankfully Ends”

“Hotshots” looks at a movie!

Kick-Ass 2 is the sequel to the 2010 Kick-Ass, which was a surprisingly and thoroughly enjoyable movie about a nerdy teenage boy who wanted to be a superhero who fights crime and sorta, woulda, coulda almost did.

Kick-Ass 2

This movie is not, except for the part about the nerdy teenager, etc.

However, even that part starts out differently, as we hear the teenager, Dave Lizewski say at the beginning, “I’d given up being a superhero, because it was way too dangerous.”

On the other hand, the little sweetheart from the first movie, Hit-Girl, is still fighting crime successfully, and she is doing it by ditching school, where her alter ego, Mindy Macready, has just started high school as a freshman.

Both Dave and Mindy go to the same school, and Hit-Girl’s success causes Dave to get his old costume out, and he suggests to Mindy that they should team up and fight crime together, just like Batman and Robin.

However, Hit-Girl has been grounded by her guardian, but she agrees to train Dave in what she knows about martial arts, and they train every day for three weeks.

Mindy also tells Dave, “If you’re scared of dying, one thing is certain: You’re going to die.”

Meanwhile, the rich kid from the first movie, Chris D’Amico, is still around, but he has given up his desire to be a superhero, too, and instead he designs a costume and wants to be the first supervillain, giving himself a name that can’t be repeated here, but it sounds a little like The Mortarforker.

So, when Dave discovers that he is still not good at fighting crime alone, he learns about and joins a gang of other wannabe superheroes called Justice Forever, which is led by Col. Stars and Stripes, played by Jim Carrey, who is almost unrecognizable and thankfully tones down and doesn’t try to steal the movie with his usual outrageous antics.

Not to be outdone, Chris pays top dollar for every hired hitter in town to form his own gang of villains to support him.

Meanwhile, there is a side story of Mindy wanting to be a part of the cool kids at school, but this ends with extremely bad taste, and the movie turns ugly.

Kick-Ass 2 ends, thankfully, with a Big Fight substituting for the Big Game conclusion.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”

O’meara Ford Center’s 100th Anniversary

O’meara Ford Center’s 100th Anniversary


O'meara Ford Center's 100th AnniversaryOmeara Ford Center will be holding a 3 day sales extravaganza June 13th, 14th, and 15th! We will have live entertainment, food and beverages, and fun stuff for the kids like face painting, stilt walkers and balloon animals!

Oh and in all this excitement we here at Denver Channel 1 will be moving through the crowds and cars to catch some of this historical event on film, so come on down, it’s going to be fun.

O’meara Ford Center Map

St. Augustine Channel 1

This Week June 3 – 9


Monday – Sunday: June 3 – 9

Picasso: Art & Arena Exhibit – An exhibition featuring dozens of Picasso originals, including many that have never been seen previously in the United States. PicassoBoth famous and rare, these pieces were produced in different styles, techniques and media; providing unique insights into one of Picasso’s main themes: bullfighting. The exhibition is at the Visitor Information Center,10 Castillo Dr. in St. Augustine. Admission: Adults $10; Seniors $8; Kids 6 & Under – Free; Kids 7 – 12 – $5; Family of 4 – $20; Military in Uniform – Free; Flagler College Student with ID – Free. The Picasso Exhibit is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Daily. 904-825-1000

Tours of El Galeón – El Galeón, a unique replica of the 16th century Spanish galleons that sailed to and from newly-discovered Florida, will be open for tours at the St. Augustine City Marina thru June 9. Tickets are $15 for adults/$8 for children; Children 5 and under are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult. Tickets are available at Ripley’s Red Train Ticket boothas and at the St. Augustine Visitors Information Center, 10 West Castillo Drive. The tours aboard El Galeón take place daily from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the St. Augustine Marina, 111 Avenida Memendez

StarTrek Into Darkness: An IMAX 3D Experience – A 3D screening of the sequel to Abrams’ 2009 hit film that redefined the Star Trek universe for a new generation. Daily shows are at 1, 3:50, 7:00 and 9:45 p.m. at World Golf Hall of Fame IMAX Theatre, One World Golf Place, St. Augustine. 904-840-4133

Tuesday: June 4

Wine Class and Tasting at TPC Sawgrass – “Anything But Chardonnay” is the theme for this wine class and tasting at Nineteen at TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, 110 Championship Way Ponte Vedra Beach. The class is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $15 per person. Reservations are required. 904-543-5105

Taj Mahal and His Trio Band – Two-time Grammy Award winner Taj Mahal and His Trio Band will perform at 8 p.m. at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, 1050 A1A North. Composer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Taj Mahal is one of the most prominent and influential figures in late 20th century blues and roots music. Tickets are $55 and $65. 904-209-0399

Wednesday: June 5

River to Sea Preserve Trail Walk, Marineland – Visit the GTM Research Reserve at 9 a.m. for a free, guided hike in Flagler County’s “River to Sea Preserve.” Stroll along a mile-and half trail through wooded coastal hammock to the Matanzas River. Meet the guide in the parking lot of the River to Sea Preserve located on the west side of A1A at the southern end of the town of Marineland. A directional “NERR” road sign will also be placed at the entrance. Be sure to wear comfortable, closed toe shoes.

Lightner Museum Curator Tours – Lightner Museum curator provides a themed interactive tour designed to give participants an opportunity to see acquisitions in operation rather than just as static displays. The tour, which is included in admission, takes place at 10 a.m. on the second floor of Lightner Museum, 75 King Street in St. Augustine. $10 adults; $6 for active duty military; $5 college student and youth ages 12-18; under 12 are free. 904-824-2874

School’s Out Eco Tour – Start the summer off right by getting the kids out on the water with an expert naturalist from the St. Augustine Eco Tours. See beautiful shorebirds, learn about dolphin behavior and enjoy the fresh air! Underwater microphones provide opportunities to listen for dolphin chatter. Departs at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., & 3 p.m. from the Municipal Marina, 111 Avenida Menendez, $35 per adult, $30 kids 12 and under. 904-377-7245

Music By The Sea Concert Series 2013 – Live concert with the band Amy Alyssia & the Soul Operation playing Motown R & B take place from 7-9 p.m. at the St. Augustine Beach Pier Pavilion, 350 A1A Beach Blvd. Admission is free and local restaurant Amici’s Italian will offer signature dinners for $10. For comfortable seating, bring a folding chair. 904-347-8007

Free Movies By The Bay – Ripley’s St. Augustine Attractions and the St. Augustine Municipal Marina present free movies each Wednesday and Friday throughout the summer. The family fun feature, Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax, will bed shown at 8:30 p.m. at the Marina behind Bayfront Mini Golf, 111 Avenida Menendez. Bring beach chair and blanket for comfortable seating by the bay. 904-824-1606

Thursday – Sunday: June 6 – 9

Limelight Theatre Presents: Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up? – A hysterical musical comedy set in a 1950′s Catholic School. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. at the Limelight Theatre, located at 11 Old Mission Ave. in St. Augustine. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors and $20 for students and military. 904.825.1164

Thursday: June 9

Brew With a View – Low country boil, local craft beer and live music at St. Augustine Lighthouse 7 – 10 p.m. See the sunset from the top of the tower and the latest artifacts recovered by the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program’s archaeologists. The lighthouse is located at 81 Lighthouse Ave., St. Augustine. Tickets are $30 for non-members and $25 for members. 904-829-0745

Concerts in the Plaza – Lis & Lon Williamson with Rick Kuncicky offer up their folk, country and swing. In addition, the evening will feature a screening of an episode of the popular television show Route 66, which was shot on location at the then Hotel Ponce de Leon, now Flagler College.7-9 p.m. in St. Augustine’s historic Plaza de la Constitucion, 1 King St. 904-825-1004

Friday, Saturday & Sunday: June 7 – 9

Marineland Film Festival and World Oceans Day Celebration – A weekend celebration of Marineland’s history on film and of the evolution of the film craft in the aquatic realm. Special screenings ofTiger Shark Express; Revenge of the Creature; Jonathan Bird’s Blue World; and Turtles: The Incredible Journey. Ticket packages start at $13.95 for adults and $9.95 for children. Marineland Dolphin Adventure is located at 9600 Oceanshore Blvd., Marineland 904-471-1111

St. Augustine Art Association Annual Honors Show – Features new works by artists who have won awards at association exhibits during the previous three years. The gallery is located at 22 Marine St., St. Augustine and is open Tuesday – Saturday noon – 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 – 5 p.m. Admission is free. 904-824-2310

Dog Days Art Exhibit – Opening reception for artist Sarah Emerson’s Dog Days exhibit is from 5-11 p.m. at St. Augustine’s space:eight Gallery, 228 West King Street, St. Augustine. Dog Days refers to the belief that these days of summer inspire evil. Emerson uses a candy-like palette to depict battlefields, natural and manmade disasters, barren landscapes inhabited by forest creatures and much more. Dog Days runs thru July 26. 904-829-2838

Friday: June 7

Kings of the Mic Tour LL Cool J, Ice Cube, Public Enemy & De La Soul – Hip-hop recording artist LL Cool J will perform with DJ Z-Trip at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre as the headliner for the “Kings Of the Mic” Tour. Joining him will be legendary artists Ice Cube, Public Enemy and De La Soul. The St. Augustine Amphitheatre is located at 1340 A1A. Tickets range from $85 – $45. Gates open at 5 p.m. and concert starts at 6:30 p.m. 904-471-1965

First Friday Art Walk – Join one of St. Augustine’s most popular cultural events from 5 – 9 p.m. on the first Friday of every month. Enjoy the latest exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at over 20 participating galleries. Tours begin at San Sebastian Winery, 157 King St. St. Augustine Sightseeing Trains and Old Town Trolleys offer attendees a complimentary shuttle service to most of the galleries. Shuttles run on a continuous loop every 30 minutes. 904-829-0065

Parents Night Out: Kids Night at Alligator Farm – Give the kids have an evening of educational adventure at the St. Augustine Alligator Farm. The Alligator Farm will entertain kids 5 – 12 with hands-on animal presentations, a twilight zoo tour, crafts, nighttime games and pizza from 6 – 10 p.m. Cost is $25 per child for members and $30 for non-members. 904-824-3337

Free Movies By The Bay – Ripley’s St. Augustine Attractions and the St. Augustine Municipal Marina present free movies each Wednesday and Friday throughout the summer. The classic film Sleepless in Seattle will be shown at 8:30 p.m. at the Marina behind Bayfront Mini Golf, 111 Avenida Menendez. Bring beach chair and blanket for comfortable seating by the bay. 904-824-1606

Saturday & Sunday: June 8 & 9

The Dance Company presents “Jubilee! Celebrating 20 Years of Dance” – Celebrate 20 Years of Dance at the Spring Recitals. The Performance Ensemble Concerts take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 149 Cordova St.,St. Augustine. Tickets are $15 each 904-471-4946

Saturday: June 8

World Ocean’s Day Kayak Tour – Paddle into a beautiful marine habitat in search of white and snowy egrets, great blue herons, terns, pelicans and maybe even a rare roseate spoonbill with the St. Augustine Eco Tours. Dolphins may cruise through the area and mullet fish may leap around you – it’s a different experience every time! Safe family enjoyment is the standard for these tours. Stable tandem kayaks allow you to snap photos and get some exercise without overexerting yourself. $40/adult with mention of this ad with your reservation. Tour time is 10 a.m. – noon. Municipal Marina, 111 Avenida Menendez, 904-377-7245

National Garden Week at Washington Oaks Garden – The Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Washington Oaks Gardens State Park celebrates National Garden Week with a special guided tour at 11 a.m. The formal gardens and restored 1940s greenhouse are included in the tour. Regular park entrance fee of $2 per person on bicycle; $4 per vehicle for single occupancy or $5 per vehicle, up to eight people applies. 6400 North Oeanshore Blvd., Palm Coast, 386-446-6783,

Greek Food Fair – From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., The Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church presents a Greek Food Fare featuring dancing and exceptional Greek food. Admission is free. The cost of the dinner being served from 4 – 7 p.m. is $16. 2940 County Road 214, 904-829-0504;

Unveiling of Corazon de Madre – Old Florida Museum’s Fort Menendez, 259 San Marco Avenue, St. Augustine will unveil their newest attraction, a 70′ double mast 16th century replica ship named Corazon de Madre at a 4 p.m. ceremony. The original ship was commissioned by King Philip II of Spain in 1571. The museum is open 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission is $11 for adults and $8 for children age 3 to 18. Ages 2 and under are free. 904-824-8874

GTM Reserve Guided Trail Hike – Join GTM Research Reserve volunteers from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m. for a 1.5 mile guided walk through the Guana Trail. After the walk, visit the GTM Research Reserve Environmental Education Center (EEC). The EEC is located at 505 Guana River Rd., Ponte Vedra Beach. There is a $3 parking fee. 904-823-4500

Musket Firing Demonstrations at Fort Matanzas – Reenactors fire flintlock muskets at Fort Matanzas National Monument 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. Admission is free including the ferry ride to and from the island. Fort Matanzas is located at 8635 A1A, 15 miles south of St. Augustine. 904-471-0116

St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Foundation Family Fun Day – Model boat building and races, shipwreck artifacts, tug-o’-war contests, cannon firings, youth sail rigging, boat safety, food, the on-going construction of a 16th century Spanish boat and much more will be featured at the Fountain of Youth Archeological Park, 11 Magnolia Ave., St. Augustine. Event is 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and is included in the regular park admission of $12 adults, $6 for children ages 6-12. 904-599-3800

National Garden Week at Washington Oaks Garden – The Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection’s Washington Oaks Gardens State Park celebrates National Garden Week with a special guided tour at 11 a.m. The formal gardens and restored 1940s greenhouse are included in the tour. Regular park entrance fee of $2 per person on bicycle; $4 per vehicle for single occupancy or $5 per vehicle, up to eight people applies. 6400 North Oeanshore Blvd., Palm Coast. 386-446-6783

The St. Augustine Mariner’s Ball – The Pioneer Barn will host a Costume Ball celebrating 450 years of Maritime History in St. Augustine. Held 6-11 p.m. on the magical grounds of Fort Menendez, there will be a scavenger hunt, costume contest (cocktail attire can also be worn) and entertainment provided by “Mid Life Crisis” and the “Bilge Rats.” This is a fundraising event to benefit Lighthouse Maritime Camp and the “School of the 16th Century” presented in January by the Historic Florida Militia. Tickets are $40 per person or $70 per couple. A cash bar will be available. The Pioneer Barn at Fort Menendez is located at 259 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine. 904-823-9852

Sunday: June 9

Second Sunday Solarium Teas – The newly restored Solarium in Flagler College’s former Hotel Ponce de Leon, also known as 400 Rotunda, will host two daily teas on the second Sunday of each month. Guests have a choice of three teas (one specially blended for the Hotel Ponce de Leon), a selection of traditional tea sandwiches and sweets. The teas take place at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person. Reservations required. 904-823-3378

Fantasy Flutes Concert – Concert flutist Melissa Lucia will be joined by pianist Michael Clark and flutist Christine Alicot for an afternoon of Vivaldi and more at the St. Augustine Art Association, 22 Marine Street. The free concert is from 2-3 p.m. Reservations required. 904-824-2310

Murder in The Old City – A murder mystery in the nation’s oldest city, combined with great dining, creates a memorable and enjoyable evening of entertainment. Tickets to this five-star dinner theatre experience at the Raintree Restaurant are $39.95 (adult beverages served separately). Dinner is served at 6 p.m. (5:30 p.m. arrival suggested) and the show begins at 7 p.m. The Raintree is located 102 San Marco Ave. in St. Augustine. 904-824-7211

Local Resident Specials

NOTE: St. Johns County residents with a valid ID are always admitted free of charge to the Oldest House, the Lightner Museum, the Fountain of Youth (special events excluded), the Ximenez-Fatio House, the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse, and the Legacy Tours at Flagler College. The daily tours and wine tastings at the San Sebastian Winery are free to everyone. Also, admission is free to everyone at the Fort Matanzas National Monument, St. Photios Chapel, the Pena-Peck House, the Father Miguel O’Reilly Museum and the Mission Nombre de Dios Museum (donations are welcomed). Many other local attractions offer discounted admissions to St. Johns County residents with valid ID.

For more information on events and activities in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra & The Beaches, go to the Visitors and Convention Bureau website at or call 1-800-653-2489.

To submit events to be included on the VCB Events calendar and website, please submit details to

Source: Visitors and Convention Bureau

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.

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