Community briefs 9/7/17

Clay Today
Posted 9/6/17

Clay Electric begins process to implement Emergency Operations PlanKEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Clay Electric Cooperative is in the process of implementing its Emergency Operations Plan due to the threat …

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Community briefs 9/7/17


Clay Electric begins process to implement Emergency Operations Plan

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS – Clay Electric Cooperative is in the process of implementing its Emergency Operations Plan due to the threat posed to its 14-county service area by powerful Hurricane Irma.
The National Hurricane Center is predicting that Hurricane Irma will be located between the Florida Keys and Cuba on Sunday at 2 a.m. Irma is predicted to be a powerful Category 4 hurricane at that time.
Ricky Davis, Clay Electric general manager and chief executive officer met with Chief Operating Officer Frank Holmes this morning to discuss the logistics of bringing in outside crews to help Clay restore service if Irma causes extensive outages in North Florida.
“These steps are to ensure we remain ahead of the curve because this storm’s projected path will obviously affect multiple utilities, causing outside resources to be limited,” said Ricky Davis. “With potential statewide damages, and knowing many contract crews remain in Texas and Louisiana following Hurricane Harvey, we want to be proactive in securing the necessary resources to restore power to our members as efficiently and safely as possible.”
Davis and Holmes will meet on a regular basis throughout the week as the cooperative’s restoration planning continues.
“What we know for certain at this point is Hurricane Irma is an extremely dangerous hurricane and it has the potential to affect the entire state. What we don’t know is how strong this system will be when it impacts our service area, or if the path will change slightly and spare North Florida,” Davis said.
“I want Clay Electric to be as prepared as possible in advance,” Davis said. “We’ll be monitoring this situation and making definitive preparations as we learn more about where this storm is headed.”
Members are encouraged to visit Clay Electric’s online Storm Center, which features helpful planning information, including the Hurricane Preparedness Guide, info on generator safety, supply checklists, shelter listings and answers to frequently asked questions.

Irma threat postpones TAPS monument dedication
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The threat of Hurricane Irma has forced the local chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America to postpone the dedication of the TAPS Monument in Green Cove Springs.
The monument, which will memorialize Clay County residents who died in the line of battle, will be unveiled officially on Oct. 9 at 11 a.m.
Clay County veterans’ groups have been working for some three years to raise funds to build the memorial, which will be erected in the Historical Triangle on the grounds of the Historic Clay County Courthouse, 915 Walnut St.
The monument dedication event was originally planned for Sept. 11.

Hurricane prep includes blood donation
GAINESVILLE – The potential impact of Hurricane Irma could be severe, and blood donors are asked to donate now to help prepare for the effect of the storm on the state’s blood supply.
It is important to build the blood supplies at hospitals across the state before Hurricane Irma comes ashore. All blood types are needed, including platelet and plasma donors.
Donating in advance not only supplies the hospitals, it assures that blood will be available to help those injured during to the storm.
Donors must be 17 or older, or 16 with parental permission, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is also needed. A photo ID is also needed. Call LifeSouth’s toll-free number, 1-888-795-2707 or visit to find the closest blood drive or location near you.
LifeSouth is a nonprofit community blood center serving hospitals in Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Wildflower program coming to Camp Chowenwaw
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Camp Chowenwaw County Park’s Nature Center presents a special program Oct. 14 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Beth Smith of the Florida Forest Service will present “Wildflowers of Jennings State Forest” at 11 a.m. The Nature Center is located in the Kiwita Building, near the swimming pool.
Park guests can also explore nature exhibits with park naturalists. Camp Chowenwaw County Park is located at 1517 Ball Rd., north of Green Cove Springs off U.S. Highway 17. Call for more information: 904-529-8058, or visit the park website:

AHEC offering free diabetes class
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – The Northeast Florida Area Health Education Center is offering a free program for those diagnosed with diabetes.
Diabetes Counts is a free program that encourages small lifestyle changes while learning about diabetes and the way it affects health.
Participants must be a Medicare beneficiary and have diabetes or pre-diabetes. The class will be held at the Green Cove Springs Senior Center, 604 Walnut St.
Two-hour classes meet once a week for six weeks starting Sept. 14 at 9:30 a.m. There is no cost to participate, but registration is required by calling (904) 482-0189.

Penney Farms postpones 90th anniversary celebration
PENNEY FARMS – The Town of Penney Farms postponed its 90th year celebration “Old-fashioned Farm Day” until Oct. 14.
Originally planned for Sept. 9, the day-long event from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. was to be centered at Clark Avenue and Kohler Park with other activities spread to residential streets.
Vendors wanting to have booth space should call the town for details. This is an event you will not want to miss so mark your calendars for September 9 and bring along a pocketful of pennies to help build a “Mile of Pennies” in honor of Penney Farms 90th birthday. For information call (904) 529-9078.

Bahá’ís of North Florida mark 200th Anniversary of birth of Bahá’u’lláh
JACKSONVILLE – The Bahá’ís of Clay County along with other North Florida Bahá’í Communities are preparing to observe the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, on Oct. 21.
Plans include a dinner and celebration at the Jacksonville Bahá’í Center, 5034 Greenland Rd., Jacksonville, on Oct. 21 at 7 pm.
Bahá’u’lláh, who lived from 1817-1892, was a spiritual teacher who announced in 1863 that he was the bearer of a new revelation from God. His teachings centered on the recognition of the oneness of God, that each religion originates from God and is suited to the age and place in which it is revealed and that the greatest need for this age is the recognition of the oneness of humanity as an antidote to the racial prejudice and materialism that is afflicting human society.
The area celebration is not a single event but a series of activities generated at the grassroots level in North Florida, which will express Bahá’u’lláh’s vision of the oneness of humanity. Activities will include drama, music, art exhibits, storytelling, service projects, prayer and devotional programs, including the lighting of 200 candles in a prayer vigil Sept. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at Latham Plaza on 1st Street North in Jacksonville Beach.
For more information visit or call (904) 651-5836.

Antiques fans come on down!
PENNEY FARMS – Clean out your garage, your treasure chest or your barn!
Bring your treasures to Penney Farms on Sept. 30 for a day of Antique Appraisals, sponsored by the J.C. Penney Memorial Scenic Highway.
The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. in Barrows Hall at 4385 Wilbank Ave. Skilled appraisers, from the Avonlea Antique Mall in Jacksonville and elsewhere have volunteered their time to help raise funds for the Scenic Highway program.
This is a fun event and an excellent opportunity to find out if that old lamp, special painting or latest flea market find could make you rich. The suggested donation to have an item appraised is $5 with a limit of three items per person.
The scenic highway nonprofit group has the responsibility of protecting, preserving and enhancing the scenic, historic and cultural resources on the highway, to improve both the visitor experience and quality of life in the local community.
For more information, contact Cathie Parrott at (904) 529-9078 or (904) 612-8464.

Night of Big Band music comes to Penney Farms
PENNEY FARMS – Relive one of America’s most exciting periods of musical history on Sept. 24, with the “Big Band” sounds of the Northeast Florida Conservatory.
The fun takes place at 7 p.m. in Barrows Hall at 4385 Wilbank Ave.
The group was established in 2010 by Richard Dickson to provide musical opportunities for both children and adults. The faculty is comprised of members of the Jacksonville Symphony as well university professors of music, music educators and performers.
In addition to individual lessons in instrumental, vocal, dance and drama skills, the Conservatory offers four music ensembles for adults: a concert band, an orchestra, a jazz band of about 20 members, and a woodwind quartet. The mission of the Conservatory is not only to provide excellent comprehensive musical training, but to support the arts and provide cultural enrichment. Among other ensemble performances, they have produced musicals such as Oklahoma, Hello, Dolly, and The Wizard of Oz.
Under the direction of Marc Dickman, professor at the University of North Florida, the jazz band will provide a wonderful program for all jazz lovers. Originally from Valdosta, Georgia, Dickman is the founding member of the jazz studies program at UNF. He plays the euphonium, trombone, base trombone and tuba in classical and jazz styles, and his students have won awards in these areas. He frequently appears as a soloist and clinician. He also plays principal euphonium with the St. Johns River City Band, and trombonist with the River City Swing Orchestra.
This concert is the first in the 2017- 2018 Commemorative Concert Series and is free.

Audition for the First Coast Opera
ST. AUGUSTINE – Clay County singers are encouraged to try out for the First Coast Opera on Sept. 10 and Sept. 17 in Saint Augustine.
Auditions for adult and youth singers will be held both days from 2-5 p.m. by appointment only at Ancient City Baptist Church, 27 Sevilla St.
Singers of all ages sought for principal roles and chorus for upcoming productions – Amahl and the Night Visitors (Menotti) performance on Dec. 13 and I Pagliacci (Leoncavallo)/The Stranger’s Tale (Tucker) in spring 2018.
First Coast Opera also hosts various concert performances and staged productions during its season.
Singers of all levels are encouraged to audition. Paid and volunteer positions available. Some roles may be filled outside of these auditions. Singers should be prepared to sing one or two selections.
A pianist will be provided, but singers must provide sheet music for the pianist. There is no cost to audition.
To schedule an audition time, contact Curtis Tucker, artistic director, by email at, indicating your preferred audition day and time. Singers not scheduled in advance will be heard on a space-available basis. In-person auditions are preferred, but singers unable to attend the auditions may be considered by submitting photo, resumé and either audio/video files or links to online sources.


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