St. Johns Living January 2013 Issue

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St. Johns




m a g a z i n e


Photograph of Durbin Creek by Cher Brown

Your Guide to Local Treasures, People, Places & Events 1 St. Johns Magazine ~904-687-8538 in St.~ Johns & Beyond

St. Johns Living January 2013 Dear Reader, With each new year we begin again, striving to acheive goals, watching as our families grow and change, and hoping our lives will be full and happy. In this issue we focus on Health & Wellness, both physical and emotional, for each depends on the other. Please enjoy our articles written by local people. We hope they give you many ideas for you personally on how to live heathily and well. Who knows perhaps 2013 will be your best year ever! Thank you to all our advertisers who make this magazine possible and remember to tell them you saw them here. Debbie Gaylord Owner/ Publisher

COVER PHOTO by Cher Brown: January paints some of its most stunning sunsets along the river and this one on Durbin Creek in Northwest St. Johns County is no exception. Inside This Issue • • • • •

Health & Wellness - pg 4-7 Top Docs - pg 4 January Calendar - pg 10-11 A Message from the Vet - by Dr. Veling, DVM pg 12 A Visit with The World Affairs Council of Jacksonville by Darren Rosenbaum pg 14-15

Owner/ Publisher Debbie Gaylord 904-687-8538 St. Johns Living - Mission We seek to connect local businesses to local consumers by celebrating the people, places and events in St. Johns and surrounding areas. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED ST. JOHNS LIVING LLC PUBLISHED MONTHLY AND DISTRIBUTED FREE OF CHARGE IN PRINT AND ON THE WEB




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Health & Wellness

TOP DOCS ~ Local Doctors Its 2013 and part of making it a good year is focusing on health and wellness! It is nice to be able to know information about your local healthcare provider before entrusting them with your health or your pet’s health. Here is our listed of wonderful local healthcare practioners. Dr. Faull, Board Certified Doctor of Audiology.

Received her Masters of Art in Audiology in 1979 from Northern Illinois University and in 2004 obtained her Doctorate of Audiology from Arizona School of Health Sciences. Before moving to Florida in 1983 she was the Director of Audiology at the University of Missouri Medical School Hospital. Dr. Faull established her first private practice in Melbourne, Fl. in 1983. Her private practice in Melbourne included working with local ENT physicians and hospitals where she established universal Newborn Hearing Screening. Relocating to Jacksonville in 2009 her current practice provides diagnostic hearing and hearing aid evaluations, prescribing and fitting advanced digital hearing aids and assistive listening devices. Dr. Faull’s professional memberships include the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association, American Academy of Audiology, American Board of Audiology and Florida Academy of Audiology.

Dr. Melinda Tolitsky, D.C. Dr. Tolitsky recently opened St. Johns Family Chiropractic on County Road 210 and currently holds active licenses to practice Chiropractic in both Arizona and Florida. She relocated to St. Augustine, Florida in 2008, is married and has two young daughters. As a second generation chiropractor, she believes in a natural approach to health care and is committed to taking care of your family just like her own Dr. Kelly Jago, MD, Board - Certified Obstetrics / Gynecology Dr. Kelly Jago is an OB-Gyn with OBGYN Associates of St. Augustine. Dr. Jago is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and completed medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, she did her ObGyn residency at The Naval Medical Center San Diego. Her wealth of experience, warm manner and careful approach to medicine make her an excellent physician. Kelly enjoys all aspects of obstetrics and gynecology, but she is particularly interested in adolescent gynecology and new, expectant moms. Dr. Jago lives in Northwest St. Johns County with the loves of her life; her daughter, Lia, her husband, Corey, and two dogs: Cassata and Chloe. During her spare time, she enjoys windsurfing at the Salt Run, golf, basketball, biking with friends and going to the beaches at Anastasia Island with her daughter.

Michael Tessler, MD, Board - Certified Physician and Surgeon Dr. Michael Tessler is originally from Newark, New Jersey and has been practicing medicine in St. Augustine since 1978. He is a board-certified surgeon and currently the Chief of Surgery at Flagler Hospital and President of the American Society of Abdominal Surgeons. Dr. Tessler is also the on-site physician at the After Hours Care Clinic in the Murabella shopping center which is open weeknights and weekends to treat your non-emergent medical needs.

Peter F Veling, DVM Dr. Veling was raised in Middletown, NJ. He attended veterinary school and undergrad at Purdue University. He is married to Jane with three kids, Rob, Drew and Caitlin. Two dogs, Onyx, a black lab and Jade, a blue tick coon hound mix. Three cats, Happy Gilmore, Bob and Nellie. Owned Caring Hands Pet Hospital in Indianapolis, IN for 21 years. Owner of Palencia Pet Clinic.

If you are interested in looking up information about your healthcare provider go to the Florida Department of Health website:


St. Johns Magazine~ ~904-687-8538

Health & Wellness

Medical Scheduling Service Expanding to St Augustine!

Great news for the residents of the St Augustine area! A Jacksonville based medical scheduling company is expanding its services to include St. Augustine, St Johns, Switzerland, South Mandarin, Orange Park and Palatka. If you have recently been sick or injured than you’ve probably experienced the frustration and confusion we all go through when seeking a provider that is both willing to treat our injuries and also accept our insurance. This will be more prevalent starting in January with the new Florida PIP Auto Reform Bill and the implementation of “Obama Care”. The Florida PIP Reform Bill states that starting January 1, 2013, if you are in an auto accident you have only 14 days to be seen by a physician or you will lose

100 percent of your benefits. Your benefits will also be capped if you are not evaluated by an approved physician and meet the new requirements. If you are sick or injured you need to contact the FREE medical scheduling service 904Injured. They have a 24/7 call center that will help you find a doctor willing to treat your injuries that accepts your insurance, in a zipcode close to your home or office. In many cases they can provide “Priority Scheduling”.

904-Injured schedules the following: Urgent Care Primary Care Auto Accidents Neurology Physical Therapy Chiropractic Orthopedics

Work Injuries Plastic Surgery Internal Medicine Pain Management Slip and Fall Injuries Dog Bite Injuries Burn Injuries

If you have additional questions or need scheduling for yourself or a family member you can receive information at or call the hotline now by dialing (904) I-N-J-U-R-E-D on your phone or 904- 465-8733.

Brian E. Watson, 904-Injured, LLC. Medical Scheduling Service. Brian is a Jacksonville native with strong ties to the NE Florida community. He is one of the founding partners of the 904-INJURED brand that includes the Medical Scheduling Hotline (904 I-N-J-U-R-E-D or 904.465.8733) and the Medical Directory He is also currently the Managing Partner of Watson Consulting Services, LLC. where he provides business development and client relations support to some of NE Florida’s most reputable Specialist and Physicians. His company has streamlined the process of scheduling injured patients needing the following care - Auto Accidents, Urgent Care, Primary Care, Slip n Fall Accidents, Brain & Spine Injuries, Burn Victims, Orthopedic and Dog Bite Injuries.


It’s that time of year again…time for new beginnings, clean slates, and fresh starts. But, will this year actually be different? It can be with the right approach. Clearly define your goal. Most goals lack specificity and are far too general. Goals of ‘losing weight’ or ‘getting in shape’ are too vague and lack the ability to measure progress. Your goal needs to be established in a way that also allows you to measure your progress along the way. What happened last time? Be honest with yourself on what happened during previous attempts of trying to reach the same goal. Look constructively at why you were unable to reach your goal on prior attempts. Unsuccessful endeavors will give you clues on areas of support or education that you need in order to make your goal a reality. Find an Accountability Partner and/or Proper Support. Most goals are never accomplished simply due to a lack of support or accountability. If you are able to ‘change your mind’ when things get difficult, then it will always be easy to let yourself ‘off the hook’ for your own goal. Find someone or a group of individuals in which you can find support and accountability. You need to receive honest feedback and a support system that allows you to not be offended to hear the truth. Spouses and significant others have great intentions; however, finding other accountability partners and support systems are highly encouraged. Things can always go south in many ways when a spouse tells you to get off of your butt and go workout. Create urgency. Setting a time to reach your goal creates urgency. Without an established ending date, you will likely procrastinate and put off the required effort and work that needs to happen to accomplish your goal. Seek the help of a trained professional if you are unsure of what is safe and realistic. Reaching new goals and setting out to accomplish something you’ve always wanted to do is never easy. If it was, you would have already done it long ago. However, if you are S.M.A.R.T (Simple, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic, and Timely) about your goal setting, you will move forward with a plan that only requires effort.

St. Johns Magazine ~ ~904-687-8538


Hearing and Listening: Our Ears and Brain by Dr. Rosann W. Faull, Audiologist Can you hear me now? Do you understand what I just said? Pay attention when I talk to you! Did your mother ever say that to you? Mine sure did. She wanted me to listen to her and understand what she said. Mom may not have had the clinical research to prove hearing and understanding is not the same thing, but she was correct. Fortunately for me I was born with normal hearing and no learning disabilities. So far, I have not suffered any hearing loss and depending who you ask I have not suffered any memory loss or mental decline. But what happens to our ability to understand when we suffer a hearing loss? Allow me to give you a brief overview of the auditory system: our ears and brain. This system is divided into 4 parts: 1st the Outer Ear which sits on the side of our head and the ear canal, 2cd the Middle Ear with the 3 smallest bones in our bodies, 3rd the Inner ear including a Balance System (Vestibular System) and Hearing Nerves (Cochlea) and 4th the Auditory Center in our Brain. It is the responsibility of the first three systems to send a complete message to the brain. If the Brain’s Auditory Center does not receive a complete message understanding and comprehension are affected. This occurs as we age and our inner ear’s cochlea loses hearing nerve cells. Each hearing nerve cell, or hearing hair cell, detects different sounds. Scientifically all sounds are broken into frequency (pitch) and loudness (intensity). Not all nerve cells are affected or damaged equally. To understand English we must hear consonant sounds, which are high frequencies sounds, and the first

hearing nerves to be damaged from age and noise are these hearing hair cells. Damaged hearing hair cells do not send a complete signal to the brain. The brain misunderstands and therefore we know someone said something but not sure exactly what was said. “Please pass the bread or thread or pardon me what did you say.” There is help. There is no medicine to restore these damaged hearing hair cells. But new advanced digital hearing aids provide the necessary power to only the frequencies that need it and help send a more complete signal to the brain. But do not wait too long. If the brain is not receiving a complete signal it will forget how to process this information. Another case of ‘Use It or Lose It’. Yes, there is a lot of research documenting this, it is called Auditory Deprivation. If you do not hear it clearly and understand it fully, you cannot remember it. Lack of understanding leads to social withdrawal, and this leads to memory loss, which is the first stage of dementia. Again, I’m reminded how wise my mother was. We hear and we listen. If our hearing is damaged, listening is compromised. Do not let that happen to you. Get a complete diagnostic hearing evaluation; learn if a hearing aid can be helpful. Join those conversations, understand that joke, and enjoy this wonderful world of speech and sounds Rosann W. Faull, Audiologist, Board Certified Doctor of Audiology; 12276 San Jose Blvd., Suite 710; Jacksonville, Fl 32223; Office: 904262-5550; Fax: 904-683-4592

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How to Make Healthy Living a New Year’s Resolution! by Dr. Melinda S. Tolitsky, D.C.

Now is the time of year when 45% of us make resolutions for the New Year. I reflect on my accomplishments and disappointments of the past year and eagerly look forward to writing my lofty expectations for the year to come. Getting healthy, losing weight, stop smoking, eating better and start exercising probably all sound familiar but how can we stick to those resolutions we are so passionate about on New Year’s Day? Let’s focus on health:

What is Health? According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of optimal physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. How do we achieve better health? 1. Start walking – work up to 30 minutes a day outside regardless of the weather (physical and mental benefits). 2. Start lifting weight regardless of your age and shape. Weight lifting helps build strong muscles and bones as well as rev up your metabolism and promote weight loss. 3. Eat more fruits and vegetables- work up to 6-8 a day. The key is variety and every meal. They lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, decrease blood pressure, reduce your risk of cancer, and help you lose weight. 4. Feed you mind and your soul with positive books and affirmations. 5. Spend more time with friends and family. 6. Volunteer and give back to an organization your care about. 7. Count your blessing and acknowledge what you are thankful for, daily.

How Can Chiropractic Help You Get Healthy This Year? Chiropractors are holistic health care practitioners that focus on the entire body. They work with the spine and nervous system to restore normal joint motion, improve flexibility, decrease muscle spasms and pain. Chiropractic can also help you understand more about healthy lifestyles, reducing stress, exercising, stretching and posture, and healthy diets. The biggest step to a healthier New Year is just getting started, and remember a healthy lifestyle includes your body, mind and social well-being!

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Local Authors Promote Healthy Living by Angie Bell Jon Gordon Jon Gordon, a Ponte Vedra resident, has written seven books, most notably The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team With Positive Energy, which is a Wall Street Journal Bestseller. His principles of positive energy have been used by numerous professional sports teams, colleges, Fortune 500 Companies and non-profits. Around the age of 30, Gordon started to feel called to write. After losing his job during the dot com crash, he prayed about it and started to write. Now, he gets up in the morning and starts writing. Then he takes a walk on the beach and prays, comes back filled with new energy and ideas to write until he is spent, usually about noon. Before going to bed he reads what he wrote that day and writes a little more. When asked about writing The Energy Bus, Gordon says, “It was a wonderful experience. I felt so peaceful and inspired during that time. It was a time of personal transformation for me and I believe the book was a reflection of that.” He has adapted this book in The Energy Bus for Kids, complete with a teacher’s guide and activity journal. His advice to budding authors is, “Don’t be too hard on yourself. Write the first draft and just let it flow. It may not be perfect. That’s ok. Just write. When you are done you can go back and edit and make changes.” Gordon speaks to companies and schools all across the country, as well as to teachers and principals in St. Johns County. He has also given talks to the students at Ponte Vedra High School and presented a program centered on his book The Positive Dog at Palencia Elementary School. His latest work, One Word that will Change Your Life, which he coauthored with Dan Britton and Jimmy Page, will be out in a few weeks. One Word that will Change Your Life is meant to inspire people to simplify life and work by focusing on just one word for the entire year. When not writing or speaking, Gordon spends time with his wife and kids, answers emails, posts, and tweets from readers, and plays tennis. His son also plays competitive tennis and his daughter plays lacrosse. You can follow Jon on facebook at https://www.facebook. com/jongordon11 or check out his website at www.jongordon. com/

Warren Caterson If you are looking for a cookbook that will help you prepare fresh, healthy, inexpensive, easy to prepare meals with readily available ingredients, look no further than Table for Two - The Cookbook for Couples. Caterson, a husband and father of five, began cooking over 25 years ago, but when his children began to leave home he realized the need for a cookbook that would serve empty-nesters, young couples, or anyone wanting to cook for two instead of a crowd. Having had an interest in writing for some time, Caterson began copywriting and freelancing around 2002. He does some sort of writing every day, when he’s not giving cooking demonstrations or book signings. He advises others interested in writing to follow two simple rules: read a lot and write a lot Caterson has also authored Table for Two: Back for Seconds – due out around Valentine’s Day, and Cooking Outside the Lines – Musings of an Extemporaneous Chef, expected to be available in the spring. In a completely different genre, Caterson has written Dive and Fly, a romantic-comedy-adventure full of twists. This one’s a great “beach read” to take to one of the beautiful beaches of St. Johns County. A sequel is in the works entitled Point and Shoot. As an urban director for Young Life in Chicago and now the Director of Development for Seamark Ranch, Caterson has a heart for young people. He also loves mingling with people of all ages, whether it’s a cooking demonstration at the Home Show or a cozy in-home dinner for a small group. He can sometimes be found at the Old City Farmers Market on Saturday mornings in St. Augustine, providing cooking tips and enjoying meeting new readers. Vilano Beach is where Caterson now calls home, along with his wife and 16-year old daughter. You can find out more about booking him at or follow him at caterson?ref=ts&fref=ts

St. Johns Magazine ~ ~904-687-8538




January, 1, 2013 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Anastasia State Park. Join park staff for the first hike of the new year. This is part of a national health and outdoor awareness movement; join others across Florida and the nation who are doing First Day Hikes at the same time as you! Join Park Services Specialist, Cristy Leonard for a hike through the Ancient Dunes interpretive trail within the park. This walk will be an outdoor geocaching scavenger hunt/interpretive walk, as we search for the hidden “cache”. No experience necessary for geocaching, but a smart phone with GPS or other type of GPS will be required. Free with park admission. Anastasia State Park / 904-4612033 / 1340A A1A South, St. Augustine / www. floridastateparks.orgJanuary 4, 2013

Kindergarteners through 9th graders are invited to battle it out in a Building Competition. Participants will work in teams or as individuals to build original LEGO designs for the chance to win prizes Cost is $25 per participant which includes a T-shirt, meal, certificate of participation and access to the museum.MOSH / 904-396-7062 / 1025 Museum Circle / www.themosh.or

January 12th

GREEN REVOLUTION FAMILY DAY: ENERGY January 5, 10am to 4pm Come explore how energy is produced and transported and learn about different ways to conserve energy. Activities, included with MOSH admission, will take place in MOSH's traveling exhibit, Green Revolution. This eco-exhibit builds awareness of our fragile earth and demonstrates solutions to more effectively protect our air, water, soil, and wildlife. Green Revolution closes January 6. $10 for adults; $8 for children 3-12, military and seniors. Free for children 2 and under and MOSH Members. MOSH / 904-396-7062 / 1025 Museum Circle /

10 10

GENEALOGY CLUB BARTRAM TRAIL LIBRARY January 12 Saturday,Genealogy (or family research) is a very fulfilling hobby. Be a part of the club...join us on

Saturday from 2 - 4 pm. For additional information, please contact the Bartram Trail Branch Library at 827-6960.

GTM RESEARCH RESERVE SEA YOUR HISTORY WEEKEND: MARINELAND BEACH WALK; THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION January 16 2013 January 18 to 19, 2013 Wednesday 9:00a; GTM Research Reserve volunteer Ron Ceryak will guide hikers along St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum St. Augustine. the beach at Flagler. Gtm Research Reserve, 81 Lighthouse Ave., St. Augustine, FL 32080/904829-0745, http://www.staugustinelighthouse. Marineland FL

SUNSET CELEBRATION AT FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK VILANO BEACH TOWN CENTER ST. AUGUSTINE January 5, January 4 San Sebastian Winery, 157 King St, St. Augustine, FL 115 Vilano Rd #A | St. Augustine, FL 32080/local 904-540-0402 Features a spectacular sunset 32084 / 904-829-0065 across the bay -- plus, dozens of market ven more On the first Friday of each month, enjoy the latest dors, live music, local arts and... exhibits, music, entertainment and refreshments at more than 20 St. Augustine art galleries. Park for free at the San Sebastian Winery, 157 King Street, where sightseeing trains and trolleys offer free round-trips to the heart of the art district – or go on your own self-guided art walk. Galleries are open from 5 to 9 p.m.

gested books and articles will be available in time to prepare for the discussions.

LIVING HISTORY DAY AT FORT MATANZAS NATIONAL MONUMENT January 5, 2013 8635 A1A South, St. Augustine, FL 32080/ 904471-0116 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., authentically clad re-enactors will demonstrate Spanish cannons at this fortress that guarded the southern approach to St. Augustine. Admission is free including the ferry ride to and from Rattlesnake Island. Fort Matanzas National Monument is located at 8635 A1A at the south end of Anastasia Island approximately 15 miles south of St. Augustine. Info:; 904-4710116

THE INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS DISCUSSION GROUP January 7 6 pm / discuss international current events. The discussion will be moderated by Joseph Warner, retired U.S. diplomat and adjunct professor of Geography and International Relations. A reading list of sug-

org/ Patriots and the Sea in a British Colony is the theme of a special weekend presentation at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, 81 Lighthouse Ave. Friday from 3-6 p.m. visitors can help Lighthouse archaeologists unlock the secrets of long-lost shipwrecks. Saturday at 9 a.m., visitors can meet and work with traditional wooden boatbuilding as they build a boat from centuries gone by. At 11 a.m., a Smithsonian Presentation gives visitors an opportunity to meet some of the people who make the Smithsonian the world’s leader in research and exploration. Weekend value pack which includes all 3 events and 2 days at the Lighthouse is $25. Info: ; 904-8290745

FREE ENTRANCE DAY: CASTILLO DE SAN MARCOS January 21, 2013 St. Augustine/Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine, FL 32084 In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the National Park Service is offering free admission to Castillo de San Marcos. Built by the Spanish military between 1672 and 1692, the Castillo de San Marcos is the oldest masonry fortification in the U.S. Friday through Saturday visitors can experience living history during Spanish Military cannon firings. The Castillo de San Marcos is located on Avenida Menendez, overlooking Matanzas Bay in historic St. Augustine. Info:

St. Johns Magazine~ ~904-687-8538

Community ~ Family ~ Fun Come Out for a Day of Friends, Family, Fun, Nature, Health and Wellness

Please be sure to call ahead to confirm dates, times & places for all events listed on our calendar. We do our best to get these right but “to err is human, to forgive divine’.

The Friends of Alpine Park and St. Johns County Parks and Recreation Department invite you to the January 19th “Get Fit with Friends and Family Arbor Day One-Mile Fun Run/Walk and Health and Wellness Expo,” at Alpine Groves Park in Switzerland, Florida. The Fun Run/Walk will begin at 8:00am on the riverfront and wind through the park.The Fun Run/Walk is an untimed one-mile course, perfect for all ages. Registration forms are available for download at www.mayomedia. com or at Weaver and Stratton Pediatric Dentistry in Fruit Cove. The Run/Walk is limited to the first 250 applicants and the deadline is January 12th. After the Fun Run/Walk there will be a raffle for Walk/Run participants. The Health and Wellness Expo will then kick off at 8:30am and run until Noon. The Friends of Alpine Park will celebrate Arbor Day with a tree planting at 9am. The Health and Wellness Expo and tree planting are free and open to the public. For more information please email or visit them on Facebook, “Friends of Alpine Park.” This is a can’t-miss community and family event! See you at the park!

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FEB 1. 2013 LOST IN YONKERS By Neil Simon A Coming of Age Tale February 1st, 2013- Limelight Theater to Benefit St. Francis House Lost in Yonkers is about finding one’s way through the tangled web of family relationships without losing the sense of self or sense of humor. Set in Yonkers, NY in 1942, the play focuses on two young brothers, Arty and Jay, left in the care of their feuding relatives, Grandma Kurnitz and Aunt Bella. Lost in Yonkers epitomizes Neil Simon’s trademark mix of comedy and drama. The New York Post hailed Lost in Yonkers, “The best play Simon ever wrote.” Don’t miss this FABULOUS play & a chance to support St. Francis House.

St. Johns Magazine ~ ~904-687-8538

11 11

Pet Pages A Message from the Vet Beware of Cheap Pet Vaccines

Warm, Compassionate, Affordable Care

by Dr. Peter Veling, DVM Recently, I had the owner of a maturing kitten come in that had taken the cat to a local pet adoption agency’s wellness clinic. The kitten had a lump at the site of vaccination. The owner showed us the information provided at the wellness clinic. The vaccine labels were on the paperwork. The vaccines were from a low cost vaccine manufacturer. The type of vaccine used was a killed vaccine. All killed vaccines contain adjuvant. An adjuvant is a chemical that is supposed to attract the immune system to the vaccination site so that the virus particles are found, destroyed and immunity produced. Adjuvants are listed as Class 3 Carcinogens by the World Health Organization. This kitten may have cancer from the vaccine. We hope it is a reactive lump but only time will tell. The owner will now face several weeks to months of anxiety to see if the lump goes down or if it is cancer. The kitten may face surgery. From 1990 to 2002 I faced this problem in 10 cats that were vaccinated with these cheap, adjuvanted vaccines. These cats probably were genetically predisposed to this problem. We did large, expensive, disfiguring surgeries on them. We saved 6 of the 10 cats, which was a better cure rate than the Indianapolis board certified surgeons were getting. The company that produces them claims that they are high quality vaccines. In actuality, using adjuvant started in farm animals. The method that is safe for a 1500 pound cow has been found to not be safe for a 12 pound cat in the eyes of veterinary researchers who focus on cats. The good news is that today’s newer vaccines contain no adjuvant and, therefore, do not produce these lumps. They were designed to avoid the use of these irritating chemicals. Unfortunately, they cost nine times as much as the old vaccines. I will never use the cheap vaccines at my practice again. I never want to have to disfigure a cat again be-

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Mon, Tues & Thurs 8am-6pm, Wed 8am-12 Noon, Fri 8am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-12Noon cause of a cancer from a vaccine. Let me ask you a question. If a veterinarian gave you a choice of a $20 vaccine that can produce cancer or a $27 vaccine that cannot produce cancer which one would you choose? Beware who you trust. Always ask what kind of vaccine is being used on your pet. Do not allow a killed vaccine to be used on your cat. That cheap vaccine can give your pet cancer. Dr. Peter Veling, DVM is the owner of Palencia Pet Clinic.

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World Affairs Council Enriches Our Community through Education by Darren S. Rosenbaum It’s time for a New Year’s Resolution again. Dieting and weight loss this time? How about a ‘new’ New Year’s Resolution this time? It’s time to think outside the ‘traditional’ box and, instead of making superficial promises with little chance of long-term success, develop your ‘human capital’. Now if you’re thinking it would just be easier to try and lose weight, just know that developing our human capital, or skill set, isn’t impossible. In fact, every new experience adds to it. However, as we age and assume adult

responsibilities, many of us become myopic in developing that skill set. We tend to advance careers and ignore adding to our knowledge in other ways. As a case in point, most Americans struggle to understand current events in general and international relations in particular. Sadly, but often hilariously, this shortfall is highlighted regularly on TV in a Tonight Show segment called ‘Jaywalking’ or on the radio in NPR’s insightful news show, ‘Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me.’ While played for laughs, examples of average Americans not knowing what average Americans should know is always an eye-opener. As funny as they are, programming like ‘Jaywalking’ and ‘Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me’ need to be made irrelevant. Our collective disinterest in international relations doesn’t start at adulthood. As a high school social studies teacher for 15 years, I am confronted daily with how little today’s youth know about the world outside of their front door. Sure, the occasional prodigy exists, but they are few


Past Chair Amb. Marilyn McAfee, Chairman of the Board Sandra Cook & Past Chair Admiral Howe

and far between. My students live in a ‘splendid isolation’; accentuated by the smart phone they’re never far from. Even when I discuss troubling news stories from across the globe, and how we might be affected, most students lack the background knowledge to understand the situation and aren’t motivated to take the time to learn on their own. And if danger really exists from Iran or Russia or Syria, ‘we’ll just nuke them’ is the preferred answer for too many. Obviously there’s a problem. Thankfully, the kind of investment I’m suggesting doesn’t require a second mortgage for a degree in International Relations at a local college. To better our understanding of the world around us, citizens of the First Coast are fortunate to have the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville (WACJ) right in our backyard. Started in 1985 as the National Interest Forum (NIF) the organization quickly grew in membership and area influence. In 1995, the NIF joined the World Affairs Council of America, which, as its website clearly states, ‘promotes grassroots understanding and is dedicated to educating, inspiring and engaging Americans in international affairs and the critical global issues of our times.’ There are also Councils in Naples and Palm Beach, as well as nearly 100 Councils across America in some 40 states. Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with Executive Director Trina Medarev and Uli Decker, Director of Education and Community Outreach about what the WACJ does. As Ms. Medarev said, ‘the core mission of the World Affairs Council is to bring an understanding of international issues to the community.’ But Ms. Medarev suggests that the Jacksonville council is special.

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When I asked why, she spoke reverently about a few key people who have assisted in developing the WACJ over the years, namely Ambassador Marilyn McAfee, a career foreign service officer from 1968 to 1998, Admiral Jonathan Howe USN (Ret.) who held national security positions in multiple administrations along with 35 years of naval service and Ambassador Nancy Soderberg, who also held national security postings in the mid 1990’s before serving in the United Nations. This trio of heavy hitters, along with a dedicated Council staff, has helped enhance the ‘Speaker Series’, the Council’s signature program for adults. From September to April, the Council invites prominent people in a variety of fields as guest lecturers for ‘Global Issue Evenings’ held at the University of North Florida or the ‘Global Business Luncheons’ held at The River Club. While the business luncheons require a yearly membership fee, the Global Issue Evening lectures are, as Ms. Medarev was keen to point out, free to the public! They are popular though so call the University Center at UNF for reservations. Featured speakers from this past season included: The Honorable John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism; Fouad Ajami, Senior Fellow at Stanford University on the Arab Spring and Frank Trotter, President of EverBank Direct on Sovereign Debt. As exciting as the Speaker Series is, the teacher in me is far more impressed by the Council’s educational offerings. Ms. Decker spent the better part of 30 minutes detailing a slew of programs designed to spark a teen’s interest in international relations. The first was Academic WorldQuest, a contest for high school students that tests their knowledge of international facts. Last November, 40 teams from 18 local high schools in

2011 Winning Team from Stanton meets Chinese Ambassador at National Academic WorldQuest Competition in DC

Congressman Crenshaw, Captain & Mrs. Stevens, William & Bar Harrell Chartrand at the Global Business Lunch

Duval, Clay and St. Johns County competed at UNF with Kevin Meerschaert of WJCT hosting. This year’s winning team from Stanton will be competing in the national competition this April in Washington DC. She then told me of the Great Decisions program that pairs high school students from across the area with university professors for monthly meetings based on readings on global issues. The culmination of the program is the International Crisis Management Exercise, where students’ are presented with a ‘mock’ crisis scenario during a day-long simulation. Role playing as members of the National Security Council, students work together to come up with policy recommendations for the leader of the free world under the watchful eye of Admiral Howe and Ambassador Soderberg. As Ms. Decker finished, I told her how excited I was to learn of the Council’s educational offerings, especially Academic WorldQuest. I assured her my New Year’s Resolution was that I would ready my students for competition next year. Whether you’re a news junkie like me or a total neophyte ready for an appearance on ‘Jaywalking’, the World Affairs Council of Jacksonville has programs that can transform your life. After spending quality time with Ms. Medarev and Ms. Decker and observing their excitement for the coming year, attending even one of their evening lectures will help you develop your human capital by better understand today’s issues. Take a moment to visit their website and make a resolution worth keeping in 2013!

Darren Rosenbaum is a local teacher. He holds a Masters Degree in history and has taught government, history and economics for the past fifteen years. He has traveled extensively in Asia and Europe. He lives in St. Johns with his wife and four children.

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