This post is sponsored by:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Find Your Florida Photo Contest by City of Palm Coast (2014)

Palm Coast Photography Contest 2014

Nature’s paradise.
Active lifestyle.
A friendly community.
Beauty, water and a spectacular trail system. 

Palm Coast is that and so much more! 

To share the experiences Palm Coast offers with visitors and newcomers, the City of Palm Coast will have a Find Your Florida Photography Contest, through May 31, 2014. Photographs submitted for the contest will be used by the City for marketing, promotional and public relations purposes.

Eligibility: The contest is open to all, professional and amateur, regardless of age, sex or nationality. Note: Entrants under 18 years of age require the permission of a parent or guardian. By entering the contest, entrants under 18 years of age indicate that they have obtained the permission of a parent or guardian. The contest is not open to employees of the City of Palm Coast or their immediate family.

Prizes: First, second and third place will be awarded. Gift certificates to local businesses will be awarded in the following amounts: First Prize, $200; Second Prize, $100; and Third Prize, $50. Gift certificates will be offered to a variety of businesses, and winners will be able to select from the list. In addition, honorable mentions will be awarded as determined by the judges. Winning photographs will be displayed on the City’s website and at City facilities. Winning photographers will be recognized at a meeting of the Palm Coast City Council.

What is the City Looking For: Photographers may submit up to 20 entries. The theme of the contest is “Find Your Florida in Palm Coast.” Winning photos will illustrate what makes Palm Coast special. Examples of what we’re looking for include: Family Fun at our festivals, sports activities, cultural clubs and organizations, and on our parks and trails; Active Lifestyle such as walking/running/bicycling, sports, swimming, fishing and boating; and Nature such as beautiful landscapes, wildlife and waterways. How do you “Find Your Florida in Palm Coast?” We want to share what’s special about Palm Coast with others!

Judging: Judges will base their decisions on the following qualities: focus, lighting composition, impact, creativity and storytelling. Judging will be conducted during the month of May 2014 by the City of Palm Coast Branding Team. Submissions will be identified by number for judging purposes. Winners will be notified by email or phone once judging is complete.

Entry Period: Photographs must be submitted between March 1 and midnight May 31, 2014.

Submission Rules: Photos must be taken in the City of Palm Coast city limits, and the location must be provided with entry. Free to enter. Photographers may submit a maximum of 20 entries total.  Entry is limited to original works that have not formerly been displayed or exhibited and to which the entrant holds all applicable rights. Works that have won prizes in other contests or that have been submitted to other contests currently under way are not eligible. Works that are entered in other competitions after submitting to this contest will not be eligible. In the case a photograph includes any recognizable people, the photographer just receive permission from those people (parent or guardian for people under 18 years old).

Submission Guidelines:
  • Image data files created with digital still cameras (including medium and large-format cameras). 
  • Both color and monochrome images will be accepted. 
  • Scans of photographs taken by film cameras are not eligible.
  • Minor digital enhancements for cropping, red-eye removal, filters and corrective functions are permitted, but images that have been altered significantly will be disqualified. Contestants are not permitted to place borders, frames or backgrounds around their images or to place watermarks, dates, signatures or copyright images onto photos. 
  • File format: JPEG or PNG 
  • File size: more than 1500 x 2100 pixels/more than 150dpi/at least 1 MB and no larger than 20 MB 
  • The standard color space for the judging process is RGB. 

Please name the photos using the following pattern: 

Location_Photographer Name_Title of Photo.
Example: Linear Park_Joe Smith_Family at Playground.

How to Enter: After carefully reading all the information on this page, fill out the entry form, upload your work and submit. CDs, DVDs or SD cards containing contest submissions will also be accepted at City Offices, Attn.: Cindi Lane, 160 Cypress Point Parkway, Suite B-106, Palm Coast; an entry form must accompany any submissions made in-person at City Offices.  Entry materials will not be returned.

The entry form includes a Release by the Photographer granting the City of Palm Coast the royalty-free right to distribute, publish and use the photograph(s) in marketing, public relations and promotional materials such as publications, videos and websites to promote the City of Palm Coast. The City of Palm Coast has rights to crop photographs for marketing, public relations, promotional and display purposes, if necessary, and for other needs as required or as it sees fit. In the event that ownership of any photograph submitted to the City of Palm Coast is contested in any manner, the City of Palm Coast reserves the right to discontinue use of said photograph and disqualify the photograph from the contest.

Entries that fail to comply with the contest rules will be disqualified.

The City of Palm Coast reserves the right to change the contest rules as necessary. Any rule changes will be announced on the photo contest website page at

The City of Palm Coast has rights to use and publish any submitted photographs on its website or in publications in conjunction with this contest. The City also may use the photographs in other publications, in  brochures, in magazines, on websites, and for other marketing, public relations and promotional uses. Photographs may be shared with the media. All submissions become the property of the City of Palm Coast.

Download the City of Palm Coast Photo Contest Entry Form

Thursday, February 13, 2014

HTML Boot Camp in Palm Coast

An Interview and Article
by Ezra Salkin
Ezra Salkin is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design.
He is a a writer and illustrator based in Palm Coast, FL.

Look at how long this is,

      ....says Mike Torinese, a young-man in an Abercrombie tee-shirt sitting next to me, who is a Flagler Palm Coast high-school junior.

He passes me his laptop. The first thing I see on his screen is Link, the elfin-looking hero from the acclaimed “Legend of Zelda” Nintendo series, but it’s what’s under the character that he’s pointing out: a near endless paragraph of coding which appears to be pure jargon or, from my uneducated eye, maybe a two-year-old going to town on a keyboard.

The fact that the character’s name is Link is timely, because, at that moment, linking is the subject during this class at COWORK by Office Divvy on Hyper Text Markup Language, more commonly known as HTML.

The value, as expressed in the class’s presentation, is HTML allows the user greater creative control when designing their blog or website. It’s a powerful tool for self-marketing. The class covered everything from the HTML’s origin (it was originally designed by the physicist Tim Berners-Lee for the sharing of documents between researchers of The European Organization for Nuclear Research), how it’s evolved, its basics, as well as how to protect yourself from things that would undoubtedly save hours of the hair-tearing variety.

HTML Boot Camp

At one point, the teacher, Alex Ordonez, an 18-year-old computer science student at Stetson University, said:

This is something that will be meaningless to many of you, but for those who are impacted, it’ll be a life saver and I don’t want to not save someone’s life by not telling them.

Torinese says he’s not interested in coding to help him further another career— he wants to make it his career. “I’m interested in the technical side.” He really wanted to do video-game coding but he says it’s hard to find a place to learn that. What does he hope to get out of the class?

Well most of this stuff I already know, ” he says.

It turns out that Torinese is an Office Divvy intern, working specifically under Ordonez, who leads the Office Divvy web development team.

The students in the class range in age from 11 to those within the retirement demographic.

At 44, Keith Claybrook, who has a catering business, falls somewhere in the middle. Claybrook says he knows his way around a computer pretty well, but a nice website would be beneficial to his business.

It’s a good skill to have,” he says. “ I got the email, and basically said everybody should learn it, so I figured I don’t know it, so I should really learn.”   He’s tried his luck with HTML before but just never really understood it.  “ This is the basics. This is kind of like the starting point,” he says.

Kathy Shea, a veteran of the Office Divvy classes, worked in the movie business as an associate producer for close to 30 years before she retired to Palm Coast where she now works part-time as a consultant, in addition to helping authors with layout on both e-books and print books; she also does publicity for the Florida Heritage Book Festival. So the benefits for her are tangible.

Even though I use InDesign (a design/typography application) to do the layout, when you go to upload there are some tweaks it helps you do it better,” she says of HTML. “ That’s a great way to work as a part-time consultant—using computer programming.”

Marisa Gomez, like Ordonez, is an 18-year-old student at Stetson. She’s also his girlfriend. She studies applied math and has a minor in computer science, though she’s not quite sure how she’ll use what she learned here today.

Marisa says of coding:

It’s more of a hobby. I’m interested in learning—I like learning. ” 

She also feels these skills could come in handy for actuarial science (a statistical method assessing risk in either finance or insurance). That’s ultimately what she wants to do. “And she’ll understand what I’m talking about,” adds Ordonez, walking over. Gomez agrees. “I’ll be able to hold up a conversation with him.

Ordonez has taught himself a few languages—programming languages, that is. “I dabbled a lot early on,” he says. The languages he succeeded in teaching himself were HTML, CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), though he failed Javascript and C++. Of course, he had no formal education until he was already a senior in high school. (The ones he initially failed he’s fairly proficient in now.) “I like teaching a lot, because it’s one of the few things I can talk fluidly on,” he says, referring to these languages specifically. “I like the idea of more people knowing how fun coding is—and how useful it is, especially.” Coding…fun? How?

Solving problems, so it’s like puzzles. But you can create your own, you create your own puzzle, because you can find whatever problem you want and then you solve it by coding it out.

While it’s true that Ordonez has always been good at math, contrary to popular opinion, you don’t have to be a math whiz to pick up coding, he says. You just need “interest.”

I wondered how he honed his own for something that seemed—to me, at least—so cold and alien. Like his Zelda-appreciating apprentice whom I met earlier, “I was interested in web videogames at the time, particularly ‘RuneScape,’” he says, which was very popular. He was in sixth grade at the time. So he did what any kid that age does; he asked his mom, who he knew managed her own website, what was the first step he should take toward being able to program his own games. The short answer was, he had to learn HTML. So he Googled it. “And I’ve been learning more and more ever since.

How is he at actual foreign languages?

I am terrible at foreign languages, but I think that programming languages should count as foreign languages, because they’re foreign to everybody else.

Too bad he can’t use them to satisfy those college course credits.

So if coding can indeed be described as fun, as Ordonez says, by the end of the class, it was so fun that there was fun and knowledge to spare. Enough to create the need for a second class, as there was still a good deal of HTML material to cover. The follow-up HTML class slated for Saturday, February 22nd.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Flagler County resident to hold an Anti-Tax Citizens-town-hall

Flagler County School Board Member Colleen Conklin held a virtual town hall to explain why the school board is requesting a property tax increase.  Town Hall was held on Google-Hangouts on May 9, 2013, and 11 residents participated.

Colleen Conklin is holding a second virtual town hall on Thursday, May 16 at 8:00 PM, where she will present an overview of why the School Board is asking the community to vote on the referendum and then opening it up for questions.  Conklin's Virtual Town-Hall can be accessed here.

A Flagler County resident, Brad West, is also holding a citizens version of town-hall on Google Hangout, to argue why additional tax request by the School Board may not be a good idea.

He's holding his town-hall 30 minutes prior to Colleen Conklin's, at 7:30 PM on Thursday, May 16th.

In his invitation, Brad West presents his virtual town-hall as:
A real opportunity for your voice to be heard.  My hope is that our School Board and other residents do hear and watch.  I am a resident like you who is concerned.  I am not affiliated with any political party or political group.  
Brad West's Citizens Virtual Town Hall can be accessed here.

Note: To access either virtual-town-hall, you need to have a valid google-plus account.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Flagler County NAACP 2013 ACT-SO Regional Competition

Flagler County NAACP's 2013 ACT-SO "Olympics of the Mind" Regional Competion took place on Saturday, April 20th at Matanzas High School Auditorium in Palm Coast, Florida.

Categories included Musical Instrument, Drama, Dance, Vocal, Film Making, Drawing and Sculpting, Writing, and Photography.

Here's a video from the event sampling four of the students who competed:

Winners will be announced at an Awards-Dinner in May 2013, and the National Competition takes place in July in Orlando.  Best of luck to all the Flagler County ACT-SO Student-Contestants!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Backyard BBQ contest at Palm Coast Rock N' Rib Fest

Are you a barbecue king or queen? 

The City of Palm Coast seeks amateur barbecue enthusiasts for an upcoming Backyard BBQ Competition! With a $5,000 purse, the competition will be part of the Rock N' Rib Festival on April 12 and 13, 2013.

Backyard BBQ competition categories include :

  • Ribs, 
  • Chicken, 
  • Boston Butt 
  • "Anything But." 

Prizes and awards will be given in each category! 

Barbecuers must provide their own equipment, and the City will provide water service and electricity. Cooking will be done at Central Park in Town Center. Up to 50 competitors can enter. Application fee is steep at $100, but the $5,000 purse may justify it.

Applications are available here.

Rock N' Rib is presented by the City of Palm Coast, Beach 92.7 and Kix Country 98.7.  For more information, contact Palm Coast Events Coordinator Lisa Gardner at (386) 986-2341.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wonderful Video of Flagler Beach, Florida

Flagler Beach is a 'retro' town with salty style; with a population just under 5,000.

Incorporated in 1925, it also is one of the oldest cities in Flagler and Volusia County.

Friendly locals and open-air restaurants set the stage for a laid-back afternoon. This is where you can enjoy eclectic shops, surfing, a classic fishing pier and a six-mile-plus stretch of spectacular ocean views -- with free access to the beach!

Flagler Beach was also named by Where to Retire magazine as one of the top retirement destinations in Florida (November 2012).

Here is a taste from Flagler Beach:

Well done Visit Florida; this is a wonderful video!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Two End of The World Parties in Palm Coast to Attend

The Mayan calendar has 1,872,000 consecutive individual days and lasts 5,125 years --a length of time known as the Great Cycle.

The End of The World theory makes reference to the Mayan calendar, which will end on December 21st 2012, marking the end of a cycle.

Depending on how you are looking at it, it may be a time for celebration or fear!

If you fear the end of the world on December 21st is a fact, and if you’re looking for safe places to be on the day the world will end as we know it, then you can either head to ┼×irince (Turkey) or Bugarach (France)
┼×irince, a village of around 600 inhabitants in Western Turkey, has a positive energy according to the doomsday cultists; because it’s at a mountaintop, only a stone-throw away from Ephesus, near where Christians believe the Virgin Mary ascended to heaven. 
Bugarach, a tiny French village at the foot of the Pyrenees, is also supposed to survive the end of the world when the Mayan calendar ends. According to New Agers, the local mountain has magical powers as a gate between different worlds. 
Both towns are already overrun with visitors who are seeking safety on doomsday!

The world will not end on December 21, 2012, or any day in 2012 –according to NASA.  And if you are in Palm Coast and Flagler County, and want to celebrate, instead of fear, the End of The World, then there are two parties to attend:

I Decided Not to End The World party will take place at Hollingsworth Gallery, located at the City Marketplace.  The Art Gallery wants to convince God with a work of ART that human race should be allowed to continue.  Party starts at 6 PM and you can RSVP on facebook here.

End of the World Party at Farley’s Irish Pub in European Village will be another fun place to be.  It will also feature a book signing by two local authors who published a Zombie Apocalypse Novella that takes place in European Village: DYING DAYS~The Siege of European Village.

You will enjoy a tremendous beer selection at Farley’s (along with great cocktails and full-liquor bar); and meet the authors Armand Rosamilia and Tim Baker.  What better way to celebrate this momentous day then to pick up a signed copy of this truly unique tale of zombie apocalypse and how it affects the coolest destination in Palm Coast. Who knows? Maybe a zombie or two will even show up!  The party and book signing starts at 7 pm; and you can RSVP on facebook, here.

Want to learn more about the book and read a sample?  Read this article:

Local Authors Release Book with Zombies at European Village

Sponsored by: