Get Your Social On

Friday, August 19, 2011

Photo Friday! 8/19/2011

Happy Friday everyone! I am pleased to bring you all a photo of the wonderful Streamline Hotel. Why is it so wonderful you ask? This was actually one of the earliest inspirations for Get Your Sunshine On. But other than being a great inspiration the Streamline Hotel's claim to fame is that it is the birth place of  National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR).

If you ask us, we think this would make a pretty nice background image on your computer. What do you say? Simply right click with your mouse and choose 'Set As Desktop Background...'

For personal use only. All rights reserved ©Dana Nichols 06/07/1987

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Get Your Social On

Thursday, August 18, 2011

It's going to be a smooth ride

Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced Florida will receive $13 million in grants for highway improvement projects.

State officials will use the grant money to fund an array of highway-related efforts ranging from improving safety and reducing congestion on I-10 at the Marietta Hammond Boulevard Interchange in Duval County ($3,750,000) to providing Construction Career Day activities for middle and high school students ($95,000).

"Transportation investments like these will create jobs and improve the quality of life for Florida residents as well as strengthen the state's economy," said Secretary LaHood. "The demand from the states for these funds shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment."

In June, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) invited states to apply for federal funding from 14 grant programs. More than 1,800 applications poured in from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C, totaling nearly $13 billion, which is more than 30 times the funds available.

"At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need," said Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez. "Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting and will help create jobs."

The discretionary grant programs were created by Congress to give the Federal Highway Administration leverage to support projects that maintain the nation's roads and bridges, improve roadway safety and make communities more livable.

Florida received funding for the following projects:
Improving safety and reducing congestion on I-10 at the Marietta Hammond Boulevard Interchange in Duval County $3,750,000
Designing and constructing the Sarasota County Advanced Traffic Management System (ATMS) $2,608,800
Completing segment 3 of the Snake Road Improvement Project in Clewiston $1,500,000
Building 90 new truck parking spaces at the I-595 Truck Stop in Broward County $1,019,987
Assisting Miami-Dade County remove and relocate the Tamiami Canal Historic Swing Bridge $978,300
Completing phase 2 of the Big Bend Scenic Byway Plan for the 220-mile corridor $707,420
Connecting the Green Mountain Scenic Byway to the Lake Apopka North Shore Restoration Area $681,855
Developing phases 1 and 2 for an integrated congestion pricing plan for South Florida $600,000
Allowing the Florida Department of Transportation to expand its Disadvantaged Business Enterprise/Supportive Services Program $407,400
Completing phase 3 of the Paynes Prairie Preserve Visitor Center on the Old Florida Heritage Highway $400,000
Replacing two bridges using innovative construction methods on US 90 over Little River and Hurricane Creeks $300,000
Providing Construction Career Day activities for middle and high school students $95,000
TOTAL $13,048,762

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Top 10 best towns in America that are also affordable.

Top 10 U.S. towns that have the most affordable homes according to Money Magazine. 

1. Hunter's Creek, FL
Median home price: $80,000
Median family income: $87,801

2. Lake Jackson, TX
Median home price: $125,000
Median family income: $91,922

3. Wesley Chapel, FL
Median home price: $134,000
Median family income: $89,426

4. Johnston, IA
Median home price: $181,000
Median family income: $118,055

5. Papillion, NE
Median home price: $145,000
Median family income: $92,430

6. Crete, IL
Median home price: $147,000
Median family income: $91,939

7. Morrisville, NC
Median home price: $214,500
Median family income: $133,343

8. Cedar Rapids, IA
Median home price: $106,560
Median family income: $66,227

 9. Franklin, IN
Median home price: $99,000
Median family income: $60,914

10. Deer Park, TX
Median home price: $131,250
Median family income: $80,721

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Best Western Lakeside Hotel Converts to Maingate Lakeside Resort (Official Press Release)

Richfield Hospitality to Oversee Multi-Million Dollar Renovation to Contemporize Hotel

ORLANDO, Fla.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Officials of Richfield Hospitality, a leading hotel management company, today announced that it will oversee a multi-million dollar renovation of the 475-room Best Western Lakeside Hotel as it converts to the Maingate Lakeside Resort, an independent hotel. The refurbishment will include upgrades to hotel rooms and public spaces.

“To best suit the needs of our guests and associates, we will become an independent hotel as we continually review how to maintain a leadership position with business and leisure travelers to the greater Orlando marketplace”

“To best suit the needs of our guests and associates, we will become an independent hotel as we continually review how to maintain a leadership position with business and leisure travelers to the greater Orlando marketplace,” said Greg Mount, president Richfield Hospitality.. “Following the completion of the renovation, we will be well positioned to become the market leader in our segment, with a contemporary look and feel that exceeds guest expectations. This hotel makes vacations affordable for many families and as an independent; we’ll be able to more aggressively market to the families and many travel groups who visit area attractions each year.”

Along with a lakeside setting at 7769 W. Irlo Bronson Highway in Kissimmee, Florida, the resort is located just 1.8 miles from the main gate entrance to Walt Disney World Resort and just minutes south of Orlando. Guest rooms include cable satellite television with ESPN and the Disney Channel, high speed Internet access and refrigerator. Hotel amenities include three swimming pools and two children's swimming pools, exercise facilities, arcade and an on-site miniature golf course. Guests can choose from a variety of restaurants on site, plus the hotel offers a ‘kids eat free’ program. Additionally, the resort features more than 3,200 square feet of quality function space accommodating up to 100 people in its event rooms.

The Maingate Lakeside Resort is close to a variety of attractions and activities including the annual Daytona 500, Firecracker 400, Bay hill Golf Classic, Disney Golf Classic and Disney's Magic Music Days.

About Richfield Hospitality

Richfield Hospitality, Inc. is a leading hotel management company with a premier track record of maximizing profitability and improving asset values for hotel owners. Richfield and its affiliates offer proven solutions and expertise to approximately 500 hotels and resorts. From hotel operations and property management to electronic distribution and interactive marketing, Richfield achieves superior operating results through its strong commitment to owners, guests and associates. Based in Denver, Richfield is part of City Developments Limited, one of the world’s largest real estate, hotel investment and technology conglomerates with a market capitalization exceeding US$6 billion. Additional information about Richfield Hospitality may be found at the company’s website,

Monday, August 15, 2011

87-year-old student earns doctorate from Florida International University

Who said it was too late to go back to school? Certainly not Richard Smith, a 87-year-young graduate of Florida International University.

The retired World War II pilot turned businessman from Boca Raton was never interested in playing tennis or golf like most Florida retirees so to stay busy during the golden years Richard Smith went back to school to earn his doctorate in American History. Smith received his degree Saturday, nearly 10 years after he got his masters from Florida Atlantic University. “It’s a good way to stay young,” Smith said.

But what does a 87-year-old do with a doctorate? “I like the idea of research. I will probably find another topic and research it,” Smith said. He also may become a teacher, “I might be of some value in the schools” he added.

The Boston-area native never gave much thought about earning his PhD. Shortly after finishing his freshman year at the University of Pennsylvania, Smith was called to fight in WWII. His first assignment was to patrol the shores of Miami Beach to stop any Germans who tried to invade U.S. Territory. 

Smith's next deployment wouldn't be so cushy as he ended up being part of a unit that flew planes at night, dropping bombs on Germany and spies into Norway, Denmark and Sweden. But his dedicated work paid off and he received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal for his service. “At the time, our interest was ‘Fly at night, get down, go to the nearest pub, and wait to get called for the next mission,’ ” Smith said.

When Smith returned to home he went to the University Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business where he utilized the GI bill to get his undergraduate degree. Smith and his brother ran their father’s clothing business until retirement at age 70. “I never gave [academics] a thought during my working years,” he said. “I never imagined I’d go back to school.”

The idea to return back to school was when Smith's wife of 34 years, Zenaida Hernandez Smith saw a senior citizens program at FAU, and urged him to enroll. Richard took his wife's advice and enrolled himself in a few classes and was on the way to earning his masters.

For six more years Smith commuted from Boca Raton to FIU’s main campus once a week where he kept working towards his PhD with a focus on the Reconstruction Era. “They treated me like one of the guys,” Smith said, with no special attention to his age. “Except sometimes they’d hold the door.”

Chapter by chapter Smith handwrote his entire 160-page dissertation on the Civil War era politician John Sherman, then typed it up and sent it to his advisor, American History Professor Darden Asbury Pyron. At the time Pyron was working on a biography of the Civil War’s Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman and John was his kid brother. “In some ways John Sherman’s work is more important than the general’s, and Smith’s work helped elucidate this to me,” Pyron said. “This team of politics and military, no other family produced anything like that.”

Smith's 3 daughters flew down from Massachusetts and North Carolina to watch his graduation ceremony but his 7 grandchildren and 3 young great-grandchildren could not make the event.
“They’re all half amazed and just very proud,” Smith said. “I really have been a very fortunate man.”

Website of the week: Buddies Golf Getaway

Golf Digest and Hilton HHonors® proudly present the Buddies Golf Getaway, a celebration to time-honored annual golf trips that golfers engage in from around the world. The call to all golfers invites players to take part in a weekend of world-class golf, luxurious accommodations, and unforgettable memories at the Waldorf Astoria Golf Club in Orlando, Florida October 21-23, 2011.

For additional information visit:

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Ugly Mugs: Stupid people doing stupid things

Bobby Cox steals $1,000+ from Vero Beach vending machine.

Defense attorney  Terry Lee Locy arrested after he challenged his girlfriend to a naked sword duel.

Key West's Jennifer Knopp gets busted after calling the police to sell drugs to them.

Owen Lemire Kato jailed after popping pimples on his back for 10 minutes at a Cape Coral McDonalds.

Playboy Playmate Shanna Marie McLaughlin gets popped in the Orlando International Airport for bringing a Ruger AA .45 Colt Revolver in her duffel Bag.

Shantisha Keosha Roscoe is held on $150k bail after she attempts to run over a Daytona police officer.

Zoe Greeney jailed after Daytona police discover his beach front meth lab.

69 year-old Joseph Cirillo in custody of the Sarasota police department after exploiting more than half a million dollars from the elderly.