Associa Gulf Coast Co-Hosts Fundraiser for Rachel Nowak

Associa Gulf Coast (AGC), in conjunction with Rock Solid All-Star Gym, is hosting a lock-in to benefit Rachel Nowak, the Venice High School teenager who lost her hand in a Jet Ski accident.

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“I’ve learned from this accident, not to let anything hold you back to pursue what you want to achieve,” says Rachel. “I’m still me, I want to continue what I love to do; competitive cheer and go to college.”

“We heard about Rachel and her desire to get a prosthetic hand to help her continue competitive cheerleading and wanted to be part of the community support behind this effort,” says Associa Gulf Coast CEO Michael Fleming. “She’s a positive person with endless determination we’re proud to help support her and her family.”

The event is called “Rachel Strong” and takes place this Saturday night, September 27 at Rock Solid All-Star Gym where she trains.  The event is open to the public and the cost is $40 at the door.

Rachel Strong Lock-In
Saturday, September 27
6 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Rock Solid All-Star Gym
8100 Park Blvd North, Bldg. D.
Pinellas Park, FL

Additional ways to donate include mailing a check to Rachel Nowak Trust, P.O. Box 245, Venice, Florida 34284 or go to any Chase Bank and let them know you would like to donate to the Rachel Nowak Trust or go online to: GoFundMe.com and type in Rachel Nowak.

Associa Gulf Coast provides community association management and developer services to Southwest Florida. Its sole focus has been to deliver services that enrich communities and enhance the lives of the people it serves. To learn more, visit them at www.associagulfcoast.com or find them on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/AssociaGulfCoast.

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New novel from former Reagan speechwriter challenges both sides in climate change debate

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On September 21, more than 300,000 people converged on New York City for the “People’s Climate March,” demanding immediate action on climate change.

On Sept. 23, President Barack Obama met with 120 world leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit to press for bold new initiatives to fight climate change worldwide.

But even if the entire climate-change agenda were adopted tomorrow, former Reagan speechwriter Kevin Hopkins contends in his new novel “Skylight,” the effect on the world’s climate–and the earth’s future–would be negligible.

An Uncomfortable Truth

“The uncomfortable truth in the climate-change debate isn’t that the underlying science may be wrong,” says Hopkins. “The uncomfortable truth is that, even if the science is right-even if the world is hurtling toward an environmental nightmare-then even the boldest proposals in the climate-change quiver will do almost nothing to prevent that catastrophic outcome.”

Hopkins cites research from the American Enterprise Institute demonstrating that, even if the entire industrialized world were to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, the most widely accepted climate model shows that, by that date, average global temperatures would have declined by only 0.1 degrees–far too small to have even the slightest beneficial effect on the environment.

Solving the Climate-Change Problem

In “Skylight,” a novel built around a global atmospheric catastrophe and its aftermath, Hopkins proposes a new approach to warding off environmental disaster that is designed to actually solve the climate-change problem but in a way that preserves, rather than penalizes, people’s economic well-being. It is a conceptual approach–perhaps the only one on the market–that has the chance to win over climate-change adherents and skeptics alike.

“I chose fiction for this message because I believe it’s the only vehicle with a hope of bringing people together to protect the Earth,” Hopkins says. “Environmentalists and economic-growth advocates have been talking past each other in the political world for decades, with very little to show for it. If a global catastrophe is on the horizon-and if we truly want to prevent it-then we must do much, much more than we’ve done to date. And we must do it now.”

About Skylight

The book’s description of “Skylight” reads as follows:

“The Catastrophe had been predicted for decades. But it arrives with a swiftness no one had expected. On an otherwise glorious October evening, the air at high altitudes suddenly becomes unbreathable, depleted of oxygen. In minutes, 12 million people die.

 “No one knows when-or whether-it will happen again.

“Energy executive Martin Fall is with his family in Denver on the night of The Catastrophe. Miraculously left alive, he embarks on the long journey home to Los Angeles as society begins collapsing all around him. Within months, the city-like others throughout the country-is on the verge of breakdown, overrun with 80 million migrants seeking the safety of lower altitudes. Fall is lost among them, struggling for a reason to go on.

“But soon he has no choice. Trapped in a web of lies from those he trusted, allied with others he barely knows, he must risk his life for a cause he scarcely comprehends-but one that may be the world’s only salvation.”

Skylight, published by Sweetwater Books, an imprint of Cedar Fort Publishing Company, is available online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble (search for “Skylight Kevin Hopkins”).

Praise for “Skylight”:

“Skylight… is one of the most intelligent discussions yet of the trade-offs that our society faces between energy production and environmental protection… The book’s clarity and insights are a very valuable addition to the public debate on these vital issues.”

-Jack Cox, former Chief of Staff, U.S. Congress

Rubio Comments On NASA’s Plans To Resume Manned Space Launches

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)  issued the following statement regarding NASA’s commercial crew transport selection:

“The announcement from NASA marks an important milestone for our nation’s space program and is an exciting development for Florida and the commercial space industry. These partnerships will ensure that American astronauts are once again launched into space from American soil. As the nation’s spaceport, Florida’s Space Coast will play a crucial role in advancing this initiative and exploring low earth orbit. I, along with all Floridians, look forward to seeing our astronauts launch from Kennedy Space Center once again.”

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Associa’s Gina Rossi Joins Florida Communities of Excellence Advisory Council

Associa, North America’s largest community association management firm, Director of National Sales Gina Rossi is one of 12 individuals chosen to serve on the Florida Communities of Excellence Advisory Council.

Rossi, along with 11 other industry professionals, sponsors and judges will comprise the first ever Advisory Council which could be called upon to help manage the annual awards ceremony which has grown every year since 2009 including a 30% growth last year.

“We’re proud of Gina and all she’s done to promote lifestyle services and management to countless communities during her career,” says Associa’s Senior Vice President of Sales, Matt Kraft. “She is an excellent choice to serve on the council as the event continues to grow and become more popular.”

The Florida Communities of Excellence Awards is a unique recognition program that shines a spotlight on the positive and productive initiatives taking place in condominiums, homeowners associations and cooperatives across Florida. Now in its seventh year, the independently judged program enables the top communities in the state to promote their accomplishments and raise their profiles while documenting their success and enabling others to learn from their examples. For information about the Awards, including a complete list of categories, please visit www.communitiesofexcellence.net

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America Needs Innovation, Not Political Stunts

Recently, Senator Marco Rubio (R- FL) wrote a piece for Politico detailing some of the problems in Washington and how he hopes to remedy them.  Highlights from the piece are reprinted below, and the full article can be found here.

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One of the telltale signs that an election is coming up is Harry Reid’s agenda in the Senate. When, instead of moving to serious measures, you see him using valuable time pushing political messaging bills, you know the midterms are fast approaching.

With Nov. 4 now less than two months away, the majority leader announced last week his intention to move to bills focused on raising the minimum wage and refinancing student loans. Low wages and student loan debt are serious issues, but the bills he plans to have us vote on to address these problems are not. They certainly poll well, but they would do nothing to address the plight of people stuck in low-wage jobs or students saddled with burdensome debt.

Take, for example, an employee of a fast-food chain working for minimum wage. Advances in technology already are changing the way fast food is delivered. It will not be long before franchise owners move toward greater automation in the industry.

In fact, a decade from now, when you drive up to a drive-through window, your order will likely be placed on a touch screen rather than taken by a person at the window. If we raise the minimum wage now, it will drive many franchise owners to move even faster toward automation. And the end result will be that many workers’ wages will go from minimum wage to zero because they will be replaced by technology.

A better way to improve their wages is to provide them the opportunity to acquire skills that will allow them to find a better-paying job, so that the cashier at a fast-food restaurant making $9 an hour can become a dental hygienist making $30; so that the home health aide making $10 an hour can become a registered nurse making $70,000 a year.

Ultimately, to benefit all Americans, especially young Americans saddled with student loans and workers stuck in low-paying jobs, what we really need are measures that help us achieve a thriving free market economy — an economy that creates millions of jobs that pay $40, $50, or more, an hour.

And we need a 21st-century system of higher education that equips all of our people — not just those who have $50,000 and four years to spare — with skills they need to fill these 21st-century jobs.

I’ve spent much of the year proposing reforms to achieve these goals. They will make higher education more accessible to everyone, from single moms to working parents to young Americans with limited resources. And instead of a minimum wage increase, my reforms will institute a wage enhancement credit that will help low-income Americans without burdening employers.

My proposals will spur the sort of transformative innovation that has always characterized the American free-enterprise system — the kind that led to the creation of the airplane, the personal computer and the Internet in the last century, and that has the potential to create new industries in this century that we haven’t even begun to imagine.

New Partnership Announced at Orlando Legislative Town Hall

Friday, September 5th saw the announcement of an historic partnership between two of the leading community association advocacy groups, the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) and the Chief Executive Officers of Management Companies (CEOMC). The announcement came at the joint Community Association Legislative Town Hall in Orlando, Florida.

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As you might know, CAN is a statewide not-for-profit organization, which was created in 2007 for the purpose of educating and assisting millions of Floridians who live in community associations, while preserving their unique lifestyle.

CEOMC was established in 2008 by Tampa Bay area community association management company owners and has grown into the premier statewide management organization comprised of dozens of Florida’s management firms. The goal of CEOMC is to promote the interests of community associations and the management profession in Florida. 

This was the first Legislative Town Hall in the Orlando area with more than 100 community association leaders in attendance along with six legislators. The legislators who attended were Senator David Simmons, Senator Geraldine Thompson, Representative Dennis Baxley, Representative Tom Goodson, Representative Victor Torres, and newly elected Representative Jennifer Sullivan.  

What are the most common community association directors & officers claims?

Insurance industry Expert, Joel Meskin, VP of Community Association Insurance & Risk Management at the McGowan Companies will be making a special guest appearance in Florida to discuss the do’s and don’ts of properly insuring and protecting your board of directors from lawsuits and losses.

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The law firm of Becker & Poliakoff will be hosting Mr. Meskin’s free class- The Most Common Community Association Directors & Officers Claims on Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 10am – 12pm at 1 East Broward Blvd., Suite 1800, Ft. Lauderdale.

Registration will begin at 9:30am, call 954-985-4119 to reserve your spot today, space is limited.