Headline Surfer® video produced by Multimedia Editor Serafina Frederick / Partiers celebrate New Year's Eve a year ago on Flagler Avenue in New Smyrna Beach with a brief fireworks show. The event repeats itself Tuesday night.
>NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- "The Party's on Flagler" for New Year's Eve, complete with fireworks, the annual block party on Flagler Avenue, the beachside tourist stretch with its array of bars and nightlife, that is being promoted on the website of the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority.
The fireworks show sponsored by the Merchants of Flagler Avenue with funding from the New Smyrna Beach Community Redevelopment Agency, begins promptly at 9 p.m. from the eastern end of the avenue followed by partying until 3 a.m. New Year's Day when the bars are required to close.
The New Year's Eve party scene is part of the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority's newest website-based marketing campaign, "New Smyrna Beach: Last Night at the beach -- First Day at the beach."
However, the SVAA is not providing funding to the Merchants of Flagler Avenue because the County Council only recently lifted sanctions against funding due to an ongoing investigation of a past ad authority director, Nicole Carni, fired two years ago amid allegations of misappropriations of funding, and whose family owns a business on Flagler with membership in the merchants group.
The "Last Night" activities include those activities scheduled from Dec. 31-31. They include the "Last Night Countdown Jam" held Dec. 27, the "Wine Walk" held Dec. 28, both on Flagler Avenue; the Dec. 29 "Kid's Day Pirate & Princess Party" at Barracuda's Bar & Grille, the Dec. 30 "Sidewalk Sale!" on Flagler Avenue and Canal Street and the Dec. 31 "New Year's Dine Out" at participating restaurants, followed by the New Year's Eve fireworks.
Among the activities planned under the banner "First Day" are the Jan. 1 "Unlock the Ocean Kick Off 2014" at the Flagler Avenue Boardwalk, as well as the "Flamingo 5K Beach Run" and the "Flamingo Flop," both at the Flagler Avenue beach approach.
Then on Jan 2-3, is the "Resolution Days" followed by the Jan. 4 "Gallery Walk" on historic Canal Street.
Jan. 1: "Unlock the Ocean Kick Off 2014," "Flamingo 5K Beach Run" & "Flamingo Flop"
Jan. 2-3: "Resolution Days"
Jan. 4: "Gallery Walk"
21st Century 24/7 Internet Newspaper Marketing
Important Message from Headline Surfer® regarding its ongoing marketing agreement with the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority:
The above-published coverage is part of a marketing partnership between Headline Surfer® and the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority, which promotes tourism through the collection of bed tax monies for overnight stays. The lawful six-month agreement for weekly coverage was signed Aug. 7 between then-Interim SVAA Executive Director Renee Tellevast and Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick for $10,000, with $5,000 down and subsequent $1,000 monthly installments. Payments were made with the final balance paid at the beginning of December.
Headline Surfer® continues to honor the contract, which expires Feb. 7. Though Headline Surfer® had planned on presenting a marketing plan in mid-November to the SVAA board for consideration of a new annual marketing agreement beginning in January at a reduced cost of $12,000 annually, the new executive director, Carl Watson, hired Aug. 5, called the internet newspaper publisher into his office in early October and said he was not interested in continuing the marketing relationship and that had he been in place earlier, he would not have agreed to such a contract.
Watson did not elaborate as to why he would not even want to see the progress of the marketing and the strength of coverage in the online news directories and search engines to a global audience. He only said payments would be honored as outlined in the contract.
Watson told Headline Surfer® he could not stop the internet newspaper from making a direct request to the SVAA board, but that if that route was exercised, he would vehemently recommend against it. A key part of the marketing agreement was the internet newspaper's offering of sharing its extensive catalogue of videos (2,500-plus) and still photos (100,000-plus) during the contract, but to date not a single video or photo has been sought.
In the meantime, the weekly marketing stories published by Headline Surfer® have consistently been at or near the top of the online news directories and search engines, and typically remain the only ongoing media coverage, which Headline Surfer® (and its original name, NSBNews.net) had been doing for five years without any compensation.
Making matters even more complicated, Headline Surfer® reported on Watson's unauthorized use of an SVAA credit card, as early as his first day on the job, which he used repeatedly to buy lunches for himself, his office manager, Sherry Hendershot, and Tom Clapsaddle, the SVAA board chairman.
It was only after the county auditors caught wind of the improper credit card purchases in October that Watson paid back the $135.73 he charged, and that was only after he conferred with the county attorney's office to ensure he absolutely had to pay back the debt. The Volusia County has yet to address the issue, though County Chair Jason Davis said he will bring it up at the Jan. 9 meeting.
Headline Surfer® is a strong advocate for tourism, but also has a duty to report the news, good, bad or otherwise, and will continue to do so.
As is typical of the stories published by Headline Surfer®, the story above went right to the top of the Google News Directories for New Smyrna Beach, Florida, as shown at left at 2:49 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31.
is the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper in Lake Mary, FL serving the greater Daytona Beach-Orlando regional metropolitan area, via HeadlineSurfer.com
The Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority
markets tourism events through bed tax collections from overnight hotel & other accommodators for the cities of New Smyrna Beach, Port Orange, Edgewater, Oak Hill and unincorporated Osteen through the New Smyrna Beach Visitor's Center, 2238 State Road 44, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168 (Phone: 386-428-1600; website: http://nsbfla.com/
. For calendar events: http://nsbfla.com/index.cfm
Carl Watson, shown at far left is the executive director of the Southeast Volusia Advertising Authority. Elizabeth Gifford is the SVAA's marketing and project manager. For more information on the SVAA, please go to NSBFLA.com