May 2014 Posts

Fast Growing Fernandina Beach Company Rapidly Adding Customers & Revenue

What locally headquartered Fernandina Beach company is rapidly becoming one of the fastest growing on Amelia Island or maybe in all of Nassau County in terms of annual revenues? This does not include the Amelia Island Plantation, Rayonier, Rock-Tenn, or the Ritz Carlton, because even though they represent the area’s largest employers and hundreds of millions each in annual revenues, their corporate headquarters exist elsewhere.

I’m not 100 percent sure of this but I’m willing to wager that it’s a firm most folks hereabouts have never heard of, and that operates quietly behind the scenes helping

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City Commission has Bigger Fish to Fry Than Bag Bans, Dogs, Chicken Coops & Water Slides

cartoonIn an insightful piece titled “How’s City Government Working for You?” written for the online newspaper Fernandina Observer Monday, May 12, Suanne Z. Thammprovides her perspective on political ailments that impede our town’s progress in her 20 years of observation and it differs very little from what I’ve observed in just three years.

While the city faces key, long-tem issues such as beach renourishment, downtown development, particularly the waterfront; court-declared illegal impact fees that are driving businesses away; an unsustainable pension fund situation; the Standard Marine Building future; the sidewalk and safety issue along Front Street, among others, we watch astounded as our city commissioners – as Ms. Thamm eloquently puts it – “…..grind on from commission to commission and manager to manager with little progress on the most important challenges facing our city and its ability to prosper in the future.”

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Indignant Race Demagogues Whining About Shrimp Festival Parade Whip “Cracker”


A handful of observers at the Thursday, May 1 Shrimp Festival Parade were whipped into an emotional frenzy by a lone entry walking the route, cracking a bull whip, saying the whip “cracker” was a symbol of slavery and its brutality.

Based on an article in the online Fernandina Observer, “Two parade marchers whip up controversy;” letters to the editor of the Fernandina Beach News-Leader; and Facebook comments, it appears that these parade watchers had been standing in the sun too long.

I saw the guy cracking the whip, and – along with folks around me – I thought he was entertaining and I didn’t hear a single complaint. On the contrary, he was applauded.

The comments made by the letter writers and those quoted in the Observer article are so outrageously loony, I could throw a deck of cards out the window and wait for someone to come by and pick up the three of diamonds and find a person with more reasoned thought,

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Amelia Island’s Cal Atwood Is A Living American History Lesson

Iwo Jima Memorial

Amelia Island resident Cal Atwood is one of those rare Americans who has lived a historic chunk of our country’s past that is prominently portrayed in school texts, had numerous books written and movies made about it, a statue exclusively dedicated to it and is represented in one of the most instantly recognizable photographs ever taken.

Cal, a very healthy, witty and entertaining 90-year-old, who doesn’t need glasses and sports a head-full of white hair, is very reluctant to talk about those days when he was a 20-year-old Marine Corps Corporal in February and March 1945 on Iwo Jima, the only Marine battle where American casualties, 26,000, exceeded the Japanese – most of the

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Want To See A Photo Of My Cat? Or Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah

Elderly TalkThe Austin Lounge Lizards, a group I have followed for a number of years, wrote a song called “Old Blevins,” that tells the tale of a guy who retreated from a domestic squabble to a bar only to be trapped next to Old Blevins, an incoherent, non-stop yakker, a situation that is similar to what takes place electronically on Facebook daily.

Just like Facebook, Old Blevins grabbed the fellow’s attention and wouldn’t let go as the song relates:

I could tell he had some wisdom to impart
Some story that was etched and burned and stamped
Upon his heart
Then his eyes began to glisten
‘Cause he could see that I would listen
We sat there at that bar ’til nearly three
And this is what Old Blevins said to me
He said “Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
In Tijuana blah blah blah back in 1963
Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah
You should have been there blah blah blah”
Is what Old Blevins said to me
I sat there and I listened to his words
As they flapped around my head like little birds

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