(Following – in no particular order – is a conglomeration of local items and musings unlikely to be found in other area media.)
Where did the bi-weekly newspaper, Fernandina News Leader find its two leftist opinion columnists, Mark Tomes and Chuck Oliva? Were they picked up at a yard sale or plucked from a “clearance” bin at Walmart, offered as a special: “Take one free and get another one for the same price”?
The Tomes-Oliva left-wing duo were selected by the News Leader’s tone deaf Editor Tracy Dishman to replace admitted local socialist Ron Sapp, who announced his last column a few months ago due to health issues.
It’s not their witty prose that keeps either of these two whiners on the paper’s Opinion pages. Their humor pantry is bare despite an abundance of deliciously nutty topics including: gender-free restrooms, tax payer funded social services for noncitizens, men on women’s sports teams, open borders, a Supreme Court justice who can’t define a woman, Congressmen Eric Swalwell, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and so many more offered up on a platter. Joe Biden is so preposterous that he begs to be laughed at as does his cackling vice president. But these two cranky local scribblers are not happy warriors. They’re having none of that.
It’s difficult to tell which member of this off key editorial duet is more extreme. If they’re competing for the most outrageous commentary of 2024 it appears that Tomes has a massive head start with his January 12 piece: “Woke is awake”. Apparently he even recognizes that this latest rantings are so radical that in his photo he disguised himself with a pair of dark sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat to shade his face.
Tomes desires to be thought of as a cultural elitist. In his latest column he gleefully wraps himself in left-wing nostrums wagging his virtue-signaling finger at the ignorant fools who won’t denounce white privilege; don’t agree that men and women can change their sex on a whim; think Bidenomics is an economic catastrophe; don’t believe the U.S. borders are secure, and more.
He attacks anyone that disagrees with his woke orthodoxy writing: “Nearly every area of education, immigration, economics, elections, social safety nets and other areas that require a deeper understanding of the issues and tolerance are lumped into wokeness.”
Ramblings like his contribute to why the general public takes such a skeptical view of information they glean from newspapers says the Wall Street Journal, when it reported that more than two in five Americans say they have no or little trust in information they are getting from the media. The vast majority of residents in Nassau County look upon opinion writers like Tomes as nothing more than mouthpieces for demagogues.
Chicken Little climate alarmists such as Tomes have been singing the same off-key tunes for generations, yet they never give up air travel or sell their coastal properties. The ice caps never melt, mass flooding never happens, the second ice age never showed up, electric vehicles aren’t safe, practical, or cheap, the ozone layer is still intact, and polar bears aren’t going extinct, just the opposite.
A delusional and defiant Tomes isn’t buying any of that saying, “…..that argument was settled years ago.”
For example, in a recent column defending the Biden administration Tomes wrote an entire column boasting that “Bidenomics is fostering a bustling economy.” Really? Then why am I and my neighbors paying more for groceries now than in 2020? We’re paying more for gasoline now than in 2020. We’re paying more for garbage collection now than in 2020 and getting half as many pickups. We’re paying more for electricity now than in 2020. We’re paying more for home and auto insurance now than in 2020. We’re paying more in school and property taxes now than in 2020. We’re paying more for healthcare than in 2020. We’re paying more for new and used cars and auto repairs than in 2020. We’re paying more to go out to dinner than in 2020. And folks are paying more for mortgages, rent, and in credit card interest rates than in 2020. Oh, and we’re paying almost double for a News Leader subscription now than in 2020 — $41.99 for an annual subscription then compared to $80.00 this year. The recently established Yulee News is a bargain at $40 a year. Get yours at www.Yuleenews.com. The online https://www.citizensjournal.net/ is another site that offers uncensored factual content and it’s free.
Despite all the evidence to the contrary Tomes demands we accept his fictitious perils as truths, because, as he wrote in his column last week, we don’t understand that ”Being awake is woke.”
Maybe it’s time for Dishman and Publisher Foy Maloy to put this guy to bed and turn out the lights.
Surely the News Leader can find local liberal scribes who can rationally and persuasively articulate their opinions without spewing nonsensical fire and brimstone while putting a smile on readers’ faces at the same time.
Wait! What? College protestors, Islamists, pro-Hamas university faculties and their financial backers deny the Holocaust ever happened, yet they chant “Hitler was right” and “From the river to the sea” slogans demanding that it should happen again.
Recycling Ty Ross’s Legacy: Amelia Island resident Scott Sherman will hop on his bicycle February 25 to begin a more than 400-mile ride from Perdido Key, the furthest West point in Florida, hoping to arrive back on Amelia Island March 2
“Sherman’s Ride” from the gulf coast was cooked up to support the local Micah’s Place, a facility that offers assistance to victims of domestic violence.
To raise money for the facility a raffle is being conducted for the infamous road bike that led to the downfall of short-term City Manager Ty Ross late last year, after he toppled off it following a self-admitted afternoon of drinking. Before his departure Ross generously donated the bike to Pajamadave Voorhees, proprietor of the popular PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden in downtown Fernandina, suggesting he use it for a fund-raiser.
Donations can be made directly at micahsplace.org or by purchasing 10-dollar raffle tickets at PJD’s Beer and Wine Garden, 12 South 2nd Street. The winning raffle ticket drawing for the Trek 1.1 bike will be conducted at PJD’s upon Sherman’s return to Fernandina.
Sherman previously completed a bicycle ride from the northern most barrier island in Florida to the southernmost point (Fort Clinch to Key West), a trip that raised $5,000 for 23 different local charities.
Overheard At PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden: “My mechanic couldn’t fix my brakes, so he made my horn louder.”
Seeing Red: One of Amelia Island’s most successful entrepreneurs and conservative activists, Amanda Bourghese, is once again raising funds to pepper the Northeast corner of Florida with billboards to remind the record number of blue state refugees why they’re fleeing their Democrat-controlled economic and educational hell holes to put down stakes hereabouts.
To reinforce their incentive for fleeing the liberal wreckage in their rearview mirrors Ms. Borghese is raising funds for North-facing local billboards (pictured above) that smacks them in the face when they arrive here.
A similar “Vote Red” campaign she conducted in 2022 resulted in several “Vote Red” billboards popping up while this year’s campaign is hoping to top that and erect “Remember Why You Came” and “Vote Red” signs. A local TV news report about the 2022 signs can be seen at **NEWS CHANNEL BILLBOARD COVERAGE
“These billboards cost $3,200, per billboard per month,” Says Ms. Borghese. “This year, we want to double, even triple, our impact by having more billboards in prominent spots around the state.”
The signs will go up in high tourist, high traffic areas, that lead into Florida from Georgia among other high traffic locations she says.
People wanting more information can call Ms. Borghese at 973/220-3111. To donate go to: SUPPORT “VOTE RED”. Donation checks can be also be made out to: AJB Renovations and mailed to AJB Renovations, 705 Ocean Club Place, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034.