Island Issues

Florida Times-Union Columnist Dismisses Jacksonville’s Soaring Crime As “Venting”

Florida Times-Union Columnist Dismisses Jacksonville’s Soaring Crime As “Venting”

American Flag Buried In Violence Headlines

Just when I thought the Jacksonville-based Florida Times-Union newspaper had reached its limit of absurdity with its massive nonstop coverage of that city’s three-victory NFL football team, which hasn’t played a game in almost six months, along comes FTU editorial columnist Tonyaa Weathersbee with outrageous excuses for that city’s mindless violence and crime.In her Thursday, May 21column (Civil rights hero shares his wisdom) about Georgia Congressman John Lewis and his civil rights movement activities, she incomprehensibly compares his numerous arrests for non-violent resistance in the 1960s to young blacks today saying “…they don’t know how to protest. They only know how to vent.”

“Some are venting by turning to the drug trade and joining gangs,” she added. “Some are venting by using guns and violence….”

Excuse me Ms. Weathersbee but “venting” is something reserved for clothes driers and people like me who write blogs or letters to the editor about people like you.

She does Mr. Lewis a terrible injustice by comparing his brave nonviolent civil rights actions to today’s “thuggery” that results in murder, assault, arson, vandalism, rape, theft and more by saying it is a “result of frustration that Lewis felt more than 50 years ago.”

Based on Ms. Weathersbee’s definition the Crips and Bloods motorcycle gangs were “venting” in Waco, Texas during a gun battle that made the OK Corral look like a Girl Scout Jamboree when nine of them were shot to death. Was the mob of Balti MORONS that took control of the streets and burned and looted merely “venting?”

“Thuggery”, not “venting” has become more and more the norm in the Jacksonville inner-city as well as many others in America and as long as people like Ms. Weathersbee paste idiotic feel-good labels like “venting” on it, it will be a long time before solutions are found.

This is the same woman who in January 2014 wrote that a 600-person 2013 Christmas Eve “brawl” at the Hollywood River City 14 movie theater that took some 60 cops to control was a “cry for help” by youths who have “never learned the difference between activism and acting out” and that essentially this “acting out” (translation: near riot) could have been prevented “if they learn to confront the police or theatre owner over a policy they think is unfair and work to get it changed.” Apparently she thinks that having to pay for a movie ticket is an unfair policy that needs changing.

What Ms. Weathersbee and other likeminded folks need to do is to concentrate on a culture that is dominated by uneducated single-parent households, holds vile gansta rappers up as role models, and shuns education as something that “white folks do.”

Well, at least she didn’t write about the hapless Jaguars football team.


Sobering Incident At Sober House: The “sober house” on Amelia Island that I wrote about last week and that Nassau County officials have been trying to close for several months was the scene Wednesday, May 20 of a murder-suicide, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s office and has put its future in jeopardy. The victim of the shooting was Paul Auld, 45, of Fernandina Beach, a registered sexual predator who was previously convicted of lewd and lascivious battery and lewd and lascivious molestation, corrections records show. It appears that Ken Supernor, Sr., one of the Sober House residents, shot and killed Auld before taking his own life. The shooting occurred at the house off Buccaneer Trail, just south of Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport and the Amelia River Golf Club. The house is part of what is called the American Recovery Program, an organization that is supposed to help recovering alcoholics and addicts. Area residents say between 18-24 people have been living on and off in the house which was owned by Auld. The fact that these men want to get their acts together and become sober members of society again is an admirable ambition, however, surely there must be solutions other than smack in the middle of a residential housing area, populated by young families with children and this week’s shooting proves the poor judgment of the misguided twits who allowed it to operate there.


This Isn’t What Was Advertised: With a protest sign in one hand and a cocktail shaker in the other, drink-slinging Palace Saloon Bartender and left-wing gadfly City Commissioner Johnny Miller is back from Washington DC, where he met with other likeminded folks who are trying to save sea creatures from hearing impairment due to what they claim are the dangers of seismic testing. Commissioner Miller took it a step further when he arrived back in town as he and other followers of King Canute were spotted on the beach attempting to turn the tide back with a handful of signs. Oh wait, it wasn’t the tide they were trying to thwart, it was the economy as their signs said “no” to oil, advocating that we descend into their visionary hell of wind and wave power. If we could harness this nutty group’s hot air maybe we’d be on to something substantial. Hey Johnny, after you’ve finished with backyard chickens, dogs on restaurant patios, horse poop, hearing impaired fish, plastic bags, anti fossil fuel campaigns, marching on CSX Railroad’s Jacksonville Headquarters, etc. when will you get around to doing what you promised during your election campaign? You know, the things you said you would focus on when you ran for office when in your press releases during your campaign you stressed “….. equitable fees, understandable and fair regulations, faster permitting, fixing unfair impact fees, and clear communications between the city bureaucracy and its constituents are elements that will help businesses prosper, attract new enterprises and residents, and provide a comfortable place to live and play.” So far I have only witnessed anti-business sentiments from Commissioner Miller and have yet to see one shred of evidence that he has ever attempted to fulfill any of his campaign promises. Standing on the beach with silly signs and going to Washington DC to sit with a group of muddled Occupy Wall Street anti-business losers is the opposite of what he advertised during his campaign. Somewhere along the line it appears that Mr. Miller has gone completely off the rails and the electorate was railroaded with a bait-and-switch campaign platform. Something I’ve pondered recently is how would we know if Mr. Miller developed dementia? Would he suddenly in his 60s or 70s wake up and start making sense?


And On, And On, And On: Following Fernandina Beach’s City Manager Joe Gerrity’s resignation at the Tuesday, May 19 City Commission meeting Commissioner Johnny Miller echoed the voices in the head of Commissioner Pat Gass and chimed in several times to say he thought Gerrity was doing a “great job, blah, blah, blah.” And Mr. Miller — who is never at  a loss for words — during the reading of the proclamation rightfully recognizing city employee Brandon Drakus for doing a terrific job of performing his litter control, trash pickup, etc. duties, Commissioner Miller again added comments followed by the statement: “I could go on.” And he did!


Lawsuit Weary? If it has been reported elsewhere I’ve missed it, but I’ve heard from many reliable sources on the street that the city is asking fired Human Resources Director Robin Marley’s attorney for mediation in the wrongful dismissal suit she brought against the city, indicating that the city must have figured out what other legal folks have been telling me all along, that the suit is a slam dunk for Ms. Marley. Chalk up another loss for the city and the tax payers.


Speaking of Lawsuits: According to the online Fernandina Observer’s legal analyst Adam Kaufman, the final judgment and dismissal of the class action lawsuit Conlon v. City of Fernandina, the “impact fee case,” was ordered by Circuit Court Judge Adrian G. Soud on May 18, 2015. The Court action is the result of the settlement agreement entered into by the City and Conlon in November 2014 The settlement amount agreed to by the City was $1,940,685 or approximately 78% of the total water utility impact fees assessed by the City that were found to be in violation of Florida law by now Federal Judge Brian Davis in January 2014. The impact fees imposed by the City were the result of a funding scheme implemented as a result of the City’s purchase of its water utility from Florida Public Utilities in 2002. The settlement covered all persons or entities that paid a water utility impact fee any time between March 2003 and the settlement date. That a lot of tax payer money! A city hall official told me once that that wasn’t really tax payer money, because it didn’t come from taxes. So I guess what they were saying is that the money I send the city in utility fees isn’t mine? Huh?


Texas Or Bust: Following his defeat for reelection to the US Congress David Crocket left the state of Tennessee saying: “You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas.” A highly respected local investor and entrepreneur is having similar sentiments but is more diplomatic telling me recently that Fernandina Beach city management and some of the commissioners “do not govern or serve — they rule, and in their opinion anything that challenges that rule must be isolated, ignored and destroyed.” This well-respected and successful gentlemen is so fed up with the impact fees and other city bungling he’s taking his capital and moving out of state to —- Texas!


There’s A New Sheriff In Town: During a discussion about the riots in Ferguson, MO on Fox News recently a sheriff of one of the country’s most populous counties told Al Sharpton to “shut up” submitting that he was a “charlatan” who “ought to go back to the gutter.” He added that Eric Holder, offered up a “poor display” and should apologize to law enforcement. Barack Obama he added had fueled “racial animosity between people.” The sheriff, who is on record in a radio ad as being fully in favor of private ownership of firearms saying “You have a duty to protect yourself and your family” is Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr., a black Democrat whose support comes from a coalition of poor blacks and white conservatives and whose cowboy hat and leather waistcoat set him apart. He attributes his success to his upbringing saying: “I was taught to value education, hard work, perseverance, and taking responsibility for your decisions in life. Now, it seems like those are conservative ideas, but they’re not,” he told Charles C.W. Cooke, a reporter for National Review magazine. America needs more straight talking public servants like Sheriff Clarke.


Cutting The Red Tape: Canada is the first country in the world to require that for every new regulation, another must be removed. Called the Red Tape Reduction Act, it has already saved Canadians 98,000 hours and $20 million from 2012-2013. Source: Georgia Public Policy Foundation.


More Left-Wing Lunacy: “There is now a group that is waging a campaign to give children, ages 5 to 12, the right to decide if they’re boys or girls, and by what name they wish to be called. This loony transgender fad has now moved into very dangerous territory. It’s one thing for a fool like Bruce Jenner to decide in his 60s that he’s dying to use the lady’s room and be called Jennie. But leaving it up to pre-pubescent kids to determine their own gender identity is lunacy raised to new heights. Imagine asking an eight-year-old tomboy, who envies boys their freedom to climb trees and play football, if she’d like to be a boy and be called Harry!” — Burt Prelutsky.


Dave Lott - 27. May, 2015 -

David, your reporting of our namesake David Crockett was spot on. Those of us that grew up watching the Fess Parker “Davey” Crockett were Disney corrupted in that he never went by the name “Davey” but I guess “David” didn’t sound so catchy in the show’s song.

Bill Kremler - 22. May, 2015 -

Dave, FYI the Crips and Bloods are not motorcycle gangs.

Joe Murphy - 22. May, 2015 -

Right on . The evening news is just a repeat of the JSO rap sheet for the day. I see a glimmer of HOPE coming from the concerned parents, grand parents and ministers who want to take back their neighborhoods and restore the true black culture.

Tom Yankus - 22. May, 2015 -

Once, we both lived in the ‘burbs around Atlanta and watched nightly local TV reports of crime. As Yogi once said…”this is like Deji vu all over again” as we watch the evening news reports of the river city south of our recently found island paradise. For some reason I feel Jacksonville’s lawlessness and violent acts equal or maybe surpass that of ‘hotlanta?