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Kavanaugh, Smith & Lentz Are The Best Fernandina Beach Commission Choices

Illustration depicting a road traffic sign with a election concept. Blue sky background.

This November 3, Fernandina Beach residents will have an opportunity to select two members to the Fernandina Beach City Commission, recommend a mayor, and vote “yah” or “nay” on a couple of proposals. I’ve made up my mind and here’s how I’m voting and why:

Roy Smith has my vote out of the four running in Group 4 for the seat of current Mayor Ed Boner, who is not seeking re-election. Mr. Smith is clearly a smart man, dedicated to the community and remarkably improved over his last run two years ago. I was fully prepared to recommend Jim Higginbotham based on his  knowledge and experience of the area since he’s served as a Nassau County Commissioner and Fernandina Beach Public Works Director, but during the Fernandina Observer forum at City Hall last night Mr. Smith impressed me with his calm demeanor, understanding of the issues and his ability to articulate his positions. It’s time to end the tenure of Pat Gass, currently Group 5 commissioner, and the voices in her head that continually scream “no.” I doubt the group she says she and her voices represent — those who don’t vote and don’t show up for commission meetings — will have much of an impact on her chances. Jennifer Shriver, a newcomer to the island and extreme environmentalist, who has difficulty even explaining where she lives, should stick to volunteer work, and Mr. Higginbotham, a very nice and smart man, needs to wait another turn.

Clinch Kavanaugh’s election in Group 5 to replace Ms. Gass will be City Attorney Tammi Bach’s worst nightmare as he will make every effort possible to put an end to the wasteful lawsuits and lousy legal advice that has been the hallmark of her tenure so far. Despite his liberal leanings the quick-tempered local attorney will also not tolerate the menu of silly and lost causes advocated by Commissioner Johnny Miller. Leonard A. “Len” Kreger, is a current Director of Keep Nassau Beautiful who also served as Chair of the city’s Planning Advisory Board and is a calm and nice enough fellow, but Kavanaugh’s keen mind, no-nonsense attitude and knowledge of the community would, in my opinion, serve the best interests of the residents. His excellent performance last night proved that.

Robin Lentz is my choice in the straw vote for mayor because — as one of my Wednesday evening wing-eating, beer-quaffing pals says: “Throw a circus tent over City Hall and start the calliope music if Johnny Miller is selected.” Ms. Lentz is a reasoned, smart young lady that will serve the city with dignity and class and as a former school teacher should have no problem handling an unruly chamber. Mr. Miller obviously only uses Robert’s Rules of Order to balance his chair as his antics of rudely interrupting and talking over his colleagues are testimony that the self-absorbed, wrong-headed commissioner sure hasn’t read it.

Question 1, Yes: Should the City Charter be amended to provide that City Commissioners shall serve four (4) year terms instead of three (3) year terms and City Elections held every two (2) years in conjunction with county, state and federal elections which will mean the Mayor serves for two (2) years unless removed sooner by majority vote of City Commission?

I’m voting “yes” on this. Four-year terms would mean that elections are held every two years with three commissioners elected in one cycle and two in the second cycle. This is nothing new as the county and other locally elected boards have four-year terms. It would kick in 2020, save money, increase voter turnout during national election years and help create a more stable city government by keeping politics on hold for two years. With a formula designed by the current commission no incumbent or candidate elected next month would benefit due to a phased in scenario.

Question 2, Yes: Should the City Charter be amended to repeal Section 18 regarding the date of the annual organizational meeting and monthly meetings throughout the year since it is redundant an already included in the City Code of Ordinances?

Again “yes,” as this is a simple housekeeping change designed to tidy up the City Charter and nothing more.

***

Island Petanque Invasion: Thanks to the tireless efforts of personable Belgian expatriate Philippe Boets, a record-breaking throng of close to 400 folks from across the U.S. and scores of other countries will convene once again on Amelia Island for the annual Petanque Championships to be conducted November 13,14 & 15 at both the harbor-front marina and the 2nd and Broome St. courts. This odd game that features metal balls, a target called a “pig,” absolutely no exertion, and lots of wine and beer, is fun to watch, simple to play, and will host food, craft and beverage booths as well as live music. This year the recipient of the team traveling the furthest distance to get here will go to a group from New Zealand.

***

Speaking Of Sports: Yesterday the Amelia Island Men’s Newcomer’s Club was entertained at lunch by one of the best speakers I’ve heard at any function since moving here. Sam Kouvaris, the guy who runs sports for Jacksonville’s Channel 4, WJCT, was candid, fascinating and funny and — as is the mark of an excellent speaker — left us all wanting to hear more. His observations on Steve Spurrier, the Jaguars, Shad Kahn, baseball, and more were intriguing even to those who aren’t sports fans. He believes that no matter what happens to the hapless Jaguars this season coach Gus Bradley will be around next season, but if he doesn’t produce a winner by then, his tenure is over. He also predicts that because of the Internet and cable that in just a few years there will be only one independent TV station left in the Jacksonville area. It also may be an old joke, but I’d never heard it before when he said the first TV remote was: “Hey honey, while you’re getting me another beer would you change the channel.”

***

Hands Off The Port Please: Aaron M. Renn, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal, wrote in the L.A. Times recently about a tactic among environmental activists that will sound familiar to Amelia Islanders. The extreme greens try to use local regulations to set policy. Sound familiar? Renn said that these extremists pressure cities and other local entities that control many of the nation’s ports, to prevent fossil-fuel industries from obtaining permits and thus keep such energy from coming to market. The tactics are obvious as Stacey McLaughlin wrote approvingly in a left wing Oregonian newspaper op-ed: “If they cannot export natural gas, then they will need to cut back on fracking.” Historically, coastal cities like Fernandina Beach have sought to maximize port traffic as a way to boost its local economy. However, liberal cities, particularly in Northwestern liberal states such as Washington and Oregon, under the control of the left, have lost interest in boosting blue-collar employment and even their beloved union jobs. The activists see control of ports and permitting as a means of advancing their extreme green-policy preferences. However, the constitutional basis for doing so says Renn is dubious. States and localities he says cannot unduly burden interstate commerce — a principle that the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed in Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne. The federal government also long ago restricted localities from regulating railroads. Lawmakers understood that a “Not in My Back Yard” mindset would choke the national economy, and that the negative local effects, if any, from rail operations could not justify allowing states, cities and towns to impose regulations that would impede trade. So City Commissioner Johnny Miller and the extreme environmental puppeteers that pull his strings can just sit back, gnash their teeth and watch our community thrive despite their anti-business disruptive nonsense.

***

And What Would We Call Columbus, GA? My former Atlanta-based business partner, once editorial page editor of the Albany, GA Herald newspaper, and current Atlanta political pundit and independent communications consultant, Phil Kent, reminds us why we should continue to celebrate Columbus Day saying: “Before 1492 there was festering disease, perpetual poverty, paganism, human sacrifice and savagery in North America. After Columbus’ arrival, there was an evolving imposition of the key values of Western Christian civilization: reason and individualism. On a wider scale Western philosophers, businessmen, statesmen and scientists liberated mankind from bloody tribalism. Let’s honor the great explorer who opened the way for Western civilization to flourish in the New World!” If you want to read a great history of Columbus and his incredible voyages and courage, then get your hands on the book “The Last Voyage of Columbus” by Martin Dugard, a page-turner that will keep you up at night.

***

Liberals Pay Attention Please: Any serious look at the history of human beings over the millennia shows that the species began in poverty. It is not poverty, but prosperity, that needs explaining. Poverty is automatic, but prosperity requires many things – none of which is equally distributed around the world or even within a given society.” –Thomas Sowell

***

Can You Hear Us Now? “In 1990, I knew one person with a mobile telephone. Today, there are seven billion cell phones on earth – more than the number of toilets or toothbrushes. Residents of the humblest villages in the developing world carry phones more powerful than 1980s supercomputers. Information technology (IT) has gone from a luxury for the wealthy to universal coverage (to borrow a health care buzzword). In contrast, health care technology has advanced only modestly since 1990. Why the difference? Put simply, a bipartisan consensus allowed IT to innovate while health care was mired in a furious, partisan debate over how to distribute fixed stocks of resources.” – Robert Graboyes, quoted in Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

***

The Ugly American Revisited: New York Times sports reporter Ben Shpigel writing about the strategy of bringing an NFL football team to England obtained the New York Jets’ shipping list and discovered that the team shipped its own toilet paper to London for their game with the Miami Dolphins, as they were warned British paper was “very thin.” The team ordered 350 rolls of toilet paper along with other items such as cereal. Mr. Shpigel told the BBC the toilet rolls were ordered for the players’ use in the hotel and at Wembley Stadium. He said the order had been included on the recommendation of an intern who had been over to London numerous times and “…. noticed when he was there that – ‘the toilet paper was very thin because their plumbing isn’t as good’. Good grief, this reminds me of when I was transferred to Paris by IBM in the 1980s and told by a very dim corporate attorney already there: “Dave, you’ll hate the food here. You can’t find a hamburger or a hotdog and I have to have my family ship me Cheerios.” Why in the world would IBM have posted this loon to Paris, when he should have been pushing a Nathan’s hot dog cart down the Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue) in Manhattan?

***

Beach Butt Business: Publix Supermarkets has joined with former Washington Redskins Cheerleader and local business owner Lou Ann Davis’s Ditch the Beach Butts campaign to help reduce the number of cigarette butts tossed on the beaches by smokers. Publix in Fernandina Beach is one of a number of local businesses collecting and distributing empty Altoid mint (or similar canisters) so smokers can extinguish, discard and carry away their cigarette butts from the beaches. “It’s estimated that more than one million cigarette and cigar butts are discarded on Florida beaches each year,” says Ms. Davis, CEO & Creator of Live in Flip Flops. She says folks can take part by dropping off empty aluminum tins at the Customer Service Desk in Publix Supermarket on Amelia Island, or with Jessica Miller at Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel, 1853 S. 8th Street, in the designated “Ditch the Beach Butts” basket Live in Flip Flops’ corporate offices are located in Amelia Island at 2999 First Avenue, Suite A and Ms. Davis can be reached at 904/310-6520 or at LouAnn@LiveinFlipFlops.com. In my opinion Beach Butts would be a cool name for a waterfront bar.

***

The Mickey Mouse Operation Ends At The Orlando Airport: “Anyone looking to educate voters about how the private sector works better than the government might want to consider offering trips to Disney World. Compare the company-run lines at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park with the government-run security lines at the Orlando International Airport, and it’s hard to escape the conclusion that a free market works better  than a government monopoly.” – Ira Stoll

***

Mission Impossible: Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisers alarmed by her sinking poll numbers and high unfavorability ratings have decided to redo their candidate to make her more “likeable and humorous.” They certainly have their work cut out for them. Ms. Clinton’s campaign doesn’t have a message. She is dishonest, grumpy, aloof and unlikable. All she has is ambition. Her campaign picks up on what she thinks is working for Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. There is no platform. Her obsession with becoming president has overshadowed any reason that anyone might have to vote for her. She offers no hope and less change. Her candidacy is historic…but only for her. There is no promise she makes that anyone believes. Her campaign has lots of money, but nobody likes her. She’s trying to build a cult of personality, but none of the people who work for her will tell her the truth about her rotten personality. She inspires no one and there’s no actual reason to vote for her. Her witch’s cackle passes for laughter. Her assertion in a campaign commercial recently that any woman who says she was sexually assaulted needs to be heard backfired big time, particularly since it came from the woman who was in charge of Bill’s “bimbo eruptions” and who dismissed Kathleen Willey’s rape accusations, among others, against her husband. Ms. Willey said “She’s a lying pig. I cannot believe that she had the gall to make that commercial. How dare she? I hope she rots in hell.” Based on his debate comments saying “nobody wants to hear about her damn emails,” maybe socialist Bernie Sanders, who has no chance of ever being elected, should become her campaign manager.

***

Speaking Of Socialism: “As we look around the world, it is inarguable that socialistic economic models – from [Pope] Francis’ native Argentina to Greece – are crumbling right before our eyes and making people poorer. A recent Heritage Foundation study finds that free markets are by far the best tools to reduce poverty. High taxes, trade barriers and big welfare states may be well intentioned, but they make the poor poorer.” – Stephen Moore

***

Drinking, Dining & Dancing: Downtown Fernandina Beach will soon see the opening of three new restaurants all within walking distance of each other. Luca’s American Bar & Grill takes over the space that was once Bonito Grill & Sushi and another place that didn’t last long enough for me to even recall its name at the corner of Centre & South 7th. I hear the Brew Pub, on Centre and the corner of South 4th where O’Kane’s used to be will open in December and a creperie, The Patio Place, run by Amy Petroy at 416 Ash near South 4th, will soon be serving up French cooking inside and on a patio and deck in addition to its signature Celtic pancakes. Now that the tourists have thinned out Sandy Bottoms is serving its two-for-one square-cut pizzas again on Thursdays and during football season, and only on game day you can grab a buck 16 ounce tall boy of PBR or Rolling Rock at Tony’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in the Sadler Road plaza nest to Publix. And while there order a slice of Tony’s extra crisp with whatever you like on it, one of the tastiest and best priced pizza deals in town. And here’s something scary, the Hammerhead on Fletcher will have a $300 costume contest on Friday, October 30th to celebrate Halloween. Folks that didn’t attend the reuniting of the Honey Badgers last night at the Green Turtle missed one of the best performances of the year as old friends and local favorites, Alan “Hupp” Huppman and his gorgeous and talented wife Jenn, who flew in from New Mexico joined former band members Ray Hetka, Vic Deacon, Mike Deveraux and Dr. Hal London, in a one-time performance that had the packed house on their feet dancing and applauding most of the evening. This group is sorely missed hereabouts. I also heard last night that the island’s best guitar player and highly personable entertainer, Dan Voll, and his two musical companions, drummer Nico Feindeisen and bass player Michele Anders, will no longer be permanent Friday night fixtures at the Turtle, but only twice a month or so, the Turtle’s loss and someone else’s gain. But catch Dan at Sandy Bottoms on Saturdays beginning at 1 p.m. , the Salty Pelican beginning at 4 p.m. Sundays, and Mondays at Seabreeze starting at 6 p.m. and other island public locations that I will list in the future.

Kavanaugh, Smith & Lentz Are The Best Fernandina Beach Commission Choices

Illustration depicting a road traffic sign with a election concept. Blue sky background.

This November 3, Fernandina Beach residents will have an opportunity to select two members to the Fernandina Beach City Commission, recommend a mayor, and vote “yah” or “nay” on a couple of proposals. I’ve made up my mind and here’s how I’m voting and why:

Roy Smith has my vote out of the four running in Group 4 for the seat of current Mayor Ed Boner, who is not seeking re-election. Mr. Smith is clearly a smart man, dedicated to the community and remarkably improved over his last run two years ago. I was fully prepared to recommend Jim Higginbotham based on his  knowledge and experience of the area since he’s served as a Nassau County Commissioner and Fernandina Beach Public Works Director, but during the Fernandina Observer forum at City Hall last night Mr. Smith impressed me with his calm demeanor, understanding of the issues and his ability to articulate his positions. It’s time to end the tenure of Pat Gass, currently Group 5 commissioner, and the voices in her head that continually scream “no.” I doubt the group she says she and her voices represent — those who don’t vote and don’t show up for commission meetings — will have much of an impact on her chances. Jennifer Shriver, a newcomer to the island and extreme environmentalist, who has difficulty even explaining where she lives, should stick to volunteer work, and Mr. Higginbotham, a very nice and smart man, needs to wait another turn.

Clinch Kavanaugh’s election in Group 5 to replace Ms. Gass will be City Attorney Tammi Bach’s worst nightmare as he will make every effort possible to put an end to the wasteful lawsuits and lousy legal advice that has been the hallmark of her tenure so far. Despite his liberal leanings the quick-tempered local attorney will also not tolerate the menu of silly and lost causes advocated by Commissioner Johnny Miller. Leonard A. “Len” Kreger, is a current Director of Keep Nassau Beautiful who also served as Chair of the city’s Planning Advisory Board and is a calm and nice enough fellow, but Kavanaugh’s keen mind, no-nonsense attitude and knowledge of the community would, in my opinion, serve the best interests of the residents. His excellent performance last night proved that.

Robin Lentz is my choice in the straw vote for mayor because — as one of my Wednesday evening wing-eating, beer-quaffing pals says: “Throw a circus tent over City Hall and start the calliope music if Johnny Miller is selected.” Ms. Lentz is a reasoned, smart young lady that will serve the city with dignity and class and as a former school teacher should have no problem handling an unruly chamber. Mr. Miller obviously only uses Robert’s Rules of Order to balance his chair as his antics of rudely interrupting and talking over his colleagues are testimony that the self-absorbed, wrong-headed commissioner sure hasn’t read it.

Question 1, Yes: Should the City Charter be amended to provide that City Commissioners shall serve four (4) year terms instead of three (3) year terms and City Elections held every two (2) years in conjunction with county, state and federal elections which will mean the Mayor serves for two (2) years unless removed sooner by majority vote of City Commission?

I’m voting “yes” on this. Four-year terms would mean that elections are held every two years with three commissioners elected in one cycle and two in the second cycle. This is nothing new as the county and other locally elected boards have four-year terms. It would kick in 2020, save money, increase voter turnout during national election years and help create a more stable city government by keeping politics on hold for two years. With a formula designed by the current commission no incumbent or candidate elected next month would benefit due to a phased in scenario.

Question 2, Yes: Should the City Charter be amended to repeal Section 18 regarding the date of the annual organizational meeting and monthly meetings throughout the year since it is redundant an already included in the City Code of Ordinances?

Again “yes,” as this is a simple housekeeping change designed to tidy up the City Charter and nothing more.

***

Island Petanque Invasion: Thanks to the tireless efforts of personable Belgian expatriate Philippe Boets, a record-breaking throng of close to 400 folks from across the U.S. and scores of other countries will convene once again on Amelia Island for the annual Petanque Championships to be conducted November 13,14 & 15 at both the harbor-front marina and the 2nd and Broome St. courts. This odd game that features metal balls, a target called a “pig,” absolutely no exertion, and lots of wine and beer, is fun to watch, simple to play, and will host food, craft and beverage booths as well as live music. This year the recipient of the team traveling the furthest distance to get here will go to a group from New Zealand.

***

Speaking Of Sports: Yesterday the Amelia Island Men’s Newcomer’s Club was entertained at lunch by one of the best speakers I’ve heard at any function since moving here. Sam Kouvaris, the guy who runs sports for Jacksonville’s Channel 4, WJCT, was candid, fascinating and funny and — as is the mark of an excellent speaker — left us all wanting to hear more. His observations on Steve Spurrier, the Jaguars, Shad Kahn, baseball, and more were intriguing even to those who aren’t sports fans. He believes that no matter what happens to the hapless Jaguars this season coach Gus Bradley will be around next season, but if he doesn’t produce a winner by then, his tenure is over. He also predicts that because of the Internet and cable that in just a few years there will be only one independent TV station left in the Jacksonville area. It also may be an old joke, but I’d never heard it before when he said the first TV remote was: “Hey honey, while you’re getting me another beer would you change the channel.”

***

Hands Off The Port Please: Aaron M. Renn, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal, wrote in the L.A. Times recently about a tactic among environmental activists that will sound familiar to Amelia Islanders. The extreme greens try to use local regulations to set policy. Sound familiar? Renn said that these extremists pressure cities and other local entities that control many of the nation’s ports, to prevent fossil-fuel industries from obtaining permits and thus keep such energy from coming to market. The tactics are obvious as Stacey McLaughlin wrote approvingly in a left wing Oregonian newspaper op-ed: “If they cannot export natural gas, then they will need to cut back on fracking.” Historically, coastal cities like Fernandina Beach have sought to maximize port traffic as a way to boost its local economy. However, liberal cities, particularly in Northwestern liberal states such as Washington and Oregon, under the control of the left, have lost interest in boosting blue-collar employment and even their beloved union jobs. The activists see control of ports and permitting as a means of advancing their extreme green-policy preferences. However, the constitutional basis for doing so says Renn is dubious. States and localities he says cannot unduly burden interstate commerce — a principle that the Supreme Court recently reaffirmed in Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne. The federal government also long ago restricted localities from regulating railroads. Lawmakers understood that a “Not in My Back Yard” mindset would choke the national economy, and that the negative local effects, if any, from rail operations could not justify allowing states, cities and towns to impose regulations that would impede trade. So City Commissioner Johnny Miller and the extreme environmental puppeteers that pull his strings can just sit back, gnash their teeth and watch our community thrive despite their anti-business disruptive nonsense.

***

And What Would We Call Columbus, GA? My former Atlanta-based business partner, once editorial page editor of the Albany, GA Herald newspaper, and current Atlanta political pundit and independent communications consultant, Phil Kent, reminds us why we should continue to celebrate Columbus Day saying: “Before 1492 there was festering disease, perpetual poverty, paganism, human sacrifice and savagery in North America. After Columbus’ arrival, there was an evolving imposition of the key values of Western Christian civilization: reason and individualism. On a wider scale Western philosophers, businessmen, statesmen and scientists liberated mankind from bloody tribalism. Let’s honor the great explorer who opened the way for Western civilization to flourish in the New World!” If you want to read a great history of Columbus and his incredible voyages and courage, then get your hands on the book “The Last Voyage of Columbus” by Martin Dugard, a page-turner that will keep you up at night.

***

Liberals Pay Attention Please: Any serious look at the history of human beings over the millennia shows that the species began in poverty. It is not poverty, but prosperity, that needs explaining. Poverty is automatic, but prosperity requires many things – none of which is equally distributed around the world or even within a given society.” –Thomas Sowell

***

Can You Hear Us Now? “In 1990, I knew one person with a mobile telephone. Today, there are seven billion cell phones on earth – more than the number of toilets or toothbrushes. Residents of the humblest villages in the developing world carry phones more powerful than 1980s supercomputers. Information technology (IT) has gone from a luxury for the wealthy to universal coverage (to borrow a health care buzzword). In contrast, health care technology has advanced only modestly since 1990. Why the difference? Put simply, a bipartisan consensus allowed IT to innovate while health care was mired in a furious, partisan debate over how to distribute fixed stocks of resources.” – Robert Graboyes, quoted in Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

***

The Ugly American Revisited: New York Times sports reporter Ben Shpigel writing about the strategy of bringing an NFL football team to England obtained the New York Jets’ shipping list and discovered that the team shipped its own toilet paper to London for their game with the Miami Dolphins, as they were warned British paper was “very thin.” The team ordered 350 rolls of toilet paper along with other items such as cereal. Mr. Shpigel told the BBC the toilet rolls were ordered for the players’ use in the hotel and at Wembley Stadium. He said the order had been included on the recommendation of an intern who had been over to London numerous times and “…. noticed when he was there that – ‘the toilet paper was very thin because their plumbing isn’t as good’. Good grief, this reminds me of when I was transferred to Paris by IBM in the 1980s and told by a very dim corporate attorney already there: “Dave, you’ll hate the food here. You can’t find a hamburger or a hotdog and I have to have my family ship me Cheerios.” Why in the world would IBM have posted this loon to Paris, when he should have been pushing a Nathan’s hot dog cart down the Avenue of the Americas (6th Avenue) in Manhattan?

***

Beach Butt Business: Publix Supermarkets has joined with former Washington Redskins Cheerleader and local business owner Lou Ann Davis’s Ditch the Beach Butts campaign to help reduce the number of cigarette butts tossed on the beaches by smokers. Publix in Fernandina Beach is one of a number of local businesses collecting and distributing empty Altoid mint (or similar canisters) so smokers can extinguish, discard and carry away their cigarette butts from the beaches. “It’s estimated that more than one million cigarette and cigar butts are discarded on Florida beaches each year,” says Ms. Davis, CEO & Creator of Live in Flip Flops. She says folks can take part by dropping off empty aluminum tins at the Customer Service Desk in Publix Supermarket on Amelia Island, or with Jessica Miller at Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel, 1853 S. 8th Street, in the designated “Ditch the Beach Butts” basket Live in Flip Flops’ corporate offices are located in Amelia Island at 2999 First Avenue, Suite A and Ms. Davis can be reached at 904/310-6520 or at LouAnn@LiveinFlipFlops.com. In my opinion Beach Butts would be a cool name for a waterfront bar.

***

The Mickey Mouse Operation Ends At The Orlando Airport: “Anyone looking to educate voters about how the private sector works better than the government might want to consider offering trips to Disney World. Compare the company-run lines at Disney’s Magic Kingdom theme park with the government-run security lines at the Orlando International Airport, and it’s hard to escape the conclusion that a free market works better  than a government monopoly.” – Ira Stoll

***

Mission Impossible: Hillary Clinton’s campaign advisers alarmed by her sinking poll numbers and high unfavorability ratings have decided to redo their candidate to make her more “likeable and humorous.” They certainly have their work cut out for them. Ms. Clinton’s campaign doesn’t have a message. She is dishonest, grumpy, aloof and unlikable. All she has is ambition. Her campaign picks up on what she thinks is working for Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. There is no platform. Her obsession with becoming president has overshadowed any reason that anyone might have to vote for her. She offers no hope and less change. Her candidacy is historic…but only for her. There is no promise she makes that anyone believes. Her campaign has lots of money, but nobody likes her. She’s trying to build a cult of personality, but none of the people who work for her will tell her the truth about her rotten personality. She inspires no one and there’s no actual reason to vote for her. Her witch’s cackle passes for laughter. Her assertion in a campaign commercial recently that any woman who says she was sexually assaulted needs to be heard backfired big time, particularly since it came from the woman who was in charge of Bill’s “bimbo eruptions” and who dismissed Kathleen Willey’s rape accusations, among others, against her husband. Ms. Willey said “She’s a lying pig. I cannot believe that she had the gall to make that commercial. How dare she? I hope she rots in hell.” Based on his debate comments saying “nobody wants to hear about her damn emails,” maybe socialist Bernie Sanders, who has no chance of ever being elected, should become her campaign manager.

***

Speaking Of Socialism: “As we look around the world, it is inarguable that socialistic economic models – from [Pope] Francis’ native Argentina to Greece – are crumbling right before our eyes and making people poorer. A recent Heritage Foundation study finds that free markets are by far the best tools to reduce poverty. High taxes, trade barriers and big welfare states may be well intentioned, but they make the poor poorer.” – Stephen Moore

***

Drinking, Dining & Dancing: Downtown Fernandina Beach will soon see the opening of three new restaurants all within walking distance of each other. Luca’s American Bar & Grill takes over the space that was once Bonito Grill & Sushi and another place that didn’t last long enough for me to even recall its name at the corner of Centre & South 7th. I hear the Brew Pub, on Centre and the corner of South 4th where O’Kane’s used to be will open in December and a creperie, The Patio Place, run by Amy Petroy at 416 Ash near South 4th, will soon be serving up French cooking inside and on a patio and deck in addition to its signature Celtic pancakes. Now that the tourists have thinned out Sandy Bottoms is serving its two-for-one square-cut pizzas again on Thursdays and during football season, and only on game day you can grab a buck 16 ounce tall boy of PBR or Rolling Rock at Tony’s Brick Oven Pizzeria in the Sadler Road plaza nest to Publix. And while there order a slice of Tony’s extra crisp with whatever you like on it, one of the tastiest and best priced pizza deals in town. And here’s something scary, the Hammerhead on Fletcher will have a $300 costume contest on Friday, October 30th to celebrate Halloween. Folks that didn’t attend the reuniting of the Honey Badgers last night at the Green Turtle missed one of the best performances of the year as old friends and local favorites, Alan “Hupp” Huppman and his gorgeous and talented wife Jenn, who flew in from New Mexico joined former band members Ray Hetka, Vic Deacon, Mike Deveraux and Dr. Hal London, in a one-time performance that had the packed house on their feet dancing and applauding most of the evening. This group is sorely missed hereabouts. I also heard last night that the island’s best guitar player and highly personable entertainer, Dan Voll, and his two musical companions, drummer Nico Feindeisen and bass player Michele Anders, will no longer be permanent Friday night fixtures at the Turtle, but only twice a month or so, the Turtle’s loss and someone else’s gain. But catch Dan at Sandy Bottoms on Saturdays beginning at 1 p.m. , the Salty Pelican beginning at 4 p.m. Sundays, and Mondays at Seabreeze starting at 6 p.m. and other island public locations that I will list in the future.

3 Comments

tony crawford

16 October , 2015 at 3:02 pm

Sad as it is to say, you make some good points here. Did I really just say that? Something I do disagree with is the 4 year terms for our City Commissioners. You mentioned it would save money. That is a shortsighted opinon when one can only imagine how much money could be wasted should a loose cannon stay on the commission an extra year. Looking back on past commissions and thinking about what your vision is for our City would you have been happier if those you disagreed with stayed on an extra year. Granted you would have much more red meat to feed us, but would have helped the City. I feel the cost of the election process in this case is chump change compared wit the damage that could be done. I like the fact after 3 years we can show them our support by voting them back in, or move on with a new person. One vote either way in this city can cost us a lot of money. One last thing, may be a good Idea to start a therapy jar. It's a jar you put a small amount of money in each week to pay for therapy. It will help you when you wake Nov 4th 2016 and it sinks in who the First Gentleman is.

George Clements

16 October , 2015 at 2:24 pm

Dave, you must under-estimate the intelligence of your blog readers by citing Phil Kent and Thomas Sowell. Those of us who follow politics -- and history -- know that Kent and Sowell can always be parked on the lunatic right fringe on any issue. Always. Without exception. Kent and Sowell make Rush Limbaugh sound like a moderate.

Steve Crounse

16 October , 2015 at 12:39 pm

OK Dave, I don't have a clue as to where you came up with your knowledge of the Arawak People that inhabited the Islands which Columbus Landed on. Did Roger Alies and Fox News publish a new book. (The History of Discovery by Columbia in the Americas for Dummies) The Facts are a little different Dave. To start with, the natives greeted the Europeans by swimming out to them and giving gifts. "These people have little knowledge of Fighting. they do not bare arms, and do not know them" those are Columbus's words. So what was the first thing Columbus did.? Captured seven natives as Slaves to take back to Spain. He also needed to know "Where's the Gold"? Columbus and his men brought syphilis, cholera, and other disease's. These Natives had no human sacrifice, or poverty, or Savagery on these Islands . But Columbus did bring as he said"Key values of Western Christian Civilization" He and his men shared the concept, of Cruelty, Greed, Murder, savagery, the crew, killed, Raped, put in bondage, woman and children. and made a habit of using native for play things. Oh ya, another sticky fact, this guy never saw or set foot on North America . Look it up in a real History book. You are a talented guy, I want to like ya, but you make it difficult.

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