You never know who might be sitting next to you in a restaurant, barbershop, bar, or coffee shop so it’s probably wise to choose your words with care before speaking to strangers.
For example, former City Commissioner Mike Lednovich boasted this past Wednesday that he was a “journalist” for the online Fernandina Observer after asking a couple of guys at the downtown Centre Street Decantery about the Yulee News newspaper they brought in with them.
When internationally renowned author, commentator, and reporter, Ken Timmerman, one of the two patrons introduced himself as a journalist, Lednovich told him they had “very similar backgrounds.” At that point Glen Stettler, a former White House Communications employee, corrected him saying: “Not really”.
After Timmerman, a former Middle East war correspondent and reporter for Time Magazine, The New York Times, etc. and author of 17 published books, accurately described the Observer as “less than credible”, Lednovich crowed that he only “writes facts, not opinion” thereby initiating a self-destructive conversation that continued on a rapid downhill spiral.
Stettler, a frequent and knowledgeable public critic of Fernandina city government introduced himself and asked Lednovich why as a journalist and former commissioner “he didn’t print the facts concerning state law and the city’s past and current illegal use of impact or capacity fees?” This inspired Lednovich to ignite a verbal self-immolation.
“The state laws are very clear, you can’t use impact fees to pay off debt or for maintenance and you did”, continued Stettler. “Why haven’t you been factual or honest about that? The city doesn’t hold fees in trust as required by law, why not?”
At that point Lednovich pulled the pin and swallowed his verbal grenade declaring: “The city does many things that are illegal”.
When Stettler asked him: “When you were mayor and confronted directly about this issue during a city commissioner meeting, why didn’t you ask any questions and why didn’t you query the City Attorney, when she openly lied to the commission?” Stettler reported that “Lednovich said nothing and he didn’t deny any of the accusations presented to him.”
Stettler also challenged Lednovich’s journalism credentials saying: “When Commissioner Chip Ross had his friends at the Observer confront us (Pat Keogh and Stettler) to ‘put up or shut up….’ why didn’t the Observer conduct their own investigation into the State law? Those are the facts. Were they professing that Ross couldn’t read the law without cover from (City Attorney) Tammi Bach?”
“Lednovich failed to mention to the pair that he was soundly defeated for a second City Commission term as voters showed him the door and he then joined the widely unread flailing online “Observer”, Aka, the city’s PR agency.
Following the verbal take down Stettler observed: “I don’t believe either Lednovich or Ross fully understand or appreciate the range and depth of people/talent who live on our island. They’re not a group of light weights.”
Speaking Of Journalists & Deadbeats: Fernandina Beach News Leader columnist Steve Nicklas did a well-researched and accurate job of portraying rogue City Commissioner Chip Ross as one of the most disruptive, offensive, and unappealing characters to ever set up residence and be elected to public office hereabouts (Rosses, Losses and precautions, News Leader1/10/2024).
Not since privateer Luis Aury sailed into Fernandina’s harbor with his band of pirates in 1817 has a more unsavory outsider attempted to change the character of the community to the detriment of its residents and been so severely beaten down.
Ross is comparable to the Li’l Abner comic strip character Joe Btfspik, “the world’s worst jinx”, who brings disastrous misfortune to everyone around him. In the Al Capp cartoon a small, dark rain cloud perpetually hovers over Joe’s head to symbolize the turmoil that accompanies him.
Following the state’s justified dismissal of Commissioner David Sturges’ unfounded ethics complaint filed by Ross’s wife Faith, Steve laid into Ross. He also pointed out how Ross’s “acolyte” Lednovich contributes to the chaos.
Together on the Commission this duo of doofuses were the Tweedledee and Tweedledum of city hall, sowing havoc wherever they went. In his last residence in Maryland Ross left a trail of lawsuits and negative news articles before hightailing it to Fernandina to continue his spree of misery. The not too bright Lednovich gleefully skipped along behind the transient curmudgeon, adopting his disastrous tactics.
It’s rumored the term-limited Ross and his wife are headed to Jacksonville following the November election. If so, brace yourself Duval County!
Speaking Of Exceptional Journalists: The January 3 issue of National Review featured a contribution from Amelia Island resident Neal Freeman headlined: “A New Year’s edition of Rules to Live By for the navigationally challenged.”
Neal introduced the rules writing: “Without bothering the selection committee, I have taken it upon myself to award the 2024 Lysenko Prize to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.”
For those unfamiliar with Soviet history, Neal explained that Trofim Lysenko was a Soviet biologist who, after dismissing a century’s worth of advancing research in genetics, proved to Stalin’s satisfaction that what was actual famine was, in fact, abundance.
The article can be found at www.nationalreview.com/2024/01/words-edgewise/ . Some of my favorites from Neal’s list follow:
- Enough with the monument toppling! Victorious armies have for millennia honored the bravery of defeated foes as a way of beginning the long process of reconciliation. The winners will need the losers to help rebuild a broken society.
- Leftists pretend to believe that southern cities erected statues of Robert E. Lee as a way of saying that, after giving the matter much thought, they had concluded that slavery was a damn-fine idea.
- Context may not be everything, as the (now-former) president of Harvard once famously claimed, but it’s not nothing. We puffed with pride when we first heard Stephen Decatur’s galvanizing words but recoiled in horror when we saw them carved above a wooden gate at Buchenwald — Recht oder Unrecht, mein Vaterland.
- Back in the Nineties, when Japan was thought to be on the cusp of global economic dominance, shoddy goods frequently carried the label “Made in Japan.” Today, shoddy goods frequently carry the label “Made in China.” I forget. Did Japan ever achieve global economic dominance?
Amelia Island is home to a number of gifted writers, authors, pundits, essayists, and in-demand speakers with one of the most prominent and entertaining being Freeman, who worked side-by-side with the late William F. Buckley for many years as an editor of National Review. Neal was also director of the Emmy-winning Firing Line, founded a chain of newspapers, and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan as Director of the Corporation for public Broadcasting, among so much more.
Are We Going To The Dogs? When I glanced into the baby stroller parked next to my sidewalk table in front of the Amelia Island Coffee Shop, instead of a cute cooing infant, a ratty-looking small dog yapped at me.
I like dogs. Growing up I had dogs and I’ve had dogs as an adult. The last dog Linda and I owned was a Samoyed that was happy, gentle, and affectionate.
The problem with dogs is that we grow very attached to them and their life expectancies are short. It was a sad day when our Samoyed died, and I declared then I would never own another dog.
I want a pet that will be with me a long time and be sad when I expire. So, if I ever get another pet it’ll be a tortoise or a Macaw, animals that have life expectancies of 80 and 60 years respectively, a sure bet they’ll outlive me.
A Macaw will talk, even scream, and reportedly be somewhat affectionate. A tortoise not so much. Neither are cuddly nor have any interest in jumping up on the couch with you. In fact they don’t care about you unless their food runs out.
If I had a McCaw I’d teach it to say: “Where’d he go?” to remind its future owners that it liked me better than them. I’d teach the tortoise to roll over.
But back to the yappy dog in the stroller. If people want to push Rover around in a baby stroller so what? It’s when they push him around in grocery store carts or plop him down on a restaurant table that bothers me. I don’t care if they are “service” dogs, they roll around in smelly outdoor messes, have fleas and ticks, and drool. I don’t want them in a space where I eat or put my tomatoes, vegetables, fish, meat, and baguette.
I also never place items in the fold up “baby seat” in grocery carts. Babies are as bad, if not worse than Rover. Diapers leak and junior’s fingers have been up his nose, in his hair, and who knows where else.
I’m not of the school that preaches the W.C. Fields’ mantra of “Any man who hates dogs and babies can’t be all bad”, I just don’t want either of them mingled with anything I plan on eating or drinking. Where am I going wrong here?
Overheard At PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden: “120 years ago, most everyone owned a horse and only rich folks had cars. Today, everyone has cars and only rich folks own horses.”
More Beer Talk: Last year the Anheuser-Busch marketing team spurred on by a Harvard graduate hatched a harebrained campaign to sign a sponsorship deal with transgender social media influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The promotion should become a Harvard Case Study in how NOT to market anything.
The plan was to use Mulvaney’s TikTok followers to promote Bud Light to young Americans who live in big cities and pride themselves on being woke.
But that plan backfired instantaneously as these clueless executives forgot their customer base was rural Americans in red states who view pushing transgenderism on kids as one of the most dangerous and appalling trends in society.
As a result the company lost millions of dollars in revenue, market value, good will, an unknown number of current and future customers, and became the butt of jokes.
According to the Wall Street Journal this massive marketing blunder resulted in a Bud Light boycott that has not only hammered Bud Light’s bottom line but gave the entire U.S. beer industry a hangover. In 2023 U.S. beer shipments hit the lowest level in 25 years according to industry tracker Beer Marketer’s Industry.
Numerous bars and restaurants on Amelia Island and nearby communities have stopped offering the Bud light brand altogether, as requests for it evaporated.
Oak Orgy Alert! The Amelia Island Tree Conservatory organization should be on the lookout for a woman who has taken tree hugging to a new level.
Based on recent international news reports a woman who calls herself an “ecosexual” has fallen in love with an Oak tree saying that it fills her with “erotic energy”
“There was an eroticism with something so big and so old holding my back,” said Sonja Semyonova, 45, during an interview with the British news agency SWNS.
According to the New York Post, an “ecosexual” is defined as a person who “finds nature romantic, sensual and sexy” and fantasizes: “Earth as their lover.”
In an era where fetishes and mental issues are becoming normalized by the national media, this nutcase’s lover of choice is a tree, putting a whole new blush on the term “woody.” Naturally the media accepts this nonsense.
Putting aside that this woman is in desperate need of psychiatric help, she should be prohibited from entering public parks or any other location populated with trees.
Maybe we’ve finally found a use for the grey-haired granny busybodies running the Fernandina Beach Tree Preservation group. Send them out on patrols with a photo of this nitwit to prevent her from molesting their precious saplings.
In a saner society this entire episode would be a Saturday Night Live Skit when that show was actually funny.