If your neighbors or local businesses said they were going to install solar panels on their houses or stores and asked you to help pay for them your answer would probably be the same as if they asked you to pay a portion of their electric bill: “No!”
So, if you don’t want to subsidize your neighbors or Florida businesses who may want to, or have already installed solar panels on their homes or work places, then vote “no” on Amendment 1 when you go to vote in the August primary and another “no” at the polls in November on Amendment 4. Folks who install these panels already get generous federal subsidies and don’t need any more help from you or me, the tax payers.
The stated purpose of this utility company sponsored regulation is to allow individuals and businesses that generate their own energy to access the grid when energy generation is not sufficient to meet their needs. But here’s the rub. This policy has an adverse impact on ratepayers, who must bear 100 percent of the grid maintenance cost, while those who are off-grid are allowed a “free ride” and access utility services only when they need it.
James Taylor who writes a regular column on free-market energy and environment issues for Forbes.com says creating a distinct new electricity market and giving the solar power industry the exclusive right to provide power within that market runs counter to free-market principles.”Solar power should receive no special market-share carve outs, no special subsidies, and no special regulatory treatment – no industry should,” he rightly says.
And the solar power industry should certainly not have a case for special favoritism permanently etched as an inalienable right in the Florida Constitution. Good grief.
According to the James Madison Institute’s (JMI) study (“Solar Carve-Outs in the Sunshine State” ) reveals that if the ballot initiative wins, Florida ratepayers will be screwed. We will wind up bearing the brunt of an estimated $1.1 billion cost shift, and that is just a modest estimate. In a nutshell, Florida taxpayers will end up paying their neighbors solar bills and subsidizing the solar industry.
JMI calculates that homeowners and businesses that currently get a 30 percent subsidy for installing solar equipment now, will get a further subsidized ride on Florida ratepayers’ backs if this nonsense is passed. In other words those of us not using solar will pay for those that do use it. No thanks, I don’t care to pay my neighbors utility bills.
Balanced Conservation Or Silly Science? A vote for Fernandina Beach City Commission candidate Eric Childers will give current Mayor and Commissioner Johnny Miller all the free time he needs to help U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in his pursuit of refrigerators and air conditioners that are sucking up the world’s energy resources, contributing to climate change, and are more dangerous than ISIS, or so says the befuddled Lurch look-a-like Secretary of State.
While Palace Bartender Mayor Miller is blasting away at fierce fridges and errant air conditioners, flogging frackers, weeping over whales, pooh-poohing plastic bags, pouting about the port, balking at builders, bashing businesses, shunning seismic sounding, and boondoggle bounding, etc. Childers will be watching over local concerns.
Childers, who served as a city commissioner from 2008 – 2011, initiated and supported votes then that reduced taxes without disturbing services. Instead of traveling to Tallahassee and Washington D.C. like Mayor Miller, to rant along with other far left protestors about everything from banning domestic oil drilling to abolishing those apocalyptic underarm deodorants, Mr. Childers will stay here focused on Fernandina Beach issues supporting local business interests, respecting private property rights, and conserving and protecting local natural resources.
While last serving on the Commission his initiative to overturn archaic alcohol ordinances led to The Great Southern Tailgate Classic, Slide into Spring Music and Craft Beer Festival, Swing into Spring, a fundraiser to support FBHS, Amelia Island Jazz Fest, Amelia Island the Blues Festival and the Petanque America Open and led to restaurants being able to offer alcohol during Sunday Brunch, programs that eventually spread county-wide. His local efforts also aided in enabling the widening of 14th Street from Hickory to Beech St. adding sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the road without a taking of private property. Childers championed the purchase of and designation of property on Sadler road for conservation and the restoration of the Greenway providing a balance between conservation and good business judgment.
A vote for local businessman Eric Childers will provide commission experience, a balance of business and conservation, and give Johnny Miller all the time he wants to chase rainbows and moon beans at somebody else’s expense. In his spare time Mr. Miller can also focus on other left wing politicians he might want to have tattooed on his butt as he promised to do recently with Bernie Sanders’ image.
Childers says he welcomes opportunities to speak to groups and can be reached at 904-705-6261.
A Burns Bean Bounce: I have yet to meet or talk to anyone anywhere that doesn’t plan to vote for Kathy Burns for Nassau School Superintendent, which I take as an indication that her opponent’s slash and burn tactics are failing dismally. One of the biggest boosts to Ms. Burns campaign came last week when highly respected Florida State Senator and Fernandina Beach resident and Republican Aaron Bean announced his endorsement of Ms. Burns, a blow to opponent Janet Adkins, also a Republican, who served as a state representative while Bean served in the Senate. In announcing his support Senator Bean said: “Dr. Kathy Burns is a three time teacher of the year recipient, a conservative leader and an exceptional educator. She has served Nassau’s schools in the classroom and on the school board. She has dedicated her whole career to education and will be a great leader for the Nassau County school system where my own children attend and have graduated.” Senator Bean and the Bean name demand a lot of respect in Nassau County and this endorsement should indeed help Ms. Burns.
Pot Calling The Kettle Black: When the meanest, nastiest, most vile member of your own party turns against you then you know it might be time to pack it in. Raspy voiced weasel Senator Harry Reid (D-NEV) called Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson “an absolute fraud” and urged him to drop out of the senatorial race against Republican Marco Rubio, due in great part to recent reports in Politico that Grayson physically abused his ex-wife. Grayson is an embarrassment to the state of Florida, right up there with Jacksonville’s corrupt and nutty Corrine Brown, and the sooner we see them defeated or put away the better. However, the oddball duo may have new career opportunities with the Jacksonville Jaguars who exercised incredibly poor judgment by inviting thug Greg Hardy for a look-see with Grayson as a trainer and Brown as a cheerleader.
Party? I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Party! Donald Trump was nominated to run for president during the Republican Convention in Cleveland last month but since he has changed political parties seven times between 1999 and 2012 including a stint with the Reform Party, I’m not sure if he is indeed a Republican at all, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. The bad thing is he can’t seem to control his mouth and the media and the Democrats are delighting in every slip of his tongue. Based on both Hillary’s and Trump’s negatives, this election will be won by the candidate who is least detested as polls say that more than half of both candidate’s supporters say they will vote against the other candidate, not for their choice. This campaign will be ugly.
Something To Ponder If You Follow The News: Good friend Benita Dodd, head of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, mused recently on issues I can’t argue with including these: “An overzealous state’s attorney has cost the Baltimore taxpayers $14 million and counting, with nothing to show for it.” and ” The gloating over judges overturning state Voter ID laws astonishes me. Don’t give me ‘hardship.’ Even the world’s poorest country — Congo — requires a picture ID to vote. Ask any Mexican you know whether they can vote without their voting card — which is a picture ID.”
A Golden Gamble: Like me, if you’ve ever seen those ads on TV telling viewers that gold is a solid investment and insurance against a turbulent market and an unstable political scene and wondered if that might be a safe investment, you may want to think again based on an interesting statistic I read the other day that said: “Today the same amount of gold used to pay a Roman centurion’s annual salary in the 1st century A.D. would cover a U.S. Army captain’s annual salary today.” If you think you’re going to be around for the next 2,000 or so years then gold might be a good long term choice.
How to win the war on drugs: 1- Legalize all drugs. 2- Require that drugs be purchased through Comcast customer service.
Fascinating Film: Millions of Americans are attending Dinesh D’Souza’s film “Hillary’s America — The Secret History of the Democratic Party” and Hillary Clinton’s rising negative polling numbers may reflect what that very revealing documentary portrays. The film, which is already the top grossing documentary of 2016, playing in some 1,200 US theaters, grossed $5.2 million in just 12 days. D’Souza’s book of the same title also made the New York Times best seller list at number two. We saw the film, and it is not just an anti-Hillary piece, but a very interesting look at the history of the Democratic Party and its leaders who were founders of the KKK, proponents of slavery, and violently opposed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, the 15th Amendment that prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s race, color or previous condition of servitude, as well as the modern day civil rights movements. It details Democratic Party founder Andrew Jackson’s cruelty toward slaves he owned as well as his uprooting of the Cherokee Indian Nation to government reservations. It also reveals the hypocrisy and racism of Democrats including Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Lyndon Johnson and much, much more. Go see it, it’s an eye-opener.
Things I wish I had Said: “Hillary Clinton is nuttier than Nancy Pelosi, and Nancy Pelosi is the gold standard of nuts.” & “The world is fighting terrorism, starvation and disease, but the Democrats are fighting for men to pee in the ladies’ room.” — Actor James Wood. “Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet.” — Anonymous.
Drinking, Dining & Dancing: For some reason I never made it to the downtown Patio Place restaurant at 416 Ash until last week at a social function but I will be back as the Amy Petroy owned eatery is a delightful venue featuring some unusual plates, good wines and a wide selection of craft beers. She also features entertainment with Wednesday spotlighting Nashville’s Tony Merz, who also teaches music and is building a 14th Street recording studio; Thursdays are open mic nights with Tony and Denis Merz hosting and encouraging other musicians to come and sign up to play; Saturday evenings will feature French musician Alain LeLait who enables customers to sit on the Patio’s huge outside cozy courtyard with a glass of wine under big shady tees and imagine they are in France. A comfy inside area is also available. The food takes on a French flavor with crepes being the Patio’s signature plate and these run the gamut from ones sporting ingredients from Brittany, Italy, India, France, and an wide assortment of others with the most expensive I could find coming in at a reasonable $13 for the Pacific, with wild smoked Alaskan salmon lox, avocados, tomatoes and onions, served with a creamy dill sauce. There are non crepe-plates including a variety of chicken options as well as soups and salads and plates to share with my favorite being the “charcuterie and fromage” offering of meats and cheeses that can be selected for prices from $11 o 15 depending on what you pick. Wines are very reasonably priced and feature the patio’s own private label ones at prices lower than you would ever suspect per glass and by the bottle. The food and wines reflect Amy’s globe-trotting past and customers can travel the world with the wide selection of bottled and draught beers with some coming from Vietnam, Belgium, Kenya, Austria, Germany, the US, and even Iceland, which I intend to try next time. Hard ciders and non-alcoholic beverages are also available. Check it out, you won’t disappointed. Amy opens the doors every day for lunch and dinner except Mondays. Call ’em at 904/410-3717. I hear from Bill Childers that the first of his bar, cocktail and entertainments venues at the corner of South 14th and Sadler, in the old Journey Church location, will be opening later this month with Locals the first to greet new patrons. More on this later. The Macy’s, the singing duo of husband and wife Phil and Kathy, and one of the most popular groups in the area, are appearing weekly at the Amelia Tavern on Tuesdays from 6-9 p.m. and on Wednesdays you can catch fun and talented guitarist and vocalist Dan Voll at the Tavern’s next door neighbor, Alley Cat, for Wino Wednesdays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. which features special wine prices. Don’t forget tonight is Sounds on Centre featuring the talented and fun local group Island Vibes composed of four seasoned local musicians. Their repertoire covers tunes from the past 10 decades. Including timeless classics by Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Credence Clearwater, Eagles, John Denver, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Jimmy Buffet, Zac Brown & many others. Tonight’s concert will also include a special 50’s and 60’s Tribute. Most folks recall the TV series Love Boat, but now Kevin McCarthy is bringing the Funny Boat to Amelia Island, a one-night only, two-hour cruise featuring stand-up comedians from New York City designed to keep its passengers in stitches on Friday, September 16, departing at 6 p.m. from the downtown harbor. Comedian Kevin Israel has appeared on NBC, Fox, CBS, and ABC TV while Adam Lucidi has been seen on AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live and DirecTV, CBS TV, and SiriusXM Radio. Tickets are $40 per person in advance and its BYOB and bring your own food if you want. Call ’em at 904/261-9972, go to www.ameliarivercruises.com or visit the white kiosk in the downtown harbor’s north parking lot for tickets.