Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

Musings, opinions, observations, questions, and random thoughts on island life, Fernandina Beach and more

“California Here We Go” Sing Residents Headed to Florida

While Miami is welcoming Chicago‘s $51 billion dollar Citadel hedge fund, and Texas is toasting the arrival of that violent city’s Boeing and Caterpillar headquarters operations, clueless sad sack Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is toddling off to Europe to promote her crime-ridden city as a viable place to do business.

At the same time as the Chicago Exodus tone-deaf, slick-haired snake oil salesman, California Governor Gavin Newsome, is begging his state’s former residents to make a U-turn and head back West.

Lightfoot’s Chicago is a hot place for businesses.

Democrat lightweight Lightfoot claims that “Chicago’s economy is thriving, and our business sector has set records, keeping us competitive with top global financial cities.” How well are they doing? Citadel’s Ken Griffin reported that he has had “multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint, a colleague stabbed on the way to work and countless issues of burglary.”

The pathetic Lightfoot is as delusional as Governor Newsome, who recently placed hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertisements in Florida begging departing Californians to turn those U-Hauls around and head back to California where he says: “freedom reigns.”

He maybe be right if your idea of freedom is to live, poop and shoot-up publicly on city streets, steal whatever you require from the corner drugstore, and shoot your neighbor and take his property without suffering any consequences. Other California benefits include the highest state taxes in the U.S., man-made drought caused by environmental extremists,  rolling blackouts, sanctuary cities, paying double for electricity and quadruple for rents so you can live amongst homeless mentally deranged vagrants and watch homicidal maniacs roam the streets because leftist prosecutors won’t prosecute them.

Newsome appears seriously puzzled as to why Florida is attracting some 3,000 new citizens a day and the roads headed out of California are clogged with U-Hauls headed to Texas and the Sunshine State. Lightweight Lightfoot must think Europeans are unaware of the chaos and mayhem taking place in Chicago.

For the first time in its history Florida has reported it has more registered Republican voters than Democrats….currently 50,000 more.

One of the major reasons so many folks are skedaddling out of California and Illinois and headed to Florida is rampant crime in their current home states.

They’re aware that Florida is  a safe place to live because it has managed to achieve something that Democratic district attorneys in their cities won’t – actually reduce crime.

Citizen-funded billboard on I-95 entering Florida.

And that no-nonsense approach to crime is happening right here in Florida’s Fourth Circuit, covering the counties of Nassau, Clay, and Duval.

Our district is headed by Republican State Attorney Melissa Nelson, who’s made a name for herself by pursuing creative policies for finding and prosecuting criminals.

One of her methods is to bring firearm charges against repeat offenders in connection with weapons that show up in music videos. She  also pursues harsh penalties against those convicted of gun crimes.

 Jacksonville, one of Florida’s most crime-ridden cities, has benefitted from Ms. Nelson’s tactics. “In 2021, Jacksonville’s murders were down 30% and overall shootings down 17% from the year prior,” David Chapman, speaking for the Fourth Circuit State Attorney’s Office, told Fox News, citing records of non-domestic shooting incidents from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.

So far in 2022, the district has experienced another reduction in homicides, though shootings remain consistent with last year’s statistics. In an interview with Fox News Nelson explained her take on the situation. “Improving public safety and fighting violent crime remains a top priority for our office and law enforcement partners,” she said. Governor Newsome must read that and think: “What a unique concept!”

This is a huge contrast with Democrat-run cities around the country like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, New York, and Baltimore where progressive prosecutors have made it clear that they won’t pursue criminals and their crime statistics reflect their lack of enforcement.

We are indeed fortunate to have Ms. Nelson enforcing the law and to have a governor like Ron DeSantis in charge.

Maybe we can get Ms. Nelson to take a look at the some of the shenanigans going on in the City of Fernandina Beach’s building and permitting departments. Why are some of the rates there more than five times those in the county? Are state rules being followed? If not, why not? Anyone from the city care to answer?


End Of An Era: When I was a reporter for The Tampa Tribune many years ago there were five daily newspapers within a 50-mile radius: The Tribune, the Tampa Times, the St. Petersburg Times, the St. Petersburg Independent and the Clearwater Sun. Two of  those papers (the Tampa Times and the Independent) were afternoon papers.

All of these papers had one thing in common – they were generated on linotype machines, clanging, banging, Rube Goldberg-like contraptions that used molten lead and enabled its operators to produce entire lines of type. By the 1970s those machines were gone replaced by computers. So are most of the newspapers.

The only remaining daily newspaper in the Tampa Bay area is the Tampa Bay Times. There isn’t an evening paper left anywhere in Florida. There is only one left in the entire country, the 2,500 circulation Livingston, Montana Enterprise, and its future is precarious as it’s a money loser.

There is also only one linotype machine left in the country, a 1920 model owned by 70-year-old  Dean Coombs, publisher and editor of the Saguache Crescent, a Colorado weekly that boasts 360 subscribers and costs $16 a year or 35 cents a copy. It may be the only surviving linotype machine anywhere in the world that is still operational, the rest having been melted down for razor blades many years ago.

Personally, I don’t like reading the news on a computer and having to sit through a variety of advertisements to view it on TV or hear it on the radio. I enjoy having a cup of coffee with a newspaper or magazine  in my hand, ripping articles out or highlighting them with a pen. That may harken back to when I was an elementary school kid and my mother insisted that I at least read the headlines in the paper at the breakfast table before I left the house. I soon discovered the sports section and baseball box scores and today am still a hardcore fan.

I eventually wandered through the rest of the paper finding fascinating items including the daily horoscope, the crossword puzzle, comics, Ann Landers and Dear Abby, TV schedules for the three networks, updates on the Korean War, the Eisenhower-Stephenson presidential elections, how to survive a nuclear strike, crooked local politicians, Castro’s Communist takeover of Cuba, and our neighbor Mike Morgan’s daily humor column “Moment With Morgan.”  I was hooked and still am, but other than the daily Wall Street Journal, there’s not much print news to choose from anymore. And don’t look for baseball box scores in the WSJ.

When I was a kid the daily newspaper subscription was one of my widowed mother’s few luxuries. And it packed a lot of information and entertainment for the per issue bargain price of 10 cents.

I also discovered that working in the news gathering business was intense and exciting but not very lucrative. When I started as a daily newspaper reporter with the Tampa Tribune, the paper cost 25 cents. My starting salary was $92.50 a week.

Despite their diminishing numbers, whenever we travel to a new town, I always look for a local paper (usually a weekly nowadays) to get a feel of what’s going on in the community. The letters to the editor, schedule of local events, and police blotter give visitors a general idea about the economic health of the area, places to go and places to avoid.

Reading the news on a computer screen doesn’t provide the same comfort factor.


Speaking Of News Outlets: Publisher George Miller tells me that his newly created online newspaper, the Citizens Journal, covering Nassau County, is now online with area news, commentary, events, etc.  To access it go to 

George says the outlet is still seeking reporters, writers, editors, social media, circulation, sales (commissioned) and more! “We conducted and are still conducting training for use of the site for authors to submit their work, as well as mentoring new writers and editorial staff, ” he says.

“We are also looking for charter advertisers and donors to keep us publishing and growing,” he adds. “We’re starting to receive and publish ads as well, offering a charter advertisers special that includes a 300 x 110 pixel (like a business card) or 300 x 210 pixel ad, plus a multi-page advertorial, plus display in our email version- contact”

Those interested can contact George at the above email or call him at 805/807-5114.


Non-News News: A few months ago Susan Steger announced that newcomer Mike Phillips would take over her online Fernandina Observer “news” outlet that had been operating as nothing more than a public relations vehicle for the folks at Fernandina Beach’s city hall.  Mr. Phillips has been in charge for a couple of months now and I’ve yet to see any change in the tripe it considers newsworthy, unless photos of birds and sunsets and state wire service items are your idea of breaking news hereabouts.


Another Reason To Skip College:  During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on abortion rights Tuesday, July 12, Berkeley Law School professor Khiara Bridges provided a reason to skip attending college.

During the session Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) demonstrated that it is impossible to engage in any kind of a rational discussion with an illogical preposterous leftist when the Berkeley professor insisted that men can get pregnant while accusing the senator of being transphobic and exposing transgenders to violence if he doesn’t think like her.

The woman, who appeared to be wearing hula hoops for earrings and boasted several decorative nose rings, also demonstrated with her daffy babbling why parents should immediately yank their kids out of any class taught by this mental midget or save a boat load of money by skipping that university altogether.

When Senator Hawley tried to get a straight answer on what Bridges had repeatedly referred to as “people with the capacity for pregnancy” the Berkely loony tune came unglued.

Senator Hawley asked: “Professor Bridges, you said several times, you’ve used a phrase I want to make sure I understand what you mean by it, you referred to people with a capacity for pregnancy, would that be women?”

“Many women, cis women have the capacity for pregnancy, many cis women do not have the capacity for pregnancy,” Bridges responded. “There are also trans men who are capable of pregnancy as well as non-binary people who are capable of pregnancy.”

“Do you believe that men can get pregnant?” Bridges asked the senator.

“No, I don’t think men can get pregnant,” Hawley answered.

“So, you are denying that trans people exist,” Bridges exclaimed. “Thank you.”

“And that leads to violence?” Hawley asked. “Is this how you run your classroom? Are students allowed to question you, or are they also treated like this, where they’re told that they’re opening up people to violence by questioning?”

The Mad Hatter Tea Party babbling by the nutty professor shines a whole new light on the term “higher” education. Who hires these people? Are the administrators at the universities as insane as the instructors? Why would anyone pay to attend a class taught by this imbecile?


Speaking Of Imbeciles:  Last Friday, July 8, Joe Biden railed about the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, reading from a teleprompter, and calling the decision an “exercise in raw power.” But when he quoted the majority decision, he read the instructions inserted by a speechwriter.

“Women are not without electoral or political power, it is noteworthy that the percentage of women who register to vote and cast a ballot is consistently higher than the percentage of the men who do so, end of quote, repeat the line,” Biden stammered.

He would have read the recipe for his grandmother’s pot roast if someone had inserted it in the teleprompter.


Unanswered Questions: Where is Jeffrey Epstein’s little black book containing the list of folks he flew to his sex island with underaged girls? His imprisoned long-time girlfriend and accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, surely knows who these prominent politicians, businesspeople, entertainment celebrities, etc. are. But like Hunter Biden’s laptop, the media and government law enforcement officials haven’t shown any interest? Why not?


Short Sellers? The most recent poll posted here asks: “Have the Biden Administration’s policies had a positive, negative or no impact on you economically?” Some 151 people responded with 135 or 89 percent saying negative; 11 folks (7 percent) saying positive and 5 people (3 percent) saying no impact. I’m curious what those 11 people who said it had a positive impact did. Maybe they’re short sellers in Biden’s down markets. Will one of these financial whizzes share their wisdom?


Speaking Of Sellers: Florida Politics wire service’s Wes Wolfe reports that Chris Ragucci is selling his Worldwide Terminals company at the Port of Fernandina to a joint effort of Utah and New York firms called Transportation Infrastructure Partners (TIP). TIP’s split 50-50 between Salt Lake City’s Savage Services and Ridgeway Infrastructure in New York City, with Savage being the operating partner reports Wolfe.

  • Comment (14)
  • Reading a newspaper online is like reading a book on Kindle, just not the same…..

  • Dave, as always you reinforce my decision that your blog and the WSJ are the two sources of published thought worth reading.

    Today’s blog makes me think about “agency” and “accountability”. During my long career in engineering, law and as operations executive, I found the common thread of these two concepts present in many circumstances where things were not happening the way the should.

    I believe “agency” is important because, unlike delegation, it clearly keeps the responsibility where it belongs. We can all think of important areas of our lives, and the lives of those we love or for whom we owe a duty.

    Whether it’s what our kids are seeing on TV or learning in school or how automated processes are designed, we entrust others to develop and execute many of the important tasks that build to the achievement of the goal. We are all so busy either because of necessity or choice that we delegate design and execution to others. Too often, it seems, the mindset then shifts to either loose supervision and direction, or none at all. If I don’t actively examine the “doings” of my city council, schools, government agencies and media, then I’m not the principal supervising my agent: I’ve relinquished the entire duty to the agent.

    The other concept is “accountability”. It’s a word often used when someone’s about to get in trouble for what happened (or didn’t). But because of agency, delegation doesn’t make the boss immune.

    When I was leading operations with several thousand employees, it was important that everyone understood that the role of the boss was to get the job done right, and simply identifying the sacrificial goat was not a defense.

    After I retired from my primary career, I had the opportunity to teach business and employment law courses for many years. Higher Education gets a lot of negative press, and much of it is well earned.

    What I learned there for 20 more years – as I had in my main 30 year career and in the U.S. Army – was that just like other roles in life, most of the professors are doing the best that can be done given the constraints of funding, Federal interference in education, and too often poor leadership.

    So who is accountable and who gave the colleges and universities the authority to run higher Ed? We did. I’ve sat in Board of Trustees meetings for at least ten years. Presentations and decisions are made, and there are typically 20-25 people observing the open Trustee meetings. Most are staff responsible for the subject matter on the agenda, and a few are faculty. The only times I saw anyone else there were when something newsworthy was happening. The mainstream media would show.

    We benefit from some very good institutions in the Jacksonville metro area – by size FSCJ, UNF, Jacksonville University and Edward Waters all have not only fully accredited programs, but many that are listed in the “top 10” in the U.S., or similar recognition. All education is important. Are we as citizens aware of the issues and opportunities and how well we support our communities?

    Agency, not delegation. Accountability that can be shared but never removed from the bosses. And most importantly, citizen and customer involvement.

  • I subscribe to The Beaches Leader, a weekly local newspaper here in JAX Beach, but covering items of interest in Atlantic and Neptune beaches as well. Only $35/year. So far, I haven’t shown up in either the obits or arrests columns … lol

    Great blog today, Dave – thanks !

  • Dave – Thank you for the GREAT article on the “beauty and advantages ” of moving to California… or Chicago!! I am seriously wondering if there is a DISEASE out there, similar to Covid, unseen, yet in many cases ‘fatal’ , that effects the BRAIN??? Otherwise, how is it possible that so many, seemingly intelligent people, are so BLIND to the truth, and appear to be so brainwashed??? This phenomenon has perplexed me for several years. Could this moronic (demonic?) way of looking at the world, in almost every aspect that decent, God-fearing people do, simply be the fault of a poisonous-type GERM, affecting brain cells?? JUST WONDERING…….

  • Hi Dave:

    Good assessment of the CA to FL flight situation. I am one, a political refugee, so I know.

    Thanks for the plug for Citizens Journal Florida. It’s not just mine, it’s the team’s and we hope for it to soon to be a community effort.

  • Working my way through the University of Tampa in the late 60’s early 70’s I was a “stringer” covering Friday night high school football/basketball games for the St. Pete Evening Independent. You may recall Bob Chick as the editor.

  • Dave, I find that reading the online PRINT edition of the WSJ on my iPad is virtually the same as reading the actual newspaper, and much easier to manipulate. Try it.

  • As you may or may not know the Gannatt Corporation has owned and published The USA Today newspaper out of McLean, Virginia. The USA Today has consistently left of center and recently became a of cesspool of Liberalism. Going Very as far as Reagan,41 & 44 Bush, and Trump this media has often disparaged Conservatives. On the other hand if the story involved the second most incompetent Liberal POTUS, Jimmie Carter, followed by Clinton, Obama, and Biden this media company was quick to jump on the latest Progressive Liberalism gimmick of the week.

    Quietly over the last five years Gannatt has been buying small and medium city newspapers; daily’s, tri-weekly, bi-weekly, and weekly. These newspapers were historically center right papers that gave a voice to both sides. Gannatt now owns over 100 daily papers and over 1000 of the less than daily papers in 43 states and 6 foreign countries. As Gannatt has assumed control of these papers they have quickly pushed out the center right staff In order to replace with progressive liberalism staff. They have latched to the latest “Woke” group for attention. In the process they have jumped on supporting abortion from conception to term. Their latest junket is support of the LGBTQA+/GENDER CONFUSED crowd. And just this week the support of the AUTOSEXUAL became known. I first thought this might be someone that has sex with the transmission of their car. In looking into this I found it IS SOMEONE THAT HAS a love of self and has an orgasium or derives sexual gratification from love of themselves.

  • Our education system has become a sewer of Leftists and malcontents. Why would any loving parent subject their children to such indoctrination and revisionist history? Worse, perhaps, is educators’ policy of teaching students how to answer the questions on standardized tests. Little or no effort is given to teaching students how to think, research, or create. Standardized automatons are the result. Thinking outside the box is forbidden. Debate produces stress that forces students into “Safe Places” for refuge.
    Parents, if you love your kids and want them to have productive lives, get them out of public schools today. It’s not too late.

  • The best thing that can happen to this country is the continued distribution of power and decision-making AWAY FROM Washington (the Federal Government) TO the States and the Counties. This will allow a more localized approach to the needs of the population. Unlike European Countries (many smaller than many of the States); if you are unhappy with your home State’s politics you can move to another State that does meet your political needs with relative ease. You don’t even have to change your nationality. Citadel, Boeing, Caterpillar, etc. have all WOKE up.

  • Chip Ross is the most corrupt, despicable pig ever to hold office and the people who voted in this racist fat pig deserve the hell he brings. His drunken racist history is well-documented. This man should be in JAIL except for the corrup judges in Fernandina (and I mean Judge Daniels, a compete corrupt moron).


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