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

Despite A Murder And Governor DeSantis Sounding The Alarm Local Media Ignore Alien Invasion & Attack Messenger Instead

A murder, illegals being flown into Jacksonville under the cover of darkness, alarms sounded by District 4 U.S. Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL), and a verbal spanking by Governor Ron DeSantis, have all failed to awaken a dozing, indifferent area media to the damage the Biden administration is inflicting on northeast Florida. Just the opposite.

Validating how dreadful and biased the local media have become, the dismal Jacksonville-based Florida Times-Union ran an editorial by its far-left columnist Nate Monroe this past week condemning Governor DeSantis for drawing attention to the murder without mentioning the federal government’s ineptitude and attempts to cover up the clandestine flights.

Headlined “How DeSantis used his office to politicize tragedy and gin up outrage” this nitwit and his newspaper totally ignored the flights filled with illegal aliens being scattered around this area and attacked Governor DeSantis for drawing attention to the dangerous situation and murder of a local by one of them.

What’s next? Editorials praising skyrocketing gas prices, inflation, defunding the police, support for Critical Race Theory being taught in our schools, and telling parents to butt out of local school board meetings? Where do newspapers find people so utterly stupid and irresponsible?

I initially reported in this space in mid-August that the Biden administration has been sending flights filled with illegal immigrants to Jacksonville and then having them bused to unknown destinations.

I included photos and received a personal confirmation from District 4 Congressman Rutherford that it was happening. I also wrote a national column for Biz Pac Review about the flights on August 26

Well-respected columnist Steve Nicklas reported it in his Fernandina News Leader column a week later. Other than that it’s been totally ignored by that paper’s news section and all other local news outlets. Channel 4 in Jacksonville reported on it briefly and weakly. As far as I know that’s it.

At a press conference last Saturday, November 6, Governor DeSantis lambasted the Biden administration and accused the federal government of malfeasance. The Times-Union and other local media pooh-poohed that. Why?

The governor confirmed that one of these illegal aliens posing as a 17-year-old minor, committed murder in Jacksonville by stabbing a local resident and father of four to death. That 24-year-old illegal alien is currently in custody.

“There was an individual who had posed as a 17-year-old, actually was in the mid-20s, brought here and ended up committing a murder,” DeSantis said. “And so now this individual has been detained, should have never been in this country to begin with, and definitely should not have been dumped in the state of Florida.”

The Governor added: “And so, these are middle of the night flights, no notification to the state or anybody. This is not the way you keep people safe, it’s reckless, and it’s wrong. And I’m going to ask the legislature to see what we can do to make sure that they can’t just do this with impunity, because these are private contractors the federal government’s hiring, coming in, you know, if you’re bringing in problems like that, then I think we have to reevaluate, you know, how you’re able to do business in the state of Florida,” DeSantis vowed.

“We have a pending lawsuit against the Biden administration challenging their catch and release policies,” the Governor added. “But this is what happens when you engage in reckless policies.” He offered to send the illegal aliens being dumped here to Delaware, Biden’s home state.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry also chimed in. “Planes dropping off those that have crossed our borders illegally in the dead of the night violated the rule of law. I have been working with @GovRonDesantis to stop this recklessness,” Curry tweeted Monday night. “To be specific, this is happening in Jacksonville without any communication with us. We hear about it after they land.”

When local hospital emergency rooms and our classrooms begin filling with illegals will the local media take notice? How about when the police blotter grows longer with foreign addresses and more murders take place?

The national media and our governor have publicly demonstrated how inept, dishonest and flat out incompetent our local media are. They’ve reported what the local press refuse to acknowledge even though it’s taking place in their back yards.

The New York Post  and the Washington Examiner reported that “more than 70 migrant-filled flights have landed in Jacksonville under the cover of darkness as the Department of Homeland Security struggles to empty overflowing border facilities.” Fox News has also broadcast reports.

The Examiner additionally reports that: “Over 70 air charter flights on jetliner airliners coming from the southwest border have landed at Jacksonville International Airport,” They quoted Larry Keefe, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s public safety chief, as saying. “On average, there’s 36 passengers on each of these flights. And that has been going on over the course of the summer through September.”

In August my Jacksonville airport source told me the immigrant flood there had been taking place for weeks, with planes discharging their illegal passengers onto waiting buses that are escorted by Jacksonville Aviation police cars.

Flights taxi to a remote section of the airport called Air Cargo 4, far from the passenger terminal and public view. It’s a gate used by NFL teams because of its remote location and easy access to Interstate 95. It’s also used exclusively by FedEx and other cargo carriers.

There are no customs check points, passenger lounges, or TSA agents, only freight handling facilities. Vehicles enter and exit the runway via a gate in a chain link fence, with signs that warn unauthorized folks to stay out.

The August night I was there an Avelo Boeing 737 arrived at 2:33 a.m. and 20-30 people deplaned and boarded two waiting buses from a Tallahassee company called Mike’s Limousine. My airport source says the flight number was VXP8401 and it originated in Houston.

When I phoned the Tallahassee-based Mike’s Transportation in August to ask them who was paying for their buses the illegals were boarding and where they were going they hung up.

As I write this, flights are continuing and there is another caravan of thousands of illegal aliens currently on its way to the U.S., and perhaps to our neighborhoods. Along the way, they have thrown rocks and bottles at Mexican National Guardsmen, sexually assaulted women, young girls and boys, smuggled drugs, committed assault and murder, and trashed everywhere they pause. They aren’t chanting “Let’s go Brandon” but many are wearing Biden T-shirts. Unless you’re a Democrat I’m assuming you won’t send the welcome wagon to greet them when they move into your neighborhood.

The mayhem headed our way is  just fine with the Times-Union and its harebrained columnist Nate Monroe, and other area media. The media’s rapid  decline in readership and advertising hereabouts is an indication that the public has had enough of their codswallop. The public realizes it isn’t our Republican representatives that have gone off the rails, it’s the media, pickled in their own misguided far-left ideology.


Neal Freeman

Amelia Island Notable: In stark contrast to the wretched area news outlets, excellence in journalism is exemplified by Amelia Island resident, Neal Freeman.

Neal was feted last week when he was selected to join a handful of nationally prominent journalists when he was presented the 2021 Thomas L. Phillips Career Achievement Award for a lifetime of contributions to the field of journalism. The event was held last Wednesday, November 3, at The Fund for American Studies (TFAS) at its 28th Annual Journalism Awards Dinner, at New York’s Metropolitan Club. Neal joined the prestigious ranks of an exceptional group of Phillips award recipients that includes luminaries such as George F. Will, William F. Buckley and Robert D. Novak.

With such outstanding career accomplishments, I’m surprised Neal hadn’t been inducted long ago.

As a television producer, Neal produced more than one thousand programs for national broadcast. His productions have won numerous awards for journalistic excellence, including the Peabody, the Emmy and, for three consecutive years, the Documentary Medal of the International Film and Television Festival. Active in the international communications industry since his appointment as President Reagan’s representative, Neal became the architect of Reagan’s signature privatization initiative. For many years, he was associated with his friend, William F. Buckley, Jr. – as an editor and columnist for National Review magazine, founding producer of the Firing Line television series, editor and syndicator of the Buckley newspaper column, manager of the Buckley for Mayor campaign in New York City, and for 38 years a director of National Review, Inc. Early in his career, Neal founded Jefferson Communications, Inc., a feature syndicate that grew to serve 1,200 newspaper and magazine clients worldwide. Neal’s articles and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, American Spectator, Washington Post, International Economy, Claremont Review, and other publications. He is also the author of the books Skirmishes and Walk with Me: An Invitation to Faith.

I’m honored the say that Neal is a friend and has graciously responded whenever I’ve asked for advice.


 Black Lives Don’t Matter To These Blacks: The number one cause of death for black men under the age of 44 is homicide by other black men.


“Marxist Mike” Was Right! I Was Wrong:  Last week I reported here that Fernandina Beach Mayor ‘Marxist Mike’ Lednovich “wants the city arborist to learn how to inspect sand dunes” and that “he wants to make advisory board nominations so complex a lawyer would be needed to advise the city on procedures, a system he can’t explain.”

He didn’t say either of those things. My reporting here was sloppy. I was wrong!

“Get it right ….”

He chastised me here last week commenting: “Dave: please get your facts correct. I did not suggest the arborist do the dunes inspection. That was Commissioner David Sturgis. Please watch the video. Also, I did not suggest the voting method for city committee candidates. Commissioner Chip Ross came up with the forced ranking voting method. You’re 0 for 2. Please correct these errors.”

Yep, Mayor, after further investigation I’ve discovered you’re correct. I’m embarrassed and retract those inaccuracies.

Now that we’ve settled that misunderstanding, I assume that since you have never disputed any other claims I wrote about you here, they are accurate, or you would have told me they weren’t.

Following are statements that Fernandina’s California transplant mayor has made publicly to me and groups of locals that I have reported here in the past that he has not challenged:

  • He thinks the downtown statue of David Yulee should be removed because Yulee was a slaveowner. He’s said so publicly.
  • He’s stated publicly that there should be a cap on how much money people can earn.
  • He has publicly suggested a ban on AR16s , a gun that doesn’t even exist, implying he’s a staunch advocate of gun control.
  • He personally told me publicly that it’s against the law for people to sue the city but couldn’t explain what law that might be. If it exists he may want to inform his fellow Commission Chip “The Blowhard Bully” Ross as he’s filed two suits against the city and is currently suing the local port.
  • He purchased a house near the local airport and complains about the noise made by airplanes.
  • At a January 7, 2020, City Commission session he recommended an astronomical $14,000 fine for each tree a developer removes saying: “The city of Tampa fined a developer $28,000 each for live oaks removed against that city’s tree protection laws.” He went on to add: “I’m not saying go to the extreme of Tampa, but if we went to half of that, $14,000 a tree…I would think that would make a developer think twice about taking down a tree.” WOW! Even under Biden’s inflationary economy Christmas trees will be cheaper than that.

Now that California transplant “Marxist Mike” is settled here and owns his own piece of property, he wants everybody else to stop coming and those that are here to shut up. In addition to whining about airport noise near his house close to the airport, he has even sent the cop manning a City Hall Commission meeting across the street to The Boat House Restaurant to tell them to turn their music off, saying it was too loud.

His antics over the past several years have included publicly harassing developers, irrationally chasing one out of town, and unjustly attempting to incite locals to protest another one who had followed all the rules and made “Marxist Mike” look like the left-wing jackass he is.

So where else am I going wrong Marxist Mike?


Wait, There’s Even More:  Correct me if I’m wrong but here’s another bit of evidence displaying the city government’s ineptness: The city’s lawsuit against CPH Engineers related to the failure of the city street “Spanish Way” has apparently been dropped and a cash settlement of $140,000 accepted. Apparently the city sensed it was going to lose in court so settled for this sum—leaving city’s  taxpayers to cover the remainder of the $800,000 and more costs to repair. Add this to the other millions of dollars repair/rebuild costs hanging over taxpayers and one must wonder how residents deserve such bad governance. Is anyone downtown paying attention? If I’m wrong here please explain why.


Wait! What? Former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said that Virginia parents should not have input on what their kids are taught in schools. That didn’t turn out well for McAuliffe, a Clinton and Obama acolyte, and he got his clock cleaned by Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Younkin in last Tuesday’s Virginia gubernatorial election, and he should have. There’s more backlash coming. What I don’t understand is why the Democrats are so surprised. How stupid are they?


Huh? If you’re anything like me you probably roll your eyes every time you hear a politician accuse another politician of “playing politics.” What other purpose do they have?

Politicians accusing each other of playing politics is like the Washington NFL team – once known as the “Redskins” – accusing the Dallas Cowboys of playing football.

Now that I think about it, a perfect name for Washington DC’s NFL squad would be: “The Team Formally Known As The Redskins.” That moniker should satisfy everybody, almost.


Speaking Of Public Safety: New York City’s soon to be ex-Mayor Bill De Blasio placed 10,000 cops, fire fighters and emergency workers, on unpaid leave. Nero only fiddled while Rome burned. De Blasio went him one better by ensuring that there was nobody around to put out the fires.


I Have A Question: The Biden administration is telling those with jobs to get vaccinated or lose their jobs. I haven’t heard them say: “Get a vaccination or lose your welfare checks, food stamps, Section 8 housing, etc.” Or am I not paying attention?


Self-Inflicted Wounds: Terry McAuliffe, his fellow Democrats in Virginia, and the clueless Attorney General Merrick Garland, inflicted a fatal wound to their party when they attacked parents. Even Democrats who don’t have kids know that the problems with our schools are not those parents who take an interest in their kid’s education, but those who don’t.


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: It was announced that Big Al’s Chicken Shack at 1120 South 14th Street (the strip center that’s home to the B&B Movie Theater) is now open every day from 11 am to 8 pm, except Sunday and Monday when it’s closed. It’s in the same location that once housed the Doo Wop Diner, the New Orleans Diner, and the short-lived Southern Sisters restaurant. Big Al serves just chicken so don’t go there expecting to get a burger or a tuna fish sandwich. They don’t do that stuff. They only serve chicken and with the exception of the chicken noodle soup, it’s all fried. You can get chicken tenders, chicken salad, chicken sandwiches, chicken wings, chicken dinners, and chicken with biscuits. You can get it in a box, in a bucket or on a plate. If you don’t like fried chicken this is not the place for you. A dozen of big Al’s chicken wings with a choice of different sauces go for $17.64, reflecting how inflation has impacted what once used to be one of the lowest priced menu items anywhere. It was just about four years ago when my pals and I used to meet every Wednesday evening at the late Choo Choo Germano’s Crab Trap on North 2nd Street for a happy hour special of $1 beers and 50 cent wings. Try and find a deal like that anywhere in America these days. Call Big Al at 904/775-5195.



  • Comment (13)
  • Dave, I don’t live in the City, so City politics are of no interest to me, and having a name for everyone you don’t like is childish. I read your column mainly for your restaurant info. However for once we agree – anyone on welfare, etc, is basically an employee of the government, so the same rules should apply to them as do the police, fire, etc. That said I also don’t think DeSantis should be able to fine privately owned businesses for enforcing the mask rules. He claims they are taking away the customer’s rights, so you lose your rights when you go into business for yourself?

  • I hope Gov DeSantis can intercept every midnight flight dropping Biden’s illegals at JAX and bus them to Delaware – after all, it’s Biden who invited them in. Let’s Go Brandon ?

  • “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
    ― Abraham Lincoln

  • “The artist formerly known as Prince” became his name during his fight with the record label. If he could do it, maybe the Redskins can too?

    Perhaps one reason the press stays silent on the immigration crisis, is because they have come to believe that the entire topic is ‘racist’….. that awful little word that is used for everything leftists disagree with.

  • The words on Florida Times Union employee Nate Monroe are so true. He is quick to mouth off about Republicans but his written diarrhea never speaks of the numerous misrepresentations of DemoRATS. The FTU is a sinking ship that reprints 90% of it’s content from other USA Today outlets. This media will not last over the long term as the shrinking size, subscriptions, advertising revenue, and inept reporting are in the same class of losers as the Jacksonville Jaguars.

  • Dave,
    As i read your column, it occurred to me that we’re under attack by the Federal govt… I’m seriously considering renouncing my citizenship, boating to Mexico, walk through the southern border, claim to have been separated from my Mom, collect the 450K, then beg to be flown to Maui for permanent resettlement. If ya cant beat em, join em! While i enjoy your blog, you’re brutal towards our Mayor. At least he had the good sense to leave Cali and come to Florida, where we can roam free….makes me hopeful.
    Perhaps you can dig deep on Big Als chicken shack and uncover the mystery regarding the pricing on his wings. 10 wings are $12.75 and 12 wings are $17.64. The last two wings must be pure magic!

  • Dave: You asked where are you going wrong? The answer is you get 75% of what you report I say totally wrong to fit your attacks. Here are the corrections:
    1. I have never once complained about noise at the airport. I live 2,800 feet from the runway in beautiful Parkway North. You walked up to me in Pajama Dave’s and asked: What about noise at the airport? My response was “What noise.”
    2. I never said there should be a cap on what people earn. What I said over coffee at Club 14 gym was that once Jeff Bezos hits $30 Billion in wealth, we should say that’s it, you’ve got enough money for 99 lifetimes.
    3. I never said ban AR-15s. I said there should be a special permitting process to buy a military assault rifle.
    Your reporting of my comments from third parties and the rumor mill erodes any credibility of this blog.
    You have also violated numerous times an agreement we made that you would not use our conversations at Pajama Dave’s for material in your blog. That’s why I no longer will discuss City matters with you on my own personal time.
    What you got correct.
    1. There are more than 1,000 Florida state statues. I cannot recite them off the top of my head on demand while sipping a Diet Coke in a crowded bar. That’s why the City has a City Attorney, the highest paid employee who also has a research assistant.
    2. I don’t want the David Yulee statue demolished. I want it relocated to the Amelia Island Museum of History where it belongs. Yulee built his wealth on the backs of slaves and rebelled against the United States, he should not be honored at the City’s Welcome Center.
    Since you operate on the assumption that if what you report is not challenged then it must be true, I will now be more attentive to correct your numerous errors.

  • Re. Fine for removing Oak Trees:

    The only fine that will prevent the removal of our ancient trees should be written like a “Theft of Image” law.
    You take the value gained by cutting down a regulated tree and make that value equal to the fine plus a penalty. For example: if cutting down protected trees nets 1 additional lot with a sales value of $100,000 then the fine for breaking the law should equal that gain plus 25% or $125,00.00

  • Dave:

    Nice piece of investigative journalism on you and Steve Nicklas first reporting Biden Air and Biden Bus transporting illegals through JAX. How many laws is the Administration violating with those “services”? How complicit was the media in its long silence?

    By the way, I think we should limit Jeff Bezos to $1B. Any more than that and he might invest in something crazy like space exploration. That’s the government’s job! Right, Mike?

  • my God the KoolAid is potent and holy Moses you’re now injecting it into your veins . This is tin foil hat shit come on Man!


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