Island Issues

Development? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Development!

Development? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Development!

The folks that populate the recently created Conserve Amelia Now (CAN) organization obviously don’t care for me or my opinions very much as indicated by their recent Facebook postings in response to my comments last week condemning their Amelia Bluff and other anti-development activities.

On Facebook its president, a Brooklyn, New York native named “Chuck” Oliva, wrote: “Dave Scott is a simple minded fool who doesn’t seem to realize that the developers that he idolizes as saviors of our environment just because they have a little cash to throw around are in the process of chewing up the last of our open spaces. And when all of those spaces are gone, and there are no more open spaces in which to shoe horn developments, they will pack up and leave and we will be left wondering what happened to our beautiful island. His tone is arrogant and all-knowing, covering his ill-informed rants, as many of his ilk often do, in the cloak of “common sense” that he delivers in a “can you believe these idiots” superior tone.”

WOW! That’s telling me Chuck, whoever you are.

Most of those commenting on Mr. Oliva’s Facebook page wholeheartedly agreed with Chuck making some interesting and entertaining statements including one by someone named Brad Coker, who suggested people write to the Nassau County Commissioners suggesting they fire me. Really? If they do that it would be very confusing to the commissioners leaving them to ask: “Who the hell is Dave Scott?” I don’t work for Nassau County, never have, despite what Fernandina Beach City “Kommissar” Mike “Left Coast” Lednovich, a recent California transplant, posted on his Facebook page, essentially insinuating that I was dumber than a barrel of hair, not exactly inspiring me to put a check next to his name on any upcoming ballot. Lednovich’s dim and ill-advised preemptive attack last week on the Amelia River Golf Course developers and threats to break the Sheffield’s lease on the property may be grounds for legal action against the city at the expense of tax payers. Following his presentation the City Attorney and City Manager backed away from him like Dracula when confronted with a crucifix.

All the fist-shaking, sign-waving, ill-informed activists want is for everybody who arrived here after 1950 to go away. NOW! These include the regular noose-making, local vigilantes such as angry little Robert Warner, Julie Ferreria, Kevin Leary, etc., not a crowd anyone can take very seriously, but one that does generate laughable entertainment with their goofy antics.

On its Go Fund Me site Mr. Oliva doesn’t hold back either, saying development on Amelia Island is “…. madness. If this run-away development is left unchallenged our fragile barrier island will be overrun with gated communities, hotels, and condos. Our maritime forest is rapidly disappearing – along with the small town lifestyle that made many of us fall in love with the island in the first place. To fight unchecked development we need to level the playing field. The developers have all the time and money that they need to plan and execute project after project – what we need is a way to fight them on their own terms. We need our own legal support….and that takes money. Amelia Bluff is the line in the sand! We can stop this if we come together as a group.”

In a comment to me last week  Lednovich sidekick, Commissioner Chip “Sue their pants off” Ross, says the City Attorney claims it would only cost $2,500 to defend the city against this mob’s law suit. I can’t verify or deny that number but for some bizarre reason if the suit succeeds where does the money come from to buy out the Amelia Bluff developer? He’s not going to leave quietly, flushing his current $2.5 million investment and more in potential value. I’ve heard numbers in the $4-5 million range, that would cost home owners here hundreds of dollars annually per home.

It appears the group’s “let’s sue them all away” Go Fund Me activity has generated some $18,000 but it may have a problem. I have heard from some very reliable sources that the group’s organizing was done so sloppily and hastily it may have violated the 501© (3) fund raising guidelines, and it might have to return the cash to its donors. We’ll see and I’ll let you know either way.


And Now The Good News: Longtime Fernandina Beach resident, businessman, historian and overall good guy, Kevin McCarthy, has received permission from the City Commission to start an Amelia Island tour van operation within just a month or so that will feature several fascinating twists.

Called Amelia Historic Tours LLC, the tour company, will eventually feature up to eight electric-powered 11-seat air-conditioned vans with live narration by Kevin’s business partner, Daniel Daly, an Irish-born resident who has in-depth knowledge of the area’s history. Daly, who is currently employed at the Ritz-Carlton handling special events activities, received a law degree in London, but immigrated to the U.S. to play drums in a variety of bands before settling on Amelia Island. He still plays in Sean McCarthy’s band (Kevin’s brother) but has shown no interest in drumming up clients for a law practice.

In his search for quiet electric vans — which apparently are difficult to find — Kevin discovered a tour operator on St. Simon’s Island, GA that uses an electric van acquired from an Atlantic Beach firm and Kevin is currently negotiating with that firm to purchase up to eight. Not only are they electric powered but also have solar panels on the roof to help extend the charge.

There will be no loudspeakers on the vans since tourists will wear Bluetooth ear plugs as they are guided around the island on the 90-minute tours. Those who don’t speak English will be provided devices containing prerecorded tour information in several languages. The city hall at 204 Ash St. will serve as a main pick-up and drop-off location with tour options priced at $25 to $30 planned.

The affable Mr. McCarthy also owns and operates the popular Amelia Rive Cruises company operating out of the the Fernandina Beach Marina.

During Kevin’s presentation at the City Commission last week Julie Ferreira, the city’s perpetual protester and anti-everything activist, said she had concerns, which didn’t come as a surprise to anyone. This is a woman who will protest and rant against anything that moves and would have objected to the invention of the wheel. Despite her entertaining theatrics Kevin’s tour company will proceed.


SHUT UP That Flapping! I’m surprised Ms. Ferreira didn’t condemn the May 10 ribbon cutting for the “butterfly garden” to be planted near the Amelia Island Welcome Center at 102 Centre St. claiming that the racket generated by the fluttering of butterfly wings will violate the city’s noise ordinance keeping her awake at night.


A Memorial Day Reckoning: For some reason last week a very important comment on this blog  by Mike Creed didn’t get posted and it should have been. So here it is in full:

“Today is Memorial Day. On Panel 42E, Row 30 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington DC, anyone caring to look would find the name Nicholas Cutinha. What is NOT listed is that he was born in Fernandina Beach, FL in 1945, was killed in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive in early March 1968. His death is seared into the memories of all his comrades who fought with him that day, because his actions made it possible for them to return home alive. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions that day, posthumously, which means he died in his efforts. We throw the word “hero” around way too loosely these days, blurring the true essence of heroism. But this Fernandina Beach native son will always be remembered by those around him that day as exactly that… Why is their nothing named after this man? I hope I’ve just missed it, and that he hasn’t been forgotten. Why do we drink beer and eat burgers today in this good man’s hometown without ever thinking of this man? Lest we forget…..


How fast were YOU going?

Feline Fines: The Nassau County Animal Services appears to have an overabundance of cuteness with more than 200 kittens available for adoption and is actively seeking folks to take one home. The service says its adoption fee is $25 and includes spay/neuter, vaccines and an ID microchip.

Here’s an idea that might help the shelter lighten its load of kittens and encourage safe driving habits at the same time. Give the kittens to the local Fernandina Beach Police and Nassau County Sheriff departments. Instead of fines, drivers would be given a kitten for every five miles over the limit they were going and required to cough up 25 bucks on the spot for each feline fine. The fines would be doubled in a school or road work zone. I bet drivers would think twice about speeding if they faced being fined with a basket of kittens. The only downside is that kids in the back seats of their parent’s cars would encourage mom or dad to “step on it” so they could score a new pet.

However, if you don’t want to risk a ticket and want a kitten now or know someone that does contact Nassau County Animal Services at 86078 License Road, Yulee, FL 32034 (near Target, Petco and Home Depot), or call ’em at 904/530-6150.


Quotes That Make You Think: “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.” – Winston Churchill.


 Attention Job Seekers: While listening to the radio the other day three ads soliciting services that I haven’t heard on radio advertising in years were broadcast. They were by Jacksonville companies seeking employees. One was a manufacturer, one a warehouse facility and the other the radio station itself. Their newly hired workers — the ads claim — would be guaranteed a variety of benefits, much more than minimum wage, with one even offering six weeks of paid vacation. The government’s 2019 first quarter economic report verifies that high school, trade school and college graduates, shareholders, businesses, investors, all ethnic groups, or any American with a pulse can take advantage of the country’s current excellent economic condition that has produced jobs for all education and skill levels. How does the Democrat’s platform of slavery reparations, socialism, health care and social security for illegals, more regulations, infanticide, open borders, the insane Green New Deal, and increased taxes compare?


I could use a few hundred thousand helpers.

Speaking Of Jobs: Workers are becoming so scarce that McDonald’s has teamed up with AARP to offer old-timers an opportunity to spend their golden years under the Golden Arches in an attempt to fill 250,000 summer breakfast and lunchtime positions, that they say teens aren’t eager to accept because of their reluctance to start work early. Wait! What? Where’s mom and dad with the boot ‘em out the door job training and work ethic program? But that’s another story for later.

Because they know that we older folks have to get up early to pee anyway, we might as well come in and flip a few burgers. The fast-food chain will post positions on AARP’s online job board during a pilot program in five states including Florida, that will help match lower-income elder Americans with potential jobs, then roll it out nationwide this summer. Open positions they say range from morning cooking shifts to managerial work, and anyone in the specified age demographic of 55 and older interested can visit a local restaurant to see what opportunities are available. Those who sign on for the summer season (which is 90 days) and work at least 15 hours a week will also qualify to participate in “Archways to Opportunity”, a company program that gives employees a chance to earn a high school diploma or continue their education with $2,500 tuition assistance — providing incentive for old-timers with academic goals still on their bucket lists if they can remember where their buckets are.



Defining A Liberal: An area resident sent me a note recently telling me how he explained his dog’s political affiliation to a newly arrived left-wing neighbor who actually inquired. “I said that since he gets two meals a day, room and board, free health care, unlimited snacks and a bath at least once a month, he’s obviously a liberal.”


Get Out (raged) Department: An acquaintance relates that he was in Dearborn, Michigan recently and spotted a Muslim Book Store. He said he was curious, so he went in to look around. As he was browsing a clerk asked if she could help. He asked if she had a copy of Ann Coulter’s new book on U.S. immigration policy regarding Muslims and Illegal Mexicans? The clerk screamed: ‘GET OUT, GET OUT, AND STAY OUT.’  He said: “Yes, that’s the one. Do you have it in Paperback?”


Drinking, Dining & Dancing:  The Sandbar Restaurant & Kitchen at Main Beach, the only restaurant and bar on the island that offers its customers on-beach service, is taking it a step further by renting lounge chairs and umbrellas smack on the beach. For $40 a renter gets a lounge chair, large umbrella and table for the entire day. It comes complete with Sandbar servers that’ll trot out on the beach to take and deliver your bar and food orders. Want to make sure you’ve got a prime beach spot anytime you want it? Then buy an annual chair-table-umbrella for $1,375, guaranteeing you a space seven-days-a-week all year. Four people have already done so. Reserve yours daily or annually via phone by calling 904/310-3648 and asking for Kevin Dooner or go see him in person. Earlier this week Linda and I tried out the new Thai Spice Café at 1460 Sadler Road where Starbucks was once located. We were very impressed with the food and service in this well-designed, comfortable, and spic-and-span location that reminded us of some of the superior Asian restaurants on Atlanta’s Buford Highway, the only thing about Atlanta we miss. We both had the Thai noodle soups, with Linda opting for the Lad Na, with sauteed wide noodles, steamed broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, a brown gravy sauce and chicken for $13.95. I had the Tom Yum noodle soup with seafood ($15.95) that featured egg noodles, cilantro, bean sprouts, tomato and basil. We most certainly would order these again. There is so much more including Thai curries, Thai specials, including the traditional Pad Thai, etc. You will not be disappointed here. Call ‘em at 904/432-7748. They’re closed on Sunday and it’s not a chain, but owned by a family that has another one in Jacksonville. It also has a cozy five-barstool-bar and a variety of beers and wine. If you want to have a fun evening and contribute to a worthy cause then check out the Thursday evening, June 13, 7 p.m. “Light Up Amelia” Sunset Cruise. For $50 a person you’ll enjoy pizza, beer, wine and a two-hour cruise on one of Kevin McCarthy’s Amelia River Cruises. All money raised goes toward the Independence Day fireworks display. For more information and to sign up go to


Steve Sieger - 03. Jun, 2019 -

• Earth to Mr. Ross and Mr. Lednovich You can’t put the tooth paste back in the tube ! You know full well the developer did not buy the land to own a park ! You are proposing the city breaching the contract it has with the developer. In the event of breach of contract, the law awards the injured party access to legal remedies such as damages . Legal action against the city at the expense of tax payers. I like to call it the bend over and grab your ankles rule of business !

Dave Lott - 03. Jun, 2019 -

Dave, as a longtime friend of Julie Ferreria I have to come to her defense regarding her comments about the tour companies. At the start of her comments before the City Commission she stated how much she respected Kevin and his business operations and knew that he would do a first class job. Her concern was how could the city control the number of tour operators running through the neighborhoods with open air sound systems and “embellishing” the history of the city and the island with incorrect information. Valid concerns for those residents. That being said, Julie and I have had many differing points of view on other issues such as the Amelia Bluff legal action, but she always voices her side in a respectful manner.

Bernard Martinage - 01. Jun, 2019 -

Thank you Dave. I enjoy your good spirit, always.

Don’t let the cobweb people get you down.

There are benefits to being a poor high school dropout immigrant like me, I lack the education to understand what they’re saying. I lack the sophistication to appreciate how evolved these people are. I lack the appeal to be invited almost anywhere.

God Bless

Skeet Taylor - 01. Jun, 2019 -

We shore do know what your against and who you don’t like mr. Scott. Just about everybody. What are you for ?

Tammi Kosack - 31. May, 2019 -

And Journalism 201: know the difference between imminent and eminent.

Brad Coker - 31. May, 2019 -

“including one by someone named Brad Coker, who suggested people write to the Nassau County Commissioners suggesting they fire me. Really? If they do that it would be very confusing to the commissioners leaving them to ask: “Who the hell is Dave Scott?”

I never said it and I never wrote it. You are putting words in my mouth with the intent to defame. Interesting since we have never met or spoken before and you obviously do not know me. Journalism 101 — cite your source. You claim to be a former newspaper reporter.

Lou Goldman - 31. May, 2019 -

How can we eminent domain airport property where it’s already owned by the City. The Sheffield’s only lease the property.

Mike Mcmonagle - 31. May, 2019 -

Regarding your story on Nicholas Cutinha…my daughter was married to his nephew for several years….there IS a roadway named after him that leads to the “new” Nassau County vourthouse

Brad Coker - 31. May, 2019 -

You are attributing a quote to me that I did not say, write or encourage. I demand it be removed.

Artrox - 31. May, 2019 -

The present situation on this
wonderful island reminds me of the time we moved to
a small town in Gwinnett county. Seems that most new residents wanted to shut the gates and not allow
any more people in. The old
“ Pull up the gang plank I’m
aboard “ scenario .How many law suits does Fernandina Beach have to lose before cooler heads
prevail. Don’t they still owe
the former airport management company suit from several years ago a couple million bucks?One more thing the registered voters may want to be more
selective of the people who run for commission seats.

Robert S. Warner - 31. May, 2019 -

Heard you were taking my name in vain again, Dave. Thanks for the plaudits. I would suggest you leave our County’s Animal Services folks out of your attempts to be “clever” though. They have real problems to solve – as do our City and County representatives.

Christine Harmon - 31. May, 2019 -

Environmentalist = “anyone who advocates or works to protect the air, water, animals, plants, and other natural resources from pollution or it’s effects.” Not sure why this is a bad thing. A losing position, yes. But, bad, short-sighted, wrong: definitely not.

BTW, if you are so confident in your arguments, why must you name call? Make your case based upon facts. OK, that will happen when pigs fly.

Tony Crawford - 31. May, 2019 -

Dave good words about memorial Day which as we know is a sacred holiday for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. One must wonder however why the president of the United States while standing in front of the Japanese military wished them a happy memorial Day. We all know the Japanese does not celebrate American holidays such as memorial Day. The real shameful part was that our president was wishing a happy memorial Day to the very same people that killed so many Americans that we honor on this day. The war is long over and both sides paid a heavy price, but showing celebration of that day on a Japanese Navy vessel was shameful and embarrassing to the office of the President every service member and their families. Hope you had a good holiday StayWell

Larry Thornberry - 31. May, 2019 -

Hmm. Let me see if I have this right. Chuck Oliva, and others like him in their millions, have come to Florida from Brooklyn and other icy and uninhabitable precincts, making it necessary to provide homes for them to live in, stores for them to shop in, schools for their issue, and hospitals and other emergency facilities for their protection and upkeep. Then they announce they are “environmentalists.” They hyperventilate and take to their fainting couches at the mere thought of evil, land-raping developers, who provide homes for people to live in, stores for them to shop in, schools for their issue, and hospitals and other emergency facilities for their protection and upkeep.

Oliva says he fears being left wondering “what happened to our beautiful island” after developers have had their way with it. OUR beautiful island? OUR? I think I — and other native Floridians — would be more sympathetic with Chuck, and more inclined to take him seriously, had he saved Brooklyn before he left there and fetched up here.

Jim Hogan - 31. May, 2019 -

Hi Dave: Interesting read, as usual but how about a larger and bolder font?

Joe Murphy - 31. May, 2019 -

Dave from Brooklyn Joe, “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never harm me “

Patrick Keogh - 31. May, 2019 -

I’d say old Chuck from Brooklyn has your number. Couldn’t have said it better myself. Well, I might have preferred “simple minded old fool”. We could fix you and the situation here in Fernandina if we simply let Chuck decide for folks what they CAN do with their private property. That should work fine and Chuck CAN send the rest of us the bill. Chuck, no doubt, learned his governance skills from that paragon of private enterprise, his former mayor and now presidential wannabe, Bill de Blasio.

Keep up the good work, Dave.

Jeff McDowell - 31. May, 2019 -

Interesting blog, Dave. While I’m not going to get embroiled in the development nastiness that’s underway, I did get a chuckle from the noisy butterfly wings flapping line. Speaking of noise, more than a bit concerned about the racket a “road course, NOT a race track “ would generate. Each weekend I arise to the
sound of ultra lights buzzing merrily over my house. No biggie, but add a couple thousand horsepower enjoying a lap around the ROARD COURSE, not competing to see who’s got the stickiest tires or the fastest acceleration…well, you get the idea. Combine all that with the sound of chainsaws clear cutting the trees for “affordable housing”, and the net result is a rather loud place to live.

chip ross - 31. May, 2019 -

As you often do, you are not letting the facts get in the way of a “good story”.

You ask “if the suit succeeds where does the money come from to buy out the Amelia Bluff developer?”

If the administrative appeal succeeds and the Future Land Use Map designation of conservation is restored to the property, the developer then owns 6.1 acres of conservation designated property. The City is under no obligation to purchase the property. The buyer, as he has testified on several occasions, was well aware the property had a Future Land Use Map designation of conservation land when he purchased the property. Perhaps he will turn it into a park.

chip ross