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

Fernandina Beach & The Observer Need To Take Out The Trash

The sad excuse for an online local news outlet Fernandina Observer and Fernandina’s city hall need to take out their garbage.

One of the most stomach-churning stenches hereabouts originates from the myopic Observer where Black Lives Matter activist and failed former Fernandina Beach City Commissioner candidate Mike Lednovich fantasizes about being a reporter.

An equally fetid stink is Lednovich sidekick, the nasty, pretentious boor Commissioner Chip Ross, a serial sociopath who assumes that locals give a rip about anything he has to say and fallaciously blusters to anyone within earshot: “I run this city”.

What has Chip Ross ever done for the City of Fernandina Beach other than damage its reputation?  The current Commission needs to censure this out of control embarrassment and/or voters need to mount a recall movement. Can the city withstand the 16 months left in his term?

These two out-of-state Fernandina Beach transplants have been stinking up the city’s reputation since their arrival just a few years ago. (The above cartoon was published statewide when Ross and Lednovich were stinking up Fernandina’s reputation as commissioners by trampling property rights.)

California transplant, street activist, and pretend reporter Lednovich, who was defeated for reelection, is now spewing his irrational blather via the online Observer, that masquerades as a news outlet. It’s run by another recent and clueless newcomer, Mike Phillips.

Ross sought refuge here from irate citizens in Calvert County Maryland MD, where he enraged residents and business owners generating sensationally unflattering headlines in area newspapers including the Washington Post. One outlet even reported that he was arrested for disorderly and drunken conduct in a bar where he had an ongoing dispute.

“I run this city and everything is under control.” 

According to these Maryland and Washington D.C. news reports Ross tried to strip a local bar in his former residence of its liquor license and had legal charges brought against him. The entire, very bizarre report of Ross’s activities can be found by going to: Washington Post article can be read in the May 28, 2011 Washington Post (At the famed Tiki Bar in Southern Maryland, it’s the … – Washington Post ).

After arriving in Fernandina he teamed up with BLM-activist Lednovich on the Fernandina’s City Commission. Their conduct was so outrageous it even roused a long-dormant and impotent Chamber of Commerce to send hundreds of protestors to city hall railing against them.

Having lost any influence they thought they had following the last election; these two outlandish gasbags have teamed up again.

“We got him right where we want him!”

This time they’re joined forces to mimic Don Quixote, tilting their impotent limp arguments at Steve Nicklas, a local long-time journalist, award-winning columnist, and a guy that drives them crazy with his accurate, well-written and stinging criticism in the print News Leader.

A seasoned and respected journalist in Texas and Florida, Nicklas was once recognized by New York Times Chairman and CEO Arthur Ochs Sulzberger with a “Chairman’s Award for excellent reporting”. He has been voted “Best New Leader Columnist” by its readers the past two years in a row. He is also a well-respected financial consultant.

The doofus duo of Ross-Lednovich crossed the line this time, accusing Nicklas of receiving city trash collection services they say he doesn’t pay for and attempting to publicly embarrass him.

In a July 21 email to Nicklas, Ross violated state statues writing: “It has come to my attention that it appears you have been getting trash removal on a weekly basis from Waste Management that provides that service to City residents. Since you do not live in the City you would not be eligible for that service. Please confirm that you have not been getting trash removal services from the City without paying for them or explain why you believe you were entitled to free City services.”

“Answer me in 24 hours or else!”

This pompous twit then demanded Steve respond to him within 24 hours. Or what Commissioner Ross? Didn’t you violate the Florida Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees by rummaging through government information of a personal nature. That statue reads: “Disclosure or Use of Certain Information Public officers and employees and local government attorneys are prohibited from disclosing or using information not available to the public and obtained by reason of their public position, for the personal benefit of themselves or others. [Sec. 112.313(8), Fla. Stat.”

Like Ross, Lednovich irrationally lashed out and even printed Steve’s home address, a violation of all journalism ethics. Of course Lednovich isn’t a journalist and only mimics Ross, making it obvious that journalism is not what he or the pathetic Observer deal in.

Lednovich’s frantic online ramblings proclaimed: “The Observer sent Nicklas several emails asking for comment and finally this was his response: ‘You are not a legitimate journalist, and you write for a joke of a publication!’” Steve’s response to the enraged and laughable Lednovich was the only item in his Observer article that made sense.

Lednovich also added that “the City Utility Department did not respond to calls asking if the homeowners would be billed for the past trash collection services they received.” Want to bet Lednovich was copied on the Ross email to Steve?

Unbiased “journalist”  and red-nosed clown Mike Lednovich.

As a reminder Lednovich, when he was a commissioner, paraded up and down Centre street wearing a Black Lives Matter sandwich board when he wasn’t disparaging local builders, businesses, and developers  He’s also the guy who initiated a no-smoking ordinance on the beach saying: “Smokers violate my rights” Yet he never mentioned the rights of citizens whose businesses were burned and looted or those who were beaten, stabbed, shot, and killed by the BLM thugs he publicly adores. How dim is this guy? His insane no smoking beach ban excludes cigars for unexplainable reasons.

To put the Observer’s journalism skills in prospective, the only other story that day was a shocking expose by zoologist Pat Foster-Turley headlined “A Way With Bunnies” detailing how rabbits were eating her back yard vegetation, an article with more substance and accuracy than Lednovich’s rubbish. This online embarrassment has no shame as well as no news judgment. However, it’s good for a few laughs.

Ross and Lednovich despise Nicklas because he exposes them and their BS. He also  ignores the Observer, refusing to recognize it as a legitimate news outlet, because it isn’t.

Did Nicklas receive trash pickup? Was he billed by the city? Did they inform him? If they picked his trash up and he wasn’t paying why didn’t they stop the service? How can you be billed for a service you never requested? Like Nicklas, when I moved into my house there were city garbage containers in my driveway. I asked my neighbors when the trash pickup took place, they told me, and I took the city-supplied containers out to the curb on Monday and Thursday.

When I received my utility bill from the city I paid it online. Like most customers , I didn’t go through each item, particularly when paying online. I paid, naively assuming it was correct. My water came on when I turned on the tap, the sewer appeared to work properly, and the trash was picked up. I didn’t contact the city to ask if it needed any additional cash or if I had overlooked paying for any of their services. I’m assuming most folks do the same. Will Lednovich and Ross audit the entire population’s utility bills to determine if we are all in compliance? If we’re not will they “expose” us publicly and send us threatening emails on official city stationery to shame and threaten us? Will a phony-baloney alleged online news outlet accuse us of stealing and print our names and addresses? If we don’t respond to his demands within 24 hours what will Ross do?

The fledgling (one year-old), feisty Fernandina-based Citizens Journal Florida (CJF) is a refreshing news alternative. It’s a counterweight to longer established local publications that are pushing a woke, progressive narrative. Its Publisher, George Miller, who spent many years in California and New York  views the world through a Judeo-Christian Conservative lens and clearly differentiates news, opinion and press release blather, something sorely lacking hereabouts.

Click here to read CJF Publisher Miller’s latest opinion piece Black Duval Political Consultant, Others, Debunk Kamala’s Jax Speech Attacking FL Black History Teaching. To subscribe go to:

Somebody needs to throw a bucket of cold water on the Lednovich-Ross nut cases.


Speaking Of City Hall:  Commissioners Darron Ayscue, Bradley Bean and David Sturgis fulfilled their campaign promises and did the right thing for their constituents this week, voting for a  rollback rate which will lower taxes. Commissioners Doctors James Antun and Chip Ross, argued against it.

“Hey, Chip did you know tax payers can vote?”

A negative vote by Ross was expected but for Dr. Antun to ignore the “First do no harm” pledge was a surprise. He presented one of the dumbest excuses for a tax increase ever uttered by a Commissioner since Mike Lednovich left the Commission, saying the city needs: “Things like our biking trail which I think is going to be a long term investment and reducing wear and tear on our roads.”

Huh? So, instead of driving to the grocery store, to work, the doctor’s office, or to schools to drop off and pick up the kids, folks will hop on their bikes and take a path that doesn’t lead to any of those places. This clueless chiropractor needs an adjustment. If he keeps up this nonsense up he’ll get one in the next election if he decides to run again.

During the session a handful of the area’s regular leftist suspects rambled on about climate change, rising sea levels, mental health, desert wastelands, volcanic eruptions, invading Mongolian hordes, the plague, etc. predicting gloom, doom, death, and destruction if other people’s taxes aren’t raised to fund their screwball ideas. Commissioners Ayscue, Bean and Sturgis, the three rationale members of the Commission, restrained themselves from bursting into uncontrollable laughter, listened politely, then voted to do the right thing.

Interim City Manager Charlie George said the proposed 2023-24 budget would require cutting $2.5 million out of the budget to make the rollback rate. It’s about time the city started cutting instead of increasing spending.


Local Nightmare: Jack Knocke, Executive Director of Nassau Citizens Defending Freedom, recently issued a press release alerting residents about child predators operating in Nassau County and informing citizens how to protect their children.

Knocke explained that during his group’s July 11 monthly Nassau CDF meeting, “Sheriff Detective Joshua Carter shared a riveting overview of Child Predators in Nassau County.”

Knocke said that Detective Carter, who is with the Nassau County’s Sheriff’s office, is assigned to the Homeland Security Investigations Task Force. He is also assigned to the Northeast Florida INTERCEPT Task Force. his task force is taking child predators off the street across north Florida.

According to Knocke the task force arrested 11 predators in late 2022 who were seeking to meet 12 and 14 year old girls for sex relating a particularly heinous story about a former police officer from Massachusetts who was seeking to meet a 14-year old girl in Yulee for sex. This sting was a joint operation with FLDOE, FBI, Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies working with the Nassau County Sheriff’s office.

The nationally acclaimed film “Sound Of Freedom” was endorsed by Knocke and I’ve heard nothing but praise for it from friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.

One of the most enthusiastic viewers is my pal, Jeff McDowell, who thought enough of it to submit the following review:

“The film ‘Sound of Freedom’ exposes the grim reality regarding the increase  in human trafficking and child sexual slavery in our modern world.  While not the usual fodder for movies, this unusual film was produced and marketed outside the confines of Hollywood and the movie industry. Despite overcoming mass rejection and pushback to its production it has risen to the top of the box office with sales of more than $125 million since its release.

“While the movie involves the true story of a federal agent who quits his job to chase child sex traffickers in Central America, it also serves to remind us of what power films have to inspire and move people to action. It stars Jim Caviezel (“The Passion of the Christ”) and was released by Angel Studios which operates independently and maintains full creative control. Think crowdfunding for movie production and you get the idea.

“This movie also serves to remind us there is always room for an actual hero movie in a world filled with lame comic book-based heroes. While our world is a gritty place full of bad players, the ‘Sound of Freedom’ offers hope and a chance for redemption. It is exceptional, find time to see this one in a movie theatre near you.”

Linda and I intend to see the film soon.


Where Am I? This past Wednesday Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had a cognitive malfunction standing in a trance until people realized something was wrong and the 81-year-old was escorted away by other senators.  Medical experts I know said it was a classic Transient ischemic attack. It didn’t look good. I don’t care what party they represent we need to clean out our elected offices of the elderly and infirm: Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Dianne Feinstein, McConnell, Maxine Waters, and others who act like this including the pathetic Senator John Fetterman. That’s not cruel, but compassionate.


A typical Biden appointee.

Wait! What? Very few men hereabouts or anywhere else go around wearing dresses. Yet the Biden administration spends millions or possibly billions of dollars rewarding them for their aberrant behavior. Biden has compensated many of them with high paying government jobs. Their only qualifications: they self-identify as something other than what’s on their birth certificates. They’re like India’s sacred cows — don’t bother them or say anything.

The faddish transgender idiocy is not an inalienable right to be recognized as whatever the transgressor chooses to identify with today. The time has come to label transgenderism for what it is, a mental illness. It’s time for progressive liberals to stop exploiting these folks and show some sense of humanity and decency by directing them to seek the mental health services they so desperately need.

  • Comment (15)
  • Thanks for the plug, Dave. Yes, it’s good to have an alternative to the constant, omnipresent drone of Woke, Progressive media! Having Scott, Timmerman, Nicklas and Childers (COVID & Coffee blog) all writing and all publishing in Citizens Journal Florida certainly brings some counterbalance. We have an opening for a paid news reporter and are desperate for help as one left and two disappeared to the north for the summer to escape the heat.

    On another topic, why are two commissioners crying about the budget when record tax receipts line the coffers?

    • TIA s don’t happen just to the elderly and infirm . I had one and ok , I was 60ish but far from infirm and had an exceptional business. I realized it could be an issue an made it a point to find the cause and correct the problem.

  • Touting age as a reason to exit is just a distraction. Ageism is just as foul as other ‘isms. Experience and maturity count for something these days, particularly in light of young opinion makers that twist reality into something barely recognizable and potentially dangerous.

  • Great column as always Dave. Quick story about govt overreach, although a bit off topic. One of my kids is a prof at SUNY and he told me this week that the NY Governor has signed into law that high schoolers in their state can attend any SUNY college campus for free. Since nothing is actually free I asked where is the money coming from and the answer was a bit cryptic. Of course the program will be funded by their already over taxed state residents and it does not appear there is an offset for all the additional spending and it’s a lot as you can imagine. It was about that time I decided to change topics to avoid a possible argument. Have a great weekend!

  • I quit paying any attention to the observer months ago.
    It’s a sad excuse for a “newspaper”

  • Well said. I’ve tried posting on the Observer and a no matter what, nothing gets printed. Done with the rag.

  • Frankly, Dave I thought your blog was a bit of a retread. But the Movie Review? Brilliant!

  • This is not the first time that James Anton has voted with Tiki bar stalker Chip Ross. But to do so on such a fundamental issue as the rollback rate, which he pledged as a candidate to support, is a rank betrayal. Until now, you could wonder what had happened to James since taking his seat on the city commission. Now we know: he was a liberal in disguise and duped his supporters. They should ask him to refund their campaign contributions. This is not the man they elected.

  • Good issue, Dave. Why would anyone in Shakedown City consider anything but reducing AV taxes with all the unlawful income generated by building and impact fees?

  • Dave,

    You, Jack Knocke, George Miller, Steve Nicklas and a few others provide immensely valuable and highly visible public service to our community. Thank you all!

    Dave, I have attempted to send you some requested content, but my e-mails don’t work to the address I have. Can you email or text me your best contact info?

  • Dave, you should know that the rollback rate does not necessarily lower taxes but keeps the tax revenue the same as the previous year. For some it will result in a tax bill that is lower and for others where there assessed value increased over the rollback rate decrease, their tax bill will be higher. All in all a good thing. Let’s see how many people show up at the workshops to voice their opinions over the various spending categories.
    As far as the Nicklas matter, I cannot see how you can claim that Comm. Ross violated any statute as where was any personal benefit he received. It was my understanding that the matter of Nicklas and others on his street that are all in the county was brought to the attention by a staff member. The information is all public record so there was no violation of privacy. Your defense is expected as he is a part of your trio with the mantra: Fernandina Beach, the city we love to hate. If Nicklas was the astute financial advisor you claim, don’t you think he would have a clear understanding of his personal budget. He knew he was not in the city limits and I find it hard to believe that he didn’t know that county residents have to secure and pay for their own garbage service. Let him admit to playing the system and move on instead of trying to divert the issue by launching personal attacks.

  • Dave Lott is a true-blue bureaucrat who at one time accepted the interim city manager position here, under the premise he would not seek the full-time role. He promised he would steady the ship until a new city manager was chosen. Alas, the fickle Lott recanted – and decided to apply for the full-time position. Sadly, for him, he didn’t get the job; happily, for us. So he sulked and headed back to Atlanta. By the way, aren’t most people leaving hellhole Atlanta and moving here? Trying to remain relevant, he incessantly comments on local issues.

  • As a journalist, I have written some epic rants, but nothing like this one. I doff my hat to your immense skill at taking down the fools that surround us.


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