Island Issues

Florida Times-Union An Example Of A Lousy Daily Newspaper; Floridians Enthusiastically Welcome “Brandon” To The State

Florida Times-Union An Example Of A Lousy Daily Newspaper; Floridians Enthusiastically Welcome “Brandon” To The State

I cancelled my daily Jacksonville-based Florida Times-Union newspaper subscription in 2018 when they sent me an invoice for more than $1,100.

When I initially subscribed to the paper in 2011 I paid less than $200 a year for a seven-day home delivery. Despite the paper shrinking in size along with continually diminished editorial content and writing quality the price increased year-after-year.

The hapless Times-Union mimics Joe Biden’s economy – consumers pay more and more for less and less.

The William Morris family sold the paper to Gatehouse Media in 2018 and in 2019 Gatehouse purchased Gannet and its 250 national papers including the USA TODAY.

The Times-Union, a paper that used to land in my driveway with a thud, began fluttering in. The content rapidly deteriorated with local staffers being laid off and bureaus closed. It now consists of  mostly left-wing Associated Press and USA TODAY material.

I realized how awful the newspaper had become this past Monday when anticipating a lengthy waiting period for a Covid booster shot at a local drug store I purchased a copy.

The majority of the local content in the Monday, November 1 issue I bought was about another Jacksonville enterprise that is matching the paper in incompetence – the NFL’s  Jacksonville Jaguars football team.

A photo caption of the dreadful Jacksonville football team took up almost one-fourth of the front page while a non-story about Florida’s surgeon general remaining in office and an insomnia-curing article on NASA took up the rest of the front section. The rest of the first section was a rambling continuation of the front page stories and two short pieces on Biden’s failed climate summit efforts and a story about a guy stabbing people on a Tokyo train.

The Sports section was endless blather about the misery suffered by local Jaguars fans. Sports columnist Gene Frenette may be the only sports writer left on the staff. Apparently he’s expected to fill up that entire section with Jaguars drivel, win or lose.

Grasping at anything the coaches or players say, Frenette frantically fills up space with quotes from perplexed Head Coach Urban Meyer saying inane things like: “Obviously we’ve got to play better and prepare better. I didn’t see that one coming,” he lamely explained after his team’s 31-7 humiliation in Seattle.

Meyer, who has coached the team to a dismal 1-6 record so far, attempted to shift blame for the loss to the Seattle fans adding: “I don’t know if  it was noise or what was the problem, but we got to get it corrected.”

The Life Section is nothing but USA TODAY fluff stuff, two pages of comics, a horoscope and crossword puzzle, while the editorial page almost ceases to exist with just three letters to the editor, a filler Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial, and a boring opinion piece by a Jacksonville City Council member.

This miserable excuse for a newspaper, including tax, cost me $2.67, almost a dollar more than a happy hour beer at local American Legion Post 54, and a lot less satisfying.

***

Brace yourselves city taxpayers!

Meanwhile Back At The Ranch: The ‘ole Professor, who carefully studies the inner workings of the dysfunctional Fernandina Beach City government wonders aloud “how we-the-people of Fernandina Beach were so wise as to give these commissioner fellows any authority whatsoever”, citing a few recent examples including the following:

  1. Mayor “Marxist Mike” Lednovich wants the city arborist to learn how to inspect sand dunes. An arborist is expected to be an expert on sand dunes?
  2. “Marxist Mike” also 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.
  3. Many commissioners want to install key performance indicators (KPIs) a good idea, and one that local watchdog group Common Sense advocates said they’d volunteer to help implement. Does that include KPI’s on the Commissioners’ performance, which would be rated dismal by any standard?
  4. The commissioners’ condemnation of Brett’s Restaurant on the Marina pier is about to back-fire costing residents (e.g., tax payers) millions of bucks. The tenants are calling the city’s bluff and would not do that unless they were confident of winning.
  5. Commissioners say they don’t know who is responsible for enforcing the land development code! What?
  6. The city has now decided they can delay completion of the new waterfront boardwalk until Atlantic Seafood, which is scheduled for demolition, moves. Do these people have any idea at all what they are doing?

But wait, there’s more.

While quaffing a beer recently at PJD’s Beer & Wine Garden, I heard another in a long list of horror stories about the city’s inept Building and Permitting Departments.

The teller of this tale and his builder wish to remain anonymous because the stories of the city retaliating against outspoken residents and causing even more expense and grief are common knowledge.

“Just as our builder was ready to pour concrete on our lot using permits that were issued in May, along comes the city’s Planning Department and says that there’s a new code and my builder can’t proceed,” relates the befuddled citizen.

In addition, he says that the city wants another $350 for the permit under a code that didn’t exist when his May permit was issued.

“The bottom line is that these entities do not talk to each other,” he says. “So panic set in as we were heading on vacation only to find this out as we were leaving.”

He concluded adding: “Since none of these entities talk to each other who’s running this show?”

The wise ‘ole Professor sums it up saying: “These commission representatives are dysfunctional and unsophisticated. The problem is most qualified citizens don’t want to  run for office and get involved – leaving residents to suffer with the least qualified.”

***

Welcome To Florida “Brandon”! Numerous “Let’s Go Brandon” chants and signs have been seen and heard hereabouts.

For those folks that have been vacationing in the jungles of Borneo the past few weeks, “Let’s Go Brandon” was lifted from a naïvely stupid and dishonest NBC reporter, Kelli Stavast, who was interviewing winning NASCAR driver Brandon Brown when the obscene chant “F__k Joe Biden” broke out in the stands. She inanely rephrased what she clearly heard by saying on air they’re chanting ‘Let’s Go Brandon.’”

The phrase is now appearing nationwide on T-shirts, baseball caps, bumper stickers, billboards, store, and yard signs, and more. It not only signals the public’s displeasure with the failed Biden administration but also mocks the mainstream media, their inaccuracies, and the spin that they’re putting on things. “Let’s Go Brandon” is a double message; they don’t like Biden, and they don’t like the media.

During the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville’s TIAA Bank stadium last weekend the “Let’s Go Brandon” chants were heard throughout the venue and a plane pulling a “Let’s Go Brandon” banner flew overhead during the game.

A plane flying a similar banner also flew over Truist Park in Atlanta during the Atlanta Braves-Houston Astros World Series games.

In Seagrove Beach, Florida, stubborn homeowner Marvin Peavy, is refusing to take down his three-story “let’s Go Brandon” banner despite mounting daily fines. Seagrove Beach is a beach community located on the Florida Panhandle, on the Gulf of Mexico, in Walton County along County Highway 30a, south of Interstate 10 and DeFuniak Springs.

Mr. Peavy is standing firm, citing free speech, and refusing remove two banners from his Florida Seagrove Beach residence that proclaim, “Let’s Go Brandon” and “Trump Won” despite mounting $50-a-day county fines.

Peavy says he’s not planning to comply and will not take down the banners. They are staying put. He also contends that Americans from all across the nation have offered to pay the fines for him. That includes a Louisiana woman who said she’d pay them for the next two years.

I’ve seen the numerous bumper stickers and banners on trucks and cars parked in parking lots and driving along various streets hereabouts.

Using Brandon as their surrogate, Floridians are expressing their extreme dislike for Joe Biden and his failed policies loudly and clearly.

My favorite incident took place at a Chicago airport, where a guy tricked an airline worker into saying the phrase “Let’s Go Brandon!” through the paging system.

In Virginia this past Tuesday the state’s voters screamed the phrase loud enough to be heard nationwide when they voted in Republican Glenn Youngkin for governor over heavily favored Democrat stalwart and former governor, Terry McAuliffe.

Folks in New Jersey heard it too when heavily favored  incumbent Democrat Governor Phil Murphy, who had a 20-point polling lead just a month ago, won by less than one percentage point.

***

Two-For-Two: During the final World Series game in Houston Tuesday evening, I saw two things I wanted to see: 1 – The Atlanta Braves win the series and: 2 – Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred being booed by Atlanta fans when he handed the Championship trophy to the team representing the city he screwed by moving the All-Star Game to Denver. The owners now need to fire this overpaid schmuck.

***

Illegal aliens being dumped at Jacksonville Airport in August 2021.

What The ….! Last August I wrote an article here  (JAX Airport A Hub For Illegals Riding The “Biden Express” While Americans Are Running For Their Lives In Afghanistan) about illegal aliens being dumped at the Jacksonville Airport. Fourth District Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL) confirmed it was happening but not a single local news outlet reported it. Steve Nicklaus, an alert and talented columnist for the bi-weekly Fernandina News Leader, wrote a column about it but that was it locally.

So does any of that matter?  This week Florida Governor DeSantis says a man accused of murder in Jacksonville was one of those dumped here by the Biden administration.  

He made the comments during a press conference Thursday, November 3, at Cecil Airport.

The man DeSantis referenced, 24-year-old Yery Noel Medina Ulloa, was found walking around Jacksonville covered in blood last month. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office says he initially lied about his name and age.

He has since been charged with second-degree murder and evidence tampering.

“There was the report in The New York Post about…. Biden administration’s doing there, they’re flying in people who came illegally, dumping a lot in Jacksonville in the middle of the night,” said DeSantis. “… this individual (Medina Ulloa) 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.”

He says these ‘middle of the night flights’ are happening without notification to the state, and that the Biden administration is hiring private contractors to bring undocumented individuals here.

The Post article that DeSantis references, claims that the scheme is part of President Biden’s plan to quietly resettle underage migrants across the country.

At his arraignment hearing Thursday, Medina Ulloa, entered pleas of not guilty on second-degree murder and evidence tampering charges, through an interpreter

Why is the local media silent on a topic so critical and dangerous to this community?

Where’s the outrage?

***

More Blundering Biden: Joe Biden has nothing to show for in Glasgow this past week. That’s  a good thing. Two of the planet’s largest polluters – China and Russia – weren’t even there and the third, India, the world’s third largest polluter gets a pollution pass.

China and India continue to build coal fired plants and will go on doing so for many more years. Chinese Xi and Russian Putin are not even attending, and India has not developed a plan. China said it will build coal plants until 2030, so that’s  the end of any actual steps to end fossil fuels. Even that little Nordic nitwit, Greta Thunberg, isn’t there to give the alleged grown-up’s a lesson. The entire Glasgow event was a publicity stunt and farce.

It’s ironic that after stopping the Keystone Pipeline, declaring a moratorium on any more drilling on federal lands and closing Anwar to exploration, Biden is asking oil and coal producing countries and OPEC to produce more to avoid the coming energy shortage in the U.S. Just wait until you get your heating bills this winter!

Someone sent me a meme that perfectly sums up Joe Biden’s approach to dealing with this nation’s number one enemy.

It shows Biden delivering the following speech: “Communist China originated the Coronavirus, steals our technology, practices unfair trade, builds hypersonic missiles, persecutes its Uyghur population, suppresses free speech, threatens Taiwan, and seeks world domination!

“In response to all that, I have just one question for China’s President Xi.  By which gender-specific personal pronoun do you prefer to be called?”

***

Elementary school kids enjoying their field trip at Rosie’s.

Why Parents Should Pay Attention:  A Florida  Broward County school board member chaperoned a group of elementary school children on a field trip to a gay bar, according to photos of the trip she posted on social media.

This misguided dimwit said: “I was SO honored to be invited to chaperone Wilton Manors Elementary’s field trip to the incredible Rosie’s! The students and I had a fun walk over and learned a lot about our community! A huge thank you to Rosie’s Bar and Grill for hosting this special field trip every year!” said Broward County School Board member Sarah Leonard on her official school board Facebook page last Wednesday.

The post shows photos of children in a popular Florida gay bar, Rosie’s Bar and Grill, including a photo of the group posing next to the restaurant’s sign.

This woman accompanied Wilton Manors Elementary school kids on a field trip to a LGBT bar which features menu items like: The Big Girl Burgers, Rhoda Cowboy, Ivana Hooker, Hellena Bun, Georgia Bleu, Young ranch hand, and Willy cheesesteak”

Broward County Public Schools said in a statement:  “Wilton Manors Elementary School offers a Unit of Inquiry called, “How we organize ourselves. In the unit, students learn about neighborhood safety, community helpers, the importance of being a community member, what it takes for a community to be successful, different jobs in a community, and social skills when interacting with others.” I bet the kids got an eyeful!

“They also visit a local restaurant, Rosie’s Bar and Grill, which is within walking distance from the school and opens early for the students. How convenient, a gay bar within walking distance of the  school. I’m sure their parents are thrilled. What’s next? A strip club? Midget mud wrestling?

They said the bar and restaurant were not open to the general public while students were present inside. So the kids had a gay bar all to themselves. Nice!

***

Speaking Of Crazy! “PETA is now demanding that Major League Baseball stop using the word ‘bullpen’ to describe where pitchers and catchers warm up because of its insensitivity to bulls. They want coaches, players, announcers, and fans to use the terms “arm barn” or “play-pen” instead. I’m not making any of this up!

***

Poll Results: A recent poll on this site asked Fernandina Beach voters if they would vote to approve a $23 million bond issue in the next election. Some 118 readers or 91 percent said “no” while 11 readers or 9 percent said “yes”. It appears that local tax payers are fed up with their their city tax bills increasing and getting nothing in return. Hereabouts 118 votes can easily swing an election.

This week a new poll asks where readers get their news.

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11 Comments

Mike Lednovich - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

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.

Veritas Aequitas - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

Masterpiece maestro!! The best blog on Al Gore’s internet. But, let’s also remember another city council blunder giving the hard working PD the additional task of “fun police” running around measuring decibels at 8:30 PM, based on the unfounded complaints of a few(or one). What’s next, methane levels of your dog’s farts?

Keep up the great work my friend!

Harvey Slentz - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

Dave, another great blog column.

Your comment about cancelling the Florida Times-Union struck home with me. Last spring I conducted my own little survey over a two week period, looking at the paper by column-inch not counting advertisements and photos. I also noted how many of those column-inches were relevant in any way to Nassau County residents.

My determination of “relevant” was pretty (forgive me) liberal: Anything about the Jaguars was considered relevant because some in Nassau are interested. Notices or stories about events affecting the commuters from Nassau are relevant.

What’s not relevant? Jacksonville city government, Jacksonville schools, copy about Clay, Duval, St. Johns, Baker, and events in other counties are not relevant. Shootings, murders, etc.. Obituaries are perhaps relevant to some Nassau Residents, but there are usually other ways that we are notified when someone we know dies. (As a side note, I am concerned about how often I see the phrase “Surrounded by his family.” Perhaps this is something for Merrick Garland’s FBI to check into.)

National news is not relevant. Even in the best of circumstances for any paper, it is at least a day late, and you can get it as it’s happening on your phone, your watch, radio or TV.

What else is not relevant? Editorial and Opinion pages. These almost never address anything relevant to Nassau County, and I’m thankful for that. Forget about us.

What is worthwhile? The SEVEN PERCENT of the two-week stack of T-U papers that have some relevance to Nassau County. Take a look at the T-U on the news stand. How many pages? What would 7 percent look like? That’s one-fourteenth of the paper. Maybe two pages?

In many cities around the country, the ‘big paper’ is losing readers to smaller suburban city newspapers. Clinton Mississippi is a nice suburb of Jackson, and it has it’s own bi-weekly paper. But residents were not enamored with either the Jackson or the Clinton ‘real’ newspapers. So several residents got together, and began preparing an e-mailed ‘paper’ to the residents of the city of Clinton, to the extent e-mail addresses are available. As word spread, more people became interested, including businesses that began advertising.

Maybe that could be our model?

Todd S. Ericksen - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

As usual your observations about our city government are spot on. I feel that the majority of our citizens are becoming fed up with the shenanigans at City Hall, The Planning/Building Department, and with some of the commissioners. The good news is we have the opportunity to make some changes with two commission seats coming up in 2022. We need to elect candidates who are willing to use COMMON SENSE and will keep the city out of numerous lawsuits, and that won’t be beholden to any certain “bullies”.

CoCoNUT haRRY - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

Kudos to Gov. Ron DeSantis for pushing back on Obama’s, oops I mean Biden’s, Marxist policies. The Tuesday election results in Virginia are a harbinger of things to come and it’s past time. Let’s Go Brandon !

Richard Norman Kurpiers - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

Republicans leading up to the Virginia election:. The Democrats are cheating again! Voter fraud!

Republicans after the Virginia election:. …………..

Democrats after the Virginia election:. We lost because of Biden’s unpopularity and a failed election strategy. Our bad.

In the words of Florida’s Lake County Election Supervisor Alan Hays, himself a Republican, “Put up or shut up!”. (When addressing local Republican cries of fraud in the 2020 election.)

Coleman Langshaw - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

ahhh, but the Hypocrite Party always relies on crickets, when its convenient. I say it WAS election fraud in Virginia, and the Hypocrites, I mean the Republicans stuffed the ballot boxes, mailed in dead voters ballots, and…um, I can’t remember the rest of the Bull they promulgated during the National General Election. But as you so adroitly point out, no complaints when their side wins, and the Dems took the loss on their own chins, versus whining about fraud ad nauseum. The Hypocrite Party is nothing but a bunch of cry-babies and bullies, barking from behind a fence…yet again.

Fred - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

Ummm, Russia, Russia, Russia ring any bells? LMAO you freaking hypocrite…

Steve Nicklas - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

Priceless, Dave! I’d pay for your blog long before I’d pay for the T-U.

Charles Brown - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

The Florida Times Union no longer comes to my home much like many other former readers. I canceled because of the paper taking a hard turn to the left and constant slamming of Republicans. Pseudo columnist Nate Monroe has a severe case of oral diarrhea when it comes to our great Governor, Ron DeSantis, and the hard working Mayor Lenny Curry in Jacksonville. I just refuse to have this poor excuse for a newspaper clutter up my trash can or my electronic devices.

Bill Shaffer - 05. Nov, 2021 - Reply

The inmates have taken over large portions of the Florida asylum.