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

Golf Course Mulligan, Ross Recall, A Blind “Observer” & More

The latest results of this site’s recent informal poll asking if Fernandina Beach City Commissioner Chip Ross should be recalled stood at 87 percent saying “yes” and 13 percent “no”.

“Recall? For what?”

The poll and conversations I’ve had with local folks indicate that the abrasive city commissioner is about as popular hereabouts as Jane Fonda at an American Legion Fourth of July picnic.

However, I’ve been informed by a local expert, much more knowledgeable than I am about such things, that removing this pretentious gasbag from office by a recall petition may not be easy.

After hearing his explanation I’ve concluded that it’s like pigs and chickens that you have invited into your house, it’s a lot easier to get them in than it is to get them out.

My well-informed source – who is not a Ross fan – sent me a copy of the Florida Statutes for “Municipal Recall” that listed the seven grounds for a recall. They are malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, drunkenness, incompetence, permanent inability to perform official duties, and conviction of a felony involving moral turpitude. Abrasiveness, pomposity, and sociopathic narcissism aren’t on the list.

So, the only possibilities at this point appear to be misfeasance and malfeasance. Misfeasance is the act of engaging in an action or duty but failing to perform the duty correctly and an action that is unintentional. Malfeasance is the willful and intentional act of doing harm.

The other five don’t appear to be applicable at this time so there are slim grounds for a recall under Florida law that we can detect, unless I’m missing something here.

Ross is term limited and can’t run again fortunately……or he could resign, a doubtful solution.

It appears we’re stuck with the insufferable emergency room doctor.  A temporary solution is to totally ignore his ramblings, rants and self-importance and consider him a form of entertainment. Invite local students studying civics to attend commission sessions and use Ross as an example of how not to behave as a public servant.

We need at least three city commissioners to jointly ignore Ross, thus isolating him and preventing him from doing any damage.


Sliding Into The Spotlight: Sliders Seaside Grill owner George Stewart and one of his managers, April Lovelady, were interviewed on national TV for more than five minutes by Fox News anchor and commentator, Steve Doocy, Tuesday, June 8, about the labor shortage that has impacted the U.S. including the popular Amelia Island local Fletcher Ave eatery and bar.

George’s sign, pictured here, instigated the nationwide FOX News coverage. During the interview George said he has initiated a $1,000 signing bonus for newly hired employees. To see the segment, go to:


Can The City Take A Mulligan? This site’s local golf correspondent issued an update on the $500,000 Top Tracer installation at the city golf course saying Top Tracer is operable once again, and golf enthusiasts don’t need to worry about making advance reservations.

He reported that there is someone on site to help if and when a customer actually arrives, which he says appears to be a rarity as the facility is barely used. Hours of operation are 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily. It’s closed at night he adds since there are no lights. He was told the FAA has to rule on that issue since it’s near the airport, but the city is looking into it he was told.

“Planning was obviously lacking for this $500,000 project,” he observes. “The lack of amenities is very obvious and the concept of ‘build it and they will come’ really only works for Hollywood.”

“When City Budget time comes, it will be interesting to see if the City Manager tries to bury Top Tracer in the operating costs of the golf course,” he adds.


Things I Wish I’d Said: “If we’re not supposed to eat late at night, why is there a light bulb in the refrigerator?” – anonymous.


A Wake-Up Call: The school board in Carmel, NY heard from an irate mother this week who ripped into them about their far-left propaganda curriculum. Her fiery attack, which made national news, included a line that needs to be heard by more locally elected officials: “I don’t work for you you work for me.” Tatiana Ibrahim’s vocal criticism went viral for calling her school board “thieves,” “liars,” and said that they “committed treason against our children.”

More and more parents are waking up to these anti-American loons and demanding they pull the plug on the Marxist garbage they’re pumping into our kids heads.


“So, you think it’s funny when I say climate change is our military’s greatest threat?”

C’mon Man! Next week, each time they hear Joe Biden spout “C’mon man” during their June 16 summit meeting, Vladimir Putin and his cronies will probably handle themselves like the Roman legionnaires did in the Monty Python film “Life of Brian” as they attempted to stifle their laughter when they heard the Roman nobleman say the name: “Biggus Dickus.”

Will Joe bring a checkbook with him since we are now buying Russian oil because he shut down the Keystone Pipeline, stopped fracking,  halted drilling and exploration in Alaska, and Russian hackers temporarily halted the oil flow in our Columbia Pipeline? Will he bring along his bagman, Hunter Biden, to collect the “Big Guy’s” payoffs?

Robert Gates was right. Biden has been on the wrong side of every U.S. foreign policy decision for the past 40 years. And as national pundit Joel Ross points out, now as president and taking advice from Obama, he is dangerous.

Just yesterday, Thursday June 10, Biden told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, that the U.S. military considers climate change to be the world’s greatest threat. Not only dangerous, but dumber than a barrel of hair!

My take on the upcoming summit was in the national news site BPR that can be found at

Folks can also read another recent column of mine if they are so inclined, on the national site by going to


Missing! Maybe it’s time to put Special Counsel John Durham’s picture on a milk carton. Ever since the U.S. District Attorney for Connecticut was assigned to investigate the phony Russian collusion accusations against President Trump, nobody has heard a peep out of the guy. Has he been adducted by aliens and taken his report back to some distant universe with him?


Speaking of White Supremacy:  My favorite West Coast columnist, Burt Prelutsky, employed his unique style to describe Joe Biden saying: “White supremacists are the most lethal threat to our national security.”

“And I know he really meant it,” wrote Burt, “because he leaned forward and made his eyes go all squinty the way he does when he’s telling us hard truths for our own good. I think they call it tough love.”

The 80-year-old Burt added: “It did make me wonder if my friends and I are really more deadly than the black thugs who killed more than 750 people in Chicago alone last year.”

“When you add in the thousands of people that blacks murdered in Detroit, Philadelphia, Newark, Atlanta, New Orleans, New York, Portland, L.A. and Minneapolis, it’s hard to see how a bunch of retired white Trump supporters can even hope to compete.”

So, what is it Joe? White supremacy or climate change like you told the UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson?


Not A Laughing Matter: Vice President Kamala Harris is a very dim person. Her comments following her trip to central America confirm her dumbness.  Joking that she had not been to Europe was an embarrassing foolish comment. She giggles whenever she’s  asked a direct question. That is what people do when they have no idea what to say. And this nitwit giggles a lot.


A New Career Path? From what I’ve read and heard the definition of white privilege is the absence of suspicion and other negative reactions that white people apparently experience. This opens up a vast array of economic opportunities that folks like me never anticipated before, including the fact that all white bank robbers are apparently above suspicion.


California Dreamin’: California has the world’s sixth-largest economy, incomparable natural resources, and beauty, yet has managed to transform itself into a hellhole. It has the highest taxes in the nation, is incapable of managing its forests, dealing with homelessness, educating its young people, and addressing any of the problems for which its citizens are being taxed.

How did this happen? Take a look at the people they elect out there. Their political contingent represents a scene out of “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”: Congressmen Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Eric Swalwell, and Maxine Waters. Then there are Governor Gavin Newsome, Senator Diane Feinstein and before that the cackling hen, Kamala Harris. This doesn’t include the dysfunctional mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco and the “no-bail-let-‘em-out-of-jail” district attorneys. Is it any wonder the state’s such a mess with a group that resembles escapees from an asylum for the criminally insane running things there.

When I read about the mess that is California it makes me realize just how fortunate we are to live in Florida, governed by the no-nonsense Ron DeSantis, who just this week said that he would sign legislation banning transgender surgeries for minors “for sure” during an interview with the Daily Caller News Foundation.


Wait! What? Outside of Africa, show me another nation that has elected a black man to be president twice and a black woman to be vice-president, and all within the past dozen years other than the United States, that has a bunch of lunatics telling us we’re systemically racist and we’re a bunch of white supremacists. Good grief!


Larry Thornberry

Friendly Facts: My friend, Tampa Plant High School classmate and current American Spectator writer, Larry Thornberry, authored a piece in the Spectator this past Monday that includes two items I found fascinating.  One, that former baseball reliever Mike Marshall died at his Zephyrhills, FL home last Tuesday at 78 and two, that Larry once got a hit off the former Cy Young award winner.

In Larry’s piece he details the highlights of Marshal’s career including a record that will probably never be equaled in MLB, 106 relief appearances in one season.

“That’s 106 games out of a regular season’s 162,” writes Larry. “Marshall performed this miracle of endurance for the 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers,” says Larry. “He pitched 208 innings that season, all in relief, with a 2.42 earned run average. For this herculean effort he and his rubber arm won that year’s National League Cy Young Award, the first reliever to win the best-pitcher-of-the-league honor.”

Larry’s own memorable feat came when he and Marshall faced off in the Men’s Adult Baseball League of Tampa Bay a number of years ago and Larry slapped a soft line drive over the third baseman’s head for a single. It’s an accomplishment Larry thinks should be inscribed on his tombstone: “Once got a hit off a Cy Young Award winner.”

I agree and I can use it too saying: “Knew a guy who once got a hit off a Cy Young Award winner.”


A Blind “Observer”: If Fernandina Beach’s Public Relations Agency, aka “The Fernandina Observer” is charging the city an hourly rate, its billable hour log for June is already bulging.

The top story recently in the city’s online newsletter featured a bylined article by soon-to-be-former City building Department head, Stephen Beckman, headlined “Successfully navigating the permitting and building inspection process in Florida.”

Next to the article was a photo and short bio of one of the paper’s “volunteer” editors, Suanne Thamm, headlined: “About Author”,  leading the reader to wonder who wrote the dreadfully boring piece. Maybe Ms. Thamm edited, or ghost wrote it, but who cares at this point since Beckman’s resignation is effective June 20.

An editor’s note explained that Beckman was leaving, and that the Observer wished him well. There was no mention of the raging controversy surrounding him or the city’s besieged building function. The only differences between the Observer and a church bulletin is that the church publication is informative, well-written and interesting.

One commenting Observer reader summed up Beckman’s comments neatly saying: “Really don’t need a lecture on the code. Just move along.”


Speaking Of The Building Department: Area developer, entrepreneur, author, lawyer, and long-time city critic, Pat Keogh, chimed in on the recent front-page News Leader article announcing Stephen Beckman’s resignation saying:The article is mostly sour grapes claiming the Chamber stacking the survey against him.”

Pat goes on to say: “The article would have you believe he was a tough but fair guy who took one for the good guys. The piece goes into some detail citing the views of NE FL Builders Association Gov’t Affairs Director, Jessie Spradley, who believes Beckman ‘was fair’ and cites examples. Spradley concludes: ‘It is difficult to find a building official now’”.

“No, it’s not!” says Pat. “They are available literally across the street in Nassau County at less than 20% of the cost Beckman and his fellow Shake Down officials in the city building department are charging. The same Florida building code enforcement at an 80% plus discount. Any mention of that in the article?”

Pat didn’t pull any punches going on to add: “Beckman was not the real problem any more than John “Pay to Play” Mandrick (the retired Public Works Director) was. Both Beckman and Mandrick did their elected and appointed masters bidding. They applied state law and fees in such a way as to generate unlawful income for the city.”

Pat says that their “service” was to be funded by citizens and property owners paying fees for service which should have been based on reasonable costs. “In both Pay to Play’s and Beckman’s cases their managers were complicit in them charging fees as though they were taxes to help pay for all the senseless stuff city government has accumulated. That is unlawful.”

When will we see a Florida State Attorney General’s investigation or audit? It’s long overdue.


Another Thing I Wish I’d Said: “No one believes anymore that a BA is synonymous with knowledge.  More likely, it is a euphemism for incurring $100,000 in debt.” – Victor Davis Hanson


Voter Suppression? Really? Biden said that a great many blacks were denied the vote in 2020. So, where are these folks?  Based on everything I’ve read blacks have been voting in record numbers for years now.

Nobody yet has been able to roll out even one black person to testify how and where he or she was denied their constitutional right. Where is that mysterious phantom black person who lacks a photo I.D. that the Democrats keep referencing every couple of years?

In actuality blacks are the most pampered group in America. No problem is their fault. Shakedown artists like Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, their mainstream media champions, and Sleepy Joe tell us that their high crime statistics, their lack of education, their illegitimate birth rate, their record number of abortions, and more are all the fault of White Supremacy.


Why New Yorkers Are depressed?  Because the light at the end of the tunnel is New Jersey.


Something To Ponder: If Trump is a hate-mongering man like the media constantly claim, why aren’t his followers the ones killing cops, destroying property, looting stores, and assaulting innocent bystanders?

  • Comment (12)
  • Bravo, Learned Scribe! Another masterpiece.

    Man do I enjoy your work. (no “Come on, Man” intended)


  • “She giggles whenever she’s asked a direct question. That is what people do when they have no idea what to say. And this nitwit giggles a lot.” VP Kamala Harris and “Border Czar” has never been to our southern border … or demarcation line, if you will.
    Another great blog, Dave – thanks !

  • I used to think the institutional role of government was to serve the people.

    I also used to think Santa made and delivered all those toys.

  • On the TopTracer facility I share your concern about its financial viability. On a recent visit mid-afternoon during the week, I was the only customer although I was told by the attendant that the place was booming the previous day due to the rain. At $40/hour the pricing is steep even if that is for the bay and you can have multiple players to split the costs. The only other TopTracer facility, Blue Sky Golf on Monument Road in Jacksonville, charges $5/hour non-peak (before 5pm) and $10/hour after 5. The facility is open until 9pm every night. It also provides a full service food and beverage offering.
    I have requested a copy of the budget for the TopTracer operation as the City financial reports indicate that a sub-category just for TopTracer has been established, but the fiscal year’s budgeted amounts is blank on the last monthly report I was provided. Will let you know when it comes in, if it in fact one was created for its partial year operation.
    The website for the golf course is finally operational although when trying to make a tee time reservation for any day next week I got the message that there are no reservation times available. Obviously still a work in progress four months after the contract with Indigo Golf was terminated. Penny wise and pound foolish to this point.
    Be Well

  • DAVE, you are nearly always DEAD ON IT and that does not take anything but logic when the far left is literally insane ………. that is not a political issue rather they are whacked.

    In Calif, if a MALE prisoner in a FED PRISION ……….. you wake up and feel all kinds of female thoughts and tendancies they will transfer you to a FEMALE prison and those inmates are PETRIFIED as sex will be everywhere Men on Women, Men on Men, Men in between Cell iron

  • I think they need to build a $300K snack bar.
    With a $100K alcohol bar.
    To make Toptracer profitable.
    To make the golf course profitable.

      • Isn’t ironic that the Lighthouse Driving Range has no lights.
        Maybe they (like Microsoft) could re-describe their defect and call it a “feature” instead.
        Imagine hitting golf balls off into the darkness and then watching the replay on a computer screen to find out where it really ended up.

  • Thanks Dave for mentioning my triumph of getting a hit off Cy Young honoree Mike Marshall — now, alas, the late Mike Marshall — in the local amateur, old-timers’ league these many years ago. Thanks also for not mentioning that on the other times I faced Marshall he ate my lunch. Baseball giveth, and baseball taketh away.


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