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

“Good Golly Miss Molly” Little Richard Died! Common Cents Aim Of Common Sense Group

My Tampa Plant High School classmate, friend, and current American Spectator writer, Larry Thornberry, penned a note to me and several more of his pals earlier this week about the loss of rock and roll pioneer Little Richard. It brought back a lot of memories.

Larry Thornberry

Like Larry I was a young teenager in Tampa when I first saw Little Richard perform and was mesmerized by the energy of his howls, shrieks, screams and shouts and outlandish costumes. The show I attended was conducted on a stage at a downtown Tampa movie theater and contained a number of that era’s rock and roll stars. The only one I recall with any clarity is Little Richard. My friends and I left the theater babbling “alop-bop-aloobop alop bam boom” having no idea what the heck any of it meant but enjoying the sound of it rolling off our tongues.

Many years later, probably around 1994 or so, Linda and I saw him perform at Atlanta’s Chastain Park. Age had slowed him down but not much. At the end of the show he brought out his mother, an elegant lady he introduced to the audience. I later read that he brought her along on many of his tours if she was able to travel.

Here’s what Larry had to say:

“Little Richard is gone, entered into eternity at 87 after a losing battle with cancer. A forgiving God will surely suit his reward to a man who returned to Him and to the Christianity of his youth after beating the living hell out of the 10 Commandments for years. Here he is, with the “Killa”, (Jerry Lee Lewis) giving life to an old standard hymn, one of my favorites.

Little Richard

“My memory of LR stretches to junior high school when at our events, especially if grownups weren’t about, one might well hear the strains of Long Tall Sally or Tutti Frutti. Grownups weren’t entirely sure what was going on in these songs (neither were we, come to that), but they suspected it was at least untoward. Little Richard was one of the first black artists to appeal to white audiences, mostly white teenagers. He pioneered with Chuck Berry and Ray Charles in this regard. Of the three, Ray’s music also appealed to many white grownups. But in my high school crowd, What’d I Say was a great favorite.

“Speaking of the “Killer”, Little Richard and Jerry Lee enjoyed a long friendship, even recording each other’s songs. They even, I’ve heard but don’t know for a fact, toured together. To say that they were both charismatic performers is a gross understatement. But apparently their touring was not conflict free. I’ve no idea if the story I’m about to relate is true or not. But it’s one of those stories that is so good you almost don’t care if it’s true. It’s fun to tell, even if it’s apocryphal. It goes this way:

“While touring, Little Richard and Jerry Lee fell to arguing about which of them would go first in their concerts. Of course, both wanted to go last, this being the position of the mainliner. The opener often being thought of as the warm-up act. The closer is better billing. On this occasion Little Richard won the argument and Jerry Lee went first. He gave his usual high-energy performance, racing up and down the keyboard while standing up and belting out such as “Whole lot of Shaking.” While the audience was already at a high pitch in his final number, he managed while bending over the piano to douse the keys with lighter fluid from a can he had concealed in his coat pocket. With the audience in a frenzy over his closing number, Great Balls of Fire, he lit the keys with a Zippo he had in his pants pocket and the piano burst into flames as the song came to a close. Jerry Lee bows and exits as the piano is a blazing ruin. The audience goes insane. As he’s walking off the stage he says to Little Richard, standing next to the stage curtain waiting to go on, ‘OK, smart guy. Follow that.’

“Like I say, I don’t know if this story is true or not. But I hope it is. If so, I’m sure Little Richard found a way to get back at Jerry Lee.

“RIP Richard Penniman of Macon, Georgia. AKA Little Richard.”


Fernandina Beach city budget visionary.

Common Sense For Common Cents: Fernandina Beach City Manager Dale Martin and his quartet of free-spending City Commission “financial visionaries”, who read the needs of city residents as clearly as Mr. Magoo reads what’s in front of him, now have a guiding light to help them along. Fifth Commissioner Mike Lednovich, who appears to have been healed during a fiscal evangelical tent revival, is excluded due to his recent financial epiphany.

Do we really need such a watchdog organization? Here are some numbers that indicate that yes, indeed we do. If you disagree please explain why. Using the 2020 published budget, here are the per capita expenditures (2017-2019 actual, 2020 budget): 2017 – $3,366; 2018 – $3,963; 2019 – $5,106; 2020 – $6,227. In case you are as math deficient as I am, it appears that our taxes have doubled in four years.

The city manager and his City Commission puppets’ motto appears not to be “Here is what we have coming in and here’s what we can afford” but “Here is what we want to spend, let’s get the money”.

The watchdog group Common Sense was formally launched this week by a heavy-hitting group of Fernandina Beach executives, retired executives, college instructors, media experts, government officials and more. This is clearly not an amateur group of loud fist-waving, out-of-town extremists with their hair on fire running through the corridors of city hall screeching incoherently for some obscure cause, but a cross section of level headed tax-paying local citizens fed up with reckless city spending. Their objective is to remind all elected and appointed officials that they work for local tax-paying residents and not the other way around.

According to a press release issued this week by Common Sense, it’s an organization of nonpartisan Fernandina Beach City residents advocating for fiscal responsibility by the City of Fernandina Beach and is encouraging other city residents to join them in holding city officials accountable.

“Getting control of spending of tax payer money is more important now than ever,” says retired media executive Frank Quigley, a founding Common Sense member. “This is particularly imperative now when so many residents and business are on financial life support due to the coronavirus pandemic.” We are advocating that city commissioners prioritize spending now and for the long term. We feel we are paying far more than needed and are spending on pet projects with unclear benefit. We want to get in front of this well in advance of the fall budget workshops”.

To achieve its objectives the watchdog organization says it will involve itself in a variety of local efforts including:

○ Holding public meetings with featured topic-expert speakers.  ○ Individually contacting the City Manager, Commissioners and department heads and advisory board chairs.  ○ Using social media to keep residents and voters informed and encourage partcipation.  ○ Identifying, endorsing and supporting like-minded candidates to run for the City Commission.  ○ Media outreach including writing opinion pieces for the area media and conducting press briefings.

Fernandina Beach budget planning workshop.

“Common Sense advocates a balanced, common sense approach to local government spending”, says founding member Jack Knocke,​ ​entrepreneur, virtual Chief-IoT-Officer and adjunct Professor Of Business/Florida State College at Jacksonville  “We believe that properly balancing growth and quality of life issues, as well as local government spending initiatives, the citizens’ tax burden, and protection of our barrier island, will result in prosperity for everyone who lives here. However, we demand financial discipline by the city when they spend our money in good times, not only lean times.”

The group identified serious financial issues that have plagued the city, all prior to the current virus-initiated recession. These include enterprise funds that are losing money every year; the massive debt load carried by the marina itself; and the city’s underfunded employee pension fund. “Common Sense is fervently opposed to simply raising taxes to cover these. This has to stop being the course we take, and taxpayers need to speak up”, adds Quigley. “We need to stop papering over problems and actually fix them”.

Says Knocke, “Essential services including law enforcement, public safety, healthcare, sanitation, and similar city services must be protected. Common Sense Fernandina exists to identify what the city can afford and what it cannot. Finally, we are demanding that the city produce a long-range financial plan that identifies spending priorities and do so with minimum tax and fee increases”.

The group has both a web site and Facebook site for city residents interested in participating and joining Common Sense. They can call Frank Quigley at (312) 259-1741 or Jack Knocke (470) 295-4365. Or contact by: Email: ​ FaceBook: ​ Web:​http:///

Some of the founding members of Common Sense Fernandina Beach are Patti Clifford; former controller/finance director at City of Fernandina Beach; Phil Griffin, realtor/developer & entrepreneur; Jack Knocke, entrepreneur, virtual Chief-IoT-Officer, adjunct Professor Of Business/Florida State College at Jacksonville; Frank Quigley, retired media executive; and Dr. Gerald Decker.


No LaJoux In Fernandina:

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
the band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
and somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
but there is no LaJoux in Fernandina — Alexandra has struck out.

As I read the rambling, incoherent front-page interview by reporter Julia Roberts with Fernandina Beach City Commission candidate Alexandra LaJoux in the Wednesday, May 1 News Leader my heart sank. This is a woman I once had high hopes of winning an election to help bring economic sanity to city hall. Instead I read a series of jumbled, disjointed, illogical and contradictory statements by a woman who wants to be all things to everybody, but doesn’t have a clue about anything, particularly finances. However, she did nail down the votes of the loud crowd in the Conserve Amelia Now, the few members of the Amelia Tree Conservatory group that actually live in Fernandina, and the late Joyce Kilmer.

The three-year resident make it crystal clear in her confused word jumble that trees top her agenda saying saving trees are her number-one priority. It’s possible Ms. LaJoux was hit on the head by a falling branch as later on she said she thinks the city has a positive financial situation. Apparently she’s been meeting with City Manager Dale Martin and his lackey Commissioner Chip Ross and they’ve thoroughly brainwashed the sadly confused woman. If the recently created Common Sense group intends to rate candidates then this one deserves an “F” as she clearly needs remedial classes in every course.

She says that Habitat for Humanity is “…well and good” adding that if it wants to build houses then it should do so on lots that have no trees. She found one on 8th Street she says that’ll do nicely even though she has no idea who owns it. And if Habitat for Humanity can find similar lots without trees to accommodate affordable housing then she’s all for it. Personally I don’t want to live on a treeless lot. We bought our home here because of the trees on it. I wonder if her home sits on a treeless lot. I guess if you have enough money you can have a tree or two but if you require affordable housing, no trees for you!

As far as the waterfront park is concerned she admires “the work done the past 40 years by the pillars of the community to come up with a vision.” She is very impressed saying “their efforts should not be  disrespected” even though all they have to show for four decades of “efforts” are hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of obsolete plans, a blurred vision, and no park.

She called for additional outside financing to improve city finances to: “leverage the city’s positive financial situation. When they see our financials are as square and honest and healthy as they are, we are not bleeding money. We have a lot of debt but we are managing it well.” This oblivious woman apparently studied finance at the Close Cover Before Striking School of Economics and Screen Door Repair.

She emphasized that she wants diversity for the city in ways that I never realized diversity existed until I read her garbled gibberish. She says Fernandina needs economic diversity not “invasive, millionaire-oriented design, in-your-face design projects that do not reflect Fernandina.” I promise, I am not making this stuff up. She said a “working marina is an example of diversity.” And it gets nuttier. She wants diversity of “age, race, economics, and transportation.” I’ll buy the first round of beers for anyone who can tell me what the hell this woman is prattling on about.

She’s running against two people I know nothing about — David Sturges and Genece Minshew — who have to be more coherent than she is, as they couldn’t be any dimmer. If she wins the seat the Tuesday evening City Commission Chambers will be one of the most sought after entertainment venues in Nassau County or Northeast Florida. This lady will have them rolling in the aisles with her knee-slapping silliness while leaving city tax payers sobbing uncontrollably.

If you have the time to work on a word jumble here’s her full interview:   But consider that the News Leader printed an opinion editorial in the same edition by a far-left island liberal defending sending billions of our tax dollars to the bankrupt U.S. Post Office under the guise of pandemic stimulus assistance and because his granny likes mailing him birthday cards through the mail. I don’t know how much longer the News Leader will survive with its current editorial leadership and I have to admit that when it disappears I’ll miss it as it provides me a lot of material I would find difficult to make up.


Without Double Standards, Democrats Wouldn’t Have Any Standards: Last week, Barack Obama claimed that the “rule of law is at risk”  because of the “unprecedented” move by the Justice Department to drop charges against Michael Flynn, who was the victim of a perjury trap set up by officials in the FBI. Flynn was coerced into pleading guilty to lying to FBI officials. But, in 2017, just days before leaving office, Barack Obama pardoned retired Marine Corps general James E. Cartwright, who pleaded guilty of charges of lying to the FBI. Cartwright served as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Obama and was a key member of Mr. Obama’s national security team in his first term. Cartwright had leaked classified information regarding Iran’s nuclear program to the media and lied to FBI officials investigating those leaks. He faced up to two years in prison before Obama pardoned him.


Pandemic Scene: Friends sent both Burt Prelutsky and me a meme recently showing a prostitute leaning into the car window of a potential John saying: “For $50, I’ll do whatever you want.” He replies: “Do you know how to cut hair?”


What The Heck Is Going On? Investor, author, CEO, professor and pundit Joel Ross reports that in Oregon, near Portland, the county Emergency Ops Center has set aside a space where it is a “grounding space”, (whatever that means), for minority employees to escape predominant whiteness. Translation — identity politics run amok.  Ross says, “It is so blacks can be segregated and this is supposed to be a good thing? Can you imagine if in Harlem some government agency set aside a space so white employees could escape blackness. Remember Brown vs Board of Ed ended segregation and now we have a space for blacks to segregate themselves! In case you wondered if the insanity that happens on campus would invade the real world- here it is.”


2024 GOP Presidential Possibilities? The media and the Democrats are hammering President Trump for saying he sees no reason to bail out fiscally irresponsible blue states.  As usual, Trump is right. The Democrats aren’t just looking to federal government pay for the problems related to the virus. In places like New York where the Democrats spent money that should have gone to purchasing ventilators they spent it on those things that Democrats prefer spending money on – such as providing welfare for illegal aliens. Even worse is the fact that the liberals in places like Maryland, Illinois and California, are desperate to be rescued from the looming debt bombs brought on by the salaries and gold-plated pensions they’ve handed out to public sector unions, in exchange for the campaign contributions and worker bees the unions provide at election time. As Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and our Senator Marco Rubio have asked: “Why should Floridians have to pay more in taxes to bail out the spendthrifts in New York?” They’re right. It’s asking those living within their means in red states to behave like those people who keep handing out money to their ne’er-do-well sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, knowing the dough will go into a vein in the form of heroin or up their nose as cocaine. I expect to see both Gov. DeSantis and Senator Rubio as strong contenders for the GOP presidential nomination in 2024. Maybe Nikki Halley as VP or vice versa.


Danger: Tree Huggers Ahead: The wildfires that consume so much acreage every year in California would be few and far between if the zealots – often called tree huggers — didn’t insist that even dead trees should be allowed to stand until they fall or, more likely, provide tons of tinder for the next fire. As California resident Burt Preluctsy points out, “The problem isn’t that they love trees, but that they love them in the perverted way that pedophiles love children. They lack the sense to understand that conservation can take different forms and that a tree that’s turned into a chair or a table or a crib that may be passed down through generations can be at least as lovely as a tree, no matter what Joyce Kilmer claimed.”

  • Comment (28)
  • This is one of your best columns until you got into national politics. My suggestion is to skip the kool aid at one of your meals.

  • Silly assertion Dave, Tree huggers aren’t contributing to the occurrence of wildland fires, as implied by your commentary, and simply cutting down trees is not a very good suggestion or answer to prevent wildfires. Prescribed burns, along with other programs are proven methodologies. It would be better to learn about wildfire control, by reading and learning from resources like the Florida Forest Service, here is a good link to check out, and I have attached some of it herein:

    (as full disclosure, my son is a Florida Forest Service Ranger)

    Wildland Fire:
    The mission of the Forest Protection Bureau is to provide a level of fire management that reduces threats to life and property, forests, and other related at-risk wildland resources, while promoting natural resource management through the use of prescribed fire.

    We have developed programs, software, equipment, and a team of highly trained firefighters and foresters, with the goal of protecting one of the finest forest systems in the United States.

    Florida’s year-round risk of wildfire is a problem that cannot be handled with one simple program. We have established several program areas addressing the wildfire issues in the state. The first is our Fire Prevention Program. Smokey Bear remains an active part of our overall prevention message, but our work goes beyond Smokey.

    The Firewise USA Program educates homeowners and community professionals about creating defensible space around their homes, helping to protect them from the dangers of wildfire. We also have developed several interactive programs on CD-ROM to help teach everyone from fourth-graders to adults the benefits of fire prevention.

    Prescribed Fire is a cost-effective tool to reduce fuel buildups, which can cause dangerous wildfire conditions. The use of prescribed fire provides increased protection to people, their homes and the forest.

  • Saw Little Richard about 8 yrs ago at the Strawberry Festival. He was as electric as ever…pink suit and crutches! His son went through the audience and handed everyone a book and an autographed picture of his dad.. What a thrill.
    I’ve had tickets four times to see The Killer, but each time he cancelled at the last minute. Little Richard is/was the best.

  • Nice piece on Little Richard
    always enjoyed his performances. Sad to see so
    many of the past stars passing away. He was a great
    entertainer. I wonder why the
    local group interested in better government doesn’t
    support a qualified candidate
    to run as opposition to those
    incumbents up for re-election. Only way this mess
    is going to be cleaned up is
    well informed and conservative people in office.

  • I didn’t remember the Jerry Lee Lewis story quit the same as your friend… Seems the incident took place in Brooklyn New York.. Alan Freed D.J. and Promoter, set up a show at the Paramount theater… Jerry Lee, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry (Who Jerry Lee did not like at all.!) Story goes that Chuck Berry followed Jerry Lee that night.. Jerry Lee lite the fire, at he end of “Great balls of Fire”, and as he passed Chuck Berry he sneard.. “Follow that Ni##er” I’ve heard that story as far back as the 1950’s…. They would tour together as a group, We would go to the EJ Rec. center, (Endicott Johnson Shoe co.) just south of Binghamton NY to see different touring groups. ($5.00 Tickets to the Shows) I have no reason not to believe this.. “The Killer”.. Jerry Lee Lewis was a wild Man. He even Married his first cousin, she was 13 years old..But he was a Southern boy Dave, so I guess that makes sense. Little Richard had nothing to do with the fire Legend. Little Richard performed for a couple years, then went into the Ministry…. He later, started to perform again. He could have been Huge in Rock, and Roll.

  • Dave, ever notice your persistent way of displaying twisted Trump logic? You know, like Trump said yesterday on coronavirus cases: “When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing we would have very few cases.”

  • Thanks for the memories of Little Richard, we have lost a lot of great entertainers lately.
    And for our liberal friends out there a quote from a former president:
    “To anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth.”
    ~Teddy Roosevelt

  • Will someone please explain to me why it would not Be better for the land trust to own property instead of it being owned by the city? If the trust has the desire and the money it can negotiate deals that provide both payment and tax advantages to a donor. Takes taxpayers and city commission out of most tranactions.

  • I was watching reruns of the old Miami Vice show the day Little Richard died and he appeared leading off that episode, vibrant as ever. Since they run the nightly episodes in order, it was quite a coincidence. Barr must be getting really close to the target area Dave. Seems he has been taking quite a bit of flak these days most recently by Obama who used his dog whistle to suggest Judge Sullivan dig up some rather novel way to handle a prosecution motion to dismiss the Flynn persecution. If he were an open minded Judge, he might look back over the record replete with failures of the government of provide Jenks and Brady material and even his own outburst suggesting the defendant Flynn was a traitor. He can get away with stuff like that because DC is surrounded by water on three sides and only one side by reality. I don’t know how Flynn found his replacement counsel Sidney Powell, a lady who did not possess an Ivy League pedigree but she is a real bull dog. If I ever get in any criminal trouble, I would want her to represent me.

  • Amen, skip the kool aid. Our government lied to the public for 6 weeks about COVID-19 and downplayed it, taking delayed action which caused unnecessary prolonged financial damage to our economy and caused more people to die. These are the facts…stop pushing blame on democrats for everything and acting like executive branch of our government didn’t make grave mistakes.

  • Your so right about some stuff, and so wrong about so much more stuff. I am sure once the Post Office goes belly up you will be the very first to get out there in the snow, rain, heat and gloom of night and help deliver those letters from little Jimmy & Jane to Santa each Christmas. You did however make a good point about the 40 years of planning for the Marina. I am a local, only 20 something years here, and the Marina is a re rum of groundhog day year after year. On that my friend we can agree. Stay well. wear your mask, and stay away from people. PS, good to see your still reading the News Leader

  • So if this Common Sense group is so smart and so altruistic in their motives for our fair city, why don’t they run for office themselves? It seems that all five of our commissioners did just that to get the seats they have in our government. Why should this group think they can govern while skipping that very important step of being elected? For that matter, why don’t you run Dave? You’re clearly the smartest and most popular guy around town. I’m not saying I disagree with you or the Common Sense folks when it comes to local politics, but I’m smart enough to know my whining about it doesn’t matter. If it bothered me enough, I’d run myself. If enough people agreed with me, I guess I’d get my shot. Short of that, I just sit back, shut up, and vote my mind each election.

  • It’s encouraging to learn that the Common-Sense group has an expanding local membership that can offer explanations regarding the City’s 20-year plus history of financial mismanagement. An insider’s perspective on the continuous transferring of Water & Sewer funds to cover operational shortfalls in other enterprise funds and why that was considered a reasonable practice would be a welcomed contribution to the discussion. The legacy of this activity is a burden to City taxpayers and conundrum for current and future City Commissions.

  • I once heard a recording of Little Richard sing a song that was not rock and roll. It may have been a gospel. The man had extraordinary classically beautiful voice. Who knew?
    R. Bruce

  • Having lived here for quite a while, it seems the city commission has become more a platform for social agendas than policy and management. If your agenda is protecting the tree-count, promoting gay rights, saving animals, or some similar passion, run for the commission. If your agenda is actual governance, do not apply.

  • As Eric pointed out in his post. If these fine folks went to make an impact on our city Governance, don’t sit on the sidelines, and take potshots at our community leaders.. Get involved, run for office. I’ve been on many Commissions, Associations, and Community Groups in my life. There is always someone in the audience who knows all the answers to every issue. He/She can tell you chapter, and verse on how they would handle it if they were in charge… Ask them to step forward, chair a committee, or run for office…The will sit on their hands every time.. Words are cheap.. Commitment is Priceless.. Thank You City Commissioners.

  • A citizen can be concerned, point out issues, present an opinion, offer ideas, in a constructive way, without being required to “run for office” as Eric and Steven claim. That is what we call the First Amendment.

  • Unless action is taken by Common-Sense to effect change in City governance, like sponsoring a commissioner candidate with a platform that has real and positive solutions, please do not use the First Amendment to justify whining. In street lexicon, “put-up or shut-up”.

  • This is probably a good time to weigh in.

    Putting forward candidates in the pending election who will focus on city finances – and find preserving our quality of life important – is very much a part of the Common Sense plan. This is in active conversation.

    We also invite both Steven Crounse and Eric Corbett – and others – to join us. Over the years both of you have been very active commenting in local media on city, county and local civic affairs so clearly understand the need to be heard. Common Sense applauds this wholeheartedly. And, because we do NOT claim to have all the answers we invite challenges and debate. So please join the effort!

    The purpose of Common Sense is to do one thing: examine the financial situation in the city, using data and fact over opinion. We are actively using FOIA to request public documents. We have zero intention of marketing in rumor, unsubstantiated facts or unsubstantiated points of view – and are certainly opposed to any ad hominem effort against any particular person in or out of government. That is not what this is all about. But taxes are going up at a fast clip – city and county – and it is every taxpayer’s right to know what and why, and to require responsible stewardship by our local governments. So, we will speak up, and we will publish what we find. That is as American as apple pie.

    The group had been asked by a sitting city commissioner to consider forming a Finance Committee for Fernandina Beach. We chose not to do so, forming Common Sense instead. We have watched the frustration and lack of impact of the various standing committees, so chose to remain independent. In that way we can (a) freely discuss the issues and attempt to prioritize them, and (b) involve as many local taxpayers in the conversation. Both are important.

    I’m happy to be able to say that since the Common Sense release late last week, we have already had quite a response – citizens who agree this needs to be done, wish to support it and have reached out to Common Sense. And many have said they aren’t necessarily the type to speak up – either online, or in city meetings. So that’s what this is all about. We don’t boast that we will succeed. We are highly hopeful that we will make a difference. And we have rolled up our sleeves to do the hard work on this effort.

  • When, we the people, make our wishes known, the city government will respond. So Steven, Nomandi, Eric and anyone else unhappy with the way your taxes are spent, help us drive change—join Common Sense today!!

  • Hi Dave: Thanks for your column. I learn a lot from you. I listen to all voices! I agree that City finances need help, which is why I’m seeking to join the City Commission to put my extensive financial and business background to work for the people. However, I express myself constructively. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

  • I know and respect a number of the individuals identified as part of the Common Sense. I applaud their call for financial spending restraint immediately and not wait for next year’s budget. Given the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local, state and national economy, now is the time to make the necessary adjustments and move into an austerity mode. The issues that they have identified are not new to the City. If there were simple answers to them, they would have been implemented decades ago. As Eric Corbett notes, simply talking about the problems moves no closer to a resolution. So, what are recommended solutions advocated by Common Sense to these issues?
    I would hope that the candidates for the seats that are up for grabs don’t become single issue candidates, but do their homework and have a solid base of knowledge and be ready to articulate their position.

  • Loved your comments on Little Richard. The day he died I got out my old 45 rpm record player (yes the one from the 50s that automatically drops the records). Listened to Long Tall Sally as well as the flip side, Slippin and a Slidin.
    What a great performer. 50s/early 60s music was the best. Rock and Roll never the same after the so-called British Invasion in the mid-sixties. I’m glad I still have many old 45s to listen to?

  • Dear Mr. Scott:

    I read with much interest your recent comments about the death of Little Richard — although I must say that my personal preferences were more of Chuck Berry (whose music will live forever and in distant galaxies since he was included as a performer on the gold record attached to the Voyager Spacecraft launched in 1977 indicative of a sampling of this world’s culture).
    So you and I come from the same era…the beginnings of rock and roll. But our backgrounds were probably quite different. Mine in Particle Physics and Cosmology followed by a career in international law, and yours, I do not know.

    But the irony was to include in the “Little Richard” piece, a subsequent mention of Lewis Carroll in order, I suppose, to facilitate the introduction of Jabowacky as it applies to the NEWS LEADER interview of Alexandra Lajoux of May 13. I say “ironic” since I was studying Quantum Mechanics in its infancy which although an accurate depiction of reality initially made as much sense as Caroll’s musing.

    I was directed to your article by a friend and your name rang a bell as a former contributor of the paper.

    Well I must say I was mightily disappointed as what I hoped would be an educational lesson on local politics became a screed filled with “gyre and nimble”. Having been fortunate to have met Dr. Lajoux and sampled some of the 11 books she authored on various business topics, my wife and I felt strongly she would be a welcome and excellent voice to tackle our city’s challenges particularly post-pandemic. Your numerous ad hominem attacks were not only uncalled for but not entirely accurate on their face such as the spurious quotation at the end, which did not appear in the article but rather appears to be a fabrication born of poor reading comprehension on your part.

    Suggestion, if you aspire to be a serious commentator of anything: Grab a book written by Dr. Lajoux…any book… and read it through. Then form some serious comments helpful to the residents of our city. Or just continue being the gadfly curmudgeon you exhibit.

    If you are such an expert at city issues, why waste your time and ours writing about it, but run for office and really do something.

    I suppose your followers would miss your cute and too clever-by-half quips but in the words of Carroll, had he lived here amongst us, otherwise we must still be wary of the “fruminous bandersnatch”…the Cheshire cat sits in a tree….only his smile shows as he observes the games below. We ask the cat to join the games but he continues only with mimsy borogroves in his Tumtum tree. Stay safe!

    Brian E. Downey JD
    Mary B. Downey

    Fernandina Beach, FL


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