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

How Can Companies Compete With Government Handouts While They Are Frantically Searching For Employees?

When a restaurant owner asked Joe Bidden at this week’s CNN Townhall meeting in Cincinnati what he could do to encourage people to come back to work Biden unashamedly told him: “Pay them more.”

The sock puppet, who has never held a private sector job in his life, said this while his administration is paying folks with tax money deducted from working people’s paychecks to sit home on their butts eliminating any incentive to look for a job.

In a recent survey fully 33% of recipients said the government’s extra $300 unemployment check is what’s keeping them from seeking work. How many more just didn’t admit it?

In those states that ended the $300 the decrease in unemployment has been 19% vs 6.7% in states still with the $300. Now the Democrats are giving everyone more than $3,000 annually per kid. Why? For a worker making $28,000 per year taxable, the $6,000 non-taxable is a lot of money. Add Medicaid, food stamps, Section 8 Housing, Obama phones, and free this and that, and motivation to work becomes less and less. It’s a flagrant vote-buying maneuver using working people’s tax money to fund it.

There are no work requirements under Biden’s administration. The Democrats will ty to turn the $3,000 into a permanent program along with the other giveaways. People get a reducing portion of the $3,000 even if the family income is as high as $400,000. It only starts to reduce after $150,000.

Meanwhile businesses around the country can’t find workers. The undisputed reason is because of the Democrat’s largess with our tax dollars.

Private and government employers, in the Nassau County, Florida communities of Fernandina Beach, Yulee and more are feeling the impact. The News Leader classified “Help Wanted” category is the lengthiest portion of that section. In contrast the classified section  for “Homes For Sale” is nonexistent.

Despite being one of the most attractive and sought-after locations in the country to live campaigns for area workers are drawing few if any applicants. Yet, folks are clamoring to live here, particularly those who are retiring and don’t need jobs, or those that work from home.

The City of Fernandina Beach conducted a national campaign seeking a Deputy Chief of Police. The nationwide recruiting campaign attracted just 20 applications despite a pay range of $63,360 -$99,791. The successful applicants was Jeff Tambasco, a retired 25-year veteran cop who came here from Kissimmee, Florida, where media reports hereabouts say his tenure generated bundles of controversy.

The City of Fernandina Beach’s Human Resources Department says his annual salary is $97,000.

The city’s Human Resources Director Denise Matson says there are two other openings on the police force, and they have been vacant a long time with little interest. She admits there is difficulty in attracting qualified applicants adding that the position of Building Director has enticed just three applications nationwide despite a salary range of $66,500-$105,0000.

Ms. Matson didn’t say so, but I suspect anyone applying for the job of Building Director here may have done some research and decided to stay away. Vacancies within the police department may be hard to fill because of the way cops are being treated nationally by far-left defunding loons. Many other police departments around the country are also having trouble filling slots.

Locally restaurants are closing one to two days a week, opening only for dinner, and closing sections of their dinning areas off due to a lack of employees. They are offering signing bonuses, higher than minimum hourly wages, and generous benefits to no avail.

The local Ritz Carlton took a full-page ad in the Wednesday, July 21 issue of the News Leader seeking a slew of folks for hourly wage positions that pay from $14 to $16 an hour plus a laundry list of pricey benefits and a promise of an “opportunity to work and travel around the world.” I have no idea how many people that ad attracted.

“People are not knocking down my door for jobs, so I have to be very proactive,” says a very savvy Diane Craun, a retired U.S. Army Colonel, who has been HR manager for Fernandina’s  WestRock Box Plant the past five months.


She told me she is taking a unique approach to hiring by recruiting “the old fashion way”,  posting signs around town, and using the company’s network of employees, among other creative ideas.

She says the company is hiring workers starting at $18.61 an hour plus benefits, tuition assistance, etc.  Why $18.61? Because that’s what temp agencies she initially used paid but they kept 25% of that and people were not willing to work for $14.50 an hour she explained. The innovative Ms. Craun has also been attending hiring fairs at the military bases attracting service members who are leaving the military, a group of highly sought-after future employees.

“Appealing to the service members as they exit the military, I discuss the pros and cons of working and being self-sufficient as they reenter the workforce in a civilian capacity,” says Ms. Craun, who knows a thing or two about the military after a 30-year Army career.

The company employs some 50,000 people worldwide.

Still, many say why work when the federal government will give you your neighbor’s money to stay home?


What The….? While statues of people like George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, and Christopher Columbus, are being pulled off their pedestals, Newark, New Jersey, paid their respects to career criminal George Floyd by unveiling a 700-pound bronze statue outside city hall. It has his likeness sitting at one end of a bench with his left arm stretched along the back, so that very weird people can have their pictures taken sitting next to him.


Huh? During Joe Biden’s CNN Townhall meeting last week he said the following in response to a question about vaccinations for youngsters: “That’s underway, just like the other question is illogical, and I’ve heard you speak about it, because you always, I’m not being solicitous, but you’re always straight up about what you’re doing,” Biden continued. “And the question is whether or not we should be in a position where you, uh, um, are, why can’t the, the, the experts say we know that this virus is, in fact, uh, um, uh, it’s going to be, or excuse me, we, we know why all the drugs approved are not temporarily approved, but permanently approved, that’s underway, too, I expect that to occur quickly.”

Don Lemon’s follow up question should have been: “Joe, are you OK?”


More Practice & Less Activism: The U.S. women’s soccer team suffered a 3-0 loss to Sweden last Wednesday morning in their Tokyo Olympic opener, breaking a 44-game winning streak.

Really? I didn’t even know they were playing.

This group of misfits don’t represent me or any other patriotic American as all 22 players on Team USA took a knee in solidarity with the militant Marxist group Black Lives Matter before the game.

The satirical Babylon Bee ran a headline saying: “US Women’s Soccer Team To Boycott Scoring Goals Until Racism Is Defeated.”

I saw photos of some of the players and a couple of them actually look like women. The others not so much. One reminded me of the 1960s Russian and East German female athletes who had five o’clock shadows by the time their afternoon events rolled around. Are Olympic officials doing genetics testing these days or in today’s political environment is that all just a waste of time?

“I’m so happy they lost,” Daily Wire podcast host and author Matt Walsh stated bluntly. “I’m actively rooting against US women’s soccer. I want them to be humiliated and embarrassed, just as they humiliate and embarrass our country.”

For the first time I also don’t give a rip if the American soccer team wins. In fact, I hope they don’t win another game and fade into the obscurity they deserve. I don’t want them to have an opportunity to stand on a podium and disgracefully turn their backs on the country they represent.

And don’t even get me started on that Olympic Trials third-place finishing, blue-lipped butt-ugly hammer thrower, who thinks the Star Spangled Banner was just being played to annoy her. What the hell is going on?


Things I Wish I’d Said: “I heard that you have to turn on your headlights when it’s raining in Sweden.  How the heck am I supposed to know if it’s raining in Sweden?” – anonymous.


Wise Words from a Stockbroker: A good friend here recently relayed to me the following advice his stockbroker gave him when asked about what to buy: “If the current government is in office much longer, canned goods, a generator, water and ammunition would be your best investment.”


Things You Need To Know: Following the death of Army veteran Charles Coolidge, 100, in Chattanooga on April 6, Hershel “Woody” Williams, 97, is now the last living World War II Medal of Honor recipient. He is a Marine Corps veteran who fought on Iwo Jima and now lives in West Virginia.


Say It Ain’t So Joe: Every time Joe Biden reads off the teleprompter it becomes more and more obvious that he has no idea what he’s talking about. For example, he just spouted one of the dumbest things he’s ever said, claiming that another $4 trillion in government spending will cut inflation. He’s clueless, just reading whatever his handlers write for him. Extensive research has shown that while some infrastructure spending may be needed, it does not impact GDP or productivity at all. Massive federal spending clearly contributes to inflation, not the other way around.


Firing Blanks: While a great many politicians are legitimately dismissed as empty suits, it’s fair to describe the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark  Milley – who defends teaching critical race theory and believes white rage and climate change are military threats – as an empty uniform. While he may have served the U.S. at one time with gallantry, he’s now playing politics and has become dangerous. Identifying President Trump supporters as “brownshirts” and endorsing far left crackpot blather is stuff right out of the 1936 Nazi Party’s Sturmabteilung.


YEP!  – “It looks like the cozy relationship Biden has with Facebook is starting to sour. Accusing a company of murder will do that.”— Kelly Maher, The National News Room


Wait! What? Occasionally I’ll read items online from parents complaining that there are no activities on Amelia Island in which their children can participate. I’ve even read letters in the local News Leader from parents saying that the city doesn’t provide enough for their kids to do. A recent posting on a site called “Neighborhood” asked: “Looking for suggestions for activities in the area for 17-year-old  boys.”

Do these people live in caves? We live on an island with 13 miles of beaches. If the kids can’t swim and surf they can fish or look for shells or shark’s teeth, play frisbee, build sand castles, etc. There are ball fields at Central Park, behind the Atlantic Recreation Center (which also has a pool and a gym), ball parks near the airport and the Peck Center and a skateboard park, miniature golf and volleyball and basketball courts at Main Beach. There’s another miniature golf course downtown and one on Sadler. Put the kids on bikes and send them off on one of the many trails all over the island. Egans Creek greenway and Fort Clinch have hiking trails and biking areas. How about exploring the downtown library’s books, art, films etc.?

They can rent a jet ski, go kayaking or horseback riding. There’s a pinball museum at the small shopping center on Sadler Road and indoor basketball courts at the Peck Center and the YMCA off Citrona. The Y also has a pool, fitness classes, a gym, swimming lessons and personal trainers available.

How about stopping by the Council on Aging and volunteering? Or visiting an elderly or shut-in neighbor or one that may be in the hospital or in a nursing home. Maybe even earning money by babysitting, mowing lawns, dog walking, washing cars, or doing computer trouble shooting for technologically challenged neighbors?

Any kid that says he can’t find anything to do here has his or her head stuck up their computer and parents that don’t care and expect others to entertain their sluggish offspring.


Calling A Penalty: Declaring that it will play what it says is the black national anthem before the start of each game the National Football League is alienating more than half of its fan base. Why? What’s the point of  inspiring more divisiveness, racial bias and white hate that is currently being taught in American schools. There is only one U.S. national anthem. Ratings for NFL games are already down. Watch them plummet even further after this bit of insanity.


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: When I lived in Atlanta I enjoyed frequenting funky blues joints including Fuzzy’s, Blind Willie’s, Fat Matt’s Rib Shack, Northside Tavern, etc. Unfortunately, Amelia Island doesn’t boast a single honky-tonk that could be called a “blue’s joint”, but it does have a blues band that moves from venue to venue, the Amelia Blues Project, and they’ll be performing tonight, July 23, at Sliders on Fletcher and Sadler from 6-10 pm along with their special guest, talented keyboard player and singer Ronnie Stoots. They’ll also be at Down Under July 24, Saturday evening beginning at 6pm. Folks, this is as good a blues band as I heard anywhere in Atlanta. Speaking of Ronnie Stoots, last Monday he played solo at the Tides Pool Bar, in the two new adjoining Marriott hotels on Atlantic Ave. across from Fort Clinch. A torrential downpour forced him and the crowd to the inside bar where he picked up without missing a beat. The Tides Pool Bar & Grill has a 3-7 pm special on Monday’s with live music, $3.50 beers, ½ off cocktails, $5 BBQ brisket biscuits and $5 nachos, and personable bartender George Morris. Tonight, Friday, July 23, The Sandbar & Kitchen at Main Beach will feature Sound Waves and tomorrow, Saturday, July 24, a group called Flo & Grits, both from 6-10 pm. The Sandbar, which says it provides more brands of whiskey than any other place in Florida with more than 1,000, will feature two new bourbon barrel picks. One is labelled “Southpaw Creampuff” and has a photo of restaurant manager Del Matthews, a left-handed Fernandina Beach High School grad who was a fifth-round major league draft pick and pitched 11 years in the minors for the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates. Buy a one-ounce taste for $10 or an entire bottle for $92 plus tax. A new bottle called “Velvet Elk” is also available for $6.00 a taste for a half ounce and $64 a bottle. There are still bottles available of “Foar From Home” promoting the quartet of area locals who will row across the Atlantic to draw attention to veteran suicide, for $100 a bottle with proceeds going to the charity.

  • Comment (20)
  • You have listened to Trump speak? Perhaps not, if you have i doubt you could make fun of Biden’s speech pattern with a straight face.

    • What you are doing is called gaslighting. Trump is not the President, Bumbling Joe is… Instead of pointing fingers at Trump, why don’t you tell us all the great things Joe is doing? Bet you can’t…js

      • “What you are doing is called gaslighting. Trump is not the President”. All of you angry, white people, blasting Biden for everything under the sun, are so damn myopic, its really pointless to even start debating with you anymore. But just to make one point to show your hypocrisy, yet again, when Trump was president, we constantly heard this and that about Hillary Clinton….but of course that was ok back then, but now that the shoe is on the other foot…oh well, just more of the same blather from the Hypocrite Party. BTW, as for our President’s fumbling for words…he has battled stuttering (or stammering if your are a Brit) since childhood, but since you all are so much like Trump full of nastiness and caring not about a person’s disability, its just another reason to hate. You all are truly disgusting!

        • To suggest that Biden, once considered a great retail politician able to speak extemporaneously on the Senate floor, is now disabled due his lifetime stuttering problem discounts his 50-year political history and is a disservice to those who truly are impaired by their stuttering (unable to be employed).

          However, if you truly believe Biden is disabled because he stutters and because of the stutter his ability to communicate effectively requires notes cards and teleprompters, all I can say is, “Houston, we have a problem…”

          BTW: assuming critical posts about Biden are from angry white people is a measure of your personal prejudices. Why do you assume the posts are all from white people?

          • In my opinion, extemporaneous speeches generally are from the heart, and not given in response to prodding questions usually. Some people are better than others at such things. Stuttering can be controlled in many ways by those suffering from it over years of dealing with it, but I would hazard to guess that is continues to exist within. Perhaps though, you are an expert?

            To me, its obvious that those who don’t like the content of his speech, and the way he delivers his responses, deride him as as being old or infirm and, essentially an idiot. This is almost humorous when I think of Trump speaking in baby talk half the time, repeatedly using minimalist verbiage like: “beautiful” this and “beautiful” that, for all sorts of topics and, “really, really bad”, and of course my all-time favorite “witch hunt” used ad nauseam.

            Anyway, as far as angry white people…well, here in Fernandnina, after my 40+ years of living here, such commentary and opinions generally come from angry white people…except “Coastal Nomads” perhaps, but there are always exceptions to every rule…but I doubt it. Its not a racist thing, its an observation I have made over many years…and when a great, great majority of like minded-thinkers are angry and white, well, if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck…its either a duck or right-winged hawk!

            BTW, I am a white guy, just not an angry one who is losing my mind about the world becoming less white, and more diverse.

    • Suggest you look-up the definition of a “speech pattern”. Biden’s rambling response to Don Lemon during the CNN Townhall was not a “speech pattern” issue. Biden had clearly lost track of both the subject and question and was fumbling for words. Forgetting the subject and attempting to fudge an answer is a cognitive problem.

  • Hi Dave. I agree with most of your ideas. That said, I think attacking people for their physical appearance demeans you. If the people you’re saying mean things about are paid to be gorgeous, then maybe it would be appropriate. if their job is to win games or throw things, saying you find them unattractive is just mean and disrespectful. I agree with you pointing out their disrespectful treatment of their country (the on that pays them to do sports), but attacking their personal appearance makes you look bad, in my opinion. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for keeping us better informed of local goings on!

  • Several great topics today. As an American that loves this country it is very scary with the current cognitive ability of our president and vice-president. Neither one has a grasp of the issues this nation faces daily. I did vote for Twitter-In-Chief in 2016 but will not in 2024. This nation needs real leadership that neither Senile Buffoon Biden or lying Trump can provide. I am hoping that the Republican’s put forth a candidate that can save this nation from the damages inflicted by the DemoRAT’s, Socialists, and Marxist that are infiltrating the political ranks at the local, state, and federal levels.

    I too think that General Mark Milley should be removed from his post. He has totally lost sight of the role of the military to out nations security. The political hack Biden placed in office as Secretary of Defense is not someone I would want to serve under either. Serving under Melvin Lard and Richard Nixon was bad enough but nothing like the clowns in office are doing to the military now.

  • Congratulations to Hershel “Woody” Williams and now the last living WWll Medal of Honor recipient. 97 years old.
    My dad, who still drives his SUV around the Cocoa Beach area to and from shopping and VA appointments, turns 98 on August 5th. Surely he is one of the oldest living WWll recipients awarded the Purple Heart and The French Legion Medal of Honor at a ceremony in Orlando a few years back. As the radio operator in a B-17 his plane was among other bombers participating in the first daylight bombing of Berlin on March 4th,1944. His plane was shot down (hit by flack) and his crew all had to bail out over German occupied France. Some of the crew were captured, a few including Thomas L. Yankus Sr. evaded the Nazi Army and he eventually was able to get linked with the French Underground and being liberated 5 months later. In the past he has been interviewed by Tom Brokaw and Peter Jennings and featured on their news shows.

    • The Greatest Generation for sure! My dad (now passed away) was on a PT boat in the Pacific. They never wanted accolades, but most certainly deserve it always! You Dad and others like him are truly heroes, a term sometimes over used these days, but most certainly truly applies to them!

    • Please thank your father for his service. Truly he’s one of the last of the greatest generation, and those of us who have come after owe them a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid.

  • I completely agree with your comments about things to do for children on Amelia. I always scratch my head when I read those posts. I have raised 2 kids here (one still in high school is at the beach as I type this). I know they are so blessed to have grown up in a town with so much to do! They know it, too!

  • Morning Dave- I believe your on to something with the Non Gender Olympics. First glance at today’s media marketing hype of the non gender/women’s soccer team speaks volumes. Around the Lamar home today’s Olympics are denoted as the “Toxic Frog Games”. With the purple, yellow, blue, and day-glow red hairdoo’s it screams stay away the same as the Amazon frogs who pioneered this advertising.

  • When the Biden Administration announced advance payments of Child Tax Credits, my first thought was that maybe it would help a few families or the economy. Then my brain fast-forwarded to April 2022 when everyone calculates their income taxes. Most people try to adjust their weekly paycheck withholding so that they end up slightly overpaying and therefore receive a small refund after filing their returns. What happens if you are expecting a $1-2,000 refund next April, but the IRS has given you $2,500 or more in advance payments? This compassionate payment program may have negative future consequences.

  • Athletes disrespecting the flag, the country and their fellow citizens convince me to get a life away from the TV.

    Olympic audience numbers, NBA audience numbers, etc., should reflect how other Americans feel.

  • Thanks for the update on local interests for kids and teens. I was searching for a tennis venue which I didn’t see. Is there such for kids other than expensive lessons and clubs?

  • I was about to respond to the “angry white people” comments, below, but then I decided to let the total lack of self awareness speak for itself. Adding to what Mark Harrison said – we can all have a rational discussion without the personal attacks.

    Until the news began reporting it a few weeks ago, I never realized Joe Biden had a lifelong stuttering problem. Seems like he’s been dealing with it pretty well all these years. Loss of train of thought is an entirely different issue. Some people call it Derailment (discontinuity or loss of goal). Others call it Asyndesis. Whatever it is, it’s NOT an occasional “gaff” and it appears to be persistent. Is his condition getting worse? Only time (and my lying ears) will tell.


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