Island Issues

Inquisitive Luncheon Quintet Chews Over Issues To Digest Lack of Area’s Conservative Viewpoints

Inquisitive Luncheon Quintet Chews Over Issues To Digest Lack of Area’s Conservative Viewpoints

Fernandina resident Ken Tommerman’s book.

During lunch at Lagniappe Restaurant earlier this week I dined with an eclectic group of Amelia Island businessmen and entrepreneurs, with island politics being one of the topics we chewed on.

This quintet of native and long-time residents discussed a variety of subjects ranging from “what the heck is wrong with Fernandina Beach’s city government” to “property rights” and some of the far-left nonsense currently infecting the island.

Where — the group asked — are the conservative voices to combat the “end-is-near” screeching of the Conserve Amelia Now, Amelia Tree Conservatory, Sierra Club organizations; the likes of City Commissioner Mike “Left Coast” Lednovich’s extremist anti-property rights lunacy; and the sign-waving, socialistic loonies occasionally seen marching aimlessly around Central Park promoting their latest cause-of-the-week?

The island trio of extreme tree hugger groups doesn’t hesitate to exploit children in their attempts as evidenced by their participation in something called a “Global Warming Climate Strike” at Central Park recently, that encouraged kids to skip school and join in their nonsense. We all agreed that behavior like this reaffirms the importance of educating today’s youth on the value of history, particularly the U.S. Constitution and this country’s founding as well as plain old common sense.

Scott Adams, the creator of the cartoon series Dilbert concurs saying recently: “Adults sometimes like to use children to carry their messages because it makes it hard for the other side to criticize them without seeming like monsters. If adults have encouraged you to panic about climate change they do not have your best interests at heart. They are using you.”

Investment banker, author and essayist, Joel Ross, in one of his periodic “Ross Rants” said reaching out to young people is vital: “If you want to know what the real impact is of lack of free speech and no history classes on campus, and the left wing teaching the kids now get, just look at how young people think Elizabeth Warren is their candidate — free tuition, free healthcare for everyone, wipe out student loans, break up the big nasty and corrupt corporations, raise taxes on the people and companies who actually pay most of the taxes, and put bankers in jail. They have absolutely no concept of reality, economics or geopolitics. That she could actually be a very viable candidate should scare the hell out of you as to where the younger generation is headed. The good news is one of my die-hard Dem friends who owns a company admitted he could not vote for her. He likely will just not vote. Wall Street, corporate execs and others are now going to donate huge sums to Trump to stop her.”

With those concepts in mind we left the restaurant agreeing to seek out forums and avenues that voice conservative views and even consider aiding in the formation of such platforms, with the emphasis on attracting young folks, and then get back together to discuss strategies.

The lunch whetted my appetite to find local conservative rays of hope and here’s what I’ve discovered hereabouts so far:

It’s a coincidence that two of us at the lunch were in attendance at this past Monday’s standing-room-only “We the People” session featuring new island resident Ken Timmerman, a former Noble Prize Nominee, former hostage of Palestinian guerilla fighters, investigative reporter, Iran expert, and a staunch conservative. His presentation, “The World According to Trump: A National Security Perspective” was riveting. He has since written a piece about Trump’s announcement that he was withdrawing troops from Syria. It can be read by gong to .

Deb Boelkes, the founder of We the People, conducts a variety of such sessions on Amelia Island, and has seen their popularity explode with attendance swelling for each talk. To join her organization and to get on her mailing list email her at or call her at 904/310-9602.

An ad hoc group of conservatives in and round Nassau County are not only making their opinions known but are headed to DC to make sure their voices are heard. Next Thursday, October 17, a group called “Americans Supporting President Trump” plan to stage a “March for Trump: Stop Impeachment Now!” rally at 10:00 am at the US Capitol in Washington DC. Local folks wanting to display their support should contact Rebecca Walker, at the Republican Party of Nassau County, who says there may be a “free” bus going up there from here, returning on the 18th. The only expense would be for food. For more information, contact Rebecca Walker at

On Saturday, October 26, the Jacksonville-based “We Can Be Heroes In Jacksonville” will conduct its 7th Annual Benghazi Tribute called “Security, Terrorism & Heroes” at UNF’s Adam W. Herbert University Center, 12000 Alumni Dr., Jacksonville. Mr. Timmerman will be one of the featured speakers along with Charles Woods, Gold Star father of Benghazi hero, Tyrone Woods; actresses and authors Morgan Brittany and Ann-Marie Murrell; Dr. Adam Francisco, author and Islam and Muslim expert; Clare Lopez, a former CIA officer and VP of Center for Security Policy. There will be live performances, exhibitions and book signings. General admission is $50; Seniors and First Responders, $45; students $15. To register or for more information Google “We Can Be Heroes in Jacksonville”, and follow the link to Eventbrite or visit, email or call 904/373-8817.

Former Republican Congressman Jason Chaffetz, now a Fox News contributor and author, will appear on Amelia Island Tuesday, November 17 at the Omni Hotel Grand Ballroom. The event is free and there will be a cash bar at 4:30 p.m. with his presentation beginning at 5 p.m. Chavez is the author of two books:  Power Grab,  describing the liberal scheme to undermine Trump, the GOP, and our Republic; and The Deep State: explaining how an army of bureaucrats protected Barack Obama and is working to destroy the Trump agenda. Both are New York Times best sellers. To attend RSVP to: by November 3. Chaffetz, who left Congress in 2017, served as Chairman of the powerful Oversight & Government Reform Committee, led investigations into the United States Secret Service, the Department of Education I.T. vulnerabilities, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) data breach, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Benghazi terrorist attack, misuse of classified information by Hillary Clinton, Fast & Furious, and the IRS scandal. The event is sponsored by the U.S. Constitution Scholarship Foundation. Go to for more information about this organization.

Luncheon pal Joe Murphy’s Amelia Island Charity Group will kick-off its 9th Annual Golf Classic followed by a banquet and auction, Saturday, November 9. “You don’t have play golf to join us for this event”, says Joe. “We have single and couples tickets available.” The event benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation.  This year he says, “the group is honored to have, families of the Navy SEAL Foundation Gold Star program, that supports families who have lost a family member in service of our country.” Also joining the activities will be Naval Special Warfare personnel, retired SEALs and members of the Navy SEAL Foundation staff. “This 9th Annual Golf Classic has a meaningful significance as we reach the One Million Dollar goal,” explains Joe. “In the eight years we’ve held this event the Amelia Island Charity Group has returned $994,367.00 in gross revenue to the Foundation to assist in their Legacy Program. The Navy SEAL Foundation has a 4 Star rating from Charity Navigator and boasts an extremely low expense ratio, using $ 0.94 of every $ 1.00 for their Legacy Programs For reservations call Joe at 904/206-3935 or email him at For more information go to

Can anyone out there add to the above list?


City Eye Exam: City Hall and the Main Street program have teamed up to provide visitors to downtown an attractive series of eye exams. Charming new directional signs that are awkwardly called “wayfinding signs” now appear on downtown corner poles indicating what street visitors are on. Below them are a series of signs listing the names of enterprises up and down each street. The informational signs are of no value to drivers as they can’t be seen from a car, even if it is stopped in front of them. I took the photo here standing about three or four feet from the sign and had to get almost on top of it to read that skateboarding and bicycling on sidewalks is prohibited. By the time a skateboarding kid can read that he’s plastered all over the sign. Some merchants told me that nobody asked them how they wanted their businesses to be listed so there has to be a do-over on some signs. Also, when a business closes or is replaced by another one, I assume the signs will be redone. Is that expensive? Maybe they should have done a test sign or two before installing the whole shebang. Oh well, they are attractive despite being almost useless.


She Did What? Ellen DeGeneres is being condemned by her Hollywood peers after she was photographed treating a political foe with respect, something this crowd knows nothing about. A photo of her at a recent Dallas Cowboy football game sitting next to President George W. Bush, caused the left-wing thespian crowd to react as though Ms. DeGeneres had just come out of the closet as a conservative.


Nice Work If You Can Get It: I’ve been interviewed for many jobs in my career and I’ve interviewed people for many jobs, over the years but I’ve never once seen a situation like this before. A guy who was just kicked out of the U.S. military for cocaine abuse and is in drug rehab, gets hired by a company he knows nothing about, in an industry in which he is totally ignorant, in a country he’s unfamiliar with, and whose language he doesn’t speak, for a job paying $600,000 annually.  Is he the boss’s son? Nope, but, he is the son of the Vice President of the United States. What did Hunter Biden have to offer Ukraine’s Burisma Holdings other than the fact he is Joe Biden’s kid? And then there is the video of Joe Biden bragging about his successful quid pro quo, his threat to withhold aid from Ukraine if a prosecutor investigating his boy’s role in the company was not fired. Biden said he and his son never discussed his overseas business dealings when all of a sudden a 2014 photograph of then-Vice President Joe golfing with son Hunter and a board member of the Ukraine company surfaces. Many years ago, when newspapers and television networks had real reporters, managing editors would be screaming at their staffs to “get to the bottom of this thing and you’ll have a Pulitzer Prize to put on your resume.” Sadly, today’s reporters are nothing more than flacks for the Democrat Party, and the papers and networks continue to disgrace themselves by brushing the Biden revelations away with a lame “There’s nothing to see hear” refrain. Then they demand President Trump be impeached for exposing the Obama administration’s corruption. Where the heck’s Hunter Biden been during this brouhaha? In China maybe?  That’s where he walked away with $1.5 billion for a fund called BHR Partners that was officially registered just 12 days after he and dad, in December 2013, flew to Beijing aboard Air Force Two, while his father made an official visit as vice president. Nah, nothing to see here folks, just move along.


Where’s The Beef: The Amelia Film Festival appears to be a film festival without films. I’ve seen Facebook postings that show a handful of folks sitting around a table reading from what appear to be scripts but haven’t seen a film or an announcement about where any films will be shown. What am I missing here?


Reviews Matter: Eighty percent of consumers have made a healthcare-related search online in the past year, according to a survey from, and 60% will not book an appointment if they don’t like what they see. Even after a strong referral from their primary-care physician, 81% of consumers will still check out a doctor online and 90% said they frequently change their mind if the provider has poor or weak reviews. Source: Change Healthcare via Georgia Public Policy Foundation.


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: Only a month after announcing that he was converting his 510 South 8th Street Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen eatery to an all-seafood menu, Chef Kenny Gilbert is once again putting a selection of his most popular BBQ items back on the grill including an express menu offering of  “just the meats”, sides and platters as well as Brunswick stew and brisket. He will be open six days a week, with Sundays being only take out with counter service from 11am to 3pm. Monday, Wednesday-Saturday hours are 11am to 9 pm; closed Tuesday. Also returning to the menu are the popular one-half fried chicken and the Ultimate Sampler Plate. Call ‘em at 904/ 310-6374. While watching one of the divisional playoff baseball games the other day I ordered the half-pound eight-dollar hamburger with cheese, pickles, slices of onion, tomato and lettuce at South 8th Street’s Overtime and wasn’t disappointed. In fact, if this blog’s hamburger reviewing Fat Men From Space duo had been with me, I’m sure they’d agree that it’s one of the best tasting and most economical burgers in town. It doesn’t include any sides but hey folks, it’s only eight bucks. Overtime is in the location that once housed the former Halftime Sports Bar & Grill. Call ‘em at 904/432-8448

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