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

Let’s Buy A Cop A Christmas Coffee!

(Editor’s Note: I will take a couple of weeks off to celebrate the Christmas season with family and friends. The blog will resume January 10. I appreciate your readership and comments and hope all of you have a very happy Christmas and a prosperous 2020.)

If I was in a Starbucks and an incident occurred that required police intervention I’d be uneasy that the cops might treat the coffee chain’s request for help the same way its employees deal with law enforcement officers who order a cup of their over-priced swill – insult and ignore them.

However, that won’t happen for a couple of reasons. First, I don’t patronize Starbucks because of their universal negative attitude toward law enforcement agencies and the fact the chain sells the most over-priced, fat-laden product in America, which appeals mostly to folks who shop for clothing in the “plus-size” clothing section.  And secondly, those in law enforcement have more class and honor than the mentally challenged twits that manage and work for the left-wing Seattle-based mess. Despite Starbucks obvious contempt for them the cops would do their duty and rush to assist the Starbucks ingrates in an emergency.

A recent rash of incidents has Starbucks serving up apologies to disparaged law enforcement officials faster than its mindless baristas can slide $37 plastic cups of Pumpkin-Spiced Caramel Waffle Cone Crème Frappuccino Blend across the counter. (If you buy two of these at the same time they’ll throw in a set of Ginzo knives and put your picture on the bulletin board next to those of all the cops they’ve insulted and rejected for service that week.)

Last week was Starbucks latest in a barrage of insincere acts of contrition when the company’s apology assembly line issued an “OK, we’re sorry again already” bunkum response to a couple of cops without coffee after the two uniformed officers were denied service at a store in Riverside County, California, by Starbucks baristas whose therapists have obviously given up on them.

“Two of our deputies were refused service at Starbucks,” tweeted Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco. “The anti-police culture repeatedly displayed by Starbucks employees must end.” Bianco said that two deputies were “completely ignored” and “laughed at” for several minutes despite their request for service at a University Ave. location. He admitted that employees didn’t say anything suggesting they disliked cops, but to him, the message was clear. “Starbucks is minimizing this entire thing by saying this is a customer service issue when we all know the only reason was that they walked in there in uniform,” he said. “Of course, they have to do damage control; they have to say it’s customer service.”

Starbucks says the employees in question have been suspended pending a company investigation. Suspended? They should be force-fed a Grande, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte Kale Smoothie With Soymilk, then fired.

Other recent Starbucks kerfuffles with cops include a barista in Oklahoma writing the word “pig” on a cop’s coffee cup and this past Fourth of July six uniformed officers in Arizona being asked to leave a store because they made a customer there feel uncomfortable. The only reason I can imagine cops making a customer feel uncomfortable at Starbucks was that he may have felt their presence would interfere with his plans to rob or shoot up the joint.

In Baltimore Starbucks employees refused to let a cop use the bathroom telling him it was for customers only.

Here’s a potential signature menu item that the Seattle-based left-wing mess should consider adding to its food selections that’s reflective of its “gracious” hospitality — Casu Marzu, a Sardinian putrid cheese specialty made from sheep milk that contains live insect larvae (maggots). Daily employee taste tests would be mandatory.

If I ran a coffee shop, I’d provide law enforcement officials all the free coffee they wanted, all day. In fact, if a local Amelia Island coffee shop thinks that’s a good idea I’ll be the first to contribute to a “Coffee for Cops” fund at their store and this would be the perfect time of year to initiate such a thing.  If I see a cop in a coffee shop anytime in the future I’m buying his or her coffee.


Speaking Of Coffee Shops: Two of my favorite places to relax with a cup of coffee and a newspaper or magazine are downtown’s Fernandina Beach’s Amelia Island Coffee Shop at 207 Centre Street and Hola, just around the corner on North 2nd Street.

Sandwiched between a pocket park a boutique dress shop and an upstairs art gallery, the Amelia Island Coffee Shop boasts a number of friendly and polite local high school guys and gals whose manners and attitudes reflect positively on their parents and teachers. It’s a Norman Rockwell type environment where you’ll always be greeted by friendly and well-mannered employees and invariably meet a neighbor or an interesting stranger.

In addition to reasonably priced coffees the place also serves up a variety of iced drinks and ice creams as well as baked goods ranging from scones and muffins to croissants and bagels among others. A wide variety of lunch and breakfast sandwiches are also available including a southwest omelet wrap and garden bagel to BLTs and Reubens. Beer and wine is also available. Owner Gene Goldberg has created a cozy environment with an enticing menu of sensibly priced selections while affable Manager Ricky Robbins runs a disciplined and comfortable operation which is open all week. Call ‘em at 904/321-2111.

During the recent “Dickens On Centre” event last weekend Amelia Coffee Shop’s Centre Street booth featured a menu listing a whopping half-pound Angus beef burger for a reasonable $10. Listed just below it was something called a “Beyond Beef Plant Burger” for $11, a fake hamburger, that costs a buck more than the real one. I questioned the rationale of that pricing and was told very politely by one of the gracious young booth attendants that it was not only very good, but good for me and it costs more to make than the real thing. Despite her good-natured demeanor, nutritional advice, and sense of humor, I passed.

Hola, just around the corner from Amelia Coffee Shop, provides an international coffee atmosphere as its owners, Chris Garcia and Marisol Triana, offer authentic Cuban coffees and food to their customers on North 2nd Street, behind the Palace Saloon, that also features an outside patio. In addition to the delicious Cuban coffees that include the famous café con leche ($4.50), this congenial duo serve a variety of Cuban breakfast items ranging from a breakfast empanada for just $3.50 to a $4.67 croqueta sandwich among many others. My favorite at lunch is the pressed $7.50 Cuban sandwich, one of the best I’ve eaten since my last visit to the legendary Silver Ring in Tampa’s Ybor City many, many years ago. Another popular lunch item is its media noche, also just $7.50. They are closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Call ‘em at 904/206-1985.

Starbucks? We don’t need no stinkin’ Starbucks!


What the $#@&^% Happened To Restroom Graffiti? After returning from a restroom break at one of my favorite Amelia Island watering holes recently I mentioned to a pal at the bar that authors of bathroom graffiti nowadays are obviously suffering from writer’s block.

The stuff currently scrawled on restroom walls no longer includes anything clever, funny or original, not even the name of the girlfriend that dumped the disgruntled writer preceded by a suggestion to call her “for a good time” along with her unlisted phone number.

Back in the 1970’s bathroom graffiti was an art form. It was so original that it sparked a number of small booklets listing examples of the best graffiti in each state, women’s restrooms, men’s restrooms, posh hotels, honky tonks, etc.

Today’s graffiti is like modern art, it doesn’t make any sense and most of it is ignorantly obscene, scrawled by grade school dropouts with the handwriting of serial killers. Maybe the lack of creativity is caused by the confusion over the massive variety of bathrooms required to satisfy all the folks in the LBGTAQ community. It’s gotten to the point that public restrooms might soon resort to printing disclaimers on their walls saying: “This space intentionally left blank.” By the way what does a gender-confused person write on the wall: “For a good time call ?”.

The best graffiti messages I’ve personally seen were in Memphis near Elvis Presley’s Graceland home and in New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Following a tour of Graceland many years ago I retreated to a nearby bar where I spotted this on the men’s room wall: “If Elvis was such an important person why is he buried in the back yard like a gerbil?”

On a massively defaced wall of a bathroom stall at LaGuardia Airport someone had taken the time to erase a small swath of the vile, profane scribblings and crude drawings that covered it, and very neatly penciled in: “Obviously no intelligent life here. Beam me up Scotty.”


Impeach This! Despite the fact there was no evidence and no crime, Democrats produced massive reports attempting to define their two articles of impeachment against President Trump. They could have done it on a sticky note: Article One: He beat us in 2016; Article Two: We can’t beat him in 2020.


A Shocking Prediction: I’ve read that U.S. consumption of household electric energy and related costs are going down dramatically thanks to changes in technology, more efficient appliances, and better insulated homes. This apparently doesn’t apply hereabouts as Florida Public Utilities recently sent out a notice saying our rates would significantly jump this coming year to pay for the damage caused by recent hurricanes. However, in other parts of the country decreases are taking place despite an increase in the number of household things that use electricity says The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). But that may not be the case for those households populated by environmentalists who think electricity comes from an energy fairy and not from coal, natural gas or nuclear fueled power plants. Lucas Davis, a Berkeley economist who studies such stuff, says those folks purchasing electric vehicles could see their household electricity rates jump by 20 percent overnight. They have to plug those silly things in somewhere and good luck finding a nearby windmill or solar panel that’ll do the trick. And speaking of electric cars, why are folks that can afford to buy a $184,000 Tesla getting a $7,500 tax rebate?


Held Wanted – No Democrats Need Apply: Last week I joined a group of like-minded folks hereabouts to hear from Dean Black, the Chairman of the Duval County Republican Party. His message was startling. According to Black, a rancher, successful local businessman and a former broadcaster, the traditional Republican hold on Duval County is weakening. If this is not remedied says Black it may spell doom for Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Why? Well, says Black, Florida is a swing state and Duval County is the GOP counterbalance to the heavily populated Democratic stronghold in southeast Florida — you know, the ones that keep finding uncounted ballots in the trunks of cars, closets, under beds, etc. Black says Trump carried Duval County by 7,000 votes in 2016 but lefty Senator Bill Nelson won in Duval and so did wannabe governor Andrew Gillum. He says the Democrats are continuing to focus on Duval with a team of 20 George Soros paid staffers busily registering future Democrat voters, an effort he wants to counter by recruiting right-thinking folks from in an out of Duval County to aid his efforts there. It’s a “political emergency” says Black and those interested in helping to register Republican voters or provide any other assistance in Duval County can email him at or call him at 904/813-3016.


A Lesson In Civics: In his weekly “Ross Rant” economist, investor, author and pundit Joel Ross highlights the fact that Florida is about to pass a bill that requires all high school students to pass a civics course to graduate. “That’s a big step in the right direction,” he says. “Now if we could get all high schools and freshman college kids to be required to do the same, plus a real objective history class, not a left-wing version of what they view as white male oppression, we would really start a return to some level of education and reality.” Ross cities examples of the damage so-called “academics” are doing describing their insane attack on a team of scientists at Google who reported that they had achieved quantum supremacy – a term of art in science. “Sure enough,” relates Ross, “soon came the attack from 13 academics claiming that the word “supremacy” is racist, violence prone and neocolonialist, and other things these nincompoops rage about these days. What any of that has to do with quantum mechanics is a real mystery. As the WSJ pointed out, Diana Ross needs to rename the Supremes now, and I guess we need to rename the Supreme Court, Then there is always the Supremacy clause in the constitution. Do these so-called academics realize what idiots they are saying this utter nonsense. This is another example of what is happening on campuses across America today. And your kids and grandkids are being indoctrinated with this crap instead of being educated.” Ross says we can put a stop to this crap by stopping alumni donations and demanding an end to this left-wing crap. He’s right.


 Drinking, Dining & Dancing: Amelia Island resident Dr. Robert Hogan and his brother-in-law Ed Howell have some ambitious and agressive plans ahead for a group of local Amelia Island eateries and their role for Amelia Island. This is not an area that most folks who know him professionally would associate with Dr. Hogan — Chairman & President of the worldwide Hogan Assessments — who is legendary for his groundbreaking research on personality and how it translates to organizational and leadership effectiveness. He has been so effective in his profession that experts in his field, recently ranked him among the world’s top five greatest personality psychologists, a crowd consisting of such impressive folks as Sigmund Freud, Hans Eysenck, Gordon Allport and Carl Jung. This isn’t a gang that’ll be hanging out in the bar at Dr. Hogan’s locally owned restaurants and brewery that include Pogo’s, The Amelia Tavern, Amelia Island Brewing Company, Parkway Grill (he owns the building not the business) and the recently purchased downtown building that once housed LaFavola, the corner of Centre St. and 3rd St. South. Ed Howell, Dr. Hogan’s brother-in-law, heads up Bubbles Enterprises LLC, Dr. Hogan’s restaurant group, and explained to me that their objective is to make Amelia Island a “food destination.” They apparently have the resources, the talent and patience. Ed tells me that they are currently evaluating restaurant plans for the LaFavola facility, that local restaurateurs consider the premier restaurant location on the island. They are still in the building and permitting stages for their brewery on Southern 8th Street, located between Tire Kingdom and a veterinary clinic. The brewery, which will feature a tap room, is all part of their Amelia Island Brewing Company, associated with the popular Centre St. Amelia Tavern, whose brewing capabilities have reached capacity. The group also bought the buildings next door to the Tavern that once housed the Alley Cat bar and restaurant and its next-door neighbor, Hunt’s Artifacts. I’m told that the under-construction space where the Alley Cat was located will become retail and its upstairs, office space. The former Hunt’s 10-foot wide shop, once an alley, is being converted into a covered open beer garden as part of the Tavern that they expect to open this spring or summer. Howell, who hails from the Midwest and has lived here for three years, said the restaurant group so far boasts some 70 employees. It appears there’ll be many more as their plans progress.


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