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

Opportunity Isn’t Just Knocking Here! It’s Battering Doors Down With Local Mill Jobs

Opening the door to a golden opportunity.

If I was a young man unsure of exactly what I wanted to do for a living but knew I wanted to live comfortably in the tropical resort community of Amelia Island, then I’d have been hanging off the gates of the WestRock Fernandina Beach Paper Mill to be one of the first in line to apply for one of the jobs advertised in a quarter page display ad in the local News-Leader newspaper recently.

WestRock (NYSE: WRK) is a massive international corporation of 42,000 employees that produces paper products ranging from pizza boxes to the cartons that hold your favorite six pack and more. Ranked 251st on the Fortune 500, the Norcross, GA based company’s ad said it is looking for folks with a high school diploma or a G.E.D. who have a minimum of two years full or part-time work experience somewhere…anywhere, doing anything legal within the past four years.

The ad doesn’t say it prefers males or females or any of the other assorted genders, but basically is looking for folks who can fill out an employment application, add and subtract, stand upright, want a good job with potential, and are willing to play by their rules and work hard. Initially you may have to work one of the local manufacturing facility’s 24/7 shifts and weekends but so what. If you can walk without dragging your knuckles along the ground, show up sober, and utter a complete three-word sentence without saying “Ya know what I mean?” while pausing for a breath, this could be your chance of a lifetime.

And here’s the best part: The positions advertised pay an astounding $40,000-$50,000 annually, include health, vision, dental, and life insurance plans as well as a 401(k) an employee assistance program and paid holidays and vacation. Try and find that kind of package anywhere else in these parts without a college degree or even with one. Opportunity isn’t just knocking, it broke the door down.

You may get dirty and the work may be hard initially, but earning $40-50K while getting in on the ground floor of a prestigious growth company like WestRock with unlimited career opportunities and buckets of benefits is like hitting the local lottery and certainly worth it, particularly if you have an anemic educational background.

So all you millennial slackers get over the fact that Bernie Sanders will never be president and start sending you government checks and that you’ll have to actually work for a living. Crawl out of your parent’s guest room bed, put down that Play Station, wash up, and drag what you think is your entitled butt down to WestRock. I doubt you’d even have to hide those goofy tattoos but I’d do so anyway as well as lose the piercings. Or you can even apply online by going to Go to Careers/Explore Current Job Openings (Production/Manufacturing)/Job Title-Production Laborer-Fernandina, FL.

I’d be curious to hear how many applied for these extremely rare and exciting local opportunities.

Oh, in one of the same editions of the News-Leader that contained the WestRock ad, there was also an ad for a job as a News-Leader copy editor. According to that ad, the local paper isn’t interested in beginners, but seeks newsroom veterans and the job requires a college degree, preferably in journalism.

I’m willing to wager that the News-Leader copy editor position doesn’t pay more than $25,000 if that much. However, based on what I’ve been reading in that paper the past few years English as a mother tongue probably isn’t required nor are news judgment, spelling or grammar skills. So if WestRock rejects you there’s always the News-Leader.


Free Gun Course: Bernard Martinage, gun and safety professional and owner of island security firm Safe N Secure, informed me that his generous offer to train local folks in fire arms safety and provide them Concealed Carry Permit instruction free of charge until the end of July has resulted in the local expert setting up four classes of 20 people total so far with requests still coming in. Mr. Martinage said he felt obligated to help members of ourGun with Concealed Weapon Permit Isolated on White

community select a firearm, acquire a permit, and receive proper training in its safe and legal use for self-defense following the horrific Islamic terrorist attack in Orlando that killed 49 Americans recently. I’ve taken instruction from the personable and no-nonsense Mr. Martinage and believe me he knows what he is doing. His local firm also provides security for home owners from one end of the island to the other. To contact him about his generous proposal or his other security offerings go to or his web site


Take The Money Then Paint My House: In a roundup of professional baseball stories in the sports pages of the Florida Times-Union last Friday there was a very brief item that reported that Kansas City Royals infielder Omar Infante became a free agent when “the team chose to pay him the nearly $14 million remaining on his contract rather than let him ride the bench as a utility player.” So the team gives this guy $14 million to go away. That’s like large corporations filling the pockets of bumbling and failing CEOs, Presidents, CFOs, etc. and showing them the exit. At least it’s not our tax money. But what am I missing here? If you are on my payroll you’ll earn the money. Isn’t there grass to be cut in the stadium in Kansas City, hot dogs and beer to be sold? Doesn’t the stadium need to be painted occasionally and cleaned up after games? And doesn’t it need parking lot attendants? If you’re on the payroll for $14 million you should be doing something bucko. Same thing for those useless “golden parachute” suits in corporate board rooms as there are toilets to be cleaned, cafeteria meals to be served, mail to be delivered and so on. Hey maybe this won’t work in reality, but it might make a fun movie.


He’s Had Enough And Won’t Take It Any More: A friend sent me an email recently saying he received a questionnaire from the Republican party, along with the usual request for money. He said he agreed strongly with the premise of every question on that questionnaire, as he has since Obama was elected. He agreed that Hillary would be a continuation, and probably constitute even an expansion of Obama’s totally destructive policies. “Unfortunately,” he said, “one crucially important question missing from that questionnaire was: “What have the Republicans done, especially lately, for the American people?” He answered his own question saying: “The Republicans gave us a majority in the House and then the Senate but they have never listened to us. “Now,… they want my money, our money, more money. They should be more attuned to our concerns, not just our money,” says my friend. “They are the establishment which means,.. all they want is to save their jobs and to line their pockets.

“They obviously think we are fools because they feel that Trump is on a self-destruct course, but they need to look beyond Washington and listen to the masses. Nobody else has achieved what Trump has. “Yes,” he said, “Trump is an ass; yes, he’s an egomaniac; but I don’t care! The country is in a mess because politicians suck.

“The Republican Party is two-faced and gutless, and illegals are everywhere. I don’t care that Trump is crude. I don’t care that he insults people. I don’t care that he has changed positions. I don’t care that he’s been married three times. I don’t care that he fights with Megan Kelly and Rosie O’Donnell. I don’t care that he doesn’t know the name of some Muslin terrorist.

“Our country has become weak and bankrupt. Our enemies and our former allies no longer respect us. We are being invaded by illegals. We are becoming a nation of victims where every Tommie, Ricardo and Hassid constitutes a special group with special rights to the point that we don’t even recognize the country in which we were born and raised. Trump is the only person who seems to understand what the people want.

“I’m sick of politicians, sick of the Democrat Party, the Republican Party, and sick of illegals! I just want this thing fixed. Trump may not be a saint, but he doesn’t have lobbyist money, especially foreign interest lobbyist money controlling him; he doesn’t have political correctness restraining him; all you know is that he has been very successful; he is a good negotiator; he has built a lot of things; and, he is not a politician. Further, he says he’ll fix it. And, I believe him because he is too much of an egotist to be proven wrong.

“I don’t care that the guy has bad hair. I just want things fixed.”

Personally I’ll add that the vote by citizens in the UK, which was mostly guided by immigration issues, will more than likely spread to the U.S. and play positively into Trump’s campaign.


A Fascinating Fact: Long before Ferguson, Missouri became known for race riots over a black thug being shot there while trying to attack a local white police officer, the town was the site of the creation of one of sport’s most striking icons. In 1921 when St. Louis Cardinals manager Branch Rickey was scheduled to speak at a Presbyterian church in Ferguson, the lady in charge of table decorations cut out a series of paper redbirds and strung them together with yarn. The bird decorations caught the attention of Rickey, and the following baseball season, across every Cardinal’s chest sat a pair of redbirds, perched on a bat, a design that remains to this day, a fact I learned while reading Steve Rushin’s “34-Ton Bat”, an unorthodox history of baseball told through the game’s objects, equipment and characters. It’s also ironic that Rickey, after becoming general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was the person instrumental in signing Jackie Robinson, the major league’s first black baseball player some 26 years later. If you like baseball then Rushin’s book is for you.


Things To Think About: The National Rifle Association (NRA) might be the only organization I know of that gets blamed for actions that none of its members commit. *** Does anyone else find it odd how the left can determine the secret motivations of everyone except radical Islamists who don’t make their evil intentions a secret.


The Best Boxer Ever? A couple of readers emailed me saying they have no problem with my critique of Muhammad Ali by saying he wasn’t “The Greatest” anything much less boxer. However, they say the best also weren’t my selections of Joe Louis and Sugar Ray Robinson but Rocky Marciano: To back it up they offered the following: The Greatest Boxer of All Time didn’t die recently…he died 47 years ago. He didn’t have five losses, he had 0. He didn’t have 37 Knock Outs he had 43 (88%). He didn’t dodge the draft. He wasn’t a race baiter and sure didn’t convert to Islam. He was a kid named Rocky Marciano aka The Brockton Blockbuster (49-0). When he was asked on TV if he could’ve knocked out Ali in his prime his response was: “I’d be conceited if I said I could’ve, but I’d be a liar if I said I couldn’t.” Ali (aka Cassius Clay) had a 56-5 record with 37 KOs; Louis was 66-3 and one no contest with 52 KOs and Robinson, who fought in five categories but never as a heavyweight was 173-19 with 108 KOs, two no contests and six draws. Of all of them Ali was just the loudest.


Speaking Of Fighters: A very reliable source who has asked to remain anonymous told me the other day that Jacksonville will soon be home to a professional minor league hockey team that will play its home games in that city’s Veteran’s Stadium. He also said that Jacksonville ranks number one in the country with fans that support minor league sports. I have no way of knowing if that is true or not, but since, in my opinion, the NFL Jaguars are no better than any minor league collection of players I’ve ever seen, it may indeed be a fact.

  • Comment (4)
  • As usual an on target article that cuts to the chase.Wonder how that company can pay such high wages to entry level workers.Of course those that are hired will be well paid and that’s a good thing. If all and I mean all guns were no longer on this earth,the bad guys would still find a way to kill and maim.What then,would the Left have to bitch about.The National Rock Assn.?The National Stick Outfitters or The Brass Knuckles Society? They will never be satisfied until they are the only ones in charge.Period.

  • I’m for pointy sticks, providing that no one can own more that two pointy sticks at a time and no pointy stick is longer than 20.5″. And, of course, schools and government facilities shall remain stick-free zones.


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