Island Issues

Solar Subsidies; Silly Science; Burns Bounce; Democrat Documentary; Funny Boat & More

Solar Subsidies; Silly Science; Burns Bounce; Democrat Documentary; Funny Boat & More

Shocked Man. Frustrated Businessman Checking Financial Documents. Businessman Receiving Bills. Pop Art. Vector illustration

If your neighbors or local businesses said they were going to install solar panels on their houses or stores and asked you to help pay for them your answer would probably be the same as if they asked you to pay a portion of their electric bill: “No!”

So, if you don’t want to subsidize your neighbors or Florida businesses who may want to, or have already installed solar panels on their homes or work places, then vote “no” on Amendment 1 when you go to vote in the August primary and another “no” at the polls in November on Amendment 4. Folks who install these panels already get generous federal subsidies and don’t need any more help from you or me, the tax payers.

The stated purpose of this utility company sponsored regulation is to allow individuals and businesses that generate their own energy to access the grid when energy generation is not sufficient to meet their needs. But here’s the rub. This policy has an adverse impact on ratepayers, who must bear 100 percent of the grid maintenance cost, while those who are off-grid are allowed a “free ride” and access utility services only when they need it.

James Taylor who writes a regular column on free-market energy and environment issues for says creating a distinct new electricity market and giving the solar power industry the exclusive right to provide power within that market runs counter to free-market principles.”Solar power should receive no special market-share carve outs, no special subsidies, and no special regulatory treatment – no industry should,” he rightly says.

And the solar power industry should certainly not have a case for special favoritism permanently etched as an inalienable right in the Florida Constitution. Good grief.

According to the James Madison Institute’s (JMI) study (“Solar Carve-Outs in the Sunshine State” ) reveals that if the ballot initiative wins, Florida ratepayers will be screwed. We will wind up bearing the brunt of an estimated $1.1 billion cost shift, and that is just a modest estimate. In a nutshell, Florida taxpayers will end up paying their neighbors solar bills and subsidizing the solar industry.

JMI calculates that homeowners and businesses that currently get a 30 percent subsidy for installing solar equipment now, will get a further subsidized ride on Florida ratepayers’ backs if this nonsense is passed. In other words those of us not using solar will pay for those that do use it. No thanks, I don’t care to pay my neighbors utility bills.


Balanced Conservation Or Silly Science? A vote for Fernandina Beach City Commission candidate Eric Childers will give current Mayor and Commissioner Johnny Miller all the free time he needs to help U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in his pursuit of refrigerators and air conditioners that are sucking up the world’s energy resources, contributing to climate change, and are more dangerous than ISIS, or so says the befuddled Lurch look-a-like Secretary of State.

While Palace Bartender Mayor Miller is blasting away at fierce fridges and errant air conditioners, flogging frackers, weeping over whales, pooh-poohing plastic bags, pouting about the port, balking at builders, bashing businesses, shunning seismic sounding, and boondoggle bounding, etc. Childers will be watching over local concerns.

Childers, who served as a city commissioner from 2008 – 2011, initiated and supported votes then that reduced taxes without disturbing services. Instead of traveling to Tallahassee and Washington D.C. like Mayor Miller, to rant along with other far left protestors about everything from banning domestic oil drilling to abolishing those apocalyptic underarm deodorants, Mr. Childers will stay here focused on Fernandina Beach issues supporting local business interests, respecting private property rights, and conserving and protecting local natural resources.

While last serving on the Commission his initiative to overturn archaic alcohol ordinances led to The Great Southern Tailgate Classic, Slide into Spring Music and Craft Beer Festival, Swing into Spring, a fundraiser to support FBHS, Amelia Island Jazz Fest, Amelia Island the Blues Festival and the Petanque America Open and led to restaurants being able to offer alcohol during Sunday Brunch, programs that eventually spread county-wide. His local efforts also aided in enabling the widening of 14th Street from Hickory to Beech St. adding sidewalks and bike lanes on both sides of the road without a taking of private property. Childers championed the purchase of and designation of property on Sadler road for conservation and the restoration of the Greenway providing a balance between conservation and good business judgment.

A vote for local businessman Eric Childers will provide commission experience, a balance of business and conservation, and give Johnny Miller all the time he wants to chase rainbows and moon beans at somebody else’s expense. In his spare time Mr. Miller can also focus on other left wing politicians he might want to have tattooed on his butt as he promised to do recently with Bernie Sanders’ image.

Childers says he welcomes opportunities to speak to groups and can be reached at 904-705-6261.


A Burns Bean Bounce: I have yet to meet or talk to anyone anywhere that doesn’t plan to vote for Kathy Burns for Nassau School Superintendent, which I take as an indication that her opponent’s slash and burn tactics are failing dismally. One of the biggest boosts to Ms. Burns campaign came last week when highly respected Florida State Senator and Fernandina Beach resident and Republican Aaron Bean announced his endorsement of Ms. Burns, a blow to opponent Janet Adkins, also a Republican, who served as a state representative while Bean served in the Senate. In announcing his support Senator Bean said: “Dr. Kathy Burns is a three time teacher of the year recipient, a conservative leader and an exceptional educator. She has served Nassau’s schools in the classroom and on the school board. She has dedicated her whole career to education and will be a great leader for the Nassau County school system where my own children attend and have graduated.” Senator Bean and the Bean name demand a lot of respect in Nassau County and this endorsement should indeed help Ms. Burns.


Pot Calling The Kettle Black: When the meanest, nastiest, most vile member of your own party turns against you then you know it might be time to pack it in. Raspy voiced weasel Senator Harry Reid (D-NEV) called Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson “an absolute fraud” and urged him to drop out of the senatorial race against Republican Marco Rubio, due in great part to recent reports in Politico that Grayson physically abused his ex-wife. Grayson is an embarrassment to the state of Florida, right up there with Jacksonville’s corrupt and nutty Corrine Brown, and the sooner we see them defeated or put away the better. However, the oddball duo may have new career opportunities with the Jacksonville Jaguars who exercised incredibly poor judgment by inviting thug Greg Hardy for a look-see with Grayson as a trainer and Brown as a cheerleader.


Party? I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Party! Donald Trump was nominated to run for president during the Republican Convention in Cleveland last month but since he has changed political parties seven times between 1999 and 2012 including a stint with the Reform Party, I’m not sure if he is indeed a Republican at all, and maybe that’s not such a bad thing. The bad thing is he can’t seem to control his mouth and the media and the Democrats are delighting in every slip of his tongue. Based on both Hillary’s and Trump’s negatives, this election will be won by the candidate who is least detested as polls say that more than half of both candidate’s supporters say they will vote against the other candidate, not for their choice. This campaign will be ugly.


Something To Ponder If You Follow The News: Good friend Benita Dodd, head of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, mused recently on issues I can’t argue with including these: “An overzealous state’s attorney has cost the Baltimore taxpayers $14 million and counting, with nothing to show for it.” and ” The gloating over judges overturning state Voter ID laws astonishes me. Don’t give me ‘hardship.’ Even the world’s poorest country — Congo — requires a picture ID to vote. Ask any Mexican you know whether they can vote without their voting card — which is a picture ID.”


 A Golden Gamble: Like me, if you’ve ever seen those ads on TV telling viewers that gold is a solid investment and insurance against a turbulent market and an unstable political scene and wondered if that might be a safe investment, you may want to think again based on an interesting statistic I read the other day that said: “Today the same amount of gold used to pay a Roman centurion’s annual salary in the 1st century A.D. would cover a U.S. Army captain’s annual salary today.” If you think you’re going to be around for the next 2,000 or so years then gold might be a good long term choice.


How to win the war on drugs: 1- Legalize all drugs. 2- Require that drugs be purchased through Comcast customer service.


Fascinating Film: Millions of Americans are attending Dinesh D’Souza’s film “Hillary’s America — The Secret History of the Democratic Party” and Hillary Clinton’s rising negative polling numbers may reflect what that very revealing documentary portrays. The film, which is already the top grossing documentary of 2016, playing in some 1,200 US theaters, grossed $5.2 million in just 12 days. D’Souza’s book of the same title also made the New York Times best seller list at number two. We saw the film, and it is not just an anti-Hillary piece, but a very interesting look at the history of the Democratic Party and its leaders who were founders of the KKK, proponents of slavery, and violently opposed the 13th Amendment abolishing slavery, the 15th Amendment that  prohibits the federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote based on that citizen’s  race, color or previous condition of servitude,  as well as the modern day civil rights movements. It details Democratic Party founder Andrew Jackson’s cruelty toward slaves he owned as well as his uprooting of the Cherokee Indian Nation to government reservations. It also reveals the hypocrisy and racism of Democrats including Woodrow Wilson, FDR, Lyndon Johnson and much, much more. Go see it, it’s an eye-opener.


Things I wish I had Said: “Hillary Clinton is nuttier than Nancy Pelosi, and Nancy Pelosi is the gold standard of nuts.” & “The world is fighting terrorism, starvation and disease, but the Democrats are fighting for men to pee in the ladies’ room.” — Actor James Wood. “Last year I joined a support group for procrastinators. We haven’t met yet.” — Anonymous.


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: For some reason I never made it to the downtown Patio Place restaurant at 416 Ash until last week at a social function but I will be back as the Amy Petroy owned eatery is a delightful venue featuring some unusual plates, good wines and a wide selection of craft beers. She also features entertainment with Wednesday spotlighting Nashville’s Tony Merz, who also teaches music and is building a 14th Street recording studio; Thursdays are open mic nights with Tony and Denis Merz hosting and encouraging other musicians to come and sign up to play; Saturday evenings will feature French musician Alain LeLait who enables customers to sit on the Patio’s huge outside cozy courtyard with a glass of wine under big shady tees and imagine they are in France. A comfy inside area is also available. The food takes on a French flavor with crepes being the Patio’s signature plate and these run the gamut from ones sporting ingredients from Brittany, Italy, India, France, and an wide assortment of others with the most expensive I could find coming in at a reasonable $13 for the Pacific, with wild smoked Alaskan salmon lox, avocados, tomatoes and onions, served with a creamy dill sauce. There are non crepe-plates including a variety of chicken options as well as soups and salads and plates to share with my favorite being the “charcuterie and fromage” offering of meats and cheeses that can be selected for prices from $11 o 15 depending on what you pick. Wines are very reasonably priced and feature the patio’s own private label ones at prices lower than you would ever suspect per glass and by the bottle. The food and wines reflect Amy’s globe-trotting past and customers can travel the world with the wide selection of bottled and draught beers with some coming from Vietnam, Belgium, Kenya, Austria, Germany, the US, and even Iceland, which I intend to try next time. Hard ciders and non-alcoholic beverages are also available. Check it out, you won’t disappointed. Amy opens the doors every day for lunch and dinner except Mondays. Call ’em at 904/410-3717. I hear from Bill Childers that the first of his bar, cocktail and entertainments venues at the corner of South 14th and Sadler, in the old Journey Church location, will be opening later this month with Locals the first to greet new patrons. More on this later. The Macy’s, the singing duo of husband and wife Phil and Kathy, and one of the most popular groups in the area, are appearing weekly at the Amelia Tavern on Tuesdays from 6-9 p.m. and on Wednesdays you can catch fun and talented guitarist and vocalist Dan Voll at the Tavern’s next door neighbor, Alley Cat, for Wino Wednesdays from 6:30-9:30 p.m. which features special wine prices. Don’t forget tonight is Sounds on Centre featuring the talented and fun local group Island Vibes composed of four seasoned local musicians. Their repertoire covers tunes from the past 10 decades. Including timeless classics by Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Credence Clearwater, Eagles, John Denver, Dolly Parton, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Jimmy Buffet, Zac Brown & many others. Tonight’s concert will also include a special 50’s and 60’s Tribute. Most folks recall the TV series Love Boat, but now Kevin McCarthy is bringing the Funny Boat to Amelia Island, a one-night only, two-hour cruise featuring stand-up comedians from New York City designed to keep its passengers in stitches on Friday, September 16, departing at 6 p.m. from the downtown harbor. Comedian Kevin Israel has appeared on NBC, Fox, CBS, and ABC TV while Adam Lucidi has been seen on AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live and DirecTV, CBS TV, and SiriusXM Radio. Tickets are $40 per person in advance and its BYOB and bring your own food if you want. Call ’em at 904/261-9972, go to or visit the white kiosk in the downtown harbor’s north parking lot for tickets.




David - 26. Aug, 2016 -

I keep hearing people say we were told a new ice age would hit us about now. That’s not what I remember being told. We are 10,000 years from the end of the last ice age and we were at the bottom of graph heading toward the next one. These cycles take on average 50,000 years. This event could start now or over the next few thousand years but probably was beginning. Your childrens great,great, great grandchildren might actually be able to see this change have an effect. That’s what I was taught in high school by a trained science teacher.

Steven Crounse - 07. Aug, 2016 -

Hay Dave, Just wanted to thank you for the Heads up on the Candidates running for City Commissioner. You know I’m a Big fan of your Blog, You could say it’s my Political Compass. So today I handed Mayor Miller a Little Campaign Love, I like to call it the “Dave Scott Bump” There’s only a couple times we’ve agreed on anything.#1 The Ball Park staying right were it is. and #2 a Qualified Dr. K. Burns to be our Nassau County Superintendent of Schools, But the Ball Park was not Political, and the Nassau County Superintendent of Schools should not be a Political Plum. our Kids should be more important to us than that. Oh Ya. one more Item. The Constituency that Pat Gass carries around in her head. Have a great week Dave.

Debra - 06. Aug, 2016 -

Dave, certainly glad you enjoyed your experience at the Patio Place…wish I could say the same. While the food was wonderful the table service in the evening was, at best, awkward. Now perhaps I went when they were still new and working out the “kinks”. However when I visited the establishment no less than 3 different servers visited our table (frequently I might add) to ask if we needed anything. And on top of that the manager (I assume) hovered over us not once, not twice, but three times as we were in obvious deep conversation only to ask “are you folks doing ok?”. And I do mean hovered…for several minutes until we finally acknowledged him when he didn’t take the hint and go away. Again, I agree that the food is very good and quite different for the area which is nice. But…they need to work on the service part.

John Goshco - 06. Aug, 2016 -

More recently, a different analyst at The Brookings Institution refuted the contentions of the aforementioned study She contends that the authors minimized (or ignored) many of the fixed costs of building and maintaining The Grid for the benefit of the net-metering community. She contends that all rate payers subsidize solar/wind power. Both articles do note that the current utility rate structures are too simplistic and need to recalculated to be fair to all customers. See for her alternative viewpoint.

Amy Wilking - 06. Aug, 2016 -

Please educate yourselves regarding solar net-metering and the fallacy that son-solar customers are subsidizing those who DO make the investment in solar for their homes.

william t. payne - 05. Aug, 2016 -

Chris Hadden’s comments, above, remind of what Lincoln said of Douglas: “He can put the most words into the smallest thought of any man i have ever met”.

John Goshco - 05. Aug, 2016 -

Personally, I’m for hydrogen fuel cells until cold fusion becomes a reality. In the 1970s the “un-refutable” science told us that the Global Cooling would be ruining our lives by now. And, just when we needed it most, the world would run out of oil by the late 20th or early 21st century. Experts popped up everywhere. These stories ran continually in the newspapers and on tv for many years. Who could deny the science?

For those who are reality-oriented, there is an interesting article in the August issue of Consumer Reports on solar energy. It has its benefits, but savings is not the biggest. They calculate that if you pay $20,000 cash for a solar installation, it is likely to begin saving you money in 5-7 years. Borrowing the money pushes savings out to 10-15 years. They also note that 72% of families leased their installation, resulting in “savings” beginning in 15-20 years, or possibly never. All calculations include rebates which, in the case of leasing, go to the leasing company, not the homeowner.

John Campbell Elwell - 05. Aug, 2016 -

I couldn’t agree with you more about voting against Amendment 1 in November. If someone wants to install solar panels, they should, but pay for it themselves. The other option is that they could pay my electric bill if they feel so inclined.
I agree with your assessment about our Mayor’s focus for the last 2+ years. To say that he mislead many of us in order to get elected is somewhat of an understatement. What happened to the pro business person who we thought we elected? We need Eric Childers elected in November so that Commission seat can once again focus on our City issues.
By the way, I too remember those southern Ontario tomatoes growing up Hamilton.

Chris Hadden - 05. Aug, 2016 -

Good Grief Dave! More of your loopy rantings against people and ideas trying to help the environment. Week after week of this. The more I listen to you the more I think Dave Scotts perfect world would be Bejing China. I’ll send you a mask. You really come across to me in this blog as some guy who stopped his thought process somewhere in the 1950’s. It is a new world Dave and I think probably the most important issue of today is how fragile our global environment has become. We are not apart from the environment, we are dependent on it. For years and years we have been subsidizing the big fossil fuel companies. Now we know there is enough oil and coal left on the planet to cheaply burn our planet into a big round cinder. By your silly reasoning that is great news as we will all save money on next months bill. Come on Dave, we live in the “sunshine state” we should be taking the lead in moving to solar power. Florida is dropping the ball on this and so are you.

Mary Gorman - 05. Aug, 2016 -

Thanks for the musings, opinions, and great info on Fernandina candidates and events about town. Thought you would like to know my Dad is now reading your blog every Friday, from Fayetteville, PA! He liked your joke about Comcast Customer Service. Cheers!

Joe - 05. Aug, 2016 -

Great movie. There is a need for a protector/ defender of the environment , not a hypocritical BMW whose rants are meaningless and misguided. In California, mid 70’s, I never saw an attendee at a Sierra Club meeting who did not drive to and from the place. Probably worse today with all the electronics.
PS: BMW = “bitchers, moaners and whiners “.

Sheila - 05. Aug, 2016 -

I know you know history, Dave. When the two parties basically switched platforms during the civil rights area, it’s no longer correct to call the GOP The party of Lincoln and the Dems do not support the KKK. Thank goodness for evolution. Oh, but wait…that’s science. And speaking of science … As much as I think the local politicians should be more focused locally, I appreciate any work anyone does in working to preserve and protect the environment. Not sure it’s a “wait and see” issue. Enjoy your weekend!

david waldo - 05. Aug, 2016 -

As always I enjoy the Blog. Keep up the good work.