Island Issues

U.S. Soccer Sad Sack Sinking Subway’s Sandwich Sales; Fernandina Commissioners Need To Wield A Budget Axe

U.S. Soccer Sad Sack Sinking Subway’s Sandwich Sales; Fernandina Commissioners Need To Wield A Budget Axe

While watching TV earlier this week an ad for Subway sandwiches appeared featuring the purple haired anti-American, kneeling U.S. female soccer player, Megan Rapinoe, hawking that chain’s sandwiches.

The ad prompted wife Linda to comment out loud saying: “That reminds me we got a coupon in the mail for a Subway sandwich that needs to be tossed in the trash.” She’s not alone in her opinion.

Why would a company select a spokesperson for their products or services that will alienate millions of folks that view their ads? What were the nitwits in this firm’s advertising agency thinking? Did the Subway CEO review this ad before it aired? If so he should be forced to eat at one his places every day, they need the business from what I’ve read about the nationwide backlash to this ad.

Many of the Subway franchisees are extremely upset claiming that the purpled-haired Rapinoe isn’t helping but is costing them business. If Subway’s communications dimwits had a clue they’d have hired Carli Lloyd, the one gal on the team that stood and showed respect for the national anthem and her country. Or even better the enthusiastic gold medal winning gal wrestler, Tamyra Mensah-Stock, who tearfully and gleefully wrapped herself in the American flag on the podium.

Forget Subway if you’re looking for a good sandwich hereabouts? There are a variety of establishments on Amelia Island that serve excellent sub sandwiches and Subway isn’t one of them. One of the best is locally owned Coastal Pizza in the Island Walk Publix Shopping Center at the corner of Sadler and South 14th Street. Ask owner Tom Demario to add his homemade tapenade to your selection.

Among national chains residing here I like are Jimmy Johns – also in Island Walk – and Jersey Mike’s just across the street. And there’s Fire House Subs at 1978 South 8th St. that has excellent sandwiches and is owned by the good guys. I’ve heard the new V’s Restaurant on Sadler also has a tasty sandwich but haven’t visited it yet.

For a great sandwich of any kind, you can’t beat the locally owned 4th Street Deli downtown across from the North 4th St. side of the old Post Office. Owner Jae Kim and his wife Annette will generously fill your sandwich order with the freshest ingredients at incredibly reasonable prices.

If you’re in the mood for fun, fast and inexpensive the sandwich menu at Pajama Dave’s Beer & Wine Garden at 12 South 2nd Street is it. The plump fat hot dogs are the best on the island and pop when you bite into them. I love ’em loaded with sauerkraut. The pajama-clad eccentric also has a choice of Panini sandwiches, more than 200 different kinds of beer and an eclectic crowd of regulars that will keep you entertained.

I was in the media, public relations and advertising business for my entire career and I can’t imagine what was going through the minds of the ad agency’s and Subway’s staff when they selected this purple-haired nincompoop to promote their sandwiches. It’s like Longhorn Steakhouse signing PETA to endorse its chain. It may be time to cut back on the drinking during working hours.

Go woke then go broke!


“Hey, Dale I just realized that the tax payers vote!”

City Budget Axe & Common Sense Needed: Fernandina Beach City Commissioners need to start whacking away at the city’s bloated budget or its citizens are going to face a tax increase particularly since the $200,000 impact fee use for the Peck Center is “illegal”.

Here’s why says a local expert who knows more than most about such matters:

  • Robbing from the reserves again leaves the city unprepared and reserves have already been depleted from $7 million to $4 million—the legally required minimum.
  • The adjusted roll-back is a tax increase—how do they justify that in the second year of a pandemic?
  • Cut $795,000 in unessential spending:
    • Hold Operating Expenses in non-safety Departments to current budget levels—that produces $272,933 in savings
    • Defer Parks & Rec Vehicle Replacement—that saves $107,000
    • Reduce Police Vehicle Replacement—that saves $50,000
    • Remove Beach Conservation (new item)—saves $44,876
    • Defer ERP Payroll Module—saves $320,000
  • The full-roll-back budget can be achieved by eliminating non-essential spending—so do it.
  • “Serve the people”, he says – “not City Hall!”

He surmised that with the $250,000 the Commissioners have already cut; these reductions add up to $1.045 million – exactly what is needed to achieve a budget based on the real Roll-Back Rate.

This needs to happen this year or it never will. After the pandemic taxes will have to go up, so the Commission must act now for the sake of the city residents:

  • The Federal Reserve says inflation ran at an annual rate of 6.1% in the second quarter and is now over 7% according to the Department of Labor
  • Real incomes are flat
  • COVID is not going away

The Commissioners need to explain why they insist on raising taxes when it isn’t necessary. Playing games with budget accounts does not cut it when people are suffering.

The Commission has also indicated it wants a bond to be approved, which raises taxes. So, a $5-6 million bond issue adds about .3 mills to the property tax rate. If the Commissioners want to hike taxes for a bond, they should cut now – cut that .226 saved by going to the roll-back and use it to help soften the tax blow when they float the bond.

Cocky Commissioner Chip Ross once told watch dog group Common Sense founder Jack Knocke that citizens don’t care about tax increases. He based that on the fact few ever complain. So, if you’re a tax paying citizen of Fernandina Beach and don’t want your taxes going up tell the Commissioners to start cutting the budget. Here’s their contact information. Call or email them and demand that they make cuts. Remember they work for you, not the other way around.


Speaking Of The City: The final results of the poll that’s been running on this site the last few weeks asking if Fernandina Beach residents think the state should audit how the city administers impact fees and building statues shows that an overwhelming number of folks would like to see Tallahassee come in and take a look at the books. The results of 168 voters indicate that 156 of them or 93 percent want the state to take a peek, while only 7 percent or 12 say it’s not necessary. A lot less than 156 votes have determined election results hereabouts. A new poll starting today asks if city tax payers think the Commission should start whacking away at the city budget to keep taxes from going up. This one seems like a no-brainer.


Wait! What? There is a move on within the American Medical Association to do away with the sex designation on birth certificates.  The nitwits behind this nonsense say that designating a newborn either male or female is a blatant act of discrimination. I suppose in much the same way, suggesting that there is any difference between a Democrat and a lunatic is a blatant act of discrimination.


Hypocrisy Should Be An Olympic Event: Like many communist country athletes in the past Belarus sprinter Krystina Tsimasouskaya took advantage of her presence at the Tokyo Olympics, to escape her wretched native hellhole of a country and seek political asylum in Poland.

That is what people who live in oppressive societies do. So how come we didn’t see the USA’s bellyaching soccer players and hammer thrower doing the same?

Instead, they repeat the same tired old lies about systemic racism and white supremacy while signing endorsement deals with the world’s number one oppressor of human beings, Communist China.


Things I Wish I’d Said: “When I see lovers’ names carved on trees, I think it’s strange how many people bring knives on a date.” – anonymous.


Polly Wants The WSJ:  My west coast friend and pundit Burt Prelutsky, a former screen writer and L.A. Times columnist, explained the current state of journalism when he said: “Having an editorial board room full of Communists and a newsroom full of nincompoops has resulted in the New York Times being a newspaper that even parrots are loudly demanding be removed from their cages.”

What sparked his recent ire was that an American newspaper would actually title an opinion piece “There’s no good reason you should be a citizen to vote.”

“How dumb must someone be to subscribe to this venerated rag?” asked Burt of NY Times readers.

“Polly may want a cracker, but she does not want the New York Times littering her home,” he explained.


Speaking Of The Media: Mary Maguire, who founded and wrote the Nassau County Independent online newspaper has abandoned Amelia Island and moved to Chicago, leaving the print News Leader as the only source of news in the area. The online Fernandina Observer doesn’t qualify as a news source since it’s purely a news letter for the Fernandina Beach City Commission.


Birds & The Bees Plus More: Tampa pal and American Spectator writer, Larry Thornberry, sent the following: “I pity the poor parents today attempting to explain the birds and bees, the bees and the bees, the birds and the birds, the birds that used to be bees, the bees that used to be birds, plus bees that look like birds but still have a stinger.”


Brace Yourself America: Pete Buttigieg, the strange little man, who is Biden’s head of the Department of Transportation, is now America’s self-appointed electric vehicle czar.

Prior to heading up that department the only experience this weirdo had in transportation and electricity was driving back-and-forth to work and plugging in his toaster. But like most in the Biden administration experience and intellect don’t matter, only sexual preferences and skin color count.

Buttigieg, who was once mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is part of the massive takeover of the lives of average Americans by the left-wing bureaucrats in Washington D.C. being orchestrated by the Biden Administration.

The train wreck that is the infrastructure bill includes mileage requirements that make it central planning and tax funded socialism. Mandating 50% electric vehicles by 2030 is beyond absurd. There are only 3% now. To reach 50% in nine years requires a massive rebuilding of the electric grid, massive purchases of minerals from China and Congo, massive government subsidies paid for by tax increases, and weird Pete deciding where to put charging station.

The auto manufacturers are very happy to let the government pay for and build the 400,000 charging stations needed. What happens to all the gas stations isn’t their problem.

Did the government tell the oil companies where to put gas stations? Of course not. But Mayor Pete wants to be “equitable”, so he’s mandating that charging stations be put in poor areas where there are no electric vehicles because folks there can’t afford them and even if they could, don’t want them.


Drinking, Dining & Dancing: The Beech Street Grill will once again come back to life the first two weeks in September says owner Ernie Saltmarsh. Ernie tells me that Covid slowed progress on the restaurant that will feature middle-priced fare, a bar and a renovated upstairs that will be open for the first time in almost 15 years. Instead of leasing the eatery to a restauranteur like he did the last two times, Ernie’s professional staff will run the operation this time around. The menu will feature what he calls “elevated southern coastal food,” items that are not as high priced as David’s or Bob’s Steakhouse, but not fast food or bar grub either. The upstairs will host private functions and feature special meals such as wine and bourbon dinners. A little-known fact is that the house was originally known as the “Bell House” originally built by one of two Bell brothers for his wife. The other Bell brother built what is commonly called the Pippi Longstocking’s House in Old Town, also for his new bride. Both brothers were local boat captains. Another project Ernie has been working on is the Lesesne House on Centre Street, that will be open to the public for the first time in 158 years as a venue for special events only. Located across from the old court house, It was the oldest continuously inhabited house in Fernandina Beach and the last residence on Centre Street and should be available in a couple of months. Fernandina Beach is fortunate that Ernie calls it home as he has saved numerous iconic and historic buildings and restaurants from the wrecking ball revitalizing them into thriving popular venues while carefully preserving them. These include the South 3rd Street Green Turtle and the Florida House and Down Under beneath the Shave Bridge. He has also purchased and physically moved a pair of 18th Century homes to his properties to preserve them. His name comes up often during the discussions over the waterfront Atlantic Seafood facility and its owner Anne Coonrod. If Ernie is involved residents couldn’t ask for a better community-minded individual. Otherwise, we’re looking at absentee developers from Jacksonville or Atlanta, as there aren’t many locals with pockets deep enough and passion to maintain the quaintness of the city’s historic look and feel. This Saturday, weather permitting, Piano Man John Springer and his sidekick, drummer, Rob Taylor, will be poolside at the twin Marriott hotels on Atlantic Avenue across from Fort Clinch beginning about 4 pm. If Tropical Storm Fred interferes they’ll play at the inside bar area. This evening, Friday, August 13, the Sandbar & Restaurant at Main Beach will host the band VOX from 6-10 pm and tomorrow, Saturday, August 14, the Decades band will perform, also 6-10 pm.


Coleman C Langshaw - 16. Aug, 2021 -

Really Dave?!? “Pete Buttigieg, the strange little man”…Heck, people say that about you and me! I thought you were against name-calling…unless its to tickle your like-minded ilk. On a different note, yet again, Still crickets from you on the Port Authority, why not write something about that really big problem on our very doorstep, instead of issuing hall passes and continuing to turn a blind eye??? I can’t quite figure out why you aren’t all over this…curious.

Jack Rattray - 16. Aug, 2021 -

Good job Dave. Look forward to the next blog.

Bill Inman Inman - 16. Aug, 2021 -

If the taxes keep going up, maybe all city employees can drive Ford King Ranch Edition pickups.
Thank you for keeping us informed…

Bob Reisner - 14. Aug, 2021 -

I get that you are upset with the Franchisor Subway. But is it necessary to trash a local business? The franchisee is not the guy who hired the spokesperson. Not fair at all.

Robert Steele - 14. Aug, 2021 -

GREAT QUOTE, DAVE: “the bees and the bees, the birds and the birds, the birds that used to be bees, the bees that used to be birds, plus bees that look like birds but still have a stinger.”

I suppose the bees that look like birds but still have a stinger are taking bird hormones and saving up for stinger-reassignment surgery.

caroline adams - 14. Aug, 2021 -

p.p.p.s. Oops, regarding my comment concerning Republican white farmers, most farmers in America are white, ( for whatever circumstances) hard working families and most find that Republican governorship and values reflect their own. This is factual, not racial and not meant to belittle hard working black families.
This won’t likely remind one that the Biden Criminal Crew tried to make payments to only black farmers.

caroline adams - 14. Aug, 2021 -

A couple of commenters have no apparent idea of what socialism actually is or how closely it aligns with communism. Add the facts concerning agricultural aid which is a long-standing need and the whining sour grapes eaters spewing rhetoric which has no basis, they would see us soon become a communist country. While looking for dirt or smoke, these types completely overlook or ignore the billions spent or thrown away on illegals daily. No end in sight as Biden refuses to stop the flow of illegals who are living in the lap of luxury compared to needy real Americans by stopping the wall we so desperately need. Then, all the while crying “poor humans trying to find a better life” (illegal invaders), abortion is lauded as child killers are let loose with taxpayers (who are not given a choice) paying the cost. How many Americans would thankfully put those monies to good use?? Fine and Langshaw, get off and learn. You know not of which you speak!

p.s. Fine, in his whiney comment throws his racism card into the mix as he refers to Republican white farmers being the beneficiaries of Pres. Trump’s payments to preserve agricultural industries. Inflation is involved, Mr. Fine.
p.p.s. Any effort made to squelch CCP’s control and influence on Americans is the RIGHT thing to do by any and all citizens. Any one including the current president, involved with or collaborating with or aiding China’s Communist Party should be tried and imprisoned. ASAP

Richard Norman Kurpiers - 15. Aug, 2021 -

One doesn’t have to be a sleuth to figure out where you get your news. Ever hear of Title 42? How about the Hyde Amendment? Does it surprise you that arrests of migrants at the border are on pace to hit a 20-year high?

Kenneth Dalton - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Subway Headquarters has been making horrible decisions over the last few years. As a Subway franchise for 25 years I very often disagreed with Headquarters decisions which most times, franchisees were forced to comply. Sadly, all Subway stores are owned and operated by individual owners who suffer financially from Headquarters poor decisions. The last sandwich I ate was outstanding. The bread was very fresh and the sandwich tasty and a great value for the price. The Subway store on the Island has a new owner. Give them a try Dave. Order “double-meat” and the price will be comparable to the competition. Subway certainly is facing challenges but I can assure you, these challenges are not the fault of the owner of this local Subway store.

francis kane - 13. Aug, 2021 -

My experience and expertise is in the software industry working with fortune 500 ERP software. I have worked for the leaders in the field. Such as SAP, Oracle and Computer associates and then back then in the mini computer (HP, DEC and IBM) days. Let alone taking companies public in the field. If there is a line item on the city budget for 320K for a payroll module , that is criminal for a small city. Let alone software/IT costs are very loose considering implementation. Let alone success. My gut has always told me while being a taxpayer here that the city was terribly mismanaged and spending is out of control. This happens to be a line item I am familiar with. One that I can Quantify. Having owned multiple businesses, Jut send payroll to ADP. Line item gone.

Richard Norman Kurpiers - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Municipalities fall under different scrutinies for financial systems and reporting. I’m unaware of ADP playing in the government arena for payroll software solutions. I worked 35 years for a government contractor as a software engineer, many of them in financial applications, including those adhering to full SOX compliance. In my experience, $320k is well within reason considering all costs which include data conversations and integration development for downstream and upstream systems; not to mention full regression testing.

John Goshco - 14. Aug, 2021 -

ADP has an established suite pf payroll, H.R. and benefits services available for state and local governments as well as public and private (up through the university level) educational institutions.
for more details.

Whether $320k is reasonable, (as you hinted) depends entirely on the proposed Scope of Work.

Lou Goldman - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Why don’t the commissioners ask the City Manager to come up with a real rolll back budget and let’s see where he feels the cuts should be made. If I’m not mistaken that’s his job if asked.

John Goshco - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Although both are terrible ideas, I believe the infrastructure bill includes mileage requirements, not millage requirements.

Richard Norman Kurpiers - 13. Aug, 2021 -

I know enough about third-party software updates to question an IT department’s decision to upgrade without first-hand knowledge. Sure, it makes great fodder for criticism of a $320k line item in the budget, but rarely are software updates, especially for ERP systems, done without realizing substantial future cost savings. Or sometimes it’s driven by the current version reaching end of life and with it, any further customer support from the vendor.

Roger Botwin - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Love reading your muses!

Rick Fine - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Speaking of TAX FUNDED SOCIALISM, I find it amusing you choose to disregard the Trump Government payments to American farmers. It surged to historic levels under President Donald Trump as the Agriculture Department flooded the industry with cash to stem the financial losses from Trump’s tariff fights, primarily with China. In four years the payouts reached some 70 BILLION dollars. Sounds like textbook governmental SOCIALISM to me. Oh, wait… I guess when the tax funded billions go to white Republican farmers it’s not really socialism, is it Dave?

Coleman Langshaw - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Oh don’t pick on Dave, he and his like-minded ilk are just card-carrying members of the Hypocrite Party, you know do as we say, not as we do, and its bad if you do, but its great if we do. They either have extremely short-term memory loss (and long-term, for that matter) or they just purposely cry foul, then fair before the ball stops rolling. But alas, when confronted with the hypocrisy, the crickets strike up the band!

Craig Whalon - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Looks like my brand of cigars, “It’s a boy-girl” will fade into a distant memory.

CoCoNUT Harry - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Just had a great wood-fired grilled fish sandwich at the Salt Life restaurant – ate outside on the top deck with a super view of the ocean. Recommended !

Neil Borum - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Buttigieg’s mandate gives me visions of the predators in those “poor” areas licking their chops at the thought of EV owners being unable to move while their car charges.
Makes me shudder at the mayhem that may ensue if this comes to pass.

Coleman Langshaw - 13. Aug, 2021 -

Hmmm…”visions of the predators in those “poor” areas licking their chops at the thought of EV owners being unable to move while their car charges”…I guess you mean places like Appalachia or the Rust Belt?

Neil Borum - 13. Aug, 2021 -

baiting me with comments like that won’t work.
Have NO idea why you’re narrowing it down to just those areas.
400,000 charging stations would give an average of 8,000 for each state.
Or 133 for every county.
Keep in mind there are already 42,000 public stations in the US with 5,000 of them the “fast charging” DC type.
Knowing how government works most will probably be “out of order”…or the cord run to somebody’s tent. ?

Coleman Langshaw - 16. Aug, 2021 -

Well, Mr. Borum, you did go for the bait… I used those areas, because they are a mix of population, well except for Appalachia, which is more white, but your original comment reeked of racism, as it seemed pretty clear you meant inner city minority communities, AGAIN, your words: ”visions of the predators in those “poor” areas licking their chops at the thought of EV owners being unable to move while their car charges”…so, what “poor” areas are your referring? I “narrowed” it down to flush you out, using a more typically white demographic as bait…and voila, another great WHITE shark shows his real feelings. As a side note, your assertion of: “Knowing how government works most will probably be “out of order”…or the cord run to somebody’s tent. ?” is not feasible actually, but I get your drift, you meant to be tongue in cheek, trying to take a secondary swipe at the poor and homeless. Nice, such a compassionate comment- not.

Neil Borum - 20. Aug, 2021 -

You don’t know me at all.
If you did… you would know painting me with the broad brush of a racist and using those labels to describe me… you are so very wrong.
Like someone said long ago…” Arguing with an idiot is just two idiots arguing.”
So I’m done.