Amelia Island revealed . . .

Provided by Vicki Cannon
Supervisor of Elections
May 28, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Editor’s Note:  During this Memorial Day weekend we especially remember our hometown boys whose names are listed below. These  young men took to the military some wonderful small town attributes that we all cherish: love of country, love of family, and love of this special place. We honor their memories.


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Chamber of Commerce to host “Housing Forum” – June 7

A.I.-F.B.- Yulee Chamber of Commerce
Press Release
Submitted by Regina Duncan
May 27, 2017 10:00 p.m.

The Amelia Island-Fernandina Beach-Yulee Chamber of Commerce will host a Housing Forum on Wednesday, June 7, 2017, 3:00 p.m. at the Nassau County Commission Chambers, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee.

The Housing Forum will include a presentation by Michael Chaney, Technical Advisor for the Florida Housing Coalition. Mr. Chaney has 21 years of experience providing technical assistance to local government, nonprofit housing professionals, and consumers throughout Florida. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Loyola University in New Orleans and a Masters of Social Work Administration from Florida State University, where he has served as an adjunct faculty member of the housing Continue reading

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Lane closures for Nassau County

May 27, 2017 8:00 a.m.

Nassau County

I-95 (431958-1-52-01)
Daytime closure from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday southbound near the Nassau County line and Georgia State line for Gateway sign and guardrail construction.

I-95 at Georgia State Line (FIN 435474-1-52-01)
Daytime closure of emergency lanes Tuesday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for roadside work.

Barnwell Road at State Road A1A (FIN 210712-4-52-01)
Nighttime lane closures Wednesday through Friday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for drainage work

State Road A1A from Chester Road to Blackrock Road (FIN 210712-4-52-01)
Nighttime westbound lane closure Tuesday through Friday from 9 p.m. to 6 for road work.

State Road A1A at St. Peter Boulevard (FIN 210712-4-52-01)
Nighttime lane closures Tuesday through Friday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for utility work

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Fort Clinch State Park to recognize fort’s role during W W II

Press Release
Brandon Volbrecht
Park Services Specialist
May 26, 2017 1:00 p.m.

Tomorrow from 9:00am-5:00pm Fort Clinch State Park will be recognizing the role Fort Clinch during World War II. Park admission is $6.00/vehicle and Fort admission is $2.00/person. Thank you for your continued support and I apologize for the late notice on the event, but the Facebook banners from Volunteer Cary Kinker are way too
cool not to share!



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Daughters of the American Revolution donate to American Beach Museum

Daughters of the American Revolution
Amelia Island Chapter
Contact: Lucinda Jo Glenn, Regent
May 26, 2017 11:00 a.m.


Regent Lucinda Glenn presents Yuwnus Asami with a check from the 50-50 drawing held by the Amelia Island Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution. Mr. Asami is curator of American Beach Museum. He manages the collection that preserves the history of American Beach, which was founded in 1935 by A.L. Lewis, president of the Afro American Insurance Company. The Amelia Island Chapter DAR regularly makes contributions to local non-profits as part of its commitment to community service.

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Lentz will not seek reelection

Fernandina Beach Mayor Commissioner Robin Lentz

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 26, 2017 9:40 a.m.


Fernandina Beach Mayor Robin Lentz has decided not to seek reelection to the City Commission this election cycle.

Lentz wrote in an email to the Fernandina Observer, “I love serving this great city, and though I am not seeking re-election, I plan to still be involved in the community and follow the city’s progress, especially the waterfront development.  There is still much work to be done before my departure.”

At this time, three candidates have filed to run for the Group 3 Seat Lentz currently occupies: Orlando Avila, Medardo Monzon and Ronald Joseph “Chip” Ross. The deadline for qualifying by petition is June 12, 2017. The final qualifying deadline is July 10-14, 2017.

For information on qualification requirements and filing deadlines, visit the city’s website or contact Fernandina Beach City Clerk Caroline Best, or (904) 310-3115.

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Comments from Mary Hamburg – Public Information Officer City of Fernandina Beach

Mary Hamburg
Public Information Officer
City of Fernandina Beach

May 26, 2017 1:00 a.m.

Editor’s Note:  City Manager Dale Martin is involved in budget preparations but will be back next week with his “Weekly Comments from Dale Martin.”

Mary Hamburg

Hello, Fernandina Beach. Please allow me to introduce myself! My name is Mary Hamburg and I was born and raised in San Marco, an historic neighborhood on the Southside of Jacksonville. I attended Florida State University where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Minor in Sociology. Upon graduation, I served for two years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. My focus was primarily on the education and prevention of trafficking in persons. Back in the US, I worked for a couple years at the international nonprofit, Best Buddies whose mission is the inclusion of students and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. I moved to downtown Fernandina Beach in 2011 and began working as the Social Director at Osprey Village, where I remained for six years before accepting the job as the Public Information Officer (PIO) for the City of Fernandina Beach. I am working under the guidance of Administrative Services Manager, Nicole Bednar, in the City Manager’s office. My husband and I live on the island and have two small boys. We enjoy taking advantage of all that our community has to offer- beaches, bike trails, family friendly events, parks, playgrounds, restaurants and more.

As PIO, I will be handling both media and social networking communications. In case you don’t already, make sure you “like” the City of Fernandina Beach Government Facebook page! I’ve also recently started an Instagram account: city-of-fernandina-beach. These tools will be a mix of important messages and posts with a more personal feel.

My second role will be as a main point person for special events in the City. Fernandina is already putting on some wonderful events, and I hope to continue the trend. I’ll work closely with the “Event Committee” which is comprised of Jay Robertson with Parks and Continue reading

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A box of bones

Evelyn C. McDonald
Arts & Culture Reporter

May 25, 2017 8:18 p.m.

I have a box of bones. No, not feeding dogs, just cataloguing artifacts for the Amelia Island Museum of History’s archives. The archives work has been interesting. My first assignment was cataloguing pieces of pottery from a site in Old Town. Next, I worked on cataloguing two award certificates presented to Amelia Island historical personages by the local DAR. I had donated a few photographs of Fernandina, so that was my third effort.

I had expected to do more pottery but when I went in to do my volunteer shift, there was the box of bones. Some were recognizable bones, similar to leftover chicken bones. Others I only knew were bones because the donation letter said that’s what they were. More to the point, they were fossil bones. We know the collection contains fossil bones because the bones have been mineralized.

One fossil, pictured here, is a complete skeleton of a small bird. That seems unusual as one would expect a bird to have been killed by predators or dying and being torn apart by Continue reading

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FBHS educator Sharon Belcher leaves a mark of excellence

Nassau County School System
Press Release
Submitted by Brent Lemond
Director of Career and Adult Education

May 25, 2017 6:02 p.m.

Sharon Belcher

What impact does a teacher make? We’ve all heard stories of students whose lives were turned around by a teacher that went the extra mile. Sometimes it was the individual attention given to a kid that just needed to be noticed. Sometimes the teacher was the first person to demand excellence in a student’s life. Or, perhaps the impact came from a special lesson that was so timely and effective that it etched a blueprint for success that paid dividends for years to come. In the case of Sharon Belcher, Fernandina Beach High School’s Nursing Assisting instructor over the past decade, any of these things could be said. Countless students have found a calling in life, a successful career, and a path to get there without the burden of student debt. Even students at other schools benefit from her work.

When Belcher took over the reins at FBHS in the Fall of 2007, the health sciences program functioned primarily for career exploration as opposed to true career preparation. While exploration remains a component, the experience today is so much more. According to Brent Lemond, Nassau County School District’s Career Education Director, when he joined the district a year earlier in 2006, the Nassau’s nursing programs were doing great Continue reading

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City of Fernandina Beach Police Chief Hurley responds to “noise”

May 25, 2017 5:30 p.m.

Editor’s Note: Concerns were raised during the Fernandina Beach City Commission meeting regarding the City of Fernandina Beach Noise Ordinance. City Manager Dale Martin suggested Police Chief James T. Hurley prepared written comments for the commission about the current noise ordinance and issues related to compliance.

Chief Hurley’s comments follow:

“When the City of Fernandina Beach adopted a new, practical solution to noise disruption in 2009, it ended years of frustration over the enforcement obstacles associated with the previous “decibel driven” ordinance.  The new ordinance took a common sense approach to balancing the personal perspectives of competing interests by adopting a simple and defensible combination of the “plainly audible” standard and the reasonable requirement that a complainant be able to demonstrate standing and be willing to be named in the complaint.

To properly understand this issue it is important to recognize that those living near the downtown core realize without debate that an urban vibe exists, even in small cities.  They Continue reading

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