Amelia Island revealed . . .

Submitted by Dianne Papet
February 7, 2016 1:00 a.m.

Ruddy Tunestone Passat
“Ruddy Turnstone” Photo courtesy of Diane Papet

Editor’s Note: Dianne Papet is a member of the Duval Audubon Birding Club and started photographing birds when she retired from teaching. This photo was taken on a beautiful Saturday on the Fort Clinch pier. A Jacksonville native, Dianne enjoys combining birding with photography and travel.

Photographers can submitted their photos to Fernandina Observer Incorporated is committed to protecting the copyright and intellectual property of others. Content provided to Fernandina Observer must be content that does not violate copyright or intellectual property of others.

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Marlin & Barrel and Engine 15 partnering to bring quality distilled products to Northeast Florida area

Media Contact: Joe Stelma
Mad Men Marketing 904-355-1766
February 6, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Marlin & BarrelMarlin & Barrel Distillery and Engine 15 Brewery have entered into a strategic partnership to bring quality distilled products to the Northeast Florida area. Through this partnership, they will create a craft line of whiskies with the first barrels to be laid down in the first quarter of 2016. Whiskey is a distilled product of a beer base called wort. Engine 15, already known as a great brewer with products like Old Battle Axe IPA and J’Ville Lager will create the wort and Marlin & Barrel will distill and barrel the distillate in new American charred oak barrels. Both companies will blend, package and bring to market an array of whiskey’s when the aging process is complete.

In addition, as a result of Engine 15’s recent announcement of their cider production Continue reading

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Follow the money: Comparing Adkins’ and Burns’ campaigns for School Superintendent

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm

Reporter – News Analyst


Because the 2016 race for Nassau County School Superintendent between Republican candidates Janet Adkins and Kathy Burns appears to be the one that is generating the most interest at the local level today, I decided to look more closely into the campaign contributions that both candidates received during calendar year 2015. Initially I also included Libertarian candidate Cheryl Reynolds James in my calculations, but since she has reported only 5 donations totaling $900.40 to date, I decided to reserve judgment on whether she is a serious or credible candidate.

Superintendent_sign-1067x600Statistics in the table below were taken from campaign treasurer reports on file with the Supervisor of Elections. I have included cash, in-kind and loans from the candidates to their own campaigns, as well as the candidates’ own contributions to their campaigns. Any errors or omissions may be laid at my feet, not those of either the candidates or their treasurers.


Adkins’ fundraising has far outpaced that of Burns. However, if you eliminate the highest category of contributions ($500+), the statistics are not that far apart:


The major difference is among the high level contributors. I compiled the following, again from records provided by the candidates, to indicate the source and amounts provided by the contributors in the highest categories, breaking out $500 donors and $1,000 donors. Note that the highest donation that can be given per election cycle is $1,000. Continue reading

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Straight talk from City Hall

Dale Martin
City Manager
City of Fernandina Beach

February 5, 2016 1:00 a.m.

“Communication is essential to our success, but it is critical that we are cognizant of the pitfalls of modern impersonal communication.”

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Dale Martin

In less than two months, I will reach my twentieth anniversary of embarking upon my career as a municipal manager. I started in the small lakeside community of Lexington, Michigan, a community that shares many attributes, on a much smaller scale, with Fernandina Beach. Lexington, with a population of only eight hundred at that time, had a “resort-oriented” downtown, some thriving local industry, and an active waterfront, including a state-operated marina. Perhaps I was too new to recognize the beauty of such a community, but I surely appreciate the beauty of this community.

Perhaps the most notable change as a municipal official from twenty years ago to today is the development of electronic communications. Mobile telephones were still somewhat rare (and the size of a brick). I remember getting my first pager to facilitate communications when I was out of the office.

Now we all have pocket-sized telephones that enable us to communicate instantaneously with others pretty much anywhere in the world. A related problem is that the users of those telephones expect us to communicate instantaneously at the time of their choosing.

Although I cannot offer the specific citation, I remember coming across a survey some Continue reading

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Big Band Bash at Amelia Island Jazz Festival – Feb 14

Media Release
Michael Rothschilde

Amelia Island Jazz Festival
February 2, 2016 2:45 p.m.

Big Band Bash Orchestra “One Of The Greatest”: Les DeMerle

2015 Amelia Island Jazz Festival Big Band Bash
WJXT-TV personality Sam Kouvaris, a Sinatra aficionado, will be on hand to croon many of Ol’ Blue Eyes’ best known songs.

“This is one of the greatest bands that I have had the pleasure of leading,” said Les DeMerle, Artistic Director of the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, about the aggregation that will appear at this year’s BIG BAND BASH, to be held Sunday, February 14, 2016 from 7:00 – 10:00 PM, in the Amelia Ballroom at the Omni Resorts Amelia Island Plantation.

The musicians who make up the Dynamic Les DeMerle 17 piece Orchestra, featuring Continue reading

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State Regent visits Amelia Island DAR Chapter – Honors Vietnam era veterans

Submitted by Cara Curtin
February 4, 2016 2:30 p.m.strong>

State Regent Virginia Poffenburger, center, and Amelia Island Chapter Regent Cindy Glenn (to her right) stand proudly with Cara Curtin, a Chapter Daughter and Vietnam era veteran.

DAR Crop
From left to right are Paul Worley; Walter Moser; Fred Borakove; Ray Varrasse; Don Hooley; Robert Jewell; Janet Lukazewicz representing her husband, James; John Pusinelli; Andrew Curtin; Timothy Kutta; Dutch DeVries; and Nelda Austin representing her husband, Walter.

They are surrounded by 10 Vietnam era veteran husbands, plus two Daughters
who care for their Vietnam era veteran spouses:

The ceremony was part of the chapter’s participation in the Vietnam Commemorative Continue reading

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A Night at the Opera – Amelia Musical Playhouse

Press Release
Submitted by Mary Williams

February 4, 2016 2:15 p.m.

Amelia Musical PlayhouseLooking for an excuse to dress up and sip something bubbly? Dust off your old tux or gown (or wear your jeans!) and join us at Amelia Musical Playhouse when we present “A Night At the Opera” Friday and Saturday February 26 & 27, 7:30 PM. Familiar AMP singers welcome many new volunteers to our stage as we showcase some favorite arias and very familiar chorus numbers, as well as a “tragical tale, the Grasshopper.”

Opera was the original multimedia entertainment. Long before there was television and cinema, costumed singers and dancers dramatically enacted stories of lust and love: birth and death; joy and sorrow, conquest Continue reading

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“Picnic” comes to Amelia Community Theatre

Media Release
Submitted by Linda McClane

Februry 4, 2016 1:30 p.m.

ACT’s cast includes Sebastian Alexander, Ellen Blair, Kyle Geary, Madison Kiernan, Dale Hair, Zach Martin, Paige Miklas, Sara Muir, Gloria Strand, Judy Tipton, and Buffy Wells. Photo courtesy of David Burghardt, Island Photography

Amelia Community Theatre presents William Inge’s Pulitzer Prize winning play “Picnic” on its main stage, opening February 4. Set in the 1950s in a small town in Kansas, two households of women anticipate the annual Labor Day picnic. With back porches facing a Continue reading

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Micah’s Place’s second retail store now open on the westside

Press Release
Micah’s Place
Contact: Marianna McIntyre,
Development Director
(904) 491-6364 X 102
February 4, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Micahs-Place-Logo-1024x447Micah’s Place is delighted to announce the official opening of our Westside Purple Dove Resale Center, benefiting the victims of domestic violence. The newest member of the Micah’s Place “family” opened its doors on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, and is located at 450061 SR 200 in the Callahan Shopping Center.

In addition to the store services, the launch of this location will offer outreach services to the community, and support the needs of domestic violence survivors and their children. Both Centers play an invaluable role by not only generating income for programs and awareness, but they also assist individuals who are fleeing unhealthy home situations. Many will be in need of clothing and other personal items to function. They also assist those in recovery with household items and furniture as they reestablish safe residency.

Micah’s Place is a community-based nonprofit which provides a wide array of direct services, including a 24 hour Crisis Hotline, Domestic Violence Shelter, Court Advocacy, Counseling, Outreach Services and Domestic Violence Prevention Education.
For more information or to volunteer, please visit or call our administration office at 904-491-6364.

If you would like to donate gently used items to our Purple Dove Resale Center, please call 904-261-5227.

If you are currently experiencing emotional, physical, psychological, economical, verbal, or any other kind of abuse, we can help you. Please call 800-500-1119 or 904-225-9979.

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