Swim near lifeguards! Red flag warnings possible throughout weekend

Fernandina Beach Fire Rescue
Press Release
Ty Silcox, Chief

May 27, 2016 3:30 p.m.

City sealDrowning is the third leading cause of accidental death in the United States and the second leading cause of accidental death for persons aged 5 to 44. For children in the one to two-year age range, drowning is the leading cause of injury or death. In Florida, drowning is the leading cause of injury or death for persons under 15 years of age.

United States Lifesaving Association (USLA) statistics over a ten-year period show that the chance of drowning at a beach without lifeguard protection is almost five times as great as drowning at a beach with lifeguards. USLA has calculated the chance that a person will drown while attending a beach protected by USLA affiliated lifeguards at 1 in 18 million (.0000055%).

Lifeguards work continually to identify hazards that might affect you. They can advise you on the safest place to swim, as well as places to avoid. A lifeguard’s primary goal is to provide you with valuable safety information to keep you safe during your visit to the beach. Talk to them when you first arrive at the beach and ask them for their advice. This is why the City of Fernandina Beach, the Florida Beach Patrol Chief’s Association (FBPCA) and the United States Lifesaving Association, South East Region (USLA-SER) are advising all beach patrons to “Swim Near a Lifeguard”.

Local Beach Flag Warning Conditions: Text BCHSAFE to 888777

Contact: Fire Chief Ty Silcox
City of Fernandina Beach Fire Department (904) 277 ‐ 7331
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A message from Nassau County Clerk Crawford – County’s fiscal health continues positive trend

Press Release
John Crawford
Clerk of Courts
Nassau County, Florida

May 27, 2016 12:43 p.m.

john_crawfordclerkThe audit is done and the news is good! I am proud to report that Nassau County remains fiscally healthy and is doing very well. The annual financial audit results are in for fiscal year ending 2015 and independent auditor Ron Whitesides, from Purvis Gray & Company, reports “…very positive audit result… the county remains in strong financial condition.”

Mr. Whitesides attended the Wednesday, May 18th Board of County Commission meeting to provide a brief summary of the audit results: total revenues increased substantially from $80 million in 2014 to $102 million in 2015; county pensions are in the Florida Retirement System which is 92% funded (making it one of the top three state retirement systems in the country); unrestricted funds finished the year above the Government Finance Officers Association’s minimum requirements of two months reserves (approximately $25 million of the $18 – $20 million benchmark); and the county finished the year with an excess of nearly $5 million (while spending just over $19 million on capital outlay).

In addition to the annual financial audit, my office monitors several other indicators to Continue reading

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America’s Wars and Amelia Island: Museum talk on June 1st

Submitted by Gray Edenfield
Amelia Island Museum of History
May 27, 2016 11:28 a.m.

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The Amelia Island Museum of History invites you to its next Brown Bag Lunch on Wednesday, June 1st, at noon. Special guest Jim Longacre will present America’s Wars and Amelia Island.  Amelia Island has seen war time and time again throughout its long recorded history. Local historian Jim Longacre takes us on a fascinating journey through these various conflicts and shows how they crafted the island we love today. This program is free and open to the Public. Seating is first-come/first-served. For more information contact Gray at 261-7378 ext 102, or gray@ameliamuseum.org. Amelia Island Museum of History 233 S. 3rd St.

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Fernandina Beach observes Memorial Day May 30th

imagesSubmitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 2016
May 28, 2016 10:00 a.m.


A Memorial Day observance will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 30, 2016 at the Veterans Monument at the foot of Centre Street in Fernandina Beach. Everyone is invited to attend. City offices will be closed that day.

This year’s ceremonies are being presented by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1088, Nassau County and Fernandina Beach.

At the May 17 Regular Meeting of the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) Mayor Johnny Miller read a city proclamation asking citizens to pause for a moment of silence on Memorial Day to honor all those who have died in the service of the United States.

David Roeser accepts city Memorial Day proclamation as Mayor Johnny MIller looks on.
David Roeser accepts city Memorial Day proclamation as Mayor Johnny MIller looks on.
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Weekly comments from Dale Martin

Dale Martin
City Manager
Fernandina Beach

May 27, 2016 1:00 a.m.

View More: http://briwestfallphotography.pass.us/2016-01-14-fb-city-commissionersJoyfully, this weekend popularly celebrates the start of summer.

Sadly, this weekend also commemorates the sacrifices of thousands of Americans. Somehow, “Happy Memorial Day” seems ignorantly inappropriate.

I remember several key moments of my military service: my arrival at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, for my initial summer of training as a Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC cadet), my Oath in the bowels of a fieldhouse at the University of Detroit, my formally commissioning at Selfridge Air National Guard Base near Mt. Clemens, the start of my active duty training at Ft. Benning, Georgia, the start of my first active duty assignment in Schweinfurt, Bavaria, and my separation from active duty in Newark, New Jersey.

One of the most stirring moments of my brief military career was during my initial cadet training at Ft. Knox. The cadet battalion was invited to participate in the 200th Continue reading

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In praise of volunteers

Evelyn C. Mcdonald
Arts & Culture Reporter

May 26, 2016 4:53 p.m.

I volunteered at the Wild Amelia Expo last Saturday, greeting people entering the Atlantic Recreation Center and answering questions. It was a three hour stint made easy by sitting next to a friend of mine who had also volunteered. It made me think about how important volunteers are.

Shrimp BoatsVolunteers are the lifeblood of arts and culture organizations in our community. They are certainly more important to such organizations than any other group except the audience. They give their time and energy, without which nothing would happen. Volunteers are more important than arts and culture boards (and I have served on several). The boards set directions and develop plans but without volunteers, nothing happens. Indeed some Continue reading

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FDOT provides convenient places for motorist to text or use mobile devices safetly

Florida Department of Transportation
Jim Boxold, Secretary
Contact: Chad.Huff@dot.state.fl.us

May 26, 2016 1:45 p.m.

FDOT and GEICO Remind Motorists to use “Safe Phone Zones” at Florida Rest Areas, Welcome Centers and Service Plazas this Memorial Day Weekend

FDOT 1This Memorial Day weekend more vehicles are expected on our highways, and the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) reminds motorists to avoid distracted driving. June 1 marks the first anniversary of Safe Phone Zones in Florida. In 2015 GEICO sponsored Safe Phone zones in Florida’s 64 Rest Areas, Welcome Centers and Turnpike Service Plazas as “Safe Phone Zones”. This provides a place where drivers can safely and conveniently use their phones and other mobile devices for calling, texting, navigating and accessing mobile apps.

Assistant Secretary for Engineering and Operations, Brian Blanchard said, “This Memorial Day weekend, families and visitors will travel on our roadways to spend time together and Continue reading

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Nassau County’s newest career education program, “Java Programming & Application Development is thriving in its first year!

Media Release
Leah C. Jennings
Community Liaison & Certification Proctor
Nassau County School Board
Career & Technical Education
(904) 556-2397 Cell

May 26, 2016 1:10 p.m.

Java2 May
Noah Emmons – Fernandina Beach High School

In a world dominated by the use of computers, programming has become a highly needed skillset. Fortunately, the Nassau County School District is providing training for this field through a career education program at the Lewis “Red” Bean Nassau Technical Career Center (NTCC). The Java Programming & Application Development program opened in August of 2015. The class is instructed by Kalvin Thompson, and through his expertise the Continue reading

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New Museum exhibit opens May 27th following Preservation Awards ceremony

Amelia Island Museum of History
May 26, 2016 12:48 p.m.


The Amelia Island Museum of History is proud to present a brand new Gaslight Gallery Exhibition showcasing the work of the Island Art Association Photography Group. Historic Details is a visual exploration of the architectural details and unique features that make Fernandina’s Historic District a special, historic place. The exhibition will showcase talented members of the IAA Photography Group, who have done a marvelous job capturing the quirky and wonderful elements of Amelia Island’s historic structures.

The exhibition will open on Friday, May 27th, at 6 pm, at the Amelia Island Museum of History (233 S. 3rd St).

We will start the evening with a special presentation ceremony for the Amelia Island-Fernandina Restoration Foundation’s Fourth Annual Historic Preservation Awards, after which will enjoy refreshments and unveil the IAA Photography Group’s new photographic display. This program is free and open to the public, reservations are not required. For more information contact gray@ameliamuseum.org or (904) 261-7378 ext 102.

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PAB sends 8th Street recommendations to City Commission

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 26, 2016 10:30 a.m.


City of Fernandina Beach Planning Advisory Board
City of Fernandina Beach Planning Advisory Board
People arrive for PAB meeting, review exhibit material
People arrive for PAB meeting, review exhibit material

The City of Fernandina Beach’s Planning Advisory Board (PAB) met in special session on May 24, 2016 to consider Comprehensive Plan Amendments, zoning changes and Land Development Code Amendments to address longstanding public concerns over the appearance of the city’s 8th Street corridor, the entryway to the city. During the 3.5 hour-long meeting, as many as 30 people were present at any one time. More than a dozen speakers addressed the PAB with concerns relating to traffic, noise, and the impact on residents and businesses in the area where the new zoning district has been proposed.

Senior Planner Kelly Gibson (r) and PAB Recording Secretary Sylvie McCann
Senior Planner Kelly Gibson (r) and PAB Recording Secretary Sylvie McCann

Senior planner Kelly Gibson presented a 30-slide overview to show both the PAB members and the public how the recommendations had been developed over a period of two years. She also presented graphics with conceptual drawings showing the current situation and possible future scenarios. Large posters containing some of the same information were displayed at the back of the meeting chamber.

Gibson stressed that there were no recommendations to reroute 8th Street truck traffic through parallel residential streets. She also added that the creation of the new zoning district—MU-8—would not change existing zoning for any current property owner.

On a 4-3 vote, the PAB approved the plan with one amendment: requiring that the height of any new building in the proposed zoning area be limited to 35 feet if that property abuts residential zoning districts.

DSCN6933Dissenting PAB members expressed concern that they had not had enough time to consider the recommendations thoroughly. PAB Vice Chair Mark Bennett, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Chair Judith Lane, reminded PAB members and the audience that when the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) hears this item (tentatively scheduled for their June 21 Regular Meeting) there will be at least two additional public hearings before the FBCC votes on final approval.

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