Visitors Enjoy New Daily Trolley Service on Amelia Island

Amelia Island Convention & Visitors Bureau
May 29, 2015 9:50 a.m.

trolleyThe Amelia Island Transportation & Trolley Company is offering new daily service on the island. The new Island Trolley will operate from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily from May 30 through Labor Day, offering visitors affordable and convenient access to Amelia Island’s most popular beaches, shopping, dining, historic downtown and more.

“The Amelia Island trolley will always be a favorite option for tours and private events, but the new Island Trolley meets a longtime demand for our Continue reading

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Fernandina Observer celebrates its three year anniversary

Susan Hardee Steger
May 28, 2015 5:05 p.m.

Centre Street Fernandina Photo Courtesy of Florida Memory Project

We will be different!” May 12, 2012

So how will the Fernandina Observer benefit our community? We will inform and educate, not confuse and mislead. When credit is due, we will build up our community, not tear it down. When issues arise that demand public attention, or if mistakes are made that demand accountability, you will be informed.

Three years, going on four! Anniversary celebrations provide those of us involved with the Fernandina Observer an opportunity to reflect on our past as we plan for our future.  Three years ago, I sent a high school classmate a link to the Fernandina Observer’s inaugural post with the following message, “I think we will fail.” An arm twisting lunch with a long time city watcher, Suanne Thamm, ended with the statement , “Without you, we will fail.” Early on our expectations were not high, but then volunteer reporters and avid readers joined us and cheered us on. We have exceeded our expectations and each year we celebrate continued success!

About two weeks after our 2012 beginning, tropical storm Beryl became our focus. We hit the ground running with reporters covering surf, wind, and water conditions. Our photos revealed damages to homes, city parks, and Bosque Bello Cemetery.  It was news while it was still news!

Beryl centralpark1
Just some of the storm damage at Central Park.

A chance encounter with city police at the only coffee shop up and running and with internet access to boot, allowed us to post a copy of the police officers’ recently completed damage assessment.

Google was our friend! When residents near and far, placed “Fernandina Beach, Tropical Storm Beryl” in their computer search field, the Fernandina Observer appeared at the top of the list. Now that was exciting. Our Continue reading

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The play’s just the thing

Evelyn C. McDonald
Arts and Culture Reporter

May 26, 2015

The Fernandina Little Theatre is doing Christopher Durang’s Tony Award winning play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.” As you might expect from the title, this play is not a tragedy. Indeed it is very funny and very well acted. Combine two recluses, an aging movie star and hunky boyfriend, and a maid who thunders out prophecies and you have a great recipe for laughter. The play offers commentary on pretensions, nostalgia, and managing the journey of life.

Stephen France, Frank O’Donnell, Jan Cote- Merow, Buffy Wells (Not pictured Karen Antworth and Rebecca Brown.)

The cast carries out their roles with obvious enjoyment. Cassandra the maid combines lines from Greek tragedy and pop culture in her prophecies. Vanya Continue reading

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The story behind the cancelled Umphrey’s McGee concert

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 28, 2015 11:45 a.m.


On January 23, 2015, the Umphrey’s McGee band posted the following announcement on their website:

umpmcgUmphrey’s McGee is thrilled to bring you one of the most unique concert experiences yet — The Fort — held at Fort Clinch State Park in Fernandina Beach, Florida. Fort Clinch is one of the most well-preserved 19th century forts in the United States and we’re preparing for battle. Joined by Lettuce each night, Umphrey’s and Live For Live Music will present the first rock shows ever held within its walls.

Limiting capacity to only 1,348 tickets, this intimate affair will be one to add to the list. Friday, April 10th and Saturday, April 11th will feature a set of Lettuce followed by two sets from UM. For those looking to camp, we are providing access to camp grounds immediately outside the state park for only $20.00. Additionally, for the most serious soldiers, umVIP has carefully planned The Fort experience to cater to all your needs, from phenomenal viewing locations, early entry, and private bar/bathrooms to exclusive Fort UM merchandise (Fort UM flag anyone?) and more.

Travel packages with accommodations at The Seaside Amelia Island Inn are also available, just steps away from the beach via a private boardwalk, and a short 3-minute shuttle ride to the Fort. Twenty dollars from every ticket to the The Fort will benefit Fort Clinch State Park to aid in their continued efforts of preservation of this unique and breathtaking oceanfront landmark.

Despite selling out all pre-sale tickets, the concert was cancelled for the Fort Clinch venue and moved to St. Augustine. Fort ticket holders were advised regarding the change of venue and refund policies.

How did the concert come to be scheduled at Fort Clinch in the first place? What happened to cause those last minute changes that disappointed so many local fans of the band? Are there any lessons to be learned in scheduling future events? This report will try to answer those questions. Continue reading

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Hurricane Preparedness Week May 25-31

City sealCity of Fernandina Beach
Press Release
Community Development Department

May 27, 2015 8:38 p.m.

With hurricane season once again upon us, the City of Fernandina Beach encourages all residents and visitors to be prepared for hurricane season. The 2015 hurricane season starts June 1st and goes through November 30th. Now is the time to arrange your family’s emergency action plan and build a Disaster Supplies Kit. To be prepared, you Continue reading

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Whale ends up on north end beach

Photos courtesy of
Gale Jameyson

May 27, 2015 2:09 p.m.

A distressed short finned pilot whale was discovered during the early morning hours south of the Fort Clinch fishing pier. According to Johnny Miller, local resident and city commissioner, fish and wild life experts on the scene believe the whale is a victim of morbillivirus. There is very little hope the whale will survive.

Editor’s Note: Gale Jameyson provided us with excellent photos taken during an attempt to rescue. Thank you Gale for your contributions.

whale Group

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North Florida Land Trust helps communities save natural and cultural heritage

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
May 27, 2015 10:00 a.m.

Marc Hudson talks preservation strategies to FBCC
Marc Hudson talks preservation strategies to FBCC

Marc Hudson, North Florida Land Trust Land Protection Director, provided the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) with a presentation regarding the preservation of natural areas and special places through the acquisitions of land and conservation easements during a workshop held on May 19, 2015. His goals were two-fold:

  • Establish a sense for the monetary value of natural and cultural resources in Fernandina Beach, and
  • Help commissioners understand the different land preservation tools that can facilitate the city’s mission, enhance the community and secure the natural and cultural legacy for future generations.

Continue reading

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Mayor Edward Boner will not seek second term

Submitted by Susan Hardee Steger
May 26, 2015 3:05 p.m.

Mayor Ed Boner

Commissioner and Mayor Edward Boner announced today at 3:00 p.m. that he will not seek a second term on the Fernandina Beach City Commission. His announcement posted on Facebook appears below:

“After great consideration, I will not be seeking re-election to the city commission in 2015. Initially, I planned to announce later in the year, but felt a delay, could discourage other qualified candidates.

It has been an honor and privilege. I want to thank all of you for your faith and support over the last three years and look forward to giving back to the community in the future.”

Boner is a native of Fernandina Beach. He won election in 2012 defeating current city commissioner Tim Poynter.  For two terms he was elected to serve as mayor of the city.


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Fallen Heroes to hold memorial dedication to honor Kelly Mixon May 28

Media Release
Contact: Mr. Spencer G. Lodree
Principal, Fernandina Beach High School
(904) 261-5713 ext. 2602

May 26, 2015 4:00 p.m.

The Fallen Heroes Organization will hold a Memorial dedication in the courtyard at Fernandina Beach High School on Thursday, May 28th at 0930 for Army Specialist Kelly Mixon, an alumnus of FBHS, who was killed in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, in 2010. The community is invited to attend and honor the life of this heroic young man.

Kelly and Amy Mixon-1 Cropped
Kelly Mixon with his wife Amy.

This will be a newsworthy event. Senator Aaron Bean and one of Kelly’s former general officers will be the guest speakers. Additionally, numerous Continue reading

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