Rayonier/Raydient Places + Properties files lawsuit against Nassau County

By Cindy Jackson
November 14, 2018 10:55 a.m.

In a surprising development, the Fernandina Observer received news early this morning that Rayonier/Raydient Places + Properties has filed a lawsuit against Nassau County in the fourth judicial circuit.

The 172 page document (click here to review document) filed in the fourth judicial circuit court, is an attempt to “fully protect their property rights.”

The announcement included this statement:

“The lawsuit outlines the County’s improper actions . . . including the County’s recent enactment of a municipal service taxing unit (MSTU) ordinance over the East Nassau Community Planning Area (ENCPA), as well as the County’s misleading interpretation of the East Nassau Stewardship District Bill.”

Calls placed to county attorney and acting county manager Michael Mullin and to Pat Edwards, chairman of the board of county commissioners were not returned as of press time.

In the announcement sent by Alejandro Barbero, Director, Strategic Continue reading

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Crane Island Announces Plans for the 2019 Southern Living Idea House

The Wilbert Group
November 14, 2018 4:00 p.m.


Rendering of Southern Living Idea House for Crane Island (courtesy Historical Concepts)

AMELIA ISLAND, FLORIDA (Nov. 14, 2018) – Crane Island, the low impact, 185-acre master planned community on Amelia Island, has been selected as the site of the highly anticipated 2019 Southern Living Idea House. 

In collaboration with the developer Crane Island Real Estate, LLC and Atlanta-based architecture and planning firm Historical Concepts, Southern Living has assembled an award-winning team with Jacksonville-based homebuilder Riverside Homes and interior designer Heather Chadduck Hillegas, whose firm is based in Birmingham, Alabama, to bring the vision to life. The team will break Continue reading

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Baptist Medical Center Nassau Receives 2018 Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award®

Baptist Medical Center Nassau
Press Release
November 14, 2018 1:00 p.m.

Award recognizes hospitals for excellence in outpatient surgery.

Baptist Nassau has been recognized as a 2018 Guardian of Excellence Award® winner by Press Ganey. The Guardian of Excellence Award recognizes top-performing health care organizations that have achieved the 95th percentile or above of performance in patient experience.

The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award is a nationally recognized symbol of achievement in health care. Presented annually, the award honors hospitals that consistently sustained performance in the top 5 percent of all Press Ganey clients for each reporting period during the course of one year.

“We understand that having surgery can be a vulnerable time for patients and their families,” said Hospital President Ed Hubel. “It is Continue reading

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Conditional Public Notice of Manual recount by Nassau County Canvassing Board

Nassau County Supervisor of Elections
Vicki P. Cannon
Press Release
November 14, 2018 12:50 p.m.

NOTICE is hereby given that if the Secretary of State orders a manual recount in the U.S. Senate, the Florida Commissioner of Agriculture, and/or any other race before 1 p.m. on Friday, November 16, 2018, the Nassau County Canvassing Board will meet at 1 p.m. on Friday, November 16, 2018, to conduct that recount. If the recount is ordered after 1 p.m. on Friday, November 16, 2018, the recount shall immediately commence thereafter.

The recount, if ordered, will occur at the Supervisor of Elections Office, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, FL. The recount will be open to the public.

Persons are advised that if they decide to appeal decisions made at this Continue reading

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Missing your Fernandina Observer “Daily News?”

By Susan Hardee Steger
November 14, 2018 10:15 a.m.

As much as we all appreciate the advantages of the digital age, there are moments when this “age” can be frustrating. Due to a technical glitch, many of our Daily News subscribers have missed our morning emails. We are working with our webmaster to fix the problem. Our hope is that  you will receive the Daily News in your inboxes tomorrow.

In the meantime, you can go directly to our website at www.fernandinaobserver.com and catch the latest news and information.

If you are not a subscriber to our free “Daily News,” sign up! Simply scroll down to the bottom right portion of our home page.  After entering your email address, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription.  Look for it in your Inbox or in your Spam or Junk mail.

Give it a try!



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Status report on 2018 FBCC goals for the city

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
November 13, 2018

During their 2018 Goal Setting Session held in January, the Fernandina Beach City Commission prioritized their collective goals for the coming year as follows:

  • Goal 1:  Develop the Amelia Riverfront
  • Goal 2:  Conserve Natural Resources
  • Goal 3:  Review Fire Rescue Department Operations
  • Goal 4:  Examine Beach Operations

Initially, Commissioners established the goals through consensus.  On June 5 they formally adopted the goals by Resolution 2018-30. Each goal contained a number of objectives, along with their timeframes for completion and the individuals or departments responsible for shepherding the objective through to successful completion.

City Manager Dale Martin has provided an update from the end of October on the status of the goals and objectives as set forth below: Continue reading

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Fernandina Beach seeks interest in riverfront redevelopment opportunity

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
November 13, 2018 11:35 a.m.

Proposed redevelopment site

The city of Fernandina Beach, FL is hoping to improve the look and functionality of its Amelia River frontage by attracting interest from developers to transform the site of a derelict commercial building into an attractive waterfront asset.  The city is looking forward to reviewing responses to its Request for Expressions Of Interest (REOI) issued on October 19  following the December 14 submission deadline.

For a detailed copy of the REOI, contact [email protected]

Potential respondents are strongly encouraged to register their interest by sending an e-mail to [email protected] Please use “North Front Street REOI” in the subject line. Include the name of the primary contact, email address and telephone number. This information will be used to share answers to questions and updates on process. Follow up contact depends on registration. Registration does not obligate a response.

  • An informational meeting and tour will be offered on November 28, 2018. Respondents are encouraged, but not required to participate in the tour. However, this is the only time that Main Street and City personnel will be available to address questions in person. After this date, all questions must be submitted in writing to [email protected] and all questions and answers will be made available to all registered respondents.
  • During the Request for Expressions of Interest period, answers to frequently asked questions will be published at fernandinamainstreet.com and updated regularly.

The City of Fernandina Beach is looking to bring the Amelia River waterfront back to life as a working waterfront by providing a destination that creates a sense of place for City residents and its visitors alike.

  • This is an opportunity to provide a profitable private/public partnership to the right type of development for the City’s historic downtown waterfront.
  • This project is the first opportunity to bring back the glory of a waterfront that once hosted sailing captains as well as tourists during the grand Victorian age.
  • The Amelia River waterfront has remained dormant for years waiting for the first project to start what could be a great addition to the community. This project has the opportunity to set the standard for future development of the waterfront.

Continue reading

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BOCC considers $21 million no match grant for Crawford Diamond

By Cindy Jackson
November 12, 2018 10:00 a.m.

County attorney and acting county manager Michael Mullin announced at the November 9th meeting of the Board of County Commissioners that notification had been received from the State announcing that Nassau County was (tentatively) awarded a grant made possible from the Florida Job Growth Grant Fund. Since 2010, this grant, billed as “an economic development program designed to build on Florida’s success and economic prosperity,” has provided $85 million in infrastructure and job training projects.

The grant award for Nassau County is worth an estimated $21 million to provide water, sewer, rail and natural gas to the area known as Crawford Diamond. Laura DiBella, executive director of the Nassau County Economic Development Board (NCEDB) and staff put the grant application together.

The good news of the grant having been awarded was tempered somewhat during a discussion that followed. Mullin outlined a of potential problems in the terms and conditions. However, it was noted that the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which oversees grant management, did indicate that the terms and conditions could be modified.

Partners in this grant application were identified as the Town of Callahan, JEA and Florida Power and Light (FPL). While all partners are strongly in support of this grant as articulated by Ms. DiBella, both the town of Callahan and JEA both expressed in earlier meetings, that they each have certain limitations in capacity at the present time.

Another red flag identified was the fact that the land is not owned by the county but instead by Florida Power and Light. In earlier discussions with county staff and Continue reading

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Mary Duffy to speak at Wild Nite – Nov 13

Wild Nite
Press Release
Submitted by Kathy Brooks
[email protected]
November 13, 2018 3:24 p.m.

Mary Duffy excavates a turtle nest and educates unlookers on the life of sea turtles.

Mary Duffy, President of Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch, will be the featured speaker at Wild Amelia’s Tuesday, November 13th Wild Nite—one of the nine-month series—at 7 p.m. at the Peck Center Auditorium, 516 S. 10th Street in Fernandina Beach. Ms. Duffy will give an update on the 2018 sea turtle nesting season on Amelia Island and in Florida. The program is free and open to the public.

For over two decades, Mary Duffy has led a group of committed volunteers—Amelia Island Sea Turtle Watch—to collect data about the loggerhead and occasional green and leatherback sea turtles that nest on Amelia Island. Volunteers walk the beaches at dawn looking for turtle tracks, verify and mark the nest, watch the nest for almost two months, confirm hatching, and then excavate to get exact numbers of shards, dead pips, and live hatchlings still in the nest. Each nest has about 100-150 eggs. The hatchlings that emerged from these nests some 50-60 days later will face peril as they make their way to the sea and once in the sea; it is thought that only one in 4000 will survive to adulthood! To learn more about the 2018 nesting season on Amelia Continue reading

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