Community Back to School Event

Coalition for the
Reduction/Elimination of Ethnic
Disparities in Health
Press Release
Submitted by Jeanette Wilson Baker
June 18, 2018 4:00 p.m.

It is that time again and WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!!

The Coalition for the Reduction/Elimination of Ethnic Disparities in Health (CREED) is asking the community, again, to assist in helping to provide school supplies for this year’s back to school event. This event will be held at the Peck Center 516 S. 10st street on August 4, 2018.

During this event St. Vincent’s Medical Center will provide free school physicals, from 9:00am-2:00pm to students in grades kindergarten through 12th who are making their initial entry into a Florida school. For students transferring to a Florida school from another state, a physical completed within 1 year is acceptable if completed on a form comparable to Florida’s standardized School Exam form (DH3040). They will also provide sport physicals, and eye exams will be provided by Walmart Vision Center.

School supplies will be distributed, in the Peck Gymnasium from 10:00am-2:00pm

What we need from the community: Continue reading

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Nassau County Volunteer Center donates to Barnabas Center

Barnabas Center Nassau
Contact: Alexandra Winsor,
Communications Manager
Email: [email protected]

June 18, 2018 2:44 p.m.

Harrison Poole, Chairman of the Board of the Nassau County Volunteer Center, presented a check for $10,000 to Wanda Lanier, President and CEO of Barnabas Center on June 13.

The check represents funding for three established programs that Barnabas Center has assumed from the Nassau County Volunteer Center: GoKids!, Peanut Butter & Jelly Food Drive and Adopt-a-Family. These three programs will continue as Barnabas programs upon the closing of the Volunteer Center on June 13.

For more information about Barnabas’ programs, please visit

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Aaron Bell runs for Nassau County Commissioner, District 2

Press Release
Submitted by Aaron Bell
June 18, 2018 11:00 a.m.

Aaron Bell, candidate for Nassau County Board of County Commissioners, District 2.

Aaron Bell, businessman and community volunteer, announces he has qualified to run for County Commissioner, District 2. As former President and Chief Executive Officer of Science First, a manufacturing concern in Yulee, he has wide experience in the business community. Now retired due to sale of the family business to outside investors, he feels he has the time to devote to helping improve the county where he has lived since 2009. “I want to invest in the future so we don’t lose what we already have,” he says, “while helping cope with the change that the future will bring.”

Bell said his platform has three major objectives:

– Planning for future growth and making sure that the costs of that growth are not borne by current taxpayers.

– A comprehensive approach to emergency services. We must ensure that we have the appropriate resources to perform the number one job of government – protecting the citizenry.

– Being accessible and customer-service oriented. A County Commissioner must be plugged into their constituents to ensure that concerns are heard and promptly addressed.

Bell is very concerned about the challenges of the future. He feels the county is at a tipping point. 40,000 people are expected to move into Nassau County in the next 10 years. “That’s 40,000 more than the 80,000 we have now,” he points out. “Our infrastructure is already struggling. The current work on SR200/A1A is an example Continue reading

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“Airport User Fees” continue to confound some Fernandina Beach residents

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
June 17, 2018 5:00 p.m.

Although it’s been said, many times, many ways—some local residents still have difficulty understanding (or accepting) the fact that the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport is not financed with ad valorem taxes.  Because the Airport Enterprise Fund consists of money from airport user fees, the money in that fund may not legally be used to fund marina improvements, street repair, beach walkovers or other activities not associated directly with the airport. In an attempt to clear up the definition and nature of user fees, I contacted Airport Manager Nate Coyle and Passero’s Andrew Holesko, who secures FAA and FDOT grant money for the airport, for assistance in explaining just what constitutes “user fees.”

Last year the city’s airport recorded 47,000 aircraft operations.  There are fees associated with these operations, in addition to activities conducted on airport property.  According to Coyle, the airport’s local operating revenue is derived from the following sources:

  • Airport owned hangars that are rented. Annual budget for rental of these hangars in the current fiscal year is approximately $330,000.
  • Airport ground leases. The airport owns property that is leased for private-owned hangar construction and non-aeronautical facilities outside the airport fence, and the airport charges an annual ground lease rate based on square footage. The airport also charges for non-aeronautical uses of airport property outside the fence. The FY budget for this revenue was $37,000.
  • A separate ground lease with Amelia River Golf Course that was budgeted to produce roughly $200,000 in this fiscal year.
  • A fuel flowage fee, which is assessed to fuel, brought onto the airport for personal use or for sale by the FBO. This fee produces roughly $35,000 per year.
  • Parking fees are assessed on the public aircraft parking apron. The FBO collects the fee and remits 30% to the City. This is a new arrangement, and Coyle does not yet have a solid estimate for revenue.
  • The airport receives other revenue through rental and use of airport property for other events including the Concours D’Elegance, Bonhams, and Russo & Steel (this coming year). These events will provide roughly $95,000 in revenue in the upcoming year.
  • Of note, the airport ground lease and City-owned building lease revenue will increase in the next fiscal year with the rental of new terminal space from Bent Wing Flight Services and through the lease of ground by the FBO.

But user fees from other airport users throughout the nation are also a factor, because they provide grant revenue to help airports around the country:  Continue reading

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Amelia Island DAR honors flag

Amelia Island
Daughters of the American Revolution
June 17, 2018 4:09 p.m.

Historian Becky Maley, on the left, and Carol Elefterian remove the union from the flag to prepare it for burning. Each stripe is then removed while Chaplain Sherry Harrell announces the name of the state it represents.

Amelia Island Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution accepted a proclamation from the city and later conducted its annual Flag Retirement Ceremony on Flag Day at Fire Station 20.

The City of Fernandina Beach presented the Amelia Island Chapter with a proclamation for Flag Day. Mayor John Miller listens as the chapter’s Service for Veterans chair Cara Curtin invites the audience to the Flag Retirement Ceremony.

Vietnam Veterans of America 1088 provided the color guard for the ceremony, which was conducted by (L- R) First Vice Regent Carol Elefterian, Second Vice Regent Sheila Carlin, and Chaplain Sherry Harrell.

Seven year old Sydney Wagnstrom presents a stripe of the flag for burning by Fire Station 20 personnel. Ms Wagnstrom is the Librarian of the Vaughan-Latham Society, Children of the American Revolution.


The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution is the largest women’s service organization in the world and contributes over one million volunteer hours a year. The 200+ members of the Amelia Island Chapter contribute approximately 5,000 volunteer hours and $4,000 in scholarships and awards in Nassau County each year.

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Amelia Island revealed . . .

Submitted by Chris Whelan
June 16, 2018 11:55 p.m.

“Our Beloved Historic Courthouse” Photo courtesy of Chris Whelan

Editor’s Note: Chris Whelan joined the United States Navy straight out of college in 1975 and served for 22 years as a Navy Aerographer’s Mate – the Navy’s meteorologists and oceanographers. Chris earned the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Broadcast Seal of Approval in 1994 and was an on-air meteorologist for the local television station WTLV starting in 1986 until he retired in 2004. Chris came to our island in 1991 and spends his time photographing the sights of our wonderful island, collecting and restoring vintage cameras, and being involved with local environmental issues, and enjoying his family. We thank Chris for his contributions to the Fernandina Observer.

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Self Service Aviation Gas available again at Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport

Bent Wing Flight Services
Media Release

In coordination with the City of Fernandina Beach, all necessary repairs to the self-service pump have been completed and is now safe to use. We would like to thank the City’s Airport staff in working with the FBO to accomplish the necessary repairs.

In appreciation for your patience while waiting for Self-Service, we’d like to extend special AvGas pricing to you this weekend.

This Saturday & Sunday Only 
Special Pricing on Self-Serve

$4.75 gallon
Come out this weekend and fly!

Don’t want to self fuel? Full Service is still available at your hangar for $5.49 gallon.

Thank you for your business!

Continue reading

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West end of Jacksonville Rail Trail to close temporarily for beam setting in Baldwin

FDOT Media Release
June 16, 2018 11:00 a.m.

Jacksonville As part of the Baldwin Bypass construction project, the Jacksonville “Rails to Trails” just west of the trailhead in Baldwin will be inaccessible from Wednesday, June 20 through Tuesday, July 3 for beam setting, weather and unforeseen circumstances permitting.

The project includes constructing a new four-mile, four-lane divided highway beginning north of the I-10 westbound on-ramp and two new signalized intersections at Beaver Street (U.S. 90) and Brandy Branch Road.  Plans also include building an overpass across two CSX railroad crossings and an additional overpass over the Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail to alleviate traffic congestion and improve operational efficiency of U.S. 301, which is part of the National Highway System and Florida’s Strategic Intermodal System (SIS).

Superior Construction Company began the $60 million bypass project in mid-August of 2018 and is currently scheduled to complete the work spring 2020.

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Parking restrictions on Broome Street effective July 1, 2018

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
June 15, 2018 7:13 p.m.

North Side Historic District residents have expressed safety concerns about congestion on Broome Street for years.  Emergency vehicles have had challenges negotiating the relatively narrow thoroughfare with two-way traffic and parallel parking on both sides of the street.  Although several proposals have been considered over the years, no action has been taken to solve the problem until now.

Fernandina Beach City Manager has released the letter below, which is being mailed to all Broome Street residents today, June 15.  Effective July 1, street parking will be limited to the south side of Broome Street, thereby leaving the north side open for safer two-way traffic and passage of emergency vehicles.


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Fernandina’s Beach Junki makes another “Clinching discovery” with a happy ending

By Susan Hardee Steger
June 14, 2018 12:27 p.m.

One June 14, Amy Wade, was doing what she does best, clearing our beaches of trash some of which arrives on the incoming tide.  In August of 2016, she found and  reunited a man with his dentures that he lost while surf fishing.  According to Wade, ” . .  a strong wave smacked him in the back and they went flying in the water. He said he just knew they were on their way to Cuba.”

On Thursday after finding yet another missing set of dentures, Wade contacted the Fernandina Observer to help her search for the owner.   She had found it in the same location near the north-end jetties. What are the odds of that?

After posting  the photo on the Beach Junki’s Facebook page along with the last name of the individual, whose name was etched on the rim of the dentures, low and behold she found the owner again!  A nice granddaughter saw the Beach Junki’s post and called her grandfather to ask if he wore dentures.  He replied he did but he had lost them at Main Beach on Monday!  After  finding the dentures Thursday morning, they were returned to the rightful owner by 5 o’clock in the afternoon.

The only thing missing now, is the upper plate! We wish Amy luck in finding the uppers, and we encourage all beach walkers to be on the look out.

Congratulations Beach Junki Amy Wade!   You are two for two!

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