In Nassau County we have “The Cool Bus Drivers”

Submitted by Dr. Kathy Burns
Nassau County School Superintendent
August 13, 2018 – 2:00 p.m.

On Saturday, August 4th, Terry Wilkerson organized a “stuff the bus” campaign for our families in transition. He, along with many of his colleagues and friends, volunteered their time to spend the day in front of the Yulee Wal-Mart collecting backpacks and school supplies for students in need. As if that wasn’t enough, he also used the opportunity to recruit future bus drivers. The team of volunteers were all sporting pink shirts stating:

“Stuff the Bus, Work with Us!”

We’re excited to kick off a new school year and happy to work with great people who often go above and beyond! Our theme for this year is “We Are Nassau.” Terry and his team of volunteers are certainly living it out as they take the time to serve others and make a difference for our students, our future!

Thanks to all participants, including:

Brenda Beasley
Lataveia Burley
Sarah Coene
Haley Conner
Julie Conner
Luke Flynt
Jan Frost
Kim Good
Sherri McSwain
Sheryl Metts
Debra Miles
Lorie Oneal
Marian Phillips
Sara Scott
Janaleigh Whittenbarger
Ashley Wilkinson
Terry Wilkinson

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Tourism’s positive impact on Nassau County, Amelia Island and Fernandina Beach

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
August 13, 2018 – 11:15 a.m.

Tourism is Nassau County’s largest job creator and a leading driver of its economy.Gil Langley, President and CEO of the Amelia Island Convention and Visitors Bureau (AICVB), provided Fernandina Beach City Commissioners (FBCC) with an overview of the mission, goals and accomplishments of the Amelia Island Tourist Development Council at the FBCC’s August 7, 2018 Regular Meeting.

The AICVB is the organization that implements programs on behalf of the Tourist Development Council (TDC), a Nassau County-appointed board consisting of elected officials and business representatives.  Current Board Members include:

  •   Danny Leeper (Chairman), Nassau County BOCC, Term: 2017-2020
  •   David Caples, Term: 2017-2020
  •   Bob Hartman, Residence Inn Amelia Island, Term: 2017-2020
  •   Jim McManemon, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Term: 2018-2021
  •   George Sheffield, President, The Palace Saloon, Term: 2015-2018
  •   Donald Stamets, Omni Amelia Island Plantation, Term: 2015-2018
  •   Barbara Halverstadt, Jacksonville Aviation Authority, Term: 2016-2019
  •   Chip Ross, City of Fernandina Beach, Term: 2018-2021
  •   Roy Smith, City of Fernandina Beach, Term: 2018-2021
  •   Ex-Officio, Jack Healan

Via a 26-slide presentation (some of which are provided in this article), Langley explained the TDC’s income and expenditures, the profile of the average visitor, and results of visitor satisfaction surveys.  He also explained the TDC’s contributions toward Amelia Island beach renourishment. Several slides highlighted the legal framework under which the TDC operates.

Data presented showed that expenditures on marketing via a wide variety of methods including TV spots, social media and print advertising has been consistently successful in increasing Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach visitation. Continue reading

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On tap the week of August 12, 2018 in Fernandina Beach and Nassau County

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
August 12, 2018

Nassau County to talk about 5 cent gas tax – August 13, 2018

During their August 13, 2018 Regular Meeting, the Nassau County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has scheduled a quasi-judicial hearing of an ordinance that would provide for the levy of an additional 5 cents of the Local Option Gas Tax upon every gallon of unleaded motor fuel sold in Nassau County and taxed under the provisions of Part I of Chapter 206, Florida Statutes.  The meeting begins at 6:00 p.m. in the James Page Governmental Center, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, FL 32097.

At the same meeting, the BOCC will conduct quasi-judicial hearings on matters affecting minimum standards for maintenance of buildings and structures, canopy tree protection, landscaping buffers and protection.

Fernandina Beach Budget Workshops – August 13 (and maybe 14), 2018

The City of Fernandina Beach has scheduled two budget workshops for the week of August 12, 2018: the first on August 13 and the second (if needed) on August 14.  Both meetings are scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. at Fernandina Beach City Hall in City Commission Chambers, 204 Ash Street, Fernandina Beach, FL 32034.

The Fernandina Beach City Commission will discuss the tentative millage rate and budget at the first meeting, during which they will also discuss allocating funds to local non-profit organizations.

City Building and Planning Departments

Due to software conversion training, the City Hall customer service counter will be closed from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, August 14-16, 2018. Inspections will continue as scheduled.

Senator Marco Rubio’s office coming to Fernandina Beach August 14

Sen. Rubio’s mobile office will be visiting Fernandina Beach on Tuesday, August 14, from 1:00 PM until 2:30 PM. The office will be located at the Council on Aging offices, 1367 S. 18th Street.

Early voting for Primary Election begins Friday, August 17, 2018

Polls will open at 10:00 a.m. for early voting.  The only Fernandina Beach early voting location is the Atlantic Avenue Recreation Center.  Polls will be open from 10 AM to 6 PM daily until August 25, 2018.  Primary Election Day is August 28, 2018.  Mail ballots are also available.  Visit the Supervisor of Elections website for complete information on ballots, polling places, etc.

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Summer Academy is Fun-Tastic!

Boys & Girls Club Nassau
Submitted by Alan Donaldson
August 12, 2018 5:18 p.m.

The youngsters who joined the Boys & Girls Clubs Summer Academy had a great summer experience! Along with the every day programs of learning opportunities and fun, Club members participated in several exceptional adventures.

First was a visit by 44 teen members to the White Oak Conservation Center out near the St. Mary’s River. There the young people had close-up views of rhinos, giraffes, cheetahs and other animals from the wild that the Center protects, breeds and studies. Accompanied by Program Directors Niah Sprout and Ann’a Pollard, the kids were fascinated by these amazing animals.

Next was a trip by 159 Club members and 16 Club Staff and volunteers to the Disney Magic Kingdom in Orlando. This was a day arranged by Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida for Club members from all over Florida, 35 Clubs in all. Admission and lunch was provided by Walt Disney World in the Community and the Club member from Nassau County traveled in three busses, courtesy of the Nassau County School Board. Even though it rained during that day, the youngsters had a great time mingling with the famous Disney characters. Our group thought the best fun was the ride “It’s a Small World”, traveling on a boat past singing kids from all over the world.

Then, a dozen older members participated in the First Tee of North Florida program of five sessions at Amelia River Golf Club and North Hampton Golf Club, learning the skills and the ethics of the game of golf, along with the lessons of character that are implicit in the game. Each session includes teaching of golf techniques and, most important, lessons in life-enhancing values. This is the first venture of First Tee into Nassau County and one which will surely expand in the future.

All these opportunites for young people show the value of volunteers working to provide youngsters with the right direction in life and for the essential financial support that makes it happen. Contact Boys & Girls Clubs at or call one of the two local Clubs at 261-1075 for the Miller Club on Old Nassauville Rd or 491- 9102 for the Roberts Club on Lime St in Fernandina.

Alan Donaldson, 7/31/18

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Location change for Writers by the Sea August 16 meeting

August 12, 2018 5:04 p.m.

EVENT : Writers by the Sea Presents…

DATE: August 16, 2017

Presented by: Award winning Author and Editor, Emily Carmain

LOCATION: 18 N. 2nd St, Island Art Association, Education Classroom
Fernandina Beach, FL 32034 (ENTER THROUGH PATIO)

TIME: 6:00-7:30pm Gather for a Rabble Rousing Presentation/ Discussion

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Fernandina Beach short takes and updates from the week of August 5, 2018

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
August 11, 2018

Cleared for take off

The new Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport terminal has received its certificate of occupancy (CO) from the city.  Contractors and the city continue to work through the punch list.

PAB recommends approval for Crane Island annexation

The city’s Planning Advisory Board (PAB) approved the Crane Island annexation application with the understanding that certain areas will be designated Conservation.  Before the action can be finalized, state review is required.  The Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) will conduct public hearings and make a final decision by the end of calendar 2018.

Holiday Inn Express planned for Gateway complex

The city’s Technical Review Committee (TRC) reviewed plans for a 93-room Holiday Inn Express planned for 960108 Gateway Blvd.  When the Gateway complex was originally designed, this site was designated for a hotel, but one was never built.  Zoning and infrastructure requirements are already in place.  Developers have been working with the Planning Department on siting in order to minimize loss of mature trees.

Library leaky roof to be repaired

The FBCC voted unanimously last week to spend a maximum of $34,350 to repair and waterproof the library’s leaky roof.  The city may be exploring legal remedies to recoup the cost of repair and damages if negotiations with the project architect and builder prove fruitless to correct the problem that appears to have stemmed from the recent expansion of the facility, completed in 2015.

City bids on the street

See the city’s web site for complete information on the bids listed below: Continue reading

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Amelia Island revealed . . .

Submitted by Stephen Mintz
August 11, 2018 11:00 p.m.

“Full Moon Reflection” Photo courtesy of Stephen Mintz

Editor’s Note: Stephen H. Mintz, MD is a retired pediatrician, and a long-time “snow bird” from Syracuse, New York.

Photographers can submitted their photos to [email protected] 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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Nassau County Road & Lane Closures: August 11-17, 2018

FDOT Media Release

Daytime lane closures from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday southbound near the Nassau County line and Georgia State line for Gateway sign and guardrail construction.

I-95 from Florida State Line to Georgia exit 22 (Horsestamp Church Road)
Daytime lane closures for GDOT resurfacing project.

State Road A1A at Amelia Concourse
Nighttime eastbound lane closures Friday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for utility work.

State Road A1A from Amelia River Bridge to Centre Street
Nighttime northbound lane closures Sunday through Thursday from 7:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. for road work.

State Road A1A at Christian Way
Nighttime eastbound lane closures Thursday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for utility work.

State Road A1A at Miner Road
Nighttime eastbound lane closures Wednesday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and daytime eastbound lane closures Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for utility work.

U.S. 1 from Alligator Creek to the curb and gutter section (Hilliard)
Daytime northbound lane closures from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and southbound lane closures from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. for road work.

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