Christian Science Monitor captures Florida shoreline controversy

April 21, 2018 1:00 a.m.

A portion of our shoreline. Click photo for article.

Editor’s Note: We always appreciate our readers alerting us to interesting articles. Recently, the Christian Science Monitor‘s article “As its beaches recede, Florida shores up private ownership” by is not only an excellent article on the Florida shoreline controversy, but it mentions Fernandina Beach and one of our island residents. We hope you enjoy.

“For retiree Jim Stoner, who’s logged thousands of miles walking barefoot on Fernandina Beach and gathering more than 8,000 shark teeth washed up by the tide, the law is “about the poor and the rich.” He adds, “some people just think they own everything.” Christian Science Monitor

For complete article, click here. 


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Nassau County road & lane closures: April 21-27, 2018

FDOT Media Release
April 20, 2018

I-95 (FIN 431958-1-52-01)
Daytime closure 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 Barnwell Road (FIN 210712-4-52-01) Continue reading

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Former First Baptist School to be converted into condominiums

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 20, 2018 – 4:15 p.m.


Views of existing building that formerly housed the First Baptist Church School.

The former First Baptist Church School, located on North 5thStreet between Celebration Church and the historic Lesesne House, has been vacant for many years.  Located in Fernandina Beach’s Historic District, the building is also in the city’s Central Business District.  In recent years potential developers have eyed the building for a variety of uses, most notably in 2015 when local businessman and then City Commissioner Tim Poynter developed plans to turn the facility into a lodging facility consisting of 24-30 loft units to meet affordable housing needs and short term rental needs.  Poynter abandoned the effort when it appeared that there was no practical way to meet the city’s parking requirements for short-term rentals. Continue reading

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Piano Duo of Julie Coucheron and Elizabeth Pridgen Headline Closing Gala Of Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival

Amelia Island Music Festival
Press Release
Contact: Joe Marasco
Executive Director
April 20, 2018 1:00 p.m.

The curtain comes down on the 17th season of the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival on April 29 with a Closing Gala featuring a piano duo of distinguished Festival favorites: Julie Coucheron and Elizabeth Pridgen. This performance of works of Schubert, Dvorak, Strauss, Saint-Saens, Rachmaninoff and Ravel will start at 5:00 PM at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, 4750 Amelia Island Parkway. Tickets can be purchased at or by calling 904/261-1779.

Julie Coucheron has established an international career as a soloist and chamber musician. She has won first prize in all of the national competitions she has entered, Continue reading

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City Marina update

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 20, 2018


No need (today) for a Plan B

At the end of their April 17, 2018 Regular Meeting, Fernandina Beach City Commissioners (FBCC) briefly discussed the need for a Plan B, should the Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) not approve the permit for the replacement of the attenuator (Dock 1) in the south basin of the City Marina.  This important dock has not been operational since Hurricane Matthew’s visit in 2016.   Vice Mayor Kreger considered failure to approve this permit under the ACE 408 process “highly unlikely.”  He suggested that a Plan B would necessitate moving in the attenuator to meet the required distance from the navigation channel.

Commissioner Chip Ross said that at this time he did not believe that the city should be spending money on an engineer to develop a Plan B.  He suggested that approval chances for the southern attenuator replacement were very good.  If a problem might arise, he believed it would probably be in connection with the location of the fuel docks.  But Ross expressed hope that with the backing of the Port of Fernandina, that would also be approved.

Continue reading

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Northeast Florida’s Inaugural Reverse Job Fair a Huge Success

Nassau County School District
Press Release
Submitted by Brent Lemond
Nassau County’s Career Education Director

April 20, 2018 12:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, April 18th from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Nassau County School District hosted the region’s first Reverse Job Fair at the Lewis “Red” Bean Nassau Technical Center on the FSCJ Campus in Yulee. Nearly 240 job seekers participated along with 50 hiring managers from Nassau County’s largest employers participated.

If you’re wondering what the reverse job fair looked like, picture the “speed dating” scenes from movies like “Hitch” or TV shows like “House”. Aspiring job-seekers held one of up to 75 stations in a room, and employers were matched for quick one-minute meetings. Every minute or so, employers rotated to meet a new candidate. The applicants initiated the conversation with a handshake and a short synopsis of their qualifications or other Continue reading

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City proclaims April 27 Arbor Day, salutes efforts of Sunrise Rotary Club

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 20, 2018 11:00 a.m.

At the April 17, 2018 Regular Meeting of the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC), Mayor John Miller delivered the city’s annual Arbor Day Proclamation to the Sunrise Rotary Club.  The city is celebrating its 16thyear as a designated Tree City USA community and has proclaimed April 27, 2018 as Arbor Day.

Sunrise Rotary President Larry Ogilvie accepts Arbor Day proclamation from Mayor John Miller as Club members look on.

More than a dozen members of the Sunrise Rotary Club looked on as Mayor Miller read the proclamation. In accepting the proclamation Club President Larry Ogilvie stressed the importance of environmental sustainability. He announced that a goal of the international Rotary organization is to plant one tree for every Rotary member, resulting in an addition of 1.2 million trees to communities around the Continue reading

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Fernandina Beach seeking Design Build Teams to remove/replace Dock 1

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
April 20, 2018

The City of Fernandina Beach has issued Request for Qualifications (RFQ) 2018-08 for Stateof Floridaregistered licensedMarine Contractors and Engineers for Design-Build Servicesto remove and replace Dock 1, the south attenuator in the City Marina.  Responses are due to the city no later than 2:00 p.m., May 11, 2018.

The information below has been taken from the RFQ 2018-08:

STATEMENT OFWORK: Design andconstruction services for removal and replacement of the southern portion of Dock 1 (southern attenuator floating dock system, approximately 810 linear feet), including Dock 1 components: floating docks; anchor piling; pile guides, cleats & bollards; electrical (substations, panel and transformer enclosures; circuit breakers; cable/wire; utility pedestals; light fixtures; grounding systems and ground fault circuit protection detail); potable water (flexible and rigid water piping, valves, connections, hangars & restraints, and piping protection); fire protection (portable fire extinguishers and fixed fire suppression). The work also includes removal and remounting of an existing gangway, addition of a new ADA gangway and fixed ramp, removal of marina floating fuel building/store and floating foundation; and replacement of overwater building and foundation. A design criteria package has been completed for the design and construction of the Project.

SERVICESTOBE PROVIDED:  CITY will contract with a single entity whose Design-Build team shall provide all services including, but not necessarily limited to: Site investigation; preconstruction services; schematic and preliminary designs; complete design and engineering services; construction documents to include technical specifications, detailed line-item construction costs estimate, sub-contractor procurement and bidding; permitting and permit costs; construction management; and construction labor, materials and equipment required to provide a finished product to meet all applicable codes.

For the complete bid package, visit the city’s website or click here.

Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.

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Scams Target Potential Jurors

Nassau County Clerk of Court
Press Release
Submitted by Liz Rodriguez
Executive Projects Coordinator
April 20, 2018 10:42 a.m.

Please be aware that a jury scam has resurfaced. Victims are falsely being told they missed jury duty and must pay a fine or face arrest. Callers posing as court employees are aggressively demanding payment of a $400 fine, even though victims never received a jury summons. The caller threatens the potential victim by saying they failed to show up for jury duty, and they’ll be arrested and possibly even spend several days in jail if they don’t pay money through a pre-paid Continue reading

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Weekly comments from Dale Martin

Dale Martin
City Manager
Fernandina Beach
April 20, 2018 12:00 a.m.

City Manager Dale Martin

Every twenty years, the State of Florida convenes a Constitutional Revision Commission. This Commission is offers one of five methods by which to amend the State Constitution. The other four procedures are state legislative proposals, citizens’ initiatives, a call for a constitutional convention, and the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, a twenty-five member Commission (appointed by the Governor, the Speaker of the House, and the President of the Senate).

The Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) has thirty-seven members: the Governor appoints fifteen members; the President of the Senate, nine; the Speaker of the House, nine, and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, three. The final member is the Attorney General.

After the CRC is formed, the group (or smaller sub-committees) typically tours the State to put “their ear to the ground” and hear what the people desire from state government. While public proposals are accepted, to be formally considered, a public proposal must be endorsed by a sitting member of the CRC and then secure ten votes from the whole CRC. Commissioners can also offer their own proposals. The deadline to submit a proposal was last October. Public proposals did not fare Continue reading

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