Category Archives: Commentary

Commentary: An Interview With Johnnetta Betsch Cole

By April L. Bogle Johnnetta Betsch Cole’s lineage alone could fill a book. She is [...]


“You People” — a Commentary

By Chip Ross, city commissioner I recently received an email from a local charter boat [...]


Commentary: How Religious Freedom Was Born in the USA

By Linda Hart Green This is the current signboard in front of the First Baptist [...]


Commentary: When a Helping Hand Is a Jar Opener

By Linda Hart Green I received this fancy jar opener for Christmas. This may seem [...]

Commentary: The King Celebration Goes to the Very Roots of Fernandina

By Linda Hart Green Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2009 marked my first visit to [...]

Commentary: A Topsy-Turvy Year at City Hall

By Mike Lednovich Now after more than a year in office, how did the 2023 [...]

Do You Have Room for a Labor of Love?

By Linda Hart Green New Year’s Day was special for my brother and me. We [...]

Commentary — The Manager Solution: Make Charlie George Permanent

By Mike Lednovich What many folks don’t realize is that over the past 12 months, [...]

Pay Attention: Really Hearing People is a Gift

By Linda Hart Green It’s crunch time for gift buyers. At least, that is what [...]

Commentary: Sure Things Lost and Lessons Learned

By Mike Phillips One day, back in my corporate career, I lamented to the CEO [...]

Commentary: A Nightmare on 14th Street

By Chip Ross City Commissioner Traffic is about to get much worse on South 14th [...]

Commentary: It’s Not the Alcohol, It’s Everything Else

By Suanne Thamm Dear City Commissioners: Please accept my sincere sympathy for the position that [...]

Commentary — For the Good of the Order: Resignation

Editor’s note: We are offering publication of brief, thoughtful, well-written commentaries on this subject. They [...]

Learning to Wait Is a Spiritual Discipline

By Linda Hart Green In the golden light of an early summer evening, I swished [...]

In Dark Times, Find Small Hopes and Nurture Them

By Linda Hart Green I’m hearing that folks are finding it difficult to be hopeful [...]

We Could Use More Table Talk in This Community

By Linda Hart GreenDo you remember the kitchen or dining room table in the home [...]

Commentary: It Was a Black Day at City Hall

By Mike Lednovich Last Tuesday in Fernandina Beach was a day of ignominy. That’s when [...]

Commentary: Deaths We Know, and Deaths Beyond Understanding

By Linda Hart GreenI think about tomatoes when I think about my friend’s husband. He [...]

Commentary: Port Commission Simply Isn’t Functioning as it Should

By Mike Phillips It’s time to say this, and say it bluntly: The Ocean Highway [...]

Commentary: The Wise Know What They Don’t Know

By Linda Hart Green I don’t like to admit I was a know-it-all in school. [...]

State of the City: A First of Five Responses to Ty Ross

STATE OF THE CITY – By Chip Ross 10 October 2023 Last week all the [...]

Commentary: Insults on Local Media Unworthy of the Mayor’s Chair

By Mike Lednovich At Tuesday night’s city commission meeting, Fernandina Beach Mayor Bradley Bean’s unvarnished [...]

The Language of Trees Gladdens Human Hearts

By Linda Hart Green I grew up with “sand between my toes,” as my parents [...]

A Comment for and About William H. Goodwin Junior

Dear Sir, I’ve been reading about you. I do that a lot: reading about people [...]

Commentary: How a Jeweler Would Untangle a Community

By Linda Hart Green My jeweler/watchmaker father earned a nickname in the community where his [...]

Commentary: Vote AFTER the People Have Spoken

By Mike Lednovich Twice in eight days the Fernandina Beach City Commission told residents your [...]

Commentary: Turning Sympathy Into Empathy

By Linda Hart Green I had a different topic chosen for this commentary. I couldn’t [...]

Commentary: Finding Divine Goodness in Angry Times

By April L. Bogle My father was a pious young man who attended a Bible [...]

Commentary: Musing About Connections That Make Life Better

By Linda Hart Green I took a photo of a mishmash of wiring out of [...]

Commentary: A Highly Seasoned Boater’s Advice on Our Marina

By Wally Moran Having stopped in Fernandina Beach by boat more than 50 times myself, [...]

Commentary: Blindsided by a ‘Good Neighbor’ Church

By Samuel Jefferson Kennard I am shocked and dismayed to hear that Amelia Baptist Church [...]

Commentary: Hard Choices for United Methodists

By Mike PhillipsMy first church fight scared the pants off me. I was only five [...]

Commentary: It Isn’t Just $30,000 — It’s the Principle of the Thing

By Mike PhillipsThe cost of the city commission’s 50% pay raise that’s under discussion is [...]

Commentary: Farewell, Dale Martin. Flagler Beach Is Lucky

By Suanne Thamm On Friday, July 14, 2023, former Fernandina Beach City Manager Dale Martin [...]

Commentary: OK Commission, Stop Kidding Yourselves About Taxes

By Suanne ThammNero fiddled while Rome burned. The Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) sticks its [...]

A celebration of Southern Grassroots Music

By Lauri deGaris Recently, a good friend of almost 40 years gifted me an LP [...]

It’s Time to Reframe Our Conversations

By Linda Hart Green “Why don’t they get it?” It’s the question public theologian and [...]

Commentary: Let’s Face Facts — Brett’s Has To Go

By Mike Phillips So here we go again. Yet another well-respected engineering firm has told [...]

June 26 Florida Legislative Forum to Transcend Party Affiliation

By Melissa A. Moss Recent history shows there are a lot of thoughtful folks in [...]

Feeling Welcome Means Feeling Safe

By Linda Hart Green Actions and words should match. Easy to say but difficult to [...]

Commentary: A Budget Cut That Doesn’t Need to Hurt

By Mike Phillips Wow. Did that governor of ours ever give us something to think [...]

Habitat Honors Ed Stanley With New Award

Nassau Habitat for Humanity (NHFH) has announced that this year’s inaugural Al Pertuz Impact Award [...]

Commentary: Think About a Run for Commission — Yes, YOU

By Suanne Thamm Fernandina Beach wants YOU to consider running for city commission in 2024. [...]

Let’s Learn from Fernandina Beach of the Past

By Linda Hart Green“Why did people here turn so ugly?” mused Lisa Williams, her big [...]

Say It Loud: No More Anonymity

By Mike Phillips Recent events have convinced me that our reader comments service needs a [...]

Setting the Record Straight: Private Groups Can Deny Access to Meetings

By April L. BoglePrivate organizations such as Citizens Defending Freedom-Nassau (CDF-Nassau) can assemble in public [...]

Commentary: Only True Believers Welcome at CDF Meetings

By Mike LednovichEvidently Citizens Defending Freedom – Nassau believes freedom isn’t for everybody. CDF’s meeting [...]

A Small Island with a Lot of Room

By Linda Hart GreenOne of my favorite Bible verses is from the gospel of John. [...]

Unexpected Bending

By Linda Hart Green “Why are they so angry?” Have you thought that after reading [...]

Why Amelia Island Needs a Statue of William Penn

By Linda Hart Green I grew up in a suburb of New Jersey just five [...]

Commentary: When is a Public Prayer Out of Line?

By Linda Hart Green “Will you offer a prayer, Reverend?” I have been asked that [...]

Commentary: The Times Have Changed, Mr. Knocke

By Darlene Drury FBHS class of 1974 I was born and raised a Fernandinian. When [...]

Commentary: Mr. Nicklas Has Opinions. Now, Here Are The Facts

By Chip Ross Steve Nicklas writes an opinion column called “Steve’s Marketplace” for the Amelia [...]

Commentary: Bad Advice on ‘Special Privileges’ for Developers

By Faith Ross Recently Tammi Bach, the Fernandina Beach City Attorney, gave a workshop for [...]

Commentary: The Divine Creation is Wonderfully Diverse

  By Rev. Linda Hart Green Is difference dangerous? There are those who think so. [...]

Commentary: The Law Is Clear. Deny the Tringali Townhouses

By Taina Cristner In early 2006, at the beginning of the aughts’ housing bubble, the [...]

Commentary: We Have a Chance to Degrade Our Home — or Add Value

Dear Nassau County Commissioners, The county’s reduction of coastal building height in 2021 was appropriate [...]

Commentary: A Church Where ALL means ALL

By Rev. Dr. Mark Charles I was told a story today about an individual in [...]

Community Leaders Speak: The Riverstone Proposal Is a ‘Hail Mary’

A Letter to  the Nassau County Commissioners and County  Attorney: Nearly two years ago, the [...]

Commentary: No Matter Your Beliefs, Stand Up for the Tylers

By Rev. Linda Hart Green In 2010, I was a pastor in Ridgewood, New Jersey. [...]

Commentary: OK Kids, Let’s Buckle Down

By Suanne Thamm Some years ago a now-departed neighbor added a new acronym to our [...]

Commentary: Challenges and Qualifications for a New City Manager

By the Conserve Nassau Board of Directors The Fernandina Beach City Charter provides general guidelines [...]

Commentary: Manager Search Must Be Done Professionally

By Margaret Kirkland Chair, Conserve Nassau With the current size and projected growth of Fernandina [...]

Commentary: A Deceit Beyond the Pale

By Mike Phillips Over the years I’ve lost track of how many city commissions and [...]

Commentary: ‘Criminal Enterprise’ Accusers Now on Record With FBI

By Chip Ross For years a few individuals have publicly stated that the city of [...]

Commentary: What Will it Take to Be United in Keeping Our Paradise?

By Suanne Thamm Hatfields vs. McCoys. Sharks vs. Jets. Natives vs. Newbies. Isn’t it about [...]

Commentary: What a Mess We Are In, Fernandina!

By Suanne Thamm Confused.  Frustrated.  Unhappy.  Angry.  Suspicious. These are just a few of the [...]

News Commentary: Commission’s City Manager Search Gets Off to a Ragged Start

By Mike Lednovich Fernandina Beach is searching for its most important executive, the city manager. [...]

Commentary: A Good City Manager is Hard to Find — And Too Easy to Fire

Editor’s note: This commentary first appeared in 2015, but it’s as fresh as it was [...]

Commentary: More Questions than Transparency in Firing

THAMM-O-GRAMM By Suanne Thamm When Vice Mayor David Sturges showed up at the City Commission [...]

Commentary: Cement Dust and Nassau’s Waterways

  Editor’s note: St Marys Riverkeeper — one of 15 Riverkeeper units in Florida — [...]

Commentary: A Voice of Reason from Suanne Thamm

Dear Readers: Some of you may remember that before I wrote for the Fernandina Observer, [...]

Commentary: Eminent Attorney Challenges City Attorney on Important Land-Use Case

Editor’s note: The following piece of advice to the Fernandina Beach City Commission was written [...]

Worldwide, Cement Dust is a Serious Issue

  Editor’s note: I’m very liberal about reader comments. So long as you aren’t calling [...]

Commentary: It’s No Wetland — It’s a Mud Bank That Could Be a Park

By Bob Allison City citizens who have read the waterfront plan I provided to the [...]