Fernandina Observer

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We welcome your comments, suggestions for future articles, and news scoops.

Tell us if we make a mistake! As we deliver local news that impacts our community, we are committed to report in a truthful and accurate manner.

Doug M Newton

Susan Hardee Steger
904-261-4372 (Preferred)
904-261-3170 (cell)

Suanne Z. Thamm, Reporter – News Analyst


24 Responses to Contact

  1. Evelyne WU and Jack Nunley says:

    It was very nice to meet you on the beach this afternoon with our Peluche (bichon frise)
    We enjoyed talking to you, thank you for letting know about the Observer
    Stay safe

  2. John joseph Cascone says:

    A sizable tree at the corner of 4th and Ash was snapped by winds early Sunday afternoon. A transformer blew within a short time of the trees demise, across the street in the same block. Within minutes city maintenance workers were on the scene, a bulldozer removed the tree and cleaned up the resultant mess. Thank God for the efficiency and work ethic of our city employees.
    In spite of the damage wreaked by Beryl the city seems to have fared well and was into full recovery mode as the winds and some rain continued to belt our community. Hopefully, the long term assessment of damage will not include any loss of life or serious harm to our home.

  3. Co Editor says:

    Thank you John. Great information and a compliment to our wonderful city staff!

  4. Just a thought breezed through my head on a comment about not having room for City Hall Meetings and I thought of all those big empty spaces in the auditorium at Peck Center and the big, big old courtroom in the Post Office, of course handicap accessibility would be a problem. I just don’t see a lack of space but under utilized space all over the city and a lot of it is city property.

  5. Betsie Huben says:

    What is the latest in the renewed look at a tree ordinance for Nassau County?

  6. Betsy Widnes says:

    What repairs are being made to The Shave Bridge and why has it taken so long? When the 8 lane I-35 bridge collapsed in Minnesota 08/01/2007 a new one was built and opened in 13 months!

    • Co Editor says:


      Betsy: The following information is from Ted Selby our County Co-Cordinator

      “The Shave bridge project is a DOT project. They are doing a complete repaint of the support structure. We have been told the estimated completion date is spring of 2013.”

      Susan Steger

      Ted Selby

  7. Rob Psulkowski says:

    As a new resident, and having only read the local “brick and mortar” newspaper, I always felt that I was terribly out of touch with the island that I live on. After reading the Observer, I have been brought up to speed with not only what has happened including news as it happens, but upcoming events as well. I thank you for bringing me up to speed so quickly about life on Amelia Island. Keep up the good work!

  8. Rob Hull says:

    I have been trying to sign up to receive your newspaper for the last three weeks, but every time I try it says “try again later.” What’s up?

  9. Milton & Jeanette Crawford says:

    Would like to subscribe to the Observer.

  10. Would like to ask “foodie” Gerry where we can get a Sunday brunch a la “Denny’s” type with pancakes, etc. We have tried Gourmet Gourmet, Ruth’s, Lulu’s, Huddle House, Elizabeth Pointe and some others without success. Denny’s and IHOP would be fine, but don’t want to drive to Ga.
    Also, we like our steaks “Pittsburgh medium rare” and have not found a place that can do to our satisfaction.
    Please advise any suggestions!
    Thank You

  11. John Goshco says:

    It’s been a long while since I’ve visited these pages and what a difference. You’re much improved from what I remember a year or so ago. (Or maybe I just didn’t give you a thorough review?)
    The articles are up-to-date, very well written and there are many more articles than I previously remember. The News Leader seems to be drifting more and more into “features” (at the expense of news articles) and I appreciate the additional timely News that you provide.
    I just signed up for your email newsletter.
    Keep up the good work.

  12. says:


    Made a comment a few weeks ago, maybe a month, about Charlie Corbitt being invisible in most of the pictures of the Fernandina Council in one of the online articles. Was making a joke, but the editorial team deleted my comment and emailed me the reason is because it is an election year.

    This is what is called being a hypocrite isn’t it?

  13. Christine Corso says:

    The City of Fernandina Beach is in process of amending its Comprehensive Plan to include the Ocean Highway & Port Authority (OHPA) Master Plan (Plan) Update.

    As the Plan was put together by a consulting group that specializes in the build-out of commercial infrastructure, the Plan focuses exclusively on port operations and factors that might increase projected revenues, a combination of land acquisition and related increases in OHPA debt obligations.

    The Plan contains no discussion about Amelia Island or its demographics. Omitted is any commentary on the impact of Plan proposals on island residents or the island’s well-established identity as a tourist destination which additionally include the major festivals and events that occur throughout the year (e.g., Shrimp and Jazz Festival, Concours d ’Elegance, etc.) and the restaurant and lodging industry which also include two nationally recognized resorts.

    The Plan recognizes the island’s constrained and limited infrastructure, but proposes nighttime scheduling for the all increased truck traffic.

    But why the need for OHPA to expand its operations at the expense of the island? Unquestionably, the port’s revenues are declining, and if revenues continue to decline, OHPA faces default on its debt obligation approximating $21 million dollars. Many citizens are concerned that the Plan benefits the current port operator, Kinder-Morgan, a company whose operations are centered in the movement and delivery of fossil fuels like LNG and coal. It does, but in vastly more ways than just as an operator of the port.

    Although a proponent of transparency, OHPA only lists its 2013 Operational Budget on its website. Why only the 2013 Budget when by now OHPA should available its 2013 Audited Financial Statement posted is another questionable mystery.

    The 2012 OHPA Financial Statement Audited by Dixon-Hughes can be found online. Footnotes indicate that Kidder-Morgan had also guaranteed the OHPA debt through 2013. The consideration for Kidder-Morgan guaranteeing the debt was an assignment by OHPA of “the port revenues, real property, rents, leases, fixtures and personal property”. So should OHPA default on its debt because of declining revenues (please note that the “declining revenue” problem is solely the responsibility of Kidder-Morgan’s marketing efforts… or lack thereof…) then the “operator” (Kidder-Morgan) becomes the “owner” and the City with its already limited (“pay-as-you-go”) resources will then have to deal with Kidder-Morgan directly with the plans to expand the port. No need to comment on what entity has the deeper financial resources.

    OHPA has done a great disservice to the citizens of Fernandina Beach and Amelia Island by orchestrating this mess. Amending the City’s Comprehensive Plan to include the OHPA Master Plan Update accepts the financial mess, defers any intelligent, thoughtful, and responsible dialogue by our current elected officials to address the issue, and compounds the issue.

    Rather than amending the City’s Comprehensive Plan to include the OHPA Master Plan, City Officials need to reject the amendment and begin to consider development of viable alternatives to the expansion of the Port that would also help retire the OHPA debt while adhering to their pledge as elected Officials to keep the interests of the citizens and taxpayers of Fernandina Beach as their primary responsibility.

    Please contact the City Commissioners and request rejection of the proposed amendment.

    Christine Corso

  14. Jim Roberts says:

    Does anyone know the status of the city drinking water. On 11/20/14 the water department sent a notice stating the testing exceeded the maximum contaminants of TTHM and HAA5. The amounts didn’t seem to be huge but they were enough that the city felt compelled to cover the issue by notice. If it has been resolved then a notice should go out stating that we are within normal regulatory limits. However, if the water is still outside of norm, then they need to get a move on ASAP. The letter states: ” Some people who drink water containing TTHM in excess of the MCL over many years may have problems with liver, kidneys or central nervous system and may have increased risk of cancer. Any consumer concerned about exposure to DBPs may choose alternate sources of water for consumption.” This sounds like a little CYA and they need to get it right. This is our health they are dealing with and many people that come to vacation.

  15. Kyle Osborne says:

    DaCoda Music, opening February 3rd, will offer individual piano, group piano, music theory, composition lessons and MusikGarten classes. An Open House will be held on Saturday, February 7th from 2pm-4pm at 910 S. 8th Street Suite 102.
    Individual lessons are for ages 5 and up. Lessons incorporate music theory and music appreciation. Students will be eligible to participate in Music Festivals, Competitions and Recitals through affiliation with Jacksonville Music Teachers’ Association and Florida State Music Teachers’ Association.
    In addition to traditional piano lessons, DaCoda Music will offer group lessons for adults and teens that follow the Recreational Music Movement (RMM) a grassroots movement that asserts that making music belongs to everyone. The core principals of RMM are that: All people should experience the joy and benefits of music making; music making can be enjoyed without stress and performance requirements; music making can nurture the whole person and improve quality of life and overall health of the participant.
    MusikGarten classes are group settings of music and movement and begin at birth through 9 years. The first classes being offered in February are for children 18 mo-3years. Classes for 3-5 year olds will be added in August. For more information about MusikGarten visit

    Fernandina Beach native, Kyle Osborne is the founder and director of the studio. Kyle is a graduate of FBHS and was a member of the Madrigal Singers. Kyle began his musical education in church choir and as a member of the boychoir The Hardee Boys, a group that was started at Emma Love by Mrs. Marjorie Mason.

    Kyle has over 10 years of experience teaching piano, organ, music theory and is a member of the Music Teacher’s National Association, American Guild of Organists, American Choral Directors Association and the Association of Anglican Musicians.
    DaCoda Music will be located at 910 S. 8th Street in Fernandina Beach. Operating Hours for traditional and group lessons are Mon-Fri from 3pm-8pm, or by appointment for homeschoolers, adults and, seniors. MusikGarten classes are tba.

    For more information call, email or visit Kyle can be reached at 904-710-0910 or

  16. Keoki Gray says:


    Fernandina Observer
    Fernandina Beach, FL

    Dear Editors;

    On Thursday, 7 January 2016, the Fernandina Beach High School Aerospace Technologies classes—forty students—completed their end-of-semester rocket launch. This launch was the students’ midterm exam. We had been using the practice athletic fields at the high school, but as the semester progressed the rockets became more complex and promised higher performance. As we lost more and more rockets it became clear that we had outgrown our home field.

    For the second year in a row we had the privilege of using the Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport for our launch. With a large expanse of flat land (and few rocket-devouring trees), even the brisk wind did not stop us. Everyone got to fly, and with the lower clouds we were able to blend in safely with the very few airport operations that did occur.

    I want to take a few lines to say, “Thanks.” Thank you to Dr. Spenser Lodree for trusting me enough to combine teenagers and small black powder-fueled ballistic projectiles. No one was hurt and we witnessed some truly inspired moments.

    Bobby Kozakoff, the Airport Operations Manager, for allowing us to fly from the airport, and to make sure everyone knew how to behave safely around aircraft. He escorted our rocket retrieval team, and even recovered a few of the rockets himself—no small feat as some of the models drifted more than one half mile down range.

    A special thanks to Sean McGill, and McGill Aviation, for letting us invade his building. He gave us a place (Hang Glide USA’s reception room—thanks to the HGU gang!) to conduct our pre-launch briefing, prep our rockets, have lunch or simply dodge the chill breezes and warm up a bit. We even got permission to use their golf cart to chase down some of the wayward rockets, too.

    Without the help of any one of these people, we might not have been able to complete our semester testing. Thank you everyone for your contribution to the education of some of Fernandina Beach’s fine students.


    Keoki Gray, Instructor
    Aerospace Technologies 1 & 2

  17. Nassau NAMI says:

    The Nassau County Affiliate of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) will be hosting its 6th annual Hattie & Doug Morris Memorial Men’s & Ladies’ Golf Tournament on Saturday, June 18th, 2016 at 10 am at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club and it is open to all players or teams. The formats are Captain’s Choice or Player’s Choice. The cost is $80 and includes fried chicken dinner, cart, green fees, range balls, and prizes. For more information call: (904) 310-3175. Please register at the Fernandina Beach Golf Club.

  18. Thomas Ott says:

    how come you dont have news like the other newspaper and why dont you print the local obituaries?

    • Co Editor says:

      We focus our attention on news and information that impacts the city of Fernandina Beach. We have a volunteer staff. One of our advertisers is Oxley Heard. If you click on the logo, you can go to their webpage and view obituaries.

  19. Patricia Taylor (formerly Lodewick) says:

    This is NOT a “comment”, but a “small world” inquiry.
    Is Anne H. Oman, author of the Observer article on Cuban Americans in FB, the same Anne Oman who worked for National Geographic in DC back in the 60’s?
    If so, she and her husband bought our townhouse on Lincoln Park at 1110 East Capitol Street in 1970 and here we are, both on Amelia so many years later.

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