Fernandina Observer celebrates its 8th anniversary

May 17, 2020

“Centre Street Fernandina,” A Florida Memory Project Photo.

This month, the Fernandina Observer is celebrating its 8th year of bringing news and information to our community. As we bring to you this anniversary message, we want to update our readers on the changes we have made to our website over the last few months.

The Fernandina Observer’s former design template was no longer being maintained causing periodic, pesky, problems. Change is difficult and yes some negative comments came our way as we worked through the design phase, but the majority of readers like the new look.

Our webmaster, David Sheetz with Revel Design, worked with us to bring a new more modern look. We greatly appreciate David’s help and expertise.

During this process, we learned change does produce positive results. We have increased our visibility on the web and traffic to our site. We have seen a significant increase in subscribers to our Daily News. No longer are important articles lost within hours of posting on page 2 of “Older Posts.” Readers now have more choices in selecting news of interest, and most importantly, our site downtime is minimal. And then . . . there is that nice weather bar!

We still have more work to be done. Thank you advertisers and political campaigns for your patience! Our new site will pay great dividends for your business and campaigns. As always, we encourage our readers to support our advertisers. Many have been tried and true supporters of the Fernandina Observer over these past eight years. We are grateful for their support.

Fernandina Observer volunteer writers: Suanne Z. Thamm, reporter-news-analyst; Adam Kaufman, legal analyst; Evelyn C. McDonald, arts & culture reporter; Anne H Oman, reporter-at-large; Cindy Jackson, reporter;; Karen Thompson, features reporter; Deborah Powers, semi-retired occasional editor.

Writers for the Fernandina Observer are all volunteers. Without any pay, they give their time and talents to our community.  Thank you Suanne, Adam, Evelyn, Anne, Cindy,  Karen, semi-retired Deb, and a special thanks to Larry Myers who hosts our yearly candidate forum. We couldn’t do it without you.

When the Fernandina Observer began in 2012, we never thought that eight years later we would be covering the Cornavirus pandemic in Nassau County. We are saddened by the loss of life, the devastating economic impact on our local tourism and business communities, and the individual loss of jobs and income. While so many people are hurting and fearful, organizations such as Barnabas, the Council on Aging, and Hope House, non-profits which our community has funded for years, are doing what they do best. They are feeding the hungry, supporting the elderly, providing assistance to those in need, and strengthening our community during this tragic time.  We  indeed live in a very special place.

Bringing news and information to our community takes great responsibility.  As we begin our 9th year, we are committed to continuing our efforts to provide news and information to the community.  Thank you readers for your support.

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Nicholas Velvet
Nicholas Velvet (@guest_57669)
3 years ago

To each and everyone there who works tirelessly to bring us the news, the REAL news without any opinion or inference, Thank You!. I remember when The Observer was born from a seriously desperate need here on Amelia Island~~~the need for truth. That need has exploded as for is always the case in times of war, the first casualty is the truth.

Malcolm Noden
Malcolm Noden (@guest_57672)
3 years ago

Congratulations to all on this significant achievement. Starting a new news and information center on line is not an easy task, and you all have done great work. I must say I have truly enjoyed writing my occasional articles on the subject of Tourism, and I appreciate having a local audience with whom I may share my professional experience as a (retired) university faculty member and researcher. Congratulations!

3 years ago

Many thanks, Susan and the entire team of writers and researchers, who work to bring us timely news, beautiful photographs, and insights into relevant topics of the moment. We are so fortunate to have local news provided by engaged citizens who do it as a contribution to community and democracy. It’s how I start ever weekday. Thank you!

bob carter
bob carter (@guest_57674)
3 years ago

The FO started off great. However, it now appears to be an outlet that carries the water for the City government, and the powerful, influential people.

I know you won’t post this, but you should at least hear it, and not dismiss it as some lunatic spammer.

I was so excited when you started, as we all know your start was a reaction to the negative news of the News Leader. And that was so refreshing.

Now, I see nothing here that challenges the status quo, that questions the governments actions, or that even suggests the City might need to be questioned about pretty much anything.

I know you don’t get paid much at all to create this work, and I am appreciative that you do the work. It needs to be done, and yes, I am not willing to complain, as whenever one does around here, the complaint is condemned and the complainer is dismissed as a spammer.

Debate and discourse make our conversations better. However, such action is not welcomed by most any longer. We are expected to adhere to the herd mentality, and get in line.

I have the deepest respect for you putting your names and reputations on the line. This is a small town, and I know how hard it is to have a contrary opinion, you can run into detractors everywhere you go, and your face is so easily recognized.

Please allow me to congratulate you, and likewise admonish your pathway to the mundane.

I know it is difficult. Real journalism should be hard.

Peggy Bulger
Trusted Member
Peggy Bulger(@peggy-bulger1949gmail-com)
3 years ago

Congratulations to all! We need the Fernandina Observer more than ever . . . I really appreciate the hard work that goes into timely articles on the local matters that impact us all. It is especially wonderful to know that everyone is a volunteer — what a team!!

Dave Lott
Dave Lott(@dave-l)
3 years ago

Congratulations Susan and all the FO volunteer staff. I find the FO to be a great way to stay in touch. Suanne does a terrific job in all her reporting. Opinion pieces are welcomed and clearly labeled. Not sure what Bob is reading with some of his comments as I have always found the content to be objective and accurate. I’m sure it will be a busy rest of the year with the city elections coming up and trust you will find a way to do the candidate forum.

Best wishes for continued success.

RaffaelaMarie Rizzo Fenn
RaffaelaMarie Rizzo Fenn (@guest_57683)
3 years ago

Dear Susan and staff, congratulations! Eight years of delivering objective reporting and clearly defined commentary is a worthy contribution to enhancing our community.

Thank you all.