May 25, 2018 7:00 a.m.
On May 26, 2012, tropical storm Beryl ripped through Fernandina Beach with winds reaching 70 mph. Although the damage to the marina was relatively minor, there was significant damage to homes, and disruption from downed powerlines and fallen trees across the city. The Fernandina Observer was in its second week of publication, and during the storm we worked hard to provide timely updates despite electrical outages, strong winds, and rainy weather. We were the only source of local information during Beryl and thanks to Google, we were discovered!
This month we celebrate our sixth year of bringing news and information to our community. We keep going because we love where we live and we believe our work is an important community service.
Reporter-News Analyst Suanne Thamm’s in depth coverage of City Commission meetings and other city news, is the most difficult assignment. With recent storm damage to the city marina and an increased number of city issues to tackle, Suanne continues to keep you updated. We have said it before; Suanne is key to our success and we appreciate all she does.
Covering city meetings is difficult, but covering the meetings with a very rare mistake is amazing! It is not surprising that we often receive words of praise from city leaders, merchants, involved citizens and even from the commissioners we cover, that Suanne gets the story right. She skillfully breaks down complicated issue to a simple understandable form.
As always, we thank all of our volunteer reporters for giving their time and talents to help us provide news and information to our community. They include Gerry Clare, roving reporter; Adam Kaufman, legal analyst; Karen Thompson, features reporter; Evelyn McDonald, arts & culture reporter; Anne Oman, reporter-at-large; and Suanne Thamm, reporter-news analyst. If you are a good writer with an interest in city or county government, join us! (Contact [email protected])
Larry Myers, moderator of the yearly “Fernandina Observer Candidate Forum,” continues to support our efforts to educate voters on candidates’ positions. A new friend to the Observer, Chris Whelan has offered his photography talents to update our readers on the airport terminal construction. We also thank all photographers who have shared the beauty of our island through their contributions to “Amelia Island revealed . . .”
A special thank you goes to our advertisers, especially those who have been with us from the beginning. Their support helps offset our operational costs. We encourage you to utilize their services.
During the last year, we invested in an efficient system to deliver news to our readers. The “Daily News” allows individuals to subscribe and wake up in the morning to the Fernandina Observer in their email inbox. (Click here for instructions to sign up.) Because your response to this free service was overwhelmingly positive, we have experienced tremendous growth in our readership. We encourage you to sign up.
As we approach year seven, we will not rest. You will be updated on the city and county budgets, the city marina rebuilding project, and the airport terminal completion. As the Judicial Nominating Commission completes its process to identify six candidates to recommend to Governor Rick Scott to fill the position of retiring Circuit Court Judge Robert M. Foster, we will keep you informed.
From the beginning, our major goal was to be a credible source of information. During the last six years, we have gained your trust and that makes all of our efforts worthwhile.
Thank you readers for your support!
Susan Hardee Steger