Amelia Island Plantation Chapel presents “Memoir Writing Workshop”

Amelia Island Plantation Chapel
Press Release
August 10, 2018 3:00 p.m.

The Amelia Island Plantation Chapel will offer a series of Memoir Writing Workshops each Saturday in October from 9:00AM to 11:00AM in the chapel’s fellowship hall. Coffee and water will be available. The goal of the series is to encourage attendees to turn their memories into memoirs.

There is no charge for the series of workshops, but those wishing to attend should call the Chapel office at 904 277 4414 to reserve a place. Whether you are thinking about it, have started or have already successfully put together some of your priceless memories you are welcome to come, share, learn and listen. Those attending will not need to bring materials to the classes. Attendees are encouraged to develop their own stories to share with the audience.

Bill Hilles, a member of the Chapel, will coordinate the series of workshops. His lifelong interest in genealogy and writing led him to to head up two past workshops on family history and memoir writing and, now, the third series beginning October 6. The opening Continue reading

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Nassau Ferst Foundation receives “Charity of the Month” designation from Amelia Shotgun Sports

Ferst Readers of Nassau County
Press Release
Michelle Maddox
Regional Program Coordinator
August 10, 2018 1:00 p.m.

Amelia Shotgun Sports named Nassau Ferst Foundation its “Charity of the Month” for July and it was a SUCCESS!

Sportsmen (and women) were given the chance to donate to NFF online in conjunction with a national clays tournament, a donation jar and a raffle! All the money raised during July supports children from birth to 5 years old registered in Nassau County who are currently receiving a free, age-appropriate book in the mail each month, with a parent newsletter which provides tips and activities related to the book the entire family can enjoy.

During the national clays tournament, local businesses sponsored stations and lunch.
THANK YOU to Cochrane’s Collision Center, Nassau County Sheriff’s Office Charities, SoCo Hair Company, ReMax (Pam Meyer) and Costal Vision Center for sponsoring one station which sponsored 5 children!

THANK YOU, CBC National Bank, for sponsoring 3 stations which supports 15 Nassau County children!
THANK YOU to OREMC for being the lunch sponsor which supports 42 Nassau County children!
THANK YOU to Amelia Shotgun Sports’ donation which will allow 8 Nassau County children to receive a free book each month!

THANK YOU to the Women of the Moose Chapter 2355 for donating 2 baskets for the raffle!
THANK YOU to Design It for creating the station signs!
The generosity of these local business partners means 90 Nassau County children will receive free books each month for an entire year! Currently, NFF has almost 700 children receiving books each month!

Nassau Ferst Foundation appreciates its local business partners and welcomes others to join us in bringing the love of reading and bridging the early learning gap in Nassau County. Even though we are an “A” district school system, there are still many children who come to school unprepared and lack early literacy skills. Providing books directly to the children and building their home library, encourages reading together as a family and offers vocabulary and background knowledge building opportunities.

If you would like to sponsor a child ($36 per year for one child), volunteer with our local Community Action Team or register a child under 5 years old to receive books please email: [email protected] or message us on Facebook at Nassau Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy (follow us, too). You can learn more about us at

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Nassau County School Board candidate supports Vocational Education

By Jonathan Petree
Incumbent Candidate
Nassau County School Board
District 5
August 10, 2018 10:00 a.m.

Editor’s Note:  We offer candidates an opportunity to post information about their candidacy that might be of interest to voters.  

There is currently a shortage of skilled labor in the U.S. We must change the narrative that vocational education is a “second choice” to the college track. Instead, I believe skills in the trades should be a first choice. Why? One reason to focus on vocational education is that there are high wage careers, in great companies, waiting to be filled, but without any qualified candidates.

But, now for the good news. Students in Nassau County Schools have a tremendous opportunity to learn these sought after skills, as well as earn industry certifications, for FREE in our vocational education classes!

For example, Nassau County high school students may take advantage of the HVAC and Electrical classes that are held at the “Red” Bean Center, which is centrally located off of William Burgess road. Last school year, 100% of the graduates of these classes were quickly snapped up by local companies happy to employ them!!

In addition, as a big supporter of vocational education, I am very excited that our school district has a vibrant and growing Agricultural program at Hilliard Middle-Senior High School. From the teacher to the students, everyone I spoke with was excited to be learning about the many facets of Agricultural Science. In addition, it is wonderful to see the Continue reading

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“A Little Night Music” comes to Amelia Musical Playhouse

Amelia Musical Playhouse
Submitted by Jill Dillingham

August 10, 2018 9:30 a.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students, available online at

This show is sponsored by Compass Group, Inc.

“Isn’t it bliss?” Stephen Sondheim’s glorious musical masterpiece A Little Night Music, which includes the song Send in the Clowns, comes to the Amelia Musical Playhouse in a production directed by Jill Dillingham.

Set in Sweden in 1900, the musical is based on “Smiles of a Summer Night,” an Ingmar Bergman’s film of the 1950s. With clever lyrics and lush waltz-like music, we journey into a hilariously tangled web of intrigue, romance, and heartbreak while waiting for a magical night for the moon to smile three times.

Debuting Susie Dodge as Desiree Armfeldt, the cast also includes Jeff Groden-Thomas as lawyer Frederik Eggerman; Kat Tremblay as Frederik’s wistful and virginal young wife, Anne; Nick Cooper as Frederick’s anti-social son Henrik; Chad Miller as blustery Count Malcolm; Ruthellen Muhlberg as Countess Malcolm; Pat Chiarelli as Madame Armfeldt and Adeline Bishop as Fredrika. Put these actors together with an incredibly talented supporting cast and the stage is set for an interesting weekend in the country. The quintet features some of the most accomplished vocalists in our community, including Jayde Gray, Frank O’Donnell, Lisa Flick, Bob McLaren, and Mary Williams. Maya Shay and Mark Cameron are featured as Petra and Frid, servants. While the score is classic Sondheim, challenging and Continue reading

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Weekly Comments from Dale Martin

Submitted by Dale Martin
Fernandina Beach City Manager
August 10, 2018 — 12:00 p.m.

Next week, Commissioner Chip Ross and I will be attending the Florida League of Cities (FLC) annual conference in Hollywood. Vice Mayor Len Kreger was originally scheduled to participate, as well, but other personal commitments will prevent him from attending the conference. With former Commissioner Tim Poynter’s participation last year, City Commission representation at the conference returned after a lengthy absence, so I am pleased that Fernandina Beach elected officials continue to be represented.

The official conference is for three days- Thursday through Saturday. With notable statewide elections for U.S. Senator and Governor slated for November, I was looking forward to hear the candidates for those offices speak, especially with the primary elections looming immediately afterward. Unfortunately, the candidate forums quizzically have been scheduled as a pre-conference event on Wednesday. Due to our travel plans, we’ll miss the forums (as I expect many other local officials will, too).

The prominent theme for this year’s conference is the fifty-year celebration of home rule in the State of Florida. The introduction to the conference reads: “[Home rule] is the belief that government closest to the people governs best; that city halls across our state are more accessible, responsive and fair in addressing the needs of their constituents; that local decisions should be made locally; and that the people who live, work and play in a city know what’s best for their unique community. Over the last few years, the Florida Legislature has challenged this philosophy by pursuing numerous measures that seek to undermine local decision-making and hamstring municipal officials from doing the jobs they were elected to do effectively. But our dedicated members have fought back with an unwavering message to lawmakers: Let Cities Work! When city officials are free from preemptions and unfunded mandates handed down from the state legislature, our cities can continue to grow and prosper.”

Examples of the recent challenges to home rule by State legislators include “one-size fits all” regulations related to tree ordinances, telecommunications structures, Community Redevelopment Agencies, short-term vacation rentals, and, of course, the ignominious HB631 (which continues to be justified through increasingly complex contortions). In all likelihood, the attacks on home rule will continue when the Legislature reconvenes. Continue reading

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Filling Foster’s seat – Florida Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in Trotti v Scott – October 2

By Adam Kaufman
Legal Analyst
August 9, 2018 9:03 p.m.

Adam Kaufman, Legal Analyst

The Florida Supreme Court by a vote of 4 -3, Pariente, Lewis , Quince, and Labarga in the affirmative, has accepted jurisdiction in Trotti v Scott, the case involving Judge Foster’s purported early resignation prior to the end of his term. The Court will hear oral argument on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

To view previous article click here.

Editor’s Note: Adam Kaufman, a graduate of Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, is a retired attorney, mediator, and arbitrator.

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Marina update: August 9, 2018

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
August 9, 2018 – 8:00 a.m.

The city of Fernandina Beach appears to be on its way to repair Hurricane Matthew damages to the city marina, if Tuesday’s events are any indication.  The legal obstacle to proceeding with repairs was removed when the city received authorization from the Army Corps of Engineers to proceed.  But other city actions provided additional hopeful news:  approving a line of credit; finalizing contract with Fender Marine; establishing Marina Advisory Committee.

FBCC approves $6.6M line of credit for marina repairs

During the August 7, 2018 Regular Meeting of the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC), commissioners voted unanimously to approve Resolution 2018-103, authorizing the issuance of a city line of credit in the principal amount of not to exceed $6.6M to reimburse and fund capital improvements to the city marina.  The note is a limited obligation repayable from FEMA reimbursements and from non-ad valorem revenues.  This means that the city will “never be required to levy ad valorem taxes or use the proceeds thereof to pay debt service on the Note or to make any other payments or to maintain or continue any of the activities of the Issuer which generate user service charges, regulatory fees or any other Non-Ad Valorem Revenues. The Note shall not constitute a lien on any property owned by or situated within the limits of the Issuer, except the Pledged Revenues. “

The line of credit has a 3-year term with a variable interest rate.  The initial rate for draws against this line of credit is 2.2562 percent.  Interest is only charged against funds drawn, and the note may be repaid at any time with no prepayment penalty.

The loan may be used for capital improvements, but not dredging, which is considered routing maintenance.

Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T) was selected as the lender following a solicitation of proposals via RFP 18-13 on May 25, 2018 for a Tax-Exempt, Bank Qualified Non Revolving Line of Credit. The City’s Financial Advisor developed the Request for Proposals and the City received four qualified proposals.

The firm of Bryant Miller Olive, P.A. served as the city’s advisor in developing this financial package.

Design/Build contract under review for finalization this month

City Attorney Tammi Bach announced at the FBCC meeting that she was working with Fender Marine to finalize contract terms for the design build work to repair the marina. She expects to have sign-offs from Fender Marine and the city’s insurance company within weeks.

FBCC solicits applications for Marina Advisory Board (MAB)

In a somewhat related matter, the FBCC considered appointments to the newly formed Marina Advisory Board, but declined to act until language in the enabling resolution is clarified to indicate that the maximum number of marina slip holders who may serve at any given time is four, leaving 3 of the seven slots available for the general public.  The FBCC will amend the ordinance to so indicate at their September 4, 2018 meeting and appoint members.

Any city resident interested in serving on this board should download an application from the city website or contact the City Clerk’s Office at (904) 310-3115. The FBCC established a deadline for receipt of applications on August 24, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.



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“Paint-Your-Own Pet Bowls” to benefit Nassau Humane Society – August 26

Press Release
August 9, 2018 3:00 p.m.

Join your pet-loving pals for the “Dog Days of August” paint-your-own pottery fundraiser on Sunday, Aug. 26 from Noon-5pm at Clay Times Art Center (“CTAC” at 112 S. 3rd St. in Fernandina Beach). This event will not only let you create unique, personalized dinnerware for your special four-pawed-friends, it will also benefit the Nassau Humane Society (NHS) with a donation of $30 from each $45 registration fee received per participant!

Cat lovers are invited to paint feline bowls from Noon-2pm; dog owners are invited to decorate from 3-5 pm, or you are welcome to paint at any time between noon and 5 pm (please allow 2 hours to complete your project).

Even if you don’t have a pet, you may sign up to decorate one or more bowls, then donate Continue reading

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Dynamic Les DeMerle Trio to appear at Story & Song

Amelia Jazz Festival
Press Release
August 10, 2018 1:00 p.m.

Bandleader/drummer Les DeMerle and his wife, vocalist Bonnie Eisele, will showcase their musical careers in an intimate setting upstairs at the Story & Song Bookstore Bistro, 1430 Park Avenue, Fernandina Beach on Saturday, August 18, beginning at 7:30 P.M. In addition to highlights about their musical journey and Q&A, the evening will present live jazz by the Dynamic Les DeMerle Trio, with Eisele, keyboardist Doug Matthews and a few special guests that will include former Fernandina Beach High/Middle School Band Director/saxophonist Johnnie Robinson. The evening will also celebrate the DeMerles’ 30th wedding anniversary and the upcoming 15th annual Amelia Island Jazz Festival, an event they founded.

While Les was performing in the Chicago area with Las Vegas superstar, Wayne Newton, he met local vocalist, Bonnie Eisele, and the fireworks began. The story behind this unique encounter is sure to be a fun part of this show. He had toured with big band giants Harry James, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and The Manhattan Transfer and later created ground Continue reading

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Nassau County Household Hazardous Waste Collection – Sept 8

Keep Nassau Beautiful
Press Release
Linda Bell, Executive Director
[email protected]
August 9, 2018 9:30 a.m.

Keep Nassau Beautiful and Nassau County Solid Waste Management are holding a Household Hazardous Waste Collection event for residents on Sept. 8. County residents are encouraged to bring pesticides, paint thinners, radiator fluid, used oil and lubricants, oil filters, pool chemicals, solvents, insecticides, gasoline and fuels, fluorescent bulbs, electronics, computers, TVs, paints, batteries fertilizers, household cleaners, corrosives, propane tanks, medications, aerosol cans and used cooking oil to the NE FL Fairgrounds at 543378 US Hwy 1 in Callahan from 7am to Noon. Collection is free of charge for residents. For more information:

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