Nassau County Council on Aging “Low Vision Support Group” – March 27

Nassau County Council on Aging
Press Release
Submitted by Liz Dunn
March 18, 2019 1:00 p.m.

Nassau County Council on Aging’s (NCCOA’s) Low Vision Support Group will meet on Wed., March 27, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at 1901 Island Walk Way, Fernandina Beach. This group provides ongoing support, as well as coping strategies, to those with impaired vision. Members are helped with information and installation of many adaptive devices, such as Google Home; Cortana, a voice-activated computer reader; and talking books.

Caregivers are encouraged to attend and new members are always Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in General |

Island Chamber Singers to perform April 5 and 7

Island Chamber Singers
Press Release
March 18, 2019 11:00 a.m.

To purchase tickets click here.

The Island Chamber Singers will be closing out their 15th season with the program East Meets West. The concerts will include from the East, Antonín Dvořák’s, Te Deum, Op. 103 composed in 1892 and dedicated to the 400thanniversary of the discovery of America. This composition was premiered at Dvořák’s first concert in New York on October 21, 1892.

East then Meets West with the singing of John Rutter’s Gloria composed in 1974 and later was premiered in Omaha, Nebraska and conducted by Rutter. Many of the Christmas Songs and Carols of John Rutter are favorites of the Island Chamber Singers and have been previously performed in our concerts. Orchestral accompaniment will include strings, timpani, brass, organ and piano and led by the Island Chamber Singers Founder and Director, Dr. Jane Lindberg.

Tickets are $20 for adults when purchased in advance of concert day. They can be purchased online on our Tickets page; from a member of Island Chamber Singers; at the Amelia Island Welcome Center, 102 Centre Street, (800) 226-3542; at Peterbrooke Chocolatier, 1427 Sadler Road; at the AIFBY Chamber of Commerce, 961687 Gateway Blvd., Suite 101G (at A1A and Amelia Island Parkway), (904) 261-3248; and at Harrison’s Mercantile at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Spa and Shops, (904) 432-2218. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $25. Tickets are always FREE for all students. For additional information, or to arrange a vocal interview to sing with the group, please call (904) 225-0575 on weekdays.

Leave a comment | Posted in General |

An interview with Jacques Pepin, chef and snowbird extraordinaire

By Anne H. Oman
March 17, 2019

Jacques Pépin spends time with Anne Oman, reporter-at-large,  after a luncheon event at Story & Song.  Photo courtesy of Patricia Davenport

Jacques Pépin got his first taste of Amelia Island when he came to the Ritz-Carlton to do a cooking demonstration for WJCT. He returned the next year with his team from Madison, Connecticut to compete in the annual Pétanque America tournament organized by Phillippe Boets.

“I’ve been playing for 70 years, and I’m no better at it,” he confessed.

Now, every winter, Chef Pépin leaves the cold of Connecticut for Fernandina Beach, where he rents a house, and can be seen walking his small black dog, Gascon, shopping at Atlantic Seafood or at the Saturday Farmers’ Market and dining with his wife of 53 years, Gloria, at his favorite restaurant, Espana, often on “drunken clams” (“almejas borrachas”) or paella.

Why Fernandina?

“We just like it,” he told the Observer. “It’s drivable from Connecticut. It’s not too hot – like Miami. And the food scene is good – there are an amazing amount of good restaurants in town.”

Last week, over a luncheon event at Story & Song, where bistro chef Tanya Clark prepared Hot Pǎté in Puff Pastry, Potato Salad with Mayogrette Dressing, Salad Vinaigrette and Chocolate Nut and Fruit Treats from recipes in his latest book, A Grandfather’s Lessons, and in an after-lunch interview with the Observer, the genial 83-year-old talked — with just a soupc̡on of a French accent– about his life in the kitchen and beyond.

Born at Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon, he grew up in wartime.

“My father left to join the resistance,” he recalled. “We lived next to a railroad station. Our apartment house was bombed three times, but all three times it was empty.”

The biggest challenge was getting enough to eat. His mother combed the countryside on a bicycle, buying whatever she could from farmers. To supplement these gleanings, the Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in General |

Amelia Bluff subject of informational “Greenway Walk”

Photo by Stephan Leimberg
March 17, 2019 2:15 p.m.

Bob Wells, former Egans Creek Greenway Committee chairman, speaks to about 70 people who attended the Greenway Walk Saturday.     
(Photo by Steve Leimberg)

Editor’s Note:  According the “Greenway Walk” announcement, the purpose of the walk was to “see first-hand the impact of the proposed Amelia Bluff subdivision upon the Egans Creek Greenway . . .”

On March 19, the  Fernandina Beach City Commission will vote during its regular meeting on the final reading to approve a change to the Future Land Use Map. Continue reading

4 Comments | Posted in General |

Amelia Island revealed . . .

Submitted by Katherine Dudley Hoehn
March 16, 2019 11:00 p.m.

“White Pelicans on Simpson Creek” Photo courtesy of Katherine Dudley Hoehn

White Pelicans – North Florida Winter Visitors

“White Pelicans in Flight” Photo courtesy of Katherine Dudley Hoehn’s

In winter the pelicans so white

Choose Amelia over cold northern nights.

Not fond of things foreign;

They don’t care for humans.

Sensing people said pellies take flight.


Editor’s Note: Katherine Dudley Hoehn’s White Pelican photos were taken near a sandbar on Simpson Creek.  An avid writer and photographer, Katherine also enjoys kayaking (click here to view Katherine’s Blog). We not only have these beautiful photos, but a clever limerick for you to enjoy in honor of  St Patrick’s Day. Continue reading

1 Comment | Posted in General |

Yoga Nidra meditation sessions to be held at Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island

Ritz-Carlton Spa
Amelia Island
Press Release
Submitted by Joe Murphy
Director of Public Relations
March 16, 2019 3:00 p.m.

The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Amelia Island is pleased to announce and exclusive series of meditation experiences taught by Liam and Radha Gillen certified instructors at the Amrit Yoga Institute.

Their specialty is Yoga Nidra, an ancient tradition of guided meditation experienced lying down. By simply following the breathing and visualization guidance, you disconnect from the busy mind and release deeply held tensions that cause stress leaving you feeling invigorated with increased energy, mental clarity and relaxed body and mind. No yoga Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in General |

“Spring Aboard” with FWC — Boater education for all

March 16, 2019 12:00 p.m.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Media contact: Rob Klepper, [email protected]  

FWC Flickr site photo

World-class fishing, crystal blue waters, endless sunshine – there’s so much about Florida’s waterways to enjoy. During the week of March 17-23, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourage all boaters to take part in the national Spring Aboard – Take A Boating Education Course campaign by taking a boating safety course.  

Taking a boat out for a day on the water should be fun, and the best way to ensure that everyone has a great boating experience is by having a properly educated operator. Often even the most casual boaters think they know all they need to about boating, sometimes with deadly consequences. Too many boaters are confused or unaware of basic rules about navigation, alcohol use and safety equipment. The solution? Boating education.

“Education is the key. If boat operators have taken a boating safety education course, it’s much more likely they and their passengers will have a safe and enjoyable experience on the water,” said Maj. Rob Rowe, leader of FWC’s Boating and Waterways section. “U.S. Coast Guardstatistics show that, of the accidents where the level of operator education was known, 81 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boating education instruction.” 

In 2019, all boaters 31 years of age or younger are required to have a Boating Safety Education ID Card to legally operate a boat of 10 hp or greater in Florida. Even if you were born before Jan. 1, 1988, or have already had some boating education, taking a boater education course is a great idea. 

Many course providers will offer incentives or course discounts for students who enroll in or complete a course during the Spring Aboard campaign. For a summary of Florida’s regulations and available courses, visit 

“Everyone interested in boating should take a course – it’s just the smart thing to do,” said Rowe. “Boaters have many ways to get educated, from classroom courses offered by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and United States Power Squadrons to online offerings available anytime, day or night. There’s no reason to head out on the water without this knowledge.” 


Leave a comment | Posted in General |

Bats in your belfry — or attic?

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission
March 16, 2019 – 10:00 a.m.

If you think bats may be living in your building, now is the time to check your attic, eaves or chimney spaces and take action to exclude them. Bat maternity season begins April 15 and runs through Aug. 15, and during this time it’s illegal to block bats from their roost.

Photo from FWC flickr site

“This is a critical time of year for bats, when they give birth and raise their young,” said Terry Doonan, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) biologist and mammal conservation coordinator. “If bats are excluded from a building before their young can fly, they can become trapped inside and die.”

Florida is home to 13 resident bat species, including listed species such as the Florida bonneted bat. Some bat species roost in artificial structures, including buildings and houses. Although it is illegal to harm or kill bats in Florida, rules have been developed stating that legal exclusion of bats has to occur outside of the maternity season. Bats cannot legally be captured or relocated.

Exclusion guidelines on how to remove bats from buildings can be found at Materials and methods to exclude bats can affect the success of that process. For more information on how to conduct a bat exclusion, watch this YouTube video: How to Get Bats Out of a Building. Further details on how to conduct a legal bat exclusion can be found at Bat Conservation International and on the National White-Nose Syndrome Response Team website.

Bats are beneficial to people and are an important part of the ecosystem. The state’s native bats help keep insect populations under control, with the average bat eating hundreds of insects a night. In addition to the benefit of keeping mosquitoes and other insects at bay for residents enjoying the outdoors, the value of insect suppression by bats to U.S. agriculture has been estimated to be in the billions of dollars. Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in General |

Nassau County road & lane closures: March 16-22, 2019

Daytime lane closures from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday and Tuesday southbound near the Nassau County line and Georgia State line for Gateway sign and guardrail construction.

I-95 from Florida State Line to Georgia exit 22 (Horsestamp Church Road)
Daytime lane closures for GDOT resurfacing project.

State Road A1A from Pickett Road to Stratton Road
Daytime lane closures weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. for paving.

U.S. 1 from Alligator Creek to the curb and gutter section (Hilliard) 
Daytime lane closures from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for road work.

U.S. 17 over I-95
Daytime lane closures with flaggers Tuesday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for routine overpass maintenance.

Leave a comment | Posted in County News |

FBCC gives final approval to FLUM, zoning changes on N. 2nd Street

Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
March 15, 2019 3:30 p.m.

The Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) gave final approval on Second Reading at their March 5, 2019 Regular Meeting to Ordinances 2019-06 and 2019-07, which provided for a small scale Future Land Use Map amendment and zoning change for property located at 118, 120 and 116 N. 2nd Street.  As a result the properties have been changed from the General Commercial (GC) land use and C-2 zoning designation to Central Business District (CBD) land use, and C-3 (Central Business District) zoning designation.

The properties in question are located east of North 2nd Street across from the Standard Marine property and between the proposed miniature golf course on the corner of Alachua Street on the south and the city parking lot at Broome Street on the north.

This Ordinance was approved at First Reading by the City Commission at its Regular Meeting on February 5, 2019.  Commissioners were split on the final decision.

The moratorium on FLUM changes enacted at the same FBCC meeting did not affect this application, which has been in process since last year.

City Staff Report

The action was requested in order to allow for an urban mixed use redevelopment pattern and to correct the existing non-conforming uses of the properties where residential dwelling units have existed in a General Commercial land use and C-2 zoning district for many years. Both properties have maintained grandfather residential units on the respective properties. Continue reading

Leave a comment | Posted in City News |