…about the author.

I am a native Amelia Islander. This blog began as a way to write about a specific environmental concern and find an outlet for, I hope, positive ideas. Eventually the topics became more varied and cover anything from a new restaurant, to tax incentives for green construction.

Thanks for reading!

Edward E. Boner
source@amelia-island.net

  • We will inform and educate, not confuse and mislead
    Editorial Staff Douglas Newton Susan Hardee Steger Co-Editors Suanne Z. Thamm, Reporter-News Analyst October 29, 2014 4:54 p.m. “So when a print news story surfaces a week before the city election, dredging up allegations and insinuations about one of the … Continue reading →
  • Train Depot to close next week for renovations; visitors redirected to Marina Welcome Center
    Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm Reporter – News Analyst October 28, 2014 11:58 a.m. Visitors arriving downtown Fernandina Beach during the first week of November following the Georgia Florida Game will discover some changes to on-site visitor services at the … Continue reading →
  • Fernandina Beach Business and Building Starts: September 2014
    Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm Reporter – News Analyst October 28, 2014 4:48 a.m.   The Fernandina Observer welcomes the following businesses newly licensed to operate in our city last month. Note that the two listed insurance companies are located … Continue reading →
  • City Manager considers H R Director termination?
    Submitted by Susan Hardee Steger October 27, 2014 11:00 a.m.   Editor’s Note: ” . . . Robin Marley, human resource director, told the Fernandina Observer  she received a call [on October 21] from Deputy City Manager Marshall McCrary informing … Continue reading →
  • Fernandina Observer requests release of impact fee settlement agreement
    Submitted by Adam Kaufman, Legal Analyst October 27, 2014 10:00 a.m. Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to City Manager Joe Gerrity after a previous request from the Fernandina Observer to City Clerk Caroline Best to release the tentative … Continue reading →
  • TDC headlines FBCC Regular Meeting October 21, 2014
    Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm Reporter – News Analyst October 27, 2014 1:00 a.m.   The October 21, 2014 Regular Meeting of the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) lasted barely more than an hour.  The major item of business was … Continue reading →
  • Amelia Island revealed . . .
    Submitted by Mark Gearis October 26, 2014 6:43 a.m. Editor’s Note: Mark was kind enough to send photos of familiar Fernandina scenes photographed from a different perspective. Mark enjoys shooting with a wider angle zooms to obtain a “barrel distoration.” … Continue reading →
  • Rayonier Advanced Materials Employees achieve safety milestone
    Submitted Press Release October 25, 2014 1:30 p.m.
  • Airport Welcome Center location decided: East side is FBCC preference
    Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm Reporter – News Analyst October 24, 2014 5:54 p.m. During a Special Meeting held at 5:00 p.m. on October 21, 2014, the Fernandina Beach City Commission (FBCC) rejected the recommendation of the city’s Airport Advisory … Continue reading →
  • And the walls come tumblin’ down
    Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm Reporter – News Analyst October 23, 2014 12:47 p.m.   After months of discussion and planning, there are now visible signs of progress on the renovation and expansion of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church on … Continue reading →
  • Section of State Road A1A To Be Dedicated To Fallen Deputies
    State Representative Janet Adkins, Sheriff Bill Leeper, representatives from FDOT and others will hold a designation ceremony, designating a section of State Road A1A between I-95 and Stratton Road in Nassau County to the memory of Nassau County Sheriffs that have lost their lives in the call of duty.  The ceremony will take place at […]
  • The NCEDB Appoints Tom Sweetser, RockTenn General Manager To Its Board Of Directors
    The Nassau County Economic Development (NCEDB), a local nonprofit corporation committed to preserving and increasing job availability and encouraging economic growth and vitality in Nassau County, announced today Tom Sweetser, general manager for RockTenn and a Nassau County resident has been selected to serve on the organization’s board of directors. Tom joined RockTenn in April […]
  • The Nassau County Economic Development Board Appoints Roger Rassman To Its Board Of Directors
    The Nassau County Economic Development (NCEDB), a non-profit corporation, announced today Roger Rassman, vice president of marketing for Community First Credit Union and a Nassau County resident has been selected to serve on the organization’s board of directors.  Rassman replaces former board member Leah Jennings, who recently joined the NCEDB as director of workforce development. […]
  • Laura DiBella Appointed As The NCEDB’s New Executive Director
    The Nassau County Economic Development Board (NCEDB), a local nonprofit corporation committed to encouraging economic growth and vitality in Nassau County, announced today that Laura DiBella has been appointed as the new Executive Director effective October 1, 2014.  She replaces Steve Rieck, who retires from seven years of service with the NCEDB.  In her new […]
  • Leadership….What Does It Mean?
    I have to admit, I was skeptical to apply for Leadership Nassau.  I’ve lived here since 2002 and work for the Nassau County Economic Development Board, a local non-profit corporation.  I thought, “What more can I learn about Nassau County?” as my job entails me to know and learn the inter-workings of the County.  “How […]
  • FDOT Lane Closures for Nassau County
    The FDOT released the lane closures for the week of September 13-19, 2014 for Nassau County. U.S. 17 from the Duval County line to I-95 Nighttime lane closures from 6 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday for work on the roadway shoulders and repaving. State Road 200 (A1A) from Still Quarters Road to Rubin Davis […]
  • The New Face of Manufacturing in Nassau County – A Forum Hosted by the Nassau County Economic Development Board
    The notepads used by today’s students are digital, but how they are crafted is the message local educators and manufacturers want them to know.   Creating an awareness of modern-day technology and how to prepare the students of Nassau County for careers in advanced manufacturing was the focus of a recent forum hosted by the Nassau […]
  • Aleida Socarras of Florida Public Utilities Joins the NCEDB Board of Directors
    The Nassau County Economic Development Board (NCEDB), a non-profit corporation, announced today Aleida Socarras, Director of Marketing and Sales at Florida Public Utilities (FPU) has been selected to serve on the organization’s Board of Directors. Ms. Socarras replaces former Board member Mark Cutshaw, also with FPU. The NCEDB was formed in 1995 as a public-private […]
  • Nassau County Leader in Science Education Expands
    Science First, a manufacturer of astronomy and physics education equipment, recently purchased some of the assets of The Science Source, a manufacturer of science education equipment located in Waldoboro, Maine.  Science First is also the premiere manufacturer of the STARLAB and digital STARLAB planetariums.  Inventory and assets were moved immediately to Science First’s facility in […]
  • WHAT HAPPENS TO LOCAL BUSINESSES IN THE EVENT OF A NATURAL DISASTER?
    Mention the name “Dora” in Northeast Florida and it conjures thoughts of the hurricane that directly hit the Jacksonville area 50 years ago.  While Florida has been fortunate in escaping a direct hit for the past 9 years, Nassau County isn’t resting on its laurels. Many people can still vividly remember the images of New […]

Fort Clinch State Park to Bosque Bello Cemetery

One of the most overlooked…..BIG……attractions on Amelia Island is located at the far north end of the island, through an unassuming entrance on Atlantic Avenue.  Fort Clinch is home to the best mountain biking trail in the area, IMG_0088nature walks, the longest fishing pier in Northeast Florida and Fort Clinch.  I remember sneaking into the fort on holidays 40 years ago.  Growing up on the island, playing in our own Civil War Fort,  was a unique experience…..and remembering days spent playing with a handful of local kids is something I doubt many locals were lucky enough to experience.  Now, I see the restoration efforts and the incredible changes over the years as an incredibly positive thing for the island. 

If you have time, take a second look or try to attend over the Nov. 1,2,3  weekend for the monthly fort garrison event that portrays life at Fort Clinch under Union Occupation. This event is sponsored by the Fort Clinch Living History Program, Co. E. 1st NY Engineers, 75th Ohio, & Co. K 1st Michigan Sharpshooters/McBrides Company of FL Indian Scouts.  Events are well worth attending and the re-enactors are often entertaining and authentic.  Your attention is as interesting to the participants as their recreation of history is interesting to visitors.   http://floridareenactorsonlineresources.yolasite.com/list-of-events.php

If you’re interested in researching history, some of the local Spanish American soldiers are buried in Bosque Bello Cemetery off North 14th Street.  The Amelia Island Genealogical Society is a wonderful resource when searching for grave locations.  The trip is, while perhaps not normally first on most vacationers bucket lists, worth making and adds perspective to the history here in Fernandina.   (Map Credit to www.aigensoc.org)

 

Camp Amelia during the Spanish-American war – Fernandina, Florida

Looking over Camp Amelia during the Spanish-American war - Fernandina, Florida

Credit this photo: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/28839
(please include photographer’s name when noted).

A part of the park system since 1935, Fort Clinch is one of the most well-preserved 19th century forts in the country. Although no battles were fought here, it was garrisoned during both the Civil and Spanish-American wars.

Welcome to Florida State Parks

Welcome “Biggest Loser Resort”

 
It was a privilege to welcome this business to the island.  The Biggest Loser Resort held a ribbon-cutting and small opening last night.  Meeting a few of the people behind this business, the reason for their success became immediately apparent.  Professional, prepared and family came to mind.  

Every business coming to the island brings an economic impact.  This business brings years of international publicity and promotion.   Thanks to people like Gil Langley of TDC and Donald Staments of Omni, we are attracting exceptional business and opportunity. 

Welcome to the island!

Pirate Homecoming Game @FBHS

The Fernandina Beach Pirates football team lost Friday’s home non-conference game against West Nassau by a score of 43-26, but it was still a great time.  Homecoming, band, watching the oldest make four trips to the concession and completely miss noticing a girl notice him….  It’s so much more fun to watch, when you know half the crowd.  Now I’ve got to find a way to tell a friend I missed a benefit with “jazz” and “big band” for the big band and football at FBHS. 

 

Walking and Curious….Synthetic Drug or Not?

UntitledI’m curious…..this product looks like the packaging on synthetic drugs, but I was unable to find anything labeled “Rose’” online, under novelty item, synthetic, incense or anything logical.  Then again, the word “rose” is pretty common. 

If anyone knows where this product originated and if it is a synthetic drug, please contact the site.  The package below was found on school grounds  in October of 2014, in an area reserved for a sports activity.  We walk our dog through the area frequently and I tend to notice small packages about the size of synthetic drug packaging. (3”x3”)  Just for the record, the last package we found was “Cloud 9”, a known synthetic,  around 2 to 3 years ago the morning after a football game.  Locally, we have an ordinance with substantial fines…..I believe $500/gram fine if proven to be a synthetic.  Hopefully, the ordinance discourages all sales in the area and increases parent awareness.      http://www.fbfl.us/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Item/1351?fileID=1015


Products are being marketed as ‘bath salts’ and ‘potpourri’ that are synthetic substitutes that mimic the pharmacological effects of amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy and other illegal drugs. Despite being labeled as “not for human consumption” these synthetic substances are being used as recreational drugs. These products are particularly attractive to children and young adults due to their availability at convenient stores at minimal cost and packaged with their favorite cartoon character. Unfortunately, these substances are often more potent and dangerous than illegal drugs and have very serious side effects. As a result, FAC supports expanding the controlled substance schedule to include new iterations of synthetic formulas that mimic the effects of illegal drugs and prohibiting certain types of packaging and marketing of any products claiming to mimic the effects of illegal drugs. In addition to statewide legislation, many counties are adopting their own ordinances aimed at stopping the proliferation of these harmful substances. A copy of Broward County and Pasco County ordinances are posted below as well as other related materials.

http://www.fl-counties.com/advocacy/public-safety/synthetic-drugs

Self-Defense Seminar Benefitting the Fernandina Beach Library October 4th

This seminar should be informative, but will also be taught by a very experienced instructor.  Beyond the international study of aikido and years of time as an instructor, Dan Kelly is a retired US Marshall and far, far more experienced than most  ordinary “self defense” instructors.  This is worth a look, for a good cause and may save your life.  See details below…..October 4th, 2014 9AM to 12 Noon at the Atlantic Avenue Rec Center…..don’t be late.  

Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner) “leads” the attacker’s momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks.[5]   Source: Wikipedia.org

 

Capture

Bees Behind Hola Café

 

You definitely notice the bees moving in and out of the pecan tree behind Hola Café and the Palace Saloon, but the uncommon part is the actual honey comb visible in the open under heavy tree and vine growth.  Pieces of the hive are lying on the ground along the fence and  I think one of the nearby businesses called a local beekeeper out of concern for safety.  I can imagine the danger if parts of the fragile hive fall out of the tree, when someone is standing nearby. 

See the dark area of the growth?  You can barely see the bees or hive in this picture, but they are fairly easy to see when standing underneath. 

Many aspects of a honey bee colony are cyclic in nature, and aggression is no exception. Honey bees have the ability to be aggressive at any time, but certain things set them off. In the late summer and early fall, more of these conditions exist.

What makes honey bees aggressive? | Honey Bee Suite

 
 

Bee Hive Barely Visible

Taking Florida for Granted

Giant Pampas grass in the background a rubber tree in a pot on my back porch, I think sometimes people take Florida for granted. I take that back I think people take Fernandina Beach for granted. We live on a barrier island with two state parks, world-class beaches and great restaurants in a historic downtown.

The Palace saloon, below is the oldest bar in Florida and one of the most unique stops you can make in Fernandina.

Oldest Saloon in Florida

Kids try out for Babe Ruth and you might be surprised by the level of involvement in this community. Did I mention we won state championships?
After September 1st each year the beach often looks like this until sometime in mid-March.

 

IO Moth Caterpillar

My son picked this up and managed to “maybe” enjoy a sting a few minutes ago. It really is worth reading the information on poisonous caterpillars in Florida.

 

 

IO Moth Caterpillar

IO Moth Caterpillar taken on 8 30 14 by Landon Boner

 

“Pale green with yellow and red stripes. Often exceeds 2″ in length and is fairly stout-bodied. The nettling organs are borne on fleshy tubercles, and the spines are usually yellow with black tips. The spines are connected to poison glands.” http://www.poisoncentertampa.org/venomous-critters/caterpillars.aspx

 

 

Typical Morning

FBMS First Game of the Year

image (5)Playing a school more than twice the size isn’t always the best way to win, but is a great way to teach kids how to play harder.  Watching the game and crowd of friendly locals, really makes me proud to live in Fernandina.  Great entertainment, $2.00 pizza and $1.00 drinks……conversation with friends you don’t always see……and just a great way to spend the evening with the kids and family!  image (1)

I keep expecting to see John Grisham at a game…..after reading “Bleachers”.  The field and small town atmosphere, old friends and people I remember are mostly characters in the book.   After you leave high school…..thinking back, I know engineers, lawyers, some dead, some alive, some in prison.  When you’re a kid, it doesn’t occur to you the guy next to you might be great or might live a terrible life.  You’re all just kids and everything is ahead of you……everything is possible.