SAB News: January 2015


Start Your Work Week With

The St Augustine Beach Area

Monday News

*Visit often for news that never goes into the recycle bin *

News Archive

News: January 26, 2015

Daniel Baldwin Lives His Passion At The St Augustine Film Festival

Danial Baldwin St Augustine Film Festival 2015

Baldwin and von Hauschtalk to the audience

This weekend St Augustine was home to the Fifth Annual St Augustine Film Festival. Held in partnership with Flagler College, the festival brought people from around the county here to enjoy the films as well as our community, including our own St Augustine Beach City Commissioner Undine George.


 The Last Week To Enjoy The Nights Of Lights

nights of lights at the beach
This weekend is the last weekend to enjoy the holiday lights at the beach as the lights will be turned off Feb 1st. Along with the city of St Augustine, A1A Beach Blvd is also lit up for the holiday and the visitors have been enjoying the fun lights that line the Boulevard.

The lantern, ships wheel, sand dollar, sea horse, jellyfish and starfish that adorn the lightposts have been fun for the kids to count as they drive along the beach. Parks at the pier, on 14th St, 12th St, “A” St and on the A1A junction have been lit up for all to enjoy as well as welcome visitors to the beach. La Fiesta Putt-Putt’s pirate ship is a must see. National Geographic declared St Augustine as one of the top ten places in the World to enjoy the holiday lights and most deservedly so.

Ocean Cay Is Building Out

ocean cay

The curbs are cut, the streets are in and building is in full swing at Ocean Cay Development. This upscale community is located between Pope Rd and 16th St on Mizell Rd. The development of close to 40 acres will have up to 125 single family homes.

What was once slated to provide affordable housing for the island has proven to be limited to houses in the high $200,000 and higher. The development will also increase the population in the area to more than 300. Developer, D.R Horton has begun selling homes in the area and the model home is complete and open for review.

News: January 19, 2015

 Remembering A Fallen Hero, Deputy Ronald Parker

Ron Parker memorial (20) (640x480)

Forty years ago, on January 12, 1975, St Augustine Beach Police Officer, Deputy Marshal Ron Parker was gunned down and killed in the line of duty at the age of 27 years old. In memory, people gathered at the Ron Parker Memorial in St Augustine Beach to honor the slain officer.

While on a routine patrol, a call came in of a car stuck on the rocks by the pier. Parker took the call with the outlook of helping what he thought was a citizen in trouble. Deputy Parker approached the pier and saw a car. Unbeknownst to Deputy Parker, the car belonged to a runaway fugitive wanted in two states for double murder and bank robbery. Parker drove north in search of the car’s owner. In the parking lot of the old Sheridan Hotel Deputy Parker came in contact with the fugitive, 30 year old Thomas DeSherlia.


Gamble Rogers Folk Music Welcome David Mallett & Larry Magnum

Gamble Rogers Music St Augustine 2(197) (640x429)

Larry Magnum, David Mallett and Mike Berg entertain the crowd at Lohman Auditorium

Lohman Auditorium was the place to be on Saturday night, as the Gamble Rogers Folk Music Series welcomed in the new year with folk singers/songwriters David Mallett and Larry Magnum.

The nights headliner, David Mallett came down to sunny Florida all the way from Portland,Maine. He, along with his cousin, Mike Berg put on a show not soon forgotten. Although the venue was intimate and quaint, the sound was full with Mallett on guitar, harmonica and vocals and Berg on stand-up bass.


Welcome Back Snowbirds

Snowbird from Mpls

Snowbird Monica Ledford from Minneapolis, Minn. enjoys her time at the beach

The condos are filling up as the “snowbirds” make their way South. Businesses in the area have noted an increase in revenue and the food is flying off the tables at local restaurants.

As the temperatures continue to drop and the snow continues to pile-up to the North, St Augustine Beach has become a destination for those looking for relief from the cold. Many of the snowbirds in the area travel down from Canada to “kick it in the sun” and Daytona Beach is ready to entertain with the Daytona 500 right around the corner.

For those passing through, a hotel/motel room is a welcome place to hang their hat and a visit through the old town is a must for the history buff. For many local residents the 50 degree weather we have been having lately is cold, but for many visitors the beach is the place to be and a dip in the “chilly” ocean is their reward.

 News: January 12, 2015

st augustine beach city commission 2015 (52) (640x355)

England is sworn in as the new commissioner.

 The New Commission Has Been Seated

2015 starts a new year at the beach with a new city commission. With Margaret England seated in the seat formally held by Brud Helhoski, the SAB City Commission now has a new face. Commissioner Andrea Samuels retook her seat as Mayor and Commissioner Rich O’Brien is once again our Vice Mayor. Commissioner Undine George and Commissioner S. Gary Snodgrass were also sworn in and retook their seats on the commission.

Some items on the 2015 agenda include: improved public transportation for the beach, review and update the St Augustine Beach Vision and Strategic Plans and the spending of the $500,000 received from Elite Hospitality.


last train to paradise

A Special St Johns Reads 2015

Les Standiford’s “Last Train to Paradise”

The St. Johns County Public Library System has again chosen a Florida themed book for the community-wide reading project called “St. Johns Reads.” Les Standiford’s book, Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Last Train to Paradise is written by renowned novelist Les Standiford. It is a true account of the construction and demise of the Key West Railroad. Known as one of the greatest engineering feats ever undertaken, the railroad was destroyed by the Labor Day hurricane of 1935. The Key West Railroad stood as a magnificent achievement of Henry Flagler for more than twenty-two years. The Key West Railroad was often heralded as “the Eighth Wonder of the World.”


versaggi Dr (1)

Versaggi Dr and Alvin’s Island

Versaggi Drive… Again!

Residents of the Versaggi Drive area came in front of the St Augustine Beach City Commission to discuss the driveways that are proposed for Alvin’s Island to the north and other businesses to the south. The proposed driveways are slated to lead onto Versaggi Dr. The consideration was requested by James Edmonds, owner of the buildings. Mr. Edmonds spoke of safety issues as well as the impact the traffic pattern has to the businesses in the area. Mr. Edmonds also spoke of the impact an empty business can have on the neighborhood. Edmonds stated that the Express Lube closed due to lack of proper customer access.

This same proposal has come in front of the city commission on numerous occasions in the past and has been denied. With over 255 residents in the area, many homeowners spoke on the safety impact the traffic would have for residents in the area as well as the congestion that the additional traffic would cause leading onto A1A. According to one resident, “Over 30,000 vehicles travel A1A each day.” With only a right turn (north) permitted on A1A from Versaggi, the residents feel that an additional strain would be placed on the traffic pattern.

The agenda item was tabled until the applicant meets with the residents to see if they can agree. Mayor Andrea Samuels stated that she would like to see the property owner “Work with the community first,” to come up with a solution.

News: January 5, 2015

Fireworks Beach Blast Off POW (2)

Fireworks lit up the sky to welcome in the new year.

Welcome 2015 Beach Style

Fireworks lit up the night sky on New Years Eve, welcoming in 2015. Thousands of people joined in the celebration at the St Johns County Pier Park. Activities for both young and old were there to enhance the festivities and music filled the air.


a January Day at the beach (2) (640x480)

With unseasonably warm temps, people enjoy the beach

A January Day At The Beach

The snowbirds are making their way back to Florida and the beach is filling up. Along with the snowbirds, the college students are slowly making their way back to the area ready to begin their studies.

With the unseasonably warm temperatures in the 70′ and 80’s, people are enjoying the sea, sand and surf. Although the water temperatures are in the 60’s, a wetsuit is all that is needed for some to keep comfortable while in the water.

To see more visit: A DAY AT THE BEACH

margaret England

England will be sworn in on Monday night

New Commissioners To Be Sworn In

Three commissioners will be sworn in during the first SAB City Commission Meeting of 2015. Commissioners S. Gary Snodgrass and Undine George will be sworn in and retake their seats on the commission. Commissioner-elect Margaret England will be sworn in and take the seat formerly held by Brud Helhoski.

England relocated to the SAB area in 2000 and has served on the St Augustine Beach Planning and Zoning Board from 2004 to 2008 and then again in 2013-14. Working as a mortgage compliance officer at U.S. Bank, England has experience in finance and budgets.

During the meeting the commission will also select a Mayor and Vice Mayor for the 2015 year. The public is encouraged to attend.

To learn more visit: SAB COMMISSION AGENDA