2014 October

Friday, October 31, 2014

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The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsSince 2002. Anonymous Letters to the Editor with pictures. Published Monday through Friday by Noon.

As the local adage goes: If you want to become a millionaire in the FL Keys, then come down here as a billionaire to begin with.
Nouveau riches come down here thinking they can build any ole thing and get away with it. It all goes well so long as the deep pocket remains deep and local sycophants can suck up to new money in town.
The problem is, the corrosive effect of easy money to be made destroys the fabric of the local community and pits neighbors, one against the other. Who ends up being the winner? Not the newcomer, who’ll soon discover than the dream is hollow. Not the greedy neighbor who finds out that the money is finite and that they’re stuck with folks they don’t particularly care for. Not the county that has to play interference with disgruntled neighbors who heretofore got along just fine. Not the cops who have to intervene on spurious calls. Not the code enforcement personnel who are caught between the rock and a hard place. Not the judicial system that is at wits end as to how to apply an illusory law of the land. Not the lawyers who get old and gray on old procedural BS tactics that are stretched ad infinitum.
I guess the only ones who benefit are the barmaids who are more than eager to listen to the gossip and rake in tips paid in gratitude for lending an ear
I have been seeing what I think is a Zone-tailed Hawk at the Cudjoe transfer station mountain of garbage. The write-up does not include this area in its range. The most apparent identification feature is the bright white stripe across the tail. He hangs around the roadway mostly, sitting on silt fence stakes. I saw him make an unsuccessful grab at one of those little migrating finches yesterday. So close to the road, maybe he is usually waiting for a snake or lizard to cross the road? There are also other hawks and falcons hanging around the surrounding wildlife refuge. Often, they sit on the wires beside the access road, probably wishing they could lift one of the key deer. Link
Recently the Dolphin Research Center was given over half a million dollars by the TDC to construct a “visitors center”. The County Commission approved this gift. That TDC  money should have gone instead to the County Commission’s pet project of restoring the Seven Mile Bridge which is likely going to be funded by our infrastructure sales tax. The ”non-profit” DRC does a thriving business and I doubt it really needs the money that badly. Instead of using our sales tax (think ‘sewer’) money for the bridge, I think it’s more appropriate to use that TDC money and put that half million back into a decent sewer system. Oh Hell, that probably makes too much sense, doesn’t it? What were they thinking? Something’s fishy here.
If my house’s value goes down and the rest of my neighborhood starts turning into garbage because of some ugly houses that got built, who can I sue?
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[Net neutrality] I was just reading about an artist who had fallen out of favor in the 90s and than discovered the internet and started posting his work on Flickr. He’s famous again because of it. The point I’m trying to make is that if the internet was pay-for-bandwidth like Comcast, etc wants, Little guys like you or me wouldn’t have a chance because who Comcast’s scheme is to provide bandwidth to those that pay the most. The deep pocket companies who pay more are the only ones who will be seen. It’s very important to keep the internet neutral or so much innovation will be lost or never seen.
[200 Year Old Man] I just watched a TV show that speculated how they may get people to live for 200 years. I wonder where they will put them all? Earth can’t support that much life.
George Carlin left a message for all you folks that are heading for the polls to vote for the BS artist or party line of your choice. Three minute impassioned video reminder from a very aware individual (with coarse language included, of course). Video
[Gun Nut Caught] Pennsylvania cop-killer Eric Frein was captured after 7-week manhunt and prosecutors will seek death penalty The 31-year-old was found in an airport hangar at the former Birchwood Resort in the Pocono Mountains on Thursday. He surrendered without a fight after seeing he was surrounded, officials said. Frein faces numerous charges including first-degree murder. The 48-day manhunt began after Frein shot and killed a state trooper and wounded a second outside a police barracks.
I am tired of hearing about the round house. I have a huge lime green home that has been being built for the last three years in my development. I agree with the person who said that the circular home don’t fit in and should have been built on a large lot so that it could be truly appreciated. I think big lime green looks like a office building.
[Joke Friday] Two Irish nuns were sitting at a traffic light in their car when a bunch of rowdy drunks pull up alongside of them. “Hey, show us your boobs, ye bloody penguins!” shouts one of the drunks.
The Mother Superior turns to Sister Margaret, “I don’t think they know who we are. Show them your cross.” So Sister Margaret rolls down her window and shouts, “Screw off ye little fookin wankers, before I come over there and rip yer nuts off!” Sister Margaret looks back at the Mother Superior and asks, “Was that cross enough?”
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I can’t afford a therapists so I bought a mood ring.
Michael Winslow AKA Larvelle Jones from Police Academy does Led Zepplin’s — Whole Lotta Love on the mouth. Gee, I got goose bumps! Video
$3.7 billion dollars have been spent on the mid term elections, far more than were spent on the presidential elections.
[“Non conforming homes”]
Former shipping containers could be a housing option in Marathon. Better than that old refrigerator box, but not as costly as that round house. Link
[“Build whatever the architect talks you into”] I have always built what I told the architect to draw, but then I have never let anyone talk me into anything I didn’t want.
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ihop roof31
It the vein of Coconut Telegraph’s Architectural Review Department I would like to comment on the renovation along the Little Torch boat ramp’s canal. The renovation was done very well except for the roof. They put on a v-crimp roof, but it is “IHop blue” and makes me think of pancakes whenever I drive by.
Some Recent Accomplishments of the Mosquito Control Board by Incumbent District 2 Commissioner Phil Goodman

Do you remember as little as 4 years ago, Mosquito Control (MC) was fraught with much publicized corruption, excesses, public feuding between the then Director and some of the then commissioners and dengue fever was in Key West? These problems typically run deep within an organization because bad management usually makes bad policies that linger. As a result of these past problems, when I joined the board, I hit the ground running and began to look at everything to determine where the main problems were and then worked to correct them. Surprisingly, these approaches that are basic to all successful organizations had never been considered in the past at MC. One member does not make a board, but good policies can be supported by a majority. I looked at these opportunities for improvement from a business perspective, initiated the following actions with the board, obtained board approval and we started getting results. I am running on my record.

The first thing I did to change direction at MC was to introduce strategic planning. If you fail to plan you ultimately plan to fail and MC had no strategic plan. We soon developed a three year plan that continues to be updated regularly by staff and presented to the Board at least annually. It was not a great plan the first year but was a very good starting point that continuously improves year by year.

The next thing I looked at was our old organizational structure that had not been modernized in at least 15 years and was well overdue. The problems included too many supervisors managing too few employees and little accountability. With modern communications, the old rule of only 5-7 employees per supervisor is no longer valid; you can supervise more. I recommended we reorganize along functional lines to get started. As a result we were able to consolidate some of the supervisory positions and eliminate or retire some non-essential and low performing staff positions. This reorganization was done in a matter of six months and is the basis of our structure today. Not everyone is happy when these types of adjustments are made. It is understandable that many employees preferred the old system and are very vocal about it. They wrongly believe that fewer employees equate to reduced service and that is not the case. Times change, technology improves and we move forward.

The next thing I looked at was our reserve fund balances that were not being managed properly but were in free fall. I proposed to set maximum and minimum reserve levels and based them on real numbers that we calculated from actual historic costs. We then began to manage these reserves and brought them in line with our actual needs. This process remains in use today.

The next thing I did was introduce a new analytical spread sheet to make our budgeting process more easily understood by non-financial personnel. This made the budget and the fund balance clearer to all and made the process easier. This format has been used each budget year since.

The above were introduced by me in the first few months of my joining the board and were accomplished in the first year and this was not all. I recommended we develop a new pay schedule for all employees based on the worth of their jobs and this was just completed this year. I increased transparency in my second year by having our check book put on our web site for all to see. I also have been working to have our meetings televised and put on our web site. I was one of two board members that led the charge to cut commissioners pay by about 20% and was in favor to hire the current director at a salary that today remains $40,000 less than the former one.

These are only some of the changes I championed but one Board member does not make policy; it takes at least three votes for ideas to become reality. Obviously, at least two other Board members have been in agreement with implementing the changes we have made.

Today we kill many more mosquitoes in a more environmentally friendly manner, at lower cost and dengue fever has not returned. We are using more and newer technology to get better results, offset other skyrocketing costs and getting a return on our investment for the taxpayers. I have used my background and experience and have made a difference on this board. There remains much more to do to continuously improve MC to become an organization we can be truly proud of in Monroe County. I am Phil Goodman and I ask for your vote for District 2 Commissioner, Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board, to allow me to continue to serve you.

Phil Goodman has been endorsed by the Keynoter and the Key West Fire Fighters.

[Blonde Bimbos] “They were having a bad year.” Roger Ailes, the head of Fox News when asked about his former Miss America anchorwoman.
[“Nothing man made is hurricane proof”] That’s baloney. People have been building hurricane proof shelters and buildings for years. This shelter on Lignum Vitae Key is a good example of a shelter built over a hundred years ago that has withstood many hurricanes and is still strong. I built a raised reinforced concrete hurricane shelter on Solaris Hill in KW that is indestructible.
[Conchs] Congratulations on being born here. Have you accomplished anything else since? Get over yourselves.
[Deer Tongued] Woman hospitalized to remove deer tongue she used to ‘please’ herself. She must be from Big Pine Key and be the ultimate deer lover! Link
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guardian angel man
[Guardian Angle] For as long as she can remember, Lorna Byrne has seen angels. As a young child, she assumed everyone could see the otherworldly beings who always accompanied her. Yet in the eyes of adults, her abnormal behavior was a symptom of mental deficiency. Today, sick and troubled people from around the world are drawn to her for comfort and healing, and even theologians of different faiths seek her guidance. Lorna is trusted for her ability to communicate with spirits and angels—and by sharing her intimate knowledge of the spiritual world she offers a message of hope and love to us all.

Lorna’s near death experience is so very much like my friend’s own story of that experience. There are at least 6 other interviews on this site. Video

[Pirate Radio] The guy trying to slander the station manager yesterday for having Ryno’s bike repossessed, conveniently failed to mention that there is only one possible reason a motorbike can be repossessed–failure to pay back money loaned to you in good faith.
[“Round House”] I wonder what the folks on Shark Key would do if some nut started building a double dome Muslim looking house with minarets there?
[Paul Harvey’s clairvoyant spooky tale from 1965] “If I were the devil, I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree—Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first—I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’

deviled hamAnd then I’d get organized. I’d educate authors on how to lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches that war that themselves, and nations that war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flame. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, and neglect to discipline emotions—just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography—soon I could evict God from the courthouse, and then the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the devil I’d take from those, and who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. What do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would question against extremes and hard work, and Patriotism, and moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were the devil I’d keep on doing what he’s doing. ~Paul Harvey, good day.”

I agree with the guy writing about Pirate Radio and Rev Rhino on here yesterday.  I didn’t like him at first, but his style evolved to where less was really more.  He sounded like a pleasant guy who knows a lot about modern music and played it, while mixing in just the right amount of classic stuff.  But I guess it all could be just a canned track they subscribe to.
[Snowbird Blues] Those of us who are 50/50 homeowners should consider whether or not these locals discount places want our business at all. It seems to me they prefer vacationers and we should leave our money where everyone is treated equally.
an helio stretcher
[“Round house”] I guess no one noticed that the round platform being built in Cudjoe coincided with the purchase of an off shore island. The platform could be merely a landing pad for their helicopter so they can park their car underneath. I am sure that Trauma Star and LifeNet would use it in an emergency. When all the upset neighbors have heart attacks, Trauma Star will be close by. Get ready for them to start the practice training there.
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[Hi Speed Internet] The new Google Fiber has started deploying, and will offer users an internet connection that is about 100 times faster than what they are currently using. (some third world countries already have this speed even though there might not be many computers there to use it.)
Dear Ed I understand why you stick up for people who pay to post, but please don’t tell me that FTR and that identifies it[?], but I understand why it (i write it as I don’t know the gender) would rather not put up its name. This way it can make up all the untruths it wants.

Thanks for all the good work you do. I’m not sure why the response to my rant was put in the political zone as mine was not. That is why it took so long to respond. Thanks again and enjoy your weekends.

[“Round house”] It seems the round house discussion has morphed into architecture in general. That’s good, I find architecture very interesting.
[Barn] Existing non conforming building on Big Pine.
[Ebola Nation] The main carriers of Ebola virus in Africa are not mosquitoes, but birds, bats, monkeys and other mammals. A person can also contract this virus if he eats fresh meat of sick butchered animals. The three vital entry points for Ebola virus are, the conjunctiva (the eyes), the nasal passages and the mouth. Updated map shows where known Ebola patients are in the U.S. Link
[Electronic Vigilante] What is needed is a bunch of guys to go around and find these hackers, buggers, and malware freaks and do unto them as they have done unto us! Amen. I bet you could get a government grant or free business loan to start such a company.
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[“Repair spalling”]  We have a local contractor who specializes in spalling repair:  Kevin Barlow 850-686-5515.
[“Round house”] There was a time when a ground house made of logs and mud was called conventional. Today, a massively solid concrete house that is well above flood and exceeds wind load calculations is the new conventional. I don’t know what insurance agencies you are talking to, but the real one, the only one for all hurricane purposes, Citizens, loves this kind of sophisticated home. They can still charge a high rate just for the hell of it and never have to pay out. I don’t understand your premise. The keys are filled to the brim with boring, hip roofed houses. Perhaps change is just too much for a fuddy duddy to handle. The times they are a changing. Insurance companies charge a lower rate for these types of energy efficient, strong, responsible homes, although too high a cost, it’s still lower than conventional, below standard houses.
(Ed: Starting now there is no longer a weekend edition of the Coconut Telegraph. I’ll see you Monday, hard drive willing and the sea level don’t rise.)
ornament red bough
The scariest thing about Halloween is that the stores are already selling Christmas merchandise.
[“Build whatever the architect talks you into”] I know what you mean. I’ve been at meetings where the owner was totally swayed by the silver-tongued architect and ended up with changes the owner never really wanted. It’s similar to art. You look as a piece and think it stinks until the artist explains it to you. I don’t like that kind of are or architecture. I feel art and architecture should stand alone without explanation.
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[Flea Market] The rains are over and it looks like a beautiful weekend coming our way. Last week we had so much rain that many of our new flea market vendors had to wait to set up until this week. It’s time to start your early Christmas shopping. We have many new vendors and all your favorite ones are here now. Our selections of hats, home decorations, comedy signs for your tiki bar, shells, housewares, dresses, homemade natural soaps, sunglasses and fishing gear are all new and the lowest prices in the Keys. See you at the Flea Market Saturday and Sunday 8am to 2pm. There is even fresh produce waiting for you.
[“I’m not sure why everyone thinks this height referendum is such a conspiracy?”] Why the question mark friend? That is a declarative statement, not a question. Oh bother, I cannot help myself.
lower keys boat rental7.11.14
I find it hard to believe that you locals fall for FTR‘s posts day after day after day, and that you continue to read them. After reading only a few of the FTR nonsense postings 2 or 3 years ago, I was reminded of when I was a child my brother would try to annoy me and my mom would say, “Just ignore him!” It was good advice.
dance jig
[Tap Dancing Priests Bring Down The House
] Who says Roman Catholic priests can’t have fun! Watch as these tap & Irish dancing priests , David Rider and John Gibson, from Pontifical North American College in Rome bring down the house during a recent fundraising event. Video
[Chemical Secrets of the Iraq War] The United States went to war in Iraq expecting to destroy an active weapons of mass destruction program. Instead, it found only remnants of chemical arms built in close collaboration with the West. (The New York Times) Video
[Peanut Brittle] I rarely eat candy, but I’ve looked twice for peanut brittle in W Dix. Where can one get peanut brittle these days?
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Pirates-on-water-LogoPirates on the Water, the Parrot Heads of the Upper Keys, recently welcomed hundreds of Jimmy Buffett fans from around the country thanks to the Key Largo Park Property Owners Association Inc and all of its members. A two-day long “pit stop party” event lasted a full 24 hours from October 27-28, providing a rest stop for Parrot Heads driving and flying from across the country to the annual Meeting of the Minds conference in Key West. This year’s event had record attendance, and a large number of the travelers stayed in Key Largo hotels overnight to attend the party both days and try out local restaurants. Over 23 musicians from across the U.S. played at the event. Locals wanting to get involved with Pirates on the Water are invited to learn more by attending the organization’s monthly meeting, held the first Thursday of every month at Denny’s Restaurant, Mile Marker 97, 7 p.m. A monthly happy hour is held the second Friday of the month at rotating Upper Keys locations, as well as a monthly “raft up” on various dates.

Pirates on the Water is the officially sanctioned Jimmy Buffett club serving the Upper Florida Keys, part of the Parrot Heads in Paradise network. Members “party with a purpose” by supporting community and environmental concerns, and providing a variety of social activities for people who are interested in the music of Jimmy Buffett and the tropical lifestyle he personifies. To learn more or apply for membership, visit Link

[Help Wanted] I’m in search of a handiman/woman. I’ve got an older mobile home in Marathon and a bunch of odd jobs inside and out. Call Classified Ads > Help Wanted
Carlos Curbelo is on tape calling Medicare a Ponzi scheme and calling for it’s privatization. His new commercials are saying just the opposite. Don’t believe them or him. The agenda of the Tea Party hasn’t changed. It is to reshape America to benefit the rich.
crash test dummy
Crash test dummies
getting fatter to match American drivers. Studies show increased risk of death for obese drivers, new dummies made to match them. Link
Based on his Thursday letter, I think Mr Schwartz left Mosquito Control because they found he couldn’t write.
Every pet owner should read this list of Halloween safety tips. Link
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Deer Ed, I would like to make a small change to my RadioShack ad (It’s been a while). Please remove the “AT&t and Sprint PCS” line and insert instead:
“The new iPhone 6 and 6+ now available” or something close to that. I want to get the word out that we have the new iPhone 6 as even the AT&T store has a waiting list while I have them in stock, ready to go! ~Thanks, Kevin
[Captain Doom and Gloom] Read this. This is what happens when you download free stuff! Link

DEF: Pencil Sharpener n, That object beside your computer that causes panic when it is non-functional.
DEF: Spittoon n, A One Note Instrument
DEF: Belly Dancing n, The horizontal Rumba with a Fat Chick from NJ.
DEF: Hypocrite n, An honest arms dealer
NJ Fat Chicks are only loved in the Snow Belt.
Fat Chicks do not break like Skinny Chicks.
Feed a Fat Chick and she will follow you home and that is the problem.
Just when you think politics can’t get any more hypocritical: I saw a commercial tonight where Bill clinton was saying what a great job Charlie Christ did as governor. Do you think he believed that when Christ was a Republican?
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(Immigration) Do you know how many Gov. jobs giving illegals drivers licences will create? …. Of course the dems what 20 to a apt. Face it, all the liberals want you to pay the scumbags bills.
from the right
vote republican12A POSTER WROTE: “FTR once again, with out sourcing, posted: “In that same vein, a document, from the State Department, has just been leaked that reveals that the feel good pin heads in the White House and State Department are building and considering a plan to import Ebola patients.” Let me try one. Every candidate that FTR endorses will lose the election because FTR endorsed him.”

FTR’S RESPONSE: It appears that Team Obama’s plot has quietly died because of the public uproar. That is a very good thing. If you want to read even more about it, check out Link

Oh, by the way, while the Obama sycophants are dead set against quarantining humans coming in from Ebola infected venues, it is required that horses from Liberia or any other African nations except Morocco be quarantined for 60 days

PART 2) A POSTER WROTE: “If you haven’t realized it yet both candidates are lousy. Vote for the Party instead as both contenders suck. It really doesn’t matter who gets elected in this race as both are beholden to special interests and their differences are slight.”

FTR’S RESPONSE: That is really lousy advice and is based a number of false premises. If you believe that both candidates are “lousy”, you are simply wrong. I suggest you do a little basic research to find out for yourself just how poorly Crist governed our state. Then do a little more and amaze yourself about how far we have come under Scott’s leadership. Results count.

vote republican elephantIt really does matter which candidate is elected. Crist has a record as Governor for you to explore. It is a record of failure.

If Crist is elected you will endure higher taxes, lower wages, and more governmental intrusion into your life. It is the way of the Democrats just as surely as the sun will rise tomorrow.

Scott too has a record as Governor for you to explore. It is a record replete with success. When Scott is elected we will see a minimization of government, which will inevitably lead to lower taxes and fees. We will see even more business expansion, more and better paying jobs. You will be able to keep more of your paycheck. It is, as always the way of the Republicans.

The notion that there are few differences between Scott and Crist is farcical. They could not be more different personally, morally, or politically.

The complaint that both candidates are “beholden” to “special interests”, is only half wrong. Crist is indeed beholden to at least one “special interest”. That is lawyers. He is currently is leveraging his past public office to be a paid pitchman for a mega personal injury law firm, Morgan and Morgan. In the past, while Governor, Crist had close and personal ties and relationships with at least two lawyers who wound up in prison (Scott Rothstein, Russ Adler) Link

Rothstein testified that Crist was his lackey and that Crist granted him much power in the selection of judges. You can be dead certain that Crist, if elected, will repeat that favor by making sure that Morgan and Morgan have first choice at judicial appointments. Further, you can be sure that the legal community will get his urgent support in all matters that benefit lawyers.

So, even if you’re not enchanted with either candidate, it is in your best interest and in the best interest of all of Florida to ignore party affiliation and to vote for the person who feel is most likely to benefit Florida.

BUT WHATEVER YOUR CHOICE, PLEASE VOTE. Personally, I urge you to vote Republican.