Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|I have lived here in Little Torch Key for 8 years, and never before submitted anything to CT, but felt I had to today. Some friends from Canada came down to visit, nice older folks, but with little English ability. Their car broke down on the side of the road Saturday night. Arnolds towing was there in a flash. Monday morning, I started calling around to local garages. A-1 Auto clinic on Sugarloaf had been recommended to me to work on the older car from local folks, so I gave them a shot.
The man on the other line, Richard, told me every mechanic in town was so busy, most would take days or weeks to even look at it. But because he could empathize with foreigners stranded on a trip of a lifetime, he would at least try to diagnose the issue, but could not promise more than that.
My guests told me how Richard at A-1 got them on the lift as soon as the tow truck pulled in, and even offered to drive them to Little Torch if need be, after that he ordered the parts for overnight delivery. That is service I do not often see anymore, and doubt I would see it in Miami. He fixed the problem, got them on the road again the next day. Then when they broke down again from an unrelated issue, he did the same thing; got them on the road to back home. Very quick, very courteous.
I just wanted to share this, as I do not really know Arnolds towing or A-1 from Adam, practically. But their efforts to help visitors to the Keys, when they did not have to go the extra mile really impressed me. We all complain from time to time about “Keys disease” and lack of professional customer service down here. Well, both businesses will be getting my business from now on.
|Dead Floridians would be able to designate a custodian to access and manage their social media, email and online financial accounts when they die or become incapacitated, under a bill passed by the state Legislature. The bill is intended to solve what the sponsor, Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, said were problems caused for many people when they lose the ability to access their online accounts, placing heirloom photos, financial assets and other online data in jeopardy. Florida law currently doesn’t allow access to online accounts for a person with a power of attorney, a guardian of a minor or incapacitated person or an estate representative.
[Robots] A new version of Atlas, designed to operate outdoors and inside buildings. It is specialized for mobile manipulation. It is electrically powered and hydraulically actuated. It uses sensors in its body and legs to balance and LIDAR and stereo sensors in its head to avoid obstacles, assess the terrain, help with navigation and manipulate objects. This version of Atlas is about 5′ 9″ tall. Video
|[“The government should send the terrorist’s phone to Apple and tell them to send back what’s on it”] It’s not that easy. There is no key. Apple will have to rewrite their operating system to include a key. The whole purpose of encryption is that there is no key.
|How can I find out what this musket firing mechanism is called? I want to sell it on Craigslist but don’t know the correct name or its value. There aren’t any markings or numbers in it anywhere. It is in the original condition and works quite well and hasn’t been tampered with or “restored” yet.
|[Men Steal Viagra] Police tell us to be on the lookout for hardened criminals!
|[Solid State Drives] SSDs fail differently than disks – and in a dangerous way. Here’s what you need to know. Link
Wednesday the water sparkled like diamonds off Little Spanish Key looking towards Annette Key
|[“Small sub shop next to the Green Parrot Bar”] That was a long time ago, but I still remember Brenda Starr making me ham and tuna subs. Whatever happened to her and here mother?
|[Traitor] Benedict Arnold thought he would be treated as a hero and great warrior after he went to England, but he was shunned and despised by everyone. He never received another command as no other officer would serve under a “traitor”. An officer of rank in the American army, who had known him in early life, was in London. Arnold called at the door of his lodgings, and sent in his name. “Tell the gentleman I am not at home,” said the officer to the servant, “and never shall be for General Arnold.”
|Did the Germans forage the German farmers and those they conquered during the war? Did they write them receipts for the requisitioned food and animals or just steal?
|[“$30.000 dollars in damage done to 7 Mile Bridge”] An employee of the construction company said they had just leased the backhoe and had not used it yet when the kookoo guy stole it and tried to tear down the bridge, but he couldn’t get the jack hammer to work. He also said he didn’t know if the key was in it. Now it’s up to the insurance companies to see if the backhoe owner or lessee will have to pay.
|The mission of the Quilts of Valor Foundation is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. Link
|[China Vs US] An odd occurrence defining our nations is that China executed those in the financial quarter who manipulated the stock market. The American system rewarded those who caused our financial meltdown with fat bonuses.
|How to tell if your computer is killing you! Do you spend more than two hours using it? Does your back ache? Do your legs feel numb and weak? Is your mouse hand in pain and useless for sex? Is your wife about to devoice you?You forgot your kids names? You lucky bastard you. Join the club!
|I printed from my smartphone using a free printer app while I was in a different part of the house. Pretty cool. It wasn’t as crisp as printing from my PC. Maybe the source document was poor. I’m always so surprised when technology works.
|[Vandalism] When I was a young boy, out of boredom we would go out after supper and throw rocks and break all the streetlight we could. It was kind of cool to hear the loud pop the broken bulbs made and to see all the dark streets. They were the old 1950s type street lights with the crenelated light diverter that had a green enameled top and white enameled bottom. When I got a BB gun, it was all over for any lights near my house. Ping! Ping! I don’t know why we never got caught. Young city boys are such jerks.
|How do you find the ‘back door’ in your computer’s operating system? Some computers already have them. Link
I wish cats made a more pleasant sound when they meow, then sounding like a torn rag.
|[“$30.000 dollars in damage done to 7 Mile Bridge”] Don’t you just love the Keys! I tell you, the weirdos really start at the 7 Mile Bridge and increase in numbers all the way to the crescendo in Key Weird.
|[Last Weeks FWC Law Enforcement Report] Officers Johnson, Foell and Richards were on a JEA patrol aboard the FWC Offshore Patrol Vessel Interceptor west of the Western Dry Rock off the Lower Keys. Officers were working a charter boat license detail when they encountered a trap boat actively pulling traps. Officer Johnson put Officers Foell and Richards aboard the commercial trap boat Sugar Daddy. During the inspection, the officers found a stash of 44 wrung lobster tails hidden behind some hydraulic equipment in the vessel. The vessel ”Sugar Daddy” was escorted to shore on Stock Island where Spanish speaking Officer Lopez interviewed the Spanish speaking captain and the vessel’s two mates. The captain was arrested and cited for possession of 44 wrung lobster tails on the water and possession of 24 undersized lobsters. The subject was booked into the Stock Island Jail.
Officer McKay investigated an illegal campsite inside of Dagny Johnson State Park in north Key Largo as reported to him by a Florida Park Service employee. A subject was recorded on a game camera carrying camping gear into a remote section of the park and then seen coming and going at odd hours for the past several weeks. Officer McKay found the site, but no one was there. The following day, Officer McKay returned at night with Officer Pestka where both officers found the campsite occupied by the tent owner and his visiting friend. Both were from out of town and working locally for the season. The owner of the tent was issued three park rule infractions and three written warnings for the various violations. Both subjects were trespassed from the park for a year, but were first given three days to remove their belongings and to clean up the site before any items left behind would be considered abandoned and removed by the park service.
[“Septic reuse tank idea”] I think it’s a good idea to raise tilapia, but skip the ‘clean it’ step and you’ll save money on fish food. Tilapia are raised in s**t.
|[“Blocking road to take pictures of deer”] I’ve been cursed at, flipped off, ignored, apologized to, and whatever else you can imagine. I’ve found that taking a picture of the car, the license and in two cases, the driver, really makes them understand that it’s different here. Once you have the pics, call FWC and post them on your social media page. Folks have been caught riding manatees and the like this way. Let them come on vacation and let’s send them all home on probation!
Ceiling over St. Mary’s Altar, Krakow , Poland
|Whatever happened to the quiet and serenity of the Florida Keys? Quiet and serenity left when those of the north descended upon us looking for deals after the housing bust. The first of the pilgrims came and left, only to spread the word. Not to worry, our real estate market is about to sink again, and the wannabes will flee.
|[“Arthritis”] “Try cold laser therapy and acupuncture and Tylenol with codeine” Are you gullible or what? All those things are quack junk. None of them are for real, but just kill the nerves sending the pain signals to your brain or what’s left of it. They are money-makers, that’s all. There is no cure for arthritis so live with it and keep warm and active.
[“Hide a Key–nothing metal to stick the little box”] Tell him to stick it inside his tailpipe.
|[Conspiracy theories] Science for dummies.
|My boat’s trailer light isn’t working. The ground wire corroded off the bracket. I tried soldering on a new connection but the wire strands were all discolored to almost black. Flux doesn’t clean it enough for soldering. I can’t replace the wire because it comes from the LED light housing and that is sealed. From experience I’d guess that the entire length of wire is oxidized. I encounter this problem a lot when working on boat wiring.
Is there a product or treatment that will clean wire strands to accept solder?
|[L. E. Shaffer: Marathon City Planning Department Head George Garrett Interview]
How are you?
How do you handle Planning Department and being the Assistant City Manager?
Holly Raschein serves as our house representative from District 120. Our senator is Anitere Flores from District 39. They filed bills House 447 and Senate 770. Among other items it provides 25 million dollars per year in a ten-year period. The bill covers the futher improvement of our water quality. Also there is 100 million dollars for new water quality projects. These figures could change up or down.
Does the Code Board affect other projects?
What are the important projects you may handle?
What about Planning Department projects?
On the subject of city hall, what do the new offices look?
What is your favorite part of the new City Hall?
How do you handle controversies?
Any last thoughts?
|I pray those WW2 veterans know how much they really did. You can’t buy that kind of courage. I doubt very seriously that I would have the balls to do what they accomplished.
[“Bushido – Only by facing death can one really know what it is to live”] Visit the Winn-Dixie during the season if you want to experience Bushido.
|Those crazy folks in Key West offering to buy Peary Court, or most of it, for 55 million bucks. Quite a profit for some land speculators. Won’t help anyone making less than $70,000 a year. And the people there now get to stay? And the developers who own the rest get to rent their new units out at higher prices than most can pay? Key Weird. Thanks to theBluepaper.com for exposing this.
|[Niles Channel Sewer Pipe Leak] When I first read Eckler Engineering’s report on the pressure test they performed it appeared that the directional drilled sewer line was leaking. I then located the manufacturer’s technical procedures on the recommended test pressure and procedures for HDPE pipe. It appears that the pressure test and procedure used on March 12, 2014 does not conform to the manufacturer’s. Mr. Stolzenfeld stated that the pipeline had been pressurized on the previous day for several hours and that the pressure had been reduced overnight to approximately 80 psi. There is no record of the amount of pressurization the previous day, how long it had been pressurized or if it maintained the pressure.
If the sewer line was pressurized to 150% of the system design pressure on the previous day, the initial expansion occurred then and there should have been no acceptable loss of pressure during Mr. Eckler’s test. Mr. Eckler’s first two-hour test performed between 7:45 and 9:45 showed a drop of 4 psi. The manufacturers technical procedures require if a test is not completed due to leakage, equipment failure or for any other reason, it requires the test section be depressurized completely and allowed to relax for at least eight hours before pressurizing the test section again.
Mr. Eckler’s second test was performed two and a half hours after the first test and the test section was never allowed to relax. From the report it appears that the test section was never completely depressurized because the pressure had been maintained at 80 psi when Mr. Eckler arrived. Mr. Eckler’s report indicated an actual leakage of 10.0 gallons in two hours at only 150 psi.
In none of the tests performed did the pressure remain constant and the report shows the maximum test pressure of 150 psi which is not 150% of the system design pressure. Is 6.455 gallons an hour sewage leak an allowable loss? The would mean a 4,644-gallon monthly sewage spill is acceptable.
The FKAA has issued connection notices to the property owners on Ramrod as of February 11. Once a property connects and has its septic system abandoned they will not be able to disconnect from the central sewer system. When or, if, it is determined that the sewer line under the channel is leaking after it is placed in service it will create significant complications.
If the system is placed into use before it has been properly tested any repairs may be the responsibility of FKAA and not the contractor who installed it.
|Winn Dixie parking lot has a dozen new palms, is that it? It was actually pretty cool before with the chickens in the trees and running around we all liked it. Tourist loved it! It was so Kesey. Now it’s so Miami. Before you could park under a tree’s shade and not have your car feel like an oven when you got back in it.
|[Spies Like US] China spies on its citizens. They are terrible because of that. We all know that and think they are awful. Why do they get away with spying on their countrymen? Because of national security, that’s why. Now put the shoe on the other foot and we see America spying on its own citizens. Our government will not be satiated until the FBI can turn on our cameras and microphones and record videos of us. They are taking it one step at a time, but the steps are getting bigger and bigger. Some say spying on us is okay because it’s us doing the spying and we can trust our government.
Why do we want to spy on our people? Because of national security, that’s why. Let’s be more like China! That’s why they do it.
Can you see the difference? I don’t. You say not to worry; we have the First Amendment protecting our right to privacy. Privacy is protected until it isn’t and it’s always because of … national security. Privacy is guaranteed in the First Amendment. The very first thing they thought of! What could be more private than private phone conversations? Privacy is protected until it isn’t — because of, that’s right … national security.
Since Snowden confirmed what we already suspected about our government spying on us, there’s been bigger and bigger cracks in the bell of liberty. That bell has, until now, sounded the alarm when the prying eyes and ears of government spies on Americans. If Apple caves, that crack will destroy the bell and we’ll be just like China. Yea, I know, we still have our guns. Don’t touch the Second Amendment, just the First. That’s how you think. Think of our future without privacy. Famous last words of the narrow-minded, “I have nothing to hide. I don’t mind them listening.”
|[Tech Support] I’m looking to pay someone for phone support to help me set up Microsoft’s OneDrive to work on all my devices. It’s not as easy as just watching the tutorials. As a matter of fact it’s very complicated. firstname.lastname@example.org
|[“$30.000 dollars in damage done to 7 Mile Bridge”] A guy said his boss asked the 7 Mile Bridge vandal to leave to leave the Napa Marathon store the day before the incident. He said the guy was walking around the store for a long time making everyone nervous. He looked crazy so the owner asked him if was going to buy anything and the guy said no and the owner then asked him to leave. He did.
How to fix our government and the FKAA. On St Patrick’s Day everybody should take a super dump and flush at exactly 12 noon.
|[Use No Password On Windows 10] Can I change the settings on my Windows 10 laptop so I don’t have to enter a password every time I start the computer?
The password screen that appears each time you start Windows 10 is a security feature Microsoft added to help protect your computer from other people. If you do not share the laptop with anybody else and do not use it in public where others may have a chance to tamper with it, disabling the login screen is less of a security issue, but keep in mind that it does remove a level of protection.
Press the Windows and R keys on the keyboard to open the Run box and enter: netplwiz. Press the Enter key. In the User Accounts window, select your account and uncheck the box next to “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer.” Click the Apply button. In the box that appears, type your password where prompted. Click the O.K. button.
Restart the computer. You should not be asked for a password now to get into your Windows 10 PC. Later, if you wind up creating another user account for
someone to share the laptop (or you take the computer on the road where someone else could potentially get into your files), consider reversing your steps and reactivating the password requirement in your Windows 10 set-
Africa has a deer problem too.
|[Coming To A Mosquito Near You] Zika virus spreads to fifth county in Florida. Link
|[“Conspiracy Man”] I have never read anything so truthful as this piece Tuesday. Whoever wrote this, god bless you for exposing the truth to us. I am very old and I know you are absolutely on the mark! Give us more real world facts.
|[Bum Bomb] Elmer Bendiner was a navigator in a B-17 during WW II. He tells this story of a World War II bombing run over Kassel, Germany , and the unexpected result of a direct hit on their gas tanks. Our B-17, the “Tondelayo”, was barraged by flak from Nazi antiaircraft guns. That was not unusual, but on this particular occasion our gas tanks were hit.
Later, as I reflected on the miracle of a 20 millimeter shell piercing the fuel tank without touching off an explosion, our pilot, Bohn Fawkes, told me it was not quite that simple. “On the morning following the raid, Bohn had gone down to ask our crew chief for that shell as a souvenir of unbelievable luck.
|Quit picking on the guy who stole the backhoe. I finally found someone that could make me look good. Until now I didn’t have any competition.
|It takes a college degree to fly a plane, but only a high school diploma to fix one; that’s reassurance to those of us who fly routinely.
After every flight, UPS pilots fill out a form, called a gripe sheet, which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humor. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by UPS pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers.P: Left inside main tire almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tire.P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.P: Something loose in cockpit
S: Something tightened in cockpit.
P: Dead bugs on windshield.
P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent
By the way, United Parcel Service is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident!
|I think it’s wrong to transfer 91 Guantanamo inmates to Big Pine Key’s prison.
[ The Microwave Was Invented by Accident] Today, we know that the low doses of electromagnetic radiation emitted by microwaves are generally considered safe (though, the FDA admits that no studies have been done to assess the impact of low levels of microwaves on humans over time, and there are those who still firmly believe microwaves are killing us). Link
|The further a society drifts from the truth the more it will hate those who speak it. ~George Orwell
|I bought a real nice 1000 watt sine wave (sine waves are perfectly steady and don’t falter so you can use delicate electronics directly off the machine) generator after Hurricane Georges, but seldom used it. I might as well sell it on eBay so I brought it in for a tuned-up to Lawnmowerman and it worked fine when I brought it home. A week later I tried it again and it ran rough. When I called to bring it back in, Lawnmowerman was out of business.
I think there’s a dirt in the needle valve by the float or in the carburetor. It has a new coil, spark plug, gas, gas rejuvenator, and air filter. Ran great when I brought it home from Lawnmowerman. Does anyone know how I can fix it or who can?
|I knew I was old when I started going to bed before the time I used to go out.
|[“Parking lot”] The Winn Dixie Shopping Plaza looks terrible since they removed all the trees. To make matters worse they took away parking to put in concrete islands and lamp poles with enough light to play a night baseball game.
I was there this morning and watched as cars and trucks keep running into, or over, the obstacles in the parking lot. Who designed this disaster and why? This parking lot is dangerous and ugly.
Take a look at keysso at those losers. I think it’s time we just start dropping douch bags off a bridge. Pick a bridge, any bridge. Full Menu > Arrest Reports Mug Shots
|This next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up this Saturday, February 27, 10 am at the senior center. Hope to see you there. Full Menu > Ongoing Events
|Let me get this straight, the County schools lose over $20,000 and no one is criminally accountable, but they want us to approve a 1/2 mil tax increase so they can continue the poor management of our school system? Maybe it isn’t much, but I think we pay enough to live here already.
Is this the sunset or has Key West just been vaporized by aliens?
|[Just Didn’t Get Keys Living] My wife and I live in northern Maine. We contemplated buying a full time home in the Lower Keys in a planned development with homes in high six digit numbers. However, after living here for several years during the winter months, we decided against it because the Keys have nothing to offer except a stagnate culture of no-bodies and shallow water that prohibits anything short of a row boat. To visit is fine, but to live here is not suitable for our family. Sorry, but that is our opinion.
|The cheapest gas around appears to be at the Sunshine Key Campground Chevron station about mm 39. I filled up on the way back from Marathon at $1.86/gal of 87 octane. Who needs Winn-Dixie gas rewards for contaminated Big Pine Shell fuel with prices like that just a few miles away? That’s cheaper than Marathon! I think Crazy Billy’s at about mm 74 is $1.76 if you are heading up the Keys.
[Helium Beer] These two guys from Germany are testing Helium Beer for the first time. Beware, Their laughter is contagious. If you have never inhaled helium from a balloon and then tried to talk this will have a slightly different impact. I want some! Video
|[Restaurant Review] Bistro 31. We were regular customers at the Big Pine Restaurant, aka The Diner. The food was always good-great, and the service always friendly and efficient. And the prices were always reasonable. It was the consummate locals friendly restaurant. Then, sadly, they closed.We tried Bistro 31 several times. We did not like it. The food was pedestrian, and the service lacking.
We tried it one more time, and we’re glad we did. JR, the chef from the Big Pine Restaurant, is now at Bistro and he’s brought many of the menu offerings that always kept the Big Pine Restaurant filled with visitors and locals. Several of the wait staff from the Big Pine Restaurant are now at Bistro 31. We’ve been there about half a dozen times in the recent past. The food is now excellent, the prices are right, and the service is as friendly and efficient as it was at the Big Pine Restaurant. We’re now ‘regulars’ at the new Bistro 31. Try it, we think you’ll be very happy campers.
[“Parking Lot”] I hate the new landscaping at the Big Pine Key shopping center. Maybe in 25 years if the Keys are not under water, they will have some shade again. Meanwhile be prepared to wear sun glasses inside the stores with windows as the glare is blinding.
|[“Jeffrey Dahmer’s House”] Dahmer was from Milwaukee, that city isn’t in Ohio.
|[Forskolin] The hottest weight loss solution? or a name that reminds me of foreskin? Link
|[Unrequited Easements] This was written as a letter to editor (that was not submitted) shortly before the author had a hemorrhagic stroke, considered by many to be due to the stress of being a grinder pump victim:
“After almost three years of research, meetings and correspondence I am in disbelief that we have leaders in Monroe County that do not appear to care about the difference between right and wrong. They ignore Federal, State and Local laws. They do not care about the environment, the animal life or the residents. They started out not doing their homework and continued to deceive the public. From engineers, to E-one grinder salesmen to an uneducated County Commission. They misinformed all. They threatened, coerced and brought people to tears. Many others like me in older homes are faced with an extra $4,000 in connection costs because the County refuses to power the pumps like they do with the same pumps for people sharing them in “gravity” areas. I could have shared one grinder pump placed on the road shoulder with my next door neighbor and it would have cost the County less than the contract value of two grinders that we did not want installed in our yards. That is highly suspicious. To force me to sign over an easement, I was threatened with still additional costs of about $12,000 up-front plus maintenance costs that would probably average $500+ per year including equipment replacements. If I refused to connect, I was told my home would be condemned. Many in similar circumstances were thus forced to subsidize County construction. The money thus “saved” could be misappropriated from dedicated sewer funding for pet projects. With inadequate financial resources, we had no choice but to unwillingly “grant” an easement with no compensation. We feel robbed and violated. Grinder Pumps do not belong in peoples’ yards. It is unacceptable and illegal as implemented here. Enough paperwork on what is going on here has been submitted. It is morally wrong. How many agencies, how many times do we have to say the same things. Living here since the 1960s I can say it is time for another Bubba Bust.”
[Shoupie] Another fine Chinese knock off of a Sharpie (real one is on the bottom). I found the Chinese one at work.
|[FTR] Vera Coking, a widow, was a retired homeowner in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She had something that Trump wanted. She had a tidy little boarding house that she and her late husband had built years earlier. She simply wanted to live in her home which she operated as a rooming house. She wanted to continue to greet guests from around the world with one of the six languages she spoke. She had raised three children in her home. When the casinos came to A.C., a developer offered her $1,000,000 for her property. She said “no”.(continued on the National Politics page …)
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