Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Boat Ramp Review] I tried out the new Blimp Rd boat ramp Wednesday. It is good that they got rid of the one foot drop off, but it is still not a great ramp. When I got there, some people were trying to load a boat about 20′ long on a nice aluminum trailer. The guy had his late model truck backed in with the rear quarter panels and brakes under water, but the bunks were still dry. They tried powering the boat on while winching, but only got it part way on. Then they had a helluva time getting it off. They finally got it afloat and took it around to the Cudjoe marina.
My little boat draws only a few inches of water and the trailer has been lowered as much as possible (axle above the springs, small tires, no bunks.) Even I had trouble floating the boat, and it barely loaded, with a lot of winching.
People were parked on the bike path, in the turn area to get your boat stern pointed at the ramp, and way the hell down the road. I had a long walk. I saw no tickets issued. That road does not need two dedicated bike paths, but parking in the turn area is way inconsiderate. I did get my piddly six lobsters, but having fun can be a lot of work. The lobsters seem not very big this year and not very plentiful, but maybe somebody cleaned out the best before I got there.
|[Mini Season Blowback] I never knew Florida had so many diesel-powered dualies in my life! Three to four of them were at one house. F-250s and a F-350. I can’t imagine driving a rig that big everyday just so I can tow my boat somewhere to put it in when I want to go out. Big spenders splitting the rent I guess. I saw a Peterbuilt haul a boat to a house on Summerland. I heard they spend $10 grand to stay there. The boat has like 8 motors on it, or something. Those are some expensive bugs.
Sadly, others think they can come to the Keys and park half-assed in the street with their oversized trailers. AltmanLandscaping.com’s red pickup, you-know-who-you-are, go the hell home — we are not impressed with boats too big for the canals or your oversize trailers that don’t fit here.
Anyone remember before the TDC when Mini-season gave us a chance to get some bugs before the commercial guys went out? The renters next door told me they got their limit of 54 on day 1–they had 9 bodies on the boat. That same boat went out again in the late afternoon with three people aboard. They must have been the ones that stayed behind on the morning trip or didn’t drink enough beer.
Also, someone needs to ‘splain to some of these gringos that pedestrians have the right of way in Florida. We don’t care if you need bacon, beer, creamer, cigs in the mornings — you friggin’ stop and wait for the walkers, joggers, dogs and locals. Remember it’s the Keys; we used to be laid back.
This year has been non-stop with tourists. Our summer slow season is no more and we’re now a destination like South Beach or Key West. I know they bring in the money, but I must be in the wrong business. They don’t make a dent in my wind or flood insurance bills either, yet they crowd our neighborhoods.
It’s time to start lobster season on one day–Aug 6th when the regular lobster season opens
[First Can Opener in KW] “Bought a tool with which to open cans of preserved meat for which paid $1.” July 27, 1855: William Hackley recorded in his diary.
|[Texting Kills] It seems like there have been more car wrecks this year caused by cars crossing the median. The police reports never say it, but I have a feeling texting is the primary reason for these deadly accidents.
|[FTR Breaks News Coming Tuesday] I’m working on a piece about mosquito control to go in next Tuesday’s CT. Believe it or not it will actually be news, and will actually be pretty hot! Part of it will be a letter that I acquired from the skeeter slayers by way of a Freedom of Information Demand. The letter is one page, one sided. I’d really like to have the entire page put up for all to see.
|[Crooks] I once worked for a company that ‘legally’ skirted pollutant concentration regulations by withdrawing water from a drainage canal upstream, blending with the pollutant, then discharging the reduced concentrate downstream below a weir a few hundred feet away. DEP was happy with that solution, but the net effect is the same as just dumping the higher concentrate upstream. When it comes to something like benzene, none should be getting dumped!
This is another disappointment and betrayal from DEP, but probably necessary to get on the fracking gravy train like the rest of the fracking-polluted-earth-quaking-country.
More toxic chemicals allowed in Florida waterways. Link
|[Mini Season] I told myself a few years back I would never go on the water again during mini season, but the phone rang and $500 is $500, so I took a very nice Norwegian family of 6 fishing. We had plenty of action and they truly enjoyed the day as did I, even though we nearly got run over twice and spot checked by the law. Now I find myself saying the same thing, “Never again.” Oh, and by the way, Norwegians have to be some of the best looking people on the planet
|[Upcoming Prescribed Burns] The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to conduct prescribed burns in three locations within the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key during August or September, when weather conditions permit. Prescribed fire in the Florida Keys Refuges is implemented by a highly qualified and trained staff of interagency professional fire specialists. The primary reasons for conducting these fires are to protect the urban-wildland interface from the over accumulation of fire fuels aimed at protection of our community private property and residents, and for ecological purposes aimed at emulating natural fire in the pine rocklands. This activity creates a defensible space between refuge lands and private property in order to prevent or reduce the threat of wildfires. Prescribed fires reduce natural fire fuels, thereby reducing the chance of unwanted severe wildfires. Restoration and maintenance of the pine rockland habitat is essential for a healthy, fire-dependent ecosystem. Link
|I had the most annoying experience this morning with a phone jerk. A month ago I needed an obituary from the 1800s that was in the archives of the NY Times. I went online and saw an offer for 4 weeks of the digital edition for $.99 so I bought it, found my obituary and left.
Today I got my bills and there was a $35 charge from the NY Times for their digital edition. I called to get it removed and got the most annoying woman I’ve ever had. I explained what happened in a few words and she went into this spiel and I couldn’t stop her. After 3 tries I had to raise my voice for her to stop. I thanked her and asked again to have the $35 canceled. She started again. I yelled this time for her to stop. I told her further that we already receive the print edition and have no need for the digital edition. She started again. I yelled the loudest this time and had to keep yelling until I got through to her and she stopped. She then issued a credit for $35. She asked if there was anything else she could do. I said, “Start listening to customers!”
|[Lobster] If you want to split those bigger lobsters down the middle, you will find that pruning shears do a great job of cutting through the shell while not endangering you. There is a lot of meat in the big lobster heads that is wasted if you just twist off the tail. You can use the shears for just opening hard tail shells and won’t need stitches from a knife slipping on the hard shell.
If you like lobster, but can’t go out for them, hang around a boat ramp with a cooler to collect fresh heads. One friend smashes the heads with a sledge or hunk of lumber and boils a bunch in a big pot. Note: Do the smashing outside and expect to be sprayed with gore. Mony more broken heads will fit in a pot. Since the shells are already broken, the meat is easy to pick. Those big heads have big meaty legs like Snow crabs, and there is always a hunk of meat at the joint like Blue crabs. Don’t forget the meat chunks behind the horns and in the antenna knuckles. If you want a lobster Alfredo or similar dish, strain the lobster boiling water and cook the noodles in it so the flavor of the stock soaks in.
Stay safe, leave some for me, and enjoy! Bouillabaisse Recipe (just use lobster parts)
|[Candidates Forum] The Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce is hosting a Candidates Forum on Monday, August 15 beginning at 6pm at Boondocks Grille & Draft House on Ramrod Key.
The candidates for whom residents in the Lower Keys can vote have been invited to attend this forum and answer questions presented by moderators Ezra Marcus of Florida Keys Media and Steve Estes of the News Barometer. It is important that we all learn as much as possible about those running for some very important positions.
This is open to the general public, and there is no charge to attend. Please call the Chamber with any questions: 305-872-2411.
|[Best Tantrum Ever] Put a stick in it, buddy! This man has meltdown over the Mohammed. Video
Is anyone else having speed and connection problems with AT&T or Yahoo? It is getting so bad, I am about to go back to smoke signals or letters!
|[Guns] Scare tactics or outright invasion of rights? This article never explains why this person was open carrying a weapon and why the cops arrested him. Looks to me these cops are turning into badge-toting-gods and forgetting they are human beings. It was called the Badge Syndrome years ago, but that is politically incorrect today. Link
|Four people have gotten Zika in Dade County from local mosquitoes.
[Rent A Brat] Is it true that there is someone on Facebook who rents their out-of-control brats by the hour to show people how bad it can be to have kids today.
|[Non-Emergency Help Calls] I put the Marathon Dispatch number in my phone, as most issue happen at night when the Cudjoe Sheriff’s Office is closed. The Marathon number is 305-289-2430, select prompt 1 for after 5 pm calls. They are always pleasant and read to help. They are the same people who take the 911 calls. Business Directory > Emergency Services
|[Extracurricular Activity] It was “the school’s fault” said the 24-year-old substitute teacher of a Cedar Rapids High School after being arrested for screwing the pants off a 17-year-old student for the past school year. I can’t remember that far back, but I think those young studs do last all night long!
Does anyone read the Florida Keys Free Press? Has anyone noticed they have been listing music entertainment at Porky’s for Saturday nights as “Rocketman the Pirate, who passed away months ago?
|More than 35 years after he tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in an effort to impress actress Jodie Foster, John Hinckley Jr. will be allowed to leave a Washington mental hospital and live full time with his mother in Virginia. I don’t care how sane they think he is. If you try to kill a President you stay in jail forever.
Finally, I found a gym for me!
|What happened to the Mexicans in LA? Don’t the cops shoot them anymore? You never hear about them getting shot these days. They used to shoot them all the time. Is it prejudice that they now only shoot Blacks?
|“Kids don’t respect authority like they used to.” ~Every generation in the history of the world
~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store
|[July 28, 1855. William Hackley Diary] It’s so sad to read his detailed account of losing he and Matilda’s infant girl. I don’t suppose mercuriated chalk was very good for a sickly infant! You’ll notice his Victorian modesty when referring to baby poop as “her passages”.
“A slight shower fell at 6, wind east southeast 4, clouds 6. Read papers. The baby has been ailing for three days, her passages being very green and the doctor gave her some mercuriated chalk. She was quite heavy all day and I was up with her from 12:30 a.m. to 3, at which time I went for a walk on the beach, the baby was by this time better. Matilda’s milk is not good and that disagrees with the child.”
|[Boat Ramp] I’m glad the County is fixing some boat ramps, but my problem with their vision is there is not enough room to maneuver a truck and a trailer at their ramps. I’m only talking about a 22-foot boat, probably the most common size range in the Keys. Parking is a problem also. Most times you have to park along the side of the road with one trailer tire still on the bike path a ticketable offence. There’s just not enough room to get off the road because the bushes on the side. I got a warning ticket one time at the Little Torch ramp because of that. Why are there two bikes paths near the ramps?
|[Blowing Up Islands] Community members and an environmental group sued the U.S. Navy, the Department of Defense and the secretary of defense Wednesday over a plan to turn two Pacific islands into live-fire testing sites. The plan calls for using the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for military war games. I sure would liked to have seen that. Boom! Boom!
I just hate it when I use the last check in the pack. It means I’ve got to find the next pack somewhere or, gasp, order new checks!
|[Flea Market’s Last Weekend!] Mini season is over. Us locals are all taking a well-deserved sigh of relief. Most of us made it.
This Saturday and Sunday is the last chance for you to get your bargains at the flea market until we reopen in October.
|If you could change a couple of laws today which ones which would you pick? I would do away with truck backup alarms and lobster mini season.
[Orchid Society Garden Tour] Melissa McDermott has graciously offered to host the first Garden Tour of the summer on Sunday, July 31 on Big Pine Key. A few people have requested a lift to the wilds of Big Pine. If you need a lift or can offer one please contact me at Lulou3@Gmail.com. For more information: Full Menu > Ongoing Events > Orchid Society
|How come there are no tours of the Spam and Scrapple plants?
|[Old TV Receiver] Direct TV doesn’t want their H24-700 receiver back. What else can I use this for besides Direct TV? Can I hook it to my computer? (Ed: I think you can, but you’ll need a TV card in your PC. You can buy a cheap one for $12 to try it out. I’m assuming you still have DirecTV, because you’ll still need that. Link)
|According to my weight to height ratio, I should be 9 foot 4 inches. So my weight is okay, it’s my height that’s the problem.
|[Sewer Noise] My friend said her friend in Coral Shores subdivision (way north on Little Torch) listens to a very loud alarm going off on the sewer lift station near her home every morning. No surprise there, but I expected it to take longer to be a problem. Two or three years ago, I did the math and concluded that if more than 9 pumps ran at the same time that the crap would run out of oomph before it made it to US1, assuming there was no pressure on the forcemain at US1 pushing back.
There are two lift stations up at that end of Little Torch. One has 3 pumps and the other has 5! (on a 4 pump controller according to the plan….ooops).
One of the pumps is supposed to be an emergency back-up pump in each station, and they are supposed to take turns being the back-up. (tough trick with a 4 pump controller and 5 pumps)
In order for the high water alarm to go off, even with the emergency back-up pump running, it means that they are unable to keep up with what is coming in. (That should never happen- it’s a back-up pump in case one quits altogether) So they may have all 8 pumps running at once in those two lift stations.
Now we add in all the grinder pumps that are pumping out of all the yards on all the side streets off SR4A. No way, Jose.
Then (unless someone was paying attention during construction and fixed it) the air release is on the wrong side of US1, so the pipe will air lock.
I warned my buddy up there not to connect yet, but he wanted to get it over with. Pretty soon, he may be carrying his porti-potti container to work to dump in FKAA’s septic tank in Marathon. Full circle. Still on a reliable septic tank, but about 25 miles away and have to flush it twice.
The alarm will stop sounding when FKAA disconnects the wire like they did in Cudjoe. (“Everything is working great! Trust us!”) The lift station may still overflow, but it will do it quietly. By the way, the alarm is not getting to FKAA automatically like it is legally supposed to because the radios don’t work, so be sure to call it in: 305-296-2454 day or night. FKAA can pump and haul 4,000 gallons of crap in a truck to Cudjoe…. if the truck ain’t busy hauling someone else’s crap.
If a lift station overflows crap into a swimming canal, guess where it goes? Nowhere. Now its not a swimming canal (that was not polluted by septic tanks in 30+ years), its a cess pit. Maybe someday you can swim in it again. I think it takes two years for the pathogens to all die
[Gambling] Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco agents performing an annual liquor license check at the American Legion Post 28 pulled the plug on some gambling machines Thursday morning.
|The August AARP Calendar is now online. Full Menu > Ongoing Events
|[4 Dead in One Week] A motorcyclist was killed on U.S. 1 at Mile Marker 97 on Tuesday night, marking the fourth person to die on the highway since last Friday
|[“Stuff the bus”] The Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce on Big Pine Key is proud to be a sponsor of United Way’s “Stuff the Bus” program, which supplies much needed supplies to Monroe County students. The Chamber is putting their membership investments to work through educational programs such as this, as our Board of Directors recognizes the importance of an excellent school system. Not only has the LKCC made a financial contribution to this effort, but we have a yellow bus in our lobby at MM 31 for anyone who wishes to drop off supplies for the students. For more information, contact 305-872-2411
|[Organic Food Backlash] 10 great reasons to avoid organic food. 1) Organic is a production term— it does not address the quality, safety or nutritional value of a product. It is a myth that organic farming does not use pesticides or chemicals. Link
|Pope opens the Vatican to refugees, calls on Europe’s churches to follow suit. Is the Pope making policy or following it? Link
Was this ancient organism the first life on Earth, or just the luckiest? Link
|[Captain Doom and Gloom] DEF: Inference n. Words generated by the gutless who won’t state a fact
DEF: Politics n. A game of spin and kiss played by the non-productive
DEF: Raghead n. A person who wears a diaper to keep his brain overheated
DEF: Rib n. That semi-intellectual bone God made chicks out of
DEF: Pork n. A meat detested by most but sold by all
DEF: SPAM n. Unwanted Email in a Can
DEF: Popcorn n. What a Congressman’s brain looks like
DEF: Clinton n. A 20th century disease incurable with anything but money
DEF: God n. An old Jewish guy who started the first labor union
1955 Waffle House menu.
|You know nothing about a man until he’s caught cheating, lying and still saying, “It wasn’t me.”
|[Mad Genius] I started to read the works of Voltaire when I learned, to my dismay, that there were close on one hundred large volumes in small print which that monster had written while drinking seventy-two cups of black coffee per day. It had to be done, but when I laid aside the last book I was very glad, and said, “Never more!”
I knew entire books by heart, word for word. One of these was Goethe’s “Faust.” ~Nicola Tesla
|[“Smelled burning rubber”] Sorry, that was me. I had a little too much Mexican food the night before so the wife threw me out and said go to the bar until you are depleted
|[Captain Doom and Gloom] Why does the term Happy Hour make the locals think they do not have to bathe and dress properly to go to establishments that require decent manners and a dress code? Some large hotel chains need posted rules that their bouncers will adhere to.
|[Sheriff’s Pilot Training] It seems our Sheriff has money to spend. He’s up to almost $200,000 spent teaching his aviation director a new trick–flying helicopters. Almost a year and a half of six a figure salary and paying for his training twice plus hotels, per diem, etc and he’s still not finished.
|After viewing the RNC and the DNC I just give up on any of these dildos running for anything. Not one of them I would want to run my country or my life! We ain’t gunna make it!
|[Wet-foot-dry-foot] Open Letter to the Commander Coast Guard Sector Key West. Sir, You should be ashamed of yourself and of your command for allowing multitudes of who-knows-what that have been invading our islands lately. I’m aware that the Coast Guard was originally founded as tax collecting, rescue, and anti-smuggling force, however, since being assigned to Homeland Security, isn’t it your job to protect our shores from invaders? You have the technology to read the brand of cigarette that a people smuggler just lit up before setting off with another load of invaders. The people under your command are being paid to do a job. Your evaluation rating should reflect your inability to do your job. We need someone in command that has the ability to keep our shores safe.
|With all the unwanted junk mail we get, what would happen if we wrote back to each sender and inserted a new email address that was really the Governor’s, or President’s?
What is the Kardashian thing, and why do we care about these people?
|Scholars are still studying Adolph Hitler’s rise in a depressed Germany, much the same way they will be studying this political campaign another 90 years from now.
|Submit anything but National Politics to firstname.lastname@example.org For National Politics go directly to that page, log in, and post your comment. NATIONAL POLITICS