2016 May

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsSince 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures

memorial day saleMemorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America.   Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, who chose May 30 as the date for Decoration Day because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.

The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890, it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South chose to honor their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).

It is now observed in almost every state on the last Monday in May with Congressional passage of the National Holiday Act of 1971.  This helped ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays, though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19th in Texas; April 26th in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10th in South Carolina; and June 3rd (Jefferson Davis’ birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution was passed in December 2000. It asks that at 3 p.m. local time all Americans “voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of Remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to Taps.”

Our grateful thanks for the many who served to protect and guard our freedoms. Wishing you and your family well on this important holiday weekend.

How do they get away with calling “non-profits” nonprofits when people obviously profit from them? Every time I hear “nonprofit” I grab my wallet because someone is trying to get money from me so someone like themselves stand to profit. How come so many of those in charge of non-profits steal from them?
bath suds head pops up sm

[Soap] How come if a bar of soap is all made of the same soapy stuff, the end of its usefulness provides so little suds?

[“Venison viewers”] All you need to stop them is a tire spike ribbon. Just stick it where your friends don’t drive


And that’s how I’m voting.

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[Johnnes Disease Key Deer] I retired from the Key Deer Refuge some 10 years ago, and since that time, to the best of my knowledge, nothing has been done for, or about, the deer. TAMU proposed various studies which they had and would have conducted nearly free, but refuge management decided to put in $350,000+ in an effort to prove that feral cats needed to be killed (along with native raccoons – really – eliminate one native species to benefit another?). Refuge managers have come and gone like cockroaches, each apparently moving on to bigger and better paying positions, leading me to believe that their only mission was to do exactly that, by whatever means necessary, and since Roel Lopez and TAMU had covered deer, they focused on other critters. When captive wood rats were released at Croc Lake and promptly killed by predators, they blamed it on feral cats when, in fact, the wood rats had been acclimated to a safe, human environment and did not know that they needed to be cautious and hide from noise, not greet it as they did with their human caretakers. The deer, in the meantime, seem to have been left to fend for themselves.

However, refuge folks will preach about what and what not to do with the deer. Well, I agree with some of it – naive people do feed them bread, cake, and other dry carbs, and it has killed deer in the past because it forms a doughy ball which they cannot digest or eliminate and which eventually causes them to starve. However, I have always maintained that I know of no law which prevents compost piles on which nice fruits and vegetables can be left for starving critters nor am I aware of a law preventing people from giving birds a ground-level place to bathe in nice, cool water.

Since refuge people don’t care, I find it hard to believe that everyone else is expected not to care. I have known of situations where numerous phone calls have elicited action, so maybe people need to continuously voice their opinions – and it doesn’t have to be at the local level. The refuge is at the bottom of the totem pole. If that doesn’t work, your U.S. Senator and Representative are available – and what they say does matter to government officials

eyeglasses oldAn optimist sees the glass as 1/2 full. A pessimist: 1/2 empty. An optometrist sees the glasses as 1/2 off with the purchase of a 2nd pair.
Funny foot puppets. Video
ftr-in-repose[FTR] IT’S STILL THE ECONOMY STUPID! Yep…the economy more than anything else will puncture the Democrat’s hope of taking the White House. Neither Hillary nor Bernie have an iota of credibility as how to repair our economy. (continued on the National Politics page …)
Johnsons-ad 4.12.2016


[Fake Birds] Refuge interns, from left, Korrie Edwards and Jill Tengeres paint frigatebird decoys to place in the refuge in the hope of attracting more of the birds.

My refrigerator’s ice maker only fills the tray half full and produces the tinniest ice cubes. Is there an adjustment to put more water in the ice maker so I can get decent ice cubes?
confederate cannon flagI visited Gettysburg over the Memorial Day weekend with my sister and the conversation turned to General Lee not having slaves, but Grant did. She doubted that, so I confirmed afterward. Lee’s father-in-law had about 200 slaves that he willed to be freed as soon as his property debts were paid or 5 years after his death at the latest. Lee was executor of the estate and the slaves were freed in 1859 although Lee himself never owned any to free. Grant owned slaves until 1865 (after the Civil War ended) as did his Gen. Sherman.

Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freed only those slaves in states that seceded from the Union, but not in the northern states. Delaware refused to ratify the 13th Amendment freeing slaves there until 1901!

The Civil War was not about slavery, it was about state’s rights, although Lincoln freeing only southern slaves ticked off wealthy southerners. The average Joe owned no slaves. Why did so many soldiers sign on to fight? It paid really well for the time with a huge sign-on bonus of $250.

As a commander, there is no way I could have ordered troops to cross an open field toward artillery firing grapeshot and a line of guys behind a rock wall firing carbines when my running guys only had muskets that had to be stuffed with powder and ball before every shot. That was way more than a gamble. No wonder so many were killed or maimed. It was senseless.

I understand the White House wants to build a higher wall around it’s perimeter to keep out, what? Folks that don’t belong. Folks that want to hurt the President & his family. A wall, can you believe it!
coconuts-pool-room[Old Time Bar] Some photos have a depth, feeling. I think this one does. Tom & Matt posted this, I saved it. It has the look of a real pool room. Real bars are a thing of the past. Thanks Tom, Matt, I really like the photo.

~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, a real bar & pool room, just like your daddy left it. The “NUT” has had the same owner’s Rock’n ya Right at the Light for over 30 years. Without you there is no NUT. Thank you. Piners rock!

All sewer service providers in the Keys rely on FKAA for billing.  It’s the only practical way to do it.  (Key West did it on their own for a while.)  I have to admit the FKAA does a pretty good job of it usually.  It is a profit center for them, but historically they’ve been pretty fair and haven’t taken advantage.  KLWTD started out with the billing process when FKAA was under Jim Reynold’s leadership.  The FKAA seemed to be moving in a different direction back then.  Not sure about the state of things today billing-wise.

The KLWTD actually found themselves in a situation where $400,000 went unbilled.  Not FKAA’s fault.  We had a very unstable situation in our finance department at the time and that led to the issue.  We struggled with whether to back charge the unbilled customers.  In the end, I think we decided not to.  PR nightmare.  Administrative nightmare.

It’s not clear what’s going on with the Islamorada situation.  As much as KLWTD has struggled with funding, Islamorada has struggled even more.  They might really, really need the money.  Also there’s some instability regarding the Villlage Manager position right now.  Things tend to loosen up under those circumstances.  Who knows what’s really going on in the background.

The good news for Cudjoe Regional customers is that the project is very, very well funded.  Debt service payments come from assessments and the infrastructure sales tax.  Nothing comes out of rates.  The FKAA only needs to cover operating costs.  It’s unlikely that the FKAA would ever find itself in a cash crunch in the same way KLWTD, Marathon or Islamorada would.  All that’s to say, Cudjoe Regional customers should not find themselves faced with this same situation.  Certainly hope not anyway.

I do think folks with FKAA as their service provider need to watch for high operating costs.  There are all these teeny-tiny little plants and they all use different technologies.  Fluidyne SBR in Layton.  Bardenpho in Duck Key.  Aqua Aerobics SBR in Big Coppitt.  Bardenpho in Cudjoe Regional.  USBF in Baypoint, which is only seven miles away from Cudjoe Regional.  It’s not cheap to operate and maintain all this.  Unfortunately, it will take another huge capital investment to streamline operations.  The rest of the Keys are tapped out, and the folks in Tallahassee are justifiably sick of Keys wastewater projects.

It’s a sad, sucky situation all around.  Citizens Keys-wide have not been well-served by the FKAA/Monroe County “partnership”.  Way back I started to compare operating costs for all the entities.  In my research, I saw that Big Coppitt was experiencing ongoing operational problems.  At the time, the press was slinging mud at Marathon for having issues, while the Big Coppitt situation flew under the radar.  So I went off in a different direction.  Then Toppino was appointed to the FKAA boardd and that all led to the missing bid tabulation and how Toppino benefited from the rebid on Big Coppitt.  And, of course, there’s all the work Toppino has done as subcontractor on Cudjoe Regional.  It’s a rats nest.

Anyhow, it would definitely be good for people to know how operating costs compare and why.  If I have time, I’ll come back around to that.  (It’s a pretty big research project.  Maybe more doable if I scale it back to just FKAA and KLWTD.)

Sorry for all the brain spam.  The bottom line is, if the FKAA failed to bill Cudjoe Regional customers they would probably just write it off.  The FKAA should certainly be in a financial position to do so unless it’s a really enormous amount of money.  That’s how it looks from my corner anyway

Life is a mess!  I can now see the hairs sticking out of a bikini a quarter mile away, but can’t see my freaking dinner plate without my extra strong reading glasses. Then I get this pain bug to dampen my future. I can’t win. What’s it going to be like when I get old? Grrrr.


If you are lucky enough to find yourself at a beach, take a moment to look out over the sand, to the sea, and the horizon. As the waves crash, remember for a moment, the 3 men on the beach at Buna. Thanks to all who enable me my freedom. I will never forget your sacrifices. Happy Memorial Day. Link

[Marathon Journal] Obviously I disagree with your Keynoter editorial of Wednesday, May 25, 2016 titled “Keys law enforcement shows its commitment to solve high-priority crimes.” I am a December, 2012 victim of a murder for hire plot by Dennis Zecca and “others” that the Keynoter extensively reported on. While Dennis Zecca has pleaded guilty and is now in prison his “others” have never been revealed and remain free to do as they please in Marathon and the Florida Keys. Where is the “high-priority” to solve this crime?

Some so called “leaders” of Marathon went on public record to comment on the good character of Dennis Zecca and even wished him well after his arrest. These people never reached out to me or offered to help me in any way. Some of these people have even attempted to discredit and criticize me for being upset about having been targeted for murder. They have publically stated that I should learn to simply get over it and get on with my life. I am getting on with my life but I will never get over this still unresolved crime until the “others” are exposed and appropriately punished.

This Keynoter editorial is so very wrong, so very misleading. While I have always upheld and respected the law and the good people of law enforcement, there are some, a small few, I do not respect and now know to be corrupt. Dennis Zecca was a Coast Guard Commander and turned out to be corrupt. His “others” share these beliefs. Those “leaders”, who were quoted publically in support of Dennis Zecca, have never publically condemned him for bringing murder to Marathon. Why?

Why does the Keynoter now write this editorial, ignoring an obvious lack of commitment to solving this crime? Obviously I disagree with this editorial for obvious reasons!  ~Bruce Schmitt



Hey Walmart, the last time I checked China wasn’t in America. They might own it, but it’s not in America.

[2016 Hurricane Season] Number of named storms could be biggest since 2012. There are more things for you to worry about than missing happy hour! Video
Paul McCartney joins John Wilson at BBC Maida Vale studios to discuss songwriting, his solo career in the years immediately after The Beatles and to answer questions from the audience. Audio

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! Thank you for your service.  ~Coconuts

[Rowell’s Waterfront Park] Monroe County opened its doors Saturday to its latest waterfront park, Rowell’s Waterfront Park in Key Largo was bought with the penny sales tax that was supposed to fund the sewers.



Hazel Griffiths

[Sewers] Islamorada ratepayers told they owe money but were never billed! You get what you pay for. Not in this case. Boy, wait till they hit Big Pine Key with this scam. Link
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[Non-Profit Crooks] Dan Smith and Susana Carrick with Rural Health Network are married and living in Big Pine. Employees were sworn to secrecy to keep their marriage a secret as it was against the rules for family members to work together at a RHN facility. Merchandise records must be checked. RHN orders were taken to their home in Big Pine. Every day the Smith’s threatened employees and dentists with a new threat. Check records as far back as when they first opened. Is there any wonder why the Key West clinic closed?
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Feed the birds. You will have tons of cardinals and doves. When you have these birds in your yard others will come also.

[“Key Deer Blvd’s missing ducks”] Missing? Whereabouts? Ask the chef at Winn Dixie Plaza’s Chinese restaurant.
fish floping[“No restaurant except in Key West serves fresh fish”] This is just BS. Fishbusterz delivers to many of the Sysco/GFS fed stores along US1. The issue is cost. The big giant leaky tiki on Ramrod sells local fish, but it’s real expensive. $21 for a yellow tail sandwich and $8 for a pint is a $30 lunch watching TV just like at home except hotter outside with no water view. Have you been to the gift shop though?

Square Grouper serves local seafood and does a damn good job. Geiger Key Marina does too. The Keys Cuisine food truck on Big Pine serves great local caught fish. Castaways in Marathon has fresh fish speared daily by the owner! Over 30 beers on tap, sushi, fried, baked and local. All these places charge a pretty penny for it. The last time, the very last time I ate at Mangrove Mamas I ordered a lobster Ruben and it was Maine lobster. I refuse to give that foodery another dime or my time. I have not stopped at Fish, nor the Bella on Cudjoe in the Old Road cafe building, so I can’t say what they serve

[Political Overdose] I am starting a petition to ask OJ to escape from prison and lead the authorities on a chase until November to give the media something to cover besides Trump.
The AARP calendar for June is here. Full Menu > Ongoing Events
Halal-logo[Muslim Halal logo On Our Food] To acquire Halal certification, payment is required to the endorsing body (the Islamic Council) and involves a number of site inspections of both our growers and processors in order to ensure that our practices comply with the conditions of Halal certification.

It is important to note that this does not reflect the quality of the food being processed or sold – it only means that the products are approved as being prepared in accordance with the traditions of the Muslim faith.

[“Key Deer Blvd’s missing ducks”] The reason there’s only one duck left is because the first duck’s name was breakfast. The second duck’s name is lunch, and the one in that picture’s named dinner. Throw some corn to him. They taste better when they eat corn
Who is going to build a Cuban restaurant where the Sea Green Nursery was at MM21 on Cudjoe Key? I don’t know, but I hope they are not Italians from New York who think they can cook Cuban food better than Cubans, like they think they can do Keys tiki bars better than what we had. Cuban food is better than cheese and red sauce any day. Rice and beans, fish, oxtail, picadillo. Ay papi que rico!
[“Key Deer Blvd’s missing ducks”] The last time I saw the last duck it was pressed under a wonderful cognac-plum sauce on my dinner plate.
vetrans salute memorial day



Memorial Weekend is the official start of the summer season in the Panhandle of Florida. First and foremost we pay tribute to the men and women of the armed forces and first responders that put their life on the line for our freedoms. Link

Some things are better left unsaid. Which I generally realize right after I have said them.
How to un-send a text message. There is a way that you might be able to stop your text message before it even sends. Link
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Oh no, not another Cuban restaurant in my ‘hood! Build a good French or Polish eatery, that serves decent priced food. In fact, make a small park there to keep Cudjoe Gardens nice and quiet.
[“Key Deer Blvd’s missing ducks”] They went to Duck Key!


Two free curator-led tours are being offered at the Tennessee Williams Exhibit, 513 Truman Avenue, on Thursday, June 9, at 10 a.m. and again on Sunday, June 12 at 2 p.m.  Dennis Beaver, Curator of the Exhibit, is offering these tours in support of Key West Pride 2016.  The tours will include a wealth of information about the Key West life of the iconic playwright who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Carter in 1980.   For more information, contact Beaver at 305-842-6111 or

[Bad Girls] If I was Brad Pitt and had to pay half of my winnings to a bimbo gold digger I’d hire a friend to take her ‘fishing’. Broads like that need to learn how to ‘fish’. After all, they already know how to hook!
[“There are a number of good restaurants along the way”] A person of ill taste cannot tell good from terrible, your points are irrelevant. There isn’t a decent restaurant in the whole of Florida. There was years ago, but no any more.
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[Free emergency chopper ride] Free? Only Pollyanna would think that anything is free. Someone must pay for it, whatever it is. Remember this, the government makes nothing. Think about that for a minute or two. The Government makes nothing. It only takes.

Lawyers make the best bait, but will make sharks sick!
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