Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|We Snowbirds, as you locals call us, are always amazed at the slinging of redneck slander towards people from the northern part of America. The stupidity of the Deer and Raccoon droppings remarks are the perfect example. You have no idea where we come from or what we own in the Florida Keys, but make idiotic statements like these. It is no wonder people are shying away from this has-been paradise.
|[Death on US1] Another one bites the dust on U.S. 1 Friday (Sugarloaf Key) I heard that Trauma Star was involved – never a good sign. Westbound traffic was backed up to Ramrod Key. Please people, stay focused, be patient, be careful! We’ve got another few months of the invasion from the north to get through
Self-watering planter for the tropics. When pot is legalized you’ll need a couple of these. planter-self-watering
|[“Affordable housing”] They need to spend millions on affordable housing while closing trailer parks and banning downstairs enclosures? On and on it goes.
|[Traffic] If the next 3 months are anything like this week, as far as traffic goes, I may not survive it. Been here over a decade and have never seen traffic like this, nor drivers so distracted. We are on track to lose 30 people from traffic fatalities on U.S. 1 this year. At what point do we start restricting the flow? Erect a toll booth. Or blow the freaking bridges!
|[“Coconuts bar turning holy”] The owner, Capt. Joe Britts (<@)}}}><) and his lovely wife, are some of the most generous and thoughtful of our area citizens. He happens to be proudly Christian and I for one am thankful to have him as a friend and neighbor.
(By the way, I do not frequent his establishment, drink, nor consider myself a Christian, I just know a good person when I meet one.) Thanks Joe!
|[FTR on Term Limits] I think that we can all agree that there is no be all – end all mechanism that will ensure that the best interests of the public are always the overarching priority of our elected officials. We’ve all heard the most common argument against term limiting elected officials: “every election cycle is a de facto term limiting process.” Frankly there is a degree of merit to that argument.
But, I believe that that fragment of merit is far outweighed by the reality of long term incumbency.
Virtually every newly elected official that I’ve known has taken their oath imbued with strong intent to faithfully serve the public and to protect the public weal. But the sad fact is that for to many officials, especially after years enduring the push and pull of legislating and governance, ideals can become blunted. Over time it can become far too easy for some elected officials to become comfortable with simply “going along to get along”.
Many lose their drive to do their own research on issues and choose the facile reliance on lobbyists or other special interests. Those same lobbyists all too often become the conduits for political contributions. The shibboleth “money is the mothers milk of politics” is actually true. It is also true that money can dull idealism and it most certainly buys access.
Some who oppose term limits argue that it takes years to learn the intricacies of legislation and the ins and outs of the process. I find that argument to be without merit.
Think about it. Every candidate runs on issues. The candidates express their views on issues in hope that those views coincide with a majority of the voters thereby earning their votes. They take great care to present as being well versed on the issues. Candidates are elected because of their fully formed views on issues. Would you vote for a candidate who told you that he/she really didn’t know a lot about the issue, but would certainly study up on it? Second, given that most elected officials who are policy makers already have a college degree, learning the intricacies of the legislative process and individual legislation should present a very short learning curve.
Incumbents nearly always have inordinate political advantage over challengers. Incumbents will nearly always have much more money, they will have a inventory of voters that they have interacted with, they will have a inventory of interests that have benefited from their decisions. The support of their party will be superior to their challengers support.
The electability, the political power of an incumbent, can be muted only by truly horrible performance as a public servant. We have seen that on display here in Monroe.
Without term limits, mediocrity can become the norm and when it does, it is too often rewarded with reelection. The public deserves excellence, not mediocrity.
Those who oppose term limits might argue that simply by virtue of their service, long serving incumbents have a broader fund of knowledge on legislative issues than do their challengers. I believe it is impossible to know that. I believe that long term incumbency tends to lead to reliance on lobbyists and special interests for advice and guidance on legislation. I believe that long term incumbency tends to lead to stagnation and an reluctance to consider new ideas.
I had the privilege of serving in government for nearly 40 years. I have personally observed and have dealt with the vagaries of many long term incumbents. It is the sad reality that all too often long term incumbents develop a warped sense of power, infallibility, and entitlement. All too often their role as a public servant is eclipsed by their personal need to endure in office.
The latest polling shows that about 75% of voters are in favor of term limits for Congress. Only about 20% actually oppose the notion. I believe that it is more than reasonable to extrapolate that polling to Monroe County elected public policy making offices. The recent rejection of Progressive governance that is sweeping our nation at all levels strikes me as being proof positive that the time is ripe for shaking up the status quo.
Term limits will not guarantee an improvement in the quality of our elected officials, but I’m convinced that imposing term limits on our Monroe County elected officials would be a giant step in that direction.
Deer Friends: Please take just a moment or two and share your thoughts with the all of us here on CT. This is an important issue.
|[Construction between Skeeters & Coconuts] That’s going to be the new place to process all the Cubans coming into the country. Actually, it’s the new Key Deer Refuge Visitor Center.
Mines kill about 15,000-20,000 people a year. There are an estimated 110,000,000 mines out there ready to explode!
|[Crooks] My last donation to the Salvation Army kettle in Key West was a five dollar bill that got stuck on top of change and the guy took it and put it in his pocket! I did not tell on him, but now I refuse to put money in the pots. Does anyone remember collecting money for UNICEF while trick-or-treating? My tightwad brother would collect that money keep it all and he would stash his candy and sell it at school a month later. He is still cheap and has a dozen lawsuits against him.
|[“Melanoma skin cancer”] Somebody posted that sunscreen will help prevent it and rates have dropped because of more sunscreen use. I found totally different statistics. The lifetime rate of melanoma in the US was 1 in 58 in 2009 and 1 in 54 in 2016, which is a 7% increase.
As far as increased awareness, early detection, more effort at protecting from the sun, and improved cancer treatment goes, in 2009, 8,640 people died of melanoma, but in 2016 it had increased to 10,100- a 17% increase.
The highest rates of melanoma are in cold states way up north where they get the least sun exposure.
New research has discovered an additional skin cancer protection mechanism activated by unprotected sun exposure, in addition to increased vitamin D production which is also protective.
Your best bet is unprotected sun exposure just short of starting to burn, then cover with cloth instead of sunscreen. Most sunscreen is extremely toxic to coral and most of it either contains ingredients known to be carcinogenic or toxic to the rest of you. Mother nature took a long time developing your protective mechanisms. Would you rather trust a sunscreen salesman? If you feel you absolutely have to use sunscreen, an unbiased guide to the least harmful is available. Link
|Slime molds prove you don’t need a brain to learn — or teach a new trick. Link
I wondered how they handled 36 million sterile screwworm flies. I saw this photo in the Citizen that partially answered my question. How come the flies aren’t, well, er, flying?
|[Sewers] I’ve only been able to get responses from two plumbers, 3D Generation and Bluewater, the rest won’t return calls or don’t do sewer hookups.
If you re worried that you didn’t get that New Year’s Eve kiss, just remember that Valentine’s Day is 45 days away and you’re probably going to be alone for that too! Bummer.
|[FTR on Lawyers] Some readers will know that I spent a great deal of my life in and around courtrooms, BTW not as a defendant. What follows was posted on Facebook by an old friend from my working days. Its from a book called Disorder in the American Courts.
ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
|[For the Rich] He is renowned for his real estate prowess, selling 100-million-dollar hotels in Key West as if they are going out of style: Parrot Key Resort on Roosevelt Boulevard in 2014 sold for $100,000,000 and only 1 year later, in March of 2015, The Marker near Key West Bight sold for $96,250,000). Pritam Singh, dubbed the Donald Trump of the Keys, is now ready to unveil his latest creation: Ocean’s Edge Key West on Stock Island (the old Oceanside Marina). People will say, “It’s a true Pritam Singh”: A high class bright white hotel emerging out of luxuriant clouds of palm fronds and flowering trees, dipping its feet into the blue waters of the Florida Straits
Curious what the impact this project will have on the working waterfront economy. Monroe County leads the state of Florida in commercial seafood landing (2015). That was a $71.2 million haul. I don’t know what percentage of that industry resides on Stock Island. Our county commissioners should be aware that a healthy economy depends on diversity. Putting efforts towards tourism is laudable but many of those jobs are low scale. One way to counter affordable housing shortfalls is to create higher paying jobs. Projects like this leave me wondering why does everyone think tourism is the end all in Key West?
Happy New year Key West! ~Barry
|Deer Editor, I posted a derogatory article about the USPS in your last issue. My article was not an opinion, it was an attempt to be totally factual. However, when you add your own opinion, like you did with the last sentence in my posting, it is wrong to not let the reader know that it was your insert. As a very long time Amazon user, I know, first-hand, they definitely have their own shipping issues. (Ed: What does it matter? No one knows who posts are from. I often aggregate posts on the same subject.)
|The title of the post from last Friday was entitled “Restaurant Review.” The point I was making is a response to whoever wrote that post is not telling the truth as you will never get any kind of sandwich from a Jewish deli “dripping with butter.” There are too many bogus statements about how great a restaurant is that are obviously written by owners, employees or friends. (Ed: If you want to edit it and use some of this response please do, but the author of that post was totally not telling the truth and readers should be made aware of it. If someone wants to praise a restaurant by a comparison to another restaurant, they should try to make it believable. It reflects badly on the establishment they are trying to help
|Coming onto Big Pine Friday I ran into a traffic jam just after Bahia Honda that took nearly an hour to get into town. The big ugly DOT sign as I got off 7-Mile Bridge only displayed one of its many homilies — move over or slow down for emergency vehicles.
Let me get this right, the signs that our state government spent millions of dollars to erect did not warn me of a fatal accident that closed the road ahead for several hours; nor even of the traffic congestion less than a half mile ahead. Am I the only one that finds this offensive?
|[Head-on Collision at Bay Point] Nieves struck Deputy Hill–head-on, causing his patrol vehicle to come to rest upside down. That impact also caused the Dodge to then strike the Chevrolet. There were no major injuries! When other deputies arrived, they found Deputy Hill outside his patrol car rendering aid to others.
|I never said, or wrote, that homeless people should all be dead. What I published at goodmorningkeywest.com, quite a few times, is most homeless people are active addicts who would be better off dead than to keep living that way. I also published that active addicts who are not homeless would be better off dead than to keep living that way.
The author of the slop you published knowing it was slop, since you read and cherry-pick from what I post at goodmorningkeywest.comm writes, thinks and spins like Mike Tolbert, who manages KOTS, Key West’s homeless shelter. Mike used that allegation to ban me from KOTS, for life. I was dangerous to homeless people, he wrote in that email to me. If you put spent time in Key West talking with homeless people here about Mike Tolbert, you would hear that the biggest threat to homeless people here, especially homeless women, besides their drugs of choice, is Mike Tolbert.
You bravely did not reveal the heroic slammer’s email address. Dos pussies, you and the slammer., whoever he is. Could be that great prevaricator of truth Roger Shuler (Legal Schnauzer) in Birmingham, whose pants on fire I pulled down to his ankles in what you did not want your readers to see. ~Sloan
Winter at sunset at the Kohen boat ramp.
|[“Plumbers from Hell”] I have a strong suspicion that the person bad-mouthing one of the sewer connection contractors is a local plumber. I and many of my neighbors used the company you are disparaging and had no problems whatsoever. And we saved about a thousand dollars per connection. Perhaps the local contractors should consider lowering their rates a little if they want to compete.
|I get a free eBook every month from Amazon Prime, the best value on the internet. I get to choose from 6 new books on varying subjects before their release. This month I chose the thriller ‘The Winter Over’ by Matthew Over. Each winter the crew at the Shackleton South Pole Research Facility faces nine months of isolation, round-the-clock darkness, and one of the most extreme climates on the planet. But the death of a colleague triggers a series of mysterious incidents that push, our hero, Cass and the rest of the forty-four-person crew to the limits of their sanity and endurance. Confined and cut off from the outside world, will they work together or turn against one another?
Coconut’s Ukulele Orchestra every Wednesday at 7 pm. Come join us! Video
|[Restaurant Review] Deer Editor, how many shares of the ‘Tooth do you own; or do you get free chow for the ads? (Ed: Advertise here, $20 bucks a week. Link)
|[General Grant at Shiloh] During the whole of Sunday I was continuously engaged in passing from one part of the field to another, giving directions to division commanders. In thus moving along the line, however, I never deemed it important to stay long with Sherman. Although his troops were then under fire for the first time, their commander, by his constant presence with them, inspired a confidence in officers and men that enabled them to render services on that bloody battle-field worthy of the best of veterans. McClernand was next to Sherman, and the hardest fighting was in front of these two divisions. McClernand told me on that day, the 6th, that he profited much by having so able a commander supporting him. A casualty to Sherman that would have taken him from the field that day would have been a sad one for the troops engaged at Shiloh. And how near we came to this! On the 6th Sherman was shot twice, once in the hand, once in the shoulder, the ball cutting his coat and making a slight wound, and a third ball passed through his hat. In addition to this he had several horses shot during the day.
Shiloh was the severest battle fought at the West during the war, and but few in the East equaled it for hard, determined fighting. I saw an open field, in our possession on the second day, over which the Confederates had made repeated charges the day before, so covered with dead that it would have been possible to walk across the clearing, in any direction, stepping on dead bodies, without a foot touching the ground.
|I’ve come to a point in my life where I need a stronger word than f**k.
|[Stock Island Desalination Plant] A retrofit of the 50 year old plant will allow the FKAA to serve the entire Lower Keys, with water-use restrictions, if a bridge collapses or some other event occurs in which water from the Biscayne Aquifer in Florida City can’t make it to the Lower Keys. Construction is estimated to cost between $19 and $26 million and start in 2017.
in 1997. The Marathon plant can produce 1 million gallons of freshwater a day. The Florida City plant can produce 6 million gallons of drinking water a day.
Then and now
|[“Plumbers from Hell”] After Hurricane Andrew it was the roofers from hell. Now it’s plumbers from hell doing shoddy work, and the County leaving us unprotected.
I received my new telephone book last week and without thinking, threw it in the trash. Does anyone under 60 years of age still use the phone book? It’s so much faster and informative Googling the name and zip code than wasting time looking it up. As for advertisers, spending a hundred dollars a month for something few read is a waste of money that could be better spent on booze.
|[Switch Hitters] The Key West City Commission will vote to make conversion therapy a crime at its first meeting at new City Hall on Wednesday at 6 p.m. Conversion therapy is the practice of attempting to change a person’s sexual orientation through psychiatry. We’re all born perfect. We’re who we are when we’re born and for someone to come in and try and change who we are causes problems.
|War is like walking into a dark room — you never what will happen. ~A. Hitler
[Modern Cocktails] I went to a place the other night in LA and ordered this drink. It’s hard not to like Angelino’s attitudes.
|“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” — and stupid! We should be scared s**tless of stupid.
|[Zombie Brain] You worry about Zika? Maybe you should be more worried about 4 of the parasites that live to devour your brain! Think tiny “internal zombies.” Like the brain-eating amoeba that the Florida Dept of Health warned swimmers about that crawls up your nose to invade your brain. That one is definitely not good for tourism, but because there is no big money GMO “solution” to support the government graft industry, you don’t hear much about it.
The linked Popular Science article says 1 in 4 Americans have brains infected by the bug that cats carry, although most people don’t become sick enough to notice. This may explain the large number of halfwits holding executive government positions, many of those holding elected positions, and one quarter of the voters who elected them. Link
|[“USPS”] If what you said is true about the clerk in BPK saying that it would only take 2 days for Priority Mail, that clerk should be fired. Look at your receipt to see the realistic delivery date. There has never been a 2-day delivery capability of Priority Mail out of the Keys (except maybe Key Largo). It’s too far from the first sortation facility. Sounds more likely that you are the one spreading misinformation. Do you own a UPS store by chance? How much would UPS or FedEx have charged for 2-day service? Much, much more.
|We hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.
So that’s our wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make new mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it! Make your mistakes, next year and forever. ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, downtown Big Pine Key
|Device that can detect diseases by our breath. What if detecting cancer was as easy as breathing in and out? Video
|[“Scalping Gas Prices”] I’m a bit disappointed that Tom Thumb and Dion’s are also inflating their prices a little too, on those islands. The owner of Tom Thumb has to pay for his million dollar open water house on Little Torch Key he bought from the retired DEA agent who once ran for Sheriff (I think he did?) I never shop TT as I prefer the fried chicken smell that permeates Dion’s. It’s hard to get $20 in fuel without spending $5 more to get gas. Nothing better than a 3-piece bag of bird and a cold Coke while cruising US1.
[“How many millionaires in the Keys”] More than you may think. You can tell who is old island money. No Rolex, gold chains, sports cars or fancy clothes. Nosireee, cuzzy, the real money down here dresses like they haven’t got anything. You’ll never know who they are. That’s real Keys money.
|Let your dreams outgrow the shoes of your expectations.
|[All the Employees at The Big Pine Post Office Are Idiots] For years and years they have put checks addressed to me in other’s boxes. No big deal, right? Wrong. I have lost 4 customers at $150 a month for 12 months which totals a lot of money because these morons cannot match a five-digit number on an envelope to the corresponding box number. When I approached the fat, stupid, broad about it, she told me to write a letter to the post office general. This is the lack of intelligence I’m talking about. Is she that stupid to put herself on report? Evidently. Look folks, its a five-digit number. You could train a 5-year old to do it. The worst part is that I lost those 4 customers and thousands of dollars a year because of those stupid, lazy idiots at the Big Pine Key Post Office. Ed has deleted many of my posts in the past because I blow the whistle on idiots, so I suspect that he will do the same again, and if he does, he is as negligent as they are. Please get rid of the postal service and make those condescending CENSURED get real jobs. I hate doing this but it has come to be ridiculous. Happy New Year. ~email@example.com
[Anger over an amusing post] A limp noodle isn’t porn. That’s the stupidest logic I ever read on this blog. A stiff one can be on a baby or animal, so what does that make it? You idiot!
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