2020 February

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.

[Extending Hurricane Evacuation Time From 24 Hours to 30 Hours] I’m troubled by a recent newspaper article entitled “Bill could lead to Keys build-out”. I voiced my concerns to a renowned attorney specializing in land use matters. For years we’ve  aggressively battled against the incestuous and destructive relationship that exists between over-development and government officials.

Living and experiencing the enormous destruction resultant from multiple Hurricane Strikes in the Florida Keys over the course of 49 years; simply put, referenced House Bill 587 is a murderous document that will cause those in support of it to have blood on their hands.

I was surprised to read the details and explanations that went into justifying support of this lethal and fecklessly senseless bill, which will cause so much harm to our Florida Keys and place the lives of its residents at risk. If approved, this bill will expedite and finalize the eradication of our fragile aquatic ecosystem. Our homes, businesses and neighborhoods will fracture under its weight and devolve into a wasteland. Unremittingly, we’ve been made to absorb the continual destruction of our most sensitive environments, via an unrelenting and injurious assault exacted upon us by excessive building.  Reckless damage to, and scarification of our Areas of Critical Concern and quality of life, have been unceasing.

During our extended and dangerous hurricane season, with burgeoning resident, transient and tourist populations; citizens will die as they hurriedly attempt to escape the impact of our catastrophic storms. Boating communities and the thousands of families living in flooded and at near sea level-built homes, will panic as they look to escape via our cluttered and only road with its 42 bridges.

It’s my hope that the Florida Legislature will do everything within its power to kill this bill. If some legislators attempt to extort, coerce or pressure their colleagues to get this bill approved; please resist their corruptive persuasions and maintain the integrity and high calling upon which you took your oath of office.  Please do not back nor agree to support this destructive undertaking. You’ll never forgive yourself if you do.

[Simon & Garfunkel] The Story Of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Video
[Trans-locating Key Deer] Interesting fact from Save Our Key Deer, Inc. Historically, Key deer lived on most of the Middle and Lower Keys, from Long Key down to Key West. After being hunted to near extinction in the 1950s, their stronghold became Big Pine and No Name Keys. Today most tourists and many Key residents are unaware that Key deer can also be found on several islands west of BPK. These small sub-herds are extremely important to the long-term survival of the Key deer, since they provide genetic diversity, and a survival buffer against a potential cataclysmic event (such as a deadly disease outbreak) on BPK or NNK.
For that reason, the USFWS decided to enhance the very small (at the time thought to be in the single digits) deer herds on Sugarloaf and Cudjoe Keys by translocating deer captured on BPK in 2003-2005. Their first such effort actually happened in 2000 when 3 does were trapped on NNK, tagged with radio collars, transported to nearby uninhabited Little Pine Key, and immediately released (scientifically called a “hard release”). That effort was largely considered a failure, since within a month 2 of the females swam the 1.4 miles back to their native NNK. The third female stayed, however, gave birth to a fawn and established LPK as its new permanent home.
In 2003-2005 24 deer were translocated to Sugarloaf and 15 to Cudjoe, and placed in large fenced areas on wild Refuge lands. They were held there for 3-6 months and were provided with supplemental water and feed. Following this adjustment period, the radio-collared deer were freed (scientifically called a “soft release”). The deer were tracked from their translocation time through 2006. Out of the 39 translocated deer only 2 (one male on each island) left the island. The rest remained on their new turf and showed survival rates within ranges of other resident deer. The translocation efforts were thus deemed a success.
It is not clear how many deer presently live on Upper Sugarloaf and Cudjoe. The traditional “drive-by” deer counts done on BPK and NNK are not done on the other islands because too few deer (or no deer) were typically sighted during earlier attempts. It is a hard fact, however, that deer get regularly killed on both islands by cars, and SOKD’s own surveys and interviews with residents indicate there are definitely more than 10 or so deer on each island. On the other hand, it is quite clear that the post-translocation sub-herds have not greatly expanded, while both islands are believed to be well below theoretical carrying capacity for deer. The reason for this is presently unknown, and much needs to be learned.
[“Rotary phone”] Last week’s video of the kids trying to figure out how to use a rotary phone was pretty funny. But as this video shows they were not the first generation that needed help to use the phone. Video
Helping one person in need won’t change the world.  But it could mean the world to that person. Do something nice every day



Bugs Bunny cartoons are not part of kids’ cultural landscape anymore. They don’t know who he is. How could Mickey Mouse beat Bugs Bunny? “What’s up doc?”

[Settlement vs Verdict] I must comment on the recent post about the murder for hire case. Some people it seems cannot read or understand what they read. It was not a settlement.  A settlement is negotiated between parties. This was a verdict in a civil trial, but it was a default judgment. The defendant never appeared in the case. As the defendant never presented a case in defense, the jury just gave whatever the plaintiff asked for and they felt like awarding. The plaintiff must know of some assets somewhere that can be executed against, otherwise it was a futile exercise just to prove a point. Perhaps in the next 20 years the defendant might win the lottery and they can execute against that. Also, most people have no idea what it is involved in all of this. Winning a judgment is only the first step. Finding the defendant’s assets by deposition or otherwise and executing against them is the second and entirely different step.
In addition, some things are exempt from execution such as a homestead property, a vehicle worth less than $3,000, and various amounts of personal belongings, tools of a trade, and other things. This is also why plaintiffs in many cases try to go after the defendant with deep pockets, such as big corporations, but those do not default and put up one hell of a fight.




[Useless Senators] According to Roman history, Caligula loved one of his horses, Incitatus, so much that he made his horse a Senator and no Senator objected for fear of their position.

[Pot] Here is a world full of stuff to bend your brain with! Link


[Milagro Not For Sale] They are not for sale, the property is, not the business. They should have had a Quiet Possession clause in their 5 year lease prohibiting the landlord form putting a for sale sign in their front yard making it look like the restaurant isn’t doing too well and are going out of business. Here’s a sample of that clause:
“Upon Tenant’s paying the Base Rent and Additional Rent reserved hereunder and observing and performing all of the covenants, conditions and provisions on Tenant’s part to be observed and performed hereunder, Tenant shall have quiet possession and enjoyment of the Premises for the Lease Term hereof, free from any disturbance or molestation by Landlord, or anyone claiming by, through or under Landlord, but in all events subject to all the provisions of this Lease.”

[Marine Sanctuary] Americans has been disappointed when it relies on the team of less than world-class professionals and scientists at NOAA to do essential work from the bottom of the ocean all the way up to the far reaches of space. It’s NOAA who has been irresponsible for exploring and protecting the depths of our ocean. It’s NOAA who manages America’s fisheries and does it terribly.  Fire them all.



Naked towel dance. Video

[Global Warming] Money is the oxygen on which the fire of global warming burns. What if the banking, asset-management, and insurance industries moved away from fossil fuels? Link
[Butterfly Murders] Two men from the same famed butterfly sanctuary found dead within days of each other. Butterflies are free–land and lumber is not. The Monarch Butterfly sanctuary is once again threatened. We should learn from their unbelievably fragile migration. 2 men died trying to save them. May they rest in peace. I am grateful for them. Life is moments. Link




Understanding migrating geese.

Say no to NOAA. Sign Our Petition – Say No To NOAA – Just another WordPress site




Here’s a whole slew of funny signs.

[Dumbing Down of America] I read an article Saturday about students at a California University demanding that Corona beer be banned statewide because of the corona virus.  These are University level students.  You have to wonder how they can be so stupid.
[Cranky Old Man] There is a tall, elderly resident, on No Name Key who walks in the morning and refuses to move for vehicles.  Thinks he owns the island and everyone should move for him.  He gets very angry at passersby, yelling and throwing his hands up in the air at each approaching car.  What is he so angry about I wonder? maybe he lost the fight for electricity on his island.  Maybe he is just old and cranky.  Get the hell out of the way, mister! Single-file is both courteous and the law.
[Sanctuary] Don’t bother signing a petition complaining about the new rules. They are going to do what they want regardless of what we want. Remember it’s government.
[House For Rent] On 2 acres in the center of the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key, this secluded, large 3-bedroom house has two full bathrooms and central air conditioning. Tile floors, stainless steel appliances. Large elevated deck outside the living room. House is on stilts with a full concrete ground floor where the laundry room and the storage/workshop are located. The laundry room has washer and dryer hookups. Impact windows all around mean no hurricane shutters are needed. The house sits on two wooded acres that includes a lovely natural pond. Two minutes from shopping center. No smokers please. Utilities are not included. $2,700 a month, plus first, last and a $1000 deposit ($6,400 is needed to move in).
For more photos see Craigslist Link
[Grief is Senseless]  Grief was the most senseless, insignificant passion in the world, for that it regarded only things past, which were generally impossible to be recalled or to be remedied, but had no views of things to come, and had no share in anything that looked like deliverance, but rather added to the affliction than proposed a remedy.



[Deer] This deer who we call “Ears” has been around for about three years. We think the missing ears are a birth defect because they are both exactly the same. For a long time we thought she got them eaten off by dogs. I wonder if the deer people, advertised here [SOKD], can tell us anything about deformities. Lately we’ve also seen a few deer with lumps under their chins.

[Holy Turtle, Batman!] Monks bless and release endangered sea turtle in Islamorada. Video
[Don’t Buy a Motorola Modem/Router] I did, but it wouldn’t provide a steady connection and the WiFi range sucked. Tech support had a terribly long wait time and they still couldn’t provide a steady signal. I sent the $80 unit back. I bought the next best model because Comcast uses Motorola and I figured that would be the best one. That one was $160. I found out later that the model Comcast uses isn’t available to the public, so brands don’t matter. The second one wouldn’t hold the connection either. Tech support had a 30-40 minute wait and no call back option so I had to use my phone’s minutes on hold while waiting for them. Friday, they got it running but it went out again on Saturday and another 30-minute wait on hold and they didn’t fix the problem. They blamed Comcast. They were closed Sunday, so I missed the Superbowl. Comcast sent a tech guy on Monday who said everything was fine and it was Motorola’s problem. A 40-minute wait for Motorola on Monday gave me wrong information that I knew was wrong, but I had to follow the guys instructions, or he would hang up. I did as he said and called Comcast again who confirmed my opinion that the Motorola guy was wrong. I called Motorola back again and found there was a 1 ½ to 2-hour wait so I hung up in despair. No television, no computer, no wifi radios for 4 day (I’m so sick of reading books I can’t tell you).
I connected my PC to my phone’s wifi hotspot and it worked and I was surprised when I got online. I Googled my problem and instantly one paragraph appeared: “Push and hold a paperclip in the little hole next to the power button and hold it for 25 seconds.” I did and it worked! Four days of f**king with the modem and lousy tech support and all I had to do was push a paperclip in the back of the modem. I’m sending it back today because I bought another one, this forth one is from Netgear at $209. Wish me luck.




Our cat is still missing from Eden Pines. 7-year-old fixed male named Lighting, missing for approximately 3 weeks. Indoor cat who got outside. We miss him. $500 reward for information leading to his return home. Please call Lee 305-304-7237.

It costs nothing to lend a hand to someone in need, be kind, smile at a stranger, or shake a hand.




Happy 73d birthday Ikea. Here’s your cake!

[Sanctuary] Thank You for signing the petition to stop the NOAA Expansion of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and stop the proposed Draft Environmental Impact Statement. (DEIS). We will soon be assembling the entire list of signatures and forwarding the petition to our lawmakers who have the ability to stop the expansion. We have an impressive list but would like to grow the list for an even greater impression when we do submit it to our elected officials. Currently we have over 600 signatures and we would like to have at a minimum of 825 (which is the number of respondents at

You can only sign the petition one time with a unique email address, so in order to grow your list; we need your help again. We need each of you to encourage at least two other people you know (friends, acquaintances, co-workers, family members) to go to the site and sign the petition now. Our strength is in numbers. We need more signatures! We need these signatures this weekend. Link

[“Barking dogs”] Some people think they can tell what animals think, but always are barking up the wrong tree.


[Post Office] What is going on with the Big Pine USPS? They are taking forever to deliver and they mark packages and mail as “attempted to deliver” when they never actually showed up. Last week I had one marked “Unable to leave in a secure location” but for some reason the next day they had no problem finding a “secure location”. Are they that short staffed that they have to make up excuses as to why they can’t deliver the mail? Who do we contact?

[Coronavirus Situation Summary] This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance. Link
[Sewers] Someone asked what that green thingy is poking up from the grinder pump pit lid in their yard. It is a supposedly flood-proof vent, based on the same principle as those ping pong ball snorkels of the 1950s. The grinder pump stations were supposed to be sealed, to prevent filling with water during floods, with the vent to allow the pit to fill and empty without drawing a vacuum or pressurizing. We paid a bunch extra for the sealed pit and Wager vent which FKAA promised would prevent pit flooding in a storm surge, but part way through the contract work FKAA accepted the lowest quality pits with vent openings under the lid and no Wager vent on Summerland to Big Pine Key.
It was another under the table bonus for the contractor, like accepting el-cheapo molded plastic pits instead of the heavy duty spun fiberglass pits that we paid for. It may be that some sealed pits were put in without a vent, and these are being retrofitted, which would explain why FKAA came and further uglified your yard. Being as this vent was added after the contract completion, you can bet that all FKAA sewer customers paid for it with rates instead of in the original construction contract. And I bet FKAA is not through sticking it to you.
I found an awesome Origami porn site, it’s Paper View.



[Palindromics] Sunday is a rare palindromic date:  02,02/2020. One thing that makes it especially rare is that it works in countries where they reverse the day & month.  Here are some others from this century, but they  won’t work both ways. I’ll add 11,11/1111 & 03,03/3030

[Free Tax Preparation] United Way of the Florida Keys is offering free tax preparation for Monroe County residents with limited incomes.  The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program assists clients on a walk-in basis with completion of their annual tax return, to ensure that taxpayers receive every available benefit. VITA volunteer tax preparers are IRS-certified and prepared to complete simple state and federal tax returns, including identifying available credits, for those with a household income less than $56,000 in 2019.  Since AARP has discontinued their tax preparation services in Monroe County, UWFK now offers the only free tax program and has added availability accordingly. More details are available. Link