2018 August

Friday, August 10, 2018

The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsLetters to the editor with pictures since 2002.
Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.​​​​

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[Lobstering in the Keys] I got out for a day of Atlantic-side lobstering Thursday. The water was really dirty, but I had a good GPS number in Hawks Channel and you don’t need much viz to stuff lobsters in a bag. There was a slew of trap balls to dodge. I accidentally castrated the umbilical cord to one trap and felt bad that there is another ghost trap killing lobsters for another year or two. If I were making the rules, lobster traps would have an opening that they can squeeze out of or pull from that end and they are not going anywhere. “Casitas” may be illegal, but they typically don’t kill lobsters. Many of the trap balls were partially submerged, even with no significant current to drag them under. I wondered how many traps with short lines are dropped and the ball just disappears? I hit a floating trap line with no ball attached on my way home and spun the prop hub on the shaft immobilizing the boat. I had to call for a tow to drag my skiff back to the ramp. Maneuverability is limited when towing, and with so many trap balls with many barely showing above the surface and getting lost in two-foot seas, it had to happen. 2 more trap castrations and one snag and drag. Will that fisherman find his dragged trap? or will it continue to catch and kill?
[“Good places to eat in Key West”] My favorite is Abbondanza’s on Simonton (the southern end of street) and Louisa St. Not cheap but nice atmosphere and excellent food. I especially loved their Veal Marsala. Also Camille’s, also on Simonton Street, just slightly north of Abbondanza.
You’re on vacation – so enjoy!


[“Jimmy Buffett’s recording studio”] Yes, I remember where Jimmy Buffett’s recording studio was. Right in Key West Harbor next to the Schooner Wharf (before it was a bar) in an old waterfront storage building.

I thought growing old would take longer. I really did.
Coconut’s Uklelee Orchestra will jam this Wednesday at 7 pm. No experience necessary, just a willingness to have fun!  ~Coconuts Bar and Liquor Store




Chicago pizza from Lou Malnatis’ in N.Y.C. Just look at that crust!

[Key West Utility Board] Your ballot will say “Key West Utility Board”, please don’t be confused – this is your “Keys Energy Board” and for the first time ever, all voters from the South-end of the 7-Mile Bridge through Key West get to vote for the entire Utility Board! Early voting starts Monday, August 13th. Primary election day is August 28th.

I hope you’ll vote for me to be your Utility Board Seat D representative; but regardless, please vote.  ~Beth

Beth Ramsay-Vickrey

The regular 8 month lobster season is August 6 through March 31.



Our country is more divided and our problems are multiplying yet we somehow still suck at math.

[Friday Joke] A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door
neighbor. Before she says a word, Bob says, ‘I’ll give you $800 to drop that towel.’ After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, ‘Who was that?’ ‘It was Bob the next door neighbor,’ she replies.’Great,’ the husband says, ‘Did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?’
[Elections] Yes, “we have a choice” and it should be someone who pays their bills and keeps their promises. Enough said.

[Key’s Exercising] I ran twice today. First, I ran out of beer, and then I ran to get some more.

[Straws] Changing straws from plastic to paper is a noble cause but what we really need are more people carrying their own jug, cup, water bottle. Small water stations could be set up with filtered water. No more cancer-causing plastics in your blood stream from the plastic water bottles. Pay a small price to fill up you bottle with water or soda, hence no more straws, paper cups, waste and less litter. Packaging in America is out of control. The new catch phrase for the rest of our lives should be, personal responsibility.
[Quiz For The Over-60 Crowd] Which of the following names are you familiar with?

1. Monica Lewinsky
2. Spiro Agnew
3. Benito Mussolini
4. Adolf Hitler
5. Jorge Bergoglio
6. Alfonse Capone
7. Vladimir Putin
8. Linda Lovelace
9. Saddam Hussein
10. Tiger Woods
You had trouble with #5, didn’t you? You know all the liars, criminals, adulterers, murderers, thieves, sluts, and cheaters, but you don’t know the Pope?

[Take a Knee] Take a little trip to Valley Forge in January. Hold a musket ball in your fingers and imagine it piercing your flesh and breaking a bone or two. There won’t be a doctor or trainer to assist you until after the battle, so just wait your turn. Take your cleats and socks off to get a real experience. Link   ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, down town Big Pine Key

[Irma Recovery] Coldwell Banker Schmitt Charitable Foundation can help! Need help with bills? Apply here. Link


[Take a Knee] It’s foolish to criticize athletes and entertainment celebrities for taking political or moral stances just because they’re famous. Because they are famous is exactly why they should offer their voices. Just because someone’s famous doesn’t mean that their brain and patriotism stops there.

[Friday Joke] A woman in New York was so depressed that she decided to end her life by throwing herself into the ocean. She went down to the docks and was about to leap into the frigid water when a handsome young sailor saw her tottering on the edge of the pier, crying. He took pity on her and said, “Look, you have so much to live for. I’m off to Europe in the morning, and if you like, I can stow you away on my ship. I’ll take good care of you and bring you food every day.” Moving closer, he slipped his arm around her shoulder and added, “I’ll keep you happy, and you’ll keep me happy.”

The girl nodded yes. After all, what did she have to lose? Perhaps a fresh start in Europe would give her life new meaning.

That night, the sailor brought her aboard and hid her in a lifeboat. From then on, every night he brought her three sandwiches and a piece of fruit, and they made passionate love until dawn. Three weeks later, during a routine inspection, she was discovered by the captain.

“What are you doing here?” the captain asked.

“I have an arrangement with one of the sailors,” she explained. “I get food and a trip to Europe, and he’s screwing me.”

“He certainly is,” the captain said. “This is the Staten Island Ferry.”


[Sunscreen] Protect yourselves – use sunscreen! Melanoma is the deadliest form of skin cancer. Research suggests that nearly 90% of melanomas are caused by overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, either from natural or artificial sources. Despite this, finding accurate information about melanoma prevention, sunscreen and sunscreen safety can be challenging.

[Stop Breeding] In response to the post about refugee camps.  Yes, it’s terrible.  But stop having kids if you see that your condition is dire.
[Sunscreen] As to whether I should be slathering my kid with or not, the good news is that I’m not causing any damage by doing so, and I’m certainly sparing her the painful sunburns of my youth. On the other hand, it may be dangerous to be lulled into thinking that sun exposure is without risk when she wears sunscreen. Protective clothing, hats and shade may have as much — or more — of a direct role to play.  I love my kid more sunscreen than corals.


Political post.

Most unforgettable singing auditions all time.  The time bar has boxes in it so you can skip to the next vocalist. Be sure to watch the very strange guy with the whitish blue contacts and black outlined eyes! Video
[Vote For Walt] Keys Energy Services if facing a number of challenges that must be addressed. I have worked on similar issues with many utilities throughout my career and will do the same as a member of the Board if elected to Utility Board Seat D on August 28th. Thanks for your support, Walt Drabinski
Highest Rates in Florida
Keys Energy has consistently had the highest electric rates in Florida. This is due to a long term contract with the Florida Municipal Power Association (FMPA) which charges about 8/¢kWh for electricity while the current market price is about 4c//kWh. Canceling this contract will save over $30 million per year, or permit an almost 25% rate decrease. There are provisions for exiting the contract and they must be explored. If this contract is not changed, Keys Energy customers will pay almost $600 million before it ends.
Post Irma Cost Reimbursement
Keys Energy spent almost $50 million to restore power after Irma. Almost 300 crews from around the country helped with personnel and materials. A short term line of credit was used to cover the costs. A request for reimbursement has been made to FEMA and the State, with very little reimbursement to date. Recently Management admitted full recovery is unlikely. Every effort, even using outside consultants and accountants, must be undertaken to prepare and submit documentation.
Solar Expansion and Fair Net Metering
Keys Energy currently has one of the most restrictive solar programs, with significant economic disincentives. In mid-2017 the Utility Board limited total solar by customers to 2.5% of the system load. There is no technical reason for this draconian move. Many isolated islands, like the Virgin Islands, have limits of 40% because they have no tie lines. The Board also reduced net metering, which is where the utility pays the customer for energy sent back into the system, from the real rate of 12¢/kwh to about 7¢/kWh, decreasing the economics of solar significantly.
Improve Cyber-Security
In recent weeks, there have been verified cyber-attacks against US utilities by foreign agents. The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) released a vulnerability advisory recently to all utilities. Why would Keys Energy, a tiny utility, be a target? Military presence! While our local military facilities have backup generation, a first strike at infrastructure would cause confusion. Keys Energy must assure that it’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems as well as other power plant controls are isolated such that they are not susceptible to attack.
Complete Irma Restoration
The outside crews that helped during Irma. Often used old equipment that does not conform to Keys Eenrgy material standards. This equipment must be replaced at an estimated cost of $10 million. This work must be integrated into continues efforts to harden the transmission and distribution system.
Harden the Transmission and Distribution System
Keys Energy initiated a process about two years ago in which transmission and distribution system equipment (transformers, pole, wires, etc.) were hardened. Hardening refers to making a system less susceptible to hurricanes and flooding. This program is ongoing and must be a priority.
Address Imminent Retirements
Almost 40% of Keys Eenrgy employees are eligible for retirement. It is imperative that a program for succession planning, formalized job progression, job training, outside hiring and management development be implemented.
Improve Service Reliability
Currently Keys Enrgy reliability is much better than in the past due to the efforts of its workforce. However, with the replacement of much of the system post Irma and the current storm hardening system underway, improvements should be demanded. Other actions should include an improved outage management system, pre-positioning of repair crews when large localized storms are expected, and improvements in tools and parts inventory.


[Make-overs] Hair and makeup. I love makeovers when they take an old rag and make it into a pretty purse. Link

[Captain Doom and Gloom] Looks like the Monroe Morons of Greed and Development finally won and are allowing more transit trash to live under the crawl spaces of houses so the inept snowbirds can get easy money to pay off the mortgage until they can sell out to higher smocks who think they too can make money shuffling the monopoly pieces around the Keys Play Board! Burn the bridges!
The next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up this Saturday, August 11, 10 am at the senior center.  Hope to see you there. Full Menu > Ongoing Events

[Take a Knee] NFL players protest during US national anthem in pre-season games.  They should play their games under a national flag they respect. Malcolm Jenkins was joined by De’Vante Bausby in his anthem protest, while defensive end Chris Long put his arm around Jenkins in a sign of support. Link

[“Canada shooting“] Multiple fatalities in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Link
[“Question for Ms Halama on Mini Season”] I am not a politician and not beholden to anyone. I understand both sides of this issue and believe the citizens of Monroe County wishes come first. Perhaps we could explore other options such as having non-Monroe County residents required to go diving with a licensed Monroe County charter boat to dive for lobster. This would greatly reduce the amount of boat traffic and stress on our natural resources. Or we could require County permits to dive in the Keys for mini season. That would raise money and would also keep some people away.

It should be noted that this is a state-wide season controlled by FWC not Monroe County. ~Debbie

We have a New Yorker running for George Nugent’s Commission seat? I say, hell no! No foreign meddling in our elections. Who is colluding with New York?
I was an atheist for many years until I met my ex-wife. It was after that I started to believe there was a hell.



Those “black hawks” are night hawks. Not really a hawk, it is a species of goatsucker (nightjar).

[“Who can check my house for mold”] You can call a licensed home inspector who includes mold inspection and remediation in their services. I’m surprised there’s not a lot more mold being recognized after Irma. The water slammed into the exterior walls at over 100 mph. Water went down and up the walls. It could have entered homes through the soffit vents and then dripped into the walls. It could have soaked insulation in the ceiling. Wind driven water could have been forced into insulation under your floors on stilted homes.
Mold is dangerous and causes some folks to get sick. It is something that must be disclosed in a real estate transaction, so if you’re buying a house, or have recently bought a house, hopefully, your home inspection included a hard look for mold by a certified inspector. Don’t count on your realtor to tell you this. They only know what the property sellers will admit to. Heck, if you look at your exterior concrete, the black stuff is mold and the green stuff is algae. Welcome to paradise!
[CT header] “Letters to the editor with pictures since 0202. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.” 0202? Deer Ed, you’ve been doing this for a really, really long time (smile). (Ed: Do you think that was a Freudian Slip?)

[“Algae bloom”] It isn’t just the farmers and septic tanks polluting lake Okeechobee, it is all that drains from Orlando, (remember Orlando wasn’t nearly as big 35 years ago). Think of all the roads, swales sprayed with poison, oil runoff, waste that drains downhill right into my backyard and the sugar boys Rubio, Nelson, Putnam, Scott and many others are lining their pockets with sugar money to keep that water from flowing into the everglades like nature designed it. It’s a sin.

Deer FTR, why don’t you just can it! It was so pleasant reading this site while you were absent. Take your pompous ass attitude back to Tenn. where maybe they’re more tolerant of your right-wing redneck ranting. You seem to have steeped to an extremely low level and your comments concerning female genitalia is “Trumpian.” ~
[Straws] Declining a plastic straw at the restaurant or bar is going to significantly reduce ocean plastics? Get real. How does that plastic straw get from the landfill or recycling facility into the ocean? It doesn’t. We live near the ocean, so it is easy to see how a wind-blown plastic bag or Styrofoam cup gets to the ocean, but not so easy for a straw. Analysis of the Ocean Garbage Patch shows that most of the plastic is commercial fishing gear. How many plastic straws do you see on our shorelines? I have never seen even one. Personally, I don’t like drinking from plastic anything (including piping), but avoiding a straw to save the ocean is idiotic, even if the media and hysteria has made it fashionable. Here’s a link to a reality check on ocean plastic. Link
[Straws] 500 million gazillion plastic straws used everyday?!  That seems like a lot.  I wonder who’s counting?  Wait, isn’t plastic recyclable?  What makes you think they’re ending up in landfills?
[Winn Dixie] Weekly liquor ad. Link




Early voting begins August 13th and Primary election is on August 28th. Vote wisely and often.

[“Affordable mass transit”] That will be here just after the Affordable Tin Shacks are finished!

Be careful buying desk chairs some have been known to give off toxic plastic fumes. If you get acid/burning sensations on your lips, tongue and throat it may be your trusty office chair.

[Lake Pollution] A Florida PEER newsletter just came out highlighting that just 31 of the concentrated animal farming operations near Lake Okeechobee generate 20 million pounds of nitrogen and 7.5 million pounds of phosphorous to the environment. As the Florida PEER Director says, “Despite obviously large impacts, Florida officially presumes that these CAFOs are not a source of pollution through a special brand of regulatory wishful thinking.”
That sounds like our DEP alright. Yet everyone acts surprised when there is another toxic algae bloom! Link
[“What sprays will kill mold in crawl spaces”]  I forget the name of the product, but Key West Chemical sells it.


[Leaving the Shithole Keys] My husband just told me we are going to move out of the Keys because they are turning into a shithole of junk people and bad food. The merchants are killing these islands and the developers are turning them into instant trash housing! After 30 years here, it is time to go!

[“If you are not evil, then you are either stupid or naive”] Tuesday a gun nut wrote, “If you are not evil, then you are either stupid or naive.” What kind of an evil mind could write such a thing? It’s no wonder murderers have such a bad reputation.


[Stuff the Bus Program] In Monroe County, almost half of school aged children come from families who don’t earn enough money to afford their basic necessities. Many of them begin the school year without school supplies such as paper, pencils, backpacks, and notebooks. UWFK’s “Stuff the Bus” program provides school supplies for these children, ensuring they have the resources to succeed academically. Link

It is very easy to stop illegal immigration, welfare blood suckers, free riders, and any others that want it all without working for their keep. Just stop paying income taxes and declare yourself broke. Then see what government will do about illegal immigration.
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