Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Hurricanes] NOAA spends shiploads of money on tightening regulations at their pat-each-other-on-the-back-mutual-admiration meetings, but it has now been over a full year since Sombrero Light ceased transmission of very valuable offshore weather information. What the wind is doing at low elevation at the airport has little bearing on what it is doing offshore.
I spent Hurricane Irene at the EOC center in Marathon as a volunteer. The emergency management people got most of their information from the Weather Channel–no kidding. They would have been lost without TV reception. They had also forgotten to bring the emergency generator from Public Works behind the airport. At the height of the storm, I drove over to find someone to drag the generator to the EOC so Emergency Management staff and volunteers would not be sitting in a big dark room if the power went out with no Weather Channel and no information whatsoever. That’s the Emergency Management your taxes pay for. They also paid for the meals that were catered and delivered by Key Colony Inn. They were excellent! Thanks, folks.
By using the speed and direction of wind on the reef lights and the EOC roof anemometer (with its data displayed in a separate little room), I was able to track the eye of Irene in real time as it traveled the Keys. (The weather was beautiful inside the eye when it hit Marathon. Bright, clear, and a dead calm sunny day. I went outside to marvel. But not for long) Worried citizens would call in to the EOC and be given a relay of whatever was just reported on TV (that was often old information) and be assured that local government had everything under control. (Hey! Is there any more of that great lasagna?)
With power and internet, better information used to be available, but now there is a huge information hole offshore between Long Key and Sand Key. (American Shoals also does not report conditions.) Your federal tax dollars are not being spent well. Link
|[Memory Lane] I don’t remember the White Wash Laundry, but I do remember a roadside table with a variety of produce and a bucket with a slot at the top for your “honor system” payment. Nobody was there to watch, and that was long before security cameras. The system must have worked out alright, as we saw the same set up for years.
Another “only in the Keys” was a “Custom License Plate” guy. His box van was parked in front of Coconuts Bar. He sold license plates that looked real from every state, and he’d stamp out the letters or numbers you requested.
Down in the tropics, they come and they go.
License plates sold in front of Coconut’s Bar
Flea Markets offered their wares tax free
Permits unneeded to sell coconut hats & bowls.
Selling art in the parking lot, paintings on steel.
Kids sold lemonade for a quarter a cup
Life was so easy; everyone got along.
Down in the tropics, they come and they go.
|I was fishing the other day when, right up behind me comes this guy with what had to be $150,000 don’t-know-don’t-care Yellowfin, 3 300 HP Yamahas, and I mean right up behind me!
Maybe I should start a boat operators courtesy school. This guy obviously had the money to attend it. If only money made people smart. He no doubt was distracted by his electronics, he never even looked at me as he ran over my lines. What a dick.
How about some concrete info about the up-coming election? when is early voting? where can one get registered? and how soon before must one register? where do we vote? and then, “why do we vote”? Whoever thinks their vote doesn’t count should remember that 2 elections for Monroe County Commissioners were settled by one vote!
|[Marathon Curmudgeon] Last night’s Marathon City Council meeting was so very interesting on so many different levels. Your comments and statements last night were even more interesting and questionable. Let’s start with your ethics. Per the Florida Commission on Ethics there is a clear procedure to request an opinion. Please provide me with a copy of your written request of opinion with your question and your description of the situation as you described it. You can find the process on the website of the Florida Commission on Ethics under the question “How do I request an opinion”. Also provide me with a copy of the Opinion as issued by the Commission which interestingly enough is binding, so that may actually help you if they, in fact, told you that you had to vote. I hope that you really did this because it will certainly clear up many lingering and pesky questions surrounding your ethics or lack thereof. Do not defer to City Attorney David Migut, this is about your ethics.
Your bias in this case is a different and distinct issue. No one believes that you were unbiased going into this quasi-judicial public hearing. Forget about your history of filing complaints, forget about your lawsuit, forget about your husband’s alleged extortion settlement proposals, forget about your statements to me. The most compelling evidence of your bias was your very own statement at the very beginning of the meeting when you refused to recuse yourself and made the statement that you planned to vote against the Sunset Grill even before your heard the case. This is not even close to giving Sunset Grill a fair and unbiased hearing, this is premeditated and willful bias against someone who has a right for a fair and just hearing.
Your vote for the zoning change made no difference but your votes of the noise issue did and if the City of Marathon finally follows its ordinances, laws and conditions, as it should then this could become very serious, not just for Sunset Grill, but for the City of Marathon. You have no real clue about the consequences of your actions, and that translates to just plain stupid.
I think that you have some serious issues of your own here. Of course the Ethics Commission information may help you somewhat but there is still your bias and your votes. Good luck with those, since you may now be too lost to be found and helped again. ~ Publisher@MarathonJournal.US
[Sunrise Keys-style] V.I.P. seating to the greatest show on earth. Big Pine Key, the capital of the fabulous Lower Keys. Home to some of the finest fishing and diving in the world — and we live here! ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store. Stop by & have a taste of paradise. The last of the real Florida Keys.
|I have a really bad idea. Let’s just rename all landmarks and locations, that way nobody will ever know what anybody else is talking about or referring to!|
|[GMO Mosquitoes] A Key West doctor whose wife is running for a seat on the Mosquito Control District Board is concerned about bacteria associated with genetically modified mosquitoes that may be released later this year in Key Haven and he’s taken the fight to Capitol Hill. Dr. John Norris warns that the bacteria carried by the GM mosquitoes will lead to an increase in resistance to the drug tetracycline — an antibiotic used in producing the mosquitoes — in humans. Tetracycline is used in humans to treat many bacterial infections. Norris is married to Kathryn Watkins, a candidate for the board|
|If you want to get angry about clueless boaters you could sure pick more serious offenses than leaving a diver down flag up while under way. You may be referring to our boat in Marathon making way while flying a large diver down flag. We are engaged in submersible operations. That diver buoy the boat is following is attached to a vehicle with divers onboard. So please follow the rules and keep a minimum of 300 feet away from any diver down flag on the water.|
|The conspiracy community’s emotional power is much stronger than their facts. It offers a worldview in which chaos, randomness, happenstance—the messy, frightening qualities of life that science depends upon and our minds find so hard to accept—simply do not exist. For some, a sinister reason for life’s disappointments is more satisfying than no reason at all.|
|[African Malaria as reported by Stanley on his search to find Livingston in 1867] The first evil results experienced from the presence of malaria are confined bowels and an oppressive languor, excessive drowsiness, and a constant disposition to yawn. The tongue assumes a yellowish, sickly hue, coloured almost to blackness; even the teeth become yellow, and are coated with an offensive matter. The eyes of the patient sparkle lustrously, and become suffused with water. These are sure symptoms of the incipient fever which shortly will rage through the system.
Sometimes this fever is preceded by a violent shaking fit, during which period blankets may be heaped on the patient’s form, with but little amelioration of the deadly chill he feels. It is then succeeded by an unusually severe headache, with excessive pains about the loins and spinal column, which presently will spread over the shoulder-blades, and, running up the neck, find a final lodgment in the back and front of the head. Usually, however, the fever is not preceded by a chill, but after languor and torpitude have seized him, with excessive heat and throbbing temples, the loin and spinal column ache, and raging thirst soon possesses him. The brain becomes crowded with strange fancies, which sometimes assume most hideous shapes. Before the darkened vision of the suffering man, float in a seething atmosphere, figures of created and uncreated reptiles, which are metamorphosed every instant into stranger shapes and designs, growing every moment more horrific.
|[First Monroe County Zika case confirmed] “Travel-related case” means that the woman was infected while out of the country and did not get the virus from mosquitoes in the Keys.|
|[“Overpricing beer at tiki bar”] Anything “He” has bought has become overpriced, and the fact is he’s bought a bunch here. The Wharf is slowly trying to come back from his bungling. Happy Hour was extended, beers are sold at a reduced rate in plastic cups and the happy hour food is “eh” at best. That said, I had a decent meal there last week – Mexican caught hogfish, rice and some veggies. The chef even came out and asked how I liked it. It was good, well priced and a nightly special, not on the menu.
Rumor is the new manager at The Wharf came from Boondocks and he’s taken a couple people with him.
As far as having only 15 people around, perfect. I miss the solitude, the locals, the ability to sit and not be rushed from my bar seat. The Wharf at least has a view of the water
|[“Dive flags”] Heh, my favorites are the ones who fly their college flags while they’re underway, the other is flying the Jolly Roger. One brags about the climax of their life decades ago, the other is what they wish they could have been. It’s all social media in my view, “Look at me, look at me!”|
|[“Overpricing beer”] I was the guy sitting to your left (in the Panama hat) when you were complaining to Sheila at the Tiki bar about their price of beer. I also heard her say that you could walk across the street to Boondock’s and pay twice the price and get a better view (that would be $5.50 for 14 oz cup?). In fact, you could go to the Moose and pay a lot less for a beer, but there is no view inside. Not much outside either.
The days of the dollar draft beer are long gone. When we got here 14 years ago you could still get a dollar Busch at most bars. Like that old guy who couldn’t sing very well put it, “The times they are a changing” and so are the prices!
|Of course the Olympics are a sexy event. They started that way. The Romans were feeding Christians to the lions for that crowd that likes violence and gore. Then they had the Olympics for those who liked to watch young, completely naked, sexy people showing off their physical prowess. They even had a huge military. No wonder they fell apart so quick. Gee, all we have to do is to find out who to feed to the lions and we’ll be right up there with them. (I don’t know, but I’s pick politicians or lawyers first.)|
|I have lived in Key West for 21 years and after looking at Larry Blackburn’s KONK pictures of the 2016 Battle of the Bars. I did not recognize one face and now have remorse for how Key West has become 100% rainbowed. It isn’t what it used to be!|
|Sunset Grille in Marathon does not appear to be able to expand anytime soon. The Marathon City Council voted Tuesday to deny the restaurant owner’s request for a zoning change and change in future land use map designation from residential high to mixed use commercial for three lots John Kotch had purchased and said would be used for additional parking. They also were denied a permit to play loud music.|
|Breakfast Sausage Patties
1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon rosemary
1 ½ teaspoon light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakesMakes 5 patties Full Menu > Recipes > Breakfast Sausage Patties
|Cybrary raises $1.3 m. to expand its free library of cybersecurity course material. Link|
I saw this BigPineKey.com sticker at the end of Kohen. Has Ed been at work?
|[“Muslims not fighting ISIS”] They don’t fight back because they are not armed and are not ruthless killers like ISIS are and the people live in fear.|
|The next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up this Saturday, August 13, 10 am at the senior center. Hope to see you there. Full Menu > Ongoing Events|
|It is a damn disgrace that the four members of the Key West Olympic Bicycling Team were disqualified just because they didn’t have the seats on their bikes!|
|It looks like FTR has sworn off supporting Trump. His message lately has been about Zika and County elections. Since his endorsement of Trump months ago, FTR has become suddenly mute on the subject of the Presidential hopeful. Can it be that FTR is actually capable of changing his mind and not blindly following what his party’s leaders tell him to do?|
|Hey, cool, macho guy, the divers down flag means just that: when it’s up you actually have a human in the water, called a diver.
If you have it up at the dock that means you have a diver in the canal, either diving or working on your boat’s bottom. How am I supposed to know if you don’t? Maybe we should have an addition flag that says we’re cool, macho guys?
|Whatever happened to “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask, ‘what can I do for my country'”?|
|[Not All Fun And Games] A 10-year-old boy was decapitated as he rode a 168-foot tall waterslide in a raft at a water park in Kansas.|
|Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, Children of all ages, the bands are set for Wetstock 12. It’s hard to believe the Wetstock Music Festival has been going on for 12 years. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot more fun! The bands this year are:
The Rockin’ Bob’s (Flip Flop Bob, Bob Paul, Bob Yeager, and Bobby Howard)
The Funkin’ Conch’s featuring Karen Weber and Jam Band Tony
Raisin Cane Band (John, Randy, and George)
And closing out the show and a first time appearance by The Bubba System.
It’s going to be a great day of peace & music. See you there,
|[GM Mosquitos to Fight Zika Are Welcome] I have spent the past three years reviewing control methods for the African mosquito Aedes aegypti, the infamous vector of yellow fever, five strains of dengue fever, chikungunya, today Zika and tomorrow likely some as-yet-unknown African forest virus. This mosquito is a hardy urban pest, known to entomologists as the cockroach of mosquitoes.
A new and promising control method has been developed over the past decade, a modern variation on the classic sterile male technique invented for controlling livestock pests. The company Oxitec has harnessed lab methods used in modern fruit fly genetics to make healthy but reproductively dead-end males (important note: Males don’t bite). The mosquito dads beget offspring who make so much of a natural protein that they die before maturing into biting adults.
It’s a brilliant way to halt the spread of disease without applying harmful pesticides to our children, pets, homes, gardens and the natural environment. Sounds great, so what’s the issue? The mosquito has a special bit of DNA added to make its offspring overproduce the natural protein. That defines it as a genetically modified organism, or GMO.
The public and the scientific community are rightly suspicious of GMOs. Even scientists knowledgeable about GMO technology are unwilling to give blanket endorsement of GMO release outside the lab, and that includes me.
A key question in my life concerns the risks of harm from synthetic pesticides. My wife’s family owns a farm. After the farm manager got cancer of a type associated with pesticide exposure, the family took the farm organic. We now eat organic produce whenever we can. GMO pesticide-resistant crops, and their attendant overuse of pesticides, drive much of my concern with GMO technology. And, in case you can’t tell, I don’t trust big corporations to place my family’s health over their bottom line.
At the same time, I also have to recognize that some of our best life-saving drugs are made by GMOs. Every diabetic is kept alive by insulin produced by GMO organisms. To me, blanket condemnation of GMOs would be like banning all machines (including cars, cell phones and coffee-makers) because machine guns are a deadly member of the machine class. Like machines, it’s not the GMO technology that’s problematic, it’s the particular application.
In this case I have taken the time to understand how researchers at Oxitec modified this mosquito. It does not and cannot transmit its modification to humans, our pets, wild birds or even other species of mosquito. You could eat a bowl of them for breakfast every day with no ill effect. Indeed, birds and fish thrive doing exactly that. This mosquito is a nutritious, but self-extinguishing evolutionary dead end. the Environmental Protection Agency and Food and Drug Administration scientists have independently reached the same conclusion. I consider this particular application of GMO technology especially safe – though not all GMO applications by any means. But this one, yes.
Now here’s your multiple choice question for the day:
Which is the least risky option for a pregnant mother and her fetus? Ban GMO mosquitoes, increasing the likelihood of Zika infection and risk of permanent brain damage to her fetus, while forcing both her and her developing fetus to endure repeated exposure to ineffective insecticides banned in the European Union and shown by scientists to cause autism and cancer in lab animals; or allow the release of GMO mosquitoes so the next generations of progeny will die in the rain-gutters and storm drains from protein imbalance.
How would I feel if the Mosquito Control District were to release hoards of these GMO male mosquitoes (and maybe the odd biting female) in my yard, exposing me, my family, my pets, the backyard songbirds and my pregnant neighbor down the street, to a cloud of transgenic Aedes aegypti? To be completely honest, I would be grateful. ~ Phillip Stoddard.
Phillip Stoddard is mayor of South Miami. He is a professor of biological sciences at Florida International University.
|More Olympic moments they don’t want you to see. The Philippine men’s high dive team with brilliant commentary by an Aussie. Warning adult language. Video|
If God, made man in his own image. Why aren’t we all like invisible? ~Father Guido Sarducci
|Don’t use more than on virus program at the same time, regardless of the name or brand. As they are both security applications, they will try to check files you are working with. Since they will do that at the same time, conflicts may arise. That’s the reason Windows defender must be turned off. It is generally not recommended to use more than one security product on one computer.|
|[FTR] Monroe County now has its index Zika case. Zika in Monroe County is no longer a hypothetical. It is here. It is a real, not a theoretical, threat to our health. Especially the unborn. Enough is enough. It is time to use all the safe, proven, and effective weapons we have at our disposal to fight ZIKA. It is time for The Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board to ignore the threats and posturing of the special interests of big real estate, and to fire the big guns of the use of genetic engineering to kill the skeeters that threaten our unborn…and us.
It is time to scrap the foolish notion of a “nonbinding” referendum, and to get to work protecting our health.
In the event that you think that the number of persons at risk is minimal, please realize that at any given moment that up to 10% of American women are pregnant. Here in Monroe, our birth rate is slightly more than 10 per thousand of population. We have about 75,000 residents in Monroe County. In case you cannot do the math, that’s about 750 infants at risk. And those stats do not reflect the tens of thousands of tourists who visit us each year.
By failing to act, we are unnecessarily putting at risk the health, lives, and futures of potentially hundreds of unborn Monroe County children. Link
|[“Bealles local buyer”] The outlet stores receive whatever they ship to them. They don’t order.|
[Piano & Keyboard Lessons For Beginners] Or you can get them for free on YouTube by typing: piano lesson (and the name of the song you’d like to learn). Link
|[Whale Menopause] Killer whales and humans are almost unique in the animal kingdom. The females of both species go through the menopause in their 40s or 50s, and then live for decades without producing any more offspringthemselves. It’s an extremely rare phenomenon. No other mammal does this, including other apes, monkeys and elephants, with the exception of another species of toothed whale. There are good grounds for thinking the menopause evolved for a reason, but why? to make them cranky? Audio|
|The New York Times had an article about how air conditioning is impacting the climate. The greenies previously got many refrigerants used in air conditioners banned because they were eating the ozone layer. Now they are targeting the new refrigerants in air conditioners because they can be global warming gases. Will these people ever give it a rest? The bottom line is always higher prices for consumers. What are the refrigerant options that don’t impact climate or ozone? Ammonia and propane. Both bad for your health and safety, but I guess the planet takes priority|
White people are the only race you can legally discriminate against. Link
|The Lost Kitchen Supper Club is a social club with a traditional dining experience. Savor an exquisite meal among old friends — and as you break bread making new friends in a reinvented style of dining. Link|
So is FTR Guy sending anonymous letters to the newspaper again?
|Sloan Bashinsky’s blog talks incessantly about his loser girlfriend who’s in and out of jail as much as the police are.|
[Listen to Porno] Wait …what the?
|[This Week’s New Rules] NOAA fisheries releases fisheries allocation policy. Link|
|IRS Tax Topic Index. Link|
|[“Dive flags flying while under way”] That is one of my two biggest peeves about tourists. The other is when they stop tight in the middle of the road to look at the deer.|
|[Friday Joke] The Department of the Navy is now assigning females to quarters on submarines. Addressing boat sailors at Groton, SUBLANT advised, “The female sleeping quarters will be out-of-bounds for all males (except Officers). Anybody caught breaking this rule will be fined $20 the first time.” He continued, “Anybody caught breaking this rule the second time will be fined $50. Being caught a third time will cost you a fine of $100. Are there any questions?”
At this point, a Master Chief stood up in the crowd and inquired, “How much for a season pass?”
|[“Diver down flag”] Out at the reef Wednesday there were a lot of boats, I assume, because of lobster season opening. 6 of them didn’t display their diver down flags and 4 had them improperly displayed and a couple were under way with their flags still displayed. I wonder what the flags are for seeing as so many boaters think they are just a prop and not really necessary?|
To paraphrase Louis Grizzard (who was saying it about Atlanta), “There’s nobody in the Keys going out tonight to have a drink to celebrate his transfer to New Jersey.”
|Loving touch & mom’s intuition. The miracle of the ‘skin to skin’. Video|
|[Crap Food] My family and I are from New Orleans and would like to know what restaurant is worth going to for fair priced good food in the Keys? All the stops we have made so far are terrible! Help please!|
|[Discovery Saturday: Forts, Cannons and Navies] Join our special guests from Ft. Zachary Taylor Saturday on August 20 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am. Kids in kindergarten through fifth grade are invited to the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center (35 East Quay Road, Key West) to learn all about forts, cannons and navies. Learn all about the forts built here and how the Navy has changed the Keys. T
There will be games and hands on activities. For more information contact 305-809-4750. Space is limited, so please call to register
|[Movies] Oops, “Criminal” was a Kevin Costner movie that was pretty good. The John Travolta stinker was “I Am Wrath”.|
|[Free Advertisement] Ballet fitness workout. Increase poise, grace and flexibility with this fun way to exercise, including easy classical ballet moves. No previous dance experience required. Wear workout clothes and bare feet or ballet shoes. Monday’s at 4:45-5:45pm at Foreverfit studio on Cudjoe key (mile marker 23, blue metal building). For questions or to reserve a spot, call Jessica at 305-587-7879.|
|It seems that lately my life has been getting more complicated, and I want to thank those of you who are brave enough to still associate with me regardless of what I have become. The following is a recap of my current identity: I was born white, which makes me a racist. I am a fiscal and moral conservative, which makes me a fascist. I am heterosexual, which makes me a homophobe. I am non-union, which makes me a traitor to the working class and an ally of big business. I am a Christian, which makes me an infidel. I am older than 70 and retired, which makes me a useless old person. I think and I reason; therefore, I doubt much that the main stream media tells me, which makes me a reactionary. I am proud of my heritage and our inclusive American culture, which makes me a xenophobe. I value my safety and that of my family; therefore, I appreciate the police and the legal system, which makes me a right-wing extremist. I believe in hard work, fair play, and fair compensation according to each individual’s merits, which makes me anti-social. I, and my friends, acquired a good education without student loans and no debt at graduation, which makes me some kind of odd underachiever. I believe in the defense and protection of the homeland by all citizens, which makes me a militarist. Please help me come to terms with this, because I‘m not sure who I am anymore! And the newest problem – I’m not sure which bathroom I should use.|
Uranus Fudge Factory and General Store. Great fudge comes from Uranus. Soon to have a Key West store. Link
|Computer help and information. A good site for you computer novices and some experts too. Link|
|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|