2023 February

Friday, February 10, 2023

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[Mosquito Report] On Tuesday a CT’er wrote about mosquitoes, he/she mentioned that he/she believed that the skeeters were particularly bad this year on BPK, and inquired about the Oxitec project.

Skeeter Control officials report that they have been very active on BPK this year, using all the tools that they currently have available….things like spraying, and chemicals designed to kill the skeeters when they are larvae and/or adults.  It is possible that the poster lives or is active in a “hot spot” where the conditions are very positive for the breeding and survival of skeeters.

Lots of folks are not aware that there have been at least 2 test releases of the Oxitec GM skeeters.  These releases were in small areas, none on BPK,  and were carefully monitored by Feds, Skeeter Control, and Oxitec.  The test releases were uniformly positive.  The process worked and worked well.    We must think about the fact that the project only affects one species of the mosquitoes that bite us.  That’s the Aedes aegypti …..the skeeter that carries dengue, yellow fever, zika, and other diseases.

The people at Skeeter control cannot use the Oxitec process until they receive federal approval.   And so there you have it. The Skeeter control folks have met all the Federal criteria, complied with all Federal requests, there has been no reports of “Frankenskeeters, or babies having had their blood sucked dry by 5’long skeeters.  The AE skeeter count dropped like a rock in the areas where the Oxitec process was used……but still we wait on the Feds, The Swamp, to grant commercial approval of the Oxitec process to protect us from dengue, zika, yellow fever, etc., etc., etc

[Censorship] Two Florida counties have instructed schools to “remove or cover” all library books out of fear school officials will be charged with crimes under Gov. Ron Desantis’ “Stop WOKE Act.” Officials with Manatee and Duval counties say library books will be unavailable until a “formal review” of their content is made by a trained “media specialist” (historicaly know as a censor)
The Central Marsh Hydrology Project is a project proposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and FWC. The project has many stated goals but has provided no evidence that this project will accomplish any of them.
The project area covers the northern hundred acres of the central wetlands of the interior of Big Pine Key. This area has had already had a fill removal project performed in 1997 on 1.2 acres by what was then called the Florida Audubon Mitigation Trust. At that time, 5000 cubic yards of fill was removed at a cost of $57,900, worth about $105,000 in 2020 cost. In 1997, this area had salinities that were much lower than they are presently. This northern sector of the Big Pine Slough, is presently the most saline of the entire system. The area is at best, on the southern edge of Big Pine Key’s northern fresh water lens. The groundwater under this project is brackish and the surface water is only fresh after substantial rain events. This usually occurs from late June through November. Salinity fluctuates very substantially seasonally, and this is reflected by the changes in vegetation in this basin over the last forty years.The canal on the northern side of Watson Blvd., which was dug to provide the fill to construct this road, was excellent alligator habitat forty years ago. Today it is too saline to function in this capacity. It is covered in red mangrove, and the area to the north has the best developed inland mangrove forest on Big Pine Key. The project area has good inland red mangrove stands, which thrive in saline areas that become somewhat fresh seasonally. It would be a shame to degrade them.The stated goals of the project: provide freshwater, protect the freshwater lens, and build resilience against sea level rise, are very unlikely to be successful. The project does not address the issues facing this area. On the north edge of the site is the very low elevation Watson Blvd. On the south edge of Watson Blvd. is a 4.5 ft. deep and 5 ft. wide trench filled with fine gravel and capped with fill. The FKAA wisely filled an 8 ft. section of this trench on the west side of the transitional area with a concrete slurry. This was suggested to them by a resident, and they accommodated the concerns expressed to them. Kapok Lane, the northernmost of the roads, that are slated to be removed, probably provides somewhat of a barrier to underground salt water. It has some uplands and fairly well-developed native vegetation. The rest of this trench provides an opportunity for salt water to seep into this site. With sea level rising at an increasing rate, it is only a matter of time before frequent over washes of salt water become the norm. I have observed in detail, the effects of the modern hurricanes (1998 -2017) on the vegetation of this region, and the impacts of five inches of sea level rise. Although the hurricanes have definitely made their mark, sea level rise is much more pronounced in many ways.
[“Skeeters are worse this year”] I disagree and was just thinking how the mosquitoes have vanished, and the noseeums have increased. Do the frankenskeeters actually work? Is there a frankenoseeum?
[Friday Joke] A Kansas farm wife called the local phone company to report her telephone failed to ring when her friends called and that on the few occasions, when it did ring, her dog always moaned right before the phone rang. The telephone repairman proceeded to the scene, curious to see this psychic dog or senile lady. He climbed a telephone pole, hooked in his test set, and dialed the subscriber’s house. The phone didn’t ring right away, but then the dog moaned and the telephone began to ring. Climbing down from the pole, the telephone repairman found:
The dog was tied to the telephone system’s ground wire with a steel chain and collar. The wire connection to the ground rod was loose. The dog was receiving 90 volts of signaling current when the number was called. After a couple of jolts, the dog would start moaning and then urinate. The wet ground would complete the circuit, thus causing the phone to ring.
This demonstrates that some problems can be fixed by pissing and moaning.


Saturday Night Live French chef. Video

[Rockway, N.Y.] My wife and her friend Ruby would hang out on Rockaway in their teens.
Steve Conte – Gimme Gimme Rockaway

Antarctic EV goes where other electric vehicles can’t tread. Link

[Screwing the Pooch] Governor DeSantis signs bill to help insurance companies. Lawmakers removed “one-way” attorney’s fees, which required carriers to pay the insured homeowner’s legal fees. Proponents argue this will help insurance companies avoid frivolous lawsuits. Detractors argue it will leave homeowners struggling to pay legal fees in the event that they want to sue for lower-than-expected claim refunds.
The new law also will require those with the state-created Citizens Property Insurance to purchase flood insurance. In addition, Citizens customers will be required to move to private insurers if a renewal or takeout policy is offered that costs up to 20% more. This applies to policies that renew beginning April 1, 2023. And for takeout offers, this is effective as of January 1, 2023. A controversial practice known as “assignment of benefits for property insurance” will end for policies issued on or after January 1, 2023. This previously allowed homeowners to sign over insurance claims to contractors, who would then go after insurance companies to pursue payments. Link
Deer “Captain Doom and Gloom” perhaps you should do a little more research before you make a buffoon of yourself on an international site such as the Coconut Telegraph. The service ceiling for a Piper Cub is between 12 and 19 thousand feet, depending on which Piper Cub you are looking at. The Chinese balloon was anywhere from 60 to 100 thousand feet.

But you’re in luck, the United States Balloon Service is hiring pilots for the super secret ID-10-T interceptor program. You’ll be provided with a sharp stick and a BB gun for altitude control.

[Friday Joke] Man: The philosopher Plato once said, “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing and that is that I know nothing.”
Child: “How did he know that?”
Man: “His wife told him.”


Valentine’s Day is next week. American consumers are projected to spend $25.9 billion on the holiday. That’s a whole lot of chocolates and roses!

[“Piper Cub should shoot down balloon”] A Piper cub’s operational ceiling is about 11,000 ft. So, none could have done anything to something flying at 60,000 ft. Why post that garbage about taking the Chinese spy balloon down that way? Jeez.


Alec Baldwin, Instead of bashing the NRA you should have taken their safety class.

[Friday Joke] A man is driving home after a long day at work. Frustrated by another day working for his insufferable boss, he fails to notice a pothole and blows a tire. Stranded on the side of the road, he begins to drag out his spare when suddenly a genie appears next to him.
“Greetings, mortal.” The genie says. “I have taken pity on you and will thus grant you three wishes.” The man is stunned. “However, whatever you wish, your boss, whom you hate, will receive that same wish twofold.”
The man stops, looks at his car and says. “Well, I wish I had a nice car.” His beat-up car vanishes in a puff of smoke and is instantly replaced by a brand new luxury sedan. The man climbs in and drives home, ecstatic to show his wife.
The next day at work, his boss gloats endlessly to everyone that two luxury cars appeared in his driveway and makes sure everyone on the floor hears about it.
That night the man consults with his wife and summons the genie, “I wish for a comfortable retirement fund for my wife and I.” A bank statement falls through their mail slot informing them that a deposit of $1 million has been placed in their retirement account.
Sure enough, the next day, the man’s boss is waving a bank statement of $2 million in everyone’s faces.
The man takes an early lunch to get away from it all. The genie is there to greet him by his car and asks if he’s decided on his third wish. “I remind you. Whatever you choose your boss will receive double.”
The man thinks long and hard, looks up at the genie and says, “I wish to donate a kidney.”

Whenever I find myself in a losing argument with my wife, I put on some romantic music and start doing a sexy striptease. She then ‘gets a headache’ and wants to be left alone.

[Tax Help] The United Way of Collier and the Keys is prepared to help community members with their income tax preparation. UWCK’s VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program is a way for individuals making less than $66,000 a year to have their federal tax returns filed for free by IRS- certified volunteers.
Marathon Library – Every Wednesday January 25 to April 5 from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Bernstein Park (Stock Island) – February 15, March 15, and April 5 from 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Gato Building (Key West)  – February 1, 8, 22; March 1, 8, 22, 29; April 12 from 10 am to 2 pm.
To find out more about VITA, please call (305) 563-1470 or email
[Advice to Lottery Winners] What you should really do if you win the Lottery. Keep our mouth shut!
Take a week off to get your head together.
Do not tell your wife or kids.
Hide the ticket in a safe waterproof place.
Go to your bank(s) and open several more savings accounts, casually.
Put the accounts in your name with your family’s name as secondary owner.
Do not sign in your kids’ names.
Go to the state’s lottery office secretly and by yourself.
Collect the payment and instantly transfer it to your bank accounts.
Keep your mouth shut!
Go home and relax to prevent heart attack.
Slowly decide what to do with your property and items you will no longer need.
Do not run out and buy all the goodies you think you want.
If your marriage is not a good one, find a good lawyer and end it.
If your kids are college age, set them up with a percentage per month account.
If your single and straight, go see the world starting at the Playboy Clubs. Otherwise you may donate the money to the following charity: My email address will be in the next email.

Just released, photo of Chinese balloon pilot.

Burt Bacharach Dead at 94. Link
I loved the song Only Love Can Break a Heart (Gene Pitney)


North and South Korea at night. Communism vs Democracy

[WWIII] My kid asked me why the world leaders want to start World War 3. I told him it’s because they are nuts, greedy, overpopulated. Who can be blamed for all the weird stuff happening in this generation? All of us!
[Raising Chickens] Things to know before deciding to raise backyard chickens. Getting your eggs at the store might be easier, but keeping chickens is definitely fun. Link
Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens – James Brown
The current Coconut Telegraph was published on 2/10/23 at 7:56 am.