2016 February

Friday, February 18, 2016


Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays

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pig roast bbq africanPort Pine Heights’ yearly Pig Roast will be this Saturday at 2 pm in our community park which is at the end of Kyle Blvd.  We have already had a good response so far.  You can call John McCaffrey at 305-872-0715 to RSVP.  This is a great community event to meet your neighbors and make new friends.  Last year was a record attendance and we should break it this year.

We will be accepting PPHPOA membership dues for 2016-2017 at the event, so save the stamp and envelope.  Make your check out to PPHPOA for $25 and renew or join now.  See you there!

[“Removing the r from February”] I like it, but I think it will go the way of my failed campaign to create the plural of you—youse. When I tried the word out in my emails, the recipients all thought I was just uneducated and didn’t get it.


[Lanes] Let’s clear this up one last time.

As you get older, “friends with benefits” means they can drive at night.
backdoor key[Encryption Backdoor] Do you trust your government? Global headlines are discussing Apple’s move to oppose a court order issued by the US government regarding breaking into its own iPhone. This case has far reaching consequences and is part of a wider debate on cryptography and whether consumers and businesses should have access to strong cryptography and the data protection that comes with it.

Wednesday a Federal District Court judge in California issued a court order which compels Apple to develop software that will unlock an iPhone used by one of the two attackers who killed 14 people in San Bernardino in California in December 2nd of last year. Link

[Bait and Switch] I went to Boondocks for lunch. I have not been there in years as I see it as a tourist trap kind of place. I had the fried fish and chips and coleslaw dish. I was asked what kind of fish I wanted. grouper, hogfish, snapper. As I know, hogfish is the best, and I know they don’t really have any, and the snapper would be yellow tail (which is mushy as you all know), so I asked for grouper. I will say that they do a fine job of frying fish, but they are liars too. I have fished for and eaten plenty of grouper and plenty of yellow tail snapper in my day and know the difference. They ripped me off and I will never go there again. Mushy yellow tail for the overpriced price of grouper.


Day ruined in 3 … 2 … 1 …

[“Tourist’s watching deer”] Cars blocking traffic. If the person stopped in the middle of the road, he deserved to be honked at. It is a road! Pull over if you want to sightsee. There are people that live here who have the basic commute problems as the rest of the country. Just because you’re on vacation does not mean you should shut off your mind. Imagine trying to stop in the middle of the road in any other community. They would probably shoot you.



[Land of Plenty] No wonder the rest of the world is jealous of us.

[Tilapia Activist] I will not eat tilapia.  Eating tilapia is the seafood equivalent of dumpster diving.  If I don’t catch it myself I don’t eat it.  Local snapper, grouper, hogfish, wahoo or tuna.  That goes for lobster also (unless it’s live Maine lobster I select from a tank at a trusted seafood specialty restaurant).  I buy clams from Kibbe Clam Farm on Pine Island.  The clams are raised in nets off of the sea bottom.  No muck or grit.  My oysters must be from Wescott Bay or New England, also farm raised in clean water.  No Appalatcha oysters because that fishery is so polluted it’s sometimes closed to harvest.  Raw bars in the Keys seldom sell fresh oysters.  Most are frozen products or from Appalatch.  Importing fresh, good quality oysters is just too expensive.  The only place locally to get good fresh oysters is Alonzo’s in KW.  When I vacation in California or the Islands I always spend a day fishing and only keep as much as I want to eat.  Everything beyond that is released if possible.  We are what we eat so skip the crapola and eat fresh as much as possible.  Or, if you just don’t care what you put into your maw, have a fish sandwich at Mickey D’s.  It’s probably the cheapest tilapia they can buy, ground up, pressed into a patty, coated in mystery breading and fried in grease.  Just be sure to use plenty of tartar sauce to kill the taste.
key unlock[Spies Like Us] Encryption backdoor. Are we going to give up another privacy right for national security? Without encryption businesses will no longer be able to transfer sensitive information by email or text. That is just one of many ramifications.  “Only the US government will have the key.” The rest of them will get it from us eventually, unless you trust the government and every single employee who has access to the key. A secret is only a secret when no one knows it.
Drones have a lot of people worried about privacy, but they can be used for good as well as nefarious purposes. Take, for instance, a spectacular display of drone technology by Intel Corporation involving 100 small aircrafts being launched skywards in formation has earned a new Guinness World Record for the Most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles ( UAVs ) airborne simultaneously. Controlled on the ground by a crew using PCs with Intel software, the mass of drones lit up the night sky in sync to a live performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony and executed a stunning light show resembling a fireworks display. Drone 100 took place at Flugplatz Ahrenlohe, Tornesch, Germany in November 2015. The record was set in collaboration with Ars Electronica Futurelab to push the limits of the UAV industry and to show what UAVs can be used for. Video
rainbow flag waving[Rainbow Flag] On Feb 29, Key West’s 25 foot section #93 of the historic Gilbert Baker Rainbow25 Sea to Sea flag (affectionately referred to as the ‘Sacred Cloth’ by the SCOTUS Obergefell Plaintiffs) will be departing Key West destined to Sydney, Australia for its participation in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade March 5. The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of the largest LGBT celebrations in the world. The flag will be carried the entire route in Sydney by the United States Embassy Delegation led by the first openly gay US Ambassador to a G20 nation, Ambassador John Berry.

The US Delegation will include Keys resident, and custodian Mark Ebenhoch and the French Embassy to Australia counterparts, celebrating the great strides both countries commitments to diversity, equality and inclusion on a global level.
Following its return to Key West, section #93 will be retired and plans are to travel to Washington DC for its installation into the Smithsonian Institute of the National Archives this year.

[Bike Path Decorum] In my opinion, as a biker, common courtesy when approaching a walker from the back who is walking on the right side of the bike path that is separate from the road would be to say, “On your left.” The problem here is a lot of people don’t hear you, or when they do, they go to turn and look while moving to the left side of the path, right where the biker is headed. Maybe that is why the bikers in clown outfits choose to just whiz by you. Be sure to not walk in the middle and wear headphones.

While we are on the subject, when the bike path is on the side of the road (Wilder and Ave A to No Name), walkers should walk on the side of the road facing oncoming traffic. If you only have one bike path (Key Deer Blvd) and see a biker approaching, get off the bike path. You have a better view of the traffic. A lot of people walk between the Matthews St turn into Doctors Arm and No Name Bridge. Walkers should let the bikers use the bike path. So many walkers think they own the bike path. Several even stand on it with their dogs and chat it up with other walkers in the way of bikers.

ukulele strings notes[The Good, the Bad and the Ugly] The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1967) was marketed as the third and final installment in the Dollars Trilogy, following A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More. The film was a financial success, grossing over $25 million at the box office. Because of general disapproval of the Spaghetti Western genre at the time, critical reception of the film following its release was mixed, but it gained critical acclaim in later years. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is now seen as a highly influential example of the Western film genre and one of the greatest films of all time. Coconuts Ukulele Band. Video
[“Arthritis”] A poster urged anyone with arthritic symptoms to rush to a doctor for drugs. That’s BS. The drugs do nothing but make you feel bad with their side-effects. Your arthritis will still be there (sure, steroids will kill the pain for a while, but they will really f**k you up too). You’ll still have good days and bad days. Ask anyone who suffers with arthritis if they’ve been are cured by doctors. The answer is always no. False hope and a drain on your bank account are what suffers.
legalize canabis pot 288h[Old Heads] I am 76 years old, 80% military disabled, arthritis throughout from feet to neck, hands especially. I tried all the OTC and prescription drugs that all the voodoo, witch doctor, shaman, quacks swore would do the trick. All that happened was that my bank account went down and I felt like crap with all those chemicals coursing through my body. So I thought, is it possible that the government got it wrong and that God had the right answer?

I think it went something like this, I put the plants and animals in the garden for man’s use. Well guppy, marijuana was one of those plants and smart people have been using it for medicinal purposes from time immemorial. It’s documented that Alexander the Great used it to help his wounded troops. Well folks, it works. It seems that god is smarter than the government; only the government hasn’t figured out a way to make money out of it yet. Then there are all the lobbyists from big pharmaceutical, and big medical paying out all that mooollah to Congress to stop the legalization. Remember, it’s all about the money!

In response to the post regarding how much the National Marine Sanctuary is taking away from citizens who live and enjoy the Florida Keys waters, please read the following:

NOAA Fisheries’ Office of Protected Resources is looking for feedback from partners on their draft Strategic Plan. They have identified the following four goals:
-Stabilize the most critically endangered species and improve populations of those species near recovery
-Develop guidelines and tools to make protected species management decisions “Climate Smart”
-Maximize our effectiveness in implementing the ESA and MMPA
-Cultivate collaborators to recover and conserve protected species

You can find the full plan here Link Feedback on the draft plan should be sent to Link by February 27th. Link

geek laptopRates of myopia have increased around the world, particularly in Asia. In China about 90 percent of 17-to 19-year-olds are nearsighted, up from an estimated 10 percent in the 1950s. Myopia is pandemic in the U.S. too, reports the National Eye Institute. Once thought to affect bookish children, nearsightedness is now believed to arise from a lifestyle of not just too much study but of too little time outdoors. Glasses can clear up vision, but exposure to sunlight seems to be the best defense. A 2013 study in Taiwan found that spending school recess outside can prevent myopia’s onset.
If life is a journey, then mine is between the frig and the TV.
red coat captured soldier[Proof of a Traitor] Three documents convicted Arnold. Benedict Arnold wrote and gave to Joshua Smith, a British spy, a passport. “Joshua Smith has permission to pass with a boat and three hands and a flag to Dobbs’s Ferry, on public business, and to return immediately.!!

The second passport said, “Joshua Smith has permission to pass the guards to the White Plains and to return, he being on public business by my direction.”

He then wrote another for a different British spy, “Permit Mr. John Anderson to pass the guards to the White Plains, or below if he chooses, he being on public business by my direction.”

These three passes sealed Benedict Arnold’s fate as a traitor.

Mr “Anderson” was soon captured with six separate papers that would enable the British to capture West Point. First, artillery orders, which had recently been published at West Point, giving directions how each corps should dispose of itself in case of an alarm. This paper was of the utmost importance, as it would enable the enemy, when they should make an attack, to know the precise condition of every part of the garrison. Secondly, an estimate of the force at West Point and its dependencies. Thirdly, an estimate of the number of men requisite to man the works. Fourthly, a return of the ordnance in the different forts, redoubts, and batteries. Fifthly, remarks on the works at West Point, describing the construction of each, and its strength or weakness. Sixthly, a report of a council of war lately held at headquarters, which contained hints respecting the probable operations of the campaign, and which General Washington had sent to Arnold a few days before, requesting his opinion on the subject to which it referred.

The soldier who captured Mr “Anderson” and his six papers sent him back to General Arnold! Fortunately for the fledgling country, the prisoner never made it and was rerouted to George Washington. The rest is history.

The captain of the doomed freighter El Faro emailed his superiors asking about changing the route home the day before his ship sank near the Bahamas. Philip Morrell, vice president of marine operations for Tote Services Inc., told a U.S. Coast Guard investigative panel Tuesday that it is not company policy for captains to ask for permission about voyages or routes. The change of route was refused and the ship sunk in the storm, killing everyone.
mosquito outline[Zika] I believe the public opposition to releasing GMO (genetically modified organism) mosquitoes in the Keys was overwhelming, but was largely ignored since they were budgeted anyway. Now, the supposed threat of Zika has gathered support for the harebrained idea. Fear sells. Fear sways public opinion. Fear is the primary tool of those who would manipulate. They would fight an epidemic that does not exist, and if it never manifests, they would claim the credit, even though doing nothing would probably work just as well.
[Regal Damselfish] Oh boy, a new non-native species in our Gulf of Mexico. Link
backhoe 2[Road Rage Against Tourists] Tuesday, Carl Joseph Blahnik, 59, commandeered a backhoe and went on 3 hour mission to destroy the Seven Mile Bridge, dumping rocks, damaging the highway and charging patrol cars before he was finally stopped by deputies using spike strips. He faces a total of 10 charges: Two counts of damage to property, grant theft, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon without intent to kill and fleeing police. All are felonies. He was also charged with five misdemeanors: Reckless driving. The first deputy on the scene got out of his patrol car at Mile Marker 45 in an attempt to talk Blahnik into stopping, but he instead tried to hit the deputy with the concrete jackhammer attachment. Blahnik said he was only trying to slow down traffic since people do not know how to drive.”
[Zika] The World Health Organization says it may be necessary to use controversial methods like genetically modified mosquitoes to wipe out the insects that are spreading the Zika virus across the Americas. The Keys are next.
dog baby love


What love looks like.

The Marathon McDonald’s wants to upgrade their drive-through. Probably because business is good and they want their business to get better. This is very understandable and right. The City of Marathon wants something in return for allowing this to move forward. The City wants more parking, upgraded landscaping, and to require the cleanup of an area of blight. City Hall also wants McDonald’s to close off an access point “saying it’s dangerous”. Good, the City of Marathon should require improving public safety, parking, landscaping and put a stop to blights whenever possible. I cannot see anything wrong with this, my only question has to do with why this is required of most of us but not required when it comes to the Lucignanos, Cinques and Rosascos?

What is so sad is not the fact that Ralph Lucignano, Mike Cinque and Peter Rosasco who by their actions have continually proven that they do not really care about Marathon or our Community but who seem to only care about their self-interests and their money. Of course, the world is full of people like these three stooges but the sadness is in the fact that the City has continually allowed and in some instances encouraged them to get away with what I consider to be crimes against the People of Marathon. It has not only been about special approvals, special deals, or special laws, it is also about trying to ruin some innocent people who were only trying to do their jobs and then having the City of Marathon hire new people who would provide special treatment for the Lucignano, Cinque, Rosascos as they so desired and expected. It may seem to some that this is no longer a problem with Cinque and Lucignano out of office but Rosasco is still at the City trough. His finance services contract with the City of Marathon profits him $100,000 per year not to mention his insider status as a preferred developer and code violator. We are also left with the fact many of these past mistakes are still with us and will continue to be a problem unless or until they are corrected.

wagging tail dog[Tail Wagging Guide] You can tell what your dog is feeling by the way the tail wags.  Tail wagging to the left — glad to see you.  Wagging to the right — greeting a friend.  Tail down — aggression.  Tail tucked under — fear.  Tail straight up — crap on the floor.
[Beige] They’ll soon have to add another option to ‘Race’ on forms. The races are blending and soon enough there will be more mulattos than pure Caucasians. Mulatto has such a bad connotation that Beige will be more acceptable.
Pyriproxyfen[Zika virus panic] I smelled a rat right away and it looks like my smeller was right on. This article is from a Health Sciences Institute newsletter.  “… a coalition of South American doctors has discovered a new and very likely culprit behind the microcephaly outbreak. It’s a pesticide called pyriproxyfen that’s poisoning the water in Brazil and lots of other places — including right here in America.
And this is no wild conspiracy theory, either, no matter what you’re going to hear from Big Pharma and even our government. In fact, pyriproxyfen is actually designed to cause birth defects!
It keeps mosquitoes from infecting the water by causing deformities in their larvae and killing them.
And while we discovered the Zika virus 70 years ago, they just started using pyriproxyfen in the Brazilian water supply in 2014. That’s right around the time all these microcephaly cases started showing up — and that sounds like one heck of a coincidence to me. Rio Grande do Sul, the fifth most populated state in Brazil, has even stopped putting pyriproxyfen into the drinking water of its more than 11 million residents.” Link
People are awesome. Video
orchid bends petalNext meeting of the Key West Orchid Society is Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016 at the West Martello Fort, 1pm – program starts at 1:30

You know how breathtakingly beautiful our show usually is. But the weather has played dirty tricks on us this year and there are not enough orchids in bloom! We beg & plead with everyone to bring in every last orchid in your collection that even looks like it’s blooming. If at all possible we hope you will even buy a few extra orchids to enter. Let’s try to fill our show with beautiful flowers and not disappoint the paying customers.

The El Faro’s owner sent a company-wide safety alert out about a hurricane last summer, but did not send one before the storm that contributed to the ship’s sinking, company officials testified Wednesday.
favor-logoFAVOR – Friends And Volunteers Of Refuges – Florida Keys is to support the National Wildlife Refuges of the Florida Keys through education, non adversarial advocacy, volunteerism and fundraising. FAVOR began in 1997 by a group of local residents concerned with the environment and the wildlife that lives in our refuges. Our Mission is to support the National Wildlife Refuges of the Florida Keys through education, non adversarial advocacy, volunteerism and fund raising. Our Goals are to further the understanding and appreciation of the Florida Keys’ refuges by creating and attending educational programs, supporting a clean environment and recycling efforts through regular Clean Up events and Trash can corrals.

FAVOR operates the Key Deer Bookstore, specializing in books, toys and gifts related to nature and history of the Florida Keys.  FAVOR volunteers help staff the Refuges’ Visitor Center, the Blue Hole, outreach, trail maintenance and other projects. FAVOR helps sponsor several of the Refuges’ educational programs including Camp Run-a-Muk, Rockin’ Refuge Rangers. Also the Florida Keys Birding and Wildlife Festival and other events. Link

Lemongrass bomb to fight Zika. Video
marathon-logoE. Shaffer’s Marathon City Manager interview.
1. What is your background? Short bio for you and your family.
Having served over 23 years in the Coast Guard, Leslie and I have had the opportunity to live in many places. In 2010 we were blessed to be assigned here in Marathon and made many wonderful friends. Marathon reminded us so much of our home in Ketchikan Alaska that this wonderful town was hard to leave. Leslie’s son Keygan 16, enjoyed school and looks forward to being back at Marathon High where he is playing soccer. Our son Bosun (the only true conch in the family) was born at Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West three years ago and loves the beach.

2. Did you ever get involved Reduction in Forces (RTF), while you were in service with the Coast Guard? Did RTF happen to you? Did the people who worked for you become involved in RTF:
Until recently the Coast Guard has not had a reduction in force program since the early 90s. Only this last few years have they institutionalized a High Year Tenure Program that established growth points for advancement. If a member exceeds that year (depending on his or her rank) they “may” be unable to re enlist. With our current challenges, this program is needed and the Coast Guard has done an incredible job putting together a program that is well managed. To answer your other question, I was not part of the HYT program and left voluntarily, 7 years before my maximum date. I left for the wonderful opportunity to serve the people of Marathon again, but this time as their city manager. What I will miss most about my service is the people, our values, and the purpose. The Coast Guard is one of our nations best organizations, its comprised of some of the greatest selfless leaders I have ever had the honor of working with.

3. You are at the beginning of working for the City as its manager. How does it go?
These first few weeks have been busy but great. All five of the councilmen, staff, and local leaders have been extremely helpful and welcoming. George Garrett and Diane Clavier are working hard to get me up to speed and many residents have reached out to welcome Leslie and I, it feels great to be back.

4. What do you think of city staff?
The City staff is professional, dedicated, and extremely supportive. Not a day goes by that I am not impressed with someone on our staff. From Planning and Code, to Public Works and Parks and Recreation, our residents can be proud of their entire city staff.

I’d like to point out that I have been very impressed with Mr Dan Saus, in Utilities. He is who Marathon needs managing our wastewater system, we are lucky to have him. Incredibly knowledgeable, Dan and his entire staff are dedicated to serving our residents and setting high standards for success.

5. How well do you think you can deal with local politics?
Not having a political bone in my body, or any experience with it, that is yet to be determined. However, I believe that the city manager should be impartial and do his or her best to put Marathon and its people first. In addition to managing the day to day operations of the city, It’s my duty to provide factual information, free from bias, to the council so they can represent us all and make the best decisions possible.

You asked me about staff, let me also tell you about our Council members. I have been extremely impressed with all 5 of our council. I truly believe each one of them loves this city and has its best interests at heart. I am proud to have them representing me as a resident, as well as, me as their City Manager and am excited to work with all of them.
6. Anything we miss that you want to add?
I would like to add that Marathon is a special place. A place that is more than palm trees, beautiful water and warm breezes. It’s a family community comprised of incredible people who make up the very core of our town and that is why Leslie and I chose to return. I would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome, I promise to serve every member of this community to the best of my ability.





[Citizen of the Day Says] “Key West chickens can be friendlier than ordinary people.”
whip s&m

[Appreciating Schooling] You don’t appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older. Little things like being spanked every day by a middle-aged woman. Stuff you pay good money for later in life.

FKAA finally abandoned one of the 6 septic/aerobic/cesspit sewage disposal systems in Marathon to the City’s central sewer. It was a gravity connection to a vacuum pit. Since there were two buildings on this pipe it was supposed to have a DEP permit, but I bet it didn’t. Sure took long enough to get around to it. I think that central sewer became available in 2010. No word on when or if the other 5 tanks or holes in the ground will be replaced with a pipe to the central system. This is a good example of how all their talk about the urgency of getting septic tanks out of the ground to save the ocean is just empty rhetoric. It is your money they spend to connect, they have their own pipe layers and equipment, they do not need to hire a licensed plumber, and they don’t need building permits or inspections, but they still can’t be bothered to connect.
tsunami-wave-manThe tallest recorded mega-tsunami in modern times hit Lituya Bay, Alaska in 1958; it destroyed vegetation up to 1,722 feet above the height of the bay and the wave that traveled across the bay was reported to have a crest on the order of 98 feet in height. So much for the Florida Keys should a tsunami hit!
Banned Budweiser Super Bowl ad. Video
[Captain Doom and Gloom] DEF: Brotherhood n. The area in big cities you don’t want to go to!
DEF: Wellfare n. A future toll to get a glass of water.
DEF: Mixmaster n. A pimp who specializes in mixed race dates.
DEF: Adverteasing n. A system to dupe fools with sales.
DEF: Wholesale n. Sticking into a customer’s wallet without lube.
DEF: Periodontist n. Called a Gummy Bear in Alaska.
DEF: Scrapple n. A meat product that has been killed twice.“Bill Cosby” It is a crying shame that a man with a Big One gets in trouble for doing what every woman wants, that is to satisfy them, but then gets sued because he stops or cannot do more. This is a sign of the times where men have lost control and woman have us by the short-hairs, or worse, our wallets. Time to bring back manhood in America, and in fact, the whole freaking world!
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