Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
[“Frozen fish”] I would like to respond to the outright lie that someone published about my restaurant, Square Grouper Bar and Grill. By no means do we serve frozen, imported fish. Come and look at my receipts and see how much money I spend on fresh local fish. I call bullshit!
|[Sewer Failure] Word on the street, especially from the guys trying to repair it, is that the Cudjoe Regional sewer collection system is a huge failure that does not work as intended. That is with only about 350 connections! How will it work with 9,000!
There is a groundswell developing to petition the State to be able to retain septic systems and other onsite treatment as backup to this “grand experiment” as, I think, Kevin Wilson called it in a public meeting. It is on video, anyway. A brand new grassroots group is currently being formed to handle this petition. To write a convincing petition, we need eyewitness reports of the system failures, so they can be documented. FKAA management is hiding all they can, of course.
Reports of sewer failures may be sent to CudjoeFail@mail.com for now. The more detail you can include, the better, but date, location, and nature of the failure are important. If you can include time of day and service truck numbers, so much the better. Already it has been reported that:
Keep your eyes open, watch what’s going on, ask questions, and please report those failures to CudjoeFail@mail.com. If you need to stay anonymous, no problem. Nobody can report failures better than an FKAA or contractor’s employee. When the petition is available, you will know it.
Coconuts is a great spot to watch the Super Bowl. We’ve got A/C, lots of TV’s, Wi/Fi, and really great drink prices. 33 years of Rockin’ ya Right at the Light. We must be doing something right. See you there! ~The “NUT”
|[Lodging Wanted] We had no idea all rooms (that are less than $400 a night) would be full when our son is going to be at Sea Camp – arriving 2/23 – departing 2/26. Our son has Epilepsy, a seizure disorder, & Dad needs to stay as close to the camp as we can without our son knowing we are being helicopter parents! We want Dad close by just in case he is needed. If anyone has any connections & can maybe point us in the right direction so we can rent a room for the dates above we would be so very grateful! Steve Duce 1-904-993-6457 or email@example.com
Everything must go out with the tide. Some things return; some things never do. It is joy and it is sorrow, alone together. It is life in the Keys–and it is beautiful.
|Our hunt for sunken Spanish gold. When the Fisher family heard about a 17th century Spanish treasure ship which sank off the coast of Florida they embarked on a seventeen-year search to find it. Audio
|[“Difference between .380 and .38 gun”] Thanks for the info. You stopped me from making a mistake. I want a semi-automatic pistol, but my other guns are .38 Specials and I don’t want to stock another size ammo. I liked the little Walther PK380 because it only weighs 19 ounces and only costs $329. I wish there was another light weight pistol that used .38 Special rounds.
|[“American youth”] We older folks are amazed and disheartened that “24% of teens are online almost constantly”. What we don’t consider is that they grew up knowing no other way. They were born into the social media generation, unlike most of us who were born into the rotary-dial-party line-phone generation.
|[“Repair grinder pumps at owner’s expense”] We were forced to sign over ownership of the easement to the grinder pumps, so I think FKAA is legally responsible for maintaining them at their expense, as we no longer own the property, FKAA does.
[“Fresh fish”] Something to think about as you enjoy your snapper, hogfish or dolphin (usually Tilapia) at most restaurants down here. Video
|[Open Letter To The School Board] Gentlemen:
I am sure that you are anxiously looking forward, as many of us are, to Superintendent Porter’s investigative report at your February 9, 2016 meeting regarding the financial irregularities in the daycare operations at HOB school. Most likely the “investigative report” will be presented to you as part of a larger general report by the Superintendent. That makes perfectly good sense.
What concerns me are the comments in the rumor mill that the Superintendent’s “investigative report” will be presented orally and not published as part of the agenda for the meeting. Whether it will be distributed to you and to the public at the meeting is not entirely clear either. I hope that those rumors are scurrilous and inaccurate.
Such an important report deserves and must be published for the general public and yourselves to thoroughly review. This report, arguably, is the most important one in his tenure that Superintendent Porter will bring to you. Ideally, the report would be linked on the agenda so that the public and yourselves will have an opportunity to conduct that review PRIOR to the meeting.
As you know from an earlier open letter, I have argued that the School District, particularly the School Board, has an obligation to publish ALL reports listed on workshop and meeting agendas whether or not such publication is required by law. Transparency and full public accountability demand such.
I hope that you will concur and make certain that the Superintendent’s investigative report on financial irregularities will be available to the public and to yourselves seven days in advance of the meeting when the agenda, as required by law, is made public. If it is your intention to publish the report timely and the rumors to the contrary are inaccurate, please let me and the general public know that at your earliest convenience. Quashing groundless rumors in this instance would be a significant public service.
~Dr. Larry Murray, Fiscal Watchdog and Citizen Activist
[Beer] The average American consumes 23 gallons of beer each year. Or what I call amateurs.
|[“Difference between .380 ammo and .38”] I guess I neglected to mention 380 (9mm Kurz) & .38 are not the diameter of the projectile. It is 0.357″ whereas 9mm projectiles are 0.3543″. Now someone asks, “Well, what about that 9×18 Makarov?” Its projectile measures 0.364”. Ah, those crafty Russians, their Makarov pistols are capable of firing NATO 9×19 Parabellum ammo, but NATO 9mm pistols will not fire the Russian 9mm Makarov.
[“Lying Servers”] I was at Bistro 31 the other night and when asked by a tourist if the sea scallops were fresh and local, the waitress assured her they were. Fact: we don’t harvest the large sea scallops here, only the small bay scallops. And no sea scallops sold here are fresh, they are all frozen and imported from up north or elsewhere. It’s lying servers who are really the problem.
|[“Frozen fish”] To those who commented on getting “not local fish” in Tuesdays CocoTele. I happened to drive by Boodocks on Tuesday the 2nd of February and saw Fishbusterz delivering fish! They deliver local fish, so if you’re looking for fresh/local seafood, I saw the delivery Boonies received. I also heard that fish in the old Kaya building at Bay Point is serving local only seafood and the menu is created based on what gets delivered each day. The Stoned Crab in Key West is also supporting “dock-to-dish”.
As for the other two places it’s been years since I’ve bothered to go in to Key West. It’s such a homogenized version of what once was, and is now safe for all our nasty northeastern visitors who wouldn’t know fresh Keys seafood if it bit them on the butt. I would be surprised if the Square Grouper served anything without being upfront about its origin.
As a reality check, the days of getting fresh local seafood here in the Keys are all but over with only a few restaurants willing to shell out the cost for fresh and local. There are fewer patrons wanting to pay the restaurant price for that local meal. The other issue is the Keys are severely over-fished so demand is harder to meet with all the tourists. Sadly, I’ve realized most of the places here have turned into northern influenced sports bars using TVs and bar food to fill seats with rude people who are here only for the weather and nothing else. We’re now God’s Southernmost waiting room with bingo nights almost as popular as cheap taco nights.
[“Corn hole”] I was laughing at the sign in a previous CT request, “wanted cornhole tossers.” It would have an entirely different meaning to a Brit. “Tosser” or “wanker” is slang for masturbate. I’m not really sure how the Brits would interpret cornhole, but I have a good idea.
|[“I hate frozen fish”] I have had a similar experience at the Square Grouper. I ordered hogfish at the bar upstairs. It was terrible and fishy tasting. As a sign says in KW: if it looks like fish and smells like fish, it isn’t fresh.
A Cuba migrant windsurfed across the Florida Straits and came ashore at Naval Air Station Key West property in the Truman Annex Tuesday afternoon. The migrant told Navy personnel that he had been on the water for about 12 hours. (Footnote: Upon arrival, the US government gave him a new home, car, healthcare and $1,000 a month.)
|Since the new editor, you’ve got to wonder about the KW Citizen. They’ve been doing all sorts of slam jobs (recently the school board) and when it’s explained on the radio (US1) it sure sounds like biased news. I’ve talked to a reporter about the twisting of the facts to fit their story previously and they didn’t disagree. I’m not sure what is driving it other than a desire to create controversy and hopefully sell more newspapers. I’m on the verge of cancelling my subscription. I guess the old saying of not having a war of words with someone who buys ink by the barrel may apply.
|[“Deleting emails”] I work in the IT industry and the current legal sentiment around the US (and elsewhere) is to delete emails as soon as possible. Businesses/lawyers view these as a liability and it’s legally defensible to delete emails if it’s in accordance to the corporate retention policy, subject to any legal holds in effect. But this does not apply to electronic records (like claim forms, blueprints, personnel files. regulatory filings, etc) which have different retention policies. Archive is just a cheaper means of retaining electronic material. I know folks love a conspiracy theory, but if FKAA has a policy established for emails, it’s pretty much aligned with the trend in the industry. In fact, a lot of companies are blocking retention of instant messages – they aren’t being and can’t be saved for the same liability reasons – it’s one more way our litigious society is changing behaviors to avoid issues.
|Rocketman Celebration of Life and Memorial at Porky’s Bayside, 01/28/2016 in Marathon, Florida Keys. Video
|[Bike Racks at Library at WD Plaza] Any idea who to contact to get the bike racks rotated. As we all know, they are working on the parking lot. They took the existing bike rack and moved it about 10 feet North. The way it was set-up and still is, on both sides, the back bike tires reach into the parking lot or real close to the curb. If they would just rotate it 90 degrees when they permanently install, it would be more functional and we wouldn’t have to worry about our bikes getting smashed by a car.
|[“Diner claims he ate frozen fish”] I’m not sure why the slam on Square Grouper. We’ve been going for years and the food is outstanding. None of us think the fish is frozen or imported. I wonder what triggered that.
We’re pretty lucky on Cudjoe Key. We have Square Grouper (which won a top ten honor for best restaurant in a small town in America) and now Bella Luna, which is a very nice addition. And right across the bridge is Mangrove Mama’s which has really upped their game. The food is really good now (it was always good, but now it’s very good).
[Combative Women] US females have complained about gender inequality to the point of demanding combat arms positions like SEALs, Rangers, Green Berets, Marine Force Recon., infantry, tanks, etc. So a General agreed. He said that all women should be required to register for the draft, just like males. What could be more equal? If Goldie Hawn and Demi Moore could do it why couldn’t any other female?
|[“FKAA deleting emails”] Deleting emails is a way to reduce lawsuits by removing evidence. Saving them requires very little hard drive space, so the act of saving them is not the problem—lawsuits are.
|[Search Dog in WD] There was a big German Shepherd in Winn Dixie today. It had a “Search Dog” jacket on. I’m not sure what it was searching for. I know the Keys are really liberal as you see all kinds of dogs in Home Depot, CVS, Walgreens, etc. Not so much at WD, let alone a big German Shepherd. Is this legal? What would the health department have to say? I guess if you want to legally take your dog into a store you just buy a jacket online for a search dog, comfort dog, guide dog, etc. I realize there are handicap people that legitimately need a dog.
|[Zika] Gov. Rick Scott declared a health emergency in four counties Wednesday after at least nine cases of the mosquito-borne Zika illness were detected in Florida. Gov. Rick Scott and State Surgeon General Dr. John Armstrong are planning to give an update on Florida’s preparedness efforts relating to the Zika virus. Coming soon to a county near you! Link
James Bond‘s Walther PPK was a .32ACP. .380’s were in PPKs.
|[Crooks] Horace O’Bryant School’s principal said he would seek legal counsel after receiving a list of questions by the school board’s attorneys investigating why $20,000 went missing from a day care program. “From this email, it is evident I will need an attorney,” Mike Henriquez wrote last Thursday, in reply to the lawyers and Superintendent Mark Porter. The day care’s missing money looks more like a crime than an accounting blunder as investigations press on, several school board members said Wednesday.
|Oil is so low that there is a global shakeup. Oil giants are selling off assets in the multi billions of dollars as fast as they can. All oil giants are laying off workers in the tens of thousands. All oil producing countries are in trouble which in the past has lead to war as they scamper for resources and to boost national pride. Al Jazeera America will stop broadcasting April 30 due to lost revenue by their sponsor nation Qatar. All the while the Arabs keep pumping as much oil as they can further inflating the oil glut worldwide. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the airlines haven’t lowered their prices because of their huge savings in fuel.
|Automatic Windows 10 installs begin but how easy are they to stop? Link
|[Photo Club] Looking for a new adventure? We invite you to attend a meeting of our Photography Club sponsored by the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges and our Friends group, FAVOR. We welcome everyone; from beginners wanting to learn to experienced photographers who want to share their expertise. Together we’ll explore the natural areas of the Florida Keys looking for great photography opportunities and stories to share. Find out about our new photo contest. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 10th, 6:30-8:00 P.M. at the National Key Deer Refuge Visitor Center in the Winn-Dixie plaza on Big Pine Key. For more information, contact Kristie 305-304-9625. Facebook: Florida Keys Wildlife Refuges Photography Club
|[“Capt. Doom and Gloom”] “We need more fat chicks from New Jersey”, “Muslims should have dots on their foreheads like Hindus, only 2 or 3 inches deep” The guy is a regular George Carlin. Class all the way (sarcasm).
|[“Emails”] I gather that FKAA did not remove anything over a year old from either the emails or the server’s “P: drive” on Friday as intended. Reports are that old emails and files are still there. I bet they had a finger hovering over the “Deletion Start” button when word came down that they had to archive instead, and they realized they did not have a place to store it and did not have a program routine written and ready to implement an archiving instead of a deletion.
|The idea of retaining my perfectly operational septic system as a backup to a Centralized Sewer System of very questionably design, should be a no-brainer to all. I have questioned this system to others in the trade and none agree it will work properly because of it being at sea level. However, we have it now and hopefully it will be made to work, but, that that is a big but, if it does fail what recourse do we property owners have but to evacuate Paradise and to where? Where are thousands of ‘homeless’ families going to go until the sewer personal repair and clean the mess they made? Jobs will be lost, businesses shut down, deliveries of goods and produce stopped, and in a worst case scenario, these islands will be condemned for days or weeks or months. What will that do to real estate values and livability of these islands? For the value of a simple Kiss Principle control valve, we are tempting fate.
I will submit my name to any list that demands our state and local representatives pass a septic system law to prevent such a disaster and to allow all hook-up installers to install diverter valves to allow a homeowner to back-up his sewer system to his existing septic system.
Only in America do we accept weather predictions from a rodent, but deny climate change evidence from scientists.
|A while back I was listening to US1 morning magazine and Judge Miller had just finished stating that all men are equal in the eyes of the law. What a crock of doodoo. First it was OJ, now we hear that some deal was cut and now Bill Cosby can’t be prosecuted. So what Judge Miller should have said was everyone is equal under the law unless you’re someone special with deep pockets.
[Sharia Law] Next up on Fox News: Did the government force the NFL to drop Roman numerals in favor of Arabic numerals for Super Bowl 50 as part of Sharia Law?
|With half of the candidates dropping out of the presidential stroll, I wonder who will give back their support funds back to their supporters or shift it to whomever is staying the course to the Big Chair? Yeah, right! Follow the money.
|FKAA Customer Service web page. Link
The best of Stefan Pabst’s 3D drawings. Video
|At this point, most reasonable people would agree that the purchase of Peary Court doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Link
|Regarding the trash issue on a new home construction site on Heck Ave, I contacted the builder/property owner, Pabian, via their Facebook site. I received a response within 24 hours stating they will clean up the lot. There is quite a bit of trash on it as of this writing. They are also now aware that someone else in the neighborhood mentioned it on this site. Hopefully, knowing they are being discussed in an open forum will be enough to keep this site and any others they are currently working on, tidy. We shall see.
|[Sexists] Grow your own dope. Plant a woman.
The Sika virus is found in spit and pee.
|[Out of the Box, My Opinion by Bruce Schmitt] Earlier this year Larry Shaffer, Publisher of the online Florida Keys Journal offered me the opportunity to submit my missives for publication in his paper. Larry and I met to discuss his most interesting idea. His offer was to print my opinions without any censorship which when you stop to think about it, it is not something that anyone in the news media today allows, even though we live in a supposedly “free” country.
I immediately liked Larry’s offer but I needed advice! I went to my friends, family, associates, attorneys, and psychologists who mostly thought it was a bad idea and advised against it. The most interesting exception was Jason Koler of the Marathon Weekly who told me that it was a good idea and that I should do it. He immediately laughed his signature giggle. So, based on all this best advice, I have decided to write for the Florida Keys Journal because my gut feeling is that it is a good idea.
I will be writing a column for the Journal called: “Out of the Box, My Opinion by Bruce Schmitt”. I will need some help with my logo which I envision to be a simple pine casket box with me as a skeleton sitting up inside with a caption box above my skull saying something different for each article. Will need some help with the graphics.
Hopefully the column will be weekly. It will be fact based, as all my writings are, with my point of view based on those facts. The purpose of the column is to stimulate some thought as opposed to spoon feeding false information or telling people how they should think. I will not be selling political or philosophical ideology. I will be challenging people to think and maybe even discuss real issues. It seems to me that we are losing the ability to have conversations where different opinions can be discussed with facts and truth.
People who know me well, know that I like people who are thoughtful, not afraid to voice their opinions, and who have some factual basis behind what they say and believe. I do not have time for stupidity, puppets, air heads, politicians, ideologues, arrogance, and bullies. Unfortunately there are more in the second group than is healthy, but that can change with evolution and the truth.
So, I will be talking about stuff that many people may not like. If you don’t like my opinion then develop your own opinion but make sure you have some facts behind what you think because if you don’t then you are just another asshole (for lack of a better word). Also, own your opinion; don’t just throw something out unless you think it is cute to poop in your panties. Not cute, it actually stinks!
This column will be my opinion. It will be based on facts. It will be based on truth. If you look for the facts and if you find the facts, then you will know the truth. By reading my column you will come to your own conclusion. Welcome to a new way of thinking, out of the box!
Alice Cooper on being himself– Kirsty Young. Audio
|[Getting It Wrong] “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out” ~Decca Records on declining to sign the Beatles in 1962. Oops!
|[Key West Mardi Gras Pub Crawl to Benefit Sister Season Fund] Celebrate Fat Tuesday and support the sister Season Fund at the annual Key West Mardi Gras Pub Crawl. The event kicks off with a pre-party at Bourbon St. Pub at 5PM on February 9th, where participants can register and pick up their T-shirts. The crawl starts at 6PM and includes stops at 801 Bourbon Bar, Aqua Nightclub, Bobby’s Monkey Bar, the Bottlecap, LaTeDa, Saloon 1, the Salty Angler, and Viva Saloon. The suggested donation is $25. The Sister Season Fund was created to help locals employed in tourist related industries when a temporary financial emergency occurs. For more information, contact Julie Hanson at 305-304-9828.
|[“Should we buy Peary Court”] Why not send out questionnaire to the people who live there? They will be the best ones to tell us about the property, roofs, A/C, plumbing, doors and windows and other problems. When was the last time it was painted? A great way to get a true and honest inspection and will not cost $166,600. It is worth a try.
[Walther] “Show him Q.” Walther PPK in 7.65(32acp) with a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window, takes a brusch silencer with minimal velocity loss. But in later films there was a PPK-S and a P5 in .380.
|[“Pickle Ball”] I don’t know anything about Pickle Ball, but I do know a little about “hide the pickle”.
|I am a Seenager. (Senior teenager) I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 years later. I don’t have to go to school or work. I get an allowance every month. I have my own pad. I don’t have a curfew. I have a driver’s license and my own car. I have ID that gets me into bars and the whisky store. The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant. And I don’t have acne. Life is great. I have more friends I should send this to, but right now I can’t remember their names.
|[Snowbirds get birds eye view of grinder pump controversy] We arrived in our Ramrod Key rental in early January. As always, we carefully read the owners instructions on caring for his property. Being former landlords we understand the importance of respecting others’ houses. What was different about this year is we are instructed not to use toilet paper when flushing. (along with a list of over items, most of which are common sense items that one should not flush.) Not thinking to bring corn cobs from the farms that surround our home on the Maryland shore, my darling Lola suggested we contact the owner for some sort of explanation. Unfortunately, I did and the owner’s explanation made sense. He was hit with a sizable repair bill and was advised not to flush anything but human waste and toilet paper.
The Devil’s Dictionary: Politics, n. A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage.
|[Jazz Brunch] On Sunday, February 14th, United Way of the Florida Keys will be having a Valentine’s Day Jazz Brunch at the Lobster Crawl Bar and Grill. The brunch will be from 11:30-2pm on Fiesta Key (mile marker 70) and features live music from a local jazz trio. Tickets are $65 per person or $25 per child and are available at link.
The brunch will include an Endless Champagne and a Bloody Mary Bar, cinnamon roll French toast, local hogfish Oscar, smoked salmon platter, scrambled eggs, and more.
|NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary will hold a public meeting of the Sanctuary Advisory Council in Marathon, Florida, at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 16 at Hyatt Place, 1996 Overseas Highway, Marathon. The new Refuge Manager for Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex, Dan Clark, will open the morning session, which includes updates on resource condition and recent activities of the Refuge Complex. The refuge complex is a federal partner in the sanctuary’s current regulatory review and updates to their backcountry management plan will be included in the Draft Environmental Impact Statement that NOAA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plan to release for public comment later this year. Staff from the refuge complex will present on management issues throughout the day, culminating in a panel discussion about refuge management. Topics will include an overview of Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge, plant species that are currently candidates for federal protection, habitat restoration, frigate birds, sea turtle nesting and butterflies. Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute staff will give a talk on spiny lobster ecology and management.
Public comment for items not on the agenda will be taken at 2:15 p.m., and will be taken before any Advisory Council decision or action. The meeting will include an update on the sanctuary’s marine zoning and regulatory review, as well as general reports from state and federal agencies on recent activities.
|[FTR] The biggest ball in Trump’s sales pitch is his claim that he is fabulously wealthy. To him and many of his supporters that equates to success and wisdom. It makes him the alpha dog, worthy of being entrusted with the future of our nation.
Does it not follow that if another candidate has garnered more wealth than Trump, then that candidate is more worthy of your support than Trump? (continued on the National Politics page …)
|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