Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Alcohol Addiction] I assisted a friend helping another friend with a really serious alcohol addiction. The alcoholic friend was comatose with a blood alcohol of 0.40, using Vodka as her vehicle to oblivion. At 0.37 and up, alcohol can be fatal, and at 0.45 it is almost always fatal. An ambulance carted off this alcohol addict, saying, “She might not make it.”, but she was tossed out of ER as soon as she was conscious and able to sort-of walk. The Delirium Tremors that began next were absolutely horrific to witness. When she fell in the shower after about 16 hours of shaking and puking, she just lay there on the shower floor with her legs stiff, sticking out the door with toes arched up in big spasms, and her whole body was twitching like a seizure (I guess it was). She was again admitted to the ER puking, peeing, and pooping with no control. She struggled against the nurses and doctors, who finally gave up on an IV and delivered meds up her butt. All this time she had no alcohol blood level and no drugs were detected on either trip to ER. They said it looks like she has “fried her brain”, and shipped her to Miami. She has no family left.
She is barely over 40, holds a professional license, and her last two boyfriends say she has never had a drug addiction except for alcohol, which began after a temporarily disabling accident caused by an uninsured, unlicensed motorist that cost her all her assets. She had no drugs with her except legitimate prescriptions that had not been abused.
Think about it. with just a moment of misfortune to initiate the process, this person could be you. If you are already drinking heavily, you may be on her path to personal destruction already. I saw her hit the wall hard at the end of the path and can assure you that you and I never want to be there. You want to get the help before it is forced on you.
|[Bucktooth Rooster] I just wanted to let Rob know that we have eaten at his restaurant numerous times and must say, the food is fantastic! Super large portions, the staff is super pleasant, helpful and just plain fantastic. I know exactly what he means when he said he hired some people that lied on their job applications. Thank you for really doing your homework and finding out that most of the locals in the Keys are not of the caliber you want to hire for your establishment. I will continue to come and eat at your restaurant as we truly enjoy the place, the food and above all, your great staff. Great job.|
|[“Name that fish”] How about George? But seriously, despite the crappy picture, I believe that fish is a leatherjack. They have spines that will mess you up!|
|[Road Prison Closing] The state Department of Corrections has chosen to close the Big Pine Key Road Prison in March instead of investing $1.8 million in the facility for much needed renovations. 25 locals will lose their jobs and be unemployed. Who will clean up and cut the grass on US1? Where will Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission store their boats, personal watercraft and trailers?
This looks like a typical case of government building a new Gucci-type facility instead of spending a few buck to maintain the existing jail? For what? To put locals out of a job? To make the prisoners more comfortable? Prisoners don’t need to be coddled. They need punishment and rehabilitation, not new landscaping of TVs. A prison should be crappy.
[Grammar Police] A poster wrote about Sloan seven sentences, all statements, and added a question mark to six of them. Question marks are meant to punctuate questions. I read the post several times trying to figure out why the poster didn’t use a period at the end of a sentence that is a statement and not a question. I don’t understand. Please help me understand.
|The repeal of the “wet foot, dry foot” policy is effective immediately, according to the official. The decision follows months of negotiations focused in part on getting Cuba to agree to take back people who had arrived in the U.S. The policy was a good one in the past when there was heavy repression from the Cuban government, but now things have changed in Cuba and those coming here are now coming for financial reasons not political.|
|How to get a boat on a trailer. Video|
|Tuesday’s Crimson Tide-Clemson Tigers rematch for all the marbles was another barnburner, a super game for the national viewing audience. On the last play of the game, with Alabama leading 31-28, Clemson’s fantastic quarterback Deshaun Watson connected with a pass in the Alabama end zone, with one second left on the play clock, and that was all she rote. Clemson evened it up with Alabama, 1-1|
|The population decline in the Keys is the result in part of geography and growth management. I don’t know how, but I think Mr. Trump will help us somehow. A string of islands offers only so much land to build on. And to curb environmental damage and over commercialism, and protect residents from hurricane property damage, the state and local governments (thank you Monroe County) have imposed strict building codes that have driven up the price of housing. But more worrisome to many residents is an upswing in hurricane activity that battered Florida in 2004 and 2005. Property insurance rates have skyrocketed since then, prompting many to pack up and leave or to cancel it.|
|[FTR’s Restaurant Review] We’ve had dinner at the Buck Toothed Rooster several times. It has always been a pleasant experience. The servers are uniformly friendly and anxious to keep their customers happy. The quality of the food is excellent, portions are huge, the ambiance is top quality, and management has taken the extra step to provide customers with quality silverware and plates.
But they’re not perfect. The single exception to the quality of the food that we’ve tasted was an order of crab cakes that I had. The flavor was okay, but there was precious little lump crabmeat in them. Other than that, the presentation was great and the side dishes delicious. The only other beef that I’ve had is with the tables. The table bases are huge, so big that it’s damned hard to navigate around them. Make sure to give their oysters a try. They were big, ice cold, salty and sweet. Just do it.
They are doing a lot business, they are really, really busy. They are going the extra mile to win locals’ business. When you visit, be sure to ask about their “Chicken Scratch” cards. If you haven’t yet given them a try, do yourself a favor and go for it. You won’t be sorry!
|[Civil War Subterfuge] At the buildup to the war, the Secretary of War, General Floyd, scattered the U. S. army so, that much of it could be captured when hostilities should commence, and distributed the cannon and small arms from Northern arsenals throughout the South so as to be on hand when treason wanted them. The navy was scattered in like manner. About a year before leaving the Cabinet he had removed arms from northern to southern arsenals.
President Lincoln did not prevent his cabinet preparing for war upon their government, either by destroying its resources or storing them in the South until a de facto government was established with Jefferson Davis as its President, and Montgomery, Alabama, as the Capital.
|[Amazon For Peons] I have had an account with Amazon since the year of their inception. I use them when they have the best price on the item(s) I am wanting to purchase. Of course, shipping time and cost is also considered. Rarely, do they have the best price. Ordering from Amazon is straight forward and only gets complicated once you get to the shipping price, time and options. The problem with Amazon is that if you don’t purchase the Amazon Prime membership ($99 /year), you are a second-tier customer which means, generally, your order will even not be shipped for several days unless you pay additional for expedited shipping.|
[Bucktooth Rooster] I would like to meet with anyone who has concerns about my restaurant. I am training our kitchen staff the Breakfast Menu everyday from 6:30 am thru 10:30 am. I can meet at 10:00 am any morning this week I just need a call at 305-916-5810 to let me know they are on the way. I will certainly make the time. Thanks, Rob. PS I’ll buy the coffee!
|Federal and state officials will release sterile screwworm flies in the Homestead area on Friday as a precautionary measure. Officials confirmed last week that a stray dog in Homestead had contracted New World screwworms, which are maggots.|
|[“Screwworm Fly treatment”] How much would be too much? Okay, it’s only a million a month for the screwy worm treatment. What if it were 7 million? How about 18 million? Can we piss away money any faster? How much would be too much?|
|[Comcast Wins Most-Hated Award–Again] Survey: Comcast remains America’s most-hated company. Link|
I always wondered what the job application is like at Hooters. Do they just give you a bra and say, “Here, fill this out?”
|[Civil War] On this day in 1861, during the night, Capt. James M. Brannan, commanding the Army Barracks Key West (now Peary Court Housing) marched his men to Fort Zachary Taylor and took command of the fort. This action ensured that Key West would remain in the Union during the Civil War and provided the Union Navy with a secure base to blockade southern ports|
[Deer Captain] As a fisherman I have low expectations and don’t want to go to the reef because I hate rocking and bouncing on the waves. I just want to catch grunts or any other white meat fish I can eat. When I lived in Key West I could just go out to the Northwest Channel to a grunt hole I knew and fill up a bucket in no time at all. They were always there. I’d sure like to find a similar place up here. Is there such a spot in this area? Are the bridges my best bet?
|How come almost every time I pick up my phone it’s up-side-down? Is the cyber God against me?|
I work at Big Pine Key Road Prison. We just received word yesterday that the prison will be closing March 31. We need all the help we can get to rally around to save our jobs!
|[Restaurant Review] We made our first trip to the Bucktooth Rooster Wednesday night with just a minor wait for a table for 4 at 6 pm. We shared mozzarella sticks and gator bites, but I wish we hadn’t bothered with appetizers because when the entrees arrived they were large portions. My two-fisted Reuben was very good. The ribs were a full rack and tender, though the sauce is a little sweet. The stuffed salmon was also very good. None of us could get past half of our entree because the portions were so large. The prices are very fair and the menu is extensive. I worry when I see a menu with that many items, but the few things we’ve sampled so far were prepared very well. We will return. Be sure to get your Chicken Scratch Card for future savings.|
|A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not interested in arriving. ~Lao Tzu|
|[Greetings from Canada] Who are the Canadian Snowbirds? Every winter nearly 1 million Canadians migrate south to escape the cold. With it being more affordable for necessities such as food and accommodation, the dollar exchange becomes a non-factor for Canadians. They have worked hard for their money and have dreamed of living south for a long time. More and more Canadians are joining the trend each year. Here are some characteristics of Canadian Snowbirds for you to think about.
-They’re physically active. A recent survey of over 2400 Snowbirds shows they are more interested than ever in golfing, playing tennis, going to the beach and other activities.
-Their numbers are growing. The numbers from 2014 to 2015 of Canadians travelling to the USA increased by 6%. To put that into perspective, that is more than travelers to China and Brazil combined.
-They love to travel to the US. Even more than traveling in their own country, Snowbirds love to head south. In December 2015, Canadians made 5.2 million trips across the border compared to 2.1 million trips within Canada.
-They really love Florida. Is it any surprise that Florida is the favorite spot for extended visits? The average stay is 21 days and has shown drastic increases since 2002. These stays represent significant spending. Florida in fact represents 20% of all Canadian Spending in the United States. In fact over 500,000 Canadian’s own property in Florida.
-They don’t tip. They are the cheapest tourists of them all, well maybe a close second to R/V tourists.
|[“Name that fish”] Leather Jack. The leatherjack fish inhabits shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico and southern Atlantic coast. Also, it is found in Australian waters, in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Note: they have 3 spines in front of their dorsal fin. Beware, they have a poison not unlike a saltwater catfish. If they fin you, you will be in discomfort for a hour or 2. Even though they look great, they make very poor bait. Well that’s to say, I have not had much luck using them. ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, Downtown Big Pine Key fishing capital of the world!|
|The BPK Flea Market is in full swing. You can get just about anything there this Saturday and Sunday.|
|The next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up this Saturday, January 14, 10 am at the senior center. Hope to see you there! Full Menu > Ongoing Events|
|[Sears Sells Craftsman] Is it the end for Sears? Stanley Tools bought the Craftsman too division of Sears. That was just about the only thing Sears did right was make good hand tools. They are closing another 150 stores in addition to all the other stores they’ve already closed. I often wondered how Sears stays in business being so out of touch with their customers’ wants. Video|
|[Fishbusterz sited for 123 undersized hogfish] Hogfish is a prized possession for us as a small boat fisherman, and was really disappointed to hear the new hogfish size minimum going into affect by FWC. I understand because the hogfish are overfished. But reading this in the Citizen makes me really irate! Fishbusterz had 123 undersized hogfish on their premises that an employee was filleting. This should be a felony and not a misdemeanor. I for one will not be eating there.
Citizen Quote: “The FWC received an anonymous tip the same day that a Fishbusterz employee was filleting undersized hogfish and arrived to find just that as well as 47 undersized in a nearby orange bin by the fillet table along with 76 undersized hogfish elsewhere on the property, said FWC spokesman Officer Bobby Dube.”
|The closest I’ve ever come to camping is five straight hours at a beer tent.|
|[“Editor’s reputation”] “Editing hurts Deer Ed’s reputation” No way. Ed has no reputation. Anyone that has been a Keys resident as long as Deer Ed doesn’t have or need a reputation. Back in the day, he was the night watchman at the Key West Aquarium and lived upstairs. It was so long ago, all they had then was two Key West grunts and a squid for the 16 tourists annually to view. “Reputation? We don’t need no stinkin’ reputation!”|
|[School Superintendent Porter] Will the District be publishing on its website the results of the survey of students, parents and teachers regarding school start times as well as the analysis of those results by a third party? The results at least should be public records available to the public in general. Publication on the website will facilitate informing the community|
|[“Name that fish”] Oligoplites saurus. Leather Jack or leather jacket This mackerel-looking fish has dorsal and ventral fins that have a nasty sting. Be careful when handling them, or better yet, do not handle them!|
[Tweet] In 1891 the KW City Commission passed an ordinance prohibiting the killing or trapping of any song bird.
|Sloan has a good heart. You meanies need to leave him alone and quit being jealous that he was raised and lived like a king. You have no idea what he has been thru. It is terribly hard to go from super wealthy to indigent. Sloan makes efforts to make the Keys a better place to live, which is way more than I can say for the most of the bullies who live down here. There are more bullies down here than anywhere else in the world! Anyone in positions of authority, be it code creeps, the mail delivery or even the over-fishermen and the criminal over-fish collectors who are on house arrest-they are all abusing their powers and ruining what was once a very nice place to visit and live. Sloan better high tail it out of this joint when payday hits. You people are awful. Just awful.|
|[Restaurant Review] No I am not the owner, relative, employee or related to anyone at the Bucktooth Rooster. Yes, I am a 37 year Monroe county resident who has experienced two incredibly tasty, enormous and reasonably priced meals at this establishment. Yes, I intend to return often as the place has been transformed from the dark cave it once was into a cheery, inviting restaurant with a humongous menu that offers something for everyone. Don’t take my word, go yourself, judge for yourself, you’ll be happy you did.|
[FTR has such a narrow mind] Meet Exxon’s Rex Tillerson, Trump’s choice for Secretary of State. Exxon has billions of dollars of oil reserves and drilling rights in Russia that can go forward only if the United States lifts sanctions against Russia. Exxon solution: Put “our man” in as Secretary of State. I wish this was a conspiracy theory and not reality.
|[Editor Sucks] “Pug product of evolution” Not quite, these weird looking dogs are a product of selective breeding.)
OK, here we go again. Dear Ed in his power as Supreme Overlord and editor in chief left out the caption for the pug. It read “Product of intelligent design.” I guess he didn’t want to step on any toes, which was my intent. (Ed: Guilty. I didn’t understand the caption. It was too intelligent for my design.)
Check out this candid shot of a local and a deer. The bizarre friskiness is likely due to mate deprivation, a common occurrence due to the shortage of women in the lower Keys.
|Poor Jesus Perez. That name has been assigned to many people on the arrest log at MCSO. Full Menu > Arrest Reports Mug Shots|
|[Watson Field] This group may interest you and make for a good story. It has to do with Watson Field access on Big Pine. Link|
|Collections, Key West is comprised of both established and emerging island artists as well as locally salvaged nautical hardware and antiquities. Our newest acquisition is a 4′ wooden ships wheel that you’ll just have to see for yourself, Capt Jack Sparrow would most certainly approve, oh yes! 6810 Front Street, Stock Island. Just down the wooden dock from the Hog Fish, look for the red doors.|
|[Volunteer] On January 27th, United Way of the Florida Keys will celebrate the volunteer work of volunteer Carol Greco at the Community Foundation’s Unsung Hero Luncheon. The Unsung Hero Luncheon serves to honor the dedication of volunteers in the Florida Keys. All Monroe County 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organizations are invited to participate and nominate one individual per organization.
Carol is a paralegal at Vernis and Bowling of the Florida Keys and lives in Key Largo. She is a long time resident of the Keys. Her son, John, is a commercial fisherman. He and his fiancé, Amanda, also live in Key Largo.
Carol is a tireless volunteer for United Way of the Florida Keys. She attends events throughout the county, giving her time and energy without a second thought. She is always willing to assist with serving meals, setting up before or tearing down after events, or doing anything she can to help further UWFK’s mission. During “Stuff the Bus” school supply season, Carol spends hours helping collect, sort, and distribute school supplies so students throughout the Keys can have access to the educational tools they need to succeed academically
|[Green Water] Why is no one talking about the nasty green color of the water lately? Is this the green slime they had up on the east coast a month ago?|
Women’s March on Washington, January 21st, 2017. The Rise of the Woman = The Rise of the Nation. Link We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. Or you can support the Pussyhat Program. Link
|KW Orchid Society‘s January Newsletter. Our meeting is next Sunday, Jan 15 at the Fort. I forgot to put the time in the letter, but it’s the same as usual: 1:00 pm. Program starts at 1:30. Bring your plants for Show & Tell. Full Menu > Ongoing Events|
|[Hates Buffet] Margaritaville, margaRATaville. Jimmy Buffet’s music is crap. And he is not much of a pilot.|
|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|