Letters to the editor with pictures since 0202. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.
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|[Chainsaws] After Irma drowned all my small power tools I replaced just about everything with battery powered tools. The best tool by far is my Greenworks 40V brushless (more power) chainsaw for home use. Pull the trigger and it works. No hard starting. No fuel to go bad. No noise! I’ve had a bunch of chainsaws, but this one is the greatest. I don’t have to plan my yard work to cut everything at once like I had to do when I cranked up the old gas saw. This thing is a gorilla and the battery lasts all day. Since there is no place to get small engines repaired around here I’ve been replacing gas tools with battery-powered tools since Wilma. The only gas-powered thing I have left is my lawnmower. When that dies I’m buying a battery powered one. When the electricity is out I can charge the batteries from an inverter I clip to my car battery. I had to choose between a Stihl saw setup for over $500 or the Greenworks for under two. That was a no-brainer. Video|
|[“How did the hitman know that Bruce Schmitt intended to go to Costa Rica, unless the FBI was in on the conspiracy”] Because Marathon is the Petri-dish of the Florida Keys. There are no secrets. Like most of the Keys, you rarely have a relationship, you only get you turn. For those of us who have lived in the Keys for any length of time we remember who swam in that shallow gene pool. If you remember a lady realtor who drove a white Jaguar and always wore a white jumpsuit to the Brass Monkey, you know the time of which I speak. The Costa Rica connection goes way back in Marathon history. The owner of Marathon Deli and Liquors (suspected of being part of this botched hit according to the article) has always been Jersey scum in my opinion. That feeling was bolstered by his mentioned association with Marathon’s wife-beating accountant in the article. No one deserves to have to fear for their lives as they move about town. Not even bankers or realtors. My belief is if they ever ‘out’ the other John/Jane Does in this case, the historical Marathon family empires will crumble. Until then, there’s a seedy underbelly to that toilet of a town. One that seems to willingly allow anything to happen as long as the money continues to flow their way. Stay on them Bruce [Schmitt]! Out every one of them! I’d say they’ll name a street after you, but there’s already one. ~firstname.lastname@example.org|
Promo for the Coral Country Road Concert October 13, 2018 in Marathon, Florida Keys. Video
|[New Local] I have recently relocated to Big Pine Key. I’ve been visiting for over the last 3 years and I just love this area. The fishing, the people, the quiet. Affordable housing is a problem here as most employers from Marathon to Key West want to pay around $12 an hour. You can’t even live on that in the Midwest, let alone here on $12 an hour. I trust the good Lord will put me where he wants me. I keep looking, but I just keep hearing that Steve Miller song “Rock ‘N Me” over and over again in my head. I’m not a kid, I can’t live with 4 other people and have 3 jobs at $12 an hour. Seems to me that’s how they are doing it here. You all have a beautiful place here on Big Pine. I’ve never been happier in my life. I will find something, and I’m happy to be a part of your community. Everyone I meet has been so friendly, I love it. Steve Miller Band – Rock ‘N Me|
|[Friday Joke] We were dressed and ready to go out for the New Year’s Eve Party. We turned on a night light, turned the answering machine on, covered our pet parakeet and put the cat in the backyard. We phoned the local cab company and requested a taxi. The taxi arrived, and we opened the front door to leave the house. As we walked out the door, the cat we had put out in the yard, scoots back into the house. We didn’t want the cat shut in the house because she always tries to eat the bird. My wife goes on out to the taxi, while I went back inside to get the cat. The cat runs upstairs, with me in hot pursuit. Waiting in the cab, my wife doesn’t want the driver to know that the house will be empty for the night. So, she explains to the taxi driver that I will be out soon, ‘He’s just going upstairs to say Goodbye to my mother.’ A few minutes later I get into the cab. ‘Sorry I took so long,’ I said as we drove away, ‘that stupid bitch was hiding under the bed. I had to poke her ass with a coat hanger to get her to come out! She tried to take off, so I grabbed her by the neck. Then, I had to wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked. I hauled her fat ass downstairs and threw her out into the back yard. She’d better not shit in the vegetable garden again.’ The silence in the cab was deafening.|
[Fake Death] As a kid, I never quite understood why anyone would want to fake their own death. As an adult, that’s exactly the kind of vacation I’m in the mood for: 3-6 months with a miraculous story of returning from the dead.
|I am Walt Drabinski, a candidate for Keys Utility Board Seat D. At our recent Hometown debate, I was asked what my opinion was on Keys Energy (KEYS) solar. I reluctantly answered “Keys Energy (KEYS) is the enemy of solar”. Let me be clear, a company must be judged, by what they do, their policies, actions, impacts on customers, not by what they say. KEYS has been touting their purchase of a small amount of solar from a large project. Let’s state the facts. KEYS, because it is supplied by the Florida Municipal Power Association (FMPA), automatically received its allotment. No action by KEYS was needed. More importantly KEYS has instituted polices that make solar less economic for ratepayers. It now pays less than 5 ¢/kWh for energy sold into the system down from 12 ¢/kWh a year ago. This changes the payback period of a residential solar system from about 8-10 years to 11-13 years depending on the design of the system. This is a big financial impediment. It also limits total solar to 2.5% of the total system load. These are all actions that make ratepayer use of solar more difficult. In a recent survey 77% of customers indicated they want more solar. The KEYS strategic plan, finalized last month, does not even include the word solar in it!! In future posts I will talk about the options of community solar, solar trees, and other innovative clean energy options.|
|[“Fire ant killer”] I can testify to the effectiveness of Sucralose (in Splenda sweetener) as an insecticide effective on fire ants. I had about 50 fire ant nests to kill on a friend’s small acreage on the mainland. The insecticide Over and Out, specifically intended for fire ants, was not very effective in spite of claims that it kills the nest in 15 minutes and lasts for 6 months. So, after some internet searching that suggested artificial sweetener as an insecticide, I got a big bag of generic sucralose sweetener for about $7 at Walmart and sprinkled some on every mound I saw. The next day I only found two mounds with any sign of life, and they were fed some more sucralose. I later found an interesting web page by Shane Ellison who holds a master’s degree in organic chemistry and was once a medical chemist. In it he describes how the development of a new insecticide resulted in Splenda instead, and why you should be very wary of using it. Link|
|National sportfishing groups representing huge firms selling millions of dollars of foreign outboard motors, fishing gear, electronics and shirts want to ban American commercial fishermen from harvesting finfish from the ocean to expand their sale of foreign motors and other goods. They have no shame or qualms of stopping domestic seafood products being served in restaurants or sold at retail markets. Think about it, the folks with boats large enough to fish in federal waters will be allowed to catch fish to take home and eat while non-boaters will have mostly farm-raised catfish.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is one of eight management groups who basically determine ‘Who gets the fish’. So far this Council has allocated 40,000,000 pounds of the available finfish to the recreational fishermen and 19,000,000 pounds to the non-boaters.
The fish belong to all of us, not just those who can afford a boat and all that goes with it to bring home fish fillets for their family. Sport fishermen have no superior right to the commonly owned fish than commercial fishermen who provide non-fishing citizens with their share. Please help save a fair share of the fish for the non-fishing members of our society.
[Hurricane Attrition] When we moved here our acreage was covered with pines, palmettos and poisonwood. Hurricane Georges killed the pines. Hurricane Wilma killed the Palmettos and Hurricane Irma killed the poisonwood. Now we have a beautiful yard of green buttonwood.
|People post things from Facebook that need others to sign in. I will never sign in to that fiasco of bs.|
|[Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning] How did this captain know — from 50 feet away — what the father couldn’t recognize from just 10? Drowning is not the violent, splashing call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, learned what drowning looks like by watching television.
I saw a little boy starting to drown a few weeks ago. My back was turned to him, but I was the closet adult to him. When I turned around there was a commotion on the pool deck, but it took me a moment to digest what was happening to him. No yelling or waving from him. Just stuff mentioned in article. Boy is totally fine! Lifeguard at our pool got him. Link
|[Friday Joke] ‘The Happy Marriage” Once a week we go to a fine dining restaurant. We have a cocktail or two. Enjoy a fancy meal with a glass of wine and a nice dessert. She goes on Tuesday and I go no Friday.|
|Our Big Pine Computer Club‘s meeting for July 14 has been cancelled. Monroe County will have use of the building this coming weekend for training purposes. The next scheduled meeting will be July 28 Full Menu > Ongoing Events|
[“Barracuda attack”]. “9-year-old Michelle Casasola was snorkeling in Key West until a ferocious fish attacked and swam away with her palm.
“They were throwing bagels out so we can have a good look at the fish, and there was a bagel next to my arm,” the little girl said.” Do not feed the fish when swimming with them. Don’t swim in the water when you are cumming.
|[Friday Joke] I met a magical fairy yesterday who said she would grant me one wish. “I wish to live forever,” I said.
“Sorry,” said the fairy, “I’m not allowed to grant that particular wish.”
“Fine,” I said, “then I want to die the day after Congress is filled with honest, hard-working, bipartisan men and women who act only in the people’s best interests!”
“You crafty bastard,” replied the fairy.
|What exactly is “affordable housing“? Weren’t downstairs enclosure rentals affordable? How about trailers? Those have been prohibited by the County, but why? Because they’re so concerned about the safety of the citizens? I think not. More likely it’s because they compete with the developers that line their pockets, so they can build “affordable housing” now that a need has been created. It’s always about money, isn’t it?|
[Sheriff Witness to Accident] Why didn’t Sheriff Ramsey stop the 18-wheeler before the tires came off? Why didn’t Sheriff Ramsey conduct the investigation himself? He saw it happen and was the first Law Enforcement Officer on scene. Sheriff Ramsey pawned it off to the Florida Highway Patrol.
|[Friday Joke] I was standing at the bar of Terminal 4 in the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport when this small Chinese guy comes in, stands next to me, and starts drinking a beer. I asked him, “Do you know any of those martial arts things, like Kung-Fu, Karate, or Ju-Jitsu?”
He says “No, I don’t. And furthermore, why the hell would you ask me that? Is it because I’m Chinese?”
“No”, I said, “It’s because you’re drinking my beer, you little bastard!”
|[Friday Joke] Stormy Daniels and Queen Elizabeth went to the Pearly Gates on the same day. They both met with an angel to find out if they would be admitted to Heaven. The angel said: “Unfortunately, there’s only one space available in Heaven today so I must decide which one of you will be admitted.”
The angel asked Stormy if there was some particular reason why she should go to Heaven. Stormy took off her top and said: “Look at these, they’re the most perfect breasts God ever created and I’m sure it will please God to be able to see them every day, for eternity.”
The angel thanked Stormy, and asked Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the same question.
The Queen walked over to a toilet, pulled the lever and flushed it without saying a word.
The Angel immediately said: “Okay, your Majesty, you may go into Heaven.”
Stormy was outraged and asked, “What was that all about? I showed you two of God’s own perfect creations and you turned me down. She simply flushed a commode and she got admitted to Heaven! Would you explain that to me?”
“Sorry, Stormy,” said the Angel, “but even in Heaven, a royal flush beats a pair, no matter how big they are.”
|[Deborah Halama] My mission is to provide the Lower Florida Keys with an authentic voice in the Monroe County Commission. District 2 will be represented by someone who actually lives here, works here and genuinely cares about the people here. Please come out and support your local voice July 17th at Boondocks Chamber of Congress Candidates Q&A starting at 6:30. ~Deborah Halama|
|You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook. ~Harry S. Truman|
|[Empty Space] Maybe this has already been explained and I missed it, but why is there one empty space between postings? It’s been there for several issues. Is it just me or do others see that too? (Ed: There is no space that I can see on a Windows PC or an Android smartphone or when displayed using Chrome, Firefox, or Edge browsers. Maybe you’re using an Apple device that I can’t test because I don’t have one. I’d like to see a screen shot of the problem.)|
[Barracuda] When I moved her, on my first dive to Sombrero Reef I jumped into 30 feet of water holding a pole spear (I’d never speared a thing before) in the midst of a billion barracudas! They were all around me, above and below! What a frightening sight for a Yankee. I may have set a record for the fastest exit from the water.
|[“Sliver of Marathon”] That’s why the lower Keys and upper Keys need to get out and vote in the primaries Aug. 28th. Upper Keys, you may be next! They could redraw the lines after the 2020 census and your voices may be again hijacked by Marathon.|
|[Friday Joke] An attractive young woman on a flight from Ireland asked the priest beside her, ‘Father, may I ask a favor of you?’
‘Of course child. What can I do for you?’
‘I bought my mother an expensive hair dryer for her birthday. It is unopened but well over the customs limits and I’m afraid they’ll confiscate it. Is there any way you could carry it through customs for me? Could you possibly hide it under your robes for me?’
‘I would love to help you my dear, but I must warn you, I will not lie!’
‘With your honest face, Father, I’m sure no one will question you!’When they got to customs, she let the priest go first. The official asked,
‘Father, do you have anything to declare?’
‘From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare.’The official thought this answer a little strange, so he asked, ‘And what do you have to declare from your waist down to the floor?’
‘I have a marvelous instrument that has been designed for use on women, but which, to date, remains unused.’
Roaring with laughter, the official said, ‘Go ahead, Father. Next, please!’
[“Barracuda attack”] I don’t believe a barracuda attacked anyone. There must have been circumstances not reported about the attack. There’s never been an unprovoked attack by a barracuda in the Keys. Something’s fishy with that report.
|[Key West Utility Board] There seems to be a lot of competition for “seat D” on the Key West Utility board. Probably a lot of money being spent to secure that seat. What’s in it for the winner? What exactly does being a member of the Key West Utility Board get you that would make it worth such an effort to win? That’s my question for the candidates.|
|[Fish without Representation] Florida has no seafood industry seat on South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. CCA is in control.
Equity to CCA means only anglers are voting on council. The only hope for non-fishing citizens in the southeast to enjoy their share of seafood from federal waters will be through a decision by a federal judge and the rule of law!
Hummingbirds love Hong Kong Orchid trees. We had several of these trees in our yard in BPK. The many storms since 1990 took out all of the trees. We did see a really tiny hummingbird, post Irma, in our yard. It was feeding on Ixora blossoms. This little guy was about as big as a dragon fly.
|[Affirmative Action] Cal Poly, a public college, has just come out as racist by cutting admissions of White applicants. University of Wyoming the home of the Cowboys is under fire for being racist and sexist. I’m curious—what isn’t raciest? It appears that everything is somehow turned into a racial problem. Why are they’re no Black M&Ms? How about white M&Ms? They might be seen as racial. I’m over it. When 15% of the population can hold the rest of the population hostage with one simple word race, it has gone too far. There is no White guilt over something that has happened in the distant past. But it is being portrayed as something that all Whites should be ashamed of. Just another device to further split the country closer to anarchy.|
|[Irma and Tools] I tried to use another power tool that I tested after the hurricane, but it this one doesn’t work any longer|
|[Mailbox] You could get a Fort Knox Mailbox and many of us who used P.O. Boxes now have a secure way to handle incoming mail. We did not opt for a flag, since we never use outgoing mail on the mailbox. This is an indestructible mailbox and after reading all the reviews on it thru Amazon, I knew this would be the “last” mailbox. Link|
|[Friday Joke] One year, I decided to buy my mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift. The next year, I didn’t buy her a gift. When she asked me why, I replied, “Well, you still haven’t used the gift I bought you last year!” And that’s how the fight started.|
|[Coordinate Medicines] I have found from personal experience that you should never take a sleeping pill and a laxative at the same time.|
|[Separating Kids] Did you know 2,700,000 kids have a parent in prison, 400,000 kids are in foster care, and 765,000 kids are separated from their military parents not knowing if they’ll see them again. But the media focuses on 2,000 kids who are temporarily separated from illegal immigrants.|
[Buddha’s Life In A Few Seconds] First came the fairy-tale beginning as a handsome prince, then a second act with a wandering monk who goes through all manner of trials and suffering, reaching a brilliant climax when enlightenment is achieved in a single night under the bodhi tree. Buddha lived quietly for another forty-five years, traveling throughout northern India as a renowned teacher before dying at the ripe old age of eighty. The cause of death was eating a bad piece of pork, an embarrassingly humble and mundane way to depart for The Buddha.
|[Immigration] If confiscating all guns saves one life wouldn’t that be worth it? If deporting all illegal aliens would save one life, would that be worth it?|
Florida has had 119 hurricanes since 1850. Now someone has claimed that the last one was caused by climate change.
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