2020 June

Friday, June 19, 2020

Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.




[R.I.P. Aunt Jemima] I grew up trusting the smiling black aunt with the kindly smile. Then in the 70s they change the picture to a modern Black woman to appease complaints. Now they’re getting rid of the brand altogether. I miss the matronly, fat cook with the big smile and round cheeks on my pancake boxes. I think if I were Black I’d want to see a trusted woman on the box. I miss her. Video

[Movies] In the spaghetti western “Valdez is Coming” Burt Lancaster played a blue-eyed American playing a Mexican with a bad accent. As a matter of fact, most of the Mexicans had blue eyes. Even most of the bad guys had blue eyes. The Mexican’s blue eyes really stood out in Technicolor. It was like when they would use Italians with their hairy arms and chest as Indians.
[Truth is Lost] According to a 19th-century legend, the Truth and the Lie meet one day. The Lie says to the Truth: “It’s a marvelous day today!” The Truth looks up to the skies and sighs, for the day was really beautiful. They spend a lot of time together, ultimately arriving beside a well. The Lie tells the Truth, “The water is very nice, let’s take a bath together!” The Truth, once again suspicious, tests the water and discovers that it indeed is very nice. They undress and start bathing. Suddenly, the Lie comes out of the water, puts on the clothes of the Truth, and runs away. The furious Truth comes out of the well and runs everywhere to find the Lie and to get her clothes back. The World, seeing the Truth naked, turns its gaze away, with contempt and rage.
The poor Truth returns to the well and disappears forever, hiding therein, its shame. Since then, the Lie travels around the world, dressed as the Truth, satisfying the needs of society, because, the World, in any case, harbors no wish at all to meet the naked Truth.
The painting: “The Truth coming out of the well” by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1896
[Racially Correctness] In England they toppled a statue of a slave “hero” who transported a hundred thousand slaves from Africa to America. He allowed for the deaths of about sixteen thousand slaves due to his brutal treatment and lack of decency. I say get rid of all Confederate iconography and revere people who did great things. Not traitors and slave holders.



Why can’t we all just get along.

[“VP Pence: Covid-19 eradicated”] Did I miss something? Why are we wearing masks if the virus has been eradicated? Doctor Pence knows more than anyone about COVID-19. Link


Alcoholic killer monkey leaves one man dead and 250 injured after going on rampage when his booze supply dried up. Link

[Virus Eradicated] In Seattle, fewer than 1 percent of the 3,000 people tested after attending protests were positive for coronavirus, according to a statement put out by the city’s mayor last Friday. This week, Boston officials announced that 14 out of 1,288 people tested so far were positive for coronavirus, or 1.1 percent. Link
[Rally] If you sign a COVID-19 waiver to attend a rally about how COVID-19 is fake, you’re a special kind of stupid.


[Free Meals] The Big Pine Key Meal Site and Senior Center will not be opening during the month of June or July due to COVID-19 safety concerns.  We are constantly re-visiting our ability to re-open; however, at this time, none of our Meal Sites/Senior Centers throughout Monroe County are open to the public.  If you or anyone you know needs home-delivered meals, please email me back and I will be happy to ensure that you receive them on a weekly basis starting immediately. For more info email

[Testing] Nearly 20K COVID-19 testing milestone was result of ‘reporting error’. The latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The video is a lot of back peddling and double talk.   Now they need to give a little bit longer window to see if there have been any Covid19 spikes resulting from protesting and rioting. Link


[Virus Eradicated] Vice President on Monday: The virus is “eradicated”. Thank goodness, I was worried about that. Yeah, no more masks or social distancing! Let’s crowd together at the bar!

[Hydrogen Peroxide] After the nasal, you can clear out your ears with an ear syringe and 3% hydrogen peroxide. You draw a nice hot bath, lay on one side and let the bubbling go for about a minute each side, continuing until the bubbles stop.
Hydrogen peroxide has been whitening my teeth too. Swish after brush / floss.  I even add half to the water pic and have helped periodontal issues greatly.  My dentist is impressed.  Also when I have been outside among the plague, I gargle with hydrogen peroxide, then rinse and take about 5 good sips of water.


[Aunt Jemima] First it was The Butter Maiden, then Christopher Columbus, then the Confederate generals’ statues, and just recently Aunt Jemima. Because for over 130 years it has illustrated “racial stereotypes”. When will the counter-culture decide to attack other figures for being slave-holders? Take away the statue of George Washington from the capital because he was racially insensitive to slavery, along with practically all the signers of the Declaration of Independence. When will this country accept the fact that there is no racial equality in this country, there never was and never will be because of our inherent tribal natures. Accept that fact and deal with it accordingly

[Be Prepared] Tuesday morning, June 16,  the GFS store had a woman at the door saying they wouldn’t be open till possibly afternoon, as their computers were down and they had no way to sell anything.
Rather than spend $5,000 per store to erect plexiglass shields as protection between clerks and customers, they should spend $500 on calculators with paper receipts & cash drawers, should the electricity go out, or satellite connection for computers breakdown.
You “do not support George Floyd”? What does that mean? The opposite? You support the cop who brutally murdered him while he cried for his mama? And did you really have to reveal, perhaps unintended, your racism by prefacing your description of a black woman with the phrase “well spoken and intelligent” as if that might be an odd thing to you?


[For Rent] 2 bedrooms. One bath. Unfurnished Duplex on clean boating canal w/seawall going to Pine Channel and coral reef. Tiled floors throughout. Stainless steel appliances. Ceiling fans in living room, kitchen and bath. Laundry room. Small screened porch. Very clean. A/C., large brick patio. Parking for 2 vehicles. Ground level. Port Pine heights subdivision. Quiet neighborhood. 750 square feet. No smokers or dogs. $1800 a month. First, last and $1000 security ($4600 total to move in) Utilities not included. 3970 No Name Road. Port Pine Heights sub-division. Email for further info. More pictures on Craigslist. Link

Black violent crime was a major factor in the post-1960s crime tsunami and persisted even after the wave began to ebb in the 1990s. From 2000 to 2015, the mean African-American homicide-victimization rate, adjusted for age, was 20.1 per 100,000. That’s more than three times the Hispanic rate of 6.4 (despite disadvantages comparable to those of blacks) and over seven times the average white rate, 2.7. I found these numbers for mainland blacks not here in our Keys. Don’t know if there are any stats for us Keys locals.

Moreover, as already noted, from 1976 to 2005, 94 percent of the killers of black murder victims were other African Americans. In short, this is about exceptionally high as well as overwhelmingly intra-racial black violent crime.

White-on-white homicide is equally intra-racial, but, as we know, the rates are not astronomically high.


[Nasal Clearing] I will share some good head tricks. The neti pot package from “Himalayan Chandra” comes with the neti pot, salt and oil. Boil a big pot of tap water for 15+ minutes. Let it cool for and hour and twenty minutes and follow the YouTube instructions in nasal clearing. I use double dose of salt due to my 5 cats allergies. Your last nasal rinses should be with only the hot water, to clear away any left over salt in your sinuses.

[Friday Joke] I got up early, hooked up the boat and took off for the lake for some fishing.  It started to pour rain, so I went back home, got undressed and climbed into bed.  My wife said, “I’m glad you’re here. Can you believe my stupid husband is fishing in this rain.” That’s when the fight started.


[For Sale] Can I list things for sale on the telegraph’s site? (Ed: Sure thing! It will appear until the next publication. Just click “Contact Us” and send in a picture along with your text and contact information.) Full Menu > FAQ

Hydroxychloroquine studies conducted by Oxford and the WHO produced an astounding mortality rate 34 times that of other recent studies.  As a result the FDA revoked emergency use of the drug in the U.S. Link
[Black Lives Matter] Not to old white men they don’t.


You don’t stop laughing because you get old.  You grow old when you stop laughing.

[Woman’s Health] Any ladies wish to share secrets on how to not gain weight in the middle during the big M?  I walk a lot, do sit-ups and the gym every other day and eat a healthy diet. Supplements which seem to help: Chromium Picolinate 600 mg, Vanadium & Apple Cider Vinegar in addition to B-12, D3, etc. I even do B12 injections in my butt and lose a little weight. No booze as it is empty calories. Everything is going to my tummy. Maybe a juice fast or crystal meth diet. Not! My ex-husband died from heroin overdose; he went from 350 to 150 after being a junkie for a few years.  He fooled his entire family except me as I knew his baseline. I don’t want to use drugs or go on Progesterone and then Estradiol as the progesterone made me feel incredibly drugged and paralyzed.  The “Emerita” cremes are good and holistic.  They help the hot flashes and the estriol up the girlie part helps for happy endings.
[Showers Of Milk, Blood, Flesh] We learn from certain monuments, that from the lower part of the atmosphere it rained milk and blood, in the consulship of M’Acilius and C. Porcius, and frequently at other times. This was the case with respect to flesh, in the consulship of P. Volumnius and Servius Sulpicius, and it is said, that what was not devoured by the birds did not become putrid. It also rained iron among the Lucanians, the year before Crassus was slain by the Parthians. The substance which fell had very much the appearance of sponge. In the consulship of L. Paulus and C. Marcellus it rained wool, round the castle of Carissanum, near which place, a year after, T. Annius Milo was killed. It is recorded, among the transactions of that year, that when he was pleading his own cause, there was a shower of baked tiles. ~Gibbon 1776




[Santa] Screw it! Nobody’s getting anything this year.

If 60% of Americans suffer from hemorrhoids, does that mean 40% enjoy them?



[Here Kitty, Kitty] It’s always a treat when the cat comes when you call it.

[Hurricane Evacuation] By John HammerstromKey West Citizen, June 19, 2020
In response to a recent lawsuit, Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk issued a Recommended Order that will significantly increase the danger to residents of the Florida Keys during future hurricane evacuations.The judge authorized Marathon, Islamorada and Key West to build 900 new homes. Because of the scope of her ruling, the door is now open to thousands more.

Florida law requires local governments to maintain a hurricane evacuation clearance time for permanent residents that does not exceed 24 hours (Florida Statute 380.0552(9)(a)2). The legislative intent of that law is to “…ensure that the population of the Florida Keys can be safely evacuated.” The number of dwelling units allowed to be built in the Florida Keys is limited by the evacuation clearance time calculated for permanent residents.

In 1989, the Monroe County Comprehensive Plan defined the 24-hour limit as “…the time required to clear the roadways of all vehicles evacuating in response to a hurricane situation…”

That all-inclusive definition was significantly diluted in 2005, when the state removed the vehicles driven by tourists and mobile home residents from the clearance time calculation, creating a two-phased evacuation process that begins 48 hours prior to the expected landfall. Tourist and mobile home units evacuate in the first 24-hour “Phase One” period, while the permanent residents are counted in “Phase Two.” In 2012, Monroe County, the state, Marathon, Islamorada, Key West and the other municipalities agreed to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that authorized 3,550 new building permits over a 10-year period, constrained by the resulting 24-hour clearance time.

Stunningly, Judge Van Wyk ruled that the permanent residents from 900 new units, beyond the agreed-to 3,550 units, can be excluded from the 24-hour limit by virtue of a clever deed restriction that would have them evacuate in Phase One.

That’s right. Although the parties to the lawsuit agreed that the 900 new dwelling units will house permanent residents, they are excluded from the statutory 24-hour limit by her ruling. That’s reminds me of the joke about the patient whose doctor limited him to one cigarette per day. When his friend observed him smoking more than one, the smoker’s explanation was that the surplus cigarette was for another day, April 1, 2035. To be clear, the law provides no exceptions to the permanent resident, 24-hour limit.

If it seems this violates the law, you are not alone. The legal battle is not over.

And, of course, we know that not all hurricanes are considerate enough to provide 48-hours notice, so the two-phase evacuation implemented in 2005 is already risky. Jonathan Rizzo, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the NWS Key West, states, “… the science of weather forecasting, including track, intensification, wind field and storm surge does not support the assumption that Monroe County will always have 48 hours in which to carry out a phased evacuation.”

While 900 new units isn’t a significant threat, by allowing permanent residents to be excluded from the 24-hour limit, she has facilitated 9,000 units. It takes the tourists and mobile home dwellers around 19 hours to evacuate, and therefore there are five hours left before Phase One is also “full” at 24 hours. It is worth emphasizing that without this slick deed restriction, the new construction would be prohibited. If new development is allowed by simply including a deed restriction, then thousands more are possible.

There are roughly 45,000 dwelling units in the Keys that define the 24-hour limit. The remaining five hours equates to roughly 9,000 more deed-restricted units facilitated by the ruling. By shifting these new permanent residents into Phase One, the judge has effectively allowed 48 hours for permanent residents to evacuate, in contravention of the 24-hour law.

If daughter of Wilma arrives on short notice, the Keys may have to evacuate many more people than the original Comprehensive Plan specified, the current law requires, the legislature intended and public safety dictates.

John Hammerstrom has studied hurricane evacuation of the Florida Keys for 25 years and was a member of the 2012 Monroe County Hurricane Evacuation Clearance Time Working Group that crafted the 2012 MOU.