Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with Pictures
[Sea Monster] You never know what you might pull from the deep. These commercial Nova Scotia fishermen pulled up a bird-like fish with a long beak, neon green eyes, and long pectorals that resemble wings. Nice photo of a 324 lb halibut in the short article, too. Link
|[“7 Mile Backhoe Bandit”] Carl Joseph Blahnik, 59 was arrested for taking a backhoe on a joyride on the Seven Mile Bridge last month and is charged with 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, obstructing a highway, failure to register a motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license and littering. Blahnik remains at Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island in lieu of $32,500 bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday in Marathon before Judge Ruth Becker. The backhoe belongs to Sunbelt Rentals in Marathon and had about $3,000 in damages from the incident. Blahnik likely stole it from a construction site in Marathon who had just rented it from Sunbelt. Who left the keys in the backhoe will probable determine who’s legally responsible?|
|Florida health officials say they’ve confirmed the first case of sexually transmitted Zika virus in the state in Polk County. Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong’s office announced Wednesday that two new cases of Zika had been confirmed. Health officials urge men who have been to outbreak areas to abstain from unprotected sex.|
|[Blonde] The other day I was winding up an extension cord and plugged both ends together to store it away. My wife yelled at me thinking I was going to short out the cord. Ya gotta love ’em!|
Rare semaphore cactus on the lower Keys.
|What is the latest EPA ruling on keeping our septic systems for back up? Link|
|[I Need an Insurance Agent] Homeowners, wind & flood. Anyone really super happy with their agent? Bad agent warnings also appreciated. We have been here a long time, with the same agent a long time, feel like we’re just being rolled along to higher premiums each year, with no customer service. Honest, non-hateful, actual experience, opinions only please. (Ed: Johnsons and Isaksen are both pros and they’ve both been here a very long time and know all about Keys’ insurance problems and solutions. And they support the Coconut Telegraph! ta da)|
Please do not publish the Eden Pines lost cat posting. We got the cat back. (Ed: I’m posting it anyway because that’s a good-looking cat.)
|[“Peary Court”] Maybe the Citizen will write another editorial contradicting one of the others it’s already published? Anybody’s guess , but they and the pro Peary Court PAC do not have the data and facts needed and that’s the main problem. I’m not sure that the City really does either or they’re spinning them to make this a “good deal “. It’s absurd, and so poorly thought out- or just another back room deal.|
|[Bully] This term ‘bully’ coined by President Theodore Roosevelt, who referred to the White House as a “bully pulpit”, by which he meant a terrific platform from which to advocate an agenda. Roosevelt used the word bully as an adjective meaning “superb” or “wonderful”, a more common usage in his time than it is today. Another expression which survives from this era is “bully for you”, synonymous with “good for you”.
The meaning has certainly changed since Teddy’s day.
|[Future Coconut Telegraph] I’m riding in my new self-driving vehicle when I saw a kid dart out between parked cars into the path of an oncoming tanker truck who sees the kid and swerves into my lane to avoid him. My self-driving car instantly hits the brakes–but does not know how to swerve to avoid the truck! And that, St. Peter, is how I wound up at your pearly gates.|
|My home page from Yahoo is so full of junk news, junk ads, and junk stuff I can’t stand it anymore. I pay these people to connect to the web for my email and education, but I get inundated with junk! What can be done? They have no feedback Links. (Ed: Simply set a new home page to your favorite website or your email account. Link)|
In loving memory of Michael Robert Gundersen. If you where friends with Michael or the Gunderson family please join us for a celebration of life at the Vineyard Christian Center at 1 o’clock tomorrow, Saturday March 12th.
|Is there any accurate information available about when Big Pine residents on the south side of US1 (Sea Camp side) will get sewer hook-up notices? While I am not excited about the issues surrounding the system selected and potential performance problems I am looking to do a remodel addition and can use the land where the septic system is located to make the design work better. Might as well make the most out of the system since we have no choice. The web site says we will get hook-up notices in 2016 at the latest. Well, it’s 2016 so when?|
|[Passport] Click on a passport for a little information. Link|
|I just saw a guy with a “Support Dyslexia” bumper sticker on the front of his car.|
|Here are a couple of a new building’s sewer connections. The unsupported one on the left is by a cut-rate licensed plumber’s hired guys, and the one on the right, properly bedded in sand, is by a homeowner. The homeowner had his permit posted, the pipe-and-run 3rd World plumber did not. Which one do you think will need the $100 an hour repairs later? Which one do you think will crack and allow root entry and inflow into the sewers after heavy rains or high tides? Quality matters. I have seen very much more slipshod work than the example on the left, but did not think to take a photo at the time. The low budget connection may prove to be less of a bargain you thought it was.|
|[Stink is raised over pig in Old Town Key West] I love it, a guy from Illinois spends $750,000 for a house in Key West and finds out he has to live next door to a legal pet! Says he left Illinois to get away from pig confinement buildings and the smell. That tells me a lot about where these pikers that move here are coming from. If he thinks the pig smells bad, wait til I sit out front and honk my scooter horn! Time to move north farm-boy, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Boca have rules about pigs, but I’m thinking you might appreciate Okeechobee, FL a lot more. Keep the pig, move the transplant. Link|
I am so glad that the government lets Santeria worshipers kill animals for a ritual sacrifice, but I am not so happy about them leaving their mutilated animal remains outside where people can see them. I lived in Miami ages ago and they had a dedicated boat that would cruise the Miami River once a week and pick up headless chickens, goats, dogs and anything else dead that floated up. Enjoy your religion but por favor amigos, please keep the animal parts in the privacy of your homes.
|[Toilet Paper Review] My wife picked up a six pack of TP at Walgreens about two months ago for $5.00. We have two rolls left. I told her that is where we are to buy our TP from now on. It’s no frills and single ply, but it lasts forever. We used to purchase Publix brand for $7.00, it didn’t last a week and clogged the crapper. If I could get the Sears catalog I’d still be using it.|
|[Hard Drive Repair] How to recover data from a bum hard drive. Video|
[Future Coconut Telegraph] We bought a new self-driving car and a house ‘bot. My wife gained 30 pounds in two weeks because all she does now is write a shopping list for the ‘bot and sends him to the market in the car. Who can I sue?
|You only live once? False. You live every day. You only die once.|
You may remember Gonzales Gonzales from John Wayne movies. He provided comedy in Rio Bravo, Hell-fighters, and several other Wayne movies. This video shows where he got his start. He innocently appeared as a contestant on ‘You Bet Your Life’ with Groucho Marx. As the questioning continued, it got funnier and funnier. Groucho took advantage of the situation based upon audience laughter. John Wayne happened to be watching the show and contacted him after the event. John Wayne insisted he play himself in the movies. Gonzales became a popular character in JW movies. Video
|I have not seen an advertisement for contact lenses in a long time. Why? Are they bad for you? Why do most eye doctors wear regular glasses and never get their eyes fixed by operations?|
|[“Sea level rise”] It is true that Antarctica’s ice cap has been growing, even as the north pole may have diminished. However, I don’t buy the “unequal warming with chilling” due to ocean currents explanation. Have you noticed that Google Earth has blacked out imagery of the poles? Another thing- ice is just frozen, expanded water. When an iceberg thaws, it takes up absolutely no more space than the submerged portion did. That’s why an unattended iced drink does not overflow the glass. And snow piled atop an iceberg simply sinks the whole ‘berg to equalize, so no water is gained there either. It’s a huge scam, folks, and cash and other benefits accrue for supporters (like higher roof elevations benefit developers in the Keys, raised FEMA flood maps increase premiums, research grants go to those who create the junk science in support, and of course the inevitable “carbon tax” to fleece us all)|
|[Water Bill] Someone posted that they planned to only pay the water portion of their new water & sewer bill since they are not connected to sewer yet. Then if FKAA turned off their water, they would sue. FKAA rules say they can turn your water off for non-payment of all of the sewer portion. The elephant in the room is that FKAA, who answers only to the Governor, can write their own rules!
Please use that lawsuit money to challenge FKAA’s right to charge for service you do not receive. It is one thing to bill for the “base facility charge” once sewer is available since that pays to keep the electricity on and keep service crews available. It is quite another thing to bill for pumping and treating wastewater when it is not being pumped and treated. You have plenty of company in angry customers who want that billing practice to cease, and many would willingly contribute for a lawsuit or help fill the ranks of a lynch mob if that is what it takes.
|Medicinal marijuana, or just weed for that matter. Is there anything it can’t do? The person who claims 2 new studies confirm what they want them to confirm was typical stoner logic. No citing sources, just some studies I imagine they made up for the purpose of their post. Oh wait, we also heard about their 35 years of smoking pot makes art better.|
|[Cats] Those macho men, the great white hunters of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service are out to rid our island of predators. Predators? They must be stalking bears, cougars, or gators, right? No, it’s house cats. That’s right, they’ve got Morris, Puff, and Boots dead in their sights.
They’ve been setting traps along Fern Avenue in Eden Pines and captured a number of these fiendish felines. They’re doing it, they say, to save the endangered Keys Marsh Rabbit. This, in spite of the fact that there is not a single documented case of anyone ever observing a cat kill one of these rabbits. In fact, it probably doesn’t really matter. Every computer projection, including those of U.S.F.W.S, predicts a 100% chance of extinction for the species, no matter what steps are taken.
It a classic example of government employee mentality at its worst. Create a non-existent problem that can never be solved and you’ll have a job forever. I certainly wish they had better things to do spending our taxpayer money. Pet owners beware!
|Happy 13th Birthday to Maya! Formerly of BPK & La Jolla Shores. She ran around the bark park and got petted by at least twelve people then had a whole bunch of home made dog cookies about an hour later. We played with bubbles and balloons and took photos of our elderly sheepdog who likes to go tubing on the lakes and playing with her Komondor BFF. She used to visit the best Vet ever, in Marathon – Dr. Foley – he was so holistic and incredibly helpful which could be why she has lived so long and is so very healthy. Maya was a rescue dog saved from being a working sheep herder in the California mountains.|
|We all know the earth is flat, ask anyone from around the globe|
|All men like to think they’re marrying nymphomaniacs. The problem is, after a few years the nympho leaves and the maniac stays.|
|[What’s in a Name] Which of the following names do you know? 1. Monica Lewinski 2. Bill Clinton 3. Hillary Clinton 4. Adolph Hitler 5. Jorge Bergoglio 6. Winnie Mandela 7. Vladimir Putin 8. Linda Lovelace 9. Saddam Hussein 10. Tiger Woods
You had trouble with #5? You know all the criminals, murderers, thieves, sluts and cheaters, but you don’t know the Pope? Lovely, just lovely…
New smart drug increases brain use to 100%. Link
|To arrive at the edge of the world’s knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves, “Whose round is it?”|
|U.S. Passports & International Travel. Enter a country name. Travel warnings too. Link|
|[Looking For Trouble] Please take the time to document, and ideally photograph or video, failures of the new central sewers that you see FKAA or their contractors trying to fix. We need to counter FKAA’s official BS story that everything works fine. This is so we can try to save our existing on-site systems for emergency back-up. Also to shine a light on the continuing lies.
One new story was from a Cudjoe resident who asked why FKAA sewer guys were out looking in her nearby lift station every day. They truthfully answered that the radio telemetry (required by DEP) that is supposed to send trouble alarms to a dispatcher does not work, so they have to drive around looking for the troubles. The alarm light and horn was previously reported to be disconnected on some lift stations so as not to alert the residents of continual alarms! Keep your knee boots and camera handy, and please send your failure reports anonymously to CudjoeFail@Mail.com
|[“What’s up with From The Right guy”] He was probably “talked to” by the bubbas and scared away!|
|[Photography Contest Exhibit] Join the National Key Deer Refuge staff and photo club members the evening of Thur. March 17th from 5-7 pm for a Visitor Center Open House and the grand opening of our Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges 2016 Photography Contest exhibit. The refuge ranger, managers, and others will be there to answer questions about who we are, what we do and why we do it. Our Photography Club members will entertain you with beautiful photographs, photography tips and hints on places to go to capture awesome landscape and wildlife pics. So come on out, we’d love meet you and get you jazzed about the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges! Munchies and lite drinks provided.
This event is part of the first annual multi-day Florida Keys Wildlife Refuges Outdoor Fest that runs from March 17-20. If you want more information about the event, contact Ranger Kristie at 305-304-9625. The Outdoor Fest is brought to you in part by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council.
[Wildlife and Outdoor Fair] Big Pine Community Park, Sat. Mar. 19th, 2016. Join the National Key Deer Refuge; our friends group FAVOR and two dozen partner organizations for our first ever Wildlife and Outdoor Fair at Big Pine Community Park, (on Sands Rd), Saturday, March 19th from 10 am-2 pm. The Fair will feature nature-oriented activities, workshops, and hands-on experiences. There is a scavenger hunt with free-t shirts, native live animal exhibits (sea and land turtles, snakes, lizards, fish and sea creatures to name just a few) face painting, and a variety of workshops including those for beginning birders, geocachers, and photographers. Boaters can learn how to tie knots and do splices, and learn kayaking basics. Fire truck and law enforcement boats on display too! There will be food and also live music by the Megan Ellis Band. Bring your beach blankets and make a day of it!
This event is part of the first annual multi-day Florida Keys Wildlife Refuges Outdoor Fest that runs from March 17-20. If you want more information about the event, contact Ranger Kristie at 305-304-9625. The Outdoor Fest is brought to you in part by the Monroe County Tourist Development Council. Link
|[Oil Refinery] Experts in the oil industry are mystified why this (very boring) infomercial on oil refineries has gone viral. One expert said “I know it’s right in front of me, but I can’t put my hands on it.” Video|
|[Motorcycle Seat Belts] one of our elected officials proposed a bill to mandate seatbelts on motorcycles. Bigger government equals More ways to tax the population. Link|
[Fish] Firefighters in rural Aylesford, Nova Scotia were unable to get water from a fire hydrant because it was clogged with fish! Judging from the photo, I think they are brook trout. The fishing must be good! Link
|[Peary Court work”farce” housing referendums] What financing? It’s a farce to say Peary Court is affordable housing, when 90 percent, or more, of the city’s workers cannot afford to live there. The real backers of these two referendums, the Key West lodging industry, developers, Realtors, the Chamber of Commerce, the Tourist Development Council, want the city to buy and furnish housing for middle class workers, instead of paying their employees a living wage. Isn’t that communism? Shameful, these two referendums.
Shameful the stories told about how Jimmy Weekley and City Manager Jim Scholl and Housing Authority Director Manuel Costillo “negotiated” the $55 million price tag. The developers told the city’s crack negotiating team that they wanted $67 million for all of Peary Court: $12 million for the FREE “affordable housng” building rights the city had given the developers, and $55 million for the rest of Peary Court. Castillo told the developers the city could not earn rents on building rights, so the developers said, okay, we’ll sell you the existing 157 units and the three units that burned down for $55 million, and we will build the 48 new “affordable” units on land we retain at Peary Court, which was said to be where the old credit union was located, 2-plus acres, but actually was more land than that spreading through Peary Court, and everyone knew the 48 new units would be effectively market rate rentals, called affordable.
Had the city really negotiated, instead of agreeing to the developers’ asking price, the city should at the very least gotten All of Peary Court for $55 million, including the free 48 building rights the city had given the developers.
Better, the city should have gotten all of Peary Court for $45 million, which would have reduced the purchase money mortgage by about $10 million, producing something close to actually affordable rental housing for perhaps 50 percent, or more, of the city’s workers. Costillo said at that meeting, the biggest concern he had was all the appliances at Peary Court might have to be replaced: stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, air-conditioning units, etc.
I wish you could have been at the city commission meeting last year, when I asked Jimmy Weekley what was the developers’ starting asking price?, and he said he did not remember. It was at Jimmy’s later public meeting in the ferry terminal that Costillo explained the “negotiations”, which I reported above. It was at that meeting, where a couple living in Peary Court, the husband said he had been a home builder, told of the many problems in just their unit.
At the recent public meeting hosted by Jimmy Weekey’s PAC in the Senior Citizen cafeteria, a Peary Court tenant told of the huge mold problem in her unit, determined by a mold inspector. Michael Miller, a local architect, who sat on the city’s Historical Architectural Review Commission, as its chairman, when HARC was denying the developers’ plans for Pear Court, lived in a Peary Court unit. He told me the developers were not maintaining the units and they were full of mold.
Over 200 lenders denied the city’s financing request for proposal, nearly all by not even bothering to make a reply to it. One lender made a county financing proposal, which would put the city’s treasury on the line for repayment of the mortgage, which the referendum wording does not allow.
The Peary Court referendums are like spaghetti thrown against a wall, hoping some of it will stick, but it isn’t spaghetti – it’s crap, and it never should have been voted by the mayor and city commissioners to go to referendum. Only commissioner Margaret Romero voted against it going to referendum. ~Sloan Bashinsky
|[Gun Rights] Wilkinsburg, Pa. Two gunmen working as a team fatally shot five people including a pregnant woman and critically wounded two others at a backyard cookout, with one attacker using a rifle to shoot the victims in the head as they were driven in his direction.|
|[Flunked the Keys] Quiet enjoyment was extremely difficult down there especially when living too near US 1 with all of the TDC traffic at all times of the year, with the absolute worst being the Peterson Poker Run. Thought I would lose my mind from motorcycle noise. Why does everyone bow down to Tourist Development Council when it should be vice versa? They obviously run the place to the ground while the struggling residents get poked by every single entity.
Nowhere else on the planet was there such disruption with having our drivers licenses suspended without notice, having our absentee votes (Democrat) stripped from two separate elections and never-ending harassment via Code Enforcement proxy. Top that off with your mail being lost or delayed for weeks while gazing out your windows of your fire-trap-shack at the massive dumpings of trash and derelict furniture, cars and vessels.
Paradise does not come at all in the Florida Keys. Paradise is a vacation somewhere else! Paradise is right here in rural middle America where we see massive stars at night without porch lights. Where the neighbors never start a lawn mower at 8 A.M. Saturday / Sunday mornings and their dogs rarely sit outside and holler for hours on end. People migrate to Florida, the penis state, as it is end-of-the-line. They are there to drink, fish & drive drunk. The fact that it will flood and make billions of dollars in real estate completely useless has absolutely no concern for natives.
More people leave Florida each year and they cannot keep their residents. There is a website, run by a realtor, warning people to rent and not buy anything in the penis (I mean Sunshine State). The Buffett clone photos of his vistas would shine the true light on the dump of the Keys if it would turn its camera lens around to show the garbage strewn on its street and the marine debris. It is funny when they show off their ‘hood because so many of us know the mounds of rubbish behind the lens which the poor sheriff’s department is trying to pick up with photo sessions showing the dirtbag captial of the penis state. They always blame it on the tourist who are tricked in to vacationing there by the TDC – but it is the dirty, drunken, derelict locals who illegally dump trash and have absolutely no respect for mother nature. When you leave Florida, the main thing you shall never see again is abandoned washer, dryer, couch on the streets. It only happens down there because the people will drive by the debris on their streets for a year without so much as a word. Enjoying your bedbugs?
Home should include quiet enjoyment and should be clean and peaceful without constant affray. For every trash can there is a lid. Which is why some will tolerate such nuisances and why some would never settle for undesirable locations.
|[Fundraiser] Thursday, March 24th, United Way of the Florida Keys will be the featured nonprofit at the “Mystics and Maestros” fundraiser at the Patio Bar in Key West. The Patio Bar, part of the Southernmost Inn on United Street, will be holding their third “Mystics and Maestros” fundraiser from 6-9pm on March 24th. The fundraiser was founded to support charities as well as to bring attention to the work of local artists. The fundraiser will include works from local artists, photographers, and painters and will feature performances by local musicians. Patrons will receive a free drink by bringing one of the following for donation to UWFK: a pack of diapers, formula, a baby bottle, or toiletries such as toilet paper. The items will be distributed to UWFK nonprofit partner agencies that serve infants and young children. Profits from the event’s silent auction will support UWFK’s food, education, and safety net service programs. Donations to support the work of UWFK and our local nonprofit partner agencies are accepted year-round. If you would like to make a donation, you can access our online giving portal by clicking the “Donate” button at link. Thank you for helping us in our mission to become the leader in community caring! Link|
The next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up this Saturday, March 12, 10 am at the senior center. Hope to see you there. Full Menu > Ongoing Events
|Q: What is the difference between a donation and a bribe? It Depends if it is in a check or cash or IOU!|
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