Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Reefs] Beginning in the fifteenth century, European exploration and colonization of the Americas brought increasing numbers of voyagers along the shores of the Florida Keys and within reach of the treacherous reefs that bound the western side of the Florida Straits. The next several centuries saw the ruin of hundreds of vessels transiting this seaway. Even in calm weather sailing vessels of this period were at the mercy of the Gulf Stream; the incredibly strong current pushed ships onto the reef when wind conditions were unfavorable.
The 1789 Lighthouse Act authorized installation of lighthouses and other aids to navigation at dangerous points on the American coast to guide vessel traffic safely to port and away from submerged hazards. Following Florida’s admittance to the Union as a territory in 1821, increasing traffic between gulf ports and the eastern seaboard brought mounting financial losses from shipwrecks in Keys’ waters. Merchant ship owners focused pressure on the U.S. government to take action to prevent shipping losses. The Florida Keys iconic lighthouses are a highly visible reminder of this effort, but were not the only techniques used to prevent shipwrecks.
Beginning in 1849, the U. S. Coast Survey, a predecessor agency of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, spent more than 30 years in the Keys mapping and marking the reefs. By 1853, construction began on unlit markers, labeled alphabetically from “A” through “P,” that worked something like signposts to indicate reef positions to mariners. These would become known as the “Totten Beacons” after Lieutenant James B. Totten, the U.S. Army Assistant to the Coast Survey who oversaw their construction. Totten reported to his superiors that he had installed 14 of the 15 planned beacons by July 1855.
To learn more about early aids to navigation and the “Totten Beacons” visit: Link
|[Peary Court] Tonight [Tuesday] the Key West City Commission considers whether or not to drain the city’s $12.5 million in the Land Authority fund and kick it back to a south Florida developer represented by a Key West real estate broker, as part of the developer buying the Peary Court “affordable” duplex apartment complex for $60 million. Actually for $47.5 million ($60 million minus the $12.5 million kickback). Actually for $35.5 million, because the developer will acquire the 48 “affordable” building rights the current owners valued at $12 million when they tried to sell Peary Court to the city for $67 million. The 48 “affordable” building rights the city had given, for FREE, to the current owners, who also are developers, represented by Jim Hendrick.|
|I do not understand the article linked on the CT about big fish stories getting littler. The fish in the ’50 pictures are mostly Goliath Groupers. They are huge fish. The fish the author compares them to, later in time, are different species that grow to smaller sizes; and harvesting Goliath Grouper is illegal now, so they wouldn’t show up on a hanging board anyway. It’s not about size perception, it’s about pictures of different things that are normally different sizes. The story never even considers this fundamental, obvious point.|
|[Rent-A-Dock] If you own a home with a dock in the Keys is it legal to rent out your dock? I never see ads for boat slips to rent. I will post it here if it is okay that I am looking for a dock to keep my 36′ boat.|
|[Hate] Man, people carry such hatred. Just because someone was arrested doesn’t make them guilty. Trust me, if you ever get arrested in Monroe County your mugshot will be there forever. You have to carry copies of official court documents proving you were never convicted. This is wrong. The mugshot should go away when the county drops the case.
In regards to the fishing people who got arrested. I am totally shocked at how mean and vicious people are being to them. It never used to be like this. It used to be live and let live. If there was a problem, you just talked things out. Now people have hatred. Real hatred. How could anybody that lives in this most beautiful place even contain a minute bit of that kind of hatred?
|Get ready for this week at Springer’s Bar & Grill
~Monday: Gumbo Day – Homemade with Andouille Sausage and Chicken served over Rice.
~Tuesday: Hug your inside with a homemade Meatloaf Dinner or Sandwich
~Wednesday: BBQ Day – Homemade BBQ – Homemade Rubs and Sauces – Delicious
~Thursday: Siesta Day – The week is almost over. It’s Mexican Thursday at Springer’s Bar & Grill
Friday: Beer battered Fish n Chips – Malt Vinegar if you like it the traditional way
~Saturday: The Megan Ellis Band at 7 pm. Have dinner a few drinks and enjoy live entertainment out on the patio.Last, but not least – Happy Hour Every Day from 11 am – 7 pm
|[Doctor-pastor sues Georgia after sermons cost him new job] When is discrimination and hate speech okay? Answer: It’s okay if God tells you to say those things.
What’s wrong with these “people of God”? I thought god was supposed to love everybody. When did they change it? Link
|[FTR] Even though the Presidential race is front and center in the media, there are local political races that are vital to our everyday life. One of those is the Clerk of the Courts Office.
That post sounds about as boring as boring can get. But, who we choose to be our Clerk of the Courts will have a direct impact on each one of our lives.
Very few are even aware of the existence of the office. But electing the wrong person to serve us can have grave impact on each of us.
Possibly the most important job of the Clerk is to be the Accountant and Auditor for our county. The Clerk maintains the accounting records, custody of the counties monies, and custody of the all records of all assets of the County. The Clerk pre audits and pays all bills of the County. Thus, the Clerk is a vital check and balance to our County Commissioners. The Clerk is not an employee of the County Commission, but rather is a Constitutional Officer, elected by you. The Clerk is a safeguard for your tax dollars.
But that’s only part of the story. The Clerk also maintains all the official minutes of the County Commission. The Clerk records and maintains the official records of the County such as recording of deeds, mortgages, marriage licenses, etc.
And the Clerk serves our Judicial system. The Clerk provides courtroom clerks, records and maintains all court and legal files. The Clerk collects and accounts for all court related fees, fines, alimony, child support, garnishments, etc.
If you own property, have ever married, divorced, paid or received child support, sued or been sued, been arrested, gone to trial in a civil or criminal case, gotten a traffic ticket, or simply live in our county, your life has been impacted by the Clerk of the Courts Office.
The selection of the right person to be the Clerk of the Courts is vital. More, much more to come.
|It doesn’t matter what rights you have under the Constitution of the United States if the government can punish you for exercising those rights. And it doesn’t matter what limits the Constitution puts on government officials power if they can exceed those limits without any adverse consequences. In other words, the Constitution cannot protect you if you don’t protect the Constitution with your votes against anyone who violates it. Those government officials who want more power are not going to stop unless they get stopped. ~Thomas Sowell
In other words, voting means nothing unless the government adheres to the people’s wishes, which in reality, they could care less about!
|I downloaded this Windows Classic Shell program and installed it into my other Windows 10 computer. There are all kinds of great settings you can use to make Windows 10 look and run like Windows XP or Windows 7. It keeps the older start menus and all kinds of other XP and W7 style screens to make W10 work more familiar. W10 is designed to cross over from the old days of working computers to the NWO of tablets and cell phone nonsense. You can always uninstall this program and get W10 back as the original OS. Try it, you’ll like it. It’s free too! Link|
|[Development] Has the general public been made aware of the fact that there is an important Board of County Commissioners meeting on the 18th of May? Important because the is a major zoning change request by the folks who own little Palm Island.
The good folks at Noble House who own Little Palm as well as Dolphin Marina, and the old Betty Brothers property have requested a zoning change from Suburban Commercial to Mixed Use (read, we can do anything we want). The biggest effect of this change is the loss of Dolphin Marina as well as the loss of our way of life, not only here in Big Pine and Little Torch Keys but throughout the Keys in general.
You see, Noble House (out of Seattle WA) wants to build a gated destination resort that would be, for all intents and purposes, inaccessible to the locals. In fact, by closing the marina and fuel services, and the ensuing loss of another working waterfront lets them obtain the building rights almost for free. All they have to do is buy a trailer park or older apartment building, throw the residents out and redeveloped and resell them at market rate. For their trouble they receive building rights for their new resort. Don’t worry about the folks that live in that trailer park (and have for 30 or 40 years), they will find another form of affordable housing.
The locals will be forced to either haul their own fuel from the gas station or drive all the way to Summerland Key, we will no longer have a spot to pick up our bait, ice or beer on the way out. What this does is redefine our life style choice to the chaos of Key West or the insanity of the mainland. Once the first resort is in, other locations will follow. Sunshine Key, Looe Key Dive Resort or Sugarloaf Lodge, just to name a few.
Please contact you’re County Commissioners and, or, come to the BOCC meeting on May 18th at the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave, Key West.
|Get ready for this weekend at Springer’s Bar & Grill
Friday: Beer battered Fish n Chips – Malt Vinegar if you like it the traditional way
Saturday: The Megan Ellis Band at 7 pm. Have dinner a few drinks and enjoy live entertainment out on the patio.
Last but not least – Happy Hour Every Day from 11 am – 7 pm
|It’s a plane, it’s a car! I want one. Video|
|[Yard Sale] Friday, May 6 and Saturday May 7 523 60th Street Gulf, Marathon 8AM Patio furniture Laptop, pressure cleaner, 40 ft ladder, small glass table top, paintings, clothes, armoire, furniture, carpenter tools|
|[Orchid Newsletter for May] As it is every year, the May meeting of the KW Orchid Society is one week earlier than usual. The Redland International Orchid Festival falls on the 3rd week of May and the speakers all flock to the show and are not available. If you plan to join the flock, the dates are May 13, 14, 15. For information go to www.redlandorchidfestival.org/ If you go be sure to take along sunscreen, a hat, water & probably some mosquito repellent. And don’t stay out in the sun too long. Full Menu > Ongoing Events|
Ring a Peace Bell! Link
|[Polish American Citizens’ Club] This is what we need in the Keys to get these islands straightened out! Link|
|[“Boat ramp private”] I would have gladly paid $25 to the BPK Fishing Lodge to pull my boat out. That’s not much more than Bahia Honda where the ramp fee is $10 plus two admissions and waiting on line at the entrance plus extra driving miles back and forth.
The fishing lodge wasn’t busy weeding. Just busy keeping us locals from using their very private ramp. As for their “support for the Islands’ needs”? Specifics would be great.
|When this self-driving car thing happens will the government provide a vehicle or do we pay for a car we can’t drive?|
|Everyone’s invited to the Lower Keys Chamber Business WalkAbout & Auctions tomorrow – Saturday, May 7 from 9am – 2pm at Boondocks. With more than 250 silent auction items, several LIVE auction treasures (11 am), an Australian Wine Tasting at noon and an Aussie beer tasting at 1pm, it’s sure to be a fun-filled day! This event is sponsored by Isaksen Insurance, supported by Floridakeystelevision.com and broadcast LIVE on US 1 Radio, 104.1 FM. Start your day with special breakfast sandwiches and Bloody Marys at Boondocks. See ya’, Matey!|
|The Silence of the Clams. Video|
Take your kid to work day, pilot style!
|Now that I see how simple it is to connect a home to the new sewer system I am confused. I am confused because I don’t understand why there are not more contractors competing for easy work. $1500-$2500 to lay 30 feet of pipe? A crew can do 5 jobs in a day, easily. For the effort and expertise involved, the price to connect should be below $1000. If I were a tradesman, I would be competing for your business|
Walmart brings back its greeters. “We expect to fill about 9,000 of these new hourly positions that are specially trained to both welcome customers as soon as they walk in and also help deter would-be shoplifters,” Video
|Ever notice whenever a serious question is asked on the CT about the sewer system scam, we never get an answer|
|I’m wishing my grinder pump was in the right-of-way, instead of the fancy road lines we got instead. We even got fancy reflective road markers on our dinky road. I’m sure I’m supposed to be impressed.|
[Survey Marks Removed] Who or when will the County replace the survey pins in the newly paved road that I paid $750 to Reese Surveyors for?
|[Peary Court] They, and the land and housing authority reps, and the city attorney sure danced like cats on a hot tin roof as City Commissioner Sam Kaufman kept trying to get a straight answer out of them: Had the Land Authority ever partnered with a private entity before? The vote in favor defied all logic, unless it was rigged. I bet even Donald Trump would have voted against it|
Gulf Coast could be ground zero for Zika. Gulf Coast has ideal mix for a Zika outbreak: mosquitoes, steamy climate, pockets of poverty. Link
|Anyone else have Toyota Dashboard problems and what did you do about it?|
|[Rabies] Starting around the mid-20th century, rabies was slowly working its way from eastern Europe across the continent via infected red foxes. Unlike many other zoonotic diseases, rabies is a serious threat as it requires immediate and costly medical intervention or the disease is fatal (only a few individuals have ever survived rabies without the vaccine shots thanks to treatment using the Milwaukee Protocol).
Given the danger, European countries have invested significant amounts of money and time over the years in combating the spread of rabies in the fox population. Many of the early attempts proved unsuccessful or were so costly as to be unsustainable. Capturing animals and vaccinating them was effective but impractical. Hunting and exterminating all of the foxes was unsustainable and required too many man hours with too little return. Vaccine traps worked but, again, were costly and difficult to deploy in wide enough areas.
Ultimately, the solution that worked (and was in continual use until the early 1990s before being replaced by mass-produced tablets of fish or fat) was disarmingly simplistic. Rather than go to great lengths to locate the foxes and manually vaccinate or exterminate them, the teams in charge of managing the rabid fox population started air dropping chicken heads with capsules of vaccination fluid embedded under the skin. The foxes would naturally seek out the treat, gobble it up, and in the process consume the oral vaccine. The method proved so effective that the incidence of rabies across Europe dropped significantly. Typically within 5-10 years, the incidence of rabies would drop in a treated region by 90 percent or more.
|[“Minimum wage”] Even if everyone worked hard and went to college. Someone would still need to make our pizzas, stock our shelves and drive our cabs. Quit looking down on them and assuming they deserve to live in poverty.|
I think the Keys should make Happy Hour all day on Fridays!
|[Computers] Does anyone else notice that the work we did in eight hours on our computers now takes sixteen hours because of all the extra steps, menus, and movements we have to do to do the same things we did in Windows 2000 to Windows XP? I hate Windows 7 and Windows 10 is worse!|
|[Sewage Spill] It is really not fair to the FKAA Wastewater Plant Operators. Word is that they were directed not to report “incidents” like sewage spills and biology upsets to DEP. They could lose their license and livelihood for not reporting or lose their job if they do report. I was told that several operators have quit FKAA and gone to work within the law elsewhere.
I personally reviewed FKAA’s incident reports as supplied by DEP, and I think the most recent was way back before the Duck Key plant was “upgraded” for over $7 million for that puny little plant. Nobody at DEP finds the lack of reports suspicious? Or maybe DEP just did not supply them?
We learned of a big raw sewage spill at the Cudjoe plant almost two weeks ago. The Cudjoe Gardens POA called FKAA’s Executive Director to ask about it, and he called back denying that it ever happened. Denial and subterfuge is what we have come to expect from FKAA executives, but it is fairly common knowledge amongst FKAA’s hourly employees that the spill did indeed happen. The root cause of the spill was said to be communication failure. Master sewage pump stations were turned off and full. One account said that it was because they were not turned on when Notice to Connect went to Sugarloaf and Summerland. Another account said they were intentionally turned off and filled with potable water to try to flush the transmission mains that are already getting clogged. Regardless, the plant was not warned that a big flow was on the way. The influent screens could not handle the septic gunky slug of sewage that slammed the plant, and they overflowed all over the top deck and through openings to the ground level below. Panicked operators had to bypass the screens as their only option to stop the overflow. The biology of the plant was described as poor before the slug of septic sewage hit, but destroyed afterward. Poor biology results in poor treatment. Forget about “Advanced Water Reclamation Facility.” That was always BS anyway since the “reclaimed water” is only used within the plant to hose down spills and such. Basically, poorly treated sewage has been going down the shallow wells. Floating mats of algae have now been reported in surrounding waters.If you know of failures in any of the FKAA’s sewers, please send the information to CudjoeFail@mail.com. We want to petition for being allowed to keep our septic systems as back-up, and need to show the unreliability of the FKAA’s central system. Photos, videos, details are all appreciated. Keeping our septics for safety backup will save each of us about $1000 in abandonment cost and we can always flush when FKAA fails.
If my neighborhood is densely populated enough to require sewers (or, in our case, the feared grinder pumps), then why don’t we have fire hydrants? If my house catches fire, they fire trucks will have to pump salt water from the plugged canal behind my home. That means a total loss of contents from salt water damage.
|In the Bahamas they still eat green turtles.|
|If a person accepts money or gifts for sexual or political favors, isn’t that prostitution?|
|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|