2019 May

Friday, May 8, 2019

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

[Confusing Medicare with Medicaid]  Medicare is like any other insurance plan.  You (and your employer) pay into it while you’re working, but you still pay a monthly premium once you start using it.  And unless you also have additional insurance, you are responsible for your out of pocket expenses which can get very high.  Medicaid is funded totally by the tax payers who will most likely never receive benefits from it.

The real problem with socialized medicine, like Medicare or Medicaid for all, is the lack of choice.  Once they eliminate private insurance, your options are eliminated.  If you want a second opinion, tuff crap, you’re stuck with whatever doctor or facility “they” decide to send you to.

The really sad thing is, good affordable insurance was available prior to the ACA (Obamacare).  It was called catastrophic insurance and covered what it sounds like, expensive catastrophic health problems.  The premiums were low and covered annual physicals including blood work and colonoscopy.  But the main advantage was that there was a max out of pocket expense and if you used “in network” providers, costs were low when you had to pay for visits.  This is really what makes the most sense.  We don’t need insurance that pays for every doctor visit.  What we need is insurance that protects us from astronomical, unforeseen health care expenses.  If this was required, just like automobile insurance, it could be done and the costs to individuals would be reasonable. Link


[Cuban Tree Frogs’ Song] Did you hear the tree frogs sing Tuesday and Wednesday nights between about 3-4 am? What a glorious sound to behold. I really missed their song after Irma blew them away; and the year after they were in short supply, but it sounded like they were back in full force this week. What a happy sound.

With all of the sewers & grinders installed, I wonder if FKAA will repair or fill-in the ruts in the roadway shoulders. I want to contact the road department, but would like to do it with all concerned residents combined. Please email me




[“All the vehicles at the bar are pickup trucks”] That picture has to be in an area that is lacking rednecks – not one truck has backed into the parking space.

[Deadly Irony] Colombia filmmaker shot dead reporting documentary on violence. Link


[Green Water] I’ve always believed there’s a leak near Summerland Key. The canal between the airport and Caribbean Drive turned green three days after they fired up the pipeline under Niles Channel. The realtors used to pitch Summerland’s clear, flow through swimming canals – now it’s emerald green waters. Thankfully, there was a buyer for our place. We moved north and bought a Florida farm, a house on 7 acres was $350K.

[Privacy] Here’s how to opt out of Viewing Information Services with Samsung TVs. If you have a Samsung smart TV, open the home menu and head to Settings > Support > Terms & Policies. Turn off the “Viewing Information Services” and “Interest-Based Advertising” options below it. (Some older models may call this feature “SyncPlus and Marketing” instead.)


[Big Pine Museum] Betty Brothers >Full Menu > Big Pine Museum > Betty Brothers

The Keys seafood may be imported from South America, but your veggies are not thanks to Winn-Dixie and Publix buying Florida fresh produce.
I’m not an alcoholic. I only drink to make people tolerable
[“Betty Brothers”] Ah, those were the days! You could stop of and visit Betty and then head down to Sugarloaf Lodge to visit with Sugar the dolphin. The Keys are much different now – not just because we were younger and rents were non-existent. Most of the newbies living there today are afraid of what lies beneath – back in the day – we lived and worked to be beneath. Everyone here was either wanted or unwanted. Those were the days. Full Menu > Big Pine Museum > Betty Brothers



[Redland International Orchid Festival] KWOS is renting vans for the trip on Saturday, May 18.  Good way to go: let someone else do the driving. The cost is $30 which includes the transportation & the entrance fee. You’ll probably also get a $5 off coupon toward an orchid purchase. To reserve, contact Connie Kirkland at 727-480-4440 or

[China Tariffs] There goes our cheap stuff.



Negativity breaks the thread that is attached to the stream of life, upsetting the outcome and causing chaos. In other words, everything’s cool until some a**hole comes along and breaks your positive train of thought.

Tiger Woods honored to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Great video. The President is a real good golfer and for him to acknowledge a better golfer is a big thing for him to do.  Video



[Closing the Beaches in KW] My old friend challenged this decree years ago. Another friend had this tin painting done for him.

Ninth dead whale found in San Francisco Bay Area. The whale found Monday on Ocean Beach was the ninth discovered in the San Francisco Bay Area since March. Link
Free flowing rivers of the world interactive map. Earth is losing its free flowing rivers disrupting Mother Nature’s plan. Video



Magic mushroom decriminalization on Denver ballot. A citizen-led initiative appearing on ballots Tuesday follows a path that led to marijuana’s legalization in Denver and later in Colorado. Fat out, man! Link

[Friday Joke] I thought the pilot’s uniform was that of a police officer, but I checked again and found the pilot was a plane clothed officer.



[Winn Dixie] Weekly ad. Link

[“Betty Brothers and Dolphin Marina”] I also enjoyed and shared similar memories. I’m looking forward to more history. Regards to all. Full Menu > Big Pine Museum > Betty Brothers
[“First walking stick bug I’ve seen here”] That got my attention. Did anyone ever see a marsh rabbit? I’ve been here since 1981 and still looking.





Who owns who?

[My List of Liquor Names]
1. Applejack – is hey both a cereal and an alcoholic beverage. Imagine that.
2. Beer – is the combined name for a bourbon drinking deer.
3. Bourbon – means not rural.
4. Brandy – is a fine girl and what a good wife you will be (with apologies to Gordon Lightfoot).
5. Champagne – is the French word for “pain in the champ”.
6. Cognac – means literally two gnacs.
7. Gin – is what one says when one wins a card game.
8. Moonshine – comes from the Latin words “moonus” and “shinicus”.
9. Ouzo – is a small automatic weapon.
10. Port – is where sailors go in a storm.
11. Rum – is short for “rub my bum”.
12. Sake – is the shortened version of “sock it to me” from the 1960’s.
13. Schnapps – is the German word for oddly enough “German”.
14. Scotch – comes from Ireland.
15. Sherry – baby.
16. Tequila – loosely translated means “suck down the worm and give me your money, Gringo.”
17. Vermouth – means “her mouth” in Swahili.
18. Vodka – means liquor one can take to work in a thermos.
19. Whiskey – figuratively means “I’m moving from a buzz to a drunken episode I’ll be sorry for in the morning”.
20. Wine – I want to go to Miami, I want a million dollars, I want a new RR, I want to live in a penthouse, I want a maid
[Government  Subsidies] Our government has paid 12 billion dollars to help farmers hurt by the trade war with China. Isn’t that one of the reasons there is a trade war? government subsidizing its industries? Don’t we subsidize our industries? dairy farmers, energy companies, soybean farmers, etc?

I agree with removing China’s requirement that companies doing businesses with them must share their intellectual property. I don’t understand the subsidizing part of this tariff war, while we do the same thing. Link

[Full Moon Kayak Excursion] Paddle with us Thursday, May 16th from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, for a fun, easy going evening paddle along the mangrove shoreline of No Name Key.  Watch the sun set in the west as the full moon rises in the east. Sponsored by Big Pine Kayak Adventures, proceeds benefit local wildlife through the Florida Keys Wildlife Society, the official friends group for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges. The $25 donation includes kayak, gear and experienced guide. Please call Captain Bill 305-872-7474 for reservations.  Plan to bring a flashlight, drinking water, and arrive ½ hour before launch time. If you are interesting in becoming a volunteer, please call Nancy 305-731-6362 or email




The next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up Saturday, May 11, 10 am at the senior center.  Hope to see you there. Full Menu > Ongoing Events

[“National healthcare”] You mean Americans can get the same free healthcare that veterans get with Veteran’s Administration?