Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[The Little Tug That Couldn’t] I remembered that a fellow from up north, a 1960s Hippie throwback perhaps, named Stephen Freer had come to Key West and had bought a tugboat named Tilly for, as I recalled, $8,000, intending to use it as a hostel, or commune, on water, for people wanting to go back to the land, so to speak, but on the sea. Or something like that, is how I recalled Stephen painted it when he emailed me about it in late 2104, before anything had been reported in the blue paper, but after Stephen had gotten what he felt was royally screwed by local bubbas.
I made perhaps the mistake of trying to have a straightforward email conversation with Stephen, only to quickly learn he was not cut from any cloth I spent much time around. I was not even sure he was from anywhere near this planet. It didn’t take him long to call me a Fascist and that was the end of it between us, until he sent me an email maybe a month ago about my joining him in some kind of related venture he was working on around Miami, and he and I making a lot money from the maritime lawsuit the Tilly would provide. I replied that this ex-lawyer didn’t see the money in the lawsuit, which he saw, and I reminded him that he’d called me a Fascist the last time we’d had this discussion, but this time he was cordial. It thought that was the end of it.
I did some more checking and decided I had grossly underestimated the potential damages. Beside the $8,000 Stephen had paid for the Tilly, there were about $500,000 in fines for the Tilly sinking and having to be raised and brought in and disposed of, plus enormous punitive damages. For the actual heart of the matter was that people had tried to kill Stephen, a total novice with a boat, certainly no one to captain an old tug boat, or fire up its diesel engine and take it to sea, or to anywhere.
That came about by people telling Stephen his boat no longer could be docked at their pier. They would tow it, with him on it, to Key West, near Fleming Key, where they would anchor it. To avoid the tug boat being classified a derelict vessel, they built a wooden platform off the back of the boat and attached to it a small outboard motor, which would provide “propulsion”. If the Tilly was a derelict vessel, it was the dock owners’ legal duty to deal with it, dispose of it; not the responsibility of the northern dreamer sucker who had bought it.
So, Stephen got on the Tilly and they used some kind of vessel to tow it to Key West, but instead they towed it out to Hawk Channel, several miles offshore, and then they told Stephen their boat’s engine was overheating and they would have to leave the Tilly, with Stephen on it, anchored out there. And that’s what they did, in kind of rough seas, with the new wooden platform and outboard motor dipping under water and breaking up, and the Tilly itself, and Stephen, headed toward Davy Jones’ Locker soon. Staved off by Stephen having a few minutes of battery power left on his cell phone, and Arnaud Girard, the city’s sole remaining licensed wrecker (salver), running his boat out there and rescuing Stephen.
That folks, is attempted murder, regardless of Stephen’ state of mind, or previous deeds, good or bad. That also is a heap nasty looking civil lawsuit for $8,000 purchase price, $500,000 raising and disposing of the Tilly, and the sky’s the limit punitive damages against the seller of the Tilly, the dock and dockmaster who made the Tilly leave, the boat captain who carried the Tilly and Stephen Freer to Hawk’s Channel and left him there, to die.
|The number of people running for the mosquito commission top slot tells me one thing — the position salary is way too high!|
|[“Lady on BPK that does custom jewelry”] That would be me! I’d appreciate it if you would post my contact information if possible. Thank you. Business Directory > Jewelry|
|If I give all my money to my committee to elect me, can I write that off?|
|It’s FantasyFest time again. Some us here love it and some of us here stay far away, watch it online, or have their own party. Whatever you chose, the place to get all your costumes, wigs and face paint is at the flea market Saturday. All costumes and wigs are going to be really cheap. No offers rejected. Wear a green wig and purple hot pants if you like. We do reserve the right to look at your outfit and say, “No way!” That’s only for special exceptions when you need to be dressed more appropriate. We will sell Grandma the coconut shell swimsuit top and tie die wig with sparkly shorts if she looks good in it. We have so many consumes left that we can fix you up in whatever you want to dress like.
Come to the big pine flea market this weekend. Saturday and Sunday 8am till 2pm. We have the best fresh produce on the island and so much more. It’s time to get your fishing gear in order, we have it all. Tropical dresses, reading glasses, sunscreen, housewares, tools and tarps. We have the coolest selection of Bali wood furniture, wind chimes and sea shells all for low prices.
|States Attorney Vogle criticizes her opponent, Dennis Ward, for trying cases in the press, or in public, or whatever. What’s wrong with that? How do us regular people know the States Attorney is even doing anything? I don’t even know where her office is. I do like reading and hearing about cases, as long as I’m not in them. I’ll bet Mr Ward would enjoy some public feedback from his constituents on these cases.|
[Flu Season] Almost 17% of Americans don’t have health insurance. Many uninsured individuals have tried to get coverage but could not because it was too expensive. Others don’t have access to coverage through their workplace, and some, particularly low-income working individuals, are ineligible for financial assistance to help cover monthly insurance premiums. Link
|[Captain Selfish] One Inhumane Family is more like the truth. Nobody really cares about the next guy unless there is something in it for them. Only the sissies and dreamers think unity!|
|Has anyone seen a plan for the (new) Old 7 Mile Bridge parking lot? Many times during the season the old lot would be full near sunset. $70 million for a 5-year project and no additional parking? I hope I’m still alive to see this 70 + (who knows how much in the end) million mess if it ever gets completed.|
Tell the truth or someone will tell it for you. ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store. Downtown Big Pine Key
|[“NOAA plane flying over Keys”] It has been parked at the Marathon Airport for 3 months.|
|[Halloween] How many kids and adults are going to dress up as infected Key Deer this year? I’m guessing a dozen!|
|I wonder how many screwworm larvae and blowflies are traveling and leaving the Keys each day on solid waste transfer trucks?
How about some baited fly traps? Iguana carcasses would be a good bait choice. The IKC should have plenty that are too small to cook, but there are plenty more on the causeway between the Pine Channel bridges and just this side of Bay Point. Also, they carpet the ground at FKAA’s maintenance yard on 33rd St, Marathon across from Switlick School. Now and again one gets run over and is almost immediately covered in flies.
I read this tourist advisory (not sponsored by TDC) following a crash course in screwworms on Wikipedia. Link “In 2016, People traveling to the Florida Keys were warned that the screwworm fly is present there and has resulted in the deaths of many of the endangered key deer. The USDA has declared a crisis in this area and efforts are underway to deal with this menace. Since screwworms can infest pets and humans as well, if you have recently traveled to the Florida Keys, carefully check your pets for any sores or wounds and take them to a veterinarian for a checkup if you see any. If you are having any painful sores that are getting worse, see a doctor immediately. In either case ask for a check for parasitic larva, particularly screwworm.”
I think that screwworms are here because of the Cudjoe Regional sewers. They could smell the Lower Keys wounded and dying deer all the way from another continent.
|[Maintenance] The Tiki bar on Ramrod had all kinds of new enthusiasm when it was bought last year or so, but already it’s in decline. They forgot to maintain it. The whole place is filthy. You can tell what the food will be like just by looking in any restaurant’s bathrooms. These photos are of the Tiki bar’s. Dirty floor, dirty door, dirty sink. They’ve even stopped posting promotions in the frames above the urinals. Do they even have a manager? ~firstname.lastname@example.org|
|[Driving] Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac. ~George Carlin|
|So you want to build a death ray using a laser pointer cat toy, here’s some easy steps on how to build one. For a laser to kill someone it essentially needs to be hot enough to boil or burn the tissue. It would take about a 1kW laser to boil through someone’s eye to their brain in a reasonable amount of time, meaning they probably couldn’t get away. Each cat toy level laser pointer is roughly 5mW. It would take 200,000 laser pointers all focusing through a lens to an exact point to create a laser powerful enough to kill. Each laser pointer (assuming the ones from laser pens since the pen tip is smaller than the cat toy laser) is 5mm across. So if you had 200,000 of them they would be in a grid about 7’ x7’. To get them to focus on a single spot, though, they would need to be in a semi-circle with a radius of about 5.5’. So if you wanted to create a death ray with laser pointers, you could buy 200,000 laser pointers, mount them on a piece of a sphere with radius 5.5’, aim them all through a lens and ask your victim to sit still, very, very still.|
|[Stage Coach Mules] When the stage rolled into the station the tender swung open the gates and the teams, small Spanish mules, dashed into the corral. The animals were gentle enough when once in the enclosure, but mean and as wild as deer when on the road. The stage company would buy these little mules in lots of fifty to a hundred in Mexico and distribute them along the route. The tiny animals were unbroken broncos right off the range. They were tied up, or tied down, as the case might be and harnessed by force.
When they had been hitched to the stagecoach or buckboard the gates to the corral were opened and the team left on the run. The intelligent mules soon learned that all they had to do was to run from one station to the next, and they could not be stopped between posts no matter what happened. Whenever they saw a wagon or a man on horseback approaching along the road they would shy around the stranger, and the harder the driver held them the faster they ran.
Brito’s Boat Yard, Key West circa 1975.
|You know, you should vote for me you know, for mosquito guy, you know, because I grew up here and you know, my grandfather was a mosquito control guy and, you know, I’ve, you know, studied the technology a lot, you know, and I, you know, I really want this, you know, high paying job. And, you know, I’ve lived here all my life.|
|[Boozy Music] Have you ever noticed that certain kinds of music just kind of goes with different kinds of drinking. Take for instance, longneck bottles just goes natural with Honky-Tonk (if it ain’t got steel it ain’t Country, and then there’s whiskey (Irish-naturally) with those tear flowing ballads. Next, who’d be listening to Jimmy Buffett’s Margaretville without a margarita in your hand? Let’s not forget pizza with the wicker wrapped bottle of Chianti. But my all-time favorite is listening to good old Nortanos along with a bottle of Jose Quervo (white) & a shot glass. No lime and salt– that’s for amateurs. 1-2-3-4 tequilas (10-total) floor! Video|
|[Phishing] I received a phone call today from Phoenix AZ 480-565-7334. Caller claimed to be with the IRS fraud division and wanted to talk to me about my under reporting of my federal tax. He listed several federal laws that I had violated and then went on to say that they were going to take my house, my bank account, my passport, have me arrested and a few other not so nice things. He then stated I owed $3700 and $25,000 in penalties and that I could clear this matter up by just paying the $3700 with my credit card. I then told him to f**k another goat and he hung up. During the conversation, I could hear other people in the background talking with the same foreign accent. This was definitely some type of back room boiler operation. You would think that the IRS should be able to catch these crooks by tracking the phone number.|
[Keys Chamber Orchestra] One last reminder that orchestra rehearsal is 2:00 p.m. at the Dallas MacDonald Senior Center on Key Deer Blvd. (behind the fire station) on Sunday the 30th and choir rehearsal is at 5:00 p.m. at the Big Pine Methodist Church also on Key Deer Blvd. If you are a snow bird and can’t make the first rehearsal or 2, just contact us and we’ll see about getting you a copy of the music and you can join us when you get here. On Facebook, search for Keys Chamber Orchestra or contact Wayne Hulting at email@example.com.
|Did you see yet another National Park Artist in Residence, John Vokoun, was in the news. Link|
|What is the best way to deal with extortion when there is no law enforcement? What was the name of the old west baseball team, the Vigilantes?|
[“Big Pine Key Zombie Bike Ride”] Gee most Piners don’t even have to change a thing, just peddle around.
|[“The man who listens to fish sing”] The question is which end do the fish sing out of?|
|[FTR on the State Attorney] The other day I posted about the Monroe County State Attorney race. In that posting I wrote that the current State Attorney, Catherine Vogel, had named Dr. Beavers to be our interim Medical Examiner after the resignation of the previous ME. Some folks correctly pointed out that it is the Governor who appoints Medical Examiners. Nonetheless, Florida Statues give the individual State Attorneys the power and the responsibility to appoint interim ME’s in circumstances wherein the Governor cannot or chooses not to make an immediate permanent appointment. In this instance the Governor chose not to make a permanent appointment until the Florida Board of Medical Examiners weighed in on the appointment.
Since that posting I learned of the existence of a very interesting and informative video of a debate between the SA candidates. Even if you have no interest in this race, it is really worth watching. It’s a bit raunchy. If you take the time, you’ll have a much deeper understanding why I have already voted for Dennis Ward. Link
|Would you get into a driverless taxi? A guy gets arrested for weed and lists his address as streets of Marathon & his occupation as taxi driver. I wonder what percent of people will be stupid enough to get into taxis when cab drivers are all replaced.|
|[Editor Sucks] Last week I wrote telling everyone to calm down. Unfortunately, the part I wrote about FTR was nothing about politics at all. More about his ability to totally change his position on anybody. Don’t criticize FTR, even slightly, if you want your voice heard. I challenge Deer Ed to print exactly what I said and let the readers decide. Some people will sell their souls for $19.95 a week. (Ed: I will! I’d also print exactly what you wrote if my spell check didn’t light up like a Christmas tree when I opened your posts.)|
|Why seniors should not go to summer camp. Video|
|My Comcast bill varies from $215.39, $215.42, $215.44, $215.45 each month. It’s a penny or two different then the month before. Comcast has about 23 million customers. If they over charge each customer just one penny, that’s $230,00 a month of free money! Didn’t they get busted for that years ago? or was it Ma Bell?|
|Can anyone tell me where that hideous sign at the end of No Name Key came from? It looks like it was painted by a fifth grader. I guess those privileged enough to live on that island can put signs up where they please|
|The Discovery Channel is completely out of ideas. Reality shows are low budget, mindless, made-for-television crap.|
I got a cheesesteak from Springers the other day and it was excellent. They even got the bread right, not like that slop they serve you in Philadelphia.
|[“Free food”] Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL) has begun serving an evening meal every day, but of course, it is black tie on weekends.|
[Evolution] Why do bats have such sharp teeth if they only eat bugs?
|DEF: Corruption n, That which is America since 1493
DEF: Key West n, A local DC
DEF: Florida n, The land that dignity forgot
DEF: Mexico n, The old sneaker of dysfunctional fertility
DEF: U.N. n, United Nitwits
DEF: U. K, n, America’s real owner
DEF: Race n, People who can breed the quickest
DEF: Pain n, What I feel for America’s future
|United Way of the Florida Keys is excited to announce the launch of a new “Imagination Library” project in Monroe County. Thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo, UWFK will work in partnership with Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition to provide children from birth to age five in low-income households with an age appropriate book each month for the first five years of the child’s life.
One in five children in the Florida Keys live in poverty, with little access to quality early learning resources. Imagination Library will target children living in low-income households, preparing them for kindergarten, increasing their chances of being academically successful throughout their lives, and reducing their likelihood of living in poverty as adults.
Students who are proficient in reading by third grade are three times more likely to graduate and live above the poverty level. Research from similar programs demonstrates children with access to books from birth have higher reading readiness scores and improved childhood reading habits. Early childhood literacy can help improve language development, academic success, and reduce the likelihood of living in poverty. Additional research suggests early learning initiatives like the Imagination Library provide benefits to society of roughly $8.60 for every $1 spent. Link
|In the background the Earth’s shadow is strongly visible, the shadow that the Earth itself casts on its own atmosphere. This is visible in the opposite half of the sky to the sunset or sunrise, and is seen right above the horizon as a dark blue band. Immediately above, a pink band that is visible above the dark blue of the Earth’s shadow is called “Belt of Venus”. This was taken at the ESO Paranal site.|
|It is important that all Florida residents vote “No” on amendment #1 and vote “Yes” on amendment #2.|
|Joe: I worry that these world leaders will start WW3.
Mo: Yeah, it sure looks that way.
Joe: I’m stocking up on canned food and toilet paper.
Mo: Good idea. What kind of beer did you buy?Mo: I saw your wife in Publix yesterday. Why does she ware spike heels and all that make-up?
Joe: I hadn’t noticed.
Mo: That is probably the problem!
|The large majority of Indian troubles arise from their unrestrained appropriation of each other’s horses. It is their only branch of wealth; like the miser with his gold, their greed for horses cannot be satisfied. All their other wants are merely attended to from day to day; their need supplied, they look no farther; but their appetite for horses is insatiable: they are ever demanding more.
“Our enemies steal our horses; we must fight and get them back again, or steal in turn. Without horses we can make no surrounds [method of hunting buffalo where hundreds of Indians would surround a herd and kill what they wanted], nor could we, to protect our lives, fight our foes when they attack our villages.”
|The way we respond to bomb threats is laughable. Do you really think that someone that goes to all the trouble of planting a bomb is going to call and tell you they did it?|
|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|