2014 October

Friday, October 3, 2014

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The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsAnonymous Letters to the Editor with Pictures. Published Daily by Noon Since 2002. No Saturday Edition

perry3The Administrative Hearings have concluded on Dump The Pumps‘ (DTP) petitions against construction permits for the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System.
The FDEP and FKAA had 8 (eight!) attorneys there to defend against what they had tried to portray as a frivolous lawsuit. They had an Australian witness from EOne who was paid $33,000 to show a promotional video for their grinder pumps. They had a professional witness who was paid $17,000 to praise E-One, although he knew very little about them and essentially nothing on how they are being used here.
In contrast, DTP had a 2 attorney team and entered the depositions into evidence of a Professional Engineer with a Masters Degree testifying as to the civil engineering inadequacies, an Electrical P.E. to testify about the fact that the E-1 pumps being used are illegal and a public safety hazard in the neighborhood lift stations (and probably a risk at residences), and Dr. Gunnar Hovstadius who is a pump expert respected all over the world who now works for the UN teaching and analyzing pumps and pumping systems worldwide. Hovstadius testified on the absolute idiocy of using E-1 grinder pumps in the manner being employed here. He explained the issues very well and in a very understandable manner. (Do a computer search on Gunnar Hovstadius and see how many hits you get. Google gave me 25,000 and no, I did not read them all, but I did read his deposition.)
DTP’s experts all offered their expertise and time free of any charge because they believe that it is so important that this ill-conceived pressure sewer system not be built in the Keys. Much smaller implementations of this design have been disastrous elsewhere. One incident made the $2 million home across from Dr. Hovstadius uninhabitable for about two years while workers gutted the entire ground level to repair the damage of many thousands of gallons of raw sewage that had boiled out of the drains after a power outage for about two hours..
The FDEP now admits that the system is not designed even to minimum standards, but tried to convince the judge that the minimum requirements are really just recommendations. That’s not what the law says. And that does not make good sense. Even if they were just recommendations, why would a responsible “protector of the environment” make exception after exception to the minimum standards in an area so vulnerable as this?
We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to the expert witnesses who provided free, very highly qualified, professional opinions on the disaster that is the Cudjoe Regional Sewer System. The attorneys that ably represented Dump the Pumps will, however, need to be paid. It will probably be a couple of months before the Administrative Law Judge rules, and meanwhile DTP has a petition for an emergency injunction in Circuit Court to stop the illegal construction that is wasting money on a system that is certain to fail, and fail catastrophically.

Please help save the Keys from the inevitable raw sewage spills. Urge that some sanity and responsibility intervene in the suicidal haste to install a defective central sewer system that will undoubtedly prove worse than septic tanks ever could be. Also, try to contribute to the Dump the Pumps, Inc. legal fees. You might not think you can afford it, but consider that your water bill will triple the month after you are told that the sewer system is available. Any construction delay that occurs to make the system sensible instead of idiotic will save you two times your water bill every month in the interim while helping to hold down excessive rate increases in the future by installing a more reliable system. We all want clean water, but nobody wants to pay to make it worse. And nobody should have to pay for poor reliability. Just do it right or don’t bother.

lower keys boat rental7.11.14
[Ebola] Unfortunately they’ll keep telling us that it’s okay until it isn’t! There’s no way we’ll know the truth until after the fact and we’re all crawling on the floor with bleeding eyes.
open neon
The Big Pine flea market is open for the season starting this Saturday October 4th. We have all missed seeing you, our friends and valued customers. Stop in any say hello!
[Crooks] Today the FBI is investigating the largest data breach yet. 76 million households are affected by a data breach (hacker) at JP Morgan Chase Banks.

In 2013 800 million data records were exposed due to malicious data breach incidents.

Margie Smith, President of United Way of the Florida Keys since January 2010, will leave the agency at the end of this year to join her husband’s investment management firm in Islamorada. Smith said she is excited about her new position but sad to leave a job that has been so much a part of her for almost five years. “As President of United Way I’ve had the unique opportunity to see a detailed picture of who we are as a county, and to interact with so many public service-minded individuals,” she said. “What we have here is special. I’ve never felt so profoundly connected to a community as I have here in the Keys.”
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[RadioShack BP Celebrates 8 Years] Someone posted here on the Coconut Telegraph a few weeks ago that RadioShack on Big Pine will be closing. Everyday we have customers asking about it. NO, RadioShack on Big Pine Key is not closing and who ever posted that is wrong.

The management company for the Corporation that recently bought the Big Pine Shopping Center has let us know that we will have new neighbors soon. Construction should begin in a few months filling the old Bert and Franny’s Spa vacancies and Beals may be expanding to the end of the shopping center where the laundry was located.

RadioShack is celebrating its 8th year in business on Big Pine and is here to stay! We have the hard to find new iPhone 6 in stock. No need to be on a wait list in Key West or Marathon. Many new holiday products are being delivered and a large selection of toys are arriving. Shop local and support your locally owned and operated businesses

How to detect computer & email monitoring or spying software. This will keep you awake for sure! Link
[“Currency speculating“] Are you sure you didn’t leave a zero off of the worth of their dollar? At .001 US cents per Iraqi dollar, doesn’t that make your one million Iraqi dollars worth $1000 American? A 66% profit in a couple of years? I ‘d take that deal anytime! Pardon me if I’m wrong, I’m not a math whiz.
As your Mosquito Control Commissioner for District 2, Roger Cousineau, I will make sound decisions – based on evidence and not politics – that protect human health and safety, foster our quality of life, and respect our sensitive and unique ecosystem. As an amateur beekeeper myself, I grapple with chemicals in the environment that impact bees, butterflies, and people. While acknowledging necessary tools for keeping down the mosquito population, I will support environmentally sound mosquito control practices – such as reducing habitat around homes and larviciding – to limit our need and reliance on chemical pesticides. Please vote on or before November 4 – and vote for me, Roger Cousineau, as your Mosquito Control Commissioner, District 2, representing what’s best for everyone in the Florida Keys. Link
I think pumping seawater for flushing the toilet is a great idea. Hoping to hear more input from our readers on what we would need to make this work. I am also going to install (after inspection) a valve for emergencies so I can just let it all flow on my yard rather than inside my house if the %@# hits the fan on the new sewer system and it stops working and we know it will
Thanks to our corporate supreme court hacks we are going to see, once again, if money will buy elections. That is the only way Scott can win. Our Supreme Court no longer deserves any respect or capitalization.
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[300 Pounds of Ukelele Player] Israel Kamakawiwo’ole — Over the Rainbow & What a Wonderful World.    Many rainbows on Cudjoe Bay & memories of my time in the Keys remain, and I smile. Link
[“Terrorism clarified“] “And all this was started by us.” We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world’s been turning. Peace is just an illusion created behind the lines to sustain the fight at the front of the line. Without fighting there is no access to limited resources and thus no peace. The Histomap
[Americans] Obama says that the American people don’t want to send anymore of our troops to fight in Iraq.  I think he is wrong.  I think that the bulk of the American people don’t care one way or the other as long as their IPhones work, their AC works, there is plenty of gas for their SUVs, and they are getting the latest updates on Kim Kardashian’s antics. Link
Jon Stewart’s take on the security at the White House. This is really funny; guaranteed to make you laugh. Video
[“Windows 10”] Why Microsoft skipped Windows 9. Link
[“Grinder pump diverter valve”] You can’t do it. The health dept needs to inspect that the septic tank is gone or filled in. And they will. They will for sure. Just go with the flow, so to speak.
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And they want to eliminate the middle class and keep the idiot class!
[Vote for the Challenger]  That is the best thing to do.  Why?  Because rewarding the existing incumbent by re-electing them allows them to grow more powerful.  So don’t merely choose to not vote at all.  If you have two (or more) bad choices, vote for a challenger (i.e. against the irresponsible incumbent).  That will reduce the power of that position, because newcomers to Monroe County’s positions will have less power and can do less damage.  It will also send a message to the newcomer if elected.
The huge banks are getting bigger and the execs are getting richer by the day as the middle class is disappearing. It is a shame the middle class is getting smaller and not the lower class. It would be a much nicer world without all the useless eaters and breeders!
My friends, this is your life. Do what you want and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop — they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love. Stop over-analyzing, life is simple. All emotions are beautiful. When you eat, appreciate every last bite. Life is simple. Open your heart, mind and arms to new things and people, we are united in our differences. Ask the next person you see what their passion is and share your inspiring dream with them. Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself. Some opportunities only come once, seize them. Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them, so go out and start creating. Life is short, live your dream and wear your passion and have a blessed day while your at it. ~Joe / Coconuts
The Government Accountability Institute, not to be confused with the Government Accountability Office, is all of two years old. The president of GAI, Peter Schweizer, is a former foreign policy adviser to Sarah “I can see Russia from my porch” Palin. Prior to the GAI Schweizer co-founded The Oval Office Writers LLC with Marc Theissen. Theissen was the former senior policy adviser to Jesse Helms and speech writer for both George W Bush and Donald Rumsfeld. These are some of the people FTR uses to make his arguments legitimate. No conflict of interests there! It’s like asking Paul Bremer to defend his disastrous actions in Iraq–he’ll spin all his mistakes into “truths”.
FTR should have been a lawyer the way he can spin the most dastardly detail of any Republican transgression into a wonderful thing.
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[ICIS & rattlesnakes] Both will kill you. A friend in W. Texas has got rattlesnakes on his property. When he stumbles upon one he kills it. He doesn’t wonder why it’ll bite him because that’s what rattlesnakes do. He doesn’t try to reason with it. Doesn’t try to get to know it better so they can co-exist, doesn’t try to convince it not to bite him, doesn’t look for ways to change it to a non-poisonous one. He doesn’t fear them, he just knows what they can do and gives them the fair judgment they deserve. He kills them. If the U.S. insists on maintaining the high moral ground we will never win. Ladies, burkas will be the high fashion.
[Important Underground Infrastructure] As an effort to cut down on beer truck-related traffic, the town of Bruges, Belgium has decided to install an underground, three-kilometer pipeline to transport beer. The brew will conveniently flow directly between a bottling plant outside town to the renowned Brouwerij De Halve Maam beerhouse. Link
Our defense contractors must be loving what is happening in Iraq.  We are using $100,000 Hellfire missiles to blow up some old used, beat up Toyota mini-pickup trucks.
[Conspiracy Man] Ghost screaming in haunted hotel. Ooooooo! Video
There is no organization called the Kaiser Health Foundation! There is however an insurance company named Kaiser foundation Health, that lobbied long and hard against Obamacare. I am sure it was just a typo on FTR’s part. No way would he try to make it sound like an independent organization without an ulterior motive.
I just had lawn work done by Koval Lawncare. We live in BPK and are not sure how big an area they cover. They showed up on time for the estimate, then came to do the work when they said they would (a rarity around here). I highly recommend them. The yard looks great. Thank you!
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flea market
The Big Pine Flea Market will be reopening this Saturday and Sunday!
[It Used To Be Affordable In The Keys] What does it cost to live in Panama? Can you really live on $2000/month? $1000/month? $500/month? Yes you can. I just depends on how and where you want to live, and what makes you happy. If you live in Panama City, it’s going to be more expensive. If you want to live on less you can choose a more rural area, a smaller house, public transportation, and only local food. Entire Panamanian families often live on less than $1000/month.

This is what it cost us to live here in Panama in January 2014. Keep in mind this is what it cost us. Your costs may be quite different depending on where you live and your buying habits.

Rent – $385 (water – $7 and trash – $4 are included)
Food – $345.71 (more detail below)
Electricity – $49.00 (we have an air conditioner but rarely use it. Our usage is mainly the fridge, computers, lights, etc)
Cable – $59.00 (TV and internet)
Gas for the car – $32.00
Gas for the kitchen stove – $5.12
Netflix – $7.99
Phone – $5.35 (I have a pay as you go plan)
Tunnel Bear – $3.33 (VPN for the computer/TV on a year plan)
TOTAL – $892.50

Those above are our more or less fixed expenses.
I did not include beer/wine/liquor (like the $24 for 2 cases of beer from PriceMart)
or eating out (one dinner – $20)
A dolly Joel bought from DoIt Center ($26.74) ($22.95 for my addiction to audio books)
or the used dryer ($200) and a regulator for it ($13.90)
I did not include any travel expenses such as our tickets to the US, or the recent stay at Boquete Tree Trek.

More about the food expenses – we buy mostly local food but don’t deprive ourselves of a few treats like a bottle of diet coke, bar of cheese, or package of bacon. In January we spent-
Fish – $30 for a 16 pound amberjack which was enough for 10 dinners and a very large pot of soup. We buy directly from the fishermen in Pedrigal for around $2-2.25/lb for the best fish – more for fillets, less if you buy the whole fish (which they will clean and fillet for you for a dollar or two tip)  Smaller bonier fish can be bought for even $1/lb.
Chicken and eggs – $30.56 from Canasta Basica. Chicken is usually $1.15-$1.35/pound depending on what cuts you buy.
Su Carne – $13 (when you just have to have some good beef – this was two good size ribeye steaks $4.50/lb and enough stew meat for two batches)
Produce – $79.50  (an example – we buy all our produce from the vegetable shack, locally grown, fresh, inexpensive, and delicious)
Supermarket – $206.65 (everything else – milk, cereal, coffee, paper goods, laundry soap, etc)

[“Native Marijuana Seeds“] Where is the loading dock for the local grass pickup?
The anthropologists decided that this tribe was to remain “uncontacted”.
[Fair and Loving Religion] My family and me would like to emigrate to a Muslim majority country. My neighbors and friends, being very close to us, would also like to come as well as friends of their families and friends of friends. We therefore will be in great numbers. Given we all are Christians, we will request that churches be built for us there as well as having public roads set aside for our religious processions. Be assured, however, that this would only be once a year and not 5 times a day. We would hope that other religious festivities would be cancelled, as they would offend our Christian community. We also request that school outings would be permitted as we wear crosses around the neck, and that pork would be available for our sandwiches at school and work. In case this request is denied, we will need addresses of police stations where we could submit complaints for discrimination?
I thank you in advance for your indulgence. I wonder if locals would be as kind as we are when our kids torch their flag when your team wins a game?
What contraption at the end of Colson Drive? There are a couple of houses there. Please elaborate.
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Parmesan crusted mahi mahi with riceHappy Friday from Springer’s Bar and Grill! The weekend is almost here so what better place to start things off then with us. Today’s special is Parmesan crusted mahi mahi with rice. Definitely a palate pleasing oceanic favorite.
Happy Hour is from 2-7 daily with great drink specials and happy hour menu.
There’s always something special at Springer’s
[“Barroom decorum”] If there’s a good looking guy sitting on the bar stool next to me, please don’t expect me to slide down a stool so you can sit your homely wife next to me because you don’t want to sit beside her.
[“Singing Road”] Gee, this would be wonderful along Route 1 from Homestead to Key Weird. Make the tune “Kumbaya’ or “The Dude’s Prayer’ or maybe “The Habitat Cha Cha”. It will go well with the singing men’s rooms on Duval Street.
toilet-flushing[“What size pump to pump sea water into my toilet to flush it”] Here’s the straight poop for all you folks who have moved here from somewhere else after we got the fresh water pipe and A/C.

Back in the cistern period of the Florida Keys it was said, “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.” Since most folks drop a deuce once a day, that guarantees one flush per person. Of course there is a point where yellow mellow and I would never deny anyone a flush so there’s room for a couple of more. The most important thing we can all do is not flush every time we toss, drain or dump something into the toilet. It saves money but more importantly water! Quit running the water when you brush your teeth and turn the shower off while you lather up.
I’m sure going to miss my monthly $18 water bills.

I don’t even care which crook wins the governors race anymore it will just be nice to see the end of all of the ads. Then again right around the corner will be the Presidency up for sale.
A poster correctly stated that both Crist and Scott are crooks. However Crist is a petty thief compared to Scott. Link
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sunglasses flamingo drink
[Flea Market] I came back to Paradise a little earlier this season. I can’t find my cutting board, I guess it went out fishing last season and hasn’t returned. I’m cleaning up outside and do you think I can find a pair of polarized sunglasses. I was sure I left them here. I tried to read the Coconut Telegraph and lo and behold NO reading glasses either. I need a cute sundress for a party I’m going to and the hostess loves handmade soaps. I want to put a few new cute beachy-looking things outside in the yard too. Guess what, the Flea Market is opening this Saturday, Oct 4th and I know I’ll find all of these things at my favorite local vendors booths
FTR, just a little info you might want to investigate. The US government does not set the pricing the free market businesses set for their products and services. The US government does not own the oil fields, the petroleum industry, or the farms and farming industry. Yes, Pres Obama is the supreme leader. He dictates all prices for all products. Bow to him.
[Friday Joke] Several men are in  the locker room of a golf club. A cellular phone on a bench rings and a man engages the hands-free speaker function and begins to talk. Everyone in the room stops to listen.
MAN: “Hello”
WOMAN:  “Hi Honey, it’s me. Are you at the club?”
MAN:  “Yes.”

WOMAN:  “I’m at the shops  now and found this beautiful leather coat. It’s only  $2,000; is it OK if I buy it?”
MAN: “Sure, go ahead  if you like it that much.”
WOMAN: “I also stopped  by the Lexus dealership and saw the new models. I saw  one I really liked.”
MAN: “How much?”
WOMAN:  “$90,000.” ;
MAN: “OK, but for that  price I want it with all the options.”
WOMAN: “Great! Oh, and  one more thing… I was just talking to Janie and found  out that the house I wanted last year is back on the  market. They’re asking $980,000 for it.”
MAN: “Well, then go  ahead and make an offer of $900,000. They’ll probably take it. If not, we can go the extra eighty-thousand if  it’s what you really want.”
WOMAN:  “OK. I’ll see you  later! I love you so much!”
MAN: “Bye! I love you,  too.”
The man hangs up.  The other men in the locker room are staring at him in astonishment, mouths wide open. He turns and asks, “Anyone know who’s phone this is?”

meteor-hit3A meteor hit is exactly how the dinosaurs came to exit this planet after they had completed their spiritual work here as a sentient species. Judaism, Christianity and Islam, especially, and offshoots thereof, never came anywhere close to reconciling their scriptures and beliefs with the 100-percent fossilized concrete evidence that dinosaurs ruled this planet for a few hundred millions of years before God made Adam and Eve.

There’s no sense in thinking that head-buried-where-the-sun-never-shines outlook is going to change.

[Mosquito Control] Regarding yesterday’s letter from Ms Thacker that was sent to FKMCD under her signature and forwarded to me by one of your readers, so I have responded:
Thank you for forwarding Ms Thacker’s email to me. A couple years ago I quit reading her emails as it is apparent she does not understand the importance of scientific based mosquito control. I will state that she has been one of the frequent callers to our offices when she has a mosquito problem and she has personally discussed her mosquito control needs with me when we have crossed paths.

Mosquito control is about public health and nuisance control while staying within the strict operational guidelines of the state and federal government. Ms Thacker has advocated putting FKMCD under the County. If that were to happen, there would be minimal if any mosquito control.

She mentions term limits. Mr Goodman’s motion for term limits was not approved by the Board Of Commissioners. Term limits are “built-in” by virtue of elections which are held every 4 years so. There is a built-in term limitation if an official is not doing their job.

As for her comments about educational conferences. I have attended over 650 hours of educational programs and currently serve on the board of directors of the Florida Mosquito Control Association, being elected by the Commissioners throughout Florida. As a result of these programs we have learned the benefits of Bti larvicide which has saved the taxpayers of our county over $14 million dollars while reducing pesticide use by 80%, reduced our aircraft insurance by over $500 thousand a year, garnered support for access to US Fish and Wildlife wilderness lands. We have learned ways to manage vectors from other districts, shared educational outreach programs, and exchanged research on pesticide resistance, disease transmission and prevention.

FKMCD now does local research and can identify disease infected mosquitoes without having to send samples to government labs with 6-8 week turnaround, and we know exactly what species are prevalent in our communities and how to treat them. We are constantly looking for local disease infected mosquitoes and working to eliminate as many of them as possible. This surveillance will become vital as our state is now facing locally transmitted chikungunya virus. We have the vectors that transmit this virus here in the Keys although no local transmitted cases have been diagnosed in our communities. Our staff communicates with other districts around the state to be ready for an outbreak of ChikV. A quick read of this article will let you know why we are on alert to keep it from our community. Link

The budget for mosquito control has not increased in 3 years, though our cost to do business has increased. Our staff continues to give outstanding service to the community. This week our budget took a $600,000 hit with Naval Air Station not renewing the contract for mosquito control on their properties. The lack of our presence on the NAS properties will create a need for additional surveillance of all communities surrounding NAS properties and will most certainly mean the additional use of larvicides and pesticides to protect the health of our residents – there is little flexibility in our current budget to handle these additional costs.

Continued reduction of the budget will not give residents the service they need and expect. The recent rains have created the need for extensive larviciding and adulticiding and pretty much wiped any remaining chemical reserved from the budget year that just ended; unfortunately the rains have not ended.

I too am a resident, a taxpayer, and have worked very hard to make sure we have the best mosquito control program in the country if not in the world. I am always open to suggestions and constructive criticism; I am not open to the suggestion that FKMCD is wasteful, overspends, and that this fine organization should be abolished.

[“Diverter valve to old septic tank not doable”] Please show legal and logical cause why not. Just because someone said no is not enough. I want to see the law and why that law was written and who wrote it. Enough of this county/state piracy crap[?]. It is our money they are stealing and everybody knows it! and how about the lack of access to the development plans for our keys? where are they and why cannot the public see them. Sig hail!
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Every loaf of bread is a tragic story of a group of grains that could have become beer but didn’t.
Julia Pierson resigned as head of the Secret Service after royally screwing up — and she had no choice in the matter. She is just another one of our current administration’s failed attempts to diversify. And you should see what is left of the bus they threw her under.
Anyone who owns property in the Keys, and believes the global warming models about floods in the next few years, I’ll buy your property for a dollar. Here’s my prediction, which is just as ‘accurate’ as theirs: It is possible that a giant meteor will strike the Keys and totally destroy all life, including protected species, federal law notwithstanding, in the next 40 years.
[“Ted Nugent“] Don’t call him to fight for his country, he’ll just “Shit His Pants”. Video
[Ebola] A recent poll finds that 27% of Republicans want Obama to do something about Ebola, and the other 73% would rather die than be saved by Obama
noaa-logoResource protection, science and public education are the foundation of a new agreement between NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Florida International University (FIU) to protect the natural and cultural resources of the Florida Keys.

Under the agreement, NOAA is committing $1.3 million and FIU will provide staff support for key sanctuary operations and partnership opportunities to further the sanctuary’s mission. Scientists who monitor and assess natural resource conditions, mechanics who maintain facilities and mooring buoys used by the public, and education and outreach specialists are among the personnel that FIU is supporting.

“Our scientists have been conducting research and monitoring activities in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary since its inception in 1990,” said James Fourqurean, director of the FIU Marine Education and Research Initiative in the Florida Keys. “This partnership simply helps to realize FIU’s goal to be engaged with the local community, to help lead the development of a vibrant economy, to create strong educational opportunities, and to preserve and protect our environment.”

FIU has been working in the Florida Keys for decades monitoring seagrass, water quality and coral reefs as part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Water Quality Protection Program. FIU also operates Aquarius Reef Base, the world’s only undersea research laboratory, which is located off the coast of Key Largo.

I think FTR is really Dick Cheney!
[Iraq and Holy Books] Iraq is where the first Holy con job started.
[Vote for Scott for governor 75 times] It seems FTR wants CEOs to take responsibility for their companies unless they are running for governor.
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[“Florida boating license law”] Does this law apply to tourists coming down for vacation or does it only apply to Floridians? How will the water Nazis enforce it? There should be a requirement that anyone intending to run for office shall take a stupid test. Why a stupid test? Can an intelligent person be stupid? Watch the government in action!
lionfish-food3[Lionfish Tournament] Sanctuary Friends Foundation of the Florida Keys is holding its Third Annual Lionfish Tournament over Columbus Day Weekend, October 11-12, 2014, with weigh-ins in Marathon. FWC will be also doing lionfish research this year with the invasive species brought in. This event is open to anyone fishing lionfish out of Florida Keys waters. A Captain’s Meeting will be held at Capt. Hook’s Marina at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 10. There will be a non-mandatory weigh-in on Saturday, Oct. 11 from 5-6 p.m. Final weigh-in and measurements will be taken by 5 p.m. on Sunday, with a lionfish tasting at 7 p.m. at Castaway Waterfront Restaurant. Early Registration for a team is $100, which includes a team up to four people, lionfish tasting for four people and a tournament swag bag. Prizes for First and Second Places; Most, Biggest, Smallest. For more information Events

*Caption for attached picture: In last year’s lionfish tournament, this 16 ½ inch invasive lionfish was brought in with the pictured two juvenile reef fish still in its mouth. A lionfish can eat up to 30 fish in an hour. Under it is some of the smaller specimen brought in during the tournament.

The only reason we lost wars since WW2 is politicians, not the men & women who all gave a great deal. Some gave All for your freedom. Thanks to all those who served. ~An old veteran from Summerland Key.
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from the right
an_mosquito-girlMosquito control in the Keys is a big deal, a really big deal. It eats up lots of your money in the process of safeguarding your health and comfort. Mosquitoes can be an incredible nuisance and they can transmit a number of dangerous diseases.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is the agency charged with the responsibility of combating mosquitoes. The agency is operated by an elected Board of Commissioners. An Executive Director is employed, he/she is responsible to the Board.

The District has a budget of about $11 million, currently employs about 75 persons, has four helicopters, 2 fixed wing aircraft, about 80 vehicles including spray trucks, ATV’s, and several boats.

The point is that it is a really big deal, and the control of the District must be in the hands of civic minded and fiscally responsible Monroe County citizens. The Board must be composed of citizens who understand mosquito control, money management, and are faithful stewards of your health and your tax dollars.

The board is made up of 5 elected persons who serve 4 year terms. They are paid $18k-$19k per year and are required to meet only once a month for about 3-4 hours. The commissioners are elected county wide even though they represent individual districts. Two long term members, Chairman Smith and Commissioner Shaw actually receive lifetime health coverage and will ultimately receive a pension.

Unfortunately Commissioners are not yet term limited.

ThomasMcDonaldWe had a great conversation with Mosquito Control Board District 5, candidate Tom McDonald the other day. He is truly an impressive person.

Tom has lived in the Keys for about 35 years, most of them in Tavernier. He and his wife have five children, one of them born in their home in Tavernier. Tom has been a CPA since 1972 and has been dedicated to public service for his entire life.

He is the Past President of his local Rotary, he was the Vice Chair of the Children’s Shelter, and he has been the Chairman of the Board at Mariners Hospital. Tom has been Vice Chair of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority. He was Kiwanian of the year in Miami Beach prior to his move to The Keys and his involvement in the Rotary. He is the Past President of the Florida Keys chapter of CPA’s, and he has been the Treasurer of many civic and church organizations.

Perhaps most importantly, he has served on the FKMCD board in the past. At that time he served for 4 years. He chose not to run again in protest of the politics of personal aggrandizement of certain Board members. Tom was and is totally dedicated to the belief that it is the interests of the public that must be served, not the personal interests of elected officials. He attempted to bring about change, but he was consistently thwarted by two members who are still on the Board. Tom believes that it is a privilege to serve on the board, and that privilege requires public service, not a paid career position. Tom is a firm believer in term limits.

It goes without saying that Tom is firmly dedicated to being a ferocious watchdog of our tax dollars. He is firmly dedicated to protecting our health and comfort by keeping our mosquito population at bare minimums through the application of the latest cost effective technology.

It strikes me that Tom McDonald has proven that he is deeply dedicated to public service, his competence is beyond question, and his goals make perfect sense. He richly deserves your support