2017 September

Friday, September 13, 2017

The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsSince 2002
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Maybe Monroe County should consider a ten year tax rebate for those who are forced to rebuild due to Irma
There are two ways of arguing with a woman. Neither one works
The National Guard, who is the Army was activated by Governor Scott, and they have been here since the 11th of September.  Their mission was to preserve life, provide Food, water, medical.  They are the ones responsible for clearing U.S.1 from Florida city to Key West. Sailors and marines from the USS Abraham Lincoln and other ships also arrived.  Their mission was the same. The National Guard has been helping to clear yards and houses, so I am told, I have not witnessed this.

The State has been granted millions in relief money from the Feds.  If you have been reading the news, you will see that Florida DOT has been stealing trucks from the contractors, contracted with Monroe county, which has been paid for.  Look at it as a retainer.  The ones to blame would be Florida DOT.

You cannot expect the military to take our fighting force to clear our roads.  I stayed for the storm, and my chainsaw got one hell of a workout, my wife and I included, along with our neighbors that stayed.

You have a point, but it’s not a valid one.  When the shit hits the fan, there is only one person who can help you, and that’s you.  Prepare, have the mental fortitude to move forward.  Looking for a hand out in times of disaster leads to bad things.  And if your one of them, then those things will come to you.  We are free men and women, we think for ourselves, we do for ourselves.  Imagine a world with the government, no police, no fire dept. no grocery store.  That’s the mindset you have to have during a life altering situation.  Water, food, medical supplies, tools, and ammunition.  And don’t forget a couple of well trained K-9’s.  Last but not least, a couple of good friends to work through it with.

No disrespect intended in what I said, it’s just my truth on these matters. (You were correct in knowing that feedback was coming.)

We dropped Wind and Flood insurance because of the high costs two weeks before Irma. We have Homeowners, but that covers nothing. Does anyone want to fall down my stairs so I can be sued and we’ll split it?

[Mutual Attraction of Heavy Objects] Ships becalmed at sea will eventually be drawn together by the mutual attraction of heavy objects. And eventually they will lay alongside each other.Is this true?
[“Getting our fair share”] How’s it feel to realize you are a peasant and not worthy of the Big Boys’ money in KW? Now you know why places like Shark Key, Little Palm and Cudjoe Gardens get all the gravy. Paradise is not what it is cracked up to be.


[Grinder Pump Worked] Before the electricity a rep came and manually pumped it into the sewer. When the electricity was on they inspected it and all was well. Believe me, we had a high storm surge. Also I would like to thank the Alpha Co 753 for helping us with our debris. They were terrific

What is done cannot be undone, but one can prevent it happening again.  ~Anne Frank
[FTR on Hurricanes] A huge tip of this olde farts fedora to our Deer Ed.  It’s astonishing that he has been able to keep the CT perking away while our little slice of paradise damn near blew away.  CT is the comfort food for the brain.

Irma has come and gone.  Her memory will live for years.  Here on Big Pine Key, for the about 5000 souls who live here, destruction is the new reality.  Countless friends have lost literally everything.  Homes, cars, personal property, even their livelihoods.  But their spirit is strong.  They will rebuild and they will survive.

Amid the sound of chain saws, front end loaders, and huge trucks, we hear the nattering of those who believe that Irma is solid evidence of more, and stronger hurricanes.  They attribute it to global warming.

That notion ignores history.  The truth is that we really don’t know a great deal about hurricanes prior to the 19th century.  There was no solid means of detecting them or tracking them, or of assessing their power.  But we know that they were a threat to life even then.  The word “hurricane” is our take on the Mayan word “Hurakan.”  It was the name of a one of their Gods, a God that brought death and destruction.  “Hurica’n” was the Taino, a Florida and Caribbean indigenous people’s, name for their God of evil.  Tropical cyclones were common fare long before the white eyes came to this continent.

Hurricane Irma was reported to be a Cat 4 hurricane when it made landfall on Big Pine Key.  As I understand it, the actual wind speed has not as yet been determined by NOAA through on the ground damage assessment, nor has the actual storm surge height.  Local anecdotal and media reports suggests that the max sustained winds were about 130 mph, and the storm surge was probably about 10’.  But I’ve heard at least one report that the wind reached 180+.  The surge varied greatly from ‘hood to ‘hood.  In fact, my ‘hood was heavily damaged by Irma, but had relatively minor flooding (but enough to make a lot of car dealers very happy).  When Wilma came to visit there was almost no wind damage, but major flooding. Hurricane Irma was a bitch.  A real bitch.  But she was far from being the biggest or baddest bitch in our known history.

On Labor Day, 1935, a hurricane with steady winds estimated to be 185, and gusts of about 225 mph, struck our Keys.  It leveled virtually everything between Tavernier and Marathon.  It’s storm surge was estimated to be in excess of 20’. Hundreds died.  A rail road train was overturned.  In Irma, a rail car, now a shop at the base of the 7 mile bridge, was not moved.  Islamorada was obliterated. This storm killed Flagler’s railroad and isolated the Keys for years.

In September 1926 a hurricane, now identified as being a cat 4, struck Miami.  The storm surge was in excess of 15’ in Coconut Grove.  Hundreds died, 43k were homeless.  The hurricane devastated Florida from the Keys to Palm Beach–135 miles.  This storm killed a land boom in Florida and ruined its economy for years.

In 1938 the infamous “Long Island Express” hurricane slammed into the north east.  Storm surge and waves of 40’ devastated the area.  Rhode Island’s capital was submerged in 13 feet of water.  Scores died.

In 1815 a major hurricane ripped New York and New England with 135 mph winds.

In September of 1821 the first of 3 hurricanes, that year alone, to hit our north east shores struck NYC with 135 mph winds.


On August 24, 1814, a very powerful storm, probably a hurricane, saved our Capital and White House from flames set by the Brits when they captured Washington.


The reality is that we really have only a very few years of accurate hurricane reporting.  The first trepidatious recon flight into tropical cyclones didn’t even occur until 1943. The first weather satellite wasn’t launched until 1960–and then it only worked for a little more than two months.  We simply don’t know how many hurricanes we’ve had in the past nor how powerful they might have been.

[“Grinder pumps”] We’re all so eager for the pumps to fail just so we can say, “We told you so.” The real thing is for us to hope they work. Who wants to go through more years of more sewer construction? Not me
Thanks for including SBA disaster assistance on your website.  The 800 number for customer service is 800 659 2955, or

Please remove 404 695 6628 as it is my personal cell phone.  As a PIO, I am not set up to handle individual calls. Thanks, Ray, Public Affairs Specialist, SBA-Office of Disaster Assistance, Field Operations Center East

No relief agency was prepared for a hurricane in the Keys. There were almost no chainsaws, lodging for volunteers, and portable showers. They didn’t know there wasn’t any hotels in the area. they didn’t know that we had to get through trees. There was no central information desk. All info was scattered and haphazard.
[Housing] Dear Governor Scott:

The Board of Directors for the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce is advocating for immediate assistance with workforce housing.  We are losing our workers in droves, because they have nowhere to stay.  We in the Lower FL Keys got hit the hardest during Irma – our economy will not survive if we do not somehow get some temporary housing very soon.

Rocky Mount, NC, September 28 — Trailers are trucked to homes of eligible applicants as soon as the site is ready. FEMA is placing homes at homes so that applicants can live safely as they work on their homes. Marilee Caliendo/FEMA

This problem should have been addressed many, many years ago.  The State has swept the Sadowski Fund for years, never paying back what they borrowed, even when the budget would have allowed that.  The State legislature must provide funding, starting right now, to address the crisis we are experiencing.

The term “affordable housing” is a joke here in the Keys. $2,500 per month for a two bedroom home is NOT affordable for the majority of our workforce.  We need layers of housing:  dormitory-style rooms for those in our service industry, small apartments for our families and multi-unit condos for our middle management workers.  There is land here on which to build.  The former Road Prison property on Big Pine Key is perfect – much of the infrastructure is already in place.  There are large parcels on nearby islands that could also be utilized.

It is time – far past time – for the State of Florida to step up and help Monroe County fix the housing crisis in the Florida Keys.  It will not be easy, it will not happen overnight, but we must begin if there is ever to be decent housing for our area workforce.

Respectfully, Cathy Hoffman, President, Board of Directors

If you recently registered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for assistance with your disaster losses from Irma. As a result, you have also been referred to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to determine if you qualify for Federal disaster loan assistance which may help with your recovery needs.

SBA provides affordable disaster loans to homeowners and renters for their uninsured or underinsured disaster losses. All disaster survivors referred to the SBA Disaster Loan Program should apply to determine the appropriate type of federal disaster assistance you may receive. There is no cost to apply and applicants are under no obligation to accept a loan if they qualify for assistance. An SBA disaster loan may be your best and most affordable option to fully repair your damaged home and replace your personal property.

Homeowners and renters are encouraged to submit their SBA disaster loan application, even if they are not sure they will need or want a loan. In most cases, if SBA cannot approve your application, you will be referred back to FEMA to be considered for possible additional grant assistance.


You are encouraged to apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

[“Affordable housing scam”] This is the joke of the Keys. There is no such thing as affordable in the Keys. If you cannot afford to live here, go to Texas or Detroit. Thank Dog for shallow water in the Keys!



[Things to Know Before You Go to Key West After Hurricane Irma] Remember that KW only got a Cat 1 storm and there’s not so much damage. Link

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