Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Naked Parking Lot] They removed all the beautiful trees from Winn Dixie and replaced them with asphalt. “They paved paradise and put in a parking lot.” This is a lesson about deceit. When a developer promises anything, be it landscaping or affordable housing, beware. The next developer of that property will remove all those promised conditions with the knowledge that the public forgets once it gets used to a new development.
Big Yellow Taxi–Joni Mitchell
|[Taxpayers Abused] Prior to Wednesday’s meeting, the Mosquito Control board was considering a 40 percent tax hike for the 2016-17 fiscal year to help fund a Taj Majal-like facility on Big Coppitt Key that came in $2 million over budget at $4.5 million and it hasn’t even been finished yet!
|Galley Grill in Summerland Key re-opens on Friday Sept 16. I see a seafood omelet in my very near future! I’ve sure been jonesing. I saw activity while they were closed for vacation and caught the very talented local artist Mira Negron of Sugarloaf Key jazzing up the entrance with newly painted seat backs outside and a painted rickety-looking plank walkway to the door. I think it looks great. Check it out, it’s not often that you get to walk on good art without getting arrested. But watch your step, those rotten planks are really thin!
|[“A lie from Dean on No Name”] It can be verified on the County website that he did run the extension cord from an adjacent property. Mr. Thompson told the County he was running the cord to keep his fish tanks running. That’s a good one, but the extension cord still had to be removed.
[Name That Snake] What kind of snake is this?
|[Fishing Industry dying] I have an old neighbor who has expressed concern that the Keys was losing its community and its sense of neighborhood as tourism continues to develop, the fish industry dies due to over regulation, and long-time residents move away.
This old neighbor says the fishing economy began to collapse when a fishing moratorium was imposed (didn’t ask which one); since then the fishermen and their families have been selling their properties and moving elsewhere. They have been replaced by second home owners, who use their properties only part of the year and whose values regarding the community differ from the departing residents. Old people are very wise, at times.
|[Public Speaking] Could, uhh, someone, uhh, tell Curt Zuelch of the FKAA, uhh, he, uhh, sounds, uhh, like, uhh, uhh, an imbecile, uhh, when he talks?
The “NUT” has the very best drink prices on Big Pine Key and maybe the entire Florida Keys! We also have so very good Liquor prices on our bar. Vodka, Rum & Gin, $7.99 a liter. Stop by and check us out and for all of you that do business with us, thank you for 33 years of your support. Piners Rock! ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store
|[Chikungunya] Move over Zika, there’s a new plague in town. What is chikungunya? Chikungunya is a viral disease spread by mosquitoes that bite during daylight hours. It cannot be transmitted from person to person. The name derives from a word meaning “to become contorted” from the African Kimakonde language. Symptoms include the sudden onset of fever and joint pain, particularly affecting the hands, wrists, ankles and feet. Most patients recover after a few days but in some cases the joint pain may persist for weeks, months or even longer.
[Sewer Lawsuit] Louise Delany and Gail Kulikowsky, of Big Pine Key, have filed the lawsuit demanding the two government agencies use their own right of way to place the grinder pumps and use their own electricity to run the pumps. The pumps are an integral part of the system and it is the FKAA and the county’s responsibility to maintain them on their own property, not the private property of the victims singled out to get the pumps.
|A hacker hijacked the Monroe County Tourist Development Council’s popular Florida Keys & Key West Facebook page late Wednesday or early Thursday. The Facebook hacker replaced the usual posts of stunning Keys scenery and interesting events with photos of scantily clad women posing provocatively. The hacker locked out the authorized page administrators and seized control of the page, meaning the true administrators, including tourism and marketing officials in the Keys, cannot delete the hacker’s posts, post an explanation or even deactivate the page, which boasts more than 200,000 followers.
|My grandma told me when you tell a lie baby Jesus gets diarrhea. I guess that’s why us down at the bottom of the ladder are always getting crapped on.
[Gadgets] People are excited about the new iPhone, but have yet to discover this little amazing gadget.
|Winn Dixie Big Pine’s remodeling is almost finished. One big improvement, and a very smart one, the deli features freshly roasted roast beef and turkey. Just like the Mom and Pop delis of years ago. Thanks WD.
|[FTR] It appears that the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board is in the process of regaining its sanity. In its most recent meeting they ditched the Big Coppit Skeeter Taj Mahal. The vote was 3-2. Only two very old line commissioners voted for the Taj Mahal. Commissioners Shaw and Smith. Shaw is not seeking reelection. Smith is! Remember that he wanted to raise your skeeter taxes by 45%, that’s what it would have cost to build the Taj Mahal that he and Shaw wanted. Commissioner Craney-Gage had an epiphany moment and changed her vote–effectively killing the massive waste of money.
The new plan will replace the expensive and unneeded structure and will replace it with a utilitarian portable unit. It’s not a perfect solution, the administration staff should be moved to Marathon, but sometimes compromise is necessary to move forward.
Ditching the Taj Mahal will save millions. It will dramatically decrease the taxes that would have been necessary to pay for the House and Gardens Taj. Before the death of the Taj, your taxes would have increased by 45%. Now the new taxes will increase by about 22%. Fully half of that increase is because of the extraordinary expense of chemical and manpower necessitated by the Zika threat.
Remember, please, that Commissioners Shaw and Smith voted to give themselves health insurance for life. The old guard seems to have an unquenchable thirst for spending other people’s money. Now, if could only get the Skeeter killers to start using every weapon that is available, i.e. genetically modified mosquitoes, our community would be safer.
|[Keys’ Slaves] The largest increase of slaves in the Keys was precipitated by the construction of Fort Taylor and Fort Jefferson which began in 1845. The 1850 census revealed 126 Free Negroes and 431 slaves of the total population of 2,645. In percentages this is a decrease to 21, however note the ratio of Free to slave. The Free increased by 52 percent and the slave increased by 553 percent. What’s more, Jefferson B. Browne wrote prior to 1845 there were less than 200, slave and free Blacks, and increased to over 550 in 1850. Slave owners simply rented their slaves out for government construction of the forts. But the question of who owned them is still a mystery. Link
I don’t even have a sense of humor anymore. It’s literally just sarcasm and a general hate for the majority of the human population.
|[Mosquitoes] The GMO mosquito test proposed for Key Haven is most definitely an experiment. According to the WHO Guidance Framework for Testing of GM Mosquitoes, its an experiment on human beings. A superb letter has been published that exposes the Oxitec deceit in their efforts to release GMO mosquitoes in the Keys. This letter should be required reading before the vote is taken about whether to use GMO mosquitoes. We have been very, very misled about the supposed safety of these bugs. Please take the time to read the true facts. Link
~Coconuts Bar & Package Store.
|My dad told me that Santa was getting kind of tired of milk & cookies, but if I’d put out Doritos & beer I’d get more toys.
|What ever happened to the posting of the intent to build notices? It seems the developers and holy invaders just buy a lot and build whatever they want regardless of what the people who live around the site think? It is time to defend your piece of this planet anyway you can, else live miserably ever after!
Trees know when deer are eating them — and how to fight back. “Jasmonates.” These chemicals help with the recovery process. They also play a role in interplant communication; when one plant releases jasmonates, their neighbors start to ramp up their defenses against disease and insect attacks as well. It’s like a forest-wide alarm system. Link
|The juvenile delinquents of Key West are stealing & joyriding vehicles eh? I would pay to see the little bastards get caught like on that “bait car” reality show.
Hedi Lamar was the first woman to appear naked in films.
|[Term Limits] Mosquito Control wants more money for office space that they could easily do without. They need more money. Always more money.
So do the windstorm vultures who haven’t had to pay a claim in the Keys in a decade. The School system is sitting on a defunct building they paid over $7 million for and don’t know what to do with it — without more money to do … something?
If we, the little working stiffs, don’t get smart pretty damn soon we won’t be able to afford groceries. We have to get rid of these tax and spend people who think that spending as much as they can on their “much needed” projects is their primary mission in life. The primary way of doing that is to vote them out and set term limits. Limit the Mosquito Control Board, Board of County Commissioners and the School Board to two terms and then they’re out. We need fiscal conservatives holding the purse strings before we all go broke paying for their irresponsible addiction to spending our money like they themselves earned it.
|[Sewer Complaint] I heard FKAA’s Executive Director on US1 Radio this morning discussing the legal complaint just served on the County and FKAA. The complaint simply requests that the two government entities provide the required gravity sewer connection point at the property line instead of on their private property.
These two ladies could care less if the gravity connection they are provided with connects to a grinder pit on the road shoulder or elsewhere. They are simply asking for equality with every other FKAA sewer customer in other areas and with those in the Cudjoe Regional who were not targeted with an individual grinder pump. The grinder pumps in Marathon are on the road shoulder.
FKAA’s head claimed that the issue had already been to court, but that is absolutely false. The Administrative Hearing of late 2014 only contested the legality and engineering soundness of the overall system, and included both gravity and pressure sewer areas alike. The DOAH “recommended order” was what you could expect from a brother state department run by another appointee of Gov. Scott. Besides the fact that the decision was based on misleading testimony and fabricated evidence, it was non-binding anyway, so DEP could do as they pleased. That case is totally unrelated in content. The two ladies that filed this complaint (at no doubt considerable personal expense and exposure) are simply asking for equality under the law and the upholding of their US Constitutional rights under the 5th and 14th Amendments against uncompensated and unwilling forfeiture of property. Why should they surrender private property without compensation so that the public sewer system can be extended onto their property? Why should they have to power a government sewer system pump station in their yard at their own expense? That is just plain wrong. They paid the same Special Assessment as the rest of us and should not have to “contribute” more. They have my full support and prayers for success.
[Parking Lot] The only shade tree in BPK’s W/D parking lot.
|Great story about the little puppy caught in the mangroves, especially the happy ending. Great work AJ!
The submarine expert does not even know when someone is making a joke. The next thing he’ll try to convince you of is that submarines don’t have is screen doors.
|[Fact-resistant Humans] Scientists have discovered a powerful new strain of fact-resistant humans who are threatening the ability of Earth to sustain life, a sobering new study reports. The research, conducted by the University of Minnesota, identifies a virulent strain of humans who are virtually immune to any form of verifiable knowledge, leaving scientists at a loss as to how to combat them. “These humans appear to have all the faculties necessary to receive and process information,” Davis Logsdon, one of the scientists who contributed to the study, said. “And yet, somehow, they have developed defenses that, for all intents and purposes, have rendered those faculties totally inactive.” More worryingly, Logsdon said, “As facts have multiplied, their defenses against those facts have only grown more powerful.” While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said. While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said
|[Submarine Waste] It may be that the nuclear waste dumped 12 miles offshore by U.S.N. submarines was misinterpreted to be spent fuel rods when in fact it was radioactive waste cooling water. According to my research, about 500 gallons of radioactive waste coolant get dumped on every power-up, a few times per month. Naturally, the printed information that is most available comes from the offending government department or their defending government agency and is intended to instill confidence in the harmless nature of their actions. “Nothing to see here, folks.” This information must necessarily be taken with as much salt as a statement from FKAA or DEP about the reliability and environmental safety & wholesomeness of their Cudjoe Regional sewers, or from any agency governed by an appointee of Gov. Scott on the environmental safety of petrochemical fracking and the underground disposal of “trade secret” fracking fluids in Florida.
However, the New York Times quoted a former USN submarine commander as saying that American nuclear submarine captains “would at times flush the radioactive coolant waters from their reactor plants directly into the ocean.” The U.S. Department of the Navy admits to that practice, but claims that environmental safety issues are minimal, presumably due to dilution. We know it is not so safe that the otherwise valuable desalinated water is used for anything besides reactor coolant. For example, they don’t even wash the deck with it when it comes out of the reactor.Interestingly, the contamination levels of dumped radioactive water did not correlate with the USN report to the National Nuclear Safety Administration in this government-funded book that discusses the disposal overboard of Navy radioactive waste: Radioactivity in the Marine Environment, by the National Research Council (U.S.) Link
|[Orchid Society] The last Open House of the summer is this coming Sunday, Sept. 18 at the home of Marianne Bertini at MM10 on Big Coppitt Key, 14 Sapphire Drive gulf side (the street by Southern Furniture). If you know someone who gets their Newsletter by snail mail please alert them to the typo that has the wrong date. Those Newsletters were mailed this morning & I just noticed the mistake. The correct date is listed here. Next month we will resume our regular meetings at the Fort. Full Menu > Ongoing Events
|Cuba isn’t so great. That’s why Cubans risk their lives to get the hell off that island. I won’t tell you how much money Cubans receive when they make it here. Look it up for yourself and it’ll blow your mind. You go down there and enjoy yourself.
I got posionwood on my arm. I read that WD-40 is the only effective treatment; and the only part of the posionwood tree that is an irritant is the sap. The sap is not water-soluble, so you need WD-40 to neutralize the sap. Here’s another use for WD-40, there always another one!
|[Florida Keys Journal] Ron Saunders: candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller
|A national African American museum is opening. Have you heard about it? There are $540 million reasons to know about it. A violin that a woman kept under her bed for 35 years now will be seen by millions. Link
God spelled backwards is dog.
|[Cuba] It hasn’t been 36 years (I would have loved to see it then), but it definitely was before 2012. I know they ceased using dollars, but I can’t imagine that the whole lifestyle of the country has changed all that much. I actually don’t know of anyone with a more open mind than I have. Why are the Cuban citizens risking everything to come here instead of the other way around? When I was there they had more doctors per capita than any country I visited; unfortunately, they had no meds to treat patients with. The stores had very little in them to buy – at any price. Why would a country with well-fed equality have poor housing? I’m glad that you are able to visit often. I have loved being in every country I’ve been in, but at this time of my life I enjoy living on my rock, and no longer feel the need to wander the world. The US has always had some problems, but I didn’t see many countries that seemed to have it better. For further discussion, you’d need to buy me a drink.
And on your way north for “therapy”, make sure you grab two people from Ohio for the trip. Because we don’t care how you did it up north!
|[“It doesn’t pay to save”] Sure it does — for the bank! We make 150% on the money you fools give us, for next to nothing, to use
|[Prop Wash] Carnival Vista destroys Messina, Italy marina 2016. Don’t worry, cruise ships will help the local economy. Video
|Happiness is what makes a person pretty. Period. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness.
The Little Island by Margaret Wise Brown
~Coconuts Bar & Package Store
|[Marine National Monument] Obama puts North Atlantic zone off-limits to drilling, fishing. President Obama will designate the first marine national monument in the Atlantic Ocean Thursday. Video
|[Monarch Population Status] It was apparent as early as late May that the migration, and the subsequent overwintering population, was going to be much lower this year than in 2015-2016. The projections outlined in the Blog post of 7 July (included in the last email update) have largely come true. The one surprise has been the production of late season monarchs in Kansas, Missouri and North Carolina. There have been reports from each state describing sites with large numbers of monarch larvae defoliating patches of naturally occurring milkweeds and in some cases milkweeds in gardens. The numbers of larvae reported by observers in these areas exceed anything reported this season further to the north, where most monarchs are typically produced. Link
|[Friday Joke] An old cowboy walks into a barbershop in Red Lodge, Montana for a shave and a haircut.
He tells the barber he can’t get all his whiskers off because his cheeks are wrinkled from age.
The barber gets a little wooden ball from a cup on the shelf and tells the old cowboy to put it inside his cheek to spread out the skin.
When he’s finished, the old cowboy tells the barber that was the cleanest shave he’d had in years, but he wanted to know what would have happened if he had accidentally swallowed the little ball.
The barber replied, just bring it back in a couple of days like everyone else does
|[Eggs] Considering how many eggs a typical chicken lays per day, we would be in dyer straights if we did eat all those eggs and the earth would be over crowded with chickens in a year.
|[“Anemometers”] Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent, not-for-profit marine research organization based on City Island in Sarasota, Florida. Founded in 1955 by Eugenie Clark in Placida, Florida, it was known as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory until 1967. The laboratory aims to advance the science of the sea, both through its marine and estuarine research.
NOAA is run by our government. One is private, one is government. That should answer any questions you have about why the anemometer is not fixed at the Sombrero Light. Remember this my friend. The Government makes nothing. It only takes.
|Here is a link to the guy who handles NOAA for the Keys. Link
|My neighbor, who I do not care for, is attempting to start a home business day care center on my residential street. I suggested to her not to do that because is will ruin our area and cause real estate values to go down. She just told me to go to hell and that she could do damn well what she wanted to do on her own property.
So, if that is the case and officialdom allows her to do whatever, so can I. I will build a combination Mosque-whorehouse-shooting range-welding shop next to her brat box, then sell out to undesirables. Payback is a mofo!
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