2018 September

Friday, September 21, 2018

The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsLetters to the editor with pictures since 0202. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.​​​​

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[Mosquotoes] Ralph DePalma wants to get elected to the Monroe County, Florida, Mosquito Control board.  Let’s think about Ralph DePalma’s record when he was previously employed by Mosquito Control.

We can actually learn a lot about his performance because of the Freedom of Information Act.  That act requires government agencies to make available documents such as personnel records to the public.  I acquired certain portions of Mr. DePalma’s personal record through that act.  If you want, you too can look at his record.  Simply submit a FOIA request to MC.

His file reveals that he secured a job at MC back in the day when the organization was very loosely managed.  He was one of a 2 person IT department.  It’s reported that IT support was at best, poor.  During his first years, MC failed Monroe County because of their ineffectual practices; Dengue fever came to Monroe.  It came on the wings of mosquitoes that MC was tasked to control.  They failed.  In 2009/2010 in Key West alone, there were at least 97 cases. The cases were locally acquired, not travel related.  Mr. DePalma’s team blew it, they failed.  But they spent a ton of money doing it.

Remember that this is the team that Mr. DePalma was so proud of.  During that time the MC board voted itself a really big pay raise.  And gave big raises to staff.  In addition, they gave themselves lifetime free healthcare!

But Ralph DePalma was a good ol’ boy and got along well with the, then, powers-that-be.  Maybe it was his prowess with a guitar.  One of his superiors, Mike Spoto, wrote kind personnel reviews.  BTW Spoto stole thousands from MC and went to jail for it.  Nonetheless, Mr. DePalma really must have pissed somebody in management, because even in the loosey-goosey management climate he somehow got a memo reprimanding him for using an MC truck for personal usage.  That is forbidden.

Ultimately a new sheriff came to town — new management.  Things changed for Mr. DePalma.  He was required to perform.  According to his personnel file, he didn’t perform all that well.

The files show that he was reprimanded for not showing up for work on time, repeatedly.  His performance evaluations chronicle his failure to complete assigned tasks on time, and lack of punctuality.  The reports also tell us that he was written up on at least on one occasion for not bothering to come to work.  The file shows that he had a penchant for showing up late for meetings, or not showing up at all.  The reports tell us that his co-workers often couldn’t find him to ask him questions or share info, and that his co-workers complained that they had to ask him multiple times to solve IT problems.  And he often was unable to solve the problems that he had been hired to solve.

The MC uses a numerical system for evaluating employees.  For his last two evaluations, he just managed to squeak into the “satisfactory” classification.  It’s interesting to note that when Mr. DePalma quit MC, he wasn’t replaced.  It’s reliably reported that their IT system is now working better than ever.

I will not vote for Mr. DePalma.  I’ll vote for Phil Goodman, a man of sterling integrity who led the charge to cut Commissioners pay and to impose term limits on MC.  ~From The Right Guy

[Candidate Forum] Deer Lower Keys friends and neighbors, the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Meet-the-Candidates Q & A at Boondocks on Thursday, September 27th, at 6:30 pm. This is your chance to meet the candidates who are on the Nov 6th ballot and find out which candidates are qualified, prepared, and involved in our Lower Keys Community. Link

I hope to see you there! ~Beth
Beth Ramsay-Vickrey for KW Utility Board, Seat D


[Crabby Appleton – Go Back] Dang I miss this “real” music. Also Dickey Betts is having brain surgery today (Friday). He fell down while playing with his dog. He was already recovering from a stroke when the accident happened. He was supposed to go back on the road in November. I’m saying prayers for his recovery.

[Wisbuy Formed The Jus Mercatorum For A Long Period Regulating Shipboard Conduct] Whoever draws a sword upon the master of a vessel, or wilfully falsifies the compass, shall have his right hand nailed to the mast. —Whoever behaves riotously shall be punished by being keel-hauled. Whoever is guilty of rebellion (or mutiny) shall be thrown overboard.

I watched an old episode of the western Have Gun Will Travel. I was surprised it was written by Gene Roddenberry and Directed by the actress Ida Lupino.


[The Perfect Tree] It breaks my heart to see how the County butchered that beautiful tree at the base ball field. Its one of the most perfect geometrical trees on the island. One can see that there is life in it, a limb was already coming back, all they needed to do was to cut it back the damage limbs and water it every day. But not to cut it all the way down. Shame on you. Oh well, I’ll wait another 50 years to admirer that beauty.



Do they have rastawoman?

It’s damn hard being brave. ~”Woman Walks Ahead”
[Medical Marijuana] I called the doctor who advertised in the Citizen for marijuana medicard exams. They want $295 for the exam. And another $200 in seven months to continue. They don’t dispense anything, you have to buy it online from other people and have them deliver it. They only deliver oils, patches and some other non-combustibles, but no flowers, you have to vape. That’s too great an expense for me. And then to have to go somewhere else to get it is too much uncertainty and expense. I’ll continue to buy the flowers from the underground.
[Self-Image] I have an image of myself as a strong middle-aged man. Passing by a mirror the other day, I was sad to see an old man with grey hair and beard, wrinkles, sunken eye sockets, and a beer belly.
[Movie Trends] some years ago they started showing gay men as mainstream, years later when we were sick of that gimmick they had a lot of lesbian characters, lately I’ve noticed more and more wheelchair bound characters. No comment, just an observation on trends.
[5G Wireless] A lengthy Wall Street Journal article recently discussed 5G wireless cellphone technology. There is a big international race underway to develop and implement the technology, and the first 5G phones will be offered this year. It is potentially 10 times faster than 4G, but don’t expect smoking hot performance any time soon. Instead of a 10-mile tower range, 5G needs a tower unobstructed even by leaves within 1000 feet. “Can you hear me now?” The intent is to have your home appliances, home door locks, your implanted medical device, and your self-driving car all linked wirelessly. What could possibly go wrong with that, eh?

Soon you could be murdered by a hacker in China at a keyboard, who steers your car into the path of a loaded concrete truck, or turbo charges your pacemaker. Or for more novelty, he steers your car into a crowd of people, which gets you branded as a terrorist and sent to the Guantanamo Bay military water park for some water-boarding fun while they make you talk about your conspirators that don’t exist. Be sure to name people you hate, because you will certainly be naming someone.

The privacy concerns are enormous with the 5G integration of everything, and everything equipped to report to some snoop. Already your cell phone has collected your image and enough of your voice for The Terminator robot (or any computer) to impersonate you so well that it would fool your mother. Of course, if you have an idiot at the controls, your mother might get a phone call like that supposed call from the doomed 9-11 plane passenger who said, “Hi, Mom. This is me. My plane has been hijacked by Arab terrorists.” Maybe your mother would not be fooled even if it was your voice? Most of the nation was fooled because they heard it on the TV news, so it must be true

I read a lot of old books free from Most are over a hundred years old. One thing I find in common is that they almost all quote other classical books or poems somewhere in the book. I don’t know why they used to do that, but it seems to be in vogue at the time. Link

Okay, I’ve burned my shoes, I’m boycotting Ford Trucks, I quit watching the NFL, I’m being told Willie Nelson is now a traitor, I can’t ride my Harley Davidson in protest, I’ve stopped my mail because of the President’s hatred for the post office. I can’t use Amazon anymore and now I have no way to get anywhere. I’m butthurt and darn-it there’s nothing to do in this trailer park anymore.

I can’t even tow my boat to the ramp because my trucks a Ford. Sigh.

[Watch The Candidate Forum] Hometown Key West Candidate Q & A video from Monday, Sept 17th.

These are your candidates on the Nov. 6th ballot. The Races were videotaped in the following order:
Utility Board Seat D: Beth Ramsay-Vickrey vs Robert Barrios
Mosquito Control: Phil Goodman vs Ralph DePalma
County Commission District2: Michelle Coldiron vs Tommy Ryan
County Commission District 4: David Rice vs Vicki Tashjian
State Representative: Holly Raschein vs Stephen Friendman
U.S. Representative: Carlos Curbelo vs Debbie Mucarsel-Powell
Key West Mayor: Teri Johnston vs Margaret Romero. Video

The story of our relationship with orchids is a story of obsession, money, deceit, beauty, femme fatales, ghosts, deception and let’s be honest, sex. Audio

[Government] The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command… and if all others accepted the lie, which the party imposed, if all records told the same tale, then the lie passed into history and became truth.  ~George Orwell 1984
[Electromagnetic Pulse Beam] If our enemies disable our GPS satellite by laser or electromagnetic pulse beam or something we’ve not even thought of, how will we get our bombs and missiles to them? In a wheelbarrow? Can an old non-electronic plane like an old Sopwith Camel carry a nuclear bomb? He probably couldn’t outrun the nuclear blast. I hope our military have a plan because I think those will be the next weapons the enemy will use.





Cousin Jeff’s dog on his way to a pirate festival. He really loves that dog.

[Keys Diet] Breakfast: Yuengling, potato pancakes with butter.
Lunch: Extra dry martoonie, Philly cheese steak hogie with double cheese!
Dinner: Champagne, filet mignon with veggies and Cointreau chaser.
Bedtime snack: A blond or redhead rare.
Who pays for The Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Bike Trail that costs millions of Federal and State tax dollars. This question is being sent to the Florida State Parks who promotes the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Bike Trail, but if you can’t you answer this question, can you forward it to someone who can?
[Constitution Week] Commemorating America’s most important document. It is celebrated annually during the week of September 17-23. When it comes to understanding the operation and function of our government, we Americans wallow in the adage ignorance is bliss. Which is why we have so many misconceptions about what the document actually says, despite what many proclaim and despite what the Supreme Court has found by rooting around in the clauses.

For instance, per the language of the Constitution, we don’t have a “right” to an abortion, to privacy, to gay marriage (or any marriage), to a job, to health care, to vote, to be tried by a “jury of our peers,” to democracy or to separation of church and state.

Those things exist through our common law tradition, or because the Supreme Court has said so.

But believing such things are actually written into the Constitution — or our failure to understand concepts or practices such as federalism, war-making, separation of powers, regulating commerce, electing the president, just to name a few — can lead to our own exploitation by shifty political leaders, or pit us against each other in ways that are unhealthy for our system and our country. Link

State changes stance on saltwater crocodiles in the Keys. Conservation has worked too well. Link




[Friday Joke] My cousin was hauling a load of rolled sod to Texas and gets pulled over by Louisiana state trooper. The trooper walks up to the door and asks, “I was just wondering where the Willie Nelson concert was being held at.”

The next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up this Saturday, September 22, 10 am at the senior center.  Hope to see you there. Full Menu > Ongoing Events
[Peace Agreement] Kim Jong Un, Moon Jae-in sign ‘peace’ agreement at Korean summit; Kim promises to visit Seoul. At a news conference held in Pyongyang’s state guesthouse Paekhwawon, President Moon said that North Korea will permanently dismantle its Donchang-ri missile engine test site and launch pad and would allow international inspectors to observe. Video



[Winn Dixie] Weekly ad. Link

I liked the hurricane relief ideas someone wrote about. I especially liked the mobile wifi and them allowing UPS (Amazon) immediate access to the Keys so we could get what we needed.
[Cuba Vacation] It’s the land of the Lost and Miserable. My family and I spent a week wasting our money and time looking for nice places that didn’t rip us off or try to pick our pockets. Never found anything worth the trip. My recommendation is to burn the place.


New money can be traced. Say you rob a bank that just got in a fresh shipment of a million dollars from the closest federal reserve. They would know the serial number of every single bill, as well as every number that was taken by you.

[Dictatorship 101] Accuse your enemy of that which you are guilty.
[Tax Money] We the People are not stupid, but we’re getting there more every day. An example is letting the politicos do what they want with our money. Aluminum railings that all but vanished after Irma, dumb mini parks that are useless, Route 1 turn lanes into dean end streets, and many other pet projects that make brother-out-laws rich! What we need are more water plants to give use clean sea water, A sewer system not owned by the junta. Roads that don’t have a million reflectors ruining our tires. Clean up crews that clean something! Greed is the culprit in the Keys and always was. Fix it.
[The Keys Suck] I just moved to the Keys and wonder why! I was told this place was all peace and love and party time, but that bubble popped the first week of actual living here. The prices for food, gas, and tools are nuts. The locals are all druggies or drunks. The holy rollers are way out there too. Buying a small pad is impossible. Taxes are crazy and the schools suck. Then there’s the cops who seem to make up laws as they see fit. They all walk with a palm up behind their backs. No thanks, I’m heading back to Seattle ASAP!
Marathon aims for better traffic flow. Link
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