2014 January

Monday, January 6, 2014

CT-Banner7.3.13No Saturday Edition

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bicycle29[Bike Path and Overseas Heritage Trail] Once this thing is finished I think hundreds of thousands of people will ride it a year creating a fantastic opportunity for an entrepreneur to take advantage of bicycle enthusiasts. If I were younger I’d buy the old pool store property (Catch 22: If I were younger I wouldn’t have the money) at the light on US1 and make it into a Bike Path traveler’s center with showers, food and bike repair and supplies, and maybe even camping space for tents. The place would become internationally famous and profitable in a few years by advertising in biking and travel magazines and word of mouth.
I’m considering getting a reverse mortgage on my house.  I wonder if the new flood insurance guidelines would have any effect if I do so?

hand out6Extending unemployment benefits another three months on top of the already six months of benefits is not a good idea unless new government spending cuts pay for it. People are less likely to look for jobs after they’ve been on the dole for a long time so I think it’ll be a waste of money and just make them more reliant on handouts. Sort of like Key Deer, if you don’t feed them they take care of themselves, but if you do they never leave your yard.

I saw an interview with a guy who said he won’t feel like a man if he takes a job that pays less than the one he lost during the recession. My take is that he’s willing to be on the dole and use food stamps instead; which will make him less of a man. Go wash dishes or work at McDonald’s for christ’s sake! I did. 

nira tocco realtor 9.12
[Mosquito Control] No one is criticizing them doing their jobs or suggesting they disband. It’s the management that’s being criticized for wasting tax dollars on things that are not related to mosquitoes. I suggest their defenders re-read the posts that point out this waste. 

no kids


[Sewer Meetings] I’m not going to any more meetings. I went to three that were packed with people speaking against grinder pumps. I believe it is the intent of the BOCC to wear us down so they can have their way. And it worked on me. What more of an argument can I make than the same argument that all others have made, “Dump the pump.” What does the BOCC expect to hear at more meetings, “We love the pumps go ahead and screw us.” 

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isaksen-flood-roof 4.23.13
[Bimbo Speak] Women are more likely to raise their voice at the end a sentence making it sound more like a question. Straight men rarely do it. As a matter of fact men think women are less professional who do this and have less respect for them thinking they sound like Valley Girl bimbos. “For sure.”

[Marathon Journal] The Journal interviewed Marathon Florida Keys Mayor Dick Ramsay.

Ramsay-dickMarathon City Manager: We discussed Roger Hernstadt’s applying for a city up north. Dick allowed for the fact of Roger doing what’s right for his family. The Mayor said that this came with no warning, and he felt the situation was tantamount to black mail. Dick said that Roger is one of the most well paid positions in Monroe County. Roger has a great benefit package. Ramsay talked about Roger wanting a raise and a “golden parachute”.

In my opinion, I think this all started with the Senmartin campaign for Marathon City Council and his winning. Roger has done quite a lot for the city. His job is now in peril, because what does he do if he is picked for a job he really doesn’t want. Can the City Manager come back and expect new contract negotiations? Is there not anyone qualified for the job in Monroe County?

Even though my stated opinion is above, I would like Roger to stay City Manager. I have to say that he has put himself in a tight spot with few good options.

Back to the interview, how was your holidays? Dick’s holidays were terrific with family and friends gathered around. His Mr. Sherriff son Rick Ramsay got engaged. That is exiting. Dick’s chances of more grandchildren has increased. We agreed that there was nothing better than grandchildren to spoil rotten. We agreed that Marathon is a great place to live. He has his good health and family, and nothing could be finer.

As Mayor, what is your number one concern? He had quite a few concerns.

Port of entry is still ongoing and December 2014 seems a good target date. Make Marathon a better place; there is always room to improve upon a great place.

He wants to finish what he started. We discussed the many infrastructure projects coming soon. There is the 42nd Street Jesse Hobbs Park unisex restroom. There is the Public Works building protecting assets long term saving residents property taxes.

He was particularly excited about the options in Sunset Park. That is coupled with the old 7 Mile Bridge. Dick talked about the Community Park upgrades or what used to be called Phase III, read some kind of waterpark. Ramsay said the 33rd Street needs a face lift and that something needs to be done with the Jaycee Building and surrounding areas.

We discussed City Hall with or without meeting room. Without a meeting room saves 2 to 2.5 million dollars. Ditching parking under City Hall could save more Capital Infrastructure Projects money to the tune of 3.5 million dollars. The money could be applied to future infrastructure jobs.

Where then can the council, boards, commissions, committee meet? The options are stay at the Marathon Government building owned and run by Monroe County. Meet at the new Mosquito Control building. Or best solution – use Firehouse 14 meeting room.

Dick ruled out another run for city council in 2015.

Last thoughts? If residents want what is best for the city, then residents need to provide input at the meetings, by email, phone calls, carrier pigeon, and snail mail.

Dick talked about Marathon missing out on making the local economy better. Old Mermaid Club and the Overseas Hotel property are two projects mentioned. Package stores and the 1500 foot rule; that should only apply near schools and churches. Move Marathon forward by listening to residents.

The Journal will interview Marathon Florida Keys Councilwoman Ginger Snead next. 

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whiskey on the rocks


[Citizen Of The Day Says] The only time I worry about ice is if it’s in my glass or not. 

‘Polar vortex’ is the phrase of the day. It’s colder in Chicago today than at the South Pole!
My favorite news is BBC from 7-8 in the morning and the rest of the time Al Jazeera. I like Al Jazeera because they usually only have one newsperson reading the news instead of a group of pretty people all talking and laughing at the same time.



[“Eating a pot cupcake”] I feel bad for the guy who ate a pot cupcake and got too high and had a bad experience. Just about the worst way to try pot is to it eat because it’s so hard to regulate the amount. Smoking a joint is the best way. You only need two drags to get high for about 2-3 hours any more than that will get you too high. Usually the first time you try to get high you won’t, it just won’t work until you try it a couple of times (it’ll work, but you won’t recognize the signs, yet). The only thing you’ll notice is that you’ll eat like a pig–called the “hungries”. Many people who try it for the first time use too much, get paranoid and have a terrible time. The desired effect is a “high” the undesired effect of too much is “stoned’ and stoned sucks! 

[Obamacare Coverage] When your employee made a payment she would have had to give her identifier that her Insurance Company gave her.  Sometimes it’s a group number and an ID number.  These are assigned by the Insurance Companies and not the ACA website.  She should have also received membership cards and a Summary of Coverage.  Did she not receive any of this and/or just doesn’t know her ID number? Can she not login online to look at her coverage.

For those who signed up for a policy via the ACA website, please make sure you received these things from your insurance company.  After you make your first payment which I believe is due Jan 7th, you need to set-up your automatic recurring monthly payments too.


Fallujah has fallen. The city once held by U.S. Marines in one of the bloodiest battles of the Iraq war now is controlled by al Qaeda once again. What a waste. Video 

writing check


My brain must have been working this past week because I haven’t written 2013 once on a check. 

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an_spaghetti_meatballsAll You Can Eat Spaghetti Dinner. Boy Scout Troop 573 is hosting the dinner on Saturday January 11 from 5-7 pm at the Big Pine United Methodist Church, Key Deer Blvd, Big Pine Key. $10 for adults and $6 for children.

The meal includes spaghetti, garlic bread, homemade desserts, beverages and door prizes!

Please join us and support our troop’s effort to attend summer camp in the mountains of North Carolina. Events

Agent Orange corn? Yes it’s true. Link



[Rescue] The tourist who were stranded in the Antarctic were rescued by a Chinese icebreaker. Now the chinese icebreaker is stranded in ice. An American icebreaker capable of plowing through 6’ of ice is on the way to rescue the rescuers. Video

Kudos to the editor for doing away with the political section. It turns out that while we could always chose to not read it I found it to be like driving past an auto accident. You don’t want to see anyone hurt but you had to look! That’s when our emotions would take hold and force us to be a bit myopic in our views. The C.T. is back to being a local entertainment pleasure. Well done Ed.

Personally I think if the political section returns it will return to the usual “I’m right and you’re wrong” postings we came to expect. But, hey, I could be wrong (tongue in cheek comment).

[“Trashing the bike path”] I am a local and am tired of the basher who has stated twice that locals are putting trash in the vegetation.  I walk and ride my bike in the lower Keys and I find that during the winter tourist season I am picking up more trash than during the quieter days of summer.  Plus we have things called hurricanes that occasionally hit the Keys and big items are often carried off into the vegetation never to be seen again until a bike path is built.  Instead of complaining, how about removing any trash you find that is small enough to carry off.
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[Buds] Pitbull Katydid, which is native to Costa Rica and is a nocturnal, carnivorous insect known for its bizarre, shocked look and flat head.

A few reasons to stop LPS grinder pump construction and reevaluate all of the Cudjoe Regional for anything besides sewer grinders.

-We know that the Decision Tree that slated so much of the Cudjoe Regional project was provided by the grinder pump salesman and not vetted by FKAA or Matthews Consulting or CH2M Hill.

-We know that if one uses defensible assumptions, gravity sewers are often cheaper than grinders in a not particularly long run.

-We know that vacuum can often be cheaper upfront that a grinder LPS system, because we have the engineering estimates for the Inner Islands to augment our educated opinion.

-We know that vacuum collection was effectively barred as an alternative system by requiring a block of 750 connections instead of the industry standard 75 as a minimum, which is ridiculous and should have been identified as a fatal flaw in the Decision Tree upon even cursory examination.

-We know that for just environmental safety, the order of preference in collection systems is vacuum, gravity, STEP LPS, and dead last Grinder LPS.

-We know that customer preference alone in collection systems has an order of gravity, vacuum, STEP, and dead last grinders.

-We know that when analyzed with realistic values of operations and maintenance over a couple of decades or more, the collection system economies fall in the order of gravity, vacuum, STEP, and dead last grinders.

-We know that the Keys are subject to frequent power outages and that some have been lengthy. We know that sewer service ceases shortly after a power outage for all sewer collection systems except gravity (if the lift stations can be powered) and vacuum (which has a back-up generator).

-We know that the Decision Tree is just a deceptive sales tool for grinder pumps, that the Matthews assumptions used to calculate relative economies are indefensible under scrutiny, and that grinder pumps are publicly undesirable for many reasons, not the least of which is the demand for an easement and power supply from the homeowners. Coupled with the environmental threat even under normal operating conditions of having raw sewage pushed under substantial pressure in a fragile plastic pipe, lack of service during a power outage, and high cost of operation, is there a legitimate reason not to correct course after making a wrong turn?

The forcemains in the ground are relatively cheap to discard, but might also be used for STEP instead of grinders. Big Pine Key has not even been designed yet, and can probably be built as vacuum for less than grinders. Please support redesign of grinder pump areas by signing the petition at




Soylant Spam.

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[Woman Drivers] I’m going to be nice and not caption this, but anyone else feel free to give it your best shot! 

[“Paid for, but no Obamacare yet”] ACA law requires all health insurers to enroll all applicants with no more than a 90-day waiting period. So she is in trouble for a few more months yet and possibly longer with the backlog, however Federal law (EMTALA) requires most hospitals with ER’s to provide an examination and stabilizing treatment (great pain qualifies) or childbirth, regardless of ability to pay or immigration. What level of care involved in that treatment is subjective to each hospital’s ability. Big Miami hospitals are better, stop the pain, get second opinions and more advice/options until the paperwork clears.

2014 Medicaid for those 65 under, below 138% of federal poverty line, no regard for assets. Thats requiring a income of under $1500 a month or under $15,000 a year for individuals. Logic being if it’s 100% Medicaid covered, then it might be faster getting full treatment sooner that way, if it can be done to relieve the pain. ACA law requires requires health insurers to enroll all applicants regardless of their health status/preexisting conditions and to charge them the same rates as healthy individuals.

Supposedly Florida didn’t extend it’s Medicare coverage and with other possible qualifying factors, she may qualify for the ACA exemption that enables 30+ aged individuals (as well as below 30 without exemption) to direct purchase a catastrophic plan, apx $6500 max out of pocket for about $250 month (no Federal subsidy needed). See HealthSherpa dot com for plan specifics and enter 29 as the age for the plans. Here is the ACA information about the exemption and the PDF form. Link

People who a fighting against raising the minimum wage in this Country need to read this story. Link 



On this day in 1838 Samuel Morse gave the first public demonstration of the telegraph. We’ve come a long way baby 

[“Charged 50 cents for 2 glasses of water. Hmmmm”] I say hmmmm back at you. Lets see, water is generally free in restaurants. I get your point. However, the water and any refills cost them money, the ice cost them money with the water and the energy used to make the ice. Then they have to clean the cup you used with more water and soap which costs them money along with the dishwasher and servers having to be paid to bring you that $.25 cup of water. I bet they still lose money charging you $.25 for that cup of H2o.

[Restaurant Review] I took my family out to eat on Thursday night. We like to go to the Island Restaurant north of Marathon central. It is the old Shuckers that moved there from 11th St Ocean years ago.

We had a great fish dinner with some really good fried conch and a dozen oysters as appetizers. These are fresh tasting – real grouper sandwiches with some great fries. It was a very, very busy night. We took one of the last two available tables as a line was starting to form behind us.

Our appetizers arrived in less than five minutes and the main course in less than fifteen. I was impressed. The food was great, service excellent and the bill was under $65 which is hard to do if you shopped for this and fixed it at home.

We always like to go out at least once a week and now you know one of our stops.

On the way back to Big Pine I filled up and saved another five bucks – less cost compared to lower Keys gas prices.

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model train tracks


Key West Model Railroad Club. Link

[“Hosting location has no bearing on site owner”] It almost never is, but sometimes one gets lucky if a particular bias or preferential language is involved. It helps to know who and what one is dealing with sometimes, especially if they always wildly edit your posts (wink, wink).
[“SR4A property owner”] Honey, you do not own that land any more than I do. Your fence is on your property line. The 15 feet is Gov. right of-way land, not yours. The Gov. owns it and can do as they please. Consult your survey before spouting that BS. It is not a set back it is the line where the roadway right-of-way ends and your property taxes start. (Ed: Yesterday’s poster stated that there is an additional 15’ setback when building a fence in the Refuge [today’s poster’s other insults were removed].) 
[Polar Vortex] Why do the ignorant deniers still have to hold on to that “global warming” neener-neener argument when it gets wintry outside? It’s called climate change. Get with the program, and stop being so anti-science. Is it so hard for you to believe mankind is f**king up the earth? 
from the right

review time6Let’s review.  The Obama reelection slogan was “Bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive”.   Bin Laden is dead, but his organization, AQI is alive and flourishing. It is running roughshod over the mid east. Iraq is rapidly becoming an AQI redoubt. Fallujah and Ramadi have fallen into AQI control. Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, and all of North Africa are rapidly falling into the control of AQI and the Muslim Brotherhood. That is a real and present danger to America and to America’s allies. Muslim fundamentalism is winning. There are more theaters of conflict today, and Muslim Fundamentalist are more powerful and influential  than when the Democrats took control of our governance just a few years ago.

When historians judge Obama it’s likely that they will find that one of his biggest mistakes was to fail to negotiate an agreement with Iraq to continue an American presence in country at the end of the hostilities as negotiated by GWB. The US led by GWB won that war, but now Obama is ceding that nation to Muslim Fundamentalists led by AQI. We, and the world will suffer because of that mistake.

Even so, Obama insists that AQI is “on the path to defeat.” Obama wants to jettison the whole mindset that the U.S. is still engaged in a war on terrorism. Obama has repeatedly indicated that he rejects the notion of global war on terrorism. Link

General Motors is alive. It is alive because of the huge infusion of tax dollars. But General Motors stiffed the US taxpayers for the approx. $11 billion in tax dollars that we lost in the GM bailout. GM is now making a profit. Nonetheless, they refuse to reimburse the tax payers for helping them out. Obama bragged that the GM bailout had “saved” Detroit. In Obama’s weekly address, October 13, 2012, he said: “We refused to throw in the towel and do nothing. We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt.” But now, even after the spending of billions of federal tax dollars, Detroit IS bankrupt.

Democrat governance has given us the slowest recovery from recession since FDR, another Democrat president. 75% of the new jobs created last year were part time. Democrat foreign policy has shattered the world’s respect for the USA. It has failed horribly in its obligation to Americans and to the world to control Muslim fundamentalism.

Now, in a tacit admission that the economic recovery is moribund, the Democrats want to yet again increase unemployment compensation.  You’ve got to wonder why the Democrats refuse to do all in their power to create a better business environment which would create jobs…..real jobs.  Damnit, the people who are receiving u/e don’t want handouts, they want jobs.

disagree with you6Part 2) Deer Friends, I appreciate all the kind words that I’ve been receiving, but in all fairness, I urge those who disagree to also email me. I assure all left field CTer’s  that if your message is civil, even remotely interesting, and concise that I will post it.  Fear not, faint heart never won.

Respectfully submitted FTR. Please send me your comments at