2013 April

Thursday, April 15, 2013

The Coconut Telegraph

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[Censorship] Roman Gastesi has blocked all emails concerning the Marathon animal shelter. I was contacted with a concern of a lady in England today, she was attempting to email Gastesi and it would not go through. She has made a trip to Marathon every year and her favorite two places are DRC and the Marathon animal shelter. She has been visiting for a decade and has seen the shelter go through it’s contractors. She wanted to voice her concern that once they finally got it right, that a board of directors that has spent less time at the shelter than she as, being from England, would get it so wrong. People from outside Monroe county view the politics here as bull chips at best. Now, thanks to a bad move made by Gastesi, a sour taste has been left in the mouth of an author and teacher that spends thousands of dollars a year to visit our community.

Nice work guy, with your $200,000 dollar salary you refuse to get involved in county affairs and concerns of the public. We know why politicians have such bad names.

[Developers Win City Loses] The state House of  Representatives passed a bill  Wednesday that will give considerable property-tax breaks  to private companies that partner with the military to provide  on-base housing. The bill has major impacts in  Key West, as it will give millions  of dollars in local property-tax  exemptions to a multi-million dollar international company  that partners with the local  Navy base. The House passed the bill  87-29, with Florida Keys House  Rep. Holly Raschein, R-KeyLargo, voting against it.

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My 25 year old floor tile is popping off the concrete floor on my porch. It heaves up at the grout line, about 8 or 10 tile at a time. Fixed the first break and more came loose before we could grout them. Any idea of why? It is an area that gets afternoon sun and is rained on in storms. Why? 

[Canal Cleanup] I got so disgusted watching out over  the canal eating my lunch, that I quit eating and came in to lighten things up by reading the Coconut Telegraph.  The landlady that lives on Rose Drive was cleaning her entire yard with a leaf blower.  You guessed, it all went in the canal, leaves, shopping bags, cans , and whatever else I could not see.  She would not even make the effort to get some of it in garbage cans so Waste Management could haul it away.


[Sewers] Monroe leaders come home without state sewer funds. They were told Monroe County most likely won’t receive the $50 million this year in State Wastewater funding.



“Swift” the new blimp super hero on war on drugs.

I have learned more than I ever wanted to know about school funding in the last 2 weeks. The School Local Board millage (the second line on your tax bill) has limits placed on it by the State and we have reached the maximum amount allowed by the state for this category. The fact that we are maxed out here, is part of the reason we were so heavily affected by the housing crisis. When property values fell and property tax revenue declined, other counties and government agencies were able to increase their millage where we had to make drastic budget cuts.

The calculation of the State School Law Millage (the first line on your tax bill, also called the Local Required Effort or LRE) is calculated by a ridiculously complicated formula called the FEFP or the Florida Education Finance Program. Link

I can’t pretend to understand this whole process but here are some things I learned:

The idea of the FEFP is to equalize education across the various diverse counties. Because we live in a relatively rural area we qualify for the “Sparsity Supplement”. In Monroe County that amounts to about $2.9 million. Unfortunately, we also (given our high property values) qualify for the Wealth Adjustment that, essentially, wipes out the entire Sparsity Supplement. There are about 11 counties impacted by the Wealth Adjustment but none as great as Monroe and Walton Counties. If the Wealth Adjustment was eliminated, we could raise another $2.9 million for our schools in Monroe County. Since the Wealth Adjustment affects the Local Required Effort, Monroe County property taxes would fund 90% of this increase and would likely result in an increased millage of about 0.15, which is equivalent to about $70 for a $500K home (the average home price in the county).

Andy Griffiths, MCSD School Board member, is proposing the elimination of the Wealth Adjustment. He spoke tonight at the PKS SAC meeting outlining this plan.

The beauty of this proposal is that it requires NO voter referendum and no vote by the local school board. This seems like a great way to raise much needed funds for our schools. It would require action by our state representatives, Holly Raschein and Dwight Bullard. I urge you to support his efforts and email Holly today. Contact Holly Link 

[Comments on yesterday’s Coconut Telegraph]

1. Only 1 not 2 non-smokers are immortal. (3 out of 4).

2. There is a big – big desalination plant on Stock Island that makes our water when we want it.

3. Bud is hash – and yes…

4.The phone did ring at 3 am – it was Benghazi – She didn’t pick it up like she promised she would.

5.Grapefruit juice and my meds sent me to Fisherman’s Hospital with a pseudo heart attack. Who knew?

6. And the best of all Big Pine Winn Dixie shoppers can freak out any Walmart clientele. 

thumb downI know Facebook will never be completely private, despite the settings I use, but does anyone have an easy to understand, updated cheat sheet that will help me be less public with total strangers? I thought I had stuff locked down to where it was just my “Friends” who could check out my Timeline, Profile and Photos and I could control it from there. But I was recently in a friendly debate with a stranger on another person’s timeline who gave me the courtesy of telling me my profile was completely exposed.

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The Fla. Public Service Commission gets closer to No Name electricity decision. May 14th showdown. A decision against power could mean removal of the power lines the association paid $650,000 for last summer. Part of that fee was money set aside for removal of the poles.




Big-ass car.

Twitter is the world;s largest public restroom wall.

an rocking chair frog

It’s still amazing for me to realize that I can sit out on my patio in the evening, looking out at the world as it goes by, and without one single thing in my world changing at all, I can make myself feel grateful, peaceful, happy, contented and blessed. Or I can make myself feel depressed, grief stricken, lonely, sickly, afraid and full of anxiety. And it all happens simply from how I tell the story of my life within my own mind..

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Using marijuana to treat pain? A pill may outlast a puff. The use of medical marijuana is controversial. Learn about the pros and cons of using this medicinal herb for management of chronic pain at everyday health. Link

[Sewers] Rumor is there is no State money for our Federally mandated sewer system. Has our State Rep Holly anything to say? What happens when the FEDS mandate something and the State backs out of the deal? BOHICA my friends BOHICA (Bend Over Here It Comes Again).



Been there, done that. 

[Spending] Without the State giving Monroe County the $50 million bond, our tax dollars will be shifted from the State level to our own local administration.  It seems as if that should slow down the spending the county has been considering.

an_walk like egyptian

In 1859, German and French engineers  began construction on the Suez Canal in Egypt.

[DirecTV] Your Local Authorized Representative. Sales, Installation, SERVICE!

Tired of your cable and U-Verse bills going up? Call SammySam the DirectTV man, don’t call the DirecTV 800 number.  I am your local authorized DirecTV provider. Lock in your price for 2 years. I’ll come to you for sales, service and installations.

Free NFL Sunday Ticket & MLB. Free HBO, ShowTime, Starz & Encore. Get the Entertainment package with over 140 channels and locals for only $29.99 a month for 1 year. Call SammySam 305-896-3017


[Internet Tax] Contact your representatives and tell them no to the internet tax and the immigration bill.

roku25[Roku] The primary reason cable is done is not because of the commercials, but because of a pint sized device called the Roku. It streams from your pc, and includes netflix, amazon movies, three or 4 movie channels, religious channels, and yes guys evn x rated porn for a mere cost of about 60 dollars. There are too many channels to name, it has all the tv shows by episode also, and disney, pandora music and it goes on and on. you load and delete on your pc. No more aggravating phone calls on hold, no more dishes on your roof, no more cables intertwining between furniture in your house. It is the future. It  is wireless and connects directly to your tv, and no I have no affiliation with this company. 

IRS loopholes cost billions. Another example of immigrants enriching our culture. Link



[The Ray West Band] Thank you to Conch Records Label for making the official “We Don’t Drive More Then 35 In Big Pine At Night” video. Thanks to all who came out and continue to support us and other purveyors of original music here in these Florida Keys. Video



an tp3


[Toilet paper] On the whole I find the basic bazillion sheet roll of Scott’s is the same size and the tube is the same size. It last a long time unless the cat decide to play rollo polo with it when the heat or a/c is blowing the loose end on her.

I am amazed at the lack of understanding by the Board of Directors of the Safe Harbour Animal Rescue of the Keys in the fiasco concerning the Director, Katie Bentley.

I was deeply shocked to hear of the resignation of Katie Bentley from the animal shelter at Marathon brought about by misunderstanding petty jealousies and the self-seeking advancement by employees and volunteers.

Quite frankly, I am perturbed that such a turn of events should be brought about by a group of people, collectively known as ‘The Board’ who have dismissed this hard working woman out of hand by listening to the fabricated stories put about by unqualified and new people, both volunteers and employees who, it seems, have hidden agendas and the desire to run the animals shelter in Marathon – even though they do not

hold the required qualifications to do so!

I have seen first hand the work that Katie Bentley has done over the years. I have seen how she has risen at 6.00a.m every morning for over 8 years to get to the Shelter to check on the animals. I have seen how she has split herself into shreds, following through animals control issues, meeting the police to rescue a dog left in an empty house to die – and more besides. I have seen her talking to prospective adoptees, trying to persuade them to give an abandoned dog a ‘forever’ home. I have seen her cleaning out the Shelter. I have seen her doing the book keeping late into the night, and the laundry when the machine has broken down on – oh so many occasions, dealing with employees who have bullied her and told pathetic untrue tales about her. I have seen her giving a chance, again and again to an employee who persistently did not turned up for work and then having to let them go and find that they were prowling around her house at night to scare her and then spreading ridiculous stories around about her. I have seen her dealing with all these issues with diligence and compassion. She is not Superwoman. She has had no back-up from ‘The Board’ whatsoever, or any strong support from people who should have known better.

The County sees fit to pay its employees at the Shelter low wages and that results, unfortunately, in the employment of narrow-minded, small-minded staff who can only bitch and back-bite about the things that do not suit them. They tell tales to ‘The Board’ which are patently untrue and are shown to be so by written evidence. It is a pitiful state of affairs that petty grievances have been listened to by a group of people, ‘The Board’ who have no idea of the true and valuable work that this woman has done over the years and that they have allowed Katie to be bullied into resigning her post as Director of the Shelter – bullied into leaving the life that meant so much to her and losing contact with the animals she cared for and loved. They will surely miss her ministrations and her love and her depth of understanding of their plight.

I am really, truly sorry that this has happened for the community of Marathon – a community I hold in high regard – because in losing Katie Bentley and her dedication to the Shelter and its animals they have lost a great treasure! ~England and the Florida Keys


Take a look at an unusual aircraft called “Solar Impulse,”an airplane powered only by the sun. NNK electrifiers warrant no sympathy and violins! More proof in the pudding. Vide

An open letter to the church from my generation. Video

[Twentieth Century Deaths] Okay statistician let us see the figures for the first 12 years of the twenty first century. This time track deaths caused by Muslim terrorists.

snail25[Snail] South Florida is fighting a growing infestation of one of the world’s most destructive invasive species: the giant African land snail, which can grow as big as a rat and gnaw through stucco and plaster.

In some Caribbean countries, such as Barbados, which are overrun with the creatures, the snails’ shells blow out tires on the highway and turn into hurling projectiles from lawnmower blades, while their slime and excrement coat walls and pavement. Link

Tomorrow is a mystical land where 99% of all human productivity, motivation and achievement is stored.



[Captain Doom and Gloom] After talking to well know real estate agents and being very impressed with their knowledge of the area, I never realized how caring they can be. They told me how they canvas the areas to make sure the status quo stays as is and how they show people properties suited to their make up and stature, never trying to sell to the non-conforming and causing resentment from the existing areas population. They are trained to make people happy and to keep their professional reputations in tact! It is a relief to know a property that could sell and diminish the value of your home in an instant, will not happen through the care and consideration of the local real estate people. Thank you all!


Have you ever wondered why Republicans are so interested in encouraging people to volunteer in their communities? It’s because volunteers work for no pay. Republicans have been trying to get people to work for no pay for a long time.  ~GeorgeCarli

mccarthy25 cruz25


Two creeps for their times, Cruz of Texas and McCarthy of Wisconsin. Both Republican Congressmen.

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FTR told us Obama is trying to say the war on terror is over. Come on folks, that is funny. Someone doesn’t watch anything but FOX news.


right only grey

Yesterday a poster submitted: “Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz admits House GOP cut funding for embassy security: ‘You have to prioritize things’. Check out this link to see how Republicans really feel about security at our foreign embassies.”  The poster also included the following link. 

jason25Deer Friends I urge you, I  beg you to go to the link and see the CNN interview of Rep. Chaffetz.  In the actual interview you will learn that he and others voted to reduce the rate of increase in spending for Embassy protection.  The interviewer attempted to link that vote with the Benghazi murders.  Chaffetz makes it clear that the universe of State Department Embassy protection is bloated with waste and private contractors. Mrs. Clinton had the authority and the responsibility to prioritize the security assets that she had world wide. She failed to do so.

Mrs. Clinton and Team Obama cut corners by hiring an unknown and inexperienced British firm for embassy protection in Libya rather than the larger, more reputable companies that are customarily used in overseas danger zones infested with hostile, anti-American Islamists. As a result, Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans from the mission are dead.

Chaffetz made it clear that the Mrs. Clinton had the ability to prioritize the level of embassy protection. Yet, knowing that the Libyan embassy was at extreme risk of attack, she actually reduced the number of security personnel when she could have transferred appropriate forces from embassies that were not at extreme risk. It is patently obvious that Mrs. Clinton was not blaming funding cuts for the lack of security at Benghazi when she testified that she had nothing to do with embassy security.

We now know that the State Department/Mrs. Clinton knew, or should have known of the danger in Benghazi. While the State Department saved money on security in Libya, it somehow managed to find $5.6 million in 2011 to support “pressing cultural preservation needs” in dozens of foreign countries. Here are a only a few of the projects funded by U.S. tax dollars, dollars that should have been spent that should have been spent on securing U.S. embassies in hostile Arab countries.

Uncle Sam doled out $750,000 to restore a 16th-century tomb complex in India, $700,000 to conserve ruins in Tanzania, $600,000 for the “temple of the winged lions” in Jordan and $450,000 for the conservation of a 10th century temple in Cambodia. Those were just the big ticket projects. Hundreds of thousands more went to smaller causes throughout the world.

an_arms legFor instance, the restoration of a 16th century convent in Guatemala got $119,052 and an aqueduct in Mexico received $115,000 and the following three projects each got $100,000 from the State Department; a program to document endangered musical traditions in Mali, the restoration of a railroad station in Paraguay and a 19th-century log house museum in Russia. Here is the list of all the allocations for 2011. It makes you wonder how many skilled security officers could have been hired.

The bottom line is that the brand new Team Obama story line that the Republicans cut funding for embassy security is crap.  The scandal of the Libya murders of our embassy staff has been swirling around for months. Mrs. Clinton testified to a Congressional committee and did not mention that the State Department had been denied sufficient funding for security. You can be dead sure that had lack of funding really been an issue Clinton and Team Obama would have been screaming immediately after the murders. But now, now that Team Obama has had time to fabricate a defense, we see this canard.