Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Tower Strobe Light] Does anyone know who to contact to get those darn strobe lights shut off? The lights on the tower at the road prison have been flashing bright since last Wednesday night. I understand the need in low heavy clouds, but the sky’s clear now and still they flash. I sent a note to the Harris Corp website last Friday and copied BOCC member George Neugent, but I really didn’t expect any correction over the weekend. I’m not even sure the Harris Corp is the right group to contact. Any ideas? These strobe lights flashing every few seconds at night are really annoying.
|[Irritating Strobe Light] Deer Ed, In regard to my note earlier this morning asking for help from the CT faithful, I received the following email today from the Harris Corporation: “Thank you for bringing the tower light issue at Big Pine Key to our attention. I have a tower crew dispatched to the site to resolve.”
Keep an eye toward the night sky and we will see if they stop the annoying strobe lights.
|[Ski Jump For Tires] Here’s a video for all the men out there because if you had a chance to do this you know you would. All the women are saying how juvenile, yes ladies it is, what’s your point? Video
|[How To Draw] More useful information than 100 art books! Link
|We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid. ~Benjamin Franklin
|I have been a milk connoisseur and critic since I was an infant. I was delighted last week to discover that Walgreen’s carries Borden brand milk, which is far tastier than the two brands sold by Winn Dixie or CVS. However, others must have made the discovery because I bought the last two gallons of whole milk in their cooler yesterday. Borden’s does not have the acidic aftertaste of the other brands. Of course, nothing beats grass fed unpasteurized milk from a pampered Jersey cow. Except maybe your mom’s or your honey’s- fresh from the pert nipples, even though it’s warm, like her.
By the way, whole milk is less fattening than skim, 1% or 2% milk in spite of having more calories. Calories is not the whole deal. Also, you need dietary fat for the fat-soluble vitamins to be available. Furthermore, as HSI[?] reported, university research printed in the journal “Circulation” found that ‘in over 3,300 people who had been studied for over 15 years, those who consumed full-fat dairy products were a whopping 46 percent less likely to develop diabetes. That’s close to slashing your diabetes risk in half just by ditching tasteless skim milk, fake cheese and those hideous pretend coffee creamers — and replacing them with the real deal.
|Cat on a lazy Susan. Video
Cairo ‘cargotecture’ company transforms shipping containers into homes. Here’s just what some idiot wanted to do in the Keys. Shoot the SOB! Link
|[Customer Service] Ever wonder why you always get a twit when you call customer service? It’s because they have to hire people who cannot do anything functional, productive, inventive, or logical. In other words, they hire seat warmers.
|The new strobe light on the tower at the road prison is like living in a cheap hotel with the sign flashing just outside your window.
Mullet mud caused the plume of silt to ride up through Kemp Channel to the Gulfside from Summerland Key.
|[“No Publix”] In response to your article regarding no Publix on BPK. I am a vendor at the Flea Market and have been for the past 22 years. I have invested a lot of hard work and money to make my business what it is today. I also bought a home on BPK and have 5 warehouses that house my additional merchandise. We are an icon on BPK and there is absolutely no need for another strip shopping center with a Publix on our beautiful island. Along with a bunch of empty stores. You are looking for a major problem if we allow them to destroy our Island, not to mention the school and our children who go there. The traffic alone will be a major issue for the kids coming and going to school. All you need is to have one child hit by a motorist going to shop at Publix, then what?
If you Big Piners, like me, do not want this on our Island, then you need to do what I have done, write our commissioners voicing your concerns about the school, traffic and that we need to keep our Flea Market on our Island. I have customers from all over the world who come to our Island for the Flea Market and what all the vendors there have to offer. Do not let them destroy our small businesses.
Butchered shark fins seized from shrimp boat off Key West. Link
|[No To Publix on BPK] Where do the people who shop at Winn Dixie and other shops in the Plaza live? Almost exclusively from the South end of the 7 Mile Bridge thru the blinking light at mile marker 17. The number varies with the season but the boundaries remain constant.
So where are all those extra shoppers going to come from? As in most new ventures there’s heightened interest and as time passes the newness wears off. Economically both entities will fail to meet their expectations. For Publix to invest so much capital to compete in such a small market doesn’t seem to make economic sense but maybe there’s something behind the scene where someone is going to make a ton of money out of the development. This is Monroe County, things like that have been known to happen here–regularly.
|[Funny High School Reunion Skit] I dare you to outdo this at your reunion! Video
Unpaid baby sitter.
|Forgotten Felines of the Florida Keys will hold its quarterly meeting at the Martin Luther Chapel (behind the NAPA store on Overseas Highway in Marathon) on Monday, May 8th. The meeting will start at 6:30 p.m. and the public is invited. Refreshments will be served.
Forgotten Felines is an all volunteer organization which provides food and veterinary care to homeless and abandoned cats in the Middle and Lower Keys. They also place adoptable cats in loving homes and strive to educate the public about the importance of proper care and spay/neuter of pets. In the nearly two decades of its existence, Forgotten Felines has spayed/neutered more than 3,000 cats. They also maintain a number of daily feeding stations which service several hundred homeless cats.
If you are unable to attend, but are interested in becoming a Forgotten Felines volunteer should call (305) 743-2520.
|It looks like the gated community at the Dolphin Marina is going to happen. They bought a bunch of building rights from a trailer park (removing scads of affordable housing) and are going to use them to build their fort to keep out the locals. That’s the only reason they want a gated community — to keep locals out of the rarefied air of luxury condos. What happened to community? What kind or argument can the developers present to the County Commissioners who will eventually approve the gated fortress? Oh, money! That’s enough incentive to pass anything the people are against. If we had term limits the BOCC would not be in office long enough to know how to hide those “donations” in off-shore accounts. Hiding corruption is pretty hard to do. It takes a while to learn the ropes and how to hide bribes and payoffs. Term limits would deny them the time necessary to learn how to hide bribes.
What good will this development do for the Keys? Do commissioners ask themselves that? Or do they only think how much graft they can hide? With the new development across the highway on Barry Ave and the new gated fortress on the other side, they will have to install a new traffic light at the intersection further slowing down traffic on US1, all so the big corporation can make more money and a few county commissioners can make some more money too. The locals and our laid-back lifestyle are the losers here.
|[Judith Haney Tries to Shut Down Coconut Telegraph] Deer Ed, I hope all goes well during this Thursday’s legal adventures. Don’t let the morons get you down!
|[Sanctuary Shake Up] Asked on US1 radio’s Morning Magazine why Sean M. was reassigned, Billy Causey’s response was, “I don’t know”. That’s government: Just act like you don’t know anything and the problem just goes away. Something stinks but no one is playing “Find The Smell”.
What’s with the strobe light on the tower by the Road Prison. Was that turned on to piss us off and disturb our tranquility!
|[Sewers] I thought we had a lot of rain on Monday, April 17th, but both Marathon and Key West recorded less than a half inch. Low places had a lot more than a half inch of standing water! Witness the BPK Winn Dixie parking lot.
Speaking of low areas, if that half inch of rain gathers from a larger area and runs into your sewer connection trench, and you have empty pipe in the trench that is plugged to prevent water running in, then that pipe becomes a long skinny boat that can float. Meanwhile, the trench walls collapse or the rain erodes excavated material into the trench, and that fills the gap under the floating pipe. The pipe will try to float evenly (level) on the water in the trench. So goodbye to your careful pipe slope, hello to pick and shoveling under the pipe for the entire length. The moral here is to fill exposed pipe with water if rain is coming to keep your pipe “boat” on the bottom where you placed it
|[FTR on Term Limits] We’ve got to give Phil Goodman of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Authority (Bug Board) huge kudos for strongly advocating term limiting the Bug Board. He’s the Chairman. Term limits are a principle that he has previously championed. Back then it was defeated by long term Bug Board incumbents. It is a principle whose time has come. The reasons for it are legion, not just for the Bug Board, but for all of our elected policy-making governmental entities.
One of the many powerful arguments for term limits is that long term incumbency tends to foster cozy relationships with special interests. That is not necessarily illegal. But we should examine those relationships with a very skeptical eye.
Please consider this. Monroe County is divided into a number of different districts. The idea is to have an elected official from each of the districts with the responsibility of seeing to the specific interests of their district and to balance those needs with the best interests of the county. The layout of the districts is identical for at least two Monroe County governmental entities, the Bug Board and the County Commission.
A quick analysis of the political donations in the 2014 election cycle for one long, long term Monroe elected incumbent revealed the following (that the incumbent discussed herein is not a member of the Bug Board is immaterial). The long-term incumbent serves on an elected Monroe County policy making board. The source of the data is the Monroe County Supervisor of Elections website.
Digging just a little deeper we learn that in only the four years between the 2010 and the 2014 cycle, the long-term incumbent’s political donations more than doubled. I believe that there is no doubt whatsoever that long-term incumbency all too often leads a public official into becoming more sympathetic to the interests of special interests than with the best interests of the electorate. As the office holder becomes more and more attuned and sympathetic to the desires of special interests, the office holder becomes more and more valuable to the special interests. The political donations flood in. Challengers are nearly always out gunned with money. Money buys adverts, adverts win elections. I believe that long-term incumbency all too often leads to the incumbent becoming more attuned to getting along with staff and/or colleagues rather than the best interests of the community.
All of foregoing are excellent reasons for single term districting, but they are equally valid in supporting term limits. The two concepts are compatible, both tend to improve the quality of our governance. We owe it to ourselves to demand that our public policy boards self-impose term limits. The limits should be three terms, with no more than two terms to be served consecutively. Please let the Bug Board members know your feelings. You can email them at email@example.com
|NOAA orders changes in top Keys leadership. Among others, Billy Causey, a Lower Keys resident who was named the first superintendent of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary after serving as the Looe Key sanctuary manager, also will change jobs. Most recently Causey was regional sanctuaries director for the Southeast U.S. and Caribbean. Link
[Death Options] Burial, cremation, or option 3!
|[Flashing Tower Light] What ignoramus turned those stupid strobe lights back on? I thought we dealt with this before? Turn the damn things off permanently!
The plumes of silt are caused by schools of mullet feeding on, and disturbing the silty bottom. Yes, I am sure of that
|What is in those shipping containers in the garden shop in Cudjoe Gardens? They sure make the area look like a trash dump. In fact, the whole property is ugly for an area that has million dollar homes.
|[“Sheriff Rick Roth in the news”] How about the sheriff or police chief in Key West, just a few years back, who left the Keys shortly after having his life threatened. That sure went all hush hush quickly, didn’t it? The talk around is that the bubbas got to him and made him leave. That’s why we never heard any more about it.
[Mosquitoes] I have a billion mosquito larva in my well. I’m afraid to poison it because I don’t want to kill the leopard frogs that call it home.
|In April 1898, the Navy was ordered to blockade the coast of Cuba. The USS Nashville, about 12 miles south of Sand Key, took the Spanish steamer Buena Ventura as the first prize in the war with Spain.
The city went wild over news that the fleet had departed and war with Spain had begun. The Cuban and American flags were on every house and the San Carlos was covered in red, white and blue bunting.
Marathon Community Theater‘s “Bathroom Humor”.
|Autopsy: ‘Happy Days‘ actress Erin Moran likely died of cancer. Video
|Where can I find the requirement that establishes affordable housing rent? I’m trying to find out how much below market rates, affordable housing should cost.
The recipe is for homemade ice. Video
|[Cop Gone Wild] Twelve minutes prior to this video I was holding hands and saying the Lords Prayer at my Sat morning AA homegroup. During the meeting I expressed my frustrations over hostilities directed at me, verbal, verbally threatening and twice physically aggressive from a small clique within my home group.
The angry man with the gun who was employed by Monroe County Sheriff Dept, “Todd Jones” received a personal phone call from his wife minutes before this video took place. This officer’s wife was in attendance at the AA meeting and was a member of the small clique I mentioned. Video
Anyone wishing to come forward who have experienced a similar situation feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. ~Sincerely, Joe Hopp
|[Crooks] I visited a new owner on Poinciana St in Port Pine Heights this past weekend who reported a truck that stopped in front of his house around 2 am on April 11th. They then heard someone walking through their yard to the dock. The owner turned the lights on in the house which spooked the trespasser which made the person return to the truck and leave before they could identify them or the truck. No call was made to the Sheriff’s office. I decided to talk to one of the County deputies that is assigned to Big Pine Key. I shared with him what was going on with gas being stolen from boats and a car plus the suspicious behavior with boats and trucks going up and down our canals and streets at late hours.
He did say there were other reports on stolen gas in other communities prior to January but not currently. He said they would step up late night and early morning drive throughs our neighborhood but it was more important to report the thief or suspicious behavior when you discover it. That could give them time to stop and question them before they leave our community. He said they would investigate every call whether it helps or not. It’s better than no calls at all. The Sheriff’s 24-hour dispatch phone number is 305-289-2351. We need to get pro active on this issue before the thieves start stealing marine parts and electronics and even breaking into our homes.
|“Went With The Wind” from the Carol Burnett Show. Video
|The Last Resort Ministry left the Big Pine Key Road Prison this past Friday for the last time after over fourteen years of Christian ministry there. As most of Monroe County knows the Prison is closing on Friday, April 14 – ironically Good Friday. No one seems to have a viable explanation why the State decided to close this vital segment of the County which kept the roads, beaches and public housing areas clean for over seven decades. We are thankful for the many years we had there and the welcome that both officers and inmates gave to us. It was with much sadness we drove out the gate leaving the officers, inmates and Key Deer behind.
One of the many memorable times we had at the prison was on Good Friday. We introduced the inmates to a practice that is no longer observed in most Christian churches – foot washing. It is taken from the Gospel of John, Chapter 13. On the night before Jesus’ crucifixion as he celebrated the Passover Feast with his disciples, the Bible tells us: “…he took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.” (NLT) It was a common practice that a basin of water would be left by the door in Hebrew homes for guests to wash their feet as the foot wear was sandals and the roads were dusty. What was not common was that any Hebrew would wash the feet of another. In fact it was not heard of and the disciples were dismayed – especially Peter. “No,” Peter protested, “you will never ever wash my feet!” Jesus replied, “Unless I wash you, you won’t belong to me.” Simon Peter exclaimed, “Then wash my hands and head as well, Lord, not just my feet.” (NLT)
Peter got the message and I pray we do also. Jesus, God come in the flesh, was teaching us to do the most humbling thing imaginable that we might show his love to a dirty and aching world. This is what we hoped to convey to the inmates – and we also had several Peters over the years also.
A couple of years ago I had the privilege of washing one of the inmate’s feet who was finishing his time and would soon be free. He was an older and very large man and I remember his feet would hardly fit in the basin we use. I had come to know him as a very gentle and humble man also. As I washed his feet with the warm and refreshing water, I asked him if he had plans upon leaving and if he would be able to return to work he had done in the past. I will never forget the sad look in his eyes as he replied, “Sir I have no where to go and the only thing I have ever done in my life is sell drugs.” What can you say to that except to pray with him and ask God to show him the way. I am happy to report that he did find housing at an “After Care” program in N Florida and am sure he continued on his way with our Lord. I must admit that I am choking up as I write this thinking of him and the many others that we had such a privilege of knowing and helping bring our Lord Jesus into their lives. It is certainly we who serve who are most blessed!
I pray also for each of you who read this that you may know the love of Jesus for you personally. If you have doubts, then look at the cross and listen to the voice of Jesus shout – “I love you!”
Although we no longer are able to minister at the Big Pine Key Road Prison, The Last Resort Ministry continues to bring the love of God to the inmates at the Marathon Jail. We prefer not to meet you there, but please join us at The Way – Life Recovery Group where all are welcome.
|Komondor dogs in the Keys? I’d think they’d get too hot, but what fantastic dogs they are. At the ranch, mine weighed 225 pounds. They started out nursing them on sheep in Hungary to protect the flocks since they could outrun and outfight the wolves that preyed on the flocks. Raise them with anyone you really want protected, but know the feed bill is going to be substantial and their poop is the size of an elephant’s.
|[Murderer Caught] The manhunt for a man who eluded Florida Keys cops in November after dumping a stolen Mercedes in a Big Pine Key canal was arrested in New York and charged with killing a man and chopping him up with a chainsaw about a month thereafter. Corey Slattery, 28, of Cicero, New York, was charged with murder, weapons and conspiracy charges in the Dec. 8 murder in which he is accused of stabbing a man in the throat and strangling him before dismembering him with a chainsaw and burning his remains.
|[Movie Review] I watched the British film “Free Fire” yesterday afternoon at Tropic Cinema to get inside out of the big weather front/rain. Wow! “The Hateful Eight”, move over!
After the introduction sets up an arms-to-IRA for money swap, then ensues about 75 minutes of three different colorful gangs shooting each other multiple times, with plenty of gallows humor, until the last bad man standing is not a man. Bad gal Brie Larson, kind of reminds me and looks sort of like the bad gal in “The Hateful Eight”, Jennifer Jason Leigh.
However, the bad gal in “The Hateful Eight” is an American wild west gang member and gets hanged at the end, just before the still surviving hateful bounty hunter guys get theirs from her soon to all be dead gang. While the bad gal in “Free Fire” shoots and kills the last two surviving bad guys, then is making her getaway with the loot and meets a bit of a speed bump.
Both films are outrageous hilarious, if you ain’t wound up so tight you can’t let down your hair and roll in the aisles peeing in your pants and laughing your guts out.
Giving Northerners unbuttered instant grits is an old remedy for getting rid of tourists. ~Lewis Grizzard. Unfortunately, many of you will not get this, being that many of you are transplanted Yankees.
|Got seasonal allergies? Dr. Axe has a comprehensive advisory on reducing the grief without drugs. Link
|Tell Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to stop funding white supremacy and misogyny. Stop advertising on Breitbart or any platform that promotes hate. Sign the petition
|[Tower Light] Last week the light atop the tower at the Road Prison started blinking, keeping me awake at night. I hate it. It’s invasive. I don’t know what to do? It’s been a solid light for the last thirty or forty years and no one has hit it so why the change a solid light to the rude flashing light? Is this another make-work project to keep useless people employed?
|[Google Maps] Most I looked at are 9 or 10 years old. I’m sure they have current information, but just aren’t sharing it. As soon as they figure a way to charge money for it, we’ll have the new maps.
|[Smelly] I get serious allergic reactions to most fragrances, and it turns out that I am far from alone. Researchers found that 23% of people surveyed suffered allergic reactions from being near a fragrance-wearing person and 34% overall reported adverse health effects from some fragrances. Dryer fragrances blown outdoors was a common one. It is small wonder once you discover what is used to create fragrance. Here is a great article detailing the serious health hazards of fragrance ingredients. Believe me, you don’t want this stuff on you or to breathe the vapors! (BTW, fragrance is banned in CDC offices). Link
|[Gym] Some days I eat salad and go to the gym. On good days, I eat 10 tacos and drink tequila. I haven’t been to the gym in a month.
|[Charlie Daniels–An Open Letter to Politicians] You have completely forgotten about We the People. Link
|While I used to encourage IPA and craft beer lovers to go to the “leaky tiki” for their great assortment, they now have only one bottled IPA. That makes Kiki’s Sandbar the big winner for IPA and other craft beer choices. If you like that nasty bitter hoppy IPA stuff, try a 22 oz bottle of Arrogant Bastard by Stone Breweries while at Kiki’s. It’s high alcohol and almost a two-beer bottle, so watch out! $10 may seem like a lot, but it is the liquid equivalent of two standard beers and the alcohol equivalent of 4 light beers. If you chug it, you may need a drive home.
|[Sewers] How come those boring sewer posts are so long? It they were shorter maybe people would read them then. No one reads them as it is.
[Spies Like Us] My computer guru told me to cover the lens of my laptop’s camera because anyone with the skills can see everything even with the damn thing turned off. Any laptop can be turned on without anyone knowing it is on! Same goes for the microphone.
|Lung cancer is America’s biggest cancer killer. But there is hope: the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has sanctioned trials of CimaVax – a treatment created in Cuba. Link
I’ve had Easter Beer Hunts for years. Tailored for adults and kids over 21. We paint the beer, and hide them all over the yard. After the hunt we have a great meal, drink beer, and play music. Great fun.
|I’m on Fed jury duty for another week and a half. Am I going to be hearing the Coconut Telegraph’s case? (Ed: No, it’s a hearing, the first step before a trial)
|[Marquesa Keys Debris Removal Project Complete] The remote Marquesas Keys are back to their pristine condition with the recent completion of a multi-agency project to remove 31 abandoned and derelict vessels. The work was finished just in time for the start of bird and turtle nesting seasons. Link
|[Sewers] Inconsiderate morons were at work building the Cudjoe Regional sewers. This sewer lateral was trenched by FKAA contractors in extremely hard cap rock to just inches from the FKAA cleanout tee connection point using a powerful hard rock trencher. There appears to have been no thought about how difficult it would be for the homeowner to remove rock that went all the way to the cleanout box without damaging the box or the cleanout tee. The box had to be completely removed just to dig out the little trenched space in front of the plugged cleanout tee and expose the cap rock for the very difficult removal.
Gravity sewer laterals are supposed to be a typical 36″ deep at the cleanout. This one was 28″ deep and intended for a slab house with the septic tank behind the house and the building drain 21″ deep coming from under the house. This home almost needed a pump to get its sewage to the gravity connection point, but with a surveyor’s level and a minimum legal slope, it just made it by gravity. Another connection was 42″ deep and below the water table for a building drain from an elevated home about 22′ away that only needed about 2-3/4″ of fall in the piping and only needed a trench deep enough to keep the pipe from floating. There is no excuse for such careless construction that causes such undue difficulty and expense for the customer. FKAA appears once again to have no empathy at all. I read that is the hallmark of a sociopath.
Looking at my life of partying, debauchery, drinking, drugs, wild world travels, sex, sex, sex, I finally got religion. I had to — I got married!
|[Sarcasm] Your Easter egg shooter [Friday] shows the real class of your site. I can’t imagine why you’re single.
One of the signs from this years Earth Day March for Science.
|[Memory Loss] Now they’re linking diet soda to losing your marbles. What will they think of, or try to convince us of next? Mercury in inoculations, no wonder so many baby’s have that Down syndrome thing. I’m no expert, but doesn’t it seem we are going backwards with this stuff?
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