2018 August

Tuesday, August 14, 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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[Emergency Mobil Wi-Fi Hot Spots] Why isn’t there any plan to provide portable wi-fi during a hurricane? After Irma every aid station I went to said to go to their website bla bla bla. Well, there wasn’t any electricity or cellular service–or websites! We couldn’t contact our loved ones to let them know we were all right or find out how to get help. After a week and a half Verizon showed up with a mobile wi-fi trailer that worked great but was only usable by Verizon customers. Why didn’t other internet providers show up with mobile wi-fi hotspots? Because no one thought of it! Why didn’t the County Disaster Czar think of that? Is he too old to know anything about computers? All he knows is “evacuate.”

The County needs to start thinking like they’re in the 21 century. The people running emergency services are all old and basically dumb when it comes to how important wi-fi is. Most can’t even work a computer and think the only thing they have to worry about is evacuation. Well, there’s more than evacuation. Start thinking about those of us who won’t evacuate. Start thinking about how we can communicate with loved ones and contact others for help. We need mobile hotspots immediately after a disaster.

[“50% cumulative damage regulation”] A Piner requested County clarification on this weekend’s Citizen article that said building permits are 5 year cumulative to get to the “substantial improvement” level of 50% that requires rebuilding to current Code. This was the reply:

“Monroe County does not have a cumulative substantial damage/improvement regulation which is what you are referring to with the question concerning tracking improvements and damage for 5 years.”
As Trump would exclaim, “Fake news!” (from the Citizen, once again)
The worst of it is that the Citizen printed this same article twice and nobody corrected the misinformation.
Mark Twain reportedly said, “If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed. If you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed.” Right on, Samuel!


[Shipwrecked] Two weeks after running aground on a popular snorkeling reef in protected Key Largo waters, a 52-foot wooden boat remained stuck. By last Friday, mariners reported the unidentified vessel was breaking apart in the shallow depths of the Cannon Patch site after its July 21 grounding. Link

Early voting began yesterday, August 13th; and the Primary election is on August 28th. Vote wisely and often.
Alcohol. Because sometimes the truth needs a laxative.



[Dredge and Fill in the 1950s] Historian Jerry Wilkinson recognizes Marathon as leading the way in “the 1950 ‘dredge and fill’ mode” that swept through the island chain during the heyday of Florida Keys development. On his site,, Wilkinson writes, “In the 1950s, Phillip Sadowski and John Puto probably double-handedly had made the largest change by developing Marathon. Link

Cats don’t fart.
[Neo-Nazi] That is a new Nazi who isn’t smart enough to wonder why there aren’t any old Nazis
[Sailboat Hits Wires] A sailboat mishap caused a brief power outage for all Lower Keys customers. Video
Between AT&T and Comcast, I don’t know which is worse. both hire nitwits in Billing and Service. Both over charge and both offer little for the money they take out of my wallet. So what’s left? Dump them all and get a life. My cell phone is next!
[Vote for Walt] Keys Energy Services unveiled it proposed 2019 operating and capital budget this week and there are many issues to deal with.  It may be years before Irma related costs are reimbursed by FEMA, future electricity sales forecasts are lower than previously projected, and almost $38 million in new construction projects are planned to mitigate future storm problems.  In order to meet planned expenditures, hard decisions must be made.  The Board’s options are to increase rates; borrow more; or delay needed work.  The next Utility Board member needs to be prepared for tough decisions.  I’m Walt Drabinski, an electrical engineer who worked for a large utility, earned a Wharton MBA and have over 25 years of experience working with troubled utilities on problems like this.  I am the only candidate ready with answers.  Vote for Walt, the most qualified candidate for Utility Board Seat D.
Red tide is still hanging around Manatee County’s coastline, making waters murky and beach conditions unpleasant. There are a lot fewer dead fish floating in the water, though. That is thanks in part to local fisherman Nathan Meschelle. Knowing that he would be temporarily out of work when red tide arrived, Meschelle called Manatee commissioner Carol Whitmore and offered to help clean up in the aftermath. Video
[“50% “substantial damage”] The Blue Paper would like to prepare a short video documentary including footage of interviews with people who lost their homes due to repair costs that exceeded or were deemed to exceed the 50% “substantial damage” criteria. That rule triggers the demand to bring an existing dwelling into full compliance with current Building Codes. The trouble is, they are having difficulty finding people who are willing to openly speak on camera for fear of County retaliation. If you are willing to star in this little video telling your personal story of woe due to the “substantial damage” determination on your home, tell them how to contact you. The editor’s email address is on their website contact page. Link
Six Key West guest houses sell for $109 million in one of the city’s largest deals. Link
[“Stowed away”] Reading Friday’s joke about the stowaway reminded me of what a couple of pirate friends did to two tourists gals. They got the girls drunk at the Green Parrot and asked if the girls wanted to go to the Bahamas on their boat that night. The girls jumped at the idea. When aboard, the girls fell asleep and woke to a couple of days of frolicking in the sun only to later find that they were anchored behind Christmas Tree Island not the Bahamas!
The 50% Rule] The KW Citizen published an article in the weekend edition stating that the 50% of appraised value in home repairs and improvements is calculated on a 5 year cumulative basis and is not restricted to storm damage. We are talking about the 50% rule that requires you to rebuild or replace your home 100% to current Building Codes.
So you had some Irma damage, but it did not exceed the 50% trigger, so you rebuilt to pre-storm condition (original building codes and materials). Now for the next 5 years you are restricted to permitted construction and repairs that do not carry your total over the 50%. If you repaired a lot of Irma damage, it might not take much- a new air conditioner, a sewer connection, a kitchen remodel? Your insurance policy won’t help you a bit. (Not that it probably has helped much for Irma) All those repairs and improvements are snatched away with a form letter from the County. And God help you if another hurricane comes along in the next 5 years. Maybe they want everyone to be a renter?
I see the implementation of the 50% rule as an illegal government taking.
Algae drains from Orlando] It isn’t just Orlando. Central Florida is boomtown. Towns like Lake Wales, Davenport, Mulberry, Dade City are booming. The ever so desired gated community with yards mowed, fertilized and bug sprayed weekly are popping up on the old orange groves and cattle farms along the I-4 corridor. The yahoos in Lakeland built a park that resulted in homes flooding and water running along an old creek causing pastures to flood. To understand Florida’s old watershed and how the sheet-flow used to work read “River of Grass” by Marjorie Stoneman Douglas. With 1000 people a day moving to Florida, fresh, clean water is going to become harder to find as developers dry and harden our interior wetlands.
[“Stop illegal immigration”] Yes, it is easy. Just take their children away from them while they’re getting processed. Once the word gets out illegal immigration will halt.
[Spacecraft trying to ‘touch’ the Sun] Nasa’s Parker Solar Probe will get closer to our star than any other in history. Link
Just think of the fireworks when the positive-matter of that satellite hits the anti-matter of the Sun. Poof! all gone!
There is a plan, a years old idea, to rocket old spent radioactive materials into the Sun to destroy them. The problem is a screwed up rocket crashing back to earth. Remember the Japanese reactor, the Russian reactor, the American reactor. Think a million times bigger. Nuke stuff scares me the most of all the things humanity has invented. Then there are all the germs and gases made for war. Ha. Have a nice day.

[Clock/Radio] We’re on our third clock-radio for the kitchen. The one of the others had automatic time setting that was incorrect and we couldn’t override it so as a clock it was useless. The second one was just impossible to set the time as it was missing the standby button mentioned in the user manual. The picture of the clock showed all other buttons except the standby button. They keep improving stuff that doesn’t need improving.
[Early Voting] I don’t vote early because, suppose something terrible is revealed about the candidate after you’ve voted for him, then it’s too late to change your vote.
Coasters and condoms prevent unwanted rings.
[Sunscreen] Slathering on sunscreen is probably doing way more harm than good. Consider these statistics: Oregon, Vermont and Washington are among the states with the highest rates of melanoma in the U.S. yet have perhaps the least sunshine.
The second highest melanoma rates are in Florida (lots of sun but where sunscreen use may be highest).New Jersey, Maine, North Dakota, and Wyoming. Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico have plenty of sun but have the lowest rates of melanoma.
Between 1982 and 2011, the melanoma rate in the U.S. jumped from 11.2 cases per 100,000 people to 22.7 (more than double the rate of melanoma), yet sunscreen use shot up over 3000% in the same time frame. Seeing a pattern here, folks?
Many of the common sunscreen ingredients are known carcinogens. Does it make sense to smear on a carcinogen and expect less risk of cancer? Of course not!
Then we have the recent addition of nano particles in sunscreen. The nano particles can go right through your skin and throughout your body, but no legitimate research shows this to be harmless–and it probably isn’t. They used to think x-rays were harmless back when they used them at shoe stores to check where your toes were. Now, people in the same room wear lead shields.
Use clothing or shade to minimize sunburn instead of using sunscreen and you will likely lower your cancer risk while also not poisoning the reef. Remember it is always about the money. Sunscreen sales and medical treatment are two huge cash cows, so you cannot expect unbiased advice from either, nor from those they influence.


Poinciana caterpillars (melipotis acontiodes) are capable of completely defoliating a tree. The start climbing the trunk just after sunset to do their nasty work. Only a city-wide effort to have them systematically treated by professionals wii save these beautiful trees. Nothing a homeowner can do will stop them. The last infestation in the Keys was in the 1940s.

Heading to the polls? Here’s an easy guide to early voting. Link


[Big Pine Glassworks] I am in possession of a glass mini plate from the old Big Pine Key Glassworks and am trying to get some information on it. It is dark red, reads ‘USPS Ladies 1973’ and has a big bird on it. It’s obviously some kind of commemorative item for female postal workers but I haven’t been able to find anything about it. Full Menu > Big Pine Museum > Big Pine Glass Works

[Too Many Weddings] A code compliance case lodged by the County against a local wedding venue will be brought back to the special magistrate at the end of the month after attorneys for each side failed to reach an agreement after three months. Neighbors complained that the business was negatively affecting their quality of life by hosting weddings three or four times a week and at times with dual weddings. Link





Allocating money properly in the Keys.

One killed and three injured in U.S. 1 crash in Marathon. Link




New sign on Duval Street.

[Conspiracy Theory] There sure have been a lot of big fires lately! When America figures out we are being invaded by outside forces using any and all tactics to crash our way of life, then I hope to hell it is not too late to recover and fight back. It is said that all this is a fiasco or chess game being initiated by the real world rulers to cull out the riff-raff, cut breeding down to size and get this rock back to a cleaner environment, by starting WW3 which will cull 90% of the useless eaters. Somehow, I think this is true.
[Enlightenment] When you wake up in the morning there’s a moment before your mind gets filled with all the things you have to do today. In that moment you exist without a self. You don’t think about your name or your bank account; you don’t even think about your spouse and children. You just are. Enlightenment extends that state and deepens it. You aren’t burdened by having to remember who you are, ever again.


The spacecraft trying to ‘touch’ the Sun. Nasa’s Parker Solar Probe will get closer to our star than any other in history. Link

Hacking the US mid-terms? It’s child’s play. The problem is old people (running government) don’t understand technology and how easy it is to hack a computer, but these kids do! Video
[Pain’s Cycle] I didn’t recommend the arm band for arthritis or anything else. I think any benefit is psychological. After medical treatment fails, people try alternative medicine. The catch is that they try it when the pain is at its greatest. Pain and disease are cyclical, meaning the pain is intense than subsides in a few days and then gets intense once again. People seek alternative treatment during those sharp peaks of pain so they think the new treatment works, but they don’t really work. The pain would begin to subside anyway if they waited a few more days. The placebo effect is what keeps alternative medicine alive. I hear people raving about how they’ve been cured by alternative medicine only to have the pain return in a few days.

Try it yourself. The next time your pain is unbearable eat, let’s say, one deer poop pellet. In a day or two the pain will lessen and you’ll think it was the deer poop.

The daily drinking straw estimate came from a nine-year old who was doing a school project. He called a couple of companies and roughed out the numbers. The media saw this info and treated the number like it was the gospel and a huge threat to the ocean. The majority of plastic in the ocean comes from Asia and Africa. If you are going to support a cause that actually makes a difference, you may want to look a little deeper into the subject matter. Check out the article from Scientific American. Link


[“Ghost lobster traps”] Another way to avoid ghost traps [lost closed traps] is to have a degradable exit that can be easily stapled to the trap. The exit could degrade after a year, but I’m just guessing about that. A better idea is to just leave the traps as they are. Getting rid of traps dipped in old diesel fuel was as good a thing that will ever happen to our waters.

Arthritis is causing me to cancel my full moon trip to Key West. Maybe in the Fall before it gets too cold. Your advice to wear the arm band for tendonitis was right and the pain stopped for a day. Hope I don’t have to move to Arizona. Have a fun rest of the summer Keys people.


[“Those ‘black hawks’ are night hawks, a species of goatsucker/nightjar”] I looked up pictures of nighthawks, goatsucker and nightjar, but couldn’t find any that looked similar to the black hawk in last week’s CT. Their head, beak and coloring looked different. I wish I could get a better photo.

As to which sun screen protects you best from cancer, here is a great article that has bad news for sunscreen lovers.  The least attractive to wear, “zinc oxide is ugly but beneficial, the rest are worse than no protection at all when it comes to cancer. Link
At the Battle of the Bars in KW, I’m always asked ‘Where are you from”. I always answer here for the last 25 years. They always get depressed looking at me. From now on I won’t take a bath or brush to make them feel local.





[Parking] I went to the grocery store and they now have a parking spot for fat guys that like to grill. That’s so considerate.

[Suing] I think it’s about time to break a few lawyers’ legs and stop this fake news and fake suing for grabbing ass, Soon some person being accused will snap out and break the accusers face and that will set a precedence, hopefully!
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