2018 August

Tuesday, August 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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[What’s in a Name] Changing the names of Keys is wrong on many levels. I always though it so “Keysey” that West Summerland Key was East of Summerland Key. They changed it to Scout Key to make the Boy Scouts happy. The powers are slowly eroding our way of life and the quirkiness that the Lower Keys are famous for. Now they want to change the name of Ballast Key to honor the developer David Wolkowsky. No one deserves a Key named after them, no matter how much money they’ve spent here or how great they are. Stop changing history! Leave the Key’s names alone.

[Woodpecker] I saw the first red-headed woodpecker since Irma Sunday. It was a juvenile. I usually see them around April.

Restaurant named after Jimmy Buffett served protected game fish. The restaurant is named after him, he isn’t in the kitchen over-seeing what’s served. Safest thing he can do is to serve tilapia from Sysco like everyone else in the tourist industry. Tourists don’t know the difference and the profit margins are high. Psssst, somebody tell them the conch isn’t from the Keys, it’s from the Turks and Caicos. Can somebody show me a Key Lime grove in the Keys? If the current key lime products are truly Keys products, where are the Key Lime groves? Video
[Back Home Again] After months of renovation and preparing for the future, The Johnsons Insurance Agency/IOA has relocated back to their Marathon location effective today, August 20, 2018, at 13361 Overseas Hwy Marathon, FL 33050! IOA is committed to the Florida Keys and welcomes you to come see us at our new office or call anytime at 305-743-0494
If I wanted to destroy an enemy society I would destroy Christianity. Link


Dear Lower Keys Friends and Neighbors, Today, as I prepared for my last day as your County Planning Commissioner (this Wednesday), I’m reminded what my 10+ years of work advancing our County’s local utility and conservation policies and goals looks like.

It’s been 10+ years and nearly 300 meetings (most as a private citizen), getting it done and it has truly has been an honor and a privilege to work for our residents and the protection of our Keys.  ~Beth

Beth Ramsay-Vickrey

Cop: Get out of the car!”
Me: “I’m too drunk, you get in.”



[Coconuts] Have a taste of the real deal. The ‘NUT has the best drinks at the best prices. Happy Hour draft is $1.75, you just can’t beat that! Free popcorn–always. Brunswick pool tables & a full game room. Coconuts has been taking care of business for over 35 years. That’s a long time. Stop by & check us out, we may be your kind of place. We sure will treat you right –count on it at the ‘NUT

Summer of ’69 got my first real 6 string… Naw, I’m left-handed so I never learned. So what did I do on that summer? I surfed every day till I joined the Navy.
Bryan Adams — Summer of ’69
[Children, Priests, Guns] Americans are one of the few nations that don’t protect their children. We continue to let Catholic priests molest them and don’t do one thing to protect them from gunshots. It’s a crying shame, but we still pretend we care as long as we don’t have to change anything. If you complain about the priests, they say you are Catholic bashing. If a legislature suggests a new law, the gun lobby ruins him. Make America great again. Get rid of the guns and priests or at least never allow a priest to be alone with a child.



Trumps parade will cost $92,000,000. How can a parade cost that much when everyone in it is volunteering their time? Like everything in government someone is going to make a killing and get rich!

[Preservatives in Meat] That brine solution commonly injected into supermarket chicken, pork, and increasingly into beef, typically contains sodium phosphate. That is given to patients to purge bowels for a colonoscopy. Wikipedia explains that sodium phosphate actually encompasses a bunch of different chemical forms. says, “One study found that sodium phosphate, when used as a food additive, can impact health differently than naturally occurring phosphate.” This is because it’s absorbed differently by the body. According to the abstract, high levels of phosphate may elevate mortality rates for the general public, as well as for those with kidney disease and cardiovascular disease. Researchers linked high phosphate levels to accelerated aging and vascular damage.
The researchers recommended that people eat foods with naturally occurring phosphates, rather than those with added sodium phosphate. I don’t know about you, but I am not 3-1/2 years old and can do without more accelerated aging. I may have to start plucking my own chickens to avoid a chemical cocktail. Here is that study’s abstract. Link
Vermont Author Chelsea Catherine has won the 2017 Clay Reynolds novella competition, hosted by Sam Houston State University in Texas. Her winning entry, “Blindsided,” will publish on September 21st. “Blindsided” was written and set in the Florida Keys, and follows Eli as she leads Carla, a local real estate agent, through an election for Key West city mayor. Link
Tons of dead fish. A smell so awful you gag with one inhale. Empty “beaches, empty roads, empty restaurants. A toxic algae bloom has overrun Florida’s southern Gulf Coast this summer, devastating sea life and driving people from the water. The algae turns the water toxic for marine life, and in recent weeks beachgoers have been horrified to find turtles, large fish like Jewfish and even manatees washed up dead. In July a 26-foot whale shark washed ashore on Sanibel Island.

Red tide — a naturally occurring toxic algae bloom that can be harmful to people has spread throughout the Gulf of Mexico drifting in the water since October. Stretching about 150 miles, it’s affecting communities from Naples to Anna Maria Island and appears to be moving north. In places like Longboat Key, more than 5 tons of dead fish have been removed from beaches.


[Wetstock 14] OK, we know who is performing and what time it starts and we assume it’s at Picnic Island, but what day is this taking place?

Your car has better insurance than you do. Welcome to America!
Thank you for writing about Captain Charles Lafollette. I live on Ramrod Key. I never met this gentlemen, but after reading your short article about him I decided to go to the Koehn Avenue boat ramp to pay my respects to this man. It sounds like he was a very special person. I’m sorry I never had the opportunity to meet him. May he rest in peace.






The black “hawk” could be an immature Bald Eagle. They don’t get their white feathers until 4 or 5 years old. Link

[Pollution] They took away our straws for polluting. Now the New York Times is saying that discarded contact lenses are polluting the water. What will be the next big pollution hazard? Beach balls? Toenail clippings?
[Coral] Colombia’s improbable reef offers hope for coral worldwide. Just off the shore of the city of Cartagena, home of one of Colombia’s biggest ports, lies a coral reef that campaigners are furiously battling to protect. The Varadero reef, located in Cartagena Bay, has survived against the odds to thrive in a highly polluted environment. The Caribbean Sea bay, a major waterway for shipping vessels and cruise ships, is contaminated by industrial and sewage waste. Link
[Sick Society] Have you ever wished you could bring a knife to a stadium, arena, government building or even airport but couldn’t because of those pesky metal detectors everywhere? That all changes now. From this day forward, you’ll be able to carry a weapon virtually anywhere to keep yourself and your family safe. Video

[Rats] How come I can’t buy rat poison any longer? Mice poison is available, but I can’t find rat poison any more. Remember those thin brown boxes where you’d tear off the top to reveal little blue pellets that killed rats so effectively?

[Shrink Your Meat] You know how you when make a burger patty bigger than the bun, but after cooking, it’s more like a burger nugget? Well, I sprung for the organic, free range, grass pastured ground beef, 85% lean, at Winn Dixie the other day. Too damn lazy to fire up the grill, I filled an 8″ fry pan with a raw patty and cooked the bejeezus out of it, but it still almost filled the pan! I had less than a 1/2″ of space around the perimeter, and it had swelled in thickness enough to account for the smaller diameter. So why does a burger shrink? I am betting the meat has usually been “enhanced” with water, just like supermarket chicken that’s “enhanced with up to 18% of a brine solution”. That’s printed right there in tiny print on the label. So, you’re buying 82% meat, 18% of something else that’s wet and hopefully just salt water. That $2 per pound chicken really cost you $2.43 per pound of actual meat. I think the same thing is happening with other beef that shrinks dramatically when cooked. I tried to get more information on the “solution” that is needle injected or vacuum forced into dead chickens, but so far just talk of how you are getting a whopping dose of sodium that you were not expecting with your unseasoned chicken. I don’t think it is just salt water because it leaves an aftertaste that is not salt and not chicken. Link
[Diddling Priests in Just One State] Pennsylvania. A priest raped a 7-year- old girl while he was visiting her in the hospital after she’d had her tonsils removed. Another priest forced a 9-year-old boy into having oral sex, then rinsed out the boy’s mouth with holy water. One boy was forced to say confession to the priest who sexually abused him. Those children are among the victims of roughly 300 Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania who molested more than 1,000 children–and possibly many more–since the 1940s, according to a sweeping state grand jury report released Tuesday that accused senior church officials, including a man who is now the archbishop of Washington, D.C., of systematically covering up complaints. The “real number” of abused children and abusive priests might be higher since some secret church records were lost and some victims never came for- ward, the grand jury said. “Despite some institutional reform, individual leaders of the church have largely escaped public accountability,” the grand jury wrote in the roughly 900-page report. “Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all.” Top church officials have mostly been protected and many, including some named in the report, have been promoted, the grand jury said, concluding that “it is too early to close the book on the Catholic Church sex scandal.”

Diocese leaders responded by expressing sorrow for the victims and forgave the priests in the confessional.

[Inverter] I’ve been trying to rig up a solar/battery thing to charge my many tool batteries without any luck. I have a 100 watt solar panel connected to a charge controller connected to a 1000 watt inverter. A second or two after plugging anything in, the circuit breaker kicks in. I’ve tried three different inverters all with the same results. The battery is fully charges, the panel is new and so are two of the inverters. The battery is putting out 14-15 volts to the inverter.
It’s remarkable how many of us have seen the young bald eagle.
[“Mysterious Black Hawks”] I got a good look thru binoculars at them in a tree 200 feet away. They are very large. I’m fairly certain that they are juvenile bald eagles.





Boats mating.

[R.I.P. Stump] According to my neighbor, “Stump,” aka Clark Terry, was involved in a single vehicle accident at MM39 on Saturday, was airlifted out, and died from his injuries today (Monday).
[Andrew Gillum best Governor Candidate–unfortunately] Seems like we have the two top Fl governor contenders almost equally unappealing, De Santis and Putnam. Kind of like the 2016 presidential race. Gollum is a long shot but impressive. Link




Can a machine think? And if so, could it be prone to violence like humans? A pioneering story first published in 1893, read by Robert Lang. Audio

[Keys Energy Board] I don’t see what difference it makes where the candidate for a seat on the Keys Energy Board lives, as long as they are also a Keys Energy customer. All Keys Energy customers pay the same rate for energy, they don’t distinguish from one Key to another.  The only exception to that would be No Name key, which had to pay to have power lines installed on that island.  The contract they agreed to also requires them to maintain those lines in the event they are
damaged, say, do to a hurricane or car hitting a pole.  I guess the board could change that, if they wanted to.
Jimmy Buffett is building a Margaritaville-themed retirement community. It’s the latest venture in Buffett’s business empire, which rakes in $1.5 billion. Link




[Drone Delivery] The country’s most advanced drone package delivery yet just took place in Virginia. Link

[The Stellar Awards Lawsuit] The annual Stella Awards. For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald’s in New Mexico, where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? The problem is that most of them are bogus. Link
[Hardi Board] I have lost a lot of respect for Hardi Board (fiber cement siding), that I used to think was the ultimate siding material in spite of being heavy, brittle, hard on blades, and generating risky dust when sawed. Currently there is a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer due to deterioration and false advertising of their supposed 50-year transferable warranty. This is similar to the suit against Masonite siding in the early nineties. If you have Hardie Board, you should probably research for more info.





[Oops] When you pick up the wrong suitcase at the airport.

[Expensive Stuff] This ad came in today.  Only $11.97 for .8 oz.  One gallon = 128 oz.    128 divide by .8 oz = 1600.   1600 x $11.97 = $19,152 per gallon.  Unbelievable!
Yikes, I’d put in an extra decimal point. I’d used .08, not .8.  Only $1,915.20 per gallon, thank goodness. Link
[Cult Politics] There were German civilians that went to their deathbed who still believe that Hitler was right. They were hooked, line and sinker from the start and could not be convinced otherwise, no matter what transpired after.

Cult politics is a mighty powerful drug.

[Nitpicking Friday joke about airplanes and their pilots] I know it’s just a joke but words have meaning. When we lose that we lose all modern communication. There is no F17 aircraft. There where two prototype YF-17 fighter aircraft developed in 1974 and rejected and retired in that same year. The Boeing 777 wasn’t even developed until the mid 90’s so the premise of the joke is ridiculous and thus not amusing. Why not say an F-16 or any other currently flying fighter?  I know, I’m not much fun at parties either. But really, F17? Where did you even come up with that?
[Old People] When you look in the mirror and see everything that is wrong with your old body, you don’t want to touch others, shake hands, and above all kiss and hug anyone for fear of contamination both ways!



Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human too long.

[Paranoia] Ever notice that doctors don’t really care anymore for patients over 65? I guess they have milked the gravy train as much as possible.
[Mail] Palestinians sort through 8 years of mail held by Israel. (This really pisses me off). Link



[“Black hawk”] Black bird is a juvenile bald eagle. I can see bands on its legs the tip of the skin of the darker[?] That ain’t no chicken hawk, son.

[Black Lives Don’t Matter] National boycott of the NFL for Sunday November 12th, Veterans Day weekend.




Radio Shack is getting ready to re-open. I guess Kevin is tired of boating and is ready to get back to work!

[Affordable Housing] Two local community groups have recently filed requests with the County Development Review Committee to consider their proposal for overlay districts in the Comprehensive Plan for high-density workforce rental housing. Their proposal requires that the overlay districts be located “on or within 3 miles of Key West, Stock Island, Boca Chica, and Marathon, major employment centers in the County.”
“We think workers need to be able to live near the major employment centers. This would reduce traffic congestion and make worker commutes shorter, easier and safer,” said Ann Olsen, a member of Friends of the Lower Keys (FOLKs). “It’s  a recognized smart development practice and it’s required by law,” added Don DeMaria from Save Summerland Native Areas (SSNA).
The County’s Affordable Housing Advisory Committee originally proposed the concept of overlay districts some time ago. Recently, Planning Staff developed a proposal for overlay districts for high density workforce housing but did not specify that they be near employment centers. Last Stand then filed detailed proposals to modify the proposed overlay district for  high-density work force housing to require it to be “near employment centers.”
“Our proposal is more specific and is intended to eliminate arguments and litigation over what is “near an employment center,” so we can get this housing built quickly, in the right place,” DeMaria added. Other local community and environmental groups including Lower Keys Alliance, Key Deer Protection Alliance, and Florida Keys Citizens’ Association have filed letters of support for Last Stand’s detailed proposals as modified by SSNA and FOLKs’ proposal creating the overlay districts” on or within three miles of Key West, Stock Island, Boca Chica, and Marathon, the major employment centers in the County.”
The Development Review Committee will consider these comments as well as Planning Staff’s proposals at a meeting Tuesday, 8-21-18 starting at 1pm at Marathon Government Center.
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