Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Sanctuary Advisory Council] NOAA once again has vacancies for its Sanctuary Advisory Council. Qualifications: Must be able to:
1) Drink copious amounts of NOAA Kool-Aid and eagerly shake one’s head solemnly and affirmatively at utter nonsense and b.s.
2) Have hemorrhoid insurance and the patience of Job.
3) Use at least 2 acronyms in each spoken or written sentence for obfuscation and promotion of NOAA job security.
4) Believe in the importance of having meetings for the sake of having a meeting and ingesting mounds of cookies and hors d’oeuvres.
5) Ignore hypocrisy and understand and accept that though NOAA trumpets the need for water quality, it turned a blind eye to an environmental train wreck aka Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System that among a host of deficiencies included a shallow injection well into porous limestone that any third-grader knows would pollute nearshore waters and the reef.
6) Have a knack for drawing circles on maps to close off sandbars where public use historically occurs.
7) Volunteer your time and gas to attend meetings while knowing that NOAA and other agencies’ staff are paid handsomely.
|The FDA gave approval to the British company Oxitec for a field trial of its genetically-engineered male mosquitoes on Key Haven, the agency said in a statement Friday. Do you think they read FTR’s plea last Friday?|
|[Diver Down Flag] I refer to people that are under way with dive flags displayed as ‘douche bags’. There are a lot of douche bags on the water this time of year. There is even a dive boat charter operation in Marathon that I see underway with the dive flag displayed. If you see your friend underway with their dive flag displayed, tell them they are acting like or quite possibly a ‘douche bag’. My favorite has to be when people paint dive flags on their hull. Does that mean we always have to slow down and assume they have a diver down because they are douche bags? The bottom line is, if you don’t have a diver in the water, take your f**king dive flag down you douche bag.|
|[“Key West hospital sucks”] Key West’s hospital has been the subject of numerous complaints about billing practices, quality of care and the use of a privately owned and costly medical helicopter instead of the county-owned Trauma Star, which charges no out of pocket fees to Monroe County residents.|
|[FTR] It’s surprising how few of us are aware that we have a very important primary election coming up on August 30. On 8/30 we’ll select who will be each party’s candidate in the general election for the following offices: United States Senate, Clerk of the Court/Comptroller, County Commissioner Dist. 5, Mosquito Control Dist. 3 & 4, plus a County Judge and a School Board member. It’s an important election so please get out and vote.
The Skeeter Cops have been getting a lot of attention of late. They need it. It is time for a change on that board. Long time board member Steve Smith is running yet again. He’s been on the board for 20 years. On his watch we’ve had the Zika/Oxitec mess which has now become a public health threat. Smith was a serious advocate of using GM in the fight against Zika. That is until the big real estate people starting shoving him around. When Edwin O. Swift the third’s (God I love that name, it only takes a nanosecond to make “the third” into something scatological), threatened him and every other board member.
For that alone, Smith should go. Steve Smith is foursquare in favor of wasting a huge pile of your money to build a new Skeeter Taj Mahal on Big Coppit. It’s a facility that is not needed, it duplicates existing facilities, it won’t help kill a single bug, and incredibly, a big factor in the decision to build it was to scratch the itch of two mid-level employees who just didn’t want to drive to Marathon from Key West to go to work. Steve Smith is a poster boy for term limits.
Jill Cranney-Gage also wants reelection. Even though she’s served but one term–that was enough. She too was instrumental in the Big Coppit money pit. Did I mention that that money pit will be responsible for about a 45% increase in the taxes you pay to Mosquito Control District? Well, it will. She too has caved-in to the big real estate interests in failing to move forward aggressively against Zika by using GM for vector control. Ms. Cranney-Gage does not deserve your vote.
Personally I’m glad that that Senator Rubio has made the decision to again seek the privilege of representing Florida in the US Senate. He will have my vote; and I hope that he will have yours.
More later, but please mark August 30 on your calendar because good candidates need your support. You need good candidates.
|[“Florida Do Not Call”] I have, and do, subscribe and keep current Florida Do Not Call as well as the National Do Not Call program. Thus far my unwanted trash/invasive calls have dropped from about 30 per week way down to about 30 per week. I really treasure government programs that make my life better. Morgan & Morgan professes to get $1500 per unwanted call. All are anonymous or blocked or, lately, missing one digit on caller I.D.
Life is good, but government programs to protect us mostly suck.
I love Big Pine! My kind of people.
|[Psychedelia] To complement the My Generation series, another chance to hear writer and comedian David Quantick examining the lasting impact of psychedelia on music and popular culture, from the 60s onwards. Audio|
|I love soft-shelled lobsters! The photo of this little 3/8″ past legal minimum size bug shows how much meat usually gets wasted by the tail-twisters. The big ones have way more meat in the head- especially behind the horns and in the antennae knuckles.
When I lived way up north by the ocean, the old-timers said when they were young, poor people who couldn’t afford a chicken would go down to the shore at low tide and poke through the seaweed on the rocky beach for Maine lobsters. They said no one who could afford something else would eat them, but there were plenty to be found. Times change, tastes change.
|[The Wood Wide Web] In London’s Epping Forest, a scientist named Merlin eavesdrops on trees’ underground conversations. Link|
|A guy walked into a crowded bar, waving a pistol and yelled, “I have a Colt .45 with a seven round clip and I want to know who’s been sleeping with my wife.”
A voice from the back of the room called out, “You need more ammo!”
I found a painting of the old Big Pine Inn by a Rudy M. Suzana. It looks like, on the matting, was written “Fisherman’s Inn of the Keys”. Any information on this would be great.
|[“To the writer asking about nice areas with homes under $400,000”] There’s a very nice place on Marathon’s Gulf side on Stirrup Key Rd. for $385,000. Email me for details. email@example.com|
|[Sewers] Reports are in that a sewer lift station in Cudjoe Gardens had to be pumped because the installed pumps are inadequate. The same pumps are used everywhere in the Cudjoe Regional. The Sir Isaac Newton Coalition and Dump the Pumps both warned FKAA before the fact that the pumps were improper, inadequate, and illegal. But FKAA management never admits a mistake. Now our sewer rates are paying for a crew and equipment to do what the pumps should have done in normal operation.
This is just the beginning, folks. Infrastructure Sales Tax should have bought appropriate pumps… and an independent review of the design by the County’s on-call civil engineering consultants back when the first question was raised. It is not too late for the County to do the right thing and have independent engineers advise what needs to be changed before too many are connected for FKAA to keep up with trouble calls. If Cudjoe Gardens does not work, there is no hope for outlying areas like off Puerto Bella. You heard it here first. We seriously need to retain our septic systems as back-up! Send your reports of sewer failures to CudjoeFail@mail.com
|An elderly Italian couple were lonely and sad over the news. So these police officers cooked them dinner. Link|
[Key West Switchboard] In 1951 more than 30,000 phone calls were made a day in Key West from the old plug-in type switchboards with live operators literally connecting and disconnecting each call
|[Twist Tie Operator] I want to know who the person is who twists the ties on bread bags. That’s what happens if you don’t finish school.|
|[Olympics are Sexist] The woman in Beach Volleyball wear bikinis even while playing in indoor stadiums, while the men wear long sports and a tank top. No other sport has woman wearing bikinis even the sports taking place in the pool where bikinis are appropriate. I can’t help but assume beach volleyball is sexists. There’s no reason for those woman to wear bikinis unless they are out for a tan or to have others marvel at their perfect bodies and get a thrill.|
|[More Rules] A new mandatory boating course for Florida Bay waters within Everglades National Park could be in effect by the end of the year. Members of the advisory council to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary will get an update on the park’s new Florida Bay rules when the council meets Aug. 16 in Marathon. Those rules also include a pending park boat permit for South Florida residents costing an estimated $50 to $70 for year-round access. Visiting boaters would purchase a short-term permit.
“All the pieces are still being pulled together,” park spokeswoman Allyson Gantt said Friday. “There’s a lot to consider and it’s very involved.”
The boater-certification course will be required to operate a motorboat in the park’s Florida Bay jurisdiction but the class is free and available online. It can be completed in about an hour, according to reports. The education program may be operational by November. At press time, there was no indication when the boat-use permit will become mandatory.
Changes for boating in the park’s Florida Bay waters are included in the updated master plan for the overall park.
The plan also includes a number of pole-or-troll zones in shallow water, but opposition to the new zones quieted after park staff worked with Keys fishing guides and frequent bay users to change boundaries and allow for more access.
Most of the issues related to Florida Bay are scheduled for the sanctuary council’s 1:15 p.m. Aug. 17 afternoon session at the Hyatt Place Faro Blance Resort and Marina at 1996 Overseas Highway in Marathon. Council members also are scheduled to discuss a recent report, “Florida Keys Shallow Water Boating Impact Analysis and Trends Assessment.”
In the 9 a.m. morning session, council members will discuss law-enforcement priorities in the sanctuary, along with “promoting best fishing practices” and hearing a report on the status of pillar coral. ~The Keynoter
|I’m am so with the poster about Ray Liotta’s talent. I recently saw him in a Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper thing called A Place Beyond The Pines. He had a small part, but, man, is he creepy. Good movie. Ray is a genius when it comes to playing a psycho|
[Camouflaged Tower] Don’t worry, it’ll blend right in and nobody will be able to tell the difference.
|[“What are the nice areas for real estate under $400,000 for homes”] Stock Island, Big Pine Key and Shark Key.|
[Snake] I went take a shower in our outdoor shower and this feller scared the soap out of me!
|[Average Life Expectancy] Wikipedia has data compiled by various researchers (including the CIA!) of the average life expectancy in various countries. They do not match at all, and a pattern is not obvious in any of them, but suffice it to say that your end is near, youngster, and if you are retired you should probably check for a reflection in the mirror each morning. Be advised that these are average death ages, so half the population does not get there.
If you want your spouse’s life insurance, murders seem highest in Central American countries, or next best overall seems to be a Caribbean island–the US Virgin Islands are right up there with Central America.
I expected to find a pattern of longevity related to medical care, nutrition, or rampant disease rates- like the 10% AIDS infection in the under 50 age group in some African countries. No clear pattern was found, and especially not related to medical care. Actually, your efforts to follow your doctor’s advice may be shortening your life. Since it’s statistically almost over anyway, you may as well spend your prescription money in the bar. While there, you may as well hook up since it could be your last. What are you saving it for? Lower your standards if need be. Happy Tuesday! Make the most of it. Link
|[Marathon Politics] The Sunset Grill issue is sad and rather sorted much like the Sombrero Beach Road re-zoning, the 1500 foot rule, the Peter Rosasco Sombrero Country Club approvals (and after the fact permits), the Walgreens beer & wine application, the Pig Ordinance, the Mike Cinque Stuffed Pig expansion and bar addition approvals (without any parking), and the Ralph Lucignano Plaza Grill miracle of no loading zones, inadequate parking and growing tables and seating, all related, and all created by our Marathon City Councils between 2003 and 2013. Special treatment and approvals for special interest people with total disregard for the People of Marathon, in general. When the City of Marathon found a way to give Betty and Jim Chaplin special interest approvals for a zoning change from residential use to commercial, the City changed the community character of that neighborhood forever. A real disservice was made to the residents of Knights Key. Some may say that it was intentional, others may say that the consequences were unintended. This case, in my opinion, is simply world class stupidity. This is about basic zoning and why you even have zoning rules to begin with. Of course, no one wants to understand causation, but the problem now is we will be talking only about a band aid over the bigger problem of self-interest that will just not go away until we have a City that opens its eyes and learns to enforce its own basic rules of law and ordinances.
There will be a discussion on Tuesday night about whether Knights Key is a residential neighborhood or has evolved into a commercial area. I will let the Attorneys argue this point. My concern is over why and how a restaurant was allowed to be built in what was clearly a zoned residential neighborhood in the first place. The irony here is that the residents of Knights Key, including both Michelle and Greg Coldiron, agreed and apparently supported the zoning change and the restaurant/bar approvals, with conditions. The conditions were about noise and our City Attorney at the time was none other than John Herin. I know and I believe that everyone in Marathon now knows that John Herin was not a good attorney (fixing Herin’s legal work will be an ongoing problem for us for years to come). We all now know that you can’t enforce a poorly written law or ordinance or, as in this case, a simple condition.
Exercise makes you look better naked. So dues tequila. It’s your choice!
|Smart people sound like crazy people to stupid people. However, crazy people sound like smart people to stupid people.|
|[William Hackley’s 1855 Key West Diary] Viagra? I got them out of the bag for them and after dinner stripped to my drawers and undershirts and repacked seven bags — six for Tallahassee and one for Pensacola. Walked with Matilda to the fort. Weather clear and hot all day. Matilda and I each took a blue pill.|
|[“Key West hospital”] This problem should reawaken us to the need for real national healthcare. Expand Medicare to cover every American and pay for it with payroll deductions and other taxes. If you want a better plan you will have to pay more. We will all benefit in the long run.|
[“King Kong size gate”] There was a key for the gate that the ape didn’t have; and the Empire State Building had windows he could use to climb up that the wall didn’t have.
|On the lighter side of politics. Three contractors are bidding to fix a broken fence at the White House. One is from Chicago, another is from Tennessee, and the third is from Minnesota. All three go with a White House official to examine the fence. The Minnesota contractor takes out a tape measure and does some measuring, then works some figures with a pencil. “Well,” he says, “I figure the job will run about $900. $400 for materials, $400 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” The Tennessee contractor also does some measuring and figuring, then says, “I can do this job for $700. $300 for materials, $300 for my crew, and $100 profit for me.” The Chicago contractor doesn’t measure or figure, but leans over to the White House official and whispers, “$2,700.” The official, incredulous, says, “You didn’t even measure like the other guys! How did you come up with such a high figure?” The Chicago contractor whispers back, “$1000 for me, $1000 for you, and we hire the guy from Tennessee to fix the fence.” “Done!” replies the government official. And that, my friends, is how the new stimulus plan will work. ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store|
Winn Dixie is getting a total makeover inside and out. They’re even building a liquor store next to RadioShack.
|A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again.|
|US 1 radio fixed their website so that when you want to submit an item, the photo attachment link works. Yahoo, that will increase listenership. Link|
|[Deport All Toddlers] Last year 44 Americans were shot by Muslim terrorist. By comparison, 52 Americans were shot by toddlers. Which raises the question: Why isn’t the government doing more to protect us from toddlers? They don’t share our values. They barely speak English. They steal our welfare. They have no marketable skills. They’re prone to angry outbursts. Worst of all, most of them aren’t even Christian. How long until we say enough is enough and deport these free-loading parasites once and for all.|
|About renting in the Keys. Link|
|[FTR] Last Friday a poster wrote that the threat of Zika is overstated. The poster told us that sexual transmission of the disease is more likely than by skeeter bites. He was making a flawed, but rational sounding argument up until the point that he suggested that it can’t be determined how a woman became infected because: “How do they know that a Zika case was transmitted by mosquito? They don’t. They ask the lying, cheating woman if she’s been screwing around and she admits nothing lest she be a single mother with a deformed baby if her old man even lets her live.”
Beyond being astonishingly misogynistic, the reasoning is terribly flawed. Even if a woman or a man has been infected by sexual contact, the index case–the beginning of the chain of cases had to have come from a mosquito bite.
The poster would have you believe that Zika poses no more of a threat than does the endemic Keys Disease–too much booze. First of all you and I make the choice to booze it up. Second, Zika does kill, it kills infants. It has killed adults. It may cause Gillian-Barre Syndrome. I had a friend whose life was in-alterably changed by that condition. His law practice cratered and he was required to surrender his pilot’s license because he could not pass the physical. He lost the ability to ride his Harley. His quality of life went into the tank.
Then the poster suggested that the genetic modification science was flawed because of the genetic material used was “exotic”. We have to believe that the poster simply is unaware that the use of “exotic” genetic material is a fundamental part of the development of nearly all vaccines, nearly all medicines, and even a huge segment of the food stuffs that we all consume each and every day. Your lives and mine are benefited each and every day by the fruits of genetic engineering. And as I think about it, even though the iguanas are a huge pain in the ass, I haven’t seen a single T Rex or Velociraptor roaming my ‘hood that was spawned by flaws in genetic engineering. Have you?
The use of GM in vector control is more efficient than spraying, more eco-friendly than spraying, more effective, and it’s cheaper. Best of all–it works! I just wish that the Skeeter Kops would get busy and use every single weapon that they have, especially the really big gun–GM.
After watching the diver on bigpinekey.com’s Contact Us page, I realized he should be going up like a rocket, unless he has a very heavy weight belt!
|I have been to Rio and never again. Why the athletes went there is beyond good judgment. The place stinks, and is very low rent!|
|I saw John Travolta’s latest movie. Criminal I think it was called, what a piece of crap|
I want to say that the buyer for both Bealls in Marathon and BPK choose the greatest things for our homes. Their selection is spot on considering that most of us have coastal/beachy decor. So often we see inappropriate things like show shovels or ice scrappers in Keys chain stores. Thank you, whoever you are.
|[No Name Key] After doing everything she could to stop the electricity to No Name Key (writing to the PCS, lobbying against it to the BOCC and Keys Energy, starting an online petition against it, using her car to block installation of the poles, harassing those who wanted it, telling new buyers they didn’t need it, etc., etc.) “Solar Anne” connected to the grid last week. Wow, what a hypocrite!|
|I am discovering that the Florida Keys Free Press is the best local newspaper in print. And it doesn’t cost you 50 cents or more for mostly advertising. I especially like their general interest articles, like educating readers on native vegetation or animals.
Compare the front page headlines of the latest editions of our two free papers. The News-Barometer headline says “Neugent cleared on four ethics charges” in big print, then says “May face fines as minor ones are upheld” Excuse me! “minor ones?” Not declaring a $6,000 under-the table-annual country club membership is minor? Maybe in Monroe County, huh? How long do most of his constituents have to work to make $500 a month in after-tax, after-expenses dollars? If someone deposited that in your account every month for years, or bought you that many drinks, do you suppose you would be influenced at all? (you would be “under the influence” alright) Check out who made that Marathon Country Club membership happen and Neugent’s votes or other string-pulling. That’s something the Ethics Commission neglected. They just looked at the voting that directly benefited the club.
Now compare The Free Press headline, “Ethics group: Neugent violated state statutes” That’s telling it like it is. In my opinion, the Free Press had much more accurate reporting and the Barometer just defended Neugent–again.
|I can’t believe how old people my age are.|
|Men’s Chubby Olympic synchronized swimming. Video|
|[Overpricing] I was in the Looe Key Tiki bar yesterday at 4:30 and there were only 15 people in the whole place. I think I know the reason. During happy hour they switch cups and sell beer in 14-ounce plastic cups (that’s with 2 ounces of head so you’re only getting 12 ounces of beer). They charge $2.25 for 12 ounces. I was sitting there wondering why I was paying so much to a view a chain link fence in front of me, a highway to the right, a shit plant behind me, and a shipping container to my left. For that money they should give you more beer. Happy hour isn’t so happy at this slowest time of the year.|
|[King Kong Whys and What-Fors] It was the movie’s writers who were rejected politicians back in 1932. Just like today, they have no idea of reality!|
[The Sign of a Good Doctor] Look for a new tambourine and fresh feathers!
|[Windows Live Mail] I set up WLM then deleted it and put Outlook 2013 & Office back in. After all the settings are done right, Outlook is hands down the best, but the setting up is an you know what! I stripped all the Ribbon Commands and started with Blank Ribbons to get what I WANT! It worked! Now to get rid of more useless parts! My Kingdom for good old Windows Mail. Link|
The maintenance diver could get the bends just cleaning that deep tank.
|Let’s look at the Olympic Games for what they are — a gigantic money making machine. Once upon a time the Olympics was about amateurs competing in the classic field events and they were interesting but boring, and boring means no money. So then a group of big money people got together and said, hay, if we get this un-boring we can make lots of money so let’s create new games that more people will spend lots of money supporting their game, and another big money guy said we can get businesses to pay to sponsor their business. And then another suggested government sponsored teams, and not finally, how about salting the games with professional ‘ringers’. How ridiculous can it get, when a major calamity arises as whether or not the contestants wear makeup. And the money keeps rolling in.|
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