2017 December

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsPublished Tuesdays and Fridays. Letters to the editor with pictures.​ Since 0202.​

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[Free Money] Fellow Keys residents:  Have you had losses from Hurricane Irma that were not covered by insurance, (i.e, downstairs flooding, furniture, appliances, tools, whatever), or no insurance, or FEMA check, need to buy an RV to live in while you make repairs to your house, and FEMA won’t bring you one because you live in a flood zone.  Do you work and live in the Keys year round?  There is a local hurricane relief 5013c organized to help you, the people and lifeblood of the Keys, to recover.  The funds come from a large community in the Keys that wanted to help the people of the Keys.  This is people like you and me. The name is, and that is the web address as well.

Go to their website at and download their simple, easy application form.  The cover on the application gives you an email address you can scan and email your form back to them or just drop it off in person at any Coldwell Banker Schmitt Realty office in the Keys, addresses are provided.  You can also pick up an application at their offices if you don’t have a working computer.  You don’t need receipts, or documentation.  Just basic information and a written paragraph describing what your losses were and how much money would help sustain you and get you back on your feet. It’s that easy.

Weekly review meetings to go over applications and make awards make it a speedy process.  Apply today!  They are waiting for your application. Keys people helping Keys people. Link

[Housing] Affordable housing in the Keys? Give me a break. That is like saying affordable housing in Beverly Hills. The cost to develop and build housing in the Keys is too great to have affordable housing. If you can’t afford the going rate you need to move to a place where you can afford to live. “Why don’t I live in The Keys? Because I can’t afford too!”

The government is not the answer. The rest of the tax payers don’t need to pay to provide those who cannot afford it a place to live in the Keys. Let the free market work. If employers want workers, they will need to pay those workers enough to live here. Everyone will have to pay more for goods and services, so the business owners can pay a living wage. Supply and demand will eventually find a balance point. Demand may drop (too expensive for tourists) and then there will be plenty of affordable housing. There just won’t be any jobs.

The bottom line is that it is not cheap to live in paradise. Move to Palatka if you want to live cheap.


[“Pickleball Players”] You’ve got to be kidding me! With all that we here on Big Pine have to deal with after Irma, the poster who complained about pickleball players using Heron Park needs to get a life

[“Pickleball”] Regarding the post “obey signs”, Blue Heron Park on Lytons Way is open for pickle ball players. If the writer took the time to ask the players regarding the use of the park rather than assuming that out of state plates validated their erroneous assumptions, we wouldn’t have such misinformation distributed on the CT.
For the record, pickle ball players were given permission to use the courts, but the park is not safe for other activities. I will also point out that several pickle ball players lost their homes to Irma and it is blessing that they can relieve some stress by playing a couple of times a week. Next time stop and ask rather than going off on the misuse of email and be a little bit more neighborly to players, many of which live here year round and have experienced significant losses.
[Selling Heaven] Pope John, therefore, resolved to go to war with the King of Naples, and—a proceeding which it must be added was not exceptional in those days—to obtain the necessary funds by the granting of indulgences. It was declared that all those who either took part in the campaign against Naples, by grants of money, should receive the same remission of sins and entry into Heaven which had formerly been promised to the Crusaders who had liberated the sepulcher of Christ.
Short-term vacation rentals are contributing to a housing shortage that was making housing unaffordable in the Middle Keys. Residents are entitled to think a change in their neighborhood has hurt their quality of life, and hope the city passes regulations to make it better. It’s a point in a debate about property rights and the role of government in the city.

Soon there will be no housekeeping staff to clean the vacation rentals and no dishwashers to sanitize the restaurants’ dishes.  That’ll change nothing because the realtors who book the houses aren’t going to pick up a mop or a dishrag.

Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club Christmas Show on the Key West Harbour Sunday, December 17th, 11am till 3pm.

Custom cars, Antiques, Classics, Sports Cars, Street rods and Pickup Trucks will fill the parking lot at The Conch Republic Seafood Company, Green & Elizabeth St’s. for our annual Christmas Show & Shine. The  event will be the eighth year collecting unwrapped toys for the children at the Monroe County Domestic Abuse Shelter. Seven trophies will be presented for Best Paint, Engine, Interior, Original, Custom and Best in Show. Bring a gift to vote for the ” Peoples Choice”. We will FILL a pickup full of gifts this year.

50’s music, 50/50. food and beverages are available from the merchants and sponsors. Judges this year will be Mayor Craig Cates and Bill Murray.

This is our eighth year for a free, fun event for the whole family. Be there or be square! Thank you, Dick Moody, 942-1758 and from all of the Club members, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




Gentlemen, this is good advice, no matter what your age is.

My ass froze on Sunday.  I just put a chain on it and hauled it to the nearest trash pile.  I hope it gets picked up before it thaws out.
[Housing] Not enough local housing:  In order to preserve housing stock for housing use, strict limitations should be placed on allowing the conversion of additional residential housing to visitor-serving use. The most efficient policy option identified is to prohibit further whole-house vacation rentals in certain residential zones. In real rural areas, conversion of residential housing could be limited through requiring a discretionary use permit process. This approach would involve the least need for ongoing analytical or enforcement efforts, and may continue to allow whole-house vacation rentals in nonresidential areas where loss of residential housing supply is not expected to be a problem



To avoid controversy this holiday, Starbucks is putting biblical quotes on their coffee cups.

[FEMA Housing] If you are a Hurricane Irma survivor who has been placed in a FEMA-provided housing unit, you will need to show progress toward your long-term housing plan in order to maintain eligibility.

To continue receiving assistance, you are required to search for long-term housing options. You can show long-term housing plan progress if you: Decide whether to repair or rebuild your pre-disaster home, find and purchase a new residence, or find and lease an available rental unit;

Provide evidence of progress—such as invoices for repairs, contract for rebuild or a lease for a new home—or cause for delays outside your control;  Achieve long-term housing plan goals in a reasonable time frame; Fulfill requests to communicate and meet with FEMA case workers.

[Study links vacation rentals to housing crisis] Yeah, some of us make coin off the tourists but we are losing housing for ourselves. Here’s an article that shows we are not alone in the sewer of discontent. Link



And you think you are having a bad day.

[If FEMA Refuses You] If you registered with FEMA following Hurricane Irma and received a determination letter regarding your eligibility for assistance, read the letter carefully. It might not be the final answer. You may just need to submit extra documents for FEMA to process your application. Examples of missing documentation may include an insurance settlement letter, proof of residence, proof of ownership of the damaged property, and proof that the damaged property was your primary residence at the time of the disaster.

Every survivor has the right to appeal. By appealing, you are asking FEMA to review your case. If you have any questions call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 for voice, 711 and Video Relay Service (VRS). If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability and use a TTY, call 800-4627585. Lines are open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET, seven days a week, until further notice

[Local Butterfly Update] Keys strong! Even the smallest creatures. It took two weeks after hurricane Irma to see one Duskywing but every day I see more species returning. Today It is almost three months since hurricane Irma, I did a count today and this is what I had between 10:55-11:25 am.
1 Cassius, the first since Irma
15 Fl. Duskywing
6 Monarch
11 Firey Skipper
2 Queen
2 Mangrove buckeye
2 Large orange
4 Gulf
1 Broken dash
2 Obscure
2 Cloudless
3 Spotted skipper, the first since Irma
1 Monk skipper, the first since Irma
1 Hummingbird moth, the first since Irma

Pretty good for just three months after a cat 5 hurricane at ground zero

[Art] Mist-filled blossoms you can touch. Guests wander through a bubble tree. Video
Dreams don’t work unless you do. (so true)   ~Inventor Edwin Land


Joy multiplies when it is shared among friends, but grief diminishes with every division. That is life. Keep your Joy & have a very Merry Christmas from Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, down town Big Pine Key

Coconuts has supported the M.A.R.C. house for a very long time, it’s a great cause. We buy our Christmas trees from the M.A.R.C. & if you can, you should too.

Our mission is to provide our clients with dignified, compassionate, professional care in a family environment for the duration of their needs.

We serve the Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens is a non-profit agency that serves adult clients within Monroe County who have developmental disabilities that include mental retardation (I.Q. 69 or below), cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Prader-Willi Syndrome, and traumatic brain injury sustained prior to age 18.

MARC provides numerous services for our clients. These services are designed to insure that each client receives training and support that enhances his or her individual abilities to understand daily community routines and learn social, self-care, vocational skills. Other services provide medical and therapeutic supervision and help to increase a client’s ability to develop friendships with non-disabled persons.

Contact us by telephone in Key West at 305-294-9526. MARC Plant Store 305-296-9556
Upper Keys Program, Tavernier, 305-852-3282.

After we get the tree up & dressed in it’s Christmas best, our customers pin money on the tree. We collect it every-night over the Christmas season. After New Years we count it up & Coconuts matches it. Coconuts them gives the funds to our local food bank. The “NUT” along with it’s customers have raised many, many thousands of dollars over the many years we have been doing this. It’s a win/win. The M.A.R.C. makes a few bucks off the tree The customers & the “NUT” get to be part of Christmas, the giving part. The very best part. Out local food bank gets a real nice check.

One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone

Christmas teaches us to be loving, kind, giving, forgiving, and appreciating. Most especially, during Christmas, open your heart with love to appreciate the beauty of life and all the presents that you have received from the earth. You, your family & friends have a very merry & blessed Christmas. Enjoy your beautiful Islands, there is no place like it in the world.  ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor, down town Big Pine Key.

[Disasters] Despite how sad we are for ourselves because of Hurricane Irma, we are also sad for So California with their wildfires.  Here are some disaster similarities. Link


[Anger Release] My therapist told me that a great way to let go of your anger is to write letters to people you hate and then burn them. I did that and I feel much better but I am wondering do I keep the letters?

[Evil Governments] All thru history example after example has shown how evil governments have been treating their subjects. The crusades, Mohamed’s start of war on infidels, European conquest of the new world, wars, pogroms,  how the invaders treated the indigenous people, persecution of people that are different. It usually starts with small defenseless people and then moves to larger groups and then finally everyone who doesn’t agree with them. The classic examples are Germany and Russia in WW11.

It’s happening right here in Monroe County. The county has selected a small group of taxpayers in the lower Keys attempting to steal private property and force substantially more money from them.[?] It appears that the rest of the county doesn’t seem to care what happens to someone else. Well taxpayers, don’t hold your breath as the title suggests, it’s only a matter of time before our elected leaders put another defenseless group of taxpayers in their sights. Will it be you? You think you’re immune to their treachery? Guess again.

[Walmart] Judge orders emergency halt to clearing of rare Miami forest targeted for Walmart. Link
[Suni or Shia] Imam Ali was killed in 661. While was saying the dawn prayer an assassin cleaved his skull with a poisoned sword. A new caliph claimed power in Damascus, but Iman Ali’s son insisted that the right to lead the caliphate belonged to the descendants of the prophet. Imam Ali’s adherents are the Shias. Those loyal to the caliph in Damascus are the Sunnis. Both have been at odds ever since, a conflict that continues to divide Iraq, and much of the Middle East, to this day.
It is so sad when the Superintendent of Schools ignores the Board Chairman’s request for information regarding publicity associated with meetings of the Sugarloaf Housing Task Force.  It is even sadder when the Board Chairman does not object to being ignored.

Porter suggested that meetings of the Sugarloaf Housing Task Force were routinely posted on the District’s website.  That simply is not true.  The first posting of a meeting came earlier this week after Chris Weber of the SAO contacted Dirk Smits of the District legal department.  The ink was barely dry, so to speak, on that posting when the meeting was cancelled out of fear of a violation of the Sunshine Laws.  That cancellation was not directly communicated to the press thus causing some embarrassment and possible inconvenience.

According to Porter this morning, the State Auditors have also questioned the failure of the District to properly notice other meetings. I have not yet seen the Auditors’ report, but will when it is made available.

In life, I have found that we can do things the easy way or the hard way.  Superintendent Porter appears to have a disposition toward doing things the hard way and then lashing out when he is “caught”.  The District has a $62,000/year + 35% benefits PIO and you would think the District could do better keeping the public informed.  Of course, that presumes that the District is interested in a well-informed public, something of which I am not entirely convinced.

There appears, according to comments in the Citizen’s Voice, to be a budding scandal in the District’s payroll operations as it clumsily changes over to a new system.  These things always get out, but the District rarely, if ever, tries to get ahead of a problem.  The preference seems to be for damage control, much as is the case with publicizing meetings of District committees.  The Superintendent can “spin” all he wants, but that does not change reality.  ~Dr. Larry Murray, Fiscal Watchdog and Citizen Activist

Ain’t nuthin’ finer than a Big Pine whiner. Quit crying and get off your ass and clean stuff up. Your crap trailer isn’t going to fix itself.
[Boating Skills and Seamanship Course] The US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 13-03, Big Pine Key, is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship course January 9, 2018 thru January 25, 2018.  It is a three week program, Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7:00 to 9:30 P.M. It will be held at the Big Pine Key United Methodist Church (Fellowship Hall), 280 Key Deer Blvd, Big Pine Key.

The cost of the program is $55 per person (materials included) or $80 for two people with shared materials. Topics include: Which Boat is for You, Required Boat Equipment, Operator Responsibilities, Rules of the Road, Handling Your Boat, Highway Signs, Orientation to Nautical Charts, Weather, A Look at the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Navigational Tools & Techniques, Navigation Exercise, Trailering, Boating Safety, Your Boat’s Radio, Florida Law, Hands on Knot Tying, and a guest speaker from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

For more information, visit Our Web Site (Link) and select “Boating Safety Classes”

[Debris] The dumping continues on Key Deer Blvd.  Two new piles have appeared in the last three days.  The huge pile of cut trees and vegetation on the north west corner of Key Deer and Watson obscures on-coming traffic from the view of people wanting to turn right from Watson.  Debris remove is going at a snails pace.  The trash on Watson between Key Deer and Fern is outrageous with some of the crap spilling into the roadway.  And now, after Saturday’s rain, the skeeters and no-see-ums will be worse than ever.
Ha, ha, love Sal, he is spot on. The got-miners are the hardest hit areas. Fitting karma for a bunch of snobs. Sucks for the 3 or 4 decent people up there though. Interestingly enough, I heard Sloan too is running for Mayor of Key West again. Uh ha, sorry Sloan you have written you molested your sister and now actively chasing a vulnerable alcoholic homeless woman. Afraid that hypocrisy will not be allowed to go unchallenged. If you run it will be brought up at every public forum. You made it fair game when you blogged it.
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