2017 December

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

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

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[“VA Healthcare”] A poster on here tried to say that VA Healthcare was horrible. I’m speaking from experience and that simply is not true. After I left the service with a service related injury I was put into the VA healthcare system. I couldn’t be happier. The people at the VA are very professional and have always taken excellent care for, not only myself but, my WWll father-in-law. Most doctors working there are doctors at other local hospitals. The main advantage they have is instead of waiting for a healthcare provider to approve testing or treatment they just order the testing or treatment–no questions asked.

I’m sure there are incidences where care may have been less then stellar, but I’ve heard of regular hospitals cutting off the wrong foot or leaving instruments in people. To believe an entire country wide health system this large is horrible would be incorrect.

The poster said to be careful what you wish for. I never would have wished for my injury, but I am thankful for the VA’s care. Thank you VA for the great treatment.

[“Winn Dixie’s Kenny Lowe”] Great guy, nice guy, top of the line guy. I liked him the first time I met him in the store. Sure gonna miss him. I’ve fled the Keys and the folks that say my house is cleaned up and walk away from those who need help.
Thank God for those who continue to feed and help those in need.
[FTR on Vacation Rentals] My oh my oh my, it looks like a couple of readers have their shorts in a bunch at my suggestion to re write zoning ordinances.  They wail that it is a cry to advance socialism.  I suspect that the writers have simply forgotten that they live in a society that is governed by laws.  Laws are the product of man.  All laws are subject to change.  The laws we have today are substantially different from the laws we had in the past.  As time passes circumstances change, public attitudes change, and society itself changes.

Think for a moment about how many times the building code has changed concerning downstairs enclosures.  How many times building codes have changed concerning hurricane resistance. Think about prohibition, marijuana, seat belts, speed limits, density ordinances, and on and on and on.

There is a harsh reality.  That reality is that we are losing the ambiance that was the Keys.  The Keys have become little more than a cash dispensing machine that feeds the real estate interests and the hospitality industry.  The people who actually live, work, and vote here are the victims.  Vacation rentals are a blight on residential neighborhoods.  I have yet to have a conversation with a single Keys resident who lives in a residential neighborhood and who does not own vacation rental property, who welcomes vacation rentals.

Extending the minimal rental period to a minimum of 6 months in only the very limited area of District 2, will have the effect of making housing in our residential neighborhoods more affordable to the working people who are the backbone of this community.  District 2 is basically entirely residential



The story behind one of the most iconic photographs ever taken. Video

[Infrastructure Myth?] I’m thinking our infrastructure isn’t so bad, because neither Obama nor Trump has tried to do anything about it. You would think there would have been some bill or monies allotted to fix it if it was as bad as some say.
A Keys Night Before Christmas  ~By Marce Jo Stralko Toll

‘Twas the night before Christmas in the Florida Keys,
Nothing was stirring, but a balmy breeze.

Our swim suits hung between Palm trees to dry.
Key Limes were juiced to make traditional pie.

Spiny Lobster were chillin’ for the big feast Christmas Day.
My family slept soundly, tired from swimmin’ in the Bay.

Suddenly, I heard a loud splash coming from out on the ocean.
I raced to the porch deck seeking the cause of commotion.

My eyes couldn’t believe it as I looked down below,
Eight Dolphins were swimming with Santa Claus in tow!

He was at the helm of a Contender waving and grinning.
My heart beat quickly and my head was spinning.

He wore a mask, a snorkel, and black dive boots.
His chubby body was covered by a red wet suit.

Santa’s face was weathered from days spent in the sun.
To the center of his back, a bleached out pony tail hung.

He navigated up the canal and anchored at our dock.
When he swiftly jumped out, I watched in shock.

Then he climbed up the stairs in a leap and a bound,
Carrying his sack in hand without making a sound.

He whispered “Merry Christmas”, as he swiftly passed by me,
And he entered our stilt house headed for the decorated tree.

He pulled out fishing poles, crab nets, and spears,
Lobster traps, tackle boxes, and the newest SCUBA gear.

There were itsy bitsy bikinis and tropical swim trunks,
And coins from the Atocha that had been long ago sunk.

He laid out colorful beach towels next to Jimmy Buffet CD’s,
And Maui Jim sunglasses to reflect the sun off the sea.

There were all sizes of Sloppy Joe T-shirts and Captain Tony caps,
And vibrant Guy Harvey artwork with nautical charts and maps.

He tossed beach balls, paddle boards, shovels with pails,
And from a branch he hung keys to a sleek boat to sail.

I tried to say thank you, but couldn’t utter a word,
But it didn’t matter, my grateful heart was heard.

After he finished his task, he stood proudly with his hands on his hips.
Then looked up as if forgetting something, and placed a finger to his lips.

The old seaman’s eyes misted, as he walked towards the door.
And he paused and turned to give one special gift more.

He placed his hands on my shoulders and whispered once again,
“Peace, love, and happiness to all my Keys friends.”



Happy birthday to my Barberette who lives at Easy Does It Hair shop.

[Noseeums] With this wonderful weather lately we can turn off the a/c’s and open the windows, but the noseeums get in through the mesh. There used to be some insecticide you could apply to your screens with a paint roller that would stop the no-see-ums from coming through, but it was outlawed about twenty years ago. Anyone know where I can get some? Is there a black market for that stuff? The noseeums are unbearable.
[Noseeums] I think the noseeums are so bad because the ground hasn’t really dried up since September.
[Mosquitoes] When will the helicopters start spraying again?  Are they using hurricane debris as some sort of weak excuse not to spray?  How much more of this disaster are we supposed to endure?


[Naming the Pilot-fish] Rounding Cape Horn in 1811, the sky was generally overcast, and the weather raw and cold, with frequent showers of hail and snow, but we saw no ice. Here the snow birds and Cape pigeon frequently flew in great numbers about the ship. After doubling the Cape, a speckled red and whiteish, about the size of a salmon, was observed before the ship’s bow, as if leading the way. The sailors gave it the name of the pilot-fish.




A whole lot of birds were mixing and mingling the other day.

[Property Rights] “If you want to tell me what to do with my property then buy it and do what you want.” Well, if this is the case for everyone to follow your rules, then I want a guarantee my real estate values, my neighborhood, and my property will not be invaded by undesirables, racial drones, developers, wild dogs, pig farms, ISIS, or any other unwanted trash! Capisce?
[“Winn Dixie’s Kenny Lowe”] We won’t forget what he did after Irma. Opening the store almost by himself was a true act of going beyond the call of duty. I also notice that he’s the only Winn Dixie manager who ever advertised on the CT and gives a damn about his community and not just making money. Yeah Kenny!
Does the mosquito chopper kill noseeums too?
[“Cuban Mix which was a common household lunch for years”] It was not a common sandwich because housewives didn’t have a sandwich press that is the thing that makes this sandwich special.  Most likely they didn’t have the two kinds of meat and the other ingredients either. I like mine with extra pickles.



[“Strange things”] It appears the sign (“Mo Bat Polk”) was written on a collapsed chair, and was altered from “No Fat Folk, please”.

[Writer’s Group] Greetings, writers! Just a reminder that we will start the new year with meetings on January 3 and 17, 2018. 1-3 pm at the Big Pine Key Library. Call Joan Kilgen at 305-849-0294 with any questions. Happy Holidays!


[New Recipe] Sweet potato cheesecake. You can make it with canned pumpkin too. I like it better with the pumpkin. Recipes > Desserts > Sweet Potato Cheesecake

[Spanish Inquisition] In the year 1227 Ugolino Conti ascended the papal throne under the style of Gregory IX. It was this pontiff who, carrying forward the work that had been undertaken in that direction by Innocent III, gave the Inquisition a stable form. He placed the control of it in the hands of the Dominican friars.
[“Veterans Administration healthcare”] A poster thinks national healthcare would be bad because VA healthcare is bad. Not so. The veteran I am friends with raves about the care he gets. He frequently tells me about the nice things the staff in Miami VA do for him and the great care he gets and the free transportation he uses. He said the care used to be not so good, but he figures they fixed it. So I think you can use the VA as an example of what national healthcare would be like.
[How Lobster Went From Prison Trash Food To Delicacy] Consider this: the night before convicted murderer Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed by firing squad in Utah, he ordered his final meal. He wanted lobster tail, steak, apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Murderer Allen Lee Davis ordered a lobster tail, a half pound of deep fried shrimp, fried potatoes, fried clams, garlic bread and root beer.

Lobster, it turns out, is one of the most common last-meal requests among death row prisoners. Link

Pot Churches proliferate as states ease access to marijuana. Amen!  Happy Birthday Lord. Video
Superintendent Porter, You announced this morning to Ron Saunders and his radio audience on “Morning Magazine”, as you have previously, that an anonymous donor gave MCSD $250,000 to assist teachers and others with housing expenses from damage caused by Hurricane Irma.  You went on to say that some 200 staff members applied and 50 were awarded $5,000 each. Further, you stated that this generous, out of state donor has given another $250,000 to MCSD to provide housing assistance for staff in need.

Before the second round of awards are made, I think the public should be informed of the rules, regulations and procedures for making these $5,000 awards.  Once MCSD accepted the $250,000 donation that money became public funds.  Hence, I am making a Public Records Request for a copy of those rules, regulations and procedures that MCSD applied to determine those 50 who would receive the awards and those 150 who would not.  In that regard, I would like to obtain a copy of the application form used to apply for the award.

I would also like to obtain copies of any supporting paperwork such as how it was determined that the awards would be for $5,000 as opposed to any other sum, e.g. $1,250 to each of the applicants.  I would also like to obtain any paperwork should MCSD allow for new applications beyond the initial 200.

Superintendent Porter, I am a bit confused, however, as you thanked Ms. Theresa Axford, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, for her assistance.  Is Ms. Axford part of the MCEF?  Was Ms. Axford acting in her role as part of the MCSD administration or as part of the Foundation.

Will I be receiving a response to my question regarding the role that Theresa Axford played in determining the recipients of the MCEF $5,000 award?  MCEF has asserted that they are a private organization independent of the School District, a fact that you confirmed.

~Larry Murray, Fiscal Watchdog and Citizen Activist



Yet another way to spread Christmas cheer.

[Name That Car] I think a really good name for an electric car line would be the Prophecy.
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