2017 February

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsSince 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures

[“Height limits”] The latest sleight-of-hand going on in the County is the scam to add another story to all developments. The trigger phrases to get people to panic and fall for it this time are “insurance rates” and “rising sea level”.

Raising height limits and adding another story will impact the Keys forever. No matter what they tell you, they’re goal is to add another story to all new buildings. That will ruin our charming skyline and increase density and traffic and parking problems. If you think the Keys are crowded now, wait until they raise the height limit!

Crazy is a term of art; Insane is a term of law. Remember that, and you will save yourself a lot of trouble.  ~Hunter Thompson


[Fake Fish] This is an interesting article about a restaurant in California that was fined $30,000 for serving tilapia instead of what was ordered. If they fined restaurants for serving false fish down her there would only be a few left. There must be some hungry aggressive lawyers here that would take this on. Link

[“Someone doesn’t realize the attraction of the old bridge to tourists”] I think the poster was more concerned about where the money will be going on this project. I have seen many times where the politicians use all kinds of emotional triggers (“do it for the children”, “do it for the tourists”, “stop global warming”, etc.) to panic people into spending tax dollars for bogus causes. Many times, the politicians will siphon the money off to fund their pet projects like Rowells Marina and the Hickory House. Has anyone seen any work being done on the old bridge? All I see is equipment storage.
[Clarification please] Deer Ed, Your 2/17 issue featured an editorial from Coconuts Bar & Liquor. In effect, the editorial stated that a non-American has no rights to be in America. That is hugely wrong. Every human being within our boundary enjoys the rights and protections afforded by the first Ten Amendments to our Constitution. The Bill of Rights extends to every living, breathing human being here, regardless of their legal or social status.

That realization renders the rest of that editorial as utter hogwash. This truly pains me because whenever I’m in BPK, Coconuts is “my place”. I love it! But this is over the top and cries out for clarification

[Defending A Post] I think what was stated went like this “non-American has no rights” to be in America. That’s it, you just can’t be an American. You must first meet the criteria that I listed in my initial post. I don’t see the issue.

P.S. Sir, Coconuts is still your place whenever you’re on Big Pine Key. You are more than welcome.

Have a Blessed day. ~Joe Coconuts


New from IKEA

[“Why do so many Texas singers/songwriters use all three of their names”] Good question. And why do they all feel compelled to wear a big hat? To protect them when they ride the range?
Beware the deaf painter. He’s no van Gogh


[Reparation For Slavery] The student government at the University of Wisconsin at Madison demanded that Black students be given free tuition for being slaves. They failed to mention that way back Blacks sold other Blacks to Europeans as slaves. Why are these Blacks discriminating against Hispanics, Orientals, and Semites? Aren’t Blacks being racists themselves? Link

[Zika] I have not heard FTR freaking out about Zika lately. It couldn’t be that he overreacted? What is the next thing that is going to kill us all?
[Sewer Frustration] It has now been over two weeks to get a simple sewer connection permit, including a round trip to Stock Island for the DOH permit and a round trip to Marathon to make application with the county. That’s 100 miles traveled just to make application, and another 40 miles of travel when it is finally approved just to wait in line to pick it up.
Fortunately, the county biologist did not find any rice rat droppings on the pea rock driveway during the biological species evaluation. What would happen if there was something between the house and the FKAA connection point? Are you then not allowed to make the required connection and your house gets condemned? Was there a biological species evaluation for the grinder pump station installations? No, because the DEP issued a “Florida Finding of No Significant Impact” for the entire CRWS, based on a forged Army Corps draft Evaluation. That FFONSI should also cover all the sewer connections. These sewer connection permits would be a walk-through permit in any other county.
How tough would it be to set up a drop-off/pick-up office somewhere in the Cudjoe Regional to save folks from the excessive travel at least? Make it one office for both DOH and MC permit applications. Of the $95 for the DOH septic abandonment permit, $45 goes to “County Fee”. For what?
[“Save the bridges”] Well, that is a fine idea. So with that in mind, get out your check book and pay for it, but don’t take my freaking money that I cannot afford to squander on your pet projects.
[Gun Nuts] Congress certainly did not block a rule that would allow insane people from owning guns.  People that have been found in a court of law as insane or mentally incompetent have been bared from purchasing guns for decades.  The congress blocked a rule that stated that if a person was receiving assistance in handling their financial VA affairs that they would be barred with no recourse.
[Big Pine Habitat ReStore Closing] We will suspend operations as of February 28. Due to safety concerns pertaining to the building, the ReStore closed in mid-January. The ReStore staff continued operating on a reduced scale while the staff and Board of Directors continued to closely evaluate all relocation options. The search included buying, renting or building a retail space from Marathon to Key West.  Habitat was unable to locate an alternative space that could operate profitably. “We are sad and frustrated that we have been unable to locate a space that works for the community as well as for the organization,” stated Habitat’s Executive Director, Mark Moss.
[Public Records Request] Mr. Abrams: When you became involved a week ago in the resolution of my Public Records Request, I was very optimistic that the PRR would be answered rather quickly.  That optimism has diminished as a week has passed and there has been no more progress on my document request.  Phrased differently, two weeks have passed and the District sits on my PRR.

I thought that my request was a very simple one in that I fundamentally asked for only one document, a copy of a text message that the superintendent sent to Board members regarding an issue at HOB School.  I also asked for copies of responses, if any, that the Board members may have sent the superintendent and any text messaging that any Board member may have sent another.  There may well be no text messages in this latter grouping.

I do not understand why it is so time-consuming to send me a copy of a simple text message that, at most, is a few paragraphs.  I make my Public Records Requests via email to facilitate ease of your response.  That does not seem to be working.  Would it be better if I came to the Henriquez Building next Tuesday and demanded immediate presentation of the document(s) in question?

Your cooperation in this matter will be most appreciated.  As an attorney, I am sure that you are well versed in Florida public records law.   ~Larry Murray

Deer Ed, please read all my post in a sarcastic tone. You know… for full effect!
[Terry Cassidy Island Grass Music Fest to benefit Habitat for Humanity] Join Habitat for Humanity of Key West and the Lower Florida Keys on Sunday, February 26th at Boondock’s for the 18th Annual Terry Cassidy Island Grass Music Fest. This annual free event is held in support of Habitat for Humanity’s mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. The music is non-stop on 2 stages with a roster featuring musicians and bands that play a leading role in the Keys’ live music scene. This year’s line-up includes Howard Livingston, Gary, Terry, & Ron, The Doerfel Family, Pat McCune, Gina DeSimone, and the Piper Road Spring Band.  In addition to all the live music there will be vendor booths, raffles, and a huge silent auction with over 100 items for bid. Each artist is donating their time and talent to benefit a great cause. Come show your support! For more information, contact Susan Kent at 305-294-9006.
[Serial Killers] “Why do so many Texas singers use all three of their names” And serial killers too!
[ICE] If you would like to report illegal aliens, please call Immigration and Customs Enforcement at 866-347-2423. They will need to know names, locations (either workplace or residence) and any other specific information you can provide.
Foreigner – Cold As Ice

[KW Orchid Society Fair] Orchid vendors, supplies, raffle items, art, displays, food and more are offered along with KWOS member plant sales. Free admission and parking. All are welcome to submit their blooming orchids for display, the day before, on Friday, March 3. The Fair is March 4 & 5, from 10 am – 4 pm at West Martello Gardens at Higgs Beach in KW. For more information call Marie at 305-509-7744. Link

[Never Happy] To the person who does not feel Big Pine Key is Miamifided enough, if you just go north on US1 all your problems will go away. Well, at least till you get somewhere else.
Under federal law, any non-U.S. citizen is an alien. Aliens who have entered the United States without permission, or who have violated the terms of their admission, are identified under the law as illegal aliens. That is a fact, not an issue for debate.  Use this link to send an anonymous tip. Link
[Engrish] A non-American, to be a citizen must, read, write and speak English. I think you edited out the whole point. We give drivers test, as of October 4, 2007, in 12 languages. Why? In America, we should give the test in English only! Can I take a New York state driving permit test in Korean? This chart shows which DMV offers permit test in different languages. Link
[“Contains High Fructose Corn Syrup”] I read that 20% of US kids now have Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and way too many of them are developing NASH (nonalcoholic steatohepatitis)- some as young as 6! Next stop: cirrhosis and a liver transplant waiting list. The culprit? Fructose, as in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). It’s in damn near everything, and the very powerful corn refiners lobby wants to keep it that way. It may be especially important for us older kids that can and do buy liquor, to read the ingredients label and put the stuff with HFCS or “fruit sugar” back on the shelf.
[Blonde Scammed] A Marathon woman said the IRS phoned her and told her to purchase a large number of iTunes gift cards and call in the card numbers to the scammer so he could rip her off. She complied and got ripped-off. Just the fact that the “IRS” wanted her to pay with an iTune gift card (ha, ha) should have awoken her!
[Abortion] Interesting facts about the women responsible for Roe vs Wade. Norma McCorvey; in Roe v. Wade, is dead at 69. Sher never did have the abortion, she gave the baby away. Later in her life McCorvey became an anti-abortion activist. Link
[“Crappy Big Pine Key”] Every once in a while an out-of-towner complains about BPK being dirty or ugly or some such criticism, but they never tell us the particular eyesore they’re talking about so we can fix it. I suspect the complainers are referring to the boat repair place next to the storage yard across from Tom Thumb? Maybe it’s the tree-lined highway and side roads that offend? Who knows what excuses people who have flunked ‘Keys living’ will use to justify their loss.
Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot Episode 1 of 5. The rise of robotics in the 21st century, told through the poignant and mysterious story of enigmatic lawyer, Stevie Byerley. Audio
[No Blue Crabs] CudjoeFail has received a report that the blue crab fishermen along Blimp Road on Cudjoe have caught no crabs for the last three months! Fisherman are blaming the wastewater plant effluent going down shallow wells. They may well be correct. During well testing by the FIU team, the salinity at a lagoon road culvert was tested regularly and the salinity dropped dramatically. Blue crabs can handle salinity variations, but the salinity drop was probably due to rising effluent from the shallow wells. And chemicals come with that. The chlorine residual after disinfecting the effluent has been out of control from the beginning and continuing, probably due to the poor design of the chlorine feed and sampling systems. Quantity of effluent has steadily increased over the last year. At times, the chlorine strength is about 20 times what is required! Chlorine is highly toxic to marine organisms. There is also evidence that the dump is being flushed due to a combination of factors exacerbated by the shallow well effluent. Because the crabs were fished for many years there is a history, and a dramatic change noticed. What else has died that was not so monitored?
[Old Seven Mile Bridge] The financial pay back on 77 million for the restoration of the Marathon end of the Old Seven Mile Bridge is lunacy!  We will never recoup that money from tourism and it is another lesson in incompetence and graft. It is our money and it should be used wisely or better yet left in our pockets.
[Crooks Threatened] To you thief’s who have stolen 3 of my recreational crab pots on the Gulf side of Marathon by Blackfin Resort, I’m watching you now with a zoom camera. It will be a very bad day for you and you won’t know who got you.



Prehistoric Google.

[Developers] The proposed resort development at Dolphin Marina on Little Torch Key proposes a 265 seat restaurant. Florida Administrative code 64E-6.008 assigns an expected wastewater effluent of 60 gallons per day per restaurant seat. That is about 16,000 gals per day of wastewater just from the restaurant. The Cudjoe wastewater collection system is already permitted to collect 1,328,315 gallons per annual average day. The plant is designed to treat 940,000 gallons per annual average day. So DEP has already permitted collection systems exceeding the plant’s capacity by 41%! Yet, an FKAA executive signed each permit application attesting to adequate reserve capacity at the plant. I call that knowing and willful falsification of several DEP applications. Besides the money, the other big motivation for central sewers is to facilitate development. FKAA sure fracked that up. There is no treatment capacity remaining at the Cudjoe plant, so Dolphin Marina (and every other development) can forget about developing a resort unless they can pay off DEP to ignore the facts. The developer, Noble House, is currently operating a non-compliant wastewater treatment plant with no operating permit on Little Palm Island. So far, DEP has allowed this to continue. Noble House intended to convert an unapproved water service into a forcemain to pump their raw sewage from Little Palm to Long Beach Road, but that scheme is not in compliance with DEP or federal laws and would virtually guarantee a raw sewage spill into the Coupon Bight Aquatic Preserve not far from Bahia Honda Beach. How loud will their money talk? Numerous people are watching.
New website for Key West spear fishing and diving trips. Link
[Short Story Contest ] The Tennessee Williams Exhibit announces a short story writing contest as part of the 106th birthday celebration of the great American 20th century playwright and Key West resident.

Writers are asked to submit a fictional short story of between 1400 and 4000 words along with a registration form before the March 8, 2017 deadline. Registration fees are $20 for adults and $10 for students. Publication in an on-line journal is possible.

A three-panel group of judges will review the submissions with names removed. The winner will be awarded $200 and the second place winner $100.  The winners will be honored and asked to read short passages from their stories at the March 26, 2017 Birthday Reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Tennessee Williams Exhibit, 513 Truman Avenue. Additional information and registration forms are available at the website. Link

Philippine Ex-cop says President Duterte paid him and others to kill crime suspects in his war on drugs. Duterte, himself has admitted that he takes painkillers daily, but is not an addict because his doctor prescribed them. Since July 1, about 5,000 people have died in Duterte’s war on drugs. He is exempt because he bought them legally. Duterte also admits personally murdering drug dealers when he was Mayor of Davao City. Link
Certain house plants can remove harmful VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from your home’s air, making it much healthier to breathe. There’s a good article here: Link


[The Movies] When I see in the opening credits, “And Introducing, Sally Starlet”, I think she’s probably a mob guy’s girlfriend or a producer’s mistress. No matter how many times I’ve seen that “introducing starlet” thing, I’ve never seen that starlet again.

[Crooks] British football team Sutton’s reserve goalkeeper, Wayne Shaw, is under investigation by the Football Association for potentially breaching betting rules during Monday’s FA Cup loss to Arsenal. The Gambling Commission is also investigating if there was a breach of betting regulations after Shaw ate a pie in the 83rd minute of the game. Before Monday’s game, a bookmaker offered odds of 8-1 that Shaw would eat a pie on camera during the match. He did. Video
[“We’re new here and are having a rat problem”] Yeah, they move in during the winters here and leave when the snowbirds do. Did your realtor tell you about the protected Silver Palm Rat when you bought here? We got rats, snails, snakes, poison plants, and deer that are all protected. Sadly, our way of life, the Florida native way of life, was not.

Don’t kill anything that was here before you. If it’s not your cup of tea, find a cleaner place that meets your lifestyle. It isn’t all palm trees and sunshine down here. The mainland is full of planned urban development with no vermin or their predators left — but they got Publix, shopping centers, public pools, amphitheaters, affordable housing, health care, yada, yada, yada. We don’t want the Keys to be the mainland.

When Americans vote they often vote for some political philosophy regardless of its feasibility or sustainability.

This is because, generally, they have food on the table, clothes on their backs, a house with a picket fence, a decent car and 2.2 kids. Basically, they are generally content with their version of the American dream so they vote for guns, religion, discrimination, or against whichever villain their favorite news channel is denouncing.

As Americans start realizing their Social Security checks are dwindling, their monthly Medicare contributions are escalating toward private insurance levels, and legislators are refusing to raise the minimum wage, I believe it will finally hit home they will start voting with their pocketbook — if it is not too late. Gerrymandering has consumed what we had left of democracy.

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