2017 January

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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

[Monroe County Revokes Building Rights of 215 Property Owners] Fewer than a dozen of the 215 know about it.  Worse, two Monroe County Planning Commissioners, who voted to pass the ordinance that stripped these building rights, admitted in an appeal hearing that they did not understand the consequences of their votes.   Isn’t it the Commissioners’ fiduciary responsibility to Monroe County residents to know what they are voting for and how their vote affects the residents who elected them?

On April 2, 2015, the Monroe County Planning Commission enacted ordinance #003-2015 regarding setbacks.  The stated purpose of this ordinance was to establish, modify and clarify setbacks for various types of property.  However, tucked into page 4 of the 10-page ordinance was a single line that stripped the building rights from 215 unsuspecting property owners and affected the value of roughly a thousand existing homes.  It reads: A lot means a duly recorded lot as shown on a plat approved by the County.

Prior to this ordinance, a buildable lot was defined as: a parcel for individual use…

With the enactment of this ordinance, deeded parcels became useless, worthless, unbuildable land.  Mayte Santamaria, Senior Planning Director for Monroe County, estimates that approximately 215 vacant properties are affected.  None were notified.  Only about a dozen of the affected owners, some of whom were recently denied building permits, are aware that their building rights were revoked and their property is now worthless.

Although a precise list of the estimated 215 properties affected is still unavailable from the Planning Department, Ms. Santamaria did provide an unofficial partial list that includes 34 parcels in Key Largo (the western portion of Twin Lakes), 44 in Tavernier (15 canal and oceanfront properties in Sunrise Point and 29 in Tavernier Beach), 76 in Big Pine Key, 9 in Big Coppitt and all properties in Cutthroat Lake Estates on Cudjoe Key.

Determining whether a property is a deeded parcel or a platted lot isn’t straight-forward.  It can only be confirmed by consulting the property’s survey or deed.  Ironically, the Monroe County Property Appraiser’s website and Property Tax bills refer to deeded parcels and platted lots as “lots” and both parcels and lots are assigned a “lot number.”  Property owners could easily assume that since they have a lot number they are unaffected.

Also, if property is within a developed neighborhood surrounded by homes, it would be easy to assume the property is unaffected.  However, many of the affected parcels are in neighborhoods that are more than 70% developed in designated (IS) Improved Subdivisions, Tier III locations, with the highest number of ROGO points and even paid assessments for sewers!  Now, these properties are worthless as they cannot even be sold for ROGO points.

[FTR Robbed] Mrs. FTR suffers from rheumatoid arthritis. She is in near constant pain, ranging from level 5-10. She relies on hydrocodone for pain relief. It does’t kill the pain, but it moderates it. Her Doc is at Cleveland Clinic in Ft. Lauderdale, 31/2 hours away. We must drive there once a month in order for her to receive her prescription. She must be there in person and show a picture ID in order to receive the prescription. Why? Because druggies abusing the system. Her last prescription was filled on 1/6 and she had about a hundred pills on hand.

We have employed a local middle aged couple for an extended period of time to help her with housework and for handyman tasks. The woman purported to be a non-practicing nurse. He a mechanic. They struck us as being fine people and we trusted them explicitly. We liked them, we trusted them. They had full access to our home, they knew when we were away.

Recently they were engaged in painting our deck. On Thursday, he was at our home finishing up the job. We had business in Key West that took us away for the day. We left the house completely unlocked. We returned late in the afternoon, and paid them for the work.

Then latter that evening my wife noted that there were only 8 pills remaining in her bottle! Approximately 80 pills were missing. I called the couple and spoke with the woman and heard her speak with the man. I asked if anyone had visited our house while we were away? I heard him say that no one came to our home while we are away. The woman did not express surprise or any emotion that the pills were missing. She neither admitted nor denied the theft. I fired them at that juncture.

I called the Monroe Sheriff’s Office to make a police report. The Deputy made contact with the couple.  They claimed that they knew nothing about the missing narcotics.

Because of them we are now forced to drive 31/2 hours to Ft. Lauderdale, wait for a conference with her doctor (if he agrees to see her) in an attempt to convince the doctor to issue another prescription so that my wife might have pain relief for the next 3 weeks. Then we must drive 3 1/2 hours back to Big Pine Key.

I have now installed monitored in-home security. On Wednesday I will go to Key West to the State Attorney’s Office to discuss filing criminal charges. I share responsibility for the theft. Even given my law enforcement career history, I failed to do a background check. Had I done so, the theft could not have occurred.


Truck driver wanted. Portable toilet route. No CDL needed. Local with clean driving record. Contact John: 305-872-2287.

[“Jimmy Buffet not much of a pilot”] I think anyone who can fly a twin engine seaplane has got to be a good pilot. Are you jealous of Buffett’s many successes? How do your successes compare?



How many describe you. I’m not saying it’s a competition, but it kind of is. I got nine of these, I guess I’m still an amateur. Couldn’t help notice they left out “Judging Others.”

[“Road prison closing”] I think that the up side to the prisoners being relocated and they not doing the landscaping on the road, is that perhaps a local contractor will have the ability to bid that job and get the work.
“Bucktooth this, Bucktooth that,” the Rooster has taken over the CT. It is a good thing that BP has a good, new restaurant and I plan to visit it soon. I can surmise from reading the CT that the owner and employees donate regularly to the wounded warriors, go to church on Sunday, have “clean” driving records and voted for Trump. I hope their food and service is as good as their marketing strategy.


[Aspiring Writers] Keys Writers Group will meet tomorrow at the Library’s back room. Full Menu > Ongoing Events

[“Road Prison closing because it needs some repairs”] Why close the prison? Just teach the prisoners a trade and let them build a new prison. Or better yet, let them bring the present prison up to new standards. There are tradesmen who could teach them, not necessarily those with a teaching degree, but many experienced tradesman who could pass on their trade. Or does this just make too much sense?
[Rumor] I heard the Bagel Shop on Big Pine sold and the owner got a no-pressure cushy job on Little Palm Island.
Monday was Martin Luther King Jr Day. I think he is well deserved to have his own holiday, except it is not well received by everyone. I think in order to make it more special we should eat a traditional soul food meal on his day. Christmas, Thanksgiving, Passover, July 4th all have a special celebratory meal on their day, why not soul food for MLK Day? I love soul food. Ribs, cornbread, collard greens, fried chicken, sweet potato pie and watermelon for dessert — yum!
[Two Editors?] Deer Editor; while I recognize third party submissions might be considered political in nature and both of you editors have rules, procedures, personal attitudes for this type of submission, However, I have never heard or read a description evaluating the importance of commentary and actions of entertainers, actors, musicians, sports figures, or whatever distracts us peons. If either, or both of you choose to print this, I imagine much of your readership would find it entertaining. (Ed: I don’t quite understand your post except for the part that says there are two editors. Two editors? The rumor mill is amazing on such a small island as this. Oh, yeah, right, it’s called the coconut telegraph!)
[Three Rules About Women]
Rule 1. All women are crazy.
Rule 2. Nothing can be done about Rule 1.
Rule 3. Never forget Rules 1 and 2.
I imagine many women feel the same about men, and I can’t say I blame them. However, a long time ago, I got tired of women talking about male chauvinist pigs, which led me to develop my own rule: For every male chauvinistic pig there is a female chauvinistic pig.
[Job Offer Big Pine Road Prison Closing] Cudjoe Key Blimp site has four full time guard positions open. You must be drug free, physically fit and pass a security clearance back ground investigation. We are filling two day shifts and two night shift positions. The shifts are three and a half days on and three and a half days off each week consisting of three 12 hour shifts and one 6 hour shift. The positions comes with full medical benefits, vacation, 10 paid holidays, and sick leave. If interested eMail your resume to
[Three Die By Gas] Key Largo–gas inside the drainage hole is believed to be a mixture of methane gas and hydrogen sulfide, which in high concentrations are highly poisonous. Link
Cuban-Americans at odds over wet foot, dry foot repeal. Even those who benefited from the preferential treatment have mixed feelings over ending the policy. Link
Coconuts Pool Room in downtown Big Pine Key is the only pool room in the Florida Keys & it’s right here on Big Pine Key. Enjoy great drink prices, A/C, Wi/Fi . Enjoy the feel of a bar, that’s it, just a bar like your grand dad talked about. No many of us left.
Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations. ~George Orwell
[“Road Prison closing because it needs some repairs”] Instead of just fixing what needs to be fixed, they either want to close it or build a totally new Gucci-type prison. Prisoners don’t need fancy jails, they need to be punished. Many prisoners live better in our jails than they do when they are free. Our jails should be modeled after Thai jails or Brazilian jails.
[It’s A Wonderful World?] 8 people wounded in shooting at MLK park. Istanbul nightclub attacker who killed 39 captured. Mexican resort shooting kills 5. FBI arrests widow of Orlando nightclub shooter.


[Food for Thought] Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I’ll meet you there.  ~Coconuts Bar & Package Store, down town Pine Key

[Oooh, that smell …] How can I report a problem to the local police about the smell of marijuana coming from somewhere up wind of my property and making my home stink of that stuff? It is getting to the point, several times a day, that it’s making my kids sick. Even my dog looks at me wondering what is going on! If someone is that ill to need that much for pain, then they should be on a pill, not hinder others.


Coming soon to Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, downtown Big Pine Key. Stay tuned for details.

Gene Cernan, The Last Man on the Moon, Dead At 82. “As I stepped on the ladder, I looked back at Earth in all its splendor — I call it sitting on God’s front porch, looking home — then down at my last footprint and realized, “Hey, I’m not coming this way again.”

After 146 years Ringling Brothers will soon be no more.  Citing, among other things, rising operational costs, animal rights groups’ protests, declining attendance, and children of all ages more interested in watching their smart phones than the circus acts, they are folding the tent.  No more popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs and good, clean entertainment.  Another American institution gone forever. Sad

Next Monday is National Breast Appreciation Day. Spread the slogan: “We stare because we care!” Beats the heck out of Martin Luther King Day, doesn’t it?
Personal responsibility is a big part of being an American. It makes helping the old, infirmed, disabled & Impoverished possible. America is the most giving country in the world. Everyone has a part to play. We, as a country, have gotten to the point were too many folks are in the wagon & not enough pushing & pulling. We can do better. God Bless this great country & blessings to each & everyone of you. ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, downtown Big Pine Key



I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.”  ~William Shakespeare.

[Trump Inauguration] This week, Jennifer Holliday, the Tony-award winning singer and “Dreamgirl” said she would no longer take part in any events affiliated with the inauguration of Donald J. Trump and described Trump’s cabinet nominees in a tweet as “a who’s who of homophobia.”
Trump has also been turned down by The Beach Boys, Elton John, IceT, The Dixie Ckicks, George Lopez, Justin Timberkake, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Garth Brooks, Andrea Bocelli, Kiss, Celine Dion, David Foster and the Washington, D.C. area marching bands.
[Restaurant Review 2d Chance] With the knowledge that Ron buys advertising space from the Coconut Telegraph and after reading several days of commentary in the CT I went back to the Bucktooth Rooster for another open-minded try. I got a nice seat at the counter with friendly wait staff. I ordered eggs, potatoes, meat, water. 3 eggs over easy, hash browns, sausage, rye lightly toasted. The time between ordering and food arrival was a bit long, but not ridiculous. On the plus side, the home-made sausage patties were the most flavorful breakfast sausages I’ve eaten in eons (It was interesting how the pepperoni is incorporated). The rye bread appeared of good quality and the light grilling gave it an interesting touch. Eggs over easy usually means at least a runny yoke not 90% solidified. I’ve been cooking and eating hash brown potatoes for toooooooooooo long and hash browns are shredded potatoes fried on the grill. Whereas what I got was home fries. Home fries are potatoes chunked up into bite sized pieces and fried on the grill, sometimes with onion and green peppers. Evidently someone there doesn’t know the difference. The quantity was good though I’m no longer a huge eater. The prices are a bit higher than other Big Pine Key restaurants. I asked and they still don’t have biscuits and gravy.
Thanks for being tolerant with me. I don’t mean any harm, but I try to be honest and I’m not politically correct.


After 146 years, the curtain is coming down on “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus told The Associated Press that the show will close forever in May. No one is interested anymore.

Too old for Snapchat, too young for Life Alert.
The existing water line from Long Beach Rd. to Little Palm Island shows the absurdity and environmental consequences of running a sewage line alone the same route. A permit was issued for a slipshod, uncased (!) sewage line through a state aquatic preserve and is beyond scandalous, even for DEP and FKAA. All this for a $1089 a night resort with ownership in Washington, 3,000 miles away. I shook my head in disbelief when I read the 2014 DEP permit.

On Long Beach Rd. the waterline is routed through the mangroves and the entire site is privately owned. I wonder if FKAA and the private landowner filed for a permit to run the original waterline through the mangroves on Big Pine Key. An Army Corps of Engineers permit, as well as a DEP permit would have been needed to conform to existing laws at the time. Were the landowners compensated for use of their land?  My gut tells me no such permit exists.

The map below (see attachment for an enlarged view) shows a portion of the existing waterline (and proposed sewer line) route (circles), nearly all of which is in knee-deep (shallower at low tide) and is thus vulnerable to boat strikes. The triangle shows where the line runs across a prop-dredged channel used by boaters who must run at high speed to avoid becoming stuck in the shallow channel. The arrow shows the beginning of the channel through the flats.

[Death Certificate] I’m trying to obtain a copy of a death certificate from 1989 for my father-in-law. Do you know where to get that?



Be honest, is this too much lettuce?

[Golf Tournament] Big Pine and Lower Keys Rotary Club will be putting on the 26th Annual Al Mueller Golf Tournament on January 29 to benefit Take Stock in Children. Our Rotary Club is also looking for sponsors. Contact William Tycoliz at for further information



[Sunrise] How can sunset times add a minute on most days and sunrise times stay the same? Shouldn’t the minus minute of one correspond to a plus minute of the other? How can sunrise times stay the same?

Please name one useful thing Sloan has ever done for the Florida Keys? All he ever does is cry and play super victim. If somebody really wanted to help that guy show him a map and point out the route on US1 back up the Keys as easy as he came down the Keys.
[Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump showers ‘SNL’ with urination jokes] ” This will be a golden opportunity for me as president to make a big splash. I thought it was better to be pissed off, than pissed on?” Link
[Crab Grape Leaves] I made these today and they are excellent!
1 cup long grain rice cooked
2 bunches grilled and chopped scallions
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons chopped mint
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
1 pound cleaned lump crab meat
2 lemons, juiced and zested
30 grape leaves brinedMix all ingredients excluding grape leaves. Place 1 tablespoon of mixture in the center of each grape leaf. Fold over sides and roll tightly. Repeat process until mixture and grape leaves are gone. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
[“Green water”] You haven’t seen anything yet. Keep an eye on the waters around Cudjoe Key after that “state of the art” sewage treatment plant has been running for five years.

Maybe this is why they call the environmental people “greenies”.  They should have just upgraded the septic systems, it would have been much better in the long run, but FKAA and their friends wanted their piggy bank.




[“Grammar police”] This is Rudolf Hess. He edited Mein Kampf for Adolf Hitler. That makes him the first grammar Nazi.

[Back-up Alarms] How many of you feel it’s necessary to have reverse alarms on every goddamn piece of equipment that’s doing a job? I am truly fed up with having to hear these obnoxious, useless quality-of-life ruining devices all goddamn day.
[Student Essay Contest] The Experiment in International Living is inviting all Monroe County students to enter its Global Leaders essay contest.  There is a valuable prize for 15 winners who could receive competitive scholarships ranging from $500 to full scholarships in the 2017 summer abroad program with the experiment.

I believe this to be a wonderful opportunity for our students and I hope that the District strongly encourages participation.

[Golf Tournament] My name is William Tycoliz and I am with the Big Pine & Lower Keys Rotary. We are putting on our 26th Annual Take Stock in Children (Al Mueller Memorial Classic) golf tournament on January 29th, 2017 at the Key West Golf Course.

I am contacting you to solicit players, hole sponsors and prizes for the event. Hole sponsorship is $100 per hole, and a major sponsorship is $250. We are also looking for an adult beverage tent sponsor. The format is a 4-person team best ball scramble.

Registration can be done by contacting the golf course at (305) 294-5232, completing the attached form, or on the day of the tournament. Registration starts at 6:30 a.m. Play starts at 7:30 a.m. Cost is $100 per player. This includes 2 mulligans, 2 red tees and an awards luncheon at the end of the tournament. There will be hole prizes, raffle prizes and 50/50.

I can be contacted at  or (305) 923-1004, (305) 923-7386

The local Morning Mix program is radio for retards.
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