Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Coconuts Christmas Tree] J.C and Colleen Massey, Coordinators for the Methodist Church Food Pantry, receive a check from Joe and Meri-Lynn Britz from the Annual Coconuts Christmas Tree. This year, the staff, patrons and other donors, pinned $420 on the tree during December and Coconuts matched it and delivered a check to the Masseys for $840.00. Good job Coconuts family!
|(Editor: the Coconut Telegraph welcomes Mer-Maids Cleaning Services. FTR was so impressed with Stephanie’s cleaning that he paid for her ads for a quarter year. Now, that’s what I call satisfied!)
[Lost Glasses – Reward!] Please contact me if you found a pair of tortoise-shell, brown Ray Ban, prescription, bi-focal sunglasses on Big Pine Key this week. Could have been left at Bistro 31. Thanks 860-608-0736
|Things I will not judge you for:
Things I will judge you for:
1. Not signaling while driving
2. How you treat wait staff
3. Which way you place the toilet paper roll
Coconut Ukulele Orchestra. The only thing missing is you! This Wednesday 7 PM Coconuts-downtown.
|[“Do you have a social media Will”] I wondered the same and found out that if you do not notify any auto pay web company or bank that you died, the company can and will keep billing your bank account until it runs dry. The bank will charge your estate for over drafts. If you think they give a damn, you are sadly mistaken! Always have a registered Will with a lawyer and a copy to friends or relatives with all your accounts and web sites you deal with including the accounts numbers, user name and passwords in order to shut them down when you die.
|[Tourists] They’re back … the people from the Burroughs and barrios of the north. How can we tell? There’s dog poop left in the streets, no regard for speed on the streets of the subdivisions, and ugliness at WD. These people argue over why they get charged more for groceries, argue about locals’ cards and argue about “their house” the one they rent. Taking your apartment-sized yappers and go home, take the noise from your car alarm and go home, and don’t tell me how much you spend here – if you didn’t need to eat and crap here you would not spend a dime. The big cities of Mainland America must be a real dump, not because of migrants but because of the people who reside there. Stop wet foot/dry foot and close US1 south at Homestead.
[Tilly the Tug] This 1943 Rosie Riveter 160 ton 80-foot tug boat was paying $2,000 per month dockage. If the wealthy criminals can get away with it, no boat is safe. I’m filing a pro se lawsuit. Call 786-714-6230 if you want a piece of the action!
|[Cuba Is Rundown] I’ve heard people complain that the accommodations, etc in Cuba are outdated and they hated it there. If what they expected was Miami they should have gone to Miami and leave the adventure of Cuba to the rest of us. I think these are the same sorts of people who find sitcoms interesting.
|[“Road prison closes”] Do I have this right? There’s $77 million for the old 7 Mile Bridge repair, but $1.8 million can’t be found to keep the road prison open? That’s just messed up.
|[Boca Chica Bar] Any of you remember the late-night disco days at the Boca Chica Bar on Stock Island when everyone would be blowing these whistles while dancing? Open 24 hours. Remember leaving and being surprised that the sun was coming up? I almost do.
|The Bike Path was started in Pa., to use old RR tracks and old pathways off road, so people could bike through the beautiful back country areas of our nation, but as soon as the politicians got hold of all the funds collected and used them for their own projects, the bike paths turned into a nightmare of twisted and dangerous paths to the contractors’ bank accounts.
|Public request to the owners of Towne Square Mall in Marathon: Fill the pot holes in your parking lot in front of the little post office.
[Coconut Water] I bought this ingeniousness, simple opener to get coconut water from the nut to drink. I’ve tried all kinds of other devices over the years and they were all messy and left particles in the water. Saw, machete, drill, mechanical chopper. Not this one. None work as good as this gadget from Brazil. It’s stainless steel to boot, which means it will last forever and it wont rust. And to top it off you can use the coconut plug you removed to seal the liquid to drink later. Link
|Who owns FKAA? I thought it was the taxpayers. If so, why don’t we have any say in the abuse they dish out to us?
|[FTR] Some Deer Friends may remember that a week or so ago Mrs. FTR’s pain meds were stolen. Mrs. FTR is a victim of rheumatoid arthritis and as a consequence is in near constant pain. Her doc prescribes hydrocodone. Each prescription provides a month’s worth of pills, but provide only marginal relief. She must personally go to the doctor’s office each month to pick up her prescription.
At the time of the theft we employed a local couple who helped her with house work and did light handyman jobs. They did good work. We liked them, we trusted them implicitly. She purported to be nurse, a non-practicing nurse. He an unemployed mechanic. We gave them full and total access to our home.
On the day of the theft he was involved in applying deck paint to our porch. We left him alone and went to Key West on business. After our return in the early afternoon, he had completed the job, we paid them, and they left.
Later that evening Mrs. FTR discovered that nearly 100 of her monthly hydrocodone prescription pills were missing. The pills were present the evening before. She had only a couple of day’s worth of pills left. I called them and was advised that no one had visited our home during our absence. I fired them. Mrs. FTR feels betrayed.
I had failed to do a background check on them before we hired them. Had I done so I would have found out that both had an arrest history. She a felony arrest for marijuana, he for traffic and resisting arrest. I was a damn fool. A police report was made, the case has been referred to the State Attorney, they are investigating the case.
As a consequence of the theft, we had to make an emergency appointment with her doctor to get a new prescription issued and filled. That required a round trip to Ft. Lauderdale and a 2.5 hour wait for the doctor. The refill cost us over $100.
So the moral is that I was a damn fool and to learn from my mistake. Do your due diligence and hire only licensed and insured service providers.
Since that episode we learned that a long time friend here on Big Pine Key, Stephanie Martinez, has gone in to the house cleaning business. We hired Ms. Martinez, we’re glad we did. She does great work, she shows up when she says she will, and she’s anxious to grow her new business. She is accepting real estate and residential clients. Ms. Martinez is always friendly and upbeat. We’ve done our due diligence on Ms. Martinez and we trust her. I know that Ms. Matinez is a hard worker who is ready, willing and able to make a really good go of her new business.
And she’s got spunk. Unlike Lou Grant in the old Mary Tyler Moore show–I like spunk.
P.S. Yes I did suggest that she advertise in the Coconut Telegraph. I think that there is no better way to communicate with the BPK community. I just wish that our Deer Old Ed would go to press more often.
|[Pucker] I think my rectum in malnourished because it keeps eating my Speedo!
Patent pending TV tray.
|[FKAA] The Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant covers Lower Sugarloaf Key up to and including Big Pine Key. The vast majority of those customers are either hooked up or have received their hookup notices. All of this sewage is being injected into 120-ft deep wells because the 3000 ft. well, which they were forced to drill by court mandate, is not even close to being finished and online and the latest permit application by the FKAA doesn’t even limit the use of shallow wells to back-up status.
This is your government in action, proving once again that it is all about money, not about protecting our environment.
|[Writers Group] Our next meeting is this Wednesday, 1-3 at the Big Pine Key Library. Please bring 8 copies of your work, if you can! Full Menu > Ongoing Events
|[Incorrect Billing] The City of Key West may owe more than $500,000 to residents of Stock Island following a 44-page ruling issued Thursday concerning stormwater fees by the Third District Court of Appeals.
The court affirmed a previous ruling by the Monroe County Circuit Court that the Key West Golf Course, its homeowners association and Lower Keys Medical Center do not owe the city stormwater fees and overturned the previous ruling that the group wasn’t due reimbursement for fees paid before litigation. Link
This is a photo of a photo of Castro and Hemingway that was hanging on the wall of Mariel Hemingway Marina in Cuba.
|[“Young entrepreneur and aspiring baker, Lola Yong”] Congratulations, young lady. Now this is the type of positive information that people should be posting on the CT, Facebook, Twitter. Enough of the negatives. How wonderful it would be if everyone posted one positive thing – no matter how small or insignificant – one time each week. Fake it till you make it!
|[Fracking] Did you also get an automated, unsolicited call from the American Petroleum Institute on your “no-call list” phone? It said that hydraulic fracking for oil and natural gas is perfectly safe and saves you about $1800 per year in fuel cost, but troublemakers are opposing fracking in Florida, so you should call Holly Raschien and urge her to vote against the proposed ban on fracking in Florida.
I don’t believe fracking in Florida would save me anything at all in fuel costs and it might cost a lot more than $1800/year to import all water from another state when fracking fluids contaminate the aquifer, while the fracking itself precipitates sinkholes like it has precipitated earthquakes everywhere else. Have you ever seen a map of Florida showing the known fractures already existing? South Florida fractures are shown on the attached image. Fracking fluids would follow the fractures. Did you know there is an earth crust fault line running off the Gulf coast of Florida? Hydrothermal vents on that fault have been blamed by doctoral researchers for a good percentage of phosphate nutrients encouraging algae blooms. Waste fluids are commonly sent down an injection well. The composition of the fluids is a “trade secret” and thus protected from disclosure, but samples have been horrifying.
I think we should all call Holly and encourage her to tell the American Petroleum Institute lobby to go frack themselves because we definitely want Florida to be a no fracking state! As for that phone call I received, I realize that I paid for it with my current fuel costs. Any fuel production cost savings realized by fracking are not going to be shared with us. Unless we are oil company shareholders! After the vote on the no-frack bill, check the voting records and see which politicians were bought by Big Oil. I hope Holly is not bought, nor influenced by calls from idiots who believe any BS a marketing firm leaves on their answering machine or voicemail.
|[“Winn Dixie fire lane parking”] If everyone parked in the fire lane next to the pet store building and there is a fire, the fire trucks won’t have a bit of difficulty parking their trucks in the open area between the building and the market building. There is plenty of room. You sound like a bunch of old biddies worrying about nothing.
|[Salsa and Tortilla Chip Dinner] I was wandering around Winn Dixie looking for something to eat that would stay down in the midst of uncontrolled hacking from this demon cold I picked up. I rarely get sick, but when I do it’s memorable. (And yes, I touched the shopping cart and fondled packages of food just like that, even sicker, dude before me.) I thought maybe some of that $6 “flame kissed” roast chicken would work out okay. Then I looked at the ingredient list. You expect it to say chicken but I was shocked at the long list of ingredients that was not chicken. Why? I don’t need a chemical factory to bake chicken at home. I was feeling too miserable to cook anything, so I had organic salsa and organic blue corn tortilla chips for dinner that cost more than a whole chicken and not as filling. Go figure!
|[School Lawsuit] There is rumor going about that School District insurance will cover any settlement with Kathy Reitzel. If true, I vigorously encourage you to opt for that solution. I never endorsed fighting Ms. Reitzel and all of the legal expenses entailed so far. Throwing good money after bad is never a good idea. It looks to me like ego is blocking good sense.
|The Doomsday Clock is clicking again. Doomsday Clock ticks half-minute closer to midnight in historic move. Link
[Pillow Talk] Got dry scalp and head sores? My doctor told me to change my pillow because they get all kinds of little bad guys living off your skin cells and sweat that causes scalp sores.
|[Fake News] Read this article about fake news from NPR. It is a well spent 5 minutes. It’s read meat for Trump supporters. We tracked down a fake-news creator in the suburbs. Here’s what we learned. Link
[Sewer Connecting] I just received the estimate to abandon my aerobic system and connect to the gravity sewer–$3200!
|[Sewer Permits] Here’s information on the DOH septic abandonment permit that FKAA did not mention in their connection information package (besides having incorrect contact information).
If you apply for the DOH permit in Marathon, they will just send it to Stock Island for processing, so count on a delay. You can’t get the County permit until you have the DOH permit, so count on a delay. The Marathon DOH is open for permits only on Tuesday and Thursday. The Stock Island branch is open for permits M, W, F. Hours are 8-12 and 1-4:45, so forget going on your lunch break. If you go to the SI branch, prepare to have some difficulty finding the office. For example, don’t turn where the road sign points- park down the road and walk back into the dark garage. Don’t try to use the lighted door next to the directory sign because it’s locked. Around the corner in the dark is an elevator- the only way up. The office is 208-R, but don’t turn left toward 208 like the sign says, 208 is the Sheriff’s office and 208-R is nowhere near it. Turn the wrong way instead and walk until you see a sign saying 208-R to your Left. Walk down a long hall and you will find it. Considering that even the short halls are numbered, why didn’t they give 208-R its own number, somewhere near the other numbers in that direction? Beats me. Probably high? Sick sense of humor? And that $95 fee for the DOH permit gets split with the County who, apparently, has no involvement in your DOH permit processing at all. So what’s that charge? A finder’s fee? Office rent? The staff at DOH were pleasant and efficient. But I bet even they got lost on their first day finding their new office.Getting your bleeding permits should not be so damn difficult. It should all be in one office on a Cudjoe Regional Island, even if it is just a drop-off & pick-up desk. Another thing is that a working person should not have to take off work to make that drop-off/pick-up.
|[Homeless Sloan] “I decided during one long no sleep stretch last night, that there is a good chance I am going insane, but meanwhile I probably should go back to sleeping nights in the police station lobby, where other homeless people probably will not sleep because they don’t want to be near law enforcement. I hate imposing on the police station by sleeping there, because I’m right in the middle of the lobby where people come in at all hours of the night, maybe 3-4 times a week, to speak with a police officer about something bugging them, which it has always seemed to me they could wait until daylight to do. It’s tough for a police officer to professionally handle someone like that when I’m right there in the middle of it. I don’t want to be there, neither does the officer want me there.”
Well, Sloan’s finally found his problem–insanity. But police are not only ones that don’t want him around.
Torn paper and glue by Elizabeth St. Hillaire. Moo.
|Lola Yong of Key Largo is the Cook Off Winner. That’s a great feel good story. I looked online for the recipe. Can you post it then save it in the recipe section? (Ed: What story? What cook-off? What recipe?)
|[Bagel Island For Sale] To the person who slammed Bagel Island owner Steve for getting a different job, calling it cushy and insulting his freedom of choice – you’re a total idiot! What does it matter to you what job anyone other then yourself holds? I personally know Steve and find it totally insulting that you make any such comments. He came to the Keys with his wife to work and then retire. Steve lost his beautiful wife last year to cancer. If he wants to move on from the business he shared with her (memories are a bitch sometimes), so be it. He is a talented pastry chef and deserves to showcase his talents where they will surely be appreciated and devoured. So guess what, Mister Piner, you now have the chance to buy the successful Bagel Island restaurant and experience first-hand how hard it is to run a business, nevertheless a business on Big Pine. Put your money where your hate-spewed mouth is – identify your cowardly self and make him an offer.
|Why are they even bothering to inspect the sewer connections since everything Layne did on my street was substandard and I never saw an FKAA employee or vehicle in the vicinity for anything but the paving. Why would the plumber or homeowner’s work be any more likely to leak? I am sure my street was typical for this FKAA “inspector”. You can see the gravel and water in the lateral without needing a sewer camera, the fittings are incorrect at the cleanout box (gasket instead of glued joints and will allow the whole cleanout riser to spin when the cleanout plug is tight enough to not leak), and service techs have been repeatedly pumping down the lift station even though only one person is connected now. .I have seen the alarm light on at the master pump station on Ramrod at least two nights so far.. Imagine when it actually has a significant quantity to pump.
|[School Board] I thought that during your campaign for the School Board that you promised to hold community meetings prior to School Board meetings and workshops. Did I misunderstand?
I routinely receive announcements from Margaret Romero about her community meetings. There have been several Board meetings since you were elected, but I have not seen any announcements of prior community meetings. I believe that I emailed you requesting information regarding any community meetings. Did I misunderstand?
Please let me know your policy regarding community meetings and constituent input
|[Beer] I was delighted to discover that W-D now has Funky Buddha’s “Nib Smuggler” stocked! Simplified, this is a chocolatey tasting dark porter beer made with Brazilian cacao nibs and Madagascar vanilla beans. A 4-pack will set you back $10, but that won’t buy 2 decent beer at the bar. This stuff is addictive good! It has a way cool collectible label of a cow dressed like a high-rolling drug smuggler with lots of bling driving a go-fast boat with a police boat chasing him/her while money blows from a hoof. Piled high in the boat are sacks of nibs. If you like dark beer, chocolate, and vanilla, you will love this brew. Link
|I wish some welfare recipients would apply for a job at the Dollar Tree in Marathon. That store needs more staff. It’s encouraging to see how much that store is patronized but their staff is getting overworked.
|[Chili Contest] I was surprised there wasn’t a sign on US1 in front of Coconuts announcing their great Chili Contest Sunday. The only sign said there was an ABATE meeting or some such thing.
Computer Power User free online magazine for February. Link
|I am very disappointed that you are running pro-Trump verbiage on the Coconut Telegraph instead of on the National Politics page. I am saying goodbye to your site!
US and Canadian officials toured the Dakota Pipeline route yesterday. The Government spokespersons said all went well.
|[Sewer Permit] What a royal pain in the butt it is to actually get the permits to install the sewer connection you didn’t want but are forced to request. Especially so if a grinder pump electrical circuit is also required. You have a 40 to 60 mile round trip from most of the Cudjoe Regional area to apply to each of two separate offices (take a number), and another trip to pick it up. It should be a walk through permit since it is their requirement rather than your request, but it’s not. The Building Department closes at 3 PM in Marathon which further restricts your ability to schedule your visit. They say they are getting about 100 applications per week. That equates to 200 to 400 inspections per week for the County and 100 per week for FKAA, assuming a uniform rate of work. Watch that fall way behind while you have an open trench in your yard. Don’t forget that you also need a certified copy of a Notice of Commencement from the Clerk of Court office before you can get an inspection if the connection costs over $2500. There’s another two trips to make. Getting the permits takes as long as doing the work and costs as much as the pipe!
|[“Winn Dixie fire lane parking”] it was about 9 am and someone was parked within the hash lines at Winn Dixie. It wasn’t busy and there were all kinds of open spaces right by the handicap slots. As I went to call the non-emergency Monroe County Sheriff I keep in my phone, the driver came out carrying his 18-pack in one hand and a bag of groceries in the other. These inconsiderate people need to be called in. That’s for fire trucks. If we ever have a fire on BPK it can easily move into the woods unless stopped quickly
[“Snake hunters from India”] The video you posted showed men walking through bush while singing. Nothing else.
|Andy Kershaw re-examines the Bob Dylan album that changed popular music and his life. Beginning with the resounding hit of a snare drum, Like A Rolling Stone starts Bob Dylan’s first fully electrified album. Audio
|[Boating Skills and Seamanship] The US Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 13-03, Big Pine Key, is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship course February 28th, 2017 thru March 16th, 2017. 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 website and select “Boating Safety Classes” Link
|[Science] How long before Trump bans the US National Weather Service from reporting the weather? Because, you know, that “science” thing
|George Orwell‘s Homage to Catalonia. Audio
|[Pay Attention To Scale] When choosing a ceiling light fixture for a room add up the length and width of the room in feet. That number, in inches, will give you the ideal diameter for the fixture. Or, if the fixture will be over a table, make it a third of the table’s length.
|Consumer Reports says ACE Hardware is a better all-around value than Walmart–all things considered.
|[Rumor] That vicious respiratory infection that has afflicted so many in the vicinity of Big Pine has been blamed on a virus carried by the flies responsible for screw worms says a medical professional I know. He says they were told to keep it quiet to avoid a panic, but it is supposedly being spread on dust particles that are being breathed in just like pollen. I was unable to find a reference to such a possibility to help confirm his story, but that also does not make it necessarily untrue. Conspiracy theorists may well wonder if the US DOD & CIA are back to doing biological warfare testing on Keys residents again. It would explain the sudden isolated appearance of many screw worm infections and it would not be a first.
“1977 Senate hearings on Health and Scientific Research confirm that 239 populated areas had been contaminated with biological agents between 1949 and 1969. Some of the areas included San Francisco, Washington, D.C., Key West, Panama City, Minneapolis, and St. Louis.” They were confirmed to still be at it in the early 2000s, including spraying from briefcases in subways. Be careful where you place your trust. Link
|There’s nothing worse than an unethical over-fisherman or over-collector. Many are under house arrest (Ha, ha). You will eat baby grouper or real old wormy grouper. Ever see a turtle slaughtered? Greed is not good. Take only one arm off the stone crab so it can prosper. Yeah, these people are taking turtles too, along with shark fining and selling them to someone who then sells them to little Asians for soup. What has me scratching my head is why you jerks are killing so many barracuda – which are not for the table? Now it is the little yellowtail that is being over-fished and the evil fishermen who never follow the rules must now be put in time-out to let the fish replenish. Because you know the fish are getting smaller and the big, colorful tropical fish are simply not underwater here in the Keys and one must travel to the Caribbean to see gigantic queen angles the size of plates. Maybe the disease of the corals are directly the result of you greedy, evil over-fishers. You fishermen have no ethics and I hope karma personally bites you in your asses with a big hook.
|[Muslim Ban] Democrats, Republicans, Independents question: Who could be against a terrorist ban? At last a President who keeps his word. Very different, very fresh. Next … Sanctuary cities! ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, downtown Pine Key.
|President’s Day 2/20 Multi-Family Sale at St. Pete Church (MM31.3 Big Pine Key) Monday, February 20th at 8 am. We form a waiting line to enter because it’s so large and we remove the yellow tape at exactly 8 am for entry.
This is the largest yard sale on Big Pine. Just about anything you can imagine: men’s fishing, tools, appliances, furniture, books, children’s toys, linens, clothes of all kinds, shoes/purses, the list goes on and on.
There is also a silent and live auction that day. Live auction at 10:30. Vendor spots available – first come/first serve. No food vendors please.
|[Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road] Sarah Palin: The chicken crossed the road because, gosh-darn it, he’s a maverick! Barack Obama: Let me be perfectly clear, if the chickens like their eggs they can keep their eggs. No chicken will be required to cross the road to surrender her eggs. Period. More …
|[Prose Writers, Poets, and Painter Competition] As part of the February-April 106th birthday celebration of America’s foremost 20th century playwright and Key West resident, the Tennessee Williams Key West Exhibit announces a series of public competitions for prose writers, poets, and professional and amateur painters. The submission deadline for the short story writing and poetry contests is March 8 with possible publication in an on-line journal; the deadline for registering for the plein air painting contest is March 3 and the painting will take place on the morning of March 4, at the Tropic Cinema on Eaton Street, the subject of the paintings. An exhibit of the paintings will be held at the Tropic Cinema Gallery. The full details about these public events, including the registration forms, are available at twkw.org. For more information, contact Dennis Beaver at 305-294-3121
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