2017 June

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

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

Sounds of Big Pine Key by Laura Knight

The scurry of anoles fleeing the sunlight for the protection of leaves and grass
The roar of fighter jets from Boca Chica Naval Air Station
The croak of a tree frog
The scold of a woodpecker
The squeak of a tree rat
The skitter of land crabs sliding backwards and sideways into their holes
The wing whistles of mourning doves
The wing flaps of white crowned pigeons
The shrieks of shore birds warning of an approaching biped
The loud, steady thrum of motorcycles
The shifting gears of the mail truck
The crackle of dry leaves under deer hooves
The buzz of the bees in the flowering trees
The chirp of unseen crickets
The squawks of blackbirds
The coo of the mourning dove
The cartoonish howling of the neighboring dachshund
The barking of our own German shepherd sensing deer in her perimeter
The rumble of the bulldozers ferrying gravel for endless and inscrutably organized paving projects
Voices greeting, conversing, arguing, shouting
The thud of an iguana falling from a tree
The rustle of leaves in the wind
And sometimes, day or night… silence
Thunder, near and distant

[“County Building Department”] After two failed trips to Marathon I drove to Key West’s version of the County Building Department. It was hidden away in the new detention center complex on Stock Island. It was terribly hard to find because the entrance was under the building and through the parking garage, up an elevator, into a foyer, past an empty reception desk, down a corridor and into a little two room office with only two people. I wish they had thought to put up a sign through this maze. I had to ask directions twice. Once I found it, it was like night and day from the Marathon office in the pleasant way I was treated. Both smiled and joked with me. The best part was that I was out in three or four minutes.
[“Shark bite”] That looked like a nasty bite from the Reef shark in the video Friday. I do not classify that as an attack.  That was an unfortunate incident in which a diver was bitten while the shark was going after a fish on a stringer.  While I would not want that to happen to me I do not think of that incident as an attack on the diver but as a bite where the diver was not the target of the shark but unfortunately got in the way of the shark’s meal.

It might seem like I am standing up for the shark, I am not.  The sharks in this part of the world are grossly over populated and they are becoming much more aggressive in their pursuit of food. You can hardly go fishing any where and not be harassed by sharks stealing your fish.  I do not know the best way to go about it but there needs to be a concerted effort to reduce the shark population in the Keys.

The bottom line is that if there were no fish on the line I do not believe that the diver would have been bitten.  If the shark had been attacking the diver, there would have been little way to get out alive.

I grew up thinking the Andrew Sisters‘ song, Bei Mir Bist Du Shein was “My mere Mister Shane”. Audio



[Cocaine Cowboy] Miami. Augusto “Willie” Falcon who was on lam 26 years was caught when investigators tracked down Falcon after his false name surfaced in a 2013 car accident near Kissimmee, and was linked to a house in Hialeah, once owned by Falcon. The gang smuggled at least 75 tons of cocaine into the U.S., earning some $2 billion during the hyper-violent “Miami Vice” era. It’s always interesting how detectives find these guys. What little detail has the criminal overlooked while on the lam

We still have a Key Deer locked in the Road Prison property. I called FFWC and Key Deer Refuge people and received a call back from a man who told me there is a place on the side of the property for the deer to get out. I will be stopping by there to check.
[AirBnB vs Expensive Hotels] I read in Monday’s citizen the problems with managing AirBnB’s boat rentals in Key West. “The number of Airbnbs continues to grow offshore,” he said. “Right now the county and the city, all agencies, are struggling with how to deal with them and they’re popping up overnight.” Yes, they are. That’s why the City and County have to stop trying to prevent people from renting what they want. It’s very clear that people want AirBnB! Why is it so wildly popular?



Puerto Rico should not become a state. They should become independent. Statehood will not benefit anyone but Puerto Rico who can’t manage their own affairs as it is, and will only bring the rest of us more problems and costs. Give them independence from the US, but keep our military facilities there as a condition.

[Rumor] Is the Wharf going to be renamed The Road House? Who are the new owners?
Deer Ed, You just can’t help it, trashing President Trump. My goodness CT, he’s doing a fine job even with the haters doing everything in their power to hurt this man. It’s going to be a very long 8 years. (Ed: I disagree with your assessment of the mention of the President. Anything I’ve published was without comment, just the main fact of the post. I did the same with Obama. It’s in all our interests. No opinion. Stop blaming the media for reporting his actions and words. They matter.)
[Changing the Keys] More cookie cutter cube buildings will soon be built making the Keys look like everywhere else. Note the new Mote Marine building as a good example. Instead of mimicking Keys architecture, all new buildings are designed (more like lack of design) to look like the rest of Florida. I used to like driving the Overseas Highway and being able to tell I was in The Florida Keys, but it’s getting harder and harder to differentiate the Keys from other Florida waterfront areas.

Monroe County government will embark on roughly $41 million in capital improvement projects starting in October, including a $27 million Plantation Key courthouse and jail and $8 million Marathon library projects. More cubes.

[FTR on Shakespeare] It is becoming more and more difficult to fathom just how low the left will go. Currently a production company is putting on a play in Central Park. The play depicts the assassination of Ceaser. No problem with that, but the producers of the play have seen fit to garb “Ceaser” in modern day attire, and are portraying Ceaser as being the President of the United States.

Ceaser is depicted as being a blond, coiffed politician, the spitting image of Trump. Ceaser/Trump tweets from a golden bathtub and wears a red tie. Ceaser/Trump’s wife has a Slavic accent. In act 3 Ceaser is assassinated. The assassins stab Ceaser/Trump to death. The assassins are women and minorities. Blood and gore abound. The deed is done under an American flag.

The New York Times and CNN have praised that production. These are the same set of people who defended K Griffin’s beheading of Trump meme. The message is clear. Murdering Trump would be in the best interests of our nation. Trump deserves to die. That is the message that is being espoused by the NYT, CNN, et al. Now it is becoming fashionable to suggest the assassination of a United States President. Certainly it is within their rights to put forward whatever they consider to be “art;” but we have to ask ourselves if this incessant drive to destroy Trump is harming the core morality of our nation. Where will it end? How will it end? Worry!

(From the Editor with an historical reference to past productions of “Julius Caesar”. Central Park’s updated version of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar is causing political controversy as Shakespeare intended. The play was originally performed in 1599 satirizing Queen Elizabeth I. It was updated again at the end of the Victorian era to reflect discontent with that government. Later it was updated where Hitler was the focus. A few years ago, a Midwestern city updated the play with Obama as its focus. Presently the play has been updated again with Trump as the central character. Shakespeare’s play has been updated countless times over the centuries to reflect popular public political concerns. For the record, I think the current production is in poor taste, but that is art. Art’s purpose is to elicit emotion. Link)

Is Captain Ned Copperswaith of “The Raging Queen” still making the Keys a port of call? Is Sally still in the galley? How’s about a rousing version of “Men Men Men” song by Monty Python? Men, men, men, men!


[How to Make Marijuana Tea] Is this a health tip? I used to work for a Korean family who would make this tea to cure upset stomachs. Link

[Climate Change] The whistleblower, John Bates, who retired in December  2016 as principal scientist of the National Climatic Data Center, rocked the climate change debate with his claim that a top NOAA climate scientist selectively used data to discredit the global warming hiatus in a key 2015 study.
Roger Smith, ’77 Sunset Strip‘ detective and husband of Ann-Margret, dies at 84. The actor launched his career in the 1950s when James Cagney spotted him and recommended him for films. He survived two serious illnesses to have a second career after “77 Sunset Strip” as the manager of his second wife, Ann-Margret.

From 1958 to 1963, he co-starred with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. on the glossy ABC series. It made stars of both men and a teen heartthrob out of Edd Byrnes, who played a colorful parking lot attendant named Kookie.

[African Arab Dress in 1887] …his garment or tope, is covered with grease, and internally he swallows as much as he can procure. The great Sheik Abou Sinn, who is upward of eighty, as upright as a dart, a perfect Hercules, and whose children and grandchildren are like the sand of the sea- shore, has always consumed daily throughout his life two rottolis (pounds) of melted butter. A short time before I left the country he married a new young wife about fourteen years of age. This may be a hint to octogenarians.  The fat most esteemed for dressing the hair is that of the sheep. This undergoes a curious preparation, which renders it similar in appearance to cold cream; upon the raw fat being taken from the animal it is chewed in the mouth by an Arab for about two hours, being frequently taken out for examination during that time, until it has assumed the desired consistency. To prepare sufficient to enable a man to appear in full dress, several persons must be employed in masticating fat at the same time. This species of pomade, when properly made, is perfectly white, and exceedingly light and frothy.  It may be imagined that when exposed to a burning sun, the beauty of the head-dress quickly disappears; but the oil then runs down the neck and back, which is considered quite correct, especially when the tope becomes thoroughly greased. The man is then perfectly anointed. We had seen an amusing example of this when on the march from Berber to Gozerajup.  The Turk, Hadji Achmet, had pressed into our service, as a guide for a few miles, a dandy who had just been arranged as a cauliflower, with at least half a pound of white fat upon his head. As we were travelling upward of four miles an hour in an intense heat, during which he was obliged to run, the fat ran quicker than he did, and at the end of a couple of hours both the dandy and his pomade were exhausted




[Coconuts Jam] 34 years of Rock’in Ya Right at the Light. Piners rock!

[Investing] A retired bank manager told me I was a fool to give my money to a bank for no interest when they average 35 percent net on it. I should invest in land that can grow food and homes. Waterfront property is nice to look at, but useless for anything substantial. He is absolutely right
Can you do something for this guy I just sent the CT the gofundme page? I’m not good at this. He’s from Marathon and has been paralyzed since 93. He has an opportunity to be able to walk for just a few pennies. I’m sure he would be very grateful for your help as I am. Link

[Lynching] America’s lynching history is now online. Google’s interactive website on lynching with the Equal Justice Initiative is designed to spark a national dialogue on the mob violence that for decades enforced racial segregation and murdered thousands. Link

[National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council] Below is a snippet from the 8/2016 minutes of SAC:

“Acting Director Armor addressed the management issues that were brought to everyone’s attention via an email sent to the council about a month ago. The Department of Commerce Inspector General is currently conducting an internal investigation into complaints made here in the Keys with the management. Complaints were centered on waste, fraud and abuse and a hostile work environment. The investigation is ongoing. During this time, Sean Morton and Mary Tagliareni have been detailed to important headquarters’ functions. Ed Lindelof and Lisa Symon have stepped in to work in their capacities. Acting Director Armor very much appreciates the work that Ed and Lisa have done during this tough time. He takes this investigation very seriously. The health, safety and well-being of ONMS employees are of paramount importance to him. He asks that everyone respect the process that is underway.” (emphasis added).

My question is, Commissioners who read,  what’s the update?  What can you report to the residents of the Keys? Link



I’m so old that I remember when vodka only came in vodka flavor.

[County Building Department] There have been a few complaint postings lately about the Marathon office of the County Building Department. Let’s not forget that the BOCC declined to open a permit courier office in the Cudjoe Regional area. George Neugent’s office on Ships Way was suggested, since he is never there anyway. Not having a local relay point means every homeowner or plumber in the CRWS area has to make 3 round trips to either Key West or Marathon and wait in line to apply, pick up, and close out what should be a walk-through permit. This is not a request to build something; it is a forced construction and a forced “permit” that costs $70 to “request”. The County whined about the cost of setting up a permit counter in the Cudjoe vicinity, but didn’t give a damn about the cost of those round trips and wasted time for thousands of their constituents. Add up the total cost to all of us. Why does government abuse only get worse until the riots start?
[“Climate change”] Mainland Miami looks at moving neighborhood as the sea level rises. Link
[“Climate change”] What amazes me most is how sure the academic world is that global warming is a fact. Here we have a new discovery that states with facts that we don’t even know when & where we came from. The books are wrong. Perhaps it’s time to start thinking for ourselves. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid my friends. What’s next? News Bulletin: Noah’s Ark was just found.  A new fossil discovery in Morocco will rewrite the history of humankind. A new fossil discovery in Morocco will rewrite the history of human evolution that will dramatically change the story of the origin of the human species. Link
This sums up the difference between Capitalism and Socialism very well.   I particularly subscribe to the last paragraph because “political correctness” has always been the enemy of Capitalism since it’s liberal beginnings. A guy looked at my Corvette the other day and said I wonder how many people could have been fed for the money that sports car cost. I replied I am not sure, it fed a lot of families in Bowling Green, Kentucky who built it, it fed the people who make the tires, it fed the people who made the components that went into it, it fed the people in the copper mine who mined the copper for the wires, it fed people in Decatur IL. at Caterpillar who make the trucks that haul the copper ore. It fed the trucking people who hauled it from the plant to the dealer and fed the people working at the dealership and their families. BUT,… I have to admit, I guess I really don’t know how many people it fed. That is the difference between capitalism and welfare mentality. When you buy something, you put money in people’s pockets, and give them dignity for their skills.  When you give someone something for nothing, you rob them of their dignity and self-worth.   Capitalism is you freely giving your money in exchange for something of value.  Socialism is taking your money against your will and shoving something down your throat that you never asked for. Communism is taking everything you have and allowing you to obey those socialists with the guns.
[Blame] Some people have reached the point of absurdity where they are blaming others for things that happened 200 years ago but not holding themselves responsible for what they themselves are doing now


1/3 of the world is overweight. America leads the way with the most fat children, and Egypt, with the most fat adults

[Writers] Maybe people write memoirs and children’s books because they are so easy to write. Writing a novel is hard unless you have plenty of imagination and are able to pretend. I can’t pretend, so I’m stuck writing a memoir.



‘Batman’ actor Adam West dies. Video

Stand up for National Marine Sanctuaries! Link


Coconuts’ Uke nite is this Wednesday, 7ish. Video

Corporate tax reform made easier to understand. Video


[“Tattooed women are broken”] I doubt if that Friday’s nicely shaped women with the delicate fishing tat lives down here. But I do agree that a lot of them look like they have been tattooed with a very wide brush.

All I want is a couch, a dog, a good book and a woman.  If I can get the dog to go somewhere and read the book I can have a little fun.
[Good Driving] Why you should never drive alongside a semi. Link
[Craft Beer] A strong, excellent IPA “Two Hearted” was rated “World class” at 95 out of 100 by Beer advocate and runs 7.0% alcohol.

“Free Dive” IPA and the other is “Night Swim” which is a Porter with a chocolate overtone. The great artwork on the label is worth the price of the beer. I especially like how on the “Night Swim” label, the guy is nonchalantly pouring a beer into the open mouth of a tiger shark. Just makes you want to jump right in… after another beer. Beer Advocate rates Night Swim 83 out of 100. “Dark and luxurious like a midnight dip in the warm gulf waters off St. Pete Beach. Rich and Roasty with a hint of chocolate. Both this porter, and a night swim, are best enjoyed with a friend.” It is a fairly robust 6.2%, so you get your money’s worth of alcohol. For comparison, Bud is 5% and Bud light is 4.2% Bud Light was only rated 48 out of 100 by Beer Advocate based on 5,858 ratings, but most of my friends still drink it anyway–in quantity.
My preference, “Free Dive” is a fairly lightweight IPA at 5.9% alcohol that Beer Advocate rated at 88/100 and gave a 90/100. “Expect huge hits of citrus and pine aromas layered over a bright malt backbone. Perfect for a free dive in Key West.” is Coppetail Brewing’s description. They also make a Double IPA that I have not tried, at 10.3% and a Stout at 12% (like drinking a bottle of wine!). These are brewed in Tampa at

[R.I.P.] I’m sorry to pass along the news that Keys Writers Group member Elizabeth Warner passed away on June 3. She was with family in Michigan. Here is a link to her obituary. Link
[Crooks] There’s a GPS tracker inside this fake turtle egg. Every year, poachers in Nicaragua steal millions of turtle eggs, and sell them on the black market. A conservationist named Kim Williams-Guillen has come up with a plan to put an end to this. She made a prototype fake turtle egg with a GPS tracker inside. If a poacher steals it, she plans to track the egg, and bust the crime ring. Sarah Birnbaum got recruited to help. Audio
[Chuck Berry] This poetic hour-long world exclusive programme explores the extraordinary life and music of Chuck Berry, with original, never-heard-before interviews with the man himself, recorded in the 1970s Audio
[Vigilante Landscaper] When an over-grown property encroaches on to your property is it legal to cut his weeds and trees then dump them in the street in front of his property? I hope so because that’s what I plan to do to the SOB next to me!


A comprehensive survey of the finest bacons in these United States. There are few things less satisfying as the aroma of bacon frying in the morning. Link

[Sewers] You should see the total confusion in the Operation and Maintenance Manual that was submitted to DEP for the new Cudjoe deep well!
They got elevations and water depth confused in their description of how they intend to run 75 hp pumps in a wetwell designed for pumps one-tenth the size that just pump small quantities of water for the plant. Both pairs of pumps share the same puny wetwell.
Then they apparently didn’t look at the manufacturer’s pump specifications and intend to run the pumps at half the minimum allowable pumping rate. (= damaged pump)
They intend to shut the pumps off at about a foot below the minimum water level required by the manufacturer. (= damaged pump)
Their math is no good either. They claim they have many thousands of gallons more pumping range than they do. If a pump fails to run during the average flow of a peak day, the wetwell will overflow to the shallow wells in about 90 seconds!
They also claim they can run both 75 hp pumps at once during the calculated peak hour flow, but the electrical can only run one pump at a time. Let’s not forget that by FKAA’s own collection system permit applications, the plant is undersized by over a third, so the pumps are not big enough anyway for a peak day (of poorly treated wastewater).
Back when FKAA applied to drill the deep well, FKAA promised DEP that they had a deep well pump station being designed, and it would be built after design review by DEP while the well was being drilled. Total BS, like everything from FKAA. FKAA never intended anything of the sort. But DEP doesn’t care what their brother State entity does, and FKAA relies on that. The pump station design promise was just more public deceit.
Remember when we overwhelmingly voted to have the FKAA Board elected instead of appointed by the Governor, but that referendum never even made it to the legislature? The appointed Board just laps up whatever FKAA executives feed them. What we have here is “taxation without representation”, and I remember reading of a tea party riot and revolution in US history because of that. That won’t happen now because people are too apathetic to look up from their smartphones even as the poopy water washes over their flip-flops.
Jimmy Webb sings Galveston (1972)



[No Annoying Regulations] Dismantling of the FDA showed up at my grocery store tonight.

An estimated 19.5 million viewers watched James Comey’s widely televised U.S. Senate testimony Thursday.


How about we meet somewhere for lunch? I heard this place’s food taste like crap!

Saying atheists don’t believe in anything is not accurate. They believe in lots of things, it’s just that those things are real.
People are getting sick and tired of the politicians who seem to care less about their jobs or the people. It’s time to throw out the bums and hire new maintenance personnel.


Winn Dixie digital coupons. Link

[Bigot] Evolution in teaching math in America since the 1950’s. My six year old asked me why none of the immigrants are white. I could not answer her! Can someone help? Link


[Pipelines] Which pipeline is the one that is going to ruin the drinking water? I’m so confused?

[Unedited] Why are they shutting down all of the fishing industry in the Keys????    They closed down all the fishing spots along the118 mile stretch……..Then all the fishing spots along Card Sound road……  They then spent millions on bridge repair. Only to close them within one month….after installing new railing.  By someone’s brother in law….  Now the one left on Spanish Harbor bridge…closed….  Welcome to the Fishing Capital….Florida Keys…..  Why plant trees in Hurricane Season????????
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