2017 March

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

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

Rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry dies at 90. He had a long-time feud with Little Richard as to who really invented rock ‘n roll. He said he started his signature duckwalk one night when he slipped and the crowd loved it. So he improved on it and added it to his act.

Guitarist Bill Blue tells of the time his band opened for Chuck Barry at a hotel on the Boulevard in Key West, how they got there a couple of hours before showtime in order to rehearse with Chuck. They waited and waited, but no Chuck! Finally, at showtime, they were on stage and in comes Chuck Berry with his guitar, ready to go. Bill asked him about rehearsing and what songs they were going to play. Berry looked at Bill like he was from another planet and says, “Chuck Berry, man. We’re going to play Chuck Berry” and started to rock and roll!
Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode

A homeless man was found dead Monday morning in a Dumpster behind the Key West Health and Rehabilitation center on College Road near Lower Keys Medical Center on Stock Island. Geez, now their dumping bums in dumpsters! Can’t they just give them a bus ticket out of here?



[Underseas Dive Shop is closed!] It was probably one of the oldest business on Big Pine (what is the oldest?). They never did spend too much money on maintenance. I’ll miss them. They always had the best prices on everything. I bought my first SCUBA gear there 35 years ago. I see they lowered the flag to half mast.

[Screwworm Battle Over] The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says it will wind down its response against flesh-eating maggots that threaten small, endangered deer in a national wildlife refuge in the Florida Keys. Link
Australian pine trees at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park are again in danger of being cut down. The State says they are not native. Yes they are! I dare them to find one island in the Caribbean or any warm place around the world that does not now have them or always had them.
[“Blimp as a weather vane”]. Uh, not exactly. It points into the wind at the elevation it is deployed to. Upper level winds are not always the same as on the ground.
To the author: yes the blimp still flies.
[FTR on Term Limits] The Democrats and the Republicans seem unable to agree on damn near anything these days. But polling consistently shows that the vast majority of all Americans, regardless of party affiliation, agree on one political concept: Term Limits.

Polling consistently reports that about 75% of us want term limits. But politicians fight against it tooth and claw.  Now, some Republican legislators have put forward a Constitutional amendment that would term limit members of Congress.  It sure seems that that deserves support from both sides of the aisle.

Here in Monroe County there have been attempts in the past to term limit our local elected officials. Attempts have been made to term limit governing entities such as the County Commission, The School Board, The Mosquito Control Board, etc.  In each instance the politicos and those who give big [money] to the politicos have quashed the movement.

The politicos fight tooth and claw to save their jobs, their power.  The deep pocket power brokers pay for their fight.

There comes a time when you’ve got to ask yourself if you are happy with the current state of our local governance.  Are you happy with what’s happening to our county?  Do you believe that our elected officials actually serve you, the little guy, or are they more influenced by those who give big during every election cycle? Be curious, look at the records of political contributions available on the web that chronicle big donors giving big political donations to long term incumbents.  Here in Monroe County you can examine those local records at the Supervisor of Elections web site. Ask yourself if you think that the deep pocket power brokers expect anything in return for their big donations to long term incumbents.  Look about Monroe County and ask yourself if you believe that our current state of affairs benefits you or the deep pockets.

I urge our newly elected officials and responsible incumbents to begin measures to bring term limits to Monroe County elected governing boards.

[“Dead coral”] In response to the complaints about the dead coral, tourism, while relying on the appeal of coral reefs, can be damaging when careless divers trample on corals or break off pieces as souvenirs. But the county commissioners won’t stop tourists from renting boats or hiring dive boats because it generates money for Monroe County.  Money makes the world go around.

Cabaret – Money




[Dapper Tourist] Yet another endangered species showed up outside of Harpoon Harry’s last night. Now, you know he’s looking for fun.

[Parachute Failure] Our tax dollars at work. Army Humvee’s during air drop. Used Humvee for sale. Contact US Army. Warning: maniacal laughter. Video
[Dead Coral Politics] Tourism operators have stepped up a campaign to fight back against the onslaught of negative publicity of the coral dying in the Fl Keys. Activist scientists and lobby groups have distorted surveys, maps and data to misrepresent the extent and impact of coral bleaching.  Who else is going to pay for Mote’s new monstrosity building? “It seems some marine scientists have decided to use the bleaching event to highlight their personal political beliefs and lobby for increased funding in an election year.”
I have been to the new Asian massage on Big Pine.  No, you don’t get a happy ending.  No, you don’t get sex. This isn’t Thailand.

Yes, you do get a professional massage. Yes, I will return for another professional massage. Yes, it hurts sometimes depending on how bad your muscles have been abused. I spent $100 plus gratuity for 90-minute massage. It was well worth it. Don’t be disrespectful when you go. Nobody wants to touch your junk.

[Entitlements] Many Americans are against entitlements, but they never utter a peep about the entitlements politicos get. In particular, free Gucci-style health insurance for life! What do they do to deserve this freebie? Campaign on the phone 3/4 of their time in office? Go to fundraisers? Cocktail parties? make a few tough decisions? go to meetings once in a while? We have two Americas–one for us and the other for the 1 percent. No government employee should get free insurance that is better than the rest of us Americans have to pay for. Trumpcare should demand that politicians get the same healthcare as everyone else. We work hard, they don’t.I do like the provision that allows us to shop plans out of state.
Yesterday I discovered the beautiful new walk way on the west end of the Bahia Honda Bridge (near the square swimming hole). They used wood framing with man-made deck and hand rail. My question is why do the fasteners “blister” and why didn’t they use another type of fastener? Also, only a couple of tourist would look at me so I could say hello.
[Rude Jerk] I went to Hawks Cay to show an out of towner the dolphins (Why pay at Dolphin Research when you can go to Hawks Cay and see it for free).  Anyway, I witnessed a horrible manager speaking loudly, rudely and one-sidedly to a server.  This bad manager did not provide air time for the server to respond to accusations and comments.  He tried to intimidate the server and bully the server.   I would have thrown down my apron and left right then
[Back To The Future] Go to the O’Reilly Auto Parts’ website and enter “121G” into the part search. You’ll get a chuckle. Link


This Friday at the Looe Key Tiki bar from 7 to 11 p.m. Brian Roberts and the Prime Movers will be jamming with back-up percussionist SammySam the DirecTV Man.

Happy vernal equinox! It’s Spring, so don’t forget to reverse your battery cables so the air conditioner comes on instead of the heat.


[School Board Spending] It will cost $3.25 million just to purchase land on Stock Island in order to build a new transportation center.  I am sure that I am not the only one wondering how much it will cost to build the center itself or the total cost involved.  It would be very nice to know the total cost so that the citizenry can advise its representatives.

[Riding a Moose] Horses have a space between their front and back teeth. That is where the bit goes. Do moose have that same space? If so, how come you can’t ride a moose? Are they too cranky? They can’t be any more cranky than camels.
Life hacks. Link




This kid got stuck in a handrail and everyone came out to take a picture instead of helping him.

Spring has sprung,
The grass has riz,
I wonder where the heck,
The birdies is?
Just to set the record straight, Bob 30-year head auto tech at M & M did not retire as many people are being told. He was told to take his tools and leave by the owner as the owner had decided to go to a different business plan. Bob is still here and repairing cars for all his friends and long time customers who find him via the word of mouth, for now. He is deciding options on a new location either with another local shop or on his own locally.
[“Government programs that could be cut”] The post Friday listed just about everything people depend on today. However, if all that went away would we not be compelled to live in a law of the jungle? Think about who would die off, who would be able to work, who would be food providers, water suppliers and sewer workers, and who would basically survive without all the support from politicos’ shuffling of the working man’s sweat and income? It would take less than a year for most of the population to destroy itself. No, the warm Florida Keys won’t support the millions of freezing, starving useless eaters. America would turn into a wasteland of survivors with small gardens and big guns! Look at the middle east now.

[“Hurricane evacuation“] Using a photo of hurricane damage from 1935 to get people to evacuate is like comparing a clam to an octopus. There was no Florida Building Code back then, in particular, hurricane clips and stilt houses weren’t required.

[“Blue lives matter bill”] This is just a feel good bill for the widows of slain officers and will change absolutely nothing. Since when does a bad guy, in a fit of anger, or in a criminal act, stop to consider the penalty for shooting a cop? They already know that they’ll really be in big s**t if they kill a cop. They all hope to escape before getting caught.


[Be Good] When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people. How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, downtown Big Pine Key. <@)}}}}}><

It has been reported that Kevin Wilson was quietly promoted to Assistant County Administrator from his Public works position, just like Tom Walker was earlier promoted to FKAA Deputy Executive Director from his Manager of Engineering position. Apparently, that is how the County and FKAA Boards reward staff that are directly responsible for hundreds of thousands in public litigation. This could only happen in ‘Moron County.”
[Noise pollution] Only Key West could make such a stink over some stupid bike racks. Leaf blower noise? Are you joking? Backup alarms and scooter horns should be done away with. Just disable them both and no leaf blowing before 10 am. Done.
[House Paint] Has anyone had their house painted recently? I have a stucco stilt house I’d like to have painted (exterior) and realize estimates for painting will be all over the place but wanted to see what people have actually been paying and what kind of results they got. It’s just a plain boxy house with no fancy trim and has a walk around so no tall ladders are needed. Also, is a prime coat plus two coats of finish required or is that overkill?
Sexual predator relocation is given notice to all residents in Monroe County for obvious reasons, but why not show notices for all criminals who committed nasty crimes anywhere? It seems to me anyone crazy enough to commit a crime of any depth should be in public view forever regardless of the public’s moral, legal or religious views! It’s as if society was saying, “Oh. it’s ok to be a murderer or bank robber, but not a sex offender.” That makes no sense.
[“Down on trap pullers”] If you don’t fit, stay away. There was a time down here when most of us were trap pullers of one type or another. What happened? Did you lose your turn with a girlfriend to one who smells like fish? Get over it, it’s the Keys way.
[Movie Review] “King: Shull Island.” I had thought from seeing earlier previews that I might want to see it, so I went on into that theater to catch the very start of that film. A different version of beauty and the beast, of course. A modern version of the older King Kong films. I liked it. But dang if Samuel L. Jackson playing a total flaming testosteroned-up-unhappy-to-have-just-lost-the-Vietnam-war-U.S.-Army-major-asshole. Hard to decide who was the most awful. The giant ravenous lizards King Kong stood between and protecting the other strange creatures on this very strange lost south Pacific island and its human aborigine tribe and one World War II American pilot survivor, or the Army major Samuel L. Jackson plays so well.
[“Light pollution”] We all love the snowbirds, but isn’t it about time for them to go back to their well-lit homes?


Austin Odom, 26, a Stock Island man, was arrested yesterday, charged with throwing an axe at his father and injuring his wrist. The father asked his son for some money to buy food and that his son became angry. Odom slapped a $100 bill onto the counter, grabbed an axe and chopped the bill in half and threw the axe at his father, who had his hand up to protect his head.

[School Board’s $3.5 mil Purchase on Stock Island] I understand that one of the property owners is the aunt of the Purchasing Director, Suanne Lee.  While I am not suggesting anything inappropriate, I would urge you to get ahead of matters by making this relationship public now. Otherwise, you run the risk of accusations of insider trading.

I have not seen any appraisals for the property in question.  One source tells me that the $3.25 million purchase price is above appraised values. Is that correct?

I cannot urge you too strongly to take your time with this purchase.  Time is not of the essence.  There is plenty of time to discuss and evaluate.  Please, please do not move at today’s meeting

[Leprosy] In 1909 a man died of leprosy in a house on Virginia Street. The house and all contents were destroyed by fire under the direction of Fire Chief Fulford.

Songs my mother taught me: Leprosy sung to the tune of Frankie Laine’s Jealousy. “Leprosy, why do you torture me, There goes my eyeball, into your highball. Etc


[“Australian Pine trees near Fort Zachary Taylor”] Those pines were brought there to stop erosion and as a wind break, but if they weren’t, their seeds would have drifted ashore anyway. Those seeds drift all over the world and grow wherever they wash ashore.

A little hatred goes a long, long way. It grows and grows. And it’s hungry. You keep feeding it more and more people, and the more it gets, the more it wants. It’s never satisfied. And pretty soon it squeezes all the love out of your heart and all you’ll have left is a hateful heart.  ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store. Established 1983, open 7 days a week. “Rock’in ya Right at the Light” downtown Big Pine Key.

[Drug Side-Effects Increase Fivefold In 12 Years] These are the real drug dealers of America. The side effects of their drugs could kill you. Drugs for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, MS and cancer among those with highest number. Link

[Fox in Henhouse] Kevin Hassett — co-author of the 1999 book “Dow 36,000” — will be nominated as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. David Malpass — the former chief economist at Bear Stearns, who declared on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis that “the economy is sturdy” — has been nominated as undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs. They should fit right in.
[Concert] The Lower Keys Community Choir and the Keys Chamber Orchestra are proud to present “Who do you Say that I Am?  Man of Sorrows, King of Glory, Lord of Life!” Monday March 27 – 7:30 p.m. at the Big Pine Methodist Church, 280 Key Deer Blvd, Big Pine Key–also–Wednesday, March 29th at 7:30 p.m. at Venture Out, 701 Spanish Main Dr, Cudjoe Key (ask at the gate)–also–Thursday, March 30th – 7:30 p.m. at San Pablo Catholic Church, 550 122nd St, Marathon.

Please join us.  All concerts are free and will have a good will offering available.

A local plumber reports that FKAA switched to the standard E-one grinder pump pit that has an open air gap under the lid instead of being sealed and having the little mushroom-shaped Wager vent on top that was supposed to keep the pit flood-proof.
The grinder pits specified in the contract was a spun fiberglass pit with a weather-stripped aluminum hatch and Wager vent. That was changed to a cheaper HDPE plastic grinder pump- like plastic garbage cans are made of- with no credit to the contract. HDPE Vacuum pits like this cracked at the concrete ballast level after about 10 years in Upper Keys projects.
At some point the sealed HDPE pit with a Wager vent was substituted with the El Cheapo-ist standard plastic pit that welcomes in floods, curious lizards, and anything else near the ground- like heavy rains. Any bets this was a “no contract credit needed” gift to distributor Water Resource Technologies? The owner-direct purchase order was made for all pump stations anticipated for the entire project, and they included the “flood-proof” Wager vent. I can show millions saved by the contractor and suppliers by FKAA acceptance of materials substandard to contract specifications. All with no credit to the contract. This is just another example. Remember the FKAA assurances to the public that these pump stations would be safe from flood damage?
[Fight Naked] The naked fighters, among the Cheyenne and the Sioux, were such warriors as specially fortified themselves by prayer and other devotional exercises. They had special instruction from medicine men. Their naked bodies were painted in peculiar ways, each according to the direction of his favorite spiritual guide, and each had his own medicine charms given to him by this guide. A warrior thus made ready for battle was supposed to be proof against the weapons of the enemy. He placed himself in the forefront of the attack or the defense. His thought was: “I am so protected by my medicine that I do not need to dress for death. No bullet nor arrow can harm me now.”
[Blimp News] “The Blimp” was re-funded, and is still up there loaded with electronics. At one time, there were two of them. It can be seen at ground level off Blimp Road on Cudjoe Key. Aloft, it appears much smaller. Nicknamed, “Fat Albert”, it points to various wind directions at varied elevations.

A neighbor got a job and pension at the Blimp’s site, but gave up a great future after testing positive for drugs.

The blimp has been struck by aircraft. The blimp has “escaped” more than once. The Blimp’s tether isn’t a metal cable, but made of a man-made fabric and tethered to a big heavy truck.

If the new healthcare is going to be so good for everyone why don’t politicians have it?



To succeed in life, you need 3 things, a wish bone, a back bone, and a funny bone. ~Reba McEntire

[Health Insurance for the Successful] The new replacement guarantees “access” to health insurance. We’ve always had access, we just couldn’t afford that access until Obamacare saved us.
It appears that we have another case where the Lower Keys Medical Center stated that Trauma Star is not available and charging $47,000 for a transport a mainland hospital for a patient.


[Military Strength] I’m under the impression that we have a great military and a great military capability with all the latest gadgets of destruction. What is wrong with it that needs fixing so badly? I don’t remember reading anything suggesting there was something wrong with our military. I’m just asking if anyone knows the reason so many government programs are being slashed in order to boost the military? Is there something we should know? Specifically, can anyone explain what’s wrong and what’s needed? I’m all for a strong military, but have been under the impression that it already is strong.

Not all girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Some girls are made of barley and hops and a pair of flip-flops.

[Spam] How can you find out who gave your email address to the mass marketing email morons that send all the junk advertisements every f**king day and can you break their f**king legs?

[Government Appointments] Kevin Hassett — co-author of the 1999 book “Dow 36,000” — will be nominated as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. David Malpass — the former chief economist at Bear Stearns, who declared on the eve of the 2008 financial crisis that “the economy is sturdy” — has been nominated as undersecretary of the Treasury for international affairs.
[What’s In A Name] To all the tourists, snowbirds, and other snowflakes, once and for eternity the term “the Tiki Bar” refers to the Looe Key Tiki bar. Period. Granted there are numerous restaurants/bars from Key West to Key Largo that have architectural structures resembling Southern Florida Native American Tikis, Holiday Isle isn’t referred to as The Tiki bar, Lorelai isn’t referred to as the Tiki  bar, The Island isn’t referred to as the Tiki bar, Sugarloaf Lodge isn’t referred to the Tiki bar. All those businesses have Tiki structures but are known by their business name not “the little tiki, big tiki, non-generic Tiki or any other kind of tiki. So let’s get it strait. Boondocks is Boondocks. Always was Boondocks always will be Boondocks, never was and never will be “The Big Tiki”. That’s something dreamed up by some foreigner



Vladimir Putin is undisputedly the most powerful person in the world. It used to be the American President who held that title. Polling from the Levada Center puts Putin at an 82 percent approval rating as of last month. America’s President is at 38%. The Russian people love him, especially since he reclaimed the Crimea.

[Wearing White] Norway or Sweden people wear all white at weddings. Asian people wear all white at funerals. How odd.




A funny ad for WD-40 in the first year it was sold, 1956.

[“Fisherman”] There was a time down here when most of us were trap pullers of one type or another. What happened? Did you lose your turn with a girlfriend to one who smells like fish? Get over it, it’s the Keys way.
Most everyone moves locations to improve their situation. I’m not including those of us who moved to resorts. We’re different.
[Bureaucrat Blames Warrior] “There is a tone in Egerton’s telegram which grates on me. It is, to me, as if he said “You have got into a mess, and although you do not deserve it, I am willing to stretch a point in your favor, and authorize you bla bla bla.” It is as if I was enjoying this wretched fighting up here. I declare it is Egerton and Co., who made the mess, and would like to hang its fabrication and solution on me. I wouldn’t mind the burthen if they did not send such telegrams. I must say I do not love diplomats as a rule I mean in their official attire, for, personally, the few I know are most agreeable.”

~The doomed Major-General Gordon under siege at Khartoum 1887

[“Blimp as a weather vane”] Actually the Aerostat on Cudjoe does point into the wind. However, if you have observed Fat Albert for any time, what you will discover is that the wind does not often blow the same direction at altitude as it does on the surface where we are affected. There is quite often a 90-degree difference and occasionally the difference is 180 degrees! Therefore I do recommend not using the blimp to determine wind direction

[Found Glasses] I found pair of prescription tri-focal sun glasses in a leather case. It was lying along the bike path on Key Deer Blvd across from Fire Department. I left it there with a note attached to leave it for the owner to pick up.

[Medicare Going Up] In the latest proposed federal budget, the promise was, no reductions in Social Security and Medicare, but proposed changes would alter the program by ending the Medicare “guarantee,” and would, in effect, cost recipients more.  The “premium support” plan would result in higher costs for seniors, as their fixed payment from the government falls behind rising health care costs.

Campaign promises stated clearly that Medicaid was off-limits, too, but the health care proposal takes aim at the program for the poor and disabled.

[“Fisherman”] Another word for unemployed. You can find them at Coconuts around 10 am unless they have to get their girlfriend to work. Then it’s earlier, or later. The Black Swan was their most favorite hang out in the day.
[Tennessee Williams’ Films] A film forum sponsored by the Tennessee Williams Exhibit as part of its annual Birthday Celebration for the playwright is set for Monday, March 27 at the Tropic Cinema.  A champagne reception will kick off the event at 5:30 p.m., followed by the forum scheduled from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.  Discussion will be led by Shirrel Rhoades, local film critic and publisher, and will focus on Williams’ ties with Hollywood and his foray into screenwriting, with particular attention given to three of his films recently shown at the Tropic Cinema:  “A Street Car Named Desire,” the 1951 film adapted from the play that won Williams his first Pulitzer  Prize; “The Rose Tattoo,” filmed in Key West in 1954 and based on the Broadway play that won Williams a Tony; and “The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond, a 2008 independent film based on Williams long forgotten 1957 screenplay. Tickets are available at the Tropic Cinema.  For more information, contact Dennis Beaver at 305-294-3121
[Obamacare Repeal] Under the new plan, one half million people in south Florida would lose their subsidy making Trumpcare unaffordable for them.
[Warriors With Paint Brushes] Join us in our National Parks to create special U.S. Military Artist in Residence with the National Parks Arts Foundation at Gettysburg National Military Park. Link
[Captain Doom and Gloom] I have lived a long life and have seen things not too many others have seen. The way things are going lately with world affairs, I will probably live to see the world crashing into another world war or worse a world plague of infected idiots dying of religion and germs. Looking around, it seems we are not going to make it as a species, but be worm food. Mental illness is the major culprit, and poisoning our environment is the second. Nothing seems to make people think soundly or to stop over-breeding, over production of goods, junk foods, and useless “toys”. I feel sorry for planet Earth. It looks so beautiful from space as the big blue marble!
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