2024 May

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage pick-up days:
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The Cuban Revolution has been a colossal failure. Not only is there little gas, and food, and electricity but now they even have to import sugar! Sugar is the commodity that Cuba’s wealth was built on. Sugar and tobacco. The revolution was only a sham where they were pretending that they could support themselves. They never could. Post revolution Cuba always relied on foreigners to survive–they’ve never thrived. I was there a few months ago in the eastern part of the island and half the time there wasn’t any electricity. The streets are so filled with pot holes that it’s difficult to walk. Walking at night is almost impossible without a flashlight as there are no street lights. There were no street signs or stores (I did see two restaurants that were right next to each other with very limited menus). The government hotels were the only restaurants with electricity and food (again, a very limited menu).
The Castro revolutionary crowd can’t feed its people or provide the basics of life.
The Key deer are doomed as a wild species in the Lower Florida Keys. In addition to a dwindling water supply, many of the historical food plants of the deer don’t exist in the wild anymore. This is not a new problem. In the nineties it became apparent that the deer where overgrazing many of the native plants that they preferred to eat. In 1980 the deer population was estimated at 225 to 325. By 1990 it was estimated to be over 400. At this level, they were more than likely already beyond the natural carrying capacity of the habitat in the range of the Key deer. The freshwater resources of the lens on Big Pine Key where most of the deer resided was more than adequate. Sea level was about 5 inches lower than present levels. Noticeable losses of certain species of native plants were already apparent. Black torch, Erithalis fruticosa, a small common native tree, that was found in low hammock, pinelands, and transitional buttonwood habitat, was almost completely eliminated from the island by 1990. It only exists behind fences.
Randia, Randia aculeata, another small native tree/ shrub used to occur by the thousands in all open habitats. The deer apparently preferred it less than a few other plants, as it persisted for a decade or two longer. This is now almost locally extinct. The few remaining shrubs are stems with a few half-eaten leaves. The Key deer on Big Pine Key largely exist on illegal feeding, landscaping plants, and a selection of native plants that are greatly reduced in number of species and nutritional value.
Bad prescribed burns have reduced trees that produce food and fruit crops that the deer and other species require. Some species such as Thatch palms, Leucothrinax morrisii have been cut down or cleared by the tens of thousands by USFWS. These palms produce tons of food in the form of carbohydrate rich fruits that occur seasonally. Sea level rise has steadily reduced the food supply of the deer and other species.
These problems have been apparent for many years and are only some of the issues that face the Key deer. Unfortunately, the habitat issues of the deer continue to be ignored. No one has even attempted to do anything to mitigate or solve these problems. There are solutions, but it is unlikely that anything will happen.
[Memorial Day Ceremony] Veterans Affairs County Director Cathy Crane and our VFW Post 10211 Commander Dennis Ward are again sponsoring this year’s Upper Keys Memorial Day Ceremony. It will be held in the auditorium at the Murray Nelson Government Center in Key Largo at MM 102 Bayside. This Memorial Day Remembrance will begin at 11am on Monday, May 27th. A United States Coast Guard Honor Guard will start these proceedings. Scouts from the Florida Keys will join in the opening ceremony. Our prestigious Community Band will provide a moving rendition of patriotic themes. An Eagle Scout, Combat Wounded Veteran and Gold Star Mother will share their perspectives on Memorial Day.
A stirring and inspirational video honoring those “Veterans Killed in Action” will be presented to the audience. The playing of “Taps” will conclude the ceremony. If possible, please attempt to schedule some tine to Honor and Remember these Purple Heart Veterans who “gave their last full measure of devotion”. Thank you.
[Donate Blood] The Big Red Bus will be directly outside the Upper Keys Memorial Day Ceremony, being held at the Murray Nelson Government Center on Monday, May 27th at 11am.  It will be there prior to and after our Memorial Day Service, from 11am to 3pm. American Legion Post 145 is sponsoring this life sustaining Blood Drive. Unplanned for blood transfusions have saved many lives. Thank you.
[Hall & Oates] ‘Over the past 20 years, we’d show up at a show individually, walk on stage, play, and then we’d go our separate ways.’ Singer John Oates reflecting on his working relationship with creative partner Daryl Hall. Hall filed a lawsuit against Oates last year over the sale of their joint business.
[Wild Facts About Babies] 1. They have 100 more bones than you do. Link
[Climate Change] Stop asking people if they “believe in” climate change and start asking if they understand it. Link
[Remember the Milkman] When did he disappear? Although he had a bit of a reappearance during the pandemic when people wouldn’t go into stores. I remember how the cream would rise to be used for coffee or making whipped cream. No homogenized milk here, so we got all the cream.  And how the caps would rise in winter when the milk froze from being left outside on our doorsteps.
My parents took milk from a small farm that they trusted to be very sanitary, so I grew up on raw milk.
The milkman disappeared once all homes had refrigerators.  We also had daily delivery of kaiser rolls.
[Red Lobster in the Red]  When thinking of seafood and cheddar bay biscuits, there is only one restaurant chain that comes to mind: Red Lobster. However, the company is having trouble staying above water these days. Last month, Bloomberg reported that the restaurant is considering filing for bankruptcy protection.
Elements of the problem can be traced to the various promotions the company has offered. The Endless Shrimp deal, which allowed people to eat unlimited quantities of shrimp for $20, was simply “too popular, and Red Lobster was unprepared for its customers’ insatiable lust for discounted shellfish
I finally found some flowers that Key Deer nor iguanas will eat.  They are fake!
[Reformatory -A Novel] I would call it an historical horror novel. A gripping, page-turning novel set in Jim Crow Florida that follows Robert Stephens Jr. as he’s sent to a segregated reform school that is a chamber of terrors where he sees the horrors of racism and injustice, for the living, and the dead. Link
Pier House Resort & Spa in Key West is offerings guests a Marine Science Eco Experience on Fridays between July 12-26. Every Friday at 1pm, guests can join a Marine Scientist for hands-on activities, see live marine animals, have great conversations and presentations, and enjoy Q&A.
Conservative is one who clings to something and does not want to see beyond that. It is a suicidal attitude.’ Pope Francis responding to a question about criticism from “conservative bishops” in the U.S, in an interview with CBS News. The bishops have opposed his progressive efforts to reform the Catholic Church. There is an important difference between taking “tradition into account” and being “closed up inside a dogmatic box,” said the pope.
[Captain Doom and Gloom] If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize world peace for an hour, imagine how serene and quiet it would be until the looting started.
[Parade of Planets] On June 3rd, a rare event known as the Parade of Planets will occur, where six planets of the solar system will align in a straight line, visible just before sunrise.
Minnesota music legend Spider John Koerner, who influenced Dylan and Raitt, dies at 85. Spider John Koerner was a fixture in Minnesota music on so many levels. He sat at the same corner stool nearly every day at Palmer’s Bar in Minneapolis, where they kept an electric mug warmer for his coffee and brandy. Koerner’s mainstay presence goes back to Minneapolis’ West Bank folk and blues scene of the early 1960s, when he mentored a young Bob Dylan and recorded albums that influenced John Lennon, David Bowie, Bonnie Raitt and Beck. Link
College students announce indefinite hunger strike for Palestine between 10 am and noon and also between 1 pm and 5 pm every day except for some light snacking.
(It blows my mind how college kids can support terrorists. I can’t figure it out).
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Does anyone know who bought the American Shoal lighthouse? A Google search revealed nothing.
[BlueJeans] On this day in May 20, 1873 Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis were granted a patent for copper rivets on pants, an invention that gave rise to modern blue jeans. The rivets were used to strengthen certain areas of the denim overalls sold by Strauss’ brand, Levi Strauss & Co. The company remains one of the most popular blue jean brands today.

At 11a.m. Monday I emptied my rain gauge which had already reached its capacity of 7-1/2″!  And it’s still raining.

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World’s greatest ever bull rider reveals the heartwarming reason he bought the beast that sling-shotted him, broke his neck and forced him to give up rodeoing. Video
The current Coconut Telegraph was published on 5/21/24 at 9:34 am.