2019 November

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.

[Counting Key Deer] From Save Our Key Deer Inc. In response to a poster last week suggesting a low overflight with thermal imaging cameras to establish a truly accurate count of Key Deer. Here is some background.
Animal census using thermal imagers mounted on airplanes, helos or (most recently) drones is indeed an accepted and on-going method that is being used to satisfy environmental monitoring requirements on many continents. In the USA’s upper 48s such surveys are done during the winter when deciduous trees have dropped their leaves and the contrast between the snow-covered ground and the warm-blooded deer (elk, moose, wolves, etc.) is the greatest.
In areas with dense evergreen or tropical forests where many trees and bushes do not drop their leaves seasonally all at once, aerial thermal imaging encounters problems since the leaf canopy blocks the heat signal from animals underneath.One SOKD Board member owns a remote sensing company that operates multi-sensor aerial systems stationed throughout the USA. Immediately after Hurricane Irma both SOKD and a major university that has been working on Key Deer for decades realized that the storm’s devastation provided a likely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to very effectively utilize an aerial thermal imaging population survey of the Key Deer: The storm ripped off most of the tree and bush leaf cover, making it much easier to very accurately count all the surviving deer. The SOKD Board member offered utilization of his company’s equipment and staff — at no cost — and to fund charter fees for the necessary aircraft –at no cost.  The University wanted to also bring in an unmanned drone and staff to fly it. The project was nixed by the USFWS because, as SOKD understands, it would take “too long to get the appropriate permits”.
The military-grade, state-of-the art cameras available to SOKD are unprecedented in sensitivity and resolution. However, with our vegetation now regenerating over 2 years post-storm, present-day assessments would likely not be as accurate as they would have been in the immediate months after Irma. So the expense of such a project is likely no longer warranted from the corporate side of the Refuge.
Would it have worked in the months after Irma, as proposed? Absolutely! Check out some test images done by SOKD in October 2017 just after the hurricane.
We include one image as a challenge: What do you think the Key Deer is doing in the “C” image?? We’ll post the answer on the next Coconut Telegraph.
William Shatner smokes a cigarette and speaks “Rocket Man”. Video
[Tires] Do you know what the little red and yellow painted circles on the sidewall of new tires mean? Too many tire jockeys don’t know. They are to best match the tire’s balance to the wheel rim’s balance. Sort of.
The highest priority goes to the red circle which marks maximum radial force variation which should be aligned with the white dot or dimple in the rim. If the wheel rim has one. Otherwise, the tire should be mounted with the yellow circle that represents the lightest part of the tire next to the valve stem, which is usually the heaviest point in the wheel rim, especially with those pressure transmitting valve stems. Crikey! Everything has a computer or spy apparatus now. Video
[Sewers] I have been reading some really concerning research and geologist’s testimony concerning where sewage nutrients and associated contaminants like pharmaceuticals, suntan lotion and other harmful chemicals go now with central sewers using mostly shallow injection wells at wastewater plants.
The shallow injection wells are only cased to 60 feet deep in most cases, which is about the width of a residential lot. Not very deep, but the claim is that there are some semi-confining layers of material that holds the effluent down as it moves horizontally away from the well. But everybody agrees that it rises into the ocean. Here’s where it goes now with central sewer, as quoted from “Fate and Pathways of Injection-Well Effluent in the Florida Keys”
” Leakage is therefore limited to 1) a shallow-water 0.5-mile-wide nearshore belt of exposed Key Largo Limestone, 2) Holocene patch reefs, which grow on mud-free topographic rock highs, and 3) along the seaward side of the outermost reef in 35 to 65 ft (10-20 m) of water, where Holocene reef and sediment accumulations are thin or absent.”
In other words, if everything works as expected, whatever goes down the wells comes up on the reefs!
It should be pretty obvious why our reefs are in trouble now.
Previous studies on septic tank effluent nutrients that reached canals found that it was gone in open water within a few hundred feet of the source- absorbed by sea grass and the like, An EPA sponsored study concluded that it was virtually impossible for septic tank nutrients to reach the reef. With low-budget central sewer, now it all goes to the reefs! I so miss my favored patch reefs off Marathon, which uses only shallow well injection. Now they are covered in thick algae and there are no fish or lobsters at all. Let’s see the TDC spin algae covered dead reefs into a tourist attraction. They have enabled resort development with central sewer, but unless you are content by a pool, why come.




Aerial view of Cape Canaveral launch pads in 1960.

The Cow Key Channel could be built overnight with this bridge building machine. Video

[Controlled Burns] As an imaginative P.R. move, I think it would gain national mention if they held a barbecue after the burns, right on the side of the road, right at the burn. Give away hot dogs and sodas. Notify the media about giving new life to the pine rocklands. Piners don’t like the burns so the Refuge should try to make them more positive. (I almost lost my house the first time they burned some years ago and our clothes smelled of smoke for another month.)

Any civil servant would find many things wrong to nix this idea, but a leader would find a way around those objections.

Solar and batteries work in a blackout, but what does that mean for the grid?. Link
[Crazy People] I figured it out mathematically, if all the crazy people were eliminated there would be nobody left except bartenders and me!
[Workforce  Housing] In its never-ending quest to solve the Keys workforce housing crisis, the County is now endeavoring to shut down Roy’s Trailer Park on Stock Island with about 100 homes of low paid workforce.
Is this a ploy to make more market rate ROGOs available? Is the County conspiring with the two lawyers that own the park to evict the residents citing “safety concerns” to thus circumvent legislation that would otherwise prevent evictions because there are insufficient alternate accommodations nearby for these mobile home owners? Considering that lot rents have increased to absurd levels, it seems reasonable to conclude that either the two lawyers are just greedy heartless bastards or they want the mobile home owners to vacate without an eviction notice.
See report. Link

[“Water Nazi attacks liveaboard”] has published an update to the story about the FWC captain shooting an unarmed citizen on his houseboat. Investigators found the door forced open and three bullet holes through the unopened curtain behind it. Sounds like he came in with guns blazing. They found bullet casings inside as well. His claimed purpose was to do a welfare check on the owner whom somebody claimed was suicidal. Support the Blue Paper- the only ones who tell it like it is. Video

[Reservations Required] The first stage of the collapse of a bar is when you go into the bar and the bartender has set up bar stool locations with empty glasses to tell you that those spots are taken by regular locals and you have to sit where you are told.



Ozzy Ozborne in his weed t-shirt from the 1960’s. Cannabis isn’t a proven treatment for mental health disorders, but experts say it shouldn’t be ruled out. Link

I see people around my age mountain climbing when I just feel good getting my leg through my underwear without losing my balance.
Who’s idea it was to have a live DJ blasting music at Winn Dixie Saturday morning should be fired. It is so annoying. I’m gonna go to Publix. If I want to hear that crap I’ll go to a club on Duval St.
[Waste] Refills for face cream, deodorants roll out as big manufacturers aim to cut waste. Link




John Belushi photobombing Chevy Chase on Saturday Night Live in 1971.

[“FWS shooting boaters”] The water Nazis hate liveaboards and will brake laws to make their lives miserable until they’re all gone. If you don’t live like a water Nazi then you don’t deserve to live.
“All I do is try to understand what happened,” the victim said, “If law enforcement was really concerned about me committing suicide why did they send out the very people who were bullying me? Why didn’t they just send the Coast Guard? No one has anything against the Coast Guard. They’re not destroying people’s boats and homes. They just come save your life. The Coast Guard would never have shot me.” ~Adam Bounds




Protest is patriotic in the 1970’s. Peace is patriotic on Big Pine Key in 2008.  2020 what is patriotic? Protests & peace.

The Japan castle was Okinawa’s largest wooden structure, and while the cause of the fire is still unclear, officials say that the fire most likely started within the building. Flames swept quickly throughout the site, including its large main hall, the castle’s most recognizable building. Video
[The Economy] Stock market hits all time high (27,304.11)! The economy added 128,000 jobs for October, well above the tepid 85,000 gains expected. Link




Rich redneck recycling.

Robert Heinlin’s classic sifi adventure “The Moon is a Harsh Mistress” classically illustrates the principle that most people in America chooses to ignore: Nothing is free. Somewhere there’s a gotcha. Who has to pay? Sooner or later someone gets the bill. As long as I’m convinced that it’s not me, but someone else, then I’m for it. We don’t live in fantasy land. Obviously, no one is immune. One way or another everybody gets the bill.
[Credit Card] Is it proper and legal to pay a prostitute with a credit card? If not, why not?
[N.J. Chicks] Notice that there’s no rape charges ever in Key West? That’s because the fat chicks from NJ don’t want bad advertising!



Sadie the Cleaning Lady — John Farnham. No wonder I never herd of him. Video

[Development] Why are the people in the Keys reducing themselves to live like trailer trash and selling out to ruthless developers? It seems to me, if you get to live in paradise, keep it paradise, not turn it into an over built ghetto if tasteless shacks. God save the Keys!



Jimi Hendrix at 15 years old.

I love to view the people born today section of Bing, but laugh at all the useless eaters who never worked for a living, but are super rich and powerful. That tells me something about the stupidity of our society, don’t work hard, just con your way through life