2016 October

Tuesday, October 2, 2016

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

screwworm-maggotts[USDA Confirms New World Screwworm Cases in Big Pine Key] Oct 3, 2016, The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of New World screwworm in Key deer from a wildlife refuge in Big Pine Key, Florida. USDA’s National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirms this is a local infestation of New World screwworm. This is the first local infestation in the United States in more than 30 years. In response to this infestation, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam today declared an agricultural state of emergency in Monroe County Florida. “The screwworm is a potentially devastating animal disease that sends shivers down every rancher’s spine. It’s been more than five decades since the screwworm last infested Florida, and I’ve grown up hearing the horror stories from the last occurrence,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “This foreign animal disease poses a grave threat to wildlife, livestock and domestic pets in Florida. Though rare, it can even infect humans. We’ve eradicated this from Florida before, and we’ll do it again. We will work with our partners on the federal, state and local level to protect our residents, animals and wildlife by eliminating the screwworm from Florida. The public’s assistance is crucial to the success of this eradication program.”

In addition to the samples from three Key deer that were confirmed positive for screwworm, there are other Key deer from the same refuge and a few pets in the local area that exhibited signs of screwworm over the past two months, though no larvae were collected and tested in those cases. All of the potentially affected animals are from the same area of Big Pine Key and No Name Key. There have been no human or livestock cases.

Animal health and wildlife officials at the state and federal levels are working jointly to address these findings. Response efforts will include fly trapping to determine the extent of the infestation, release of sterile flies to eliminate the screwworm fly population, and disease surveillance to look for additional cases in animals. The initial goal will be to keep the infestation from spreading to new areas while eradicating the New World screwworm flies from the affected Keys.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has established an Animal Health Check Zone from mile marker 91 south. Animals traveling north will be given health checks at an interdiction station located at mile marker 106 to ensure that they do not have screwworm. This checkpoint will ensure that the screwworm does not travel north and infest other areas of Florida. In addition to the check zone, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and other partners are implementing aggressive control and surveillance measures to eradicate the screwworm.

Residents who have warm-blooded animals (pets, livestock, etc.) should watch their animals carefully and report any potential cases to 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352) or non-Florida residents should call (850) 410-3800. Visitors to the area should ensure any pets that are with them are also checked, in order to prevent the spread of this infestation.
While human cases of New World screwworm are rare, they have occurred, and public health officials are involved in the response. For more information about this disease in humans, please contact your local public health department.

New World screwworms are fly larvae (maggots) that can infest livestock and other warm-blooded animals, including people. They most often enter an animal through an open wound and feed on the animal’s living flesh. Link

[Big Pine Crook] Belen Araque, 31, of Big Pine Key, was charged with nine counts of dealing in stolen property and fraudulent use of a credit card for stealing $29,000 worth of jewelry and other property from her roommate and using her debit card while she was in the hospital.
cat gun ak47[Killer Cats] In 2013, Smithsonian and other government scientists released a report suggesting that America’s cats—both pets and strays—kill some 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion birds per year, making them the leading human-related cause of avian deaths. (And that’s not to mention the 6.9 billion to 20.7 billion mammals and untold millions of reptiles and amphibians cats also do away with.) Islands are a special problem. One Spanish study found that cats contributed to 14 percent of all vertebrate vanishings on islands worldwide—an extremely conservative estimate,

Hawaii is another cat disaster in progress. In 1866, cat lover Mark Twain observed the archipelago’s “platoons of cats, companies of cats, regiments of cats, armies of cats, multitudes of cats,” but 150 years later he could for once be accused of understatement. Nothing is being done to control cats because they’re “so cute”.

The Crafty Beer Quiz. Play
Always love a woman for her personality. They have, like, 10, so you can choose.


[Health Food] Bacon is now a health food. Oscar Mayer has a new premium bacon without nitrates or nitrites. Winn Dixie sells this expensive bacon for about a $.83 an ounce.

How do you feel about cruise ships? They come to Key West, fill up their fresh water tanks with Aqueduct Authority water they buy from the city, then they churn up the bottom of the channel again when they leave, and when they get offshore they dump their wastewater and ground up food wastes (chum) into the sea beyond the 12-mile limit? And how do you feel about the city of Key West and their utility board? since all of the board members are from Key West and are elected by Key West voters? And their kind of huge allergy to solar panels and solar energy; but who keep boasting about growing greener every day?

[Jean Shepard Dead] Grand Ole Opry members gathered to bid her farewell. Shepard, who died on Sunday at the age of 82, was a pioneer for women in country music. She was the first female country singer to celebrate 60 years as an Opry member. Video

[Ballot Deceit] We heard about the misleading description for Constitutional Amendment 1 where it appears that if you do not approve it, you will be subsidizing the power bill of people generating some of their electricity from solar panels and restricting everyone’s rights to free solar. Wrong! Vote NO on One to support solar and deny the electric monopolies additional authority.

And just look at the loaded County wording of the GMO mosquito referendum! An environmental manipulation experiment involving unwilling humans has been termed a mere “effectiveness trial” to suppress “an invasive mosquito” that carries disease. It is very obvious how the County want you to vote. Hello? The targeted mosquito may have been invasive once upon a time, but it is certainly well established now and therefore now a native species of many generations. What can be more invasive than a whole new species created in a foreign lab from disparate organisms- some of which are not only not native to this region but not even native to this side of the world! With a herpes virus and e.Coli bacterial component thrown in for good measure! Then the new species is intentionally introduced- like Melaleuca trees or Kudzu, but potentially worse. Some of the released GMOs are admittedly biting females, and capable of viable reproduction. They may be even more effective disease carriers than the mosquito species they seek to suppress. After the Oxitec releases in Brazil, Dengue Fever cases dramatically increased despite Oxitec’s claims of a dramatically reduced native mosquito population. Simultaneously, Zika became more than just a nuisance infection, harmlessly gone in a week. You have to be a real sucker for slick marketing or on the Oxitec payola list to vote for that one! (no offense, FTR- just speaking frankly.)

As for the other proposed Amendments, besides medical weed, they look like disguised taxes to benefit special interests to me. Somebody has to make up the difference in lost revenue and pay for the administration. Keep it simple. We already have Social Services for those who are genuinely in need or know how to scam the system. Besides, what makes a first responder such a special case? They already have very special pension benefits- as do many government officials. Military, pretend-cop security guards, and traffic flaggers are probably more in harm’s way than a fireman that is mostly responding to medical calls. It’s a job, and every job has risks.


[Anchoring Survey] The State of Florida is once again reviewing their anchoring laws and regulations. Whether you live in Florida, cruise there now or just want to be sure you will be able to someday, now is a critical time to share your views on this topic with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). Link

[Budtender] Here is a job opportunity for Key West. “It’s a great time to be a pot smoker in Oregon,” Matt Walstatter said. New job name “budtenders”
It costs only 38 million to administer the regulatory program. His company, CannaGuard Security plans to launch another business that will transport cash for state-licensed businesses, which have difficulty accessing conventional banking services because of federal prohibition of marijuana. Recreational sales have translated into $33.5 million in taxes between January and the end of July, the latest data available. The state estimates that 2.9 to 3.7 tons of marijuana moved through the regulated medical and recreational markets in June alone – enough for more than 3 million joints. That doesn’t include edibles and concentrates, which became available to recreational consumers in June. As for the economy, the emergence of a regulated marijuana market in Oregon has created about 2,000 retail jobs, such as budtenders, in the past two years, according to the latest state data. State economists caution that it’s too early to tell what broader effect the industry will have on the state’s economy. “Those are relatively low- or moderate-paying jobs,” said Josh Lehrer, an economist with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis. “That is not where you are going to get a lot of value added or bang for your buck.” Government health surveys taken before the 2014 vote to legalize marijuana found that young people in Portland use cannabis at rates higher than their peers in the rest of the state and the country. Link



[Toothpick Art] What can you do with a toothpick besides picking teeth? Link

[Sewers] As it stands, Little Torch SR4A sewers will undoubtedly back up. It will air-lock like a late 1960s Chrysler’s fuel line and all flow will stop. The construction plans as-bid called for an air release on the wrong (downstream) side of US1 at SR4A after the forcemain just dove deep under US1. DEP and FKAA were made aware of the goof, but denied any problem. I went to the intersection today and walked around, only to discover that the air release was not installed as per the contract and was also not installed properly. I wonder if Layne was paid for it anyway? It is supposed to be in a 4′ diameter manhole which is generally hard to miss. I saw none installed on either side of US1. I did find the valves on each side of the highway. The trouble with valves on a pipe fed by E-1 pumps is that unless you turn off the power to every pump upstream, or divert flow temporarily into a tanker at a flush out, then shutting a valve risks pressures of about 180 PSI on pipe tested to 100 PSI and fittings supposedly designed for 150 PSI max (although the E-1 plastic valves leaked at the stem when they tried to test that high). They have been blowing apart all over the world and they will blow apart here. Or else the pumps will burn up like the one right at FKAA’s Blimp Road engineering trailers when a valve was closed that they thought was open. You know they tried to keep that incident quiet! (But now even more people know)
(Hey, Jay- I just gave you 2 options when you have to close a valve, and where & what is required to get the poop moving again when the gas builds up there: Give the pipe a proper place to fart. In Australia, they finally went to using a substitute for high tide that enables remote shutdown of E-1 pumps so stuff doesn’t blow apart so often and there is not so much airborne poop at a break. Lots of luck here, amigo).
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[Eyeballs] Can anyone recommend a physician who has extensive knowledge, expertise and success performing cataract surgery in the Keys.

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Is anyone running against Commissioner Neugent or is he going to be our Commissioner forever? I’m sure after all this time there must be a bunch of people who would vote for anyone else who ran.
an-pizza-delivery34[Food Schleppers Needed] Southernmost Homeless needs a cadre of schleppers to make a quick trip from the old soup kitchen to the homeless shelter every day. Volunteer schleppers will bring the wonderful food the St. Mary’s volunteers prepare, out to serve the men and women who are staying that night at the Homeless Shelter on Stock Island. The pickup and 2 1/2 mile trip can be completed in about half an hour, but you are welcome to stay and help serve or just enjoy a delicious meal with our hungry brothers and sisters.

If you would like to volunteer a day or two a week or month, please contact John Miller, Executive Director, at or 502.876.5092




Amazon Prime members enjoy a free pre-release book each month. I choose this one. Link

[Bad Guy] Kenya Thomas, 45, of Marathon, was charged with third-degree felony aggravated assault without intent to kill and first-degree misdemeanor possession of marijuana for threatening to stab and kill his ex-roommate with a pocketknife and then a kitchen knife.
help wanted door

[Help Wanted] Dion’s Summerland Key now hiring. Two full-time day shifts available. Benefits and paid vacations. Please stop in and fill out an application. On the spot interviews.

NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary will hold a public meeting of the Sanctuary Advisory Council at the Ocean Reef Cultural Center in Key Largo, Florida, at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.  Members of the public are welcome to attend. When arriving at Ocean Reef, inform the front gate staff that you are attending the FKNMS Advisory Council meeting.  To receive more information, or to request a meeting agenda, please contact
[Cannabis-infused Beer] Yes! Saves time and your lungs. Link
krusty-the-clownReports of clowns haunting more than ten states have people on edge. And, the reports keep coming. While you Keyser’s are busy clowning around, you may want to know about the new clowns in towns. Yikes! Serious or just a sick joke? It should be an interesting Halloween. Video
[Messing with Mother Nature] Should we bring back the wooly mammoth? Or edit a human embryo? Or wipe out an entire species that we consider harmful? The genome-editing technology CRISPR has made extraordinary questions like these legitimate.

I don’t know about you but I don’t trust those in charge.  Yikes! Ted Talk Video




Bob Guenther, 89, of Big Pine Key, Florida, passed away at home.

October is Florida’s Greenways and Trails Month—Time to Celebrate! Link
When any blog gets politically correct it should be shut down because it is from then on useless to its posters!
indian-dance[The Scalp Dance of the Crow] “My wife is the best dancer of the whole savage party; she out-dances them all. I told her not to dance. This was a sting which pierced my very heart. Taking my battle-axe, and forcing myself into the ring, I watched my opportunity, and struck my disobedient wife a heavy blow in the head with the side of my battle- axe, which dropped her as if a ball had pierced her he art. I dragged her through the crowd, and left her; I then went back to my tent. This act was performed in such a bold manner, under the very noses of hundreds of them, that they were thunderstruck, and for a moment remained motionless with surprise. When I entered the tent, I said to my companions, “There, now, you had better prepare to hold on to your own scalps, since you take so much interest in a celebration over those of the fallen white man.” When your wives disobey your commands, you kill them; that is your right. That thing disobeyed her husband.

The chief then made a loud and long harangue, after which all became quiet. He next came to my camp and said, “My son, you have done right; that woman I gave you had no sense; her ears were stopped up; she would not hearken to you, and you had a right to kill her. But I have another daughter, who is younger than she was. She is more beautiful; she has good sense and good ears. You may have her in the place of the bad one; she will hearken to all you say to her.” (from the memoirs of a white man living among the Crow 1880)

chamber-swearing-inMayor Heather Carruthers swore in the new Board of Directors for the Lower Keys Chamber of Commerce at their annual celebration held on Sept. 28 at FISH.  David Tuttle, Steve Miller (2nd VP), Shane Keween (1st VP), John Mendoza (Membership Chair), Cathy Crane (Treasurer), Denise Bays (Secretary), Shana Casey, Luann Devine.  Absent are Cathy Hoffman and Dee Hood.

Awards went to Steve Estes and Boondocks for Community Spirit; Kiki’s Sandbar and Looe Key Reef Resort for Beautification; Lower Keys Tackle for Business of the Year.  Extraordinary Volunteers Lang Godfrey and Steve Bellew received a big “thank you” in the form of Chamber Bucks

[Minimum Wage] The tourism industry requires labor to operate.  If wages are increased, the prices for tourism goods and services must also increase.  If wages are significantly increased, significant price increases must also occur.  The TDC would not like that.



Early Vue Finder navigation systems.

[Spaced Out Drivers] A car pokes along at 10-20 mph below the speed limit, and as soon as the road opens up into four lanes, they speed up so you can’t legally pass them. When the four lane goes back to two they slow down again. Are they just goofing on people or are they just dumb as a post? I have seen this happen so many times, usually on the Bahia Honda bridge or the seventeen mile stretch before Miami.
I tried to find out the name of the “@” symbol, but it won’t Google. I figure there must be a fancy name besides “at”.
I bought booze at the new Winn Dixie liquor store and got Fuel Perks! Not only were they cheap, but I got money off my gas too. I like that. It’s expensive being an alcoholhead and every bit helps.
[Computer Power User] The October digital edition is now available. Link
hurricane over floridaWhile it remains unclear what impact, if any, Hurricane Matthew will have on the United States, he is likely to develop into a Category 3 hurricane. It is certainly worth keeping an eye on the projected path. Here is a link to a good checklist for a disaster kit. Link

According to several experts, this Atlantic hurricane season has been forecasted to produce more storms than any season in the last three years. Based on forecast models and in light of recent, devastating flooding in other areas of our country, we continue to encourage all of our customers to purchase flood insurance. Remember, your home insurance DOES NOT provide coverage in the event of flood damage. Call us today for a flood quote: 305-289-0213!   ~The Johnson’s Insurance Agency

[GMO Skeeters] Are you aware that Oxitec could have offered to totally annihilate the a. egypti mosquito species by just releasing a few skeeters instead of offering to suppress them by breeding and releasing millions over and over again? (more money in the latter) A link is provided to about a 12 minute TED talk video that explains in simplified detail just how it is done. Very easy to understand, fascinating, and will blow your mind. Already, a mosquito exists that can alter an entire species in one year to be incapable of carrying malaria. Should it be released? What happens if 1,000 people per day don’t die that otherwise would have? Genetic modification can be extremely, extremely powerful and dangerous. Watch as educated fools wipe out whatever annoys them… like a whole race intentionally and all humankind by accident. Link
screwworm-fly[Deer Fatal Disease Quarantine] State and federal agricultural regulatory agencies issued an animal quarantine declaration in the Florida Keys and set up a checkpoint in the Upper Keys Monday to make sure domestic animals are not infected by screwworms before leaving the Keys. New World screwworms are fly larvae, or maggots, that can infest livestock and other warm-blooded animals, including people. They most often enter an animal through an open wound and feed on the animal’s living flesh. While they can fly much farther under ideal conditions, adult flies generally do not travel more than a couple of miles if there are suitable host animals in the area. New World screwworm is more likely to spread long distances when infested animals move to new areas and carry the pest there. This is the first case of screwworms in Florida in 50 years.

There have been at least 36 Key deer, two dogs and a pot-bellied pig that have been euthanized in the past month after being infected with screwworms.

The Key deer are especially susceptible this time of year because they are fighting, or rutting, with each other with the victor generally having the right to mate with females in the area. The Key deer are prone to cuts and injuries during the rut and screwworms can infiltrate the infected the wounds.

Animal Health Check Zone is on U.S. 1 at Mile Marker 106. Motorists with domestic animals leaving the Keys must stop and have their pets physically inspected to ensure that they do not have screwworms. This checkpoint will ensure that the screwworm does not travel north and infest other areas of Florida.

Response efforts will include fly trapping to determine the extent of the infestation, release of GMO sterile flies to eliminate the screwworm fly. population. Report any potential cases to 1-800- 435-7352.

[Dumbass American Youth] “Who is the Vice President?” This is not funny, this is terrifying. We  need to make America smart again. Video
girls-cout-pledge-flagCoach Jerry Jones went into the locker room before the Cowboys – Giants game yesterday. He looked around at all the young men and addressed them as a group. “Regardless of your personal opinions, this is a sacred day that we recognize the sacrifice and pain that so many have endured. When the National Anthem is played by a lone trumpet player in a few minutes you WILL stand and you WILL put your hand over your hearts.” Jerry waited a second and made eye contact with several players to make sure his words had sunk in. He knew he had their undivided attention and proceeded.
“You gentlemen are world class athletes, but you are also actors. You perform on a stage that is 100 yards long. Today, you play the role of a patriotic super hero. You will play this role well because you know that millions of children will be watching and looking at your example.” Then his inner fire started to shine through as he said quietly “but most of all I want you to remember, you are the actors, but this is MY stage and you will play the role I tell you to.”

Too bad the rest of the NFL owners don’t have Jerry’s attitude.

[Write-in Vote] Votes for Mickey Mouse no longer count. The Tampa Tribune reports state election officials increasingly are not bothering to count write-in votes. That’s a tragedy for Mickey Mouse who, as a resident of Florida, was often named. Chuck Norris also loses, along with none of the above.
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I think enemas are a pain in the ass!


Joe: “Ya know that I have known the bartender for over 30 years?”
Mo: “She looks like someone but I can’t figure who.”
Joe: “Her father was the guy who parted the sea years ago.”
Mo: “ You mean Moses?”
Joe: “I was thinking more of Charleston Hesston!”

[Cudjoe Wastewater] Remember our Great Commissioner’s words ” Put the system in and we can fix it later.” Great wisdom on his part as he lives in Marathon. They broke away from the county to do things better, and they system is nearly as broken as the one we have that is not put in yet. I didn’t vote for him. Did you?


[‘Tis the Season] Not! October 3rd. Greenville SC. Walmart.

[Haiti] The only consolation for the impending devastation of the failed nation of Haiti is that no one will notice the damage among the usual mess.
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