2017 October

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsPublished Tuesdays and Fridays. Letters to the editor with pictures.​ Since 2002.

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[Canals] The County had better be quick about cleaning up the canals because when that junk sinks it’s going to be a hell of a lot harder to clean up.


[Science vs “Science”] New Mexico’s public education secretary said the state will adopt widely used school science standards in their entirety in response to public outrage over proposed changes that omitted references to global warming, evolution and the Earth’s age.

[New Publix] On November 15th the developers for Publix are coming before the Monroe County Planning Commission at 10:00 on the second floor of the County’s EOC building in Marathon.

If you think we do not need a Publix on Big Pine Key primarily due to the additional traffic it will add to our roadways, please consider writing a short email to the Planning Commission Coordinator Ilze Aguila at:

It is not too late to comment but; you need to do it before next Wednesday, November. The email can be really short.  State your name, where you live, how long (if applicable) and that you are opposed to a new Publix supermarket on Big Pine Key. Add one or two short reasons why.  That is all that is needed.

We are at a roadway Level of Service C on Big Pine Key, once a road segment degrades to a level D, a building moratorium is enacted.  From the developer’s estimates, the new shopping center would create 1,776 additional trips per day.  The people of Big Pine Key do not need more traffic and neither to the Key deer.  Current estimates put the number of Key deer death’s last year at 250 and that does not include the 150 or so that is estimated as the number that were killed in hurricane Irma.

In speaking with several individuals, I have come to realized many of you think this issue is dead.  It is not.

[Dead Dog] There is a woman named Lisa and her husband who has been providing hot meals for people in big Pine Key for the last two months–out of her own pocket. Yesterday someone ran over her goddamn little dog and killed him. He was drunk (the driver). He gave her shit. This woman has done more for our damn community than any other human being I’ve ever seen. She needed help with the cremation expenses because she has been spending all her money feeding the people of Big Pine Key. She got help. This is a photo of her and her crew providing hot meals to our community. Her little dog is being held by a friend (Lisa and husband are 4th and 5th from left).

All I can say is this, whoever did this, better pray on their goddamn knees that I don’t find out who it is.. I hope karma bites the ass of whoever the f**k did this. And yes, mom, I’m swearing.

The deadline for Hurricane Irma survivors in all 48 designated Florida counties to register for FEMA individual disaster assistance has been extended to Nov. 24. Individuals can register online at By phone, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (Voice, 711 or VS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). Due to high demand, lines may be busy. Please be patient, and try calling in the morning or evening when call volume may be low. The FEMA Helpline is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. (ET), seven days a week until further notice. For more information visit, or follow us @FEMARegion4 on Twitter and on FEMA’s Facebook page.
There are snipe and ducks in the Keys in the winter. Before all these people showed up we would travel to different islands hunting them. If you read the old lawyer in the Citizen long enough he talks about getting hundreds of them. There are freshwater, or brackish ponds in the Keys that still get them. Unfortunately, they won’t let us shoot them any longer. They are tasty. You have to go North of the 18-mile stretch to get them legally now. Oh, we do miss the good old days before the new jail. We could do what made sense because there wasn’t much enforcement then. Duck, turtle, or deer on the menu wasn’t frowned upon. Now everybody goes to jail. That’s how they get their money.
Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose to wisely & give out what you most want to come back.  ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, down town Pine Key


How the Halloween costume packaging looks versus how it looks when you put it on.

In order to build affordable housing they are going to build on every speck of land they can, regardless of the increase in traffic or changing the look of the Keys any further. They will only stop when there is no more land. Already they are going up. They changed the maximum building height last year. In the near future I can see everyone waxing nostalgic about how the Keys were. This is a train that cannot be stopped. When there’s is no more land to build on they will devise new, unheard of, methods to squeeze in more affordable housing
Conflict cannot survive without your participation. It’s like the old line–what if they gave a war and no one came.


Questions are swirling in Washington about how Whitefish Energy, a two-person company in Montana, won a $300 million contract to rebuild Puerto Rico’s hurricane-ravaged electrical grid.

Attached is part of Whitehouse’s contract with Puerto Rico and the Trump administration’s Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is from the same town in Montana.

It’s the lack of empathy that makes it very easy for us to plunge into wars.  ~President Obama
Since affordable housing usually stays affordable for only a few years, developers all cite “affordable housing” when permitting new developments and always ask for more than they expect.

[No More Hogfish] State fishery managers have joined their federal counterparts and closed the recreational harvest of hogfish off the Florida Keys and South Florida starting Wednesday, Nov. 1, until May 1 because of overfishing. Link

[Sewers and Irma] Here’s a link to a report for the Marathon system.  Vac system is waterlogging but functional, extensive damage to grinder pumps on Grassy Key.  KLWTD’s report can be found on this agenda.  FKAA provided no written report that I can find.  Zuelch gave a verbal report.  Dean has a letter of commendation for management staff for their performance during Irma.  (I imagine he’s laying the groundwork for a bonus or some-such.)  And then there’s this giant purchase order.

E-one is cheap and can meet high head conditions.  That’s why they tend to win these low-pressure bids initially.  They’re not a bad pump in the right application – serving a single-family home.  That’s what they’re designed for.  But they’re not as hardy as a centrifugal pump.  I just have no idea why any utility would want to maintain 2000 pumps if there are other alternatives.

I’m curious about the flood elevation, too.  The control panels for the neighborhood pumping stations should be above the 100-year flood.

[Canals] Just when you thought the Whispering Pines Canal (most polluted according to authorities) couldn’t get any worse, the mullet trying to spawn got trapped inside and died due to lack of oxygen. Check out the West end and take a look and a whiff! Perhaps it was the residual diesel from the sunk boat West of Almond.


What happened to the Barnacle Bed and Breakfast on Long Beach Road after Irma? I have some great memories of that place.  Are Tim and Jane okay? Can they still do business? Will they reopen?

[Writer’s Group] Post Irma Meeting this Wednesday from 1-3 at the library on Big Pine Key. Optional:  Socialize at Coco’s for lunch starting at Noon. See you there!
[Post Irma Sewers] Cudjoe Regional Field Report. Link


[Alternate Truths] It’s not okay for you to believe what you believe when you deny science for political or financial reasons. It is okay for you to demand others believe established science.

[Stereotypical Bigot] One of Roy Moore’s professors nicknamed him “Fruit Salad” at the University of Alabama School of Law. That’s your likely future, Alabama. How can any state embarrass itself further? Your move, Mississippi.
Let me explain why I am never ever, ever going to leave the Florida Keys, specifically, Big Pine Key. I am going through some stuff in my life, as all of us are, really, really bad stuff. On Sunday I put a post on a local oriented Facebook page. On Monday I start college at 9 AM until 5 PM, then I work a 12 hour shift as a bartender. It’s a really long day. I posted that I had nobody to attend to my two rescue dogs whom I love very dearly. I was looking to pay for the help. I was not looking for anything for free. Within 10 minutes I had 12 people respond to my post and offer, for free, help!

In the face of the destruction that is going on around us, there were 12 strangers that wanted to help me. And they did. Thank you so much to all the people that responded to my cry for help. My dogs mean everything in the world to me. Thank you so much for all of your help. My dogs were taken care of (I will be hiring a dog sitter on a day that I’m not working 20 hours). But this sense of community that was represented by that, I have never found anywhere else in my life. I have worked hard to help the poor and voiceless people in our community. I’ve worked really hard. And it was now my time to ask for help. And I got it. In spades. And that’s why I will never ever, ever abandon the Florida Keys. This is my home. This is my community. And we are very resilient (we have to be to live here). And we will rebuild this unique place. We will rebuild. And I will be here to help every step of the way.


A little Halloween music. Video

The only federal relief that is actually available to us is a small business loan. I get about 2-3 emails a day offering SBA loans. I don’t want a loan, I want some of that free money that I don’t know to get at.



[Fast Eddie’s College Football Considerations] Week 9. Link

Did No Name Pub make it thru the storm?
[Hurricane Recovery] I thought you might find it interesting to hear that you are all doing so well. Harvey, Irma, Maria: Different disasters, different recovery. Hurricane recovery has gone swiftly in some places, slowly in others. Federal help has been robust in places they could get to.
The only actual Halloween song ever recorded (circa 1960).
Lambert, Hendricks & Ross – Halloween Spooks
Fools take a knife and stab people in the back. The wise take a knife, cut the cord, and free themselves from the fools.
[Trash Pickup, Canals] Port Pine Heights. Large vegetation like trunks of trees or palms will picked up at a later time.  The same is true with construction material, household items, and metal products like appliances.  If these items are mixing in the same pile it may delay a pick up.  Waste that are in bags will not be picked up during this first pick up.  Waste Management trucks will pick them up only if you put the bags in your garbage cans to be picked up on Tuesday and Fridays. If you haven’t notice, the contractor working in PPH left without finishing because they were asked by the county to move to Eden Pines to help clean up their streets for their annual Trick-R-Treat extravaganza this Tuesday, which is a good thing.  They started back up in PHH today.

We finally got some information about getting help to clear debris from our canals.  Rhonda Haag with Monroe County confirmed that no help will come from Corp of Engineers or FEMA but they do have a commitment from the State of Florida.  The State will handle the hiring of contractors to do the job.  Monroe county has the responsibly to locate and record the problem areas in need.  The county will know the time frame from State of Florida in 2 weeks as to when they hope to start.  We need to get a complete list of the canals that are blocked by any kind of debris including boats and submit it to Rhonda Haag asap.  We requested this info several weeks ago and the following is what we have so far.

Canals between: Gumbo Limbo & Driftwood St, Pine & Poinciana St, Blue Lagoon & Bahama St, Dyer & Gillott Rd, Dyer & Donna Rd, Gillott & George Rd, No Name & George Rd, Atlantic & Park Blvd, main canal at the end Dolphin/Town St.

If there are any more, please let us know asap since we want to report it by the end of this week.

We had a lot of damage at our community park.  We would like to clean it up and do some repairs in 2 weeks.  If you would like to volunteer, please call Bob Audette at 305-872-2170.

If someone lost a very large propane tank please call me.  It was taken out of a canal off Gulf  Blvd.  Also there is a pallet of new lattice fencing found on an empty lot off of Gulf.  ~Chuck Griffin 305-394-7251



Bruce Springsteen: A working-class hero and plainspoken visionary whose sincere romantic insights into everyday lives have earned comparisons to American literary giants like John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie. Audio

[Post Irma] The world and sea will replenish itself after Irma.  No need to waste more money on studies telling the citizens what any idiot (read:  NOAA) can tell us.
Go over to Boot Key harbor and help dig the sunken boats out of the muck if you want to be helpful.
[Mold] I just have to share this to give to you friends in the Keys some hope. I’m 44 years old and in 2013 my husband, my mom, my child and I were all poisoned by toxic mold. Aspergillus, stachy and cladasporium, were all off the charts. My mother died of heart failure 2 months after we moved. We have been in a lawsuit since. It was a rental. After moving and losing my mom, I lost twins at 6 weeks pregnant. Mold devastated my life as it has most everyone here. In August of last year I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis and neuropathy. The day I was diagnosed I was literally crippled overnight. It took a few months to get back to walking and my life has since been a battle just to stay mobile. I lost my job and can no longer work and we all have lung disease. Yesterday I had to break down and see a pain specialist. I went in and as he was doing assessment he commented on my RA being so bad and my age so I stepped out of my shell and told him about the mold and he stopped in his tracks and made me tell the entire story. He was intrigued and then he hands me a booklet about what toxin exposure can do to our central nervous system. It was informative and really hit on it causing neuropathy. He then goes on to tell me he wanted to do further testing and that he would NOT inject me with steroids because they feed mold. I am seriously floored! He understands mold. He didn’t turn his back like most others. The visit went great and I look forward to his testing. Could some medical professionals finally be trying to understand and accept this.
[Almost War] In 1873 the Virginius, flying the American Flag, was captured by the Spanish off the southern coast of Cuba. The ship was carrying weapons and men for the Cuban rebels fighting the Spanish control of the Island. The Virginius was taken to Santiago, Cuba where the captain and crew were executed which almost led to war between the United States and Spain. The American Fleet was ordered to Key West to protect the country.
If Key West doesn’t do something to bring the young people back to party in this town, Fantasy Fest and all our tourism will die off faster than if religious people took over.

[Some People Don’t Get The Keys] My family and I came to the Keys hopefully to buy a retreat in Paradise, but after seeing what it is really like to live here, we will look elsewhere.

[Derelict and Abandoned Boats] The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ought to be more concerned about removing derelict and abandoned boats than closing beaches to the public to protect wildlife and critical habitat from disturbance. A mindless agency.
[No Sunday Edition] Did you see where the Citizen published only one paper this weekend for both days combined? “Weekend Edition October 28-29, 2017 ◆ Vol. 141 ◆ No. 274 ◆ 34 pages”
Sanctuary Advisory Council and Sanctuary Friends Foundation, what are you going to do to help Monroe County rebound?
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