Tuesday, September 22, 2020

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

[Cruise Ships] The Last Stand board has reviewed the issue of the cruise ship referenda. Though the board is sensitive to the potential economic impacts of the referenda, no one denies the quality of life impacts of the cruise ships on Key West residents. In the expectation of a more balanced approach to cruise ship tourism, the board has taken a position of support for all three referenda.

The three referenda are in line with Last Stand’s interest in preserving the Florida Keys’ unique quality of life and our fragile, beautiful natural environment. Environmental impacts of fewer cruise ship port calls are evident. Fewer large ships re-suspending silt in the channel will benefit juvenile coral. Smaller ships and fewer port calls will reduce particulates from exhaust plumes and improve Key West air quality. Fewer excursions to stressed coral reefs will benefit the environment.

The consequences of limiting ship size and numbers of passengers are complicated. Jobs will be lost; however, many of these jobs were already lost when COVID stopped tourism and cruise ship visits earlier this year. Businesses and the city are adapting to reimagine the future of Key West.

Spread of disease from cruise ships to the Key West community is a valid concern and could challenge the limited capacity of Key West hospitals and their staff.

Key West has done nothing to implement “best practices” to manage cruise ships as recommended in the October 2005 study, “Impacts of the Cruise Ship Industry on the Quality of Life in Key West”. These three charter amendments are an opportunity for the citizens of Key West to force their elected representatives to recognize that the pursuit of ever-increasing levels of tourism is not sustainable.

There is a limit to the City’s capacity to provide all tourists with a quality experience. We have already passed the point where tourism degrades the quality of life for many residents. Tipping the scale toward the environment and quality of life, Last Stand endorses a YES vote for all three cruise ship referenda on the November 3rd ballot.  ~For the Last Stand Board of Directors, D.A. Aldridge, President

The new movie Social Dilemma on Netflix explains how social media intentionally shapes our opinions and the steps they all do to keep you online. It’s absolutely brilliant how these sites are designed. It’s incredible how smart these people are. These are the people, the engineers, who wrote all the artificial intelligence code for Facebook, Twitter, and the others, thinking they were making a better world. In reality social media only delivers content, ads and news that you and your friends want. No other opinions. And they know exactly at what point you are going to disconnect. Yes, they know that much about you. They know the exact moment to send you something you want. They know. When your feed gets too heavy with doom and gloom, etc they send you a cute puppy feed. Because of this we never get to read opinions that differ from our group’s. That’s why you sometimes ask, “How can they not see my point?” It’s because they don’t know your point. We are only fed things we like and agree with. It’s designed that way to keep us engaged and on their sites so they get more advertisers. Advertisers are the customers and we are the product. AI can be explained using Netflix as an example. When you watch, let’s say, a Korean movie, they send you more Korean movies. If you watch another one, they send you many more Korean movies until the only recommended movies will be Korean. That’s what happens with social media. We are in a capsule of like-minded friends all with the same opinion. So we think the whole world feels that way because that’s all we see.

The engineers all agreed on two things. AI can never discern between news and fake news. And something needs to be done. Not one of the engineers could offer any suggestion at to what should be done. They did agree that they created a monster and you can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Trailer

[The Plague] Just think, if the plague does not go away, what are we going to do to eat, travel, exist? Seems most people are too stupid to acknowledge the dangers here (many think 200,000 American deaths is not cause enough to wear a mask) My doctor says to stay home and don’t go out except to buy food.



So far 2020 is like looking both ways to cross the road and getting hit by an airplane.

[200,100 deaths in USA] I just have one question:  When is the mandatory mask rule going to be stopped? This has gone on way too long. People are tired of being forced to wear them.  There is absolutely no reason that we should still be wearing masks everywhere except for compliance.  When will it stop?


[Losers] Wild Waffle House brawl between customers and staff sees wigs and fists fly in argument over the bill. They should just have given them the extra syrup. Link

Deer Editor, Your 9/11 cartoon was despicable. After sending this note, I am finished with the CT.


Boy, it sucks getting old! You have to start writing everything down, then forget where you put the piece of paper. As far as computers, my bank tells me to change my passwords regularly to stop fraud. I can’t remember my passwords because I write them down, and then I’m searching for the paper again …

[Debate] I wouldn’t miss it for the world, but did I read it correctly that the debate will last 4 hours? You’d have to pay me to watch anything for 4 hours (except maybe the Superbowl).

[Grant Writing] If you’re interested in becoming a grant writer, buy these books.  It can jump-start your career.  At home entry-level grant writers in smaller markets can make around $40,000 a year, according to Glassdoor. All not-for-profits like Turtle Hospital, Mote Marine and the Bird Center use grant writers. Link

[Computer Virus] Information technology staffers work overtime to rebuild the computer system inside Key West City Hall, the investigation into the source of a virus that crashed the entire system is still ongoing. City officials are being tight-lipped about the virus. Forensics investigators and “law enforcement” are involved in the investigation into how a virus was able to get into the internal computer network to completely shut it down on Aug. 28. They wouldn’t identify the law enforcement agency but said the repair and forensics investigation, which is separate from any criminal inquiry, is being paid for by the city’s insurance company.


How bad is your eyesight?

[2020 Greek Hurricane] Greek civil protection authorities have been put on maximum alert after a Mediterranean cyclone made landfall, battering the west of the country and many of its popular Ionian islands. Tell me the world is not going insane? Link


[Stickers] I had about a thousand of these stickers. I put them on all the paper towel dispensers I see. Stickers

[National Politics And Conspiracy] Folks, be sure to check out the new tab at the top of the Coconut Telegraph for National Politics And Conspiracy! There is where you may learn a thing or two (always verify references) and can amaze yourself or just laugh out loud at the absolute idiocy of supporters of whichever political party you do not support. Clean, safe, fun at home. Not so safe while driving. National Politics And Conspiracy


[Deer Fence] Has anyone noticed that the new deer fence they are erecting at the bridge looks to be at least twice as high as the old one?  What are they trying to do? Keep out the T-Rex? Deerzilla?

[Police] After observing what’s happened over the last few months, I’ve reached the conclusion that if the police are allowed to do what they’re paid to do, they’re pretty doggone good at it.
[Doomed] It seems to me that many people have bought into the idea that social distancing, lock downs, masks, and the like will get rid of the Coronavirus — a belief that simply is not true.  All of those actions only slow the spread of the disease.  The sad truth is that absent the development of an effective vaccine, we will all at some time probably contract the virus.


I force myself to stay awake until 9 pm to prove I’m not old.

[Military Housing] Reuters investigates Balfour’s little swindles. Link


[Key Colony For Sale] Open water views all around. $489,000. Link


[Disasters] Is April 14th the most infamous day in World History? Talking about disasters, according to historians, April 14th is the most infamous of them all. From man-made to natural, the amount of disasters this very day has spawned, makes it the most infamous date in history. Link

[Phone Addiction] Do you check your phone in the morning before you pee or while you pee?