Since 2002. Published Wednesdays and Saturdays
|[Cover Up] Superintendent Porter, I found your comments this Friday morning (11/27/15) on Bill Becker’s “Morning Magazine” about finances at the HOB daycare operation to be confusing, if not contradictory.
You told Becker that you thought it perfectly appropriate, without explanation, not to inform the School Board, the State Attorney or anyone else for that matter when HOB Principal Mike Henriquez told you a year ago about financial problems, if not irregularities, with the HOB daycare operation. Rather, you took it upon yourself to conduct an internal investigation sotto voce. The results of that investigation continue to remain private and not revealed beyond your staff.
Last spring, you decided to engage the services of an accounting firm to audit the finances of the HOB daycare operation. Again, the results of that investigation continue to remain private and not revealed beyond your staff. Also, it is my understanding that District policy requires that the results of ANY audit is to be reported to the School Board. If that is the case, why did you not make the results of the May, 2015 audit available to the School Board?
You told Becker this morning that it was appropriate at this juncture to inform the School Board, the State Attorney or anyone else for that matter. I fail to understand the distinction that you are drawing, that it was inappropriate to make public in November, 2014 the financial problems at the HOB daycare operation but somehow it became appropriate in May, 2015 to make public those problems. Regardless, you did not make the information of May, 2015 public until it was revealed by the local media and the decision of the Auditor General to include it in its Annual Report. If it was appropriate to make the information public in May, 2015, why did you not do so? That question deserves an answer.
I am also informed that then Board Chairman John Dick twice urged you to refer the matter to the State Attorney’s office, but you did not follow that urging. My sources tell me that you did not inform the State Attorney until Friday, November 20, 2015 when you had virtually no choice in the matter.
I believe that the School Board and the public in general deserve a better explanation for your actions. It certainly appears that you would have never made public the financial problems at the HOB daycare operation were you not forced to do so by the public exposure in the press. Once again, it appears that the failure to reveal, “cover-up”, is more damning and damaging to public confidence in the School District and its ability to manage its finances than the offense itself. If nothing else, your extreme reluctance to find fault with anyone requires some sort of explanation.
As you well know, there is much more to be said on this subject and much of it will be said at the next School Board meeting. It is incumbent on you to clarify, to fully explain, any ambiguity or confusion associated with this issue. ~Dr. Larry Murray, Fiscal Watchdog and Citizen Activist
Well this changes everything. Wait until the folks at Coconuts’ Uke Nite get a hold of this!
|Property insurance is killing me and I am about to sell out to some fool dumb enough to pay for this overpriced box I live in and move to some place where my dollar is worth something more than ten cents. It is now cheaper for me and my family to rent a freaking hotel room with services than to live in and maintain my freaking house. Go figure!|
Know your beer gods & goddesses. Link
|I had the usual family over-kill Thanksgiving Day with the sin of gluttony and obesity flourishing all over the house. I decided never again shall I house such ineptness so I gave all my family members ‘the bird’ when they left; hopefully to have one of them suffer severely next year. Oh brother, that jewish-looking kid’s birthday is in a couple of weeks. I think I’ll go on a cruise.|
[Proportion] I think there is something humorous about a guy the size of a truck walking a little yip dog and picking up its poop. I sure hope the woman who owns the dog is a hottie, otherwise this makes no sense.
|Jeff Lynne’s Electric Light Orchestra play Mr. Blue Sky at the BBC. Audio|
The Grand Ole Opry Turns 90. Videos
|[Brazil] A bizarre film — to say the least, by Terry Gilliam. Video|
Deaf person’s implants are turned on and she hears for the first time! Video
|[Crooked Family] A former city plumber released from prison in October after serving a two-year stint stemming from a 2013 conviction on several drug-related charges was arrested again on Thursday, according to court records. Brandon Druckemiller, 28, of Bay Point, faces charges of felony possession of pills without a prescription, felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor petty theft. Druckemiller is currently serving five years probation.
He was implicated, but not charged, in the county-owned iPad and iPhone scandal, which led to his dismissal from the city. His mother, a former county employee, was charged in that case and served a year and six months in prison. She was released in November 2014. She is currently serving 13 years probation in that case.
[Resilience] A golf ball hitting steel at 150 mph. Filmed at 70,000 fps. Video
|Tower light is still out on Gulf side 1 mile east of Spanish Harbor Bridge. Fix it. It’s been out over 7 months. It’s the sheriffs dept communication tower. Got money for bullets and to give away computers? Fix your lite! You were notified about this lite many times. Got no money in your budget? Sell one of those hot silver Dodge unmarked cars you don’t need.|
|[Cure For Keys Disease] Hangover Hospital opened last month in Key West, under the medical direction of owner Dr. Michael McGrath, and is a mobile business. From $100 to $250 a shot, the hangover crowd can order 1,000-milliliter IV fluid packages dubbed Stat, Code Blue and the Lazarus Package, which adds 30 minutes of oxygen therapy.|
|The AARP December calendar is online now. Full Menu > Ongoing Events|
|[Conspiracy] It’s amazing that no one made any comments on last week’s post concerning Christianity being the biggest conspiracy of all time. Even the believers of Jesus and the invisible man in the sky didn’t defend their fictitious beliefs.|
|[Holiday Giving] It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. The “NUT” has had a tradition for many years. It starts with the biggest tree we can get from the M.A.R.C. house. One of the many charities we support. They do good work for our Keys folks–those handicapped people in need. So it starts with a big tree that we all can enjoy. Then, well most, or at least many of you, know what happens next. Our customers pin money on it. We collect the money each night. Coconuts matches all the money that is collected until the tree comes down after the new year. The money is then given to our local food bank at the Methodist Church. This is a win/win because our customers and Coconuts get to do something nice for others and folks get fed.
I will post more as the tree comes to life. If any of you would like to contribute and don’t want to come into Coconuts, just drive through and drop off a few bucks or a check. We will take care of the rest. Blessings to each and every one of you.
|Any reviews or reports on the new Bella Luna Italian restaurant on Cudjoe Key?|
|[Key West’s Terrorist] “A federal judge ordered the Stock Island man accused of trying to detonate a backpack bomb on a Key West beach in support of the Islamic State terror organization be mentally evaluated.”
So now Muslim terrorists are mentally ill? That’s a lot of mental illness. Should they all just take a pill and the world will be right?
Belgian flea market in Molenbeek (Flemish side of Belgium).
|[Sea Level Rise] Better sell your property before flooding from climate change gets much worse or you stand to lose a lot of money.|
[Diet Utensils] New from Ronco and just in time for Holiday binge eating season.
|[Grinder Pumps Doomed] Those of you connected to the new Cudjoe Regional sewers no longer need to be concerned about dumping things down the drain that would harm your septic tank.
Feel free to bleach your clothes- it might even help slow the inevitable air-binding from sewer gasses generated in the pipes. (The E-One design guide calls for an air release every 2,000 feet on level ground piping, but FKAA went miles with no means of venting or flushing. DEP said, “Who cares?”)
Feel free to install a garbage disposer in your sink. The ground up shards and grit will destroy the rubber stator in the lift station pumps and maybe FKAA will smarten up and put in 2 industrial-duty centrifugal pumps instead of 3-5 light-duty residential E-1 pumps that generate damaging pressures and will need frequent replacement. If FKAA makes sensible changes before the system is complete, then infrastructure tax money pays. If after completion, then the changes will be paid by all FKAA sewer customers by rate increases.
Somebody reported being connected and the sewer works fine. Sure, for now it does. It won’t when: (A) enough people connect; (B) enough grease and solids accumulate in the pipes to clog them. Both are inevitable and either can (and will) cause catastrophic failure.
Susan O’neill painting.
|[Peary Court] City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley will convene a District I meeting at 6 p.m. on Thursday, December 3rd at the Key West Ferry Terminal. Commissioner Weekley has called this community meeting to discuss the future of Peary Court. The meeting is open to the public, and District I residents are especially encouraged to attend.|
[Homeless] But well dressed. www.fkspca.org
|Next week’s BOCC meeting (Wed. Dec 9 in Key Largo) includes renewal of the County Administrator’s employment contract at a cost of about $271K with benefits. Maybe if he is not renewed, we could get some honesty and equality in the Cudjoe Regional sewer system? You might want to go express 3 minutes of your feelings about his job performance the last few years.
Also on the Agenda is a motion to intervene in Key West Resort Utilities request from the PSC for a 98% increase in sewer rates! That is estimated to raise the County’s sewer bill by $198,000/year besides basically doubling the sewer rate for Stock island residents. FKAA has been in negotiations to send Key Haven sewage there because FKAA can’t cope. If done, the rate increase would affect FKAA rates because treatment would be effectively subcontracted. At least KWRU has to justify a rate increase to the PSC. The PSC has no jurisdiction at all over FKAA- they are a “banana republic” unto themselves. FKAA talks rate reduction with the CRWS on line, but that is more sweet talk so your defenses are down.
|Chicken and Dumplings
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/4 cups chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups cooked chicken
1 1/4 cup frozen peas
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepperSauté onion, carrots and celery in oil till tender. Add flour and chicken broth, stir until thickened. Add chicken, peas, salt, and pepper. Cook over medium heat until thickened–about 3 minutes. Pour into baking dish.Dumplings
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add egg and milk and mix until just combined. Drop dough over the chicken mixture with spoon and cook till brown about 15 minutes. Full Menu > Recipes
|[Conspiracy Conspiracy] Conspiracy theorists are all so dumb that I suspect they’ve been planted by a secret organization to distract us from what’s really going on.|
[“Why is alcoholism a ‘disease’ when obesity is not”] Have you ever heard of anyone arrested for fat driving?
|[Sewers] Someone made good points Saturday about the sewer crossing of Niles Channel, but apparently got their information about sizes from the contract. The 14″ pipe originally specified would not stand the strain of pulling under the channel. In addition, the flow calculations were not made using the inside diameter. In other words, the original design was totally buggered up (like everything else), so changes had to be made. The engineer that spotted the problem said the pipe size needed to be 18″ and a thicker-walled pipe class was required. The required 18″ sewer forcemain pipe would not fit through the specified casing pipe. The extra cost for the bigger, higher quality pipes (and borehole) would have cost millions. So FKAA skipped the protective casing pipe and took a ridiculously low credit. So now we have an unprotected soft plastic pipe pulled through a tunnel of fractured rock. The engineer was unable to identify another installation of comparable length with no casing, let alone in fractured rock, so once again we have an extremely expensive, dangerous experimental installation. If the pipe collapses, blows out, or clogs (all distinct possibilities), there will be over a half million gallons per day of raw sewage that cannot make it across the Channel. Where does it all go? FKAA only has “Plan A”. There will be sewage floods. Let’s not forget that whistleblower report about the Niles pipe never holding pressure, or in other words it is already leaking into the Channel and they can’t locate or fix the leak. How is release of raw sewage an improvement on septic tanks? Replacement of the bad pipe will take millions in dollars and months in time. Why is nobody in authority held accountable?|
The USA has 1,138,044 military personnel stationed permanently in 150 countries. I say take 50,000 of them from Germany’s 37 US military installations and move some of those bases to the Middle East where they’re needed. Germany doesn’t need them, but the Mideast does. It’s becoming clear that the US needs to station troops in the Mideast forever. Link
|[Posthumous crush on Gram Parsons] Emmylou Harris & Gram Parsons – Love Hurts|
[Memory] See how much memory your computer can handle (RAM), and hard drives and SSD drives. It is free and really good! Link
|[Classic Monroe County Ineptitude] When they built the new Key West Airport terminal, they installed the lights that illuminate the ramp area on very tall (100’+) poles. The poles were equipped with an assembly of gears and cables which would allow the light fixtures to be lowered to the ground for maintenance and repairs. Someone at the Airport Authority got the great idea to replace the original bulbs with LED’s — they would be brighter and would save on energy costs. The problem is that no one had lubricated or maintained the fancy new fixtures (sitting next to the ocean) since they had been installed, and consequently, the lights could not be lowered to make the upgrade. Instead, they were forced to rent an extremely tall crane, put a guy in a basket, and hoist him up to put in the new bulbs. The cost of the crane undoubtedly soaked up many years’ worth of the monies saved by the LED’s.|
[“My friend is drinking himself to death”] You can do very little unless you’re willing to be less than truthful. The Baker Act requires that the person being Baker Acted is going to harm someone or himself. So, my friend you must say that your friend is talking about taking his own life. No extra words — just say, “He is talking about taking his life.” He will then get some help for a few days. That may be just long enough for him to see that he really needs some professional help. Good luck.
|How to be safe on your computer.
1. Shut it off and use paper.
2. Disconnect the web connection cable.
3. Shut off and pull out the WiFi board.
4. Buy a second computer for email and web use only!
5. Transfer between the web computer and the unconnected computer via a thumb drive.
6. Store all your data and pictures on DVD weekly or print them to paper.
7. Never put anything important on the connected web computer.
8. Cover the webcam hole with electric tape.
9. Throw your super cell phone away!
10. Put a On Off switch on your house phone lines.
11. Get a life while you still can!
|Further excerpts from Memoirs of the Conquistadores by Bernal Diaz Del Castillo who arrived before Cortes and later served valiantly with him to conquer New Spain (Mexico) from the cannibals and idol worshipers in 1519. Castillo wrote his first person history in 1568 to clear up mistakes other authors at the time had written who weren’t even there. The Conquistadores were all young, well-bred cavaliers, of rank in Spain who were religious fanatics, or as Muslims would call them, “jihadists”. Their fanaticism was God and Gold.
“Next to this temple was another in which human skulls and bones were piled up, though both apart; their numbers were endless. This place had also its appropriate idols; and in all these temples, we found priests clad in long black mantles, with hoods shaped like those worn by the Dominican friars and choristers; their ears were pierced and the hair of their head was long and stuck together with coagulated blood.
We could plainly see the platform, with the chapel in which those cursed idols stood; how the Mexicans had adorned the heads of the Spaniards with feathers, and compelled their victims to dance round the god Huitzllopochtli; we saw how they stretched them out at full length on a large stone, ripped open their breasts with flint knives, tore out the palpitating heart, and offered it to their idols. Alas! we were forced to be spectators of all this, and how they then seized hold of the dead bodies by the legs and threw them headlong down the steps of the temple, at the bottom of which other executioners stood ready to receive them, who severed the arms, legs, and heads from the bodies, drew the skin off the faces, which were tanned with the beards still adhering to them, and produced as spectacles of mockery and derision at their feasts; the legs, arms, and other parts of the body being cut up and devoured! In this way the Mexicans served all the Spaniards they took prisoners.
These human sacrifices were not the only abominations that were practised by the inhabitants; I should, however, scarcely know where to end, if I were to enumerate them all. I will, therefore, only relate what I witnessed with my own eyes, and heard with my own ears. Of the victims that were sacrificed, the faces, ears, tongues, lips, the breast, the arms and legs, were brought as a burnt-offering to the idols.
In some provinces circumcision took place, which was effected by means of sharp knives made of flint. The cursed idol temples were called cues, and were as numerous as the churches, chapels, and monasteries in Spain. Every township had its own temples, and these infernal buildings were filled with demons and diabolical1ooking figures.
Most of the Indians, particularly those living on the coasts and in the hotter climates, were given to unnatural lusts. To such a dreadful degree was this practised, that men even went about in female garments, and made a livelihood by their diabolical and cursed lewdness. The Indians ate human flesh in the same way we do that of oxen, and there were large wooden cages in every township, in which men, women, and children were fattened for their sacrifices and feasts. In the same way they butchered and devoured all the prisoners they took during war time. Sons committed incest with their mothers, fathers with their daughters.
The troops of Garay, including those three companies which landed in San Juan de Ulua, previous to his own arrival, amounted, according to my computation, to about twelve hundred men, most of whom were captured by the Indians of Panuco, and their flesh devoured at their festive orgies.”
|[Uke nite] To nite at 7ish at Coconuts.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas … perhaps … means a little bit more!” ~Dr. Seuss, Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store, we do Christmas Big Time!
|Deal with annoying or harassing calls as soon as they start. Help protect your privacy with these tips:
Add your name to the National Do Not Call Registry by calling 888.382.1222 or visiting www.donotcall.gov. Make sure you add each phone number which receives harassing calls. This is a free service.
Political / Campaign calls are not illegal but can be stopped. Request the caller remove your phone number from the calling list. Request this of each campaign from which you receive an unwanted call. Visit the Federal Trade Commission for more information.
Debt Collection calls are not illegal. If you do not know the person they are calling for, tell them so and request the collection calls stop. If you’ve requested the calls stop and they continue to call, contact the Federal Trade Commission to file a complaint or call 877.382.4357.
Collect Call Block may be available in your area. Please contact us by phone to activate this feature.
German amusement park ride is called the scariest in the world. Video
|[Conspiracy] The price of medicine is going through the roof and the only reason is the pharmaceutical industry is getting greedier. There is talk that some of these companies have created phony diseases or real problems that their pills fix. If this is proven will the government prosecute these people for fraud or just slap their hands as usual?|
[Pot] Floridians for Freedom has launched a campaign against cannabis prohibition and FLCAN is behind the movement. You can check out the petition, sign it, and/or donate to the cause by visiting the FFF website. Link
|[Domestic Abuse Shelter Closes] It has become necessary to authorize a temporary closing of the Domestic Abuse Shelter’s Lower Keys emergency shelter facility for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. This closing is necessitated by the continuing challenges with hiring enough staff required for optimal level of service provision and to operate DAS’s two 24 hour emergency shelter facilities. The funded mandatory 30 hours Core Competency Training required of new hires before new employees can even answer the hotline and work with victims at DAS presents a unique challenge to onboarding new hires as quickly as we would like to do so.
All current Lower Keys families will be relocated to the Middle Keys emergency shelter facility. The Middle Keys emergency shelter has 38 beds. If there should become the ground swell required above the 38 bed capacity in the Middle Keys shelter, DAS will act accordingly in determining best measures to reopen the Lower Keys facility that has 21 beds before the January 1, 2016 anticipated date of reopening the Lower Keys Emergency Shelter. The anticipated temporary closing of the Lower Keys Shelter is November 14, 2015.
On an entirely different note. The Domestic Abuse Shelter is experiencing a much different trend in victims of domestic violence and sexual assault that I am identifying as “chronic” victims of homelessness that appear to be absent of the issue of experiencing violence or their violence that has been experienced, the victims are not in imminent danger but seeking services of DV emergency shelters. There appears to be a history of accessing shelters over time with the recent population being served with no history of settling into a permanent housing situation. Since DAS is an emergency shelter facility, emergency shelter care is not the solution for individuals that have chronic needs that are not able to be addressed fully within the six week timeframe of emergency care. Once imminent danger is not an issue for persons that access DAS’s emergency shelter services then persons receiving services at DAS must determine their next steps for housing/exiting DAS once the six week timeframe has been reached.
With the above stated, I would like to convene a meeting in early December of all community stakeholder agencies to talk more fully about how this “chronic trend” that seems to be permeating throughout the state of Florida with victims of domestic violence is or possibly impacting us as a county? I am hopeful for some solutions. However, dialogue is a good beginning to recognize and identify the problem and begin to work towards solutions to assure a more favorable outcome for families exiting DAS after the emergency care timeframe has been afforded to DAS families. DAS will not be able to accomplish what will be deemed required to help families exit DAS without the collective efforts of all stakeholders within the MC COC membership.
Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns at 305-498-8779
|The snowbirds are arriving so I would like to remind the Lower Keys folks of areas to be avoided if at all possible. The three most dangerous places in increasing order of risk are: (3) Winn Dixie parking lot; especially keep an eye out for large cars with vinyl tops and anything with Canadian plates. No one makes eye contact so be alert! (2) The Summerland post office. They all try to park in or near the handicapped parking with or without permits. (3) The Salvation Army store on Big Pine. A sadist must have designed this parking area. People are either backing in, trying to parallel park or just sitting there blocking all the traffic. The snowbirds are also a danger inside the store with their frenetic search for bargains. Avoid this place at all cost.|
|[Poor US1 Radio] A whole new studio and a whole new raft of problems. Today they were basically off the air for hours. I’m sure the advertisers are not thrilled. I really like Morning Magazine. Is there anything else like it in the Keys that actually broadcasts reliably?|
|[Finally, a response from the Nigerian Prince] Attention Dear Beneficiary Please the entire High Court Of Ecowas Nigeria are here to make it to be clear to you that there was a case that we have been handling here since concerning your funds because we got some reports that you did not received your funds since after every story you have being hearing regarding then funds and all types of payments you have be paid to receive the funds but none is received by you. And we are here to know the truth because the person that is in charge of the transaction said in this court here that you has received and confirmed to him that you received your funds and we are here to hear the truth from you … bla bla bla.|
|[Captain Doom and Gloom] The first time I came to the Keys was back in 1965 just after getting out of the Army. A few weeks vacation helped cut the cobwebs of military service and open a brave new world of party time, sun and fun. That was 100 years ago. Being a resident of Key Weird makes me laugh to think what the old crowd of shrimpers, hard ass fishermen and other locals would think of today’s Key West. Fruit Loops, Fantasy Fairies and Holy rollers are just about all that is here today. The sad part is the old world is gone forever and greed, corruption and disrespect have culled out whomever was left from those good old days. R.I.P. Florida Keys.
DEF: Sports n, The highest paying employment with the lowed cost of overhead.
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