2019 May

Friday, May 24, 2019

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

[Memorial Day Remembrances] Political uprisings throughout our nation during the Vietnam War years were disturbing, as they fractured the traditional understandings and allegiances previously rendered unconditionally to our government and military.

This 16 year war was rich in lies, deceptions and ignorant undertakings. It brought us to our knees and a shameful defeat in Southeast Asia.

Shielded from the draft as a student/athlete attending college on scholarship, I believed my country needed me. I was 18, the son of a father who stormed the shores of Normandy being wounded during the Battle of the Bulge. And the grandson of a soldier awarded 2 Purple Hearts during World War I.

Battling against the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army came with the territory. As United States Marines we were trained and skilled combatants.

Noteworthy, was the valorous conduct, risks and sacrifices made by the Marines I served with, on behalf of civilians and children caught in the crosshairs of war. Their courage and compassion in treating innocent causalities forever memorialized their character, as brave and loving men. Their integrity was unquestionable. “Uncommon valor was indeed a common virtue”.

Government and military leaders, especially Robert McNamara, the Secretary of War,  were incompetent and corrupted in prosecuting the war in Vietnam. They callously and fraudulently continued the bloodshed via combat operations rift with flawed and defective battle plans.

This horrific destruction wasn’t necessary. If there was indeed a military objective it could have been expeditiously secured.

[Canal Dye] Be on the lookout for red canal water or seawater this Memorial Day weekend. It is not red tide algae, it’s EPA approved water tracing dye flushed into Big Pine Key’s raw sewage. Hopefully there is enough dye to show where the sewage forcemains are pumping raw sewage into our waters. Most likely to show are the waters close to the forcemain path: Cahill Pines & Palms plugged canals? Constitution Ave? Niles Channel? Or the dye might be pushed through an underground limestone conduit and pop up anywhere. Hopefully not Picnic Island. A sample will fluoresce under UV light (a black light) if close.




[The Money Plant] I think it was in the 1950’s or 60s that nursery people would come down from Miami or Homestead and buy all the “money plants” from Key Westers. They would pay twenty-five cents for each tip with stem of the ornamental plant. The kids all had money until there wasn’t a single money plant tip left on the island. I don’t know the real name of the plant, but the old Key Westers I know still call it the money plant because of that old bounty placed on it.

[Scarf Outfit Hacks] Quick and creative scarf outfit ideas by Blossom. Video
[“Bella Luna”] We hated to see it go, but it was a combination of things.  Yes, there were two married couples when it opened, but sadly one single (divorced) owner recently.   That owner got a great deal on a restaurant on the mainland.  Staff shortage, landlord issues, lease term, etc were compounding factors trying to be a remote owner.  Larry made the tough choice, he closed it on a high note, and we wish him well in his new endeavor (but still hope he comes back to re-incarnate it.
I’m “classic rock” was just “rock” years old.




The seagrapes are in full bloom and this year’s crop is especially bountiful. Long ago islanders made seagrape wine that tasted something like muscatel.

[“My solar system doesn’t work”] Cold cranking amps that high tells me you have a BIG car/truck battery. Most car batteries are 700 cranking amps or so. You could start a semi-truck with that one. They are designed for short high discharges rather (to turn the starter and big motors) than continuous low discharges. A marine battery is a combination between cracking amps and continuous low discharge. What you need to use for solar are golf cart batteries, batteries for emergency lights and the like. A number of smaller batteries is better than one big one. Golf cart batteries are designed for that type of use and can be recharged much more effectively and many more times than a car battery could be recharged from a fully depleted state.
Bigger solar systems will often use a combination of batteries in series feeding inverters at 24 VDC (even 48 VDC) and having multiple batteries in parallel to provide lots of amps over a long period.
Although I don’t have solar panels yet, I have a number of UPS units connected to much larger batteries than they can hold internally. The UPS units keep the batteries charged. So instead of a 7 AH battery in the UPS, it has one and sometimes 2 MightyMax golf cart batteries that are 63 or 74 AH each. I use these batteries for an emergency lighting system in my house/apartment (and inverters for AC) and also have a separate system in my work shed. I have solar and wind charge controllers wired in. The solar panels are going on the shed roof as it has the best orientation and its 10.5 feet off the deck on one side and 14.5 feet on the other side. This section of the shed I built after Irma. It was built in 3 sections over the years. It is next to the house on a massive deck. I added serious concrete supports underneath it of course. Most of the house roof is a flat rubber membrane roof that nothing can be attached to.


The next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up this Saturday, May 25, 10 am at the senior center.  Hope to see you there! Full Menu > Ongoing Events

[Winn Dixie] Weekly ad. Link
[“AirBnB opens in Key West”] I like it, but they must demand the owners live on the property and be there when there are guests. Otherwise it’ll be a nightmare for the neighbors.

Today is National kale day. Who else wants bacon?

[Confused Sex discrimination] Keys Homeless shelters could deny transgender people under proposed government rule. Video


I finally tested my DNA to see who I am related to. I must be very popular because I’m related to everyone on the planet according to the company that charged me a small fortune to trace my heritage

[Food Supply] Current recalls and alerts from the U.S.D.A.  on the food supply in America; at least the ones we know about. Link
[“Abortion statistics”]  I have a feeling that post was edited somewhat as it didn’t make much sense. Where are these “almost a million” illegal abortions taking place?  All 50 states allow abortion.  In any case, a .5% (1/2 of 1 percent) fatality rate for the mother is very low.  Childbirth in some places is higher than that.  The fatality rate for aborted babies, however, is 100%.



May your travels this Memorial Day be less delayed than our veteran’s medical treatment.

[“Commercial business on residential canal”] Are you telling me the residents who bought their dream house one block off US-1 in clear view of Sea Center didn’t know the lot across the canal from them was zoned commercial? They bought those lots because they were cheaper. Are you next going to tell me it’s the realtor’s fault for selling the houses after the dive shop was put up? Do your kids get participation trophies? Special admission to schools? Do they have crying closets in their schools? Grow up! You come to play in paradise, you got to pay in paradise
[Study] I just read that Key West just authorized 1.7 million dollars for a study of sea level rise. I already know the conclusions of that study:
1 Climate change is bad
2 Sea levels are rising
3 Raise the roads
4 Heighten the buildings
5 Give us more money to continue our study


There have been 29 tornadoes in 24 hours. At least 29 tornadoes have been reported over the past 24 hours, mostly in Missouri and Oklahoma, according to the National Weather Service. This is just the latest in a week of extreme weather: A total of 171 tornadoes have been reported since Friday. And there could be more. Tornadoes could pose threats today from Lubbock, Texas, to Kansas City and from Columbus, Ohio, to Philadelphia.

[“My solar system doesn’t work”] And on the issue of energy efficiency, DC powered fans are far more efficient than AC powered fans. A 20 watt DC fan will move more air than most 50-60 watt AC powered ones. Reason is simple, AC motors lose their magnetism when rotating and are recharged by power input as the motor turns. DC fans do not lose the magnetism. A 12 volt DC fan would be better, no inverter loss and better efficiency. I tested the run time draw of a cheep Harbor Freight inverter lightening a 13 watt lamp and it was over 200 watts, idle draw of 42 watts and an efficiency of 25-30 percent at a very small load on a 2500 watt inverter. Off grid is all about energy efficiency.
[“AirBnB”] That is a good idea unless you live near one. Weekenders from Miami tend to rent them, and the first thing they do is put a boombox by the pool and play music all day long at a volume level equal to a 747 taking off.   And of course every outside light is on all night. They do make good money for the owners, but they don’t live next to them.



The Friends of Bahia Honda State Park, FOBHSP, were gifted this week by the Loyal Order of Moose Lodge 1585, Big Pine Key. They are a major sponsor of the Friends “Santa in the Sand” event coming in December. Pictured are FOBHSP Secretary, Bill Weagley, FOBHSP President, Vicki Weagley, Lodge Administrator, Bill Lechnar and FOBHSP Treasurer, DiAne Rullan. Check out for more news.

[Suing] People are suing for million if not billions of dollars for phony accidents or other ridiculous happenings. Who the hell says you are worth all that money? The lawyers, right? I stubbed my toe entering MacDougle’s Brothel can I sue sue for millions? Enough of the BS.



When you get out of the shower and stare at yourself in the mirror wondering where it all went wrong.

Lets have a real lottery where people send in $100 and at the end of the month, whomever did not die splits the pot. Cash only.
[Letter to Emin Pasha telling him Stanley is on the way to evacuate him and his garrison from Lake Victoria to Cairo through murderous Moslems] “Government have made up their mind in the manner by which you may be relieved with officers and soldiers from your troubles. And as a mission for the relief has been formed under the command of Mr. Stanley, the famous and experienced African Explorer, whose reputation is well known throughout the world; and as he intends to set out on his Expedition with all the necessary provisions for you so that he may bring you here with officers and men to Cairo, by the route which Mr. Stanley may think proper to take. Consequently we have issued this High Order to you, and it is sent to you by the hand of Mr. Stanley to let you know what has been done, and as soon as it will reach you, I charge you to convey my best wishes to the officers and men—and you are at full liberty with regard to your leaving for Cairo or your stay there with officers and men. Our Government has given a decision for paying your salaries with that of the officers and men. Those who Wish to stay there from the officers and men they may do it on their own responsibility, and they may not expect any assistance from the Government. Try to understand the contents well, and make it well-known to all the officers and men, that they may be aware of what they are going to do. (Signed) Mehemet Tewfik.”

Note: Stanley arrived in about a year with only about 200 of the 400 men he started with. Most died of starvation.





[Morning On The Porch] The best time of day. Everything else is all downhill from here. Note the Madagascar lizard drinking the sugar water from the hummingbird feeder.

[“Why did Bella Luna on Cudjoe Key close”] That was the second restaurant price whiner in as many weeks. With homes averaging a half million bucks, why is it I keep reading cheap, cheap, cheap? The Keys were cheap in the late 70s’, the early 80s. Then came tourism. The Keys were cheap when we were spending cash, dead presidents. Now that everyone is using credit cards and ATMs, it’s all documented. Taxes got to be paid. The other reason the Keys aren’t cheap is because everything is trucked in, food, water, coffee, toilet paper, even the seafood! It costs the restaurateur more to get get it so they can make it and serve it. Anyone remember when cobia and wahoo were on the menus and brisket and pot roast were not? If you’re whining about prices you don’t belong. The Keys are now a rich man’s paradise as is much of Florida and we can thank tourists and retirees for what it’s become.
[Global Warming] Earth’s oceans could rise over 6 feet by 2100 as polar ice melts, swamping coastal cities such as NYC. Portions of many U.S. coastal cities could be lost to the sea by the end of the century because of global warming. Video
If it seems like the snowbirds aren’t leaving this year, it’s because a lot of them aren’t – especially if they’re from New York.  The state heavily taxes the rich and unfortunately for us, they decided to move to Florida. Just what we need down here, rich, arrogant New Yorkers!  Apparently, they didn’t realize that raising taxes

would have that effect (roll eyes).  Or as governor Cuomo put it, “Tax the rich, tax the rich, tax the rich.” We did, now, God forbid, the rich leave NY.


[Denying Life’s Small Pleasures] I have not used coffee, sugar, or sweet stuff for a few years. I had some strong coffee with real sugar yesterday and was amazed how I felt like a kid again. The brew woke me up like I was 20 years old again. What’s that tell you? It tells me I missed out on lots of fun over the years. Wow!

[“New ‘city’ coming into Marathon”] Thank Pritam Singh and now his sons. That clan has basterdized the Keys for decades. Truman Annex, Hawk’s Cay, a hotel with extra door locks. Marathon was s**thole 20 years ago, it just get’s bigger and bigger.