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

[Law and a real lack of understanding] Most complaints concerning sexual assault are real but there are certainly some that are false, such as in the Kevin Spacey case in Nantucket.  Judges work to reach the truth and do not advocate for one side or the other. Often it takes some time for the truth to be discovered. In any case, judges have absolute immunity and cannot be sued, as do prosecutors. Law enforcement officers have more limited immunity called qualified immunity. There are basic rules for courts including the simple fact that nothing said in court can be the basis for a civil action. Although lying in court is a crime called perjury, there is no private civil cause of action for perjury. You cannot sue someone for lying against you in court. Only the state attorney can bring a charge of perjury and that will almost never happen. The only time anyone is ever charged with perjury is when lying for the defendant in a criminal case.
[Bring Back The Free Box] We are going through our clothes and anything that doesn’t fit anymore is going out! Besides the Salvation Army, where else would you give still good stuff? Mens’ medium to extra large. Woman’s medium to large.

 

[Cemetery] Here’s a great idea. Make Key West’s Mount Trashmore into a famous or infamous cemetery like Forest Lawn with famous people buried there.

[Sewers] They could have stopped the insanity back in 2009 and abandoned central sewers as a water quality improvement plan. Here is a quote from the water quality research in the Little Venice subdivision of Marathon, where Phase 1 was before central sewers and Phase 2 after central sewers: “During Phase 1, 0.4% of fecal coliform observations exceeded the FL State standard…. Fecal coliform analyses in Phase 2 indicated that 1% of observations exceeded the FL State standard.”
So fecal coliform increased 2.5 times following central sewers in the worst contaminated canals in the Keys. Now that central sewer is everywhere, people are breaking out in little bumpy sores all over that dermatologists are prescribing antibiotics for and saying it comes from swimming in the Keys nearshore waters. But now we can have more resort development with central sewer and pay the toilet tax to the bubbas.
Can you sing out in church during the hymn, or is it rude? I went to a memorial for a friend at a real charming but stuffy old New England Protestant church; and when they sang a boring version of a song I happened to know quite well, I felt the urge to sing over everyone else and give it some life.  But I didn’t because everything was so white bread and proper in this stuffy church, I didn’t want to cause a disturbance as I often do. If the church was in the South, I knew it would have been okay to sing out, especially if it was a Black church. They have fun at church and think worshiping should be a good time and not a time to fear the Lord.

I knew the song from listening to the album Little Richard made when he quit rock and roll and became a minister of some church in 1960. Another song on that album was I’m Quitting Show Business, I Want To Go Straight

 

[Sanctuary] It’s been asked what the Sanctuary has done. I don’t think they’ve done much. All I can think of is they stop us from using the best reefs and beaches. The Ocean is dirtier. The coral is in worse shape than ever and is dying at a faster rate than before the sanctuary was established. Yes, what have they done to benefit the reef and us?

[Worlds Dumbest Killer] A man has been arrested for murder after a memory card labeled “Homicide at midtown Marriott” that contained videos and images of his violent attack was discovered on an Alaska street where he dropped it. Link

 

[Same Bank Different Names] TIB, Capital Bank, Bank of Tennessee, First Horizon Bank. The last two incarnations of a “local bank” charges fees for everything from walking in the door to using your money. My last statement that caused me to switch banks charged me $45 to use my money. They went from free service to $45 a month without any notice. Greedy out-of-town bastards they are.

[Rock Drummers] Neil Peart (Rush) is a really good “percussionist”, but John Paul Bonham, Ginger Baker and Keith Moon were all madmen “drummers” fully on fire and terribly exciting! Old time “swing” guys, Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa should be mentioned too, although totally different styles than drummers half a century later (they wore suits, ties and only played on four drums). Gene Krupa Buddy Rich Drum Battle
[Injustice] The Las Vegas hotel where 50 concert goers were murdered by a gunman with an assault rifle has to pay mega millions to the families. The hotel didn’t kill them, the gun did. Why don’t the lawyers go after the gun manufacturer instead of the hotel? Am I the only one who thinks the gun company is more responsible for gun deaths than a hotel is? Link
[Pirates] I just read an article that said the reason that pirates wear an eye patch, wasn’t always because of an eye problem. Mostly, they wore them over one eye, because fights would start in the sunshine, up on deck, but go below-decks into the brigs and darkness, fast, so this allowed the pirates’ eyes to adjust to the sudden changes, fast.
[Too Expensive] My wife and I are giving up going to the local bars and restaurants more then once a month, if that. Why? Because these joints are going greed crazy with prices only the super-rich can afford. $5 for a 12 oz bottle of beer. $8 and way up for hard booze (most well drinks are rot gut). Food sucks and is getting to the point of being uneatable in most places.
They are rebuilding Little Palm Island resort after its substantial destruction in Hurricane Irma. I have not gotten close enough to see what is being rebuilt. Anybody know?
Are there 180 mph cottages being built above the Velocity (wave) flood zone? (about 12′ up I would guess).
What is the plan for water and sewer service?
Their previous water service supply was never built according to the permit and never approved for service by DEP, but FKAA had no problem selling water through it. Then they wanted to convert one of the two water service pipes to use as a sewage forcemain, even though it was touching the water service and laid on the bottom of shallow Coupon Bight where the pipes were often cut by boat propellers. Monroe County, DEP and FKAA found that acceptable. The application was pulled because of the challenge by Dump The Pumps, Inc. The sewer package plant out there was low efficiency, way below 2010 treatment standards and operating out of compliance as allowed by DEP. Does somebody know what the scoop is now? I wondered if that island had anything to do with the recent Bahia Honda beach closures due to high bacteria?

 

 

 

[Life in the Keys] Nothing attracts a serpent like Paradise.

[New Recipe] Cream of Celery Soup Recipes > Cream of Celery Soup
[Flagged As A Bad Guy] What’s really scary is when some minor bureaucrat or official online flags your name and ID so you are marked as a bad guy. All it takes is someone who clicks that X box by mistake or by intent to make you an un-person. Does this remind you of anything? How about the wrong blood type, race or sex? And just try to get it changed!

 

[Chicago] Formed in 1967 in Chicago, the “legendary rock band with horns” released their first album “Chicago Transit Authority” in 1969. Since then, they have had record sales top the 100,000,000 mark, and include 21 Top 10 singles, 5 consecutive Number One albums, 11 Number One singles and 5 Gold singles. An incredible 25 of their 34 albums have been certified platinum, and the band has a total of 47 gold. Video

No Name Pub should not only donate their “walls of dollars” to those in need, but burn it down!  It is so gross in there that the flames are probably toxic.  And all the cheap-ass Styrofoam used to serve the customers should go with it. ~stfd123@hotmail.com
[Rising Sea Levels] Here’s a fun little interactive graphic that you can slowly drown your hopes and dreams with rising sea levels. Link
[Leaking Sewers] It is known by many that FKAA only reports raw sewage spills that draw public attention. In the one year period ending this past September, they reported over 14,000 gallons of raw sewage spilled. That is the equivalent of about 4 loaded septic pump-out tanker trucks. FKAA makes their own estimate of the quantity. The most recent spill reported (Oct. 4) was estimated at 700 gallons next to the Sugarloaf Fire Station. Although they reported no sewage reaching the water, that pump station has a deep “dry well” full of coarse gravel that was permitted by South Florida Water Management for construction pumping discharge, and the tidal seawater is only about 1 foot below ground. That site is adjacent to the deep boat basin to the north and is contaminated with chemicals from a previous fuel storage tank.. Another recent spill on Sugarloaf had the quantity stated as “undetermined” and was from a damaged forcemain. Most of the forcemains are interconnected and all of the pumped sewage within will attempt to drain via the path of least resistance. The path of least resistance is generally the broken pipe. The quantity may have been considerable.

 

 

Red wing black birds are one of the pretties birds at this time of year. They don’t have the beady eyes a crow or a blackbird have.

[North Pine Channel Bridge] I was curious about the excavation at the SE corner of the North Pine Channel bridge and investigated. I found the FKAA green sewer forcemain location ge marks right in line with the big palm tree plantings, and a sign. And there were two rebar cages for reinforced concrete piling foundations for probably one more huge sign to distract you as you enter Big Pine and should be scanning for deer and drunks on bicycles or laying in the road instead of reading more signs. The forcemain that was marked carries all of the raw sewage from Big Pine towards the Cudjoe treatment plant (not counting what is spraying out underground). This is right at the bridge embankment and just past a telephone fiber optics crossing. What could possibly go wrong? DOT idiocy confirmed?

 

[It Costs $532,000 to Decommission A Single Wind Turbine] That’s the trouble getting rid of older wind generators. If the total energy consumed in the production, maintenance,  and ultimate destruction of these systems was factored into their energy life-cycle we may find that the only thing they really produced was a healthy tax credit for the utilities. Link

[Flooding] How are the sunsets over Lake Winn Dixie, do they rival Mallory Square?

 

 

[Euphemism] When I was a kid, my parents would always say, “Excuse my French” just after a swear word. I’ll never forget my first day at school when my teacher asked if any of us knew any French.

[Long Winded Tomes] On October 7, I attended the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary’s presentation of their new management plan, “Restoration Blueprint”. The Superintendent of the Sanctuary, Sarah Fangman gave a presentation of the details within “Restoration Blueprint”, which lasted for about an hour. Then the Superintendent and her staff answered written questions for another 2 hours. At the conclusion of the meeting I was extremely disappointed because I didn’t see any real solutions presented by the plan that would stop the degradation of our marine environment. In my opinion the contents and direction of the plan was all about denying access to users, and provided no practical restoration solutions.The format of the meeting was a lecturer not a dialogue. The audience got to present written questions about the rule changes and IMO Sanctuary Staff really did not listen to the audience or take comments. Hopefully at the SAC meetings people will get to comment more and opine on what they think of these rules changes.

On October 9, I attended the island of Key Largo Federation of Homeowners Associations in the Key Largo library. Sarah Fangman, Superintendent of the Sanctuary was there as a keynote speaker. There were only about 20 people there. After her presentation I got to comment about the “Restoration Blueprint”. I expressed my objections to the proposed management plan that establishes 132 sq mile , “No Anchor” zone off Key Largo, which will NOT stop the degradation of our marine resources. The no anchor zones around Rodriguez and Tavernier keys will only prevent the use of the sandbars and the unintended consequences are that the people that use the sand bar will go someplace else and impact potentially more sensitive areas of the sanctuary.

Another very Draconian proposed sanctuary wide rule is on page #41 of the “Restoration Blueprint” section 3.2.9 which is “prohibits overnight use of designated FKNMS mooring buoys”. It is hard for me to imagine a more counterproductive proposed rule. If you want to go out yellowtail fishing at night and you don’t want to be hassled by an enforcement officer because you are tied up to a buoy too long, what are your options? If you are in an area where you can anchor up, then you would anchor up? This plan stresses no anchor zones because anchoring may damage the reef. So how is prohibiting the use of sanctuary mooring buoys at night a good thing? This proposed rule creates a dilemma which is completely counterproductive. Given this rule, you could be hassled, if you tied up to a buoy at night to dive and watch the coral spawn. Using a FKNMS buoy at night is probably one of the most benign activities that one could engage in. This rule lacks common sense and there is no science that can justify it. Off Key Largo, given the massive 132 sq mile “No Anchor” zone, and the fact that I can’t tie up to a buoy at night would preclude any yellowtail or bottom fishing off Key Largo at night. To fish off Key Largo at night and not break the rules, you could only drift though the area. The plan states rule is needed to prevent illegal taking of natural resources because of “less oversight from other boaters and enforcement officers”. (see page #41)

Ms. Fangman said, “we have to do something, you may not like it, but you kids will.”. That is assuming these proposed rule changes will actually fix and improve the sanctuary. Otherwise, our kids will say “how did you let the Sanctuary get away with this?”.

The “Restoration Blueprint” should be renamed the Sanctuary’s “Denial of Access to our Marine Environment”.
Sincerely, Glenn Patton