The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsPublished Tuesdays and Fridays. Letters to the editor with pictures.​ Since 0202.

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[Bad Medicine] I refilled my prescription that usually costs about thirteen dollars for a month’s supply, but when I got the bill it was now $148 for the month! I called Medicare and they said there’s a “Coverage Gap” of $1147.41. I don’t know what that means. I have Part D Medicare coverage that was supposed to cover any pills. The person said they pay up until a certain amount and when that certain amount is reached they stop paying for a while until the Coverage Gap” of $1147.41 is paid then they start paying for the pills again.I can see if there’s a limit I reach and Medicare no longer pays, but to stop payments arbitrarily and then resume payments arbitrarily is just cuckoo. Also it’s my understanding that once this Coverage Gap is satisfied the more pills I use the cheaper the price will be.

If any of you understand this, please explain it to me as Medicare couldn’t.

[Helping Like Crazy!] United Way of the Florida Keys provides nearly $400,000 to support hurricane Irma relief. Due to the generous contributions of friends and supporters around the nation, UWFK is currently investing $397,700 in direct aid for hurricane recovery efforts throughout Monroe County. In the weeks immediately following the storm, UWFK has distributed over $20,000 in direct aid in the form of store gift cards and cleaning supplies and tools. $52,700 in emergency “mini-grants” were also disbursed to eight local, established partner nonprofits directly serving individuals and families impacted by the storm. Additionally, $45,000 was dedicated towards hotel rooms to assist residents in the Upper Keys without housing due to Irma related damages to their homes.

This week, UWFK will allocate another $80,000 in additional “mini-grants” to sixteen previously vetted partner agencies, including Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, Burton Memorial Church, Southernmost Boys & Girls Clubs, KAIR, Star of the Sea Mission Outreach, and many others. Further, an application for an additional $100,000 worth of funding is open to any human service nonprofit engaged in hurricane recovery and rebuilding efforts at http://www.keysunitedway.org/uwfk-mini-grants-hurricane-irma-relief. There is also a link to the application on the UWFK homepage.

The UWFK Board of Directors has committed another $100,000 for direct aid and case management to assist families and individuals struggling with the effects of the storm, in managed in partnership with local organizations including Catholic Charities, KAIR, and FKOC.

With support from generous friends and neighbors, UWFK is helping rebuild our community. The rebuilding effort will focus beyond the immediate impact to serve mid and long-term recovery needs in the Keys. This is part of United Way’s ongoing work to support community rebuilding, a role played after first responders’ work is done.

[Part Time] We’re looking for PT clerical/ customer service person who is outgoing, dependable & knowledge about the Lower Keys.  Approximately 20 hours a week including Saturdays. Some knowledge of Excel, Word, Outlook & Access helpful. Please contact Susan K. Miller at 305-407-6106 or email lowerkeyschamber@gmail.com
[Coral Reefs Resilient Post-Irma] Following Hurricane Irma, the biggest question some divers had was, “How’d the reefs do?” The answer: “The reefs were in better shape than we anticipated,” said Jack Fishman. Link
[FTR on Corrupt Commissioners] Ever single Keys voter should be aware that our BOCC have chosen to violate ethics rules that are designed to protect you and I from them.  They have either chosen not file the statutorily required financial form, or they have failed to do so. Or they have misreported facts concerning their business dealings and income.  None of this is acceptable.   Every Monroe voter should think long and hard about this.

Contemplate the arrogance of our elected officials.  Some may try to convince you that the violations were nothing but petty mistakes on the part of the officials.  That is bunk.  It is BS.  Every elected person our  BOCC annually receives a document which is a financial disclosure report.  The official is instructed to fill it out, swear to it, and to return it to the state.   Look, these are rules that are put in place to help protect you and I from corrupt officials.  Our officials chose to ignore those rules.  They do not deserve your vote–ever again.

Every one of these BOCC members are veteran politicos.  They know the rules.  If they don’t know the rules, they shouldn’t be county commissioners.

I sincerely hope that anyone who is contemplating a run for the Board of County Commissioners will make a commitment to put in place legislation that will term limit the BOCC.  Our Mosquito Control Authority has already taken that giant step.  It’s time for our BOCC to follow in their footsteps.  It is a winning issue.  75% of voters are in favor of term limits.

I urge every CT reader to check out the story here: Link

Winn Dixie Ad Link
[Key Deer Population Makes it Through Irma] The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) completed post Irma Key deer index surveys in their core habitats on Big Pine and No Name keys.  Driving survey work following procedures used since 1968 began immediately upon the return of refuge staff from mandatory evacuation and continued for several weeks.  “These Key deer and the natural habitat they depend on are pretty resilient.  First they made it through the New World screwworm infestation last year and now through the direct hit of a category four hurricane. We are happy to report Key deer population numbers are well within the range we observed before Irma,” said Refuge Manager Daniel Clark.

The driving surveys provide an index to Key deer population size and serve to inform managers on population trends and overall status. Prior to Hurricane Irma, density estimates were routinely obtained using these same standardized methods.  After Irma, increased numbers of surveys were conducted to ensure we had an accurate estimate of the population since there are an increased number of response and recovery vehicles on the roads as well as piles of debris. The most recent estimate collected prior to Hurricane Irma determined approximately 1,100 Key deer occupied the core range on Big Pine and No Name keys. Survey estimates post-Hurricane Irma suggests 949 Key deer live in these same areas. Key deer are now in the mating season (rut) and healthy, active deer are readily seen in the core area. So far the refuge has positively confirmed 21 storm-related Key deer deaths.   Since the storm, the Refuge has documented 12 deer deaths from vehicle collisions, up slightly from this time during previous years.  The Refuge encourages visitors, contractors and residents to drive slowly and safely from Big Pine Key to Sugarloaf to protect Key deer and other wildlife.

[Contact FEMA Now That They’ve Gone] John Mills, Media Relations Manager (John.Mills@fema.dhs.gov)

 

[The Real Poop About FKAA and Irma] Here’s an article from the Key West Citizen about the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority and its grinder pumps, etc.  Link

[FTR on ‘Skeeters] On Tuesday a CT’er complained about the ‘skeeters.  He/she/zie (striving to be PC and taking care not to offend) is of the belief that Mosquito Control is not spraying.  While I agree that the ‘skeeters have been pretty fierce in some parts of BPK, the truth is that Mosquito Control has been busting butt trying to keep up. But they are hamstrung by the weather and by federal regulations.

Those of us who live on BPK are well aware that the Feds and the State own most of the land.  The island is broken up into different zones, each of which the Feds have placed terribly restrictive rules as to how much, how often, and what types of chemicals can be applied.  Each zone is different. The Feds have even severely restricted the manner in which the chemicals can be applied.  The use of aircraft for application is severely restricted.

These rules are made by the Feds not the Bug Board.   Each of the different zones on BPK have different rules that inhibit the Bug Board from effectively killing ‘skeeters. All of the zones were put in place to protect certain insects, primarily butterflies. The area around one particular street on BPK is habitat for an endangered butterfly.  You should know that none of the butterflies have been seen in the area, but the foliage that the critter prefers is heavily present.  Mosquito Control is allowed to only spray this area once a month.

Please always remember the rules are not made by the Bug Board, it’s the Feds who call the shots.

For a two week period immediately after Irma, they waived some of the rules and the Bug Board was able to do its job, but then the weather changed.

Certainly you will remember the very windy and very wet conditions we then had.  The very wet conditions provided prime breeding environment for ‘skeeters, but the winds precluded the use of airborne dispersal of larvicide.  Sooooo the ‘skeeters laid eggs, the eggs were able to hatch, and viola — a horde of ‘skeeters! Now the bug board is pretty much handcuffed by the Fed rules of aerial application of insecticide.   Really, they are hard at work, they are doing all they can.

If you really want to help the Bug Board in its zeal to kill ‘skeeters, by all means, contact the people at U.S. Fish and Wildlife and tell them to give us a break.  Tell them that your health and your comfort is more important than butterflies.

If it’s any comfort, the Executive Director of Bug Board lives here on BPK.  She knows full well how bad it is.

If you want more info or want to alert the Bug Board to heavy mosquito infestation call 305 289 3700  or check out their website at keysmosquit.org

Opinions are not facts. Just because you believe it really hard, doesn’t make it true.

 

 

[“National boycott of the NFL”] Let’s see, the tickets have been sold the broadcast rights have been sold. So the NFL has its money the broadcasters have their money. You’re just following the latest ‘misdirection scheme’.

This cop has a nervous breakdown while attempting to effect an arrest endangering the lives of others.  News article states he is still on active duty patrol.  As a former State Police officer, my opinion is this guy is not fit for the job and should think about a job developing film at the local CVS or Walgreens.  I don’t care what his reason was, he freaked out like five year old in a haunted house. Video
[FEMA Trailers May Displace More Residents] The remaining 20 or so residents of a Big Pine RV park find it hard to believe FEMA would displace them from their homes — in order to house other displaced people in FEMA trailers that are being installed at the RV park.
[Christmas Concerts] The Keys Chamber Orchestra and the Lower Keys Community Choir are planning our Christmas concerts and would love to have you join us.  We are looking for musicians and singers, all ages welcome.  We tentatively have 2 concerts scheduled:  7:30 p.m. Dec. 11th at the BPK Methodist Church and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13th at Venture Out on Cudjoe.  Orchestra rehearsals will be at the Senior Center on Key Deer Blvd Nov. 16 and 26 starting at 2:00 p.m.  Choir rehearsals will be at The Lord of the Seas Lutheran Church on Key Deer Blvd starting at 7:00 p.m. Nov. 21 and 28.  Dress rehearsal will be Dec. 5 at 7:00 p.m. at the Methodist Church.  You must be available to attend all the rehearsals and concerts.  For more information, contact Wayne at whulting@yahoo.com.   Please join us, we need some fun and normalcy back in our community
Why do taxpayers complain when they see government performing a service? It doesn’t cost extra—you already paid for it. You should complain when things don’t get fixed or when you get bad service that you already did pay for!

 

 

Just in time for trick or treat!

Isaksen-2.2016
[Disaster Recovery Center] We offer in-person support to individuals and small business owners. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the State of Florida, are available to provide assistance to anyone needing help completing their applications or updating their status. Voluntary organizations are available and offer a variety of services to help survivors recover.

CLOSING Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 8:00 p.m, Key West Fire Station #2, 616 Simonton St., Key West, FL 3304
REOPENING Thursday, Oct. 19 at 8:00 a.m., 3126 Flagler Ave., Key West, FL 33040, HOURS: 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.

 

 

[For Sale] My neighbor put his house on the market.

(Ed: I still don’t have internet and have to come to the library every day to click the keys. )

 

 

[Every WiFi network in the World is now non-secure] WPA2 encryption broken. WPA2 was supposed to be the end of security worries passed through WiFi. I guess not. Link

[Conquistadors 1518 Mexico] Moctezuma daily sacrificed some young children to the gods, that they might disclose to him what he should do with the Conquistadores.
I’m up in the north mountains now

With the big trees

But  I can’t help it  anyhow

I miss the Keys

Oh yeah the storms come

I’ve been there for that

And there’s a lot of snowbirds

And traffic and all that

But it’s the hardcore locals

Who made the keys what they are

And to find a county of people like that

You’d have to look very, very far.

~Mark daWeaver

Johnsons-7.7.16
[Key Deer & Irma] Additional refuge efforts to help Key deer post Hurricane Irma includes: Continued salinity monitoring of fresh water areas suitable for wildlife use.  Due to the storm surge from Hurricane Irma, salinity levels in some fresh water wetlands were on average higher than acceptable levels for most wildlife species. However, rainfall since Irma’s passing has resulted in most of these areas showing significant decrease in salinity so that supplemental wildlife watering is no longer required on No Name Key, Cudjoe Key, Upper Sugarloaf Key, North and South Big Pine Key.  The only area still requiring this freshwater supplement is Long Beach on Big Pine Key.

Working with the Florida Department of Transportation on addressing the downed fence on US1. The USFWS South Florida Ecological Services Field Office in Vero Beach has the lead on this effort.

Partnering with Florida International University to seek funding for post-storm habitat assessments in the pine rocklands. Even before Irma, only 2% remains of the pine rocklands, a globally endangered habitat only found in south Florida and the Bahamas.  Of all refuge plant communities, saltwater storm surge events from hurricanes and sea-level rise now pose the greatest risks for the pine rocklands. Pine rocklands provide important habitat for a diverse plant and animal community including 18 plants found nowhere else and 8 federally listed animal species. Some of these species include the Key deer, Bartram’s scrub-hairstreak butterfly, Big Pine partridge pea, wedge spurge, and sand flax.

Continuing to work with partners such as Texas A&M University, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (Key deer is a state listed species), and concerned citizens for Key deer and other wildlife management post Hurricane Irma.

 

[“Bad cops”] Ha ha ha! A “physic” test? I think you mean a psych test, not an enema.
Picture: Pressure enema from an animal bladder (African wooden sculpture, 19th century).

[Water Supply] Sunset Key had a big underwater main break and that was where most of the “bleeding” occurred in KW, according to FKAA employees who were not supposed to tell. That leak was responsible for the partial day water pressurization in KW, I was told.

The main reason water was delayed outside KW was because FKAA could not handle the sewage, according to 3 retired FKAA supervisory employees that are very familiar with the water system and FKAA sewers. FKAA was the laughing stock of outside utility workers who came to help with sewers and discovered residential pumps in lift stations that pump so slowly they appeared dead.

One can understand cell phone communication problems, but outside agencies were not even given a map of the system or assigned areas to check. My street was checked by multiple agencies multiple days and even multiple times per day. There were no leaks, the street is close to a transmission main tap that supplies plenty of water and pressure, yet the water was off an absurd length of time. You can open a street water valve and give it time to fill toilet tanks, then listen with a probe on the valve to hear if significant water is running.  I was asked by one utility crew if my street was gravity or grinder. (A good clue would be the manholes!) When they heard gravity, they turned around and went to look for trouble elsewhere. FKAA supposedly has a dedicated fiber optic line and radio towers maintaining communication to Florida City. So much for high tech expensive solutions.

I would suggest incompetence, perhaps insincerity was involved also in the Satellite phones “running out of battery charge.” There were lots of generators running around, right?

 

For providing the Coconut Telegragh under such adverse conditions.  I’ve also been without phone or U-verse connection since September 8th.  I share your “boo-hoo”!

Your efforts are very appreciated! ~Cindy (Ed: Yeah! Misery loves company. Boo hoo.)

Hello, I was wondering if you knew of where I could find facts relevant to the Big Pine area regarding the storm. We have been bringing box trucks down with relief supplies and are building a website to create more awareness of the need. These facts showing the devastation will hopefully help those donate and allow us to continue doing what we can. We will be down this weekend doing labor and bringing a few refrigerators. Thank you so much. (Ed: Read the local newspaper, the Key West Citizen)
[Rude Snowbird] My friends live on Little Torch Key. They work hard and are gone for most of the day; plus they have been staying in another house because theirs is in bad shape, but they do come home periodically.

The snow bird across the street decided to clean his yard of debris and dump it in my friend’s yard. That was not enough, he then placed his shed in my friend’s driveway with boards laying in the driveway that have nails in them.

[Business Identity Theft] The safety and security of your business’ information is a top priority for the Florida Department of State’s Division of Corporations. Business identity theft continues to be a growing concern and to help combat this crime, Sunbiz.org will be utilizing an electronic notification system.  The electronic notification system will generate and send an email when certain types of business entity filings are received and filed with our office.

Email notifications will be generated for nearly all business entity changes or annual report filings processed by our office’

[Raising Funds] Is there something you could sell where proceeds go to big pine key hurricane repairs? Just an idea.

[Debris Removal] I had to get decontamination supplies at H D in Marathon and low and behold Marathon looks like Mr. Clean and a motivated work crew has been busting butt 25/7. The day before I was in KW and it also looked like it was open for tourists. How can this be? I asked myself. I live on BPK and last time I looked, it seemed like it recently received a B-52 Arc Light strike. Now how can it be? Oh hey, I must be suffering from PTSD that 2 Commissioners come from KW and 2 Commissioners Live in the City of Marathon. So why should anyone care that BPK took the largest hit in the County. But wait till it’s realized that there’s no one left to do the bending and scraping nasty work anymore. And I predict at the next election we’ll be given the same losers to choose from.
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