Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Accurate info on Reverend Chris Todd] Christopher Todd, 61, is expected to recover but suffered two broken legs, internal injuries and other wounds in the 5:15 p.m. crash, a friend reported. Todd serves as pastor at St. Francis in the Keys Episcopal Church and acting pastor of Lord of the Seas Lutheran Church, both on Todd’s home island of Big Pine Key. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Todd was driving south on U.S. 1 near mile marker mile marker 32 when his 2005 Nissan Altima reportedly drifted into the northbound lane and struck an oncoming minivan.|
|[GMO Bugs] Now let me get this straight, Florida Keys Mosquito Control is pushing hard for the release of Oxitec’s genetically modified mosquitoes in Key Haven (first) as an experimental means to reduce the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which have been shown to carry Dengue Fever and the Zika virus. Ignoring the promotional literature intended to sell these mosquitoes, my research turned up some interesting facts:
In 2012, Brazil dumped vast swarms of Oxitec’s GMO mosquito in an effort to curb incidence of Dengue Fever.
In 2013, Dengue cases in Brazil about doubled compared to 2012! See the attached chart from Brazil’s Ministry of Health. This is not at all what they hoped for, but they continued to buy GMO mosquitoes. Why?
In August 2014, Brazil became concerned about the dramatic increase in birth defects, especially microcephaly. Eight months later, the culprit responsible was identified as the Zika virus, carried by the exact same mosquito species that Oxitec’s “Frankenskeeters” were supposed to drastically diminish. Brazil bought more GMO mosquitos. (slow learners? really good salesmen? graft?)
In all of 2014, 147 microcephaly cases were reported in Brazil. In the last few months of 2015, over 4,000 cases were reported. Is that supposed to be a success story?
The Oxitec GMO mosquito instills a fatal genetic defect in its offspring. Shortly after release of the Oxitec Frankenskeeters, human genetic defects skyrocketed in Brazil. Is that just coincidence?
Over 149,000 signatures have been collected opposing release of GMO mosquitoes in the Keys. A few people are still in favor. Overall, it seems this is not a “willing participant” experiment. I think they should be tested within the walls of FDA headquarters among their approval staff for a few years first.
A Congressional investigation in about 1978 discovered that the US military had dumped paper bags each carrying about 1,000 Dengue-carrying mosquitoes on Avon Park, Panama City, and Key West Florida. It was another biological warfare experiment on unsuspecting US citizens. Now if you can just convince people that it is to their benefit to be part of an experiment, even if you have to lie a little …
After WW II, folks breathed a sigh of relief that experiments on unwilling people were banned. But the ban was only on paper as the above incident bears witness. Here is a great link to a reputable list of some of the US experiments that have been revealed as documents declassify. Link
|After his induction, Steve Miller rips Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Good on him. I have never had any desire to go to Cleveland to give those people my money. Link|
[Charlie Harkins R.I.P.] Please join us at Coconuts for a celebration of life for our dear friend Charlie Harkins on Sunday, April 17th at 4 pm. It’s a Pot Luck, so please bring something to share and any pictures you may have for his family.
|[“Minimum wage”] I don’t understand social justice warriors. If, as one put it, McDonalds workers are “dull” with “no ambition” why is it up to anyone else to subsidize that? Where’s the incentive for the best and brightest to excel if everyone is worthy of similar remuneration? There’s a name for that. It’s called socialism, or worse–communism. A system that has failed miserably everywhere. Wait. It’s pretty good at making people go hungry and turning women into prostitutes. It’s good at fattening the government and building jails where people get sent for their thoughts.
Every engineered interference in the economy consists of giving an unearned benefit, extorted by force, to some people at the expense of others. Whoever claims the right to redistribute the wealth produced by others is claiming the right to treat human beings as chattel.
Social justice? Please. Here’s my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn belongs to you – and why?
|[Mange] One of my young fawns has mange. I hope it doesn’t spread to the heard. Mange is a contagious skin disease caused by mites that often results in hair loss and thickening of the skin and can be fatal to deer, especially fawns. Other conditions that cause deer to shed their coats, such as lice or “Hair Loss Syndrome,” also can have drastic impacts on deer herds. In these cases, the animals develop a hypersensitivity to the pests and will engage in excessive grooming. That leads to the loss of guard hairs, which leave patchy yellow or white spots on their sides.|
|[Nellie Bly] She was more than a name in the song Frankie and Johnny. She was a determined reporter who exposed the horrors of an 1887 nut house in New York. Link|
|Rules for delegates for both parties–lose them, lose them all! We don’t need this complex system that few of us understand. I would have to think the powers-that-be want to keep it just that way. Wrong. We now live in a IT, computer based world. It’s way past time to have a one person, one vote system. Rules should be so easy that even the common man or woman can understand them. Let’s clean up this system. It’s a mess and the playing field is far from level for both sides.|
[Gangbangers] History lesson for all the want-to-be thugs & gangbangers.
|Al Jazeera America has gone off the air. April 30 was supposed to be its last day, but it went off cable April 12 instead. I wonder what happened? Al Jazeera America was the only other channel besides BBC America that showed world news. They failed because they couldn’t get any western advertisers due to Islamophobia. Their Qatar owner lost billions when the price of oil took a dump and he no longer could sustain the enterprise.|
|[Name That Bird] This bird was calling last evening at 8 pm. I don’t recognize the call. Can anyone identify it?
|The first divorce was granted by the Rhode Island Assembly in 1754 more than a hundred years after the foundation of the Colony.|
|The two largest coal produces in the USA have both filed for bankruptcy. Less coal means less pollution.|
[“Name That Plant”] That’s the Black Bead tree. It is having a terribly good year and producing more of those curly bead pods than I can remember. From its name, I recon people once pierced the beads and strung them together for ornamentation. They get real hard.
|[“Easiest street numbering system”] Then he goes on to say the streets in Marathon are in sequence except the first 12 which are in a nearby city and the last 11 which are at the other end of the island. How it that an easy system? The first street off the bridge is 12? that’s easy?
It is you who are in error. Your insults are undeserved; did you think this was social media?
[Old Plane Crash] I saw this photo in Thursday’s Citizen and remembered it from the 80s. That house was Mike’s who worked at the old Strunk Lumber Co. He said a few days after the mess was cleared away he found a finger in his yard.
|In 1695 absentees form the colonial Assembly forfeited twice their daily pay. We need to bring back that clause and fine lawmakers for missing attendance. That was a great idea, but the do-nothing legislators repealed it years later. Senator Rubio of Florida would owe the government a lot of money.|
|New autos have so much extra stuff on them that all breaks. But the one thing that never breaks is the damned seat belt dinger. I hat that thing.|
Picnic Island is back to normal after the snowbirds have gone.
|[“Robot love”] “If you were to insist I was a robot, you might not consider me capable of love in some mystic human sense, but you would not be able to distinguish my reactions from that which you would call love — so what difference would it make? ~Isaac Asimov”
A robot would not be capable of experiencing human emotion which is very telling to the observer. That is how I’d know the robot was faking love—instinct. You can’t pretend instinct.
|[All Caps] Beginning on May 11, NOAA’s national weather service forecasters will stop ‘yelling’ at you. Link|
|Driving through Islamorada yesterday I look to the north and it there was, a FWC boat with a power pole on it! It was only a matter of time. Why do we pay those people?|
|[“Other marinas besides Dolphin Marina”] I don’t think so. You’d best make reservations as soon as you can.|
[“Minimum wage”] “Most of the people who make minimum wage are on several types of welfare programs.” Boy, that was quite a generalization and a bit wrong. Only the skilled crook could collect a wage and welfare, because to get either, you have to use your social security number. Sure there are those skilled frauds working the system. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathe water because so many systems are being ripped off.
|I knew Flipper Eddie back in 1984-85. Great guy. He was nice to every one that I know of.|
|[Fire Ants] Stings from bees or wasps are quickly soothed by directly applied honey. This might be God’s gift to hive-marauding bears? It is certainly a way to remember this sting remedy! Honey might also work for fire ant stings since they are almost wasps without wings, but I have not tried it for that. From Wikipedia on fire ants: “Unlike many other ants, which bite and then spray acid on the wound, fire ants bite only to get a grip and then sting from the abdomen and inject a toxic alkaloid venom called Solenopsin, a compound from the class of piperidines.” Now we know.|
|[Backup] I went to mirroring the hard drive (not often enough) to an external hard drive that unplug when finished. I don’t trust it any more than every other back-up solution that has failed me before, going all the way back to boxes and boxes of 360k floppy disks and Norton Utilities. (The 3rd disk had a bad read in Norton’s proprietary format, so the other 70 that were supposed to follow were worthless.)
I now regularly back up files to thumb drives and Dropbox, in addition to the hard drive mirror. I have an emergency boot CD. Actually, I have two in case one fails to function. Of course, I don’t know where to find either, now. It’s hopeless, really, in my experience. Eventually you lose everything you value in both life and data. With luck, the data goes long before the rest of the heartbreak occurs.
|In that era in the 70s – 80s, Verl Scadlock, a county employee (water or electric, I think) developed the quarry called Lazy Lakes. He must be laughing at that creation now. He was also a friend of Flipper Eddie and helped us a lot back then with showers, water, etc.|
|How can I report a lobster poacher and remain anonymous? who do I call and not give my name? I would be in danger if this guy finds out it was me but he is doing a bad thing.|
|I finally told her those three magic words every woman longs to hear: I, Give, Up.|
|I’m voting for whoever supports a democracy. The United States of America is a republic where we select people to vote for us (at least I think that’s what a republic is—no one really knows). That’s where all the confusion with delegates, caucuses, super-delegates, and the Electoral College come in. If something is that confusing it needs to be changed. If it’s that confusing someone other than us is benefiting. Republics worked a couple of hundred years ago when there wasn’t proper communication available.
Today the voter is as informed as he wants to be so people should be elected by popular vote. Whoever gets the most votes wins. It should be that simple. The current system is outdated to say the least.
[“Talk about Flipper Eddie”] Does anybody out there from the same era remember Bob Deeson, better known as “Da Gauge”? Da gauge was an awesome little ole guy, had a place on Cudjoe and was a really Kali-Yuga oriented scrap metal/mechanic dude. John Meeks, the “Iguana Man” was really happening at that time. All were friends of Flipper Eddie
|[ R.I.P. Al Jazeera America] It was the way news should be done. Link|
|[“Minimum wage”] Workers need a living wage of around $10-15 an hour to pay for Obamacare. If we want a healthy America, we need insurance and those unskilled workers should pay their share. Right now they can’t, so we have to pay it for them when they go to the emergency room. With national healthcare employers wouldn’t have that burden, the employee would, if he made a living wage!|
In 1971 the first Starbucks coffee shop opened in Seattle. Witness hears from two of the founders of the company that changed the way millions of people start their day. Audio
|In 1764 Brown University was founded by Baptists and 3 other denominations with the stipulation that the President had to be a Baptist.|
|Coconuts in downtown Big Pine Key has openings for part time bartenders, mornings and afternoons. We will train. If a few days a week fits your life style the ‘NUT is a very nice place to work. Stop by and fill out an application. Coconut is a drug free work place. ~The “NUT”|
|The bush (small tree) with the curly pods containing flamingo head seeds is Pithecellobium keyense, also known as the Florida Keys blackbead bush. It is native and the deer and iguana don’t eat it (yeah!).|
|[Affluenza] How is it the painter’s kid who has had two DUIs and multiple traffic tickets, who rides his motorcycle on one wheel down US1, who gets caught letting an unauthorized driver drive his drunk-self home days before his DUI trial, and gets rearrested for violating the terms of his conditional release as he leaves court, still driving? He told me once his name ran “deep” in Monroe County. Mommy and Daddy won’t let him sit in jail as they bonded him out within minutes.
How do I contact Judge Fowler? Mark Rossi? Sylvia Murphy? Those are names he tossed around in his latest brag session about how he doesn’t have to care. If he kills someone, the county will have to care as they’ve had multiple chances to pull his license.
[Urinal Bed] You send your kid to college and hope for the best and this is what you get. You must be so proud. Staff at Pavlov’s Bar in South Carolina, Columbia were shocked to find the young man, who was wearing a Hawaiian themed shirt and navy chinos, snuggled into the urinal as he clutched the edge of his new-found bed.
|Led Zeppelin faces copyright lawsuit over ‘Stairway to Heaven’. They say the Led copied music from the Spirit song “Taurus.”|
|[Bounty Hunters] The FWC board has established a program that rewards any person who harvests at least 50 lionfish. Those fishermen would be entitled to a commemorative coin, membership in a reward program, T-shirt and have their name listed in the FWC Lionfish Hall of Fame, a webpage to recognize the conservation efforts of lionfish hunters.|
|To the person who said that the (ASR) Aquifer Storage and Recovery project in Marathon did not work. Pleased to inform you that 90 million gallons of fresh water was pumped into a confining layer of quartz beads 400 feet to 415 feet underground and under salt water, sandwiched between layers of impervious clay. These beads were an ancient beach perhaps, but now an underground storage tank per se. CH2M Hill won the World’s best Engineering Award for design of the project.
During the shutdown of the FKAA water system after Hurricane Andrew, South Florida Water Management District was offering a permit to use the stored water if FKAA could not pump water down from the damaged Florida City plant. The ASR project was ready and willing to go, but was not used for what it was designed to do – store and supply clean fresh water to the Keys from Marathon.
Not only that, the water under Marathon tested better than when it was first pumped in. It was under its own pressure because fresh water floats on top of salt water. If you open the valve at the Marathon Customer Service Building grounds ( to the left of the building), fresh water will shoot out of the ASR pipe up to 15 feet in the air. As one engineer found out one night after drinking too much.
It’s amazing how little is known about the FKAA and the brilliant things that it does – like bringing fresh safe water 130 miles down to Key West from the mainland daily – no small feat in itself. The FKAA can also supply fresh water from the sea if needed.
Did you know that there is still a working ASR in Marathon? FKAA doesn’t use it, maybe because it only cost them about twenty-five cents to treat and pump 1000 gallons of fresh water to Key West from the mainland.
|Drunk is when you feel sophisticated, but can’t pronounce it.|
[Toenail Fungus] The foot specialist sells a liquid, says to apply twice a day, active ingredient 1% tolnaftate Link
|Shame on CVS! I went to buy a 16 oz. bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol and they wanted $2.67. So I went to Winn Dixie & got it for $1.50.|
|[What Do They Own] Can someone maybe tell me what “owner” is when referring to an occupation on KEYSSO crime report? Is it an owner of property? a business? Bicycle? penknife? Most of these “owners” don’t look as though they’ve enough sense to get out of the way of traffic. They certainly don’t have the wherewithal to keep from getting arrested.|
I’m so old that I have actually dialed a rotary phone while listening to 45’s and standing next to a black & white TV with aluminum foil on the rabbit ears.
|[Faith] How come all those fantastic and fabulous stories in the bible happened 2-3 thousand years ago? How come none ever happened since? Could it be that those were just stories made up to impress the uneducated faithful? Why did those fabulous stories and miracles just stop as people got more educated?|
I stayed in the breast room ever!
|[The Business Side of Politics] I told my son, “I want you to marry a girl of My choice!” He said, “No!”
I told him it’s Bill Gates’ daughter! He said, “Okay!”
I got in contact with Bill Gates & told him, “I want your daughter to marry my son.” He said, “No!”
Told him my son was the CEO of the World Bank. He said, “Okay.”
I went to the President of the World Bank & told him to make my son CEO of the bank. He said, “No!”
Told him my son was Bill Gates’ son-in-law. He said, “Okay.”
|Hemingway this, Hemingway that, Hemingway, Hemingway, Hemingway… I read a lot and Hemingway in my opinion was mediocre at best. A compilation of his short stories reads like just a bunch of crap he never finished.|
I’m renewing my captain’s license this year and have to take the urinalysis. I checked with a lab in Marathon and they want $210! What happened to $90? This is how we fight the war on drugs? Captains that don’t even smoke have to pay. Such bullshit. As if anyone that smokes weed can’t ‘study’ for a test that they know when they have to provide the sample for. If there’s a boating accident and you’re working, you’re going to be tested anyway. I would gladly crap in a bowl on the commanding officer’s desk if I’m suspected of something, but fail to see why I should have to pay for their suspicions.
|[Sewers] There also is the thrilling prospect of another Hurricane Wilma-like tidal surge, which covers the lower keys with 3 or so feet of sea water, the power goes out for a couple of weeks, the wonderful just waiting for something bad to happen grinder pumps FKAA and our county commissioners just had to have, stop working, and Big Coppit Key up through Big Pine Key have several thousand backed up raw sewerage producing plants and the current wannabe US president and Florida governor and the county commission declare a state of emergency and HAZMAT teams are sent in to clean up the exquisite stinky mess made by FKAA, the County Commission, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and the state administrative law court which signed off on this just waiting for shit all over everywhere to happen. George Neugent was, I recall, the most vocal, most suborn, most haughty, most belligerent county commissioner, defending FKAA’s grinder pump infatuation, which I still ain’t convinced did not involve somebody, or somebodies, making a lot of money who was not supposed to make a lot of money.|
|[Sanctuary Seeks Volunteers] Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is recruiting volunteers for their Team OCEAN program in Key Largo, Key West and Big Pine Key areas. Volunteers serve as boat operators or educational interpreters at busy reef areas on weekends and peak days during the summer months. Volunteers distribute printed information, such as brochures and maps, and answer questions to inform the public about the sanctuary and its special zones, encourage proper use of sanctuary resources, and provide tips on boating and mooring safely. Volunteers should be comfortable and experienced spending time on vessels less than 25 feet. Training will be provided. Fingerprinting for a background check is required. Contact Susan Dunn for more information at 305-434-9373 or Susan.Dunn@noaa.gov.|
|[Guns] Sandy Hook families’ lawsuit against gun companies clears big hurdle. Link|
|The Southernmost Car Club’s “Show & Shine” is this Sunday, April 17th from noon till 4pm. All are welcome at this FREE event. The Sugarloaf Lodge at mm 17 will host a large collection of custom, classic, and sports vehicles. Pickup trucks and One-of-a-Kinds may be there too. 50’s music, a Tiki Bar and Pizza parlor add to the fun for all. Yearly membership is only $25, and comes with a free club t-shirt, and many perks, including invitations to all club events. Info call Dick Moody 305-942-1758|
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