Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Thanksgiving] The Puritans (pilgrims) believed that man was born with sin in his soul, so, therefore, he must try all his life to fight that evil within or literally go to Hell. They lived in mortal fear of their God and saw anything and everything as signs from God. They were superstitious beyond reason. The English persecuted them for being so weird and they had to leave. After they settled in Massachusetts their intolerance caused them to persecute other immigrants who had to leave Massachusetts and start Rhode Island. Roger Williams was the first leader to put the ideology of tolerance of others’ lifestyles into practice. Williams paid Indians for every bit of land and never stole it like the other colonist did. He treated Indians as equals. Happy Thanksgiving.|
|[FTR’s Zika Files] A recent Facebook video put up by Never Again Foundation LLC (slick name isn’t it!), featured a Mr. Smith damning the use of GMM to protect the public against Zika, is worth checking out. Just for the record, Never Again Foundation LLC is a brand new group dedicated to halting the use of GMM in protecting you and I from Zika and other diseases.
Smith immediately began misleading the viewer by stating that he was “down here testifying.” I don’t think he appeared at the last mosquito board meeting. Even if he had, it would not be testimony. To the best of my knowledge there are currently no legal actions here in Monroe County concerning GMM or GMO. I must wonder if Mr. Smith has ever been qualified in a court of law as an expert on the issue of genetic engineering. I doubt it.
In the video, Smith promotes a veiled threat that if the GMM technology is used, “someone” “might” start a rumor that “someone” was damaged by the technology. Hence tourism would suffer. The real danger is that if Zika gets a foothold in our community innocents will suffer and our economy will be savaged. Just ask Miami-Dade.
The balance of the video was the stock in trade of the “Antis” no science, lots of maybe’s, lots of scare words, what if’s, and sundry other speculation. Wait for the next step it will be a request for donations from NAF LLC.
Smith is an interesting character (repeat character). It is reported that Smith was a Natural Law Party member in 1996. He failed as a politician. He ran for Congress and lost. Smith is noted for having participated in a TM-Sidhi program yogic flying demonstration in Des Moines, Iowa. Yep, he was a flying Yogi! Try to wrap your mind around that.
Smith is not a scientist. But he did try to play one on TV. He actually was a guest on the Dr. Oz show a couple of times. A genuine molecular biologist and food scientist, wrote to the show arguing that Smith’s “only professional experience prior to taking up his crusade against biotechnology is as a ballroom-dance teacher, yogic flying instructor, and political candidate for the Maharishi cult’s natural-law party.” Jon Entine, a author and science journalist, accused Smith of being ‘an activist with no scientific or medical background’ and said that Smith’s views amount to ‘near-hysterical criticism’.”
It appears that Smith makes a living by being a rabid anti genetic engineering activist. He does not even claim to be a scientist. But he has self published a number of books that vilify genetic engineering. He heads an anti GMO group in Iowa that gave $10k to Citizens for Safe Science…the failed anti Oxitec PAC. The money in being an Anti must be pretty good. Maybe thats why we now see a brand-new entity: Never Again Foundation LLC.
My favorite ocean treasure is a 20-year-old buoy that floated into my yard six years ago. It is now a tree frog house.
|[Deadwood in Schools] I have finally received from MCSD a response to my inquiry regarding how many teachers are in the District. I was provided with a complete breakdown by category of the 1,126 people employed by the District and I send it to you for your information, edification and delight.
Some of the categories are a little confusing to me. For example there are 48 “administrators” and 175 “non-instructional support”. I do not know what the distinguishing characteristics are for each category. The core answer to my question is that there are 604 “instructional” employees. I assume that includes all full time and part time teachers. I do not know if that includes principals and other academic administrators in the schools.
|[What’s Yours Is Yours] I find Tuesday’s “Social Security and Medicare” story hard to believe, as I too am a 23 1/2 year firefighter with a disability retirement. My Social Security payment was not reduced one penny, let alone the massive amount that the poster claimed his was. If this post wasn’t completely fabricated, he needs to find out where the mistake was made, even if it means hiring a lawyer.|
|[“Alt Right”] It seems like folks don’t understand that ISIS is the right wing (alt right) Sunni sect which grew out of extreme conservative views. These protectionist moves have never really panned out well for anyone – Stalin, Hitler, North Korea, Brexit (did you know the British pound has dropped hugely and some prices have shot up 25% since the Brexit vote alone). Let’s hope the US of A has a better chance of serving it.|
|[Sewers] I checked a friend’s sewer clean-out on Big Pine yesterday for depth and discovered that the contractor (Layne) used the wrong fitting, not compliant with FKAA Minimum Construction Standards as required by the CRWS contracts. It appears the same exists all over the CRWS. I saw a standard “sanitary tee” installed, with the direction of flow toward the sewer main. The requirement of the Contracts is to utilize a “two-way sanitary clean-out tee.” The required tee has a smooth sweep in both directions so that the lateral (to the main) or building sewer (from the house) can be easily accessed in both directions for cleaning or inspection without sharp bends in the cable.
Your plumber would normally clear a blockage from the clean-out towards the house, especially if using a pressure water jetter. That way, the jetting water goes to the sewer instead of all over the yard, and in all means of cleaning, the blockage material goes down the drain once it is broken up.
A standard sanitary tee in 4″ sells at Home Depot for $6.40 and a two way clean-out tee sells for $18.52, or about three times as much. These are 6″ fittings at the roadside sewer clean-out and considerably more expensive. Drainage Solutions sells the 6″ sanitary tee for $41.13 and the 6″ two-way clean-out for $152.49, so the contractors saved about $100 on each connection, while making cleaning or inspection of your building sewer very much more difficult and maybe impossible from the street. With over 9,700 connections in the CRWS, that little substitution was worth almost a million dollars in windfall profit that our taxes provided. Robbed again.
My bet is that the contractors submitted a standard sanitary tee for approval, and some fool at FKAA approved it. The submittal approver’s oversight does not make unspecified parts acceptable, but it may confuse the inspectors.
I think all of the improper tees should be changed out, or 3 times the contractor savings be paid to each property owner so that they can put a 4″ clean-out tee for their own use on their building sewer when or after they connect.
|Thanks to the poster of the letter from the Aqueduct Authority. No one in our area on Big Pine even got it. The first grinder pump was inspected and turned on 11-22-2016 on Big Pine|
|[Hiding Climate Change] Exxon Mobil is suing The Rockefeller Foundation for exposing Exxon’s phony science against global warming while at the same time preparing for global warming and hiding that fact.|
|If I’m not mistaken, up until 1966 if you ate meat on Friday it was a mortal sin, and you went to Hell. I think a mortal sin is the biggest sin you can commit in the Catholic religion, right up there with murder and raping altar boys. But the very next day in 1966, the Church said it was okay to eat meat on Friday and you would no longer go to Hell. After that it wasn’t even a sin! You no longer went to Hell? What happened to all the people who went to Hell in the past centuries and suffered as much as they say? Did they get to go to Heaven after 1966? Do the get promoted and go to the other death department–Purgatory? Does God give them a personal apology for being meat loving sinners? Religions confuse me so much. It’s usually some B.S. man has made up that has nothing to do with God.|
|Mr. FTR. I know who you are. You don’t know who I am though. I actually sat with you at the Sugarloaf Lodge one night. And even bought you a scotch and soda, knowing who you were. You know my stepfather from up north. My mother made me promise not to open my mouth. And I didn’t. Even knowing who you are, and all the hate you spew, I bought you a drink and smiled because that’s how I am.|
[Genealogy] Anybody have an opinion on Ancestry.com or MyHeritage.com? Which is the best, cheapest, or most correct?
|[Rumor] Billy’s Crab Shack is gone already. They didn’t even make it 90 days. That’s what happens when you offer bad service with Miami Beach prices to a Lower Keys customer base.|
[Happy Holidays] Let me get this straight. Saying “Happy Holidays” is war on Christmas? What if I told you that from November 1st. through January 15th. the world’s major religions observe at least 29 different holidays and yours aren’t the only ones that count.
|[Marathon Politics] “May you live in interesting times”, while seemingly a blessing used ironically as an English expression, it may actually have its roots as a Chinese curse. Who cares! What difference does it make? The fact is, we now live in interesting times. Our so-called mainstream media has failed us. We no longer know the truth of anything anymore. Our government has failed us on so many levels, that we are now only left with anger. The rule of law is dead, and politics, ideology and self interest rule supreme. Our recent election results, both nationally and locally here in Marathon, seem to be a vote against the status quo as opposed to being for anything positive, progressive or evolutionary.
Our emphasis on political correctness and polite acceptance as a society has replaced responsibility and accountability for anything important. Accountability is an oversight responsibility that we as the electorate must now take on whether we want to or not. If we are to have any hope for the future our elected officials must be held accountable for their actions since our government attorneys, law enforcement, ethics commissions, and the media will not. We must learn to become a democracy again. It should be about equality and fairness, as opposed to being about politics and the friends of politicians and special interests.
Our Marathon Taxpayer dollars have been and continue to flow through the hands of a man who uses our local Marathon government for his own self interest and personal benefit. While accounting is about assets and liabilities, it all comes down to money. How our money is allocated, how it is spent is important. Let’s be honest, everyone wants more money for themselves, everyone wants a bigger cut of the pie. How we utilize our resources and spend our money goes a long way towards determining how we address our problems and move forward. We have an accounting problem in the City of Marathon and our Council is afraid to address it because they are afraid of accounting. The City of Marathon has a very large contractual relationship for financial accounting services with a local man who operates above the law with immunity and deference because of this fear. He conducts business with questionable people including felons and has no problem asking for beneficial self interest development approvals, receiving them along with after-the-fact permits whenever he has the need. Even though the City of Marathon declared the month of October as “Domestic Abuse Awareness Month” they continue to look the other way with regards to Peter Rosasco, their financial services contractor, who is an admitted and convicted domestic abuser.
We are living in most interesting times indeed! The question is will our elected officials lead us out of this darkness and abuse?
Let me reaffirm the obvious, we are facing many unresolved, ongoing and long standing problems that continue to go unaddressed. We must start dealing with them one at a time but we do need to start dealing with them now and stop this “bulloney” of continually “kicking the can down the road”. While the totality of our problems is never as bad as it may seem, it can and will get worse by continually doing nothing! Once we start addressing our problems we need to understand that we will never reach perfection but that does not mean we shouldn’t try! It is about the road we decide to travel. We need to finally embrace reality, set a moral compass, be strong in our beliefs, let no one sway us from this new path, knowing it to be right and good. We do not need an Ethics Commission to tell us what we know to be ongoing conflicts of interest in our Community of Marathon still today!
Everything is going to be alright, if we decide to take appropriate action now. We must start by expecting and demanding accountability of our elected officials over their friends and personal self interests. What are we waiting for? Has anyone in the City of Marathon heard the saying: “Guilt by Association”? It may be a mafia curse, but who cares. I care!
I wanted to put up one or two Thanksgiving decorations for a couple of days so I went to Kmart and the didn’t have even one Thanksgiving Day decoration. I went then to Walgreens–same story; then to CVS only to be disappointed once more. I know they haven’t found a way to commercialize Thanksgiving Day, but a few cheap decorations wouldn’t hurt.
|National Parks Foundation. Link|
|Uber is in more than 400 cities in 72 countries, yet Key West is still trying to protect the taxi business by keeping Uber out.+ We need more forward-thinking elected officials.|
|Large section of Miami Beach cleared of Zika virus. Two Zika areas remain in Florida; We cannot let down our guard, says CDC director. What a buzzkill. Link|
|Stephen Hawking says we’ve got about 1,000 years to find a new place to live. That isn’t even enough time for my wife to pack!|
|I had another free yard sale and stuck a sign on the table not to take the table, but they dumped all the stuff and only took the damn table! Save the Keys, burn them!|
|[Marathon] Informal leaders (Bruce and Brian Schmidt, Marathon City Commissioners, Keynoter Editor, etc) include religious (Catholic and New Life) and business leaders (Kelly Electric) community activists (do we have any?), the community elite (D’Asign Family) and others with real or perceived positions of power and influence in the community can exert significant influence on community members and political leaders on how to handle the Middle/Lower Keys housing crisis. The Keys community’s informal leadership and social structure must also be evaluated to determine willingness to intervene in the housing market to correct market failure — but will it happen, County Commissioners?|
|Springer’s Bar & Grill, 31251 Avenue A, Big Pine Key, 305-872-3022
Friday–Fish n Chips (Mahi-Mahi), Homemade Beer Batter, Malt Vinegar if you like
NFL on 14 TV’s, Cold A/C & Beer served in chilled 16 oz. glasses
World Famous Beignets
Happy Hour / Full Bar
Mon – Sat 3pm to 7pm, Sun 1pm to 7pm
|[Napoleonic Wars] … Bourgogne and his comrades were among the troops required for the campaign of 1806 in Poland, where Bourgogne became corporal. Two years later he took part in the Battle of Essling, where he was twice wounded. He was wounded in the neck and leg; the ball entered the right thigh, and could never be extracted. Towards the end of his life it had worked down to about twelve inches above the foot.|
[eBay.com] Do you know of a web page to buy and sell items? If so, do you know the web address?
|[Railroads] The most important part of it is the bed that the rails lay down on. If you want a non bumpy, fast trip, all of the existing beds and ties must be replaced. That would mean new stone beds with concrete ties and a wider bed. Look at the European structure.|
|[“Most of the whiners are those who’ve lived here too long”] How true that is, and it’s so sad so many bitter old fat folks pontificating. I can’t figure out some (like the volcano poster. Were they saying that because the volcanos add to global warming, mankind gets a free pass, or that the recent rise is due to a bunch of new volcanos?) and others are just way behind the times (like the sewers, all around the country, property owners start paying for the cost of the plant as soon as it’s available to their property, not when the elect to hook-up – else the municipalities would never recoup their costs and the property taxes would have to go up). So many others with no scientific credentials spend the time to share their ignorant positions on various other topics. We have 2 ears and 1 mouth, sdo you should listen twice as much as you talk, not the other way around.|
Seafood lasagna. Link
|Most mass murderers have extreme right-wing views. The Right is dangerous. They’re usually Wrong, but can’t see it so they become a danger to the rest of us. Just ask ISIS, the Alt Right, etc.|
I love the positive holiday spirit being exhibited by Caldwell Schmitt. Keep up the great work, don’t listen to the debbie-downers. The silent majority is very appreciative of your efforts.
|The next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up this Saturday, November 26, 10 am at the senior center. Hope to see you there. Full Menu > Ongoing Events|
|[“Late night boat noise”] To the person coming in and out of the Dolphin marina for 28 years. Yes, the boat was on private property because it blew an engine. Yes, they were told by Dolphin Marina they could keep it there. Yes, they got permission from the home owner, and yes, it was broke down late that evening. Too bad you missed that.|
[Science Question of the Day] Does sound travel farther on a hot, humid day or on a cold, dry day? And why?
|[“Sewer connect notice giving me 30 days to connect”] I got a notice too and called to ask for an extension but got nowhere. So I invited the sewer companies enforcer to a round of golf and told him to wear very thick shin guards|
|[Key West Orchid Society] Our annual holiday party is at The Club at Key West Harbour again this year. The date is Sunday, Dec. 11, from 11am to 2pm. Full Menu > Ongoing Events|
|I’m going to stop reading the Obituaries when it’s a woman. It’s always that they did nothing but go to church and breed. I guess in a few years the next generation of modern woman will start dying off and we’ll be reading about their actual achievements in business, politics, science, etc., not just their church doings and number of kids they had.|
[Woman Cooks] What scares me the most about Thanksgiving is watching woman cook. It would take a nano-second to turn the average kitchen into a Chernobyl or Bikini Atoll, especially with propane stoves!
|[“Let’s see which bar will sell out first between Big Pine Key and Stock Island”] Ah, geeeze, more wise guys coming down here from up there with some new fried food platter that’s going to set the Lower Keys on fire? Let me guess, fried cheese curds dipped in a ranch dressing with mango salsa. A real Packers fan favorite! What do these guys do up there to make enough money to come down here and buy a fry stand and stay warm?
Who’s going to sell? Bada Boonies? Nah. Billy’s? He just got started making his small fortune from a large one, nope. The Tiki? Fish? Mangrove’s? Listen, I got nothing against anybody coming down here from up there and spending stupid money on a Fryolator with a history. I just wish someone would cook Keys food, not bar food. None of them have a real key lime pie recipe, they just sell it; and it all comes from the same commercial place. When are we getting a Philly Cheese Steak place? How bout a Gino’s South?
[Screwworm] It seems the deer are bounding back. 11 deer are the most we’ve ever had and they all look healthy. I hope this nightmare is over.
|[Dirty Canals Caused By Poor People] They were clean until you got here from where ever you came from. There’s been a major decline in the water quality since 2010, especially on Summerland Key where green is the color of the day–everyday–since the bottom feeders showed up at the bottom of the housing market.|
|Everyone’s invited to stop by the Lower Keys Chamber’s Island Art Festival this Saturday Nov. 26 from 9-2 to enjoy live music, BBQ from Springer’s, cold beverages provided by Pepsi and served by the Southernmost Coconut Castaways. Many vendors will be displaying their creations, making for a fun-filled holiday shopping experience. One-of-a-kind items from jewelry to outdoor decorations, clothing to soaps, home accessories to quirky art pieces will delight our shoppers. There’s nothing like it anywhere – so come and see your old friends and new at the Chamber grounds, MM 31|
|When the Keys get the fiber optic cables installed will we get back up to 56 K speed again, or stay at these so called high speed b.s. over-priced speeds.|
|[Getting Stonewalled] Ms. Hladik, Thank you very much for forwarding HR Director Ramon Dawkins’ response to my PRR for information regarding the number of employees in MCSD. Dr. Dawkins’ reply is comprehensive and provides all of the data that I requested.
I commend Dr. Dawkins for his presentation of the data. That is, his report includes a title, date and evidence of authorship. Usually, reports that I receive from MCSD to PRR’s do not include these three critical elements. That causes confusion down the road for all concerned. I generally pencil in a title, date and authorship for my own reference, though that is not official.
This PRR went into the third week despite its simplicity. Of course, that is better than the three months that it took to respond to my last request. I look forward to the day when a routine Public Records Request is received, processed, and answered in a routine manner. It is tedious to say the least to have to ask for assistance from members of the School Board and/or your legal department to receive a routine response to a routine matter.
I make my PRR requests via email rather than coming to the office to demand immediate service as a courtesy to MCSD to make responding that much easier. I hope that the day does not come that I have to show up at the Henriquez Building to demand immediate service.
I am willing to cooperate in any way to facilitate responses to my PRR’s. All of my requests over the years have been for existing documents. I have never asked MCSD to create a document on my behalf. What I have asked for are simply copies of reports and the like that can be forwarded electronically for your ease. Please advise as to anything that I might do to promote improved communications. ~Dr. Larry Murray
Hipster nativity scene.
|You only live once.
You are only live once
[Turkey Hogie] It is Friday and I still have half of my turkey hogie (spelled right) and am enjoying that with a cup of black coffee this morning. Yeah, hogies! If you spell hogie ‘hoagie’ you are from NYC or somewhere not in Philly. The Nazis in N. Philly used vinegar with the olive oil. We shot them in S. Philly. Hogies anywhere that are not on Amoroso Rolls are not authorized, capisce? Any sub or torpedo is from redneckville and not considered food.
|[“Lost key saga”] To the person who lost their car keys: sorry, the set you lost and posted picture of 22nd Nov on CocoTele, are not the ones found in my driveway on Ramrod.|
|[Whining] All of us old timers weren’t whining in the old days. That all started when you Yankee’s showed up. Go home “no more whining”, then you can do it just like they do it up north with no whining|
Everyone’s trying to kill those they disagree with. And it’s usually right-wing extremists. Lefties are famously peaceful. NY placed big dump trucks filled with dirt to block streets from would be killers in vehicles trying to smash through. Hate is the order of the day.
|[Crook] Key West. A former Idaho-based aquarium operator who violated the terms of his supervised release from federal prison by buying and selling marine life accused of violating for a second time under the same circumstances could find himself back behind bars. Former Idaho Aquarium Inc. President Ammon Covino has already donated $50,000 to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and spent 30 days in jail for violating his supervised release in February after serving 10 months in federal prison. He was arrested last month in Texas — again. Same thing!|
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