Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
A day at the reef in slow season. Calm sea, clear visibility, and no crowd. It doesn’t get any better than this!
|The p***k across the canal from me turned his spotlight on again. I guess I will have to teach him how to save on electric by shutting off his main breaker from the poll until he comes back down from up north. I hope his doesn’t have a freezer!|
|I met the owner of The Wharf yesterday They are re-doing the whole place. If it turns out to be even half as good as his place in Hollywood, it will better than most of the places down here- and the fish will be local, not Sysco crap. Link|
|[Professionalism] Today I was listening to my car radio when the head of the Key Deer Refuge was talking about the screwworm that is infecting our deer. He explained how the deer wound each other with their “horns” and that it allows an entry point for the fly. I was embarrassed for the Refuge, as I am whenever I walk past their sign on the nature trail off Key Deer Blvd that warns of “poisonous” rattlesnakes. “Poisonous”? What other kind of rattlesnake is there? “Horns”?|
|[Phony Labeling] The Organic Consumers Association exposed that “Organic Valley*” is one of the food producers that supported the nick-named “DARK Act”. The law overruled Vermont’s GMO ingredient labeling law and blocked other states from similarly requiring the “contains GMO ingredients” label on foods. Polls indicate 90% of Americans want the label so they know what they are eating. (Curbelo lost my re-election vote by supporting it– indicating his sellout to the big food corporations instead of the people that put him in office.) “Natural” means nothing. I am not sure about “organic” anymore.
I discovered that I could not make yogurt or buttermilk with the so-called “organic” milk from Winn-Dixie. Something in that milk is killing the beneficial bacterial culture added to that milk. Whatever it is cannot be good for normal digestion and makes me doubt its “organic” pedigree.
I get a sudden case of the runs about a half hour after I eat something with a certain banned preservative that used to be added primarily to keep vegetables looking “fresh”. I get those squirts from “Foxy Organic” celery which makes me suspect the truth of their organic claim. I also eventually made the connection that the veggies delivered by Sysco to restaurants have that effect, whereas when GFS supplies the veggies, no problem so far. Somebody posted a few months ago that he had that reaction from certain restaurants’ food, and he may find that is the problem rather than anything about the restaurant. Likewise, it may not be Sysco adding to the food- it could be their suppliers. All I know is that I learned to not even have lettuce and tomato on my burger or sandwich if I see a Sysco truck delivering. It might not affect you at all. Good thing!
*Organic Valley still is the only half and half available without preservatives.
NOAA announced a public meeting on Oct. 18, 2016, meeting no. 5,999, for the purpose of reaching the goal of having 6,000 meetings before month’s end, to demonstrate that NOAA meets its stated goals. Some have attended so many meetings that the padding on their chairs is the exact shape of their butts. Government personnel who have made a career of attending public meetings that will be given awards (copies of Treating Hemorrhoids and Hoodwinking the Public).
|[Texting] I can’t stand it when people use acronyms, metaphors, initialisms, homonyms, and double entendres while texting, especially at 70 mph!|
|[Driving Instructions For Florida] When giving directions in Florida, you must always start with the words, “take I-75,” “take I-4” or “take I-95.” When crossing the border into Florida forget all driving rules you ever knew. If you’re a snowbird or a non-working retiree, you absolutely cannot drive between the hours of 6 A.M. to 10 A.M and 4 P.M. to 7 P.M. This is considered to be rush hour and you are not in any rush, no exceptions. But you will drive anyway. Freeways can only go north and south, not east and west except Alligator Alley. Tolls are a fact of life — the state has to make money so deal with it! I-275 (Tampa area) will always be under construction — that’s the law and there is nothing anyone can do about it, period! ‘A1A’ and ‘Alt. A1A’ are the same road. Traffic lights are not timed and never will be. If you travel more than 20 miles on any road in any part of Florida without seeing an orange barricade, you’re lost. If you miss your exit on I-75, I-4 or I-275, its perfectly acceptable to back up. Every street in Florida has both a name and a number (i .e. Adamo = Rt . 60) just for the heck of it and also for the pleasure we get from the reaction of visitors when we give them directions. Once the light turns green only 3 cars can go through the intersection, eight more can go through on yellow, and 4 more on red (a little exaggeration, but many do go through on red). Know the difference between SunPass, SunFest, Sun-Sentinel and SunTrust. Flip flops, tank tops and baggy shorts are also known as business casual. Plaids and stripes of different colors at the same time are the norm. Your car’s signal blinker means nothing and should be left on at all times|
|[$15 Minimum Wage] The TDC would not like that. The TDC has no say about who pays what to whom. Employers pay what they can afford to pay. Wages in the tourist industry vary greatly. A bell hop at the Haytt will have no problem making $50,000 plus benefits, a good server or bartender will do as well or better. Now if your doing maid work at the same high end resort, 12 to 15 dollars per hour is real, plus tips & benefits. It’s a clean industry & we are very lucky to have it. As for the cruise ships, if Monroe county & Key West feel that they are taking more than they leave, raise the port fees. Like it or not we are a world class vacation spot. It’s clean money & maybe some of our kids will be able to stay here, find a good job & raise a family. Hospitality is our bread & butter.|
|[The Pentathletes] The first ever Marathon Pentathlon is over but the memories live on forever. Video|
One of the three Key Deer Blvd Muscovy ducks returned to the Blvd lately, and I think I found another in Eden Pines and it looks like the new owner feeds him well. Now, where’s the third one?
|[The FTR Zika Files] Reports from Florida Department of Health daily ZIKA report.
Known Florida ZIKA case
40 known new cases in 7 days
Most new cases in South Florida
80% of persons with ZIKA have no symptoms10/3: Florida Department of Agriculture reports that despite the massive efforts to eradicate the ZIKA spreading mosquito, for the first time in 2 weeks more infected mosquitoes have been trapped. More than 10% of those known to be infected are pregnant. Now there are at least 5 known cases of ZIKA in Monroe.
In a recent article in a another publication, an anti GMM advocate wrote a rambling 2300 word missive declaring his opposition to the use of GMO to help keep ZIKA and sundry other mosquito borne diseases away from the Key was, hysterical. And I don’t mean funny.
The author somehow managed to weave nuclear holocaust, the use of mosquitoes in germ warfare, the prospect of bioengineering synthetic humans, the Tuskegee experiment, claims of official corruption, the evilness of “big business”, particle physics, the singularity of a Star Trek computer, and even a condemnation of anti-bacterial soap into a single screed.. The author even suggested that the proposed use of GMO might well be a sinister plot on the part of the Defense Department. Tin foil hat time.
All he left out was the suggestion that halitosis and foot odor are potential consequences of genetic engineering.
The hysteria has become manic. But there was a single ray of reason. The author granted grudging acknowledgment that big real estate has a motive to be opposed to the use of genetic engineering to kill mosquitoes. And yes, oppose it they do!
Once again we are slathered with a torrent of verbiage specifically designed to scare you. The overarching message he tries to sell is “what if …”, “just imagine if …” and “what will happen if …” If a frog had wings, his ass wouldn’t bump on the ground.
For all his verbiage, the author fails to cite any evidence whatsoever that the use of GMM in protecting the public health in several foreign nations over the course of several years has caused any harm whatsoever.
The authors claim that Zika is primarily spread by sex is erroneous. According the Virginia Department of Health, the primary vector is mosquitoes. The VDH states that: “The Zika virus is transmitted primarily by Aedes aegypti (Yellow fever mosquito).”
It is beyond denial that the Federal agencies that have jurisdiction over this process have issued a statement that the process is safe. That statement was a multi-agency declaration. That fact infuriates the anti GMM crowd. It is a silver spike in heart of their anti GMM arguments. it is unvarnished fact.
The anti GMO crowd, are passionate in their arguments, but their passion has blinded them to the fact that Zika has been proclaimed to be a public health emergency. Not just here in the US, not just here in Florida, but also by the World Health Organization.
The anti GMO minions are dead set on denying the public the safe and efficacious use of GMO’s to combat the spread of Zika and other mosquito-born diseases.
The anti GMM crowd support the use of bacteria in vector control. They do not tell you that that process is not as advanced as is the Oxitec process, and will not be ready for use until at least April. Oxitec will be ready within a month of the “go” decision.
The anti GMM sycophants value the “what if” over the certainty that ZIKA is in our community and right now presents real danger to our citizens, especially the unborn. The anti GMO minions truly are the Skeeter Saviors. Shame on them.
Your vote to support the use of GMM in vector control will be a vote for public health and the safety of our unborn.
|[“Recommend a physician who has extensive knowledge, expertise and success performing cataract surgery in the Keys”] You’re kidding right; this is a joke right? Anything over an enema in the Keys is life-threatening. Go to the mainland or else!|
[Any Port in a Storm] U.S. Coast Guard cutters from up and down Florida’s Atlantic seaboard, as well as nine scheduled Royal Bahamian Defense Force ships, are among a slew of military ships expected to arrive at Key West Harbor by Wednesday due to Hurricane Matthew.
|The hoard of new employees at Winn Dixie live in Homestead and some take three busses to het here. They said Winn Dixie pays them $12 an hour, $4 more an hour than they can get in Homestead.|
Caller ID is convenient for scanning calls before you pick up; however, it’s easy for scammers to manipulate the information displayed on your Caller ID to show a different name or number. The method of falsifying a telephone number or name received is called “Caller ID spoofing.” Link
|I was asked by a tourist how long I have lived in Key West. “All my life” I said (to be a smart-ass). Then I realized I had never been off this island! Scary.|
|It’s a little late to purchase flood and wind storm insurance with a cat 4 hurricane in the box, don’t you think? (Ed: I think you can still buy it until hurricane warnings are issued for here, but I’m not sure. Call Isaksen (305-872-0097) or Johnsons (305-872-2888). They’ll be glad to tell you.)|
We live in a world that is beyond our control, and life is in a constant flux of change. So we have a decision to make: keep trying to control a storm that is not going to go away or start learning how to live within the rain. Safe harbor & Blessings. ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store
|[Exposing Child Abuse in the Catholic Church] In 1994, a TV programme broadcast in Northern Ireland lifted the lid on child sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Rape help lines in Belfast and in the Republic of Ireland were inundated with calls. Audio|
The container says ‘long life’. Not so if you put a bowl of this outside. Your cat problem will go away.
|Who won the battle for Key West during the biker gig? The Wild Hogs?|
|What would alien maps look like if they came to Earth upside down perpendicular to the equator?|
Since there is only one of me, does that make me endangered or a limited edition.
|[“Eye doctor besides Maurer”] Dr. Maurer by Mc Donald’s in Key West is the best eye doctor ever. Not just the Keys.|
|[Boating Skills and Seamanship Class] The Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 13-3, Big Pine Key, is offering a Boating Skills and Seamanship class beginning October 31st, 2016 thru November 16th, 2016. It is a three-week program, Mondays and Wednesdays, from 7:00 to 9:30 P.M. It will be held at the Big Pine Methodist Church 280 Key Deer Blvd. Big Pine Key Florida 33043.
The cost of the program is $55 per person (materials included) or $80 per couple with shared materials.
Topics include: Which Boat is for You, Required Boat Equipment, Operator Responsibilities, Rules of the Road, Handling Your Boat, Highway Signs, Orientation to Nautical Charts, Weather, A Look at the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Navigational Tools & Techniques, Navigation Exercise, Trailering, Boating Safety, Your Boat’s Radio, Florida Law, Hands on Knot Tying and a guest speaker from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
For more information: a0701303.wow.uscgaux.info and select “Boating Safety Classes”
|[Smart Bees] Scientists taught a few bees to pull on a string for a treat. Then a bunch of other bees caught on. Video|
|[Sewers] After repeated excavations, repairs and sealing of the “new” sewer system, why is there still significant infiltration of water? This area of the system on Ships Way is not even active yet. The contractor continues to return to pump out ground water from a lift station on Ships Way. If there is significant infiltration here, how many other areas of this brand new system are leaking? This will increase the daily load on the treatment plant. We will be paying to pump and treat all of this ground water mixed with the sewer water.|
This hurricane photo looks like Jesus getting revenge for all those sinners living on BPK!
|The next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up this Saturday, October 8, 10 am at the senior center. Hope to see you there. Full Menu > Ongoing Events|
|AM 1300 should just give up forecasting the weather. They say the same thing over & over and are very rarely accurate.|
|[Parking Fee] The so-called fiscally conservative City of Key West City Commission will vote on a resolution to raise parking fees by $1 per hour. The money raised will be partially used to fund more studies, to provide a very limited free shuttle and make a minor contribution to the affordable housing trust fund. Much of the money will go to the city’s coffers, the general fund, to be spent on anything they choose, and to the ever-nebulous “affordable housing” fund. If the city hadn’t chosen to give away millions earlier this year to the developers who purchased Peary Court, there would be $12 million available for true affordable housing, and not just preservation for high end worker housing.|
|There’s been a big flurry of clean-up at the foot of Niles Channel Bridge where the Wharf is. Whoever this new owner is, he’s come down here strong! He’s cleaned up every other property he’s bought too. Thanks, dude for being a good neighbor.|
[Hurricane Tip] Don’t forget that your washer can be converted into an emergency beer cooler.
|[Beer Stink] When I’m boating and under way and drink beer, the condensation at the bottom of the cool cup drips and blows back into my beard, mustache, and all over my face, causing me to smell like a brewery.|
|There’s a new bartender at Looe Key and she is cool-looking. She will fit right in with that crowd.|
|[Homeless] Why is not chronic homelessness viewed in Key West like mental illness is viewed? Like Alzheimer’s is viewed? Like alcoholism and other drug addictions are viewed? Like being gay, lesbian, bisexual are viewed? Like being straight is viewed? Like being Republican, Democrat, Green, Libertarian, Independent are viewed? Like being Christian, Catholic, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, New Age or Pagan are viewed?
Why is chronic homelessness viewed like Muslim terrorists are viewed? Like pedophiles are viewed? Like bank robbers are viewed? Like rapists are viewed? Like radiation poisoning is viewed?
Why isn’t chronic homelessness viewed like Jesus, himself homeless during his ministry, viewed it? As a condition. Not a crime. Not a sin. Not evil. But a condition, which could befall anyone. There but for the grace of God …
|[Hareen’s Suncare & Hats] I know you guys in BPK survived the storm; we win Broward County also dodged the bullet. The storm went more East before it came our way. Thank god!
I need to revise my return to the Big Pine Flea Market from next weekend to the 22nd. They are talking about Matthew making a loop back to Fl and I cannot take a chance to come down and get everything ready and then something happens that I could lose everything. No control over mother nature so I am waiting until October 22 to open my Suncare & Hats stall. Thanks for your understanding and see you on the 22d.
|[Hurricane Humor] As a seasoned Floridian, adept at hurricane preparedness, there are certain indicators I use to tell if a storm could be serious. For me there are Six Tiers to my level of concern. They are as follows:
First Tier: Grocery stores are out of bread and water. This is a rookie panic move. Not a ton of concern yet.
Second Tier: Schools are closed. Safe move, still not panicked. Work will probably be next.
Third Tier: Work is cancelled. Well, that makes sense since schools were closed. Maybe there’s something to the storm. I’m now glad I bought bread and water.
Fourth Tier: Gas shortages. Ok, need to pay close attention. Gas shortages are serious. Glad I don’t have to go to work.
Fifth Tier: Mandatory evacuations. This is nothing to joke about now. People need to move inland. Thankfully I’m inland with a tank full of gas, a day off from work, and a bunch of soggy bread.
Sixth Tier: Walt Disney World cancels events, evacuates areas of the parks, and refunds people their money. Shit just got real. We may actually die.
Now, there is a Seventh Tier. I don’t like to mention I though because it usually means the finger of God is about to touch down in our state. You’ve been warned, here goes…
Seventh Tier: College football games are cancelled. I … I … don’t even know what to do at this point. It’s the end times. Fend for yourself. ~Coconuts Bar & Package Store
|Netflix may be bought by Disney. Looks like the end of DVD movie rentals is near!|
[More Railings] In their unending quest to make the Keys look like everywhere else, the railing people put railings along the west end of the Bahia Honda Bridge–a favorite fishing spot. The fisherman can no longer fish there.
|Reality isn’t something you perceive; it’s something you create in your mind, especially during happy hour!|
I just had my DNA tested for $500 and found out I am related to everyone on the planet!
|Screwworms … Matthew … pythons … zika … elections … yet they ask me why I drink.|
|[“Football patriotism”] Correction: Jerry Jones is the owner of the Cowboys not head coach!|
The problem with short term memory loss is … is … ah, screw it!
|[Brian Wilson: LSD and the Voices in My Head] A lot has been written about Brian Wilson over the years. Not just about the ground-breaking music he created with the Beach Boys but also about his struggles with mental illness and drug addiction. He has now published a memoir called I am Brian Wilson and spoke to BBC arts correspondent Rebecca Jones. Audio|
[Riders On The Storm] The Big Pine Flea Market will be open Saturday and Sunday. Codys Discount will be open come rain or shine 8am till 2pm. We will offer discounts on tarps and bungee cords to replace your carports’ covers. We have lots of craft stuff for all you girls with cabin fever. After 72 hours of Channel 7 hurricane updates it’s a well needed break to get out of the house. See you this weekend!
|[Assimilate] I think any person who will not respect and obey American laws and customs should be exported back to their old country!|
|What ever happened to dignity? People today are always crying the blues about something. Road signs, to pitying accident victims, candles and flowers at terrorist victim sites, legal battles for slain criminals, riots for religious BS, and all kinds of “Pity me” crap. You got a problem, live with it; don’t pass your grief on to others, they have enough of their own.|
Will the County allow underground shelters in the Keys?
|[Hurricane] Anybody want to buy some cheap real estate in Boca Raton? Call any realtor in the area Monday!|
Farmer turns outhouse into voting booth. What can I say? Doesn’t it seem appropriate? Link
|Look at all the money Matthew brought to Key West with the Navy chickening out from a tropical storm and seeking shelter here. Now that’s a commanding office I would follow. Yeah, happy hour!|
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