Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
|[Sewers] it’s Wednesday and FKAA has had to pump out 3 gravity lift stations into a truck in two days. We know about only it because they were reported by worried residents. Call it Neighborhood Watch for the sewer crooks. There were two pump outs in Cudjoe and one on Little Torch. At least one was by a subcontracted vacuum truck with a pressure jetter (Drost & 7th in Cudjoe Gardens). FKAA’s might have been pumping out elsewhere?
It’s the way-off season, the system has been in service months rather than decades, and almost nobody is connected. Not even Dump the Pumps, Inc expected this much trouble so soon, or so close to the plant or a master pump station. The design engineer is on the hook for the cost of a redesigned system for a year, but after that we all get stuck with a fracked-up system and whatever it costs to replace it. Will the County take action against their contractor (FKAA)? Will the FKAA take action against the engineer for the two construction contracts? I would not count on it.
|[Chill Out] I stuck a 120 volt, super quiet, computer fan behind my fridge to help cool it and my electric costs went down a bit and the ice box works much easier! Radio Shack has these cheap.|
|Thursday I went into Winn Dixie to try to shop and stumbled into a Twilight Zone scene of a “Grand Opening”. More managers than I’ve ever seen in any store all posing for pictures while they blocked shoppers from doing the chore. Free samples of things I never buy except the dude giving away free samples of beer — at 9:am! Only on Big Pine. I tried to get one but two mommies were hogging the guy’s attention and getting refills while their kids poked at the produce to the tunes of a live steel drum band playing renditions of Jimmy Buffett tunes. Every shelf was full, the products were all facing out and there were tons of little helpers asking customers if they needed help. Sadly, I recognized none of them. I hope the store staff has not gone by way of the parking lot chickens and shade trees.|
|[FTR on Zika] My thanks to Mr Bethune for taking the time to comment on the ZIKA crisis. I must note that I disagree with nearly everything that he put forward. I’ll do my best to keep it brief and to respond to each point, paragraph by paragraph.
First and most important: ZIKA is on the march. As this is written there are at least 874 cases in Florida. One out of 10 persons who has been tested has been found to be positive. At least 90 pregnant women are known to have been infected. On Saturday, 9/17, we learned that the ZIKA transmission zone in Miami Beach had tripled. It now covers nearly all of that island. That decision expanded the zone to an area more than half a big as Key West. Now there are at least 40 ZIKA cases in Miami Dade, 4 in Monroe…and that’s only the cases that we know of.
ZIKA is not just at our door, it is in our community. The two counties immediately north of us have the highest number of cases overall, both local and foreign transmission. Most of our weekend tourists come from Broward and Miami-Dade. If any person who is infected with ZIKA has been bitten by an AE mosquito here in Monroe, then ZIKA is on the march throughout our community.
The AE mosquito is called the “rat” of mosquitos” because of the difficulty of diminishing its numbers. Rejecting any safe and efficacious methodology of diminishing the numbers of the AE mosquito is a fool’s errand.
Mr. Bethune suggests that travelers be interrogated and tested for ZIKA prior to their admission to our shores. That too is a fool’s errand. Most of those infected have no idea that they are infected. Just for a moment imagine interrogating every person who is enroute to the USA, or the Keys and/or testing them for ZIKA. Perhaps Mr. Bethune would have us set up check points at Key Largo. His suggestion is preposterous.
Unfortunately, Mr. Bethune found it necessary to suggest that illegality in the form of “backroom money deals” was in play in the decision making concerning the use of GMM to combat ZIKA. If Mr. Bethune has the courage of his convictions, or any information whatsoever that would tend to prove such allegations, he has an ethical and moral duty to either take his information to the authorities or to make it public. You can bet the farm that he will not so do.
Mr. Bethune claims that real estate interests are not at the forefront of trying to prevent the use of GMM, a safe and efficacious method of killing AE mosquitoes. He is simply wrong. Ed Swift. Mila De Meir. Barry Wray. All of the foregoing are serious players in the real estate industry. They are the leaders of the anti GMM effort. Swift has threatened legal and political retribution to any FKMCB member who votes to use GMM’s in his ‘hood. Why? He told the FKMCB that it would harm his property values. Swift wrote that he cares not where the GMM release is made, just as long as it is not in his ‘hood. De Meir, Wray, and several other real estate professionals are fighting tooth and claw to stop the use of GMM or the use of spraying to halt the spread of ZIKA. They are so fanatical in their resistance that they have even interjected themselves in Miami Beach’s efforts to combat ZIKA. They manage Facebook groups. But they block anyone who disagrees with their message. They apparently have so little faith in their message that they refuse to debate.
Real estate interests have launched a slick and professional social media campaign specifically designed to preclude using GMM and a number of other safe methods to halt the spread of the ZIKA. But they are all for the use of one particularly form of Wolbachia infection of the ZIKA mosquito.
The anti GMM campaign of fear is actually bizarre. The real estate “Save the Mosquitoes” group is fixated on using scenes from Jurassic Park to bolster their argument. They actually have suggested that the GMO process will flood us with “Frankenskeeters.” Look, GMO has been in use for decades. About 90% of our soy and corn are GMO’s. No sign of any walking corn stalks or of slithering soy beans. In fact the use of pesticides has decreased as crop yields have improved. There has also been an increase in the use of specific types of herbicides. In any event crop yields are up.
Genetic engineering is a part of your everyday life. In medicine genetic engineering is used to produce insulin, human growth hormones, follistim (for treating infertility), human albumin, monoclonal antibodies, antihemophilic factors, vaccines, and many other drugs. So far not a single person who has ingested GM food has been seen who has green skin, huge boots, and a bolt through their neck. Please remember that many lives, including that of my wife, have been saved and countless lives have been improved thanks to genetic engineering.
All of the arguments against the use of GMM to stop ZIKA center around key words. “What if” and “Maybe!” The arguments are fanciful and speculative. What cannot be denied is that GMM has already been used in Brazil, in Puerto Rico, and in Costa Rica. There have been no ill effects reliably reported in any of those efforts. Nor can it be denied, nor ignored that the FDA, and the Department of Health and Human Services have studied and examined the process and deemed it to be absent of “significant impact”. That study was accomplished in concert with the EPA and the CDC.
Significant: (def) “sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention.”
The arguments against GMM are hysterical, yet there is a common thread. The opponents to genetic engineering seem to agree that using a specific bacteria, Wolbachia, to diminish the AE mosquito would accomplish the same goals as the use of GMM.
The most vocal of the proponents of this process are the real estate interests. By the by, the company, MosquitoMate is a relatively new concern and is seeking investors. Perhaps the real estate interests who are so vehemently pushing this process are aware of that fact.
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|[“Marathon deli closing”] I don’t know anything about an extortion charge but I paid, like, $9 for a tiny pork sandwich there once. With the emphasis on once! No wonder they’re closing.|
What happened to the Little Torch boat ramp opening on the 18th? They are still working on it! I hope they have a penalty to pay for every day past the contract date of the 18th, but I doubt it, judged by past performance of the inefficient County management.
|[Black and Dead] Charlotte North Carolina police won’t release the video of the black man being executed by police. Releasing the video would stop the rioting. Police say they don’t release it because it might be misinterpreted. Are they trying to hide a murder by one of their own?|
|[Crooks] “Doesn’t pay to save” I agree, but stay away from Synchrony Bank. They just ripped off all of their customers in the month of July for two days’ worth of interest. This affected my savings and a certificates of deposit. They put in a new system and told me in writing that the missing 2 days of interest would be added/reflected in the August statement. Not! I have the statements to prove it. They’re denying that they did not credit the accounts. When I asked how did I make less interest on my savings and a CD (fixed rate) in July, than I did in June and in August? they declined to answer. It pays to pay attention to what your daily interest is, i.e. I had another online bank try to steal several hundred dollars when they took over a failing bank, refusing to pay same CD interest – they offered a lower rate or we could redeem CD without penalty. I chose the latter. I used to take my monthly interest so I knew the exact amount due. When I told them how much they owed me they Fed Ex’d me the missing funds overnight making some lame-ass excuse. Make sure you reconcile your accounts regularly. All banks are thieves! Just look at what Wells Fargo has done|
|[“Fishing industry dying”] The contributor that said that over regulation was in place to save the fishing industry from the fishermen has only a shallow, uneducated view of the problem associated with the industry at this point in time. If the regulations being put in place truly were to save dangerously diminishing numbers of fish I would be all for them. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
The fisheries biologists today know precious little about the fish that they are charged with protecting. I have spent countless hours in fisheries meetings and hearings and have both fought for reductions and against depending on the issue. Most of the fisheries biologists today are more mathematician and not biologist. The problem is if you use erroneous numbers to start with your calculations will never be correct. I could ramble on and on but I will spare the reader the details. Please believe me that the majority of the recent rule changes (the last three years) are fatally flawed.
I’ve agreed so much with my wife that my head just starts nodding at the sound of her voice.
|[Sewers] Will they ever be done? The sewer guys have dug up Fern Avenue in Eden Pines three times already and it looks like they are getting ready to dig again. They’ve dug up my road twice and they’re not done digging yet. Tuesday I was at home and heard what I thought was the lawn service running a mower. Nope! It was the sewer guys, with a backhoe, in my driveway, digging it up. Not a knock on the door or even a note to let me know what was going on. Half of my driveway gravel is now a mess and I’ll probably have to pay for a load of pea rock to smooth it out. Will it end in my lifetime?|
|I just bought two emergency lights from Home Depot, those large yellow ones. They suck because they have the new type bulbs and give nowhere near the light output the old bulbs did. Don’t waste your money.|
|[Marathon City Hall Grand Opening] September 15, 2016 dedication of the new Marathon City Hall. Video|
|If we don’t have your business we sure would like it. If we do have your business, thank you! Coconuts Rockin’ ya Right at the Light for over 33 years–way before the light!
The “NUT” has the very best drink prices on Big Pine Key and maybe the entire Florida Keys! We also have some very good liquor prices on our Vodka, Rum & Gin. $7.99 a liter, always on sale. Stop by and check us out Thank you for 33 years of your support. Piners Rock! ~Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store
|[“Getting numb to terror attacks and mass shootings”] That’s the plan; that and take your guns.|
|[Primer Bulbs] I replaced some boat outboard fuel hose a couple of years ago with that shiny grey vinyl-looking variety. I recently started having fuel feed problems that I blamed on primer bulbs at first, but eventually discovered that this hose has a rubbery membrane liner that had separated from the inside hose wall and was acting like a flapper valve as well as restricting the flow. If pieces break free they can foul the primer bulb valve, which is just a hollow plastic ball acting as a check valve.
Decent quality primer bulbs are available from eBay for under $4 delivered to your mailbox. Search boat fuel primer, then sort your returns by “price including shipping”, lowest first. Limit the choices to “buy it now”. 6mm is 1/4″, 8mm is 5/16″, 10mm is 3/8″ and so on. I try to support local business, but why pay $20-$27 plus tax and a trip to the store at West Marine? That’s too much support without good sex and cooking thrown in-assuming you can wait the 3 days for the part. Otherwise, you drive and bleed out the wallet. So I bought two for under $8 and now have a spare that might save me a tow.
|[Racism Made Funny] Comedian, Stephen K Amos is joined by Stephen Grant, Nish Kumar and Andrew Maxwell to compile an idiot’s guide to multiculturalism. Audio|
|If ATT is going to rewire the Keys with fiber optics I hope they get it right this time. The phones and internet are still connected by wet strings, I think, and suck!|
|[Friday Joke] Confucius say, “He who find stray animal around Chinese restaurant know place is closed!”
Confucius say: ” Man who cannot go, have Hung Chow”
Confucius say: “Boy who likey girl in hot pants get wet pants!”
Confucius say: “Policeman who carry big club have small stick!”
|I took all the water filters and strainers off my faucets to allow the sand, rocks, bugs and other debris to wash out. I will never use filters again! Remember the Tom Hanks movie, The Money Pit, about the house they bought and his wife turned on the water? Glob, glob, glob. Welcome to the Keys.|
[“Name that snake”] Thank you for the information about corn snakes. Attached is a photo of the crime scene and assassin.
|[FTR Part 2] A poster wrote of using the Wolbachi bacteria to kill the mosquito that carries ZIKA. That process is often touted as being superior to the use of GMM.
There are a number of things to consider. First: in the best case scenario this particular Wolbachia process (there are at least 2 distinct means of using Wolbachia) could not be ready for use prior to April of 2017. GMM could be ready for use within a month of getting the go ahead. While you ponder that, add in the fact that there are now at least 40 locally transmitted ZIKA cases in Miami Dade. 40!. That’s 40 that the health department knows of, God only knows how many unreported cases exist. And remember that there are now 4 known cases of ZIKA in Monroe. ZIKA IS in our community. We have no way of knowing how many other unreported cases and how many investigational cases are here. We can’t deny that ZIKA is a real an present threat to our community.
Second: This particular form of the Wolbachia process is fairly new concept. GMM has been around since 2002.
Third: The Wolbachia process has been under study by the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board for some time. One board member actually studied the process while he was on a trip to Australia. He visited and confered with the inventors of the process. Nonetheless, the board came to the conclusion that the use of GMM was the quickest, safest, most effective, and the most cost efficient process to be used to prevent ZIKA from infecting our community.
Finally, we know that there have been at least two small scale US applications of this Wolbachia process, but we have seen no results as to it’s efficacy, nor have we seen any proof that the Wolbachia bacteria is safe if it were to be transmitted to humans by a mosquito bite.
We do know that the approval process for the release of the Wolbachia process is easier than is the process for the GMM process. We do know that the Wolbachia process is now being tested in Clovis Ca. As yet we have seen no results of that test which was slated to last for 10 weeks. Link
For centuries women have nagged men about leaving the toilet seat up. They always cuss and complain but they never ask why! So finally we give up. Here’s the truth. We’re all environmentalists just trying to save our world. You’re welcome!
|A Charleston fisherman trying to make a living in an already unpredictable business, catches locally, keeps meticulous records of what he caught and in what waters, pays for fuel and boat upkeep, rods, reels, line, and other supplies. He sells his fish to a restaurant willing to pay for only the best, freshest fish. The chef prepares it with the artistry that only he/she can. In selling it to the customer, they tell you exactly what fish they have, tell you how they prepared it, and charge fairly and realistically. These higher-end honest restaurants lose business compared to corporations with no long-term interest in the local economy, environment or community health. Quality seafood is not cheap, but it also doesn’t contaminate your body, irritate your system with mystery ingredients, or potentially cause long-term health problems, which today’s cosmetically preserved, or foreign farmed seafood probably will. The fisherman also has a bone to pick with over-regulation of fishing industry, which makes it very hard for a local fisherman to stay afloat these days. What types of fish can be caught, at what time of year, what types of hooks can be used in what waterways, what species are listed as “at risk” when they really aren’t endangered—these are just some of the issues today’s local fisherman deal with.
You can see any number of educational videos made by Godbout when he’s out fishing with family and friends. Godbout has taken local chefs out fishing in order to introduce them to Atlantic species; now those same chefs are his lifelong friends, who call regularly to see what fish are available, and Godbout unabashedly recommends their restaurants. He and Marla can show up anytime to these restaurants and tell the chef, “Surprise us”. They have yet to disappoint. Godbout says he would really like to get more downtown Charleston chefs in the store during the week to talk to customers about fish they buy and the importance of supporting local seafood. It just might get more Dorchester residents eating downtown, raising the expectations and awareness for seafood served all over the Low country. It should happen here too. Video
[Free Tech Support] The next meeting of our Big Pine Computer Club is coming up this Saturday, September 24, 10 am at the senior center. Hope to see you there. Full Menu > Ongoing Events
|The new and improved Winn Dixie in BPK looks great. I’m much more apt to purchase groceries there now instead of taking the hike into Marathon for their Publix.
Since all approvals and permits are in for the parking lot, I think we ought to be proud of the improved lot, it will mean better safety for visitors and residents. I believe that the resurfacing of the lot was needed.
|[Hostile Work Environment] Sanctuary managers reassigned during inquiry. An ongoing inquiry into an allegation of “a hostile work environment” at the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary resulted in two top administrators removed from their posts Monday. Link|
[Scary People] There are three kinds of people that really scare me: those that love war, those that love religion and those that dress up animals! Link
|Where are the people going to move to for the Flea Market when Publix takes over that land?|
|Winn Dixie’s grand opening yesterday was the Big Pine Social event of the year! I’ve never seen so many managers in one place or so much food stocking the shelves or such friendly people trying to help customers. I wonder what it will be like next week when the managers have left?|
|[“Who squealed to code Enforcement”] The most pain in the ass person to call code’s office, by far, lives on Little Torch Key. Well known if you’ve lived there. It’s been a toxic pissing match for twenty years.|
|[“Name that snake”] Corn snake vs. Coral snake. Red on yellow, kill a fellow, red on black, friend of jack|
|[Tooths] Back when I was 14 (and some say dinosaurs roamed the earth), I discovered that tooth cavities would heal if you picked out anything that didn’t look like healthy tooth and simply kept them clean while avoiding sugar. Friends scoffed, most dentists scoffed, but I made believers of a few who tried it. When the cavity first heals, it will be whiter than the surrounding tooth, but the hole will be gone and it eventually blends in.
About 3 years ago, I read that Japanese dentists were removing the decayed portions of tooth as usual, but instead of filling, they would seal the surface of the hole with a liquid plastic coating to protect the tooth while it regenerated. Now Dr. Josh Axe has an article out about how to heal cavities with diet changes. Link
|Watching the news online, something smells like WW3 to me. Anyone else feel this way? The crazies are opening the playbook again for fun and profit!|
|[NRA Watch Out] Anybody heard of this group: The American Gun Association? Seems they are emailing for members! Link|
|[Mosquitoes] I saw my neighbor cutting her grass the other day and my wife asked me what all those things sparkling in the sun were when she made a pass with her mower. I said mosquitos. We then hired a landscaper to pea gravel our entire property ASAP.|
|[Sewers] As far as these rip-off sewers are concerned, me and my friends are not hooking up until the National Guard, Marines, US Army and the SNL crew tell me to! So there! They are not going to work no matter what the sewer company tells us. We want to keep our septic systems with a diverter valve installed!|
Does ‘Open Carry’ include Hopalong Cassidy holsters and chromed guns with ivory handles?
|Big Pine Liquors did not close because of Walgreen’s (if you ever checked prices, theirs was not always lower). Big Pine Liquors closed because Winn-Dixie is opening a liquor store. You may be able to compete against one big box store, but not two. It was a difficult decision, but there was no other choice. Steve, Dan (and Susan) loved running Big Pine Liquors and are sad to say goodbye after almost 30 years.|
Burmese pythons are slithering from the Everglades to the Florida Keys. Baby snakes are popping up in Key Largo, suggesting the serpents are now reproducing here.
|The Wharf on Summerland Key is ‘closed for vacation’ says the sign, but the rumor on the street is that it’s sold! The new owner owns a trap lot right on US1 and has a nice refer-truck that hauls what his boats catch up to his restaurant on the mainland because he can get more for it up yonder I’m sure. I hear he may be bringing boats from up there to fish down here from the marina across from the restaurant. There’s been ads running for all new staff at the Wharf too. I hope they got rid of the manager the Wharf hired from Boonies. His attitude is too up north for me. Anyway, the sign at the Wharf says they will reopen Oct 16th. That’s the day after stone crab season starts. I hope to have my fat butt in a seat eating fresh ones at the new place on Niles Channel.|
|Why did you not put my say in here?[?]|
|[Spanking Better Than Pills] The demographics of this country have changed drastically. Children, for the most part are no longer taught by their parents. Children for the most part are not disciplined by parents, due to laws put in place protecting children. I’m sure many can attest that when they screwed up, there was an ass kicking waiting. It sounds harsh, but it kept me and many others on the straight and narrow.
We have not become numb to the atrocities that take place on a daily basis in this day and age, we just expect them. We have allowed the fox free access to the chicken coup, just like Europe has. We have resorted to ‘taking care’ of children with medication for behavior problems when a swift kick in the ass would work.
|[Fish Rules] Federal caps that limit the volume and frequency of fish catches are quickly bankrupting and destroying the fishing industry throughout New England, according to recent reports. This is going to happen in the Keys, just you wait. Catch shares, which have allegedly been designed to stop overfishing and the many problems caused by overfishing, have inadvertently depressed the economic vitality of the fishing industry — and conditions have gotten so bad that some fisherman have even tried to commit suicide. But SAC and NOAA don’t care. Why do I say that? because if NOAA higher ups (Sean Morton Sanctuary Superintendent and Mary Tag Deputy Superintendent for Operations and Education) cared, they would not have made the work environment hostile|
|Is it just me or is Sloan really losing it? I heard there is even a push for a local reporter’s dog to be a write-in candidate in mayor’s race. How bad would it be to come in behind a dog? Maybe it’s time for a go-fund-me to send Sloan somewhere nice. Syria comes to mind; he would enjoy it there. He definitely is not welcome back in Alabama anymore.|
|[Medical Marijuana] Those Canadians learned fast how to set up for delivery to medical marijuana license holders there. You can now buy online! Seems like only yesterday that they were doling out life prison sentences for growing your own from the seed in the baggie. Check out the weed variety names available on this website. Link|
China screwed up repairing the Great Wall by cementing over some of the most historic areas. Maybe we can hire them to build the Mex/Tex section of our proposed wall?
|[Friday Joke] An old geezer became very bored in retirement and decided to open a medical clinic.
He put a sign up outside that said: “Dr. Geezer’s clinic. Get your treatment for $500, if not cured, I’ll pay you $1,000.”
Doctor “Young,” who was positive that this old geezer didn’t know beans about medicine, thought this would be a great opportunity to get $1,000. So he went to Dr. Geezer’s clinic.
Dr. Young: “Dr. Geezer, I have lost all taste in my mouth. Can you please help me ?”
Dr. Geezer: “Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in Dr. Young’s mouth.”
Dr. Young: Aaagh! “This is gasoline!”
Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You’ve got your taste back. That will be $500.
Dr. Young gets annoyed and goes back after a couple of days figuring to recover his money.
Dr. Young: “I have lost my memory, I cannot remember anything.”
Dr. Geezer: “Nurse, please bring medicine from box 22 and put 3 drops in the patient’s mouth.”
Dr. Young: “Oh, no you don’t, that is gasoline!”
Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You’ve got your memory back. That will be $500.”
Dr. Young (after having lost $1000) leaves angrily and comes back after several more days.
Dr. Young: “My eyesight has become weak. I can hardly see anything!”
Dr. Geezer: “Well, I don’t have any medicine for that so,” Here’s your $1000.” (giving him a $10 bill)
Dr. Young: “But this is only $10!” Dr. Geezer: “Congratulations! You got your eyesight back! That will be $500.”
Moral of story. Just because you’re young doesn’t mean that you can outsmart an old geezer.
[New Money] Is the US Government really going to change all our money into new bills and coins? This will make all our mattress saving useless.
|[“$10 an hour to put another cashier in there”] They can’t because they are all flipping burgers for $15!|
|Joe: “I wonder what the world would look like if all the middlemen disappeared and just the manufacturers had store fronts?”
Mo: ” Like any third world country with streets full of tinkers making stuff and flea markets.
|Another big box store, Pubix, is going to be built on Big Pine Key. The Winn-Dixie isn’t enough to feed our locals and the new world order developer’s plans to build a few thousand low rent shacks on all the open land, right? The greed of these mutants amazes me! The Keys are going, going …|
[“Numb to shootings”] No, we are not numb, we are just allowing it by law. And in no way am I professing, or do I want more restrictions on the gun rights of American citizens. I believe we all should carry openly. But that’s another rant all in and of itself.
|This is typical of the stupidity of our legislators. Devious too. Who doesn’t like puppies etc. Vote no on 1[?]|
|Submit anything but National Politics to firstname.lastname@example.org For National Politics go directly to that page, log in, and post your comment. NATIONAL POLITICS|