Monday, March 24, 2014

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[The Little Tugboat That Couldn’t] They commandeered/abducted Tilly Feb 21, against my wishes, against my will. Diesel mechanics were scheduled to give Tilly complete check-up that weekend. Dock master Mark Woods informed me emphatically, repeatedly, that police were on their way to evict me from the marina and the boat would be seitillytilly-ownerzed and sold for scrap. Since the marina had brought police several times to evict guests and mechanics, I was fearful. They also had summoned the Coast Guard several times, claiming Tilly was leaking oil and taking on water. CG found no evidence for these allegations.

Woods said he was towing the tug to the mooring field by Fleming Key. I sat in the boat, offering no resistance, as they pulled it away from the dock. Tilly still had 3 days in her contract. I leased the dock for $2,000 a month-Jan 25. The marina had initiated the court eviction process, yet the marina unlawfully dragged my boat away.

Captain Woods said his boat, towing the Tilly, was overheating. He swam over to Tilly, attached the tow rope to the anchor and cut it loose. He asked for water to cool his motor, taking all I had. I asked to come aboard his boat and return to shore. He said, throw over your backpack and swim over. I sensed malice and declined. They left.

An hour plus later, SeaTow in New York called, saying they had received an anonymous tip that my number needed help. However, without a credit card, they wouldn’t get involved.

It is my understanding of the law that the last agent of propulsion is responsible for abandoning a vessel that lacks autonomous power. SI Marina Village, worth about $200 million, has the legal obligation to raise Tug Tilly and restore it and replace all my ruined possessions. Link

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I had to pick a jury once with my lawyer. I was glad that people that didn’t know me would take it very seriously  and do their civic duty(should CIVIC DUTY be capitalized?). Man, when you’re trying to pick somebody that’s not some kind of nut, and your freedom’s at stake, it’s nice to see sane people in the box that would care enough and take the time to help the poor boy out.

[Marathon Journal] Morgan Hill passed recently just 13 months after her partner, Paula Nardone. She was a giant in Marathon’s history as a city. I will miss her. She and I served on the Middle Keys Community Land Trust and Marathon’s Planning Commission.

Mike_PutoInterim Marathon City Manager (Mr. Marathon) Mike Puto is doing a great job. He is supposed to be the manager until city council hires a new one. (By the way, the moniker of Mr. Marathon was created by the Journal years back to explain Mike Puto’s value. I like residents to know that the Journal is best when it reflects the opinion of Marathon residents.)

The sentiment among many Marathon residents is that a local is best suited to be the city manager. I disagreed with that assertion, because the pool of qualified, experienced professionals simply does not exist in Marathon or even Monroe County, for that matter.

Residents have other opinions. They are willing to ignore some flaws to get local representation for the city manager job. Having a local as city manager far outweighs, so-called, professional standards. By far, Marathon residents have expressed the desire to retain Mike Puto as their permanent city manager.

While “Mr. Marathon”, Mike Puto, might have some so-called flaws, he is the best candidate we have for the job. He took the job to be interim city manager. He will honor that commitment. Marathon residents want him as their city manager now, and into the important future of Marathon.

Mike has served on boards, committees, commissions, and about anything else a volunteer or elected official could do. He was a Monroe County Commissioner and served as Mayor. Mike served as Marathon’s city manager just some years ago. He did a good job at all of his commitments including the city’s manager.

Puto is a people person. He represents the face of Marathon like no other. His management style places greater responsibility on city staff. Mike’s ability to work with a divided city council shows how good he is at balancing conflicting directives.

Mr. Marathon’s only concern is Marathon’s residents. His previous tour as Marathon City Manager helped the local economy. His ability to present the city as a successful entity to all levels of politics is an unusual asset. Marathon’s 15th birthday comes up soon. There can be no one more qualified to be Marathon’s city manager than Mike Puto.

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fish happy in toilet

 

No Name Key does require proper sewering, and grinder pumps will not be an option. They require a reliable electric service, which is not available at half of the homes as will an on site system also. The status quo is not acceptable, just look at any existing canals here. As I stated the other day, we are in the top five list of worst polluted waterway areas in all of the Florida Keys. Years of people clamouring against power to the island has hidden the real documented problems here. I want to see some proposal that at least begins a discussion. Let’s for once try to put emotions aside and look at what will improve our environment permanently. Let’s get the sewage off the island and out of the canals.

As a note, we have signed the anti grinder pump petition, sent letters to the commissioners, and proudly sport a dump the pump sticker on our vehicles. 

[Fatso Wife] “Police solve case of the missing bacon” A Grand Rapids resident told police last week that someone had entered his home during the night and taken five pounds of bacon from the refrigerator. Upon further investigation, police discovered his wife had gotten up for a late night snack, but was afraid to admit it.
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There’s been a lot of  discussion about methane explosions in the grinder pump system recently.  The Lower Keys Barometer had an article and FKAA Executive Director Zuelch was on US1 radio Thurs morning saying there’s no problem. Then why are they requiring some $250 thingamajig in your electrical wiring when you have a grinder pump installed? We were never told about that either. It’s all so ‘Mickey Mouse’!

fever kid temp nurse

 

I listened to Charlie Crist Sunday say that health care is a civil right. I have to agree with him. Health is our most important freedom. Freedom from financial ruin is more like it.

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garbage-day

 

Here’s how to make garbage pickup day more exciting.

There should be a pronoun that describes a dead person as a suicide. A woman married to a dead man is called the “widow Jones” a lawyer is called “Jones Esquire”. 
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The sanctions against Russia for snatching Crimea will probably hurt Europe’s economy as much as Russia’s.

vampire drink bloody mary

[“Red Means Stop”] Believe it or not, but nature already knew this. This is why our blood turns red when it becomes exposed to oxygen (air). It’s an alert to humans that something is wrong and to stop it.

Semi-Retired executive with years of life left in him, but tired of the overly aggressive corporate lifestyle is moving to Big Pine Key June 1st. I am looking for work to keep me somewhat busy; 40 hours a week would seem like a full time vacation to me. There is nothing I cannot do from sweeping floors to full P&L responsibility for your business. Can crew and handle a yacht even (who needs thrusters, not me)! Resume and references provided as needed. Mike 616-690-3738. Thank you! Classified Ads > Situation Wanted

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For sale Samson-Mackie 8 channel 900 watt mixer with effects group. Two(2)Peavey PR-15 speakers 15″ speaker with hi-end tweeter/horn. Speaker cables included. Perfect setup for KW bars. List price $1600. Very clean. $650. Call Tommy Classified Ads > Music & Sound

[“People change”] Truer words never spoken, even good friends that you stood by during different times in their lives while others walked away will walk away from you in a heartbeat when the tables change and you might need them!
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satchel page

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?  ~Satchel Paige

[Boots on the ground] Today the US sent 150 Air Force Special Operations troops to Uganda to look for Joseph Koney, the rebel monster with the children’s army. I haven’t seen anything about sending troops on US TV yet. Link
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[Jury duty] “Guilty!” After a mere two day trial, Egypt’s court sentenced 529 Muslim Brotherhood’ers to death. Why did they even bother with a trial?

you are here map

[GPS Switch] Why can’t we turn off the GPS on our smartphones? It should be our right.  I know there‘s an icon to click, but they still know where we are. With the GPS turned off, I opened Google Earth and clicked “My Location” and there I was right down to the part of the building I was in! Removing the battery is the only real way to disable the GPS, but what good’s the phone then?

[Style Section] Iranian men and I guess other mideasterners who live in chilly areas all seem to favor suit coats over wool sweaters instead of native garb.
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A Turkish F-16 shot down a Syrian jet today. Last November they shot down a Syrian helicopter in the same area. Link

atom bomb Dr Stangelove

Nine countries have nuclear capabilities and the wherewithal to build the bomb.

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[“The best way to get out of Jury Duty”] I heard of a case in my home country  where someone tried pulling a stunt like that to get out of duty. They got out of jury duty but they were the last person to leave the courthouse that day.
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[Citizen Of The Day Says] My parents hitchhiked here in the 1970s; and it’s still a beautiful place,

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Do we still burn people with witches peaks?

[Sewers] The best line of defense all along was not sign Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority’s easement agreement, which gave FKAA legal right to enter private property and install grinder pumps. Property owners who signed that easement agreement consented to have a grinder pump and waived their right to protest and ask for their property to be served by a gravity sewer system, or by any other kind of sewer system than a grinder pump. I cannot imagine FKAA will not argue that in defense to any lawsuit filed against it by plaintiffs who signed the FKAA easement agreement.

For people living on Big Pine Key, where little to no work has yet been done by FKAA and its contractors, your best line of defense is not sign FKAA’s easement agreement. Get together and hire your own lawyer to defend the lot of you as a class. That lawyer cannot, I don’t think, be the same lawyer now representing Dump the Pumps, Inc. who is Lee Rohe, a friend of mine. I think Lee might have a conflict of interest representing Big Pine Key property owners as well as property owners below Big Pine Key.

The second best line of defense for Big Pine Key property owners, which I do not advise using, is for them, in addition to what I advised above, have their lawyer bring an injunction lawsuit against FKAA, its contractors, the Florida Department of Environment Protection and Monroe County, alleging much the same legal grounds that should have been alleged way back when in a lawsuit brought by property owners.

Because no sewer work has been done yet on Big Pine Key, and assuming the Big Pine Key plaintiffs in that class have not signed the FKAA easement agreement, no indemnity bond likely will be required by a county judge as part of a preliminary injunction being granted pending a determination on the merits by the judge.

It is time for you folks on Big Pine Key to separate from Banks and Dump the Pumps, Inc. and chart your own course. Banks and Dump the Pumps, Inc. also have a conflict of interest for the same reasons Lee Rohe has.

Springers 760w
[Jury Duty] The worst thing about going to court is having your fate decided by 12 people who are too stupid to get out of jury duty.
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ironing-board-tables

 

[Ideas] This food truck in Key West has a great idea. Folding tables (ironing boards) that he can easily take in and store at night. People eat standing up at food wagons anyway and these sure help.

I apologize for the idiot at Winn-Dixie shouting out telling tourists to go home. I’m embarrassed for him because he’s too stupid to be embarrassed for himself. He’s probably only been here a year himself.
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[Murderer Executed] What a great ending to the Sunday C.T. The posting at the bottom really made for some enjoyable reading.

refrig24

It’s time to clean the refrigerator when something closes the door from the inside. 

[Crime & Punishment] What the hell was that in the FTR column on Sunday? If it was paid for, the next time someone pays you to publish something like that send it to me first and I’ll pay you twice as much to not publish it. Political rants are what they are, but egregiously violent stories are just porn.
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from the right

Robert Lavern Henry was arrested for the murders of Janet and Phyllis, he was jailed without bond. The Deerfield Beach Police and the State Attorney’s Office conducted an exhaustive investigation. The Broward State Attorney’s Office presented the case to a grand jury, it indicted Henry for two counts of first degree murder and one count of robbery. The case went to trial and Henry was convicted and the jury recommended the death penalty. The judge agreed, and Henry was sentenced to death.

Then followed more than a quarter century of legal maneuvering, pleadings, hearings, more hearings and more pleadings until February 13th, 2014 when Governor Scott signed a death warrant for Henry. It was the 14th death warrant that Scott has signed during his governorship.  The signing of the death warrant set off a legal storm of new pleadings and even an appeal to the United States Supreme Court. All were rejected. Henry was scheduled to be executed on March 20th 2014 at 6:00 PM by lethal injection.

I had participated in the Henry case, a colleague, an Assistant State Attorney, who had been handling appellate work on the case for the State Attorney’s Office contacted me shortly after the death warrant was issued and asked if I would be a state witness of the execution. I agreed.

On Thursday, March 20th, the ASA and I arrived at Florida State Prison in Starke Florida at about  4:00 PM and met with prison officials, other witnesses, and family members of Janet and Phyllis in a facility about a quarter of a mile from the institution itself. While we were waiting one of Phyllis’s daughters, a woman in her late 40’s, approached me and said that since the murder of her mother she has been tortured by the thought of the agony that her mother might have endured from the flames before her death. She asked if we had ever determined if her mother suffered. I told her that it was unlikely because her mother had received much trauma to her head before being set afire. She seemed relieved. But the evidence at the scene strongly suggested that she had suffered mightily.

razor wire marathon dentention ctrWe were briefed by prison officials on the protocol and were instructed to leave all of our wallets, purses, pens, etc. at the facility, and to take only one item of identification with us into the prison itself. We then were loaded into two vans and delivered to the front sally port of the institution. FSP is surrounded by a double row of high chain link fencing with charged wires on the top. Between the two rows of fence are rows after rows of coiled razor wire.  We were taken into the heart of the prison and underwent a search exactly like the search that TSA does at airports. We then were escorted to another part of the prison by van. We stopped at the rear of death row, were ushered into an unmarked door that led to an open stairwell. When we were all in the stair well, the outside door was locked and the door to the execution suite was opened. It was 5:50 PM.

The witness room is small, about 15 by 25. One wall has a large window that permits viewing of the execution chamber itself. The witness room has 4 rows of chairs, very much like restaurant chairs. The row nearest the window was occupied with family members of the deceased. My colleague and I sat in the second row, other official witness occupied that row and the third row. The 4th row was occupied with the press. They were only allowed to bring a pad and a pencil, any and all recording devices are banned.

The window was covered with a shade, and it was impossible to see into the death chamber. At exactly 6:00PM the shade rose and we could see into the death chamber.

Lethal-injection24The chamber is small, about 15×25, it is painted stark, glossy white. On two walls of the chamber are windows that are coated so that it is impossible to see into them, but the rooms occupants can see out. There is a door at the back wall of the chamber and another door that has a draw curtain. A large digital clock is mounted on center of the back wall.  In the center of the room is a large cruciform gurney. Robert Lavern Henry was supine and firmly secured to the gurney. His feet were very near the viewing window and his body was at 90 degrees to the viewing window. He wore glasses. His body was covered with sheeting, an IV line was in each arm. Each arm was firmly secured to the gurney, and even his hands had been completely covered and firmly secured with elastic bandages. The only part of his body that was actually visible was his head. The prison warden was standing immediately to the left of Henry. He was wearing an earpiece with mic and was standing by a wall phone. Inside the chamber, at one side of the viewing window was an assistant warden holding a clip board. At the other side was an FDLE agent with a clip board taking notes.  The warden called the governor’s office to determine if the governor had issued any last minute stay of the execution or if there were any other impediments to proceeding. He then made an announcement over the PA system that the execution was commencing.

More tomorrow.

Please send me your comments at 1776ftr@gmail.com