Monday, October 7, 2013

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[5 Waterspouts] Two guys in a 17 foot boat off the Seven Mile Bridge got caught between 5 waterspouts yesterday! Video

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Kudos to Tom Thumb on BPK. Their gas price is now the lowest around; even lower than what we found on Marathon! We appreciate the competitive pricing and I’ll go out of my way to buy gas there. Not sure if the Subway story is true, but I plan to boycott that.  I prefer to buy with the locals (Murray’s, Cuban grocer) over some chain store franchise. Generally, we try to avoid the chains. We can find them anywhere in the country. We’re just trying to keep the Keys special. 

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May the toilet paper of the person who throws his/her cigarette butts into the waters of the Blue Hole be encrusted with sand spurs and infested with fire ants. 

[Climate and Sewers] You may stick your head in the sand and refuse to believe the data about the global scam called global warming. You may believe that the local politicians are replacing perfectly working septic tanks with soon to be broken down and non-working-during-any-power-outage sewers for our environment. Please at least, do not put words in my mouth about evolution. Me and Darwin would have been buds.

johnsons-ad-7.25.13

A senior housing development of 47 units (700 sq. foot, $850 a month), behind the Winn Dixie MM 105 Bayside in Key Largo being built by Gorman Co., is under a minor conditional use review, for approval by Townsley Schwab, Senior Planning Director Schwab-Townsley@monroecounty-fl.gov .

Gorman Co. is using Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) federal funding, which allows participation from non-residents of Monroe County. Monroe County Planning Commissioners were told Gorman Co. will only advertise these units in local Monroe papers, which is hardly an effective safeguard in today’s digital world.  Can Gorman Co. get funding that is private? not federal funding for this senior housing development?

Locally, many citizens are already expressing deep concerns about relaxed and diminishing control of these units that could otherwise be used for vacation rentals and weekend getaways. Therefore, these controls should contain the criteria of being the primary residence, respecting the peace and tranquility of their fellow seniors and prohibiting sub-letting. Will all potential applicants be interviewed within a sustained oversight process maintained by Monroe County?

Since this is a minor conditional use approval, the only chance for citizens to express concerns will be before the Development Use Review Committee, which has not yet set a meeting date. Stay tuned.

It is essential we pay attention and participate in the control process to protect and insure our neighborhoods, our community and the development itself will become an asset, as intended, to the Upper Keys.

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[“Real estate agents sell with a straight face”] Baloney! I had the wonderful luck to have found one of the most honest and caring real estate agents in this area. Thanks Maya! Not all agents are less than honest. Please don’t denigrate all for a few bad apples.
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The Big Pine Botanical Society will hold its first meeting of the year at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Lord of the Seas Lutheran Church, 1250 Key Deer Blvd.

Patrick Garvey will speak. He has worked the past two years with Carrfour Supportive Housing’s Verde Gardens Program in Homestead, a permanent housing program for families with disabilities connected to a 22-acre farm and market/cafe. Garvey’s nonprofit, Growing Hope Initiative (GHI), has engaged and empowered the community to take ownership of the project.

Locally, GHI has focused on the Grimal Grove, a forgotten piece of history and agricultural anomaly on Big Pine Key. Garvey will present a film about the grove, which GHI is working to save and restore. Events

john-donnelly200h[“John Donnelly Critic”] Anonymously demeaning an individual in public is a cowardly and classless act. It is the action of a sad and desperate person.  Mr. Donnelly is a distinguished combat wounded veteran. He was meritoriously promoted on the battlefield for his courageous conduct. He has spent his life uplifting the plight of  others.

Mr. Donnelly is a United States Marine, he is not a member of the Special Forces. In the picture that was critiqued, he is wearing a Marine beret. This cover is placed appropriately on his head. It is not on backwards, as suggested by the misinformed detractor.

Rather than casting stones at Mr. Donnelly, I suggest that the nameless author of these libelous statements reveal themselves. Perhaps they might approach him and voice their displeasure with the way that he posed for the picture that concerns them.

Knowing the depth and beauty of John Donnelly, I’m troubled by the malicious intent of the attacker’s inaccurate spewings. I’m disappointed that a man of his high calling and caliber was undeservedly denounced. (Ed: I goofed again by not printing the poster’s email address. To Mr Donnelly, I apologize.)

Human assault pushes Ocean to limit unseen in 300 million years.   Link

pig-feet9.27.13
[Embargo Farce] About 500,000 U.S. visitors travel to the Cuba every year, the majority are Cuban Americans who bring beaucoup bucks to Cuba, ironically supporting the government that they claim they don’t support. 

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[Redux] She named him Dick. 

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I love to cook with wine and sometimes I even put it in the food.

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When a few men wanted to incorporate Big Pine, Little Torch and some other Keys several years back I was against it. My reason was that on an island of only five thousand people there would only be a few people who would choose to run for office. Those few would always run in every election and we’d have them as our “City” leaders forever, like it or not.

A couple of years later Marathon incorporated and I said the same thing of their candidate pool. Today I’m proven right, unfortunately. Marathon has the same few candidates running in almost every election. The same few people running their government year after year.

“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss” ~Pink Floyd

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[Transformer] I just want to warn Keys Energy customers that if they suspect they have a bad transformer they should turn their main breaker off before they have Keys Energy try to test or replace the transformer. The crew they sent did not even suggest doing so and so sent 7,000 volts through my house when they tried to reconnect the failed transformer. I think that’s a failure in procedures to protect the customers and the Utility Board should address the issue, along with the credit card issue [paying more online or by phone].  Keys Energy has also farmed out their liability insurance to the Florida League of Cities which makes it even harder to get a fair and prompt resolution to a claim for damages.

[Fracking] Shut it all down! Report calls for Nationwide fracking ban.  Link

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Generator, Coleman. 6250 watt, works reliable, some rust, $100. Classified Ads > Tools

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Chief Sitting Bull said, “If we must die, we die defending our rights.” Sounds good, but it didn’t do them any good.

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advert-accurate-home-insp8.14.13

laptop peacock

Laptop by Asus. 15.6″ LED backlit screen. Intel Celeron dual core 1.6Ghz processor. 4G RAM. 320GB hard drive, VGA and HDMI out, 802.11B/G/N WIFI built in. One USB 3.0 port and one USB 2.0 port, DVD burner, Webcam and dual microphones, SD/MMC card reader, Keyboard has a number pad on the right side. Windows 7 home premium ( NOT windows 8). Altec Lansing speakers built in

This is a pretty good, basic 15.6″ widescreen laptop without a lot of bells, whistles or frills. It’s got a fairly bright screen and a nice, wide touchpad. If someone is looking to get into a nice used laptop for not a lot of money or doesn’t want Windows 8, this could be a good choice.  New $380. Now $225. More details are at Classified Ads > Computers

[“Jersey girls”] Kudos to the author of the Sunday CT Jersey Girl rant.It was a well written comment which captured the essence and attitude of the modern Jersey Girl. I would add that most of that comment could also be applied to NYC women. One question I have always had is why do guys marry them? Are they that good in bed,or are they initially gorgeous and somehow metamorphosize into these behemoths after marriage.

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I am beer! 

Shouldn’t Keys Energy be serving us instead of themselves? I thought it was a ‘public’ utility?

advert-dennis-ward8.16.13
[“Dredging the harbor”] It must be difficult living like you do, depending on circus acts, straight show peanuts, sucking politicos butts and trashing out wherever types like you breed.[?] 

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Isaiaias Mendoza local wood artist. 

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FIRM takes on flood insurance.  Yeah FIRM! Link

Radio Shack Ad pixlr9.16.13

My ground level home on BPK in the PCE[?] subdivision did not flood during Wilma. In fact the home, built in 1974, has never had an hurricane based insurance claim.  Yet I will still pay exorbitant flood insurance rates under the current program.  Wind and fire are also higher based on the age of the home.  I believe it is better built, (concrete block), than most newer homes. It doesn’t seem fair.

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(Ed: This was sent from an out of town reader, but the problem is we don’t have any overpasses in the Keys to demonstrate on and we don’t know what problems the truckers are needing support with. Ask us about fishing , we know all about that.)

[Affordable Care Website] Every IT person I talked to predicted the Obamacare website would crash when almost every American went online the first day. You’d think they would have their act together seeing how they had years to build the site and servers.

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Even palms have bad hair days. 

[Marathon Journal] The Journal interviewed Marathon City Council candidate Rich Keating. This is his third run at city council. After that, he will be termed out. I asked if he intends to follow the example of John Bartus, Chris Bull, and Pete Worthington by running again after a year off. He said that it was premature to consider such action.

Your top three: Small businesses need community help. The new city hall is second. Third, Boot Key and Sunset Park work is beginning. He believes in the city and knows success is hard won.

How’s city hall and Grassy Key firehouse coming along? The Grassy Key firehouse is almost done. That benefits everyone even outside Grassy Key. The new city hall bids are out. The design seems locked in now. Rich looks forward to the successes of city hall and the Grassy Key firehouse.

How is the charter fishing business lately? Everything is good. Had a good group of guys here recently. Keating makes a good living being a charter captain. That affords his family a good life. He is appreciative of Marathon and fellow charter captains.

How’s the splash park coming? There is money allocated for the project. Of course, the park needs to be family oriented. It will be good for tourists and Marathoners. The small amount of land left for Community Park Phase 3 work will keep the project small and useful. There will not be any project for a larger swimming pool.

What happened to the annual city birthday celebration? Rich didn’t know why there was no city birthday party anymore. For one thing, November is way too busy to have a city birthday party; another month would be better. The location should be Sombrero Beach with vendors and celebration activity. Until the event takes root, the party should be part of another event. He believes that celebrating our history is important for everyone. We just need volunteers and not to give up, when the event starts out small.

Last thoughts: For one, a good recent event was the ice cream social. Also, he said that reserves need built back up, so we can survive a hurricane and recover quickly. Last, Rich believes the city has a bright future. Remaining positive builds up confidences with Marathon residents. He believes that the city is heading in a positive direction. 

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crashed7[Affordable Care Website] I need to sign up for a plan on healthinsurance.gov , but want to wait until I know I can easily navigate thru the entire process successfully. I tried to login Saturday day and I think they are throttling visitors to the site because I received a message to please wait my turn in line and I would get a message to enter once it was my turn.  I know they brought the website down at midnight both nights this weekend to fix things. They keep talking about all the unique hits to the website, but I’ve yet to hear how many have successfully secured Health Insurance.  Please let me know if you have. I really think one needs to wait a couple of weeks for the dust to clear while they do live user testing as we use to joke in the IT Industry.

[“The space shuttles uses 1,000 gallons per second during liftoff”] The fuel is liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen, resulting in water and water vapor.

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[“Thank Dog the prostitutes do not work for the Federal Government”] What? How many? Where? How much?

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It’s much better than the canned stuff. 

[Captain Doom and Gloom] It is a hell of a shock to your system when you go on eBay to sell all your precious stuff and find out that $1 million dollars worth of debris is only worth $100 and only if some idiot wants your junk! Retail is a dirty word!

“The Ocean around here is for locals to exploit”  So why do we need sewer systems and fishing licenses and legal BS?  We can craping the canals too!

“Why not health care for all” Because the majority do not want to work for it or anything else.

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[Conservatives Unite!] Today in 1996, Fox News Channel was launched on cable.

[“Default on our bills”] Not. Government open or closed we still take in 200 billion in tax dollars per month.That’s way more than enough to service our debt & S/S payments. Those payments are nowhere near that amount. Don’t let the boogeyman scare you . He’s not real. The government is not to be trusted–both sides. They are less than truthful, self serving and highly overpaid. They all work for us. It’s time we send them all to there room for a time out to remind them of that fact.

Obama, don’t cave in! We elected you to get us national healthcare. You won, they lost. Don’t concede the election now.

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I just read the person that you refer to as FTR. I’m sorry, but it cracks me up when a Republican calls a Democrat  mean spirited. Wow, Pot, I see that once again you’ve met Kettle.

Republicans are trying to shuck responsibility for their government shutdown. No surprise there.

Desperation is really starting to set in for the Conservatives in this country. They salivate like Pavlovs dog at any little hint of a way to slam Americas elected President rears its head true or false.

FOX news in its usual zeal to attack our President even falls for fake news from a well know parody site and reports it as real news.

FOX news reporter  Anna Kooiman reported that our President is using his own money to keep a Muslim culture center open during the government shutdown. She even went on the air saying that our President went on to say that he told the press it was a great time to “Learn about the faith of Islam”. It was all a fake news report they claim is true.

“Fair and balanced”? Pure pachyderm poop.

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Americans voted for Obama because he promised us health care for all Americans. The Right can put any amount of spin on it that they want, but it won’t change the reason Obama was elected–healthcare for all!

Regressives are blaming the Democrats for the government shutdown because the Dems won’t gut Obamacare.

[Closed] Regressives are getting so much flak for their shutdown that when each part of government complains to them, they pass a Bill to exempt that group from the shutdown and blame the Democrats for not moving the Bill to the Senate.

Republicans shut down the government, depriving Americans many things, but guaranteeing everyone will get paid for work not done. And they say their fiscally responsible?

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This day marks the twelfth year anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan.Today the modern country of Afghanistan is a democratic and safe country with fine schools and infrastructure and equal rights for all. Mission accomplished! 

Someone on the Right (mentioning no names) doesn’t know why Obama was elected. He was elected for two reasons: National health care and to stop Romney from giving the country to Corporations.

[Regressives] Shortly after President Obama started his second term, a loose-knit coalition of conservative activists led by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III gathered in the capital to plot strategy. Their push to repeal Mr. Obama’s health care law was going nowhere, and they desperately needed a new plan. Link

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[“Obamacare and iTunes”] Really? Now I know why your youngsters are being robbed of a decent education. How sad that your politics blind you in teaching truth. Apples and oranges are not the same thing. Neither is iTunes and the ACA or government as a whole.

[Illegal immigrants allowed to practice law in California] Say What? Illegal immigrants allowed to practice law in California? The California Supreme Court, which finalizes requests of applicants to be licensed as a lawyer in California, is now “Authorized to approve qualified applicants regardless of their immigration status”. Calif. has trumped Federal law, didn’t they? Shouldn’t all Federal funds/money going there be shut down?

Other new laws prohibit law enforcement officials from detaining immigrants based on federal government instructions except in cases of serious crimes or convictions, and make it illegal for employers to retaliate against workers on the basis of their citizenship. (They are illegal immigrants, yet should be called “criminal immigrants” for breaking America’s Federal laws.)

God bless California. Illegal immigrant lawyers & protecting illegal immigrant workers. It’s now the employers who will become the illegals for not hiring illegals. Calif. politicians hope this action will trend nationwide. Businesses & people have been moving out of Calif. in droves because of policies, high taxes & lack of jobs.

Welcome to the new borderless progressive open society utopia — Soros-Ville, kiddies. We’ve heard for years when the big one hits, California will break apart & crumble into the sea. It can’t come too soon. Link

from the right

Part 1) Since Obama took office in 2009, our federal revenue has increased by about 30%.  During that same time period our national debt has increased by about 60%. Think about that, our debt has increased at twice the rate of our income while we’ve suffered Democrat leadership. All of that in spite of the fact that our tax revenue last year was the biggest in our history.

Deer Friends, the Democrat and Obama’s fiscal policies are a perfect recipe for bankruptcy.  If you need further proof, look at the ever growing laundry list of major American cities that are going bankrupt. Nearly all, if not all, are governed by Democrat leaders. The Democrat leadership in these communities is not new, it is deeply entrenched.

Unless Obama and the Democrats come forward with real spending cuts and a reasonable strategy to slash our debt, you can expect a brawl when the debt ceiling issue comes before Congress.

train smokePart 2) The weather was great for the first couple of days here in the Adirondacks, but Saturday it went to hell–cold and rain.  Yesterday we hopped a scenic train that runs from a tiny village called Thendara to an even tinier spot on the map called Big Moose for a scenic train ride through the mountains and the forests afire with fall colors.  The deal was that about 35 people were permitted to board a train because at the end of the ride, Big Moose, the antique train station had been converted to a restaurant which served a luncheon buffet for the train riders. After the buffet, the train reversed direction and took us back to Thendara.

Incredibly, in the middle of the Adirondacks forest, we discovered that we had mutual friends with our table mates.  The guy had been a cop in Broward County, and a good friend of theirs had been a co worker of ours.

Sunday’s weather was more of the same crappy cold autumn rain, but worse. Even colder winds, and several hours of heavy rain.  Nonetheless we joined up with a couple of Deer old friends and drove about 25 miles into the woods over dirt and gravel roads to visit a colonial reenactment camp site in the wilds of the Moose River Plains, perhaps 25 or so miles north of Old Forge buried in the forest primeval. We parked on a muddy road and walked about a half a mile into the wilderness on a rutted trail. Not a sign of electricity or cell phone coverage.  We were the only people who braved the weather to visit the N.Y.S.M.L.A. rendezvous. Their 22nd anniversary. You can read all about the organization at Link

dress7It is a very dedicated group of re-enactors who dress as, and during the rendezvous assume the role of colonial Americans. The encampment consisted of about 10 or so colonial period tents and tepees. The re-enactors, men and women, were all dressed in period dress and lived their daily lives in period manner. They were cooking in cast iron pots hung over over open fires, not a sign of a Coleman stove or lantern. The rendezvous was timed with the bird hunting season so that the re-enactors hunted every day for food. The re-enactors were incredibly friendly and anxious to tell us all about what life was like in the colonial wilderness. They proudly showed off their muzzle loading black powder shotguns and rifles, some made by themselves. They put on a show of “Hawk” throwing.  That means tomahawks. It was really special that it seemed to be that we were the only people who visited the event. These folks were not camped out in a campground, but rather had made camp just as our ancestors would have during colonial days in the deep Adirondack wilderness.

One reenactor was very proud of some of the artifacts that he had. He told us that some of it was from Rogers’s Rangers. I had to tell him that I was an Abenaki Indian and that Rogers Rangers slaughtered many of my ancestors. He actually seemed chagrined until I assured him that the past was past.  We learned from them that the Adirondacks still had cougar, bear, wolves, coyotes, deer and moose.  It was a great experience.

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Check out the fall colors in Old Forge the other day.