[Sleaze Ball] School District Director of Finance and Performance Ken G e n t i l e was put in charge of a whistle-blower hotline, but he sent complaints about himself to a student instead of the school board so no one would know about them. The reports concerning Gentile suggest that he asked members of his staff to pray with him on bended knee, that he altered contracts to get them past the School Board, and that he tried to find a job for a relative with the district.

School watchdog Larry Murray tried to get the reports but was stonewalled for four months until he and Dennis Ward threatened to sue, then he was told the Freedom of Information documents would cost him $500.

Nothing in paradise is more dysfunctional than the Monroe County School Board.

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[“36 million starved to death”]One of Mao’s farm policies that backfired during that time resulted from him or somebody deciding that birds were eating too much of the crops. So they ordered the citizens out and about to kill every bird they could find.  They climbed into the trees with clubs and long poles, chasing the birds until they fell to the ground from exhaustion where they were killed.   There are pictures of lines of dump trucks filled with dead birds parading through the capital. 

The next thing that happened was an outbreak of insects that multiplied without birds to eat them.  The insects decimated what was left of the crops and even more people went hungry.

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[Paranoid Revolution] Killing American soldiers and our local police are the main reason gun advocates cite for owning assault weapons and extended magazines. They say they may have to overthrow a democratically elected American government someday by killing our friends and neighbors to achieve their political goals. We all know someone who stockpiles food and ammunition for such a day.

dawn5[White Flies] Being in the pest control field for over 40 years I would like to clarify some of the confusion over the what and what nots you can consider regarding White Fly control. I have read several articles on the Coconut Telegraph regarding White Flies and find that these articles are somewhat misleading regarding control measures.

White Flies attack the leaves of most trees and shrubs. They damage the leaves by using their piercing, sucking mouth parts to pierce and suck juices from the leaf. One article addressed power spraying water and blasting off the White Flies and spiraling egg masses on the leaves this is an environmentally sound approach, however I would suggest if the power sprayer has siphon capability use Dawn dish detergent and siphon it into the water stream this will enhance your treatment efforts.  

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[R.I.P. Al Sledge] It is with a sad heart that I announce there will be a Celebration of Life for Mr. Ellsworth (Al) Sledge this Thursday, February 7th, from 6 PM until 8 PM at Parmer’s Resort. We’ll have dessert , coffee, & stories — his favorite things. Bringing a dessert is optional, but bringing a story is mandatory. Please share this with your friends who may have known Al Sledge. 

[Guns] Education Secretary Arne Duncan  is joining more than 350 university presidents in urging Congress to take action to protect students from gun violence. She said that guns have no place in schools, other than in the hands of law enforcement.

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Is your cat a murderous killer?  According to a new study by University of Georgia researchers  their murderous streak isn’t just a matter of survival — many house cats kill their prey, birds, lizards, snakes, frogs, rodents — for sport. What did the cats do with their victims? They only ate about 30 percent of their kill. The kitties carried home 23 percent of the dead animals in one piece (more or less). They left 49 percent to rot at the scene of the crime. It’s that kernel of information that led the researchers to conclude that cats are killing far more animals than previously thought. “The previous estimates were probably too conservative,” says University of Georgia researcher Kerrie Anne Loyd, “because they didn’t include the animals that cats ate or left behind. TNR feeding stations are bad for wildlife. Link

 

Dave Berry suggests using drone strikes against the pythons in the Everglades.

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[Gay Scouting] It’s been well documented thru the ages that homosexuals like men as well as the occasional young boy (especially catholic priests). You want to let your young boy go camping in the back woods with a homo scout leader who might not be able to resist temptation? Don’t let the homo loose in the candy store. 

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Canada started phasing out its penny, the nuisance coins that clutter dressers and cost more than their one cent value to produce.

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Robot can make 360 yummy custom burgers a hour. Link

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More than 500,000 glass beer and booze bottles went into making the exterior of the 30,000-square-foot building. That’s 290,000 pounds of glass, or about 20 full dumpster loads, Cindy McCombs told Yahoo! Shine. Glass takes about 4,000 years to decompose, so this one building kept the equivalent of eight football fields (each filled to the top of the goal posts!) out of U.S. landfills. 

“500,000 bottles of beer on the wall, 500,000 bottles of beer…” Let’s build a Morrow Royal Pavillion out of it, from the Casino’s & Vegas strip recycled glass. Link

[Manslaughter] 6 million Jews killed by Hitler, 36 million killed by Mao and 37 million killed under Stalin. All toll there were over 170 million civilians and soldiers were killed in the 20 century. As long as there men on the planet there will be wars. The killing has never stopped, it just takes a brake once in a while for the armies to regroup and rebuild. World War III is heading our way… it’s just a matter of time.

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[“Post Office loses 53 million a day”] Totally incorrect. It’s the US tax payers that are losing 53 mill per day! Did you read that the USPO gave Lance Armstrong 30 mil to be a sponsor? But like all sheep following the leader we do nothing about it. Fire them all and sell off all the assets and turn it over to private business. 

The fat fireman could probably get hired by Key West Police or the Sherriff’s department. He would fit right in with those groups of overweight officers.
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Police “This Is Only A Drill.” Video

Why would I want to donate to SNIP to neuter cats? That’s the cat owner’s responsibility, not mine. The Iguana Killers Clubs 365 members have now added all free roaming cats to their list of kill-on-the-spot if located. The cat death toll will be rapidly rising now that the IKC has stepped up to the plate. 

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Valentines Day recipes. Link

[Photography] Over the years Marsel has created the most extensive and most popular night photography portfolio of Namibia on this planet, and two years ago he decided it was time to take it to the next level. The idea was to create a night photography timelapse video featuring his most popular subjects in this amazing country: the fairytale-like quivertrees and the eery, dead camelthorn trees in Deadvlei. Link 
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I have never stayed late hoping to sex in the office. I always did it during normal working hours so that I could get laid and paid at the same time.

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[Hemingway Cats Persecuted] APHIS, the division of the  USDA that is giving the Hemingway House such a hard time, has swanky regional offices in Riverdale, Maryland, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Fort Collins, Colorado,  and it’s seven thousand employees divvy up an annual budget of $800 million.  The federal employees are often seen whooping it up in the bars of Key West and taking pictures of the Hemingway cats.

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[“PT-109 pictures”] Mr. Scharch was the owner of the True Value Hardware store here on BPK. He moved to central Fla & now the store is managed by his son.

N. Koreans trapped in Iran nuke site. Link

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[Bear Counting] Momma Bear and her three very young cubs in the wild of northern Ontario, Canada. Humane wildlife experts taking a Winter bear census right in the hibernation dens.  See cute 6 week old baby bears (eyes still closed). Video

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[Spay your Cat] Here is the address for SNIP. 1037 United Street/Key West, FL. 33040. Please donate to help control cat breeding.

Springers-Prime-Rib00     Doerfels-at-Springers

Prime Rib Dinner    Live Music

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Blimps to bolster Washington’s air shield in test. Did we all miss the fact that Obama is stealing Fat Albert for the Bubbas in WashingtonD.C.? Link

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[Reminisce Your Car] Find your first car, or the one you drove to high school or college; hopefully your car brochure is available. This has to be one of the neatest websites whether you have gasoline in your veins or not. It features the original factory brochures for nearly every American car you have ever owned. Pick the manufacturer, the year and the model. Link

A new NOAA research report finds that both fish populations and commercial and recreational anglers have benefited from “no-take” protections in the Tortugas Ecological Reserve in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

~Overfished species such as black and red grouper, yellowtail and mutton snapper increased in presence, abundance and size inside the reserve and throughout the region.

~Annual gatherings of spawning mutton snapper, once thought to be wiped out from overfishing, began to reform inside the Reserve.

~Commercial catches of reef fish in the region increased, and continue to do so.

~No financial losses were experienced by regional commercial or recreational fishers.

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[Exposure] Help me understand the logic of this: Watching 2 hours of violence in a movie has no influence on our behavior but a 30 second Super Bowl ad is worth $3.8 million because it will make us run out and buy a product.

[“PT-109 photo requester”] I have them right here, contact me to set up a method of them to you.
~Mel Jr Pinermel@hotmail.com

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Flouride

FWC: Imperiled Species. A new conservation model for Florida species. Link

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The power went out at the Super Bowl, sounds miserable! 

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Cute horse escapes from stable. “You’re fee, my friend!” Video

pancake[Pancake Holiday] For the eighth year, IHOP restaurants are offering a free stack of buttermilk pancakes today from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The popular pancake chain hopes to raise $3 million in donations for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and other local charities. The charities will receive 100 hundred percent of proceeds.

In 2012, IHOP raised more than $3 million for the various charities. The restaurant has raised over $10 million over the past eight pancake holidays. Link

[“CA’s Gov Moonbeam. Everybody with half a brain is coming to California”]  Well, now, that explains it! I had to catch my breath first, I was laughing so hard.  

Dell announced today that they are going private and will no longer be traded on the stock exchange.

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Botox means less bitchy.  

[The Silence Of The Captain] There has been considerable talk about how best to silence Capt. Ed Davidson at School Board meetings.  Comments have been made during weekly interviews of Board Chairman Andy Griffiths by Bill Becker on “Morning Magazine”.  Subsequent banter between the two reinforces my concern that they think it would be in the best interest of the School District if somehow Capt. Ed could be muzzled.   

Superintendent Mark Porter has joined the fray, telling Becker during a “Morning Magazine” interview that there was no intention to muzzle Capt. Ed or anyone else for that matter. This was a response to my spirited defense in Sloan Bashinsky’s blog of Capt. Ed’s right to speak in general and the right of the public to address workshops in particular.  Porter has expressed his opinion that public comment should not be allowed at workshops.   

With no explanation provided, at the January workshop, Porter attempted to deny Sloan Bashinsky the right to speak.  Only with the reluctant intervention by Griffiths was Sloan permitted to comment. Whether public comment at workshops will be permitted routinely remains an unresolved issue.  The agenda for the Friday, February 12  workshop will be revealing.

Griffiths and Becker have returned to the subject of what they perceive to be Capt. Ed’s unnecessary, lengthy comments at recent Board meetings, particularly on the subject of HOB Change Orders.  During that exchange,  Griffiths drew an interesting distinction. According to Griffiths, workshops were the place for discussions, extended or otherwise.  Board meetings on the other hand, were for action, not discussion.  I cannot say that I follow Griffith’s logic and it strikes me as arbitrary. 

Capt. Ed spoke at some length at the last Board meeting on three subjects: the HOB Change Orders, the financial report of the Ocean Studies Charter School and a consultant contract for the Finance Department.  As you know, the HOB Change Orders have become an explosive subject and Capt. Ed has made it clear that he intends that there be a thorough and through complete airing.  To expect minimal discussion on such a controversial subject is ridiculous.  The same could be said of the $350,000 HOB parking lot fiasco which will soon appear before the Board as a Change Order.

The other two subjects, a financial report and a contract, were buried in the Consent Agenda.  Neither had been discussed at a workshop.  Both issues, in my opinion, deserved the scrutiny that Capt. Ed, along with John Dick, gave them.  They had no choice in the matter as I see it.  Either they went along, without comment, “consent” to two items of import, or they pulled them from the Consent Agenda as they did. 

If there is a problem here, it is not with Capt. Ed, or John for that matter, talking too much and making an interesting meeting out of what Porter and Griffiths both predicted would be “dull”.  The problem, as I see it, lay with Porter for trying to slip some things through, hoping that neither the Board nor anyone else would notice.  Unfortunately, for him, Capt. Ed and John noticed.  The simple solution to this problem is that if you want a “dull” Board meeting, then Porter had better make sure that everything on the agenda, especially the Consent Agenda, has been properly vetted prior to voting. 

The lesson that I learned is to be sure to read the Consent Agenda and all attachments very carefully and not take Porter at his word that there is nothing of consequence buried in the details.  This is a trust issue.  Porter has lost a lot of credibility in my eyes, credibility that he can ill afford to lose.

Complaining about Capt. Ed talking too much or talking at the wrong time is a classic instance of blaming the messenger when the focus should be on the message.  While Capt. Ed might be more succinct in some of his comments, many of us voted for him because we expected him to investigate and discuss all  matters of consequence.  I recommend that Chairman Griffiths speak to Porter regarding the agenda in advance and make certain that the “Devil isn’t in the details.”

Recently, I had a lengthy conversation with Board Chairman Griffiths regarding public comment at workshops and meetings.  As we know, in Griffiths’ mind, when it comes to public comment at Board gatherings, he makes a major distinction. He believes that public comment should be limited to Board meetings as that is when, according to him, action is taken. Public comment is neither necessary, required nor valued at workshops as no action is to be taken. He thinks that workshop discussion should be limited exclusively to the Board, the superintendent and any experts they wish to include. Since no action will be taken, there is no need for public participation.

Of course, I believe that this “distinction” is arbitrary and capricious, fully a creation of Griffiths’ mind or imagination for that matter. I see no logical reason for it unless you endorse Andy’s principal assumption, which I do not. I believe that public input at workshops is necessary, useful and valuable, perhaps more so than at meetings. After all, the “action” taken at a meeting is simply to confirm what was informally decided at the workshop.

Additionally, the School Board, in my experience, has never made a clear distinction between workshops and meetings. They claim that their first gathering of the month is a workshop and that the second is a meeting. Yet, as often as not, action is taken at the workshops,  which they then dignify as a “Special Meeting”. It is all very artificial.

Griffiths also believes that if the Board votes affirmatively on a subject, that vote renders any previous discussion moot and unnecessary.  According to Griffiths, even discussion by Board members should be limited to those topics where, presumably, a member can predict a divided vote.  How that would transpire is beyond me.  Only Griffiths seems to know how votes ultimately will fall out.  From my perspective, a Board member should be permitted to address any agenda item regardless of its seeming popularity or lack thereof.   

What I do not grasp is the apparent abhorrence of Board Chairman Griffiths and Superintendent Porter to public comment. Public comment is something that they clearly do not like and perhaps fear.  The public comment section generally takes less than 15 minutes in a multi-hour meeting so they cannot claim that public input is inordinately extending the meetings. The School Board is the only government entity in Monroe County that makes a concerted effort to restrict public comment.

 My question is what harm is there in the Board listening to public comment regardless of the meeting format, workshop or meeting, or the subject at hand. Perhaps Chairman Griffiths and Superintendent Porter could address that at the next workshop on February 12, 2013.  ~Dr. Larry Murray 

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How great to visit college days limericks concerning barmaids breasts. Now the way I heard it: There once was a girl named Gail; on a sign was the price of her tail; And just for the blind, upon her behind, was the same information in braille  And then she wrote: There was a young girl from St Paul, who went to a newspaper ball, Her dress caught on fire, and burned her entire: front page, sport section and all!

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I do my work easily and joyously. I feel beauty all around me and I  see beauty in everyone I meet, for I see God in everything. I recognize my part in the life pattern and I find harmony through gladly and  joyously living it. I recognize my oneness with all mankind and my  oneness with God. My happiness overflows in loving and giving toward everyone and everything. 

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Help us create a better life for Florida Keys’ residents. Please send this to your friends who work or volunteer for charities in the Florida Keys, and let them know about the opportunity to receive a United Way grant. 
Click here to download the 2013-14 Application     Click here to download the 2013-14 Guidelines 

[Captain Doom and Gloom] After most of my life has gone by, I finally realized that all the stuff I have accumulated is just debris. Trying to figure out how to sell everything on eBay, I realized it would take more time than is left. I’ll have to write a letter to the State asking why I haven’t won the lottery yet.

“Kill the Cats” We need the bait. Then cull your neighbor too!

[“Find the cat in the picture, I can’t”] (Ed: Entrants all win a bag of Kibble and a new pair of eyeglasses.)

findcat6[“Find The Cat”] It is to the left in the grass.

[“Find The Cat”] Check out the lower left quadrant, as it peeks from behind a grassy growth.

[“Find The Cat”] There is no cat in that picture because it is indoors where it belongs.

findcat5[“Find The Cat”] It’s in front of the rock wall.

[“Find the cat in the picture”] Here it is. Link

[“Find the cat”] I just called my neighbor and told him I found the cat. He said show me! I pulled up the picture and couldn’t find it. Now what do I do?

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[“Find the cat in the picture”] I put my Windows 7 magnifier on the photo and it’s the small white area to the left below the rocks. White face and a grey head.

[“Find the cat in the picture”]  Look at the base of the rocks directly below the large green plant in the middle of the picture.

findcat7[“Find The Cat”] I found the cat.

Another cat is sitting on the trail, up to the right of the house beside the big green plant. Or it’s a leaf looking like a black cat blob?

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[Islam] A Saudi cleric says even girls who have not yet reached puberty should be covered from head to toe, to prevent child molestation.

Gun people are all aflutter because they don’t like seeing Obama shooting a gun. 

FTR guy, you’re making a fool of yourself. Please proceed.

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Maybe FTR is nuts after all. Yesterday he even found problems with the way Obama fired a gun. Obama could walk on water and FTR would complain about the water not being wet.

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The Right was all pro gun until they saw Obama shooting. Now they don’t know what to do. If he likes something that me they automatically have to dislike it.

Just-so-you-know, Obama was not shooting clay skeet. Where is Romney?

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[Blame Obama] The stock market is going crazy and if investors don’t take profits will be reach 14,000! The first time in history it’s reached these heights. Damn Obama.

[Guns] It’s just amazing that Washington has all America pre-occupied with assault guns, automatic, semi-automatic, big clips, little clips, criminal background checks, psychological testing, while F-16’s, Abraham Tanks, parts, training, munitions, personnel and lots more are going out the back door to a Muslim war zone. He [Obama] isn’t all that stupid, voters are!

FROM THE RIGHT

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Apology:  Deer Friends I was wrong yesterday when I unloaded on the person who had posted about a study that claimed Obama was the 4th best President.  It’s likely that the poster believes what he posted.

I should have simply presented the evidence that proved his claim to be in error. While it’s true that his/her posting was in error, my ad hominem attack was hypocritical and wrong.  It was hypocritical because I often criticize those on the Left who routinely engage in personal attacks. I apologize and will try to refrain from such behavior.

Part 2) I hope that we can all agree that there is a fundamental difference in the philosophies of governance between the Right and the Left. The Left is convinced that a strong, intrusive, and controlling government is necessary for the good of the nation. The Right is the polar opposite. We believe that a strong, intrusive, controlling government is contrary to our American ethos, is contrary to our Constitution, and is contrary everyone’s prosperity. We believe that government is our servant, and the government that governs least governs best.

gov5It’s fair to examine the results of Republican governance in various states. Let’s think about Florida. Our Governor, Rick Scott, (R) was elected in 2010 for his first 4 year term.  In only four years, the Governor that preceded Scott increased our debt by $5.2 billion.  That Governor was Crist. Not long after Crist left office, he came out of the closet and changed his party to Democrat. After only 2 years of Republican governance by Rick Scott, our debt has been decreased by $2 billion dollars. Republican governance by Scott has paid off big for Florida. In addition to paying down our debt, he balanced his first two budgets and did it without raising taxes.

When Scott took office, Florida’s u/e rate was 11.1%, today it is 8% (current BLS report). That is a phenomenal drop.  Please remember that nationally, with Democrat governance of our nation; our national unemployment rate is higher today than it was when Mr. Obama took office. Florida is quickly becoming the nation’s leader in job creation and economic growth by consistently doing the Right things month after month to create the nation’s premier environment to start, relocate or expand a business. In only 2 years of Republican governance, Florida has added close to 160K new jobs. Florida’s employment picture is improving rapidly while nationally our employment percentage increased last month.

I’ll bet that you didn’t know, (because mainstream media hasn’t reported it) that Scott, even in these horrible fiscal times, has managed to provide an additional $1 billion in funding for education. Scott is an education Governor. On the college level he has challenged the colleges in Florida to provide a bachelor’s degree program for a maximum cost of $10K Link. That sounds too good to be true, but it is. As of this writing, all 23 institutions in the Florida College System that offer baccalaureate degrees have now pledged their support to the challenge. More later, much more.

Part 3) I suggest that you read an article in Investor’s Business Daily to be found at Link. The article reveals that, but not why, Obama has reversed a Bush administration policy that protected our national security from foreign control.  Obama is now encouraging Beijing to acquire massive equity interests in U.S. energy. In 2005, the Bush administration blocked China on grounds of national security from buying California-based Unocal Corp. for $18.4 billion.

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But that was then, and this is the Obama administration.  The Chinese camel stuffed its nose under our tent in 2010 with a massive purchase of equity in a number of American petroleum and energy producers.  Obama lifted the edge of the tent and urged “C’mon in”. Chinese acquisition of American industry are expanding. Soon, China may well control the production of American energy.

The article is a fascinating and worrisome read that reveals that Communist China, that is our single largest debt holder, is rapaciously acquiring American energy assets.  I urge you to read the article.  I suggest that you be sitting down when you do.

Respectfully submitted: FTR@bellsouth.net