Letters to the editor with pictures since 2002. Published on Big Pine Key’s garbage days, Tuesdays and Fridays.

[Mass Murder of the Week] This week we were treated to 50 dead in one week. We’re getting the gun violence we deserve – a double-header, no a quadruple header! It doesn’t get any better than this for gun advocates who want guns everywhere. They think of the upside, that maybe gun manufacturers will benefit from the increased fear and sell more guns to frightened people and everyone will be armed.
This is not the America I signed up for. I expect a safe America no matter what it takes or who I have to offend. It’s about time gun rights people “get” it (even though both sides know that won’t happen). They are not the majority. So, let us declare war on them. Change the 2d Amendment. Rewrite the Constitution. Get rid of military weapons in the home.
You don’t need a machine gun to thwart a burglar or mass murderer entering your home or car unless you’re a closet sicko who collects those weapons for the thrill of the kill. Yes, those questionable types do need military weapons in case they have to go out and kill a bunch of people. But I trust our police and military to protect me. They should have all the military weapons not the sickos.
It’s time us Americans take back our country from terrible weapons and the culture of guns. F**k the NRA, gun nuts, gun clubs, gun stores, the gun lobby, militias, Smith & Wesson, rednecks, and coocoos with military weapons. If you can’t take care of a life or death situation with a handgun or a long gun you shouldn’t be allowed to own one. Amend the Constitution –no military weapons for everyone.
People always prefer an honest opinion, as long as it isn’t about them.
[ National Night Out] Hi Friends!! Save Our Key Deer, Inc. is honored to have been invited by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office to participate in the annual National Night Out event this Tuesday, August 6th from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Bayview Park in Key West!
We have been working with the MCSO for 2 years on speeding issues that kill deer and, thanks to their interest and participation, have made some progress. Our booth at the fun event will feature educational materials, chance to talk to some of our top Board Directors, a free photo op to make you or your “fawn” look like a Key deer (yeah, for real), free T-Shirts (while supplies last) and free–cookies!
See us at the National Night Out event will be at Bayview Park in Key West from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Captain Donnie Catala and Lt. Dennis Coleman want to welcome the Lower Keys community to come on out for a great time. There will be free food and refreshments and a wide variety of law enforcement and other public safety agencies will be on hand to talk with community members. Come on out for the free barbecue. 92.7 Radio will be broadcasting live from the event and the Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm’s Farmer Jeanne and the animals will be on hand during this event. Key West Police’s Mounted Unit, their horses, will also be on hand

 

[Lemonade] On these sweltering days, if you quench your thirst with beer you will soon enough get nothing done or injure yourself. Or both. A good alternative is a quart of organic lemon juice ($7) and several gallons of chilled distilled water. For less money than a case of beer, you can drink healthy ice cold lemonade all week. And chase it with beer at the end of the day of course.

[Bad Air] I wanted to put a wood heater in a mobile home in a colder county, and soon discovered that most are not approved for use in a mobile home (MH). Why? No, it’s not because of fire hazard. It is because a newer mobile home is so airtight that you could die from inadequate oxygen from the fire using it up and not being replenished from air leaks common in a conventional house. The heaters approved for MH use have a duct connection to bring outside air to the flames. That got me thinking about these small foam-filled panel houses that are being promoted as a cost-effective replacement for the MHs destroyed by Irma or destroyed by Monroe County Ordinance. They are lauded as very tightly built. How many will die mysteriously before they figure out that tight construction is not necessarily a good thing? Also, they use OSB board that off-gasses formaldehyde for years. Better leave a window open even with the AC running.
[“Cuba travel”] What the hell do you want from a third world country? I went to Cuba twice. The people were more beautiful than most people in the Keys. I expected nothing and received so much more. $10 for a whole bottle of 5  year old rum at the bar. Who could ask for more. Maybe it was the rum we shared, but us and the Cubans became family. Go to Europe if you want Europe, not a beautiful island like Cuba. Trust me they won’t miss you. No one misses cruise ship passengers. They did miss me. That’s why I went twice.

 

[Duck and Cover] It’s really horrible that kids have to learn about how to protect themselves from an active shooter. When I was a kid we all hid under the desk with our hands around our necks to protect ourselves from a nuclear bomb. What has happened to us.

[Gun Violence] The shootings in Texas and Ohio are a sad indication of how this world has gone nuts. It is not about gun regulation, but about people regulation. Those who would harm others need help. It is not just the citizens who snap and harm, it goes all the way up the ladder to the aggressive state of a military industrial complex that pushes for profits selling wars and weapons. No human needs any weapon except maybe a game warden. TV is a mind-bending violence fixation, and computer war games are also hypnotizing our generation into killers. What is it going to be like when there are two, three or more times the earth’s population elbowing each other into madness? The real problem is people love the anxiety and horror and that is a disease that is the hardest to cure. What’s next? WW3?

 

[Hospital Bills] There is no way you can question a hospital bill because there is no way you can understand it. All my other bills are gone over with a fine comb looking for errors, but doctors and hospitals are the masters of deception and misdirection, just like a magician does.

[Mass Murderers] Background checks are no better than the lip service politicians pay to these dreadful murders. They pretend to do something while taking money from the NRA not to do something.
[Where Are They Now] Does anyone know where Mike who had the PT Cruiser, and used to park behind Winn Dixie went
[Hurricane Insurance] There were a couple of good articles in the August 1 edition of Key West Weekly (for a nice change). The article about going “naked” without hurricane insurance was one. However, some of the data supplied to the journalist was suspect. Supposedly 13% of all Keys homes were destroyed or suffered major damage by Irma. Considering the narrow swath through the Keys, that seems really unlikely. The other misleading stat was that about 500 new flood policies were issued, implying that more people decided flood insurance was a good idea. I doubt it. Of the people I know that did not have flood insurance, nearly all were paid for damage by FEMA that included a deduction to pay for 3 years of flood insurance. They didn’t choose to take flood insurance; it was supplied by FEMA at no charge. That number of free policies may very well have amounted to all of the 500 new policies. Of the people who had existing flood insurance, because their mortgage demanded it, I don’t know of anyone who actually was paid anything at all even though losses may have been extensive. There is an exclusion in the policy for just about everything and that keeps covered loss below the deductible. Flood insurance for a stilt house is almost certainly wasted money.

 

 

[Radioactive Pee] A man exposed his family to nuclear radiation, after he peed in the backyard after taking Iodine-131, a highly radioactive form of iodine often used to treat hyperthyroidism and thyroid cancer. Link

[Prosperity] Isn’t it amazing how many boats are cruising about the Keys fishing or lobstering that cost them more than most people’s homes?

[“Cuba Cruise”] To the rest of us travelers, cruise ship passengers are the biggest bunch of clueless travelers in the world. They are afraid to travel alone and need every minute scheduled for them. They never leave the main street of any port they visit (and all are overweight). None know the meaning of the word adventure. All they know is how to eat all they can.
[Dirty Banking Trick] After a year and a half delay and paying a hefty chunk for a lawyer and expert witnesses, my windstorm settlement netted me about 3 times what I owed on my mortgage! I was doing all this while still paying my mortgage and insurance premiums on an uninhabitable house. When the check was issued, it had my name and my bank’s on it. Rather than pay off the mortgage and give me the balance as requested, the bank tried to keep all the money, keep collecting payments with interest and insurance premiums, and force me to get multiple contractor quotes for repairs, whereupon they would issue checks to the contractor. I had to burn a lot of supervisors’ ears and write a number of certified letters to finally get my mortgage paid off and the balance due me. And that took many weeks more. If there is a hell, there is a special place reserved for mortgage bankers.

 

 

[Fake Guacamole] California has outdone itself with fake guacamole. That’s right folks, what looks like guacamole and tastes like guacamole might be fake. It seems like some Mexican style eateries have been substituting a type of squash, which has similar characteristics to Hass avocados. Fortunately for us here in Florida we have plenty of alligator pears for our guacamole. What will they think of next.

[Mess] The corridor into BPK from the upper keys is horrendous.  Does anyone else notice how crummy US1 through BPK looks in comparison to other Keys?  Did they forget to finish Irma cleanup here?  Even our canals are a mess, but go to Islamorada, Key Largo or Key West and it’s beautiful.

BPK was the hardest hit of all keys yet there are still fences down and/or torn, deep holes on the road covered with orange cones, landscape debris, garbage, etc.  At least fix these items.  Keep in mind, most other keys have been reconstructed, beautified with palm trees and new fencing.  BPK is obviously the red-headed stepchild of the keys.  Please, if you know who to contact about this mess, write into the Coconut Telegraph.  Maybe if enough of us make complaints the County will clean it up.

 

Mass shootings are being carried out by young men. What is going on, are they playing their computer games and it is going to their heads? WTF parents, get a grip! I heard that Antifa (The antifa movement is composed of left-wing, autonomous, militant anti-fascist groups and individuals in the United States) was headed to El Paso to cause trouble, wonder what that is all about. They sued the tobacco companies why can’t we sue the gaming companies.

[Phishing] “You have the final chance to save your social life. I give you the last 72 hours to make the Payment before I send the video with your masturbation to all your friends and associates. The last time you visited an erotic website with young teens, you downloaded and automatically installed the spy software that I created. My program has turned on your camera and recorded the act of your masturbation and the video you were watching while masturbating.

My software also downloaded email contact list and a list of your Facebook friends from your device.” …bla, bla, send me money…

[Pay] You laugh at people who want $20/hr? Well laugh at yourself. Now, this is very general as I don’t have complete information on your 35 year long airplane worker career, but let’s say somewhere in there you were making $20/hr, not more as you stated, 20. Let’s say it’s 1999. You, you greedy son of a gun, were receiving, adjusted for inflation, $30/hr! This silly new generation you target is simply asking for the equivalent of $13/hr while you were reeling in the big bucks. $13 in 1999 is equivalent of $20 in 2019. If you retired 10 years ago you started your career in the middle 1970s where $20/hr was the equivalent of more than $100/hr. Maybe you cant get that out of your head. You need to grasp how inflation works. For a semi-skilled trained worker in many fields, $20/hr is at the low end of normal. And yes, just as you were probably worth it, they probably are too
Southeast Grocers products have taken over Winn-Dixie and pushed out better products. I wanted some coconut crusted lobster bites, but the only shredded coconut was SE Grocers and sweetened and loaded with preservatives. Jiffy self-rising flour is gone and only the ones made with aluminum remain. Today I tried to buy a broom at WD, but found none. I guess they needed the space. Many of the good beers are now only being offered in aluminum cans. Blech!

[Key Deer Cousins] Interesting deer fact from Save Our Key Deer: Key Deer have “cousins” in the Caribbean!
Our interest in which other Caribbean islands have deer was sparked by an e-mail two years ago from a researcher on the island of Curacao (north of Venezuela), asking about particulars of our Key Deer’s diet to compare with diet of Curacao’s deer. Similarly, to Key Deer, Curacao’s deer have diverged enough genetically to now be recognized as their own subspecies: Odocoileus virginianus curassavicus. Their number is estimated at less than 300 and they are being fiercely protected by both government and residents. SOKD’s scientist is working with Curacao to enable a definitive aerial infra-red deer survey. Archaeologists believe the deer were brought to the island around 3000 years ago by the Arawak Indians from South America. Unlike our Key Deer, they are full-sized. Likely, there has not yet been enough time for the “Island Dwarfing Effect” to make a noticeable difference, or does not apply in their case.
In addition to Curacao, there are 3 Caribbean islands with white tail deer, all of whom have been brought there by humans in recent times. 1) St. John in the US Virgin Islands (deer were imported in 1792 and 1937), 2) Jamaica (escaped from a tourist park during Hurricane Allen in 1980), and 3) Cuba (brought in from Mexico around 1850). This is a rare photo of a Curacao deer doe.

Getting rid of iguanas. Video

 

 

[Stone Age] The world, for me, would be a place of peace and quite if all communication stopped, advertising vanished, computers shut off, and cell phones crashed. All egotistical notoriety wound disappear. Gee, I’d have to talk to real people.

[Blondes] There is an actual theory that bleaching one’s hair blonde really does effect brain synapse and intelligence. I believe it is a proven fact.
[“Don’t Consider Your Neighbors”] Where does one begin with this imbecilic twattle, “..to the satisfaction of nearby neighbors.” No one needs to satisfy your sensibilities when exercising their free rights; building their home the way they like, Comrade. It is their business and no one else’s. If you bought a house with vacant lots nearby you should have known that someone would build something there eventually. And if you bought a home near commercial property you should not be surprised when a business goes up. Residential property can’t just be changed to commercial, that almost never happens and if it were proposed, it would be posted in the paper, and you could show up to the meeting and voice your concerns there. Who made you the arbitrator of what is tasteful or not? No one needs your opinion and certainly not your permission to do what they want, legally, with their money. That house you don’t like going up is not yours. You should have bought the property yourself.
If you want to control the neighborhood buy it. Pritam Singh has done pretty good at it. Otherwise shut up or move.