Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Since 2002. Published Tuesdays and Fridays
Letters to the Editor with pictures
[No More Community Hospital] Fishermen’s Community Hospital in Marathon sells out to Baptist Health South Florida on June 30. The nonprofit Middle Keys hospital, with 25 beds and 161 employees, this week signed an affiliation agreement with the South Florida healthcare giant that already operates Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, as well as six hospitals in Miami-Dade County and a host of outpatient medical centers throughout South Florida.
|[Popcorn Lung] A dangerous risk of flavored e-cigarettes. Link|
|[Beer] I too was drawn to the Nib Smuggler Porter, it was OK but wont get it again. The older I get the more dissatisfied I seem to be with beer selection seems I find myself searching for beers in the “goldilocks zone” and I just can’t enjoy the wide range of beers available. I just don’t want any beer, I want a great beer and like the fairy tale says “you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince”‘
If you are looking for good tasting dark beers I recommend Sessions Black (Big Pine Winn Dixie in the not refrigerated beer isle) Link
|[“Celebrity opinions”] FTR thinks that celebrities shouldn’t make their political opinions known. He want’s them to keep their opinions to themselves and not use their celebrity to reach those who don’t follow politics. Celebrities are a powerful political force and should continue to use their fame to reach people who otherwise wouldn’t give a damn what goes on in the world. FTR thinks only people like him should have the only say.|
|We bought our home on Summerland Key’s Airport Rd., and paid a considerable amount of money thinking at the time we were moving into an upscale community, but over the past year it seems we are now living in a Stock Island trailer park.
What gives with the trucks and cars running around the airport with unlawful mufflers at all times of day or night? If you have to rev you drag racer motors please take it out of the hanger so the sound isn’t amplified 10 times over.
Control your barking and yelping dogs, the barking starts at daybreak and doesn’t end until after midnight. Have you ever heard about barking collars? Or simply telling your dogs to shut up?
On top of all of this, there are people actually living in the open hanger bay of one of the airport homes. The last thing we need to see is on our morning or evening walks are people walking around in the open hanger in their pajamas living in it like it was there bedroom. It’s just plan unsanitary and revolting. For god’s sake, people, have a little class and move out of the hanger and back to where you came from.
If this trend continues, property values around the airport are heading in one direction — down.
|[Floating Advertising] I just heard about the floating yellow helicopter advertising barge being discussed on US1 radio. This barge owner thinks he had an original idea? Floating advertising has never been acceptable in the Florida Keys. It comes up every 15 or 20 years as people forget history. I think if you dig back in the law books you will find floating advertising was addressed decades ago. It was not allowed back then and should not be allowed now.|
|[Super Rich Don’t Pay Taxes] “Most illegal aliens do not pay income taxes” and their nonpayment is a pittance compared to amount owed by the super rich who also pay no income taxes. If you had any idea of how much they don’t pay, you would not be concerned about illegal aliens nickel and dime tax evasion. Picking on the poor is a diversion form the super rich’s tax evasions.|
For Sale: Two (2) tickets to Travis Tritt concert on February 24, 2017 at Tennessee Williams Theatre. Orchestra Center G-114 and G-115. Paid $157.00 – will sell both tickets for $150.00 cash. Call 678-524-5142. This concert is almost sold out.
|[Building Heights] The County is going a to allow height of their homes from the currently allowed 35 feet to 40 feet. It would allow new homes to be built to 38 feet and add another story. This will help developers pack more units into building sites. Only developers will benefit. They say the height increase is for other reasons. The Commission included language that would ensure that new homes could not be more than two stories tall, but those of us who have lived here for any length of time know that will change eventually due to the inherent corruption of government.|
|What’s wrong with movie stars voicing their opinions? They have the same problems as we do, except money isn’t one of them.|
|The Old 7-Mile Bridge is supposed to be finished in 2022. At the rate they seem to be moving I’ll go with, say, 2225. And the cost? The sky is the limit, folks, but the guess was $77,000,000. I have to go with a cool $90,000,000. Make note of these numbers, I think I’m right.|
|[“Busses are big”] This is not a dumb message from Florida Transportation. It is a joke to smack the back of the heads of pedestrians who walk out in front of a few thousand pounds of speeding metal, demanding you slam on your breaks so they can cross the street. I say bring back 1956 Buick Bumpers and take care of their stupidity. Shoes don’t pollute, vehicles do. Let them roll!|
|Saturday Night Live portrays Steve Bannon as the Grim Reaper. He’s here to show Alec Baldwin’s Trump who’s really in charge. Video|
|[Floating Advertising] It took us many years to get rid of the advertising along the Overseas Highway and now it looks beautiful. If floating advertising is allowed it will be a blight on our beautiful scenery because all you need is a registered boat and a sign. You don’t even need a motor; any old junk boat could be placed anywhere. Any size sign is allowed. There are no ordinances against this type of advertising. You don’t have to own or lease the land as you do with billboard advertising. If they allow one sign, then anyone will have the same right to put any size sign on any size registered boat and put it anywhere they like–even on the water in front of your home. How about that? Someday you’ll bring your drink to your patio and watch the sun set behind a sign advertising a sex shop in Key West.|
|[FTR’s “On Listening” post Feb 3rd] See what happens when you make assumptions about people. Stop being so prejudiced. It’s a good thing Depends adult diapers wasn’t a Super Bowl advertiser for your sake. Also, aren’t you somewhat of a print media entertainer with your regular lengthy posted diatribes? I think you need to take a mental health time out from the internet. Get outside and enjoy the sunshine, read a non-political book and just relax. That’s where I’m heading.|
|Those coconut openers you guys are talking about and posting pictures of are available locally on Big Pine Key at the Grimal Grove Store located at the Ace Hardware property on US1. I got one there and do use it. The only drawback is sometimes our coconuts are so big it takes a little bit more effort, but it’s a great gadget that really holds up to lots of use. Happy coconuting!|
|I think the Coconut Telegraph is for old folks who don’t like social media and want to keep their thoughts and opinions local.|
|[School Board Accountability] I have expressed to you before my concerns about texting in the conduct of School District business. To my knowledge, only Superintendent Porter has a smart phone provided by the District. Board members provide and maintain their own private phones. Similarly, virtually all District employees have their own phones, not one provided by the District.
As a result, there is no District maintained mechanism for storing text messages that might be involved with District operations. Consequently, Public Records Requests for text messages can be difficult, if not impossible, as it would require access to private accounts and foreknowledge of an exchange.
This is the reverse of the District maintained email system for which all of you have an account, though often laxly used. All emails sent or received by you on your District account are stored by the District and available for Public Records Requests.
When I raised earlier the issue of using text messages to conduct District business, I was assured that that is never done. When I asked about texting during Board meetings, visible on television, I was assured that such texting was in response to family members or to the public complaining about television reception, never District business.
Given the above, you can imagine my surprise this morning when I read in the Citizen a comment by Board member Andy Griffiths stating that he and other Board members had received a “heads-up” about the sexting issue at HOB from Superintendent Porter “via a group text message to board members.” Such informational exchange certainly sounds to me like the conduct of District business via text messages. That there is a “group text message” system further concerns me.
I hope that the decision to use a text message to communicate on such an important matter as opposed to the more commonly used email was not done to avoid creating an accessible public record. I also hope that this is a singular act, not the latest in a series perhaps of text messages as a way to communicate without a record.
Because all of you were involved in sending or receiving the text message regarding sexting at HOB, I am making a formal Public Records Request for a copy of that text message as well as any response or follow-up that may have been sent to or by the superintendent or another Board member. I am also requesting copies of any and all text messages exchanged by the superintendent with members of the Board or messages exchanged by Board members within that community since January 1, 2017
No matter what you think, this is not Photoshopped. It’s “alternative facts.”
|Now we have Tug Boat Tilly‘s Stephan Freer writing in to defend Sloan. Does the Sloan fan club have sane members in it? Mr Tugboat guy, please come back and get your tugboat off our ocean floor. And quit making threatening phone calls calling people Fascist and threatening them. Jesus, Sloan cant figure out his time in Key West is finished according to me. Even by Key West standards he just not right.|
|[Disregard For Building Laws] What happened at Oceanside Marina is an extreme example of Monroe County Legal, Building and Planning departments total disregard for laws, regulations, building codes and ethics. This happens every day at the Monroe County Building Department.
When Joe Schmoe, the taxpayer, goes to this building department, the initial encounter starts the wheels of injustice. If the first person you met likes you or your project, things may go smoothly until you meet another department head or person and then if they like you or your project, it may continue to progress until reviews are done and changes are required. This is the place where it gets sticky. Many times, their required changes are not code but their own rules, it may be a big thing or it may be a small thing but if you resist then things start to go bad.
This can take many forms, they can lose your paperwork; they can ignore you for months, that is if you don’t know the county code; they can dig up a rule that no one has heard of; or their favorite is “that’s not code, that is our rule and if you want this approved, you will follow it.”; they can refuse to allow contractors or workers on your job; they can make it very difficult for contractors to get approved, to a point that they say they will never work in Monroe County again; they always find something in the paperwork that needs redone.
Remember, they make the rules as they go and why not, they have never been held accountable for anything. The Monroe County Building department is in such a state of confusion, they can’t keep help so the high turnover lends itself to the new guys’ rule which means more uncertainty.
The fact is that many contractors will not work in the county. If they do, they charge a premium to deal with county antics. The public knows that doing the right thing and getting permits for a project, most likely will cost you enormous amounts of time, money, frustration, sanity and in many cases the right to do what you are legally entitled to only to have Monroe County immerse you into a quagmire of bureaucracy, fake rules intended to deter your will or ability to proceed. The commissioners know of this problem but are impotent to correct the insanity.
Yes, the county makes the rules up every day which precludes equal treatment, continuity and efficiency for Monroe County workers and the public. I have experienced this first hand and for years I have discussed this with hundreds of other contractors and taxpayers. The current commission refuses to correct the insanity so far.
Maybe the Oceanside scandal will make heads roll or it will be business as usual. I wish The Blue Paper would reach out to folks that have endured my experience and start a movement to drain the swamp. Folks like me will contribute but like me, will want anonymity because of the over-reaching, unbridled power of the Monroe County Building Department to stop you in your tracks.
HELP! You only know this travesty if you try to work with the county and you don’t have a bond or a friend or project that is liked by Monroe Building department. It should be noted that a powerful attorney helps change their attitude also.
Bum Farto was the drug smuggling Key West Fire Chief. If you’re a newbie, find an old picture of Jimmy Buffett at one of his concerts wearing his “Where is Bum Farto?” t-shirt
|[Free Tax Preparation] Hello readers of the Coconut Telegraph! I have noticed how much you like your opinions to be heard and so have created this brief survey. Please drop an email with your answers. I will compile the results and send them in for the 2/17 edition.
1) Are you a full time resident, part time or vacationer?
2) Are you under 21 years of age, 21-50 or over 50 years old?
3) When you don’t want to cook, what kind of foods do you like for lunch or dinner?
4) How often do you order from carry out places, have restaurants deliver or sit somewhere where you aren’t responsible for the clean up?
5) How frequently do you eat pizza? and what is your favorite topping(s)?
6) Name your favorite place in the Keys to get pizza and why is it the best?
7) How frequently do you order subs, hoagies, footlongs or other long, fat sandwiches?
8) What is your favorite type of sub and who makes the best one around?
9) What advertising makes you want to go to a restaurant or carry out joint?I will throw all the email addresses into a hat and pick one. Winner will be notified by email and receive a $15 off coupon to the Big Pine restaurant of our choice. Email answers to BPKSurvey@yahoo.com
(Ed: If they advertise on bigpinekey.com [for the price of a pizza and coke] I could make them a professional online survey at no extra charge.)
|[Rumor] Big Pine Road Prison. Rumor has it that the current prison property will soon be used as lower Keys low income housing. 500-600 apartments at cheap rent. Loma Lane is to be one of the entrances.|
|[Excessive Medical Costs] Lifenet medical airlift is right up there with the Epipen.|
|[Free Homes on Big Coppitt] Habitat for Humanity of Key West and the Lower Florida Keys plans to build 10 new homes on Big Coppitt Key this year and is accepting applications from interested buyers with a deadline of April 1, 2017. The homes will be two story modular construction on concrete piers and will be similar in design to the nearby Bayside Landing homes built by Habitat. The site is located on US 1 Overseas Highway, between Emerald Drive and Sapphire Drive. Eight of the homes will have three bedrooms and two will have two bedrooms. All homes will have approximately 1280 square feet of living area. Habitat selects homeowners based on need, ability to pay, and willingness to partner with the organization. To qualify for homeownership, applicants must be first time home buyers (have not owned a home for the past three years,) and must be living in overcrowded, substandard, temporary, or public housing OR must be paying more than 30% of household income for current housing, and must be unable to secure adequate housing through the private market, and homes must be owner occupied. Deed restrictions for this project require that homeowners earn 70% of their income in Monroe County. This project is designed to be affordable to prospective buyers who are in the “low income” category as defined by Monroe County, earning a maximum of 80% AMI (Area Median Income.)
Applicants must have stable employment or other source of income, have an acceptable credit history, and have a household income that ensures that no more than 30% of earnings will be utilized to pay for housing costs, including taxes, mortgage, and insurance. Applicants must be US Citizens or Permanent Residents, must invest 350 hours of “sweat equity” volunteer labor, must attend educational homeownership classes, and must reside in Monroe County for 12 months prior to applying. There is a $10 non-refundable application fee. Applications are also available at the administrative office at 6631 Maloney Avenue on Stock Island. Contact Program Coordinator Susan Kent at 305-294-9006 for additional information. Link
Found car keys on Watson Boulevard Sunday morning. Call Brian, 305-393-7209
|Sean Spicer SNL press conference. Melissa McCarthy played White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer hosting a press conference on Saturday Night Live. Video|
|Coconut opener with plastic handle $8.69 delivered. Link|
The funniest Super Bowl ads of all time. The best of the best because we said so. Video
|[Can You Hear Me] What matters is phone fraudsters hear you saying “yes”. Video|
|[Mr Reason] I listen to all the voices in my head, except for the one named Reason. He makes no sense to me.|
|Marathon Community Theatre will present “Last Train to Nibroc” by Arlene Hutton. The reading is held in the gallery and will offer two performances, Friday, February 17 and Saturday, February 18 beginning at 8 p.m. each evening.
Staged in the 1940s, “Last Train to Nibroc” takes place on a cross-country train carrying the bodies of two great American writers, Nathanael West an F. Scott Fitzgerald. A young woman planning to be a missionary shares her seat with a charming young flyer while they talk about their dreams of bright futures. The story is a funny and touching portrait of two people searching for happiness.
The reading is directed by Diane Dashevsky and produced by Suzanne Terpos. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the box office at 5101 Overseas Highway in Marathon, or by calling 305-743-0994. Price is not included at the direction of the theatre. Prices vary according to where they are purchased and whether you are a member or not. Approximate cost is $12.
|If you want to see what the real Keys look like go to Google Earth and take a slow drive down Route 1 from Key Largo to Key West and the islands beyond. Make sure you look closely at each Key and see how they have been developed then make a decision to live elsewhere! Too many people live here.|
Ronnie Spector will be at Little Palm Island on March 9 for the Sandbar Sessions. Although she’s probably a hundred years old, she has a terrific voice. Call 800-get-lost
|[Capitalism Without Regulations] The meal is now prepared. The appetizers are being served. It is going to be a huge feast. You are not invited. Capitalism without essential regulations will gorge on its young, the weak, old and underprivileged. Many who assume they are strong will have bites taken out of them. Even if you enjoy watching, don’t dare turn your back.|
|If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. ~Wayne Dyer|
If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of & remember to be yourself; everyone else is already taken.
|[Fake News Report] Global warming, climate change, sea level scams are all debunked with the raw data, presented exceedingly well by Dr. Don Easterbrook in a 1-1/2 hour presentation to a Senate Energy and Environment Committee with easily understood photos and graphs. This is a superb presentation and absolutely essential viewing for anyone with an open mind and all seekers of truth. If you are paying attention over the last 20 years or so, you should know that this is all about a “carbon tax” that they would like people to welcome to “save the planet.”
CO2 quantity in the atmosphere is minuscule (0.039%) and the volume available cannot possibly make the ocean acidic, which actually contains more CO2 than atmosphere and has a pH of 8.2 (quite alkaline). Nearshore acidity occasions can be blamed on surface runoff, cold water upwelling and such, but not on atmospheric CO2 changes. Impossible.
The Maldives have greater dry ground rather than less since 1979, so that submerging Maldives story is another hoax.
The Antarctica ice cap is not melting. It would take a 100F rise in temperature to melt the ice cover, and there has been none.
The 97% claim of scientists supporting human-caused global warming is another hoax. It was 97% of cherry picked responses. In a huge written survey, 31,487 scientists (including over 9,000 PhDs) disagree with the statement that man-made CO2 has or will affect climate. Less than 100 scientists in total actually agreed with this media popularized hoax.
Total sea level rise has been quite constant over the last century, amounting to between 6-7 inches per 100 years, or unnoticeable in any given year, attributable to ocean water expansion since the last ice age.
Dr. Easterbrook explains how a computer simulation can be manipulated to produce desired results instead of realistic results. The reality is that we have had 18 years of global cooling and negligible change in atmospheric CO2. The computer projections of temperature rise over the last 18 years have been shown outrageously incorrect. A graph shows the prior projections against the real data. Watch it start mistrusting media hype. Link
|[Sewers] The December 2016 Cudjoe WWTP Discharge Monitoring Report to DEP shows a peak day of 333,000 gallons, being 40% of the plant’s design capacity already, and 79% of the FKAA/DEP settlement agreement maximum daily flow to shallow wells during deep well drilling. That was over a month ago at the beginning of high season with a relatively small number of connections made.
The operators still appear to have no meaningful control over chlorine residual, which varied from a low of 1.40 ppm to a high of 8.25 ppm! That is probably a poor plant design issue rather than inept operation. Wild chlorine swings have been the norm to date. This plant uses chlorine gas. When DEP questioned the wisdom of that dangerous design, the engineers claimed there was no liquid chlorine available in the Keys. This in spite of the fact that all the other plants use liquid chlorine and it is stocked on Big Pine for immediate delivery. DEP ignored the obvious lie of FKAA’s engineer.
That high chlorine day is almost 3 times a swimming pool’s maximum recommended chlorine residual. The minimum WW effluent requirement is 0.5 ppm and the usual target is 1.0. At 8.25, this is a quite toxic effluent. You would not want to be watering your plants or doing much of anything else with this supposed “reclaimed water.” Maybe burning mold off the house siding with a gas mask to protect yourself. This effluent comes up in nearshore waters and in the Cudjoe wildlife refuge, as determined by 2015 injection well testing.
The Cudjoe plant used to have an A licensed lead operator. He appears to have vanished, and been replaced with a B level lead. The two C level operators run the usual day and night shifts.
SammySam the DirecTV man is playing back up percussion with the Ray West Band this coming Saturday, February 11th from 7 to 11P.M. at the Looe Key Tiki bar.
|[Freudian Slip] Does anyone else catch themselves saying “Bush” instead of “Trump”? Inquiring minds want to know.|
[Political Super Bowl Ad] Here is the complete 6 minute “84 Lumber” Super Bowl commercial that was edited by Fox TV. Video
|Patriotism is not sharing with our fellow citizens some anemic idealization of what freedom means. It is a matter of engaging them — with everything short of physical violence, from compelling argument to deft political maneuvers — in the rough-and-tumble of political conflict over how we should understand freedom. This conflict remains our only way of working toward the “life, liberty and pursuit of happiness” our revolution sought. True patriotism now requires not reaching across the aisle; it demands mounting the political barricades.|
|[Habitat for Humanity To Build 10 New Homes On Big Coppitt Key] This is great. Where do I go to buy stock in HFH and get on the gravy train of un-taxable profit sharing? They must be making huge fortunes using our tax monies to build these wonderful shacks. When are they going to build all the churches and take over the Keys?|
Doctors find cockroach living on woman’s skull. That makes the Keys disease look good. Link
|[Resentment] What is it with these people whose only purpose in life is amusement? Spurred on by the mainstream media, whose ultimate goal is to squeeze the last remaining dollar out of us, these posers can’t come up with enough excuses to strut their stuff and keep patting themselves on the back on how self important they are. Maybe better to have awards for the best garbage truck drivers who actually perform a service that positively makes our lives better?|
|[Free Tax Preparation] United Way of the Florida Keys is offering free tax preparation for families with limited incomes who live in Monroe County. The VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program is designed to assist qualified taxpayers with completion of their annual tax returns and to ensure that limited income families receive every available benefit Please call ahead to make an appointment. Call Loretta Geotis at 305-797-1704 or email firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Too much of the news from Key West is negative. Parking, the endless parade of derelicts being arrested, I do my part by just staying on Big Pine.|
|A friend’s neighbor had his grinder pump activated in November. Late January, he heard a lot of noise from it and called FKAA. They just happened to already have a sewer repair crew in the area, who came by and spent a couple of hours replacing the pump. So much for the “typical 12-year lifespan” of the pump. Only FKAA management or their naive engineer would be stupid enough to fall for that crap, unless they profited by pretending to fall for it. By special arrangement, the 2-year pump warranty began when the pump was set instead of when it was purchased. So FKAA management had the pumps installed before they were needed to be sure the warranty would run out as soon as possible|
Handicapped parking permits should be checked out by the cops to make sure the driver is the one qualified to display that blue tag and park in those spots. Anyone using the tag illegally and not disabled should lose their license!
|[Flunked Keys Living 101] My wife and I, two children and one dog came to the Florida Keys to retire and build a new life and home, but being here for only one year has ended any desire to stay because these islands are not what they seem. Dirty, ill kept, ill governed and down right hostel, they are more like the Bahamas or the Caribbean than America. I do not want to raise my children here. It is a shame you people ruined what could have been a real Paradise.|
I just saw that the Muslim terrorist yelling “Allah Akbar” and banishing a machete at the Louvre who was shot by French soldiers is recovering in a hospital. Those soldiers should quit drinking all that wine and go back to the rifle range and practice their marksmanship. Any US Marine would have killed him with one round! Look at some results from Marine riflemen: Lee Harvey Oswald, James Earl Ray, Charles J Whitman to name a few. Never underestimate the effectiveness of a Marine with his rifle.
|[Tourism] I just found out that Easter is on the 16 of April this year. 2 1/2 more months of insanity. People from somewhere else telling us how to live our lives because they don’t like the way we do things down here. I think that there must be something mentally wrong with people who keep coming back because they don’t like the way we live. We’re not begging you to come here to heap abuse on our choices because they’re different than yours. We don’t go up to that someplace that most of us escaped from and ridicule you about your lifestyle. No we ran away from that insanity and don’t go back. You could be better off going somewhere to a foreign banana republic and ridicule them because they’re different and don’t speak your language in their country.|
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