Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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The-Coconut-Telegraph-w-CoconutsThe Original Unsocial Media. Anonymous Letters to the Editor with Pictures. Published Daily by Noon Since 2002. No Saturday Edition

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Raccoons
play an integral part in our ecosystem. They eat wasps, scorpions, red ants, roaches, centipedes and are basically vegetarians. They will keep the house rats at bay. Raccoons are not an invasive species. They do a darn good job and don’t get the credit they deserve. There are no cases of rabies in the Florida Keys except for one in Homestead many years ago. So what if you have to coon proof your garbage pails from coons and stray dogs — a minor inconvenience compared to all the good they do. I’m sure Waste Management appreciates your efforts too.
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How wide is the easement FKAA wants for grinder pump installation in my yard?
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[Big Cat] Seen on hiking path near Blue Hole (or was it from Google images?). Does that long, fat, tail appear to be lighter in color or is that from the light?
[“What was Next to Mallory Pier”] Yes there were oil tanks on Mallory Square in the old days. My parents have a short home movie of me fishing off of Mallory Square back in 1961. There is a huge oil tank in the background.
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Dick Clark’s Malibu ‘Flintstones House’
back on the market with price reduction. “Wilma!!!” Video
Those solar panels Reagan removed were solar thermal panels, meaning they just heated water. It is just about the only renewable energy effort that actually pays for itself in under 10 years without subsidies. Please note that a hurricane may impact the life of the equipment.
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[Olive Oil Is The Best Choice For Cooking] Quality extra virgin olive oil is a super healthy fat that retains its beneficial qualities during cooking and has a high smoke point. Of course like anything heating it too much or for too long can have adverse effects. The belief that olive oil oxidizes and goes rancid during cooking is a harmful myth that scares people from using this incredibly healthy fat. Read more about the scientific details here. Link
steak pesto13Hi there from Springers Bar and Grill. Today we have a delicious steak pesto with pasta special, and don’t forget it’s pizza Tuesday. Any pizza from our menu or a two topping for $10 (no take out). With great food at amazing prices is there any reason to go anywhere else?Specials Wednesday: chicken Sheppard’s pie, Kids 12 and under eat free with paying adult (no take out)

Thursday: shrimp salad on a Kaiser roll

Friday: potato crusted mahi mahi with a mango curry sauce.

Happy Hour 2-7 daily with great drink specials. There’s Always Something Special at Springers

Cuba13a[Havana] Literally everyone you meet in Cuba will be friendly and willing to chat.  Even this somewhat stern looking city cop was friendly.  He directed me to the best mojito in the city, La Bodiquito del Medio.  He would not however, trade his uniform beret for my fire department baseball cap.
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law suit13I think the State agency, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA), intentionally misled the people in the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System (CRWS) into thinking they would be served by a conventional gravity sewer system unless they were in very sparsely populated areas. This was in violation of requirements of the SRF funding of the CRWS project.FKAA then awarded contracts that sole-sourced grinder pumps exclusively from one dealer in clear violation of public purchasing laws.

Once the construction contracts were awarded, FKAA then announced that large areas of the CRWS would be served by a low pressure sewer (LPS) that would require homeowners to surrender a perpetual easement on their property. The easement is to give FKAA access to repair or replace the E-1 grinder pump. Obviously this was not well received by the public and accusations of graft abounded.

One group challenged the wholesale use of grinder pumps in the Cudjoe area, the Sir Isaac Newton Coalition. You will find a “Report to Governor Scott” on their web pages http://www.newtoncoalition.com/ that leaves little doubt that the fix was in for E-1 grinder pumps. Other islands of the CRWS began to slowly band together and formed the grass roots organization, Dump the Pumps, Inc (DTP) to lobby for change from E-1. DTP members began researching the E-1 pump, places it had been used, and technical specifics of the design. What they found was a second rate system.

DTP filed an intent to sue the DEP and FKAA, outlining some specifics that FKAA and its engineers had not followed. There were misleading or false statements on the DEP’s permit applications. Both are grounds for revocation of the permits.

The DEP ignored the threat of the lawsuit for nearly the 30 days allowed, then claimed they needed another 30 days to review the claims. DTP agreed, subject to temporarily stopping work on the grinder/LPS installation.

DEP was largely uncooperative during the extension, stalling on requests for information that was readily available and being generally uncommunicative. DEP answered DTP at the end of the extension with a brief statement that said they found no validity to the claims. No explanation at all! It was a disrespectful dismissal after stalling for two months while construction continued. Contractors are required to meet minimum standards in this Area of Critical State Concern. Failure of the grinder pump system would negatively impact the Outstanding Florida Waters protection within a National Marine Sanctuary.

The FKAA estimates for conversion from grinder pump areas were deceptively made to appear far more expensive than they actually were. Deleted infrastructure was credited at a lower unit cost than the exact same infrastructure was charged as an “add on”. At times it was the exact same pipe in the same place. Two commissioners would have approved those inflated prices, the money is there, but three wanted to use the sales tax extension money raised to pay for the sewers elsewhere.

Because of our efforts FKAA had to seek revised permits for Upper Sugarloaf Key and Cudjoe Key. DTP protested the continued construction saying the system was not to minimum standards of the electric code. There were known risk of explosion in neighborhood lift stations. A Petition for Administrative Hearing was filed. That filing renders the permit ineffective pending the results of the hearing. Similar Petitions were filed against the original permits for Big Pine Key North, Big Pine Key South, and Little Palm Island.

FKAA published the required Notice of Intent for injection wells in Broward County, two counties away. FKAA does most of its business in this county, why would they publish the notice in another county where it’s less likely Monroe County residents would see it? DEP accepted that evasive tactic as meeting the law for publishing public notices.

Knowing their permits were legally rendered ineffective, FKAA continued work on grinder pumps and their Executive Director boasted about it on the radio. DEP advised FKAA to ignore the petition.

DTP hadn’t had a membership roster until about two hours before the petition was filed. A hasty email appeal got 36 sign-ups in time for the filing. DTP already has a petition against grinder pumps with over 1450 signatures.

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Anyone remember way back in 2007 when the real estate flippers were part of the reason for the worldwide financial meltdown?
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quarter13I like Aldi’s 25¢ cart usage. It’s not a charge, it’s a deposit (like we should have in the Keys on glass bottles). You merely insert your 25¢ in the slot to release the cart, and after you’ve shopped, paid for groceries and wheeled them to your car, you return the cart to its proper parking spot and redeem your 25¢. Another great thing about the 25¢ use charge is that people don’t leave the carts anywhere to roll into your parked car. They redeem their 25¢ and leave the parking area neat, and no dents in your auto. Often you don’t even have to return the cart yourself, as someone just arriving will gladly give you 25¢ for the cart and save you the trip. It’s a convenience for you at no inconvenience.As for bringing your own bags, that’s great, but if you forget, they sell them very reasonable, or will let you used their empty boxes free of charge. Because of the money they save on labor and benefits their prices are more reasonable than most food markets, and the check-out is speedy. They’ve saved us a ton of money over the years. Happy shopping!
The truth about Benghazi, in retrospect, is that some Americans who shouldn’t have been there got killed there and,  practically speaking,  there really wasn’t much anyone could have done to prevent it at the time.  The same could be said about Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.
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I’ve been waiting for someone to correct “beaucoup“, but I was too square to know Bo Coo is street slang. Though that doesn’t say much for the next generation though.
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Graph of global warming going back 15,000 years.
[Guns] In my experience I have never really feared any one handling a tool that has the potential to become deadly, if the person handling the tool has been schooled and taught the proper handling and respect of the tool. The time to express fear is when those tools fall into the wrong hands like incompetents, using drugs, or those with a desire to use the tool not how it was intended to be used for. I have no fear of someone constructing a gun range while following the rules and regulations. Real, old fashioned, common sense is the answer to a lot  of our problems.
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[Disease du jour] Health offi­cials have confirmed a second U.S. case of a mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East. The latest case is not an American – he is resident of Saudi Arabia, visiting Florida, who Is now in an Orlando hos­pital. He was diagnosed with MERS, or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, Sunday night. MERS is a respiratory illness that begins with flu-like fever and cough but can lead to shortness of breath, pneumonia and death.
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[For Sale: Dracula’s Castle] Transylvania property owner seeks bites. A one-of-its-kind property is available for buyers looking for a big stake in the Transylvanian property market: the castle that once housed Dracula. Bran Castle, Vlad the Impaler, whose sadistic rule was the source of many vampire legends, operated in the area in the 15th century and is believed to have been imprisoned in the castle at one point.The agent handling the sale says the right owner could make a killing by refurbishing the castle and turning it into “the kind of place people will stay for two or three days.” The castle “is the real thing,” he says. “We don’t need men going around dressed up in old-fashioned costumes; the place speaks for itself.”

the castle is not the only infamous property to hit the market. The Scarface mansion where Tony Montana met his end is for sale for $35 million. The 10,000-square-foot home looks out onto the Pacific. It’s located not in Florida, where the film took place, but in Montecito, Calif.

Immigration needs reform. We, and the illegal aliens, need to know their status and what the future holds. Either we deport all bazillion of them, give them a path to citizenship. (we already citizenize about a hundred thousand Latinos yearly!), or make them citizens. 3 choices. Pick one and lets get on with it. Whatever they pass can be changed latter, but lets get this done.
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[“Bo Coo-Coo”] There was an historical event that occurred a few days ago on the CT. A poster proved they were illiterate in both English and French. Bravo!
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[For Sale By Owner
] Buy your Keys dream home before it is too late. In several months the Florida Keys may become the new Venice with canals for yachts and more water sports than you ever really wanted. So hurry to your local realtor and buy, buy, buy! Video
Geeze, they’re sending me spamail, “How to stop drinking”. Did all you other locals get one too? Have they found us out?
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In yesterday’s Telegraph there was an appeal for raccoons, and an address. This is what I sent them: I have nothing against raccoons per se. I raised one at the ranch, and it made a great pet, got along with my dogs, cats, etc. and was properly vaccinated against everything. But the raccoons here on 51st St Gulf are a pain and then some. I spent $150 on special garbage cans which my tenants couldn’t get open, another $20 on pepper and moth balls to spread around them, and still the coons managed to strew garbage all over the road every night! I am now paying an extra $114 a month for a dumpster, as a last resort. They are still tearing up everything. I am no longer able to keep a bird feeder out, even hanging. They’ve been eating the wild duck eggs down at the corner as fast as the ducks can lay them along with other wild bird eggs in all the trees. They’re breeding as if the whole group were overdosing on little blue pills, and unlike the cats, no one is bothering to spay or neuter.In the  wild nature controls population. No one is controlling these nuisances!  A rose in the middle of an onion bed is a weed. These do not belong here, especially in such numbers. At the ranch if such an overload occurred, we’d throw a barbeque (properly cleaned, raccoon is excellent – a lot like a cross between good roast beef and roast pork). I gave up the mountains years ago for the islands. Because I live in Marathon instead of Big Pine I can’t shoot them and call it target practice. If you care so much about them please come and get them.

This is what I received from my notice to them: “I apologize for this automatic reply to your email. To control spam, I now allow incoming messages only from senders I have approved beforehand.”

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Bacon wrapped onion rings
. Eat your heart out!bacon13
A disappointing article over the weekend on salaries of public workers. I’d sum it up as some of our public workers don’t make as much as other civil servants, so we’ll give them a raise despite the fact they make a lot more than the privately employed who pay the taxes. It’s just wrong on so many levels.-Compensation should be based on the job not the person. Do more to get more.

-Salary is one part of compensation. I pay over $800/mo for my employer health insurance and I don’t get a pension like civil servants, these are significant compensation elements of at least $15k a year.

-There’s no competition. No wonder they stay at these generous jobs and such low turnover. In private sectors competition keeps the compensation matched to the market which then makes companies competitive.

I wish I had been smart enough to get a cushy private sector job when I entered the job market – the politicians cater to them to curry their votes. Link

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Shortened Federal Red Snapper season announced. Link
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Terrence Bradley
of West Taghkanic, N.Y., formerly of Big Pine Key, has passed away at St. Peters Hospital, Albany after bravely battling a long illness. Born in Hudson, Terry was a graduate of Chatham High School and served in the U.S. Army.He was predeceased by his son, TK Bradley, parents John Bradley and Cora Cooke, and sister, Irene Waldron. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Linda Post Bradley, brothers Mark and Tony Bradley, foster brothers Warren Dierkes, Ronny Dierkes, and John Collins, and stepchildren Amy Shoak and Christopher Malmberg.

Loving husband, devoted brother, stepfather, and friend, he will be loved and missed. Heaven is lucky to have him. ~Linda & Terry Bradley, Elizaville, NY, formerly of Big Pine Key.

It appears that Sloan For Mayor is mainly concerned with homeless issues in the City. If elected will the angles tell him to squander the City’s resources on the homeless? What’s his plan to solve KW’s other problems?
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[Welfare] Marco Rubio is expected to propose overhauling federal entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
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cat crosshairs13[Cat Hunt] The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (U.S.F.W.S.) has begun to implement its “Predator Management Program”.  What are the predators, from whom the fearless hunters in khaki will be protecting us?  Is it panthers?  Is it bears?  Is it mountain lions?  No, it’s house cats.  That’s right, Puffy, Sox, and Morris et al are the fearsome creatures in the cross hairs of these indomitable protectors of the environment.In a time of supposed government austerity, the folly of this particular program defies imagination.  The pilot project alone cost more than $50,000 and captured less than ten cats on Big Pine, many of which were people’s pets.  And that amount doesn’t even include the tens of thousand of dollars invested in traps, fancy cameras, and related equipment.  For that amount of money, Forgotten Felines could have spayed and neutered a thousand cats.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which of the organizations is most cost efficient and would have the most effect in reducing the feral cat population over the long term.Their latest iteration, which has been going on for the last several months, admits to only capturing seven cats, so it does not appear as if they are getting any better at it. Is it perhaps that the problem was vastly overstated in the first place?.

Other than providing a long term source of employment for our already overpaid civil servants in U.S.F.W.S., this program serves no purpose except to squander tax dollars that could better be spent elsewhere or, even better, not extracted from citizens in the first place.

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[Threat] Let this be a warning to all of you [bleep] who walk out in front of my car hoping I will hit you so you can make lots of money off me and my insurance company and ruin my life. I will stop. I will stop on top of your ignorant [bleep] then get out of the car to save you a big fat hospital bill. Got that?
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Coconut’s Ukulele Orchestra
meets at the NUT the 1st or 2nd Wednesday of each month. (yes, we are a little loose). It’s a fun time. You can learn to play the ukulele in an evening and have a bunch of fun doing it. If you would like to know more about the Nut, click on our add on the Coconut Telegraph (get it, — Coconut?) check us out on Facebook, Coconuts Bar & Liquor Store or Trip Adviser under Coconuts Bar and Liquor Store, Big Pine Key Florida, 33043. Video
[“Republicans care about the USA. Democrats care about its people”] And all generalizations are false, including this one.
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How does one access a day or two-day old CT? The old screen had a button at the bottom. (Ed: Thanks for your question … Mr Wizard says it’s still at the bottom.)
I think it would behoove all or us if woman drivers took a driver’s refresher course and learned that traffic signs were made for women too!
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If solar energy is so great, why did No Name Key opt to go on the grid?
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Terry Cassidy’s CD release party
is on Friday. I think I told you the wrong time. It is from 6pm to 8pm with open mic starting at 8pm. Ed, Could you post it on the upcoming events page? I am attaching the flyer.
Individual rights must be balanced against the power of the government to control human reproduction. Some people have viewed the right to have children as a fundamental and inalienable right. Yet neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce. ~John Holdren, Obama White House Director of Sciences and Technology Policy.
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[Hates Real Estate Flippers] It is not that you do what you do it is how you do it and not care how you change the hood with the trash you sell to, just so you can make a few dollars to buy a new pick-up truck. Try working for a living at a real job. Flippers and RS are the bottom of the grinder pump.
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[NASA Spots Square-Shaped ‘Hole’ in the Sun] Ohh, Noo, Mr Bill!
[Bad Attitude] How to make money in America. 1. Do as little as possible on welfare 2. Get the idiots to give you free everything. 3. Fake an accident and sew, sew, sew! 4. Sell junk from overseas at 1000% markup or more 5. Black Mail your neighbor 6. Run for political office 7. Get a government job 8. Flip properties and sell to HUD trash and hold the paper 9. Go into show business 10. Start a Charity or Religion 11. Go online and cry about how hurt your child is. 13. Look crippled and beg 14. Start an insurance company 15. Sell jewelry 16. Sell guns 17. Get a contract installing grinder pumps 18. Rent safety barricades by the 1000s for $1 a day. 19. Start a cruise line and smuggle stuff 20. Run for President
Rule number 21: Never ever think about getting a real job.
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National politics is back. Click on this link to send your national political post anonymously. No one will know your name or email address, [Well, maybe the NSA will] not even me. FTR is going to be the new national politics editor. Do not fear, FTR promised to post everything, even if he hates it, he’s that kind of guy.
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Fox News had the least mention of the President’s climate change report of all the networks (it involved science, after all). Al Jazeera, the new kid on the block, had almost ten times as much reporting on the speech.
Republicans and the far Right (FTR) are giddy with glee that they can drag out the tragic attack on Benghazi that happened over 4 1/2 years ago. They felt so bad that 4 years of hearings and investigations were over, that they started new investigations and hearings determined to beat the proverbial dead horse. Talk about a politically motivated witch hunt, there’s even talk of bringing Ken Starr out of retirement (heehee).
from the right
A POSTER WROTE: “Before they get to Benghazi, the House GOP should hold hearings on the 241 Marines killed by terrorists in Beruit under Reagan. And the 13 attacks on our embassies that killed 88 people, 11 Americans under W.”FTR’S RESPONSE: Jumpin’ Jesophat!!!!!! That’s a great idea, why didn’t I think of that. By Golly, we ought to toss in FDR for his failure on Pearl Harbor. Eisenhower for Korea. JFK and Johnson for Viet Nam. Carter, just for the hell of it. Nixon, well, just because. Ford because he tripped lot. Clinton for World Trade Center one. We can leave W out of the mix because damned near every Democrat legislator voted for the wars. Then they had full control of the Congress for the last two years of W’s tenure. Then, even after W had left town, for the following 2 years the Dems held the Presidency and the Congress, yet they still kept the wars going. During that time the Dems had every opportunity and the power to shut down the wars and to investigate whatever in hell they wanted, but they didn’t. They were way to busy wasting money.

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A POSTER WROTE: “”It’s not just the EPA, as we were sinking into its worst financial crisis in more than 70 years” Oh surely you must be kidding. Don’t you read the press, listen to CNN, MSNBC, etc.. ? Obama has saved us, saved us I tell you! We are now in the biggest and bestest recovery the USA has ever seen. Hallelujah! Things couldn’t be better – as long as I don’t look up from my computer screen….”

FTR’S RESPONSE: When you’re right, you’re right. Sarcasm triumphs.

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Part 1) Our suave, loquacious, well tanned, charmer, Charlie “Tuna” Crist, aka “Runaway Charlie” celebrated a big anniversary the other day. It was the 5th anniversary of his announcing his candidacy for Senator. Nothing wrong with that, but he was only 2 years into his term as governor. He had made a commitment to the people of Florida that he would use whatever talents he had to govern our state. He reneged on that promised and decided to bail out. From that moment on Charlie lost interest in governing Florida and he began doing what he does best. Schmoozing and campaigning. Charlie is obsessed with getting federal office.

When he cut and ran, the Democrat party unloaded on him. It is supremely ironic that his current top political consultant, Steve Schale, blasted, roasted, and bbq’d Runaway Charlie for running away from his job as our governor. In a May 12, 2009 press release Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman was really hacked at Charlie, she said: ” Floridians expect bold leadership and real solutions from our elected officials. By running for U.S. Senate, Charlie Crist has cut and run on the Sunshine State. Once again taking the easy way out, avoiding responsibility and leaving the hard work of facing Florida’s problems to the next governor*.” Not exactly kind words.

Happy Fifth Anniversary Charlie….we’ve prepared a little gift for you and your supporters, it features your old friend and current consultant, Steve Schale. Video

Just one more thing. The “next governor” that Democrat Party Chairwoman Karen Thurman, was speaking about turned out to be Republican Rick Scott. She was flat right….the next governor. Rick Scott, did the hard work of fixing the problems that Runaway Charlie left behind. Now, Florida thrives. Then, Florida foundered.

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