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Some years ago, I realized the angels who run me were using the daily horoscope in The Key West Citizen to give me heads ups, which is why I included my horosocope in yesterday’s and the day before’s posts. Here is today’s forecast.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) –
If you’re swimming in unfamiliar
waters, make sure you have
a firm grasp of what’s what.
Someone could be trying to
take advantage of you.
My dreams in naps yesterday and last night were rough and hard to unravel, and left me feeling the very rough Mother’s Day posts I put up yesterday, especially the one at goodmorningbirmingham.com on Hemingway’s ghost, had irked the angels. However, just before dawn two dreams came which left me convinced the posts where just fine and I needed to look elsewhere for the reasons for the distemper dreams.
One unfamiliar sea was something that came to me on Facebook yesterday, to which I responded genuinely, even though I knew it would not be appreciated. I had thought I would include that in today’s post, but after the pounding I received in dreams and in my body, I will leave it lay. The initiator of the Facebook post got my drift, even if his many followers did not. He can explain it to them, or not.
Another unfamiliar sea has to be this article in The Key West Citizen today, which was news to me, so I called a Key West friend in the know, to get my ignorance elucidated. My interjected thoughts in italics. I supplied pic.
Harbor House condos coming down
After Tuesday demolition, hotel construction will begin at Key West Bight
BY TIMOTHY O’HARA Citizen Staff
After sitting vacant for more than five years, two large townhomes in the Key West Bight will finally be torn down on Tuesday.
The homes were models for the ill-fated Harbor House development that went into foreclosure in 2008, once located at the site of Jabour’s Motor Court.
The trailer park, Veterans of Foreign Wars post and a small office building were purchased in parcels between 2004 and 2007 for about $23 million by a company called Caroline Street Partners. The development company originally planned a large complex called Watermark, but downsized to the smaller Harbor House in the face of residents’ objections and a drawn out lawsuit.
Unsaid, the trailer park provided affordable housing, the tenants were made to leave. I have heard of the new developer, Pritam Singh, described further along, litigating to stop another development, so he could end up buying it cheap and developing it.
By the time the group changed its plans and reduced the scale of the project, the market tanked and the development went into foreclosure.
The buildings are being removed Tuesday to clear the way for a swanky, new 96-room resort, tentatively called Seaport Hotel. The hotel is being developed by Florida Keys millionaire developer Pritam Singh, whose projects include Parrot Key, Truman Annex and the Golf Club in Key West, Tranquility Bay in Marathon and developments in New England.
I was told by Jim Hendrick a few years ago, who is tight with Pritam, that Pritam was not developing his land in New England. I also was told by Jim a few years ago, that Pritam was the best salesman Jim had ever met; Pritam was a master at getting people to see what he wanted them to see, and to not see what he didn’t want them to see. I told Jim that was how Lucifer sells.
Singh, who is purchasing the property from the bank, expects the demolition to take a week and the “major construction” of the hotel will begin after that. Singh estimated construction to take roughly 14 months, and the hotel to open in August 2014.
The two-floor hotel will have three pools and a bar/restaurant, Singh said. Parking will be contained in an underground garage with 97 spaces.
My recollection, and my noggin’, tell me underground garages become underground lakes when it rains hard, like it did a couple of weeks ago and lower Duval Street was maybe 2-3 feet deep in rainwater. Then, there are hurricanes, such as Wilma, whose trailing high tide put 3 1/2 feet of sea water on lower Duval Street and the low areas of Key West. This new hotel will be across the street from the docks, which went underwater during Wilma’s high tide.
Pritam already is building a new hotel next to Coffee Plantation on Caroline Street. Key West needs a new hotel like it needs a new dirty T-shirt shop, or a new bar, on Duval Street. Don’t take my word for it; ask any hotel, motel, lodge or guesthouse owner or manager in Key West.
“We are excited about getting started,” Singh said. “It’s a great location. We think it will really be an asset to the city. The property has sat vacant too long.”
Caroline Street will be undergoing two major projects, as the construction of the new 13,500 square-foot West Marine store on the corner of Grinnell Street started last month.
And the construction of Pritam’s other new hotel next to Coffee Plantation on Caroline Street.
Singh did not expect construction of his hotel to create major traffic jams or force crews to detour traffic, which has been the case with the West Marine construction project. He said that road closings would be “rare.”
“I am working closely with the city to make sure there is minimum inconvenience to the neighborhood,” Singh said.
My friend in the know said Pritam has worked very closely with the neighborhood, went house to house, unlike how other developers go about it. Pritam’s developments all tend to do okay, however he tends to build them and sell them to someone else. It remains to be seen if he will run the two new Caroline Street hotels himself.
When I asked my friend in the know if Pritam had secured off-street parking for the employees at his new hotel next to Coffee Plantation?, my friend in the know said he thought Pritam might be renting space in the city’s parking deck on Caroline Street. My friend in the know said he thought that parking deck didn’t get used much. And, in fact, he thought other companies had rented space in the deck, too, for their employees and customers. And, in fact, more spaces might have been rented than there were spaces. I said, well, if the city knows how it is going for that parking deck, why is there talk of building other city parking decks? My friend in the know said that was a good question.
In a familiar sea, I saw this letter to the editor in The Citizen, which I had missed in yesterday’s edition. My interjected thoughts in italics, and supplied the pic.
Collaboration has led to a credible discussion
On Oct. 1, Key West voters will decide if they want the City Commission to request the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a feasibility study to evaluate the possible widening of the Main Ship Channel. The Corps’ independent study would explore the effects on our economy, environment and quality of life. The study would also explore navigational safety.
At its meeting Tuesday night, the City Commission unanimously approved the first reading of the referendum’s language. The second reading will be May 21.
One of the remarkable moments during Tuesday’s public discussion was the willingness of people with differing points of view to agree that education, information and collaboration are crucial to the choices Key West will make to sustain its environment, economy and quality of life.
The only thing this writer, who is leading the charge at the Chamber of Commerce, wants is to dredge out a one-mile-long, 150-feet-wide swath of native sea bottom, to make it easier for cruise ships already calling on Key West, and the larger and much larger cruise ships not yet calling on Key West, to call on Key West.
That willingness to collaborate — to coexist successfully — was forged this winter when City Commissioner Tony Yaniz brought representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, Last Stand and the city together to craft the referendum language. I was part of that group. I know that none of us won each of our points. I also know that in the face of disagreement — and with a maximum of 75 words — we kept one thing in mind: How can we do the right thing for Key West?
Last Stand sold out, traded with the enemy. I look forward to Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com – calling Last Stand out. It’s co-publisher, Naja Girard, is Last Stand’s current president. Mark Songer is past president, replaced by Naja.
That significant cooperation to do the right thing, coupled with a commitment to sustain our environment, our economy and our quality of life, bodes well for Key West’s future. Commissioner Yaniz, Last Stand’s Mark Songer and City Attorney Shawn Smith have helped create the collaborative model.
Those efforts have shown us a clear path to an honest, clear, credible discussion of our future choices.
Jennifer L. Hulse
Jennifer was quoted recently in The Citizen as saying the channel widening study referendum is not about widening the channel, but is only about a study. Jennifer heads up the PAC the Chamber created because it, as a non-profit organization, is not suppose to take positions on ballot issues. All of which subtext The Citizen should have included in an editorial heads-up for its readers.
Jerry Weinstock, M.D., of Key West, responded to yesterday’s posts at my websites – you can click back one post and see yesterday’s, which includes links to yesterday’s other two posts:
Sloan —I appreciate your links—and you thinking of me.
the people of Key West have been bamboozled repeatedly!
The corps of Civil Engineers are pro-construction and they
ALWAYS need EPA —oversight –their past is littered with
environmental disasters. Who in their right mind wants
degradation of the environment–air and water–( I knew
Pat Hemingway —in Montana –fished near his home.
and had breakfast everyday with the artist that rented his
barn—ALSO— close friends with Charles Thompson Jr.
son of Hemingway’s best friend—-far different picture of
the real Hemingway—fished his favorite rivers in the
UP of Michigan –the most remote and people empty
places on the planet. no one there) my wife is from there–
Would he be here with Cruise ships ?? a LAUGH –
many good writers left as Tom McGuane and Jim Harrision
too crowded !! they ran) Key West is on the way
to becoming an open sewer–once beautiful. —-Jerry
basically —are the key West Commissioners idiots or
just slimy !!?? Rossi has alway been for Rossi.
Maybe I will let that not sleeping nor quiet dog speak for his own self.
Another unfamiliar, although not really unfamiliar sea, has to be …
I watched a truly interesting drama unfold at The Players golf tournament in Ponte Vedra, near St. Augustine, Florida.
The drama started on the second hole of Saturday’s/third round. Tiger Woods (bottom photo), in the trees standing on pine straw way across the fairway from Sergio (top photo), who was farther from the hole and was to hit first, pulled his 5-wood out of his bag. The massive crowd around Tiger, which blocked his view of Sergio, cheered loudly, because it appeared Tiger would go for the green with the 5-wood, instead of play safe. The crowd cheered loudly on Sergio’s backswing, and he sliced one off deep into the trees near the green and took a bogey, or maybe a double bogey. After the round, Sergio went after Tiger on TV. Tiger said he was told by a golf marshall that Sergio had already hit his shot, before he, Tiger, pulled his 5-wood out of his golf bag. Tiger had no clue the crowd would cheer. Sergio got more and more wound up in later interviews, Tiger kept his cool. I saw the replay of Tiger pulling his 5-wood out of his bag. I saw no contrivance. You see tour pros on greens practicing their putting strokes while their opponent nearby is standing over his ball, getting ready to putt. The sportscasters ran it back over and over. Along with plenty of past friction between Sergio and Tiger, who apparently had come out on top in maybe a dozen prior professional golf tournament duels with Sergio.
Move to stage two.
On hole 15, I as I recall, of the last round, Tiger, playing in the group ahead of Sergio, who was in the final group, had a 3-stroke lead over Sergio, and a 2-stroke lead over a couple of other players. Tiger hooked his T-shot wildly left into a lake. He took a double bogey, fell into a 3-way tie. Sergio then birdied the same hole, took a one-shot lead. Tiger birdied 16, pulled even with Sergio. Tiger parred the super scary lake surrounded 3-par 17, the most photographed hole in golfdom. Sergio, behind Tiger, then dumped two 9 irons, or maybe wedges, into the lake surrounding the super scary 3-par. Tiger parred 18, after hitting a super drive and a super approach shot to a hole location just a few feet from a lake. Sergio, behind Tiger, dumped his T-shot on 18 into the lake, took another double bogey. Tiger won by 2 shots.
Tiger, who had not lost his cool after Sergio went after him on TV. Even so, I bet Tiger won’t pull a club out of his bag again before he knows for sure it’s his turn to play.
Tiger has to consider his adoring fans, what they might do in response to his every move.
Tiger’s fans cheered when Sergio dumped his shots into the lakes. Tiger needs to publicly tell his fans that was not okay.
Who knows how that tournament might have ended, if Tiger’s fans had not cheered during round 3 on hole 2 at the top of Sergio’s backswing?
Who knows how that tournament might have ended, if Sergio had walked over to Tiger and told him what had happened, instead of waiting to tell Tiger through the TV sportscasters?
Maybe I should have written privately to the fellow on Facebook, instead of publicly.
Maybe I should not have written publicly about Pritam Singh’s new hotel, or about Pritam.
Maybe I should not have written publicly about Tiger and Sergio.
Maybe I should not have written publicly about Jennifer Hulse, again.
Maybe I just should have published Dr. Weinstock’s email and taken the rest of the day off.
I’ll find out in dream time.
Meanwhile, Nashville had this to say about Ponte Vedra: