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I heard yesterday that someone of note in the Keys, who is moving to the mainland, when asked what he would do there?, said maybe he will do what Sloan did, start a blog. I thought that might be a really good experience for him. He is smart, has seen a lot. His wife is smart, has seen a lot. He, or they together, might create a really interesting blog, cutting through the smog, not having to answer to a public relations-minded corporate headquarters on the mainland.
Correction to yesterday’s stars fell on Key West deux, death of paradise – I’m being redundant, again post. I posted a photo I said was of Jerry Winestock, M.D. Jerry wrote to me that it was not him. I replied, mea culpa, and that I had removed the photo from the post and would notice my readers of that in today’s post.
Jerry responded to yesterday’s post:
Sloan–thanks for the heads up —-my canal is full of petro-
chemicals and trash from Cruise ships plus bacteria–in
key Haven prior to those polluting machines –clear
full of fish and very swimable—-before crusie ships
key west was a different place —–Far far far far far BETTER.
The jet skis around here have torn up bay bottom
and some have ventured onto flats —-scaring every organic form
of life————-Flats fishing is beautiful and my passion for
many years—–received the Bonefish release trophy in 1971.
Had those in charge respected the natural world of the keys
this would have remained a paradise. THANKS !! Jerry
Jet skis are horrible for the flats. I recall Rick Ruoff telling me of a time he was fishing himself on an outside flat maybe 3 feet deep near Bud n’ Mary’s, and as he was sneaking up on a school of bonefish, a guy came roaring past him on a jet ski. Rick said he poled his skiff into a hole in the flat, near the edge, and jumped the boat onto a plane, trimmed his motor up, and took out after the jet skier, who had no clue he was being chased until something caused him to turn and see Rick in hot pursuit maybe 20 yards behind. the jet skier freaked out, turned out, stalled out, probably fell off the jet ski. Rick eased back around and had a prayer meeting with Jesus with the fellow, which converted the fellow to a firm belief that he’d better well not do anything like that again, at least not to Rick. The odd thing is, Rick is super get along with everyone, if at all possible. I never once saw him lose his cool, and I saw him have some opportunities to do so, especially with some of the truly awful fly casts I made fishing with him. He and I swapped lots of personal stories, as and he told me a number of really interesting fishing stories, and about as many Islamorada stories.
I never would have dreamed of entering a fishing tournament, much less win one. I dreamed of catching a permit, but never did. Found tarpon way too much hard work, once hooked up. Remained a bonefish worshipper until that evaporated. Don’t fish at all anymore, unless someone needs another person in the boat to fill out a table fish charter.
Sloan: your narration created a glow of pleasure for me—really! –thanks for taking the time and effort. I have released over 100 Permit and they are “more than they are cracked up to be in every dimension possible;”
They are a dream sportsfish. But when I was here in the 1960?s and 1970?s they were much more numerous—–still just as wary and sensitive however. On 12 lb. test it took an hour or more to tail one and rejuvenate it and release.
My wife and I went before the FL. Wildlife and Fish Conservation Commission Board in person to make the case for Permit (to present) the rationale for game fish status—they were deaf to it—even the economic benefit would be STUPENDOUS.
Mark Twain said –god created boards for practice then he created morons–he was correct. Bone fish and Tarpon they still have not conferred game fish recognition to those incredible fish. In the distant past I have seen more than a hundred Permit on the Harbour Key flats near dusk—-when the sun lost its heat—still plenty of time to get home.
Tom McGuane wrote a classic “The Longest Silence” about Permit and I wrote a piece also—we fished together –long ago—-Mark Howell edited that piece for Solares hill—the one I wrote. Tom has a book of short stories called the Longest Silence just beautiful— all his writing about fishing —like Zane Grey —wonderful !!.
Our best fishing for the most part in books—–kind of sad–it didn’t need to be that way.
best regards —Jerry
My goodness, maybe Jerry should start a blog!
My goodness, I was a cane pole and cut bait fisherman compared to Jerry!
If I had seen over one hundred permit at one time, I would have had to sit down and drink a couple of beers to stop shaking. Most permit I ever saw at one time was maybe six or seven in a school on the east side flat off Indian Key. Threw a crab somewhere in the vicinity of where they had come from. They didn’t stop and turn around to see what the commotion was. Not long after, on the west side of the key, I saw a gigantic permit cruising close to the key toward me. Head-on, it looked close to a foot wide, maybe 60 pounds, maybe more. I made a good cast with the crab that time. The dream fish went down on the crab, sniffed it, kept moving. Left me shaking.
I was fishing that day with my father’s brother, Leo. He’d caught and released lots of permit and tarpon off Indian Key, using crabs. He was a spin fisherman, never took to saltwater fly fishing. I pretended to take to it, and actually did catch and release maybe half dozen bonefish on fly. Most of the bonefish I caught, however, were on spinning tackle with live shrimp. And, a few blind fishing a white bucktail jig off the edge of flats when the weather was coldish and windy, the sky was cloudy, the water was stirred up and a little murky.
Then, I sent this to Jerry:
Sloan: Number one I don’t like people accusing me of spin
who basically know very little or nothing, especially
when health matters are involved. An accusation of lying or
distorting when they have done no research or investigation.
Sloan why don’t you look up on the internet: OEHNA Air
Health Effects of Diesel Exhaust: [ Office of Environmental
Health Hazard Assessment: ] Nitrogen Dioxide happens to
be basically colorless and odorless—-it is major factor
in Autism etiology—a Fact. This department happens to
be quite excellent and is part of California’s well regarded
EPA (environmental Protection Agency- ) highly respected.
The Journal of the American Medical Association discusses
car exhausts because most major cities do not have Cruise
ships parked in the middle of the city. They discuss diesel
exhaust, the focus of our concentration-Benzene, Arsenic,
and Formaldehyde are “poison” for humans. LA sits in a valley
with not too much rain or wind—weeks of carbon particles, soot
can accumulate and with the sun acting on it alters it—and
the result is “”smog”” and we can dissect that also but too
much to get into now. Shop people adjacent to Cruise ships
in Key West —facing them have to hose their shops down.
Thank goodness Key West doesn’t sit in a valley surrounded
by hills. I think I will get into Smog–a bit-although I could explain
pages: there are 2 types: Sulfurous and Photochemical–over
LA Photochemical is most prominent. The gas “Smog” caused
over 1000 deaths in 1909 in Glasgow and Edinburgh was FIRST
described by H.A. DES Voeux, an astute scientist in a report,
to the Manchester Conference of the Smoky Abatement league
of Great Britain in 1911. The type of visible smog in LA
originates in nitrogen oxides and hydrocarbon vapours
which undergo –over time (to become visible)-reacts in the
lower atmosphere with ozone–a chemical reaction takes
place—ozone is highly toxic—and even more Nitrogen
oxides are produced —on and on and with sunlight turns
brownish and can cause human respiratory distress and
eye problems immediately. Rising cases of Autism,
escalating cases, in fact, we now know one major
causative factor are Nitrogen oxides—they are in
diesel emissions. From the stacks of Cruise ships
comes Nitrogen Dioxide. I can go into this much more
and write out the formulas of all the reactions. I did
score Number one in the country on a National Science
test at Northwestern in competition with all the ivy
league schools and most important I love Science.
Thanks for reading my article–I am truly grateful to
whom ever it is–thanks Sloan for calling it to my
attention !! ——– Jerry
I also heard yesterday about this article in the latest edition of the Keynoter – www.keysnet.com. My interjected thoughts in italics. I supplied the pic.
PSC clearing the way for No Name Key electricity
By RYAN McCARTHY
Posted – Tuesday, May 14, 2013 04:28 PM EDT
Moments after recognizing itself as having jurisdiction over the decision, the state Public Service Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously to allow No Name Key property owners to have commercial electricity.
The long-awaited decision likely means that a decades-long battle over the issue is nearing an end — with victory for the pro-power residents on the 43-home island.
“Assuming no appeals or delays in the processing of amendments, we project February 2014 as the date that [Monroe] County may issue permits,” Assistant County Planning Director Mayte Santamaria said.
“The big hangup for all the commissioners is circumventing the process,” Mayor George Neugent said. “We know what we’re doing; are we going to punish these people for another 18 months? I wonder if the courts could weigh in on this and demand that the county issue the permits based upon things that have happened and where the commission appears to be headed.”
George, if it is punishment now, if it was punishment last year, it was punishment when the county government changed its comprehensive plan years ago and, responding to federal law, passed land development regulations which prohibited utilities from being run out to No Name Key. Punishment approved the the Florida Department of Community Affairs. Punishment you have gone along with during your many terms as a county commissioner, until very recently. You showed for all the world to see at a fairly recent county commission meeting in Marathon, that you and Beth Vickrey-Ramsay were bosom buddies, when you, as county mayor, let her continually interrupt and heckle citizen speakers; then, when Beth’s turn to speak came, you let her accuse citizens of the vilest behavior; and then, when I spoke and called Beth out, you threatened to have me ejected from the meeting if I continued that line of speaking. Only because I wanted to see how the ensuing discussion by the county commissioners went, and their vote, did I not eviserate you right then and there for all the world to see. After I sat down, a citizen said you and Beth were getting it on. I said, I didn’t know that, but you and Beth’s husband Brad were in bed with each other in some way. You know as well as I do, George, that the only people who punished Beth and Brad were Beth and Brad, who bought their home on No Name Key, I think in 2005, knowing of the county prohibitions against utilities being run out there; and right after that, they started clamoring for utilities being run out there. They had nobody to complain to about not having public utilities but themselves. Ditto for anyone else who bought a home out there, after the county changed its comprehensive plan and barred utilities from being run out there. The only people on No Name Key who have any beef with the county are people who bought out there before the county punished them by changing its comprehensive plan, in response to federal law, which punishment was approved by the Department of Community Affairs, which punishment was responsive to federal law. The person who should have been ejected from that county commission meeting was you, George; ejected by the other four county commissioners, for selling out to the folks on No Name Key who never wanted it to be off the grid. What do I know, maybe they photo shopped this pic, as part of their propaganda, although several times I have heard it likened to Beth.
The No Name Key Property Owners Association paid approximately $650,000 last summer to have Keys Energy Services install power poles and lines on the island. The homes are now powered by solar or generators.
“We are very pleased with the outcome, especially on the unanimous votes on each staff recommendation. We’re looking forward to getting our permits and [Keys Energy Services] is ready to connect us,” association President Kathy Brown said.
Filed in March 2012 by No Name Key residents Bob and Julianne Reynolds, the PSC complaint argued that the PSC, not Monroe County, has jurisdiction over electrifying the island.
The Reynolds do not live on No Name Key. They live around Miami, and sometimes they come down to their place on No Name Key. They, like Brad and Beth, bought fairly recently out there, knowing full well the county prohibited utilities from being run out there.
At Tuesday’s hearing, PSC commissioners heard from attorneys representing Reynolds, Monroe County and the No Name Key Property Association, as well as residents Mary Frances Bakke, Jim Newton, Ruth Newton and Alicia Putney.
The main sticking point was a 1991 territorial agreement the PSC made with Keys Energy and the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative, which serves the Middle and Upper Keys.
The Reynolds’ attorney, Bart Smith, argued that state law “has expressly preempted local governments” from controlling which residents receive commercial electricity. He cited a Third District Court of Appeal ruling saying jurisdiction lies with the PSC.
“The statutory authority granted to the PSC would be eviscerated if initially subject to local governmental regulation and Circuit Court injunctions of the kind sought by Monroe County in the case at hand,” the court wrote.
Tallahassee attorney Scheff Wright, an outside counsel for Monroe, argued the opposite. He said the territorial agreement doesn’t apply to electricity on No Name.
“The county fully respects the commission’s right to regulate territorial disputes,” he said.
The county has repeatedly blocked attempts to bring electricity to No Name because its land-use plan contains a law “prohibiting” utilities in federal Coastal Barrier Resource System areas, of which a portion of No Name Key — not the entire island — is included.
Congress enacted the Coastal Barrier Resources Act in 1982 to protect coastal habitats, while in 2001 the county created a coastal barrier overlay district prohibiting utilities in such areas.
“All the county wants to do here is carry out its duties under its [comprehensive] plan. Our regulation of the CBRS, of growth management, does not conflict with your authority with respect to utilities,” Wright told the PSC.
Commissioners were clear they believe jurisdiction over electrifying the island lies with them, and voted unanimously on that issue. It was also apparent how several commissioners felt regarding electrifying the island during Putney’s comments to the board.
The PSC truly believes its jurisdiction preempts federal law? The Florida courts truly believe the PSC’s jurisdiction preempts federal law?
Putney has been the most vocal against commercial electricity, and is in the minority in that regard. She told the PSC she lives comfortably on solar power and argued “the uniqueness of No Name Key should continue to be respected.”
Alicia does not live comfortably on solar power in the summer, when she heads to her place in Canada. I told Alicia that she needed to live on No Name Key full time to have standing to argue that she lives comfortably on solar power. I told Alicia, her not doing that was causing her side problems metaphysically, which would play out physically.
Commissioner Eduardo Balbis noted that Putney has the right to “remain off the grid.” He also raised concerns about the environmental impacts of all the batteries, generators and diesel fuel being used to power many homes on the island.
My understanding is, most of the generators are gasoline-powered. And, what about the environmental impacts of
Florida Keys Energy Services’ electricity being produced by a coal-fired plant and a nuclear-powered facility in south Florida? Out of sight, out of mind?
Putney responded that bringing electricity changes the character of the island.
“You can’t say with a sense of pride that you live in a solar home,” she said. “I don’t live with the pollution that is being described. Using a diesel generator is something they’re doing by choice. For far less money, you could live in a solar only home like I do and be comfortable.”
I told Alicia that she didn’t go far enough; she did not have a compost toilet; she was still using a septic tank, which leaches into the ground, and then into the water table, and then into the canal next to her property. Recently, other No Name Key residents, who also oppose the island being on the grid, told me the canals on the island are polluted, which is a keys-wide problem – 502 polluted canals, according to the county government. The result of the canals being dredged too deep, and too far from the sea, for the tides to change out the water in the canals; and the result of septic tanks.
Commissioner Art Graham noted that whether or not there are utilities now, residents had no “knowledge it would always be off the grid.”
“These houses were plotted with utility easements, so why would you have that if you’re not going to allow them to have utilities? We’re basically legitimizing what they’ve already paid for,” he said, just before moving to grant electricity.
Nearly all of them got what they paid for: homes off the grid, which they knew were off the grid. Now, if the PSC had based its decision just on homes bought before the county, responding to the feds, removed No Name Key from the grid, that would be a sensible argument.
Monroe County, as well as Wright’s Gardner Law Firm, are two of seven parties of record on the PSC complaint. After Tuesday’s ruling is filed, likely within 20 days, all parties have 21 days to protest it before a “consummating order” making it final is filed.
It’s unclear whether Monroe intends to protest, but it would appear unlikely given the County Commission’s recent unwillingness to continue its fight against electricity.
The PSC changed Tuesday’s hearing to a “proposed agency action,” meaning it ruled on jurisdiction and the right to electricity. PSC spokeswoman Cindy Muir said that gives Putney, who was listed an “interested party,” the right to appeal.
I will be surprised if Alicia does not appeal.
Alas, the real tragedy here is No Name Key could have become a model solar community for all the world to see and for people around the world to visit and study. Homes which relied solely on solar power. Homes which used cisterns and modern water treatment methods for all their water needs. Homes which used compost toilets. A community completely off the grid in ever way, except, of course, for fossil fuel-powered vehicles residents used to get out there and back.
Meanwhile, here’s a smog-cutting Key West channel-widening study letter to the editor in The Key West Citizen today – www.keywnews.com. I supplied the pic and the channel-widening study referendum language:
“small” cruise ship tearing up the channel bottom as it leaves Key West’s outer mole pier
“Shall the City of Key West request that the Army Corps of Engineers conduct a comprehensive feasibility study, at no monetary cost to the City, to determine the environmental, economic and social impacts of widening the Key West Main Ship Channel for use by modern and longer cruise ships while also addressing navigational safety?”
Chamber’s language is anything but clear
I have to admit that “I just threw-up in my mouth a little bit” when I read the letter from the [Key West] Chamber of Commerce shill who wrote that the upcoming channel-widening referendum represents “a clear path to an honest, clear, credible discussion.”
What has been clear in this discussion is the chamber’s intent to be less than clear when it comes to clarity of language in the 75-word ballot question.
The chamber has insisted on substituting the language “modern and longer” instead of “larger” cruise ships, even though the Army Corps of Engineers’ preliminary study on “dredging” claims that the purpose is to accommodate “wider, longer, and sometimes deeper drafting vessels that can carry more passengers” (page 11).
The Army Corps Reconnaissance Study refers exclusively to the new ships as “larger” and the older ships as “smaller.”
While the chamber insists otherwise, the Army Corps never refers to the older ships as “shorter” and the newer ships as “longer.”
Instead, they use plain language — the older ships are “smaller” and the newer ships are “larger.”
Combine that with the confusion that the chamber creates by insisting that the verb “widening” must be substituted for the actual act of “dredging” and you get the idea of exactly how much confusion the Chamber of Commerce would like to create in 75 words or less.
Here is the entire question, in 20 words:
“Should the Main Ship Channel be dredged to accommodate even larger cruise ships than can presently call on Key West?”
Amen. Thank you, Elliot. The chamber lady who wrote that letter to the editor might have a bright future at the Scrub Club [male adult entertainment] on upper Duval Street. They also want the channel dredged to make it easier for cruise ships already calling on Key West to get into port on days when strong winds prevent those cruise ships from being able to crab into the channel, so they are turned away. As this old editorial cartoon in The Key West Citizen divined, they want even more cruise ships calling on Key West, regardless of their length, width, depth.
But you will never get them to admit that to the voters. Or, that removing a one-mile long, 150-foot wide sea bed is dredging. The truth is not in them, and Last Stand let them get away with it, by agreeing to the referendum wording. What’s the pirate method of dealing with traitors? Keel-hauling comes to mind.