bundle of joy praise reports from down Key West way, mostly

queen conch

wild queen conch


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To Jerrry Weinstock, M.D. yesterday, correcting yesterday’s Florida Keys and elsewhere proceedings in a court few people seem to know exists post.
Morning, Jerry – I got mixed up about what led to you and Sandy meeting, it was cruise ships/channel widening, not tree commission. I took that part altogether out of the post at the websites. Will explain in tomorrow’s post. Sloan 
That was the third correction I had to make to a post in a week’s time. I don’t see dementia setting in, but I do see serious internal overload, physically and psychically. I can’t imagine maintaining this pace and weight for very long without more serious mishaps. I suppose some of the load has to do with what is coming down, or not coming down, with my daughters. So far, I have heard nothing since writing to them last week. I suppose by this weekend I will have a better sense of how that is going. 
Jerry Weinstock sent this yesterday:
The people of Key West and the entire
Florida Keys have been Bamboozled
as usual. The Army Corps. of Civil
Engineers have a devastating history
of environmental disasters. They must
be supervised by the EPA. Putting the
Fox in the hen house to guard the
chickens is the Corps. The Commissioners
will probably try and restrict voting to
downtown Key West and Bar owners
and Historic Tour employees so we in the
Keys will have no say so. 
Later, Jerry sent:
Jerry Weinstock (weinstock@bellsouth.net)
8:31 PM
To: sloanbashinsky@hotmail.com
Diesel fumes —near roadways because
cities do not have Cruise ships sitting in the middle of the city.!!!
One Cruise ship in one day emits the
equivalent of 13 million cars————–Jerry
I, Sloan, am unable to get these pics to say in view, so scroll down past the blank spaces, read the text, and keep on scrolling down to other features in this happy meal.

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: ”Dominique Browning, Moms Clean Air Force” <dominique@momscleanairforce.org>
To: weinstock@bellsouth.net
Sent: Thu, May 16, 2013 8:20:14 PM
Subject: Air pollution & asthma

Moms Clean Air Force
Dear jerry and Donna,

Click here to read the e-book

Moms Clean Air Force is sending you a free e-book calledASTHMA TRIGGERS: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, Doctors, and Nurses. Asthma is a national epidemic. Nearly 26 million Americans live with asthma — including 7 million children. While we can control some of theasthma triggers in our homes, we can only protect ourselves from air pollution triggers by supporting strong regulations to clean our air.

The Environmental Protection Agency has recently proposed a very important regulation, with the support of the automobile industry: the Tier 3 Standards. The rule will clean up our gasoline and tailpipe emissions.

Send a message to the EPA telling them you support their new Tier 3 standards.

The air near major roadways is a notoriously noxious mix of diesel exhaust, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, coarse particles, smaller particles (or soot), as well as the ground level ozone (or smog) that results from these emissions. These pollutants, alone and in combination, damage our children’s lungs: they trigger asthma attacks, they impede normal lung development in children, and they may actually cause the underlying disease of asthma to develop in children without asthma.

The Tier 3 Standards will reduce levels of dangerous traffic pollution across the nation. 

Remember, we share the air. That’s why Moms Clean Air Force is uniting to protect strong clean air standards – the promise of the Clean Air Act signed into law more than forty years ago by Democrats AND Republicans.

We hope you will find this e-book helpful — and that you will use it in good health.


Dominique Browning
Co-Founder and Senior Director, Moms Clean Air Force

PS: Join Moms Clean Air Force for a Twitter chat with experts from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Click for more information.



Sandy Downs sent:

Sandy Downs

Sloan, As you know KWTN [Key West the Newspaper, when Dennis Reeves Cooper owned and published it] did several articles about the Tree Commission over the last few years it was in business.  If my memory serves to be correct, the very last 2 publications of KWTN involved  the Tree Commission and the channel widening.  Rick Boettger wrote about the channel widening. But Dennis wrote the article about the Tree Commission and it was pretty harsh.
Because Rick wrote for KWTN, I had often times tried to get him interested in the Tree Commission issues but had never met him in person.
Prior to the last edition of KWTN, there was a City Commission meeting about the channel widening project.  It was at that meeting, that I appeared and circulated the photo you show regularly of the cruise ship tearing up the sea bottom as it chugged through the existing channel. I handed the photos out that had the words printed on them “Channel Widening Study Complete”.   Jerry Weinstock and his wife received one of these photos from me.  He asked for my phone number.
When later I received a call from Jerry and his wife asking me to come to lunch with them and Rick Boettger, I thought the lunch invitation was about reviving KWTN.  Sadly, it was not about that at all, but only about the channel widening study, and that he wanted us to continue hammering the city with the adverse effects of a wider channel with bigger ships.  
I told Jerry, that my issues with the city trees being in the power lines were my priority.
I was interested in the issues with the pollution and destruction caused by the cruise ships, but I was pretty consumed with Tree Commission rules that prevent homeowners from  trimming their trees, and trees in power lines that the city refused to take care of. And there were a lot of people getting involved with the channel widening study, but sadly only me and you were taking the issues of the trees in power lines seriously.  Rick Boettger heard alot about the issues at the lunch.  I hoped they would all get involved and call city officials about the power lines being in the trees, etc.
But they did not, that I am aware of.
I hadn’t heard from Jerry or his wife again until the other day when they forwarded his letter to the editor to my e-mail account and called and asked if I was going to the city commission meeting.  We discussed that the letter should be read into the record.  Jerry said he was not going and would I go and do that. 
I certainly do not have a doctorate degree, nor would I be taken as seriously by the city officials as Jerry would.  It is disheartening when the citizens believe so much in an issue as Jerry does, yet stops short of taking as much action as possible to really get something accomplished.  All the whining and complaining do nothing if it is not followed up with strong action.  I am just one person, and I can’t fight the city alone, yet I did try. It is disheartening that all the people who feel strongly about what the city has done or proposed to do, does not band together and cause the city to correct what is going on.
I am not saying Jerry is afraid of retaliation, but many people are.  And although everyone agrees trees should not be in power lines, we are the only ones to voice it loud enough that the city could not ignore us any longer.  May I quote FL Supreme Court Judge Michael Allen, who issued an opinion defending principles and criticizing another Judge, which could have caused his removal from the Court.  He says, ” Not fondness for the fight, but fondness that you fought.  Fighting for what is right especially when difficult, is what produces memories.  Most avoid these battles, and as a consequence erode their own self-respect.  Running away causes shame, standing firm produces pride…the good kind.  

Sandy Downs


When Dennis Reeves Cooper still had KWTN, Rick Boettger wrote a piece in favor of channel-widening and referred to Mad Sloan’s blog and  this pic, which Rick said he might have to try to verify.

cruise ship leaves Outer Mole
What’s to verify? The pic speaks for itself. You can’t see the air pollution Jerry describes, but you can see the water pollution, and this is an old cruise ship, smaller than what is coming, smaller engines, far less water pollution, and far less air pollution, than the bigger ships will produce. 
Also down Key West way, in The Key West Citizen today – www.keysnews.com, my interjected thoughts in italics. I supplied the photo, there is a similar photo in the article.
flats fishing
Flats guide on platform poles skiff and, depending on water depth, sights bonefish, permit and/or tarpon for angler, on bow. This looks like bonefishing to me, due to shallow depth. If an angler is experienced in flats fishing, he/she is sighting fish, too. Sighting fish is an acquired skill some people never acquire. Polaroid sunglasses allow seeing into the water, through the glare, and protect the eyes from sun above and reflecting off the water. I once bone-fished on Grand Bahama Island with a native guide who did not wear polaroid sunglasses, who saw fish I could not see with polaroid sunglasses. I was blind compared to that fellow.
Study: Flats fishing lands area $427M
Guide says for many, fishing is primary reason for visit

There is little doubt that flats fishing has a major impact on the Florida Keys economy, but a study released this week gives a clearer picture of just how much revenue it generates.

The fishing conservation group Bonefish Tarpon Trust’s study says flats fishing has a direct economic impact of $249 million. That number rises to $427 million after factoring in fishermen’s expenses and how their earnings trickle down in the local economy, said Tony Fedler, who conducted the study.

The direct impact of guided flats fishing trips is $62.6 million a year; $107 million after the local trickle-down, the study states.

Flats fishing supports 4,340 full-time jobs in the Keys with an associated annual income of $131 million, the study states. It says flats fishing also generates $31.5 million in federal taxes and $25.9 million in state and local taxes.

Fishing in general in the Keys reportedly has an economic impact of $433 million; $741 million after factoring in fishermen’s expenses. It supports 7,536 full-time jobs in the Keys with an associated annual income of $229 million, and generates $54.8 million in federal taxes and $45 million in state and local taxes.

“This study makes a clear point that the economics of the Florida Keys are tied to a healthy marine habitat,” Lower Keys flats guide Capt. Will Benson said. “Flats fishing is a major economic component of our community and requires a vibrant and plentiful shallow water resource, which reinforces the need for prudent conservation.”

I keep wondering why I have yet to see one bone fish on the flats near my home. The flats there are beautiful. I see barracuda, rays, needle fish and mullet, but no bone fish. All that I can think of is water pollution. I think of that, because I don’t see any conch there, either.

The study also shows fishing is not a secondary or “ancillary” reason why tourists come to the Keys, Benson said. There is a “dedicated, loyal” group of fishermen that “travel to the Keys with the express intention of pursuing game fish in one of the finest fisheries in the world,” he said.

Fishermen from all over the world come to the Keys to fish for permit, tarpon and bonefish, he added.

“This is a fishing destination, and not, as tourism officials have said, that fishing in the Keys is a secondary activity,” Benson said. “This study reveals that fishing is the foundation of our economy and is very important to the Keys.”

For three decades, starting in 1956, I came to the Florida Keys from Alabama to fish the flats. That was why my father’s older brother Leo came to the Keys. That was why a lot of people came to the Keys. I don’t suppose that has changed much, although from what I hear around and read in the newspapers, bone fish, tarpon and permit are a lot scarcer. I imagine increased fishing pressure is part of the reason. I imagine water pollution is part of the reason. I know jet skis and other boat traffic in shallow water is part of the reason. 

The study will most likely wind up being part of the debate over whether to dredge a portion of the Key West shipping channel in order to accommodate larger cruise ships. Fishermen have said dredging will chase away tarpon, as portions of the channel and Key West Harbor are a mecca for tarpon fishing. Thousands are known to migrate through that area in spring and early summer.

“One of the biggest to suffer would be the tarpon,” Lower Keys guide Capt. John O’Hearn agreed.

The Florida state record tarpon was caught in Key West by Gus Bell. The 243-pound fish was caught on conventional tackle with 20-pound test line.

There is no way dredging a one-mile long 150-wide swatch of native sea bed will not disturb the tarpon in that area. That’s not the issue. The issue, as usual, is: What is more important, disturbing tarpon and tearing up that much sea bed, or bringing even more and even bigger cruise ships into Key West?

O’Hearn also questioned the economic benefit of dredging, as cruise ship passengers spend “significantly less” than fishermen and other tourists who come to the Keys.

The Bonefish Tarpon Trust study states that the average daily expenditure from flats fishing is $288, and $315 for fishing in general. By comparison, a study by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration economist Bob Leeworthy in 2009 found that the average cruise ship passenger spent $84 per trip.

I remember when flats guides got $40 for an all-day trip and $25 for a half-day trip. I think today flats guides get around $800-$900 for all-day, $500 for half-day. Flats fishermen stay in motels, eat in restaurants, go to bars after fishing all day. There is no way to compare flats fishermen to cruise ship passengers, other than to say there are a lot more cruise ship passengers than flats fishermen, and if you want quantity instead of quality, cruise ship passengers are what you want.

Voters will decide Oct. 1 whether the city of Key West will ask the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a study to determine the impacts of a potential dredging project.


Also down Key West way, this week’s edition of online Key West the Newspaper is available – www.thebluepaper.com.
Here is the teaser for the feature article, which makes city commissioner Billy Wardlow out to be an idiot, a lying idiot, in fact; the city government out to be about the same; the Florida Department of Transportation out to be in league with the Devil, which would be the contractor doing the job. The cartoon is from an earlier blue paper edition; in the article today is a new cartoon. You need to open the link  above to see Arnaud Girard’s latest artistic mischief.
North Roosevelt propaganda


The infamous green fence that hid the Boulevard worksite blew away last week in an unexpected gust of wind.  It revealed the same moonlike landscape, unmanned machinery, and lack of progress and has renewed the perplexity of passersby jammed in traffic.According to local mainstream press, some Key West politicians, and FDOT everything is swell on the Boulevard.  One might think business was thriving.   The Key West Citizen even reported last week that new businesses are opening up and Commissioner Billy Wardlow, in whose district the project lies, declared himself proud of the achievement.  It really looked as though no one has bothered asking those business people on the Boulevard about their side of the story.

So here it comes. It may be unpleasant work but someone’s got to do it: […full article]


Also down Key West way, in Wednesday’s Keynoter – www.keysnet.com, I supplied the Truman Waterfront pic:
Truman Waterfront
Plans for assisted-living facility falling apart



Posted – Wednesday, May 15, 2013 09:25 AM EDT

The decade-long quest to build an assisted- and independent-living facility on the Truman Waterfront in Key West could come to an end if a June 28 deadline is not met — and it looks like it won’t be.

That’s the date city staff has required the Florida Keys Assisted Care Coalition to have a lease with a developer willing to build the 110-unit complex on part of the city-owned 33-acre property at the end of Southard Street.

The same deadline came and went on Dec. 31 but the City Commission granted an extension, something it vowed to not do again. And it appears that might be that.

The “city is getting a bad rap but I don’t think we’re going to budge,” Commissioner Teri Johnston said. “We have to get some sort of remuneration for this valuable piece of property.”

Commissioner Tony Yaniz agreed that another extension isn’t in the cards.

The latest version of the plan calls for 60 assisted living units and 50 independent living units with a variety of configurations and price points. Wendover Housing Partners is the developer.

Documents submitted to the city last week show a total cost of $14.6 million, with $12.1 million derived from tax credit financing.

Throughout lease negotiations, city staff has focused on financial items such as proposed developer fees, duration of construction, annual rent and an up-front payment for use of the property.

The Assisted Care Coalition wants a lease with the city for $1 per year for 99 years.

City voters approved the concept of an assisted-living facility in a 2007 referendum but there’s lingering disagreement on the spirit of that vote.

“The claim that the voters believed the agreement was to be a dollar a year for 99 years is simply false,” City Attorney Sean Smith said.

“What was put to the voters contained no representation that the lease would be for a dollar a year,” he said. “City staff has been vigilant in ensuring that a fair lease is developed. This includes making sure that a piece of taxpayer property is not given away for little or no value so that a private party can make a substantial profit.”

Assisted Care Coalition board member Joan Higgs took up the lease rate, among other things, in a letter to the Keynoter.

“The understanding of the FKACC, the voters who supported the referendum and even the vocal minority who opposed the project had always been that the land would be provided pursuant to a 99-year lease at virtually no cost.”

“Nevertheless, the city has now taken the position that the city should receive additional revenues, such as a substantial upfront payment and monthly payments for the life of the lease.”

The next step for the proposal is a May 20 review by the Truman Waterfront Advisory Board, beginning at 6 p.m. in Old City Hall. In the meantime, Smith and city staff continue lease negotiations.

Smith said the coalition’s posture on the financials is an attempt “to influence public sentiment with misleading and inaccurate statements.”

Coalition board members Sandy Higgs and Sheldon Davidson declined comment.




Assisted care is not entirely accurate. Assisted care means being taken care of, assisted. Only part of the facility was to be assisted living, the rest of it was to be a waterfront retirement facility for ambulatory seniors who could take care of themselves. As they grew less able to take care of themselves, they would receive more and more assistance.

It was understood when the referendum was overwhelmingly passed by the voters, that the Truman Waterfront land would be leased to a developer for probably 99 years for a nominal annual rent. It was understood free land was the incentive for a developer to build the elder living facility. 

I wondered why Key West area developers, like Ed Swift, the Spottswoods and Pritam Singh, who seemed ever ready to attempt a new development, never showed interest in being the developer for the elder living facility. I concluded they never showed interest because they didn’t figure they could make money off it, even if the land was free.

I remember when coalition committee member Peter Batty said at a public meeting, that there was no place in Key West but Truman Waterfront to put the elder living facility. Peter was as real estate broker. He knew the elder living facility could be put on the city’s East Seals property on Stock Island. He knew that was closer to the hospital and the helicopter-evacuation pad. He knew that was closer to the shopping centers and doctors offices on and off of North Roosevelt. He knew there was horrible traffic between Truman Waterfront and all of those places. He and the other coalition committee members wanted an upscale waterfront elder living facility next door to upscale Truman Annex. 

The voters never were told the whole truth, not unlike the voters are not being told the whole truth in the run-up to the channel-widening study referendum. So, instead of already having their elder living facility at the Easter Seals property, Key West elders have only the nursing home on Stock Island for assisted living. Or, seniors stay where they are and hire people to come into their homes and assist them. Or ambulatory seniors can apply for senior housing with the Housing Authority. There is affordable senior housing in Key West for ambulatory seniors, but it’s not on Truman Waterfront.

The city intends to spend a good deal of money building a full-spectrum homeless facility at the Easter Seals property, which will cost twice as much to run annually as Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS), which the city is talking about keeping open for  homeless people who do not wish to stop using their narcotics of choice and try to turn their lives around. The city is far more interested in bedding down homeless people at night in a Stock Island facility, and trying to keep them corralled there during the day, at city residents’ expense, than the city is interested in providing what the voters thought they approved in 2007. Approved, it was not a binding referendum.


Well, that’s another bundle of joy praise report, isn’t it?


Sloan Bashinsky


About Sloan

That's what this website is about, also goodmorningkeywest.com and goodmorningbirmingham.com. If you can't get a publisher to take on your wacky musing, you do it yourself.
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