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Catching up yesterday with Kay Thacker of Key Largo,
after she kicked off the S-storm which became yesterday’s Monroe County (Florida Keys) needs to choose between continuing to aid and abet Key West torturing its homeless and denying them equal protection under the law at county taxpayers’ considerable expense, and telling Key West to change its ways or sue Monroe County for choosing not to continue being Key West’s accomplice; and Monroe County needs to decide if it is going to fund Key West’s mythical new full-service homeless shelter, the prognosis for which might not be county taxpayers’ money and karma well spent, either. In all events, so much for homeless people being part of Key West’s mythical One Human Family. post at goodmorningfloridakeys.com.
Kay is an old-timer in La Resistance:
How are you doing, Kay?
Had chemo on Monday am tired, feet peeling, but no complaints, what keeps me going…..are you coming up to Marathon on Mon. 19th Mosquito Control Bd mtg? A couple of us are going down to hear and speak on term limits for Comm. hope to see you there if you can make it..starts around 5:00 is after the budget workshop…thank for asking…what about you..how are you doing?
Not taking chemo, probably doing better than you, but glad to see you are still getting after them. Have not had skeeter control on my radar for quite a while, am loaded to the gills mostly with Key West squalls, hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tetonic plate shifts, Klingon drone strikes, great white shark attacks, and other perhaps less memorable circus acts.
So you are telling me I won’t get to see you tomorrow night?
Haven’t seen you in a while, might ought to drive up and give you a hug. Not aroused about term limits presently. Been thinking KW Mayor Craig Cates should serve several more terms, so he can experience the full fruits of what he has put into motion. A bit sadistic, agreed, on my part.
I saw your last reply right after waking out of a nap dream, in which a woman was being released from the hospital after having successful surgery on her left leg (left is feminine, right is masculine, leg is contact with earth, getting around), and I was saying I needed the same surgery. Then, I said, “I don’t want to hurt them, but I want to whip them.” Sort of reminded me of something an old-timer I know in the resistance might say.
What time does the meeting start tomorrow evening? At Skeeter Board HQ at upper end of airport?
Heard he bought a house down the street from the place they serve meals for homeless…maybe that is why he is now so interested in the homeless now…that is one of the reasons for term limits so they can live on what they have passed while in office…
Mtg. starts after the budget workshop starting at 3:30, then start MQ bd. mtg heard around 5:00 ish. yep that is where I am going to go at the upper end of airport…..be waiting for that hug…take all of those I can get…so see you tomorrow…thanks
Yesterday, Father Steve Braddock,
CEO of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and Board Chairman of Monroe County Homeless Services Continuum-of-Care (MC-CoC) returned from a trip to the mainland and answered what I had asked him:
What is his and FKOC’s and Monroe County CoC’s position on Key West: (1) using its police to prevent homeless people from sleeping outside at night, when KOTS was full and they had no place else to sleep?; and (2) Key West enforcing its open container ordinance only against homeless people?; and (3) Key West’s anti-panhandling law?
Subject: Your questions
Date: Sun, 18 Aug 2013 18:11:06 -0400
I’m sorry it has taken me awhile to respond to your emails over the past few days. I serve on the board of the Florida State Coalition for the homeless and have been traveling on FCH legislative issues since Thursday. FCH supports the state’s 28-local homeless coalitions which cover all 67 counties, including Monroe.
I had limited internet access while I was away. It is hard enough to try to read your dissertations on my iPhone much less reply to them!
Anyway, to your questions. First, I can only speak to them personally and as CEO of FKOC. I cannot speak on behalf of the Monroe County Homeless Services Continuum-of-Care (MC-CoC) board because these issues have not yet been addressed and no formal positions formulated. Keep in mind the MC-CoC only assumed the role and responsibilities of Monroe County’s lead agency in February. This new entity was formed after SHAL relinquished its lead agency role and decided to make what was to be a temporary arrangement managing the KOTS for the COKW a long time commitment as a service provider. Since then the MC-CoC has been laser focused on meeting the rather onerous lead agency requirements established under the federal HEARTH Act and by Florida State Statute. There are approximately 40-member organizations from throughout the Keys.
As you know, the mission of the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, Inc. (FKOC) is “to provide homeless individuals and families with the resources and opportunities by which to attain residential, financial and personal stability and self-sufficiency”. Of course, individuals must first want to receive those resources and opportunities. Your reporting has been accurate with regard to how FKOC became involved with KOTS and the reasons why. And, you are also correct that the FKOC is not interested in resuming a management agreement.
On your questions about the criminalization of homelessness, it would be hard to dispute that the anti-panhandling, sleeping and open container ordinances are used to move homeless people out of the Old Town section of Key West. We expect that the City of Key West is not removing people or arresting them for their performance of life-sustaining activities which is the law established by the case of Michael Pottinger versus the City of Miami. Selective enforcement is unlawful and in my view immoral and unethical.
We fully understand and empathize with home and business owners who live and work downtown amid the chronically homeless people present there. But, warehousing the chronically homeless in the jail has not proven to be an effective mechanism to reduce the number of homeless individuals on the streets of Key West. It is just a revolving door and does not address the underlying causes.
The large numbers of arrests of homeless individuals each day costs the tax payers an enormous amount of money for medical and secure detention costs.
I would of course prefer to see resources instead be prioritized for those homeless men, women and children seeking transition from homelessness to stable residential housing and self-sufficiency. In addition to implementing more initiatives proven to be successful for prevention.
FKOC applauds local government for addressing the issues of homelessness. A major concern I have, however, is whether local government(s) can sustain the financial commitment to making the changes being proposed by some. I too am worried about unintended negative consequences like those that have been reported from San Antonio and St. Pete.
FKOC is very cognizant of the tremendous burden this issue places on the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. We trust in the integrity and professionalism of Sheriff Rick Ramsey and are pleased that he has taken some very proactive steps to work with FKOC and other community partners towards practical strategies to ease the burden on the MCSO and the tax payers.
I really appreciated David Rice’s statement about wishing he had the answer, but that in 40 years of working with the homeless, he is “not sure that an acceptable and effective solution exists for the majority of this group”. Meaning of course, chronically homeless street people. After nearly 30-years in myself, I am certainly no expert. I do not know what “the answer” is either. I just do the best I can with what I have for those who want what I can offer. Thanks for asking for my two cents, for whatever it is worth.
Rev. Stephen E. Braddock, Ph.D.
President & CEO
Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, Inc.
Post Office Box 4767
Key West, FL 33041
Tel) 305-293-8189 Fax) 305-293-8276
Hi, Steve – welcome back in one piece, safe. Thanks for your words, will share them with my readers tomorrow.
The current regime in KW seems determined to try something along the Robert Marbut model. I think they will try it, but I don’t think Monroe County should subsidize it when the drive is all coming from Key West. Maybe Sheriff Ramsay and the Monroe County Commission will say, “No mas!” Maybe Key West will get to carry the full freight, which seems only right since it’s Key West crusade.
I, too, was glad to read David Rice’s words [reported in yesterday's - August 18, 2013 - post at www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com]. I started telling the KW City Commission much the same thing in 2002, as I recall the onset. That’s how I came to meet you at a city commission meeting; you came up to me and introduced yourself after, as I recall, I told the elected ones that street people (what homeless people mostly were back then) had become so because that was what worked best for them after they gave up on mainstream way of living, and only God could change them.
Maybe Marbut will prove that wrong, but what it looks to me Marbut mostly is doing is creating a big homeless welfare state and not very pretty untended consequences.
From an younger woman friend living with her son in an FKOC shelter in Key West:
How is your search going? It doesn’t sound promising so far. are you able to branch out if key west doesn’t work out? I would love it if you moved down here (better chance of seeing you) but another key might be better for you.
I sincerely hope your bosses aren’t pushing you toward more homelessness. That would be fucked up!
Anyway, your friend todd german did a question/answer session w/ us FKOC folks on Thursday. I’m considering talking to him about cleaning up my credit and looking at what kind of help I can get w/ small business banking schtuff.
My two cents about the homeless issue: it’s the economy, stupid (to quote bill clinton, I think). Which is ironic, since he did two major things while president that fucked people up.
The gap between rich and poor continues to widen and people wonder why so many homeless. We continue to fight needless wars which make a handful of fuckers richer and people wonder why so many homeless. We base school funding on local tax rates and people wonder why so many homeless.
Clinton signed away the glass-stiegel regulations put in place to keep banks from shady shenanigans like investing other people’s money and he signed in welfare-to-work programs that tore babies out of mothers’ arms, creating a generation of daycare-raised children.
I could go on. But I shan’t
Much love to you!
I agree, being homeless again would be fucked up. The closing on this place is set for Aug 30. No clue yet where I might live in Key West. I did some more looking after I said I wasn’t going to do any more looking, and not a whiff of anything.
Am concerned about super rat cat Miss Kitty.
She has been my steady loyal companion since I saved her from ASPCA in Key West in March 2010, so she could save me from the hordes of woods rats up here on Little Torch Key. I called ASPCA in Key West the other day to see if they might be able to find Miss Kitty a new home. I hoped they could put up a notice. No dice. I have to bring her back there, let them put her back in the general cat population and wait on somebody to come by and adopt her. I asked if they would kill her for me, because I knew, no offense intended toward the shelter, she would rather be dead than locked up again. Nope, they don’t kill animals unless they can’t find someone to adopt them.
Todd told me the other day that he sometimes came over there and talked with shelter residents about banking, managing money. I told him that was a good thing to do, people leaving being homeless need to know how to keep their money affairs straight. I said, just a few days before I referred someone to Todd, who has lots of money and needs a local banker who knows about money and banking. That was the same conversation when Todd got onto me about how I had jumped on Jim Hendrick, which led to me writing further about that not entirely pleasantry.
No doubt, the self-appointed economic wizards in W.A.R.shington D.C. did plenty to put people into the homeless ranks with their economic wild-ass guessing, hocus-pocus-ing and political-favorings, and their stupid little boy mine’s bigger and better than yours wars. There are other causes, too. Death of loved one. Divorce. Business failure. Early childhood religious fanatic training finally catches up with them. Early childhood other soul-destruction finally catches up with them. Booze and/or another narcotic finally catches up with them. Then, there is the homeless person who never fit into mainstream and finally decided being homeless was more sane than the insanity he/she never did fit into. See attachment.
Looks to me the self-appointed homeless gurus’ war on homelessness is a mutation from the war on poverty, which was about as successful as the war on drugs and the war against booze (Prohibition), and we are, as I have predicted lately, going to have ourselves a growing homeless welfare state centered in or around cities like San Antonio, St. Petersberg, Key West, which have gone insane about getting homeless people out of sight, out of sound, as if by magic they then will all be healed of homelessness, or just – poof! – disappear from this dimension altogether.
A retired Key West area psychiatrist,
who, as a second calling, became a self-made doctor of sea and reef biology, commented on yesterday’s Key West cruise ship silt plume foes pants on fire, Key West Citizen Editorial Board and Key West City Commission compete for N Roosevelt Blvd Pearl Harbor Lookout Hall of Fame post at goodmorningkeywest.com:
This whole issue of cruise ship silt borders
on lunacy—years ago I followed behind several
monster Cruisers through the shallow hawk
channel—the amount of silt and debris was
indescribable—I vomited for the first time
in many years —-we are too shallow for
any cruise ships!!!! Murky water kills off all
our sea life and killed the reef that I knew.
Clear water is necessary for sunlight-
necessary for the core –phytoplankton–
to feed and maintain all of our fish and
crustaceans like crabs, shrimp and lobster.
We must have brain damage to keep going
over the obvious again and again—stupidity!!
Cruise ships destroy our natural environment
including our health in many ways –no debate
fact !! Jerry Weinstock, M.D.
Borders on? Looks like lunacy to me. Or worse. The photo I used again, twice actually, in today’s post, also attached, kills debate.
Further disagreement is, yeah, and you certainly are qualified to make that diagnosis. Maybe you can get the Citizen to publish the photo and the date it was taken, which Will Benson can provide. I’d love to read the Citizen Blog the next few days following.
Elliot Barron, who lives part-time in Key West, replied to yesterday’s Key West cruise ship silt plume foes pants on fire, Key West Citizen Editorial Board and Key West City Commission compete for N Roosevelt Blvd Pearl Harbor Lookout Hall of Fame
I beg to differ. In the past, referendums on various high-profile subjects, Citizen Review Board (of KW Police) referendum, prevent Key West (City Commission) from annexing or buying real estate (Wisteria Island) without voter approval in a referendum, Bahama Village getting part of Truman Waterfront referendum, senior citizens getting an assisted living facility on Truman Waterfront referendum, for fairly recent examples, received a great deal of spirited coverage in the Citizen.
Much of Filosa’s article focused on whether or not this pic was shopped, doctored.
Filosa could have gone to the Key West’s Travel Guide, where she reported the pic is said to have first appeared, and found out if the pic was real or shopped, and then she could have reported that and ended all speculation.
Filosa gave her readers a link to a website, where they could see a color photo of a cruise ship tearing up the channel bottom, but she did not provide the photo itself, which photo she had, because I had furnished it to her, and to you, Elliot, and my other readers, and it had run in Key West the Newspaper in articles I had published there.
I tried the link Filosa provided, and no color photo came up of a cruise ship tearing up the channel bottom. That photo would have made the cruise ship lovers really unhappy. That photo should be the poster child against the “channel-widening study” referendum, which should be named the “dredge the channel wider to bring more and bigger cruise ships into Key West” referendum.
Fair reporting is accurate reporting, Elliot.
Tim O’Hara did a pretty good job in the Citizen today, reporting the latest developments in the “Who owns Wisteria Island?” litigation in federal court.
But he left out a couple of important details.
Here is O’Hara’s article, my interjected thoughts in italics, I supplied pics:
As the heated battle over ownership of Wisteria Island wages on, the federal government is using a 1951 letter as the basis for its claim that F.E.B. Corp. does not own the small island in Key West Harbor.
A Sept. 27, 1951, letter from then-Florida Attorney General Richard Ervin shows that the original owner, former House Rep. Bernie Papy, was aware that the military was still claiming ownership of the island when he bought it from the state.
The state gave state legislator Papy a trustees deed, about the same as a quit claim deed, which conveyed to Papy whatever interest, if any, the state had in Wisteria Island. Any lawyer, Roger Bernstein is a lawyer, knows a trustees’ deed, or a quit claim deed, in a chain of title is a red flag which needs to be investigated.
The government’s attorney has continually cited Ervin’s letter.
Ervin questioned whether the Navy or any other federal agency deeded the land to the state and whether the state can sell something it didn’t actually own.
However, F.E.B. Corp. President Roger Bernstein argued that the letter is irrelevant because Congress passed, and the president signed, the Submerged Lands Acts two years later in 1953, which grants states like Florida title to all submerged navigable lands within their boundaries including Wisteria Island. The acts also grants states navigable waterways and waters within the state’s boundaries — generally within 3 to 6 miles from a coastline.
The Submerged Lands Act is a major argument in F.E.B.’s lawsuit over ownership.
To a lay person, the Submerged Lands Act makes no sense, because this article does not say how a subsequently-passed federal law retroactively vested title in Papy and his successors in title. Naja Girard,
co-publisher of Key West the Newspaper (www.thebluepaper.com), dug up the Wisteria title history and instigated the Feds claiming they own Wisteria Island. Naja told me, there is a law which says, if you sell land you don’t own to someone else, and later you actually acquire title to that land, then that title automatically passes to the person to whom you sold the land you did not own. Naja said, the point of that law is to prevent someone from selling land he/she does not own, and then acquiring title to it and screwing the person to whom the land was sold. According to Naja, that’s the theory under which F.E.B. is traveling to say it finally did get title to Wisteria Island from the state. Although Naja is not a lawyer, her co-publisher husband Arnaud is. They personally have litigated stuff arising in the Keys.
Also, the Navy has acknowledged F.E.B.’s ownership by asking the company’s written permission to use the island for Navy SEAL training, Bernstein went on to argue to The Citizen. In 2005 and 2006, Navy SEAL teams entered into two separate license agreements for use of the property, Bernstein said.
In a letter, the Navy Dockmaster in Washington, D.C. strenuously objected to the sale of Wisteria Island to Papy in 1951. That objection is what caused the Florida Attorney General to put Papy on notice that the Navy claimed it owned Wisteria Island. That objection is what caused the state to give Papy a trustees deed promising nothing, instead of a warranty deed promising the state owned Wisteria Island.
F.E.B. has made no secret of its ownership of the island and has been paying property taxes on it for more than three decades, Bernstein said.
Bernstein also questioned the thoroughness of the government’s review of the ownership issue, as the Bureau of Land Management never questioned anyone with F.E.B. before ruling the government owned the island.
“This is seen as an ill-advised land grab and colossal waste of taxpayers’ money,” Bernstein said.
Actually, the angels told me to tell Naja to keep digging, there was title information adverse to Bernstein’s argument. Naja kept digging and she found it, and she showed it to the Feds and they agreed with her.
The two sides have continued to battle in the last month since the judge denied the government’s request to dismiss the case. The government has since asked the judge to reconsider its request, arguing that court “lacks subject matter jurisdiction” because the statute of limitations for F.E.B. to sue the government over ownership has expired, Anthony Erickson-Pogorzelski wrote.
“The plain language of the QTA (Quiet Title Act) mandates dismissal of any civil action that is brought more than 12 years from the date when the plaintiff or the plaintiff’s predecessor in interest knew or should have known that United States first claimed an interest in the property,” Erickson-Pogorzelski wrote.
F.E.B.’s statute of limitation to sue would have expired 12 years after Ervin’s 1951 letter, Erickson-Pogorzelski argued.
However, Bernstein contends the company only filed its lawsuit last year because the government claimed ownership of the island in late 2011. Bernstein’s family and F.E.B. executives were never aware of Ervin’s 1951 letter until the government asserted ownership, Bernstein said.
Well, Papy was aware of the 1951 letter. The State of Florida was aware of it. The Navy was aware of it. Hard to imagine Bernstein’s father, or maybe his grandfather, who bought Wisteria Island, did not do a thorough title search before paying for the island. Back in the redneck state of Alabama where I practiced law, a good bit of it was real estate law, the burden of proof would be on F.E.B. to prove Bernstein’s father, or maybe his grandfather, did not know about the Attorney General’s letter and the Navy’s claim of ownership of Wisteria Island. However, Naja learned by attending a hearing in this federal case, that F.E.B’s lawyer and the federal judge are buddies from way back when, so …
Arnaud Girard’s editorial cartoon in past issue of Key West the Newspaper, Roger Bernstein on far left facing the judge, with his lawyer; Naja, Arnaud and others in the right-hand peanut gallery
The government is not raising any new points or issues in its motion for reconsideration, but only asking for a second bite at the apple and reiterating its case, Bernstein said.
“There was a lot of consideration to these issues the first time around,” Bernstein said.
The case is tentatively scheduled to go to trial the last week of March.
I’m not laying any bets on how it turns out, but the run up to this point sure has been interesting.