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Distant in-law Ron in North Carolina, who once frequently vacationed in Key West, wrote yesterday:
SLOAN – really good stuff on the cruise ship hearings. As far as legal issues, I imagine the cruisers have to have someone’s permission to enter the harbor, as well as someone’s permission to dock. (which I imagine they pay for the privilege of docking) I can’t see why whomever could not condition the cruisers permission or deny permission altogether.
The print industry is really struggling to adjust to the electronic times we live in. They need to figure out how to adjust, or go the way of buggy whips. They are running out of old farts like me who start their days with the local rag and a cup of joe. The times, they are always a changing.
Ciao Ron K.
Hi, Ron – the lead article in this week’s thebluepaper.com delves somewhat into the legality of a city or a state regulating cruise ships. I made two comments to that article, the second comment suggests some down and dirty ways for KW to discourage cruise ships from calling on KW.
This old fart reads the Citizen online now, costs less than having a paper copy delivered, and saves paper, and is easier to hijack and abuse electronically . Won’t surprise me, in next ten years, most newspapers dispense with paper copies. Whether they survive as electronic rags is to be seen.
Just my opinion, the owners of the Citizen should have sucked it up and kept Solares Hill going. However, the way The Blue Paper is developing, it could replace Solares Hill, if the Blue Paper keeps going. Naja and Arnaud Girard aren’t making money off it, it takes a heap of work to put together each week’s issue. They have other things they have to tend to besides The Blue Paper, whereas I just tend to whatever shows up begging for attention, knowingly or unknowingly .
Christine Russell, aka Jaguar Woman, now part-time Key West resident, part-time Panama resident, wrote yesterday:
I was out last last night and when I got in I read your email. [See yesterday's First, do no harm – “Right now, we have the worst possible cruise ships coming to Key West,” Robin Lockwood, M.D., spokesperson for the Key West Chamber of Commerce post at goodmorningkeywest.com]
I have to say I could not believe what you wrote that these people had said at the meeting.
I mean I really could not believe these words could come out of an intelligent persons brain and mouth. Well – guess they are not so intelligent after all. You just assume a doctor has some common sense at lease and a little intelligence. You think a past bank ceo also has just a little smarts. Lesson here NEVER ASSUME.
What is wrong with these people? There has to be something very wrong upstairs. Maybe they should have an MRI done, maybe they have brin tumors that would account for this very strange and unbelievable behavior. Even when I had the 8cm brian tumor I was not that crazy! I guess desperate people do or say desperate things.
So the dredging is going to be ‘good for the environment’! And the ‘coral will benefit from the cruise ship turbulence’! I bet they wish they had those words back. Sorry no do overs! I didn’t think the few greedy, self-centered ones in Key West could get any worse, but boy was I wrong. I am still just speechless.
AND they were even stupid enough to talk about how dirty Carnival and most (not all) of the ships calling on Key West really are!
I think the Commission should look into the legal aspect of setting standards for the cruise ships we allow in our port. Poor Shawn Smith and staff already have too much work, but the future of Key West and it’s fragile marine environment are in jeopardy. If Alaska can do it, and I think some ports in california have very strict standards to protect the environjment – then why can’t we?
These fools played right into our hands! We couldn’t have written their script any better for them.
These type of people eventually show their true colors.
I have to say it again I am just in shock at the words that came out of these fools mouths!
Nice job PRO-DREDGERS!!! and THANK YOU!
Hi, Christine -
I think it wasn’t too long after the forum ended, like maybe even before it ended, that the cruise ship huggers and their talking heads knew they had seriously shat and sat in it in plain view. So, I have to give them credit for not being total cretins.
Here are three comments to Naja and Arnaud’s Sei Fuori di testa? article in Key West the Newspaper, written before the cruise ship huggers forum last night:
SEPTEMBER 6, 2013 AT 7:32 AM
It was said again, at the Chamber of Commerce’s PAC forum at the Westin resort, even if the channel is dredged wider, the super (mega) cruise ships will never be able to get into Key West. The cruise ship huggers want the channel dredged wider so new, longer and larger, but not the mega cruise ships, can get into Key West. What Robin Lockwood, speaking for the Chamber’s PAC last night, called the super green clean cruise ships, which will replace the dirtiest cruises ships in the industry now calling on Key West, which have been calling on Key West for years, and will continue to call on Key West until the study is done and the channel is widened, which, it was agreed by all sides last night, will take 20 years to complete, if it ever is completed. Looks to me, based on the Chamber’s own “expert” last night, that Key West has a far more pressing need than a channel widening study referendum. Looks to me Key West needs to use the magic wand none of the speakers last night, pro or con study, said they were willing to use; a magic wand that could make cruise ships go away altogether from Key West. After the meeting, someone told me he had heard Lockwood tell someone he made a mistake saying that about the cruise ships now calling on Key West being the dirtiest cruise ships. I disagree. Lockwood was dead on saying it; the truth needed to be told and who better to tell it than the speaker for the Chamber, which should be hollering the loudest about stopping the dirtiest cruise ships from calling on Key West. As should Mayor Cates and the six city commissioners. As should every person living in Key West. Thank you Dr. Lockwood, for telling us the truth about the cruise ships now calling on Key West. You did your duty.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2013 AT 9:01 AM
Another part of the Pro-Dredge lie is that the dirtiest ships will STOP COMING if and when we dredge the channel. There is no agreement that the “clean and green” ships will replace the current crop. We will have BOTH!
The Carnival Magic and Breeze, which carry 5000 passengers and crew are only two-years-old. They will likely continue calling for 15 – 20 more years and they do not have advanced wastewater treatment – the are dirty polluters!
Finally, as to what constitutes a “Mega-Ship” — it is anything over 100,000 tons. We already have them now, including the above mentioned 1000 = footers. The Pro-Dredge lobby wants to limit the term to only the Oasis class, so they can claim we don’t get the big ones. The RCCL Freedom Class (which according to the ACE is what the dredging is all about) is over 1100 feet long and used to be the largest ship in the world.
Since the Recon Report, the Quantum Class, an even larger monstrosity than the Freedom is preparing to sail. The dredging will accommodate that behemoth, too.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2013 AT 12:08 PM
Amen, and thanks for additional info.
Re maritime law and US law maybe getting in the way of KW, if it has a conscience and a spine, just saying NO to the dirty cruise ships, the city could stop servicing cruise ships which come to Key West. No food. No water. No fuel. No police. No paying Ed Swift to run his conch trains out to the outer mole pier and back. I told Naja after the Chamber forum last night that I’d love to be a city attorney trying that case in federal court. I’d love to hear a federal judge tell me that my client, Key West, cannot ban dirty cruise ships from Key West because my client does not wish any longer to be an accomplice in polluting the ocean and killing what’s left of the Florida Keys reef. I would love to hear the federal judge say he/she will be the dirty ships’ accomplice by forcing, in the name of USA, Key west to keep receiving the sea and reef killers. Imagine the fun the TV news and Internet would have with that case.
How this referendum looks to me, many people have made up their minds to vote against, many have made up their minds to vote for, some are undecided, some are not yet even interested. Looks to me the way to try to reach the undecideds and not yet interesteds, and even the for the referendums, or some of them, is to lay out in plain view just how vile the cruise ships are already calling on Key West. The referendum is not about a study, it is not about dredging the channel wider. It is about cruise ships calling on Key West. So, let’s all see what those cruise ships really are; let’s see what our city is in bed with, and has been in bed with for many years, and it knows what it’s in bed with, and, sadly, we citizens are in bed with it too.
P.S. to Christine:
By the way, the good doctor, Robin Lockwood,
also told us at the channel-widening “study” forum that, like bacteria mutate after too many antibiotics are used, and become resistant to antibiotics, some corals are doing the same thing, and what used to kill them no longer kills them, and these strains of coral are what are being used to mitigate and replenish where corals have died from whatever kills them. Lockwood did not sound like he had a clue what kills coral, certainly not cruise ships dumping untreated and half-treated sewerage and ground up food wastes and who knows what else just outside the reef line en route to Key West from Port Everglades. Certainly not chemical run-off from Big Agriculture (Sugar) in south Florida. Certainly not a chain of islands which for a very long time had no sewerage treatment and still lags in that area.
I wonder what university Lockwood received his Marine Biology degree from?
Would you go to him if you needed a physician, or is he not a medical doctor?
Maybe I am mistaken and he has his doctorate in Marine Biology or another oceanographic field.
Some of these people think that their merely saying something makes it true.
I can think of several business men ( I use the term business men loosely, some really don’t seem to be real good at responsible business finances). For years I’ve wondered how some of these people survive. It’s all about learning to “work” the system. Most are probably members of the yacht club – whereall the “deals” take place. They could never consider leaving Key West, they would not be able to function any where else in the country or world, not that they function too well here!
Sad – I am glad I am not a part of their club!
There’s going to be a few people – you know the names – that are going to come out of this PRO-DREDGING campaign with less respect than they went in with and looking even dumber, greedier, more arrogant than we had thought.
Early clinic day tomorrow need to get to bed.
I don’t know anything about Lockwood having a degree in Marine Biology or another ocean field. He is an orthopedic surgeon. Perhaps you wrote tongue-in-cheek. Yes, I think some people might come out of this a tad tarnished, but will they realize it?
Ginger, of Jupiter, Florida, wrote yesterday:
Sloan, There was an old man named HOMER who lived on Big Pin Key and he apparently located some gold and silver coins further south in Key West and went and lived in Key Largo where he apparently hid the coins and would sell a few every few months taking them to Key West to sell. He died in a storm but people thought he had buried the coins somewhere in Key Largo . I would think in the 1800?s there wouldn’t have been too many people living there as he had to go to Key West to get supplies and trade or sell the coins.
I am thinking of getting one of the metal detectors. A couple has found gold chains and coins around Ft Pierce in 60 feet of water about 400 ft of water. People off Melbourne have found gold coins on the beach, a gold chain and gold cross with emeralds, and gold coins off and on around the beaches in Sanibel, Ft Pierce and Jupiter. About 20 Spanish ships were wrecked in the hurricanes of Sept and October of 1622.
OK. I am getting to the point. Did you ever have a metal detector and go looking for gold on the beaches in Key West? Might be fun. Possibility of coins on those little sand bars with the road overhead but they are inaccessible unless one is in a little boat. Perhaps you can have some fun looking for the gold coins that have washed up near the shore over 400 years.
Tell the Town of Key West to save their money and get the CRUISE LINES to fund the study on widening the channel in Key West. They are the ones that will benefit. Let them foot the bill. If they decide it’s worth the cost, then let them pay for it.
Hi, Ginger – interesting about Homer, about whom I had not before heard.
I never had any dealings with metal detectors, other than going through security in government buildings. Last I flew anywhere was before 9/11, so have not experienced airport security. Maybe I will dream about a metal detector tonight.
I think the cruise industry already met and decided not to participate in the channel-widening study, if it happens. I may be mistaken, but it might be that Key West’s impression that it is an important port of call for cruise ships does not jive with cruise ship companies’ view of Key West.
Before I knew you, I used to not entirely jokingly say cruise ships coming into Key West should be dealt with by rocket launchers and sunk and become artificial reefs. Now that I know you, I still feel that way, but not if I know you are on one of those cruise ships .
The folks running the city government ain’t got woke up properly yet about cruise ships, but there always is another day .
Moving over to Syria, Sancho Panza sent something yesterday,
while I dreamt of it in a nap but did not understand the dream until I woke up, dragged myself out of bed, went online and found and viewed the video:
Congress Should Focus on Problems at Home:
After watching the video, another Florida House of Representatives Alan Grayson gig, I replied, pic compliments of GS11.
Well, dang, Sancho! Rep. Grayson ain’t playing fair at all! He is accusing President Obomber of behaving like the previous President Bomber! And not only that, he’s a Demoncrat! I just don’t see why the Republiklans aren’t leaping for joy and voting in favor of USA cruising Syria into oblivion! With all the impending USA self-destruction the Republicans, especially, are bringing on in Washington, D.C., it’s in their best interest to fully support yet another USA foreign war, to turn Americans heads toward something a long way off, instead of their heads being turned toward the baboons, er, sorry, the elephants in Congress who, as you well know, would be fully behind this new war, raging for it, if a Republiklan president was pushing for it, like what happened in 2002, wasn’t it?, when the great warmonger G.W. Bush, Inc. was at the so-called wheel! Looks to me, from TV news reports I saw today, broadcast from Moscow, that President Obomber is going to let Syria have it no matter what happens in Congress.
I found myself wondering, when some reporter asked Obomber about the NSA pissing off Mexico over electronic eavesdropping on Mexican citizens, why in the hell didn’t Obomber look up Ed Snowden in the Moscow airport and have a chat with him about what the NSA is snooping in Mexico, and God only knows where else? Hell, if I were Obomber, I’d want Snowden at my side 24-7, advising me about what the CIA, the NSA, Homeland Security, the F.B.I. and various US military service intelligence services are feeding me, to spin me this or that way, with me being none the wiser, since I don’t have angels providing me with their intelligence reports, because angels cannot survive in the toxic waste dump that WARshington, D.C., Inc. has become!
If I were Obomber, I’d also be staying in close touch with Chelsea Manning, who still might be enough in the loop to help me figure out when my generals are leveling with me.
Do you think Obomber tried to learn from Russia’s President Putin what the Syrian regine is really doing? After all, Syria is a Russian ally, and I am scratching my head wondering where Syria got chemical weapons, if not from Russia?, although, who can say those lovely war toys were not made right here in USA and somehow ended up in Syria!
Remember that we gave a lot of them to Saddam Hussein when he was “our boy” and fighting the Iranians! Maybe those “Weapons of Mass Destruction” we invaded Iraq to neutralized, found their way to Syria. I wouldn’t even put it past the CIA to be involved in this incident as a way to get the USA an excuse to jump in… I mean how stupid would Assad have to be to do the exact thing that Obama said would be “Red Line” he should not cross?! But The People here are too stupid and too busy watching football to think critically… can’t blame them… about the only thing we teach and excel here is marketing/consumerism, sport and popular media(music, movies, videos games… specially the killing type). Alan Grayson is a Jew… just like I am a White Man!
My feelings are mashed, I watch football to escape from the madness all around me, and, I like watching football, mostly college variety, pro variety too monetized to be entirely real. I go to movies to escape, too. Yesterday, I saw “Riddick”. For 2 hours I did not think about you, Obomber, Syria, or Key West. For all I know, Saddam Hussein got his chemical weapons, or at least the chemicals, from the CIA. Back then, as I recall, the CIA head honcho was George Bush, who became Ronald Reagan’s V.P.. yes? Who said, of Kuwait being invaded by Hussein’s army, he could not allow the American way of life to be threatened (oil), not that he cared a twit for the people of Kuwait other than for their oil. The US Gov’t all along has maintained the Gulf War disease, which affected lots of Gulf War veterans, was not the result of chemical weapons, but I ain’t too sure I would bet the ranch on anything the US Govt says about such matters, or maybe about any matters. All of which you know, I’m being redundant.
Ciaosky, Sancho Panzasky
On the Key West Citizen-Syria front, two letters to the editor:
We can’t win in Syria, so
keep our troops out of it
Now it’s Syria. Yet another Mideast mess that we should not get involved in. Let them commit whatever atrocities the animals in that part of the world have been doing forever. If our government, as a NATO puppet, just has to intervene, let it be done with long-range weaponry. Not one single American boot should ever hit the ground in Syria. We’re still losing American lives in Afghanistan and Iraq. Enough is enough! We can’t continue to be the planet’s policeman and be dragged into countless unwinnable conflicts halfway around the world every time some dictator, despot or lunatic rears their ugly head. We have sacrificed thousands of American lives in the Mideast and have solved little or nothing other than to fatten the coffers of the corporate mega-machine that profits from wartime. As soon as foreign forces depart these ratholes, the old ways will again take over the region and the tribal wars and jihad mentality will again reign. Let them stew in their own filth and keep our nation and the lives of our military men and women out of it.
Big Pine Key
NATO puppet? Looks to me Uncle Sam is still trying to atone for losing the Vietnam civil war he never should have gotten America involved in. Also looks to me Uncle Sam, besides being addicted to war, is a tad infected with what any recovering addict knows as THE RESCUE SYNDROME. Find something to save, instead of saving yourself, whom you see in the something your are trying to save.
Syrian vote before UN
report would be insane
It now looks like there will be a United Nations report as to the status of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but the report will not be available until on or about Sept. 21.
President Obama is planning on asking Congress on Monday, Sept. 9, to vote on whether we should use force to assist the anti-Assad forces, to show Assad he should not ever use chemical weapons again. It is good that he changed his mind, and I would have liked to be a fly on the wall when Obama’s phone never stopped ringing and different folks told Obama secretly what would happen if he failed to let Congress vote under these circumstances.
President Obama will be demanding that our Congress votes before they see this U.N. report.
I can see Nancy Pelosi now saying to Congress, when they say they want to delay voting until after they see the U.N. report, “You can see what the U.N. inspectors’ report says after you vote to start the bombing.” Does that sound familiar? We had senators and congressmen vote to pass Obamacare without ever reading the law. That was, to me, simply insane and illegal.
If President Obama forces a vote on Sept. 9, will we have U.S. senators and congressmen vote to bomb Syria without reading the U.N. inspectors’ report due out shortly on approximately Sept. 21?
This all sounds like the Abbott and Costello bit about “Who’s on first?”
David F. Lipton
Since when did sanity rule in WARshington, D.C.?
Moving laterally in the Key West Citizen today:
KOTS lawsuit settlement coming
City reserves $441,000 for shelter in budget; relocation to new property considered
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
The 2-year-old lawsuit Sunset Marina homeowners filed against the city over placement of its overnight homeless shelter will most likely end in a settlement, both sides indicated this week.
City commissioners met in closed session Thursday before their budget hearing to discuss the suit, which only wants the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS) moved from the county property near the marina’s entrance off College Road.
No financial compensation is at stake, said attorney Barton Smith, whose clients simply want KOTS out of their immediate view, where security guards patrol every evening as a stream of homeless men and women make the trek past their driveway.
“We want to reach a settlement,” Smith said. “We’re hopeful that we should receive something any day now.”
As of Friday, though, the lawsuit remained pending at the 16th Judicial Circuit before Chief Judge David Audlin.
The last courtroom action over the suit was on Aug. 27, but instead of continuing with testimony by city officials, both sides spoke with the judge about settling.
Filed Aug. 18, 2011, the suit accused the city of ignoring its own permitting process by hastily planting the homeless shelter next-door to the Sheriff’s Office.
The suit prompted the longtime Florida Keys nonprofit that had been managing KOTS since 2004 to not renew its contract with the city. Florida Keys Outreach Coalition’s board voted to step away from KOTS, and the Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL) stepped in.
SHAL’s decision to begin providing services, rather than stick to funneling federal and state grant money to Keys nonprofits, led to its board changing the agency’s mission statement and dropping the job of lead agency for Monroe County.
A new group, comprising local executive directors of various agencies, quickly formed to take over where SHAL left off.
To run KOTS for fiscal year 2014, Key West’s proposed budget has reserved $441,000, almost to the cent the same amount the city spends to rent office space at Habana Plaza.
Is that weird? Is is synchronicity? Is it a sign?
City Attorney Shawn Smith expressed confidence earlier this year that the city would prevail, yet with the city committed to relocating its homeless center to the former Easter Seals property on College Road, a settlement became imminent.
“Our lawsuit primarily was about the current location,” said Barton Smith. “In terms of our consideration, it’s not where it’s moved to, it’s that it is moved somewhere and goes through the proper permitting and development process.”
The city has set its sights for a 24-hour homeless shelter to go up at the old Easter Seals property and the Mosquito Control District headquarters, which border the Key West Golf Club, 6450 College Road.
Cost of building and annual cost of operating the new, bigger, full-service homeless shelter unknown.
Several residents at the golf course object to the current and potential location of the homeless center.
Barton Smith, who also represents the homeowners association of the golf course, which his family owns, would not comment about whether a new lawsuit could emerge.
Odds might be pretty good a new lawsuit will emerge. Shame on Bart for making so much money off of homeless people . I already told him that last year. He laughed, said sometimes I say things that crack him up.
Former Assistant City Manager John Jones testified earlier this year at a motion hearing that Sunset Marina was correct that the construction of the shelter didn’t go through the proper channels, calling the 2004 state of Key West homelessness an “emergency.”
But Shawn Smith produced paperwork in court he said proves the local government made a good faith effort to follow the code regulations in creating KOTS.
Since when is a good faith effort, if such actually happened, the same as actually complying with the code regulations? Oh, my flub. The city can do no wrong, all others must follow the code regulations, unless maybe they are influential private citizens.
KOTS, with a maximum occupancy of 140 bunks, provides a shower and a vinyl mattress to anyone who shows up and checks in.
The new homeless shelter will have at least twice that many beds, and not even that will be enough for all of Key West’s homeless people to lay down their heads at night. I ran into Mayor Craig Cates yesterday. He said the cost figures for the new city hall to be installed in the old Glynn Archer Elementary School are coming in under budget. I told him to make sure the architect has sufficient errors and omission coverage to reimburse the city, if the actual cost comes in over budget. I wonder which will end up costing the city more in the long run, the new city hall, or the new homeless shelter?