just another day in Paradise – Big Pine Key’s Grimal Grove fundraiser in Key West, “The Wolf of Wallstreet” sort of reminds of Key West’s lower Duval Street, California homeless man beaten to death while being apprehended by police who are prosecuted but then are acquitted, new homeless man who cannot read or write arrives in Key West looking for work, Higgs Beach redo designed to rid it of homeless people by using money that could have been spent ridding the lower Florida Keys of water pollution, more cheery lower Keys shitgrinder Hallelujah Choruses

 

crack in everything

leonard-cohen

Depress ctrl and + keys together to increase zoom/font size; depress ctrl and – keys together to reduce

Grimal Grove openingFirst today, an announcement Erika Biddle (right in photo, the new “founder” right photo, his mainland musician “partner/backer”, middle photo) put up on Facebook yesterday, to which I added a link for readers who wish to read more about Grimal Grove on Big Pine Key:

 

Live music, chocolate and wine...come help us Save the Grimal Grove Thursday, Jan. 16 from 7-9pm at Old Town Manor in Key West!
Live music, chocolate and wine…come help us Save the Grimal Grove Thursday, Jan. 16 from 7-9pm at Old Town Manor in Key West!
  1. THE GRIMAL GROVE | GHI

    growinghopeinitiative.org/grimal-grove/?

    Produced: September 2012. To find out how to support the Grimal Grove contact: info@growinghopeinitiative.org. Grimal Estate 

grimal grove helpers

I’ve been to the Grove, it’s something the entire Florida Keys community would do well to get behind and support in any way they can. The now bearded fellow whose inspiration saving and restoring the Grove is (left in photo), is a local school teacher. Imagine the wealth of experience and learning Keys school kids could get pitching in and helping him bring this living Keys treasure back to its full potential. Come to the fund raiser, meet him, learn more.

Next for today, something that sort of reminds me of lower Duval Street in Key West …

The Wolf of Wall Street

movies.yahoo.com

919 Ratings
MPAA Rating R
Running Time 2 hr 59 min
Genre Drama
Cast Leonardo DiCaprioJonah HillJean DujardinRob ReinerMatthew McConaugheyKyle Chandler

This is the true story of the outlandish rise and non-stop pleasure-hunting descent of Jordan Belfort, the New York stockbroker who, along with his merry band of brokers, makes a gargantuan fortune by defrauding … more »

Showtimes inKey West, FL change location

I finally caved in and went to Tropic Cinema yesterday and watched “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Mostly, I had stayed away because the movie is nearly 3 hours long. I figured, though, I needed to see it, since it is being touted as the best movie of the year. Probably is, if you are talking about best movie of the year on American money, drug, sex, power, me-first addiction. Check it out, see for yourself :-).

On another joyful noise American front yesterday, from Nashville J:

Grand Ole Opry

I know you don’t have lots of extra time – but – after I had the chance to read this – it seems that Police murdering homeless people is ok if they didn’t mean to kill him.   Some interesting quotes thru out.
J

Two former officers found not guilty in death of Kelly Thomas

Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are acquitted of murder and manslaughter charges in the 2011 beating death of transient Kelly Thomas.

  • Ex-cops acquitted in beating death of homeless man

    Ex-cops acquitted in beating death of homeless man

  • Former Officers Not Guilty in Kelly Thomas' Death

    Former Officers Not Guilty in Kelly Thomas’ Death

  • Kelly Thomas' Parents React To Not Guilty Verdict For 2 Ex-Fullerton Police Officers

    Kelly Thomas’ Parents React To Not Guilty Verdict For 2 Ex-Fullerton Police Officers

  • 2 Ex-Fullerton Officers Acquitted Of All Charges In Connection With Kelly Thomas' Beating Death

    2 Ex-Fullerton Officers Acquitted Of All Charges In Connection With Kelly Thomas’…

By Adolfo Flores, Paloma Esquivel and Joe MozingoJanuary 13, 2014, 9:17 p.m.

Two former Fullerton police officers were found not guilty on all charges Monday afternoon in the death of Kelly Thomas, a schizophrenic man they beat into unconsciousness as he cried out for help on a summer night more than two years ago.

The Orange County jury’s swift verdict came after just two days of deliberations, ending a case that generated national debate about how police deal with the mentally ill and homeless.

Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas staked his name on the prosecution, arguing the case himself in court. Rackauckas said the trial was fair.

“I would do the same thing again,” he said. “I think it’s a matter that a jury had to see.”

Thomas’ family quietly sobbed as the verdict was read. His mother emerged from the courtroom with red-rimmed eyes. “They murdered my son and they got away with it,” she said.

Video of the clash at a busy bus depot ignited public outrage. But during the trial, prosecutors and defense attorneys offered wholly different interpretations of the video. Rackauckas said the officers beat a helpless man, while the officers’ attorneys said the lawmen were just doing their job.

The jury acquitted Manuel Ramos of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter and Jay Cicinelli of excessive force and involuntary manslaughter.

As the foreman read the verdict, Cicinelli hugged his attorney, who slammed his hand on the defense table and exulted, “Thank God!”

The case was the first in the county’s history in which an officer faced murder charges for actions taken on duty. But jurors agreed with defense attorneys that the officers were trying to subdue an unruly suspect, not beat him to death.

“They did what they were trained to do,” said John Barnett, Ramos’ attorney.

Jurors were quickly escorted from the courtroom by bailiffs and left the courthouse without commenting on the widely watched case.

Ron Thomas, Kelly’s father and a former deputy himself, said he hoped that the U.S. Justice Department would file federal charges against the officers. The FBI had been investigating and monitoring the case.

“I’ve never seen something so bad happen to a human being, and have it done by on-duty police officers,” Thomas said. “And they can walk away scot-free.”

Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said the agency opened a civil rights investigation into the case in 2011. Now that the state court trial has concluded, she said, “investigators will examine the evidence and testimony to determine if further investigation is warranted at the federal level.”

Veteran attorneys said murder cases against police officers are inherently difficult because the law allows them to use deadly force as part of the job. Prosecutors had to prove the officers had the intent to harm Thomas above and beyond responding to his actions.

“Police officers have the privilege, the right to use force to overcome resistance,” said Ira Salzman, a defense attorney who often represents police officers. “When you have the law allowing use of force, that is a tremendous protection.”

Michael Rains, who represented Bay Area transit officer Johannes Mehserle in his homicide trial for shooting an unarmed man at an Oakland train station, said courts have decided that officers need to be given “a certain amount of deference” for having to make use-of-force decisions in tense, rapidly unfolding situations.

“The courts recognize that on occasion, when officers are trying to do the right thing, there will be death,” said Rains, whose firm was involved in Cicinelli’s defense.

The verdict came after nearly three weeks of testimony from 25 witnesses in a often-packed Santa Ana courtroom. At the heart of the trial was the 33-minute surveillance video, synced with audio from recorders worn by officers. Without it, Rackauckas said he probably would not have filed charges.

He argued it was an obvious depiction of excessive force and told jurors they were watching a homicide.

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0114-kelly-thomas-verdict-20140114,0,6482344.story#ixzz2qSbzL8ju

I wrote back to J:

I had not heard of this case before now. I can’t see in the video, or in the article, how the officers injured the homeless man so badly that he died. It appears they were trying to subdue him and he was resisting, although not in a way threatening to the officers. If the dead homeless man was living in that area, he probably was known to the cops on that beat. I wonder why they didn’t just tase him? That would have subdued him, yes?

I keep telling Naja and Arnaud [www.thebluepaper.com] down here not to expect an outcome they like in the Eimers’ case, but to keep putting what they are learning before the public, which may end up being the only trial in the case – public opinion.
Although, there was a female cop who apparently saw one of the male cops behaving in such a way toward Eimers that she wanted to arrest the male cop. She probably is the key, if she comes forward, that might be enough, or, it might cause other officers who where there to come forward.
Then, there is the person the male cop told what happened, who apparently passed that along to Arnaud and Naja. What that male cop told afterward is evidence which can be used against him, if the person he told it to comes forward and make’s him/herself available as a witness.
Maybe the prosecution would have a better chance in the Eimers’ case, since he was not homeless, but was only profiled as homeless in a PT  Cruiser, the vehicle of choice for homeless people it might turn out in a bizarre way. If he had been homeless, perhaps the odds of even a prosecution would be low, and conviction nil.
Sloan
P.S.
I met a new to Key West homeless man today.
He said …
Age 43, he’s been homeless 23 years. White, born and raised in Somewhere Rural Louisiana, he never learned to read or write. In school was in special ed. He’s hoping his lawyer can get him disability from Social Security. I said I doubt it, he has skills that can make money. He learned growing up how to fish and trap. He learned how to finish sheet rock, but does not hang it. He learned how to fix bicycles. He has a Florida ID. He last was homeless in Daytona, before that in Jacksonville. He pedaled his bicycle and all his belongings down to Key West. Arrived Key West 3 days ago. He’d heard great things about Key West, but on arriving heard the other side of the story. He is showering and sleeping at KOTS, to stay out of the Gestapo’s way at night. He is doing all he can to stay out of their way. He eats afternoons at the soup kitchen. Pretty good food, he gets seconds, food to take away with him. He is looking for work. He looks clean, hygiene-wise, drug-wise. He talks okay. He seems gentle, polite. He said he kept getting minimum wage jobs on the Florida east coast, but that was not enough to pay the deposit and the rent on apartments up there. I said deposit and rent is higher down here than up there. I called City Commissioner Teri Johnston’s office and left word about this fellow being able to finish sheet rock. Teri is a contractor, does lots of remodel work for upscale clients, condos, houses. I left the fellow’s Obama cell phone number with the nice lady who took the message for Teri. I took fellow to the bike shop on Eaton and they said for him to come back this morning to talk with the owner about being a bike mechanic there. That company has 4 bike shops in Key West. I told him to check out the bike shop on Truman Avenue, to see if they need a bike mechanic. I told him to go to Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and see if he can get into their program, which will get him inside and rent he can afford earning minimum wage. I said to tell them he can fix bikes, they sometimes get bikes the Sheriff collects. I told him to tell the people at KOTS he can fix bikes, I think they also sometime get bikes from the Sheriff.
The last two homeless people I engaged and tried to help didn’t turn out very well on my end of it. Maybe this time will go differently.
In the Key West Citizen today:
Higgs Beach from ocean
Higgs Beach upgrades top BOCC agenda
County tackles master plan for the popular Atlantic park
BY TIMOTHY O’HARA Citizen Staff
tohara@keysnews.com

The Monroe County Commission could take its first steps Thursday in moving Atlantic Boulevard at Higgs Beach, and will also vote on approving several upgrades to the popular beach park in Key West.

The commission will discuss the “implementation of the design and construction” of the “relocation of the road,” the county’s meeting agenda states.

“This would start the design process for the road,” said County Commissioner Heather Carruthers, who represents Key West and has been active in the Higgs Beach redevelopment effort.

The county has been discussing the idea of moving the road so the beach and bathrooms would be on the same side of the road as Astro Park, a popular children’s park.

The commission is scheduled to discuss moving Atlantic Boulevard and other upgrades at 10 a.m. Thursday when the board meets at the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave., Key West.

The commission will also vote on placing new shade structures at the Higgs Beach beachfront children’s park. The county recently had to remove a dozen Australian pine trees because they were dying and the big, heavy limbs have begun to fall from the trees.

The commission will also discuss requiring visitors to reserve and rent the two bandshells at the beach park.

It is not uncommon to see families using the bandshells for birthday parties and other occasions. However, there have been complaints of homeless and drunk people squatting inside the bandshells, which in turn scares away children and families.

The price to rent a bandshell would “cheap,” and visitors would not have to rent them if they used them briefly, or had their pictures taken inside them, Carruthers said.

The county has been working on a master plan for Higgs Beach for several years. Plans call for multiuse fields, a bike and pedestrian trail, exercise course, and upgrades to the children’s parks. The commission has set aside $1 million in sales tax money for Higgs Beach. The county has also secured hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal and state transportation grants and county Tourist Development Council funding for Higgs Beach upgrades.

tohara@keysnews.com

I was on Heather Carruthers’

Heather Carruthers

original Higgs Beach Committee. It’s sole purpose then, and I don’t see anything changed, was to redo Higgs Beach so it would be impossible for homeless people to hang out there. I told the county commissioners that at a commission meeting two or so years ago. They looked back at me like I was talking to petrified coral. The county commissioners would have been far better advised to stay out of Key West and Heather’s crusade to rid Key West of what Heather seemed to love to call homeless people, “vagrants”. Being a vagrant myself, I took high offense at the use of that term in her committee meetings, and let them know they were starting to remind me of Nazi Germany. The county commissioners and the Tourist Development Council would have been far better advised to spend the Higgs Beach redo money on sewering the lower Keys correctly. Higgs Beach has been notorious for water unsafe flags flying due to fecal bacteria in the water. The sea is Key West and the Florida Keys’ only real asset. You’d think the city and the county governments would put CLEAN WATER ahead of EVERY THING ELSE. You’d think WRONG. They put clean water LAST, and only because the state government came down on them did they start PRETENDING to put the sea FIRST. In their own ways, they remind me of the “Wolf of Wallstreet” – priorities all askew.

Sliding up the Keys a little ways,

pelican pooping

I’ve been seeing email reports that nice patriotic Keys vermin are stealing Dump the Pumps signs which had been put out by Banks Prevatt and his camp in their attempt to prevent a sewer disaster in the lower Keys. Way I see it, the nice patriotic Keys vermin stealing the signs are the best evidence that they are vermin and Banks’ camp is right.

Received two forwards from Banks yesterday.

fishy smell

From:
To: Bgprevatt@______________
Sent: 1/13/2014 10:20:46 P.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: Re: Something Stinks, Channel 7 Investigations
Banks: Might be necessary to cut and paste the link to get it to open?? When you get to the web site the the story appears (transcript below), but the video has apparently been disabled by Channel 7. Best, Tom.
“If you love the Florida Keys you might be seeing some changes and in one way they will not be good. More than a dozen business say they will be forced to close and they are blaming the county. As Patrick Fraser reports, they are telling us Something Stinks.
WSVN — Parts of the Florida Keys are about to change and not in a good way.
Jay Marzella: “One of the answers I was given was because it’s the law.”
The Florida Keys, a paradise for tourists. A living for the people who cater to those visitors.
Jay Marzella: “This is going to break the backs of the small mom and pop shops that are here.”
Parmers Resort has been in the Keys since the 70?s. Big Pine Restaurant has been here 12 years.
John Littriello: “The letter was actually a surprise and a shock.”
Dive shops, motels, restaurants and retailers without them, the Keys just wouldn’t be the same.
But it all may be about to change.
Jay Marzella: “And now they’ve come up with the worst, worst possible proposition.”
Business owners in the lower Keys recently got letters from the county, telling them they were going to have to pay to hook up to a sewer line and pay big.
Jay Marzella: “It says here that I owe over a quarter of a million dollars to participate in the wastewater program.”
The owners of the KOA Campground were told to pay more than $700,000, and they had two months to pay it.
Gary Andelin, KOA Manager: “If I had to pay that I would be out of business.”
Big Pine Restaurant has to pay $50,000 also within two months to hook up to the sewer.
John Littriello: “Which to me effectively forces a second mortgage on our business, which we cannot survive.”
Patrick Fraser: “The fact that homeowners and business owners have to hook up to a central sewer system is no surprise. 20 years ago the state ordered the county to have a sewage system in place by 2015. Some cities like Key Largo, Key West and Marathon did. But for 20 years, Monroe County to be blunt, did nothing.”
Patrick: “Did the county mismanage this project?”
Jay Marzella: “100 percent. 100 percent.”
And to his credit, the head of the county sewage system admits for 20 years his predecessors didn’t prepare for this day.
Kevin Wilson, Monroe County Public Works: “Had we acted at the very beginning. One way to make this equal for everybody is to take the total cost of the system divide by the total number of people in the system, and charge everybody the same amount. We didn’t do that.”
Further infuriating business owners certain businesses don’t have to pay to hook up to the sewage system.
Gary Andelin, KOA Manager: “Two of the biggest competitors that I have will not have any assessment. so they don’t have to increase rates. I have to increase rates.”
The county says, it’s because those properties or business, whichever word you like, are too far away.
Kevin Wilson: “It’s not economically feasible to go out to all the ends of the islands and connect all the properties.”
Homeowners are being treated differently as well paying a flat fee of $4,500.
While businesses, who in some cases use the same amount of water, have to pay more than 10 times as much $46,000.
Jay Marzella: “How is that even fair. I should be charged $4,500 times how many rooms I have.”
But Monroe County isn’t budging.
Jay Marzella: “In the letters they have issued, they say if you don’t pay it, if you can’t pay it we’ll issue a tax lien and you will lose your title.”
Marzella compares it to a mob tactic.
Jay Marzella: “My words: Pay this extortion or we will take your business.”
Many businesses may disappear and with them jobs for Keys residents.
Jay Marzella: “We need sewers. We got to have them, but not at the expense of shutting down my business. It’s the county government taking my livelihood and the livelihoods of at least 15 other families that work here full time.”
The sewage lines may be required, but the decision to suddenly demand the money in full leaves them saying something stinks.”
septic_tank1.jpg
I dunno, might be the lower Keys will vote for anyone who runs for county commission against an incumbent. Meanwhile, more shitty news, although I really like Banks’ style …

Popeye

From: Bgprevatt@__________
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2014 15:14:50 -0500
Subject: Sewer System Lower Floirda Keys
To: Rick.Scott@eog.myflorida.com
CC: holly@hollyraschein.com; boccdis1@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis2@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis3@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis4@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis5@monroecounty-fl.gov; tappell@fkaa.com; bbarroso@fkaa.com; jrdean@fkaa.com; dritz@fkaa.com; mwagner@fkaa.com; kzuelch@fkaa.com; bop@eog.myfl.com; christian.weiss@myflorida.gov; christian.weiss@laspbs.state.fl.us

To the Honorable Governor Scott:

Governor,

Several members of this community have written to you regarding the subject.   The canned response from your staff has been that these matters are best resolved at the local level.

The local authority that is non-responsive to local citizens is the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA).  The board of directors for this agency is appointed by your office.  We have no power to resolve issues with these good people.  These folks are not elected; they are your appointees.  Additionally, your office has approved $100,000,000 in funds that will be spent under the supervision of this board.  You are involved at the local level whether you like it or not.

The FKAA has a strong and good history of water production, distribution and quality control. It has virtually no experience in sewer construction.  Many are concerned that the decision making and supervisory role of the FKAA, in this matter, are flawed.  The concern is that the long term goal of placing a sewer system in the Florida Keys is being diluted by providing a hybrid system that is not ecologically sound for the Keys.

Publically and privately, the board of directors and staff of the FKAA tell us, “We prefer gravity, it has no moving parts.”  This is the most environmentally friendly and logical system to install in the Florida Keys where the whole matter began as a water quality issue 20 years ago.  Why are we not doing gravity?

The original design was a gravity system.  Somewhere along the road the design changed to a hybrid of gravity and grinder pumps.  Multiple grinder pumps in the yards of homeowners will prove less ecologically friendly with time than the septic and aerobic systems they replace.  As grinder pumps and their transmission lines leak in time to come, and they will, raw sewage will be discharged undetected at ground level.  At least septic systems provide some level of filtration.

Cape Coral, in recent years, did an extensive engineering study concerning the use of Grinder Pump technology and rejected it.  If anyone on your staff would like the report, I will send it.

On behalf of concerned citizens through a grass roots organization, we ask for your review and possible intervention.

Respectfully,

Banks Prevatt, Pres.

Dump the Pumps, Inc.

Rick Scott

Governor Scott (photo) often has let it be known how Christian right (direction and correct) he is; he ought to understand, therefore, how the homeless man Jesus in the Gospels spoke of stewardship and the consequences of not being a good steward.

struck by lightning

Sloan Bashinsky

keysmyhome@hotmail.com

Sloan at Coco's

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.
This entry was posted in Today's FlaKey Drivel. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply