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From Banks Prevatt, Little Torch Key. Banks is President of Dump The Pumps, Inc. – www.dumpthepumps.com
FKAA is picking us apart house by house, street by street, neighborhood by neighborhood. Court action is going to be slow. It may help us in the future,but for now, from Sugarloaf through Big Pine, we need to become more proactive in our community.
A number of you have called me asking what to do. FKAA or the contractor is on your street, in your yard or knocking on your door. From the stories I hear about how some of you were threatened, you are being lied to. If they make a threat, ask them to put it in writing. Here is what a number of us plan to do.
1. Not sign the document requested by FKAA — it is a utility easement.
2. Some that have signed are going to send FKAA a letter requesting the document be returned — stating “the easement is revoked.” If the document in not returned, A second letter will go to FKAA stating it was signed under duress. It really won’t matter if the FKAA returns the easement so long as the FKAA gets the revocations letter.
3. Post a “No Trespass” sign on our property and not allow them on our property. For additional attention, added letters could say this “includes FKAA and its contractors.”
The county will come at us with code enforcement which is a civil action not criminal. They re-named themselves “Code Compliance” to make it smell better, but it is still Code Enforcement. In the Upper Keys they have over 2000 code cases they are processing.
Again, court action is going to move slowly. We suggest we start creating our own injunction by becoming disruptive. Some did not want to get involved in this level of activity, but we do not see other options at this point. It may be time for some sort of disruptive demonstrations.
Suggestions are welcome.
Legal action against DEP and FKAA will be filed this week.
Other legal action we are exploring:
1. An action under the heading of “Equal Protection vs Legal Protection” — what the county gives to my neighbor they should give to me also.
2. Did the county misrepresent to the public the referendum extending the sales tax which was for the purpose of a fully funded central sewer system and have those funds misappropriated.
I imagine those grinder pumps the County Commissioners love so much will spread human waste all over the ground during the next Hurricane Wilma and her tidal surge which covers entire islands. I wonder how Danny Coll, who has filed to run for County Commissioner George Neugent’s seat this year, feels about grinder pumps? We know how George feels about them. He loves them. Why didn’t the angels have something juicy like that for me to campaign on when I ran against George in 2006 and in 2010?
Letter to the Editor in today’s Key West Citizen:
Toxins are polluting our aquatic ecosystem
Lighted cigarette butts, beer bottles, cans, fast food debris and fecal ridden diapers tossed from vehicles traveling along U.S. 1 have significantly increased since the construction of the new Jewfish Creek Bridge in Key Largo.
Noise pollution, along with toxins discharged into our fragile aquatic ecosystem, are poisoning our environment.
The county has done its best to combat the effects of littering. They’re no match for the hordes of travelers who swarm through our communities each day.
Bicyclist, motorcycle and pedestrian casualties have increased. Near misses, knock downs and brush offs, without any law enforcement involvement, occur every day.
Many of our so-called advancements have had an adversarial impact upon the lives of residents who have their one and only home in the Keys. These citizens traverse the only major road that we have to go to work, shop for their families, go to their second jobs, and involve themselves in charitable work.
Many businesses, developers and contractors have pursued the fruits of denser and expanded development. Their myopic pursuit of the almighty dollar has systematically denigrated the attractiveness of the very environment that they market. Obtuse and self-defeating, after they malign and tear up everything that can be torn up for the sake of money, they will move on, scarifying anything else that gets in their way.
Approximately 4.5 trillion filters from spent cigarettes make their way into the environment every year. Individuals continue to litter our islands with lit butts that have caused damage and death. Enforcing the law regarding these types of violations would be a giant step towards safeguarding life and property. It will add cash to the government’s coffers, easing the burden on taxpayers.
Scientists at San Diego State University have determined that a single cigarette butt with a small amount of unburnt tobacco clinging to it, soaked in a liter of water for one day, will kill 50 percent of the fish swimming in the water. Each butt tossed into the ocean is a miniature vial of poison.
These violations have essentially gone unpunished. Protecting our islands from destructive intrusions? Priceless.
Agreed. And, I would toss in these polluters and pillagers: the Cudjoe Regional Sewer District; cruise ships dumping their untreated or partially-treated sewerage in the sea; farm chemical runoff; lawn chemical run off; and 500 or so deep canals the tides cannot refresh because they are too deep, too long, too filled with sea weed.
During the 2007 Key West mayor race, I proposed dressing homeless people, who wanted to do it, up like pirates, with plastic swords, daggers and pistols, and paying them to be litter cops, strolling around Key West uttering pirate salutations, oaths, grumblings and threats to litterbugs, including cigarette butt litterbugs.
The pirate litter cops would give litterbugs a chance to pick up their litter and put it in a trash can, or in their pockets, and litterbugs who did not comply would be given a citation with a stiff fine. Word of that idea got out and I was interviewed on a nationally-syndicated radio station in New York City, then on several other radio stations around USA, including one in Honolulu. No traction in Key West for the idea, though.
As for noise pollution, a Facebook thread started yesterday started by Gweko Phlocker, who posted in a different Facebook thread maybe a month ago ago, that he really hoped I would run for mayor of Key West this year.
Gweko W. Phlocker
I believe that every bar should be declared a church… we can make it a farce like the Conch Republic Rebellion… and then all of them will be exempt from any sound ordinance violations… because we will all be a church , I can go around and Bless each and every single bar in Key West… With a dedication ceremony. Pass the rum .
brothers and sisters
Chris Rehm … I had heard that this noise ordinance all started with complaints about a church in Bahama Village… I can’t say if it was correct however.
Steve Clark while it’s a good idea to oppose the [noise] ordinance in it’s entirety. don’t complain about the idea of setting a decibel limit but not using a db meter… just in case it passes you wouldn’t want to discourage them from including something that insures it can’t stand up in court
Sloan Bashinsky I was on Duval Street yesterday afternoon. A bar just above Sloppy Joe’s on same side of the street had a bass song going, thump, thump, thump, probably audible 3 blocks away. Then, a vehicle came in with its bass going, thump, thump, thump, probably audible 3 blocks away. I doubt either would have broken a sound limit test, but bass penetrates anything it encounters and keeps going. During citizen comments, I and others said at a City Commission meeting about a month ago now, that bass should be outlawed in the city. At a later City Commission meeting, I said during citizen comments that what the city should do is include in its new ordinance that any place, church, bar, which is playing real loud music simply should be shut down for the rest of the day and night by a code enforcement officer or police officer, and be allowed to reopen the next day. Harley riders, who rev up their bikes to screech level, people in vehicles with sound blasters or base, simply are stopped and taken out of their vehicles, towing company called, vehicle towed, vehicle owner’s problem to retrieve and pay cost of towing, storage. Zero tolerance. No citation written. No fine. No lawyers. No courts. No judges. Redneck Justice. New noise ordinance would have to be advertised for visitors, a good place would be at the top of the Key, big sign, Welcome to Key West, our noise ordinance is strictly enforced. I heard at the City Commission meeting about a month ago that the church is on Simonton Street. I plays really loud music several days a week in a residential neighborhood. The main focus of noise complaints, however, was on Duval Street. Code Enforcement Manager Jim Young told the commissioners and mayor that there are a handful of regular offenders, who turn up the volume to try to draw in customers, and when one bar’s volume is higher, a nearby competitor turns up its volume to be loudest, then they get into competition for loudest. This goes on all the time, he said. He named the bars. Cowboy Bill’s was one, might not still be called that. I went by there the other day, their little bar on the side street, a guitar player was set up right next to the sidewalk, aimed up toward Duval Street, blasting away really loud, I’d heard him a block a way on the other side of Duval heading his way. He was not playing to the few people in the bar, but to the people half a block away on Duval. He was doing it on purpose. That was obvious. He for that moment was a soundman from hell. A water cannon might have been fun to use on him.
More letters to the editor in the Citizen today:
City urged to take a look at the homeless land model
People have been replaced by machines. Millions are homeless. The national policy with respect to homeless people is passive enthanasia. If a woman is homeless, she has lost her right to land. If a man is homeless, he has lost his right to land.
Being forced to live without shelter causes the natural consequence of unnatural death. The homeless are surviving somewhere on the land anyway. It is the responsibility of society to organize this basic fact of life.
Five to 8 acres of land is enough to revolve every homeless family in Key West. Homeless people would own the land in common. Same as Indian reservations. This plan is a compromise between the taxpayers, the homeless people, downtown merchants and the state, known as the Rust Belt compromise. American Homeless land model is a plan at no cost to the taxpayers, no cost to the state, and at no cost to the downtown merchant.
The City of Key West finds itself in abundant wealth, and could easily afford to give 5 to 8 acres of land to the homeless. The homeless would be required to keep the peace at all times, or forfeit the land right.
Ultimately, American Homeless land model is an effort to establish one homeless land reservation in each county of the United States. In addition to that goal, any municipality can choose to create a homeless reservation adjacent to that municipality as civil defense for the people — located on the least valuable land, ordinarily near to the county or municipal dump.
I wonder if Kenneth ever was homeless in Key West? I wonder if he ever lived in a homeless camp in Key West? I wonder if he ever lived in a homeless shelter in Key West? I did all of that. The odds of a community of long-term homeless people getting along and thriving on free city land (assuming such can be provided by Key West) is zero, because 90 percent of them are addicts. Most of them cannot get along with other people. Most of them do not like rules. Most of them do not like chores. Most of them just want to be addicts and live off of their monthly checks and begging revenues and dumpster diving for food and booze.
In today’s Citizen is an article about two homeless men who reported being assaulted and beaten up in separate incidents, but they were so intoxicated they could not provide coherent reports to police officers. However, there is another tribe of homeless people, whom I call the new homeless. Most of them probably would love to have a chance at what Kenneth suggests. Most of them want to work, hope to get back to “normal”. But where is Key West going to find the land for that? Truman Waterfront? No. Out by the airport? Perhaps. Will that residential neighborhood go along with it? Who knows? They went ballistic in 2003, when the city wanted to put its overnight homeless shelter next to the airport.
Time with Wounded Warriors was a blessing
Recently, I had the honor of spending time with a group of Wounded Warriors, true American heroes.
My friend, Michael Knowles, general manager at the Grand Key Resort, played host to several of these amazing young men and I had the privilege of meeting these heroes. Knowles and I decided to have a pizza party with all the trimmings for them before they left Key West, and we did.
What a fantastic group of young Americans. All were amputees, most were double amputees, yet all of them were so upbeat and full of life! They were proud to be Americans and proud that they had all done their best to defend our great country and our freedom.
God bless all of them. We have sent our warriors into battle, they have fought the good fight and now many return to us broken in body but not in spirit — it is now our time to help them!
Yes, they were brave, and I truly hope God blesses all of them, and I hate what they have experienced. However, I probably will go to my grave not believing they defended USA but were conscripted pawns of American corporations and their elected drones in Washington, D.C. American corporations and their directors, officers and employees and shareholders made a great deal of money from the “credit card” wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Credit card” wars prosecuted by Democrats as well as by Republicans. “Credit card” wars which fiscally ruined America and finished off the slaughter of America’s soul started during the Vietnam War.
homeless Vietnam vet at Memorial Day service in Key West Cemetery
Someone asked me the other day if I had noticed America likes to go to war where lots of heroin is produced? I said, yes, I had noticed that. Southeast Asia, Afghanistan. From what I heard from and of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, most of them used a lot of drugs, including but not limited to booze, during their tours of duty. It was the only way they could cope. The homeless war veterans I have known in Key West used lots of drugs, booze mostly, to cope.
A friend told me yesterday that he really had liked George W. Bush as President. I asked if he was serious? Yes, he was serious. He said he had volunteered to go to Iraq and drive ambulances, but had been turned down. I said, well then, he should go to Afghanistan and get on the front lines with an automatic rifle, and then see how much he likes George W. Bush. If he had said he had really liked Barack Obama as president, I would have told him the same thing.
Editorial in today’s Key West Citizen:
Sunday, February 23, 2014
It’s time for America’s Iron Curtain to fall
A recent nationwide survey found well over half of the U.S. population now favors ending the embargo with Cuba, and enabling free travel between our two countries.
No longer are we in a cold war with a direct and threatening Russian presence close by. Cubans continue to live in fairly dire economic straits; a physician is paid about $20 per month.
The Coast Guard picked up more refugees attempting to traverse the Florida Straits in 2013 than in the prior year. Officials believe many more die in those flimsy vessels used to attempt the overseas crossing. Those fleeing Cuba are economic refugees, mostly young males, coming in hopes of work.
Cuba can brag on a high literacy rate, well-trained health care professionals, and a continuing high level of artistic success, particularly in the visual arts and dance arenas, but the island nation is sorely short on economic opportunity or individual prosperity.
Key West is currently participating in a historical cultural exchange with Cuba. An exhibit of the works of Mario Sanchez has traveled to Havana; 35 local art lovers under the auspices of the Studios of Key West and Nance Franks’ untiring efforts joined the opening ceremony at the National Gallery in Havana.
Now, several noted Cuban artists are in our city and are involved in active programming at several Key West venues, including the Florida Keys Council of the Arts at the Gato Building, Mel Fisher Museum, the Oldest House, and The Studios.
Many Cubans who came to the states years ago do all they can to provide financial sustenance to relatives in Cuba, and are allowed to visit them. But the U.S. greatly restricts entry by Cubans, as well as travel to and from the country by U.S. citizens.
Cuba is a beautiful country, with architectural treasures, beautiful parks and beaches. It can be predicted that if U.S. restrictions on commercial trade and travel to Cuba are softened, a strong tourism industry would quickly emerge, as well as many other business ventures capitalizing on a well-educated workforce. Capitalism might even flourish.
There seems to be little to gain by persisting in an economic boycott of Cuba, and much to gain by ending it.
We do not condone political repression at home or abroad. American’s freedom to travel to Cuba has for too long been restricted. A free people should not be barred by their government from traveling as ours has done. Cultural exchange and commercial development will narrow our differences.
It’s time for free trade and free travel with our repressed cousins, and for Cuba to join the world of nations without the imposed preconditions in place. It’s time to tear down this wall.
– The Citizen
It’s my impression Cuba joined the world of nations quite a while ago, sans USA participation. I agree, it’s time for USA to join the world of nations, including Cuba :-). I wonder how Danny Coll, a Cuban-American running for George Neugent’s District 2 County Commission seat, feels about today’s Editorial? Perhaps the Citizen should ask Danny? I suggest that because it was my impression during the 2010 District 2 County Commission race, in which I ran as an Independent, that Danny firmly opposed normalization of USA relations with Cuba. When I said that in a post at www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com, Danny’s campaign manager, Tim Gratz, wrote a letter to the editor, which the Citizen published, saying I was racially prejudiced against Hispanic people.
Last night I finished reading Earnest Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not, which I had not previously read.
It is set in Key West and Cuba. I can’t say I’m glad I read it. Seriously dark book. Seriously dark. Maybe an accurate portrayal of that time, though. Maybe all Key West high school students should be required to read it. Maybe all Key West residents should, too. Naw, that might be cruel and unusual punishment.
I sent this email today:
Letter to the editor to the Key West Citizen:
A while back, I received an out of the blue email from someone out west, who once had lived in Key West, about the video of the Thanksgiving Day apprehension by KWPD officers of Charles Eimers on South Beach in Key West, which Eimers did not survive. Here’s a link to that video , which is in first Key West the Newspaper article on that sad story. I include the video link - video - because the Citizen has run several articles on Eimers’ death, which mentioned the video, but the link was not provided for Citizen readers to see the video for themselves.
The correspondent said he recognized an old Key West friend in the video, walking on the South Beach pier, looking back at the KWPD apprehending Eimers. The correspondent said his friend on the pier was named Dustin, and at one time he lived in the Porter Place housing project at Trumbo Point, operated by the Housing Authority. The correspondent declined to provide Dustin’s last name. A friend of mine living at Porter Place said he knew a Dustin, but not his last name, who had lived in Porter place, perhaps still did, but my friend did not know which apartment.
The Housing Authority does not provide information on its residents. Perhaps if the Citizen publishes this letter to the editor, Dustin, if he is still around Key West, will see or hear of it and be inclined to contact Police Chief Donnie Lee, the Citizen and Key West the Newspaper, so they can ask him what, if anything, he saw happen when Charles Eimers was apprehended on South Beach.
1711 Seminary Street
Key West 33040
Sent to: Paul Clarin, Publisher; Gary Maitland, Editor; Sandra Frederick, News Editor; Adam Lindhardt, news journalist; Todd German, Editorial Board member; Key West the (Blue) Newspaper; Police Chief Donie Lee; Mayor Craig Cates; City Commissioner Teri Johnston (I live in her voting district); City Manager Bob Vitas; City Attorney Shawn Smith