For whom the bell tolls – mostly for thee, Key West

Hemingway typingErnest Hemingway

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From Wikipedia:

The title of the book [published 1940] is taken from the metaphysical poet John Donne‘s series of meditations and prayers on health, pain, and sickness (written while Donne was convalescing from a nearly fatal illness) that were published in 1624 as Devotions upon Emergent Occasions, specifically Meditation XVII. Hemingway quotes part of the meditation (using Donne’s original spelling) in the book’s epigraph:

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the SeaEurope is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine ownewere; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.

Feather Talk

I wrote in yesterday’s  just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, but Key West might need more than sugar  post at

“I saw a friend tonight at Daddy Bones BBQ, whom I tease about his Sicilian connections. I said I need for him to tell his relatives and friends over there in the Mediterranean that I would much rather have them covering my back, than Uncle Sam or the KWPD, and to also tell them I said they know more tricks and moves than the Conchs ever dreamed possible. My friend, laughed, said he will pass my message along.”

Said friend, who also just so happens to be La Cosa Nostra’s seasonal van dweller hit man in Key West, wrote yesterday afternoon:

The Shadow


I have discussed this matter of your campaign with the Capo di tutti Capi and he will pass the word that you are a man of honor and deserve the respect of all of the 5 families.

Don Fanucci has ordered the Tattaglias and Barzini clans to stop fighting each other and support you.

You are a man of the people. The mafia began as a people’s army defeating the French occupation after some French soldiers raped a Sicilian girl in 1315: which is known as The Sicilian Vespers.

As KW has been raped by Conch mayors they want to help you defeat them for the people of Key West.

You are a man of the people.

We have your back.

Don Emilio

I replied:

Much appreciated, Don Emilio.

I heard today from a fellow who seems to know plenty-squared about Key West, that the so-called Conch mafia is divided into clans of its own, and the New Town clan doesn’t even view Jimmy Weekley [a Key West native and former city mayor, now a city commissioner]


as a Conch due to his hobnobbing with Old Town elites and developers and so forth and so on.

The info luminary had other Key West lore to drop on me.

He knew Ernest Hemingway’s son who grew up in the Hemingway House after his mother and Hemingway were divorced. The son said they had no six-toed cats. That was invented by somebody later on. Maybe the Conch mafia ought to look into that, get that cat tale straightened out, because it’s proving Hemingway’s prophesy in To Have and Have Not [published 1939] came true – Key West would become a tourist trap.

Continuing that intelligence report, the info luminary said Key West never was a pirate hangout; there wasn’t anything here pirates wanted, they might have landed here a few times, but it was not a base for them. Another invention to lure in tourists.

How does the Conch mafia put up with such fabrication of their bloodline? Perhaps they need to make a pilgrimage to Sicily and there learn the proper way of dealing with those who would come into their midst and defame their proud heritage.

Meanwhile, please pass along my thanks and warm regards to your esteemed friends.



Don Emilio replied:

U r welcome…


Well, so much for my idea to dress KWPD officers like pirates.


And, so much for my idea to hire homeless people as litter cops and dress them up like pirates and have then sally forth uttering pirate oaths at and threatening litterbugs with foul pirate punishments if they don’t pick up their litter, and giving them big fines if the threats do not get results.

On getting Key West’s homeless jobs, a letter to the editor in today’s Key West Citizen –


evening check in at Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS)

KOTS should become agent for homeless seeking work

I was thinking the KOTS homeless shelter would be a good place to pick up a day laborer, but because the government wants its cut (taxes), whatever it wants, you can’t legally hire someone off the street.

So, the homeless shelter needs to become the agent. One needing laborers would call the homeless shelter, tell them what kind of worker you needed. The homeless shelter would pick out the right person for the job, then the employer would pay the homeless shelter. The shelter would keep its cut and pay the rest to the worker.

If it’s good enough for the agents who bring people in from other countries, why not for the homeless shelter?

Agreeing to be hired out would be a condition to staying at the shelter, and refusing to work would get one kicked out. If the worker gets his/her own place, the homeless shelter no longer gets its cut, and the worker gets all his/her pay, thus encouraging the worker to no longer be homeless.

Archer Miller

Summerland Key

down the rabbit hole

My dear Archer,

Perhaps if you lived in Key West, you would know the city cannot use KOTS in that way. Perhaps if you lived in America, you would know that, too. Key West can impose no requirements on homeless people who stay at KOTS, other than they have to behave civilly when they are inside the fence, they cannot possess booze or other narcotics (other than what they have consumed), and they leave in the morning by the required time. If the city required homeless people to work, in order to stay at KOTS, the homeless who did not go along with that would be able to lay down at night and sleep anywhere in public they wished. If you don’t believe me, ask Sheriff Rick Ramsay and/or KW Police Chief Donie Lee. Furthermore, no way is the city crazy enough to assume responsibility (legal liabiity) for deciding which homeless people are suitiable for which day jobs local companies might wish to hire homeless people to do. For you to make such a suggestion tells me that you have spent no time around homeless people and are sitting in an arm chair in another country holding forth on what you know nothing. Maybe you are even on another planet. A way for you to get in touch with the reality you do not know is for you to descend from wherever you are and spend a few nights at KOTS getting to know the people you know not. Same recommendation I made to the KW mayor and city commissioners a few times. Same recommendation I make to anyone who thinks he/she knows how to “fix” Key West’s homeless “problem”.

Sloan Bashinsky

On same topic (managing homeless people), John Donnelly, of Key Largo, sent:

John Donnelly

Miami’s homeless stripped of some rights as judge accepts settlement

homeless - Miami

Police will now be able to stop homeless people from building fires in parks to cook, or from building makeshift tents to sleep in. The homeless can still sleep on sidewalks, but not if they block the path of pedestrians.
By Charles Rabin

U.S. Judge Federico Moreno on Friday approved changes that will strip the homeless of some of the life-sustaining rights they were granted through a historic settlement reached in Miami almost two decades ago.

Police will now be able to stop homeless people from building fires in parks to cook, or from building makeshift tents to sleep in. The homeless can still sleep on sidewalks, but not if they block the path of pedestrians.

If homeless people are within a quarter-mile of a public restroom, they can no longer expose themselves to urinate or to clean. And convicted sex offenders who are homeless will no longer receive the same life-sustaining benefits as other homeless people.

Moreno’s approval followed a vote in January by Miami city commissioners to go along with the agreement worked out between the city and the American Civil Liberties Union.

The city went to court last summer seeking changes to the 16-year-old Pottinger agreement that was reached after a group of homeless men sued in federal court claiming they were tired of being continually harassed and arrested by Miami police.

The city argued the rules under Pottinger were antiquated because downtown’s demographics had changed substantially over the past two decades. The population has doubled to more than 70,000, restaurants and cultural venues are flourishing, and the remaining homeless are now a constant bother to patrons and condo owners.

The ACLU objected to the positions, saying despite the demographic shift, nothing has changed for the 500 or so chronically homeless that continue to call downtown Miami’s streets their home.

The two sides reached agreement in December. Miami city commissioners approved it in January and Moreno accepted the settlement Friday.

I wrote to John Donnelly:

Thanks, John, I figured something was coming on this sooner or later.

So, cooking meals no longer is a life-sustaining activity?

What also puzzles me about this news report is letting homeless people sleep on sidewalks, if they are not blocking pedestrian traffic. I wonder if that means Miami does not have enough shelter space for all of its homeless people, so those who cannot get into shelters can sleep on sidewalks?

I ask that question because Key West’s homeless shelter, this time of year at least, sometimes, or more often, does not have enough space for all of the homeless people lined up out front waiting to get in; some are turned away. Does that mean those who are turned away can sleep on KW sidewalks, such as the big wide new sidewalk on North Roosevelt Blvd, where they would not block pedestrian traffic?

Does this report suggest other cities in the Keys and the unincorporated county areas like Key Largo have to let homeless people sleep on public sidewalks and bike/pedestrian paths, if there is no shelter where they can sleep?

Key West and the entire Florida Keys lie in the jurisdiction of that same US District Court. That and the Pottinger settlement are why Key West built KOTS. And, because Attorney Sam Kaufman and I both told city officials Key West would be put into that US District Court by us if the city police did not stop threatening homeless people with arrest if they did not wake up, get up, and move on, and arresting and jailing them if they did not comply.

What always puzzled me, and still puzzles me, is Key West lets homeless people (and other people) sleep in public parks and on beaches during the day time, when most locals and tourists are in those places, but the city won’t let homeless people sleep in parks and on beaches at night, when nobody is there and the homeless aren’t visible. I know for a fact that some homeless people sleep during the day time in Key West, so they don’t have to sleep at night, outside or at KOTS.


On same topic (managing homeless people), Nashville J sent:

Grand Ole Opry

Just of interest since it mentioned it was ok to sleep in a car.


DeLand [Florida]: No more sleeping on benches

Jesus homeless

By Jen Horton
posted Feb 28, 2014 – 10:56:50am

It’s illegal to sleep on a park bench in DeLand, if the bench is in a park.

You can sleep on a park bench if the bench is pretty much anywhere else, including in front of a business in Downtown DeLand.

At its Monday, March 3, meeting, the City Commission will consider making it illegal to sleep on any city property.

Assistant City Manager Dale Arrington said the current ordinance makes it very hard for police officers to ask people sleeping on sidewalk benches to move along. The law is very specific, and stipulates parks.

After a request from the MainStreet DeLand Association’s merchant committee, the city staff looked at closing that loophole.

If the City Commission adopts it, the new law, will make it unlawful to sleep on any street, sidewalk, alley or right of way, or on any public structure.

“We didn’t want people to be able to roll off the bench, roll underneath it and say, ‘There, I’m not on the bench,'” Arrington said.

It will still be OK to sleep in a car parked in the public right of way.

The ordinance directs police officers to give a verbal warning first, ordering the sleeper to wake up and move along. Should the sleeper not comply, a police officer may arrest the person.

Wayne Carter, executive director of MainStreet DeLand Association, said the merchants brought the problem to the city’s attention in January.

Bench-sleeping in Downtown DeLand isn’t a huge problem currently, Carter said, “but it has been.”

At times, he said, benches outside of bars became sleeping venues.

To enact a new law, an ordinance must be approved by a majority of city commissioners at two meetings.

The first reading of the public sleeping ordinance will be presented at the 7 p.m. City Commission meeting, Monday, March 3, at City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave.

The DeLand City Commission meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month.

Jesus with leper

Hmmm, what about just sleeping on the ground in a public park, not near a park bench? Hmmm, where will Deland let Jesus lay down his head at night, if he decides to try to make his comeback there?

Back to Don Emilio and his vehicle-dweller amigos.

homeless car child


If Key West let van and car dwellers park their cars on city streets and sleep there at night, it would be humane. What Key West does instead is criminalize vehicle dwellers simply because they have not the means to rent an apartment or buy a home. This puts them in jeoparday of being arrested and jailed, if they are caught sleeping in their vehicle. That puts them to playing hide and seek with KW cops every night, or parking their vehicle somewhere and walking a considerable distance to KOTS where there is no parking for vehicle dwellers. Or, to just getting rid of their vehicles and staying nights at KOTS. Without their vehicles, their chances of getting along, not to mention improving their lot, are even less. The wisdom in Key West is that is better than letting vehicle dwellers sleep in their vehicles. A bird’s-eye view of that wisdom.

head up ass

From out of the blue in today’s Keynoter –


Keys state senator files bill to legalize recreational marijuana
February 28, 2014 Updated 9 hours ago

Dwight BullardBullard

State Sen. Dwight Bullard’s chance to pass a recreational-use marijuana bill is slim.

In the latest twist in a debate about legalizing marijuana in Florida, Sen. Dwight Bullard, a Democrat who represents the Keys and parts of Miami-Dade, filed a proposal Friday that would allow the recreational use of marijuana.

The bill (SB 1562) likely has little chance of passing the Republican-dominated Legislature. But it calls for allowing people who are 21 or older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and also would allow them to cultivate up to six marijuana plants. The proposal also would create a regulatory structure that deals with issues such as the sale and taxation of marijuana.

The proposal comes as Florida voters prepare to cast ballots in November on legalizing medical marijuana. Also, lawmakers are considering proposals to legalize a marijuana extract that can help some children who have a form of epilepsy and suffer from severe seizures.

Republican Keys state Rep. Holly Raschein of Key Largo favors medical marijuana legalization.

light bulb

I endorsed and voted for Dwight Bullard in 2012, because he was a career educator and knew something about teaching and school systems. We had a few conversations at candidate forums. He struck me as on the ball, his own man. He knows marijuana is not the the evil drug it is made out to be. A plant God made, for Christ’s sake! Booze is a far more dangerous drug.

I imagine if Key West, said to have more bars per capita than any other city anywhere, were simply to pronounce it no longer will enforce state and federal anti-marijuana laws, that will turn Key Weird into a Mary Jane-lovers mecca …


weed lovers will pilgrimage to Key Weird from all over America, Canada, Europe … the city’s lodging places and restaurants will burst at the seams … there will be no seating available in restaurants and bars for cruise ship passengers … maybe Ernest Hemingway and the cappos and dons will find that hilarious … I certainly will …

After buying a ticket to “Gloria” last night at Tropic Cinema,

Tropic Cinema

I walked toward the volunteer taking up the tickets. Before I got to him, he said, “Hello Mayor Sloan.” Not recognizing him as someone I know, perhaps ageheimers was at work again, I said, “When was my coronation?” He smiled, said, “Think positive.”

“Gloria”  was terrific. Americans still have much to learn from Europeans, South Americans and other peoples about making movies and living and loving …

Mustang Sally

Amiga Gloria Reiser’s soul drawing, she lives in Quincy, Illinois and claims her soul would never do something like that!

Heh, heh, then why was she the one who had the dream in 2002 that I would start making mandalas, and why did she post this on Facebook yesterday,


and why does she sometimes come to Key West?

Sloan with troll

Sloan Bashinsky

paid political advertisement by Sloan Bashinsky, candidate for Mayor of Key West

About Sloan

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