on Facebook yesterday, just so happened
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Also on Facebook yesterday:
“for whom the bell tolls; mostly for thee, Key West” –
today at www.goodmorningkeywest.com
George Crosby tolled ALREADY, bro’ you must have been asleep
Sloan Bashinsky maybe not tolled all the way yet 🙂
John Donnelly emailed re the homeless situation part of yesterday’s post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com:
Sloan, read your thoughtful and always well versed reply. You ask the real questions that must be addressed by any city leader, who desires to authentically develop an answer to the issue of homelessness.
Your message is clear and simple. Let’s deal with what is before us, without getting too far ahead of ourselves.
As I receive new information, I will forward it to you.
Hi, John –
Thanks again for your input. Alas, I can’t say I see a “solution” to homelessness. As the Miami Herald article on the revamp of the Pottinger case settlement agreement you sent to me yesterday showed, the City of Miami is a nearby and poignant example of that city, after many years of trying, not finding a “solution” to its homeless situation. Dreams last night left me wondering on waking at dawn today if perhaps the “best” way to go about it in Key West, at least, is for Key West to be put into the same US District Court the ACLU put Miami in years ago, and let one of the federal judges in that US District Court take charge of Key West’s homeless situation. Let Miami be Key West’s “sister city” on all things homeless. Perhaps a federal judge will be influenced by what happened to Charles Eimers last Thanksgiving Day after he was profiled by a Key West police officer as living in his PT Cruiser. Perhaps learning of that will cause a US District Judge to be inclined to think, yes, there is a grave problem in Key West, and it is clear Key West is not up to “fixing” it. Perhaps a US District Judge will inclined to also think the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Key West PD also are not up to “fixing” it. Perhaps a US District Judge will take over Key West with respect to all things homeless, as happened years ago to Miami. Years ago, I told Key West’s elected and hired city officials that Miami having a US District Judge take over that city’s homeless situation was like having a thousand mothers-in-law come to visit, and they never leave; and it would be the same for Key West, if a US District Judge took over Key West’s homeless situation. But perhaps that would be for the best; for that would eliminate Key West politics from the city’s homeless situation; it would eliminate city neighborhoods having sway in the city’s homeless situation; it would eliminate elected and hired city officials having sway. The city has plenty of situations begging for help, about which something can be done by elected and hired city officials with steel in their spines and their heads screwed on straight. Homelessness, however, is not something they ever will be able to “fix” to their or anyone’s liking. Miami already proved that. Key West already proved it, too. The way the American economy and foreign wars are going, homelessness will increase. If, as I am now reading, the US military is substantially reduced and those then unemployed men and women are returned to the private sector, that, too, will increase homelessness in America. It may be US District Courts around the country will be the only way to deal with homelessness in a way that honors the US Constitution and that fellow who had no place to lay down his head.
What a cheerful assessment.
On same topic, Ginger of Jupiter, Florida emailed:
Have you ever seen the pe fab work sheds or storage sheds at Home Deport that cost about $1000 or so [think they have gone up]. Why can’t these portable sheds be set up in the beach area –or wherever they have set up a semi permanent area for the homeless, assign them a shelter, and assign responsibilities for them to stay there. Water fountains and water supply, but they would have to bring their water jugs to the water supply section, sanitation : portable toilets or what set up exists now re: public toilets Where are the toilets? I didn’t see any and waited til I returned to the ship.
The HOMELESS have to be divided into 3 groups: Drug Addicted – alcoholics and homeless due to depression, ill health, breakdowns [from emotional and financial crashes]. And attempt to deal with each group psychologically. My experience with friend Alison has shown me that an alcoholic is just as addicted as a drug addict, and might be harder to cure oneself as alcohol is freely available. but the purchase of drugs is illegal.
Do we have more homeless today than 50 years ago, 10 years ago? OBAMA’s latest plan to reduce the armed forces by 1/3; wht will that do to the level of unemployment? The 1950’s, or 1946 after the War ended and the GI’s came home but the population in the U.S. then was around 120 million perhaps. Women were laid off and the men returned to industry jobs..
What will be the effect of the GI’s being laid off and returning home. Will their training provide jobs for them? Or will the economy become worse and worse. And why are we still giving out FOREIGN AID. We need DOMESTIC AID.
GINGER in Jupiter 3/2/2014
Hi, Ginger –
Key West city officials will not, nor will Key West residents stand for it, make city beaches into homeless encampments. Erika Biddle has shared this below with me a few times.
Run Sloana run…lol xoe
This post first appeared in Yes! Magazine.
An architect’s rendering of Quixote Village in Olympia, Wash. Image courtesy of Panza.
On a Saturday in September, more than 125 volunteers showed up with tools in hand and built six new 16-by-20-foot houses for a group of formerly homeless men. It was the beginning of Second Wind Cottages, a tiny-house village for the chronically homeless in the town of Newfield, NY, outside of Ithaca.
On January 29, the village officially opened, and its first residents settled in. Each house had cost about $10,000 to build, a fraction of what it would have cost to house the men in a new apartment building.
The project is part of a national movement of tiny-house villages, an alternative approach to housing the homeless that’s beginning to catch the interest of national advocates and government housing officials alike.“It’s certainly something that we would encourage other communities to take a look at,” says Lee Jones at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
For many years, it has been tough to find a way to house the homeless. More than 3.5 million people experience homelessness in the United States each year, according to the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty. Shortages of low-income housing continue to be a major challenge. For every 100 households of renters in the United States that earn “extremely low income” (30 percent of the median or less), there are only 30 affordable apartments available, according to a 2013 report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition.But Second Wind is truly affordable, built by volunteers on seven acres of land donated by Carmen Guidi, the main coordinator of the project and a longtime friend of several of the men who now live there. The retail cost of the materials to build the first six houses was somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000 per house, says Guidi. But many of the building materials were donated, and all of the labor was done in a massive volunteer effort.
“We’ve raised nearly $100,000 in 100 days,” he says, and the number of volunteers has been “in the hundreds, maybe even thousands now.”
The village will ultimately include a common house, garden beds, a chicken coop, and 18 single-unit cottages.
But where in Key West to locate such an encampment, even if the city was willing to spring for the cost of the housing? A big if. No neighborhood will stand for it being next door, or in that neighborhood’s midst. And, there is very little land left here, which has not been developed out. By the airport and Truman Waterfront are the only undeveloped out land known to me. The airport neighborhood went rabid when the city tried to locate KOTS there back in 2003-2004. City officials barely escaped a meeting in a church out there with their lives.
In the main, homeless people will not take care of a homeless encampment in a way that will please city officials or city residents. The city has all it can say grace over maintaining decorum in its current homeless shelter, KOTS, which is staffed by paid monitors and run by an independent agency hired by the city. If you turn something like that, or a bigger encampment, over to homeless people to run themselves, you will have chaos; a garbage dump; drug dealing; prostitution; fighting; maiming, killing.
Nor do I see the city segregating homeless people into different classifications. The city has not the land, the resources, nor the expertise. The city is in the same homeless dilemma Miami is in, except Miami has no control over its homeless situation since the Pottinger case was settled years ago. Now Miami has to get a US District Judge’s permission anytime Miami wishes to try something new with its homeless situation. I wrote more extensively about that just a little while ago to John Donnelly, who lives on Key Largo. His and mine, and yours and mine, will be included in today’s at www.goodmorningkeywest.com.
I don’t know the statistics on homelessness 50 years ago. I don’t know the statistics today. I simply look at what is going on in Key West, and hear and read about what is going on elsewhere. The homeless situation is more or less the same beyond Key West. Yes, I agree, a lot of US military personnel leaving the Armed Forces and entering the US private sector will create more homeless people. As does US foreign wars. We have lots of homeless vets in Key West suffering from what in the old days was called battleshock, but today is called Post Traumatic Stress.
This article in today’s Key West Citizen – www.keysnews.com – demonstrates how homeless people take care of Mallory Square:
Duval Street pics of before the free panhandling zone was created
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Toilet last straw for panhandling zone
Retooling of laws tightened the allowed area for these activities in public
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
Two years after creating two “panhandling zones” in Key West, city leaders will consider relocating the one placed at the entrance to the Mallory Square parking lot due to “substantial litter” that included a porcelain toilet, according to city attorneys.
The toilet, complete with a roll of tissue rigged up next to it, was photographed as evidence and attached to Tuesday’s city commission agenda. Commissioners meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Old City Hall, 510 Greene St.
“Local businesses have also lodged complaints to the mayor that the panhandlers appeared to be harassing passersby who do not wish to contribute but need to travel in very close proximity to the panhandling zone,” wrote assistant city attorney Ron Ramsingh in a Feb. 19 memo to city commissioners.
Mayor Craig Cates is asking the commission to approve the moving of the Mallory Square panhandling zone to “an area less intrusive to visitors,” the memo states.
The proposed resolution calls for keeping the zone inside the parking lot, though.
“Further, the mayor has proposed further delineating this new proposed area with low, see-through fencing, such as chain link, only on one side to buffer parked cars,” Ramsingh wrote.
Two years ago, Cates led the charge to beef up Key West laws related to “quality of life” — outdoor camping, open container and panhandling. All three directly affect many homeless men and women.
Quickly approved by the commission, the retooled laws restricted panhandling to only two spots on the island. Both are in Old Town — the Mallory Square spot, and the end of Caroline Street by the ferry terminal at the historic seaport.
“Aggressive panhandling” is forbidden anywhere on the island, but the city allows for “passive panhandling” in these zones.
The zones were set up to fend off any lawsuits demanding a constitutional right to freedom of speech via panhandling.
In late 2011, Cates said he didn’t expect people to actually beg for money in these zones. But the spots have become easy pickings for police patrolling for homeless men and women illegally drinking alcohol in public.
At Mallory Square’s parking lot, people have left large boxes and other litter, according to reports by city staff.
Anytime you try to make something behave to suit you better, you almost can count on it finding a way to not suit you better. What if Key West had a magic wand it could wave and make all its homeless people disappear? Move them to, say, Hawaii, or Mars? What do you think would happen? Right, something would come in and fill that void. Maybe more homeless people from up the Keys and the mainland. Maybe something else Key West liked even less. Homeless people are mainstream’s shadow. Any mental health worker worth his/her salt knows you cannot get rid of your shadow, and if you ignore it, or try to get rid of it, either way, it will see to it that you don’t like its protest.
Facebook thread started by Tom Milone yesterday:
Thomas C Milone shared a link.
This has been a problem in Key West for years. I’m pleased that the KWPD has launched this sting operation. Bicycles are the primary means of transportation for many people here.
Cops buy $300 bicycle for theft sting
BY SEAN KINNEY
firstname.lastname@example.orgFebruary 26, 2014
Digging deep into the playbook, the Key West Police Department on Feb. 20 conducted a “covert bicycle operation” designed to catch would-be bike thieves.
In 2013, the city recorded 383 bicycle thefts, spokeswoman Alyson Crean said. So here’s what the police are doing: Leave a bike sitting unlocked out in public, then wait for someone to take it. When that happens, jump out and arrest them.
According to a report from Officer Kevin O’Connell the report, police put the yellow Cannondale 900, valued at more than $300, on the sidewalk leading up to the Staples Avenue Bridge around 5:40 p.m. Thursday.
One of those arrested was Michael Farra, 49, who rode his bicycle over the bridge and “passed the [Cannondale], then made a U-turn, going back.” O’Connell wrote that Farra then started to ride eastbound on Staples Avenue on his bicycle while holding the Cannondale’s left handle bar.
Police stopped Farra at the next intersection.
O’Connell asked him if the bicycle was his. Farra reportedly said, “No, it had a flat tire and [I] was going to take it home and put a tire on it.” He reportedly said he’s not a bike thief and that he thought the bicycle was trash.
When searching Farra, they allegedly found four grams of marijuana in his pocket. He was charged with felony grand theft and misdemeanor drug possession, booked into the Monroe County Detention Center, then released.
Police spokeswoman Alyson Crean confirmed the “sting. There was probably an area where even more bikes than usual were being stolen.”
Tom Theisen It’s not the way to do a sting, I have found abandoned bikes and I ghost them to the police dept. if it was a wallet and you picked it up would you be a thief?
Steve Wainstead · Dj at Pirate Radio Key West
Everyone should register the serial number of their bicycle with the Key West police and the Monroe County Sheriff’s office.
Sloan Bashinsky · Janitor at God, Inc.
Maybe a month ago, a bicyclist passed me on my bicycle on White Street near Faustos. He did a U-turn and pedaled up along side me and asked me where I had gotten that nice blue bike, which was just like the one he’d recently had stolen? I said not just like this bike, I bought it last August 30. Where did I buy it? At the Truman Bike shop about a block away. I just had them work on it that morning, they fixed two busted spokes. He said again, it sure was just like the one what was stolen, same front basket, same back rack over the rear fender. I said, well, I had the bill of sale for my bike in my wallet if he cared to see it. (I was not joking). Silence. Did he care to see the bill of sale? He turned and pedaled off without saying a thing. I wondered if he was trying to steal my bicycle? I’d had three bikes stolen in Key West over the years, and that’s why I kept the bill of sale to this one in my wallet, in case it was stolen and the cops wanted to see a bill of sale or get the serious number. I passed by him on Truman yesterday, and he said “nice bike” and kept going. I had just picked up the bike at Truman Bike Shop. They had fixed a knocking in the right pedal for free, under the warranty. I thought about turning around and catching up with him and trying to settle it once and for all, and if that didn’t work, maybe calling 911 for backup, but I let it go and headed to where I was going. I ain’lt entirely convinced putting an unlocked bicycle in plain view in a public place where bicycles are not usually parked is not entrapment. I know people who have made a fair income finding discarded bikes and fixing them up and selling them, or using parts from them to fix up other discarded bikes they have found. I was given or bought several such used bikes over the years. The Sheriff has a bunch of bikes under the jail which he ended up with in various ways. And, I have heard of people stealing bicycles and then selling them, or abandoning them somewhere, or stripping them and using the parts on other bicycles. It’s a serious pain in the ass having a bicycle stolen, sort of like stealing a man’s horse in the old days, which was a hanging offense. Texas Rangers hung caught horse thieves without even trying them in a court. I still ain’t convinced this sting was not entrapment. I would like to know how many other bicycles, if any, the cops found at the man’s home. If it was entrapment, the ensuing search was illegal and the marijuana found is tainted (poisoned fruit) and cannot be used against the man. I wonder if any of the cops involved in this sting were involved in the death of Charles Eimers on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day? I wonder if I can arrange for the cops to speak with the fellow who claimed I had his bicycle? I’d like to be there for that, with my bill of sale and several of the Truman Bike Shop employees who know me.
Tree Commission editorial in today’s Key West Citizen:
A protected stunted gumbo limbo tree Sandy Down’s company, Tarzan Tree Care, was heavily fined for removing after applying for an emergency removal permit, which was not issued, after the tree’s thirsty roots found water in a Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority waterline, penetrated and broke the line, and spilled hundreds of thousands of gallons of water before it was discovered and stopped.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
When it comes to tree projects, more details would be very helpful
The poet Joyce Kilmer is best know for his poem “Trees”:
“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree. A tree whose hungry mouth is prest against the sweet earth’s flowing breast; a tree that looks at God all day, and lifts her leafy arms to pray; a tree that may in summer wear a nest of robins in her hair; upon whose bosom snow has lain; who intimately lives with rain. Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a tree.”
The Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in the mountains of North Carolina is one of our nation’s most impressive remnants of old-growth forest. The forest contains magnificent examples of more than 100 tree species, many more than 400 years old, and some more than 20 feet in circumference and 100 feet tall.
This 3,800-acre forest was set aside in 1936 as a memorial to the author of the poem “Trees.”
In recent weeks, we have observed the clear-cutting of a parcel on the corner of Flagler and 11th streets for a housing project that has yet to be approved by the city. And an old mobile home park on Simonton Street has been closed for redevelopment with a number of mature trees being either cut down or severely trimmed.
We have to assume that our very vigilant Tree Commission gave its approval for the removal and trimming of the trees and shrubbery on these parcels; but we, like the public, question whether we have now entered a new era in Key West where the trees and foliage that bless our fair island must play second fiddle to redevelopment.
One of the endearing qualities of Key West is our trees and foliage. Let’s make sure to always keeps the simple poem by Joyce Kilmer in mind when we consider new construction projects.
To its credit, Florida Department of Transportation retained a public relations firm to communicate with the public regarding the scope and progress of the North Roosevelt Boulevard road project. We are sure that FDOT believes that keeping the public informed about its road projects in the long run serves to eliminate much of the misinformation and false perceptions about its projects.
We note that the city has a very capable public information officer in Alyson Crean, who does a wonderful job keeping our community informed about city activities. We wonder whether Ms. Crean might be the perfect person to inform the public about projects such as the two discussed above, so that any false perception that trees were cut down without the proper approvals can be nipped in the bud before that perception becomes reality.
— The Citizen
I imagine the odds are about zero the city will let Alyson Crean
hold forth on anything which does not put a positive spin the city’s way. I, too, have noticed in the past that the Tree Commission seems inclined to sacrifice trees when developers petition for the sacrifice, whereas the Tree Commission seems to sacrifice homeowners and business owners when they petition for relief from trees causing them problems. If the Citizen truly wants to see the Tree Commission “reformed”, the Citizen should lean on the mayor, who appoints the tree commissioners, and on the city commissioners, who ratify the mayor’s appointments, and then the tree commissioners serve at the mayor and city commissioners’ leisure. It has been my experience that trying to change the Tree Commission is about like trying to change a mako shark.
So, try going after the mako’s makers, and see how that goes.
Letter to the editor in the Key West Citizen today, from a former city commissioner:
Harry Bethel, second from right, Mayor Craig Cates, far right, all city commissioners except Mark Rossi, left
Time to get rid of public nudity, clean up our image
An open letter to the mayor and city commissioners on the Ordinance on Public Nudity, Sec. 42-9. Nudity; body painting:
Now is the opportunity to clean up our town and take it back. Public nudity is a disgrace to our community and our residents. We do not deserve this class of people that we know would never dare to do in their hometown what they do in ours. We do not need it, and we should not have to put up with it.
Public nudity in our public streets does nothing for business, and that includes the so-called body paint and pasties. These are just people that have no respect for themselves or anyone else; they are exhibitioners, or people filling out their fantasy. The mayor and commission; Linda O’Brian. Marketplace; Virginia Panico. Key West Chamber of Commerce; and Howard Wheeler, Tourist Development Council, have seen the gross and raunchy pictures that I have sent them. This should not be allowed to happen.
You folks have been elected to represent our city and keep our image clean. We all know there is a time and place for nudity, but it is surely not in our public streets.
This is our opportunity to bring back the dignity and respect that our great city and residents deserve, nothing less. Working together as a city and its residents can accomplish anything.
No more T-shirts, no more warnings if they disobey the nudity law. Arrest them. This should be clearly advertised by Marketplace, the Tourist Development Council, and Key West Chamber of Commerce. This will solve the public nudity and body painting problem once and for all.
I will leave you with this: We all know public nudity and body painting will in no way hurt Fantasy Fest financially. If that is the case, we do have major problems, and that would mean going back to the drawing board, but I do not believe that to be the case.
Let’s do it right this time.
Young Harris, Ga. and Key West
Fantasy Fest was about the same during Harry’s time on the City Commission as it is today. Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry, told me the first Fantasy Fests were considerably more outrageous. Fantasy Fest is put on locally to bring in lots of tourists and their money. I wonder if Harry Bethel had a born-again experience? I wonder if Harry is looking ahead to running for the City Commission again? I wonder if Harry will ever get around to complaining about the strip joints, lap dance parlors, whore houses and orgy clubs on and just off Duval Street, in which, and in the many bars, narcotics also are freely trafficked? The mayor and city commissioners are where the buck stops on all of that, too. The only thing I would change about Duval Street is I would put the noise terrorists out of business, and I would make lower Duval a pedestrian and artisan mall after 2 p.m. each day.
Kurt Wagner, currently on leave in the US Virgin Islands, emailed advice on how I should go about campaigning for mayor of Key West:
Good Morning Sloan,
A few thoughts on your campaign. Key West has 15,320 registered voters. (Sept, 2013) How are you going to get your name out there to these voters and tell them what you can do for them. I agree with your thought about not polluting the island with signs. A sign imparts no information except your name. Winning an election is all about telling the voters in person how you can improve their lives by changing the city’s direction.
The obvious, talking in front of civic groups, churches, candidate forums,etc. is not enough! To win elections where my experience comes from we got republican candidates elected to local and state office (in a town with a 70%+ democratic voters) by speaking personally to the voters. That meant door to door. Either the candidate or his volunteers knocked on every single door in town with a one page recap of what you want to accomplish. This requires a lot of walking and talking, but talking to people is your strong point. Use it to your advantage.
This may seem like a lot of people to get in touch with. If they weren’t registered we tried to convince them why they should register and vote. (The Bush/Gore voting in Florida is a perfect example) If they were disabled or had no transportation we scheduled rides to pick them up to register and to vote. There are just over 9000 occupied housing units in Key West. (2011) I realize this is a daunting task but worth it if you can do it.
One election we were short on time, so we got a list from the election board of the registered voters who voted in the last election and went to those houses first. The last mayoral election in Key West had only 3958 voters. (26%) Five months to do it is only 25 houses/day.(or less, there is often more than one voter per household) Get your friends involved, buy them a beer afterward, whatever it takes to get help.
On a side note in my time researching, between 2005 and 2012, fly/drive tourist increased 52% while cruise passengers decreased by 12%. How can any one argue the fly/dive tourist can’t make up for the loss of cruise ships???
Hi, Kurt –
Great point about the fly/dive tourists vs. cruise ship tourists.
I pedaled my bicycle over to Higgs Beach late yesterday afternoon. The old kiddie play ground had a lot more parents in kids in it than the new, fenced-in one across the road. The new fenced-in playground built solely to stop homeless people from using those kiosks. The entire redo of Higgs Beach, it will cost million$ if it comes off, is to try to fix the place so no homeless people can set foot on or sit down in that park. So, they end up in Indigenous Park and at Rest Beach across the road, and at Bayview Park and at Smathers Beach. There is a lot of unused space on the back side of Higgs Beach Park which could be dedicated to community vegetable gardens. I made that suggestion many times before.
Thanks for your campaign thoughts and research. The door-knocking has never been suggested to me by the angels running me, but, I thought, what do I know, maybe I need to try it on? Even as I recalled Tom Milone tried door-knocking in two different city commission races against Jimmy Weekley. Tom lost badly the first time and even worse the second time, last year. My friend Todd German tried door-knociing in 2007 against Mark Rossi in a city commission race. Mark hardly campaigned and won handily.
Both Tom and Todd were serious candidates. They were, still are, well liked. But they had zero chance against their opponents. Maybe if Tom and Todd had jumped that system, tried something novel, out of the box, it might have gone differently. Maybe not. I always have jumped that system, and it has only gotten me a few votes in the city mayor races. It did better in the county commission races.
Whatever, after mulling your email, I felt I was supposed to do what I have been doing, and whatever new the angels give me to do, and it will be on people who want me to be mayor to round up votes for me, as I do what I can to round up votes.
Then, I lay down for a nap thinking I would dream about all of that, and feeling that I knew in my bones knocking on doors in that way will not fit who I am, but if I was told during dream time to go about it in that way, I would.
I had a few dreams indicating some kind of struggle, and on waking I figured the dreams were about your email.
Then, I dreamt that my father came to me and I put on two silver colored upscale loafer-like shoes, which were his. That loafer style I never would wear myself in waking life, more like something Italians might wear, maybe Mafia dons, or the country club set. The loafers were similar to what my father had worn when he was alive, but his loafers never were silver. Perhaps black, brown or blond, but not silver.
Back in late 2012, my father came to me in a dream and said I would run for mayor of Key West, to win. I figured that dream would come to past, but it took longer to happen than I had figured. The two dreams are connected; the dream today relates back to the dream back in late 2012. My father did not tell me in the late 2012 dream that I would win the mayor’s race. Only that I would run to win.
Silver is the female metal, gold the male metal. I perceive that am to take a female approach to this campaign, which is the opposite of going out and knocking on doors, putting out campaign posters, running radio and TV and newspaper ads.
The female approach is grassroots. It relies on more than pushing and trying to make things happen, from which it backs off. The female approach relies on networking, synergy, serendipity, synchronicity, divine interplay with this world’s currents and events.
Yesterday, La Cosa Nostra endorsed me :-). Today, the Irish endorsed me :-). Maybe tomorrow, the mermaids will endorse me :-).
photo by Richard Watherwax, of Key West, dress from Salvation Army for a Girls Night Out event Sandy Downs invited me to attend with her, mask from a Fantasy Fest artist/vendor
paid political advertisement by Sloan Bashinsky, candidate for Mayor of Key West