Big Pine Key and below – area of super critical concern in grinder pump war

dump the pumps

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Feather Talk

Yesterday, I sent this to Dump the Pumps’ new attorney, whom I understand works out of Pompano Beach:

Subject: Banks Prevatt gave me your email address
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:47:16 -0400

Dear Lawyer Hartsell –

Banks Prevatt gave me your phone number and email address at a Dump the Pumps community meeting yesterday afternoon in his real estate office on Big Pine Key.

Until last August, I had lived several years on Little Torch Key, the next Island down.. I now live in Key West, where I also have lived.

I once practiced law in Alabama, but do not practice law now, other than giving lots of free, not always solicited, or welcomed, legal advice.

I am up to my eyeballs in Monroe County and Key West City politics. I know the five county commissioners and their department heads. I have wrangled and laughed and hollered with them many times.

Yesterday, I told Banks what he already had heard from me numerous times, perhaps so the others could hear it, some of them had heard it before.

Based on my experience down here for some time, there is zero chance of the County Commission, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, US Fish & Wildlife, and its head park ranger stationed on Big Pine, to change course re or challenge installation of grinder pumps.

I told them yesterday that all of the above government agencies are in cahoots, if not actively, then passively. Further talk is futile, and gives the horse more chance to get even farther out of the barn. On Big Pine, the horse is only just sticking its nose out of the barn; down the way, a different story.

I told them yesterday that I hope you know how it really is down here, that you have a burr under your saddle to get revenge for past unpleasant experiences you have had in Monroe County, and that you put this case into Federal Court, where United States District Judges are appointed for life, and not into state court, where circuit judges run for reelection every few years (6 year terms, yes?)

As I left the meeting yesterday afternoon, I told them to go with God, for there are bad people on the other side, and they need God’s help with that.

Sloan Bashinsky
(305) 407-____

In a dream last night, I told some people I had lost my wallet. I awoke seriously rattled. Losing my wallet in a dream, or in my waking life, is spirit code for losing my identity. I pondered where I had done that in my waking life? It seems my email to Lawyer Hartsell was grossly insufficient. I sent another email this morning:


Years ago, the Florida Keys were declared by the Florida Legislature to be an area of critical concern. Primarily, because of the twin environmental threats of water pollution from human sewerage and over-development. Tallahassee’s mandate for the Keys to be sewered was an environmental mandate. The Feds have considerable environmental interest in the Keys. Grinder pumps elsewhere have not proven all that friendly to Mother Nature compared to gravity, nor even compared to vacuum pump systems. Many people down here slated to received grinder pumps are more concerned with their long-run dollar cost, and not so concerned about the long-run environmental cost. My sense is, no court, state or federal, will get its panties in a wad over the economics of grinders vs. gravity. The heat in this fracas is Mother Nature again is getting the shaft, even though she was the entire reason for the sewer mandate.

If it had fallen on me to bring the lawsuit (in another universe), I would have led with an environmental attack, and I would do it in Federal Court, because I imagine a US District Judge theoretically, at least, has to enforce federal environmental laws regardless. That perhaps obliterates any bond being required of the plaintiffs, as part of being granted a preliminary injunction. The best hard evidence down here that grinders are environmentally inferior, and the bad people all know that, is, if they really believed grinders were as good as gravity environmentally, they would have used grinders everywhere down here, because up front grinders are cheaper to install than gravity. Instead, everywhere down below Big Pine that grinders were challenged before much work had been done to install them, the County Commission caved in and gave those areas gravity wherever it was feasible. Further evidence that the County Commission, who are running this freak show, believed gravity was environmentally superior to grinders. Otherwise, they would have converted those areas to grinders throughout, because they were cheaper up front. Wasting taxpayer money is malfeasance. Using gravity was malfeasance, if grinders were as good environmentally and cheaper up front.

I have told Banks and others that there is a conflict of interest between Big Pine and the islands below, because the horse is still in the barn on Big Pine, and the horse is out of the barn on the islands below where Dump the Pumps is trying to stop the grinder madness. I have told Banks I do not think the same lawyer can represent Big Pine and the islands below, therefore. I told them that the islands below could join in Big Pine’s lawsuit and ask for similar protection, perhaps without having to post a bond because federal environmental laws are at issue. The problem there is, the Feds have peculiar environmental interest on Big Pine, which the islands below do not enjoy. In the big scheme, though, water pollution affects all of those island and the reef, which should concern the Feds.

Banks and Dump the Pumps have done a hell of a job waking people up on Big Pine and below. I have attended many of their meetings. I was derelict in not raising hell about grinders when I lived on Little Torch. But I knew I was selling my place on Little Torch and moving back to Key West, and I never felt moved to get active in the grinder war, which had not yet started in what would become Dump the Pumps area of critical concern: Summerland Key up to Big Pine. Cudjoe Key and the islands below charted their own course and mostly ended up with gravity after the County Commission caved in. A pity the islands above Cudjoe did not intervene in the lawsuit filed by Walt Drabinsky for his area of critical of concern. If they had joined in that law suit, perhaps it would be gravity wherever feasible above Cudjoe Key.


No Name Key bridgepelican diving

I’m not even sure that covered everything I needed to pass along to Lawyer Hartsell, but it’s where I am right now with it. Being owned and bossed by angels ain’t a great deal of fun most of the time. Especially, when they made a covenant with you, surrounded by pelicans, on No Name Key Bridge in January 1995, to use you to try to protect that area, because you loved it so much, and your heart nearly jumped out of you and you burst into heaving sobs and had to hold onto the bridge railing for dear life to keep from falling down on the sidewalk.

Sloan at Coco's

photo taken in 2011 by Rose Dell in Coco’s Kitchen on Big Pine Key, Rose and her mom Coco own and operate the restaurant, and dish out plenty of good food for body and soul

Sloan Bashinsky


There is a different area of critical concern post today at, which you should be able to reach by clicking on this link: Happy Tax Day, Key West – continuing efforts to get to the bottom of what all really happened in the Happy Thanksgiving, Charles Eimers, sorry you had to die because you were suspected of being homeless story; and Key West the Newspaper Publisher Dennis Reeves Cooper arrest flashback to unreported intrigue surrounding Judge Wayne Miller, who signed the arrest warrant, not getting raked over the coals by Dennis and other local newspapers and the national media, as did happen to then KW Police Chief Gordon “Buz” Dillon, who, with Judge Miller’s approval, had Dennis arrested for reporting on an ongoing Internal Affairs investigation Dennis had initiated with a complaint against KWPD officers


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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