cherchez la femme: the impossible dream?, Florida Keys criminal justice system?, flame-retardant soft drinks?, Earthlings’ ET progenitors?, Testosterone or Estrogen for Hillary?, Florida Keys polluted canal fixes?

Feather Talk

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Sancho Panza

From Sancho Panza yesterday:

Hey, Don Q, I see that you found a new Dulcinea to fight for! Sloan Young, Sloan Old, first and last… a knight errand incarnate… no need to write any goddamned nonfiction book… your life is a novella and we are all privy, in real time, to the living chapters as they unfold… thanks to the fertile, implacable… sometimes ethereal, pen of yours! I can feel the power of a new adventure filling you with resolve… march on, my friend.

Sancho

A true lover of wisdom has hands too busy to hold on to anything! He learns by doing and every pebble in the path becomes her teacher!  Oink

 

I replied:

lady lawyer

Kari and Sloan

My Dulcinea had herself an unfun time today in the clutches of her public defender …. I’m hesitant to call him a lawyer, just yet … who knew her case was set for a hearing up on Plantation Key, about and hour and a half drive up US 1, on a good-traffic day, from Key West, and he didn’t tell her, or the court, ahead of time that he had too many cases to handle today, so he would need her case passed over until latish May, I think it was decided between him and the judge, while Kari sat there in the courtroom unable to say anything, or ask any questions, after being shackled and hauled up there last night in a prisoner van, to spend the night up there in the pokey, at no telling what all extra cost to the Sheriff Department, all avoidable by the alleged public defender telling Kari, the Sheriff Department and the judge ahead of time that he was not prepared to represent Kari today, so could the case be continued for his convenience, and Kari be not hauled all the way there, for the Sheriff Department and the taxpayers’ inconvenience. I imagine had Kari known what her alleged lawyer was up to, she would have squawked when she was in court and the judge was in hearing distance, that she wanted to plead guilty and get on with it, hopefully, being allowed to enter the JIP inmate rehab/return to society program in the main jail on Stock Island, where Kari has been for nearly 2 weeks since turning herself in for violating her probation, by drinking, which her probation did not allow her to do. Also complicating the fun, the judge who was supposed to be there today, was sickly, and he was the judge to whom Kari had written, at her probation officer’s request, to ask to be put into the JIP program. The judge who was there today maybe knew nothing about Kari’s letter to the other judge. Her alleged lawyer knew about it, though. I told Kari, back in redneck Alabama, if a lawyer did what Kari’s alleged lawyer did leading up to today, and today, the judge would have chewed that lawyer’s ass out in the courtroom, in front of his client, God, and everyone in the courtroom. And the judge would have asked that lawyer’s client if she had anything to say, hoping she would say something which would help the judge expedite her case, and save the Sheriff more time and trouble, and the taxpayers more expense. Kari says she doesn’t even know what all her options might be, and she doesn’t think her alleged lawyer knows, either. I told her several times to fire him and let the court know she had done that, and that she wanted to represent herself, so she and the judge could speak about her case and get it moving ahead. Tonight, on the telephone, she said, ‘Something’s rotten in Denmark,” and she’s so mad at her lawyer, that’s she’s going to keep him as her lawyer, and by the time she gets through with him, he’s going to wish he’d never heard of her, and maybe he will know something about being a lawyer. Never a dull moment in stabbing at windmills. Never a dull moment. Oh, yeah, and the JIP program might last a year. And Kari might not get credit for it, against her sentence. And she might be sent to prison for 3 years. And that’s why she needs to talk with the judge, so he can tell her what all she might be facing. And, this is the second time she was taken up there in shackles, the first time was before I met her, on another probation violation over her drinking, and the judge she was supposed to see, with whom she had been in contact, was not there, and a Key West judge was there instead. The missing judge that day was the judge there today. The judge not there today was the judge who handled the end of Kari’s child custody case, and because she was an alcoholic, he gave custody of her and her ex’s young daughter to her ex, even though there was testimony in the record, by a licensed mental health practitioner up that way, that the child had revealed during a private meeting with the therapist that she took showers with her father and touched his penis. The judge ordered a medical exam of the very young girl, to see if she still had her hymen. Kari said the medical doctor would not let Kari be in the examining room, where her daughter was hollering that they were examining her. But the medical doctor let the girl’s father and his new girlfriend be in the examining room. I don’t think I ever could match such as this with a novel. Although I did try to make a pretty fair run at it in HEAVY WAIT, A Strange Tale. Amazon.com has it in trade paperback and kindle, it’s in Spanish at amazon.com.es. Whew!, Sancho. You come back into my life and the flames leapt up. I guess you like BBQ. D.Q.

the work of the devil

Sancho also sent yesterday, I added the pic:

holy fire

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Agree to Remove Flame Retardant Chemical from Their Products?

Don’t expect this to be a big win for people… this is just like with the artificial sweeteners fiasco, where as soon as there is enough bad publicity about one type of sugar substitute they come up with another innocent sounding concoction to take it’s place… what’s the safe alternative for soft drink addicts? WTF knows… If you are thirsty, drink water… we are not frigging insects! Besides, bromine is endemic to the packaged food industry, specially baked goods, so if you eat the typical modern diet of convenience, cheap, fast foods… you’re screwed, period, end of story!

Your thyroid controls your metabolism… just look around and see how fat, people are getting, not just here, but in every country where people become exposed to these endocrine disruptive chemicals… not to mention all the antibiotics used on farm animals to make them fat… all the garbage they give to these CAFO animals wind up disrupting our native gut flora… and you all know what happens when we mess with Microbio-Mamma! *:D big grin

Speaking of being screwed, I saw in the TV “News”, this morning, that even Doctor OZ,(Oprah’s protege) is feeling the wrath of the GMO Gods/Devils for speaking out against them… imagine that, how dare he take the side of the thinking public for wanting to know what’s in their food? Why would anybody want a label to let them choose between GMO or non-GMO altered foods? *>:) devil

Anyway, here is the story on bromine and how it affects iodine up take… similar in effect as when people become insulin resistant and even though there is plenty of insulin, none gets used because the receptors are desensitized(syndrome X, type II diabetes)… in this case, excess bromine blocks iodine intake at the receptor level!

Cheers, Domingo

 Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Agreed to Remove Brominated Vegetable Oil

Bromine Can Do Significant Damage to Your Thyroid
Bromines are endocrine disruptors, and part of the halide family, a group of elements that also includes fluorine, chlorine, and iodine. Studies suggest that BVO can build up in human tissues, and animal studies have linked large doses to reproductive and behavioral issues. One characteristic of bromine that makes it detrimental to your health is that it competes for the same receptors your body uses to capture iodine. If you are exposed to a lot of bromine, your body will not hold on to iodine, which is needed by every tissue, including your thyroid gland.
Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid function. Without iodine, your thyroid gland would be completely unable to produce thyroid hormone. Thirteen million Americans are estimated to have hypothyroidism, but the actual number is probably higher. Some experts claim that 10 to 40 percent of Americans have suboptimal thyroid function.
If you are one of those with suboptimal thyroid, your thyroid gland itself may not be the problem. You may instead be suffering from iodine deficiency brought on by inadequate consumption of iodine-rich foods and/or excessive bromine exposure, which ends up blocking your iodine uptake. This problem appears in conventional blood tests as a glandular problem, but is actually a problem of nutrition and/or toxicity.
The Risks of Bromine Reach Well Beyond Your Thyroid
The buildup of bromine in your body can result in iodine deficiency and bromine toxicity12that can manifest a variety of serious health problems over time, including the following:
  • Increased cancer risk: Iodine deficiency can increase your risk for cancers of the thyroid gland, breast,13 ovary, and prostate as a result of “bromide dominance”14
  • Infertility: One animal study found that rats receiving one percent BVO in their feed suffered impaired fertility, and at two percent, they became completely infertile15
  • Psychological/psychiatric problems: Because bromine is a central nervous system depressant, it can produce acute paranoia, psychosis, and other types of mental illness. In an audio interview, physician Jorge Flechas reported that between 1920 and 1960, at least 20 percent of all hospital admissions for “acute paranoid schizophrenia” were a result of common bromine exposure16
  • Skin rashes and lesions (bromoderma tuberosum): Severe acne, folliculitis, papules, pustules, and other skin eruptions17
  • Miscellaneous other problems: Fatigue, anorexia, abdominal pain, metallic taste, and cardiac arrhythmias (triggered by iodine depletion)18
Scientific American19 cites two case studies that illustrate how bromine toxicity can threaten your health. In 1997, emergency room doctors at University of California, Davis, reported a patient with severe bromine intoxication from drinking two to four liters of orange soda every day. He developed headaches, fatigue, ataxia (loss of muscle coordination), and memory loss.20
Then in 2003, a 63-year-old Ohio man developed ulcers on his swollen hands after drinking eight liters of Red Ruby Squirt every day for several months. The man was diagnosed with bromoderma, a rare skin hypersensitivity to bromine exposure. The patient quit drinking the brominated soft drink and months later recovered.21
Government and Industry Claim BVO Is ‘Safe Enough’
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) permitted the use of BVO on an interim basis—meaning, temporary approval pending additional study—way back in 1970.22 This effectively means they did not feel there was enough evidence to support the designation of GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) without further scientific investigation. But four decades is not temporary! Yes, 44 years later, those studies have not been done and BVO is STILL on the “interim” list. Why? It boils down to one more example of how FDA favors policies that protect big industry at the expense of public health.
According to the FDA, changing the status of BVO would be costly and is “not a public health priority” at this time. Other food additives that are in similar FDA limbo include saccharin, mannitol, and acrylonitrile. You are swimming in a sea of chemicals that are essentially untested—well, you and your children ARE the test subjects…23
In 1977, FDA established what it considered to be a safe limit for BVO in beverages—15 parts per million. But some scientists say that limit is based on thin data that is several decades old and should be revised.24,25 Toxicity testing has changed significantly over the past few decades. It is now possible to observe neurodevelopmental, hormonal, and reproductive changes across multiple generations of laboratory animals, not possible decades ago.
image
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Agreed to Remove Brominated Veg…

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo both agreed to remove brominated vegetable oil when public pressure to remove BVO was suddenly fueled by a 2012 petition.
Preview by Yahoo

I replied to Sancho:

Now, let’s see. This is some kind of troll bait with a built-in (encrypted) homing signal beaming into the basement of Homeland Security waiting to send out its men in black to drag me, or anyone, who further disseminates this treasonous propaganda, by the ass, or the short hairs, before the latest House Committee on UnAmerican Activities, where we are segregated by sex, age, weight, skin color, religious persuasion, ethnic genetics, and shipped in box cars on night trains to various pharmaceutical concentration camps, where various experiments with cobalt, bromine, plutonium and kryptonite are done on us guinea pigs, to learn whether or not we can be mutated so we don’t need anything to eat or drink but the pharmaceutical companies’ manufactured chemical concoctions, all part and parcel of sending us chemicalized, sort of kin to bionic, slaves into space to mine asteroids for rare and valuable minerals.

But then, perhaps there is yet another possibility the pharmaceutical companies, Homeland Security and the religious folks have not yet given their full due consideration:

Dr. Silver’s theory claims that the human being is not natural on this planet. Here…
LEARNING-MIND.COM

I submitted this comment under the main article provided by my vicious van dweller criminal friend Victor:

SLOAN BASHINSKY April 22, 2015 at 6:18 pm Your comment is awaiting moderation.
I personally have seen an extraterrestrial space craft operating above me in broad daylight, making maneuvers and doing things with a cloud which no Earthling air ship or rocket could do. But that’s perhaps an aside. I have seen and been spoken to and have spoken to supernatural beings who/which do not need or use manufactured vehicles to get around and who are not bound/limited by Earthling science, such as, hmmm, the speed of light. I am run by these angels, ongoing. It started, dramatically, in early 1987, with a visitation and them telling me, briefly, what lay ahead for me: I would be pushed to my limits. No way I can prove any of it by human methods. I don’t need to prove it for me. The angels, and my own two eyes and ears and senses, including my physical, emotional and soul senses, proved it to me beyond any doubt, beyond any belief. Where does that leave Earthling science and religions? For me, it leaves them in the wading pool, or perhaps still on the steps leading down into the wading pool. The angels tell me, human beings were seeded here. They did not evolve from monkeys here. The Pleiadeans were in on it. But they were not alone. This is an experimental planet. The minders are farming it and human beings in ways Earthling science cannot grok, nor imagine. Not likely Earthlings will be permitted star travel, as violent and destructive as they are. Perhaps their stint on this planet is running out of time. The Earthling soul survives physical death. Many species are like that in the creation.

Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters, aka the Plieades

Sancho replied:

Consciousness is a bitch! *>:) devil

A true lover of wisdom has hands too busy to hold on to anything! He learns by doing and every pebble in the path becomes her teacher!  Oink

I replied:

and then you die?

Syndicated editorial in today’s Key West Citizen (www.keysnews.com), my thoughts in pics:

hillary.jpgPalin and ClintonBill Clinton

Thursday, April 23, 2015 
Granny get your gun if you want to become president of the US
WASHINGTON –

The most famous woman on the planet has a confounding problem. She can’t figure out how to campaign as a woman.

In 2008, Hillary Clinton took advice from two men — Bill Clinton and Mark Penn — and campaigned like a man. Worried about proving she could be commander in chief, Hillary scrubbed out the femininity, vulnerability and heart, in image and issues, that were anathema to Penn. Consciously tamping down the humor and warmth in Hillary and playing up the muscularity and bellicosity, her strategist modeled Hillary on Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher.

lipstick on a pig

“In analyzing the current situation, regardless of the sex of the candidates, most voters in essence see the presidents as the ‘father’ of the country,” Penn wrote in a memo. “They do not want someone who would be the first mama, especially in this kind of world.”

Wiley CoyoteWiley Coyote golfIraq or bust

Trying to project swagger, she followed her husband’s advice and voted to authorize the Iraq War without bothering to read the unpersuasive National Intelligence Estimate — a move that she now surely knows helped cost her the election. Bill Clinton’s philosophy after 9/11, as Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. reported in their book, “Her Way,” was encapsulated in what he told a group of Democrats in 2003: “When people feel uncertain, they’d rather have someone who’s strong and wrong than somebody who’s weak and right.”

Hillary followed this maxim on the day of the war vote in the Senate when, as Gerth wrote last year in ProPublica, she “went further than any other Democratic senator — and aligned herself with President Bush — by accusing Saddam Hussein of giving ‘aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaida.’” Gerth asserts that Clinton’s aversion to the subject of Iraq kept her from engaging fully as the nation’s top diplomat during the period when Iraq was crumbling and the Islamic State was rising.

Obama dronesBarack Obama NobelOil Tango

Hillary saw the foolishness of acting like a masculine woman defending the Iraq invasion after she fell behind to a feminized man denouncing it. After losing Iowa and watching New Hampshire slip away to the tyro, Barack Obama, Hillary cracked. She misted up, talking to a group of voters in New Hampshire when a woman asked her how she kept going, while staying “upbeat and so wonderful.”

Her aides thought the flash of tears would be a disaster, that she would seem weak. But it was a triumph because she seemed real. As The Washington Post’s Dan Balz wrote in his campaign book, it “let a glimmer of her humanity peek through.”

cry babies

Hillary always overcorrects. Now she has zagged too far in the opposite direction, presenting herself as a sweet, docile granny in a Scooby van, so self-effacing she made only a cameo in her own gauzy, demographically pandering presidential campaign announcement video and mentioned no issues on her campaign’s website.

In her Iowa round tables, she acted as though she were following dating tips from 1950s advice columnists to women trying to “trap” a husband: listen a lot, nod a lot, widen your eyes, and act fascinated with everything that’s said. A clip posted on her campaign Facebook page showed her sharing the story of the day her granddaughter was born with some Iowa voters, basking in estrogen as she emoted about the need for longer paid leave for new mothers: “You’ve got to bond with your baby. You’ve got to learn how to take care of the baby.”

tar baby

She and her fresh team of No-Drama ex-Obama advisers think that this humility tour will move her past the hilarious caricature by Kate McKinnon on “Saturday Night Live” of Hillary as a manipulative, clawing robot who has coveted the role as leader of the free world for decades. But isn’t there a more authentic way for Hillary to campaign as a woman — something between an overdose of testosterone and an overdose of estrogen, something between Macho Man and Humble Granny?

Devil or Angel

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler showed the way in 2008, deploring the sexism against Hillary and hailing her as the unapologetically tough chick. It was a precursor to her cool “Don’t mess with me” Tumblr meme, showing her with dark glasses serenely checking her BlackBerry on a military plane.

“Bitches get stuff done,” Fey proclaimed in a “Weekend Update” segment on “Saturday Night Live” that ended with, “Bitch is the new black.”

In one skit, Amy as Hillary described how she would battle Big Oil: “It’s going to take a fighter, not a talker, someone who is aggressive enough and relentless enough and demanding enough to take them on. Someone so annoying, so pushy, so grating, so bossy and shrill, with a personality so unpleasant, that at the end of the day the special interests will have to go ‘Enough! We give up! Life is too short to deal with this awful woman! Just give her what she wants so she’ll shut up and leave us in peace.’ And I think the American people will agree, that someone is me.”

South Korea Oil Spill

BP Playtex

As she hits the trail again, Hillary is a blur of competing images, a paean to the calibrated, artful and generic, a low-key lady who doesn’t stand for anything except low-keyness. She has seen, over and over, that overcorrecting can be self-defeating for her and parlous to the nation, but she keeps doing it.

Let’s hope that the hokey Chipotle Granny will give way to the cool Tumblr Chick in time to teach her Republican rivals — who are coming after her with every condescending, misogynist, distorted thing they’ve got — that bitch is still the new black.

black-rose.jpgmurder prosecutiondeep-doo-doo.jpg

Maureen Dowd is a syndicated columnist with The New York Times.

In yesterday’s Keynoter (www.keysnet.com), my thoughts in bold italics:

fishy smellcanalcanal clean up

Keys’ first two major canal cleanups now under way
BY KEVIN WADLOW
kwadlow@keynoter.com
April 22, 2015

A major Key Largo canal restoration project puts material in while a Big Pine Key canal project will take it out.

Different canal systems have different problems, says Rhonda Haag, who oversees Monroe County’s $5 million pilot program to improve water quality in Keys canals.

At Sexton Cove Canal 29, off mile marker 106 in Key Largo, a crew from Adventure Environmental Inc. continues a months-long effort to place dirt and rocks into an over-dredged waterway.

One crane lifts fill onto a special conveyor belt that carries the material to a barge, where a second crane moves the fill to the water.

The canal, about 225 yards long, has depths that range from 20 to 34 feet — far too deep to maintain water quality in a canal with little tidal flow.

“Below the surface, yellow-colored water maintains [low-oxygen] conditions and elevated levels of hydrogen sulfide” that limit the life that can flourish, says a project summary.

Hmmm, this wee problem never occurred to county officials when this canal, and canals like it, were first dug? Hmmm, this solution will be used with all those other canals?

The $1.36 million demonstration project aims to backfill the canal to shallower depths “to promote flushing and reduce [or] eliminate stratification,” the unwanted layer of stagnant water.

Previous scientific studies “have indicated that approximately only the upper 6 feet of the canals will naturally flush in the shallow Keys nearshore environment,” the summary says.

Hmmm, doesn’t that mean every canal in the Keys was dug too deep, and they all need to be filled in to reduce their depth to 6 feet? Or, how about just filling them in all the way, and getting rid of the problem altogether?

The Sexton Cove project, between Bunting Drive and Pigeon Drive, is the most ambitious canal-restoration effort so far undertaken by Monroe County. It is expected to finish in June, Haag said.

The county’s restoration projects were launched in 2013 to find effective techniques for improving water quality in more than 100 Keys canal systems considered to have significant environmental problems.

??? Back when this first was being discussed by the County Commission three or so years ago, wasn’t it said there were 500 distressed canals in the Florida Keys. Doesn’t common sense and love for Mother Nature say, fill in all the canals, everything else is stopgap, or less. We all know it ain’t smart to mess with Mother Nature.

Mother Nature enlarged

The handful of demonstration projects may help secure millions of dollars from Deepwater Horizon fines dedicated to environmental improvements, county commissioners said.

Millions ain’t near enough, $500 millions might be enough. Assess each property on a canal the cost of filling in that property’s pro rata part of the canal, just like each property owner was assessed for central sewer and required to get rid of a septic tank or cess pit. Perhaps alternatively, require all canal property owners to do what my gracious host on Cudjoe Key did. He installed a bubble maker in the canal at his dock. The bubble maker aerates his pro-rata part of the canal. 

Organic removal

A new project estimated to cost just over $2 million will use a vacuum dredge to remove decayed vegetation from the bottom of two Big Pine Key canals.

County commissioners reviewed plans for the project at their April 15 meeting in Key West.

“Due to persistent currents and wind direction, a thick weed wrack becomes entrapped in the canal and sinks to the bottom where it decays,” a county report says.

“As the seaweed decomposes, oxygen is consumed, leaving the canal in an uninhabitable condition” for sea grasses and fish. Nearby residents also may notice the pungent smell of hydrogen sulfide.

A barge-mounted vacuum will remove bottom sediment from a 400-yard canal between Witters Lane and Bailey Lane, and a 200-yard canal between Avenues I and J. The “wet slurry” from the canal bottom will be taken to a container for drying.

Some of the dehydrated material could be used for fill on the golf course at Marathon’s Florida Keys Country Club. Other material that slightly exceeds state standards for arsenic and copper will be trucked to a landfill upstate.

When dredging is complete, a 6-inch layer of sand will be placed on the bottom to provide a base for natural sea life.

So, when the sea grasses fill in this canal again, the sea grasses will be removed again. Same with all other canals like this canal. Brilliant!

Daffy DuckBugs Bunnydunce.jpg

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

looney_toon_sloan.JPG

Posted in Today's Vulcanite | Leave a comment

the power of positive thinking, non-fiction homeless blood and guts book, coral reef and fish species annihilation – Key West Earth Day ceremonies

Mark Twain on lightning

struck by lightninglightning woman

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sunshine-state.jpg

Vicious van dweller criminal amigo Victor dropped this cheer into my Facebook timeline yesterday, and I just had to toss in my own two cents worth:

Victor Clarke's photo.

psychiatric help

Amigo Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry, replied to yesterday’s sonnets of the heart and transformation – Key West post at goodmorningkeywest.com:

you need to write a non-fiction book –Sloan
have a indescribable good day—Jerry

I replied:

Hi, Jerry – maybe you are onto something, maybe I should name it stranger than fiction, for the people who will say I made it up? :-) Sloan

Jerry wrote:

SLOAN: that’s the point do people know the blood and guts of homelessness and all it entails an ocean of info and experience in your head…!! You can do it —Jerry

I replied this morning:

Jerry, in my experience, few people want to know the blood and guts of homelessness; they just want it fixed, or driven away, or out of sight, and the last thing they want to hear is there is no human solution, it’s not going away, and it’s probably going to get worse. I have written about homeless issues for years, at goodmorningkeywest.com. Just now looking, there are 2,828 posts there, since July 2007. The topics vary, but homelessness is a common, major thread in that book, which, I imagine, has considerably more material and stories than the Bible, about all sorts of things of and not of this world. That website is my legacy, my testament. It has interested some, but not a lot, of people.

Clearly, I am the local homeless expert, who is not homeless in the living on the street and/or staying at KOTS sense, because I have been there, done that, and because I still keep my ears and my eyes and my body in that arena. The city and county governments know this. The local organizations which attempt to serve homeless people know this. The local newspapers, including the blue paper, know this. But when they put on homeless forums, when they do homeless studies, when they write articles about homeless people and homeless issues, do they include me? Do they seek my thoughts and input? Nope. Do they include people living on the street, to get their input? Nope? Do they sleep nights at KOTS, to see what that’s like? Nope? Do they eat at the soup kitchen, to see what that’s like? Nope. Do they hang out with street people, on the street? Nope. Well, nope, unless they are being paid to do it, because they work for an agency that tries to help homeless people. The citizen volunteers at the soup kitchen are the only people I am aware of, who aren’t getting paid, and some of them are convicted of something and are doing community service.

Plain and simple, Jerry, homeless people are society’s shadow; they are telling society what it does not wish to know about itself. They are telling society that they gave up trying to fit into a mentally ill paradigm. A demonically possessed system. Now they have their own paradigm, their own system. They don’t like it, but they don’t like society’s ways, either. That’ts harder for society to swallow, than saying, predominantly, homeless people are mentally ill; predominantly, homeless people are addicts; predominantly, homeless people are no count, bums, dirt bags, who don’t want help. Actually, homeless people are screaming for help, but society cannot provide the help they need, because society is the cause of them being homeless; society is their sickness, and they are just one of the many symptoms of that sickness, which is society. Does a doctor treat a cancer patient by injecting cancer into the patient? No. But that’s what society does. It tries to treat homeless people by injecting society into homeless people. Some might call that homeopathy.

I read something profound the other day in one of Ken Bruen’s novels:

“In Alcoholic’s Anonymous, they refer to HP. It means Higher Power. On the street they also refer to HP … for homeless person. The connection between both is booze. Alcoholics have to abstain to survive. The homeless people depend on it to survive.”

Bruen, who once took a PhD in Metaphysics, and then taught English in various parts of the world for many years, takes zero prisoners his novels. I take no prisoners at goodmorningkeywest.com. I imagine Bruen makes a pretty good living from his novels. I starve on the income goodmorningkeywest.com produces. I starve on the income what I say in public produces. I starve, because I don’t say what people want to hear. I starve, because I don’t provide solutions people want to have. I starve, because I tell people to straighten themselves out, instead of trying to straighten other people out. I starve, because I say there is no fix for homelessness. Grant providers will not provide funding to someone who says there is no fix. No human fix, anyway. The entire species is homeless, lost. The prognosis is grave. Lethal, actually.

You have written a book about that. Will your book save Mother Nature? Perhaps she will save herself. Perhaps the planet will save itself. A sudden magnitude shift of the planet on its axis would save the planet from humanity. That’s the real cancer. Humanity. Homeless people merely are one of humanity’s many scapegoats. And yes, some homeless people are really awful and no fun to be around. But then, so are some people who are not homeless.

An article in today’s Citizen reports the Marine Sanctuary denied Mayor Craig Cates’ request that he, or a city commissioner, have a seat on the Sanctuary’s Board of Directors. Just my stupid Alabama redneck opinion, based somewhat on having spent a bit of time in the Florida Keys back before the reef was killed by human beings and back before the fish species were decimated by human beings, letting Key West have any voice on the future of the reef and the ocean is the same as letting the fox run the hen house. Here’s the article.

fox-in-henhouse.jpg
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Sanctuary declines seat request
Scientist: Close a third of reef to all activity
BY ADAM LINHARDT Citizen Staff
alinhardt@keysnews.com

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council shot down a proposal Tuesday by Key West Mayor Craig Cates for a Key West specific seat on the board shortly after a coral scientist told the group a third of the reef line must be closed to any human activity if it is to be saved.

Cates’ proposal comes at a time when the Sanctuary Advisory Council is reviewing its management plan and drafting a proposed environmental impact statement, which would be a comprehensive overview of the environmental and economic impacts regarding potential changes.

The sanctuary is reviewing all of its regulations and closed areas to determine if they need to be changed or expanded.

Cates wants the Key West representative on the council to be a city commissioner or the mayor, just like how the Monroe County Commission currently has a representative on the Sanctuary Advisory Council, Cates previously told The Citizen. He was out of town Tuesday.

Cates personally would like to serve on the advisory council, but would go along with whomever the Key West City Commission chooses to represent the city, he has said.

Several Sanctuary Advisory Council members stated that Key West is already well represented on the board and such a move could open the door for other communities to seek a voting seat when Monroe County already has a seat at the table — though the county representative does not vote on issues.

Commissioner Tony Yaniz spoke on the city’s behalf.

“We want to be represented, very much so,” Yaniz told the group. “I totally concur with the mayor. We obviously have a vested interest, not only a financial interest, but in the quality of life for our residents.” Yaniz added that the city understands how important it is to protect our resources and added that the fishermen’s livelihood must also be protected.

“I don’t see those as mutually exclusive,” Yaniz said, when asked about his March 3 City Commission vote endorsing a statement by the Key West Chamber of Commerce opposing any new restrictions imposed by the Sanctuary.

Yaniz was among the four commissioners who approved the resolution, arguing that people’s livelihoods could be at stake if more areas are closed to fishing.

Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers told the council that there was “a strong” argument that if the council gives Key West a voting seat then it must do the same for every other Keys community wishing the same.

Chairman Ken Nedimyer moved for a second to the motion to give the city of Key West a voting seat and the conference room at the The Westin Key West Resort & Marina fell silent.

‘Do it now’

The discussion came after coral expert Jeremy Jackson discussed the “apocalyptic” status of coral reefs in the region and the path to protecting them.

Once nicknamed “Dr. Doom” for his dire descriptions of declines of Caribbean reefs, Jackson has shifted focus to explaining the findings of a major scientific report and promoting positive actions that can be taken to aid in their recovery, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Jackson spoke bluntly about the state of the Florida Keys reef line.

“You have a pale vestige ghost of what was the ecosystem of the Florida Keys,” Jackson told the council, adding that “it’s in trouble because of us. Nobody doubts that. It’s just the way it is.”

Jackson cited a million dollar, three-year study that encompassed more than 30 Caribbean countries and all the data available on Caribbean reefs going back 40 years, or longer where it was available.

Jackson minced no words at a time when some Keys anglers have angrily reacted to proposals by a sanctuary working group that introduced a series of maps more than a year and a half ago detailing proposed closed areas, including the Western Dry Rocks reef off Key West.

Jackson blamed coral diseases, over-fishing, high population density and development as the primary reasons the reef is in decline.

“What should you do?” Jackson asked the group before stating what he was about to tell them typically spurs a strong reaction. “Declare one third of the reef tract off-limits for any human activity and do it now.”

He added that the government needed to enact “absolute protection of all grazing fishes,” referring primary to parrotfish, which are dependant on coral.

He went further still by telling the council that it needed to curtail all development and cap the number of tourists and cruise ships, which needs to be “much lower.”

“You have too many tourists. Period,” Jackson said. “The science says that. You may not like that, but the science says that.”

Jackson drew the ire of Key West Charter Boat Association member Richie Gomez, who yelled “No!” when he spoke of the alleged targeted taking of parrotfish by anglers, to which Jackson replied: “I can show you pictures.”

He brushed aside the use of special protection areas such as Sand Key off Key West and Looe Key off Ramrod Key among others in favor of much larger areas if they were not going to rope off a third of the reef line.

“You’ll save money by protecting large chunks instead of postage stamps,” Jackson said.

He also pointed out that too many divers are also a “disaster” for the reefs.

Jackson didn’t shy away from the economic impact his proposal would have on the Florida Keys in the short term, but added that saving the reef will require a long-term strategy.

He spoke how comparatively easy it is to summarize the positive economic impact of fishing or diving or cruise ships. What gets lost in the discussion, Jackson said, are the stratospheric costs sustained when a strong hurricane slams into South Florida lacking a strong reef line protecting it from tidal surge.

Nedimyer thanked Jackson for his presentation and added that there are many, including “some in this room,” who don’t believe him. Nedimyer spoke of the science being what it is, but added that many may brush Jackson’s warnings aside.

“If anyone here said the same thing we would have our tires flattened and our houses nuked,” Nedimyer said, in reference to how the sanctuary sometimes draws sharp criticism from fishermen. “But our (ecosystem) is a shadow of what it once was. People who are saying everything is great don’t know what great is. We can either change or watch it all wash away.”

Mother Nature

Kudos to Nedimyer, for telling it like it is, for not backing down, for not trying to be politically correct, for not trying to get everyone to all get along, for not playing by society’s rules. Kudos to Nedimyer, for taking Mother Nature’s side, and not humanity’s side. He gets it. If Mother Nature dies, humanity dies. Mother Nature is more important to humanity, than humanity is important to itself. It remains to be seen if the Marine Sanctuary knows that, and acts accordingly.

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

Sloan

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sonnets of the heart and transformation – Key West

Heart Throb

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psychiatrist interviews

Amigo Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry, replied to yesterday’s the heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of – Key West cardiac explorations post at goodmorningkeywest.com:

SLOAN: I READ every word —-This is one lovely, Love non-traditional Sonnet—-as good as or better than classical sonnets and poems.
Really I am SERIOUS —I have filed it and downloaded it.;; refer back to it in times of travail —VERY-best wishes ——————-Jerry

Christine Russell

Amiga Christine Russell replied to yesterday’s post:

Sloan –

I am hopeful for Kari and wish her the best on this difficult journey. I think she needs the very best program available to her, which includes a program with good clean housing, a knowledgeable & supportive staff, and the appropriate programs to help her. Ones surroundings will affect ones attitudes, which will have a profound effect on ones progress and achievement. My suggestions have only been that – suggestions. As I have mentioned having looked into the program at Goodwill in St Pete it looks like an excellent choice and I would be happy to call and get general info – but I will now step back and let the Courts, you and Kari decide what is best.

I’m sure you will keep all of us in blogville informed.

Hoping for the best for you and also Kari.
C

Kari and Sloan

I replied:

Thanks, Christine.

Kari did very good rehab programs in the past, top shelf stuff; then she went back to drinking. But she was not faced with living on the street then, she had a mainstream place to retreat to. Not now. Personally, I don’t see her getting excited about anything traditional; she may go through the motions, but her heart won’t be in it. Her heart needs to be into it, and that’s what I offer. And she offers that to me, for I could have cared less about waking up one more day before she showed up.

Starting with a woman I met in Boulder, Colorado in September 1987, the several women who were brought to me, let’s see, five, not counting Kari, were treated to something entirely different from anything they’d ever experienced. That was due to the angel influence, not only on and inside of me, but on and inside of them. Some of those women coped with it better than others did. For all of them, though, it was a major stretch, as it has been for me.

Kari had never met anyone like me when we met. Nor had I ever met anyone like her. Despite her ragged exterior, she is wired differently from most people; she has all sorts of metaphysical/mystical connections in place, just waiting, and even itching, to be brought online, either again, after she turned them off, or for the first time, because they never were turned on after she turned the others off. Time will tell how that goes.

Meanwhile, it is about impossible for me not to think, if it’s going somewhere for us together, then there’s going to be enough money for it, and it’s going to come in a way mainstream does not anticipate, or even try to bring about, and most likely it will look like I’m the catalyst for it, in some way, but, actually, Kari will be just as catalytic.

In such relationships, the man and the woman are cocooned, it’s them and the angels, in a sheath, interacting with each other and the angels, and separately and together interacting with the world around them in ways that tend to defy and confound mainstream thinking and ways.

How it’s going to go, I have no clue. I don’t even know what’s going to happen in the next five minutes. Nether does anyone I know or ever knew. That’s part of why I don’t make plans any more. The other reason is plans never worked out the way I meant for them to work out, and I heard a lot of angel laughter over my trying again to make a plan.

One of those remarkable women who was brought to me had on her kitchen refrigerator door a magnet, on which was:

We plan
God laughs!

As she kept making plans, I kept telling her that magnet was for her, I already knew about making plans. She kept saying she knew the magnet was for her, and she kept making plans. It became the end of us.

Sloan

Magby and Gratz

Tim Gratz,center, receiving an award from Key West Mayor Craig Cates, right

Tim Gratz replied to the tragic death of a young boy part of yesterday’s post:

Sloan, I knew the boy’s father only because he was a regular Domino’s customer and was always extremely pleasant and nice.
I was absolutely devastated by his son’s death, literally broke into tears when i read the story Saturday morning.
I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose a child, especially at that age!
Like you wrote, the family will never get over the grief.
What comes to mind is Mr Piper, the manager of Publix who lost a teen-age son.
Best to you.

I replied:

Hi, Tim – It’s awful for a parent to lose a child, at any age. My son was but 7 weeks old when he died, I felt so bad that I wished I had left with him. I suppose a part of me did. Many years later, April 1994, after this little poem jumped out of me,

Only fools rush in
where angels fear to tread,
but if there were no fools,
who’d lead the angels?

he came back, came into me. I was told it was happening. I felt it spiritually, emotionally, physically; it was not of this world. Perhaps he brought back with him the part of me that had left to be with him. We now are two. I am not conscious of two, though. I seems just me is in here, he’s who is aware of two.

The eulogy poem that launched his return literally burst out of me on the 26th anniversary of his funeral. In my spirit code, 26 is the number for God. The poem left me in tears. People who saw the poem were blown away. I published it, along with other soul poems, in a little book. I think it was called Rainbow Fusion, but it might have been in another little book of verse called Fools Rush In. Gave away hundreds of copies. Anonymous.

Don’t have a copy now, nor of the poem. Wish I did, that was a poem from heaven.

Check out Clint Prindle’s beautiful letter to the editor in today’s Citizen.

Sloan

heartsong00.jpgField of Dreams

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
An Open Letter to Jonathan Wells

Dear Jonathan,

I only knew you through baseball. Being a military family, it’s hard to get to know folks because you move every few years. Of those you know, even fewer you know well. My son was drawn to your baseball team and coached by your dad. And in our first Spring here, that’s how we met.

People are so much more than just what they do, where they work, and who they know. So I know you were much more than just a baseball player. But that’s how I knew you. I watched you and your teammates, but I paid much less attention to slugging percentages and earned run averages and focused more on who these boys were that my son spent more time with than his own dad. What impressed me the most–what I saw in you–is that in spite of your phenomenal abilities you were also the most humble. Other players with far less talent might brag and cheer themselves loudly for their own accomplishments, but not you. You cheered everyone but yourself. Your smile and a quiet “good job” would just as likely go to your opponents as they would your own team. You accepted every teammate as a friend. You saw a spark in others. When others struck out or failed to make a play, you were the first to let them know they were doing okay. You showed that true love for the game meant commitment and sacrifice. You would make any father proud. Your dad, Steve, deserves to be very proud. I only knew you through baseball. I think if you could pick one way in which someone knows you, baseball would be pretty high on your list.

Jonathan, the ball field isn’t going to be the same without you. We will miss your love of the game. We will miss your heart, your commitment, your smile. Your family is hurting. Your friends are hurting. A young man racked with guilt is hurting. You’ve left a hole in our hearts, and as an entire city grieves, we look for ways to remember you and find healing. We’ll search for ways to comfort each other and share the bright memories of your short life. On that field, I will find you. I pray that the crack of a homerun hit, the smell of a rawhide mitt, and the sunsets behind homeplate will bring back your smile to all of us. Jonathan, smile and let us know that we’re doing okay as we struggle with losing you.

I am reminded of James Earl Jones’ famous lines from the movie Field of Dreams. He spoke of how baseball really does offer hope and healing. Knowing how much the game meant to you, baseball reminds me “of all that once was good and could be again”. I hope people will come to our little field to find grace and celebrate you.

Sincerely,

Clint Prindle

In today’s Key West Citizen, my gracious host Todd German told me about it yesterday morning:

Todd GermanTodd

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Police: Teacher fired for texts to student
BY ADAM LINHARDT Citizen Staff
alinhardt@keysnews.com

A 39-year-old teacher at the Key West Collegiate Academy charter school was fired Friday after inappropriate texts from and photos of her were found on an 18-year-old male student’s cellphone, according to Key West police.

Former English teacher Deidre Combs declined to comment on the allegations when reached Monday.

A police officer responded to the school, located on the Florida Keys Community College campus, on Friday after two anonymous students told Principal Cory Oliver that another student was claiming to have proof of a sexual relationship with Combs.

According to the police incident report, Abraham Castillo told other students that he had proof on his cell phone that he was or had been in a sexual relationship with Combs and had smoked marijuana with her.

A Key West police detective was assigned to the case to investigate further, said police spokeswoman Alyson Crean. Officials are uncertain if a crime was committed or if charges will be filed as Castillo is an 18-year-old adult, not a minor. Florida statutes prohibit persons over the age of 24 engaging in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age, but don’t apply when the person is 18 years or older.

Key West Collegiate Academy board chairman Todd German said he couldn’t comment on the ongoing investigation or the events that led to Combs termination, but did say: “We take this matter extremely seriously and are doing everything in our power to find the best resolution.”

He also released a public statement, a portion of which reads: “Late Friday afternoon, we received information involving one of our teachers which required immediate action. The safety and welfare of our students is the first and foremost concern for Key West Collegiate Academy.” Attempts to reach Castillo as well as his parents or legal guardian were not successful Monday. Castillo turned 18 in September 2014 and was 18 when the texts allegedly began in January or February 2015, according to police.

Combs was not Castillo’s teacher at the school, according to sources close to the investigation.

Oliver confiscated Castillo’s phone and called police upon hearing the accusations. The responding officer found a picture taken in March 2015 of Combs exposing her breasts, according to the report. She also allegedly sent him a picture of a drawer full of condoms, reports say.

Police cited a text from Castillo to Combs expressing his desire to have sex with her and she responded, “I can’t. My roommates are home tonight,” the report states.

She also responded with “LOL,” text shorthand for “laugh out loud,” when Castillo sent her another sexual-themed text.

The two also reportedly exchanged texts calling each other “babe” and the phrase “love ya.”

“The most recent text seemed to be a break-up of some sort in that Castillo was upset about a 22-year-old guy Combs may have been seeing,” the report states.

It also states, “Combs asked Castillo not to text him while she was working and that he only knew the intimate her and not her as a teacher.”

Combs denied having a sexual relationship with Castillo when questioned by the officer and Oliver at the school Friday.

The officer pressed Combs, stating that the language in the texts was not the type of conversation teachers have with students.

She reportedly responded that she began giving Castillo rides home when he needed them in February and that she became concerned when he said he was hungry and that he was helping his family by paying bills or helping to pay for car repairs.

When the officer asked how that evolved into a relationship, Combs said “she didn’t know how to answer that question” and that there were “several complex events,” reports say.

“Combs said that Castillo would talk to her and he was flirtatious and aggressive,” the officer wrote in the report. “She found that flattering. Combs never admitted to having a sexual relationship with Castillo, however, the conversations between them seemed to suggest they are or had been in a romantic relationship.”

Castillo told the officer that initially “all they did was have conversations,” reports say. When the officer quoted several of the sexual texts, Castillo said that “they would have conversations and it went from there,” reports say.

“I told Combs that at this time there did not appear to be any crimes committed as Castillo is an adult and was an adult at the time this incident occurred,” the officer wrote. “If further investigation reveals any similar activity prior to Castillo’s 18th birthday, criminal charges may be pursued.”

Oliver told Combs in the presence of the officer that “administrative action would occur,” according to the report.

A letter from the school sent to parents on Sunday stated the following: “It is with deep regret that I am reaching out to you today. When classes reconvene this Monday, students will return to find that one of our staff members is no longer working with us. The safety and well-being of our students is always our first priority. We will work to minimize any distractions from this transition and we ask for your patience in doing so.”

“Our office is aware of the allegations,” said Monroe County State Attorney Catherine Vogel. “We are awaiting the police investigation and we cannot comment on any pending investigations.”

——————————

Last night, I told Todd it was good that he acted quickly and decisively, which would not have happened if this had been a regular school. The principal, superintendent of schools and the school board would have talked all around it, messed it up even more, probably blaming the teachers union for nothing decisive being done, not unlike Key West Chief Donie Lee blames the police benevolent union for bad cops being on his police force.

Letter to the Editor in the Key West Citizen today:

Father Stephen BraddockSteve Braddock

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Clarifying resignations from CoC board

An April 11th front-page article in the Citizen titled “Pair of high-profile resignations stir up nonprofit community” has resulted in a lot of unfortunate confusion and misinterpretation.

We have received numerous communications from concerned individuals under the mistaken impression that we have resigned our positions with the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (FKOC).

That is not the case. We want to clarify that we are both deeply committed to continuing in our respective roles with FKOC for many years to come.

Though the Citizen reporter did correctly make the distinction, we’d like to be very clear that our decision was only to cease playing volunteer leadership roles with the Monroe County Homeless Services Continuum-of-Care (the CoC), a completely different nonprofit organization from FKOC.

Our resignations from the CoC board of directors in no way affects our strong dedication and continued service to the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition.

Rev. Stephen E. Braddock
FKOC President and CEO

Stephanie Kaple
FKOC Deputy Director

My lawyer and my friend Sam Kaufman is Chairman of the Board of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (FKOC). At the recent party launching Sam’s campaign for retiring Mark Rossi’s seat on the Key West City Commission, I asked Sam about the article in the Citizen, which Steve Braddock referenced in his letter. I asked Sam if this was a replay of what happened when Steve and FKOC pulled away from Southern Assistance Homeless League (SHAL) some years ago? Sam said, basically.

I knew from Steve back when that happened that he had lost faith with SHAL. I didn’t think he was happy with SHAL hiring a full-time Executive Director, nor with SHAL moving from being an organization of providers trying to help down and out people get back onto their feet, to being a service provider itself. In the Citizen article Steve referenced in his letter, it was reported that Continuum of Care was going to hire an Executive Director, and I wondered then if the Continuum was headed the direction SHAL went?

Today, SHAL manages KOTS, Key West’s homeless shelter.

KOTSKOTSKOTS dorm

SHAL started managing KOTS, after FKOC resigned from managing KOTS on the heels of being sued, along with the city, for KOTS being built without permits. FKOC had nothing to do with KOTS being built, and, in fact, Steve Braddock told the city he did not think KOTS was a good idea. Sam Kaufman told the city that. Charles Davis, who worked for FKOC back then, told the city that. I told the city that.

The city built and opened KOTS, which immediately became a den of iniquity and disease, as we had told the city would happen. By and by, the city begged Steve Braddock for FKOC to take over and run KOTS. Steve deferred to Charles Davis, who said, okay, if he got to call all the shots. That was agreed to by the city and by the sheriff. Charles took over KOTS and straightened it out as well as it could be straightened out.

SHAL took over KOTS, where FKOC had left off.

It’s my understanding that KOTS was cleaner back when Charles Davis ran it, than it is now. Probably due to Charles had jail trustys cleaning up KOTS every morning. Today, volunteer KOTS clients clean it up every morning. I heard the trustys were caught bringing contraband into the jail, which they found at KOTS, and the sheriff had to stop letting trustys clean up KOTS.

Recently, the Executive Director of SHAL resigned and was given a good public relations sendoff by SHAL and the Citizen. Based on all I had heard, the full story was not reported by the Citizen, nor told by SHAL. I hope SHAL and the Continuum both go through a transformation. I hope I go through a transformation. I hope my recovering alcoholic lady Kari in the county jail goes through a transformation. I hope everyone does.

Sloan at Smathers Beach

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

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the heart has its reasons that reason knows nothing of – Key West cardiac explorations

Heart Throb

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heartsong00.jpg

My gracious host here on Cudjoe Key, Todd German, asked me this morning if I had seen the article in today’s Key West Citizen (keysnews.com) on hearts and angels. I said I had not seen it, and I went back into my electronic copy of the citizen and found it. After reading it, I told Todd it is a darn good article, and I wonder if the people who beat me up for talking about angels will beat up the woman in the article? Probably not, I said. Here’s the article:

Monday, April 20, 2015
A message from the heart
BY JOSH GORE Free Press Staff
jgore@keysnews.com

Some mysteries of the heart can never be solved. This one can.

The dozens of large red heart signs appearing outside businesses, residences and local organizations during the past few months began with heavenly inspiration.

“This was a message from the angels,” said Mari-Etta Stoner. “It just makes me so happy.”

Beginning in December, Stoner gave form to that inspiration and began asking for permission to install her homemade plywood hearts at businesses along the Overseas Highway.

Stoner, a founding member of local nonprofit Keys to Peace, says her effort is separate from the organization’s projects.

Speculation surrounding the sudden appearance of the hearts attributed them to recent holidays or perhaps some kind of heart or health awareness campaign.

But the hobbyist said that’s not the case.

“This has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day or Christmas,” she said. “This hopefully helps us connect with each other one heart at a time.”

Asked what message viewers should take from the hearts, Stoner responded, “It’s whatever the hearts mean to them.”

One of the first hearts to be installed was at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center’s newest building in Tavernier.

“The message it sends is the same message we send to birds, which is love,” said Janeen Simon, executive director of the nonprofit bird rescue and rehabilitation group.

Stoner has tried to go about her work with as little publicity as possible, but through word of mouth, she now finds herself filling several requests from businesses and residents for hearts. She has sent one as far south as Cudjoe Key.

Stoner says she uses a power jigsaw to cut a heart shape from plywood, then applies four coats of paint before adding finishing touches to her design. The process of creating one heart takes a little more than one hour, she said.

Stoner said she initially wanted the hearts to become a mainstay in the Florida Keys. But she said she has begun sending hearts home with snowbirds.

“I want locals and visitors to know the kind of paradise we live in,” she said.

Edna Waldorf, who heads the Garden Club of the Upper Keys, was pleased to place one of the hearts outside the Francis Tracy Garden Center.

“This is great because our organization has heart,” she said.

Overall, people see the hearts as bringing forth a positive vibe.

“In general, when I view a heart, I think of something generous,” said the bird center’s Simon.

To inquire about receiving a heart, email mariettastoner@gmail.com.

One of the first hearts made by Mari-Etta Stoner to be installed was at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center’s newest building in Tavernier.

Also in today’s Citizen, the second Citizen report on this local heart-piercing tragedy, my thoughts in bold italics:

Monday, April 20, 2015
Not a firearm, not a toy
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
gfilosa@keysnews.com

The .177-caliber pellet air rifle that led to the death of 14-year old Jonathan Wells last week is common in Key West, typically used for ridding lawns of local pests. The rifles are not known for causing human fatalities, making Wells death all the more tragic.

About four people are killed each year by a BB gun or pellet rifle, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

“It’s extremely rare,” said Josh Austin, who works at a Stock Island gun store that doesn’t sell the rifles.

Still, Austin said, the same safety procedures for firearms go for air rifles.

“It still shoots a projectile,” he said. “I know more adults that have them than kids.”

When I was a boy, age 14, only kids had BB guns and pellet rifles. I had both. My pellet rifle was .177 caliber, same as this pellet rifle in this tragedy, but my gun was powered by CO 2, not a hand pump air compressor as the pellet rifle in this tragedy. I knew very well not to aim my pellet rifle at another person, and not to shoot another person with it. I knew the gun was a dangerous weapon, because of what it did to birds and squirrels I shot with it. I knew it was a dangerous weapon when I first got it to shoot birds and squirrels with it. I knew it was far more dangerous than a BB gun, and far more accurate.

Wells was at a friend’s home April 10 when another young teen accidently fired the air rifle that hit the eighth grader. He was pronounced dead at 4:40 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Miami-Dade coroner, and his funeral is planned for Wednesday.

Todd, too, keeps saying this was an accident, and I keep saying it was no accident. The boy picked up the pellet rifle, aimed it at the other boy’s chest, and pulled the trigger. Now, did the boy with the rifle know the pellet rifle was loaded? Did he know the air was compressed? Did he, or another boy, load the pellet rifle and then compress the air?

The Key West police department considers the case open and State Attorney Catherine Vogel said her office hadn’t been contacted by police yet.

Meanwhile, the pellet gun that caused his death, a Ruger Talon .177-caliber air rifle, remains in the possession of local police as evidence.

It was packed into a “rifle evidence box,” according to the only police report made public. Officer Kathryn Hansell also reported that police collected two boxes of Red Fire .177 pellets, one sealed with 150 pellets and the other open and holding 96.

The Red Fire .177 pellet is advertised as “Gamo’s latest state-of-the-art hunting pellet,” each designed with a diamond-shaped tip.

Air-powered rifles have been used for hunting since the 16th century, according to Cabela’s sporting goods, which points out that the newer generations of air guns “aren’t just for kids anymore.”

At 9 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring nearly 45 inches long – including the barrel – the Ruger Talon .177-caliber air rifle is neither a toy nor a firearm.

It’s an air-powered, non-powder gun regulated in at least 24 states, including Florida, where they are forbidden for use by anyone under 16 unless for hunting or marksmanship and while under an adult’s supervision.

It’s a single-shot rifle, which means the user must “break,” or open the barrel in order to load a pellet.

The Talon is a spring-piston airgun, the type that combines the power of a stout spring and air piston to propel a pellet.

For each shot, the spring is retracted. When fired, that spring pushes the piston forward, propelling a charge of air.

Various brands, caliber and styles of the pellet air rifle are readily available at retailers like Wal-Mart, Sears or Amazon.

Sig Sauer makes them, as does Ruger, Remington and Crosman.

Prices range from $50 to $400, with many available for under $180. A .357-caliber model can cost more than $2,000.

The much simpler Ruger Talon, complete with scope, goes for about $150. It’s considered a “high-velocity” air rifle, billed at firing up to 1,200 feet-per-second.

“You must be 18 years of age to purchase this item,” the Sportsman Guide online store states in red below a picture of the rifle.

I asked Todd if he knows the family which owned the pellet rifle? Yes. I asked if they are a locally prominent family? Yes. I said, I thought so, because this case is being handled like the family is prominent. I said a lawsuit might come from it. Todd agreed. But will a lawsuit resolve anything? I don’t see how. The boy is dead. His family will never get over it. The boy who shot the boy is never going to get over it. The other boys present when it happened will never get over it. The family whose pellet gun it is will never get over it. A lawsuit might (will) make this tragedy a great deal worse for everyone involved, including the family of the lost boy. I lost a son, once. Not under circumstances that would result in a lawsuit. It hurt. It hurt terribly. And no amount of money would have made it hurt less. No amount of punishing anyone else would have made it hurt less. Going after money and punishment would have made it hurt even more. 

MOVING LATERALLY,

Aphrodite

Before I knew the homeless, alcoholic woman and alleged dangerous convicted felon on probation Kari Dangler and I would become an item, my daughters came to me in a dream with a small guinea pig and said to me, it will be about love. Then other woo woo things happened, some of which I published a time or two or three, or more, which convinced me that Kari and I were being coupled by the angels in an “exotic” paradise mating ritual, which is not of this world and cannot be fathomed by people who have never experienced it.

Re that arena, my friend Christine Russell 

Christine Russell

emailed me about Kari, and that led to a long string of emails back and forth, reproduced below this photo of Kari and me at Burger King on North Roosevelt Blvd, in Key West.

Kari and Sloan

Subject: Hope and change :-)
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2015 12:50:21 -0400

Dear Sloan,

Back to Kari and her situation.
First I am delighted!!! to hear you are happy again Emoji  You have something more now days that is more important to focus on than the politics of KW!  But back to Kari and her situation.  You have a wonderful opportunity to help a person find their way, AND find happiness along that way – though love and happiness can be a fleeting thing.
You are correct when you tell me how none of us can understand what it is like for her in jail, or what it is like in her situation, BUT I think Kari has a wonderful opportunity as a sort of case study to show others what is possible (me the optimist) or not possible if you think it is impossible for people to change and that they should not be given another chance AND some mentoring.  Your blog has called attention to one particular homeless individual.  You have a lot of peoples attention.  This is an opportunity.  And a side note as you have accurately commented – yes I have bitched about the homeless in the past, and yes I will bitch in the future when I see unacceptable situations!  I’m not going into that all here.  I want to talk about Kari.
Sloan I know what I suggest would not be easy for Kari.  But what you seem to usually give me is excuses of why she can not succeed.  Don’t yell at me!  You keep telling me her story, and how unfair her treatment/sentence was/is.
Hey – you know what?  LIFE IS NOT FAIR.  We all have horror stories.  I have my own.  I try not to dwell on them.  Here is how I live and what I told clients (some felons) I used to work with getting them back into society as contributing, independent members of the community:  You can be a slave to all the horrible things you’ve experienced and stay in your dysfunctional little hole, OR you can grab the f—- bull by the horns, look him in the eye, and hang on for dear life, scratching and clawing your way to a better life.  It is NOT easy.  Worthwhile things in life usually are not easy.  But what is the alternative?
So here is Keri’s situation as I understand it:
* she has no money
* she has a criminal record
* she has no recent work history
* she will be homeless again once she is released
* she has little hope of getting a job in Key West (are there any agencies to provide assistance in geting work?)  And IF she did get a job, could she afford to pay rent and live here?
* she is residing (i don’t call it living) in one of the most expensive residential communities in Florida
And let me add here – Cost of housing is NOT as much of a problem as the LACK of a living wage!  I will not name the well known employeers or businesses paying the same wage they paid 25 years ago of $8-10/hour, yet they are making considerable profit by keeping expenses low with these shameful wages.
And is it the responsibility of government to build housing to support workers and supplement these greedy businesses?  Just a question to think about.
Now back to Kari. I unfortunately can not see that she will ever be sucessful here in KW.  Even if she was to get a job – for $8-10 an hour?!  She could never afford to live here!  Oh, maybe she could get 3 or 4 jobs.  And what kind of “life” is that?
This is all just my opinion, but I keep sayingsh she needs to get out of here.  She needs to be somewhere that there are jobs whose pay rate is in proportion to rents.  I have mentioned St Pete to you before.  There ARE programs that work with peope who have criminal records and help them get training and finding jobs.  I worked for one such agency back in Ohio.  Here is one well known program:
People with Criminal Backgrounds
We believe that anyone who wants to go to work deserves a second chance. We understand the challenges people with criminal backgrounds face as they re-enter the community and offer services for men, women and young adults who are committed to getting their lives back on track.
Here are some ways Goodwill can support you during your journey:
  • Pre-release services: Get a head start on building your work skills and obtaining the necessary documentation to start your job search before you are released.
  • Basic skills development: Prepare for your GED, and take ESL or other basic education classes.
  • Employment-readiness training: Develop the soft skills that help you succeed at work, including interviewing and workplace communication techniques.
  • Occupational skills training: Learn a skill or trade that can help you get back to work or move on to a better job.
  • Job placement assistance: Open doors to employment opportunities at companies and organizations committed to giving people with criminal backgrounds a second chance.
  • Life skills: Gain new skills to help you improve other areas of your life, such as parenting, relationship and communication skills.
To see what programs are available in your community, contact your nearest Goodwill and ask to speak with an employment specialist
Sloan, you know that Key West is just not an affordable place to live based on what these businesses are paying in relation to rents.  And Key West is NO PLACE for someone with a drinking problem to live!!! And the way Key West has changed, do you really want to live here anyway?
So are you ready to encourage Kari to leave?  To move to a better town?  Are you willing to go with her?  Maybe find a real life and home? Emoji  Sloan, when you get your next inheritance you could buy a REAL house, and a nice home for $100,000!
You are either screaming and laughing at me that I don’t understand it all, or, you think I am a real bitch.  I’ve been called worse and I don’t care. I say what people are afraid to say or don’t want to hear.  Too bad.  I like you Sloan.  You and all of us are entitled to a little happiness.  Maybe you are a little crazy – aren’t we all?Emoji I just would like to see Kari have a chance at a better life.  I would like to see you stop worrying about living back on the streets.  And if Kari could change and people see it right here on your blog – it might give others hope and it might open some closed minds.
You know I never know where I am going to be tomorrow or next week!  In a week or two I may be returning to Panama to work on some projects with Spay Panama and take care of some business.  I also need to go to Ohio and deal with a collapsing roof there and the house in general, BUT I am willing to help Kari with ideas of how she might get on to a different path to a better life.
Be open minded Sloan!  I have seen you come up with great ideas (like the interchange for the new Walmart similar to what the Navy has at Boca Chica) no one else thought of that!  I have know people and politicians who will give you all the reasons in the world as to why an idea will not work, rather than really consider a proposal with it’s good an bad points.  So don’t be like those politicians!  Don’t give me all the reasons why Kari can not succeed!  INSTEAD – GIVE ME WAYS SHE CAN MAKE A NEW AND BETTER LIFE Emoji
I have much to get done, but I wanted to send you these thoughts, now back to projects.
Have a Happy Day SloanEmoji
Christine
Subject: RE: Hope and change :-)
Date: Sat, 18 Apr 2015 15:47:06 -0400

Hi, Christine –

Toward the beginning of my getting to know Kari, eating with her and some of her homeless friends at the soup kitchen, she started telling me about what had happened on Key Largo, and her boyfriend dying when she was in jail, and it was his house, and when she was released, she was broke and homeless, and she was turned down, she said, by Samuel’s House and Florida Keys Outreach Coalition because of the aggravated battery with an unloaded pistol while she was drinking conviction.
The first time Kari asked me for advice, I told her to get entirely new identification, and disappear. Perhaps that would cost $10,000. Well, she didn’t have $10,000, nor could she get it from anyone else. That was quite a while before I saw we were moving toward being a couple.
By and by, I asked Kari what she most wanted? She turned, looked me dead in the eye, said, “To get out of Monroe County.” She flat meant it, but to do that, she needed a place to go, an address there, a situation there, for her probation to be transferred there, and she didn’t have that somewhere else or situation, and her probation officer was giving her a hard time about not having a fixed address in Key West, and was threatening to violate her for living on the street, and not sleeping nights at KOTS, which had banned Kari from sleeping there, as I explained in numerous articles at goodmorningkeywest.com.
However, it really didn’t matter what Kari said, or did, as long as she was drinking vodka, because that was messing up everything. Now she isn’t drinking. She’s been here before. If she goes back to drinking vodka when she is released, there is no hope for anything but more of the same, and getting worse.
Your “horse workers needed” idea for Kari was terrific, and I will be talking with her about that when I visit her in the jail.
Visiting hours are scattered, and more problematic for me, living up on Cudjoe Key and riding the city’s lower Keys shuttle into down. I can’t do the early morning and evening visitations. Looks like there’s only 1st and 3rd Sundays and Thursday afternoons I can do. Living in Key West, I could get to the jail on my bicycle easily at any allowed visiting time.
I will try to see Kari tomorrow afternoon, which I believe is a 3rd Sunday in this month. We will talk then about such matters as how she might extricate herself from Monroe County. I would like to be extricated from here, too. I have come to not like what I am dealing with here, ad naseuam.
Yes, a overpass/bypass on US 1 for the Walmart is the best, perhaps the only way, to do that development. Surely someone else thought of it, besides me. If not, what’s this place gonna do, if I’m not hear to say the obvious? For I say the obvious over and over again, and I don’t hear it making any difference. Maybe the County Commission will go with the overpass/bypass. Maybe they will stubbornly make another big mess.
By the way, I didn’t give Todd German credit above. We talked about the traffic problem Walmart will cause. We knew a stoplight on US 1 was insane. We wondered how that could even be considered? We knew of the bypass/overpass just down the road. Viola! And, we knew of the problem the traffic light causes on Big Pine Key. Voila! We didn’t need to do a traffic study. It was already done by Big Pine Key and common sense.
For all I know, the County Commission would be happy to jam up US 1 with a traffic light on US 1. It’s their way to do things: like design Cudjoe Regional Sewer District to have shallow injection wells and dig the wells, before testing how a shallow injection well would perform there.
It’s like putting a big city park on Truman Waterfront, which the city does not need and cannot afford, instead of covering that land with 3-story public rental housing, which poor working stiffs, including Kari, and even me, might be able to afford.
I have a dear friend in Porter Place, at the end of White Street, drawing in about $700 a month Soc. Sec. disability, springing from having being imprisoned at age 18 for refusing to fight in Vietnam. The Housing Authority takes less than $120 of that $700, for rent. That’s right, his monthly rent is less than $120 a month, right here in Key West. Kari and I could live in his spacious apartment very easily on my $740 per month Social Security retirement.
Robert Cintron told me at Sam Kaufman’s candidate kickoff party you attended, I was glad to see you there, that there is heap of Navy land and unused Navy housing right here in Key West, which could be converted to affordable rental housing, or torn down and same built there. Housing and land the Navy no longer needs.
Back to Kari. She goes before the judge on Plantation Key at the end of this month. She has no clue how that will go. It is possible he will revoke her probation and send her to prison. It is possible he will put her into the JIP rehab program in the Sheriff’s jail. It is possible he will give her time served on her probation violation, and soon she will be released, broke, back on the street.
Perhaps if Kari has something lined up before then, that will sway the judge? But, she has no way to get anything lined up. She has no access to an online computer. The jail commissary has no writing paper, envelopes, stamps. And, it might be a bit soon for her to be putting a full court press on getting work, room and board some place outside the Florida Keys, before the judge makes his decision.
One of the reasons I have written about Kari’s past is because that bears directly on what she is in jail about, and how she got there. I would be surprised if the judge up there on Plantation Key is unaware of what I have been writing about Kari, based on what she has told me. Her story needed to be told, because she had no voice with a public defender who had proven himself far more dangerous than she was. She told me that she will try to fire her public defender, and represent herself, and perhaps the judge will let her speak, hear her out, what she hopes to do, achieve. She already wrote a letter to the judge about him putting her into the JIP program, which her probation officer had recommended she do, JIP and write to the judge about it.
Because I’m involved, there is the ever possible wild card, that is, the ever possible out of the blue yonder unexpected turn of events, which would moot everything you have suggested, Christine. The plain stark truth is, for Kari and I to have a life together, money will have to show up. If that doesn’t happen, it will be a cruel joke. For I do not presently have the means to provide her escape from Monroe County, if the local judge and the local criminal justice system give her permission to leave. Nor have the angel bosses of me given me permission to leave the Keys – not yet.
The irony is, Kari represents many homeless people who are similarly trapped in Key West, or nearby, thanks to being trapped in the local criminal justice system. It’s a really, really short-sighted stupid thing to do, to criminalize people because they are poor, live on the street. It’s insane to do that. It’s Evil, to do that. Maybe only God can only imagine the karma payback for doing that.
Sorry, Christine. You have not had to live on the street. You are not, therefore, in good standing to speak to what people living in that experience should do. That’s not me yelling at you, Christine. It’s me telling you what I tell many people, who presume to know what homeless people should do.
First, they have to stop using their drug of choice. Kari argued with me ongoing that booze is not a narcotic, that she is not a drug addict. In fact, Christine, most of the people I know living in Key West are drug addicts, just like Kari, but they don’t live on the street.
Rest assured, the glowing reports allowed out of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and Samuel’s House are framed by the people running those programs, and not by the people in those programs, or who were in those programs. Many of their clients bust out of the program. Many move on, then relapse. Just like 95 percent of people who start AA or NA relapse.
If Kari has to stay in Key West, because she cannot find anything elsewhere, which the judge will approve, I will talk with  her about her trying to get into Florida Keys Outreach Coalition or Samuel’s House. I have learned exceptions are made, but Kari was not told that when she applied. She simply was told the aggravated assault with the unloaded pistol made her a dangerous person, which those programs did not accept.
Now I know differently from Sam Kaufman, who emailed me, chiding me for not asking him about trying to help Kari. But what if I had not known Sam? What if he was not my friend, and my lawyer? Would I have found out exceptions are made for people like Kari, by Florida Keys Outreach Coalition and Samuel’s House? How would someone like Kari learn of those exceptions?
Now perhaps many people know of those exceptions, now that I know and am publishing what I know.
It looks to me the angels are using Kari in many ways, which could help Key West and Monroe County. Important ways. Lots more important than most people can grasp. Ways really valuable in dollar measure of value. Will they pay Kari for that? The question answers itself. This place doesn’t know what really is valuable.
I hope, in return, the angels give Kari a break, lead her out of hell in which she has been living for a very long time. I hardly have told everything she has shared with me.
To get that help, Kari will, I think, have to not drink vodka. That’s the one thing she actually can do, with which no one else can help her. She’s not drinking it now. She’s through the DTs and the hallucinations, again. She’s been here many times before. Rehab never cured her. Maybe she will be cured this time.
Maybe this time Kari will get help no human being can provide. I hope she gets it, because I know it’s critical that she get it. And I know she has a reason to want to get it, me. Before I came along, she had no reason to want to change. She was resigned to being married to vodka. She liked vodka. She did not feel bad about being married to vodka.
I’m what has changed in Kari’s life. And she is what has changed in my life. And neither of us wants to live here, nor does this place want us living here. Win, win, if we get to leave, start afresh, hopefully with horses around.
Sloan
Sloan: I hope the idea of working with horses one day will give Kari new hope.  Sometimes people just need a positive reason to get out of bed in the morning. Maybe the prospect of a better life will help to stop drinking?  I have never had that problem with alcohol and you are right I know NOTHING about living on the street and can not even begin to imagine it.

I may have no idea what I am talking about, but it seems to me that many of these homeless people have no interests, no goals, no reason to be anything different and certainly no reason to stop drinking.
I mentioned I worked with the developmentally disabled but also criminals in my past life in Ohio.  I had no idea what I was doing when I got the job, but I wanted to help change these peoples lives!  How do you do that?  They were supposed to come to “work” everyday and assemble widgets or something else that was a waste of time and of no interest, then I was supposed to find them a job in the community and everything is beautiful.  Well, they didn’t come to ‘work’ and if they did they would be late and uncooperative.   Their quality and quantity of work sucked, and I wondered what I had gotten myself into!  Well, I cared about them and I wanted to help.  So what I did was to begin talking with the clients.  Showing a genuine interest in them and talking about what they enjoy and what they might like to do for a living at some point.  There was a pedofile who if he came to work at all, it was an hour or more late.  He wanted to do construction work, so instead of having him assemble widgets, I got permission to renovate a room at the facility and I taught him to scrap, spackle, sand, and paint.  In time he began showing up to work early!  He excelled.  There was another young man with a serious learning disability who liked hookers.  In time he was ready and I found a job at a furniture store, he did the cleaning for them – he really enjoyed the work, going everyday, having new friends, feeling like he was needed, liked and cared about.  A young girl in my program wanted to be a fashion designer!  I worked with her and taught her to make curtains for one of our rooms.  All of my clients excelled beyond anyones imagination.  The counselors at BVR (Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation) referred  their most difficult clients to me and they all succeeded.  Why?  I think because someone  finally listened to them, and cared about them.  Eventually I left that job and moved here, but it was probably the most worthwhile, satisfying job I have ever had.
I know Kari and can make it.  But as you know much of it depends upon her and her will to change and succeed.  It also depends on others being supportive and helping her.  Like you said she has no computer, paper or any other tools.  Maybe some of us can help in one way or another.
I hope Kari finds the horse idea interesting and worth persuing.  But I would suggest a multistep plan for her.  First a program like the one at Goodwill which can offer the support, housing and training she needs to get on her feet.  Once she has remained sober and has the needed support for such, gets a job working in house in a program, then a job on the outside, becomes independent, builds some kind of a work history, friends, references, then she can look for horsmanship kind of work.  She can become independent.  Get a library card and access to computers and I would think maintain a relationship with a group like Goodwill which would provide continuing support.  The Goodwills in St Pete are fabulous if she could get in to a program like that.  We have no GW’s in Monroe Country and I could not find that our Salvation Army here provides any of the kind of services GW does in St Pete. I have looked at their services on-line extensively today.  I will call them next week to see if this is a possible option for Kari.
Sloan: I know you get social security and you have mentioned how much before.  Can I ask you again?  With Kari working and earning some money and your ss you could live in St Pete – an live pretty wellEmoji
Brian and I both know St Pete well.  He grew up there and we could share what we know. Brian’s daughter is in college there and she lives in a cute 1 bedroom apartment complex with pool and many amenities for $600/month.  St Pete is probably just one of many possibilites, but I mention it because we know it so well and LOVE it there.  I count the days until our next one of our many frequent trips there.  You can live so well, and so inexpensively.  Do you know Aldi’s – my new favorite store!  Do you know Trader Joe’s?  They are affiliated, and a Trader Joe’s opened just last year but there are several Aldi’s in town.  We love their imported European foods – that are priced much less than most grocery stores and even less than Walmart!  If Aldi was to come here, Publix and WinnDixie would be in trouble.  Now there’s what they need instead of a Walmart on Rockland – an Aldis, Trader Joes, maybe a Habor Freight – all my favorite St Pete stores.
I hope this gives you something to think about.  I hope when you see or talk to Kari you might have time to share some ideas with her.  Please tell her people are wishing her well.  I think it will give her hope.  It must be grim in the jail.  I won’t be easy, but she needs to know there is hope – and a real possibility of a better life.  If you talk to her and maybe she can begin to formulate a plan.  Maybe she will have an oportunity to present those ideas to the Judge.   Well, it’s getting late – at least for me.
Pleasant dreams -
C
Hi, Christine – my dreams were toward the strange side last night, but not what I would call unpleasant. Kari said last nigh on the phone that she goes before the judge on Tuesday. She wrote to him already, saying she wants to be in the JIP program. That’s the jail’s in house rehab/return to society program. After some time of counseling and group meetings, inmates start interacting with the outside community, mostly by getting work. The program is designed to help them be on their feet when they are released. How successful the program is in Key West area, I don’t know. How you described your work with challenged people is beautiful. Perhaps you might do more of that, if you stay in the States? Street people, who are using narcotics regularly (that includes booze), are unreachable, unless they stop using. Going to jail stops them from using. But, when released, they go back to using. JIP tries to change that, if they enter, are accepted to JIP. On release, I suppose they are eligible for Florida keys Outreach Coalition and/or Samuel’s House. Or some place away from Key West and even away from the Keys, if that is arranged. St. Pete does not appeal to me at this time, but perhaps the angels have it in mind and have yet to tell me. Hard to talk about the future with Kari, before we know what the judge does with her. Also hard to talk about the future, because that does not work for me, and I doubt it will work for Kari, and that’s because angels are running our “case”, and angels have their own agenda, which, in my experience, seldom matches human beings’ agendas. Or never matches. Living with angels is doing the next step they provide. Planning is futile and an invitation for both disappointment and cosmic laughter.

Sloan
Sloan – My 2 major concerns with Kari remaining in Key West/the Keys are 1. NOT a place for persons with alcohol problems to be living – someone like Kari needs to change her surroundings and friends/aquaintences to change her life and 2. even becoming sober and getting a job – KW is NO PLACE TO LIVE on what she would earn!!!!   Getting into a program elsewhere NOW (I strongly suggest St Pete IF an option) she would develope relationships and the support foundation she so deparately needs!!!
I sure do understand your not changing your life for a current relationship you don’t know how it will work out.  But NOTHING is FOREVER.  And any situation can and will change with time.  It is not as if you have a job and a home here, so you are sort of free to come and go – or just go :-)  I wish you would consider let’s call it a 1-2 month sabatical to St Pete.  I think you would really like the communityEmoji  It is a highly funcational, extremely affordable beautiful downtown community.  And I am willing to help find you a place by the week or month – I already have a place in mind that the people are earthy and so cool Emoji  It is very close to downtown.  You could ride your bike anywhere needed – grocery, new CVS, and the Saturday Morning Market!!! EmojiEmojiEmoji
MY FAVORITE!!!  I get excited for you just thinking about it.  The day will come in a few years or less, I will buy a place there and rent our until I am ready to spend more time in FL than I am willing to spend now.
A sample Greyhound round trip fare (fair???) is $110 from KW airport to St Pete – not sure where terminal is but St Pete has a fabulous transportation system – several trolley loops downtown, one is free, one goes from DT out to the beaches and I think is maybe $2?
There are places on Airbnb.com you can stay by the week or get a much better rate staying a month.
But back to Kari, I just have major concerns for her remaining in KW.  And recall she told you the one thing she wanted was to get out of here.  I think it would be best for her to get into a program and get started where she wants to live – she then has that on-going support and longer term relationship.
And best of all :
Goodwill-Suncoast’s work-release programs are designed to help ease the transition of offenders back into the community.
St. Petersburg Suncoast Work-Release Center
This program serves female offenders transitioning from Florida correctional facilities, assisting them with their re-entry into society.
Participants live at the Goodwill corrections facility in St. Petersburg for three to nine months while working at least 35 hours per week. Participants receive assistance finding employment and attend counseling sessions and life skills classes.
Women come to this program from facilities all over Florida. 
Funded by the Florida Department of Corrections.
 
In my opinion, this sounds like the very best option for Kari.  Why don’t you discuss it with her.  Sloan with no ties to KW like a job, lease or mortgage – you could go to St Pete a month at a time – give it a try.  How do you know you wouldn’t love it, if you don’t try it?!   I think you social security would fund such.  And if Kari could get into that Goodwill work Release Program, I would think they would provide transportation and assistance getting her there.
Please be open-minded about this.  Please discuss it with Kari.  I would be happy to talk with Kari if she would like and if it is possible.  I will go what I can to help her as long as she is on the correct path to changing past habits and working on a better futureEmoji  I have several appointments this coming week, but let me know if I can help, then the following week I am looking at probably returning to Panama for a few weeks – the animals call!
I am just afraid staying here will a difficult, sad future for Kari.
C

Christine, fortunately, and unfortunately, I suppose, I am told by angels where to live, when to live there, who to be with (in a relationship), who not to be with. Makes everything simple. The variety comes in the not having a clue what’s gonna happen next. Maybe more later, gotta head to the bus stop. Sloan

 

Sloan: To this last comment from you I ask, are the angels going to pay your way to live on this over-crowded, unaffordable island?

At some point  you have to make these decisions on your own based on your circumstances.
I was thinking with you losing your place to rent recently it might be sort of an omen that you are free of things to tie you down here.  Even if you try something somewhere else – you could always come back………… if you were crazy enough EmojiChristine: Doesn’t matter what my circumstances are. I do what, live where, the angels say. I know that is incomprehensible to anyone who is not being run by angels. Oh, how different this world would be, though, if all people were being run by angels. Oh, how, different. Sloan

 

This morning, Christine: Saying what I last wrote another way, because I dreamt to say it, Not my will, nor your will, Christine, but God’s will be done, which, of course, is the sum total of Jesus in the Gospels, a sum total not fathomed by the religion which claims him, nor by hardly anyone on this planet. He is one of the three angels who run me. Archangel Michael and Magdalene Melchizedek are the other two. And that is not religion, Christine. They are are real as you and I think we are, but, compared to them, what human beings call reality is hallucination.

Kari has told me about two hallucinations she had in the jail, about the time she thought and felt she was done with the DTs and withdrawal, which were so real, she was in their thrall, trying to live them. She had been moved from the infirmary back into the general population, and, after the two hallucinations, the more involved of which she shared with jail staff, and they gave her a valium, which they had given her toward the end of the withdrawal, they moved her back into sick bay (the infirmary).
In fact, the two hallucinations were indeed hallucinations. Kari hallucinated they were hallucinations. Jail staff hallucinated they were hallucinations. They were, in fact, visions, created by the angels, for Kari to share with me, because I would see them for what they were, and are, for they are very much in play, and will remain in play. How do I know that? I know it because there were details in the visions that were specific to only me, which not even Kari knew about. And there were details in the visions, which were specific to Kari and me, which we already had experienced together with our eyes wide open. And there was a clear reference to Jesus in the more complex vision, which I don’t imagine anyone would see but me, because I don’t know anyone able to see in that way but me.
So, when we visited in the jail yesterday, we did not talk about what might happen when Kari is released from jail. We talked about how the JIP program works, if she gets into it, she will be in class during the day, except on Sunday, and I will not be able to visit with her except on Sunday, and then only the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, as that’s the Sunday visitation for her unit in the jail.
Kari told me about the visions, and she told me more when she called me last night, and that was when the visions finally started clicking into place for me, and clicked more into place after I went to sleep and had the dream that Jesus is at the forefront.
Kari told me the infirmary is dirty, they don’t wash down the mats on which sick inmates lay and sleep. The mats smell of urine and other body fluids/excretions. Some inmates had open sores. The unit she now is in is considerably more clean and sanitary and healthy, medically, health department- wise.
We had fun talking. We laughed a lot. The eraser she bought to stick onto the end of a golf pencil, which is the only writing instrument allowed to inmates, cost $1.29 in the jail commissary. I told Kari, that’s like a $500 hammer.
It is obvious to me, Kari is being used as God’s, or, if you will, Jesus’ snitch, in the situations in which she is involved. There is no about of money worth that, I have learned, for I do the same ongoing, and it is not compensated in money by the people for whose benefit (or potential benefit) it is done. Nor is it appreciated by them.
If Kari gets into the JIP program, they will help her try to make arrangements for where she might be after she is released. Meanwhile, I imagine the angels are making their own arrangements, which may or may not look anything like the JIP program’s, your, my, Kari’s, or anyone’s arrangements.
Maybe more later. Maybe not.
Sloan

P.S.

The shorter of Kari’s “hallucinations” was a comical back and forth between us, in which she got really mad at me for telling her she had to do something, which it took a while for her to tell me yesterday: I told her in the hallucination that she could not drink booze or smoke cigarettes any more, and she asked me something like, “What, you are the burger king?” Whereupon, I left and came back with a burger king wedding ring, it had a big cheese burger on it, and gave it to her.

The back story on that was, we met many mornings at Burger King, on North Roosevelt, for breakfast and to talk about our dreams, which she was never happy about sharing with me, because they mostly were not what she wanted to be dreaming. We had many discussions at Burger King about her not drinking, and not smoking either, and she did not like those discussions.
She said she didn’t want a burger king wedding ring, but the angels, of course, have such a swell sense of humor.
The other hallucination was just plain hilarious altogether, but also very serious. In part of it, Kari astrally traveled to where I was fooling around on Saturn, with three good men buddies, to bring me with her back to the jail, in which we were married by some person who had a Bible. Kari had to travel astrally, and not physically, so it would not look like a jail break.
There was a lot more to the hallucination :-), but this part told me, yep, Kari and I indeed are coupled by the angels, this is a truly bizarre-ish paradise mating adventure, her soul is totally on board, even if her mind and ego are confused, struggling to keep up. Saturn is the second largest planet, Jupiter is the largest. Jove, Jupiter, is God in Greek mythology. 1 is God the Father in my spirit code. 2 is the Son, Jesus, in my spirit code.
Psychiatrists might have a field day with that. The angels might find that funny. Or tragic. Depending on how psychiatrists fielded it.
looney_toon_sloan.JPG

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

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tweeting homeless people meanly, and related Key West miseries

homeless tourist ad

“cartoon” by Arnaud Girard, co-publisher, Key West the Newspaper (thebluepaper.com), published online, only, each Friday

Arnaud Girard

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Devil or Angel 2

Facebook activity on yesterday’s mumblings:

“When all else fails, try laughing at whatever is pissing you off – Key West mental health rehab institute”

today at http://goodmorningkeywest.com/?p=29509

  • Ann Massey, Brenda Garcia, Paul Goodwin and Victor Clark like this.
  • Paul Goodwin Enjoying you’re book ” Heavy Wait “.
  • Brenda Garcia You hit a home run. On that topic. It is so much better to laugh than to get mad. Just think like what a fool they are and that should make you laugh at foolishness. Love you Sloan Bashinsky.
  • Ann Massey The world spins, the days pass, what’s the point!
  • Sloan Bashinsky amen, me, I just get up in the morning and do what the world spun in front of me while I slept, and what spins in front of me as the day passes into the night. The next day is the same. Mystery and unknowing ongoing.

Posted to my Facebook timeline yesterday by a vicious van dweller criminal amigo:

Victor Clarke shared a video to your timeline.
48,774 Views
The Mind Unleashed uploaded a new video.

We’ve seen women read mean tweets, and men read mean tweets, now watch homeless people read mean tweets – an important reminder to think about what you write…

In the most recent Keynoter (keysnet.com):

Inside Key West’s homeless shelter: Lots of working homeless
BY ANTHONY CAVE
acave@keynoter.comApril 18, 2015

KOTS dorm

The line to get into the Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter on College Road on Stock Island usually starts before 6:30 p.m.

But according to Southernmost Homeless Assistance League Interim Executive Director John Miller, these people need a hand up, not a handout.

Of the roughly 150 people, depending on season, that enter KOTS nightly, 50 to 60 are employed, he said.

“The biggest misconception is that it’s a lifestyle they’ve chosen,” Miller said. “We only have a fraction of the actual homeless.”

SHAL has a month-to-month agreement with the city of Key West to operate KOTS, which opened in 2004 on the grounds of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office headquarters and has 128 beds. Its budget for this year is around $560,000.

KOTS’ overall population is 90 percent men between ages 40 and 60. The minimum age to enter is 18.

The Key West City Commission has approved a new homeless shelter just down the road on College Road to replace KOTS but no specific plans are in place.

KOTS has multiple dorm areas, bathrooms with showers and a job postings board. KOTS provides basic toiletries such as soap, shampoo and toilet paper. Towels and bed sheets are washed every day in KOTS’ staff offices, which have multiple washers and dryers.

Another area with picnic tables hosts Alcoholics Anonymous and smoking cessation meetings, haircuts and weekly check-ups from the Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys.

KOTS’ 15-person staff includes three case managers that work on issues such as preparing people for employment and obtaining their birth certificates and Social Security cards. Some beds are saved for the working homeless on a nightly basis.

Miller hopes to start transitioning out the KOTS clients to more permanent housing.

He has applied for a grant for KOTS from the Monroe County Human Services Advisory Board, which reviews for the County Commission monetary requests from local organizations. The money would work as forgivable loans and pay for a person’s first and last month rent, and security deposit.

“They can afford a cheap place to live, they just can’t find it,” Miller said. “That’s the new model. It’s housing first.”

Key West Mayor Craig Cates said the working population at KOTS is not a surprise and that many people’s perceptions of all KOTS clients being chronically homeless as incorrect.

“I think KOTS is more like multi-purpose. It’s workforce housing, it’s housing the homeless, it’s housing people that have mental issues,” Cates said.

The mayor was the deciding vote to relocate KOTS to the city-owned former Easter Seals property on Stock Island. The commission approved the move, which was forced in part because of a lawsuit with nearby residents, in February. Still, City Attorney Shawn Smith said at that meeting that the process will be lengthy.

City Manager Jim Scholl plans to update the commission on a new KOTS plan, which should include a layout and number of beds, at the commission’s May 5 meeting. City Engineering Director Jim Bouquet estimated a new KOTS as costing about $1.1 million.

So it’s still a wait-and-see approach for Miller at the current site. But he said a more comfortable KOTS would mean fewer people living in mangroves and more people using their social services.

“Once you start working with somebody, you’re halfway home,” Miller said.

KeysNet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what’s in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

  • Sloan Bashinsky · Top Commenter · Janitor at God

    Yes, the nicer KOTS is, the more services it provides, the more homeless people are drawn to use it. However, and this is from someone who lived on the street in Key West off and on for several years, probably half of street people, that’s the homeless population always getting the bad rap, will not use KOTS, regardless. Their reasons are varied. They can’t stand being in close quarters with other people. They fear catching a bad disease. They fear their possessions being stolen in the nighttime, when they are sleeping. They don’t like being around people who are drunk or otherwise drugged up. They don’t like rules. They don’t like being told what to do. They don’t like being locked in at night. They don’t like not being able to take booze and/or other narcotic drugs in there, to consume while they are in there. I have heard all of these reasons from street people. I have stayed at KOTS myself. I would ranter sleep on White Street Pier, which I did many times, than sleep at KOTS. Anyone wishing to sample the people who stay at KOTS can easily do that by going to the KOTS staging area on College Road, across the street from the old Easter Seals property, starting around 5 p.m. Hang out there for a couple of hours, talking with the men, mostly, but some women, who are standing around and sitting, waiting to be told by a KOTS monitor that the next bunch of them can head up the road to the Sheriff’s enclave, where KOTS is now. That’s how you find out who is using KOTS, and what they are like. You meet and get to know and listen to the people who sleep there. If you only listen to Mayor Cates and the people who run KOTS, you never will know the complete picture. You also can learn a great deal by eating at the soup kitchen and chatting up homeless people. The kitchen serves daily at 4 p.m. and is on Flager Avenue, about half way between Key West High School and Kennedy Drive. Get there about 3:30 and introduce yourself and why you are there, and learn about homeless people in ways you will never learn reading the local newspapers, attending public meetings on homelessness, and listening to your government officials and people who run KOTS and otherwise try to serve and help homeless people, and, in that way, have jobs themselves, which pay them wages, without which they might be homeless.
  • Scott Burns · Marathon, Florida

    Very informative article. Keep up the good reporting.
KOTSKOTS

In today’s Key West Citizen (keysnews.com), my thoughts in bold italics:

Sunday, April 19, 2015
Sheriff: No bias in drug arrests
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
gfilosa@keysnews.com
Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay is outraged at a comment made by Trish Gibson, the chief assistant public defender, at a forum held April 13 in Key West.

Gibson stated that local law enforcement practices bias when it comes to drug arrests in the city of Key West, stating that more blacks than whites are arrested for drug crimes.

However, that statement is patently false, according to Ramsay, who produced county booking records to show that more whites than blacks are jailed at a 2-to-1 ratio.

Of 304 drug-related arrests made by Key West police between Jan. 1, 2014, and April 13, 2015, 93 were black and 208, or 68 percent, were white.

The rate of whites arrested for illegal drugs over blacks is even greater at the county level, at nearly 4-to-1, according to the same report by the sheriff’s office.

Key West’s population is overwhelmingly white. According to the 2013 census numbers, Key West was home to 25,550 people year-round. Just under 10 percent of the population is black.

The hard numbers were released by the sheriff’s department in response to the allegations of racial bias by local police made at the annual meeting of the Florida Keys chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union last week.

“I do believe there is a selective enforcement on where we are getting our arrests for drug cases,” said Gibson, a 20-year veteran of the public defender’s office.

Ramsay said he was outraged by the accusation that his team, or any law enforcement in the Keys, has a racial bias slanted toward blacks in drug enforcement.

The numbers show it’s just not true, Ramsay said.

“As you can see from this data, MCSO has arrested whites nine times more often than African Americans to date in 2015,” wrote Mike Rice, bureau chief of the administration division at the sheriff’s office, in an email to Gibson.

“KWPD’s numbers also do not appear to suggest bias,” Rice added.

Gibson said she was only speaking from her experience as a local public defender.

Police in Key West tend to send confidential informants — suspects offered deals for cooperating with law enforcement — into Bahama Village, the island’s historic black neighborhood, Gibson said.

“I have not had a case where they’re told to go down to Duval Street and see if you can buy powder [cocaine],” Gibson told about 60 people gathered at the Harvey Government Center. “They are told specifically to go to Bahama Village.”

Gibson also said that of the 20 drug case files on her desk, not a single one involves a white suspect. They’re all black, she said.

Gibson didn’t mention at the forum that her office only handles criminal defendants deemed indigent by the courts.

No, but that’s what the Public Defender does, only handles criminal defendants deemed indigent by the courts; I think that’s common knowledge.

Gibson has already announced she is running for Public Defender, hoping to succeed retiring Rosemary Enright, who has held the office for 29 years.

She was countered at the forum by Key West Police Chief Donie Lee, who was also on the panel, along with ACLU executive director Howard Simon and author Barbara Ehrenreich.

“By no means are our confidential informants only targeting black people,” Lee said that night.

Lee, or Gibson, said at the forum, I think it was Lee, that most all of the people going into Bahama Village to buy crack are white people.

The next day, law enforcement leaders across the Keys began questioning Gibson’s claim of racial bias in drug arrests.

“I and others took offense to it,” said Ramsay on Friday. “I thought her comments reflected negatively overall on law enforcement.”

Oh, do I wish they had invited me to be on that panel. When Gibson made her comments, I would have added, “Well, about a year ago I picked up a woman at a bus stop and gave her a ride to Marathon. She was white. About 40 years old. Talked my ear off. She was a stripper. Had worked in a number of Duval Street clubs. The young cops providing security in those clubs at night, as part of their “compensation”, were trafficking in street drugs in those clubs. I wonder how Sheriff Ramsay and Chief Lee, and other members of law enforcement and their ardent our cops can do no wrong fans, would have responded to my dropping that bomb in the ACLU meeting? And, I wonder why they did not go anywhere near Naja Girard saying, at the only other local ACLU meeting she had attended, it was said several times that there are a number of Key West cops who are known by the public defender, the state attorney and the local judges to lie in the cases they make. And, I wonder why Gibson, after agreeing with Naja, that the public defender, the state attorney, the judges and Chief Lee all know who those bad cops are, did not then and there name them. Oh, my, what a wonderful commotion that would have caused! I told Gibson after the ACLU meeting, that she had missed a golden opportunity to really serve her community, when she did not name those lying cops. Left to right, Trish Gibson, Donie Lee, Naja Girard (co-publisher of Key West the Newspaper, thebluepaper.com, published online only, each Friday).

Trish GibsonDonie Lee 2Naja

The drug charges weren’t listed on the one-page report, but Ramsay said the numbers reflect all illegal drug arrests made.

Ramsay was in Colorado last week to attend an executive management class sponsored by the National Sheriff’s Institute.

“I got calls from various people in law enforcement who took offense to it,” Ramsay said, over the phone from Denver on Friday. “I wanted to see myself.”

Gibson didn’t take back anything she said at Monday’s forum.

“I was talking specifically about my particular cases,” Gibson said Friday from her office, where she was preparing for a trial scheduled to open Monday.

Other than that, Gibson said she had no comment on the sheriff’s department numbers or Ramsay calling her racial bias claim untrue and unfair.

Gibson’s trial on Monday is over a cocaine possession case. Her client, she added, is black.

A public defender’s case load at any given time isn’t a fair representation of the Florida Keys criminal justice system, the sheriff said.

Nor is any criminal defense lawyer’s case load, because cops are not being prosecuted, and drunk tourists and locals who are not homeless are not being prosecuted.

“You don’t know the other ones out there,” Ramsay said. “You don’t know what the factors are, whether they took a plea. Who knows? She might have her caseload after a big sting.”

Policing ‘paradise’

At Monday night’s Florida Keys ACLU forum, where attendees included local activists, people who work in social services, and some liberal-leaning local residents, Gibson wasn’t asked any specific questions.

The forum’s moderator, Michael Berman, of the local ACLU, asked her, “What is your take on policing?”

Author Ehrenreich ticked off several high-profile police shooting cases, including the recent South Carolina case in which a black man was shot several times in the back by an officer while running away – captured in a jaw-dropping video made by a passerby.

But Gibson said she would stick to policing in the Keys, given the forum’s theme, “Policing in Paradise.”

Lee read a prepared statement mentioning the department’s upcoming “Pizza with a Cop” program that, he said, is an example of his staff’s local youth outreach.

Simon, of the ACLU, said he couldn’t comment on “policing in paradise,” since he doesn’t live here.

“The criminal justice system has been addicted to incarceration,” Simon said. “Now in 2015, we live in a country that has 5 percent of the world’s population but 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population.”

Even as crime rates have dropped across the nation, incarceration rates have risen, Simon said.

“This crisis does not fall equally on all the different communities in this country,” Simon said.

‘A broken system’

For Gibson, the ACLU-sponsored forum was a political debut of sorts. And among the panel, she was the lone participant who brought up specific issues facing law enforcement.

Gibson won nods of approval from many in the crowd when she spoke of the troubled mentally ill community of the Florida Keys that gets caught up in the criminal justice system instead of receiving medical help.

She also said her “pet peeve” these days is Key West police applying the city’s open container law on homeless people but not on tourists strolling Duval Street.

“It is a crime in Monroe County to have an open container but we don’t arrest other people who aren’t homeless for that,” Gibson said.

Gibson also raised the issue of mental health treatment in the Keys, citing the county’s suicide toll for 2013: 32 lives.

The second highest rate was 17 in Putnam County, comparable in size to Monroe, Gibson said.

“Monroe County has a high rate of people with mental illness,” Gibson said. “There needs to be better training and a better understanding of how to deal with these people on the street”.

Gibson said when she started law school, she only expected to become a skilled litigator.

“What I’ve found is I’ve become an expert in mental health as well,” Gibson said. “After 20 years of working in the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office, half of my clients have some type of mental health issue.”

Well, Gibson, if you are an expert in mental health, please tell us how many of your mentally ill patients you have healed, or at least brought under control, so they function reasonably well in society. I know lots of mentally ill people who are not homeless. Lots. Some of them are viewed as respectable citizens.

Key West police on a weekly basis report a number of homeless arrests for public drinking, obstructing sidewalks and trespassing – often for sleeping on private property.

“Instead of taking them to jail, they should be taken to the hospitals,” Gibson said. “What happens when they go to the jail? We’re asked to spend money having them evaluated for competency. If they’re found incompetent, they’re released.”

What happens, Gibson, if they are taken to hospitals? It costs a heap more to board them in hospitals, than in jails. And what hospital known to you is curing mentally ill people? I know of no such hospital, anywhere. I do know of mentally ill people being brought into some semblance of control by consumption of pharmaceutical pills, but they are hardly cured, and the side effects are horrendous, usually, and the pills used to deal with the side effects have their own side effects, which are horrendous, usually. Such people are not all there, they are dulled in their thinking, emotional affect, soul. They are semi-zombiefied. Did I not yet mention demonic possession? I know of this, because I spent a lot of time around such people. And, well, we have not discussed the drunks and other narcotic addicts, who are mentally ill. You can’t treat their mental illness very well (understatement), if they are drunk or high on a narcotic. And, you can’t really treat their addiction, or their mental illness, if they are demonically possessed, which is fueling the addiction and mental illness. There are no state mental hospitals. Private mental hospitals cost out the wazoo. It’s a problem with no solution. At least, no human solution.

Chief Lee said his officers in many cases have no choice but to take a disruptive homeless person to the Stock Island jail.

“DePoo [hospital], they don’t have enough beds to make that happen,” Lee said. “The services aren’t there. We understand that taking people to jail for minor offenses is not the cost effective way.”

Lee mentioned reports of homeless men and women urinating in public or trespassing in people’s yards.

“We have to take action,” Lee said. “Most times the only option we have is to take them to jail.”

How about keeping the public bathrooms in public parks open all night, so homeless people can relieve themselves there? How about setting out portable toilets? Hell, Chief Lee, lots of people who are not homeless get caught short, needing to go, but have not place to do it. Just yesterday, I was in the county library on Fleming Street. When the deputy sheriff told me just before 5:45 p.m. to wrap it up, I said okay, and I saved the file I was working on and backed it up. I put my laptop into my daypack and headed toward the bathroom. It was 5:45. The bathroom already was locked. I asked the people behind the front desk if they could let me into the bathroom? No, the bathrooms are locked at 5:45. I asked if the deputy had a key? No? Who had the key? Nobody volunteered that information. I said, what, I have to pee in the bushes? Please don’t do that, one of the people behind the desk said. Well, where can I pee?, I asked. The library doesn’t close to 6 p.m. I left, unlocked my bicycle out front of the library, and bee-lined it to Bayview Park, where there are public bathrooms. Good thing I didn’t have to do No. 2, bad. When that happens, I don’t get to wait. I just get to do it, wherever I am. That happened plenty, when I lived on the street. I was a criminal for answering calls of nature outside at night, because the public bathroom were locked up tight. One time, in the library, I had to do No. 2 real bad. The men’s bathroom was in use by a homeless person, who seemed to be camping on the toilet. In desperation, I cracked opened the door to the women’s bathroom and asked if anyone was in there? No answer. I went in, locked the main door behind me, did my business just in the nick of time – whew! A big male deputy was waiting on me when I unlocked and opened the main door. Boy, was he riled up! I said, I had no choice. Either the women’s bathroom, or the bushes outside the library. Sorry. Boy was the deputy still riled up! I said, sorry, I had no choice. The deputy said I committed a crime. I said, sorry, it was an emergency, he wanted me to do it in the bushes outside the library? Finally, he relented, after telling me never to do it again. I did it again, many times, but, fortunately, not at the library.

Commissioner Lopez summed up the problem with one sentence:

“Mental health in the Florida Keys sucks,” Lopez said. “Some of these folks, my heart cries when I see some of them. What else can we do? The truth is they get no other care.”

Gibson agreed with the chief and Lopez but said that doesn’t make jailing mentally ill homeless people acceptable.

“We certainly have a broken system,” she said. “Putting people in jail is not getting them treatment. It’s just a revolving door.”

It’s a revolving door anyway you frame it, Gibson. I really do wish you publicly name the cops you know lie in the cases they make. I really do wish you would do that. That’s something you can actually impact. Oh, my, what a commotion that will make, if you name those lying cops!

Sloan at protest march

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

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When all else fails, try laughing at whatever is pissing you off – Key West mental health rehab institute

Devil or Angel

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Christine Russell

Amiga Christine Russell replied to yesterday’s Mary Poppins presents: It’s all a big circus, an insane asylum, or hell – you pick – Key West forward observation sewerage treatment plant, and one bright spot post at goodmorningkeywest.com:

Sloan –

I think there are many of us who agree with Robert Cintron’s opinion that Key West has sold out to tourists and hotels, and it’s going to get worse. Change is inevitable, but why can’t change be for the better? It seems our local government any more, is more concerned about what’s best for businesses and the tourism industry, than the people who actually live here. Can you say CHANEL WIDENING? And I am waiting to see how the sightseeing contract plays out this fall. Everyone is aware of the serious traffic congestion as well as lack of parking – let’s call it what it really is TOO MANY CARS and TOO MANY TOURITS. And within the next year we will have the 3 hotels under-going renovation back online. Will the city have the balls to limit the number of sighseeing vehicles that slow traffic and add to the problem? Will they represent our best interest, or that of business and tourism? All of our precious resources are overburdened and over used. I find it all horribly sad and depressing.

But nature does work in strange ways and I think Mother Nature and Mother Earth has had it with us. Some may call it global warming, others more correctly refer to climate change, and then a few in Tallahassee think by not calling it what it really is, that somehow it will go away or we will forget it is a problem. Maybe what it just might be is that Mother is cleansing herself, trying to purify herself in some way. Maybe it will be sea level rise, a hurricane, the distruction or depletion of our fresh water supplies, I don’t know – but since I was a child the changes are dramatic and 50 years is only a speck of time in the Earth’s life. The changes in Key West are as or more dramatic in the 20 years I have owned a house here and the 35 years I have been coming to the Keys and Key West. Some call it paradise – not any more :-(

Christine

I replied:

Hi, Christine –

Yes, it is all terribly sad and depressing, and perhaps Mother Nature, God, angels, extraterrestrials, or something, will intervene, since humanity seems, or is, incapable of changing for the better. The way I get through it is I look for the humor in it, which, I suppose, requires bizarre thinking and viewing by me. Bizarre by human standards, anyway.

I now have spoken twice with Kari by telephone. She now is out of sick bay, said she never wants to have hallucinations again. She described a couple of dreams, which she felt might be hallucinations. I said maybe not. Dreams might be beyond hallucinations. I kinda liked the dreams, and told her so.

She said the jail has no paper, pencils, envelopes or stamps for inmates to use to write letters to people on the outside. She was able to borrow same from a woman inmate she knows, who’s been in there a while. I wondered how that could be? Nothing for inmates to use, to write letters to family, friends, or even their lawyer, or the judge presiding over their case?

Kari’s probation officer had told Kari, after she was in jail, to write to the judge and ask him to consider her for the JIP program, which is a 6-months in-house recovery, rehab, get a job, return to society program, completing of which, Kari said she understands, completes her sentence and she leaves jail a free person, not on probation.

Perhaps that is not entirely accurate, but it would be nice if that’s how it works, because being released from jail, on probation, to live on the street, again, is a recipe for more of the same, at what further cost to the criminal justice system, not to mention the perhaps certain destruction of Kari’s soul and her eventual demise, absent a miracle happening.

It’s easy to say what someone in Kari’s situation should do, but being in her situation provides a different perspective, which cannot be appreciated, I don’t imagine, until having that experience. Kari is banned from KOTS [Key West’s homeless shelter], for snitching things there they didn’t want snitched. Yesterday, the director of KOTS who banned Kari, a former assistant prosecutor in another state, was reported in the Citizen as resigning to pursue her other ambitions, whatever they might be. Unless a miracle occurs, and money appears out of the blue, Kari has no place to live inside, unless Florida Keys Outreach Coalition or Samuel’s House relent their prohibition against accepting clients who have a felony conviction for a violent act.

In Kari’s case, pointing an unloaded pistol, still in its holster, at a drunk, angry, yelling tenant, who had just damaged her and her infirmed fellow’s refrigerator, and telling the tenant to move out, he wasn’t paying his rent, go away. So, the tenant went outside and called 911, and Kari went to jail for defending what she believed to be herself, her fellow, and their home, with an empty pistol. And then she is assigned a public defender, who got drunk and drove his deadly weapon on US 1 and off into the mangroves and the water, and he is not in jail. And, Kari says, the judge presiding over her case drinks on the job and is furnished marijuana by his son, and they are not in jail. Kari sees all of that as weird, and funny in its own way, but being in their and the criminal justice system’s clutches ain’t funny in the least to her.

I put money into Kari’s inmate phone account, so she could call me and her mother, if she wants to do that. I put money into Kari’s commissary account, so she could buy shampoo, paper, pencil, envelopes, stamps, and food and snacks, to help brighten what has to be a seriously bleak existence in there. A person working with inmates, former prison inmate and drug user herself, told me I screwed up putting money into Kari’s commissary account. People who drink and violate their probation should be deprived all and every comfort, to teach them a lesson.

This woman coordinates the JIP program in the jail. She and Kari know each other. I told the woman what Kari had told me about her public defender and the judge, and the woman seemed to stop breathing for a moment. Kari never should have been prosecuted, in my opinion, but she was, so she’s having to deal with it, and so am I, now that we have been paired by the angels. Cosmically, it’s hilarious. Humanly, it sucks.

In the throes of that, so up close and personal, I just can’t get wound up about what our city, county and national leaders are doing wrong, or stupidly, or illegally, nor about what humanity is doing. I can rail about it for the rest of my days, and it won’t change a thing, I don’t imagine. But if I have fun railing, poking, that makes it bearable and even enjoyable in a assbackwards way. Dark humor beats no humor, and maybe prevents ulcers, heart attacks and strokes.

A number of people have told me recently that I seem so much happier and look younger, now that Kari is in my life. And a number of people have attacked her, and me for having her in my life. She definitely has made a difference. She has changed me, internally. I feel it. She gets me to laughing hard during our 15 minute phone calls. She says it’s not funny, she’s in jail. I say I can’t help it, the way she tells things, it makes me laugh. And, I say, I can’t possibly imagine what it’s like to be in there; it has to be horrible. It is horrible. Because she defended her home makes it a lot more horrible.

George Zimmerman comes to mind now. He said he was defending his neighborhood, following Trayvon Martin, whom he did not recognize. Many Americans agreed with Zimmerman. The jury found he acted in self defense. Martin dead, Zimmerman walked. Then, Zimmerman drew down on his wife and her father. Then, after Zimmerman and his wife had split up, he drew down on his girlfriend. And he’s walking free, and Kari’s in jail, for defending her home. That’s hilarious. That’s seriously fucked up.

Ciao,

Sloan

Kari and Sloan

After Key West the Newspaper (www.thebluepaper.com) came out yesterday, I noticed a late lead article had appeared:

“POLICING PARADISE” / FLORIDA KEYS ACLU 2015 ANNUAL MEETING

"POLICING PARADISE" / FLORIDA KEYS ACLU 2015 ANNUAL MEETINGKey West Police Chief Donnie Leeby Naja and Arnaud Girard… The Florida Keys Chapter of the ACLU held their annual meeting last Monday at the Harvey Government Center.  A panel of criminal justice experts explored the issues involved in “Policing Paradise.”   [IF YOU’RE STILL ON THE HOME PAGE CLICK THE HEADLINE FOR THE VIDEO.]
  • By: Arnaud and Naja GirardArnaud and Naja Girard, owners and editors of the new, digital, Key West the Newspaper (The Blue Paper) previously reported for the former Key West The Newspaper, Key West’s longest running independent weekly, published by Dennis Reeves Cooper, Ph.D., from January 1994 until November 2012. The Girards are perhaps best known for their discovery of the US Navy’s 1951 claim of ownership of Wisteria Island. Arnaud and Naja have lived in Key West since 1986.

 Responses to ““POLICING PARADISE” / FLORIDA KEYS ACLU 2015 ANNUAL MEETING”

  1. Naja & Arnaud,

    Magnificently put together. Natural, smooth flowing, beautiful narrative, melodic voices; it’s a sheer joy to experience your creative genius.

    I feel pity for Mr. Lee. His lifeless and soulless appearance is sad. He is an empty vessel. He cannot perform the duties ordinarily expected of a police chief. Those propping him up are culpable in what has, and will transpire.

    I have made serious mistakes and did not know how to remedy the error of my ways. However, at some point friends, colleagues or family intervened and got me moving in the right direction.

    I have compassion for Mr. Lee. He doesn’t have any real friends. No one cares enough about him, to speak the truth to him. They’ve not spent the necessary time with him, so that he might divert his journey from the path of self-destruction that he is on.

    Mr. Lee, if you so desire I will speak with you. In confidence, not one word of our conversation to be uttered again. You are being threatened and bullied by those whom you are shielding and providing cover for. Taking counsel with your fears will bring darkness and despair into your life. You will not last long that way, as the artificial structures protecting you are going to be torn down.

    Get out ahead of your secrets and formulated an effective remedy that may save your career and prevent you from destroying everything that you’ve worked to build.

    Through your silence and inability to effectively take charge of the matters that you are faced with, you’ve allowed yourself to become a tool for the mayor, city commissioners and manager. They will permit you to destroy yourself while protecting themselves, then discard you like a used tissue.

    A sign of wisdom and strength would be to seek some counsel from a Self-Realized (Self-Actualized) soul; or go to the God of your understanding, before you are lost.

  2. I respect Chief Lee’s decision to be on the panel of the ACLU annual meeting, but he was on the defensive again when he opened with the snarky statement police don’t have the “luxury” of spending weeks, months, sometimes years making decisions, but have only moments… I suppose several minutes of sticking Charles Eimers’ face in the sand wasn’t enough time to realize they we’re killing him. The public anal cavity search of a Bahama Village resident took several minutes and was no snap judgement, but a well thought out methodical punitive humiliation, a rape in actuality. The SWAT like raid on a house in Bahama Village that terrorized a little girl…Was that a decision made on the fly, as well. Nope, another well thought out plan of action…No forced snap decision, again.

    In defense of the police, it was pointed out that too much is expected of the police. They should be concentrating on real crime, but are forced to take care of the mentally challenged and drug and alcohol addicted, as well. The public monies that used to be allocated for mental institutions and drug and alcohol rehabs vanished in the eighties and by default all those people became the responsibility of law enforcement and the prison system.

    Add the racial disparity in arrests and convictions and it is plain to see that we support an institutional and systemic racism. The system is broken and a national problem that is felt locally.

  3. Take a look at Donie Lee in that video, he is clearly very unhappy and perhaps embarrassed as he should be. He took an oath to uphold the law, be accountable and most importantly control his officers. In his own words he is not in control. It is very clear he is unable to perform the job. He is guilty of theft for taking money for a job he is not doing. Am reasonably sure he intended to when he was hired. It is time for him to step down and let KW find an honorable man that is not a puppet. Lee had his chance many times to get his department under control but failed. Lee if you care at all about Key West then please resign now. Shame on the residents for voting in such a mayor and council. They are all only after a huge paycheck and little doubt that they are well taken care of by developers and business owners for favorable votes. This type of government is entertainment on the Dukes of Hazard but not real life. Many of your officers belong in prison. As was mentioned some are scared to be in Key West. What in the hell do you think a tourist is seeing ? Accidents can happen but these are not accidents. Eimers clearly was surrendering, he did not run, was unarmed. Your thugs murdered him. Be sure of one thing, it is only time till Paradise will be HELL. I once had an image of a town where we were safe to walk down Duval. I always felt safe at Fantasy Fest because what we saw were very tolerant cops that seemed to have a great attitude and did talk to a few. To us this was a perfect town. Maybe we were not so safe. The last person we thought of as a danger was the cops.

    By now severe damage has been done to the image of Key West. And this will start costing businesses money. At an average we usually drop 400 to 500 a day when we visit. How many thousands of tourists can you afford to not attend ?

    I am waiting to see how Fantasy Fest goes this year. How many Eimers costumes will we be seeing ?

    I am bit puzzled as to why more people are not speaking up. Are they scared ?
    For now we are waiting on the Feds. When it is over Lee will be gone and maybe even do time. A more corrupt city would be hard to find.

    Great paper that is not scared to print the truth.

  4. there you have it folks…loud and clear from the chief that…the blue paper has an agenda that he and the police department doesn’t like so up yours for any interviews!
    he cares less about truth and justice which is unmistakable in this interview and will continue to support lies deception and perjury in his department. one hell of a lawless unethical man plain and simple.

    clearly charles eimers died from suffocation on that beach. removing life support machinery six days later and then pronouncing death seems a little backward don’t it?

  5. Read this and ask if it is the same man .
    http://keysnews.com/node/8375

  6. http://keysnews.com/node/12891
    Another must read

  7. Think it can’t get worse ?

    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2906231/posts

    This is your chief. WOW

  8. When I was at Naja and Arnaud’s home a little while before the ACLU fund-raiser,which the ACLU meeting turned out to be, if you were there and paying attention, I told Naja and Arnaud, and J.D. Adler, who also was there, that it’s time for them to go to city commission meetings, and tell the mayor and city commissioners they should resign. This can be done during closing citizen comments, when citizens can speak to the mayor and city commissioners about any topic, for 3 minutes. Naja took strong exception, like my idea was nuts. I suppose it is nuts, as I’m the only person I know who has gone to city commission meetings and told the mayor and city commissioners they ought to resign over how they responded to the Charles Eimers case.

    Don’t misunderstand. I think Naja and Arnaud did a terrific job with the Eimers case, and with other KWPD cases. I hope they keep doing it. I think they should get a Pulitzer for the Eimers case. I believe I was the first person to say that. And I kept saying it. However, as I said at their home before the ACLU meeting, I suppose it is hard to go to a city commission meeting and tell the mayor and city commissioners to resign, when you voted for them.

    Donie Lee is not dumb. He knows what’s going on. The mayor and city commissioners like Donie. They like their police. Otherwise, they would be raising bloody hell, in public, about Lee and those of his cops who don’t seem to have a clue what protecting and serving the people in paradise means. Not all of Lees cops are hoodlums, brutes. But too many of them are. And too many of them don’t have anything important to do. We know that, because they go out of their way to harass homeless people for such terrible crimes as drinking in public and lying on towels on the ground in public parks – that’s camping.

    A heap of Lee’s cops, what?, 13 of them, went out of their way to sock it to Charles Eimers, whom they believed was homeless, living in his PT Cruiser.

    We also know, because he’s still on the KWPD force, that Gary Lee Lovette, who bragged afterward about having killed Eimers, is the model the mayor and city commissioners and Donie Lee want for their cops. That, and, or, Lovette has something on all of them, which they don’t want seen and heard in the bright sunshine.

    There is nothing Key West people can do about what happens elsewhere, Charleston, Ferguson, etc. Here, though, in Key West, people who live here can put a great deal of heat on their elected officials, by going to city commission meetings, which are televised locally,and putting their elected officials feet, and the rest of their bodies, into the flames.

On Charleston,

These terrifying images don’t support the story the South Carolina officer later told about the shooting.
TAKEPART.COM

The Faceook thread below was in yesterday’s post, but it’s important even today, and tomorrow, because of my friend Michael Cornwell’s comment. Besides the bio on Michael, which he and I provided in this Facebook thread, he was an Army artillery captain in Vietnam, who came back to the States and started protesting that so very wrong American war, and he has protested very American war since.

There’s wide consensus around the video: Walter Scott was shot and killed in cold blood as he ran for his life from Michael Slager, the cop who stands charged with his murder in North Charleston, South Carolina. But Scott’s demise was set in motion…
SLATE.COM
  • Sloan Bashinsky For me, this article gravely distracts from the fact that the white cop shot fleeing black male car driver, accused of a broken tail light, in the back. If the white cop is not prosecuted for murder, and convicted, maybe the best course for black people in South Carolina, or anywhere in America, is to not drive cars, trucks, etc. The question arises, if the driver had been white, would the white cop have shot the white driver in the back? Perhaps the white cop needs to be asked that question, so white people in South Carolina can learn whether or not they should drive cars and trucks.
  • Victor Clarke The point being it was a bogus stop to begin with….the supreme court legalized it
  • Sloan Bashinsky I understand the point of the article, which I still say misses the point of what happened. If cops can shoot fleeing people in the back, for this kind of offense, legal or not, no American is safe from American cops.
  • Victor Clarke So similar to Chsrles Eimers except they didn’t shoot him they murdered him by suffocation……I thonk I”d have optioned for the shot it the back less painful
  • Sloan Bashinsky Yes, and maybe didn’t see it coming. I prefer to be taken out by a sniper, no warning, goodnight.
  • Michael Clark Cornwell The real reason for stop was that the cop was automatically suspicious because a black man was driving a Mercedes : part of the racial profiling mentality. If the driver had been white, he would never have been stopped for a pretextual “broken tailight”. The “tazer drop” is just part of the widespread practice of dropping guns, knives or drugs to back up their story. Practicing criminal defense law for over 3 decades, I’ve seen it all–and it can be ugly with bad cops. Most are not, but too many are.
  • Sloan Bashinsky Thanks, Michael. Victor, others, Michael lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He and I paddled lots of white water rivers together, literal and spiritual. Literal, in his C-2, a decked canoe, which looks like a big kayak, but you use canoe instead of kayak paddles. For a number of years, Michael was the lead defense trial lawyer in the Tuscaloosa Public Defender’s office. As such, Michael defended the more serious cases: murder, rape, etc.From all the stories he told me, it was a bit different what what I hear of the Public Defender Office in the Florida Keys. A bit more like, the real deal, as opposed to whatever you care to say about our local Public Defender office.
  • Victor Clarke I understand Sloan Bashinsky likewise I have a good friend in the PD office in Paterson NJ I’m sure their stories are very similar

Obama on Time cover

President Obama Pacific Rim cheer, forwarded yesterday by Sancho Panza:

Sancho Panza

If you still had some doubt that Politics is all BS and you really have no saying in it, take a look at this article from The New York Times which shows how Obama is being backed up by Republicans to send more jobs overseas, this is the same thing that happened with Clinton who gave us NAFTA… politics at the Washington level is like proffessional wrestling… it’s a farce… these people are not really on opposite sides representing their constituent’s best interest… they both answer to the same master… if there was an honest person that didn’t want to “play the game” he/she would never get elected POTUS… or dog catcher for that matter! They basically make it seem as if it was the other side’s fault why laws don’t get passed that really benefit the people (like rebuilding our infrastructure and overhauling our Education System) or why we go to war for oil, send jobs overseas, lose workers benefits and personal freedoms, cut taxes for the wealthy and corporations, etc., etc…. it’s always the other guy’s fault… how stupid and gullible are we?! BTW, the guy in front is Sen. Menendez, from NJ, a scumbag, indicted for brivery… a Cuban/American who wants to continue the crippling embargo of CUBA but it’s willing to open up free trade with Asian countries… the guy deserves to be horsewhipped, IMO!

View on www.nytimes.com
Deal Reached on Fast-Track Authority for Obama on Trade Accord
By JONATHAN WEISMANAPRIL 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — Key congressional leaders agreed on Thursday on legislation to give President Obama special authority to finish negotiating one of the world’s largest trade accords, opening a rare battle that aligns the president with Republicans against a broad coalition of Democrats.

In what is sure to be one of the toughest fights of Mr. Obama’s last 19 months in office, the “fast track” bill allowing the White House to pursue its planned Pacific trade deal also heralds a divisive fight within the Democratic Party, one that could spill into the 2016 presidential campaign.

With committee votes planned next week, liberal senators such as Sherrod Brown of Ohio are demanding to know Hillary Rodham Clinton’s position on the bill to give the president so-called trade promotion authority, or T.P.A. Trade unions, environmentalists and Latino organizations — potent Democratic constituencies — quickly lined up in opposition, arguing that past trade pacts failed to deliver on their promise and that the latest effort would harm American workers.

The deal was struck by Senators Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, the Finance Committee chairman; Ron Wyden of Oregon, the committee’s ranking Democrat; and Representative Paul D. Ryan, Republican of Wisconsin and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. It would give Congress the power to vote on the more encompassing 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership once it is completed, but would deny lawmakers the chance to amend what would be the largest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement of 1994, which President Bill Clinton pushed through Congress despite opposition from labor and other Democratic constituencies.

While supporters have promised broad gains for American consumers and the economy, the clearest winners of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement would be American agriculture, along with technology and pharmaceutical companies, insurers and many large manufacturers that say they could also expand United States’ exports to the other 11 nations in Asia and South America that are involved.

President Obama embraced the legislation immediately, proclaiming “it would level the playing field, give our workers a fair shot, and for the first time, include strong fully enforceable protections for workers’ rights, the environment and a free and open Internet.” “Today,” he added, “we have the opportunity to open even more new markets to goods and services backed by three proud words: Made in America.”

But Mr. Obama’s enthusiasm was tempered by the rancor the bill elicited from some of his strongest allies. To win over the key Democrat, Mr. Wyden, the Republicans agreed to stringent requirements for the deal, including a human rights negotiating objective that has never existed on trade agreements.

The bill would make any final trade agreement open to public comment for 60 days before the president signs it, and up to four months before Congress votes. If the agreement, negotiated by the United States trade representative, fails to meet the objectives laid out by Congress — on labor, environmental and human rights standards — a 60-vote majority in the Senate could shut off “fast-track” trade rules and open the deal to amendment.

“We got assurances that U.S.T.R. and the president will be negotiating within the parameters defined by Congress,” said Representative Dave Reichert, Republican of Washington and a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee. “And if those parameters are somehow or in some way violated during the negotiations, if we get a product that’s not adhering to the T.P.A. agreement, than we have switches where we can cut it off.”

To further sweeten the deal for Democrats, the package includes expanding trade adjustment assistance — aid to workers whose jobs are displaced by global trade — to service workers, not just manufacturing workers. Mr. Wyden also insisted on a four-year extension of a tax credit to help displaced workers purchase health insurance.

Both the Finance and Ways and Means committees will formally draft the legislation next week in hopes of getting it to final votes before a wave of opposition can sweep it away. “If we don’t act now we will lose our opportunity,” Mr. Hatch said.

At a Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday morning, Jacob J. Lew, the Treasury secretary, and Michael Froman, the United States trade representative, pleaded for the trade promotion authority.

“T.P.A. sends a strong signal to our trading partners that Congress and the administration speak with one voice to the rest of the world on our priorities,” Mr. Lew testified.

Even with the concessions, many Democrats sound determined to oppose the president. Representative Sander Levin of Michigan, the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, condemned the bill as “a major step backward.”

The A.F.L.-C.I.O. and virtually every major union — convinced that trade promotion authority will ease passage of trade deals that will cost jobs and depress already stagnant wages — have vowed a fierce fight. The A.F.L.-C.I.O. announced a “massive” six-figure advertising campaign to pressure 16 selected senators and 36 House members to oppose fast-track authority.

“We can’t afford to pass fast track, which would lead to more lost jobs and lower wages,” said Richard Trumka, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O. “We want Congress to keep its leverage over trade negotiations — not rubber-stamp a deal that delivers profits for global corporations, but not good jobs for working people.”

In all, the bill sets down 150 negotiating objectives, such as tough new rules on intellectual property protection, lowering of barriers to agricultural exports, labor and environmental standards, rule of law and human rights. Reflecting the modern economy, Congress would demand a loosening of restrictions on cross-border data flow, an end to currency manipulation and rules for competition from state-owned enterprises.

Businesses and business lobbying groups lined up behind the bill as fast as liberal groups and unions arrayed in opposition. “With facts and arguments, we’ll win this trade debate and renew T.P.A.,” vowed Thomas J. Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

It all made for a dizzying change of tone in a Washington where partisan lines have hardened. Republican leadership fell firmly behind T.P.A. Business groups battling the president on climate change, taxes and health care urged Congress to expand his trade powers.

But a sizable minority of Republicans — especially in the House — are reluctant to give the president authority to do anything substantive. Whether Republican leaders can get their troops in line, and how Mr. Obama can round up enough Democratic votes, might be the biggest legislative question of the year.

Mr. Reichert, the Republican lawmaker, said 20 or fewer Democrats currently support the measure in the House; last year, House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said he would need 50.

Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, the third-ranking Democrat, said he will demand the inclusion of legislation to combat the manipulation of currency values, especially by China. “China is the most rapacious of our trading partners, and the stated goal of this deal is to lure these other countries away from China,” Mr. Schumer said. “It’s not at all contradictory to finally do something with China’s awful trade practices.”

Mr. Brown said the negotiating objectives must be turned into solid requirements. “I don’t think negotiating objectives without more enforcement mechanisms get you very far,” he said. “Negotiating objectives are, ‘Hey U.S.T.R., try to get this,’ and they’ll say, ‘We tried.’ We need something better than that.”

Others appeared dead set against the accord.

“Over and over again we’ve been told that trade deals will create jobs and better protect workers and the environment,” said Senator Bob Casey, Democrat of Pennsylvania. “Those promises have never come to fruition.”

I replied to Sancho:

Shyte, Sancho, I ain’t got the smarts (crystal ball more helpful) to dissect the Pacific Rim trade deal, to microscope it and know what all horde of unintended consequences have to be lurking in it, gleefully waiting to spring foward like ravenous piranhas which haven’t fed in a month. Being elected POTUS does interest me, however, because I am just about certain I would be shot dead, or stabbed dead, or poisoned dead, or just choked to death right after I issued my first official order to MY armed forces: Leave wherever you are and head home, USA, ASAP. I need you here, defending me and every American I know, from me and every American I know and don’t know :-). Then, from heaven, or hell, or wherever, I would order the US Government to stop all aid to Israel. Then, I would high tail it :-). Oink, Don Q

Sancho replied:

Vintage Sloanistic commentary! Noted!

A true lover of wisdom has hands too busy to hold on to anything! He learns by doing and every pebble in the path becomes her teacher! Oink

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

Devil or Angel

Posted in Today's Vulcanite | Leave a comment

Mary Poppins presents: It’s all a big circus, an insane asylum, or hell – you pick – Key West forward observation sewerage treatment plant, and one bright spot

Mary Poppinsship of fools 2

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Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price • FULL … – YouTube

Nov 26, 2014 – Uploaded by Brave New Films

The film exposes Wal-Mart’s unscrupulous business practices through interviews with former employees 

From a newish member of The Resistance, re her not being allowed to speak out about Walmart coming to Rockland Key, during Wednesday’s city commission meeting in Key West.

Hey Sloan. Does the Mayor usually shut someone down like he did to me? Deb Curlee thought it odd? Sorry we did not get to speak, You seamed very intense and preoccupied. Hope all is well. Are you really 70? 1did not believe it.

seemed, I mean

No, I’m really 72 , and I feel it. I figured they were not going to let me speak to Walmart generally, and that’s why I told them, if it was only about a scrivener’s error, a small part of the parcel had been inadvertently left out of the application, then I did not wish to speak to that, but if they wanted to hear my thoughts on the Walmart project? And they said no, which I expected. So, I went home after the meeting and sent them an email, which I included in yesterday’s “fools gold” post at http://goodmorningkeywest.com/?p=29477. Typically, what I say at city and county commission meetings is intense, and the commissioners know that and expect it from me. Seems like wasted breath, but the angels keep having me poke them. I got over expecting it to change anything, which allows me to have some fun with it, given it’s all a big circus, which also could be called an insane asylum, or hell – you pick.

 

Moving laterally, to today’s bright spot …sunshine-state.jpg 

Nice article from Keys Weekly!

Local attorney, father and community advocate Sam Kaufman announced today he will seek election to the Key West City Commission District 2 seat…
KEYSWEEKLY.COM

Yesterday afternoon, I attended my friend and my lawyer Sam Kaufman’s campaign kick-off party at Tai Island Restaurant in the Garrison Bight Marina, which lies in the city commission district Sam seeks to represent in the wake of City Commissioner Mark Rossi’s decision not to seek reelection. It was a well-attended event. I saw lots of people I knew, and lots of people I didn’t know.

Besides being a lawyer with a trial and an office practice, husband and father of young children, Sam is Chairman of the Board of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, which gives down and out men and women a second chance.

I told someone yesterday that I met Sam back in the spring of 2001, when he met with a number of street people at Mallory Pier, who were upset that the city was enforcing the open container law against them, but not against tourists and locals who were not homeless. I introduced myself to Sam and said I was living on the street and I used to practice law in Alabama.

After Sam talked with the street people, he and I walked a ways from them, and he asked me what I thought about their argument that their constitutional rights were being violated? I said I thought they had a good Equal Protection argument, the case was winnable, but I myself could not ask a judge to rule that homeless people have a constitutional right to drink themselves to death, and, for that reason, I didn’t think he should take their case. Sam said he thought I made a good point, and he did not take their case.

I told someone else yesterday how Sam came to be my lawyer. Back in 2002, he told me to give him $1, as a retainer, for him to represent me, and from that day forward he could not represent anyone against me. I gave him a dollar bill. I also gave him a soul drawing I recently had done, which I felt seemed to be for him. From time to time he tells me that he still has the drawing hanging in his law office.

Robert CintronRobert Cintron

Local attorney Robert Cintron lamented at Sam’s campaign kick-off party, how Key West has sold out to tourists and hotels, and it’s going to get worse. I said the cure for that is five Category 5 hurricanes in the same year. Robert smiled, said, Key West never had a Category 5 hurricane; one Andrew hurricane will take care of the problem. I smiled, agreed, said, and five will take care of it better.

hurricanes.jpghurricanes.jpghurricanes.jpghurricanes.jpghurricanes.jpg

Moving laterally …

KOTSKOTS

  • Former Chautauqua prosecutor now running Key West …

    www.buffalonews.com/…/former_chautauqua_prosecu…

    The Buffalo News

    Jun 28, 2013 – Randi Cohen Brown, a former Chautauqua County legislator and assistant district attorney, now operates an overnight shelter in Key West, Fla.

In today’s Key West Citizen is a lovey-feel-good article about Randi Cohen Brown resigning as Executive Director of Southern Assistance Homeless League (SHAL), which runs KOTS, Key West’s homeless shelter. I learned of Randi’s resignation yesterday, and told the messenger that I’d heard she was on her way out.

In a dream early this morning, I heard, “Randi Cohen Brown died of cancer.” In my dream and spirit code, cancer is one and the same as Evil. I am not able to copy the Citizen article and paste into this post today. You can go to www.keysnews.com and pay for the Citizen today, and read the article.

Moving laterally …

Jennifer Hulse

I heard recently that Key West Chamber President Elect Jennifer Hulse, a local lawyer, who was the Chamber’s lawyer, resigned as President Elelct, and from the Chamber, over the Chamber’s position of backing local fisherman against the Marine Sanctuary’s efforts to protect endangered fish species. I also heard David Paul Horan coming to a Chamber meeting and claiming he and his law firm represented the Chamber also was in play.

Jennifer led the charge for the Chamber backing the referendum to “study” widening the channel, so bigger cruise ships, and more of the current cruise ships calling on Key West, could get into Key West’s harbor.

cruise ship truth

The referendum was crushed, almost 4-1.

I think it will be wonderful, if Jennifer becomes an flaming save the ocean and the fishes and the other sea creatures and the sea vegetation activist, including bringing her legal abilities to bear on the subject.

cruise ship butt

Perhaps Jennifer could start with suing Key West for allowing the dirtiest, worst possible cruise ships to call on Key West. Perhaps Jennifer could become what Last Stand used to be.

Mother Nature enlarged

Moving just a few miles up US 1 in Mother Nature’s domain, is the lead article in today’s Friday edition of online Key West the Newspaper (www.thebluepaper.com), under which I made a long comment quite a while before the dawn’s early night, after a rough night of sleep due to my G.I. tract feeling as if a great deal of raw sewerage was being run through it.

 

by JD Adler…

Unmanned surface vessel (USV) in Cudjoe Key deploying a submersible fluorometer to measure dye concentration

March 5, 2015: A team of environmental scientists led by Dr. Briceno of the Florida International University have gathered under blue skies on Cudjoe Key. Their mission: to determine whether the shallow injection wells installed for use in the Cudjoe regional wastewater treatment plant will successfully contain wastewater or whether the ground will prove too porous allowing partially treated sewage to migrate to nearby national marine sanctuary surface waters.

By March 19th they would have already found the answer, as described in the report released April 11.

“We conclude that there are convincing evidences that injected freshwater at the current injection depth of 80’ to 120’, and at the experimental injection rate of 420 gal/min, readily migrates upward and then laterally to the unconfined shallow aquifer and eventually to surface waters. These results are similar to those found by other researchers elsewhere in the Florida Keys.”

~ Design and Implementation of Dye-tracer Injection Test, Cudjoe Key, Florida Keys, Final Report

Plastic containers trapped by the flowmeter caused flooding of injection well area.  click to emlarge

First, they inject regular tap water, to flush the site and prepare for the test. Unfortunately the injection valve is blocked by garbage and the water surges back out like a fountain, creating a puddle alongside the site.

They remove the trash and begin again. First the flush, then dye is injected so that the path of the flow can be traced. Then large quantities of fresh water are injected to simulate wastewater and drive the dye through the system. Four offshore sites (W1-W4) are monitored over several weeks to see if the dye will appear.

surface bubbles click to enlarge

At first everything seems normal. Then suddenly the adjacent, “accidental” puddle begins to bubble, First just a few bubbles, then more and more. Then, once the air is depleted and water pushes through, mud begins to rise to the surface; signs that the injected water is finding a connection below the surface and forcing out trapped air. If not for the blockage that caused the unintended backflow that created the puddle, might this connection have gone unnoticed?

Time passes and small amounts of dye begin to show in the nearest surface waters being tested, W1 (66 ft.) and W4 (163 ft.). These are referred to as “anomalous readings” because they differ from the pre-test, baseline readings, but they show only minor levels at this point because the fresh water, floating atop the higher density saline ocean water at a rate of 3-11 ft per hour, is quickly pushing the dye beyond the closest sites. More distant sites will have much higher readings that will continue to increase as the test progresses.

The estimated underground flow velocities reach very high values (up to 23 meters per hour or about 75 ft per hour).

Figure 26: Flow velocity vectors showing relative flow velocities in Cudjoe Key click to enlarge

The presence of these anomalous readings suggests that the rock layer, mostly limestone, between the aquifer and the surface waters, has been affected by karsting; a type of erosion affecting carbonated rock, caused by rainwater and other influences, that createsdissolution(i.e. sinkholes, caves, etc) of the material so that it becomes porous.

In the course of preparing this test and the report, satellite images, logged data, and other reports were compiled by Dr. Briceno to create a first attempt at a conceptual model of the subsurface area below the Cudjoe Key treatment plant. As the model shows there is a great deal of karsting beneath the surface.

Figure 8: Underground Geology Model developed from remote sensing interpretation well-logging information, field work and regional studies.  click to enlarge

March 19th: Dr. Briceno informs the FKAA of his preliminary findings, at which point FKAA schedules an end to the test, on March 26th, and recommends that Monroe County authorize funding for a deep injection well.

April 11: the final report is submitted to FKAA detailing the results of the test: there is a connection between the shallow injection wells and surface waters in the area. Briceno recommends implementing a deep injection well in order to protect the local environment. This was welcome news to the plethora of community activists and organizations that had been fighting for exactly that, for well over a year.

On April 14, Monroe County Commissioners vote unanimously to approve an additional $7.1 million in funding for the project to uproarious applause from attending community members. FKAA Director Kirk Zuelch signals that this would be added to funding already on hand for the project. Two contractors, which he left unnamed for now, are expected to place bids once the process opens.

Conclusions [from the final report]:

“The Dye-tracer Injection Test described and documented above had one specific objective …’to either confirm or rule-out the existence of hydraulic connection between the shallow injection wells discharge and surface waters.’ We think that objective was achieved by documenting evidences that injected freshwater at the current injection depth of 80’ to 120’, and at the experimental rate of about 420 gal/min, will readily migrate upward and then laterally to the unconfined shallow aquifer and eventually to surface waters.

Two lines of evidence, support this conclusion, first is the physical evidence derived from the Freshwater Injection Test with the appearance of massive bubbling of displaced air coming from underground once injection began. These air bubbles are thought to be driven by ascending injected freshwater. But the most compelling evidence of connection was the venting of muddy freshwater from the bottom of a puddle next to the injection well. Those venting springs were necessarily connected to a high hydraulic head, above ground level, and disconnected to tidal fluctuations at the time of occurrence.

The second line of evidence comes from physical-chemical information, the appearance of dye at concentrations which were statistically anomalous following dye-injection. The estimated underground flow velocities reached very high values (up to 23 meters per hour or about 75 ft per hour), indicating the existence of a system controlled by large solution features and not inter-grain porosity. Results are similar to those found by other researchers elsewhere in the Florida Keys.” [emphasis added]

The Shallow Wells

Still, that is not the end of the story. According to Zuelch, FKAA intends to continue with its planned use of shallow wells during the interim period while the deep injection well is being permitted and installed. Zuelch stated that he will move forward unless told otherwise, “I will follow the lead of the DEP.”

Attorneys Caron Balkany and Christopher Byrd are continuing to pursue a lawsuit against federal agencies under the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA] on behalf of local fisherman Mike Laudicinia. Dump the Pumps, a local group opposed to the installation of gravity pumps on private lands and the use of shallow well injection, has also announced their intent to file a suit. Both suits allege that there has been a failure to conduct proper studies regarding the environmental impacts of these shallow wells and that the FKAA has used “fake” documents in order to bypass that requirement.

FKAA insists it had done its due diligence and the document in question is not “fake”, just misunderstood, arguing that the presence of the word “draft” on the cover sheet should have informed any reader it was not official. Director Zuelch also stands by the position that use of the shallow wells, while now clearly not the best longterm solution, is far better than relying upon the cesspits and septic tanks currently in use:

“This system removes 97-98% of the nitrates, it can be used to water the grass, wash your car, boats. It’s not even comparable to the untreated waste… It’s counterproductive not to treat… environmentally –  it makes extremely good sense. The suggestion that the cesspits are a better idea is total, absolute nonsense.”

An overabundance of nitrogen and phosphorus can cause blooms of algae that turn the water noticeably green.

While it’s true that the plant will treat the water to an Advanced Wastewater Treatment (AWT) level, which is approved for uses such as irrigation, critics argue the injection system is something different. They argue that by gathering wastewater from thousands of homes, treating it, and then injecting the combined partially treated, chlorinated effluent into four shallow wells, the negative impacts are increased due to the resulting concentration of over a million gallons a day of partially treated effluent into one single area.

What the recent dye test proves is that the wastewater will escape and reach the groundwater and eventually the ocean. Florida law allows AWT to contain 10 times the nitrogen and 100 times the phosphorous considered acceptable for near-shore waters. This same law states that, “Except as provided in subparagraph 3. for backup wells, if the design capacity of the facility is equal to or greater than 1 million gallons per day, each primary injection well must be cased to a minimum depth of 2,000 feet or to such greater depth as may be required by department rule.” According to shallow well opponents, the CRW is expected to exceed the 1 million gallon per day benchmark and shallow wells should never have been an option.

While cesspits and septic tanks are clearly not optimal, the question remains as to whether use of a shallow well system in the interim is lawful.  The answer lies, at least in part, in an environmental impact study that, according to US Fish and Wildlife Service, is required by federal law, but has never been done.

Adding to the confusion is a series of actions taken by the FKAA over the years which have raised accusations of dishonesty.

  • In 2009 the requirement to publish notices regarding permits to do public works, in this case the Cudjoe treatment plant, in newspapers in the vicinity of the proposed project was bypassed by FKAA when it instead published the notice in a newspaper in Broward County.
  • In 2010 a draft environmental assessment was sent to the Army Corps of Engineers as part of a request for additional federal funding that essentially asked the Corps to perform an environmental impact study and sign off on the proposed assessment. Since no more funding was available, no study was conducted and the document was never even examined by the Corps. Yet the document appeared, subsequently, attached to other proposals with the Corps logo on it, including the final plan for the CRW and arequest for DEP RESTORE Act funding that specifically referred to the document as “an Army Corps prepared draft.” Additionally, it appears the data in the 2010 “draft EA” was taken from a 2006 document the Army Corps did prepare for the South Florida Water Management District, as part of a larger, Keyswide assessment that did not include the Cudjoe plant.
  • In 2013 a letter was sent to Fish and Wildlife (FWS) by DEP requesting an environmental impact study. FWS did not respond, so rather than follow up and ensure the environment would be protected, government employees simply chose to interpret the lack of response as a go-ahead. A concept which has been refuted in a recent letter from the FWS to the EPA.
  • FKAA has consistently stated there was no federal funding involved, although it was confirmed by the DEP, on March 21, 2015, and by USFWS on April 9, 2015 that Monroe County did use federal funds for the CRW which were obtained from the Florida State Revolving Loan Fund.

Current Status

At this point, Monroe County has approved funding for a deep injection well, the FKAA intends to continue to move forward with the use of shallow wells as an interim system, two lawsuits are pending designed to prevent the use of the shallow wells until a federal environmental impact study can be done and the department of Fish and Wildlife has sent a letter to the EPA recommending they look into assessing the environmental impact of the CRW, crediting community action for bringing it to their attention.

  • By: JD AdlerJD Adler is an author of fiction and journalism, holding degrees in English Literature and Publication Management. He has authored non-fiction books and science fiction novels as well as short stories and poetry. As a journalist he has covered national elections, environmental business, criminal trials, and local news.

 

Responses to “Cudjoe Deep Injection Well Funded But Shallow Well Battle Continues

  1. JD, Naja, Dump the Pumps opposed, and opposes, the use of grinder pumps, not gravity pumps. I never heard of a gravity pump. Dump the Pumps wants gravity sewerage collection used wherever feasible. The Monroe County Commission wanted grinder pumps used wherever possible, because they are cheaper to install than gravity systems. That got chipped away on the Sugarloaf Keys and on Cudjoe Key, by people like Walter Drabinsky and Todd German. Their areas ended up mostly with gravity, and grinder pumps only where gravity was not feasible. Summerland Key up through Big Pine Key was predominantly slated for grinder pumps. That’s what birthed Dump the Pumps, grinder pumps. I know this, because I was ta[l]king with them all along and attending their meetings on Little Torch and Big Pine Keys.

    Early on, news of a New Jersey grinder pump disaster was common knowledge in the Dump the Pumps camp. Hurricane Sandy knocked out the electricity in a subdivision using grinder pumps, which rely on electricity to work, and Sandy also flooded the subdivision. Human waste was in the yards and backed up in the homes, and Hazmat workers had to be sent in to clean it up. Back in the fall of 2005, Hurricane Wilma knocked out the electricity in the lower keys and flooded the lower keys with sea water, like what happened to the lower lying areas of Key West. Dump the Pumps contended that another Hurricane Wilma would produce the same grinder pump failure and disaster in the lower Keys, that Hurricane Sandy produced in the New Jersey subdivision.

    The Sandy-Wilma comparison was made many times to the Monroe County Commissioners and to FKAA officials, and was dismissed by them. Other serious problems with grinder pumps were presented to those officials, and were dismissed.

    I participated in a string of emails, mostly as an observer, between County Commissioner George Neugent, in whose voting district Cudjoe Regional lies entirely, and various of his constituents who opposed grinder pumps. George’s attitude in the emails was haughty and arrogant. He dismissed all arguments, as himself being an expert on pumps, dating back to his days in the oil well business, and having had a grinder pump at his restaurant in Marathon. George put down his constituents. He blasted them.

    Finally, I emailed George, copied to the entire audience in that email thread. Well, if he and the other county commissioners really believed grinder pumps were as good as, or even better than, and cheaper than gravity collection, then he and the other county commissioners would have had a duty to use grinder pumps, instead of gravity. He and the other county commissioners would have told Walter Drabrinski,Todd German and others that grinder pumps were going in everywhere feasible in the Sugarloaf Keys and on Cudjoe Key, and in the entire Cudjoe Regional Sewer District. George’s reply to me was a bit subdued, including, well, he never said he was an expert in grinder pumps.

    I tried very hard to get Naja to go after all of that, and she told me, which she repeated just the other day at her home, that the Dump the Pumps people waited too long; they should have joined Walt Dabrinski and others, when they started fighting Monroe County and FKAA about grinder pumps. So she was not going after it. Naja also said she let others go after it, in the blue paper, who knew about grinder pumps, which did happen in the blue paper, eventually.

    Naja said she’d never heard of the New Jersey grinder pump disaster, until I told her about it the other day. If she had known about that, and it could be proven, she would have gone after it. I went after the New Jersey disaster many times at my websites, and Naja got copies of all of those articles.

    All as grinder pumps were being installed, despite many serious arguments being made that grinder pumps should only be used where gravity is not feasible, while FKAA itself was saying it preferred gravity over grinder pumps, and would use gravity everywhere feasible, if the County Commission would pay for it.

    Now Dump the Pumps and others are seeking federal court injunctions. This course of action was recommended to Dump the Pumps in the fall of 2013, by a young lawyer, who worked for a federal agency in the Florida Keys. He lived on Little Torch Key. He was slated to get a grinder pump. He could not bring the lawsuit, because he worked for a federal agency. As I recall, he got around to saying he was selling his home, because of how FKAA and the Monroe County Commission were going about using grinder pumps, instead of gravity.

    I told Dump the Pumps the young lawyer was right, they should seek federal court relief, and not waste time in state courts and wrangling with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which agency was a joke. I told Dump the Pumps they would get no relief going that route, and lobbying the County Commission and FKAA would bring no relief. I told Dump the Pumps they had waited too long already. Get to cracking.

    And, I wondered why I had not jumped into that fight, when I lived on Little Torch Key from 2010-August 2013, and was slated to get a grinder pump on my land, for my trailer? I was asleep at the switch, and only after I moved back to Key West that August, was I told in a dream to get to cracking about grinder pumps.

    All the while, FKAA is installing grinder pumps, and Dump the Pumps is trying to stop it. As far as I know, Last Stand and the blue paper have not raise[d] a hue and a cry about grinder pumps, but have focused on going with a deep injection well, instead of shallow injection wells. Dump the Pumps joined into that fray, too.

    For me, the real danger with shallow injection wells in Cudjoe Regional is the old land fill (toxic waste dump) near where the shallow injection wells were installed. The very real risk of the shallow injection wells getting into and disturbing that landfill and what is buried in it should be sufficient to not use the shallow injection wells at all.

    What boggles my mind, what boggles Naja and Arnaud’s minds, what should boggle everyone’s minds, is FKAA and the County Commission and the Florida Department of so-called Environmental Protection, which can be likened to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, designed and installed shallow injection wells, without first doing a test to see what might happen, if shallow injection wells were used.

    What does that tell you about the smarts of your five county commissioners, FKAA and FDEP? Or is something else going on? Is maybe spending as little as possible on Cudjoe Regional, so other things can be bought by the County Commission, going on?

    And, is there something under the table going on with grinder pumps? Is somebody getting payola, who should not be getting payola?

    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      • Hey Sloan,
        How about a link to that New Jersey disaster article? I had seen an article about one homeowner having a horror story about a faulty valve and sewage backing up and covering the floors of the house. [Eeeww!!] Please send the link to the story you spoke about the other day – where an entire subdivision found themselves swimming in sewage. Thanks!

        • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

          I just now told Dump the Pumps you’d like to see the article, or link to it. I’ll call Banks Prevatt and ask for same, as he is Dump the Pump’s “CEO”. Will forward it to you, if they send it to me.

    1. JD,

      As always, superb investigation, brilliant research and extraordinarily written.

      Scientific studies and research have concluded that ‘state of the art’ septic tanks, are in many cases, the best and most natural means to treat human waste.

      This simple, cost effective and scientifically sound method of treating sewage; has demonstrated its efficacy. Septic tank designs that are appropriately positioned, properly installed and maintained can work in concert with Mother Earth to keep our environment healthy.

      EFFIICIENCY OF SEWAGE TREATMENT WITH SEPTIC TANKS FOLLOWED BY CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS WITH DIFFERENT SUPPORT MATERIAL…

      ABSTRACT

      This study seeks to assess the efficiency of a sewage treatment plant comprised of three compartmentalized septic tanks installed in series followed by three parallel wetlands and seeded with species Typha sp. with subsurface flow, filled with support material of natural gravel, gravel # 2 and washed gravel, respectively. The station treats sewage generated at Unity University for Science and Technology, State University of Goiás – UnUCET/UEG. A total of 20 sewage samples were collected in order to evaluate treatment efficiency from November to December 2010 and March to April 2011. The points of analysis were at the input of the first tank (raw sewage), the output of the third septic tank and the outputs of each of the three wetlands. The total removal efficiencies were: 65.40% for chemical oxygen demand; 79.01% for biochemical oxygen demand; 59.79% for total solids; 87.12% for the total suspended solids; 92.00% for total coliforms; 95.71% for E. coli and 82.54% for turbidity. The system was effective for the treatment of sewage, within the current legislative parameters for pH, turbidity, total solids and biochemical oxygen demand. No significant difference was observed between the three different means of support, suggesting that gravel, natural gravel and washed gravel may potentially be used to fill wetlands.

      Revista Ambiente & Água – An Interdisciplinary Journal of Applied Science: v. 8, n.1, 2013.

Also today, bad cop sewerage, which ran through me yesterday in my Facebook timeline, compliments one of my vicious van dweller amigos:

Victor Clarke shared a link to your timeline.
15 hrs ·

There’s wide consensus around the video: Walter Scott was shot and killed in cold blood as he ran for his life from Michael Slager, the cop who stands charged with…
SLATE.COM
  • Sloan Bashinsky For me, this article gravely distracts from the fact that the white cop shot fleeing black male car driver, accused of a broken tail light, in the back. If the white cop is not prosecuted for murder, and convicted, maybe the best course for black people in South Carolina, or anywhere in America, is to not drive cars, trucks, etc. The question arises, if the driver had been white, would the white cop have shot the white driver in the back? Perhaps the white cop needs to be asked that question, so white people in South Carolina can learn whether or not they should drive cars and trucks.
  • Victor Clarke The point being it was a bogus stop to begin with….the supreme court legalized it
  • Sloan Bashinsky I understand the point of the article, which I still say misses the point of what happened. If cops can shoot fleeing people in the back, for this kind of offense, legal or not, no American is safe from American cops.
  • Victor Clarke So similar to Chsrles Eimers except they didn’t shoot him they murdered him by suffocation……I thonk I”d have optioned for the shot it the back less painful

     

  • Sloan Bashinsky Yes, and maybe didn’t see it coming. I prefer to be taken out by a sniper, no warning, goodnight.
  • Michael Clark Cornwell The real reason for stop was that the cop was automatically suspicious because a black man was driving a Mercedes : part of the racial profiling mentality. If the driver had been white, he would never have been stopped for a pretextual “broken tailight”. The “tazer drop” is just part of the widespread practice of dropping guns, knives or drugs to back up their story. Practicing criminal defense law for over 3 decades, I’ve seen it all–and it can be ugly with bad cops. Most are not, but too many are.
  • Sloan Bashinsky Thanks, Michael. Victor, others, Michael lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He and I paddled lots of white water rivers together, literal and spiritual. Literal, in his C-2, a decked canoe, which looks like a big kayak, but you use canoe instead of kayak paddles. For a number of years, Michael was the lead defense trial lawyer in the Tuscaloosa Public Defender’s office. As such, Michael defended the more serious cases: murder, rape, etc.From all the stories he told me, it was a bit different what what I hear of the Public Defender Office in the Florida Keys. A bit more like, the real deal, as opposed to whatever you care to say about our local Public Defender office.
  • Victor Clarke I understand Sloan Bashinsky likewise I have a good friend in the PD office in Paterson NJ I’m sure their stories are very similar

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

Posted in Today's Vulcanite | Leave a comment

fools gold and related mining operations in paradise not at goodmorningkeywest.com

looney_toon_sloan.JPG

At the tip-tail-end of this little asteroid belt yesterday, my cheer trails this tale of selective enforcement by, right, the bubba criminal justice system:

Duval Street drunk

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Former city commissioner’s son resolves careless driving charge
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
gfilosa@keysnews.com

The son of a former city commissioner who police said ran a red light and almost hit a marked patrol car in February has resolved the case without having to go to court.

Robert Bethel, 33, an employee of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, completed traffic school after he was charged with careless driving for a Feb. 25 incident, court records show.

Bethel’s case was disposed of April 7, according to a docket report at the Monroe County Clerk of Court. The case was presided over by Judge Joseph Albury.

“Defendant elected traffic school option,” the last docket entry reads.

Police officers reported Bethel was impaired, possibly drunk, when he ran a red light at Flagler Avenue and Kennedy Drive that day, and that he refused to get out of his silver SUV.

But Bethel’s family said he was suffering a diabetic episode at the time.

While police arrested Bethel on suspicion of resisting arrest, State Attorney Catherine Vogel’s office took no action on that allegation.

Instead, Bethel was accused March 11 of careless driving and the case was sent to pretrial diversion.

“There was nothing to indicate it was alcohol and we weren’t able to establish if there was any other drug [involved],” Vogel said. “We are aware he has some health issues.”

Police had probable cause to make the arrest, Vogel said, but her office’s investigation found insufficient evidence to make charges other than careless driving.

“That’s all we had evidence for,” Vogel said.

Harry Bethel, the former city commissioner who remains active in Key West politics, said his son was having a diabetic episode at the time.

There was no alcohol involved, he said, admitting his son ran the red light but only because of a medical condition.

“I swerved to the right as the vehicle ran the light and entered the intersection, almost crashing into me,” wrote Officer Kathyann Wanciak in her incident report, which was labeled “alcohol/liquor related offense.”

Bethel had slurred speech, police said, and “fumbled” through his car’s interior but couldn’t find his registration or proof of insurance, police said.

No alcohol smell or evidence of drinking in the car was found, according to the police reports.

Officers said they were forced to remove Bethel from the vehicle.

Police said Bethel repeatedly said, “no,” when told about field sobriety tests, and when asked to get out of the vehicle.

He was “gripping the steering wheel” and would not let go, Wanciak wrote in her report.

“I had to pry his finger off the wheel and I was finally able to get hold of his arm,” she wrote.

gfilosa@keysnews.com

So, let’s flash back to Charles Eimers being killed by KWPD officers – for access to all Blue Paper articles by Naja and Arnaud Girard on the in-custody death of Charles Eimers click here.

Charles Eimer's take down

Now ponder, how come the KWPD officers didn’t kill Robert Bethel, after he refused to surrender? How come he got off without a D.U.I., after refusing a sobriety test? How come he got off without having a blood test, to prove he was not drunk? If you live down this way, you know why. If you don’t live down this way, here’s why. Robert is a Conch. A white Conch, actually. Meaning, he was born here. His family are white Conchs. His father was a Key West city commissioner. That’s why Robert is still among the living, and was not prosecuted for D.U.I. and reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon: an automobile. Smile, he’s still out there, driving his car. Not a worry, if you don’t live down here :-).

Oh, my pardon, the cops knew Robert. They knew he was a Conch. They knew he wasn’t homeless. Poor Charles Eimers, the cops thought he was homeless, living in his vehicle, when, in fact, he had only just arrived in Key West, after driving down here from Michigan in his PT Cruiser, to see if he wanted to live here. And, to do God’s work here, he told the officer who made the traffic stop. Shortly thereafter, he was dead. And Robert Bethel is still on the loose, like the cops who killed Charles Eimers are still on the loose, protecting and serving the people in paradise. Not a worry, if you don’t live down here.

The Monroe County Commission met in the Harvey Government Center in Key West yesterday. Here is the Key West Citizen’s report (keysnews.com):

Seven Mile Bridge

Old Seven Mile Bridge

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Officials OK $7M for deep well
BY TIMOTHY O’HARA Citizen Staff
tohara@keysnews.com

The Monroe County Commission agreed Wednesday to spend an additional $7 million to fund a deep injection well for the last and largest central sewer project in the Florida Keys – the roughly $165 million Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The commission had been holding off on funding the deep well at the plant on Blimp Road on Cudjoe Key — despite requests of many residents and environmental groups — because there was no scientific proof that the deep well was needed, the commissioners said prior to Wednesday. The proof came last month from a study by Florida International University, which concluded the deep well is needed.

As much public outcry that the deep well debate has generated in recent months, Wednesday’s vote came with no bickering, actually, absolutely no discussion at all.

County commissioners quickly called for a vote and chose unanimously in favor of funding the construction of the deep well. A small crowd of Lower Keys residents who will be served by the Cudjoe Regional System erupted in cheers and yelled out “thanks” after the vote.

The Aqueduct Authority board and the county commissioned the FIU study after residents raised concerns that the shallow wells that were initially proposed and dug will not pump the water deep enough into the ground. They also said the treated effluent could creep back up to the surface in areas that may be contaminated from years of serving as a dump. The treatment plant and wells have been placed in an area that had served as a dump in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The original plans called for digging four shallow wells, which would only pump the treated effluent to roughly 120 feet deep. But the deep well the Aqueduct Authority board approved would push the water 2,000 feet below the surface into the boulder zone.

The state Department of Environmental Protection requires that a deep well be built if the average daily flow of treated effluent is more than 1 million gallons. There has been disagreement about whether the average daily flow at the Cudjoe plant would reach 1 million, with the Aqueduct Authority claiming it wouldn’t. However, the FIU study was enough to convince the county and Aqueduct Authority that the deep well is necessary.

Sea-level rise

The commission directed its staff to jump-start its work on adapting to climate change and sea-level rise and to make county facilities more energy efficient.

The commissioners said they want to incorporate the county’s climate change initiatives and energy efficiency programs in its upcoming 2015-16 fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1.

Mayor Danny Kolhage wants meaningful work, not just empty promises, he said Wednesday.

“I don’t want empty statements, but really do something,” Kolhage said.

Kolhage also joked that he wanted to have the discussion without having to use the term climate change, referring to Gov. Rick Scott’s recent controversy about directing state employees not to use terms like climate change.

Commissioner Sylvia Murphy argued that the county has already made climate change adaption part of its comprehensive plan and hired climate change consultants to work on roads plans and to develop a long-term sea-level rise adaption plan.

“We are already doing this,” Murphy said.

Kolhage wanted a more comprehensive plan about “how we are going to implement these projects this year,” he said. Kolhage argued that there are areas of south Stock Island that will be “seriously effected” by sea-level rise.

County Administrator Roman Gastesi told the commission that the county is already working toward real solutions to sea-level rise and climate change, and cited the recent construction of the Stock Island fire station, which the county purposely built several feet above ground to mitigate for sea-level rise and flooding.

Also, sea-level rise has caught the attention of the brokers who handle the setting of the county’s bond rating. They have inquired about what the county has done to mitigate for sea-level rise, Gastesi said.

“It is something Wall Street is looking at,” Gastesi said.

The low-lying Florida Keys rank third in the country, behind two coastal towns in North Carolina, when it comes to population vulnerability to sea-level rise, according to a University of Georgia study. As much as 36 percent of the population in the Keys could be displaced by rising seas by 2060 if no changes are made to current infrastructure, the study states.

The county has experienced nine inches of sea-level rise in the past 100 years. County experts are predicting between three to seven inches of sea-level rise by 2030, and nine to 24 inches of sea-level rise by 2060.

Offshore islands

The commission approved a moratorium that will limit development on offshore lands like Wisteria Island until the local government can decide whether tougher restrictions for islands are necessary.

The county is proposing a rule that would prohibit developers from transferring transient development rights, called state Rate of Growth Ordinance units, to any piece of land dubbed “offshore islands.” ROGO units are needed to develop a piece of property. Such a restriction could make some private undeveloped islands less valuable to developers.

County planners are reviewing the offshore-island designations for several islands off the Keys, including Wisteria Island and Ballast Key of Key West, as well as Little Palm Island and Tarpon Belly Key off Cudjoe Key. Currently, the developers are allowed to transfer the ROGO units to those islands.

Under the proposal, the county would define an “offshore island” as an “area of land, surrounded by water, which is not directly or indirectly connected to U.S. 1 by bridge, road or causeway,” said Mayte Santamaria, county planning director.

tohara@keysnews.com

However, the Editorial in last Wednesday’s Citizen gets down to the meat of the deep injection well coconut:

political-promises.bmp

Wednesday, April 8, 2015
Going deep for answers about waste treatment plant

The ongoing saga of the multimillion dollar Lower Keys Wastewater System has entered a new phase of controversy. After years of urging by a multitude of local activists, the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) has acquiesced to calls for the installation of a deep injection well at the new waste treatment plant on Cudjoe Key.

The decision to install a deep well came after alarming results showed up from a test on the shallow well system, which had already been installed.

For a bit of background, after receiving and treating hundreds of thousands of gallons a day of sewage, something must be then done with the treated water. While the water is now quite clean, it is not completely pure and still contains some nutrients as well as pharmaceuticals, which are evidently particularly difficult to remove.

So what to do with the water? It gets pumped down into the ground.

How far down you ask? That, dear readers, is the big question, and one we feel should have been answered LONG before now.

This system gathers untreated sewage from Lower Sugarloaf all the way up to the farthest reaches of Big Pine. All this waste is then pumped to a brand-new, state-of-the-art waste treatment facility in a remote area of Cudjoe Key. Well over $100 million and many years have gone into the planning, engineering, permitting and construction of the new system and companion treatment facility.

While the sailing hasn’t always been smooth, the system is substantially complete and could be weeks from being started up. We say “could be” because now, at this 11th hour, a huge problem has arisen.

You guessed it, what to do with the treated water.

It seems that after a year of protests and multiple lawsuits against the use of the proposed shallow well system, the big problem remains.

In an effort to put the topic to rest, the FKAA decided to have tests done on the shallow wells by Florida International University. Needless to say, the tests didn’t go as hoped.

While the formal report of tests has yet to be finalized, preliminary results showed some type of substance bubbling up out of the ground soon after test water was pumped down into the wells.

So what now? Well, the FKAA and its partner, Monroe County, have quickly acted to change direction and install a deep injection well.

Easy, right? No, nothing is ever easy in the Keys.

For one thing, one doesn’t just drill a 2,000-foot deep injection well. There is a process. Plans, permits, bidding, etc. Long story short, a working well is at best a year away.

Then there is also the pesky detail of the well costing somewhere around $6 million.

We find it impossible not to ask why these tests were not done at the beginning of this project? Was all this caused by bad advice from engineers? Were corners cut to save money? Who is responsible for all of this and will anyone be held accountable?

The many groups of concerned citizens who have forced the county and FKAA to do the right thing have done a great service for us all and we thank you.

– The Citizen

Imagine the county commission approving the new Walmart now being promoted on Rockland Key, just above Key West, without first doing a traffic study and dealing with the fun traffic snarl the Walmart will create on US 1? Well, the county commission approved shallow injection wells, without doing any tests to see how they might perform. Was that stupid? Or was it the commissioners simply wanted to spend the money on other things, like … marinas, repairing Old Seven Mile Bridge, etc. pork etc. pork etc.

entitlements

The wee E-1 grinder pump monster in the Cudjoe Regional Sewer District has yet to stir the Citizen, or the county commission.

dump the pumps

A New Jersey subdivision had grinder pumps. Hurricane Sandy flooded that subdivision and knocked out the electricity. The grinder pumps required electricity and stopped working. The yards in that subdivision were covered with human shit, and the same was backed up inside the homes. Hazmat teams had to be sent in to clean it all up.

In the fall of 2005, Hurricane Sandy knocked out the power in the lower Keys and covered them with 3-feet of sea water. What does the county commission think is going to happen the next time a hurricane does that to the grinder pumps on homeowners’ land in the Cudjoe Regional Sewer District? Shit city is what’s going to happen.

After getting back to Todd German’s home yesterday afternoon, where I’m staying, for now, I sent this email cheer to the county commissioners, since they would not let me say it during citizen comments, because it wasn’t “on topic” for any item on the commission meeting’s agenda:

writing quill

From: sloanbashinsky@outlook.com
To: boccdis1@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis2@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis3@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis4@monroecounty-fl.gov; boccdis5@monroecounty-fl.gov
CC: sloanbashinsky@outlook.com
Subject: Walmart and Wisteria Island
Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2015 18:18:55 -0400

Dear County Commissioners:

When I watched this documentary many years ago, and I saw how devastating Walmarts were to local businesses in small towns, I never wanted to go into a Walmart again.

Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price • FULL … – YouTube

Nov 26, 2014 – Uploaded by Brave New Films

The film exposes Wal-Mart’s unscrupulous business practices through interviews with former employees 

I told Owen Trepanier at the county commission meeting today in Key West, about the video, and that I hope he gets the Walmart put in on Rockland Key, because Key West deserves it, a lot of Key West businesses will disappear. [Owen is a private planner, representing the developer of the new shopping center where the Walmart is proposed.]

I also told Owen that putting a traffic light on US 1 for the Walmart will be a traffic disaster, worse than the Saturday traffic disaster on on Big Pine Key, when the flea market is open. Down the Keys traffic into Big Pine has backed up on Saturdays all the way up onto Bahia Honda Bridge, just because of the one traffic light on Big Pine and the flea market. Walmart is much bigger and will draw far more traffic than the Big Pine flea market.

I told Owen the way to get the Walmart approved is for the developer or Walmart to agree to build an overpass/bypass there like the one just a short distance down US 1 at the Navy Base entrance. That will solve the traffic snarl problem, and the increased risk to human life, and the road rage caused by a traffic light on US 1 at the Walmart.

Owen seemed truly grateful. He said he had not considered the Big Pine Key traffic light and the flea market traffic problem. If he lived up that way, he would know traffic on Big Pine often backs traffic up off the upper side of the island onto the bridge, even when the flea market is closed.

I told Owen, either the developer or Walmart should pay for the overpass on US 1. What would that cost? Would sewer lines have to be torn up and set back down? The water line from the mainland? Electrical lines? How much would that cost? The county and the Florida Department of Transportation shouldn’t pay a penny of the cost of the overpass.

I was serious when I told Owen Key West deserves a Walmart. I was serious, because money and development, under color of “free enterprise”, are Key West’s gods. So let those gods be appeased by giving Key West a Walmart. Just don’t spend any county or state money on the overpass/bypass.

Also, Christine Hurley told me during today’s commission meeting, that her office received this morning a new application from FEB Corporation/Roger Berstein on Wisteria Island, having to do with tier designation. Christine said she had not yet seen the application, but it was filed before the moratorium item was approved at the commission meeting this afternoon.

I said Bernstein should be told, until the county knows for sure who owns Wisteria Island, decided by the courts, the county will expend no more staff time on applications involving Wisteria Island. I later had the same conversation with Commissioner Rice in the men’s restroom, during a break in the commission meeting. Then I talked with Christine again, and she said she is pretty sure county legal staff’s view is county staff should do nothing about Wisteria Island until the title issue is resolved.

I think it is really important that Bernstein be told that, for if he is not, knowing him, he will argue the county waived that “defense”. To stop that, he should be told it in writing, so what he was told can be shown to a judge.

Sincerely,

Sloan Bashinsky

Sloan

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

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droppings from the great speckled bird of paradise on Key West

pelican pooping

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Sancho Panza

Yesterday, a blast from the past:

I am trying this email address to see if it works… I never get any emails from you anymore and you don’t respond to the ones I have sent to you on the other email account, so I was thinking that you were either shanghaied to Guantanamo or the Angels had told you to stay away from me… I went to your blog and saw this new email by your photo and though let’s give it a shot and see if it gets to you!

Hope everything is well by you and your family(daughters, etc.)!

Domingo

Domingo, aka Sancho Panza, is a native of the Dominican Repubulic, who somehow got into America and did well. A retired Lucent Technologies scientist, he still does contract consulting work for them down below the boarder, as he is fluent in English and Spanish, and, as I recall, in all the Romance Languages, and in Latin. I don’t recall exactly how we met online, and we’ve never met face to face or talked on the telephone. All communication has been by email, which probably is a lot safer for Sancho, who years ago started calling me Don Quixote.

Just last night, Todd German, my kind host, reminded me of this editorial cartoon in the Key West Citizen, which I told him was published in 2008.

Sloan Quixote
I replied to Sancho:

Domingo, glad you tracked me down. Bill Gates, Microsoft, Hotmail, or sum shithead, or heads, killed the email account in which you had lounged for so long, and then they killed my other email account. I lost all the email addresses in the first account, but was able to save the email addresses in the second account. I tried finding you using google and Facebook, and found someone with name matching yours in NYC area and sent FB message and it came back, that Domingo was not receiving messages from this person, me. How I am is relevant to what part of hell most interests you. Currently. Check your junk mail folder, if you don’t get his email from me. Well, I guess you’d have to be psychic to know I wrote that sentence, or sent this email, if it ends up in your junk mail folder. I missed your jaundiced (with just about everything) howlings, Sancho.

DQ (what’s left of hisself)

Sancho wrote:

He, he, he……. if you were just one of those potbelly old men measuring the hours by lunch specials and the 6 o’clock News you wouldn’t have the “hellish” life you’re having with cyber attacks by phantom writers named Raven, etc.

I am happy to hear from you and see that you are hanging in there, doing battle against the forces of evil, like a good melchizedek priest, exorcist, shaman, madman!

Sancho Panza, Esq.

A true lover of wisdom has hands too busy to hold on to anything! He learns by doing and every pebble in the path becomes her teacher! Oink

I replied:

I didn’t bring you up to date on my daughters and family. My daughters and I reconnected and I wrote some about that, it’s been good. Their mother and I reconnected, too, it’s been good.

I’m still the devil incarnate in my family, in Birmingham. Been writing some about that, too, of late.

The devil incarnate label probably applies in other places my daily and nightly ravings light, including down here in paradise not :-).

Oink

Sancho wrote:

That’s really good news about your family… specially your daughters… I think it means that they are secured enough to accept you with all your flaws and virtues(which are many… specially steadfastness and transparency). Really glad to hear that! On the health front, fecal transplants are becoming mainstream and I am sure you could find a local Gastroenterologist that will help you give it a try… it could fix your gut problem for good… and then you’ll be perfect?  *8-} silly

Moving laterally,

psychiatrist interviews
Key West amigo Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry, wrote, after I had asked for his view of using pharmaceuticals to stop alcoholics from drinking:

“Sloan: I have had some success with psychotherapy and developing a relationship that clicked –but they could afford to see me 3 and 4 times a week.
–also at University of Florida –group therapy in a dynamic group– worked for some– otherwise AA has been effective –MOST effective when combined with Psychotherapy even once monthly –but it did take time—a few years for them–to stop completely !!.
That was the best result —psychotherapy plus AA —the addiction finally stopped for about 6 to10 patients over my 40 years of experience…. it is tough !!!! Jerry
(for me as the therapist it was very difficult —but it did work–on occasion…!!!)”
I only gave medication for clear cut depression –of course “carefully monitored”
it definitely helped–no question

Sloan:; On the subject of police brutality—2 hour documentary–on LINK channel;
they —protesters “On Occupy Wall street” –were right on—all the pressing national issues military guarding oil —we have spent trillions –the ECONOMIC INEQUALITY causes and the horror of the ideologues on the supreme court —on and on—they shoved the press out and all cameras were forbidden—but these were taken —secretly—the BRUTALITY–exceeded even the civil rights movement—no media would broadcast –the blood spilled the beatings people  received —–inhuman BARBAROUS
some police refused to participate but the hundreds of sadistic police made up for it–
the police Chief refused —but was helpless—- but orders from higher authorities..
NOT COVERED BY OUR WONDERFUL CONTROLLED MEDIA—-awful–
take care—
—-Jerry..

The angels’ total silence in my dreams, on using pharmaceuticals to stop people from drinking, tells me the angels do not like that approach. They are okay with using librium, or something similar, to assist an alcoholic though detox, but not replacing alcohol with another addictive drug.

On much the same rehab subject,

Kari and Sloan

Key West, Panama and Uruguay amiga Christine Russell wrote yesterday re my lady Kari’s and my challenges:

Hello Sloan,

For those of us not familiar with Kari’s type of incarceration and what all that includes. Please tell us more. I did read she called you (2 minutes) when she was taken in the jail, but it sounded like she is not allowed visitors or contact with the outside world? Please tell us more. How long will she be in? Are you not able to communicate with her at all? Do you know what kind of treatment she is receiving in there? Do you or her family have any way of learning how she is doing? Is she allowed to receive books or magazines – seems such would help to pass the time, get her mind off the withdrawal from alcohol (at least something else to think about), and she could possibly develop some knowledge or interest from reading I wish they had animal therapy here. Inmates working with animals has changed so many lives – the animals and the incarcerated! I have read about inmates training dogs for disabled veterans. Working with animals truly seems to change people – even hardened criminals.

I keep Keri in my prayers. I know nothing about all this, but it seems the more difficult part may be when she is released back into the real world with no money or income, no place to live, and little chance of making enough money to live here in the Keys. Is she eligible for any kind of government assistance or training to help her get back on the road to being self-sufficient?

Christine

I replied:

Hi, Christine – I’ve published a number of times what got Kari in dutch with the Florida Keys criminal “justice” system, and why she’s now in jail – a condition of her probation was she did not drink booze, and she flunked a piss test administered by her probation officer, so now she’s back in jail. I know not how long she will be in there. When she’s out of the infirmary, she can have visitors. As far as I know, the only treatment she is receiving is a blanket to wrap up in while she shakes – based on what she told me about previous jail trips.

In my opinion, the therapeutic methods of this world will not help Kari, not even a jail animal farm, but I think she might get help by being on a real farm, with her own horses, as she was a major league cow girl in Missouri, and grew up on her parents’ horse farm. I also think, if she and I are not together, she will relapse.

It’s going to take money to get her off the street and into a situation that nourishes her, and she has no way to come up with the money she needs. If she is released from jail, she will be back on the street, and she will relapse, go back to drinking, most likely. In her shoes, I would, too, with no hope for anything else.

And even if Kari and I are together, she might relapse.

Sloan

Christine wrote:

I agree with you Sloan, that Kari would be much better off on a real farm. She would also be away from here and bad habits with people who have bad habits – I am NOT speaking of you, you I know are a good influence and care deeply.

I believe people CAN change – it does happen. It may not be easy but it is possible if you want the change badly enough. I am sure it is much easier when you have a supportive family…with money. But if you do not, the choice is to throw in the towel and remain in a bad situation, or fight like hell to make something of your life and be independent. I can only imagine how hard this will be for her, but it is NOT impossible. One has to be optimistic, but realistic at the same time.

I liked Kari when I met her, and I know she can change. She will have to make that decision on her own and she will need support.

After your email I thought to myself – what if I were Keri with no money, no job, but I wanted to change my life. What would I do? Well, I would get the hell out of here first thing! I would get to a better more earthy healthy place, and I liked your idea of her being on a farm – that could be a wonderful healing environment for her. There are probably many possibilites for her. One might be a horse sanctuary where abused horses live and are nursed back to helth – I bet they would be grateful for a knowedgable, experienced volunteer, and it could be a wonderful environment for her. She and the horses would be going through the same healing and could bond – don’t laugh, animals are much more intuitive than people and often (usually) much more loving. Mabe she could get room and board in exchange for working.

Or possibly she could get a job on a horse farm. I Googled ‘working on a horse farm Florida’ and a lot came up including a website: www.localhorse.com where there are classified ads and you can post your own ad. And this is just one site :-)
Here are just a few posting from that site:

Help Wanted in Florida
Find a job in Florida working with horses on a farm or ranch. Browse our FL help wanted ads or search in your area.
Do you need help at your Florida horse farm or stable? Post your FL help wanted ad – free!
 
Full time farm help position immediately available at a horse training facility. Responsib…
Altoona, FL
 
Looking for someone who is qualified to feed, muck out stalls, groom, water, exercise hors…
Alva, FL
 
Need part time help with daily horse care & barn work for several retired horses. Must ha…
Ocala, FL
 
Experienced horse care worker needed to care for show horses in small private barn. Must…
Ocala, FL
 
Golden Spirit Alpaca Ranch is looking for an experienced, hard-working, and motivated indi…
Odessa, FL
 
stall cleaning, feeding, horse turn out and grooming, light maintenance.
Lamont, FL
And here is one specific ad that the position itself might have too much responsibility and pressure to start off, but they might give her a chance to work with them:
Barn Coordinator Needed at Non-Profit Horse Rescue
Barn Coordinator Needed at Non-Profit Horse Rescue in Palm City, FL
Palm City, FL

 

Contact
Name:
Erica Polvan
Phone:
772-215-0150
Email:
Website:
Position available at a 501c3 non-profit horse rescue based in South Florida.
Job responsibilities include:
Overseeing and directing the intake of abused, neglected, and mistreated equines
Responsible for driving revenue for ERAF, a 501c3 non-profit organization
Maintaining an already established and successful advertising campaign that gained massive exposure for our adoptable equines
Assisting in the implementation, coordination, and planning for numerous fundraising events
Execution of the screening process for adoption applicants, including but not limited to: the conduction of property checks and personality assessment to decipher whether or not a candidate is appropriate
Providing donors, guests, and volunteers with a tour of the property as well as an in-depth history of our program and its functions
Developing a constant task list for staff and volunteers on a daily basis directing staff and volunteers in completing work on the farm
Assisting volunteers with interacting with the horses, and training them how to perform basic groundwork training techniques
Maintaining the budget working within specific budget limitations to provide the best quality feeding program, training program, and general care for equine residents
Communicating with other local and national 501c3 non-profit equine rescues to share information, resources and ideas to help better the community of non-profits as a whole, rather than as an individual entity
Creating reports and analyses on the development of the facility and its programs
Planning, organizing, and overseeing the staff, equines, and clinic programs to ensure that they meet the high standards of quality and care relative to GFAS and AAEP guidelines
Able to work with minimal supervision working alone for most of the day at the farm, executing each daily task with impeccable time management skills
Applying for grants and other funding opportunities to drive revenue
Choreographing and attending all farrier, veterinary, and other regular appointments
Daily office requirements scheduling staff, creating programs and clinics, billing inquires, etc.
Responsible for conflict and resolution management among staff and volunteers
Daily assessment of health and overall well-being of each equine
Researching and developing a balanced diet that suits each equine and their specific dietary needs
Gathering fecal samples for worm counts to properly assess and implement a de-worming schedule
Maintaining hay, feed, and supplement levels at all times responsible for purchase orders and preserving positive relationships with our numerous sponsors
Safety is paramount when working with equines responsible for maintaining a safe work environment as well as implementing additional safety procedures for new intakes/feral equines
Overseeing the training and development of all equines on the property
Conducting training with equine intakes which requires an acute level of patience, gentleness, and intuition
Applicant must be:
-Forward Thinking
-Creative
-Compassionate
-Knowledgeable
-Innovative
MOST IMPORTANT QUALIFICATION:
Applicants must have experience with NATURAL HORSEMANSHIP and NATURAL HORSEKEEPING PRINCIPALS. We are 100 BAREFOOT, NO BLANKETING, 24/7 TURNOUT, FREE ACCESS TO HAY, and NON-TRADITIONAL TRAINING METHODS.
Applicants will be screened heavily by these qualifications. Do not apply if you are not open to operating by these principles.
Please send:
-Cover Letter
-Resume
-Brief email why you feel that you are a good fit for this position.

And something like this might be perfect!  A place to live, money and working with horses

 
Looking for someone willing to look after animals and property. $100 a week plus room and board
Crescent City, FL
SO I went to this groups website www.ERAF.org and found what follows.  Keri might be able to find a situation that would eventually provide room and board in exchange for work.
I don’t think she will think of any of these possibilities on her own, she will have all she can do to live day to day and stay clean when she gets out.  But I think providing her this kind of information could provide hope change her ways and attitute, and give her a vision of a better happy life :-)
ERAF’s mission is to find a fully
qualified forever
 home for each 
equine that successfully 
completes our 
rehabilitation program 
and to provide a 
loving, healthy and comfortable 
home 
for those that cannot.
 
JOIN OUR EMAIL LIST

CLICK HERE  to receive email notifications and news or if you need to update a new email address.
SAVING HORSES. IT’S OUR MISSION.

The Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation (ERAF) is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation devoted to the rescue, retraining and rehabilitation of abused, slaughter-bound, abandoned and neglected horses in South Florida and the Treasure Coast. We work closely with Sheriff’s Departments and Animal Care and Control Departments to identify these horses and remove them from dangerous and potentially lethal environments.  Our dedicated professional providers, supporters and volunteers work diligently to rehabilitate and care for these magnificent horses to bring them to a healthy and socialized state.  Just one look at the condition of Diva and Phoenix when they arrived (top photos) and how they look today (bottom photos) is why we are committed to saving horses and finding them forever homes.

I replied:

Kari getting a job, paying or room and board, on a horse farm might be a really good step. But she needs help leaving here and getting there. As things now stand, she has no way on her own to leave, except by simply walking out of the Keys, or riding a Greyhound with a ticket provided by someone, but to where?

Christine wrote:

With all of the government handout programs she must qualify for something!

I replied:

Kari knows how to write grants, perhaps there is something, but, given her criminal record and history with booze, might be a bit steep getting a grant …

Christine wrote:

From what I hear and read grants money is hard or nearly impossibel to get any more, even for well-established non-profits. But I am talking more about the government helping her like it helps millions and millions of others – such as food stamps, medicaid, section 8 housing …isn’t there some government assistance that can help her. I don’t know a lot about these programs, maybe Steve Braddock or someone in that field knows more. Maybe there is some kind of assistance for you too Sloan. Tax payers pay out billions of dollars every year and for many who don’t really deserve the assistance – here you and Kari could use and deserve a hand from those tax dollars and I sure you and we have all paid in over our lives.

I replied:

Christine, you can’t be serious. Some charitable person, or some public service outfit, or some government is going to drop a was of money on a person like Kari? How many times have I read and heard your rants against subsidizing homeless people? Steve Braddock has all he can say grace over just getting funding for Florida Keys Outreach Coalition. He would treat Kari no differently than he treats any other homeless ex-con recovering alcoholic, except Kari’s aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (an unloaded pistol still in its holster) makes her, on the face of it, ineligible for Steve’s program, and for similar local programs, and for getting a decent job locally. She is banned from KOTS [the city’s homeless shelter]. She has to sleep outside.

How does she raise herself up out of that? And, she is to go before the judge who has been presiding over her case. He could revoke her probation, send her to prison. She would find that ironic, because she is convinced he is drinking on the job, and she knows for a fact that her court-appointed lawyer got drunk and drove his car on US 1 up Key Largo way, a truly deadly weapon, and he drove it into the mangroves and ocean. She wants to fire him, but will the judge allow it?

As for me, how many times have I heard how much people down here appreciate what I do, how much this community needs me, how many people I don’t know about, movers and shakers included, read my daily ravings, and how I need to keep doing what I do? I can’t count how many times. Yet, when I announce I am in financial straights, do those people rush to help me out? Do they throw money at me, for all the great work they say I do? A few people did donate. Mostly, they were poor. They had little to give. I appreciated it. Todd German is letting me live in his home, gratis. I appreciate that. If I were allowed to send this community a bill for services rendered since I arrived in Key West in late 2000, it would bankrupt the Key West and Monroe County governments many times over. Meanwhile, I keep doing what countless people have told me I need to keep doing.

There is a beauty of an article about Poincina Elementary School in Key West, in today’s Citizen. The poor school has too many students, they are going to bring in two portable classrooms. The article says the reason for this overcrowding is school enrollment in Key West has increased, and lots of parents up the Keys, whose children can attend Sugarloaf School, work in Key West and bring their children to Poincina. Sugarloaf School is one-half full. Gerald Adams Elementary School on Stock Island has excess capacity. Black kids attend Gerald Adams. Black kids are bused in Key West, around Horace O’Bryant and Poinciana, to Gerald Adams. Poincina is a white school.

Right, not a whiff of the racial gerrymandering in the Citizen article below. I should send the Citizen a bill for $5,000, for setting the record straight. The Citizen should pay a fine of $100,000, for not setting the record straight. The entire school board and the superintendent of schools should be put in the penitentiary, for letting this throwback to racial segregation happen. Yet they are fine, upstanding Florida Keys citizens, and my Kari is fighting for her life in a case that never should have been brought against her, in my opinion.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Board of Ed: Portable classrooms to help alleviate swelling enrollment
BY Michael Quirk Citizen Staff

Two additional portable classrooms will be added to Poinciana Elementary School in Key West to help address the overcrowding problem facing some schools in the southern portion of Monroe County.

A contract and purchase proposal will need to be discussed and approved, but the five-member Monroe County School District board of education came to an agreement on the “relocatables” during a meeting Tuesday evening at Coral Shores High School in Tavernier.

Overcrowding has become an issue in some schools in the Lower Keys, most notably at Poinciana, which has a capacity of 628 students but an enrollment of 680.

Gerald Adams Elementary, with an enrollment of 556 students and space for 604, and Horace O’Bryant School, which has 1,067 students and can hold 1,124, are nearing capacity as well, administrators say.

The city of Key West has experienced a 15 percent growth in student population during the past five years, according to the MCSD.

“We’ve created a little bit of this problem because of putting pre-K in the schools,” said Superintendent Mark Porter. “We can make it work and I want the board to keep in mind that we need to look for a permanent solution.”

The “relocatables” can already be seen in Key West and are not congruent with the negative connotations typically associated with portable classrooms, said board member Ron Martin.

“I support the purchase of relocatables, they’re doggone nice classrooms and a lot nicer than some of the regular classrooms,” he said.

One reason for the overcrowding at Key West schools is the amount of children districted for the Sugarloaf School that instead choose to attend classes farther south.

Sugarloaf is at 48 percent of capacity as many parents who work in Key West have opted to bring their children with them during their commute. Some reasons for this are so parents may be closer to their children in case of emergencies, and the lack of after school programs in their designated areas, said Patrick Lefere, the MCSD’s executive director of operations and planning.

“We’ve got a half-empty school up there, we need to revitalize Sugarloaf and make it more functional,” said board of education member Ed Davidson. “We need to do that right away, and make it more practical for parents to put their kids there.”

For those worried about school improvements putting the new school on hold, Lefere reiterated that there will be no effect. “I say it every time I get a chance, Plantation Key is the only contraction plan on my radar.”

Also on the meeting’s agenda was a preliminary discussion about plans for Marathon Manor. Among some of the possibilities for the waterfront land are a community pool, affordable housing for teachers, athletic facility expansion and additional parking spaces.

The superintendent also touched on the Studer Group’s workshop held for the school board last week.

“It was a productive three-hour engagement, and was at no cost to the district,” he said. “There may be some need for a la cart services in the future, but I don’t think there’s a need for a full-scale consultant service.”

Coral Shores junior Dante Jiovenetta was recognized for his 47-0 run en route to the Florida 1A heavyweight wrestling title. Jioventta recently finished fifth out of 54 competitors at an All-American tournament in Virginia.

The school board’s next meeting will be 5 p.m. April 28 at Marathon High School.

My P.S. to Christine:

film the police

Kari ain’t just a horse person, she and horses talk to each other. When the local horse cops came by Bayview Park about six weeks ago, I told them there was a horse whisperer over yon way, sitting on her beach towel with her backpack beside her. Obvious a homeless person. And I bet she’d love to talk to them about their horses. They didn’t even give me a reply, but proudly moved on. When I told Kari about it, she said they were starving those horses, they should be fatter. At the recent ACLU police brutality meeting, Police Chief Donnie Lee, and citizens, talked about how nice it would be to have lots more cops on horses. Wonder if anyone asked the horses the cops already have, how they feel about living on paradise not?

Yesterday, a fattish cop rode his police cruiser into Bayview Park to tell 4 homeless people, rough looking, two were drunk, they could not be there, they were camping, and they had 5 minutes to clear out, and they could not go to Rest Beach. I saw this happen from a distance, then went over and asked them what the cop had told them. I saw no tent, no cook stove. I saw a tarp two of them were sitting on.

Walking out of the park, I went by another homeless man talking with the city employee who takes care of Bayview. The homeless man said the cop told him he was camping, because he had a sheet under him, between him and the ground, but he didn’t have to leave the park, as long as he laid on the ground with nothing between him and the ground. I asked the park keeper where it was written in a city ordinance that homeless people can’t be in Bayview Park, and where it was written in that ordinance that sitting or lying on a sheet or a towel or a blanket was camping? No answer. But, he said, he was okay with homeless people being in the park.

At the recent ACLU police brutality meeting, wish you were there, your blood might have boiled over, there was lots of talk about KW cops getting out of their police cruisers and walking beats and getting to know their constituents. Police Chief Donie Lee said, mainly, that he had cops on bicycles, who did that. Lee was not on the same page and the people wanting cops to walk beats. I had already had my say, so I didn’t try to speak again, but if I had gotten to to speak again, I would have said it looks to me like one-half of KWPD cops are so fat that they can barely squeeze into their cruisers, and for one of them to get out of a cruiser and walk 50, or 100 yards, might make their next move into an ambulance headed to the hospital on stock Island.

The city doesn’t want cars and trucks driving around on Bayview Park, but police cruisers do it all the time. The cops are too lazy to park on the street and walk into the park. I suppose they are too lazy to park their cruiser at Higgs and Smathers Beaches, and walk out onto those beaches and tell the tourists and locals sitting and lying on beach towels, that they can’t do that, it’s camping. More fun, to watch, the cops stay in their cruisers and drive onto the beach to do that, and get stuck, and it gets into the Citizen and Donie Lee says, he doesn’t see his cops did anything wrong; it’s tiring walking on sand and reasonable to save energy by driving their cruisers to where the evil campers are sitting and laying.

Ciaosky,

Trosky

Devil or Angel 2

Mark Twain on lightning

struck by lightninglightning woman

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

Sloan as Smather's Beach

Posted in Today's Vulcanite | Leave a comment

ACLU police brutality meeting – Key West, and related safety precautions

film the police

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psychiatrist interviews

Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry, responding to the treatment of alcoholics part of yesterday’s   post at goodmorningkeywest.com:

“Sloan:   I have had some success with psychotherapy and developing a relationship that clicked –but they could afford to see me 3 and 4 times a week.

–also at University of Florida –group therapy in a dynamic group– worked for some– otherwise AA has been effective –MOST effective when combined with Psychotherapy even once monthly –but it did take   time—a few years for them–to stop completely  !!.

That was the best result —psychotherapy plus AA —the addiction finally stopped for about 6 to10 patients over my 40 years of experience…. it is tough !!!!  Jerry

(for me as the therapist it was very difficult —but it did work–on occasion…!!!)” I had asked him about his view of using pharmaceuticals to stop alcoholics from drinking.

women angels

The angels’ total silence in my dreams, on using pharmaceuticals to stop people from drinking, tells me the angels do not like that approach. They are okay with using librium, or something similar, to assist an alcoholic though detox, but not replacing alchohol with another addictive drug.

Moving laterally …

NajaArnaud Girard

I dropped by Naja and Arnaud Girard’s home yesterday evening, before the ACLU meeting on police brutalitym at the Harvey Government Center in Key West. Naja and Arnaud publish Key West the Newspaper (thebluepaper.com), which broke the Charles Eimers case, and other police brutality cases I don’t imagine the Key West Police Department, or the city manager, the city mayor and the city managers wanted broken. Also present at Naja and Arnaud’s home was A.D. Adler, who works for the blue paper.

I said, I hoped the meeting would stay away from national police issues and focus just on Key West police issues; there was nothing we could do about national police issues; perhaps local traction was possible. Perhaps. Good thing I was not holding my breath.

I think it’s fair to say, none of us had been impressed with the local chapter of the ACLU, and none of us were impressed with the panel the ACLU had selected for the town hall meeting. I think it’s also fair to say, I was not impressed with the panelists during the town hall meeting, and I cannot imagine Naja, Arnaud and J.D. were impressed. Perhaps they will have an article on the meeting in this Friday’s weekly edition: thebluepaper.com.

Here’s what the Key West Citizen reports this morning about the meeting:

thin blue line

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Racial bias persists in drug arrests, officials say

BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff

gfilosa@keysnews.com

Even in paradise, racial bias appears in the arrest logs of police, Monroe County’s chief assistant public defender said Monday night.

Trish Gibson, a 20-year veteran of the public defender’s office who has announced she is running for the top title in 2016, only has to look at her own case files to find evidence of selective enforcement in Key West.

“I have probably a good 20 drug cases right now,” Gibson said, during Monday’s annual meeting of the Florida Keys chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “Not one of them is Caucasian. Every single one of them is black.” The focus of the meeting was “policing paradise.”

Gibson, along with City Commissioner Clayton Lopez, both said Monday they have a hard time believing that whites don’t use illegal drugs at the rate of their black neighbors in Key West.

The annual Florida Keys ACLU meeting, which drew about 60 people to the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave., offered a six-member panel that included Gibson, Lopez, Police Chief Donie Lee, the Citizen Review Board’s executive director Larry Beaver, ACLU for Florida executive director Howard Simon and author Barbara Ehrenreich.

“Our criminal justice system is operating in a way that demonstrates a clear racial bias,” Simon said, adding the culprit is a history of “disastrous, counterproductive” anti-drug policies.

“The criminal justice system has been addicted to incarceration,” Simon said. “We live in a country that has 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s incarcerated population.”

Lee said his department takes the time to build positive relationships with Key West residents and said it’s not always easy to do in the current climate that has a “growing distrust” of all police officers.

Donie Lee 2Lee

“There are bad officers just like there are bad actors in any profession,” Lee said. “We need to weed them out. We need to do a better job of combating our biases.”

While the nation these days abounds with dramatic cases of police shootings of unarmed blacks, Ehrenreich said, those whose cases don’t make the headlines tend to be impoverished.

“Being poor and especially being poor and black or brown can put you at risk of falling into the hands of the criminal justice system,” said Ehrenreich, whose 2001 book, “Nickel and Dimed,” recounted her attempts to live on the minimum wages paid to hotel maids, waitresses and a Wal-Mart salesperson.

When it comes to local law enforcement agencies hunting for illegal drugs, the undercover operations tend to zero in on the island’s small, largely black neighborhood of Bahama Village, Gibson said.

“There are drug stings, so to speak, where confidential informants are used and they are told to go down to Bahama Village and see if you can buy crack,” Gibson told the crowd. “I’ve not had a case where they’re told to go down on Duval Street and see if you can buy powder.”

Gibson said, “There is selective enforcement on where we are getting our arrests for drug cases. They are told specifically to go to Bahama Village.”

Gibson also said, the police arrest homeless people for open container, but do not arrest the throngs of other people with open containers on Duval Street.

In his opening comments, Lee, a 20-year veteran of the Key West police department, pointed out that his officers have seconds in which to make critical decisions, often in violent situations.

“When the rest of us have the luxury to sit back and dissect an incident for months and years,” Lee said.

I suppose that comment was aimed right at the blue paper and its readers. Yesterday evening, Naja told me the blue paper is getting 40,000 hits a month. Not bad for a little newspaper in a little town. Not bad. She said lots of the hits come from outside Key West, and outside the Keys.

gfilosa@keysnews.com

During audience input, J.D. Adler reminded Donie Lee of his statement earlier in the meeting, that it is important for the police department to regulate itself, weed out bad cops, appear clean internal and externally. Then Adler asked Lee, if the police department means that, then why, whenever the blue paper tries to interview Lee or someone else in the police department, the response is Lee and other officers are not avaiable to speak to the blue paper? How does that promote what Lee said must be promoted?

Lee said he did not understand the question. Some guffaws from the citizen audience, including from Tom Milone sitting next to me. Tom is Vice-Chairman of the city’s Citizen Police Review Board (CRB), which has no enforcement power over KWPD, but does have power to investigate, subpoena witnesses and records, and make recommendations to the KWPD.

Lee took a while in his reply, but the quick answer was, the blue paper is not after what the police department needs to be and be seen as by the public. Meaning, the blue paper will not be interviewing Lee or any of his police officers. Meaning, The Citizen will be doing that.

When Naja got the microphone, she said last night was only the second ACLU meeting in Key West she had attended. I thought that said pretty well how she felt about the local ACLU chapter. Naja said, at the earlier ACLU meeting she attended, it was said several times that there is a group of police officers who are known by the public defender’s office, the state attorney’s office and the local judges to be liars. What says the panel about that?

Well, that was interesting. The only thing that got close to dealing with that Fatboy was Chief Assistant Public Defender Trish Gibson saying, yes, everyone knows who the bad cops are, and perhaps they can be reassigned to jobs where they can’t do as much damage. After the meeting had ended, I went over to Trish and said she had a golden opportunity to do something great for her community, by naming those lying cops, and she didn’t do it. That will work against her in the upcoming race for Public Defender. (Trish had announced she was running for that position, after Public Defender Rosemary Enright announced she was retiring.) I corrected myself, told Trish, she didn’t have any competition for the position. She said she expected several candidates. Again, I said, she missed a great chance to do something good for her community.

Before I made comments, there had been discussion about the CRB and the police department’s problem with the police benevolent union, which will not allow its members to go before the CRB, and which makes it nearly impossible to fire a cop. There also had been discussion about criminalizing homeless people being far more expensive and far less effective than other methods.

When I was given the microphone, I said I was part of the effort in 2002 to bring the CRB into being. The mayor, the city commissioners, the city manager, the police department, and the police benevolent union were violent opposed to the CRB coming into being, but a petition drive got enough signatures to put the CRB on the ballot and it passed overwhelmingly, 70-75 percent, as I recalled. I said, forget the police benevolent union every cooperating with the CRB.

Then, I addressed Trish, who had spoken to the police  putting homeless people in jail for minor offenses, and running up the costs for the criminal justice system across the board, and solving nothing. I said, in this same room, maybe six months before, at a public meeting, I spoke with Sheriff Rick Ramsay. I asked him, why was he letting Key West police put city homeless people into his jail for minor offenses other people were not jailed for, and running up his costs? He said he did not have to accept homeless people charged with violating city ordinances, but he had to accept homeless people charged with violating state statues. And if he didn’t receive homeless people charged with violating city ordinances, city police would aggravate the charges, make the changes violations of state statutes, such as aggravated assault, the police would make up charges, and he would have to receive those homeless people. So he accepts homeless people charged with violating city ordinances, and gets his costs run up.

That seemed to stir some blood, but not any change. I did not expect any change. I wanted to see Lee stick to his guns: jail homeless people, no matter what the cost. His city hall masters’ policy. City Commissioner Clayton Lopez tried to make it out like it was the county’s homeless policy, and it was the county’s fault there were so many homeless people in the Sheriff’s jail. I wished Clayton had stayed home.

Donie Lee needed to be there. Trish Gibson needed to be there. The rest of the panelists should have been people who would put Lee and his city hall masters on the hot seat. One such panelist should have been Naja Girard. Another should have been a homeless person, who stays nights outside or at KOTs, the city’s homeless shelter. Another panelist should have been David Paul Horan, who prosecuted the city in federal court, for city police killing Charles Eimers, whom the police believed to be homeless. Another panelist should have been me.

The local ACLU chapter fellow who chaired the meeting … His main agenda, which he repeated over and over again, was telling the audience where the cards were in the room for donating money to the ACLU, and, if they wished, to join. Where was the ACLU when the blue paper was busting the city with its Charles Eimers reporting? What has the ACLU ever done in Key West, or in the Florida Keys? Did I miss it?

The head of the Florida ACLU, Howard Simon, said during the meeting, that Miami had solved its homeless problem by building housing for homeless people. After the meeting during the milling around, I went over to him and said I’d been working this shit for many years. Key West doesn’t have the land to build housing for homeless people. Miami built a lot of housing for homeless people, then Miami ran out of money for that, and Miami still has a big homeless problem.

One of the panelists had said during the meeting, maybe it was Donie Lee, the city has made providing workforce rental housing a priority over providing housing for homeless people. I agree with that, because keeping people from becoming homeless trumps, I feel, giving homeless people free housing.

90-95 percent of street people are active addicts. How do you treat the underlying cause of addiction, if the addict is still using? I see no way. How do you treat mentally ill street people, who also are addicts, if they are using? I see no way. That’s why my lady Kari is in jail. To stop her using vodka. And cigarettes. That has to happenm before the underlying causes other addictions can be healed. I don’t think modern methods can heal her. I know angel methods can heal her. Will the angels heal her? I don’t know. If they don’t heal her, and she is released from jail, and is homeless again, it will not be pretty.

I was bushed then the ACLU meeting broke up a little after 9 p.m. I was darn happy to see the lower keys shuttle bus arrive on time, to bring me up here on Cudjoe Key, where I’m staying, for now, with my friend Todd German, who was the CRB’s first chairman. The shuttle has been pretty close to its schedule since I moved up here. Sometimes it’s late. So far, the latest it has come was about 20 minutes behind schedule, and it can be tracked online, if you have a computer or cell phone that can track. So you can see when the shuttle will arrive where you are waiting for it. I don’t have a cell phone like that, but I use my computer here at Todd’s home, to learn when to head out to US 1, about a 10 minute walk.

Sloan at Smathers Beach

sloanbashinsky@outlook.com

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