Key West Citizen editorial cartoon during 2008 county commission race
Down here at the tip end of paradise pretend:
5-term Key West mayor Craig Cates
During last night's Key West commission meeting, Mayor Craig Cates praised a recent music fundraiser for Category 4 Hurricane Irma-stricken people living in what is called "the lower keys", after he had only just said he was grateful Irma had not hit Key West head on. I'm sure the people living in the lower keys are grateful for Mayor Cates' gratitude.
What Mayor Cates, and everyone living in Key West, really should be grateful for, is the homeless woman Kari Dangler lives in Key West.
Right now, Kari is in the county jail on Stock Island, put there by Mayor Cates' police department, for sitting on private commercial property during the daytime, because she was tired and wanted to rest. I doubt Mayor Cates and the people of Key West will be grateful for that karma.
Kari goes before a local judge tomorrow, she thinks, to learn if she will be given time served and released back onto the streets of Key West, to be harassed by city police, to rack up more fun southernmost karma.
During closing citizen comments last night, I told Mayor Cates and the six commissioners, that in order for them to know what to ask the SHAL representatives, all seven of them need to spend a night at KOTS before the next city commission meeting. Right now, I said, they know nothing about KOTS, because they have not spent even one night there. Nor, I don't imagine, have any members of SHAL's board of directors, who are just as clueless about conditions at KOTS. Nor any city staff. Whereas, I have spent many nights at KOTS, and I wish I could be up there on the dais at the next commission meeting to ask the SHAL people questions that would make them sweat. But since I can't be up there, I hope you, Mr. Mayor and the six city commissioners, will make SHAL sweat.
Having earlier heard Mayor Cates and the six city commissioners bitch and moan during last night's city commission meeting about the aggressive, rip-off cosmetics shops on lower Duval Street, the center of the Key West economy, I also said during my closing citizen comments, that I was in Jack Flats sports bar a lot, and across Duval Street from there is one of those aggressive cosmetics shops, where people who don't speak American English stand outside the business trying to persuade passersby to come in. They may not even be Americans. They may have green cards. Where they come from, this might be how business is done. The way to deal with them here is put plain clothes cops on lower Duval Street and do what you should do with illegal transient rental violators, such as Ed Swift (prominent Key West businessman). Arrest and put the cosmetic shop employees and owners in jail, because fining them is not getting results.
Walking back to my seat, I saw Bill Hunter sitting on the last row. I can't find a photo of him online. He has been attending local government meetings for about 10 years. I tried to get him to run in 2010 and 2014 against incumbent District 2 county commissioner George Neugent.
I walked over to Bill, shook his hand, told him that I hope he runs for Neugent's seat this year, 2018.
Neugent is ending his 5th 4-year term and has announced he will not seek reelection.
The city councilwoman-mayor of Marathon, Michelle Coldiron,
has announced she will seek George's District 2 seat.
Bill Hunter lives on Sugarloaf Key, which lies right in the middle of District 2. He knows what's going on in the lower keys. He has announced he was considering running for the District 2 seat.
I told Bill last night that very last thing the lower keys need is another county commissioner who lives in Marathon. George Neugent proved it.
On December 29, 2017, I sent this private Facebook message to Michelle Coldiron, to which she has yet to respond:
Also in Dist. 2 regard, in today's:
Debris removal deadline loomingFrom the popular bigpinekey.com January 2 Coconut Telegraph public forum - the District 2 county commissioner office is on Big Pine, Mile Marker (MM) 30; MM 0 is in Key West:
[Debris] We can still dump on the roadway from MM16 to 40, but not on US1. [Mile Marker 15-40 is George Neugent's voting district below Seven Mile Bridge. A small part of his voting district lies in Marathon, which came about years ago when Marathon clamored to have 2 county commissioners like much more populated Key West had.]
[Debris] The collection of Hurricane Irma debris resumed Wednesday on Monroe County roads in the mile marker 16 to 40 area in the Lower Keys after a short break for Christmas.
No county roads in these areas have received a final collection pass. If you have debris in county rights of way or private roads, it will get picked up. More than 1 million cubic yards of debris has been collected from just this area alone, the area hardest hit by the Category 4 Sept. 10 storm.
If you live between mile markers 16 and 40 and have eligible hurricane debris remaining in your yard, place it on the nearest county right of way. This is important to expedite the cleanup and ensure all eligible hurricane debris is picked up.
The final collection of hurricane debris on Duck Key, Conch Key and in the city of Layton is also underway. The deadline has passed in these areas to put hurricane debris on county and city rights of way.
The Florida Department of Transportation’s debris contractor, MCM, is conducting a final pass along U.S. 1 in the Keys. It’s been illegal for weeks now to dump any hurricane debris in the U.S. 1 right of way or on county roads that have received or in the midst of a final sweep. This includes Key Largo, Tavernier and from Stock Island to mile marker 15 (Baypoint).
Also, discarded Christmas trees in the Keys should not be put on hurricane debris piles for pickup. The trees should be put with your regular yard waste for collection.[Debris (on Big Pine Key)] In just a few more days it will be 4 months since hurricane Irma. Still there are piles of trash and garbage everywhere. On Watson between Key Deer Blvd. and Fern Ave. nothing has been touched and the trash continues to get dumped. There hasn’t been one pickup. Not one. The stuff was actually falling into the roadway until someone pushed it back a bit. I haven’t seen even one truck in Eden Pines and only two on Key Deer Blvd where piles of debris still sit. I hope we all clearly remember this inexcusable debacle when it’s time to vote for county commissioners again who have a lot of excuses, do a lot of finger pointing and basically do nothing to remedy this mess.
Cleaning up US 1 was put first, because that's what tourists see when they drive down from the mainland.
Cleaning up the lower keys neighborhoods was put last, because they got hit the hardest.
Irma pounded Big Pine for 7 hours, according to a friend of mine who said he rode out Irma in a Big Pine octagon home.
I drove through several Big Pine neighborhoods a few weeks after Irma. It looked like Hiroshima. It still looked that way when I drove through there a few weeks later. I hear it still looks that way.
Big Pine is where George Neugents county commissioner office is.
Last today, the great white hope in Washington D.C. made my sides split yesterday:
this howler Trump gang comedy feud showed up in my Yahoo news today