Monday, April 2, 2018

reviews of last night's ladies national basketball championship game and Sunday's Key West Citizen editorial's suggestions for what this year's mayoral candidates should reflect upon

Page views for yesterday's Easter Sunday homily spiked downward, whatever that indicated.

In a past life, I was given an award for being the best basketball player in my grammar school. 

That was before there were junior high schools. I was 13, in the 8th grade. 

That was before 3-pointer's from beyond the circle.

I was my team's best foul shooter and shooter from the field and dribbler. I was short, pudgy and slow. I played guard.

I still know what fouls look like. I committed plenty of them myself and had plenty committed on me. 

When I attended Vanderbilt University, it had very good men's basketball teams, which I spectated. One year, Vandy went to the final game in the national championship tournament, and lost to Michigan State.

Just getting into the final game in that tournament is a spectacular achievement.

Same for the women's national championship basketball final game, which lady Mississippi State teams now gotten to 3 times and come in runner-up.

Here's the Mississippi State University official statement about last night's national championship game in Columbus, Ohio:

Last night's game previewed in yesterday's post, was ... wild.
Notre Dame only had 7 players. It had 4 players sitting on the bench with ACL injuries.

At the end of the 1st 10-minute quarter, Notre Dame was 2 points up on Mississippi State. 

At the end of the 2nd quarter, Mississippi State was up 13 points, after Notre Dame scored only 3 points during that quarter.

At halftime, Mississippi State's All-American center was interviewed by a sportscaster, which I thought was a terrible idea for the center and/or her coach to go along with. The kiss of death.

The All-American center already had 3 fouls, as did several of her teammates. One teammate had 4 fouls. 

The 3rd quarter ended with the two teams tied after the All-American center made her 4th foul and sat out part of that quarter. It was clear Mississippi State was no match for Notre Dame without the All-American Center, who was grabbing lots of rebounds.

It also was clear that Notre Dame's inside game (close to the basket) was much better than Mississippi State's. Notre Dame's plays were causing fouls by Mississippi State. Notre Dame's foul shooting was exquisite. 

Mississippi State's inside game depended heavily on its towering All-American center grabbing offensive rebounds when Mississippi State players missed shots. Mississippi State's players took some wild shots which came nowhere near the basket. Mississippi State missed to many foul shots.

With just seconds left in the 4th quarter, the game was tied. Mississippi State's All-American center got the ball under the basket and had an easy lay up and missed it. Notre Dame recovered the rebound and started a fast break. 

Both in this game and in the semi-final against Louisville, Mississippi State had been vulnerable to a fast break after losing an offensive rebound, and often had responded by fouling the opponent with the ball. 

With only seconds remaining on the clock last night, the main  Mississippi State player in position to try to stop Notre Dame's last-seconds fast break was the All-American center, who fouled one of the Notre Dame players and was out of the game. 

I saw no chance for Mississippi State to win in overtime without the All-American center in the game. 

3 seconds remained on the clock. 

A Notre Dame player tossed the ball in from the sideline to Notre Dame's star in last night's game. That's her in the photo above, which starts this report.

The Notre Dame star made a move around a Mississippi State defender and lofted a high shot from outside the 3-point circle, which swished. 

No time left on the clock. 

Notre Dame won by 3.

When Notre Dame's best player made that shot at the final buzzer, I exclaimed, "What a fabulous shot!" For it was a fabulous shot, which saved Mississippi State from overtime without its All American Center.

Now for the back story.

Two nights before, the semi-final game score was tied up by a long Mississippi State 3-pointer with a few seconds remaining. Louisville ran a fast break. The only Mississippi State player in position to defend was its All American center. 

A Louisville player was going in for an easy lay up and the All- American center gave the opponent a shoulder, an obvious foul. The layup was missed and the opponent was forced off the court under the basket as time ran out. No foul was called. 

If a foul had been called, the opponent would have had at least two foul shots. Making just one would have won the game for Louisville. 

The game went into overtime and Louisville didn't show up.

Mississippi State advanced to the finals after an obvious last-second foul was not called on Mississippi State's All-American center.

My older daughter is married to Mississippi State's Athletic Director. They were at that game last night, in Columbus, Ohio. I know they are heartbroken. 

My dreams last night were very clear, though, that I have to report last night's game as I see it. 

Besides the Louisville game karma described above, the deciding factor in last night's game was fouls. Notre Dame made fewer fouls and made more fouls shots. 

Down here in fair and foul Key Way West of Weird ...
The day before yesterday's post at this website included a Key West Citizen Editorial slamming Key West's love affair with tourism, and a few of my interjected thoughts. 

The editorial and my review of it ended:

What to do? We are now at an opportune time to ponder the status of Key West as we are facing city mayoral and commission elections next fall. We need political leadership in our town now that will focus on the real needs of our city, its strengths and how to restore and burnish its beauty. Simple issues such as renewing our hardwood canopy, heavily destroyed in recent years, truly grappling with the Duval Street congestion and filth, devoting time and effort to better parks and playing fields for our children, dealing firmly but kindly with our entrenched homeless population, and developing a real policy on mainland tour buses that clog city streets are all items that candidates for office should reflect on.
— The Citizen
This mayor candidate, who has run 5 times before, will reflect on that last paragraph. Stay tuned.
Taking those recommendations one at a time ...

renewing our hardwood canopy heavily destroyed in recent years ...

Hmmm. How about wandering around Key West and taking in its impressive hardwood canopy, most of which is not indigenous but was imported a long time ago. Then how about wandering around any other ,ey and comparing its hardwood canopy to Key West's?

Hmmm. How about electing a mayor who will bring a resolution banning God and Mother Nature from bringing hurricanes to Key West, and a resolution ordering God and Mother Nature to cause newly planted indigenous hardwood trees to grow many times faster than they were designed to grow?

Or, how about electing a mayor who will bring a resolution banning any new private residential development in Key West, and who will bring a resolution making it a huge fine and a jail offense to cut down any mature tree in Key West that does not pose an immediate and dangerous threat to human life and/or property?

truly grappling with the Duval Street congestion and filth ...

Hmmm. To accomplish that would require closing all the lower Duval Street dirty T-shirt shops, cosmetic-scam shops, strip joints, whore houses, drug dens and bars. 

The city street cleaning department does a good job cleaning up the previous night's disgusting litter on Duval Street and the crossing streets. 

How about electing a mayor who will bring a resolution for Duval street to close, say, an hour before sunset through the night, to all but pedestrian foot traffic? Let restaurants set up sidewalk cafes during that time. Let artists, musicians, poets and street performers ply their wares on Duval Street during that time.

devoting time and effort to better parks and playing fields for our children ...

I reported the other day, my role in helping a local chess player, who is considerably better than me at that ancient "video game", start an after school and Saturday afternoon free chess school in the Douglass Gymnasium complex in Bahama Village. The city's historic black community, which today is more ethnically mixed but still predominantly African-American.

It looks to me that Key West, for its size and location and the land available, has a lot of playing fields and gymnasiums for our children, and is working hard to create even more, for example, Little Hamaca park near the airport. 

As for parks children can use, land shortage is a problem for creating more parks. There is Higgs Beach Park, which some children use, and which many more could use. several acres of Higgs Beach Park are basically fallow. However, that is a county park and the county would have to do it.

Bayview Park is not presently designed for children. It has a small play gym next to the tennis courts. It has a nice lighted basketball court, but most of Bayview is open space, with no benches or picnic tables. 

I suppose Bayview could be turned into a nice water park? Or an amusement park. But would that preclude events that now happen there, such as the Thursday farmers market, the annual seafood festival, the free children movies, and other repeating and special events? 

Gosh, what a great park for children could have been created on Truman Waterfront. Tiny Truman Beach on the outer mole is the prettiest beach in Key West. Right next to Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, which costs the city nothing.

Any park for children necessarily has preclude homeless people from being there, because of how many homeless people behave.

dealing firmly but kindly with our entrenched homeless population ...

Appoint the skinhead Mike Tolbert, below, to be the city's Homeless Czar. 
Give Mike unlimited authority to deal with homeless people as he sees fit. 

Here's an indication of how Mike feels about homeless people and politics, which was in emails from him to me the other day:

"Losing shelter job was a BLESSING for me. I don't have whiney Entitled dirtbags to deal with now! and can Do ME full time. Only hopmeless I help are the ones that are not ASSHOLE DRUNKS and Dirtbags! Fuck the others!"

"DAMN RIGHT my car has a confederate front plate on it! Nothing Illegal or wrong with that Snowflake!"

Mike and his wife evacuated to the mainland before Hurricane Irma reached Key West. Mike's business is finding day labor work for homeless and other men needing work, for which Mike is paid a commission by his employer.

Before Irma came, Mike was managing KOTS, the city's homeless shelter, as an employee of Southern Assistance Homeless League (SHAL), which is paid by the city to run KOTS. 

After Mike was fired by his boss, John Miller, SHAL's then executive director, Mike blasted Miller, SHAL and KOTS on Facebook. Why Mike was fired was disputed. Mike claimed it was because he blew the whistle on things wrong with Miller, SHAL and KOTS. Miller/SHAL claimed Mike was fired for reopening KOTS after Irma, before the city approved KOTS being reopened. Mike was still on the mainland when he reopened KOTS.

While Mike was the KOTS manager, former city commissioner Teri Johnston, now a mayor candidate, was the SHAL board of directors member who pushed for the City Commission to grant SHAL a no-bid contract to build the new KOTS. The money for it would come from a construction loan greater than the cost of building the new KOTS. The excess loan proceeds would go to funding other SHAL programs. Teri's construction firm would build the new KOTS with the no bid contract and be paid out of the construction loan proceeds. The construction loan then would be rolled into a permanent loan to be paid off by SHAL which was living from hand to mouth. Both loans would be guaranteed by the city treasury.

I wonder how many of the Citizen Editorial Board members will vote for Teri Johnston in this year's mayor's race?

Instead of voting for the only mayor candidate who actually knows the various aspects of homelessness, because he has been homeless in Key West and elsewhere. Because he has stayed many nights at KOTS. 

Ah, but does the Editorial Board want a mayor who says Key West's homeless problems are small compared to many Florida mainland cities. 

Who says homelessness is as much a part of American society today as are political parties, religions, rich people, development, war, etc. 

Who says, if Key West Christians think they have been saved by the homeless man Jesus, then they really ought to take to heart his telling his disciples, as they did to the least of people around him, they did also to him.

Who says, the FEMA toilet and shower trailer at KOTS is a health hazard, which the County Health Department should shut down. Jail, prison and Guantanamo inmates have much nice and sanitary toilette and shower facilities, than KOTS.

Who says, a homeless shelter should not be put next to any residential neighborhood, it is madness to do that. 

Who says, the only sane place to for a homeless shelter in Key West is where KOTS now is, on the Sheriff's land.

Who says, better not to have a homeless shelter, than to put it next to a residential neighborhood.

Who says, if Key West people truly believe in the one human family philosophy, then they will do their best to apply it to dealing with the city's homeless people, instead of taking the KKK (Nazi) approach Mike Tolbert represents.  

What on earth was SHAL thinking, making Mike SHAL's manager? 

Why on earth was mayor candidate Teri Johnston not raising bloody hell about Mike being KOTS manager?

What on earth were Mayor Craig Cates and the 6 city commissioners thinking, not going out to KOTS and staying a night there, like I told them several times they should do, so they would know what KOTS really was like?

Other than me, how many mayor candidates have a clue what KOTS is like?

developing a real policy on mainland tour buses that clog city streets ...

Aw, shucks. Did you forget, or did you mean to not mention the privately-owned conch trains and trolleys and shuttles that have clogged city streets for a lot more years than mainland tour buses? 

Aw shucks, did you forget, or did you mean to not mention that you yourselves don't walk or ride bicycles where you go in the city? That you are part of what clogs city streets and contribute to the acute parking space shortage.

Aw shucks, mainland tour busses are a pain in the ass, for sure. But, they have federal protection to use federal roads. US 1 is a US highway, which runs from the mainland to Duval Street in Key West. You want to stop that. Blow up Cow Key Bridge just above Key West. That will cure the drive-down tourist problem, too. And, the many workers commuting to Key West daily will not be clogging its streets, either. 

Or, don't allow tour buses to park in city parking lots, or on city street sides, or in shopping center parking lots. Fine the hell out of them when they do. Arrest their drivers and put them in jail. Let their passengers ride the lower Keys Shuttle back to Marathon, or Greyhound back to Miami.

Meanwhile, do you know that Florida law allows bicyclists to use sidewalks, and when on sidewalks bicyclists assume all the rights and duties of pedestrians? I learned that a few days ago from a Key West police officer, who cited from memory the Florida Statute numbers.

Chapter 316 

316.2065 Bicycle regulations.

(9) A person propelling a vehicle by human power upon and along a sidewalk, or across a roadway upon and along a crosswalk, has all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.

The police officer also said electric-powered bicycles are illegal on sidewalks.

316.1995 – Driving upon Sidewalk or Bicycle Path

(1) Except as provided in s. 316.008 (local authorities powers) or s. 316.212(8) (Local authorities and golf carts), a person may not drive any vehicle other than by human power upon a bicycle path, sidewalk, or sidewalk area, except upon a permanent or duly authorized temporary driveway.
3) This section does not apply to motorized wheelchairs.

Meanwhile, thousands of tour ship passengers clog Old Town city sidewalks and streets most days, and ride conch trains and trolleys, which would go out of business if there were no cruise ships calling on Key West. 

The dirtiest, worst possible cruise ships are calling on Key West Ships with lousy sewage treatments plants. Ships that dump their effluent and food wastes offshore.

The ocean here is full of MRSA bacteria. Local divers and physicians know that if you go into the ocean with a nick or scratch on your skin, you might get MRSA. Local physicians are treating MRSA ongoing. It's pandemic in Key West and the Florida Keys.
MRSA is a mutated staphylococcus bacteria, which is fatal if not treated, and is very hard to completely cure. Most locals know about the MRSA threat, but I doubt any tourists do.

How many other mayor candidates do you think reflected on MRSA, or on anything else I raised in answer to your editorial questions?
Sloan for mayor
political advertisement 
paid for and prepared by him

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