WHITEHEAD STREET

I frequently drive over Whitehead Street. I have always been impressed with the lines of people waiting at the Hemingway House and Southernmost Point.
Especially, this year. The lines are significantly longer. Almost to Truman re Hemingway House. More than halfway to Duval re the Southernmost Point.

Proof that not all tourists visit Key West to bar hop.

Whitehead Street is named after John Whitehead. Whitehead is often described as one of the First Developers of Key West. Also, one of four persons recognized as Key West’s Founding Fathers.

Strangely, Whitehead spent only spent 8 years of his life in Key West. He left in 1832. Only returned once thereafter. In 1861, during the Civil War.

John Whitehead’s younger brother, William Adee Whitehead, spent his life in Key West. He was editor of the Enquirer, a local newspaper. William platted the main arteries of Key West. He named four streets after the four Founding Fathers. His brother John Whitehead being one.

The name is still in use today on the same street located in the same place. The home today of the Hemingway House and the Southernmost Point.

Burmese pythons are back in the news. I have written and talked about them for several years. The pythons have propagated themselves to the point that State officials admit they can never be eradicated. Present attempts are to control the python population.

The latest news is that where ever the Burmese pythons are, small mammals disappear.

A University of Florida research team wanted to be sure the cause was pythons. Thirty marsh rabbits were outfitted with radio collars. The researchers could then track the rabbits via the signals. In most instances, the tracking led to a python. No marsh rabbits in sight. The radio collar signaling from the inside of a python stomach.

The conclusion apparent. Burmese pythons are ingesting small mammals.

I made a mistake re how our bocce team is doing. I had the numbers wrong. They are better than represented. My team is 17-4 and we are in second place. A definite first! We have never experienced such a start.

My blog talk radio show tonight. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. At 9, my time. A quick half hour of interesting observations. Most eye openers. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

Topics tonight include Bill Gates’ comments re concrete production in the U.S. and China, DEA sexual activities  and how treated, Topeka Police Department’s new rule that every time a car is stopped all occupants must raise their hands, a comparative review of the U.S. health system, Roundup claimed to be drinkable by a scientist who then refused a glass when offered to him, and more.

Big evening last night! A couple of hours in the Chart Room chatting with the bartender, grocery shopping at Publix, and a prescription pick up at Walgreens.

I lead an exciting life!

Hip still sore. My body still aching. Slept again last night in the recliner chair. Not the best sleep. Better than no sleep at all, however.

Enjoy your day!

JIMMY BUFFETT RETURNS

I begin with good news and bad news.

The good news concerns Jimmy Buffett. He returns to Key West wednesday evening. He will appear at the San Carlos. The place is booked solid. No room at the inn.

Being Jimmy Buffett, he once again went a step further. He has financed the placement of a big screen on Higgs Beach wednesday night. His concert from San Carlos will be aired live on the beach screen. Free!

The beach will definitely be overloaded.

Buffett’s concert is at 7:30. His daughter is starting the Higgs Beach event at 4:30. A mini Woodstock in the making.

The bad news. The Key West City Commission has under consideration paying retired police and firemen a 13th monthly check. The union has asked for the generosity advising that the pensions of many are under the poverty level. Many are struggling on fixed incomes and most do not have health care.

My response is simple. A big NO!

There are many in Key West living on fixed incomes and do not have health plans. What of them?

The union has a hell of a nerve asking for the extra check. Why didn’t they negotiate more money and a health care plan back when?

Social Security is the sole income for many seniors. Monthly check payments for most are definitely below the poverty level. Will they get a 13th monthly check?

The problem police and fire retirees are experiencing is the same many others are in the United States. Retirees from other occupations included. It is part of the times we live in. Unless part of the 1 percent, we are all in bed together.

It is reported the City Commission is wary of the request and has tabled it for a vote. I am wary of the City Commission. They blow taxpayer dollars on a consistent basis. They spend money like they are the Koch Brothers. The difference being that with the Koch Brothers the money is theirs. With the City Commission, it is not. They are taxpayer dollars as opposed to personal monies.

Pru Sowers has written an excellent article on the request for a 13th monthly payment to police and fire retirees. The article is pure factual reporting. It appears in this morning’s KONK Life E-Blast.

Vehicle traffic is unquestionably a Key West problem. Especially during tourist season. Too many cars for too few and too narrow streets.

Today’s Key West Citizen’s Citizens’ Voice suggests a solution. Limit the number of cars permitted in certain areas of Key West.

Paris began such a system this past week. They have devised a plan used once before. It worked then and is expected to work now. It will cut the number of cars coming into Paris center by 50 percent.

The Paris problem is different from Key West’s. The solution perhaps the same. Paris has an extreme pollution problem. It is now said that Paris is the worst city in the world for air pollution. So bad, that on mist days smog completely envelops the city. The Eiffel Tower cannot be seen.

The Key West City Commission should study the Paris solution. Of course, they probably will only do so after spending $200,000 on a study. And then, they will neither use the study nor provide any solution to the traffic problem.

I spent yesterday writing this week’s KONK Life column. Things We Should Know. Very interesting! An eye opener in many instances. The article publishes wednesday.

Enjoy your day!

PALM SUNDAY

Palm Sunday is significant in most Christian churches. It was in the Catholic Church I knew.

Key West probably never had a problem with palm sufficiency. Up north in Utica, I can recall a time when palms were scarce for some reason. Either costly or unavailable. Instead of getting all the palms you wanted at Mass, one had to settle for a single branch.

Palm Sunday was special in the Italian tradition. Palms were exchanged. Family and friends would come to our house and exchange palms with us. Followed by coffee. We went to certain homes and exchanged palms.

It was family dinner time! In and of itself should not have excited me. Every Sunday was family dinner time at my grandparents’.

I had an uncle who was talented in manipulating the palm branches. He could make crosses of all sizes, little hats, etc. It was always good to see him as I would walk away with a lot of “loot”.

The celebration of Palm Sunday commemorates Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. Palm branches were placed in his path.

When palms were plentiful, my neighborhood Catholic Church had many palms left over. When the shortage hit, I assume they kept some. The reason being that this year’s left over palms are needed for the next year’s Ash Wednesday. The left over palms burned. The ashes used to put  thumbprints on the foreheads of the faithful.

This morning’s Key West Citizen’s Keys History section carries a post card picture of  Little White House and Naval Station circa 1910. What a difference from today

The Little White House had an excellent ocean view. There were no buildings between the Little White House and ocean. Condos, other buildings and the boardwalk  not yet built. The water was a short uninterrupted walk out the back door of the Little White House.

I spent yesterday afternoon researching this week’s KONK Life column. About things most people are not aware, but should know. I will write the column today. I have not decided on a title yet.

Last night was me and a busy Key West. Tourist driven.

I went for dinner to Tavern ‘n Town. Wanted to listen to Bobby Nesbitt, also. No way, Jose! the place was mobbed. Not a bar stool available. Bobby said it was crazy. I agreed and left.

My next stop was the Chart Room. I figured to run into some people I knew and quietly drink the evening away. No luck, again! The Chart Room was packed. Very much so. No locals. I was not in the mood to meet and chat with strangers.

Turned around and walked over to the Hot Tin Roof. Same situation. Tons of tourists. No problem, however, a table in the bar area was waiting.

Spoke with Joseph a bit. Joseph is the Hot Tin Roof manager. He is also the warden at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. A good man. We talked about St. Paul’s.

Then home. Could not sleep in bed again. My hip. Spent the night in the recliner chair. No problem. slept like a baby!

Enjoy your Sunday!

MODERN DAY HEMLOCK REFUSED

Monsanto, GMOs…..The cross society is being forced to bear.

The latest development regarding Monsanto’s super duper pesticide Roundup was in the news this past week. A Dr. Patrick Moore was appearing on a French talk show. Moore is pro-GMOs and anti-global warming. In many quarters, he is considered a spin doctor and truth bender for big oil, pesticides and GMO agribusinesses.

Dr. Moore said re Roundup, “You can drink a whole quart of it and it won’t hurt you.” The interviewer had a bottle of Roundup with him. Twice he offered  Dr. Moore a drink. Twice Dr. Moore refused. Dr. Moore prematurely concluded the interview with “I am not crazy” and “You are a complete jerk.” Following which Dr. Moore upped and walked out.

The American media continues failing to report negative GMO happenings. Newsweek and Huffington Post reported the interview. Plus, some ultra liberal publications. My question is where were other major media organizations? I have written and discussed this problem before. TV and the written media avoid knocking Monsanto and GMOs. A fact I attribute to corporate America controlling/owning both.

Socrates drank the hemlock with full knowledge of its dangerous composition. Dr. Moore refused to drink his hemlock.

There is a video of the interview floating around on the internet. Easy to find. Interesting to watch.

Crazy weather beginning yesterday afternoon. The day’s high was 86 degrees. Around supper time, the wind picked up, the shy darkened, thundering occurred, and the deluge was upon us. It remained so all night.

The temperature this morning is 67 degrees. The high will be 74. A 12 point drop from yesterday. Cold this morning and expected to be cold all day.

Most winds come from the north. The northwest to be precise. About six times a year, the wind comes from the south. The south wind is a sure sign a storm is on the way. Yesterday afternoon, the wind started coming in heavy from the south.

I can tell which way the wind is driving by how my palm trees bend.

The upstairs air conditioner required fixing. It had leaked big time the night before. It took Sub-Zero six hours to correct the problem. This is while the temperature was still 86 degrees. The upstairs was hot! I felt sorry for the Sub-Zero person.

Saw the doctor and had x-rays of my left hip. No fracture to either the hip or pelvis. Aleve and heat recommended. If it still hurts tuesday, return.

It still hurts. However, much less. I could not lie in bed last night. Spent the evening sleeping in the recliner lounge in my bedroom.

Amanda Knox is finally free free. The highest Italian court determined she and her boy friend were not guilty. The reason for the decision was not included. Under Italian law, the court has 90 days to deliver its written decision.

I remained home last night. The hip and I in the recliner from early evening. A good evening, however. Man of La Mancha on Turner and NCAA basketball on CBS. I was flipping back and forth between the channels. A most enjoyable time!

Enjoy your day!

 

OH, THE PAIN

I hurt. The fall two days ago.

I woke yesterday morning sore all over. Tried bocce last night. Played only one game.

My night in bed was difficult. Could not find a spot without pain. It was my right hip. I could feel it swollen under the skin, but no discoloration.

This morning an abomination! Cannot sit, lay down or walk comfortably. My breath is taken away.

I am waiting to call the doctor. I can see x-rays or a CAT scan afterwards. I hope it is nothing more than a muscle pull.

Getting on in years is not a cup of tea!

Bocce last night went well. We won all three games. Record now 15-4. We are probably in second place. What a start!

My day started with a haircut. Lori always good company. We had a laughing conversation as she clipped away.

Another Harry Truman tid bit. On this day in 1952, he left Key West after a three week vacation. The second three week vacation I have reported recently. Part of the 175 days he spent in Key West.

I read an article yesterday to the effect that the number of Chinese coming to the United States for college educations had reached an unprecidented level. The report did not surprise me.

Many people read this blog. One is a Chinese mother presently living in San Francisco. She was here with her son who was a college student. When his education is complete, they would return to China. They were in the United States for the specific purpose of her son’s college education.

She told me the best educations were available in the U.S. She wanted her child to have the best. When they returned to China, her son would be better equipped for life than those his age who remained in China for college.

Enjoy your day!

 

 

GUINEA PIGS

Mosquitoes have always been a problem in the Florida keys. Fortunately there has existed for years a Mosquito Control Board in the keys that controls the problem. Not cheap to do.

Genetically modified organisms are on the scene. Male mosquitoes will be genetically modified which ultimately will result in very few mosquitoes being born. Mosquitoes which specifically carry dengue fever. Dengue fever is the concern.

A British company called Qxitec has come up with the GMO mosquito process. The process has only been tested in one place. Africa. Results not yet known.

The Mosquito Control board wants to test the use of  GMO mosquitoes. The Board plans to use Key Haven as its testing ground. I live in Key Haven. It is a relatively small island 2.5 miles outside Key West.

I believe money is the Board’s primary motivation. I recall reading somewhere a year ago that the use of GMO mosquitoes would dramatically reduce the costs of operation.

Qxitec and the Board have yet to receive necessary federal approvals to proceed with what in fact would be a test. It is anticipated the feds will give permission.

The dengue fever problem is not of consequence in the keys. 2009 and 2010 saw 22 and 66 cases respectively. There have been no dengue fever cases since. World wide, the cases are in the millions. Also there have been outbreaks in the past two years of consequence in the Miami area.

I dislike being a guinea pig for the GMO mosquitoes. I do not want the test to be conducted on and over Key Haven. My concern is a health one. No one knows what the consequences will be. I am worried the process may have a bad consequence. What happens 10 years from now if after effects are experienced? Cancer for one.

The plan is not for me and my grandchildren who play and swim at my home. Selfish, but that is the way I feel.

I sat with real writers yesterday. Rick and Cynthia Boettger and Pru Sowers. We met at Rick and Cynthia’s for a drink and some chatter. I enjoyed the experience.

I fell again. Second time in three weeks. As I entered the house for the first time and walked through the living room into the kitchen, I did not notice there was step down into the kitchen. Down I went! Embarrassing. This morning my whole right side hurts.

I have to stop falling down. It is either old age or I do not march where I am walking. I suspect it is the latter. What really bothers me is that I am my father’s child. He started falling down at my age.

Afterwards, stopped at Don’s Place. Chatted with Don, David, Stan, Clare, Nate and John. The topic bocce. What else?

We play bocce tonight. The team is doing great. We are 12-4. The best start ever. Hope we can keep it going.

It was John’s birthday yesterday. Belated greetings, John!

Stopped at Tavern ‘n Town for dinner on the way home.

The Republicans are on a roll. Their proposed budget includes cuts in Social Security. I would like to see members of Congress trying to live on $1,000 to $1,500 a month. They also want to cut food stamps. 46.5 million are presently on food stamps. Food stamps do not buy much. Whatever, the Republicans apparently want those less fortunate eat bread.

Enjoy your day!

OBAMACARE?

I had a strange experience yesterday. One you may have had.

I was scheduled for my annual dermatologist visit. When I arrived, the waiting room was empty. Unusual! Generally full, sometimes standing room only.

I signed in for my 11 o’clock appointment. I could see from the sign in sheet that there had already been many patients treated before me. I sat and waited to be taken. Less than 2 minutes. Again, unusual.

I was taken into the examining room. A nurse asked me a few questions. Took less than a minute. Then, a brief wait alone till the doctor came in. However, the doctor did not come in. A nurse practitioner or comparable professional did.

I said I always see the doctor. She told me no problem. I will get him. I am not offended. I opted to stay with the nurse practitioner.

Warmth was not one of her virtues.

She examined my body, up and down, sideways, etc. Nothing was found. See you in a year.

Her exam took all of a minute. Two at the most.

I was done. I had gone into the examining room at 10:55 and was out at 11:02.

The whole thing was cold, efficient and brief.

Is this the new way? In and out quickly? Has Obamacare affected a doctor’s charges that dramatically?

I blame neither the doctor nor his staff. There was something different involved however. Dramatically. I could only think of Obamacare.

Interestingly, my primary care doctor and heart doctor still take the usual time to perform their duties. I do not walk out of their offices feeling cheated and wondering if the exam was sufficient.

My blog talk radio show last night. I spent a lot of time discussing Lou Harris and Ho Chi Minh. The Ho Chi Minh portion having more to do with how we fight our wars. The show is archived and available on Blog Talk Radio, You Tube, and the Key West Lou Facebook page.

Will we ever learn? When will the public and/or our political leaders recognize a rip off in the making?

I refer to the proposed changes re building heights and flood insurance.  I sense the changes will pass.

Unfortunately, the program is a rip off. No bargain for homeowners. To save $1,000 to $2,000 a year will require at the very least a $25,000 improvement to property to lift the house 1-5 feet. The dollars do not work.

As to insurance savings, by the time the homeowner pays off the cost of the property lift, insurance rates will have naturally gone up. The anticipated savings will no longer exist.

The Brooklyn Bridge is being offered.

Pru Sowers has an excellent and more detailed review of the issues involved in her column in today’s KONK Life’s E-Blast. Sowers lays it out factually. Takes no position.

KONK Life hits the stands today. Read my column for this week. Ho Chi Minh. A story of the Vietnam War.

Enjoy your day!

 

LOU HARRIS A PART OF AMERICAN HISTORY

I enjoyed last evening’s talk by Lou Harris tremendously. He was the final speaker in the 2015 Friends of the Key West Library Speakers Series. Harris is 94. He has been a part of American history. He is respectfully known today as the Dean of American Pollsters.

Harris was an intimate of former Presidents. Roosevelt, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon. He shared some Johnson quirks. Humorous. He knew Joe Kennedy very well.

He decried today’s pollsters. They give he who is paying the bill what they want. Not necessarily the truth. Romney being an example. He sees Hillary as the next President. However, the e mails will be a problem for her. He thought Elizabeth Warren would be a more exciting candidate.

Harris recognized the growing strength/power of women. They are rapidly become leaders. Simply because they are better equipped to handle problems.

Education a problem. Our children not getting a proper education. Unless remedied, it could lead to the United States becoming the biggest banana republic ever. Also, children cannot learn if 16 percent go to school hungry.

He was clear that racial problems must be fixed.

He damned corporate America.

The evening was a pleasurable experience for me.

I was with June hudson. We stopped at La Concha after the talk for a drink. Ran into Aaron and Karen. Then to the Hot Tin Roof for dinner. Did some sataki.

On the way to our cars, it started raining. Pouring a better description. We ducked into the Chart Room till the rain stopped. It poured all night also. It is still raining heavy as I write. Strange because we are no where close to the rainy season.

Met Louis Snow for the first time at the Chart Room. Snow is a retired attorney from Skaneateles, N.Y. Home also of my friends Dan and Lisa Reardon. He knows them.

Snow is a frequent visitor to Key West. His present trip for 6-8 weeks.

I hope we run into each other again this trip. I would enjoy sharing war stories with an attorney who practiced in some of the same court rooms as I did.

My blog talk radio show tonight at 9. Tuesday Talk with Key West Lou. Join me. The topics interesting. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou..

Topics such as Russia giving Denmark a nuclear warning, Andorra becoming the new place for money to be laundered, a police impersonator who had the misfortune of pulling over a real cop, a woman who was convicted of killing her child and had served 20 plus years being released because the proof against her was grossly unreliable, the Phoenix Zoo discovering after two years that a two year old bear was a female and not male, and more.

Another morning where I have to hustle. I have a late morning appointment with my dermatologist. A routine six month check up.

Enjoy your day!

 

LOU HARRIS

Key West weather continues to be outstanding! The best! This morning everything is calm. Nothing moving. Soon the breeze will start coming in off the ocean. Then, everything moves!

I will be attending the Friends of the Key West Library Lecture Series this evening. The last presentation of the year. Lou Harris is the featured speaker. I am excited!

Lou Harris is 94. He has lived and experienced first hand much of the American political scene since 1960. Harris in his former life was a pollster. His company was known as the Harris Poll.

Prominence came his way with the 1960 Presidential election. John Kennedy hired Harris to run polls during the campaign. Prior to 1960, polls were not used.

Two years later in 1962, Harris devised the system whereby the media could project a winner immediately or within minutes of the polls closing. His system with a few modifications is still used today.

He was also a journalist and author. His respect grew and he became known as a political analyst.

I am excited because the man is history in the flesh. He has been there most of my adult life. I am finally going to see and hear him.

June Hudson is joining me. Afterwards, we will grab a bite somewhere downtown.

I did two things yesterday. Wrote Ho Chi Minh and watched March Madness. A full day. A pleasant day.

Ho Chi Minh is my KONK article for this week. It publishes wednesday. A bit of the Vietnam story and the person on the other side who led the Vietnamese forces.

A couple of upsets yesterday. What basketball at this time of the year is all about. Kentucky is still hanging in there.

People can be cruel. Age matters not as to the perpetrator(s).

Jim Boeheim has been in the news in recent weeks re Syracuse basketball. His daughter Jamie is a high school freshman. She was playing in a state wide basketball tournament in Troy over the weekend. Troy is a good 140 miles from Syracuse.

When she went into the game, the crowd heckled her with…..Where’s the cheater? She kept her head high and scored a basket within seconds of entering the game. Her answer to the chant. The crowd stopped at that moment.

A class act! As is her father!

Correction. I made a mistake in yesterday’s blog. A faux pas. I was discussing the Chicago mayoral race and said…..Garcia is also being supported by the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson. I meant to say Emanuel, not Garcia, was so supported.

I find it amazing. I proof read each blog 4-5 times. Occasionally, I miss something. Yesterday was one of those days.

Enjoy your day!

SATURDAY NIGHT AT TAVERN ‘N TOWN

Tavern ‘n Town has become a locals’ hang out saturday nights. The food is good and Bobby Nesbitt entertains. Many saturday nighters are Bobby Nesbitt fans. Yours truly, one.

A lot of hellos. Last night Bob Frachette. A little later, his wife Lynda. Peter Batty stopped by. Besides being a businessman, Peter serves as a Deacon at St. Mary’s by the Sea. His religious dedication impressive.

Met two interesting gentlemen who were seated next to me at the bar. Cal Collier and his son, Cal Collier, Jr. The father now lives in Charleston, the son Atlanta.

The senior Collier is Calvin J. Collier. He was Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission under President Ford. Son Cal is a marketing consultant. I also sensed he might be a sport fisherman.

They visit Key West 3-4 times a year. Both love Key West. The conversation suggested they might some day buy a home in Sugarloaf.

They are staying at the Marriott Beachside and expressed their great pleasure with the hotel and its facilities.

Key West people in the making. Soon hopefully with us full time.

My day yesterday was spent researching this week’s KONK Life column. I have to get it to the editor today for wednesday publication.

The subject is Ho Chi Minh. Prime Minister, President, and military leader of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. His experiences as a young man and in early adult life especially interesting. The molding of a leader.

Since mid season, I have been mentioning Villanova as perhaps winner of the Final Four. Coach Jay Wright had put together a spectacular team. They only lost 3 games during the season and were a #1 seed in the big tournament.

Last night, Villanova lost. To North Carolina State, a #8 seed. An upset!

I caught Coach Wright’s comments after the game…..We were beat by a better team tonight…..they played better than us tonight. The emphasis on tonight.

That’s how it goes!

Howard Dean is a doctor turned politician. He served as Governor of Vermont. He has been a candidate for the Democrat nomination for President. I have wondered why Obama did not put Dean on his team.

I may have come upon the reason yesterday. Dean may be a bit of a loose cannon in more ways than merely ranting and raving.

Obama’s friend and former Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is running for his second term as Chicago Mayor. The election was recently. There is a run off. Jesus Garcia and Emanuel. A David v. Goliath race.

Dean should be supporting Emanuel. He is not. He is supporting Garcia.

Emanuel is being supported by the Koch Brothers and Sheldon Adelson. Big hitters. Money men with the Republican right.

A strange election! Politics does make for strange bedfellows.

Enjoy your sunday!