A MESS…..PARKING AND TRAFFIC

As Key West’s popularity grows, so too its parking and traffic problems. To the point of exasperation!

City leaders have done their best to remedy the problem. The City Commission has spent six figure money on studies.

Nothing has worked.

The newest approach…..Let the people work it out.

The City Commission is considering approving a six member temporary commission to make recommendations re parking and traffic congestion. The committee would sit for six months. Unpaid. Each Commissioner would appoint one person to the committee.

Can’t be worse than those who have been paid. Maybe better. Those who live in Key West year round have a better handle on the problem.

My sense is the only solution must be a dramatic one. Something not thought of yet. The obvious has not worked.

An observation never taken into consideration. Key West is a tiny island. Four by 1.5 miles. The island is capable of sinking.

A humorous observation! Written with tongue in cheek.

Another consideration is the successful advertising/selling of Key West. More and more visitors every year.

If getting around becomes a problem, if the crowd becomes overbearing, people will go elsewhere. Property values will become reasonable. Key West will return to the serenity of days gone by.

Might not be bad.

Aqua last night. Dueling Bartenders. Tom Luna and Rick Dery.  Bobby Nesbitt guest vocalist.

Liz and friends at the bar. Enjoyed chatting with Liz.

Towards the end of the evening, Larry Smith showed up. I was surprised. Larry rarely frequents Aqua. He said he was driving by and saw Tom, Bobby and me. Decided to stop.

Glad he did. Larry and I rarely see each other these days.

We discussed why. Simple, I said. We have known each other 25 years. We got old. We no longer do Duval Street or go to parties as we did. We are old enough to think a night in front of the TV is fun. There are fewer and fewer of us each year.

Horrible!

Houston and the Texas gulf coast terrible! Even today people are being saved. And the rain continues. I worry about one of the dams overflowing. the water held back is inches from the top.

The past few days have been Harvey’s time. The next few will continue so. In 2005, there was another hurricane. Katrina.  A category 3. Devastated New Orleans.

I mention Katrina because it was on this day in 2005 that Katrina made landfall.

Katrina has been regarded as the worst natural disaster in our history. Harvey will replace Katrina.

Remember Paul Newman in HUD. He carried a bottle of Jack Daniel’s around most of the movie.

Jack Daniel sales shot up. Men switched for a while. All wanted to look like HUD’s Paul Newman. The tilt of the head, walk, etc.

Want to share a bit about Jack Daniel’s.

Jack Daniel’s is a whiskey. The distillery opened in 1866 in Lynchburg, Tennessee. One year after the Civil War ended and the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution which ended slavery.

A co-founder of the distillery was Jack Daniel.

A former slave became an employee of the new distillery. Nathan “Nearest” Green. Nearest knew everything about distilling whiskey. He soon became head stiller. In later years, the title was changed to master distiller.

Nearest was the first African-American master distiller of record in the United States.

His descendants have continued to work at Jack Daniel’s. Three of Nearest’s sons and four grandchildren while he was still alive. Several generations of descendants. Three working at Jack Daniel’s today.

Lynchburg has another distinction. Davy Crockett lived there a while.

You may wonder at this point why I am recounting Jack Daniel’s and Nearest.

Lynchburg rests in the heart of the Confederacy. Tennessee. Left the Union. Supported the South.

The name Lynchburg  struck me as strange. Lynching of blacks so popular they named a town after it? My initial reaction was pursuant to the political correctness of today, the name would have to be changed.

Made sense. Till I researched from whence the name came.

Judge Lynch. Some sort of War of 1812 hero. I could find nothing connecting him to slavery.

Should the name still be changed? It does bring to mind a grievous act involving blacks.

I leave the judgment to those who support the removal of statues and memorials.

There is a memorial that should come down. On the lawn in front of the County Courthouse in Lynchburg rests a monument to Confederate soldiers.

No question, it should come down under present standards of political correctness.

So there is no misunderstanding, my position is to leave any remembrances of the Confederacy alone. Like it or not, regardless of color, they are a part of America’s history.

My podcast tonight. Nine my time. Join me. www.blogtalkradio.com/key-west-lou.

So many topics. Not sure yet which I will explore in the show’s fast moving half hour.

Enjoy your day!

MASQUERADE PARADE

One of the most famous Fantasy Fest events is Masquerade March. Thousands participate. More than 10,000. Primarily locals. Dressed, faces painted, etc.

The March starts at the Key West Cemetery and winds its way up to Duval. It became so big that several years ago a second route from the cemetery had to be added.

There are those who walk and those who party. I partied.

I had many friends with homes on Fleming. The original parade route. They all threw parties. Porch parties. Good food and drink. I was always invited to someone’s home.

Those on the street and those on the porches all had fun!

The March starts today at 5. Participate or watch. Either way, you will enjoy.

I no longer watch the March. I no longer have a porch to view the March from. My friends have either passed on or moved away.

My hair appointment with Lori at Blown Away was at noon. Blown Away is on Southard, a few doors down from Duval. No parking anywhere. Took me 15 minutes to find a spot.

Jay is operating his new sandwich shop Cuzzy Bubbaz on Southard next to Bank of America. A soft opening. Working the quirks out before an official opening.

I had lunch at Jay’s. Not run of the mill. Enjoyed three kobe beef sliders. Delicious!

Then to the doctor for my flu shot.

I was driving home when the rain hit. Torrential! Hard to see! Continued most of the afternoon. A cold wind accompanying the rain.

The rain took care of my last night. No toga party for me. As much as I enjoy viewing a woman’s naked body, not in the rain.

Bocce was the other option. Telephoned Don. Rained out as I expected.

My evening was spent home. Dinner was Chinese delivery. Egg drop soup and egg rolls. The balance of the evening spent playing around with my Hackley type installments which will start soon.

A new national law turned out to be a boon for Key West. It was January 1920. The Volstead Act went into effect. Alcohol banned in the United States.

Key West’s economy boomed as a result. Rumrunning. The rum coming in from Cuba to the United States through Key West.

No Syracuse football tomorrow. A bye week. Going to need it. Clemson next week.

Heard from Anna in Novara. I had written telling her that Italian President Renzi was a hit during his recent visit to the U.S. She was upset. Her position is that Renzi is doing a lousy job and disliked by most Italians.

I had written because recently Italy had an earthquake. I was concerned for Anna. Should not have been. It was nowhere near her.

I recall five years ago when I was staying at Anna’s apartment in Novara. An earthquake hit. A big one. The after quakes even worse.

Anna was crazy running around screaming. I too was concerned, but sat quietly till everything was over.

The Statue of Liberty. Dedicated by President Grover Cleveland this date 1886.

I came across a note that the Statue had 354 steps. I went up each one.

I was 4-5 years old. My dad took me. We were going to the top! The top then the crown. The arm had become too weak to proceed further.

The staircase a narrow circular metal round one.

No way was I able to climb all 354 steps. I was a kid. Got tired. My father carried me half the way.

The trip was worth it. My father held me so I could look out the windows in the crown. To me, amazing. The view spectacular. It went on and on. A wow for a young boy.

I sometimes wonder how things can happen.

Luis Carlos Vega is the Chief Magistrate of the Supreme Court of the Mexican state of Jalisco. The chief judge of the highest court.

He took a leave of absence from the position yesterday. Probably never to return.

The Magistrate was convicted of manslaughter in 1984 when he ran over a woman. Killed her. While driving a stolen car.

No jail time. The system was to pay a reparation. He did.

The blot on his record was only recently discovered.

Never would happen in the U.S.! The media knows everything or soon discovers everything.

Tonight. What does it hold for me? I do not know. I do plan on being out.

Enjoy your day!

 

TERRI ON THE MEND

It was back to the Lower Keys Medical Center at 8 yesterday morning for the CAT scan. Properly home medicated before hand.

I thought I would have to go through Admissions again. I had no order form this time. No papers. I felt like my grandfather when he was getting off the boat from Italy.

Not a problem. The radiologist was waiting for me at the door to the hospital. She took me by the hand and lead me to her department. Telling me I needed nothing. She was using monday’s paper work.

The whole thing took 15 minutes. The radiologist was Mechelle. I spelled it correctly. That is the way her parents spelled it. A Navy family.

I was wobbly when I got off the table. Continued to walk a bit unsteady. Into the elevator and up to the third floor. Wobbly walk continued as I entered Terri’s room.

The radiologist told me not to drive. I might feel that way. I did.

Donna a good friend. She picked me up and after returned me to my home. Donna was with Terri. The hospital is 5 minutes from my home. Donna was happy to get out of the hospital for a few minutes. She has been sleeping overnight on a chair in Terri’s room.

Terri looked terrific! She looked like death warmed over monday. The doctors still do not know why her kidneys were screwed up. A high number. Now coming down.

Her immediate problem was blood. they discovered tuesday night she was losing blood. Gave her two pints. That is why Terri was herself when I saw her.

She was hungry when she woke. First time she ate while in the hospital. She was sitting up in bed paying her bills over her cell phone when I arrived.

Don’s Place first last night. Chatted with David, Toni and Becca.

Then to the Back Door at Aqua and Mark Watson. Mark very concerned about Terri. They are close.

Quiet. Three guys in drag walked through.

Parking is a gigantic problem during Fantasy Fest. Does not exist. Lucky to find a spot 8-10 blocks away. To visit Back Door, I park in the public lot behind the new fire station. Not last night. Signs all over the place…..No Parking.

A pain in the ass. Obviously the City is preparing to use the lot for the remainder of Fantasy Fest for something else. Probably the buses bringing in out of town tourists who come in for a day from Miami. Typical City Commission attitude. Screw the locals!

I finally found a spot on the street after driving around a few minutes. City meter. $2 an hour. Same as in the parking lot. Much less convenient, however.

Then to Tavern ‘n Town for something to eat. Quiet. Every one downtown.

Soup and an appetizer. Followed by Key Lime pie. I had not had a piece in a while.

Michael entertaining. He took a long break and we chatted at the bar. Presidential politics.

Two guys sat next to me for a drink. We talked constantly. Primarily, Presidential politics.

One of the men was Bill Glowka from the Mecca, California area. A CPA. He was all aglow telling me about his participation with Galilee Center in California. He is a board member. The organization assists the needy.

Take a look at their website. An interesting operation. www.galileecenter.org.

I have begun asking people who they favor for President. Seems more Trump than Hillary. Many not voting. Several doing write ins.

The Trump supporters are middle aged men with out a college education. Blue collar workers. The women decidedly for Hillary. Those not voting think both are so bad that neither is worth their vote.

William Hackley has been writing the past several days of his hunting exploits. Must be the way food was put on the table in 1855. He generally shot ducks, teal and goose.

I finally get my flu shot today. Later than normal. I totally recommend the flu shot. Started 16 years ago. No flu since then. Prior to that time, I was good for three attacks a year.

USA Today ran an article yesterday saying that women will earn as much as men in 170 years. Don’t buy it! Today’s women will not stand for it. Equality will be achieved in the next decade.

Enjoy your day!

 

ELECTRIC CART ACCIDENT

It was inevitable. I knew someday I would see an accident involving an electric cart. I did yesterday.

The carts are dangerous on the Boulevards and US 1. Their speed limited. Motor vehicles traveling at faster speeds. The carts frequently holding up traffic in one lane.

The accident was on US 1. Two hundred feet north of Cross Street in the northbound lanes.

It was about 7 pm. I was on my way home from Publix. Stopped for the light on US 1 at Cross Street. First in line in the passing lane.

I was not specifically watching anything. Merely sitting and waiting for the light to change. Suddenly, I saw it! Not the accident itself. Probably a split second after the accident occurred.

I could not tell from 200 feet that the cart was a cart. Looked like a big box broken and sitting in the road. Next to it a black car. It was only as I creeped up to the scene that I saw it was an electric cart. Two in the cart. Someone laying under the cart, head in a pool of blood. A woman trying to stand holding on to the cart roof. Both middle aged.

Cart and car were severely damaged.

Workers from the garages and other businesses came running out. I could hear the ambulance siren. Someone waved me past the accident scene and indicated to continue down US 1.

The bottom line…..Do whatever necessary to keep the electric carts off the roads. Especially US 1 and the Boulevards. The carts accidents in the making.

My day yesterday began with Tammy. A manicure.

Her place of business well air conditioned. Last week it was blazing hot. The air conditioning down. She and husband Rick had to replace the entire unit.

Decided to lunch at Harpoon Harry’s. A nice feeling about the place.

Parking was a problem. One o’clock in the afternoon in the summer and no parking places available in the large parking lot on Caroline Street. Three cars stopped in parking lot lanes waiting for a spot to open. I finally found one across the street.

The City Commission bears responsibility for insufficient parking. There and everywhere else in Key West. The City recently remodeled the lot. Put in shrubbery. Took out 3-4 parking spots to create another exit spot. One which I have yet to see anyone use.

It has also been announced that some part of the area is going to be used for the day buses coming in from Miami. A place for the buses to park. Taking away more vehicle parking places.

The ham and eggs were excellent. Read the newspapers and enjoyed.

Only a half dozen patrons in Harpoon Harry’s. Made me wonder where all the people with cars in the lot were.

The Chart Room last night.

Tom and Fran Dixon from Buffalo were to have arrived yesterday. Thought I would run into them. Did not.

Stayed about two hours listening to mini-lobster divers recount their experience of the day. Tourists. They enjoyed the experience.

Stopped at Publix on the way home to pick up a few things.

It was on my way home from Publix that I observed the accident scene.

The Florida Mosquito Control District has more problems. This morning’s Key West Citizen reports that Executive Director Michael Doyle resigned effective September 1. He is leaving for a position with the State of North Carolina.

The Mosquito board has experienced a number of foul ups since the first of the year. The Oxitec situation. The $4.4 million approval for a new building. Even Doyle’s salary was questioned as being excessive.

Doyle did a good job till this year. I never see a mosquito. Zeka and Oxitec proved his down fall. The way he handled it. The $4.4 million building did not help. It could have been built a year a year ago for $2.2 million. The 45 percent tax raise approved last week did not help either.

William Hackley’s 1855 diary runs daily in the Key West Citizen continues to garner my attention. It is history in Key West in 1855. A day by day story.

Today, Hackley reported Baby better. Good! I worry about the baby making it. Mother can’t supply enough milk. Goat bought in from Havana was dry.

William himself was sick during the night. Took 4 Wright VG pills.

Looked up Wright VG pills. Best I could come up for the time was sleeping pills or vagina tightening tablets. Best bet is the tablets were sleeping pills.

Mini-lobster season has ended. Yesterday, no accidents. Authorities report a limited number of lobsters. Most boats returned with less than the 6 per person limit. Suggests a poor harvest season ahead.

My KONK Life column this week is Bagles. It was run in this morning’s E-Blast. The last 8 paragraphs were left out. It will be rerun tomorrow or sunday.

Watched the conclusion of the Democratic Convention last night. Thought it was excellent. Obviously. Made the Republican Convention come up poorly. Trump’s comments last night and this morning make him look poorly.

An ass! Incompetent! Dangerous!

Enjoy your day!