PROJECTS MOVE AT SNAIL’S PACE

My cold first. No better. Worse. Going to shower and go buy something over the counter to relief symptoms.

Key West does not get things done in a timely fashion. When it finally gets to a project, the costs are much more than anticipated.

Monroe County is guilty of similar sins. Especially in the lowers Keys.

The big news this morning is that Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores. More than half in the United States and a significant number in Brazil. Appears not to be a big deal. The cut backs represent less than one percent of Wal-Mart’s global revenue. Wal-Mart has 11,000 stores worldwide. The dent by reason of the closings insignificant.

A Wal-Mart has been scheduled for construction up U.S. 1. Not far from me and Key West. Everyone excited.

Where is the store? Construction not even started. Three years so far since the announcement.

I recall an article in the newspaper a couple of month’s ago that things were moving slowly. No one particular person’s fault. Enough guilt to go around.

It is a project in Monroe County. Monroe Country should ride herd on it and make sure things move. Enough of the excuses.

Key West the worst. The Truman waterfront property has been in the works 15 years. Ground breaking finally late last year. I do not believe any actual construction has begun.

Fifteen years has to be a record!

The Key West City Commission has the obligation to ride herd on projects within the City. No excuses. The City Commission is in charge.

I fear Wal-Mart is going to pull out and the Truman waterfront never gets done.

Between sneezes, a running nose and watering eyes yesterday, I researched for a column topic for this week’s KONK Life. Have not zeroed in on one yet.

Search your heart. Be generous. There but for the grace of God could go you and I.

Today’s Crime Report in the Key West Citizen tells of a 22 year old homeless person who was arrested in the 600 block of Duval yesterday for panhandling. He had $1,000 in cash in his pocket.

Syracuse plays Wake Forest at noon. I have no idea who will win.

Cruz’s $1 million loan from Goldman Sachs has come under scrutiny. Trump says he feels sorry for Cruz. However, the matter should be investigated and he hopes Cruz has no problem.

Cruz is not that old. I was not aware he was so rich he could borrow $1 million dollars and do it on margin. A high roller. Or, something amiss.

My concern is Trump and his banking. He has borrowed everywhere and in voluminous amounts. His projects very costly. The media should look into his banking record.

Fair is fair.

Enjoy your day!

SHERIFF’S ANIMAL FARM

One of the lesser known Key West attractions is the Sheriff’s Animal Farm. A shame. The Farm should be a must on everyone’s agenda. Young and mature alike.

The animals are varied. Some I have not even heard of. Not the typical zoo nor zoo type operation. The Farm is run by the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department. A deputy Sheriff in charge. Help provided by inmates.

The Farm is open only two Sundays per month. Today is one of those Sundays. From 1-3. The Farm is located on Stock Island. College Road just off U.S. 1.

There is no charge for admission. Donations appreciated.

There are so many dangers confronting society and government. Some must be dealt with. I am specifically referring this morning to Oath Keepers. A group 30,000 strong. Most former military people.

They were at Ferguson. Carrying guns. Doing whatever they wanted. Police avoided dealing with them.

They are the same group that defended the farmer in the 2014 Nevada stand off involving the Bureau of Land Management.

Oath Keepers announced in the past few days that they would protect Kim Davis from the Judge and U.S. Marshals. They planned on  having “boots on the ground” to prevent Davis from being arrested by U.S. Marshals. The group announced that Davis was under their protection stating the “Judge needs to be put on notice that his behavior is not going to be accepted and we’ll be there to stop it…..”

Not the way things should be done.

As a point of information, one of the most powerful persons in the United States is a federal district court judge. You don’t screw with them.

Fortunately, Davis’ attorney declined Oath Keeper’s offer of assistance.

Finished research re Gertrude Bell yesterday. Bell  known during her time as Queen of the Desert. She is frequently referred to today as the female Lawrence of Arabia.

I will be writing the column for KONK Life this afternoon.

Sloan here for a while in the afternoon. I have a new computer. She was helping me get everything on it.

I caught the last minute of the first half and the last three minutes of the second half of the Syracuse/Wake Forest game on TV. I was surprised it was being shown. It was on CBS.

Syracuse won 30-17. Can it be?

Living on a small island has a few negatives. One is rats. They used to be all over the place. The reason there were so many cats on the island. Almost every home had a cat.

There are few cats today. I read somewhere that iguanas have killed the cats. Apparently, rats do not scare iguanas.

One showed up dead in my home a few days ago. The smell was there. I could not find where it was coming from. The smell of a dead animal. Nor could Keith. Anna finally found the body. In a small closet under the stairs, the door off the kitchen. The rat apparently had come up from the crawl space under the house.

I am a coward at heart when it come to certain things. A rat, dead or alive, is one. It was Keith’s headache.

Keith removed the body yesterday. Washed the area down with Clorox.

The smell last night was Clorox. This morning, dead rat. The odor remains. There is a special odor item which will remove the rat smell completely. Keith’s headache. He will be at Home Depot today buying it.

There has not been a hurricane in the Keys for 10 years. Yet the biggest writer of insurance in the Keys, Citizens Property Insurance Co., wants to raise rates for wind damage. In 2013, the rates were raised 10.5 percent. In 2014, 8.1 percent.

Give us a break!

Bocce stats listed in the Sunday paper. We are alone in 2nd place with a 10-2 record. A good start! Actually, fantastic! May we continue to play well.

Enjoy your Sunday!

TOM AND FRAN DIXON

Two dear friends are Tom and Fran Dixon.

We first met via this blog several years ago. Then Tom and I happen chanced to meet in Key West. At that time, I became aware that both are frequent visitors to Key West.

Tom and Fran live just outside Buffalo. Tom a retired negotiator.

The thing that really glued us together was that Tom is a die hard Syracuse fan. Our bloods run orange.

Tom has another claim to fame. He owns a piece of the Ocean Key House.

The three of us had dinner together last night. Met first at the Chart Room for drinks. Fran evidencing the beginning of a good tan. She told me the temperature  is down to 60 in Buffalo. Fall has arrived in upstate New York.

We talked about many things. Children, grandchildren, their lack of any grandchild as yet. Syracuse football and Boeheim. The freshman quarterback Eric Dungey.

Dinner at Hot Tin roof. A fun time. Only way to describe it.

We are scheduled to meet again 6 monday night at Tavern ‘n Town. By that time, we will have the result of today’s game between Syracuse and Wake Forest to discuss. Syracuse this morning a 4 1/2 point favorite.

My day yesterday began with the anti-gravity treadmill. I have been doing it three times a week. Time to go to four. I made arrangements to do a 4 day week beginning a week from monday. Hopefully in a few months, I will have it up to five times a week.

Then back to the Santorini volcano.

Anna tells me the refugee problem in Italy is on the rise. The refugees are not coming from Syria or the Middle East. They are from the war torn countries of North Africa.

Taxes continue to rise, especially on real estate in Italy. Businesses continue to close. The unemployment rate keeps going up.

Anna asks how can Italy feed, clothe and house these refugees if Italians are on the brink of not being able to care for themselves.

I was able to watch the last fifteen minutes of Serena Williams’ tennis match in the afternoon. I assumed I would be watching Serena reach another milestone in the tennis world. It was not to be. Serena lost to the Italian Roberta Vinci.

Vinci was a 300-1 underdog. When asked how she felt when she got up in the morning knowing she had to play Serena, she said she was calm. Told herself to go out and play an enjoyable game. She had absolutely no expectation of beating Serena.

That is the way of the sporting world. American Pharoah recently got beat.

I have decided on the subject matter for next week’s KONK Life column. It is one I began researching last saturday when I got hung up on my Tennessee Williams research. I have about two more hours research which I will do today. Then write the column tomorrow.

It is the Gertrude Bell story. Gertrude Bell is known as the female Lawrence of Arabia. Gives you an idea of whar the article will entail.

Enjoy your day!

MEA CULPA

I screwed up!

Recall that tuesday evening, I could not get the Syracuse/Wake Forest game on TV. The game was at 8. I went to bed and fell asleep. Woke around 10:20. Tossed around a bit. Suddenly recalled the game. I was anxious to know the score.

I went downstairs to the computer. A basketball game is normally 2 hours. I assumed the game was over. It was not. Anyhow, I came up with a score that showed Syracuse losing by 1 in overtime. Not correct! The game was still on and the score represented the game to that point.

I marked down on my pad the score and that Syracuse had lost. Such led to my tirade in yesterday’s blog about good bye NCAA and hello NIT.

Sorry. Mea Culpa.

Surprisingly, only one person commented on what I consider was a big time error. Don of Don and Chris. Normally when I misstep, the world crashes down on me.

Worked with Sloan late in the afternoon. Some of you will be pleased with what has finally been accomplished. My KONK Life weekly column will be available on keywestlou.com starting today. Now.

The column can be found under the second narrative title at the top of the page. Click it. The phrase Key West Lou KONK Life Column will repeat itself. Hit on the repetition. The second line. And you will be there!

I cannot advise the day the column will appear each week. It depends when I write it. Any day wednesday thru sunday normally. It will be available on keywestlou 1-2 days later.

The column will be archived. Starting with this week’s article. Rank Insubordination. Concerns the NYCPD and Mayor de Blasio. My right wing readers will be tickled by it. Not favorably. I expect a slew of comments tomorrow morning from  them.

Dinner last night was at Tavern ‘n Town. Ran into Dr. Jackie Lefferts and husband Michael in the lobby. Jackie is my internest. Good people!

Weddings have been held for years on the beaches of Key West. Especially Smathers Beach. Lovely to behold. Part of the Key West ambiance. The couples marry and leave the beach.

The City of Key West is not happy unless it taxes everything. Where ever a dollar can be made, the City will be there.

The City has been concerned with the private use of public property. Any use of public property is private. Think about it.

Wedding planners are a key component of the Key West way of life. At a recent meeting, the wedding planners agreed to pay the City a fee and also carry liability insurance to indemnify the City. In return, the wedding planners could use the beaches and Bayview Park to marry people. The wedding planners were also promised a better beach clean up and a 2nd bathroom facility on Smathers Beach. The City will also maintain  a list of “qualified and licensed” wedding planners.

Once regimented, always so. Wedding planners have come under the thumb of the City and will remain there forever. In future years, they will be imposed upon more.

Sissy Spacek’s new Netflix show Bloodline will be available sometime in March. People have been asking me when.

I believe that any action has an equal and opposite reaction. The tide may be turning against New York City’s PBA President Patrick Lynch.

Lynch has been President for many years. The last time he had an opponent was 12 years ago in 2003. A slate of officers have announced they are running against Lynch and his ticket in the June elections. Their position basically is that they do not care about an apology from the Mayor. They believe the PBA should be more concerned with their grievances and problems. Proof again that all politics is local.

Bocce party tonight. Our end of the season bocce banquet. Will be fun!

Enjoy your day!