It was August 22, 1992. Hurricane Andrew blowing over the Bahamas as a #4. Two days later, it would be over South Florida. Florida City, Homestead and Kendall. Still a #4. some say a #5. Winds reported at 140 miles per hour.

Ninety percent of the communities were destroyed. A U.S. Air Base wiped out.

On my way to Key West three weeks later, drove through Homestead. I had never seen devastation like this. As far as the eye could see in any direction, not a building left standing. Occasionally, one wall.

The scene reminded me of Berlin at the end of World War II.

Hurricanes are part of life in the Keys. I have experienced several. More will come. May we never experience one as bad as Andrew.

Yesterday was column writing time. Every Sunday. Took the afternoon. Researching done the day before.

Title: Teach To The Test Fails. Bush 2’s No child Left Behind Act causing significant problems. Questionable if anything positive resulted therefrom. Examples of the down side will shock you.

The column publishes wednesday.

Last night at the Chart Room was the most valuable I have ever experienced. I learned a lot.

Met Devin. A farmer from Illinois. He owns two properties in Key West. An upscale condominium and a rental property.

Devin and his brother own and operate the farm. Their father before them. Before their father, their grandfather.

I got into Monsanto with him. I have always been under the impression that it was difficult to survive with Monsanto in the picture. He showed me at length how wrong I was. He is happy operating with Monsanto involved.

One of Devin’s crops is soybeans. Soybeans and other things grown find their way to the Far East for ultimate sale.

I live and learn. Forget sometimes there are two sides to a story.

Larry Smith tonight at the Little Room Jazz Club.

The Key West City Commission is seriously considering acquiring the old electric property in Bahama village. Whether to do so is on the ballot for a recommendation vote in November.

Three buildings. Abandoned for 50 years. There are environmental problems. Some resolved, others not. The nots generally not known nor discovered at this time.

Keys Energy will give the property to Key west for nothing. A kicker. Key West has to agree to relieve Keys Energy from any future environmental cleanup. Present numbers set the cleanup of problems known at around $2 million on the high side.

The property is adjacent to Truman Waterfront.

Why Key West is even going to the trouble of a referendum, I do not understand. The building and land are contaminated. As soon as remodeling work begins, further environmental problems will be discovered. Under federal law, the City as owner at the time of cleanup will be responsible. Guaranteed there will be additional environmental problems and they will be in the mullions. It’s the nature of the beast. A former electric company.

The contamination underground could run to the Truman waterfront property.

Nothing for nothing is the saying. The City will be accepting a pig in the poke if it takes title. Beware of those bearing gifts. All that glitters is not gold.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has provided a letter saying no further cleanup required. The City should not buy it. Once a new problem is discovered, cleanup becomes the order of the day.

Only in Key West. A Sheriff’s deputy who works as a correction officer at the county jail has been arrested.

An inmate has been incarcerated since 2013 on cocaine related charges. The deputy offered to help him escape for $400,000. The deal was made. $150,000 to be paid up front. The balance when the guy was out of jail.

The inmate and his lawyer told the authorities. The deputy was set up. When he was paid the $150,000 in the CVS parking lot in Big Pine, he was arrested. Undercover police officers paid him the money.

Enjoy the day!





6 comments on “ANDREW ON ITS WAY

  1. NCLB is a supposed upgrade of LBJs ESEA and actually expired around 2007. It was then up congress to evaluate and upgrade. We all know what our congress does, so, of course nothing has been done. But, as with most things liberal, just put the blame on Bush. As a teacher/instructor I believe its wrong to teach to a test, but, I don’t believe that is what NCLB is all about. I think that came about as a later ‘improvement’ in order to try and meet standards.

    Monsanto. The other side has been explained over the years, but, some folks are just plain close minded. That company [ and others] has made it easy for many farmers and has helped to more easily feed the world. Some folks just don’t to pay attention. But as with many good intentions, or good outcomes, there can also be issues whether real or imagined. Many GM or hybrid products have been proven to improve life, others we just don’t know about yet.

    Power plant. Of course the ground was, or still is, contaminated. Usually Mother Nature tends to heal herself over time. I speak from experience with contaminated ground. So, should the ground continue to remain contaminated and possibly continue to cause its problems, or, should it be examined and fixed if needed. I think many would be surprised how much ‘contaminated’ ground there is anywhere and everywhere.

  2. My millennial daughter’s best friend (Mack Elem School Ann Arbor through Univ Mich Ann Arbor together) is a now practicing Detroit environmental atty. Lots of mess in Detroit I would say.

  3. “The contamination underground could run to the Truman waterfront property.”

    I worked for local government for 28 years and we once acquired a known contaminated property located in our downtown. Prior to closing we insisted on a Phase 2 level environmental study to disclose all known contamination and remediation requirements based on federal and state standards of that day.

    With those results we knew upfront what was needed, we obtained federal money to do the clean-up and the end result was a strategically located and badly needed major parking area and beautiful park in our city’s most valuable location. Now surrounded by very successful private businesses. What was once an eyesore and literally dangerous has been transformed.

    Buying known contaminated properties can be accomplished if the jurisdiction does its homework first and runs a SWOT analysis to see if the budget or perhaps a partnership will pay for it.

    Maybe Key West can do the same?

  4. Anonymous on August 24, 2016 at 3:23 pm said:
    I go out of my way not to eat anything Monsanto touches. No round up in my dinner!! Your more than welcome to eat it Patrick.

    Reply ↓
    Anonymous on August 24, 2016 at 3:25 pm said:
    Your clearly not reading the REAL current science about round up!
    end quote

    I dare say its very hard to know if you are or are not eating something Monsanto had their fingers in. If you eat anything of corn, soy, apples even most tomatoes or cucumbers, then they have performed their magic on them. The list goes on and on.
    Hybrid and some GM products have greatly improved quality of life over the decades.
    Anyone following this blog knows I’m not a fan of Monsanto or most GM products, especially glyphosate. I have been reading studies about glyphosate, thats why I try to buy only products with a PLU beginning with 9.

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