St. Patrick’s Day again! Everyone Irish!

This is Spring Break time in Key West. Will add to today’s revelry.

The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade occurred in New York City. Irish soldiers serving in the British Army in 1762 decided to celebrate their homeland.

I marched twice in the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parades. I was in Manhattan College’s Air Force ROTC. Still recall the sharp eyes right each time we passed St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Another recollection is the partying. Big! The best day of the year!

Visited the dentist yesterday. Check-up time. Even implants get checked.

The dental assistant doing the checking irritated me. She kept treating me like an old man. Late twenties lady. When she mentioned how sad it was that I was unable to get out evenings and party, I said…..Lady, I party more than you and have more fun than you!

Started the evening at Don’s Place. Don, Stan and Clare. Great conversation. The conversations should be recorded and placed on You Tube.

Don and I were to eat together. Don decided he was not eating. I had to eat. Skipped lunch. I was famished.

I went to Outback. Thought I might not be able to get a seat. Outback is crowded during season same as Duval restaurants.

The place was empty. Only about 1/3 full. Four persons at the bar, including me.

One of the best evenings I have enjoyed chatting with those round me.

To my right, a couple. We started with the NCAA tournament. Then the Hungarian revolution, Hungary today, Flora, Albania, and cursive writing.

Never got their names. He was 80, she 43. He the best 80 I have ever seen. Still working. At Publix. A butcher. She originally from Hungary. Has been in Key West three years.

They were celebrating their two year anniversary. I congratulated them. Two years married or partnered? No. Two years living together? No, we live separate. We met two years ago.

Typical Key West. Any reason to celebrate.

We got into handwriting. I mentioned my column re the issue. She knew kids are not being taught to write today. He did not.

A waitress overheard the conversation. She came over and joined in. Knew everything about cursive writing. Was unhappy her children were not being taught handwriting.

The fellow several seats to my left joined in. Then came over. He was really into the failure to teach cursive writing in most schools today.

My KONK Life column was Goodbye Handwriting.. Of all the issues I have written about over the years, this garnered the most comment. In writing and on the street. I was amazed! I feared people might be bored with the subject.

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board met with County Commissioners last night. The Board is pushing for a new building. $4.2 million. It would require raising taxes 10, 15 and 14 percent respectively over the next three years. The group insisted taxes had to be raised immediately.

The Mosquito Control group is an entity unto themselves. They do an excellent job. Ergo, no one bothers them. They generally ask and receive. High ranking staff are paid excessive salaries. Extremely so.

I say lets hold up a moment. The group has brass testicles asking for an immediate tax increase to pay for a building not yet even approved by the County Commission. Some Commission members heard the $4.2 million figure for the first time.

My immediate concern with the Mosquito Control Board is its intention to test GMO mosquitoes. The Mosquito Control Board wants to test them for the British Company Oxitec. The test would take place on the island where I live. Key Haven. Key Haven  is small. You could put it in your back pocket.

I am opposed to the testing. I do not believe my neighbors, our island and I should be used as guinea pigs.

After six years, the FDA came out last week with its determination re the use of GMO mosquitoes.. The FDA said the process was effective and safe. I questioned it then and now.

There is a lot of preaching going around that the use of GMO mosquitoes should not be held up in view of the safe and effective declaration by the FDA.

Sometimes people do not know. Many not properly informed.

The FDA regulates the genetic material introduced into the mosquito. The genetic material is safe and effective for mosquitoes. No federal determination has ever been made with regard to its safety as regards humans.

My message simple. Do not be mislead when told the FDA ruled safe and effective.

Fantasy Fest is back in the news. Some City Commissioners want the City to stop making its contribution to Fantasy Fest. The group who run the event are unfunded this year. The several year contract with the City ran out. Fantasy Fest is six months away.

There is no rush in arriving at a determination apparently. The vote to extend the contract one year while matters are further looked into has been adjourned one month.

Typical of governmental mentality in the Keys. Determinations are made too fast or too slow.

Enjoy your day!


  1. Many people are not properly informed, thats a true statement.

    Awhile back I mentioned the European Moth problem that was being worked on by the Geneva NY Experimental Station. The moths were sterilized and a gene altered to dye them red for identification purposes. The release has been proving successful.

    I have not been able to find any such information about sterilized male mosquitoes until now. The mosquitoes to be released are hybrid sterilized males [ remember that only the females bite] and the GMO part is a gene that gives them a fluorescent color for identification purposes. These mosquitoes have been released for over a decade in South America, SE Asia and the Caribbean with success. Dengue and Zika have been reduced. There has been an increase in Zika outbreaks in Africa and areas of South America and it will be interesting to see if a reason is found. So, If humans bitten by these mosquitoes start to glow in the dark, then I’ll become concerned.

  2. Day after Hot Tin Roof dinner with Louis, I cursive wrote him a thank you and U.S. stamp mailed it to his Key Haven. He has not yet commented about my lovely cursive. I hope he will. Everyone really ought to do that kind gesture when Louis invites them out to dine while listening to his storytelling.
    I have yet to see his cursive, but I bet it is lovely.

  3. Why consider GM mosquitoes? Because other control methods are faltering.

    Aedes aegypti is the chief villain in the Zika outbreak. This mosquito has a particular taste for human blood, and it’s capable of carrying viruses like dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, and Zika — diseases that immiserate millions. If one of these winged syringes bites an infected human and then bites a non-infected human, the disease spreads.

    The crucial thing to know about A. aegypti is that it’s really, really hard to kill off. The species is native to Africa, hitched a ride over during the slave trade, and rapidly infested Latin America. During the 1950s, many countries launched massive control programs, using DDT to eradicate the pest. But these campaigns were costly, tough to sustain, and eventually subsided. The mosquitoes that were left began breeding — and quickly overran the Americas again, spreading dengue, yellow fever, and other assorted miseries:

    Aedes aegypti was eradicated in parts of the Americas in the mid-20th century but has since made a major comeback. (Gubler, 2011)
    Aedes aegypti was eradicated in parts of the Americas in the mid-20th century but has since made a major comeback. (Gubler, 2011)

    Today, things are worse than ever. The Aedes mosquito has become especially well-suited to modern cities because, unlike other species, it doesn’t need large bodies of open water to breed. It can lay eggs in virtually any nook or cranny it finds: buckets, tires, cups, plastic bags — anything that will later fill up with rain, allowing the larvae to hatch.

    “The diversity of breeding sites means it’s tough to find them all, which makes them harder to kill with larvicide,” explains Catherine Hill, an entomology professor at Purdue. It doesn’t help that heavy rainfall driven by El Niño seems to be boosting Aedes populations throughout South America this year.

    Right now our best strategies involve trying to avoid contact by telling people to use repellent, wear long sleeves, and use window screens. (The Aedes is hard to avoid because, unlike many mosquito species, it bites during the day rather than evening.) Local officials sometimes attempt costly campaigns to remove potential breeding sites and spray larvicide. But these campaigns only wipe out a fraction of the insects, and it doesn’t help that Aedes mosquitoes are becoming resistant to pyrethroids and other favored pesticides. We’re losing the battle.

    end quote

    This is only a small part of one article.

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