Key West’s traffic problem has steadily grown over the years. As our island increased in popularity, so did traffic congestion. Cars, bicycles, and pedestrians the primary culprits.

I have been writing and talking about the problem with increased frequency this past year. Especially the past couple of weeks as Christmas and New Year have brought hordes of tourists to Key West.

We welcome them. We welcome their business. However Key West forgot along the way to expeditiously work on the traffic problem. Lip service and a study recently received that took 2 years to complete. Not enough.

Death and injury hang like a black cloud over Key West.

A recent study revealed that Key West was ranked #1 among Florida cities with populations of 15,000 to 75,000 for bicycle fatalities and injuries.

Friday and Saturday found 2 accidents occurring that support the congestion premise. Yesterday’s Miami Herald said re Key West that “…..traffic has been congested on the tiny island.”

A truer statement never expressed.

Friday a tourist drove excessively and recklessly through Boca Chica down U.S. 1 to the triangle entrance to Key West. Seven cars were struck. Two of them police vehicles. Fortunately, injuries minimal.

Yesterday morning at 10, injuries more significant. A dead driver and a passenger in critical condition.

The accident occurred on North Roosevelt Boulevard. Involved tourists. The driver was traveling at a high rate of speed. Lost control of his vehicle. Traveled through the parking lot of Kim Kuban’s. Came to a stop when it hit a boat parked in front of the pawn shop nearby.

Note we are only at the beginning of the New Year weekend!

I stayed in yesterday and watched 2 great football games. The top 4 teams in the U.S. playing for the right to go against each other in the championship game.

Clemson destroyed Notre Dame 30-3. Both teams undefeated going into the game.

Alabama beat Oklahoma 45-34. The game not as close as it might appear. Only 2 minutes into the second quarter and Alabama was ahead 28-0. Both quarterbacks superior.

Alabama especially impressed me. A well oiled machine. Do everything right. Know how to grab that extra 4-5 yards on a run. Passing spectacular.

I pick Alabama over Clemson.

Syracuse basketball yesterday also. Syracuse destroyed St. Bonaventure 81-47. Not a big deal.

Syracuse has now concluded its pre league schedule. 9-4. Not impressive. The ever dangerous ACC season is around the corner. Big time hard fought college basketball! The quality of Syracuse play will be determined in those games.

I am concerned.

Later this afternoon, it will be the Gardens and then Hot Dog Church for me.

The year 2018 has been bad for manatees. So far, 804 killed. Boat strikes and the red tide responsible. Generally, 400-500 a year are killed. Primarily by boat strikes.

Major hurricanes the past few years. The most recent Michael which destroyed the Panhandle, parts of Georgia and the Carolinas.

Irma and Maria last year.

Recovery slow. Federal assistance insufficient.

Every time a natural disaster occurs, Trump goes on TV and says we have the money to deal with the problem. The truth is we do not. Ergo, recovery takes years. People suffering longer than they should.

Some examples.

Georgia significant when it comes to timber farming. Michael damaged 2.5 million acres of trees. The timber business contributes $25 billion annually to the economy. Involved are 124,000 jobs.

Georgia needs help big time re its timber business.

Florida’s Panhandle feels increasingly forgotten. Michael hit 2 miles less than a category 5.

The federal government is slow coming up with financial assistance. Two reasons. The federal bureaucracy and a lack of funds. The feds tell the states and municipalities to go to the bank and borrow necessary monies. The feds promise to reimburse the borrowings.

Good luck! Takes forever to get reimbursement. Irma was 15 months ago. Monroe County, Islamorada, Marathon, and Key West are still waiting for reimbursement dollars.

Panama City recently borrowed $50 million to help with Michael recovery. It will need more. Debris removal alone is estimated at $60-80 million.

Mexico Beach City was the worse hit by Michael. Close to total destruction. The hurricane hit at 155 mph. Power and water restored. Much little of anything else. Of its 2,700 dwellings, only 500 are habitable today.

The point being made is the federal government is failing in its responsibility to help.

If the federal government were functioning properly, Trump would be on TV telling the Nation what a good job he is doing. You do not see him or hear it.

While people are suffering because of the failure to help, federal dollars are being pissed away. An example is New Year’s Eve at Mar-a-Lago. Trump will probably be in Washington. His family at Mar-a-Lago.

Secret Service is required to provide certain safeguards for the President and his family. Secret Service has rented $54,020 worth of tents to be used for security checks and safe spots for VIPs. Secret Service also recently paid $41,000 for generators and site towers. I am not sure if these items are directly related to New Year’s Eve.

Golf cart rentals by Secret Service pushing $400,000 this year. For use by the Secret Service in guarding the President and his family when playing golf.

Note that the Secret Service agents are not being paid. The Secret Service cap was reached December 21. Keep in mind also that 800,000 federal employees are laid off or working without pay till the shutdown is over. On top of which Trump recently announced that he is placing a freeze on federal employee salaries. They will not receive their small annual raises scheduled for 2019.

I have never met Roger C. Kostmayer. A senior Key West resident who writes Letters to the Editor. To all the publications. He vents. He expresses wrongdoing/impropriety as he sees it.

In a recent letter of KONK Life E-Blast, Roger wrote re MAGA. MAGA from Trump’s perspective means Make America Great again. From Roger’s, Morons Are Governing America.

China fighting toilet paper waste.

Tourism on the rise in China. Public toilets, also. Toilet paper in public toilets is either being wasted (left on the floor in large unused amounts) or being stolen to be used at a place where toilet paper is not available.

What I shall now describe is being used in Jinan. Planned for use throughout China.

Toilet paper users are under scrutiny. Watched. A form of facial recognition technology. It is part of the toilet paper dispenser.

China says 27 inches enough toilet paper per usage. If someone attempts to use or take more, the facial recognition gimmick will recognize him/her and refuse the person toilet paper. A 9 minute wait involved to get additional paper.

The technology sophisticated. It can tell if the person is new or a returning user.

I looked for a New Year’s quote. Tons of them. Searched for something different, yet pointed.

Wally Lamb is the author of the quote. Never heard of him. He has a nice touch with words, however. Read them slowly, think for a moment, flavor his words: “Accept what people offer. Drink their milkshakes. Take their love.”

Enjoy your Sunday!


  1. Meanwhile, while Trump sits in Washington, waiting to make a deal on budget, and making counter offers, Congress is home or in Hawaii. But the shutdown is Trump’s fault. Makes sense.

    • I’m not sure Trump is anywhere trying to make ANY “deal.” This is just optics, because his refusal brings him attention and any deal ANY DEAL, isn’t in his best interests.

  2. I would caution the Trump administration. The Dems lost MI, in part to the poor response to the lead-in-water crisis. Now, that is not to say the Red States affected by the past few hurricanes will suddenly wake up and see the Trump administration for what it truly is but failing to deliver can’t help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.