parallel universes inbreeding, Key West gene-splicing laboratory

cross-pollinationIt began yesterday and increased last night and into the early hours of today, a sense of living in a  parallel universe, right next door to the universe where people live and think very differently, into which I keep trying to move, and keep trying, and keep trying – Key West for example.

Look! No cruise ships!For a very long time now, I have felt this way, wherever I lived, wherever I visited. I was here, everyone else was there, just a little ways over there. Well, just about everyone else. I’ve known a few women who seemed to be stuck over here in the universe where I’m stuck, but not for as long, and not as deep.

Fantasy Fest feline 2Mary PoppinsMustang SallyHiggs Beach party

kw-citizen.jpgWell, let’s dive into the Key West universe with an excerpt from a Key West Citizen ( article on the primary elections today:

Even if one of the three Key West mayoral candidates receives more than 50 percent of the vote today, he would still have to face write-in candidate Sloan Bashinsky in November.

Four other times I ran for mayor, after paying the filing fee, and didn’t come anywhere close to getting into a runoff. This year, I filed as a write-in candidate, for free, half hour before the filing deadline, and then was told by Joyce Griffin, our Supervisor of Elections, that I was automatically in the runoff. I had thought the day before, when I had asked Joyce about filing as a write-in, she had told me, if one of the other candidates won the primary without a runoff, that would be the end of it; that candidate would be the new mayor. A couple of nights before, in my sleep, I had heard, “There will be a runoff.” I woke up thinking that was absurd, if it meant I would be in a runoff.

Carol SchreckJust before dawn today, Carol Schreck, County Commissioner Heather Carruthers’ executive assistant, lobbied me in dreams to look at something she felt was really important. Heathers’ voting district lies entirely in Key West.

Carol is running for a seat on the Utility Board, which is, essentially, the elected board of Keys Energy Services. All of which vectored me toward a letter to the editor in Key West the Newspaper ( under which some intense discussion has been occurring about the solar arrays at new city hall.

Solar arrays generate electricity and compete directly against Keys Energy. Maybe that’s why Keys Energy keeps dragging its feet about pushing for Key West and the lower Florida Keys to go solar. Maybe that’s why Keys Energy keeps dragging its feet to go solar itself, Which is ironic, since Keys Energy’s slogan is:


That slogan I pulled out at a Hometown PAC candidate forum in Key West about a month ago and wore out incumbent Utility Board member Tim Root, below, with it, after he wandered over toward where I was sitting and started trying to impress me with his “credentials” for him being reelected this year. Carol Schreck is one of Tim’s 2 opponents.

Tim Root

I ended up voting for Tim in early voting, not because I thought Tim was the best candidate, Carol might be a better candidate, but because the 3rd candidate, Vidal, seemed to have dropped out of the race. And because, the way I see it, everything Keys Energy does impacts Monroe County below Seven Mile Bridge, up to which Keys Energy’s service goes, and Carol Schreck has a built-in conflict of interest therefore. Not a conflict of interest recognized by the law regulating elected officials, but a conflict of interest regulated by my conscience.

One of the panelists at Hometown’s candidate forum asked Carol if she might have a conflict of interest being Heather Carruthers’ executive assistant, on the one hand, and being on the Utility Board on the other hand? Carol assured there would be no problem, the two jobs would mesh, blend, and she was ideally situated to enhance the synergies, so to speak. I was not persuaded. And, I had observed in the past that Carol’s boss, Heather Carruthers, seemed to have had difficulty realizing she had a conflict of interest when it came to dealing with developers who were trying to run a development through the County Commission.

For example …

Wisteria & Sunset

When Roger Bernstein and the Walsh family were lobbying the County Commission to approve a Bernstein-Walsh development application to turn Wisteria Island, foreground, into another Sunset Key, background, Heather had her birthday party that year on Sunset Key, which was owned by the Walsh family. When Naja Girard, co-publisher of the blue paper, a friend of Heather’s, told Heather that wasn’t a cool thing to do, Heather took offense. If Heather had her thinking straight, she would not have had her birthday party on the Walsh island. If Heather had her thinking half-straight, she would have told Naja, “Ooops! I what was I thinking?!?”

Conflict of interest law for lawyers and judges is different from conflict of interest law for elected and career government officials. For lawyers and judges, there is a conflict of interest if there is the mere appearance of impropriety. Even if there is no actual impropriety, just the mere appearance requires a lawyer or judge to recuse. I think in Florida, there is only a conflict of interest for elected or career government officials if they stand to make significant money, or its equivalent, from something which is before them to engage and/or decide in their official capacity.

I wish all of the reader comments under the blue paper solar arrays letter to the editor had occurred before I voted for Tim Root, because I just might not have voted in that Utility Board race. That’s the problem with early voting. After you vote, something can happen that would have changed your vote if you had voted on election day.

blue paper, published online every Friday


Dear Commissioners,

Many of you have voiced interest about how HARC approved the carport solar arrays at Glynn Archer. The video of the meeting is “not available” on the City’s website.

I have been given a copy of the HARC meeting on April 24, 2014 when the project was presented and approved, and have uploaded the latter portion of the video where the solar panel carports are mentioned.

The cascade of mistakes made by staff and commission that resulted from the architects misunderstanding of the Florida Building Code in relation to solar panels, as well as the HARC guidelines, is stunning.

When directly asked, the HARC planner believed the carports were “svelte” and therefore would be fine. Note: “svelte” is not in the guidelines. The HARC planner failed to mention numerous guidelines that were being violated.

Further, HARC commissioners openly criticized the guidelines (one took umbrage with the word “detriment” in relation to undesirable solar panel placement), others were so enamored with the idea of solar they completely ignored the guidelines which are very specific and detailed about solar collectors. The chairman at the time, Michael Miller, did criticize the enormous carport solar arrays, and stated there needed to be 18-foot trees to buffer it or “the neighbors will wonder how this passed HARC”. He also called the official landscape plan around the carports an “undernourished hammock”.

I hope you will take 9 minutes to watch the video:

-Dave Dlugitch

12 Responses to “Open Letter to City Commisioners: Second Solar Carport is Now Being Constructed?!”

  1. Sloan Bashinsky says:

    Thanks, Dave –

    I attended the city commission meeting during which the solar carport was on the printed agenda and Commissioner Margaret Romero told Bert Bender that he was liable for the cost of tearing down the carport and putting the solar arrays on top of the new city hall. I think I heard said during that meeting that there were 3 architects on HARC, which approved the solar arrays carport. That’s not counting architect Bert Bender.

    Bert Bender is not on HARC, does not work for the city, and did not approve the solar carport for the city. HARC approved the solar carports for the city, along with the then City Planner, and then the City Commission approved it. So this former practicing lawyer does not think the city should give any thought to suing Bert Bender, who is hearing impaired, reads lips, which was known to HARC, the City Planner, and to the City Commission when it hired Bender to design and oversee the building of the new city hall.

    Looks to me the solar carport went too long being addressed by the city commission. I wonder when neighbor complaints were filed with the city, and how long after that it got onto a commission agenda?

    It really is a solar carport. You can see that plain as day anytime during construction hours. Every space in the carport is taken to get the vehicles in the shade and out of the sun.

    I agree with HARC member and architect Michael Miller. Plant a screen of tall trees, and even lower bushes, so the neighbor residents across United Street cannot see the two solar carports so well. That might not make the neighbors entirely happy, but tearing down the solar carport and rewiring part of the interior of the new city hall for the solar arrays,and putting the arrays on the roof seems to me like the most unhappy outcome at this juncture.

    • Dave Dlugitch says:

      Hi Sloan,

      Bert Bender is now a HARC Commission member, appointed by Mayor Cates, until 12/15/2017. The irony is not lost on me.

      Here is what I originally wrote to the Commissioners. I’m providing it here because it details which HARC guidelines were violated by the solar carports:

      Solar Arrays & Carport at Glynn Archer Violate HARC’s Guidelines

      I am a member of the community which lives adjacent to the Glynn Archer City Hall project. We are dismayed by the solar panel array, not only because for its obvious esthetic disruption to the historic streetscape, but because it is in patent violation to the specific rules and regulations of HARC regarding both solar panels and carports.

      The Architect never presented the rooftop solar option to HARC. HARC regulations require that this be done.

      The solar arrays must be moved to the roof of Glynn Archer and the carports must be removed, as the 2012 HARC regulations require.

      MOST IMPORTANTLY: HARC clearly violated its own guidelines when it:

      1) approved the placement of the solar panels in the most visible location, which violates HARC’s regulation that states:“Any proposal to install solar energy collectors shall be based on a hierarchy of preferred locations starting with roofing not visible from public streets…”
      2) approved a new carport, which the HARC guidelines state are“not appropriate in the historic district”.

      Here are the exact texts of the HARC regulations that were violated:
      Section – Solar Collectors
      1. HARC supports the introduction of new and emerging technology for renewable energy but will seek to achieve this by ensuring equipment is installed without permanent detriment to the historic fabric already established in the district and the least visual impact to buildings and streetscapes HARC’s goal is high performance conservation with low public visibility. HARC recommends applicants exhaust all other ways of reducing the carbon footprint before putting forward applications for the installation of solar devices.
      2. Any proposal to install solar energy collectors shall be based on a hierarchy of preferred locations starting with roofing not visible from public streets, then locations within rear gardens or on pergolas and only if none of these are viable because of orientation or overshadowing will HARC consider schemes which involve collectors on roofing areas or other locations visible from public streets.
      3. Any proposals that include collectors and/or related equipment and cabling visible from public streets will be required to show (by way of calculation of energy outputs) that it is not possible to achieve similar performance from equipment located away from public view.

      Section – Outbuildings: Carports, Gazebos, Garages, Sheds, Shelters & Accessory Structures
      4. The design of new outbuildings must be complementary to the existing streetscape if they are visible from the public right-of-way.
      5. The construction of new accessory buildings such as garages or carports which are highly visible from the public right way are not appropriate in the historic district

      HARC clearly violated their 2012 regulations regarding the placement of solar collectors; the regulations establish a location hierarchy which states the solar panels must be in the least visible location, with roof being the preferred location. HARC’s approval also violated the new carport section – which the guidelines do not permit.”

  2. I brought this to the city leadership attention with an email (included below) back in February, but it was entirely ignored.

    As I mentioned in my February email, not only is the appearance of the solar panels an issue, but also the structure housing the equipment converting the solar power to grid power is an equal mystery. Why did it have to be placed in that location? (see a photo of the grid-tie structure here: )

    In addition, the angle of the solar panel structure doesn’t make sense. It is facing more than 30 degrees to the Southeast. That is far from the optimal angle for the most effective operation. If anything, placing the panels on the roof of the city hall would result in facing to the Southwest. That would produce much more power. Isn’t that supposed to be the reason for them in the first place?

    We all know that the real reason for the solar panels is to provide covered parking for city leadership and department heads. Anything else is just smoke and mirrors.

    ——– Forwarded Message ——–
    Subject: The New United Street Bleachers
    Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2016 10:38:32 -0500
    To: Craig Cates , Margaret Romero , Samuel Kaufman , Shawn D. Smith , James K. Scholl , Richard Payne , Clayton Lopez , Richard Boettger , Jimmy Weekley , Enid Torregrosa

    Dear Mayor Cates, Commissioners, Mr. Scholl, Mr. Smith and Ms. Torregrosa,

    I am writing today about the new solar panel and grid tie structures
    that have been installed behind the new city hall. They are both
    absolute eyesores. How were they ever permitted? When I looked back at
    all of the city hall complex drawings, I could not find a single one
    that showed these current structures.

    As you can see in the accompanying photos (with captions), the solar
    panel array structure has all the appeal of the underside of stadium
    bleachers. The grid tie building appears to have just been dropped in
    the middle of the soon to be parking lot where no amount of landscaping
    will mitigate its hideous, out of place, boxlike appearance.

    Furthermore, I must question the competence of the engineers who placed
    the solar array in the parking lot. It was installed so that it is
    facing in a Southeast direction. That is one of the worst angles that
    could have been used for generating solar power. We also need to
    remember that this entire parking area will be landscaped with trees.
    They will only further diminish the solar efficiency once they grow to
    height and project shade on the panels.

    Why wasn’t the solar facility installed on the city hall roof like every
    other urban solar farm? On the roof, it would be facing to the Southwest
    and maximizing the power output. As everything currently sits, only a
    fraction of the power will be produced. Even a facility a third a size
    of the current one would create more total daily output if it were
    installed on the city hall roof.

    The irony to all of this is that I’m a huge proponent of solar power. I
    lived aboard a sailboat for years, and solar panels were my primary
    source of power. When I read that the city was spending a huge amount of
    money on a solar array, I knew that it was strictly a “feel good”
    gesture. The money spent will never be recovered in the cost of energy
    savings, but it was something that looked good, city leaders could talk
    about with pride and made people think Key West is a green city. The
    current solar facilities, however, are just expensive eyesores that will
    not perform as expected and detract from the historic beauty of the new
    city hall.

    Best regards,
    Colby Fisher

    • Sloan Bashinsky says:

      Colby, thanks for this history. Utility Board member Tim Root told me the solar arrays at new city hall will provide all of its electricity needs when the sun is out, there will be batteries to store sun energy not used, and new city hall might operate totally independent of Keys Energy.

      • Dave Dlugitch says:

        According to the architect that presented at the project’s HARC meeting, in the video I uploaded he states that the solar panels will power the parking lot lights. That is all. Just the parking lot lights. (he does mention that if there is excess power, it will be dumped in to the grid)

        There is no way those solar carports can power that building. Hundreds of computers, printers, office machines, massive air-conditioning and mechanical equipment, and hundreds of lights.

      • Sloan, I think you should speak with Tim Root again. Someone is mistaken. It would make no sense whatsoever to store solar power energy in batteries when a grid is available. That would require a huge expenditure on very expensive storage batteries. In any case, the power that the building would consume during sunlight hours would far exceed the amount that an entire parking lot full of panels would provide. On those rare occasions during non-working hours when air conditioners, air handlers, lights and computers aren’t running, there may be some excess capacity, but it would be far more efficient to put that power back into the grid than to store it in batteries.

        • Sloan Bashinsky says:

          Hi, Colby –

          If I speak to Tim again, either he will say, yes, that’s what he told me, or he will say, no, he told me something else. Then, it will be me who didn’t remember correctly, or it will be Tim who changed his story.

          I remember asking Tim if the new city hall arrays would extra electricity not currently needed be sold back to Keys Energy?, which is how some solar systems work, and Tim said no, extra solar energy would be stored in batteries. I recalled thinking that odd, there is a lot of flack about solar systems which use batteries, which are hard to cleanly dispose of when they wear out. Why not just sell the extra electricity produced back to Keys Energy?

          I also asked Tim why come Keys Energy did not install solar arrays on its renovated headquarters building in Key West?, and he said it would not have been economically feasible. It’s economically feasible at new city hall because BP money subsidized it. Or some of it.

          I told Tim Mt. Trashmore could be covered with solar arrays and produce a heap of electricity going straight to Keys Energy, for it to spread around through its grid. Tim said that would not be economical, either.

          He said Keys Energy and other electric companies are together building solar arrays near their power producing plant near Tampa, I think, to supplement electricity production there, which will be spread around that entire electric grid and some of will reach Keys Energy. I said the only thing growing greener ever day at Key Energy is its bank account.

          This was at a Hometown PAC candidate forum this year, before the forum started. Tim walked over to where I was sitting and initiated the discussion.

          During the Utility Board part of the forum, as I recall, Tim described the solar arrays being built on the mainland, and he also spoke to the solar arrays at new city hall, BP money, and why they did not put arrays on Keys renovated headquarters, not economically viable. He did not say new city hall would get all of its electricity from the solar arrays being put in there, when he was being grilled by Hometown’s inquisitors.

          Todd German told me today, he had seen this with his own two eyes, there are lot of solar arrays at the San Diego airport.

          I google imaged “solar arrays at San Diego airport and photos of those arrays came up.

          I told Todd I was standing at the city bus stop today on United Street, right beside new city hall, and there were a workers there. Then two men walked toward me from the Cuban take out restaurant attached to the pay laundry across United. One the men said Hi, I said Hi back. I asked if them were working on the new city hall? Yes. On Sunday? Yes. Being paid double time? Triple time, one of the men said, happy as could be, he seemed. I didn’t ask them about the solar arrays. The work I saw being done was inside new city hall.

  3. Dave Dlugitch says:

    To me, the issue is whether the City must abide by the same regulations that it insists its residents follow. The City has erected a massive eyesore that is clearly in violation of HARC guidelines, and no citizen would be allowed to build anything similar.

    Below is a letter from the current Chair of HARC, Bryan Green, to the Mayor, all City Commissioners and the City Manager on August 13, 2016:


    I was approached two weeks ago by several residents of United Street and Knowles Lane. They contacted me as Chair of HARC to seek advice on the siting of the existing and further planned solar arrays in the car park area of New City Hall

    I was not on the HARC Commission when this was approved in 2014 but I have reviewed the video recordings of both the HARC and Planning meetings

    I am very familiar with this aspect of HARC guidelines because with Ron Ramsingh, I wrote the revised Solar Collector Guidelines which were approved by Ordinance in May 2012. This revision became necessary after Florida State adopted legislation (163.04) [*1] in relation to energy saving devices that in effect trumped then existing HARC guidelines (refer Cushman case)

    The 2012 guidelines are clear in that they support solar panels but require the applicant to locate these in the least visible location based on a hierarchy of preferred locations starting with roofing not visible from public streets, then locations within rear gardens or on pergolas and only if none of these are viable because of orientation or shadowing will HARC consider other locations visible from public streets. Mr Bouquet was wholly incorrect when he told you that HARC had not allowed these panels to be located on the roof.

    My understanding is that the Architect misunderstood the Florida Building Code and determined that the only “viable” location was on purpose built structures within the parking area which could double up as shading for vehicles. HARC relied on the assertions from the applicant.

    It transpires that the FBC does not preclude location on the roof and therefore the basic premise on which HARC granted consent was flawed.

    In my opinion if this application was being presented today the applicant would be required to locate the panels on the roof and if more space is needed then in any other location that will not have an adverse visual impact on the contributing building or surrounding streets.

    It is misleading to argue that these are car ports or pergolas. These are clearly way too large to be considered as either (nor do they perform those functions) and in any case they are clearly contrary to the Solar Collectors guidelines in addition to P37(3) because they are not compatible with the characteristics of the original structure, neighbouring buildings and streetscapes.

    Given the error made in assessing the Florida Building Code I believe any other applicant would be encouraged to relocate the installed panels on the roof – and certainly this is where any panels not yet installed should be located

    It is a pity that this project which in all other ways is such an exemplar scheme should be marred by something that can be easily remedied. It really is important that the City be seen to hold itself to no lesser standard than it requires from all the rest of us.

    I therefore urge you to require further panels to be installed in compliance with our guidelines and to find a way to relocate the array already installed

    Bryan Green

  4. Sloan Bashinsky says:

    The problem is, the city itself did not follow its own rules, and is trying to blame the architect. If you don’t like what the city did, then fire the city employees who gave the architect the green light – pun not optional. Let’s see. The HARC commissioners need to be fired. The city planner already moved on. The mayor and then city commissioners, who gave the final approval, need to be fired.

    Maybe I misunderstood Tim Root, but I recall being surprise he had said the solar arrays would power city hall.

  5. Why is no one (other than myself) complaining about the butt ugly grid-tie structure that is sitting in the middle of the parking lot? Here is a photo of it:

    We can argue about how bad the solar panels look, but there is absolutely no excuse at all to just sit this big square concrete and metal box in the middle of that open space. The engineers and architect could have easily moved it a hundred feet or so off to the side or somewhere else that is not in direct view to everyone. Where it now sits is just lazy on too many levels.

    • Dave Dlugitch says:

      I understand that that big ugly box in the middle of the parking lot is a back-up generator. I, too, have wondered why it was placed where it is. It is an eyesore.

  6. Sloan Bashinsky says:

    I was told yesterday that Bert Bender became a HARC commissioner when MIchael Miller resigned, about 8 1/2 months ago, some time after HARC approved the solar arrays at new city hall.

Hippocratic OathNext today, a Facebook thread launched yesterday by Father Stephen Braddock, who “liked” my long parallel universe comment. Steve, on the one hand, and former City Commissioner Harry Bethel, on the other hand, spearheaded the grassroots rebellion against how the local hospital was being managed.

One of our local MD’s (in this case, Medical Deity) has admonished me to “stick to your field with issues around the hospital.” I suppose that means I should be a nice priest and not draw upon my “fields” as head of St. Camillus Health Systems for North America, a system operating over 500 health and social service organizations in 55 countries. And, not tap into my skills as a well trained and licensed private investigator. My advice to the doc, “Stay far away from College Road and Kennedy Drive!” I’m paying very close attention!

Stephen Braddock's photo.
Stephen Braddock's photo.
Rick Ewart

Rick Ewart Bravo!!!

Wayne Black

Wayne Black Silence is consent! Keep going STEVE

Kenneth J. Tucker Jr.

Kenneth J. Tucker Jr. Good for you… I get more mouthy when I am admonished. Shame on them. Maybe you should quote scripture to him. One can’t serve two masters.

Wes Hunter

Wes Hunter Nicely done, Stephen…..

Wes Hunter

Wes Hunter Wouldn’t care to name the “MD”, would ya’ ????????

Stephen Braddock

Stephen Braddock Oh yes, in due course…. 😉

Ann Weekley

Ann Weekley Curiouser and curiouser.

Gerri Louise

Gerri Louise Keep going….

Vicki Roush

Vicki Roush I don’t think too much imagination is required to narrow the field.

Ann Weekley

Ann Weekley Well I know who it Is NOT!

Gweko W. Phlocker

Gweko W. Phlocker I agree,

Ann Weekley

Ann Weekley Keep up the good work!

Pamela Feeser-Carter

Pamela Feeser-Carter He’s just jealous Stephen. Continue fighting for justice in all areas of life.

Dennis Ward

Dennis Ward Lets get Wayne and a Grand Jury going on this. Just trying to stick to our field.

Jeanstar Dillon

Jeanstar Dillon Well done, Stephen. What “field” did you step into that caused the nervousness?

Sloan Bashinsky

Sloan Bashinsky the truth field?

Joan Higgs

Joan Higgs Yes, the M Deity!

Jan Trevett Fernandez

Jan Trevett Fernandez Maybe if he stuck to his they wouldn’t be in this predicament. MD stands for much more than Me Doctor.

Carina Borders

Carina Borders Hmmmm. So happy you are not listening to your critics. Continue to lead with your heart and your head. Thank you for all that you do.

John Gish

John Gish You’re doing a great job.

Laura Stansbury

Laura Stansbury That would make me wonder what he has invested?

Venetia Flowers

Venetia Flowers You got God on your side!

Michael D. Robinson

Michael D. Robinson We are all behind you and these people who thinking and saying “It’s the way it has always been…” need to understand that ‘Good enough isn’t good enough!’ We expect and demand fair and excellent medical care.

Roxanne Fleszar

Roxanne Fleszar Please keep up your efforts in behalf of all of us! ?

Myron Mike Schwartz

Myron Mike Schwartz Do what your heart tells you

Mary Ann Don


Billy Cartledge

Billy Cartledge Stay on em !

MJ Taylor

MJ Taylor Go, Rev, go!
Sloan Bashinsky
Sloan Bashinsky I attended the pretty much marathon city commission hospital public workshop where a lot of doctors spoke. Some nurses, some hospital staff, and lots of citizens spoke. The complaints were aimed at the way the hospital is run, not at the doctors, nurses and support staff, who were praised throughout the workshop. If I had to guess who the medical deity is, I would guess Dr. Attila, based on what I’ve heard about him and the interaction I had with him at the workshop after I told of him dismissing a friend of mine with awful MRSA, without checking with my friend’s physician who was looking after my friend in the hospital. My friend later told me Dr. Attila also altered the medication his doctor had taken quite a while refining so it would help my friend, who has low blood flow problem, which nearly killed him a few times, until his doctor figured out what it was, somehow. My friend said when he went to his doctor’s private practice office, after leaving the hospital, and his doctor’s Physician’s Assistant took one look at the prescription Dr. Attila had provided and said that isn’t going to work. My friend had to go back to the ER room because he had been dismissed too soon by Dr. Attila. City Commissioner Sam Kaufman said at the workshop, after I had told of my friend’s experience in the hospital with Dr. Attila, that Dr.Attila was his family’s doctor and they had only had good experiences with Dr. Attila. A woman friend came over to me and said she had only had good experiences with Dr. Attila. She’d been quite involved in hospital management in the past. Perhaps Dr. Attila is a great doctor but not so good and hospital management? I had hoped to see you, Steve, at the workshop, and hear your comments. And I had hoped to see Harry Bethel there, and hear his comments. It was a good old-fashioned barn-burner, that workshop. But I did not leave it thinking the city should sue the hospital, not yet. I felt the city should try to work with the new hospital director from CHS, who freely admitted there were serious problems and he was dealing with them. Some people said already positive changes were happening at the hospital. At the following city commission the new hospital director was back, said, if the city sues, his company has told him to say they will defend the lawsuit vigorously. They have a very big law firm. It might take years to resolve such a lawsuit. We want DHS, expect CHS, to provide us the best possible medical care, while we are suing them to make them leave? And we have nobody lined up to take their place. And clearly, the past has shown the city and the hospital board are not up to running a good hospital. At that city commission meeting, during my citizen comments, I told the mayor and city commissioners THEY are the committee to save the hospital, not some new committee they appoint onto which they can pass the buck They looked like deer caught in headlights. I told them to each pick one whistle blower from the hospital, a doctor, nurse, support staff, to advise them what needs to be changed at the hospital, and they, the 7 elected officials, deal directly with the new hospital director. I said this is easily the biggest problem they have facing the city right now (maybe affordable housing is the biggest, but not as presently dangerous as the hospital problem), and they need to get on it. Deer in the headlights. During his ensuing comments Mayor Cates said he could not provide that service to the city, he was out of his depth, a committee needed to be appointed. None of the 7 elected officials offered to be part of the save the hospital committee. They all wanted to pass the buck in some way, was my impression.
Eric Nichols
Eric Nichols Good good good for you Steve!! Keep it up. We need your good work.
Eric Nichols
Eric Nichols Good good good for you Steve!! Keep it up. We need your very talented and knowledgeable involvement.

Skipper Kripitz

Skipper Kripitz screw ’em if they can’t take a joke…

fooleda mind opened by wonderSince Steve Braddock is CEO of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, which offers a residency turn around program in Key West to down and out people who can produce clean urine, I will end today’s parallel universe star gazing with the comments generated by my Facebook post yesterday. Lisa Harlan babysat my daughters when they were tots.

It is unconscionable to put people in prison simply because they are homeless and have no place inside to lay down their head at night, plus Key West Historical Architectural Review Commission questions to mayor candidates and this write-in mayor candidate’s answers


Lisa Harlan Belcher
Lisa Harlan Belcher I think tiny home villages would help.
Sloan Bashinsky
Sloan Bashinsky Yes they would, but somebody’s got to build them here, on land made available, with money made available.
Not much land left here, not already built on, and many people here can’t afford where they now live and are hoping cheaper rental apartments will be built. These people number in the thousands, are on verge of becoming homeless here. It’s a world war trying to get the city to help those people with what land the city has, on which actually affordable rental housing for couples, families, elders, disabled people, who are not yet homeless, can be built. The scarce land is coveted by developers, and for a very long time developers have been looked after by the city and the county governments. Could be, 10, or 20, years from now, the KW economy implodes because the poor working stiffs who keep it going leave for some place they can afford to live. Imagine a city with no $10 per hour garbage collectors. That’s a city knowing for a fact who the most important people are – its garbage collectors. Homeless people are at the very bottom of the help ladder here. I appreciate that, given all the variables and how difficult it is to help homeless people still using alcohol and other drugs. which is the case with most of them. Where I get pissed off is plain raw cruelty to homeless people, simply because they are homeless. Simply because it can be gotten away with. I hate to think how that’s going down between Christians who torture homeless people, and their homeless Lord and Savior.
Lisa Harlan Belcher
Lisa Harlan Belcher Well said Sloan. I thought about the land situation after I wrote that. Definitely no room in Key West. Perhaps another Key. In my personal opinion I think Key West has been destroyed by the cruise industry. It will never be the sleepy isolated fishing village you and I once knew.
Sloan Bashinsky
Sloan Bashinsky The cruise industry is a two-headed hydra down here, attacking Key West from the land and from the sea 🙂, but, fortunately not so much from the air – yet (if you don’t count ETS and angels 🙂. From the land are GIANT tour buses, which leave the mainland early in the day, hit Key West mid-morning, clog our streets and vehicle traffic, block roads, dump their passengers out, then later in the day reload and head back up US 1, which can be compared to the Old US 280 long before anyone every heard of migrating to Chelsea. Imagine getting stuck behind one of those road monsters on US 1 for 99 miles, from Key Largo to Key West, or back the other way. Then, of course is the sea attack, the sea monsters, er, the sea killers, which dump their half-ass to just plain ass fresh effluent off shore, doing wonders for the green slime community out there, and the MRSA colonies closer to shore, and just absolutely poisoning what’s left of the nearly dead reef, which started dying decades before the sea monsters were amounting to much. Well, 1, 2 or 3 of those behemoths docks at Key West most days, and unloads 3,000 to 5,000 gawking what look like only slightly more upscale than Walmart regulars (a few exceptions) onto city streets, and into locally owned and operated trolleys, conch trains, shuttles, etc, further clogging city streets. Great diesel fumes and black soot smoke the sea killers put out, sorry I nearly forgotted to mention that begat straight from Dante’s inferno. The dirty T-shirt shops, fake conch made in Asian trinket shops, Sloppy Joe’s and Margaritaville, and the Conch Repubic store and the Hemingway house, and CVS and Wallgreen’s and Wendy’s mop up. Then the sea monster’s blow their horn and the sea lemmings head back to their mother ships en route down into the Caribbean, where they might be more loved by people who make about in one year what one cruise ship junket costs. I keep thinking someone might sink one of those monsters in the harbor, to scare the rest of them away, and salvage the sunk one for a giant ocean side homeless shelter and affordable rental housing, after it’s connected up to city water, sewer and electricity. How’s that or little houses? A giant sea castle with 3000, or 5000, little cabins in it. Now if only the Navy would fire off a missile …
Lisa Harlan Belcher
Lisa Harlan Belcher Awesome idea Sloan!!!!
Sloan Bashinsky
Sloan Bashinsky The Navy sinking a cruise ship?
Lisa Harlan Belcher

Lisa Harlan Belcher No you nutter. The cruise ship for the homeless. LOL

cruise ship butt

April fool

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