Cartoon provided by my oldest first Bashinsky cousin Leo, who in his own way, is about as crazy as his oldest Bashinsky first cousin
Connie Gilbert, of Key West, responded to yesterday’s bizarre SNAFU Key West goings on, and some horsing around post:
Sloan–FYI, Mark used to be able to pay for book reviews ($50 as I recall) but his budget for those were eliminated a year or so ago. Reviews are now contributed by the writers, usually, I suspect, as a favor to the books’ authors.
Also–at UU this morning an adult who knew Matthew Gilleran, knew him well, sounded like, said bullying wasn’t the issue. “We’re now considering it a child’s unfettered access to a firearm.”
January’s Human Trafficking Awareness Month and the Keys Coalition rally is next Saturday. See release below. And Happy New Year. Connie
Saturday Rally to Combat Sexual Trafficking of Children
For Immediate Release
Last year a 12-year-old runaway from Monroe County, identified in court records as J.J., was lured to Fort Lauderdale where she was forced into prostitution and “sold” on the Internet. In these United Sates, an estimated 100,000 children are sexually trafficked each year, and another 300,000 are at risk.
To learn how to help prevent this fast-growing crime from happening again to any of our children, attend the 2nd annual Rally sponsored by the Keys Coalition Against Human Trafficking on Saturday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. at the Doubletree Grand Key Resort, South Roosevelt Blvd., Key West.
[I, Sloan, shortened it, because the anti-trafficking conference and topic was not on topic for today, for me.]
I replied to Connie:
However Mark Howell does book reviews in Solares Hill, the author who approached me can approach Mark about getting his ebook novel reviewed there. I wonder if the writers who do reviews for Solares Hill do so because they have had, or want to have, their own books reviewed there. I wonder if Solares Hill will review an ebook.
As I wrote to the author, I don’t like reading virtual books, but I would try to read his if he sent it to me, before I published his press release, for which he would pay me $100, because I want to know what I am letting him promote on my websites for his own personal profit.
I suppose it’s fair to say I have a unique “product”, and I suppose it’s also fair to say any review of a book I do will be very different from any review anyone else would do. People who want me to review on my websites their books for profit will pay for it- $500. Or, they can try to get their books reviewed elsewhere. That’s the deal.
Sometimes I do review gratis other authors’ books for profit, not because they ask me to do it, but because I think their book is really important. I did brief reviews of some of Michael Gruber’s novels recently, for that reason. I have reviewed from time to time The Spear of Destiny, by Trevor Ravenscroft, and Hostage to the Devil, by Father Malachi Martin. Those books are very important for humanity today; far more important than any book Solares Hill ever reviewed. Far more important than any book written by any of the fabled Key West authors, including Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams and Robert Frost.
Last year, I reviewed the first novel of a dear friend simply because he is a dear friend. Mostly, that review was about my dear friend, Al (Allan C.) Morgan, the alleged ex-CIA covert operator disguised as a M.I.T. PhD graduate engineer and inventor turned novelist and chef. Al did not ask me to review The Baby Phoenix; he did not even know I sometimes reviewed books. I just did it, and then I posted it to his and The Baby Phoenix page at Amazon.com, and then I told him about it.
As for unfettered access to guns in his home being the cause of Matthew’s suicide, you well know, Connie, that I have the lowest respect for the acumen of what goes on in UU, which I observed had zero connection to the spirit realms. This latest theory, which you report, unfettered access to firearms, is insane, because it totally bypasses what prompted young Matthew to want to kill himself.
The prime motivator, as I wrote at the very beginning, was the tremendous stress put on Matthew by the FCAT. This was told to me by the same angels who told me to do what I did in UU in 2006, which caused the leaders of that church to convene in secret and form a committee against permanent insanity and ban me from UU forever, which graciously spared me from having to deal further with their permanent insanity.
The angels who got me banned for life from UU agree that the immediate trigger for Matthew’s suicide was hazing at Key West High School for his being gay; hazing which reached a breaking point for Matthew Friday before last, which drove him to leave school, go home, post a farewell to his friends on Facebook, and shoot himself.
Yes, if there had been no gun in Matthew’s home, perhaps he would not have shot himself that day. Perhaps he would have been able to ride it out. Perhaps he would have slashed his wrists with a knife and climbed into a bath tub and bled out. But to say the cause of it was unfettered access to guns is insane. I would have said that, and plenty more, if I had been in UU and heard unfettered access to guns was the cause of it.
The short time between school letting out and Matthew going home and telling his Facebook friends farewell, and then shooting himself cannot be ignored. That Superintendent of Schools Mark Porter and the School Board members have ignored that glaring chain of events not even remotely hidden in plain view, and have not gone to KWHS and privately spoken with each student in Matthew’s classes, tells me those officials are either insane or are criminals, and for either reason they should resign.
The rest of what you wrote to me is not on topic and is not on my plate right now. However, as I have told you before, you need to focus on trying to stop child sex-trafficking in the Keys, and the place for you to begin is the Duval Street child sex magnet. Perhaps you start in the 801 Club, which is co-owned by Matthew’ father. In 2002, I was told by someone very prominent in Key West today, who participated in one, that there is a back room in that club where orgies occur between gay men.
I also heard about that back room from then Police Chief Buz Dillon and from several other Key West citizens of note.
From Larry Murray yesterday, re an article in The Key West Citizen yesterday:
Am I not correct that Roger McVeigh is also the treasurer of SHAL and thus responsible for timely payment of bills, e.g. Workmen’s Compensation premiums?
Furthermore, is not Ken Gentile, the Director of Finance at the School District on the SHAL Board, also available for monitoring SHAL’s financial responsibilities?
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Worker: They told me to lie
SHAL’s insurance reportedly lapsed
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff firstname.lastname@example.org
A Key West man who worked on the city-funded homeless “mobile outreach program,” basically a caseworker in a recreational vehicle, this week accused its related nonprofit of telling him to lie about an on-the-job injury because its insurance had lapsed.
The Southernmost Homeless Assistance League (SHAL), the nonprofit the city hired to manage its overnight homeless shelter that also helped fund the RV project, let its worker’s compensation insurance lapse between Sept. 30 and Oct. 24, according to the state’s compliance database.
On Oct. 12, SHAL’s then-caseworker Todd Lovejoy fell and broke his left pinkie, which required a plate and four screws to repair, according to his claim filed with the state.
At the time of the reported injury, Lovejoy had been on the job for four days, according to an email he sent SHAL Executive Director Wendy Coles on Thursday.
SHAL owes him wages for December as well as the worker’s compensation claim, Lovejoy wrote.
Lovejoy, 47, said on Oct. 22 he met with Coles and then-director of the RV project Angela Nunez, who left Key West last month.
According to Lovejoy, Coles told him SHAL’s board of directors had come up with a solution for the worker’s comp claim, given the fact that the nonprofit had let its insurance lapse: Find a new doctor and lie about the injury.
“The board wants you to go to a different doctor and tell them you fell at home and put it through your own insurance,” Lovejoy recalled Coles saying in the Thursday email, which he declined to discuss when reached Friday by phone.
“I advised you that was insurance fraud,” Lovejoy wrote. “I then asked, why would the board just not say they would take care of the medical bills instead of having me commit fraud? The end of November, Dr. Perry had to put a plate and four screws in my finger.”
Lovejoy said he hasn’t heard from SHAL since Dec. 28.
Coles could not be reached for comment, and did not respond to an email asking specific questions about the claim. SHAL board Chairman Alan Teitelbaum couldn’t be reached by press time.
Attorney Maggie Gutierrez said Friday that Lovejoy came to her shortly after the accident with concerns that SHAL didn’t have proper insurance coverage.
Gutierrez said her client, who is also represented by Fort Lauderdale attorney Jason Barnett, went through a terribly painful emergency surgery on his hand in November.
Lovejoy had no choice but to make a claim with his own health insurance carrier, said Gutierrez, but he disclosed that the procedure was for a work-related injury.
It’s unclear whether SHAL paid the doctor’s surgery bill, said Gutierrez, who added that SHAL hasn’t replied to a series of calls from her and Lovejoy’s other attorneys.
As a retired police officer, Lovejoy was very upset at the suggestion he lie on his medical forms, according to Gutierrez.
Lovejoy retired in 2005 as a police sergeant from the Waterbury Police Department in Connecticut.
“I told him to absolutely be honest when you fill out these health insurance forms,” said Gutierrez. “There are always those questions: Is this an auto accident or a result of an injury at work?”
Gutierrez said repeated phone calls to the attorney handling SHAL’s side of the claim, Charlie Martinez, have gone unanswered.
The city of Key West is also named in the worker’s compensation claim.
“I do not understand how an organization could be run so terribly,” Lovejoy wrote in the email, which he copied to dozens of Florida Keys nonprofit leaders. “My attorney has been trying to contact your attorney for weeks now, without a response. I have not been paid since early December.”
Since Oct. 1, 2011, the city of Key West has assigned SHAL to manage its Keys Overnight Temporary Shelter (KOTS) on Stock Island.
The city reserves about $400,000 a year for the management of KOTS.
Before late 2011, when SHAL started the mobile RV project — its first foray into providing direct services — the nonprofit was a lead agency funneling state and federal grant money to Monroe County agencies that assist the homeless.
Last year, SHAL’s board of directors voted to end its run as the county’s lead agency and focus only on homeless outreach services.
“All I can say is wow if this is how you treat your employees, no wonder the homeless are in such bad shape!” Lovejoy wrote.
City Attorney Shawn Smith received the Lovejoy email via The Citizen. Smith said in an email Saturday that he was on vacation with his family and could not comment.
I replied to Larry:
Yeah, I think you are correct about Roger McVeigh and Ken Gentile. Compounding the felony (maybe some poetic license taken) reported in The Citizen today, received this from a reader – grab your high blood pressure medicine and take heart that the school district ain’t the only criminally insane wing in The State Mental:
From city agenda. Pretty weird
WHEREAS, the City of Key West appreciates and strives to demonstrate its One Human Family Motto every day; and
WHEREAS, the City of Key West is special and unique partly because of the diversity of its residents; and
WHEREAS, the City of Key West has a large population of homeless individuals who have challenges that require special support services to help them become productive and contributing Citizens, and
WHEREAS, Wendy Coles is retiring on January 31, 2013 after 7 years of providing dedicated, tireless and unselfish service to some of our most challenged Monroe County and City of Key West residents, and
WHEREAS, Wendy Cole’s exceptional compassion, understanding and efforts have resulted in furthering the development and transformation of the Homeless Services Programs available to these Monroe County and City of Key West residents.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Craig Cates, Mayor of the City of Key West, do hereby proclaim
January 31st, 2013 as
WENDY COLES DAY
in the “Southernmost City of the Continental United States” I would like to urge all citizens, residents and visitors of our Southernmost City to participate fittingly in this observation.
WITNESS my hand and seal of the City of Key West, Florida, this 22nd day of January 2013.
I replied to the reader:
Thanks. Beyond weird, compounded by The Citizen article today re SHAL not having Workmen’s Comp Insurance and Coles and SHAL’s lawyer not returning The Citizen’s phone calls, some of which I addressed in today’s post below.
Re the two Key West High School basketball star thieves getting reinstated on the team by Mark Porter, as reported in The Citizen and reproduced in yesterday’s post, Nashville J wrote:
That is a made up story – RIGHT ! No way, Mark Porter could make such a dumb-ass decision – I mean he was the top pick for the job. And he makes the decision in mid-December and it is just now coming out? Yep, that is certainly a great TEACHING MOMENT to all those who keep their noses clean – rob the band room – and get to play basketball because you are the teams two best players. UNFRIGGINBELIEVABLE! AND, Porter and Bosco don’t believe any “bullying” was involved in Matthews death – they are both two stupid to even have a job – much less ones that are so important to the young people in Monroe county and Key West!
I promise you that if KEY WEST was a TV series, no one would watch because it is so unbelievable.
I replied to J:
At the top one version of KeysSchools.com is “Student Success, Whatever it takes.”
Somewhere on the school district’s website, I can’t find it today, it’s never easy for me to find, is a vision statement about students being prepared to be global citizens who are college and/or career ready on graduation from high school.
OH, you mean Porter is trying to help them maintain their CRIMINAL careers! Why aren’t there asses in JAIL ! Old Sloan stroles thru the band room and steals cellphones, I pads and money – his ass is in JAIL. OH-OH, I know the answer: WHITE MEN CAN’T JUMP!
I replied to J:
I think you are showing racial prejudice against white men, J.
Not for nothing it is called Key Weird. What do you expect, when many of the natives (Conchs) are blood descendants of pirates, slavers, smugglers, ship wreckers; and one has to wonder if the gene pool wasn’t a tad small and close relatives with different plumbing got together and so forth and so on. I used the plumbing metaphor because the school district and county government servers might kick out my post if I wrote different you know what – starts with s, ends with x, insert e in the middle.
Actually, “Key West of Weird” might make a great TV sitcom, if your steady reading of what I write about it is any indication. Maybe you and a few others who don’t live down here and keep up with Key West of Weird in my ravings are the market research team for the new sitcom
It turned out Larry Murray was only just getting warmed up yesterday:
Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2013 11:37:55 -0800 From: email@example.com Subject: Surely You Jest–Contract With Corey Wybensinger To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com CC: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; John.Dick@KeysSchools.com
As always, I have been reviewing the agenda for next week’s Board Meeting. I am reminded as I do so of the old saw: “The devil is in the details.”
I call your attention to an item quietly buried in the Consent Agenda, specifically Item 22, “Approve Contract Renewal for Corey Wybensinger.” At first blush,this is on the Consent Agenda and appears to be an innocuous matter akin to Item 8, “Approve District Travel” and so on. However, if you read the associated documents, you will learn, as Alice did, that it becomes “curiouser and curiouser”.
The Board is being asked to approve a contract “NTE $13,972? with Mr. Wybensinger. Further reading reveals that the District has previously contracted this fiscal year with him in an amount in excess of $11,000. The Finance Director reports that this “requisition (is) pending a Budget Amendment (as) the total contract for the year (is) over 25K.” See Consent Agenda Item 13 for details.
All of this begs the question of why the District is contracting with a former employee for service. The “Contract For Goods & Services” identifies 8 duties expected of Mr. Wybensinger while working no more than 16 hours per week. Bear in mind that he is gainfully employed elsewhere.
Please read “Contractor Services”. I believe that it is a fair statement to conclude that the District is contracting with Mr. Wybensinger principally to assist with a variety of purchasing activities. For example, “Assist in the planning direction of the competitive solicitation process….” There are other “services” which I will address later.
Now, I have no issue with Mr. Wybensinger personally. I met him when he was employed by the District and he favorably impressed me. I am told that he is a skilled accountant. So, what is my issue?
Shortly after assuming office, you hired a new Purchasing Agent at a salary of c. $70,000 per year, a very healthy increase of c. $30,000 over her previous salary as a purchasing agent for the Sheriff’s Department. One assumes that talent is commensurate with salary.
My understanding, correct me if I am wrong, was that Mr. Wybensinger was contracted earlier to assist in the transition. You would not think that a $70,000 year Purchasing Agent with prior government contracting experience would need such assistance. After all, we are not talking about some low paid rookie who needs on the job training.
Be that as it may, let us overlook the initial “transition” contract and focus on the contract before us. It appears to me that what the District is doing is in effect, hiring a second Purchasing Agent.
That begs another question. Is the current Purchasing Agent incapable of doing the job or is she so overburdened with other responsibilities as to not have time to do all that is required? I think that question deserves an answer before the Board approves the contract. On the surface, it looks to me that the District is engaging two people to do one job at a combined expense of well over $100,000 if benefits are included.
Reading deeper into the “Contract Purpose/Description”, you will learn that Mr. Wybensinger will also be responsible for “Creation and Implementation of the Monroe County School District Record Retention Schedule and Record (sic) Management Manual.” This is a task that has been languishing, kicked down the road if you will, for nearly 3 years since I raised it with the Audit and Finance Committee. The task was assigned internally and nothing was done. I believe the message is clear: When you cannot compel staff internally to do their job, then you have no choice but to contract it out.
Contracting with someone gainfully employed to perform work on the side for no more than 16 hours per week tells me that either the tasks are not all that time consuming or that Mr. Wybensinger’s talent far exceeds what is available in the District. That conundrum reminds me of a similar one faced by Ronald Reagan in the Iran-Contra Affair. Either he knew what was occurring and violated the law or he was unaware of what his subordinates were doing illegally and thus negligent. That is loss/loss.
I suggest that the District is in a similar situation when farming out work. This is the second out of state consultant hired this year by the Finance Department to perform what I would characterize as routine Finance Department work. I would also compare the situation with the Risk Management operation in which the District pays handsomely for a director and staff, and then farms out much of the work to a consultant, Gallagher Bassett.
Superintendent Porter told Bill Becker during his Friday radio interview that he thought that Tuesday’s Board meeting would be brief as no matters of consequence were on the docket. I disagree and hope that the Board closely examines the Wybensinger contract and other “details” conveniently buried in the Consent Agenda.
Dr. Larry Murray
Fiscal Watchdog and Citizen Advocate
I replied to Larry and All:
Larry, others – At any other government meeting in the Keys I ever attended, except School Board meetings, citizens are allowed to sign up to speak to any item on the printed agenda, including “consent” items. When a citizen signs up to speak to a “consent” agenda item, that item is pulled from the consent agenda for citizen content and discussion by the governing body. Based on what you wrote, Larry, it looks to me this item needs to be pulled from the consent agenda in any event. Sloan
Larry replied to me:
Wholly agree, especially your points about expanding public comment.
My mantra during last year’s school board races, “The school district is terminally dysfunctionally insane and the only chance for each school is to go charter and separate from the Kremlin at Trumbo Point”, has not changed. That approach might not work, but it’s clear the current approach is not working. Maybe the reason the school district is the most terminally dysfunctionally insane government agency in the Keys is because the School Board only allows about 5 percent of the citizen comment at public meetings, which is allowed at other government agency meetings. Maybe it is fair to say the school district is more than a tad inbred.