From Christine Russell yesterday:
Hi Sloan – I am getting so totally exhausted reading your blog, the Citizen, emails from friends back in the Keys.
DOES EVERYTHING HAVE TO BE SUCH A BATTLE in the Keys (and maybe elsewhere)?! You and I both know the answer to that! Many of us have fought many battles over the years. It should all NOT have to be a ‘FIGHT’ to do what is best for the majority of citizens! It is exhausting and will drain your energy and soul. It is sad, depressing and wasteful in terms of time, money and energy. It has taken being away from the Keys but I am learning I would much rather spend my time doing POSITIVE things rather than ‘fight city hall’ as they say.
On a fun and positive note. I will tell you it is Carnaval in Panama! This is the second largest celebration in Latin America, right behind Rio.
Tonight I am going to see Marc Anthony (I think he is ex-Mr. Jennifer Lopez) And it’s all affordable – free! We have had beautiful fireworks displays for the past week. The government here spent $2.7 million dollars on this 5 day party. The economy is flying here with a growth rate of 11-12% last year, a new canal to come on-line in 2015, and a new subway to open next year.
Anyway tonight I will be salsaing on the Cinto Costra I take salsa classes on Tuesdays so I hope I can keep up with these 20 something’s! On another positive note – I spent last week out on the Azeruo peninsula with my diplomat friend volunteering at 2 spay-neuter events in Tonosi and Las Tablas. They were long 14 hours days, but I met wonderful, selfless giving people, and know I have made friends for life. We spayed 255 cats and dogs in those 2 days.
I am at a point in my life that it is important for me to do less ‘fighting’ and more positive things in the world. This may sound sappy but it is my new orientation. A couple weeks ago I was asked to give a presentation on recycling to Green Drinks Panama – what I have learned about recycling, different programs available, my experience in Key West with recycling. It was very well received, but what could I say about KW and recycling besides they spent $380,000 on a study – the audience gasped at that amount of money being spent for an island of 20,000 people (plus too many tourists!).
It is not all rosy here believe me! But I am on a new positive road, rolling over the bumps and potholes. I will be back to KW in a few months, but not for long. Hope to see you.
Hang in there. And if you can find one positive cause to undertake, as opposed to fighting all the go-no-where battles – it will do your heart, soul, and mind, a great deal of good Your angels will approve!
Go and volunteer at an animal shelter – you will find the perros y gatos much more loving and forgiving that many of the 2 legged creatures
I like to live by this creed “You get from the world, what you give to the world”. It is a good way to live and if everyone would do something to help others or the world out – it would be a much better place to live.
Sadly, it seems the world is going to hell rather quickly these days. Hang in there Sloan.
Hi there, Jaguar Woman! Short answer to your first question, yes, probably. And, yes, it is exhausting, and it drains our energy and soul.
I have nagged you, at times, to move on from your “Key West incarnation”, and unload your other real estate in America, and plunge all the way into your Panama experience, which is looks like in your email you are starting to do.
I wish I was motivated to work with animals, but the slave driving angels hard on my case seem determined to see just how much abuse I can take at the hands of the local and US political derbies. I keep hearing stuff like, “It refines you to be doing this.” Refine, as in grind, like to bits, and then do dust.
I found myself thinking, though, today, that maybe the angels are pretty darn clever. Over the past year and a little longer, they arranged for me to engage people interested in various woo woo (far out) topics and endeavors similar to what I used to be pretty involved in, which seemed far more in keeping with my so-called spiritual training than screwing around with politics. However, the dunkings of my soul and carcass into those “past life” reexperiences, so to speak, proved to be really rough, at least as rough, if not more rough, than the political dunkings, and not nearly as much fun as politics can be, when the utterly absurd cannot be ignored any longer, and I have to just stop and take a breath and burst into side-slitting laughter and piss in my pants, because all other options are either nuts or impossible .
Maybe the angels had to take me on that back-facing trip into Steven Kingdom, to get me to be more happy about screwing around in politics .
I agree, though, if everyone would do something to try to help others out, this would be a very different world. However, what one person views as help might not be welcomed with wide open arms by the helpee, especially if the helper is looking to get something out of it for the helper and the helpee’s expense, and/or the helpee doesn’t really want the help. The funnest thing I ever did in the political zoo was promote a nude beach when I ran for Mayor of Key West in 2009. backside of this T-shirt That was the only fun campaign, out of seven I so far have run – three for mayor, three for the county commission, and one for school board. And the weird thing is, if Key West had shaken its Puritan shackles and turned the upper half of Smathers Beach into a clothing optional beach, it would have attracted several hundred thousand new visitors to Key West annually, who had not been there before. Visitors who stayed in hotels, motels, lodges, guest houses, unlike cruise ship passengers. Visitors who spent lots more wampum in restaurants, bars, stores, water sport activities, unlike cruise ship passengers.
Well, that didn’t happen.
Although I enjoy hearing from you, maybe you should stop reading my brain-damaging ravings, and the more or less equally good news in the The Citizen and emails from your other cheery Key West friends, and get all the way whole hog into the Panama experience. I’m repeating myself.
Meanwhile, just in case you still need another down and dirty Key West fix, perhaps this praise report to Mayor Cates and the city leaders will send you for a yuck, or for more headache powder.
YOU’RE NOT KEEPING ANY PEOPLE OUT OF KEY WEST AND ANY OTHER PLACE NEAR HERE THAT STUDY IS A SHAM AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE IN GENERAL ARE STUPID TO BELIEVE THE REAL PEOPLE POPULATION IS DOWN,THERE HIDING BETTER AND BETTER. EVERYONE IS HOMELESS IS THE EYES OF THE CONDO DWELLWER BECAUSE THE ARE TOLD TO THINK THAT WAY AND THERE DOING IT. HOMELESS PERSON LOST C D L FOR HE IS NOW ON THE ROAD AGAIN (false names) SALLEY, HOMELESS SHE IS YOUR MAITRE D AT ONE OF UR FAVORITE BREAKFAST SPOTS SHE’S GOOD LOOKING AND U ALL TIP HER WELL. HENRY, HOMELESS GUY IS UR FAVORITE CHEF AT A RESTAURANT ON DUVAL SQUARE ,,,RACHEL, SLEEPS WHERE EVER,,,WORKS AT K MART WEST, LARRY WORKS FOR GARY THE CARPENTER FOR YEARS NOW, RONNIE ALSO WORKS FOR GARY THE CARPENTER 6 MONTHS NOW,,,,SCOTTIE JUST LEFT FOR OHIO GETTING READY FOR POTATOE SEASON,,,,,2 HANGING AROUND HIGGS BEACH WILL BE LEAVING FOR THEIR USUAL CONSTRUCTION GIG UPSTATE NEW YORK ON AND ON AND ON,,,,THIS TOWN SPENDS AN AWFUL AMOUNT OF TIME CONCENTRATING ON WHAT THEY OR WHO THEY THINK IS HOMELESS. THAT ARTICLE IN THE PAPER IS A SHAM AND SHAME ON THE RAG FOR PRINTING IT SUCH A DUMB ARTICLE AND ALL IT DID WAS BLOW SMOKE UP THE MAYORS ASS. HOW CAN THE MAYOR SAY THE OPEN CONTAINER LAW FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE ONLY IS WORKING WHEN YOU PUT THE SAME GUY IN JAIL 77 TIMES. DOES THAT STATEMENT MAKE ANY SENSE TO YOU, IT DOESENT TO ME. I LOVE RIDING BICYCLE AND ALL I SEE IS CRIMES GOING UNNOTICED WHILE THERE STARING AT A HOMELESS PERSON SITTING DOWN THE COPS ARE ON CASA MARINA ROW WITH BINOCULARS STARING AT HOMELESS PEOPLE. THEY THREATEN THEM WITH HARM UNDER THE COVER OF DARKNESS AND THE MAYORS BULL SHIT IS JUST THAT, LIES. THE HOMELESS POPULATION IS NOT DOWN ,,,IT’S UP AND PEOPLE WILL VOTE FOR HIM BECAUSE THEY ARE STUPID. JIMMY WEAKLY WAS A MAJOR PLAYER IN GETTING THIS TOWN SUED BY DUCK TOURS AND THE STUPID PEOPLE VOTED HIM IN AGAIN AND HE WILL BE YOUR MAYOR AGAIN,,,MARK MY WORDS. I TRAVELED 23 TIMES TO MIAMI AND MIAMI BEACH AREAS,,,,,,RIDE BICYCLE ALL OVER,,,,MAKE FRIENDS ALL OVER THESE AREAS AND THE BEST THING THAT HAPPENED TO MIAMI AND THE PEOPLE OF MIAMI WAS THE FEDERAL JUDGE TAKING OVER THIE HOMELESS SITUATION. COPS DO NOT SPEND TIME TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO LEAVE TOWN ANYMORE. IT’S A BEAUTIFUL THING. MIAMI AND MIAMI BEACH ARE IN FINE SHAPE BUT THEIR POLICE DEPT. HAS PROBLEMS. DID ANYONE SEE THE SUN SENTINAL A COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO WHERE A COP WAS SENT TO A ROBERY IN PROGRESS BUT DECIDED HE WAS GOING TO KEEP HIS APPOINTMENT IN THE DADELAND MALL IN KENDALL TO GET LAID IN HER CAR IN THE PARKING LOT,,HE WAS FIRED. OF COURSE NONE OF YOU SAW THAT BECAUSE YOU ALL HAVE BEEN TOLD NOT TO TAKE YOUR EYES OFF HOMELESS SO YOU COME OUT OF YOUR CONDOS THAT YOU PAID TOO MUCH FOR AND TAKE PICTURES OF EVERYBODY BECAUSE YOU THINK EVERY ONE IS HOMELESS BECAUSE YOU ARE TOLD TO THINK THAT WAY.. COPS ARE AT IT AGAIN SLOAN, THEY ARE TAKING BENCHES OUT LOWER DUVAL AND SIDE STREETS AND THEY HAD THE CITY WORKERS CHAIN LINK FENCE OFF A PORTION OF AN AREA IN BAYVIEW PARK WHERE REAL PEOPLE SIT TO WATCH A BALL GAME. I SEE MORE CRIME FROM MY BICYCLE THAN THE COP ON THE HORSE WHO RIDES AROUND LOOKING INTO PEOPLE’S BACK YARDS. YOU WON’T BELIEVE THIS ONE BUT A KEY WEST COP SEVERAL YRS AGO WAS GETTING A BLOW JOB IN HER CAR IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE BOCCI COURTS ON A GAME NIGHT THIS WAS SEVERAL YRS. AGO. I WAS PARKED RIGHT NEXT TO THEM. I HAD SANCHEZ BREAK INTO MY VAN AND PUT A GUN TO MY HEAD AND I WAS TOLD NOT TO MOVE BECAUSE, I TOLD HIM I WAS’NT AND WAS HAPPY WITH MY ANS. AND LEFT…..MORE RECENTLY DET.EDWARDS BROKE INTO MY VAN SWINGING A BATON CAME WITHIN ONE INCH OF MY FORHEAD AND 2 UNIFORMED PEOPLE LET HIM BREAK IN. HIS BODY WAS HALF WAY INTO MY VEHICLE AND IF I HAD A KNIFE I WOULD HAVE SHOVED IT IN HIS NECK. I WOULD HAVE BEEN STANDING MY GROUND BOTH TIMES. SO FOLKS I CAN TELL OF A MILLION INCIDENTS THAT SHOULD HAVE POLICE ATTENTION BUT THERE STARING,,,LIKE YOU,,,,,AT HOMELESS ALL DAY AT NIGHT,,,,,,,,WOW WHAT AN HONORABLE PROFESSION. THAT LAST REPORT IS SUCH A CROCK OF SHIT IT’S LAUGHABLE BUT YOU ARE AFRAID NOT TO BELIEVE IT. A HOMELESS PERSON WILL DO C. P. R. ON YOU BUT FRIEND WITH THE CHEAPSKATE SUITS WON’T COME NEAR YOU WHILE YOUR HAVING A HEART ATTACK. ALL I CAN SAY PLEASE LET A FEDERAL JUDGE FINALLY TAKE OVER KEY WEST AND THE F B I TO INVESTIGATE THE TREE COMMISSION AND LOCK SOME PEOPL UP.. YOU LOVE BEING LIED,,,,,,,,YES YOU DO…….THE TRUTH IS TOO SIMPLE FOR YOU. AMIGO DAFFY
====================== Key West channel dredging today
next morning P.S. praise report to Jaguar Woman, letter to the editor in The Citizen today:
Other cities addressing cruise ship impacts
It was interesting and ironic to see that John Wells is once again beating his horse in support of cruise ships and channel-widening. Ironic, because I was visiting the historic town of Charleston, S.C., when the column appeared. Charleston has a much more active preservation community than Key West. The Preservation Society of Charleston was founded in 1920 and serves to protect a historic district with over 4,800 designated structures. The society began presenting preservation awards 60 years ago and has recognized over 1,300 properties.
Charleston is currently undergoing a massive increase in cruise ship traffic, which has tripled since 2010. It is similar to the increase that Key West experienced between the late 1990s and early part of the 2000s. The biggest difference is that there is a much greater awareness of what is at stake. This coming week, they are hosting a large symposium on the impact of cruise ships on historic port communities. Over 25 panelists from around the world will participate, including speakers from Alaska, Italy, Chile and Costa Rica. Notably, the National Geographic editor who dubbed Key West as “getting ugly” [because of excessive cruise ship impacts] will be speaking.
A quote from Anthony Wood, National Trust for Historic Preservation, demonstrates the universality of the threat: “The cruise situation is already unacceptable to many. It is threatening not only the lifestyles of residents, but the experience of tourism. Charleston is woven of a delicate fabric of arts, culture, history, families, local and international businesses. No one aspect should outweigh another. They must grow in harmony, or there will be an imbalance threatening the well-being of all. “You don’t want people saying things about Charleston that they’re now saying about Key West because of the impact of cruise ships. Or Venice,” he said. “You want to get ahead of the game on this.” (http://www.charlestoncruisecontrol.org/2013/charleston-not-alone-in-crui…).
Besides the National Trust, other collaborators include the Center for Responsible Tourism, Coastal Conservation League, International Council on Monuments and Sites, the Preservation Society of Charleston and the World Monuments Fund.
Shoot, Christine, if the folks in Charleston had a lick of sense, they would reactivate those cannons at Ft. Sumter and fire on and sink any cruise ship what tried to get into Charleston Harbor. Doesn’t Key West have an old Yankee fort overlooking the channel cruise ships use to get into Key West’s harbor?
But then, perhaps you would prefer to read this laudable Keynoter praise report forwarded to me by Nashville this morning? I think maybe Key West of Weird might have become J’s favorite sitcom –
Key West’s ‘Scrub Club’ reportedly scrubbing debit cards of adult-entertainment clients
More than 300 police complaints from customers at the Adult Entertainment Club have been logged since Jan. 1, 2011.
BY SEAN KINNEY
Key West has a long-held reputation as an anything-goes party town that tolerates — and in many cases facilitates — an array of bawdy pastimes.
A stroll down Duval Street yields strip clubs, clothing-optional bars and establishments catering to alternative lifestyles. But the Adult Entertainment Club, formerly and colloquially known as the Scrub Club, at 1221 Duval is different.
In the 765-day period between Jan. 1, 2011, and this past Feb. 4, Key West police logged 301 calls related to the Adult Entertainment Club — that’s a call every 2.5 days, a staggering number for an 800-square-foot place in a neighborhood otherwise populated by cafes, wine shops, boutiques and art galleries.
The main complaint: Unauthorized use of customers’ debit or credit cards, often to the tune of thousands of dollars.
The club’s website, signs and brochures offer scantily clad women available for “bachelor parties, fantasy and fetish shows, nude snorkeling, nude parasailing [and] divorce parties.” It offers “free shuttle and 24/7 escort service.”
But the voluminous police reports, along with a long trail of Internet posts, message-board threads and complaints with the Better Business Bureau of Southeast Florida and the Caribbean, paint a far different picture of what goes on inside. But barring specific complaints, the Key West Police Department has no plan to take a closer look.
The pattern is usually the same:
It’s late at night and an intoxicated man steps inside, where he pays an entrance fee, usually more than $100. That begins a conversation with one of the female employees, described on the business website as “classy and sophisticated,” leading to a private room.
From there, it’s not clear what goes on other than the price goes up, the man supplies his debit card and personal identification number to the woman — he’s generally nude at this point — and she leaves the room. Later on, the man notices unauthorized charges on his card and contacts police.
Case in point: On Feb. 4 around 2 a.m., a Russian tourist who told police “he had been drinking” went into the club and agreed to pay $100, according to a report prepared by Officer David Fraga.
“While in the club [the tourist] said he gave his ATM card to one of the employees along with his PIN.” Four hours later, “He saw there was a total amount of about $2,500 charged on his card.”
Fraga told the man to “go to the business and fill out a complaint form for the issue.”
A few days earlier, on Jan. 31, a man from St. Johns, Fla., called police to report that on Jan. 26, when he was in town visiting, he went into the Adult Entertainment Club and “agreed to pay $200 with one of the females working on this date for sex,” according to a report prepared by Officer Tricia Milliken.
He also said he agreed to tip the female $100 prior to the services being rendered and gave her his Visa debit card and PIN. He “stated he expected sex from the female and she would not give him what he expected, so he got dressed and left the establishment.”
When he returned to St. Johns, he said he realized his card was charged $1,000, not $100. Milliken provided him with a case number.
Police spokeswoman Alyson Crean said the department has heard the Adult Entertainment Club is about more than just “entertainment,” but that the department focuses its attention on higher-priority initiatives like dealing with aggressive vagrants drinking and panhandling on city streets, and quelling drug dealing.
“We do not get complaints of prostitution,” she said via e-mail. “Certainly there are intimations and innuendoes that this activity may be occurring. That being said, without any complaints, there are other, higher priorities set by the community and by the department.”
“Look at the issue of vagrancy and panhandling. A task force made up of business owners, residents and even the mayor has told the department that the community will not tolerate certain behaviors, and we have four quality-of-life officers dedicated to seeing that priority is addressed.”
“Getting drug dealers off the streets is another issue that the community has made very clear is a top priority for our city. Same thing with reducing incidents of burglary. So in those terms, I would answer that there is no specific enforcement strategy for this business.”
The city’s Code Compliance Department has been more proactive, fining the business $500 last year after investigating offsite promotional and solicitation activity. Basically, club employees would park their advertisement-emblazoned vehicle in other parts of Old Town and hand out brochures for the business in violation of code.
Yet, they are too prim and proper to have a nude beach. You tell me, Jaguar Woman, how they gonna do anything about the Scrub Club, when they flat out admit they got their coppers spread all around hunting down homeless people? Enjoy Panama.