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The most recent Key Weird hullabaloo surfaced yesterday with a report in the Key West Citizen that “Conchman”, the winning poster art entry for this year’s October Fantasy Fest “Super Heroes, Villains and Beyond” theme, looked a bit too much like D.C. Comics’ Superman, so “Conchman” was yanked and one of the runner up entries would be selected. Today’s Citizen reports the new winner. Click on www.keysnews.com, if you are a susbscriber or want to use plastic money to read all about that super villainous caper. The villainous whistleblower was one of the artists whose entry was not selected.
Hold that thought.
Yesterday morning, I figured I would begin a soul drawing for Gloria Reiser, of Quincy, Illinois, who had written to me, as reported in yersterday’s post:
“Wow! Sloan, I just noticed the Soul Drawings you posted to your blog yesterday. They are amazing and seem to have evolved quite a lot from the early drawings. If the muse ever inspires you to draw one for me…. go to it… I’d like to see what might fall out..”
Before hopping on my bicycle and pedaling off to Harpoon Harry’s for breakfast, and to start on Gloria’s drawing – I had introduced her and her husband Marty to Harpoon Harry’s last year, when they were in Key West – I opened up my soul drawing collection and looked through it and pulled two old drawings from 2007, which I had done after moving back to Key West from Little Torch Key, to hang in my Key West apartment. The colors were faded, one of the drawings now looked incomplete, and I felt I should take them with me to Harpoon Harry’s, to touch them up.
I wasn’t around the block good before I realized one of the drawings was Gloria’s. The incomplete drawing. So, after a scrumpous feta and spinach omelette, with home fries and rye toast, and a homemade limeade (water with fresh squoze lime juice), I started on Gloria’s drawing. As I worked and watched the colors and new features unfold, colors are important in alchemy, I thought to myself, “Gloria is going to hate me.” I had in mind the stuff that was going to happen in her life after she got the drawing.
About an hour later, it was finished, and I showed it to Judy, who had waited on me. “That’s a witch,” Judy said. I laughed, said, the subject indeed is a witch, I had known it for years. Not a witch in the bitch sense, but a real witch. Or, if you will, a magician. I added, these drawings I do are not just drawings, they are alchemical, stuff happens in the lives of people after I give them a drawing. Judy laughed.
The drawing named herself “Mustang Sally” in 2007. That did not change yesterday. The drawing hangs on the point, in this case, from the snout of the shark.
From Harpoon Harry’s, I pedaled over to the county library on Fleming Street, same street where a little closer to Duval Street I once had slept nights in a doorway near the bookstore. I went into the nice little park next to the library, where a deputy sheriff once had apprehended me for passing out sitting straight up on a bench, which led to my telling him God had made me pass out, which led to him learning that I was homeless, which led to me asking if he didn’t have something better to be doing, which led to him banning me from the library and calling in for back up – I told that tale a few weeks ago.
I plopped onto a bench in the shade and pulled out the other old drawing and started touching it up. I was moved to color in the black background, and to add the lower feathery background below it. Originally, the entire background was the color of the drawing paper – white. After reading this morning about the Fantasy Fest poster art winner, I thought to myself, this drawing is a superhero, villain and beyond, a late entry in the Fantasy Fest poster contest, so to speak. It hangs on the point, above the tilted hero.
I headed home from the library and took a nap, in which I dreamt of telling several city commissioners that I didn’t mind them eating a meal they had before them, but they needed to stop being subsidized. They were offended, thought I meant they could not eat the meal. I said, I was fine with them eating the meal, but they should pay the full price. They said, Oh, and agreed. Everybody then was happy.
After the nap, I pedaled my bike up to Home Depot on North Roosevelt to get the two drawings above scanned and emailed to me, so I could use them in today’s post. I once again in my thoughts found myself asking the city commissioners and mayor at a commission meeting, if they had walked or ridden bicycles to the commission meeting, or had they driven there? All the talk at commission meetings about there not being enough residential parking in Old Town, and people walking and riding bicycles in Old Town, instead of driving; well, I couldn’t help but wonder how they got to commission meetings?
As I pedaled by the new Publix, I spied Mosquito Control Board member Steve Smith,
so I brought my trusty metal steed to a halt and talked with Steve a while. He told me of a letter he had written to the mayor and city commissioners about Mayor Cates saying Mosquito Control had said it no longer wanted to be in the city’s building on Stock Island, where Cates wanted to put a new homeless shelter. Steve said Commissioner Billy Wardlow was the only elected offical to reply. I told Steve about my dream of telling commissioners they had to pay the full cost of a meal, and not be subsidized. Steve smiled. He said he would forward me his email and Wardlow’s reply.
Mon, Sep 30, 2013 at 11:17 AM, Steve Murray-Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Commissioners & Mayor:
I have been out of town and received a call about comments the mayor made on the Bill Becker show last Tuesday regarding Mosquito Control and their building. I listened to the recording the show.
I take exception to his comment that 2 years ago mosquito control told the city they wanted to move. This is absolutely not the truth.
We met with the city manager’s office 3 or 4 years ago and discussed the upcoming end date of our lease as well as the need for maintenance on the building we occupy due to concrete spalling. We also discussed the possibility of purchasing the Easter Seals property and building a new facility then letting the city have the building we currently occupy.
When we met with the city manager about purchasing the property where Easter Seals had been located, or purchase the land on which our building sits, we were advised by the city manager’s office to secure 3 commercial appraisals which we did at a cost of over $25,000.
Shortly after the appraisals were delivered to the city manager’s office, we were told the city did not want to sell the property, and if they did it would have to go to a referendum. We were advised by our attorney that as an inter-governmental transfer, the land could be sold to FKMCD without a referendum.
After being told the city did not want to sell the property to us, we received no further communications from the city manager’s office regarding the purchase of property and were told they would not even discuss a lease extension until 12 months before our lease expiration date (May, 2014).
We have had recent meetings with the new city manager, but are still in limbo as to how we should proceed. I hope you understand that this uncertainy has become a real challenge for us; we need to have a facility in the Key West area and the process of setting aside funds for this type project takes several years.
I believe FKMCD would be very happy to sign a lease with the city for the land on which our building sits and do the necessary repairs, however a lease would need to be very specific as to terms, lease renewal or purchase options, and a final end date so we can plan the steps that are needed in the future.
As of this date, we plan to build out offices in a part of our Marathon Airport facility at a cost in excess of $100,000, and 6 to 8 staff members, most who live in Key West, will be forced to commute or leave their positions. We set aside $900,000 in this years budget as a down-payment for a future land purchase, then we would have to construct a facility at a cost of $2 million or more.
Repairing our building and continuing to lease the land from the city would save taxpayers a couple million bucks.
Stephen K. Smith
Florida Keys Mosquito Control
From: Billy Wardlow <email@example.com>
Date: September 30, 2013, 12:32:18 PM EDT
To: Steve Murray-Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Re: Fla Keys Mosquito Control building/lease – Mayor Cates comments on US 1
Thank You for this correction. When I took a tour of the facility with David Fernandez and Mr. Doyle. David talked like it was a done deal on the homeless shelter. I told him then in front of Mr. Doyle that it was not a done deal.
I know you all want to stay there, but the county has property on Rockland Key that may be of some help.
I told Steve at Publix, that Mayor Cates sometimes says things that are not so.
Steve said the taxpayers already paid for the building where Mosquito Control is on Stock Island, the city has nothing in it. I said that reminded me of the School Board giving Glynn Archer Elementary School to Key West, for its new city hall – another Mayor Cates deal. I said the rationale the School Board gave for the gift was the taxpayers had already paid for the school, so the School Board had nothing in it.
Steve and I agreed, Glynn Archer is a great location for a new city hall, and then we talked about the cost of redoing old buildings, how they always end up costing lots more than was originally estimated.
On the way home, I dropped by Ben Franklin on North Roosevelt, to get some cellophane sleeves to protect soul drawings I give or mail to people. I showed the two soul drawings above, and some of my other drawings, to the man and woman back in the part where they mat and frame art work. The man was riveted, especially on a Higgs Beach volley ball drawing, which I had not yet had scanned and emailed to me. The woman said she had never seen anything like the drawings before; maybe they might interest a gallery. I asked if there was a way to mat and frame the drawings on the diagonal, instead of square or rectangle? They said they have wooden frames, which can be tilted and hung on the diagonal.
Last night, Steve Smith wrote to me:
I enjoy our brief chat sessions. Thank you for doing all you do to make sure we citizens know we can question what is proposed, and making sure our elected officials (me included) remember that we are public servants, not self-serving elected officials.
Thank You for this correction. When I took a tour of the facility with David Fernandez and Mr. Doyle. David talk like it was
I heard tonight that genetically altered mosquitoes were released down here recently. Is there a tract on that you can send to me? Thanks.
NOPE, no release of GM skeeters. We are working with FDA and a group of DC politicos. There has not been an OK to begin trials here in the USA.
If and when we receive an OK to try the GM skeeters, and if we chose to do so, we will certainly notify the public of the trials, where they will be released, and how we will monitor them.
I don’t see this happening in the next year or two.
Erika Biddle sent this last night:
A Special screening of SCRATCHING THE SURFACE with an introduction
by Director Tamara Laine
Tropic Cinema on Sunday, October 13th @ 12pm
Scratching the Surface provides a first-time look into the controversial world of genetically engineered animals. Director Tamara Laine, follows the citizens of Key West, Florida, as they discover plans by a multinational bio-tech company to release millions of genetically engineered mosquitoes in their community. Key West is a unique destination with a rich biodiversity that attracts tourist and residents alike. However, the community was shaken in 2009 by a record-setting Dengue Fever outbreak. Since then, scientist and mosquito control experts have juggled the sensitive issue of pest suppression. In 2012, Key West residents discovered a plan by British-based Oxitec to conduct a public release of up to 4 million genetically engineered mosquitoes on their streets. Scratching the Surface follows their stories and expert opinions on the potential outcomes of such a release.
The documentary, SCRATCHING THE SURFACE will be followed by a Q&A with director and filmmaker Tamara Laine. Tamara is currently a reporter for Fox’s newest news show Chasing New Jersey, airing on My9 in New York and New Jersey, as well as Fox 29 in Philadelphia. She has produced content for HBO, AOL, E! Entertainment, and MTV.
“This documentary is the first of its kind, highlighting genetically engineered animals. We are excited to be screening in historic downtown Key West and be back with all of the community members who were a pivotal part in starting the global debate on bioethical issues on release of genetically engineered organisms.”
Buy Tickets at Tropic Cinema
Admission $10; Tropic members $8
I told Erika I probably would be there.
I am far more interested, however, in genetically-altered people, who make up stories that ain’t true about such things as, the Mosquito Control Board doesn’t want to stay in its current location on Stock Island; genetically-altered mosquitoes already have been released in Key West; cruise ships are good for corals; the channel-widening referendum was only about a study (another of Mayor Cates’, among other people’s, not true stories) …
Going back to the late entry in the Fantasy Fest poster, in my dreams, visions and drawings, a horse represents a candidate for public office, me usually; more generally, a horse represents politics. Perhaps that helps put the fetching damsel on the horse in clearer perspective.
In one dream last night, I told a bunch of people that it violates my constitutional rights for me not to have fun in the political arena. I figured on waking, that dream might have some application in today’s post, specifically, and down the road, generally.
Several times yesterday, after talking with Steve Smith at Publix, I found myself in my thoughts telling the city commissioners and mayor that Key West has developed an attitude that is it special, entitled to different treatment; if the County and the Sheriff pay for Key West’s homeless policy, then it’s free to Key West and its citizens. That’s all that matters to Key West, what the county taxpayers have to fork out for Key West’s special entitlements is irrelevant.
That line of thought led to me telling the commissioners and mayor in my thoughts, unlike them, I ran three times for the county commission; because of that, I attended candidate forums up the Keys, on Big Pine Key, in Marathon, on Key Largo. At candidate forums up the Keys, candidates get a clear picture from disgruntled citizens of just how much Keys residents up the way, especially on Key Largo, do not like Key West. To the point, one gets the sense that those residents would not be bothered in the least by Key West falling into a giant sink hole and disappearing forever.
Those upper Keys residents’ ire was not directed at the funky, kinky, ribald, outrageous aspects of Key West. Their ire was directed at Key West’s government and its politics, at Key West thinking it is special and entitled to different treatment from the rest of the Florida Keys. This image fairly sums up their sentiments.
You can bet the conch farm upper Keys residents are not in the least pleased Key West is using the Sheriff and the County Commission and the hospital on Stock Island to subsidize Key West’s homeless policy, by paying for the costs of housing homeless people in the county jail on stock island, and by paying the costs of treating and housing them in the hospital, when the jail sends them to the hospital. Key West could care less.