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From a reader about the Project Lighthouse part of yesterday’s mania-driven causes vs. callings to serve – Key West and beyond … post at goodmorningkeywest.com:
It must already have occurred to you that:
a) many – ok, perhaps not all – of your regular readers don’t give a hoot about your discussions with John Benson, and
b) they may well be wondering why you buried a small, valuable, local outfit under reams of John Benson gibberish.
You coulda put the lighthouse people at the top of the post where your (sole) effort to showcase their contribution to the community would have been optimized.
What i mean is: I’ll bet half your readers hit “delete” about halfway through the John Benson bullshit and never even saw the Lighthouse post. Some of them got other things to do, bubba; they’re not all retired. Some of them have responsible positions in the community, and you reach them. All I’m saying is: Don’t waste the access to that portion of your readership you’ve worked so long to develop. It’s unique in Monroe County.
Sloan, by virtue of your own hard work and personal virtues, you have obtained a voice in the community that almost rivals that of full fledged news organs. You are a rarity these days: a successful one man band.
But: you’re shooting yourself in your own kneecaps by failing to self edit JUST A LITTLE BIT.
Don’t get (expletive deleted) defensive.
We still want to hear, daily, about what the angels tell you – but you may be sure that the angels, themselves, self edit. Apparently, they don’t intrude on your sleep 365 nights/afternoons a year, and you should not feel obligated to publish 365/365 either.
It’s your individual quality and point of view that people appreciate, Sloan. Not the size of the posts. By your own unremitting effort and ability, you have now worked yourself into a full time job in Monroe County. You’re, effectively, running a 501 c-3 without having gone through the bother of all that federal paperwork. Also, unfortunately, without benefit of a salary.
Look: At least PRIORETIZE. Put the hot, most currently useful items/back channel, illuminating, personal conversations, at the top of the page. There may be days when all your readers have the time to browse through every single word about the various Key West people you’ve encountered that day.
But a lot of times, regrettably, they don’t have that luxury.
Myself, I spend most days sippin a grape Nehi an’ discussin’ the latest commodities prices wif mah freenz down to that former diesel repair shop out on Caroline Street.
Not all of your readers have that fucking luxury, Sloan. Snap out of it.
If you could divide the post into “News Related Conversations” and below that section, put in “Island Meanderings”, for as long ……….. as you want to make it, that would be great. I think more people would actually read the potentially significant portions of what you send them regularly.
That way, you could still maintain your ‘Zippy, the Magic Pinhead” persona, while functioning far more effectively, as a ‘counterculture’ clearinghouse for community opinion. You are a fucking editor, pinhead. Act like it. Remember: You manufactured the position.
OK. Nobody can tell you “whut ta do. Yaw wawkin heah, yaw wawkin heah!” I get it.
So – Don’t think about editing ‘out’. The posts don’t need to be shorter. Just consider prioritizing the layout … a little bit. Again: you do not have to post every single fucking day. quality is all that counts. quantity is ok, but not essential.
… hope i’m not too far out of line, your grace …
hey – this is just a note to you. not meant for circulation.
I replied yesterday evening, justifying why I put Project Lighthouse where I did in yesterday’s post. The angels beat me up about that all night in my sleep, so here is a condensed version of my reply to Paul, sans what all the angels beat me up about and did not want published today, maybe not any day. Nothing to do with Paul.
Hi, Paul -
It has occurred to me already, many times, that not all, perhaps many of my regular readers, don’t care about a lot of what all I publish and/or how it is arranged. I format each day’s post so people can scroll down easily and cherrypick whatever might interest them. Perhaps I can provide better highlighting, will mull that over.
In fact, the angels intrude into my sleep ongoing. In every nap they intrude in multiples. In every night slumber, they intrude in multiples. It’s their grace I worry ongoing about staying in.
Since I moved to Little Torch Key in March 2006, they had me publish all but maybe 2-3 days. I am, to borrow what you wrote, a daily news organ, because of the angels. They manufactured me into what I now do. They provided the means for me to do it, i.e., get websites, which expanded my audience beyond a mere bulk email contacts list accumulated over time.
The Lighthouse ministry to runaways and otherwise at risk kids funding difficulty, and what that ministry does, got a big splash today on the front page of the Key West Citizen. I simply highjacked that article and put it into today’s post where I felt it fit. I have had little contact with Lighthouse since Jai Somers took it over from a good friend of mine, Tim Curtis, when Lighthouse was next door to Tropic Cinema. Jai expanded Lighthouse’s ministry considerably. From all I have heard, she does a good job.
I think Key West should fund Lighthouse entirely, like it funds KOTS entirely. Turning around runaways and other troubled kids is more likely to pay dividends than is warehousing people who have been homeless for a while, just to try to get them out of sight and sound. In that sense, perhaps I should have led off with Lighthouse today. followed by …
I think Key West needs a Lighthouse for new homeless, who are far easier to turn around than old homeless. I think, and have written many times, that 90 percent of the effort and assets should be thrown at new homeless, which includes most runaways, I imagine.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=Old27EqSXocAug 21, 2013 – Uploaded by WEYW Nineteen
Scarlett Somers joins Jenna and talks about Project Lighthouse …
Project Lighthouse loses operating grant
Safety net for many troubled kids, safe exit from life on the streets
BY TERRY SCHMIDA Citizen Staff
The bulb powering Key West’s Project Lighthouse is growing dim.
The federal grant that has kept the drop-in center going for the last three years is not being renewed, according to Greg Brown, president and CEO of the Tavernier-based Florida Keys Children’s Center, which has overseen the facility since its founding in October 2004.
“We just found out on Friday that the federal government won’t be funding Project Lighthouse this year,” Brown said. “The center is still open for now, but we’re definitely going to need some new funding streams moving forward. It costs about $10,000 per month to keep it going.”
The center, located at 1102 Truman Ave., provides mental health and substance abuse counseling to teens and young adults, many of whom are runaways, as well as assistance finding food, shelter and bathing facilities. Project Lighthouse also supplies musical instruments and art supplies to the street kids who stop in.
“Over the past three years we’ve worked with 429 runaway, homeless, or at-risk youth, a total number of 3,792 times,” said Jai Somers, who has directed the program since April 2006. “In that same period of time, we’ve helped 67 youth reunite with family, and we’ve also helped 342 find what we call a ‘safe exit’ from street life.”
In addition, 90 youth received a mental health service, 116 received a medical or health care service, and 47 received a substance abuse service.
“We’ve helped 110 youth get an ID, and we’ve also helped 205 toward employment, and 76 towards an educational goal,” Somers added. “It’s impossible to count how many showers we’ve provided, or how many T-shirts that we’ve given out in the same period of time.”
The center has had to move a number of times as leases expired, but this is the first time the facility has faced an existential crisis, and Brown is hoping to head the crisis off at the pass.
“We’re currently in the midst of an intense fund-raising campaign to sustain the initiative,” he said. “We’re going to dedicate the funds we raise at the annual Mayor’s Ball on Jan. 18 to the cause, and there are a few other ideas we’re talking about to make up the lost revenue. Ultimately though, we’re looking to move towards sustainability.”
Brown said that part of the challenge his organization faces is the stigma of dealing with homeless people of any age.
“Wherever I’ve worked with homeless youth, there are always people in the community who accuse us of enabling the homeless, but our attitude is that, in a place like Key West, these kids are coming anyway. The very things that attract the well-off and middle class to come down here and spend money — the beaches, and the energy of Duval Street — are the same things attracting these kids.”
The outreach provided by Project Lighthouse, according to Brown, aims to protect both the kids and the community by keeping the youth off the streets, and keeping them from disturbing the people who are patronizing local businesses.
“Even if they do panhandle, we talk to them about being polite and not menacing the pedestrians going by,” Brown said. “It’s possible for the community to be benevolent to these young people, many of whom are fleeing abusive or alcoholic homes, and to keep their high quality of life at the same time. We believe it’s possible to do both.”
Somers echoed Brown’s sentiments.
“We’re helping street kids and we’re helping the community,” she said. “We’re helping the local kids and their parents, who access our resources, and the community enjoys the benefits of us helping street kids or traveling kids, by helping them to be healthy, safe and smart while they’re here, and ideally respectful of the community and our local laws.”
Brown, who replaced former shelter chief Kathy Tuell, is a Philadelphia native who has worked with organizations dedicated to abused, neglected and truant children and youth for three decades, most recently with an organization in Costa Rica.
Besides the new challenge of keeping Project Lighthouse going, Brown said he is also tackling the longer-term issue of “rebranding” the shelter to make it more relevant to the community.
Not only did the angels beat me up about my original response to Paul,
they beat me up about what I submitted last night to Key West the Newspaper, which did not get published by them today.
Thank you Naja and Arnaud Girard for saving my hide from additional angel lashings.
When I talked with Naja yesterday,
I said I had something in mind re my jury summons and ensuing experience. Later, I changed my mind and set her a version of something else I already had published at goodmorningkeywest.com. Sometimes I do that and they publish it. Their readership mostly is different from mine, and they get considerably more hits per issue than I get daily at my website.
I told Naja that I felt former owner and publisher of The Blue Paper, Dennis Reeves Cooper, had been framed by the arresting KWPD officer, and I would include that in what I would send to her last night. In fact, the angels told me Cooper was framed and I published that at goodmorningkeywest.com some time ago.
Naja and Arnaud’s marvelous weekly online news organ starts off today with an interesting probe into recent developments in what I had thought was a put to bed scandal in the county government, which made lots of headlines in the mainstream news organs for quite a while, and may now start making more headlines there, which might be even more troublesome to the county government than the original headlines, which were plenty troublesome.
Here’s the link to that article: Local Attorney Turned Cyber-Detective Brings Damning Evidence in County’s IPhone Scandal
Arnaud’s accompanying editorial cartoon is priceless. Click link below to see it.
Naja and Arnaud are doing topnotch investigative reporting and coverage of local arts and music goings on, as well as providing other people ample space to air their own views and reporting.
Naja told me yesterday that she and Arnaud are getting very little sleep and are dead tired from publishing The Blue Paper (mostly for free), while doing all the other things life requires of them, including making a living. Just my opinion, the City of Key West and Monroe County ought to pay Naja and Arnaud for what they are doing for the city and the Keys. Meanwhile, I imagine Naja and Arnaud would appreciate paid advertisements and donations. You can write to them at Editor@TheBluePaper.com.
I can’t find a photo of Arnaud using Google. Maybe he is in The Witness Protection Program.
On another blue front, received this yesterday from the childhood friend of Frisbee Dave,
whose two splendid articles about Dave, which I published some time back -
- led to local TV news journalist Jenna Stauffer
telling me she would like to interview Dave on her show.
Curtis Seltzer to me:
Did anything ever materialize from your tv interview or these pieces on your website? I’m going to Pittsburgh for a mini-reunion of Davey’s PHS classmates. I’m sure they will want to know how things are going with him. Best, Curtis
Me to Curtis – I removed one sentence, which the angels did not like:
Hi, Curtis – thanks for your inquiry and interest in Dave.
Two people who knew Dave wrote in, not entirely favorable for him, and I published that. Local TV host Jenna Stauffer wrote to me wanting to interview Dave on her TV show. I got that message to Dave, don’t know where that stands now. I email conversed a good bit with a fellow who sleeps at KOTS and claims he knows Dave. The latest of those conversations leads off my post today at www.goodmorningkeywest.com.
Here’s a direct link to that post, in case you wish to share it with others at a later time. Some discussion of Dave in it.
Curtis to me:
Thanks for the update. Your exchange with John was disheartening. He’s clearly not in touch with things as they are. Yrs. Corky
On a Key Westerly to Cuba Kennedy Assassination front, Tim Gratz wrote yesterday,
continuing the discussion reported in the last segment of yesterday’s mania-driven causes vs. callings to serve – Key West and beyond post at goodmorningkeywest.com:
Tim to me:
Interesting perspective, that God helped arrange for the book Mark [Mark Howell, former editor of Solares Hill, sadly now demised] and I are writing.
But I have no agenda to go after anti-Castro Cubans even though it appears some were indeed involved in the assassination. As much as some anti-Castro Cubans hated JFK, there were others who loved him.
I only want to develop the story as I see it happening.
According to recent disclosures, Fidel Castro had advance knowledge of the Kennedy assassination. The book that support that claim does not posit that Castro played any role in the assassination, but he did nothing to prevent it. He knew the Kennedys were gunning for him.
Castro’s knowledge may have come from Santo Trafficante (who admitted his involvement in the plot to his lawyer Frank Ragano (see Ragano’s book “Mob Lawyer”). Some believe, as I do, that Trafficante was providing intelligence to Castro in exchange for Castro to allow Trafficante to run his drugs through Cuba.
I believe that Castro thought (rightly or wrongly) that the Kennedys had personally authorized plots on his life. Desmond Fitzgerald, the number three man in the CIA, personally told Rolando Cubela, a high-ranking Cuban official, that he (Fitzgerald, using an assumed name) was a “personally emissary” from RFK and that RFK approved Cubela’s involvement in a plot to overthrow Castro.
Cubela had ties to Trafficante, having met him in 1959 when Trafficante was a Castro prisoner.
So Trafficante may have been doing the bidding of two (maybe three) groups with his involvement in the Kennedy plot: (1) Jimmy Hoffa; (2) organized crime; (3) “rogue” elements in the CIA; (4) Castro; and (5) the anti-Castro Cuban exiles who hated JFK.
It is almost like “Murder on the Orient Express”.
Me to Tim:
Of course God “helped” arrange for the book you and Mark are writing. That never occurred to you before I told you God “helped” arrange it? God “‘helped” arranged for you and your daughter to be at that bus stop at Sugarloaf school in 2006, just when I was driving by en route to Key West. God knew I offered people at bus stops on US 1 rides as far as I was going, sometimes even farther than I was going. God “helped” arrange for you to move to Key West. God helped arrange for you to meet Mark Howell. God “helped” arranged a lot of things for you, Tim. They were not coincidences.
As for the various theories of who was behind the Kennedy assassination, you did not include Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson, author of America’s Vietnam war, if you don’t count Secretary of Defense, yes?, Robert McNamara. Kennedy was growing cold on the US being involved in Vietnam’s civil war, yes? Certain US corporations, perhaps clandestinely controlled by foreign interests descended from I.G. Farbin?, stood to make heaps of wampum from US getting fully involved in Vietnam’s civil war. War materials, weapons; medicines; Vietnam rubber trees, oil.
Leave no stones unturned, Tim. Divorce yourself not only from the Miami Cubans who want to be running Cuba, but also from the Military-Industrial Complex, as you research and then write this book, which could be a very important book, which could bring you and Mark revenues you might not have anticipated, which might lead to further investigative books on important topics, which you and Mark are capable to taking on.
Tim to me:
I agree with a LOT of what you write. I absolutely know it was not a mere coincidence that you happened to be driving by while we were waiting for the bus.
There is considerable opinion that LBJ was behind the assassination. He certainly benefitted from it. For your information a book will be release next week claiming LBJ did it which is written by a former political operative who worked for both Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.
And the father of a man who was once the spokesman for Bush 43 was a lawyer for the firm that represented LBJ. He too authored a book arguing that LBJ did it.
And a mutual friend of Mark and me subscribes to that theory.
But I have seen no hard evidence to support LBJ involvement.
MMO is not IMO sufficient to indict someone as a criminal.
Most of the people I will discuss admitted their involvement although we know there can be false admissions as well.
A bombshell (if a small one) Mafioso Johnny Roselli (who allegedly admitted his involvement in the assassination to his attorney) was brutally murdered in Miami in 1976. Roselli’s biography cites a source that there was evidence to believe that one of his killers was Sam Cagnina III who for a brief period was a Key West police officer!
Me to Tim:
Perhaps you follow [Glad Tidings Tabernacle Church] Pastor Johnny’s advice, and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you through researching and writing this book, just in case you have not got all entirely figured out yet what you are supposed to cover, and how?
Tim to me:
From the bottom of my heart, thanks! Will do.
We have a chance to bring in the man who in one sense broke the case open and is suing the CIA.
Google Morley v. CIA
Am wondering if it’s time for the angels to finally give me a brain transplant. I say that because they correct me every day and night in my sleep about something I said or wrote to someone else and/or am thinking about publishing. Maybe if I had a new brain, they would be able to take some time off.