the work of the devil, it’s a lousy job, but somebody’s got to do it – Florida Keys and Key West vignettes, with side trips to Birmingham and Rome

the work of the devil

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psychiatrist interviews

Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry (retired), a staunch environmental advocate and self-taught sea biologist, came in a dream before dawn today and asked me if it was true that I actually do exorcisms? I shot back that I don’t do exorcisms in the way you see in the movies, but I’m doing them all the time and he doesn’t see it in what I write. Jerry said, then he was concerned about me. The geographic setting was Birmingham.

Yesterday, I put up a new post at www.goodmorningbirmingham.com, in which the geographic setting mostly was the Florida Keys. I knew when I put the post up that it was head to head with Evil, in the sense Jerry meant in the dream. However, his comments in the dream caused me to change the title and add a “next day ooops!” The main player, richer and poorer, in that post is mi amiga Sandy Downs of Cudjoe Key, who first told me about Jerry and his deep opposition to cruise ships calling on Key West. I leave for you, if you wish, to click on this anytime link – Hey Christendom, you are possessed by Lucifer! – to read that Birmingham, Alabama website post. Probably the best place for that post, since I got my early and later Christian training in Birmingham.

Backing up slightly, in yesterday’s the great beauty and other myths of Key West and the Florida Keys and beyond … post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com, I briefly mentioned “The Great Beautiful”, an Italian film, dubbed in English, now showing at Tropic Cinema. In the story is an Italian Roman Catholic Cardinal touted by one socialite in the story as being next in line for Pope. The socialite also said the Cardinal was said to be the Church’s best exorcist. Yet, as the story unfolds, more and more it appears the Cardinal is a joke, and if anyone is demonically possessed, it is him. Toward the end of the film, the main character, a one-book novelist turned society columnist, publicly puts the coup de grace on the Cardinal being a joke. Then, privately, the society columnist asks the Cardinal if it is true he is a great exorcist? The Cardinal answers sternly, but what he says does not come through in English subtitle. The English-speaking audience is left wondering what put that bee in the Cardinal’s bonnet? I was left feeling the English-speaking audience was robbed of one of the most important lines in the film, which the Italian-speaking audience heard.

Again backing up slightly, several times Jerry Weinstock wrote to me in the past of how much he respected Co-Founder of Reef Relief DeeVon Quirolo, his praise of her was worshipful. The last time Jerry wrote that to me, I replied that DeeVon and her husband and Reef Relief had been Key West and the Florida Keys’ first line of defense against cruise ships polluting Keys waters and the reef. However, instead of opposing cruise ships calling on Key West, the Quirolos and Reef Relief accepted money from a cruise ship company and had an employee of that company on Reef Relief’s Board of Directors for quite a while. The Quirolos’ rationale was that was the best chance they had of “converting” that cruise ship company into an evironmental cruise ship company. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer. Alas, It didn’t work. Jerry wrote back to me that what I had written was true, sadly.

As chance provided, if you believe in chance, DeeVon wrote to me yesterday:

DeeVon

Hi Sloan—I am finding that I don’t have time to read all my emails. Can you remove me from your blog for the time being? All the best, DeeVon

I thought to myself, that was an odd email from the Co-Founder of Reef Relief, given how often I write about the pollution of Florida Keys waters and the destruction of the reef by pollution. I thought to myself, if there are any blogs DeeVon should be reading, it is what I write about the pollution of Keys waters and the death of the reef. I thought to myself, said to the angels, that DeeVon is dancing with Lucifer on that point.

Some days, I wish I never woke up. Today is such a day.

Backing up slightly again, last night I bumped into citizen watchdog and 2-time city commission candidate Tom Milone

tom-milone.jpg

at Harpoon Harry’s, where I went for dinner and to listen to Monday night open mic. Tom lives in one of the apartments in the same building, and I often see him in Harpoon Harry’s. He was there to have dinner.

harpoon-harrys.jpg

As usually happens when Tom and I bump into each other at Harpoon Harry’s, we got to talking about Key West politics.

At the last city commission meeting, Tom told Mayor Craig Cates during citizen comments that he hoped next year he (Mayor Cates) will first give his “state of the city” address to the public in a city commission meeting, and not to a local civic club. After the commission meeting, I told Tom that I heard him say “next year”. Did he mean to say that? Tom said yes, he wondered if anyone had caught it; he is supporting Mayor Cates in his bid for reelection this year.

As chance provided, if you believe in chance, Mayor Cates’ state of the city address is the subject of a spicy front page article in today’s Key West Citizen, which I will copy and paste further down below.

Meanwhile, I asked Tom Milone last night what he thought about Mayor Cates,

Craig CatesCates

during a recent city commission meeting, letting John Dolan-Heitlinger say during citizen comments how important it was to keep the cruise ship revenues coming in from the outer mole on Truman Waterfront, without asking Dolan-Heitlinger who he worked for? Cates knew where Dolan-Heitlinger worked. The six city commissioners knew. Tom said last night that he was wondering where Dolan-Heitlinger worked for when he spoke during citizen comments, and he learned where when I later spoke during citizen comments.

During citizen comments, I said I had attended many channel-dredging forums last year, at which John Dolan-Heitlinger spoke for a bar pilots PAC, which gave him a seat at the dais. I said, never once did John say he worked for Historic Tourst of America. Ed Swift’s company. The conch train company, which the city pays $500,000 a year to haul cruise ship passengers from the outer mole pier on Truman Waterfront in to Historic Tours of America terminals and gift shops, where cruise ship passenger buy trinkets imported from Asia and pay to get on Historic Tourist of America conch train and trolley tours. I said John did not say during his earlier citizen comments that he worked for Historic Tours of America, to whom those outer mole revenues indeed are important. I said the entire outer mole revenue is a Historic Tours of America subsidy, a subsidy going back many years, to when a city commission gave Swift a monopoly, which ended up costing the city about $8,000,000 in damages stemming from an anti-trust lawsuit.

So, I asked Tom Milone last night; What did he think of Mayor Cates not getting on the record, for the public’s benefit in the audience and watching on the city TV channel, where John Dolan-Heitlinger worked? Tom said that was no reason for him not to vote for Craig this year. I said I did not ask if he was going to vote for Craig. I asked what he thought about Craig, who, as Mayor, ran the meeting, not making sure every one in the audience at the meeting, and watching on the city TV station, knew what was in it for John Dolan-Heitlinger, Historic Tours of America and Ed Swift? Tom said, he would have asked John where he worked, if he had been on the dais. I said, of course he would have asked. But Craig didn’t, and what did that say about Craig? Tom did not say.

So, I will say.

It says Craig is sneaky.

It says Craig did not want the public to know where Dolan-Heitlinger worked.

It says Craig is in bed with Ed Swift.

It says Craig is in bed with cruise ships.

Particularly, it says Craig is in bed with the dirtiest worst possible cruise ships, as per the Key West Chamber of Commerce’s spokesperson Robin Lockwood, M.D. at the channel-dredging forum hosted by the Chamber at the Westin Hotel, the pier of which receives about 1/3 of all cruise ships calling on Key West.

Dolan-Heitlinger held forth at that forum for dredging the channel wider and bringing in bigger cruise ships, without saying where he worked. A forum I, and quite a few other people, attended.

Lockwood’s dirtiest worst possible cruise ships remark was reported verbatim in the Key West Citizen the next morning. The Chamber’s video of the forum went up on the Chamber’s website the next morning, then was quickly taken down and the Chamber refused to give anyone a copy, claiming it was the Chamber’s proprietary property. At the next channel dredging forum, Lockwood denied to me that he had said the worst possible cruise ships in the world are calling on Key West. Lockwood was called out by Jolly Benson, who spoke from the dais against dredging the channel wider. Jolly asked for a show of hands in the audience: Who had heard Lockwood say it? About 20 hands went up.

All of which I recapped during citizen comments at the city commission meeting where Mayor Cates did not out John Dolan-Heitlinger about where he worked. Nor did any of the six city commissioners. All observed by God’s witness, Tom Milone, who twice unsuccessfully ran against City Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, who was on the city commission who gave Ed Swift the monopoly. I yet to have hear Jimmy admit he messed up, I have yet to hear him apologize. To the contrary, I have heard him defend his actions.

Jimmy Weekley 2Weekley

Here’s what I think about Mayor Cates and the city commissioners not outing Dolan-Heiglinger at that city commission meeting.

Disgusting.

The work of the Devil.

I hope that satisfies Jerry Weinstock.

Here’s the Citizen article on Mayor Cates’ state of the city address, my thoughts in italics. I supplied the pics.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Mayor: Yaniz’s idea a political swipe

Tony Yaniz 2Yaniz
3 commissioners agree schedule change is needed for ‘State of the City’
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
gfilosa@keysnews.com
City Commissioner Tony Yaniz wants his colleagues Wednesday to approve a measure requiring any Key West mayor to present the annual “State of the City” address at Old City Hall first.

And while Yaniz’s proposal doesn’t name the city’s present-day leader, it points out that Mayor Craig Cates spoke publicly to other organizations before delivering the “State of the City,” a required address since 2013, to the commission.

Craig CatesCates

“In 2013 and 2014, the mayor presented his ‘State of the City’ address to select groups prior to presenting it to the entire citizenry before the City Commission,” states the proposed resolution, sponsored by Yaniz. “All citizens are entitled to timely hear the mayor’s voter-required address.”

Mayor Craig Cates on Monday said he did nothing wrong by recently speaking to the Key West Business Guild about the island’s accomplishments.

I agree, when the mayor speaks at civic club meetings, he is expected to talk about the city and its affairs; that’s one of his job descriptions. Yaniz is grandstanding, again.

“This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen,” said Cates, who plans to vote against the measure. “I’m mayor of the city. He has to dictate to me when to give the ‘State of the City’? I’m giving it to the citizens of Key West. I write this myself. I don’t have a speechwriter.”

Cates is scheduled to deliver the State of the City at the commission’s 6 p.m. Wednesday meeting at Old City Hall, 510 Greene St.

Yaniz’s proposal is on the same agenda.

The business guild asked him to speak in January, Cates said, and he wasn’t going to refuse.

The root of this squabble started last year at a civic club meeting, when Mayor Cates spoke about stuff, I forget exactly what, which upset Yaniz, who was campaigning for Cates’ opponent last year, Margaret Romero. Last year’s was a “short” mayor’s race, which would give the winner a one-year term, instead of the regular two-year term. The “short” race was held to calibrate the mayor’s race with other races. The winner of the mayor’s race this year will serve two years. It was unconscionable for that civic club last year not to give Romero equal time when Cates was running for reelection. However, Cates should have told that civic club that it had to give Romero equal time at another guild meeting; otherwise he would have to decline.

While the invitation to the guild’s Jan. 8 luncheon at the DoubleTree Grand Key Resort promised Cates would deliver, “The State of Key West,” the mayor said it wasn’t his complete speech.

Yaniz is simply trying to make a political issue out of it, Cates said.

“He wants to run for mayor and he’s trying to discredit me,” Cates said of Yaniz. “That’s what he does to people.”

In response, Yaniz said Monday he is merely responding to constituents’ concerns about the mayor delivering the speech first to clubs and groups rather than the commission and it is no personal attack.

“I apologize if the mayor feels that way,” Yaniz said. “I think he’s being paranoid. I don’t have to discredit him. He does a good enough job of doing that himself.”

Again, this goes back to last year’s mayor’s race, when Yaniz did his darndest to get Romero elected. I have heard Yaniz and Romero made a deal; if she did not beat Cates last year, she would support Yaniz this year. Whether or not that is true, I have no clue.

Yaniz said Monday he has been considering running against Cates this fall but will decide what is best for his constituents and his family first.

“It’s always in the back of my mind,” Yaniz said of a mayoral run.

I have heard from other people, and have read in the Citizen, of quite a few times Yaniz said he would run against Cates this year; and I also have heard Yaniz goes a back and forth on whether or not he will run. Yaniz shat and sat in it last year, when he wrote this email over his city commissioner email address, to a member of the Key West Rotary Club:

“Are You fucking kidding me! Mayor should not have been allowed to politicize the meeting! I have lodged a complaint with Frankie, as well as reached out to Janice Long, Alton Weekly,and Brian Barroso, who all agreed that allowing the Mayor to make a political statement at a Rotary meeting violated the sanctity of the no politics policy of our club. You have big balls taking issue with me walking out, by the way so did Rossi. You have your priorities totally fucked up ! If anyone violated the 4 way test it was the Mayor and our Rotary Club for allowing him to do so. Are u fucking kidding me? If anyone fucked over the 4 way test it was our club, the Mayor… And obviously you for making the statement you just made. As for me… Fuck the Mayor for bringing politics into our club, fuck our club for not having the balls to tell the Mayor to stop— because they didn’t want to embarrass him , and fuck you for having the unmitigated balls to call me out on this without thinking about who really violated the 4 way test !

Tony Yaniz
City Commissioner
District IV
Key West, Florida

“On Sep 28, 2013, at 10:10 AM, Jim Fitton <james.o.fitton@gmail.com> wrote:

Fat, I was disappointed by your actions at Rotary. After talking about Rotary not being political you made a point of walking out on the Mayor’s presentation, which was nothing but being political. I understand you and he have some issues but as my Commissioner I expect a more professional and respectful demonstration. What you did was clearly not in alignment with the 4-way test.
r/, Jim”

Former City Commissioner Barry Gibson, who resigned to run for County Clerk in 2012, told me at a recent city commission meeting that he is a member of that Rotary Club and Tony Yaniz no longer attends meetings there. Barry said he had told Tony, if he runs for mayor this year, he, Barry, will run for his old city commission seat. If Tony files to run for mayor, he will have to resign his city commission seat not later than 10 days before the filing deadline, is how I understand the state law on sitting elected officials filing to run for another office. If Tony files to run for mayor, and he loses, he’s out of biz as an elected city official.

Cates said he gets asked routinely to speak to groups like Rotary, the chamber of commerce and the business guild.

“I gave an update on the city,” Cates said. “It’s basically just all the accomplishments and things we’re doing.”

Cates isn’t the only Florida Keys leader speaking at groups. County Mayor Sylvia Murphy delivered the “State of the County” to the guild on Feb. 5.

In Key West, past mayors have given such addresses but it was never a mandated act until 2013.

Three commissioners interviewed on Monday said they agree with Yaniz’s proposal but said they were not bothered by Cates speaking before the guild in January.

The city’s charter requires the mayor give an annual address to the City Commission, but doesn’t specify when, or whether the panel should hear it before other local groups.

“I did it every year for six years,” said Commissioner Jimmy Weekley, speaking of his former mayor days. In 2000, Weekley said, he started the tradition of the annual address.

“I never did it at Old City Hall,” said Weekley. “I went to different organizations. Then I started thinking about it, and since we were changing our charter, I thought, this is the opportune time to put in language that once a year the mayor gives a ‘State of the City’ address.”

Weekley said he would support setting a specific date, or at least a time frame in which the mayor gives the address so everyone knows about it beforehand.

“It ought to be given before he goes out to the chamber or business guild,” said Weekley. “He didn’t do anything wrong. There was not a date set.”

Maybe last January Cates wasn’t ready to give a complete state of the city address. What’s he supposed to talk about at civic club meetings, but the state of the city? Even so, I think it’s a good idea to set a time when the mayor, whoever it is, gives a state of the city address. I think the address should be delivered at a city commission meeting. And, I think it should not be given out beforehand to the press, or to anyone, but should be fresh when the mayor delivers it.

Like Weekley, Commissioner Billy Wardlow

Billy WardlowWardlow

said he didn’t mind Cates giving the ‘State of the City’ to the guild first, but he would like to see that change.

“It should be given to the commission first and then to the clubs and organizations,” Wardlow said. “Being the mayor, he has the right to give the ‘State of the City’ process as he goes along. He’s gathering information as he goes along to make sure he has everything.”

Commissioner Clayton Lopez

clayton-lopez.jpgLopez

also agreed that Old City Hall is the best place for the mayor to unveil his annual address, which the charter describes as “an analysis of progress on city vision and goals.”

“That should be the proper place for the first time that the ‘State of the City’ is actually said,” Lopez said.

In 2013, Cates delivered the “State of the City” at the chamber’s Jan. 23 meeting. This year, it was at the business guild, where one of his political rivals was in attendance.

Margaret Romero,

Margaret RomeroRomero

who twice has lost to Cates in the mayoral race, announced at the commission’s Feb. 4 meeting that it was improper for the mayor to speak to one group before delivering the speech at a commission meeting.

Activist Tom Milone agreed.

Now Yaniz wants the commission to add a rule forcing the mayor to give the address no later than February of each year.

“I’ve been elected three times,” Cates said Monday. “He has not been re-elected yet. I think I know what people want.”

Well, Craig, you sure didn’t know what the people wanted about dredging the channel wider, when you voted last year to put that out to referendum. 73+% of the voters said no way, Hosea!

Wardlow said the mayor is constantly out in the community at various events.

“The mayor’s job is really spread thin; they want him in a million places at once,” Wardlow said.

As for the Cates-Yaniz rivalry, Wardlow said he would like to see it disappear.

“The city’s got to get out of these political things,” said Wardlow. “We’ve got a lot of business to take care of. We’ve got to move forward.”

I agree, Billy. It would have helped the city get out of political things for you to have asked John Dolan-Heitlinger at that recent city commission meeting where he worked? It will help if you tell Tony Yaniz at tomorrow night’s city commission meeting that you are tired of his grandstanding and politicking, and if he keeps doing it, you will join Mayor Cates and several other city commissioners in campaigning against him this year and any future time he runs for city office – :-)

Sloan in collarSloan at Coco'sSloan with troll

Sloan Bashinsky

keysmyhome@hotmail.com

About Sloan

Darn, that would take a while. Try the autobiographical pages in the header. Ditto for header menu pages at www.goodmorningbirmingham.com. Hatched and raised there, eventually I ran away from home. Here's a short list: Born 1942; male; single; accused of all sorts of imaginable and unimaginable things, perhaps some true. Live on Key West of Weird asteroid. Publish something most days on this website, been at that since July 2007. That's heaps of catch-up reading, probably not recommended.
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