Key West fields a third mayor candidate, CBS sends film crew to investigate the Thanksgiving Day death of Charles Eimers who was suspected by the KWPD of being homeless but he wasn’t, and other tales grim, bizarre and actually quite ordinary from the city where people accused of being weirdos some place else can come mingle with real weirdos – professionals

ship of fools

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Mary Poppins

Selected morsels from today’s Citizen’s Voice – www.keysnews.com:

“To the person who says ‘stop coddling the homeless and send them to institutions that can get them help’ What ‘institutions’ are you speaking of?”

“The only way to solve the homeless problem is to take away the things that draw them here. Picnic shelters to live in. Public bathrooms with showers and power outlets for coffee makers and cell-phone charging; free meals; pan handling zones to harass citizens for money; benches to sleep on. If living in a van is against city code, why are there dozens of them parked here every night? Has anyone noticed the public beach areas look like homeless campgrounds? It’s because of the free amenities that I listed above.”

Also in the Citizen today, I added pic and comments in italics:

Friday, May 2, 2014 Add to Facebook Add to Twitter
Romero files for mayoral race
BY GWEN FILOSA Citizen Staff
gfilosa@keysnews.com

Margaret Romero,

Margaret Romero

the retired IBM executive and local government critic, filed paperwork Thursday to run for the city mayor’s job in the Aug. 26 primary.

This is her third attempt to unseat incumbent Craig Cates, who defeated her last fall 54 to 46 percent in a city-only election that brought 41 percent of the city’s registered voters to the polls.

In 2011, Cates swept the election with 70 percent of the vote in a three-way race against Romero and Carie Noda, both political newcomers at the time. Romero drew 27 percent, or 1,088 votes, in her first bid for public office.

Romero is the third candidate to file for the office, after former attorney and self-defined mystic Sloan Bashinsky and Cates. Qualifying for the election is June 16-22.

The nonpartisan race is for a two-year term. Last year’s election was for half a term so that the city could sync its elections with statewide contests.

If needed, a runoff will be held Nov. 4 during the general election.

The odds of a run-off in 3-candidate race might be pretty good, considering how well Margaret did last year. 

Now that Margaret has filed, I wonder if City Commissioner Tony Yaniz will file for mayor, too? He has said he would file, and recently at Hometown! PAC’s Call to Candidates said he still might. But he vigorously supported Margaret last year against Craig. So it might be hard for Tony to say he is better qualified to be mayor than is Margaret?

Romero, a Conch, dutifully attends city meetings at Old City Hall and signs up to speak often more than once at a meeting. She takes notes on her laptop for the rest of the time.

She says her lack of special interest connections makes her the best choice for office.

Hmmm, Margaret is a Conch (born in Key West). Is that a special interest connection? Craig Cates also is a Conch. I, not a Conch, belong to no group.

Romero is critical of city government’s efficiency and communication with the public, and scrutinizes public contracts and construction bids, such as the Glynn Archer School renovation estimated by builders at $15.5 million.

Romero has said she expects the Glynn Archer project to balloon in cost and was against turning the school into a grand city hall. It should have stayed a school, she said.

Dang, she stole my lines. Hope we both are wrong; that new city hall comes in close to expected cost.

She also questions deals such as the city’s with Super Boat International as being too good for the organizers.

Dang, she stole my lines again.

Romero also is tough on the homeless issue, having suggested perhaps the city fingerprint and keep tabs on the population’s use of services, and she always opposed the idea of building a 24-hour shelter.

Dang, might be it ain’t legal in America to force homeless people to be fingerprinted, unless they break a law and are taken to jail. Dang, back in late 2003 and continuing into 2004, I told Key West not to build a homeless shelter; it was a BIG MISTAKE.

Nonprofits should deliver homeless services, not the city, she has said.

Dang, she stole my line again.

I wonder where Margaret stands on the city helping new homeless people, who lost a job, got divorced, went bankrupt, had their home foreclosed have shelter and get back on their feet before they become old homeless people?

I wonder where Margaret stands on affordable housing? Does she believe housing is affordable if a waitress can afford it on her wages? Does she think the best use of Truman Waterfront is to turn it into affordable rental housing a waitress can afford?

I wonder where Margaret stands on the Charles Eimer’s case?

More selective comments from today’s Citizens Voice:

Charles EimersCharles Eimers

“This Charles Eimers case is going to be another Duck Tours. Bend over Key West and open your wallet. If people would have been honest from the beginning, we would not be looking at the situation we are in. Maybe it is time for a through house cleaning. Elections are coming people — vote! Do not vote for incumbents if you are unhappy with what is going on here; it all comes from the top down.”

“Mayor, city commission, Monroe County attorney’s office — say something. You do not have to say anything about the Charles Eimer’s case as it is supposedly ‘under investigation.’ But you need to reassure your constituents, the public, and our visitors that justice will prevail, that the city will be no part of a cover-up. I have been told by a very reliable source that commissioners have not been told anything official by the city — they know only what they read in the local papers.”

The local blue newspaper has kept them well informed, probably a lot more well informed than they ever hoped. Maybe the Eimers case is going on national TV.

In today’s/Friday issue of Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com:
 

CBS Morning Show Probes Key West In-Custody Death

Issue 60 CBS photo

The death of Charles Eimers while in the hands of Key West police officers is now getting national attention.   CBS investigators were in town this week researching the circumstances of the death of Eimers, the apparent cover-up involving near cremation of the body before autopsy, destruction of evidence, lying to emergency medical personnel, and finally the shocking conflict of interest that is tainting FDLE’s investigation of the case:  FDLE’s top investigator in the Eimers case, Kathy Smith, is the ex-wife of KWPD Captain Scott Smith.

CBS flew in on Wednesday with Treavor Eimers, the victim’s son, and a full camera crew.  We sat with CBS Investigative Producer, the very charming, Megan Towey, for a two-hour lunch, and in the words of Mel Brooks, it must be ‘good to be the King!’  Apparently when these guys have an issue with obtaining records from FDLE they have the office of Pam Bondi, the Florida Attorney General, on speed dial and a lot of weight to throw around.  Not quite the same as being a Blue Paper reporter. […full article]

SLOAN BASHINSKY

I submitted this comment below, right now there are 5 reader comments on that article, which contains links to all prior blue paper articles on this seriously blue Thanksgiving Day story.

“Why would that particular officer show so much interest in what other people had seen?”

Hmmm, maybe Officer Galbo wanted to find out if anyone had seen anything; maybe he wanted to find out if anyone had seen anything not nice for the KWPD; maybe he wanted to impress on anyones who had seen anything not nice to KWPD that, to forget it, if they didn’t want something not nice to happen to them. I’m looking at Monroe County School Board Andy Griffiths’ ad on the right-side of your your blue page, and of his creed, “Praise in public, criticize in private.” Maybe Officer Galbo was influenced by Andy. I wonder how Andy is taking the blue paper not spending a lot of time criticizing KWPD in private? I wonder how Andy, or anyone not related by blood, marriage or employment to KWPD, could praise KWPD about anything concerning Charles Eimers? Well, I did hear one female police officer filed an incident report, which did not agree with the other officers’ incident reports. It remains to be seen if the Florida Department of Law Enforcement joins KWPD in its tightly-circled wagon train, or sides with the lone female officer aka The Minority Report – aka maybe the truth.

lightning strike

Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry, semi-retired, replied to yesterday’s

La Résistance sez: First, do no harm; then, stir the pot, Key West post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com:

psychiatrist interviews

Sloan : I will repeat –it was totally inappropriate for Cruise
ships with that kind of draft to enter Key West. It
was and is FAR too SHALLOW and would and did and is
causing irreparable destructive harm !! They are powered
by unadulterated GREED. The decimation of our ocean
our seawater and air has resulted and is an ongoing horrible insult.
Jerry Weinstock, M.D. (member national Biological Honorary
Society )

cruise ship truth

I replied:

Agreed, and tearing up the Key West channel bottom is only the beginning of the havoc the giant sea serpents wreak in the ocean. What intrigued, astounded, bewildered – you pick – me during forums last year, on whether a referendum should be passed to “study” whether nor not to widen the channel to bring in even more monstrous cruise ships, was: (a) the proponents did not mention deepening the channel, so the bottom would not be all torn up any more, and they, with straight faces, I swear, said mucking the bottom and silting the water was good for corals and fish; they thrived in cloudy water.

Then, our favorite closet environmentalist Robin Lockwood, M.D., the Chamber of Commerce’s President, wasn’t it,

Robin LockwoodLockwood

anyway, the spokesperson for the Chamber at a candidate forum, had himself a wee Freudian slip of the old conscience and said the dirtiest, worst possible cruise ships are calling on Key West, and had been since the beginning of time in cruise ships calling on Key West years, and that was why we needed to widen, but not deepen the channel, so the bigger, more modern, more environmentally clean cruise ships could, in maybe 20 years, after all that channel-widening study and politicking and raising money for it, and dredging had finally come to pass, so those bigger, cleaner sea monsters covered with lice could get into Key West and really do a tear up the bottom number.

All the meanwhile, the Chamber was just fine and dandy with the dirtiest, worst possible cruise ships continuing to call on Key West – after all, as you rightly point out Doctor, it’s all about GREED. Perhaps the Chamber needs to replace Commerce with GREED in its name. Or, have the two words now become synonymous? Might be a rhetorical question.

I still like Elliot Baron’s photo on the USS Mohawk, I think; I heard he took a similar one of former City Commissioner Bill Verge.

Elliot Baron sniper

Ciao mein,

Sloan

Co-Founder of Reef Relief DeeVon Quirlo sent to me some time back:

DeeVon

“The most important thing is that the Keys is a NO DISCHARGE ZONE and we were the ones who led the effort to make it so. “The current situation is that cruise ships routinely dump thousands of gallons of partially treated concentrated waste in the ocean outside of the reef on their way to Key West from Port Everglades. They run just outside the reef to avoid the offshore counter current of the Gulfstream, which is why the Area to be Avoided was established by the International Maritime Organization to keep them far enough off critical areas where many large ships ran aground the reef. When I was on the Cruise Ship Task Force for the City, we tried running a sample of cruise ship waste through the sewage treatment plant, but it was so anoxic that it would have shut down the anerobic action of the plant by depleting all the oxygen needed. Plus it was in salt, not fresh water, so that was an additional negative factor that reduced the potential for the biological treatment that is employed at the plant. All the best, DeeVon”

A local sailor told me a while back that sailors know cruise ships dump their wastewater beyond the 3-mile limit. Someone else, can’t recall who now, said cruise ships also dump their kitchen refuse after grinding it up into something like chum. It is said the US and Florida turn a blind eye. I wrote all of that to Jon Igleheart, Regional Director, Florida Department of Environmental Protecition this past Valentine’s Day, and said I hoped he would contact DeeVon Quirlo and speak with her about cruise ships, and did not receive back an enthusiastic response – as in, no response.

Ginger of Jupiter, Florida wrote yesterday:

mega cruise shipJupiter class cruise ship

Subject: Is widening/dredging port 4 giant cruise ships over? Voted down??

Read your last newsletter and loved the cartoon on cruise ship gigantus. But is thedredging effort over? These people have a way of bringing it back and back and back. I don’t know how the giant cruise ships are working out as they aren’t much cheaper and I hate the big ships. It’s hell going into Port with 5000 people disembarking.

I will never look at Key West the same after reading your news letters. How can so much be going down in such a little town? It’s insane.

Ginger in Jupiter

I replied:

That’s such a great cartoon Arnaud Girard did; nailed the beast squarely between the, hmmm, cheeks.

cruise ship butt

Not hardly is the dredging effort over, in my opinion. Tony Yaniz said as much at the recent Call to Candidates. Well, there is no way to come here on a cruise ship, as you have done from time to time, and get much sense of this insane place. Even people who come here for a week or two don’t get that much sense of it. Living here, getting involved in the city’s “civics”, does provide a different perspective. As does living on the city’s streets. I never was on a cruise ship, if you don’t count a smallish river boat my family once rode up the St. Lawrence Seaway to Quebec City when I was maybe 14. I think we spent one night on the boat. I think maybe if I was looking at leaving a cruise ship with 5,000 other people, I might just jump off the boat into the water and swim for it. Like, to somewhere the boat wasn’t headed.

Ginger replied:

I travel when I get the cheap cruise rates around November just as the Hurricane season is ending, sometimes $149 to $200 for a single cabin or per person. Usually cheaper than gas charges round trip to Key West from Jupiter.

Rather than jump off the giant ships, I wouldn’t book them originally. Actually haven’t taken a cruise since October 2010, when I book a 10 day Princess cruise to the small islands out of Ft Lauderdale for $400 per person total [including taxes and port charges].

The City or town of Key West is wasting its money and destroying its environment running after a ship that has left port, so to speak. More and more cruise passengers don’t want to waste a day visiting Key West if they have already visited it and would rather get to some of the foreign countries or islands earlier and spend more time.

How is the house you are renting? Does it create an atmosphere for writing novels or newsletters? Are there other writers, artists or creative people there.

Ginger

I replied:

It doesn’t seem to matter where I live, I’m writing, writing, writing – there seems to be no dearth of material popping up begging to be serviced, so to speak. I’ve stayed in this home a few times before, it’s familiar. One of the residents writes and also is a poet. He’s a good friend of Vicki Weeks, whose first novel, CODE OF HONOR, I reviewed maybe two weeks ago. Something about her being in Key West for that this weekend, book-signing, a good review of her book on the mainland, which news I will include in today’s post, along with my review. Stuff in today’s about cruise ships, too, in addition to yours and mine. Bear with me; sometimes I just can’t help myself when I describe cruise ships and their passengers. I know you use cruise ships because it’s what you can afford. And, I know you are hardly a typical cruise ship passenger. Am still putting today’s howlings together, will send your copy by and by. Thanks for giving my readers things to think about. Sloan

Ginger also wrote:

Sloan,

Fine to have simple concrete shelter with roll down plastic [but what about screens to keep mosquitoes out at night and some areas that would have 4 concrete block sides with a door so that the men are protected during a hurricane from the wind and flying objects. Also, RISING WATER PROBLEM. Possibly a 2nd floor area they could retreat to if there is a ocean surge…

I replied:

Hi, Ginger, I don’t know what will be built, but I imagine it will be mosquito proof. I am not aware that the city evacuates homeless people ahead of an incoming hurricane. I think people who stick around are told where a designated hurricane shelter is. Or churches open their doors. Or schools. Or not. Mandatory evacuation orders only are enforced against hotels, motels, etc. And perhaps against nursing homes? People do not have to leave, however. Sloan

As for rising sea water,

sinking ship

right now we have an amendment to the city charter wending its way toward a voter referendum, which I think is the only way to amend the charter. The gist of the referendum is, people who own homes in Key West, or who rennovate their homes more than 50 percent, or who built new homes, be able to raise them up to five feet above the existing city code height limits.

The reasoning behind this is two-fold. First, the ocean is rising and some day many homes in Key West might be below sea level and sit in water, if they are not raised. Second, raising homes will reduce flood insurance rates, which have been rising and are expected to continue rising.

I’ve been mulling this a while. Looks to me that the only people who will be able to avail themselves of the charter change, if the referendum gets on the ballot and the voters approve it, are rich people and developers. It will cost a bundle to raise an existing home five feet, if the home can even be raised.

This home Mid-Town home where I now stay sits on a concrete slab. I don’t see any way it can be raised without tearing it to bits. There are lots of homes like this one in Mid-Town, and there are lots of homes like it in New Town. Wouldn’t surprise me if half the homes in Key West cannot be raised without tearing them to bits.

Might be, if the ocean does rise significantly, some Key West people will opt to live on boats, or move to the mainland. Meanwhile, if flood insurance rates go up as much as is feared they will go up, it might be lots of people living in Key West will not be able to afford flood insurance. If they have mortgages, they will get foreclosed. If they do not have mortgages, they can hope hurricanes and their tidal surges (super high tides) pass Key West by.

This home where I live took 3 1/2 feet of seawater inside during Hurricane Wilma in 2006. The owner lost all of her appliances, her central airconditioning, her car. As did lots of other people in Key West, and more than that. City Commissioner Clayton Lopez lost his home and had to live for a long time in a FEMA trailer, while his home was being rebuilt, I suppose from insurance proceeds.

Ever lowland street in Key West was covered with huge piles of discarded appliances, furniture, sheet rock, bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, shrubbery, trees, which the city contracted a mainland hauler to pick up and take to the mainland. After a pile was removed, another pile quickly replaced it. The hauler had to make two passes in Key West to get all the rubbish taken to the mainland.

Hurricane Wilma 3Hurricane Wilma 4

Key West parking lot and Harpoon Harry’s during Wilma’s high tide

N. Roosevelt during Wilma

Key West’s North Roosevelt Blvd during Wilma’s high tide

I lost a car in Wilma. Thousands of Key West people lost cars and trucks in Wilma. Many more people lost bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles. Saltwater and machinery and computers just don’t mix well.

I told my landlady she might be better off not having flood insurance, since she has no mortgage on this home. Just save the money she would have to pay the insurance company, and if another Wilma comes, propably she will, then pay for the repairs. My landlady said the repair costs to her home after Wilma were about one year’s insurance premium.

Me, I think I’m done owning real estate. Too much hassle. Maybe being old has something to do with it, too. Don’t see me being here when, if, the ocean rises enough to cover Mid-Town – that would take about a 3-foot rise in sea level. Most of Old Town, the historic area of Key West, sits higher. The early settlers knew that was safer. Now, over half of Key West homes are in what used to be swamp. Curtis and Leroy might could comment on that.

Curtis & Leroy

“What a terrible waste of a good duck-hunting preserve!”

From Vicki Weeks, formerly of Key West:
Vicki Weeks scuba
Greetings Writers and other Artful Friends,
As I mentioned in a previous email my first novel, Code of Honor, came out last month. I’m very excited to report that it was reviewed over the weekend in the Chicago Life Magazine!
In addition to the magazine’s own distribution program, it is also the lifestyle supplement for the Midwest editions of the Saturday Wall St. Journal, and the Sunday New York Times. I’ve attached a PDF of the review. It was sent to over 100K subscribers of those papers on 4/26 & 4/27. As I said, I’m pretty excited about it.
But, I’m absolutely thrilled to report that…
Grand Vin, 1107 Duval
 is hosting a…
Wine Tasting Reception, Reading, and Book Signing
for me
Friday, May 9, 6-8ish!
If you’re in town, I hope you’ll put it on your calendar and plan to stop by to say hi. Rumor has it that they will be offering wines related to the action locations in the book. How fun is that?    Bring a friend or two and come on down!
Best,
Vicki
PS. I’m also looking forward to attending the KW Poetry Guild meeting this coming Sunday (5/4). Most of you have probably already received this from Vicki Boguszewski but, just in case, here’s the update:
<<This Sunday May 4, the KWPG will gather for its monthly reading. This month’s featured poet will be the KW Poet Laureate, Kirby Congdon. He will share his work (both poetry and other art will be featured), his nearly 90 year old pov, and a few tales of his escapades in this life.
I hope to see you while I’m in town.
Vicki Weeks
Weeks Consulting
www.weeksconsulting.com
Here again is my review:
Feather Talk

Last night, I finished reading Code of Honor, by V.C. Weeks, whom I know as Vicki Weeks, who once lived in Key West and wrote for the Celebrate newspaper.

After seeing a copy of Code of Honor lying around the house where I rent a room, light sleuth work revealed the book belonged to a good friend of Vicki’s, who also rents a room here. About 20 pages into the tale, I asked Vicki’s good friend if he knew whether Vicki had background in nursing or the US military? He said, no; people in the know had provided Vicki with technical and military background she needed to write the parts of the story with which she had no personal experience.

So what can I say about Vicki’s first novel? Except for the incongruent fling the hero had toward the very end of the tale, cheating on his beloved fiance, wrecking his own code of honor, I liked the tale. It read to me like a hired not even thinly-disguised hit job on George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, George W.’s father and mother, and the U.S. military-industrial complex, with a flashback hired hit job on Lyndon Baines Johnson and the US military-industrial complex of that era, for putting America into wars which never, ever, should have been allowed to happen.

Code of Honor sort of reminds me of Tom Clancy’s U.S. at war novels. Except, unlike Clancy, who never seemed to stop waving the patriotic gung ho America at war flag as his code of honor, Vicki waves in Code of Honor a patriotic flag of a different cut altogether. A patriotic flag of truth. A patriotic flag of the horror of war generally, and the far greater horror of war waged for the sole purpose of making big American corporations a lot of money. A patriotic flag of the evil of attacking another country to get its oil. A patriotic flag of opposing lying, and lying, and lying, to invent a war. A patriotic flag of putting one’s own life and the lives of one’s own family and loved ones at risk by waving those true but “minority report” American flags.

Code of Honor is about how it could have turned out, instead of how it did turn out, if those true but “minority report” American flags had been waved by a majority of Americans before the Iraq war, with a wistful flashback to the Vietnam war, which planted the seed for the kind of war, one big fat greedy lie, that the Iraq war was.

The Afghanistan war, in Code of Honor, is simply a hunt, futile, for Osama bin Laden and his associates. Futile, because of the vastness of that country. Futile, because the Taliban are far more resistant and numerous than was estimated before going in. Futile, because the US President, last name Hedge, wonderful irony, only did Afghanistan for show; his real interest all along, and of his confederates, is the Iraqi oil fields and refineries. And, a secret plan, hatched by President Hedge’s father, to rewrite American law, and, along with a clandestine black “project”, I thought of Illuminati, to allow his father and his confederates to take over America and run it as they see fit.

Kudos to Vicki, and to whomever advised her in the writing of Code of Honor. Every American high school student should be required to read this book. All American military personnel should be required to read it. All members of the US Congress should be required to read it. All Americans who supported the Vietnam war, the first Iraq war, the second Iraq war, the Afghanistan war, should be required to read it.

Sloan at HH

moi having breakfast at Harpoon Harry’s on a dry day

Sloan Bashinsky
keysmyhome@hotmail.com

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West

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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