death taxes and life celebrations in Key West

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pirate radioyou don't know jack

While out and about yesterday morning, I dropped by Pirate Radio above Dantes on Caroline Street, hoping to find Jack Smith (above) there.

96.7 and 101.7 FM on your radio dial. Listen online at

Mark Ryno was holding down the ship.

Mark Rhyno

Mark told me about the last time he had Mayor Candidate Margaret Romero on the air.

Margaret Romero

Mark said he told Margaret that when they had Sloan Bashinsky on the air and asked him what was the first thing he would do, if elected mayor?, Sloan said he would apologize to the Charles Eimers family for what the KW police did to their father. Mark asked Margaret if she would apologize to the Eimers family? She said she would not, she did not think they deserved it. Mark asked, why not? Margaret said, based on the Medical Examiner’s autopsy report, KWPD didn’t do anything wrong. Eimers died of natural causes.

Mark and I then talked some about the upcoming mayor candidates debate, which will be held in 2 Brothers Patio Restaurant. Mark said Pirate Radio is a 100,000 watt FM station, which reaches all the way up to Islamorada and has as many listeners as US 1 Radio. I said a lot of people could hear that debate, far more than will ever hear any of the candidate forums. Mark said they are looking for a moderator. We talked some about how the debate could be set up. I said I’d email him my thoughts on that, and on topics which should produce lively conversation. We also talked about my being on Pirate Radio alone, to catch up with Mayor Craig Cates and Margaret Romero, both of whom had been on Pirate Radio a few times, while I had only been on once.

Something told me to go over to Pirate Radio yesterday, hoping I would find Jack there, to ask him about the 3-way mayor debate he told me he wanted to do. Instead, Mark was there. More angel mischief.

Later yesterday, Mark emailed me:

Ryno 1:43 PM
Good seeing you today. Just spoke to Jack. He’d love to have you on THIS Friday at 2 friends patio restaurant downtown, at 8:30am.
Can you make it?

sloan bashinsky 3:06 PM
To: Ryno
Yes, thanks, see Jack then. Good to see you, too. Some story you told me, Romero. Good for you, asking her the question.

Ryno 3:15 PM Keep this message at the top of your inbox
I would be ashamed for having that response

sloan bashinsky 9:21 PM
To: Ryno
I give Margaret credit for speaking her mind, even if I don’t agree with her.

As we discussed aboard the pirate ship this morning …

To keep your radio listeners maximum interested during the mayor candidates debate at 2 Brothers Patio Restaurant, and to let candidates demonstrate their ability to think fast, or not:

Give the candidates one minute to introduce themselves.

Give candidates 60 seconds to answer a question or address a topic, and 30 seconds during rebuttal. 90 seconds total for each question/topic.

Candidates rotate their order with each question/topic. Maybe let them draw straws to see who goes first.

Questions/topics which should generate juicy discussion:

Charles Eimers apology

Homeless people/shelter

Bahama Village/Goombay

affordable rental housing

The dirtiest worst possible cruise ships are calling on Key West, according to Key West Chamber of Commerce Robin Lockwood, M.D., at the Chambers “channel-widening study referendum” forum last year – who what’s the City Commission going to do about it?

Key West going green

Waste Management contract

North Roosevelt Blvd redo

Old Town parking

Tree Commission (Nazis)

Fair breezes and sunny skies and lots of gold-laden ships to plunder.


Ryno 7/16/14
To: sloan bashinsky
Thanks much for the info, I’ll pass it along. You’re booked for this Friday at 8:30am at 2 friends for a regular appearance and the debate is July 25th at 9am. Come early.

I’ll be on Pirate Radio tomorrow morning starting at 8:30 a.m. 96.7 and 101.7 FM on your radio dial. You can listen online at

Margaret Romero is not the only mayor candidate who doesn’t think the Charles Eimers family is owed and apology. Mayor Craig Cates

Mayor Cates

already had said the same thing, by his silence, before and after I challenged him and the city commissioners at a city commission meeting and told them they all should resign because they had showed no public remorse, nor made any public apology to the Eimers family. I reported that on the air, when Pirate Radio interviewed me about a month ago.

Mike Tolbert, co-owner of Daddy Bones BBQ behind Checkers on North Roosevelt Blvd, told me a few months back that Mayor Cates refused to pay the burial expenses of a homeless man his daughter ran over and killed in front of Checkers on North Roosevelt Blvd shortly after Mayor Cates was elected the first time in 2009. Mike said he was working at Daddy Bones when it happened, and he walked over to the accident scene and talked to people and concluded Mayor Cates’ daughter and the homeless man both were at fault. Mike said, when Mayor Cates would not pay the burial expenses, which was all the family asked, they brought a lawsuit to get the burial expenses paid.

Returning to John Donnelly’s  Invalid Investigation–Derides & Mocks The Death Of An Innocent Man…  article 

John Donnelly

in the current online edition of Key West the Newspaper (, which, along with reader comments, you should be able to reach by clicking on the article’s title.

Sister commented to my replies to her rebuke of my metaphysical comments, and I replied back to Sister.

SISTER JULY 16, 2014 AT 4:37 AM
Allrighty then Sloan. I sure hope those angels decide to make some arrests for the murder of Charles Eimers and for the felonies involved in trying to cover up the murder. Cause it sure doesn’t look like any mortal beings are gonna do it.

Roger that, Sister. I told the angels they stuck me way out on a skinny limb in a high tree, and I now it’s on them to get the “prosecution” moving. However, I would not dare predict what they might or might not do. They play their cards real close to the vest until they are ready to turn them face up, has been my experience with them.

In another mortuary yesterday, Mike Mongo, left in photo,

Mike Mongo and Sloan 2

told me outside Harpoon Harry’s of another death in the family, Sir Peter Anderson, Secretary General of the Conch Republic.

Peter Anderson 2

I knew Peter had been fighting cancer and had seen a notice in KONK Life – – yesterday morning that he was not going to make it.

I told Mike that I had been secretly envious of Peter for his expressive life and his clever Conch Republic business, and it had been hard for me to take Peter head-on over his not coming out against the bigger cruise ships referendum last year. He was President of Reef Relief, and his Conch Republic business sold lots of Conch Republic passports and other Conch Republic memorabilia to cruise ship passengers.

During the run up to the referendum, it came out that the dirtiest worst possible cruise ships were calling on Key West. Those cruise ships were contributing to the death of what little of our coral reef had not already died, and to the pollution of the sea. Peter had a serious conflict of interest. His cancer was diagnosed during that sea fierce sea battle in Key West, which resulted in the referendum being defeated by 74 percent of the votes cast.

I asked Mike how he was taking Peter’s passing? Mike said he was crying. I said that’s a spiritual exercise, too. Peter was one of Key West’s most colorful characters, ever. Here’s today’s Citizen article commemorating his life.

Thursday, July 17, 2014 Add to FacebookAdd to Twitter
‘Long live the Conch Republic’
Anderson, 67, dies of cancer

Peter Anderson, who built the once withering Conch Republic Independence Celebration into an internationally known Key West event, has died. He was 67.

Anderson, who arrived in Key West in 1984, died of lung cancer at 9:18 a.m. Wednesday, at his home in Key West, with his ex-wife Judith and daughter Michaela at his side.

Anderson was born Jan. 12, 1947 in Washington D.C., and was educated in schools in Maryland and Delaware.

By 1968, his family had moved to Big Sur, Calif., where Anderson immersed himself in the counterculture of the 1960s. He became a home designer and builder, working on the homes of celebrities such as David Carradine. It was a set of skills that would sustain him for much of his adult life, as he worked on building projects in locales as far flung as Philadelphia and Jamaica.

During the course of his life he was married four times, including a stint with the former wife of LSD guru Timothy Leary, Joanna Leary. It was she who persuaded Anderson to move to Key West.

Upon his arrival in the Southernmost City, Anderson started a company called Mr. Fix It and set to work on the numerous old wooden houses needing repair and renovation in the then burgeoning town. He was immediately taken with the Conch Republic Days celebration, which commemorated the faux declaration of independence made in April of 1982 by then-Mayor Dennis Wardlow. The declaration was made in response to a roadblock set up by the U.S. Border Patrol to search for illegal aliens and, though they wouldn’t admit it, illegal drugs.

“It seemed like a frivolous gesture at the time, but it was actually a serious situation,” said Monroe County historian Tom Hambright. “The town had gone bust in 1974 when the Navy pulled out. So they started a tourist economy. Then we had the Mariel Boatlift, in 1980, which killed tourism for a year and a half. We were just starting to recover when the checkpoint went up. It was a desperate, last gasp move to try to save tourist season.”

It was also just the kind of gesture that appealed to the free-thinking Anderson. In 1990 he stepped in and saved the festival from lassitude on the part of its former promoters.

“Organizers from Key West’s Association for Tourist Development, the group that had been producing Conch Republic Days, decided to drop the celebration like a hot conch fritter,” according to Gregory King, the author of “The Conch That Roared.” The move irked Anderson, who considered the secession celebration to be the embodiment of the town’s independent spirit.

“They decided that it didn’t put enough heads on beds (bring in enough tourists) and therefore wasn’t worth celebrating anymore,” Anderson said. “But Captain Finbar Gittelman . . . of the Schooner Wolf, and several others, to whom the Conch Republic was nearer and dearer than they imagined, decided that we could not let our nation’s anniversary go uncelebrated. We could not stand by and let a tradition of celebrating our sovereignty in a public and notorious manner be broken. So we started a new Conch Republic Independence celebration, [and] made a new statement of our individuality, our uniqueness, our independent spirit. And for my efforts I was appointed (by then-Mayor Captain Tony Tarracino) as Secretary General of the Conch Republic, and [I] have been carrying on in that capacity ever since with some vigor.”

Anderson brought his unbridled enthusiasm to bear upon the festival, transforming it into one of Key West’s best-known events, and a boon to the local economy. Anderson created a Conch Republic Pledge of Allegiance and Battle Hymn, and began reaching out to the State Department, as well as the U.N. and other international organizations, demanding recognition of the Conch Republic.

He encouraged expansion of the “sovereign state of mind” by way of the establishment of “embassies” around the world. Selling Conch Republic passports from his Simonton Street headquarters became his bread and butter, and Anderson embarked upon a number of publicity stunts – not all of which were popular with the public. In particular, his appearance in Tallahassee to protest the establishment of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, won him no friends amongst environmentally aware Key Westers. In fact, the original 1982 declaration had come under fire from well-known locals such as Poker Run co-founder Mike Horne, who objected to having his U.S. citizenship traded away, and former County Mayor Wilhelmina Harvey, who didn’t want to see the U.S. flag lowered on the island. Harvey later changed her mind about the Conch Republic, and was appointed Admiral of its so-called Navy.

But there was more to “Secretary General” Anderson than the Conch Republic, and colorful ersatz officers’ dress he wore around town.

He was active in local charities, founding the local branch of Habitat for Humanity, and had just been reelected the president of the board of Reef Relief, days before his death. He was also a Kentucky Colonel, a Knight of Freedom, member of the Propeller Club, an Honorary Fire Chief of the Baltimore City Fire Department, and established the Conch Republic’s Foster Children’s Fund.

Though Anderson made a career of celebrating the Conch Republic’s secession, he didn’t take kindly to imitators.

In 2012, he brought to heel an Upper Keys business group celebrating what it called the “Northernmost Territory” celebration, by way of an ultimately successful court case over trademark infringement.

“The secession of the Northernmost Territories has ended in reunification,” Anderson said following the judgment.

Florida Keys public relations specialist Andy Newman on Wednesday praised Anderson’s contribution to the Keys.

“I can’t really say what the Conch Republic’s impact on the economy has been, but most importantly, Peter did a tremendous job over the years of keeping the spirit of the Conch Republic alive and going,” Newman said. “He understood what a special place the Keys are, and he did his best to make sure everyone else knew it too.”

A longtime friend of Anderson’s, Key Wester Tim Wegman, called Anderson’s passing “A tragic loss.

“We shared a lot of adventures together,” Wegman added. “I’m on one right now, doing a boat delivery, and I can’t help but think that Peter’s with me right now.”

Anderson’s former wife Judith said on Wednesday said that a celebration of life, likely including a parade, will be announced in the near future. Anderson will be cremated and his remains interred a conch shell-topped resting place in the Key West City Cemetery. The Conch Republic celebration will continue, and the Simonton Street office will remain open for business. A fund has been set up by Becky Bauer at First State Bank in Michaela Anderson’s name to help defray funeral expenses.

Judith Anderson fondly remembered a number of slogans popularized by her late husband.

“‘He played his part with all his heart’ was one of them,” she said. “He also used to call Key West ‘Camp Big Kid, where everyone is their own counselor, unless they seek the counsel of another.’ Of course, his favorite line was ‘long live the Conch Republic. And long live every one of you.'”

And today’s KONK Life E-BLAST:




Peter Anderson, acclaimed Secretary General of the Conch Republic and the creator and sole purveyor of Conch Republic passports, died at his home on Simonton Street at 9:18 a.m., Wednesday, following a courageous battle with lung cancer. He was 67.

He is survived by Judith Anderson, from whom he was divorced, and their daughter, Mikaela, of Key West, who were with him when he died, and by a brother in New York.

The cancer was first diagnosed in October last year, which led Anderson to undergo an advanced treatment of proton radiation at the MD Anderson clinic of the University of Texas. This gave him several months of relief during which he was able to publish in Konk Life a weekly series on the story of his life and the annual Conch Republic Celebration, which he took over when appointed Secretary General by then-Key West mayor Capt. Tony Taracino.

Since 1990, including this year, Sir Peter led the Conch Republic Days parade along Duval Street.

Konk Life publisher Guy DeBoer worked closely with Peter Anderson since 2009, when Sir Peter was the first local personality to be approached as a host in the formation of Konk AM Radio; his show was called “Down in the Conch Republic.”

“He is always in my heart,” said DeBoer Wednesday.

The evening before Anderson died, the board of Reef Relief voted unanimously to continue Anderson’s appointment as the head of that organization.

Sir Peter was also well enough in recent months to visit friends in Costa Rica and to take a trip to New York City with Kate Miano to see his brother.

Key West Mayor Craig Cates went on record this year in Konk Life’s candidate Q. & A. series in selecting Sir Peter Anderson as his “favorite person in Key West history.”

Miano shared with Konk Life what Sir Peter shared with her as his choice of epitaph for a life well lived: “He Had Fun.”

Anderson account at FSB

An account to help defray the medical bills, funeral and memorial arrangements for the late Sir Peter. Anderson has been set up in the name of his 25-year old daughter, Mikaela Anderson, at First State Bank, 444 Whitehead St., Key West, FL 33040 Anyone interested in making a credit card, check or cash donation can contact Becky Bauer, First State Bank, 444 Whitehead St., Key West, FL 33040, 305-296-8535 305-296-8535

Peter Anderson

I told someone the other day, people don’t die, their bodies do, and they keep on going.

Sloan blue

Sloan Bashinsky

Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West, aka “southernmost the nut house”

About Sloan

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