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Last night, I finished reading SANCTUS, a first novel by Simon Tyoni. The jacket copy had caused me to think the book might be another Da Vinci Code knock-off, and perhaps it is. However, the big esoteric secret in this tale, which a very old secretive male monastical order had kept under tight lock and key, is Eve herself, imprisoned for ages inside a rock citadel in Turkey, eternally blamed and punished by said monks for all of humanity’s problems.
How that all resolved in Eve’s favor, I leave for you to read the book, if you wish, now that I’ve spoiled the punch line, which already was staring me in the face before I reached the punch line yesterday. Absence of Eve, I knew from a nap dream yesterday, and from lots of political stuff going on in my “waking” life, was to be the topic of today’s post. My dreams last night confirmed Eve’s insurrection in a variety of ways.
Key West the Newspaper (www.thebluepaper.com) editorial “cartoon”
The Charles Eimers death in paradise case exemplifies Eve’s absense. She was not present on South Beach last Thanksgiving day, although she was present in the shocked emotional responses of nearby bystander witnesses and in the person who shot the video of the take down by Adam-testosterone-driven KWPD officers. Eve also present in the female KWPD officer present walking away from that scene in disgust.
Eve was not in: the paramedics not being told by the Adam police at South Beach what really had happened; the hospital not being told what really had happened; the Eimers family not being immediately contacted; Eimers’ body being taken to a mortuary for cremation, instead of to the Medical Examiner for an autopsy; the Adam police officers intimidation of witnesses; the Adam police officers falsification of incidence reports; the Adam KWPD circling of the police department wagons; the ridiculous Adam Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation; the Adam Monroe County Medical Examiner’s reliance entirely on Adam FDLE’s investigation report, instead of doing his own independent examination.
In the midst of all of that Adam activity, Eve, who has the knowledge of good and evil, burst into plain view in the first Key West the Newspaper article on the Eimers case. Eve continued bursting into plain view in follow up blue paper articles.
Eve persuaded Key West attorney David Paul Horan to take the case for the Eimers family, despite his Adam strong feelings toward not taking the case. Horan filed suit in federal court, instead of in state court. Horan and Eve both knew Adam holds far more sway in Key West local courts, than in federal court.
Eve moved CBS to get involved and report the Eimers case on its national morning TV show.
Even moved State Attorney Catherine Vogel to impanel a Grand Jury to investigate the death of Charles Eimers. Vogel could have done her own investigation and made up her own mind whether or not to ask a local circuit court judge to grant her permission to prosecute whomever she had determined had committed crimes. Eve wanted a Grand Jury consisting of private citizens to investigate. Eve wanted to take local politics out of the investigation, to the extent possible.
All the while, Eve kept moving the blue paper’s publishers, Naja and Arnaud Girard,
to keep going, keep digging, keep publishing. The two lead articles in yesterday’s Friday blue paper edition, and the citizen comments thereto, are Eve’s latest moves in the Charles Eimers case. Here are links to those two articles:
Moving laterally, here is the Citizen (www.keysnews.com) report on the Chamber of Commerce’s mayor candidates forum this past Wednesday.
Link to photos of candidates during the debate provided by Rodney Gullatte.
Friday, July 25, 2014 Add to FacebookAdd to Twitter
Chamber questions mayoral candidates
BY MANDY MILES Citizen Staff
Parking, homelessness, traffic congestion and governmental mistakes were among the topics debated Wednesday when the three Key West mayoral candidates squared off at a lunchtime forum hosted by the Key West Chamber of Commerce.
Incumbent Mayor Craig Cates, who is seeking his fourth two-year term, sat between challengers Margaret Romero and Sloan Bashinsky in a conference room at the Casa Marina Resort.
Forum moderator Wayne Markham asked each candidate the same six questions that had been submitted ahead of time by chamber members.
Bashinsky didn’t hesitate when asked what city actions or votes he would have handled differently over the past two years.
“I’d apologize to the family of Charles Eimers, without a doubt,” Bashinsky said, referring to the man who died after being in police custody on Thanksgiving Day. “If he hadn’t been profiled as being homeless, he’d be alive today.”
Eve put me up to say that, and to think in that way.
Bashinsky also said he’d “set aside the Truman Waterfront Park plan altogether,” and look into the construction of affordable housing at the waterfront property.
Eve put me up to say that, and to think in that way.
Romero said she would’ve “pushed for more exploration of affordable housing and more action at Truman Waterfront.”
“People are tired of hearing that things are getting started down there,” she said, adding that with each city commission agenda item, she’d “want to know more about who’s behind it and why.”
On the other hand, Cates told the audience he wouldn’t have voted differently on any items.
“The economy is great; our city is safe; let’s keep Key West moving forward,” Cates said after hearing the other two responses.
It was Cates’ turn to answer first when Markham asked how the candidates would address the congestion on city streets, including parking, bikes and rental vehicles.
“We’re a victim of our own success,” Cates said. “I was born here and parking has always been an issue. But we’re doing a study now, and we address it at every meeting.”
Bashinsky told the audience, “You can’t fix the [traffic congestion] problem. You’ve overbuilt the city.”
Eve put me up to say that, and to think in that way.
Romero said she would encourage the use of hotel shuttles and public transportation, including smaller buses.
“I’d also ensure that all new construction includes enough parking to accommodate all the anticipated vehicles visiting that business,” she said.
When asked how to address homelessness, Bashinsky said, “The city needs its own drunk tank, instead of killing the sheriff’s office and hospital with the costs of drunk homeless people.”
Eve put me up to say that, and to think in that way.
Romero said the city shouldn’t be in the social services industry, but should foster cooperation among existing agencies.
“I’d also distinguish between the generic homeless and what I call ‘vacationing vagrants’ and do things to discourage them from coming here in the first place.”
“What we’re doing now isn’t working,” said Cates when it was his turn. “We’re spending $6.6 million incarcerating them over and over, but we need to do something different.”
When given a final minute to introduce themselves, Bashinsky proposed closing Duval Street to vehicular traffic at 3 p.m. each day.
Eve put me up to say that, and to think in that way.
Romero pledged to “ask the tough questions to ensure the city is making cost-effective decisions; listen to citizens and encourage more people to get involved in city boards and committees because we need some fresh blood and new ideas.”
Cates closed the forum by saying he wants to run on his record and “hopes this will be the fourth time Key Westers have elected me mayor.”
Eve put me up to make those and other remarks at the Chamber forum.
Even then put me up to say what I said during yesterday’s mayor candidates debate on Pirate Radio, which I hope will become a tradition for Key West mayor races.
After all, Eve moved Pirate Radio’s Jack Smith to think of having the debate on Pirate Radio.
Eve then moved moderator Todd German
to come up with the format, as he waited on the debate to begin.
Todd would ask a question. One candidate he would pick would have 60 seconds, approximately, to answer. The other two candidates each would have 30 seconds, approximately, to rebut. The first candidate would then have 30 seconds, approximately, to reply to the other two candidates. This was an improved variation of what Eve already had moved Jack and me to suggest for the format, which I had published, which Todd had read.
Eve wanted short, to the point answers, not long-winded political speeches. She wanted answers to the point, specific statements, not generalizations. Those who heard the broadcast heard Eve speaking through me. Eve had me make specific statements. She had me provide details. She had me offer solutions. She had me speak from outside the box.
For example, Todd said the North Roosevelt Blvd construction now pretty much finished, how did we feel about other streets in the city, such as lumpy in places Caroline Street.
Eve had me say I was on North Roosevelt the day before, it didn’t look finished to me, not even close. Todd’s question sounded like a politician running for office. I like lumpy streets, they slow down traffic, maybe cause people to use bicycles instead of cars. I’d like to see cobblestone streets, make people not to want to even drive cars in the city. I woudn’t fix streets until they absolutely have to be fixed.
Later, Eve reminded me that I could said Pritam Singh’s new hotel is on Caroline Street. Pritam is bosom buddies with Todd’s bosom buddy Jim Hendrick. Maybe the Caroline Street fix question was actually Pritam’s question. I apologized to Eve for being dim-witted Adam.
Todd asked what we thought about favoring local contractors and businesses with city projects, instead of using mainland contractors and businesses?
Eve had me say, of course we should favor local contractors. I would have used Toppino Construction for North Roosevelt Blvd. They might have done the job in 6 months (instead of 2 1/2 years). But that wasn’t the city’s call. (Florida Department of Transportation decided who would redo North Roosevelt Blvd).
Todd asked what we saw as possibilities for Key West diversifying away from tourism as our main economic engine?
Eve had me say, with medical marijuana coming on board, Key West should stop enforcing the marijuana laws altogether; let growing marijuana become a cottage industry, call it Key West Gold, everyone in the world will know what that means. Export it to Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, mainland US, Eurpope, etc. Eve then had me say, google Haulover Beach just north of Miami. Naked people all over the place. Designate the upper seldom used end of Smathers’ Beach a nude beach, and nude beach lovers will come to Key West, with lots of money to spend here. The city won’t have to promote it. The nude beach lovers will take care of the beach. It won’t cost the city anything.
Jack Smith declared an intermission. I wandered over to speak to some people I knew. A woman I didn’t know introduced herself, said said she liked my comments, is with me all the way; a nude beach will be a bonanza for Key West. I asked if she is a nude beach fan? No, but she sees the potential. She said she had been in Margaret Romero’s camp, but she now is voting for me.
The debate resumed.
Todd asked us about water quality issues? I got to go first.
Eve had me say Dr. Brian Lapointe ( an internationally recognized marine biologist) told me the reef is 95 percent dead. Our water is polluted, nitrogen and corals don’t get along. City should stop letting the dirtiest worst possible cruise ships call on Key West, the are polluting the ocean with wastes; it was a bad idea to ever let a cruise ship call on Key West. The city needs to start lobbying against the Army Corps of Engineers diverted chemical runoff back into the Everglades. Right now the runoff is being dumped into an east-west canal and is killed the east and west coasts. They don’t have the technology to clean the water. If it is dumped into the Glades, I will come down here again. Efforts need to be increased to get liveaboards (people living on boats) to pump out their sewerage, instead of dump it into the sea.
Every diver and physician in the Keys knows our ocean is infested with MRSA bacteria, and if you go into the ocean with a cut or scratch on your skin, you very well might end up with MRSA, which is fatal if not treated. Visitors contract it here then return home and it breaks out. The city needs to see to it that our visitors are warned of the risk of MRSA. Eve had Todd say, the Tourist Development Council will really love that! Eve had me say the city has a moral obligation to tell its visitors about MRSA in our ocean. Google image MRSA, I said the letters, and see for yourself just how awful it is. Like a brown recluse bite, but it takes a little longer to kill you.
Speaking behind me, Mayor Cates said there is nothing wrong with the ocean, its beautiful. The health department is always monitoring the waters and issuing warnings when there is a problem. I didn’t get a rebuttal. The Health Department monitors beach waters for fecal bacterial, not for MRSA, which every diver and physician in the Keys knows infests our ocean. As far as I know, the Health Department has nothing to do with the reef.
Todd asked about affordable housing, homelessness, and more.
Eve prompted me to say put affordable housing on Truman Waterfront. The city needs its own drunk tank. The city is putting all of its effort and resources into trying to keep street people inside at night, instead of trying to help the new homeless get back on their feet and into housing they can afford, before they become street people. Affordable public housing on Truman Waterfront will give the new homeless and other poor people a place to live, which they can afford. I lived on the street in Key West. I’m the city’s homeless expert. The city has never asked me for input about homelessness.
Todd asked us about KOTS, the city’s overnight homeless shelter from being a crash shelter, to a shelter which provides assistance. He said I had stayed at KOTS.
Eve had me say KOTS is still a crash shelter, which now provide as few services. Father Steve Braddock, CEO of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, and I both told the city not to build KOTS, it would cause the city lots of problems. I told the mayor and city commissioners they needed to spend a few nights at KOTS, so they can find out what it’s about. By law, the city cannot charge homeless people money to stay at KOTS.
Todd asked us about assisted living for the elderly.
Eve had me say the first attempt for an assisted-living elder facility, on Truman Waterfront, was for a rich elderly country club. It was said during public meetings there were not enough elders in Key West to fill up the facility, which would be marketed to elders up the Keys, and beyond. That’s why I opposed it. Truman Waterfront was the worst place to put an assisted elders living facility: most remote from shopping centers, doctors, the hospital. Only rich elders with servants would be comfortable there. That developer was trying to gouge the city, and then turned out to not be pretty himself. The new proposed senior assisted living facility at Poinciana sounds a lot better. And putting one on the Easter Seals on Stock Island sounds a lot better. If the developer takes the risks and makes money, I have no problem with that.
I did not have time to say, under any scenario, the developer will pay little, or nothing, for using the city’s land. And most likely, any assisted-living senior facility will have to be open to seniors living anywhere in the US. I don’t care for that, because the city is putting up free land and the facility is supposed to be for Key West seniors.
And so it went.
At the start, the candidates each got about a minute to introduce ourselves.
Eve prompted me to say I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, attended Vanderbilt University, then the University of Alabama School of law, and later I went back there and got a Masters in Tax Law. Then, I had a rather unusual life, which my friend Todd German often attests. I paused, said, that’s enough intro.
We were each allowed a minute or so of closing comments.
Eve had me say, if elected, the first thing I will do as mayor is, on behalf of Key West, I will apologize to the Charles Eimers family for the KWPD killing their father on South Beach last Thanksgiving Day. He died because the police profiled him as being homeless. Then, I will try to get the Truman Waterfront plan set aside, and Housing Authority rental housing put out there. As you see, I don’t count how many votes I might lose before I say something, I tell it like I see it. I am the only candidate who knows anything about homelessness. I am the city’s expert. I know what might work, and what won’t work and wastes money.
Time ran out.
Later, Eve chided me for not saying during the debate that listeners can go to goodmorningkeywest.com and read up on my campaign platform and strategy, and read my daily missives, which will tell them plenty about Key West they will not read in the Citizen or the other newspapers. That website was her inspiration.
Eve also chided me for not saying the city should pay Bahama Village market rate for the 4+ acres of Truman Waterfront the city swiped from Bahama Village.
Eve is a demanding, very jealous mistress. Nothing like stodgy, dull, boring, never had a creative thought in his bull his way through life Adam head.
Unlike Adam, Eve loves the truth.
Key West the Newspaper view of cruise ships calling on Key West
For further example, Eve had our former State Attorney Dennis Ward
tell me yesterday that sheriff deputies up the Keys, especially in Marathon, are searching out homeless people and putting them in the sheriff’s jail on Stock Island. I was a bit slow on the uptake, Eve bonked me, I called Dennis back and said, dang, the sheriff is howling about Key West sending its homeless people to his jail and the hospital, but his own deputies up the Keys are doing the same thing. Yep, Dennis said. I said, well even so, most of it is coming from Key West, who started the jail the homeless trend. Dennis agreed.
He’s now in the private practice of law, handling cases in the Keys and in south and central Florida; cases Eve ran to him.
Dennis also sent a Miami Herald article, on which Eve had me grouse: great idea, reminds of when I suggested the city hire homeless people, dress them up like pirates and be litter cops.
Another great Eve ideas dashed on cold hard dead coral Adam rocks.
Posted on Thursday, 07.24.14
The once homeless return to help clean Miami’s mean streets
BY ANDRE C. FERNANDEZ
Eugene Gordon knows the streets of downtown Miami very well.
Homeless until a few years ago, Gordon often spent time rummaging through garbage bins looking for his next meal.
Gordon was back Wednesday afternoon, picking up trash on one of those familiar blocks.
But this time, no longer in need of food or shelter, he was working to clean up the streets he once wandered to survive.
Gordon, 55, is a supervisor for the Miami Downtown Enhancement Team, a rehabilitation program founded to provide formerly homeless individuals with jobs that help revitalize and maintain the appearance of the downtown community.
“This program taught me how to live again, be responsible and become a productive member of society,” said Gordon, who joined the program in its first year.
In nearly eight years, the nine-month program has provided work for more than 275 people and 139 have successfully completed it, with several others finishing early after finding other employment or regaining the means to pursue an education.
Dressed in bright yellow uniforms, the 26-member team spent Wednesday afternoon picking up litter, installing and maintaining plants and trees along the sidewalks and cleaning up graffiti along Flagler Street in downtown.
The team does sidewalk pressure washing, trash receptacle maintenance and general paint maintenance on traffic poles and street lights seven days a week.
“Out of all the money the DDA spends, to me this is the best use of it by far,” said Jose Goyanes, a downtown business owner and board member of the Downtown Development Authority. “It’s tough for these guys just to get a job. They’ve had a lot of personal issues. Some of the stuff they deal with in order to beautify this city are things most people would never do.”
The program was founded by the Miami Downtown Development Authority in 2007 in conjunction with Camillus House. The DET employees are paid by Camillus House, which is contracted to administer and recruit personnel, who then receive on-the-job training.
Some employees, like 34-year old Robert Smith, are already in the process of starting their own businesses.
“It’s a good feeling to go from something nasty to something pure,” said Smith, who is starting his own mobile car wash business. “By doing this job, I feel like I’m being accepted back into society. It’s been a great experience for me.”
Since the program started, more than 11,000 graffiti instances have been removed per year from public structures, more than 17,000 bags of trash have been collected and removed annually and 257 planters are being maintained, according to the Miami DDA.
“It’s a win-win for both the city and the people involved,” said Alyce Robertson, the executive director of the Miami Downtown Development Authority. “They’re training and getting skills and no longer homeless. They’re doing something positive and adding to their job skills to move on into the future.”
Gordon is one of three of the program’s current supervisors along with Richard Sargent and Kevin Garrett, all of whom came through the program as workers after seeking out help from Camillus House to recover from difficult situations.
Sargent, 42, is a former restaurant manager who lost his job and home in recent years after dealing with alcoholism and drug use. These days, he is studying computer science when he’s not working with the program.
Sargent credits his involvement in the program for helping him turn his life around.
“Having this opportunity changed my life,” Sargent said. “I was in a very tough place with drugs and alcohol. This put me in a better place and things have gotten better and better since. I’m just so grateful for the opportunity and I took full advantage of it.”
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West, Eve’s northernmost Caribbean Adam correctional facility