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Eating breakfast at Harpoon Harry’s yesterday morning,
I saw Key West Mayor Craig Cates and his wife Cheryl in the end booth next to Caroline Street.
When I left my chair at the breakfast bar to walk around the cash register to pay my bill, I saw Gary Ek and a lady friend sitting in the same booth.
I said Craig and Cheryl had only just left that booth, the angels were in on it. Gary, aka Reverend Gweko Phlocker, aka Soundman From Hell,
shimmered and said a few ooohs and ahhhhs. The back story was this below, which Gary only recently had sent to me. He said he was there when it happened.
Join Us with the Latest Debate from Key West Join us as the War between Arnold’s Towing and the City of KEY WEST, When Right in middle of the Interview The Mayor and His Wife drive up and start arguing with Ricky Arnold!
It turns out all this started because The Mayor Parked Illegally and was Towed…. Then later Showed up DRUNKER to pick up his car! moi at Harpoon Harry’s last fall
When I open the link to the video Gary provided, the video plays but there is no sound. I do not see Craig or Cheryl in the video. Some of the footage is okay, some of it is dark and I can’t see much. Gary told me at Harpoon Harry’s yesterday that he was there that night, and he saw Craig and Cheryl drive up, and he saw and heard them get into it with Arnold’s Towing. I asked Gary to write me up a narrative of what he saw and heard, and he said he would, and that he might be able to send me a recording of the sound in the video.Moving laterally …
In today’s KONK Life email blast – www.keysnet.com
HOMELESSNESS / TODD ROLLI SLEEPS IN THE TREES AND BUSHES AND ON THE BENCHES OF KEY WEST.
KONK LIFE EDITOR KD — TUE, JUL 29 2014
By Susan Mitchell
Chemical dependency has wreaked havoc upon the life of Todd Rolli, He now sleeps in the trees and bushes of Key West or on the benches. Rolli longs to go back to Fort Wayne, Ind., and reunite with his son and 12- year-old granddaughter. “She needs to meet her granddaddy before she becomes an old woman,” said Rolli. “I want to see my family. I want to start my own business making custom Harley Davidson motorcycles. I want off the streets tomorrow,” he added. “I don’t want her to remember her grandfather as the homeless drunk who had to leave Fort Wayne, Indiana.”
Rolli earned an Associates Degree in Electronic Engineering from ITT Tech in Fort Wayne after graduating from high school in 1979. He married and had a son, Chad, with his first wife Loretta.
Rolli Joined the Air Force and became an Airman. After almost four years in the Air Force, he was discharged after three incidents of drug and alcohol use while on duty. He still gets military health benefits.
He found Sally, his second wife, who was sober. She helped him became sober, and they married and owned a home together. Later, Todd’s second and a third marriage broke up.
After seven years of sobriety, he started drinking a half gallon of Canadian Mist a day for almost six years. He worked as a journeyman maintenance mechanic throughout his sober and drunk years in Fort Wayne. While intoxicated at work, Rolli fell and cracked his skull, lost his job and became homeless. Later, he worked for a traveling circus. After two tours through Florida, Rolli came to Key West 10 years ago.
“Alcohol is a demon, it will lie to you… it will beat you up until you are almost dead,” said Rolli.
I submitted this reader comment:
Like any other narcotic, alcohol does not lie, it’s nature is well known. It’s a lie to demonize alcohol, when the demon is the addict, and what inside the addict’s psyche and in the spirit drives the addict to be an addict. Rolli is yet another example of the futility of trying to help a homeless person change, who is an active addict. I lived on the street in Key West and on Maui. My observation was 90 or more percent of the adult street people were active addicts. I was serious when many times I told the Key West City Commission that only God can change a street person. AA and NA have preached for a very long time that addicts are insane, there is nothing they can do to fix that on their own, and if God doesn’t take them over and fix it, they are gonners – that’s a poetic summary of the first 3 of the 12 Steps. I don’t see in Susan Mitchell’s article that Rolli understands any of that.
Moving laterally …
During a candidate forum at Casa Marina in 2009, then Key West Mayor Morgan McPherson was asked what was the hardest part of being mayor? He said all the time he had to spend working for the city took him away from his wife and children. His opponents were given a chance to reply. I asked Morgan, if he was not reelected, would he then spend less time in bars and more time with his family? The room stopped breathing. After a pause, Morgan said, sometimes a man needs a drink. That seemed to make most of the audience comfortable again.
I often feel like I need a drink, but booze makes me sick pronto, so I don’t drink. I often feel like I need a toke of weed, but it gives me a migraine the next day, so I don’t use it. When I really ache, I take a couple of ibuprofen. Otherwise, I grin, groan and bear it.
Moving laterally …
I submitted a new comment yesterday to the Police Point Gun At Six-Year-Old Boy — and More… article in Key West the Newspaper – www.thebluepaper.com. You should be able to see that article by clicking on its title or on the blue paper link. It’s the top article in this edition.
SLOAN BASHINSKY AUGUST 1, 2014 AT 8:19 PM
Looks to me maybe [KW Police Chie]f Donie Lee needs to go see Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry, and have him write lots of scripts for lots of estrogen supplements for Donie’s officers, maybe it will mellow them out. I found myself thinking today, the way your article describes the raid reminds me of how I hear meth users behave.
Depending on your point of view, you might, or might not, enjoy the various reader comments under that article.
Moving laterally, there are lots of wings and rooms on this locked ward …
Jerry Weinstock, M.D., Psychiatry wrote re his and my discussion reported in yesterday’s hate crimes, hypocrisy and other one human family anomalies – the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly in Key West and beyond post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com:
Sloan: i have to say having a Psychiatrist occasionally on the blog —making interpretations and then your response adds a definite humane –humanitarian —dimension which is what we all need —-self acceptance –we all need a certain amount of reassurance –we are imperfect –it is OK-it is human; good critique —adds balance –read it over today gave me a warm feeling–a good feeling in this frenetic, messy world, enjoy !! Jerry
If you keep talking like that to an accused and confessed lunatic, you might start seeing and hearing angels, which I don’t recall are part of the usual medical school and psychiatric residence curriculum
Moving laterally …
“Mud Dawg” Mike Tolbert replied to yesterday’s post at www.goodmorningkeywest.com:
Its a weird world out there for sure! Cops terrorizing kids. Killing people and No suspensions. Chief and mayor silent on subject. Build a shelter just to be able to legally harass someone for living. Enact laws against folks sleeping in vans that would have made hitler a proud man if he had lived to see them. All the while we got a city full of empty store fronts polluted water and a MAYORON that says its just fine! WOW. Did you hear we getting another CVS in fast buck freddy building. With the way things are going I guess more Drug stores may be a good thing. I know those folks on the Super ships will be happy.
I hope the new drugstore is well-stocked with estrogen supplements.
This here town is so testosteroned that it’s a wonder it ain’t blowed itself clean up.
Moving laterally …
Father Steve Braddock, CEO of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition, sent his link in reply to 12-year-old boy shoots and kills Jacksonville, Florida homeless man in cold blood part yesterday’s post at goodmorningkeywest.com:
In 1968, the U.S. Congress defined a hate crime as an offense in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the offense, because of their race, color or national origin (Title 18 U.S.C Section 245). Federal bias crime laws enacted subsequently have provided additional coverage. These laws include:
The Hate Crimes Statistics Act of 1990 (HCSA) authorized the Justice Department to collect data from law enforcement agencies about crimes that “manifest evidence of prejudice based upon race, religion, sexual orientation, or ethnicity.” The Hate Crimes Against the Homeless Statistics Act would amend (HCSA) to include homeless persons as a protected class.
The Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act, enacted as a section of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, defines hate crimes as “a crime in which the defendant intentionally selects a victim, or in the case of a property crime, the property that is the object of the crime, because of the actual or perceived race, color, national origin, ethnicity, gender, disability, or sexual orientation of any person.” This measure only applies to attacks and vandalism that occur in national parks and on federal property.
HCSA requires the U.S. Department of Justice to monitor and record data from law enforcement agencies on any crime classified as a hate crime in addition to publishing an annual report summarizing their findings.
The Hate Crimes Against the Homeless Enforcement Act would amend the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 to include homeless persons as a protected class, making any targeted act of violence due to homeless status classifiable as a hate crime.
I replied to Steve:
Thanks, I published something about the homeless amendment maybe three weeks ago. I hope that amendment is passed, but I wonder if it will change anyone’s attitude? Perhaps it might change some people’s behavior because of punishment enhancement sentencing upon conviction of hate crime against a homeless person. Might be instant karma will be more efficient punishment and deterrent, after the word gets out that instant karma for hate crime is for real. Hate crime against anyone for any reason, or for no reason.
Moving laterally …
Shadahroba Rodd, aka Hatman, wrote re 12-year-old boy shooting and killing Jacksonville, Florida homeless man in cold blood:
hi Sloan. man, what’s next? KWPD gets crazier yet and where I move to they’re crazy here too. FUCK !!
the Jax shooting demonstrates to me how, instead of being a threat to the health and safety to residents, visitors, etc of KW — as written in the KW ‘lodging in vehicle’ law — by living in my vehicle I was actually helping to prevent crimes against homeless. nobody was able, like we’ve all read & heard about, to assault me while I was sleeping when I was in my van. now I didn’t ask the city for a gold star for being a crime-prevention specialist, but maybe I should have. maybe all homeless people should be given a vehicle to live in so they can’t be beaten to death, or shot to death. now, the vehicles might not be able to be driven, maybe not even have wheels (up on concrete blocks?) but at least they would be safe from most of the rogue elements of society.
I wonder what part of the Jax kid , 12 yr old’s problems were caused by having a name that sounds like Sharon? I believe his name is spelled Sharron (probably pronounced quite differently than Sharon, except by his buds and bros who wanted to rag on him?) can you say a “boy named Sue?” what a future– sitting in a prison cell for the next 70-80 yrs for stupidly shooting someone who apparently did nothing to the kid?
Stupidly shooting? I’m afraid there was more in play that stupidity. There is something really awry in that kid for him to shoot that homeless man. What put so much hatred into that kid? Was he tortured when he was younger? Was he being tortured when he shot the homeless man? Was he feeling so badly about himself that he shot the homeless man to feel better about himself? Did the homeless man represent someone to the kid, who had done him grievous wrong? Was the kid demonically possessed? Any and all are possibilities.
I wish the Key West city officials cared about homeless people being hurt and killed, but they don’t seem to care; nor do KW west police. I might take a major miracle to cause them to see the wisdom in letting people live in their vehicles, which I imagine even a stupid person can see.
Moving laterally …
A No Name Key friend contributed this comparison between the New York City mayor and police department, and the Key West mayor and police department. I added Key West the Newspaper’s “cartoon” of Charles Eimers being smothered to death by Key West’s finest.
NEW YORK (AP) — A chokehold used by a police officer on a New York City man during his arrest for selling untaxed, loose cigarettes last month caused his death, the medical examiner announced Friday, ruling it a homicide.
Asthma, heart disease and obesity were contributing factors, she said. In the video, Garner can be heard repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe!”
Chokeholds are prohibited by the New York Police Department. Prosecutors on Staten Island are investigating, and Attorney General Eric Holder has said the Justice Department is “closely monitoring” the probe.
A spokesman for Daniel Donovan, the Staten Island district attorney, said prosecutors were still investigating the death and were awaiting a full autopsy report and death certificate from the medical examiner. Donovan will have to determine whether to empanel a grand jury and charge officers in the death of Garner.
The NYPD didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the medical examiner’s ruling.The officer who put Garner in the chokehold was stripped of his gun and badge pending the investigation, and another was placed on desk duty. Two paramedics and two EMTs were suspended without pay. A spokesman for the police union didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment.
Police Commissioner William Bratton, who told reporters that the video appeared to show the officer placing Garner in a prohibited chokehold, ordered a top-to-bottom redesigning of use-of-force training in the NYPD in the wake of Garner’s death.
But that response hasn’t satisfied some, including Sharpton, who in provocative comments Thursday at City Hall called for the officers involved to be charged criminally. He also told Mayor Bill de Blasio that if de Blasio’s own half-black teenage son had a different father, he would be a “candidate for a chokehold.”
De Blasio said Friday that he wasn’t offended by the comments. The mayor spoke before the medical examiner’s announcement; he did not immediately comment after the ruling. He has called Garner’s death “very troubling.”
Sharpton’s spokeswoman said Friday that Garner’s family would join him Saturday at his National Action Network Harlem headquarters to address the medical examiner’s ruling.
Partial video of the July 17 confrontation shows an officer placing a chokehold on the 6-foot-3, 350-pound Garner, who can be heard complaining repeatedly that he can’t breathe as at least four other officers bring him down. He then apparently loses consciousness.
The video shows the officer who apparently choked Garner using his hands to push Garner’s face into the sidewalk (imagine sand instead).
Garner’s death has also raised criticism of the broken windows theory of policing, a tactic championed by Bratton that posits that cracking down on relatively minor, low-level offenses such as selling loose cigarettes helps suppress more serious crimes. Bratton, with de Blasio’s support, has defended the policing tactic despite some calls for it to be discontinued.
Moving laterally, as I said earlier, there are many wings and rooms on this locked ward …
Distant in-law Ron Kennerly, a North Carolina developer who once vacationed frequently with his better half when she was still on this earth, wrote yesterday:
BASH – I am hoping Key West voters know what is best for them….. You…. would make their best mayor in many years.
If you have time, pull up todays Charlotte Observer, Page 1 article (charlotteobserver.com ) about dealing with local homeless people.
The downtown or uptown business organization is proposing to take up public benches in the center of the city (99% used by the homeless to sort of camp out) with the stated purpose of encouraging these street people to enter into care programs. I am certain that the group also wants this population to relocate to less visible locations, but they seem willing to pay and offer quid quo pro for that privilege. The police force here does not thump the homeless or put them face down in the sand. Shame on KWPD.
Also, the Observer article indicated that there is a significant reduction of homeless people this year.
One last thought, the big park plan for the Key West outer mole, seems to me to be a huge waste and a mistake. There is a beach park at the Fort next door, it is rarely full, especially in the heat of the year. Most folks coming to Key West are not interested in going to a park. For the good of the Key West community, your basic idea for truly affordable housing should be given careful consideration and fully debated. Then your idea or any idea for the tract should be offered in a referendum. I think your idea would prevail. You could see the true tendency of the feelings of the community at large exposed in the channel widening referendum. I think those same people would really support your idea.
Wishing you the best.
ps: You continue to hurt my feelings, from time to time, by saying mean things about developers… we are not all insensitive and greedy. You may be tending to throw out the baby with the bath water. We have to guess if I am the baby or the bath water. RK
pps: The way the KW local elected officials have treated the Eimers incident is truly an irresponsible tragedy. Shame on the elected officials and shame on the Chief of Police and his staff. rk
Homeless crowd prompts community action in Charlotte, NC
BY MARK PRICE
firstname.lastname@example.orgJuly 31, 2014
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A proposal to temporarily remove benches in the four blocks surrounding Trade and Tryon streets is part of a broader plan community leaders are pitching to shift the downtown’s homeless population off the streets and into programs.
Charlotte Center City Partners has asked the city’s Department of Transportation to remove all or most the benches from sidewalks near the intersection – known as The Square – for about 30 days.
The city is considering the request and could make a decision in the next two weeks, officials said. City manager Ron Carlee said Thursday that he had not yet seen the request and hadn’t reviewed it with staff.
Center City Partners CEO Michael Smith says the idea is to “disrupt a pattern” of homeless adults living on benches near Trade and Tryon, even to the point of using nearby municipal electrical outlets to recharge their phones and other devices.
In addition to removing the benches, Center City Partners has proposed sharing the cost of a social worker who will connect uptown’s homeless to charity or government programs. The social worker will be part of the staff at the Urban Ministry Center, which is one of several partners in Center City Partners’ plan.
A first step has already been taken, with the city cutting power to outlets in the area on Monday, officials said.
Homeless advocates note there’s a touch of irony in the city’s predicament: Overall homelessness is down in Charlotte, even while more people are congregating daily in one part of uptown.
The goal, Smith says, is not to push the homeless into other areas of uptown, but to get as many as possible into health programs, job skills classes and permanent housing.
“The Square has kind of becoming a shelter without shelter,” Smith said of the homeless using The Square as a place to sleep. “It creates a sense of disorder at The Square and invites other criminal behavior. …And it erodes our ability to grow jobs and new investment.”
An example of the latter, he says, involves a company that recently visited uptown while deciding whether to relocate 1,000 jobs to Charlotte. “The lead executive is a runner that gets up early in the morning and the thing he most wanted to talk to me about was the horrible problem (with the homeless) and how unsafe he felt.”
The initiative comes at a time when North Tryon Street is poised for a resurgence, aided by projects like the 24-story SkyHouse Uptown apartment tower and a proposal to remake several blocks into a “civic district” that will include the renovated Carolina Theatre.
Yet some uptown boosters see an obstacle: North Tryon has one of the highest concentrations of homeless people in the Carolinas, thanks to its proximity to the Urban Ministry Center, The Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, the Homeless Resource Center and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Main Library, a popular hang out for the homeless.
Where else can I sleep?
Walk down Tryon Street in uptown after 10 p.m., and you’ll see a lot of well-dressed couples exiting arts events, young people hanging around bars and sports fans lingering after Knights and Hornets games.
You’ll also see people who sit wrapped in blankets on benches, sleeping in wheelchairs under street lights, or hugging their ragged possessions for dear life at a bus stop shelter.
Among the regulars is 51-year-old Diane, who has been homeless since 2012 and sleeping on a bench near Trade and Tryon since January. Everything she owns fits in a suitcase and a duffel bag, which also serve as her pillow and mattress.
Diane, who prefers not to give her last name, says the concentration of people near Trade and Tryon has an easy explanation: Bank of America security guards.
“See him?” she says, pointing to a guard on one side of Trade Street. “And him?” she says, pointing to a guard on the opposite side the street.
“If I get in trouble, I’d like to believe they will help me. I feel secure here.”
Like many of the homeless at The Square, she has a regular bench she sleeps on each night, and counts on having the same homeless neighbors sleeping directly across from her.
If all the benches were to suddenly disappear, Diane said she might try to get into the Salvation Army Center of Hope, which often has to turn women away because of a lack of beds. (An expansion plan is underway to add 64 beds.)
“If people judge me for sleeping on a bench, I’d like to ask them: Do you have a better place for me to sleep?” she says.
A few blocks away, near North Tryon and 8th Street, another 51-year-old woman is preparing to spend the night on a bench – her first.
It’s easy to see Gwendolyn Andrews is a beginner, as she sits in her work clothes, with only an overnight bag. No blanket. No sleeping bag. No money.
“I have to be at work at 10 in the morning,” she says, starting to cry. “I’ve never stayed on a bench on the street. I’m real scared to close my eyes. If they move these benches, I’d be walking up and down the street all night, scared out of my mind.”
Crime is up in uptown
A crime analysis recently conducted by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department shows Andrews has reason to worry. Complaints of disturbances, loitering for money, alcohol violations and assaults are up near Trade and Tryon. Aggressive panhandling is also on the rise, officials said.
CMPD Capt. Mike Campagna said police are more actively enforcing laws, including making arrests if warnings and citations fail.
He said the increase in crime at Trade and Tryon is linked not just to the homeless fighting amongst themselves, but to the people who come to prey upon them, like drug dealers.
“It (The Square) has turned into a 24-hour-a-day hang out,” Campagna said. “We are attracting larger and larger crowds…and every bench is full.”
Uptown residents like Elizabeth Little say they have noticed the change, with the Center City homeless population going from neighborly to aggressive to downright criminal.
She supports temporarily removing benches after having witnessed a string of crimes ranging from aggressive panhandling to men taking baths in water features near her home. One morning, she says, it was tough to get the front door open because a homeless man was sleeping against it.
“I had one neighbor tell a homeless guy that our yard wasn’t his bathroom, and the homeless guy peed on his feet,” said Little, who has lived in uptown six years.
Greg Johnson has lived in uptown 14 years and he says people who move there come with an expectation of having homeless people as neighbors. However, he agrees with Little that the dynamic in uptown has changed.
“Last winter, there were multiple incidents where residents would go to the car to take their kids to school, and there would be a man sleeping in their car. That has never happened before,” Johnson said.
“We need to address the root causes of homelessness, but we also need to address the symptoms, like sitting in Ninth Street Park – a children’s playground – with a Colt 45 (malt liquor) and urinating on the playground equipment.”
Not enough housing
It’s estimated that Charlotte has in excess of 200 chronically homeless people living on the streets, in abandoned buildings and in camps.
Chronically homeless people are a part of the homeless population known to spend extended periods living on the streets, often because of disabilities and addictions. They are considered costly to the community because of run-ins with the law, time spent in jail, and repeated visits to emergency rooms as well as extended hospital stays.
Center City Partners has enlisted community experts to join its homeless initiative, including the Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, Salvation Army Center of Hope and Charlotte Housing Authority.
Housing nonprofits say they support the Center City Partners’ plan for an aggressive form of outreach, that doesn’t wait for the homeless to ask for help. However, all admit no amount of outreach can hide the fact that Charlotte doesn’t have enough permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless.
Liz Clasen-Kelly of the Urban Ministry Center said her agency will participate in the partnership by going out weekly to meet the homeless where they sleep, and learn whether they qualify for the kind of benefits that can help pay for supportive housing.
Examples include people with disabilities, HIV and veterans, she said. Other types of homeless people have a longer wait, which is contributing to what’s happening in uptown.
“People will be displaced if benches are removed,” Clasen-Kelly said. “But I think displacement is a far better approach than that being used by other cities… We’re fortunate enough to live in a city where the response has not been to arrest people.”
A recent National Law Center report noted there are a growing number of laws in cities across the country to restrict or prohibit sitting or lying down in public, as well as laws prohibiting living in vehicles.
Urban Ministry outreach efforts in uptown started in June, Clasen-Kelly said, the agency has already created a list of people who are prioritized for help.
Clasen-Kelly was part of a group that went out for a survey and outreach effort Wednesday night and encountered 60 people, 42 percent of them within one block of Trade and Tryon.
Three-quarters reported being homeless one year or longer, though at least two were spending their first night on the street, she said.
One was a young man in his late 20s and the other was Gwendolyn Andrews. However, in Andrews’ case there was a reprieve.
Deronda Metz, director of the Salvation Army Center of Hope, was part of the outreach team Wednesday and she was so touched by Andrews’ story that she made some calls and flagged a police car to take her to the women’s shelter.
There was no bed available for Andrews to sleep in, because of overcrowding, Metz said. “But at least she can sit in a chair in the lobby. That’s better than being on the street.”
Hi, Ron – thanks for your kind words. Am leery of putting anything out to referendum unless required by law. The City Commission didn’t put turning Truman Waterfront into a mega park out to referendum. I say the City Commission (mayor and six commissioners) are elected to make the tough even if unpopular calls, and then get on with it. There already were two non-binding referendums on Truman Waterfront, which passed overwhelmingly, one for Bahama Village, and the other for a seniors assist-living facility, and the people who pushed those referendums couldn’t deliver the finished product and the City Commission went in a different direction. Maybe the angels will chime in on this in my dreams tonight.
Meanwhile, it’s developers down here I’m bonking; I swan if I know of one developer down here I trust, and this place has so many problems because it was over-developed that I’m against any new residential developments in Key West, other than new affordable public rental housing.
Key West moans and wails about its homeless problem, as if it is being picked on and it ain’t a problem nowhere else. Former City Bill Verge told me about ten days ago that Key West’s homeless problem is small compared to lots of other cities’ homeless problems. Yet I bet if there were no homeless people in Key West, the citizens would find another bogeyman to vilify and press for his deportation, if not simple eradication.
The city needs to focus on getting the new homeless working and back inside, before they become old homeless, and on keeping the near homeless from becoming new homeless, then old homeless. The only way I see to solve that is to build lots of affordable public rental housing on Truman Waterfront.
In my Facebook account yesterday:
today at www.goodmorningkeywest.com
Iris Lewis and Tom Lavender like this.
From another’s perspective, it could be an upward spiral. Things change and if you’re like most, that’s a tough thing to accept.
Hope you’re right, Jim; sitting down here in the middle of it and hearing what I’m hearing don’t lift my spirits.
Hi, Iris, how are you? Are you in New Orleans?
Iris Lewis Yes I am in N.O. doing fine.
Several years ago, Iris and her street musician fellow traveled from New Orleans to Key West with their pooch and found a place to stay and tried to make a go of it, but it didn’t work out and they were looking like they were going homeless and being stranded, as they didn’t have a vehicle. I rented them a U-Haul truck to tote themselves and their pooch and their belongings back to New Orleans, and gave them enough traveling money to pay for the gas, food and lodging en route to New Orleans, with a little bit left over for a couple of days after getting there. No way could I let two friends end up stranded and tormented on Key West streets. Maybe if they had been white, I might have let them try living like I had lived on the streets. But the black woman who rasied me as her own would have shook her head and said, “Ain’t you shamed?”, if I had not helped Iris and her fellow. Just joking. I helped a number of white homeless friends who wanted to leave Key West get to where they wanted to go. Several times, white friends of mine helped me leave Key West to get to where the angels wanted me to go. Then, other white people helped me get back to Key West, sometimes happy to be rid of me, sometimes not.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West
Outside of Harpoon Harry’s yesterday morning, a visitor to Key West, after saying he once had lived in Key West, asked me what the slogan on the t-shirt means? I said, perhaps as good a way as any to explain it is to say, at candidate forums, the other mayor candidates answer questions in ways the audience pretty much expects, and when I answer questions, there is no telling what’s going to come out of my mouth. I said he will get a pretty good sense of that by opening www.goodmorningkeywest.com each morning and reading the latest no telling what.