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Peggy Butler, retired nurse, formerly of Key West, replied on Facebook to yesterday’s festive law and order, a disorderly Key West sitcom post at this website:
Up the way where the nights are gay and the sun shines daily on the the rural folk and politicians alike …
doe key deer, whose herd’s natural headquarters is Big Pine Key and neighboring No Name Key
Deer Ed, boss pirate of www.bigpinekey.com ‘s popular moan and praise Coconut Telegraph wrote to me this morning:
I just read The Stranger by Camus who imitates your writing style. I keep thinking it’s you writing in some parts.
The dirty low down rotten thief!
I read The Stranger a long time ago, don’t remember anything about it; must be time for me to read it again; maybe it was a past life :-).
I’m using a couple of morsels off Friday’s CT in today’s howlings at gmkw.com today. It’ll be a while before it’s up for public viewing; bad-ass night, the angels were especially lovely, then they let me doze back off and here I am still in the sack at 8:30+, trying to drag my body out of bed.
Deer Ed wrote:
Get up you lazy bum!
the stranger is only 114 pages, but the preface is a whopping 25 pages!
And the horse you rode in on, too. You might try reading my whole post today, after it’s published. Somewhere in it you will see how I finally figured out how to visit you with the just hard-won piratical revenge you deserve 🙂
And after you get done with that reading assignment, if you haven’t all ready read it, dial up www.amazon.com and order a paperback or kindle copy of HEAVY WAIT: A Strange Tale, by the former Fool on Little Torch (FOLT), before he was officially known as such. I frequently use this wonderful fool you once introduced to me.
And this baby you fixed up is getting lots of mileage, too, during these days of angelic unrest and uprisings.
As if she had her own coconut telegraphy,
Karen Bowers, formerly known in Key West and thereabouts as the Dragon Boat Queen,
now residing where the gila monsters and sidewinders roam (Arizona), emailed just as this post was being published this morning
I've found that having a good book stowed in my backpack is a staple for an enjoyable camping adventure.
Blue Skies and Mountain Breezes,
From Friday’s Coconut Telegraph:
[“Homeless”] I can see our one human family model is a stellar failure. Fist off, a lot of those smelly homeless, you people love to hate, used to be employed in the Keys. They worked on utilities out the back door of resorts and did landscaping, etc. Now those jobs are farmed out to illegals, Spanish and Eastern Europeans. Gone are the rooming houses that one could rent on the salaries that are paid down here. We are the fifth most expensive place in country for apartments. We’ve got a police department in Key West that’s been hunting bums like animals night and day, yet the bums are still here. These folks are humans they have rights. I would rather eat dinner with most of them than the happy hour crowd at most bars. Guess if your paying $5 a drink to get falling down drunk instead of drinking SKOL its ok. I guess if you’re drinking expensive beer in Bayview Park while playing tennis, that’s all right too. Or drunk on your ass in Indigenous Park playing bocce that’s acceptable too. You are still a drunk and a nuisance. the only difference is you have a good lawyer. I wish the bums would smarten up and call cops on bocce and tennis folks every time they see an open container. that sure would piss off the hypocrites!
Actually, the only difference is the city’s elected officials want booze flowing like many giant rivers all over Key West, it’s great for business, but not if the boozers are homeless people. Homeless boozers get a free pass to the sheriff’s jail on Stock Island, or to the nearby hospital. The same Key West officials could care less what all that costs the sheriff and the hospital and the criminal justice system. Even though I’m doing time in Key West, I’m still trying to help the county folks out, which, in that particular case, is more than can be said for the county’s elected officials.
The city needs it’s own drunk tank to stash its homeless drunks until they sober up. It’s unconscionable for the city to put the huge cost of jailing and prosecuting or hospitalizing drunk homeless people on the rest of the county. It’s the city’s homeless policy, so the city should pay for it.
By the way, some months ago, mi amigo Father Steve Braddock, CEO of Florida Keys Outreach Coalition (FKOC),
told me the Duval Street homeless drunk in the photo above finally came to FKOC for help, and got himself straightened out and was living somewhere else in Florida and was doing okay in some sort of program. He wasn’t entirely on his own, as I recall, but he was no longer a Duval Street drunk. Sounded to me like one of those rare cases where angels intervened and prevailed. As I recall, Steve agreed.
Also from Friday’s Coconut Telegraph:
I would say Mr. Bashinsky would make the perfect political candidate for Monroe County, he has all the qualifications needed to run our lives and spend our money!
Thanks, but again presently I’m doing time in Key West, and I’m not a politician, but sometimes the angels who own me pretend I am, maybe they are bored and depressed and need new sport to cheer them up and banish care.
The irony is this year might have been the most opportune time for me to run again against County Commissioner George Neugent, who trounced me in 2006, and trounced me worse in 2010. Maybe in Tuesday’s Republican Primary Danny Coll will put that to rest by putting George to rest.
Danny Coll, left, George Neugent, right
In that same vein,
recent correspondence between George and one of his ignorant 😉 rural constituents, Walter Drabinski, PhD, which Walt sent me yesterday. It’s a bit long, but it provides a flavor of George’s imperious way of talking down to and dismissing people in his own county commission district, who disagree with him. (More fun and sparklers after you read all about that.)
The following is the text from an E-mail I received from George Neugent on 8/22/14 in response to my letter regarding the impact of a pressure system on the ecology of Big Pine Key. Please feel free to read George’s letter and my response.
First, Walt’s letter:
Drabinski, Sir Isaac Newton Coalition
Commissioner George Neugent states that a pressure sewage system, with grinder pumps, is the optimum sewage collection system for Big Pine Key. He says grinder pumps require less excavation and have a smaller footprint. While these may or may not be immediate benefits of a pressure sewage system, we need to consider the impact of alternative systems, long term environmental issues and the unintended consequences of this political decision. You may or may not agree with my hypothesis, but it needs serious analysis, debate and input from independent professionals before long term, permanent and potentially disastrous decisions are made.
The Key Deer thrive on Big Pine Key because there are two separate fresh water lenses that hold an estimated at 20-30 million gallons. The very existence of the key deer, lower keys marsh rabbits, rice rats and now two species of endangered butterfly depend on the availability and quality of the water. These two lenses provide a freshwater source to the Blue Hole and small ponds that support the deer and plants needed for this a unique ecological system. According to studies, most of which were conducted in the 1980-90 period, it takes about 2.5 years for water on the surface to make its way through the lens to the nearby waters. There are no recent studies on the size, movement or impact of a sewage system of any kind on the freshwater lens on Big Pine Key.
A pressure system, with almost 1,200 grinder pumps and plastic pits, thirty lift stations, and two booster stations, require many miles of HDPE plastic pipe, thousands of thermal pipe welds, thousands of shut-off and check valves, and dozens of concrete pits all buried anywhere from 2 to 12 feet deep. Grinder pits only hold about one day of sewage during power outages, after which sewage either flows into your home or yard if you continue to flush. There is a 100% probability that there will be leaks: thermal weld or valve failures, excavation or drilling through the pipe, or simply cracking of the plastic pipe or concrete pits over time. When that happens, the leaks, which are almost impossible to detect in a pressure system, will contaminate the freshwater lens, eventually creating a poisoned source of water for the fragile ecological system that will take years to dissipate. Think about a two year plus cycle to get rid of any spilled sewage! A gravity system is somewhat better because the number of miles of piping is greatly reduced, but the real solution for Big Pine Key is a vacuum system, which is also the least cost alternative. As George recently pointed out, when a vacuum system leaks, the water enters the system, instead of the sewage entering the water. BTW, the problem of leaking vacuum pit seals being experienced in other parts of the Keys, will likely occur with grinder pits as well since the pits use the same type of seals between the plastic pit and the surrounding area.
Almost eighteen months ago I asked for a review of the CRWS design in order to address the many serious questions being raised. While we are now at the eleventh hour, the final decision for Big Pine could have major consequences and needs to be reviewed by professionals, not politicians. Every politician, environmental and homeowner group who loves or has a concern for the unique environment of Big Pine Key should demand legitimate answers. The representatives of the Key Deer Preserve, the EPA and DEP should demand real, timely and independent analysis before any work goes forward. Simply meeting the minimum design requirements of State law is not adequate for this sensitive environment. This is too important for the FKAA to just do what our politicians want without questioning the long term impact. I live on Cudjoe Key and will have a gravity system. I seek no political office and my firm, by choice, does not work in Florida, so I have no financial interest in this issue. I am raising these questions because I have a moral obligation to my neighbors and our children to assure that we get the right system.
The residents of the Keys and all of Florida need answers. When this system leaks, is there any way to find the leaks? How long will it be before the plastic piping begins to deteriorate? How do you keep 1,200 grinder pumps working when there is a power outage? What do the scientists say about the impact of sewage in the freshwater lens? Why is a system that costs more over the long term even being considered?
To grasp the logic of your comments, of which I still look, makes it clear that you have either lost possession of your senses or will make up anything, plausible or not, about a subject you disagree with. I think the latter, although, could be both.
Collecting the raw sewage, that has been going on and into the ground, freshwater lens and canals for decades, then treating to a high level, and then disposing of it in a deep injection well is inarguably the way to deal with sewage.
The lens, of which you speak, was turned into a witches brew when Hurricane Georges & Wilma’s flood waters overflowed drain fields, septic tanks and cess pits that still exist today. Speaking at length with Dr. Brian Lapointe, He and me are in complete agreement on grinder pumps and pressurized, thermally welded, small pipe (small pipe tech) being the RIGHT WAY to address central collection and disposal, especially in environmentally sensitive areas of low lying flat terrain. This due in great part to the smaller footprint and shallowness of trenching for the small piping that is used.
Argue if you chose Walt, however, The City of Marathon is on record as formally saying the “Grassy Key Plant,” a totally grinder pump small pipe technology system, is the most trouble free of the 5 systems they have.
Walt, in your letter, you stated, “George is right.” So, leave it at that; leave out, as you always try to plug into the mix, the worst case scenarios of houses blowing up, causing more pollution than cess Pitts, houses having to be torn down due to sewer back ups and now your concern for the growing population of Key deer.
Response to George Neugent
George, I read your letter and am wondering just which one of us has “lost possession of your senses or will make up anything, plausible or not, about a subject you disagree with”. I have spent 40 years evaluating complex utility systems, including eleven water/wastewater treatment companies. I have evaluated and provided either oversight or prudence reviews on over $15 billion of construction projects, and testified over 100 times on regulatory issues, including before the US Congress. When I perform an analysis, I base it on facts and thorough research. Let’s bring out some facts and correct some of your statements:
· First, I agree with your second paragraph that collecting sewage, treating it, and at least for the time being, injecting it into deep wells is needed. Glad to see you are now behind deep wells, but that is only a temporary solution. We will probably find a need to ultimately treat the wastewater to drinking water standards, and not inject any partially treated water into our aquifer.
· You, and noted sewer expert Mike Puto, have been bragging about the grinder pumps on Grassy Key which are part of the Marathon system. There are thirty grinders located in the right of way, not on homeowner’s property, that collect sewage by gravity from groups of 4-5 homes. They have only been in place for a short time, have very little head to pump against and short runs so one would not expect problems·
I agree with Dr. Brian Lapointe that we should use a system that has minimum disruption of the freshwater lens on Big Pine Key. However, a pressure system is not the answer. Yes, they use thermal welded joints, however, read the QC requirements on thermal welding, they must be done in clean, dry conditions by trained operators. Given the rain, dust and salt environment the contractors are working in, eventually one or more will fail when stressed, or people will drill or dig through the pipes. Since you mentioned hurricanes, just look at what happened to the EONE grinder pump system in New Jersey that was hit by Super Storm (not a hurricane) Sandy. It was totally destroyed. EONE’s own data shows that when the system starts up after a power outage, pressures can reach 180 PSI. Yes, there is a case where a hose clamp failed and the pressure line blew off at the grinder pump and filled a house with thousands of gallons of sewage. Speaking of power outages, how will FKAA provide temporary power to 1,200 homes on Big Pine alone when it takes 20 minutes to pump out one home? Not all power outages are associated with hurricanes when many evacuate!
· A vacuum system was rejected outright as an alternative for the CRWS, for some unknown reason, in the FKAA decision tree, yet it has the lowest upfront construction costs, operates at a lower cost than a pressure system, doesn’t require deep burial and does not leak into the aquifer when there is a failure. Yes, the startup period for vacuum system is a pain because problems are immediately noticeable. However, wouldn’t you rather see short term water leakage into the system, which can then be repaired, rather than long term sewage leakage into the aquifer? The Inflow and Infiltration (INI) that you always cite, is a minimum problem with gravity, and even the vacuum problems you cite in Tavernier are very small compared to old systems, such as that in Key West where it was often 30-40% before the system was replaced. If you really want to learn about INI, look at this web site: http://www.lgvsd.org/doing-business/sewer-lateral-assistance/infiltrations-and-inflow/, it shows most INI is associated with pre-1980 clay and concrete sewer lines.
· I do not use hyperbole or scare tactics. No one has said homes blow up, or cess pits are better than grinder pumps. The detailed Cape Coral study compared a pressure system to aerobic septic systems and stated that grinders were not much better; no one is condoning cess pits. Every word I write is based on detailed analysis and hard evidence. I don’t just repeat the same irrelevant statement over and over.
· A year ago you said that gravity was the Cadillac system and we would have liked to have it everywhere it could be installed, but there was not enough money. The FKAA’s engineer admitted the system selected was based upon the money available in 2009. Now we have learned that the one cent infrastructure tax is projected to collect millions per year more than anticipated. There is money to do it right.
One of us is unwilling to consider that there is a better way of providing a sewage collection, treatment, and injection system that lasts longer, has lower lifecycle costs, is less invasive to our fragile environment, and does not require homeowners to give up property rights and provide electricity. Any average engineer can select a system and develop a design for average conditions. The Florida Keys are not average! We are surrounded by a sanctuary, live with many endangered species, are subject to severe sun, salt and heat, and must withstand an occasional hurricane. Why would any engineer ever select a system that has thousands of moving electrical and mechanical parts, spews sewage when it fails, has a projected lifespan of only 25 years (versus 60 years for gravity), and will not survive a hurricane? Take a look at the Civil and Structural Engineer study http://cenews.com/article/7596/cleaning_up_the_keys& regarding vacuum versus pressure systems in the Florida Keys.
We will not go away; we will continue to fight for what is right. The residents and visitors to the Keys should be proud of groups such as Dump the Pumps, Last Stand, Dig Deep Cudjoe and the many supporters of the Sir Isaac Newton Coalition that are standing up to your strong arm tactics. I am particularly pleased that hundreds of residents have reached into their pockets to work for a better system when our elected representatives refuse to do their job. In the not too distant future, you and I will be long gone and forgotten, but our children and grandchildren will have to live with the decisions we make today.
Vantage Energy Consulting LLC
PO Box 420395
20844 4th Ave., West
Cudjoe Key, FL 33042
Off: 305 744 3440
Back down in sunny Key West …
the Bahama Village-KWPD happy one human family not saga took intriguing twists and turns yesterday in reader comments under www.thebluepaper.com’s Key West the Newspaper article:
SISTER AUGUST 23, 2014 AT 10:08 AM
Sloan, may I be permitted to ask a question of you as it pertains to your mayoral candidacy?….What will you do to stop the violations of human rights perpetrated by the KW police force on the city’s inhabitants if you are elected?
SLOAN BASHINSKY AUGUST 23, 2014 AT 10:34 AM
See my post yesterday, August 22nd at http://www.goodmorningkeywest.com, in which I went at that full bore. This blue paper article’s thread, and more, is in today’s post at that website.
SISTER AUGUST 23, 2014 AT 2:32 PM
So you would do harm to the entire economic community of KW instead of addressing the specific perpetrators of violations against human rights?
TEW4515 AUGUST 23, 2014 AT 12:47 PM
Could Key West Reach the Ferguson Flashpoint?
Of Course it will if You continuously ‘Stir the Pot” as you have recently done. You are capable of covering the “news” without the inflammatory language !
SWAT masts are standard equipment. Your cartoon depiction of one of the Officer’s wearing a pointy hat is just one example of your “muck raking” .
I enjoy your publication but would appreciate it more; if you would tone it down a little by not displaying so much anti-Law Enforcement biases .
BLUE PAPER EDITOR AUGUST 23, 2014 AT 2:11 PM
Thank you for the feedback tew4515. When we first began publishing KWTN [The Blue Paper] about a year-and-a-half ago, we had a very good opinion of the Key West Police force. When we began to report on the Charles Eimers story many readers immediately voiced their belief that there was some sort of police consiracy at work. We wrote: “So, is there an orchestrated cover-up at the police department? Most likely not.” But as we kept discovering more and more questionable conduct, we had to reluctantly change our minds. We are now convinced that there are problems with a handful of officers on the force and telling the stories of those who feel victimized by them, we think, is an important mission. Everyone needs to look at the facts for what they are. But you are right, we will make more of an effort to not let our own emotions write the story.
SLOAN BASHINSKY AUGUST 23, 2014 AT 3:46 PM
Naja, Arnaud, I’m wondering what the witnesses said the S.W.A.T. masks looked like? (not the pointy mask)
It still looks to me that the daylight anus cavity search of a black man by two white police officers in plain view of black bystanders in Bahama Village, a mostly black community, was a deliberate racial provocation, which I imagine Aryan, KKK, etc. sympathizers would enjoy watching immensely.
There has been acute tension between Bahama Village and KWPD for a long time. As you reported not all that long ago, when City Commissioner Clayton Lopez reported to Police Chief Donie Lee that he’d heard of a rumor that a convicted black felon out on parole,as I recall, had a gun and was out for someone with it, he asked Donie to investigate with the utmost caution. And did what then happened? Cops entered Bahama Village black homes pointing guns at women and children.
Did that seem like utmost caution to you? Can you envision that happening in the mostly white Meadows community where you live, based on a rumor?
Just a few bad apples in KWPD? I had felt that way myself, but I stopped feeling that way after reading the blue paper’s reports of the cover up and intimidation of witnesses and the not interviewing witnesses, and the not notifying the family and the trying to cremate the body, in the Charles Eimers case.
Police Chief Donie Lee’s reported comments on that and other very troubling cases the blue paper broke – no evidence of police misconduct – left me feeling the KWPD is rotten at the top, and the fish rots from the head down.
The vicious attack of Tom Milone by black Bahama Village teens a few years ago, the vicious race riot between black teens and the two white owners of the Coffee Plantation in Bahama Village back in 2005 as I recall, the white Bahama Village resident moving out of her home and to elsewhere due to the horrible backlash from black neighbors over her asked that she be allowed to have parking space in front of her home, maybe in 2009? …
What those three incidents told me was Bahama Village indeed was a powder keg. It still is a powder keg. And Chief Lee and his officers need to keep that ever in mind when they are in Bahama Village and/or are engaging black people anywhere in Key West.
I don’t like it being that way, but that’s how it is, and if Chief Lee and his officers aren’t big enough to deal with the reality of that situation, then they need to be replaced with police officers who are big enough.
The very last thing needed are daytime cavity searches in Bahama Village in front of black spectators. It hardly helps that retired cop Just Jim wrote in to the blue paper that the anus cavity search was for the officers’ personal protection. My opinion, those two white officers should not be allowed back into Bahama Village. Nor those S.W.A.T. members who pointed guns at and threatened black women and children.
Sorry, being a white guy from Birmingham, Alabama, and having that embarrassing stain in my soul, a white hooded sheet in Arnaud’s “cartoon” doesn’t seem out of line to me in the context of what you two have been reporting about KWPD and Negro engagements in Key West. I said that to Arnuad in your home yesterday morning, before you came down stairs, after he asked me if I felt the cartoon was out of line?
Just because someone today is not wearing a white hooded sheet does not mean someone is not a modern KKK sympathizer. There are plenty of them left in Alabama and throughout the southern states. There appear to be some in the KWPD, too, which is why I say again, only police officers approved by Bahama Village elders should be allowed into Bahama Village.
Many Bahama Village elders attended the city commission meeting when the award of this year’s Goombay (Bahamaian-Caribbean African-Ameriican roots) Festival was on the commission’s agenda. They were leaders in the city’s black community. Ministers, Masons and other organizations.
I feel they should start attending city commission meetings with the same force of numbers, emotions and stories, using the 3 minutes at the end of those meetings allowed to citizens to speak to the mayor and city commissioners on anything. Use their 3 minutes to briefly identify themselves, and then state their grievances against and concerns about the city’s police, and admit their own failings in taking the initiative among their black community when they should have taken it, and lobby for say so in which city police officers are allowed into Bahama Village.
SLOAN BASHINSKY AUGUST 23, 2014 AT 4:41 PM
Sister, what’s going on with the KW police is a specific threat to the entire city economic community. The blue paper reporting what is going on with the KW police is a threat to the entire city economic community. My reporting what is going on with the KW police is a threat to the entire city economic community.
A Ferguson event in Bahama Village would be more than an economic threat to the entire city economic community. It would seriously and adversely effect the entire city economic community.
The city police have to know that. The entire city economic community have to know that. The mayor and city commissioners and city manager have to know that. But they do nothing, and thereby encourage the threat to continue, with their tacit blessing.
The irony is, the one thing the mayor, city commissioners and city manager and the entire city economic community most fear down here is their wallets being threatened.
So, in an effort to get their attention, thus their help, or at least their cooperation, as mayor I would issue an ultimatum, as I wrote in yesterday’s post at http://www.goodmorningkeywest.com,:
If the KWPD doesn’t prove to me in 30 days that it is born again, I will start broadcasting that Key West has a rogue dangerous police force, and people should not come here who are not willing to put their lives at risk to the city’s rogue cops.
I also said, as mayor, I will be able to pick up the telephone and call US Attorney General Eric Holder, the F.B.I., the US Attorney. I will not do that just to complain, I will do it if I have a concrete police misconduct case I feel is ripe for them to investigate and prosecute.
I also will, as mayor, speak freely at city commission meetings, and at http://www.goodomorningkeywest.com, and anywhere I’m invited of the rogue cops in the KW police department. I will encourage citizens to lean on their city commissioners to get off their duffs, get the lead out, and help Sloan get the KWPD straightened out.
I will not, as US Attorney James Garrison did in New Orleans many years ago now, strap on a pistol and accompany federal law enforcement officers on raids on criminal organizations in New Orleans. I get the feeling, Sister, from a lot of what I have read from you, that is the kind of thing you would have me do.
I have a different gun, which already is strapped on. That gun is the written and spoken word – the pen is mightier than the sword, thus the sword defends the pen, the angels told me in 2002, just as then plunged me headlong into the referendum to get Key West a Citizen’s Police Review Board, which the mayor and city commissioners and city manager and KWPD and the police benevolent union opposed with all they had, yet the referendum passed overwhelmingly, thanks in large measure to the blue blue paper’s founder Dennis Reeves Cooper’s reporting – his pen and word.
I have zero confidence in the KWPD to police itself. I have zero confidence in the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to police the KWPD. The jury is still out for me, literally, on the local State Attorney’s ability and willingness to police the KWPD – the Eimers Grand Jury findings will give me a better read on that.
I have zero confidence in local judges coming down hard on KW police who make bad cases, such as the one I reported yesterday of the black homeless man being jailed for camping, because he was sitting on a towel under a tree in a public park, reading a book.
As I also wrote yesterday, the mayor has only one vote on the city commission, on which sit six city commissioners. Because of that, alone, the mayor can change nothing in the way the city government operates.
Furthermore, the mayor cannot tell the police chief what to do, or what not to do. Nor can the city commission. Only the city manager can tell the police chief what to do, and what not to do. The city manager can be fired by the city commission, the city manager can be pressured and cajoled by the city commission, but the city manger is the boss of the police chief.
I was not joking when I said many times during this campaign season that what Key West needs is an all-powerful king or queen. Short of that, what Key West needs is a mayor who is not afraid to be shot and killed by his city’s police, or by a citizen angry over that mayor threatening the entire city economic economy by doing everything he can to get the city’s police to behave the way police are supposed to behave.
Even as I am doing stuff ongoing, which human eyes and ears cannot see and hear, and human minds cannot comprehend, to engage and affect the very dark spirit forces, which oppose any change in the KWPD, and in the views of the many people in this city, including the mayor and city commissioners and city manager and mayor candidate Margaret Romero, who like the city police just the way they are.
If you have any different ideas on how I, as mayor, might try to get the city’s police to behave like police are supposed to behave, please tell me what those ideas are.
If you are itching to move down here from wherever not in the Keys you live, and march and protest, be my welcome guest.
But if you want to come down here and strap on a pistol and police this city’s police, and arrest them and try them and convict them and sentence them, then stay where you are. We don’t need vigilantes any more than we need rogue cops, and, as mayor, I don’t want to have to apologize to your family and loved ones for not being able to talk you out of trying to do it that way.
SLOAN BASHINSKY AUGUST 23, 2014 AT 4:55 PM
p.s. to sister
The Citizen Police Review Board started out pretty good, but it had no power, and it was not willing to launch investigations into alleged police misconduct without a formal citizen complaint being filed, The CRB, as we call it down here, got to patting itself on the back, it became a legend in its own mind, and it fell into disrespect. Today, there seems to be some effort in the CRB to turn itself around. But as I said, it has no power. It can’t make the police change. It can only use the pen and word. It might fair to say the blue paper became the city’s CRB.
I’m not even convinced Erik Holder, the F.B.I. and the US Attorney can make the police down here change. Evil, and I mean that with the capital E, is not daunted by human officials and agencies. It’s going to take something quite else to bring about the change that is needed down here, and everywhere else on this planet. What can do that is not of this world, either. What it intends or doesn’t intend, is not made known to me.
All I can do is tend to what is right in front of me.
Right now, Sister, you are right in front of me. Not long ago, it was TEW4515. Before that was something else. Later, it will be something else.
SISTER AUGUST 23, 2014 AT 5:59 PM
Well Sloan, I do believe that it’s important to know how to defend yourself both mentally and physically.
I suppose I was hoping you could give some specifics on how you would go about getting the “KWPD straightened out.” I think a specific plan is needed.
Evil can be daunted if enough humans shine their conscientious spiritual light on it. Critical mass is needed.
SLOAN BASHINSKY AUGUST 23, 2014 AT 8:13 PM
I provided a specific plan, Sister, and I invited you offer your own ideas, and none were forthcoming.
You are very young in spirit. Evil cannot be daunted by human beings. It can be interfered with by human beings who do what is required of them, which well might cost them their very lives.
Not many such people in Key West, maybe a handful. I’m not talking about US military personnel or CIA operatives. I’m talking about something else entirely.
Naja and Arnaud have put their lives at risk writing about KW police issues. It was given to them to do, and they did it, even though they didn’t want the blue paper to continue covering police issues when they acquired it from Dennis Cooper.
When they acquired the blue paper, Naja and Arnaud didn’t even believe there were serious issues in the police department. Now they KNOW there are serious issues, and they are shining a lot of light on the police department. As is John Donnelly. John also calls out city officials, as do I, but his method is different from mine.
I also call out the entire city, and the entire county on other matters. I don’t count as soldiers people who don’t use their human names when they write into the blue paper. If you believe in something, but won’t put your name and face on it, you don’t believe in it enough to matter is my view.
I don’t run a diaper service, Sister. Go back into your safe play pen up there where you live. Big folks down here are trying to do something about city police who don’t want to behave like police are supposed to behave.
Around 2 a.m. this morning, I had a dream which left me thinking maybe the angels didn’t care for all of the end of my last comment to sister.
Every day the angels don’t agree with something I said or wrote.
I’ve been round and round with Deer Ed, who actually is a good friend of mine, about his encouraging anonymous criticism of and cheap shots at other people. Some day, I’m going to figure out a way to fix his red wagon. I know where he lives, I have his telephone number. He is paranoid about his privacy. Maybe I’ll just publish his phone number and directions to his home :-), where I have been many times. He was the dirty rotten scoundrel who designed and created www.goodmorningkeywest.com and www.goodmorningfloridakeys.com.
Meanwhile, in today’s Citizen – www.goodmorningkeywest.com:
What some see as an overly forceful response this month by police in Ferguson, Mo., to protesters angered by the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer has prompted discussion of the militarization of local police.
The debate has its roots in the 1990s when Washington sought to help local governments fight well-armed drug gangs by steering surplus military equipment to police departments. The program only gained momentum after 9/11. But reports from Ferguson helped highlight the use by even small-town police agencies of armored vehicles, high-powered rifles, grenade launchers and other weapons normally associated with the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.
President Barack Obama was among those who called for a review of the policy. “There is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don’t want those lines blurred,” Obama said. “That would be contrary to our traditions.” Others, however, said the increased arming of law enforcement simply reflects the realities of the world today. Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, defended the program as useful because “it allows for the reuse of military equipment that otherwise would be disposed of.”
Key Largo amigo John Donnelly sent early this morning:
US Marine Corps combat veteran, Vietnam
Informative front page story with descriptive pictures published in the “Miami New Times”. This article can be gotten Online, by simply typing in ‘Miami New Times’ and pressing ‘enter’…
Miami’s Smallest Police Forces Got M16s, Armored Cars, and Grenade Launchers From Military
By Michael E. Miller Fri., Aug. 22 2014 at 8:00 AM
Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, have raised questions about the militarization of American police departments. When angry protesters took to the streets to demand justice, Ferguson police responded with force. Cops in riot gear fired tear gas and stun grenades at marchers. At least one officer pointed his loaded assault rifle at demonstrators and threatened to kill them if they didn’t obey orders.
Ferguson police, it was reported, had obtained their weaponry under something called the Law Enforcement Support Office Program. LESO, as it is known, supplies local police departments with leftover U.S. military equipment.
What hasn’t been reported, however, is that a dozen police departments in South Florida have also received military equipment ranging from helicopters to grenade launchers.
Find out what your local police force is packing thanks to LESO.
The Gables may be one of Miami-Dade’s most affluent cities, but that hasn’t stopped its cops from arming themselves with two mine-resistant vehicles (known as MRAPs) and a bomb-detecting robot.
This small oceanfront community now owns one mine-resistant vehicle. Go figure.
Hialeah PD also owns a mine-resistant vehicle.
Though Miami Gardens has a gang problem, does it need 100 M16s, a mine-resistant vehicle, a bomb-detecting robot, and — most incredible of all — four grenade launchers?
Less surprising is that Sweetwater, arguably Miami-Dade’s most corrupt city, has mysteriously obtained a bunch of military toys. Under bath-salt-battling ex-mayor Manny Maroño — now in prison for accepting bribes — Sweetwater got an ATV, a “commando” armored car, four observation helicopters, three scooters, five trucks, a mine-resistant vehicle, four M14s, 20 M16s, and a grenade launcher.
North Miami Beach:
In addition to owning an MRAP, North Miami Beach cops also boast a “commando” armored car and a “personnel carrier.”
One of the county’s most peaceful neighborhoods, Miami Shores nonetheless is home to two M14 assault rifles.
Marco Rubio’s old hood has received six M14s and 50 M16 assault rifles.
Virginia Gardens, little more than a mile-long stretch of 36th Street near the airport, obtained a “commando” armored car.
Florida International University:
Perhaps the most shocking arsenal of all belongs to an educational institution. FIU police have obtained 50 M16 assault rifles and a mine-resistant vehicle.
Rounding out the list are the Miami Police Department (a utility truck) and Florida City PD (a truck and ten holographic gun sights). A spokesman for Miami-Dade Police said the department has not participated in the LESO program. Instead, it buys its own equipment.
Asked why a university would need such firepower or if military equipment would intimidate students, an FIU spokeswoman did not respond.
Critics claim, however, that these arsenals are unnecessary and counterproductive.
“Police militarization sends the message that law enforcement views the citizenry as its enemy rather than as the community it is supposed to serve and protect,” said University of Miami associate law professor Mary Anne Franks. “This creates a volatile dynamic between police and citizens that rarely advances the interests of law and order.
“Police officers equipped with soldiers’ tools but without soldiers’ training tend to escalate rather than defuse conflict,” she continued. “Creating incentives to respond to low-level tensions with high-level shows of force is dangerous to society as a whole; combined with the racism and prejudice endemic to many police forces around the country, its lethality takes on a particularly pointed character.”
On Monday, President Barack Obama also addressed the issue thusly:
“I think it’s probably useful for us to review how the funding has gone, how local law enforcement has used grant dollars to make sure that what they’re purchasing is stuff that they actually need, because there is a big difference between our military and our local law enforcement, and we don’t want those lines blurred.”
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Do I think America is drifting, or plowing headlong toward being a police state? Yes. Do I think white people are behind that? Yes. Do I think those white people are Christians? Yes, in the main.
Their Lord and master said, “Those who live by the sword die by the sword.” His sword was his tongue, which was so sharp and cutting that it got him nailed to a tree at the behest of the self-righteous religious leaders of his time, the Pharisees. Today their name is used to describe religious hypocrites.
I hazard a guess that most, if not all members of KWPD claim Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Might be smart of them to keep that ever in mind, and Jesus’ teachings about stewardship, as they go about being police officers in Key West.
Political advertisement paid for and approved by Sloan Bashinsky, for Mayor of Key West