Oct 212016
Last Stand: Vote NO on GM Mosquito Trial

Dear Editor, Last Stand recommends citizens vote NO on the non-binding polls about using genetically modified mosquitoes in an effectiveness trial in Monroe County that appear at the end of the November 8th ballot. Three prior trials have shown significant reduction in Ae.aegypti mosquitoes that can transmit disease to humans. But that is all those trials measured. The introduction of these mosquitoes into the United States will not allow Monroe County or the FDA to learn anything from the Oxitec experiment about the impacts to [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #189, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Oct 212016
Guest Column: Truman Waterfront Update

by Ben Volpian……. Occasionally when I run into someone I know, instead of commenting on the weather or other small talk, they will ask me how are things going at the Truman Waterfront Park. My reply varies, but sometimes I will say something like, “Well, that’s a good question, and if you have a couple of hours I’ll go over it with you.” I’m just kidding around with them and they know it because we both know that the question, “how are things going,” is just [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #189 No Responses »
Oct 212016
Mosquitoes / Zika: Not Amused

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor: Yesterday, for the first time, the Feds urged that every pregnant woman who has spent time in Miami Dade be tested for Zika. 30 new known cases of Zika per week are being reported by the Florida Department of Health. On 10/19 there were 1044 known cases. 1044. On 10/12 there were 1014 known cases. It’s estimated that 80% of Zika victims are asymptomatic. You decide how many cases go unreported. Here in Monroe County the annual birth rate is about [continue reading…]

 October 21, 2016  Posted by at 12:40 am Issue #189, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Oct 142016

by John Prosser……. In the last few weeks, I have read several newspaper articles that included quotes, and heard a radio interview with FKAA’s Executive Director that were fraught with misinformation. FKAA appears to be intentionally misleading public opinion concerning the recent lawsuit against coerced placement of sewage pump stations on private property. Zuelch claimed that the DOAH already heard a similar complaint: “we have been here before.” He claimed the grinders were judged fine. That is untrue. The Dump the Pumps complaint protested construction permits [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #188, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Oct 142016
Trauma Star vs. LifeNet Fees

by Larry Murray……. Editor: Recent reports suggest that the Sheriff’s Department Trauma Star medical evacuation program should break even this year and be in the black in 2017. That indeed is good news. Given those reports, I contacted the Sheriff’s Department regarding Trauma Star costs. Finance Director Mike Rice provided me with the following data. A medical evacuation from Lower Keys Medical Center to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami costs $24,471. Costs from Fishermen’s Hospital and Mariners Hospital to Ryder Trauma Center are $21,353 and [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #188, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Oct 142016
1021. One thousand and twenty one. FLORIDA ZIKA CASES

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor: As of 10/13 The Florida Department of Health was reporting on 1,014 known cases of ZIKA in Florida. More than 10% of those cases involve pregnant women. That’s only the “known” cases. 80% of cases are asymptomatic. It was only about a week ago that they were reporting on 980 known cases. The count has more than doubled in the last 60 days. Last week it was reported that even more ZIKA infected mosquitoes had been trapped in Miami. ZIKA [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #188, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Oct 142016

by Erika Biddle……. Last century the US led the world in renewable energy research and production, and Jimmy Carter’s White House was the first government building in the world to install solar panels on its roof. For a time, the United States led the world in developing renewable energy. The Carter administration’s Solar Energy Research Institute (SERI) made the dream of a renewable energy economy so real that it set off alarms in the oil-rich countries of the Middle East. “The big powers are seriously trying [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:46 am Issue #188, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Oct 142016
Who's Pulling Mr. Zuelch's Strings?

by Eugene E. Nanay Jr. Ret…….. Editor, Kurt Zuelch, what hat is He wearing when he’s speaking. Everyone knows that Mr. Zuelch, the Former States Attorney, IS the executive director of the FKAA and when he speaks it is in his Official capacity as ED. HOWEVER! if Mr. Zuelch is being queried about THE CRWS, Mr. Zuelch has NO official position other then the head of a Construction Co. In the Context of The CRWS, FKAA DOES NOT exist. The entity formally known as the FKAA [continue reading…]

 October 14, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am Issue #188, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Oct 072016
Help Make FKMCD Great Again

by Ralph De Palma…… The recent endorsements by the Keynoter for Florida Keys Mosquito Control District are amazing contortions. First they endorse the opponent of Steve K Murray-Smith because Steve is a FKMCD Board Member and the Board is responsible for the current fiscal mess. Then they quickly twist into a pretzel and endorse Commissioner “I’ll Say Anything To Get Re-elected” Jill Cranney-Gage because of her “fiscal experience” and she is on the same Board that created the fiscal mess and voted for everyone of [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #187, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Oct 072016
GM Mosquitoes: Forget the What-Ifs; Zika is a Public Health Emergency

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor: On Saturday, 10/1, the national news and the Miami Herald reported that more Zika carrying mosquitoes had just been trapped in Miami Dade. On Saturday, 10/1, the Fla Health Dept reported that there were 11 new cases of ZIKA in Florida. As of that date there were 808 known Zika cases in Florida…most of them in Broward and Dade. More than 1 in 10 of the cases involve pregnant women. Now there are at least 5 known Zika cases in Monroe [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:55 am Issue #187, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Oct 072016
School District Declares "Gorilla" War on Employee Speech

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Teachers’ aide Jane Wood Allen “has been relieved from duty and is no longer an employee of Forsyth County Schools,” the Georgia district announced on October 3. “Racism and discrimination are not tolerated in our school district.” The district’s announcement omits specifics (“[a]s this is a personnel matter, the district will provide not further comment”), leaving the casual observer to assume that she must have tried to force a Muslim or Jewish student to eat pork, or perhaps to segregate student [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #187, Thomas L. Knapp 2 Responses »
Oct 072016
Papers, Please: Polling Place Edition

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On September 30, a federal judge threw a new wrench into Wisconsin’s voter ID law, ordering an investigation into whether the state’s Division of Motor Vehicles employees properly implemented measures to ensure availability of identity documents to prospective voters. Those employees seem to caught in the middle, torn between assisting the disproportionately African-American poor in getting “documented” on one hand, and fulfilling Republican politicians’ aims of suppressing black voter turnout on the other. Cue world’s smallest violin. At one time — [continue reading…]

 October 7, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #187, Thomas L. Knapp 1 Response »
Sep 302016
Guest Commentary Regarding the Key West Mosquito Operations Center

Smoke, Mirrors, and Kick the Can … by Steve K. Smith……. ‘We saved the taxpayers $2 Million!’ said the FKMCD chair recently on US1 radio. Chairman Goodman, the majority did NOT save the taxpayers any money. Our taxes will go up this year and for the next two years. What the majority did was delay the inevitable and wasted an additional million or so of our taxpayer dollars. I do not support their decision. The City of Key West decided we had to move, we [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:08 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #186 12 Responses »
Sep 302016
GMO Mosquitoes and the Selling of Bad Science

by David Bethune……. Dear Editor, Your most recent letter from Water Lagraves, GMO mosquito advocate, brings out a number of important issues in an already complex and multi-sided debated. Let me contribute some additional clarity and perspective so that informed citizens may make their own choice without undue influence from outside interests. I must first dismiss the ad hominem attacks as exactly that. While I’m delighted that Mr. Lagraves finds my original social media posts “slick and professional,” I create them voluntarily out of genuine concern [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:06 am Issue #186, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Sep 302016
The Save the Skeeter Squad

by Walter Lagraves……. Dear Editor, Thursday, August 30th 2016. Florida’s Department of Health in its daily ZIKA reports states: “There are three new non-travel related cases today in Miami-Dade County, one is associated with the Miami-Beach investigation.” “There are 16 new travel related cases today, five in Miami-Dade, three in Palm Beach, two in Broward, two in Orange, one in Polk and three involving pregnant women.” It is astonishing and shameful that some folks are so hysterically opposed to the use of all safe and [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #186, Letter to the Editor 6 Responses »
Sep 302016
Property Insurance Rate Increase

by Ron Cole……. To the Editors: Response – “Rate hike won’t be taken lightly” by Mel Montague, FIRM Regarding FIRM (Fair Insurance Rates for Monroe) board president Mel Montagne’s letter regarding proposed 2017 windstorm property insurance rate increases and threat to “seek redress through the courts” – Thank you on behalf of all Monroe County residents and property owners. How much longer do you think the issue (& consequences) of “climate engineering” can be concealed from the general public – the federal government’s “gag order” on [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am Issue #186, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Sep 302016
US Military Aid: Thai-ed to Torture

by Thomas L. Knapp……. Amnesty International’s mission is “to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.” Unsurprisingly, the organization’s latest report collects “first-hand testimony of survivors, court documents, medical records and various other forms of evidence relating to 74 cases of torture” in Thailand and urges that country’s legislature and military government to follow through on their claimed commitments to bring an end to the practice. After [continue reading…]

 September 30, 2016  Posted by at 12:56 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #186, Thomas L. Knapp 5 Responses »
Sep 232016
An Open Letter To The School Board

Gentlemen: At your recent Board meeting, you received a report from your Human Resources Department. The undated report was entitled “2015-2016 New Employee End of the Year Survey Results” and included ” Employee 2015-2016 Survey Results Comparison”. (The District continues to have problems properly titling and/or dating documents, particularly reports.) When I first saw this report, I was pleased and complimented HR Director Dr. Ramon Dawkins. It appears that my compliment was premature. That is what I learned when I read the “2015-2016 New Employee [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 1:04 am Issue #185, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Sep 232016
ZIKA Is On The March / GM Mosquitoes Are Safe

Dear Editor, My thanks to Mr. Bethune for taking the time to comment on the ZIKA crisis. I must note that I disagree with nearly everything that he put forward. I’ll do my best to keep it brief and to respond to each point, paragraph by paragraph. First and most important: ZIKA is on the march. As this is written there are at least 874 cases in Florida. One out of 10 persons who has been tested has been found to be positive. At least [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 1:02 am Issue #185, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Sep 232016
@Snowden: Give That Man a Medal, Not a "Pardon"

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In the days leading up to the official premiere of Snowden, Oliver Stone’s eponymous biopic of America’s exiled whistleblower, an international movement came together to pressure US president Barack Obama for a pardon. Executive absolution would make it possible for Edward Snowden to return from Russia without facing a show trial and a life (or even death) sentence for his heroism. It’s a fine idea. I support it. But I think it does get things backward and sends the wrong message [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #185, Thomas L. Knapp 4 Responses »
Sep 232016
Lies, Damned Lies, and Hewlett-Packard Printers

by Thomas L. Knapp……. September 13 was an unlucky day for an unknown number of Hewlett-Packard printer owners. Instead of going dutifully to work, their printers displayed the error message “One or more cartridges appear to be damaged. Remove them and replace them with new cartridges.” The cartridges weren’t damaged, though. The printers had been sabotaged with, for all intents and purposes, malware. And the saboteur was Hewlett-Packard itself. The company built a digital time bomb into its firmware to stop owners of HP printers [continue reading…]

 September 23, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #185, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Sep 162016
Straight Facts on GMO Mosquitoes

Dear Editor, I was dismayed to read Friday’s letter to you on GMO mosquitoes which was so full personal attacks and so scant on scientific information. I’m not sure where the writer got his facts, but on behalf of the over 50,000 concerned citizens who view our Facebook page, Never Again, each week, I’d like to set the record straight on a number of issues that the GMO mosquito salesmen have left out. If Zika is “knocking on our door,” it’s the door of an [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:52 am Issue #184, Letter to the Editor 1 Response »
Sep 162016
Start the GMO Test

To the Editors, The Mosquito Control Board is “fiddling while Rome burns.”  They should authorize the GMO test immediately. I just returned from Europe where all my friends asked if it was still safe to come to the Keys.  [This week], the Miami Herald documents the economic impact already felt in Miami in just a few weeks. A word about regulators:  In Europe, Naled–used here in Monroe–is banned as too risky.  Monroe’s beekeeper’s would agree.  The impact on humans?  Probably unknowable right now.  Are America’s or Europe’s regulators smarter?  [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:50 am Environment, Issue #184, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Sep 162016
Thumbs Up on the Ditching of the Skeeter Taj Mahal

It appears that the Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board is in the process of regaining it’s sanity In its most recent meeting they ditched the Big Coppit Skeeter Taj Mahal.  The vote was 3-2.  Only two very old line commissioners voted for the Taj Mahal.  Commissioners Shaw and Smith.  Shaw is not seeking reelection.  Smith is!  Remember that he wanted to raise your skeeter taxes by 45%,  that’s what it would have cost to build the Taj Mahal that he and Shaw wanted.  Commissioner Craney-Gage [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:48 am Issue #184, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Sep 162016
9/12: The Appeal to National Narcissism is Alive and Well

by Thomas L. Knapp……. “The narcissist,” someone once wrote on an Internet discussion forum devoted to the topic, “learns nothing, forgets nothing, and forgives nothing.” In conscious appeal to this tendency, the American political class flocks to shrines in New York, DC and Pennsylvania each year to once again cynically wring as much narcissistic flag-waving hoopla as possible from the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. I generally avoid watching these observances. This year my sole exposure to them was video of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary [continue reading…]

 September 16, 2016  Posted by at 12:44 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #184, Thomas L. Knapp 4 Responses »
Sep 092016
DEA Declares (Kr)atomic War on Americans

by Thomas L. Knapp……. In early August, the US Drug Enforcement Administration announced that, contrary to expectations, it wouldn’t remove marijuana from “Schedule 1” (“no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse”). At the end of the month, DEA made another announcement: It intends to add another herbal substance, kratom, to Schedule 1. Why is the DEA picking on kratom? The agency offers numerous excuses — insufficient testing for the plant to have an approved medical use, its historical use as an [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:42 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #183, Thomas L. Knapp 3 Responses »
Sep 092016

Dear Editor. While our skeeter killers dither and fail to use every safe and effective weapon that they have in their arsenal, ZIKA is knocking on our door. On Wednesday it was reported that we now have at least 3 cases of ZIKA in Monroe. That’s only the cases that have been discovered and proven. Given that many infected persons have no symptoms, we could have scores of infected persons. It is safe to assume that the authorities ae keeping the number of cases under [continue reading…]

 September 9, 2016  Posted by at 12:38 am Issue #183, Letter to the Editor 5 Responses »
Sep 022016
Farm Follies: The Cheese Stands Alone (With Its Hand Out)

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On August 23, the US Department of Agriculture announced its plan to purchase 11 million pounds of cheese, at a cost of $20 million. The cheese will be “provided to families in need through USDA nutrition assistance programs,” but the real purpose of the purchase is to reduce excess cheese inventories, “assisting the stalled marketplace for dairy producers whose revenues have dropped 35 percent over the past two years.” Economics 101: When so many people produce so much of the same [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:36 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #182, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Sep 022016
Marijuana Legalization: Give Peace a Chance

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On November 8, voters in eight states will decide whether or not to legalize, to one degree or another, the possession, use and sale of marijuana. If all of the measures pass, more than 86 million Americans will enjoy increased legal access to the plant: For medical use in Arkansas, Florida and Missouri, for recreational use in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada. Earlier this month, the US Drug Enforcement Administration announced it wouldn’t reconsider marijuana’s ridiculous Schedule 1 status (“no [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:34 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #182, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »
Sep 022016

The fight to keep zika out of our community has devolved into a bubbling pit of controversy. Vicious attacks are being made against organizations and individuals who are convinced that the use of GMM can be an effective and safe tool in the fight against mosquito borne disease. GMM is the use of genetic engineering to break the reproductive cycle of the mosquitos that are the carriers of not only the zika virus, but other diseases such as dengue fever. By so doing the resident [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:30 am Issue #182, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Sep 022016
The City Hall Carports: An Open Letter to the City Commission

Dear Mayor & Commissioners, Two things I’d like brought to your attention: I now have evidence showing that the solar array structures are, according to the architect himself,  carports – something clearly prohibited by the HARC guidelines.  The letter, below, from the architect to USBGC Florida, states, “Solar arrays were designed as carport structures”. Therefore, they are in direct violation of HARC guidelines which prohibit new carports highly-visible from the right-of-way.  HARC guidelines state, “The construction of new accessory buildings such as garages or carports [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am Issue #182, Letter to the Editor 3 Responses »
Sep 022016
Building 103

by Ben Volpian……. Why is Building 103 on the Truman Waterfront Park Quay important? Well, 2 major reasons: 1) The city, hopefully with help from the Tourist Development Council, is prepared to spend $5 million on the design and renovation project with preparations to begin in October. 2) If designed and renovated correctly, this building can be a great addition to not only the park, but also for the entire city. Why do I say designed and renovated correctly? The way I see it, the [continue reading…]

 September 2, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #182 4 Responses »
Aug 262016
Travel Advice for the Islamo-FraidyCat Set

by Thomas L. Knapp……. On August 18, three siblings boarded an EasyJet flight at London’s Stansted airport. Maryam, Sakina and Ali Dharas were en route to Italy for a holiday. But before the flight could take off, they were asked to debark for questioning by police. Another passenger, apparently an amateur detective, deduced that because they are brown people and the two sisters wear hijabs — Muslim head scarves — they must be Islamic State terrorists. Which, of course, they weren’t. The plane eventually took [continue reading…]

 August 26, 2016  Posted by at 12:28 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #181, Thomas L. Knapp No Responses »