Aug 042017
 
An Open Letter To FKAA

by Larry Murray  ……. I was pleased to read that FKAA has slowed its rush to build a multi-million dollar desalinization plant, though I disagree with your reason for postponement.  I assume that the criticism raised by the Key West Chamber of Commerce played a part in your decision making.  I agree with the KWCoC that there needs  to be considerably more community input before FKAA invests tens of millions of dollars in a desalinization plant.  Shifting part of the cost to the state from local [continue reading…]

 August 4, 2017  Posted by at 12:34 am Dr. Larry Murray, Issue #230 1 Response »
May 122017
 
Financial Class Discrimination in Monroe County

by Eugene Nanay…… Editor, Back in 2008 or whenever The Gov. proclaimed all properties in the Keys Shall be connected to a Public Sewer System or whatever. So? How many properties are we talking about here? Well, from the Office of the Tax Appraisers Office I was provided with the following–51,307 Residential Units and 17,472 Businesses with physical addresses. From the Office of the Tax Collector, there were 53,001 Trim Notices sent out last November. Now in the Counties plan for The Lower Keys, the [continue reading…]

 May 12, 2017  Posted by at 12:49 am Issue #218, Letter to the Editor 4 Responses »
Mar 242017
 
Message to the Future: Remember Cudjoe Regional Shallow Wells May Only Be Used for Back-up

by Naja Girard…. Dear Future Florida Keys Residents, In 2015, a small group of caring community members made a big difference. They fought to protect the beautiful Florida Keys offshore environment.  They were able to convince Monroe County to install and use a deep injection well instead of the shallow wells already approved for the disposal of wastewater effluent at the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.  This was no easy task, it took strong voices, thick skin, hours upon hours of research, not to mention some of their hard-earned [continue reading…]

 March 24, 2017  Posted by at 1:02 am Environment, Issue #211 1 Response »
Mar 032017
 
Guest Column: Key Haven Failures and New Development

by Margaret Blank……. Update: I emailed county staff asking about this one. I copied members of the Keys media, too. That’s my new thing. If I hear anything (doubtful!) I’ll let you know. I was perusing Monroe County’s Comprehensive Plan Update the other day and I saw something very interesting. Objective 901.1 Monroe County shall ensure that, at the time a certificate of occupancy, or its functional equivalent is issued, adequate sanitary wastewater treatment and disposal facilities, including wastewater treatment facilities and onsite sewage treatment [continue reading…]

 March 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:10 am Issue #208, Margaret Blank 5 Responses »
Feb 032017
 
Anti-Grinder Pumps Face More Legal Hurdles

by Rick Boettger……. Judge Koenig Supports Self-Recused Judge Helms, Requiring a 3rd Amendment of Plaintiffs’ Case The installation of grinder pumps up the Keys in many homes that should have gravity systems has gotten a dedicated group of citizens to the barricades. In my mind, there is no doubt this was a foolish and illegal decision made by FKAA and the County. The Dump the Pumps group simply wants a judge to look at the same statutes that I’m looking at and agree that gravity, [continue reading…]

 February 3, 2017  Posted by at 1:10 am Issue #204, Rick Boettger 5 Responses »
Jan 202017
 
Another Welch by Zuelch, Claims New Shallow Sewage Well Lawsuit

by Dump The Pumps……. The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority is in violation of a settlement agreement it signed last year to end litigation requiring a deep well for Cudjoe Regional and restricting use of the shallow wells only for backup, according to new litigation filed last Monday. Don DeMaria and Mike Laudicina, the two commercial fishermen who sued FKAA in 2015 to require the deep well, now allege that FKAA and the Department of Environmental Protection are intentionally violating the settlement agreement. “It’s another welch by Zeulch,” said DeMaria. [continue reading…]

 January 20, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am Issue #202, Letter to the Editor No Responses »
Dec 302016
 
GUEST COMMENTARY: PEER Follows Up on FKAA's Fake Environmental Assessment

by Margaret Blank……. Keys media generally serves to downplay the failings of FKAA officials. FKAA documents reveal that Toppino has done over $20 million with the FKAA in the last ten years – $12.4 million of that on the Cudjoe Regional project alone, despite public reports of only $1,000,000 in FKAA contracts. Not only that, Toppino benefited heavily from questionable bid shuffling on the now-failing Big Coppitt project, the details of the bidding process closely guarded from the public. If you want to know how [continue reading…]

 December 30, 2016  Posted by at 1:00 am Issue #199, Margaret Blank 4 Responses »
Oct 142016
 
Falsehood

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 »
Jul 292016
 
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: FKAA $3 Million Contract for Toppino

by Margaret Blank……. Posted this week on www.bigpinekey.com: The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) board is getting ready to award a $3 million contract to one of their own, Richard Toppino. Toppino is a FKAA board member with a high potential for conflicts of interest. His family business, Charley Toppino & Sons, has done millions of dollars worth of business with the FKAA over the years – a fact that the FKAA has repeatedly tried to hide. Toppino was appointed to the FKAA board in December 2015. [continue reading…]

 July 29, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am ~ Opinion ~, Editorial, Issue #177 7 Responses »
Jun 242016
 
We Have Met the Enemy And He Is Us

Dear Editor, How did the sanitary sewer project go so wrong? It all goes back to the one cent sales tax extension that was used to pay for the sewer system. This is an unconventional way to finance a local sewer system, but it eliminated the need for an environmental assessment plan that would have been carefully reviewed by the Corps of Engineers. There was widespread public support for the sales tax extension. It looked like the ballot would easily pass, since it was sold [continue reading…]

 June 24, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Issue #172, Letter to the Editor 2 Responses »
Jun 102016
 
Big Coppitt – More Missing Documents?

by Margaret Blank……. Update: The FKAA responded right quick this time. I sent an email Sunday, got a response on Monday. This is new and different. Here’s a link to the agenda back up for the approval of award to Gianetti. A couple of things prompted me to take a look back at the Big Coppitt project. The Big Coppitt wastewater treatment facility experienced difficulties meeting effluent quality requirements for about a year. I discovered this completely by accident. It’s never been reported in the [continue reading…]

 June 10, 2016  Posted by at 12:54 am Island Voices, Issue #170 4 Responses »