Monday, September 03, 2007

A Thought For The Week Of September 3, 2007

"Things change moment to moment, things are impermanent. We worry over the past, we anticipate the future, and we barely perceive a shred of the passing moment."

~ The Dalai Lama


Monday, August 27, 2007

A Thought For The Week Of August 27, 2007

"On this day I pledge neither to shy away from growth in myself, nor to require perfection in order to like myself. I will recognize through self-love that I am in a continual state of renewal and evolution."

~ Eric V. Copage


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Not Enough Babies Are Pooping

More than a year ago Kimberly-Clark, makers of "Huggies" diapers, announced it was closing the Corporation's Lakeview diaper plant and eliminating 510 jobs. In June of last year Kimberly-Clark laid off 105 employees. Some of those whose jobs were eliminated took early retirement. We don't know how many of those came to the Keys.

However, obviously the demand for diapers must have slowed. How can that be? Are babies pooping less? Although there may be fewer babies pooping, there is still plenty of poop in Key West. Maybe Kimberly-Clark could avoid more layoffs by providing diapers for all the chickens here in Key West - a kind of killing two birds with one diaper idea. Kimberly-Clark sells more diapers; Key West has less chicken poop. Everyone wins.

If the chickens are diapered, the chicken shelter the Assistant City Manager was once trying to build will never make it to the Superfund cleanup list no matter whether the chickens are rounded up, have escaped, been stolen or secretly released. Diapering beats trying to kidnap or kill them. Besides, diapers for the chickens certainly have a better chance with the City Commissioners than Truman Annex.

Maybe there will even be some left over diapers large enough to fit some of the commissioners who seem to be acting like chickens lately, now that elections are almost upon us. After all, if astronauts can wear diapers, why not the Commissioners?

For that matter, why not the TAMPOA Board and its lawyers. It may give them the stamina they'll need to sit through yet another round of mediation with the City come late October. Oh yes, in case you hadn't heard, thanks to being in federal court -- that brilliant idea hatched by the Board's lawyers and launched last February -- there is now to be more mediation with the City that wouldn't honor the first mediated agreement.

So we do hope, however, that they all (Commissioners, Board members, and lawyers for all sides, including the Navy) order their diapers early -- we wouldn't want any more workers to lose their jobs for lack of diaper demand. Besides, we've noticed that one size of diaper doesn't seem to fit all and some folks may need extra large, especially with the election and then the mediation coming. At the mediation alone there's likely to be enough methane generated to fill a greenhouse. When added to what will have been produced by the candidates and the BS generated during the election cycle, the need for diapers seems obvious. Who knows? Diapers may help the candidates contain themselves. As for the Board and lawyers? They're hopeless, unless, of course, the diapers were to be worn over their mouths.

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Monday, August 20, 2007

A Thought For the Week Of August 20, 2007

"Sometimes it's hard to even know that you've got it good until it's gone and you feel the absence. Appreciation makes you observe the details, to attempt to see what you haven't noticed before and be glad that you finally did notice it. It makes life richer and is not the kind of thing you need to spend money on."

~ Soanya Ahmad


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Time To Let Go Of The Gate Idea

Maybe it is time for the screwball idea of a gate at the Southard Street entrance to Truman Annex to go. We had thought the idea had been abandoned by TAMPOA -- at least that's what it told members prior to February 2007. Suddenly, however, the gates idea was back with a vengeance when the federal complaint was filed and is also in the new federal complaint. This idea seems like something from Dr. Strangelove that springs like the uncontrollable hand from a TAMPOA fantasyland. The reality is there will NEVER be a gate at the current entrance to Truman Annex on Southard Street. When TAMPOA will get this, if ever, we don't know. But to avoid continuing to look like idiots, the TAMPOA Board needs to instruct its lawyers to abandon this albatross, and soon!

The truth is the Navy will never allow a gate at the Truman Annex entrance on Southard Street and everyone knows it, including TAMPOA if it were realistic. The June 26, 2007 letter the Navy sent to TAMPOA demanding that it open the gate next to Harbor Place should be handwriting on the wall that a gate at the Southard Street will not be tolerated. (We'll have more to say about that up-coming fiasco in a future post).

Now, imagine what will run through the mind of the federal judge (or any judge) when the Navy or the City shows the judge this picture from Cayo Dave's article about what alternatives TAMPOA actually has. The judge, as anyone (including a juror) with common sense, is going to think, "that doesn't look so bad," and is a possible solution that meets TAMPOA's stated interests in a "gated community."

Such a plan also deals with TAMPOA's rather illusory fear of being sued by the ultra rich who bought mega homes allegedly thinking (if you can believe it) that they were buying into a gated community. Under such an alternate plan, Southard would remain open, and if TAMPOA insisted, it could have its gates, transponders and all, for those who want them, on Emma Street.

There are really two groups whose interests might not be totally satisfied by such an alternate plan. One will be the folks on the west side of Southard Street, but there are only about half a dozen or so of them whose homes actually face the street. For the other few Southard Street runs along the side of their residences giving them less to complain about as there are a number of fences in the Annex that run along the sides of residences.

The other group to complain will be the those in big houses near the intersection of Emma and Southard who will not want a gate on Emma near their residences. The solution to that complaint can be found in the design of the gate so as to make it less obtrusive, or to abandon the gate altogether for some other restraint like high tech retractable tire spikes.

The bottom line is there is never going to be a gate at the entrance to Southard Street, so why is TAMPOA wasting time and money on this issue when there are truly more important issues in the litigation? Beats us. It's just weird.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

A Thought For The Week Of August 13, 2007

"Exhaust the little moment. Soon it dies.
And be it gash or gold it will not come
Again in this identical disguise."

~ Gwendolyn Brooks


Friday, August 10, 2007

Why Not Buy Southard Street?

Commissioner Jose Menendez, in a flight of fancy, has suggested that Wisteria Island be turned into a gaming mecca. Mayor McPherson wants the City voters to consider buying Wisteria Island, saying the issue is preservation and never has been annexation. Preservation? Really? Preservation from what? The island is already preserved if not pickled. Until some good citizens came along and organized a cleanup the island was a twenty-one-acre dump that neither the owners, the county or the city seemed to care about.

The City doesn't need to buy Wisteria Island to turn it into a park. The would be developers could do that and charge money to go there. It seems that the City Commission has linked annexation with development. Indeed, they are separate issues. The City could annex Wisteria Island any time its wants. The problem is the messed up laws the City has on development. If the City annexes the island, under the existing laws, the developers could build homes on the island. That's not an annexation problem. That's a development problem. That's what the City needs to work on, but, of course, it won't because the City is controlled by developers.

The Mayor is a realtor, after all, which is why one ought to be suspicious of any proposal that the City buy Wisteria Island. One has to ask, "Why?" The Mayor doesn't really want the voters' nod to buy the island; otherwise the proposed referendum would be given a green light and made a binding referendum. So what's behind all this wrangling over Wisteria Island? We're all ears, Mr. Mayor!

Meanwhile, we have a suggestion. If the City thinks it can buy Wisteria Island, why doesn't it buy Southard Street? It would likely cost a lot less and solve a whole bunch of issues for the City, not to mention that it would put an end to what may ultimately be a costly lawsuit for the City.

The reality is that the City does not have the money to buy (or even pursue eminent domain over) Southard Street. And the City doesn't have the money to buy Wisteria Island either. If the Mayor is proposing to ask the voters something, he 'd probably get a more positive response if he asked the voters whether they'd finance an eminent domain suit to take over Southard Street.

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