Wednesday, October 29, 2008

You Northerners will love this. The headlines in the Miami Herald today were "Early Voters Brave 50 Degree Temperatures". This picture isn't exactly from Miami, but believe me, they really dress for the weather down here when it gets in the 50s. It's their one chance to wear a sweater, hooded sweatshirt, boots (fashion boots, of course) and hats, scarves and sometimes gloves. I know it looks silly to those of us who know that 50 degrees isn't really that cold, but to them, it's serious dangerous stuff. One guy that lined up in Miami at 4:30 this morning was reported to be running back and forth from his spot in line to his car to warm up. Looks like they are taking their voting pretty seriously too. As of Monday afternoon, a total of 1.2 million have early voted, that's 10% of registered voters. Way to go, Miami Dade and Broward Counties.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Today Governor Crist made the emergency decision to extend early voting hours for the rest of this week to 7am to 7 pm. In Miami Dade and Broward Counties, you can early vote through Sunday. In Florida, early voting runs for two weeks before election day. I am not sure if every state has early voting, but it sure is a great idea.
Here in The Keys, Monroe County, we have had 31% of registered voters who have already cast their ballots either by absentee (they call it vote by mail now) or by early voting. This is great news for me, since I am working the polls on Tuesday, but not such great news for my friends Connie and Germaine who work the early voting polls and usually go home at 4:30, but now will stay until 7 pm. In The Keys, I am pretty sure that the 6395 people that early voted did not have to wait in much of a line. It's not the same in Miami Dade and Broward where the lines all last week and so far this week have been a 1 to 4 hour wait. Even though the polls closed at 4:30 every day, the last person in line at 4:30 didn't cast their ballots until 8:30 or 9 pm. Most early voters in Miami Dade and Broward have been Democrats, I think that has been established. It was an honorable thing for our Republican Governor to extend the hours. On the other hand, most absentee ballots are requested by Republicans. I really don't understand why someone would rather early vote instead of requesting an absentee ballot, but that's the way they want their voice to be heard. It's a visual way to show that you are playing a part of the democratic process.
I am hoping that those people who wait to vote until Tuesday have a clear idea of what they are voting for before they get to the polls. The ballot is 2 legal sized pages, front and back, and the ammendments are just about impossible to figure out unless you have given them a lot of thought. In Marathon, there are 8 candidates running for 3 city council seats. Their biggest fear is by the time the voters get to their spot on the back page, they will be so weary of making decisions that they won't even bother to vote. And with every voter feeding two ballots into the acu-vote machine, there is twice as much chance for the machine to jam, and e-gads, that's where I take over!
I hope by the end of the week, almost everyone has early voted. But then, if Gov. Christ calls for extended hours on election night because we are still waiting for someone to vote in Miami or West Palm, there I will be, at the Precinct 20, Presbyterian Kirk, until 9:00 PM. It's my job! Someone has to do it! As my brother would say, "Vote early, cats!"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Crocodiles in The Keys
From The Keynoter
Complaints about American crocodiles in Islamorada are on the rise, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Monday.

"Our officer [in Islamorada] is getting complaints about [crocodiles at] boat ramps and marinas" in the Lower Matecumbe Key area, agency spokeswoman Gabriella Ferraro said. That's about 35 miles south of the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

"They can live in brackish water, and people are feeding them, harassing them, touching them," she said.

She didn't have specific information about where there have been problems, but did say "the Keys are experiencing a growing number of crocodile-related complaints." She said some have even been spotted in residential swimming pools lately.

Feeding and harassing crocodiles, which are endangered, is illegal -- and dangerous.

American crocodiles are generally shy and reclusive. However, when fed, crocodiles may overcome their natural wariness and learn to associate people with food, Ferraro said.

She said at marinas and boat ramps, dispose of fish scraps and carcasses in garbage cans; do not throw them in the water. The result can be the same as intentionally feeding crocodiles.

Report nuisance crocodiles to the FWC's Statewide Nuisance Alligator Hotline at (866) 392-4286.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Quick Work
Originally uploaded by sache47
I was totally amazed that the causeway has been paved and yellow-lined
in one week's time. Not only that, this is West Ocean, which has also
been completed. They worked day and night, sometimes until 10:00 or
!!:00 PM last week to complete it. Everytime I drove by, there was
our mayor, Ron Sutton, standing over them making sure that everything
was done correctly. It's such an improvement. Now it will be tough to
keep my speed down to 25 mph with all that nice smooth pavement to
ride on, but as they say, "What's your hurry? You're already here!"

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Only In The Keys...I think
Cell phone service went out in Key West this morning for Verison customers for over an hour. Can you imagine the nightmare that would cause, especially if you worked for Verison! This is something that we just can't do without in this day and age, well it seems practically dangerous to be without your cell phone for more than a few minutes. Out of touch with the entire world? On second thought, maybe it would be kinda nice for a change. Let's try it, a cell phoneless day once a year. It sure would give everyone something to talk about... the next day.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New Fire Hydrants for Key Colony

Ever since Rocket Man's house burnt down this summer, there has been a
cry for more fire hydrants in Marathon. By the way, in case you didn't
know, Rocket Man is a somewhat famous local performer at Porky's and
The Dockside Bar. It seems that the first truck that showed up at his
house when tiki torches started the deck on fire didn't have a hose
long enough to reach his house from a fire hydrant. There was plenty
of water in a nearby canal, but then, by the time a pumper truck got
there, it was too late to save anything. As I see it, as a result, we
now have a new fire chief, or half of a fire chief as we now share
and one chief covers both Islamorada and Marathon, and also there has
been a plea around Marathon for more fire hydrants. We in Key Colony
Beach, served by the Marathon Fire Department, seem to be getting ours
first, but maybe ours were in the plan anyway, I don't know. It sure
is nice to know that we do have fire hydrants now. I really do feel
much safer. I'm also glad that they thought to put the ones on the
causeway first since the "One Lane Only" signs are all ready to be put
in place for the paving that will start next week. I don't know why
they didn't pave before all the snowbirds started arriving, but I
guess it will only slow you down a little getting to your favorite
winter retreat this year, and once you get here, you won't want to

More to come...

More to come...
Originally uploaded by sache47
Here's the ones that they still have to install. If you are lucky,
maybe a fire hydrant will be coming to your street sometime soon!