It seems as though I do this every year, but gentlemen, listen closely.
Today is the last day to get your significant other something redeeming for Valentine’s Day or you will have missed it for another year.
It seems as though the holiday that we must never forget rushes up on us faster and faster every year, but really it falls on the same date year after year, we just have to find a way to remember what that date is.
I’ve never really quite figured out why Valentine’s Day is so important, and the history of the holiday is sketchy at best.
Browsing through the census materials for 2010 in the local area, we are hard pressed not to cry foul for the statistics in this area.
According to the 2010 census, Big Pine Key lost nearly 800 folks in population from 2000.
That’s not a number we have a hard time believing. With the mass exoduses we experienced following the real estate market crash in 2008, no one has a hard time hanging their hat on a population loss.
The numbers we have a hard time swallowing are the ones that say we lost nearly 300 housing units in that 10-year span.
Today marks the end of our 13th year in publication with the News-Barometer. It’s been a great run thus far, and we have all of you to thank for that.
Without you, our loyal readers, there would be no reason to publish this product every week. Without you, our loyal advertisers, there would be no way to publish this product every week.
And now that unlucky 13 is behind us, we look forward to great things in year 14 and beyond.
Little did we know when we opened shop in a tiny space in Big Pine Village 13 years ago that we would still be around now. And again, we have you to thank for that.
Like so many small businesses in the Florida Keys, we started on a shoestring budget, racing the checks back to the bank every day to continue to publish.
Of course, there are times we still do that.
It was just a few months ago that the Monroe Board of County Commissioners discussed the possibility of opening a satellite building office somewhere inside the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System service area.
And now, we’re about a year away from the first hook ups being available, and we’ve made little progress toward that goal.
The commission was right when it considered the working class folks of the Cudjoe Regional. In order to apply for the necessary permits to hook up lateral lines, and in some 1,400 instances, run an electrical circuit to handle a grinder pump, most folks would have to take a day off work.
And although the building department has gotten a little better in the last year in turning around permits, it still takes an inordinately long time to get a permit out of the building office.
And many times, the applicant, which in many cases will be the property owner, will have to make multiple trips to the building office to clarify this or that, or to deliver extra paperwork.
For those who will have to go through the biological assessment process, the time could be significant.
I have just returned from a two-week whirlwind tour of the future.
If you read these pages two weeks ago, I decided to do a piece on the history of Leap Year. It didn’t take long for many folks to remind me that 2014 isn’t Leap Year.
Yep. Know that.
But my Twilight Zone tour had temporarily pushed me through a temporal vortex that crashed through the lineal space-time continuum and landed me in the first weeks of 2016. The reason I didn’t catch on right away is because things seemed to be so familiar.
The same guy was in the White House. The same folks were on the local commission. I was driving the same car, which for some reason I can’t drive 55…sorry, just a snippet of song lyrics that jumped unbidden into my brain. I was little fatter.
I lived and worked in the same place. The same folks were around me. It was still 74 degrees here and less than 47 degrees everywhere else.
So how was I to know?
Whatever decision gets made on what properties in the Cudjoe Regional Wastewater System service area get converted from low-pressure grinder pump to gravity pipes does not affect the actual development of the project from a construction standpoint.
There are about 1,700 properties still remaining on the planned grinder pump portion of the Cudjoe Regional project which spans from Lower Sugarloaf Key to Big Pine Key. The Board of County Commissioners is expected to convert at least some of those to gravity pipes during a special meeting Friday in Key West.
And while all of this is going on, there are three contractors busily installing pipes of some kind, or building a new treatment, in various areas throughout the Lower Keys.
There is something really funky going on in this town.
I can’t put my finger on it. I’m not exactly sure what it is. But something is afoul.
The world seems a little hazy today, and it appears as though I have lost some time somewhere.
As we stretch into February and another Super Bowl fast approaches, as well as another Valentine’s Day, I feel I must go on a quest to discover just what it is that seems so incredibly strange.
Organizers last week turned in more than 690,000 voter signatures that could well force a plan for conservation land purchases in Florida onto the November general election ballot as a new Constitutional Amendment.
At one time very active in the conservation land purchase game, state leaders shifted priorities during the slack years and took a large chunk of money away from that program, not even funding land purchases in at least one year.
For those who may be unaware, 2014 is a leap year. A leap year is one that has an extra day. And just because February has always felt slighted by its diminutive stature among months, the powers that be have decided that February will get the extra day and for leap year there will be 29 days in February.
Most of us believe that there are 365 days in a year, and that the number of 24-hour days is determined by the length of time it takes for our planet to circumnavigate its orbit around the sun.
But the Earth actually is just a little bit slower than that in making the trip, whether because it’s getting older or just because Mother Earth has raised so many species that she’s getting calmer in her older age.
It appears as though our do-nothing 113th Congress, led by a bevy of Republicans in the House of Representatives, who by the way have already said they plan to do nothing again in the coming year, has found a way to do nothing and still effect negative change.