Nov 15
Stay clear when turkey named

Strictly Drivel

Thanksgiving often brings out the monster in all of us.

We all have one. We have that little demon inside of us that thinks how cool it would be just to, just once, be able to hack something up for the fun of it, and then have people thank you for it in the end.

I think that’s what turkey carving is all about.

You have to liken turkey carving to one of the dozens of serial killers you’ve read about, or watched movies about.

It seems that most ritualistic serial killers have some body part, or numerous body parts, that appeal to them more than any other.

Turkey carving, however, gives you the opportunity to put all those morbid thoughts into one sustained action that is both socially acceptable and therapeutic.

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Nov 15
Leave sewer permit fees untouched

Wednesday the Monroe Board of County Commissioners will be asked whether to quadruple permit fees to the final properties to get hooked into state-mandated wastewater treatment plants.

Currently Monroe County charges $70 for the permit to construct the sewer lateral line that will hook a home into the sewer pipe in the street.

That permit requires initial review by a plumbing inspector, and between three and five inspections along the way to get to the final and have the line hooked into the street pipe.

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Nov 08
Question: Chuck-no chuck?

Strictly Drivel

Chuck it, or don’t chuck it: A question we all face

I’m still trying to convince myself why I need a cell phone.

Of all the modern conveniences that have come down the pike in the last two decades, I think the cell phone is the most onerous and potentially hazardous.

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Nov 08
Let the adults run the show awhile

With absolutely no offense intended to the world’s most beloved cartoon mouse, it’s high time for the Washington, DC-based Mickey Mouse Club to close up shop.

It’s high time for the cut-at-all-costs; except defense, corporate welfare, high-income earners and Congressional perks; wingnuts to step aside and let the big boys and girls get on with restoring America for Americans.

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Nov 01
Fright can turn on frightener

Strictly Drivel

We have finally reached my favorite holiday.

I guess my personal liking for Halloween started as a result of my formative years being spent in staid and stuffy southwest Ohio. If you grew your hair too long, wore your shorts too short, drove too slow-or fast, or did anything else a little different from everyone else, you were considered weird.

I now wear that badge proudly. And live somewhere that the moniker isn’t immediately a resort to cross-eyed looks and rolled-back eyes.

Halloween, you see, was the great equalizer.

When everybody was in costume, we were all different. When we were all different, we were all the same.

Or something like that.

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Nov 01
Start with the little things for deer

Over the next six to eight months, local conservation groups, county staff and staff from the National Key Deer Refuge will be meeting several times to discuss future management strategies for the further recovery of the endangered Key Deer.

Human hunting, with some help from Mother Nature, in the 1950s had dwindled the size of the Key Deer herd to less than 50 animals and their continued survival was in question.

In 1957, the Key Deer Refuge was formed, hunting was banned, and the herd slowly began to recover.

About 15 years ago, refuge consultants put the number of Key Deer on Big Pine and No Name Key at about 750.

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Oct 25
Raccoons have new leader

Strictly Drivel

We believed that we had seen the passing of the guard in our neighborhood.

Where once we were inundated daily with Key Deer and nightly with raccoons, in the last year or so we have been inundated daily with Key Deer and nightly with opossums.

Opossums, I believe, are a more aggressive species than raccoons, so I, in my twisted way, have been envisioning little gangs of opossums trampling through the woods and undergrowth around our neighborhood, terrorizing smaller gangs of raccoons, convincing them that this was no longer the best hunting grounds for the ring-eyed ones.

I could envision a circle of opossums with a cowering raccoon in the middle getting the word in not-so-subtle terms this particular area full of treat-laden trash cans continually refilled with goodies by the two-leggers was no longer a raccoon haven.

After the lecture, I could envision a cowered raccoon taking off for parts unknown, deeper into the woods where the pickin’s aren’t quite so easy, but at least there aren’t marauding bands of opossums to worry about.

We had found opossums in our trash cans, in our trash container, romping around in the back yard, and taking over the street.

But our thinking is about to change I believe.

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Oct 25
Seek mitigation best way to go

Now that we have learned just how bad the future can be with regards to flood insurance in the Keys, it’s time for our leadership to step up and take a hand in finding a solution.

There are more than 8,000 homes in Monroe County that have the possibility of being adversely affected by the recent federal decision to try and make the National Flood Insurance Program more self-sustaining by raising rates on current policy holders.

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Oct 18
Better covers=less problem

Strictly Drivel

I don’t truthfully know what the reason may be, but we haven’t had nearly as many visiting deer in our yard in the last few weeks at sunrise and sunset as we have had most of the time we’ve lived there.

I kind of miss the little critters. I’ve pulled into my parking space under the house a couple of times in the last two weeks after dark and haven’t seen a single set of eyes staring back at me in the headlights. If it weren’t for the puppies, I’d feel lonely trekking up the stairs.

Most of the time when I get home after dark, which happens a lot in this business, there are a half dozen or so deer grazing in front of the fence. In the last two weeks, none, zero, zilch, nada. I’m beginning to wonder if this is some kind of boycott thing from the local deer population.

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Oct 18
Take initiative on land purchases

The Monroe Board of County Commissioners has decided to make very little change in its priorities for land acquisitions here, sticking with a policy of grabbing up large tracts of environmentally sensitive area whenever possible.

But that decision comes with a caveat that just makes sense.

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