May 09
Treat Mom right this year

Strictly Drivel

Gentlemen, and ladies, in case you live on another planet, or never had a Mother, let me remind you that Sunday is that second-most dreaded of holidays.

The first most dreaded of holidays is Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is the one holiday that us guys can’t forget without paying for it for the rest of the year until we, perhaps, redeem ourselves the following year.

Mother’s Day is the holiday where both sexes can run afoul of the forget-me-at-your-peril lady in our lives.

And just because the lady in your life may not be your Mother, she’s probably Mother to someone or something, like children, or dogs, or cats, or fish, or the neighborhood.

And she expects to be remembered for that effort.

The range of Mother’s Day gifts never ceases to amaze me.

Continue reading ‘Treat Mom right this year’

May 09
Stay away from outdoor ranges

Governmental non-interference in the use of firearms is approaching an all-time high at a time when both accidental and planned shootings with easy-to-obtain guns is skyrocketing.

And now there is a movement afoot to expand the ability of gun owners in Monroe County to fire even more weapons in more locations.

Continue reading ‘Stay away from outdoor ranges’

May 02
Half brain gets half license

Strictly Drivel

I’m really beginning to wonder if it’s possible for someone to get half a driver’s license.

I know it’s not, but if the driver has half a brain, why should they get a whole driver’s license?

This comes to mind after the last couple of weeks as I’ve watched folks just seem to only half finish the job of driving.

Let me explain.

Last week during a trip to the shopping center on Big Pine, I wanted to turn up the aisle from the grocery store side to a parking space about halfway up.

There’s that pesky half again.

Continue reading ‘Half brain gets half license’

May 02
Become big part of a child’s life

As we approach the halfway point of 2014, just before us is Foster Parent Appreciation Month, a time to thank those who provide a safe haven for the youth of our community who, for whatever reason, need someplace to go in the short term.

If you were to ask most who serve as foster parents in Monroe County, they would give varying reasons why they take in children who need some love and attention during a traumatic time.

But in this case, the publishing staff of this newspaper can speak with some degree of authority on the subject as they are foster parents.

In the final analysis, fostering is a satisfying and rewarding experience for the adults who put themselves out as surrogate parents.

Continue reading ‘Become big part of a child’s life’

Apr 25
Cruisin’ those nasty old backroads

Strictly Drivel

Someday, someone will probably write a book that includes homespun tales of traveling through Big Pine, the sights and sounds of the islands, the people and the places.

I hope they devote a chapter to moving around the island without using US 1.

It is possible to go from one end of this island (excluding Ship’s Way and connected streets) to the other without getting on US 1. You just have to be willing to either take it very slow, or sacrifice your suspension to do it on a routine basis.

I’m not the only one around here that drives a light, high-off-the-ground SUV. And I know I’m not the only one that slips around on the back roads of the island to avoid the mass of confusion that is Big Pine on US 1.

I’ll go half a mile out of the way to avoid the remote possibility of a left-hand turn anywhere but the light. The way I figure it, if I use an extra 10 minutes bouncing across a back road, at least I’m not waiting for traffic to clear enough to turn left, and then only if I leave a little bit of rubber on the pavement.

But as I travel the byways of Big Pine, I notice how steadily more deteriorated the road bed becomes.

Continue reading ‘Cruisin’ those nasty old backroads’

Apr 25
Busing not workforce answer

We always fail to understand why our local elected leadership usually first tries to throw our local economy and workforce under the bus when discussing solutions to problems.

As our elected leadership, elected to represent our best interests, it would seem that proffered solutions for every problem would first focus on how that solution can benefit our economy, our people, our home.

Continue reading ‘Busing not workforce answer’

Apr 18
I have really pissed off some lizards

Strictly Drivel

I may have to stop writing about the evil intentions of iguanas for a while.

You see, I think they’re learning to read.

And I don’t think they’re happy with me.

Let me tell you why I might get this impression. And let me also say that just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

Three times last week I had run-ins with an iguana.

Continue reading ‘I have really pissed off some lizards’

Apr 18
Mini-season needs to stay here

Monroe County’s two-day sport lobster mini-season is coming under fire again from groups opposed to the event for a variety of reasons, some newly on the bandwagon, others remaining so..

The latest power group to join the anti-mini-season bandwagon is the Commercial Fishermen of the Keys who are asking the National Marine Sanctuary to recommend that the two-day sport season be eliminated.

The sanctuary is currently in the process of updating its marine zoning regulations for areas controlled by the sanctuary, and that process has already raised outcries from fishing groups for suggesting that additional areas be closed to commercial and/or recreational harvest.

Continue reading ‘Mini-season needs to stay here’

Apr 11
Travel lane dancing is not very fun

Strictly Drivel

Maybe two extra lanes aren’t good traffic control devices.

Just when we thought we had won the battle with our friendly neighborhood tourists and our roads, it seems that they have left a few stragglers behind. And these stragglers seem to have little idea that they are traveling on an island with limited roadways.

For the first time in months, I was actually able to make a left hand turn on U.S. 1 on a Saturday without waiting 15 minutes for the traffic to clear. I pulled out of the post office, made a left hand turn–yes you heard me right–a left hand turn in the space of about two minutes. I accelerated into the northbound lane and was sailing along smoothly right up to the strip where Walgreen’s starts.

I was happy.

Then, I was attacked by the “I don’t know which way I need to go, and I’m going to take both lanes until I do” folks.

Continue reading ‘Travel lane dancing is not very fun’

Apr 11
Let’s all go buy a politician now

“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” …Thomas Jefferson

And thus has it come to pass.

First we had the federal Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United that  deemed corporations as people for purposes of political contributions, opening the door for unlimited campaign contributions from any particular company to any particular politician.

The court, in essence, made it legal for mega-corporations to buy politicians.

Continue reading ‘Let’s all go buy a politician now’

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