First, let me say that I hope each and every one of you have a wonderful Christmas, and here’s wishing you the best of New Years.
I think we’re all glad (except the little ones) that the Christmas holiday is rushing past and nearly behind us. The mad rush to get everything done, the lines, the stress and the bustle are all something we can do without more than once a year I’m sure.
Though I will miss the smiles and good cheer that follow this season, there are many things I won’t miss.
We are glad to see that the graduation rate for Monroe County schools is on an upward trend, hopefully forecasting a better educated populace in our near-term future.
Of course, the numbers released Tuesday don’t actually equate the the exact number of students that have earned graduation compliance from the local school district because of some rather odd regulations in state law.
Anyone who has talked to me for more than 60 seconds (and actually listened to the words being said in return) has probably heard my 15-second diatribe on “people with too much time on their hands.”
I won’t bore you giving it here, but perhaps I can give you a quick glance at the things that send me into that diatribe on a routine basis.
The other morning a client/acquaintance of ours made an off-hand comment to someone about washing a deer. Almost instantly, the phone was ringing with people asking him how dare he use synthetic soaps on deer, and how dare he take it upon himself to wash deer anyway. They knew when they needed cleaning and would be fine until that time came.
Now had these folks bothered to take 15 seconds from their busy “trying to find ill in others'” schedule, they might have bothered to find out that the deer were stuffed, and or plastic, were perfectly legal, and that they were being prepped to be sold for a charity auction.
Too much time.
If the Monroe Board of County Commissioners really has serious thought about putting more than $12 million into the old 7-Mile Bridge span that connects Marathon to Pigeon Key, then we believe the backers of the project should be asked to do the same thing that was asked of the backers of the purchase of Rowell’s Marina in Key Largo.
Before the commission could muster the necessary super majority vote to pay $5 million for Rowell’s Marina in Key Largo, commissioners individually asked for a business plan that showed how the park could run without being a further drain on the county’s general fund maintenance budget.
And we would ask that the backers of the old 7-Mile Bridge project do the same.
I am one of those people who believe that we are not alone in the universe.
The odds that our planet, of the billions that are out there, was the only one where chance hit all the right markers over tens of thousands of years, are so miniscule that even the greatest long-shot player in history wouldn’t book the bet.
I am also one of those who believes that the races out there that are eons older than us, have probably been in our neighborhood a time or two, and have thus far written us off as unworthy of inclusion in the galactic community.
Recently the state announced that the most-visited segment of the statewide Overseas Heritage Trail is the segment that spans Monroe County, and that despite the fact that the bicycle/pedestrian path along the length of the Keys isn’t even finished yet.
And that makes efforts to get the trail completed well worth the work.
Another from the files of the strange but true, can’t-believe-this-could-happen, department. That department, by the way, is located just off your left shoulder, in a land parallel to our own, in a place called The Twilight…. oops.
I made the mistake of trying to stop by the grocery store last week during rush hour. We all know when rush hour is at the grocery store. The 4,500 of us on this island who have to work for a living get off work, need a thing or two for dinner, and drop by the store to get it.
There are two hundred cars in the parking lot, nowhere to park except the last slot in the puddle still there from the last rain. There are four cashiers in the store and 1,000 customers. Now, these numbers may be exaggeration, but the impression is dead on.
There is very little limit these days on the ways folks can use to communicate with one another virtually whenever the need or the mood strikes them, particularly for government agencies who usually get the best of the latest toys on the taxpayer dime.
Land line phones still exist, cell phones are common place, email is readily available, web sites are accessible, teleconferencing is becoming old hat, smart phones can send and retrieve data at will, and if all else fails, the highway still goes two directions.
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.
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.