Monday, July 6, 2020

Fleming Street Heat

People who sail modern recreational vehicles on the water  have inherited an ancient tradition of naming their boats and posting where they are from, a hailing port as it is rather quaintly known, so we decided to do the same thing to remember our time spent on Miki G, from Santa Cruz California. Tomasz at Key West sign took down the particulars of my wife's design and after three days called me in to do the deed. 
The name was suggested by Webb Chiles which took me aback as the original Gannet is a 24 foot ultralight sailboat which Webb sailed round the world on his sixth circumnavigation. We have some traveling to do to keep up with that fearsome reputation.
I have to say I was quite proud of myself as I managed to drive into town, negotiate the streets of Old Town, locate the back entrance to the store and back into it all without scratching the van, sideswiping a car, killing a cyclist or knocking the cell phone booster on a low hanging branch.   I don't know how long I can keep that up bt I doubt Gannet 2 will be seen too often in Key West, a place where all vehicles are fair game for scratches dings and broken mirrors.
It was a blistering hot day, I was on foot and as a precaution I had left the hound at home. I don't think Rusty was impressed by my act of kindness as for some unaccountable reason he loves to travel everywhere with me and   being left behind is not acceptable. Except it was the right thing to do.   
They tell us the "feels like" temperature (the only one that counts in my book) has been around 105 degrees which is much hotter and unbearable than is normal or acceptable. I wandered around Fleming Street while Tomasz worked his magic and as much as I like the colors of Key West...
....sometimes black and white is a better way to express my mood. I like summer heat in South Florida and I prefer humidity to dry itchy skin such as I get in the desert but this sort of temperature is off the charts hot. I suppose we should get used to it as the cycles of heat are supposed to get more frequent and more intense with the passage of time. There's a prospect.
I have lost track of the anti-climate change debate but I suppose there are some hardy souls out there who think wild weather and heat waves and hurricanes and winter storms are supposed to be this intense but for the rest of us who live at zero feet above sea level climate change has been brought home with a  jolt. The Army Corps of Engineers is doing a study to figure out what needs to be done to keep "flooding events" from inundating the Keys and their engineering expertise brought local politicians up to speed with reality according to the newspaper.
The bill to flood proof the Keys for the foreseeable, which gets to be an ever shorter timeline as the planet warms up, is going to amount to $3.8 billion dollars not all of it available from the Federal Government. That includes money to buy land and houses that cannot be saved and to raise others on stilts and build sea walls, King Canute style. Our local leaders in wisdom balked at that price tag but facts as has been noted previously are stubborn things. The study continues and will doubtless bring more ghastly reality checks to cheer up our community leaders.

I passed the offices of the spouse of a candidate for Mayor and I was not surprised to see the poster calling for votes. What I was more surprised by was to read in the Key West Citizen the remarks made by that candidate in regards to the bar closings mandated by the State. One has to wonder at a candidate for high office who compares a state health mandate to the modern all purpose villains of the Third Reich.

On Tuesday, Mark Rossi, owner of the Rick’s entertainment complex, and Rick Haskins, both running for Key West mayor against incumbent Teri Johnston, attended a protest Tuesday, June 30, in front of the Monroe County Courthouse. Organized by a group of people who depend on bars for their livelihood, the two candidates and about 20 people, three of whom held Rossi campaign signs, asked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to allow bars to reopen. DeSantis closed all state bars for a second time June 26 after cases of COVID-19 began hitting new daily highs.

The protest group, calling itself Business Industry Liberties (BIL), was formed this week by Monica Woodbury, owner of Rose Petals in Paradise, a home florist who sells flowers in several local bars and restaurants; and Kendra Sue Krause, a regular bar staffer. Woodbury said the BIL Facebook page attracted 80 members in its first two days online.

“We are doing it for the people who are losing their jobs daily,” Woodbury told The Citizen. “Bars are being discriminated against. COVID knows no difference between a bar, a Walmart, a restaurant.”

Woodbury said that if local bars and other businesses are following city emergency orders on social distancing and wearing masks, there is no reason for Gov. DeSantis to single bars out for closure.

“This virus could last a year, five years, forever. How long are we supposed to be closed,” Woodbury said, adding, “We have to learn to live with it. It could take our whole economy down.”

Rossi was also unhappy about the city’s new rule turning giving code compliance authority to police officers, calling the new emergency rules “Gestapo tactics of the mayor.”

“They’re stopping everybody, even if they’re wearing a mask. They’re shutting down Duval Street,” Rossi claimed. “People have to take personal responsibility. If they don’t, is it the government’s job to make them responsible? It’s a free country.”

The finished result pleased me and what's more important pleased my wife. 

There was no pleasing Rusty who greeted me and pouted for five full minutes when I got home.