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Sunday, November 19, 2017

GOING SOLAR

     SORRY FPL, we have solar panels on our roof now. 

 







Our monthly bill from Big Power will be dropping to  $9 next month.

It took our friends at Cutler Bay Solar Solutions three days to install our system.  We purchased it through a co-op which saved us 10% (Solar United Neighbors co-op.. Joining the co-op is easy and free  www.SolarUnitedNeighbors.org/Miami. )

    It is guaranteed for ten years, built in the USA, and will withstand a cat five hurricane (winds up to 159 m.p.h.).




Two years ago we added a small solar hot water system to our rooftop.  The two panels heat the water and little blue one provides the electricity to run the water pump.
   

If we ever get a Tesla (it is on my Christmas list) we can power that with our new solar panels too!
                      __________________





SAVE THE DATE

  We've got two things happening on Thursday, Nov. 30th, at 7 p.m.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR THE GROVE PLAYHOUSE?
   There will be another meeting at Miami's City Hall to  discuss the future of the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Come join the discussion of what becomes of the Grove's Big Blue Elephant. 
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ENDING GUN VIOLENCE-  Fred and Maria Wright lost their son, Jerry, in Orlando's Pulse Nightclub massacre in June, 2016.  They will speak on what we can do to help end violence at 7p.m.   Coral Gables Congregational Church (across from the Biltmore).

PHOTOS ARE FADING BUT THE WAR DOES NOT

    We can walk fifteen minutes -to the end of St. Gauden's Road - to stare out on Biscayne Bay.  It's always exhilarating to gaze at a blue horizon and the pelicans gliding over it.  Hurricane Irma made it a little less so as it downed nearby trees and washed away the grass and our meditation bench.  
    
Walking there yesterday I found someone's  story in the rocky rubble remaining, dozens of scattered photographs which I assumed were souvenirs from the 16-year-old war in Iraq.





    They were all taken from or near large trucks. I got the the impression that they were shot by a U.S. civilian there to support the war.  You can make  $100,000 a year dodging land-mines in an 18-wheeler.
Solorized photo of a truck convoy


   These ideas were running through my head as I looked at the images of trucks, children, bleak landscapes and imagined the war that goes on and on.
   

 


Thoughts merged with remnants of last week's Veteran's Day parade and the incredible PBS show we saw this week, "Almost Sunrise".  It told the story of young men and women using new techniques to overcome the psychological damage caused by war  (you can see it too online).
    I'll never know why these photographs were scattered there.  Maybe they were one person's way of leaving bad memories behind.
                    ______________________
    

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

GO NATIVE!

Sometimes people ask me what I love about Coconut Grove. One thing that comes to mind is that we don't have lawns, we have jungles! The noisy, polluting grass cutting chore is replaced by picking up the occasional fallen palm frond.

I enjoyed seeing this illustrated in the magazine I picked up at the Fairchild Ramble last weekend.


On the left you see neighbors not having fun.  They mow, water, and spray their lawns with pesticides. 
On the Grove side the yards are planted with native trees, bushes, and ground cover plants which attract birds, butterflies and bees. Kids are planting an edible garden while mom and dad enjoy their natural habitat with Margaritas in hand.  
That's the Grove style and one more reason to love this bayside village.
            _____________________________ 

PS:  Of course anyone with a lawn -anywhere- can do the same thing.

Friday, November 10, 2017

THE KING SALUTES OUR VETS

     King Mango made one of his rare appearances today. He rode his Ruckus in  Coconut Grove's Veteran's Day Parade. 


 It was great little paseo that included politicians, beauty queens, and a good number of former members of our armed services.  They were carried along in 22 vintage Corvettes and a few rugged Jeeps. 
 
    Some people actually walked the mile in the sun. These hardy groups including the Coral Gables High School Band of Distinction, the Grove's Village Council and energetic booty-shakin' dancers.
 
                      BAND OF DISTINCTION

    In King Mango Strut Parades past I have performed as Sylvester Stallone, OJ Simpson's manager, and Anderson Cooper reporting from the middle of a hurricane. On Veterans Day I had it easy, just a happy mango king saluting our veterans from the seat of my scooter. 

     And what a strange snappy salute it was. It wasn't until after the parade -when I saw someone's photo- that I realized I had done it  wrong.  
    When I was saluting with my hand over my right eye, it looked like King Mango was placing his hand under his nose.  Let's hope this new gesture wasn't taken the wrong way.  It may mean
"screw you" in Bezoania.
 
      
      The Grove's American Legion post, along with City Commissioner Ken Russell and his staff, did a fine job of putting this event together. While there may have been more people in it than watching it, everyone had a good time honoring those who served.
               ___________________________
              ____________________________





 PS:  WHO IS THAT GUY IN THE BRASS TUBA'S REFLECTION?




Friday, November 3, 2017

DESIGNED BY RATS

    It was quite a scene on the 3600 block of Loquat Avenue yesterday. There were five police cars with lights flashing and several neighbors smiling as an old house was torn down. 

    This one had to go as its owner, a feisty old hippie, had refused to be nice to his neighbors.  For years he collected junk and down-and-out roommates. 

    The yard looked like it had been designed by rats. The owner created an eyesore that drove his neighbors nuts.


  The former library

    Finally, his house was officially declared a nuisance last week, unfit for habitation. The police officer in charge told me the owner had been given a 48-hour notice of the tear down.

    Apparently his five roommates were not made aware of this.  The officer added, "His house was so filled with crap you could barely walk through it, a hoarder's dream". 

   Yesterday morning tenants woke up to a loud knock on the door. A police officer announced they had fifteen minutes to vacate the place before a huge steel claw would to tear it to shreds. 
 An older musician, "Ivan", pleaded for more time to retrieve his belongings. When the police refused he ran back in followed by the boys in blue.  They took him away in handcuffs. 





   In jail he might have been the only roommate that had a place to stay last night. 

 A lone pea-fowl (who some like the former house, also consider a nuisance) watched from across the street.

    When I was there the other roommates were camped across the street amidst piles of their possessions. The cops assured me they were doing their best to find them shelter. "Melanie" pleaded for a place that allowed pets. Fittingly, her dog "Charlie" sat in a trash basket.  He seemed to be wondering where he'd be spending the night.


                     _____________________

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A HALLOWEEN FOR THE KIDS

   We had a Halloween party in our new neighborhood park yesterday. Over 80 kids and their parents, along with "kids at heart",

dunked for apples,

 

 
played Wrap A Mummy,

 
 Monster Mouth Toss, 

carved pumpkins,











 





and explored Charlie's Haunted Woods.













Music was provided by DJ Death,



and Hillary made a brief stop on her book tour.

The former presidential candidate with her body guard, DJ Kool
     Davey manned the grill for our pot-luck dinner and when it got dark we paraded over to Irvington Avenue.                                    There we ate 

at Janice and Alyn's Road Kill Cafe 





and watched Julia and her daughter enact the dinner scene from "Eraserhead".  It was a glorious Halloween and I hope yours went well too.

    It's November now and they say there may be a big dinner coming up. Let's hope it is more appetizing then the ones Julia and the "Road Kill" put out last night. 
            ____________________________


 Oh yeah, Blue the dog came as a peacock