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KONK REACTOR column
[Published in the KONK Life newspaper on April 26, 2012.]
It’s been a while since I compiled a batch of my reactions to other local reactionaries. This time I can quote the exact words I’m responding to, because the exhortations came into this very paper, in the “Island Voice” column. Off we go…
Now more than ever the community needs help and direction with affordable housing, elderly care and assistance. Whatever will happen with the dedicated 6.6 acres for Truman Waterfront. Has the community lost that, too?
You are profoundly correct about our community needs. In the very near future the deed restrictions on over 230 affordable properties in Key West will expire, allowing them to rise to (unaffordable to most of our workforce) “market” prices. Indications are that Peary Court will eventually boot out many residents currently paying affordable rents. The BCCLT, with its programs to maintain affordable homes, is no more. And virtually no significant new affordable housing is on the horizon.
The BCCLT’s plan to include at least some affordable housing on the “6.6 acres” have gone caput, and the only thing people are saying about that property now – with the approval of the official Waterfront plan — is “maybe someday”. The same plan leaves the elderly care issue wide open, especially since the group pitching the facility on the waterfront refuses to consider alternatives in more practical locations.
Now more than ever it’s up to local residents to stand up and be heard on these issues. Attend the appropriate City meetings and voice your opinions. Join Last Stand (disclosure: I’m a Last Stand director) or other local organizations to keep up with the issues involved and help keep the power brokers from waffling in the face of Big Development. Stay informed and be ready to act!
Anyone have a clue what a Pickle Court is? Why is Higgs Beach losing its tennis court to a Pickle Court? Anyone have a clue?
It’s PICKLEBALL we’re talking about. Pickleball is actually a court-based ball game that uses a whiffle ball and short paddles on a small court, with a net slightly lower than a tennis net. The slower speed of the whiffle ball lets seniors and smaller kids enjoy the game, too. The game’s popularity is expanding rapidly in North America and even overseas. Here in Key West there are already locals and visitors playing it on makeshift courts.
Pickleball is played on a badminton-sized court which is 1/3 the size of a tennis court. That makes it ideal for indoors play in gyms or other large rooms, which our northern friends find very appealing in winter. Locally the small size of the court allows TWO courts to fit in the small space left behind after the elimination of the western-most tennis court at Higgs Beach. That tennis court has to be removed because it’s in the way of the rerouted street in the redesigned park. Since the tennis court was going away anyway, adding two pickleball courts there is a bonus.
There are urban legends that the game was named after a dog owned by the people who “invented” the game back in the ‘60s. The truth is that the dog – which was born years later — was actually named after the game. Pickleball’s origin is more arcane: in “crew” (the rowing sport) there’s what they call a “Pickle Boat” where the leftovers from the main boats are relegated. I guess users of the pickleball courts get similar shrift from our tennis players….
Anyone know the name of that girl featured in last week’s KONK Life? Jesus, she is gorgeous!
Assuming this query addresses the March 22 issue, the hula-hooper is Jill Cassell. That cover drew a record FIFTY “likes” on KONK Life’s Facebook page – much higher than KONK Life’s favorite cover boy, Howard Livingston (who’s graced four covers).
We need another festival. Time to celebrate the natural beauty that surrounds us here in the Florida Keys every day. I love you, Mother Nature.
We just had it last week – Earth Week! I hope you didn’t miss it — there were lots of events all over town.
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