The Blue Paper

Issue #57 – Friday, April 11, 2014                                 [back issues] [cartoons]

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers’ children have grown tired of waiting for answers from FDLE.

They asked their lawyers David Paul Horan and Darren Horan to file a suit for wrongful death against the City of Key West and 12 police officers involved in the arrest of Charles Eimers on Thanksgiving morning.  The arrest resulted in a coma and death a week later when Charles Eimers was removed from life support at Lower Keys Medical Center.

The lawsuit, filed this morning in U.S. District Court, alleges that officers Gabriel Humberto Garrido, Gustavo Adolpho Medina, Kathyann Wanciak, Gary Lee Lovette, Mathew Johnson, Francisco Zamora, Thaddeus Calvert, Derek Wallis, Nicholas Galbo, Janeth Calvert, Pablo Rodriguez, and Todd Stevens used excessive force in arresting Charles Eimers.  They have also sued the City of Key West for having a custom or policy that allows police officers to use the prone restraint technique on the beach. [...full article]


issue 57 freer for web

Legal Struggles For ‘Captain Tilly’ and His Sunken Tug Boat

“This is a Franz Kafka movie here,” says Stephen Freer.  Navigating the legal system may have turned as treacherous for Freer as the seas he was rescued from when he was abandoned miles offshore on a sinking tugboat named “Tilly”.

Freer stands accused by FWC of having, on February 21st, “caused” Tug Tilly to be towed to sea where he abandoned it and where it sank about a week later during a storm.

When The Blue Paper caught up with him for his big “trial” at a Monroe County courthouse on Wednesday morning, we found him at the end of a lonely corridor talking into the wall through an interphone.  There was no window or glass, just a silver phone with a wire coming out of the concrete wall and a short list of phone numbers.

Freer one [...full article]

BOATER SEWAGE PUMPOUT: Audit Shows Monroe County Spent 85% More Than Bargained For Last Year
5-01-13 002

Cartoon by Richard [Tuna] Rohe

Boaters in Monroe County pay 50% more to register their boats than boaters in most other Florida counties. Almost all of this extra 50% coming from the more than 22,000 registered boaters in Monroe County is currently spent to provide free pump-out service to at most 500 boaters.

Fishing, diving, cruising the waters of the Florida Keys is what it’s all about.  Those turquoise waters are our only true luxury.  But owning a boat in the Keys is not cheap. Marina dockage can cost as much as an apartment and then there is the registration tax.  In Monroe County an average 26’ runabout costs about $ 125 to register per year and it can cost as much as $ 350 a year to register a 110 foot commercial boat. The extra 50% collected from Monroe County boaters creates revenue of about $ 400,000/year. Almost all of it, $ 340,000, is currently being used to pay a private company to provide free sewage pump-out  to offshore boaters – with a price tag of nearly $ 64.00 per pump out. [...full article]


 peace corp two

Have you ever thought about joining the Peace Corps– not only to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, but also to help others in need in less-developed countries? Well, if you have, you have a unique opportunity to get inside information about service in the Peace Corps at a special event scheduled here next Thursday afternoon, April 17, 1-2pm, at the Key West Public Library at 700 Fleming Street. Steve Hunsicker, the Peace Corps recruiter for South Florida, will host the event. Steve served as a Peace Corp volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga for two years 2007-09. He will talk about some of his experiences as a volunteer in Tonga, as well as answer questions about serving in the Peace Corps and the application process.

Since the Peace Corps was created, more than 215,000 Americans of all ages have served in 139 countries worldwide. Thirty-six of those volunteers have been from Key West, including Richard Hatch, owner of the popular Blue Heaven Restaurant here. He served in Gabon, in central Africa, 1983-85, teaching math and English– in French. Key Wester Kate Ahern is a brand new Peace Corps volunteer. Within a few months, she will be leaving to serve in Panama.

Actually, I can tell you something about the application process. I have applied to serve and I am well into the year-long application process. Yeah, yeah, if you know me, I know what you must be thinking. [...full article]



Benjamin Franklin has got to be a role model for anyone who makes or has made his or her living as a publisher. We all learned about Benjamin Franklin in school– the statesman, diplomat, scientist, inventor and a signer of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. But he started as a printer and a publisher.

At the age of 12, Ben became an apprentice to his brother James, a Boston printer, and learned the printing trade. Three years later, in 1721, James Franklin founded the New England Courant, the first truly independent newspaper in the colonies. Back then, logically, printers also often became publishers. They had the presses, paper and ink. But newspaper publishing was a risky business for printers. Printers had to be licensed by the British government– and printer/publishers who dared to offend the government could quickly find themselves not only de-licensed, but also jailed. And that is exactly what happened to James Franklin. Keep in mind that, before the creation of the United States of America, there was no freedom of the press. [...full article]



The human brain is infinitely intriguing and as complex as the cosmos. The question of what makes us tick is in good company along with “what is the meaning of life?” Psychologists, Psychiatrists and Neurosurgeons are making headway (apologies) into the mysterious realm of the mind, but are far from unlocking and fully understanding that odd three pounds of gray matter floating around in our skulls. I am humbly awed at how I can simply type these letters without any real intentional exertion beyond gently willing my fingers to hit the proper key in the proper order to create each word and sentence. Miraculous, really!

Our brains cooked up writing itself 5000 years ago and before that, speech and we haven’t looked back! Those are the two main ingredients of the recipe that allowed us to develop agricultural settlements and form organized cooperative civilizations that, in turn, allowed some in that society to pursue the less physical, more intellectual avenues of governance and organized religion, leaving the hunter/gatherer life to those “less fortunate” living in regions and climes not conducive to the farming culture. This agri-society also gave rise to the warrior class to protect the food producers and said governance.

But that isn’t what I want to write about today. I want to write about another amazing talent the human brain possesses. [...full article]

A Different Kind of Reefer Madness

Last night I caught the “420″ episode of Family Guy in which the debonair and back from the dead dog Brian goes on a campaign to legalize marijuana in his town of Quahog. Brian isn’t having much success getting people’s attention until baby Stewie informs the dog that he’s going about it all wrong. Rather than deliver rational arguments, he needs to provide a sound-byte spectacle. The two of them then stage a hilarious production number called “Bag o’ Weed” that convinces everyone in town that pot is a necessary part of their life.


“Anything That Threatens My Bottom Line Must Be Evil!”

(Words not said but probably thought by William Randolph Hearst, 1906 photo, US-PD)

That’s all good fun of course. Before he starts singing and dancing, however, Brian tries to convey the message that pot was first made illegal not because Reefer Madness would run rampant worldwide but because hemp (to which family of plants marijuana belongs) was threatening the timber and paper business of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst and Hearst ran a smear campaign emphasizing the “connection” between cannabis and violent crime. This appears to be true. The DuPonts were also anti-hemp, as was Andrew Mellon. The reason the 1930s version of the 1% were so virulently opposed to pot was that hemp pulp could replace wood pulp very cheaply in the paper-making business and it also threatened the success of the DuPonts’ new synthetic nylon, which Mellon had invested heavily in. (Does all this sound familiar? The more things change…etc.) [...full article]

One Has To Ask: Why?

The more I read about the death of Charles Eimers, the more nauseated I feel. It leaves me wondering what has happened to Key West in the four years since I left the island. Specifically, what has happened to Chief Donie Lee’s police department. When I lived there, I would have trusted my life to any of his officers, without exception. Was I simply experiencing Key West through rose-colored glasses for all those years? Or has a hideous change swept over the island? Now it seems some of the officers are mimicking bully police officers in large cities or backwoods counties in the north who’d just as soon use their tasers or brute force in numbers on a person, regardless of his age, than try to talk in a calm manner with him to find out what they want to know. The video speaks for itself. We clearly see the man walking, not running away and then dropping to the ground as the officers instructed. And we clearly see several officers surrounding him and on him, as his face is ground into the sand. This man had no chance of survival without immediate help from paramedics, who could have at least cleared his airway before transporting him to the ER. One has to ask why that help was so delayed. One has to ask why it was not immediately apparent to doctors and nurses in the ER that this man’s nose and mouth were blocked with sand, preventing him from breathing. One has to ask again – what has happened to Key West in recent years for something this heinous to happen to an innocent man who’d come to visit the beautiful island to enjoy his recent retirement. One has to ask why sad condolences must go out to his family instead of congratulations on their loved one’s reaching that well-earned milestone of retirement. One has to ask the question: Why?

Peggy Butler

West Palm Beach

Open letter to the County Commissioners

Dear Commissioners,

Thank you very much for your service to the residents of Monroe County.  We have been full-time residents for over 30 years, and have enjoyed it.  In all those years, we never had a complaint.

There is, however, an issue that we feel should be addressed.  It affects us, and it affects many other constituents.  In brief, we have a small mobile home that we put on the market. Upon receipt of an offer to buy it, it was discovered that there was an open permit from back in 1988.  That is 26 years ago, well before we purchased that property in 2001!   We had no idea there was an issue until we’re close to closing our sale.   When our realtor called the Building Department to investigate, they changed it to “expired” the permit.

There is also a possibility that a clerical error was made.  We own Unit #3 in Venture Out, on Cudjoe Key. Our property records show a permit that is linked to a different unit.  The permit # 04100197 is for unit #501. The permit that is apparently linked to our unit, Unit #3 is #881000344.

The burden of closing or re-opening those old permits is being put on the current owners.  We are only a couple of weeks from our closing date, and this very unpleasant surprise causes us undue grief.  If something was not done correctly 26 years ago, the problem should have been uncovered well before now, and the burden should either be put on the owners at that time, or grandfathered.

We urge you to take action on behalf of all the homeowners of Monroe County.  We respectfully request that permits older than a certain time (10 years?) be closed and forgiven when the original permittee is no longer the property owner.

Best regards,

Dr. and Mrs. William M. Smith

Congressman Garcia’s Statement On Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan


Today [April 10, 2014], the House of Representatives voted on the budget introduced by Republican Paul Ryan last week. The budget makes drastic and unreasonable cuts to education, Medicare, and many other critical programs so many of our nation’s citizens depend on.

“Paul Ryan’s budget proposal is a reckless and irresponsible vision that fails our citizens. It places priorities in all the wrong places, making cuts to programs like Medicare, for example, completely disregarding the needs of our nation. The proposed budget would cut billions out of Medicare, re-open the prescription drug donut hole and turn Medicare into a voucher program. Instead of supporting and protecting our nation’s elders, the Ryan budget chooses to implement policies that place severe financial burdens on seniors by shifting costs onto them, eliminating critical care programs, and making affordable health care a thing of the past. I oppose this budget and will continue to fight its irresponsible cuts to Medicare. ”

During today’s vote, Congressman Garcia voted against the Ryan budget plan.

Keys Water Quality: The Buck Stops Here ** FREE FORUM ** April 22nd Key West


Key West Zonta Club Seeks Radio Day Participants Opportunity for Local Businesses and Individuals to Support Lower Keys Women and Girls


Zonta Club of Key West is an international service organization of executive women in business and the professions working to improve the status of women. Their programs include Heart Health and Skin Cancer screenings for under- and uninsured women in the Lower Florida Keys. Zonta supports the girls at Keys Center Academy through a one-to-one Mentorship program and monthly Speaker Series in the classroom. Zonta also funds and administers five scholarships – four for young women at Key West High School in their senior year who are headed to college, and one for women’s career advancement. They are:

 ·         The Merili McCoy Leadership Scholarship named for previous Zonta president and long-time member, who served as a City Commissioner, to encourage young women to follow in her footsteps

·         The Math and Science Scholarship to improve women’s status and gender equality by supporting studies that will advance economic development and scientific discovery

·         The Z Club Scholarship, which honors a local member of Zonta International’s young women’s organization who has achieved excellence in Community, School, and International projects

·         The Young Women in Public Affairs Scholarship given to encourage greater  participation in public and political life by recognizing volunteer leadership achievements and a dedication to the advancement of the status of women, and

·         The Marina Thurmond Scholarship awarded to women reentering the workforce or changing a profession.

Visit for more information.


tunatoon flight 370

Tax Freedom Day Arrives in Florida on April 15 … 24th state to reach Tax Freedom Day


Washington, DC (Apr 7, 2014)—Florida’s Tax Freedom Day, the day on which Floridians have collectively earned enough income to pay off their total federal, state, and local tax bill, will arrive on April 15 to reach Tax Freedom Day. According to the annual report released this morning by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, national Tax Freedom Day falls on April 21, three days later than last year.

The states with the earliest Tax Freedom Days are Louisiana (Mar 30), Mississippi (Apr 2), and South Dakota (Apr 4). The latest dates fall in New Jersey (May 9), Connecticut (May 9), and New York (May 4).

The study’s key findings include:

The national Tax Freedom Day is three days later than last year due mainly to the continuing economic recovery, which will boost federal tax revenue collected through the corporate, payroll, and individual income tax. [...full article]

Key West’s BobbyB’s Watersports Has Moved to a Great New Location at The ‘Gone Fishin’ Store




Rick Dostal of the 36th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Bar Stroll Presents Funding to Local Non-Profits

PSA bars

On behalf of the participating bars and bar strollers, Rick Dostal, of the 36th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Bar Stroll, presents a check for $ 5,000 to the Cancer Foundation of the Florida Keys .

Accepting the check is, Lanny Skelly and Eileen Masiello (not pictured Yvonnie Ametin).

Rick Dostal also presented a ,000 check to The Boys and Girls Club.

Community Craft & Yard Sale on Saturday, April 12 at Montessori Children’s School


Montessori Children’s School of Key West will host a Community Craft and Yard Sale on Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its campus located at 1221 Varela St. in Key West.

Local vendors will be set up to sell beautiful art, handmade crafts and yard sale items. Fun activities on our playground such as face painting, games and crafts will be available to keep the children busy while you shop. Bring the whole family!

Booth space to sell your own items is available for $ 30. For more information, call 305-294-5302.

Proceeds benefit Montessori Children’s School of Key West, a local non-profit school serving children from 18 months through kindergarten.

About Montessori Children’s School of Key West

Montessori Children’s School of Key West, founded in 1972, is a non-profit, parent-based corporation serving children ages 18 months through kindergarten located at 1221 Varela Street in Key West. LIC# C16MO0028

AIDS Help and Wesley House Collaborate Successfully

Wesley House Family Services and AIDS Help have successfully combined key positions to decrease costs, eliminate duplication of services among agencies, and provide more opportunities for our community.

The IT department of Wesley House, staff of two, and the IT department of AIDS Help, staff of one, combined successfully months ago to create one IT and Graphics Design department, led by Scott Shores. AIDS Help was searching for someone to help with its growing computer and phone system; Wesley House was beginning to look for someone to help do graphic designs for events, posters and logos. “It just makes since”, says Bryan Green, Board Chair of both Wesley House and AIDS Help, “this collaboration is a win/win for both agencies; increased services with decreased costs”. [...full article]

Tedesco, DePiero and Newhagen to Debut “After Life” on Saturday April 12th
After Life Cover

Join the authors of After Life – Images from the Key West Cemetery for a book launch and signing, Saturday, April 12, 4-6 pm at Salute on the Beach in Key West.

Saturday, April 12, 4-6 pm Carol Tedesco, Roberta DePiero and Jane Newhagen will present their new release, After Life – Images from the Key West Cemetery at a book launch and signing event at Salute on the Beach in Key West. Published by The New Atlantian Library, with photography by Tedesco and DePiero and prose by Newhagen, After Life captures the island’s final resting place in all its poignance, unique character and eccentricity.

After Life – Images from the Key West Cemetery was funded in part by an Anne McKee Artists Fund grant to Tedesco, a Key West based photographer, publicist and historic shipwreck professional with a penchant for photographing cemeteries.

Project collaborator DePiero specializes in local theatre photography and is a volunteer photographer. As co-owner of Cocograms Enterprises, she is also the organizing force behind many Key West fundraising events. [...full article]

Florida Author Brings Flagler’s Gilded Age to Life / Meet Tami Lynne this Sunday, April 13, 2014 at The Porch

tammy l book cover

The decadence of the Gilded Age is brought into stunning detail with the release of “The Czarina of Florida,” the new historical fiction novel by south Florida author Tami Lynne.  “The Czarina of Florida” gives a first-person perspective of the relationship between Henry Flagler and his second wife, Ida Alice Shourds.  A former stage actress, Alice was determined to upset the stodgy confines of turn-of-the-century society – at all costs.  And with Henry Flagler’s vast wealth, the cost would be high.

Tami Lynne, author of the “Children of the Moon” series, set out to explore the marshy backwaters of 19th century Florida just as Henry Flagler began to turn it into the resort destination of the era.  Living on the edge of the Everglades, Ms. Lynne knew of Henry Flagler when she decided to explore the reality of the man behind the fame.  Finding more skeletons than she bargained for in those Tiffany-decorated closets, she used her psychology degree to try and decode the insanity of Mr. Flagler’s second wife, Alice. [...full article]

ACLU hosts April 15 Banned Books Forum

A Banned Books Forum on Tuesday, April 15 at the Harvey Government Center from 7 until 9 p.m. was announced this week by the Florida Keys chapter of the Florida American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The forum is free and open to the public.

“Do you read banned books?” asked chapter President Kimberly Sloan rhetorically. “Chances are you do. For example, did you know that local Judy Blume, whose young adult fiction has been internationally acclaimed, is said to be the most banned author in American history?”

Blume will be part of the evening’s panel discussion, along with Kerri McLean, an English teacher at Key West High School and ReLeah Lent, chair of the National Council of Teachers of English Anti-Censorship committee. The topic is “Current Trends in Censorship.” Anne Rice, Monroe County Library administrator, will serve as moderator.

Lent was an English and journalism teacher before becoming a founding member of a statewide literacy project at the University of Central Florida. She is now an international consultant, writing and speaking about adolescent literacy, school leadership, and censorship. As chair of the National Council of Teachers of English’s Committee against Censorship, she continues to advocate for intellectual freedom for both teachers and students. For additional details, please visit

The Harvey Government Center at the Old Truman School is located at 1200 Truman in Key West and is totally accessible.

For additional information, please phone Sloan at 352.870.8809.

Hometown! PAC Announces Call for Candidates Event
Salute Forum 2009

Salute Forum 2009

Key West, 21 April 2014:  Hometown! ‘s “Call for Candidates” Event at Salute Restaurant, Higgs Beach at 5 p.m.

Dear Members, Prospective Members of Hometown PAC, and all Candidates, Prospective Candidates and Those Merely Testing the Waters:

Please join us on Monday, April 21, 2014, when Key West’s Hometown! will present declared and potential candidates for the upcoming elections. The event will be held at Salute Restaurant, Higgs Beach, starting with a social portion at 5:00 p.m. Candidates, declared or potential, will introduce themselves and make short presentations, beginning at 5:30 pm. All candidates are encouraged to come early and bring with them petitions for voters to sign, campaign literature, buttons, T-shirts and other items relating to their campaign. Please bring your own tables for your campaign items.

For those who cannot attend the Call for Candidates, will be streaming the event live as well as recording the event for later viewing.   You can watch the live event by going to  After the event, the recorded video will be posted to the Hometown Key West YouTube channel and will remain available on the same YouTube channel throughout the campaign” season. [...full article]

Second in Series of Pop Up Art Shows Hosted By Paradise Tattoo

paradise tatoo

Paradise Tattoo Pop Up Art Show: Steve Martin Jr. edition will be held Saturday April 26th, from 6pm-10pm at Paradise Tattoo, Located at 627 Duval St. This Year Paradise Tattoo is ushering in a new era, full of art shows, community events, specials, raffles and much more! This year, we want to connect more with our clients, and with our community. The Pop Up Art Show Series will be a quarterly event; the next show in the series will take place Saturday August 30th.

[...full article]

LOVE LANE GANG! They’re Just Plain Fun!

Love Lane Gang 2014020901

The Love Lane Gang is a locals band that knocks the socks off tourists and locals alike.They play music that spans generations as well as embodies them. With an age range among the members of over thirty years, they bring a wide variety of experience and musical tastes to bear..They’ve brought back skiffle and updated it for the present.

The emphasis is on ragtime and swing: classics from the 1930s and 1940s, done in a refreshing new style that incorporates the Hot Club approach with island flourishes. Dust Bowl ballads, old school country from Hank Williams and Dolly Parton, rockabilly and surf music classics and little-known gems, tunes from Sixties stars like The Beatles, The Kinks, and The Rolling Stones, and carefully chosen songs from current artists like Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, and The White Stripes all fit in alongside original songs that sound like they could have come from any of those eras.

Offbeat instrumentation, including mandolin, ukulele, accordion, banjo, washboard, and a kazoo horn section, added to familiar guitar, bass, and harmonica, creates a broad musical palette which they use to color their performances.

But you needn’t pay too much mind to all that serious musical analysis – they’re just plain fun!

Their regular gigs are at McConnell’s Irish Pub And Grill on Fridays at 8 PM, and Saluté On The Beach on Sundays at 6:30 PM. And tonight they’re at The Green Parrot!

Scheduled Appearances:

[...full article]

Calling All Artists!


Key West is ready to get animated, but Fantasy Fest® 2014 “Animeted Dreams & Adventures” needs you!  Dust off your sketch pencils, ready your mouse, and prepare your canvas for an animated take on Key West.  Bring your wildest dreams and adventures to life.  Kawaii!

The Fantasy Fest poster contest is your chance is to make history… and a thousand dollars!  Your design should combine elements of Key West with anime style, but go ahead and take inspiration from all forms of animation.

Submissions of all sizes will be accepted, but keep in mind the art must work on an 18” x 24” poster as well as T-shirts.  Don’t forget the art chosen will need to be vibrant enough for a poster, but chic enough to hang in your home.   All submissions must be received by Friday, June 20, 2014.  Artwork must be entirely original and will be the sole property of Fantasy Fest upon selection and payment to the winner.  For additional information regarding poster submissions or to download an application, please visit or call 305-296-1817.