The Blue Paper

Issue #58 – Friday, April 18, 2014                                 [back issues] [cartoons]

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

Issue 58 Mr and Mrs Smith for web

The Eimers Investigation: Shocking Link Between FDLE and KWPD
Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

Charles Eimers Photo provided by Treavor Eimers

When Charles Eimers turned blue and lost consciousness while in the hands of Key West police officers on Thanksgiving morning, KWPD was informed immediately by Lower Keys Medical Center staff that Eimers would never leave the hospital.  Chief Lee decided to treat the case as a ‘death-in-custody situation’, which meant FDLE had to be called in to investigate.

Lee didn’t make the call himself, though; he asked one of his officers, Captain Scott Smith to do it.  Captain Smith did make the call and FDLE’s Chief investigator Kathy Smith took on the case. You might notice they have the same last name and think there’s some connection there, and well, you would be right.  On Thanksgiving morning after Charles Eimers virtually died on the beach, Captain Smith called his wife, his ex-wife, in fact, at FDLE.  Kathy Smith is now investigating the father of her child[ren].

What did he say?  How did KWPD report the circumstances of the arrest of Charles Eimers to FDLE?  This is something FDLE has obstinately refused to reveal, but we can make an educated guess.  They said:  ‘Charles Eimers got out of his car and proceeded to flee from the police while running on the beach away from law enforcement and Eimers collapsed.  Eimers was found without a pulse by police.  He was given CPR.  EMS was called.’ [...full article]

IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS BREAKING NEWS STORY PUBLISHED LATE ON APRIL 11th: CHARLES EIMERS FAMILY FILES SUIT IN FEDERAL COURT

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]

What Part of “No” Does Crane Point Not Get?

No zipline

Last week’s announcement that the Crane Point Nature Center would back away from a $ 727,000 federal grant via the city of Marathon and also give up a height variance allowing towers higher than what Marathon normally allows had opponents of the proposed zip-line attraction cheering.

Lost in the celebration, however, was Crane Point board member Norval Smith’s announcement that the board would pursue building a zip line on their own. The initial more limited plan includes eight towers, three zip lines and sky walks. It’s difficult to fathom the depth of the organization’s obtuseness and inability to look reality in the face. [...full article]

The Dumbshine State

Solar panels being installed on house in Marathon

A rally last week in Tallahassee was staged to encourage solar energy development in Florida. Fortunately it became political because otherwise the mainstream media might not have covered it. Organizers used the event to accuse Gov. Rick Scott of blocking solar energy initiatives in the state at the behest of the big power companies.

Because Scott’s election-year rival, former Gov. Charlie Crist, attended the rally, the media paid some attention.

What should have made bigger news is how the state has placed its legislative thumb firmly on the development of renewable power. Florida has the third-largest potential for rooftop solar generation in the nation but ranks 18th in solar installations.

KEYS, which delivers power west of the Seven Mile Bridge, illustrates what is typical for the rest of the state. Look at information provided by KEYS spokesperson Lynne Tejeda about the sources of the utilities power. [...full article]

TALKIN’ BASEBALL

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“I’m talkin’ baseball
Kluzewski, Campanella
The Man and Bobby Feller
The Scooter, the Barber, and the Newk
They knew ‘em all from Boston to Dubuque
Especially Willie, Mickey and the Duke”

“Talkin’ Baseball”
Terry Cashman, 1981

Major league baseball opened a new season a few weeks ago and opening day always takes my memory back to when I was a kid growing up in Oklahoma– when baseball was my life. I was the catcher on my neighborhood team and, on the weekends and all summer, all we did is play baseball. Most of us were 12 years old or thereabouts. I don’t recall that there was any announced schedule or even a regular location.

All I remember is that we played baseball every day that we didn’t have to go to school and, sometimes, we played into the evening until we couldn’t see the ball anymore. Sometimes we played as part of a youth league, but mostly not. When we were part of a league, we got a little coaching and maybe some matching t-shirts. And we didn’t have to supply our own equipment. But mostly we played “independent,” challenging other neighborhood teams. A problem with that was finding a place to play.

Presenting Featured Artist: Sahara Graft

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Sahara Graft, a diligent student and avid runner, spends the majority of her off time in the nature of Big Pine. Sahara finds greatest joy in observing the interactions between wildlife and in the way we, as people of the earth, interact with nature. Graft finds inspiration in her loving grandfather who has painted a path for Sahara’s artistic ability through his beautiful works of art and constant support. Her pictures depict a world where humans can live in nature without damaging its pristine beauty. Sahara is a senior in Ms. Shannon’s Advanced Placement Photography class at Key West High School.  Shannon will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy where she will study Chemistry.  Sahara intends to become a doctor.  Go to the full article to see more of Sahara’s beautiful work.

CLICK ON PHOTOS FOR ENLARGEMENTS

Ants [...full article]

Congressman Joe Garcia Doing Important Work For Local Vets

They call us heroes but to us they are our heroes: The Marathon Weekly, The Free Press, The Key West Blue Paper, The Big Pine Barometer, Pirate Radio, Commissioner George Nugent and Congressman Joe Garcia.

Each came to our defense when one of only two Doctors at the Key West VA clinic retired. The Miami VA said no to a replacement. That meant one Doctor between Key West and Key Largo.

Now two to three months to get a visit in season. No sick walk in visits. I walked into the clinic sick. I had never done that before but I was sick. I was turned away after hearing the story from a staff member who was in tears.

I went home and wrote a letter to the editor, something else I had never done before. It was like magic. The Weekly & the Barometer published it. Bob Silk at the Free Press interviewed veterans who were waiting months for a VA Doctor visit & published it. Naja at the Blue Paper looked into it and got right on Congressman Joe Garcia. My friend Annie Miners with Pirate Radio went to management with the story. Pirate Radio had the Congressman Joe Garcia on air this past Veterans day to see what he was going to do about our vets. Commissioner George Neugent called, said he had talked to our Congressman about the problem. George said he worked a lot with Joe Garcia & the Congressman would fix it. I says fat chance, the man is a democrat. George said trust me. Garcia has a thing for veterans. I says we vets are one percent of the people and only one percent of our one percent ever voted for a democrat. We got no money for any reelection, we got no money for lobbyist. We veterans are invisible and we are toast. Mr. Bill says George, trust me.

George was right. Congressman Joe Garcia went to the Director of the Miami VA and came out with Doctor & staff in tow. The Congressman then had a meeting with the Sectary of the Navy, Joe told the Sectary that the VA clinic in Key West was in a Navy hospital & because in season even with two Doctors, sick walk in vets could be turned away, so could the Navy put up a Navy Doctor if it came down to it? The Sectary said done.

We vets are thankful to each & everyone of you who focused your power to help veterans who are powerless.

For a politician in today’s world to work so hard to help a people that could do so little for him. I would choose a word other than a hero. I would call Joe Garcia a leader.

Bill Cooper

Marathon

An Open Letter In Support of PumpOut USA’s Boater Pumpout Program

open letter to blue paper

CLICK HERE FOR FULL LETTER

New Administrators Announced – Poinciana Elementary, Horace O’Bryant School, Coral Shores High School

Superintendent of Schools, Mark T. Porter announced the names of the newly selected administrators for Poinciana Elementary School, Horace O’Bryant School and Coral Shores High School today.  The selected individuals will be recommended to the School Board at their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 23rd when all principal and assistant principal recommendations for the 2014-15 school year are presented to the Board for approval.  The selected candidates are as follows:

  • Ms. Christina McPherson will be recommended for the position of Principal at Poinciana Elementary School.
  • Mr. Steve Vinson will be recommended for the position of Assistant Principal at Horace O’Bryant School.
  • Ms. Kristy Bedell will be recommended for the position of Assistant Principal at Coral Shores High School.

[...full article]

Habitat for Humanity of Key West & Lower Florida Keys receives $5,000 grant from Old Island Restoration Foundation

Habitat vols work on Lenore Tyler's house

Habitat for Humanity of Key West & Lower Florida Keys received a $ 5,000 grant from Old Island Restoration Foundation for the repairs on the old town home of Lenora Tyler.  “Old Island is dedicated to preserving the architectural and cultural heritage of Key West.  OIRF’s grant program, funded in part by our House Tours, is designed to help residents like Mrs. Tyler.  Her house is a typical conch cottage built in the early 1920’s and we are very pleased to help repair and preserve Mrs. Tyler’s home,” explained Kelly Friend, OIRF’s Board President.

719 Eliz OIRF Check Presentation 4“Our missions are symbiotic and it’s great when local nonprofits are able to leverage their resources for the benefit of our community.  This is actually the fourth grant Habitat has received from OIRF on behalf of elderly homeowners,” said Mark Moss, Habitat’s Executive Director.  “We view our work as successful when it transforms lives and promotes positive and lasting social, economic and spiritual change within a community; when it is based on mutual trust and fully shared accomplishment; and when it demonstrates responsible stewardship of all resources entrusted to us.” [...full article]

Leon Shell Memorial Sailfish Tournament Reels in Funds for VNA/Hospice of the Florida Keys
LeonShell Check Presentation

Professional Division Champion, Silent Hunter, presents check to Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys.

The 16th Annual Leon Shell Memorial Sailfish Tournament once again benefited Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice of the Florida Keys.

This highly anticipated two-day fishing event, which is held in Key Colony Beach, honors Captain Leon Shell.  Shell was a gifted and respected angler, as well as an artist who was famous for his handmade specialty fishing lures.

VNA/Hospice, the only not-for-profit home health, hospice and palliative care provider serving all of Monroe County, has been the recipient of the funds raised since the tournament began in 1986.

“VNA/Hospice was honored with the privilege of caring for Captain Leon Shell at the end of his life,” stated VNA/Hospice President & CEO Jody Gross.  “The longevity of this tournament and its support of VNA/Hospice affirm the necessity of our agency programs and services.”

This year’s tournament was also part of the year long celebration of VNA/Hospice’s 30th Anniversary of caring for the Keys.  [...full article]

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

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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, FloridaKeys.com will be streaming the event live as well as recording the event for later viewing.   You can watch the live event by going to www.hometownkeywest.com.  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 / APRIL 26

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]

Dive Into Coral Camp, Exploring Coral Reefs & Our Amazing Marine Environment

Coral Camp 2014 Registration is Open!  When school lets out, Coral Camp begins.  6-12 year old youths explore and learn about our surrounding marine environment through exciting education activities at the Reef Relief Environmental Center in Key West.  Each fun-packed day, campers experience hands-on-learning, interactive games and outdoor activities.  Activities include science and art projects in addition to exciting field trips around Key West.  Campers also experience three days of snorkeling. One day practicing their snorkeling skills and two days snorkeling at the reef.

Weekly sessions begin June 9th and go through August 15th.  Sessions are limited to 25 campers per session.  A limited number of scholarships are available to those whom qualify.  Coral Camp runs Monday through Friday from 8:30am- 4:30pm.  Camp fees are $ 215 for one week or $ 185 per week for multiple week sign ups.  Space is limited! Reserve a slot today!

Sponsors for Coral Camp 2014 include:  Sebago Water Sports, Key West Aquarium, Eaton Bikes, Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, Key West Wildlife Center, Fury Water Adventures, Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Zenscapes, Pirate Scooter, Salute on the Beach, Tom Sawyer’s Keyboard Advertising Specialties, Reef Safe Sunscreen, Island Bicycles, Blue Heaven, Holtkamp Construction, Key West Trim Works, Olsen Drafting Services, Seaport Realtors, Fausto’s Food Palace, Danger Charters, Vino’s on Duval, Key West Cakes, Tattoo’s and Scars, Pilates Studio, Isle Style, Firefly.

For more information about sponsoring a scholarship or to register call Reef Relief at 305-294-3100 or email reefrelief@gmail.com.  Download registration forms at http://reefrelief.org/coral-camp-2014/

Reef Relief is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to improving and protecting our coral reef ecosystem.

Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club holds its monthly SHOW & SHINE, Saturday
Photo courtesy of Dick Moody

Photo courtesy of Dick Moody

The Florida Keys Southernmost Car Club (FKSCC) holds its monthly SHOW & SHINE this Saturday, April 19th, 5 pm till 8 pm. This event is for the lovers of classic, custom, and street rod automobiles and trucks of all years and makes. If it’s cool and on wheels it will be here.

The fun early evening event as always is at the Sugarloaf Lodge, on Sugarloaf Key. MM17. Prizes, 50/50 and cold beverages at the Tiki Bar are available. The Club’s sound system will provide 50′s and 60′s music. Bring the kids to enjoy these beautiful relics of the auto world. This is a FREE event.

Club members are seeking new members for a full schedule shows events. Join Saturday and get the new Club HAT! For more information contact Dick Moody at 305-942-1758.

You’re invited to Grimal Grove’s Sunflower Fest & Concert!

growing hopegrimos two [...full article]

GLEE Finger Food Cook-Off Open to Home Chefs and Pros

The GLEE Community Garden will host a “Healthy Finger Food Cook-Off” on Friday April 25 from 5:30-8 pm at the Bottle Cap Lounge. The competition is open to all and everyone is invited to come taste the entries.

  • Entries in the competition will be judged on their nutritional benefits, originality and taste.
  • The competition encourages use of local, organic and seasonal foods.
  • Finger food entries should include at least 25 pieces or small servings that can be eaten without utensils.
  • Categories include: Sweet or Savory.
  • Judges will select from two groups of participants: Professional Chefs and Home Chefs.

Prizes will be awarded for both Sweet and Savory categories in each group. A panel of celebrity judges will select the winners.

The public is invited to join in the tasting for a donation of $ 10 per plate. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Be the Change of the Florida Keys – Farm to Fork program.

A silent auction will also be held offering unique items and gift certificates.

For entry guidelines or to register for the Finger Food Cook-Off, please contact kwbridget@ymail.com or call 305-600-4344.

JOIN GLEE FOR ITS ANNUAL MEETING, APRIL 26 IN KEY WEST

Old Town Manor Courtyard (1)

Green Living & Energy Education’s annual meeting is set for 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Old Town Manor guesthouse in Key West.

GLEE invites past, present and potential members to attend to learn what’s next for the Keyswide nonprofit. It’s a great opportunity to meet other residents interested in environmental issues and hear from some of the Keys’ green leaders.

Speakers include Patrick Garvey of the Growing Hope Initiative and Grimal Grove on Big Pine Key; Dolly Garlo and Robert Keeley, co-founders of the Got Your Bags? Florida Keys program; Jennifer DeMaria and Harry Appel of Deer Run Bed & Breakfast on Big Pine; Alicia Betancourt, Monroe County Extension Service director; members of the Key West High School solar go-kart team; and Runi Goyal of Old Town Manor.

“I would encourage all past and present GLEE members, as well as all those with an interest in the sustainability of our island chain, to attend,” said Sara Hamilton of Key Largo, president of the 8-year-old 501(c)3 organization. [...full article]

“The Rarest Plant Habitat In Florida” 7:00 PM, April 26th

cactus barren photo

Stephen Hodges (Field Botanist; Tropical Science Institute at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden) will present Keys Cactus Barrens – a unique plant community that only exists in the Florida Keys. For the last several years, the Key West Tropical Forest & Botanical Garden Conservation Program has partnered with the Florida Department of Transportation, various other state and federal agencies to map, monitor and restore this highly endangered plant habitat. Data is shared with the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI) to assist their mission of identifying and tracking the remaining natural areas of Florida.

Hodges, formerly the resident botanist at KWTF&BG, has worked on field studies with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Environmental Resource Protection in Southern Florida. Currently, he is responsible for overseeing the endangered and threatened flora of South Florida program at Fairchild Botanic Garden. Among his area of exploration is the endangered Florida Keys tree cactus, species of the Keys pine rocklands, plus a wide array of other native plants threatened by sea level rise.

THE PUBLIC IS INVITED AND WELCOME to the Nature Chapel, just off U.S. 1 on College Road: Members of KWGBS and students are FREE. Non-members $ 5.00, or the opportunity to join. For more, visit www.KWBGS.org or call 305-296-1504

Conch Republic Independence Celebration – Link To The Official Guide

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LOVE LANE GANG! They’re Just Plain Fun!

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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 5:30 PM. And there is a rumor they will be at the pro-legalization rally at Mallory Square Sunday 4/20.

Scheduled Appearances for the rest of April [NOTE:  Salute now Sundays 5:30 to 8:30]: [...full article]

Calling All Artists! It’s Time For The Fantasy Fest Poster Contest!

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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 fantasyfest.com or call 305-296-1817.

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

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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 www.zontakeywest.com/radioday for more information.