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Jul 282017
 
Pritam Singh's 175-Room "Ocean's Edge Hotel" Sells For $175 Million

by Naja Girard……. Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. announced this Wednesday that it has purchased “the 175-room Oceans Edge Hotel & Marina on Stock Island for $175 million.” Ocean’s Edge Hotel has been an object of controversy in the Keys from the onset. It was pushed through as an upscale community consisting of “79 single family homes” and a small 17 room hotel. “It’s what we all want,” said developer Pritam Singh to the County’s Planning Commission, “to put our house by the water.” Each homeowner [continue reading…]

 July 28, 2017  Posted by at 12:56 am * Featured Story *, News 9 Responses »
Feb 242018
 
Why Pay for Anything That's Free?

by Rick Boettger……. Air is free.  Water is almost free. The Blue Paper has been free for 20+ years.  Why do we want you to pay us for it now? So far, only a small percentage of our readers are contributing, so far less than a hundred.  Please, do not stop reading here if you are not among them.  I’m NOT going to guilt-trip or even ask any of you for your money.  I want to ask those who do contribute why they do so, [continue reading…]

 February 24, 2018  Posted by at 12:56 am ~ Column ~, ~ Opinion ~, Issue #257, News, Rick Boettger 5 Responses »
Feb 042018
 
Kathy Reitzel's Pain and Suffering

by Rick Boettger…….. Kathy’s Reitzel’s long whistleblower lawsuit against the School District is coming to a head. There was a blip in a preliminary hearing on whether she could claim non-economic damages, that is, pain and suffering, emotional distress, etc. (hereinafter “suffering”). The school board’s hired, expensive outside attorney, Michael Burke, succeeded with a deft plan to block non-economic damages.  In what at first was a bit of a surprise, in the pre-trial hearing in early February, he admitted for the first time in the [continue reading…]

 February 4, 2018  Posted by at 12:56 am * Featured Story *, Issue #254, News 3 Responses »
Jan 272018
 
What is Eating up Key West’s Residential Housing Stock?

by Arnaud and Naja Girard……. Key West suffers from an unprecedented housing crisis yet transient rental units seem to metastasize through Key West’s residential neighborhoods at an ever-accelerating rate. Last year we uncovered a disturbing legal process: The City of Key West had discreetly passed a law creating amnesty for people who illegally rent long-term residences to tourists. Instead of the 60 days in jail plus fines contemplated by the city code, property owners who can show they’ve broken the law since April 1, 2010 [continue reading…]

Jan 202018
 
City's Deregulation of Transient Licenses Will Reduce Residential Housing

OP/ED by Arnaud and Naja Girard…….. Hurricane Irma has left hundreds of people homeless in the Florida Keys. We wanted to know how the local government was handling the housing crisis. Officials seem genuinely concerned. They hold meetings and workshops on workforce housing issues. But clearly the problem predates the storm. Locals believe that, in recent years, too many residential units have been allowed to be transformed into vacation rentals. In this context we were surprised to learn that this week the City Commission voted [continue reading…]

Dec 292017
 
A Forgotten Era Remembered: Key West Art & Historical Society Presents “On the Waterfront: Truman Annex Artists” Exhibit at Custom House Museum

On Friday, January 12th from 6:00pm-8:00pm, Key West Art & Historical Society kicks off the new exhibit, “On the Waterfront: Truman Annex Artists” putting the spotlight on a relatively unaccounted for era of creativity that helped launch some of the island’s most celebrated artists. The Custom House Museum exhibit in the Bryan Gallery features historic and contemporary works from artists that rented space between 1974-1986 in the decommissioned naval warehouses, machine-shops, and residential facilities for use as studios after the U.S. Navy abandoned their base on the present-day Truman [continue reading…]

 December 29, 2017  Posted by at 12:16 am Issue #249, Special Events, What To Do No Responses »
Dec 222017
 
A Forgotten Era Remembered: Key West Art & Historical Society Presents “On the Waterfront: Truman Annex Artists” Exhibit at Custom House Museum

On Friday, January 12th from 6:00pm-8:00pm, Key West Art & Historical Society puts the spotlight on a relatively unaccounted for era of creativity that helped launch some of the island’s most celebrated artists in its exhibit “On the Waterfront: Truman Annex Artists.” The Custom House Museum exhibit in the Bryan Gallery features historic and contemporary works from artists that rented space between 1974-1986 in the decommissioned naval warehouses, machine-shops, and residential facilities for use as studios after the U.S. Navy abandoned their base on the present-day Truman Annex. [continue reading…]

 December 22, 2017  Posted by at 12:18 am Art, Issue #248, What To Do No Responses »
Nov 242017
 
ETHICS VIOLATIONS / “It's all Danny's fault if we lose.”

They lost. And he was off by over $2 million plus 333 other errors. by Rick Boettger……. Commissioner Danny Kolhage’s share of the $15+ million in reporting errors made by the most recently cited four county commissioners rung up with $20,000 in fines by the Florida Commission on Ethics was “only” $2,254,648, putting him a distant third to Heather Carruthers’ $7.4 million and David Rice’s $4.5 million.  But Kolhage was easily in 1st Place in errors of form, omitting 24 addresses and 309 entries on [continue reading…]

Mar 032017
 
OCEANSIDE MARINA: Bathroom-less Vacation Villas? The Hawk's Cay Inquiry Continues...

by Naja Girard……. Did a county planning manager, developer Pritam Singh, and a Hawk’s Cay HOA manager lie under oath to the Monroe County Planning Commissioners in 2014? They all swore that county records showed there were 12 unbuilt “leftover” hotel units at the Hawks Cay resort on Duck Key. “They are vested rights,” claimed Mr. Singh, who convinced the board to approve a transfer of those 12 hotel units to his new project at Oceanside marina. However, when The Blue Paper discovered that there were over 60 [continue reading…]

Feb 172017
 
Ocean's Edge: A Play in Four Acts

by Conch S. Fritter …….. County Commissioners appeared lost this Wednesday in the intricacies of their own laws. But for those who had followed the growing controversy over Pritam Singh’s Ocean’s Edge (175-room) Hotel the meeting looked like the last of the county’s many renditions of The Emperor’s New Clothes. The actors are real pros and they’ve played the part many times.

 February 17, 2017  Posted by at 12:54 am Island Voices, Issue #206, News 4 Responses »